Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

February 18, 2016

17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

Grace Notes | 17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

Words: Heather Taylor
Photo credit: Michela Ravasio, Bella Grace Issue 4


Confession: sometimes I secretly wish I lived a “Pinterest worthy life.”

In the carefully curated Pinterest world, everything is color-coordinated and the lighting is always flattering. The houses are cavernous and every kitchen has a farmhouse sink with a pile of fresh-cut flowers on the table. Manicures are never chipped and lattes are drunk on a pretty marble slab. It’s an idyllic place of no muss, no fuss, no awkward moments ever, but also the same kind of place I would be afraid to actually inhabit for a long period of time. I mean… What if I spilled something?

For me, this kind of life will have to wait. I take great pride in the messy, silly pocket of the world I reside in and all of its surprises behind every corner. Writer Madelyn Mulvaney said it best in Bella Grace Issue 1, “I fall in love every day in the best possible way.”

I constantly find myself celebrating things that might not get re-pinned on Pinterest, but that I think are pretty swell. Take a moment to re-appreciate these 17 perfectly imperfect things all over again today. You may find you secretly treasure them more than the idea of that pristine life.

1) Misshapen fruit.

AKA the strawberry that was trying out a new dance move and you caught it at the wrong time. All those wobbles and extra bumps give it so more character and if you ask me, it makes fruit taste even more sweet and delicious.


Grace Notes | 17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

(Photo credit: “my parents’ hands” by Angela Cartwright, Life Images Winter 2008)

2) Wrinkles.

They tell a story of a life well-lived, laughed, and loved.


3) Marker smudges on hands.

A rainbow of colors scattered on your fingers is a telltale sign of a day spent indulging your inner creative.


4) Piles of clothes draped all over a bedroom.

Every day, they inch juuuuust a little bit closer to the hangers.


5) Stream of consciousness writing.

Here, there are no rules for grammar or spelling. There’s no need to self edit either. All you have are just words that flow freely without censorship.

Our writing recommendation if you don’t know where to begin? Pen a handful of thank you notes, as inspired by Bella Grace Issue 2 writer Ella Wilson who thanked pencils, trees, and mirrors for everything they gave her each day.


6) A slightly burnt piece of toast.

It’s just a little crispier that way.


7) An unmowed lawn.

To some it might look unkempt, but those long blades of grass actually contain a world full of secret adventures.

Grace Notes | 17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

(Photo credit: Sylvia Stefanova, Bella Grace Issue 1)


8) Collections.

If it inspires and enchants you, whether that may be feathers, playing cards, scraps of lace, or buttons, amass great amounts to your heart’s delight.


9) A crooked tooth.

Fact: these teeth just make any smile look even more amazing.


10) Paw prints, everywhere.

A sight for sore eyes that pups are close by, wagging their tails and ready for a walk together.

Grace Notes | 17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

(Photo credit: “Sheer Laughter” by Julie Lackey, Life Images Summer 2008)


11) Deep belly laughs.

And that wonderful moment when the laughter is so contagious, you can’t help but join in.


12) Silver strands of hair, mixed in with your existing hair color.

It’s a party on your head and they’re the new guests of honor – welcome them! As writer Arbor Lee shares in Bella Grace Issue 4, “I have found solace in accepting my place in the aging process and in recognizing that age doesn’t define who I am or how I feel. … In choosing to embrace my gray, I was choosing to embrace all of me.”


13) Off-key singalongs.

Whether you’re with friends or on your own, if the lyrics resonate with you, belt it out!

Grace Notes | 17 Perfectly Imperfect Things Everyone Secretly Loves

(Photo credit: Alisha Fridland, Bella Grace Issue 5)


14) A stack of old books.

This is the best kind of treasure, better than any chest of gold ever could be.


15) The act of waiting.

This is your time to look forward to what’s to come in the day ahead and to take a second deeper glance at the beauty all around you.


16) Scribbly penmanship.

In each word etched out, there is so much of you spilled out into the world.


17) Tangled hair.

These locks are truly free from the confines of bobby pins, headbands, and clips.


What’s your favorite perfectly imperfect thing that you love? Leave a comment below and share or tweet us @BellaGraceMag!


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Comments ( 35 )

  1. Kathy Thurman

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    My unmade bed with my 2 cats snuggled among the rumpled sheets and quilt. So relaxed and safe. Why would I disturb them to make the bed? I wouldn’t!

  2. Debra Burke

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Strands of long dog hair all over my shirt.
    These fur locks show that my dog indulged his yearns for a cuddle from me. I love my furry child.

  3. Lisa RedWillow

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Todays perfectly imperfect thing I love is being so moved , and honestly so moved to joy beyond the smiles and the soft feeling in my heart to see this blog post show up in email today.. and be very grateful even if I am fumbling over the words I leave here. Smiling at my montior and so happy. Thank you !

  4. Stephanie Machinski

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I love my boyfriend’s hands, he sometimes tries to hide them… he is a Vietnam Vet… and they are a little crooked because he was wounded, then he had a career as a truck driver. It’s hard work, long hours. I love those hands they are beautiful because they are “his” hands.

  5. Stephanie Machinski

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I love Bella Grace, I am a photographer but I also work full-time. Sometime I want to send a short photo essay in to Bella Grace. I keep promising myself.

  6. susan hemann

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    The table after a delicious meal with friends. Empty plates give me great joy.

  7. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Love this one, Susan! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. – Heather

  8. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    My thoughts exactly – making the bed can wait until the cats are done snuggling. Thanks for sharing, Kathy! – Heather

  9. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Cuddles with pups are the absolute best. Thanks for sharing, Debra! – Heather

  10. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Lisa, I’m so glad you’re here and that this post has inspired you! – Heather

  11. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    That is a beautiful description, Stephanie. Thank you so much for sharing! – Heather

  12. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Hello again, Stephanie! I’d love to help you make your dream of submitting in a photo essay to our magazine come true. If you would like to contribute to Bella Grace Magazine, please check out our calls and challenges page for ideas to get you started and publishing deadlines: – Heather

  13. Cassandra

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Chipped nail polish, broken seashells, rough draft poetry, and dancing from the soul, no matter what it looks like.

  14. Ariona

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I love this post. The “little” things in life really are the best!

  15. Tracy MacDonald

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Our toddler’s toys on the carpet in the living room remind me not to take life too seriously, and that a life lived imaginatively is best!

  16. Suzanne Robbins

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Weekends without any set plans. I feel a little imperfect when I listen to my colleagues recite their lavish plans for their weekend while knowing that I’m going to spend mine following my nose. But really, those are almost always the best kind.

  17. Robin Zachary

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    At a store in my neighborhood I spotted a tiny vintage pitcher with a broken handle that was glued back together in two spots making it very imperfect. I eyed it at the store for a few weeks wondering why they would sell it broken. I was so taken by its beauty that each time I stopped by I would pick it up and take it with me as I browsed around the store and put it back on the shelf when I was ready to leave. After visiting with it 3 times I finally bought it and brought it home last week!

  18. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    My favorite perfectly imperfect thing is the living room couch throws and pillows tossed sideways and slouchy. I smile and think of my loved ones comfy and laughing over a movie, sharing their latest venture, or dream. Memories reside in these wrinkles of imperfection and make my heart smile~

  19. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Robin, what a wonderful find that pitcher was indeed! Thanks for sharing your perfectly imperfect story with us! – Heather

  20. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Ah, but spontaneity can gift us with the most lavish plans and routes to take of all. Here’s to following your nose and discovering some magic this weekend! – Heather

  21. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I agree! Thanks for sharing, Tracy. – Heather

  22. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Ooh, yes to all of the above especially dancing from the soul. Thanks for sharing, Cassandra! – Heather

  23. admin

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    What a lovely image you have painted with this description, Ella. Thanks for sharing the most perfectly imperfect cozy living room with us! – Heather

  24. Debbie Vanderhagen

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    A magpie journal. There I can put anything that catches my eye that I think is pretty: pieces of paper, ribbons, quotes, lists of books I’m reading, Pinterest ideas, a recipe, thoughts, a photo, etc. All mixed up together and in no particular order.

  25. Bella Grace Magazine

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Debbie, what a positively delightful sounding journal! I love this concept – thank you for sharing it with us as one of your perfectly imperfect things. – Heather

  26. Dana Ruth

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    My grandbabies all tucked in close to me with colorful books scattered around, soft blankies, messy bed heads and sweet rosy sleepy faces. Pure bliss…

  27. Tina Breitwieser

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    The fiber that just arrived in the mail, carelessly tossed atop my Bella Grace magazine, alongside my cup of afternoon herbal tea, in my ever so slightly unkempt kitchen…..No Pinterest Farmhouse here…..Only a VERY lived in REAL farmhouse. The farmer’s wife’s creativity keeping me too busy creating, knitting, spinning, sewing, to worry about dust bunnies, paw prints or Spring Cleaning today ! I adore this part of me most days…..other days, I long for a gorgeous pretend farmhouse that the (pretend) maid keeps clean !

  28. Carla Serenko

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    That sense of expectancy that something really good is just around the corner.

  29. jo tan

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    I came across a beautiful stone at the shore. Has a aboriginal image and fell in love with it. Knowing it is God’s work.Brought back when I know I should leave it for others to enjoy. Use it as a beautiful paper day the stone dropped on the floor and was chipped. I continued to treasure that piece and tried to mend the chip. It will still be my treasured stone.

  30. Shannon Mitchell

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    My fiancé’s distressed hair after a long nap, sticking up in all directions. Though his hair is a short military cut, the top is thick and tends to have a mind of its own.

  31. Penny Kleiner

    April 19, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    A few of my favorite perfectly imperfect things..
    The ring left on the table from a cup of coffee means I took time to relax or have coffee with a friend.
    The dog’s nose prints on the car window means she had a happy day.
    Bobbypins or hair ties left wherever someone decided to get comfortable.
    Guitar pics left where they were used last means the house was filled with music.
    Finding rubber bands or nerf darts in unexpected places reveals that the kids were having some fun.
    Dog toys hidden in the blanket on the couch shows me what the dog was up to while I was at work.
    Fallen petals on the table beneath a bouquet that’s fading fast show that aging can be beautiful.
    A lost bird feather in the garden has a story to tell.
    Old salt and pepper shakers make me imagine how many people used them daily for years, what stories they could tell if only they could talk!

  32. judy h.

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    My beautifully refinished teal desk messy with colored pens scatterd about, bright colored post-it notes here and there and my opened bullet journal showing the contents of the day’s work.

  33. Julie Stidham

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Dirt under my fingernails after working in my herb garden or potting some new flowers for my yard. There is something so lovely about connecting with the Earth through the rich dark soil.

  34. Mary Crook

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Perfectly perfect – is driftwood. It tells a story. That piece of wood once a thriving part of a life supporting tree had broke away and survived the waters to be renewed as a piece of art which can be landscape, turned into furniture or simply rest on the shore for all to admire

  35. Bhoovi Chauhan

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    This is the most beautiful thing I read today. It literally made my day. We all see these things everyday, feel the beauty of it but fail to realize it. Sometimes these perfect things are the ones that make our life more perfect. Thank you for this!

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