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

Happy New Year, it's 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!! πŸ₯³

One of the greatest things about a New Year is a fresh start, 
a way to brush off the old and refresh with the new! 


Kim & I are both ringing in the new year in a similar fashion with brand new PAINT projects! We were cracking up when Kim texted me with her paint cards & I texted her back showing her I had some too!
Ha, birds of a feather!πŸ˜‚



Both Kim & I got off the blogging path this fall trying to live the best darn southern life we could while starting our new businesses!  Whew, we have been so busy!! 

I think we've got our lives together now & we're both excited about sharing that with y'all soon!



We just wanted to pop in here and wish you all the most WONDERFUL 2019 full of love, good health and crazy, I mean crafty projects! πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‰
Happy 2019!!
The Crafty Southern Mamas,
Mandy & Kim πŸ₯°

Pre-School Craft - Toilet Paper Roll Bats

Pre-School Craft - Toilet Paper Roll Bats

When the boys were in preschool, obviously a ton of cute little crafts made their way home to become decorations for the upcoming holidays...some survived...like this toilet paper roll bat!
So, since we are trying to keep spending to a minimum, I found little preschool toilet paper roll bat in our Halloween decorations storage bin, and the boys and I set out to make more!! 
So, here is our process and the end result πŸŽƒ



↑The Original Preschool Toilet Paper Roll Bat↑




Then original bat had googly eyes, I found some buttons :)



Cut out some fangs with construction paper and glued those on.



We have had fun making decorations (that didn't cost an arm and a leg - though speaking of which, I sure would love one of those big skeletons!!) - and I'm excited to hang them on my favorite shelves!!

Do you have any Halloween decorations you have put together on a budget?  Share a picture and tag us on Facebook or Instagram!!  We'd love to see what your tricks and treats are!!

Happy Halloween!! 

Dollar General Halloween Decorations


 Boo-Tastic Ghost Decorations From Dollar General
These $1 Dollar General decoration kits are quite cute decorations!
I live really close to DG and it's convenient to stop there for everything from toilet paper to home decor.



My youngest son is a Halloween decoration junkie, loves to hang skeletons and pumpkins all over the house!  A little prize for him recently was a few Dollar General Halloween decorations I grabbed one day for $1 each.  Super cute and easy to put together (and we could probably come up with our own DIY version too).  I love sticking these guys in the plants on the porch and we will also line them along the sidewalk









Ghosts in my new mums, looking down on my dead mums!  Scary!!

I like the skeletons on my dead ferns!!! Scary!!!


Stay tuned for more Halloween decorations on a budget!!






Fall Break to Hilton Head

Hello All!!
We are just back home from fall break week in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and I have a few things I'd like to share.  

This year we opted to not do our usual beach vacation in the summer, and wait to go on fall break.  This amazing house was magically available for the exact week we needed, and it was awesome....and a great deal, we worked through Beachside HHI and they were so fantastic!! 

It was my first time to Hilton Head Island.  I have been to the Beaufort and Charleston areas all my life, but never ventured down to see HHI.  It was such a beautiful place!  I love the Lowcountry of SC, and am proud to have now stayed on both sides of the Port Royal Sound.

I had lots of plans before vacation: "We'll ride our bikes all over the island and explore every part we can! We'll drive to Savannah one day, then to Beaufort to see my favorite gals at Lulu Burgess Beaufort" (I feel like Nan and Nell are my best friends, because I watch their Filmtastic Friday video every week!!).

But this is basically what my vacation consisted of and I'm not sorry for one single second:


















That's right, we ventured out a handful of times for dinner and some shopping excursions 
(there are tons of great places to eat, shop and explore), 
but I can say that we spent the bulk of our time right there on the beach!  

It was so wonderful and I am so grateful for the time with my crew and an opportunity to enjoy the fine beaches of Hilton Head Island! 

Now we are getting into the swing of Fall,
 trying to prepare for the time avalanche that 
mercilessly propels us to January 1st. 

Skeletons, Pumpkins, Turkeys and Christmas Lights ahead.