• Bella Outdoors

    Top Three Hikes Within an Hour of Lynchburg

    By Rachel Van Tuyl As summer draws to a close and November ushers in cooler temperatures, Lynchburg residents and students may find themselves looking for some beautiful hikes in the area. With so many natural areas around the city, it isn’t difficult to find hikes to fit any level of difficulty. Husband and wife team Adam and Christine Anderson, who run the website Virginia Trail Guide, have grown up hiking Virginia trails, and offer advice to hikers who may not be very familiar with the area. Sharp Top Mountain Thirty-four miles to the west of Liberty University’s campus lies Sharp Top Mountain, which is visible from Liberty’s campus. The 2.6 mile hike is…

  • Featured

    Profile: Peacock Soap Company

    Beyond the Gift The unique origins of locally-owned Peacock Soap Company Written by Hayleigh Worgan To celebrate her 10-year anniversary, Kristie Paxton and her husband spent a week driving along the west coast. One night, they found themselves at a cute, very hospitable, Bed and Breakfast in Oregon. The owners had one room left to offer the Southwest Virginia couple, and it had a bathtub, but no shower. “They felt so guilty about it that they stocked the room with soaps and lotions,” Kristie recalls. “They didn’t really sell them, but they allowed me to purchase some. I brought them home, used them up, and requested more.” Soon after, Kristie decided…

  • Bella Finds,  Featured

    Virginia Made: RIOT Rooster

    Holiday Shopping Support local artisans and small businesses while celebrating RIOT Rooster’s 10th Anniversary! Written by Hayleigh Worgan To say we are excited about RIOT Rooster is an under-statement! This month, RIOT Rooster will celebrate its 10th year, and will host their two-day event at 16 West Marketplace. Come on out to shop small, relax, and celebrate with your favorite Bella girls on Friday, November 16 from 5-10pm and Saturday, November 17 from 9am-6pm! As returning fans of this event already know, there are many reasons to love and support RIOT Rooster. In addition to the importance of supporting local, small businesses, RIOT Rooster is a place that puts the…

  • Featured

    Virginia Made

    Meet April Chavez of 704 North Design Co.  The holiday season is upon us. The hustle and bustle of November is welcome as plans are made for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The last two months of the year are here with promises of warm gatherings with family and friends, food and laughter. There’s a mood of festivity in theair as plans are made and gift shopping begins. Makers like April Chavez, owner and artist of 704 North Design Co finds herself especially busy during this time. Her painted signs of Blue Ridge inspired mountains and inspirational sayings are in high demand during theseason.  As a stay-at-home mom, art is an outlet…

  • Featured

    Young Female Writers Club

    Lifting Girls Up Through Sports Literature Meet 16-year-old author Paige Brotherton  Written by K.L. Kranes When it comes to girls and sports, the times have changed. In 1972, after the landmark Title IX legislation passed, only one in 27 girls participated in high school sports. Over 45 years later, that number has increased to two in five. Although the playing field is still not equal, women have 1.3 million fewer high school and over 60,000 fewer college sports participation opportunities than men, more girls than ever actively participate in sports. But as often happens, particularly with stories for children and young adults, literature has not kept up with the times.  “There are…

  • Featured

    Profile

    A Writer & Her Garden  A granddaughter helps her grandmother’s legacy continue to flourish. Written by Hayleigh Worgan   Photos courtesy of Anne Spencer House & Garden MuseumIn early 2008, Shaun Spencer Hester sat on her mother’s porch contemplating where her career would take her next. She caught sight of her grandmother’s home across the street, and an idea began to take shape. A historic landmark, the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum (part of the Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation, Inc.), was maintained by Hester’s parents, but closed to the public. A historian, preservationist, and writer, Hester decided to reopen the museum in time for Virginia’s Annual Garden Day.  When she…

  • Bella Finds,  Featured

    Profile: Cedar Rush Farm

    Cedar  Rush Farm Two first-generation farmers find a place to pursue their passions Written by Hayleigh Worgan Soil health and community are at the heart of Cedar Rush Farm. The two first-generation farmers, Fain and Kyle, may be new to the farming business, but they are eager to learn about sustainable practices. From honeybees to low-till methods, they are not only concerned with production, but also with their long-term impact on the environment.  Their mutual love and respect for the land has helped create a place where both farmers’ dreams can flourish. Kyle, who grew up in Craig County, attended culinary school, but always knew he wanted to do something with…

  • Bella Finds,  Featured

    Virginia Made – Guy Piper

    Meet Marion Hedgepeth Written by Faith Jones of Hill City HandmadeEvery day our social media feeds and timelines are full of hilarious memes. Most of the time they’re attached to instant thoughts of “that’s so me!” or a flash of a friend’s face who fits the description to a tee. “The mind of a creative person is like a web browser that has 2,857 tabs open all the time.” One would be hard pressed to find a maker who would debate this popular quote to be untrue. Marion Hedgepeth is one who agrees wholeheartedly.  Marion’s maker journey began at the age of ten years old when she learned to knit. During…