Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Very Berry Summer Sangria

Seeing as 90 degree temperatures are now in our forecast and today is my baby brother's 21st birthday, it's about time for a yummy summer cocktail! My absolute favorite is sangria. My father in law swears by the boxed variety but making your own is almost too easy and the taste can't be beat! My Very Berry Summer Sangria should be on your menu for every cookout this summer.

We celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday on Sunday and when I asked what we could bring, she responded with "bring that sangria from last year - it was so good and I NEED that recipe!" so you know it's a winner.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Try Something New: Leeks

I'm already loving being part of the CSA and would really suggest joining one to anyone who has the opportunity. I made some delicious sauteed bok choy and tatsoi with garlic yesterday and it was out of this world. I'm really looking forward to making something wonderful with the leeks. They aren't a food completely unbeknownst to me but I've only ever had them in potato and leek soup.

Now that I have them in my arsenal, I'm so excited to try something new. I did some extensive searching and found some incredibly scrumptious looking leek recipes. Take a look!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Insta Replay Monday #35

Howdy! I hope everyone here in the good ole' U. S. of A. had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and remembered the true meaning of the day. The Mr. and I spent a lot of time together, with friends, and with family and every single moment reminded me how grateful I am to those who have given their lives so the rest of us could enjoy even the most miniscule of daily freedoms.

I know this is a little late, but I was ridiculously active on Instagram this week... with a record amount of pictures. Take a stroll down memory lane for last week --

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Three Steps to the Ultimate Mac & Cheese

The Mr. needed me to make something for a potluck this past week so I set to work picking something delish, crowd-pleasing, and easy to make in bulk. Summer may be quickly approaching but that doesn't mean I don't like a yummy wholesome side dish... mac and cheese, anyone?

There are a ton of mac and cheese recipes out there and you probably already have a favorite. So rather than share my version, I thought it would be best to give you three tips to take your recipe the best it can possibly be!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY Dish Towel Market Totes

In honor of our first CSA pick up (check out the yumminess here on Instagram) I wanted to make some simple bags to tote our goodies home. When we were at Ikea this weekend, I grabbed this 4-pack of cotton dish towels which were the perfect material for produce bags -- both absorbent and strong! I love when things just work out that way haha :) The bags turned out so cute, dontcha think??

With that one set of towels, I was able to make 2 large totes and 3 smaller drawstring bags... and I still have another towel left over (I just wasn't quite smitten with the pattern).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Duct Tape Kite Tutorial

So... duct tape, huh? Not my favorite stuff, that's for sure... This project was the death of me at So You Think You're Crafty... quite literally. While my duct tape kite wasn't anyone's favorite, I can't say that I hate it.  Honestly, I thought it was both fun and unexpected. 

This tutorial was a bit delayed, but enjoy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Insta Replay Monday #34

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The Mr. and I spent tons of time together and I was able to work on several projects. I won't be sharing those just yet as they are a surprise for someone else (hehe!) but they look fantastic if I do say so myself. A weekend relaxing was just what the doctor ordered. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night though as our favorite neighbor and I will have our first pick-up at the CSA. I haven't done many recipes in awhile so I think I'll be creating some fun figure-friendly summer dishes to go along with our veggie pick-ups each week!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Washi Tape Sculpture

Thank goodness for yard sale season! It's one of the absolute best parts of the year, dontcha agree? A couple weeks ago, the Mr. and I stopped by a garage sale at an alpaca farm and I found some simple hand-carved wooden animals. There were sea turtles and rays and a really awesome elephant. Confetti & Stripes put together an awesome collection of elephant inspired decor so I just KNEW I needed it in my life. Unfortunately, the ugly 70s finish was just too much for me to handle. I had originally intended to paint it or cover it with gold leaf, but seeing as I had it for a couple of weeks and still hadn't made up my mind I went with something a little less permanent - washi tape.

This is the perfect project to do with the kids this summer because it's virtually mess-free and would be an easy addition to their decor. It's as easy as 1-2-3. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My First Dress Alteration

Okay, so I realize this isn't earth-shattering news or whatev but I am so proud of myself. I altered my very first piece of clothing! It's not like I don't love to sew, but I've always been too scared to make clothing for myself. The next best thing? Altering an existing garment into something much more wearable.

It was gorgeous this past weekend so I pulled out a dress I bought back in 2009 when I worked at American Eagle. It's been big and parachute-like for too long. After less than an hour, I had a dress that was much more flattering.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Insta Replay Monday #33

I really didn't want this weekend to end. To be fair, I can't remember the last time I was looking forward to a Monday though haha. I hope all of you moms (even you mamas with little fur babies) had a wonderful Mother's Day! You all already know how I spent my Friday night... and let me just say that The Great Gatsby was FANTASTIC. If I had any complaint, I would say that it was super long but considering how incredible it was, I'd barely acknowledge that as an issue. Did you have a nice weekend? Do anything fun?

Despite being ridiculously busy last week (or because of?) I was horribly inactive on Instagram but if you follow along, you saw:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY - Wooden Plank Welcome Mat

Spending time outside is one of my absolute favorite things. I love nature and I'm lucky to be married to someone who is as equally enamored as I. Since we live in a townhouse surrounded by "communal" property, I wanted to make something to dress up our front porch for the Outdoor/Yard challenge at SYTYC. I've been drooling over wooden door mats for awhile now but had yet to find one in my price range that could stand up to the elements and look good doing it. That's when the glorious idea came to me -- make your own - and that is how this glorious Wooden Plank Welcome Mat came to be. {Unfortunately, I was a couple of votes short last week and got eliminated from SYTYC but I wanted share this wooden goodness with all of you!}

I got to pull out a few fun tools for this that I rarely use which was pretty exciting. I sort of felt like Superwoman... until I chickened out and asked the Mr. to help with the saw because I like all of my fingers and toes just the way they are.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Party Like Gatsby

Okay. I need to lay it out there for you. I adore F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Adore might not even be a strong enough word for it. I first read the book in high school and have willingly reread it on several occasions over the years. Every single time I find something new to hook me in... sometimes I even find myself surprised like I magically expected a different ending.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Chalkboard Gift Tag Printable

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day! Take a look at these adorable Chalkboard Gift Tags that are perfect for expressing appreciation to your fave teachers. I realize it's a bit last minute but you still have time to surprise the teacher, so don't worry! Even if you miss the 'holiday' today, you'll soon want to come up with a nice thank you for the wonderful men and women who shaped your little ones over the past year.

The best teacher gifts are thoughtful, useful, and inexpensive. With these tags you have some easy gift options! Print out the image, cut 'em out, stop by Target for a cute mug, stuff it full of some goodies, and you're done. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Insta Replay Monday #32

This is going to be a crazy week at work so pardon my absence ahead of time.  I'm going to have a few posts prepared ahead of time but I'll be back with some brand new projects next week :) Normally I would be reminding you to go visit So You Think You're Crafty in hopes that one of my projects would be in your fave few and even though I'm out, you should still head on over and support those ladies in their efforts!

Anywho, I had an off and on presence on Instagram this week. Take a look:

1. At one of my fave places on Earth - Starbucks & Target combo
2. My new succulent desk garden for work
3. Quinn & Aubergine being cordial -- I just love those girls!
4. Some gorgeous back roads we were on this weekend
5. On our way to visit some friends for dinner, we stopped for a yard sale... at an alpaca farm! How cool?
6. A bright floral arrangement that came from one of my old employees
7. The cutest little hound dog ever -- pooped after celebrating her adoption day
8. The summer addition of Kids Crafts 1-2-3 magazine -- my project was featured on the front cover!!
9. A pond that we crossed right at sunset on the way home Saturday night
10. The backsplash tiles that the Mr. and I are currently leaning towards

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vinyl Tablecloth Upcycle: Doggie Raincoat

Sometimes I just can't resist a pop of color. I saw the brightest summertime tablecloth at Homegoods last year and snagged it on clearance for less than $8. Unfortunately, I was a little blond and grabbed the wrong shape for our square table... womp womp. What's a girl to do with an oversized outdoor tablecloth? Well, a normal girl would probably throw it out but a crafty girl turns it into the cutest doggie raincoat ever! It was the perfect upcycle project for Week 5 at So You Think You're Crafty.

Quinn despises getting wet, so making a raincoat just for her has been on my to-do list for almost a year now. To make this sassy number for your favorite furbaby, you'll need some sewing essentials, and old coat that fits well, half a tablecloth, and a full afternoon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Womp. Womp. -- A SYTYC Round-Up

So it's official, I got knocked off this week from So You Think You're Crafty. I want to cry and pout but at least I got more than halfway through the season so that's the most you can ask for, right? I knew from the beginning that duct tape was going to be the toughest round for me. Nevertheless, I had an AMAZING time on the competition and have two more great projects that I'll be showcasing here over the next two weeks (Outdoors & DIY gift). If you'd be interested in competing in future seasons, be sure to reach out to Missy! She was such an amazing and supportive host throughout the season and boy oh boy is that girl creative; check out a little bit more about her here.

Since it has all come to an end, I thought it would be nice to do a round-up of sorts with all of my SYTYC projects in one spot.

AUDITION - You Choose
I almost didn't make it through the auditions with this Glitter and Leather Pennant Necklace, but that's what I get for procrastinating. You can make your own by following the tutorial here.

WEEK 1 - Spring
For Spring, I made this Pocketful of Posies pillow to send to my lovely bloggy friend, Lacey of Charm and Sass, for the Hello Box exchange. Take a look at the tutorial here.

WEEK 2 - Knock-Off
Knock-offs are kind of my favorite thing... sometimes I think I should make a blog of knock-offs only. These Anthro-Inspired Stacking trays are the bees knees and I seriously heart them. Check out the tutorial here.

WEEK 3 - 'Scrap'tastic
I use this DIY Coupon Organizer all the time. Even in the depths of my big dark bags, I can find it no problem and it's so much cuter than the plastic varieties in the dollar store. Find the tutorial here.

WEEK 4 - Kids Can Do
I'm going to be honest -- these hand-stamped seed sacks were my least favorite project this season but somehow they won the Kids Can Do challenge. You can see the tutorial here.

WEEK 5 - Upcycle/Repurpose
Quinn despises getting wet so making a raincoat just for her has been on my to-do list for almost a year now. I finally hunkered down and got it done with the upcycle challenge and it's probably my favore project of the season.

WEEK 6 - Duct Tape
So... this Duct Tape Kite was the loser of the bunch and while I don't anticipate using duct tape ever again, I do think it's awfully cute. I'll be sharing a tutorial next week.

WEEK 7 - Outdoor/Yard (Sneak Peek... stay tuned for the tutorial!)
I'm kind of sad that my Wooden Plank Welcome Mat won't make it to see the light of day at SYTYC but you will get a full tutorial next week!

WEEK 8 - Handmade Gifts (you'll just have to wait and see what I had planned)

Anyhow, I wanted to thank all of you for your support during the competition and your patience while other things (i.e. recipes) took the back burner here at Spool and Spoon. I'm so thankful to each of you for being here and coming back so often.

I'm linking to:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

SYTYC Voting Closes Soon!

Oh no -- I just realized that I forgot to remind everyone about So You Think You're Crafty this week and voting is ALMOST over.  Duct Tape was by far the most difficult challenge for me... Come check out what I made and vote for your favorites! I knew from the beginning that this challenge was going to be my Achilles Heel.I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that you'll love my project because I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Guest Post at Sumo's Sweet Stuff

It's the first Thursday of the month again which means I am over at Sumo's Sweet Stuff with a brand new printable. Today I'm sharing some simple Teacher Appreciation Gift Tags. Visit the post to download your copy of the printable!

I'll see you there :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY Dog Silhouette Coasters

We adopted Quinn almost a year ago this week (May 4th) and she is such an important part of our lives. When a rep from her rescue approached me about making something for their online auction, I was only too glad to oblige. I tossed around a few doggy themed ideas (like my no-sew waterproof placemats) and finally settled on crafting up some unique coasters.

I wanted to appeal to a wide variety of dog lovers so rather than picking one breed, I went with a variety. Plus, Quinn is a bit of a mutt (Beagle & German Shepherd mix) so it only felt right to go that route in support of the other pups out there. The silhouettes I chose were: dachshund, Boston terrier, German shepherd, pug, beagle, and boxer.
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