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FREE PSD Action For Better Blog Photographs

One of the most challenging things that bloggers face is photography development skills which takes years of practice. Some take short ways and rely only on editing their photos by using filter, presets and actions.  But one still need a good quality photograph so that the editing actually work. I suggest for new bloggers to watch lots of photography tutorials on youtube and educate themselves very well about this very important method to make a blog stand out. Here is my Photography / retouch tips and tricks pinterest board where I collected lots of useful things.  

I've been blogging since 2006 and my photos back then were nothing comparing to what I managed to achieve right now. Just looking back at my 2014 blogpost photos I see clearly that I got better at taking photos, thanks to learning how to use my camera manual mood. I am still on the learning journey by the way.

Even best pro photographers still edit their photos using tools like psd and lightroom. I usually edit my food and travel photos in lightroom and the rest on photoshop. I save my editing routine to action and presets which saves me time and help me edit a large number of photos with just a click. So here I share with you one of my often used psd actions to light up and add a touch of modernity to my blog photos. 

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How To Use Light Up Action:

This action folder has two action parts within it. Number 1 reduces the red hue from the image to add a modern minimal clean style touch to photos and of course brighten them up. Number 2 keeps the same red hue of the original  image and only lights up the image and fix the contrast to match the exposure. 

Once you apply the action, two more layers will be added one to control the exposure and one for the contrast. You can still edit them manually by changing the opacity of each layer. I suggest using 50% each if the 100% results were too bright. As you see below the exposure opacity was reduced to 80% when I edited this image. Once you are satisfied with the image result select all 3 layers, merge to one and save. I hope you find this action usefull to edit your blog photographs from now on :-) enjoy!  




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Marinating Shish Taouk Recipe

Finally I managed to translate this recipe to share with you guys. We love Middle Eastern food! it makes us remember those lovely days when we lived in Turkey and visited Lebanon. We had such great food experience and from time to time we like to recall those memories by making our own home cooking Middle Eastern dishes. 

This was made for lunch couple of days ago. I often try to marinate the Shish Taouk ( Chicken on sticks ) a night before, but if I didn't plan it ahead I let it marinate for couple of hours. Of course the longer it marinate the softer and tasty it gets, because chicken breast are dry when cooked.  

As a side dish I like to make bulgur, cooked in water, tomato paste, onion, red peppers, spices, coriander and one chilli pepper. I also roast red bell peppers, peel and cut them to small cubes like in this image or stuff them with the bulgur it self. 

The best sauces to this dish is either hummus, motabel or both. In case I didn't prepare a sauce for the Shish Taouk, I usually let my bulgur stay creamy by adding more water so that the meal doesn't taste dry. 

I hope you enjoy this inspiration.. more Middle Eastern recipes to come! 






Ingredients

8 small /4 big garlic cloves
6 chicken breasts
4 tbsp soft greek yogurt 
2 tbsp 7 spices mix 
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp mustard 
1 tbsp thyme (grounded)
3/4 cup lemon juice
50 ml olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup vinegar


Optional 
2 Chilli peppers 

1 cup = 240 ml


Method

Cut chicken breasts into small cubes.
In the blender, add the mustard, garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, spices, chilli peppers, thyme and tomato paste, and mix them well.

Add the chicken cubes to the mixture and put them in a box with a lid and keep in the fridge before the roast / grill day.


Put the chicken cubes into wooden or metal sticks and grill in the oven or bbq until they turn into a golden color. 

Brush them with olive oil and serve with lemon and coriander together with hummus, moutabel, bulgur and salad. 



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Holiday Family Mountains Trip


One of our family traditions during Easter holiday is to travel to the mountain cabin and do the country living activities. Finally after two years of pregnancy and postpartum I managed to ski again. I was surprised that I remembered the techniques I've learned when I first started. The second day my body was exhausted and I could move a muscle. I had to wait for the 3th day to resume the training.  

Best thing about being in the mountains is spending the days outdoors. We do picnics, we grill, drive snowmobile, ski, take long walks and enjoy the lovely sunset view. April weather makes it less painful I also love taking lots of photographs there. 

Julia was happy spending quality time with her cousins. Her grandparents and aunt helped during our stay together so I could have some relaxing moments which I rarely get when I am with her by myself. 

We were lucky with such beautiful weather, sunshine and blue skies. And a good snow for skiing. I will be looking forward for the next time we visit the mountains during summer, which is a total different feeling when the grass gets green and the water sparkle under the sun.    



  

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Swedish Love Letters ( Rullrån ) Recipe

Hello buddies! here is the recipe I've been asked to post when I shared a photo on instagram. I learned this recipe from my mother in law when I first moved here with my hubby few years ago. I try to make these lovely rolls every now and then.. especially during holiday seasons. I even sold lots during the Christmas market participation on 2012 and 2016. I sold a total of  60 pieces in each pack. 

I filled these rolls with whip cream, poured dark syrup over them, added some cloud berries and sprinkled powder sugar on top. I would recommend these lovely treats for tea or coffee break. Or even a light dessert after lunch or dinner. Enjoy! 





Ingredients

35 pieces

150 g of butter or margarine
1 egg
1 1/2 dl 130 g of sugar
1 1/2 dl 90 g flour
1 1/2 dl 120 g potato flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla Or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/2 dl 50 ml cream + 1dl  100 ml milk

Tip  add a 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds minced for extra flavor.



Method

Melt the butter and let it cool. Stir together eggs and sugar. Mix dry ingredients; wheat flour with potato flour, baking soda and vanilla or vanilla sugar. Add the butter and then cream and milk. Add the cardamom to all ingredients mixture and blend them together very well. 
Heat the mould pan and brush it with a bit of butter.

Put some of the batter in the mould plate and bake for about 2 min if you have two sides mould. If not. turn it and bake for 1 min on each side. Use the same heat as when baking pancakes.

Roll immediately after the baking. Roll them around a stick to get a perfect roll shapes in the same level / size. Let them cool until you are done with all pieces. 

Serve them with your favorite topping / filling. You can choose from whip cream, ice cream, berries, chocolate, nuts, powdered sugar .. ect..


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Color Your Wardrobe Giveaway Contest

As promised, here is the GIVEAWAY of the month sponsored by JustFashionNow. I know you guys have been waiting and now the waiting is over. Luckily this giveaway will have two winners which increases the chances of winning shopping coupons worth $150 to color your wardrobe for the season. 

Below you will find how to participate in the contest and more info about JustFashionNow


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JustFashionNow are giving away $150 worth of shopping coupons to TWO (2) lucky Winners! This giveaway contest is open for Nature Whisper followers in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Winners will be chosen randomly via electronic raffle by JustFashionNow.


Color Your Wardrobe with JustFashionNow Giveaway Mechanics


  1. Signup our newsletter at the top-right corner of this page.
  2. Follow the Official Facebook Fan Page of JustFashionNow
  3. Leave a comment below this post mentioning your favorite fashion item from JustFashionNow.com.
  4. Fill out the Giveaway Entrance widget tool with your complete email address.(Try again if the page doesn’t respond)
  5. Bonus: Share this Giveaway post on your social media accounts to earn 1 more entry !(Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google+)

Join here 

JustFashionNow are giving away $150 worth of shopping coupons to TWO (2) lucky Winners! This giveaway contest is open for our followers in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Winners will be chosen randomly via electronic raffle by JustFashionNow.





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Personal Style: Beige And White

I am sharing with you today one of the basic outfits that I love very much and wear often during spring / summer. I even had this outfit on last spring during one of the my first stroller walks with Julia. White and beige fit perfectly in almost everything. So I always trust this choice even in decor and other things that require color taste. 

I hope you guys are enjoying the spring / holiday season and like this inspiration! 







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The Egg









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Chicken And Quinoa Baked Steaks

I am sharing with you one of my original recipes that I made following my own taste and favorite ingredients.  I hope you like it :-) enjoy! 









Ingredients

453g / 1 pound ground chicken (about two big chicken breast fillet) 
1 dl  / 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1 dl / 40 g freshly grated parmesan or Västerbotten cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh coriander 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce 

3 dl tomato sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Basil leaves
salt and pepper for taste



Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F 200 C°. Prepare a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, quinoa, Parmesan, coriander, lemon, salt, and pepper. 

Gently work the mixture together until it is well combined. Shape into 12 steaks each one the size of a small burger or and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

In a small sauce pan, add all tomato sauce ingredients, mix together and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes. Brush the tomato sauce over the steak tops. Bake until they are tender-firm to the touch and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

As aside dish I baked turnips, beet roots and carrots and served them as seen on the photos with spinach and a pinch of Parmesan and basil. 


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DIY: Marble Table

One of my favorite Luxury DIY Projects  collection is the marble hack! it's so easy and cool and can be used as a make over to lots of things. Few years ago I made a makeover to couple of things at home starting with coffee tray, balcony window edges, bedside table and even our Ikea coffee table. Our sova space is quite tiny and only this table design could fit in it because it's flexible. So when a real marble table wasn't an option I remembered this Marble paper hack and tried it. Worst case one can easily pull of the paper sticker. 

This marble paper works great as photography background for almost everything. You might have already noticed that most popular advertisements stylists use marble as a background. It looks simple, clean and luxurious. 

I am not good at step by step DIY projects photos so I linked these photos from this source









I am not good at step by step DIY projects photos so I linked these photos / video  from this source


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Avocado And Peas Risotto Recipe

Back with another original recipe from my own creativity, instinct and taste. Usually I get someone else to taste the dish before I publish the recipe this way I get a general food tasting approval and not just rely on my own taste perforation. 

I started this recipe just following the basic risotto method with butter, added sliced shallots, rice, water with half a chicken stock cube and started adding the rest of the ingredients step by step while tasting and adding what would fix the taste until I got the final satisfying results. Find the recipe below:




Serves 4 persons


1 shallot onion
1 tablespoon soft butter
4 dl risotto rice 
1 1/2 dl frozen peas
 1 half avocado 
1 handful of coriander
5 or 7 fresh basil leaves 
 1 - 2 dl grated västerbotten or parmesan cheese
2 teaspoon lemon
8 - 9 dl warm water with half ( chicken stock cube melted in it )
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

****

1 dl = 100 ml 
1 dl rice = 90 g
1 dl peas = 70 -80 g 
1 dl = cheese 35 - 40 g
1 dl = 100 ml 


Heat the stock. Peel and finely chop the onion, trim and finely chop the coriander and basil. Finely grate the Parmesan.

In a separate pan, heat the butter over a low heat, add the onions and fry gently for about 5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the rice and steamer for about  2 - 3 minutes.  Add the water / chicken stock and cook on medium heat.

Mash the avocado with a fork and add it to the rice after 10 minutes. Add the coriander, basil, cheese, ginger powder, cheese, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. If the rice started the dry up add one more dl / 100 ml water / chicken stock at a time. The rice should be creamy and not totally dry at the end. The rice should be ready after a total of 20 min cooking time.  

Serve with lemon, basil and garnish with parmesan. This is a perfect side dish to fish. 



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Our Home: Spring Cleaning List

Hello lovelies! Spring already started in most countries of the world. Except here! in the Nordic countries.  Somehow we are lucky spring starts a bit late over here so I have a bit more time to do some spring packing / cleaning before the Easter Holiday. It's hard to keep track of it all especially when I have the packing and sorting to do as well, so I use the help of cleaning lists. Lists help me tick off what I've done so far because I break the mission to small tasks each room per day. 

I pick this printable checklists online from the I Dream Of Clean website. They have cleaning lists for each home corner and they help one keep track and break the tasks easily. I also use their home organization tips. 

Below the images there is my overall home cleaning checklist which I use to keep the home tidy and clean by the end of each season. This past two years have been a bit challenging with Julia taking most of my focus and time. But as I said I try to break tasks so I can manage to do what should be done. It's not perfect as I want it to be but it works for now. 

For those who are willing to do things perfectly there is the The ultimate spring cleaning list.  







Overall Spring Cleaning Chores
  • dust crown molding and baseboards
  • dust ceiling corners
  • dust baseboards and clean scuff marks
  • dust/wash light fixtures and lamps
  • dust ceiling fans
  • wash doors (look for scuff marks)
  • wash walls
  • touch up paint
  • change, vacuum or wash window curtains
  • wash window blinds
  • clean windows
  • dust bookcases
  • polish wood furniture
  • wipe down and vacuum furniture (clean the base and under cushions)
  • condition leather furniture
  • remove stains from upholstered furniture
  • vacuum and wash lampshades
  • deep clean hardwood, tile and linoleum
  • shampoo carpet (DIY or schedule a professional)
  • remove rugs to shake out, then vacuum, then clean under them
  • vacuum all flooring, including corners and edges
  • clean air vents
  • dust around mirrors, picture frames, and wall hangings
Spring Clean the Kitchen

  • remove anything from the kitchen that doesn’t belong
  • clean and disinfect the trash can
  • clean the microwave
  • deep clean the dishwasher
  • clean and organize the refrigerator
  • clean and organize the freezer
  • replace refrigerator water filter
  • vacuum refrigerator coils
  • clean the oven
  • clean the hood vent and change filter if needed
  • clean stove top burners
  • clean and disinfect the garbage disposal
  • clean and organize plasticware and storage containers
  • reorganize kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • clean and organize kitchen drawers
  • straighten cups, mugs, and glass cabinet and eliminate the unnecessary
  • straighten plates, bowls, and other dishes and eliminate the unnecessary
  • deep clean pots, pans, and bakeware
  • organize the pantry
  • sanitize cutting boards and sharpen knives
  • clean  and disinfect coffee maker
  • clean and disinfect small appliances
  • clean and disinfect high chairs
  • clean the pot rack
  • check the freshness of your herbs and spices
  • clean under the sink and eliminate the unnecessary
  • deep clean and polish cabinet doors
  • clean tile and touch up paint on walls
  • deep clean floors
  • disinfect door knobs, light fixtures and pulls
  • set up a meal plan
  • determine if you need new kitchen supplies

Spring Clean the Bathroom
  • Clean air vents
  • Clean and disinfect light switches and fixtures
  • Clean and disinfect toothbrush holders
  • Clean and refill soap dish and/or pump
  • Clean light fixtures and wash globe(s) 
  • Clean make-up brushes
  • Clean mirror
  • Clean shower caddy
  • Clean shower curtain and liner
  • Clean shower door frame
  • Clean shower glass (here’s a great way to prevent soap scum from building up on shower glass doors in the future
  • Clean plastic strip at the bottom of a glass shower door
  • Disinfect countertops
  • Dust and clean windows, inside and out
  • Polish faucets
  • Mop and hand scrub floors (pay attention to special grout lines, corners, and moldings)
  • Scrub and disinfect toilet, including around base, under seat and around hinges
  • Scrub the bathtub and/or shower
  • Scrub walls
  • Unclog and refill lotion dispensers
  • Wash bathroom cup
  • Wash floor mat
  • Wash hand/guess towels
  • Wash trash can (inside and out)
  • Wipe down cabinets, knobs, towel racks and toilet paper holder
  • Remove rust from toilet seat screws
  • Tighten toilet seat hinges
  • Clean bathroom exhaust fan
  • Clean shower head
  • Polish wood cabinets
  • Caulk around bathtub
  • Re-seal tile and grout
  • Unclog drains (the use this tip to prevent clogged drains in the future)
  • Toss beauty products not used over the past year
  • Toss expired make-up
  • Clean, organize and de-clutter cabinets and drawers
  • Clean, organize and de-clutter bathroom closet



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17 Easter Decoration Ideas

Hello loyal readers! I hope you guys are enjoying April. If you haven't already started with your Easter decoration here is an inspiration for modern Easter decor that I collected from Pinterest. The first image below is my humble Easter Decor this year.  We usually spend it in the mountain cabin with the rest of the family and do the Swedish Traditional Easter things :-) so this one was just to have the holiday feeling in the house at the moment until we travel to the mountains next week. Enjoy it! 





















Sources: 1 , 2 , 3 

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