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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Toddler's Thank You Cards

Pin It

I've been saving my son's "drawings" thinking I could do something with them other than just hand them on the fridge, and then it came to me! I'll cut them up and make thank you cards out of them for his birthday thank yous. I had leftover envelopes from Christmas that were letter size, so I made them to fit in those envelopes. Here's how they turned out:

I thought it was a cute way for him to contribute to his thank you cards. They're pretty simple. There's just a little space for writing the thank you note, so the drawing is the main focus of the card. 

I love how they turned out! What do you think? I love hearing your comments. :-)

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

3 New Valentine's Day Cards

I pulled together a few more Valentine's Day cards the other day and here they are! Enjoy!
Hand Stitched Heart Card 

Pin It
I hand stitched a heart with embroidery thread, layered a few different colors of cardstock, and put together the sentiment, "i heart you". 

As usual, I didn't want to free hand it, so I traced the heart on the back of the white sheet of cardstock to keep myself on track.
Stenciled Hearts Card
This one was simple. I stenciled different sizes of hearts on the base and then added a glittery clear embossing powder to the smaller hearts.

Glittery Embossed Card
 I actually did a little free handing on this one! I stamped the heart but free handed the "i" and the "u". I'm still loving the brads, so I added three gem topped brads. For a tip on getting your brads to lay down flat, read this post.
Glitter Embossed Border
For a little added detail, I added a glittery embossed border.
Inner Sentiment
I added the sentiment "Happy Valentine's Day" to the inside of all the cards. I hope you're inspired!

~All these cards are available in My Etsy Shop~

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recipe Thursday-Yellow Cake

***This recipe was recently featured here at The REAL Housewives of Riverton***

Pin It
As promised in my post here about my son's Cars themed birthday cake, here is my grandma's recipe for yellow cake. Keep in mind that I'm at around 6,000 feet above sea level, so you made need to adjust accordingly (less flour, more flour, etc).

Grandma's Yellow Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

1 1/2 cups sugar 
2 sticks (1 cup) margarine, softened
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP milk
2 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix together sugar, margarine, eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Add flour, baking powder, and salt

Pour batter in a 9x13 cake pan (or two round 9 inch cake pans) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Pin It

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekly Menu Planner {Free Printable}

Pin It
I like to plan our dinners two weeks at a time. I wanted something a little more fancy than lined paper, so I came up with a cute printable. I like the color combination. and the polka dots. :-) I plan our menu starting on Wednesdays (since I do my shopping on Wednesdays), so I created a printable starting on Wednesday. I thought other people may like for their menu to start at the beginning of the week, so I have a printable starting on Monday as well. They're designed to print on half a sheet of paper. It's not required, but I'd love for you to follow or subscribe to my blog before you download. Thanks!

If you'd like to download a 2 per page PDF version, you can access it here.

If you'd like to download a 2 per page PDF version, you can access it here.

I hope you enjoy them!

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Coolest Cake I Have EVER Made! {A Two Year Old’s 2nd Birthday Cake}

Pin It
I have to say that I may have outdone myself on this one. I don’t like to brag, but I am pretty darn proud of myself about his project. I envisioned it, and it came out as planned if not better! Months and months ago, when I was first discovering “Blogland” as some call it, I came across this birthday cake at Creative Jewish Mom. I think it was the first thing that I found that I HAD to make. So, I filed away the idea in my head for January. It was a good thing I was so excited about it too, because I somehow didn’t actually make a note of how to get back to
the post anywhere else. :-) You know I was excited about it since I managed to remember it 6 months later. Anyway, on to the cake!

I made 2 yellow cakes in regular ol’ 9x13 cake pans (My grandma’s recipe that I’ll be sharing this coming “Recipe Thursday”), and then I let them cook until they were downright cold (or at least room temperature). I think this and the huge amount of “greasing” and “flouring” the pans I did helped the caked to come out of the pans in
one piece. I placed them next to each other (touching) on the biggest cutting board in the world (Ok, maybe it wouldn’t win any world records but it’s BIG!) which I’ll be using as a platter.  Sorry for the lack of pictures here…I was so excited to move on to creating the “2” that I forgot to take any! If you’re braver than I am, then you can freehand it and start cutting your cake into the number of your choosing. Brave, I am not, however,
especially when it comes to “free handing” something. So, to play it on the save side I got out my wax paper, ripped off a piece the size of my cakes, placed it on the cakes for reference, and drew my “2” on
the paper. Then, I cut the “2” out of the wax paper and placed the paper back on the cakes. I tried to draw the “2” as close to the edges as possible, so I would lose as little cake as possible (we still want to have plenty to eat, right?).

…I took a deeeeep breath…
…crossed my fingers…
…and started cutting the cake.

When I was done, I couldn’t believe how well it turned out! I just kept saying, “It’s so cool!” Anyway, I picture is worth a lot more than my ramblings, so here’s what it looked like at this stage:

I got busy with the frosting next starting with a layer of vanilla (I just bought the stuff in the can…shame on me!) and then I added the road. I had to buy the frosting/icing for the road. I couldn't figure out how I could make the frosting black and not purple or bluish, so I just opted for the stuff in the tube.

I got out my handy dandy Pampered Chef decorator bottle set and went to town decorating the edges of the cake and adding little plants around the road. The lines on the road were also made
using this set. I added a "Welcome to Radiator Springs" sign, Lightning and Mater and it was done! Voila! Too, too cute. I LOVE it!

And don't Lightning and Mater look just AWESOME on the cake! I think so. :-)

I'd love to hear what you think of my cake. Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions and don't forget to stop by on Thursday for that yellow cake recipe. I think I got as many compliments on the taste of the cake as how it looked. It's yummy, yummy (all the butter in it probably has a lot to to with that yummyness).

Pin It

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine's Day Card Tutorial & New Etsy Shop!

Oh boy, oh boy! I am so excited to share that I now have my Etsy shop up! People have been telling me for a while that I should try to sell my cards, so I thought I would give it a try. You can check out my shop here. My first items are Valentine's Day cards, and here's what they look like:

Pin It
Cute, right? I think so. :-)

Oh, yes. I mentioned a tutorial. I'm going to share with you a little bit about how I made this card. I started with a plain sheet of white cardstock, cut it in half, and then folded the half in half (is that confusing? I hope not).  I embossed the hearts in three different colors of embossing powder. That's right, three. Here are the colors I chose:

I don't like to freehand things if I can help it,but I didn't have a stamp that big. What to do? I made a heart shaped template that I was happy with and then traced around the edges with my handy dandy Versamark pen/marker. On a side note, a tip for creating a symmetrical heart: fold a piece of paper in half and then cut half of your heart on the fold. When you open it back up, both sides will be the same.

Once all that embossing was done, I created my "Linked By Love" sentiment piece. The sentiment is a stamp that I got at Hobby Lobby eons ago. I stamped that in red on white cardstock and then cut a piece of red cardstock that was about 1/2 an inch "longer" than it would need to be if I were just wanting to create a small border. This gave me room for the brads at the bottom.

I love using brads lately. They can add detail and a little pizzazz. Love 'em!

Here's a little hint about using brads. After you get them folded down in the back, pound them down a little with a little hammer (or something heavy). 

Then instead of this...

...you'll have this...

...which makes it a lot easier to fasten your piece down.

Once I got the "Linked By Love" piece together I fastened it to the front of the card. I added the inner sentiment.

Voila! The card is now complete. I'd love to hear what you think of my card. Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions and don't forget to stop by my new Etsy shop!

Pin It

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recipe Thursday

I've been trying to think of a series for the new year. My initial idea was to make a different cookie every week. Sounded yummy, but then I got to thinking that it might be too yummy. I'd also have to eat the cookies (at least a taste, right?), and that would do nothing for my goal of keeping off the baby weight and losing a few more pounds. Last night, though, it came to me! I can still share a recipe every week...just not necessarily cookies every week. Much better. :-) So here is the first of many recipes:

This is a not so healthy, but oh so yummy recipe. It's called Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta. Quite the long name, right? I got the recipe from my mom, but I'm not sure where she got it. 
Here's what you'll need:

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 TBSP butter or margarine
1 TBSP olive oil (I like to use a garlic flavored olive oil)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 4oz jar diced pimentos, drained
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (how much cheese you use will affect the thickness of the sauce)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1/3 tsp pepper
1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
Angel Hair Pasta, cooked (As much as you want, but a whole box would probably cover it)

Here's how to make it:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get the water boiling for your pasta (it won't take long to cook, but it's a good idea to have your water boiling as this is a fairly fast moving recipe).

I like to cut my chicken into "chicken tender size" pieces. It makes it easier to handle and stretches it a little further. Place the milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Place your butter and olive oil in a skillet to melt and heat over medium heat.

Dip chicken in milk and then coat with bread crumbs. I like to do this to all of the chicken and then proceed to the next step rather than placing each piece in the skillet after coating with the bread crumbs.

Once all your chicken is coated, brown on both sides in the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Remove and place in preheated oven on a cookie sheet and bake until no longer pink, about 15-20 minutes. When the chicken has about 5-7 minutes left to bake, get your pasta cooking.

To start the sauce: add the broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to loosen browned bits from bottom of pan. Stir in whipping cream and pimentos, boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Stir in Parmesan, basil and pepper and cook until heated through. *Optional* Mix cornstarch with extra chicken broth and stir into skillet if needed to thicken sauce.

Once your chicken is done, serve the chicken over the angel hair pasta with the sauce poured over both. You can pair this meal with any veggie and maybe even some garlic bread or breadsticks. Yummy!!

Please let me know if you give it a try or if you have any questions!

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

Monday, January 16, 2012

Holiday Hiatus Roundup

I've been on a bit of a holiday hiatus as far as the blogging was concerned, but I've still been creating! I think I'll share some more detailed versions at some point, but in the meantime, here's a glimpse of what I've been up to:
When I saw this Thanksgiving advent calendar at Lil Luna (guest poster Rachel from Family Ever After), I just had to do my own version. I don't have nearly as many Thanksgiving/Autumn decorations as I do Christmas ones, so I jumped at this idea.
I'd never made a sock monkey before, but when I saw this post about making sock monkeys for wildfire victims in Texas at Dollar Store Crafts, I decided to give it a try. I followed this tutorial, and I think it turned out pretty well. This little guy is now in the arms of some little one in Texas. I love the thought of that!
My new tree skirt was probably my favorite holiday project. Every year I say I'm going to buy a tree skirt, but I can't every bring myself to pay for one (some of them are very expensive). One day I was in my local dollar store and came accross table runners that just screamed "tree skirt", so I bought four of them and voila! A $4.00 tree skirt! It's much better than the piece of fleece I was using before.
The last project I'm going to share is my card holder. It's just a piece of cardboard (from a diaper box!) covered in some fleece and ribbon. I tacked down the ribbon in places on the front to create "pockets" of sorts for the cards.

They were fun projects, and I'm looking forward to getting them back out again next year. I hope you're inspired to take time to create some of your own projects!

I'm linking to these lovely linking parties.