Weekend Recap – Simple Fun

Sometimes the best weekends are the simplest weekends and consist of great friends and family and that was exactly our weekend!  With a road trip home to visit the fam we were automatically in for a good one.

Friday night we kicked off the weekend with a long overdue visit to see my forever bestie Kates and her hubs Travis.  We kept it simple with local pizza, salad and chicken wings… oh and bubbles, of course.  There was plenty of catching up to do with lots of belly laughs, it was a much needed visit. We also got to meet their newest addition to the family, their 6-month old puppy, Oscar, he’s a ball of energy and so darn cute.
Weekend Recap - 6.17 the bee life
Saturday we helped my parents out with some things around the house – my dad has been recovering from ACL surgery so he hasn’t been able to do everything he is used to doing!  We then went out for a later lunch and enjoyed the beautiful day along one of the finger lakes – the scenery and company was great but the food and beverages (sadly) were mediocre, but it was still nice to try someplace new while soaking up the sunshine.  From there we just enjoyed each other’s company catching up at the house and having a cookout!  Sunday of course consisted of a Father’s Day brunch, bloody’s and a few other things around the house with the rents before we hit the road.

These weekends always seem to fly by, and there never seems like enough time to catch up with everyone but it’s also that much more special for us to soak it all in and enjoy our time with everyone!

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Fitness Friday 06.18

Happy Friday! We’re halfway through the year… what?!  And I’m going to ask that annoying question that you may have been avoiding… how are you doing meeting your personal healthy and fitness goals so far?

I did some reflecting on my FF post from last June – and it started about the same way as this one, and too my surprise the rest of it was going to follow suit. I was just about to get ready to gear up for a half marathon.  And ironically, B and I just signed up for a half in a little less than 2-months – just spur of the moment decision on a Friday night.
Fitness Friday 06.18 - the bee life
The half we ran in September was really rough for me, but yet here we are again, giving it another shot. So I’d be a fool if I said this half was going to be a walk in the park, I’ve run enough races to know that all the training in the world isn’t going to help you kill a race, but also no training doesn’t help you either!  So my plan of attack for this half is simple:

  1. Continue my cross training classes
  2. Get in at least one 3-4 mile run each week until the race
  3. Go on 3-longer runs (6, 8, 10-miles)
  4. Don’t stress about it

I’m not out to beat any PRs, I just like the mental challenge as much as the physical challenge… and that feeling once you’ve accomplished both of those things after crossing the finish line is true euphoria.  Signing up for these longer races as always kept B and I motivated and also running – it was the one thing that first connected us and that we’ve always enjoyed doing together!

Happy Training!

 

Catch up on past Fitness Friday’s;  March | April | May 

Chocolate Covered Bananas – The Recipe

I shared this recipe back with a few other dairy free desserts, and I finally got around to creating this delicious treat and it was SO EASY! Not only was it easy (took 10-minutes for prep and assembly) but it was affordable with a ballpark total of $10. You can really wow guests or impress your sig-o with this delicious yet healthy treat, plus it looks like it would be super time intensive.  Ok, now on to the good stuff…
Choc Covered Bananas - the recipe - the bee life
What You’ll Need:
– Banana’s (however many you’d like) – you don’t want them too ripe
– Baker’s Dark Chocolate (one pack covered 3-bananas for me)
– Pistachios; I bought pre-pealed for convenience!
– Sea Salt
– Tooth picks, foil and cookie tray
Choc Covered Bananas steps - the bee life
Step-by-Step:
1. Prep! Cover a cookie tray with foil, un-peel and stick the ends of bananas like corn on the cob with the tooth picks, this makes it easier to grab for chocolate covering. (I had used kabob sticks and put them a bit too far into the banana, it wasn’t ideal for serving!) Next, prep your pistachios by crushing them with a rolling pin in a zip lock baggy, you probably only need a handful or two.  Finally, follow the instructions on the chocolate to heat up in the microwave until it’s nice and melted.
2. Once your chocolate is melted, start pouring chocolate with a spoon your bananas on the foil tray, make sure they’re nice & covered!
3. Top off with crushed pistachios and sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Throw in freezer for an hour or so. Make sure you thaw a bit before serving, slice up and enjoy!

This is the perfect summer treat with the right mix of salty and sweet!  It’s easy enough to whip up for those last minute gatherings or just to satisfy a mid-week sweet tooth!

House Tour – Sunroom Makeover

Our sunroom got an impromptu mini makeover this spring, as we have finally been able to enjoy it with the weather warming up.  This space started out pretty drab with a stunning yellow and brown color palette, we quickly figured out a cost effective solution to repurpose our old apartment furniture making this space functional, bright and colorful.

This past summer we bought an oversized love seat and ottoman, that matches our main living room furniture – it was time to get rid of that over worn leather sofa for something a bit nicer.  The curtains that were once bright and sunny (and really expensive) were now faded after a few summers in the sun – plus the windows in that room aren’t the greatest (already on the future project list).  So I went with more affordable shears ($5 each) that accented the room nicely.
House Tour - Sunroom Makeover - the bee life
I reused a few other pieces that were throughout the house, the rug was extra that had been in the basement and worked perfectly with the new furniture color.  I also pulled in the white TV stand from a guest room to pull the space together, making it a cozy spot to curl up and watch a movie on a summer night or cool afternoon.  The window table was a DIY that is now a helpful side table, styled with a framed quote from our wedding and a table top lamp that was sitting sadly in the basement waiting for it’s perfect spot.

The only other piece I bought besides the new curtains, was the white tray ($20) to use on the other side of the chair for a bit more function.  I covered a few colorful pillows I had with white pillow cases from H&M that had ended up in the linen closet, the bright colors just weren’t working with the new darker gray chair.  I really loved freshening this space up without spending an arm and a leg – which goes back to my main decorating tip and rule of thumb, buy pieces that can work in multiple spaces!
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We love having the door open in the summer to this welcoming and warm space, and now it just has another elevated feel of this little retreat in our home.  It’s the perfect spot for an afterwork nap (that’s when it’s the warmest with sun shining in) and so bright.  Although this space was complete before, it feels even more so now with this little upgrade!

 

Shop the Look: H&M Pillow Covers | White Target Tray | Oversized Chair | Shear Curtain Panels | TV Stand Cube Bench 

Latest Obsessions 06.18

May seemed like such a blimp in the radar, that I totally forget to share my latest obsessions! Fear no more, here are the latest and greatest things that have been consuming my life lately from the latest headlines, to the finish touches for DIYs, to just hanging out with friends!
Latest Obsessions 06.18 - the bee life
Anthropologie Hardware. …Sorry that was me just drooling a little bit. Talk about a swoon!  Anthropologies hardware covers all the bases; knobs, hooks, handles, bath hardware, door knobs, switch plates, curtain hardware, and shelves and brackets!  My search started with just wanting a few fun, unique knobs for a DIY project to wanting a complete re-do on my bath hardware and finally finding some decent curtain rods, however I’ll be saving my pennies!

Plans with Friends. Since the summer is that weird time of the year that is either super busy for everyone or has random lulls of nothing, I’ve been finding myself trying to plan ahead with friends from drinks after work, to dinner parties with the significant-o’s to just hanging out in the back yard sharing a few drinks & stories.

Kate Spade. Upon learning about the tragic passing of Katherine Brosnahan, better known as Kate Spade, I found myself scrolling and scrolling through all the beautiful creations that build her brand.  My social feeds were filled with photos of people’s own Kate Spade bags or favorite pieces of clothing – her signature black and white polka dots and bright pink accents have become a staple.  My bridal shower was inspired by the signature look as well. She was so young and it’s just sad to see (but also amazing) how much she accomplished and the joy she brought to millions of people through her brand.  Read a few other times I’ve gushed about Kate Spade on the bee life here and here.

The Cavaliers.  It’s NBA finals season and we find ourselves back again for the fourth year against the same damn team. In our house we are basketball lovers, and the Cavs are our favorite team so we don’t start watching other teams until their season is wrapped. This season has been a whirlwind for the Cavs, and just getting to the finals has been no easy feet – but here we are up against the odds again, against “the best team in the league.” We had fun celebrating in 2016 and are looking forward to celebrating again this year!

Share your latest obsessions with me in the comments below!

 

 

Image Sources: Anthropologie Hardware | Cleveland Cavs | Kate Spade Bag 

 

Travel: Asheville Eats (but really drinks)

In case you missed it, we ventured down to Asheville, NC this past Memorial Day weekend and it was full of delicious food and lots of beers (bubbles, too!).  There were a number of breweries downtown that were all walkable and perfect for creating your own mini brewery tour even with your furry friends.   Asheville is also home to some more known breweries like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, both different but awesome in their own ways!
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Curate: This was our first dinner and true introduction to Asheville, NC and boy was it a fun introduction with lots of tapas!  Curate offered a diverse array of options not only for your food choices, but the way you dine and enjoy your meal.  You could order from cold to hot, but they also had a option where they would bring you options based off your taste preferences.  We enjoyed and casually ordered different dishes, sharing amongst the table – it was a fun and delicious dining experience, be sure to make a reservation ahead of time!
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Over Easy Cafe: This cozy spot is definitely worth the wait, and since it’s fairly central downtown there are plenty of places to keep you occupied while you wait (we waited just over an hour!)  The menu is fairly standard for your normal brunch and caters to those who may be a bit more traditional with their picks or a little more adventurous.  All of our dishes were beyond delicious and the mason jar mimosa was the perfect way to kick off another fun day of vacation!
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Burial Beer Co. Although we didn’t eat here, we grabbed a drink, as this spot was collectively loved by the group for their tasty brews and low-key atmosphere. I especially loved this place, because while ordering the Donut Stout, I said; “Boy, would I love to eat a donut with this.” And the next thing I know, B is coming out with my beer and a donut hole skewered on top! *mindblown* it was SOOOO perfect, plus another pup friendly place!

New Belgium. This was B’s favorite spot we visited, he loved the atmosphere, the buildings, and of course the beers (it was a little bubble of fun!).  We also had an insider hook up and got a private tour of the facilities, from the employee lounge and indoor slide (which B rode, twice!), to the yeast laboratory, employee beer fridge, to B being able to pull some freshly canned beers right off the line.  It was pretty cool and such an impressive facility.  Oh and you guessed it, dog friendly!
14Food + Beer - Asheville - the bee lifeA few other honorable mentions;
Farm Burger. This was a late night dinner for us, that we took back to the house. With pre-made options to choose from, you can also create your own burger, plus the sesame seed topped buns hit the spot.  Not to mention the staff was super friendly and welcoming!
The Montford. With awesome views of the mountains, this is a perfect spot for a drink and snack.  The tater tots were seriously life changing, the whole group collectively was swooning over these!
Sierra Nevada. This place was a fricken compound – and I mean it was massive, ridiculous and just overall impressive.  With an extensive outdoor area, with a full concert venue (inside and out), corn hole (inside and out), and then their beautifully organized garden this place was stunning.  Whether you dine, grab a flight of beers, or just hang out with some friends and listen to music you’ll enjoy the offerings of this establishment!

If you’re planning your trip to Asheville, definitely get your taste buds and uber ready because you won’t be short of breweries to visit, beers to try and food to eat!  Our afternoon of brewery hopping was perfect because we just had a beer or two at each of the places and it was a nice way to enjoy a lot of different places throughout the day!  Have you been to Asheville recently? What was your favorite spot?

Travel: #EmnBtoAVL

This past Memorial Day weekend we hit the road and ventured to a new city for a new adventure down to Asheville, NC.  From initial research on fun vacation spots, to our friends buzzing about visiting this latest hot spot our curiosity was peaked… so we crashed our friends trip and buckled in for a long weekend of exploring!
Travel - EmnBtoAVL - the bee life
Although our weekend consisted mostly of drinking and eating, we did have other trip highlights that made Asheville a memorable city that we’d be happy to visit again.

Blue Ridge Parkway – Craggy Gardens:  With the rolling mountains surrounding the city, the Blue Ridge Parkway is almost unavoidable.  We drove up to the Craggy Gardens pathway that led us to a stunning view, although the fog was rolling in, it did clear up enough for us to grab a few shots and see the true views.  This manageable hike was perfect for all ages and led for a great photo op and perfect spot for a lunch break.

Dog Friendly:  One of the great parts of this trip was being able to bring Moz! Our friends also brought their pup, Maybel, it was great because almost everywhere in Asheville was dog friendly! The one afternoon we went brewery hopping, the pups tagged along and probably met about 15-20 dogs throughout the day.  It was super fun, and the city is really great for us dog lovers whether your dining or drinking.

Rich with History:  One piece of Asheville history that we visited was the stunning Grove Park Inn. Originally built in 1913, this piece of property is impressive and of course has incredible views of the running mountains and downtown Asheville.  Even if you can just stop here for a drink on the outdoor patio (which we did) you’ll be in for a treat and able to enjoy this treasure and explore the original building.  The city center also held grounds for historic learnings and monuments that led us to google search a few times to learn about the cities origins and historical figures.

Be sure to stop back on Friday as I’ll be sharing more details into our favorite eats and breweries from Asheville!

3 Dairy Free Desserts

With my diet truly becoming a lifestyle change and avoiding dairy as much as possible, we’ve finally started venturing into dairy free recipes for the sweets!  Although most desserts, even with dairy, don’t always bother me, I realized if I’m truly going to make this a lifestyle change that it should be all inclusive.  I was first inspired when B made me a dairy-free cookie dough ‘cheesecake’ for a date night he planned last month.
3 Dairy Free Desserts - the bee life
Dairy-Free Cookie Dough ‘Cheesecake’ – This recipe might seem a little intimidating just based off the ingredients list, but I assure you that it was rather straight forward and easy to put together once you have everything! Not to mention, this is completely delicious and I would even recommend just making up the cookie dough part  for a treat. And, if you haven’t used cashews to substitute for cheese, you are missing out, it’s incredible how you can’t tell the difference yet still maintains the consistency.

Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Cake – As i’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love coconut especially with chocolate! This cake is a twist on an Almond Twist (one of my favorites), and although a smaller ingredients list, this won’t skimp on taste.  It also reminds me of my grandma’s German Chocolate cake that she used to make, and now I can put my own twist on it while still having a bit nostalgia for my grandma.

Pistachio Chocolate Banana Sushi – Um, YUM! We haven’t made this one yet, but it looks so easy with only three ingredients! Plus with the use of dark chocolate and fresh bananas it’s probably one of the healthier decisions you could make to satisfy your sweet tooth!

With bathing suit season upon us, we can still satisfy our sweet tooth without compromising on health/nutrition and sticking to our lifestyle choices!  Share your favorite treats in the comments below!

#EmnBWed – The Venue

If you are an avid bee reader, you may recall we had a whirlwind of wedding planning from traveling out to Jackson Hole to plan our intimate wedding of 30… to halting planning completely… to changing all our plans after falling head over heels for our venue.  As soon as we saw our venue which (by the way) was under construction with puddles of water, open walls and no fixtures we were heart-eyed emojing with goosebumps.

The venue was a bank from the 1920’s – 1923 to be exact, that was restored to be an event venue.  The original bank vault is in near mint condition with it’s nearly foot thick original door, and the bankers office was the perfect space for photos ahead of time with original wood ceilings and a stunning fireplace. So without further ado, please enjoy the finished product with lights, flowers, lots and lots of marble and pure perfection.
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One of the benefits of this venue was that it was so beautiful to begin with that we really didn’t have to do much with the florals, or other decor, although we had some stunning centerpieces that definitely made a statement.  Pro-tip: Look for a venue with natural beauty, you’ll save with the extras in the long run.  Although to further show off the beauty and details of this venue, we rented six, sixty-inch mirror table tops that reflected the gorgeous original ceilings, allowing our guests to enjoy the original beauty at all times.  The venue also had original bankers tables that we were able to use as bars in the main room, this pulled everything together and really tied in the history of the venue.

We were so in love with how it all turned out, how beautiful everything looked and how it all came to life for the most perfect day!

Image Source: Timothy Logan Photography