Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Golden Moment #30 Courage.

I remember the awkward attempt I made at requesting he recite to me the poem he'd written for me, a few weeks before. My heart was a jumble of emotions, and I was sure he'd find an excuse to back out of my rather desperate attempt to be romantic.

But without reservation the gentle sound of his voice filled my ears and calmed my racing heart, as he spoke the golden pros from memory, from heart.  I melted into blissful peace and knew there was nothing I wanted more in this whole world than this moment with him. We sat cuddled up in each other's arms, on that park bench overlooking the lake. His lips at my ear, the low beautiful sound of the words echoing throughout my entire body.

We were two young kids, eagerly  falling in love for the first time. But he was brave, his heart courage filled, to share with me the depths of his soul. That poem sparked in me the beginning of what I can only describe as a courageous love between the two of us.

Courage to share our true selves. Courage to love for the first time. Courage to love him through distance and separation. Courage to love him when he was distressed and far from home. Courage to love him when he doubted. Courage to say yes. Courage to leave my family and make him my home. Courage to bring his son into this world. Courage to love him through his fears. Courage to love him through my fears. Courage to love him forever. Courage to give him my all.

By: Heidi Nickerson

Love is not for dainty souls
Like flowers in a park
Tossed about when storm winds blow
And shrinking in the dark

Vainly calling to the world
"Oh love me for I'm pretty
Love me for I'm delicate
Love me for I'm witty!"

But pluck that flower up to love
And watch her shrivel fast
For love that's rooted in oneself,
Is never long to last.

Love is for the brave of heart
Who like a mountain strong
Will never bow before the wind
When storms come raging on

Boldly calling to the world
"Brave soul needed here!
A path with hills and valleys
But I am always here."

Step foot upon that mountain
With courage at your feet
And the journey binds your love,
As you strive to reach the peak.

Yes, love is for the brave of heart
Who heed the noble call
To love another more than self,
And with courage give their all.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Golden Moment #29 Look what I made!

Sooooo, my mom and I are throwing a baby shower for my sister, who just had her first baby, and I volunteered to make the invitations, the cuteness factor on these measure gold! Our theme is blue and orange (With a splash of lime green) and dinosaurs. I know, ADORABLE! After receiving one of these invites in the mail all you have to do is slide the ribbon off....

And ooooohhh, the peek through window is just so intriguing...look at that adorable dinosaur just sitting there looking so happy on that pretty little piece of vellum which adds just another spark of intrigue as you pull it back to reveal the "Dinosaur Fact Sheet" or actual party information! So it reads like the pages of a book, cover, front page, and information. I'm pretty happy with it myself!

Just 17 more to go...yeah, it's all good. Only 1:00 in the morning, there's still plenty of time left before I go crazy right? He he he-Yeah, this post will count for June 27, even though technically the clock says it's the 28th, but it's been a crazy busy day and I've still got quite a few of these to throw together if I'm going to mail them off  by tomorrow morning! Wish me luck!

Any projects keeping you up lately?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Golden moment #28 I know what I have to do.

It's a blurry photo, a quick snap shot someone took hastily after my senior voice recital, I'm listening to the recording that was made of the performance. I remember the song I was listening to myself sing, "Ah Je Veux Vivre". It was surreal, it was magical, it was as if the whole universe were my orchestra and I was the grand Diva on the stage of life, the whole world was my audience and everyone cheered for me, clapping their hands and calling out to me "You have found it Heidi, you have found your calling, SING!"

This old snapshot, is one of my favorite pictures any one has ever taken of me. Someone captured the moment in which I was truly, authentically, indescribably happy. I have often thought, my gift was wasted on me, because I haven't done much with it other than this. I didn't pursue music in college, I didn't finish college, and the only person who hears me sing now is my three year old.

But I can't stop. I HAVE to sing. I fall into these dreadful slumps of depression, and sit down on the floor ammidst the messes and the tantrums and as much as I love being a mommy, I just have these moments, when I look at myself and my heart breaks because I've stopped doing something I love. I can not live, and not sing. When I do, everything else starts to go gray. The purpose and reason for doing anything, starts to fade. I have to sing.

I'm not going to let this go on another minute. I don't need to be famous, or make CD's or go on tours, or have a million fans, but I do need to sing, and I do need to share it. I need to know that my voice is uplifting, encouraging, entertaining, and inspiring to someone. I need to give that. I need to share my voice. My heart is racing and I find hot tears lurking just behind my eyes as I write this, because it feels like for the first time, in a long time, I'm finally listening to a part of me that I have silenced for too long. The part of me that is ageless, and wise beyond my knowledge, the part of me that is the best and truest version of myself. She has been crying to be let out, and no excuse will hold her back any longer.

To know this is both frightening, and exciting! Stick around, because once I figure out how to load a video on here, I'll be adding a new aspect to "Domestic Diva Dishes All", the Diva part. 


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Golden Moment #27 A nap

While Scotty was happily playing with his choo choo trains today, building tracks and being the adorable little boy he is, I fell asleep on the couch.

While I was asleep I dreamed that I was sitting on the couch looking over at the kitchen table, and on the kitchen table was a bowl of Haagen-Daz all natural vanilla ice-cream topped with crushed blackberries, my FAVORITE treat. As I stared at the bowl I thought to myself, 

"I'm so tired I don't want to get up and walk the five steps it takes to get to that yummy ice-cream...I wish that it could just float over here." 

And in an instant, a spoon appeared in the bowl, scooped up a perfect bite, with equal amounts of ice-cream and berries, floated over to me, and waited for me to open my mouth. So there I sat, happily eating my ice-cream without lifting a finger! The entire bowl was brought to me this way, one magical spoonful at a time. 

Seriously, how gold is that?! Not only that I got to take a nap, but that I had a dream in which I was fed my favorite ice-cream by an enchanted spoon!

Yeah, I think this is going to be a good day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Golden moment # 26 Buttermilk Brownies

This is Vivian Cobb. She was a pastry chef at the Hacienda Del Sol Ranch Resort, in Tuscon, Arizona. The image you see above is a scan of the dedication page of her very own cook book.

This is Vivian's great great grandson, licking the spoon as his mommy prepares a batch of Vivian's amazing buttermilk brownies, from Grandma Vivian's little treasure of a cookbook. 

And this golden moment is about to make an entrance in your own home, as you embark upon the incredibly rewarding journey of making the most light, fluffy, flavorful and delicious brownies you have ever tasted, IN YOUR LIFE, because I am about to do what all great pastry chefs love to do....share. Unfortunately, I can not invite you over to my house to join me as I whip up a batch of these heavenly brownies, so I will just have to share the recipe instead. You'll want to print this one out, just saying....All I ask is that you remember to note, this came from the kitchen of Vivian Cobb. (A resort kitchen at that, doesn't that make it even more delicious?)


2 cups flour (Take one tablespoon away per cup)
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

First step is to pull out your double boiler, if you don't have one just find two deep pans that are able to nest on top of each other, that's what I do. On the bottom pan pour 1 cup of water and add one stick (1/2 cup) of butter. On top boiler add the other stick of butter (1/2 cup) and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Allow bottom mixture to boil, and top pan to melt butter completely before mixing in the cocoa powder.

While your double boiler is doing it's job, start mixing your dry bowl. Add your 2 cups of flour, minus the two tablespoons, 2 cups of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. There's no need to sift these ingredients.

Now start on your wet bowl, add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, mix well.

By now your double boiler mixtures should be ready, pour the top pan mixture of butter and cocoa into your wet bowl mixture and mix well. Then slowly add the dry flour mixture to the wet bowl mixing well.

Lastly, carefully add the boiling water and butter from your bottom double boiler to the mixture and mix carefully! 

The consistency of your batter will be very runny, this is just fine, you want it like that.

Pour mixture into greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Be careful not to under-bake these brownies or they will be dense. Icing with warm fudge frosting while brownies are still hot.

When your brownies are done a fork will slide out of the center clean, and the edges will pull just slightly from the walls of your dish. While the brownies are baking, get started on your yummy warm fudge frosting!


1 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup buttermilk
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Once again, I use a double boiler set up for my frosting, pour water in your bottom pan, this time it's just for the steam. Melt the butter on your top boiler completely and then add 1/4 cup cocoa and 1/3 cup buttermilk. Add your powdered sugar one half cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If your frosting needs smoothing out just add a bit of buttermilk to smooth it out.

Good luck and enjoy this recipe, it is very near and dear to our family's heart, I hope your family enjoys these brownies as much as we do!

-Domestic Diva

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Golden Moment #25 A reality check

I had a golden moment today in the realization that my life is so not perfect, but I'm happy anyway. I love people who are brave enough to confess the not so perfect moments in their life too, it keeps things real and it helps me feel not so alone out there is this big wide mommy world, which sometimes feels not so big and wide but rather confined to the 1,400 square feet I clean all day. So here is my moment of sharing life's little imperfections. I could probably tell you about a million stories, but they are most likely the same as yours (with slight variation). The point to this is, we are all in this together. You are not alone, I'm here too.

 And you know what, my kid looks a lot like yours when  eating spaghetti.

Or refurbishing your desk....(right before the family photo-shoot you scheduled at SEARS-of course.)

Or getting into your ribbon collection,

Or grabbing a snack while you take a shower.

No wonder I don't have time to pick up my art room.

Oh yes, being his mommy is a daily adventure!

And it is the greatest adventure in the world.

-The Domestic Diva

Golden moment #24 Organizing!!!!

Golden Moment for June 22, was creating order on the shelf above my washer and dryer. Sure, it wasn't TERRIBLE, I have scarier messes lurking behind closed doors in my house, but it just wasn't functional.  Here is my before picture.

As you can see this shelf is becoming a bit of a "catch all" so I thought it best to stop this in it's tracks. I also have the problem of a toddler who keeps getting into my cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink and wanted to re-locate those things to above the washing machine. And I needed to gather all of my laundry supplies into one basket I could easily pull down when I did a load of laundry, here is my after shot!

I'm quite pleased with the result, it's already making my chores easier. Fred Meyer only had three of the baskets I needed in the right size, so now I'm on the hunt for one more! But what really makes my heart sing over this set up are my LABELS! I love labels, labels make things look pleasant and exciting, and organized! But these labels make chore time ADORABLE! Check out my lovely label close up!

I highly recommend making fun labels for yourself. I made these with scrapbooking paper I already had lying around and then I just had them laminated. I have to admit, this label making business is fun work....I might be posting more label projects in the very near future. Once you start, it's really, REALLY hard to stop....

What is on your best working organized system in your home?
What needs tackling, that you've been putting off?

-The Domestic Diva

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Golden moment #23 A day at the park

My son LOVES the park. In fact, he loves the park so much that when the time comes for us to leave, he throws a HUGE fit. He screams NOOOOO! And kicks and flails if you try and carry him, much of the time I resort to basically dragging him home (if we are in walking distance of the house) if we've gone away to play getting him to stay in his car-seat is basically a nightmare. So, I hesitate taking him to the park. I know it will be a struggle to get him to leave, so I always sort of dread that part of the experience.

But today the sun was shining, it was warm and even I wanted to go to the park. I decided to try a new approach to this, whole experience. My son is three and in my heart of hearts I feel like he knows what I'm talking about and telling him to do, it's just getting him to want to comply that is the issue. So today, before we left I crouched down, with my hand on the door handle, our shoes on, keys in my hand and said

"Scotty, we are about to go to the park and you are so excited aren't you!?" He gave me an antsy smile "Before we leave, I need you to tell me that when it's time to come home again, you will listen to mommy and come right home without throwing a fit, can you do that?"

"Yes!" He said eagerly.

"Okay! I smiled, "Let's go!"

As expected Scotty had an amazing fun time at the park. About ten minutes before it was time to leave I gave him a little heads up. "We are going to leave in about ten minutes." He just kept playing happily. After I counted 100+ blessings in my head, I let him know it was time to leave. I got the dreaded "NO!" as a response. I walked over to him and smiled then said "I know you want to keep playing, but it's time to go. You can go down the slide one more time, while you do that, I'll start walking home, you can join me after you go down the slide."

He went down the slide, I started walking home...S...L....O....W.....L....Y.....And as soon as I saw him walk toward me I crouched down, threw open my arms and before he could do otherwise exclaimed "Thank you for LISTENING!" He ran into my arms and held my hand, on our walk home we talked about how much fun he'd had, and how excited I was to bring him to the park again because he'd listened.

I don't know if any of you readers out there have a spirited, independent, strong willed toddler like mine, but this moment was absolutely AMAZING moment for me as a parent, and Scott! This was PURE gold people, this was awesome!


Golden Moment De-tour, A list of ways to dissolve anger in the heat of the moment

I just read a really fantastic article from this blog: The Peacefull Housewife She listed 101 things to do when you feel like you are going to have a mommy meltdown! I loved all of her ideas, but I found as I was reading, that some ideas are fantastic for "Heat of the moment" anger control, and others were better for "De-stressing", or after math regrouping. Often, what I need is a mood shifter RIGHT now or by golly I just don't know what the consequences will be. So I put together a list of my own that focuses more on the "Heat of the moment" actions one can take to circumvent those less than stellar mommy moment meltdowns. Some, can be used in public, while others would be more effective at home,  but all of them are pretty anger dissolving tools. I know this because I have in-fact used each of these at least once in my three years of parenting experience. I'm sure I'll be able to give you an even more impressive list by the time my son is 30.


- Sing out your frustration! See Parenting With Puccini for a fun description of this one!

-If you are at home get out a piece of paper and have your kids draw out their feelings, sit down and do it with them, my mom still has pictures my sister and I drew to describe how we felt when we were angry at each other!

- Get out the play dough and kneed, pull, rip, tear, and smash together. While expressing your frustrations in this safe way, you are also giving your child attention and play which is often what they are crying for when they act out.

-Talk it out. It doesn't matter if your child is following what you are saying or not, you are talking to calm yourself. I have done this in restaurants "Scotty, your running around and refusing to sit at the table is very frustrating to your dad and I, not to mention embarrassing since I think everyone is judging me, what do you need from me so that you can calm down?" I have done this to save myself from exploding, just the other day in fact, it went like this "Scotty, when you ran out of the store just now with the curious George video it classified as stealing, I can not permit you to do that, let's walk back right now and put it on the shelf where it belongs". You will be amazed at how talking intelligently to yourself like this can calm you down.


-Consider stopping what you are doing. I know we feel that it is our right to do the dishes when we want to, or talk on the phone, or write our blog, or watch HGTV, or go shopping, but your child believes it is their right to have your undivided attention ALL the time. I'm not suggesting that from now on you let your child run your life, or determine what and when you will do what you need or want to do, but I am suggesting you be flexible enough to step back every now and then and ask yourself if you are willing to let go of what you are doing right now to meet the needs of your child, and go play! Or shop later! Remember, you are an adult, and they are a child, their whole world is YOU, and sometimes, you need to just get off the phone and go play tag, especially if they are nagging you for the attention.

-Must you really INSIST they wear that shirt, or eat that food? Sometimes, yes, but most of the time, no.
Let it go. You'll both be happier in an instant.


-Jump up and down! Seriously, as high as you can, just JUMP, stomp your feet, growl, scream, go ahead, just don't direct it AT your child. They know the difference, go to your room if you have to.

-Shake your hands out

-Punch a pillow

-Scream into a pillow

-Take your kids to the park and RUN, play chase!

-Force yourself to smile

-Try to laugh

-Square breathe. This is a beautiful technique I used often as a vocalist. If it can calm a soloist before singing the Pie Jesu Solo in front of 1,000 people with a full orchestra at the Washington Center, it can calm the mother of a screaming toddler. Here's how it works:

Breathe in 5 counts (Through your nose)
Hold the breath 5 counts
Release the breath 5 counts (On a Shhhhhhhhh)
Hold the breath 5 counts
Repeat until you are calm.


-I have both called friends to cry and been the friend on the phone to a crying friend. You are not alone, and people want to help you! Allow them to help you.

-This is not an "In the moment" response, but get yourself a family counselor

-If he is around ask the hubby for help. I don't get this option very often, being a submariners wife but when I need his help and he's around I certainly don't hesitate to engage his assistance!

-Read, read, read-I LOVE parenting books and articles, I read something everyday, it keeps me sane and it reminds me I'm not alone. I have been known to pick up an article right in the heat of mommy anxiety. My mom loves the story of when she came into my art room and saw me at the computer and my toddler pulling all of my art supplies out of their neat little compartments and throwing them across the room.

"Umm, Heidi, my mom said cautiously "Is it okay that Scotty is making a mess out of your art supplies?"

"If he is occupied long enough for me to finish this parenting article, yes" I answered

We both sort of paused at that moment and just started laughing. That is life! You learn AS YOU GO!

Be aware of your THINKING!

-Before you FELT angry you had a thought. Sure, you may say "My son made me SO angry when he dumped all the Juice in the fridge on the kitchen floor!" But it's not the spilled juice that made you angry, it was your THOUGHTS about the spilled juice. Thoughts like "He should not have done that" "That juice represents lost money" "Now I have to clean this all up". The truth is, you can choose not to be upset about that dumped out juice. Honestly, ten minutes ago I was in this very situation. I'm busy writing this blog, I thought my son was watching Thomas happily eating the snack I gave him, but low and behold I walked out to check on him and he'd dumped out three containers of juice from the fridge. But instead of getting mad I thought, "It's just juice, and at least it's not on the carpet. Then I handed Scotty a towel. And he went to clean it up. I didn't say a word. He knows.

-I know that sometimes, the thoughts and feeling of angry feel simultaneous and you almost can not distinguish the two, I've been there too. When this happens, recognize that the feeling of anger is a red flag, and look at your thoughts. Replace the angry thought. Scripts as our family calls them, are so powerful. "You make me so angry" is a script. Like a line a play-write gives a character. You are giving the character (you) lines all day everyday. Give yourself a line that HELPS you, instead of makes you feel angry. Here are some of my favorites, I try and remind myself of when I find myself in a place of emotional response.

"There's nothing wrong here."

I will say this until I believe it. Your mind will fight this, you have an ideal that you hold, a vision of how your child should act, and how YOU should parent. But life does not always give us ideals, the trick is to be okay despite the imperfection. We want ideals because we believe they will bring us joy. And often they do, but as your three year old lays on the floor and cries because they want Curious George, you have the power to smile and say to yourself "There is nothing wrong with this behavior". It' how your child is choosing to express themselves in that moment, as long as you don't engage in their behavior by thinking it should be different, you have the power, the patience and the peace to shift your emotions. And remember, no negative emotion can sustain itself for a long period of time. I have watched my son throw massive fits, cry, scream, bite, kick and fight for 45 minutes straight while I watched, empathized as I needed to, and waited. Then in an instant, as quickly as it began, he will stop. There is nothing wrong here. Everything is as it should be. He is learning, and so am I. There is nothing wrong here.

-Another perspective I love to remind myself of is the 3 minute, 3 hours, 3 days, 3 years perspective. There's a great book on this called 10-10-10 by Suzy Welch. Basically, you ask yourself if this will matter in the next ten minutes, ten months, and ten years. I love to apply this to parenting as well, especially in the heat of the moment, in most cases the whole thing will have blown over in the next three minutes. Really.

-Count. Sweet, simple, effective. There's a reason you hear this advice OVER and OVER and OVER. It shifts our thoughts and focuses our mind on something else.

-Consider your child's perspective. This is what we know as empathy, but have you ever considered having empathy for the fact that your child has only been exposed to emotion for a few short years? They are trying to process and figure out their mind and thoughts with just a few short years of experience. Look how hard it can be for us, and we are adults!

-They heard you, don't tell them again. Children don't need to be told to do anything more than three times, less if they are older. (My 3 year old really only needs to be told once) More than that and it turns into nagging, no one likes that. As you tell your child over and over to do something they can easily tune you out. Children are smart, they know the drill. Try these approaches.

"I see you spilled some juice, here is a towel."

After you've set the table and called the family sit down at the table.

When you go out to the car, let your child open the door and get in their seat.

Have a clean up song you sing when it's time to pick up toys instead of asking them to help, just start cleaning and singing, they will join you.

I could go on and on with examples, the point is to consider the child's innate desire to choose when and how they will do things, find ways to guide them to choose internally what you need them to do versus telling them what to do all the time, over and over again.

-As your child is dilly dallying remind yourself "I have all the time in the world". Kids pick up on our stress and anxiety, the bigger the hurry the more inclined they feel to take their own sweet time. As you wait, count your blessings, or day dream over your dream kitchen. Your tot will come around, without your coercion.

-Once while I was driving, my son wiggled his way out of his car-seat, I quickly pulled over and wanted to scream at him to tell him how dangerous that behavior was. He was angry at me and throwing an impressive fit. As I pulled over, I calmed myself down by saying "There is no emergency here". This is a powerful script when your fight or flight mode gets engaged. It's easy to rage in this high emotion state, calm yourself by saying over and over, "There is no emergency here".

Make it a GAME!

-What child doesn't love games, I have turned many "NO! NO! NOOOOO's!" into yes's as soon as I turned it into a game. "You can pretend to be daddy and open the car and put your Snowbear in his carseat! Oh, I think Snowbear is lonely in that seat, can you sit with him?"

"Mommy can't open the door when you kick it, oh no, try knocking and see what happens?" (We have an issue with kicking doors in our home.)

"How fast can your truck drive your folded laundry into your bedroom?"

Try it, it's FUN! Really!

-Mirror their behavior, in a fun lighthearted, humerus way. Sometimes, seeing mom kicking and screaming is enough to jolt a child into the moment and get them to go along with you. If you are not in the proper mood this can look demeaning, and there is a difference between humor and condescension, so be careful with this one.


Never forget that the Lord sent YOUR child to YOU, because you are a perfect match. You are meant to be this child's parent. Trust that the Lord knows your heart and the heart of your child and together you two will figure things out and be just fine. Only you know what is best for you child. Be open to ideals, and hold a vision of the parent you want to be, but keep in mind that the ultimate goal is joy. To be a joyful parent, raising joyful children! The face of your parenting approaches are evolving and changing on a momentary basis, and that is a good thing! It means we are all growing. You will get angry, but let that be a flag to you! Let it alert you to the need to shift your thoughts and actions so you and your child can be in a place of joy again soon.

I am a mom just like you. I have lost my temper, I have given my kid a little swat, I have dragged him out of stores kicking and screaming, I have yelled, I have run into my bedroom slamming the door behind me crying tears of anger and frustration, I have wondered if I am cut out to be a mom, I have wondered what my mom thinks of my parenting, my mother in law, my neighbors, the mom at church with five kids all folding their arms reverently during prayer while my child runs ecstatically from pew to pew, I've changed poopy diapers and then went and threw up because I had the flu and my husband was deployed, I'm there with you, you are not alone. We are all doing the best we know how. We are all trying to figure out what works to bring us and our families joy. You will have great days, and not so stellar days, and whether you just had a parenting triumph or a parenting flop, it is all for the good of your experience. Now you can grow. You can choose something different. You can have empathy when you see a mom with three tots running amok carrying five grocery bags and a crying baby, you can carry her groceries and assure her she is just where she needs to be, all is right in her world, there is nothing wrong here, and even in this harried, chaotic moment, there is joy to be found, contrast to be felt, and the wonder of LIFE to be experienced!

I wish you joy in your parenting journey.
In the fits of tears
in the diapers
in the hugs
in the smiles
in the laughter
in the screaming
in the curls
in the messes
in the naps
in all the wonder
in all the frustration
in all the love,

The Domestic Diva.

Golden Moment #22 Indoor Camping trip

A fire in the fireplace
air mattress on the floor
tickle bugs
and laughing eyes
who could ask for more?

Popcorn ceiling stars
toast in place of s'mores
no bugs to bite
or sounds that fright
and teddy bears can't roar

Cuddled up with mom and dad
our love could light the moon
Yes, life is fun
for everyone
when your at
"Camp Living Room"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Golden moment #21 My dad.

I read this poem to my dad at my wedding reception, right before the "Daddy Daughter Dance" it was truly one of the most golden moments of my entire life. A memory I will hold forever in my heart, to me it is worth all the treasure in the world, I love you daddy, happy Father's Day.

My First Love
By Heidi Kohler Nickerson

The first man to ever love me
Would hold me by the hand
Guide me in my footsteps
And taught me how to stand

The first man to ever love me
Would cradle me at night
When I was sick,
Or I was scared
He made everything alright

The first man to ever love me
Gave me my first kiss
He spun me round
And raised me high
He showed me love was bliss

The first man to ever love me
Always heard me sing
Songs of joy and songs of tears
Of my fans, he was the king

The first man to ever love me
Taught me charity and truth
Led me to the Tree of Life
And I enjoyed its fruit

The first man to ever love me
Gave me all he had to give
He gave me faith
He gave me strength
And a life that I might live

He gave me toes to stand on
When I couldn’t really dance
And when I slipped and fell
He gave another chance

He gave me all his heart
To prepare me for this day
And when the moment came
He gave his little girl away

Daddy, now I thank you
With this husband at my side
I see how your love
Has taught me
To become a loving bride

But before I leave your home
And embark on this new life
Before I start the journey
Of becoming Josh’s wife

I want you to look back
On our memories, old and new
And remember in your heart
The man I loved first,

Was you.

Golden moment # 20 (For June 18th)

I want a bathroom like this.
This is my bathroom.
If you lounge in any warm bath and add this magic ingredient
and read this book,

you can be just as relaxed and happy here,

as you would be here.


Golden moments are as gold as we choose to believe they are.

The Domestic Diva

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Golden moment #18 Home-made Mayonnaise.

People, I made mayonnaise, MAYONNAISE!
But there's a back story, a motivation if you will...You see, I like good, whole organic food-but if that food is processed anywhere but your kitchen, good taste can get pricey, even for mayonnaise. And I'm on a budget.

My brilliant husband and I have a savings plan. It's a beautiful plan, broken down month by month on a little chart for the next five years with an estimate of how much we can save each month. Along the way we have bench marks, every six months actually, so that we can adjust our savings course as needed so at the end of five years we have a nice chunk of money to live off of while Josh gets his MBA. (That's the plan at any rate) On that lovely chart, there is a little box for each month that I get to color in green if we save the estimated amount, and red if we miss the mark so we can make up for it the next month. But here's the part where hubby got smart, he told me that anything ABOVE our estimated amount, and any interest the money makes (We invest our savings) he will put toward a down payment on our first home. Ahhhhhh-he KNOWS how much I want to buy a house so this is a HUGE motivation to me. Anything above that big number at the end of five years is for the house baby!

Hence, the desire to do stuff like, make my own mayonnaise, since the organic brand I like best costs eight dollars a container, comes into full force. I mean really, I'm a home-maker, so when it comes right down to it, my ability to save more lies in the little stuff like grocery budgeting and personal spending, and I am determined, by golly, to get me a down payment. And I don't just make mayonnaise, oh no, I make my own deodorant, and face-wash too. I'm also very frugal when it comes to washing windows, there are ways beyond windex and paper towels you know....we'll talk later, for now, here's how I made my tasty good mayo. The success of my first try made me pretty happy, so it's going to be my golden moment today.

I didn't want to go shopping for more ingredients, so I just used what I had and watched a lot of You-Tube videos, then I sort of winged it. Here's what I used.

1.5 cups olive oil
4 eggs (Washed at room temp)
Cottage cheese? What!?-Yeah, I know I'll explain later. It's good though, trust me.
Turmeric powder

First I washed my eggs really well. Home-made mayo has raw egg in it, and that's okay if you make sure your eggs are fresh and organic and you clean them really well before you use them. Then I separated the yolk and white.

I put two yolks in a bowl and then I blended them with my electric mixer for a few seconds, then I started adding my olive oil, slowly very very  SLOOOOOOLY, I mean, about a drop at a time slowly to make sure it emulsified it with the egg. Basically, our goal is to have a cup of oil suspended in the egg yolk. I did this for a while and then got way bored and impatient, so I dumped all the oil in at once. The emulsion broke (of course) and then my mayo looked like egg drop soup. See.

Not quite the look I was going for. Being of a determined sort of nature, and keeping in mind my back up plan would be to use this as a fantastic hair mask. (Seriously-I do that too, with pretty much exactly the same ingredients) I decided to try again. So I poured my broken mixture into my measuring cup, started with two new egg yolks and SLOOOOOWLY added the broken mixture to my egg yolks. It emulsified beautifully, but because I used all olive oil (It's what I had on hand) the density of the oil made the viscosity (I love that word) of my mayonnaise rather gelatinous.

At this point, I'm sort of thinking to myself.."Hmmmm, what now?" I could use this as a hair mask and I'd have really soft strong hair....or I could try and salvage this by smoothing it out somehow, what is smooth...I figured sour cream might do it, but I LOVE sour cream and if it didn't work I'd be sad to just have to use it on my hair, plus the flavor isn't really what I wanted. Neither was yogurt, especially since I only have vanilla yogurt. Then I figured cottage cheese might do the trick if I blended it up nice and smooth, so I did until it looked like this.

I had to add a bit of milk to the mixture to smooth it out, but it looked like it would do the trick. I folded it into my mayo mixture and then it looked like this....

The consistency wasn't quite as thick as I would have liked it, but my imagination started turning, this would make fabulous dressing, or base for a cream sauce over chicken and veggies, or Alfredo! It would make tasty chicken salad, maybe even tuna...I tasted it, and it wasn't bad, a bit heavy on the olive oil flavor so I added some salt and turmeric to enhance the flavor a bit. Came out tasting very nice! Next time I make it though, I will buy a lighter oil, like grape-seed or safflower. I think both the flavor and viscosity will be even better with a lighter oil.

And that was my adventure in cooking. And I saved $8.00! Yay! That's gold to me!

What are your money saving tips in the kitchen?

Golden moment #17

Okay, so I'm a day behind on my golden moments...I think I was supposed to update yesterday with two, because the day before I skipped, so I updated one yesterday, for the day before but I didn't update for THAT day, and so now TODAY I owe two, one for today and one for yesterday. Phew. Okay. Yesterday was a really BLAH sort of day. I literally vegged out and watched movies. Well, okay, I also cleaned the house, did some laundry, visited with my sister and her new baby and also made her lunch, set up a sweet little trampoline/slide against the couch out of an air mattress, for the little munchkin which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Hubby got home late, but we had a fantastic evening together once the kiddo was asleep. I would have to say my evening with the Mr. was my golden moment for yesterday. But I guess that's sort of redundant, because golden moment 16 was about him too. Ahhh-who cares, married life is golden! I'm sure he'll be my golden moment many more times over the next 348 golden moments I share here, as this birthday year goes on.

So, because I love to have a picture relevant to my entries, here's one I love of Josh and I.

My dad took this picture of us when we all met for the after wedding lunch at the Bellevue club. We'd been married for just an hour or two at this point, and we were SO happy!

What was golden about your day today?
-Domestic Diva

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Golden Moment # 16, laughing. Crying. Gold.

June 14th's golden moment.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday.

I made the mistake of watching HGTV too much and started to see everything that I don't have and really NEED (want).  Like the fact that I need a yard for my toddler to run around in. (Yes, I actually do NEED this one) And I wanted to be one of the people on "House Hunters" or "My First Place" or "Property Virgins". I wanted to give Sandra Rinomato my list of requirements and have an endless budget to work with. 3,000,000 would pretty much get a person just about anything they want, it's not like I want to live in New York City. My list would look like this:

-Big fenced in backyard (Non negotiable)
-Updated kitchen with energy efficient appliances and granite counter tops.
-Big master suite
-Amazing master bath with fabulous tub big enough for me and my Mr.
-4 bedrooms, 2 baths plus a guest 1/2 bath
-A small guest house on the property
-Open floorplan
-Hardwood floors
-Lots of light
-Good location, nice school district

As I was mulling over how much I'd love to live in my dream house, feeling very acutely that I did not live in my dream house but in fact a little itty bitty apartment, my toddler was pretty much acting like a cooped up puppy who NEEDED to go outside. I won't even go into the messes he made while I was going to the bathroom, talking on the phone, rinsing some dishes, or stealing away in my room to just catch my breath. (Okay, okay, and watching HGTV.) Let's just say when Josh came home at the end of the day, I was determined to hide the fact that I'd been bawling on the couch about 15 minutes before he walked through the door, crying over stuff I didn't have, and a toddler who just wouldn't stop climbing on me, kicking me, pinching me, biting me, (In his defense, he was trying to get me to play, when I didn't want to) and he chose making messes galore to keep himself occupied since that's the next best thing to playing tag with mom.

*Not that I want to make any excuses for myself, but it's June and it's cold, gray and rainy outside, not the sort of weather mom wants to go play in. Also, Scotty didn't go to bed till 1:30 in the morning the night before, and kept kicking his bedroom walls and door which = very unhappy neighbors at midnight.

But as Josh walked through the front door, he surprised me with the happiest, most adorable mood. I think he was slap happy tired-(He'd had duty the night before and doesn't get much sleep when that happens). "I'm so happy to be HOME!!!" He said, scooping me up and spinning me around in the living room. Yes, in our teeny tiny space between the couch and the kitchen table he spun me, and my feet didn't hit ANYTHING! "Tell me about your day!" He smiled, no wait, let me GUESS! 

"Scotty made a zillion messes", he began, "but you cleaned them up because the house looks amazing! Giants attacked, but you shooed them all away because they are gone now, you burned dinner but the dog we don't have ate it, you were planning a surprise for me that got stolen by little elves, Scotty has been bugging you all day and you are tired but you are so happy because I AM HOME!" At this point, I'm just laughing happily-How he does this to me, I don't know, he just does. 

I felt like saying "Yes, all of the above! How did you know!" But I just kind of giggled. "I knew the minute I walked in you'd had a hard day"-he told me, "just give me a few minutes to regroup from work and we can talk about it, okay?" 

"Ummm, okay."

Wow. My marriage is gold.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Golden moment # 15, Butter.

I LOVE butter.

Oh, yes. I love butter. Real food is just a good thing, and butter is about as real as it gets. Julia Child once said "If you are afraid of butter, use cream." I love cream too. Without it we wouldn't have butter... But let's talk about how golden butter is, really-and not just butter, FAT. Yes, fat, wonderful delicious, energy giving, life sustaining, brain feeding, hormone producing fat.

Fat is one of the greatest foods God placed on this green earth. And somehow, like so many wonderful pure, perfect, flawless creations our great Lord gave us, we have warped and twisted it into something very unlike the Creator's grand design. We have hydrogenated oils, skim milk, low fat ice-cream (What!?) and non fat lean cuisine, we count calories and forget to eat food. We are afraid of fat.

I think part of it lies in the fact that our language does not give a positive connotation to fat. When people are obese, we call them fat. We see this as a negative, undesirable thing-then we roll butter fat, meat fat, fats from oils and nuts, or foods like coconut and avocado, all in the same word. The truth is, people are not obese because of fat, they are obese because there is an imbalance in their body, and usually toxic overload. They are simply not coping, and in many cases are not getting the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy weight for their body, or are incapable of assimilating the needed nutrients. The fact that they are overweight is actually a miracle of the body, diluting toxins, or storing needed energy in case of starvation. (Note, dieting puts you into starvation mode, as will strenuous exercise causing your body to store more fat in case a tiger comes after you again or famine strikes, a natural food storage system if you will, in case of emergency.) The body is AMAZING, it will do whatever it has to in order to keep you ALIVE.

Your body will create cysts, store fat tissue, form allergies or anything else it needs to. In fact any "dis-ease" the body creates is simply a coping mechanism to keep you alive. Once you give your body what it needs, the ease will return to your body. You can in fact, be a healthy weight, rid your body of cysts, clear all your allergies, and live in a healthy, thriving body! There is nothing your body can not cure itself of when given the proper nutrients to re-build healthy thriving cells. It's re-building and restoring everyday. Only when it doesn't have the tools to re-build and restore perfectly do we see disease, allergies, weight, and aging take hold. It's like a carpenter trying to build a house without all the proper tools and materials, it will not be a perfect house, it will have weaknesses.

But, I am not a nutritionist, and my goal is to keep these entries short and sweet little morsels of golden delight for you to read, and this entry is about how much I love good fat. And here is why.

I love how it tastes! I love how it makes me feel! And I love all of the research that has been done endorsing its vital importance to our health. I love all the places you can find fat, in dairy, in meat, in avocados...YUM, in nuts and in oils. I love that everyday there is a new article out there teaching us about essential fats, and how important they are to our overall health and well being. I love REAL food, and I love BUTTER! 

I also love my gallbladder, and bile is amazing, without them, I couldn't break down and properly assimilate all the wonderful fat that keeps me skinny! Our bodies are the most complex, awe inspiring, fascinating, creation. Go google  "Healthy fat" you will be reading all day.

After you have finished perusing all the great reads out there on healthy fat, butter yourself a piece of whole wheat toast and throw away everything in your cupboard that has hydrogenated oil, most especially that tub of "can't believe it's not real butter" believe it, it's NOT real butter.

 I'll meet up with you when we are 120 and we can keep talking about how awesome butter really is.


What is your favorite REAL food!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Golden Moment # 14 My favorite color.

Sometimes, all I can see is pink.
Pink is the color of springtime
Pink is the blush of a first kiss
Pink is the flower that whispers
"I love you"
Pink is a night spent in the arms of my love
Pink is sweet on my lips
Pink is warm on my skin
Pink is lace
and chiffon
icing and perfume.
I suppose you could say,
I see the world through rose colored glasses.

You would be right
Come take a peek
at the world I see
in pink.

What is your favorite color?

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