Christmas Home Tour Part One

Christmas whole view living room

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house…it’s quiet.

Finally I have some time to post my pics of the house.  Just now downloaded my copy of Lightroom {photo editing software} I bought for a great deal on Cyber Monday.  Even though it’s easier to use than Photoshop, there is still a bit of learning curve.  This means instead of spending all day figuring out how to edit all my photos to post on here, {which means I probably wouldn’t have anything to post until tomorrow} I decided to go ahead and post a few today and hopefully have the rest tomorrow for part two.  Once again I am posting them after Christmas.  Sigh…ho hum…I tried.  I thought I would have time to post them before, but it didn’t work out.  Oh well!

Christmas mantel 2013

corner living room view

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with fun family traditions!


Metal W – Hobby Lobby

Chalkboard Download – Dear Lillie {printed engineer print at Staples}

Joy to the world wood block – Barn Owl Primitives

White Fur Stockings – Restoration Hardware Kids

White Flowers – Local discount store called Walls

Fresh Garland – Lowes

JOY sweater wrapped – I made at Whatever Craft Weekend

Christmas Tree – Balsam Hill (They are having an after Christmas sale right now!)

Come back tomorrow for part two.

Christmas Brings Joy,

Family Time Capsule Video

You all know how much I adore family.

Not just MY family.

All families!

It makes me smile to see other families having joy.

This morning I did a little blog hopping and came across this wonderful video made by Amy Earle of SimplyB Photos.

I am seeing more and more of these… what I might consider “time capsule” videos capturing a day in the life of your family.


I’ve featured Stephanie Nielson’s family videos in the past and gushed.  However, she is somewhat famous now and has her own personal photographer/videographer who does her shoots.

Amy is also a videographer and here she does an amazing job of capturing their family’s life in their home with their 4 kids.

I am so impressed that I am featuring it here today.  It is WORTH your time to watch and will brighten your day, I promise. 😀

Good Life from Amy Earle on Vimeo.

THIS is the kind of video you would pull out and watch on special occasions like holidays or when the oldest child goes to college.  Really anytime, but when the kids have all moved out of the house, as a Mom, it would be great to pull out, watch and remember the good life.

Well done, Amy!  {Now can you come & do one for me, please?}

Disclaimer: No compensation was given by Amy.  She was completely surprised to find this today. 😀


Hug your family today,

Linky Party Etiquette

Since my announcement and involvement in the Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party, some readers have wanted to know more about what a Link Party is.

What is a linky or link party?

A link party is a platform to share ideas about a particular topic.  You can add your topic relevant post to the party.  Other party goers and blog followers can click on your post.  This is a great way to network with other bloggers and give exposure for your blog.  Other names for a Linky Party are: Blog Hop, Blog Carnival and Meme.

Are there certain rules or etiquette for a linky party?

I believe so.  Just as etiquette is encouraged in real life, I feel it is just as important online.  However, it really depends on the values of the person on whether they feel it is necessary.  There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to blogging ETIQUETTE where a law enforcer gives you a ticket if you violate those rules.

On the other hand, if you want to network and make friends, if you want to be polite, if you want to grow your blog, then etiquette is highly recommended.

Shan’s Blog Etiquette

  1. Please read & abide by the host’s link party rules or guidelines.  Usually the host or blog of the link party will list certain rules in order to participate in the linky party.
  2. Link to the exact post.  Please don’t link back to your blog url or website name.
  3. Please don’t join the party {link up} if you have no intention of placing a link, website button or link party button {which includes a link to the host party’s post} on your post.
  4. Please visit and comment on some of the other blogs who have linked up to the party you are participating in.  {They will appreciate the feedback}  If you don’t think you have the time to do this, then please don’t join the party.
  5. If you host your own link party, please comment or leave an email for the participants who have linked up.
  6. If you advertise you are holding a link party on a certain day, please don’t open the party the night before.

Personally, I highly value etiquette because it is part of practicing consideration.  I have learned by way of experience this week how much TIME and EFFORT goes into hosting a link party.  I will look at link parties in a whole new light now.  It should be a requirement for all bloggers to host their own link party at some point in time, so they can understand what I’m talking about.  I have a saying I repeat to my children over and over, “Where much is given, much is required.”  The same holds true here.  If you want to give your blog exposure and gain new readers or followers, you have to put in the effort.  It doesn’t come easily.

I wanted to re-quote what I wrote on the day of my Link Party {via Roomspiration}

I love “partying” with all you wonderful & creative peeps…lol. Today is a very special day for my blog. {tears of JOY} A milestone I will never forget. I so appreciate you being a part of it. Thank you so much. Today you’ve made another dream come true. I hope we can continue to uplift and inspire one another. The internet medium CAN be used for good and we have proved that here today. Thank you…gratitude abounds!

It was a wonderful day!  I sincerely hope many of the visitors I received on Wednesday will join Family Brings Joy’s readership on a journey of creating unity and joy in our families.  If you did visit on Wednesday, WELCOME BACK! 😀

I have written previously about practicing etiquette in real life.  You can read that post by clicking here.

Other highly recommended reading on the topic of Linky Parties: (Click on the title to go there)

Linky Party Like a Dinner Party? by Crafterminds

Ettiquette in Sending Invites to Your Linky Party by Homemaker on a Dime

How to Link Up your Project to a Linky Party {Tutorial} by Beneath My Heart

Building Your Blog: Linky Parties by It’s a Blog Party

Blogs bring joy,

Win a Something Borrowed DVD!

For all you readers out there, have you read the best selling novel Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin?

The book to movie trend is huge these days.

Family Brings Joy readers have the opportunity to win Something Borrowed on DVD!

It stars the lovely Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) and Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You.)  The Warner Brothers Romantic Comedy comes to DVD on August 16, 2011.  Something Borrowed revolves around longtime friends Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson), whose relationship gets complicated when Rachel has an affair with Darcy’s fiancée. As the wedding date nears, Rachel explores the meanings of Friendship, True Love and Ethics.

The Something Borrowed Clickcast widget is cool:

  • “Okay or Not Okay” Quiz! An exclusive quiz that measures your answers on the the gray areas of relationship issues against the rest of the country.
  • Emily Giffin Live! Take a look at the live Emily Giffin Clickcast August 11th at 7:00 p.m. CST on Facebook.
  • Preview the Something Borrowed trailer!  Check out the Something Borrowed trailer and see a sneak peek of the romantic comedy everyone is talking about!

How to win:

Answer this question: When you are in a relationship, where do you draw the line with friendships of the opposite sex? in the comments section of Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page.  {You can go straight to the Facebook page by clicking on the blue f button in the sidebar on the right under connect.}

Giveaway ends on midnight CST Friday, August 12, 2011.  Winner will be announced on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook Page on Saturday, August 12,2011.

Good Luck,