3 Unique Wedding Gifts to Give

Guess what! Wedding season is all year round – so if the Save the Dates are starting to fill up your fridge, here are a few ideas to stash away, or better yet – order ahead of time to give as the perfect shower or wedding gift this season.  Trust me, I’m not one to promote veering away from the wedding registry but after receiving a few of these ourselves I was shocked and taken aback by the thoughtfulness!
Unique Wedding Gifts - the bee life
Okay – let’s get to the good stuff!

  1. Custom Family Cross Stitch – We got this as a wedding gift, and I nearly cried when I opened it and saw our little family stitched into a beautiful frame.  Yes, it even included MOZ! which I think is what made me the most happy – upon further viewing behind my tears I noticed that the outfits B and I wore were the same from our engagement pictures! It was seriously one of the most thoughtful gifts and we have it hanging it a prominent spot to swoon over it.  Here is a similar one on Etsy. This could also be done as a custom painting or portrait of the couples new/first home or engagement picture! Better yet, if you’re crafty enough you could make this yourself!
  2. Monthly Wine Club Subscription – This could even be a food box service for a few months (while they’re adjusting to married life) or some other beverage/cocktail service that the couple can enjoy and experience together.  Giving them a few months free is a great way for the couple to get excited about something new and make a new married tradition.  Check out Winc, Clubbubbly or Home Chef.
  3. Honeymoon Help – A lot of registries, like Zola allow couples to add a Honeymoon Fund to their registry.  This is something to keep an eye out on! Another way to help a couple on their honeymoon is with a gift certificate to a restaurant for a dinner date on their honeymoon!  We greatly appreciated this as it helped us plan a special night out and around the rest of our trip. Does this couple love traveling? This 50 States Photo Map on Etsy is also another great gift and keepsake to help traveling couples document their travels!

The important thing when giving a gift is knowing the couple! And if you’re just not sure, but want to give something a little different talk to a closer family member or friend to gut check or figure out where they’re honeymooning.  Cheers to wedding season!

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Holiday Hacks – Make A Statement

One of my favorite things about the holidays is presents! But no… probably not what your thinking – I love WRAPPING presents… seriously, it’s all about the presentation.  Although my wrapping game isn’t quite up to par with what I’d like it to be… I’m getting there. So if your like me, and like to make a statement with your presents, and include them as part of your decorations under the tree – here are some easy hacks to do just that!
Bee Holiday Hacks - Statement - the bee life
Pick a Theme or Color Palette. This can tie into the decor of your home if your planning to use these are decor under the tree. Often times I’m inspired by a specific ornament or even spotting some gift wrap in the store and working around that to pick my theme for the year!

Get Wrapping Paper for Each Person/Categories. I know; this is getting a little crazy but I like to wrap all of B’s presents in his very own wrapping paper – this leaves out the need for 20-different name tags.  This could be done by family (yours vs. his) or by person if you have enough variety in your paper selection.

Stock-up on Tags/Ribbon when you See a Good Deal.  And it doesn’t have to be Christmas! I stocked up on a bunch of tags after Valentines day, they were gold, and bright pinks – they’ve come in clutch throughout the year and I’m sure I’ll throw a few gold ones on gifts this year too.  Always be on the look out and stock-up especially if you see one of a kind options at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Or better yet, print your own with these free printable Christmas tags! Don’t be afraid to keep it simple too and make a statement with ribbons, tags, or greenery.

Invest in some Good Tape. This is a fault of mine; because I scrapbook and go through a lot of tape, therefore I just stock-up at the Dollar Store – however I’ve come to find that this tape and some of the fancy, thicker wrapping paper I’ve picked up don’t go well together.

This is a fun way to spread some extra cheer and make a statement with family and friends.

Photo Source: Cosmopolitan

Latest Obsessions 10.17

So many things lately you guys, and so much fun, but so, so random.
Latest Obsessions 10.17 - thee bee life
Etsy. We have been shopping for wedding gifts for our bridal party, parents and a few other special people participating in our wedding and Etsy has pretty much been our one stop shop.  The ability to customize special pieces for our loved ones, order hand made jewelry and custom prints has me completely obsessed! I can’t share too much, because a few of those recipients may be reading!

Vintage Santa’s. Yup, I know I’m early guys… but I’m so excited for Christmas! And I think vintage Santa’s might be a thing at the #wagarwoolfchristmas this year. This wreath has my name written all over it not to mention this print (from Etsy) has already been ordered.  I wasn’t sad at all when I saw all the decor out in the stores, I will be decorating as soon as Thanksgiving is over.

Summer Clothes… for our honeymoon! Since we’re going someplace warm, I’ve been shopping for a few fun and flirty bathing suits on top of some fun summer clothes! Especially taking advantage of some of the clearance items. Starting to get obsessed with our upcoming trip.

Our Wedding.  Yup! Still obsessed. As the final details are coming into place, the seating chart is nearly set and guest list is final, simply cannot wait with all the warm and fuzzys inside. Final dress fitting is this weekend and then it’ll just be the final countdown! I can’t imagine what our wedding day is going to be like, but I know it’s going to be pretty wonderful and perfect and I can’t wait to marry B.

Photo Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

Local Love – Banyan Tree

Sharing some local love to all my CLE readers; and giving them some inspiration for upcoming Christmas shopping while #ShoppingLocal.  Banyan Tree was first mentioned on The Bee Life from the Best of CLE recap – I finally  made it to their brick and mortar in Tremont it was everything I imagined and more!

Banyan Tree is your one stop shop for adorable unique cards, organic baby swaddles and soft cuddles, unique statement and everyday jewelry, holiday dresses to comfy lounge ware, personalized home decor and fun gifts! You’ll be able to get big gifts for a number of people on your Christmas list AND find fun stocking stuffers or thoughtful gifts for all your loved ones. It will be hard not to shop for yourself!

Banyan Tree is a non-stop shop for those perfect gifts especifally if your trying to find something for those hard to shop for family/friends!  You’ll also be visiting Banyan Tree for future baby gifts, anniversary cards, clothes, wedding and birthday gifts.

If you can’t make it into the shop you can also shop online! Although I would highly recommend visiting the store (Tremont or Uptown), the staff and environment is so inviting and warm – plus there is much more to look in the store!

5 Unique Wedding Gifts

With wedding season quickly here, I wanted to share some unique gift ideas for the bride and groom.  If you’re like me and in the wedding party, you seem to bring gifts to every occasion you go to, so coming up with fresh, unique ideas without just buying off the registry can get hard after awhile. Wedding Gift Guide - the bee lifeAlso to clarify; these gifts could be for any of the many wedding festivities from the bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, rehearsal and day of the wedding.

Make Something. Find a local shop/studios were you can create and make you’re own ceramic pieces, whether it be from scratch or painting a pre-made piece. My future MIL, owns a studio (Studio Clay) where you can create plates, bowls, dishes, ornaments, figurines… you name it, out of clay.  Visiting a place like this, not only gives you a fun experience but also allows you to create an original piece for the couple.

Remember Memories. You may need to get a little creative for this one, but this will help the couple remember all their memories, especially as they start their journey as husband and wife. You can make the couple a custom jar (decoupage), a box, or basket with instructions for the couple to fill it with love notes or memories throughout the year. Then on New Year’s Day each year, instruct the couple to take turns and read them to each other reflecting over the year. This is low cost, genuine and something the couple can use year after year.

The Honeymoon. Think about the honeymoon, especially if your in the bridal party, buy some special necessities or gear for the bride and groom. Whether it be matching swim suits, sunglasses, or even a honeymoon survival kit with sunscreen, condoms (or not!), lingerie, lip balm… you name it. Or just focus on the bride, a cute carry-on, new make-up bag or even a fun purse she can rock.  Just think of things that they couple may not be thinking of, but want/need!

Pitch-In. If you know the couple is saving up for a house, or big home renovation, find some family and friends to help pitch-in on a fund for their future projects as they start their life together. When you tie a meaning to the money, it can add that much sentiment and use for the couple. To make it a little more personal, accompany the money with a gift or trinket, like a toaster (if the couple desperately wants a new kitchen).

Photo Gifts. Here is a little plug for Shutterfly, simply because I just love them.  They’ve expanded their offerings immensely, you can customize table runners, candles, ornaments, mugs, pillows, blankets… shall I go on?  Use pictures from the couples engagement session to help customize these pieces for a unique and special gift for the Mr. + Mrs. (Not to mention there are always a few good promos going on to take advantage of!)

I think it’s easy to get lazy and just buy the couple a gift card or something off the registry (guilty), especially when you have multiple weddings to attend in one year, but going the little extra step will not only create something memorable for the bride and groom, but will also remind them of the special time you took for them.

Cheers to Wedding Season!

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?

Local Love – Holiday Edition

One thing I love about my city is all the great local talent and shops we have!  Here are some of my favorites, with a little holiday twist for your last minute shopping, baking, and hosting ideas!

(Links in main headers)

Snicklefritz Bakeshop
These cookies are to die for, seriously the best cookies I’ve ever had! Not to mention the attention to detail and designs are perfectly custom – she even offers cakes. I especially love these Christmas Story inspired batch she created.  If you ever want some special and custom cookies for a party and to make everyone’s taste buds scream, check out Kendra at Snicklefritz Bakeshop.

The Wandering Wardrobe
Originally a food truck turned into a clothing boutique touring local neighborhoods and festivals, she now has a ‘small box’ boutique within walking distance of my office! Perfect for a holiday outfit or fun winter wear that’s unique and limited quantities!  You can even shop online if you can’t make it to her locations.  Perfect for every fashionista in your life or if you need a little something special to wear!

Lucy Williams Illustrations
If you want something super unique, custom and insanely beautiful – check out Lucy Williams Illustrations.  Her hand-drawn letters and illustrations are simple and elegant, an import to Cleveland she’s dived head-in illustrating for many brands and companies, including one of my favorite’s Mitchell’s Ice Cream.
Email her at: lmwilliamsillustration.com
Instagram @lucymarshall

CLE Clothing Co.

Yes – I’ve bragged about these guys a few times before on my blog. They’re clothing and shirts are the softest I’ve ever felt! I seriously wear mine religiously.  Every year they release some Christmas (and CLE) specific pieces that are perfect for any gift giving ideas for friends and family!

Share some of your local brands and stories in the comments below! Whether they’re near or far, I love seeing people’s ideas and dreams coming to life.