The Heart Of Our Home

Welcome to our kitchen!  Today I will show you overview pictures of the room.  The rest of the week I will uncover special custom features throughout what people refer to as the heart of the home.

The first two pictures are an aerial view from the breakfast area.
The Heart Of Our Home

The Heart Of Our Home

Hubby wanted a big kitchen because he likes to cook.  The kids have taken on this trait, thank goodness.  (I don’t like to cook. I occasionally like to bake)

The next three photos are looking into the kitchen from the living room.

The Heart Of Our Home

To the right you can see the lockers in our mudroom.

The Heart Of Our Home

To the left, behind the bar, where the flag is…is the breakfast room.

The Heart Of Our Home

The next 2 photos highlight the island which includes lots of storage and one of my favorite appliances…the trash compactor.

(which is actually not shown from these views…oops!)

The Heart Of Our Home

The small sink in the island is what they refer to as a vegetable sink.

The Heart Of Our Home

Our inspiration kitchen had white and brown cabinets.  Yet they had half the cabinets white and half brown (knotty alder.)

Hubby didn’t like the look of half & half on the same wall.  Instead, we compromised with a full wall of brown and a full wall of white cabinets.

The Heart Of Our Home

I wanted to use every inch of the wall for storage.  I see a lot of kitchens with space above the cabinets.  Me, being the practical girl that I am, wanted to use that space for storage.  I really don’t think you can have too much storage.

The Heart Of Our Home

The Heart Of Our Home

The appliance under the microwave is a warming drawer.  It is so handy!  I use it all the time to keep our food warm while cooking.  The hubster is quite particular about his food NOT being cold when we sit down to eat.  It’s perfect to keep pancakes warm when you are making a bunch.

You can see the top of the trash compactor in the island from the below view.

The Heart Of Our Home

I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to having things on the counters.  When the counters are cluttered I can’t focus…another one of those ADD things.  Plus, I’ve never mastered the art of staging pretty vignettes in the kitchen.

The Heart Of Our Home

The Heart Of Our Home

Hope you enjoyed this tour of our kitchen.  Come back every day this week to see extra special organizing features of this kitchen.  You can ask questions in the comment section.  Leave a comment by going to the top of the post and clicking on “leave a comment.”  I ALWAYS LOVE to hear from you. :)  Now it’s time for me to clean the kitchen again.  Monday is kitchen deep cleaning day.  Keeping a house clean while it is on the market for sale is definitely not my idea of fun…however, I LOVE a clean kitchen!  Don’t you?

Kitchens bring joy,

It’s Time For A Change

Its Time For A ChangeBig news coming at you today…we are moving back to Texas.

There’s a saying, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the girl.”

This is true.  We’ve been living in Oklahoma for 7 years now.  And even though it is only one state north from Texas, it’s just not the same.

Much has happened while we have lived here.  My oldest graduated from high school.  We built our dream home.  We paid off loans and got out of debt.  I’ve made relationships which will last even after we move.  Yet, it’s time for this city girl to move back to the city.  It’s time to be closer to my family in Texas.

While I am ready to move on…I wish I could take my house with us.  Leaving the home we custom built will be the most difficult part of moving for me.  I realize to some it might not make sense.  Some people might see our home and say, “if I had that house, I would never move.”  However, a house is just a house.  It is the people you share it with that matter.  There is a scripture I have been pondering about much lately from Matthew in the New Testament:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Its Time For A Change

This reminds me to keep my heart on what really matters.

All last week I purged and cleaned preparing for the realtor to come and take photos of the house.  After picking up my youngest from school I realized one of the outdoor throw pillows, which had blown over to our house, belonged to our neighbor across the street.  Their front porch had a chair with a pillow that matched.  I decided to walk it over to them.  After I placed the pillow on the pillow-less chair, I turned around to see our house.  There it was.Its Time For A Change  Of course…I was just across the street.  It looked beautiful and a feeling of sadness washed over me.  I know I was exhausted from all the work I had been doing that day.  It could have been the amount of stress had built up and the emotions just over took me.  I took a picture with my phone and posted it on Instagram.  It’s not that I was wanting to gloat about my house.  It was more about wanting to share the feelings I was experiencing with the sweet friends I have made on the community of Instagram.

I find myself wanting to explain how I feel, but then this ongoing argument plays in the back of my mind.  “You don’t have to explain how you feel.  But, people might not understand.  That’s OK if they don’t understand, they aren’t you.  You don’t have to justify your feelings.”  I guess part of me wanting to explain is a challenge I want to take on.  The other part thinks it might be therapeutic for me.

Being a full time stay at home mom has been challenging for me.  I have creative tendencies which went on the back burner for many years while my kids were young.  As a matter of fact, it’s been the past few years, while my kids have been at school full time, I have realized how much of myself I kind of “put away.”  I thought to be a good mom, I needed to let go of things I loved doing for the sake of the family.  I’m not sure where I got this idea, but it doesn’t matter now.  Anyway, when we built our house, it was like a full time job.  I quickly became an amateur architect and designer.  It took over a year to build our house.  We moved in and then it was a full time job putting things away and decorating.  Over the past 5 years I have truly enjoyed sharing my home here on Family Brings Joy.  I like sharing my DIY projects and seeing them pinned on Pinterest.  I like it when friends tell me they have seen my laundry room or craft room on Pinterest. {Thank you to all those who have pinned!}  So, I guess I feel as though the process of building our house and making it a home, I kind of found myself again.  Plus, it is a HUGE accomplishment.  I don’t want to feel like I’m throwing away this accomplishment or myself.  I know I’m not.  But maybe that is where part of the sadness is coming from?  However, truly most of the sadness is knowing our dream home has not appreciated in value.  Due to the failing economy, we will not regain the amount of money it cost for us to build our home.  This is what really brings me grief.  Your house is supposed to be an investment.  Right?  You shouldn’t have to LOSE money when you sell your home.

Listen up…I know it depends on where you live and what the market is like, but if you are considering building a custom home, you need to be aware of some key points before building.  (And let me throw in here, we built our house with the intention of not moving.  However, you never know what life has in store for you.)

1. The cost your builder quotes to build your floor plan is only an ESTIMATE. (plan to pay more)

2. The builder will not include the concrete for your driveway in your estimate.  This is an extra expense and is not cheap.

3. A custom builder does not include landscaping.  Landscaping, including grass sod and flower beds are an additional cost.

4. Other additional costs for us we had not considered before building were the cost of a septic system and propane tank because we live outside the city limits.

The above points are not including the cost of the land.  And I guarantee adding a pool will not increase the value of your home even though it should!  I think having a pool is a huge selling point.  So however much money it costs to build a pool, plan on throwing that money away.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is much value in having a pool, but that will be a post for another day.

I’ll stop my ranting now.  I just think people should be informed of the cost of building a custom home.  I guarantee the supplies to build a home have increased in cost since we built over 5 years ago.  This means to build our house, just like it is today, will cost substantially more than what we paid to build it, not to mention the stress and time it takes to build.

So, if by chance you have come to my site because you are considering purchasing our home…you are getting an amazing deal!  Go to the tab at the top of this site titled House Tour and take a look around.  The majority of the house has already been photographed.  However, I am going to go into more detail with future posts about unique features of our home.  If you are not looking to purchase our home, that’s okay.  You are welcome to tour the house and receive some great ideas for your own home or a future home.  Be sure and pin what you like on Pinterest for your future reference. Its Time For A Change

Change can bring joy,

Moms Bring Joy

Moms Bring Joy
Let’s Celebrate with Photos!

Moms Bring Joy

Me & My Mom

Moms Bring Joy

My 2 Youngest & I

It’s difficult finding a photo of all 3 of the kids with me. {take note self}  I’m usually the one behind the camera taking the photos.  My oldest daughter took the above photo before she left for college in the fall (first day of school for the youngest kids.)  My Step Dad took the one below when my youngest came home for her spring break.

Moms Bring Joy

Me, Mom & Oldest…3 Generations

And the following was taken only 2 years ago and now my son is taller than his big sister.

Moms Bring Joy

Where They Were Born (Photo taken in 2012 by Blue Lily Photography)

My youngest girl will be 11 tomorrow!

Moms Bring Joy

Youngest, Friday at her friend party

Moms Bring Joy,

Semi-Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Remember my friend who I helped host her bridal shower? Here are some photos I took at her gorgeous wedding…vintage style.
Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Welcome to the magnificent glass Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Below, the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Can I just say how much I HATE those huge ferns!  Really!?  They really are a distraction. Ok, I’m done ranting now.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

I love the above photo with the groom looking at my friend.  Just in this photo you can tell how much he loves her.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

I know the above photo is blurry, but I LOVE it!  He was so happy and was skipping down the aisle.  And the huge grin on both their faces is awesome.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Above my friend’s daughters following the bride and groom down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs.  A new family is born.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Last photo I shot after the ceremony was over.  Isn’t this a romantic setting for a wedding?

So HAPPY for them!

Here I am on the way to the wedding sporting my new Chloe & Isabel Crystal + Chain Strands Stretch Headband and my favorite earrings called the Art Deco Starburst Earrings.  You know I had to throw this in. ;)  Us short haired girls can wear headbands too.

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

Semi Wordless Wednesday Wedding Style

 

Above photo shows me wearing the C + I Coral Statement Ring and Heirloom Coral Statement Necklace.  They were the perfect vintage feel to go with the wedding and the maxi dress I wore.  You can find these unique, quality jewelry pieces by going to Jewelry Brings Joy, my online boutique for Chloe + Isabel.

Weddings bring joy,

#FOREVERTHERE

Please watch the following video:

Ok, first of all, who else thought the 2 couples shown were the same couple?  I thought they were showing them when they were young and then when they were older.

Second of all, can you believe this is a commercial for Firestone Tires?!

Honestly, this commercial is a work of art…such emotion and the song was perfect.  I was watching a show I DVRed and it came on right after my show paused for commercial.  Normally, I forward right away through the commercials because I can’t stand them.  However, this one sucked me in.  It didn’t even seem like a commercial.  I thought some movie has been recorded on top of my show or something.  Firestone received their money’s worth when they hired the company who created this for them.  This is brilliant!  Why?  Because it made me go outside and see what brand of tires I had on my vehicle.  I was literally crossing my fingers hoping I had Firestone tires just so I could say how glad I was I invested in that company.  How crazy is that!?  Now, that is what I call phenomenal advertising!  Way to go Firestone!  Next time I need tires, I will be buying yours.

Disclaimer: I was not contacted by Firestone or paid by them to write this post.

Happy May First,

10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel

I have a new job!  (insert drum roll)

You are looking at one of the newest Merchandisers for Chloe + Isabel.

10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel

Who are Chloe + Isabel you might ask?

  1. Fashion jewelry for both the trendy and the classic fashionistas.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + IsabelI’m definitely a Chloe-bel.  I believe the jewelry we wear says something about us as a person, about who we are.  Jewelry can compliment our outfit and make us feel feminine and lovely.  Over the years I have enjoyed finding pieces which share my personality.  When I happened upon Chloe + Isabel it was love at first sight.  I know that sounds rather cliche, but it’s true.  Most of the time I like to wear simple earrings, rings, bracelet and occasionally a necklace.  However, depending on my mood or the occasion sometimes I like to step it up a bit.  Chloe + Isabel’s exclusive line has all of the above.  Ready to find out more about this amazing company?  Read on…
  2. Hypoallergenic, nickel free and lead safe.  This is very important for me.  I have sensitive skin.  I can’t stand when I wear jewelry and the next thing I know my arm is itchy or I have a red blotchy area on my neck.  The worst is when my ears become infected.  Has this ever happened to you?  Honestly, this may be why I haven’t worn too much jewelry in the past.  The cheap costume jewelry always irritates my skin.  Ever since I began wearing my Chloe + Isabel jewelry I haven’t suffered from one of the above mentioned problems.  Below I’m modeling (with my serious model pose) the Organic Teardrop Earrings & Long Organic Link + Chain Necklace. 10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  3. Exclusively designed in a New York City Studio.  Chantal Waterbury, CEO & Founder of Chloe + Isabel has been designing jewelry for over 15 years.  I treasure knowing my jewelry from Chloe + Isabel is unique.  Every time I wear a piece (& or pieces) I receive compliments and people ask me where I bought them.  The company stays ahead of the trends and releases new lines on a regular basis.  Following is one of the pieces from a limited edition line called Tresco Isle: 10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  4. Lifetime Replacement Guarantee.  I don’t know of another company who offers this.  If at any time your Chloe + Isabel piece breaks for any reason, you can return it to them for a brand new piece (with your receipt.)  If the piece is no longer available, you will receive a credit or refund for the purchase amount.  You can bet your money Chloe + Isabel are creating QUALITY pieces because otherwise they will lose profit.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  5. 30 day money back guarantee. You can have peace of mind…if for any reason you do not like your Chloe + Isabel purchase, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund (with your receipt.)
  6. Pieces start at just $24! “By designing + sourcing directly from our NYC studio, + selling through our amazing community of Merchandisers, we remove multiple layers of retail markup.  We’re thrilled to offer our customers exceptional, beautifully-crafted pieces at affordable prices.” Chantal Waterbury CEO – Founder10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  7. Host program offers opportunity for FREE jewelry.  You can host an ONLINE Pop-Up Shop and receive credit for jewelry!  Those of you who live close to me, I am happy to help you host one in person wherever you choose.  Some Merchandisers have had hosts schedule Pop-Up Shops at an restaurant during lunch time or for mom’s night out.  Otherwise, Chloe + Isabel is online friendly.  I can help you put together an online Pop-Up Shop.  We set a date and time just like we would if we were doing it in person.  We direct everyone to the website to purchase during that time period and voila you earn some FREE Chloe + Isabel jewelry.  Leave a comment (by clicking at the top of the post) or email me at familybringsjoy at gmail dot com (also on my sidebar to the left) to schedule your online Pop-Shop.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  8. Perfume too. Discover Jardins Du Midi, a fragrance inspired by a midday, sunlit walk through the lush orchards of the South of France.  It has hints of Peach Nectar, Bergamot, Jasmine Sambac, White Violet, Vanilla Absolute.  It smells like fresh roses to me.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  9. Featured in many magazines and online.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel 10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel
  10. I was hired by Chloe + Isabel to be a merchandiser, not a recruiter.  I found out about this fabulous opportunity online.  I filled out an application, had an interview and was hired by Chloe + Isabel to represent their company and sell their jewelry.  In all essence, it is as though I bought a franchise from them, yet I don’t have the overhead of having a store.  So just like most franchises, when you go into their store or restaurant, you are not bombarded with considering whether or not you want to own your own franchise.  So it is with Chloe + Isabel.  The reason I am sharing this with you is two fold. 1.) Being an entrepreneur at heart, I have represented other direct sales companies in the past.  Even though I loved my job and felt passionate about the products I was selling, I wasn’t always comfortable trying to recruit customers to have my job.  The guests who came to in-home shows were there for the product, not to learn about my job.  Chloe + Isabel wants their merchandisers to solely focus on sharing their beautiful jewelry to the world.  We are trained to be good business owners and are encouraged to be creative.  I LOVE that.  2.) This will be the only time I write about this opportunity.  All future posts will be focused purely on Chloe + Isabel’s exclusive products.  I’m only writing about this for the off chance some of you reading this might be thinking, “what if I want to be a merchandiser as well?”  This is an exclusive opportunity.  If you are interested, I can send your name to the recruitment department of Chloe + Isabel.  Email me at familybringsjoy at gmail dot com.

I’m going to end with a video which briefly explains the Chloe + Isabel opportunity.  Before you roll your eyes…my intention is not to recruit you, rather than let you see many of the jewelry pieces.  You will meet Chantal (Founder & CEO) who wears several of the pieces in the clips as well as other Merchandisers.

Are you ready to see more of the jewelry pieces Chloe + Isabel offer?  Head on over to my online Chloe + Isabel boutique by clicking here.  Guess what I named it?  That’s right Jewelry Brings Joy…I think it’s fitting!  Don’t you! :D  Pin the following graphic to share Chloe + Isabel with all your friends.  Wait…set up an online Pop-Up Shop with me first, then pin away. 10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel

10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel

P.S.: Chloe + Isabel have Hunky investors!  Guess who one of Chloe + Isabel’s investors is…um…none other than Ashton Kutcher.10 Reasons Why You Should Know About Chloe + Isabel

P.S.S.: Visit my boutique to find the perfect Teacher Appreciation gifts, Mother’s Day gifts, Wedding gifts…birthday, anniversary etc.

Last P.S.: Wearing the Pearl + Crystal Drops Long Necklace (one of my favs,) Bead + Chain Multi Wrap Bracelet and Crystal Square Stud Earrings in the first profile photo.

Jewelry Brings JOY,