Latest Obsessions 06.17

Happy Friday!  Here are my latest obsessions for the month of June, a hodgepodge of personal and some new music faves for you to try!

Latest Obsessions 06.17 - the bee life

Our Patio.  Full disclosure, this was a project that B wanted done 10x more than I did (full reveal to be posted next week!), but I am so glad we did it. It’s like night and day, and we spend so much time out there. I can’t wait for more summer nights with friends, grilling out, plenty of laughs and drinks to go around! Not to mention, Moz loves it too.

Working Out. Yes. I’m finally there, pushing myself and making myself get out of bed when I really wanted to sleep in (like this morning) and on those hot summer days after work.  It’s that making that decision to say yes, and do it versus saying no and regretting. Our wedding countdown is getting shorter and shorter, and I still have big goals to hit – so I need to keep conquering them all!

Witness. Katy Perry’s newest CD officially hit the stores 2-weeks ago, and since I got concert tickets for her upcoming tour, Katy sent CD’s straight to my door!  This has been my new jam in the car, my favorite songs are Hey Hey Hey, Roulette and Swish Swish.   Also if you’re looking for some good music my two go-to playlists on Spotify are “Today’s Top Hits” and “Cardio

Share what you’ve been obsessing over in the comments below! I want to know!!

Weekend Recap – CVNP Topography

B and I had the honor of being guests at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Topography event, Saturday night.

Not knowing what to expect, I was quickly blown away by the array of food, all supplied and catered by Spice Kitchen & Bar and the interactive cocktail experience while enjoying the trail system, leading us to an open field of beautifully dressed tables set for 200. A seated dinner was served at 8:15, it started with a salad and then family style dishes for the main meal. The food and service was exceptional.

We were lucky to be accompanied by a great group of friends for this incredibly unique dining experience. After dinner we were able to sit around camp fires, sipping cocktails and enjoying the perfect summer night. A band played in the distance, while various tents were set up with bars or desserts!

The event supports and raises money for Trails Forever, with helps protect and preserve the CVNP trails.   B and I will definitely be heading back to check out the park in the future to enjoy some hikes.  If you have a chance, keep this event on your radar for next year, especially if you want to enjoy an unforgettable evening at a beautiful, local, national park with the best local cuisine.

Fitness Friday 06.17

Woah! We’re half way done with 2017, how have your fitness and health goals been treading so far?  I’ve stuck it out for the last 5-months, and I’m not stopping! It feels so good to have the routine of working out, me time to sweat it out and work on myself, to keep myself accountable.  Not to mention half-marathon training is officially starting next week, eek!
Fitness Friday 06.17 - the bee life
Let’s talk about this half marathon training… it’s been a hot second since I’ve trained for a half marathon, the mental preparation is just as hard as the physical. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it, but I am trying to have a positive outlook and approach to it. I want to do well and stay on top of training, I’m just not feeling very confident about it. My body can’t handle the running like it used too.

But I am also curious and excited, because I have the cross training part nailed down (first time ever in all my half trainings), and I feel like the half training will help me be more accountable for my in between days to get nearly a full week of working out in, #weddingdiet.

Needless to say, there is going to be many runs (especially the hot ones) when I want to stop, not only do I need to train my legs again, but I need to train my brain to get ready for this half!

Happy Training!

Weddings: Creating Your Sweetheart Table

One trend that seems to be increasingly popular is the idea of a sweetheart table for the bride and groom. I’ve read a few articles about the pros and cons of having a sweetheart table, and I am sure each bride and groom have their own reasons. For us, it’s simple. We have a small bridal party, and I think it would silly to make them sit without their sig-o’s at a table! Plus I love the idea of B and I having our own intimate spot to sit together and watch the magic of our wedding unfold.

And since we’re doing a sweetheart table, I wanted to do it right, which means pulling in the key elements to really make a statement with our table. Those key pieces to help make your sweetheart table standout are; the chair(s), floral accents, pop of personalization, and placement. Creating Sweetheart Table - the bee lifeThe Chair: Consider a furniture rental vendor that has awesome vintage chairs or a bold settee, these will stand out from the rest of your chairs in the venue signifying these are for the bride and groom.

Floral Accents: My personal favorite for a sweetheart table is a garland floral arrangement. This adds texture and depth to your table, while also calling it to be different from the rest of the tables.  Also consider bold arrangements that could be placed along side the tables or back flanking the space.

Pop of Personalization: The go-to seems to be adding Mr. & Mrs. on top of the table or a sign hanging from the back of the chairs. But consider other meaning full words that might be used or even using the initial of your new last name to make a bold pop.

Placement: When considering all of these elements for your sweetheart table, think about where this will be – if you’re going to have signs on the back of your chairs, will your chairs be in a place that others will be able to view and admire? Is a floral arch behind your table going to flow with the space or look out of place?  You can also work to make your sweetheart table to be the focal point of the venue if it’s lack luster our outdoors.

Pulling these key elements together will create a special place for you and your groom to dine to enjoy your first meal as husband and wife! Happy planning!

Image Source Inspiration: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

Weekend Recap – Now This Is Summer.

The weather this past weekend was quintessential summer; sunshine, cloudless skies with a mix of patio drinks, a summer festival and friends. Friday night was a late one, celebrating a much needed Cavs win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. But we will leave it at that.

Saturday was spent doing things around the house, and then dinner and drinks on the impressively large patio at Collision Bend Brewery – the latest hot spot in CLE.  With a well known chef, like Zack Bruell behind the business, this place was bumping. We had a great spot outside, but under the awning, perfect views of the river and the warm night.  We ordered a mixture of food to share with the table, but the standouts were the roasted brussels sprouts, oven roasted mixed olives, and the salami and green olive pizza. They had a great selection of beers and cocktails, although I opted for some Rose.  We will definitely be going back to soak in more drinks and the fabulous patio.

Sunday we enjoyed some more local food at the Taste of Lakewood, an annual event that has transformed over the years, and is now a free event to the public offering tasty snacks at affordable prices to sample. We had VIP tickets, which for a toasty sunny day was the perfect way to enjoy the festival feel, without fighting the lines, sore feet and the glaring sun. With VIP we were in a private tent, with plenty of tables and able to order 2-different food vendors, that volunteers would run and cut the lines to collect! Not to mention, 2-drink tickets with our own private bar. Our neighbors joined us, so it was a nice little outing to break up our Sunday afternoon.

Beyond the summer cold, I’ve been fighting off it was a pretty great weekend with lots of sunshine, friends/family, and just enough nap time in between all of that!

Cheers to the first real summer weekend!

The Truth: Weddings & Registries

It’s that time of the year again, wedding season! And with every wedding season, comes the cycle of bridal showers, multiple registries to review, and the actual wedding gift…  As a bride-to-be this upcoming fall, and a guest to four-weddings before then, I feel your pain! But here are answers that will help ease some of those questions and help you conquer all your gifts with success this wedding season!
Weddings & Registries Guide - the bee life
The Gift. If you’re like me, you’re often conflicted with wanting to give the couple something unique and not on the registry.  But I’ve also heard from many past brides/friends say; “I just want the stuff off my registry!” I always thought buying off the registry was boring! But, news flash, it’s not about you or me!

Ultimately it comes down to knowing the bride/couple.  Will they like something specific and personalized if you stray from the registry? Or are they picky and have a specific style, so it’s best to just buy off the registry?  When in doubt, buy off the registry.

Money. Yes, it is tacky to talk about money, but it’s a topic many people struggle with, myself included! How much is enough? Especially if you’re attending four or more weddings in one year!  So I did a little research, and asked my friends and fellow brides-to-be. The consensus for a bridal shower gift was around $50. Although, there is an exception if you’re in the wedding party/close family friend.

Okay, so now how much for the wedding? The going response was basically covering the cost per person/per plate. As you can imagine, this could vary depending on the city, venue, type of food, but a low, but safe baseline is about $50 per person. So between you and your hot date, grand total/minimum of $100. But again, this all depends if you’re in the wedding party, family, or simply just a guest!

The Wedding. So back to that $100 for the wedding gift.  Do you just write a fat check? Or do you head back to that registry for more goodies?  Well consider this; a box of envelopes is much easier to transport after the wedding for whoever gets stuck with gift duty vs. 50+ different sized presents. Also, logistically as the guest, lugging around a gift during the ceremony and cocktail hour might not be the most enjoyable! The couple will most likely buy items they didn’t get off their registry (with a discount) with that cash anyways. So when it comes to the wedding, stick with cash/check.

Before I dived into all my registries, I jokingly talked about creating an online fund for our kitchen remodel! But I found something better, Zola Registry! Zola is a one stop shop for planning the big day, registering for your standard gifts from a number of known/unique brands, but also allowing couples to register for experiences, trips, and personalized cash funds for a kitchen remodel or honeymoon!

As a bride-to-be that has spent many hours searching for the perfect pieces, I’m learning a new found respect for gifting off registries and knowing when it’s okay to just gift with cash.

Happy Wedding Season!

Travel: Myrtle Beach Eats

So one of the fun parts of traveling is trying new food spots! Although, Myrtle Beach is filled with chains, we tried to find some spots that weren’t native to our area, or were a one off, I think we did a pretty good job!

Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern
A golfer’s paradise, full of memorabilia and achievements by Sam Snead. The menu is cleverly named with golfing terms like; “Tee Off” for the appetizers, “Water Hazard” for the fish selections, and “In The Fairway” just to name a few. Since it was our first dinner out, the theme and selections were based around the idea of YOLO so I went with a Peach Lemonade Cocktail, Salad and Baby Back Ribs, B ordered the fish and chips.

Famous Toastery
This was a random find for a late brunch one afternoon, and it was an awesome pick! The menu was impressive, serving breakfast and lunch all day from 7AM – 3PM. Everything is made to order for easy customization for any dietary needs. Not to mention they have all your brunch beverage necessities from mimosas, to bloody mary’s and even beermosa’s. We stopped here twice for brunch and each time left impressed and wanting more!

Brother Shuckers Fish House
We ended up here for dinner, again looking for a place a bit off the beaten path with a nice atmosphere and yummy eats.  They did not disappoint, from the drinks to the entrees, everything was absolutely delicious. I ordered the speciality cocktail, a Raspberry Cosmo, I couldn’t drank those all night. Then for my entree I ordered the Pecan Encrusted Salmon with green beans, perfection. B ordered the Peppertini (yum!) and Stuffed Tilapia, all the other dishes around the table looked amazing.  It also sounded like their cocktails changed often and the bartender made his own mixers and concotions, so it was definitely a great spot for a good drink on top of good food!

We definitely ate and drank well over our trip to the beach! Have you been to Myrtle Beach recently? What’re your favorite spots for brunch, lunch or dinner? Comment below!

Cheers!

Travel: #EmnBtoMB

B and I were lucky enough to get away for a few days over Memorial Day weekend with my parents in Myrtle Beach.  The main reason for the trip was to visit my grandma.  She lives down there in a nursing home, and my aunt and cousins also live in the general area. So the goal of the trip was to get my grandma out of that nursing home and spend as much time as possible with her!

Our first full day there was a beach day! Yes, we took my grandma to the pier and got her onto the beach. We avoided the more touristy part of the beach, and went to Myrtle Beach State Park – it was a perfect spot with not too many people. A storm rolled in, but we waited it out and the sun came out, the clouds went away and it was beautiful.  B and I got to stroll down the beach, had some fun in the water and snapped some pictures, while my parents walked the boardwalk with my Grandma.
Myrtle Beach Recap - the bee lifeThe next day we did some outlet shopping, and then made our way to the community pool where we were staying with a pitcher full of Whiskey Sours (recipe coming soon!),  so music, swimming and a little cat nap in the sun, was the perfect afternoon.  Saturday was a morning workout day and another pool day, and then family time with your standard picnic feast! It had been a bit too long since I’d seen everybody, and B’s first time meeting the cousins – so it was a much needed trip and visit.

Although the trip felt quick, the sunshine was needed and it was great to get out of town for a few days. This trip was also special, because this was B and I’s first “beach” vacation – as we’re used to heading out west, or weekends away at the cabin.

Check back in tomorrow, I’m sharing our Myrtle Beach eats!

American Flag Decor Inspiration

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

In order to kick off the holiday weekend and the unofficial kickoff to summer, decorating with the American Flag is a great way to be festive from Memorial Day, to the 4th of July to Labor Day!  You can leave it up, and your set for the summer so you can travel, entertain, enjoy the warm weather and socialize with friends.  Here is some inspiration for an easy and classic way to feel festive all summer long;

I love decorating with an American Flag, the colors are bright and timeless. Get your house prepped with a statement piece inside or decorate and show off outside, or better yet, both!

Enjoy!

Sources: Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right