$1 DIY Custom Soap Dispenser

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I wanted to share a quick, cheap, fun little project (...aren't those the BEST kind?!).

The mismatched clunky hand and dish soaps on my kitchen sink drive me crazy. For awhile, I stored them under the sink which was super impractical and didn't last long.

As I was checking out the dollar store (the one entitled Deals) on my lunch hour this week, I spotted these oil/vinegar dispensers-
Unfortunately, they did not have any plain ones...they all had Vinegar printed on them. My first thought was to scratch the black part off, afterall they were only a $1, so I wasn't too worried if it didn't work out.

Once I got them home, I realized that the decal was there to stay. I decided to try painting over the 'vinegar' lettering using some leftover black paint I had from painting my front door.

I did about 3 coats of paint on each of the 2 dispensers I bought. I had originally planned on getting vinyl lettering to label one with 'hand' and the other with 'dish'. However, it was 8:30pm at this point and Hobby Lobby was already closed. (*Side rant- It drives me ba-na-nas that Hobby Lobby closes at 8 during the week and is closed Sunday. Hello, evenings and Sundays are my primary shopping times!) So, I checked around my craft/office room to see if I could find something else.

Luckily, I found some leftover small flat wooden letters I had used eons ago to make a personalized photo frame for a gift. I didn't have enough letters to spell out hand and dish, so I just grabbed an H and a D.
I slapped on some brownish craft paint I had on hand. I'm not in love with the color by any means, but I wanted to get this done quickly and well, it was there.

After two thin coats of the great invention ever a.k.a. Mod Podge, they were good to go.

*Make sure to dilute the liquid soap with some water, so it's easier to come out of the spout.

Much better!

Not bad for $2 and about 15 minutes.
I've made several other changes to my kitchen recently, which I will share in one big post soon:)
love, S

P.S.- You have just 3 more days to register for my latest giveaway! Click HERE and leave a comment for a chance to win a My Memories Suite software download to make awesome custom scrapbooks, calendars, cards, invitations etc.


Happy Friday!

Another quick Friday post about taking time to step away from work... and projects... and general life stress and just have fun. We spent last Thursday evening at one of our favorite local restaurants, Room 39 (the one in Mission Farms for you KC folks). We were there about 2.5 hours and savored every minute of it. The food was phenomenal as usual and well, the champagne certainly didn't hurt either. :)

'In all of living, have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.'
-gordon b. hinckle


Crayon Art=New Favorite Pinterest Project

I've been seeing lots of melted crayon art all over Pinterest ( Click HERE for original source) and thought I'd tackle my own. It was so quick and easy!

First, I picked up 4 boxes of Crayola crayons (for just $0.40 a box thanks to back to school specials!) and a blank canvas from Joann's at a 50% off sale.

I pulled out the white, black and brown crayons and then stuck the crayons I was using on the board with a hot glue gun.

Be sure to lay down a drop cloth before you start melting the crayons, because the crayons DO splatter!
Then, turn on your hairdryer and watch the crayons quickly melt.

The whole project (both gluing and melting) took just 15 minutes and the total cost was under $10. Not bad for a 10x16 custom piece of art!

love, S

*Don't forget to check out my MyMemories Giveaway for your chance to win free digital scrapbook software. Click HERE to enter:)


My Memories *GIVEAWAY*!!!

That's right my lovely readers, here's a chance for you to win a free copy of My Memories Suite software!

First, here's a little background on My Memories:

We have an award winning digital scrapbook software that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite is rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. Using this software, anyone can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs.

As much as I love scrap booking, I don't have much time to gather the supplies, print out photos and put books together. With this digital scrap booking software, you can create beautiful scrapbook pages in a fraction of the time. It's an easy way to create a custom scrapbook, calendar, cards etc for weddings, babies, kiddos, honeymoons, holidays etc.

You have TWO chances to win:
Please visit MyMemories.com and let me know what your favorite digital layout or paper pack is either as a:
1. Comment on this post and become a follower if you aren't already
2. Comment on the Facebook wall of Suburban Spunk

As a special gift to Suburban Spunk readers, you can get $10 off the

purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!)
Please use this coupon code when ordering to get the discount:

Here are some examples of my favorite ideas:

For my girlfriends that are getting married this year (Jes-I'm talking to you!!!) This guest book format can be customized with your own photos etc. Such a cute idea.

This Fall-themed package is another fave, as Autumn is my favorite time of year. I imagine adding photos of our annual pumpkin carving contest and visit to the pumpkin patch to these sheets.

Another favorite idea is this family tree page, using My Family Tree Quikpages. Wouldn't this be such a great gift? I also plan on making this for myself:)

This giveaway ends next Tuesday (9/27/11) at midnight CST. The winner will be announced the following day! The winner will be selected at random. Good luck! For those of you who use the discount to get other great software, show me your projects!
xoxo, Suzanne


New DIY X-Benches

I've spent the last year or so (seriously, an entire YEAR) looking for 2 X-style benches/stools for the foot of my bed. Something like this-

IF I found one, they were usually more thank what I was willing to pay (like $200 a pop). I did find a few at Home Goods for $79.99 but never found a matching pair. Boo.

As I continued my quest online, I came across this blog post. Caitlin Creer found a great deal on x-benches online. Look how cute they are...

They were just $50!!! However, this is what they actually looked like to begin with-
Yikes! The faux-suede leopard fabric was NOT the look I was going for. Caitlin Creer had ordered two of these and simply covered over the cheetah with her own fabric. Genius!

I decided to try it out for myself. Click HERE if you are interested in ordering these from KMART.com. They are priced at $49.99 each, but I did a quick Google search and found a coupon for $10 off / $50 purchase, plus free shipping to the store. So, I paid $45 each and was able to pick them up 3 days after ordering online.

I then picked up 1.5 yards of the same chenille fabric that I used for my DIY headboard. 1.5 yards was enough to cover both cushions BARELY. I would advise getting 2 yards, just to be safe.

There are just a few pieces to put together. Be sure to cover the seat with the new fabric before you screw in the legs.

We simply placed the new fabric over the leopard seat and used a staple gun to attach it.

*My boyfriend was sweet enough to put these together for me:)

Viola, new benches!

Here they both are at the foot of the bed-

Please excuse the wrinkly sheets and lazy dog.

For less than half the price of what most x-benches are, I think they look great. I am so happy with how they look, although I may add nailhead trim to match my headboard. Jury's still out on that.

And just for fun, here are my two boys trying them out-

love, S


Mary Carol Garrity's House Tour

Mary Carol Garrity is one of my design idols. Not only does she own/manage 2 wildly successful stores entitled Nell Hills, have  her own line of paint but she has also written a series of decorating books to name just a few of her accomplishments. Two years ago, I was able to tour her home which she graciously opens up to the public one weekend of the year for the first time. I posted about her 2009 holiday home tour HERE.

When I got an email saying that this year's open house would be taking place in September, I knew I couldn't miss it. My boyfriend's sweet mom and I made the drive up to Atchison, KS and got to walk through her house. I hope you find it as inspiring as we did! Enjoy. -S

The 140 year old house has a grand staircase-

The cozy study with matte black doors, grass cloth wall covering and plaid curtains-

Every available wall space is filled with art. Love her mix of vintage trays, prints and plates around and above her doorways-



This past Monday (Labor Day), I had one of those moments that made me step back and reevaluate my life.

It was about 6:30 and our guests had all left and the kitchen was already cleaned up. The house was clean top to bottom, the laundry folded and put away, weekend projects complete and dinner finished. I was sitting on the patio with my boyfriend and I said, 'well, what should we do now?' He looked at me and said, 'Nothing. We've worked hard, let's just relax.'

The problem? I couldn't relax! It was so hard for me to just sit there, drinking a Bud Light Lime, with the man I love, on a gorgeous night. As I type this, I'm even more aware at just how crazy that sounds, but it's true. We all work hard and I am just as guilty as most, complaining about not having enough time, wishing I could find an extra hour in the day, blah blah blah. Here I was with a few free hours and I didn't know what to do with myself.

I am so blessed in my life. I have wonderful friends that I get to see all the time, a home that I deeply love, a great job and a wonderful man by my side. Yet, I have allowed myself to get in the cycle of work, work, work, the 'what's next?' mentality. What is the point of decorating and creating a space that I love, if I can't allow myself to sit back and enjoy it? I have become so focused on the next project, the next thing on my always-growing to-do list that I'm not living in the NOW.

So, I am vowing to enjoy the present. It started last night with our weekly date night. My boyfriend is a GM of a restaurant and works a lot of nights. So, our time together is rather limited. The past few weeks on his nights off, we have been working on the house, taking care of the yard etc. Last night, we decided to have some fun and not 'do' anything house or work related. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, walked around the Plaza (an outdoor shopping/dining area for those not in KC) and sat and enjoyed a jazz band that happened to be performing outside.

Last night, nothing got checked off my to-do list. I didn't write that thank you card I need to and I didn't go to the grocery store as originally planned. And you know what, THAT'S OK. It was a perfect night anyway.

Have a wonderful weekend, and most importantly GO HAVE SOME FUN! love, S


September To-Do's

I think most people are familiar with the term 'spring cleaning'. I prefer to do this sort of deep-cleaning more than just once a year, in fact, I deep clean at the start of every season. Over the long Labor Day weekend, I spent most of Saturday doing my 'September cleaning' list.

I used this article from Style at Home as a guide. The article lists the following 10 items to complete in September (my notes are in blue):

1 Cut the clutter
Getting organized is a significantly easier task when there's less stuff to deal with. So before tackling bigger projects, sweep through your house and clear out any clutter that's accumulated while you've been outdoors enjoying the hot and sunny weather. *I did an annual purging of my closets and created 2 piles: donate and toss. I also went through my pantry, linen and bathroom closet and tossed expired food, meds etc.

2 Start your fall garden clean-up

After a long summer enjoying your garden, it's time to start preparing it for the winter chill. Read our suggestions for mid-September garden chores, set aside a few hours on a sunny afternoon and get started! *We spent some time pulling weeds that had invaded my rose bushes, trimmed shrubbery and tossed the flowers that didn't make it through the Summer heat.

3 Organize the broom closet
Your household chores will go a lot faster once your cleaning supplies are under control. Check out our suggestions for a clutter-free broom closet -- including organization ideas for those of us without one! *I went through my cleaning supplies and purchased more of what I was low on (Pine Sol, Pledge Floor Cleaner etc). I keep cleaning supplies for my first floor in the pantry (away from food!) and the upstairs cleaning supplies are kept in my newly complete laundry room.

4 Get a head start on holiday correspondence
It may only be September, but it won't be long before it's time to decorate and prepare for the holiday season. One thing you can get out of the way right now is organizing your stationery and writing supplies. Make sure your address book is up to date and plan ahead for buying stamps, cards and invitations. *Yikes, I haven't even thought about this!

5 Prep the front hall closet for winter coats

With the fall fashion season comes a closet full of coats, whether they're new purchases or taken out of storage and dry-cleaned. Don't be caught scrambling for a coat on the first chilly morning of autumn! *I consolidated my winter coats into one closet in an extra bedroom and tossed gloves that were missing it's pair etc. It pained me to even look at Winter wear but I feel better now that it's all done.

6 Catalogue the summer's photos
Whether your camera is digital or old-fashioned, if you want to enjoy your summer photos come fall and winter, they need to be organized. We've got solutions for both your boxes and envelopes full of photos and the files on your computer. *Yes, I went through and uploaded all my pics on my memory card and organized them in e-files (my birthday, house projects, lake time etc). It feels so nice to have this done and now I'm not worried about losing my memory card.

7 Focus on clean air
As the weather gets cooler and you keep windows open less often, your home will be getting less and less fresh air from outside. Help keep indoor air quality high by clearing chemicals (try switching to biodegradable cleaning products) and investing in a few new houseplants -- English ivy, peace lilies and gerbera daisies are top picks for cleaning indoor air of pollutants. * We FINALLY have had some nice, bearable weather in Kansas City. After weeks of 100+ degree weather, I have taken full advantage of the much cooler weather this week. Every square inch of the house has been dusted and cleaned and the windows have been open with a nice breeze of fresh air blowing through the house.

8 Pet peeves begone!
Pick one thing (or more!) in your house that drives you crazy -- whether it be the plastic containers always falling off the kitchen shelves or the shoes that pile up in the entryway -- and fix it. Then sit on the couch with a cup of tea and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. *My random and lackluster accent pillows on my sofa have bothered me for months. On a whim during my lunch hour today, I stopped in HomeGoods and purchased a couple of fun, colorful pillows. I can't believe I waited so long to do this!

9 Get started on fall entertaining

As patio party season ends, the time for more formal indoor entertaining begins. But don't hesitate to throw a few last al fresco parties if the weather holds up! Pick up a few new cookbooks and start testing recipes, and then work on invitations for your next dinner party. *We hosted a Labor Day BBQ for our families. It was a great day and a wonderful way to say goodbye to Summer (as sad as that it). 11 adults and 3 kiddos ate burgers, brats and dogs and enjoyed each other's company. Truly, a great day! Excited to host another dinner party in the near future as well.

10 Plan your next project
From a major kitchen reno to a paint touch-up in the guest bedroom, any home project will go smoother if it's well planned. Even if you're still in the dreaming stage, that's no reason not to plan! Pick up some books and magazines for inspiration and spend a morning with them and a cup or two of coffee -- and a notebook to jot down ideas! *I keep a checklist of all the home projects I want to complete. My only problem is for every item I check off, I find myself adding 2 new to-do's! I did get to check off quite a few this weekend.

I hope this Style at Home article helped you as much as it did me. I keep a clean house and have a general checklist that I go through. However, it's always nice to have a fresh perspective and inspiration when it comes to organizing and cleaning.

Happy (almost) Fall Y'all! -S