Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I feel like I am on my blog alot...and then I look at the date of my last post and realize how much time has passed, so let's get caught up!

Lucy and I drove to WSU and picked this guy up!  One year of college DONE!  He was so anxious to come home, that we did the 9 hour round trip in one day :)

Since we didn't get to celebrate his 19th with him, Grandma made him a cake and we celebrated!

Handsome boys...it is so nice to have all 3 of my boys home together.  They each bring something different to our family dynamic, and when one is not here we all feel it.

I don't think I even need to tell you who is THRILLED to have her brother home...she is already planning their dates!

Lucy recieved a couple of "thank you" gifts in the mail :)

this one below, she received from LUSH!  I received an email from the director of public relations at LUSH, thanking Lucy for doing such an awesome job sharing LUSH on her video, that she wanted to send her a little gift!  Lucy was very happy!

My Mother's Day was quiet.  Toby had to work, but came home, and he and Lucy prepared a great dinner for my Mom and I :)

Lucy's favorite thing is giving gifts...and she does a great job of keeping secrets.  She brought her gift home, and she and Daddy hid it...and on Mother's Day, this was the precious gift I opened.
Oh how I treasure these handmade gifts!

And apparently, Lucy loves when I make her dinner :), so I guess I will keep that up!

The boys gave me chocolates and an Amazon gift card....so the first thing I ordered was this

Well, I think we're all caught up!  The weather here has been beautiful, and we have been spending lots of time outside reading, planting flowers, and planning our garden!

I also put a link up at the top of the sidebar to Lucy's YouTube Channel, for those of you that aren't subscribers and want to see what she is up to! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Moving on~

In an effort to simplify in 2012...I have decided to combine my two blogs, "Ciao Bella!" and "...and Lucy makes  6!"  It seems most of my followers here on this blog, follow my family blog anyway...so the transition should be easy peasy!

My original intention was to keep my family blog strictly about my family and have this blog be about things I love...what I have realized is that what I love (cooking, crafting, photography, fashion, books, etc)...IS about my family AND about who I am

So...the "new" Ciao Bella can be found 

(I will be deleting this blog within the week, but all my posts are on the other blog :)
whew...hope that makes sense!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Books I read in 2011!

My goal in 2011 was to read read read...and I did just that!!
I put a * next to some of my favorites!

Heart of the Matter
Cold Tangerines *
Room  *
The Help **
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
As Husbands Go
My Life From Scratch
Chasing Harry Winston
A Vintage Affair * 
Red Hook Road *
Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story)
Last Night at Chateau Marmont
The Swan House *
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt  **
Three Cups of Tea
Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride
Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives *
One Day
Debt-Free U
Three Weissmanns of Westport
Water for Elephant
What Alice Forgot *
Crazy Sexy Diet *
The China Study **
The Kind Diet
Rob Lowe : Stories I only tell my friends
The Cookbook Collector
The Beauty Detox Solution
Clean Start
The Hunger Games *
Catching Fire (The second Hunger Games) *
The Luxe *
Envy: A Luxe Novel *
Rumors: A Luxe Novel *
Splendor: A Luxe Novel *

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A sweet gift exchange~

I have a group of wonderful friends that I have met via the Internet...truly special lovely ladies!
A few of us did a small gift exchange this year.  My friend Catie came up with the idea of an "Altoid Tin" exchange...where we would empty a tin and then we each put our own twist on it!

Lisa created this darling "evening out survival kit" for me!
It is covered in faux leather, a gold toggle clasp, and the darling flower on top!

Inside she tucked in a mini Altoid tin and a Burt's Bees lipstick in Guava!!
I LOVE Burt's Bees!!

 but seriously...can you stand the mirror inside??  She trimmed it out with gold ric rac...so cute!!

There are SO many ways you could take this idea!
I will share the tin I made for my friend Denise a little later because she hasn't opened hers yet :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Deck the Halls {Around the House}


~family room~

~living room~



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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deck the Halls {The Library/Office}

So, if you remember back in this post....I "renamed" our office "the library"
Well, when I stumbled on this photo last week, I knew I must make a book tree somewhere in my home~

So, this is what I created in our little library/office
If I had the space to do big tree like the inspiration pic...I WOULD!

Lucy and I did a little craft project one night, and made the paper chains and snowflakes
I love how they POP against the chocolate brown of the walls~
(pretty obvious I love color and pattern :)

Usually during the holidays, when it comes time to wrapping presents I hole up in my bedroom on the floor, but this year I decided to make a small wrapping station

I love having everything right there at the ready!

I put my favorite papers in a metal tub and I am ready!

"brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things"
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Deck the Halls {Outside}

As much fun as I have decorating inside...I love decorating outside too!

This year our outdoor table didn't get covered like it normally does, so I decided it was in need of a little vignette
It is so fun looking out the window and seeing this on my table, instead of a tarp!

It seems every year I do something different on my porch
The past couple of years I have kept it pretty simply, so this year I wanted it to feel "lived in" like an outdoor room

On my wreaths I used some vintage webbing that a friend sent to me, and wrote Merry and Christmas on each of them

We have had the sled since our boys were very small, so a few packages were the perfect touch
We didn't do alot of lights on our house this year, so this little tree and the snowflake lights give just the right amount of twinkle

My wooden book stack sits on my bench all year long, so a little leopard ribbon and a snip of boxwood dress it up!

I LOVE having my boxwood urns out year-round, but every fall I add in the branches to give them height, and then for the Holidays I like tucking greens around the base

Thanks for stopping by!
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