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September 29, 2011

The Way We Were

I started blogging September 2010. Still learning how to do this, but I wanted to share the many looks and themes that time and I have gone through.
The first blog was called, Darlene's Blog and it had this look. No pictures or writings just a template,

Then there was, Darlene's I'd Rather Have Jesus. I was not too sure about it so I changed the name again to I'd Rather have Jesus Than Anything. And that went through a variety of looks.
(Oh, so glad we have overcome this plain look.)

Then I found some beautiful blogs and I loved the Victorian, Retro, Vintage and French designs that I tried to do my own and here is the first Victorian.
I'd Rather Have Jesus than Anything (the 2nd look)

Then I thought I would do something more Retro style instead and I would visit restaurants and write a review about my visits but realized this was a costly venture. Here are the looks that I have gone through since May 2011, eight months after I started blogging. (Oh, bare with me, please.)

We took this picture at Lenny's. I found many Diner and Drive Thru's on the Internet
that my blog had a 50's look. It really looked good but it had restricted me to that look.

A banner look. Eggs from the Mize's Chicken Farm Ranch.

Items from home.
Back in the Day Cafe
(The Mize's again were faithful sponsors for the eggs I needed they are so kind to me.) I chose this name because it had rhythm to the name. Then I found out there is a restaurant in Dewitt, Michigan and in Cary, North Carolina, and a rock radio station called 107 Back in the Day Cafe in Massachusetts; I felt I really need to change the name for my blog.)

These last two show my own made up look for Bella Rissah

This is where my style started changing once more. I came across French Country Cottage and loved the look. I started visiting her followers and came across Valentine Designs and noticed the blogs I enjoyed most were her designs. So, now I know where I need to go but not under the name, Back In The Day Cafe. My kids did not like any of the names I had gone through in the past, so I wanted to be careful. I would send emails to close friends and family, "You can find me under this new title." 
(How embarrassing I did this sooo many times. Did you say it like I said it, "soooo many times".)
Thus began my search for a new name and look.

Another change that took place, Pam at A State of Grace.Co, said she started a domain instead of a blog, after listening to her I asked myself, "Do I want a domain it may be costly I have My Etsy to work with my site?" Pray about it, Darlene, pray. I had talked to my friend, Esther, about trying to find a name that fits the look I  am trying to accomplish. Later, she was telling me about her little girl's expressions when she brought her a piece of cake "Cake, for me?" and she mentioned her name, Bella Rissah. Stop, right there! "What is your daughter's name?" And Esther began to tell me why she named her daughter Bella Rissah.
Bella Rissah
Our stories are similar in life matters that she had my attention. She and her husband wanted something that sounded beautiful and happy. So they chose the Italian word, Bella, and because they shared happiness together they wanted a name that showed they were given laughter with a fresh start, they chose the Latin word, Rissah. Bella Rissah means beautiful laughter. Okay, now I can call Karen Valentine  and I am so glad I did. All this time all I did was change the look to my blog over and over, I finally wrote my first Post in July 2011. I have been blogging for one year this September 2011, (I thought it was longer since I started but I realized September is my 1st Anniversary! see it in my profile) but really, it has been only since early May 2011 that I wanted to do a little bit more. So, I just got started.

Welcome to the permanent new name and look,
Bella Rissah


What do you think? 

September 28, 2011

Love Gives Us A Fairy Tale

Congratulations to an honorable couple, Jonathan Luckenbaugh & Chyra Moore
He is just captivated by her smile.

He is her hero, her knight in camouflage shining armour.

 They are a beautiful couple. So in love and so committed to each other. She matters to him and he will always protect her. You have got to read his part of their story. Wow! Chyra, you are his dream come to life "to love and to cherish!" Her story is a young starry eyed girl who found her best, best friend. And Jon, best, best friends are for keeps and forever. I am so proud of you, both. Can't wait for your day of "From this day forward...".
Wedding Date February 4, 2012


Google Source


September 25, 2011

Internal Support Group

“Internal Support Group, how may I help you?”

“Yes, I have a caller on the line and I do not know how to search for her answers, can you help me?”

“Okay, what is your I.P. address? I am going to join your screen and show you where to look and find all the answers that you need for your caller, okay? See this? Go back and tell them this and this and this and that.” “Did you find my assistance helpful, today?”

I am all lines of business on my job so I can log in on any co-worker's screen needing my help, throughout the U.S. and assist the CSR find a resolution for their caller. I coach, explain, remind of laws, sometimes a shoulder to cry on or to be vented at: I need to be a great listener to hear what are they really asking for and provide an answer for every type of call every time.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that kind of world, where perhaps I could call someone and say something like, “Uh, yes, I need to decide if I should buy a house right now or wait a few more months?”

“No, problem,” they would say, “The house you should look into buying is on this street, it is the perfect house for you. Now is the time for you to buy a house. Find an agent and say this… and it will all work out, okay?”

And I would be so happy, I have the answer I was looking for and someone was there to help me.

Alright, we do not live in that type of world, but I still have someone to talk to and He listens and has all the right answers every time. I talk to Him day or night, His line is never busy, and every answer He gives is what is best for me.

The other morning, my daughter was telling me of the dream she just had.In her dream I was looking for some old letters. I had to find the letters because they meant so much to me that everyone started looking for them. She found the stack of letters on a shelf and she could tell they were very old. 

She began to read one of the letters to herself and it said, “To the One who understands me the most.” They were love letters to the Lord. She could tell I had been writing these letters to Him for many years for some of them, she said, were very old and vintage looking. 

Tears filled my eyes as I thought of the many years that God has been my “Internal Support” and strength. He’s got the biggest shoulder to cry on, and when I vent, (Uh, yes, I have those days in my life, too) He helps me get through those hard times. He is committed to me so I have no fear. I am blessed. 

He's God
When I come into His presence,
I humble myself,
lift up both my hands, 
and I begin to worship Him, I worship Him.

For all He's done for me,
redeemed and set me free,
and because, just because He's God.

When I come into His presence,
I humble myself,
remembering what He's done,
the victories that He's won,
so I'll praise Him, I'll praise Him.

He's God, Edwin Hawkins, Google, Glendale, Arizona. 09/25/2011

Google Source



September 24, 2011

A Day in Pinks

I am a weekend florist. What that means is I have a part time job at McDonald Floral & Gifts on Saturdays or whenever they need me. I just love flowers with Orchids at the top of my list of favorites. 

Cymbidium Orchids are the quiet elegance complimenting the most beautiful bouquets. I came across these variety of pictures of floral designs from myhomeideas.com and had to share them with you. Enjoy.

 The lightest pink Cymbidiums with  
 just a touch of brown curly willow.

 The pink Camellias reflected in this iridescent container make an exquisite centerpiece.  

 The simple white vase arrangement of peonies, hyacinth 
and small oranges with the citrus leaves are lovely. 

 We are met with old pleasures from a teapot displayed
in pink hues. I would set this on a bedside table to enjoy
it as the first thing I see in the morning.

May all the flowers brighten up your day!

September 21, 2011

Your Dreams Come True

I added two songs to my playlist, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" sung by Judy Garland and Katherine McPhee; both sounded so pretty, I could not decide to keep just one, and "When You Wish Upon A Star".

I wished for a pretty website and found Karen Valentine. Soon, you will see how my dreams came true.

"When you wish upon a star"...Darlene

September 17, 2011

A Floral Centerpiece

For this arrangement I am starting off with opened roses.
I need the light colored rose to balance the darker flowers that will
be added to make this centerpiece.

I am using a container with oasis foam, seeded eucalyptus, leather, and myrtle.
I staggered three cream colored roses. They look as if they are placed in a row
but they are staggered in a slight zig-zag look.

I added two large chrysanthemums facing up to begin the forming of my arrangement.

Please visit
The Florist, in the tab above to continue this tutorial.

Thank you for your visit.

September 12, 2011

Soup du Jour

When I was fourteen years old I went with a few of my siblings to dinner, we went to the Lotus Restaurant on the Old Highway 9 that became known as 9th Street. First we went to church then off we went to this fancy French restaurant. I can remember listening to Carlos and Olga talking about the prices being a little high but we were at a French restaurant and you know what they say, "When in Rome..." (Umm, what do the French say?) We were all given a menu and to me that let me know I was not considered to be a child. I glanced at the menu and decided I was having the soup. I had heard this pronounced before and it sounded so pretty I wondered if it tasted as good as it sounded. Each one gave their order to the server and then it was my turn. "I will have the Soup Du Jour". I promise you, every head at our table looked my way; I must have made it sound so pretty and so French. I was quite proud of myself and so was the waiter.
 He said he was proud of me for ordering something French when everyone else ordered American. As the server walked away I heard whispers that my soup was the most expensive item ordered and they were wondering if they had enough money to pay the tab. Everyone was given their shared meals and I was given my soup. 

I took one spoonful of this prettily name soup and no more; I suppose it is an acquired taste. Now, whenever I go to a French bistro I order the Francaise Oignon Soupe (French Onion Soup), 
it does not have a fancy name and but I am never disappointed.

Google Sources

September 10, 2011

9/11 We Still Remember

I was getting ready for work listening to the morning talk radio, when I heard "A plane just crashed into one of the twin towers", I stopped and sat on my bed wondering, "Is this a program or is this real?" The talk on the radio continued with the latest, "People are running, the explosion of the plane, the building on fire", everything said was catastrophic. Fear gripped me, because this is America and we were threatened.

The years have passed but we remember still, the buildings falling, people jumping out of windows, the other planes, and the many who died.

But, we are, The United States of America.

"God bless America, 
Land that I love, 
Stand beside her, 
And guide her,
Thru the night with a light from above".

God bless her still, I pray.

With love and prayers,

Picture-Google Resources
God Bless America, Irving Berlin, 1938,Google ,Glendale,Arizona,9/10/2011,

September 07, 2011

Beautiful Tags

I just received my first package of tags from The Beehive Cottage. She carries the most adorable tags shown on her blog.

 Merci,to Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage.

 This is one of my favorites.

 There was a time when people really got dressed up everyday.
She is looking lovely. 

 Children always look like angels.

As a seamstress, I will be using these on my handmade items.

Enjoyed your visit.




September 05, 2011

Many Blessings

I want to share my victories and blessings with you. I want to tell you how I overcame a hard time in my life. Three years ago I was struggling to make ends meet. So many new things to learn and so much placed on my shoulders; where and how was I going to make it work? I prayed all along the way. What I want to share with you is what I learned in the fact of "In blessing, be a blessing."

I was crying, praying and getting ready for church. I said, "Lord, "I can barely give an offering because I barely make anything to give. 

That very night at church is one that changed my life. Reverend Carroll, was speaking about being used of the Lord with our talents and then he said one thing that really got my attention. He said, "Some of you barely give to the Lord, and you wonder why the Lord, barely gives anything back?"

Whoa! I had stated this at home earlier but it sounded more like my situation was because of me whereas I was putting blame somewhere else. My mind began to think along these lines. "Tithes are tithes, ten percent of our earnings. Then offerings is where we give more to the Lord. What is tithe? Tithe is the pastor's wages. If it is a wage then it is a job. If it is a job then how do I want to be treated on my job?" That is when my world turned around. "I want to be given a raise and I want a bonus. Okay, tithe is tithe, but I can give a bonus in the tithe and extra in the offering." So, that is what I did, the next paycheck I set aside the tithe and added a bonus and increased my offering.

  (Let me add, I asked others if Brother Carroll was speaking about tithes? Every person I asked said no he was speaking about our talents in reaching out to help others live for the Lord. I felt that the Lord was showing me something I needed to learn because I heard a different message on tithes and offerings.)

This took place in January 2010. In February, (at my regular job) my supervisor asked me to try for the bi-lingual position. I certified and received a raise. Within a few weeks of becoming bi-lingual certified, I was approached by a manager if I was interested in taking on another skill set it comes with a raise. Then the cost of living went up and I was given another raise in less than three months.

I work for McDonald Floral and Gifts (this is my second job on Saturdays for a family owned business), that Saturday was crazy and we worked hard and long, my brother gave me a bonus.Okay, Lord, you have my attention. I received a little extra here and there and another here and there, always as a bonus.

In 2008, my wages were so minimum my children and I laughed when I received my W2. Because God helped us make it with so little. In 2009, my income went up a little, but starting in 2010 and halfway through 2011, it quadrupled what I made in 2008. 

A few months ago, this summer as a matter of fact, our church began a new building project and I told the Lord, "I feel that I am robbing Peter to pay Paul, I give in the offering or I give in the building project, and Lord, that cannot be right." So, I made a new commitment that very moment. I will continue to give my offerings and I am going to make a pledge to meet a goal in the building fund." Well, I made a pledge in my heart to give a certain amount in one year and I started in that service.

That was on a Tuesday night. I had the next day off  and my phone kept ringing. I did not recognize the number so I did not answer the phone and no message was left, therefore, I did not know who was calling me. Thursday morning, my manager comes to my desk saying she called me several times to ask me if I would be interested in another position that comes with a raise and my hours would stay the same? Of course, I said, "Yes!"

Let me share something that happened back in 2008. This same position was available. I asked my pastor to pray that I can get this position and he prayed for me. I submitted my resume and waited. Since, I did not have the skill set I did not get the job. But, doors began to open for me to add the skills that were required for this position. When there was an opening, no job was posted, I was given the position. That was the Lord's hand behind it all.

This last Thursday, 9/1/2011, my whole department was given a raise.

"Lord, I give more and You gave me so much more. I do not keep it in a clenched fist holding tightly to what I have because it is what I think I need, instead, I put it in the offering plate at church. I have become a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7)." You have given me laughter in the trying times. And la Rissah es Bella.

My blessing comes back to me again, and again, when I hear my children talk about wanting to give more because they saw how the Lord rewarded us when we gave, trusting God,  to help us make it through those hard times. They could see the message became real "You just can't out give the Lord". 

If you were looking for an answer to your prayers, my hope is, perhaps I was able to shed a little light on something that really makes a difference.

Google Resources
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