Friday, April 30, 2010

Strawberry Banana Pudding Pie

This pie was so yummy and easy I wanted to share the recipe with you! Enjoy!



Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 boxes of vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 2 bananas
  • 6-8 strawberries


Step One: The Crust

  • Melt butter in 2 cup measuring cup or microwave safe bowl
  • Stir in sugar with fork
  • Stir in Graham crackers
  • Grease pan for less sticking
  • Press graham cracker mix on bottom and sides of pie pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to set


Step 2: The fruit

  • Slice 1 1/2 bananas (feed other half banana to baby to keep him occupied while you make pie)
  • Slice a half dozen strawberries
  • Layer the fruit directly on the crust


Step 3: The pudding

  • Mix two 3.4 oz. boxes of vanilla pudding with 2 cups of milk
  • Add 1 cup of Cool Whip to the pudding
  • Pour the pudding mix on top of the fruit and spread with a spoon so it fills the crust
  • Spread Cool Whip on top of pudding. If desired, use frosting gun to make it cutesy. I don't have one, so I just used a spatula.
  • Add a few slices of banana and/or strawberry to the top for added beauty and flavor.
  • Attempt not to eat all in one sitting.


Suggestions for variations:

  • Add pineapple slices to the fruity layers and 1 cup of shredded coconut to the pudding for a tropical treat!
  • Try chocolate pudding with either bananas, strawberries or rasberries. Use chocolate Graham crackers for the crust!
  • Use soymilk or lactose free milk for the pudding if desired/necessary.


This yummy recipe post is linking up to Foodie Fridays @ Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and Momtrends

Monday, April 19, 2010

Body Image Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

For the past week (April 12-18th) I co-hosted a "Body Image Blog Carnival" with Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite! We had tons of great posts written by fabulous women who really shared their heart on this topic. But sadly, our Body Image Carnival has come to an end. I really enjoyed reading all of the great submissions. For one thing, it made me really feel like I'm part of a community (or at least an e-community!) full of women who, just like me, have insecurities and flaws, but are learning to love their bodies anyway. We tried to split it up into small chunks so it'd be possible to read all the featured posts each day, but just in case you missed any of the great posts, here's a complete listing of all the posts we featured. Any link that doesn't say where it leads goes to either Melodie's site or mine! Enjoy, and thanks again to all the participants, especially the lovely ladies who submitted posts and to Melodie for all her hard work!

How Breastfeeding Can Change Our Body Image

Less Breast at Momthings and the Snoot

BFAR, Breasts and Body Image at Pocket Buddha

Big B, Little B at Code Name Mama

Commentaries on New Study Breast Ptosis: Causes and Cure

Sagging Breasts? What's to Blame? at PhD in Parenting

Saggy Boobs and Nursing at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom

The Skinny on Being Skinny

You Can Never Tell About Anyone Just By Looking a guest post at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!

Too Thin? at Schmoopy Baby

She's Way Too Skinny at Step Up and Stand Out...For Real!

Extra Curves at Breastfeeding Momma

Weight Loss Surgery: My Ball and Chain at Cream of Mommy Soup

Who Am I?

Hello, I'm a Dancer at Hobo Mama

Learning From My Daughter at Living Peacefully With Children

Body Image at One Starry Night

The Goddess at Mother Flippin'

Body Image and Culture

"Mom Jeans" and the Curse of MILF at Tis Worthwhile

You Look Great at Lil' Snowflakes

The Body Image Carnival at Authentic Parenting

Happy to be Female at Breeder Brain

How Can I Avoid Beauty Obsession? at Breastfeeding Moms Unite

Sexy Moms

What is Sexy at The Bee in Your Bonnet

VII - Happily Ever After The End Part or LUCKY at Honest To Betsy

My Body - A Critical Look at Keeping Mum Sane

Making Peace

Making Peace at Strocel.com

Embarrassed by My Leg at Kim Through The Looking Glass

How Pregnancy Changed My Body at The Mahogany Way

Baby Body at Motherhood Saved My Life

Making Peace With My Body at Momopoly

Pregnancy Loss and Femininity at The Verve Path

Beach Body at DesignHER Momma

Three Practices for Loving The Skin You're In at Baby Dust Diaries

Cesarean Sections

What To Expect of Your Body After a C-Section

Eating Disorders

NEDA Walk Invitation guest post at Maman A Droit

Product Reviews

Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra

MENYKA Nursing and Maternity Wear

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making Peace With Our Bodies

This post is part of the Body Image Carnival held by myself, Maman A Droit and by Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite!. Each day we are featuring great submissions by real women about their body image. Most are moms, and all have heartfelt stories to tell.

We all have our flaws, things we'd change to have a "better" body. And it's easy to let these imperfections win out, to let them convince us that we have less worth because of them. But ultimately, reaching the goal of a positive body image comes down to one thing: embracing these imperfections and who you are, the way you are now.
Making peace with yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done. Today's featured posts share personal stories of how some fabulous women are making peace with their own bodies.

Amber from Keepin' it Real in the Suburbs talks about making peace with her body not being entirely her own anymore in her post, Making Peace.

I have deeply ambivalent feelings about this loss of control over my physical self. On the one hand, I am very grateful to have had this experience of birthing and breastfeeding my children. It is an amazing gift. They are amazing gifts. On the other hand, it hasn’t all been super-fun. I didn’t enjoy pregnancy much, between the nausea and the extreme emotions and the constant nosebleeds I got. I don’t really like its physical aftermath, either. And sometimes I really just want some time and space to myself, which isn’t always possible when you have these two little people underfoot.

Kim of Kim Through the Looking-Glass makes peace with her pregnancy-induced varicose veins in her post, Embarassed by My Leg .

I became unexpectedly pregnant with my son when my daughter was just one year old. My first symptom was a juicy varicose vein running across my thigh that made me say to myself - "Hey! I haven't seen one of those since ... oh no!" During my second pregnancy, my veins got much worse much more quickly.


Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite! makes peace with her c-section scar in her post, What to Expect of Your Body After a C-Section.

After I had time to take in the fact that my abdomen wore staples that looked like a Hannibal Lector mask, I was pretty upset that I wouldn’t be able to wear a cute bikini or pretty panties ever again. But I got over that aspect of my c-section pretty fast. My issues with my cesarean were more than skin deep. As far as my body image went I was a little more concerned with my deflated beach ball tummy and stretch marks.

Darcel from Mahogany Way makes peace with her stretchmarks, and not losing her pregnancy weight as fast as some people made her think she might, as she discusses in her post, How Pregnancy Changed My Body.

Watching my body transform, and having the baby belly was amazing. I still think pregnancy is amazing.
I was completely unprepared for the way my body would look later on. The stretch marks, and the way my belly was hanging down just made me feel disgusting. I hated that I had to wear maternity clothes for so long after she was born. I wanted to know why my body didn't snap back into place like the women I saw on TV.
I wanted to know when it was going to snap back.


Celina from Motherhood Saved My Life! makes peace with her "longjas" and episiotomy scar in her post

I don’t view these things as negative. These physical marks are worth the beautiful “prize” at the end of the 40 weeks. Don’t get me wrong I had a few issues with my body after I had each of my children. I gained a lot of weight with each baby and after escaping my first pregnancy stretch mark free, the pregnant belly of my second child wasn’t as forgiving.


In Making Peace With My Body Kate from Momopoly talks about how motherhood and her Catholic faith helped her in her struggle with eating disorders and gave her the inspiration she needed to make peace with her body.

But, like He does so often, God gave me a wake-up call, an “Ah-ha” moment that forced me to take a good, hard look at something other than my new butt graffiti. One day I was staring at Madeline’s naked body and admiring all of her dimples and rolls. She grinned at me, looking up with bright eyes. Something about that innocent smile crushed me. I began to cry as I realized that for the first time in my life my body angst wasn’t only hurting me, it was hurting my daughter. Each time I punished myself for not being thin enough, each time I shed tears over stretch marks, each time I stood in front of the mirror just to berate my body, I was transferring my hate to Madeline and failing to be a healthy role model.


The Verve Path discusses how miscarriage can impact body image and self-esteem, and provides some insights into how she made peace with her body after multiple miscarriages in Pregnancy Loss and Femininity .

It is obvious that a pregnancy loss can affect a woman (and her partner) in many ways emotionally and physically. The physical pain and hormones alone can wreck havoc. What I have realized with this most recent loss is that it affects my feelings of being feminine. Our sense of ourselves as feminine beings can be so intimately tied into our reproductive health and vitality that a loss can cast a dark shadow on our views of ourselves. Feelings of anger at your body, of being “broken”, of being “less of a woman”, are all very common. Personally, I have found that I face a major period of anger at my body.

Erika from DesignHER Momma talks about making peace with her new swimsuit body in her post, Beach Body.

I wish somebody would have shook me, looked me in the eye, and told me that I will never look as good as I do at that very moment. Told me that my stomach will never be as tight, and my b00bs will never be as perky. Told me to stand up straight and find some freakin' confidence.

Honestly, I don't wish for those days back. I'm happy and content with my place in life. I admit that things on my body wiggle and jiggle a bit more than they used to. I'm ok with this (kinda). My body has created and housed 3 perfect little babies, and I have the war wounds to prove it.

Paige from Baby Dust Diaries provides some tips for making peace with your own body in Three Practices for Loving the Skin You're In .

I find though, that there aren’t very many tools for physically practicing self-acceptance. If we wanted to learn to relax we could think about what stresses us and how we want to feel but we would also be able to implement daily practices, like breathing and meditation, to help us embrace the change. Here I present three practices for learning to love the skin you are in.

Also be sure to check out the great body image submissions from "Sexy Moms" that Melodie is featuring today at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Culture and Body Image

This post is part of the Body Image Carnival held by myself, Maman A Droit and by Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite!. Each day we are featuring great submissions by real women about their body image. Most are moms, and all have heartfelt stories to tell.

While much of body image is individual, there's also a large and undeniable amount of influence held by culture. Culture tells us the standards of beauty in our society, or at least held by a segment of our society, which we then individually choose to accept or reject.


In her post, "Mom jeans" and the Curse of MILF Jessica from This is Worthwhile rejects the inherent assumption in phrases like "MILF" and "mom jeans" that Mom=not hot.

In modern society mothers are discarded by the mainstream as sexy, powerful women based on the caricaturization of a few. Yes, some women wear clothing that is frumpy and ill-fitting. Yes, some women choose not to wear make-up or do their hair. But that does not mean it is a "mom look." It is that particular woman's expression of herself and she might also be a mother. It's not the mother in her that makes her dress in an unflattering way. It's the woman that she is that fuels those decisions. They are separate.


Over at Lil Snowflakes in You look great!, Sheryl observes a cultural phenomenon in which people seem to think it's okay to say just about anything to pregnant women.

As I gained weight my body changed and suddenly it became a topic of conversation for anyone that I encountered. Not a day went by without someone commenting on my body. Here are some examples: How much weight have you gained? Your face has really changed! You look like you're having a girl (code for: your face is fat!).


Mama Poekie at Authentic Parenting shares her experience examining her body image in light of Western culture and then Western African culture.

I moved to Africa three years ago and from then on, things really started to change. Over a period of six months, I had gained back all the weight I had lost through years of dieting. Our cook was trying to do a good job, which meant that his bosses needed to be well nourished, and every time I tried to explain how to cook healthy meals, he added oil or sugar when I wasn’t watching. At that time we were living in Cameroon, where really fat people are considered beautiful. This led to horrifying cultural clashes: the plumber coming over telling me Cameroon did me justice, because I had gotten so big! That’s probably the last thing you want to hear if you are living with the ‘thin is beautiful’ mindset we are raised by.


Carolyn from Breeder Brain thought she had fully explored her gender identity... until she became a mother, as she discusses in her post, Happy to Be Female.

When I was born, I was labeled female and given a female name and raised as a girl. I don’t remember ever feeling strongly about my sex or gender identity until recently. My sense of self and my perception of how my physical body and how society expected me to be meshed well enough for me to get by.”



Also be sure to check out The Skinny on Being Skinny where Melodie features some great posts about how "skinny" women view their own bodies.