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


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


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.


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.