Out With The Old - In With The New

To say that I've been blessed with an amazing 2012 would be silly, because to me it's just so obvious it need not be spoken. I became a mom, I got married, I celebrated with all of my best friends from every corner of the country, etc. Just thinking about how different my 2012 was from my 2011 is mind-boggling. It makes me really excited for 2013.

I could go back and share with you all my favorite posts and experiences from this past year, but rather than relish in any of that, I want to make room for new adventures and goals. (I mean, I still have to share our wedding photos and honeymoon part 2, so just bear with me. There will be plenty of 2012 highlight reels in that regard)  Today I want to send 2012 off with a excited wave + goodbye, and usher in 2013 with arms wide open. (*cue absolutely terrible Creed song being stuck in your head* Oh, only mine? Awesome)

Twice a year I make a pretty lofty set of goals. New Years and my birthday (and let's face it, I'm getting up there in years so those "24 before 25" lists get a little exhausting!). Usually New Years resolutions are more "blanket"/generalized goals and ideas, and my birthday list is comprised of goals that have more of a dedicated ending/result. I feel like resolutions (if you make them!) should set the tone for the coming year. Last year my blanket resolution was to be more organized. I'm still not the best, and it took a long time to even get started, but I incorporated some organizational techniques into my daily life that I don't think I'd be able to function without now. (I'll be sharing more of these techniques on the blog soon! What good is a good idea if you keep it to yourself?!) When you live and work in the same ~1,200 sq. feet every single day, organization is key. It's definitely something I want to take into 2013 with me (and I hope all of these goals roll over to 2014 and beyond), but this year's theme is "Growth". Growth as a family (not in quantity of members, but in quality of life), growth as a business, and growth as a person. I think each of these 7 resolutions below will help me achieve that. Here's what I'm hoping for 2013...

All too often I find myself tweeting or tumbling things that aren't positive. They're quick rants, shared frustrations, or just negative in general. I really need to be more aware of my passive aggression, too. I'm a firm believer that you get back what you put out into the world, and no one likes to be constantly bombarded with whining and complaining. I found myself doing that on more than one occasion and I know how much I dislike it, so it's only fair. I'm not saying don't be truthful and honest. Sometimes a frustrated tweet or comment can be a good thing (and your friends will rally you with support so you know it's not *that* bad), but just in general, I'd like to share more positivity in hopes that it radiates with someone.

This is one that I really want to figure out. I chart out my editorial calendar upwards of a month in advance, just to get a generalized outline of what might be going on the blog. They're usually not 100% confirmed, and everything can change with ease, but it helps me get an idea of what I need to be doing on a daily basis to stay on schedule (Hello 2012 resolution!). Unfortunately, I sometimes leave those posts until the morning of to be written... then that requires me to rush, figure out a format, skimp on the graphics and just throw it up there. It's not fun. I'd like to be anywhere from 6-10 days ahead of schedule. Not 100% of the time, as I'd like to allow for the present time, too. But at least the foundation of posts. I'm much more efficient when I behave this way. It'll help me, the blog, our businesses, and even Mike, too. Gotta keep his sanity intact for when mine runs for the hills!

I'll probably sound like a hypocrite because it's not like I plan to stop shopping at fast-fashion/mall stores or anything, but this is more of an "overall" statement. Better blog posts, not necessarily more. Better home splurges, not more. Spending a larger chunk of time at a dog park with the pups rather than a couple of 10 minute spurts (though they do tire quickly... haha). Purge a lot of our belongings to make way for a better quality of life in our new home. Maybe not being so afraid to go out and invest in a nice pair of jeans (!!!) that won't make me hate the entire pants experience. This blog is the biggest example of how I hope to make this resolution apparent. I have so many new and fresh ideas for where I see LCH. Even if it's not in line with the growth in the past, I actually feel excited about what lies ahead. This resolution alone has the power to make for an incredible experience if I'm just open to letting it happen.

Another resolution that is much like #2. My day to day is never ever the same. Sometimes I'll wake up at 7:30am and be in my office typing away at the keyboard on the blog, Him + Honey, or design work clear until 2am the next day.  Other days (like today) I half-heartedly roll out of bed at half past 9, then lay on the couch with a blanket until a quarter past 10. I'm lucky to be able to be flexible and take breaks when I want to, but I think our family could really use with some stability in a schedule. Especially with Toby getting ready to go to preschool and Mike and I both balancing a work at home schedule. I think if we had set hours we'd be able to enjoy doing more things as a family, and we'd be more successful in our projects, too. It's tough because I've yet to find a schedule that works for me (or both of us at the same time), so I may be coming to all of you for advice!

This one speaks for itself. On the road, as a parent, as a wife, as a business owner. I've lost my cool on many occasions when I really shouldn't have. All it would've taken is 10 seconds of breathing and I would've been fine. Patience has never been my strong suit and this is the year I plan on changing that. Everyone around me (Toby, Mike, my clients) deserves the utmost respect and if I could just remember to simmer down on occasion, we'd be golden. (Coincidentally this is the virtue we've been practicing with Toby for the past few weeks... Guess we'll learn together! At 4 and 24 years old haha)

I'm really bad about "being busy" and wanting to "go go go!", and even feeling guilty for taking a mid-day Netflix break or whatever. That's so ridiculous! It's nice to feel busy and important, but truth be told, I do most of that to myself. I make myself busy. I take on projects when I know I shouldn't. I say yes to things when I should be spending time with my family instead. I focus on making sure we're financially comfortable as opposed to being happy (for the lack of a better term). I really don't need to be that busy, and I could even balance my very same schedule with ease if I'd just employ resolution #4 (Find a work at home schedule that works). My inability to adhere to set hours makes our whole family tired and worn out. I don't need to do 17 projects or have 12 businesses. We can get by on just one or two with ease, but I have this craving to constantly work and succeed. It says a lot about our society, but even more about me because I know better and I can choose to go against the grain. Here's to scaling back and putting my whole heart into things that truly inspire me and make me feel like a successful person/wife/mom/business owner.

I've found myself quickly unfollowing a lot of people on Twitter, Instagram, and most frequently Tumblr. I don't plan on necessarily doing a total "clean sweep" of any of them (except Google Reader!)  but if someone is notorious about sharing things that don't necessarily inspire me or make me feel good, there's really no reason I should subject myself to that sort of thing ya know? And even people who are generally really nice and polite and positive, but don't share things that I'm interested in... it just makes for social media noise. (If you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings you can always "mute" them on Twitter, but I try to be honest with myself.) I can tell you that it does sometimes sting to have someone unfollow you for a reason you don't know (Rolling my eyes realllll hard at myself right now.. It's only the internet!) but we work to build these relationships with people and regardless of what we say, we want to inspire people and we want them to read what we put out there. Instead of focusing on a select group/clique that may have formed over the years, and trying to keep appearances up just for my own sake, I want to engage with people who inspire me. Inspire me in all facets of life. I think really rehashing my news feeds will help with that. (Facebook, I'm coming for you! You're the worst...) I truly urge each and every one of you to do this one, even if you don't plan on making resolutions. Clear out your feed! Unsubscribe from people who don't make you feel good about yourself. (Even if that means unfollowing me!) Think about what they put out in to the world (and even what YOU put out there! Hello #1!) Life is too short to only breed/feel negativity. Create an online place where you feel like the best you.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Hello longest post ever! Those are my 7 resolutions for 2013. I feel excited, rejuvenated, and even inspired. I'm ready to say "So long!" to 2012 and "Hey!" to 2013.

Are you a resolution person? If so, what are some of yours?!

Win Any Pair Of Shoes From Le Bunny Bleu!

Today I'm partnering up with Le Bunny Bleu to offer one lucky reader her favorite pair of LBB shoes! It's the perfect giveaway to cap off the year and start 2013 in style. I have a few pairs of LBB shoes and I totally love them (the teal ones in #1 are my all time fave!). They're the perfect shoe for a gal who isn't afraid to make a statement!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To be entered to win, please visit the Le Bunny Bleu site and leave a comment with a link to your favorite style! It's totally that easy!

If you'd like a few more additional ways to enter, please do any/all of the following and leave a separate comment for each! :: Like LBB on Facebook --- Tweet this: "I hope I win the @lebunnybleushop giveaway on @kaelahbee's blog! #cuteshoes www.KaelahBee.com" --- Post this giveaway on Pinterest (with a return link) --- and repost anywhere else (Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, etc! Just leave a link!)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A winner will be drawn at random next Friday and announced shortly thereafter! Please leave a way for me to contact you if you win. Good luck! Be sure to come back on Tuesday for another amazing giveaway! We're going to start off 2013 with a bang!

Congratulations to The Fancy Lady! Check your email, girl!

Learn To Sew with the Home Ec eCourse!

Have you always wanted to sew? Do you have a Sewing Machine but don't know where to start? Is your New Years Resolution to get in touch with your creative side? Make 2013 your year-- learn to sew with Home Ec , an online sewing class for beginners!

Our take it at your own pace e-course will increase your confidence behind a sewing machine with usable techniques, projects you'll love and progressive development :) Home Ec features Guides for Beginners and 28 Sewing Fun Projects-- each project features a new skill and awesome tutorials with step by step photos & instructions, progressive development and confidence building application!

Registration for the Home Ec eCourse is $50 and access does not expire. If you'd like to give the (belated!) Gift of Sewing this Christmas, register here and use one of our printable Gift Cards to make gift giving easy!

The Home Ec eCourse starts with a video walk-through of how to use your sewing machine (including how to turn it on), plus tips & troubleshootingtools of the trade and other tips to help you get ready for your first project! Then, we get to start sewing and the fun begins! The Home Ec eCourse will take you through 28 awesome projects using step by step photos and written instructions-- start at the beginning and work your way to the end, at your own pace!! Each project gets just a bit harder so that you're growing along the way and feeling confidence in your new skills as you complete each sewing project :) By the end of Home Ec, you'll be able to make handmade gifts, read a commercial pattern, decorate your home, alter your clothing, make purses & bags and sew a quilt! Take a look at all of Home Ec's projects below...

Make 2013 the Year you Learn to Sew!
xo! Leigh-Ann, Rachel and Courtney

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  
One of my personal goals this coming year is to just simply get better at stuff (sewing included!) so I'm super excited about this eCourse. I've got mine ready and I'll dive head first into it as soon as my new studio is set up. Anyone wanna sew along with me?! ;) xo KB

Things I Love Thursday

this is so spot on. ♥
two words: DREAM. CAR. ♥
♥ anyone else totally miss this show?! ♥
this print
dopplegangers! they're strangers!
this cat in glasses sweater! ♥
!!!!!!!!!! gimme all the bulldogs (andonepug)! ♥
this shirtless viking + his kittens ♥

// This proposed South Korea super-city will cost $275 BILLION! Look at the renderings, they're insane! The likelihood it'll ever get built is questionable, but still, that's some imagination.

// Wishlist Wears: Safety Pin earrings (I'd wear these if I didn't have plugs!) -- this buckle clutch iPad case -- HI/BYE mittens! -- THIS mint green backpack! -- this fluffy chiffon dress makes me crave summer -- vintage pink leather jacket! -- this pretty mint dress is simple but sweet -- 

// Magical, Pushy Sea Turtle Will Make You Love Him. All 3 minutes of this video is pure gold!

// Cat Lady (cat themed awesome-ness!): cat tea set -- kitty cat flats! -- cat face phone case -- cat in glasses pillow (to match your sweater!) -- and a cat dress for good measure!

// SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Save an EXTRA 40% off all sale items at LuLu's until the new year! Use the code HELLO2013

// Love the sparkles over on Charley's blog.

// If you want to be part of the LCH team in January, shoot me an email for sponsorship options! You'll want to be around on January 1st... I'm just sayin.

What are you loving this week?

// You Are The Best Thing

I stole this photo from Sarah (of Arrow & Apple)'s preview she sent me because this picture is the one that made me cry instantly. It's not the most flattering of either of us, and it's certainly not the most romantic... but it's undoubtedly the most "real". Mike's ridiculous mouth-wide-open laugh and my ginormous apple cheeks. The best days with him are the ones we spend laughing, and I feel so blessed that it's a daily occurrence. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have our wedding photos this weekend. I can't wait to dive into them and spend countless hours re-imagining it all with my husband. And I can't wait to share them with all of you, too. Ahh! Happiest of days.

Win $50 to Kintage!

one // two // three // four // five // six

Today we've got the lovely Aileen from Kintage offering up one lucky Honeybee a $50 gift certificate! Kintage is a super adorable online boutique filled to the brim with dainty dresses, tops and accessories. Here's a little bit more of Aileen + Kintage's story -- followed by your chance to win!
Hi, I'm Aileen and Kintage is my pride and joy! Kintage started out in 2010 selling vintage on Etsy. Kintage has now evolved to carry feminine, vintage inspired, but still perfectly modern pieces. It started out when I had trouble finding feminine and flattering dresses for myself. Everything was too short, too flaunty, too busy... everything was too much of something. I love a simple, girly dress. Each piece is carefully picked out by me for this shop. Kintage.com opened it's doors March 14th, 2012 and has been growing like crazy! I absolutely love running this boutique and I hope you love shopping here. I truly love to hear from my customers so please, feel free to email me.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

To be entered to win, please visit Kintage and leave a comment below with what you'd spend your $50 credit on!
Please be sure to leave a way to contact you if you win!

If you'd like extra entries, feel free to do each/any of the following, and leave a separate comment for each: "Like" Kintage on Facebook // Follow Kintage on Twitter // Follow Kintage on Instagram // Sign up for the Kintage mailing list (at the bottom of the page!)

A winner will be drawn at random on the 30th and announced shortly thereafter! Good luck to everyone who enters!

PS; If you're feelin' frisky, use the code KAELAH to get 10% off of your Kintage orders!

If you'd like to be a featured sponsor in January and host your own LCH giveaway or guest post, shoot me an email to chat about stats + rates! 2013 is going to be the best year yet, I promise! January is worth being a part of!

Congratulations Manda Rave! Please check your inbox!

Things I Love Thursday

It's been a little quiet around the parts this week. We started working on the house Monday and we haven't stopped since. We managed to pop back up to Nashville for about 6 hours yesterday, and I spent most of that time trying to sleep and heal my scratched cornea. I'm blind in my left eye and I scratched the cornea in my right, so seeing has been very difficult lately. No contact, constant pain, and trying to force myself not to rub it. Hence the lack of outfit posts! Honestly I've also been so covered in paint/primer that "real" clothes seem so far fetched. I'm typing this on a finnicky/prehistoric PC so stick with me... hopefully I can get a MBP charger today to keep up with blogging! Tomorrow we're off to Birmingham to pick up our new dreamy dinette set, so I'll be on the road most of the day. Anything we should check out while in town? Just a quick day trip but would love some recommendations! Happy Thursday!

this! NASA recently released images of our planet at night! ♥
these lookbook photos are pretty magical ♥
♥ these Foldable Me characters of our little fam crack me up! ♥
this "minimal wage machine" = great social commentary. ♥
this barack obama sushi! ♥
Romwe is filling your stocking with a surprise gift on orders over $60! ♥
this HomeEc ecourse is the perfect last minute gift idea (for you or a loved one!)♥
you can register HERE! and even print a gift card to make gift giving really easy ;)
this! ♥
this "tree art" is awesome! ♥
♥ i recently signed up for Julep + i LOVE the nail colors i got! ♥
get your first box for only ONE CENT by clicking HERE + using code "color2012"
this hilarious dog hanger! (and the cat ones, too!) ♥

 // HOLLA! You can get 20% off of your Karmaloop.com order by using the repCode 'KAELAH'. You can also get 10% off PLNDR.com and OmericaOrganic.com with the same code! I did a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping at those sites (and maybe even a little for myself!)

// StitchFix recently rebranded... and I LOVE it! So crisp and modern. I love the new interface of the site, too! Have you signed up for your SF yet? I've kept my last 2 boxes so I've been tickled with my recent fixes!

// New users worth checking out on the JUX scene: Manda // Corey // Paemm // Jessica // Alivia // Jamie // Amber --- Want to be featured next week? Sign up + leave your link below! I'll follow you!

// I recently got a "Grab Box" from Penelope Lane Clothing. It was pretty fantastic. I got this dress, and some other goodies I'll have to share with you soon! Such a fun treat! Seriously, PL's prices blog my mind.

// Things I'd love to have in our new home: this bedding (mike would never agree! haha) -- this record rack -- this art print -- this white storage rack -- this "no whining" print 

// My love for novelty items is a bit embarrassing... but whatever. I can't help what I like, right? -- like this donut ornament -- or maybe a beer can, six pack, gumball machine,   -- this beer koozie matches my new coffee mug! -- silly pool floats like this donut and pretzel

Sorry for the short TiLT! Next week's will be overflowing with goodness, promise!

What are you loving this week?

Ear Stretching 101 : A Quick + Easy Guide

I've had this blog post partially written (okay, a little less than partially) for many moons now. I get a lot of emails and questions about ear stretching so I thought I'd do a generalized overview of the experience. I'm not a professional, I'm not a piercer, and I'm not a "know it all". I'm simply going off of what I've learned in the past (almost) 9 years of me stretching my ears (and the many many mistakes I've made along the way...)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
If your ears are pierced and you'd like to begin stretching, do as much research as you can first. Just to get an idea of what the whole thing is about. (Hello! This blog post!) Read up on various body mod forums and see what other people have to say about their experience. Be proactive rather than reactive. Body modification is something to take very seriously, even if it's only stretching your earlobes.

Starting off with a "stretching kit" is how I began back in high school. Just some tiny tapers and matching plugs with o-rings. You can use the expander tapers or you can use the claws/crescent tapers, whichever you prefer. Acrylic tapers and plugs are the most readily available, but they should not be used for a fresh/healing fistula. A stainless steel set is a better choice. Acrylic and wood plugs can harbor bacteria. It's best to avoid that if possible, and only wear those after your lobes have been stretched for a few weeks. Start by thoroughly washing your hands, use jojoba oil on your ear lobe, and push in slowly. It should burn a little, but never be painful, and it most certainly should never ever bleed. You don't have to push the entire taper in in one go (or even in one day). Once your lobe gets red and hot, slide on your o-rings and wait it out a bit. Let the inflammation die down before trying to go further. After you get the taper all the way through, swap it out for a flat plug with o-rings on front and back, or a single flare plug with an o-ring on the back. Double flared plugs (or saddle plugs) are not recommended for use immediately after stretching. The flare is often 1mm or so larger than the actual size/taper, so trying to force them in can end in a very painful experience. Sit at this size for several weeks. Never rush your stretching. If you do, you'll run the risk of ripping your earlobe, experiencing a blow out (which is often permanent), and/or just all around ruining your ears. Be patient and gentle. 

♥ You should not wear tapers as jewelry. They hang all weird, can get caught on things, and they are just generally not advisable for every day use. When you're stretching, go slow. But once you've reached maximum girth of that taper, slide in a plug for normal everyday wear.

Do NOT skip sizes when stretching! This is so important. Sometimes the next size up is only a 1/16th of an inch, but that size is important. Skipping sizes puts you at a higher risk for blowouts. It's much better to take your time stretching properly than to fast track your way right into 'cat butt' lobe territory.

Other methods of stretching include "dead stretching" which is when you wear your plug for long enough that it becomes loose and you can size up without using a taper. Stone or other heavy materials can help with this process, but it's often much slower than tapering. Taping is a very popular and safe method of stretching (and one that I whole-heartedly recommend! Especially at anything over 2g or so, but that's just my personal opinion!)

Taping is when you wrap PTFE tape around the plug in small doses, then you reinsert it into the fistula. Over the course of a few days or so, the fistula will stretch and you can add a few more layers of tape. This is a very safe, completely painless way to do things. Tapers and claws in the larger sizes are really cumbersome, too. 

Continue to stretch until you reach your goal size. Find the material of plug that doesn't irritate your fistula. It may take some trial and error but find what works best with your ears and your body. For me? I can't wear acrylic for more than a day at a time, even with lobes that haven't been stretched in 2 years. Even with daily cleanings, the material is too harsh on my lobes and just causes them to get angry. You may have a similar experience with a material. If so, remove them immediately and go to something you can sanitize, like steel or glass.

Stone plugs often help stretch a little faster (on slightly larger lobes) due to the immense amount of weight in the plug itself. Be care though, because at certain sizes (usually 1 inch and above) they may stretch your ears so quickly that you can't wear them more than a few hours at a time. Wood is a great material for plugs (as long as the fistula is completely healed). They allow your ears to breathe, and they're safe. (Just try not to wear them in your shower/pool. The water expands the wood and allows bacteria to get in). Glass is another great material for plugs, too. Easy to clean and they keep your ears from smelling funky. (Yes, that's a thing. More on that below.) Do not wear silicone tunnels until your fistula is completely healed! Do not stretch with these! They're readily available at all body jewelry sources and they're super cheap so they're tempting. But they can quickly rip your ear when they expand. They're great to sleep in at night though if you don't want a big piece of whatever sticking you in the side of the head.

Clean your plugs and lobes every day. Pull your plug out, give it a washing, and same to your lobe. Also massage your earlobe with your fingers to get things tender. Massaging your earlobes with something like jojoba oil can help increase elasticity and stretching. 

♥ Sebum is what the yucky dead-skin-smelly-cheese odor is. The larger your lobes get the more noticeable it can become. Organic materials like wood help keep this odor from emanating from your ear, but your plugs should be cleaned daily regardless. 

In the event of an infected earlobe, do a salt water soak immediately. Clean whatever jewelry your were wearing thoroughly. Stainless steel is a great option for when your ears get angry, as the infection can't seep into the material and stick around. In the event of a blowout, downsize immediately. Massage your lobes 2x a day and gently work with jojoba oil.

Stretch only to the size your body will allow. Never force your lobe to go larger than it wants to. Every person's body is different and everyone has a max wall. Some lobes simply don't have the elasticity in them, and some lobes simply have too much scar tissue. Being patient and willing to go through the tedious process could be your ticket to larger lobes even if your ears are stubborn.

♥ The question I get most often is "How big can I stretch so that when I take them out for good my ear will go back to normal?" The generalized rule of thumb is a 2g is the "no go back zone". Once you hit this size, the likelihood that your ear will return to normal after removal is lower. It gets lower with each and every size you stretch. (I've stretched to 00g twice and my lobes went back to normal both times. Remember, this is a generalized overview and should just be used as a guide! Everyone's bodies are different!) It just takes a few months and plenty of lobe massages.

Your options for closing your lobe once you've exceed the No Going Back zone are pretty slim. For instance, having them sewn up by a plastic surgeon. On average this process seems to cost around $2,000. Obviously depending on geographic location and experience of the surgeon.

Ear weights are a tricky topic because while they are regularly used in the body mod world, they can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Weights put an inordinate amount of pressure on the bottom of the lobe which can cause it to thin out, or even worse... break! 

People who are very impatient often want to punch or scalpel their earlobes. Having your earlobe punched means you have that much less tissue to work with if you decide to go larger. (Having your ear punched is literally that. Having a hole punched in your ear at a certain size. It removes the tissue completely.) Having your ear cut with a scalpel means having it sliced to allow for a plug to fit in. It leaves the tissue intact but the it is not a uniform thickness all the way around. This can also make your fistula look weirder than it already will once you take your plugs out. In my personal opinion I think cutting of the lobe should only be done to correct a problem, but to each their own!

Plugs vs. Gauges: Ohhhh this is a good one! If you want to see the internet get riled up, call a plug (jewelry) a gauge. I made this mistake once when I was about 16 or 17 (didn't know any better!) and I thought I was going to get stoned to death through the internet. That's a little overdramatic but some people take the terminology very seriously. I've politely corrected people before but never exploded, as it's good to spread the correct information about body modifications. The general way to look at it is: A gauge is a unit of measurement (millimeters, inches, etc) and a plug is a piece of jewelry for a stretched piercing. It'd be like saying "Oh hey! I like your inches!" Being able to use the proper terminology will help you be taken more seriously by people who are serious about body modifications.

Invest in quality jewelry for your ears. Plugs can be very expensive, and they simply get more so the larger you get. But quality is the difference between happy, healthy lobes and a red hot pus-seeping mess hanging from the side of your head. A few great places to do your body mod shopping: Omerica Organic (this is where I get all of my wooden plugs. I highly recommend them and I've never ever been unsatisfied with my order. Their customer service is truly great, too! Shamless plug: You can save 20% on your order with the repCode KAELAH) -- BodyArtForms is another great place. Their forums can be a treasure trove of information about any and all modifications. Definitely worth a gander! -- Anatometal is professional-grade jewelry and what many local piercers supply in their shop. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

I'm sure I missed plenty of vital information in this but I'll come back and add to it as I remember. If you have anything else to add (or to debate!), feel free to leave it in the comments. If this can be a one-stop shop for people who are interested in stretching, I'd love to have all of the best information possible!

Huge (Holiday!) Handmade Giveaway!

I did something similar to this a few years ago and I've been wanting to do it again lately. I love being able to support small/independent businesses and give the gift of handmade for Christmas. I thought it'd be super fun to host the Huge Handmade Giveaway this weekend so that ONE lucky winner gets the whole kit 'n kaboodle! If anything in the bag isn't your style, you can always re-gift to a friend or loved one. Kind of makes your life easier if you think about it! Today we have 21 items from 11 handmade talents and you could take home the whole mess of it! Worth over $300, it's an awesome prize! Here's what you could win...

This felt brooch is darling and so perfect for a cardigan or coat! Festive and fancy. The lace covered button earrings are super cute, too! -- (retail value: $22) -- Visit Polka Dots Are Love

This "linen" colored GoodKnits blanket is officially the top thing on my wishlist! It's GORGEOUS! If you unfold it it's this giant doily. Seriously, I am in love. I need this haha -- (retail value: $84) -- Visit GoodKnits 

Molly makes the most gorgeous fabric covered button accessories and this darling flower hair clip is no exception. She has sent me one of my very own and seriously that little vase packaging gets me everytime! -- (retail value: $16) -- Visit ViviDot

These will be perfect to trim your tree with! The little animal characters are so stinkin' sweet. I really kind of love the fox and the reindeer. -- (retail value: $24) -- Visit Polka Dot Dreams

These art prints seriously such good quality! I quickly emailed Lenora after receiving them to tell her just that. They're also the perfect colors (you know, personally speaking!) Her arrow necklace is adorable too and would be the perfect gift for any gal in your life (or yourself! Huzzah!) -- (retail value: $36) -- Visit Yellow Heart Art

Melissa is one of my favorite people ever. It's true. And her Bubby And Bean art shop is full of so much goodness. This Adventure print makes me want to hop in the car and set sail for an unknown destination! Psst... her shop is currently on vacation but Favorite it to stay updated! -- (retail value: $16) -- Visit Bubby And Bean

A dinosaur hat perfect for the fun loving man or woman! Toby maybe thought it was the best thing ever when we explained to him what it was haha Not a dinosaur fan? Flip it inside out for a nice cream + gray beanie! -- (retail: $29) -- Visit Issa.Ino Handmade

Another wanderlust inspired print up for grabs! This time a 5x7 from A Wild Tonic featuring the ever-popular J.R.R. Tolkien quote! -- (retail: $18) -- Visit A Wild Tonic

The perfect handcrafted beauty regime is up for grabs from The Gnarly Whale. You'll win a lip balm, sugar scrub, and some "Beach Wave" spritz for your mane! Keep the beach hair alive even in the winter. -- (retail: $23) -- Visit The Gnarly Whale

One of my very own handpainted wooden signs for your home! This one is adorned with the sweet sentiment "Bless This Mess"... you know, if your house is anything like mine (read: rambunctious kid!). -- (retail: $25) -- Visit Little Chief Honeybee (oh wait.. you're already here!)

Last but certainly not least, you could have all of your goodies wrapped up in this super bright yellow butterfly tote! The perfect dose of color for an otherwise drab winter! -- (retail: $25) -- Visit Scarlett Key

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Now! Are you excited? I'd love to do this more often (maybe every couple of months?) so if you like it, let me know in the comments! If you have a handmade shop, I'd love for you to apply to the next round! No sponsorship required! Just good ol' supporting handmade! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you want to be entered to win the bag above, (be sure you're a GFC follower! Over on the sidebar!) Leave a comment below answering this question: Do you have any holiday traditions? If so, what is your favorite?

Additional entries to win include: *Like LCH on Facebook - *Like Him + Honey on Facebook - *Tweet this: "I just entered to win a basket full of handmade goodies worth $300+ on @kaelahbee's blog! http://tinyurl.com/cuc84v2"

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Terms: Please leave one comment per entry. Group entries will not be counted as such. Please be sure you're a follower of LCH over on the sidebar via GFC (I mean, that makes sense right? haha). One winner will be drawn on December 19th and the item will be shipped out immediately, so please leave me a way to contact you if you win! This contest is open worldwide, but I can only guarantee Christmas delivery to the lower 48 states in the US! Good luck!

Congratulations Alexandra The Great! Please check your email!