Sunday, June 25, 2017

Stylish Southern Mama Summer Staples

Hi, friends!!
I'm so glad you stopped by!

Today I'm teaming up with Nordstrom and sharing some
Stylish Southern Mama Summer Staples!

You might remember, this spring I expressed my lack of love for the off the shoulder & that cold shoulder trend, I just have no love...I don't know why.😂
I have to say,
I was VERY surprised to find that I DO have love for the ONE shoulder trend...

I don't feel quite so naked, like I can pull that one shoulder sleeve up to my collarbone & feel like the conservative semi-senior citizen that I am. 😉
Ha!

Check out some of this sassy Nordstrom goodness that I have found this summer!
(always free shipping & free returns)
(affiliate links included in this post)


These Vince Camuto Ruffle One Shoulder Tops...oh, my!
They are DARLING!!
I LOVE how it has some length and the ruffle makes it easy to wear without a bra (yippee)!
It runs large, so make sure you check the sizing.

Blue Ikat Stars Ruffle Top (might be too thin to go braless, but still so fun)


Pinstripe Banded Ruffle Top (so sassy!!!)



I have bought a few things in the past year that are Madewell brand (which I think is a JCrew company). I REALLY like this brand & the quality is SOOOO GOOOD!

I have one of their tees...it has washed up so well, no piling, no fuzzing!



And these darling raw edge pull on shorts...
get in my closet!!!




Olivia picked out this cute cold shoulder dress by French Connection.
I don't love the cold shoulder look, but this dress was really cute on her (& it's half price right now).




I clearly have a thing for railroad stripes...
I bought this dress for graduation & it is the cutest thing!

This dress is nice quality & really cute on (the blue is much brighter in person)!
It is junior sizing, (I'm wear the large & it's just right).




Y'all know I am the cheapest person alive...
(so you will believe me when I say that this strapless bra is worth every penny!)

I actually bought it,
talked myself out of it,
sent it back (because mama don't spend $65 on a bra),
then saw it in the store & bought it again...

It's awesome!!
It's smooth seamed, stays put, it has removable straps that can be worn conventionally, halter style or crossed in back. I'm normally at 36B, but bought the 36C & it is the best bra ever!!!!!

Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra...seriously, y'all...BUY ONE!!!




I have had several compliments on these gorgeous beaded earrings that I found recently.
Panacea Beaded Earrings just $18!

I will be buying this brand again, they're great quality & are so pretty!



I bought them to go with this top (which is sold out at the moment but might come back in stock soon, so check back).
For the price, it was really cute!
(& does it not look perfect with those earrings!?!?)



It fits me, but the style is so generous (without being frumpy) that it fits Olivia also.



We also picked up these AWESOME Raw Hem Denim Shorts!
They fit Olivia perfectly & I'm tempted to buy some for myself (except for the part where nobody wants to see that much elderly leg...).



I also bought her the blue boyfriend shorts as well.
They look trendy, but they don't look floozy
(mama prefers young ladies in non-floozy shorts, please).



If you love shorts in the summer, these are GREAT quality shorts for $39!

THIS is by far my favorite purchase this summer!
It comes in several colors...Black, Navy, Burgundy, White, Blue Stripe & this FABULOUS Black Gingham (that will be so fetching paired with some white jeans and big orange accessories on game days this fall)....😉

It's $59, but I really LOVE it so it's worth the money to me.
It's such a fun top (that I may or may not be wearing a bra with, I'll never say).
Order one, you will LOVE IT!



Well, that's all I have to share this time.
But, I will be back soon to share some summer to fall transition finds (because it stays in the 90's here well into October...holy mercy).

I'm so glad you stopped by to visit!
I have missed sharing since I closed down my Stylish Southern Mama blog.
(that was just not me, y'all...
I love to shop, but I don't shop all the time).
I plan to share at least once a month right here on Crafty Southern Mama, so let me know if you are hunting for anything special & I'll keep an eye out for it.

Have a beautiful summer Sunday!!
Mwah!!

Mandy






Friday, June 16, 2017

{Easy} Zucchini Nut Muffin Recipe


Happy Friday, friends!

Olivia had a couple of friends over last night for a sleepover and this morning I whipped up a batch of my easy zucchini nut muffins for breakfast. They are SO good & I get asked for the recipe all the time, so I thought I would share it here on the blog with you guys.



This one is not anything fancy.
Last summer, I googled to find a zucchini bread recipe when our CSA box contained more zucchini than my kids would eat at dinner.

Since then, I've tweaked it QUITE A BIT to cut the sugar down & try to make it more healthy. I add just a NIBBLE of diced chocolate chips to them (to distract little people from the heaping three cups of shredded zucchini), my kids will GOBBLE these up every time I make them!!


Easy Zucchini nut Muffin Recipe

Prep time:
  • Prep | 20 m
  • Cook | 20 m
  • Ready in | 40 m
  • Freezer Friendly
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup diced chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2-3 cups shredded zucchini
Procedure:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pecans and chocolate chips in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat eggs, add sugar, brown sugar, oil. Mix well. Add zucchini. Pour into flour mixture. Mix well to combine. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

Enjoy for breakfast or a snack, anytime! Freeze left over muffins for quick breakfast options, microwave 30 seconds from frozen.





This recipe makes two dozen muffins.
I use my square muffin pans, two pans fit side by side in the oven at the same time.

Normally, when they're done I set aside one pan to freeze. I just remove them from the pan, placing them in a flat layer in a ziplock bag. They make a great quick breakfast on a busy morning!

Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
I would LOVE to try some new stuff around here!
Please share your recipes here in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

I'm hopping up to get some things done before my nephews arrive to swim.
Little boy adventures all day long, friends!
I love it!!

Happy Father's Day weekend!

Mwah,
Mandy



Thursday, June 1, 2017

We Got Ourselves a GRAD! Class of 2017!!

Well, folks it happened!

The daydream I had about being a lifelong mommy of little darling chicklets came to an abrupt end this past weekend when our biggest little darling walked through the line on his beloved football field with his friends and was given a diploma!


Our whole family attended!
A lot of those people cried.

I did not.
{that part came later & again yesterday & will probably happen again before Friday}...

May is ALWAYS a tough month at our house.
But this year, addition all the end of the year stress, projects due, softball games, baseball practice, graduation preparations & events...there was also a very, very bad case of "Senioritis".
HOLY Mercy!

{Let's just say that the said graduate is lucky he lived to see the day, because his mama about choked him!}




Despite whipping wind and the threat of rain (& it did sprinkle for about five minutes)...
it was a perfect morning & EVERYBODY was excited and proud!

I'm very thankful that so many people who love Owen showed up to share that special day!

*I must note here that my SISTER, who is Owen's BIGGEST FAN and her little family were in attendance but had already gone to the car to miss the swarm of the crowd...I am sick that we did not get one picture with them!! We were going to do it when we got back to the house & then I completely forgot because everyone was starving!! We will be doing a staged photo at a later date to document their attendance. ;)






It's hard to believe it's really over.
But yesterday, I took Olivia to softball & there was the football team all cranked up having their first summer practice...

I scanned the parking lot & Owen's car was not there...

Sigh...







Like it or not,
the page turned on May 27th...
and a new chapter has begun.

{And I'm probably going to cry 65 more times before my wimpy heart starts to accept it.}

{does anyone have a tissue?}

I'm so proud of this beautiful boy with a heart of gold,
I know he's going to do wonderful things with his life.

Congratulations to all our 2017 Grads!!
We are so proud of you all!

Thanks for popping in to visit.

I'll be back soon to share a quick tutorial on how to make these super cute little softball mason jars.



Have beautiful Thursday, friends!

Mwah,
Mandy






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Just a Few Things I Love About Essential Oils...

Hi, friends!!

This is a post that I have been wanting to share with y'all for several months, but I have held off because it felt a very irresponsible to do so without learning as much about it as I could first.

Over the years, I have really tried hard to make healthier choices {in attempt to hopefully teach our children how to live healthy when they head out into the world of adulting & not struggle with it like I have}.

People, this is really hard!
It's one of the hardest things I have tried to accomplish as a parent (and personally)!
I honestly do not know why this has to be so hard! But unfortunately, Americans are some of the most unhealthy people in the world. Bad health habits are everywhere you look, all day long!

{Everywhere!!!}

This summer I'm going to be blogging about a few other changes I've made (like how basically It Starts With Food), but today I want to tell y'all about one HUGE healthy change that has taken place in our home this past year & has absolutely changed my life for the better!

I have been using Young Living essential oils.



I started using Young Living essential oils last year because one of my favorite mamas that I know and trust uses them. This girl has done her research; she is an advocate for healthy living, a strong believer in taking care of the body God has given you and she uses her oils every day {not to mention the fact that she is my age & looks 25}.

She did NOT recommend Young Living to me trying to make money,
never did she pressure me to "join her team",
nor did she suggest I "purchase a kit" from her.
Anytime I asked, she genuinely wanted to help me make healthy choices for myself and my family.
God bless her!
She helped me whenever I had a question {which was at least three times a week}, showed me how to make my own homemade organic products (lotion, sunscreen, rollerball oil blend, etc).
I know I have driven her crazy with my questions, but she is the sweetest, kindest most patient mama who loves people and just wants them to be healthy.

After a few months of me driving her crazy with my questions, I told her: "I think I want to buy a kit now" & {she should have said WELL, IT'S ABOUT TIME!} but she said "alright, let me help you do it".

{Lord, help me be a kind, patient mama who helps others just like her.} ❤

When I purchased my kit last June, I was so excited & IMMEDIATELY want to blog about it & tell you guys all the details! But, Young Living is NOT Longaberger Baskets or Stella & Dot Jewelry.

{plus, I really had no interest in "selling" the products, I just wanted a discount on my own oils}.

So I decided to wait.
And use them.
And determine which ones worked for me and my family.
And LEARN as much about them as I could.

Now, a year later...I am ready to share a few things that I love about Young Living Essential Oils.
SHARE.
Not pressure you to buy any,
or press you to "join my team"
(Lord, who in their right mind would want to jump on that crazy train anyway).

So, with ZERO strings attached I want to tell you a few ways that I use my oils EVERY day:

Diffusing Oils

Diffusing essential oils is one of the fastest way to get them into your blood stream. I diffuse every day, usually at bedtime.
When you consider the fact that diffusing makes the oil basically invisible, you are just inhaling it in the air {it makes you wonder what else you are putting into your body at home just by breathing}!!
Diffusing essential oils helps your home stay safe from harmful virus and bacteria, while providing a wonderful aroma without any chemicals.



My favorite oil combos to diffuse right now:

1. Lavender & Cedarwood
2. Peppermint, Lemon & Lavender
3. Thieves {I could & probably will write an entire post devoted to Thieves, I'm a believer}

Applying oils directly to the body

I apply oils "neat" (that means straight out of the bottle) by putting them on the bottom of my feet.

{and my kids feet}
{but not P Daddy's feet because he has ferociously ticklish feet & prefers to do his own} 😉

I apply some type of oil to the bottom of my feet every day.
Right now I am using Purification on one foot {because mosquitos love me} and Frankincense or Thieves on the other.

I apply JOY oil (neat) to my armpits EVERY DAY.
About six months ago I started doing this because it smells so good!!!

{I mean, of course I want that smelly goodness on my arm pits...}

After a couple of months it occurred to me that my anxiety issues had stopped...like, that's weird...they've completely gone away.

I did some research and found that this oil was supposed to be applied over the heart for stress & anxiety, so I was putting it in the right area and I accidently found a treatment for Crazy Mandy!
{I also use this oil on Crazy Evan too}
{he's a worrier like his mama} 😉

Probably my MOST FAVORITE oil item that I apply daily is this WONDERFUL spray that I make myself! I spray it all over when I get out of the shower. It is 25 drops peppermint, 25 drops lavender, in a spray bottle filled with fractionated coconut oil.

I originally mixed this bottle for some issues I was having with miserable eczema and got hooked on it. It is heavenly & makes my skin so soft!!



Love, love, love!!

That's just a few. I could seriously go on & on!
I love everything that I use and have noticed positive changes in my health because of each one.

Lastly, CLEANING with oils

I wish I had a picture of my cabinets before I started cleaning with oils!
Over the years I have hired a half a dozen different people to clean my house. Some brought their own products, others requested I buy specific products for them to use.

I had FOUR full cabinets of toxic chemical products in my house before I started cleaning with oils! Now, I'm down to just two & am on a mission to get that stuff out of here too!

This is what I use...on just about everything!

Brace yourself....

Thieves!



Yes, ma'am!
I am a strong believer in Thieves!
Thieves oil, Thieves cough drops (my most favorite YL product) ((yes, I'm weird)), Thieves Fruit & Veggie Spray, Thieves Hand Sanitizer & most of all Thieves Cleaner!

(Because this post is getting long)
Here's a quick reason why I am a strong believer in Thieves:

I am that person who gets sick. I can catch something just by being in the pediatrician's office in well waiting! This past winter was a really bad one for sickness. One day Olivia came home from school throwing up. She had the WORST stomach virus I have ever witnessed in all my life as a mama! She was SO WEAK I could hardly get her up the stairs to her bedroom!

The next day, she is still throwing up and I have to pick Evan up from school early because HE IS ALSO SICK. Except, instead of the stomach virus he has strep throat!

Oh, y'all!!!

I just knew I was doomed!! 😕

I had that Thieves out spraying the counters, knobs, potties, tables, everything!
I had Thieves blasting on two diffusers downstairs 24/7 for about four days in a row!
AND, I was applying Thieves oil to the bottom of our feet and up & down their spines every few hours!

And guess who didn't get sick.
That's right...
ME!!!

Thieves does not mess around!!
I swear by it, y'all!
Swear!!

Thieves was a tough sell, but even "Dr of Infection Control" loves Thieves, especially when he started reading about how it was tested on mold...



I love Thieves cleaner & it makes my house smell so good!
It lasts a long time AND there are no harmful chemicals...
I love that the most!!



So that's my little story.

I am loving my goodness from Young Living!
I am also learning new ways to keep my family healthy without having to use products that contain cancer causing chemicals & toxins.

And that makes me a happy mama!

Essential Oils have become pretty popular lately, I bet some of you guys use them too. I would LOVE to hear how you use them & what has worked for keeping your family healthy! Please leave a comment here, on Instagram or post over on the Facebook page.
You guys always have the best ideas, I love it when y'all share!

If you're still reading way down here, thanks so much for sticking around!

I'll back to share a story about a mama who did not cry at graduation, but had to go lock herself in the bathroom when the little darling drove down the driveway off on his senior trip...


Oh, my heart!
It was quite a day!

Have a blessed, beautiful Sunday evening, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

End of the School Year Madness, 2017 Edition

Hello, sweet friends!!

I had to laugh this past week, I was thinking about a post I wanted to write up to share and it started to ramble into different topics...every spring I seem to do this and every spring I write one & it ends up being titled "March Madness"...

{Because it usually is total madness!!!}

{And never has anything to do with basketball} 😂

But since my sad, frazzled brain is on a serious delay, this post will also have nothing to do with March either!

{but don't worry, it is definitely about madness because...}



The last week of school is FINALLY upon us!!

{finally, amen!}

But...with that milestone brings the one milestone that I have been dreading for 19 years...

Graduation.

Yes, friends...the Queen of Denial is about to face the music.
This time next weekend, we will have a college student in our household...



And it hurts. 💔


I don't know why, but I think I honestly thought this being a mama of little kids thing was going to go on forever.

{stand corrected}

I am grateful that I still have two more to go & I get to do all this wonderful growing up stuff again with them, because it sure is sad thinking about your little pig being grown up & headed out the door with hankie tied on a stick to seek his fortune in the world...


But that's just part of being a mama...
letting them grow up.
Nobody ever said it was fun.

{it ain't}

But what HAS been fun is all the CRAZINESS that has been going on at our house this spring!

Olivia played high school softball this spring & it has kept us SUPER busy!
When I played softball in high school we rode the bus to all of our games.
Oh, not now.
Mamas of today have to drive their darlings to all of the games...my parents were the luckiest ducks alive!!

{because if you are not familiar with high school softball, this is what it looks like}


{you don't know cold until you've experienced being cold at the ballpark}

When she didn't make the softball team back in 7th grade, she did not let it destroy her spirit. She came back & played in 8th grade and I was so crazy proud of her for making the team her freshman year!!!

{but I can't say I'm crazy excited about how much I have shrunk this year}


We had our softball banquet this past week & I was excited to get some craft therapy in. Some people fall apart, but having a project to focus on during a stressful time ALWAYS keeps me from losing my mind!

AND now, I have a craft to share with you guys...

{easy tutorial coming soon}



Then there's this cheese biscuit...


Fourth grade has been a big year for him, he has grown up so much but he is STILL sweet & little.

{however, since I caught him rolling his eyes at me three times yesterday, I'd say my time with him being sweet & little might be starting to taper off}

He decided to play baseball this year & I have been SO incredibly proud of him for trying something scary & new! He's still learning the game & has a LONG way to go, but since February he has really improved!



We did a few lessons with Jeff Bennett's Baseball Academy this spring and it has made all the difference in the world! I cannot say enough good things about Jeff. He loves kids & he knows what he is doing! He has worked miracles with Evan, we appreciate him SO much!!

Well, speaking of tapering off...
I need to hop up & get some things squared away here so I can get out and do fun stuff like go to the grocery store.

{note the sarcasm there}

I have SEVERAL things I'm going to be blogging about in the upcoming weeks.

Bee Keeping, Mad Men, Dollywood, The Whole30, Chickens, Shoes...

and a couple of paint projects too!

{But first I have to go buy some cat food.}


I'm so glad you stopped by to visit the blog,
I sure have missed you guys!

Have a beautiful, blessed Sunday & happy GRADUATION day to all of our sweet FCS friends!

Mwah,

Mandy



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