// Post-Holiday Reflections


I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad the holiday hustle and bustle was over, but at the same time, I'm sad to see it go. I feel like I have so much Christmas spirit in November, but as it inches closer and closer to the actual holiday, I get exhausted by the thought. There's so much to do, so many families to see, so much food to eat. Even though I'm totally zonked by the end of it, I really enjoyed it this year. We were able to see so many people in such a short span of time, and it's always lovely to see those faces. Toby had an absolute blast, too. And the cherry on top? We were leaving my parents' house yesterday when two of my very best friends in the world, Elle and Bryan, were driving by to see Bryan's dad (who lives 3 doors down from my parents). If we had been even 5 seconds later walking out the door, we wouldn't have been able to see them. (They're our friends who moved to NC earlier this year - we went to visit them in September!) Even 10 minutes to hug and chat in the driveway was perfect! That totally made my day!


There has been a lot of napping going on in our house lately. The cold winter weather just makes me into a hermit and I hide under all of the covers. I don't like to wish days/months/seasons away, but I'll be glad when Spring finally hits! I'm just not a cold weather gal. My parents left for their annual holiday vacation on Christmas afternoon. They're roadtripping down to New Orleans and then the southern Texas coast for the next week or two. In the meantime we're responsible for their two dogs, too. Phew! Lots of driving back and forth, back and forth. But judging by the photos they keep posting on Facebook, they seem to be having a good time! (I'm eagerly awaiting our summer vacation! C'mon!)


That 'Mom' necklace up there is what Toby made me for Christmas... I bawled like a baby when I opened it. Silly, I know. But I was just a basket case of emotions. It's so sweet! And my sweet husband surprised me with a hand-hammered, rose gold wedding band... the exact same one we lost on the farm on our wedding day. Finally my ring set is complete! I feel so spoiled by these two fellas... I'm a lucky lady!

Toby is still out of school until January 8, so we've got a long week and a half ahead of us haha. Things have been quiet around the blog lately, but I figure everyone is just as busy/tired/in need of a break as I am. I have a couple of things left to post before the new year, but I'm really excited for the new year. How about you? What have you been up to for the holidays?! Anyone else trying to chart out their new years resolutions or intentions?

It's crazy to think that the end of 2013 is finally here. I'll still be writing '2013' well into June I'm sure... it's inevitable! haha

// Holiday Traditions

Ever since Toby came to live with us permanently, I've had a newfound appreciation for holiday traditions. I know it's not as simple as saying "Well, we're going to do this ever year!" but I guess it makes sense to start somewhere and think with intention, right?

We started off December with Toby's Alternative Advent Calendar and it's crazy that we're almost finished already! It was a lot of fun to put together and we've been able to spend so much quality time as a family this month. Of course if we do make this a yearly thing, we'll probably change things around a little bit next year. For example, be more mindful of our schedule so we don't over do it, and maybe take it easy on the time-intensive activities so late in the season (Gingerbread house, I'm looking at you!) But overall, I loved Toby's excitement for his calendar and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Pajamas are a huge Christmas tradition trend and this year is the first year we're planning on participating. I love me a good pair of pjs and so does Toby, so hopefully it'll work out well! For those of you who do the pajama tradition, how do you do it? Do you each get the same (or similar) pajamas? Or does everyone get something different? This year everyone got something different, but I'm excited to wear them Christmas Eve!

Every year we add a "family" type ornament to our tree to commemorate the year. Sometimes we buy it, sometimes we make it. Mike and I started this our first year together. This year we decided to expand on that a little bit and each person in the family gets to pick their special ornament to add to the tree. I love seeing Christmas trees that have a lot of personality, and I think ornaments are the perfect thing to be passed from generation to generation. I'm not sure that the next generation in our family is going to want a lot of glittered donut ornaments, but ya never know! Haha Truth be told, we try to buy ornaments that reflect things that have happened over the year. For instance, this year Mike bought a little pipe ornament because he's been hand whittling pipes for himself and friends. I love that. It's fun to look back and remember those little events as time passes.
This next tradition has nothing to do with Toby or Mike, but it's one that I've had since (before?) college... every Christmas Eve I love to watch Love Actually. I don't know why that is my go-to Christmas movie (especially when there are so many other great holiday rom-coms!), but it is. I love that Netflix always adds it back for the Winter. We'll be going, going and going come Christmas Eve this year, but I fully intend to make it happen! Even if it means I watch it on my phone on the way to a family get together! haha
Despite being almost 26 years old, I always spend Christmas Eve night at my mom's house, and I've woken up there on Christmas morning every morning except once (and that was a pretty miserable day so obvz I blame it on not being at home!). Apparently she's spent the last 363 days worrying that I'll never wake up there on Christmas morning again, but I'm happy we're going to stay with my parents this year. I think it's nice to wake up surrounded by people you love, and why would we want to miss out on that?! Plus, my mom makes a mean breakfast! I've already put in my request for chocolate gravy and biscuits! (Any other Southerners out there love chocolate gravy in the morning?!)
Sometimes I think the best traditions are the ones that we don't think about... the ones that sort of fall into place and just become assumed. Of course now that we have a family I'm trying to not over do it by saying "Oh this will be a tradition! And this, too!" because that seems to take a little bit of the magic out of it, right? But seriously, it's hard to not want to just "MAKE ALL THE TRADITIONS!" 

How about you? Any traditions for the holidays as you grew up? Or anything that you do with your significant others/family/kids/friends/alone? I love hearing how others celebrate the season!

// Things I Love Thursday v.164

this is hands down the best post on the internet. go look at all of them! ♥
this celtic zodiac tree is so interesting! (read the explanations!) i'm an Alder. ♥
these cookies are darling! ♥
this photo is beautiful ♥
this is funnier than it should be. ♥
this is one of my favorite Paul Rudd character quotes ♥

these vases! ♥
these penguin macarons! ♥

// Man's hand was grafted to his foot during an emergency survival procedure! This is why I love science! A Chinese girl also grew a new face on her chest after suffering from severe burns!

// 20 real hilarious and clever notes from children. #1 is now my phone wallpaper! haha!

// Walmart called: Your Christmas photos are in. This is too good!

// I LOVE reading about other people's goals!

// My kid's insane Christmas wish list, annotated.

// 28 most iconic feminist moments in 2013. I love this post so much!

// This 1960's wool cape might be the most beautiful thing to ever exist.

// First world problems read by third world kids. If you haven't seen this video, please watch it.

// The Bob's Burger Experiment. Yep, someone creates actual recipes based off Bob's Burger Of The Day!

// 15 things I'm thinking when you don't text back.

// The BeauCoo app just got a facelift, and I'm talking major! It looks SO good and is SO easy to use. You can even shop the BeauCoo Shop straight from your phone! But even better?! You can now upload BeauCoo posts via your browser! No more fiddling with your phone unless you want to!

// 10 DIY holiday gift ideas for kids!

// Wishlist Wears: this dress is #1 on my list of wants right now // and this dress is #2 (how perfect would it be for a picnic?! or with tights + brown loafers?) // this novelty print dress // these shoes are solid gold sequins!!!! // this rose colored bag is so dreamy // this bedskirt is beautiful // this turquoise ombre bed set!

// Unpopular opinion: I'm wracked with guilt over everything I've ever done to my pets, including getting them spayed.

// What's the most embarrassing thing on your smart phone?

Happy Thursday! What are you loving this week?

// Cocktail Hour: Christmas Cookie

Kaelah Bee Christmas Cocktail for LuLu*s - KaelahBee.com
Another holiday drink for you to whip up this season! I've been doing a lot of cocktail recipes for LuLu*s over the past few months and it's been such a treat to share these creations with others. If you can overlook the fact that my last few drinks look a lot alike, you'll be amazed at the variety of tastes and flavors they entail! For instance this drink is comprised of ice cream, alcohol, and a sprinkle of hard candy! (If peppermint isn't your thing, you're in luck! It's so easy to substitute in butterscotch hard candies and schnapps.) Pop over to the LuLu*s blog to get the full run down and the recipe! Mike was a huge fan of this one (but he always is... haha)

Let me know if you end up making it yourself! Enjoy!

// KB's Christmas Wishlist

Christmas Wishlist - KaelahBee.com
Christmas is like, uh, next week! So it's a bit silly to be doing this post now, but I love making little wishlists so why not, eh? A fun little glimpse at what I'm currently into! xo

o1. Bernie Dexter dress: BD dresses are some of my absolute fave (I own several!) and this one is no exception. The fun, bright color with the adorable dog print... ah! I love it!

o2. Stun In A Million necklace: I love the shape and color of this statement necklace. It's loud without being tacky, ya know?

o3. Egg + Toast Salt + Pepper shaker set: One of my favorite things to collect is novelty salt and pepper shakers. I think it drives Mike a wee bit crazy, but I can't help it. I don't care if they're vintage or new, I just think they're so cute.

o4. Panda flats: Because pandas! Right?!

o5. City Dwelling boots: I need a nice pair of black ankle boots and these would be perfect! Those gold buckles are my favorite.

o6. Brown Leather Tote: I love the classic shape and color of this bag. It could be perfect for traveling or just running errands. It could be dressed up or dressed down.

o7. Bernie Dexter dress: yep! Another one! I think the ruched bust on this one is so fun, and while you can't see the pattern in the collage, they're bumblebees! Perfect!

o8. Sci-Fi/Futuristic dress: how cute is that shape on the top?! The color is so loud and fun, too.

o9. Sugarpova gummies: Gimme all of them! These are the best gummies in the whole entire world. Seriously!

1o. Octopus coffee mug: Another thing I love to collect: coffee mugs! I have way too many, but whatever. It's such a happy way to wake up each morning.

11. Naked3 palette: I love me some neutrals, but I was never crazy for Naked or Naked2. But the 3?! ALL OF THE ROSE GOLD! It looks so beautiful!

12. Burgundy Bow wedges: A little bit of lift and a lot of personality!

13. Down comforter: and I don't mean any down comforter. I mean, luxury hotel quality, sleeping on clouds and feeling like you're floating type of comforter. I want to sleep like a queen.

14. Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural lipstick: This is my all time favorite lipstick ever! It's so creamy and pigmented. I want it in every pink-tone there is!

15. Hammerhead shark bottle opener: Because I might as well start a new collection, right?

16. Naked Flushed blush compact: So my cheeks can be as rosy as my eyelids.


What's on your wishlist this year?

// Cocktail Hour: Buttercup

Cocktail Hour: Buttercup, the perfect holiday treat! - KaelahBee.com
Cocktail Hour: Buttercup, the perfect holiday treat! - KaelahBee.com
Cocktail Hour: Buttercup, the perfect holiday treat! - KaelahBee.com
The holidays are definitely a time of year where a ton of emphasis is put on food. Gorgeous tablescapes overflowing with delectable dishes. But you shouldn’t forget the seasonal cocktails! My perfect evening would be curled up in a chair with a book, blanket and cocktail, toasting my toes by a fireplace. Pretty dreamy, right? Today I’m here to share with you a new favorite Autumn cocktail of mine: The Buttercup. The Buttercup cocktail may sound dainty and unassuming, but this little drink packs a punch. It’s 75% alcohol in it’s unaltered state, but feel free to play with the ratios to get the perfect taste for you.

Buttercup Cocktail
serves one

2 oz butterscotch schnapps
2 oz coffee liqueur
2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
Milk

Mix each of the alcoholic components together in a lowball glass. Fill the glass with milk to achieve the preferred taste. (I used 2oz, but if you prefer less “bite” in your cocktail, try 4 oz). Top off your cocktail with whipped cream and milk chocolate shavings. I added a chocolate straw to give my cocktail an extra punch of flavor.

Despite this cocktail being slightly chilly, it’s sure to keep you warm on the cooler evenings! Enjoy!

Cocktail Hour: Buttercup, the perfect holiday treat! - KaelahBee.com

// Things I Love Thursday v.163


this is gorgeous! ♥

these festive cookies for the season ♥




♥ babies and animals! my weakness! best IG ever. ♥



these pocket kittens! ♥

this is beautiful! ♥

♥ a daria marathon needs to happen ASAP! ♥
♥ ALL THE FEELZ! I HAZ THEM! I basically cried the whole time ♥


// LOOK AT THESE PRECIOUS PIG GIFS!

// "Moist," "Bulge," "Ooze," "Synergy," "Avocado," What words properly freak you out? "Creamy" is definitely one for me. And "Moist." But nothing comes close to "Toenail" WHY DOES THAT WORD EXIST?!

// 33 of the greatest things that happened on Tumblr in 2013. If you read nothing else, read this. It's so freaking hilarious. I can't even.

// Today is the last day to order StickyGram magnets for US delivery before Christmas! I just ordered 5 sets for gifts! Woo hoo! (Use code FRIEND0WS5 to save a couple of bucks!)

// Every Pixar movie summarized in terrible Microsoft Paint drawings. I LOL'd. Would LOL again.

// BeauCoo is having a major major sale on all of their apparel in the BeauCoo Shop! Dresses are marked down like $20+ and there's an assortment of $10 tees!

// You're the advice columnist: My co-worker blogged about how I'm bad at my job. What would you do?

// For the love of Lucy, someone buy this Pendleton dress!

// 35 of the best and worst things about living alone.

// Carrie Anne just did an awesome round up of holiday links on her blog: everything from stocking stuffer ideas to DIY presents and even some incredible recipes! It's basically the only blog post you'll need for the holiday season haha!

// Danielle always finds so many good things to put in her Weekend Links posts.

// This is the classiest outfit post ever.

// The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly About Blogging v.1.

// When did we decide that feminism was about being perfect?

// HEY! Go enter this giveaway! You could win some shoes! And probability is totally on your side!

What are you loving this week?

// Last Minute Gifts Worth Giving

Gifts Worth Giving
Y'all, I'm a last minute shopper. Every year I say I'm going to do better, then I don't. I'm left scrambling for the last thing I can order or swipe from the shelves... but I promise I really do try! Rather than wrestle up a different gift guide for every person in your life, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things to gift people with! Even if you can't wrap it under the tree for Christmas day, you can be sure to give a gift that they will love! 

Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • StickyGram magnets, iPhone cases and iPad covers! - StickyGram allows you to build these gorgeous cases for your tech devices using images you've shared on Instagram! You can even make gorgeous magnets to hang around your home. Tomorrow is the last day to order magnets for US delivery, but you can always give the gift of a StickyGram giftcard, that way you know the recipient will get the photos he/she loves the most! I have an iPhone case and I love the soft, matte texture. It's so much nicer than the glossy ones out there!
  • BirchBox Subscription - If you know someone who loves makeup and trying new products, this is totally the perfect gift! You can sign the recipient up for 3, 6, or 12 months! There's even an "Ultimate" package where you can give the gift of some fancy additional products. BirchBox now has a Men's subscription box, too! If you've tried BirchBox and didn't exactly love it, you can also check out Ipsy, Beauty Box 5, and Glossybox, just to name a few! (These are as low as $10/month!)
  • KiwiCrate Subscription - KiwiCrate is the ideal "hands on" gift for any child in your life. Monthly projects range from gardening to science projects and even craft activities! (Sign up with this link and you'll get $10 off your first order!)
  • Craft Coffee Subscription - I'm a huge fan of this subscription service and I held onto my first batches of Craft Coffee for far too long (I wanted to savor them!) If you've got a coffee lover in your life, look no further. There's nothing quite like a nice, refreshing cup of coffee to start each morning!
  • Denik Notebooks - I'm totally biased since I designed the two featured, but I love the cause and I love the quality of the product. For each notebook sold, Denik donates a portion of the proceeds to help build schools around the world. They're currently fundraising to build a center in Mali, Africa! Everyone who has ordered one so far has nothing but nice things to say and I'm so grateful for the opportunity!
  • Amazon Prime - The gift that keeps on giving! Amazon Prime is by far one of the best gift ideas I could think of when I considered folks who spend time online and shop often. I've had Amazon Prime for years and it's such a good investment! For just $79, you get free, 2 day shipping on most Amazon orders for a full year! We do so much shopping on Amazon so it really makes a difference! (Students get it for half-off!)
  • StitchFix - I'll sing the praises of StitchFix until I die, I'm sure of it. If you know someone who loves clothes but isn't a huge fan of the mall or crowds in general, this is the gift for her! Give the gift of great style and allow her the opportunity to try everything on in the comfort of her own home. It makes a world of difference in the actual decision making process!
Today Mike and I have so much shopping left to do! We spent roughly 9 hours out and about shopping yesterday and came home almost empty handed. That's never fun! If you're stuck feeling the same way, hopefully some of these suggestions will help!

Now let's hear YOUR suggestions! I need all of the help I can get! Have you picked up anything fabulous for those in your life? xo

// Lazy Mornings

This morning was perfect... Toby had a "Snowbird" day (no school!) and I got nearly 10 hours of sleep. I woke up at 4am and realized that Toby's school was closed so I let Mike know when we both got up at 7 (He was about to get Toby out of bed and then take him to school!). Then I convinced him to crawl back in our warm bed and watch NCIS with me. And even get me breakfast in bed! Afterward I took a nice, relaxing shower and raced back to the cozy blankets where I'm writing this. Sometimes lazy mornings work out to be so so good. 

Yesterday we celebrated Toby's FIFTH birthday! We brought the most delicious Monsters Inc. cupcakes to his classroom and watched his classmates sing Happy Birthday to him. Then we had cake and presents at home. The day before we took him out for some yummy frozen yogurt (his favorite!) and we cuddled up on the couch to watch The Grinch. I can't believe our little man is already five years old... geeze! It seems like just yesterday he came to live with us, and that was almost 2 years ago!

Today we're hoping to get most of our holiday shopping done! We've finished Toby's little treats, but we still need to put together some bits and bobs for our families. I swore that this year we wouldn't be last minute shoppers but here we are, two weeks from Christmas and I'm not even remotely prepared! Oof.

Still, I'm trying to not feel guilty for enjoying the slow, lazy mornings, and just taking it one day at a time. What are you up to today?

// Other Worlds - Jee Young Lee


Have you ever stumbled across something so incredibly amazing that you just couldn't take your eyes off of it? That's sort of what happened when I initially saw Jee Young Lee's work. The images she captures in her tiny studio are unbelievable... and even better? There's absolutely no Photoshop! None! These scenes are painstakingly crafted by her own two hands. She often spends weeks, and even months, building these ethereal worlds. Lee uses these images as indirect self-portraits, but also as a means to build off events in her own life or Korean fables. My Modern Met has a synopsis of a few works, describing what they're meant to convey to the audience. It's well worth the (short) read, if you're interested! I'm totally floored by the execution of her work. It's hard to pick favorites, but I'm definitely loving #1 and #2. Wouldn't they be beautiful blown up and hung on a wall? -- Which one is your favorite?