Hudson Henry Baking Company

Photo Credit: Tyler Darden Photography

In 2012, Hope Lawrence and her husband, David, returned to Virginia in search of a way for Hope to go back to work and stay at home with their young sons Hudson, 8, and Henry, 5. After many months of searching, they found the perfect farmhouse for their family just outside of Charlottesville in early 2012. It included a separate commercial kitchen, and the Lawrences realized this presented a unique opportunity for Hope to be with her family and start the bakery she had been dreaming of for years.

Named after their sons, Hudson Henry Baking Company is the sole source of income for the family of four. And it is very much family-owned and operated. Both Hudson and Henry help their parents, and Hudson even accompanied Hope to the LLC meeting with their attorney. He also appeared in their video audition for Shark Tank.
“What is important to us is being home with the boys and working together to provide for our family,” explains Lawrence. “Our business helps us live a good life with our boys.”

When they aren’t baking, packaging, and shipping their delicious granola, the Lawrence family focuses on new ways to give back to others.

This outreach began when the business did. As Hope perused through websites geared towards entrepreneurs, she found several motivational thoughts that she considered putting on posters to inspire her.

HudsonHenry058“Then I thought, what if people read these things in the morning to start their day instead of the news? These sayings should be on cereal boxes!” says Lawrence. She realized she had the perfect way to get those inspirational words in front of her customers and incorporated them into their packaging.“The positive messages are as important to me as the granola,” she adds.

But she didn’t stop there. The Lawrence family works closely with their community by employing stay at home moms and participating in a work-study program with students at a nearby high school. They also put a lot of thought into the suppliers they choose for their ingredients. For example, their maple syrup comes from another family-owned and operated business, Mount Mansfield Maple Products, located in Vermont.

Their goal is to be a family business that helps others be their best. Whether that is through consuming their delicious granola, starting the day with their motivational quotes, or a combination of the two—the Lawrence’s want people to know that whatever their dream, a little positivity can go a long way. Their own success is the perfect example of this mentality. After just ten months of business, Hudson Henry Baking Company was featured on The Today Show in 2013 as one of Kathie Lee’s “Favorite Things.” Additionally, their products are available to a wide customer base throughout the country.

If you’re searching for that perfect Mother’s Day gift, this is it! Hudson Henry Baking Company is extending a special discount code to Bella readers for 10% off during the month of May. To take advantage of this deal, visit www.hudsonhenrybakingco.com and enter the code: bella10 when you check out!

Heels for Healing

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate spring and meet new friends, you don’t want to miss Heels for Healing on Friday, April 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Berglund Center in Roanoke! This annual women’s fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will feature a shoe raffle with gorgeous footwear from Yarid’s. Wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar will be available. The event will also include a large silent and live auction.

Tickets to Heels for Healing are $55 each, or $400 for a table of eight. Since its inception, the event has raised thousands of dollars and awareness for local nonprofit children’s hospitals. These funds help provide lifesaving medical equipment and services for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Units at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital in Roanoke. Each year, over 2,200 hospitalized children and 25,000 children visiting 17 speciality outpatient clinics benefit from the money raised by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

12814617_10154034110948140_1515970955429804959_nThis is possible because 100 percent of funds raised remain locally to enable the hospital to pivoted miracles of health and healing for babies and children in our communities. Every ticket, every pair of shoes, every donation—every single dollar makes a difference.

In previous years, the event has been held during the day. The new hours this year may be more convenient for attendees to relax and enjoy the event—all while doing their part to help children in our community. For more information about this event and how to purchase tickets, visit www.carilionclinic.org/cmn.

Celebrating the LEAF Festival!

Festival season is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! We can’t wait for North Carolina’s LEAF Festival, a four-day event benefitting local artists and musicians, from May 12-15.
The 42nd LEAF Festival will take place in Black Mountain, North Carolina. For over 20 years, each May and October, an intergenerational family of 12,000 people join together upon the beautiful Lake Eden land to experience the power that music, art, and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity.

Sponsored by LEAF Community Arts, a nonprofit organization, all festival profit and donations go towards music and arts education programming both locally and globally. According to their website, since 2004 LEAF Schools & Streets has served over 45,000 youth with programs in over 20 Western North Carolina locations while LEAF International features cultural preservation programs in over 10 countries worldwide.

maxresdefaultThis year, LEAF’s theme is “World Fusion with Cuban Spice.” The lineup includes Juan De Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Shovels & Rope, Fatoumata Diawara, Danay Suarez, Dakha Brakha, Sarah Jarosz, Marchfourth!, Perdition Martinez, and more!

Guests will also have the opportunity to experience over 50 free of charge healing arts workshops. They include yoga, dance, martial arts classes, nutrition workshops, diverse healing traditions, ancient earth skills, and plant walks.

If you’re like us, one of the things we look forward to the most about this time of year is festival food. You’ll find many delicious local options throughout festival grounds, where vendors are divided into the following culinary sections: Boathouse, Shipside, Lakeside, Eden Hall, Roots Family Stage, The Barn, and Meadow Green. One vendor, Homegrown, has a menu that includes a fried chicken sandwich, a smoked trout wrap, a pimento cheese wrap, and smoked pork tacos with slaw. Start the day with organic fair trade coffees, hot chocolate, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, or cake made with 100% organic flour and all-natural or organic ingredients from Bus Station & West End Bakery. Adults can also purchase local brews from Highland Brewing Company, New Belgium, and Pisgah Brewing Company. Of note, you can not bring outside alcohol to the festival—but you can buy fairly-priced ice and beer by the case and/or boxed wine at the Eden Field Camping drop-off.

LKVFacePaintFancyHM-copyThe LEAF festival is also kid-friendly! Family activities include crafts, educational arts, performances, a Jelly Dome Adventure, and a variety of sports in the World Wide Play Field.
If you are interested in learning more about LEAF, go to www.theleaf.org. You can also download their app. This option is perfect for festival attendees because it works offline and offers a schedule of events, dates and location information, and a map of the event layout.

Head over to our Facebook page for information on how to WIN tickets!

Meet Dr. Almeder

(Photo Credit: Megan Cole)

“I have a love/hate relationship with poetry, but I keep writing it.” 

Dr. Melanie Almeder is a professor at Roanoke College who participated in a program called, “Art by Bus”, which is sponsored by the City of Roanoke Arts Commission, Ride Solutions, and the Greater Roanoke Transit Authority. Dr. Almeder rode public transportation regularly over the course of a month in order to create a unique work of literature. She published a collection of poems that she created during her participation in this program entitled In Transit.

What do you want people to take away from these pieces?
I guess the most important thing is that we live in this very diverse and dynamic landscape and that riding [the bus] can help us all participate more. It can also help us celebrate what’s beautiful about it and name what we would like to see grow. Poetry can do that and everyone can participate in that act. Poetry is not just an academically-owned process, but an opening to allow others to write.”

Do you think you have to understand poetry to appreciate it?
I think that there are different modes of understanding and I think it’s important to stretch our minds to understand it so that we can praise the world. Many run from poetry because its difficult, but the difficulty pays off. It’s important to give poetry a chance and understanding comes in different forms. We can understand things emotionally, structurally, or musically. Any of those modes are valuable and I think it’s worth trying to understand.”

What do you see in the future for you? Any other works we should expect to see soon?
I’m working on finishing a second book of poems and I’m also working on a website with one of my research students. The website is a tool kit for anyone that wants to run a writing group in a women’s halfway-house prison and rehab. Anyone in the nation who is working in a women’s prison will be able to download this tool kit, which contains exercises, ways to run the group, and how to print work. Lastly, I’m running a writing circle at the Trust House downtown to reach out to the homeless. I’m looking forward to publishing some of their writings soon.”

Any advice for other artists?
I would say read, read, read, don’t quit writing, and never stop learning. Let the world and people teach you. Stay open and pay attention.”

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Books We Love: Aim True

Aim True, a new book by Kathryn Budig, is written for those who want total wellness to be apart of their daily routine. Kathryn is a yoga expert who has been featured in publications like Women’s Heath Magazine, Forbes, Yoga Journal, The New York Times and television shows like The Food Network and E! Entertainment. She has helped many people get their lives and bodies on the right track including Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis!
aim true coverIn writing this new book she teamed up with Dr. Deborah Kim, a widely known holistic nutritionist. Together, these experts have put together a collection of yoga exercises, healthy recipes, tips for meditation, body-positive narratives, and DIY beauty recipes! The recipes in this book are designed to ignite a passion for cooking, while the yoga exercises are designed to make you fall in love with a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking for a new addition to your routine, Aim True is perfect–it has all of the resources you need to get back on track and lead a happy and balanced life!

Don’t wait–Aim True is available today. Get your copy here!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Snack Healthy!

If you have managed to stick with that New Years Resolution this long, the girls at Bella are cheering you on! However, if you’re like the rest of us and you’re still struggling with those greasy snacks calling your name, then we are here to help!
2e9eb6d6-67df-40b8-85a1-283a4f5c06f4_lWe just discovered falafel and multi-grain chips from Flamous Brands! Their mission is to create snacks that are healthy for you and also non-GMO, vegan, kosher, gluten free, and vegan. These chips contain 21 spices, herbs, vegetables, and legumes meaning that they are packed with extra flavor!
You can get these chips in four different flavors: original falafel, spicy falafel, multi-grain rosemary and thyme, and spicy fiesta! They go great with hummus or by themselves and are the perfect tasty distraction from other unhealthy snacks! So, if you’re looking for a healthy snack to jump back into that resolution or you’re keeping it going, check out Flamous Brands for yourself, and let us know what you think!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Bella Loves: Gym Essentials

Getting up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym is… well, interesting. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
Even if you get up and manage to make it out of your door within 30 minutes, it’s very easy to forget important things–like headphones, a headband, and even shower gear!
If you read our monthly minimalism column, you’ll know that we like to simplify things to avoid this kind of mishap. That’s why we have compiled a small list of our morning essentials to get you to the gym and keep you healthy and happy throughout the day.

12750313_477394149138002_2099817502_nViolet Love Headbands
We LOVE these beautiful headbands and their “No Headache–No Slip” guarantee. Choose between two styles–sportswear and premier performance wear. The sportswear collection takes a more tailored, upscale, and specialty design approach to casual wear while keeping the laidback, bohemian vibe. The performance collection brings a spiced up take on core fitness wear in luxurious and durable fabrics offered in unique specialty prints and bright colors. Check them out at www.violetloveheadbands.com.

Wraps Headphones
lookbooknaturalWraps wristband headphones make it easy to transport your headphones without worrying about the tangled mess they often become in the bottom of your purse or gym bag. Some even come with microphones, making it easy and convenient to answer the phone while you are working. When they aren’t in use, simply wrap the headphones around your wrist and attach them until you need them again. They ship from Europe, but they are definitely worth it! Go to www.mywraps.com for more information.

packtowl_personal_m_indigoPacktowls
As featured in our March issue, Packtowls are perfect for when you want to maximize space in your bathroom. They also work really well for the days that you shower at the gym. Packtowls are designed to dry quickly. Once they are dry, you can roll them up and store them in their own bag. Purchase yours at Walkabout Outfitter in downtown Roanoke or on Amazon.

 

What are some of your go-to products for making life more simple in the morning? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

 

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Spring Cleaning Tips

It’s time to open the windows, take in a breath of fresh air, and bust out those buckets, mops, brooms, and rags because spring is here! We all know that with spring comes spring-cleaning, which some of us dread and some of us anticipate, but those pesky dark corners of our homes that get neglected every winter aren’t going anywhere. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of spring-cleaning tips that will ensure your home is left spotless!
It always feels good to declutter and deep clean after the painfully long winter and an easy place to start is your closet! Whether you’ve kept your weight loss resolutions and you can’t wear a lot of your clothes anymore, or you’ve changed up your look, we all have clothes that we bought and hate or just don’t wear anymore. When cleaning out your closet try to be as objective as possible. Don’t say “what if” or “but”… if you haven’t worn it in the past sixth months, put it in the donate bin! If you’re honest with yourself, when you’re done there will be a huge difference! The great thing is, after you’re done you’ll have an excuse to go shopping and get a new spring outfit to celebrate!
Another great way to get a jump start on your spring cleaning is to tackle those baseboards that have collected a startling amount of dust and grime over the cold months! We all hate grabbing that bucket of soapy water and a rag only to get down on our knees for the thankless task of scrubbing the baseboards, but you’ll notice a huge difference when you’re done! Even your floors will look cleaner after scrubbing your baseboards until they’re squeaky clean. If crouching down on your knees for what seems like forever is just too much, check out Pinterest for all kinds of creative ideas on how to avoid squatting!
Next on our list is ceiling fans… out of sight out of mind, right? We always seem to forget these guys until one day, after we’ve opened up those windows and it’s a little warm, we turn them on full blast only to receive in return a prompt rain of dust on the entire room. Don’t let this happen to you! Just grab a small step stool and a warm damp rag and wipe off the tops of the blades. Depending on how long you’ve neglected them, you might have to go over them a few times, but it’s worth it knowing that you’re keeping dust out of the air and off of your clean floors!
One of the more creative ideas that we’ve come up with is to, while your scrubbing those baseboards and ceiling fans, take your AC vent covers, place them in the dishwasher without soap, and hit “start” to get them squeaky clean*. You don’t even need soap, the hot water will be enough to wash away the grime from the winter! Then, by the time you’re done with your other projects, all you’ll have to do is take them out of the dishwasher and put them back in place!
slice-of-lemon-953987_1920Lastly, don’t make spring cleaning harder than it needs to be! To cut grease and grime in those extra tough places, use a lemon wedge! After you go over the area with the lemon, wipe with a damp rag to clean up any extra. We love this for areas like stovetops and microwaves. It’s especially nice to know that you are using something totally natural and free of harsh chemicals to clean the areas where you prepare food for your family!
As you start to dive into your cleaning don’t forget those tough spots, be objective, and keep in mind that it is SO worth it when you’re done! There’s no better way to kick off spring than with a clean and refreshed space for you to spend time with your family. The Bella girls would love to hear what your favorite spring cleaning tip is, so share with us on Facebook!

*Only do this if your AC vents are metal.

Written by Kathleen Duffy