Powersheets by Lara Casey

December 10
No comments yet
*

I have been aware of Lara Casey and her Powersheets for a few years now and have eyed them every year as they are released but I never bit the bullet and bought them. This year I Finally changed that.

img_3661Powersheets are designed to help you realize your goals and then make them happen. Lara (Author of Make it Happen and Cultivate) guides you through a workbook that gets you to dig deep into your needs and desires. Once you have gone down to the core of your goals she then provides steps to guide you into creating action steps for getting these things from goals to action to done.

img_3660Although the Powersheets look like a planner, they are really more of a guide and accessory to your planner. With weekly, monthly, and quarterly checkins to help you see where you are and gauge progres. I store my Powersheets on my desk within easy sight so that I access them regularly.

img_3657Every Sunday I sit down and plan out the next week. This is a time where I go over schedules, meal plans, goals, and tasks. I will add time with my Powersheets to this weekly meeting with myself to check in on where I am at with my goals.

img_3658I have not yet gone over the preliminary sheets in my Powersheets as I am waiting until mid-December, but I plan to take some time, grab some coffee, and really sit down and connect with myself and find my real goals and intentions. I will share again here about it once I find my goals. I may not share all of them as they will be personal, but I plan to share some as well as more about this process.  I truly hope that this investment helps me find the best in myself and to get the most of of my next year.

Powersheets are on sale now for 2019. Join me in making this the best year yet by being intentional with our goals.

Have you used Powersheets? What did you think of them?

img_4389Please note: Affiliate links are in use on this page. If you purchase powersheets I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay and this helps fund running this site.  Thanks!

RELATED POSTS

DIY holiday centerpiece

December 2
No comments yet
*

I was at my parent’s house the other day and my mother gave me a few antique kitchen items and one of the items that stuck out to me was this adorable pie tin. You never see pie plates like this anymore and when she gave it to me I knew I had to find a fun way to showcase it.

Fast forward a week and we were decorating our home for the holidays and I saw the pie tin again. It took it over to my dining table and realized it would make a great part of a centerpiece.

I also knew I wanted something a little bigger than the tin, so I took the round tray I was currently using and placed the tin in the tray. I used a few coasters to raise the tin a little higher to give the centerpiece some, but not too much height. You wanna be able to see the person sitting across from you, right?

I added a set of three candles I already owned the middle as they work great in this space. Once I had my base I added some greenery. I found these sprigs with my holiday decor so I went with them. I wouldn’t mind something less glittery, but I am just going to go with the stuff I already have as it is here and simple. I then added a few sprigs of holly berries and some decorative cinnamon sticks and that is it!

This centerpiece was super simple and made from the pie tin plus stuff I just had around the house. I love thinking a little out of the box and creating like this with things I already have. Hopefully this post can inspire you to look around your home and see what you can use to create your own centerpiece or holiday decor.  If you create something, please tag me in a photo, I’d love to see it! I’m on facebook  @_amberdowns on Instagram.

 

 

DIY farmhouse centerpiece from a vintage pie tin. perfect holiday farm decor for your table.

Diy farmhouse centerpiece

RELATED POSTS

DIY Popcorn Garland

November 30
No comments yet
*

We’re very in to Christmas decorating around here. It is not just me, my husband is 100% in on it too. We love to transform out home in to a holiday escape. In general, most of the decor decisions around here are made by me, but when it comes to the holidays, Charlie likes to have a little more input. So back in October, I asked him what he thought of doing a homemade popcorn garland instead of our usual beads and he seemed interested in the idea, but neither of us did anything about it. Fast forward to the day after Thanksgiving, our traditional decorating day, and as we’re starting to get the tree going, he asks me about the garland. I had forgotten about it until then, but when I saw he was interested I went over to the kitchen, popped some corn, and we went for it. I was lucky that we always make our popcorn from the kernel instead of the bag, so we had plenty on hand. I also had some leftover cranberries just waiting to be used.  So here you have it, our popcorn garland!

img_4047

This popcorn garland is super easy to make. In fact, my husband and I whipped it together for our seven foot tree in about an hour.

Supplies:

Note: Popcorn should be plain and free of and butter or oil. We used plain kernels and popped them in our Air Popper. (We LOVE this thing and it is totally worth it if you eat a lot of popcorn.) Day old popcorn will be a little more rubbery and will work better, but we used fresh and it was fine. 

To start grab your needle and thread and make your line. I doubled the thread and knotted it at the bottom to make a thicker garland. We made each of ours approx. 10 feet in length so that it wrapped around well, but wasn’t too long.

Now it is time to start threading the popcorn and cranberries on the line. We did a pattern of five popcorn kernels and then one cranberry, but feel free to experiment with what is best for you. You can even skip the cranberries completely if you’d like. If you find mushy cranberries toss them out.

Keep going until you get to the end. When I get there I used a cranberry at the end and then cut the needle off. I then pulled out of the strings out of the cranberry and tied them together so that the cranberry was a part of the knot.

After we had made out strands we just wrapped them around the tree so that the ends were in the back. Super easy!

img_4012

If you wanted to save the garland you could spray it garland with shellac. We skipped this part as I don’t plan on keeping this one; we will just cut it and add it to our compost.

Well there you go, that is how we made this charming garland for our tree. I am honestly surprised it is not more popular of an option with “farmhouse” and “rustic” being so in right now. But hey, more popcorn for me.

Christmas tree diy popcorn and cranberry garland. Perfect for your farmhouse Christmas tree and vintage holiday

RELATED POSTS

My favorite gifts on Amazon

November 28
No comments yet
*

I love Amazon for gifting. I always wait to grab something at the last minute, so with two-day shipping I can get gifts just in the nick of time. Today I am sharing a few of my giftable favorites from Amazon that are perfect for your or a loved one.  Click the link to be directed to my Amazon page where you can see m favorites and what I like about each item.

 

Happy Gifting!

 


Untitled design (3)

Find these items, as well as my other Amazon favorites here.

 

 

Amazon.con Holiday gift ideas

RELATED POSTS

Holiday Home Tour 2018

November 25
No comments yet
*

Well Thanksgiving is finally over so it is time to decorate for the holidays. I shared about how I decorated my home in 2016, but I wanted to share more about my style and system here again for 2018. My husband and I both love holiday decorating and it is for sure a family affair for us, but we have also been taking the time in recent years to focus on how to decorate and make our home festive without too much effort, space, or time.  In this tour I’ll share tips on how to decorate in a way that is simple and enjoyable without being a burden or making your home look cluttered.

img_4011

I love having the Christmas tree in front of a window facing the street. Growing up, we did not have a front window that worked for a tree and I always loved driving by homes with visible trees. Before we even made an offer on our home I knew where our tree would go and we use that spot every year. The tree is at the corner of two windows so it has lots of street visibility to spread lots of holiday cheer. If you don’t have a spot  by the window, no need to fear, it is just something I have always enjoyed. Of course, if you are in the market for a new home, do consider tree placement if that is important to you. Not having a great place for a tree can be super annoying as it leads to the tree aways being in the way and that can start to take some of the joy out of the season.

img_4047

We decorate our tree with family ornaments and some fillers. I know trendy trees are always in, but I am not in the market to spend money on pieces that hold not sentimental value and that I will discard after only a few years. This Library of Congress ornament was purchased after we were engaged in their lobby. It is for sure one of my favorites.

If you don’t have family ornaments yet consider asking parents or grandparents if they have some they could hand down to you. We love buying ornaments while traveling  and now have special decorations commemorating our engagement, anniversary, and other special events. This makes our decorating time extra special as we get to reminisce on these events in our lives while we decorate. Oh, and yes, our tree skirt is just an old tablecloth. If you need a skirt check your linen closet. No need to spend money on a fancy one, you probably have something that can be used and then put back. One less thing to store!

img_4012

Our decorating tradition is after Thanksgiving, once the guests have left, we have a few drinks and put up the tree. This is special to both of us and something we always do together. As I mentioned before, it is a time to remember the past, celebrate our time together, and get excited for the season ahead of us. Charlie always plays his christmas playlist, and when it is cool enough out we light the fireplace. Afterwards you can usually find us cuddled on the sofa in our holiday pajamas. This is truly one of my favorite parts of the season.

img_4037

This year I did go a little further and purchased a small flocked tree for our bedroom. I wanted to add a little bit of holiday twinkle to that space, and this tree was perfect. I added some inexpensive decorations from Amazon and the Dollar Tree and I love how it turned out. Will I keep this tree next year? I don’t know. What I do know is that I will only put it up if I have the time, energy, and space. When decorating becomes work then it is just not worth it.

 

img_4048

We have some household decorations which we put out here and there throughout the house. Some of these are heirloom pieces like Charlie’s nutcrackers and some are fun finds. I always like to take a moment when deciding what to put out to think about items that match the feel of the space and are not to distracting. Although I enjoy decor, in the end I still want out home to have a cohesive, relaxing feel. Our goal is for decor to be an accent and not an intrusion. If decorations are to loud we move them or rehome them. Heirloom decorations can be held on to for future use but not put out if needed. I also like to remember that we don’t have to keep everything. Just because a former coworker in 2007 gave us an item does not mean it needs to be on your tree or in your home. Feel free to take a photo and then donate it for someone else to enjoy. (This is totally one of the Marie Kondo tips I love.)

My grandmother gifted her Christmas Village one year. I was so excited to put it up the following year, but it was so much stuff that it ended up being so much work for me. There was so much stuff to go through that it was just overwhelming. I ended up getting rid of most of the “stuff” and just kept the main kit. My grandmother had wanted to get rid of the village, and nobody else wanted it, so I was not offending anyone by cutting dow the collection some. Now I have a nice, easy to store set that I can use or hold on to. We did not put it out this year, but I do intend to keep it for future use.

img_4049

When decorating shelves I love to add just a few holiday elements to our usual decor. This add color and a pop without removing all my things. I did this with our coffee bar shelf (below) as well as in our dining room (above).

img_4038

Any nicknacks that I replace with holiday decor are placed in one of our decoration tubs. This way when we go to put everything away we will find our other things.  Speaking of storage, when we put everything aways for the season I like to take a few minute to divide the “holiday stuff” by type so that next year I can easily find what I need. I have a tub for main tree ornaments, gifting supplies, home decor, party supplies, and extras. This way I can go in and find what I need without opening everything.

img_4017

We do decorate the exterior of our home each year. We just add a simple strand of white LED c9 lights which give our home a classic look. Our personal rule for this, like everything else, is that it only goes up if we have the time and energy. Right now all our decorating work fits in to one day and we enjoy it. Take down is just as easy. I never want to add so much “stuff” that it takes days to remove. It is just not worth it to me.

img_4014

How do you handle decorating for the holidays? Do you go all out or keep it simple?

 

My 2019 Planner plan

November 14
2 Comments
*

I was in Joann’s the other day and I wandered over to glance at the Happy Planner products. While I was there, it dawned on me that we have just under two months until 2019 and I have not yet bought a new planner. I know it seems like I have tons of time, but in the planner world you usually have your pick by fall as many sell out.

So in store I looked through the planners available and realized I was not really happy with any of them. I liked the “Super Mom” planner, but as I am not a mother I did not really feel that planner was right for me. I also gravitate towards plain, neutral colors. Although I enjoy adding color, I prefer for it to be on my terms not the planner itself.

I left the store empty handed and then turned to Instagram to ask for help. Several followers recommended this extension pack which has the same layout as the Super Mom planner but without the mom stuff. I was hesitant at first about it because it is undated and still has a lot of color, but I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

My plan it to use this as a base and create a fully custom 2019 planner for myself. I will be sharing here on the blog about the building process, so you can see what I am adding and why. I’d like this planner to be part planner/part brain dump/ part file folder for all the important aspects of my home life. I plan to use Happy Planner products alongside items from Etsy and maybe some products I make myself. We’ll see!

So far I have grabbed the extension pack, metal discs, and some plain sheets of paper. Keep an eye out for updates and more about my new planner system.

Fall Old Navy Favorites

November 4
No comments yet
*

I have been loving all the long, cozy sweaters I’ve seen this fall. My only problem is that realistically I won’t get to use them much. As a resident of Florida we don’t get a ton of cool weather and most of the sweaters I’ve seen were a little pricy. I love that these Old Navy options are affordable and adorable.

This one is the thickest of the group. Although it is not scratchy to me, it is the roughest of the bunch. I love the look this gives. I have a feeling I’ll wear this one the most due to the more moderate length.

This long duster sweater is to die for. It is super soft and has great pockets. I sized up one size in this one just to have a little more room for whatever I wear under it.

This one will probably be the most useful of the three. It is thinner so I can wear it on warmer days. I love the detail on the back too! (I grabbed the dress too but in this color)

I also found these joggers that are adorable. I will wear these as around the house pants and pajama pants.

While your shopping the sale be sure to check out the holiday pajamas. I didn’t buy any this year, but they are great for families. Last year my husband and I both got these in men’s sizes and we wear them together all the time. BONUS: They have pockets! Ok, now I’ve convinced myself to go buy some again.

Are you picking up anything from Old Navy during this sale? Let me know!

Friday Faves: Conair Steamer

October 26
No comments yet
*

Confession: I hate ironing my clothes. Like, I rarely do it and I avoid clothing that needs ironing. I am lazy and it is just not my thing. This has been an issue for years.

Enter the  Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Steamer.

I had heard a few bloggers talking about hand steamers, but honestly I really knew nothing about them. I knew about the big professional grade steamers that took up tons of space and cost hundreds of dollars, but that was never on my horizon as an option.  When I started to look into hand held options I realized that there were tons of great products that I could use all over the house to press and refresh fabrics without getting out the ironing board. I bought the Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam Steamer because I wanted a powerful option that would work on heavy home fabrics like curtains along with clothing.

I’ve been using this steamer for a few weeks now and I am in love with the results. I recently steamed the new curtains I bought as well as my outfits for the week. I love how put together I look and how easy this is to use. I can pull it out and use it before work it is so fast.

Now to hit the husband’s side of the closet….

Friday Faves: Cookbooks edition

October 19
No comments yet
*

A few new cookbooks have come out this fall so I wanted to talk about a few I am loving and a few more I still want to read. I few of these are from bloggers I’ve followed for some time and a few are just things I’ve seen and tried out. I love to buy my favorites, but I also check them out from the library to test them out and make sure I even want the book.  Some of these are Instant Pot based books which is perfect if you’re just getting in to electric pressure cooking.

I’ve been following Brittany Williams for some time now. I learned of her website, Instantloss.com from an Instant Pot Facebook group I used to belong to. Her recipes focus on JERF (just eat real food) and are a whole foods based diet plan. She lost over 1 pounds using these recipes. I am not on a diet, but I like to use healthy, whole foods when I cook and these recipes fit the bill. Most are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low carb. If you are looking for new healthy meals, or to loose weight you really need to pick this one up. Most recipes are made in the Instant Pot and they are all super easy and quick.


I love Lisa Leake and her 100 Days of Real Food books and blog. Her most recent title, 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget is perfect for people looking to get in to healthy whole foods, but afraid of the cost. In the opening of the book she goes over simple budgeting tips as well as swaps you can make at home to save. She even includes a price list from several stores including Aldi. Even if you don’t use the recipes, the information shared in the beginning of the book is priceless. My favorite parts of her recipe section are those for packed lunches which are perfect for adults and kids alike. I sometimes have a hard time finding lunch recipes that actually work for those of us who work outside the home and don’t have the time to prep a fancy meal in the office.


I haven’t had a chance to try the recipes in this book yet, but I am for sure looking forward to it. I grabed Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow at the library on a whim because I’d like to get in to running and quick meals are my favorite. What I love about this book is that each recipe includes tips for runners as well as nutrition tips and tips to help you save time. The book also has a great introduction which goes over proper nutrition, especially for athletes. Like the other books, this one focuses on healthy whole foods and using ingredients that you most likely already have. I highly suggest this book if you are a runner or athlete or want to become one.

Megan, of Detoxinista also released a new cookbook this fall. Her new book, The Fresh and Healthy Instant pot Cookbook includes 75 Instant Pot recipes with photos for each one. What is interesting about Megan and Detoxinista is she follows certain rules for food combining that helps with digestion.  Each recipe is designed with this in mind and includes vegan and vegetarian substitutions. While I have not tried this one yet, I will be getting a copy soon, at least to try.


The last cookbook I wanted to talk about today is the one I know the least about. This one just came up in my Amazon search and it looks intriguing. Although I am not vegetarian, not do I follow a keto diet, I enjoy trying out recipes from both and am curious how the author successfully melds the two. I have it on hold from the library and if I like it I will share more.

Do you enjoy cookbooks? Have you tried a new one recently that you love? Share it with me in the comments on on Instagram!

RELATED POSTS

DIY Dollar Tree skull lanterns

October 17
No comments yet
*

I usually skip halloween decorations in my home. It is not that I don’t love halloween, I just usually do a generic fall decor that I can keep up until Thanksgiving. I’m all about easy decorating.

img_2985

But for some reason this fall I decided I needed to add a little bit of spooky. I didn’t want to get too crazy so I decided to just decorate the porch so I wouldn’t spend an arm and a leg.

Spooky lanterns


Anyways, I  got a lot of my decor at Dollar Tree and while I was there I saw these awesome skulls. This got me thinking. I knew I had some lanterns at home that it would fit in. How cool would that be?

img_3021

So I grabbed two skulls and a set of two flickering LED candles and went on my way.img_3020

At home, I cut the bottoms off of the skulls so that my LED candles could shine through. Then I searched the garage (for far too long.) to find these perfect lanterns. I believe these are from the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago for the 4th of July, but I could be wrong. Anyways, I cleaned them up and then added my skulls and candles.

img_2986

I love how these make a spooky centerpiece and I only spend $3 on the whole thing.  It pays to think about what you have around the house before you start decorating. Yes, the lanterns have non-spooky stars in them, but who even cares, right?

 

recipe

RELATED POSTS