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,

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Just a few weeks ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to host 2 young men (high school) in our home from Canada.  The Canadian’s came to play a 5 day long baseball tournament against 8 other state teams: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  It’s kind of crazy they come to our little remote town in the middle of no where Oklahoma.  But they do, and it’s a BIG DEAL. {College scouts come from all over}  Anyway, what’s even more insane is that 200 of these baseball players stay in homes of families in the community.  I believe that most families house 2 boys, but there are some families who had up to 5 in their home.  Over the 7 years we have lived here, I’ve heard heartwarming stories about this tournament…really the experience of hosting the players.  Now we know why.
At bat with team in background familybringsjoy

Above is one of our boys {yes, we host families used that term} we hosted at bat. {For privacy’s sake we will call him #17}  I love this photo because it also has the whole team and coaches in the background too.  Below, 17 is running from second to third.

running from second familybringsjoy

Made it home familybringsjoy

Above 17 makes it to home plate.  I love how my camera captured him looking as though he is on his toes.  17 played designated hitter about half of the time while the other half he played outfield.  Now let me introduce our next boy, #21.  He is one of the pitchers on the team and stands at 6’4″.  He is TALL!  And he can pitch a fast ball.

Canada Pitcher familybringsjoy

I swear it looks like he almost does the splits when he throws the ball.


leg up familybringsjoy

There was a digital display of the speeds for all the pitches thrown and below shows the speed of one of 21’s pitches.  I know he threw some faster ones, but this is what it was when I decided to take a photo of his speed.

pitching speed familybringsjoy

good game familybringsjoy

In the above photo you can see how tall 21 is compared to the rest of the team.  Below is both the boys after a win!

our canada boys

One night we had a team swim party and they still played baseball…{that’s 17 with the bat}

team swim party familybringsjoy

Below – Us host moms took a photo together.  We had fun talking about ‘our boys.’  All of us host families got to know each other.  It’s like we were a big extended family.  We sat together at all the games…cheered for our boys.  We all had great experiences with our baseball players.  It was fun learning more about the Canadian culture.  There is NO TELLING what they said about our southern accents.  Best of all is how quickly they were able to integrate into our families.  My son loved having ‘brothers’ for the week.  All of the kids enjoyed having older ‘brothers.’  The other moms talked about how they would play with their kids and help out around the house.  They were true gentlemen with gracious manners.

canada host moms familybringsjoy

Below 17 plays catch with my daughter.  Isn’t that sweet?

playing catch familybringsjoy

I caught a quick shot of the boys in the back yard before they started their outdoor adventures.

hanging out familybringsjoy

On the next to the last night of the tournament they announced all of the players and their host families.  We walked on the field. (below)

family announced familybringsjoy

After, we took a big photo of the team with all the families. (below)

Team Canada Host Families

canada boys with daughter familybringsjoy

last photo with the boys familybringsjoy

Believe it or not, the last photo was before they boarded the bus to go to the airport.  I’m glad I wasn’t in the photo because it was sad for me to say goodbye to these 2 young men.  We ate meals together, I helped them with their laundry, drove them to their games…basically did all the things mom’s do for their own kids.  What can I say, I’m a softy.  I’m so glad we had this experience before we move back to Texas.  I hope to keep in touch with them and know they have a bright future playing baseball at a college here in America.  By the way, in case you are wondering how Team Canada did in the tournament…they won 2 out of 9 games.  However, they beat their record from last year where they lost every game.  You have to understand, baseball is not a popular sport in Canada.  As a matter of fact, they don’t have high school or college baseball in Canada.  These 2 boys come from a private club team.  So the Canadians have a little disadvantage competing against southern boys who have probably played baseball since they were tiny.  #17 has only been playing baseball for a couple of years.  Personally, {& yes, I’m proud to say I’m biased} I thought they did great!  I was very impressed with the team and their coaches.  I was worried they might be in bad moods after losing games, but they never were.  They were happy to be here and happy to be playing the game.  For us Team Canada families, they are number one.

Baseball brings joy,

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Tandy's Insant PhotobookWelcome back to the vintage themed bridal shower I helped host for my dear friend, Tandy.

Today I will feature all the goodies we served.  My other two sweet hostesses were the amazing chefs who made and prepared the food for the shower.  It was a good way to divide the tasks.  I was in charge of the invitations (which I will be sharing with you in a future post) and the decorations.

My Happy Helper

My Happy Helper

I must mention how grateful I am for my sweet 10 year old daughter who helped me clean the house before the party.  She mopped the kitchen, breakfast area, mudroom, laundry room, and 2 bathrooms for me.  I was so thankful for her being a happy helper.

The gorgeous book to the left is Tandy’s Instant Photo Book.  I asked her to bring it so we could have it out as decoration.  The book will soon be filled with photos from her beautiful wedding day.  I remember her telling me she bought it from a store on ETSY.  I have a feeling I will need to get the name of the shop…you want to know don’t you?

On to the treats!

Vintage Bridal Shower Refreshment Table

I was so excited to use the china my parents gave me along with platters and pretty formal serving pieces.  Don’t you just love the milk glass cake stand my Oma gave me?  I adore the holes for ribbon.  Not sure if the holes were intended for ribbon to be weaved through them or not, but I sure love dressing it up that way.  The cake almost didn’t make it.  The bottom tier was made with fresh strawberries while the top tier was made with fresh pineapple.  It was nice and moist (extremely delicious) which made it slide around during transit.  We were happy (and relieved) the cake made it here whole and together.

Vintage bridal shower cake

cake close up

Vintage Bridal Shower food table

fruit in waffle shell

The above chocolate dipped cones with fruit were a huge hit!  Brenda, one of the hostesses, is an art teacher (she was my oldest daughter’s art teacher.)  I’m thinking her skills came in handy, don’t you think?

chalkboard tags whipped cream

Tandy’s mom, Carri, the other hostess, made fresh whipped cream for the fruit. (above photo) {I added the chalkboard tag ;)}

veggies in bread

Look at how Brenda arranged the veggies above.  She hollowed out pieces of bread and carefully arranged the vegetables.  They are like little vases of colorful flowers.  I’m extremely impressed with her masterpiece below.  It’s practically a work of Van Gogh how she arranged the cheese and grapes with celery.

food like a sunflower

spinach dip in bread bowl

Carri made the yummy spinach dip above and served it in a bread bowl. {excuse the way the spoon is sticking out…my bad}

french macaroons

At the last minute I decided to order some French macaroons.  I’ve seen them served at showers on Pinterest.  We found a French bakery in Tulsa.  These little pastries made me gain 5 pounds! {Well, those and all the leftover cake left at my house.}  The macaroons are colorful, pretty and delicious bites from heaven.  Oh and a little warning…the blue ones made our teeth blue…so don’t look too closely at our teeth in pics.

macaroon close up

We also served sausage meatballs (thanks to Tandy’s Dad,) pinwheels (cream cheese & veggie concoction rolled up in tortilla) {bummed I didn’t get a pic of those}, salsa, crackers and veggie chips.  Carri made yummy raspberry lemonade to drink with all our treats.

other hosts

Carri & Brenda looking at Instant Photo Book

famous couples bridal shower gift

One of our creative friends made this for Tandy

bride to be and her mom

Carri & Tandy

the bride to be

Isn’t she a beautiful bride to be?

What a wonderful celebration of LOVE!  Thanks for coming by. 😀  Please come back again.  Follow Family Brings Joy on your favorite social media sites.  You can find me via the icons at the top right of the page for Facebook & Twitter.  My Pinterest and Instagram are also on the sidebar to the left.  As always, I thoroughly enjoy ALL comments.  Comments are a bloggers nourishment.  They help us keep writing and creating great content.

Showers bring joy,

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Between the blasted heartbleed virus, busy life and editing pictures I’m a little late in posting this.  I apologize.  As a matter of fact, I’m still weeding through which photos I want to share.  I’m down to 42 out of almost 200 photos taken.  Instead of weeding through them again, (and postponing another day) I decided I would split them up.  This post will be the decorations, while tomorrow’s post will be the food table.

You will find I was able to make most of my decorations…

Welcome to my friend’s Vintage Bridal Shower (hosted in our home.)

Vintage Bridal Shower Front Porch

The shower sign you see used to be a shelf in one of my kid’s bedrooms.  I shopped in my attic and found the wood board calling my name, “use me!”  I sanded it a bit and used the chalkboard spray paint to paint one side.  I have to confess I don’t draw letters this pretty.  I used my Cricut to make the letters and traced them with chalk.  I liked the idea of using the board as a sign on my front porch.  I can erase the chalk after the shower and write another word for whatever occasion I want.

Front door wreath:

vintage bridal shower wreath

This wreath was made from a pool noodle.  I recycled a soft old blanket that had a whole in it by cutting it up in strips and hot gluing them on the noodle.  I made the blue flower with the blanket and hot glued the buttons on to the center.  I made the pinwheel out of kraft paper.  The wood fan in the background is one of the party favors we gave the guests.

Come on in to the foyer.

side view of table scape

I finally painted the heirloom desk given to me by my Oma.  I used my favorite paint, Annie Sloan Chalk paint in old white.  The shower helped motivate me to breathe new life into this desk.  I temporarily (for the shower) placed it in the foyer to use as a welcome table.  I made the ticket garland by sewing the tickets together.  I hot glued one of the girls old locker chandeliers which was sitting in my garage to the top of the old suitcase.  The veil was mine.  Tandy’s mom was one of the shower hostesses and she brought Tandy’s card box she plans to use at the wedding as well as their engagement photo.

Vintage Bridal Shower tablescape

bridal shower chalkboard sign

To the right of the foyer is the dining room.

heart garland with pom bouquet

paper heart garland

I made this heart garland with my paper heart punch.  Placed 2 hearts together and sewed them together one after another.  I used scrapbook paper with her colors of coral, turquoise, cream and browns intermixed with (actual) map and music paper for a vintage feel.  When it’s finished you fold back the hearts to give it dimension and voila!  I think this was my favorite garland I made.  I bunched several paper poms together to make a sort of pom bouquet to hang down from the ceiling.

pom bouquet

circle garland on china cabinet

In the foyer to the left you see:

flowers for vintage bridal shower

I made the below garlands.  Sewed circles together for the top.  The bottom pom garland was made from tulle and tied onto cord.

homemade bridal shower garlands

pom garland close up

Both of the above garlands were hanging in the foyer and you saw them as soon as you walked in.

Living Room:

bridal shower gifts

Gifts Table

Vintage Bridal Shower Mantel with burlap bunting

I shopped from home for most of what you see here on this mantel.  If you’ve been reading for a while you will recognize many of the items.  I did find the coral candle holder and vase at my favorite local discount store Walls.  The Precious Moments couple was on my wedding cake.  I added some scrabble tiles spelling the bride and grooms names onto the old type setting drawer.  I have a close up of their names on Instagram (@familybringsjoy)  I found the blue hanging pails at Hobby Lobby.  The white flower bouquet is also from Hobby Lobby.  I forgot what the live pink flowers are called in the other blue pail.  I bought the burlap bunting at Hobby Lobby, but I cut out the big letters using my Cricut and the small letters using my QuicKutz.

WARNING: The following garland might shock you:

panty garland

The panty garland was hung in between the living room and kitchen.  I thought it was a cute idea and added some great conversation to the shower.  Tandy was happy to take the pretty undies with her.

bride to be with panty garland

In between the living room and breakfast room:

circle garland

I kind of went crazy making the circle garland, but I think it added a special touch.

Me with the beautiful Bride to be:

Host and Bride to be

I had so much fun crafting all the decorations for Tandy’s bridal shower. Feel free to pin away and share this post with everyone.  I hope this shower will inspire many more for future celebrations.  Thank you for joining us!  If you have a question, please email me or ask in the comment section of this post.  Only 11 more days until the wedding Tandy!  Come back tomorrow for all of the food we shared. 😀

Celebrating with friends brings joy,

Monday Brings Mermaids

Lyndsay Johnson's Fire of the Sea book coverAre you looking for a good book to read?

Do you like fantasy as much as I do?

Or maybe you want to change genres to spice things up a bit for your leisure reading?

Well, then I have just the book for you!  It is called Fire of the Sea and it was written by one of my very special friends, Lyndsay Johnson.  Her book is being released TODAY!  I’m about to buy my copy.  Lyndsay sent me the first chapter to review last June and it is already published!  The fact it went through the editing and publishing process so quickly proves it to be a winner to me!  Besides, who doesn’t like mermaids and romance?  The following is the synopsis you will find on Amazon.

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted. Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Mermaids. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love. Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves. But legend and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

Lyndsay also has THE BEST book trailer video I have ever seen:

Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson (Book Trailer) from Lyndsay Johnson on Vimeo.

Get your copy today by clicking the link below.

After I order my copy I will be taking my Son, the middle child, to get his driving permit.  Yikes!  Oh the grey hairs having 2 children driving will produce.  Wish me luck and PRAY HARD. 😉

Books Bring Joy,