Latest Obsessions 02.19

If you’re a frequent Bee reader – you might be noticing a pattern – the beginning of the year I start organizing and decluttering the house… and then I start scheming for upcoming house projects planning for when the weather finally breaks, and even a few while we’re stuck inside! So as I’ve been decluttering, I’ve started a list of projects that I’m looking forward to but also still looking for a bit more inspiration and direction!

Front Door Makeover. I shared my front door makeover wayyyy back on the blog and I love our blue front door, but a part of me wants to maybe explore another color? I’m just not sure since our tan house feels like it limits a few options – I was thinking maybe a deep pink? Or another shade of blue? Or a really stunning green? Or maybe back to it’s original wood? We shall see! But she is in need of a little love, or a fresh coat to say the least. More to come on this project!
Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life1
Shear Statement Curtains. Yes, I’ve been on the hunt to replace curtains in our stairwell bay window.  It’s great to have such big windows in an otherwise dark and narrow space, they’re the perfect spot for our plants – and I like keeping them fairly open without blinds, while still giving us a little privacy with the pattern on them.  They’re a bit loved and just need a refresh – but I want to find a 2-pack and enough distraction for the shear. I love the idea of these Ruffle Diamond Curtain Set from Target – but keeping an eye out for a better sale since I’ll need 4-panels!
Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life2Front Coat Closet. After updating our kitchen pantry and then our upstairs hall closet (above) with a fresh coat of paint, fun contact paper and matching baskets for better organization – I start thinking about our throw-all front coat closet.  Although it’s fairly functional, which I thought our kitchen pantry/hall closer both where, I think it could be improved more with better shelving and some purging! So I’m looking forward to giving the inside a fresh coat of paint, building some custom shelving and fully utilizing the space! Latest Obsessions 02.19 - the bee life3We’ve been working through some other projects like our bathroom remodel, which was moving quickly but now we’re just waiting to gear back up on it for finishing touches – which I use very lightly! In between, I’ve been decluttering and better organizing these commonly used spaces around the house.  Beyond planning for house projects, we’re starting to plan for trips this year – it’s always important for us to get away, recharge, explore new places and eat some good food!

What’re you plans for the year?

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Why We Celebrate the Little Things

Monday marked our three year engagement anniversary and in May it will be 8-years together – I love all of our little anniversaries.  And although we are married and have other bigger anniversaries to celebrate, we still like to celebrate and reflect on these little moments that we’ve shared together.
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Why We Celebrate: From 3-months to 3-years, to the day we got the keys to our (first) house, a monumental trip, or the day we got our Moz – it’s these little things that lay the foundation of our relationship and the reason for it’s existence today, tomorrow and ten years from now. It’s celebrating these little moments that help keep the joy of those moments alive while looking forward to the future.

Sometimes we celebrate with a handmade card, sometimes flowers, or recreating a meal (like Chipotle and Champagne from the night we got engaged) or just sending a little text or picture about a memory from that day.  We save going all out for the bigger anniversaries!  It’s also fun reflecting on all the firsts we’ve had together, while also still realizing how many firsts we still have yet to have.

Cheers to celebrating the little things!

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My Daily Essentials

Full disclosure (I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of that lately on here!) – I’m not a huge make-up girl or beauty guru, I probably take 15-20 minutes to get ready on average and part of that time is because I end up getting distracted playing with Moz or talking with B.  My hair and make-up routine is low maintenance, so my daily essentials might be a bit non-traditional but they’re essential beyond my beauty routine, making them truly my essentials!
Daily Essentials - the bee life
Voluminous Mascara by L’Oreal.  Mascara is an absolute must! Within the last few years I’ve become more confident with just wearing mascara (no eye liner) as my main eye make-up and keeping my look as natural as possible. I especially love this L’Oreal brand because of the brush, coverage and really letting my lashes pop! Beyond mascara I throw on some blush and usually call it a day in the make-up department.

Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme. This is a MUST, especially in the winter when dry hands are prevalent and seem to be never ending! Not only does this instantly make you’re hands feel lush and not dry, the lotion smells amazing and is almost therapeutic – the travel size bottles are perfect to tote around everywhere.

Echinacea – Immune Support. Staying on top of my immune health is always a priority, that is why I take echinacea at least 1x a day, when I’m starting to feel something come on I’ll up my dosage to the recommended dosage of 3x a day.

Secret Unscented Deodorant. This may seem like a given daily essential – but the key for me is the unscented part! I can’t stand scented deodorants, I blame my bloodhound nose, plus this allows me to have my perfume standout as my signature scent!
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I also love throwing on a few bangles with inspiring sentiments, always make sure I have my Neutrogena Norwegian Formula lip moisturizer in my work bag, because winter, decide if it’s going to be a glasses day or not – then I’m ready to take on the day!  As I mentioned, my routine and all my go-to essentials are low maintenance and help my skin and soul feeling great!

What’re your daily essentials? Leave a comment below!

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Fitness Friday 02.19

Guys! Confession: I’ve been totally slacking from a fitness perspective – after working through and fighting the urge to rest with prolonged chronic back pain (almost 4-months) – my routine has been completely shot, because I all of a sudden haven’t been resisting the urge to rest as much! #FailedRoutine
Fitness Friday 02.19 - the bee life
I’ve been slowly working through the back, getting back my strength and working to be back to the place I want to be with my routine.  I’ve also been itching to get running again, I’ve actually been dreaming about running – but I’m an outside runner and the winter doesn’t really jive well with that. But, enough with the excuses – time for plans on how to get back into the groove for 2019, for real this time!

First things first, stop making excuses.  I haven’t been getting up out of bed for my early morning workouts, and I easily bow out of the evenings blaming the commute or being tired.  It’s time to start waking up and working out!

Seriously, cut those damn carbs. Again, lazy is easy and carbs are a lazy way to eat.  Better planning for meals and proactively cutting out those carbs will help balance the inconsistent workout routine.

Establish a running routine. As I mentioned in my 2019 fitness goals and above, I want to incorporate running as a more prominent staple into my fitness routine this year. We are already signed up for a race in April, but I want to sign up for half marathon… or two *grins* this way I’ll have a training schedule to help me stick to this goal.

Are you struggling with your fitness goals? How do you overcome them?

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Valentine’s Day – 2019

Hey love birds and all you haters! I’m a day early, I know – but I wanted to share a little bit of love going into the ‘holiday’ and also a fun playlist I’ve created for all the feelings of love, from loving yourself to heartbreak to being head over heels in love, this playlist has it all, check the link below to listen (make sure it’s on shuffle)!

Click here to listen to Heart Ache by The Bee Life on Spotify

View More: http://marinaclaireandco.pass.us/emily--alex
Photo by: Marina Claire & Co. 

The beautiful thing about love is that it takes all shapes and forms. It’s not just having the love of a partner, it’s loving yourself, your family, your friends and your life.  Love is also reflecting on the love lost and love learned in your life to where you are today and how that’s shaped you into the person you are today.  I firmly believe I’ve become the person I am today because I’ve loved who I’ve loved – friends/family and significant others – and the loss I’ve experienced from that love (I even have a tattoo sharing that sentiment!).  So this Valentine’s day remember to love yourself and always share the love beyond just this day or just get lost in music.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo

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5 Keepsakes to Incorporate Into Your Home Decor

When I decorate our home, I really try to incorporate personalized touches to each room vs. stock art or random pieces.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love some good stock canvas from Marshall’s but they have their time and place! So if you’re working to figure out ways to incorporate some personal touches and sentimental pieces into your home, here are a few of my go-to pieces I like to decorate with.

1. A Love Letter.  B purposed to be with a long two-page love letter – it was so thoughtful and special, I didn’t want to shove it into a box and find it years later.  So I found these two great matted frames from Marshall’s and framed the love letter – it hangs next to our bed and is one of my favorite parts of our master.

2. Vintage Family Photos.  We have these all around our house! From our gallery wall in our living room, to our built-in’s, dining room and even bedrooms, family photos are a great way to remember loved one’s past and hold onto family legacies’.  I borrowed family albums and made my own copies so I could have my own keepsakes – it was quite the process, but so worth it! Keepsakes - the bee life (1)3. Wedding Invitation or Keepsake.  We had a special map made that we put in our hotel welcome bags for all of our guests – this was one of my favorite pieces so again, I didn’t want to put this in a box and forget about it.  We have this framed in our bedroom as a fun keepsake – this would also be a fun idea for your wedding invites, save the date or other important announcements that are  a little extra special!

4. Old House Numbers.  Our house had ceramic house numbers that probably had some years with them, being our house is over a hundred years old.  I loved the ceramic numbers, but they were small and hard to read from the road – wanting to keep this momentum around I did a DIY with some frames that were left at the house by spray painting the frame, used some scrapbook paper as a background and framed the numbers.  This hangs in our entrance and I love it!

5. Vacation Photos.  I love picking one or two of my favorite photos from a recent trip and working to incorporate those into the house in various spaces or switching out the previous trip picture.  That way the memories are current, and when you go to switch out your picture you’ll see all the previous memories stacked (that’s one of my favorite parts!)  Keepsakes - the bee life (2)
Since our house has a lot of character and charm, I like to add modern pieces while complimenting the modern touches with a little added complimentary charm by incorporating these more personalized pieces that happen to be keepsakes from our family and the history of our home.  Depending on what keepsake you’re incorporating into your home, going the custom framing route is another way to really make this a show stopper and unique piece for your home!

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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.
Local Love - Valentines Edition - the bee life
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.  

Easy Small Pantry Makeover

Being cooped up with the cold weather, I’ve been slowly working through the house and either deep cleaning or organizing and cleaning stuff out.  And one space that is neglected but highly needed and functional is our kitchen pantry! We already have a tiny kitchen with not a lot of storage so making sure this space is utilized and fully functional has been on the to-do list.
diy - small pantry makeover
I was inspired to organize the space, but as I was thinking about that I thought – what if I paint it? Which then spiraled into, oh! I have some left over wallpaper – so this turned into a mini-makeover that I did in a few hours. Our pantry was a place where we just threw stuff – probably because it helped cover the old and ugly, hence not being the most functional.

Tips for Organizing Your Pantry:

  1. Expiration Dates.  I know I’m not the only one that had a few pantry items that were expired – these are easy items to toss, especially if you’ve just been holding onto them – but not actually using them.  Even if things aren’t expired – clean up those straggler bags with the crumbs in them!
  2. Consolidated. This is crucial when you have a smaller space – I had multiple bags of confectionary sugar – so combining those into a container quickly gained space.
  3. Get Creative. Even though this is your pantry, have a little fun with the space! It would’ve been easy to paint it white and use generic shelving liners – but if you have some wallpaper consider using it for the shelf liners or the wall backs!
  4. Get Storage Containers/Shelves.  Luckily I had shelves that were white and useful in our odd space – so I just made a list as I was cleaning out my pantry of things I needed baskets or containers for.  In between coats of paint I made a Marshall’s run and was able to stock up on some containers to dried goods and clear trays for spices and such! I would’ve preferred all white lids, but since this was a bit impromptu – I bought what was in stock! I’m sure I’ll upgrade eventually.
  5. Organize By Food Group. I tried to think through the layout and organization by food group/pairings – for example – all of my baking ingredients on one shelf, spices and other cooking supplies consolidated together, etc.

8For our pantry makeover – I ended up painting the entire inside, this is one of the few spaces that lingering green from the previous owners – and although I’m a fan of some color, I love what white paint does to a space, especially a small one!  Since this space is not the greatest constructed – I didn’t want to mess around too much so I stuck with aesthetics and just updated the existing layout & pieces.  Here is the evolution off the de-greening. 9
I ended up taking the shelves out and gave them a good scrapping to get off the old wooden shelf liners.  They were so gross, not to mention hiding a few layers of other stickers underneath! So it was good to give it a good clean and fresh couple coats of paint. I had leftover wallpaper from my Skinny Dresser Upcycle – which I initially wanted to use this on the backs, but luckily decided to go the easier route with using it to line the shelves, which worked out because I wouldn’t have had enough! Plus I love the subtle pop of color and pattern that it adds to the shelves with the white backdrop.

67The other benefit of cleaning up the pantry was I ended up organizing and consolidating some things like our tin-foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags into a hanger on the pantry door which basically freed up an entire drawer in our kitchen! So the organizing, consolidating and purging spread out beyond the pantry which actually gave us room for things. With using up leftover paint we had, and buying some organizers and the leftover wallpaper I spent about $60 for a small thing of paint and 10-different organizers.  I’m unsure about adding labels, so I may still add a few more fun and functional finishing touches.

Beyond this space looking pretty awesome and making such a difference – it feels good to have this space cleaned up, organized and efficient.  Plus it was an easy weekend DIY with a HUGE impact, although I’m sure I’ll rearrange it like 20-more times. Yay, for easy makeovers!

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Latest Obsessions 01.19 – Binge Worthy Shows

We are all in on this whole winter thing which means we’ve been cozied up inside catching up on all the latest and greatest on our favorite networks.  We’ve been watching some great documentaries, series and movies – and I just have to share our recent favorites, because honestly, they’re just TOO good and I’ve been obsessing!
latest obsessions 01.19 - streaming ed - bee life
American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace 
Who: Darren Criss has won so many awards already for his role as the chilling Andrew Cunanan – his role alone makes these series unforgettable.
Where: Netflix is now streaming! Originally on FX.
Why: As I mentioned, Darren Criss knocks it out of the park with his acting, layer on a pop-culture icon, amazing 80’s music and cinematography and this series is interesting, nail biting and simply stunning from start to finish. Plus you’ll be googling to get a glimpse of the real news events.  We’re watching this for the second time, yup, it’s that good.

YOU
Who: Penn Badgley anyone? For all you Gossip Girl fans, Penn is back to his quiet book worm shelf – but raised to a whole new level of creep.
Where: This is a Netflix original.
Why:  Shay Mitchell is also in this series, so it’s the perfect collide of Gossip Girl and PLL.  What I loved most about this series is that you are rooting for the bad guy and his crazy toxic relationship – while also rooting against him.  You don’t know who is going to live or die until the very end, and boy will it drive you crazy! Annddd make you want to make your social feeds private.

FYRE
Who: Ja Rule
Where: Netflix original documentary – HULU also has their own documentary on this music festival fiasco of 2016.
Why: B and I always love a good relevant documentary, but what I was surprised to learn even more was how false marketing and some a-list models, played such a role into making this whole event that eventually blew up – meaning you can have an awesome marketing strategy without having anything tangible to market.

Dirty John 
Who: Connie Britton!
Where: Bravo
Why: Based on the popular podcast and true story, this scripted series on Bravo brings the romantic drama to life.  The premises is about a successful business woman/mother, who falls for bad boy John – who just so happens to be a sociopath, thief and murder. This is easy to binge in a weekend. If you’ve already watched and can’t get enough there is a documentary with the actual Debra Newell on Oxygen that is on our list!

In our queue/also watching: True Detective Season 3, Vanderpump Rules, 90 Day Fiance, Dirty John Documentary on Oxygen Network.

What’ve you been binging lately? Any new shows that you can’t wait to see? Leave a comment below, I want to hear from you!

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Image Sources: Versace FX | Fyre | YOU | Dirty John