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

Posh Pad Projects: the CoverUP

With spring cleaning season upon me, there are always a few projects that I intend to start; projects that I have postponed for months, maybe even a couple years.  You know the ones– the bag of beads you bought at the beach hoping to string a necklace, or, the pillow shams you’ve been meaning to sew with the fabric you bought on sale.  I have countless potential projects that could turn out to be extraordinary finished products. Unfortunately, I am either too distracted with other minutia in my free time or I’ve changed my mind about the original idea. 

chair2One project that I have been putting off for about three years is re-upholstering a chair I purchased from a consignment store.  The chair is short, squatty and green.  Not a delightful emerald green or luxurious fabric.  Nay, the fabric is avocado green and yellow stripe cotton and needs to be burned.  Though the color was off-putting, I didn’t care.  The chair is perfect for a dressing room and I love it.  It has sat in my bedroom since I bought it, and whatever changes were made to my bedroom décor, the chair never changed.  So this spring cleaning, I decided to spruce it up and toss out the old avocado with the garbage. 

I don’t have a lot of experience re-upholstering furniture, so I enlisted the help of my crafty sister who has a gift when it comes to giving new life to old furniture.  First, she and I removed the old fabric using pliers to extract the brads and tacks (reserving them in a bowl for later use).  Then, we measured the new fabric for the top and bottom halves of the chair.  After measuring, we started stretching the fabric over the bottom half.  Making sure the fabric was smooth and pulled tight, we then secured it with a staple gun.  For the front of the chair, where the fabric wraps around the legs, we reused the old fabric brads to give it a polished look. 

chair1Once we made sure the fabric was secured on the bottom cushion, we began working on the top of the chair.  This is where it gets tricky.  A little patience is necessary, as hammering in brads can be tedious and scrupulous work. 

All you need for this project is a beautiful fabric of your choice, a hammer or mallet, upholstery brads, and pliers.  It really is a fairly simple, at home DIY that can save you a little cash; rather than sending it off for someone else to do.  The finished product is something you can feel good about accomplishing on your own. 

Spring is a time of renewal and things coming back to life.  It was time I gave new life to my favorite old chair.  I appreciate it now more than ever.

Written by Caitlin Cheatham
Pick up a print version of Bella Magazine for DIY Posh Pad projects from Caitlin in every issue! 

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Set the Scene for Spring!

Written Liz Bushong

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Setting the scene for spring, whether you are decorating tables for the prom or hosting a casual get-together, this bold and bright sassyscape is about making a statement: making it sassy and making it yours!

Presenting a lovely table bursting with color, using every day dinnerware and cheery flowers will create a beautiful table and a lasting impression for dinner guests.

The spring 2014 color forecast has several new colors ready to burst out in brilliance. According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report, one of those colors is Freesia.  It is a bright, citrus yellow that can be paired with black and white for a stunning and eye-catching color combination.  You will see this combination in clothing and in home décor.

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Nothing makes more of a statement than the color scheme of black and white. There are three different ways to use black, white, and citrus yellow for setting a festive and fun table. First, the large black and white table with the white branches and hanging orbs would be a lovely dessert table or dinner table for six. However, if you are using this color scheme for a table of six, I would recommend that you create a smaller centerpiece and limit the mix of patterned plates. You want to see your guests while seated at the table so the grand centerpiece would be best served on a buffet or large side table. You could still use the centerpiece ideas at a smaller scale, or if you do want the large centerpiece, make sure it is higher than the seated guests or above their heads. The goal is to be able to see the person seated across from you or adjacent to you. After all, you are looking great and you want to be seen as well as heard while enjoying your dining experience.

This grand and stunning black, white, and citrus centerpiece draws your eyes and attention to the table.  A large brandy shaped glass bowl is filled with black licorice to hold the white tree branches in position. Glass round orbs fitted with yellow Gerber daisies seem to float in the air as they hang effortlessly on the white branches. The refreshing accent color, citrus yellow called Freesia, adds energy and a burst of brilliance to this overall black and white color scheme. lizmar4

To keep the black and white balanced, a checked hounds-tooth patterned placemat and solid fringed black napkins with the classic white dinner plate set the tone for two of the place settings. To mix it up a bit, two of the six place settings are the same while the four in the center are uniquely different, all in the same color scheme but different patterns. As long as you keep the color scheme in the same tones and family, you can add layers of pattern.  Your eyes will tell you when there is too much “mixing and matching” of color, pattern, and texture. Standing at attention and waiting to get noticed beside the large airy arrangement stands two large hurricane pedestal glass bell jars that are filled with fresh lemons then topped with blooming yellow and white roses as the complimentary floral arrangements.  The center of the table is dressed with a black and white striped table runner that is draping horizontally over a yellow polka dot paper runner.

Clever containers with fresh bright flowers will always “sass-up” a centerpiece. Adding to the mix are black and white zebra and damask-patterned salad plates.

Serving up a little bit of sunshine at each place setting are Lemon Blossom cookies that are neatly tucked into each standing bishop napkin fold.  These cookies are shaped like tiny flowers that are power-punched with a citrus lemon flavor and destined to become a spring favorite.

There are two additional looks to create different sassyscapes using the black, white, and citrus color scheme. Make a table sassy and fun by selecting a bold yellow and white polka dot table cloth as the backdrop for additional white and black dinnerware.  A square glass container is home for fresh green onions and bright yellow Gerber daisies for a whimsical and intriguing floral centerpiece.  Using fluffy white napkins loosely gathered or flared in a drinking glass adds to the frilly fun.  For more of a contemporary look, use black and white dinnerware with no pattern, just bold and strong solid pieces.  A clever napkin ring using two large wooden buttons and coordinating elastic cording holds the napkin neatly in place.  Another way to show your eye for detail is to serve food that coordinates with the overall color scheme. For example, serving a three-layer Lemon Crème cake or the Lemon Blossom cookies present well because they are the accent color of your table décor. Choosing a monochromatic or complementary food color scheme will always be your best option for serving it up sassy.

Now to make it yours, show your true colors!  If you don’t like yellow, select your favorite color and use the same techniques to create your own beautiful table presentation and memorable occasion.

 

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Lemon Crème Cakes-
Makes ~15 three layer mini cakes

1 package lemon cake mix
1 package lemon instant pudding and pie mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Filling:

1-3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons lemon curd + 1 cup
2 tablespoons butter, tested Land a Lakes
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Whipped topping:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
Mint leaves and fresh raspberries

 Instructions:

1        Line 15 ½ x 10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill cupcake pan with liners for extra cake batter. Spray parchment paper on both sides. Set aside.

2        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat together all cake ingredients for two minutes. Pour batter into baking sheet leveling batter by shaking pan side to side.  With remaining batter fill cupcake liners. Bake cake and cupcakes for 20 minutes or until cake center is done.  Allow cakes to cool.  Freeze cakes for 20 minutes or longer.

3        Meanwhile, prepare filling.  Beat softened cream cheese, butter and 3 tbsp. lemon curd together until smooth.  Fill pastry bag fitted with tip 1 M or shell tip with mixture.  Set aside.

4        Using a clean and very cold mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream on high with wire attachment.

5        Beat until soft peaks form; add ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar. Beat on high to form stiff peaks.

6        Place whipped cream in pastry bag fitted with star tip or 1 M, refrigerate until assembly.

 Assembly and Presentation:

Remove cakes from freezer and baking sheet.  Spread top of cakes with thin layer of lemon curd.

Using a square cookie cutter or sharp knife cut out cakes.  Place one cake on serving platter curd side up, add another cake layer on top of first cake, curd side down or sandwiched together.  Pipe cheese filling on top of sandwiched cakes.  Add third and final cake layer, curd side up.  Last, pipe whipped cream dollop on top of cake.  Garnish with mint leaf and fresh berry.  Make it yours by serving it with other berries between cake layers on your favorite serving dish or platter.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Lemon Blossom Cookies

¾ cup butter, softened- tested Land a Lakes
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1-3oz box lemon gelatin dessert-dry
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup vanilla butter cream frosting

 Directions:

1. Cream butter, sugar, extract, gelatin powder and egg in large mixing bowl of electric mixer on medium speed.  On low speed, gradually add flour. Beat until mixture leaves the sides of the bowl. Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Cover and refrigerate one hour or overnight.

2. Heat oven to 375 F. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. With sharp knife, make 5-6 cuts in top of each ball about three-fourths of the way through to make 6 petals.  Shape wedges with fingers and place each wedge together to form a flower. Make sure center of flower is closed.  Refrigerate 20 minutes to set shape.

3. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set and edges begin to brown. Do not overbake.
Cool 3-5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Fill pastry bag or zip lock baggie with frosting, clip 1/8 inch corner and pipe centers.

Cookies can be frozen before frosting.
Makes:  24 cookies

Serve it up Sassy! TM   Liz Bushong developed recipe.  www.lizbushong.com

 www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/default.aspx?season=spring&year=2014

Make 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 ™ .

In 2009,10,&13, Liz 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 and West Virginia, WSLS-Daytime Blueridge in Roanoke, Virginia. 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 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 master gardener. Liz is the author of Just Desserts and Sweets & Savories cookbook. 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.  

To purchase cookbooks, see recipes, cooking, and decorating ideas go to www.lizbushong.com

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD STYLING, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND ARTICLE BY LIZ BUSHONG

 

 

 

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.

 

Ladies Night Out!

On April 10th, 2014, join the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) for Ladies Night Out at Phase 2 in Lynchburg. This is the perfect opportunity to get out with your girlfriends and get great deals on shoes, handbags, and more! Plus indulge in facials, massages, and manicures from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. All proceeds benefit abused and neglected children in your community. Many in Lynchburg remember this event as the Heart and Sole Shoe Market, or the “CASA Shoe Sale.” With changes in the shoe industry that occurred several years ago, we were no longer able to get thousands of donated shoes for the fundraiser. Since we could not afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on shoes to resell to the public, our board was forced to make a decision. We either had to cancel the event or restructure it.

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With over a decade of success, we opted to restructure to a Ladies Night Out format. Last year was the first year of the new format and it was successful! We are hoping to build on that year after year as these funds are critical to our mission. With your $40 ticket (or cheaper if you get one of our girlfriend bundle packages), you will receive admission, a chance to win a door prize, one adult beverage ticket, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and optional beverage choices.

Admission includes the opportunity to shop in our Heart and Sole Boutique which will include, yes…you guessed it: SHOES, handbags, fragrances, and more at discounted prices. There will also be music, a photo booth, massages, manicures, and more! Plus 15 vendors will be on hand to showcase their products and services.

Get your girlfriends together and come out to support a wonderful cause! Follow this link to purchase your tickets, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Have a Riot: The Anti-Diet

Written by Beth Herman

Winter will not give us a break! Noses that drip and stuffed up ears. Fevers that reach 102 degrees, and pink eye that requires two prescriptions and three weeks to relent. An impassable driveway. Temperatures below 40 degrees three weeks in a row. Snow, snow and more snow. But the most annoying thing about this endless winter?  The hash it’s made of my running schedule.

running

I’m an unimpressive runner.  Very slow, I stop to use the bathroom every 20 – 30 minutes, get lapped by runners younger and fitter, and passed by those larger and older. I’m not winning medals or breaking any records.But so what! Running makes me feel like a rock star; strong and lean, and I drop it into conversation every chance I get.

Quite simply, I am in love with running. Thrilled with my increased energy level, I adore the couple of uninterrupted hours it gives my husband and me to talk every other morning.  Most importantly, running has kept me fit without the stress of dieting, which is not easy at 51 years old.

What this involves is a shift of perspective. Instead of obsessing about what that brownie, cupcake or extra helping of mashed potatoes will add on the scale, think instead of how what you eat affects your workouts.  You don’t have to run marathons. Walking, Nia, or tennis will do. Thinking of yourself as an athlete, your food choices are filtered through that lens. I want those cookies but I am not supposed to have them, becomes, I need to eat some turkey to properly fuel myself for my workout in an hour.

 

Negativity and denial, dangerous issues when it comes to weight, are removed from the equation. Here are some ideas:

1)      Allow yourself to fall in love; cultivate an interest in walking, running, yoga, or nia.  Read everything you can on the activity, as if you were preparing to learn knitting, Spanish cooking or bird watching.

2)      It’s never too late to start. I didn’t begin running until my mid forties.

3)      Take ego, appearance and weight out of it. Thoughts like, “I have to do this because it will help me to lose weight,” are negative. Do your regular workout as a result of your commitment to the activity.

4)      Begin with baby steps: I started out running up and down my driveway, now I can go up to 90 minutes at a time.

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5)      Find a mentor. People enjoy helping others pursue a shared passion. My guru was a single woman 21 years my junior. An accomplished runner who had run every U.S. marathon at least twice, she came to my neighborhood once a week, keeping me laughing and distracted as we hauled up the hills of my development. She lives in Europe now with her husband and new baby.These days when we get together it’s over a meal and a glass of wine- and I don’t even count the calories!

 

In addition to being a runner, Beth Herman is an artist and essayist.

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.

 

 

@bruceontheloose: Parenting

Way back in the old days (when you got up to change the channel on the television and asked for directions at the local gas station), I found out my wife at the time was expecting a child.  One of the first presents I ever remember her getting was the book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”  I’m pretty sure that book still exists and women still get it early in their pregnancy. 

While I never read it myself, I did skim it, then watched and learned.  As I observed, I saw there were all kinds of tips, ideas, concepts and everything you need to know about pregnancy and upcoming childbirth.  A section followed that shared information about what your child will do at three months, six months, a year old, etc.

What they never told you – probably because they knew you wouldn’t be ready for it – was that all kids are different.  The authors also never seemed to fess up and be honest about the stages of a growing child as they enter the teen years and their twenties.  It’s a conspiracy.

The tricks that worked so well on child number one or even on number two don’t seem to play out with the third one.  No matter how many books you read, you are never fully prepared for those specific personality traits that make a child so different from their siblings.  Ultimately, we love our children the best we can, do the best we can for them, throw our hands up, and then hope for the best.  Anyone who says they do much more is probably not being completely honest with you.

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Bruce, Maddy, and Tee

Recently, when thinking about how much I love my children, I reflected on the humorous and completely different exchanges that I frequently seem to have with them.  Then, like any humorous situation that happens to me, I told my friends.  When I realized they all laughed out loud (today, “LOL”), it hit me this might just be a thought to share with each of you. 

I tell my children I love them on a regular basis.  I want them to hear it, know it, and experience it.

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Bruce and Dan

What the books didn’t print and share with me was the lifecycle of responses from them.  To my 25 year old son, Dan, I say, “I love you” and he replies, “I love you too, Dad.”  When I tell my 17 year old daughter, Maddy, “I love you,” she answers, “Thanks, Dad.”  The best is when I tell my 12 year old son, Tee, that I love him.  I get a half smile and a grunt as a response.  Not a mean one, but a baseline acknowledgement one.

I smile—no matter what response I get, because I know it is all part of a cycle they are going through as their personalities grow and develop. 

Although I’m looking forward to their next stages, I’m enjoying being with them right where they are.

 

For this and other great stories, pick up the March issue of Bella Magazine!

The regional magazine for women