Monday, November 5, 2012

Bella's Custom Animal Hats on Facebook

...because all forms of advertising now somehow end up being by way of social media...

Long story short: 
I make hats. And those hats now have a Facebook page.

PS: Hats like orders. And people you know/you like hats for Christmas.
Check out the page for options and details!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The torture is almost over.

In about a month and a half I get my Airman back! Finally, after 6 months of separation and torture we will be able to be together again and really start our married lives together in our new home!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why I love this deployment (#2)

....because it forces me to really, really use my creative skills towards ideas like coordinating long distance movie dates to see The Dark Knight Rises "together" though we are 6,700 miles apart.

Check out that adventure on our Kidder's blog .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is what "hope and a future" looks like: George Dennehy

Have you heard about George Dennehy? He just opened with the Goo Dolls because a video he posted of himself playing "Iris" went viral. Why? Because 18 year old George has a talent unlike any you've heard of: he plays the guitar, with his feet (and well!) because he was born without arms. He was adopted from Romania, out of a village that thought he was born cursed: but God thought otherwise.,0,1082936.story

I wanted to share this link with you because I blessed to know this incredible young man and his family (as well as the woman who taught him to play cello as a child). Before they lived in Virginia, they lived down the road from me and I used to baby sit for them (back when there were only 7 kids). The Dennehy's are an amazing family who have taught all of their children, disabled or not, that God has a plan and purpose for each of them and to live without limitation. George is such an awesome example of Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what labels may have been put on you, God can use you to his glory. 

In Georges own words (from the end of the article above) "It gives people inspiration — that there's no reason not to follow your dreams and chase after what you want," Dennehy said. "As a kid, I would wonder why God would make me like this. As I get older, I understand there is a purpose. I believe he made me this way on purpose — and for this purpose."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why I love this deployment...

4 and a 1/2 months to go... December sometimes feel really close and sometimes it feels hopelessly far.
Some days I also think I am losing my mind. The approximate 6,700 miles between my husband and I is not all that much fun, as you may have imagined. We've always had distance in our relationship, but this is a whole new level of distance now that we are married. But, nonetheless, I am trying to stay positive (rather than like smash everything in sight out of frustration). I've been trying to think up reasons that I could possibly be thankful for this 6 month period of deployment. And here are a few (in no order but the one they come to me in):

1) here is what I know about distance. People like to say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and I am not sure how I feel about that one. I am rather fond of my husband in all locations, and I particularly like him in the same location as me but...regardless. I do know that when we are in the same location, I so cherish my time with him. With all the varied distances we have worked with, all of them have made me unable to take him for granted. For that I am thankful. Before he left for Qatar we only had 8 days together and our "honeymoon" consisted of a LOT of military required paperwork. A lot of people have been like "oh that is so sad, you honeymooned in Washington and did paperwork...". But I love just being with JoJo, even if it means sitting in the finance office, or signing papers, or moving him out of his dorm. Time with JoJo is precious to me. For that I am very thankful.

2) Being apart for 6 months is a good way to save money and plan for starting out our new lives together. For that I am thankful. It is a little peculiar that we will not have lived with each other until about 7 months into our marriage, but we are generally pretty peculiar all around. People blessed our socks off with wedding gifts, and that money, along with a fair amount of extra coming off the deployment, has gone into savings. We are so excited to start our new home, and the money we are saving right now will be hugely helpful. God's favor is incredible!

3) As I have said, throughout our relationship JoJo and I have been apart and apartness leaves us with not much else to do "together" but TALK to each other. A lot of relationships I have observed have issues with communication. While we are no means experts at it, one of the strongest things between JoJo and I is our ability to communicate. I am very, very, very thankful for the strength in communication that long distance has taught us. Of course, communication can always be improved, but we are off to a decent start! JoJo and I both had a good laugh in one of our premarital counseling sessions (he skyped in) when the entire lesson was based on communication. One of the first questions was "how much time to the two of you spend just talking?" Uhm...all of it. We then progressed through 12 pages of questions/topics we should have been sure to discuss before marriage. And we had covered all of them. Before JoJo came into my life my longest phone conversation with any human being (girls included) was 12 minutes. But now I can talk for hours and hours with that man about anything. Prior to JoJo I also had no skype account, but now mine remains signed in at all hours *just in case* my airman calls.

4) Deployments mean you can do fun things like...learn how to make cookies that fit in pringle containers to keep them fresh and safe and then ship them half way across the world to celebrate a 23rd birthday. Care packages are a lot of fun! I love sending mail and I'm thankful I can find cute little ways to send love in a box.

5) Strength. Getting married and being separated for half a year is no easy task. There is probably a reason that must people do not do such things after their wedding. But our relationship has always be a bit unusual, but throughout it all we have seen God's faithfulness. Distance has taught us both a lot about trusting God and his plan for us. It has also built a lot of strength into our relationship, and for that I am hugely thankful. Our love is deployment strong. And our God is even stronger.

I could continue sitting here typing up reasons for gratefulness, but this post is getting a bit long. I think I may continue with this topic through the next couple months. God is faithful. 4 and a 1/2 more months. 4 and a 1/2 more months....

Monday, June 25, 2012

how many slaves work for you?

Slaves? Yes.

Maybe you don't realize (a lot of people don't) but a lot the food, clothing, toiletries, vehicles, technology, etc that we purchase here is America is made by an industry of slaves. People often don't realize what a huge injustice is being done in other parts of the world and they unknowningly support this injustice by what they purchase.

People love to shop in places where they can get a good deal, of want to buy a big name designer label...but have you ever thought about why the prices are low or where all those items come from? Some man, woman, or even child in another part of the world is being unfairly paid, or not even paid at all, so we Americans can get cheap goods. Take a look at the tag on your shirt or jeans and you might be surprised...

I try my best to buy fair trade, but it is SO hard because so many good we use are made through injustice. Buying things or from companies that are "fair trade" (meaning if they have employees in other countries they are being properly paid for their work) is a good, small way to fight injustice. Many, many companies have made an effort to ensure that their products and good are being made in a way that is just. People taking action against injustice have caused many companies (like Starbucks- their coffee is fair trade now, but wasn't a few years ago!) to rethink their products and make changes. Buying American made is also usually a good way to go. Thrifts stores are also a favorite!

For me, buying my wedding dress was a big deal. Most people immediately run to the big name stores (*cough cough David's Bridal cough cough) to buy a relatively cheap gown for their big day. But the reason that there can be a $500 gown sale is because those dresses are being mass produced in foreign countries by women who are not getting fair pay for their labor. I ended up buying my wedding dress used, from a thrift store though there were several I liked from David's. It was about 30 years old and originally almost all hand done in the USA. Knowing that someone didn't have to suffer in a sweat shop to have me look great on my wedding day ment a lot to me!

I just took a survey on a very eye opening website:
My computer froze up when I got the step about items in my closet (no I don't own 50 pairs of jeans!), so the number I got isn't entirely accurate (48 slaves work for me, according to the survey), and I am sure no number is, but something like this can give you a pretty unsettling estimate of just what injustice you are supporting and where it is going on.

Check it out. And maybe take some time to rethink your purchasing habits.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wedding Photos

More to come, along with a written recap of our wonderful and blessed day, but for now, some visual proof that I got myself an airman husband.

 *above photos thefted from my friends and family. Below photos were just a preview from our incredibly friend/wedding photography/my photography mentor Jeff Crandall and his wife Vicki.

Our wedding day was definitely worth waiting our whole lives for. It went off without a single problem and I couldn't be happier. All that chaos of planning a wedding in 70 days was well worth it (but I am glad I am only getting married once and that it will last forever, because goodgracious, there is no way I want to go through wedding planning again). God is so faithful. We are so blown away at how *perfect* it all went.

As I said, there will be more photos coming, and eventually I need to gather my thoughts and emotions and write up a recap of all that went/is going on. As of right now, my airman is about to land in the country of Qatar any minute and he will remain there for 6 months. During that time I will be home with my family, planning my big move at the end of 2012 from the east coast to the west. And sending lots and lots of care packages.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

more to come on my current life soon. yup, I got married. yup, I'm a real, live military wife. yup, my husband is now deployed. but I am much to tired and emotionally drained to speak of that right now. but soon.

until then, a love otter:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Busy month...

Sorry I haven't posted in a is busy when you are trying to work, finish a school semester and plan a wedding (32 days!).

Just wanted to stop in a share a few photos. I have a new obsession with triptics. I've been making them during my digital photography class in CS5. I saw some work by David Hillard (google him!) and the obsession started.

3 recent triptics with my photos:

They are much cooler full screen, so click them!

The top one was the one into which I put the most effort. It was originally 4 different photos, 3 of which I combined into a panorama and then put JoJo in on the left side.Those photos were taken while we were at Pike's Place in Seattle.

The middle one shows different angles of a local technical school. I was going for a "new bauhaus" look (google that too).

The bottom one was a hand tangle of 6 of my siblings. The professor asked me if I had plagiarized by taking photos out of a unicef add. To which I responded, "no, my life is a unicef add." 

In other news, I am just trying to keep sane as the final details of this wedding come together. And speaking of finals, I have to take some of those in a week and a half. Last stretch before the finish line!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am not normal...

Never have, never will be. No idea what normal is, but I know for certain that I am not it.

I got engaged in February to an Airman. In on May 26th I will marry that Airman. On June 3rd, that Airman husband I will have only just acquired will be leaving for 6 months for Qatar.

That is not normal. Tell me if I am wrong, but normal people generally get engaged, plan a wedding for a good couple months, have a big hoopla wedding, have a honeymoon and settle down together in their new home. I am almost sure that most people don't get married for 8 days and then not see each other for 6 months.

But military people do.

I realize I am getting myself into a whole new life style- a whole knew world- that can only be related to by the people in it. There are many women in my same position and same life style who do understand this life I am about to get myself into. But those aren't the women...or the people...I am currently surrounded by. a lot of people just don't...get it. Civilians can't quite wrap their minds around that which is the military...

As I find myself trying to explain to people that JoJo and I are getting married in 2 months, just before he deploys, I am getting a lot of varying responses. Many, many people have been incredibly wonderful and supportive. Several people just look sad for me. "oh you poor thing." And then there is the lot of people who just kind of go "may...this may?" "yes, he deploys in June..." "ohh...well...that's... nice..." and then they awkwardly laugh and don't make eye contact. It is slightly disheartening.

All throughout my long distance, complicated military relationship with JoJo there have been the people who have either just been bewildered by me, or tried to tell me why I shouldn't put myself through this. The ones who have said "Bella, you could have any guy, and there are lots of great guys in this state. Why put yourself through the long distance thing?" "why do you want to do this to yourself" or " Isn't the military stressful? Do you really want that life?"

Yes, there are many, many guys close by. But they aren't JoJo.
No, long distance isn't fun. It is actually physically painful to be separated from the one person you want to be with and yet you are unable to do anything about it. JoJo's been in the Air Force for 19 months and has lived in 4 different states in that time period. Out of the near 2 years he has been in, I have been in the same location and able to spend time with him a total of 38 days.
Yes, it is a little stressful. The military is a whole different way of life. For a person who loves details and planning in advance, the thought of living under "what the Air Force says, goes" stresses me out just a little.
Despite all that, yes. I want that life. No, not forever, but for now. Because I love JoJo. I know he was made for me by God. God put him in the military. So, therefore I was made for this. I would not trade him or this for anything.

I have no idea how I am going to handle this. The whole "military wife" thing is a concept I am still trying to wrap my mind around. No, a 6 month deployment to Qatar is not at all a big deal. There are much scarier places, and much longer time frames. I'll be home with my family until he returns. We'll be able to skype and call. We'll make do. But it sure won't be fun. Especially just after we get married. A lot so far hasn't been fun, but it has all been worth it.

Sure, the military does put a very...interesting...spin on life. But ultimately, what God says goes. We are both in his care, under his plan. Not the Air Force, not the military, not America. I have to keep reminding myself of that. I am trying to focus on the other positive aspects, like how strong this will make the two of us. How we will never be able to take each other for granted. And how I will be become bilingual (English, with military acronyms as a second language). And its an adventure like no other. God has been faithful thus far and he will get us through all this and everything after it. Failure never has been and never will be an option.

All that being said....Hua.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wedding inspiration boards are my new addiction....

... just take a look. I've been making them all over the place. Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Once Wed, and Wedding Wire are all great sites to get wedding inspiration!

Couple boards from Style Me Pretty that I created:

Also, made a PINTREST account. People kept telling me it was a great place to get inspiration and I that I would love it because I am crafty.... I do not yet love it? Seems kinds sub-par to all the other wedding inspo sites I've been one. Kinda fun just to browse but...not my new favorite.
But any how...
Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, March 26, 2012

Various Wedding Preparations and Purchases....

Our outdoor, garden/farm wedding is going to have a bit of a ...flowery...vintage....acclectic...theme with a color scheme of...spring.

Translation: I, bella, am making this all up as I go based on my own likes and preferences. Nothing will really match or look formal and a whole lot of it will be thrifted, DIY and random. I could try and create a color scheme and definite plan but...I'm wearing white, he is wearing Air Force Blues, and the Bridal party will be in orange. We will be outside with green grass and bright flowers. Why bother with a color scheme. The setting and scheme is just...bright...

I have been hopping around to various thrift stores and antique shops and collecting items and pairing them with craft store good and a lil' creativity. So far:

I designed and had professionally printed our wedding invites (and the printer, who had done business with my father before, gifted us the $300 worth of invites, envelopes and response cards for free as a wedding gift!). With the help of my some aunts, my mom, my future mother in law and some friends and sisters we got those a babies addressed and they are in the mail!

I created a wedding website for our wedding day and also as a means for people to RSVP. I did it through a great site called Wedding Wire (although after I had finished our site I realized there is a site which offers the same service but it is called Wedding JoJo. Needless to say I was disappointed in myself on that one!)

I have created 2 foot tall faux-metal letters (a J and B) out of cardboard and paint (to look like the $98 each zinc letters from Anthopology).

We've large collected large mason jars and ribbons to tie on them for our hand picked wildflower and fern table arrangements.

I've bought some random antique embroidered table clothes to use. I've also bought a couple cute special vases to to put on main tables and such. My favorite is a hand painted blue pitcher I got at an antique store for $10.

We've been collecting various crystal glasses and plates at thrift stores to create dessert stands like these for our cupcakes and canolli (instead of traditional wedding cake).

We bought this birdcage to use for collecting our wedding cards. As soon as it arrives I will be spray painting it some fun color.

A friend and I made 3 "fairy crowns" out of bark covered wire and orange, yellow and white for our 3 flower girls (2 of my sisters and one of his), similar to this one (but more little girlish!)

I am looking for doilies to make 2 ring bearer pillows like these, for my two ring bearing brothers.

I've been sorting through photos of JoJo and I to create a photo clothesline/time line, like these, of our lives and relationship to hang in the tents.

And I've been spending my little free time on wedding inspiration sites and blogs and emailing my mom things like this, this, this and this.

All of this on top of regular wedding shopping and appointments! The table in my room is so completely buried underneath all my projects and collected items, and the wedding is still 2 months away! EEK! But it will all be worth it when I marry my Airman at our lovely outdoor wedding! Stay tuned for more!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting married is quite the chore...

So, I am getting married in 64 days. No big deal. The reality sure hasn't sunk in yet, although I do have sudden moments of mind blowing realization, but what has sunk in is WEDDINGS ARE A LOT OF WORK!

JoJo and I, no matter the time frame we had to plan, or even if we had a budget of 50 zillion dollars, always wanted a small, family centered, non-traditional outdoorsy wedding. And seeing as I am non-conventional about most aspects of my life, it shouldn't surprise you that I am non-conventional as a bride-to-be either.

When I was 14, I went on a mission trip to Chile. Great trip, had nothing to do with weddings, but had a lot to do with dysfunctional relationships of team members (many long stories, of which details don't matter). Up until that point in my life I had no intention of getting married. Most of the time I planned on living in the woods by myself and being a falconer/ raptor rehabilitator forever. But during that trip I decide that I was going to someday get married and that I was going to do things right. At that point I made all sorts of very serious decisions about how I was going to do things and what I would do in the mean time. That included praying for the guy I would someday marry (funny thing: Within months of all this occurring some 15 year old kid name JoJo randomly came to my church and got forward 7 years and we are getting married. God is cool like that.).

Upon getting back from the trip I walked into my church sanctuary, which they had renovated in the time I was gone and put up hideous acoustic panels on the wall. At that point I raised my right hand and swore to honor God, and still get married, but not to get married in that building. I am sticking with that. I love my church, but it isn't lovely in photos. From that point on I began planning the wedding I would someday have with the one and only man that God had created for me. It being outside was of the utmost importance. (I know some Christians strongly believe in getting married in a church, particularly in their own, because they want their wedding to be "in the eyes of God." I agree very much with wanted my wedding to be in the eyes of God and that is crucially important, but I do not believe God's eyes are limited to any particular place. I believe in God's omnipresence. My wedding will certainly be within his reaches!)

So my 64 day away wedding will be taking place on my grandparent's farm. When I was 14, I also thought it might be nice to get married in the rain, but since then I have rethought that and have decided, as much as I love rain, not to subject my friends and family to it on my wedding day. JoJo proposed in the rain. That is good enough for perfect me. So please, pray for nice weather on May 26th (tents as a back up plan, though!). We will be doing the ceremony (with our wonderful youth pastor as the officiant) before our family and friends (we wanted small and then realized we had huge families, so our guest list is at 200!). The ceremony will be followed by a picnic-style reception, also at my grandparent's beautiful property.

Another part of my wedding that was set in stone from age 14 on was a "retina burnin' white wedding dress." There were a couple years were I joked about wearing my friend's red and black gothic tutu (just because I am fond of rebellion), but I always knew my dress would be *WHITE*. JoJo and I joke about people having to wear sunglasses at the wedding. Long story short, I put a lot of effort into earning a white wedding dress. Its needing to be white was a non-negotiable.

And guess what? A couple Saturday's ago my mom and I went second-hand wedding dress shopping (as we are expert thrifters!) for *7 hours* and at our last stop, Savers, we found a BEAUTIFUL dress, very close to my size, in a style that suited me, for $69.99. It was used, but in lovely condition and it was made in the USA (I refused to buy a dress from a big name bridal store because I try to avoid supporting any company that isn't fair trade and uses sweatshops in their product manufacturing.) And $70 beautiful dress? It was WHITE. God is so good.
I wish I could better describe it to you, but you will have to wait until after the wedding for pictures! No dress-info leaks allowed!

This post is getting long and overwhelming, so I will cut myself off now. There will have to be more posts telling of all the thrifting, DIY-ing and preparations that have been going on in planning this wedding.  (*more posts over HERE on my mom's blog) Originally, 3 months seemed like a horridly short amount of time to pull a wedding together, but God, as usual, is being faithful and again and again we are being surprised by His goodness in helping us to make this wedding happen.  I am trying to remain calm and not sweat the small stuff. (will the flower girls shoes, or the sauce we serve on chicken have any long term effect on my marriage? No.) No bridezilla's allowed. Big picture, the wedding doesn't matter. The marriage does.
 Between all the planning and prep, as well as full time school and part time work, I am getting more and more excited. Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I rather like to believe...

...that somewhere in my Hungarian blood there is gypsy. I am really a mix of many things, but I mainly hold to my Hungarian/Magyar heritage (except for my stomach. it is definitely Italian).
My family claims no gypsy (Carpathian Romani, if you want to be specific to Hungary) relations, but...I doubt it. I'm a gypsy. In my mind, and possibly fractionally so in reality.

*i was dressed like this for a "motion" photoshoot I was doing for school. But I honestly dress like this quite often. One of my favorite shirts. And that skirt is like my prized possession. It has a few unfortunate bleach spots, but as long as I do lots of spinning, no one can tell.

Friday, March 16, 2012

quoteables- here's to the crazy ones....

I liked this quote. It is rather self explanatory, so I will keep this post short and sweet. I have a wedding to plan, people...

  • "here's to the crazy ones. the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. they're not fond of the rules and have no respect for the status quo. you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. about the only thing you can't do is ignore them. because they change things, they push the human race forward. and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." — Jack Kerouac (novelist)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More on Tonski Time...

Yes, I do realize I owe you a post about the engagement story, but instead you are going to get a post about why I haven't had enough time to post about the engagement story in the last couple weeks. You see...I'm very busy...planning...A WEDDING.

A wedding in 77 days, nonetheless.

Yes. JoJo and I are going to be getting married on May 26th of this year. While a 3 month engagement is short (and yes, we know this is crazy to try to pull off) we decided together, after much thought and prayer, that it is how we want to do things. Not that we are rushing or anything, it is just that JoJo will be deploying for 6 months to the country of Qatar come June and he and I want to make the commitment of marriage before that.

We will be having a small, outdoor, mostly family, picnic-y and casual wedding at my grandparent's farm 8 days before he leaves. The plans are coming along quite nicely and we are very, very excited about it. But we, along with our families and friends, have been mighty busy. Now onto of my already busy school and work schedule, I am planning a spring wedding. And trying to wrap my mind around the fact that in under 3 months I will be a wife. A military wife. (In case you were wondering I will stay with my family on the east coast, up until he returns from the deployment. They we will see to moving me to the west coast where JoJo is stationed.)

All that being said, you can see why blog posts will be few and far between. But I will *TRY* and keep you posted on all the excitement as best as I can, so follow along with us on our adventure!

Wedding Countdown Ticker

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Summary of Tonski Time...

Well. I am back.

I returned home from Washington state's McChord AFB on Sunday morning. My 8 days with my Airman were...fantastic. I could probably write about 40 posts with all the experiences put into words and then coupled with photos (of which I took 479).

It was so lovely to be able to go to where JoJo was. I got to see the base and where he works. I got to meet people who I had previously only known as names and not faces. I got to see the gorgeous state of Washington and explore new places. And I got to do it all with JoJo and his family. It was really a great trip.

There are so many things I could write about, but for now I want to give a new definition to the phrase "Tonski Time." Previously "Tonski Time" was any amount of time I spent with my JoJo. Everyone loves their Tonski time and I love mine the most. But now we have a new meaning to those two words and a new countdown to go with them. But now it isn't just about counting down to SEEING him.

Now Tonski Time can be applied in countdown fashion to... long before *I* am a Tonski. Or, if you'd like to stick with the seeing theme, seeing him at the end of an aisle.

Because we are engaged. 
 *commence with shrieking and cheering*

Yes. JoJo proposed.

February 20th, 2011, my best friend became my boyfriend. One year later, on the anniversary of that day, (February 20th, 2012) my boyfriend became my fiance.

I need to figure out how to type up a summarized version of how all that happened, and I am still sorting through the pictures of the whole thing, but for now I will leave you with two things.

First, a picture:
JoJo, stubborn traditionalist that he is (we both are), picked this ring out all by himself, without any input from me or suggestions from any other person who knows me. He spent months visiting jewelry stores and searching online because he wanted it to be perfect. He searched and searched to find the design that I would like using a "princess cut" diamond because he refers to me as his gypsy princess. And he specifically chose a ring with three diamonds to match the trinity ring that my dad gave me a promise ring on my 16th birthday, as well as the ring with 3 hearts that JoJo gave me as a promise from him at the beginning of our relationship.

He's good, I tell you.

I don't think I could have explained to him or anyone else what a "perfect" ring for me would be. JoJo just knows me well enough that he picked it. It is SO me. I love the design. I love the white gold  I love how tiny and dainty it is (a perfect fit for my little hands). I love that its not big and flashy. And I love knowing that HE chose it and put a ton of effort into doing so. The man loves me. He hates shopping and had no prior interest in jewelry (in fact, he still doesn't). But now he knows more about diamonds and rings than I do. I am so impressed with him. God has blessed me with an amazing man who truly cares about me and who is really great at showing it.

Although I will post pictures and a more full explanation of the proposal (which by the way was also very perfect) soon, I will leave you with this second thing.

#2- Yes. I cried.

If you know me at all, that pretty much summarizes just how wonderful it was.
I, Isabella, rarely cry. And never have I ever cried out of happiness. Up until the 20th of February 2012, that is.

 When JoJo proposed, I cried. And it was perfect.

More pictures and stories to come!

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Hello Tonski Time" and "Hello Seattle."

*Hello Blog, as well.

Number 1: As you read this, I am on a plan headed westward. Scheduled posting is magical, eh?

Why am I headed westward? Because, after 4 months of 3,000 miles between us, it is *TONSKI TIME* again. Meaning I am flying to see JoJo in Washington state. And staying for 8 predictably glorious days.

Fear not, there will be pictures and posts galore upon my returning, but until then your lives will be devoid of Isabella Kiss. See me later.

Lastly, why am I posting an Owl City song when I am actually annoyed by it? Because. It is just all to applicable. And I cannot lie to you and say I haven't been jumping around my house for the past week with the words of this song (or even worse, the more synth-y remix) on my lips.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yes, I still do hate Valentine's day, thanks for asking...


Remember this post? About my holiday killjoy-ish and anti-valentine's-dayness? Last year? At a time that was prior (but only by a few days) to JoJo and I?

In case you were wondering, yes, I still do feel that way.

I had several interesting conversations over the last couple days involving my stance on Vday. APPARENTLY people seemed to think I never liked it because "I never had someone."

Let me just clarify that right now: *NO* Wrong. Inaccurate. Not correct. Uh-Uh.

#1- lets not pretend I was a hopeless single moping around, dreaming and hoping cupid would come along and shoot a prince charming in the backside with a love arrow so I would be lonely no more. No way, no how. I was single for 20 years and liked it that way, thankyouverymuch. No regrets whatsoever.
#2- no. I was not covering up some deep emotional longing by acting like I hated Valentine's day. I actually did.

I still do. A lot. Not just because I am a scrooge and a killjoy against holiday commercialization, but because I am very against the notion of having a designated holiday to celebrate being in love. I am against having a holiday that pretty much requires people to do loving things for each other. I am of the mind set that if I love someone (*and we all know who that is*) that I would tell that person daily. That I would act like I loved that person daily. That I would do things that expressed my love for that person daily. That there would be random "just because" type gifts and cute cards and whatnot not because the calendar told me to, but because those things were all GENUINE expressions of my love. I want to live love. Not pencil it in on my calendar when I can manage to find the time.

Basically, I am against the whole "acting upon being loving" thing on Valentines day in the same way that I am against "lets all suddenly be thankful on Thanksgiving day." I don't like a calendar telling me when I should express which emotions (and I don't like being told what to do, period. Have you notice?). Especially if those emotions tend to get seemingly neglected the rest of the time.

Yes. I am odd. Noted.

If you like chocolates and roses on Valentine's Day, then I hope your dearly beloved gets you some. Seriously. If that is how ya'll choose to celebrate the love that you have and you are happy with it that way, then by all means, have at those chocolates!

*side note: I am utterly baffled by all the "my wonderful boyfriend surprised me with chocolates and flowers! he is just the best!" statuses today. Uhm...did you not look at your calendar this morning? It's Valentines day. Not much of a surprise, if you ask me. Surprise means you *don't* know it's coming. Now my boyfriend, he knows a a thing or two about surprises, but that is another story...

But...I don't want that. (I think I am missing some sort of female gene? This is clearly not normal.) Roses, chocolates, and red and pink cards shaped like un-anatomically correct vital organs just on February 14th just aren't for me. Maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I don't really see this opinion of mine ever changing. Not now, not ever. However, I am very much in love and I definitely don't see that changing. Ever.

I have always felt like this about Vday, but I think my relationship with JoJo has only made me dislike it more (ironic...?). If anything (out of the many things I have learned after *almost* a year of long-distancing it), this relationship has taught me never to take JoJo, or the time I do get to spend with him, for granted. I don't get to really pick when I see him. I don't see him on birthdays. Or holidays. Whether Hallmark says I have to or not. So I have come to a point of celebrating just *being* with him whenever I can. We make our own holidays.We specialize in "just because." And that is a concept I want to hold onto, beyond the point of there being distance between us.

But, even if we were together, we would not be celebrating Valentine's Day in any normal manner.

Oh, and by the way, guess what? No surprise, but my dearly beloved, who has thought processes as twisted as mine, feels the exact same way about commercialized holidays such as Valentine's day (and about being told what to do...). Perrrrfect.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Passionately Curious 4- Einstein on how to make a change, to solve problems and eliminate insanity. subtitle...sorry...just not witty enough to produce something for this one. I try people, I really do...

"No problem can be solved 
from the same level of consciousness that created it."

-Albert Einstein 

Intellectuals solve problems, 
geniuses prevent them. 

"It is not that I am so smart, 
but that I stay with problems longer"

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Skype: the best of times, the worst of times.

#1- I hate Skype. (I just hate computers and everything to do with them most of the time)

#2- I rarely use it, and when I do, it is only with one person. I only have a Skype account so I can see this guys face before I have even more extreme withdrawals. (And because he made it mandatory that I get an account before he left for BMT back in August of 2010)

#3- But Skype means I get to "see" JoJo. Therefore, I sort of love Skype.

#4- But I also hate Skype. For many much reasons, but the greatest of which is the fact that I can *SEE* him, but he is still 3,000 bloody miles away. Blarg. 5 more days!

* in JoJo's defense, he had no idea I took this shot. I am known to take screenshots without warning. He wasn't smiling for it, and he is also in his pajamas. But oh well, I am posting it anyway, buddy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Heart Photojojo

No. Not photos of JoJo (though I do heart those). Photojojo. It is a real, live, camera geekery site geek things.I don't remember how I orginally found the site, but I got a kick out of the name, and somehow all the cuteness hooked me into receiving weekly emails from them. If I wasn't trying to be a frugal college student and like save for the future and yadahyadah (adulthood is overrated, I tell you whut) I would waste all my money on cameras, lenses, and basically anything camera related. Including geekery. I have posted on here before about their spectacularly awesome camera lens coffee mugs, but here's a couple other cute things off the site.

Although, *THIS* on the other hand baffles me. I found it and emailed my photography professor immediately to share my bewilderment.A mount for attaching D-SLR lenses to an Iphone? Really? Is this what photography is coming to? Oh, I sure hope not.

 The iPhone 4 SLR Mount

Monday, February 6, 2012

Passionately Curious 3- Einstein on IMMAGINATIOOON and Fantasy

...this post doesn't have a subtitle, but it has a hand motion. That spongebob episode where Patrick and Spongebob are playing in a box and everytime Spongebob says "Imagination" he moves his hands in an arch and a rainbow appears over his head? Yup. That is what I am thinking right now.

On another note, I cannot believe I just in cooperated Einstein and Spongebob Squarepants into the same post....

"Imagination is more important
than knowledge" 

"The gift of fantasy has meant 
more to me than my talent 
for absorbing positive knowledge."

Friday, February 3, 2012

On the topic of helping out...Help my friend Saige raise money for kids with cancer?

This is Saige (the other guy would be my youth pastor Eric Peoples).

She is awesome. 

Saige starting coming to my youth group a little over a year ago with a friend of ours. She got saved and God radically has been working in her life since then. I took the picture above when she was baptized this past September. Watching what God has done/is doing in her life has be so wonderful!

Saige has a heart for people. She really has a heart for the down-hearted, the broken, the outcast, the lost, and the hurting, and I so admire her for that. Saige loves people like Jesus loves people. She is truly...incredible.

Saige is also very brave. She is going to do something not a lot of girls would consider doing: she is going to shave her head. To raise money for a foundation (St. Baldricks) for kids with cancer. She has talked about doing this for a long while (she just recently cut off her head of dreadlocks and has told me multiple times when she did it she would shave her head and raise money). And now she is REALLY doing it!

In all honestly, I personally am not brave enough to do this. I am also bound by a certain contract to a certain Airman with certain rules like "don't shave your head." (Yes. Really.) I have, however, donated my hair to Locks of Love , a similar organization!  I cut off about 16 inches of my hair when I was 15, just after a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and it is certainly something I would do again. Possibly soon, with all this hair I am collecting.

Anyway, back to Saige. A message from her:

"I will be shaving my head to raise money for efforts to conquer kids' cancer. Anyone want to join mine team!? All donations will be helpful! My goal is is raise 500 dollars. The shave date is March 7th...."

You heard her! She wants to raise $500 in under about a month. And then she will be saying goodbye to her hair for the cause! 

If anyone is interested in donating to Saige's efforts, just go check out her page *HERE*. Or if you are interested in a similar project, perhaps check out St. Baldrick's, Locks of Love, or organization of similar mission.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

i have a thing for lil' fat babies.

I love fat babies. I just love 'em to pieces.

Skinny babies sort of...scare me. (I was one. It is just not good). I just like squishy babies. They are just fantastic.

I think I offend a lot of people when I say things like this about their children ("Why is this young girl acting as though my precious bundle of joy is obese!?"), so I try not to say it to people, unless they are somehow directly related to me. I really don't see what the problem is, though. Fat babies are healthy and happy. And not like they are really worried about their self image...

My little sister (now almost 4) still responds to the name Squish, which is what I called her since she was a yittle baby. She also responds to Baby maybe she is just odd, like me.

My Mom has always told me to pray for specifics, and that God likes details. So I pray for God to give me fat, squishy babies in the far and distant future, else I will...send them that weird? 

*dear my far and distant future children,
i will love you, no matter what. But...please just be fat and make it easier for all of us.

On the topic of fat babies, check this one out. Guess who! (Not me, obviously!)

Not sure if he would okay the posting of this picture, which is pretty much one of my favorite things of all time, but he mostly likely won't care. It is just way too precious not to. And I tell him he was a cutelilfatbaby all the time and he likes it, so...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Passionately Curious 2- what is, and isn't stupidty.

...I feel a great need to subtitle this post as "mama always used to say 'stupid is as stupid does...'" (and no, Einstein didn't say that one. That was Forrest. Forrest Gump.)

What is NOT stupidity...

 What IS...
(come on, don't even tell me that the above quote isn't incredibly witty!)

 "The difference between stupidity 
and genius is that genius has its limits."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wanna help me out with a school assignment? SURVEY TIME!

Hey all, this is probably like the most random post I will ever be posting upon My Name is Not King but...humour me.

The short of what is more of a long story is this: I have a survey project due for my math class on Wednesday (involving surveying like 60 people, the survey results, a pamphlet I create based on them, and a presentation to the class) This survey involved 26 campus students (completed that part!), but now I need responses from 26 non-campus people. And I though perhaps some of you would like to participate (/I am desperate and don't want to spend all weekend hunting down people to survey).

The survey, which I am doing on people's view of the existence of God, is directly related to my World Religions class. (and yes, I did have the most complicated survey question of the class. The others involved cars, ice cream and Lebron James. Of course mine took the longest for people to answer...typical sneaky Bella move...)



IF you would like to help me out, leave a comment *AND PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR INITIALS.* I understand many of you go by cutesy blog names, but first and last initials are required if I am going to be able to use your response in my project.

It would be helpful if you formatted your comments sort of like this:

Q1: Yes      
Q2: Yes  

(or whatever your yes or no answers may be).

I have gotten quite intriguing answers so far (I am baffled by the number of campus students who answered both yes and no to their belief in the existence of God...?). Obviously, the answers are all a little vague (What do they mean when they say "God"? Which one? Why? Etc...), but I think this survey will be really interesting nonetheless.

If you could help me out with this it would be wonderful! Perhaps I will share the final results on here next week! THANKS!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Nicknames...

I was just thinking the other day about nicknames and in my near 21 years of life I have had a LOT of them. All of which were pretty weird.Obviously, Bella is what I usually go by, but I have answered to a good many of other things too. Some inside jokes, some endearing, but mostly just nonsense. I thought it might be interesting to share some of them (the ones I can remember!) with you.

My NICKNAMES, in no particular order...
  • Scooter
  • Bellachka
  • Bell
  • Buddha Belly
  • Belly Button 
  • Bellarussia
  • Baby Bella Mushroom (and anything else sounding remotely like Bella)
  • Frog
  • 'Shroom
  • Fungus
  • BuhIsPig (my cousin, based on a long story, referred to me as a pig as a baby...)
  • BelaKiss
  • Chris
  • JimBobJo
  • Scarpacci
  • Tom
  • Jacky Isa Rogue/Jro
  • Aisling
  • Nutella
  • Newt
  • Maeve
  • Queen of Heart-Breakers
  • Ms. Scarlet Ramone
  • BellaBing
  • Thrella (because I sign my name like 3ella. B without a line)
  • IKC (I have super unfortunate initials)
  • Baby Sea Otter
  • Ardent....
...There are probably like 3 trillion more which I am forgetting. I just know it.

Currently I only go by a few of those (not because I necessarily want to but because people insist on calling me them. Like Newt. Do I like it? Maybe not. But out of habit, I respond).

The only thing (well...there are more but...) people CANNOT call me is Izzy/Issy. It simply is not acceptable. And only JoJo can get away with calling me "Little IKC".

Feel free to comment and share your nicknames with me! Or just feel free to laugh at mine!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Passionately Curious: Quote-ables from Albert Einstein...

I think I am going to begin a new series on this blog. Sort of a remake of my old Quote-ables  posts.

Everyone knows who Albert Einstein is. The fellow with the wild hair and the previously- impossible- to-solve math problems. E=mcsquared...whatever that means...

He is basically the first person to come to everyone's mind upon mention of the word "genius."  But he was also horribly witty and said ever so many highly intelligent, well phrases, and dry-humoured things. Which makes ME really like him.

He (up there with Churchill and Rev. MLK) is one of my favorite people to quote. So, without further ado, I give you my first "Passionately Curious" quote post from dear old Al...

As my first quote (not counting the one above), I wanted to post this. Someone said it at my youth group (MERGE AHEAD!) this past Sunday and I really liked it.

In other news, and also having to do with education and intelligence, I FINALLY WENT BACK TO SCHOOL! I only had one class so far, American Literature II, but it seems like it will be a good one. My one complaint thus far is that the Prof is going to make us study The Great Gatsby. I really hope that it is better the second time around, cause I sure didn't like that book in high school.  But other than that, seems like it will be a fun and challenging class! Hopefully my other 3 (Digital Photography, World Religions and Math for Liberal Arts...whatever that is?)  turn out as well. I was just so happy to be back on campus again. I do complain about college sometimes, but secretly I LOVE it. I thrive on structure and challenges. Really excited about this semester!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Possibly/maybe/perhaps Final New Blog Look!?

So...I think I have done it. I think I have created a new layout that I like and a header that I LOVE. The one thing I may mess with now is the text font. But other than that, I may actually be happy. What you are looking at right now my friends is what may very well be the NEW look of My Name is Not King.

I am using just the blogger SIMPLE template, with a barn wood background image blogger provided as an option. I was really liking the wood part, but obviously the plain text and beige background was makin' for a real boring header.

As it has been snowing here nonstop and I have nothing better to do, I decided to do a little messing around with header designs.

I went a googlin' for designs that would match my wood background and I was able to find this header from the Background Fairy site.
It was cool to begin with, and it had the vintage feel I like. Plus it had a crow (*which we can just pretend is a raven to make me happy.) But it wasn't QUITE what I wanted. The colors were a little off and obviously the whole blog title need to be worked in there.
I am no pro, and I no longer have photoshop, so I stooped to the picnik level, but I am actually quite pleased with how I things came out. Photoshop is much more elaborate and has many more options, but picnik is quick in simple (but unfortunately will no longer exist when April comes around.).

The final product is what you are looking at right now:
A darker, more stained, embellished, and with text version of the original. And I am actually really pleased and I don't *THINK* I will be changing it again. But still, I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. And check out the previous post to see the other designs I was playing with. 

And also, up for grabs I have this NEW and IMPROVED blog button! I use a tutorial over at the blog (Live. Love. Craft.) of my new bloglandria buddy Alyssa, as I had forgotten how I had done it the first time (ohh HTML, you're so silly...). Feel free to take it off of here, or over on my sidebar, underneath my "who I am pictures". I will be working on one for my photoblog- Sometimes I Shoot Things- next!


Friday, January 20, 2012

I've got a brand new pair of... BLOG LAYOUTS! you can see, things are looking drastically different over here at 
I was messing around with blog templates, backgrounds, fonts, layouts, the whole 9...and the widths still need some tweaking.
I did like my old black and red scheme, with the dark, E.A. Poe feel had been that was for around 3 years so it was time for a change.

How do ya'll feel about this one? 
 This is what you are seeing now obviously...
Then there is this one, also papery, but with more black...

I am not sure I am sold on it yet. I do like the "writing" sort of theme but...I think I want something more colourful, vintage, bright or unique. I love bright colours, but for the variety of colorful stuff I post on this blog, I think it would be visual overload to have some wild vintage pattern as a background? The amount of random stuff (military, writing, crafting, humor, photography and everything else) I post on here is probably overwhelming enough!
So perhaps simple is better?
Or something. Thing is, I don't actually know. I've tried to redo this blog so many times, and I never like anything that I come up with!

Also, there is this. Old barn wood. I like that too.

There will probably be more changes in the future. Obviously the headers are just text and need to be redone in some fabulous way. Any ideas, friends? Know of any great free blog background sites? I've used hotbliggityblog before, but I am sturggling to make their backgrounds behave on my blog. Either has to be reverted to the old template settings, or somehow in the picture window template, but for one reason or another it isn't always showing!? If you have any ideas/suggestions I would love to hear them!

Humour me people, humour me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If I had lived in the 60's...

I would have wanted to be HER.

Francois Hardy: singer and actor. I had previously never heard of her, but upon finding this picture, I decided I like her very much...

As I am living right now, I still am kind of wishing my hair and eyebrows looked like hers.

But she is like 70 years old will stick with my current singing and acting icon. Zooey Deschanel. Excellent eyes and husky voice, but her eyebrows are of no comparison to Ms. Hardy up there...

Monday, January 16, 2012

DIY Elbow Patch Sweater

In my last post you may have me noticed me modeling my new chair in a fantastic elbow patch sweater.  Or maybe you didn't notice at all...but now you have. Well, I am pleased to say I put those patches on that sweater and I am quite proud of myself.

I have been wanting a patched sweater for quite some time now. But all the ones I was finding online or in stores were like $50 at the least. And I, Isabella Kiss, will not pay $50 for a sweater with ovals on the elbows. Ludicrisness, really.

So, I instead decided I would just do it myself. And other than the fact that sewing onto the sleeves of an already made garment is a pain, it was easy. And cheap: total of the project? Around $10.

I started by scouting at Savers for a nice, tanish sweater in my size. It took me a while to find one in my size and without wool (I have a bit of an allergy to it). But I did! A nice, thick one made by Land's End. It is loose on me, but that is the way I wanted it. And a good price too: $6.99!

Then, I found some leather/suede scraps (like 8 by 10 inches) at Joann's for about $3.

I gathered some pins, a big, thick needle and some brown thread. I just free-handed some oval-y elbow-y shapes out of the light brown suede I had found, but I am sure somewhere online there must be some sort of pattern and template for making proper elbow pads. I am just not the chick to tell you where that is. Free-handin' is the way for me.

I pinned those elbows on there and finagled them around to get them even and on my elbows. Then I simply sewed them with a triple strand of brown thread.

Little tricky (probably could have punctured nice neat holes into the leather first and made my job easier and then adhesived them on there instead of pinning, but again...I make this up as I go). Took me a little while, but in the end I had a sweater with patches (EVENLY PLACED TOO!) on my elbows.
 And I am now happy. The end.

*sidenote: I realize my hair looks dreadfully uneven in this shot. but trust me, its just the position of my head here. hair is great. and getting realllly darned long.


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