Tag: holiday

DIY holiday centerpiece

December 2
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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

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DIY Popcorn Garland

November 30
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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!

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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!

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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

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My favorite gifts on Amazon

November 28
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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!

 


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

 

 

Amazon.con Holiday gift ideas

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Holiday outfit ideas

November 19
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Alright, we are finally midway through November so it is time to start talking holiday outfits. Generally I don’t go too overboard with special clothing, but each year I like to add a few new pieces that feel Christmasy as well as wearable during the year. Here are few items I have either purchased or are eying.

Printed Ponte-Knit Stevie Pants for Women - Red Buffalo Plaid

I don’t know when it happened, but Old Navy came out with a new pant style called Stevie. It is a mix between leggings and dress pants and is totally work appropriate. I found this super cute buffalo plaid version of the pant and decided I had to have it for the holidays. I will wear these to our holiday work event and maybe a party or two. They will also be great for church services or a big Christmas dinner as they have lots of stretch. Even if you hate buffalo plaid check them out and see the other colors and prints.

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Looking for something a little fancier? I am in love with this take on the little black dress. Perfect for a nicer work party, cocktail party of even New Year’s Eve. (If you decide to leave the house.)

phone case

What outfit is complete without a matching phone case? I love swapping out cases depending on my mood and the season. I am eyeing this one. It is fun but still a little classy in case you need to whip it out in a meeting. My current non-holiday favorite case is this one from Amazon.

One of the best ways to dress up an outfit or bring new life into it is via a snazzy handbag. I generally go for very plain muted bags, but something like this really makes an outfit. Pair it with a simple dress for almost any holiday event. Looking for my current go-to everyday bag? It’s this one.
I hope these ideas have given you a little wardrobe inspiration for the holiday. If anything take the time to reevaluate your own closet and see what older items might be able to be styled with newer items to create new outfits. Don’t forget to accessorize!

 

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Happy 4th!

July 4
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Happy 4th of July

 

Happy Independence Day friends. I may be home alone sick, but I wanted to take a second and share a few favorite recipes just in case you are still looking for something to bring to a gathering.

Love cookies and sprinkles? These festive red white and blue cookies are perfect and so easy to make. (Actually, I may go make some right now….)

Check your fridge, you may have everything you need for this simple, healthy, fruit salad. 

Thirsty? Check out this 10 minute sangria recipe that looks like something from Martha Stewart.

Still looking for more ideas? See this cute pool party I hosted a little bit ago, complete with a DIY mimosa bar.

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Free Valentine’s planner stickers

January 23
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NOTE:  I have just created a new Pinterest board for planner lovers to share their favorite pins!  CLICK HERE to follow the board!  Want to contribule?  Follow the directions in the bio of the board.  Enjoy!
-Amber Downs


Silhouette file included! Free printable planner stickers for your Happy Planner, Erin Condren, Filofax, Day Designer, and other planners. Print on sticker paper and cut with a Silhouette Cameo or by hand.

 

I don’t always decorate my planner with stickers but I thought it’d be fun to make a set for valentine’s day so I did.  Below is the image file of the stickers. It is sized to print onto a regular 8.5x11in sheet of paper.  Also, I uploaded a Silhouette file for anyone who wants to cut them out with their Silhouette Cameo. Just import the image into your library and resize to fill the 8.5×11 sticker paper.

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Download valentine layout here via saberacat.
(Wait the minute to get the free download without making an account.)

Valentine's weekly spread (4)

Hope you enjoy these.  If you post a photo of them on Insatgram please tag me! @_amberdowns

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2015 Ornament Exchange Link Party

November 13
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Looking for a christmas ornament to make? Look no further! Here is the complete list of all the ornaments made for the exchange I participated in last week.

Ornament Exchange Link PartyWelcome to the first 2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange!

Want to see all the amazing ornaments we have shared?

We are linking up all of our ornaments in the link below so everyone can see all the beautiful handmade and/or store bought goodies we came up with!

Let’s all get inspired this season!

The Hosts of the Exchange~Ornament Exchange Hosts

My Pinterventures | Made in a Day | The House Down The Lane | The Kolb Corner | Intelligent Domestications | Where The Smiles Have Been | Ash and Crafts | Inside the Fox Den | C’mon Get Crafty | Olives-n-Okra

We want to say a huge “Thank You” to all the blogs that shared the exchange announcement on their sites, we could not have done it without you! Hugs! Ornament Exchange Helpers

Lexi Michelle Blog | B is 4 | Xo, Lorey | Craving Some Creativity | Cherishing a Sweet Life | Our Crafty Mom | MidMichigan Mom


Make sure to visit all the other wonderful bloggers of the 2015 Ornament Exchange! All of their incredible creations are linked in the link party below.

DIY Adulation | The Farmhouse In The Field | Tastefully Frugal | My Sweet Things |Christmas Tree Lane | Simply Kelly Designs | Munofore | Decor To Adore | Tulips & Orchids | Rhinestones & Sweatpants |Happily Ever After, Etc. | From This to That | DIY Just Cuz | This Design Journal | I am Homemaker | Organized by Sunshine | Displaced Yinzer | My Life From Home | Nets Blog About Jnets Line | 10 Acres and 6 Chicks | Books and Life | Gardenchick | Two Purple Couches | DIY Just Cuz | Across the Blvd | Kentucky to Cali | Insolence + Wine | Our House Now a Home | Weekend Craft | Mary and Martha’s House | Random Bits of Happiness | Dragonfly and Lily Pads | Garden Matter | Recipe For a Sweet Life | Mama’s Journey | Amber Downs | Toolbox Divas | Craving Some Creativity | Vikalpah | Flourish & Knot | Raising Fairies and Knights | Blue Willow House | The Road to Domestication | Love My Messy Messy Mess | An Oregon Cottage | Home On The Corner | Fearlessly Creative Mamma | The Evolution of Mom | The Green Mountain Couple | Simply Home Love | Run with Jackabee | simple.pretty.life | The Chilly Dog | Try it – Like it | Gypsy Road | Playfully Tacky | Wife Mommy Me

We want to see your ornament tutorials too! Show us your creations by adding your post to the party below! Please add only ornament tutorials to the party. Thank you!

An InLinkz Link-up


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Holiday Book Guide- Part 1

November 13
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Holiday Book Guide part 1- Great Thanksgiving and fall books for kids.  Amberdowns.net

This post is the first installment of my Holiday Book Guide series.  My goal is to recommend quality new and classic titles that would be great gift options for children and adults. Today I am reviewing some titles that would be great for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas and other gifting needs. Interested in a title?  Click the photo to be directed to the amazon page for that book.

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
This book just came out a few weeks ago and is destined to be a Thanksgiving classic.  In the story the child goes over all the simple things s/he is thankful for and then at the end s/he is thankful for “you.” This is a great gift item for both a children and adults. Wondering what to get someone who is so helpful in your life?  THIS BOOK IS THE ANSWER.  I know I will be ordering a couple copies for gifts. This book is great for preschoolers through adults.

Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
Sophie’s squash is an adorable fall story about a girl who befriends what is supposed to be dinner.  The story, told over several seasons, shares the importance of friendship, even if found in unusual places. This book is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary students.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
This awesome book came out in February of this year and is my favorite of 2015.  As you can see, Red is a crayon who clearly isn’t red.  This beautiful tale reminds us that we must be true to our inner selves regardless of what others tell us to be.  FYI this can be a serious tear jerker.  This title is perfect for children of all ages and adults.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr(FYI This is another tear jerker) Todd Parr has done it again. He has taken a difficult topic and make it something simple to understand for little ones as well as adults: dealing with loss of a loved one. This book hits on many levels without going into too much detail.  The bright, simple, way he explains the feelings of loss are great for confused children as well as adults who are still coming to grips with this very personal topic. This title is perfect for children of all ages as well as adults.

Little Tree by Loren LongLittle Tree is a lovely story about a tree that refuses to let go. After his leaves turn brown in the fall the little tree does not drop them.  It is not until he can let go of the leaves that he can grow again. This is another story that children in preschool and elementary school will enjoy as well as adults who have been through similar situations.

 I hope that you have enjoyed my book recommendations.  Check back later this month for more titles as well as Christmas books and great chapter book gifts.  Have a suggestion of your own?  Share it in the comments!

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