Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Pixar Movie

Pixar is releasing a new movie called Brave and it's about a Scottish princess who is rebellious and adventurous.

The trailer looks stunning with amazing graphics.  Wait till you hear the narrator's Scottish brogue.  I am so grateful that movies are featuring strong female role models for our daughters. 

I'm sorry that I don't have more details, but I guess Pixar is trying to slowly build anticipation for the movie.  It will not be released until 2012.

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations.


Three Simple Tips on How to Ask for Forgiveness

I finally apologized to one of our neighbors tonight.  I had snapped at him about a year ago and the guilt slowly nibbled away at me.  The perfect opportunity to apologize presented itself tonight in the form of a rambunctious puppy.

His dog ran up to me in my driveway and would not return to him.  For some reason, his dog really likes to hang out with me.  He had to come and carry his dog back home.  I then quickly said that I wanted to say I was sorry for being rude to him and he graciously accepted my apology and said he understood my reaction. 

I feel so much better now.  I do not have to cringe or look the other way when I pass him now.

Here are 3 simple tips on how to ask forgiveness:
1.  Be gentle in your tone and attitude.
2.  Just simply say you are sorry and why you are sorry.
3.  Do not ever point out the other person's flaws.  Accept full responsibility for your actions.

I feel a million pounds lighter now.

Thank you for stopping by ViBella!  Happy traveling today wherever you may go.  Whether it's a humble walk down your driveway to a neighbor or to your spouse's side of the room, just say you're sorry and move on.  The only way to travel is to travel light.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Review for The Everygirl's Guide to Life by Maria Menounos

The Everygirl's Guide to Life is one of my favorite self help books.  Maria is very down-to-earth and offers great tips for all aspects of your life.  I was pleased  to discover that she is frugal and practical and I can actually buy some of the products she mentions.  I have dog eared several pages and keep this book nearby for quick references and inspirations.

In my opinion, here are some of Maria's best pieces of advice:

  • Be friends with different types of people.  It really impressed me that Maria doesn't just seek out the cool people of the world.  She is willing to befriend a coffee shop clerk and even a carny.  We truly shortchange ourselves when we only chose friends who have wealth, good looks, and exquisite breeding.  To be blunt, that's a very superficial and snobby approach to your life and you need to grow up and let go of your middle school mentality and cattiness.

  • Avoid the vampires in your life.  Just like you would not allow a person to physically suck your blood, so why would you let someone suck out your valuable time, energy, and joy?  Run for your life!  Seek out friends who bring out the best in you and vice versa. 

  • Maria says one of the best products she uses for her skin is Colorscience Pro Primer.  She says it's a line tamer and skin brightener.  She first tried it in January and by April she had no zits.  You can either google and find out where to buy it or you can buy it on Amazon.  Word to the wise about Amazon, be sure to shop around for prices. Some of their vendors really charge ridiculous prices for their products.  

  • I love that she's frugal and thoughtful.  She created a thank you letter book for her boyfriend's gift.  She asked all of his closet friends to write a letter describing what he means to them.  She put all the letters into a gorgeous scrapbook for him.  She said he cried while reading the scrapbook and said it was the best gift he had ever received.

In summary, this book reminds me a modern day Dear Abby and provides tidbits of insightful advice.

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Three Tips for taking Exceptional Photos

I am not a professional photographer with top-of-the-line camera equipment.  Although I wish I was a fancy schmancy camera toting mama, I just have a simple digital camera.  People often compliment my photos and I credit that to some basic tips. 

I took a photography course at college and I came away with 3 invaluable rules that have really garnered a lot of compliments on my photos. 

  • First, it is visually interesting and more emotional to take close ups of your subject.  If I take a photo of my daughter in the backyard and include our fence, the neighbor's trees, the other homes, I have taken the focus off of my subject.  I would rather see her facial expressions, the little dimples in her hands, and her tight clutch on her favorite toy. 
  • Second, take assymetrical shots.  It makes for a more artistic looking photo to offset your subject. 
  • Lastly, get on the subject's level and take their photo.  Or try interesting angles.  One of my favorite photos is my daughter on a dock.  I got down on my stomach and kept slithering backwards to get a good view of her.  She is very tall, so I didn't get all of her, but I did get the details of the dock, her happy expression, and the gorgeous clouds.  All the details added up to a picturesque photo.
Please feel to leave comments or your favorite tips. 

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations!


P.S.  I frequent to edit my photos.  It has a lot of free editing features that really make your photos pop.

How to Make the BEST Snicker Doodle Cookies

I don't know what it is about Snicker Doodles, but people seem to have a strong emotion attached to it.  I make snicker doodles a lot and people often say it reminds them of their grandmother or mother.  It is a feel-good cookie. 

Here is the best recipe that I faithfully use:

Snicker Doodles

1 cup shortening
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt
4 T. sugar
4 t. cinnamon

Combine shortening, 1-1/2 c. sugar, and eggs and mix well.  Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Roll into balls and then roll in mixture of 4 T. sugar and cinnamon.  Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 350.

If it is fall time, I combine pumpkin spice and cinnamon together for a more spicy flavor.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Protect Your Daughter from Bullies

I do not mean to ignore those with sons, but since I only have one daughter I believe it is wise to only talk about what I know. 

Even though my daughter is young,  bullying starts very young.  I have read several books about bullying and one of the best books is called Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert.  This book is full of good advice and tips.  It is a must-read for any mother with elementary-aged daughters.

This past year in kindergarten literally broke my heart.  There were 5 girls in her class.  Three of the girls were constantly mean to her.  Even her teacher said it was awful. 

Girls can be sly with their bullying because a mean look, gossip, or an eye roll is not going to get them sent to the principal's office.  However, if a child punches or kicks, he/she is kicked out of school and labeled a trouble maker. 

My initial reaction is to swoop down and rescue my child myself.  I remember how other kids taunted me and made me feel like the ugliest creature in existence.  My low self-esteem led to some poor choices in my life.  I cannot bear the thought my child feeling the way I did. However, it is better for my child to learn how to stand up for herself and not depend on me to fight her battles. Of course, if your child is in danger, you do need to step in and take immediate action.

I don't know about you, but I feel like my hands are tied sometimes.  How can I expect a child to stand up for herself when most adults have not even mastered that art?

It is a slow process.  As parents, we need to constantly inspire and strengthen our child.  One of the best things we have done is that we belong to a Church.  Even if you do not believe in organized religion, if you read about the happiest and most content people, it is those who have a strong spiritual connection to others. 

Involve her in sports.  Find something that she is good at and feels passionate about.  You cannot go wrong with having extra friends, producing endorphines, and keeping active and fit.

Encourage her to journal and to have a safe place in her room to express her thoughts.  I love the part in Little Women when Beth was sick and Amy was stuck with Mrs. March.  The Catholic maid created a closet for Amy.  Amy put some of favorite possessions in the closet, but mainly it was a place to get away and pray by herself.  Even though, we have a small home, our daughter has a red (her favorite color) beanbag by her bookshelf with an ethereal white paper lantern overhead.  This is one of her favorite places to hang out in her room.Publish Post

Girl Scouts has been a very positive experience for us.  My daughter has made friends of different ages, different backgrounds, etc.  Our troop is very kind and fun loving.  It makes me feel better to know that her fellow Girl Scout sisters are across the hall or in the next classroom.  There is a Bible verse about how a cord of three strands is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  Encourage your daughter to have strong sister-type friendships and give her those opportunities.

Lastly, accept your daughter for she is and do not force her to live your dreams.  Marvel at her uniqueness, support her, love her, and pray for her.  Be grateful for the time you have with her.  She will only be yours for a short time.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to Make a Clay Princess

I have been making clay figures for several years now.  People often ask me how I make them.  First, I buy white polymer clay, the kind that you can easily mold with your hands.  It costs about $15 for a small block of clay.  Next, I roll a small ball for the face and gently press it in a flat circle. I make a small rectangle for the neck, then add the torso, arms, and gown.  I add the hair since it will lay over the arms and gown.  Lastly, you can make a simple crown and gently press it onto the hair.  You need to bake the clay at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.  Let it cool and then gently use a metal spatula to remove it from your pan (Airbake pans produce the best results). 

I apply several coats of acrylic paint .  I also add two coats of glitter glue to the gown.  You need to allow one hour between each coat of paint before you reappply another coat.  I add 2 coats of finish to the princess.  I also make a wire hanger for the back of the princess.  I twist jewelry wire into a small loop and press into a small flat oval of polymer clay and bake it for about 5-7 minutes.  I use white craft glue to attach the wire to the back of the princess.  You could attach a ribbon to the hook for an extra pop of color. 

Voila-you have created your own one-of-a-kind creation. 

Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions.

I do make customized creations for $20.  I can make mermaids, fairies, superheroes, animals, and personalized Christmas ornaments.  I am donating a portion of the proceeds to a memorial in honor of my sweet mom, Violet, who passed away in August of 2010. 

Thank you for stopping by ViBella Inspirations!