You are beautiful….


“You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down….oh no
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down, oh, no
So don’t you bring me down today…” – Christina Aguilera

The sadness overwhelmed me to be honest. After I read the post (I was lying on the floor avoiding cleaning) I got all misty eyed and MDP came in and asked why was I crying. I told him about the post and he commented that it was sad and knowing me so well said you want to go get in the car and find and hug that woman don’t you. And I smiled because he is right.

Everyone is beautiful. Society, media, and marketing spend a heck of a lot of time trying to convince us we are not. Wrinkles are setting in? Oh no better spend thousands to get that fixed. Not a size 4? Better diet your ass down to one? Can’t do it? Wow, what a loser you are for not having the willpower. What you need are great supplements and pills that will help you. Supplements to suppress your appetite. Suppress your appetite? If you are truly hungry then you need to EAT!!!! Being hungry is your bodies way of telling you it needs food to keep it functioning. You have cellulite? Better not wear shorts and gross everyone out. Everyday this is what we are told. No wonder women (and men) don’t feel beautiful. :(

We have sections of magazines rating who wore it better….who cares? Why is this a thing?

One of the reasons I joined Live More Weigh Less (not the challenge (that’s free) but the full program (way not free) was not for weight loss. I think we all know where I stand on that. If I lost weight great but whatever. What I wanted out of the program was to be more feminine and to put more fun in my life with my female friends (I do just fine with guy friends). Now it probably makes me a crappy feminist to say that I wanted to be more feminine but the difference is I want that because I want that, not because society does. When I taught school I was uber feminine. I wore adorable heels with bows on them from Anthropologie. Pencil skirts with a little flare at the bottom. Lots of lace and bows. And plaid. When I stopped working in the outside world, that kind of just went away. I convinced myself in that if I’m staying home why do I need to wear make-up or get dress up? I became a frump.

I had tried to de-frump in the past with not a bunch of luck. I was trying too hard. Trying to do too much. Reality was I’m not going to wear a pencil skirt to bake cookies in. BUT I can wear a little make-up (I have to wear moisturizer…or I should, why not tinted?) and I always play up my best asset, my eyes, so there is always a little mascara on. A little color on the cheeks and I’m good to go. It takes like 3 minutes. If that. But I always feel better when I do. Even if I’m just wearing sweats I always feel a little more pulled together so to speak.

If you are doing the challenge with me, my female friends, and some of the female readers of this blog know that you are probably going to be asked to do things you don’t want to do. When I was on the program I was asked to have a dance party (for myself) in my living room for a week for a few minutes a day. I was like ummm, no. That is stupid and I will feel dumb. I did it anyway because I was like obviously I signed up to get out of my comfort zone and that was definitely not in the zip code of my comfort zone. The first two days I mostly was like this is stupid, I feel silly, and of course told the dog to stop judging me. But by day 3 I found myself kind of looking forward to dancing around badly to 80’s music (Pat Benetar and the Go-Go’s) and by day 7 it was just something I did for fun during the middle of the day and do it pretty much every week day to break up the routine. The dog still judges me though. :P

Point being I challenge you to realize that this is indeed a CHALLENGE. You wouldn’t have decided to sign up if you had not thought to yourself there wasn’t something you wanted to change or be better in your life. I have a pretty amazing life and I appreciate that more than you know even though not everything is hunky dory. But there is always room for improvement and room to be challenged.

One area that people feel challenged and afraid to try is homemade marshmallows. I had asked on Facebook (are you following me?) what flavor would you like to see and a good portion of people said peanut butter. So okay. Peanut butter it is. Which just happens to go amazingly with Peanut Butter Cups…to make a really kick ass S’more.

Marshmallows are pretty easy as long as you have an electric mixer, if you don’t I’m pretty sure you need one…. KitchenAid KSM150PSMC Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Metallic Chrome. Also if you are looking for powdered peanut butter, Bell Plantation makes some called PB2 PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Bundle – 2 Items: Powdered Peanut Butter 16 oz. and Powdered Chocolate Peanut Butter 16 oz, I use it in my smoothies mostly but it worked really well here.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow S'mores

Ingredients

  • PEANUT BUTTER MARHSMALLOWS
  • Bloom Stage
  • 4 1/2 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin (2 packets)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Syrup Stage
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup, divided…if you cannot find that use corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Mallowing Stage
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or in my case vanilla bean paste)
  • 4 TBSP powdered peanut butter (Bell Plantation makes a kind called PB2 that is what I used)

Instructions

  1. Lightly coat a 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe and coat the surface of the pan evenly.
  2. Add gelatin to a bowl of cold water. Whisk together and let soften for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, stir together the sugar, 1/4 of the corn syrup, water and salt over high heat.
  4. Boil, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (Make sure the tip does not touch the bottom of the pot)
  5. While boiling, pour remaining 1/4 cup of corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave gelatin on high for about 30 seconds. Stir again and pour into the mixer bowl. Set the speed to low and keep it running.
  6. When the syrup reaches 240 degrees F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl.
  7. Increase speed to medium and beat 5 minutes.
  8. Increase speed to medium high and beat 5 more minutes.
  9. Increase speed to highest setting and beat 1-2 minutes.
  10. Beat in vanilla bean paste and peanut butter powder. Mix until fully incorporated.
  11. Pour into prepared pan, using an offset spatula to quickly smooth it out.
  12. Adapted from Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever
  13. To make the S’mores:
  14. Simply cut the marshmallows (you should get about 9 really large ones), two graham crackers for every marshmallow, and a peanut butter cup for each one as well.
  15. Torch the marshmallow or microwave for 15 seconds to melt the marshmallow. Serve and enjoy.
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Comments

  1. I’m kind of in the same situation, only when I was younger in middle school/ high school years I refused to be girly because I didn’t want to be feminine. I think I owned like one skirt and all the dresses I owned were for special occasions, like homecoming/prom/etc. But now I’m trying to be a little more feminine. I’m trying to get the hang of eye shadow and every time I put it on I’m like “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!!” But it’s ok because my eyes are one of my best features too and I like adding to them :) I’m learning haha.

    Anyways, these look awesome! I didn’t know peanut butter flavored marshmallows could be possible! I tried making marshmallows once and it turned into cement. I’m dead serious… but maybe when I’m reunited with my mixer I will try again…

  2. @Becca- I hear ya on the make-up thing. My mom was allergic to make-up and never wore it. And I had brothers. I never learned how to do it. So I took a couple of make up lessons in my late 30′s because I was tired of not knowing. I’m still not great. I experiment on days I know I’m staying at home. Though I’m sure the UPS guy found it strange the day he came buy when I was in sweats and had a full on cat eye going. :)

  3. Oh my, talk about heavenly! These look so indulgent :) love it

  4. Don’t cry Peabody. I never write to make people cry.

    I never would have thought to use PB2 in marshmallows. Going to have to try that sometime. I’d like to try coating marshmallows with chocolate. These might be the ones to try that with.

  5. At first I was in the “real women have curves” camp, but following your pinterest boards helped me realize it shouldn’t be us vs. them. It should be real women in every form vs. the unreality portrayed in every aspect of the media.

    Oh and thank you for doing PB marshmallows! I had gotten some PB2 about 8 months ago with the intention of making some and now I don’t have to go through all the work of coming up with a recipe. :D You made my life easier, yay!

  6. Kelly- yes! It should not be us vs them. All women struggle regardless. My two friends who are the thinnest have the biggest body image struggles.
    We all have something amazing to offer the world!!!

  7. This is a great challenge. I’ve had my image struggles over the years (as you could see on my blog long ago) and I fight each day to be more positive and to continue in the right direction. I have days where I’m really girly and other days when I’m more of a tomboy. Here’s to being more accepting of ourselves and less critical of others as well.

    I’ll always be challenged by making homemade marshmallows, haha. LOVE the s’mores!! Another amazing recipe, as always.

  8. I might have to sign up for this challenge.

  9. I’m a little embarrassed that reading Zazzy’s post made me sob a little. I couldn’t get a comment to go through on her blog (some error message?), so I’m hoping she sees it here:

    Zazzy, I used to think like that. “I could love myself if I were thin.” Then I got thin. “Well, maybe I’ll love myself if I were thinnER.” Then I got thinner, and thinner, and over the course of six months I dropped half my body weight until my ribcage stuck out. Guess what? I still didn’t love myself when I was thin, and I still didn’t when I was skeletal. I tried putting makeup, dressing in snazzy clothes, wearing jewelry, changing my hair, working my body to exhaustion until I could barely stand up straight, all to “reshape” it into what society told me was “perfect.”

    I looked in the mirror when I had “succeeded.” Eighty-five pounds, wearing horrifically uncomfortable “fashionable” clothes, with hair that was falling out from being so tugged-on and smeared with products, feeling like the jewelry I was wearing weighed as much as I did, chewing gum to get those defined cheekbones that models are so praised for.

    Trust me, Zazzy, you still don’t love yourself. You can be thin, you can be “pretty,” but you’re going to look in the mirror and feel yourself breaking inside. You can’t hate yourself for being what you are. Maybe you don’t look in the mirror and think, “I’m gorgeous.” Maybe you never will. But find reasons to say, “I’m beautiful anyway.”

    Maybe it’s your deep eyes. Maybe it’s the way that you smile that makes everyone smile back. Maybe it’s the fact that your hugs are so warm, or the funny t-shirts you wear that always get people to laugh, or the way you take cookies to new neighbors or casseroles to those people who are struggling. Maybe it’s that you’re honest about yourself. Maybe it’s that you have a unique talent or a special skill, or a heart full of love. Maybe it’s something you can’t even define.

    But you are beautiful. You ARE. Just because you aren’t “thin and pretty” doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful inside. People don’t love you because you’re a supermodel. They love you because of you. If you can count just one person, one on the entire earth, that loves you, know that they love you because you’re beautiful to them.

    And whether I can see you or not, whether you think you are or not, Zazzy…you are beautiful to me.

    (Sorry for using your blog as a medium for this, Peabody, but it felt really important to say this. I hope you’re okay with it.)

  10. KB- absolutely okay!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    You and your recovery are part of why I write what I write.
    I’m not sure why our society decided that starving yourself and being able to afford a trainer 3 times a week takes precedence over actual qualities that people possess.

  11. @Erin- sure!

  12. Have you tried Smores using Ritz and Reeses instead of Graham Crackers? They are amazing!!

  13. 1) I just shuddered at the thought of having a dance party in my living room as part of the challenge. My husband might just commit me! Oh well, I’ll just tell him to look up Sarah Jenks.

    2) I want to know why we haven’t seen pictures of your cat eye experiments. Even the UPS guy got to see it!

    3) I have been wanting to learn to make my own marshmallows for a while. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. @alice- of I don’t dance in front of anyone but the dog and rabbits

    And the car eye experiments were a few years ago :-)

  15. Your posts always make me emotional :’(

    peanut butter s’mores though! <3

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