Saturday, April 27, 2013


As I reminisce about when I first decided to blog for real for real, (all of one week ago!) it was scary! I was hedged in on all sides by socialites,  gourmet chefs, and the like, all of them with what seems like and endless supply of time and resources.

That, and a photographer that follows them around taking pictures of their glamorous selves.

 I've never been to the kind of party that you wear a party dress to. I don't go out dancing at night or travel to exotic places or have famous friends.  I don't even have my own car!

I mean, seriously! But really, I've realized what makes blogging cool is that fact that we get to see so many different sides of life through it. Its the same magical quality that makes crayons and jelly beens so great - we're diverse! And maybe there's a gorgeous, cultured, exciting someone out there who's honestly interested in the life of an average suburban highschool kid like me. You know, the one who nearly just ran into a light post as a result of trying to bike and blog at once?  If that's you, than here's a peek into my version of life, the little town that I've lived in and loved for over a decade.

There's the concrete mountain under a highway bridge that my brother and sister and I would climb as kids on our way downtown for the Memorial Day Parade each year. (Still do - we're still kids!)

The dresses are complemets of a gem of a boutique called Clothes Encounters.  Yes, the dressing room doors are missing any kind of lock, latch, or other security.  Yes, it's a little scary to have the 50 something man who works the counter address you from the other side of that unlocked door, earnestly wanting to assist you in any way.  But this place has some of the most unique pieces you'll find in suburbia.

The neighborhoods surrounding downtown are full of beautiful, brightly colored old houses that are everywhere from rose pink to cheery orange and yellow to bold red, white and blue. It's really such a cute little area, and its a shame that more people don't get to visit.

The commute. 

Love, Bella

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Sarah's out! Yeah!"Clapping and cheering and tears 


"Don't sit there!" whispered, "That's Sarah's desk." and fallen shoulders


"He said I couldn't borrow his pen, because I chew on things." "You do chew on things, and you're a third grader, not a puppy." snickers, snicker, snickers, and the lonely


"I don't have a partner." and silence


On my heartstrings.  My Achilles heel, the part of me that hasn't been hardened by the world of hurt, wrong, and everything else, is the kid in the class who is all heel surrounded by a thousand Parises. 

Injustice.  Innocence that is beautiful and rare is destroyed and that's why it is.  It's beaten out until ordinariness is attained, because ordinariness is comfortable and we can't handle being uncomfortable, not for too long.  We're selfish, we say, I will be comfortable, you will be outcast, and we don't care.  

Jesus, friend of sinners, break my heart for what breaks yours indeed. This service day has broken my like little else has in a long time. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hope for the Future & Barbecue Chicken

What a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning! Eddie and I couldn't wait to get outside and run around (for him) and take pictures (for me.)

For as long as can remember, since my very first week of existence, my Sunday mornings have been Jesus-filled instead of lazy. Ok, so I can't actually remember my very first week of existence. I'm sure I went to church, though.  9-12 AM on the first day of the week is always spent in Sunday School, church, and the inevitable 30+ minutes of talking (or, as a kid, waiting for mom to catch up with Mrs. Such-and-such, Mr. What's-his-name, the Joneses, and their next door neighbor. And the next-door-neighbor's cousin. And anyone else within a 12-foot radius)

Are there times when I've resented having to get up early, get dressed up early, and stay awake through an entire church service the morning after a wild night of Disney movies and countless sweets (or, in last night's case, ding-dong ditching on crutches - exhausting!)  Of course what human being wouldn't? But I always walk out of there with a better attitude and at least a slightly more sunny outlook on life that when I entered - and don't we all need just that?

That's why I've chosen to bring a bit of my Sunday to you in the form of a little flip book that's sat on our windowsill for as long as I can remember. (Which, by the way, does not begin with my very first week of existence.)

Today's devotion is called "Hope for the Future." It reads:

"...But i say to you boldly, your future is not determined by your past or your present! 

"Believe that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 KJV). With man some things may be impossible, but . . . we serve a God Who created everything we see out of nothing.  Give Him your nothingness and watch Him go to work.  All he needs is your faith in Him.  He needs for you to believe, and He will do the rest . . . "

Regardless of your faith, it's food for thought, is it not?

Speaking of food. . . another of my favorite parts of Sundays is the afternoon, which more often than not I spend whipping up some knew experiment in the kitchen.  Today's no different - I'm planning on making barbecue chicken pizza sliders (as long as I can avoid being banished to the couch.  ) I'm going to make them with a whole wheat crust to accommodate my guests this evening - a group of lovely, athletic girls who are always conscious of keeping a healthy diet.  Which is wonderful, except that it's made them completely useless for polishing off a tempting plate of Samoas or bag of chips.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza Sliders
  2 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  2 T olive oil
  rosemary leaves
  onion salt
  1 t white sugar
  1 0.25 oz packet active dry yeast
  1 cup warm (110 F) water
  additional olive oil for topping
  1/4 onion, chopped
  2 large chicken breasts, thawed
  1/2 bottle barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
  cheese ( I used shredded cheddar/jack)

To make the crust, first dissolve the white sugar and yeast in the water in a medium bowl. Preheat the oven to 300 F
 Let the yeast dissolve for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is creamy. While you're waiting, combine the flour, salt, and a pinch each of rosemary leaves and onion salt.

Then, add in the olive oil.

After 10 minutes, the yeast should look like this on top:

 Combine the yeast mixture and the flour mixture.

Mix together until the dough is smooth and there are no flour pockets.

Let that sit for 5 minutes, then lay it out on a lightly floured surface.

 Roll the dough into 8-10 small balls.

 Pat them into discs 1/4 inch thick using the side and heel of your hand.

 Pop the discs onto a lightly greased pizza pan. Mis together 2 T olive oil and a drizzle on honey. The honey complements the barbecue flavor really nicely!

Use a rubber brush to lightly cover each disc with the olive oil-honey glaze. 

Congrats, your dough is ready to go!

For the topping, use place the chicken breasts in a deep pan. 

Smother them with your favorite barbecue sauce. 

 Add the chopped onions and bake the whole thing for 10-12 minutes in the 300 F oven.

 When the chicken has been cooked thoroughly, use two forks to pull apart the meat. Up the heat in the oven to 450 F. Use one fork to hold the meat down and one fork to pull bite-sized pieces off.

 Top your pizzas with the cheese, onion, and chicken. Bake for 16-20 minutes and enjoy!

Love, Bella

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Sometimes it takes a good kick in the behind to get you moving in the right direction.

Sometimes it takes a good kick in the knee.

For the last few days (8, to be exact. Yes, 8.) an unfortunate collision during a soccer game imprisoned me to the red leather couch in our living room from the moment I walk in the door until I can dream up some way of escape.  My mother, the ever-faithful warden, is very clever at blocking any attempt at freedom.  Never have I had such a desire to clean up,  drink enough glasses of water, explore all the books on the shelf, or walk the dog. Never have I been more willing to do the dishes, run errands, or stand up to change the channel on the T.V.  Although our couch is extremely comfortable and still smells pleasantly leather-ish after all these years,  it's as if I've been stuck in time-out. Or jail.

Fortunately, the one freedom I'm allowed is internet connection and my laptop, where I've discovered that I seem to be in good company - I've stumbled on chefs, models, celebrities, mothers, and politicians  who seem to have done time on their own couches, resulting into the delightfully diverse world of blogs.

Which inspired me to re-start my own blog. I've been reblogged.

Since I've been limited to 3 cushions, 2 armrests, and a bag of frozen peas today, I'll share some of the gems I've uncovered that, one day after my release, will be acted on. Until then . . .

Food: Joy the Baker's Shrimp + Grits + Cocktail post has my mouth absolutely watering!

Fashion: The Londoner's polka dot-inspired cool-girl look has me itching to get up and walk a mile in her shoes!
Fitness: Fit Bottomed Girl's weekly workout routine has me motivated to get moving any way I can.

Love, Bella