Sunday, April 24, 2016

A New Favorite Photobook Site, Y'all!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Travels...That Weekend at Disney

Hello, sweet blogging friends!!
My goodness, I've missed you guys!

I've been trying to sit down and blog about this crazy trip we went on last month, but I have been so ridiculously busy ever since we got back!

The kidlets & I were so tickled last fall when we somehow caught P Daddy off guard and got him to agree to take us to Disney for spring break! 

Oh, there was giddy giggling (mostly by me), snickering & high fiving going on (ok...also mostly by me, so what)...

He agreed to a QUICK visit only, so we flew off on a wee early Friday morning at 5am & we did not stop moving until we got back on that plane Monday night!

Made. Every. Magical. Minute. Count!



We purchased the Memory Maker option on our Magic Bands, if you're staying for more than a couple of days I think this option is a great deal! 


We were able to get tons of family photos (that look SO much better than that funky picture I just shared). 

You can look on the Disney app & they will show you on a map where in the park their photographers are currently stationed. All you have to do is ask them to take your photo & then let them scan your magic band...minutes later your picture will (magically, of course) appear on the app. 



It was way too easy & of course we were silly posing fools the entire trip! ;)

It will also add your ride pictures (those that you have a good laugh over but never buy)...



Go ahead, laugh it up! ;)

Here are some of my favorites from the week that were taken by Disney photographers:

At Hollywood Studios (thanks to the rain, it was not a very crowded day)...









Later that day at Epcot...






(Obviously I think P Daddy is going to float away because I am hanging on to him for dear life in every one of our photos together...) ;)

The next morning at Animal Kingdom...



This was just an hour before the battle of Owen versus Expedition Everest...Owen lost (his breakfast, ugh). 

And Magic Kingdom...



(Yes, friends...it's true...I am shrinking. Beware, it could happen to you too...bless)

The weather was just fabulous all weekend except for it being freezing on our last day...(and in case you were wondering, Owen wore those crazy flag shorts all weekend...please don't act like you've never seen him wear them before! Ha)

We stayed at the Disney's Contemporary Resort.

I highly recommend this resort if the Magic Kingdom is you favorite park because you can walk there in about seven minutes as opposed to 20 on the monorail (and we all know there's no time to waste if you're wanting to run back over to the park at 10pm & ride until midnight). 

Here's a view from our room on our first night when we were beyond beat down after getting up at 3 am to get to the airport. 


And the next morning...


A theme park view room was definitely worth the extra money, it was amazing!!

A few highlights from our big crazy weekend would definitely be Evan versus the biggest chocolate sprinkle donut ever made...


The exciting marathon of adjusting P Daddy's Go Pro...maybe one day I will share some of that footage!


The day Owen couldn't resist posing with this exhausted bench napper at Hollywood Studios (I cannot take him anywhere)...


little singing in the rain...





That super awesome lunch we ate at the 50's Prime Time Cafe...pot roast & fried chicken, delish!


And well, just general silly happiness with these awesome kids of ours...(please don't grow up!!)




With the help of a Disney travel assistant (which is a free service, we used Leslie Calvert with Whimsical Destinations) and little bit of planning beforehand, our visit was just entirely magical...

We were one very happy family!

Of course, until it was time to go home...




Boo!

Until next time, Mickey...
Hope to "See ya real soon!"

Thanks for stopping by to visit, friends!
Have a Magical weekend, no matter where you are!

Mwah,

Mandy


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

That time I got to hang out at Iddy & Oscars...

It's been a pretty big month at our house with big birthdays, spring break, a little family trip, a couple of house projects...I'll be catching you guys up on that stuff in the next few days.

I am starting a new bible study this evening (& I'll be sharing that as well), but had a few minutes to pop in here and tell you kids about something super awesome that happened to boring ole me in March.

My sweet friend & shop owner, Joy contacted me and asked if I could help her with their shop social media.  I was THRILLED!!

I can totally do that, you don't need ears for that! I stopped by to discuss it with her as they were getting ready for their big grand re-opening in their new location. Let me tell you...there was some major gettin' after it going on! Joy and I started chatting about the shop and the next thing I know I'm steaming and tagging clothes (& loving it)! Ha!!



Since then, I've gotten to hang out and help a few more times and it has been the most fun that I have had in about five forevers!!! Not only have I gotten to hang out with my beloved friend, I made a new beloved friend (named Holly) and I just have to tell you, they are two of the most precious people! They just radiate happiness and good vibes and I cannot even find a way to explain how much I have appreciated them letting me drive them crazy in the shop this month! They are both just absolutely precious!

Whenever I help someone with their social media (I do that sometimes, I don't know if I mentioned that), I spend a lot of time doing research about them & trying to find them online (so I can suggest new ways to gain exposure for them).

I wanted to pop in here this evening and share with you guys this blog entry that I found from Joy earlier this year (this will explain a lot about her shop and mission, please take a second to read it):


One part that just jumped out at me when I was reading...Joy was talking about how much she appreciated Holly keeping the shop running while she was in Kenya for two weeks and she says:

"Holly is one of the most beautiful people that I've met both inside and out. I am a better me because of Holly. Do you know anyone like that? You simply find yourself in a lighter mood, giving thanks to the Creator more often and more connected to what's important in life just by being their friend?" 

Do you know anyone like that?

If you have ever met that sweet Joy Lee, then you know that you definitely do! ;)



If you're in the middle Tennessee area, please stop by and visit this wonderful (not so little anymore) give back boutique. (You can also follow their mission on Facebook too.)

I promise that when you do, you will understand why I love the opportunity to "be a part of the change".




Thank you again, Joy & Holly...you girls are the best!

Thanks for stopping by to visit this evening,
I'll be back to share some rambling, some Disney stories & talk a bit about saving some money at the grocery store...

Happy end of March, sweet friends!

Mwah,

Mandy

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super {Things to Love on} Tuesday...

It's Super Tuesday!
Today is a big day in Tennessee!

We are so blessed to have the freedom to share our voice and opinions in this great country.
I don't care who you're voting for, just PLEASE get out and exercise your right to vote!

(public service rant end)

I thought since the word SUPER was being tossed about that today would be an excellent day to share some SUPER things to love...because you know, I do love to share the love. ;)

1.   Since we're talking up some love, let's start with this amazing book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas...Jen Hatmaker's For the Love.


I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long time, it was so refreshing!

Jen is absolutely hilarious and right on point with the struggles of parenting in a world of Pinterest Perfect expectations!

I was a little sad to see the reviews for this book on Amazon, clearly Jen is right when she speaks of those impossible standards & how "Christians" sometimes hand out some harsh criticism...ahem.

If you're on board the parenting train to Crazytowne, I think you will really enjoy her book!



2.  Much of my existence has revolved around CLEANING this house for the last couple of months. Cleaning out closets, dusting, wiping stuff down. The weather is starting to warm up a bit and it is just plain sad that one thing I'm looking forward to is taking all my faux greenery outside on the patio to blow the dust out of them...my issues are severe! ;)

One thing that I love at my house these days & I mean I have fallen hard for it...

The Roomba 650!


My mother bought one for her house a few months ago & has not stopped talking about it since the very first day she pushed the button and turned it on! She loves it so much, she name hers...Jackson.

For months I have heard nothing else but praise for "Jackson"...(it is pure comedy, y'all)!

So last month I broke down and ordered one for our house. The link above is the actual Roomba I purchased from Amazon (& is an affiliate link). It arrived the next day & it has been running all over my house every day since the first day I pushed the button.

I love it! I mean, I am crazy about it & if you ask my friends they will tell you I will not shut up about it (nor will I stop send them stupid videos of my cat running from it)!!!

I love mine so much I had to pick a fun name as well...so now mama & I can talk about our Roombas (her Jackson....and my beloved Kevin). ;)




3.  I mentioned a few months ago...I've been hunting around for some safer cleaning products to use at home and I have been SO happy with the Method brand products I have tried! They are reasonably priced and smell WONDERFUL!!

So far my favorite is the All Purpose in Lavender...


And the Wood for Good in Almond...



Have you used any of them?
What's your favorite?



4.  The Amazon Fire Stick...

Oh, friends!!! I am here to tell you!
This has been another very wonderful Amazon purchase at my house!
(this is not supposed to be a post about Amazon, but they have shown me so much love lately)

The Amazon Prime Membership comes with SOOOOOO many benefits...my favorite by far is the free two day shipping, but coming in at close second is the Amazon Prime Video feature!

You can use Prime Video on any tablet or phone with the app, but back during the holidays I purchased the Amazon Fire Stick for $39.99 and now I can use the Amazon Prime Video feature on any tv in our house (or any tv anywhere that has access to Wi-Fi).

Evan has a small TV in his room to play games and watch DVDs. He's watched every DVD we own 45 times (& I do hate to spend money on DVDs). Now with the Prime Video in his room he can watch literally hundreds of free movies and TV shows...but he cannot watch ANY OF THEM until I punch in the code & I LOVE that option the most!






5. Downton Abbey...

Well, thanks to the purchase of the trusty Amazon Fire Stick...(and the new exceptional PBS series I just finished called Mercy Street)...you can now find me snuggled up in the little chair in Evan's room binge watching Downton Abbey on the sly!

*And all Downton fans will be happy to know that I am not longer calling it Downtown Abbey because I somehow never even paid attention to what the title really was (I think I might have dyslexia too, oh well...you knew I was crazy)...


Anyway...

Yes, I am WAY late to the party because the final episode is coming up on March 6th...but I am so excited that I have TONS of delicious episodes ahead of me (so please don't tell me what happens, ha)!



6. I mentioned last week my love for Chip & Joanna Gaines...

not only do I love their renovations, I am obsessed with Joanna's fashion style!

I have been drooling over her jewelry for the past month. She wears lots of hoops, simple metals and leather. My favorite that I have spotted her wearing is a pair of sassy wood hoop earrings.


Wooden Loop Earrings | The Magnolia Market | Joanna Gaines:

Recently my blogging friend, Shaeffer (of the newly renamed blog Sheaffer Told Me To) featured Joanna's earrings in a post...I think you can purchase these on the Magnolia site, but can also buy them on Etsy from the people who make them for Joanna Gaines.


Beach Party Hoops // Earrings made from RECLAIMED WOOD // Spotted on...


I found a similar pair on Etsy that are cheaper but they are not exactly the same as the ones she is wearing.


I keep hoping one of my local shops starts carrying some like these (cough)...I'll wait & see. ;)




Well, I have got to run out and
pick up my herd from school.

Come back soon, because I am going to talk about the other love of my life...COUPONS!!

I am really glad you stopped by for a bit of love and rambling today.

I do most definitely hope you are having a SUPER, super Tuesday!

Mwah,

Mandy


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Greetings from the Mayor of Crazytowne...Random Nibbles on Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends!

It's a TRUE Crazytowne Wednesday here in Tennessee!
The forecast for today is calling for downpours and possible tornadoes all day, then turning to SNOW this evening.

I mean really now...

I am home today with a list of ten million things I need to accomplish, so of course I am going to park it right here in front of the computer and piddle for a little while. ;)

Here are a few random nibbles from my house...

1. Fixer Upper!

Are you watching this show!?!?
I am obsessed!



I couldn't possibly even pick a favorite out of all their renovations...

I mean, I love it all...

the WHITE,
the open space,
the kitchen islands,
the BRICK,
the glossy subway tile,
the greenery,
the SHIPLAP,
the reclaimed barnwood,
the custom farm tables
& the comedy of Chipper Gaines!!!

Oh, my word!!!
Tuesday night has become a TRUE guilty pleasure!
I love that show!

2. The Fitbit

For the love!!

I never ever thought I would love the fitbit, but now I cannot be without it!


Owen gave me one for Christmas & I absolutely love it!
(got to love how that boy gets out on Black Friday and shops for his mama)

The first day I wore it I was feeling all smug & snarky because I was going to show everybody that I "walked the talk"....

Well, it was just a regular day for me & I was (mildly shocked &) horrified at the end of the day to see that I had barely taken 5,000 steps! (insert bug eyed emoji here)

I found out immediately, (I am a big lazy butt)  I was not getting after it like I thought! This little bracelet has really made me step up my game!! Now, I am hitting 10,000 steps before I even pick my kids up from school everyday & I feel AMAZING!! God definitely made our bodies to move!

Here's a link to the one I have (this is an affiant link). I wear the small comfortably with three notches left on the band.

Get one, you will love it!


3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

I mean really...
a sequel with every original cast member returning!


Pure Gold!!
(even the old grandmother...HOW is she still alive!??!)

I can't even...
I cannot WAIT to see this movie!
Can. Not. Wait!


4. Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (the original version)


P Daddy is always laughing at me because I am such a messy eater. I have lovely table manners, but I am unable to get food into my mouth without spilling it down the front of my shirt!

I need an adult bib.

Did you know that if you put Dawn on a grease stain (the story of my salad eating life) and let it sit for a few hours, it will come out in the wash?!

Just squeeze the Dawn out on the stain, let it lay flat for a little while, then toss it in the washer (don't rinse the Dawn off). If it is still there after washing try again, but leave it overnight. I have pulled clothes out of the give away pile and revived them using this trick, it works!

Amen!

5. Easter is March 27th this year...

I don't know WHY Easter cannot just be in April every year instead of this silly holiday guessing game! Nobody has time for that!!

My kids are on spring break in March & we host our big family for Easter so I am trying to get a leg up on my baskets (even though I literally JUST did Valentines...it never ends).

This is the CUTEST little Easter basket project!


Hop (pun intended) over to the Krazy Coupon Lady blog to see the step by step instructions on how to make them.

Well, I've got to dash off and get some stuff done here...we are just a junk drawer away from an episode of Hoarders!



This is not a picture of my house...((not yet anyway))...hold me!!!!


Thanks for stopping in for a visit, I've missed you guys!

I'll be back to share some books for my fellow book nerds. Mwah!!

Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday!

Mandy





Monday, February 22, 2016

Hello From the Other Side...of Crazytowne

{I must have started this post a thousand times...}

Dear Crazytowne Friends,

{Waving}

It's so great to see you!!!

I wanted to pop in here today because I have a bit of an announcement to make.

You might have noticed (perhaps), that I have been taking a little break from blogging lately (but haven't missed a second sharing idiotic cat videos and fattening recipes on Facebook...).

In the past few months, I've been feeling a little funny (unsure & indecisive....) about my blogging "job" (job meaning something that you do to get paid). After taking a bit of a break from it & reflecting, I have realized why I've been feeling that way...

This time last year I decided to take my blogging to a different level and try to earn an income for the time I spent rambling on & sharing my crafty projects.

Well, long story short...I have decided that I am not going to pursue blogging for profit anymore.

Here are a few quick reasons why (in case you were wondering, I know my mother is reading on here):

1. Blogging for the intention of "making a profit" has been very uninspiring. It has just not felt genuine to me at all. I started to feel like I was blogging for the sake of posting a link that someone might buy something from and not being true to my readers who originally came to this blog for a laugh about the personal struggles and craziness of parenting & a spark of creative inspiration.

2. Blogging for the intention of "making a profit" also seemed to be taking me away from directing my readers toward love and grace. I have always tried to use my platform on social media to help or inspire other moms. I've loved being able to share motivation and spiritual growth here on the blog.

3. Blogging for the intention of "making a profit" started to make me feel like a big phony. I love to shop and decorate and all that good stuff, but I don't do it all the time (cough, P Daddy might argue with that statement...).

I love to help others, lift them up, donate my time or donate money if needed. I don't want people to read this blog and think "she's out of touch with reality on Planet Lilly Pulitzer for Target"...

I can assure you I am 100% in touch with reality. I am tough on my kids, I am a cheerleader for hard work and getting after it, I clip coupons, I hunt for bargains, I cook, I clean...I am just a plain old, simple little housewife! Plain Jane, all the way!

So, long story short...I have decided that I am not going to pursue blogging for profit anymore. I'm going to back to plain Jane, simple blogging for fun (with an occasional affiliate link). ;)

I hope you will come back and visit again soon, we have got a ton of catching up to do!!!!

Thank you Crazy Crafty Southern Mama friends for stopping by to visit today, I'm so tickled that you did!

I'll be back with some fun crafty, thrifty, bargain hunting, coupon clipping, spray paint craziness soon.

Mwah,

Mandy


Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Santa {Mama's Christmas List}



Hello there, friends!!

Every year my family complains that I am somewhat (cough) "impossible to buy for" (cough)...

I can't figure out WHY they say this, since I share my Christmas wishes on the blog every year (with LINKS)...

I guess they are just not subscribers to Crafty Southern Mama...ha!

That's ok...they get to enjoy my rambling nonsense in person. ;)

Christmas would be SO MUCH easier if everyone would get on Facebook or a blog and share their wish list, don't you think?

Well, in case they do pop in here and read...

here are a few things on this Mama's Christmas list for 2015

& maybe this will give you guys some gift ideas for your own (cough) somewhat impossible to buy people for on your list. ;)



I am all out of my beloved Aveda Tea...it is a wonderful treat!

Aveda 'Comforting' Tea Bags


I'm hoping that Santa will bring me a copy of Beth Moore's new book,
Audacious




Or Jen Hatmaker's book,
For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards




I have really started using Essential Oils more and would LOVE an oil diffuser!

I love this one that looks like wood, ((it's much less ugly than the ones I've seen on the Young Living & DoTerra sites & cheaper too)).

Now Foods Ultrasonic Wood Grain Oil Diffuser

Now Foods Ultrasonic Wood Grain Oil Diffuser





I love Lauren James long sleeve tees (medium).
They are so soft & sassy!




I've had my eye on these Tortoise colored Ray Bans for five forevers!
Nordstrom is price matching right now, so you can snag them at 20% off!!

Men's Ray-Ban 'New Wayfarer' 55mm Sunglasses - Tortoise

 
I fell in love with these knit pajamas at Target the other day, they're Nick & Nora brand.
((KNIT, not flannel...whew, too hot))

They're so soft & comfy...I love pajamas...LOVE!!!




I keep going back & looking at this special value Estee Lauder set...you get SOOOOOO much stuff & such a great price! I would LOVE one of these!

Product Image


I could use a new cap, since a certain high school boy I know has stolen all of mine...ahem.
(use the code EARLYFRIDAY this week to get 25% off at Country Club Prep)




I love Christmas decorations...

these Pottery Barn pillows....

Painted Santa Claus Pillow CoverMerry Christmas Pillow Cover


or any of their Santa dinnerware or napkins....
oh, those are so happy!!!




and I would love a new jacket!

I have worn out my gray Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket...it is my favorite!!
 
This Blue one in a size Medium would tickle me to death!

Women's Patagonia 'Better Sweater' Button Front Shirred Coat
 
 
 
 


I really & truly do not need a thing,

To be honest...
I'd much rather have my little family gathered for a meal at the dinner table a couple of nights a week and a date night with my hubby every once & a while...

the older I get,
those are the things that really mean more to me than anything else.


But if you're feeling all gifty, then this list is for you...
(but don't forget to let ME know what you really want too). ;)


Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Tomorrow we are talking about COOKIES!
Get ready, baking buddies!!

Have a beautiful Monday!!

Mwah,

Mandy
 
 
 

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