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.
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?

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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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Latest Obsessions 12.18

It’s December! I think I’m almost done decorating our house… just a few final finishing touches and we’re in full on Christmas.  With the decorating nearly behind me there is all the other holiday fun to get ready for and obsess about! So here are my final latest obsessions for the 2018 year.
Latest Obsessions 12.18 - bee life blog
Adding a Little Sparkle.  From sequin sleeves to glittery heels, I always love a little sparkle especially at this time of the year.  I’ve had my eyes on these taupe block heels from Old Navy since I spotted them and love the subtle touch of the heel, which is perfect for a holiday party or four.  I’ll have more holiday fashion inspiration up next week!

All the Greenery Wreaths.  Yup! I’ve obsessing over just plain old, classic green wreaths – but the fun part comes with the styling and finding different ways to hang them a little less traditionally.  Like hanging them in our dining room, as an accessory on the back side of the door facing into the living room – and even our main door having a large wreath hang a bit lower on the door than normal.  Styling simple pieces, with fun pops of ribbon in different styles or places can had a designer touch.

Pottery Barn’s Plaid Alphabet Mug.  I know it’s the season of buying for other people, but sometimes it’s hard not to shop for yourself!  I absolutely love these plaid alphabet mugs from PB – they’re classic and festive. B and I first spotted them when we were window shopping in Palm Desert – and said we’d order them online!

Christmas Jammy’s.  This year we’ll be having a quiet Christmas with my family, so I had a fun idea of couple-christmas themed pajamas, just to have a little fun!  I found these super cute and funny Elf Sweatshirts on Amazon and was inspired – and the rest of the family was game too.  Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

As I hinted – I’ve definitely been obsessing a bit over all the holiday fashion trends (like always!) so I’ll be sharing a few of my holiday fashion obsessions on the blog next week!

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Image Source: Wreath Photo 

Weekend Recap – A Christmas Story Run

This past weekend was full of festive activities to kickoff the first weekend of December!  Our Saturday started with a trip downtown with the extended family for the A Christmas Story Run 5k/10k.  With it’s sixth year in, this has always been on our wish list of races to-do, but never seems to workout, we finally signed up so we could partake in the little tradition that our extended family has been doing the last few years!
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With following along with the tradition came evil elf hats from the movie and walking the length of the 5k… which for B and I wasn’t ideal, but we wanted to partake in the all the fun and experience!  On top of walking that meant, stopping to take pictures at the mile markers, Cleveland sign and seeing everyone’s costumes!  We finally made it to the house, which by the time we’d gotten there from walking, it was madness in the little A Christmas Story village in Tremont.  So we shuffled past the house with the crowd. B and I ended up getting our run in, while the rest of the family waited for a bus to get back downtown – we decided to run back to complete the circle and get our actual 5k run in!

After taking some photos in  picturesque downtown CLE – we did a little shopping before stopping at our go-to post race spot, Brewnuts for A Christmas Story themed donuts to go and then grabbed brunch at XYZ Tavern in Gordon Square!  It was a fun little adventure with the family, while feeling a little silly in our hats (because they had to be worn everywhere) – but it was all in good fun and a great way to kickoff the holiday season.

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Bee Holiday Hacks – Christmas Cards

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to share one of my holiday hacks for Christmas cards!  I love creating and sending Christmas cards, and usually like to get a head start on these – but I really got a jump start on this year and also wanted to share some other ways I like to share the Christmas spirit in a thoughtful and personal way, so you can too!
Holiday Hacks - the bee life
Plan Ahead.  Christmas cards can sneak up on you, so try to plan ahead whether it’s booking a portrait session with your honey or family at the end of Summer or early fall, or it’s getting ahead and ordering small batches of cards as you can.

Take Advantage of Freebies! 
I love Shutterfly – and luckily because I have the app and get notifications I can pick and choose which promos I want to take advantage of.  Shutterfly and Tinyprints were having 10-free cards throughout the month of October which can save you a ton of money when you’re only paying a few dollars for shipping!  You can also do this for address labels – I was buying Christmas patterns in the Summer!

Mix It Up.  Don’t be afraid to mix-up your Christmas cards.  Sometimes I can’t decide on which style, color or pattern I like – so I order multiple versions!  This is also a great way to use multiple photos for a gallery or one for more of a statement.  It’s also OK to not send photo-cards to everyone on your list, buy some fun Christmas cards to mix into your group, that way you won’t be breaking the bank!

Glam Your Envelopes.  Don’t be afraid to pick a colored envelope or add in a paper insert.  These can be fun surprises to recipients and pull the entire look of the cards together.  Also, if you use a darker envelop color it can be a fun way to write in gold when addressing your envelopes!

Personalize It.  Beyond sharing vacation pictures or memories throughout the year with friends and family that you might not see often, I always like to at least write our names or a little note on the back of the cards. Sadly, Christmas cards can easily be impersonal with the easy ability of printing/typing whatever you want to say!  So try and find ways to personalize it so you’re friends and family don’t feel like an after thought, or you just stuffed a card into an envelope.

Holiday Hacks - Cards - bee lifeIf you’re going the photo-card route, these can add up quick, so find ways to either use a promo code or take advantage of those promotions to get some free holiday cards!  Don’t be afraid to mix-up your styles or photos, my one go-to design pick is always trying to mix in some plaid and having a picture of Moz or two.  One last hack is making sure to purchase Christmas stamps in mid-November, AKA now, so that you can get the cute designs before they run out!

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Shop My Cards: Merry Colorful Holiday Card from Tinyprints | Diagonal Wishes Holiday Card from Tinyprints | Gradient Scripted Merry Christmas Card from Shutterfly | Cheerful Foliage Christmas Card from Shutterfly

Latest Obsessions 11.18

It’s November, the month that is quickly becoming one of my favorites for a variety of reasons, from our house anniversary, wedding anniversary, the official kickoff of the holidays and so much more!  And since the holidays are quickly approaching, I can’t help but obsess over the latest holiday trends and getting our house Christmas-ready!
Latest Obsessions 11.18 - the bee lifeSpoiler! I’m switching up our Christmas decor this year, typically red and gold, we are going to be having a green Christmas in this household!  I’ve already started planning and taking advantage of pre-holidays sales and coupons, and before all the good pieces get snatched up!  I’m so excited to share some mini-house tours in the coming weeks… but this leads to my latest obsessions for our Green Christmas decor.

New Ornaments. One of the items I had to bite the bullet on for planning ahead for our Green Christmas, was ornaments!  I’ve always decorated the tree with a variety of red glass ornaments and gold accents, but bit the bullet and stocked up on green bulbs that of course were on sale!

H&M Pillows.  Yessss…. I’m STILL obsessed with H&M pillow covers!  They’re such an easy way to update a space for whatever season, holiday or mood you’re in and I feel like pillow cases really pull together the entire space of everyday living with holiday decor.  So incase you couldn’t guess – green pillow cases will be purchased!

Evergreen Trees.  I want mini tree’s everywhere from glass trees in green and gold to bottle brush trees, to tall alpine trees sprinkled throughout the house – I love the idea of incorporating trees throughout the mantle, dining room centerpiece and bay windows.

So yes, I’ve been busy obsessing and planning for our green holiday decor —  I can’t wait to decorate but going to hold off until after the Thanksgiving holiday!  What Christmas decor trends have you obsessed this season?

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Image Sources: Green Christmas Mantle | Dining Decor | White Stockings | H&M Pillowcases 

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?

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Image Source: Country Living Historic Tudor

House Tour – Christmas Dining Room

One of my favorite rooms to decorate during the holidays and different seasons is our dining room.  We have a large custom table that is perfect for statement centerpieces and plenty of room for family and friends to gather around for a delicious meal, conversation and laughter.
House Tour - Christmas Dining - the bee life (1)
I love thinking of ways to transform this space each year and building upon pieces I already have or buying new… this year I kind of went the old/new route based off the color theme of gold and green, selfishly carrying our wedding color palette into the holiday season and our home!  I used some pieces from our wedding and ended up buying a new table runner and napkins to pull the look together for guests.

My goal this year was to keep the dining room intimate and cozy for a small group of six, candles mixed throughout with customized ornament place settings. I used glass ornaments, (I basically have plain glass bulbs stock-piled once the year end sales hit) and poured white paint inside of them to drizzle along the inside, so when I wrote names in gold on the outside they popped! Guests can take these home as a keepsake of the holiday memory to hang on their tree!
House Tour - Christmas Dining - the bee life (2)
The greens mixed in help bring that classic Christmas feel and were conveniently trimmed off our tree. I love entertaining and having friends and family in our home, celebrating, laughing and creating memories and with the perfect setting and people it makes it easy.

Cheers to new memories!