House Tour: $30 Christmas Front Porch

With consistently colder days during the Christmas season, and the inside being the main event — the outside decor doesn’t get as much love as I’d like it too. We also string some oversized colored bulbs along the back fence line and I always have intentions to do more, but usually run out of time.  This year I finally added a little more umph and switched up some decor to make a little more of a statement for only $30 – plus I got a warm day to finally put everything up!

My Decorations: 
(2) 6ft Red, Green & White Ball Garland (I got mine for 50%, they’re even cheaper right now!)
(5) 16″ White Snowflake Ornaments (I got mine 50% off!)

The Garland. I mixed in the ornament garland with extra greenery garland I had around the house, this helped fill it in and make it more lush.  I opted to do the garland as a 3/4 quarter around the door, because of our Ring and not wanting to get in the way of that especially during holiday delivery season.

The Statement Door. I initially had plans to hang the larger snowflakes along the front of the house under the porch, but didn’t have enough and didn’t want too much going on especially with the garland around the door. I then got the idea of tying the oversized snowflakes together to create a falling wreath — they really pop with our blue door, and I love how this turned out.

Simple to Finish It Off. To finish off the look, but still keeping it simple, I stacked our lanterns underneath the main box. This helps fill the space by giving it the finishing touches it needs — plus these are the lanterns I usually have on our back patio, so they’re getting another season in use and not out in the elements under the covered porch. We added a spot light on the door, so it can be viewed day and night in all it’s glory!

After the Christmas holiday, the falling snowflake wreath will be perfect into the winter months especially with the lanterns! I grabbed these items earlier in November when the holiday decor was just getting out and still 50% off — not to mention I had a few 20-25% off entire purchase that I tacked on top of those. Making a statement can truly be affordable especially if you’re thinking ahead, like I finally was this year!

bee (1)

 

Bee Holiday Hacks – My Go-To Gift

I’m going to fill you in on another little secret of mine, it’s the gift I give every year… and sometimes even to the same people! But trust me, it’s anything from lazy, unoriginal or impersonal.  My go-to gift is ornaments! Growing up, every year we would get an ornament before the holiday – my brother collected the Puppy Love series from Hallmark, and I was usually a mix-match but usually went for the Barbie series from Hallmark.  Regardless, every year unboxing the ornaments and carefully finding a place for them on the tree is one of my favorite parts of the holidays, so I like giving that gift to others as well.
Holiday Hack - Ornaments - bee life blogOrnaments hold special memories, can mark significant moments or important dates, places traveled or a moment in time.  From an engagement, wedding, anniversary, to a lost pet or a new house our lives are captured into sweet little keepsakes to trim our Christmas tree year after year.

How I Make My Ornaments: I like to switch up my base for my ornaments whether it’s a large clear glass globe, wooden circular ornament (I used real wood we cut), shaped wooden ornament, or a round plaster ornament.  From there I like to search my nearest and dearest friends social accounts and find a few perfect pictures from the year that could easily be translated onto an ornament and make copies at a print-in-seconds Kodak machine.  Mod Podge is my best friend when it comes to putting these photos onto the wooden ornaments or ceramic.   I’ll add gold glitter around the edges so you can’t see where the picture doesn’t overlap – most important part is adding the year!   With my wooden ornaments I drill a whole so the ribbon can string through to be hung.  For glass globes, I’ll fill with glitter or sequins, or even ribbon or string and write on the outside – from fun hashtags, to new homes addresses, these are classic ornaments that are so simple and fun and make a big statement.
Holiday Hack - Ornaments - bee life blog (1)
Creating special ornaments of friends kids or dogs, special events, or anniversaries – I use stickers, gold markers and fun ribbon to add the finishing touches to these unique ornaments year after year, and my favorite part of all of it all is seeing these ornaments on our friends trees each year.   On top of making ornaments I do love shopping Hallmark’s ornaments each year and finding fun keepsakes for my family or even for B and I to hang on our tree.

What’s your favorite ornament?

bee (1)

 

House Tour: Our Green Christmas

This year it seemed like we were super late to the game getting our Christmas decor up compared to everyone else – although we do like to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday.  With B’s surprise party this past weekend, I was extra motivated to have the house Christmas ready!

A few of our new pieces that helped put the finishing touches on our Christmas decor were our pillow cases from H&M, the mini brush trees for our dining room centerpiece and a new tree skirt!  …Speaking of tree’s can I gush over our tree for a minute?  We always get a real tree and this year decided to go a bit bigger in height – than we normally do.  We both laid eyes on our tree and decided to pull the trigger, we were joking about having an elf moment when we put it up in the house, but it fit! A bigger tree called for more lights – but she is a looker.

Besides being in love with our big tree, every year I always have fun putting up our alpine tree in our dining room – this is where I layer on all of our ornaments – and what I love even more than this is opening up all of our ornaments and all the fond memories that come with them, and the ornaments that I forget about!  We also put up a smaller alpine tree in our bay window stairwell, that has all of my childhood Hallmark Barbie ornaments and a few other ones!

Our house has been transformed into a little Christmas wonderland, and I just love our little Christmas snow globe that we get to enjoy for the next few weeks.  Now that the house is all ready, we can start getting ready for the big day through visiting with friends, holiday crafts and shopping for presents!

Shop my pieces: H&M Reindeer pillowcase, Velvet dark green pillowcaseLarge bottle brush Christmas tree, Pom Pom tree skirt from Target

bee (1)

Easy Holiday Decor for Under $10

There are easy ways to bring a little holiday impact to your home before you lug all of the Christmas decorations down from the attic.  Not only are these simple, they’re also budget friendly pieces you can sprinkle throughout your home to help spread a little holiday cheer and get in the holiday spirit without going full blown Christmas just yet!
Easy Holiday Decor - the bee life
(1) Seasonal Hand Soaps.  Scents are a great way to incorporate the essences of the holidays into your home before all the halls are decked with garland and lights.  These are easy to switch out throughout the home from your kitchen to bathrooms with plenty of affordable options like Mrs. Meyers hand soaps holiday scents (pine and peppermint) are just $3.99 or $6.50 if you’re shopping Bath & Body Works stock up and these will last you well into the New Year!

(2) Festive Hand Towels.  This is another easy switch for your kitchen or bathrooms to bring in some festive colors for your hand towels, plus if you’re shopping at Marshalls or T.J. Maxx you can often get these in 2-or-4 packs for under $10.  I love having seasonal hand towels throughout the home to keep the holiday decor throughout, plus the patterns or themes are so cute, they’re hard to turn down!

(3) Seasonal Candles.  Not only do these smell like the holidays, they’re often festive with fun plaid patterns, deep greens/reds, or have glittery gold text that just screen Christmas!  I love picking these up as they start hitting the shelves, especially the smaller ones you can find at Marshalls for $2.99 — T.J. Maxx online also has this adorable Buffalo Plaid printed candle for $6.99 that goes right along with my latest obsessions!

(4) Scented Pinecones.  Again, bringing scents into your home can make the feeling of having a real pine tree in almost any room – scented pinecones can also double as a simple centerpiece that will last beyond the Christmas decorations and into the cold winter months.  For $3 at Michael’s all you need is a packet or two of these scented pinecones in a big bowl for your dining room and wah-la you’ve got a centerpiece.

(5) Wall Hanging Twig Tree. Oh my gosh! I stumbled upon this as I was dreaming through Target’s holiday decor collections and fell in love with it immediately!  Not only is it simple and rustic, it can double as a Christmas tree for sentimental ornaments (and would be great for a small apartment), or just have a string of lights wrapped about it or even used for Christmas cards – best part is it’s $10!

(6) Festive Garland.  Having a mantle, garland is an easy way for me to incorporate the holidays by focusing on one focal point in the house without decorating every nook and cranny in the house.  If you’re just wanting a touch of holiday flair to get into the holiday spirit, World Market has these super cute garlands for $9.99.  6 Holiday Decor Under $10 - the bee life
Shop the decor: Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap | Be Merry Garland from World Market | Wall Hanging Twig Tree from Target | Buffalo Plaid Candle from T.J. Maxx | Season Hand Towels from T.J. Maxx | Scented Pinecones from Michaels

I’m jonesing to pull out all our Christmas decor and get the house holiday ready – but I like waiting until after Thanksgiving. Although I’ve already started with the evergreen candles and hand soap and have been making big plans for our holiday decor and switching up our color theme this year (but more to come on that)!   Have you started getting ready for the holidays yet?

bee (1)

 

 

 

Image Source: Country Living Historic Tudor

Inside Our Christmas

Last weekend was full of decorating for Christmas! And with continual tweaks being made (always) I wanted to share with you our red and plaid Christmas wonderland!

The Dining Room
I wanted to keep the decor simple but still make a big impact and fill the space. I created depth by layering the plaid table runner and the greens.  I used extra bulbs to fill the glass vases and sprinkled some votives throughout for some nice mood lighting in the evenings.

Ornaments
We have a super tall skinny tree in our dining room as well, this tree is used for all of our ornaments, mostly B’s and one’s we’ve collected together.  I have yet to inherit all of my childhood ornaments from my parents, but then I think we will need a much bigger tree! I love opening the ornaments every year, they all have meaning and memories built behind them.

Cozy Living
The Merry Christmas sign was inspired of course by something I found on pinterest and one of my wood crafts! I hand painted the lettering, and used 100-year-old wood from our attic, it’s pretty hefty. The polar bear also holds special meaning, although it was a lucky find last Christmas season – my grandma used to have a ledge of polar bears, and it wasn’t until after she passed I truly appreciated that sentiment and wished I had asked for a few of hers.

The Tree
Here it is!  Our first REAL tree! She is a beauty.  Lots of lights and gold and red accents to trim the tree. And of course an angel as the topper (she was tough to find!)  – the last missing piece is a tree skirt.

I love being able to enjoy the house decorated, last year we were just moving into our house on December 13th – so throwing some decorations up and the fake tree was all we managed amongst the other chaos!

Merry Christmas!

DIY – Wooden Christmas Tree

Let the unveiling of wood crafts continue! Here is one to surely be easy with lots of options for customization!

With the 100-year old beams from our attic, we created these beauties.  Figuring out the measurements was half the battle – so hopefully the sketch below will help you! We also created a slightly longer and narrower tree so that we can have a little wooden tree family this holiday season in our front yard!

Wooden Tree How-To
Once we had all the pieces cut, we screwed the horizontal posts starting with the square topper first and worked our way down, eye-balling the distance, we even intentionally made a few crooked to give it a custom feel.  The version below is the one I made for my mom – with the bible verse; “For unto us a child is born.”  I free handed the lettering (with a Q-tip, yes I know strange, but that’s my paint brush of choice) with some white paint I had around the house.  I used some small trim work nails for the star and wove colored string around to create the star pattern.  Last but not least, stick you post in the ground for Christmas and you’re one step closer to decorating for the holidays, you could even wrap some lights around!

Happy Crafting!!