Friday, July 20, 2018

Fashion Friday - Prime Wardrobe

Hello All!  I have a short and sweet post for Fashion Friday :)  This weekend is my work summer party, and I needed to find a pink dress to wear for the occasion.  I figured there was no better time to try out Amazon's Prime Wardrobe service to see how it works.

What is it?  Amazon Prime members can use this new service called Prime Wardrobe - essentially you select up to 8 pieces of clothing in your prime wardrobe cart, they send to you and you have 7 days to try on to purchase or send back.  I was able to do this easily from the Amazon App...

I chose 6 dresses in varying shades of pink in prices ranging from $30-69. 
I ordered Monday and they arrived Thursday.
I realized when I got them that two of the dresses were for little girls, not grown ups๐Ÿ˜‚
So, that was two down right there.  
I tried one on, and it was way too small (someone had one too many pieces of birthday cake).
That left me with the three options:



 This is what they looked like in person:

SO which, did I choose???
I'll share that with you from McCoy Farm tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

House Number Sign

Easiest craft of the summer alert!!!
Hi Folks! I wanted to share the house number sign I made.  I have been trying to spruce up the ole front porch, since it has become the place I like to hang the most these days.  

I love how people creatively and classically display their house numbers!  There are so many cool things you can do with your house numbers as the subject.  One very clever friend gifted us cocktail napkins with just our house number on it as a house warming gift!!  

At our house, I had envisioned numbers above the front steps on the trim, but since I change my mind like the wind, I decided to add hooks to attach a sign. 

To make this sign, I found just the right piece from our massive scrap wood collection (thanks Red Maple Treehouse), painted, sanded and waxed with some Annie Sloan Paris Grey, and attached the numbers and loops for the hooks.  (Quick shout out to my friends at Sophie's Fine Gifts and Collectibles in Chickamauga, GA for being fabulous Annie Sloan Stockists!!)

Pretty quick and fun little project and I really love the result.  We also added some hanging baskets on the walls on either side of the front door.  

Next up, some painting to freshen up AND the yellow front door!!!!! 


Sizing the numbers to fit on the sign.

All painted, ready for sanding to add a little more attitude, then wax to seal.

Hammered those numbers on there and added the loops to hook on to the house.

Hanging Cute!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Charleston Adventures, 2018

Happy Summer, Friends!!

Whew, it has been a HOT one here in middle Tennessee!

Last month we grabbed the kids & snuck off for a long weekend in one of our favorite cities, Charleston, SC! We absolutely LOVE the holy city, but you might have already guessed that if you have read one of my previous posts about Charleston, here, here, and also here.

So much love! 

Well, this trip was short but we packed it full of fun adventures & had PERFECT weather!
I could not believe our good luck when we arrived in Charleston and were greeted by 86 degrees & a BREEZE!

(Because it was hotter than poppa bear's porridge in Nashville when we left, shew!)

We stayed at our favorite hotel, the Belmond Charleston Place. This is the first time we have stayed there with our kids and I'm pretty sure this place knocked their little socks off because it is gorgeous & quite fancy!

I came up with this theory immediately because as soon as we got in our room Evan says TAKE MY PICTURE!!
Baha!!



This year Charleston Place hotel opened a new rooftop bar outside the pool on the 4th floor. This is for hotel guests only and you have sign in to use the pool/bar area when you come though the spa lobby to get to the pool.




It was gorgeous up there! The bar area overlooks King Street and on the opposite side you have a perfect view of the Cooper River Bridge (which is stunning at night). We had the best time lounging, swimming, reading (well, I did some reading) and slurping fruity beverages (also me).



(little copycat is slurping a nonalcoholic drink, by the way)

The best part was the sunset view,
which was just amazing and peaceful!




One fun thing we did on this trip was a GHOST TOUR!

We've been visiting Charleston for 20 years and this is the first time we've gotten around to doing one of these. I think this wait was partly because there are SO MANY different ghost tours to choose from and we can never make up our mind, we end up arguing about it & then say forget it! Plus, our kids were too small for a period of that time but this time they were the perfect ages (16 & 12).

We found this wonderful (and I do mean ABSOLUTELY DIVINE) bookstore across the street from Fleet Landing after lunch on Saturday. (Fleet Landing is amazing, reservations are recommended)



Buxton Books and tours is a new regionally focused bookstore on the corner of Cumberland Street in Historic Charleston.

All the books are southern themed, by southern authors...

Y'all!!
I could have stayed in there all afternoon, it was divine!!!

While we were in there we decided to make reservations to do their ghost tour for that night. The tour is two hours long and based on the stories in Julian Buxton's book, The Ghosts of Charleston.
(which I bought a copy of & read through that afternoon before the tour)
((because it is hard to read lips in the dark & I didn't want to be completely lost))



The tour starts at the book store and ended in a cemetery just off of King Street.
We did the 7-9 tour and it was just getting good & dark when the tour ended in the cemetery. It was a very interesting tour, so many good stories! It was not really scary, but it was pretty creepy at the end! If you are interested in doing a tour, this one was pretty good!


ANOTHER fun thing we did this time was a CARRIAGE RIDE!

I know, right!
How on earth have we gone to Charleston for the last 20 years and NOT done one!!

Aaron & I did one at night when were there one December a few years ago. It was short and we sang Christmas carols and it was all sorts of merry fun! I've wanted to do a daytime tour ever since!

I booked a carriage ride through Expedia before we even left home (I also booked our hotel room through Expedia and saved quite a bit of money). We lucked out & ended up booking with the nicest carriage company of all of them, the Palmetto Carriage Company...ON THE NICEST FRIDAY EVENING in June that ever existed in the state of South Carolina (85 degrees with a glorious breeze)...it was the most delightfully satisfying 30 minutes of our whole trip! 




 Our guide was animated and interesting, and the carriage itself was very well maintained. If you're headed to Charleston, we definitely recommend this company.



The rest of the trip we walked, and walked, and walked, and I might have cried one time because my feet hurt so bad, but I kept it to myself because no self respecting southerner cries from walking in Charleston unless it's tears of happiness.

We debated about doing a couple of house tours, but Aaron & I had already done both of these and just decided to take the kids to wander around on the property and read the signs instead. This turned out to be so perfect because in all the years we've wandered the streets south of Broad, they have never stepped off the sidewalk and into one of those magical looking private gardens.

They were both quite enchanted
(but of course they would never admit that outright to the parentals)…




Because, let's be honest...they were really more interested in getting out of the heat & back into the pool (& Olivia was devising a strategy to get up to Urban Outfitters & ditch her family)…

We stopped by they elegant Nathaniel-Russel House and Museum, which is just amazing & I highly recommend this home if you're interested in seeing an elegant southern mansion...

"Opulence. Splendor. Grandeur. Just a few of the words that describe the architecture, the works of art, and the lifestyle of an elite 19th-century family."

The gardens are pretty amazing too.




Then, we stopped by the beautiful Calhoun Mansion which is pretty much the craziest thing I have ever seen (on the inside)! It is the opposite of the Nathaniel-Russel House in every way!

SO MUCH STUFF in there, y'all!!
It's all so very beautiful, but I could not believe all the stuff! It was like a Civil War edition of Hoarders!

The garden is also pretty over the top. We had fun wandering through and reading about the fountains and fixtures.




All in all, it was just the most perfect little family getaway (minus our giant child, don't get me started crying about that). We had the best time relaxing, eating & making memories in our favorite city!



If you're thinking about visiting Charleston, we highly recommend you GET THERE AS FAST AS YOU CAN (because you will LOVE it). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by to visit with us today!
I hope y'all are relaxing by the pool and enjoying this beautiful summer weather!

I'll be back to talk about a project that I'm working on here at the house (also being referred to as the day I spent $100 to paint my bathroom the exact same color)…(Lord, have mercy).

Happy weekend, friends!
Mwah,

Mandy

Sweaty photo from brunch at the haunted {according to Buton's book} Poogan's Porch.
Chicken & Waffles, baby!!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fashion on Friday - Kim's Summer Staples

Hello everyone!!!  Mandy is enjoying one of our most favorite places - Charleston๐Ÿ this week, so it's my turn to share some of my favorite summer styles for Fashion Friday.

This year, I have really been trying to pick things I can wear way into the fall and keep for more than summer.  
(Simplifying in my hot mess closet will have to be a whole other blog post!)

Here are some pieces that I have been loving since the weather turned warm (in the South that means: hot, humid and spotty/strong thunderstormish). 

During the summer I'm in office two days a week and the other days I am in Kidventure mode, so generally my wardrobe is casual with some color.  I tend to pick one or two bottoms that can go with lots of different tops.  

I will attempt to actually try these and show how they fit me on Instagram over the next few days too, you know how very talented Mandy and I are with modeling๐Ÿ˜‚

Monday, June 25, 2018

Kidventure ~ McCoy Farm, Signal Mountain, TN



Our Kidventure this week was to a beautiful spot right here on Signal Mountain.  McCoy Farm is a lovely mountain homestead dating back to the late 1860s situated as the perfect stop along the old path going up Walden's Ridge.
I created my very first video to share with you - our Kidventure Vlog - the sound is inconsistent and a little weird, and my pictures could use more editing, but it sure was fun putting it together to share.  Now I need to hit some editing classes!! Any recommendations?


Friday, June 22, 2018

Stylish Southern Mama's Fashion on Friday, Summertime!

Happy Friday, friends!!

Welcome to Fashion on Friday for the Stylish Southern Mama!
Kim had a crazy week so I am sharing again this week in her place. I'm pretty psyched to see what she will share next Friday. She is truly the finder of all the cool things!

Until then, you get to hang out with me again...{the somewhat stylish southern mama who dresses like a senior citizen circa 1989}.๐Ÿ˜‚

Here's a quick post with a few things I found this week:
(some links are affiliate)

It's been a pretty fun week here at our house!
Olivia has been celebrating her birthday all month long (with no plans to stop it anytime soon).
#cantstopwontstop

I don't know how on earth she is 16 years old already,
but yet she is!


We celebrated with some of her friends in Nashville this week.

Here she's wearing a cute off the shoulder top I got her at H&M recently. It's a soft cotton fabric with little plumeti dots, it looked so pretty on her.

She absolutely LOVES that store & I will endure going in there because their clothes are CHEAP!
You can get some really good deals in there and the quality is decent.
(unfortunately I cannot say the same about some of some other stores she likes that I have been forced to enter, please kill me right now...)

Speaking of H&M, I fell in love with this print when I saw it in person!

How cute is this little floral off the shoulder dress!!!
It's just $12.99!
There's a wrap dress version of this print also, it's $34.99.

(I do hate those shoes tho, blah...so uncomfortable...sorry, I won't do it)



Here are a few other things that have caught my eye recently:

Milumia One Shoulder Floral Top

This print is SO pretty!
I LOVE a one shoulder top, 
I can be a little trendy without feeling like I am completely naked! 

Don't forget to click the coupon box on this listing and get $1 off (making this one just $17.99).






Plumberry One Shoulder Black Gingham Check Top

I've had my eye on this top for a few weeks & the price just went down to $19.99 so I think I'm going to order it for our vacation later this summer. 


I think it will look so cute with my coveted Vigoss jeans that I mentioned last week!
(they say true to size, but I sized up to the 30 & they're perfect)




Unpublished Greta Crop Wide Leg Capris
(links below)

I bought these adorable pants at a local shop, Beauty Boutique & Skincare Spa.
They are the cutest pants ever!

(modeling these cute pants is Necole, shop owner slash local rockstar)


You can contact them directly to buy a pair over the phone (they will ship), they are so, so cute!

Here are a few similar versions I found at Nordstrom:

Madewell Emmett Crops

Madewell Hudson Crops (omg, I need these too!!!)

JCrew Point Sur Wide Leg Crops in White (can you even!!!)

and speaking of JCrew,
those pants (denim or the white) would look darling with this knit tie back top (on sale right now for $11.80...RUN, DO NOT WALK):

JCrew Tie Back Striped Top



or this super soft cotton boatneck striped top which is on sale for $27.65
(GIVE ME ALL THE STRIPED TOPS)

JCrew Stripe Boat Neck Tee




AND lastly, since I'm talking about JCrew brand...

Here's a sassy outfit option for a stylish southern mama!
I need this in my closet, ASAP!

JCrew Flower Raffia Earrings
JCrew Sleeveless Cotton Shirt Dress in Navy
Treasure & Bond Platform Wedges (these are a MUST HAVE, y'all)



I do love it when preppy meets patriotic!

Cute, cute, cute!!

Well, that's all I've got this week.

Have you guys found any good stuff?
I would love to see!
Share below in the comments or send me a link to your finds at mandy@craftysouthernmama.com.

I'm hopping up to get ready for another fun day of birthday celebration!!

Happy Friday, stylish friends!

Mwah,

Mandy


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Reading List {from the Crafty Southern Mama Book Nerd}


Hello, Crafty Southern Mama Book Nerd friends!!

Happy FIRST DAY of Sumer!!

I thought since today was officially the first day of summer (and lots of you were probably hitting the road for vacation), it would be the perfect day to share a list of GREAT BOOKS for summer reading!

(Be sure to check #CSMBookNerd on Instagram for all my suggestions & add this hashtag when sharing your faves too so we can all keep up with the best books) ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“š❤️ 

Here are some good ones that I have read lately!


1. Dreams of Falling by Karen White



I am a huge fan of Karen White!
I finished her newest book over the weekend & now I’m having a really hard time trying to figure out which one of hers is my favorite! This one is full of southern families, old traditions, backstories & secrets, I loved it!

Other books by Karen White that I loved:

The Night the Lights Went Out:

Spinning the Moon

A Long Time Gone

The Tradd Street series


2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena




I took this book on our trip to Gulf Shores for a softball tournament during spring break (I like to have a crazy story to distract me on the plane).
THIS BOOK was so thrilling!
It had me hanging on every single page, right up to the end!
I highly recommend it!

Other books by this same author:

A Stranger in the House (not as good, but still a very good read)


3. Jefferson's Sons, a Founding Father's Secret by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley




My aunt shared this one with me last month & I am SO glad that she did! I would have never bought this one for myself to read because it is a young adult book (she is a retired middle school English teacher, old habits...).

I enjoyed this one so much, it was very well written. If you're a fan of historical stories, I think you will love it too!

Similar books you might like:

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray 


4. The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers




Francine Rivers is undeniably my MOST FAVORITE author!
I bought this book when it was released, but could not bring myself to crack it open because I knew it was going to be GOOD & didn't want to gobble it up (because once it's over, it's over & I'm totally a weirdo about avoiding closure)

I waited until I had a week of few interruptions and savored each page. This one was indeed a Masterpiece, you will not be disappointed!

Other books by Francine Rivers that you might enjoy:

Redeeming Love (so good)

The Mark of the Lion series (LIFE CHANGING good!! Seriously, buy that box set ASAP)

Bridge to Haven (similar to Redeeming Love, very sweet)



5. Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim




This is a sequel book to Laila Ibrahim's book Yellow Crocus (read that one first). This is a very different perspective from the old south books that I have read like Gone With the Wind. Both books are short, well written and very thought provoking.

Other books like these that you might enjoy:

The Refiner's Fire series by Lynn Austin
Candle in the Darkness
Fire by Night
A Light to My Path



6. 52 Things Sons Need from Their Moms by Angela Thomas




This book needs it's own post!
It was SO very good!
I think I might have already mentioned this book on the blog, but it deserves a repeat!
If you are a mom of boys, stop right now & order this book!
Do it!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Other Angela Thomas books you might enjoy:

Do You Know Who I am (& Other Brave Questions Women Ask) (this lame cover does not do this book justice, it will jerk you up by the scruff of your neck)

When Wallflowers Dance (Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence)

Stronger (Finding Hope in Fragile Places)
(this is such a great bible study that can be done independently)


7. The Last Mrs Parrish by  Liv Constantine 




Oh, this crazy book!! 
For the first half of it I was so appalled & agitated about the main character. She was despicable!!
By the middle of it I was sick to death of that horrible creature! I was actually about to put this book down & not finish it when all of the sudden the story took a sharp left turn & everything got dumped out of the bag...

the AH-HA moment in this story is THE BEST!

Similar books you might enjoy:

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
(& next on my nightstand, The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll)


So...
there's my list for this summer!

Obviously, I read a wide range of genres...
I love all the stories! ๐Ÿ˜‰

WHAT is on your nightstand!?
I would really love to know!

If you've been searching for something new to read,
I hope you found a new title from this list.
These are all really good books!

Don't forget to check out the hashtag #CSMBookNerd on Instagram for all my book suggestions & add this hashtag when sharing YOUR faves too so we can all keep up with the best books (no book nerd left behind). ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“š❤️ 

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit!

Happy Reading!!

Mwah,

Mandy



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