All posts by Hayleigh Worgan

Bridesmaid Gift Ideas

Your bridesmaids have been there through thick and thin. Every time you were stressed. Every time you needed to vent about bad service, your slow-growing hair, or (gasp!) your almost in-laws– they have let you have your say and assured you that in the end, it will all work out. Let them know how much you appreciate them by putting some thought in to their gifts. In addition to individual personalization (check out our Pinterest for ideas), consider splurging a little for your best friends. Here are some ideas for a gift they will enjoy and remember for years to come:

Put together a gift basket: 

VAN_CANDLE__02220_1391360474_451_416MSC Skin Care + Home has a variety of gifts for everyone in your wedding party. We love their soy candles. In addition to the benefits of using 100% pure soy wax, they offer many unique scent combinations like Bourbon Vanilla and Oak, Ginger and Vanilla, Agave Nectar and Green Tea and more! Their impressive skin care line includes moisturizers, exfoliating scrubs, lip creams, herbal spa soaks– everything you need to gift the gift of a DIY spa experience. They also offer products for men– just in case you end up buying gifts for the groomsmen as well!

tuberose_body_creme_copy_web_1Your girls will love Kat Burki’s Signature Body Creme. The packaging is beautiful on its own, so you will not need to waste any time wrapping it. Additionally, the quick absorbing, ultra-rich creme offers long-lasting hydration with Tamanu and Jojoba Oils while a proprietry organic herb blend works to calm and soothe skin. It is available in four signature fragrances: Tuberose, Freesia & Pink Grapefruit, White Orchid & Poppy, and Lilac & Rosemary. Go to Kat’s website for more information and to purchase a few for your friends!

Day or Weekend Trips:

Take a spur of the moment adventure together to a place that is an easy driving distance from your home. The distance gives you a little flexibility for those that cannot spend the whole weekend away. The Floyd Artisan Tour, from June 14-16, is perfect for those who desire the option for many different activities but do not want to travel out of state. The three day tour features over 50 locations across Floyd County with activities at artisan home studios, galleiries and shops, wineries, farms and farm markets, restaurants, and lodging sites. Some of these stops will offer specials, discounts, or complimentary items to tour visitors. Check out their website for more information.

Pick up our June { celebrations!! } issue of Bella Magazine for more gift ideas for your wedding party and the newlyweds!

 

Pinterest Inspired

Despite what you may have been led to believe, you do not have to spend $10,000 on your wedding day to make it perfect. Our June issue is full of ideas to cut costs and still host the best celebration your guests will attend this year! Pick up your copy today, and look for our article on Pinterest inspired ideas that will add an inexpensive but personal touch to your wedding!

The traditional cake topper may not appeal to you. Visit www.etsy.com for many shops with unique cake toppers. MeltingPotLove has several to fit almost every couple’s needs. If you do not see a cake topper that matches you and your spouse-to-be, they can create one just for you!

weddingpartyweddingparty1Plan ahead for your “Thank You” cards. Use your family and friends to create memorable photos and cards you can send to guests. Obviously, you are going to want to send them (unless you never want a thank you card or gift for any other occasion). Ask your wedding party to hold letters in one of your photos that spell the words, “Thank you.” Many photographers will let you use the image on websites like Shutterfly to print your cards. (Just remember, ask first!)

Think outside of the box for wedding party gifts. Pinterest has plenty of DIY ideas, but you can also check out Etsy.com for so many wonderful gifts for your loved ones. In addtion to being reasonably priced, they are already made!

wineforawedding1For any member of the wedding party, or for the bride and groom themselves, consider a personalized wine box from Wine for a Wedding. These boxes are perfect to celebrate any occasion, and you can have a special message engraved on the inside of the lid. You even have the option of ordering a bottle of wine to include in the box! They can create a box just for you by incorporating your photos, invitations, specific monograms, or a completely custom design to fit your needs. Visit their website to place your order. Watch our Facebook page this week for a chance to win a wine box of your very own!

 

We are constantly pinning new ideas to our Pinterest boards. Follow us, and stay updated on the latest wedding DIY projects, gifts for your family, and more!

Real Weddings

Our June issue is full of out-of-the box and inexpensive wedding ideas that engaged couples will not want to miss! Also, if you are preparing for ANY celebration, we have several DIY and Pinterest articles that may inspire you.

Join us as we celebrate three couples who are either recently married or will be wed this year. All three are very different, but they each represent the true beauty and raw honesty of love in their own way. Our entire issue reflects our belief that marriage should be celebrated in a way that the couple desires– regardless of the number of previous marriages, children from previous relationships, race, income level or gender.

Most of us do not look like the brides on the covers of magazines. We are real. We have tattoos, a little extra weight here and there, or a dress of some color other than white. The same is true for many grooms, who choose not to wear a tux, have facial piercings or long hair. We decided there should be a wedding issue of Bella to which EVERYONE can relate, and so the idea for our June issue was born.

We hope you enjoy the following preview of the couples we profiled for this issue. Don’t forget to pick up an issue of Bella Magazine, on stands now, for more out-of-the-box wedding ideas! 

kimandc
Photo courtesy of Memories by Whitney Photography

 

The McCormicks

Carrie and Kimberly have been together for eight years. Last year, after seven years of being engaged, they were finally able to get married in Washington D.C.

They are currently planning a second celebration with family and friends once they are granted equal rights in Virginia.

Both feel lucky to have each other and be in a healthy, loving relationship.

“Kimberly’s soul is beautiful,” Carrie says, “I feel blessed by the unconditional love and respect we have together.”

 

 

 

J&J221
Photo by Rabiah Khwaja Gohar

The  Leonards
Although they attended the same high school in Botetourt, Joel and Jessica Leonard did not meet until years after graduation. They quickly discovered a mutual love for traveling, backpacking and camping. Their vintage wedding was beautiful, and their month-long adventure honeymoon was a unique way to celebrate what they love most about one another. “I admire Jessica’s appreciation for other cultures, art, learning, music, the outdoors and great foods,” Joel says, “These are all things that I love too, and it really means a lot to me to get to share them with such a great, strong woman!”

New Image
Photo by Josh Gilliland

The Strongs 

Morgan Strong and Tamar Boland met through their employer, Asylum Studios. He proposed to her at the H20 Music Festival in Charlottesville with the help of New Found Glory. “It was actually super stressful,” he explains, “I can’t remember a lot of the songs that played for the rest of the show because I was trying so hard to think of what to say once I got on stage.” Tamar said yes, and the couple are planning a Star Wars themed ceremony for June.

Congratulations to these amazing couples, and to all of you getting married this year! Feel free to share your wedding ideas with us on our Facebook page!

Love Grace Juice Cleanse

I recently tried a one-day juice cleanse from Love Grace. Here’s the thing about “juicing.” I’m going to be honest. I was very committed to the idea until I woke up and realized I could not have a blueberry muffin for breakfast. Then, I took a sip of the first cold-pressed organic juice I was scheduled to have that day. The raw, natural taste was shocking.

I had forgotten the taste of healthy foods because, too often, I give into my cravings for all of the wrong things. I love potatoes in any form—potato chips, buttered mashed potatoes, and especially cheese fries. And, like any good little southern Belle, I enjoy my main course (hamburger, chicken, fish) fried with a side of gravy.

Yes, I sometimes feel disappointed when I see my weight on the scale. As a former size zero, it is never easy to understand that your body changes as you get older. Yes, I realize I could lose a few pounds by changing my diet. But I have come to appreciate my curves—and the weight loss is no longer my main issue.

The truth is, I have started to notice that my body does not like these unhealthy foods. I crave them constantly, but I have recently developed stomach issues because I eat too much junk, and not enough raw fruits and vegetables. So, I decided to eliminate them for one day in an attempt to reset my body with a juice cleanse. I did not think I would notice a difference in just one day– but I was wrong.

This is what I learned from my (very brief) cleanse experience:

1)      Juicing is about retraining your taste buds to appreciate what should be natural to us. The grease and processed foods we crave are full of chemicals to which we have become addicted—and the natural taste of vegetables and fruits is what our body truly needs.
2)      I think I would need a week or so away from other humans to do this cleanse. For a true detox experience, I would need to really commit to getting all of the caffeine out of my system. And that is a scary image.
3)       I truly believe that if I gradually change my diet, I will no longer suffer from a “nervous stomach.” It sounds ridiculous, but I noticed a dramatic improvement after just one day of eliminating chips, coffee and soda.
4)      People will advise you to change your diet until they are blue in the face, but you will never know how much your health can benefit from it until you take the plunge. A juice cleanse will remove toxins from your body and help you start with a fresh, clean slate.

 

bliss-love-grace-organic-cold-pressed-juice-cleanseLove Grace reccomends that customers start with a 3-5 day cleanse. That will be my next step, once I eliminate the junk (and caffeine from my diet). Although it may seem like just a passing fad, juice cleanses are more necessary now than they every have been because of our unhealthy diets and the toxic enviroment in which we live. For more information on why you should do a juice cleanse, and to purchase some organic juices for yourself, visit www.lovegracefoods.com.

Giveaways in Poppyseed Magazine!

The founder of UV Skinz lost her 32-year-old husband to skin cancer in 2001. Shortly thereafter, she made it her life’s mission to increase awareness about the disease and educate families about the sun. Good habits start early, and it is important to teach your children the dangers of prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays. In addition to sunscreen, consider dressing them in comfortable and stylish outfits from UV Skinz. They are offering a 10% discount to Bella readers from May 1st– June 30th. Visit their website, www.uvskinz.com, and use the code Bella10 for your discount!

A girl’s UV Skinz sun shirt, along with some other fantastic products, is featured in the May/June issue of our sister magazine, Poppyseed. Pick up an issue today to see what else you can win. Also, make sure you like their Facebook page and check it often for information on giveways–including this shirt. It offers fantastic sun protection, is chlorine and water resistant, and is UPF 50+ certified.

 

Your Time Could Change a Life

wings6Gleaning for the World is announcing their new women’s program, WINGS. Around the world, women are forced out of their schools, jobs and society because of their monthly cycle. Annually, these women lose months of education and income because they do not have access to feminine hygiene products. It is devastating and abandons so many to violence, exploitation and prostitution.

These desperate women resort to any means available for help. They walk to landfills to get newspapers, dirty rags, corn cobs and even bark. In places where taboos are the worst, some women are forced to sit on dirt mounds or above holes for hours at a time.

This new program is an incredible solution. These kits provide all the supplies women need for their monthly cycle and can last for up to three years. That is an extra nine months of education, income and freedom. What’s more, it helps improve their self-esteem and empowers them to reclaim their future. No longer do they have to hide each month or dig through garbage to find makeshift supplies.

“I have been to some of these communities and met these women,” says WINGS program spokeswoman, Danielle Sarchet. “I have seen the happiness on their faces when they realize what they have, and it moves me to know that the volunteer efforts of women in Virginia will change these women’s lives.”

These kits are assembled by volunteers in Central and Southwest Virginia. Due to the donation of supplies and volunteers, they are produced at far below retail price. Fifteen dollars will produce and ship one kit to a woman in the developing world.

If you would like to volunteer to produce these kits (in part or in whole), contact Danielle Sarchet, WINGS and GFTW Volunteer Coordinator, at Danielle@gftw.org or call (434) 993-3600. For more information on what you can do to help, visit gftw.org/wings.

Mother’s Day Treat

Our Bella Eats+ Sips writer, Liz Bushong, is making quite the splash in our area! Between her spots on Daytime Blue Ridge and the Joy Sutton Show, she contributes fantastic editorial to our monthly issues.

For Mother’s Day this weekend, consider surprising your mom with her Salted Caramel- Pecan Coffee Cake. If your mom is anything like mine, there are two presents you can give her that will show you really care: your time and something that you have made. This recipe does not appear to be that difficult, so even a kitchen rookie like myself can put it together!

Even if you do not have time to make it this weekend, this is definitely a recipe you will want to print out and save for later! Don’t forget to pick up the May issue of Bella for more fantastic recipes from Liz!

 

pecancakeServe it up Sassy! ® Salted Caramel-Pecan Coffee Cake
Yield:  24 squares

Batter:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1-cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon baking powder
1-cup sour cream or Greek yogurt.

 Filling:

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 cup pecans, finely chopped

 Caramel Topping:

½ cup butter
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
½ cup course sea salt- garnish

Instructions:

  1. Grease and flour 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream sugar and butter in large bowl.  Add eggs and extract. Combine flour, soda and baking powder in separate bowl.  Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to butter mixture.  Beat until fluffy.
  3. Prepare filling:  combine ingredients for filling, set aside.
  4. Pour half the batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with filling, add remaining batter.
  5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until cake center is done.
  6. Meanwhile in saucepan, combine all ingredients for topping.  Stir to combine.
  7. Remove coffee cake from oven and pour caramel topping on top of warm cake.
  8. Broil cake, watching to make sure topping doesn’t burn, for 2 minutes until topping begins to bubble.  Add course sea salt as the garnish.
  9. Let cake cool completely before slicing and serving.  Cut into squares and place on decorative plate or platter.

DIY On a Budget

We love DIY projects! In fact, our Pinterest page is full of ideas on how to begin your next one! One of our talented interns, Kristi Hall, was recently inspired to give new life to an old piece of furniture. It was a lot easier than she had anticipated, and we want to show you how to replicate it!

nightstandThe Refurbished Nightstand


Goodwill is an excellent place to begin your search for items that are begging for a fresh start. During a recent visit to my local Goodwill, I came across this night stand. As a Pinterest addict, its untapped potential caught my eye.  

It was white with striped scrapbook paper taped to the front drawer, a plain door to the inside and two brown oversized knobs that added a vintage feel.  For only $5.95 I couldn’t pass the opportunity to start my own do it yourself project.

A week later, I was brainstorming ideas of how I could bring it back to life. The first step I took in deciding its destiny was visiting Lowes to choose a paint color. After debating on several choices, I decided on aNew Image2 mix between teal and mint.

With the help of a friend, I started sanding the night stand with a palm sander and sand paper. I removed the door, knobs and the drawer to sand those as well. After getting a smooth finish, I decided to use the door as a shelf inside of the night stand instead of having a swinging door. Next, I screwed in four screws to secure the shelf inside.

Finally, I began painting my masterpiece! I used a small roller for coating the majority of the paint and a squared sponge brush for the smaller, hard to get spaces. After applying a coat of paint on the night stand itself, I painted the drawer and the shelf. Since the vintage knob was one of the main elements that caught my eye once seeing it at the thrift store I decide to keep it instead of buying a new one.


Overall this DIY project cost under $15.00. Even with the rainy weather and my busy college schedule, the entire thing took less than a week to complete. Sometimes people get discouraged by taking on a do it yourself project because of the time and effort they often require. No matter how long it takes, it is worth it because, in the end, you’ll be so proud of the unique piece you’ve created!

If you have a completed DIY project that you would like to share with our readers, please email us at editorial@beckmediagroup.com. For more DIY projects from our monthly column writer, Caitlin Cranwell, pick up the latest issue of Bella Magazine!

Kristi Hall is a Senior at Radford University. Her education focues on Media Studies with a concentration in Journalism. She is the section News Editor for the university’s newspaper and enjoys taking on do it yourself projects. She’s from Danville, Virginia.