You are invited to blog on Bell Ladies, a blog for women who share a love for literature, music, cooking, health & fitness, and anything pretty. Share your good news, store & sales, creativity, and feelings. If you'd like to blog with us, send an E-mail to bell.ladies@gmail.com . Include your full name and how you found our blog. We are excited to blog with you!


For all the aspiring photogs out there...

This is very important, please read carefully:

This is Alicia, the administrator for Bell Ladies. Unfortunately, my username and password for my Google account was hacked. I am sorry for any strange E-mails that were sent to you and for this terrible inconvenience.

I no longer have access to any of my blogs. I am posting here using my mom's account. Please delete my blogs (all of them) from your links, and please forward this to anyone who may have a link to my blogs. The blogs are:

All Bell Ladies blogs: www.bell-ladies.blogspot.com and its pages

These blogs no longer are secure. The hacker has the username and password for these blogs. Nothing that is posted or manipulated in any way after today, September 25, 2009 10:00 am is legitimate.

I strongly recommend that you no longer post to this blog. Bell Ladies will be up and running and more secure at a new url by the end of today. Please E-mail me if you would like to continue using this website.


How did this happen?

I received an E-mail that appeared to be from "Gmail" asking me to verify my username and password, which I did and that is how the hacker got in.

Are there viruses on my computer because of this?

No. I did a full-scan on my computer and it indicated no virus threat. However, I would do a full scan on your computer at this time. I would also BLOCK these E-mail addreses:


as well as delete all links to the above mentioned blogs.

Also, just to be on the safe side, find out if you computer has anti-virus protection software installed on it. Then, instead of using Internet Explorer, download for free "Firefox", an explorer service that has a reputation for being more secure. You can download it at: www.mozilla.com for free.

What is your new E-mail address?

You can E-mail me a request to continue using Bell Ladies at our new url at:


Note: Anything posted after 10:00 am, including suspicious changes to this message are not authorized by me (Alicia).


Is anyone else bugged by this?

I sat down to Oprah yesterday. I used to be a faithful Oprah fan. Read her book club books (and wondered why I did when I was finished with one); got her magazine (you know the ones with only her on the cover) and followed her advice in fashion, shoes, psycho-babble and a-ha moments. Not all bad (except some of her books but I did discover Christopher Bojhalian from one of her choices and I love him).

Then she got full of herself and started in with the celebrities and it started a disconnect with me. So needless to say it has seriously been a couple of years since I sat down to an episode.

At first I thought I had stumbled on a Jerry Springer show. Except that since the "guest" was the daughter of a celebrity rock star from the Momma's and the Poppa's and thus, a celebrity herself. Therefore it makes what she revealed, "Oprah worthy."

I'm sure you heard about it. The incest? Google Mackenzie Phillips if you didn't but be prepared. It made me sick.

And again a little worried that I was on Jerry's show. But no the host was indeed, an African American woman. So why did Oprah have her on?

First, I have come to the very late-in-life conclusion that most guests on talk shows do it as publicity. Their PR people arrange it with Oprah/Ellen/Conan/Jay to have them on to push their latest movie/book/album/TV show. Then to provide a shocking little tidbit only helps both parties involved with ratings/sales.

Second, Mackenzie said she wanted to put a face on this. That surely she is not the only person who has gone through this. And you know, I don't doubt it. I am sure she is not the only one out there. But good gravy, why did it seem so glorified by her interview with Oprah?

This morning at the gym The View was on and I was reading the subtitles as I listened to my various artists on my running track. I could write a whole other post about this show, but I digress. As they, too, hashed out the details of Mackenzie Phillips I thought how lucky I was to come from a relatively normal, albeit slightly (in comparison) dysfunctional family. And to be able to raise my kids in a normal albeit, slightly dysfunctional family;)

How many times as a kid did I wish to be part of that famous set? How many times did I wonder what it must be like to have a famous mom or dad and gobs of money at my disposal; never having to wear hand me downs from cousins, or gasp! have my mom make my lunch in a brown paper sack. How many times did I wish the boys in Teen Beat and Bop were my boyfriends as I pinned up their faces on my wall.

Yesterday I was grateful. That I have the truth in my life. That I have the knowledge of the gospel and the important roles of parents in my life and in the lives of my children.

To sum it up, a few lines from this year's Primary Program song has been hummed by my daughter the past few weeks:
God gave us families!
To help us become what he wants us to be.
This is how he shares his love,
For the family is of God!


This is where I live

Our first dusting of snow came upon us recently. Tuesday was a cloudy day and Wednesday cleared to show us this. TERMINATION DUST, or First Snow on the Mountain to all you people in the Lower 48 (for a complete list of crazy Alaska Slang check out this website here.) Rumor has it that it will be 3 weeks until this gets to the valley. And then it will be with us until May. Ugh.

We ventured out for a view of Nature's finest and to scope out houses for sale. After winding up a bit of hill we found this shot. That is the other side of the mountain where I was camping 2 weekends ago. The river is the Eagle River, hence the name of the town I live.

And last but not least, we were snooping around an empty house that was for sale (we are currently renting, but always looking to buy) and turned the corner to these two! That was a HUGE momma and her last years calf. I was sure glad it wasn't a daddy. It is the middle of the rut right now and they are a little feisty! I have a moose counter keeping track of all the moose we have seen since our move to Alaska in December '08 on my blog. It has been a little slow this summer with all the trees hiding the wildlife. Glad to put these 2 up there.

And brush up on that Alaska lingo. There's a quiz.

Photographer's Corner: Get Reaquainted with your Camera.

Photography has always held a special place in my heart. There's something so special about a photo. I still prefer a photo over a video. It's a silent art that leaves you to imagine and wonder how it felt to be there at that moment when the photo was taken.
My interest in photography really grew as a freshman in college. I took a few black and white photography classes. Our cameras were required to be manual or have manual setting capabilities. No point and shoot allowed. Not that I don't like or never use the automatic features or point and shoot cameras, I do but it was about understanding the intricacies of the camera and the light in which you were capturing. I miss the days in the dark room which are so hard to come by now. I used a Nikon FG (single lens reflux, SLR) camera I bought of Ebay. I love the way the shutter sounds and this is one thing I miss in my current camera. I like most of the rest of America use primarily my digital camera now. About a year ago I bought a Nikon D60. It is a digital SLR camera with fully manual capabilities and interchangeable lenses. Life has kept me too busy and I've fallen out of practice with my camera. I never took the time to learn all the neat features that my new camera can do. I recently took a trip to San Antonio and thought it would be a good time to get reacquainted with it. I had forgotten how much I loved to take pictures. Each night I'd go back to the hotel and download them onto my laptop and edit them in photoshop elements. It takes a great picture to make a great picture but I assure you that even in the days of film photographers edited their work in the darkroom.

Wedding Websites: Useful or faux pas?

Wedding website: Yes or no? As guests, friends and/or family of weddings in the recent past have you benefited from someones wedding website? Its supposed to be an easy way of passing information along and staying up to date on the couple and their event. It isn't a lot of work, but is it a necessity? What are your thoughts....

My initial thought is ,yes, I think it would be useful. However, I always wonder how these newer concepts and traditions would be conceived by the one and only Emily Post. I like to do what is courteous, proper and tasteful as much as possible. I just don't want to add more to my to do list if it isn't useful and received well by the people who would be hopefully visiting the site.


Raquel's News

Hello everyone! I'm happy that Alicia dedicated that cute commercial to me as the "greenest person" she knows! I do have an announcement:

I return from Kauai with news: my wonderful and handsome boyfriend, Mark, asked me to marry him. I"m engaged!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so very excited and in love with him! He proposed when we were at the lookout for Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) on the island of Kauai. (Pictures coming soon!)

We are working on setting a date so everyone can start saving for their airline tickets. More than likely it will be here in Los Angeles and a small open house in Utah later for those that couldn't travel.

My initial thoughts are that our wedding will be beautiful and as eco-friendly as possible :)

What Bell Ladies "Page" will you do?

There are many "Pages" that I think would be fun to have. Here are some ideas that are up for grabs, just let me know if you'd like to be the blog "administrator" for one of these. If I invited you to be an administrator already, and you'd like to change it, that's okay! Just let me know. Please see "Bell Ladies Announcement" under Label "general info.":

Get Uplifted
Digital Scrapbooking
Good Reads
Good Reads K-12
Back to School
Online Business
Computer Programming


The Debate

My husband and I have this never-ending debate. It all starts when we go to watch a movie at home in the evening. More often than not, I will fall asleep. It's not because I'm uninterested in the movie. It's actually because it's one of the first times I've sat down all day long, and I'm beat. So husband feels abandoned and stuck watching a movie by himself. I can see the validity when it's a movie he's not very interested in, but when it's his choice, how can he feel so forlorn? To me, it's no big deal, but it's always a big deal to him. Each time, the same debate comes up. I finally said to him, "So we keep talking about this, but what can we do? Can you just turn off the movie?" Instead he prefers to poke me and try to keep me awake, which only makes me grumpy because I'm tired.

Does this happen to you? Am I being insensitive to his feelings or should he just take action and push pause if he wants to? Is he justified in poking me? (HA!)

Bell Ladies Important Announcement-Please Read

I am in the process of creating "Pages" to enhance our blog. Here's an example of one page:

I am a calorie counter trying to lose weight and need some additional support, so I've created this blog: http://bell-ladies-calorielogs.blogspot.com/, which is found under our "Pages" in the right column.

However, I'm only going to have time to be the administrator for http://bell-ladies.blogspot.com and so I nominated a Bell Ladies blogger to be the administrator for http://bell-ladies-calorielogs.blogspot.com. She will design the blog and have creative control. I would only interfere if something was published that I didn't want associated with Bell Ladies.

What if I want to be an author on one of the new "Pages"?

I am an active administrator for http://bell-ladies.blogspot.com as well as an inactive administrator for all of its pages so you can always contact me to be added as an author on any of our pages.

What if I don't want to contact you, but just contact the administrator for the page I want?

Go ahead, as long as the administrator for that page provides a contact E-mail then it is fine. Otherwise, you'll have to contact me to be added.

What if I want to create a page and become the administrator for it?

Yes! Thank you! That makes this so much easier if people will jump in and go for it. Just E-mail me with the idea you have for your page and we'll arrange it. There are some rules: you cannot display my "About Me" in your layout, but are encouraged to create your own by uploading a picture and contact E-mail. Also, you must include "Return to Bell Ladies Main Page" in a link list at the "top-right" or "top-left" of the layout where it is easily seen.

Can I create the url for my "Page"?

No, I'll create the url and include it under "Pages" on http://www.bell-ladies.blogspot.com. But after that, you'll do the rest.

Where do I post if none of the pages refer to the subject of my post?

Right here. http://www.bell-ladies.blogspot.com

None of this makes any sense to me. Can I still just post like I'm already doing on http://www.bell-ladies.blogspot.com?

Yes! Don't forget to! The pages are only meant to enhance the Bell Ladies blog and make it a place where women with common interests can meet and exchange ideas specific to their interests.


Have you seen this commerical?

This is a cute commercial and I dedicate it to Raquel, who is the greenest person I know and who also has some very good news to share but I'll let her tell you.

Who do you think ate the most pie, Brandon or Alicia?

Answer: Me. Dang! I don't eat crust and so no telling the spouse "I only had 1 or 2 slices."

So I bought this pie on Monday and it's now Friday. It looks like in 5 days, I have consumed 6 slices of pumpkin pie minus the crust. I don't feel bad though because I've skipped lunches and snacks to get by eating pie. I have been the busiest this week I've ever been with so many projects. And so I work work work until I'm too hungry to work and then I fork in some pumpkin pie filling. I love the fall! In the past few days I've organized the closets and drawers and I've rearranged the furniture in all the rooms! And I've started typing up a new directory for the Relief Society. I started a sewing project at Enrichment. I've made plans for the baby shower I'm having for Shalise and I've organized photos of Gloria in honor of her being 5 months. Brandon's been busy working on his proposal for work. And all the while, there's this awesome fall breeze coming in through the windows. It's been heaven. Shalise's baby shower is going to be Saturday, October 24th 12-1ish pm so you can plan ahead. Details will be coming as it gets closer.

What camera should I buy?

I like putting pictures on my computer and editing them. Last Christmas, my parents gave me my first digital camera after a long sabbatical from photography. I have just loved having it and it has been so nice! Now, Brandon and I are considering getting another camera to replace his that broke. We'd like to get a really good deal on it like maybe get one from Overstock.com or something. We need the best quality, most pixels, etc. that we can get for no more than $200. So all you photographers out there, point me in the best direction please (no pun intended)! Here's a pretty picture I took at the St. George Utah Temple when Brandon and I were honeymooning and here's how it looks after I edited it. This next part is for my mom, my mother-in-law and all my cute friends who are scared of their computers. This is so easy to do! First say in your mind:
My computer is not the boss of me. It will not get ruined if I press the wrong button. If I happen to press the wrong button, I can always start over and it is no big deal. I am not dumb if I press the wrong button. And anyway, I can sew and cook my way around all those people who press the right button. They have nothing on me so there.
Then point your mouse on the lower-left of your computer screen where it says "Start". Then, choose "Pictures". Then all your picture folders will come up. Choose a picture you'd like to edit. Double-click on it. Then, look at the top of the picture for the 'tool bar' and choose "Fix." Then, on the right-hand side you'll see all your options. Just play around with all the controls and see what happens to your picture. Then, it's so easy to save your new picture: just use the forward arrow key at the bottom (middle) of the picture on the bottom 'tool bar'. Have fun doing this! I love it!


New Haircut

I got a haircut today and I am sooo happy I took the plunge! It is similar to the way I had it cut before Mike and I met. We cut off over 9 inches of hair! I donated it. So, here is a pic! It was hard to get a decent one so sorry about the flash...