Monday, December 27, 2010

Turkey Leftovers? Try Yummy & Super Easy Turkey Noodle Casserole

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was full of family, friends, laughter and joy! So many blessings and I'm so thankful!

I'm looking forward to the New Year with some new goals and some hints to help us all stay more organized so we can spend more time with the ones we love! Stay connected to NW Momma for some real life inspiration, encouragement and helpful hints to make your life a little bit easier in 2011!

My first after-Christmas post is a SUPER EASY and YUMMY Turkey Noodle Casserole recipe to use up those turkey leftovers! I know after cooking and baking all week, the last thing I want to do is spend more time in the kitchen, so this tried and true recipe takes mere minutes to make. Ahhh, more time to relax on this Christmas vacation and enjoy the family!

There is joy in the journey!

Thanks friends!

(a.k.a. NW Momma)



Easy Turkey Noodle Casserole


(Serves 8)

    • 2 can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 cup frozen peas
    • 2 cup turkey
    • 4 cup egg noodles
    • 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
    • 1 tablespoon butter


Stir the soup, milk, peas, turkey and noodles in a 3-quart casserole.  Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.
Bake the turkey mixture at 400°F. for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Stir the turkey mixture.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

*Note: The great thing about this recipe is that you can modify it with whatever you have on hand. Some popular modifications are:

- add broccoli instead of the peas
- add a small bag of frozen mixed veggies instead of the peas (make sure to defrost first).
- use cream of chicken soup instead of the cream of mushroom.
- top with cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese.
- for a little extra kick add 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper to the soup mixture.

Make it easy on yourself! Use what you have on hand! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TOGETHER IN THE KITCHEN -Easy and Delicious Peppermint Bark

I'm always on the look-out for easy recipes that can serve as a thoughtful gift for teachers, neighbors and co-workers. And as usual, it seems I'm always pressed for time! Here's a tried-and-true, easy and delicious peppermint bark recipe. Put it in a pretty tin and you have a great last minute gift that anyone would love!  Make sure you make an extra batch for's addictive!

Holiday Peppermint Bark


  • 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels
  • 24 hard peppermint candies


  1. LINE baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. MICROWAVE morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.*
  3. PLACE peppermint candies in heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object. While holding strainer over melted morsels, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces; reserve larger candy pieces. Stir morsel-peppermint mixture.
  4. SPREAD mixture to desired thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy pieces; press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature. 
  5. *If you really like mint flavor, you can stir in a tsp. of peppermint extract to the morsels when melted.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    NW Momma Featured Business- Leanne Kuhlman of WATERLAND WELLNESS MASSAGE

    Doesn't a relaxing massage sound wonderful right about now? Ahhhh.......absolutely! I don't know of any hard-working NW Momma who couldn't use and deserve a relaxing massage, especially during the hectic and stressful holiday season! If you could use a little "mommy time", I highly recommend Leanne Kuhlman of Waterland Wellness Massage, in Des Moines, WA. Leanne is a Licensed Massage Therapist, with many happy (and relaxed) clients! I'm very excited to highlight Leanne Kuhlman of Waterland Wellness Massage as a NW Momma Featured Business!

    As an added bonus, Leanne is giving NW Momma followers an amazing BOGO offer! Buy one regular massage at the regular price and get another massage for FREE! (see full details of offer below). Wouldn't this make an excellent gift for a friend or family member? You can enjoy a relaxing massage and get a gift certificate for a massage for a friend or loved one, and the best part is you only pay for one massage! Thanks, Leanne...that's an amazing offer!

    Want to know more about Leanne and Waterland Wellness Massage? Check out the following interview I recently did with Leanne. If you're looking for a caring, professional massage therapist, look no further, Leanne Kuhlman is just that!

    NW Momma: "What brought you to massage therapy?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: "I want to help others and contribute to our collective well being."

    NW Momma: "What are your specialties?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: " I love spa work (Swedish massage, aromatherapy, hot stone therapy), but I also do treatment therapy (deep tissue, hot stone therapy for injury treatment and myofascial release)."

    NW Momma: "Why should clients choose you?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: "I know what it's like to be a massage client, I know what its like to seek healthful relief from debilitating pain, and I know what works for me so that I can translate it to my clients well being."

    NW Momma: "How can people benefit from massage therapy?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: "Massage therapy is just now being studied and understood for its many benefits in the modern world of healthcare. To name a few, massage increases circulation, eliminates toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system, decreases sympathetic nervous system response (i.e. "fight or flight", stress, cortisol production, adrenal response), helps to flush lactic acid from muscle tissue (lactic acid buildup is what makes our muscles sore after working them hard). How's that for a few benefits?" (she smiles)

    NW Momma: "Any new products or services we should know about?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: "Waterland Wellness Massage features handmade salt and sugar scrubs along with custom aromatherapy products such as massage oils and spritzers, utilizing only natural ingredients and botanical essential oils."

    NW Momma: "What sets your business apart from the rest?"
    Leanne Kuhlman: "Waterland Wellness Massage is a cozy, comfortable place to come and rejuvenate. My goal is to make my clients feel at ease from the moment they walk in the door."

    If you're in the Seattle area, I hope you'll consider Leanne Kuhlman at Waterland Wellness Massage for your next massage experience! Check out her page below for even more info about Leanne and the fabulous services she offers at Waterland Wellness Massage!

    About Leanne Kuhlman, LMP
    WaterlandWellness Massage
    22014 7th Avenue South

    Suite 106
    Des Moines, WA 98198
    (206) 824-1441
    Honoring the Great Circle through the healing arts
    I am a licensed massage practitioner in the State of Washington. I graduated from Massage Connection- School of Natural Healing in Tacoma and have also completed Reiki I and II training.
    Massage therapy is my second career and it is my true calling. My first career is landscape architecture which I also love and have been practicing for 12 years. I have been asked why I chose massage therapy, since at first blush it seems so unrelated to landscape architecture. My answer is that massage therapy and landscape architecture are not so very different at all when viewed through the lens of my philosophy. I believe in the sacredness of all life and the interconnectedness we all have to our environment, to ourselves and to every living thing. I have simply added my positive energies to promoting the health of my fellow human being as well as the health of the landscaped environment. Massage therapy is my true calling because of the sense of fulfillment I receive when I know I have assisted in the improvement of my client's well being. It is my belief that when we take responsibility for our own well being, and when we promote our own good health,  we satisfy a deep core desire that in turn buoys our sense of self worth, endorphin production, and mental outlook. It becomes a positive repetitive cycle that leads to improved vitality. As your therapist,  I am committed to assisting my clients along their wellness journey through the benefits of physical and energetic touch therapies. 

    Spa Type Treatments:
    Gone Fishin’ massage:  (30 min - $35)
    Unwind with an upper body massage focused entirely on the back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.
    Shoalwater massage: (60 minutes - $65)
    A relaxing Swedish massage using long, soothing strokes to unwind the mind, body and spirit.
    Beachcomber massage: (90 min - $125)
    Find a fabulous treasure of relaxation with a hot stone massage using smooth hygienically purified stones placed on the body to treat aching tissues at a deeper level. Intensely relaxing!
    Aromatherapy Sessions:
    Aromatherapy Session (Initial session): (Allow up to 60 min - $45)
    Your health and well being is often influenced by factors beyond the physical. In an initial aromatherapy session, your background and symptoms are explored to prepare a regime to assist you in improving your overall well being.
    Calm Seas Aromatherapy massage: (45 min - $65)
    Enjoy a calming session of relaxation for the back, neck and shoulders. The upper body is massaged with a custom blended aromatherapy lotion created just for you. The back is then wrapped in a heated therapy pack, and the session closes with deep tissue therapy for the back, neck and shoulders. Recommended for chronic stress and back pain.

    *Fee includes massage and custom blended essential oils aromatherapy lotion. An aromatherapy session may be required prior to this service so that the client has the right blend prepared in advance of the scheduled massage.

    Dead Sea Salt Scrub massage: (65 min - $75)
    Do you know the difference between a salt scrub and a sugar scrub? The answer is dry skin! For a greater exfoliating effect on more thick and dry areas of skin, a salt scrub is just the ticket. Salt is slightly more abrasive than sugar. Sugar is great for areas of thinner, less dry skin and has a gentler exfoliating property than salt. Pamper the hands and feet with a Dead Sea Salt Scrub handmade by Waterland Wellness from all natural ingredients. The salt scrub is massaged into the hands and feet while you sit back and relax with a soothing eye pillow. Next, the scrub is rinsed off and both hands and feet are wrapped in warm moist towels while you enjoy a Swedish relaxation massage for the arms, legs, back and neck.
    Sailing Away Sugar Scrub massage: (65 min - $75)
    Relax with an aromatic arm and leg massage using an Organic Cane Sugar handmade by Waterland Wellness from all natural ingredients. The sugar scrub is massaged into the arms and legs while you sit back and relax with a soothing eye pillow. Next, the scrub is rinsed off and both legs are wrapped in warm moist towels while you enjoy a Swedish relaxation massage for the arms, back, neck and feet.
    Signature Shoalwater massage: (90 min - $95)
    Indulge in complete relaxation with a full body massage featuring warm herbal packs and soothing aromatherapy massage lotion of your choice, along with foot reflexology and a hydrating hand & foot treatment.
    Pregnancy Massage:
    Marvelous Mama massage: (65 min - $85)
    Specifically designed for the mother-to-be, this prenatal massage is received in the side-lying position with plenty of pillow support. Features full body massage with concentration on low back, hips and feet to ease the pressures placed on mama with the growing baby. Deeply relaxing and extremely helpful for the aches and pains common in pregnancy. For second and third trimesters only.
    Deep Tissue Massage:
    Orca massage: (90 min - $95)
    Deep tissue massage specifically designed to treat soft tissue injury and to promote oxygenation of the area and stimulate the body’s own healing process.
    Medically Necessary Massage:
    Injury treatment billed at $65 / hr.
    This work involves extra time for a pre-evaluation and post-evaluation of stride, range of motion, and postural stance for each session. Therapist will report patient’s progress to referring physician, at an occurrence as requested by the physician, or every 3rd session. Hydrotherapy may also be incorporated as necessary.
    Energy Work:
    Level II Reiki session: (60 min - $65, 90 min - $90)
    Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
    My Room

    BOGO  details:
    Terms- One bogo per client. $65.00 for a one hour massage to be paid at completion of first massage. Gift certificate issued at that time for the free one hour massage valued at $65.00. Gift certificate is good for one year beyond date of initial massage. Mention NW Momma BOGO when booking appointment by phone. May pay for initial massage with credit card over the phone or in person after initial massage. I can accept Visa and Mastercard, but cannot accept AmEx or Discover at this time. BOGO cannot be used in conjunction with any other special or coupon. One hour massage can focus on relaxation or injury treatment per clients wish.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Welcome Laura! The First NW MOMMA Guest Blogger!

    I'm so excited to welcome Laura Cameron as the first ever NW Momma Guest Blogger! Laura is a mom, high school foreign language teacher, amazing cook and world traveler! She's smart, strong, kind, and creative....definitely a true NW Momma! Thanks Laura for your contribution to NW Momma and I encourage all the NW Mommas out there to share your talent here and be a Guest Blogger, too!

    I'm Dreaming of a Blue Christmas
    By Laura Cameron
    My grandmother almost always had blue lights on her Christmas tree.  Blue is not a color traditionally associated with Christmas decorations, but I thought her tree was spectacularly beautiful and wondered why more people didn’t use blue instead of red and green.  The lights she used were large, and the bulbs were hot to the touch (no stay cool LED lights or tiny twinkles were to be had in the 1970s).  My aunt and I used to spread a blanket on the floor and slide ourselves as far under the tree as we could.

    Flat on our backs, we’d stare up at the branches and whisper about the tree, with its cool azure light, fresh smell of fir needles, silvery threads of tinsel, shiny ornaments.  It was a secret place of wonder : a fairy land where we could disappear (even though our feet were sticking out from under the tree) and lose ourselves in the magic anticipation of the lovely things to come: presents, sweets, stockings, family dinners and Santa. Blue is the color of peace and childhood dreams.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    I Have Talented Friends- Share the Love- Be a Guest Blogger!

    I'm so blessed to have the most LOVING and TALENTED friends. I am constantly AMAZED at how CREATIVE they are. Some of my friends are FANTASTIC COOKS, some are really good at ARTS & CRAFTS and SCRAP BOOKING, and ALL are WITTY and INSIGHTFUL, with helpful ADVICE and INSPIRATION to share!

    So, all my family, friends and followers out there, SHARE YOUR TALENT and join NW Momma by being a GUEST BLOGGER!

    I know you do something AMAZING.

    I know you have something to SHARE.

    Come on, it's EASY. 

    Share a favorite RECIPE.

    Show us how to MAKE SOMETHING.

    Tell us what INSPIRES and ENCOURAGES you.

    YOU are TALENTED and AMAZING and YOU INSPIRE and ENCOURAGE me everyday! I want to share you with the whole bloggy world! 

    You can email me at or let me know on my NW Momma facebook page, or leave a COMMENT here.

    I'm looking forward to seeing who my first GUEST BLOGGER will be!

    There is joy in the journey!

    Thanks friends,

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    Why I Kicked Perfectionism to the Curb (and why you should, too) Part 2

    Hello, my name is Kat and I'm a recovering Perfectionist........

    Sometimes I feel this is how I should introduce myself.... it would explain so much! I think many people, especially women and moms in particular, share the same struggle I do with Perfectionism. It's tough out there in "Mommy World". We put tremendous pressure on ourselves to be the PERFECT MOM. Many of us strive to be THAT MOM: beautiful, organized, with beautiful, well behaved, brilliant children, living happy, well-adjusted lives with everything going perfectly all the time....the very picture of  PERFECTION. Well, I have come to learn THAT MOM does NOT EXIST. I'm here to encourage you, to LIGHTEN UP on yourself. Quit comparing yourself to other moms and the fantasy of THAT MOM. Get a cup of coffee, sit down, spend 5 minutes reading this post and let me save you years of MISERY. Let me share with you how to recognize PERFECTIONISM and how to OVERCOME it.

    In Part 1, we learned that Perfectionism, while not an addiction like alcoholism, is a powerful BELIEF. Perfectionists believe that perfection can and should be attained and that any work (or output) that isn't perfect is unacceptable.  We also learned that Perfectionism has both a positive and negative side. On the positive side, Perfectionism can be a driving force which enables people to overcome great obstacles and achieve their goals. Many top athletes, famous artists and people of great achievement have been known to have perfectionist tendencies. On the flip side, the negative aspects of Perfectionism are many and can be damaging: low self-esteem, difficulties in intimate relationships, depression and workaholism to name a few.. I'm here to tell you, THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF PERFECTIONISM FAR OUTWEIGHS ANY POSITIVE BENEFITS!!!!

    Maybe you're not a full-blown Perfectionist like I was (I'm in recovery, remember?)  Maybe you just dabble in it once in awhile, just sticking your big toe in that murky and churning water every so often when the pressure of your life builds. No matter the level of your experience with Perfectionism, you need to recognize the signs of it, so you can stop before you find yourself drowning in self-loathing and anxiety. Here are a few questions to ask yourself. BE HONEST.

    1) Do you feel like a failure if there are areas of your life which aren't perfect?
    2) Do you feel extreme anxiety when you think you may have made a mistake?
    3) Do you have a difficult time admitting you were wrong?
    4) Are you overly critical of yourself?
    5) Are you critical of others at times?
    6) Do you find it difficult to take a compliment, or accolade?
    7) Are you a workaholic? Do you put goals ahead of relationships?
    8) Do you eat too much? (Due to anxiety/stress)
    9) Do you eat too little?(Due to anxiety/stress)
    10) Do you think you "could have done better" on a given task, even if it was done well?
    11) Do you procrastinate at times because you want to be able to accomplish a task perfectly?

    If you see yourself in the above questions, you may be struggling with Perfectionism and if you are, you know the pain it is causing in your life. However, there is HOPE. Recognizing it is the first step! Good for you! Now you can begin the process of RECOVERY. Trust me friend, I'm right there with you and you'll be so glad you did!
    Okay, so what now?  How do we keep our Perfectionism in check? Here are some of the things that have helped me immensely in my struggle to stop using Perfectionism as a coping tool and start coping in a more healthy manner. I hope they'll help you, too!

    1) Do my best, and Give God the rest--- All we can do is try our best. THAT'S IT. That is all that is required of us and all we can do. If you have given it your all, then turn the rest over to God. This leads us to our next step....

    2) Turn it over to God and then LEAVE IT THERE. Don't pick it back up again. You've done your best, now LEAVE IT. Don't continue to obsess, worry and second-guess. Just know that you gave it your all and MOVE ON.

    3) Be KIND to yourself. Would you ever treat a friend the way you treat yourself? Heck no! We are so good at encouraging others, but can't seem to do that for ourselves. You aren't perfect and that's okay, nobody is! Remind yourself of what you have accomplished, the blessings you have in your life, the people who love you. If you are as bad as you think you are, would you have so much GOOD in your life?

    4) Accept failure. Now I'm the first one to say we should strive to do our best, and we should, but the reality is we are going to fail at times. It's OKAY. It's NORMAL. It's NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Put it in perspective and LEARN FROM IT. Be the fist to admit it. Laugh about it if you can!

    5) Don't take yourself and life TOO SERIOUSLY. Really, we need to lighten up on ourselves. If the house isn't perfect, the Christmas card photo isn't just right, if we make a mistake at work, what is the worst that can happen REALLY? People won't stop liking and loving you just because you made a mistake. In fact, when you're not acting so darn PERFECT all the time, they might be able to relate to you more!

    I hope these posts on Perfectionism have been helpful to you. I struggled for so many years, and still do, but I'm here to tell you that you can overcome Perfectionism and lead a more fulfilled and joy-filled life! Sometimes it rears it's ugly head when you least expect it, but you can recognize it and decide NOT TO STAY there in that angst-ridden place. You can kick it to the curb in that moment, until you need to kick it to the curb next time! There is JOY in the Journey!

    Thanks friends,

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Why I've Kicked Perfectionism to the Curb (and you should too) PART 1

    Perfectionism , is a belief that perfection can and should be attained. In its pathological form, perfectionism is a belief that work or output that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable. At such levels, this is considered an unhealthy belief, and psychologists typically refer to such individuals as maladaptive perfectionists.
    I had one of "THOSE" mornings this morning. My sweet hubby, who is up before me, usually wakes me up at the same time every morning, woke me up late and my whole morning was off to a rocky start. I was running late, and it seemed the kids were moving in slow motion! I was barking at everyone. I was grouchy. I was stressed. I didn't want my youngest daughter to be late to school and so I was running around like a crazy woman and did I mention I was grouchy?

    After I dropped my daughter off at school ( she made it on time, but barely), I took a moment to look at why I was feeling so much anxiety. I concluded it's my old friend and nemesis, Perfectionism, rearing it's ugly head again.

    I have struggled with perfectionism most of my life. As a child I remember when I was learning to print in school, erasing my letters over and over again to get them "perfect". As a teen it surfaced in other ways. On the surface I didn't look like a perfectionist. My room was messy, I would often procrastinate on my homework, then cram to get it done at the last minute. ( I found out later that procrastination is a sign of perfectionism).  But here's the thing, despite my messy room, I wanted to look perfect and went to great lengths to do so. Even though I crammed, I still wanted to get really good grades and for the most part, I did. The perfectionism was still there, under the surface, pushing me. 

    My struggle with perfectionism really kicked into high gear in college. I started college as a single, unwed mother at age 19, with a 12 month-old daughter. To say I was overwhelmed, is an understatement. Alone in Seattle, balancing parenting, a full load of college classes, and two jobs, at times it felt impossible. But I was determined. I was driven. I would not accept failure. At that time perfectionism was my friend. I used it to my advantage. During most of those 4 years I was seriously sleep deprived. I would go to class and then to work, take care of my daughter in the evenings with dinner, bath time and bedtime, and then would start my homework after she fell asleep. For most of those four years I slept an average of 4-5 hours per night. It wasn't the perfectionism that motivated me, I wanted my daughter to have a better life and I knew I had to get a college degree in order to do that. She was my biggest motivator, but perfectionism was the faulty coping mechanism I drew upon in order to get it done. I ended up graduating with a B.A. in Communication with a minor in Journalism in the top 10% of my class. Yes, perfectionism does have a positive side.

    I continued to use perfectionism as a coping tool in my career and saw the benefits. I tended to be a workaholic, and was loved by my employers because I was always willing to go the extra mile to "get it done". I was an employers dream. I needed no outside motivation, I provided it for myself. I was my own worst critic and judge. I kept striving to do better and better and to be more and more perfect. I didn't need my boss to give me a pep talk, I was always pushing myself. The result?  I was really good at my job. I won awards. I was recognized as one of the best in my field. My clients loved me because I was constantly striving to make them happy. A strong work ethic I learned from my mom and wanting to help people, were my motivation, but Perfectionism drove me.

    According to the authors of the book "Too Perfect" perfectionism can have a positive and negative side:

    "In a positive form, perfectionism can provide the driving energy which leads to great achievement. The meticulous attention to detail, necessary for scientific investigation, the commitment which pushes composers to keep working until the music realizes the glorious sounds playing in the imagination, and the persistence which keeps great artists at their easels until their creation matches their conception all result from perfectionism".

    Further more, researchers have found, high-achieving athletes, scientists, and artists often show signs of perfectionism. For example, Michelangelo's perfectionism may have spurred him to create masterpieces such as the statue David  and the Sistine Chapel. Perfectionism is associated with giftedness in children. (Perfectionism in psychology,

    So, perfectionism can have a positive side, but I argue the down side of Perfectionism outweighs any potential benefits!

    Inits pathological form, perfectionism can be very damaging. It can contribute to underachievement, procrastination, fear of failure, the all-or-nothing mindset, paralyzed perfectionism, and workaholism.
    In intimate relationships, unrealistic expectations can cause significant dissatisfaction for both partners . Perfectionists may sacrifice family and social activities in the quest for their goals.
    Perfectionists can suffer anxiety and low self-esteem. Perfectionism is a risk factor for obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, self harm and clinical depression.

    So how does the negative side of perfectionism affect my life personally? Oh, let me count the ways!

    I'm never fully happy with myself.
    I don't enjoy compliments, awards or accolades because deep down I don't feel I deserve them.
    I often feel like a failure.
    I often feel I could have done better.
    I have a hard time admitting I am wrong.
    I put unrealistic expectations on myself. 
    I put unrealistic expectations on others.
    I'm often critical of myself.
    I'm often critical of others.
    I have a need to feel in control.
    I don't feel joy when I should.
    I'm often afraid of failing.

    Reading this list reminds me of how much perfectionism has cost me, no ROBBED me of the some of the joy in my life. It's really such a terrible trap. It's a trap because even when you strive and strive and achieve success, the perfectionism doesn't allow you to enjoy it! So, is it a good way to cope? Obviously, the answer is NO. And of course, there's the obvious fact: NO ONE IS PERFECT, EVER. We know all this logically, but unconsciously, we are driven to keep trying. WHY? Because it is a way to feel safe.

    According to Mallinger and DeWyze, the authors of "Too Perfect",  "Perfectionists are obsessives who need to feel in control at all times to protect themselves and ensure their own safety. By being constantly vigilant and trying extremely hard, they can ensure that they not only fail to disappoint or are beyond reproach but that they can protect against unforeseen issues."

    Growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father, who abandoned his family only to return periodically and terrorize them, my home life was often emotionally chaotic. I can see why I developed perfectionism as a faulty coping mechanism. I wanted to have control over something in my life. I couldn't control my parents divorce, my father's alcoholism and subsequent anger and violence, but I could control me. As a child I thought if I was good enough, my father would love me and everything would be better. This began my life-long struggle with perfectionism. 


    See you then! Would love to hear your comments on this post!
    Thanks friends,

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    NEW BOGO! Buy One, Get One Free MASSAGE- exclusive offer for NW Momma followers!

    Just in time for the holidays, NW Momma is excited to announce an AMAZING offer for NW Momma followers only! A buy one free, get one free event sponsored by Licensed Massage Therapist, Leanne Kuhlman, of Waterland Wellness Massage!

    Buy one (1 hour) Massage for regular price ($65.00) and get a second (1 hour) Massage for FREE!

    Wow! That's a $65.00 value! Buy a massage for yourself and give one as a gift for a friend!
    Makes a GREAT gift!

    Here are the simple details of this offer:
    1) You must be a "follower" of NW Momma. It's easy to join as a follower, just click the "Become A Follower" on the right hand side of my blog.
    2) You must mention NW Momma when purchasing your Massage(s).
    3) This offer is valid only when purchased and booked with Leanne Kuhlman at the Waterland Wellness Massage location in Des Moines, WA.
    4) This offer expires Jan 5, 2011.

    Please contact Leanne Kuhlman directly at the number below to take advantage of this FANTASTIC offer!

    Leanne Kuhlman, LMP
    Licensed Massage Therapist
    WaterlandWellness Massage
    22014 7th Avenue South

    Suite 106
    Des Moines, WA 98198
    (206) 824-1441

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    NW Momma is now on FACEBOOK and a NEW EMAIL SUBSCIPTION feature!

    I'm so excited for a couple of reasons! First, NW Momma now has it's own facebook page! You can become a "FAN" and keep up on all the latest posts and giveaways right from your facebook page! You'll notice on the right hand side I've added a tab that says "FAN ME ON FACEBOOK", you can just click on that and viola! you'll "Like" NW Momma on your facebook page!

    Also, I've added a new EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION tab on the right hand side as well, which is so handy because it allows you to receive the latest posts from NW Momma right in your email inbox! It's super easy and ensures you won't miss a thing on NW Momma!

    And finally, I'm super excited because tomorrow I'm announcing a special BOGO (buy one, get one free) offer for NW Momma followers only! It's a fantastic offer you won't want to miss as it involves a FREE MASSAGE!

    I'm so happy to extend NW Momma to facebook and make it convenient for you to get recent posts in your email inbox. I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment and connect!

    Check in tomorrow for the FREE MASSAGE BOGO! And thanks again to all my friends, family and followers who are giving me such wonderful encouragement in the creation of NW Momma!

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Together In Our Shared Journey- Creating A Meaningful Gift

    As we approach the holidays and enter the season of gift-giving, I'm always trying to find meaningful gifts to give my friends and family. As I reflect on some of the most meaningful gifts I've been fortunate enough to receive over the years, one in particular stands out in my mind; a lovely haiku written by my niece Laura.

    Haiku is centuries-old, traditional Japanese poetry consisting of three phrases. The first line must have 5 syllables, the second line must have 7 syllables and the third line must have 5 syllables. Laura's haiku written for me described some of the traits she appreciated about me. I was amazed at how those three little phrases could be so touching and personal. I think this is why people love to write (and read) haiku; they are brief, but deeply meaningful.

    Many of us were taught, and maybe even tried our hand at writing haiku in elementary school. This is the beauty of this type of poetry, even children can understand the simple format and and can learn to express themselves by writing haiku. This form of poetry lends itself to a variety of topics. The sky's the limit!  A favorite vacation, a best friend, the family pet, the changing seasons or a special holiday could be a good start for a child's haiku, or yours for that matter! To start, begin brainstorming and writing down thoughts about your given topic. Then work your thoughts into phrases using the the 5-7-5 format. The following is a very simple example of this format:

    To write a haiku (5)
    One must be able to count (7)
    To five and seven (5)

    As you can see, it's very simple! As I've started learning more about haiku, I've found some nifty sites devoted to haiku writing. One that I love is It has a handy syllable counter that lets you type in the phrase you want to use and it will tell you exactly how many syllables it contains. Another useful website is, where you can find more interesting words to liven up your writing. I encourage you to try writing haiku! Once you start, you'll see why it has been so popular for so long.

    As you search for a personal and meaningful gift to give this holiday season, I hope you'll consider writing haiku! One idea is to include your children and spend some time writing haiku together, and then create a book of poetry to give as gifts...what grandparent wouldn't love that?

    I hope you'll share your haiku with me here at NW MOMMA in the comment section below this post. I'd love to hear from you!

    Here's the haiku Laura wrote for me:

    Emerald green eyes
    A courageous heart beats
    Holds wisdom inside

    I was so touched, I wanted to return the favor, so here's a haiku I wrote for Laura.....

    Kindly globe trotter
    Speaking languages of love
    Steadfast secret twin

    And here's one I wrote about Christmas eve at our house......

    Christmas Eve
    Sweet children laughing
    Smells cozy of fir tree and cider
    Peace and love live here

    Happy Holidays and Happy Writing!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    TOGETHER IN THE KITCHEN-- Grandma Cameron's Apple Pudding

    My Grandma Cameron was an amazing woman! She was the original NW Momma! It seemed there was nothing Grandma Cameron couldn't do! She grew a fantastic garden every year, canned fruits and vegetables to share with friends and family, sewed, knitted, crocheted, and baked her own bread. She also enjoyed singing, playing the piano, painting, ceramics, and writing poetry.  Whenever friends or family would visit her small, but cozy home nestled in the trees in the Columbia River Gorge, they would be welcomed with love and the most delicious food they had ever eaten. Everyone loved Grandma Cameron's apple pudding and your family will love it, too!


    1/4 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    2 c. finely chopped peeled apples
    1 c. flour
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    1/4 tsp. cloves

    Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
    Add egg and apples.
    Sift dry ingredients together. Add to apple mixture; mix well.
    Spread into a greased 8-inch square baking pan.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
    Cool. Serve with milk or whip cream on top, if desired.

    Iva H. Cameron
    Stevenson, Washington

    I love it warm with milk on top! Yum!


    1) GIVE TOGETHER. With the holidays coming, local food banks need extra help. You can donate food, cash or your time.


    SW Washington:


    2) PLAY TOGETHER! Find some snow! Downhill ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, go tubing, or just build a snowman. The great thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is you can get to snowy mountain destinations quickly and easily no matter where you live. Check out this great link to Washington State Parks for family-friendly destinations for snowy fun:

    3) BAKE TOGETHER! Cookie Cutters bring out the child in all of us! This sugar cookie recipe is so easy, you'll want to make extra batches to decorate and give to friends and neighbors! Your kids will love decorating these with you!

    The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies


    • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt


    1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
    2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
    3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
    4. Decorate! 

    4) CRAFT TOGETHER! Make salt dough ornaments in your microwave! Want a Christmas craft you can make with your kids that will become a treasured ornament for years to come? This recipe for salt dough is really easy because you make it in your microwave! Decorate these ornaments with your kids and they will last for years to come!

    Salt Dough Ornament Recipe


  1. 4 cups of flour

  2. 1 cup of salt

  3. 1-1/2 cups of hot water

  4. holiday cookie cutters

  5. decorations - glitter, paint, beads, etc.

  6. Microwave Salt Dough Ornaments


    1. Half of the dough recipe featured above is enough to make all the ornaments shown above, plus some extras. You will also need paint in red, green, white, and gold, plus green glitter paint, and trims such as iridescent stars, pom poms, mini candy cane erasers, and glitter chenille stems.

    2. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut a variety of snowmen, Christmas trees and stars. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging, being sure to make the hole a little larger than you will want as they tend to close when baking.

    3. Using a microwave-safe plate (not paper or cardboard), microwave a plate of your ornaments for 1 to 4 minutes, increasing the time by 1 minute increments and keeping a close eye on the microwave as the ornaments bake. Microwave power levels differ greatly, so use high power in a less-powerful oven, but lower it if your oven tends to heat things very quickly. You don't want to risk a fire! Let the ornaments cool completely before decorating.

    4. Snowmen: Base coat white. Paint hats black. Use paint or markers for eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. You can also use paint to add a scarf, unless you are using chenille stems. Take one chenille stem and, leaving enough stem to form an arm on the left, wrap the stem around the neck, and form another arm on the right. Cut off excess stem and bend each end in a 1/4" to form hands. Add mini candy cane erasers if desired.

    5. Stars: Base coat white or gold. Add green glitter paint, or outline with gold paint or glitter paint, if desired. Glue an iridescent star in the middle of each ornament. Take a chenille stem and, leaving a little extra at the top to form half a loop, bend the stem around each star point, pushing in with your fingers until the stem will retain the star shape. You will find the stem ends at the top with some extra left over. Bend both of these end lengths together to form a hanging loop.

    6. Christmas Trees: Base coat green, then re-paint with green glitter paint. Add gold and white accents in a "garland" effect, then use red to add red "balls" to the tree. Glue sparkly pom poms or two iridescent stars glue together on top of the tree if desired.

    Variations: These are just some of the possibilities for decorating your microwaved salt dough ornaments. This is also a good kid's craft or group project - just microwave several batches of ornaments and provide a variety of paints, markers and embellishments to let everyone excercise creativity. Properly dried the ornaments should last for years.

    5) CREATE A FAMILY TRADITION TOGETHER! Go Christmas caroling, make Christmas cards and take them to a retirement home, shop for a Christmas gift for a needy child in your community...... Ask your child(ren) what they would like to do as a new family tradition and then involve them as much as possible. Creating traditions binds families together with shared memories.