Before & After: Fireplace Hearth Makeover

We did a thing! We finally checked off another house project… that oooohhhh has been on the to-do list for the last few years. It wasn’t a huge project, but it was a little one that makes a bit of impact in one of the most lived in rooms. We retiled our fireplace hearth and completely refreshed the dated red tile!
Tile-beelifeblog(2)Honestly the toughest part and reason this has been on the to-do list for so long was just deciding on and figuring out the right tile.  So I finally got smart and figured out my newest project hack, especially when it comes to projects like this! What is my little secret you may ask? I bought a few tile samples from Lowe’s to put them into my space to help envision the whole look.

The Tile Dilemma. I definitely wanted to go with something a bit more modern and pull in white tile into the space. I was initially thinking larger marble, then wanted to do a bit more of a hexagon pattern — but I just wasn’t sure! Then another part of me wanted to do something with a pattern or a bit more Spanish style. I grabbed four different styles that I liked and brought them home and saw how they worked with the rest of our patterns and textures and colors in our living room.
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The Decision. We ended up going with a off-white blue patterned tile that had a little bigger footprint, similar to the original red tile square. B even ended up finding a blue herringbone pattern that we ended up cutting to make a boarder, which helped keep the large tiles full all the way across without having lots of little pieces for an awkward boarder.

The Project. Demo took B all of an hour to get up the old red tiles, from there he bought some cement board to get the surface level and prepped for our new tiles! He did this over the course of the week, so we were queued up and ready to work on it come the weekend. We even ordered the remaining tile for in-store pick-up and it was in and out to keep our project time low.

We ended up renting a tile cutter from Home Depot and completed the cuts and project within a few hours. I am the tile worker, and B is my tile cutter! It worked out well and came together after some trial and error. The boarder tile was much thinner than the main tile, so we had to really build up with mortar. We also ended up using pre-mixed mortar and grout that we had left over for previous projects, I think we only needed to purchase an additional pre-mixed mortar to finish the project. So within a few hours we had our tile laid and cut into place in it’s new home.
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The Result. After giving the mortar time to dry, we were able to grout! We used the same left over grout we had from our Basement Bathroom Makeover.  The cool grey color really complimented the tile color and style we picked to make it a cohesive space. We also had to be a little smart with tile positioning and organic since we were working with an un-even 100 year old space that certainly was not perfect or level, no matter how hard we tried!

Shop our products: Elida Ceramica Porcelain Tile from Lowes | Boarder Midnight Satin Herringbone Tile from Lowes | Warm Color MAPEI Flexcolor Grout 

I must admit — when it was first finished I didn’t completely love how this turned out. But I did like it and was happy to get rid of the old red tile and gross grout. It’s grown on me some, I like the boarder because it helps break it up and keep the larger tiles even but it also throws me off! What do you bees think?

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Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Sweet treats are for the pups too! This recipe is coming to you just in time to spoil your pup this Valentine’s Day… or even National Dog Biscuit Day on February 23rd! My fellow dog lover and bestie, D first introduced these treats to us, since she made them for her pup and Moz’s BFF, Maybel. They’re even gluten free and have dog friendly favorite’s like pumpkin and peanut butter!  So since D and Maybel moved to the coast, Moz has been in need for some homemade, yummy treats — and what better time to spoil her than for Valentine’s Day?
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Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
– 3 cups of brown rice flour
15oz can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
– 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs

This recipe is pretty easy, the only thing that will take some time is mixing and then flattening out your dough – I also linked the pure pumpkin and brown rice flour above! It is quite messy to work with, so make sure to have extra brown rice flour on hand and readily available for multiple applications.

Pro-tip: I refrigerated the second half of the batch over night and prepped and cooked the next day and this was a bit easier to work with.
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Step-by-Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your un-greased cookie sheets ready!

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a spoon and then just got my hands in there to mix everything together well. Optional: cover and refrigerate over night, for easier handling

3. After everything is mixed, divide the dough in half. Put brown rice flour down on your counter and heavily over your rolling pin. Then roll out half of the dough so it’s a half-inch thick. Cut with cutout shape of your choice, place an inch apart on cookie sheet.

4. Since this is a harder dough to work with, I did just roll a few balls together and pressed them down on the the sheet, while also making some cute dog bone and heart shaped treats for Moz!

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes was enough for me to see the edges turning a golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for 30-minutes.

6. Refrigerate or freeze baked cookies for longer storage, otherwise store in a room temperature treat jar for up to a week. When serving to your pup, feel free to add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for an extra special treat!
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My cookies didn’t come out looking the prettiest, but they soften a bit over time after they set and cook, Moz is definitely a little cookie obsessed as I was making these!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and is a great one to keep on hand, especially since it’s a five ingredient recipe, and your pup will love them (plus you can even try a bit yourself – they aren’t terrible!). These are definitely Moz approved ✅🐶!

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Latest Obsessions 02.20

It’s Valentine week! And I have been obsessing over all things Valentine’s, can’t you tell?! From home decor, homemade valentines, picking out a meaningful gift and even getting wardrobe ready for the day of hearts — it’s been X’s and O’s, conversation hearts, everything pink and lot’s of love over here at the Bee residence, so let’s get to it!

Festive Valentine Sweaters. I couldn’t resist getting a festive oversized heart sweater for this Valentine’s Day!  I’ve had my eye on this sweater for some time now, but thought I would get it in grey or a lighter pink — but I went for the white with a bright red heart and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately these are selling out quick on Amazon, but I found a few other fun Valentine-heart inspired sweaters that you can still snatch up before the holiday!
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Shop the pieces: Red Heart Sweater from Loft ($59.50), Pink/White Amazon Heart Sweater ($26.99) + Prime Friendly option, Blue Hearts & Stars Sweater from J. Crew ($115), Sweater with Heart Elbows ($22), Dog is My Valentine Tee from Target ($14.99)

DIY Valentine Decor. From my floral letter X’s and O’s door hanger craft to my hand painted table runner, the Valentine crafts have been sweet and festive for a personalized touch around the house! I shared how I made this table runner for under $20! It was so easy, super affordable and makes such a sweet statement across the dining room table. If you want to see the full DIY breakdown, check out my blog post here. If you’re hoping to make some custom, cute and thoughtful Valentine’s — I made these cute wooden love letter’s that are festive and cute and perfect for everyone!
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Shop the pieces: Plain table runner from Amazon, Heart tassel garland from Target 

Galentine’s Brunch. I’m slowly regretting not actually hosting a Galentine’s brunch this year and will definitely have it on my to-do next year! What sounds better than a table of all your favorite girls, delicious brunch and mimosas? Not a whole lot, especially in the middle of February! In case you’re trying to finalize your Galentine brunch deets, check out my Galentine’s Brunch Planning guide, here!

Although I’ve been all about Valentine’s Day, I must admit I haven’t thought as much about a gift for my hubby, B — but the last few years, we’ve taken the less extravagant route and will probably spend our time staying in, cooking a tasty meal, playing some games and exchanging thoughtful notes/cards to each other. If you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, my Valentine Gift guide features five FREE ideas that will still show your Valentine how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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DIY – Wooden Love Letter Valentine’s

I love getting crafty and making my own Valentine’s especially when it comes to my hubby! A few years ago, I shared my go-to homemade paper Valentine, made from scrapbook paper, pictures, stickers and ribbon — but this year I wanted to mix it up and do something still crafty but different.
DIY_Valentines(3)I found these really cute wooden pieces at Michael’s for this fun DIY Valentine that is so easy and affordable to make by stacking them to make mini love letter envelopes with big hearts on them! Super easy, super cute and then you can personalize them for all your Valentines. The best part is these wooden Valentine’s can double as adorable place-settings for your Galentine’s brunch!

Craft Supplies:
– (1) Wooden Hearts – 21pcs
– (2) Rectangular Wooden Signs – 6pcs
– All purpose craft paint Valentine colors of your choice ($0.79 each)
– Hot Glue
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $12
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Step 1: First things first, is to paint all of your wooden pieces — have fun with this and mix and match but pick colors that’ll compliment each other. I did a lot of white bases with pink or red hearts.  I also did a few pink and red bases with white hearts which was a fun pop!

Step 2: You’ll probably need to do a few coats, especially the white on the wood — it soaks up the color, make sure to paint both sides of the bases and let all your pieces dry with plenty of time!

Step 3: Once everything is painted and dried, you can hot glue your hearts onto your bases. I kept my centered, but you could offset to write if you wanted too!

Step 4: Personalize as you’d like with fun phrases, names, or cute messages on the heart and write a longer message on the back of the bases for all your favorites. If you’re using these as place settings for a Galentine’s brunch or dinner you can stick with names or write fun little notes for each of your bae’s.
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These little love letter Valentine’s are to cute, hand held and also dual purpose (which I also love!) So get your crafting pants on and head over to snag these supplies so you can create your own custom, cute and clever Valentine’s that will be the perfect keepsake for friends, family or all your gal pals.

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Gearing up for Valentine’s Day? Check out these easy painted Valentine themed table runner or this festive floral door decor!

DIY – Painted Valentine Table Runner

Ohhh, you guys!! This was a fun, easy and affordable craft and I just love how it turned out! This custom Valentine-inspired painted table runner is a spin on an everyday piece and not one that I really ever thought about making, at least one that didn’t involve buying fabric, sewing or investing a ton of time on. Read more to see my supply list, project cost and step-by-step for painting and creating your own X’s and O’s table runner, just in time for a Galentine’s brunch!
DIYTableRunner(3)Craft Supplies:
Off-white plain linen table runner from Amazon ($14.99)
All purpose craft paint: Pink / Rose from Michael’s ($0.79 each)
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $17
(not including paint brushes)

Step-by-Step:
1. I order my linen table runner from Amazon, there was a brief though to try and make my own with buying fabric – but I quickly saw that being a disaster. Two-day shipping and $14.99 on Amazon, sounded way better! I compromised on the size (14″ x 72″), as I like a wider table runner since we have a larger dining room table, but found a off-white linen that looked to be perfect.
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2. Paint color was my toughest decision – I initially planned to do black, but thought red could be fun and then ultimately decided on a lighter pink as that worked better with dining home decor and I love how it turned out! Now to the fun stuff…
3. Before I got painted, I did have to iron my table runner to smooth out some of the fold marks! I didn’t get it as smooth as I would’ve liked, but it was much better than before – this was definitely needed before painting.
4. Get ready to paint! I put paper bags down in order to paint, and painted on my dining room table — which was a good feel for the space while I painted and scaling my X’s and O’s. Starting in the bottom corner I kept it simple and fit four across and repeated the pattern by alternating which letter I started with and worked my way towards the center.
Pro-tip: I eyed my spacing and letter size, but you could use a ruler to keep spacing even between lines and/or letter height!
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5. Keep going until you finish up the length of your runner! Keep in mind as you’re painting if you mess up, or have brush strokes showing, it’s OK — it’s suppose to look hand drawn and painted which gives it a unique look. Besides, from a distance you can’t really see any of the imperfections.

I let this dry overnight before styling this up! I had another pink table runner that was a little wider than mine, so I was able to layer underneath and the pinks complimented each other perfectly! I then added a few jars with conversation sweet heart candy, some fun colorful garland, this table was just needing a few finishing touches for a Galentine’s brunch!

Besides just completely loving how this came out (slightly obsessed!) — the price can’t be beat for a custom piece that fits EXACTLY what you were wanting.  $16 is about the going rate, if not more for you’re every day or holiday themed table runner, so I imagine I’ll be doing this in the future for more holidays or special occasions! Plus it only took me about 45-minutes to iron and paint.

What do you think!?

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Valentine Floral Letter Door Decor

With the last few days of January, I’m starting to get the house ready for the holiday and love! And our front door is always my starting point. Over the summer I finally made a floral letter craft that I’ve had on my list for year’s (and was a gift) and was inspired to create my own floral letter’s only for some new Valentine door decor. I was pumped when I snagged some seriously discounted pink and white florals over the holidays along with an oversized wooden X and O, this was just what I needed for some pretty and festive Valentine decor!
Valentines_Floral_Final(4)Ok! Here is what you’ll need to get started, in addition to a step-by-step guide to filling in your letters with florals and then securing for a stunning statement piece for your front door!

What You’ll Need:
13″ Wooden Letters from Michaels for $5.49 each
– Florals of your choice (7-9 stems)
– Hot glue
– Pink ribbon or color of your choice, make sure it’s at least 3-feet long if you’re working with 13″ letters

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for discounted seasonal florals in the off season to stock up for future projects or gift ideas!

Step-by-Step:
1. Floral buying tip — always buy a few more bunches than you think! I used about 4-stems of the pink poppy flowers and 3 stems of the white flowers, and I was running short! My initial plan was to do all pink, but did not have enough… which leads me to an important step #2.
2. Once you’ve dead-headed all your faux flowers (removing flower from the stem) — it’s crucial to map out your placement before any gluing! This can help you determine if you need more fillers or need to switch up the design.
3. Now that you have your florals mapped out on your letters, it’s time to start gluing your flowers on! It’s important to be generous with hot glue on the base stem of the flower in addition to the petals if needed to help with coverage. Cut off any additional stem that might make your flowers stick out more than you want! Repeat, until letters are filled in.
4. Allow for plenty of hot glue dry time for your X and O flower filled letters before flipping over to add the handing ribbon. This ribbon will connect the two letters in order for them to hang. Make sure the length of the ribbon is long enough to span the X and O with some extra, to be able to tie a loop/knot for hanging — stretch out over the back of your letters before gluing to make sure you have length. Again, be very generous with your hot glue with this since your floral letters will be hanging from the ribbon. Allow this proper time to dry before trying to hang. Valentines_Floral_Final(1)
Once you have your letters filled in and the ribbon attached, tie a loop to hang on your front door — it’s time to hang! This would even make fun wall decor that could hang inside your dining room or in place of a photo.  I added extra ribbon at the top to have a bow for a nice finishing touch on the door – and love how the pink and white pops on our blue door! Our front door is now ready for the Valentine holiday and spreading love to anyone who passes by.

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Looking for more Floral Letter Inspiration? Check out my $25 Floral Letter for Baby Shower decor.

DIY – Every Day Moments Jar & How to Capture Your Year

A yearly tradition that B and I do is writing little notes down and placing them into our Memory Jar — but as I like to call it our “Every Day Moments Jar” because it’s more than just memories… we actually write down every day moments. Those moments that are easily forgotten or overlooked and don’t stack up to all of the other big memories throughout the year.
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I first made the jar in 2012 as a Christmas gift for B — it was a year we were trying to be frugal with gifts and saving our pennies, so I created a decoupage jar with words, letters and phrases that make up B and I.  This made our jar special and unique to us — a lot of memory jars on Pinterest are plain mason jars with a simple label stating ‘Memory Jar’ or ‘2020 Memories.’ Your memory jar is really whatever you want to make it, it could even be a wooden box, but I love making it a bit more special!

To create your own memory jar you could decoupage a mason jar or a jar similar to the one we have like this Libbey® cylinder jar from Michael’s – snag some old magazines, photos or notes and glue to cover the jar using modge podge.

So you have your memory jar, now what?  It can be hard to keep up with this throughout the year — so B and I keep this on our dining room table where we eat each night and make it a habit of adding in a note or two every night or every other night.  Next to the jar I keep a couple pens and a notepad that we tear pieces of paper from. Adding memories regularly, help capture those funny, thankful, or sweet moments.  We even add in tickets, wrist bands or other fun keepsakes throughout the year in the jar as we go.
MemoryJar-beelifeblog(1)On New Year’s Day, B and I make time to dump out all our little notes and take turns reading them back and forth to each other.  We laugh, try and guess who wrote the other’s note and reminisce on those ones that we forgot about. To keep these notes accessible, I tape them into a journal – filling the pages, so it’s easier to look back and we’ve added to the same journal year after year, with more memories captured in more years than others.

This would also be a great Valentine’s Day gift and won’t be too late to start writing down those memories with your family and loved ones.

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DIY – Easy Festive Letter Ornaments

Eeek, it’s Christmas Eve! And normally I have a bit more of my sh*t together, but this year I was a bit behind in the craft ornament department. Ornaments are always my go to Christmas gift not only are they great year after year, they are sentimental and the perfect keepsake for moments or milestones in time.  Beyond a sentimental ornament, I always like to get letter ornaments, especially as a fun present topper.
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This year I went the custom letter route with a fun holiday twist on something so simple and partially already made.  I found wooden letter ornaments in the dollar bins at Target and thought it would be fun to dress them up with festive jingle bells and colored pom poms. This project was about $15 in materials and took maybe a half hour of my time to make everything — so easy, so cute and super cost friendly!

What You’ll Need:
– Letter Ornaments
16mm Jingle Bells – 2 packs
Colorful Craft Pom Poms from Target
White and Red Craft Pom Poms from Michaels
– Hot glue gun and glue sticks
DIY-LetterOrnament-beelifeblog(1)Step-by-Step:
1. After you have your supplies it’s really quite easy and fun! The goal is to cover your letter with your jingle bells or pom poms — I laid out the design and determined quantity before I started gluing to make sure I had enough to cover each ornament, while having a mini road map made.

2. A few of the letter ornaments I decided to color block with the jingle bells with all silver or all gold, I even had a little fun alternating red, blue and green on a third one! The fun part is they even jingle, it;s the perfect little bling and ring for the tree.

3. For the pom poms, I had a variety of sizes, I liked both size options and how it looked mixing and matching the two different sizes to fill in the letter. I went with reds, whites and greens and then some multi-color pom pom ornament for us.

4. Let dry and gift a fun custom ornament to your friends or family!
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I’m definitely trying to cram it all in today — including a workout to start the day, some volunteer dog walking, squeezing in a few more of these ornaments and wrapping all of my presents before church! I am very much looking forward to relaxing a littler later and the next few days. Merry Christmas, Eve!

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DIY – Holiday Snow Globe Place Settings

Spoiler! I love decorating and hosting get togethers and I especially love transforming our house into a Christmas wonderland.  Included in that Christmas wonderland is playing around with our dining room decor and making a statement with our tablescape. I love shopping on Pottery Barn, we registered for our wedding there and I always find a few gems, especially seasonal ones that I grab when they’re on sale or occasionally splurge on. So long story short, I saw these Village Snow Globe Place Card Holders and was about to splurge — until I was like, wait it would be super fun to make those!
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What You’ll Need:

Plastic ornaments
– Mini wire brush trees, animals or houses – shop Christmas Village decor at Michaels. I bought (2) mini white trees and (2) green tree set
12×12 Glitter scrapbook paper/card stock, silver glitter and glue
Craft sparkle pipe cleaners, same color as glitter/paper, I used silver
– Cotton balls
– Uline knife
– Hot glue and mod podge

Estimated total project cost: $25

Step-by-Step:
1. First things first, you’ll need to cut a opening in the bottom of your plastic ornaments. This was a bit tricky to figure out, and should be done very carefully!  I used a sharp mini philips head to poke a hole in the bottom. Once I had a hole, I used a Uline knife to cut a smaller circle for the opening, go slow and wear gloves to protect your hands. Repeat based on the number of place settings you’re making – this is the least fun part of the whole project!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(1)2. Woo! We have our openings, so now it’s time to cut our our bases and start planning our wintry scene. I used thicker card stock, that I ended up painting and putting glitter on — I would highly recommend buying scrapbook 12×12 glitter paper. This would’ve saved time and a mess. *smiles*  So using your thicker paper, trace a circle using a drinking glass that is rounder than your ornament, trace and repeat to cut the same number of circles as you have ornaments. These are your bases!

3. Working from the center of your circular base play around with your mini trees/houses or animals. Once you have your scene figured out it’s time to glue in place! I started with my larger wire brush tree in the center, and flanked either side with smaller ones. Pull a cotton ball apart and shape around the base of the trees and glue into place. Wah-la, snow! Repeat, or switch up to have different variations.

Pro-tip: Don’t go to far from the center, so that you’re ornament can fit around your wintry scene especially the cotton ball snow

4. Once you have your bases decorated, glued and secured — place ornaments overtop, making sure everything is fitting within the ornament.  Glue and secure the base of the ornament with hot glue!
SnowGlobeDIY-beelife(2)5. Now, depending on if you bought glitter paper or not, this step may not be needed.  Using mod podge glue I painted the top of the white paper bases and then covered in silver glitter over a paper plate to catch the excess. I had to touch up a few spots once the glue dried and I dumped the remaining glitter off to see emptier spots.  If you bought glitter paper, you are 10-steps ahead of me!

6. Time for finishing touches! Get that hot glue back out and glue the pipe cleaners around the base where your ornament meets the base. You’ll most likely need to trim for an even meet at the back.  I then used the left over scraps of the pipe cleaner to create a circle to loop into the top of the ornament to hold place cards for guests! I used old place cards that we didn’t use from our wedding, but you can cut and customize as you want or not include!

7. Once your mini snow globes are created, it’s time to set the table and get ready to host a delicious meal with close friends and family!

This was such a fun DIY and I love how they turned out. For $25 I created 8-mini place setting snow globes compared to spending nearly $60 at Pottery Barn — plus I made them! I must admit figuring out how I was going to cut and create this using ornaments had be puzzled for a while, and it took a few trial and errors before I figured out how to cut the hole in the bottom. And I really wanted to use ornaments vs. mason jars or other types of glass cylinders I saw online.  So once I figured it out and put it all together I was so excited! The best part is you can keep and use year after year or send home with guests as a little keepsake <3.

Happy Holiday Hosting!

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