January 31, 2014

CRIME EDITION: Amanda Knox found guilty again!

Posted by Ethne~

Lori and I are flabbergasted!

Amanda Knox has once again been found guilty of the murder of her former roommate, as well as some sort of slander charges after-the-fact.  This is from the re-trial at the appellate court level over in Italy.  We don't have the reasoning of this new guilty verdict yet, but the reports from her lawyers are that there still is no evidence more than there ever was - which is nothing that ties her to the murder.

Amanda remains in the US, she can still do an appeal to the Italian Supreme Court, and is apparently still considered innocent in their justice system until that appeal is decided.  Small consolation after the 4 years she served, I imagine.

Well, this case just keeps getting stranger.  We'll keep following CNN and HLN and report back in.  And don't forget to check out Lori's earlier post for today about the burlap gold-leaf canvas we made when she was here.  So cute.  If you want to check out our past Amanda Knox update, click here.

January 30, 2014


Posted by Lori~

Ethne and I got together this past weekend, and we knew we needed to whip up some fun v-day crafts! 

I saw some GREAT inspiration ideas on a blog that I have started following, Teal and Lime.  

Our inspiration:  Teal and Lime
We wanted to do something similar using a canvas and gold leaf.  I hit-up Hobby Lobby on my way out of big city, ND and found these great burlap canvases.  They ran me just over $5.50/canvas.  


The craft itself was pretty easy.  First up, we had to settle on our artwork.  We both decided to do the traditional "initial loves initial".

We went into google images to find the perfect heart.

I also printed off the initials and traced them onto the canvas using a pencil.

Using a tacky glue pen and tacky glue, I traced and filled the design.  I rubbed it in with my finger so that it was smooth.

Next, I let the glue dry for a few minutes so it was no longer wet, but sticky.

Now it is time to apply the gold leafing.  I purchased my gold leafing at hobby lobby for $7.99, but I used a 40% off coupon.  

You gently lay it on and rub it in.  (This is not the easiest step...this product is kind of a nightmare to apply.  Honestly, I have NO IDEA HOW PEOPLE GOLD LEAF PIECES OF FURNITURE!).

Once applied, we let it dry over night.  You want the glue completely dry prior to removing the gold leaf.

Then you simply peal away the excess gold leafing.

I did have to go back and do a few touch-ups, but overall I liked the look.

And, it looks wonderful on my mantel.  This art project cost me under $10.00 to complete.

Steve noticed it right away and thought it was super sweet!

January 28, 2014


Posted by Lori~

Ethne and I got to hang out over the weekend.  I was actually in big city, Minnesota taking a LSAT prep course.  It was killer (and I am glad I took the class), but I am more glad that I got to spend time with Ethne. 

Of course, we wommed it all weekend and completed several crafts.

I plan to give you tutorials on all of our new crafty projects, but first...here is a run down of my Valentine mantel featuring several crafts from the weekend. 


January 27, 2014

We've Been Busy.

Posted by Ethne~

Hey everyone! 

It is frigid here in big city, MN.  School is called off.  AGAIN.  Probably tomorrow too.

Lori’s gonna head back home to little city, ND, today, after a great weekend.  We got several projects done, but by the time we finished yesterday, we were too tired out to blog about them.

Look out for some rub-n-buff action (done with the kiddos), a Valentine’s Day banner and a few other goodies later this week.

January 23, 2014


Posted by Lori~

Recently I was  surfing the web and I came across some major inspiration.  This art cart/storage caddy on wheels.

I immediately sent my mother-in-law an email that Mur-Man needed one STAT.  Could Doug (her hubby) make one?  

This was the mess that is Mur-Man's art/craft supplies all shoved into a desk!

Doug agreed, whipped it up, and it is amazing!  I LOVE IT!

Here's the art cart before paint.  Isn't it awesome!

We filled the holes with wood fill and sanded it smooth.


I then primed the cart and applied three coats of royal blue paint with satin finish.  Mur-Man selected the color.

I let it dry over-night.  The cart was beautiful, but it wasn't done yet. 

Next up, I needed storage solutions for the cart.  I hit-up the Target dollar section and picked up some great items.  I also found two Nate Berkus desk-top organizers in the office supply section that were on clearance!  My total cost came to around $20.00.

Next up, I knew I wanted to add vinyl lettering to the cart.  I landed on MPL for Mur-Man and metallic gold.

They were really easy to apply.

It was exciting loading it up with all of Mur-Man's art supplies (including his light bright supplies).  It's perfect (and super organized).

Thanks to my talented father-in-law Doug...this project ONLY cost me around $30.00! 


Posted by Lori~

We have an IKEA Lack wall shelf living in Steve's office/my craft room.   

We also have IKEA Lack wall shelves in Mur-Man's super hero themed room.

We LOVE THEM.  They are super affordable (under $20.00) and come in a variety of sizes.

However, the shelf in Steve's office wasn't supporting his heavy books very well.  It was starting to lean (and honestly it made me nervous).

Steve came up with a plan to install wood decorative shelving brackets.  They cost under $20.00 each.  We purchased our brackets at Home Depot.

I primed them and painted them bright white with satin finish.  It took one coat of primer and two coats of paint.

The result is so much better.  They no longer lean, and honestly I like the chunky decorative addition.

To really complete the look, I need to fill the holes and paint them bright white.

I am digging this shelf.  And if we end up needing a baby room (no...I am not preggers), this shelf will transition nicely into the room.  The office will have to go!

January 21, 2014


Posted by Lori~

Mur-Man still has a little waist...but his legs are long (Ethne's girls have the same problem).  I still do occasionally throw in a home-made adjustable waist; however that takes up time. (Keep in mind, I ONLY PURCHASE PANTS WITH BUILT IN ADJUSTABLE WAISTS, but most of Mur-Man's pants are from his cousin).

Recently, I discovered literally the coolest thing.  (I wish Ethne and I would have invented this...we could be on Shark Tank!).  It is called the Dapper Snapper.  I haven't seen them in other locations; however I purchased my Dapper Snapper at Once Upon a Child for $9.99. (I just did a quick Google search and they are everywhere, but my price-tag seems to be the lowest!).

I first discovered the Dapper Snapper when my girlfriend and WOM-MOM follower Janelle's daughter was wearing one.  IT WAS AMAZING AND I HAD TO PURCHASE ONE IMMEDIATELY!

You simply attach the Dapper Snapper to the back of your child's pants (they must have belt loops).  It's that easy.  And, it comes in a variety of cool patterns.  I chose the skull and cross-bone pattern!  They are also adjustable.

Steve thinks he is dapper....not!
Now if only Ethne and I were the inventors.  And no, we are not getting paid for this post!  We just love this product.

Prevent Canker Sores!

Posted by Ethne~

Hey dudes.

Do you guys get those painful canker sores inside your mouths sometimes?  I used to.  It occurred to me that I should tell you how I stopped getting them.  It's just something little, but if I can help you guys out with my fount of knowledge, I'm duty bound.

I used to get them frequently - canker sores are the kind inside your mouth, not the ones on your lip - those are cold sores - different beasts.  

When I would get them, I would be in total agony.  If you have them, you know what I mean, it would hurt to even talk if the sore rubbed up against your teeth just so.  I once left work, mid-stride - to walk over to the nearby pharmacy and find a painkiller - a good one is called Cank-aid - it covers it like a liquid bandage, but in your mouth.

I asked my dentist and he said they're usually caused by an irritation to the tissues in your mouth - like acids from tomatoes in the summer.  And also, there is a pointless ingredient in toothpaste that's added to make it foamy that can cause them [canker sore irritations], it's called SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE.  Why don't you try to find a toothpaste without that?

So I went on a hunt.  I only found one toothpaste in all of Target/Walgreens/any pharmacy anywhere - Sensodyne Pronamel - that doesn't have the nasty ingredient.  It's $4-5 per tube, but I can often find $1 off coupons.  

Right now, I have the white cap one.  Easy Mac uses it too.

And guess what?  I've only had one canker sore in the two years since my dentist told me this, and that was from accidentally biting my cheek [out came the Cank-aid].  The Sensodyne is totally worth the money, and it still foams up when I brush, so I really don't know what difference the sodium laurel sulfate makes in other toothpastes anyway.  It's one of those inactive ingredients.  It's possibly a conspiracy against Americans.

I might have to take this up with my Congressional representatives.

*This is not a paid endorsement of Sensodyne.  I wish.  I just thought you'd like to know.

January 19, 2014


Posted by Lori~

My photo books looked like this:

And, honestly I really liked them.  However, they needed something better.  I found this awesome free Christmas card book download here.

AND I AM LOVING THEM!  I made books for 2011, 2012, and 2013!

I am also thrilled for my recent end of season purchase!  For 90% off, I was able to purchase a pink tree for under $10.00!  This will be perfect for my basement!  (Steve and Mur-Man prefer green!).

January 16, 2014

Caveman Lasagna (almost) is a hit.

Posted by Ethne~

I am here to report that this Denham clan is still on the gluten-free "meal plan"(that's what the girls call it).  As in, we're a clan of cavemen.

You'd think so with some of the stuff I've been making.  Hamburger buns made from cashews (tasty, but crumble city).  Almond milk (that's really good and awesome for you).  Banana bread made with coconut and almond flour (good, but the girls have attitude, leaving me to eat it all - Shaun says I shouldn't complain).  Chicken strips breaded with coconut (a no-go, my friends).  Oh, and let's not forget the banana porridge made out of nuts (I thought this was pretty good - the girls DID NOT).  We're going to give ourselves nut allergies for all the suckers I've been cooking with.  I've made breading with Corn Flakes (great) and my own taco and Italian seasonings, too (double-yum).

Last night's paleo lasagna takes the cake, though.  I got the inspiration from my cookbook, Against All Grain.  It's a pretty good book, I'll give her that.  Mostly, her stuff has lots of good flavor.  

In the cookbook, you could see the layers better, but mine didn't fall apart to slop, so I know the layers held up.

We've been able to eat plenty of brown rice pasta - and you can't tell the difference AT ALL if you ask me - but I haven't found brown rice lasagna noodles yet.  So I needed an alternative.  My cookbook said to use her crepes in strips.  Ok.  So I made some of her crepes.  [And instead of oil or butter I used coconut oil, btw.] Anyway, they looked NOTHING like hers (mine are butt ugly) but they don't taste burnt or anything.

They were totally ratty looking.  And I ended up cooking mine on medium-low rather than medium-high.  And all of them stuck...and tore.  And all of them got way browner than her tortilla-looking ones.  And I melted my spatula.

I didn't want to go to the store to buy ricotta cheese (which isn't paleo-approved anyway).  Interestingly, I just happened to have almond pulp sitting right in front of me from making almond milk.  I also had just paged past another recipe for making nut cheese.  You read that right.  WTF.  So I made some.  I did not tell the family it was cheese made out of nuts.  By the time you add the salt, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs, you really can't taste any nuts (they've been soaked, so they're not crunchy).  

I deviated from the recipe - I added an egg to the "ricotta" cheese to make it bind and be fluffy, which is what I do when I make lasagna; I also added mozzarella cheese - this is not paleo.  Oh well, we're rubbish cavemen.

This is me applying the ricotta nut cheese.  I can't quite tell what the camera was focusing on.  Shaun's fault.  And no, I'm not pregnant.  I have horrible posture.
Layer it up.  If you're wondering, I used 10 crepes, 1.5 jars sauce (Classico Spinach & Parm - excellent), 1 lb. ground turkey, 1 bag finely ground mozzarella, about 1.5 cups of nut cheese and a handful of grated parmesan, and about 1.5 T of my homemade Italian seasoning in the gr. turkey.

Honestly, you can tell, a bit, that these are crepes and not pasta noodles.  Duh.  But Shaun and I both agreed that the crepes totally served their purpose in holding all of the layers together.  And they don't have much flavor, so just absorbed the flavor of your sauce.  The girls ate well.  You could not tell the nut cheese apart from ricotta, no joke.  (However, Shaun - not knowing - commented that he's never been a fan of ricotta since it's always tasted a little too "grainy".  I SAID NOTHING.)  And then he put the half-pan leftover in the fridge and said, "let's have the rest for dinner tomorrow night".  TOTALLY.

Here it is again, for the win.

I'd say I may be a crappy cave[wo]man, but I am totally evolved in my food-related con-artistry.  Rock On, [GF] Crouton!