A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: November 2012
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29 November 2012

Wood, Wax and Aluminum Cake Pan Tiered Display

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I've seen these cake pan towers around and wanted to create one myself, but it seemed everyone had the same idea.  No matter which thrift store I looked in, there were never any old aluminum cake pans.  OK, that isn't true.  There was ONE aluminum cake pan for 50 cents once.  I bought it and it set in my "crafts to do hutch" for a year or so.  (Tell me I am not the only one that has a "crafts-to-do hutch?!?)

Well, anywho, skip forward a year (or two) and I finally (finally!) stumbled upon two more pans for cheap that were perfectly aged (Read: OLD).  They had the right patina, the exact right size and most importantly - the right price tag.  I think they were a quarter each. 

If you look closely, you'll notice the bottom pan is a cheesecake pan or springform pan.  
Even better! I love the look of some "hardware" on my craft projects.

To make this project, I didn't want to spend any more money, so I raided the pantry, my craft hutch and some broken down decor pieces.
Here is how the project was divided up supply wise:

Broken Candlesticks (and a knife)
Wood Coins (left over from THIS WOOD COIN PROJECT)

Craft Supplies:
hot glue - gun

plane grater (an old one!)

These candles were already cracked and/or broken, so it was no loss to cut them up.  These sticks in particular had a cool square shape to them, so I liked them as a contrast to the round pans, chickpeas, apples and wood coins.  Simply cut through the candle with a serrated knife (on a cutting board!)  The little grooves created in the wax will give the hot glue a place to go so the candle can fit flush against the pans.

If your cut is a little uneven or you don't have a serrated knife, use a grater to even out the ends.  Make sure you use an old grater because the wax will dull the surface of the little blades and your Parmesan won't shred as nicely as it used to!

Once the candles are cut and even, apply hot glue to the top and bottom of each stick and wedge them between two tiers. 

For the bottom tier, I could have made another set of candles, but I decided to use some old wood coins I had from last year's garland and ABC letter projects.  I simply stacked the coins with hot glue between each layer.  The stack is then attached to the inside of the bottom pan and the bottom of the middle pan.  My wood pieces weren't exactly even, so the tower tipped a bit.  To fix this, I simply wedged a few pennies under the coins to even things out!

Once the tower was complete and had a chance to fully dry, I grabbed a bag of chickpeas and apples from the pantry to fill out the pans.  The top and bottom pans also got a layer of wood coins as a base. Now I can add cupcakes or produce or whatever random thing strikes my fancy!  Yay for cheap crafts!

Don't wanna wait around for the perfect cheap pans?  Amazon has them fairly cheap HERE!

Don't want to make your own tiered tower?  Etsy has you covered!  Click HERE!

Want to show off your own projects?  Hop into the forum and look for the SHARE YOUR STUFF threads!  Feel free to share any crafts. recipes and DIY projects right HERE!

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Have you noticed that the ads are GONE from the top of the blog as well as any ads that pop up ANYWHERE on the nest? I have taken off my most profitable ads in response to reader complaints. To help support this blog, I ask that you click on my amazon links (any of them!) when you need to purchase items. From giftcards to diapers -- books to electronics -- IT ALL COUNTS! Please support A Nest for All Seasons by clicking HERE to go to amazon and forever say goodbye to intrusive ads!

25 November 2012

How to Survive a Photoshoot with Kids!

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It is getting late in the season now, so if you haven't gotten family photos yet and you want to -- HURRY! Here are a few of my best tips for making it through the photosession without breakdowns and sadness.

1. Make sure your child has been well fed and well rested before the shoot. The worst time for a photoshoot is naptime!

2. Feel free to dress your child in super cute clothing! However, if they really don't want to wear a hat or certain uncomfortable shoes, don't make them. They will much better expressions and have more fun if they are comfortable.

3. When you arrive, we will start with some casual photos. As parents, you can step back for a few minutes and let your child play and get used to having me around with a camera. If they are scared however, feel free to hold and cuddle them for a little bit. I can get cute shots of that too!

4. When it comes to posing family shots, the best way to get great photos with everyone smiling and looking at the camera is to have the adults stay as still as possible and keep smiling and laughing while looking at camera. Just imagine your husband (or wife) is literally within the camera lens looking back at your from down the wedding aisle. That's the look we need your eyes. Just keep shooting love daggers at the camera and ignore everything your children are doing. I know this is very hard! However, if the parents are great in every shot, it is easy for me to take care of making sure baby is happy and looking the right direction. I will worry about those kiddos! You just keep shooting love daggers!

5. Have fun! The best photos are taken when you are genuinely having fun with your kiddos! You will be playing more of an "acting" role than model role at the shoot. Don't worry about being in the perfect position...I'll give you little instructions throughout the shoot to make you look your best. If you concentrate on acting like you are having a great time, it will make fantastic photos!

BONUS tip:  Bribing is ok just this once.  Whether it is a lollipop or a new toy, bad parenting (read: serious bribing) can make for great photos.  If you have to break out a lollipop and wave it behind my head while I'm taking photos of your kid -- that is ok ;)

Want to try a DIY photo session with your kids?  Keep reading HERE!

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22 November 2012

FREE! Printable Advent Christmas Countdown

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I've been meaning to do a good advent calendar, but haven't gotten around to doing an in-depth one that is beautiful and will keep for years and years to come. In the meantime however, I made a simple and easy countdown that can be easily be customized (see the how-to over at Crafts Unleashed! (COMING SOON!). The countdown is based on these simple little cards that "Santa" leaves each night. Customize with family activities and traditions that are classics for you!! Feel free to download and share!

(PS - It prints out more clearly than it looks on the screen ;)

Merry Christmas Advent Countdown by Amy Renea @ A Nest for All Seasons

Merry Christmas Advent Countdown by Amy Renea @ A Nest for All Seasons

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21 November 2012

What do you guys DO all day?

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to stand(alone)in some

autumnal afternoon:

breathing a fatal

enormous this how

patient creature(who’s

never by never robbed of
day)puts always on by always

dream,is to


death and

life)imaginable mysteries







now air is air and thing is thing:no bliss

of heavenly earth beguiles our spirits,whose
miraculously disenchanted eyes

live the magnificent honesty of space.

Mountains are mountains now;skies now are skies—
and such a sharpening freedom lifts our blood
as if whole supreme this complete doubtless

universe we’d(and we alone)made

—yes;or as if our souls,awakened from
summer’s green trance,would not adventure soon
a deeper magic:that white sleep wherein
all human curiosity we’ll spend
(gladly,as lovers must)immortal and

the courage to receive time’s mightiest dream
e.e. cummings
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20 November 2012

Allume Swag Prize Pack (...and a WHOLE lot more!)

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{click on the photo or head to your local pharmacy to buy!}

If you couldn't make it to allume, but wanted a little piece of the action,  this giveaway is for YOU!

As part of the 'Stuff Your Stockings Giveaway', this allume pack has some of my favorites from the swag bags along with a little extra from my allume sponsor - Tick Tock.  That is them up there on top - see those cute potty training charts?  You'll get 5 of them when you win the prizes below...

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequiest
Everything by Mary Demuth
A beautiful necklace from the Vintage Pearl


The most adorable flower pin from the Pleated Poppy 

...and oh yes -- THIS prize pack is 1/3 of ONE prize pack out of TWELVE you could win!  Seriously!  It is over $2,000 in prizes, split between 12 lucky winners!  You have from now until Cyber Monday to enter.  I want a Nest reader to WIN (at least 1!!) so go enter right now sweeties!

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19 November 2012

Stuff the Stockings Giveaway!

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Welcome to the Stuff The Stockings Giveaway!


We are so excited to present you with an incredible giveaway today! I've teamed up with fourteen other bloggers and some fabulous sponsors to give you the chance to win one of TWELVE amazing prize packages to help stuff your stockings this Holiday season.    Check out all the prizes you could win!

To increase your chances of winning, we've broken the prizes up into twelve separate prize packages valued at approximately $150.00 to $200.00 each. Click the image to unwrap all the prize packages:

To be entered into the giveaway, be sure to "like" all of the facebook pages below and be sure to enter the rafflecopter to have your entries counted.

Thanks for liking us! Now head to the Rafflecopter and let us know that you've completed this task. Your entry will qualify you to win one of 12 great prize packages. Since there are twelve prize packs and we will choose twelve lucky winners! The giveaway will open Monday, November 19th and we will announce the winners on Cyber Monday, November 26th.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A note to all Internet Explorer users
: If you have trouble seeing the like boxes, please use a different browser, such as Firefox. This giveaway is in no way affiliated, administered or endorsed by Facebook. Please read the terms and conditions inside the rafflecopter for complete prize details and eligibility requirements. If you do not have a facebook page, please email melissa@thehappierhomemaker.com.

This giveaway is hosted by:

The Happier Homemaker    Nellie Bellie    Unskinny Boppy     A Nest for all Seasons     Domestic Imperfection     A Step in the Journey     View Along the Way    LiveLoveDIY     Ginger Snap Crafts    Mom 4 Real     A Pumpkin and a Princess     Lucy's Inspired     The Bold Abode     Shaken Together    Setting For Four

Good luck everyone!!

Reply to: Reply to Beth Bryan

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16 November 2012

My Favorite Seed Packets for the Home Gardener

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Welcome one and welcome all! Today we are diving deep into the amazingness that is independent seed sellers for some great deals on seeds for next spring! These make fabulous stocking stuffers (for a gardener like me!) and at this price*, you can swoop up a few yourself for the growing season!
* A note on eBay pricing -- prices are starting bids and can of course reach higher if several customers are buying.  Shipping is also a consideration.   However, I tend to bid once and then quit on seed auctions so that I get the seeds for a low price.  Seed sellers tend to have multiple packs of each kind of seed and will immediately relist the item after the initial auction closes.  Also, most eBay seed sellers offer bulk shipping, so if you find a seller you like - stick with them!  Average shipping is around $2.00 with additional seed packets being 10 cents each for shipping/handling.

NOTE: Many seed sellers have upped prices since this post was first published.  I have found the best prices I could find for you and linked to Amazon with my affiliate number.  Everytime you click through and buy (anything!  Not just seeds!), it helps A Nest for All Seasons with a small percentage back.  THANK YOU!

Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
1.  Italian Sunflowers – The whiter, lighter yellow version is $3 for 35 seeds -- still a good deal!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
2. If you want a more classic look, this mix of sunflowers is another great option! $4 for 250 s 


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
3. Want something a little more inexpensive, but just as beautiful?  How about these poppy seeds for a little over a buck?  Tons of options to choose from!  


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
4.  Cheaper??  Well Ok.  They yellow beauties are 99 cents for 100 seeds.  Grow them year round in the south and over the summer in the north.


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
5. Maybe these frilly Dianthus are more your style?!  500 seeds for 3 bucks! {Perfect for beginners!}




For those looking for pretty plants with a purpose!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening6. My favorite seed edible has to be the lovely blue Jarrahdale pumpkin.  These seeds sell at $2.35 for a pack of 10 seeds.  They germinate fairly easily, so I would say at most you will only lose 1.  Each vine produces 1-2 of these blue beauties and if you grow only this kind of pumpkin, you can save the seed for the following year.  I purchased this seed once and now save tons of them after we eat the pumpkins (yes we eat them!).


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening7.  These Cinderella pumpkins are the classic pumpkin of fairy tales with a wide and flat shape. 50 seeds for 4 bucks!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening8. How about some delicious Bok Choy (these are non GMO!) 2 bucks for 230 seeds!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
9.  This blue chicory is a sweet little blooming plant, but an added benefit is that its roots can be used as a coffee substitute (for when zombies take over, you know?) 3 THOUSAND seeds for 2 bucks.


…now let’s move on to…


For a little less practicality and a little more beauty, check out these cheap seeds!

Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
10. This nemophila is an easy-t0-grow stunner for the amateur’s garden and at $1.50 for 300 seeds, she is a steal!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
11. For the gardener that REALLY knows what they are doing, this delphinium seed could be a welcome challenge! Starts at 99 cents! 


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening12. Easy-to-grow and easy-to-love, the classic Shasta daisy will divide into multiple plants year after year.   1,500 seeds for a little under $4!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening13. At just around a penny a seed, this blue flax is a gorgeous addition to any country garden. 1,500 seeds for a little under $4!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
14. Need a little pink in your life?  This “catchfly” could be the perfect seed for you and at under $3 for 1000 seeds, it is worth the gamble!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
15. An absolute favorite of mine, sweet peas are beautiful and one of the few climbers to flourish in cooler weather.  These are a win-win-win-win-win for any gardener!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
16. If sweet PEAS aren’t your thing, perhaps sweet WILLIAM is the ticket! A little over $2 or 500 seeds!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
17. Columbine is an easy-to-grow plant that will self seed every year.  You will have enough seed to pass on to friends from this plant every year! (1000 seeds for around $7)


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
18. This painted daisy is SUCH a stunner!


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
19. The beautiful purple Echinacea (coneflower) is another daisy that grows easily from seed and will self-sow year after year without becoming a pest! (FREE SHIPPING!)


For your WEIRD friends…

Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
20. These prairie coneflowers are a safe bet for germination and add a little bit of height and humor to the garden.  The possibilities for gift tags on this one could be HEElarious.


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
21. A GREEN rose?  Cool!  Weird…


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening22. A RAINBOW rose?!?!  WEIRD.


23. BRAIN tomatoes.  Nuff said.



I want these seeds this year for sure!

Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening
24. Candy Pink Morning Glory – so PRETTY!  $2.50


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening

25. Tri-color Morning Glories – even prettier!  I’m sold! (Start at a buck!)


Cheap Seeds on Ebay and Amazon DIY Gardening…and just an extra BONUS!  Maybe your gardener friend would prefer some antique seed packets...Aren’t these fun?


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