Wordless Wednesday & WILW: Family Out of Bounds


Mouse over for another view - just a little different perspective!

It's time for a nap now...

After last Tuesday I got pretty sick...it didn't slow me down, though - unfortunately I couldn't slow down -  there was way too much going on this weekend to take time to get sick, that's the two reasons why I haven't posted since Tuesday. I saw the doctor in my office Wednesday & he gave me a z-pack so I think that's what saved me from being down for the count today!

Friday Michael & I had a date day planned & I really didn't want to cancel it b/c I was sick. So after battling fever & swollen tonsils for two days and having two days worth of antibiotics I decided to go on as planned & off to Splashtown we went. Just the two of us!
After a fun date day at Splashtown!!
I was a little worried that playing in the water wasn't the smartest idea given the past couple of days, but we were looking forward to the time together so I went & we had a BLAST! We ended up getting season passes for the family - this park is literally only about 2 miles from our house so it's very easy to plan an impromptu visit at any time. This is the first year we've bought the passes, but it's going to be an annual thing from now own. It's just too convenient & the kids will love it!

Saturday I had to get food for the baby shower we had at the house on Sunday, so we ran around a little that morning & then headed to my parents' house. My brother was building a gate for them so Michael went to help out - while they worked we played in the water in the back yard then headed to my sister's house to play in her pool & celebrate my great-nephew's b'day, too.
Family Pic in the Pool
Aaron was the coolest dude there! LOL
This is the life! I'm so cool! You talking to me??

Emma - Lunching by the pool! Daddy & Aaron Lounging

Ahhh...

We had a fun day - I was worried being in the water Friday & Saturday that I might relapse, but thankfully I didn't b/c Sunday was a full day, too. I had a houseful Sunday for the shower & around noon as my niece & I were finishing up things to get ready we realized my AC wasn't working right. Turns out it needs freon, which we couldn't get yesterday so the shower was a little warm. It wasn't really bad until almost the very end, though thank goodness. And today someone will be out to fill it for me. Last night was bearable, but I don't want to do that two days in a row.

I hope you all had a great weekend! I feel like I need to sleep all day to recoup, but since it isn't an option I have work to get done! Have a good Monday (is that an oxymoron??)...

Laundry Room Remodel Pics

Originally I typed this up in my post yesterday - but didn't want to take away from Father's Day...plus it was getting way long!!

Are ya ready???

So here's my small, cluttered laundry room before...blah!
And now...dun, dun, dun...
 I just love all these cabinets!!!

Isn't it gorgeous!!! Yes, those are clothes on the counter - Emma puts up her own clothes these days, so I just fold them & let her know they are ready to be put up. She is such a big girl!! And that little basket on the counter is for orphan socks - some mysteries will never be solved I guess!

I still want to paint in there, get a nice matching rug & hang something on the wall. The wall to the left, which I realize now you can't really see, is just a bare wall - before it had those wire shelves (see before pics) that stuck out & got in the way (they are now high in my pantry to give me more shelving in there). I bought some sample paint colors for the kitchen yesterday, but Michael didn't really like it for the kitchen so I think I might try it in here. It's a pretty blue/gray color so I think it'll go well. Might post pics for your opinions later.

So, I'll continue with remodel pics...here are the before & after of the kitchen cabinets, too...
Aren't they pretty?? I've since moved those white bowls & am trying to put only dark things or glass behind these doors so it doesn't show through as much. We were going to do just the big doors, but the contractor suggested this instead & we LOVE it! The doors on the end just frame it all so nice! I think I'm sick of the greenery now, though - need a new idea for up there. Suggestions???

Here's where I found a home for those wire shelves . The shelves only went so high in the pantry & it isn't a huge pantry, so the floor was used like a shelf & I HATED stuff on the floor in there! With those shelves up high I'm able to get everything off the floor! Ahhh...much better!
I think this door rack has outstayed its welcome, too - pretty sure it's coming down next!!! Sorry - gotta go!

I am so happy how everything turned out! And the painting we did & the light fixtures changes just add to it all! And we finally got our new dishwasher in - now all the appliances match again! LOL! We still have a couple more projects we're working on for the summer, but all are small compared to this one! 

Ballet, Tap & All that Jazz!!

We had a great weekend! Friday night we took my daddy out to celebrate Father's Day! And I even let Emma take off with my camera so she took some pics for me...I love going back through my camera after she's been running around with it! LOL! And she picked out the wrapping paper for this one...so Geddo got Ariel!
She picked out the wrapping paper!
Then Saturday Michael was up and gone very early with his brother to Galveston to fish...I think they are crazy personally, but 4am just seems to early to get wet in my mind! And though I wasn't planning on it, I was up early, too and working - I'm finally caught up on the wash from the week we were w/out washer or dryer due to the laundry room makeover...

This would be a good segway to before & after pics as promised of the new laundry room...but I have another post written up for that! Ha ha - sorry!

So...where was I? Oh yeah - my Saturday morning was spent in these areas mostly...and I have to say I got a lot done! Then that afternoon we got to see Miss Katelynn's dance recital! She did great - they were so adorable!! She was so adorable!! I wish I had better pics, but I wasn't too close. I know Jamie will have great pictures, though so you'll have to check her's out! (Honestly - I'm anxiously awaiting her to post them, too - I can't wait to see them. HINT HINT Jamie if you're reading this! I've seen the portraits & loved them.)

(That is Katelynn on the far left - I didn't get any of her 2nd routine b/c at that point I had Aaron in my lap)
Afterwards Jamie & Steven had made reservations for dinner for everyone & had a cute ballerina cake & cupcakes! They gave Katelynn a beautiful new necklace, too with her name & a ballerina on it.
(excuse the peppermint bulging in Emma's cheek - LOL)
By the time we made it home it was after 8:00 and both kids were conked out. I took advantage, ran to Home Depot & purchased some more paint so we could finish the living room. It was around 9:30 when we finally got started & we were totally done & cleaned up everything by 11:30! WE ROCK!!!! Painting is a project we actually do very well together! Ha ha!
Sunday we got up & gave Michael his Father's Day presents - Emma liked the cards best b/c they played music. She keeps sneaking them & opening them up to the hear the music still! Ha ha! After church we headed to Michael's parents' house to celebrate Father's Day! Ya know - dads, y'all are really hard to buy for! This year I got lucky with my own dad b/c his electric razor just happened to be going out & mother mentioned it to me the day before we took him out to dinner - AND she told me he had already scoped one out so I knew just what to get him. That NEVER happens!!!! Same with Michael's dad - heck, and with Michael. So, we let Tommy pick out his own gift this Father's Day & gave him a Lowe's gift card! What was funny is how well we all know him - all his other presents were things that could have come from Lowe's or other home & garden stores!! Ha ha! We also played a game of Texas Hold 'Em - now we didn't get to finish, but I think I was the chip leader when we stopped! First one I knocked out was Michael & he was teaching me how to play! Ha ha! (He'll just say it was good teaching on his part!)

Aaron & Emma had a blast playing with their cousins & I was excited they got to see them twice in one weekend...they don't get to see them often enough & she loves to spend time with them! As soon as we headed home they both were asleep!

We had a good weekend & I think all the daddies in our families had a good Father's Day weekend, too!!!

The Day the Man in my Life Became a Father

Four and a half years ago our lives changed forever with the birth of our firstborn...Michael became a daddy & we were blessed with the most beautiful little girl! 

Then three years later we had another blessing - our handsome baby boy!

And today I wish him a very Happy Father's Day & say thank you so much for being a great father & giving me the best gift in the world...TWICE! I love you Michael!

And to my daddy who is a great father to me - thank you for also being a great Geddo to my babies!
To the two men closest to me in my life - Happy Father's Day!

Momma in Focus Friday - My Sous-Chef

Last night I tried out another new recipe I found on Betty Crocker - Cheesy Italian Beef Bake. I have to say it was another winner!! Turned out very good - so it's going in the recipe file for later!
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 jar (26 ounces) tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 1/2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, with cooking spray. Cook beef in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Stir in pasta sauce.
  2. 2 Mix cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning in small bowl until smooth and creamy.
  3. 3 Spoon half of the beef mixture (about 2 cups) into baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture evenly onto beef mixture. Spoon remaining beef mixture over cream cheese mixture.
  4. 4 Stir 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the Bisquick mix and milk in medium bowl until blended. Pour over beef mixture.
  5. 5 Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bake 5 minutes longer. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting.


So, while cooking I enlisted the help of my smallest sous-chef, but my biggest helper to put it all together! She told me first we had to put on our aprons - we couldn't cook without them!! Isn't her's so cute - my mom made this one for her - and after she got it on she told me she needed something to put in the pocket, too! Of course!
See Aaron trying to help, too?? Honestly, I think he was just looking for a bite! Ha ha!
Oh - and notice my new cabinet doors!!! I have better pics of them to share in a remodel post, but this is another sneak peak I guess! :-)
Michael even had to go back for seconds last night! I used a wheat biscuit mix for the top of this one - I didn't know how it would taste, but I have to say it was pretty delicious! I think the wheat even made it better!


One Day At A Time

WILW & Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

I've mentioned recently our 2011 Kubeczka Home Projects are well under way! Well, a BIG part of it is almost finished & I'm LOVING it!! I can't wait till it's all done & I'll do a total reveal - but today I'm posting a little sneak peak!

First though, I need to show you what I was working with before so you can really appreciate this part of the home projects!
Okay - see this teensy weensy little space? Well, that is was my laundry room! One little cubby hanging over my washer. That terrible corner intruding into the room to give another corner to the garage - something that never made sense to me! All that wasted wall space that should be filled with cabinets. ZERO counter tops. 
 Well, that's all changed! We aren't 100% done, but I'm just too excited not to share a quick picture I snapped with my phone of my favorite part of my new laundry room!
And look at that corner taking up space in there! Oh, that's right - you can't b/c it isn't there anymore!!! Don't worry, I didn't take my hubby's storage space away. He actually has way more now believe it or not - that was another part of the projects - shelving in the garage that goes on for days! He doesn't have enough stuff to fill it all. Oh man, I hope that doesn't give him any ideas!!! 

The kitchen pantry also has a couple shelves added, three rooms got new paint & two rooms got new light fixtures. We still have some work to do before we're finished, but when I came home yesterday to this beautiful site I knew I couldn't contain my excitement till we were completely finished! I just have no self control that way! :)

Tasty Tuesday: New Betty Crocker Recipe

This was actually on our menu last week, but it was super yummy!! I found this recipe on BettyCrocker.com & it's was a bit hit at our house!

Healthified Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

(click the image to view the Betty Crocker recipe site. Image via BettyCrocker.com)
INGREDIENTS:
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz each)
1 box (10 oz) Cascadian Farm® frozen organic cut spinach, thawed, well drained
2 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fat-free egg product
12 stone-ground wheat crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Muir Glen® organic Italian herb pasta sauce
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 oz)
  
DIRECTIONS:
  1. 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. 2 In medium bowl, mix spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon basil and the garlic until blended. Spread about 1 tablespoon spinach mixture over each chicken breast; roll up tightly. If necessary, secure with toothpicks.
  3. 3 In small shallow bowl, place egg product. In another small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon basil and the pepper. Dip each chicken breast into egg product; coat with crumb mixture. Place seam side down in baking dish.
  4. 4 Bake uncovered 20 minutes. Pour pasta sauce over chicken; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted in center of chicken reads 165°F. Remove toothpicks from chicken before eating.
I actually had to modify my own recipe a little b/c I was missing an ingredient, but it still turned out delicious. I also put my spinach mixture in my processor to make it a little easier to spread over the chicken. And I served it over angel hair pasta with some veggies on the side.  



dance your way back to zion

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Or more commonly known as TMJ. If you're a long time reader you know that I suffer from migraines - have since I was 4 years old. There is no cure, no magic drug that works every time...so I've learned to adjust as best I can and often just have to work through the pain. I have the same issue with TMJ.

Yes, before you ask, I do have a night guard I'm supposed to sleep in; however, I guess over time my teeth have adjusted since I had it made and it isn't very comfortable anymore, plus b/c I've apparently been sucking on the guard all night or something & I wake up with ridges on the edge of my tongue and insides of my cheeks. Yuck, I know just don't have any better way to explain this.

Lately my TMJ has really been giving me a lot of pain. And so far all I've really been able to do is deal with it just like with my migraines. I take OTC medications and hope they will ease the pain so that I can make it through the day. I find myself massaging my jaws throughout the day looking for some relief. My dentist has told me they could refit my night guard, but that wouldn't end the issue of the ridges the guard causes on my tongue & cheeks.

So, I'm not sure what my options really are to solve this problem. My coworker had TMJ so badly that she actually had arthritis in her jaw and ended up having surgery. I've read up a bit on TMJ and one site said that surgery wasn't a proven solution. It did work for my coworker, but it was a year of having her mouth wired shut I think...I don't think I really want to go through that, though she did tell me it's been six years and she has been pain free. Still, though surgery is a very, very last resort kind of thing. I haven't been back to the TMJ specialist, but with the pain I've been dealing with lately I think that might be something I do sooner rather than later...we'll see.

Other than dealing with this, things have been great - the work we're having done at the house is going great! I can't wait till it's all done! We've also done some work ourselves - new lights, paint, a few little aesthetic touches here & there. And regarding my last post about the spa and the movie - those were both great, too. The spa is so nice - it's a new one close to the house & it was wonderful. I got a great facial and pedicure. It was fabulous! I also got to have a girls' night out to attend an open house - Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Premiere Jewelry and a Purse Party! Saturday we stayed close to home most of the day b/c of all the work going on - but Saturday night went out with friends to see Hangover 2, then out afterwards for ice cream & drinks...in that order! LOL! The movie was hilarious!! VERY R rated, but so funny. I really was curious how they were going to out-do the first - well, they did!!

It was a good three day weekend for me...I hope you had a great weekend, too!

Friday Fotos & an Awesome "ME" Day

I took off today - for ME! I wanted to have just a day to relax and enjoy all on my own! Well, I'm still doing that, but the at home part will be accompanied by the sound of construction. The contractor started our little remodel project today - I thought he wasn't starting until Monday. No complaint - the sooner he starts, the sooner it's finished! At 10:00 though I'm going to the spa - for Mother's Day hubby bought me a gift card to a new one near the house & today I'm finally taking advantage! Ahhhh...I can't wait! Then tonight it's a girls' evening, too - so Michael and the kids will have their own play night, too!

I have several random pics today for iPhoneography!

First a couple of my babies!
This is actually a crop of a screen shot - we were face-timing with Teta & Aaron was giving kisses!
Look at those puckered lips!!!!
 Then later I was painting & Emma walked into the room, my mascara in hand - apparently she had decided to try it out! LOL!
I also found a couple great photography apps - Diptic and Phontos!!
I played around with them a little this week with pictures of my darlings!
They are fun apps, so give 'em a try! Phontos is free, but Diptic isn't - it was cheap, though. I think like $1.99 or something...fun for putting pictures together & you can link up to your online photos, too - not just those on your camera roll!

I also wanted to show off the new camera strap that my mom made a while back - I love giraffe print and hard to believe, but that fabric isn't easy to find! She found some in flannel, which was fine about 4 months ago, but not great for Houston Heat!!! She kept looking though and found some more - Thanks Mom! I love it!

And lastly - two shots of the awesome view at the office. Being on the 27th floor is really cool for the view - especially when there is a storm rolling in. I can literally watch it come up (or down) I-45! I used my Tilt Shift App for these - another favorite photography app for my phone! (I think that would be a good meme - favorite iPhone apps - I love to see what everyone recommends - btw, if you're a Words with Friends fan they just came out with Hanging with Friends - like Hangman. I love it!).
I love tilt shift - I've done some fake tilt shift with some of my pictures so this app is really cool. This is the favorite that I've done in PS, though. This was the Houston Rodeo a few years ago!
They all look like tiny little ants, hee hee! 


Tomorrow we're headed to see Hangover 2 with friends - I can't wait! I have lowered my expectations a little, though b/c really how could they make it any funnier than the first? Comedy sequels usually never compare to the original, but a chance to see Bradley Cooper should never be passed up! :) Does he ever stop smiling???

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!

New Header Image

Okay - can I just say first off, how hard it was to take down my old header image. I LOVE those two pictures of my babies...but I decided since it was summer I would go with something with cooler colors and fun summer pictures. I may end up putting those pics on my sidebar, though. I just wanted something fun & crisp for the summer!

What I'm Loving Wednesday


I'm loving Emma's new adventure - I think we're hooked! After her class last night - her FIRST gymnastics class - Emma said, "I want to do it again!!" I told her she surely would - next week, to which she replied, "No...now!!" I think she liked it, what do you think??

And this proud mamma has to share - afterwards the instructor came out to talk to me & asked me how old Emma was - or when would she be 5. I told her not till December & she said, "Well, let me observe her for a couple more classes, but I might move her up into the next class. She did really well & I think she would be great for the next class up!!"


I really like this place, too and I love how small the classes are. I think they cap them at 5, but there were only 4 in her class last night. They warm up the 3yr olds and the 4yr olds together & then they are split up for their separate classes. Those little 3yr olds were so cute, too - with those little chubby legs coming out of their leotards! I didn't realize the difference in that year and a half since Emma was 3. She isn't a baby at all anymore, but a little girl...with long legs!!
 (taken through the glass with my iPhone)

I'm also loving my hubby - we took Aaron with us last night & found out quick that was a mistake...he was all over and we weren't getting to watch Emma b/c we kept walking around behind Aaron making sure he didn't get into anything (not that there was really much he could get into from the waiting area). I thought he would watch Emma through the glass with us & he did...for a very short while!!

So, after a bit Michael said, "I'll just take him & we will go to McD's & he can eat & play." When they came back to pick us up Michael told Emma, "Since Daddy had to leave I brought you a Happy Meal!" He's acts like a harda$$, but he's really just a big softy!! :-) So, last night after Aaron went to bed we let Emma stay up a little later so she could show her daddy all the moves she did in class!

It was a great evening!!

Designed by FlexyCreatives