Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas cards don't have to be stressful

I love a good Christmas card with a picture on it. Each year I look forward to seeing my friends and their families or pets come all decked out in my mail. In fact, I'm usually disappointed with no photo cards!

Every year around the end of October I begin vying for the perfect family photo for the Christmas cards. And every year I get stressed to a frenzy about the perfect coordinating outfits, the most fabulous scenery, and please let's just all look at the camera and hope the dog cooperates already!

But the stress can end there...because Shutterfly can make the actual design of the card a breeze. I've ordered my cards from Shutterfly since 2004. I love Shutterfly for lots of reasons. The site is very user friendly. They have great prices, great customer service, and great card options. Wanna see for yourself? Check out my faves below:

Of course this one would top my list of has a monogram! There are few things I love more than a good monogram, unless it's diamonds and pearls dahling!

LOVE this one. I love the contrast of a black and white picture with all of the bright words letters. This would be great if you have a non-coordinating outfit photo or you want to hide a multitude of sins in the actual photo. Black and white or sepia one works great for that.

I love this card because the colors compliment our family outfits for our photo this year (green, teal, and pink). I like the one large picture and the whimsical design.

And lastly I'll leave you with this one. So elegant and simple and no worries of the card design being too busy, or too boring, or not coordinating with the photo.

If you visit Shutterfly be sure to check out their photo books! They are superb quality and user friendly to create. I have some for all major events; wedding, honeymoon, family vacations, Brother Bella's senior portraits, a year in review, etc. There are often great high value discounts available as well! Bonus!

Check out 4x8 Christmas cards here and 5x7 Christmas cards here.

Disclaimer: Shutterfly provided me with 50 free photo cards for my write-up on Southern Jezebelle. The thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, September 21, 2009


I took my gun class over the weekend. It was a whopping ten hours long, but I did it with a friend so it wasn't so painful. I passed the written test at 100%. I knew I could pass the target shooting and that if I tried hard enough they would help me to ensure I'd pass the target shooting. What I didn't know is that I'd get a 48/48 on the target shooting! I blew out the entire red center. Move over Annie Oakley.....Bella is coming to town!

Now I have to apply for my permit, get fingerprinted, background check, etc. It could take up to six months. However by next Spring I'll be a societal sheepdog.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Extra $100 (2)

I can't seem to get enough of this game lately!
  • $23 personalized notepad
  • $17 cute dress at Target
  • $15 another pair of Hanky Panky undies
  • $20 city Christmas ornament
  • $25 leather albums for dvds
Your turn! Play along!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I once loved to cook. When I worked at my corporate office job I'd typically arrive home about and hour before Mr. Bella and cook dinner. I tried new recipes, I bought fancy ingredients, I made pretty displays on the table.....

But now? Not so much!

In the summer our dinners are pretty low key with garden veggies on the grill with chicken, steak, or fish. We also eat a salad nearly everyday because we get such good produce from our garden or the farmers market. We also eat salsa three or four times a week. Mr. B loves tomatoes and our plants always do well so we make homemade salsa. Yum!

This works because we all love salsa, boys will eat salad is it's swimming in dressing, and it's easy to grill a variety of garden goodies that most everyone will eat.....even if corn on the cob and potatos are a staple.

But now that school is back in session and this damned humidity will eventually go away I'm starting to hyperventilate at the thought of cooking. Between Mr. B and BB making dinner is absolutely miserable! MISERABLE! They both are picky about different things.

  • it's too bland.
  • it's too fancy.
  • it's too spicy.
  • you should have added (insert here)
  • what is it?
  • do we have ramen?
  • can i make a frozen pizza?
  • what? carrots? i'm not eating it!
  • what spices are on this?
  • eww...i can taste (insert here)
It drives me mad! I hate when I cook something I know one or the other won't like, but I also hate eating chicken or steak with mashed potatos every night. Oh wait....they both agree on burgers and fries too. (Not turkey burgers...I hate turkey! What is bison? What did you mix in the burger? What kind cheese did you use?---they still can't be happy!)

So I have a couple of choices:
  1. Make their same old thing every night and cook something decent for myself.
  2. Make it and they'll eat it or be hungry.
  3. Make them cook and be done with it.
But these choice won't work because:
  1. I refuse to make two meals.
  2. I can't buy enough peanut butter and ramen and then the dinner I made is wasted.
  3. Well since I don't work I feel like I should cook and the guilt complex kicks in.
So I'm asking....what would YOU do in my shoes? I want them to eat the things I work so hard to prepare and that are healthy and decent and aren't burgers or pizza every night. But when they don't my feelings are hurt and I begin to hate being in the kitchen, which is a crying shame because I have all sorts of fancy and neat kitchen gadgets.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

PRESSING ISSUE: Cleaning out childhood items

I'm not usually a weekend poster (rarely a poster sometimes it seems!) but I would love some feedback and conversation about this topic from y'all!

I'm cleaning out my childhood trunk of items. Mr. Bella built me a trunk when we were dating and I filled it with several of my childhood memories and goodies. It's huge at 4.5x2.5.x2.5 (in feet), and it's also full! It's not even everything. My trophies, tiaras, and cheerleading poms poms are all still at my childhood home, among several other things. It's doubtful I'll ever see these items again since my mother/uterus donor makes Joan Crawford look like Carol Brady.

Anyway, items I have are cheerleading uniforms, cap and gowns from high school and college, class pictures, ribbons, certificates, plaques, baby blankets, tons of sorority items, etc. Most of these I'm sorting in boxes by category for storage in the garage (our attic sucks!). But about half of the items need to go!

I'm of course keeping uniforms, caps and gowns, pictures, yearbooks, competition programs, etc. I have thrown away my seventh grade "published" book (it was a class project), several middle school writing projects (seriously? I still have have these?), love letters (hahahahahaha! They gave me one last chuckle), and duplicate items that I had for keepsakes.

I'm on the fence about several things such as the millennium edition Barbie that was a graduation gift. It's still in the box. I don't think it's worth anything but I really don't care to keep it. The givers are very dear to me but they'll never know and probably forgot they gifted the item anyway. I also have doilie type furniture toppers in pink and green/white that my grandma crocheted. Do I keep these? I'll never use them again! I have my childhood strawberry shortcake sheet set. I also have the blanket but it's at childhood home and should be trashed if aforementioned "mother" hasn't done so already.

I also have a plethora of stuffed animals. A plush eeyore that was signed by friends upon graduation, a personalized eeyore in cap and gown for high school graduation (backstory: eeyore was my first stuffed animal and from my hero: my pappy! I carried it everywhere and he still exists today although he looks a bit rough and is held up by a doll stand. Anyway, my first stuffed animal turned childhood love set me up for YEARS of gifts of eeyore items.) I have a few of my sorority mascot stuffed animals, I have a bunny from my grandparents that I loved. It was an Easter gift and said grandparents have passed. I also have my original Mickey and Minnie from my first trip to Disney World so many moons ago. I'm unsure of these items because they are so big and I'm afraid of them being ruined if stored improperly. I also have a childhood Alf and Spud McKenzie (hey--I live in the South) they are at said childhood home and I'll probably never see again.

I have a handful of pictures and such drawn for me by children I loved over the years. What to do with those? A handful of trinkets from BB when he was a little tyke, which I'll probably keep. They fit in a gallon sandwich bag. I have a slew of picture frames that are cute and were great in my single girl apartment and would look cute in a kids room one day, but that day is far away so I think I should move past them now.

I started the project yesterday by sorting and doing an initial toss pile and maybe pile. I'm working this morning and finishing up soon so Mr. Bella can demo the wall in the "nook" of the den and make me a built in space for my studio.

So tell me! Where is your childhood/high school/college memorabilia? What did you keep? What did you toss? Where are the keep items? What do you think are important item and how did you store them?

Send your family and friends over to weigh in on the subject! I'd love to collect lots of thoughts!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Y'all....I'm so worn out lately! Brother Bella is back to school and getting in the swing of everything has nearly exhausted me. However I now have seven whole hours to myself during the day to which I can repaint/redecorate/rearrage/repurpose to my hearts content.

Well that isn't exactly true, you see, Mr. Bella most always comes home for lunch so therefore I have small three or four hour increments in which to finish/hide/clean-up after a project in order to keep my madness on the downlow until it's finished. Definately a challenge I'm willing to work through.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good advice

Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you!--Elsie de Wolfe