December 31, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

Posted by Ethne~

Hey Friends!  Happy New Year!

It's exactly 1 year ago today that Lori and I started up this blog.  We have rioted all the way and are really happy to have you all checking in with us every day.  Please keep coming back.  We'll be here.

Lori and I plan to do a Year 1 summary for you, so check in next week for that - our zaniest mischief of the past year.

May 2012 be wonderful for each of you.  xoxo

December 30, 2011

MINI: Shaun's Bella Shirt

Posted by Ethne~

Remember my Bella shirt fix from this post?  I cut down the neckline to make the shirt more comfortable - so I'd actually wear the shirt that Bella wore in the first Twilight movie (kinda sorta).

Edward, my love
How could Edward NOT fall in
love with that face?!?

Remember how my thumbs stuck out?


Well, I took this incognito pic of Shaun.  He wasn't aiming to have a Bella shirt, but this old t-shirt of his has the sleeve cuffs ripping off and somehow he put his thumbs through - just like my Bella shirt!

Aren't Shaun and I MFEO?
(Made For Each Other)

Ha!  I hope you don't read this post, Hon.

Post Issue

Hey Friends,

Lori and I are working on some formatting and we think something got goofed up.  Lori's post for today is below her post for yesterday, so scroll down.  Hopefully we'll get this fixed this weekend.


December 29, 2011


Posted by Lori~
I am back…back to 20 degree early morning temps (actually very mild temps for this time of the year in North Dakota).  And I have to say…I am a little depressed.
There is something about 80 degree temps, sun, warm weather, and days spent having fun!  DISNEY WORLD truly is the happiest place on Earth…hands down!
And I have to say…it was a strange Christmas.  It didn’t feel like Christmas (no Christmas Eve service)…however it was a memory that I will never forget.  I am so thankful to have my family and a week spent exploring with them.
And of course…the Canon Rebel was working hard-core.  We have lots of photos to share!  And here are a few snapshots from the trip (in no particular order)!  ENJOY!

Ready for some major 3D action!

My parents celebrated 44 years together!  WOW!

Mur-Man and Steve enjoying a hot air balloon ride

My mom and Mur-Man on the carousal (perfect size for Mur-Man)

The castle lit-up at night!  BEAUTIFUL!

Mur-Man with Cinderella (he also met Arial, Snow White, and Jasmine)

My nephew Super J "holding" EPCOT!

Mexican Mickey!

Mur-Man was thrilled to meet all his faves!

Mom and Dad at our hotel (posing in front of the decades (more on this later))

My Norwegian VIKINGS

We ate at this Norwegian Castle on Christmas Day

Mur-Man and Steve pool side

Steve's favorite coaster...NO THANK YOU!

One of the animals we saw during our safari at Animal Kingdom

Yes...that is Susan Lucci in the middle!

A toast to France in EPCOT!  Lisa, Steve, and I enjoyed touring the world!

December 28, 2011


Posted by Lori~
Ethne and I are 90’s girls….but we do like us some 80’s as well.  I thought it was fitting to stay in a hotel at Walt Disney World that celebrated the decades.  That’s right…it celebrated the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.  And we happened to be staying in the 90’s courtyard.  TOTALLY AWESOME!

Mur-Man "typed" the #2 on the giant keyboard

Christmas Wrap-up #1

Posted by Ethne~
I couldn’t end the Christmas season yet without summing up a few fun things from Christmas. 
There were many wonderful things, and I wish that you enjoyed the people and traditions that are special to you as much as we did.  One of my favorite parts is watching people open their gifts from us (though I won’t lie, I’m excited to open my gifts too – at the top: the black diamond earrings and necklace pendant I received from Shaun and the girls.  I chuckle as I write this because that’s kinda like receiving coal, which, technically my black diamonds are, right?  Just 3 billion-year-old coal).
A new tradition for me was discussed in my post last week about the Bowdabra.  I think making the presents so gorgeous is awesome.  And remember how I mentioned that my sister-in-law Mel was hedging her bets that she’d beat me again this year with bow awesomeness?
True dat.
She was right.  I did a pretty good job wrapping for several of our family members, but I finished Rich and Mel’s gifts toward the end of the season (these were our DIY gifts that I’ll tell you about in Part 2 of my Christmas wrap-up).
So Christmas Eve I had everything finished and needed to do that last push of wrapping.  I had the girls’ stuff to wrap, too, and of course I put that off.  What I envisioned in my mind was the wrapping taking 30 minutes.  As usual when it comes to creative projects, I missed the mark entirely in my time estimate.  (Rich has labeled this phenomenon ‘Hedren Standard Time’ but that’s a convo for a different day.)  It took more like an hour+ and the girls were fussing and pounding on the door because they wanted to help with whatever they suspected I might be doing. 
Long story short, the ribbon beauty in my mind turned into tying on some curling ribbon and calling it good.  I knew Mel would have me beaten for sure.  And I was too right.  These are what my gifts looked like:
Mel’s wrapping was BEAUTIFUL!  Each gift was a masterpiece.  Here are a few photos of her gifts – don’t they make the Christmas tree look GORGEOUS??

And the funniest part is that Mel is such a nerd that she told me that she already thought of how she’d be wrapping our gifts next Christmas.  Whatever! 
I made sure to save all of the ribbons so I can re-gift them next year.  Mel makes fun of me for this (as in super-dramatically rolling her eyes), but I told her that I’d always do something new for her, so she can’t complain.
Tomorrow, the DIY challenge results.  I think everyone won this contest because all of our gifts were totally cool.  You can be totally THRIFTY and have great gifts, my friends.

December 27, 2011

MINI: Back in the Saddle

Posted by Ethne~

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We did all-around, including yesterday when we had a glee marathon and KD and I never even got out of our p.j.’s. 

We feasted and gifted and spent time with our families; I also sent text-love to all of my bff’s.  I love technology.  I wonder what I would have said if I could only call the girls from Steph’s teenline (via her Swatch phone)?  Most likely, I would’ve said “let’s call 1-800-Tampax” which was one of our fave pranks to do circa 1990. 
I'm not sure if this was Steph's or if she had the clear one.

Beautiful gifts had already been opened, though, so we HAD to check FB, msgs and WWF before we finished dinner prep.  Seriously, Mel totally out-did me with the wrapping.  I’ll show you that and what she made us this week.

Lori just gloated by sending me a picture of the Magic Kingdom, lit up for Christmas.  Seriously, that’s just mean.  I felt like gloating, myself, when she texted me this morning and complained that she didn’t want to leave FL.  Cry me a river, Lor.  Evidently she didn’t have time to stalk down Casey Anthony like I asked her to, so they must’ve had a great time.

This is what she texted me

Later, Friends!

December 22, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

Thanks to my awesome sister-in-law Mel, I’m a star gift wrapper now. 

At the Twins game - my shirt says "Meet you in the dugout."
Of course it does.  Gotta be sneaky now that Joe Mauer's engaged.

It’s not so much about the wrapping paper – I’ve been doing that since I was a kid.  What’s really important is the embellishing.  Big, colorful, Christmas-y bows that sparkle underneath the Christmas tree – they just make me feel joyful.

So I headed right over to JoAnn’s with my 40% off coupon and purchased a Bowdabra.  I LOVE IT.  Mel (with a follow-up lesson from my friend, MC) taught me how to use it.  Once you understand the twisting principle, it’s pretty simple.  And directions come with it.

Put your tying ribbon into the contraption and lay flat.  Now make loops back and forth making a twist in the middle where the center tie will be.

Tie the center tight and fluff up all the wire in the bow loops.  I then tie this onto my ribbons on the gift and I look like a gift superstar.

This is the bow I made for Rich & Mel's wedding gift.

Now’s the time to pick up the jumbo, glittery wire ribbon.  It’s all on 50-70% off at places like JoAnn and Target right now.  So you can still squeeze in some fancy bows for this year and stock up for next year.

PS – I’ll concede that Mel does still have me out-gunned in the gift-wrapping department.  She wrapped the gifts for their wedding party with gorgeous floral bows – and she glued the paper seams together so tape wouldn’t be visible.  Yeah.  I know.  She said she'll beat me this Christmas too, so I'll snap some pictures to show you next week.

MINI: Deep Thoughts

Posted by Ethne~

I do my best thinking in the shower.

Why is that?

December 21, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

The other day I was just jonesing for alfredo sauce.  Traditionally I would’ve only thought this was a jar or fancy-restaurant option, but then I learned.  It’s the biggest secret out there besides the fact that you get hemorrhoids when you’re pregnant.

Another well-kept secret: you will be DEAD TIRED

Have you noticed that no one gives you warning about those things before you get pregnant.  No, that’s a SURPRISE.  Like when we found out we were having twins.  That was a SURPRISE too.  I wouldn’t be shocked if that didn’t give Shaun a hemorrhoid right there.  Heart attack more like.

Anyway, here’s what ya need:

Parmesan cheese, grated – about 1-2 cups grated (or one bag of the pre-shredded kind – I buy the block of parmesan – way cheaper to shred it yourself!)
Cream – I used heavy whipping cream though half & half would be fine
Butter and/or olive oil
White wine

Using a mix of butter and oil (I often use them together.  The butter tastes awesome; olive oil prevents it from burning.  When you’re using heavy whipping cream in a recipe, there’s no point in quibbling over butter usage) I sautéed the crushed garlic (I use my garlic press, and fresh is preferable, but you could use the jarred kind) till the house smells nice ‘n’ garlicky.  [Personally, I wouldn’t want it to drive the vampires away – I want to lure Edward, not turn him off.]

Mine.  All mine.

Don’t let the garlic burn.

When you’re satisfied it’s a nice light golden brown in the butter, sprinkle about 2T of flour into the pan and stir it around till the flour is covered with butter/oil.  Just a minute.  The flour will help thicken the sauce FYI.

Wearing my Bella shirt - got flour on it of course

Now add about 1-2 cups of white wine.  I never really measure.  If I had to say, I used closer to 2 cups than 1.  It should sizzle as the pan deglazes.  Allow the wine/garlic to come to a light simmer again and add the cream.  I’d say about 1 cup of cream.

Wine added

Turn your burner to medium-low.

Allow the cream mixture to come to a light bubble, then take small handfuls of the cheese and stir each handful (individually) into the creamy sauce until it’s fully melted.  Then do the next handful.  And so on till the cheese is all used. 

Cream added
In my case, I decided that I wanted a little more cheese flavor, so I added extra (I could do this since I have the block to grate – and I also grated a piece of skin off my thumb but I ensured we didn’t eat it) shredded parmesan.

Cheese added and creamy

If you think the sauce is too thick, add a little more wine or cream.  Adjust all the ingredients till it tastes just right.  If it's runny, sprinkle in a tich more flour.

We served the alfredo sauce with chicken, zucchini and angelhair pasta.  DALISH!  And easy, right?  You can totally do this and trust me, it’s better than Olive Garden could ever do (tho I’ll give them credit for their salad – darn good).