Merry Christmas – 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year? This holiday season was a glimmer of hope all of us were looking forward too, even more so than previous years. We were watching Christmas movies before Halloween, and we were gearing up for the year to end on a happy, light and familiar note.

The optimism this year has been strong while also fading fast — and I was hoping the optimism during this holiday season would come back strong, but I can’t say that it is. The pressures of family, the expectations, the let downs from family and the overall crave for a little bit of normal from all of us — is different depending on who you ask. This whole year we have all scarified a lot, whether it’s been emotionally, physically, financially, mentally — but that some how gets forgotten with those expectations and pressures. No one can win this year, and no one has.

With all of that, the picture above of B and I was from one of those strong moments of optimism, of hope, of happiness and a tiny bit of forgetting. We were trying to snap a selfie, surrounded in the snow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — and it was so bright! Neither of us had sunglasses, and we laughed as we struggled to keep our eyes open, and just embraced the moment, which became a series of shots, that we used for our Christmas cards this year. That is a feeling, I’m going to try and hold on to as we get through the rest of this year and these next few days.

So without being too much of a downer, I hope for a few moments, hours or even a few days — we can hold on to a moment we’ve had this year of happiness, hope, and pure optimism. And that we can embrace whatever kind of things we’re faced with this holiday season, even if we don’t like it 😬 (& yes, that may or may not be specifically for me).

Merry Christmas from B, Moz & I!

Adding Christmas Magic to Your Master Bedroom

Since we are home a lot more, there was one space that usually goes untouched most years when it comes to Christmas decorating, our master bedroom. Sure, we always switch out our bedding with some cozy and festive fleece bed sheets — but that is about it. And with our sitting area rearranged from the summer, I thought the space was in need of a little Christmas magic!

Here are three easy ways you can add Christmas magic to your master bedroom, a guest room or any other space for that matter without breaking the bank or going complete Elf in every room, and it’s how I added a little extra sparkle to our master bedroom this Christmas season, that is sure to be replicated year after year!

A Simple Christmas Tree. I had smaller 4ft. alpine tree in need of a spot. With a slanted ceiling in our master by our seating area, this height and tree was the perfect addition. I opted to keep it simple with just some circular LED lights and left off ornaments or a topper — and it adds a bit of magic, especially at night. I wrapped a circular knit scarf around the base for an easy tree skirt!

Festive Fleece Bedsheets. These are an absolute must, especially in your guest rooms — it makes a bed extra cozy and soft. We love neutral Christmas prints or some classic plaid. I always keep an eye out on the sets at Target each year — I am loving the dog print this year, and hope Santa brings it to me for Christmas! Add a few extra accent holiday-themed pillows to finish off your bed with a bit of Christmas!

Greenery & Garland. A few more finishing touches is all you need to finish up adding a layer of Christmas to your master bedroom! An extra bottle brush tree was perfect addition to our side table in our conversation area. I also added some greenery on a mirror and on top of our mini fireplace to give it a bit more of a cozy feel. Lastly, I strung up some gold and white ‘Merry Christmas’ garland over our gallery wall for a little extra sparkle.

Falling asleep to the glow of our little Christmas tree has been such a treat each night, especially since our main floor is so magical with so much Christmas — I often don’t want to leave it, especially at the glow and darkness of the night. Am I the only one like that?

If you’ve wanted to add a little extra Christmas to a guest room, kids room, or even your master — just remember to keep it simple and focus on a few areas to make a statement and sprinkle of Christmas. Like a corner with a little, skinny tree or making your bed a sugar plum heaven to rest your head!

Here’s to More Sweet Christmas Dreams!

House Tour – A Brush Bottle Tree Dining Room

It’s no secret that one of my favorite rooms in our house is our dining room. It was one of the first completed rooms with real furniture and I always love transforming our large dining room table with the seasons always making a statement. We also have these beautiful built-ins, with a cozy bench and beveled glass, which is the true shining star of this room. These last few Christmas’ I’ve grabbed a few bottle brush trees – but it wasn’t until I saw these ones from Target, that I knew I needed a few more to really make a state and fill the dining room table.

The 20″ bottle brush trees at Target by Threshold were simply stunning with their height and the cream would be the perfect integration into our holiday decor. I also had to grab a few of the 15″ pink trees and some green 10″ bottle brush trees for the supporting cast. I made sure to grab these in November and ordered with drive-up pickup (my new favorite thing of 2020) — I must admit, I did splurge a little bit, but only because I was going on convenience as I haven’t been shopping in stores. When it came to styling it’s not exactly a symmetrical look, but I like how it turned out! To ground the centerpiece I used my dark green plaid table runner, and then to finish it off, I added battery operated string lights and left over greenery from our Christmas tree.

The rest of the room is complete and cozy with more greenery, lights, and cozy holiday pillows. I even created a bench out of two chairs, using a fluffy blanket to finish off the look at the end of the table — I absolutely love it. My 6ft alpine tree is also in it’s corner, covered head to toe with memories and special ornaments (not pictured), I always have so much fun putting this tree together each year. Finally, I have my DIY bottle brush tree snow globe place settings from last Christmas ready in case we do end up hosting, even a small dinner this holiday season.

I can’t wait for the built-in window to fill in with Christmas cards from loved family and friends — that is truly my favorite part of the dining room during this time of the year. Sadly, we won’t be hosting our annual Christmas party — so my favorite moment in the year also won’t be happening, the moment when our dining room is filled and our friends are packed around the table, as we play card games, sing to music, and laugh the night away.

Merry Christmas – 2019

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the happiest Christmas filled with new memories, lots of laughs, and all of the love and magic of every Christmas before this one.  I hope that you stay true to all your favorite traditions while welcoming new traditions, from mom’s homemade Christmas cookies, to watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, or starting with your stockings first this Christmas morning. Christmas2019-beelifeblog
photo by: @marinaclaireandco

And may you be able to continue to spread Christmas cheer even after the holiday, visit with all of your loved ones and catch up with those who may be miles apart.

So from B, Moz and I — Merry Christmas!

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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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Latest Obsessions 12.19

Christmas is just 5 short days away! It’s that last minute crunch to get everything perfect and ready for the big day and all the stops along the way. With last minute gifts popping up, a few more gatherings being hosted and attended, the time gets away from us quickly — so my latest obsessions are all about helping navigate threw the last minute pushes, while still enjoying the holidays and keeping yourself a priority.
LatestObsessions12.19(1)-beelifeblogEasy Brunches. We’re hosting a brunch with some friends this weekend, and then also prepping to have some easy food around for our holiday mornings — so I am pulling out the recipe for that super easy french toast casserole that I made for Easter brunch! You prep the dish and refrigerate overnight and all you have to do is stick it in the oven coming the next morning! It’s SO easy and SO yummy.

Last Minute Gifts. From stocking stuffers, to a few trinkets or two, shopping local is how I’m going to wrap up those last minute gifts that always seem to creep in. And if I can’t find just what I’m looking for at the local shops, I will break out the craft supplies and make an ornament – as that has been my go to gift the last few years and it’s so easy to make it personalized and special for whoever you’re giving it too!

Holiday Outfits. Usually I am on top of having a few of these figured out — but not this year! Everything has really creeped up on me. Luckily I have a nice variety of options to pull from and build upon.  My last minute holiday fashion guide has a mix of casual ideas paired with more party inspiration, especially if it’s a bit more dresser for work!
LatestObsessions12.19(2)-beelifeblog  Me Time. With having a bit extra time off around the holidays, I’m going to make sure to take a bit of time for me — and I hope you all try and do the same for you! I’m not going to slack off with my workout routine, in fact, my fitness studio is offering a Christmas Eve class and I am 100% pumped I’ll be able to get in a workout in time for the holidays.  On top of not compromising my workout routine, I’ll be making time to volunteer with a local dog shelter I’ve been volunteering at the last few months — the pups need a good Christmas too!

On top of prepping for brunch, getting all my last minute gifts purchased and made, I still have a lot of Christmas-ing left to do! I will be making a bunch of Christmas cookies this weekend (cut outs, gingerbread and peanut butter blossoms) and getting in a few more of those Christmas classic movies like Elf, Home Alone (for the millionth time) and even It’s A Wonderful Life (on Christmas Eve of course!).

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Bee’s Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Stockings have always been one of my favorite part of the holidays and something that I made sure B and I did for each other! We try to put a limit on it, but I know we always probably end up going over our stocking stuffer limit.  I blame my mom for always pulling together incredible stockings, that were sometimes more exciting that opening up the big presents! So if you’re looking for some last minute stocking stuffers, or ready to pick up your stocking game, here are some fun and easy ideas to get ready for Christmas.
StockingStuffers-beelifeblogSmall Incremental Gift Cards. Think like $10 to Subway, Starbucks or Whole Foods – easy day time, lunch items that come up and are nice to have a gift card on hand to cover a meal or couple cups of coffee! These are easy to stack together into a box or place throughout for continued surprises as they’re pulled out!

Something Sweet. You know those candy cane’s filled with mini reese cups or M&Ms? I always have to buy those for the stocking, it was something we always had in our growing up and was a yummy snack.  A box of Altoids, pack of gum or a reese cup tree — these can be a nice little pick me up.

Cotton Love. Think socks, a cozy winter hat, fun t-shirt or some gloves! These are fun fillers than take up a little more space and are also nice to haves that can be festive and useful.  I love throwing a few pairs of fun socks into B’s stocking, and I always love getting a fun throwback tee or Cavaliers winter hat.

Everyday Essentials.  Think the travel aisle in Target! A Tide To-Go pen, hand sanitizer, deodorant or even some body wash or bubble bath is another nice touch that is always useful, especially when you can snag the right scent! B will throw some packs of makeup remover wipes in mine and body wash and I’m always appreciative because I usually run out before I’m stocked up again.  I can also count on my mom for throwing in my favorite mascara!

Booze & Coffee. Mini travel booze bottles, a bottle of beer, or even a mini champagne bottle are the perfect size for any stocking! Have a few more coffee lovers? Throw in a few K-Cups, bag of coffee beans or even the mix quick mix packets are fun and small to help stuff that stocking!

Ornaments. Whether it’s handmade, a Hallmark signature series, or a local find ornaments are unique, personal and smaller presents that can help fill your stocking while being a memorable keepsake to trim the tree with year after year.  I always buy an ornament each year for B, and love tucking it into his stocking for a fun surprise!
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Stockings are always a Christmas tradition that I’ve been fond of growing up.  Pulling out the stockings at my moms when I helped her decorate for Christmas was always one of my favorite parts that I looked forward too! B and I’s first Christmas together was 7-months after we started dating, and I bought us matching stockings for my little studio apartment – sure enough we still use those same stockings to this day and have them hanging by the mantel just above the fireplace!

Our Christmas morning starts with stockings and then we move into the big presents — but we always ease into it, to make the morning and magic savor. What’re your favorite traditions and must have stocking stuffers?

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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!

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Local Love: Home for the Holidays Pop-Up Shop

Looking to shop local this holiday season? Look no further — the Home for the Holidays Pop-up Shop is back! Going into it’s fourth year open, it’s found various homes in the neighborhood over the years.  And this pop-up shop supports all things local, by sourcing gems from small business makers in one place!

The best part is you’re not only supporting one local business you’re supporting 40! Home for the Holidays has a variety of gift options for everyone on your list, from baby, to dog mom, to husband or dad, coworkers, and of course your bestie.  Gifts include home goods, local snacks, honey, skincare, christmas themed, barware, and local gear, Home for the Holidays is truly a one stop shop!

With sections throughout the store it’s easy to navigate based on whoever you may be shopping for.  I personally gravitated to the pet section where there was a mix of goodies for your favorite furry friend, like toys and treats and then treats for mom like dog-themed candles and dog mom wine glasses!  And if you’re a human mom, or have a few sweet babes in your life you’ll be trying to decide between some adorable nursery or baby decor from lovefrombrooklyn or handcrafted blankets from Unsalted.
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Moving on to the men in your life. With plenty of amazing hand crafted options like CLE themed beer steins or leather coasters, key chains and valet trays from William & James Leather Co. (William & James also has some pretty amazing earrings available at Home for the Holidays shop, too!) You can also snag a Great Lakes Brewery bottle opener made from actual beer taps.  There are local tees, sweatshirts and winter gear with all his favorite local teams that make for a home run gift.

Speaking of jewelry, beyond unique one of a kind pieces from William & James — there are also copper and ceramic Ohio state necklaces, inspirational bangles and bold earrings that will truly make a statement.  There are also customizable pieces for a more personalized gift and even better stocking stuffer!
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HomeHolidays-beelife(4)To kick off my holiday shopping I stopped in to grab a few items and get inspired for more gifts, the best part is they are continually restocking and adding in new pieces. I grabbed a few handmade ornaments from GGDorothy Art, one of a Cleveland sky line (for us!) and then an Indians ornament for my aunties (shhh! it’s not Christmas yet).  I also grabbed a fun NYE card for a dear friend, a tea towel from Tart Boutique and sweet baby bows from lovefrombrooklyn.  I can’t wait to head back in the coming week to grab a few more goodies and see what new items are in stock at the shop!
HomeHolidays-beelife(1)Home for the Holidays is open Thursday – Sunday until December 23rd, so make sure to plan your trip for any and all of your holiday shopping, last minute gifts and something truly unique for your favorite people.  So if you stop in be sure to say hey to Maureen, the awesome owner behind Home for the Holidays, she is so sweet and hospitable!

Stay up to date with the latest from Home for the Holidays on Instagram and Facebook.

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