Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Happenings

Coincidentally, we have an abundance of orange produce. Doesn't this make a beautiful still life? Yes, the pumpkin and gourd are from Thankgiving. They're stayin' alive, stayin' alive... 
The clementines are actually called "darling clementines" because of their cute bite-size-ness. Love 'em. The even littler orange guys are called kumquats. You heard me right. They are tart tiny citrus with edible skin. I should send this to How About Orange


I updated my beloved console table and found the perfect wall hangings to go above. The clock and circular mirrors were found at Marshalls. I have had a long, wonderful relationship with Marshalls. The store has yet to let me down. Nine times out of ten, I go home with something I love. Even if I wasn't looking for anything in particular. Clothes, shoes, home decor, purses, a great gift. Thank you Marshalls. You never disappoint. 

I was especially excited when I saw the clock. I almost purchased a similar one at Pottery Barn, but could not justify the price.

These pocket watch style clocks run about $60 (for the large size). The one I found at Marshalls was $20, and it was bigger. 


Can you tell the difference? Nope. The circular mirrors were a great find too. Now, who wants to play "Guess what's in each mirror"? 

My husband has been working on the bathroom. He's installing new floor board and starting the drywall. You're the best Honey, thank you.


Here's a look at the new wall beams and plumbing for the shower and tub, that went in last week. What have I been doing to help out (besides shopping and decorating)? The usual Saturday housekeeping tasks, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, and making delicious Chicken Pot Pies for lunch. Recipe to come.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daughters of the King


This is a reminder for all daughters of the King (myself included). Do you realize that we are His princesses? Our Heavenly Father paid the price for us. He loves us. Magnificent God loves little us. He forgives us. No matter the cost, Jesus already paid it. We are heirs to His Kingdom. We are His daughters. His Daughters. It's up to us to wear the crown or not. To act like the princesses He made us to be. (Image Source:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [and daughters] of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." 1 John 3:1 (KJV)

The Message reads: "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to."

Maybe you know this. Maybe you've heard it before. But let it sink in. This is a truth I was reminded of tonight. Our church is having a week long event called One Thing, a time of worship, teaching, freedom, restoration and basking in God's presence. Tonight at the women's service, one of the main points was to realize who we are in Christ and the potential we have as His daughters. Stop living in the past. Release the guilt and disappointments that have been holding you back. Accept His grace and forgiveness. And step into His loving embrace. That's where true freedom lives. 

Our God is a God Who saves. He wants to know you. He wants to welcome you in. He created you and destined you for a purpose.

Will you wear the crown?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thrifty Thrift Store Find of the Century

Today was my lucky day. By lucky day, I mean the 1/2 off sticker this week at Goodwill was pink! Do you know what that means? That means that the new-in-the-box, console table, from TARGET, that I have been stalking at Goodwill, for the past FOUR WEEKS, was FINALLY 1/2 off! My wonderful hubby agreed to go check it out with me. I, however, already knew everything about it was perfect and that it would look perfect in our house. Week after week, I kept calling to see if it was on sale. And alas, week after week, it was not. Does this qualify me as a deal shopping junkie? Call me what you will. But are you aware that each week, Goodwill selects a different color price tag to be 1/2 off? Pretty good deal. Especially when it comes to furniture. And furniture from Target! Come on people, I would have to be loco to let this one pass me by. So, what does this glorious piece of home decor look like?

Simple lines, dark wood, cute little drawer and a shelf underneath. It's love. Is it wrong to be this excited about a piece of furniture? Does anyone else share my excitement over a find like this?

I know you are all waiting for the price. Drum roll please... this console table is sold out at, however, similar styles retail for $159.99. Who would pay that? Not me. What was Goodwill selling it for? $69.99. I still wouldn't pay that. So, at 1/2 off, I got to bring it home for $37.79 (including tax)!! Can you hear the blue light special bells and buzzers going off in my head? That's how I felt. I couldn't wait to get it into my cart and take it home before someone else scooped it up!

There was only one downside to this story. Yes, I know you knew it was too good to be true. Once we got it home and took all the pieces out of the box, we learned that none of the hardware was included. No screws, washers, not even the drawer knob. Bummer! So I made a trip to Lowes (which is sadly starting to feel like a second home, due to the number of trips we take there on a weekly basis while working on our bathroom), and purchased $8 worth of hardware to put the thing together. Which brought the total cost of the piece up to $45.60. Still a fantastic deal! 

Here is how it looks in our home. What do you think? I am still thinking about how I want to arrange and decorate it. The hanging floral arrangement was already on the wall. I may need to re-think that. I got a lot of ideas and inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers Katie Bower (she cracks me up AND has great style).

I love it. This is what I call a God thing. In everything give thanks! I'll be sharing more thrifty thrift store finds soon. Such as the white pedestal goblet on the left...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Couch & Love Seat Transformation Preview

Can you believe it? (Click photo to view larger) One love seat down, one couch to go! From floral to khaki, I have been working on this since new years. And let me tell you, it has not been easy. This before and after photo makes it look like a piece of cake. Oh contraire. I don't know how many times I sat on the floor, with yards of fabric, pins and scissors. Oftentimes, I gave up and walked away. Then I would think about it. Then come back and try to piece one section together. Then think about it some more. Then walk away. For a week. Then another week. Until finally, the unfinished-ness was driving me nuts.  The pillows were the best part. The actual frame, not the best part. It is FAR from perfect, but I think it looks pretty good! Luckily, the photos hide the flaws. And what I have learned from the love seat, I will try to apply to the couch.

Oh, the couch. An even bigger version of this. I may need to take a vacation before I dive in. And pray. A lot. Hopefully it will be a little easier, now that I have come this far. What do you think? I plan on adding one more pillow, in rusty red to add another pop of color. My husband is rolling is eyes at the idea of more pillows. I just love pillows! That's how my love of sewing came to be. But more on that another day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bathroom To Be

Oh bathroom yet to be, how I long for thee. I guess it's time to share the biggest project going on in the Ohl house EVER. Our main bathroom remodel. I mean FULL remodel. Down to the bare wood. It looks like a log cabin.

About 3 months ago, I decided I couldn't stand our outdated, not-so-attractive, in desperate need of a face lift, bathroom. So I thought a few cosmetic repairs would do the trick, rather than sinking a pretty penny into re-doing everything. But, what started out as a new vanity and some floor tiles, turned into gutting the whole room. It just didn't make sense to update a few pieces here and there on the surface, while ignoring the bigger issues. The floor was uneven. The tub and shower surround skieved me out (definition of skieve: to shiver in revulsion, a.k.a. grossed me out).

Here is the BEFORE. Did I mention the floor-to-ceiling plastic white tile board?

How about the Hollywood lights?

Or the handmade closet shelves complete with white contact paper? Soooooo stylish.

The before pictures make it look way more attractive than it actually was. After much complaining pleading, my husband agreed to a full remodel. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This weekend, my husband and our expert bathroom remodel and construction friend Jesse, removed the old tub and brought in the new tub (they are having waaaaay too much fun in this photo). Whoo hoo! Can you sense my excitement?


Bye bye old tub! Can you believe that someone hauled this thing away within hours of putting at the curb? One mans trash is another man's treasure....

I like bubble baths. I haven't been able to take one since September. Don't worry, we still have a shower upstairs. I know some of you are relieved to hear that. I would not have been so patient during this process if we didn't have another bathroom in the house. My wish is to have the room completed by my birthday. Which is March 20. In case there was any confusion, I mean March 20, 2010. That means two months from now. It's already been about four months since this thing started. We need to get moving!! I know, I know, it's not really fair for me to initiate a project, then expect my husband to do all the dirty work.

But that's what husbands are for, right? Kidding, I'm kidding! Look at him, workin' the head lamp. Hot!

I am fully prepared to help hang drywall, lay tile, add trim, and paint some beautiful new walls. Here I am ripping down the old ceiling like a pro! Yes, that is all ceiling dust that I should not be breathing in. I wore a scarf over my face the rest of the time.

Right now, the plumbing and behind-the-scenes bathroom work is being done. Here is where the great white throne was, and will one day be returned. Yes, that pipe in the floor IS what you think it is. I am sooooo thankful for indoor plumbing. Could you imagine if we still had to use outhouses?!? Yikes. For now, I'll be dreaming of my future bathroom....stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rosette Clutch

I found instructions to make this adorable clutch hand bag at Fiskars crafts. I have made 3 different ones so far (only 2 pictured). They are relatively easy and make adorable gits. I used two corresponding fabrics, one for the outer bag and one for the inner lining and rosette. I had to experiment with how much felt to use as padding. 2 pieces was a little too puffy. 1 piece on the outside of the bag seemed to work well.

I love the look of a rosette or flower or whatever you like to call it. It took a few tries to make one how I wanted it. The first time, I left the edges of the fabric frayed, but I didn't care for how unfinished it looked. The second time, I folded a strip of fabric in half lengthwise, and sewed a long loose seam, so the edges would be finished. It's really a matter of making a long enough strip so that you can wrap it around and around in a coil, starting from the outside and working your way in. I found, that sewing or hot gluing it to a circular scrap of fabric helps anchor it as you create the rosette and give you a base to attach it to the clutch. I also tucked in and tried to hide the ends. I even covered a button to make this one match.

Here's my hand modeling skills so you get and idea of actual size. Looks like I could use some lotion - this cold weather is torturous on my hands. I currently use mine to hold coupons in my big purse, but it would make a much better hand-held purse. Can't you picture carrying one along on a night out? Adorable.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Arizona '09 Part 3 Finale

It's time for some BINGO! I had my first real bingo experience with my Mom and her friends at their weekly bingo night. Let me tell you, they are in it to win it! Everyone brings their stampers (in multiple colors of course), their raffle ticket holder, and their determination to play 12 rounds. Where can you have that much fun for $4 on a Wednesday evening?

I learned that each round they play a different bingo pattern. Not your boring old five-in-a-row game. Anticipation was in the air as each game got closer and closer to a winner. Once someone called out "Bingo!" and the winner was confirmed, you could hear the disappointment and conversations of "I only needed one more number!"

My Mom's friend Liz is a pro, she doesn't even need to mark the patterns before each game.

This is our cousin Fran. Her husband was one of the winners. Lucky!

Mom and I didn't go home with any bingo dough, but we worked with some in the kitchen (pie dough that is). My Mom's apple pie is the BEST. Simply divine. (Recipe to come)


We also made greens (escarole) and beans. We didn't know escarole would be so difficult to find this time of year!

We went to dinner and a show at Barleen's Arizona Opry. The Barleen family has been entertaining with diverse musical talent for over 30 years. It was a great show, featuring Christmas music and practically every musical instrument known to man.

George Staerkel (the guy playing the horn), is best know as the voice that sang "In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight..."


A delicious home-style meal is served before the show, with a giant piece of chocolate cake for dessert. Yum!

There was singing and comedy.

The world's largest saxophone (literally).


And Swiss horns. Which inevitably made me picture this....


We had a really fun night out together.  I recommend catching the show if you're ever in Apache Junction.


Dad and I made a trip to the garden center at Home Depot. I was admiring the beautiful plants that flourish in Arizona, such as bougainvillea, my favorite.

And these succulents (A.K.A. hens and chickens).  Aren't they cute?

Dad has always had a green thumb (I like to think I inherited it). He has made their desert yard look very pretty with different cacti, flowering bushes, and potted plants.

On my last day in AZ (sniff, sniff) I spent some time sitting in the back yard, just soaking up the sunlight and savoring my last few moments in the Grand Canyon State (which I have yet to see some day).

Teddy didn't want me to leave, I could tell. It's always bittersweet to hug my Mom and Dad goodbye, and head back home after a wonderful visit. Especially when winter in NY is waiting to receive me.  But so is my wonderful husband, who let me be away for a week. Isn't he sweet? I know he was the one who made the biggest sacrifice - especially when I heard what he had been eating while I was away.

Mom & Dad, thanks for spoiling me and making me feel like I was still a teenager living at home. Those were some good times...sleeping in, Mom making french toast for breakfast, shopping the afternoon away, watching TV, staying up late and not working full time. I wish someone would have told me back then how quickly those years would fly by! Love you Dad & Mom.

I look forward to the next time I can jet off to Arizona. That's all I have for this trip. Hope you enjoyed looking through my camera lens!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Arizona '09 Part 2

I am quickly approaching the one month mark since my trip to Arizona. It's about time I posted some more photos! There are so many little things I'd like to share. For starters, it was mid December in Arizona. Have you ever wondered what Christmas looks like in the desert?

There are still lights and decorations, even if there's no snow (as this photo clearly shows). There was a contest in my parents neighborhood, for the most decorated house (*this is not my parents house).

Neither is this.


Or this.

I just couldn't get over the fact that the lights were on the ground. I had never seen Christmas in the mid-west before. I guess when you don't have bushes or evergreens (or grass for that matter) you have to be creative. It was very pretty. And festive. But it still felt like something was missing. Snow. The snow that now covers the entire landscape where I live. Sparkly, white, crisp snow, rolling over every hill and once-green field. Icicles hanging sharply off of roofs, and slush beneath our feet. Gross, brown muddy slush in every parking lot. Brushing snow and ice off my car every morning. Red noses. Boots, gloves, and hats. Trying to keep the thermostat at 62 and increase layers of clothing to combat high energy costs. Yes, I said 62. It's freezing outside! Maybe the desert is on to something!

Back to the land where palm trees sway... Did you know that palm trees are not indigenous to Arizona? They have been brought in and planted, they do not grow naturally here. As a result, they are actually increasing the humidity in Arizona. They look beautiful though. Palm trees, cactus and mountains. So different than the climate here in the east.

There are so many types of cacti. I love the different colors and textures.

Some look deceptively "fuzzy" but up close they are a mass of needles. Like this creepy looking one. I can't remember the name of this one, but they are so unusual and interesting to look at. Why is it, that even though I know they are covered with prickers, I still want to touch them?

I did manage to pick this prickly pear in my parents back yard. Got some prickers there. The fruit was more bitter than the prickly pears for sale in the grocery store. But what a gorgeous fuchsia color!

These tangelo's were sweet . I love picking fresh fruit, right off the tree! "The tangelo is a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of a tangerine and either a pomelo or a grapefruit. The fruits are the size of an adult fist and have a tangerine taste, but are very juicy, to the point of not providing much flesh but producing excellent and plentiful juice. Tangelos generally have loose skin and are easier to peel than oranges.[1] They are easily distinguished from oranges by a characteristic knob at the top of the fruit." (Wickipedia)

It has become a tradition, each time I visit, that we have dinner at Los Gringos Locos, and excellent Mexican restaurant. I especially like their salsa and "cheeps". (chips)

The packaging designer in me likes to visit Trader Joe's, because we don't have any near us. They have some clever designs and interesting products.

Such as these dark chocolate sea salt caramels. The sea salt was a bit much, but the combination was unique. How cute is this box design? 

They also have their own pizza dough...

Which Mom turned into delicious pizza frita! There's nothing like fried dough, sprinkled with sugar! My Mom is still the best cook.

We spent some time together in the kitchen, cooking my favorite recipes. More to come on that in future posts.

We drove through the desert to a town called Florence. The mountains and the landscape really are pretty. It's hard to even try to capture it all on my Canon digital elph, but it did pretty well.

In Florence, we ate lunch at a delightful Greek restaurant. Drove around and looked at the town. This is a church with beautiful architecture.

We also paid a visit to the...

Partially out of curiosity. Ok, largely out of curiosity. Across the street from, none other than, the prison. The sign says "Crafts, clothing, jewelry, woodworking and leather." However, this wasn't your average store. I'll just say that. If you are looking for a funny t-shirt or weird "unique" piece of art, this is your place. Only in the west!

It looks like I will have to conclude the rest of my trip in part three....more to come. Hope you have enjoyed my snapshots thus far. I wish I could go back right now and escape this arctic climate!

 Teddy has no idea how good he has it!