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

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,, 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 or call (434) 993-3600. For more information on what you can do to help, visit

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

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.


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


  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 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. 

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.

Serve it up Sassy! ™: A Pond-side Picnic


In late afternoon, the sun begins to slowly melt into the horizon, like butter on a warm southern biscuit. That’s the time to grab a comfy old quilt, pack a picnic basket and head to the pond for a pond-side picnic.

Setting the tone for this spontaneous alfresco picnic begins with a vintage picnic basket and a red plaid thermos. The classic red, white, and navy, with a pinch of black creates the simple but sassy color scheme. Brightly colored boxes, take-out containers and buckets are filled with pre made picnic fare. This menu features a mouth-watering muffaletta that is packed with flavor. Tangy olive relish and layers of cold cuts are neatly stacked in a hollowed round loaf of crusty bread or as a wrap, tightly rolled in a flour tortilla. A plate of soft Brie with cracked pepper water -crackers are served with a cluster of green grapes that will refresh the palate from the tanginess of the sandwiches. In a star-studded navy cooler, soft drinks in small glass bottles are chilled to perfection. Last, but not least, is the dessert. Dark chocolate cupcakes with ‘ant’ candies remind us that summer will soon be arriving. These cute candy ants are made from plain and peanut M & M’s ® with chocolate frosting as legs and antenna. Kids of all ages will enjoy these cute cupcakes.

When planning your picnic think of foods that will travel and pack well. Avoiding foods prepared with cream sauces or egg based items will keep everyone safe from bad bugs, aka unwanted food borne illnesses. Here are a few helpful tips to keep bad bugs at bay:

  1. Avoid leaving prepared foods in the danger zone: 40-140 degrees F. more than two hours. You can expose them to 90 degree temperatures for one hour.
  2. Wash hands before and after handling food. Pack sanitized towelettes.
  3. Pack chilled food in an insulated cooler, with plenty of ice or ice packs to surround the food. Consider two coolers, one for food and for beverages.
  4. If you are serving chicken and meats, place in separate tightly sealed bags or containers at the bottom of your cooler.
  5. If grilling, designate separate plates for the raw meat and cooked foods.
  6. Keep grilling and eating utensils separate to avoid cross-contamination.
  7. While grilling, use a meat thermometer to make sure meats reach a safe internal temperature. That is 170-180 degrees for chicken. Beef, steaks and roasts should be 145-160 degrees F. Avoid partially cooking or grilling food with the intent of finishing the cooking later.

A little bit of common sense and planning ahead about picnic food safety will keep everyone healthy and allow you to create wonderful memories. Knowing you have prepared the best and safest menu for your family and friends will give you peace of mind.

When the sun has melted into the horizon and the orchestrated evening concert from the sounds of spring has begun, gather ’round to relax for one more moment at the pond, taking in all the delights of the afternoon and thinking about your next pond-side picnic.


Muffaletta-Sandwich or Wrap

 For Sandwich:
1 large round Italian loaf of bread or Hawaiian sweet bread round loaf
1 1/2 cups olive relish
10 thin provolone cheese slices
10 slices hard salami
10 thin Swiss cheese slices
1/2 pound black forest ham, sliced thin
1/2 pound peppered turkey, sliced thin 

Olive Relish
1 cup Spanish olives, drained and chopped
1 cup black olives, drained and chopped
1 cup pickled vegetables, drained and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Cut upper third of round loaf in half. Hollow out top and bottom of loaves to make a pocket. Reserve bread pieces for other recipes
2. Spoon 1/4 cup of olive relish into bottom loaf, then 1/4 cup inside top loaf.
3. In bottom loaf, layer cheese and other ingredients in order listed above.
4. After turkey slice, repeat with provolone cheese, then go backwards with turkey, ham, Swiss cheese and end with hard salami if desired.
5. Place lid of sandwich on top of round loaf.
6. Wrap entire sandwich in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
7. Slice into wedges to serve.

To make a wrap: Same ingredients, except for cheese and tortilla wrap. I used a cheddar/mozzarella cheese stick in the middle of the tortilla wrap for added presentation when sliced in half. Spread relish on wrap, then layer ingredients and roll up. Also refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 4-6 slices


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Candy Ants

1-18.25 ounce package dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1-3ounce package chocolate instant pudding and pie mix-dry
1 1/3 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
½ cup mini chocolate morsels
1-teaspoon vanilla
2 cups vanilla butter cream frosting
72 peanut M & M’s
1 cup dark chocolate frosting
½ cup white sprinkles or jimmies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners. Combine all ingredients except frosting. Beat batter for 2 minutes to blend.
  2. Fill plastic zip lock bag with batter, clip end of bag to ¼ “. Pipe batter into cupcake liners.
  3. Bake cakes 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes with vanilla butter cream frosting.

To make candy ants: Place 2 peanut M &M’s in a row in center of cake, add regular sized M & M for head, and pipe legs using chocolate frosting on the center M. Then add eyes and feelers to head of ant.

Yield: 24 cupcakes



Liz Circle 2013 small - CopyMake a Statement, Make it Sassy and Make it Yours!

Liz Bushong is an expert in the three-dimensional art of entertaining. She transforms simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments by adding a touch of her own “sassy” style. She makes elegance easy for her audience and encourages them to add their own Sassy touch to make it unique. Liz is famous for creating her own version of a beautifully presented tablescape – which she calls a

Sassyscape ™ -and she also creates magic beyond the dining experience. In 2009, 2010, and 13, she was selected from thousands nationwide to be part of an elite team of 100 professionals entrusted with decorating the White House for the Holiday. In 2011, she was part of seven-person team selected to decorate the Tennessee Governor’s Mansion for the holiday.

Liz has been featured as the monthly guest chef on Daytime Tri-Cities, television show on WJHL, the CBS Affiliate for the Tri- Cities Area of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Daytime Blue Ridge in Roanoke, Virginia and Daytime Tampa, Tampa Florida. She is also the creator and host of her own one-hour seasonal television show called “Serve it up Sassy!” for the same market, which aired in 2011. She is also a contributing writer for the regional magazine VIP Seen and Lovely Bella magazine in Roanoke, Virginia.
She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Consumer and Family Sciences from Purdue University and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Fashion Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is also certified in Decorative Finishes and has been trained as a volunteer Master Gardener.
Liz is the author of the Just Desserts and Sweets & Savories cookbook. Liz turns dessert into the fifth basic food group and features recipes for her signature specialty, delicious “mini-desserts and appetizers.”
Liz makes her home in Johnson City, Tennessee. She continues to perfect her sassy approach to turning simple dining occasions into beautiful and memorable moments. 

 Liz Bushong, Serve it up Sassy! ™

To purchase cookbooks, find recipes, cooking, and decorating demonstrations, go to



The regional magazine for women