Sunday, September 29, 2013

4 Year Blog Anniversary Giveawy!

****Giveaway now closed****

Friday marked my 4 year anniversary of blogging at Sohl Design! I intended to celebrate the occasion on the actual day, but home projects, work and life in general have caused my blogging to take a backseat lately. THANK YOU, to my faithful readers for checking in and still being fans! I appreciate you so very much.

To celebrate, and say thank you, I'm giving away 1 pair of light pink rosebud earrings AND 1 red floral paisley zipper wristlet! Made by me (of course).

Both goodies will go to one lucky winner!

TO ENTER: leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite Sohl Design project, recipe, or post you've ever read here. (Please be patient with the CAPTCHA, I haven't found a better way to keep spam out)

PRIZE: 1 par of rosebud earrings and 1 zipper wrislet

GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Midnight, Friday, October 4, 2013


DETAILS: One comment per person, please. Winner will be selected using and announced on Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thanks for entering! Good luck! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Yesterday was one of those rainy fall Saturdays that makes you want to stay inside and curl up with a blanket on the couch. I was in the mood to do some breakfast baking, so I made "healthier" oatmeal blueberry muffins. They don't have a ton of sugar and the oats and blueberries make them healthy, right? I used frozen blueberries that I hand-picked this summer. Just enough sweetness. Perfect for breakfast or a snack. I used ingredients I had on hand, and modified a recipe I found via Pinterest. I'll definitely have to make them again. 

1½ cups rolled oats (uncooked)
1 cup milk
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, roll in flour prior to adding)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
Combine oats and milk in a small bowl and soak for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, egg whites, vanilla and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.
Fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How We Met

Back to school week always makes me reminisce. It was 10 years ago this week, September 2nd, to be exact, that I met my future husband. TEN years ago. How can that many years have passed? I can still picture the moment we met, so clearly in my mind. 

It was the first day of my senior year, Andrew's junior year, of college. It was lunch time in the school cafeteria, Garlock for those of you who know RWC. Such a romantic setting. Everyone was catching up with friends, heading to class, hanging out. I had a longer break until my next class, so there I sat, alone, at a table, waiting, trying not to look too out of place. Apparently I did look out of place, because Andrew and his friend approached me and introduced themselves, asking if I was a new student. He thought it would be nice to make the "new girl" feel welcome. I smiled, introduced myself, and informed them I was a senior, but that I was a "commuter." I didn't live on campus, so I wasn't around as much and had a small circle of friends.

We made small talk. I learned that Andrew was on the soccer team. I'm not sure what else we talked about, but I do remember him saying something along the lines of, "Next time you're around, be sure to say hello." I agreed, and knew in my mind that I would definitely say hello the next chance I got! 

I was struck by his friendliness, his incredibly handsome face, those piercing blue eyes, and the ability to make me feel, ironically, welcome. Yes, I would be sure to look for you again blonde haired soccer player. You made an impression on me. 

We saw each other very occasionally throughout the school year. It wasn't until spring, near my graduation, that we "bumped into" each other more. If I was just arriving at lunch, Andrew would stay in the cafeteria and have a second meal (unbeknownst to me) just so we could talk. Couldn't get enough of that broccoli cheddar soup. One of my friends would let me know if she saw him coming so I could head in the same direction. I made sure to attend more soccer games. 

We found out we had bowling in common (of all things) and decided that one of these days we should go bowling together. I still have the 3x5 index card he gave me with his name, phone numbers, open bowling days, times and rates on it. Very official.

I took a chance and put an invitation to my senior art show in his mailbox, hoping he would come to it. The night before the show, he drove back from Pennsylvania, just so we could go on what would be our first date - Pizza Hut and bowling. Sounds silly, but it was amazing. I think we talked, and talked, and talked the entire time. I didn't want it to end.

The next day, at the senior show, I was surrounded by family and friends, coming and going. I was secretly hoping he would show. Especially after the great time we had bowling. After nervously debating weather he should or not (and walking by a few times to check things out from afar), he came to the gallery. 

And that's the first photo we ever took together. He still has that hat and t-shit and I still have that dress. This photo always makes me smile. I smile because I remember the feelings of excitement and looking forward to seeing him. I remember the hopefulness along with uncertainty. The butterflies. The nervousness. The beginning of something truly wonderful.  

Love can blossom anywhere. Even in a cafeteria, when you least expect it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

DIY Burlap Message Board

Have you seen those adorable burlap bulletin boards, memo boards, shadow boxes - and anything else you can think of, covered with burlap? There's all kinds of accent pieces in stores featuring burlap fabric. I am a big fan of that stuff. But, sometimes I see something and think, "I could make that." So, I decided to actually try it. 

I saw this board in TJ Maxx for around $20 and a larger one behind it for around $40. It's  essentially just a board, burlap and decorative nail head trim. I knew I could DIY something similar.

On my trip to IKEA, I spotted these 22x15 inch plain wood framed cork boards for $5.99. Jackpot! I got two, because I thought a pair, side by side, would look nice in my office. 

I already had a large piece of burlap fabric, leftover from another project. I picked up 3 packages of furniture nails from Lowes for $1.30 each. 

I measured and cut the burlap, large enough to wrap around each board generously. 

I wrapped it up like a present, using duct tape to keep in in place, while I secured the nails to the front. I later removed the duct tape, once the nails were secure, and used a staple gun (with small staples) to keep the fabric tight and finish the back (sorry, no picture of that part). I tried my best to make neat corner edges.

While the burlap was taped down on the back, I turned the board over to add the nails. I started in the center, using the wood frame as a guide, and placed the nails about 2 inches apart. I made sure to space them evenly and adjusted as needed. I wanted both boards to look identical, so when one was done, I used it as a guide for the second board. 

Having the wood frame actually made it quite easy because I lined them all up along it's edge. Once the nail head trim was in place, I removed the duct tape (or you could leave it as it) and stapled the burlap in place tightly, finishing the corners. 

I really love how they turned out! Aren't they cute? You can customize any size cork board. Large nail head trim would be really fun. I've even seen burlap with different patterns, typography and prints. 

I love a good before and after. A pretty easy project to turn an ordinary cork board into one with natural-chic charm. 

These Burlap Message Boards from Ballard Designs (a great site) start at $29 (small), $59 (medium) and $149 (large). It cost me about $16 to make two medium size boards (plus the cost of burlap, which I already had). Talk about a bargain! 

Here's a couple more inspiring burlap frames that would be super cute and easy to make. Paint the fame a fun color and swap out the glass for some padded or cork backed burlap. I may need to try this one too! 

I can't wait to use them in my new office!  

Cork board
Burlap fabric
Nail head trim or furniture nails
Duct tape
Staple gun with small staples  

Summer Fun

Somehow, it's September. I don't know about you, but I feel like I blinked and summer came and went! How can the 3 "best" months of the year be over? 

In August, we took a long weekend trip to Pennsylvania to spend time with our family. We enjoyed visiting, sitting outside (we had beautiful weather!), took a trip to IKEA (yes!!!), spent a day at the beach, and even had time for golf. I didn't take a ton of photos, partly because we were too busy enjoying ourselves and partly because certain people don't like their picture taken (you know who you are).

My niece, Syndey, just turned 8! She's looking more and more grown up, each time I see her. She is very sweet, helpful, creative and has a great sense of humor.

I asked Morgan to show me her "excited" face when we got to IKEA. I think my face looked much the same. I was pretty excited. Morgan is such a sweetie who loves to cuddle - along with being very independent and a bundle of giggles.

On the red carpet, after an afternoon of shopping. I could have spent a few more hours wandering around that Swedish wonderland. 

A relaxing, sunny day at the beach. Just what I needed.

Toes in the sand and umbrellas as far as the eye could see. 

 Of course, a little football. That hunk winding up for a throw is all mine! 

On our last day, while the guys were out on the "real" links, the girls played some mini golf. 

I'm probably the last person that should be teaching anyone how to golf! Morgan was a very good student and did really well! She looked too cute swinging that tiny club. 

Sydney and I played the last hole together and somehow got a hole in one - against impossible odds! I still don't know how. It was very exciting. The bell sounded and she won a free round of golf! 

I wish I could go back to that spot on the beach. So beautiful and relaxing! Ah, summer, I miss you already. Don't leave too quickly, ok? Maybe you can linger until late October...