Strengthen Families & WIN!

The Art of Marriage Ops blog app helps the men and women who have defended our country strengthen their marriages!

WHY You will love the The Art of Marriage Ops Blog App:

  • Win a $20.00 Applebee’s gift card!
  • Spread The Word! Did you or someone you love serve in the military?  Help us spread to word and share the app on your Facebook or Twitter!  Use hashtag #marriageops!  The more people who realize this is an issue, brings us one step closer to helping more families!
  • Donate!  Text OPS to 80888 and donate $10.00 to help our men and women in the military strengthen their marriage by attending an event showcasing The Art of Marriage! Less than the price of two cups of coffee or a movie ticket!
  • Five Date Ideas!  It’s not just military men and women who need help with their relationships.  Here are five great inspirational date ideas that will help bring you closer to your partner!


This is the first Giveaway I have offered in a while.  Here is snapshot of the results of my survey question regarding Giveaway participation on Family Brings Joy:

I want to explain a few things.  First of all, I understand the whole jumping through hoops thing.  We are all very busy and may not have the time to tweet, facebook, etc.  For this Giveaway, all you have to do to enter the contest is leave me a comment {preferably a positive one.}  For those who want more chances of winning, I have given other options, but they are not mandatory.  I am using Rafflecopter to make things easier for me & you.  If you don’t want to sign in using Facebook or using your email address, please email me at familybringsjoy(at)gmail(dot)com and I will enter your name for you.  The email address is ONLY for the ability to contact the winner.  Rafflecopter or I will not be selling your email address.

Do you see the response at the bottom of the survey snapshot?  You do not have to put your whole name on any site.  You can use your first name or make up a name/username.  I completely understand the importance of privacy and protecting your identity.

[Read more…]

What is BlissDom?

Last year I made the trek to a blogging conference called BlissDom.  As I prepare to return to my community of fellow bloggers this week in Nashville, I thought it only fitting to write about this experience.

What is BlissDom?

If you are a blogger and visit other blogs regularly you might be seeing badges like this:
Join Me At Blissdom!I'm Going to Blissdom!Gonna Get My Bliss On at Blissdom!This is my Second Blissdom!

Or maybe you are seeing bloggers talk about BlissDom on Facebook or Twitter and you find yourself wondering, “What is this?”

Well, about a year and a half ago I was experiencing this.  Many of the blogs I read on a regular basis had these badges and so I clicked on one.  There was a video about the previous BlissDom conference, so I watched that.  Watching the video was all it took for me.  Whoever put the video together will be happy to know their work paid off.  I knew I wanted to attend after watching the video.  I talked about it with the hubster and he was in support of me going.  {Isn’t he awesome?}  It’s always held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.  This year BlissDom is celebrating their 5 year anniversary.

I remember trying to explain to my family and friends what BlissDom was all about last year.  Most people had a question mark look on their face.  It’s okay.  The whole blogging conference is relatively new to most, but especially for people who don’t blog.  Because of the video & information BlissDom offered on their website and reading posts by other bloggers who had attended; I had a small inkling of what the conference would be like.

My purpose in going was:

1. I wanted to meet other people who have a passion for blogging.  In other words, I wanted to meet people who “get me.”  I didn’t know one single person who blogged on a regular basis in real life.  This would be the perfect place to make new friends who understand what I do.

2. I wanted to LEARN how to grow my blog.  Let me explain, up until the time of BlissDom I had maybe a handful of friends and family {THANK YOU!} who read my blog.  As my interest in blogging grew, I enjoyed making new friends online.  I realized that not only could I provide ideas &  information on things I love, including family, but also form sort of a community of friends.  I wanted to know how to do this.

3. I wanted to LEARN more about advertising.  I was very curious how bloggers incorporated advertising into their blog.  Why did they do this?  Do they make money doing it and if so, how much?  Does your blog become a business when you start advertising?  What are the legal & tax ramifications?

4. I wanted to LEARN more about HOW to do things.  Why did some blogs look more ‘professional’ than others?  I enjoy graphic design but don’t have any professional training.  How are bloggers able to make their site look the way that it does?  BlissDom had classes about this!

5. I wanted to meet the bloggers from blogs I regularly visited in real life.  In the blogging world they are pretty much celebrities!  Good thing is, they can go out in public and not have paparazzi after them! 😉 lol

6. I won’t lie, seeing that Harry Connick Jr. came to entertain the bloggers the previous year perked my interest in BlissDom as well.  I didn’t know if he would come again, but I knew there would be some sort of musical entertainer.  As a stay at home Mom, there aren’t many opportunities to go to concerts like when I was young and single.  BONUS!

Here is the BlissDom video from last year…the one I attended:

BlissDom ’11 from Blissful Media Group on Vimeo.

Watching this video brought back many memories and has increased my excitement ten fold. {Amy, I saw you in the video}  By the way, the flash mob was held in a session I did not attend. :( Big Pouty Face because I would have been all over that!

Do you remember my post about Mat Kearney?  I couldn’t remember exactly what he said about being in a room filled with so many female social media enthusiasts.  Well, they showed that at the very beginning of the video…if you skipped watching you will have to watch it!  It’s pretty hilarious!

The clip with the man and woman on stage after Mat are the compassionate masterminds behind Love Drop.  Remember me writing about them?  You can read all posts I’ve written about BlissDom by clicking here.

So did I learn what I wanted to learn as stated in my purposes above?


I learned all I wanted and MORE!  There are many sessions you can choose to attend led by experienced and successful bloggers.

My blog today is living proof of that.

I am so grateful for BlissDom.  The conference is a safe haven for bloggers…a community of social networking divas.

A few weeks back participants received a Prep For Bliss package:

Includes: Name Badge, Luggage Tag, Business Card Holder, Post-It Notes, Jewel CD & Various Free Food Coupons


Also included in this package was a letter from the BlissDom founders.  I want to share a profound quote from them:

“You are the pioneers of a generation who are forging the way in this new digital world.  We are living through the equivalent of the Industrial Revolution and the trails we blaze and how we choose to behave as a community will set a tone for generations.”

I was a newbie at BlissDom last year.  Not only was it my first Blissdom to attend, it was my first blogging conference to attend period.  Turns out there are many different blogging conferences held through out the year.  However, at this point in my life, being the family gal that I am, one blogging conference a year has worked for us.  { Don’t worry Amy I am considering going to another with you 😉 }  Balance is important. 😉

First thing I noticed was how everyone talked about each other by their blog name.  Instead of saying Shan from Family Brings Joy, they would say, “Did you meet Family Brings Joy?”  It was a little weird at first.  It’s understandable, though, because as a blogger, unless you have talked to the blogger personally, you know them by what the name of their blog, not by their given name.  Fortunately, we all have name tags on.  Sometimes I would see people reading my name tag as I walked by.  You see, we all have bloggers we want to meet while we are there.  I didn’t take offense when they would go out of their way to stop me just to see who I was and then say, “No, you’re not her.”  Scratch that, it bothered me just a tad.  However, I did the same thing, just never physically stopped them to read their name tag.  I would just look at them as I walked by.  I understand completely.

Other fun stuff about Blissdom:

  • SWAG {Stuff We All Get, meaning free products from the sponsors or participating brands}
  • Meeting celebrities {like Michelle Branch, Mat Kearney}
  • Food galore…didn’t need to purchase one meal while I was there.
  • Free shoulder/back massage and manicure
  • Networking Parties
  • The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is gorgeous!

I believe BlissDom chose their name because when you are there you are following your bliss…following your dreams.

If you haven’t been on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page lately {join us!} then you will not know that this year’s entertainers/special events include for BlissDom include:

  • Handmade Marketplace
  • Nathan Pacheco {Singer}
  • Lorax {Dr. Suess Movie} Party
  • Joe Jonas {Singer}
  • Chris Mann {Singer}
  • Rascall Flatts
  • screening of OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter episode with Oprah and her friends Gayle King & Paula Deen

Wowza!!  What a line up!  Funny side note, when I shared with my 8 year old Daughter about Joe Jonas coming, she exclaimed, “Take lots of photos and video for me, Mom!”  Here is a text snapshot of what my 16 year old Daughter, who is a devoted Jonas Brothers fanatic said, when I shared the news with her:

My Daughter said later, “Why would Joe would want to go sing for a bunch of old women?”  LOL

Hopefully this post helped you understand a little bit more about BlissDom.

I leave on Wednesday!  If you are attending BlissDom, I have a special gift for the first 10 Family Brings Joy readers/friends.  Come introduce yourself to me.  I want to meet you!  Time for laundry & packing!

P.S: Please pray that I don’t get sick like I did going to my half marathon.  I would like to be able to enjoy the conference.  I just recovered from that sickness.  I know when you fly on an airplane that it increases your chances of getting sick.  I was worried about my muscles before my race.  I didn’t really think about how a cold/sinus infection/ear infection could impact my trip…it did.  It was a miracle I was able to run that race as bad as I was feeling.  Anyway, I would very much appreciate any prayers you might offer on my behalf.

Follow Your Bliss,

Get a FREE Copy of Winnie The Pooh

I’m super excited to have the opportunity to offer my readers a chance to win the new Disney’s Winnie The Pooh Movie.  It’s the DVD Blu-Ray Combo Pack!  These are perfect for families on the go.  This way they can watch the DVD in the car and the Blu-Ray at home!  I was sad I didn’t have the opportunity to see Winnie the Pooh at the movie theater.  Today is the official release day for the movie, but if you want to get one for FREE…you came to the right place! 😉

Youngest with her first Pooh Bear

The cute little Pooh bear has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember.  I have shared that love with my own children.  Our first daughter had a Winnie the Pooh themed crib set.  She loved watching Pooh while swinging in her swing as a baby. {Yeah, I know not everyone agrees with babies watching tv…what is done is done.}  I’m certain we have every one of the Pooh VHS tapes.

The Winnie The Pooh Widget:

  • Take The Pooh Personality Quiz!  Included in the widget are two different quizzes one for you and one for your child! Now you can see which character best fits your personality and so can your children with a quiz just for them!
  • Pooh Activities and Downloads!  The Winnie The Pooh widget has an awesome assortment of games and activities so you and your family can have your own adventure!  Download coloring sheets, exclusive “Pooh” cooking recipes, party ideas, crafts, games and more!

Willy Nilly Silly Old Bear,

Roomspiration Craft Room Honorable Mentions

Introducing the Top 3 Viewed Craft Rooms for Roomspiration:

First Place in Most Viewed Craft Room for Roomspiration

Second Place in Most Viewed Craft Rooms for Roomspiration

Third Place Most Viewed Craft Room for Roomspiration

Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link PartyRoomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party was so much fun!  I want to thank everyone who took the time to link up for the Craft Room Edition of Roomspiration.  I also want to thank all of my fellow Roomspiration Hosts (see all of them at the end of this post) who helped make this party such a success!  And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my dear friend Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea who invited me to participate in this wonderful event.  Thank you Ange!  There were 45 special people who linked up their creative spaces.

I want to recognize and highlight a few more…

Honorable Mentions:

Family Friendly Craft Room Honorable Mention for Roomspiration


Most Swanky Honorable Mention for Roomspiration


Creative Organization Honorable Mention for Roomspiration


Biggest & Best Tutorial Honorable Mention for Roomspiration


Colorfully Beautiful {& Famous} Honorable Mention for Roomspiration

In case you missed the party, you can see all of the 45 Craft Room participants by clicking here.

Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party included 12 Rooms from 12 Bloggers:
Abode Love – entryways
View Along the Way – living room
Homemaker on a Dime – bathrooms
DIY by Design – guest bedrooms
Family Brings Joy – craft rooms
Involving Color – dining rooms
All Things Bright & Beautiful– kids bedrooms
a la mode – nurseries
Just a Touch of Gray – master bedrooms
The Blooming Hydrangea – closets and nooks
The Mustard Ceiling – laundry and mudrooms
The DIY Showoff – kitchens

There was plenty of inspiration going on!  I’m happy to announce there will be another Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party in the future!  I will let you know the dates as soon as possible.

Pooh, My Daughter & I at Disney World 2006 {for Half Marathon}

Giveaway HERE tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25, 2011!

Who else likes Pooh Bear?

I thought so! 😉

Come back tomorrow for a chance to win a

Winnie the Pooh DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack!

See you then!

Happy Monday,

Dreams Do Come True {My Craft Room}

Welcome to Craft Rooms

for Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party!

Here I am in my craft room back in March of 2009 during the building of our home.  I was so excited to see the work on the cabinets that day!

This room has been a dream come true.

Here is what it looks like today.

Craft Room

I’m so glad you stopped by!  If you have seen my previous post about my craft room you will notice a few changes.  Here is a short panoramic video of the whole room:


One of the changes/updates…new window treatments!  I have been very busy working on these curtains for the room.  What do you think?

Here is a video highlighting some of the areas in my craft room including how I organize some my supplies:

Door Prize:

Crafty Lady Scissors T-Shirt by The Bold Banana

All participants who link and comment today will be entered in the door prize drawing!  Winner announced Thursday, September 22,2011 on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook Page.  Make sure you have given me a way of contacting you so I can get your t-shirt size and address.


Roomspiration Rules:

1.  Join the Roomspiration party by linking up your room that is relevant to the room being featured on each blog.  Links for all rooms will stay open until Oct. 14th

2.  Add the Roomspiration button and link back to this post or on your blog to help spread the word.

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Roomspiration"><img src="" alt="Roomspiration" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

3.Feel free to link up an older post showcasing your room(s) – please add the button and link back in a recent post to share the party with your readers and to re-share your room(s).

4.  You can link up as many rooms as you want!  The more the merrier!
5.  Don’t forget to check out all the other awesome rooms that are linked up!  Maybe stop over to say hello at a few, don’t be shy!

Now it’s your turn to link up your awesome craft spaces:

Also Linking Up Here:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Who’s Your Buddy?

I interrupt Roomspiration for another family friendly movie!  Woo hooo!

The dog days of summer may be over but the Buddies are back!  I am very excited to let you know about the newest “Buddies” DVD release Walt Disney’s Spooky Buddies hitting shelves September 20, 2011!  Disney’s irresistible talking Buddies are back in an all-new movie that takes them for a spooky new adventure. With the help of some unexpected new friends — Pip, Zelda, Rodney, and Skip, the buddies must stop Warwick the Warlock and save the world from his dastardly deeds.

The Spooky Buddies Widget is AVAILABLE with:
  • Buddy Tips and Activities!  Included in the widget are tips to help care for the “buddies” in your home and fun activities for your kids and their “buddies”! Check it out!
  • Who’s Your Buddy?  The Spooky Buddies widget has an exclusive “Buddy” quiz so you can find out which one of the Spooky Buddies would be your Buddy!


I think my kids have watched all of the Buddies movies several times.  I might have a few of them memorized from listening to them on trips while they watch.  I know we will enjoy watching this one together too!
Buddies bring joy,