Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DIY Tutorial: Christmas Cupcakes

Mmmm... so tasty.

These cupcakes are "cheaters" if I may, considering all I did was add a little food coloring and imagination.

What you'll need:
-1 box classic white cake mix (one WITH pudding added)
-3 bowls
-red & green food coloring

Follow directions on the box, then separate into 3 even portions. Add red/green food coloring until you reach the color desired. Red takes a bit more, otherwise you'll have a pink Christmas cupcake!

Layer in your colors in whatever order you choose, mine were all the same, but you can mix it up.

I am never good at following the 2/3rd way full, so mine ended up HUGE and only making 12 large cupcakes and 12 mini-cupcakes (I really should get better with that...). Also I would highly recommend baking cups, I didn't have any, and the outside of my cupcakes turned a little more brown than I would have liked for the aesthetic appeal. Although, they sure looked awesome when cut in half or bitten in!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Found here. Originally from here.

Such an amazing and unique idea for serving dessert this Thanksgiving!

[...no posts until Monday, have a great holiday!]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Veterans!


Thanks to all... past, present, and future troops!
God Bless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I<3Faces: Completely Candid



This theme was a tough one for me... I have so many candid shots of my friends! From kids jumping in the pool...surprise parties...to my "brother" proposing...

I would have gone with my "brother" proposing because her reaction was amazing... unfortunately her face isn't clear enough. Instead I went with my "niece":
[click to view actual size]

Gotta love her face! It was the first time she ran through the water... it took all day to get her to do it, I'm so glad I was on the other side once her daddy convinced her she could be brave.

Don't forget to check out the other entries!

Friday, September 18, 2009

iHeartFaces: Fix-it-Friday

I haven't done anything creative with photos lately... I've been so busy with wedding plans and packing for my move there just hasn't been much time. However, I'm feeling a bit down this morning, and thought this might brighten my mood. [click images below to view in full size]

Original Photo:

My Edited:

I have a very old photo editing program, I wish I could afford a new one, but with my financial situation and not needing it for a job... I don't see it happening. Anyway- the editor (however "ancient" it may be) that I use is Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0. Here are the steps from original to my version:
  1. Copied the photo as a new layer
  2. Made the new layer black & white
  3. With the filters element I added a diffuse glow to the b&w layer
  4. Then I changed the opacity of the b&w layer to 45%
Let me know what you think, thank you!
Also...don't forget to check out the other edits!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget 9/11

[img from: lifeincluded]

8yrs have past, yet any American that witnessed those tragic events... remembers exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing. Take a moment today to pray for the family and friends of the victims of the Sept. 11th attacks. Don't forget to support the troops, even if you don't support the war... they need you!

Have you forgotten?
Need a reminder?
WATCH.
"THIS is what our nation is responding to.
Please remember that in the difficult times ahead
"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

iHeartFaces: Bubbles Week Entry


It's another week, another theme, with another GREAT groups of photos all revolving around the theme of bubbles. Don't forget to check out the other entries here.

My entry:
[click image to view larger-much more detailed!]

This was taken on July 4th of this year. I was very lucky to be able to visit my fiancé over this holiday. A large group of Marines & their wives, fiancees, and girlfriends got together for a BBQ/Pool party. The guys were very content throwing the football around in the pool until they realized I had an underwater camera- hence wrestling broke out and I became an "action" photographer. This one is my favorite because of the expression on his face- almost Popeye like! (and there's my fiancé getting double teamed at the bottom, haha...)

What do you think about the photo?
-Taylor

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DIY: Fruit Pizza

This past weekend was my friend Ephrem's birthday party, I was in charge of making the "cake," he wanted it to be unique and different. How did I do?

"Skinnie," this was the best birthday cake, um... dessert anyone has ever made me!

Score one for me! =)

Anyway, you can make this too...I cheated with the cookie and used a mix instead of baking from scratch, I also used peanut butter where most people generally prefer a sugar cookie "crust." I used the recipe for the cookie as directed on the bag, however I baked it for 20min on the pizza stone. My cookie was 1ft in diameter when it came out of the oven, you'll notice a difference in the final picture.I did make my own cream cheese frosting...
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
First you need to cream the butter and cream cheese together, then mix in the vanilla. After this you will gradually stir in the powdered sugar.Since it has been reaching 115* (no I'm not kidding) here in the day time, I baked this cookie around 6am, and made the frosting while it was in the oven. I left the cookie uncovered on the pizza stone in the fridge, and placed the frosting in a tupperware in the fridge. The party wasn't until 6pm, so around 5pm I pulled the cookie and frosting out, cut up all my fruit (nectarines, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas) and started working on the finished product-Yum!
It was gone in less than 5min.


[as always, images can be viewed larger by clicking on them]

Monday, July 20, 2009

I ♥ Faces: Feet Week Entry

i ♥ faces is an awesome photography blog... check it out.

My entry to this weeks "feet" themed contest:
My fiancé is in the Marine Corps... and I think there is nothing better than My Flip-Flops + His Combat Boots, because it means that we are together!

Be sure to check out all the other entries...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tortilla Soup

Ahhh the joys of being on vacation and unemployed (hopefully not forever though!). Yesterday, Erin and I took the day to relax, bake the boys favorite dessert, and make dinner. This recipe was given to me from my mom, it's insanely simple but so flavorful!

[Click image to view full-size in order to print!]

Mmm-mmm... remember, you can play around with the ingredients to your liking. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth!

I am fortunate enough to spend this 4th of July with my fiancé, who just happens to be a United States Marine. I absolutely love Bakerella, and her entry today hit home for me.

Aren't these super cute?!
Check it out: "The Fourth"

She has an easy recipe for her cake pops linked to this entry... try it out!

Thank you Bakerella... you have no idea how much something like this means. =)

Now my friend Erin and I are going to bake patriotic cupcakes for the Marine Corps BBQ/Pool Party tomorrow... exciting!

I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday, please don't forget the men and women fighting for us tomorrow and every day of the year.

-Taylor

Saturday, June 20, 2009

DIY "Self-Help Kit"

My friend Heather will be leaving for the Dominican Republic this Monday for a 2yr teaching position with New Horizons Youth Ministry. It will be a rough start, she will be moving away from everyone she knows, and everything she is accustomed to, in order to work with a bunch of troubled teens in a completely different country, I wanted to give her a small gift to brighten her days when she is feeling down. I ran across a "self-help kit" my grandma had given me as I entered High School (pictured below-top left) and decided to improve upon that.

What you will need:
  • Ziploc snack sized baggie (I used Ziploc Brand, snack size, 6.5in by 3.25in)
  • Card stock paper (for the free pattern)
  • printer
  • stapler- to attach top
  • eraser
  • penny
  • marble
  • rubber band
  • ribbon
  • match
  • paperclip
  • stick of gum
  • mini-drink umbrella
  • pom-pom
Below you will find the free download:
Instructions:
  1. Click on the image above
  2. Select "File" then "Print"
  3. This image is the correct size for a baggie 6.5in in length, if it does not print that size go to "Print Preview" and make sure the image scale is at 100% not "Shrink to Fit." You can also change the page layout from "Portrait" to "Landscape."
Enjoy your self-help kits! They make a great pick-me-up gift for anyone feeling down!
-Tay