Dreams To Do

July 2012 archive

Skinny Fat

I seriously can’t even fathom the number of times people have commented on my weight. You’re so skinny! What are you, like a size 0? Jeez girl, you need to get some meat on those bones! So, do you work out a lot? Oh my gosh, you’re so tiny!  

For my whole life I’ve been thin. Knobby knees, no butt, wrists too small for any watch. Crazy as it may seem to someone who struggles with losing weight, I actually grew up being very self conscious of my skinniness. And now that I’ve popped out a couple of babies and I’m getting a little bit older, I’m self conscious of it in a new way. I’m no longer just skinny. I’m skinny fat. And this is NOT a good thing.

In case you’ve never heard the term “skinny fat,” let’s see how Urban Dictionary defines it:

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My friend Katie introduced me to this concept and it fits my problem to a T. I’m still small and I appear thin and maybe even fit from a distance. However, my muscle/body fat ratio is WAY outta whack. I’ve got no muscle tone or definition whatsoever (okay, except for my left arm which is buff from lugging around a 20+ lb. baby everywhere). And yes, I’ve got cottage cheese on my bum. It ain’t pretty people.

Basically, I need to come clean with all of you. While I was kicking butt for a while, dedicating some time every evening to BodyRock, I’m now doing nothing. Occasionally I chase Leila around the house (completely winded, mind you), but other than that, there is no fitness in my life right now. I go to work all day where I sit in front of a computer – my ass actually gets sore from sitting so long. And then I go home and I do spend some time on my feet taking care of the kids, but once they’re asleep it’s back down I go – either in front of the computer or the TV.

Why am I blogging about this? Well, lately I haven’t felt quite right. Something is off. My happy-meter is low. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m not healthy. I eat like crap and I don’t exercise. Sure I look ok, and maybe even fit to most people, but I’m not. I’m skinny fat and I need to do something about it. If not for my body, for my mind.

Now I just need to figure out a way to squeeze some fitness time back into my life. I’ll probably go back to BodyRock or maybe even just working on fitting 15 minutes of solid exercise in every evening. Time to tone and tighten, people. Time to get back to some dream doing. But more importantly, time to get my head on straight again.

Any suggestions? ideas? motivation? words of wisdom for someone who HATES working out?

Monthly DIY: Photoshop Silhouette

For the past few months I’ve been seeing silhouette art popping up all over Etsy & Pinterest. Soooooooo, I decided it was about time for me to try my hand and making some silhouettes of my kiddos for their bedroom wall. I just LOVE how they turned out!

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You’re jealous of our wood paneled walls, aren’t you? 😉

From this…
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To this…
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Aren’t they so cute?

Okay, now here’s a little disclaimer before I describe how I made these. I AM NOT A PHOTOSHOP PRO. Actually, I just played around with tools that I already know how to use until I found the quickest, easiest way for me to make these. This is not going to be an extremely detailed tutorial. If you don’t already have basic knowledge of Photoshop, I may not be much help. End disclaimer.

Here’s what I did to create these silhouette portraits of my cute kiddos…

1)  I took profile photos of them against a white wall. The cleaner and brighter the background, the better. (Landon’s cracks me up – his tongue is out! Ha!)

2)  I opened the photos in Photoshop and used the magic eraser tool to remove the white background in one quick click:

Use magic eraser to delete white background…
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3) I created a new layer and used the paint bucket tool to make it a bright color that would contrast against the kiddos (I chose bright blue). I moved this layer to the back:

Put bright colored fill layer behind photo layer so that it stands out…
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4) Next, I made sure the photo layer was selected and then went to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST. Once the Brightness/Contrast window opened, I moved both levels down as low as they could go (-100):

Lower brightness/contrast to make your silhouette…
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5) Okay, now do ya see all that black fuzz in that last pic – the places that the magic eraser tool missed? Well, you could go around and erase all that yourself, but here’s what I did. I used the magic wand tool and clicked on my kiddos head. This selects only the silhouette portion (not the fuzz). Then, I right clicked and selected LAYER VIA COPY. This moves the selection to a brand new layer. Then, you can delete your original photo layer and you have a pretty clean silhouette that just needs a little touching up:

Use magic wand tool to create a new layer of just the silhouette…
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Delete the original photo layer and you are left with a cleaner silhouette…
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6)  At this point all that needs to be done is some cleaning up and optional tweaks. I used a combination of the eraser tool and the paint brush tool to clean up the edges of my silhouettes and then deleted all of the mess below their necks. Then, I decided to play with the colors a little by adding a reddish/orange color overlay to the silhouettes, along with an outer glow, and a funky pattern to the background. The options are endless!

Ta Da!
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So maybe this seems like a lot of work or that it took me a long time, but seriously it’s taking me longer to type up this post. Ha! If you are at all familiar with Photoshop it is super easy. And if you don’t have access to Photoshop, but still wanna try making one of these, check out this tutorial on how to make silhouettes in GIMP (you can download GIMP for free HERE).

The final product hanging on the wall in my kiddos’ room…
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Look at my chubba wubba! Eeeeeek! I just wanna eat him up.

Linking this post up with: CraftOManiac, Skip To My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Lines Across, & DIY Project Parade. Check ’em out!

Friday’s Letters

Friday

Dear Huckleberry Cobbler: Get in my belly!

Dear Hubby: Thank you for baking me huckleberry cobbler. I can’t stop thinking about it. Oh, and I love you so much.

Dear Body: I’m sorry I’ve neglected you. The lack of exercise lately + huckleberry cobbler hasn’t been too good to you. For that I apologize.

Dear Leila: Thank you for being my little ray of sunshine on my bad attitude. You are SO good at turning mommy’s frown upside down.

Dear Landon: So, just when I think I can’t love you any more you go and sleep through the night – you’re the best! Thank you so much for that. Mommy needed it. XOXO.

Dear Bachelor Franchise: My obsession with you just isn’t right. I’m sad that The Bachelorette is over and now all I want to do is watch Bachelor Pad. Frankly, I’m a little embarrassed. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to on a drab Monday.

Dear Friday: Bout dang time you showed up! Did ya know you’re my favorite day of the week?

Dear Blogher: Maybe next year?

Dear Friends (yes, YOU!): Thank you for reading this nonsense. I heart you! Have a fab weekend! (& please tell me I’m not the only Bachelor Pad fan out there!)

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Wise Words Wednesday: Wonder

“If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end…” ~ Akiane Kramarik

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Watching my kiddos enjoy the summertime brings me back to memories of my own childhood, when I had not a care in the world. Days spent at the lake splashing in cool water. Popsicles dripping down my chin and onto my clothes without a care. Listening to the chirping of crickets outside my bedroom window as I fell asleep at night. Man oh man, those really were the good ole days.

Now, instead of as many carefree days, I get to spend the bulk of my time closed up in an office at work or trying to maintain my sanity with chores at home. Despite this sad fact, I can easily say that I’m enjoying the summer just as much as I did when I was a kid, just in a different way. I’m experiencing it through my little ones – living vicariously through them. And seeing them experience things like putting their feet in the sand for the first time, napping under an umbrella on the beach, or sliding down a slip ‘n slide with their cousins, is about 500 times sweeter than experiencing it myself.

I hope I never forget to seize the wonder.

Just Write {Skinny Dipping}

The little bar in the center of my tiny hometown was hot and crowded. Loud music and laughter filled the air as our 10 year high school reunion was in full swing. Being away from my kiddos and surrounded by all of my high school friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade, made me feel young again. Around midnight, as we were dancing the night away and I could feel my new shirt sticking to my body, damp with sweat, someone (maybe it was me?) suggested we go for a swim at the nearby private lake. I flashed back to memories of midnight skinny dipping as I was growing up and I thought, why not?

Four of my best girlfriends and I hopped in a car giggling like high schoolers as we headed for the lake. In that moment we were totally young again, carefree and kidless. We blasted the heat in the car so that the water would feel extra refreshing once we arrived and drove right on up to the sandy shore of the lake. As we approached I could see steam rising off the warm, black water. Swiftly we ripped off our sweaty clothes and ran from the car to the end of the dock, not even hesitating to jump right on in.

I felt the cool lake water swallow me up and for a few seconds there was silence. Once my head surfaced all I could hear were squeels of laughter as water splashed around me. I can’t believe we’re doing this! Above us was a black, moonless sky full of a million twinkling stars. Ahead of us, the water was completely calm and undisturbed – a glossy, black satin surface reflecting the stars above.

We swam from the shore dock out to the floating dock in the middle of the lake, trying our best to muffle our giggles and keep quiet so no one would hear us. Once there, we each scrambled up the latter and dove off the diving board, plunging our bare bodies once again into the dark, smooth water. The top layer of the lake water was warm from the day’s hot sun, but as we passed through it we reached the deep, icy level and quickly swam back up to the surface.

Returning to the shore, I felt so happy. Happy to be doing something spontaneous and free. Something with “my girls.” And later on, in the early morning hours as I climbed in to bed with my husband and daughter, I just felt blessed. Blessed that I can still enjoy the best of both worlds – immature fun with friends and an amazing family to return home to. (And of course blessed that we didn’t get caught skinny dipping!)

I think sometimes we just need a little trip back to our adolescence to make us feel young again, and to remind us that we don’t always need to take life so seriously.

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