Monday, November 24, 2014

Motivation on Monday...Stronger

Good Monday Morning!!

Welcome to the calm before the storm...
haha!

The Monday before Thanksgiving,
the Monday before the kick-off of
THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

I think I am ready to embrace the craziness that the holidays bring.
That's really the fun part,
the lists,
the shopping,
the wrapping,
the baking,
the hugs,
the kisses,
the love,
everything is a little bit more magical than normal,
as a matter a fact NOTHING is really normal during the holidays & 
I think that's what I love the most.

Motivation might be a little deep today...(warning) ;)

I've mentioned a few times that I have been doing an independent bible study called Stronger, by Angela Thomas. It has been a very challenging year for me personally. I won't invite you to my pity party...I'm stronger than that now. But, I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed this bible study...and how much STRONGER (safer & secure) I feel in my heart because it has jerked me up, slapped me across the face, and strengthened my understanding & my relationship with God. If you or someone you know is struggling with a loss or going through a challenging time, I highly recommend this little book.




I want to share some motivation that has made me feel a bit stronger. I want to start right off with this:

DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING YOU'RE PUTTING UP WITH.

Now, don't be mad at me for saying that.
This is hard.
So hard.
I KNOW it's hard!

Don't talk about,
don't whine about it,
just don't.
It's not attractive at all.

Rip up that pity party invitation &
get down on your knees and give it to God.
He is stronger than your struggles!

Pin Source

I challenge you to REMEMBER YOUR WORTH.
You ARE amazing,
beautiful,
wonderful,
hard working,
devoted,
dedicated,
giving,
loving...
You ARE!

You are a fabulous,
one of a kind,
exotic treasure,
created personally by Him!

You ARE...
and you definitely are GOOD ENOUGH!

Change can be a wonderful thing,
a new hair do, losing weight, etc...
but do it FOR YOU!

If you find yourself constantly trying to prove this to someone in your life,
well...
it sounds to me like that person might be the one who needs to do some proving...

God will not ever leave you,
He will always think you're enough.



Don't complain &
stop entertaining people who do not appreciate the amazing person that you are!

You is good,
You is smart,
and
You is important...
so important to Him!


pin source

If you are feeling broken or lost,
I'm here this Monday morning to remind you...
YOU ARE all those wonderful, amazing things. 
And there is nothing in your life that is stronger than God.


pin source


so, always remember this...
fill your mind with WHATEVER!
(Philippians 4:8)
(pin source)


then,
rip up those pity party invites &
go out and do this ;)

pin source

Because you have an amazing, kind, giving heart.
Share it with everyone you meet. ♥

You're ready now...
Go on out there
& kick Monday's butt! ;)

Wishing y'all the calmest, stress free Monday before Thanksgiving!
I'm so thankful for all of you sweet friends!

Mwah,

Mandy



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dressing Mama...Holiday Spiffy

The holidays are coming up fast...
are you ready!?!

It's a wonderful, busy time
& I know us Mamas want to look our best
(because those sneaky familyrazzi members will jump out with a camera when we least expect it).

((and nobody wants ugly, hideous photos haunting us for years to come, tisk))

Let's talk about getting holiday spiffy...

((even though we wish we were dressing in our yoga pants & a sweatshirt)).

I've been looking though my closet trying to put together some holiday spiffy outfits. I do better if I group a few things that way they're staring at me when I get in the closet later, stressing out about WHAT ON EARTH AM I GOING TO WEAR?!!

(on a slight sidebar)

I talked about booties last week, paired with skinny jeans. I didn't love the booties I ordered, so I went hunting again & found these...

TOMS wedge booties...on sale!!!
25% OFF select TOMs styles for Women, Men and Kids at Nordstrom! FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.


These have a little bit higher heel than what I originally wanted,
but they are so awesome & surprisingly comfortable...
I'm going to wear them anyway!

Anyway, back to outfits...
I've been grouping some things in my closet,
that's one simple way to keep yourself sane after you've baked, shopped, & wrapped yourself into stupidity come December 24th at 4:30pm when your family is photo ready & you just got out of the shower. (yes, every year)

Some people get dressed up really fancy & I do love that,
but in reality my family is a pretty casual crowd
(no complaints, I can assure you)...
so it's fairly easy to be holiday spiffy
(when the bar is low, ahem). ;)

I admit it, I love preppy!
Nothing makes me feel prettier than a little preppy outfit...
some plaid, some pearls...

I don't even try to be "sexy",
me trying to dress "sexy" is just awkward...
it doesn't work for me at all!

Wear what makes you feel pretty,
if you feel pretty,
you feel confident &
I think confidence is so much more sexy than (well) being awkward. ;)

Of course, I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration!
I love how these outfits are really just basic everyday wear,
but they're finished with a scarf or a necklace to give them some Christmas fluff.
You probably have everything in your closet already to pull these looks off!





I started looking & found some really darling holiday spiffy pieces that I love...

I LOVE this tartan plaid scarf, just $24!
When dressing for the holidays, you can never go wrong with a tartan...
(click on the picture for more info)

Y'all know I LOVE Kut from the Kloth jeans,
these charcoal corduroy skinny jeans are fabulous!!
(click on the picture to find your size)




& then there's this rad RED Michael Kors quilted vest...

I am such a fool for vests lately,
like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future... ;)





Pull the whole thing together with this awesome belt!
So sassy!!
I am loving a leopard print with tartan plaid...
mix & match the pieces,
toss in some pearls...
you've got a fun little outfit going right there! 
(Click on the picture & snag one for yourself)





Now...

Don't forget that being holiday spiffy includes your beautiful mama face.
(& that reminds me, I am out of my favorite lipstick....it's always something)

I noticed that it's Bonus Time at Clinique Nordstorm.
Don't miss Clinique Bonus time, an $85 value, now at Nordstrom! FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.

I have used Clinique brand pretty much my entire life,
from their make-up to face cleaning.
I can't wear their moisturizer, though...
it's too greasy for daily wear for me.

My favorite is the CHUBBY stick...
my tiny friend, Carrie turned me on to these.
Goes on like a chapstick & lasts for hours...love!!



I also really like their high impact extreme mascara...


and from a previous bonus time, I discovered that their nail polish is the bomb!
I was so surprised!


Ah...shopping for mama...
the ultimate guilty pleasure! Ha!


Well...
Meanwhile, back in reality...
Thanksgiving is next week...
NEXT WEEK!!!
I am so excited about seeing family &
eating,
I love eating! ;)

Evan & I are making some of these this weekend to take to school for his class.



They are seriously cute &
SO easy!
Here's a link to the original post & printable.

I know you're itching to go group some holiday spiffy in your closet,
so I'll leave you with this...
(you can tell I am a professional at selfies, I think that makes 5 total for me)



I haven't even told my mother yet,
how ridiculous are you if you're over 40 &
still get nervous about telling your mama something!!
I want to see if she notices...
my hair...
it's a little bit longer all the sudden.

I'll be back to chat about that adventure soon.

MAMA'S FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY is being postponed until next week, a couple of things I wanted to share have not arrived in the mail yet.

But I do have two fun things to tell you about tomorrow.
Grab a coffee, come back & visit.

So glad you stopped by today.
Wishing y'all a wonderful evening!

Mwah,

Mandy










Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Tuesday...Christmas Card Crafts

Yay, so great to see you!!

Welcome to
Crafty Southern Mama's
How To Tuesday!

Today I'm revisiting a couple of old blog entries to show you how to get creative with those wonderful Christmas cards that you are going to find when you go peeking in your mailbox next month.



Christmas cards are seriously one of my FAVORITE things about the holidays, I LOVE to get cards, I LOVE to see pictures of our little friends and see how much they have grown! 


First let me tell you about the Christmas Card Tree.

I made one of these about three years ago.
(way back before our foyer remodel) 


This photo below shows how it has evolved...
I've slapped a little color on it...
added a little moss & garnish
(& have a much brighter front door).

This is early in the season...
displaying the early bird cards (beloved). ;)

 
I now have that baby on a lazy susan, turning & admiring from every angle...



Last year, I found these super cute clothes pin clips in the $1 bin (somewhere, maybe Target?).



I just pulled off the twine
(& probably used that for something else, I adore twine...).
And those cuties clipped my cards to the branches perfectly.

((plaid + moose + beloved little friends on cards = happy mama))






Here's the original post on how to make one (it's seriously SOOOO easy).

How To Make a Christmas Card Tree

Now, after the Christmas season is over & your Christmas card tree is put away until next year. You have a stack of beloved little blessings, pictures & cards...I know you don't want to thrown them away!!

For a long time I kept cards from previous years in a Christmas tin & we would get them out and enjoy them again the next year when we (& when I say we, I mean me) decorated...

And then one year the tin would not close. Ha!

So, I got on pinterest & found this really cute idea...



Christmas Card Blessing Rings.

I wish I could find the original pin because that blogger had such a sweet post about it.
This picture above came from her blog, do any of you guys recognize?
I would love to find her blog again!

These are so very simple to put together.
Last year I had my kids make the ring with the previous year's cards
& they loved that I trusted them with those beloved cards & pictures like that!

((Despite the fact that))
Evan said he was not speaking to me today
(for making him sleep in his own room last night)
((do you promise?))
((I'm joking...))
((maybe))...
I'm sure he will forget after school,
because I will make him some hot chocolate &
put kisses all over his dimpled cheeks...
ahem. ;)

I'm going to have him do a ring with last year's cards when he gets home.
He's got mad skills with the hole puncher...

Here's a shot of our little china cabinet,
holding some blessing rings on the knobs.
So festive! 





Here's the link to the original tutorial:

How To Make Christmas Card Blessing Rings

If you decide to make either of these, I would LOVE to see them!
Please share your creations from How To Tuesday over on the Crafty Southern Mama Facebook page
I would just be so tickled if you did! :)

Thank you so much for stopping in to visit today.
I hope you are able to use these tutorials at home.

Please give me a holler if you have any questions,
I am happy to help and I would love to hear from you.

There's a LOT going on this week on the blog...
some Dressing Mama (remember, no mama left behind),
a sponsor spotlight,
a serious before & after....oh, my goodness I can't wait to share that!!!

And on Friday...
it's time once again for Crafty Southern Mama's FAVORITE THINGS giveaway...
remember the last one?



I seriously love to share my favorite things with my favorite blogging friends!

One box full of goodness for one winner...
that's coming up on Friday!

Yay!!!

Gotta get busy here, friends!

I'm so glad you stopped by!
Have a fabulous How To Tuesday!

Mwah!

Mandy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivation on Monday!

Some people need more motivation than others on Monday...



((I think someone is worn plum out from sleeping in his own bedroom last night.))

Baby steps...

I definitely need motivation...
This is what our Monday morning looks like:


Frozen, slushy, mushy...
Mercy!

I am blogging this motivation from my happy place...(er, the place that makes me feel much nicer after I've visited)...


Yep.
Get after it on Monday!

Here's a few that I love...


Help someone every single day. You can't help everyone...but your kindness; even if it's just a smile, can make a difference. 


Live a grateful life, be humble, be kind, love with your whole heart. 

And...


Stop that crap right now. 
Keep your standards high and do not tolerate others being ugly...just don't!

Well, I gotta go...
It's time to turn up the speed & run. 
Sweat it out! ;)

I'll leave you with this adorableness...


Love Smokey!!!


Come back & visit, LOTS coming up on the blog this week!!
Some dressing mama fun, How To Tuesday crafts, a sponsor spotlight feature, AND the big giveaway "Mama's Favorite Things" will run on Friday (sharing the love with my blogging friends, my FAVORITE!!).
 

Stay warm friends,
Happy Monday!

Mwah!

Mandy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Things on Friday...Nibbles


Oh, my goodness!!!
This week flew right by me!!!

Here are some random things on my mind this week...

1. The Time Change. I don't want to be a whiner, but....WHY do they not do away with this! I want to put on my jammies every afternoon at 4:30!!!! If I had a genie with three wishes, I swear that would be one of them!!!

2. This week (possibly against my better judgment) I stared reading The Shack. Don't tell me, I know it is going to make me squall like a baby! I don't know why I decided to read it. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm still doing my independent bible study, Stronger by Angela Thomas...oh, it's good!



3. Speaking of bible study...it has been brought to my (yes, I have been living under a rock) attention that there is a lovely young singer called "Lorde". Um...no, ma'am...you are not Lord(e), that would be the one & only Jesus...thank you, get a new name. The end.

4. Hardwood in the Master Bedroom!! It's going down, baby!! My darling friend & sponsor, Elizabeth Scruggs of Superior Construction & Design is taking care of it for us. I'll be popping in next week to tell y'all about it & share a before & after (cause I do love those). :)

5. The Blanket Scarf. It has been freezing this week...freeeeeeeeezing! I have got the Blanket Scarf ON MY MIND! What are your thoughts, could you love them...too much scarf? I ordered one from Groopdealz today, I cannot wait to put that sassy thing on!



6. It is 5:05 & black dark outside. Did I mention my disdain for this? (((Wallowing, whining & wailing that it is dark at 5pm...)))

7. The Mockingjay movie. Next Friday night I am going to the movies. It's true! I am going to rock those (slightly uncomfortable) closed captioning glasses, because I am chomping at the bit to see this new Hunger Games movie!!!! Are you a fan?  Have you read the books (oh, they are SO good)? If not, you simply must give them a shot.



8. My mother in law asked me this morning what I was wanting for Christmas this year. I could think of only two things that would make my heart go pitter patter this holiday season...ironically that would be gym clothes or pajamas!!! Yes, I am a walking contradiction...gym rat slash lazy (um) person.

9. Thanksgiving Day Shoppers. It is the middle of November & "those people" are out in full force. The ones over on the Facebook carrying pitch forks & waving torches because some stores are choosing to open on Thanksgiving day. I agree that everyone should get time with their families but, alas nurses, emergency room people, emergency vehicle people, military personnel, etc work every Thanksgiving and no one is revving a chainsaw over that. Sigh. That's all I'll say about that topic.

10. Speaking of Thanksgiving...today I started putting out my Christmas decorations!!! Ha! I'm definitely sharing a Christmas Open House post again this year. How else would I know where all this stuff goes? Every year I open those boxes & think "well, what is this!?!" ;)



& 11. tomorrow is the LAST DAY to order from Priceless Creations. Paige is closing for the holidays & will be back in 2015 (oh my gosh, can you believe it will be 2015!?!?).

Mention that you saw them on Crafty Southern Mama blog & get 15% off your total order!! 



Wishing y'all the most wonderful, warm November weekend!

Mwah!

Mandy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

On My Nightstand...Ruth's Journey, Mammy from Gone With the Wind

I finished reading this wonderful book last week.




Ruth's Journey,
The story of Mammy
from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind
by Donald McCaig.

I enjoyed it so, so much!

I am not sure if it really was a GREAT book or if I just loved it so much because I was so engrossed in the characters. Like if you have a dream about someone that you love who as passed away...you could be wading through a pool of piranhas and not even notice it because you are clinging, CLINGING to every detail about that person you love & miss so much.

(it was not quite the same thing, but just similar)
((I'm crazy about Gone With the Wind, but not that crazy))
((ok, I am that crazy...shush))

I cannot elaborate on details without giving away or spoiling the story for you, but I will say that this book did not exactly collaborate with the sequel to Gone With the Wind, Alexandria Ripley's Scarlett. This was a tad annoying, but after reading on & considering it; the way Donald McCaig told it made so much more sense.

If you enjoyed Gone With the Wind the book, movie, the Scarlett book, etc. I think you will really enjoy this story. When you finish, go ahead & try Rhett Butler's People, also by Donald McCaig. That one is a true favorite of mine that I will probably read again one day soon.

I have a couple of new books uploaded onto my Nook...
I can't wait to get after them later this week.

What's on your nightstand this month?

I do love a good book!

I'm working on getting Sneaky E to bed,
the little rat has been awful about sleeping in our bedroom floor lately.
I'm afraid I have spoiled this one so rotten...
Olivia says he will be like Will Ferrell in the movie Stepbrothers,
still living at home & sleeping at the foot of our bed when he's 25!

That is hilarious,
except for the part where it's so not...
8 1/2 years old is way too old to not sleep in your own room.

Any advice on getting a giant mama's boy to sleep upstairs?

I'm sitting here blogging on the laptop...
and he's finally fallen asleep.

I'm making my move...
heading downstairs to start my new book.

Shhhhhh....

Mandy







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