Thursday, April 17, 2014

Just saying hello!

Oh my you have no idea how difficult and traumatic life can be when you cannot access your own blog!

Just stopping in to let everyone know, if you've posted a comment and I haven't answered you, its not for lack of caring or trying, I have been completely unable to get into my own beloved La Bella Vie until just now!!!

I am elated as you can imagine! My feeling is, as with many other blogger's I'm sure, this is part of who I am and part of my life's history so to not be able to get back into it has been beyond frustrating and heart-wrenching to say the least!

Stay tuned for more blog-lovin' stuff...I hope anyway lest I never, ever be denied access to my baby!


Here's a snippet of a little bit of what I've been up to...photography amongst many other things in life!

Oh I am one happy, happy girl right now!

I want to give a huge shout out to Susan from "Between Naps On The Porch" for helping me try and circumnavigate troubleshooting to get back into my blog. If anybody knows the love and care that goers into blogging, she does!
Thank you Susan for all your help and caring!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The day that altered history

(image courtesy of Google)

I don't remember a lot about November 22nd 1963 but I do remember one thing that will forever stand out in my mind.

We were living on a Navy base in southern California and we were let out of school early that day, when I got home my mother was sitting in our tiny Navy housing living room crying in front of the RCA black & white TV. Little did I know at such a young age how history had been forever altered and the sadness of that day would change the sweet innocence we knew...


Do you have a significant memory of that day in history? If so, I'd love for you to share as your day is as much a part of history as that moment in Dallas, Texas 1963...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ta-Da!

PICK 'YUR PUNKIN', 


SCOOP IT OUT,

STUFF 'ER WITH FLOWERS

THEN SET 'ER OUT!

...a little diddly I just made up in my head
played to the tune of "Swing your pardner, round and round"

 
Happy October everyone!!!


Inspiration from Strangers

So when you think you are all you have, 
Remember, your Angel is always watching over you...


Have you ever had the feeling that some people enter our lives for a reason or that they happened upon us at a time when we needed them most?

I had that very thing happen just recently. Let me start by telling you, not by choice but by necessity I now have "comment moderation" on. Most bloggers are already on board with this practice but for me I naively thought I didn't really "need it" because after all, the blogging community I've had the pleasure of knowing are all pretty upstanding people and a wonderful source of knowledge and ideas.
Unfortunately now I understand more than ever the reason's behind comment moderation after having malicious comments from spammer's left prior to me installing this feature.  
At first the down side of this feature was I honestly disliked the whole scenario of having to approve comments because it sort of takes some of the spontaneity out of blogging along with the innocent fun it should be. It makes it feel more like I have to be the "hall monitor" by having to ask for a hall-pass from anyone walking by! 

However as with all things in life there is a silver lining you just have to look for it. The upside of comment approval is it gives you the opportunity to see that someone has posted a comment when you receive an email notification. For a person like me that has little time to post and/or check for comments from months ago, its a great feature!

So the other day I received an email notice from a women by the name of Carol from Wichita, Kansas. Carol was trying to leave a comment on my blog as well as become a follower. However since Carol didn't have a blog account it was showing up as "unknown" which meant I had to find out if "unknown" was real or a "Spam-bot"...yes that is a real word...I think or maybe I just made it up :) That very day Katie Couric was discussing the evils of Cyber-space and how even if you think its a nice women you're talking to it could be something far worse, SCARY!!!!!!!! 
So needless to say I was overly cautious!

But I digress...when Carol and I finally established that she indeed was a "real person" it really made my day as she has to be one of the nicest people I've come across in a while. We exchanged a few emails about who she was, her hobbies, her family and it was like talking to a girlfriend. 
I must say from the start Carol was just a delight to "talk" to, we had oodles and oodles in common so much so that if she lived closer to me, we'd probably be good friends!
Anyway the whole reason for my prattling post is just to say this experience once again reiterates for me, there are wonderful people in the world and things aren't always as they seem...thank you Carol for reminding me of this today! 


"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers;
for thereby some have entertained angels unaware."
Hebrews 13:2
~ Author Unknown ~

Saturday, August 31, 2013

T. H. I. N. K.

Way back in 2011 I posted the photo (below) of me taken in my senior year along with a poem I came across in a box of old high school memorabilia.


Today as I was sifting through old posts' on La Bella Vie I came across a disturbing comment in that particular post with a time stamp of June 8th, 2012.

The poem in the post had been written on a very yellowed with age piece of binder paper which was more than likely pulled out of my "Pee-Chee" folder we carried around back in 1975. 
The handwriting in my own script, was all cute and flowing with lots of little curlicues. It looked exactly like what a 17 year old girls' penmanship would look like. But truthfully I really had no recollection as to where those written words came from on the little yellow piece of paper.

Did I write them in English lit. class or maybe my writing and poetry class, did I hear it in a song or read them in a book? I didn't really know or recall, but since it was in my own hand I was sure I had to have written it and it was never a priority to research it, it was just five lines from a young girls' past.

The poem itself also looked exactly like what a 17 year old girl might write in high school in 1975. It was moody and emotional and could have easily been written either before, during or after some "traumatic break-up" with whatever high school jock I was dating at the time.
As time marched on, that little piece of paper was tucked away in my little box of memories for safe keeping. 
Fast forward to 2011 when I came across that little piece of paper again with that poem during a very tumultuous time in my life and posted it along with the picture [above] never thinking twice about its origin, just that it seemed as appropriate that day as it did thirty six years prior.

Today as I was sifting through comments a person by the name of "Anonymous" (I'm confident I know who "Anonymous" is) left a comment informing me the poem was from the song, "Conversation Love song" by Roberta Flack. Then "Anonymous" proceeded to post the full lyrics and the copyright date of 1973. The comment appeared as if "Anonymous" was accusing me of stealing the words when in reality, a 17 year old girl jotted down something that a 55 year old women had no recollection as to where it came from!

So the whole point of this post is for when "Anonymous" does go trolling and lurking again (and she will) she will see what my intent was which was not stealing! For the record anything I have ever posted, a photo, a poem, a song lyric, anything that belongs to someone else or is copyrighted material, I have always given credit for in my blog.

Thankfully because of my own moral compass, I would never, ever take credit for another person's work knowingly.
Oh and just for the record, if I have something to say or a point to make, I have the courage to use my given name and not hide behind a fictitious name like "Anonymous". 

I still have that little yellowed with age piece of paper written by a teenage girl from 38 years ago with those few lines of what I now know to be song lyrics. 
But as of today that post has been omitted. Not because of a mean-spirited person that cowardly goes by the name "Anonymous" but because my life today is so richly blessed in a way I could never have imagined and there is no need to have dark shadows lingering where there is now lightness and joy...

I'll end this by simply leaving you with something a dear friend shared with me. It's an Acronym that we could all be reminded of;

T. H. I. N. K. is it Thoughtful or Truth, is it Helpful, is it Inspiring, is it Necessary, is it Kind?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to do a display cabinet with pink!

Well here we are, another Saturday...the best day of the week! You know, have you ever thought about this, there are only a limited number of Saturday's in one's lifetime which must mean they are meant for ANYTHING YOU WANT TO DO, right?

This Saturday the hubs is doing what he loves best: Cycle Oregon!
and today I'm doing what I love doing best...organizing and decorating, but not necessarily in that order! I thought I'd show you the wine and beverage bar from our DIY kitchen project that you'll find HERE. 
But today I'm changing it up a bit and we're going pink! Yep folks...pink in THIS room I actually do have a touch of pink, something I don't have a lot of throughout the rest of the house . 


Years ago I was in a Depression glass phase and collected many different patterns of "Elegant Glassware" most of it pink and clear along with aqua German Majolica in a pattern called "Lily of the Valley" pictured below. 


However when we did the kitchen remodel I was afraid pink and aqua just wouldn't work in here anymore, perhaps because of the very neutral color palette of white, grey/green, taupe and oil rubbed bronze. Also I didn't really want a lot of color in here to take away from the classic vintage look I was going for. I wanted it to look very monochromatic as you can see in the picture below which was taken just as we were finishing the remodel.

But as I started unpacking after living out of the dining room and laundry room I knew I'd have a hard time not displaying my beloved pieces so I got wild a crazy and tried them in the new beverage bar and this is how it looks today...


It seems pink and aqua work pretty well here. I like how the subtle colors really do enhance the display cabinet and bring in just a pop of color where it might otherwise be a bit bland and stark looking.


Something I was a little worried about was that I didn't have another piece of my German Majolica to balance out the left side of the cabinet and thought it might look odd. However I tried my Crystolite "celery dish" and loved how it looked, eclectic, balanced and not matchy-matchy. 



So there you have it, a fun way to decorate with the color pink 

while still keeping it sophisticated, classic and timeless...

 Remember what I said in the beginning of this post? There are only a limited number of Saturday's in one's lifetime and they are for 
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO DO
So what's on tap for your Saturday...the best day of the week?

Linking up with with Beverly for 
Pink Saturday 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Labor of Love for Labor Day...

Well for those of you that have patiently waited and watched through this and this wait no longer...we have arrived so come on in...


POP THE CORK, IT'S THE KITCHEN REVEAL!
Oh and by the way, fair warning...this may be a bit picture heavy but you'll just have to suffer through it so pour yourself a glass of champagne and come sit a spell :O) Also I think I may have to post in phases because in the end there's a lot to see in this sweet little kitchen...well maybe not, I'm so excited to show you this it may just be one big long post :O)
First of all I'll get the text out of the way and let's just say this was a labor of love and as always it took a lot longer than we ever thought it would. But during the remodel we lived out of here for almost the entire time because of the kind of stuff going on you see in the picture below! 
This picture was taken during month six when the painting was happening and let me tell you, it was AWFUL...DID I SAY AWFUL? WELL I MEAN IT, IT WAS THE WORST PART OF THE ENTIRE PROCESS...stinky and messy all at the same time for 3 long weeks!


One of the main reasons the remodel took so long was because Mr.La Bella Vie did 99% of the labor...and yes he does work-full time folks at a "real job" but like my grand kids always say, he's "IRON MAN PAPA" and seems to be able to juggle things really well! 
He can build an island, rip out walls, climb mountains on 100 mile epic bicycle rides and yet still be willing to do a major kitchen remodel! So enough said, let's get on with the show!

But before we do, one more peek of what our 20 year old kitchen looked like prior to...7 months ago...
And what a beautiful new kitchen it is today taken from pretty much the same exact spot. 
Notice where the wasted, unusable space is under the counter on the island, well we changed that up by making it a bookshelf with lights to house all my prized collectible cookbooks and enclosed the end with the glassware, which you can see in the photo below. This not only allowed us to gain storage but by moving the bar stools to that end, we're able to open the refrigerator without knocking guests' off their chairs! 

(Click any picture to enlarge and toggle through for a better view)


 





Below is the view you see when you first enter the kitchen from the front door. Out the back window of the nook we have a great view Oregon's state tree, the Douglas Fir...

So keeping that in mind...


We chose a beautiful hand-made scenic tile coupled with ivory Subway tile from Pratt and Larsen for behind the Wolf cook range that would reflect our surroundings. It may be difficult to see the color of this tile but its sort of a Taupe/grey...


Below is another view from the other side of the kitchen. The first shot, again that ugly 20 year old kitchen. Oh and may I point out the "terrible awful" behind the stove...the only reason all the junk is sitting behind it was because it was sheet-rock and grease splatters wreaked havoc on it! 
Also, note the oven/microwave area in the left of the picture. That big hole was where the Ginormous old microwave used to live but died many years ago, so the Hubs enclosed it to better accommodate the new, smaller SS microwave that you see in the picture below.


and today...


The picture above and below is looking from the family room toward the kitchen. The hubs and I designed all that you see here and sketched it up on Visio a design program, the hood, the cabinets...everything. 
Which also includes the pendant light platform above the island. It used to be that when we turned on the over-head lights ALL 9 can lights came on which was like being in a suntan bed!

So we had to come up with a way to have only the island lights come on with a separate switch without having to rip out the entire ceiling and this was our solution...rewire but cover it up!
To the left of the fridge is the new beverage bar which used to look like this...kinda blurry but I was in a hurry to start ripping out walls!
 

and below once again the way it was meant to look all along...

The new beverage bar is a great place for this...my favorite Chardonnay!

So just as the title said, this truly has been a labor of love!
I hope you've enjoyed it and I'd love to hear what you think! 
Oh and there's lots more where this came from but that's for another day!

Linking up with my favorite blogs:





Sources: 
Cabinet paint color: "Vintage Ivory Cream" commercial source
Island paint color: "Galvanized" by Ralph Lauren
Cabinets and doors: Beaudry Custom Cabinetry, Newberg Oregon
Custom Tile: Pratt and Larson, Portland Oregon
Granite: "Portofino", Precision Granite Counters, Wilsonville Oregon
Hardware: Rejuvenation, Portland Oregon
Lighting:  Rejuvenation, Portland Oregon
SS Appliances: Basco Commercial Appliances, Portland Oregon 
Wolf Cook Range, Fisher-Paykel, Liebherr, Electrolux Icon, 
 

Kitchen designers and Labor: Mr. and Mrs. La Bella Vie
Sweat Equity: Mr. and Mrs. La Bella Vie
Staging and clean up crew: Mrs. La Bella Vie
assistants to Mr. and Mrs. La Bella Vie, Pearl and Emmy


Disclaimer: I purchased Visual Watermark but the site didn't recognized it right away so some photos may have a little teeny-tiny annoying little watermark of their own on it...just disregard it, because its useless information but I told you anyway...