Thursday, April 3, 2014

Time-out

I have put myself in time-out.

I have been working on some free-lance design work, and I got a new computer ... both of which are keeping me extra busy. Sorry for the lack of posting ... I will be back soon!

Happy Spring!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heart Shaped Red Velvet Cake-letts ... no shape pan needed!

A few weeks ago I posted this on my Instagram account ... and there response left me SPEECHLESS! 
I can't believe how many people have contacted me to get the recipe and how to, so they could do this for their Valentine. 

I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this up ... however sick kids have been my excuse :)
So drumroll please ..... 

First off for the recipe
It makes 12 heart cake-lett's
(you might want to double it ... see pan sizes below recipes in the TIPS section)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz red food coloring (1/2 bottle)
1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup prepared hot cocoa with water
(coffee can also be substituted)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine sugar and oil in large bowl.
3. Mix in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, & food coloring.
4. Stir in vineger, & hot cocoa.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cocoa. 
6. Add dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients, and mix just until combined.
7. Generously grease (Crisco) and flour (1) half-sized cookie sheet pans. (Clarification below) 
Line the bottom with parchment paper.
8. Pour batter into pan.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes on middle rack, until toothpick comes out clean. Don't overbake!
10. Let cool in pan on a cooling rack.
11. When completely cool, dump out onto a cutting board lined with plastic wrap. Peel off the parchment paper off the top.
12. Cover the cake with another piece of plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.
(the rest of the instructions are below frosting recipe)

MAKE FROSTING NOW!
Usually, you wouldn't want to put your frosting in the fridge, but this frosting is the exception! 
It is a Whipped cream cheese frosting!

FROSTING RECIPE:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Whip cream cheese until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl whip the whipping cream (whip it good)!
3. Add powdered sugar and vanilla to cream cheese and combine until smooth. Then add whipping cream last and whip just until combined. 
4. Put inside pastry bag (with a start tip) and place inside fridge overnight. (look for a great tip below)

Back to you with the instructions of how to make the hearts!

13. After the cake has been frozen, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and use a darling heart cookie cutter (yes, the same one you use for sugar cookies) and cut 12 hearts! Remove the negative space cake ... and look below in Tips with what to do with it. DON'T throw it away, you wasteful person ... lol!


They are now ready to frost!

I use a star tip, and start frosting on the upper left corner. Then zig-zag diagonally until you get to the bottom and make a little circle to cut off the frosting, like so:


Aren't they just DARLING!

I can promise, they aren't as hard as you might think they are ... and don't let the overnight scare you off. If you ask me, it makes it easier when getting ready to serve them, because you are already cleaned up and ready to go. Here are a few tips and pictures to help you understand the recipe:

Tip no. 1 | My favorite pan is a 13" x 9.5" x 1" pan. You can find them at Orson Gygi here
For 12 hearts, this is the pan you will need! 
For a FULL pan(18"x13"x1") or two smaller pans, you will need to DOUBLE this recipe!
**This recipe I used two smaller pans because it was easier to get them into my freezer and to dump them out onto my cutting board.

Tip no. 2 | Why does the recipe say Hot Cocoa and Coffee can be substituted?
Well on the original recipe it tells to use Coffee ... but because I am a Mormon, and because I don't think that Coffee is the best ingredient for me to use for my family ... I decided to try the Hot Cocoa. Surprising, out of the taste testers I chose, (Thanks Kindred family) it was 4 people to 1 in favor of the Hot cocoa! So, this is my new twist on the recipe, however both taste wonderful!



 Tip no. 3 | The frosting might appear to be a little more runny to the usual cream cheese frosting you're used to. That is why I highly recommend that you make it and put it in the refrigerator at the same time you put the cake in the freezer. Trust me! You'll be glad you did!

I learned a little trick years ago, that has saved me from trying to clean out those pastry bags! (It still gets a little frosting on the bottom, but not nearly as bad as putting the frosting directly in the bag. 
I prefer to use Press and Seal Plastic wrap. Put a long piece on the counter, Place the frosting on the plastic wrap. Then roll it up and "wring" both ends. Then place it in your pastry bag. 
IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!

 Tip no. 4 | What do you do with all the left over scraps! 
That cake is way too good to just throw away!


How about trying this?

or I saw this on Pinterest ... 
but haven't had a chance to try it!

 Feel free to email me with your questions ... and I hope your Valentine just LOVES these cake-letts!




Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentines for the Mr.


It is that time of year again, and as I have been racking my brain ... I went back to a segment I did last year for Studio 5, and now realize that I never posted the ideas on my blog. I thought I would refresh your memory!

If you're like me, you probably want to do something really special for your man for Valentines day, but lets be honest .... Valentines day is a girl holiday, right? So I find it hard to not get too "froofy" (if that is a word) when it comes to gifts for my man.
Well get excited women, because I have some great gift ideas for ya!

All Printables available in my store!


When it comes to men, we all know what they "want" for Valentines Day… however we thought we would keep these gifts a little more appropriate (lets be honest, it is a little hard to do this time of year). While surveying a few men I found out that while most men are alike and like something a little risky for Valentine's day, there is much more to these men than you think!
While reading the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I realized everyone feels loved in a different way. Get online to their website, http://www.5lovelanguages.com/, and have your man take a quick quiz to find out the way he likes to be loved!

These are the 5 love languages to choose from:

- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Here are a few creative ideas that will fall within these 5 categories, 
so you can give him the best gift to help him feel the most loved!

PERSONALIZED VALENTINE FORTUNE COOKIES
Wrapped in a darling take out box (purchased at hobby lobby) Give him a gift to tell him all the things you love about him. You can get these fortune cookies in two different ways!
I'm so fortunate to have you as my Valentine!
ORDER THEM!
http://www.fancyfortunecookies.com/ - They have amazing flavors, sizes, chocolate dipped, you NAME it! Great fast way to get the cookies shipped to your door. Be sure to order today to make sure you have them by Valentines day!!
MAKE THEM!
- There are hundreds of tutorials online, but I found this one on Youtube that I thought was the best. Homemade fortune cookies will allow you to be a little more "personal" with your messages, but are a little time consuming and may take a little patience until you get the technique down! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0a3S5XNu88
VALENTINES ON THE HOUR

Wrap each valentine separate and place them with the time labels for each individual gift.
(the :14 is for the 14th of February) 
 Inside each little gift put all the different things that you love about him attached to a little treat! Be sure to put a reminder alert on his phone every hour to open one!

I think about you every second … every hour … on Valentines Day!
(hour labels for gifts)
Here are a few gift ideas for each hour!
- small gift card for lunch, a book store, or a coffee shop,
- cd of songs that remind you of him or itunes card (pre-make a list of love songs for him to listen to on the way home on his smart phone without him knowing. Tell him to look for the play list on his phone, or even type up the playlist and place it in the bags!
- a picture of the two of you with a favorite memory
- his favorite candy
- slinky underwear (not to open at work of course!)
- model car for his desk
- small box of favorite cereal
- gas card (if he commutes)

BREAKFAST WHEN HE WAKES UP!

If your husband is like mine, he leaves before I wake up. So making breakfast for him is left to the weekends. This idea is one you can do a day or two in advance and set out before you go to bed. Make Cinnamon rolls, but roll them up like a heart. Place in individual dishes (I like the heart paper ones that you can bake in. Found mine at Wal-Mart). Then freeze the rolls until you're ready for them. Let them un-thaw over night and leave instructions to warm before eating.

Orange you glad you have my heart!
Heart cinnamon rolls with orange juice and a handmade valentine. If you want to do more, surprise him when he gets home with all the shirts in his closet ironed! (or maybe just a coupon to iron them later!)
PREPARING HIM FOR HIS TRIP!

If you have a man that travels for work, then this gift is for you. Go and buy all the essentials he would need for his travel bag and attach messages to each individual item. Every time he needs to leave for his trip, he is already packed and ready to go!
You mean the world to me!
Here is some ideas for the labels:

Toothbrush - You make me smile
Toothpaste or Mouthwash- You and I were "mint" to be
Shaving Cream - Life is rough when you're not around
Shaver - You are cut above the rest!
Deodorant - I like the way you roll
Bandaids - I'm stuck on you
Sewing Kit - You're sew special to me!
Soap or Shampoo - I was soapin you would be my Valentine

AWARE OF HIS HOBBIES

Show him how much you love him by paying attention to what he loves.
Of all the fish in the sea, I'm so glad you swam to me!
Give him a:
Fishing License, gift card to a Sporting goods store, Tackle box filled with candy 
(This one I purchased at Target last year in the Valentines section, but could easily be re-created)
MAKE HIM FEEL LIKE A MASCULINE MAN!

Give the man you love all the things that makes him feel like a man!
My Man Can
(gift in a paint can)
Can wrapped with Mustache Wrapping paper. Found at www.fredflare.com http://www.fredflare.com/APARTMENT-stationery/Mustache-Gift-Wrap/
- Dude you're welcome stationary kit - Stampin' Up! http://www.stampinup.com/ECWeb/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=132807
- Socks
- Pocket knife / Leatherman
- Cologne
- In-N-Out giftcard
- After shave
- Cards - you're one of a kind
- Remote control anything!
- Apple anything (iPod, iPhone, etc)
- Headphones
- Sunglasses

Quality time is really important to me, and there are two different types of quality time that I enjoy … and hope he enjoys too!
TAKING ACTION WITH MOVIE NIGHT AND YOUR MAN!

This gift is wrapped inside a balloon! You heard right … Pioneer Party in Lehi, Utah does a great job! Inside the balloon includes the following:
Valentine, you make my heart BURST!
Popping in to show you "good" time tonight!
Menu to show what the night includes
Gift card to restaurant, Movie, Popcorn vouchers
Movie Mugs from the MegaPlex movie theaters.
Purchase for $13 for a single mug, or $26 for a package like shown on segment. Go to this website or your nearest MegaPlex location for more details!
HAWAIIAN VACATION IN AN EVENING
Wrap up the gift in a sand bucket (found at Wal-Mart), raffia for grass skirt, Hawaiian items found at Party Land in Lehi. Make sure to include an airline ticket with day and time of planned date. Get peanuts and soft drinks for the ride to your destination.
The itinerary could include:
Hawaiian Pizza at Malawi's Pizza
Babysitter scheduled
All you need to pack is your swim trunks, & a towel!
Go surfing at Provo beach resort (Wave Simulator)
** Valentine special on February 14, 2 for 1 on all activities at Provo Beach Resort. Call 801-224-5001 for more details!
End with Hawaiian Lingerie included in bucket (coconuts!)

This one is an easy on for Valentines day. Try a romantic package that includes all of this!

- Couples massage Brick Canvas at Thanksgiving Point
Check out their special for February:

- Slinky (to be exchanged for another gift later!)
- KISS STIXX (Peach for him, Cream for her … when you kiss it is Peaches and Cream) Found at Husband & Wife in American Fork
- Could get more personal with fun intimate items!

All of these gifts are not complete without Valentine printables!
Be sure to visit my store for more details on how you can get your valentine printables!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Valentines you'll remember!

For some reason, Valentines Day was one holiday I had a lot of bad luck with...
that is until I got married ... and my son Bryson was born on February 13.

Now I look forward to the fun of Valentines day, and I figured it is never too early to prepare for the Day of LOVE!


I got an email a few weeks back from one of my favorite card printing websites. 
And I knew that these were the Valentines I wanted to get for my boys!
It was so hard to decide how to customize them and which one to choose:



There are so many cute options! I chose the airplane, because it was interactive 
and different than anything I had seen (and I love to be unique)!
 I decided to make just one Valentine and make it generic and 
order 40 for both boys and their class! 
Today we signed some our Valentines and tried those Valentine airplanes out!




The boys are so excited to give their Valentine planes to their friends!

Not only is PEAR TREE GREETINGS offering a

They are offering this ADORABLE FREE printable banner!


There is still plenty of time to get your Valentines, and make sure you check out

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Planner Giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. It seems like there are less people commenting these days on blogs. I am totally guilty of it ... however those who were sweet enough to leave a comment will be rewarded for their great New Years goals! And the winners are:

Sesil Cratin
I love that planner. I can not find it anywhere . I would love a chance for the giveaway. My word is change. I am going to change my attitude on my appearance. I am going to make a change for the best. Thank you

Angie Center

My word for this year is TRUST. I want to trust in my Heavenly Father more, trust in others and their good intentions and trust in myself that I am on the right path and doing good things. 

My family had a similar experience to yours about 20 years ago. The miracle did come though and I finally got the sister I had prayed for all my life. Never stop believing! Your miracle will come.Thanks for sharing on your blog and on Studio 5. I wish we could meet in person. :)

Kat Seamons
(Instagram follower who had a hard time commenting on my blog)
I need one of these ... they look awesome:)

CONGRATULATIONS!!

And be sure to look for more giveaways and projects I am too lazy to post to my blog by following me on Instagram! Happy New Year!!



Friday, January 3, 2014

Goodbye 2013 .... HELLO 2014 + GIVEAWAY!!!

What a year it has been! Lots of highs, and a few lows ... but altogether a great year!

I want to share with you my upcoming goals for this year, 
& then finish up with what I learned last year!

My word for this year is:


I think as a mom, worry is part of our job description. 
Most of my unhappiness comes from worrying! 

Are my kids learning enough? 
Eating healthy enough? 
Having enough fun? 
Am I a good enough wife?
Is my house clean enough? 
Am I a good enough friend?
Am I becoming who my Heavenly Father wants me to be? 
Am I spiritual enough? 
Am I skinny enough?

(i know you have asked a few of these questions yourself!)

I don't know about you, but I need to remember that 
I AM ENOUGH!
This doesn't mean that I don't need to make goals, or have self improvement.
But honestly, I spend most of my time beating myself up and not living ... just worrying!

So this year ... Here are my goals to 

Live my life, and be happier! 

** Choose to live each day in the now & 
quit worrying so much of what is going to happen in the future!

** Set my mind to what I want to do, and do it ... 
don't let the task stress you out until it is too late to get it done!

“There are many wonderful things that 
will never be done if you do not do them.” – Charles D. Gill

** Remember how blessed I am, and that things are just things!
Happiness comes in LIVING the life you always dreamed about.

"The key to having it all is believing you already do!"

One of the ways that I track my goals is by using this AWESOME planner!
I love it because it is small and easy to use. It has months by calendar and by date. It has small sheet protectors to put photos and memorabilia throughout the year!
I have been using this now for 5 years, and it is still my favorite way to track my life and memories!

Now for the exciting part:

Perannum has been so gracious to donate 3 of these amazing planners to give away to 
3 of my blog readers!!
Leave a comment with a goal of what you would like to accomplish this year
along with your email address (only so I can contact you if you win).
!inners will be picked at random on January 8! Good luck!!

Check out some of the ways I have used mybook in the past by clicking here
(to purchase your own planner click here)


Last year, Studio 5 challenged me to create a word for the year. I chose:

I decided to:

** I set aside unimportant tasks and played with my kids more!


We got Ice Cream sundaes in the middle of the day for no reason. We went swimming, got snowcones,  read books together, grew a garden, went on field trips. I feel like I spent more time focusing on my boys this year than I have in years past ... and to be honest, I ENJOYED being a mom more this year!

** made time for projects important to me rather than making them another stress!


Studio 5 gave me more freedom to do projects I wanted to do, rather than just assigning me a topic. I enjoyed my work and being creative in my work. I did projects because I wanted to, and not because I was trying to impress someone. 

** loving every moment I can spend with my family

I can't say every moment is loved ... especially with a screaming 5 & 4 year old in the background. But I tried to make more time to love being with them! Adam and I went to Cancun in September. I call this Marriage insurance. It was so great to just be with my man and remember all the things I absolutely love about him!

** focus my attention on the things people in my life to right, rather than what they do wrong.

I still am working on this, but I tried more to give people the benefit of the doubt. To let go of things that I can't control about others, and to find the good. It did me well!

As I mentioned in a post before, our family had some things happen this year that I wasn't ready to share with the public, and I am still a little reluctant to talk about it in full detail. But I want you to know that even through my emotions ... I ENJOYED getting to know one of the greatest families that I believe I will ever get the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with. They are the most selfless, caring, and Christlike people I have ever met. In the situation, they were hoping to place their little angel in our family, and because of circumstances that were beyond both of our control, we were unable to place the child in our home. I am lucky to have an understanding of God's plan. He is aware of our situation. He is aware of our wants and desires. As much as I don't understand it all, I know someday I will get to see the whole picture. 

To this wonderful family who I am honored to know, THANK YOU for all you have taught me in the last few months, and allowing our family to be part of yours for a few moments. 2013 will be one year we will always hold deep to our hearts, because you were the first ones to take a chance on us, Quirks and all :) We love you!

Thank you 2013 for a great year ... and an even better 2014!