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!

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#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 

Fitness Friday 05.18

Since my workout routine consists of bootcamp classes with circuit, interval training any given day I do anywhere from 6 to 12 different exercises – so there is a lot of variety, but I admittedly have my favorites… and my not so favorites *smiles* so that is why I want to share with you my favorite exercises, how I learned to love them and why.
Fitness Friday 05.18 - the bee life
So let’s get down to it, here are the exercises I never get sick of and always look forward to seeing in my fitness routine.

Squats.  The reason I love squats is because they build muscle throughout your entire leg hitting the hamstrings, quads and calves.  Not to mention they help with your upper body strength as well.  If you want some added cardio for squats try a pop squat or jump squat.

Bicep Curls.  These are an easy exercise, if you’re starting with a lighter weight or building up with a higher LB.  Plus your arms, no matter how strong you are, always look super ripped when your working this move!

Burpees.  These are a full body workout and sure to get your heart rate up.  It’s important to do burpees with good form, starting with wide feet and jumping back narrow then up wide again.  I used to hate burpees, but since I’ve been doing them more I learned to love the challenge and now they aren’t so tough anymore.

Sit-up Fighter. This exercise primarly works your abs and core, but it also is an arm exercise as well.  I like this ab workout because it eases on the strain of my lower back, as a person with chronic back pain, I have to be super sensitive of all the movements and adjusting appropriately.

Pull Ups. The real kind!  Since I’ve built my upper body strength, I’ve been able to do some real pull ups, using a larger bands I am able to help support myself and actually work on building more muscle.

What I really love about these exercises is they hit each of the main body parts.  It’s important to work all parts, even the ones that we might not be self conscious of, because we can always tone and build muscle.  Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite exercises are, and why!

TGIF!

 

House Tour – Mansion on the Lake

Today’s house tour, unfortunately is not of my own, but a girl can dream right? This past weekend we were able to get a rare look inside a 1910 treasure. There was an estate sale over the course of four days in this mansion along the lake – so before I start gushing the impeccable details, let’s run through the quick specs, built in 1910, 12,280 sq. ft., 10-bedrooms, 7 full baths, 3 half baths, listed just under $5 million.
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Walking up to the property it was everything you’d expect from the pictures and more, although the pictures seemed like maybe it could be a dream.  The brick drive was still in immaculate condition with a grand entrance, stone steps lead into the house into a grand foyer with floor to ceiling wood paneled walls, grand staircase and a stunning fireplace. Walking in, you almost didn’t know where to start, straight into the Sun Room? Left into another great room? Or right another room equal size to the one on the left? We went right, from there we were led into the butler’s pantry with original cabinetry to the ceiling and then into the large kitchen with original gas stove.

Other standouts throughout the property were the ornate ceilings throughout and the windows with brass handles and original fixtures in every single room.  The wine cellar in the basement was a reasonable size for the house (kidding), and the 3rd floor – which was presumably the servants quarters at one point in time reminded be of the Titanic’s 3rd class – yet still incredible with the detail and just completely massive.  The wallpaper, although pretty prominent in the house in absence of wood panels, was mostly stunning and made a statement against the woodwork.
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A little history on the house, it was designed by Stanford White for industrialist Howard M. Hanna Jr.  It’s been registered on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.   It’s hard to imagine living in a house of such grandeur and size, not to mention all the finishings and furniture needed to make it a home… but I’m sure if I was forced I could manage *smiles*

Although a lot of the pieces being sold at the estate sale were way out of our price range (like a $15k table, $18k rug…) there were a lot of unique pieces that were reasonable especially for those with an appreciation of antiques.  Although the expensive pieces were definitely swoon worthy with a few pieces dating to the 18th century.  I did buy two hanker chiefs that had embroidered ‘E’s  – there were a few dish sets with ‘E’s as well, so my guess is that was the previous families last name?  It was really fun being able to check out a home like this, I’m glad we went and I’m going to keep on dreaming.

Weekend Recap – Rock & Mom

This past weekend was a fun one! With an impromptu visit from my parents, we quickly had plans for a busy weekend ahead of us.

Our activities were perfect for a cold and rainy weekend, as we headed to a grand estate sale (more to come in an upcoming post) and from there visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Although B and I have been to the Rock Hall a handful of times, it was the first for the group we went with, the collection of memorabilia items is incredible and covers a full range of musical influencers with something truly for everyone.  Not to mention the building is a super fun space to visit in and of itself.
Weekend Recap - the bee life
We dined along the river at Collision Bend Brewery, voted best Brewpub in America, and enjoyed everything from their incredible brussel sprouts, sauerkraut balls, their Collision Bend popcorn, buffalo tofu, and burger.  The table ordered a handful of their different beers that received rave reviews from everyone. Although the food and drinks are always on point, one of my favorite parts of Collision Bend are the views and atmosphere, it’s really a complete package.

Sunday we went to church and then had a delicious brunch at my aunts house to celebrate Mother’s Day. With another impressive spread, we were eating well with good company and ready to take a nap!  With a jammed packed weekend full of fun, delicious food and great company we were exhausted by the time everyone left, but had a great time.

I got it from my momma.

I mean, it’s so true. And while I love most of the things I got from my momma… there are certainly some other things as I get older that I don’t love getting from my momma, but there is not a thing I can do about that, besides laugh and shake my head.
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But beyond that, the one thing I love the most that I got from my momma is a best friend.  Looking back, especially to high school although we were close there was definitely a portion of time that seemed like constant arguments and disagreements.  And now, she still drives me a bit crazy but I understand it comes from a place of love … and that she just can’t help herself!  But she is still the person I call almost every day on my way home from work, who I text with my latest rants, random questions just about anything, and we have a great time together.
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Now that it’s official and my FMIL is now my MIL – I look forward to becoming closer with her.  We have always had a good relationship, similar interests and style not to mention good laughs. And, she raised the man of my dreams, my best friend and my life partner – how cool is that? I am so lucky to have another caring, genuine, boss woman in my life that I can officially call family.
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As the years go on, this day’s meaning changes a bit – as I start to have more mother’s in my life, from my aunts who’ve been my mom’s away from home since I moved, to my friends who are becoming mom’s, my fellow dog mom’s, adopted grandparents and now gaining another official mom this past winter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Image Source: Timothy Logan Photography

Local Love – Two Cafe & Boutique

This weekend I finally got a chance to visit the Two Cafe & Boutique in Chargin Falls. From the outside what appears to be your typical farm to table cafe, quickly turns into something special when you walk in. Two Cafe & Boutique is a training center for individuals with exceptionalities allowing these individuals real work experience and employment within a fully integrated setting.
Local Love - Two Cafe & Boutique - the bee life
So let’s talk about the cafe. With a full breakfast and lunch menu you’re sure to find something you’ll like. I ordered the Apple Peanut Butter and Bacon Toast with some organic brewed coffee. Both of which were phenomenal. Allie had the Avocado Toast with Chopped Egg and said she would’ve had another! In addition to a robust coffee menu, fresh smoothies are also available and a variety of pre-bottled beverages. The lunch menu also looked great, especially once I saw what a few other people ordered. So many options! So little time – a trip back is definitely in the books for the future.

The boutique has a variety of organic facial and beauty products in addition to candles, jewelry, clothing and kitchen decor – all sourced in line with Two’s mission and values.  They’re constantly sourcing new products in additional to updating their cafe menu seasonly!  There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, the cafe is a great spot to grab something to go, hunker down on some work, or a catch-up with good friends.

As their website says; “The cafe is not only a place you can count on for healthy and local food. It is a place where you can truly make a difference in the world.”

Seven.

This is going to be my last year ‘celebrating’ this date. Well… not even, because I told B we don’t have to celebrate it anymore, ha! But Cinco De Mayo marks seven years with B, a lucky seven years.  And although we have a new awesome anniversary every November to celebrate our marriage – this day will always be sentimental to me! It was a day that forever changed by life, the day I knew B was the one – that’s pretty major right?
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I’ve shared our first date story and I talked about how we’ve grown together especially through our wedding prep… so what else is it about my guy, B and us? A lot of it is everything we have in common, our similar hobbies and interests, but also that we help balance each other out.  I’m a bit more open and honest, B is much more reserved and kind.

Here are seven things, you may not know about us:

  1. Throughout the year we write memories on little pieces of paper, throw them into a jar and then read them to each other on January 1st of the new year!  I then tape them into a note book so we have each year “handwritten” according to us!
  2. We attend church weekly, usually on Saturday’s at 4pm with all the old people
  3. We have a daily banter which consists of me talking as Moz to B – it could be a comedy skit, although maybe it’s only funny to us… *grins*
  4. We both cook and clean the house – our rule is whoever makes dinner, the other one does the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher!)
  5. B and I both have a crazy sweet tooth, surprisingly sometimes his can be worse than mine!
  6. Our saying was you had me at “Yeah, Me too” – because when we first talked we would follow-up by saying, “Yeah, Me too.” We had a custom cake topper made with this phrase too for our special day!
  7. I finally got B to join me in my bootcamp classes (he actually really likes them!)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again only because each year the ways change slightly but we still continue to be blessed by each others support, laughter, honesty, teamwork and love.

Love you, B! ❤

 

 

 

 

P.S. I’m not naked in that picture – I had a strapless dress!

10-Miler Recap – 2018

This past weekend we only really had one thing to do, and it was to run 10-miles at the annual race we partake in!  Last year’s run was a struggle for me, so I was looking forward to seeing how all the progress I’ve made this past year would improve this run for me (not to mention being down 15+ pounds).
10-Miler Recap - 2018 - the bee life
I started the race, as I often now do with my races… with no expectations. It was raining pretty decently when we woke up in the morning with a forecast of rain for the first hour or so of the race.  Walking up to the start line along the lake with the rain and chilly breeze wasn’t really inspiring me to run! But, we got started at good pace and kept it up throughout.

It wasn’t until we I saw the mile 6 sign that I started to get emotional, as I started to realize I’ve been able to run this entire time and I was still feeling good – last year I broke at mile 5. I pulled it together reminding myself the last few miles are always the toughest. But mile 8 came along and I felt those tears again.  It was that realization at how much I’ve accomplished this past year.  Going into the race last year I wasn’t in a great space physically and I was just getting out of a super stressful and toxic work environment (which I had let affect me physically – the weight gain, not being able to get out of bed, unhappy, stressed with constant added anxiety). Now a year at my new job, it’s a worlds difference how all that has shifted for the better – which started me with making some major changes.

Needless to say, this race was bitter sweet for me, it was a full circle of how far I’ve come, compared to where I was at this time last year and how much stronger and happier I am. B and I finished the race together and it felt so good to cross that finish line!