Two Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

November is a special month — because it’s the month B and I finally tied the knot!  As you may or may not know there are “traditional” anniversary gifts for each year with a specific theme.  There is a list that has the traditional gifts paired with modern twists, and personally I like to try and stick to the traditional.  Last year I gifted B with papers sharing that I was finally going to change my last name (yes, after almost a year!).  So if you’re like me and on the hunt for something original, unique and spoiling your loved one, here are some Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift ideas with shop-able links!

The meaning for Cotton for an anniversary gift is “Cotton’s woven threads symbolize how you become more interconnected as time goes on and learn to be more flexible.”

Handmade Cotton Bud Ornament from Etsy. Etsy was the first spot I went to for inspiration, especially looking for something a little more unique and personalized.  One of the first things that caught my eye was this ornament — not only is it on theme, it’s also something that could easily be DIYed and even more customized as a anniversary keepsake. But for $14 with customization, you can’t beat it and I love ornaments to capture moments throughout our lives.
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Custom Embroidered Socks. This was another Etsy find that gives endless options to customize and make special for your man!  With so many different patterns and the ability to provide your own embroidered text with your wedding date, inside joke, wedding hashtag, or monogram — you really can’t go wrong with this.

His & Her Robes. Honestly, this was my first thought when I saw the second anniversary traditional gift was cotton. I jumped on Pottery Barn to see what was available — and even customizable. I liked the Vincent’s Men Robe, but it couldn’t be customized in the size I would need to get for B. I also loved this Bambo Waffle Robe from Williams Sonoma which also has monogram and different length options plus its on sale – not to mention there is just something about the waffle pattern that is so luxurious! Lastly I was searching on Land’s End for his and hers which had some other more holiday specific robes that would be perfect for Christmas pajamas!
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China is the modern gift theme which could be anything from a trip to China — a nice China dish to add for service — or even ordering Chinese food for a fun date-night in. The color is red, could be a ruby ring (hint-hint guys for the ladies) red garnet is also an option since garnet is the gemstone for two-years.

Have you already celebrated two years — do you stick to the anniversary gift themes? Or not?

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Latest Obsessions 10.19

If you just saw my October Weekend Roundup — you know that this month has been nonstop for us.  That post didn’t include the late nights working, family drama, bouts of stress/anxiety and early morning workouts — but don’t worry I’ll be opening up on some of the not so fabulous things soon, because I’m all about sharing the trials and tribulations of this bee life.  So all in all, October has been a mixed bag when it comes to obsessions, but a lot of them have been a bit more on the personal side this month.
LatestObsessions1019-beelifeblogSo with all the things happening, some amazing and some stressful, I’ve tried to focus on the positive, with a side of pumpkins and a bit of love.

My Fitness Routine. I have been feeling it, I’ve jumped in hot this October and am feeling great. In turn, I’ve also started to focus and streamline my food more.  I’ve been packing lunches consistently, having a light breakfast and not over indulging too much.  It has felt good to be back into a routine, and getting my butt out of bed, getting up on the weekends and even putting in extra work to make sure I’m getting those workouts in each week.

Basic Bee in the Fall. Yup, guilty! I’ve been loving up on all things fall, from all of our October fun, to rocking the booties, ponchos, and buying all the pumpkins and mums for our front porch. The leaves have also changed instantly overnight, so the runs and drives have been serving.  Even loving on the fall eats and drinks with pumpkin latte’s from our favorite local spot.

Two Years. With October coming to an end, I can’t help but look forward to November and all the love that this month brings. B and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary and I can’t help but feel all the feels — while also trying to plan a few surprises for B in the meantime to celebrate!

What things have you been focusing on this month?

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Weekend Roundup – October

It’s the final few days of October and I have to ask, how is this month already over? Although I feel like I’m a broken record lately saying that same thing every single month. But these last few months have just been a constant whirlwind, and although October is usually a whirlwind, there is something different and just something I love about October. Our weekends were packed with friends, late nights and fun… with a few quiet  moments, long walks and plenty of sunshine that was soaked in — I even got our front porch festive for fall!
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The first weekend we snuck away to the cabin again, and it was definitely feeling a bit more like fall then when we were there last month.  It was chilly and the leaves were finally starting to change. We did our typical trek to Southern Tier Brewing Company, but kept it a little shorter since we didn’t bring Moz and they were having an Oktoberfest event, so they didn’t have their typical food menu available. Whenever we’re at the cabin – it’s always a break and treat from reality.  Moz even got to see some piggy’s that were following us from the nearby farm on our morning walk!

The second weekend got kicked off a little early on Thursday for our big annual fundraiser event for JD Breast Cancer Foundation, the nonprofit I’m a board member on. We had a successful evening and were able to honor some amazing breast cancer fighters! That weekend we also had family in town for my aunties annual clam bake — which is one of my favorite things in the month of October. The clam bake is always a delicious meal, lots of laughs and always great seeing friends and family from out of town.
OctoberRoundup(2)-beelifeblogThe last two weekends consisted of more festive October/fall gatherings! Our friends hosted a pumpkin beer themed party and then we went to a Halloween party this past weekend — B and I don’t typically Halloween, as the Clam Bake is more our speed, but we had fun and finally figured out a cute and clever couples costume that felt like us! We were Jim and Pam from The Office, during Season 4’s episode featuring the Michael Scott Rabies for a Cure Fun Run.  Our hostess house was completely decked out for Halloween and we had a feast of delicious eats to enjoy with our drinks!
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I also was lucky to celebrate one of my best friend’s baby shower — she is a stunning mom-to-be and it was a beautiful afternoon with our little group of friends.  On top of all the fun, B and I have been volunteering with a local organization which has been filling in our free time between all the fun above — I’m excited to share more about in a future post about what we’ve been up too (because we love it!). And we love October — it’s always one of our favorite months filled with traditions and new memories.

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House Tour – Festive Fall Front Porch

There may be few things in life that I love more than drinking champagne and decorating our front porch for fall.  There is just something about fall and all the beautiful things that bring a bit more fun, pop of color and truly make a bright statement.  With gorgeous mums, classic orange pumpkins, gourds, lanterns and then even some Cinderella and pink pumpkins — the colors, shapes and sizes make up the perfect combination.

It took me a little longer this year to pull it all together as I’m a firm believer of no mums or pumpkins until at least October 1st, and with our warm weather lingering even into October it was still hard to pull the trigger. In addition to being a big pop of orange this year, our porch and steps are looking much nicer than last year as they got a paint at the beginning of spring so our porch is generally just looking a bit more polished since last year!FallPorch19-beelife(1)
Last year I a bit heavier on the mums and this year I went heavier on the pumpkins and gourds — I also bought larger mums this year, so they took up a lot of space without having to really bunch together while also helping fill in a few empty spaces like the big orange one next to the stairs.  I also love transitioning my lanterns from our back patio *tear face* to the front porch so they get more use and help make the front porch feel homey as the seasons transition.  Sadly the patio hangs are becoming fewer and farther in between.
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One investment I made a few years ago was buying these plain white plastic planters – they were fairly inexpensive and all matched — I use these over the summer for various plants around the front porch and back patio. They’re also perfect for placing the mums in them for a clean look, I’ve looked for more at the spot I got them but haven’t been able to find any, luckily I have a good variety of sizes and quantity so they work all year long!

Beyond the front porch, I even picked up a few extra pumpkins to help decorate inside — my goal for interior decor this fall season was minimizing! I’ll share a few easy tips for making a simple fall statement in a blog post coming soon.

So one last thing, are you more of a mum guy/gal or pumpkins?

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Fitness Friday 10.19

Happy Friday!

How has your fitness routine been? Are you on track or need to get back in the saddle? We’re quickly starting to get into holiday season, the season of colder weather, big sweaters and leggings — which gives us a little more stretch (no pun intended) to not feel so conscious about the way our jeans or tight summer clothes may be fitting. BUT! That shouldn’t give us fuel to slack off in our health and fitness goals.
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After getting back into my workout routine this past September, I’ve been holding myself accountable and just waking up with a better mindset and getting up in the morning and getting my workout finished before my day really starts.  This has helped me get the workouts in — since the nights have been getting darker sooner and the work days are getting a bit longer. Not to mention, I’ve gotten back into a routine just in time for the holidays to hit!

How do you help hold yourself accountable in your fitness routine?

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Amazon Fashion Review – Fall Edition

It’s time for another Amazon Fashion hall – sharing with you the wins and even the fails (only two this time!) A few of these finds were from the help of fellow bloggers like Megan from Honey We’re Home – she regularly has Amazon shopping round up posts for all the seasons, so I definitely tried a few of her must haves and tried them for myself!

Women’s Tunic Dress with Embroidered Floral Mesh Bishop Sleeve = $18.99
My Size = Medium (Returned)
Oh my gosh, this was such a disappointment, because I actually loved it so much especially for the price.  Even with the snags in the embroidered floral sleeves (which could’ve easily been cut) – it was just WAY TO SHORT for me. But seriously, the sleeves and style was adorable and flattering, I just don’t care to have my butt hang out, especially since I was wanting this for a wedding it was not going to be dance-friendly. But honestly if you don’t mind a shorter dress, or maybe ordering a size up you can’t beat the price!  P.S. I got mine for fourteen bucks and some change (it’s since gone up!)
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Casual Trouser Paper Bag Pants Elastic Waist Slim Pockets = $23.00
My Size = Large
These are super fun, super stretchy and not to mention perfect for a client meeting and day at work.  These are also a flattering piece to add to you wardrobe with the high-waisted band. I tried these pants with the body suite which was a classic look and almost felt a bit jumpsuit-esq (see below).

Scoop Neck Body Suite = $14.99
My Size = Medium
I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Not only was this super soft and comfy, it was flattering as well – and I loved this paired with some jeans for a simple look (see above).  I also tried this on with the high-wasted trouser pants (above) and then a cute denim skirt I have – all left a streamlined look with no rumples under my pants or in my skirt from an oversized shirt being tucked in.  This body suite always has clasps for potty breaks!  If you haven’t dived into the world of body suites – I would definitely try this one, especially for the price you can’t beat it!AmazonFall-thebeelife(2)

Long Sleeve Round Neck Knits Sweater Pullover = $21.99
My Size = Medium

I’ve had my eyes on this sweater for a few seasons, I think the hearts on the elbows are such a fun and cute touch while still keeping to a pretty classic, staple sweater.  It is surprisingly light weight, yet well made. I can easily see this piece becoming a staple not only for the fall but into the winter as well. The sweater seems to fit well, but I would be curious to see how a size smaller would fit – especially with wear! Whattcha think?
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Colorblock Long Sleeve Loose Cardigan = $31.99
My Size = Small (Returned)

I may or may not have a long cardigan addiction – so I felt like I was going a bit out of the box with the colorblock version of one to add to the collection. First strike for this cardigan once I got it was that I realized it didn’t have any pockets. And although this piece was made nicely, soft and fairly warm – I just didn’t really love it.  I didn’t feel like the shape or colorblocking was flattering on me either. And for being one of the more expensive items in my Amazon haul, I decided to send this one back.
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Embroidered Ruffle Babydoll Peplum Tops Blouse = $16.99
My Size = Medium

Obsessed! I am definitely in am embroidered floral mood lately and this peplum top is the perfect combo of all my favorite things, pink, flowers and a peplum blouse. Pair this top with some jeans with a cute date night or black tights and nude heels for the office. And I mean it’s just fricken adorable, and I want 10-more of these in every single color – but this peplum style only comes in pink and white.
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I definitely need to add a few Leopard printed pieces to my fall wardrobe, as that obsession has quickly grown out of control since my initial Amazon Fall Hoard. What pieces are you adding to your fall wardrobe this season?

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DIY – Painted Paper Mache Pumpkins

Looking for an affordable fall craft to kickoff your October?  You’re in luck, I have this super easy and affordable craft using Target’s $4.99 paper mache craft pumpkins and craft paint and a gold craft pen you can create colorful and custom pumpkins for your fall decor! For around $10 a pumpkin, you can craft and create a fun piece to add to your interior fall decor collection.
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What You’ll Need:
Paper Mache Pumpkins – $4.99 each
Craft Paint Colors of Your Choice – $0.79 each
Foam Brush – $0.49 each
– Optional: Gold Craft Pen – $3.79

Pro-tip: Stock up on all the colors for your acrylic craft paint, you’ll always use them and a nice selection is always great to have on hand for spur of the moment crafts. Same goes for foam brushes, just grab a handful or two!

Step-by-Step:
1. Determine your colors! I opted for a paler orange and a lighter green for my pumpkins.  I mixed my colors with white to lighten them up a bit.
2. Paint your pumpkins completely using the foam brush and your paint color – leave stem unpainted, unless you want a more simplistic look.
3. Allow to dry before adding a second coat – you can determine the number of coats of paint based on how much the paper mache shows through.
4. Once your pumpkin base is painted, now it’s time to paint your pumpkin stem.  I opted for gold, I used metallic craft paint for this. You could also cover you stem with gold glitter!
5. Add detail with paint or gold craft pen – I kept this simple and added some flair around the stem. You could also do gold polka dots, stripes or writing a fun message or sentiment like “hello fall” or “I’m here for the boos.”
6. Style and decorate with other pumpkins around your house!
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I am still getting all my fall decor out, so I am sure these guys will be moved around a bit more — but this was an easy and perfect DIY to get all those fall decor juices flowing! How would you paint your paper mache pumpkins? Would you keep them simple like mine, or punch them up with patterns or words?

Happy Crafting!

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My Summer Reads

Reading is always on my goals list each year – as I love diving into good books – I just usually fall asleep when I’m reading, especially if I’m at home.  So, I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like too. But that is just another reason why I love traveling and flying, because I just hunker down on the flight and read away – even our PSP trips were spent reading and napping by the pool.

I wanted to get a few more books finished before Summer’s end, but I did get through a few goodies that were both for fun and also for some professional and personal development and enrichment.
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Ok so here are my summer reads;

Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand by Brittany Hennessy
I don’t talk much about my 9-to-5, but I’m very much in the world of social and influencers. And as a blogger myself I was intrigued to learn a bit more of the business side of being an influencer while also understanding the business side being the influencer coordinator because there are a lot of pieces and parts to the puzzle. This industry also has seemed to blow up over night! It’s a great read and includes case studies along with guides for getting your social profiles, blog and community up to snuff!

18th Abduction by James Patterson
This is a series I’ve been reading since at least high-school, if not middle school.  My mom read James Patterson and I got into the Women’s Murder Club Series, which releases a new book each spring.  I’ve grown and learned to love the characters over the years – this is always an easy ready with short chapters usually ending in cliff hangers, which means another chapter or five.  The main character is Lindsey Boxer a detective for the SFPD, her boss gal pals, a report, attorney and medical examiner who help solve crime, serial killings and much more. I also just saw that the next book is coming out October 9th so I’ll be diving into that these winter month!

She Means Business by Carrie Green
I’ve always had a ton of ideas about doing more of the things I love on a daily basis and this book is a guide to help you foster those ideas and start turning them into reality and something that is sustainable.  Not only is Carrie’s story inspiring, her motivational dialogue throughout the book is inspiring and empowering.  I am still working through Carrie’s book – but it’s definitely one I have been book marking, highlighting and taking notes along the way!

What books have you read this summer? Any good recommendations?

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Latest Obsessions 09.19 – Leopard Everything

My love for leopard print has increasingly grown over the last few years. I started my obsession small with a muted-grey long leopard print sweater off Amazon and then more recently a more traditional printed cardigan from Marshall’s that was a steal for $12. So this fall, Leopard Print is fricken hot and EVERYWHERE I turn. I want it all. So, to help serve all of our Leopard Print obsessions this fall fashion season, here are some quick links to shop with high-to-low price points for all those leopard print must haves!
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OK, Let’s Splurge! You know, those pieces that you’d buy instantly if you had $300 just laying around? There are two ways of splurging; (1) just do it or (2) wait until it goes on sale! I am usually the ladder but do believe in treating yourself every now and again.  So if you want to splurge on leopard – Anthropologie and Kate Spade have endless options for all your leopard print fixes. I love this Anthro Georgia Turtleneck Sweather with the fatter print, but they also have smaller prints with pops of color, pants and even a cashmere leopard print sweater tee… *jaw drops* …like anything you could ever want is there, which pretty much goes for Kate Spade too.
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Let’s Be Real. Since we just can’t buy $150 leopard print sweaters every other day, let’s look at a few pieces that are a bit more on the everyday level. So Target, Old Navy and Nordstrom Rack are more real speed. I first spotted this Who What Wear Crewneck Sweater at Target a month back, and haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since and at $32.99 it’s a fair price point. These slip on sandals from Nordstrom Rack are a good transition from summer into fall, and they’re leopard print!  Finally, I love this muted oversized jacket from Old Navy, it can be casual, but also screams power suit.
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Bring on the deals! These pants from Old Navy, were also spotted mid-summer when I just wasn’t ready to fully transition into fall – well guess what they’re on sale now!  So go and add them to your shopping cart and maybe order another pattern too.  Amazon Fashion has started booming and pricing has started to get more competitive, but there are still a few steals that are hard to pass up, especially when there are free returns. I sort of love this simple tee with a fun pop of leopard with the pocket square for a little more understated way to bring that pop of sass. The last deal to shop is this fun long sleeve leopard dress for $20 – it looks so comfy and will transition nicely into colder months with leggings and booties.
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Literally everywhere I turn, I was in Kohl’s and leopard print everything – then Anthropology popped up in my Insta feed with those beautiful leopard sweaters.  So that is what I have been obsessing over lately and what I’ll continue obsessing over this fall fashion season and getting a few fabulous leopard pieces to add to my growing collection.  What is your next leopard fashion purchase?

Happy Shopping!

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