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march 2019

B E L L A FA M I L I E S MIND • BODY • SOUL BELLA OUTDOORS


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march 2019 M a rc h 2019

Issu e On e H u n d re d F i f ty- T h re e

inside

Joey Coakley Beck Publisher & Owner jbeck@beckmediagroup.com •••

editorial

For editorial consideration: editorial@beckmediagroup.com Contributors: Craft Box Girls, Katie Farrell, K.L. Kranes, Lynn Lilly, Member One Federal Credit Union, Laura Richards, Hayleigh Worgan •••

advertising

With over 13 years experience in Southwest & Central Virginia, Bella is your BEST advertising option with proven results, loyal readership, wonderful content, and an award-winning design! To market yourself and your business to the women of Southwest & Central Virginia, call us at (540) 904-6800 or email advertise@beckmediagroup.com

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mind • body • soul

Now is the time to turn your dream into reality and become your best self. Coach Mike shows you how with his new book, Best Self. And, we’re spotlighing a new guide for simple daily rituals to help you slow down—Rituals for Everyday.

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Save Smarter

Join Member One Federal Credit Union this month as they share three factors women need to consider when planning for retirement.

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Bella Outdoors

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Bella Families

Our NEWEST SECTION!! Join us each and every month as we inspire and empower women of all ages to get outdoors by showcasing products, highlighting regional adventures and profiling women doing good for our outdoors.

We tackle the hard task that everyone ends up going through—assisting our aging parents— with four tips to help them overcome new challenges. And it’s time... It’s time to print and organize all those cellphone photos. Laura Richards Photography shows us how!

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Natalie Andrusky Advertising Sales Representative natalie@beckmediagroup.com •••

operations

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For general inquiries: bella@beckmediagroup.com Sara Coakley Office Manager

Bella Sips

Cocktail trends may come and go, but one staple remains a fixture on drink menus two centuries after its invention—the Old Fashioned. Check out this month’s Bella Sips where we have recipes for four versions, from the classis to an updated version using tequila!

Bella Eats

Your pantry can be a secret weapon for quick and healthy meals. Find mealtime inspiration from two delicious recipes with items you probably already have on hand.

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Young Writers Club

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What We’re Reading

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Happenings

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Profile

Meet young writer Emma Flood and see where she goes to dream up new ideas for writing— or even reconnect with old ideas.

LLC

P.O. Box 107 Roanoke, Virginia 24002 540.904.6800 Bella Magazine is the property of Beck Media Group LLC. It is a free publication printed monthly and is distributed throughout Southwest and Central Virginia and beyond. The Publisher reserves the right to refuse ad space for any advertisement or editorial content the staff deems inappropriate for our readers. The concept and design of Bella Magazine, as well as the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content is property of Beck Media Group LLC and may not be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. ©2006-2019 Beck Media Group LLC All Rights Reserved. PRINTED IN VIRGINIA w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m

Tiffany Bluhm’s newest book, She Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created For, shows you how anyone—no matter their circumstances—can dream big, no matter what.

Regional events happening all over Southwest & Central Virginia to pencil into your social calendar! This month we’re spotlighting FREE Yoga for the People, Downtown Roanoke’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival, and even a unique embroidery workshop taking place at the Taubman Museum of Art. Don’t miss these events!

One woman’s passion helps families preserve their most important keepsakes. This month, we profile Ashley Webb of Bustle Textiles, who provides museum-quality preservation services.

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mind • body • soul

How to Become Your Best Self Now is the time to turn your dream into reality.

Ask yourself… are you truly who you want to be? Is this the life you really want? Are you living each day as your best self ? What can you change today? How would you answer those questions? Think about your daily life. Are you thriving, or going through the motions? Are your days full of work, relationships and activities that are true to your authentic self or do you feel trapped on a treadmill of responsibility? If you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality. The tools you need to design a life that is fulfilling on the deepest levels are within your grasp. Written by Mike Bayer, known to the thousands of clients whose lives he has changed as Coach Mike, Best Self can show you how. Bayer has helped everyone from pop stars to business executives to people just like you discover the freedom to be their best selves. By asking them and leading them to ask themselves a series of important but tough questions, such as “What are your core values?,” “Do you go to bed each day more knowledgeable than when you woke up?” and “Am I neglecting some aspect of my physical health out of fear or denial?,” he helps them see what their best selves and antiselves really look like. As a mental health specialist, a personal development coach and an all-around change agent, Bayer has seen the amazing ways in which lives can improve with honesty and clarity. He understands the daily struggles people face intimately, because he’s faced—and overcome—his own, and he knows that change is possible. By working through each of the “Seven Spheres of Life”—Social, Personal, Health, Education, Relationships, Employment and Spiritual Development—Best Self is an accessible and interactive book that distills all of Bayer’s wisdom into a compact, focused guide that can ignite your desire for change. w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m

The Seven Spheres of Life: Social - Take a look at your social life in terms of your communication skills and dive into how you feel in your own skin when interacting with others. Personal - In attempting to be your personal best self, work to have an abundance of respect and compassion for yourself. Take care of yourself by nurturing an authentic, positive self-image to see benefits reach other spheres of your life. Health - If you’re unhealthy, it’s difficult to be your best self in other areas. The goal should be to act in your own best interests when it comes to your physical health in order to feel your best and be at your best. Education - Even if you didn’t enjoy school or believe you simply don’t like the process of taking in new information, you may still be thirsty for knowledge in areas that interest you on a deeper level. Find what quenches your unique interests and explore the best methods to learn in those areas.

Relationships - From time to time, relationships can get out of balance. However, you can be proactive about doing your part to get them back to equilibrium by determining ways to control your authenticity and what you can do when those around you aren’t reflecting their own. Employment - Determine whether you’re acting as your best self at work just as you are at home. If you can’t be yourself at work, you may be wasting valuable time. Don’t lose yourself in a fear of trying to be something you aren’t while on the job. Spiritual Development - The place within you from which goodness radiates can be described as your spiritual self. It’s where you form integrity, values and treatment of other people, so focus on aligning those traits with your vision of your best self.

Learn more about how to become your best self and take a self-assessment quiz at www.coachmikebayer.com.

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mind • body • soul

Rituals for Everyday

A guide for simple daily rituals to help you slow down.

From the authors of Self-Care For the Real World, comes a new guide full of simple daily rituals

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to help you slow down the pace of modern life. We all want a more calm and spacious way of living, but we are often unsure of how to step off the crazy treadmill of day-to-day routines and responsibilities. Wellness pioneers Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips have learned through years of practice that simple rituals can help you slow down the pace of modern life and re-center yourself. Rituals for Every Day shares Nadia and Katia’s easy-to-follow step-by-step advice.  “A manual for everyone about real health from the inside out,” praised Reese Witherspoon. Through engaging in small, simple, and reflective routines, you can let these basic, everyday rituals bring you back to yourself. For more details visit www.nadiannarain.com.

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Save Smarter

Three Factors Women Need to Consider When Planning for Retirement

Written by MEMBER ONE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Men and women share similar goals for retirement:

security, a comfortable lifestyle, time with family, and hopefully a nice vacation here or there. But, the journey toward that goal can differ for women, who need to take into account a few unique factors including lifespan, lifetime earnings, and a traditionally more conservative approach to investing. Women do face distinct challenges and will generally need to save significantly more than men. However, the good news is that women tend to be more disciplined savers and more active participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Combine those traits with some careful strategy and consider these three factors as you map out your plans for your post-employment future.

Longevity.

Statistically, women tend to outlive men, and that could mean your savings will need to last years longer than a man’s. Start saving as early as possible. Take advantage of employer-matching and aim to max out your 401(k) contributions if you have access to this type of plan. If your job doesn’t provide a retirement plan, you’re not without options. Start saving with a traditional or Roth IRA account, both of which are easy to open at your local credit union or bank. Many women are self-employed, and those who are can also consider a solo 401(k) or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA. Additionally, consider purchasing long-term care insurance when you reach your fifties or sixties.

and future financial security is to make sure you’re earning what you deserve—learn to research your value and to negotiate with current and potential employers. And, if your earnings stalled while you were caring for kids or other family members, know that you can make “catch up” contributions to retirement accounts after age 50.

Greater risk aversion.

Studies have suggested that women tend to invest more conservatively compared to men. That means lower exposure to risk and loss of wealth—but on the other side of the coin, it can also mean lost opportunities and lower gains. While you’re younger and further away from your target retirement age, it can make sense to be a bit more aggressive with your investing. As you get closer to retirement, err more conservatively with your investments. Consider working with a professional financial advisor to create a retirement strategy that works for you: one with the right balance of more secure options like money markets and share certificates/certificates of deposit, along with potentially higher-reward options like stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. With their help, you can decide on the right risk/reward ratio to secure the retirement lifestyle that you want to lead. Article courtesy of

Wage gap and fewer working years.

Even today, the gender pay gap exists in many industries. Not only that, but women are more likely to take career breaks in order to raise children or care for elderly parents. A major step you can take both for your present w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m

Join Member One here each month for more money-saving tips and financial advice! Be sure to visit their website, www.memberonefcu.com, for more info on their products and services. Member One Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

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Bella Outdoors

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Bella Outdoors Get Outdoors, Ladies! Striving to inspire and empower women of all ages to get outdoors by showcasing products, regional adventures and women doing good for the outdoors.

gear highlight * Kammok Field Blanket

helpful sites

Need a little push to ‘get outdoors’? Or just need new ideas? Here are a few of our favorite sites and blogs to give you that little nudge...

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We’ve found the most versatile outdoor blanket on the market! Perfect for anything from lounging at Floyd Fest to hanging on the sidelines at the never-ending weekly soccer game, these waterproof and packable camp blankets are your go-to adventure companion. With microfleece and a tough exterior, they will keep you warm and cozy. And the 4-in-1 design offers the flexibility of a blanket, poncho, sleeping bag and top quilt for when you’re relaxing in a hammock! Check them out at www.kammok.com (Need something heavier? There’s also a heavier-duty Mountain Blanket.)

* www.outdoorproject.com * www.outdoorwomensalliance.com * www.womenoutdoors.org yes, even our local favorite... * And www.roanokeoutdoors.com march 2 0 1 9

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The Spa & Adventure Center at Hotel Roanoke The Spa & Adventure Center

is now open on the main level of Hotel Roanoke! Virginia’s Blue Ridge is known worldwide for its culture, scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Now you can combine it all for one fabulous experience! The Spa invites you to escape to a place of calm, serenity and well-being. You can experience services like an ancient minerals foot soak and massage at Salt Foot Sanctuary (open to hotel guests and the public!) and therapeutic massages (only available to hotel guests). Both are healing and relaxing experiences. Salt Foot Sanctuary is a shared experience centered around luxurious handmade foot soaks. You’ll select nourishing ingredients and then sit back and relax in plush chairs outfitted with comfy pillows and a warm neck wrap. (Choose additional pampering by adding one the massages during the soak.) Soaks are made with natural ancient minerals combined with essential oils and other nourishing ingredients, including Blue Ridge Mountain salt. Finally, the Adventure Center can complete your experience by allowing you to explore and discover the Roanoke Valley and Virginia’s Blue Ridge region by offering several food and cultural tours, as well as their fun brewery tours and outdoor recreation tours to attractions all over the region. The Adventure Center can help you plan and book the perfect outing or activity for you and your entire group. www.sparoanokeva.com page 14

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Bella Outdoors

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Bella Families

Assisting Aging Parents Four tips to help overcome new challenges.

It’s not easy getting old, as the saying goes, and it can be

even harder to watch your parents age. Helping parents transition into the later years of their lives can be a delicate matter, but there are ways to help them ease into an elderly stage and cope better with challenges. Carol Lavin Bernick, former executive chairman of Alberto Culver, navigated this type of life transition with her parents. In her book, Gather As You Go: Lessons Learned Along the Way, Bernick offers tips to give and get joy while preserving your parents’ dignity in addition to wisdoms on business and leadership, philanthropy, dealing with tough times and being a working mom. For example, consider these tips and ways to aid aging parents: Provide Entertainment Music can be a helpful gift—try loading a music player with a playlist of your parents’ favorite songs. Old movies can also spark conversation. Host a luncheon for some of their best friends and make their favorite treats. They may be housebound, but there are still ways for them to interact. Adjust to Physical Changes Reading materials could require larger-than-normal print, and a magnifying clip-on screen for a computer can be helpful as well. Serving foods that are easier to cut can make eating a simpler

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process. Keep an eye on weight and nutrition and try to find someone who will make a house call for haircuts. Relive Memories Encourage older relatives to write (or dictate) their thoughts on financial tips, military service, business success, valued life lessons and, of course, the stories of how they met their spouses. Make a family tree together and try creating a photobook with old and new pictures. Share news about family members’ relationships and accomplishments, which might bring back personal memories. Consider the Little Things Surprise your parents with a few new pieces of clothing for a thoughtful gift. Laminate a list of their medications and their doctors to keep with you in case of emergency and provide a copy to your parents and any other caregivers. Create a contact list on your parents’ mobile phone to help them easily reach family and friends without needing to search. If there are young children in the family, try bringing them by for a visit—their energy and smiles may help brighten the room.

Find more tips to assist aging relatives at www.gatherasyougo.com.

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Bella Families

Print Your Phone Photos Follow this simple print challenge. You’ll thank yourself!

Written by LAURA RICHARDS

Photos courtesy Laura Richards Photography

They say we’re the most photographed generation, yet

have the least number of printed photos. Ouch. As a child, I loved poring over my family’s photo albums. I even had favorite photographs I would sneak out and keep in my room. I loved having them close to me, so I could look at them whenever I wanted. These days, it’s easy to get snap happy and max out your camera roll, but then you’re left with hundreds of photos to print—and that can feel daunting. As a result, these photos stay on your phone collecting pixel dust, only to be seen again when they pop up on Facebook memories. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Follow along with these eight steps, and soon you’ll have dozens of tangible photo albums for your family to enjoy screen-free.

my phone. I’ve found the upload takes longer, plus having them on your computer creates a digital back-up in case your phone ever takes a swim.) Step 4: Order prints from your favorite printing company (I recommend against using 1-hour labs like Walmart or CVS, as print quality decreases dramatically. MPix or Adorama Pix are fine for phone photos. (For professional photos, you should always, always go through your photographer for printing needs—most use trusted labs that only work with professional photographers.) Step 5: While you wait for your prints to arrive, purchase a few quality albums with spaces to jot information on the side. Step 6: When your photos arrive, organize them based on date (chances are, they’ll already mostly be in order). Step 7: Start filling your albums, then go back through and note pertinent information—names, date, location, and context of the photo. This will be so meaningful to future generations who inherit your albums.

Step 1: Create a shared album on your phone, so you can easily organize all the photos from your phone and your partner’s (or other family members) into one place. Step 2: Starting from the top of your camera roll, select the photos you want to add to the album. Have your partner do the same. If you have many photos that are essentially the same, chose the best one and move on. Step 3: Import the album from your phone to your computer. (I personally don’t like ordering prints directly from w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m

Step 8: Repeat this process at the end of every month. You’ll thank yourself!

Laura Richards is a natural-light maternity, newborn and family photographer in Roanoke, who specializes in heirloom-quality albums, wall art, prints and more. When she’s not photographing or editing, she’s chasing after her toddler Tucker. www.laurarichardsphotography.com

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Bella Sips

Old Fashioned with a Twist A cocktail staple two centuries after its invention.

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Cocktail trends may come and go, but

one staple remains a fixture on drink menus two centuries after its invention—the Old Fashioned. There are many competing stories about the origins of the “first” true cocktail recipe, but nearly all agree that the modernday cocktail was first mixed in the early 1800s, and the recipe was generally the same Old Fashioned recipe still mixed in bars around the world today: liquor, sugar, water and bitters. Bourbon is traditionally the spirit of choice for an Old Fashioned, but contemporary versions may substitute virtually any type of liquor, from rye whiskey to tequila to rum. Yesteryear’s sugar cube, served as a lump doused with bitters, has given way to simple syrup, which mixes more easily when served. A twist of citrus zest or a dark cherry are common garnishes in today’s Old Fashioned renditions. No matter what spirit or style you prefer, there’s one constant that’s crucial to any drink bearing the Old Fashioned name: bitters. For a truly authentic experience, look to incorporate an option like Angostura bitters—an iconic brand that traces its roots as far back as the dawn of the Old Fashioned and has been closely intertwined with the history of the cocktail ever since. Dr. Johann Siegert, the bitters’ inventor, created the elixir in 19th-century Venezuela while serving as a doctor to soldiers in Simon Bolivar’s army. By 1824, he perfected the formula for “amargo aromatico,” which he initially used to help alleviate the stomach issues of ailing soldiers. By the mid-1800s, cocktails were steadily gaining favor, and nearly all the early recipes called for bitters. Siegert’s sons seized the opportunity and astutely developed a following for their formula among cocktail lovers. Today, Angostura aromatic bitters are a classic and versatile ingredient in bars and kitchens alike for their flawless ability to balance a range of cocktails. Bitters provide layers of flavor and complexity through their expertlycrafted combination of aromatic herbs, bark, roots and other botanicals. When it comes to the ingredients in Angostura’s aromatic bitters, the exact formula is unknown, as the recipe has remained a closely-guarded secret since the bitters were created almost 200 years ago. Consider these triedand-true takes on the Old Fashioned with four recipes ideal for sipping. The traditional version features bourbon, while three twists on the timeless classic highlight alternative liquors: the Tequila Old Fashioned, the Rum Old Fashioned and the WisconsinStyle Brandy Old Fashioned. Find more recipes filled with good, old-fashioned flavor at www.Angostura Bitters.com.

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the recipes

Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned 2 ounces bourbon 1/4 ounce Demerara syrup* 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters 1 dash Angostura orange bitters 1 splash water Ice Long orange peel, for garnish

In rocks glass, stir bourbon, Demerara syrup, water, aromatic bitters and orange bitters with ice to incorporate ingredients. Add ice to fill glass to top. Garnish with orange peel.

Tequila Old Fashioned

Ice 2 ounces reposado tequila 1/4 ounce Demerara syrup* 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters Grapefruit swath (narrow strip of peel) or wedge, for garnish In ice-filled mixing glass, stir tequila, Demerara syrup and aromatic bitters. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Squeeze grapefruit swath over glass and insert into drink.

Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned 3 ounces, plus 1 splash, lemon-lime soda 1 Demerara sugar cube 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, divided 3 maraschino cherries 1 orange slice, plus peel, for garnish Ice 2 ounces brandy 1 dash Angostura orange bitters Skewered maraschino cherry, for garnish

In rocks glass, muddle splash of lemon-lime soda, sugar cube, 2 dashes aromatic bitters, cherries and orange slice. Add ice and brandy then fill with remaining lemon-lime soda. Add remaining aromatic bitters and orange bitters. Garnish with skewered cherry and orange peel.

Rum Old Fashioned 1 Demerara sugar cube 4 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters 1 splash soda water Ice 2 ounces Angostura 1919 Rum Orange peel, for garnish

Place sugar cube in rocks glass. Wet cube with aromatic bitters, orange bitters and soda water. Using muddler, crush sugar cube. Add ice, pour in rum and stir. Garnish by squeezing orange peel over glass.

*Simple Syrup at Home

A wide range of cocktails call for sweet syrup to enhance the flavor of the liquor, and one variety in particular lends a rich molasses note to drinks. Demerara syrup is made using Demerara sugar, a special variety of raw, unrefined cane sugar with large grains and a golden amber hue. The sugar, which traces its origins to the South American country of Guyana, can be used in place of brown sugar. Though similar, Demerara generally lends stronger caramel, toffee and molasses notes than traditional brown sugar. If you don’t have any Demerara syrup around, it’s quite easy to make at home and can be used to naturally sweeten a number of drinks, from coffee to cocktails. If Demerara isn’t on-hand, swap for turbinado sugar, brown sugar or table sugar. Demerara Syrup = 1 part Demerara sugar + 1 part hot water Stir to dissolve. Let cool before use.

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Bella Eats

Healthy Mealtime Inspiration in Your Pantry Your pantry can be your secret weapon for quick and healthy meals.

One of the secrets to ordering less takeout and serving more nutritious homemade meals may be as simple as keeping a well-stocked pantry of canned foods. By cooking with canned foods, you can cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family. Canned fruits, vegetables, proteins and soups can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family like Panzanella Salad and Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili (recipes below!). In addition, according to a study published in Nutrients, kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber. Canned foods can also help reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased then thrown away. Consider how many times you’ve opened the fridge only to find the fresh produce you purchased only days ago has already spoiled. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within four hours, sealing in their nutrition and flavor, your family can have access to seasonal, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables year-round. Simply reach in your pantry—or your “cantry”—and get cooking. For more information about the benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find more flavorful recipes, visit www.CansGetYouCooking.com. Panzanella Salad Prep time: 10 minutes Servings: 4

Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper Salad: 1 pound day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 8 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped 2 cans (10 ounces each) tomato wedges 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) artichoke hearts 1 can (3.8 ounces) olives 1 can (1 1/2 ounces) sliced radishes To make dressing: In small bowl, stir together olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside. To assemble salad: In large bowl, toss bread cubes, lettuce, tomato wedges, beans, artichoke hearts, olives and radishes; drizzle with dressing.

*

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*

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 4-8 hours Servings: 6-8

Nonstick cooking spray 1 small yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cans (12 1/2 ounces each) white premium chunk chicken breast, drained 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained 3 tablespoons red curry paste, plus additional, to taste 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1 can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk 1 tablespoon fish sauce 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole potatoes, drained and cubed 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained 3 tablespoons lime juice, plus additional, to taste Salt, to taste Brown rice, cooked according to package instructions (optional) Cilantro, for garnish Salted peanuts, for garnish

Grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, red curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours. Uncover and stir in chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and lime juice. Taste and add lime juice and salt, to taste, if necessary. Serve on top of brown rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

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Young Writers Club

The Secret Writing Life of Emma Flood Where she goes to dream up new ideas or reconnect with old ones.

Written by K.L. KRANES Photo courtesy Emma Flood

Every writer has a secret place where

she or he goes to dream up new ideas or reconnect with old ones. For some writers, it is a room or a chair. For others, it is somewhere in their mind when they close their eyes. For 20-year-old Vienna, VA resident Emma Flood, that secret place is Tumblr. If you are not under 25 years old and a passionate writer or a reader, you may not be familiar with Tumblr, or its secret society-like online community of bright young writers. On the surface, Tumblr is simply another waystation on the endless journey across social media platforms. A place where people post thoughts and ideas in blog-sized bites. But underneath, there is a hidden community of writers and readers who bleed their souls into the platform each day. One of those people is Emma. The young writer, who quotes Hemmingway in one breath and expounds on her love of young adult literature in the next, is herself exceedingly quotable. Emma describes poetry as embodying the “vulnerability of the human condition” and then waves her hand notes, “it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else as long as it makes sense to you.” These types of ruminations about literature and writing fall from her lips faster than raindrops during a thunderstorm. She is a writer through and through. Although her platform, to some, may seem unconventional. Emma discovered online content-sharing sites, specifically Tumblr, in her late teens and soon began to follow certain literary-based microblogs, essentially short content posts of stories or character ideas. “At first, I didn’t understand how it worked,” she explains as she runs her fingers through her golden hair. Eventually, Emma discovered many writers used Tumblr not just to post their own content, but to interact and engage with each other through direct messaging and closed membership forums. “I am a member of a couple of groups that are closed, private membership, where we make our own characters and writers help each other build characters for our books,” Emma says. The groups consist not only of writers pursuing psychology or English degrees, but also people with other interests such as science or math who simply enjoy creating or commenting on stories. The diversity on Tumblr is one of the reasons Emma finds the format so rewarding and one of the reasons she keeps returning. It provides exposure to thoughts and ideas beyond the normal circle of people in her life. Emma describes the way writers interact on Tumblr as a primordial prototype of Ernest Cline’s book Ready Player One. “It is the first level of what would become a universe,” she explains of how writers work together to create characters and build fictional worlds. “People become protective of the universes they build for themselves. It’s like therapy being able

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to project feelings and write what they want to write.” The other aspect that keeps her returning to Tumblr is the connections. Emma explains Tumblr users often form deep bonds through writing and even expand their friendships beyond the social media platform. In fact, Emma met one of her best friends through Tumblr. Soon after Emma followed the girl’s Tumblr account, they began writing stories together and their friendship blossomed. Five years later, they plan on turning a shared writing project, developed together through Tumblr, into a book. Writing together means “[a person] gets to know you and admire you based on something you are proud of.” Emma believes the selective anonymity of Tumblr plays a large role in giving people the freedom to express thoughts and emotions they might be afraid or unable to express elsewhere. “You don’t have to give a name or picture,” Emma says. “You get to choose what information you give people. There is a sense of understanding. No one judges you for it.” Unlike other social media platforms where people talk at each other more than they talk with each other, Tumblr provides a positive outlet for ideas and a means of thoughtful engagement. “On Facebook and Instagram, people are scrolling because they’re bored,” says Emma. “It’s a time filler. On Tumblr, you’re not filling time, you’re dedicating time to this thing you love because you want to write. This is your passion.” Writers on Tumblr become so close, subtle nuances or shifts in a person’s writing or characters are immediately noticed by other users, even prompting people to reach out in times of potential hardship or crisis. “Almost all the people in these communities have some form of mental illness: anxiety, depression,” Emma says. “We lift each other up. Sometimes we help each other through stories or directly ask how someone is doing. It’s like AA for sad writers.” In a time when social media often uncorks the worst of our society, this type of online community reminds people of the goodness it can also bring out as well. Not surprisingly, it is the young writers who are restoring social media to medium for spreading strength and friendship instead of anger and hate. Writers, after all, shine a mirror on society and young female writers like Emma Flood are the kinds of reflections this world needs. K.L. Kranes is a blogger and author of young adult novels. Her debut novel, The Travelers, was published in 2016 by Saguaro Books, LLC. See more from K.L. at www.klkranes.com/blog. w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m


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What We're Reading

She Dreams

Photos courtesy of Tiffany Bluhm

Tiffany Bluhm’s newest book shows you how to live the life you were created for.

Tiffany & her family.

Imagine a world in which all big dreams went unrealized. Dark, isn’t it? So why do most of

us sit that part of life out in favor of so-called practicality? When did we realize that other people— people who somehow hypothetically have what we hypothetically don’t­—should be the dream chasers? Tiffany Bluhm wants to help all women see that the passions defining our hearts are meant to be explored, pursued, and honored. The world is counting on it. In her new book, She Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created For, Tiffany­— in-demand blogger, speaker, author, wife and mother­—presents a stirring call-to-action: grab those dreams that make your heart beat faster, cultivate them, and make them happen, like it’s what you were born to do. Because it is. Tiffany Bluhm “No matter who you are or where you’ve come from, no matter how many Benjamins you have in your bank account or moth balls you having in your pockets, no matter how bold you are or how shy, no matter how perfect your pedigree or how sketchy your past­—you, lovely one, were born for a lifetime of beauty and hope,” Tiffany writes. “No matter the details surrounding the story of your birth or beginnings (trust me on this one), you were born “Tiffany is full of fire and to dream of a better, sweeter, fairer existence for you and the world around you.” life. She writes, and more She Dreams takes a concept that is often presented as feelimportantly, lives this book. good hope bottled in a jar and makes it concrete. More than just an She’s got grit, passion, and advocate for dreaming big no matter what, Tiffany walks the walk. a depth that causes you to Abandoned in a children’s home in India as a two-day-old infant, she read each word and see that understands beginnings and daunting odds. you were born to live out your “Each and every one of us was born to dream,” Tiffany writes. “You and I were built for a much larger capacity than we imagine; we dreams while there is still are stronger than we think we are. And let me assure you of this: you breath in your lungs. Her are probably doing a better job than you think you are.” words will cause you to see To learn more about Tiffany, visit www.tiffanybluhm.com. that you’re stronger than you She Dreams can be found through your favorite bookseller or online.

know and created for more.”

— Andi Andrew, author of She Is Free, speaker, pastor, and founder of She Is Free w w w. l o v e l y b e l l a . c o m

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Regional

happenings

events

to put on your social

calendar!

Sponsored by RIDE SOLUTIONS

FREE Yoga for the People

As a public health and better living initiative, Free Yoga for the People is offering everyone of the Roanoke Valley a one-hour yoga class, twice a week, in a convenient public space, at no charge! Come learn yoga poses, breathing techniques, and mindfulness to help live, work and play together better. Classes are Mondays (5:30-6:30pm) and Tuesdays and Fridays (7:30-8:30am) and are held at the Downtown Library until the weather warms up, then they are moved to the Elmwood Park Stage. Bring your own mat. For all the details and latest information find “Free Yoga for the People” on Facebook.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival

Don’t miss this year’s much-loved, (and one of the largest St Patrick’s Day events on the east coast!) the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival taking place in Downtown Roanoke on Saturday, March 16. The parade will kick off at 11am on Jefferson Street at Elm Avenue and continue to Campbell Avenue right thru the heart of downtown! The Shamrock Festival starts earlier this year at 10am and goes until 5pm. Admission is FREE and takes place in the Plaza behind the City Market Building where you can enjoy live music, adult beverages and more! Don’t miss the Freedom First Kids Zone from noon-5pm in front of the Taubman Museum of Art on Salem Avenue and in Market Square along Market Street. Games, inflatables, face painting and more will be happening for all ages and admission is also FREE! For all the details visit www.downtownroanoke.org

Empowered Embroidery

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8 than with a little reflection on the wise words of your favorite leading ladies and freestyle embroidery that turns those words into art? After learning a few basic embroidery stitches, you will have plenty of time to create your own design that celebrates all the amazing women in your life. Join the Taubman Museum of Art on your lunch break for a crash course in simple stitches and a project you can knock out in an hour, or stay longer for a more in-depth look at the stitches with plenty of time for a more complex project. Short lunch break? Stay for the first hour! If you have more time or are interested in a more complex project, consider registering for the second session. Times: 12:15-1:15pm, $12/$10 OR 12:15-3pm, $35/$28. www.taubmanmuseum.org

Sponsored by

Our monthly Happenings feature is sponsored by RIDE Solutions. They provide alternative transportation options – ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), biking, public transit, walking, and guaranteed ride home services – to residents living within the greater New River and Roanoke Valleys and Region 2000 regions of southwestern Virginia. www.ridesolutions.org

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Profile

Bustle Textiles

One woman’s passion helps families preserve their most important keepsakes. Written by HAYLEIGH WORGAN

Photos courtesy Bustle Textiles

Ashley Webb, owner of Bustle Textiles,

has been fascinated with textiles and fabrics since childhood. A 6th grade trip to the historic Maymont Museum in Richmond, Virginia sparked her interest. As she began to plan out her career, her enthusiasm for textiles led her to pursue internships with museums as a college student. She later received her Masters of Arts in Museum Studies from Bournemouth University, and has over ten years of experience as a Museum Collections Specialist. Currently, she works as the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions for the Historical Society of Western Virginia. “They have a massive and fantastic collection,” she says of the Historical Society, “including a wedding dress from the 1870s. The waist was 21 inches! Making a mannequin for that dress was really difficult.” Of course, there is a bit of magic in the challenge for Webb. Thus, her love of preservation and sharing meaningful pieces with the community has gradually translated into something larger. Within the past year, she has started taking clients for her own business, Bustle Textiles. Described as a “museum quality preservation” service, she works with everything from wedding dresses and costumes to ephemera. She hopes that, with her museum background, she can help customers take better care of their items and preserve them properly for generations to come.

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Webb’s preservation techniques include acid-free, museum quality materials. She does not use cardboard or plastic, and the items are not sealed. Her barrier board-free boxes allow the textiles to breathe, and provide access so customers can view the items when they choose. She knows that even something as simple as accessibility, when overlooked, can have disastrous repercussions down the road. “A customer’s daughter was getting married earlier this year, so she pulled her dress out from storage for her daughter to try on,” she recalls. “It had been boxed for 25 years, so she didn’t think anything of it when she didn’t recognize any of the details, but after her daughter put it on, she realized that it wasn’t her dress! The dry cleaner that had cleaned and preserved it after she got married switched her dress with another bride’s and never knew the difference.” At Bustle, attention to detail is part of the process from beginning to end. A personalized dust cover, which can be monogrammed, is provided to each customer in the color of their choosing. Customers receive white gloves to handle their dress and a Mylar sleeve to include a photograph of their wedding or newspaper clipping. Webb is currently taking clients by appointment only. You can find out more about Bustle Textiles and how to make an appointment at www.bustletextiles.com.

Hayleigh is a freelance writer, independent author, and writing consultant. In 2017, she published her first novel, The Huntsman: A modern retelling of Red Riding Hood. She spends a lot of time traveling and exploring new regions for inspiration, but Roanoke will always be her home. www.hayleighworgan.com

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Profile for Beck Media Group

Bella Magazine - March 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as the regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia... and beyond!

Bella Magazine - March 2019  

Celebrating our 13th year as the regional magazine for women of Southwest & Central Virginia... and beyond!

Profile for beckmedia
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