dina – a mom’s view.

The author of mommies and daughters shares views, concerns, advice and ideas about moms and daughters and things to do together.
Moms need to spend time with their daughters and build strong relationships that will help their daughters growth and help them to make appropriate decisions as they are exposed to the choices they will be making throughout their life.
Dina invites you to share your thoughts and feelings about you and your relationships not only with you daughter or son, but also with your husband, family, co-workers and friends.

a moms view

reminiscing on a quiet saturday morning

It’s not very often that I find myself at home alone… such is the case today. Ariel is gone with her Daddy to breakfast at church. This is a special Daddy/ Daughter (Princess) Breakfast. A time for them to spend together, doing crafts and enjoying their own little bonding time. I hope they’re having a great time! I on the other hand, in my unusual quietness have been looking back through photos and reminiscing.

Pictures from almost three years ago… Ariel was so little. She still had that little baby face smile :) . Video from our trip to Disneyland last year. Time to head that way again soon. Who doesn’t love the “Magic of Disney”? The beach. Photos from my Mom and Dads last visit, with them, my great niece Alayna. Nana’s visit. Concerts in the park. Beautiful skies. Fun times. Spring is just around the corner and then in June our snow will melt enough to enjoy the deck (seriously folks, June!). This is where we spend most of our time in the summer. Grilling out, soaking up some rays, enjoying a glass of wine, chalk drawings in the driveway!  Good times spent just as family or with friends. Bring on summer, many more memories to make… for in the future I’ll want to look back and reminisce!

the ramblings of a blessed mom

Eleven years ago today at 5:59 pm God blessed me with the most awesome gift. Her name is Ariel, “Lioness of God”. Her character stands true to the meaning of her name. She continues to bless me every day in a multitude of ways. I thank God for that blessing.

Some days I wonder, what am I here for? What is my purpose? Questions I don’t really have any substantial answer to. I’m not a scientist on the verge of discovering some great cure for cancer. I’m not inventing an item that will make life easier for millions of people. I don’t really know. But as I ponder these questions, I have to think that I am here for some “purpose”.  Maybe, it is to be a great Mom to Ariel. To teach her how to be a kind, generous and sweet person… Wait, she has taught me those things!

Maybe, it is just to love her as a blessing from God. Who knows, maybe one day she will discover a cure or invent something great! Either way, I’m one blessed Mom!

peeling carrots

I made a pot of vegetable soup a few weeks ago. Ariel couldn’t wait to help…she wanted to peel the carrots. No problem, she loves the peeler…


Maybe a little too much! Shredded carrots, anyone?


wash your veggies

I’ve always just rinsed off my fruits and veggies, naively thinking they would be clean. NOT!  Recently I started soaking my produce in a large bowl of lukewarm water with a drop of Meyer’s Clean Day dishwashing soap. Just a tiny drop. I know… soap? But I’d rather have clean fruit! After soaking for ten or fifteen minutes I remove from the bowl and rinse clean. You would be amazed at the amount of dirt, bugs and yuk will be at the bottom of the bowl.

Apples, well let’s just say you have to do more to the apples. That beautiful shine on the apples… after soaking becomes a yucky goo (notice in the photo below). Similar to the glue on a jar when you peel the label off. I will rub then with my hands or a soft bristle brush until all the goo is gone, then rinse. I realize this is what helps to keep our fruits and veggies fresher until we purchase them, but can a heavy coating or wax or pesticides ever be good for you? Do you wash your veggies? Share your thoughts.

look closely at the "goo" on the apple....

the art of nature

Beautiful Tetons in the background

Beautiful Tetons in the background

We’re here in Jackson Wyoming… Ariel’s class is here at the Teton Science School. They will spend a couple of days out in the wilderness doing a little wildlife observation, field journaling and sketching, ecological research and animal tracking. Fun stuff! We decided to head up a day early and check out Old Faithful before she had to meet the rest of the group at the school. Wow, how awesome! We didn’t have time to explore much while at Yellowstone but we did see Old Faithful let off some steam as well as another geyser!

We drove up on Sunday and spent a little time in Teton National Park. Drove through a herd of Bison. That was pretty cool! I have never been surrounded by so many large animals before (see Ariels’ journal entry)! We saw a herd of Elk. Beautiful lakes. Majestic mountains. I am always amazed at the beauty in nature. The sky never looks the same twice. The canvas is always changing. Perpetual art. This is how we have spent the last two days… Enjoying the art of nature… God’s canvas.

Ariel & Old Faithful

Ariel & Old Faithful

Bison Herd

Bison Herd

Ariel's Journal Entry

Ariel’s Journal Entry

class president

photoAriel is in fifth grade now and in preparation for middle school, they have Class President elections every two weeks. This is so that all of the kids have a chance to run for president. I get a phone call from her at school…”I’m running for President, Can we go to Michael’s to get stuff for a poster? Quinn’s my campaign manager, can she go with us?” Oh, the excitement. Come to find out, elections were the next morning…Not much time to pull it all together but we all managed (with the help of Quinn, her Mother and Sister) to get a poster and campaign buttons prepared along with her speech! Somewhere in there she also had to do her homework.  The next morning,Ariel was beat out by her opponent Wesley. The second term, she was voted out of the running…I know, heartbreaking, right? The third term…she forgot to tell me she was even running. She gets in the car after school and says ” We had elections today, Guess who won?” Well of course I had to “guess her”!

So, as Class President, you have a two week term to provide lots of extra fun for the classmates! During Ariel’s Presidency, she has so far provided for her classmates… extra recess and an electronics day. Electronics day just perfectly coincided with our first snowstorm so the kids stayed in during recess and played with said electronics! On Monday we will provide the class with cupcakes and a buffet of toppings for them to create their own. Then, on her last day as President, I will stay with the kids after class and have a movie and popcorn party. I’m not really sure what this teaches the kids ( In Ariel’s case maybe…Don’t give up) but they do have a lot of fun in the process!

spring pasta with fresh breadcrumbs

photoI love the way a recipe can evolve. Several weeks ago we were at our friends’ house for dinner. One of the side dishes was steamed broccoli with fresh bread crumbs. Ariel really loved this. She doesn’t like to eat broccoli unless it is in broccoli cheese soup. So of course I took notice of another way to get her to eat her vegetables! Then a couple of weeks later somehow ended up in a conversation with the same friend over an Italian cookbook. She is sicilian and as we were talking about recipes she mentioned that a lot of sicilians were poor and they used bread crumbs made from stale bread to top dishes in place of cheese. I thought this was very interesting. It was a way to use the old bread and add more flavor to a dish. What I didn’t know is just how good it could be!
So I’ve had this beautiful package of imported Italian pasta, shaped like butterflies in pastel colors. I bought them because they were so pretty, not knowing what in the world I would do with it…too pretty to cover with a red marinara! Inspired by the bread crumbs here is what I came up with and I will say it was a winner in our house!
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb. pasta (tri color bowtie pasta would work if you can’t find specialty pasta)
  • 1 large lemon, (zest and juice)
  • 1 package fresh sugar snap peas
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and papper to taste
  • stale french bread
    To make the bread crumbs, if the bread is not dry you can slice it and toast it in the oven. Let it cool and then process in a food processor until you have crumbs. Set aside. Boil pasta as directed on package.  Make sure to cook al dente (still firm), you don’t want soggy pasta. Blanche sugar snap peas in boiling water, just long enough to brighten the green color, 1 minute or less. You still want them to have a nice crunch. Set aside. Meanwhile heat about a tbsp. of olive oil in a pan with a tsp. of butter, toast the fresh bread crumbs until nicely brown and crunchy, stirring often. Set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/8 cup of the cooking water. Place pasta and water in a large serving bowl. Add sugar snap peas, 1 tbsp. butter, shredded parmesan (as much as you like) and the zest and juice from one lemon. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh toasted bread crumbs. Serve with additional cheese and bread crumbs if desired. You could also sprinkle a little fresh chopped mint or parsley , yeah! Serve with a small salad and a nice glass of sauvignon blanc. Enjoy!
  • a quiet moment

    With Mother’s Day just behind us, I sit here tonight looking at my beautiful daughter sleeping and I think to myself how privileged I am to be Ariels Mom. She is such a beautiful child, beautiful to look at, yes, but also beautiful at heart. She has such a kind and gentle way about her. Loved by so many. I am proud to be her Mom. I am blessed to be her Mom. I am thankful to be her Mom.

    this was lunch today

    photoThis sandwich was so good I just had to share it with you!  So quick and easy, full of good fresh ingredients… you’ve got to try this. I just warmed a pita and filled it with: Cracked pepper turkey from the deli, sliced super thin, spinach leaves, a little fresh basil, thin cucumber slices, tomato, onion, crumbled feta cheese  and some herbed oil. For the herbed oil you can buy pre-made or just take some good extra virgin olive and add a little dried basil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper and course sea salt. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or longer to let flavors infuse into the oil. This is also good as a bread dipper for a nice loaf of Italian or French bread. Enjoy!



    MV5BMTQyNDcyODI2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTA3NTAzNA@@._V1._SY317_I took Ariel and her friend Olivia to see the new movie “prom” after school yesterday. I’m gonna age myself here…I graduated in 1985 and according to this movie, everyone still worries about the same things at prom time now as we did way back when. Oh, to be 17 again…would we do things differently? Maybe a thing or two but really, its all a part of the process of finding your way. Figuring out who you are, who really cares about you, what you really care about.

    Of course there are the obvious prom issues…Will HE ask you? Will someone ask you? Will you ask someone? Here’s where the movie differed a little from my recollection… They were very creative in the ways they asked someone to prom. Not just awkwardly asking someone face to face. Rose petals on lockers formed the word” PROM?”. Huge  ”PROM?” on the sidewalk in chalk, etc, etc. Then there’s always the issue of what dress? Prom committee, decorations, yadda, yadda,ya.

    Ariel and Olivia still have 8 years until they will be faced with those same issues…will they be different from the way it is now? From the way it was when I graduated? Probably not. The themes may differ, the style of dress, the music…but in the end it’s still about those same feelings, thoughts and fears we all went through before our proms and the uncertainty of the future beyond.