2014 Valentine’s Day Mantel

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

Greetings!  I told you I had been busy working on our Valentine’s Day mantel.  I’m sharing it with you today.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

This Valentine’s Day will be extra magical as we will be at Disney Land! {watch out Insta friends, my Instagram feed will be overflowing}  We realized our youngest, who is almost 11, was only 2 and a half years old the last time we went to Disney World.  She was telling me she doesn’t remember much of that trip and it made me sad.  She is pretty much already a tween but young enough to still love everything Disney.  Kids grow up so fast!  The kids have a long weekend off from school and we are taking advantage of it.  I hear it’s supposed to be a good time to visit the park…not too busy.  We sure will enjoy the little reprieve of snowy, cold weather we’ve been having here.  I checked the weather and it’s supposed to be a high of 81 and low of 50.  Ahhhhh…that sounds nice.  None of us have ever been to Disney Land, so we decided to check it out instead of Disney World this time.  Anyway, so I have sort of a Disney theme going on this year for the mantel.

The board I bought at Hobby Lobby and painted it with chalkboard paint.  I’ve used this board many times on my mantel.  I just erase and write what I want for the occasion.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

I made this garland initially with just doilies and kids valentines I bought at the dollar store.  I glued them on and used different ribbon to tie them together.  Well, the doilies are a little fragile.  I hung it up and it ripped and tore.  I thought if I reinforced it with some washi tape where the ribbon was it would work.  No such luck, they still broke apart.  I hate when a project goes wrong.  I guess the weight of the valentines was just too much for the doilies.  I ended up adding reinforcement by cutting hearts out of card stock and gluing it to the back of the doilies.  I also punched small holes on both sides of the card stock hearts and tied them together with white twine.  Hooray!  It is not falling apart now!  I love the cute Minnie Mouse valentines.  My daughter made some just like this to hand out to the characters when we meet them for an autograph. (Of course hers are not strung together.)

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

The yarn tree I made for Christmas one year.  Super easy…wrap the yarn around over and over and pin the end on the top.  The dollar store also had these smaller trees. I decided to make a conversation heart tree.  Again, super easy…all you need is a glue gun.  The other tree is made out of buttons, brads and a few flowers.  I’ve seen similar ones on Pinterest and wanted to make one.  You can’t tell in the photo but, I mod podged music paper onto the back of the trees before adding the buttons and hearts.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

Anyone who goes into my house knows I love these little black and white signs.  The quotes on them are worth reading over and over.  Santa even put mini ones (wooden signs like the one above) in each family member’s stocking last Christmas.  I found this one at a local shop in town.  The wooden red heart my daughter made.  I found the vase at a local discount store.  The cute Precious Moments couple was on the top of our wedding cake.  It is special to us.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

I was going through my love box (where I keep cards & notes others give me) and noticed a theme in the cards hubby has given me.  He likes to give me the cards with the little kids on them.  Aren’t they adorable?!  Boy that photographer must have offered those kids something pretty awesome to get them to pose like that. lol!  I covered the backs of the window panes with different kinds of scrapbook paper and taped the cards onto the paper with blue painters tape. {I love that tape because it holds well but you can remove it when you want without damaging anything.)

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

The next few photos are of the music paper pinwheels I made.  Again, I attached them to doilies and added a few embellishments on top with the glue gun.  One of the pinwheels didn’t want to hold it’s embellishments.  They kept coming off so I just left it plain. (The one over the 2)

2014 Valentines Day Mantel 2014 Valentines Day Mantel

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

Here it is again all together…

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

I shot a couple of pics of the tree I have on my foyer table.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

I liked the next shot of our newest piece of art above the tree.  Jesus is LOVE.  I thought it fitting to include HIM.  I was trying a different angle to change things up a bit.

2014 Valentines Day Mantel

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day week.  No need to show your love to someone only on Valentine’s Day…express your love daily.

Love Brings Joy,

The Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For You

The Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For You

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, you can imagine how much I might like the upcoming holiday.  This week is the perfect time to break out the sappy love songs in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  It’s not a celebration of only romantic love.  I believe it is a celebration of relationships in our life, people who we love.

I put together a Valentine’s Day playlist for you.  Oh boy was this fun!  I absolutely love music.  I enjoyed grabbing tracks from before I was born all the way up to modern day songs.  There are upbeat tempo songs as well as ballads.  I promise there is all types of music included too.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

The Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For YouThe Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For You The Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For You The Music Of LOVE: A Playlist For You

Music Brings JOY,

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

This is what our neighborhood has looked like for the past week.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had the most snow here in Oklahoma since we moved here 7 years ago.  We have snow at least once a year here, which is different from living in Texas.  This also means lots of snow days with the kids at home.  I’m pretty sure our kids will be in school until June this year instead of May.

Flurry Friend Friday

On Monday for Family Home Evening we built a snowman.  This was the biggest snowman we have ever built because the snow rolled very well.  You aren’t seeing things if you see some blue on the snowman.  We had our lawn fertilized right before it snowed.  The dye from the fertilizer made an impression on the snow.  The box you see my daughter holding is our snowman kit from Land of Nod (not an ad.)

Flurry Friend Friday

It’s cool seeing the “same” snowman reemerge every time we build one.

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

We made him right next to the mailbox so everyone can enjoy him as they drive by.  He always makes me smile when I drive up to the house.  We had more snow yesterday so he looks just like this still…alive and well.

Flurry Friend Friday

Our ski attire and boots have come in real handy for these snowy days.

Flurry Friend Friday

Here’s our backyard.

Flurry Friend Friday

The pool could probably serve as an ice skating rink without the cover.  Not that we would ever do that. Flurry Friend Friday

Flurry Friend Friday

Here’s our sweet outdoor cat, Daisy.  She’s a little cold.  I love how her fur puffs up in the winter time.

Flurry Friend Friday

One of these days I’m going to learn how to do justice to a sunset in a photo…maybe.  Don’t look at the boob on the house.  That’s what we call those covers you put over our outdoor faucets so your pipes don’t freeze. lol…not sure what their actual name is.

Have you had any snow this winter?  Has your family built a snowman?  I’d love to see yours too!

Hope this finds everyone staying safe and warm this winter.  I’m excited to share my Valentine’s Day fireplace mantel with you very soon.  I’ve been creating away!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @familybringsjoy and all the other social networking sites.  Buttons are on the side.  Oh and I finally figured out the plugin to use when I reply to a comment on my blog, it will automatically send you an email with that reply.  Before, I would answer questions via email and it wouldn’t show up on the blog.  This is great because before I would have to copy my email reply and paste it on the blog.  It was a tedious process and sometimes I would forget to do it.  I don’t want anyone to think they are ignored.  I also don’t want visitors to NOT leave a comment because they don’t think I will respond.  Comments are little gifts to us bloggers.  I APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE!  Thank you!

Snowmen bring joy,

Nothing Backwards About This Day…Just Reality

Hey there.

It’s me.

Yes, I’m still here.

I know it’s been a while.

I’ve got the doldrums.  It’s not a full on depression episode…thankfully.  Hopefully it’s not the beginning of one.  I had such a good beginning to 2013 last year, yet it ended up being probably one of the worst years of my life.  So maybe this year it will be the opposite…since it’s starting out kind of crummy maybe it will end up being good.  A girl must hope.

Really the only reason I know last January was good is due to a new app I happened upon. {Thanks Sara!}  It’s called Timehop. (I’m not getting paid to advertise this app.)

Wait a minute…

I need to take a little time to rant, so if you don’t want to hear it, skip the next paragraph.

Can I  just tell you how much I hate that I’m supposed to state every time I mention a company whether they are paying me to write something or not?!  I hate blogging has come to this.  Honestly, as I have mentioned before, even though I have tried a bit of affiliate marketing {based on what I value and think my readers would value only} it has brought in absolutely nothing in the way of monetary value for me.  As a matter of fact, the last company I worked with for affiliate marketing sent me an email recently telling me my account is going into dormancy mode due to inactivity.  Well, OK.  I might be destined to be a purist {a blogger who has no ads on their blog} for life when it comes to blogging.

Back to Timehop…it’s like having an online scrapbook or journal.  Each day it sends me posts from this exact day up to 4 years ago from all my social networking sites.  I have enjoyed seeing what I wrote, how I was feeling {if I shared that, as you might imagine, I do that from time to time} and the pictures I shared.  This is how I know what I did last January.  I organized my closet {which is back to being a t-TOTAL mess,} participated in a craft swap, visited my Dad, had a date with my husband.

It’s not fun comparing my year ago me to my present me.  People say we should be happy no matter how productive we are…well I say to those people…take a walk in my shoes.  It’s not fun having ADD.  Most days I WANT to be productive, yet it’s like there’s a barrier that keeps me from doing so.  Besides, it is important to not be idle.  Think about the questions we receive from our family and friends: What did you do today?  What have you been up to?  We are measured by what we do.  If we go to college, we are more likely to be considered more valuable in the job market than if we don’t go to college.  I could go on and on, but I don’t want to.  It’s starting to get me too agitated.

I worked on cleaning my craft room for a little while this morning and then got overwhelmed and stopped.  Oh my goodness I have to stop writing now.  This is quite a miserable little blog post.  I probably shouldn’t post it, but since I haven’t posted in a while, I will.

I’ll be ok.  Life certainly could be a lot worse.

One of those days,

Creatively Switching Rooms

Creatively Switching RoomsThis morning I will be packing up my oldest daughter’s room…technically not her room, her belongings in the room.  Now that she is in college, we promised our youngest daughter she could move in to the room.  I’m hoping this activity will not bring too many tears or emotion.  In essence all I am doing is switching rooms.  So it’s not like my oldest won’t have a place to stay when she does come home to visit.  But when she isn’t here visiting, my youngest daughter’s room (which will soon be my oldest daughter’s) will be a guest room.  Are you thoroughly confused now?

I think I’m going to try and make this activity fun by transferring her memory board square items onto scrapbook pages.

Remember when I shared how we made her memory board wall? (you can see the original post by clicking here.)  Below was what it looked like not long after we installed it.  Now it is completely filled with photos and high school paraphernalia.  Those items will quickly transfer onto 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and be a perfect addition to her scrapbook.Creatively Switching Rooms

I’m so overdue for some craft therapy.  My craft room has mainly been used as a gift wrapping room since Christmas and I’ve been craving to get in there and do something creative.  Problem is, it’s quite the mess!  Maybe now that I’ve finally put away the Christmas decorations, I can tidy the room up so I have a place to create again.  Speaking of my craft room…my very sweet best friend from Haven (Home Bloggers Conference) featured my craft room on her site.  Candace’s post from her blog Vintage News Junkie is titled Top Ten Craft Room Makeovers.Creatively Switching RoomsCandace has put together a pretty awesome collection of craft rooms.  I always love to see how people organize and decorate their hobby rooms.  Hop on over to her site and take a look.  I am honored my craft room was included…just so glad you can’t see it now.  I’m not feeling too transparent to show it to you today.

Well, like my Grandma used to say, “I’m off like a dirty shirt” to pack up my oldest daughter’s room. I can do this. I think I can. I think I can.

Happy Monday,

Tricks To SAVE MONEY Online

Today feels like Monday to me.

Why you ask.

Tricks To SAVE MONEY Online

Daughter happy we were able to zip up her suitcase. Sitting on it helps!

Today my kids went back to school! Well, at least my 2 youngest.  I took my college freshman to the airport on Saturday and she went to classes yesterday.

Didn’t matter that we picked out the kids clothes yesterday…it was still a horrible morning with crying and screaming. Sigh…just keeping it real.

Anyway, it’s quiet now.  I started a load of laundry and ate my oatmeal.  Sat down at the computer to change my Christmas desktop background and screen saver.  Guess what came up on my screen? The dreaded yearly “It’s time to renew your McAfee Subscription.”  So I clicked renew and a screen popped up and told me it would be $89.99 for a year of virus protection for 3 computers.  Before I signed in I thought to myself, “I wonder if Ebates or Retail Me Not might have a discount I could use?”  Both of these sites are my go tos for saving online.  Boy was I glad I did!

I logged onto Ebates first to find out they are paying a 12.5% rebate!  Woo hoo!  Let me tell you it all adds up!  I’ve received almost $400 in money back from Ebates!  Even better, when I clicked on McAfee from Ebates it offered me $45 OFF the $89.99 price!  I only paid $44.99 for my McAfee renewal!  AND 12.5% of that $44.99 I will get back!
Tricks To SAVE MONEY Online

Here’s another secret…combine Ebates and Retail Me Not.  Now this time I wasn’t able to combine them.  I tried, but McAfee said “$45 savings has already been applied.”  But many times I can go to a store through Ebates and also use a discount code from Retail Me Not.  This brings double savings!  I’m almost afraid to share this information because I don’t want the 2 sites to find out and make it where we can’t do this.  Hopefully that won’t happen.

Anyway, I wanted to share this awesome deal with you.  If you need to update your virus protection program…might as well pay HALF PRICE!

OH!  I almost forgot!  Yesterday, I downloaded Retail Me Not’s App on my phone and saved $10 at Bath & Body Works!  Retail Me Not now has IN STORE coupons!  I knew they had an app now, but didn’t think I needed it because I don’t do online shopping on my phone.  The screen is too small for me (it’s what happens when you get old.)  So I didn’t want the app to take up space on my phone if I didn’t plan on using it.  Well, turns out it is definitely phone worthy!

P.S.: Ebates also has a phone app.

Disclaimer: I was not paid by Retail Me Not, Ebates or McAfee to write this post. I like the two sites and want to share them with my readers.

Last but not least, since this is my first post of 2014 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saving Brings JOY,