12/31/13

2014

Here's to a Happy, Healthy, Blessed and Beautiful New Year!
 

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

12/16/13

DIY GIft Idea- Yarn and Felt Wreaths

*These are actual photos of gifts that I will be giving this Christmas. If your last name is the same as mine, there is a good chance one of these wreaths will be yours. Read at your own risk of ruining the surprise.

I realize that these DIY yarn wreaths are nothing new. I'm just hopping on the bandwagon a bit late. With the thought of saving some moola and giving personalized gifts, these easy DIY wreaths can be completed in about an hour. Perfect for procrastinators like me!

1. Gather Supplies
a. Yarn
I took advantage of a Michaels holiday sale and grabbed yarn at 40% off, plus an extra 25%. The key for these wreaths is to buy thick yarn. You can certainly use thin, basic yarn but you'll be wrapping the wreath form until you're blue in the face.
b. Wreath Form
I also picked up a foam 10'' wreath form from Michaels. A few tutorials I saw online used a straw wreath. However, I was concerned about the straw version looking a little lumpy, since it's not a perfectly smooth surface. I'm glad I used foam.
c. Felt
Michaels had a pretty good assortment of colors of felt for $0.29/sheet.
d. Extra Decor
I opted to include a wooden letter (the last name initial of the recipient) for my wreaths. However, you could use address numbers, decorative ribbon or any number of accents. If you plan on painting the letters or numbers, you will need some craft paint as well. A glue gun is also recommended.

2. Start Wrapping
I made a knot and then kept wrapping until the wreath form was covered. You will want to check that your yarn is wrapped tightly enough to cover the form completely. This took me about half an hour.

3. Make Your Felt Flowers
This was the fun part. I traced different sized circles on my sheets of felt and cut it out. Then, I kept cutting in a circular pattern, like this-
Once the cutting was complete, you simply wrap up the felt creating the flower shape. I then hot glued the flowers onto my wreath. Also, you will want to use different size circles so your flowers vary.

4. Add Your Accents
I quickly painted the letter and hot glued that to the wreath as well. Easy peasy.

Time to enjoy your craft or wrap it up for a gift!

I spent less than $30 on supplies for all 3 wreaths and was able to complete each one in under an hour. They are sort of addicting to make, because they are so mindless that you can do them while watching the movie Elf, which is what I did:)

Check out my DIY Gift Ideas from last year here: http://www.suburbanspunkdesign.com/2012/12/quick-easy-and-awesome-diy-gift-ideas.html

12/11/13

DIY Basement Shelving: Because Not Every House Project Can Be Glamorous

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, we finally tackled a project I've wanted to do for years. And by we, I mean my husband and father-in-law obviously. Our basement remains non-finished, but is a nice open space.

What happens to a nice, open blank slate for a basement? Well, it quickly turns to this-

A dumping ground for anything and everything. I have tried to corral holiday decor, photos, mementos and general crap without another home into orderly storage containers. Unfortunately, that only goes so far with no shelving or permanent source of organization available.

My father-in-law was kind enough to draw up plans for simple shelves to cure this unsightly beast. After a trip (or four) to Home Depot, we went from this

to this-

Much better! It's moments like these when I realize I have truly entered into adulthood; I get excited about DIY basic shelving...for the basement.

My plan of going through every container and relabeling everything was delayed though due to a nasty sinus infection the past few days. If the copious amounts of Zicam, Mucinex, Airborne, peppermint tea and chicken noodle soup I've been ingesting would do their job, I should be up to the task this weekend. Here's hoping!

Justin and his dad were able to build these shelves pretty easily. I'll let the pictures demonstrate the major steps-


 





I can't wait to get pretty labels on each of these bins, but for now the masking tape labels serve their purpose. I'm just thrilled to get our items off the floor and properly organized.

It's the little things in life, right?

*Edited to add a note on cost of supplies. All of the lumber and materials came to $137. This shelving unit is incredibly strong and can hold several hundred pounds. If we were to have purchased pre-made shelving the same size and capacity, we would've spent more that twice that amount.

12/10/13

My Grown-Up Christmas List

I've quickly fallen behind on blogging, work, laundry and grocery shopping as I have been battling an upper respiratory infection for going on 10 days now. I am finally feeling better.So, I have several Christmas-related posts to share this week...before the holidays quickly pass us by.

Our family has been asking Justin and I for our Christmas list and I had a hard time coming up with anything. Luckily, Justin immediately offered suggestions on my behalf that were actually really spot on. I guess he really does listen after all ;)

Here's My Wish List for 2013 and ideas for the women in your life-


1. A Warm Winter Coat
If you were to peak into our coat closet, you may think I am crazy or some sort of coat hoarder because I have many jackets already. However, my jackets were mostly purchased in my early 20's, when style clearly overruled practicality. As cute and classic as my navy pea coat, teal wool coat and even my old, trusty North Face Denali jacket (that everyone under the age of 35 seems to have owned in college) are, they aren't actually that warm. Since temps have already dropped to the teens in Kansas City, I have a feeling we are in for a long winter. Sigh.

I'm liking THIS from Eddie Bauer currently on sale for $125, which appears to offer warmth and water-repellent technology without a lot of bulk. The Michelin Man is NOT a look I want to achieve.


2. Touch Screen Gloves
Echo has some great, colorful options. I feel so 2012 because I don't have a pair yet.

3. Upgraded Beauty/Makeup Collection
Beginning in my late 20s, I stopped following makeup trends and instead reach for tried and true products that work for me. As I result, I am purchasing fewer, higher quality products. These are currently on my 'must try' or 'must repurchase' list and would make excellent stocking stuffers for the ladies in your life-

a. Philosophy's Falling In Love fragrance
One of my most favorite scents.


b. bare Minerals foundation in light
This Try Believe Love kit is a great introduction to the product for just $20. I have used this foundation off and on for over 12 years. I always come back to it because the coverage is unbeatable and it does not break out my sensitive skin.

c. bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener in fair/pink

This comes with excellent ratings and the approval of many of my favorite beauty bloggers

d. Kiehl's Sun-Free Tanning Formula

This has excellent ratings and claims to have no-scent. If you have ever used a sunless tanner before, you know that most have an unpleasant odor, so this is a huge upside. Plus, it promises no streaky orange lines.

e.Buxom Lash

I am very particular when it comes to mascara and have actually used this before. This is my hands down all time favorite. It is well worth the price and lasts forever.

4. Assorted Frames for our stairway photo display
Hobby Lobby, Pottery Barn, Target, Home Goods are my favorite places for affordable picture frames. I can't wait to add to our collection.

6. New Bedroom Furniture
Justin and I are planning on purchasing a dresser and two nightstands as our gifts to each other. These are the current contenders-

Pottery Barn Stratton Extra-Wide Dresser
 Monterey Curve Dresser

After our wedding and honeymoon this Fall, we are keeping things pretty low-key over the holidays. I think our wish lists certainly reflect that.

I will be sharing some DIY gift ideas tomorrow! Can't wait to share them with you.
xoxo,
Suzanne



11/27/13

Thanksgiving

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I remember all that I have to be thanful for. Although in the grand scheme of life, this little ol' blog of mine is a minor thing, I am thankful to have a space to collect my thoughts, share our projects and our life events. I appreciate ALL of the sweet emails, messages and comments from those who follow me. I truly do.

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Yours, Suzanne

11/25/13

Our DIY Wedding Crafts and Details

Our wedding venue, The Loose Mansion in Kansas City, was amazing. They provided the majority of the decor, including centerpieces, candelabras, trays, card box etc. As nice as it was not to have to worry about renting or hauling every last candle holder, chair, frame, basket and so on, it was still really important to me that we personalize the space. We also put our own stamp on every aspect we could, from a non-traditional ceremony to hand-selecting every song that was played throughout the evening.




Here's Our DIY Wedding Crafts

1. Wish Tree
In lieu of a traditional guest book, we decided to do a wish tree. I whipped up this simple sign, purchased some blank little cards at Hobby Lobby, tied them with ribbon and left out gold and black pens.






We spent the morning after our wedding eating breakfast in bed and reading the cards. I loved how almost every person wrote us little notes, so much more meaningful than a simple signature. We will cherish these forever.


2. Thank You/Program
Because our ceremony started at 6:30pm and dinner wasn't served until 7:45, we knew that most of our guests would be a little hungry. We ensured that our bar was open pre-ceremony and that champagne and sparkling water was passed to our guests on arrival. We also sat out big bowls of pub mix, Chex mix and nuts as a light snack. On top of the program, we placed mini-bags of our favorite Trader Joe Kettle Corn, tied with ribbon and a tag that read, 'Yay, you made it! Here's a sweet treat to tide you over to dinner. See you on the dance floor! love, J & S'
 

Our ceremony was roughly 25 minutes long, so it didn't call for a long, detailed program. Instead, I created a one-page sheet that was placed on every seat. The front side was a thank you to our guests for celebrating with us.



To our dearest  friends and family,
We simply say THANK YOU.
Thank you for your love, your encouragement, your guidance,
 for being our partners-in-crime, the reason for our laughter
and for sharing our sorrows through the ups and downs in life.
We feel incredibly blessed to share our wedding day with you. 

Please enjoy tonight.

Let it be only the beginning of many wonderful memories to come,
as we celebrate joy, love and friendship,
with our favorite people in the world.

Yours,
Justin & Suzanne


for better or worse…but never for granted


The back side introduced our bridal party, with funny stories and anecdotes about each person. We also included a few things about ourselves and our parents.





A few tidbits about…
The Bride and Groom
Justin says it was love at first sight – It took Suzanne a few more weeks to fall for him - Charlie, Suzanne’s beloved dog, took a few months to accept the new man in his mom’s life – They spend their free time working on their house, visiting the City Market on Saturday mornings and enjoying live music – Charlie and Zorro, their two furry kids, keep them busy with long walks and play dates at the park - Justin saved the cork from the first bottle of wine that Suzanne and he shared on their first date - They now save every cork from each bottle of wine and champagne they share – After three years together, they have quite the collection! - It is this tradition that prompted the champagne ‘theme’ of their wedding -

The Bridal  Party
Meghan, the Maid of Honor, first met Suzanne 25 years ago as Daisy Girl Scouts in Kindergarten – The two have shared ridiculous amounts of laughter through the years and have listened to Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’ at least 1000 times together – Suzanne’s mom considered Meghan a second-daughter - Meryl, the brunette bridesmaid, and Suzanne became friends in 7th grade – Meryl is an amazing cook and helps Suzanne, a not-so-great cook, from burning holiday dinners – Matchmaker Meryl is also a friend of Justin’s and was the one who introduced the bride and groom - Sarah, the blonde bridesmaid, and Suzanne first met through ex-boyfriends – They both upgraded in the man department and remain great friends – Sarah, her husband Brian, Justin and Suzanne enjoy dinners together where the guys talk sports and the girls discuss important things i.e. decorating –                                                                                                                                    
The officiate, Mr. Steve Quigg, has known  Justin almost his entire life – He attended Grandview High School with Justin’s parents - Steve is also the father of Justin’s groomsmen, Ryan - Steve coached Ryan and Justin in youth soccer for a decade and enjoyed including the boys’ friendship in his Sunday sermon whenever applicable– Chad, the Best Man, is Justin’s older brother – Although eight years difference in age, they have always been close and enjoy getting together for a round of golf or just to hang out and talk about life – Chad has been a life-long mentor to Justin and is the epitome of what an older brother should be - Ryan and Justin started playing soccer together at the tender age of 3 and have been like brothers ever since– They attended K-State where they majored in foosball and frisbee golf -  Justin and Ryan have traveled to countless Phish concerts together – Adrian and Justin have been friends since they were fourteen when they met in high school – They love watching the Chiefs and tossing a frisbee around on Sundays - He has always been there with a helping hand or sound advice -

The Parents
Suzanne’s father, Duane, is retired after working for Mercedes Benz for over 40 years – He enjoys golf, BBQ and helping Suzanne and Justin with their (never-ending) house projects – The bride and groom are truly appreciative of his DIY skills and tool set – Vicki, Suzanne’s mom, tragically passed away six years ago from cancer –Vicki’s old handwritten recipes are now framed and adorning the walls of Suzanne and Justin’s dining room as an ode to her incredible cooking and hospitality skills – Vicki was the inspiration for Suzanne’s decorating blog and remains the greatest influence on Suzanne’s life – Pete and Linda, Justin’s parents, recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary last month – Both retired from Black & Veatch, they enjoy travel, attending church and their Taco Tuesday nights with friends – They are always there with advice and to remind us that they are “our biggest fans” - These two high school sweethearts are where Justin gets his great sense of humor from, as well as his compassion -




3. In Memory Display


I first saw this saying on Pinterest and fell in love with it. This saying simply ran true for our lost loved ones. I created this on my computer and printed it on heavy card stock. This sat on the mantel in the hearth room of our venue, surrounded with photos of our deceased relatives. Having personal photographs on display certainly made the venue feel more like home.

4. Glittered Champagne Bottle
If you follow me on Facebook, you may remember this project. I took my favorite bottle of champs, my favorite ultra-fine Martha Stewart glitter and my trusty Mod Podge and made a shimmering bottle. This sat on our sweetheart table, as seen here. I saved the bottle, which is now on display in my office. It was so easy and took just about 15 minutes to complete. I finished my spraying a light coat of clear sealant to avoid any glitter falling off.


5. Cork Letters


As noted on our programs, our wedding had a bit of a champagne theme. Justin save the cork from a bottle we shared on our first date, and we have kept up the tradition ever since. After three years together, we have quite the collection. I had previously made the 'S', so I made a new 'J' letter. I found an ampersand at Paper Source and decided to glitter that instead of adding corks, just for variety. Our letters were placed on a table where our cocktail reception was held.

6. Dancing Shoes
My sweet friend, Hillary, shared with me her 'dancing shoes' sign from her wedding. We put the sign next to a basket of flip flops on the dance floor, so that the ladies could kick off their heels and dance. A funny note about the flip flops is that they have been passed down through 3 weddings: Julie's, Crystal's, and ours. We have some left, so they may make it through a 4th!




The Details

1. Dessert Spread
Neither Justin nor I are huge cake fans or sweets- lovers in general,  so we knew we wanted a creative alternate to a traditional wedding cake. My dear friend, Haley, is an excellent baker and offered to do a dessert table for us. She made customized Scrabble-letter sugar cookies (Justin's a word nerd), gold dusted Reece's Peanut Butter Cups (my favorite!), pink velvet cupcakes, vanilla cake popes and chocolate-dipped Oreos. Everything was amazing. Plus, it made for a beautiful display. Win/Win!



2. Ring Security

Our nephew, Gage (age 9), served as a Ring Bearer. Because he was a bit older and is full of personality, we thought he would best serve as Ring Security. He was dressed in a suit, complete with aviators and practiced talking into his play ear-piece, like real security personnel. He stole the show!

 His dad and Justin responded;)

4. Floral Halos for the Flower Girls
Our venue was opposed to us throwing real rose petals down the aisle, and I did not want to use faux petals. Instead, our two beautiful flower girls did not throw anything but walked down the aisle with flowers in their hair.

5. Photo Display
We brought lots of personal photos to display throughout the venue. The Loose Mansion was the personal home of the Loose family, who started Sunshine Biscuit Co, and was built in 1909. It felt very personal, and the photos of us made it feel like it we were hosting our wedding in our home. A very large, opulent home:)



6. My Somethings

Something Old was an old diamond ring of my mom's, originally my grandmother's. I cannot believe I didn't get a picture of this:(

Something New was my gold glittered shoes purchased a mere 2 days before the wedding

Something Borrowed was the gorgeous sash I wore, on lend from a dear friend and recent bride, Kristin

Something Blue was also borrowed from my best friend and Maid of Honor, a beautiful sapphire bracelet

And a sixpence in my shoe- yes, I taped a penny inside my flats:)


There were two items that I desperately wanted to include on our wedding day but unfortunately could not. One was having our dogs participate in the ceremony. The other was having a sparkler send-off. Our venue had a strict rule against both. It wasn't the end of the world, but things that would've been nice to include.

OK- that's with wedding stuff, I promise. I'll leave with our first dance song-



xoxo, Suzanne