Third Wedding Anniversary Etsy Gift Guide

My yearly wedding anniversary Etsy gift guide is here! This year we’re tackling the traditional three year gift of leather! B and I always try to stick to the traditional theme of each wedding anniversary so luckily, finding something custom, unique and special made from leather wasn’t as tough as cotton, which was last year. We always like to make our anniversaries special and B always does an incredible job – last year he was so thoughtful with his cotton gifts, I realized I need to step-up my game. So B, if you have stumbled upon this before our anniversary – stop reading here, spoilers below!

Leather represents shelter and security for the third year, much like what a marriage and the home you build with each other symbolizes.

– The Knot

Leather Monogram Valet Tray. This next gift is from a formally local small business, William and James, (they just relocated to North Carolina) that I was introduced too via the Home for the Holidays pop-up shop! Luckily, they also have an Etsy shop, so ordering was super easy and effortless — plus the owners Billie and Jimmy were super responsive to confirm the customization was correct, which was reassuring as a buyer. I ended up ordering the monogram leather valet tray, which I thought would be nice for B in his dressing room, to hold his ear buds, wallet and other goodies. I was also beyond impressed with the way it arrived, in a beautiful branded box, all wrapped in tissue and just perfect for gifting in! They also have leather coasters, earrings and other fun accessories – I was happy to support a formally local small biz too.

Custom Leather Travel Tags from Etsy. Funny story, we were gifted these as wedding gifts, unfortunately the wrong info was added so we’ve never been able to use! Last Christmas was gifted my mom and dad some tags from Etsy to go with their new luggage, and it was the perfect gift — so I knew just where to go, as I’d already seen the finished product. I ordered from TAleatherworks on Etsy – these are affordable, customizable and arrived quickly! I wish we would’ve had them before our recent trip, but they’ll be fun to have in the future.

Valet Tray by IronandGrainUSA | ToriLoLeather Card | Orange Bridge Supply keychain | ToriLoLeather leather clutch

Don’t worry guys/gals, if you’ve stumbled upon this – I have a few more other honorable mentions I found on Etsy that are a little more well suited for your wifey. This luggage tag from Bramble and Beene, is a bit more anniversary specific and fun. Or this leather valet tray from Iron and Grain USA is also customizable and a bit more 3rd anniversary specific listing off the days, hours and minutes making up 3 years. I love this leather clutch from SanTanLeather – it’s compact and versatile – and offered in a variety of colors.

This leather keychain from Orange Bridge Supply is a cute and customizable option too, I actually gifted this to B for our wedding present with our wedding date and our little saying “Yeah, Me Too” onto it — it has definitely been worn with love these last few years. I also love this leather card and handmade leather purse from ToriLo Leather – she is located in the UK, so I would be careful to make sure you have enough time if you’re ordering internationally!

Not celebrating 3 years? Check out my Two Year Gift Guide and how I celebrated Year One.

Besides leather, the modern gift for three years is crystal or glass, the color is white or jade and the gemstone is pearls! I’ll definitely be making B a homemade card, and find a few more things to help make this anniversary special.

Local Love – Mother’s Day Edition

Hey CLE Bees! If you’re in need of some last minute Mother’s Day gifts, I have a few local faves that are perfect, while offering limited human interaction and most importantly something sweet that mom will love — even if you’re racing against the clock! Psst. Just in case you forgot, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10th.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts in Rocky River, Ohio. This is always one of my favorite go-to spots for a special card or gift — and Kate the owner has definitely adapted with times to make sure everyone can still gift the perfect gift with that Lovely Paperie touch anyone who frequents has come to know and love. Kate teamed up with a few other local vendors and created a number of Mother’s Day Gift Sets — she’s offering shipping, curbside pick-up and even local porch drop offs! We were able to ship and pick up to spoil our momma’s and it was so easy. Also, you can still shop online for all other occasions from cards, to gifts or even something for you — so be sure to check-out Lovely online for those birthday celebrations, anniversaries and other special occasions that always pop-up! Shop Lovely Here. LovelyPaperie_MothersDay
Images courtesy of Lovely Paperie & Gifts and Emily Millay Photography

Boundary & Thorn in Lakewood, Ohio. I’ve shared lots of love for B&T on the Bee Life and Lucy the owner and creator has the perfect Mother’s Day cards. She is also selling her inventory made easy thanks to her Instagram Stories you can shop directly on there and she is also offering porch pick-ups in Lakewood! Looking for something more than a card? Lucy also has beautiful letter prints, her Happiest Hour cocktail prints, Kitchen Punnies and botanical pieces, make sure to check out her Instagram and website to shop!
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Images courtesy of Boundary & Thorn

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. I’ve been so excited to see some local favorites opening back up and offering online ordering and takeout items, especially Mitchell’s! This is the perfect way to surprise mom with an ice cream party at home, tote and all, while still being able to pick out all of mom’s favorite flavors. As long as you order by 4pm, you’ll be able to pick-up the very next day — so this is an easy fix if you haven’t been able to figure out a surprise for mom yet or are craving some homemade ice cream! Shop Mitchell’s Ice Cream here.
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Image credit: Mitchell’s Ice Cream

Mother’s Day Cupcake Bouquet by A Cookie & a Cupcake. This local bakery is offering another sweet surprise, that I also think would pair nicely with a card and ice cream – it’s a Mother’s Day half dozen cupcake bouquet. Flavors include red velvet, chocolate and vanilla — plus they’re beautifully decorated with floral designs and colors! These are just $21, available to order if you call-in and you can also order through Grubhub or UberEats! Weekly Cupcake Kits are also available for curbside pick-up or drop-off through select food delivery services and with different themes each week! Order and shop here.
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Images courtesy of A Cookie & A Cupcake

Although we may be social distancing and not spending Mother’s Day with our mom’s this year like we have in previous year’s there are so many awesome local shops that could use our support during this tough time, while still making Mom feel special and giving her a sweet treat for her special day! Happy Mother’s Day!

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Gift Guide: 5 Free Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s Day is a week away! So if you’re scrambling to figure something out — have no fear, bee life is here! Because trust me, it’s easy to forget about getting a Valentine gift, grabbing a card at the last minute and the last bouquet of flowers at the grocery store (p.s. I always love flowers).  In all the Valentine hype, I think we also forget that we don’t have to spend a ton of money to show someone we love them! My Valentine gift guide is not like the others… because these gifts will cost you $0 (or very minimum amount) and will still create a special memory and show your Valentine all the love!
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photo: Michelle M. Loufman Photography

Make a Spotify Playlist. This can be fun for you, while being super special for your boo (bonus: you can update it throughout the year)! I made a playlist for B, called #emnblovetracks (off of all of our hashtags) the playlist is stacked with songs we listened too when we first started dating, songs we love together, and other songs that just make me think of him, it’s the perfect mix to our love story. So once you spend some time creating your playlist, all you have to do is share the link with your mix-tape soul mate and a sweet little note!

Fourteen Days of Memories. It’s easy to just get something to check off the Valentine check list — so why not focus and show love before and beyond the holiday. Pick fourteen days to just share love. Whether it’s a daily text with a memory or compliment, a throwback photo, a handwritten note on a post-it note, or maybe it’s in the form of cooking dinner or an extra long hug.  Two years ago I did 28-straight days of little things for B and it was fun (& hard!) to think of different ways to tell B how much I love him — sometimes they were just lists of memories, things I love about him, or a cute little card that tied back to us.

Volunteer Together. Volunteering is the perfect way to share an experience together while sharing love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Consider donating/sorting books for kids, getting involved at a local animal shelter (we walk dogs at ours!), collecting canned goods or even just going through your clothes or old things and pulling together a bag or two of items to donate! This gives you an opportunity to find a new passion, spend time together and give back.
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Make a Paper Card. Literally just take a piece of printer paper, fold it into fours, grab some markers and doodle it up, with all words, phrases, memories, or hearts and a cute little love sentiment. Inside spill your heart out, tape a picture and share your love to your special person.  The last card I made for B, I wrote in black market writing my favorite things he is to me… “running buddy, the office binge watching, coffee drinker…”

Watch a Classic Movie. One of my favorite romantic comedies is When Harry Met Sally and you can watch it for ‘free’ on Hulu! The music is dreamy, the characters are funny and the story makes your heart ache. BONUS: The Notebook is also available on Netflix *grins* — so grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a movie together.

We should always share and show love to our special people, and it doesn’t need to break the bank or be an extravagant gift every year — sometimes it’s good to just keep it simple and to the point 😍. xoxo

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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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Two Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

November is a special month — because it’s the month B and I finally tied the knot!  As you may or may not know there are “traditional” anniversary gifts for each year with a specific theme.  There is a list that has the traditional gifts paired with modern twists, and personally I like to try and stick to the traditional.  Last year I gifted B with papers sharing that I was finally going to change my last name (yes, after almost a year!).  So if you’re like me and on the hunt for something original, unique and spoiling your loved one, here are some Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift ideas with shop-able links!

The meaning for Cotton for an anniversary gift is “Cotton’s woven threads symbolize how you become more interconnected as time goes on and learn to be more flexible.”

Handmade Cotton Bud Ornament from Etsy. Etsy was the first spot I went to for inspiration, especially looking for something a little more unique and personalized.  One of the first things that caught my eye was this ornament — not only is it on theme, it’s also something that could easily be DIYed and even more customized as a anniversary keepsake. But for $14 with customization, you can’t beat it and I love ornaments to capture moments throughout our lives.
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Custom Embroidered Socks. This was another Etsy find that gives endless options to customize and make special for your man!  With so many different patterns and the ability to provide your own embroidered text with your wedding date, inside joke, wedding hashtag, or monogram — you really can’t go wrong with this.

His & Her Robes. Honestly, this was my first thought when I saw the second anniversary traditional gift was cotton. I jumped on Pottery Barn to see what was available — and even customizable. I liked the Vincent’s Men Robe, but it couldn’t be customized in the size I would need to get for B. I also loved this Bambo Waffle Robe from Williams Sonoma which also has monogram and different length options plus its on sale – not to mention there is just something about the waffle pattern that is so luxurious! Lastly I was searching on Land’s End for his and hers which had some other more holiday specific robes that would be perfect for Christmas pajamas!
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China is the modern gift theme which could be anything from a trip to China — a nice China dish to add for service — or even ordering Chinese food for a fun date-night in. The color is red, could be a ruby ring (hint-hint guys for the ladies) red garnet is also an option since garnet is the gemstone for two-years.

Have you already celebrated two years — do you stick to the anniversary gift themes? Or not?

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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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Father’s Day Gift Guide

It’s officially June! Which mean’s Father’s Day is coming right up on June 16! To help pick out the perfect gift for dad,  I’ve pulled together and sourced some great deals that will also save you some money (win-win) while making a big impact and stealing dad’s heart.  Although it’s good to spoil dad, remember to work within your budget and do what you can – it’s the thought that counts, but please if you only remember or can get one thing, just get Dad a card and write him a sweet and thoughtful note.
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BOGO Power Tools: Home Depot is having a deal with Ryobi power tools – if you buy two batteries for $99 you get a free Ryobi power tool! Which are on average either $69 or $79 for the free power tool, this is a really great deal considering you’d send more than $99 if you bought the power tool and then the battery.  Win days hear with some new equipment for his workspace. This deal ends June 19 – so plenty of time to order in time for Dad.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom.  From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
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Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!)  And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials!  Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>

Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday!  Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!

Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch.  This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!

Shop the Gift Guide: Williams Sonoma Gardening Gloves | Target Glass Jar Candle | Homebody Book by Joanna Gaines | Anthropologie Block Letter Monogram Necklace | Aveda Hand Relief Cream | Love You, Mom Mug from Target | Anthropologie Flora Robe | Boundary & Thorn Mother’s Day Car

The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine.  The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant!  But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox

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