Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2015 Country Living Fair, Nashville

Do you have plans April 24-26, 2015?
Oh, I do!!

Last fall I was SO excited to find out that the coveted Country Living Fair would be coming to middle Tennessee in 2015 and I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it was being held IN MY HOMETOWN!

Country Living has always been one of my favorite magazines. I grew up out in the country and have a strong love for farm houses and comfort food. Their magazine always serves up a large helping of both!

Why should you go to the Country Living Fair, Nashville?
Here are the top ten reasons!

P Daddy would go for the food...exclusively. ;)

I'm going for the treasures...




One can only imagine the goodness they will run across here!!

Now that you KNOW you have to go...
Where are you going to stay?

Well, in true "country living" fashion...
the Country Living Fair, Nashville IS located in the heart of some real country living. ;)

If you're coming to town and need a hotel room, there's not a huge selection in Lebanon.
Sure, there are quite a few hotels...
but they're not ones I would recommend to anyone (because I'm pretty snotty about hotels, don't act shocked). ;)

There are no hotels off the exit of the Country Living Fair location, James E. Ward Agricultural Center. 

In Lebanon, I recommend these two hotels:
Hampton Inn off the Hartman Drive exit, it's nearly brand new and in a very safe location.
Holiday Inn Express off the 231 exit, it's also fairly new.

These two are are the nicest ones & still be as close as you can be. They are right next to the interstate and very close to the Country Living Fair location. The Holiday Inn Express is located a 1/2 a mile from the Cracker Barrel (Lebanon is the HOME of the original Cracker Barrel & the home office, by the way).

Also, from the Holiday Inn Express you can travel about 4 miles north on 231 to our historic town square and enjoy some fabulous boutiques & antique stores (some of my favorite haunts).

I do love Lebanon, but if I were coming into town to say overnight.
I would personally rather stay in Mt Juliet.
It's still close, still in Wilson County...
It's about a 15 minute drive from the Mt Juliet exit to the Country Living Fair location (from there Mt Juliet is west, headed toward Nashville).

In Mt Juliet, I would suggest the Hampton Inn & Suites 
or the Holiday Inn Express.

Both of these are nearly brand new and they're located next to great shopping (Target, Belk, TJ Maxx/Homegoods, Pier One, Kirklands) and a variety of pretty decent places to eat.

If you're wanting to make a vacation out of it, I recommend staying a little closer to Nashville at the Opryland Hotel. You will feel like you REALLY went on a trip when you stay there! It's incredibly beautiful & they have an amazing spa!
 
The hotel is located conveniently next to Opry Mills Shopping Mall...
146 stores & 30 restaurants...
It's pretty awesome!



Well, there ya go!

Get you some tickets & plan on coming to hunt treasure at the Country Living Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee, at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center April 24-26, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

They promise great shopping, seminars and demonstrations, delicious food, and even a chance to meet the Country Living Magazine editors!

It's sure to be a fun time!
& hey,
maybe I'll see you there! ;)

Have a great day, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, Motivation & Mumbles...


Hey, there!!
It's Monday!!!

It's a big Monday at our house!
P Daddy's last grouchy Monday in his 30's!!
(I'm joking, he's never grouchy on JUST Monday morning...) ;)

I kid...
I'm the grouchy one. 
Not him. 
(No talkie before coffee)

Anyway, we're pretty excited! The kids planned him a party & I know it's going to be very fun! They are very giddy over it because the location is the place where P Daddy & I went on our very first date. They are so pumped, I can't wait to watch them enjoy it! 

I'm sure you guys know, I am pretty serious about policing my kid's social media. Clearly, it isn't going away & I feel like I might have a real chance to train these kids to not post stupid stuff if I'm all up in their business! 

I've noticed that Owen actually seems bored with it now, (after I was making him delete something I didn't like a couple of times a week). He knows he can't escape CSI Mama...Horatio Caine taught me well! 



I have to share this picture I found though, posted on Twitter by Owen's sweet little girlfriend. 

(Why, yes...I police there too)
(That's where the real news is anyway.) ha! 


Young love...
Those kids are just too cute! 

I've been hanging on to this bible verse lately. It was the rock and strength of one of the Love Comes Softly books, where Willie & Missy head out west in their covered wagon...from the book of Isaiah 41:10. 


They named their first son Isaiah (his middle name) because this verse gave them the strength to make it through such very hard times. 

Its a very powerful verse that keeps me motivated. ❤️


****************************


Well, speaking of motivation. I've got to put this phone down & run for a bit.

Must. Keep. On. Keeping. On. ;)

I'll be back after lunch today to share a fun giveaway & later this week I'll show you what's been cooking in my kitchen (& it's not food). 


Wishing y'all the warmest, wonderful Monday!

Mwah!

Mandy



Monday, Motivation & Mumbles...


Hey!!
It's Monday!!!

It's a big Monday at our house!
P Daddy's last grouchy Monday in his 30's!! (I'm joking, he's never grouchy just on Monday morning...) ;)

I kid, 
I'm the grouchy one. 
Not him. 
(No talkie before coffee)

Anyway, we're pretty excited! The kids planned him a party & I know it's going to be very fun! They are very giddy over it because the location is the place where P Daddy & I went on our very first date. They are so pumped, I can't wait to watch them enjoy it! 

Im sure you guys know, I am pretty serious about policing my kid's social media. Clearly, it isn't going away & I feel like I might have a real chance to train these kids to not post stupid stuff if I'm all up in their business! 

I've noticed that Owen actually seems bored with it now, (after I was making him delete something I didn't like a couple of times a week). He knows he can't escape CSI Mama...Horatio Caine taught me well! 



I have to share this picture I found though, posted on Twitter by Owen's little girlfriend. 

(Why, yes...I police there too)
(That's where the real news is anyway.) ha! 


Young love...
Those kids are just too cute! 

I've been hanging on to this bible verse lately. It was the rock and strength of one of the Love Comes Softly books, where Willie & Missy head out west in their covered wagon...from the book of Isaiah 41:10. 


They named their first son Isaiah (his middle name) because this verse gave them the strength to make it through such very hard times. 

Its a very powerful verse that keeps me motivated. ❤️

Well, speaking of motivation. I've got to put this phone down & run for a bit.

Must. Keep. On. 

I'll be back after lunch today to share a fun giveaway & later this week I'll show you what's been cooking in my kitchen (& it's not food). 


Wishing y'all the warmest, wonderful Monday!

Mwah!

Mandy



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dressing Mama...in a Blanket Scarf

Last week I mentioned the Blanket Scarf in my rambling catch up entry.
You can read about it here.

The response to that part of my post was huge...
and hilarious!!
You guys are so funny!

Someone was kind enough to elaborate on how suffocating in the blanket scarf felt...
here's a fine example.

How we actually look in a blanket scarf:



and how we feel like we look in a blanket scarf...



The suffocation...
the struggle was real!! ;)

Honestly,

I'd much rather talk about spring attire, I can assure you...
But since there's (sadly)
several more weeks of COLD weather ahead of us,
let's talk more about staying warm &
Dressing a Mama up in a SCARF.

I found a few different looks on Pinterest that I really like...







Pin Source


Pin Source
Pin Source
Pin source
SUPER CUTE, aren't they!

Ok, let me ask you this...

After looking at these cute sample pictures,
did you happen to notice anything else that these girls were wearing?

I didn't...not really.
Just basics...jeans, white shirt, black on black...

This is a totally friendly,
comfortable,
do-able look that will make a mama look very stylish.

The best part, very little effort!
Dress it up or keep it casual,
that's my favorite part!

Now that you LOVE the blanket scarf look...
where can you buy one!?!

I LOVE this blanket scarf at Groopdealz!
It buttons in the front,
but can still be worn around the neck like a regular scarf.
It's cool beans!
(the only problem is deciding which one!!)



Plaid Button Blanket Scarf - $16.99
from: GroopDealz

If you're not wanting to commit to the blanket...
they also had cozy infinity scarves too,
that black/white one would go with tons of stuff!


Plaid Infinity Scarf - 2 Colors! - $11.99
from: GroopDealz

There are also some pretty ones on Jane right now, 14 different colors!
I love Jane!!



These are just $10.99!
Jane.com


This one is very similar to the one I have & love:

I found it here for $13.99,
but I've never bought from them before.

I also saw them on Amazon
(affiliate link)
I can vouch for Amazon,
they are the bomb!



I also LOVE this one on Amazon too...
it's SO pretty (& cheap, I ♥ cheap)



If you're not sure how to tie that scarf,
here's a link to TONS of different examples on Pinterest.
(how did we survive before Pinterest!?!) ;)


*****************************

Ok, fun time is over for me...

I gotta go!
I'm in painting warrior mode this week...



The first time I painted our kitchen island it took me almost a year.
(off & on, nibble here, nibble there, do I like this look?, will this work?...)

It was rough & very distressed...
it really did look good,
but since we put this brick floor down it was just TOO much texture.
Too much texture stresses me out. ;)




This time around
(having 100% confidence in my painting skills)
it's going to be UNDER A WEEK,
boom!

I expect to be completely done tomorrow.
(#goals) ;)

I'll be back to share it soon,
but tomorrow is Thursday &
I am sharing a basket full of goodness to give away...
a few Crafty Southern Mama Favorites,
just in time for Valentine's Day. :)

I'll let y'all get back to Blanket Scarf Shopping...



Stay warm, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy

Monday, January 19, 2015

Motivation on a Beautiful Monday Morning!

Three days in a ROW...
THREE!!
The sun has been shining for THREE straight days here in middle Tennessee!



After the funky weather we've had for the past two months,
I am ready to believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real!
Shew!

I have been the LEAST efficient person on the entire planet!
I NEED sunshine!!!

I wanted to pop in here real quick to share some motivation.

You realize this Motivation on Monday is really just for me...
I'm the fruitcake,
I NEED this motivation! ;)

Here's what I'm talking about today...


Being a grown up is not very fun..
it wears me out sometimes!

"It's Very Hard"

Here's how I'm dealing with hard stuff lately...

I get on my knees,
I pray,
I give it to God...
& then I quit taking this grown up stuff so seriously!

Because really...



It's true!
Let that stuff go.
Better things are coming.♥

Happy Monday, sweet friends!

Mwah!

Mandy


Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Nibbles...The Rest of the Ramblings

Hello & welcome to
Part Two of fun, fool ramblings...

Back to regular routine blogging next week...
I'll be sharing

minimal sass, 
a painting project,
& that long awaited "favorite things" giveaway!

So, grab some coffee...
Let's catch up...


1. The Blanket Scarf

I think I talked about these in a Dressing Mama post last month. I ordered one for myself around Thanksgiving, but just recently started wearing it.

These are all the rave on Pinterest, I found dozens of pictures & EVEN a simple tutorial on how to WEAR THEM (remember, no mama left behind)


It is a hoss!

I wore mine as directed above, it nearly suffocated me...
just so much scarf!!
Too much!!
That look is definitely for the tiny people.

I did NOT give up on it though!

I've started wearing mine like this...
and it is SO warm & cozy!!


Unfortunately, it probably looks more like this on me...



Who cares! ;)

Here's one very similar to the one I have (affiliate link).
It's so pretty & just goes with everything...
and it's not expensive!




2.  iPhone 6 Plus

I was talking about this earlier in the week, the touch ID feature. Since that post, my snarky children have informed me that my PREVIOUS PHONE (the 5) also had this feature & I failed to be aware.

Thank goodness I live with people who KNOW EVERYTHING...

One other AWESOME thing I'm finding about the iPhone 6 Plus...

it's HUGE & makes it nearly impossible to hold it in one hand and text...

which means, no more texting and driving...
which is a habit that I had been trying hard to break myself from
(I am not proud).

Now...
no phone in my hand in the car

because that thing way too big!

Thank you, P Daddy & Jesus! ♥


3.  Mom's Night Out movie...

Have you SEEN this cute movie?



It is so fun & refreshing!
It made me laugh out loud & I was tickled to death to hear people using God's name REPEATEDLY in a respectful manner!

Rent it, find it on Demand, or grab one from Amazon (affiliate link), you will love it!




4. Dear Malicious People,

(minor rant)

You stink!
You really do!
I don't know why you are so eat up with being ugly and cannot throw love & kindness around like confetti!

I've had it with stinky people!

I recently saw "a friend" (yes, I used air quotes there)
on Facebook attempting to subtly call attention to a VERY unfortunate mistake that someone had made (one that was ENTIRELY none of my business).

Sadly, they made it seem almost like they were entitled to broadcast anyone's sins as a civic duty to the Facebook community...and this is perfectly fine and acceptable...

My mouth hung open for days, stunned to the core!

I think they call that the straw that broke the camel's back.

I mentioned on my Crafty Southern Mama Facebook page,
I went through my feed & UNFOLLOWED all these ugly, narcissistic people who use Facebook as a platform to bully or broadcast their opinions.

Goodbye political rants,
fake propaganda, 
witch hunts,
& POT STIRRING...

Now my news feed is full of cute babies, recipes & uplifting bible verses.

It's pretty nice.

Adios, Malicious People
I have no time for you!

The end.


5. Our Kitchen Pantry

It's a confusing, stressful place...
and it's probably visited more than any other room in our house!




I'm having an estimate done,

"I have a Dream"...
(sorry, MLK humor...)

(as Olivia would say, "you're not that funny") ;)


I'll keep my fingers crossed...

& keep y'all posted.


6. P Daddy is turning 40!!!

Yes, indeed!
I'm watching the mailbox,
his "Club 40" card arrives this month!

He seems to be handling it well.
I know the kids & I have had a blast planning a (tiny) party for him!
It's going to be nothing but bray like a donkey laughing fun...
I promise! ;)

I ran up on this link while I was party planning.
Oh, how I wish P Daddy's name was MARTY!!
This party theme is epic!!!

The Marty Party

Somebody please go throw a party for a Marty. ;)


7. Girl Scout Cookies

(another mild rant)

I loved Girl Scouts, but I am so thankful that Olivia doesn't sell those cookies anymore. Those evil cookies are on my list of things that make me want to say bad words.

NOBODY needs those cookies, nobody!
They're BAD for you!
They're full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial food colors, and even GMO soy.
Shew, nasty!

Young ladies of America, I will support you as a Girl Scout...
but I will not buy those nasty cookies!


That is all. ;)


8. VALENTINE'S Day...

Go on & get ready...
It's coming for you!
In my never ending quest to give SUGAR FREE gifts on a candy filled holiday, I bought these for my kids.

Giant Mylar Valentine Balloons 

 

Yeah, that'll take their mind off that candy they didn't get (from me).
(wicked laugh...)


(or as Olivia would say, "you're not that funny") ;)


9. Speaking of Valentine's Day Gifts

This nifty little box has been the best gift ever!!
I know any lady or gentleman would love it!



I cannot believe the sound that comes out of that thing!
We have jammed all over the house &
now my children are fully educated on the complete Dirty Dancing soundtrack...
"those Hungry Eyes..." ;)

(#goals)
ha

You can get one here:





10. (in case you haven't noticed)  IT'S FREEZING!!

I've heard several people claim to have problems with pipes freezing already this year...
If you're local, I wanted you to have Adam Patterson on speed dial (615-854-1798).



His guys will get you fixed up & thawed out quick!


****************************

Well, fun time is over for me.
I need to get busy here...

I'll leave you guys with this one:


Kindness,
Smiling,
Morgan Freeman...
all on my list of things I love! ;)

Happy Rambling Weekend, Friends!!

Mwah,

Mandy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This & That...Random Nibbles

Last month I couldn't stop talking,
this month I can't think of anything relevant to write about...

I think last month's GLOOM & DOOM weather has taken its toll.

I NEED SOME SUNSHINE!!

Here are a few  nibbles from our house right now...

1. Dyslexia Update:

Sweet baby has been a worker in 2nd grade, I can hardly even put into words how (nearly amazed) and proud I am of him! In December of 2013 he barely could identify the letters in the alphabet, in December 2014 he's tested reading on a 3rd grade level! He's all about it!

It was an expensive, exhausting road...but worth every penny!

So proud of my Pootie Bear!




2. My little nephew turned three... 


Recognize that shirt? 
I sure got my money's worth out of that one!



We'll get to celebrate with him this weekend!!!
I can't wait!!!!

3. Love Comes Softly Series



My mother bought this boxed set for Olivia for Christmas, but it was just the first four books (and I have just gobbled them up). I decided that my reading obsession has become expensive & in 2015 I will visit the public library more.

Yesterday I was in a twitch ALL DAY LONG because I had blocked off 45 minutes at the end of the day (before picking up the kids) to go sit in the library & start on book #5!!!

Except they didn't have book #5.
Nor did they have two other books that I had designated as backup titles.

Hiss, spit.
Needless to say, I bought a book on my Nook last night...
#FAIL


4. The Road to College (Football)

Oh, friends!
You are going to hear me yam a lot about this over the next couple of years!
Big O has decided that it's going to be his goal to not only play college football (oh, my poor nerves), but he also aspires to get a scholarship doing it!



We're working with a little recruiter.
Since Owen is on the verge of being a "rising junior"...
oh, my...
there's so much, so much...
oh, the details!!
It's VERY EXCITING!!
I'll be posting more about this really soon.

5. Touch ID feature on the iPhone

In P Daddy's never ending quest to spoil me rotten,
he bought me a new iPhone for Christmas.
I got the 6 Plus...
I decided since I don't talk on the phone anyway,
I really liked this bigger size.

It's like a mini iPad mini & big enough to read a book on
(mercy, see #3...fail)

Anyway, the most thrilling thing to me is this TOUCH ID feature!!
I can just push the button & it reads my fingerprint to unlock!
I just marvel!!
That's the coolest feature ever!!!

It's definitely one of my favorite gifts!


6. This Vest!!!

I want this vest in a bad way...
but I am too cheap to pay that much for one right now.

I recently talked P Daddy into getting a vest...

He LOVES his vest...
so much, in fact...
he bought another!! Ha!


Rarely is he seen without his new vest on these days &

I may or may not have heard him refer to
wearing his beloved new vest as  
"being in the vest mafia" (LMBO)...

I do love that man,
he makes me laugh.

Anyway...

I don't really need another vest...
sigh...
I shall plot & stew... ;)



Ugh!!
That's all I have time for &
I have about five other things to tell you...

I will be back! ;)

I hope you guys are staying warm...
hang in there, friends...
January is already HALF WAY OVER!!

#GOALS
ha!

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Mwah,

Mandy


Monday, January 5, 2015

Motivation on Monday...#GOALS

I've noticed this hashtag that girls are using on social media,
#GOALS.

From what I gather,
#GOALS is often used in reference to relationships,
(like having a boyfriend who is shares his love for you on social media for all to see).
(yes, I stalk Big O's social media like an episode of CSI)

It's funny how #GOALS are different for a woman at every stage of their life.

In high school #GOALS is mostly about finding "that guy",
the one that makes you happy...

In your 40's #GOALS is more about finding "that girl",
YOU...
the one that is truly in charge of your happiness.

Somewhere along the way it gets confusing...

between college,
starting a career,
getting married,
having kids,
figuring out how to keep those kids alive,
run a house,
have job,
have real friends,
oh, yeah...& have a marriage (the part where this crazy ride began)...

we were skinny,
we got fat, 
we got skinny again,
boom, fat,
tried to get skinny again,

you're a friend,
you're a wife,
you're a mama,

you're everything!

This mama thing is hard!

Mamas are busy,
& it's pretty easy lose track of who WE really are.

This year I'm working on that one...
stepping back &
getting in touch with who on earth I am now.

"Hi, I'm Mandy...nice to meet you"
"Cute shirt..."

And just like Will taught me at the gym...
I've got to be the best Mandy that I can be,
and I can't do that if I don't like ME.

If you don't have any "New Years Goals" yet,
here's a very simple and realistic list for you to follow in 2015:



You're a mama!!
You're pretty awesome,
& you deserve that kind of love!

You deserve kind words,
you deserve time to exercise,
you deserve to do things that you enjoy
& you deserve feel awesome.

You do
& I do too!

Watch out 2015,
we're gonna be the best we can be!

(starting right now)

Let's hop up &
go kick Monday's butt!

 

Go get after it, friends!

Mwah,

Mandy








Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Most Viewed Posts of 2014!

I was going through some stats &
making some notes about blogging goals for the upcoming year.

I thought it would be fun to share the top five most viewed posts from 2014.

I always like to look back and see what interests my blog readers the most.

Here's the top five of 2014...

the people have spoken! ;)



5. Motivation on Monday...Stronger
(because YOU ARE enough)





 4. Maverick's Top One Birthday Party
(because, seriously...that was the cutest thing ever)



the number three spot was a tie between...

3. Dressing Mama...In Booties
(because there will be NO MAMA left behind)



3.  Operation Lunchbox Make Your Own Uncrustables
(because clearly packing lunches isn't just the bane of MY existence)



2 . Antiquing a Perfectly Nice Chandelier 
(because not everybody is brave or crazy enough to do that)



and the number one, most viewed post of 2014...

1. Adventures of the Cheeky China Cabinet
(because apparently having P Daddy working the camera gets the job done) ;)



From this list,
I'm thinking I need to "keep on, keeping on" with my variation of topics...

there will be lots more furniture & paint projects, Dressing Mama will be at least bi-monthly (it's so fun), and Miss O & I are going to be working together in the kitchen (she keeps talking You Tube, but the introvert in me screams NOOOOOOO).


Book review "On My Nightstand" posts were the lowest viewed of all my posts this year, but they generated the HIGHEST amount of feedback. I know there are a good handful of people who read those and get in touch with me about the books so I will still be doing that in 2015 (because y'all know my nose is always crammed in a book & I like to treat imaginary book characters like they're my new BFF...).
Book Nerds Unite! ;)

I would LOVE some feedback from you guys...
Are there any topics you would like to see more of?
Any favorites?

I want to thank you for coming here and reading my crazy stories and offering me your friendship and support. I do love my blogging friends. ♥

Wishing you all the most AMAZING 2015...
let's go get after it!!!

Mwah!

Mandy



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