Cheers to One Year!

Yesterday was B and I’s official one year wedding anniversary.  It’s amazing that it’s been one year, sometimes it feels like our wedding was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like it’s been years! I was looking back at my wedding final update on The Bee Life, and it was fun to read the 6-things I was looking forward to the most.  As a refresher, here they are along with some fun memories for each.

  • Seeing the reception venue all set-up and all the tables put together – it has all been a vision in my head for well over a year… and I can’t wait to see it all put together. This was one of my most favorite parts, luckily we were able to get in on Friday to get stuff set up before the big day – the venue was everything we dreamed it would be and more, completely obsessed
  • Walking down the aisle to B and seeing him all done up in his suit! This was a surreal moment, I was trying so hard not to cry – which I was successful keeping it together.  This part was such a blur! But seeing videos of this, I was sprinting down the aisle, ha!, probably so I wouldn’t cry.  Recap: Our Ceremony 
  • My Father/Daughter dance – it’s going to be a tear jerker but that’s all I’m saying. I loved this moment and it definitely got a lot of guests teared up.  We danced to A Whole New World from Aladdin, which happened to be the same song my dad and I danced too when I was about three – and we had that video playing in the background as we danced to it again! 
  • Dancing the night away with B, our family and friends.  So. much. fun. 
  • Eating MY wedding cake and drinking champagne! Our cake was so delicious and I didn’t drink nearly enough champagne!!
  • Finally being B’s wife! The best part. 

One Year - the bee life
If you missed all our wedding fun, catch-up on some old posts; Girls getting ready and the groom getting ready pre-wedding.  And check out the links above for the Venue and Ceremony!! Our wedding was pretty perfect, and our first year of marriage has been a nice coast through and happy to have all the wedding festivities behind us!

Cheers!

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Here are some helpful wedding planning posts if you’re getting ready for the big day! Creating Your Sweetheart Table, Planning Your Honeymoon, Tips for Creating Your Wedding Registry, 8 Wedding RSVPs You Won’t be Expecting, and Tips for Swoon Worthy Engagement Pictures.

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Bee Holiday Hacks – Christmas Cards

With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to share one of my holiday hacks for Christmas cards!  I love creating and sending Christmas cards, and usually like to get a head start on these – but I really got a jump start on this year and also wanted to share some other ways I like to share the Christmas spirit in a thoughtful and personal way, so you can too!
Holiday Hacks - the bee life
Plan Ahead.  Christmas cards can sneak up on you, so try to plan ahead whether it’s booking a portrait session with your honey or family at the end of Summer or early fall, or it’s getting ahead and ordering small batches of cards as you can.

Take Advantage of Freebies! 
I love Shutterfly – and luckily because I have the app and get notifications I can pick and choose which promos I want to take advantage of.  Shutterfly and Tinyprints were having 10-free cards throughout the month of October which can save you a ton of money when you’re only paying a few dollars for shipping!  You can also do this for address labels – I was buying Christmas patterns in the Summer!

Mix It Up.  Don’t be afraid to mix-up your Christmas cards.  Sometimes I can’t decide on which style, color or pattern I like – so I order multiple versions!  This is also a great way to use multiple photos for a gallery or one for more of a statement.  It’s also OK to not send photo-cards to everyone on your list, buy some fun Christmas cards to mix into your group, that way you won’t be breaking the bank!

Glam Your Envelopes.  Don’t be afraid to pick a colored envelope or add in a paper insert.  These can be fun surprises to recipients and pull the entire look of the cards together.  Also, if you use a darker envelop color it can be a fun way to write in gold when addressing your envelopes!

Personalize It.  Beyond sharing vacation pictures or memories throughout the year with friends and family that you might not see often, I always like to at least write our names or a little note on the back of the cards. Sadly, Christmas cards can easily be impersonal with the easy ability of printing/typing whatever you want to say!  So try and find ways to personalize it so you’re friends and family don’t feel like an after thought, or you just stuffed a card into an envelope.

If you’re going the photo-card route, these can add up quick, so find ways to either use a promo code or take advantage of those promotions to get some free holiday cards!  Don’t be afraid to mix-up your styles or photos, my one go-to design pick is always trying to mix in some plaid and having a picture of Moz or two.  One last hack is making sure to purchase Christmas stamps in mid-November, AKA now, so that you can get the cute designs before they run out!

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Shop My Cards: Merry Colorful Holiday Card from Tinyprints | Diagonal Wishes Holiday Card from Tinyprints | Gradient Scripted Merry Christmas Card from Shutterfly | Cheerful Foliage Christmas Card from Shutterfly

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 

Local Love: Brewnuts

One of our favorite local spots is a donut shop with a bar!  Brewnuts was a much anticipated donut shop that teased locals with gorgeous gourmet donuts on their amazing instagram, custom orders and limited releases until opening their shop late summer of 2017, which has been a favorite since – especially with their colorful and trendy decor.

Brewnuts has a weekly rotating menu of unique, classic and seasonal flavors paired with fun events throughout the year around movie releases (like Jurassic Park), latest trends (Harry Potter day), holidays (Friendsgiving) and Cleveland centric sporting events.  In addition to cool events and tasty donuts, you can get great local beers which are also often times included in the donut recipes themselves! Whether you just want one donut or are going for a half dozen (which I highly recommend doing) you can’t go wrong, with impressive flavor line-ups it’s hard choosing just one!

A few of my favorite donuts to date include; the Animal Cracker Fry Cake (heavenly), their signature Strawberry Sprinkle and Maple Bacon and Vegan Cookie dough.  Lately when we stop in, in addition to grabbing a dozen donuts I’ve been ordering a mimosas and B usually grabs a beer or Bloody Mary, yum!! The best part is if you can’t stick around, the donuts taste just as good at home as they do at the shop.  In addition to having an awesome menu at their brick and mortar location, Brewnuts also does custom letter orders or private events like weddings – and they have gold glittery donuts… *swoon*

If you’re ever in town, have friends visiting, or simply just because, this is an awesome spot to try something different and fun and support a local Cleveland business. The donuts are big enough to share, but also not too big to finish one yourself! Brewnuts is our new go-to post-race spot and is the perfect spot for a little celebration.  Be sure to check out Brewnuts on instagram so you can swoon over their donuts and get the latest scoop on upcoming events and menu updates!

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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!
Fitness Friday 11.18 - the bee life
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

Easy Holiday Decor for Your Home Under $10

There are easy ways to bring a little holiday impact to your home before you lug all of the Christmas decorations down from the attic.  Not only are these simple, they’re also budget friendly pieces you can sprinkle throughout your home to help spread a little holiday cheer and get in the holiday spirit without going full blown Christmas just yet!
Easy Holiday Decor - the bee life
(1) Seasonal Hand Soaps.  Scents are a great way to incorporate the essences of the holidays into your home before all the halls are decked with garland and lights.  These are easy to switch out throughout the home from your kitchen to bathrooms with plenty of affordable options like Mrs. Meyers hand soaps holiday scents (pine and peppermint) are just $3.99 or $6.50 if you’re shopping Bath & Body Works stock up and these will last you well into the New Year!

(2) Festive Hand Towels.  This is another easy switch for your kitchen or bathrooms to bring in some festive colors for your hand towels, plus if you’re shopping at Marshalls or T.J. Maxx you can often get these in 2-or-4 packs for under $10.  I love having seasonal hand towels throughout the home to keep the holiday decor throughout, plus the patterns or themes are so cute, they’re hard to turn down!

(3) Seasonal Candles.  Not only do these smell like the holidays, they’re often festive with fun plaid patterns, deep greens/reds, or have glittery gold text that just screen Christmas!  I love picking these up as they start hitting the shelves, especially the smaller ones you can find at Marshalls for $2.99 — T.J. Maxx online also has this adorable Buffalo Plaid printed candle for $6.99 that goes right along with my latest obsessions!

(4) Scented Pinecones.  Again, bringing scents into your home can make the feeling of having a real pine tree in almost any room – scented pinecones can also double as a simple centerpiece that will last beyond the Christmas decorations and into the cold winter months.  For $3 at Michael’s all you need is a packet or two of these scented pinecones in a big bowl for your dining room and wah-la you’ve got a centerpiece.

(5) Wall Hanging Twig Tree. Oh my gosh! I stumbled upon this as I was dreaming through Target’s holiday decor collections and fell in love with it immediately!  Not only is it simple and rustic, it can double as a Christmas tree for sentimental ornaments (and would be great for a small apartment), or just have a string of lights wrapped about it or even used for Christmas cards – best part is it’s $10!

(6) Festive Garland.  Having a mantle, garland is an easy way for me to incorporate the holidays by focusing on one focal point in the house without decorating every nook and cranny in the house.  If you’re just wanting a touch of holiday flair to get into the holiday spirit, World Market has these super cute garlands for $9.99.  6 Holiday Decor Under $10 - the bee life
Shop the decor: Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap | Be Merry Garland from World Market | Wall Hanging Twig Tree from Target | Buffalo Plaid Candle from T.J. Maxx | Season Hand Towels from T.J. Maxx | Scented Pinecones from Michaels

I’m jonesing to pull out all our Christmas decor and get the house holiday ready – but I like waiting until after Thanksgiving. Although I’ve already started with the evergreen candles and hand soap and have been making big plans for our holiday decor and switching up our color theme this year (but more to come on that)!   Have you started getting ready for the holidays yet?

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Image Source: Country Living Historic Tudor

Bee’s Pre-Vacation Checklist

Not a great planner? Well I wanted to share my Pre-Vacation checklist with you in case you needed a little help when you’re getting ready for your next trip – there are so many things that need to get coordinated, from pet sitters, bills, work and all the last minute things you forget about!  Here are 6-easy things things to help you stay organized and get all the things done before you go!
Bee's Pre Vacation Checklist - the bee life
(1) Schedule your Mani & Pedi 2-3 Days Before Departure.  I love having a fresh mani and pedi for major life events and vacations! So for me it’s crucial, and something to schedule closer to your departure date so you can ensure your nails stay un-chipped and vacation ready,

(2) Get Your Spa Appointments in the Week Before.  Depending on what kind of vacay you’re having or where you’re going.  Whether it’s getting a nice base tab with a spray tan, getting a fresh haircut, or a bikini wax for the beach! Make sure to space these out or get them scheduled a week or so before vacay.  Remember – you don’t want to be too busy right before you leave, because that won’t help with the stress!

(3) Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time.  It might feel like it’s too soon to pack but setting aside outfits two or three weeks ahead of time will help you fill in the blanks if needed! This also saves time of doing loads and loads of laundry just before you leave for that last minute piece you decided to wear – not to mention if you need to go shop for anything you’ll have time to make sure you have a vacation ready wardrobe.

(4) Organize Your Confirmation Codes & Reservation Details.  It’s important to get all your reservation details organized into a central place that will be easy to reference on the road – that means your flight numbers, rental car and hotel check-in.  I like doing a quick screen grab and favoriting on my phone so they’re easy to find and adding details in my notes section as my back-up.

(5) Set A Reminder On Your Phone for Flight Check-Ins.  24-hours before you’re flight you’re able to check-in, and this is something I always forget – I don’t have airline apps or get email notifications, so I need to set my own reminder.  With a quick and easy reminder 24-hours before I remember to get all checked in, don’t forget to do this for your trip home!

(6) Pre-Schedule Vacay Activities.  Whether it’s a special dinner reservation, tickets for a famous tourist attraction, check out ticket pricing and times ahead of the trip.  This is especially important if you’re heading to city destinations like NYC or DC.  We quickly found out that we wouldn’t have been able to eat, or at least not at a decent time if we didn’t have a dinner reservation in either city! Same with famous destinations, tickets and crucial times quickly get snatched up – planning ahead will relive stress and allow you to see and do all those picture perfect places.

As much as vacations are for relaxing, they’re a bit stressful leading up to them so with a little pre-planning and organization you can be a little less stressed and straight to vacation mode!  Also, make sure you have a vacation ready wardrobe with these tips, seen previously on the bee. Do you have any pre-vacation rituals when you travel?  Leave a comment below!

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Hot Whiskey Sours – The Recipe

Towards the end of the summer I shared my Granny’s famous Whiskey Sour recipe – that I mentioned my family is game to drink cold anytime of the year, it shows up at Thanksgiving and at summer parties.  But I thought it would be delicious to try this family famous recipe out with a twist as the colder days start creeping in and make it a hot drink for fall parties and winter gatherings!
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What You’ll Need:
– Ten High Whiskey
– (2) Frozen Lemonade Mixes
– Water
– Maraschino cherries for garnish
– Lemon slices for garnish

Step-by-Step:
1. Dump your frozen lemonade mixes into the pot on the stove.  Fill up empty lemonade canister with water and pour over top – repeat this one-to-one for each frozen lemonade mix being used.
2. Stir lemonade mix and water together and bring to a boil on the stove top, once to a boil, let it simmer and eventually turn off heat.
3.  Pour your whiskey into your glass first, a large shot or a 1/4 of the glass – then pour your water/lemonade mix over top.
4.  Garnish with cherry juice, a couple cherries and a slice of lemon and enjoy!

It was a delicious twist on a great refreshing drink and definitely helped warm us up handing out candy on Halloween!  I’ll always love the cold version, but mixing in this new, super easy hot cocktail will definitely be making a few appearances at our house – plus B really liked it.  Looking for other festive cocktails – get some inspiration with these.

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Happy Halloween – Throwback Ed.

In honor of Halloween, I wanted to share a few throwbacks from Halloween pasts.  Apparently I liked keeping my costumes simple – so I frequently did repeat costumes (more than I realized!) like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, I think it’s because I liked the ruby slippers so much!  I also recycled the 50’s poodle skirt girl in Pre-K and 3rd grade and then my Miss America costume was a hit in first grade and then repeated with an old prom dress my senior year of high school (not pictured!)

I’ve definitely had a few years that were not so hot and filled with extra chubby cheeks!  But the fun part for our Halloween costumes growing up is a lot of times we did the DIY route (before DIY was a thing) or found vintage clothes for the look.  Lately, the occasions for when B and I need to dress up for Halloween lately have been few and far between — but our last two decent costumes were Amy & Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory and Jim and Pam from The Office but that was even 2-years ago!

Did you ever repeat a Halloween costume? I want to know if I’m the only one, comment below!

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