Friday, December 15, 2017

Welcome to Crazytowne, Kim!!

Y'all, I'm pretty excited about the things coming up for Crafty Southern Mama in 2018!
There are several changes that I will be talking about soon (like for example how I plan to get away
from the Facebook & actually BLOG), the first of them is the exciting announcement that I am adding another Crafty Southern Mama to the party! ;)

Meet my adorably fabulous, dearest friend, and real life sister, Kim!




Kim is hilarious.
She is thrifty, crafty, ridiculously stylish, and one of the best mamas I know!
I want to be just like her when I grow up!

She's already got a list of topics that she's planning to share, so get ready for some fun posts and shares from her in 2018! I am so excited that we get to do this little Crazytowne adventure together!

Have a great day, everyone!

Mwah!!
Mandy

Friday, October 20, 2017

Start Your Engines, Christmas Shopping is About to Begin!

Happy Friday, friends!!

Mercy, what a week we have had here!
The first week back from fall break is always hard,
but it's been unusually stressful here this time & I am SO glad it is Friday!

The kids and I are planning a weekend filled with snuggling, scary movies, a crock pot full of chili & other simple Halloween traditions that we are running out of time to do!



I've been trying to stay off Facebook as much as possible this week (failing every day, it is the worst addiction I have ever had)!

I thought I would come to the blog to post some quick thoughts & links instead of sharing over there (& I do appreciate you clicking that link to visit the blog instead). 💓

I've spent some time this week making my list to help me get started on my Christmas shopping (yes, girls it is coming for us). Every year I write down EVERYTHING I have bought in my calendar agenda because I order a lot of things online (and because I am a fruitcake), this helps me SEE what people are getting even if it hasn't arrived yet AND it also helps me realize that the reason I love that particular item is because I bought you one last year (I'm SO bad about that).

I found a few things this week that I have ordered for gifts & thought I would share in case any of you guys were already on the hunt. (I'm getting started early because As God is my Witness, I will never have my holiday ruined by this shopping evil ever again!)...

First up, I snagged a few of these cozy Pottery Barn Pom Pom Throws.

They are on sale for $31 and right now if you use the code CHEERS you get 20% off and FREE Shipping! I saw these in person last week at the Pottery Barn store and they are really nice (and arrive nicely packaged, not wide open & you have to fold it yourself).
All of their blankets are nice quality
(and nothing says I like you an awful lot like a gift from Pottery Barn). 




Next, PW has a new cookbook coming out next week!
This gorgeous cookbook is on sale for $17.89 on Amazon this week (regular price $29.99).

Grab one for the cook on your list (& one for yourself too). 
They will probably go back to regular price after the book is released.



And speaking of Pioneer Woman,
HAVE YOU SEEN her new crock pots!??!

These are GORGEOUS & just $24.96!!
These would make a great gift, especially for a teacher (crock pots are a teacher's best friend). ❤




And if you're looking for stocking stuffers, here are a couple of good ones:

(yeah, baby)!

Give one of these as a gift and I can guarantee you that the teen you don't click with will look at you & think "she gets me". 😉



And this cute little Password Book!

I ordered this awhile back and took time to write those booger passwords & user names down! 
It took a few minutes to get logged in on sites to double check the passwords, etc. but I feel a wave of relief now that I can just dig this book out and look it up if I can't remember...
(because passwords, y'all....so many passwords!!!!)...





What about you guys?

Have you found any good deals yet?
I have started looking early because last year most of the great deals were in late October & early November. I know a lot of people say they don't want to start early because it causes them to overspend, but I have found that I DON'T OVERSPEND if I write everything down...it really, really helps me!

So, that's all I've got today.
Short & sweeet. ❤

I've got to jump up.
College boy just walked in & wants his mommy to fix him some eggs.
Mommy is on the case!
LOL

Wishing y'all the most beautiful fall weekend, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy



Friday, September 29, 2017

Just a Few Random Ramblings from Craztowne...

OH, FRIENDS!!
It has been the craziest week here!

The craziness started on Monday when Olivia got in the car sobbing because she claimed it had been the most horrible day of her life, horror which included cutting her finger on a box cutter (a paper cut that she swore she needed stitches for) and a dramatic front seat reenactment of how she fell down the stairs (three stairs, running an errand during class time & no one saw).
((but if a tree falls in a forest....))

Lord have mercy!

The rest of the week was pretty much the same.
Someone missing a shoe, a broken dish, a murdered chicken, I forgot to turn the crock pot on to cook a meal, the dog ate a brand new loaf of bread right off the counter...just classic Crazytowne USA!

I told her if she did not shake off this bad luck hex I was going to put her out on the side of the road & drive away...


Since it's finally over, I thought I would put together a random ramblings post of thoughts that has nothing to do with politics OR the NFL (because frankly my dear...). I sure do hope your week has not been as crazy as mine!






We have had a horrible time the our dogs, Blue & Marty getting after our chickens in the past few weeks. Blue is a lab & Marty is a lab chow mix, (so they can't help it if they are genetically wired to slaughter birds). Somehow one or two chickens will escape every time we feed them and the next thing I know our front yard looks like someone shredded a feather pillow all over the place.
It's so, so horrible and depressing, those poor babies!

However, we have WAY too many roosters (a problem that P Daddy says he will remedy out on the grill) and I have actually been a little bit relieved because a couple of them had (note, past tense) turned mean (& when I say mean, I am referring to a visit to the coop that included me using a plastic rake to defend myself just to feed the ungrateful monsters)...needless to say, I did not cry at their funeral.

BUT only a happier note, we FINALLY got our hens separated from those rascals (8 roosters is about 8 roosters too many, FYI) and the girls are laying some eggs!!!!

I honestly thought I'd never see the day!!



It's the coolest thing I think we have ever done out here & I wish we'd gotten some hens a long time ago, they are sweethearts!




I finally finished up on Evan's bathroom (and also painted Owen's bedroom with the leftover paint). I'm working on a post to share about it because it turned into a good old fashioned "Design on a Dime" type event & I did the entire spiff up for under $130!
Yippee!!



I'll be sharing that next week after I get some pictures.



If you follow Crafty Southern Mama on Facebook, then you are well aware that POLDARK returns on PBS Masterpiece this Sunday!!! (because I may have only shared 65 posts about it)

Yes!!!!!!




You've still got time to binge watch the first two seasons on Amazon Prime!!
Go on & get caught up so your family can enjoy teasing you about Poldark every chance they get. My family lives for it! 😉



Have you ever heard of The Little Free Pantry Project?
No?
Well, I am in the process of starting one in my town!

It's a small weather proof box or cabinet filled with non perishable food, diapers, hygiene products, etc that is unlocked and available for anyone in need. The idea is to be a blessing to others, take what you need, leave what you can.

Anyone can visit, anyone can donate.

It's something that I have wanted to do for over a year now, but just have not been able to make it happen. Last month I started talking about it to P Daddy & he surprised me by saying he wanted one set up outside his office!!!!!!
I was so happy, I almost cried!





I'm going to be sharing a post about it soon so you can find out more. We have been busy getting a pantry ready (because his office is nice and I want this to also look nice siting outside). I will begin stocking it next month and am hoping to have it open for anyone in need by the third week in October.

EEEEKKKK!!
I'm so excited!!
I'll keep you posted! 💗




Oh, I bought this lipstick at the grocery store the other day...

I was reading somewhere that an orange hue will make blue eyes stand out, so I decided to test the theory with Loreal Paris Color Riche 410, Volcanic (bought mine at Publix). I do always try to use safe, organic type makeup products but, (I am bad sometimes).




Of course I do not have a photo of myself wearing it...
but I DO love it!
Olivia said it was too bright on me (which could mean that I look like a clown or she's just not used to that color), but I think it is a fun break from my normal safe, boring color.

If you have blue eyes or if you love an orange hue, give this one a try!


Well, there are other things to tell...school football ended for Evan, we had a field trip, he tried out for the school soccer team (allow me to mention that he's never played soccer, the bar of expectations is very low here), getting things ready to list on ebay, pondering over revisiting and reopening my Little Precious Boutique, finishing up a bible study, trying to get us back into a church routine (because you know when your kid says "can we got to church tomorrow", that's really Jesus calling you), trying to make myself go to the gym (getting there is 3/4 of the battle), trying to avoid drama & politics on social media, I need to wash my hair...

I could go on & on!

But I must hop up.

I will be back soon to share a quick post featuring the Zno book that I ordered with Owen's senior year pictures in it (I LOVE it) and another post with details on my boy's bathroom makeover.

Whew!
I'm so glad that you stopped by to visit the blog today.
I hope this post finds you happy, healthy and not a bit crazy like me! 😉

Have a fabulous fall Friday, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy



Saturday, September 23, 2017

On My Nightstand: Church of the Small Things (Book Review)

Hi, Friends!

I hope this blog post finds you doing fabulously well and not clinging for dear life to the glorious fact that fall break is now just five days away...
so close...
oh, friends....
we're soooooo close!!

I mentioned last month that one of the highlights of my summer was serving on a launch team for Melanie Shankle's newest book coming out on October 3rd, Church of the Small Things.

(you can pre-order now on churchofthesmallthings.com and on Amazon).

(I can wait...go ahead...) 😉




If you're not familiar with Melanie, she is the author of Big Mama Blog (so, SO funny) and three delightful books: Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, and Nobody's Cuter Than You (also SO wonderful and funny).

When I started this one, I really didn't think I could possibly love a Melanie Shankle book more than the ones I had already read (because what other book have you read that caused you to sing vintage Diet Pepsi jingle for weeks?)...the bar was already so high!

But this book, oh my goodness!!!!

This book spoke directly to my heart!



I really had a hard time composing a blog post about this book because I enjoyed it SO much, I was afraid I couldn't tell about it without spoiling all the good parts! So, I decided to keep my review short & sweet (which is a lot like this precious book).

There were so many parts that I loved in this one, lots of growing up moments and parenting moments that I could totally relate to (because I have done the very same stupid things myself).

My most favorite parts were Melanie’s reflections of her childhood growing up (a child of the 70's & 80's). I absolutely loved the stories she shared of spending time with her grandparents, Big Bob and Nanny. Her memories (and pop culture references) were so funny and precious (and so similar to the times I spent with my own grandparents).

None of these things were big, they were just simple stories of little things that she remembered about that part of her life. But looking back as she did, it became clear that all those small, everyday things really were the BIG things!




Another part that I loved was a chapter on parenting
(titled "So You Think You Can Parent"). 😏

This particular page in the book stood out to me so profoundly because parenting high school students with a phone is pretty much the hardest part of this parenting gig that I have encountered yet!

(( & I will be the first person to stand up and tell you that social media is Satan's greatest work!))




I could not agree with her more! 💗

This book will encourage you,
It will lift you up.

It will also make you stop in your tracks and reflect on what you are doing in your own life. 
Are you missing the small things?

Knowing that I am not the only introvert who would rather die than be the center of attention, who suffered in agony the growing out period of some particularly bad 9th grade bangs, remembering the shredding (pun intended) pain of the great Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred of 2008, feeling more normal because my life is also run by a pack of crazy, wonderful dogs and most importantly taking that beautiful trip down memory lane because my beloved grandparents were exactly the same...

All the while being reminded that every single precious memory is just a small, simple detail in my life.

It really is the million small things that make up a life.

This book is going to speak to SO MANY people!
I'm so grateful that I have had the opportunity to share the message!

Great job, Melanie!!
Great job!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, friends!

Don't forget to pre-order your copy at churchofthesmallthings.com or Amazon today!


Mwah,

Mandy




Monday, August 28, 2017

For the Love (of things I love right now)...

I haven't done a FOR THE LOVE post in awhile,
and they're so fun! 😉
I do love to toot a horn about things I love!


For the Love of Healthy Skin!!
Right now I LOVE the new Arbonne RE9 Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare!
I have tried SO MANY different things in the past two years! I want something safe and natural, but I also want something gets results!

In the past two years, I've used the skincare lines from both Doterra & Young Living and I have also religiously used SkinCeuticals...but absolutely nothing I have used has shown me results like this new version of Arbonne's RE9!


(Because I'm the cheapest person alive) I have only been using the cleanser, renewal serum, restorative cream with sunscreen & the night repair creame at bedtime.

I told my sister last week, this skin care line has just blown my mind! My face feels smoother, the ridges of crows feet under my eyes feel smoother and my skin has a healthy glow to it now.
I am tickled to death!

Next month I'm planning to add the corrective eye cream to my regime as well, I'll keep you posted.

I have been faithfully using Arbonne products for nearly 15 years now (I swear by their Immunity Boosters, y'all), they are a trusted brand at my house! If you want to order anything, give me a holler & I will let you use my consultant discount. 😉


For the Love of a Clean House...
The kids are back in school & my days have been filled entirely with getting my life together (also known as cleaning & organizing all things)...

At this point in the game,
I think I LOVE this Norwex Rubber Brush even more than my own family!



This thing is SO awesome!
I use it EVERY DAY!
I use it with the Norwex mop set to get the dirt off before tossing it in the washer:



I use it on my sofa and chairs pretty much EVERYDAY to get the dog hair off!
And recently, I went crazy and used it on my front & back stairs...
which pretty much looked just like this (maybe grosser).


I could NOT BELIEVE the nasty stuff that rubber brush worked out of that carpet!!
Yuck!!

If you get invited to a Norwex party & don't know what to buy, I HIGHLY recommend this one (plus, this mega awesome thing is just $14.99)!!



For the Love of Laughing!
I love to laugh so very much, it's something I love right now & every day!

My kids have had me laughing a lot lately & it has me loving this age that they are at the moment.
Evan has been particularly cheeky (but if you know how sweet natured he is, it comes across as just hilarious), I think he's starting to ease into that middle school snarky phase.

  • A couple of weeks ago we were out to dinner and it was FREEZING in the restaurant!! I had my elbows on the table & my chin on top of my fists while we were all talking and waiting for our food. I must have paused and looked thoughtful for minute because Evan looked at me funny all the sudden and then smiles a sly smile & says "are you praying to Jesus that they will turn that air conditioner off?"...(no, but that's a good idea)

  • Earlier this week he gets in the car after school and randomly says to no one in particular "I don't know why I have to take that stupid computer class, I can type faster than my computer teacher"...(oh, can you now...)

  • And my absolute favorite was last week when he was having a REALLY hard time going to bed & came into our bedroom looking gravely serious and says "I can't sleep. I need to talk to you about the Lord" (which he pronounced "Low-ord"). ((Go to bed!))
And an honorable mention is a text conversation I had with Olivia one day (during school, I might add...WHY are you on that phone during school??)...



For the love...

For the Love of a Good Show!
I asked for recommendations for a new show to watch over on my Facebook page & boy did you guys suggest some good ones!! I decided to try this show on Netflix over the weekend:

AMC's Turn, Washington's Spies
TURN: Washington's Spies takes viewers into the stirring and treacherous world of the Revolutionary War and introduces Abraham Woodhull who, after aligning with a group of childhood friends, forms the Culper Ring -- America's first spy ring.


Wow, wow, wow!!
I absolutely love a good historical fiction story and this series has had me on the verge of an anxiety attack from the very first minute I turned it on!
It's so, so good!!

If you liked the movie The Patriot, you will LOVE this show!



For the Love of Whole30!
Y'all, I have been working on a post about Whole30 and will share it (cough, someday)...but let me just briefly tell you about my LOVE for this incredible eating plan (it's not a diet, you will never be hungry doing Whole30)!
I did my very first round in May and it completely changed my life!

I was fighting a horrible sugar addiction, I was being led like a mule with a carrot by bread...I was exhausted ALL THE TIME, could not accomplish a single thing, no motivation of any kind!
I just did NOT feel good. 😢
I was so unhappy about it, it was making me MISERABLE!!!

I was so scared to try this program.
I stood in my pantry & thought, there's no way I can do this...

I am SO GRATEFUL that I made myself try!
In less than a week of starting this program, I felt like a different person!
My norm was sitting on the couch all evening watching tv, too tired to do anything & craving something sweet...

By the third week, I had energy like I have not had in ten years!
I walked by bad food, processed food, & junk food with my NOSE IN THE AIR!
This Whole30 will empower you!
You will no longer be controlled by sugar or bread or anything else!

((Oh & I lost 12 pounds eating deliciousness like avocadoes every day...))



I joined an AWESOME Whole30 Group on Facebook & we are starting our round on Sept 5th (but I am starting right now to eat better so that I will not be detox shell shocked that first week).

I can't wait for that cool weather to get here, I'm going to slide right into my pants like a pat of butter ghee! If you want to feel AMAZING (& slide into some pants you miss wearing), come over & join us!


For the Love of Pecan Pie (Larabars)...
One of the positive things that happened to me while doing my first Whole30 was falling IN LOVE with the Larabar!

Since doing that first round of Whole30 I have eaten a yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs, a banana & a handful of blueberries nearly every day. But on the mornings I am short on time, a cup of coffee and a pecan pie larabar is my FAVORITE on the go breakie!




and last, but not least...

For the Love of Francine Rivers...
My absolute FAVORITE author has a new book coming out next year, I nearly came out of my chair when I saw this pre-order link on Amazon!!!!



Have you read any of her books?
Which one is your favorite (it's hard to pick just one)...
This one is mine...The Mark of the Lion series.
It is LIFE CHANGING good!!

Well, I've got to hop up here & get busy!
We had a wonderful, relaxing weekend with my sister and her boys this past weekend, but I did not do one lick of housework all weekend and my house is in shambles!!

What are some things you are loving right now?
Hop over to Facebook and let me know!


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.
Have a wonderful Monday, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We Survived: The Great American Eclipse 2017

Hello, sweet friends!!

Did you get to experience The Great American Eclipse yesterday!?

We were SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY to live right in the path of totality and got to experience this once in a lifetime event right in our own backyard!

I have to be honest.
I wasn't sure at all what to expect yesterday...
And the insane frenzy over this event was starting to get on my very last nerve...



But I have to say the actual moment of the total eclipse exceeded anything I could have ever dreamed up in my head or watched in a movie theater!

The total eclipse lasted out here at our house for approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds
and it was nothing short of AMAZING!!

Even though middle Tennessee was in the path of totality, our school system decided to remain open yesterday (despite every surrounding county voting to close school). We were assured that absences would be considered excused and decided to keep our kids home so that we could be together to experience it.

((and let me just say that I am so grateful that we made that choice, because it was overwhelming, emotional & a little scary))




P Daddy came home for lunch and we enjoyed a little family eclipse party out by the pool.

We didn't take many pictures because the actual event happened so fast, I didn't want to miss a second of it fooling with a phone or a camera!

But, from the pictures I did take you can see the change in lighting is very obvious.
This first picture is after the eclipse had begun, not quite a quarter covering yet.
((& yes, I put sunscreen on his sweet head...bless him))



This picture is when the eclipse is just a little over half coverage.
Still completely bright, but there was a creepy haze forming.
(& thank you children for your enthusiasm here, I can always count on you)




THIS picture is of totality!




I'm glad the flash was not on so that you can see that it is grainy dark (but it never got black dark like night, it was more like dark when a bad storm is rolling in).
You can see the reflection of the eclipsed sun in the water here also.

It was obvious immediately that what we saw on the camera screen of our phones & iPad looked nothing like what we saw with our eyes and everyone just put their devices down to take in the moment.

It was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life!
It was eerie silent.
For two minutes it was absolutely SILENT and still!

The big, white float on the patio behind P Daddy had been covered with a swarm of probably 100 bees (a perk of backyard beekeeping that is about to get on my nerves). During totality, we realized that they had all completely disappeared & had returned to their hive!

We also saw shadow snakes on the ground both before and after the total eclipse and this completely blew my mind! It was thrilling & terrifying at the same time! When it was over, I felt so drained & emotional. It was an incredibly raw, spiritual event!


This picture below is just after the total eclipse and the sun is still covered about 80%.
The lighting is similar to the first picture I shared, but still with a lingering haze.
And...our roosters were crowing!




I'm so very grateful that we did not have to endure a crowd of people and we were able to be together at home. I'm sure that the teachers worked very hard to make the event fun and educational for the kids, but absolutely NOTHING could have made this event better than being together as a family to experience it!

Except maybe being together with these special peeps too.




I hope you were able to spend this magical time with the people that you love as well.

Thanks for stopping by to share it with us.

Have a beautiful, blessed Tuesday!

Mwah,

Mandy



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ramblings of Family, Fun, Back to School and Dolly Parton...

Hi, friends!

Can you believe it is already on the backside of AUGUST!?!
My goodness, time just keeps flying by!
I hope this post finds you and your family all doing well, I do love all my sweet friends that I have made through this crazy blog. ❤

In normal Crazytowne fashion, it has been pretty busy around here!
I have started four different blog posts in the past three weeks & cannot for my life sit still long enough to finish any them!
So, for the sake of anything sane I decided to implement the Three C's here...Condense, Combine & Catch up in one quick rambling of a post (won't that be nice?)...

So, hey...here we go! 😉


Weekend getaway at Dollywood...

This past Christmas Santa brought the kids season passes to Dollywood as their "something to do" gift (the kids only get 4 gifts from Santa, smartest parenting move I've ever made) and we have been enjoying that beloved Dolly Parton all year long!




If you grew up in Tennessee in the 1980's, you might have had the opportunity to visit Opryland themepark (also called Opryland USA) in Nashville. We were VERY lucky to live just 30 just minutes away and went several times a year. My sister and I have the fondest childhood memories of visiting Opryland and share a true, unwavering hatred for it's replacement...Opry Mills...(hiss, spit)!

Dollywood is similar to Opryland in a lot of ways;
it's small,
slower paced,
and all sorts of wonderful bluegrass & country.

Last year, she & I decided it was time to make Dollywood our children's Opryland (and instead of that short 30 minute drive, we're hauling them three hours to Gatlinburg)...but the memories they are making with family are so worth it!






Most definitely, my favorite thing about our Dollywood trips has been staying at the new Dollywood Dreammore Resort!

Oh, friends!!

It is FABULOUS!

It reminds me of a Disney resort.

They offer all sorts of perks to their guests for visiting the Dollywood themepark, like free timesaver passes (like fast pass but a little bit better), free shuttle rides to the park, etc; in addition to a full schedule of events at the hotel like park ranger talks, kids crafts and nightly S'MORES down by the pool (they had me at s'mores).

The hotel itself is just gorgeous! They have a lovely outdoor pool with a lazy river and little kid water spout area, heated indoor pool, an beautiful spa, a huge kid's game room, a workout center, coffee shop, gift shop, ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS buffet restaurant downstairs and tons of really neat memorabilia from Dolly Parton's career.

I think my favorite part though, this hotel is staffed by precious LOCAL people. I always have goosebumps when I am there and realize how many jobs Dolly is providing for her community! These are good country people who are incredibly proud of their East Tennessee roots. If you've been wanting to take a trip to Gatlinburg, I have to HIGHLY recommend this beautiful hotel!




Back to School Meal Prep & FREEZING Food...

School has started here & CRAZY came right along with it!

Last weekend I got in survival mode & broke out my Pioneer Woman's Dinnertime Cookbook to get myself in the right frame of mind!


Busy Mamas, if you do not have this cookbook you need to order it RIGHT NOW!

In January the freezer went out on the fridge in our kitchen and being the absolutely spoiled rotten mama that I am, it totally screwed up my groove because...

FROZEN FOOD is my life!



I have been so incredibly grateful to my hard working husband getting us a new fridge this summer (especially after we found out that fixing the broken freezer on our other would cost about as much as a new fridge anyway, ridic!!).

I could write a very long post about my love for this Dinnertime cookbook, but I won't.
I will just say that I do a lot of the things that Ree does: stocking her pantry with staples and prepping food to freeze and it makes my life so much easier!

For example: I buy a HUGE package of ground beef at Sam's Club and cook it all at one time. When it has been drained and cooled I put it in gallon ziplock freezer bags and label them for the freezer as "Beef for tacos, spaghetti, chili etc". I also do a few with beef and sausage browned together for dishes like lasagna or manicotti.

In addition to meat, I also do a lot of veggie prepping to freeze. I buy monster bags of carrots, celery & I especially love it when I can get my hands on about 50 ears of homegrown corn to cream. If it looks like we are not going to eat all those bananas before they go bad, I break them in half & toss those jokers in a freezer bag as well for quick smoothies.

(&I cannot even begin to describe the wave of relief I feel some days to open that freezer and see that I don't have to stand in the kitchen and chop carrots or potatoes for a dish!!)...

That one day of meal prep time that I carve out is always TIME WELL SPENT!

If you lay your ziplock bag down flat in the freezer, it will freeze that way and be slim and sassy and save you all kinds of valuable space in your freezer.



Probably my FAVORITE freezable food is BREAD!! I buy four loaves of sandwich bread every time I go to Sam's & immediately put it in the freezer. If French bread is on sale in the bakery, I grab 2-3 of them, Hawaiian bread (which makes the most divine little ham roll sammich), hot dog buns BOGO, rolls, etc...I have our garage freezer stocked full of bread & it makes my life SO much easier!!

Meal prep & freezer food is a HUGE time saver when the going gets crazy during the school year, especially on days that you FINALLY get everyone picked up from all their stuff & arrive home to realize you've not given one thought to what you might fix for dinner!

Meal prep day is a busy mama's very best friend!
Add one to your calendar soon, you will not be sorry!

Do you have any meal prep tips or timesavers?
I would love to hear them!
I'm always looking for new ways to keep the crazy corralled! 😉

I just noticed that PW has a NEW cookbook coming out in October, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! You can pre-order it on Amazon right now for $20.39 (regular $29.99). This would be a GREAT Christmas gift for any mama or teacher on your list!


And Speaking of Books...

One of the highlights of my summer was serving on a launch team for Melanie Shankle's newest book coming out in October, Church of the Small Things (you can pre-order now on Amazon).


If you're not familiar with Melanie, she is the author of Big Mama Blog (so funny) and three delightful books: Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, and Nobody's Cuter Than You (also SO funny).

Part of my commitment to the launch is sharing a review on social media outlets.
I will be sharing a post exclusively about this book next month. This one is really special, I'm excited to share it with my book nerd buddies! 😉


Other News & Notables...


Miss O turned 15 this summer...



It seems like just last week when she made her first blog appearance (but it was seven years ago).



Don't blink, friends!
Don't blink!


P Daddy & I celebrated 21 years of being married to your best friend in the whole wide world!




And we've made some exciting additions to our backyard!

Backyard Beekeeping...



And Backyard Chickens!


They have both been pretty fun so far, but I am becoming impatient to get some eggs!!!!
Any chicken whisperers out there?!?!

All in all...
we've just been trying to keep it as simple as possible out here & enjoy precious everyday moments.








Because at the end of the day, that's what it's really about anyway.

If you're still reading way down here...
I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying those precious everyday moments too!

Much love,
Mwah!

Mandy








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