All posts by Hayleigh Worgan

Melanoma Awareness Month

One in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime. Think of 50 people you know. Now, ask yourself if those 50 people wear sunscreen every time they go out in the sun. We are all human, and it is easy to forget sometimes. Buying additional bottles of suncreen for your car and workplace can help you get into the routine– but first you need to know why that routine is important.
Life is about time. Everyone wants just a little more. However, we are often rushing to get to the next enjoyable moment, and sometimes we forget to prepare for preventable catastrophe. According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes. It takes about five minutes to apply sunscreen on yourself and one very active child. In those five minutes, you could be adding years to your life.
woman-putting-sunscreen-on-child-300x199It is almost bikini season, and that means millions of people are flocking to tanning salons. A startling number of those individuals are teenagers. Do not let your insecurities be your death sentence. Before you get back in the tanning bed this year, consider this: people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for skin cancer by 75 percent. Take it from someone who is pale, with a history of cancer in her family. Those who love you would rather see your pale skin than visit you in the hospital because you wanted a tan for the summer.
My father has battled potentially cancerous moles for years. Up until recently, he often “forgot” to wear sunscreen, despite numerous warnings from his doctor. One such incident resulted in a sunburn on his legs that sent him to the emergency room. Last summer, I asked my 8-year-old sister to remind him to use sunscreen when he went outside. I even went so far as to say, “If daddy doesn’t wear sunscreen he could end up very sick and back in the hospital.”
A few weeks passed, and one day I received a phone call from my dad. He said, with a little sarcasm, “I just wanted to thank you for what you said to your sister. She will not let me leave the house without sunscreen now.”
It doesn’t matter how annoyed you feel by those five minutes you spend putting on sunscreen. What matters is that someone cares enough about you to remind you to do it. So, do us a favor. Grab a piece of paper and write, “sunscreen” on it. Tape it next to your door, and place the bottle of sunscreen somewhere nearby. We care about you, and we hope you will do your best to protect yourself from harmful UV rays this summer.

P.S. You can add additional protection with clothing that carries a UPF rating of 50+. We love products from UV Skinz, and this month they are offering a free baby sunshirt with every order! You should also check out the gorgeous scarves and gloves from Bloxsun for fashionable accessories that offer amazing coverage and protection.

A Gift for Mom

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Treat the mom in your life to something unique and different this year. At Bella, we are all about giving back to the community in which we live. If you haven’t checked out some of these local businesses in the past, you are truly missing out. Use mom as an excuse to get out and see what they are all about!

Let’s be honest—you have never seen your mother wear the sweater you bought her last year from that huge department store, but you have seen several other women wearing it. Step outside of the box a little this year, and get her something unique that she will love. Vivendi Boutique offers a wide variety of women’s apparel and accessories in all price ranges. Located at The Shoppes at West Village in Roanoke, you can follow them on Facebook or give them a call at 540-772-4308 for more information.

If Mom likes to be active and enjoys making new friends in the community, a membership at Just Dance Roanoke may be perfect for her. Your first class is free, so take her to one and try it out with her! If you both like it, this could be the gift that lasts for all year. Experience an exercise program that is fun and easy for everyone. They offer classes all day, and there are many to fit most schedules. Check out their website for more information, or visit them on Apperson Drive in Salem.

Send mom to a day of pampering at Balance Wellspace. They offer facials,skin therapy,waxing, massage therapy and more! They also offer personal training, yoga, and group exercise classes where she can stay healthy and meet new friends. It’s everything you need to make mom feel special and loved. Visit their website, or go see them at their location on Carolina Avenue in South Roanoke.

caveShe will also enjoy a unique experience at London’s Salt Spa in their Therapeautic Salt Cave and Salt Massage Room. It is the perfect day getaway for moms who have or currently suffer from chronic respiratory problems, migraines, depression, sleeping problems or skin ailments. Visit their location in Forest, Virginia, or check out their website.

Some of us celebrate more than one mom on Mother’s Day. If you find yourself pressed for time on the day nationally set aside to celebrate the moms in your life, consider spending time with one or more on another day. The Community School’s annual Strawberry Festival in downtown Roanoke takes place this weekend, May 2nd-May 3rd, and admission is free. Spoil mom by purchasing delicious strawberry desserts or arts and crafts from local vendors for her. If festivals are not her thing, take her out for a nice meal at Nopales Latin & Caribbean Restaurant in Grandin Villiage. Either way, you will be giving her the gift that means the most: your time.

Battle Scars

An artistic alternative to living with mastectomy scars

Every woman should take pride in her body. After a mastectomy, many breast cancer survivors find it difficult to look at their bodies in the same way. The procedure is invasive and life-changing, but it is often necessary in the fight against the disease. Each survivor handles this differently, and some have decided to cover their scars with tattoos. One local artist has made an offer to help those who wish to pursue that path.

monicamoses1Monica Moses realized she wanted to be a tattoo artist after she got her first tattoo. One of the first females to pursue the profession in Roanoke, she remained with the same shop for fourteen years. An international award winning artist, she tattooed people all over Europe and the United States during that time. She opened her own studio, Electric Eye Custom Tattoos, early this year in Floyd.

Recently, one of her long time friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy. As a result, Moses was inspired to offer free tattoos to breast cancer survivors who wish to cover or work around their scars. “[My friend] is a strong fighter and one of my heroes. I have tattooed mastectomy scars before. If these women can battle that and survive, then it is the least I can do to help them feel beautiful again.”

Any scars that patrons wish to cover must be at least three years old because there is a high rejection rate. However, if scars are more recent than that, she can tattoo around them. Whether a patron is a breast cancer survivor or not, she wants everyone who visits her shop to walk away with a creation of which they can be proud for the rest of their lives.

“I do custom tattoos here. Each tattoo is drawn specifically for the person who receives it– down to the lettering.” In case you are wondering, that means your tattoo is not just a picture on the wall that six other people have requested. Patrons should come prepared with an idea of what they want. The task before Moses, as an artist, is to bring their idea to life.  She can also recreate any piece of art for her customers.

monicamosesTattoos help tell the story of your life.  They can be as interesting or as mysterious as you wish for them to be. For breast cancer survivors, it offers a different type of illustration to a story that they not only bravely fought, but survived.

If you are interested in seeing more work from Moses, or if you would like her to create something for you, call (540)467-8578 or visit her Facebook page.

Outdoor Fun!

Warm weather is finally making its way to our area! It is time to get outside and enjoy all that spring has to offer. Before you dash to the first outdoor event, make sure you are taking the appropriate measures to keep your body healthy.  

040260-155_4There is no reason you should have to sacrifice your enjoyment of the outdoors to protect yourself from exposure to harmful UV rays. In addition to sunscreen, prevent sun damage with these UPF 50+ Sunwear capris by UVSkinz. You will be stylish and safe at the lake, park, and on the beach. Visit www.curediva.com to purchase your own pair, a matching shirt, and various other products!

 

To stay healthy, you must exercise and drink plenty of water. Unfortunately, that produces sweat. Remove discomfort and odor with feminine wipes that are paraben-free. The perfect size to bring along on any outdoor adventure, healthyhoohoo feminine wipes are safe, gentle and biodegradable. They remove any odor causing bacteria without the annoying presence of a fragrance that doesn’t match your body chemistry. Healthyhoohoo products, including feminine wash, foaming cleanser, and wipes, are available online at www.drugstore.com.

elephantUse a lightweight scarf to protect your shoulders and scalp at a picnic, by the lake, or in the garden. With the Bloxsun Scarf’s UPF 50+ material, you will prevent harmful exposure to the sun and add an elegant touch to your wardrobe. It comes in many different styles, allowing you to match it with almost any outfit. See all of the products they offer at www.bloxsun.com.

Finding a sunscreen that provides protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays, and helps reduce the size of noticeable pores to prevent breakouts might just inspire you to actually use it every day. Perfective Ceuticals’ Ultra-light Sunscreen SPF 40 with Titanium Dioxide is fragrance-free and leaves your skin with a non-greasy finish. For more information, or to purchase, visit www.perfectiveceuticals.com.

p185869zStay hydrated with an environmentally friendly water bottle from SIGG. Its nonporous interior lining ensures that it remains taste neutral so you can have diet coke on Monday, a green smoothie on Tuesday, and coconut water on Wednesday without residual taste. Purchase yours online at www.mysigg.com.elephant

You Can Make a Difference

In 2014, it is estimated that 40,000 individuals will lose their battle with breast cancer. Others will fight their battle and win—but not without enduring immense struggle and pain. Those affected will span all ages, ethnicities and income levels. This disease does not care if you are a parent, child, sibling or friend. It does not even discriminate based upon gender. There are ways to reduce your personal risk factors, but there are many undetermined causes of cause breast cancer. This means it is currently impossible to prevent it. The chances are very high that you or someone you love will be affected in some way. Before that happens, we must stand together as a community to save the lives of those we love.

On April 12th, we ask you to join Susan G. Komen and Bella at the Race for the Cure in Roanoke. Joey Beck, race chair for the Susan G. Komen foundation, encourages participants to take pride in their contributions. “I think the biggest misconception is that we are just another event,” she says, “Unlike some events in our area, money contributed to this race will stay local. Seventy-five percent of funds stay in our area. The other 25 percent goes to national scientific research. That is why I got involved with Komen. There is only a matter of time before myself or someone I love is diagnosed, and I know they will be there.”

2012 Komen Race for the CureThis race is for both serious runners and those who would rather walk with their families. Participants who wish to race the 5K can request to be officially timed, and it will take place on a US track and field certified course. However, this race is not about finishing first. It’s about showing up, walking courageously, and giving your support to those who need it most. You might be surprised how many people, in our area alone, are facing this illness.

Beck explains, “Breast cancer is becoming an epidemic. Nationally, one in eight women will be diagnosed this year. In our region, that number climbs to one in five. Our region also has a higher mortality rate. Women know something is wrong, and they wait too long to get checked out. By the time they do, it is too late. What many of them do not realize is this is no longer an ‘old lady’s disease.’ The number of young people who are facing breast cancer is climbing every year. I know of teenagers that have been diagnosed. ”

A few hours on a Saturday morning and a small contribution to this race can help change course of this disease. Ladies, bring your husbands and children along! This event will be fun for the whole family. Participants will receive a Race for the Cure t-shirt, but you are encouraged to rock the color pink in any form: from tank tops and shorts to tutus and pink hair. This is our time to shine for those who are battling breast cancer, those who have survived it, and those who lost their battle. So find your best tennis shoes, collect your pink accessories, and go to www.komenvablueridge.org to register for the race. We’ll see you there!  

Written by Hayleigh Worgan

Purse Problems

I have always envied my husband’s ability to fit everything he needs into a tiny wallet. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about accessorizing my outfits with the most fabulous purse I can find. The problem is, the bigger the purse, the more stuff I put in it. At this point, I carry one bag with all the junk I think I need, and then another tiny one inside it to take with me when I go into a store. Nothing ruins a shopping trip like inexplicable pain in your shoulder from carrying your giant bag.

The same is true for a girl’s night out. On these occasions I need four things: My cell phone, my ID, a credit card, and some lipstick. So there is no reason for me to carry everything else downtown. Not only is it unnecessary, it can also be dangerous. I needed something that disguised my valuables but was also convenient to carry.

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Recently, we stumbled upon Sholdit. Their creation, a Clutch Wrap purse, is both fashionable and functional. It can be used as a scarf, wrap, or purse—whichever is more convenient.The best part? It holds all of my essentials! There is even room for a medium sized wallet or passport. Visit their website for more information and to purchase your own in a variety of colors.

 

The Gift of Luck

Waldo, Sluggo & Me is a company that offers novelty gifts for all occasions including many dolls that promote positive messages of good wishes, like this “Good Luck Graduation Doll.” Their dolls celebrate weddings, new babies, graduations, birthdays, retirment, and more!  If you find yourself in need of a little extra luck on St. Patrick’s Day,check out our favorites:

The Lady Luck Good Voodoo Doll – The Ultimate “Player’s” Protectress

ladyluckGive “the system” a gentle poke in the right direction when you make your wishes stick with the Lady Luck Good Voodoo Doll, the ultimate “player’s” protectress. Use the doll’s playful prompts or stack the deck using the three blank tags to tack on your own winning messages. This leggy showgirl can’t guarantee a jackpot but she always delivers a pay out of lucky wishes and a chuckle. Each 7″ fiber-filled doll is hand made in the USA and comes packaged in a presentation-style box with a clear plastic display lid.

Her tags read: “Lucky Streak,” “Poker Face,” “Beat the House,” “Friendly Dealer,” “Winner Take All,” “Hot Machine,” “Trust Your Hunch,” and “Lucky & Smart.”

           
The Good Luck Happy Birthday Dollbirthday

Do you know anyone celebrating a birthday this weekend?  We do! (But we’d probably be in trouble if we shared names.) If you are in need of a gift that will stand out from the rest, try the Good Luck Happy Birthday Doll.  This party animal is handcrafted from repurposed material and comes dressed for the occasion, festooned with glitter and plenty o’ ribbons.
Her tags include, “Facebook Frenzy,” “Funny Cards,” and “All Good Surpises,” among many other well wishes. 

 The Good Luck Graduation Doll

Graduation is right around the corner, and many grads will be receiving books and cards filled with advice.  Instead of the ususal words of wisdom, stand out with a gift that reflects your well wishes. Handcrafted from repurposed graduation robes and found materials, the grad doll is available in most school colors and is proudly topped with graduation cap and tassel.
His tags include, “Generous Gifts,” “Fun Summer Job,” Cool New Friends,” and “Dream Boss.”

For more fun gift ideas, visit their website www.waldosluggoandme.com.

 

 

Celebrating Women Everywhere!

Ladies, I would like to remind you that Saturday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day.

Without the progress that we have made in the last century, we would not be able to celebrate the achievements of many female entrepreneurs, politicians, doctors, celebrities, and activists. The way we view ourselves as members of a community would change entirely.  Our imaginations would be stifled, and our dreams would likely burn out long before we began to pursue them.  There are many famous women who deserve celebration, but I want to remind you that YOU deserve just as much recognition.

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Perhaps you are a single mom, juggling two jobs and the responsibility of raising your children.  Or, you are a student, waitressing your way through college.  Maybe you are a cancer survivor, learning to face each day with the ability to enjoy your moments of happiness—without constantly living in fear of the future.  The fact that we wake up and face each day with determination—even just a sliver of it—in a world where anything can happen, is worth celebrating.  We balance the things we need to do to survive and the things that mean the most in our life on a daily basis.  This may not always be graceful; it may not always be pretty, but the fact that we keep trying makes us strong women worth celebrating.

I am lucky, because I have had so many strong female role models over the years.  However, there is one that I will not be able to thank in person tomorrow.  My aunt, Joyce Young, was one of the strongest women I have ever known.

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Joyce Young

One of eleven children, she made it her personal responsibility to make sure our large family stayed connected after my great-grandmother passed away.  At times she worked two jobs, kept up her house, and still found time for her husband, son and extended family.  She would have given her last dime to anyone in need—no matter how hard she worked for it.  Although she will never be famous, she influenced the way I work and interact with other people.  There are days when her memory and the desire to make her proud inspire me to push forward.

Make the most of this opportunity to thank the inspirational women that you know.  Pick up the phone and call your mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, or friend and thank her for all the sacrifices she has made in her life.  Remind her that she is an amazing person, and congratulate her on her accomplishments.  Also, please know that I am celebrating YOU, and that I appreciate every contribution you have made to our area and our world.

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Feel free to share your stories about the influential women in your life in the comments below.