August 31, 2011


Posted by Lori~

As a WOM, a thrifty momma, and a major couponer…I am always looking for deals on Milk.  My son chugs milk and my family goes through a LOT
 of milk—we typically go through two gallons/week (and we are ONLY a family of three!).

Mur-Man's taken on cell-phone!  (POOR QUALITY)
I have noticed the price of milk continuing to rise and have also noticed the major price difference between grocery stores in western North Dakota and eastern North Dakota. 

I have basically sucked it up…because milk is milk and it is needed in my household (of course…I have found and used milk coupons on occasion, but these are few and far between).

However…my dad and mom were visiting my little city, ND town recently…and informed me that they have found milk is cheaper at their local M and H gas station.  It is cheaper than Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or a grocery store! 

On this particular day milk was on sale for 2 for $7.49 (STILL MAJOR SAVINGS!)
REALLY?  I checked it out and discovered it advertised for 2 for $6.00.  And according to my dad this sale is typical.  Yes, WOMS—you may or may not have this particular gas station in your town, however the message to consider is that shop around for milk deals…you never know when and where you will find milk for a reduced price (gas stations, retail chains, pharmacies, etc.).

Fuzzy, but says...ONLY $7.49!
DECISION DONE!  I will be price checking my milk!

August 30, 2011

TUESDAYS AT NOON: Lori on…button down dress shirts!

Posted by Lori~

Not sure if you noticed this, but my hubby wears button down dress shirts everywhere! 

Steve's head-shot!
I MEAN EVERYWHERE!  Doing chores…like lawn work and painting (he wonders why all his clothes have paint on them…..hmmmm, interesting!).  Swimming in a lake…yes, he wore a button down short sleeve shirt in the big DL, ND lake---no joke.

Short-sleeved dress shirt...but still a dress shirt!
And to bed….I am not kidding.  It went from night sweater, to button down shirts, to night blazer.

Mur-Man rocks the blazer and dress shirt too!
But I love it!  I love his sexy look.  And the best thing…is that he has thick rimmed little glasses…which coordinate well with dress shirts.

Mur-Man's first concert!  WEEZER!  Steve--in dress shirt!
Oh, and let’s not forget blazers.  During the winter months….his go-to uniform/outfit is dress shirts, blazers, and jeans.  Our guy friends even wear blazers out to commemorate Steve’s love for blazers.

80's party--cosby sweater WITH PINK DRESS SHIRT!
I love my man….I love his clothes!  WOMS—DO YOUR HUSBANDS HAVE GO TO OUTFITS?  PLEASE SHARE!

August 29, 2011


Posted by Lori~

I was on the lookout for a new patio table…but of course I was on the lookout for a THRIFTY PATIO TABLE!  I told Steve…I would find a table for DIRT-CHEAP!  Mission…MAJOR SUCCESS!

My in-laws (Steve’s mom and dad) had recently done a table upgrade and happened to have a high-quality black metal table in storage.  They pulled it out…it was perfect…and IT WAS FREE!

Quick cleaning and it looks like NEW!
All this table needed was an umbrella and cushions!  This past weekend, Steve and I hit-up home depot and discovered patio table umbrellas reduced from $95.00 to $60.00.  But that wasn’t it….the umbrella handle had a slight crack—I asked what the “damaged” discount was and got it dropped down to $30.00!

And...It matched the trim perfectly!

Tonight—I hit up my local thrift store in my little city, ND town and found two lounge chairs with cushions.  The thrift store manager let me break-up the set.  ONLY $10.00 for the two long cushions…perfect for my patio table.  All I need is a little cushion re-do.

I haven't decided if I will re-cover, but I will need to cut and alter to fit!

Total cost so far--$40.00!  WOMS—I will be finishing up this project this weekend…be ready for updates next week.

August 28, 2011

GARDEN POST #3: Zucchini Prep!

Posted by Ethne~

Thrifty Nana’s (my mom) garden is going nuts, as is the case in August each year.  I went over to help her pick the ripe fruits (she’s got awesome raspberry bushes) and vegetables (zucchini, peppers and tomatoes) and herbs (tarragon, basil and dill) today, so last night I had to process the huge zucchini I had already to make room for what we’d pick today.

HUGE zucchini

The zucchini were so big, there’s no way the four of us would be able to eat them all, plus we prefer slightly smaller zucchini and these grew a little too big (the seeds get bigger in them).  With these guys, I am planning to preserve them just on their own.  I didn’t have any tomatoes to roast with them, so I did two zucchini-only methods.

First, I got out my food processor with the shredding blade attachment and shredded about half of the zucchini (raw, not cooked).  It made so much!  Since the best chocolate cake in the whole wide world takes 2 cups of zucchini, so that’s how I divided it up.  I took regular sandwich bags, filled each one with 2 cups of zucchini shreds, and then froze them all.  Half of the zucchinis I had made 7 bags, which equals 14 cups of shredded zucchini.  That’s a lot of chocolate cakes, though the shreds can certainly be used in other ways such as in chili, soup, zucchini bread and so on.

Shred Central Station
Easy Mac eating zucchini shreds
straight from the bag!
2 cups of shreds make this OUTRAGEOUS cake

This took care of only half of the zucchini.  For the other half, I plan on making puree (remember this post where I talk about making homemade baby food and Jessica Seinfeld’s book Deceptively Delicious?).

a WOM must

I got out my Ziploc steamer bags and put about 2-inch or so cubes of the raw zucchini up to the bag’s fill line.  The bag instructs that for zucchini you cook a full bag for just 3 minutes.  Fine by me!  While the first bag of zucchini was steaming in the microwave, I replaced the shredding blade with the regular blade in my food processor.  When the 3 minutes of cooking were up, I dumped the cooked chunks into the machine and hit go for about 2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the sides.

another WOM must

I repeated this process until all the remaining zucchini were cooked and pureed.  I put all the puree into a large stainless steel bowl and left it alone for an hour or two so it could cool.  When cooled, I put 2 ladle-fulls (equivalent of 1 cup) into sandwich bags and sealed those up.  This made up 7 more 2-cup bags of puree, meaning 14 cups.  This puree can be used for soups, sauces, cookies and so on.  I have a great oatmeal cookie recipe from Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook using zucchini puree, and I CAN’T WAIT to throw this puree into chili on football Sundays.

lots of zucchini puree!  what to do with it all?

The outcome: 14 cups of shreds and 14 cups of puree.  28 total cups of zucchini from those I had on my countertop.  Isn’t that CRAZY??  And totally awesome??  I will surely have to give some of these away because our freezer is nowhere big enough to hold it all.

I got straight to work and made Jessica Seinfeld's
oatmeal raisin cookies...
...which contain the trifecta of mashed
bananas, pureed zucchini and raisins... well as oatmeal and whole wheat flour.  Yum.O.
They taste kinda like banana/zucchini bread crossed
with oatmeal raisin cookies
Shaun requested Nestle tollhouse chocolate chip cookies
and those are on the bottom.  Lucky family!

So now onto processing today’s garden loot.  I’m feeling like a BLT and fried green tomatoes are on the horizon.  Two of Lori’s favorites.  How I wish she was here to eat them with me.  I'll post for you on the ways we make these two dishes to perfection.

August 26, 2011


Posted by Lori~

Ethne and I were lucky to graduate together in the year 1996…of course, this isn’t the 80’s…however we have many fond memories of the 80’s from our grade-school days.

A fellow 1996 graduate Sara and I dressing "80s"
And…I was lucky to have older siblings that happened to be in high school during the peak of the 1980’s!  WHAT A FABULOUS TIME! 

Christmas memories!
So many 80’s rock memories…you see in our little city, ND town of Williston, ND we drag main for a good time…and if I was lucky my sister would take me along for a ride (I FELT WAY COOL…IT WAS AWESOME!).

We even did it in a mini van--Ethne is in there somewhere!

This was the age of no cell phones and so the house phone would ring constantly, the 80’s music would be loud, and to get Lisa’s attention (her room was in the basement)…we would jump up and down on the floor.

My sister’s hair was BIG and I idolized her!  

And so…in celebration of the 80’s and my FABULOUS SIS (ETHNE LOVES HER TOO)…I am going to see POISON lead singer, Rock of Love Star, Celebrity Apprentice Brett Michaels LIVE and I cannot wait!  Of course there will be photos to share!  Hopefully my night will be WTF (WAY TO FUN) and not WTF! 

Here’s to a fabulous WOM-FILLED WEEKEND!

GARDEN POST #2: Grilled Zucchini!

Posted by Ethne~

Hello Friends!

Just in time for the weekend, here’s another fresh dish from the garden!  Superb!

Thrifty Nana (my mom) has some huge zucchini in her garden and so we’re cooking them like crazy.  You’ve seen them in my tomato sauce and the best chocolate cake in the whole wide world, but another of our faves is grilled zucchini planks.

These guys are huge.  We like to pick
them a little smaller in general.

Shaun is the grill-master in the D household, so here’s the scoop:

He cuts the zucchini into large flat planks, drizzles them with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Grill until the zucchini are tender and have grill marks and done!  Not too complicated and super delicious!  Grab some zucchini from your garden, farmer’s market or grocery store and you’ll love this.

So yummy with our grilled, marinated chicken breasts.

Have a wonderful weekend!

August 24, 2011


Posted by Lori~

My husband Steve loves tennis!  He plays on a league, he runs the parks and rec program, and has even coached the high school team in our little city, ND town.  HE L.O.V.E.S. tennis and I am sure that my Mur-Man will take up this sport someday…it really isn’t an option.

Recently, actually roughly two years ago…Steve decided to purchase a tennis stringing machine.  You see—in our little city, ND town stringers are very few and far between and most often Steve would drive his racket roughly 1.5 hours to get it re-strung. 

GREAT idea!  Right!  Life is hectic and it sat in the basement for I’m not sure how long.  However, during our recent week at the lake Steve thought it was prime time to try out the machine.  And so, he strung and strung and strung…and in the end re-did three of his rackets.  Since then he has done a few for people in the community and he keeps practicing.

WOMS—why not take a hobby and turn it into a mini-business.  Steve loves it…and of course this WOM loves it even more.  Practice does make perfect.  And…a little cash in the pocket doesn’t hurt either!  

August 23, 2011

$50.00 PIANO!

Posted by Lori~

Parents raise their children with different goals, values, rules, dreams, and so much more.  My parents had lots of goals for me and my siblings, but one of their core rules in our house that they enforced was unique.  We had a piano and we all had to take (we were required to take) six years of piano lessons. 

My brother Lyle was first.  And let’s just say….he stands out as the BEST piano player in our family.  He is amazing and can play with music and without (by ear).  Actually at my wedding…we gave him two songs to play and he did it without music (and coincidently played guitar)…he can play EVERYTHING.  Music is in his blood.

Next up my sister took lessons…she was good, I would say equally talented to me.  However, neither of us is a Lyle piano player.

And then I took lessons.  I liked piano…I even played every Sunday during church and went past the six years lesson requirement. 

The only thing I didn’t like about piano was practicing.  Yes, we had to take six years of lessons, but we also had to practice for 30 minutes/day.  And I hated that.  Mom, please don’t read this:  but there were times when I would hop on the piano as our garage door was opening and mom was home.  I would play frantically and joyfully announce that my 30 minutes were up!  HORRIBLE TEEN-AGE BEHAVIOR!  (Mur-Man don’t get any ideas!).

Steve unfortunately didn’t take lessons as a child and he regrets this a lot.  And so, we had Mur-Man and we knew we were going to create the six year piano lesson rule in our house.  Mur-Man is 18 months old and so this won’t be happening anytime soon.

But my thriftiness kicked in, and my co-worker offered to sell me her beautiful early 1900’s piano for $50.00!  THAT’S RIGHT—50 BUCKS!  I couldn’t believe it.  There it sits in my living room ready for lessons to begin.  The biggest challenge was moving the piano into my house…it barely made it through the front door, but it made it. 

So—Mur-Man get ready! Your six years will be coming before you know it!

August 22, 2011

CRASH MY STASH: Scent Experiment!

Posted by Ethne~

Thrifty Nana (my mom) did a quick experiment today.  I’m not sure where I read about making reed diffuser scents, but I think I Googled it.  The breakdown: perfume (or essential oil, but I don’t have those laying around) and baby oil.  Simple enough.

TN, Whit and me: always looking for a thrifty
DIY activity - all 3 of us have lots of perfume
to spare

Thrifty Nana bought some Target Up & Up brand baby oil for $2.67 (Johnson & Johnson was $3.49 - either way CHEAP compared to what I paid originally for the reed diffuser + scent).  We have loads of perfume laying around (there’s only so much a person can wear, and we have a lot to be getting on with). 

Generic baby oil: we decided if it was
lightly 'baby' scented, no biggie

We mixed 50% baby oil and 50% perfume (in this case Bath & Body Works ‘sparkling peach’ scent).  Perfect for summertime.

Shaun broke the bottle neck off
when opening it for me; TN squirted
her perfume into her diffuser jar - pick ur poison

I had the reeds and jar from a reed diffuser I had gotten from Partylite a few years back.  The Partylite oil was all used up, but I smartly kept the reeds and jar.  PERFECT!

I have another one around here
somewhere - if I can find it...

Now since perfume isn’t an oil, it doesn’t mix with the baby oil (oil and water).  That’s ok.  I put the perfume in first, then the baby oil.  That should keep the perfume from evaporating, but the reeds should absorb the scent.

I have lots of little bud vases, too, so since I had some perfume left in the bottle that I used, I grabbed one of those, made another perfume/oil concoction, and stole a few of the reeds from my first diffuser.  Second reed diffuser, Friends!


There is a TON of baby oil left in the bottle, and Thrifty Nana already made hers too.  This project is practically free if you use stuff you’ve already got at home.  Isn't that the BEST KIND?

Grab some household leftovers and spice up your life!  (Do I date myself by admitting that I can quote that song?)  Anyway, I’ll let you know if this works and our house smells nice n’ peachy.  FAB!

August 21, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

Did the rest of you have a busy weekend?  We snuck in some relaxation into our schedule this past weekend, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL.  Good gracious if it could be like this every day of the year.

KD snapped this pic of me pureeing beets
for the girls' pink pancakes.  I thought it
was funny, even if blurry.

Thrifty Nana and I had some serious work to do – alterations for the girls’ flower girl dresses for the S-E wedding in two weeks (my birthday!!).  We had to take the dresses in a little bit and the bride wanted chocolate sashes to match the wedding colors, so we whipped those up as well.  DONE.

KD modeling her new 'tappy shoes' for the wedding

While I was waiting for TN to get to the house for alterations, I got to one of my Pinterest projects.  If you are not on Pinterest yet, GET GOING!  It’s pretty much the best thing ever.  You ‘pin’ stuff from wherever you see it on the web onto your Pinterest bulletin boards, and it takes the picture and URL with it, so you don’t have to remember what the website is for your idea or project.  AND you can follow other people’s Pinterest boards so you can see what other people out there are pinning in their own world wide web searches.  GENIUS.  If you aren’t on it yet, DO IT!  If you are on Pinterest already and aren’t following WOM-MOM’s boards, WHAT THE HECK? DO IT!

Adorable - I might try to make
the top version - you can see the link
from our Pinterest page
Anyway, I like a mix of craft, cooking, kids and DIY stuff on our Pinterest page.  But there is no point in just admiring things Lori and I pin, they should be made too!

You’ve seen here where I made the reusable sandwich bags – and they work great!

Sandwich time - super simple

Project #1: I wanted to make a satchel for my make-up brushes.  I found this one and pinned it to our WOM Pinterest board for crafts.  It was really easy and super slick.  DONE!  Total stash-buster Friends.  Scraps from previous Amy Butler birdie slings I’ve made.

So awesome.
Fold-over flap to keep the brushes in place
Different size pockets for the various brushes

Project #2: I wanted to make a hairpiece for the girls’ hair to go with their flower girl dresses for the S-E wedding.  I considered getting fascinators for the girls’ (and my) hair since my brother-in-law is from England.  But when I pinned this scrappy fabric rose to our Pinterest board, I knew it was the one.  This project was kind of putzy, but the directions were simple enough to follow.  I used the fabric to match the chocolate sashes, but any scraps will do – another stash-buster!  Gotta get a clip to adhere it to their hair and these shabby roses will be ADOR-A-BLE!

I had these fascinators made
for Easter.  They'll be showing their
fluffy little faces again soon.
Super cute.  Takes a while when, once again,
I'm making TWO!
The detail is pretty, huh?

What have you made lately?  Has it been an idea from Pinterest?  If you’re not already on it, what’s your excuse?!?  It’s AWESOME!