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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Last Minute Holiday Fashion Guide

Last year I fell in love with furs – mainly because of my winter wedding and then pulling those fur wedding vibes into my holiday looks. Fur is still my go-to piece for all my holiday looks this season!  Here is some inspiration for last minute holiday looks from my closet – plus I sourced some current pieces in case you want to shop any of the pieces (and a few of them are on sale!!)
Holiday Fashion Fur - bee life (1)Formal Christmas Party.  Burgundy is a great warm and sultry color to introduce into your wardrobe especially around the holidays.  Now pair burgundy with some floral prints and a classic capelet fur and you’re holiday ready! I love this look as it’s a bit more formal for a party without feeling overly Christmasy – not to mention it’s a little sexy too!

Classic & Comfy Plaid with Fur. Okay, total disclaimer this might be my favorite outfit – it’s so stinkin’ cute plus it screams Christmas! My plaid tights were any early season purchase from Old Navy, I can no longer find them on their website, but I found some for $13 at Walmart (linked below!) My awesome shoes (which are basically a shoe version of an ugly sweater) are from Katy Perry and appear to no longer be available – but she has new festive ones for this season to shop!Holiday Fashion Fur - bee life (2)
Fur Meet Metallic.  For a happy medium between dressing up and casual – I love mixing this classic blush scoop tee with a fun metallic skirt, throw that fur capelet on and you have a wintery look ready for a holiday party or evening mass.  This look is the right amount of festive without going over the top!

The Ultimate NYE look. When I think NYE, I think gold, glitter, sequins and sparkle… so what better look that a sequin dress and a fun fur vest!  When I was looking for a similar piece (my gold sequin dress is from Target last year) I found this adorable black large sequin dress from H&M that is on sale <linked below> and I might like it better than my gold dress! Anyways, this outfit is party and champagne ready.  Holiday Fashion Fur - bee life (3)

Shop the pieces: Faux Fur Capelet – Nordstrom $83 [on sale!] | Lace Shift Dress – Nordstrom $59 | Burgundy Floral Sheath Dress – Old Navy $26 [on sale!] | Red Plaid Leggings – Walmart $13.95 | Faux Fur Vest – Target $39.99 | Sequin Sleeve Shirt – Target $16.99 | Metallic Animal Print Wrap Skirt – Express $29.95 [on sale!] Black Sequin Dress – H&M $34.99

One of my favorite fashion times of the year is the holidays – it’s an excuse to dress up and be as sparkly as you want!  I’ll definitely be rocking a few of these looks in the next couple weeks for coming office parties, family festivities, Christmas Eve mass and of course NYE!  What’re some pieces you’ll be incorporating into your holiday looks this year?

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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.
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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?

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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

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