Category Archives: How to

Having a Haircut From an Aspie Point of View

I hate having my hair cut…
I hate not knowing what they are doing back there, they could be up to anything, and I hate when they tell me to take my glasses off so they can get it right by the ears. I’m practically blind without them.
Im in very great need of control, its my hair, I know exactly how I want it and I have to sit there, sharing small talk and letting them do their job…
that they have an education in…
and do everyday….
ok…
they might know what they are doing…
Maybe…

Yes, this is me with long hair. Hello!

I have had long hair for years, partly because then I didn’t have to go through the haircutting ordeal, and also, it was cheeper. And I liked my long hair. I learned to cut the tips myself.
But it was time for a change. I think I had the same hairdo for 15 years, ad or subtract bangs.

This is what I gave the hairdresser to work with. But skipping the lavender, I love the lavender, but I’m not up for the upkeep.

With the help of my sister and her very talented hairdresser friend, I took the leap and cut it all off by the shoulders… and you know… it looked great… I loved it, and she understood exactly what I wanted, talked me through it, and calmed me down, though she had to take my glasses off at one point. 😉 I loved the feeling of it skimming my shoulders.

This is me after, note the happy grin, and look how nicely I’m sitting, still wearing my glasses. 🙂

Now I have to do it all again, thats the problem with short hair. The great hairdresser is an hours drive away, so I thought I would see if the local one here is ok. Im scared, but at least the first cut is done, and she sort of just has to follow the “mould”. I don’t want to say/write it, but how bad can it go?

haircut5

So, as an aspie, what can you do to make it easier?
Well I start by telling them that I have aspergers, not everyone knows what that entails, but at least you have given them an indication that you are not the average customer.
I like to show pictures of what I had in mind, and also say that I am very particular and therefore a bit scared.
And I definitely tell them that I can barely see without my glasses and that I would appreciate it if they tell me as soon as I can put them on again.

Actually it usually goes great and becomes beautiful!

Havingn a haircut


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Tackling the Front Door

So what can we do about this looming front door and bottleneck of a hallway. How can we make this a little easier? These are some things that have been or are helping me get out.

  1. Have a plan: in a comfortable location, make a plan beforehand on where you are going to go and when, what you will wear, make sure you pee, drink and have a lip balm. Then just go through the bottleneck and front door at speed (trying) not to think about it. plan
  2. Know what you are going to wear and have it accessible.
  3. zriphoneIf you have a smartphone, make the walk more fun with apps that measure your distance and time, like runkeeper, or make it into a game with  zombies run!. Play upbeat positive music or listen to an audiobook.
  4. Make the walk more fun in other ways, like with walking sticks for nordic walking, or measuring how fast you can do a certain distance and see if you improve over time.
  5. Walk a small distance to begin with. When that feels comfortable, increase it just a little, seriously, very little, like 20m. And when that is comfortable increase it a bit more and so on.
  6. Are there any animals anywhere in your surroundings? Make a point of going by their pasture or garden to look or say hello.
  7. Or there might be something else you especially enjoy that you can make a point to pass, for me it is water.
  8. Have nice walking clothes and good shoes, stay within your budget so you don’t feel pressured to use them or anxiety that you are not. Ten tips to
  9. Walk with a friend and have a nice conversation on the way, maybe you can schedule a weekly walk together.
  10. Get a dog. Ok this one might be a little drastic. I for one is allergic, and there is a bit more to owning a dog than just having a walking buddy. But maybe you have a neighbour with a dog that wouldn’t mind you “borrowing” the dog for a walk now and then. And there are also organisations where you can volunteer as a dog walker. dog

I know that some, or all of these can feel totally daunting some days, I know I couldn’t ask my neighbour to walk his dog for example, and its ok to feel that way. Maybe one or two things on the list is possible for you. Maybe a few more on a good day, or with company.

The important thing is to keep trying and not to give up on the things we want to do. map


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Getting out The Front Door..

Getting out that front door…can be one of the hardest things I do all day, and some days I don’t even manage.

I am scared of leaving the house, its my safe, though slightly lonely and boring, place. But don’t underestimate the power of the safe place. The further I am from the house the more unsafe I feel, the more anxiety I have.

I am ok with going with my husband in the car. The car acts as a mini safe house, and usually we take familiar routes or I’m in charge of the map, and I know exactly where we are, which makes me calmer. But long trips are hard.

Its easier going outside with company I trust, then I can also manage to go further because they distract/calm me enough for me to not spend all energy on thinking about bad stuff that could happen, (fainting in a bush and not being discovered) or being in a heightened state of awareness (how long till I can get home, how much time) all the time.

But going outside myself, it’s a struggle. That door, that hallway, it’s a bottleneck for all my anxiety. What I won’t do to postpone passing through it.

I must have a drink, pee, lip balm, do I have my phone, is it charged, are the bunnies secure, I have the wrong socks, do I need a hat, what temperature is it, which route should I take, forest or road, how long, what If I meet someone, are the neighbours home to see me…

hallway

Sometimes this takes so long that it starts raining, I get hungry, decide to make dinner instead or just plain give up.

When I am finally outside I usually feel much better, and when I get walking, in nice weather with my headphones playing positive upbeat music, I sometimes even forget to be anxious. From time to time.

If I walk the same familiar route, when I know exactly how long it is, and how long it should take, I like walking.
When I get to walk totally alone, where no one can see me, I like walking.
When I feel my muscles working and feel strong, I like walking.
When I get to feel I’m one with the landscape around me, I like walking.

But the anxiety comes back when I start to feel tired, or start to think of exactly how far I have to go to get back home, how much time, how many steps.

Forest

When I walk in the forest, the anxiety lightens. I have to concentrate more not to stumble on something, there are animals to see, plants and trees, and I usually walk by my very favourite lake.

summer

Taking a break on the little run down pier and feeling the water, putting my feet in when it’s not too cold, that helps. Its like the forest has a calm, serene aura that puts a dampener on feelings, especially negative ones. And the lake gives me positive energy, enough to get home. This works best alone.

But that door…


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Vegan Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a great way for us that are reeeeealy tried in the morning, like

“stir oatmeal for five minutes is too much”
tired, and
“I forgot to heat the water before I poured it over my tea”
tired, to get a good healthy, hearty breakfast.

owl
It’s a lot like uncooked, cold, slightly slimy, flavoured oatmeal, mainly because that is what it is.
I’m really selling it here, I can feel it.
Seriously its tasty! I like it and I’m a picky eater, and you can do like a million variations of it all to you liking, here are three of my favourites.

I found this first recipe for vegan chocolate banana overnight oats, but I lost the source! I have the recipe on a pice of paper but no idea where I got it from. Well not much I can do about that now. (I really looked for it)
Hint: The banana goes in the next morning!!

Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Perfect for us non morning people.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 dl dried cranberries
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix the oats and cocoa powder, then add everything else, except the banana. Mix well, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips

You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like. And also maybe a bit of peanut butter wouldn’t go amiss in this one, you could mash it up with the banana. You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and add the sweetener of your choice.

But I am not really a “chocolate first thing in the morning” kind of gal, so I came up with this raisin cinnamon version.

Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cinnamon always works in the morning


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 dl raisins
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix everything together, except the banana. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips


You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like.
Start with the smaller amount of cinnamon you can always add more later.
You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and add the sweetener of your choice.

And this Blueberry Vanilla one.

Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This one turns purple!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp of pure ground vanilla, or splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 dl of frozen blueberries, or fresh if you have them
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk, maybe go a little light on the milk here since the blueberries ad moisture
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix everything together, except the banana. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips


You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like.
You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and ad the sweetener of your choice.


Vegan Overnight OatsI got some more Ideas while writing..

  • how about a chocolate cherry one
  • or chocolate mint
  • maybe cinnamon orange
  • I mean almost any berry or fruit would probably be tasty

I spent the whole week trying and tasting. 🙂 I hope I gave you some breakfast inspiration and if you haven’t tried overnight oats you should definetly give it a go.


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6 Easy Tips to Becoming Vegan

Are you thinking about becoming a vegetarian or a vegan? Are you wondering what that would entail and if you could do it, or want to do it? Here are 6 of my best tips for making it easier to become vegan.

TV1.  Start by watching these documentaries, or one of them, to understand what impact the meat and dairy industry has on the environment, our bodies and how the animals are treated.

And “The best speech you will ever hear” by Gary Yourofsky.
I have linked the titles to their corresponding trailer on YouTube. You can find some of them on Netflix, or free on YouTube.

How do you feel about veganism now?

plantmilksUPp2. Ok, milk. I did a test when I began being vegan.
I love lattes, that’s how I drink my coffee, and I love it, and need at least one a day. So if I was not able to find a milk substitute that I liked, then I was sort of screwed.
I changed to one of the favourite plant milks I had tried, Oatly’s oat milk especially for coffee, called ikaffe = incoffee, for one whole week. Then I made myself a cow milk latte and an oat milk latte and tried both.
The result was that they both tasted funny, the oat one tasted, not surprisingly slightly of oat, and the cow milk one had a weird metallic meaty taste.
I had no problem switching to plant milk after that.
It’s worth a try, right.

vegetables-knife-paprika-traffic-light-vegetable-40191
3.
 My third tip is, skip the meat/dairy substitutes to begin with. They won’t taste like “hotdog” or “parmesan”, not while the real taste is fresh in you mind. Go for the vegetables, grains and fruits.
Then after a while, you can try the substitutes and see if you like them for their own taste and not what they are trying to taste like.

Holy-Nut-vegan-treats-450x5504. Your favourite treats. Try to find a vegan alternative to your favourite treats.
There are lots of great vegan chocolate out there.
Cookies, Oreos are vegan in some countries.
Vegan ice cream is usually just as good as other prepackaged ice cream.
Chips often have milk powder on them, but if you go for a “rustic” kind they are usually good, and Pringles have a “vegan” sign on their vegan chips. Yay Pringles!
Nuts and seeds are tasty and so are fruit, but never, ever let anyone tell you that fruit is candy! It’s not, its fruit! But try nice cream, its fruit and yummy!
If you can’t find anything good in you local grocery store, try searching on the internet. I have heard that iHearb is good, but I have never ordered from there myself.

Becoming Vegan

5. Find a community of fellow vegans, whether it’s on Facebook,  Instagram or any other place you feel comfortable, dare I say it, maybe not even a virtual one! A place to swap recipes and get motivated. Maybe someone has found the most gorgeous vegan ice-cream in you area, you would want to know about that right! And the same for knowing about that totally disgusting power bar popping up in the shops.

apples6. Ha, you thought I would stop at five! No, I have Aspergers I don’t like fives. 😀
Important tip number six is; be prepared, have a nut bar or a pice of fruit with you, because you might just find yourself hungry and in a place without vegan options.
Not to say It has to be hard eating out. You can use you vegan community to help you find great eating spots almost everywhere.

Oh, quick tips:

  • you are going to eat a lot of bananas
  • no, you are not going to die from protein deficiency
  • b12 is a good idea
  • learn to read on the back of Everything
  • Why not do some vegan cross stitch, download for free herekrosstitsh

I sincerely hope this helps you who want to go vegan and make the rest of you think about it. 🙂
Love to everyone, even the animals!


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New to the Bullet Journal

New to Bullet JournalingI’m new to this bullet journaling thing. Its called an Analog system for a digital age.

“The Bullet Journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organise the present and plan for the future”
-Ryder Carrol, the inventor of the Bullet journal.

All you need is a notebook and a pen, thought lots of people tap into their creative side and decorate with drawings, stickers, color coding and washi-tape. If you search Pinterest or Instagram you will find droves of creative or efficient bullet journals.

It’s not just a fancy notebook, it is an actual system to make your life easier and more manageable, I, as everyone else talking about the Bullet Journal, recommend that you go visit bulletjournal.com and watch the video and read a little bit about it. It’s very accessible and nicely explained.

One of the big points is that you start with a blank notebook and a pen and create a journal/calendar that suits just your needs, and also is adaptable if you want changes over time.

I had this very nice Rhodia lined notebook lying around doing no good. I got it with my also very nice Lamy neon coral fountain pen. They recommend, loosely, a dotted notebook, but really you can use anything you like, there are even notebooks made for the bullet journal to buy. My material side really wants one of those, but lets see if I stick to his or not first, also the rhodia is lovely.
See on the above picture that I have the elastic on the diagonal when it is really supposed to go vertical, that is a neat trick to get a place to stick your pen, smart right.

Bullet Journal10A title page, to see at a glance what it is or what year this book records. I’m planning for the future here. 😉 (I have a consistent tendency to give up on things like this after a few weeks, but Im hoping)

Bullet Journal9And a page for “belongs to” and a plea to contact me if someone finds the book on its own.

Bullet Journal8Here is my index, Innehållsförteckning in Swedish, and this you ad to as you fill your pages, you don’t have to number the whole book at once, just number as you go. I saved the next spread for the index too. The postcard on the left, I got ages ago from IKEA and it adds a bit of color and hides the scribbles from when I used the book before. Thats a good tip by the way; if you mess upp, cover it with a sticker or something. Its not supposed to be perfect.

Bullet Journal7The key is an integral part of the system and you can use it religiously or barely at all, whatever suits you, I went with the original system plus some color coding stickers, the monkey sticker represents the funny encouraging stickers I put on days I workout. 🙂
I recommend you research this if you are going to start your own bullet journal, to see which system appeals to you.
Oh, and the journal is in swinglish or svengelska, a mix between Swedish and English, since that comes most natural to me.

Here we have the “future log”, a compact calendar for the whole year, where you can write down birthdays, big important things, or things that will appear in a future monthly spread.

Then we have a few “collections” this is a very optional part, do it if you like or if there is something you want to track over the year. I have Books I have read, Social Media Tracker (not finished), Weight over time, and a page to jot down blog ideas. You can ofcours ad these in whenever and wherever you get inspired.
Bullet Journal1This is a monthly spread, I started now in April so I made the april spread of course. On the left side is all the days of the month with a letter for what day of the week it is, and above there is a tiny square calendar, if I prefer that visual overview, I don’t know yet.
On the right side are a few things I am tracking daily during the month, exercise, walks, cleaning and things like that. And lastly a place for notes. There are so many ideas out there on monthly and daily spreads, so just choose one you think you might like, and you can change it for next month if you find something better.

Bullet Journal2Lastly, for now, I made a weekly spread of this week. Here, also there are so many ways to do this, so research and find one you like, you can be as creative or as efficient as you like.
Monday through Friday are on the left, the giant giraffe sticker signifies that I took a Pilates class that day. Sunday and Saturday are on the right with a place for any notes for the week and some mood faces below, I will probably experiment a lot with the weekly layout. Some people want a whole page per day, but I just don’t have that much to do, so this is fine for me. 🙂


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