Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bella the MOVIE ~ It is beautiful!

Last night we watched the movie, "BELLA." The tag line is "True Love Goes Beyond Romance." This movie had been recommended to me by a few people and had won several awards. I had put it in my Netflix list of movies to see and it finally arrived. The movie is about a woman who gets pregnant under the wrong circumstances and how different events shape her decision on what to do about it. The movie definitely has a pro-life theme which develops throughout the film until we get to the emotional end, which was beautiful.

I'm not sure how well known any of the actors are but the lead male is a Mexican superstar and is considered their "BRAD PITT!" Either way, they did a great job. If I remember correctly this movie was a smaller budget film that had not been given a wide run of theatres at first. A lot of churches helped push the film and gave it extra advertising, allowing it to run in more cities.

I'm glad I got a chance to see it. It does run into a slow spot in the middle but overall, it is worth the view.

Probably not a movie for young children as they may not "get it." I would give it four popcorns because of it's positive theme.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mood for Cooking

Lately I've been in a cooking mood. Ever get out of the cooking mood? There is nothing worse. Well, except for the fact that sometimes someone else will do it! Or better yet, you go OUT to eat.

Today I made quiche. I wrote about quiche back on my Christmas post
here. Not sure why but I woke up today thinking I just had to make it. This time I added tomatoes and about every type of cheese we had in the fridge. Delicious!

Yesterday it was meatloaf. Now I know that sounds kind of boring but it was pretty good. (If I must say so myself.) Two bean salad on the side.

And of course I have no pictures of my wonderful creations... so I will try to find something online to show here for fun.

What are you cooking up? For dessert check out my faux sweet treats on my other blog,
Bella Rosa. I can't get over how real they look.

All this talk of food is making me hungry...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

~ Great Memorial Day Weekend ~

What a great Memorial Day weekend. Most of it was spent working on the yard and getting ready for a barbecue we decided to have pretty much at the last minute.

The first day we shopped around for flowers, shrubs, and materials for planting. This is a huge task for my dear hubs because he has to get the best price on a flat of flowers. I had never really thought about this before since I had only owned my own house for three years before getting married. I would buy a small amount of flowers in small pots and think I was Ms. Greenthumb.
But not my hubby. Nooooooo. He used to landscape on the side and this is SERIOUS business to him. So, we shopped around. The first greenhouse ended up having the best price....but the worst selection of flowers. The ironic things was....the group we put together in the flat above were the nicest looking flowers we ended up with. But this didn't stop us from going to THREE more greenhouses. By the time I got home I was too tired to plant.

But the next day we were ready to go. I put together the arrangements in the urns, hanging baskets, and around the trees while DH did the shrubs (we had dilemmas over where to place everything ....even shrubs that were already in the ground.) and the front and side flower beds. Then he went on to mowing and the rest. He worked and worked for about 6 hours straight. He loves this stuff. I on the other hand petered out after the kneeling and planting. Not my idea of a good time. I've never been an avid gardener.

But I like the urns! Now the sad part is...the third day of our three day weekend was spent getting ready for the barbecue. And I was soooooo tired I didn't even take any pictures. NO PICTURES! Can you believe it?

We had a good time though...we played a name game as guests arrived. You know, the game where you pick a name out of a hat and it is placed on your back and you have to keep asking other people questions until you guess who it is. Lots of fun. And it helps get the "party started."

This years theme tied in with Memorial Day: "Famous Americans Who Have Served in the Military." When I researched different names I was surprised to learn who had served and sacrificed for our country. Names like Tony Bennett, Clint Eastwood, Alan Alda, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Cosby, and Montel Williams.

You learn something new everyday.

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Someone is Trapped in the Attic!

The story I am about to tell is very reminiscent of stories told by one of my favorite writers....James Thurber. If you ever remember reading some of his tales like "The Night the Bed Fell" you will understand why the following tickled my funny bone.

The other night, my dear hubbby came home a little later than usual. I ate dinner by myself and decided it was time to settle down and watch TV. After all, it was the American Idol finale coming up, and I just HAD to see who was going to win.

During the half hour before the show started I kept hearing a muffled bang. Hmmmm....I guess they're setting off fireworks downtown for the local baseball game again. I put it out of my mind.

But I kept hearing it. And it was a weird sound...but again, I was convinced it was the fireworks display.

Now American Idol is on and you know how long they dragged that show out. And I started hearing the banging more and more. Now it started to sound like it was coming from inside the house. I would turn the volume down...and it would stop. (Always the way, isn't it?)

Then my dear hubby comes home and I tell him about it. "It sounds like someone is trapped in the house"....I say in half fear/ half exasperation. He looks at me like I'm nuts.

He opens the outside door to listen for a banging noise in the neighborhood. Maybe someone was having a party next door. Nothing.

We turn off the dishwasher and the volume on the TV. I hear it very low but he doesn't. Now I'm getting frustrated.

By now it is almost time to announce THE WINNER OF AMERICAN IDOL. I've been waiting all season for this.

The banging starts up again. "I hear it ......I hear you hear it?????" I holler. "It sounds like someone is trapped somewhere and is banging to get out!!!!!"

Then we do a cat count. Out of the three there are only two. Little Sissy is missing. Oh no...where is Sissy? Then I think to myself...that's a loud banging sound for a little cat....but.... maybe.....

My dear hubby shakes the kitty food container. She comes running out of nowhere. There she is!

The banging continues. It's not Sissy. (To her dismay she doesn't get any food either.)

I say...."it's coming from upstairs!"

My dear hubby says ....."OH THE ATTIC!"

My attention is still half glued to the TV....any.... second.... now . . .

The suspense is building.

Dear Hubby runs upstairs....opens up something ....where he is in the house I can't tell because I'm definitely going to find out who won this wonderful/annoying/dragged out contest.

I hear the banging really loud now. And then I hear him laughing. Hard.

And the next American Idol is......David.......


And my husband is still laughing....and the noise stops.

He comes downstairs and tells me amid all of his laughter....

It was a baby swing we were storing for a friend that had "broken."

Magically it had started working again....and was banging against a piece of furniture.

Sigh. It was all over.

The American Idol build up and the source of the weird/scary noise had been discovered. All at the same time.

The only one that had been "trapped" was me.

What I like about James Thurber's stories is they are based on our human nature to immediately make assumptions and let our fears or paranoia get the best of us...until things are so blown out of proportion they become ridiculous....which, for me, always makes for hysterical reading.

And that my friends is my tale of "The Night Someone Was Trapped in the Attic."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Gotta Love a Car Show & Memorial Day SALE!

This weekend our church held a car show to help raise some desperately needed money. My dear hubby was so excited and very involved...he loves vintage cars. Every year there is a big car show in Hershey and it is not too far from the antique mall where we have a booth. He loves finding things throughout the year that appeals to vintage car collectors and sets it up in our space. But this car show he was not just a spectator .... he helped out with advertising, vendors, security, you name it.

When he's out hunting down antiques (he's the hunter/gatherer and I'm the display/pricer/decorator so our "team" works out well!) he's looking for things like this you see here near the vintage gas pumps. These are not ours but were on display for car collectors to stop and have their picture taken with their own cars at the "filling station." I thought it was a cute idea. And let's not even think about how cheap it was way back then to "fill 'er up."

I had to work at our booth but I made a quick stop at the car show to take photos. I love photography and I wasn't sure if anyone had thought to get a photographer over to the show so I figured, why not. I got a little cute myself with the reflection in the hubcap. Should I be getting paid for this? LOL!

Here are some of the items I brought to decorate the booth in time for Memorial Day. This is my favorite time of year coming just around the corner.....SUMMER! And there's nothing like kicking it off with a day to remember all of those who have so bravely fought for our freedom.

We're also celebrating over at the new Bella Rosa Antiques shop! Starting this Thursday, May 22nd until Monday, May 26th....A MEMORIAL DAY SALE!

20% off of everything ..... including the items in the fleamarket (FLEA BELLA) for FIVE DAYS ONLY.

I know, it is a shameless plug, but I really thought you'd want to know about a sale. Who doesn't love a sale?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Four Years Ago Today...

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Special Childhood Toys

A few other gals have been digging out their old dolls or toys and showing them on their blogs. Great nostalgic memories. And of course, I LOVE nostalgia. (Really? Hard to tell. LOL)
So I just had to take pictures of some of the things I still have...and some I've gotten back, thanks to the internet.

This is my Raggedy Ann doll. She is missing her apron and little pantaloons. I have no idea what happened to them...but I have kept this doll all these years because she is special. Mostly because she is one of the few stuffed/rag type dolls I was able to keep. My Mother (she was trying to help) was told by my Pediatrician to get rid of all of the stuffed animals because I had an allergy. So, out went ALL of them, except for a few. What I really miss is my velveteen Mickey Mouse doll...but I understand. Luckily though, I still have Miss R.Ann.
And recently I found this tiny little doll that matches exactly! So, I had to buy her.

This yarn doll holds a very special memory. One day I was home sick from school and my Mom stayed home with me. She came into my room with some yarn and scissors and we made this little doll together. Priceless! I've kept him, too.
Now this Winnie the Pooh has been with me for a long time. I think he might have come from SEARS but I'm not sure. Maybe my Grandmother gave it to me? He's too cute now with his quirky "smile."
And this guy was really really special. This soft, fuzzy, little lion hand puppet.
I named him Rufus. I must have been 3 or 4? Where I came up with or heard the name Rufus, I'll never know.

And last, but not least (for today), this is my Sunshine Family Craft Store and the dolls. I had so much fun with this store and the dolls. This was in the 70's when the gas crunch, and the Mother Earth lovers were a trend. So, "BEING GREEN" is nothing new. I was being earth friendly while playing with my dolls way back then.

Now I must confess, some of these items are original and some I've had to buy elsewhere. My actual store was destroyed by the damp conditions of our basement. I found a brand new store still in the original box, unassembled on the internet. What a fun memory when I put it all together again. The only things missing are the original stickers I had placed around the store like the store sign, etc. The original little red haired baby I lost in the shuffle of life, but found this one at a yard sale. It was in a box full of little doll items and I had to talk the woman having the sale into selling me just the one little red haired doll. She finally said oh you can just have her for a dollar! I was thrilled. The whole set was coming back together again.

The whole point of this store and of the dolls I guess, is to make things using items found around the house. Recycling or re-purposing I suppose. So, the above items I actually made and I still have in my possession. Little store paper bags, a woven placemat (made out of leftover yarn from my Mom's rug hooking kit,) a beaded bracelet, a plant stand...and more. I just loved coming up with new stuff to "sell" in the store. Gee, that sounds familiar.

I also played Barbies with my Sister...which I would love to blog about in a future post. I've saved a bunch of stuff we used to play with. What crazy fun we used to have! More later...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lasagna, Mother's Day, and being a Stepmom

Today's post is not going to be about any one topic...but a myriad of topics. Cooking, Mother's Day, and today's dreary weather.

Saturday I had this urge to make Lasagna. One of "my meals" I have been making every now and then for years. Dear hubby thought that this weekend's lasagna was my best yet. Not sure what it was though to make THIS ONE the best ever. I did change a few things but nothing drastic. Like the brands I chose. My favorite way to make it is with my own homemade tomato sauce, but this time I used a local Italian brand from a jar.

One of my pet peeves, and I do not mean to offend anyone by this, is making lasagna without keeping it Italian. Now, I cannot be sure I've never tried lasagna made in what I call "American style" but I can be sure I absolutely LOVE lasagna made the Italian way. And what I mean by this is making it using ricotta cheese. Not cottage cheese. (To me it would be like trying to make tacos using soy sauce.)

I basically use your standard lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley mixed in. Sometimes I mix in a little bit of garlic. For the meat layer, instead of using hamburger I use Italian sausage. I prefer the sausage with a little "kick" but since my dear hubs grew up without spicy foods, I compromise and keep it mild. I also prefer to use regular lasagna noodles instead of the no boil type.

And it is pretty much too late to take a picture of my lasagna because it is almost gone. (Photo above is borrowed from Wikipedia.) On the side I made cut strips of zucchini sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with a smidge of vinegar. Gives it a nice carmelized flavor after awhile.

Instead of going out for Mother's Day, we chose to have leftover lasagna...which is always better the second day because all of the ingredients have had a chance to marinate together. De-li-zi-o-so! Didn't bother me a bit missing all of those crowded restaurants.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day! Anything I wanted to do, we did. So of course, we went shopping. I have always wanted to go to this big store that is really a warehouse. It is chock full of art, party, floral, craft, and fabric supplies. I mean you can get lost in this place. Must have spent two hours there. Crazy! But, it was my day... and I came home with some neat things for my home and for the antique biz. And one of my stepchildren surprised me with the most beautiful card. It is nice to know you are thought of. I know it can be confusing having a split family and all the drama that has come along with it. We have had our share of the drama (not their fault) and now that the kids are older, things have become less stressful, probably for everyone involved. The one thing I wish I had known about all this time was about having a BLOG. What a big help that would have been with other stepmoms out there to chat with.

The weather yesterday was nice, a little windy, but nice. Today, it is dreary and cold! I suppose these days need to happen in order to keep everything green! Normally I hate these days but today I thought it would be a great day to blog. So now I'm off to work on my Bella Blog. In the next day or so I hope to have photos of some of my old favorite dolls/toys I used to play with...stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Leaving the Nest

Now that the Grand Opening of my new website has begun, I am also going to begin separating the two blogs. For awhile I have been posting about antiques and neat facts on both of my blogs. I think it is time for Bella Rosa Antiques "The Blog" to "leave the nest" and venture out on her own. So, on "Jillian's Pages," I'm back to blogging about my everyday thoughts, events, and what I like to call "all that jazz." An occasional post about my antique life will pop up, of course, because this is what I do and we are usually found antiquing....a LOT! For the long as I can keep it up I will be posting on BOTH blogs, but separately.

One of the first things I'd like to show you today is a picture of my step-son, going to his first big dance/prom event this past weekend.
How cute is this?

He looks so grown up and handsome. I remember meeting him when I first started dating his Dad. He was about to turn 12. This year he will be graduating high school. Time has flown during these seven years! He has joined the military and will be leaving for boot camp soon after. Please keep him in your prayers! I know this is a scary yet exciting time for he leaving the nest.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Beautiful May Day + Busy Weekend

What a beautiful day we are having! I just love this kind of mild temperature...near 70's while the sunshine beams down on the gorgeous flowers around our house. Between the azaleas and the dogwood trees I think we live in paradise! But, I love summer, too. This is just the kind of weather I was longing for when we had such a cold winter. Glad that is OVER.

The weekend was good but very busy. My Mother was here to visit me which was nice...I picked her up at the train station as she doesn't like to make the long drive. She helped out with my antique booth (a part of it is shown in the photo below) which needed some serious TLC. I have been neglecting it somewhat due to the new website I started. So, we brought some more goodies there, did some re-arranging and hung out with the ladies. Such nice dealers I work with! We also found some cute rooster/hen decorations for her to use in her newly renovated kitchen. I of course, forgot to take a picture of them.

Then we met up with her cousins from Las Vegas. They were here in my area for a conference. They are photographers and I can't wait to see some of the photos they are taking. Very talented!

Awhile back I wrote about my Mother wanting to start her own blog. Well, she did it! You can find her on my blog list to the right under "The Daisy Chain." We sat outside on the deck yesterday and brainstormed names for her blog. The list we came up with is funny. I like her final choice. I put together this banner for her:

We also made strawberry shortcake. Mmmmmmmm. Another reason to love warmer weather. Fresh veggies, fruits, and the flowers all around.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It's finally here! The big moment has arrived! A vision, a dream, a lot of hard work, but lots of fun, too.

The Grand Opening of my new online shop, Bella Rosa Antiques.

And to celebrate, I've been accepting entries for a giveaway. I love having giveaways. They are actually a lot of fun to execute. Again, I recruited my Dear Hubby to help pick the winners. He asked what the prize was. I told him a $15.00 voucher towards merchandise on the website. He thought about and said "Fifteen dollars for your GRAND opening?"

And I realized he was right.

All these years of thinking of having a store, all the years of learning about antiques, all the time and effort put in by the web designer at Retro Boutiques... all came down to this: it had to be bigger.

I mean, this is really a cause for celebration! But how was I going to "up the ante" at this point? I had advertised the fifteen dollar prize.

So, we decided that not just ONE person was going to win, but TWO!!!!!!

So, he picked two names out of this vintage bowl.

And the winners are......

Michelle of I'm a Little Teapot and Penny of Lavender Hill Studio!

CONGRATULATIONS, ladies! Thank you so much for entering the drawing. I'll be contacting you with information on how to get your 15.00 vouchers.

And thank you to EVERYONE who entered the giveaway, who gave lots of support and advice, and for all of the kind words. It really helps.

Feel free to stop by today and have a look around during the GRAND OPENING of Bella Rosa Antiques. There have been many new items added since two weeks ago.

Have a very BELLA day!