House Tour – Christmas Dining Room

One of my favorite rooms to decorate during the holidays and different seasons is our dining room.  We have a large custom table that is perfect for statement centerpieces and plenty of room for family and friends to gather around for a delicious meal, conversation and laughter.
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I love thinking of ways to transform this space each year and building upon pieces I already have or buying new… this year I kind of went the old/new route based off the color theme of gold and green, selfishly carrying our wedding color palette into the holiday season and our home!  I used some pieces from our wedding and ended up buying a new table runner and napkins to pull the look together for guests.

My goal this year was to keep the dining room intimate and cozy for a small group of six, candles mixed throughout with customized ornament place settings. I used glass ornaments, (I basically have plain glass bulbs stock-piled once the year end sales hit) and poured white paint inside of them to drizzle along the inside, so when I wrote names in gold on the outside they popped! Guests can take these home as a keepsake of the holiday memory to hang on their tree!
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The greens mixed in help bring that classic Christmas feel and were conveniently trimmed off our tree. I love entertaining and having friends and family in our home, celebrating, laughing and creating memories and with the perfect setting and people it makes it easy.

Cheers to new memories!

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Holiday Hacks – Make A Statement

One of my favorite things about the holidays is presents! But no… probably not what your thinking – I love WRAPPING presents… seriously, it’s all about the presentation.  Although my wrapping game isn’t quite up to par with what I’d like it to be… I’m getting there. So if your like me, and like to make a statement with your presents, and include them as part of your decorations under the tree – here are some easy hacks to do just that!
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Pick a Theme or Color Palette. This can tie into the decor of your home if your planning to use these are decor under the tree. Often times I’m inspired by a specific ornament or even spotting some gift wrap in the store and working around that to pick my theme for the year!

Get Wrapping Paper for Each Person/Categories. I know; this is getting a little crazy but I like to wrap all of B’s presents in his very own wrapping paper – this leaves out the need for 20-different name tags.  This could be done by family (yours vs. his) or by person if you have enough variety in your paper selection.

Stock-up on Tags/Ribbon when you See a Good Deal.  And it doesn’t have to be Christmas! I stocked up on a bunch of tags after Valentines day, they were gold, and bright pinks – they’ve come in clutch throughout the year and I’m sure I’ll throw a few gold ones on gifts this year too.  Always be on the look out and stock-up especially if you see one of a kind options at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Or better yet, print your own with these free printable Christmas tags! Don’t be afraid to keep it simple too and make a statement with ribbons, tags, or greenery.

Invest in some Good Tape. This is a fault of mine; because I scrapbook and go through a lot of tape, therefore I just stock-up at the Dollar Store – however I’ve come to find that this tape and some of the fancy, thicker wrapping paper I’ve picked up don’t go well together.

This is a fun way to spread some extra cheer and make a statement with family and friends.

Photo Source: Cosmopolitan

Travel: California Honeymoon

**This post was written before the recent turn of events with the California/LA Fires; my heart goes out to every single living creature directly and indirectly affected by these sad and destructive fires.  Donate to the Greater Los Angeles American Red Cross to help those affected.

In case you missed our Thanksgiving in Palm Desert, you can catch-up on it here.  Our #emnbhoneymoon was our first vacation that we took together – usually we are with family, so that in and of itself was fun, plus it was our first time in Cali!

We flew in and out of Burbank, which helped safe us some money and was also super manageable for being right outside of LA. We had a quick 2-hour trip to the desert each way and were able to explore some more sites around the Hollywood area on our way back to the airport.
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While we were in Palm Desert, we stayed close to the resort, only heading out to random stores to pick up groceries for various meals.  The pool was right next to our condo and it was the perfect spot for us to soak up the sun, take a nap, and just detox from the world. Mornings started with the sunrise, and usually a long walk around the complex exploring the sites.  We went out to brunch and dinner a few times but the standouts besides Eight4Nine were Trio for dinner and Wilma and Frieda for brunch – WOW, both were so delicious.

Before our flight, we headed back early to the Burbank area so we could check out Venice Beach and both see the Pacific Ocean for the first time! It was neat to check out the area, grab some pictures, walk along the beach and stick our feet in the ocean.  From there we found the closest In and Out Burger, each ordered a double and soaked up some more sunshine as we indulged!  From there we headed to Beverly Hills and took a drive down Rodeo Drive – it was unlike anything we ever imagined and blew shops in NYC out of the water. It was stunning. We didn’t have as much time as we would’ve liked to explore the greater Los Angeles area but we were able to drive around in our mustang convertible and take in the Cali life and all the sunshine before heading back to reality.

It was so fun exploring California – although there are a lot more places we will need to check out since it’s a biigggg state, but our mini-moon was the perfect little getaway after all the wedding excitement.

Where should we visit the next time we are in Cali?! Leave a comment below.

Travel: Thanksgiving in Palm Desert

We were lucky enough to take our #emnbhoneymoon right after our wedding, meaning we spent our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife in sunshine, just the two of us!  We love our families, but it was nice to detox, soak up the sunshine and do something new and not rush around to three different dinners within 48-hours.

Since we were still on east coast time, we woke up fairly early and were ready to roll, enjoying the sunrise from our balcony.  We started our Thanksgiving off with a walk through our resort over to the main hotel to grab Starbucks and explore the extensive campus of the Marriott Desert Springs.  We got back to our condo and B cooked breakfast, we found Home Alone on TV and vegged out, made some calls back home and figured out where we could eat that night searching for a spot to make dinner reservations on Thanksgiving!
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By 10:30 we were suited up and at the pool, soaking up the sun as it warmed from 75-to 91-degrees.  The pool was fairly quite, we were able to nap, cool off and just soak up the sunshine while sipping some drinks. By early afternoon we headed back up to the room to get ready for our early dinner at 4pm. We headed to Palm Springs for our dinner reservation at Eight4Nine.

Luckily they had some Thanksgiving dinner reservations available and we snagged one up for their limited 4-course menu for the evening. This modern venue is sported in all white furniture, with pops of pink and fun art throughout and a stunning patio. Our “First Impressions” was a house-made ricotta with autumn root and shishito pepper giardiniera.  The “Second Course” we were able to select from 5-choices, I went with the Pear Salad while B had the Curried Cauliflower Bisque. For the “Main Event” there were 6-mouth watering options, one of which was your Traditional Roast Turkey – as tempted as I was, I went with the Marsala Pork Tenderloin; dried plum, roasted spiced yams, greens, candied bacon, and toast pine nuts.  B went with the Sourdough-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with dungeness crab-stuffed piquillo pepper, saffron aioli, greens.  It was all so phenomenal, and we both ended withe the Bourbon Pumpkin Tart and some hot coffee to finish up our Thanksgiving meal.

It was nice being served an extravagant dinner while enjoying each others company after a day of sunshine and pool.  It was definitely a fun and a different Thanksgiving, but one for the books as Mr. & Mrs.

Holiday Decor Inspiration

Every year I get an itch to completely redo all of our Christmas decorations, but then there is a part of me that just loves what we’ve created over these last few years and how we’ve made our home a cozy Christmas wonderland.  So I mix things up on a smaller scale, our outdoor space we’ve been doing different lighting variations and and the dining room is always my play space to create a magical setting.

So although I am not completely redoing our decor this year, I love to share future inspiration for holiday decor around the house… enjoy!
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Classic. I love keeping decor classic with white lights and pops of color, you can’t beat the feel good sentiments of Christmas and a nice lush evergreen.

Pops of Color. This centerpiece is what dreams are made of and reminds me of the vintage ornaments I’ve found over the years from my grandma and at antique stores – pinks and blues and golds are so fun to play around with!

Simple. I hope one day I can work up to simple, right now it’s a complete flip of decorations in the house; picture frames are put away and the house is completely transformed with greens, lights, multiple trees, candles and ornaments.

What are your favorite things about decorating for Christmas? What theme or color palette are you dying to do?

 

 

Photo sources are linked above. 

Local Love: Wedding Edition

I wanted to share some local love with the amazing team that helped me pull together my dream wedding! And I can’t stop gushing over how perfect everything was, it was so beautiful, I seriously look at pictures and can’t believe that was OUR wedding!
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Bouquet Studio. What sold me on our florist, Amy was her knowledge and love for what she does. We first talked in early 2017 for over an hour; talking through our initial vision before having a lot of details finalized – her suggestions of different greens and florals to use within each of the pieces were spot on.  Not to mention she helped envision a grand space with different centerpieces; allowing me to have some of my dreams fulfilled from a floral perspective, including peonies!

Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes. Quickly becoming a household name in the suburbs of CLE, I’d swooned over KEC cakes and sweets on instagram for over a year plus.  Our compromise was to have a special cake made just for B and I and then give our guests other sweet treats – but we picked the Hand Painted Florals Cake from KEC’s Buttercream Collection; we were able to select colors, the flavors this helped us make a statement especially after topping it with our custom cake topper.

Borrow Rentals. This was definitely one of our splurges, but it was SO worth it.  We really wanted to make a statement with our sweetheart table, which included needing a grand chair – once we toured the Borrow Rentals showroom, we feel for the double wide Settee.  We also ended up renting a few 60″ mirror table toppers to make a statement and play into the space of our venue with the amazing ceilings.  Finally we picked out the Gigi chairs for lounge seating with a cute side table, they were the perfect touches and just enough. Furniture rental for weddings is pure genius.

Campbells Sweets Factory.  We used another local sweet spot to help us fill our hotel Welcome bags with delicious popcorn and also a sampling of cake pops for guests at the reception. The flavors we got; Buckeye, Chocolate Cheesecake and Wedding Cake were eaten right up, they were so delicious!

Little Mondays. Although this isn’t local to CLE – I worked with an artist out of NYC who is a friend of a friends; she helped us create a few custom pieces for our wedding day.  These were also splurges, but for me it’s all in the details. We had a series of our favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, hand drawn for added accents around our venue. She also created a wedding map for us to include in hotel Welcome bags for guests, sharing the days events and also pieces of our love story!
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We also had cookies that were made and brought from my hometown by a family friend who is very talented at making pretty AND delicious cookies.  She made 100 cookies for us that included our hashtag, wedding date, a W-initial and just a pattern – these were the finishing touches to our sweets and coffee table!

It was all the details that made this special for us, and all the details that came together and blew me away. Not only did these lovely teams help bring our vision to life, the customer service and passion was in line with how we felt for our wedding day! We are so thankful and lucky to have found amazing vendors for our special day.

Bee Holiday Hacks – Gifts on a Budget

Bee Holiday Hacks are back! And this is a fun one I am excited to share with all of you. One thing about the holidays that both B and I absolutely LOVE is to spoil and go over the top for presents, especially with each other. But there have been years,  that major life events happen like a new job,  buying a house, or getting married… so money hasn’t always flowed as much as we like and we need to budget, AKA reality.
Bee Holiday Hacks - Gift Giving - the bee lifeSo in years past we try to limit each other, and set expectations ahead of time. But how you may ask? Here are some hacks for saving cash while still spoiling your loved one and having a meaningful Christmas!

Talk about it. First things, first. You need to be on the same page with your people or person. Set the expectation that this Christmas isn’t going to be as extravagant as past Christmas’ and ask that they respect and reciprocate.  This goes with family too, I’m sure everyone would like to feel a little less pressure around the holidays especially financially.

Pick Gift Themes.  So this past Christmas B and I picked 5-categories of gifts that we each had to get for each other. One of them could be on the higher end, but the other ones had to be modestly priced.  Here were our categories (1) An Experience (2) Something for the House (3) An Inside Joke (4) A DIY (5) Something for the Wedding.  I bought half-marathon race registration for our experience, and B got us tickets for a sushi making class. For the DIY, B attempted to make me a sofa table and also made cookie trays – while I ended up making B do is own DIY for our laundry room, haha! It was really fun to see what each of us came up with, and had fun doing it and stories to share with each other after the fact.

Stocking Price Limit. I love stockings – but these can get a bit out of hand as well. So we put a price limit on these too; i.e. $50 or 10 gifts under $10. Again this is something you could put categories too or mini-checklists!

White Elephant. When it comes to the <extended> family; don’t be afraid to suggest a white elephant exchange OR the exact opposite, don’t be afraid to opt out of the family exchange.  We used to do a cousin exchange but as we’ve gotten older and schedules get jumbled we now just do a family wide white-elephant, totally optional, totally fun and no pressure!

We need to remember it’s OK to slow down, and take a back seat every once in a while, the great thing about Christmas is that it happens every year. Oh! And it’s not all about the gifts.

Photo Source: Extra Petite 

#EmnBWed – Sneak Peak

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a blessed and loving day with family, friends, loved ones and furry pals.  Our Thanksgiving this year was one for the books and a bit out of the ordinary since we were on our honeymoon! But more to come on that… so since we finally tied the knot, I wanted to give my readers a little sneak peak of our wedding since we are anxiously awaiting the final photos from our photographers – although they have teased us with a few.
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In a nutshell, the day was absolutely perfect.  Everything seemed so surreal, I couldn’t believe it was actually our wedding day – I felt like we were playing dress-up the whole day. But it was so beautiful, everything worked out as planned and our guests seemed to enjoy themselves! The day didn’t seem to go too fast, but there were moments throughout the night where I almost pinched myself and a few times when I just sat down and soaked it all in.
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No one can prepare you for what you feel on your wedding day, the mix of emotions, the wave of people, love and support, the overwhelming feelings and the moments of perfection. I imagined how I would feel, what the day would bring, things I wanted to try and do, but you can’t do anything but live in that moment at that very time, and oh what a crazy beautiful moment it all was.

Cheers!

Photography Credit: Timothy Logan Photography

Christmas Ed. Latest Obsessions 11.17

Since I was already obsessing over some Christmas items last month, it’s only fitting to continue the obsessions!  From vintage to plaid, it’s a mix of nostalgia and inspiration for the upcoming holiday season.
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Ornaments: Every year growing up it was tradition to pick out a Hallmark ornament to add to a collection, start a new one, or just whatever was the favorite that year. Where I still love getting my annual Hallmark ornament, I like getting other ornaments each year, for a milestone, for B, gifts for neighbors and friends… I love ornaments and they’re so sentimental and easy.

Vintage Wrapping Paper: I cant help but feel nostalgia when I find some prints with a vintage flare, especially with Santa’s! Growing up my presents from Santa always had a Santa pattern on them, and now that I’m older, I can’t help but love that small piece of my childhood.

Just Plaid: This has been a latest Christmas obsession for a few years now… it started with a plaid pattern on our Christmas cards, to table runners, and just wanting EVERYTHING plaid. Where you can’t go wrong with a classic red plaid print, green plaids are starting to grow on me.

Multiple Alpine Faux Trees: So we have one of these adorable faux alpine trees, and I love dressing it up and having multiple trees around the house… but I want more of these skinny guys! Since I keep our main tree pretty uniform and simple – these trees are where I like to have a little more fun and keep the holiday chair going throughout the house! I’ll keep keeping an eye to build my little cluster.

What’re you Christmas obsessions? Are they new and trendy or vintage and nostalgic?

Photo Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right