Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

What’s Your Style? Find out!

There is talk on Twitter about Ethan Allen’s Style Quiz.  Check it out:

I am”Loft”

Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

Latest ETSY Love


This week I stummbled upon an adorable Etsy store catering to baby clothing – lilcubby.  I instantly fell in love with these little handmade baby booties (prices start around $13). Check them out.












Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

CTR: Do-It Yourself Interior Design

 So you’ve decided that you can’t afford to hire an interior designer for your home decor project. In today’s economy many people are opting to tackle their own interior decorating projects. But how do you avoid any design dilemmas if doing it yourself?

  Example of a “Design Dilemma”


Where do you begin? And how do you organize your efforts so that your room  fits your design goals as well as your everyday  lifestyle?


 Maybe my idea to put the  ROBOT in the entry isn’t working?


Step One in the process is to look at your lifestyle and the way you live in the space. Standing in the room you are going to decorate ask yourself the following questions:

How will this room be used?

 What activities will take place in this room?

Who will be using this room? Children? Pets? Adults?

Do I want a room that can be lived in comfortably? Can you put your feet on the coffee table?

How often will this room be used?

Do I want a “showroom” as opposed to a practical look with style?


Step Two is to observe what does not currently work in your room. Stand in the room you are going to decorate and be honest with yourself as you consider the following:

Is my room set up with adequate space for the furnishings and decor?

Can I move around the room adequately with the current way it is set up? What changes are necessary?

Does everything look in proportion to each other?

What do I need to get do differently?

 What do I need to get eliminate in the way of  my current furnishings or decor?

What is working?

What isn’t work?



 Is it time to let go of the 70’s looking decor and update?



 Are there just too many things out of proportion? Is the furniture too large? The side tables too small? Is it too hard to move around the room? And… is the shag carpeting outdated? (YES!)



Is there too much crammed into the room? Can I eliminate some of the things that aren’t working? Should the home office be moved out of the bedroom?


So today’s assignment for beginning your own decor project is to look seriously at how you are using the room and to assess what you currently have in the way of decor. Make your list of what to eliminate and what to keep. Tomorrow I will help you assess your STUFF.

Happy Decorating!


P.S. If you have any rooms that you would like me to look at or need help with, you can email your pictures and/or questions to



Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

Grandma D’s Cake with Strawberries

My Grandma Dorthy makes the most delicious white cake with a strawberry (filing) topping.  If a white cake and a strawberry pie made a baby, their offspring would be this dessert.  This is a great Sunday evening dessert and, the best part is, it is an easy recipe.  Here’s how it goes:



  • 1 white cake mix (I enjoy Pillsbury’s Classic White cake mix)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons Strawberry Jello (don’t use the instant kind)
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 2 containers of Strawberry (washed and cut in halves or quarters)

For the cake – follow the directions on back of the box.  Cook in two 9″ round cake dishes for 25 minutes.  Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes and then place in freezer until it has cooled completely (this will keep the cake moist).

For the filling – Bring water to a boil.  While the water is coming to a boil, mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl (sugar, cornstarch and jello).  When water reaches a boil, whisk in dry ingredients.  Bring down to a simmer and keep stirring until mixture starts thickening.  Now, remove the mixture from the stove top and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Once the mixture has cooled, mix it together with the Strawberries. 

Completing the cake – pour 1/2 of  the Strawberry filing mixture on top of each round white cake.  Finish each serving with a dollop of whipping cream and ENJOY!


Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

An Pham’s Photo of the Week




Gisela is one of Arizona’s hidden gems.  Here, one can escape and cool off from the blistering summer heat. Unfortunately, they recently closed down the main trail due to funding cutbacks.  To view more of An’s work, visit his website Bowser Photography at
Posted by: thebellalife | August 10, 2009

Quote of the Day


“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Brian Littrell


via Dezign with AZ


via Decorating 4 Kids



via Rosenberry Rooms


via Tots n’ Tales


via Tree Hugger


via Etsy


via Etsy




Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

Part II: Story of a Sick Housewife

Two more pills and I start again!

My last post ended with me crawling to Michael, so I could say “goodbye”.  I need to clarify something. I feel like I mislead you a bit when I said crawl. What I really meant to say was I began to slither.  What made it turn into more of a slither was the fact my limbs decided to gain 100 lbs, and refused to move. This weight gain prevented me from using the form of crawling that most of us think of i.e. hands and knees crawling.

So I begin to slither towards Michael, who at the moment was dead asleep, with his back to me. By now, you are probably all wondering “why hasn’t she just called out to him?”. Well, the problem was the pain or demon trying to kill me had taken away my ability to speak. All my energy was so focused on fighting through the pain so I could physically get to Mike before I “died” – thus words were not an option.  (Doesn’t it all sound so Romantic? The dying girl trying to reach her sleeping lover?)  After what seemed liked 30 minutes of slithering across the tile floor, I had gone approximately 3 ½ feet. Please study the map below, it might make this journey a little clearer.

Crawling Pattern

Crawling Pattern

After crawling a remarkable 3 1/2 feet, I notice I had made it to the tub. (Cue Smeagol voice) “My precious tub”.  So there I am lying on the floor, wallowing in pain, staring at “my precious”,  when a brilliant thought comes to mind. “I should use the tub to pull myself from the floor and, then, when I am standing… get this… walk the rest of the distance to Michael. BRILLIANTTTTT!” ( clapping, shouting, hip hip hurrah!) The next seconds or minutes are really unclear. All I remember is somehow getting to my feet by pulling myself up with the ledge on “my precious”.  Things were going as planned UNTIL I pushed the upper portion of my body off the tub railing so I could stand straight and begin walking. BAD IDEA! The walls around my world began crumbling away as “the machete”, dizziness, and my 100 lb limbs came back FULL force. Everything  started going dark again, so in a scramble I tried to grab back onto “my precious” and as luck would have it I MISSED!!! I start falling backwards.  Can I just tell you how good it felt to fall backwards and jar into the tile floor, as my insides are being torn apart? LOVED IT!

This is my falling pattern.

This is my falling pattern.

I understand it’s confusing that I ended up falling behind the tub, but this is what happened people. NO QUESTIONS.  As I lay there on my back, trying to breath through the pain I realize the only choice I have left is to call out for help. I immediately call out and do you know what I hear??? I hear a cool, calm, collected voice barely above a whisper saying “Michael. Michael. Michael.” WTH? My world is ending and I’m acting calm? After calling out my husband’s name a few more times in my creepy voice I start getting discouraged. I was discouraged because not only was there so much pain shooting through my body but, I knew, the chance of Mike hearing me was slim to none. Michael is an annoyingly deep sleeper and my dying voice just wasn’t going to cut it.

Now, is when this post gets really sad (well for me at least), and even more dramatic than before. (When I eventually tell you what the doctors diagnosed me with, promise not to send hate mail?) Ok here we go.

Due to the fact my pain somehow tripled, Mike heard none of my calls.  I struggled not to give into the urge to shut my eyes. So, I finally did the last thing on my list – I started talking to God. (Yes I should have done this earlier but that’s not how it went. I am being honest.)  Here is almost the exact wording of my conversation with God.

“Seriously, God?!?  Today I have to die? I. CANNOT. BELIEVE. I. HAVE. TO. DIE. TODAY! Am I going to be one of those stories where the person was perfectly fine one minute, and gone the next? Can’t I see my family or something? Today?!? Don’t I need to work on myself more? Today?!?”

Yes, I whined at God.  I am ashamed to admit it, but that is the pretty much what happened. I would like to think in my last moments I would be humble, gracious, and give thanks but  I learned I am the opposite. While I continued to whine, in my mind, about the injustices of dying  the most beautiful thing happened.  I hear Michael sit up and call my name.

Where it all went Down!

Where it all went Down!

Things start happening very quickly now. Mike rushed over and demanded to know what I was doing on the floor. I tell him in my creepy, serious voice that something is very wrong. He crouches down and asks me what he should do. I tell him to call for help. He runs to phone. I tell him to hurry. He calls the front desk. My body starts going numb. (minus my torso of course) Michael asks the concierge how to get to the nearest hospital. I tell Michael there is no way I’m walking to the car. Mike lets the concierge, named RJ ,know he didn’t get the last street. I ask for an ambulance. I hear the words Scottsdale Rd, Maine St, Osbourne. I whisper there is no time for that. Michael puts RJ on hold and walks over. Light switch is flipped. Michael sees me in the light for the fist time. I look at him with my googly eyes. He drops some swear words I can’t write. I look at him and tell him again in my creepy voice “something is very wrong”. He looks at me in horror and drops another swear word. He runs to phone and yells at RJ to dial 911. I start going into shock. Mike is connected to a 911 operator. I start mumbling my apologies? Hotel security comes through the door. This nice man named Drew holds my hand. I almost bite my tongue off with shock. I mumble my apologies. I hear sirens. I mumble my apologies again. Michael asks me where the pain is. I state EVERYWHERE. Then, 12 wonderful men in navy blue rush into my room. I finally close my eyes.

Part III tomorrow. I know I’m dragging this out, but I can’t write it any shorter.


Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

Keeping the Romance Alive – “I Love You”

Everyday we are faced with life’s stresses – kids, work, bills, housework, et cetera. Sometimes, these stressors make it tough to KEEP THE ROMANCE ALIVE. 

This weeks Keeping the Romance Alive tip almost seems like a no-brainer; yet, sometimes we find days or weeks go by without a heartfelt 

via Flickr

Saying “I Love You” shouldn’t be reserved for a special occasions.  Try saying it everyday.  There is always time in the day to pick up the telephone, send an email or shoot a quick text that when not in one another’s presence. However, “if you are fortunate enough to be together, stop what you’re doing once in a while, look your lover in the eye, smile, and tell him or her what’s in your heart. It doesn’t cost a thing, yet it’s the best way I know to keep romance alive”. (tip advice from here)



Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

Honey-Lime Marinated London Broil

Honey-Lime Marinated London Broil 

A quick and easy main dish from this cookbook:

¼ c. fresh lime juice

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of honey

2 Tablespoons minced fresh garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ pounds trimmed London broil (top round steak)


Wisk the lime juice, olive oil and honey in a bowl. Stir in the garlic and salt.


Place the steak in a large resealable bag. Pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and rotate it so that the steak is covered with the marinade. Place the back in the refrigerator and marinate the steak for at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating it occasionally.


When ready to eat-preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and place it on the grill. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until the desired doneness is reached. Place steak on a plate or cutting board, cover loosely with toil, let stand 10 minutes. Slice into thin slices against the grain and serve immediately.



Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

Good Read: The Game of Life..


One of my all time favorite books: “The Game of Life and How to Play It”  was written years ago by an incredibly strong women, Florence Scovel Shinn.


My Friend FLO


Originally published in 1925, The Game of Life  has become a spiritual classic.  In a down-to-earth style filled with anecdotes, the book covers such topics as prosperity, healing, forgiveness, faith, and Divine Design.  “Most people consider life a battle — but it is not a battle, it is a game,” writes Florence Shinn — a “great game of Giving and Receiving.”  In this game, our mind is the most powerful tool we have, and it is a tool that much be used properly in order to attain happiness and peace.  


Florence Scovel Shinn began her career as an illustrator for magazines before becoming an author.


A friend of mine suggested that I read this book when I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life.  I read it daily- marked it up- and made notes in the margins. It’s now one of my prized possessions. It’s the kind of book that you can pick up,read a thought and then have it influence your thoughts and actions immediately and for days to come. It’s was better than any medicine I’ve found to get rid of those thoughts and feelings.


Florence illustrated this “Children’s Happy Hour” in 1904 for Harper’s Monthly Magazine


If you are interested you can purchase it at your local bookstore or online at  Personally I like the the 4 book compilation of Florence Scovel Shinn’s writings. It also includes a biography of this facinating woman.




Or you can read it online for FREE. My favorite website is because of it’s easy to read format.



Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

A Recipe for your Pooch


Oh My Dog Boutique owner Jackie Bacha recently shared a recipe for healthy dog food on her Facebook Page.  This is a recipe your pooch is bound to love.  Go home and cook for your pooch tonight!


  • 2 lbs Boiled chicken breast
  • 1lb ground lean beef
  • 1 lb boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup cooked green beans
  • 1 cup cooked carrots

Cook the above ingredients and blend it all together in a blender or food processor (you want it to be complete mush!). 

The rule is, for one meal, your dog should eat 4oz meat for every 10lbs he/she weighs. This means, a 10 lb dog would eat 4oz and a 40 lb dog would eat 16oz/1 pound.

Happy Sunday!


Posted by: thebellalife | August 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content. 

Proverb quote 


Deb’s MOB Interrupted


Ky’s Part 1: Story of a Sick Housewife


Cam’s Corporate Talk


Carla’s UPSIDE on Alzheimers



Ky’s Saga Continues


Stay out of MOB’s way she’s about to have a mental breakdown and it’s not pretty


Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

MOB: Mother of the Bride Needs Drugs!

Find out on Monday why I’ve come to the conclusion that all MOB’s need drugs-including ME!


As you can see from the picture taken by the BTB on her iPhone-I have resorted to looking like this and threatening to throw food at anyone who comes near me.



Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

More Theme Inspiration

Another way to incorporate a THEME into the interior design of your room is to focus on some decor item that you like. Use it in a concentrated area like on your walls or tables.















Wall Decals and Pillows



Art Groupings






Lithographic Art






Or my very favorite…


Empty “Beverage” Bottles


Use your collections-focus on something you are passionate about-use one of your hobbies for your theme. Consider using something that reflects who you are and the things you love in life.


Happy Creating!


P.S. Carla-I don’t think that an “Edward Cullen” bedroom theme works for the single woman trying to find herself a man! Just a thought…

Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

Back to School – Kids’ Crafts


Recently we purchased the Woman’s Day Cool Kids’ Crafts publication.  In the Back To School section of this magazine, there are a couple of creative kids’ crafts.  One craft that I found to be especially cute and clever is called POCKET IT“.  Here’s how it goes:


Create a place for your pens right on your notebook

Materials Needed:

  • Pocket from old pair of jeans or other piece of clothing
  • Notebook with colorful cover
  • Tacky Glue (they recommend Aleene’s Original)
  • Paint Pens, Buttons, Sewing Trim and Stickers (optional)

Cut away small pocket from an old pair of jeans or other piece of clothing. (Leave the back, so the clothing stays intact.)  Attach pocket with tacky glue to the front of notebook. Let dry.

Once the pocket has dried, let your child decorate it to their liking with crafting supplies (i.e. paint pens, buttons, sewing trim or stickers). 


Have fun!


Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

Green Cleaning – White Vinegar


The Bella Girls took a trip to Barnes and Noble yesterday and stumbled upon this little gem on Green Cleaning.

So, each week we will bring you a helpful green cleaning tip.  This weeks green cleaning tool is WHITE VINEGAR.

Use White Vinegar to prevent colored clothes from running in the wash:

“Use white vinegar if washing something that will bleed.  Pour some white vinegar in the washing machine, fill with cold water, and then add soap and clothes.” (Green Cleaning – Natural Hints and Tips for the Eco-Friendly Household)


Happy Cleaning,


Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

Story of a Sick Housewife

Hey folks! I am typing as fast as my pain pills will allow. Which actually isn’t going too hot, because when I read it sober it reads as if my 4 year old niece wrote it. Anyways look out for Part II of the installment tomorrow. In the meantime check out this piece of mess!!!

Looking Happy Doing My Walking Rounds!

Looking Happy Doing My Walking Rounds!

I had to black out the boob-age area due to lack of undergarments. I wanted to keep the site rated PG! If you want to see the R-rated photo send me a personal message and maybe I’ll send it to you. Its lots of laughs!


UPDATE: So my husband saw that I put this picture on the site and reacted with ” UGGHHH….. (silence)” So I just want to clarify I was not just creepily looking at the floor for fun and yes I realize what I look like in this photo. My sister told me to look sick as she took it and this is what she got from me. ha.

xoxo Keighley


Posted by: thebellalife | August 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

“In all love stories the theme is love and tragedy, so by writing these types of stories, I have to include tragedy.”
Nicholas Sparks


via House to Home


via Tchohkes


via Flickr


via Flickr


via Flickr


via Flickr


via Flickr


via Coco+Kelley


via Flickr


via Flickr




Posted by: thebellalife | August 7, 2009

CTR: Outdoor Theme Inspirations


 Many times “theme” inspiration can come from nature. Just step outside and see all the different elements that can be incorporated into your homes….




 Flowers can be incorporated as Artwork



Flower Inspired Furnitue


Flower Inspired Wallpaper


Flower Inspired Pillows and Curtains



 Branch Inspired Table Decor




Tree Inspired Wall Mural




Tree Inspired Seating-I wonder how comfortable it is?


Branch Inspired Table Decor and Artwork



Branch Inspired Tables



High Fashion Home

Branch Inspired Bedding



Nature decor bedroom

How about a tree inside your bedroom to fill up space?



Nature theme Entry

Or a tree painted in your entry?



Tree Inspired Chair



Leaf Inspired Wallpaper and Curtains


Enjoy Nature!


Posted by: thebellalife | August 7, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip


When hosting a party, one of my favorite things to serve is Spinach Artichoke Dip.  I can easily pull the dip together hours before people arrive and pop it in the oven minutes before their arrival.  I’ve played around with several Spinach and Artichoke Dips in the past, but I always find myself going back to a recipe my Mom’s Cousin, Terry, shared with me.  Some claim this is the recipe Charleston’s Restaurant uses for their dip:

Photo via Real Simple


1 Cup Mayo
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp dry/1 fresh garlic clove
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 box chopped spinach, defrosted and drained thoroughly (you can find a frozen bag of spinach on your local grocery store’s freezer aisle)
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
salt to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste (usually just a few does the trick)
To start – Mix mayo with seasonings, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Add spinach and artichokes. Mix well.
Next – Place mixture in oven safe container. Sprinkle remaining parmesean over top.
Bake 350 degrees for aprox. 25 mins, or till bubbly, and cheese slightly brown.
Serve with baguettes or bread, crackers, veggies… ENJOY!

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