The Big Picture Free Video | Honoring your gifts, finding balance and living a creative life that you love

Being a wife, mom, friend, business owner, household manager, school juggler and creative are some of the hats I wear. I know you are the same and probably more.

I also know that if I am not intentional with my marriage, children, schooling, business, creative time etc. than I miss out on opportunities of being present in each of these areas.

I am not saying it is easy but it is very much worth it.

Being intentional and seeing the “Big Picture” has helped my life become beautifully full of the people, activities and beliefs I hold most dear.

I am a work in progress and I have areas I struggle with and areas I definitely need to grow and change but that is part of life and learning how to live and do better.

This is just a glimpse of where I am right now.

We are truly all in this together and we can all learn from each other!

I hope you will also share how YOU see the Big Picture.

 
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Part One: House One and the Day I Lost my Heart and Mind

(The photos in this post are of house one and the house I am writing about in this post)

This is part one of a twenty part story but I promise to only make it three parts. I am kind like that.

 

Part One: House One and the Day I Lost my Heart and Mind

 

It was a regular day. That means I was procrastinating the real work I needed to do and I was looking at Realtor.com for nothing and everything all at the same time. I am a realtor’s daughter which means I have grown up with a love of housing, open houses, random home searches in towns I don’t even live in, I take a vacation and instantly start searching for local property and figuring out if I could live there based upon random Zillow searches.

 

In the midst of my procrastination I came upon a previously viewed mid century that I decided at that moment we should look at because maybe it had potential I just couldn’t fully realize yet. Please keep in mind that we weren’t really looking for a home and this was just me procrastinating real work. Kelly agreed to look at it and in my quick search to find a local realtor I saw a home that had just been listed within the past two hours. This wasn’t just any home…it was MY home. It was the home I had waiting for all my life. I am not prone to exaggerating or high emotions at all.

 

 

When I saw this home I burst into tears and had never felt this emotional connection to a property (let along photos of a property) in my life. Unfortunately for me my husband Kelly was on an hour long conference call and he was not about to risk his job for his antsy and hormonal wife. I had no choice but to take matters into my own hands (keep in mind he wouldn’t get off the phone and the clock was ticking). I instantly texted about 20 local friends asking if anyone was interested (or knew of anyone interested) in buying our house. Yes, I did. I then proceeded to find a local Realtor and set up an appointment for that day.

 

 

When Kelly (finally) got off the phone I told him to sit down and just look at the house. I told him this was our house. I knew it didn’t make sense, we weren’t looking for a new house, the bedrooms weren’t’ right etc.…THIS was our home. Kelly agreed and said we should set up an appointment. I told him he was so lucky to be married to me because we already had one and we needed to leave in 30 minutes. I like to think of myself as proactive.

 

We took the kids to look at the this mid century, untouched, masterpiece surrounded by 2.3 acres of woods and we made a full price offer before leaving. We hadn’t called our bank, thought it through or have a buyer for our home. It was our home and that is all we knew. The next day the final offer was submitted, we wrote the owners and gave them a photo of our family, we had our loan approval and we had a buyer for our home.  Did you read that…we had a buyer for our home.  All of this within 24 hours. This home was everything that we didn’t even know we were needing. It was rest and dreaming. If God’s hand was ever on a decision in our life this had to be it.   Right?

 

Two days later we were told that the owners had taken another full price offer. I couldn’t process the answer over the phone that we didn’t get the home. I truly didn’t understand and acted like I could still change the outcome. I cried like a heartbroken teenage girl. I was devastated. I don’t think my family knew what to do with me because I had never reacted like this outside of death or my parent’s divorce. I felt with everything in me that this was our home and that this wasn’t how the story was supposed to end.

 

The next day I called our lender and he told me he couldn’t believe we didn’t get the home because the other lender said we were the stronger offer. I asked him how often do loans fall through and he said everyday, all day long. I asked him to go ahead with our loan as if we were buying this property. I wanted to be ready when they called. This is truly how sure I was that this home would be ours.

 

I also called our Realtor and asked her to put in a backup offer with first right of refusal. She called me back saying that wasn’t necessary. The owners had already been offered multiple back up offers and they wouldn’t take any other offer but ours if the the first deal fell through. I felt like once again that God was making a path for our family and connecting us with this home. The buyers for our home were willing to wait and so we waited. For six weeks we waited.

 

For six weeks I cleaned out our home, sold so much stuff, prayed alone and prayed with others. What I haven’t told you is that at the beginning of the school year I had told our children that this was going to be the year that we prayed for such big things that when they happened only the Lord would get the credit. We prayed for loved ones, for our business (I have a totally cool story about that for later) and for things in our lives we wanted to change. As a family we felt like we were in the midst of something big that we hadn’t even prayed about or for. I asked the kids to believe in big things and claim big things. We continued to wait.

 

I headed to France to teach the Living Studio Normandy and waited and prayed. I came home from France and waited and prayed. One night Kelly asked me if I wanted to watch a movie and I just asked if we could drive by the house again and just pray over it again. He kindly agreed. As we were approaching the home we noticed lights on and for the first time the For Sale sign was gone. Our stomachs dropped. Had it closed? What was going on? This was suppose to be ours, right? We called our Realtor right then and asked if the house had closed. He asked us to hold on and he would get back to us.

 

It had. It had closed. It was over and it wasn’t ours. None of this made sense and all of this felt so real, so big, so ours, so a part of something bigger and it was “just a house” so why did it hurt so badly and how could we have been so wrong. And how were we going to tell our children? Our friends? Our family? We had been so sure and now we just looked liked crazy religious freaks that had claimed something for 6 weeks that was never ours.  Wasn’t this going to be something so big and amazing that when it happened only the Lord got the glory?

 

What we were about to learn was that this house was only the beginning of getting out of our comfort zone and believing for bigger things for ourselves, our family and our business. It was also going to be that time when the Lord used a house so amazing that it made me lose my heart and mind to put us on a new path that we weren’t even looking for…

 

 

 

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Holiday Housewalk 2015

How do you say goodbye to a home and bring in the holidays for the last time at an address?

The past few weeks have brought such a storm of mixed emotions and now the reality that we are moving from the only home our children have known.

We love it pretty simple around here for the holidays and this year will be the biggest exhale of all.

The sweetest way to honor a home that we have loved so much (and that has loved us right back) is to just slow down and love each other even more.

I hope you will give us some grace this year for the house walk as we unexpectedly found a property, placed our home on the market on Thanksgiving day and have had showings ever since until today.

I made the very conscious decision to choose peace, family and simplicity instead of stress.

I highly recommend it:-)

We have simply decorated our home for Christmas in preparation for packing and moving.  I hope you will indulge me as I share some of my favorite holiday decorating from years past with some of the new photos from this year.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you are able to take an exhale too and just take the time to be with the ones you love the most.

Thank you Jen for inviting us back again and for bringing together so many gorgeous homes for inspiration.

To see the housewalk from the beginning start HERE.

If you are coming from Lily Pad Cottage I am so glad you are here and welcome!

Kelly is incredible and her decor is so inspiring.

Welcome to our home…

I am loving my deer and branch antlers from Joss and Main! The kids love it and it goes perfectly with the simple decor and natural elements that we love to decorate with.

We all decorated the tree last night and shared some of our favorite Christmas memories from this house.

Don’t you just love home? It is truly one of the most beautiful words.

At least we rewarded the kids with s’mores for the long days of painting, cleaning and pretty much not allowing them to live in our home for the past few days.

The tray is from Joss and Main and is the perfect size!

Some of my favorite images from previous holiday housewalks!

I am excited to make the new house our home and to share it with you along the way!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

My family wishes you a Merry Christmas!

The next stop on the housewalk is Bre from Rooms for Rent! Bre is truly one of my favorite ladies in the world! This girl is crazy talented and is authentic through and through.

Come on over to see Bre’s home all dressed up for Christmas…

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I would love to have you check out my creative network where I have over 50 free and paid for online courses.

It is truly a lifestyle network with courses about home, cooking, bee keeping, art and so much more!

Come on over…

Coming January 1, 2016 is our new FREE series Listening | Finding the Quiet

How do you want to start 2016? I know that the world can be really loud and I have to take intentional steps to quiet it and to slow down.

If you feel the same I would love to have you join 20+ men and women as we share our own finding the quiet journey!

Some of your favorite creatives and bloggers will be joining me for this FREE series!

Come on over and read all about it. We would love to have you join us!

To join this free study you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this study, free videos (business and art), my Creativity Takes Courage series and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

To register for Listening | Finding the Quiet

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Go to the bottom of the course and click “view all” to find Listening | Finding the Quiet

4) Click on Listening | Finding the Quiet

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set for the study to begin on January 1, 2016

Tell your friends!

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Thanksgiving Tablescape Tour {cozy and fun}

Day 3 Collage

Shades of Blue Interiors | Jeanne Oliver Designs | Zevyjoy | Liz Marie Blog | Julie Blanner

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What is not to love about a holiday all about family, friends, good food and just being together!?

When my friend Bre of Rooms For Rent asked me to be a part of her Thanksgiving Tablescape Tour I jumped on the opportunity.

Before I put the table together I thought about how could I make our table a little different this time, make use of our space (yard), incorporate colors of the season and use decor I already owned.

My hope is that you would also “shop” your own house and incorporate the beautiful things you already own. Maybe a little foraging too:-)

You will never regret making your holiday about the people that join you around that table.

Have fun!

You can purchase the gorgeous vintage chandelier at Authentic Home and Lifestyle in Castle Rock, CO.

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Art of Home | Modern Simple Living Begins Tomorrow!

 Tomorrow the online course the Art of Home | Modern Simple Living will begin!

We would love to have you join us as we celebrate home and simple ways to create an artisan lifestyle.

Here is a peek into week one…the Art of Farm To Table.

(Keep in mind that this is only week one! What an fun and rich course this will be)

 

 
 

I grew up with a large garden, morning cereal often had fresh berries from the backyard, clothes hung on the line, the sound of the sewing machine filled our home and my mom’s homemade grape juice is still one of my favorite things on earth. I have always loved home and home is the place I want others to feel loved too.

Over the years I have also heard other women talk about things their moms or grandmothers did to make their homes special and practical. Torn knees were patched, everything was made from scratch, fresh produce was preserved for winter and someone was stitching something sweet and lovely. I think that many of us want to make sure we preserve some of our favorite memories and make them a part of own modern lives. We want to create an artisan home!

When we can embrace our handmade home and see the beauty in the little things then our homemaking becomes art! It is not perfect and the beauty is actually in embracing the imperfection. It is following my Grandma Jeanne’s advice to only surround yourself with things you truly love and use. It is pulling out your prettiest things and not saving them for company but lavishing your family daily. It is not apologizing when your home is messy and inviting friends and neighbors in anyways. It is about allowing your home and gifts to be used to do something sweet in you and those around you! It is about sitting down with moms and grandmothers and grandfathers and hearing about their stories and finding your story in the midst of it. It is about passing on the best of it to our children and grandchildren.

 

Here is a little bit behind the heart of the Art of Home!

 

This course came about while talking and cooking with my mom and sister. My sister and I both couldn’t stop smiling about the heart of the course which was including the older people in our lives and listening to the ways they were taught how to make art of home!

 

Art of Home | Modern Simple Living will be about some of the lost arts of caring for our home and family.

Each week will contain step by step videos with decorating, cooking, gardening, entertaining, housekeeping and more…so much more!

The following will be shared: The Art of Farm to Table, The Art of Gathering, The Art of Domestic Moxie and The Art of Reclaimed Style.

This four week course is your favorite home and cooking magazines come to life!

Maybe it will even bring back sweet memories and we will all learn from each other.

Come join us…

Lissa Whitlock

 

 

Breanne Doucette

Kennesha Buycks

Jennifer Rizzo

 

and Jeanne Oliver

 

 

Week One
The Art of Farm to Table

This week is all about gardening, cooking and preserving food.

Week Two
The Art of Gathering

This week is all about opening your home and creating a space where people feel loved and special.

Week Three
The Art of Domestic Moxie

This week is all about creative and fun ways to keep your home.

Week Four
The Art of Reclaimed Style

This week is all about using what you have and finding new uses for found objects.

The registration price for this four week online course is $64.95. This course will begin on September 15, 2015 and you will have LIFETIME ACCESS* to the videos.

To read more about what you will learn in the course or to register please click HERE.

If you are new to our creative network here are easy steps to get you started…

1. Register at jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free).

2. Once your account is active you are able to take advantage of our free courses, series and even pay for courses.

3. Go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and along the top header click on “COURSES” and you will be able to view all three pages of online courses and free series.

4. To purchase a course please choose your course, click on the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be INSTANTLY in the classroom.

5. All videos can be found along the right hand side of the page under “COURSE CONTENT”.

*as long as we manage this site

Photos by Kimberly Taylor

 

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Where Do I Begin? {if I love decorating, diy, cooking and homemaking}

There are so many awesome online courses out there and sometimes it can be hard to know which one to choose!

I know that your time and money is so important and that is why I wanted to make finding the RIGHT online course easier for you.

The first step we did was create an online digital catalog that would allow you to look at most of our courses all at once and in a beautiful format.

The second thing we are starting is the Where Do I Begin? series!

This will be weekly posts that help you find the best course for you based upon your lifestyle and form of creativity.

Easy and so convenient!

This week we are helping you find the perfect courses for you if you love decorating, diy, cooking and homemaking.

Our home courses have been some of our most popular courses and I believe that is because of the HEART and DEPTH behind each course.

So, let’s show you how you can connect with all of the home courses we have available…

* If you are interested in Art of Home | Modern Simple Living

* If you are interested in Creatively Made Home | Home for the Holidays

* If you are interested in Creatively Made Home | Creating a home that reflects your heart in everyday living

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How do you get started?

 

If you are new to our creative network here are easy steps to get you started…

1. Register at jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free).

2. Once your account is active you are able to take advantage of our free courses, series and even pay for courses.

3. Go to jeanneoliver.ning.com and along the top header click on “COURSES” and you will be able to view all three pages of online courses and free series.

* If you are interested in Art of Home | Modern Simple Living

* If you are interested in Creatively Made Home | Home for the Holidays

* If you are interested in Creatively Made Home | Creating a home that reflects your heart in everyday living

4. To purchase a course please choose your course,  click on the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be INSTANTLY in the classroom.

5. All videos can be found along the right hand side of the page under “COURSE CONTENT”.

*as long as we manage this site

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leave me a comment.

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Top 6 Social Media Tips For Creating Balance {For Home and Business}

(These photos have nothing to do with the post but what fun is a post without photos? I thought you would understand.)

When you are a stay at home mom, homeschooler and entrepreneur with a home office… your worlds start to collide.

There are days that without everything right here at home I know I wouldn’t be able to do all that we get accomplished.

Then there are the days when everything coming at me can be a little too much.

The most frequently asked questions that I receive are about how I get so much done, how our family works with a business and how I stay organized.

Over the next months I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways that I have found to bring focus, balance (is that even real) and intention to the day.

I wanted to first talk about social media and the pull that we can feel all day from Facebook, blogs, Instagram, email and just having a phone with us.

Whether you run a business or not…the above pulls are a part of our lives (whether you like it or not) and we need to learn to manage it without letting it manage us!

Here are some of the top ways I TRY to keep social media from running my life.

I know this sounds silly but it is a major time saver.  Sometimes we just need to check one thing real quick BUT if you sit down you could lose more than a few minutes.  Facebook goes to Pinterest goes to email goes to….you get the picture. Unless you are working on an actual project or need to do some serious writing my recommendation is to do it standing and then get on to better things.

 

 

Imagine constantly checking your phone, Instagram and email over a two hour time. Now imagine setting a timer for two hours and at that time checking everything and then getting back to better things.  That is what I do ALL OF THE TIME!  I don’t want my children to remember me as the mom always texting, checking emails and instagram while we were hanging out. I want to be present and that means setting boundaries for myself.  I get lots done because I am very intentional with my time. Now don’t get me wrong…I can waste a day with the best of them but I don’t want that to be my norm.  It is about being distracted and I need when I am making art to really make art, cooking a meal to be engaged with what I am doing and when I am spending time with my family that they know they have my attention.  When the timer goes off I check work stuff, personal stuff and within 15 minutes everything has been taken care of and to think that I could have spent that two hours constantly checking. The sad thing is…I would have!

 

 

Lose your phone. Leave it in the car when you go to a restaurant, leave it upstairs while you are watching a movie and tuck it into a drawer while you are reading.  Give yourself a break to not worry who is calling, texting etc.  Losing your phone intentionally may be the best thing you do for yourself each day. The world will live. Promise. Unless you are a brain or heart surgeon…then you can keep your phone on you:-)

 

 

I will call you out on this if you are my friend (and they know it).  When you are eating dinner with your family, at a restaurant with clients or having coffee with girlfriends…for the love of all that is good…keep your phone in your bag!  You have someone right in front of you that wants to talk to you.  Let them know you love and appreciate that by actually listening to THEM!

I interviewed a man not too long ago for a small job for my business and the whole time we were talking he kept checking his phone.  I felt invisible and we never really made it past the interview process.  This is make and break stuff in business and definitely with relationships. Don’t just save your attention for clients and friends.  Keep it in the bag with your family the most!

 

 

Remember when people used to read a book in bed or get it on at bedtime?  I am serious…this stuff happened!  Nothing like the soft glow of your phone to lull you to sleep. In all seriousness, as a business woman I need to not have work being the last thing on my mind before bed.  I can’t see at 10:45pm that someone can’t get into their class and then feel like I need to get out of bed to see what is going on. Remember that whole brain and heart surgeon thing from before?  I promise you that most people will live until morning.  I have excellent customer service but we also can sleep too.  Do you remember working hours?  It is healthy to have a time of night when work stops and rest begins.  Don’t let your phone be your last contact at night and the first contact in the morning.  This has made a huge difference in how I sleep and the peace I feel as I am going to sleep.   Maybe we can all read more books and do some other things too:-).

 

 

You want to know the biggest game changer for our family?  We have chosen Sundays to be our family and no tech day. No joke.  That means no computer, phones, texting, work etc.  There have been a few huge deadlines when we had to do some work after the kids went to bed but for the most part we really honor this.  We go to church or hike or watch a movie together or play games…but together.  No one else is interrupting our day and no one is going off by themselves to work, text, face time etc.  I love what I do so much and I could work 24/7.  When you love what you do it can be hard to stop working sometimes.  This day was put in place for Kelly and me as much as it was for the kids. We are trying to teach our kids all of these things about social media and technology because they are the ones that are growing up in it.  One of the mottos in our home is “People before technology”.  How can we say this if as parents we don’t live it and they don’t believe they come before work or distractions.    Giving up technology for one day a week can be hard for everyone at first but after awhile you just may love the freedom you feel.

 

Technology and social media are here to stay and I LOVE them!  I am so glad I can keep up with friends that live all over the world, see glimpses into the lives of the people I admire, work from home, take creative classes no matter where I go and instantly know where my kids are.  I just want to also read, take walks, create art, have a quitting time each day and to look at my children and husband when they are talking with me.

I am still working on these things but these are some of my most useful tech and social media tips that have made the biggest impact in my day to day. What about you?  Do you have some tips to share!  Please leave your thoughts below.

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