One Mom's Perfect Imperfections

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One Mom's Perfect Imperfection: June 2010

One Mom's Perfect Imperfection

One mom's journey through life and her hodgepodge of hobbies.

30 June 2010

Black & White Wednesday, The Dreaded Self-Portrait & A Big Thanks

It's Wednesday & there is lots going on here today.  First, I want to say thank you to Ashley at Ramblings and Photos for bestowing upon me the Outstanding Blogger Award.  

Very cool.  If you haven't been to Ashley's blog to check out her amazing talent, click over there right now.  Don't waste another minute!  Seriously, I'm learning so much from Ashley so again, THANK YOU!

I have done very poorly passing out awards so this week, I'm going to take the time to pass this one to a few of my favorite peeps who are extremely supportive in everything I do lately & frequent commenters and I can honestly say they are friends.  If awards aren't your thing, don't worry.  I'm not offended if you don't display it.  Or thank me in a special post on your blog.  Or comment on this post at least giving thanks on my own blog.  No worries whatsoever.  The award goes to:

2.  Mandy @ 2 sweet things
3.  Courtney @ Make Me A Blessing  (and because she has the coolest name EVER & is an AGD sis)

Love y'all to pieces and it makes my heart happy to be able to give you a little something.  ENJOY!

Next up on the agenda is my very first self-portrait.  I ran across yet another fabulous blog packed full of great photography and yes, you guessed it, another photo challenge - the dreaded self-portrait.  I tried so hard to get creative but creative shots didn't turn out and the oh so familiar "self-portrait in my side view mirror" shots did.  Go figure.  

The last one, I was actually standing in front of a glass door and going for something completely different.  {sigh}  I'm going to brainstorm before my next self-portrait.  It's gonna be awesome!  (i hope)

To see more black and white shots, head over to The Long Road to China - another blog with outstanding photography.  

the long road

To see more self-portraits, head over to The Old Nichols Farm.  

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29 June 2010

See What's Cookin' - Fish in a Bag

I mentioned yesterday that my husband is on the HCG diet, which is VERY strict.  Not only is it insanely low calorie but the types of foods he can eat is extremely restrictive, including spices & seasonings.  So creativity is really out the window.  But you still want the food to taste good.  So here's a simple, tasty and HEALTHY recipe I want to share with all of you.  Now, for those of you that aren't on a strict diet, you can be as creative as you like.  I've done this with squash, zucchini and onions as well as tons of other vegetable combinations.  But for the HCG dieters, this is all ya get!  

I started with orange roughy filets.  You can use any white fish.  This is my favorite though.  

Place a serving of fresh spinach on parchment paper (or aluminum foil).  Drizzle vinaigrette dressing (or lemon or citrus dressing) over the spinach.  I made my own (recipe at the end of this post) so that I could control the spices and sugar in the dressing.  But you could certainly use a store bought dressing.

Place your fish filet on top of your spinach.  Now, this is Mike's portion (about half a filet).  So don't freak out - you can use as much spinach and fish as you'd like.  Then, sprinkle spinach and fish with sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.  Now give the fish a little drizzle of dressing as well.  

Then you just want to seal the bag up nice & tight.  You can use another piece of parchment paper on top and seal the ends or do what I did here.  Place the bags on a cookie sheet and cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.  But since it's summer, throw these babies on the grill!  Much better, in my opinion.  

The results?  Moist, flaky fish and tasty as well.  I promise, this recipe will not disappoint and it's just so stinkin' healthy!

So that's what's cookin' this week at our house.  Eat, Cook, Enjoy, y'all!

Linking up this week with:

To print these tasty recipes click below:

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28 June 2010

Shutter Love Tuesday


Both times I've linked up to Trendy Treehouse's Shutter Love Tuesday, my photo has been chosen as one of the favorites and displayed on their blog. SO EXCITING! So I figure I just gotta enter another photo for this week's link up, theme being Summertime Fun.  Here's my entry:

And because Presley is just reeking summer in this photo...

I had to share it also.  I did zero editing so these are  SOOC shots from my little point & shoot camera but I thought both fit the theme so well.  These aren't my best work so I might not get picked this week, but at least I got to share some fun summertime pics of my precious kiddos with all of you.  

To see more summertime photos or link up one of your own, head over to Trendy Treehouse now by clicking the logo above.

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miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Hello Monday. We meet again.  All too soon.  But ain't nothing gonna break my stride.  Nobody's gonna slow me down.  Oh no, I've got to keep on moving.

Did I just break out in song?  On a Monday?  Must be my delish coffee starting to kick in.  Off we go with another edition of miscellany monday...

{ONE}  Monday = laundry day.  Most of you know how I feel about laundry by now.  I'll just let this issue rest.  For now.  

{TWO}  My husband is on this crazy diet that his doctor recommended and he lost over 10 pounds last week.  I'm insanely jealous but not sure I have the will power to start it.  And because I know I'll be asked "WHAT DIET?" - google "HCG Diet".  And be warned, you can't do the food part without the hormone or you'll die of malnutrition.  And you can't get the hormone without a prescription.  However, I have lost 1.5 pounds thanks to cooking all these healthy meals and not eating out.  Go figure.  Healthy eating posts to come.  Stay tuned....

{THREE}  I've started dabbling in the potty training with Presley.  She (at 18 months old) started ripping off wet diapers and putting them in the trash.  She will also let me know when she's dirty.  I ran out and got pull-ups, panties and flushable wipes.  I only wanted to start with the pull-ups because she is so young.  But as I learned with Keegan, you can't really dabble in potty training.  It's an all or nothing kind of deal.  I think the pull-ups just confuse them.  I'm just not sure I'm ready to clean pee off of everything I own.  Again.  But just this morning, she grabbed the pull-up, looked straight at me and said, "pee pee".  She ran straight to the potty and sat for a bit but nothing.  Still, major progress for an 18 month old.  So I guess since she's obviously ready I have to get myself ready.  The panties will be going into the laundry today and I guess we'll meet potty training head on this week. Consider this a warning:  blog posts may become progressively agitated and hostile.  

{FOUR}  I took my kiddos out yesterday morning for a little photo shoot to commemorate Presley's 18 month milestone.  I think I got some good ones but it was just so stinkin' hot.  We were all sweaty, red faced and melting.  I'm anxious to edit some of the shots, though.

{FIVE}  The family went to see Toy Story 3 yesterday and it was so cute.  Everyone told me I'd cry.  I was so proud that I had not shed one single tear & the movie was almost over (big success for me - I'm a big ole softy).  But the last two scenes brought me to sobs.  I could cry now just thinking about it.  If you haven't seen this yet, take tissues.  

Alright mountain of laundry, HERE I COME.

To read more random thoughts or link up some of your own, head over to Carissa's blog, lowercase letters by clicking the logo above.  

Have a SUPERB week!

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27 June 2010

A Touch of Spirituality

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

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26 June 2010

SOOC Saturday

Hi, everyone! Hope you are all having a FAB weekend so far.I'm linking up again this week for SOOC Saturday (straight out of camera).  I'm sticking with this week's theme which has been my great-grandmother's garden.  I took so many fabulous pictures while I was there and I know my time with her is limited so I'm enjoying every detail about her I can.  

To see more SOOC shots or to link up one of your own, head over to Slurping Life by clicking the logo:

Slurping Life

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25 June 2010

Five Question Friday - My Vlogging Challenge

I have been bullied challenged to vlog and link up with Mama M. from Five Crooked Halos today.  So I'm gonna do this. Disregard the part where Keegan is picking his nose.  I tried to record this video too many times to start over.  And I haven't had my coffee yet.  TGIF, right?!   Just hope I don't lose any followers today.

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Macro Friday

Ah, it's Friday!  Can I get a WOOT!  WOOT!  Hope you are all enjoying your summer so far.  We certainly have.  Though, it's terribly hot and I'm not sure how much hotter it could possibly get before I melt away to pure nothingness.  On another note, this week I've been sharing with you lots of the pics I took while we were in Kentucky last weekend.  Here is another taken from my great-grandmother's array of foliage...

I have no idea what kind of plant this is that I stumbled  up on sitting on her front porch, but it made a PERFECT macro shot.  I did ZERO editing with the exception of the rounded corners and the watermark.  I am pretty proud of this shot.  Can ya tell?  {grin}  I actually did try to spruce up the color a bit but when I did I'd lose certain elements of the shot I liked so I am going with SOOC today.  And I'm okay with that.  

To see more macro shots or link up one of your own, head over Laura's blog, Blogging from Bolivia by clicking the logo above.

Hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend!  

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24 June 2010

Before & After

It's time for another edition of Before & After! I love Thursdays. It means I get to see some great pics and the weekend is just around the corner. Off we go!

I shot this picture in Kentucky over the weekend with my Canon Rebel T1i. My great-grandmother has a major green thumb and I always love to see what beautiful things she has growing every time I go home to visit. She is something else.

SOOC (straight out of camera):

Edited version:

The flower is the poetry of reproduction.  It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.  ~Jean Giraudoux

I bumped up the color a little by adding a soft light layer and then added the texture layer.  I then added my two obsessions - rounded corners & vignette.  I did all my edits in Photoshop Elements 8.  

To see more before & after shots or to link up one of your own, head over to Pixel Perfect by clicking the logo above.  

Hope y'all have a great day!

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23 June 2010

Black & White Wednesday: Meet Scout

Meet Scout.  He is a four year old German Shepherd and he's fantastic!  He belongs to some of our best friends back in Kentucky.  I think I mentioned that this is where we spent our weekend.  I pull up into their driveway and this gorgeous creature came to great me.  

I understand that this breed of dogs can be somewhat intimidating but Scout is a gentle giant.  My kids rubbed all over him the whole day through and Scout hardly blinked an eye.  But if one of the kids started to fuss, he was by their side in an instant to make sure he/she was alright, though he'd never met them before.  This is one of my favorite traits of these dogs - protective.  

I grew up with a German Shepherd of my own.  Her name was Dutchess.  Dutchess and I were inseparable.  I napped on her.  She drug me out of the woods after getting lost one day exploring.  When I fell down the steps she was the first one to the bottom to see if I was okay.  And if someone she didn't know came up to the house, she stood between the stranger and me until she knew that stranger wouldn't hurt me.  Protective.  Scout reminded me of Dutchess.  A little too much maybe.  Many childhood memories of my dog and me came flooding back and I may have tried to put Scout in my car.  More than once. 

I can't think of anything that brings me closer to tears than when my old dog -- completely exhausted after a hard day in the field -- limps away from her nice spot in front of the fire and comes over to where I'm sitting and puts her head in my lap, a paw over my knee, and closes her eyes and goes back to sleep. I don't know what I've done to deserve that kind of friend.
-- Gene Hill

Scout, I can't wait for the day we meet again.  Maybe I'll be successful in dognapping you to Memphis.  Or maybe I'll have a little Scout of my very own.  Time will tell....

Linking up with The Long Road to China for Black & White Wednesday...

the long road

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22 June 2010

Shutter Love Tuesday


I love this picture. Presley was so tired and Mike was eating up all the cuddles he was getting because of it. He is completely in love with both of our kids. But this little girl just does something to him. He is totally wrapped around her little finger and has been since before she was even born. And she is such a Daddy's girl. Don't get me wrong - Mommy has to tuck her in and kiss her boo boos. But when Daddy walks in the door after being gone all day, shrieks of delight fill the house and she immediately runs to garage door as fast as her little legs will carry her.  As soon as Daddy enters the house, Presley is scooped up into his arms.  

This week for Shutter Love Tuesday the theme is A Father's Love.  I thought this was perfect to share.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and father to our two children.  

To see more photos like this or to link up one of your own, head over to Trendy Treehouse by clicking the logo above.  Hope you all have a blessed day!


21 June 2010

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Monday.  Seems to always come too soon.  But I have some great randoms to share with all of you to kick off the week.  So let's get on down to business!

{ONE}  The whole family packed up (okay, I did all of the packing) and headed to Kentucky for the weekend.  My husband's 20th reunion was Saturday and he was thrilled to get back & see a few of his best friends that were also going to be in town.

{TWO}  I loved seeing my parents and my precious 96 year old great-grandmother.  My kids were also very happy to see them.  I enjoyed Friday night with them while Mike enjoyed a night out with his best buddies.  

{THREE}  Saturday before the reunion, we hung out by our friends' pool most of the day and it was heaven!  The kids stayed behind at my parents' house and that part was bittersweet for me.  Mike and I enjoyed our time together and with our friends, but it was my first night away from my baby girl.  Of course, she did just fine.  

{FOUR}  Saturday night, Mike and I had a great time and I literally laughed til I cried and my insides hurt.  I have been sore for two days from laughing.  It was the best feeling in the world.  Mike and I truly forgot how badly we missed our friends back home.  We had the BEST TIME and have some of the BEST FRIENDS in the world!  I was also reminded that I'm not 18 anymore and staying up until 3AM is not the best idea I've had in a while - especially since we had to pick up our kids early the next morning to bring them back to swim as promised.  

{FIVE}  Sunday, we all picked up our kids and spent the day by the pool swimming and just enjoying all our families.  We got home late last night because none of us wanted it to end.  But back to reality.  Laundry, here I come.  

To read more randoms or link up some of your own, head over to Carissa's blog, lowercase letters by clicking the logo above.  

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20 June 2010

A Touch of Spirituality

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Hope all the dads have a TERRIFIC Father's Day today!

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19 June 2010

Saturday Morning Comedy

Again, sorry about the size.  When I try to resize it, it gets blurry and unreadable.  Click on the image to get a better view.  It's worth it!  ;)

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Slurping Life

I'm linking up again with Slurping Life for SOOC Saturday. SOOC means 'straight out of camera'. So there's zero editing to the pics you'll see in this blog hop.  I really like the idea because you see exactly what the camera sees when the shot is taken.  Here is my entry for the day:

I'm finding myself completely addicted to taking photos right after it rains of all the water droplets.  They make for some of the greatest pictures!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

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18 June 2010

Macro Friday and Follows

It's Friday, y'all!  I'm excited to be linking up with Laura from Blogging From Bolivia for Macro Friday again.  The photos from last week were incredible.  I can't get over some of the talent I'm seeing.  It makes me want to take better pictures.  Here is my entry for the week:

These are eyelets that I had out while I was making my drawstring backpack this past weekend.  I thought it mad for an interesting picture.  I wish I could get the sizing right on Blogger, but one size is a bit too small and the next size up is too big and the pic gets cut off.  One of these days, I won't be so lazy and I'll resize it in the html code.

To see more macro photos or link up one of your own, head over to Laura's blog by clicking the logo above.  

I'm also linking back up with the following for Friday follow blog hops:

Smart and Trendy MomsThe Girl CreativeFollowMeFridays

So if you are here visiting for the first time, I hope you'll stay a bit and click around.  There's a little something for everyone.  I will apologize in advance - my family and I are headed to Kentucky today for my husband's 20th class reunion so I'm a bit busy running around trying to get us all ready to go.  I promise to get by everyone's blogs as soon as I can.  Thanks so much for stopping by and WELCOME!

TGIF, y'all!

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17 June 2010

Before & After

So it's Thursday which means time for another round of before & after photos.  I have truly enjoyed seeing some of the transformations photographers can make with their shots.  It's incredible.

Here is my SOOC (straight out of camera) shot for this week:

It's a somewhat cute shot - Presley peeking through the red fence at her brother.  I took this picture with my Canon Powershot 110 XSi.

And here is my edited shot:

I really loved that red fence and wanted to keep it, but thought the black & white would intensify the shot a bit.  Why settle?  I can have my cake & eat it, too!  Then I added my two obsessions - the rounded corners and the vignette.  Now, I think the shot deserves a second glance.  I used Photoshop Elements 8 for my edits.  

To see more before & after shots or to link up one of your own, head over to Pixel Perfect by clicking the logo above.  

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16 June 2010

Black & White Wednesday

First, I wanted to give Ashley from Ramblings and Photos a big THANK YOU for my newest blogging award.  I am sincerely honored.  Ashley and I have just recently started following one another and I have already learned so much from her.  Her  photographs are beautiful and you can all blame her for my blog turning into one big photography challenge/blog hop.  ;)  Stop by and show Ashley some love.  

Now, I'm supposed to tell you folks another ten things about myself but I am thinking you might know way too much already.  So before I start losing followers for revealing way too much of myself, we're going to move on.  

This is another blog that Ashley has turned me on to.  See what I mean?  ALL her fault.  The photography on this blog is amazing and I am excited to be linking up my own photo this week.  So here is my entry:

I took this photo Memorial Day weekend at Pickwick Lake in TN.  The storm was moving in and crazy me was standing outside taking pictures.  This didn't turn out quite as dramatic as I'd have liked but the night came crashing down on me with a vengeance and my eyes and brain started shutting down against my will.  So I lost the battle and went to bed.  Maybe more drama next week?

To see more black & whites or add one of your own, head over to The Long Road to China by clicking the logo below.

the long road

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15 June 2010

Getting Crafty - Drawstring Backpack

I've been whining a bit lately about not being able to find time to sit down with my sewing machine.  Sunday, I finally found a bit of time while the kids played nicely with one another nearby.  I had an idea in my head that I wanted to try after seeing all these crafters crank out these cute little drawstring backpacks.  My kids love backpacks so I thought I'd try my novice hand at them.  How hard could it really be?  Turns out, it really wasn't all that difficult.  

I used scrap material just in case I screwed up entirely my first go and the pieces weren't really wide enough for the front and back of the backpack so I came up with the idea to make it like a quilting square and use two different pieces of material.  First, I cut my pieces into 5.5 x 7" squares - 4 pieces each.  I wanted something small for my 18 month old daughter to carry around.  But the size can be adjusted.

I then pinned the pieces and started sewing, wrong side of material up.

You should end up with 2 pieces that look like this (if you are doing the 2 different pieces of materials).

I then hemmed the edges - the bottom and sides only (not the top).  After those edges were hemmed I folded the top down about 2 inches and hemmed the edge leaving enough room to thread your string, cord, ribbon, whatever you're using through.  

I then sewed the bottom halves together and the sides - only up to your top edge still leaving the 2 inches from the top.  

I then set an eyelet on the bottom of each side.  I had an eyelet setter for scrapbooking but you could use a grommet setter if you have one instead.

Start threading your cord through.  I started by laying the backpack with the front facing me and threading the cord the bottom left corner leaving about 8 inches.  Then I took the other end of the cord and threaded it through the top on the backside, through the bottom right, through the top right  and then tying the two ends together and hiding the knot in the top hem.  

And here's Miss Presley's new drawstring backpack!

Again, the measurements can be adjusted.  I just wanted something small that fit my little princess.  She loves it!  Now Keegan wants one so I'll be making another for him.  Good times!

Make some time to get crafty this week!  Linking up today with:

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