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I wrote this last Summer and think it is still a great reminder for anyone having body image issues (myself included lately). I don’t know when I will be back to regularly posting blogs but wanted to re-post this particular blog in hopes it can help at least one person.

 

Written by: Myself (DiaryOfATattooedMom)
Original post: https://diaryofatattooedmom.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/every-body-is-a-beach-body/

 

Every body is a beach body….

SO PUT ON THE DAMN SWIMSUIT AND ENJOY YOURSELF ! ! !

I find myself telling a friend or two the same thing every year “We’re going to the beach to have fun, there will always be someone more skinnier than you, more fit or bigger than you and they’re not going to give a damn what you’re wearing so just have fun” but have never took my own advice, I know bad me how dare I bla bla bla

I don’t remember what age I was when I got my first real bikini but I’m sure I was probably excited to wear the it because maybe just maybe I would feel just as beautiful as my step sister and all her friends when they wore theirs. However when I saw them in their suits and me in mine I got that harsh realization that my body will never look like theirs but tried to ignore it and enjoy just being in the water swimming.

When I was in my very early teens years, I got boobs, my families big hips and their big ol’ bubble butt. I had begged/dreamed for some curves like my favorite singer, actors…etc or even like some of the girls who were dancers at my school. However life (more so genetics)  decided that it should all be settled on my thighs and my waist. These were not the curves I’d envisioned when I’d submitted my requests an I immediately felt like I got the shaft. All the other women in my family were gorgeous and confident. Even my little cousin rocked her beautiful freckles that looked like they were placed on her face by the worlds greatest painters. My dreams of lounging on the beach or pool side in a cute bikini were gone and I scrambled to try to find a “look” that would work for me. I ended up with going for the “surfer look” and rock out the board shorts and bikini top. Which ended up working out for me after because I got more active. I’ve never had a six pack but my flattish tummy was good enough for me to case any of my insecurities away until I was having fun in the moment. It also helped that I kept convincing myself that board shorts were a good option because you don’t have awkward wedges with board shorts like you do picking out a bikini bottom that decided it wanted to live it’s dream of being a thong.

Life went on, the summer seasons did too and during my pregnancy with my son, I felt beautiful. I would of liked to tell people that but was still a little shy / insecure because I’ve become that person who kind of just blends in. Like it felt okay to admit that I felt like I had a natural beauty because I was harboring a human. I was legit glowing and the curves felt like they were in all the right places and I didn’t compare my body to anyone else because I was growing a person inside me and that felt like a miraculous situation all in it’s own but I couldn’t just say “I’m beautiful” out loud yet.

My son was born, my body changed as bodies do with time and age and having a baby. And I dreaded the up coming swimsuit season all over again, even wondering if I would even attempt to put one on. I dreaded the times when my thighs and my stomach would be on display next to others.

As I mentioned I’ve been “fit and healthy” but have always had a little more meat on my bones and the reality is… there are really big things worth fearing in this world. And yet I feared a damn swimsuit.

My body has been torn all apart and put back together during my c-section / other life events, I’ve always fluctuated in my weight. I’ve gone through somethings that made me think maybe I wouldn’t know this body of mine anymore as I once did. That perhaps I’d only be a soul wandering around being too busy no raising my little human on my own to ever really focus on me and I wonder now… what did I miss because I wouldn’t wear the damn swimsuit?!

I have had more anxiety at times over the thought of wearing a suit than I did when I would go 4x4ing or that time when I was scared sitting in the back of my Dad’s truck going backwards down a mountain side cause the breaks failed. Even more importantly I’ve realized this: if in my almost 30 years, there hasn’t been a year in more than 2 decades that I can recall being one hundred percent “comfortable” in any sort of clothing…that I’m the one holding myself back. I’m the one comparing my legs, stomach, skin and even my big ol’ booty. And I gotta let it go. If I want to truly live in the moment of the moments… I’ve got to Elsa the situation and just let it go all while being my fabulous self.

I haven’t done it for long but this is what I’ve learned so far…

Wear the damn swimsuit. Just wear it. If you want to be in on the action splashing with kiddos soaking up the sun, not caring if you get soaked. Not caring that your thighs are friends who are constantly hugging or if you want to look at it as being one step closer to being a mermaid just wear the damn swimsuit and have fun.

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Eat the burger! Enjoy your favorite food because hating food or being scared of what it will do to your body it will only cause bigger issues. Just keep it all in moderation and enjoy it all because much like yourself food is amazing.

Dance when there’s no dance floor. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway if you wanna dance do it.

Sing like you’re on The Voice. In the shower. In your car. On the stage if you have the courage to do that just sing it loud and proud.

Take a moment to just sit there with the sun on your face and enjoy the warmth.

Or take a moment sipping on a warm drink listening to the rain hit the ground.

Tell someone “Thank you” even if it was just them holding the door for you or the cashier ringing in your groceries.

Call someone and say “I love you

If you miss someone or have been meaning to reach out to someone just do it. Pick up the phone and call them.

Snuggle your kiddo, dog, cat, spouse, whoever you care about just a little longer because our time with them isn’t promised.

Let the dishes wait, because there will always be dishes.

Let the clothes in the dryer sit there a little longer and enjoy the afternoon with friends / family because much like the dishes laundry never goes away.

Write, share and tell your story. It doesn’t have to be on a blog or public either. Go to the store or look online for a journal and write down your memories / story there.

Life is shorter than short, we all already say “Can you believe it’s already {insert time of year here}” just wear the damn swimsuit and enjoy life.

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So a little explanation as to why there hasn’t been a blog for three months.

To keep it super simple, I’ve been enjoying life with minimal screen’s / tech and enjoying my new little family. I’ve kept it pretty hush hush but I am lucky enough to be with an old high school sweetheart that I’ve known for well over fifteen years. So my little family of just my son and I now have one more and we couldn’t be happier. I’m still going to keep most of all that pretty hush hush and private but thought an explanation for lack of content.

Once everything settles from summer fun, family experiences and back to school craziness I’ll try to be more consistent with my content. I do still plan on starting a vlog that will be kind of a mix of everything ( cooking, family / day-to-day / adventures..etc) but for now if you want to follow me check out my social media.

SnapChat
Username: doatm or use my snap code below
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Instagram
Username: diaryofatattooedmom
https://www.instagram.com/diaryofatattooedmom/

 

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I promise to make the wait worth it with yummy new recipes and helpful life to life tips.

 

As a parent we want nothing but the best for our children and to watch them succeed. That still rings true when you’re a parent to a child on the spectrum only it’s harder to see the big picture or feel major judgmental guilt from yourself / others while your child is going through their daily struggles. Preeti’s post came up in my feed and it was a good reminder that I needed to tell myself, perhaps it will be useful to you as well. It doesn’t matter if your child is on the spectrum, is “normal”, has ADD or whatever their story may be all their paths will be different and it’s important to remember that being judgemental of themselves or other will get them no where. Be proud of who you are and what you yourself have accomplished, because this is your path that you are taking in life.

 

Original writer:Preeti Dixit
Original post: https://themighty.com/2018/03/from-one-autism-parent-to-another/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Autism_Page

 

Being an autism parent can be hard. Not only do we have to deal with substantial challenges while raising our kids, but we have to do so while facing social isolation. Ours can be a lonely road, marred by self-doubt and plagued by lack of validation.

While other parents talk about their kids excelling at school and sports and extra-curricular activities, we are trying to help our kids manage their sensory issues — perhaps to brush their teeth without crying, wash their hair without screaming, cut their nails without panicking, and generally go through the day without having a meltdown. Only another autism parent can understand why my son getting a haircut at a salon makes me want to celebrate, and why my son playing at the park makes me want to cry.

Parents of neurotypical kids cannot understand what we are going through because they haven’t experienced what we experience daily. It is important to keep this in mind, and not judge them or be affected by their judgment. It is also important to accept that our paths diverged the moment we started our journey and stop comparing ourselves to them and our lives to their lives.

It is very much possible to live a happy and fulfilling life with autism once we let go of our idea of a “good” life and focus on the good (which you will find in abundance once you start looking) in our life instead.

lemon skewers

 

What you will need:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried mint
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces of beef or chicken, cut into cubes

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Cut your meat into cubes and put them onto a skewers, I can normally get four or five skewers out of eight ounces of meat

2. Line kabobs in a large baking dish in a single layer.
3.  Whisk together a marinade using the olive oil through chili flakes.
4. Drizzle the marinade over the kabobs, then let them marinate the kabobs for 30 minutes, rotating once.

5. Pre-heat grill or broiler on high heat. Grill or broil kabobs for 8-12 minutes, rotating once halfway through the cooking process.

6. Let rest for 8 minutes before serving.

 

.:Side Notes:.

I prefer to use metal skewers but bamboo / wooden ones work just as well.
This recipe also works great with shrimp.
If you want a more “full” skewer try putting bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes or mushrooms between each piece of meat.
Greek-Shrimp

From One Mom To Another

To the mom hiding in their locked bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks..

To the mom who is so tired she feel likes she can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs but won’t because if she does she feels nothing will ever get done…

To the mom crying  after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy…

To the mom that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all she really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about herself…

To the mom that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now…

To the mom that is calling out for food again because dinner just didn’t happen the way she wanted it to…

To the mom that feels alone, whether in a room by herself or standing in a crowd…

You are enough.
You are important.
You are worthy.

This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.

In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.

You are enough.
You are doing your best.
You got this.

Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.

Those little hands that reach out to hold you – they think you are the strongest. They think you can conquer the world.

Those little mouths eating the food you gave them (even if it was a battle at first) – they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.

Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours – they don’t want anything more. They just want you.

Because you are enough. You are more than enough, and you got this.
You. Are. Amazing. ❤️

Basic French Macaroon

What you will need:
For the macaroon:
2/3 cup ground almonds, finely ground
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus an extra 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
For the macaroon:
1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
2. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until whites are foamy; beat in white sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy, fluffy, and hold soft peaks.

3. Sift confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a separate bowl and quickly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, about 30 strokes.

4. Spoon a small amount of batter into a plastic bag with a small corner cut off and pipe a test disk of batter, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, onto prepared baking sheet.

5. When batter is mixed enough to flatten immediately into an even disk, spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip.

6. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in rounds, leaving space between the disks. Let the piped cookies stand out at room temperature until they form a hard skin on top, roughly 1 hour.

7. Preheat oven to 285 degrees F (140 degrees C).
8.
Bake cookies until set but not browned, about 10 minutes; let cookies cool completely before filling.

For the filling:
1. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), cream butter until soft and smooth.
2. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

To assemble the macaroon:
1. Transfer the buttercream filling into a piping bag with a round tip.
2. Pipe a swirl of filling on half the cookies.
3. Sandwich cookies together with the remaining halves.

 

.: Side Notes:.
If the disk of batter holds a peak instead of flattening immediately, gently fold the batter a few more times and retest.

If you don’t think your almonds are ground finely enough feel free to use almond meal instead.

These macaroons can be stored in the fridge for 24-48 hours uncovered, but can last in the fridge in an air-tight for up to a week
.

Once you get the hang of making these you can change up flavors of not only the macaroon but the filling as well. The ones in the picture are cookies and cream flavor and a chocolate hazelnut.

 

Cookies & Cream Macaroon, Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon

Pork Potstickers

What you will need:
For the filling:
1 pound ground pork
1 cup green cabbage, shredded 
2 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, fine chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated or minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Everything else:
1 (12 ounce) package round wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. In a large bowl, gently combine all of the filling ingredients with a wooden spoon.

2. Prepare a wrapping station by lining two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
– Lay as many wonton wrappers as will fit onto one baking sheet.
– Add a tablespoon of filling to the center of each wrapper.
– Fill a small bowl with water and set it next to your workstation.

3. Dip a finger in the water and run it along the entire edge of the round wonton wrapper closest to you.

4. Form the potsticker by bringing two sides of the wrap together to form a half moon shape. Begin by pinching the center of the potsticker and work your way from the center out to both sides, pinching to create a seal as you go.

5. Place the completed potsticker on the second baking sheet.
6. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers until all of the filling is used.
7. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat.
8. Working in batches, add potstickers in a single layer and cover the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove the cover and add 1/2 cup water.

9. Recover the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and steam until cooked through (another 5-7 minutes or so).

10. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and a little extra crushed red pepper flake to serve as a dipping sauce (this is totally optional, skip it if you want).

11. Serve warm and enjoy.

 

.: Side Note :.

If you’re not a fan of pork ground chicken works well with this recipe as well.

For easy grating, pop your ginger root in the freezer for 5 minutes then use a microplane zester to grate the ginger directly into the mixing bowl.

You can normally find round wonton wrapper in the ethnic aisle of any grocery store, my go to brand is Nasoya

 

potstickers

 

 

 

 

What you will need:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut roughly into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper, to taste

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender

3. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds more.
4. Remove the vegetables from the pan; place them on a plate and cover.
5. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and turn the heat to high. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil.

6. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

7. Add the vegetables back to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes or until the vegetables are warmed through.

8. In a bowl whisk together the oyster sauce, chicken broth, sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water.

9. Pour the oyster sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables; cook for 30 seconds. 10. Add the cornstarch and bring to a boil; cook for 1 more minute or until sauce has just started to thicken.

11. Serve as is by itself over some steamed rice, or try over some rice noodles.

 

.: Side Notes :.
If you don’t like mushrooms feel free to substitute baby corn, slices of carrots or more broccoli

This recipe is very versatile, you can change up the protein and easily use beef strips or prawns

If you’re looking to add more texture feel free to add some crushed up cashews or almonds on top.

chicken-and-broccoli-stir-fry

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again you don’t need a New Years resolutions and if you do make one don’t make it an empty resolution. I’m gonna take a jump back to 2016 to bring back some old advice that still stands true and may be able to help start this year off right.

No resolutions for me
Written by me in 2016

It’s been almost two full weeks into the New Year, and I want 2016 to be the year people actually accomplish stuff. It doesn’t matter if it is getting your first pull-up, running your first muddy marathon, or learning to play that guitar that sits there unused since you bought it at that random garage sale. And the way you’re going to do that is by saying no to resolutions.

Most New Year’s resolutions are hallow ideas that could realistically be set any time of the year and if they actually mattered to you and could be started when you actually want to make a change. Things like….

“I’m going to exercise every day.”

“I’m going to start brushing my teeth more”

“I’m going to eat better.”

Let’s be honest, we know these things aren’t going to become habit right away yet we declare a random  goal, and then we look back at year’s end and realize we never really got out of the starting gate. Things come up, life gets busy and then the excuses start to creep their way in so you don’t feel so bad about yourself and things like…

Well I told myself I wanted to run more and eat better, and I was motivated for a few weeks, but then life got busy and it kind of faded away…Oops

..I bet that started sounding real familiar.

You need to stop with those “motivational” quotes / photos because in the end they don’t really help. Instead try to make a goal board, something where you constantly see where you want to end up and actually write a plan on how you are going to get there. Don’t get me wrong motivation / inspiration are a great way to get started on figuring out what you want to achieve but in the end it won’t do the work for you. Only you can do the work and end up with where you want to be.

That decision to sit on the couch instead of going for a run isn’t just a lack of building the habit of running — it’s reinforcing the habit of sitting on the couch. The decision to eat fast food rather than something healthy isn’t just a decision to not eat better, it’s reinforcing the behavior of eating junk food.

Our brains are a wonderful, strange and very complicated thing. It does however always look for the past of least resistance, and when you perform an activity over and over again, it requires less brain power to get you to do that thing. Do you remember how tough it was to drive a car for the first time? How nervous you would be and possibly over think every little action. Now it’s something you can do with very minimal thought and is almost second nature.

When you are looking to build a new habit, start by keeping the habit small and attainable. Make it black-and-white and don’t leave room for excuses: I did this/I did not do this. The smaller the daily goal the better. A five minute walk, five minutes of playing that guitar, or even writing every day even if it is only just 250 words. Once you achieve your daily goals they can then be turned into weekly goals and then grow again into monthly goals so on and so forth. I personally try not to set up my goals for over a month just because for me after the first month I will let some things slide and let excuses take over, having to start from square one all over again.

To help build your new habit so you are achieving your goals you need to put a reward/accountability system in place . A reward/accountability system that does two key things: increases the pain associated with skipping the new habit, and increases the pleasure associated with completing the habit.

You NEED to take the power away from your brain to say “meh, I can skip the run this one time” or “meh, I just don’t feel like it today. I’ll make up for it tomorrow.”

If you set up a reward / accountability system you can put things in place like…

If you go for a short 15 – 20min run every day for the next 4 weeks, you earn a new pair of running shoes

…or how about finally getting that fitness tracker you had your eye on or new guitar tuner. Things like this  encourages you to continue on with your goal. Reward yourself with things that reward you back and also keep you on track with your goals. Also it’s ok being hard on yourself, if you didn’t keep up with your goals YOU DON’T GET REWARDED. You wouldn’t pay someone for a job they didn’t do would you ?

It’s also very important to make our environments work for us not against us. Change things up in your home to either take away temptations or help break the reliance on them, for example try…..

Throwing out all junk food in your house.

Blocking time wasting websites on your computer or add a screen locking setting after so many minutes.

Take the TV out of your bedroom, getting a better nights sleep with help in your day to day life no matter what your goal is.

Putting your alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. If your alarm clock is your cell phone move your cell phone charger so you can’t lie in bed and check it.

Changing up your environment will let you then focus more on your goals, because once you make that first initial change you can then….

Only stock your fridge with healthy food.

Pack your gym bag and leaving it in the back of your car always so you can work out before work/after work. Or even leave it by the front door next to your purse / house keys so you can grab it as you’re leaving.

Buy a Kindle with guitar books loaded on it and bring it everywhere so you read more.

Screw relying on “willpower” you create your own success by structuring your life and making your own new routines. You can either do it by yourself or with a group of friends. If you can find a group of friends or even just one person who has the same goals as you use each other to keep the accountability in achieving said goals. Plus you can implement a “lazy” fee, simply tell one another that if we try pulling the “not today” excuse you then owe the other person something. It could be as simple as five dollars or build up to “You now owe me lunch“. Finding people who have the same goals or even similar ones (going to the gym more or loosing those last ten pounds can work hand in hand) is a great way to not only keep up your goals but keep an interest in making a real change.

My only last piece of advice would be use Google to your advantage. The internet it a wonderful thing if you let it be, it has many solutions to almost any goal. There are recipes galore, tips and tricks on how to take those first few steps, even forms / groups where you can ask advice (most of the time judgement free).

So good luck to everyone, I hope this helps you not only set some new goals for yourself but also keep them.

On the eve of a new year

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Wish you all nothing but the best for the new year to come. Hope you all have a wonderful night full of fun, friends, food and being somewhere safe as well as warm

Please also remember that there is no excuse for drunk driving. If you are going out tonight have a designated driver, take a cab / taxi / uber / bus, walk just DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE ! ! !

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