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 martially 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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3 Party Planning Hacks – Baby Shower Ed.

This past weekend was my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I was lucky to help with the planning and was in charge of the decor.  I love a good party, and I love a good party with a theme.  The theme for K’s shower was Woodland, and as I worked through the decor it quickly morphed to a Woodland Glam theme especially once we learned the baby is a girl. So instead of breaking everything down, I wanted to share a few hacks I did for this baby shower that made a statement and helped pull everything together.
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Framed Art: One easy way to help decorate and pull the theme through was with framed art of little Woodland animals with flower crowns. Since Woodland was also K’s baby room theme, I wanted to get prints framed that could work for the shower and that could then be hung in the nursery for room decor! It was a fun conversation piece during the shower as party guests spotted them throughout the house – plus I think N&K really liked them. I purchased 6 Baby Animals with Flowers Crowns and these 11×17 frames from Michaels Craft Store.
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DIY Floral Letter: This was another piece that was used as decor at the shower and will now find a home in the nursery as well. The muted colors that were picked out play into that glam, Woodland and romantic feel.  Not to mention this was super easy and an affordable DIY that made a huge statement as part of the main centerpiece in the opening room as guests came into the baby shower. Read the full Floral Letter DIY how-to by click here.
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Dessert Table:  A dessert table has been my must-have staple for all the parties that I plan.  This is an easy way to make a great statement, while having a lot of yummy treats, lots of options and it’s another way to help pull in a theme.  There are a few pieces to mix and match for your dessert table, my go-to’s are at least one cake, maybe two depending on the size, cake pops and chocolate covered pretzels. Designed sugar cookies are another great addition to a dessert table too! Displaying everything at various levels helps give another wow factor to your sweet treats and finishing off with greens and a table runner pull it all together.
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A few other must-haves at parties are balloons and the way we pull this off is by buying those personal sized helium tanks – these make it so easy and transportation a breeze. Depending the occasion, fresh flowers are always a nice touch especially if it’s a baby or bridal shower.  I also love making sure napkins, plates and glassware are on theme and compliments to the entire party.  I love how everything came together for K’s special day, it was exhausting pulling it all together, but definitely worth it!

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5 Must Do Fall Crafts

I’m not sure about you, but we’ve still been having summer-like days and it does not feel like October! Not to mention, I’m pretty sure September was over in a blink of an eye, but I am starting to sound like a broken record.  So since it’s officially fall, I wanted to share these 5 must do crafts to help us get into the fall mood!
5 Fall Crafts - the bee life
Although I’m not huge into decorating for Halloween, and more of an all around fall girl – these fun sassy painted pun-kins are a fun way to spice up your decor and make a statement! They also remind me of conversation hearts and could be given to friends as a hostess gift or just for a chuckle.   The rest of these crafts are definitely perfect for the whole fall season right until you start putting up the Christmas lights and hanging the stockings.  Although you could buy the square pumpkin wreath from TJ Maxx – this could be easily made (DIY tutoring coming soon)! And for a fraction of the cost, I would guess. I love the square shape, it’s different from the norm and the white pumpkins give it a clean and fresh look.

You know I can’t resist a wooden hand painted sign and this Fall Awaits sign with the added florals really makes a pop, adds some color and makes that statement we all want to have! The last two crafts help prep your table especially if you’re hosting Turkey Day.  These easy and low cost thankful napkin rings are the perfect touch to finish your table setting and leave a personal touch for your guests.  Continue to wow guests with a simple centerpiece featuring more white pumpkins (obsessed!), berries and more sweet sentiments – not to mention I love the long narrow wooden cutting board as the base, keeping the focal point.

So if you’ve been like me and are just starting to realize that fall is happening – light an apple or pumpkin spice candle try a few of these to spruce up your place!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Gift Guide – Father’s Day

It’s less than a week away from Father’s Day! Here are some ideas in case you can’t think of something different or unique this year for your dad.Dad

  1. Booze – If you’re dad is like mine, he like’s a good scotch or whiskey.  Now is the time to indulge and buy something a little more expensive for him to enjoy! If you don’t live near your dad (but will be seeing him soon) you could also plan a sampler pack of local favorites near you. My dad is particularly fond of a whiskey made in Cleveland – so he wouldn’t be sad if I bought a few for his bar!
  2. Beer/Scotch Tasting – Part 2 of gift number one would, could be to plan a weekend trip to a favorite brewery and partake in the tasting festivities. Of course, you’ll pick up the check! It’s a fun way to enjoy one of Dad’s favs and create fun memories.
  3. Golf – Plan an outing or buy Dad lessons! To make this even more personal, make a golf gift basket filled with a new outfit, a sleeve of balls, new golf gloves, a new towel to get him looking snazzy this Father’s Day while he’s hitting the links.
  4. Manual Labor – Since my dad is always helping us around our house whenever he is in town, it’s time to offer up an opposite treat and give him a weekend pass to use our services to help get some projects done around his house! I am sure this would be a welcomed treat (not to mention, would make mom happy too!)
  5. Get Crafty – Think about something that your dad has been wanting or needing; and make it! Some ideas; a custom bottle opener (perfect for my Dad’s new garage), a decorative tie rack, or a fun piece for grill accessories!

Father’s day is this upcoming Sunday, June 19th – don’t forget to get Dad a card too!

Gift Guide – Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is May 8th!

If you’re like me, I have a few different “moms” in my life, of course no one takes the cake over my actual mom, Sal, but they are near and dear to my heart. So every Mother’s Day I like to try and give them something different and unique each year, but without going completely overboard – because, let’s face it, I usually do that for my mom. Oh and as much as I love these moms, it’s always usually last minute, (oops!), so hopefully we change that this year, I just looked at the calendar and said, oh crap! It’s almost a week away!
A Gift Guide to Mother's Day! - the bee life
Flowers – Don’t get me wrong I am a huge advocate of flowers, however not your traditional bouquet, I prefer to give an actual plant or tulip bulbs that can be planted after the fact and will return year after year.

Framed Photo – This can be an easy and inexpensive, but still meaningful gift. Framing a picture of you with your mom (recent or old) or even an old photo of your grandma, can be very sentimental.  You can find a number of inexpensive frames at various stores, and make a copy or have an image printed in minutes at a number of stores, like Target, for pennies and cents.

Cards Always. No matter what gift you give, ALWAYS give a card, hand making one can make it that much more personal, but ALWAYS have a card. And go stock-up now, because if you’re last minute like me, they will be picked over when you actually need one.

Treat Yo Mom – I don’t know about your mom(s), but mine rarely treats herself, and if she does it’s not the best or often.  So providing her with a spa day or certificate to use for a mani/pedi, massage, or facial will most likely be a treat for her! Last year we were able to make a trip out of it, which was that much more fun! If you do try and make a trip out of it, be sure you make that clear when scheduling appointments so they can arrange services in line with each other.

Something She Wouldn’t Buy – Similar to the Spa/Nails, I like to try and get my mom something she wouldn’t normally buy herself. A more expensive top, a decorative piece for the house, kitchen appliances, a fancy purse… you get the drift.

Handcrafted – I’ve been big into DIY’s, especially reusing old wood from our house projects (I’m sure I sound like a broken record).  So making some handcrafted, custom signs that can be put up around the house is on my list this year. Of course if you have a particular craft or DIY you’ve been dying to try, do it for this Mother’s Day! I just pinned this adorable hand painted flower pot that would be perfect to pair with some flowers.

I’ve gotten to a point in my life, that I can give gifts and show my love and thanks to these special women in my life like I would like too… in college or even younger when money was a bit tight, I had to be clever and creative to give back, I still like being creative and unique with my gifts, but now I can just think a little more outside of the box!

What’re your favorite go-to gifts for Mother’s Day?

DIY: Bridal Shower Decor

The fun thing for every party or event, at least in my opinion, is in the details! It’s the little things that make an impact and can really elevate the look and feel, every little thing, from the signage to the centerpieces to the activities and photos. You may remember a few of my inspiration ideas for Katie’s Bridal Shower from THIS POST, back in January… well now you get to see the spin I took on them and even how to make these yourself!

Photo-Booth Ribbon Wall

You will need…
1) About 5-6 different types of ribbon (different thickness, patterns, colors) and about 2-spools of each type (total of 12 spools; try and go when it’s on-sale or you have a coupon!)
2) Rope or cord long enough for 6-ft length (can vary based on your need)
3) Hot glue gun and glue sticks
4) Measuring Tape
5) Scissors

I cut my ribbon pretty much at the same length and did a little over 4-ft, again you can customize as you please but this may affect how much ribbon you buy.  I did a little over 4-ft to accommodate for a fold-over in the next step.  So, the purpose for my ribbon wall backdrop, was to simply serve as that, a back drop for a make-shift photo booth that the shower (not intended for full body picture taking!)

Once I had all of my ribbon cut I began to start a pattern of how the ribbons would be organized, I did a little mix-matching too because I wanted to make it look more organic.  I tied the ends of my rope, so that it would be even, and then I started gluing the ribbon by folding over the edges and gluing these tight.  I would suggest doing this on a surface you don’t mind getting sticky and hot glue residue everywhere.
CAUTION: You will burn your fingers, it might be smart to use a utensil of some sort to push down the folded ribbon, unless you don’t mind burning your fingers (like me).
CAUTION #2: Be careful where you put your hot glue gun down, and to not rest your hand on it and burn your pinky (like me).

So hopefully you can finish this with only minor or no burns, and have a beautiful backdrop for your special day!

A few other tips: knowing where you’re going to hang this banner ahead of time (and the color of the walls) may be helpful, as I mentioned in the post about Katie’s shower I had never been to the venue, so I was hoping and praying it would all workout. Luckily the venue didn’t mind tacking things to the wall (but other venues might not!) and the tacks were a bit tricky with the thickness of the rope.

Mimosas & Bride-to-Be Banners

So you can buy these on Etsy for $18-20 each or you could make these for a grand total of $6-8 each and a little bit of your time!

You will need…
1) Scrapbook paper sheets (you should be able to get 4-letters out of one 12×12 sheet – buy a few extra is you think you might mess up! I would also recommend the heavier card-stock pieces too, usually solid colors.
2) Roll of ribbon of your choice (at least a half-inch thick)
3) Paint/stencils or markers
4) Hole punch and scissors

I fold the scrapbook paper in half, and cut and then cut halves of the half’s, to get four squares.  For the mimosas banner, I used different patterned paper and for the Bride-to-Be banner I used a darker, burlap like color to mimic the inspiration I found on Pinterest, aka Etsy. You can then start lettering on the squares, again for these two banners I did a mix of markers and then paint with stencils to do a more rustic look. Once everything is dry, I use the hole punch to cut two holes at the top corners of each square and then I thread my ribbon through and cut appropriately for length. These both worked out perfectly for a little something extra at the shower!

IMG_1133IMG_1113A few other pieces that help top everything off where mason jar centerpieces with ribbon glued around the center, with baby’s breath and carnations filling the jars! Adding something fresh to the tables, definitely made an impact. I also had mini-chalk boards that were signs for a table with goodies and even for the photo-booth.

The cost to make these vs. buying them definitely saved money and I was able to create completely custom pieces that fit a theme to have everything match, while incorporating her bridal colors when and where I could.

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!!

Transformation Tuesday.

It’s my inaugural Transformation Tuesday! Are you excited? I am, this means we are starting to wrap this up! But since we aren’t quite finished or moved in, here are a few of the projects we’ve completed, although small in tow, have made a huge difference.

1. Carpet Removal – Hardwood Please
This one was simple… as soon as we saw this carpet, and the gorgeous hardwoods in the rest of the house we just had to tear this up. So we did, the first weekend we got in the house.  And with Moz’s help, poof! The carpet disappeared… luckily it was in a small area of the house.


2. Wallpapered Built-In’s
My first initial instinct was to add a little more life into these beauties by painting the inside yellow so they would pop! Then I remembered I had some left-over embellished wallpaper from when we made our bar (I’ll share in a future post).  After some measuring and cutting, I soaked the pre-glued wall paper, waited 5-minutes and then placed into the built-in’s… wah-la! Instant character.  I love this patterned wallpaper because it reminds me of tin ceilings, without actually having dark tin ceilings in your house. The pattern is subtle enough that it isn’t too distracting, and it brightens the cabinets up just enough, I love it.

I can’t wait to share more before and after pictures with you! Honestly, I have to keep reminding myself to take the before AND after pictures… hopefully we can get the majority of the work finished up this week.  We have been putting in long nights after work, and full weekends for the past three weekends. It’ll be nice when it’s all over.

Happy Homeowning!