Book Club Mermaid Style

Fire of the Sea book club familybringsjoy.comBook club where I live is kind of a big deal. Each month it’s hosted at a book club member’s home. The majority of the time, hostesses will decorate according to the book we will be discussing. It’s not mandatory, we just have a lot of creative homemakers in our group. I was excited to host last month. Not only was I able to host, but we read a fantasy book I suggested Fire of the Sea. This is an extra special book as it was written by a dear friend of mine, Lyndsay Johnson. The main character, Aeva, is a mermaid.

Let me take you on a tour through our home.

Imagine you are swimming the seas around Iceland.

Do you hear the ocean sounds?

Do you smell the ocean breeze?

Good. :) (Door mat from Target)

Fire of the Sea book club

Here, I took an old grapevine wreath I’ve used countless times and added some fishing net (Michaels.) I gently placed the sign (Hobby Lobby) inside the branches. No need to hot glue.

Fire of the Sea book club

Come on in!

Fire of the Sea book club

Everything you see here, I already had. I heart coastal decor, so truly I didn’t buy too much decor for this event. I typed up one of my favorite quotes from the book, printed it and put it in a frame. Lyndsay sent me some of her graphic work for the book. I printed it and framed it as well.

Fire of the Sea book club

Above, I added more of the book graphics onto this framed chicken wire (Michaels.) The map shows where Aeva’s adventures occur. The second graphic the family history tree of the Norse Gods. I put Lyndsay’s very cute bookmarks and buttons in this cute fish dish (Target.) I made the glass filled sand and shells several years ago.

Fire of the Sea book club

Here in the dining room I used wrapping paper (Michaels) as my base runner. I then added a fish net (Dollar Tree,) shells (Dollar Tree) and sea glass (Michaels.)

Fire of the Sea book club

Fire of the Sea book club

I filled the sugar mold (found at a vintage show) with blue glass beads (Dollar Tree.)

Fire of the Sea book club to show my china cabinet filled with my lovely Chloe + Isabel jewelry. It’s in there left over from a Pop Up I held in my home.

Let’s head to the kitchen

Fire of the Sea book club

Fire of the Sea book club

Lobster dish towels & mermaid found at Marshall’s.

Fire of the Sea book club these awesome plates also at Marshall’s.

Fire of the Sea book club bought some Scandinavian cookies & Swedish Fish from Ikea…as close to Iceland as I could get. Blue icing cupcakes were bought at Market Street.

Fire of the Sea book club the lunch menu was clam chowder in bread bowls. Of course we needed some oyster crackers to go in our soup. Shrimp was the perfect appetizer.

Fire of the Sea book club

To drink I served ocean water: Lemonade, Gingerale and Blue Hawiian Punch. We all liked it.

Fire of the Sea book club

At the kitchen table I also used the wrapping paper, fish net and glass beads. I added one of our Conch shells to the middle.

Fire of the Sea book club

Inside the Conch shell held some of the runes spoken of in the book. (Lyndsay let me borrow those.)

Fire of the Sea book club

Below are the first three beautiful women to arrive.

Fire of the Sea book club

Fire of the Sea book club

Now come into my living room.

Fire of the Sea book club

Fire of the Sea book club

Usually the boat is in our bedroom (bought it several years ago from Hobby Lobby.) I already had the old window and type drawer (bought at an antique barn several years ago.)

Fire of the Sea book club

I found these letter tags at Michaels for 50% off and couldn’t refuse.

Fire of the Sea book club

I was thrilled to find this beautiful mermaid statue at Hobby Lobby. I used my 40% off coupon from the Hobby Lobby app. (You need that app on your phone if you shop at Hobby Lobby a lot.) Again I typed & printed a quote from the book. I added it to this cute frame (Michael’s.)

Fire of the Sea book club

Again, I pulled that jar of green shells out of my bedroom and added Aeva’s arm band Lyndsay loaned me. I fell in love with those big, block “scrabble” letters (Michael’s.)

Fire of the Sea book club

Many of the shells I added to this type face drawer are ones we have collected at beaches we have been to over the years. I will keep this up all summer long. Lyndsay had the brilliant idea to add sea glass (Michael’s) as well. I love the contrast, depth and color it brings to the piece.

Fire of the Sea book club

Of course I had to show Lyndsay’s book trailer video too. I shall share it with you now.

Books Bring Joy,

Leaping for Joy



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Jewelry Brings Joy,

Appreciating Where I Live (Pretty in Pink Style)

DSC02078 In my last post I wrote about finishing my 5th half marathon on New Years Day. I trained the majority in my neighborhood. One day, while running, I was admiring the beauty around me and the above clip came into my mind. I remember how Andie was looking at the houses and saying how she thought the people living in those houses didn’t truly appreciate them. I wasn’t necessarily thinking that. I was feeling grateful for the beautiful neighborhood I live in. My house is not a mansion like shown in the clip, but it is more than what I would have ever thought I would live in when I was a teenager. Please don’t think I am bragging. That is not my point at all. The point is that I do appreciate my house and neighborhood very much. I like to think if Andie ended up living in a nice house, that she, too, would appreciate it. That’s what happens when you come from modest means. You are grateful for what you worked to attain in life.




This post is two fold. The movie Pretty In Pink is celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary! So hard to believe. Tonight I’m going to see one of my favorite movies of all time at the movie theater again! This time I’m older on the outside, yet still feel like that giddy teenager on the inside. Tonight is the last showing at the theater for this classic (not sure it should be called a classic yet.) Can’t wait to see it again!


Disclaimer: I was not paid by anyone to promote this movie. I love it to share for FREE. 😉

Homes & Movies bring joy,

Being a Teen’s Mom is a Thankless Job

Hello my friends. How have you been? I hope life has been treating you well. If not, I hope you are enduring your trials well. A lot of times, that’s the tough part.

Life has been interesting for me. I know I mentioned in a previous post last year about me going off my ADD medicine. This has made life quite challenging. As a matter of fact, turns out quitting cold turkey is not the best way to do it. I gained weight which put me into a depression…I don’t usually need help in that department. It happens naturally. So, since last May I have found it challenging just to do every day tasks. It sucks. Thus me not blogging as much. Or doing much of anything extracurricular. I began a different medication in December that is not a stimulant. It helps to some extent, but it’s still not the same. I exercise, including running my 5th half marathon ever on New Years Day. I honestly can’t imagine how I would be doing without exercise.

I haven’t mentioned on here about my oldest Daughter serving a full time mission for our church. She’s been gone a year now. I have missed her greatly despite how proud and happy I am for her choice to serve. With her gone I am here in the home with my 2 youngest kids. My middle child, my Son, is finishing up his Junior year in high school, while my youngest Daughter is finishing her seventh grade year.  Life is certainly demanding with teenagers in the home. Not only that, the world revolves around them, their rooms are constantly a nightmare. It’s definitely a thankless job being a full time family manager. To be quite blunt, I’m tired of it.

I got in a lot of trouble last night with my Son. I was getting ready for bed and next thing I know I see the angry face emoticon on my phone screen from him. I go into the living room, where he is, and ask him why he sent that. Come to find out, his friend, who is a girl, began sending him photos of him she found on my Instagram feed. “Why did you follow her? I can’t believe you did that!” he says in a loud voice.  First of all, I hardly have very many photos of him period. He doesn’t like for me to take his picture. Yet, as a mom, I don’t want him to look back at my photos and see only photos of his sisters and think I didn’t love him.  Anyway, so he began to critique his younger self and say how awful he looked and he can’t believe I haven’t deleted those photos. Oh my goodness, I can’t win for losing. For real! I mentioned one day to my son about something he wrote on his twitter account and now he has blocked me.

I pretty much do everything wrong according to my teenagers and to them I know absolutely nothing. It’s a little difficult being surrounded by people like this all the time. I have set aside half my life to raise my children, to be there for them. And now, they don’t want to have anything to do with me. It’s a little heart wrenching to say the least.

I’m at a crossroads in my life. I’m about to start a new season. I’ve decided to go back to college. It’s time to upgrade my associates degree to a bachelors degree. I need and want to be around like minded people. It’s time to have a career outside the home. I’ve been blessed to not have to work while my kids were young (although I’ve doubted that on many days.) I remember my own childhood and would have liked to have had my mom or dad around more. Yet, they did what they had to do to raise our family. But because of that, and because my husband’s salary provided enough for me to stay home, I chose to do that. I have always had the best interest of my kids in mind. Doesn’t every parent want more for their children than what they had?

I’ve been juggling in my mind what I would like to do. I know I want a trade or a career. The majority of the jobs I’ve held over my lifetime have been in sales of some kind. I’m tired of that. I want to do something creative. I got online and decided to do this career assessment to see what insight it might provide. My youngest saw me doing the assessment and asked why I was doing it. Once I told her I was going to go back to college and start a career outside the home, she flipped out. My 12 year old who is a full on teenager already was really upset. She thinks this means I will no longer be her mom. Oh my goodness…sigh…again I can’t win for losing.

We shall see what will happen. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time,

First Christmas in our Texas Home























Merry Christmas!

Life and Death Brings Full Circle (Book Review)

I feel as though I have come full circle here on this blog.

My very second blog post was written on August 17, 2008, over 7 years ago. Guess what it was about?  I titled it I CAN read fiction! (Click on title to read the post…it’s not long, very short.) In summary it was about me devouring the Twilight series. (No groaning allowed 😉 )

Spine of Life and Death FamilyBringsJoy.comStephenie Meyer released a 10 year anniversary edition of Twilight last week. Guess I was 3 years late finding it. I’m glad because I was able to read all the books in a row. It would have been very difficult to wait in between books to see what would happen next…especially between New Moon and Eclipse.

Anyway, included in the 10 year anniversary edition is a bonus book titled Life and Death, subtitled Twilight Reimagined. I had no idea what to think about this. Stephenie changed Bella into Beau and Edward into Edythe. It was a gender swap. However, it doesn’t mean all she did was change the names. Edythe and Beau are different personalities. I read some reviews the day it came out. Reviewers were bashing Stephenie saying all she did was change the names. This is not true. The beginning of Life and Death does start the same as Twilight, but there are changes to the story along the way. For example, Twilight is all about a love triangle between Edward, Jacob and Bella. There is no love triangle in Love and Death. Jacob’s character has a double in the reimagined version named Julie, but there is hardly a relationship between Julie and Beau. They are basically acquaintances. That is the only spoiler I will reveal. Except, hear me when I say this: THE ENDING IS NOT THE SAME AS TWILIGHT.

Life and Death familybringsjoy.comPersonally, I felt in a sense, it was ALMOST like I was reading Twilight for the first time again. I’m sure it helps that it’s been 7 years since I read it. However, again, the change of the genders does make it different. Interestingly enough, even though there is no relationship between Julie & Beau, there wasn’t as much exchange between Edythe and Beau as between Edward and Bella…not as sappy. I like sappy though. It was still good. I believe any true Twilight fan will appreciate this bonus book. I wasn’t expecting it, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I will forever be grateful for the imaginary world of Twilight. It has opened my world to fantasy fiction…an escape I love. Somehow, though, I’m not sure there will ever be another series like Twilight in my lifetime. I have yet to find one in the 7 years since reading it.

Thank You Stephenie Meyer,