Being Present


GUIDE (1)I usually try to post a new blog post at least once a week, but often life gets in the way. Things don’t always work out the way I want them to, and I’m slowly learning to be okay with that. So as much as I wanted to get a blog post up, it just didn’t happen. I won’t lie, at first, I stressed about it. Then, I decided to practice what I preach. I decided to be gentle with myself, to give myself grace, and to allow things to happen the way they happened.

Taking the week off showed me a lot about myself, and the things that trigger my anxiety. It also showed me that, like most, I make progress, and end up getting knocked three steps back. It’s no secret I’ve been on a journey of self-healing, and self-discovery. I’ve talked about it countless times before. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned to take the end with the downs. So, even though last week was filled with anxiety and negative thought, I’m choosing to put it behind me. I’m choosing to move on, to continue to grow, and to heal.

Of course, I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t share some tips with all of you 😊. I hope you find them helpful when you feel like life is becoming too much.

  1. Stay in the present moment.

I know, I know, I talk about this all the time! I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing it, but it’s so important to remember. There’s no rule that says you must be doing a million things at once. If you can stay focused on what’s happening right now, you don’t have to be concerned with tomorrow just yet. Simply take one step at a time. Observe your current situation, and engage with it in a way that’s best for your wellbeing.

  1. Find beauty in every moment. Even the ones that suck.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at this. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thought, but it’s so incredibly difficult to drag yourself out of it. I think the important thing is that I try my hardest to see beauty in everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m a negative Nancy. However, I try to no allow myself to be consumed with negativity anymore.

There is beauty in breaking your arm, if you’re open to seeing it. Choose possibility, choose beauty, choose to learn, choose to have an open mind, and more importantly choose to have an open heart.

  1. Embrace the surprises in life.

This is my final tip, and probably the hardest thing for me to do myself. Try to go into every situation with as few preconceived ideas as possible. Allow things to just happen, and then roll with it. When we think we know exactly how something is going to happen, we cloud that experience with a ready-made attitude. Simply let life unfold, and give yourself a break from trying to have it all figured out.

A perfect example of me embracing life’s surprises would be this past weekend. I had planned to write this blog post on Saturday, instead, I ended up taking a little road trip with my mother, my partner, and Walter. I could have said no. I could have told my mom we were busy, and just stayed home. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad, I decided to roll with one of life’s unexpected moments. I ended up having a great time with my family, and I would have missed that opportunity had I not been open to it.

I’ll end things with some pictures from our spontaneous family road trip. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take time to actually live life!

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Autistic Burnout


If you know me personally, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about autism before. It’s no secret that autism is something I’m very passionate about. I’m very vocal about autism awareness, but something I’m not very vocal about is my own diagnosis. For a very long time, I’ve known that I was different from “normal” people, but I could never really explain why. Plus, it doesn’t help that it’s a lot harder to diagnose girls with autism than it is boys. Because of that, I didn’t receive my diagnosis until I was an adult. However, being diagnosed with Aspergers is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As odd as it may sound, my diagnosis helped me begin my journey of self-love. My diagnosis gave me a better understanding of who I am.

I do want to make it very clear that autism is different for everyone. No two autistic people are alike, and just people I have autism, I do not speak for the entire autistic community. I can only speak to my struggles.

I’m not sure what I want this post to be, so please bear with my rambling. My hope is that this post will help people understand more about people on the spectrum. My hope is that this post will show people that just because someone is “high functioning” does not mean that autism doesn’t affect them. Autism is a disability, it’s often called the invisible disability because people on the spectrum suffer every single day, and often no one even notices. Just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Please keep that in mind before you make assumptions about people on the spectrum.

Today I won’t go into too much detail about my diagnosis, but I do want to discuss something that a lot of “high functioning” people struggle with and that’s Autistic burnout.

Many people who are close to me know I’ve been struggling with a ton of health issues recently. I dropped around 15 pounds almost overnight, and have been plagued by migraines. After some extensive research (and blood work) I’ve come to realize I was suffering from autistic burnout. I’m recovering now, but I still have days where I feel unwell, and struggle just to make it through. Like I said before, no two autistic people are alike so the way I experience burnout will be completely different from the way someone else experiences it. However, I hope sharing what helped me get through it will help someone else struggling.

For those of you who don’t know, burnout is defined as “long-term exhaustion, and diminished interest in work.” The symptoms of burnout often mirror those of clinical depression. Symptoms of burnout for autistic people can often include regression of coping skills. Autistic burnout often occurs in “high functioning” people. It stems from mental exhaustion caused by an intense effort to seem neurotypical. For those of you not on the spectrum, I’m sure it’s hard for you to understand what I mean. I guess the simplest way to put it is, it takes a lot of energy for an autistic person to try to be “normal”. Especially for those labeled as “high functioning”. Recently I read an excellent post from Planet autism blog, which said, “Basically, the high functioning you are, the more others expect of you, and, the more you push yourself.”


Like I said before, every autistic person is different so everyone’s symptoms of burnout will be different. For me, it presented has extreme tiredness, migraines, and a general lack of interest in things that are important to me. I spent a few weeks trying to deal with my symptoms on my own, but as they progressively got worse, my partner insisted I go see a doctor. I had a ton of lab work done, and everything came back normal so I was basically back to square one. I knew that I wasn’t depressed, and doctors had confirmed that there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me. I was despite for an answer, so I started googling my symptoms. I know, not the best idea but like I said, I was getting pretty despite. Of course, I ran into a lot of things that said I was dying, but then I found a ton of autistic bloggers that were writing about exactly what I was going through. I finally knew what was happening to me, and I cried for about an hour from sheer relief. Once I started reading more about autistic burnout, I realized that this wasn’t the first time that it had happened to me. I have dealt with this several times during my life, and I’m only 22 years old. The realization that I had dealt with this before kind of hit me hard. I really took some time to reflect on how I had handled burnout in the past. I’ll be honest, in the past, I struggled a lot with coping skills because I wasn’t diagnosed properly. I struggled a lot with anxiety, and addition, especially during a burnout. Obviously, I didn’t want to head down that path again, so this time I really focused on recovering from burnout a healthy way.

The first thing I did was try to relax. Honestly, this was the hardest thing for me to do. I’m a very high-strung person, I always have been. So, as you can imagine, relaxing is not something that comes naturally to me. However, I knew how important this step was. Stress was a big contributor to my burnout, so I knew eliminating stress was necessary for my well being.

The next thing I did was focus on doing more of the things I enjoyed. For me, that was blogging, or binge-watching YouTube videos until I fell asleep at night. Ideally, I would have taken some proper time off, but it just wasn’t possible for me. So, because I couldn’t fully abandon my normal routine, I changed more energy into the little things in life that bring me joy.

The last thing I’m going to mention is stimming, which is short for “self-stimulatory behavior”. Stimming is something that I think is extremely important for autistic people (if their personal safety isn’t an issue), there is a lot of debate about the topic but I think making time for stimming is vital for people on the spectrum. The stim most people think of when they hear the word autistic is head banging, or hitting. Obviously, this behavior isn’t healthy, and this energy should be channeled into a safer stim if possible. With all that being said, making time in my day just for stimming was a key part of my recovery. For me stimming is necessary. The extra sensory input stimming provides keeps me level-headed, and helps me control my anxiety.

I’d like to take a second to mention that clearly, I’m not an expert on autism. I’m only speaking from personal experience. If you’re interested in learning more about ASD please let me know. I’d be more than happy to write more post about autism.

If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with this long rambling post.  Your love and support mean the world to me.



How I Cut My Grocery Bill in Half


Some of you may know that I recently moved into a new apartment. This isn’t the first time I’ve lived on my own (meaning not with my parents), but this is the first time I’ve had to grocery shop for more than myself. Now I’m shopping for myself, Tyler, and our son Walter. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to be that difficult. Boy, was I wrong. I never realized how different things are when you’re responsible for feeding more than just yourself. I’ll be honest, the first month we lived on our own, our grocery budget was a mess. We were spending an astronomical amount on food every week. We were buying too much of one thing, and not enough of another. I’m sure it’s easy to imagine just how much we ended up throwing out that month because he had been pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about.

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate wasting money! Plus, we’re like most families, and can’t really afford to be wasting any money. So naturally, something had to be done to get our spending under control. Of course, I’ll be sharing all my tips with you guys! I’ve also created a free printable you can download; the link is at the end of this post!

1.The first thing I recommend is meal planning. Honestly, if I could only recommend one thing it would be this. Having a battle plan when you go into the grocery is incredibly helpful. We started out planning all our meal for the week, but I quickly discovered that didn’t really work for us. So now instead of planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we just plan our meals for the evening. When we go shopping, we buy a few options for breakfast (that way we’re not eating the same thing every morning), maybe one or two things to snack on, and whatever ingredients we need for our dinners. We never buy specific items for lunch because we always have leftovers from the night before. This is the best system for us. If you’re buying for more people, you might find planning all your meals is more helpful. Play around with meal planning and figure out what works best for you.

2.Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! I like to pride myself on having fun and exciting meals every week, and if it wasn’t for Pinterest I’d never be able to make that happen. It’s no secret that I’m not the best in the kitchen. I really thrive on easy recipes, thankfully there are some amazing bloggers out there that share fantastic recipes. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches every night. I know elaborate recipes can seem intimidating at first, but the trick is the find recipes that make basic, cheap ingredients taste amazing!

3.Only buy the ingredients you need. This was the hardest thing for me to do at first. I really had to change the way I was writing my shopping list. Say a recipe called for carrots, well instead of just writing carrots, I write carrots x 2. This way I’m only buying exactly what I need. Also, only buying the things we need for specific meals helps us cut down on the food we waste. I have specific ingredients for specific recipes which means, by the end of the week our fridge should be empty.

4.Try shopping at the farmers market. I know this may not be the case everywhere, but our local farmers market is amazing. We’re able to get most of our produce for the week, and most of the time we stay under $15. Having local, organic produce is something that we’ve chosen to make a priority, but I also understand that it’s just not possible for everyone. However, if you do have access to a local farmers market, I highly recommend going!

5.Shop at a discount grocery store like Aldi, or Lidl.Lidl is where we do our weekly grocery shopping, once we’ve hit the farmers market. I can’t praise this place enough, we’re able to buy everything we need for the week all while staying WAY under budget. Since switching to Lidl we’re able to buy quality, organic products which was something we could never afford before. If you like Aldi, you’ll love Lidl! If you have one near you, do yourself a favor and check it out!

I’d love to hear about your grocery budget. Leave me a comment here, or head on over to the Facebook page! I’d you’re ready to get your grocery budget under control, download the free printable I have for you here. It’s super simple, but it’ll get the job done. If you only want to print it once, but use it over and over, make a DIY dry erase board by placing the printable in a picture frame.