Mandy's Amazon Finds - January 2020

(this post contains affiliate links)

Hi, friends!
Welcome to the very first Amazon Prime Finds post for 2020!

It's a pretty exciting time on Amazon.com, there are so many really great finds over there!
Of course, if you shop on Amazon you know with such a wide range of items to choose from, the quality can be all over the place!

Kim & I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that we have had good luck with and really love. This first post is Mandy's Amazon Finds, look for a Kim's Finds post coming sometime soon.

Please note in these posts that we will only be sharing items that we personally own and love ourselves. Crafty Southern Mama is about living the best darn southern life we can and that absolutely means being crafty about sharing good stuff!

So, hey let's get going!
Here's what I've Primed lately:



A few months ago I started doing the Prime Wardrobe feature on Amazon and I have found some really nice (& very reasonably priced) pieces to add to my closet. There is no stylist fee, you pick whatever you want to receive in your box, you can get up to 8 items at a time and you pay for only what you decide to keep.


This prime wardrobe sweater is a huge favorite here. Olivia and have been sharing it back & forth and I think I'm going to just have to break down & order another color! It is the dusty rose and it is so, so pretty!

I have the medium and it's long enough for pants jeggings but not for like Spanx leggings. I could easily wear the small. It is generously sized, but does not feel "swallow you up" big.

I wash this alone on delicate and lay flat to dry, so far it has washed up great.
It's SO warm, I love it!!

Sweater  ~  JeansBooties  ~ Earrings




I love to add a pop of color to an outfit with a scarf. I ordered this one recently and have been so pleased with it!

The reviews for this scarf said it shed, but was better after it was washed. So, I threw it in the washer as soon as it arrived and shedding has not been an issue at all. It's a much brighter pink in person & I love that!
This thing is like a warm, fuzzy hug!
I'm so happy with it (& think I might need that green one too)! πŸ˜‰





Amazon Essentials Classic Fit Poplin Shirt

I think this is my favorite clothing find so far! I have bought this shirt three times since August in the checks (below), solid white and the white with black dots (all in medium, which fits my solid 8 top half perfectly). These wash up great, iron out crisp & are a GREAT deal at $19.50! I'm hoping they will add more colors.






Monarch Cypress Plush Lined Robe

(sorry, not sharing a picture of me for this one...ha)

We stayed at a nice hotel in Atlanta this fall and the robes in the room were the most luxurious things I've ever touched!!

Sadly, when I looked at them in the spa gift shop and they were $220!! #pass
When I got home, I hunted one down much cheaper on Amazon (thanks, Amazon).
I've had it for a couple of months now & I love it so much!!

Spa Robe by Monarch Cypress Plush Lined, it is divine!!

I have the pink & it's more of a peachy/pink.
I got the medium and it fits perfect!




Pink Gold Sequin Mini Skirt

Olivia wore this recently to a school dance and it looked so cute on her!
I got her the large (sizing chart said it ran more like an 8-10) and it was perfect.
She wore a shirt & heels she already owned with it and I think I did pretty good spending just $22.99 for her last school dance before prom (which I'm sure will not be a $22.99 dance...not even close) ((hold me)).




I love this sweater!!
Like SO much!!
My husband said it looked like I was going to the nursing home, I said "bring me my crossword puzzle & my glasses, sonny"! πŸ‘΅

This camel goes with pretty much everything I own & it is SO warm!!
I loved this one so much I ordered the black as well. 
However, I DO NOT RECOMMEND the black. It did not wash up well & is a piling, fuzzy mess! (Oh, well)

The white tee I am wearing is also an Amazon house brand called GOODTHREADS. It's thick, is slightly longer in the back AND it washed up great! I'm pretty excited about this one for $13.77 & have already ordered another one as a back up (because I am the messiest person alive & always need a white tee back up).




Men's Dress Pants & Black Shoes

Evan was honored to be selected as an attendant for Basketball Homecoming recently. He needed black pants, a white button down, blue tie and black shoes. We had the shirt & tie already but not the bottom half, so I decided to see if I could score some men's items.
Amazon did not disappoint!

Men's Black Loafers were $29.75 (he had to go up a half size) and Black Cotton Chino Pants (these are like a pair of casual khaki pants, but are black) for $20.50.  Of course, I'm sure those prices could be beat, but not leaving the house with a 7th grade boy to go shopping was PRICELESS to me!! Ha!

(Can y'all believe how much he has grown up!?!?! Weep!!!)




Other things I've Primed & love!

Democracy Ab-Solutions Jeans! I love them!! I ordered the 8's and they fit me perfect!

This awesome blow dryer brush that everybody is raving about!
Olivia and mama got one for Christmas & they both love it!!

Christmas tree storage bags for 7 foot tree and 9 foot tree, everything got put away this year!!

Amazon Basics Velvet Hangers (I'm on a mission to change out all the hangers in our entire house this year so that every closet has the same hangers...my issues are severe, I know) πŸ˜‚

Natural Shoe Deodorizer (because kids)...made from 100% Natural Zinc Oxide & Botanicals, no aluminum or talic! This stuff is great!!!


What about you guys?
Have you found any good stuff on Amazon lately?
I would love to hear about your finds!!


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today. I'll be back next week to share February BOOK CLUB suggestions, Yippee!!!

I hope you are doing great, friends!!

Mwah,

Mandy

Repurposing: The Bookshelf

I have been bitten with the project bug lately, and really have knocked it out of the park (tbh).  One of my new outlooks for 2020 is being more resourceful and really taking the bull by the horns and completing projects (even ones that challenge me).

I want to really learn how to do some things I would never dream of doing. I'm planning to take a few classes in the coming months, and I hope to share those with you as I get the courage to go and complete them.

Today's very simple project was transforming a very solid wood finished bookcase that I have lately had tucked in the guest room stuffed with children's books. Since the first big project was refreshing the guest room to be our youngest son's room, I needed to remove everything. That bookcase just didn't seem to fit with what we wanted to do in there.

So, I moved it to the weird hallway, and well that's when the vision came to life.

My plan: paint the bookcase white and put on the wall to the right of the doorway. Then I will take the built-in shelves on the left and pain them white as well for continuity.

The vision has been a lot like a butler's pantry area for kitchen items and cookbooks to live.

Here is the placement before.


We have a new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint supplier in town (Rustic Trading Company), so I popped in to pick up some trusty Old White, along with Hale Navy (for some other projects) and some clear wax.  This store is so cute by the way, and I highly recommend stopping in to see their great selection of home goods, including a whole tea section!! I am planning to attend some of their upcoming painting classes soon too.

This was a pretty basic project here are the particulars:

-Lightly sanded and wiped the surfaces
-Three coats of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint
-Light sanding with hand sanding block
-Stroke on clear wax with a chip paint brush similar to this, then wipe off with paper towel
-Buff with cloth diaper to finish


Light sanding pre-paint

First coat

Pretty sure this is the third coat, I just can't remember


Finished Product

New color, new life

Very light sanding and distressing on the finished product.


Lastly, I painted the wall shelves the traditional white trim so that both sides seem to be in harmony with one another.  I still have a lot of work to do in this area: finishing the office doors, painting the walls and thoughtfully placing items I need on the shelves that are both pleasing to look at and useful.  


Left side of the door shelves painted with white trim.

Newly painted bookshelf, living it's best life.

Updated weird hallway :)

That's really my mission - making things functional.  Thank you for joining my journey to functional DIY projects, and repurposing items we already have to better fit the functionality and space we have in our home.

Storyworth Entry #1 - Do you consider your childhood to have been a happy one?

The following is part of an ongoing project I am working on in 2020 using the website Storyworth, a collection of memories to share with my family.

Do you consider your childhood to have been a happy one?

I'm starting out with this question because my childhood truly is the foundation of my entire life. I was blessed to have a very blissfully innocent, happy childhood. In addition to growing up in one of the BEST decades ever, the 80’s (much more about that later) I grew up loved, treasured and fiercely protected. There were times in my childhood that I am sure I was considered to be spoiled rotten. Actually I’m still pretty rotten in my 40’s, but the point is I was loved and I am grateful for every minute of this crazy life that I have had the privilege of living.
As I get older and reflect on what a blessed life that I have lived, I thought that writing a mini-memoir in 2020 would be a great way to say thank you and recognize some of the people who have been a part of my story so far and maybe even share wisdom with people to come that I might not get the opportunity to know (no one is getting out of this thing alive, you know).
And speaking of the year 2020, that just seems so crazy to me.
I can remember way back in 1982 singing along with the Prince song “tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999….” and thinking to myself “ha, that’s SO 100 years from now” (spoiler alert, it wasn’t). There are a lot of other things I thought that turned out differently or better than I was expecting. I’m excited to use the year 2020 share some of those memories with you in this little book.

Settle in, foks.
We’re going to have some laughs!



Handwritten Notes: Reviving A Lost Art

Happy New Year From the Love House!!

This is the second year in a row circumstances have prevented us from sending out a traditional Christmas card in a timely fashion.  This year I had a little collage card made with some highlights of 2019, and one very ambitious task: a handwritten note to each recipient.


The Love 2019 Collage
It has actually been a bit of a therapeutic task, taking a moment for each person, each family to send a personal note.  It has been a lovely way to think on the wonderful friends and family from all over the place.  Distance and years have prevented us from seeing so many special people from our lives and adventures, sending and receiving holiday cards always makes me feel connected.


The assembly line
I am definitly not the best at written correspondence, but by golly I am proud I actually got at least this little task done.  If you ever find yourself thinking about a dear friend far away - even in this day where we can text in an instant - try putting a pen to paper and tell them in your own handwriting.  It's more therapeutic than you may think πŸ’Œ



BOOK CLUB - January 2020


(this post contains affiliate links)

Happy January, friends!

I have had a lot of requests on Instagram for a "Book Club" of sorts, so I decided to start sharing a monthly post with direct links to all the books that I have been reading. I post about my reads on Instagram quite a bit, so this "Book Club" post will just serve as a quick reference for anyone who might have missed them over there or would like to see them all at one time.

(My "official book nerd photo" in my old lady glasses.) 


Who knows, we might end up with a real "book club" in the future. I think that would be so fun! If you post about books that I've recommended or if you're reading something good that you've found, please use the hashtag #CSMBOOKNERD so other Crafty Southern Mama Book Nerds (& I) can find good books recommended by you.

January 2020 has taken off & I've already got my nose in a couple of good books (which suits me just fine because the weather is just nasty here)!

First off for January, my daily bible reading. I've (proudly) completed this daily reading goal a couple of times already and it has turned into a part of my day now just like brushing my teeth. I HAVE to have my time with the daily word!

I previously read this NTL version, which is very easy to read an understand.

Since my NTL daily bible is falling apart now, I decided to try the NIV version to read and I'm pretty excited about it!

It only takes 10-15 minutes to complete each daily reading. I high recommend trying one of these out if you have ever been interested in making a commitment to read the bible all year long.




I just received the newest J.T. Ellison book, Good Girls Lie today & I am dying to crack it open! Her exciting, psychological thrillers almost always find their way to her hometown of Nashville, TN at some point and I love being able to picture exactly what she is describing when she's there.

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond.

But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder.

When a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.


All of her books that I have read have been exciting, I can't wait to read this new one!!




Also on my nightstand is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. I've never read this author but this book sounds really good!

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. 





This month, I have tickets to see Angie Smith speak at a Women's Conference and I am SOOOOO excited!! I loved her Seamless Bible Study (highly, highly recommend), so I decided to read another one of her books before I see her speak. This one is called What Women Fear (despite the fact that God repeatedly tells us not to be afraid, I admit that I find myself failing at this all the time).

In What Women Fear, acclaimed writer and speaker Angie Smith admits, "fear is a major part of my testimony" and talks openly about her treatment for anxiety as a child. Giving a voice to the problem, she says, "I truly believe every single one of us struggles with some type of fear, whether it's fear of flying or fear of being 'found out.' Maybe you don’t worry about dying, but you get sick thinking about the fact that you might fail." 

Rather than suggesting that those who truly love the Lord would never fear, Angie blends her own experiences with those of men and women from throughout Scripture to help us start dealing more effectively with these true, human emotions. Whether it’s a constant "What if?," a nagging fear of abandonment or betrayal, fear of your own or someone else’s death, fear of trusting God's plan, or even the fear that God's existence is a lie, Angie will walk you through stories of others who have simultaneously loved God and struggled with fear. Join Angie and discover how to let Jesus redeem this struggle as only He can, that He will be glorified, and you will be transformed!


I'm looking forward to reading it.
Have you read any of her books?





Other books that I recently finished & recommend:


Disney Devotionals by Albert Thweatt
(LOVED this so much)



The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
(I LOVE her crazy books! This one was not as crazy as the others, but still a good story).




and The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White (I LOVE her Tradd Street series, definitely read the others before sinking your teeth into this one).





That's all for January (at the moment).
What about you?
What's on your nightstand this month?
Leave a comment here or use the "contact" widget up there in the top right hand corner and share some recommendations with us.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.
Happy reading, book nerd friends! ;)

Mwah,
Mandy

New Year, New Blog! Hello, 2020!

Tapping...
Hello?
Is this thing on?

Hi, friends!!
Happy New Year!!

I look forward to seeing my "Top Nine" collage on Instagram every year, it’s such a fun way to look back at special times & the people I love before diving into a brand new year of memories! I hope that 2019 was an awesome year for you and your family!



I've been on the fence about the blog for months because I don't sew and paint like I used to, it seems to me that having a blog called "Crafty Southern Mama" should be full of, well...all the crafts!

But it hit me just recently that being CRAFTY does not limit you to just making some stuff you saw on Pinterest! 

A woman who is CRAFTY is smooth, they're slick, tricky, and clever...ALL of the things that us mamas do while we are trying to live the best darn southern life we can!

Crafty doesn't always mean you made it by hand using $80 worth of craft supplies from Hobby Lobby., Crafty also means you are winging it with grace, serving store bought goodies from the Publix bakery on a pretty party tray (and that is absolutely ok). Life can get pretty crazy, but we wouldn't have it any other way!
crafty
[ˈkraftΔ“]

ADJECTIVE


  1. clever at achieving one's aims by indirect or deceitful methods.
    "a crafty crook faked an injury to escape from prison"
    synonyms:
    • of, involving, or relating to indirect or deceitful methods.
      "a shameless and crafty trick to mislead public opinion"
  2. involving the making of decorative objects and other things by hand.
    "a market full of crafty pots and interesting earrings"
    • skilled at the making of decorative objects and other things by hand.
      "they are looking for crafty people to join the group to make ornaments"

No matter how old your children are, being a mama is all about juggling all the balls! 
And a CRAFTY southern mama is just trying to live the best darn southern life that she can and that is absolutely what this blog is all about! 

So, welcome to the year 2020!
Same old cunning, sly, southern mamas with a bit of a new look, ready for a brand new decade of crazytowne adventures with our families! 

Happy New Year, friends!! 

Mwah,

Mandy



Book Nerds Unite: Daily Bible Reading & Resources

After a lifetime of struggling to do so, a couple of years ago I (FINALLY) read the bible all the way through using this awesome Daily Bible that Kim gave me.
I have tried & tried to read the bible all the way through so many times in my life and always became overwhelmed & just gave up.

This year I am reading through it again using that same bible as one of my goals for 2019. Each day in this Daily Bible you are assigned a small portion of reading from the Old Testament, a portion from the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverbs. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes at the most to do my daily reading.
In the last couple of weeks of reading the Old Testament portion, I fully understand WHY I always gave up in the past (because Leviticus, and Numbers, so many names, so many numbers, so many RULES). If I were not also reading portions of Matthew and Mark along side all of that, I would FOR SURE think that I would never be perfect enough to shimmy through the pearly gates!
Last night while I was reading I remembered that I ALSO read Francine Rivers' Sons of Encouragement during this same time and it REALLY helped me feel a more personal connection to these Old Testament bible characters and their struggles as real people (Francine Rivers is truly an instrument of the Lord to draw his people closer to him, God bless her).

I just wanted to share these books with you guys in case anyone was interested. I am NO biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but these were very helpful to me.
Sons of Encouragement link: https://amzn.to/2XJCtX4
Daily Bible link: https://amzn.to/2Tt5jfV
Other books you might be interested in that I loved:
A Linage of Grace link: https://amzn.to/2VMYUZS

Seamless Bible Study link: https://amzn.to/2NODbOh
Happy Reading, Friends!! Mwah, Mandy