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Monday, May 12, 2014

We've Moved!

We have moved! Please follow our current misadventures in gardening and crafting at Urban Pepper.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

X-Mans Knight and Princess 4th Birthday

Shortly after Logan's 1st birthday party Xavier immediately came up to me and asked for a Knight and Princess party. Since I had six months to plan the party I was able to come up with so many ideas. So first the invitations. Xavier decided on the below invite and the little pennant banner at the top really inspired me and got the ball rolling.

The entrance to our house was decked out with a fabric drape and royal banners with Xavier's initial.

We created a 'stone' (from cardboard) for each royal knight to pick their sword from. They were also able to choose their own armor.

We set up a workstation on our dining room table for the children to create their own shield. Stickers and jewels were available to decorate with. We fashioned the shields from cardboard boxes and installed a handle on the back. Each was painted silver.

The girls were able to choose skirts and princess hats from a variety of girly colors. They received wands instead of swords and had the option to dress up with earrings, necklaces, rings, and jewels.

The beverage table was covered with a simple black table cloth. We covered water bottles with a knight and princess theme label that my dear husband created. We also had royal goblets available to drink out of. We had Lemonade, Ice tea, Capri Sun's, and water to drink. We also had M&M's and Ring Pops to subdue the sweet tooth until cake time.



The eating area was set for a king, or in this case a few knights and princesses. We were given the covered canopy from a cousin who was getting rid of it. We used leftover fabric to create the curtain effect. I'm planning to use this fabric again for a ship mast for Logan's Pirate party (coming in February)! The pennant banners were made from fabric and double bias tape. We rented the table and chairs at a local party rental and I used leftover red fabric to create the table runners. The carpet is an old one we regularly put outside to create an outdoor living space in the summer.

The chandelier a friend found on free-cycle. It was a little dusty and needed different light bulbs. It wasn't anything a trip to Home Depot couldn't fix. I found a string of beads from Joann's for a dollar and draped them over. The centerpieces were made from take out boxes and plastic plates from targets dollar bin. The dragons were purchased from Joann's for Xavier a couple of months back.

There was also an area for the adults to hang out at. It was covered with pennant banners as well.

The castle bounce house is the largest we have ever rented. To give you a size comparison the step stool in front of it is a normal size step stool you get at Target. This thing was huge, but it had a slide and a basketball hoop inside.

The dragon pinata was filled with candy, stickers, and small toys. The children played 'battle the dragon' with real practice swords (wood covered foam) also given to us at some point in time from a cousin.


The cake was homemade from scratch.Vanilla butter cream icing, vanilla cake, & raspberry filling. The towers were made of ice cream cones held together by icing. The little pennant banners were made of fabric and lollipop sticks.

Xavier enjoying himself with some of his best friends.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Easy Peasy Kids superhero cape

For X-man's Superhero birthday we decided to make kids got caps, cuffs, & masks. When I decided to make the caps I went out and priced fabric and realized it was going to be three to four dollars per kid! Since we ended up with 23 RSVP's there was no way I was going to be able to make that happen. While walking through the dollar tree I found a new section full of - wait for it - dollar t-shirts!!!! I looked them over and realized I could totally make capes out of them! So I had capes for every kid for a dollar per kid!

The advantage of the t-shirts is that the seams are already sewn so once you cut the cape out it virtually done. Remember to wash your shirts to take the sizing out of them and pre-shrink them. Otherwise you may end up with a crooked cape!

What you will need: 
  • T-shirt (our kids are 5 so an adult size large worked best for us)
  • Scissors 
  • felt (if you are going to make a logo)


First lay out your shirt and look it over. If it has seams you will want to use them as your guide. I got lucky and the shirts from the dollar tree did not have seams up the sides which meant wider bottoms for the capes.


Next cut up the side of the cape all the way up to the armpit and continue to cut along the backside of the sleeve until you reach the top seam. Do this to both sides of the shirt. The front of my shirt is to the right and you can see I cut diagonally up to the armpit to allow more fabric for the cape


Once you have cut the sides of your shit lay it flat. Cut along the top seam and around the underside of the collar until it looks like the picture above. Then you will want to even out the cut from the collar to the side so it looks like more of the below image. 


Finally you will want to cut the collar of your shit at the middle point. You can add Velcro which is safer for kids to play in. If they get stuck on something it will automatically pull off. 

Now  you can add any sort of image on the back you wish. I cut stars, lighting bolts and bats out of felt and used fabric glue to hold them on. 



Happy Cape Crusading!
Jen

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Childs Faucet Extender

Not to long ago our two year old decided he wanted to do everything himself. I don't usually mind except when it comes to things like scaling the sink to wash his hands. Our issue - our sinks are so tall that even with a really high children's step stool he still can't reach the faucet! So i created a 'faucet extender' to make the water reach his little hands!

What you need:

  • Scissors 
  • large squarish bottle ( I used a Costco sized Pantiene bottle but any squarish plastic bottle will do)
  • a faucet to attach it to!



The first thing I did was cut a hole in the top of my bottle.

Then I cut off the top of the bottle. I took a look to see where our faucet would need to go through the bottle. I cut a large U shape out of the bottle and rounded the top corners so not to poke little hands.



That's it! As you can see our faucet is a very odd shape. Yours will probably look a bit different.

Happy DIYing!
Jen

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Cleaning Wipes

There was a point in time when I spent a small fortune on cleaning wipes. You have to admit they make life so much easier but boy are they expensive! Shortly after having our second son and was exposed to the fabulousness of reusable diapers. Then one day it hit me. Why couldn't I do the same for my cleaning wipes? It really isn't hard to make these. The hardest part is cutting up the towel to make the little wipes.
 
The fist thing I did is measure the size of my container I would be leaving my wipes in and I cut my wipes to fold once and fit in my container.

 
Here are the ingredients for the wipes. Pine Sol, water, a measuring cup a plastic sealable container (purchased at Target) and the towels for the wipes. This recipe is best for killing germs and such. There are other recipes that use vinegar but I noticed they turn sour fairly quickly. 
For this project  I happened to have a package of small working towels from the auto parts store but you can use whatever suits your fancy. Even a cut up old t-shirt will work.  
 
DIY Cleaning wipes recipe:
2 1/2 Cups of water
1/2 Cup of Pine Sol
 
First you will want to fold and put your towels in the container. Then pour the water over the towels.


Immediately after pour the Pine Sol. 

 
Then seal the container. Let all of the fluid sink to the bottom and then flip it upside down.


You will probably want to wait about a half hour to make sure all the liquid has been absorbed by the towels. Then you can clean to your hearts content. Well at least until you need to make them again! Once they have been used I just put them in the laundry with the rest of our towels to wash.

Happy DIYing!
Jen

Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIY Bisquick Mix

I love Bisquick but I haven't been very fond of all the ingredients they use to make it. So I looked on the Internet and found that its totally possible to recreate the mix. But please note that this version needs to be put in the freezer as it does not have the preservatives in it that make it shelf stable.
 
Here are the ingredients.
Butter, Flower, Salt, & Baking power
 
You can use Bisquick mix to make so many things. Waffles, Pancakes, biscuits, and cookies. I could go on and on but I'll spare you.
Recipe:
3 Cups - Flower
1.5 Tsp - Baking Powder
.5 Tsp - Salt
1/4Cup - Butter
 
This can totally be made by hand with a pastry cutter but it takes much longer and I'm lazy! So with the food processor method you want to cut up your cold butter into small chunks add your other ingredients and place them in the blender. I usually blend it on the blend setting for approximately 2 minutes.

 
Once your done blending it should look something like this.
The butter should be completely processed in at the end of two minutes. I like to fill a large pitcher full of the mix. That way it has a handle to carry it around with. It and it usually takes 4 batches to fill the pitcher completely full.  As you can see I keep the recipes I use the most on the side of my pitcher and of course the original recipe to make the mix.
 
Happy DIYing!
Jen
 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Birthday breakfast in bed.

I just received my first birthday present of the day. Breakfast in bed from my favorite Kindergartener ( I'm sure he had some help from dad). What was your favorite birthday experience?