Amber Housley

Packing for Our Seaside Beach Family Vacation

Category: AH Living


Next week we are headed to the lovely little part of Florida where all Southerners like to visit at least once per year – the beautiful beaches along 30-A. I find that I spend most of the year either hunting for the perfect beach rental, or counting down the days till we arrive at said beach rental.


The past two years we’ve stayed in Seagrove Beach, Florida, which is just outside of Seaside. We head over to the beautiful community that Seaside is just about every day while we’re there.

I’m so excited to spend some summer evenings having ice cream and watching the kids run like little monkeys all over the main circle lawn like last year:


This year there will be with two other families in our beachfront rental and have 5 boys under the age 5(!!!). It’s going to be crazy, good times in this house!

Here are a few things I’ve pulled together for our trip. Hubby gets excluded from this post because he does his own packing…and laundry (yes, I’m a lucky girl, we decided our marriage was for the better if he took care of that himself)…



1. My closet is 90% dresses so I’ll be packing plenty of colorful summer dresses for our last hurrah of the season. I picked this one up from Target last week.

2. Loving this Essie nail polish in a bright and vibrant pink: Fiesta. In my world, pink goes with everything.

3. I scored a major deal on this similar Steve Madden large white leather tote from Marshalls. Normally $98, it was marked down for $15! It will be perfect on the plane ride (yes, so blessed Southwest Airlines started flying to Panama City Beach in the last two years!) and will hold my laptop, iPad (for the little dude), snacks, drinks, toys, books, magazines and everything! Yes I know it’s a 45 minute flight people, but we’re traveling with a 3 year old. End of story.

4. My standard black Coach shades.

5. A new mariner bangle from Kate Spade in white. Like pink, it will go with everything at the beach! ;)

6. So I did it, I purchased my first “mom” bathing suit. My friend Lauren had these cute one pieces from LL Bean on the beach last summer and I actually liked the look of them (mind you I haven’t worn a one-piece since being on the swim team in high school). They remind me of my high school cheerleading days meets little black dress. Chasing around, picking up, running around with an active toddler is difficult in a bikini. Not to mention, this one hides some spots that don’t look so great post-baby and is very cute and slimming. Still packing my pink Lilly Pulitzer bandeu bikini, but it will probably be best used pool-side during naptime!

7. I got all the boys this matching t-shirts from Target on clearance. It will make for a fun picture! Yay for end of season sales just when we’re leaving for our summer vacation.

8. Ocean Potion sunscreen. This brand and scent is my favorite!

9. I found  cute swim trunks similar to this style for the little dude at 77Kids while in NYC in March. Makes him look like a trendy little guy.

10. I couldn’t resist these Melissa & Doug sand castle and “baking” toys. Hubby is going to kill me when he sees these in the suitcase and will likely tell me that the $1 set at Walmart would have done just fine. :)

11. This large utility tote from Thirty-One is SO perfect for the beach. It’s light and packs great while completely collapsing in your suitcase. It’s great for loading up with beach towels, other totes, snacks, whatever for carrying down on the beach. The sand comes off it so easily too.



The countdown is on! I can’t wait for all the memories to be made just next week! :)

Candy Making for Kids Book Giveaway

Category: AH Living

Today I’m excited to share with you the details of the latest book release from my good friend Courtney Dial Whitmore of!

Her latest book, Candy Making for Kids, is full of fun, colorful, and creative ideas for creating tasty, yummy treats with little ones. This one is sure to have as much success as her previous book, Push-Up Pops!

Candy Making for Kids would make a fabulous gift for kids of all ages.

NONE of the recipe use a candy thermometer so the recipes are super accessible and easy for all kids, not to mention, incredibly YUMMY! It would make a great gift for the holidays too with a whole chapter is devoted to holiday-themed candies. I can’t wait to make some of these treats with my 3-year old!

Here is a preview at the book and some of the inside features:

Candy Making for Kids Courtney Dial Whitmore

candy making for kids by courtney dial whitmore collage

courtney dial whitmore candy making for kids book recipe


This fabulous book is available now at and B&N. Even more fabulous, Courtney is offering darling red + white polka dotted book plate labels that she will be mailing out to those who request them so they can stick the personalized greeting inside their book. You can email [email protected] with the subject line BOOK SIGNATURE and proof of purchase (screen shot of Amazon order, picture of receipt, etc) along with the address to send the book plate, who to make the greeting out to, and she’ll get it on its merry way so they can have their book signed!

Courtney + I have teamed up to giveaway a copy of Candy Making for Kids to AH blog readers!

Simply use the easy giveaway tool below through August 15 and enter for your chance to win! There are multiple ways to earn entries – declare your love for candy (!), like the Amber Housley Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Photography: Zac Williams for photography + Styling: Courtney Dial Whitmore

Bridal Shower Invitation for Southern Weddings




Yesterday, the wonderful gals at Southern Weddings magazine held a surprise bridal shower tea party for Creative Director Emily Ayer. Here is a little sneak peek at the adorable little mini invitations I designed for the party. They featured a miniature tea cup and were enclosed in a mini craft box with handpainted pink lid. The finishing touch was a little pink-peach ribbon bow.

Sweet Southern cuteness delivered in the tiniest of boxes!

Stay tuned for a full recap by the SW gals on the beautiful shower and some more of the paper details!

Stationery Academy 2012 Recap

Category: AH Design, Business


I’ve had a good week now to reflect on just how inspiring the three days spent in Pensacola, Florida at the Stationery Academy was. There are conferences and workshops for many different niches and specialities…but I can’t say I feel more at home then I do with fellow paper-preneurs at SA. My first year at Stationery Academy was an eye-opener. I learned so much knowledge that I went home and applied it to my business with immediate results.

stationery academy invitations workshop



But I found there was still more work to do. A year later, a year wiser and always seeking more knowledge and skills, I returned to Stationery Academy as a featured speaker and as a “sophomore” attendee. I shared my thoughts and ideas on utilizing different marketing strategies for stationery businesses. Then I turned around and soaked up as much as I could from the other two fabulous featured speakers Rachel Shingleton and Emily McCarthy, as well as invaluable insider advice from long-time industry designers Whitney English and Natalie Chang.

The best part of this type of intimate workshop? The time spent getting to really know each other and our different design businesses and backgrounds. The conversations spent during lunch or late night chats with roomies. (YES! Plenty of giggles and silly antics!) The friendships that were created in such a short span of time that will definitely go into the years to come.

whitney english kolb natalie chang stationery academy


Last year was all about building a foundation.This year, I left Stationery Academy feeling nothing but determined about the path I know is ahead. I feel that this year is all about taking leaps from that foundation…onward and upward to so many design plans I have in my head & heart!

Thank you SO much to Whitney English Kolb and Natalie Chang for extending such a warm invitation to speak. Thank you as well to the 20 other amazing ladies and new friends. I can’t wait to see where our design businesses go next!