I am no longer actively blogging here at "Taking Time To Create", but I'd love for you to join me at my new blog: "Taking Time In The City". I hope to see you soon!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Enjoying Spring{Free Facebook Cover Downloads}

We've been enjoying some freakishly warm weather for April. High 70's to low 80's isn't typical for this time of year. In fact we have video of a snow storm at this time of year, so it's been pretty crazy. I'm not complaining, though! I'm excited to get outside, and my yard seems to be excited too. We've got so many plants blooming all around the neighborhood. Lilacs are the big thing right now.
They're everywhere around town and they smell sooo good! They always remind me of growing up, because we always had a lot of lilacs in our yard. One day we filled our little red wagon up with water and then filled it with lilacs. It was lovely. Good memories. :-)

The tulips in our neighborhood have been bloomed for a while now, but my tulips are a different variety that bloom later. I was so excited this week to see that they were blooming!

I just had to share these with you too, so I created Facebook cover photos of the tulips for you to download. Just click on the photo to open it in another window and then save it to your computer. I'm also including links to download them below the photos. No need to be a follower to download, but I'd love it if you leave a comment. :-) I hope you enjoy!

 Download the above photo here
Download the white tulip photo here

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Favorite Finds Friday {And A Fun Tip}

When I made the popsicles yesterday, I had a little too much smoothie mixture but wanted to freeze the rest of it. I decided to try freezing them in ice cube trays but didn't have any popsicle sticks. I decided to try using straws instead and they worked great! Here's how to make your own:

Cut your straws into thirds. If you're freezing something that's not as thick as a smoothie, you may want to put plastic wrap or foil on the trays before placing the straws in the liquid. That's it!

Now, here are my five favorite finds for this Friday.

Slow Cooker Apple Crumble from Inspired By Family Magazine

Transportation ABCs {Free Printable} from Nap Time Creations

Inexpensive DIY Pencil Vase from i should be mopping the floor

English Toffee from The Idea Room

I came across this fun saying on Pinterest. 

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recipe Thursday{Tropical Smoothie & Popsicles}

I made these smoothies for my son all last summer and broke them out again today. They remind me of summer...they're cool, light and refreshing. Yummy!

It's super easy to make them, and here's the recipe.


  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen tropical fruit mix (I used Wawona Festival Blend from Costco which has strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, and papayas)
Blend orange juice and and vanilla yogurt. Add the fruit 1 cup at a time and blend. Enjoy.

This recipe was enough to fill the glass above (16 oz maybe?)

We like to freeze the smoothie into popsicles too, and they're really good!
We found these popsicle forms at the dollar store last year, and they're worked great. It's a nice refreshing treat. :-)

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keep 'Em Busy {Dominoes}

Who would have thought dominoes would be so entertaining? I certainly didn't, but when I was trying to keep my little guy entertained the other day (since he couldn't go outside), I thought I'd distract him with these for a little while. A little while turned into quite a while!
We stacked them, lined them up, built things with them, and, of course, knocked them over. I kind of got caught up in it too!
Since our dominoes are colored, they're also good for teaching him his colors. When he gets a little older, they'll be great for teaching him counting and maybe even a little addition or subtraction.
We had a fun time. :-)

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Keep 'Em Busy {Baking Soda Bubbles}

I pinned this fun activity the other day, and we've already done it twice! It's the same concept as the Volcano Eggs we did for Easter. I figured I'd share it with you too, and what better way to share it than with pictures! It is definitely an activity that requires supervision,especially if you're going to do it with someone as young as my little guy, but it's tons of fun!
Pretty cool, huh? My little guy saw the vinegar in the pantry yesterday and started asking for "bubbles", so I know he really enjoys it!

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rockin' Baby Burp Cloths

I saw this tutorial over at Made and decided that burp cloths would be the perfect thing to make with some fabric remnants I picked up at JoAnn's. I didn't exactly follow the tutorial though, so I'll give you a little run through. It's basically just sewing a couple pieces of fabric together...super easy. :-)

I was working with smaller pieces of flannel, so I made them a bit smaller. For the back, I had a weird shaped piece of fabric, so I cut two pieces of the flannel measuring 7.25x10.5 inches and sewed them together giving me one piece measuring 10.5x14 inches.

I cut my top piece to match the size of this combined piece 10.5x14 inches. 
This is where I followed Dana's instructions. Stack the pieces so the right sides face each other and sew around three sides of the two pieces. Trim the corners and turn them inside out. Tuck the raw edges of the open end inward and sew around all the edges about 1/4 inch away from the edge. I ironed the edges inward and pinned the open end shut before I started sewing. 

TIP: To ensure that your corners line up, start sewing the edges toward the middle of one of the edges rather than at the corner. I thing it's easier to line up the joining seams once you get all the way around.

Since my cloths were a little smaller than those in the tutorial, I decided to just have them fold in half where the seam to the back piece was. So, I just sewed a seam along that back piece seam to help create the fold.

That fabric is so cute and rockin'!

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties.

Five Favorite Finds Friday

Here are a few of my favorite things I've seen around Blog Land and Pinterest this past week.

This Balloon Car from (cool) progeny looks like a lot of fun.

This tip from The Bean Sprout Notes on her Balloon and Corker Ribbon Birthday Wreath post is genius and such a money saver!

This Fizzy Fun from Kadydid Designs is a lot of fun! We tried it yesterday, and I'll try to share it sometime next week.

This DIY Bird Feeder from Cheerios & Lattes looks easy to make and uses materials that you can find around the house or pick up for a little bit of nothing.

Here's another one from Cheerios & Lattes. I can't wait to try this Skillet Queso Dip (from Chili's)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recipe Thursday {Good Ol' Banana Bread & Our Latest Favorites}

I know, know...I posted a banana bread recipe last week. :-) I didn't have an actual recipe to share with you today, but when I picked up my little guy after work yesterday, my sister surprised me with a loaf of banana bread. I decided it was too pretty and yummy not to share.

She used the recipe that I started with for the Peanut Butter Banana Muffins. It is the best banana bread you will ever taste! Our dog was even hoping for a bite when I was taking the picture outside.
This is Beau (who needs a haircut!)
Here's the recipe:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) margarine or butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 large mashed (in a food processor) bananas
Blend margarine, eggs and sugar. Add bananas; mix. Sift together dry ingredients. Add together with vanilla and lemon juice. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bread is finished when a toothpick or knife comes out clean (like with a cake).

I also thought I'd share some recipes we've tried lately and have become some of our favorites. I tend to look for meals that we can do in the slow cooker, or I can get mostly ready for my husband to just pop them in the oven since I work in the afternoon and don't get home until dinner time. These are some of our favorites:

This Pizza Spaghetti Bake from The Kitchen is My Playground is soooo good! My husband said this is how we should always eat spaghetti. I cut the recipe in half and it's the perfect size for our little family. you can get it all put together in the afternoon/late morning, put it in the fridge, and then take it out and bake it when it's time to get dinner ready. Super easy.

We still like regular spaghetti though, and this slow cooker recipe from Six Sisters Stuff makes me think that I may never buy sauce for regular spaghetti again. It's so easy to make and so, so delicious.

A quick tip when making something with tomato sauce: Try putting a little baking soda (like 1/8 of a tsp) in the sauce when you're cooking it. It helps to neutralize the acid in the tomatoes. This works great for my husband who loves things with tomatoes, but the tomatoes sometimes make his tongue swell up a little. We add the baking soda, and he doesn't have a problem. :-) 

I made these French Toast Kabobs from Crumbs and Chaos for our monthly family birthday party the other day since we were doing it for breakfast. They must have been a hit as there weren't any left! I didn't think about the weapon possibility of the skewers, though, so be aware of that. :-)

These Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Cups from Adventures of our Fami-ly were another thing I made for the family party. They were super yummy and would be great for an "on the go" breakfast.

If you'd like more recipe ideas, check out my For the Kitchen & Recipes board on Pinterest. I think that's the board that I pin to the most, so there are lots and lots of pins to check out. :-)

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties.

Blog Makeover

My little guy took an early nap today (he usually naps while I'm at work), so I had some time on my hands. I've been wanting to redo my blog header, so I did that and got a little carried away...I redid pretty much everything! Here's the new header:
I took advantage of Picnik while I still could to get the tree in the banner and used Photoshop for the rest of it.

I couldn't stop there,though. I also created a button that I'm super excited about! It's available below and on my sidebar. Super exciting!

 Taking Time To Create

If you've got a button but aren't sure how to share the html code, you should check out this tutorial. It was so helpful and from the looks of it, it's helped a lot of people!

This was as far as I got during the nap, but I decided at work that I should change a couple more things to go with the new header, so I changed the background color and created new social media icons/buttons:

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
If you need help with creating social media icons, this tutorial from Sweet Verbena was super helpful. She uses Picnik, but I'm sure you can get around that. :-)

I'm super excited about the new look and hope you like it too!

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diaper & Wet Wipes "Wallet"

My little guy goes into the "nursery" at church, and we usually give them his diaper bag (just in case). They only ever need diapers and wipes, though, so it seems like overkill to give them the whole bag. I've seen diaper and wipes holders,but they were more than I wanted to spend, and I figured I could make something.

Then I got to thinking about my Gift Card Holder{Wallet}. A bigger version of that would work perfectly! There'll be a pocket for diapers and a pocket for the wipes. Awesome!

So, I followed the tutorial from My So Called Green Life again, but this time I used these measurements:

  • 3 pieces measuring 15.5x10.5 inches (1 was for the interfacing, so you could do that in a different fabric or an actual interfacing).
  • 1 piece measuring 15.5x7.5 inches
In one of the first steps in the original tutorial you are supposed to fold over 1/4 of an inch and then 1/4 inch again to finish off the edge of the pocket, but I did 1/2 and inch and then 1/2 an inch. It was a little easier than folding over 1/4 inch.

I sewed three different versions. Once I got going on these, they were so easy to make!
In the first version, I used a button closure. I got the button over a little too far, but it works. :-)
The next version didn't have any closure at all. It's going to be in my husband's truck, so it won't be moving around too much. We'll see how it works...I can always add a closure later.
The last one uses a band closure. I used what was essentially a large pony tail holder (or headband) to create this closure.
Now the diapers and wipes have a nice new snugly place to stay.

I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties.