All posts by Hayleigh Worgan

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.

joyce
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.

 

Opera Roanoke Presents Handel’s Julius Caesar

March is Women’s History Month—a time when we celebrate the accomplishments of amazing women who have inspired us to do great things.  Locally, you will be able to see talented women come together at Opera Roanoke for a fantastic performance of Handel’s Julius Caesar.  Amy Cofield Williamson, Teresa Buchholz, Carla Dirlikov, and Toby Newman will be joined by a female cast to tell the story of Caesar’s campaign in Egypt.  It features dramatic scenes for each of the principal characters performed by artists who are not only gifted, but also passionate about our community.

Buchholz will play the role of Julius Caesar—something that many men would likely find challenging.  “There is really no room for anything remotely feminine in his character,” she explains. “That has to be conveyed both physically and through my singing.”  It is a challenge that she looks forward to undertaking, but she realizes her masculine portrayal will require strength and creativity.  “Acting comes from within.  It’s not something you should layer on externally.  It comes out of the music,” she says, “[Great] singers act with their voices, not just their bodies.”

teresa
Teresa Buchholz

Much like her colleagues, she is dedicated to giving her best to this production.  Their admiration for Handel and each other, as artists, will likely be evident in their performance.  For some of them it will be the first time they have crossed paths.  Others have been with Opera Roanoke for many years.  Regardless, they have spent months preparing for their roles and learning about their characters.  They do not make light of their responsibility to tell a story to the audience.

Newman also believes that her voice will be one of her strongest assets.  She describes it as a viable connection to those watching, and adds, “You have to sing and convey emotions that [they] can feel.  Your voice is an actor.”  The production will give the cast ample opportunity to make those connections.

toby newman
Toby Newman

Playing the role of Cleopatra, Williamson is excited to share Handel’s work with the Roanoke audience because she feels as though she has already connected with her character.  “I have so enjoyed preparing for this role,” she says, “mostly because of the beautiful music [he] wrote.  Of course, who wouldn’t love having the opportunity to perform the role of Cleopatra?  I can’t wait for Opera Roanoke to bring this beautiful music and history to life!”  Her respect for the production is contagious, and every cast member is committed to making the experience both enjoyable and educational.

amy williamson
Amy Cofield Williamson

Phenomenal talent and passion for the stage is not all that makes these women unique.  Each one took a different path that led them to Opera Roanoke, and all of them display inspiring strength.  They stress the importance of having a mentor that brings out the best in you.  Many of them found mentors when they were very young, and almost all of them were inspired by strong women.  Dirlikov’s was her teacher and a famous African American opera singer, Shirley Verrett.  “She insisted that I strive for excellence,” she recalls. “She faced so much adversity in her career and never gave up.  I was fortunate to have her guidance.”

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Carla Dirlikov

We, as a community and an audience, will be the fortunate ones to see these ladies in action on stage.  Bella encourages everyone to celebrate Women’s History month by supporting the women you know who are doing great things in our community. Don’t forget to visit the Jefferson Center on March 21st or March 23rd to support this talented cast in their performance of Handel’s Julius Caesar.  For more information, go to Opera Roanoke’s website, www.operaroanoke.org.