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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Weekend Recap – Easter Things

Easter fell super late this year, so it’s crazy that April is nearly over – eeek! But the Easter weekend flew by just like the rest of this month has been. Not to mention the weather was gross and rainy (but those May flowers are coming!!) it made you just want to lay around and not do much besides watch some playoff basketball – which we did!

All of last week, I was prepping to host my first Easter brunch, even though it wasn’t going to be for the masses – I wanted to make sure I had a nice well-rounded meal planned.  I knew I wanted to make this Overnight French Coast Casserole recipe, so that was a definite (recipe coming later this week!), bacon is always a brunch staple in our household, and then I made a batch of scrambled eggs and had blueberries and raspberries too! The guys made up bloodies, while mom and I stuck with coffee. It was so all so delicious and so filling, yum!
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We wrapped up our Easter weekend with B’s family with a tasty ham, mashed potatoes, baked carrots and salad – we definitely ate well this weekend, that is for sure.  We even helped our nieces with an Easter egg hunt! They were so cute and excited to open their plastic eggs filled with coins and candy and find their Easter baskets – it was super fun to see them so excited about the holiday fun!

Beyond all the Easter festivities, we enjoyed some local eats at some of our favorite spots and even a few new ones – we had a lot of good catching up and laughs, not to mention a house full of pups that kept us busy! How was your weekend?

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Local Love: Valentine’s Edition

Hello, Cleveland lovers! Guess what – Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away… eeek!  Are you ready? If not,  I have some of my favorite local spots that would be perfect for a coffee date, heart-felt card or a romantic date night.
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Brewella’s: Decorated to the tee for the day of love, you might just fall in love with someone here.  Whether it’s a gift card, a coffee date for one of their seasonal latte’s (with homemade strawberry whip cream) or a breakfast date for crepes – Brewella’s will not only deliver in delicious drinks and eats, they’re festive pink and red decor will make you melt! Explore the coffee shop from their instagam.

Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes: KEC just dropped their Valentine menu, the key for this is ordering ahead to make sure your sweet treats are secure for your sweetie for the big day!  Not feeling all the kitchy V-day sweets?  KEC has a collection of customizable cakes for any occasion and other delicious treats stocked daily! Check out the Valentine menu here or tease your sweet tooth with KEC’s insta feed.

Boundary & Thorn:  The kitchen punny line of prints are so cute, and not to mention a little frisky!  This would be a fun little gift to give to a gal pal or sig-o, one of my personal favorites from the Coffee Punnies by B&T is “Wanna French” with a french press – it especially makes me think of B since we always make a french press on the weekends!  Boundary & Thorn also specializes in custom projects (dog portraits, wedding invites, holiday cards!) beyond her shop items! Shop B&T’s instagram feed.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts: Hey guys, listen up for this one! This would be a great place to bring your gal pal on a little shopping spree, to let her pick out a Lillie Pultzer piece, a monogram bracelet, or maybe some Kate Spade? If a shopping spree sounds a little too extravagant, they also have an assortment of stunning Valentine cards that would make anyone’s heart melt.  Ladies, they also have gifts for your guys too! Shop Lovely virtually here.

Distill Table: If you head to Distill you have to order one of their handcrafted cocktails, made with all locally sourced ingredients that will not only make your tastebuds giggle but the presentation will turn you to a heart eye-emoji.  The red velvet booths will make you want to cozy up with your Valentine while you enjoy all delicious and local food!
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So if you haven’t even thought of Valentine’s Day yet, maybe some of these local spots will inspire you – even if you’re not reading from CLE.   These are a lot of my favorite local shops that I like to frequent as often as I can especially for special occasions, looking for one of a kind gifts or for just some delicious local eats (or coffee, LBH)!

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Image Sources: Group image sourced from shops instagram feeds and linked within content.  

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 

Fitness Friday 11.18

It’s that time of the year, the  gatherings, dinners, the holidays are creeping in quick!  If you’re like me and go to THREE different Thanksgivings within a four day period, you can quickly kiss away all your fitness progress, that’s if you decide to indulge in each and every one, not to mention all the booze!
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So in order to maintain and not gain this holiday season, here are some easy tips to remember and still enjoy the holiday meals and get togethers.

(1) Get that Workout In! This is one of the most important ones and will help you keep your sanity – the best bet to insure you check this off the list is getting it done early.  Just because you have a few days off doesn’t mean you should forget your normal workout schedule, plus once festivities start and the first mimosas is poured you won’t be too motivated to workout!  If you’re traveling to visit family, hit up your cousin who spins or goes to the gym and go to a drop-in class with them.

(2) Smarter Alcohol Choices. Tis the season for holiday brews… and yes they’re delicious but they’re packed with calories and carbs – one of our local favorite Christmas Ale’s has 200 calories in a 12oz. bottle and 20 carbs! Ah!! Try not to drink your calories and carbs and check out the Keto Alcohol rulesI like to follow, stay away from beer, opt in for those bubbles! Red wine is also a good choice or pure spirits, but be sure to avoid those sugary mixtures.

(3) Don’t Go For Seconds. Don’t do it!! This is where all bets are off, and no good will come of it.  In addition to refusing seconds, limit your portions – when you’re heaping that stuffing onto your plate use the rule of thumb to make sure you see the bottom of your plate!

(4) Stay Hydrated. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, it helps flush out toxins and even can help if you’re planning to indulge in the adult beverages.  This is also easy to forget if you’re traveling and driving to multiple houses throughout the day making the rounds – pack a water bottle ahead of time and keep it in the car!

(5) Eat Breakfast. Make sure you eat a good breakfast and other meals throughout the day before your big meal – I think it’s human nature to try not to eat so much during the day knowing you’ll be indulging later in the evening, but this can lead to going up for seconds and binging.  By eating healthy throughout the day you’ll be more full and less likely to over do it at your holiday meals!

At the end of the day you’ll enjoy the holidays as you want, but after Thanksgiving starts the endless holiday gatherings, pretty soon we’ll be making New Year resolutions – so remember, it’s OK to NOT over indulge in the holidays, just maintain balance, because you don’t want your New Year’s Resolution to be the same as the year before!

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Catch-up on past Fitness Friday’s: Physical vs. Mental Battle | Accountability and Food | Maintaining Balance

House Tour – Easter Dining Room

Happy Easter, my friends… well almost! With the holiday quickly approaching, on this house tour I wanted to share our dinning room, all decorated and ready for a cozy Easter meal. It was nice to soften up the room with pastels and floral prints, our head-chairs aren’t enough some times! Not to mention the afternoon light was shining into the room so perfectly after a rainy morning – I couldn’t pass up a little photo shoot.
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I pulled this look together with a lot of existing pieces already in stock.  The only new additions were the white bunny with gold ears, her friend is on our mantle, and the Happy Easter napkins that I  snagged from Marshall’s. I wanted to keep this simple, classic and bright through the use of the pastels and then the white and gold to tie the whole look together.

Happy Easter!

Christmas 2016 – Recap

I must admit I’m still in a bit of a daze from yesterday, it was amazing!  These recent years have shaken up the norm a bit, but after six Christmas’ – B and I finally got to spend it together at my parents!  It’s quite different then what B is used to, so I was a little nervous that he would be bored out of his mind.

Christmas Eve was full of baking and frosting cookies, Christmas music, family, laughs, and lots of food and drinks!  The family went to the early mass, came back and took photos in front of the tree, as always. We watched Home Alone, Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, and the end of It’s A Wonderful Life (we turn it on at the same time almost every year!) We then had to head to bed so Santa could come – yes the presents aren’t put out until everyone is asleep.

My brother is ALWAYS the first to wake up on Christmas morning, even as we have gotten older and his normal wake up time wasn’t until noon. This year was no exception, we had group texts going off just before 7am with a handful of Christmas emoji’s from him. We dragged ourselves out of bed and grabbed some fresh coffee and a cutout cookie. From then on the rest of the day was a blur of goodies, waffles, more Christmas tunes, laughs, facetime, games and a HUGE Cavs win!!

It was so awesome finally having B home with me for Christmas that I so dearly love! I think B had a pretty good time. *winks*

Merry Christmas!

Bee Holiday Hacks – Printables

Shhh! I want to share my latest Holiday Hack with you all, some may be giggling and saying “You’re a little late to the game!” but whateves! I’m okay with that, it’s new exciting for me and might be to you too! Plus you may always see all these cute printables but then think, I need to get a frame, where would I put these, do they go with the rest of my decor?
bee-holiday-hacks-printablesSo here is the best part, you don’t need to worry about buying new frames or reworking your entire decor you can just switch out artwork in frames you already have hanging.  There is no need to put new nail holes in the walls or redesign color pallets or double up on frames – it’s perfect! Most of the prints to download are free and fairly easy to scale if you’re looking to fill at 5×7 or 8×10 frame.

This is a low-cost (if any) update to really put the finishing touches on your Christmas decor around the home.  These will be the little things that guests will notice around the house at your upcoming holiday party and drive home your cozy, welcoming, Christmas home!

Here are some of my favorite Printables (links below):

Share your Holiday Hacks with me on social, @mmariebee!

Links to Printables Featured Above:
Merry & Bright Plaid | 
Spread Christmas Cheer | Merry Little Christmas | Woody Wagon Christmas