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,

Old People Music

Mom with her kids

My Sister, Mom, Brother and I

This last weekend was heavenly. Many of my family members, including both sets of parents came to visit us this weekend.  I can’t begin to explain the joy it brought me to have everyone here. I would find myself smiling as laughter wafted through the house.

The main reason which brought family in town was Alice…the one act play derived from Alice in Wonderland.  My youngest daughter has embraced my thespian side. She was cast as the Dormouse in this school play.

Daughter as Dormouse in Alice

family after the show

Son with cake familybringsjoy.comHowever, Saturday happened to be my Mom’s Birthday!  We used this opportunity to hold a party of sorts for both her and my Son who turned 17 last week.  It was casual. We had BBQ, cake and watched both the Texas Rangers & Alabama (my Mom went to Alabama for 2 years) games.

Funny story

My Daughter had to leave the party early Saturday to prepare for the play.  She didn’t see the gifts I bought for her Grandmother.  Here’s a conversation I had with my Daughter on the way home from school yesterday:

Me: “I received a text from Grandmother today.  She said she is loving her new Taylor Swift CD.”

Her: “You gave her a Taylor Swift CD?”

Me: “Yes, 1989.”

Her: “Why?”

Me: “She likes Taylor Swift.  I found out since she has been visiting she didn’t have a copy, so I thought it would be the perfect gift! Why do you sound surprised?”

Her: “Because, I thought she liked old people music.”

Mom Opening 1989 by Taylor Swift familybringsjoy.comWe then had a discussion about how my mom likes all kinds of music.  It was a good teaching opportunity for me to explain how music isn’t generational. Personally, I really love it when an album can be listened and enjoyed by several generations.  I believe Taylor Swift’s 1989 does just that.  I believe the only other CD I have gifted as much as 1989 would be Mindy Gledhill’s Winter Moon & Anchor albums.

Despite the couple of bad words in Taylor’s 1989, it is a remarkable album with up tempo and slow songs for every kind of mood.  Plus, every time I hear about the amount of money she gives to someone in need, I don’t mind spending the money on her album.  She earned every penny with her excellent lyrics. I’m happy to support an artist who appears to be a genuine person in spite of her fame.  Keep up the good work Taylor!  Our family is enjoying your music. :)

wrapped gifts for my mom

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, I am my Mother after all.

Oh blog, how I’ve missed you.

Music Brings Joy,

25 % OFF Chloe + Isabel Jewelry Sale! (Mother’s Day Gifts)

25 percent off everything at

Welcome to a special Chloe + Isabel Friends & Family Online Event!

Beginning today at 11am (10am MST) I’m offering

25% off your entire purchase when you use code: FFSPRING15 at checkout!!!

Head over to my boutique now at

and start creating your wish list so you don’t miss out! This

sale is going to be crazy!

Mother's Day c+i gifts at 25% OFF

Upcoming gifts reminder…Mother’s Day, Graduation, Brides, Anniversary, Birthdays, Just Because.

Introducing c+i Jewelry from Chloe + Isabel on Vimeo.

Jewelry Brings Joy,

Pick Your Favorite Stud


My favorite jewelry staple lately has been Chloe + Isabel’s studs.  I love these studs!  The above photo shows them just a little bigger than their actual size.  They are not too big, not too small…the perfect size to compliment your style for the day.


These are a fabulous gift for all occasions.  I gave studs to many of my family members at Christmas.  Not sure what birthstone your special person has…I’ll share a secret with you.  Go to their Facebook page to see when their birthday is (if you don’t already know it.)  Some of us older folk tend to forget.  Look at the above photo to see which stone belongs to them.  Voila!  For only $22 a pair you can’t go wrong!  If you decide to purchase several pairs at a time, don’t forget all orders over $100 receive FREE SHIPPING.  Besides, there isn’t a rule that says you have to wear your birthstone.  Personally, I wear October’s Opal studs all the time and my birthstone is September’s Sapphire.  I like the opals because they go with everything!


Important reminders:

  • Jewelry is hypoallergenic, nickel free + lead safe
  • Packaged in keepsake pouches perfect for gifts
  • Branded with signature chloe + isabel’s closures
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee on ALL c+i pieces
  • All orders over $100 include FREE SHIPPING
  • Contact me to hold your own online or at home Pop-Up Shop to receive FREE JEWELRY

Head on over to my online boutique Jewelry Brings Joy today to purchase your studs by clicking here.

Have a sparkly day,

Excellent Phone Apps for Family History

I am super excited to share with you an excellent presentation on phone apps for doing your family history!

One of my friends, Crystal Beutler, taught a class at RootsTech a few weekends ago called Family History on the Go.  Fortunately for us, they recorded the class and have shared it online for FREE.  I love FREE!  Crystal co-taught the class with creative app developer Rhonna Farrer.  I use her app Rhonna Designs to create fun Instagrams with quotes and designs.  If you go into my Instagram feed(@familybringsjoy) you will see what I am referring to.

Family History is the perfect activity during snow days like today!  It’s Saturday, so the kids wouldn’t normally have school, but the roads have iced over.  It’s not too safe for us to be going anywhere.  I’m excited to show my kids what I learned.  I believe this class completely revolutionized my way of doing Family History.  Genealogy can bring family unity like nothing else.

Learning brings joy,

Happy Families

I’m really enjoying this new video series titled “Happy Families.”  It’s refreshing to see what other happy families do.  What makes them happy?

I thought you might like it as well! :)

Blessings to you,