House Tour: Basement Makeover Reveal

Last August we were game planning and getting ready to give our drab basement a little makeover to be more functional from a storage perspective, while also creating additional living space with a unfinished-finished room.  Our game plan for our basement (and some gross before pictures) started relatively simple and functional – I also had some ulterior motives to have the extra space prepped for B’s surprise party.  So from that perspective, I was trying to keep it simple and low budget – but that didn’t stick!
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I shared an update on the basement makeover in April and how our plans started to change as we started to see the potential of the space and how awesome it all started coming together. Instead of repurposing our outdoor furniture in the offseason for the basement, we ended up splurging on some fun mid-century pieces from Value City Furniture these played into the industrial feel of the unfinished-finished space but also made it cozy and complete.

By painting the space white, including the floors the space immediately brightened up.  The exposed ceilings and our $60 DIY Shiplap Wall, helped maintain natural elements into the space and our century home roots.  Once we added the TV to the statement wall, it was game over, Ah-mah-zing! To help finish the space, we added bistro lights across the ceiling for additional lighting, while also having a floor lamp – that we spray painted gold – for an easier on-off. I also made a custom large canvas for the wall behind the couch with some lyrics from a favorite song from our wedding.
Basement Makeover - the bee life(1)Another key piece to making this a room, was creating that faux wall to block off the new storage area from this new living space.  What we did to create this space was hanging iron pipe and a large drop cloth curtain to break the space – it’s not the prettiest, but it’s functional and was about $80 to pull together and a lot easier and time savings that drywalling.  I’ve been trying to think of a fun way to dress up this side of the room, or even incorporating a bar into the space to fill that part in more.  If you have any suggestions – I’d love to hear them in the comments, below!  Eventually we’ll plan to make this an actual wall, but that has some time coming still.
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We ended up buying a larger 8×10 outdoor rug for the base of the layered rugs, since it’s a basement and it’s a bit damp, I wanted something that could work in the elements – plus we shopped and got the rugs (linked below) at good discounts! Paired with the nice deep furniture and oversized ottoman, this space is the perfect weekend, movie watching spot with B.

Shop the room: $799.99 Parker Sofa Chair and Ottoman Set,$78 Pattern Stripe Outdoor Rug from Target$89.99 Cream Plush Shag Area Rug from TargetDIY $50 Trunk Side TableDIY $60 Shiplap Wall$32 Drop Cloth 9×12′ from Lowes, $9 Curtain Rings Set
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We still have a few finishing touches that just didn’t get done before the party – and then the bathroom project started happening. *smiles*   Beyond the few finishing touches, this makeover has been a huge upgrade for us and just being able to have a secondary living space for company overflow, or even for the guys to watch the sports has been such a great option.  It’s even just nice for us to have a quiet space to watch movies, take a nap, or even cool down on a hot summer day.  And we still have plenty of basement storage!

Did I miss a detail? Have questions? Leave me a comment below!

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Ultimate Summer S’more Board

It’s time to step-up your s’more game, and I’ll tell you just how to do it with my ultimate summer s’more board. It’s the charcuterie board of s’mores and it’s only going up from here in the wow, mouth watering, #goals department. Don’t worry the only thing that doesn’t change is that delicious perfectly toasted marshmallow. So whether this is for a girl’s night, date night or low-key hang with the neighbors the way you eat s’mores is forever about to change – and you’re going to wow your guests in the process. Oh, and don’t forget the bubbles!
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What You’ll Need:
– Marshmallow’s
– Honey Graham Crackers
– Chocolate Graham Crackers
– Assorted Chocolates; think Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate with Raspberry, Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Caramel, Reese Cups
– Chocolate Syrup
– Caramel Sauce
– Rainbow Sprinkles
– Fruit for Garnish
– Skewers
– Large plate or cutting board
– Small bowls
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1. Start with your focal point of the s’more – the mallow and place just off center on your large cutting board or platter.  Build around it by adding your graham cracker slices, these can be corner bumpers on your ultimate s’more board.
2. Unwrap chocolates, break-up and place around the board in different sections.
3. Add your chocolate syrup and caramel sauce into smaller bowls, warm up if desired.
4. Pour sprinkles into a small tray or dish, so you can dip s’more edges to cover with sprinkles.
5. Poke a few skewers with mallows on your board and garnish with fruits.
6. Serve to guests and toast mallows to your burnt or lightly toasted perfection, stack your s’more’s with your choice of chocolates and don’t be shy to try all the different flavors and combos.
7. Repeat, snack and enjoy!
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My personal fave was the plain toasted marshmallow in a classic graham cracker with sprinkles around the rim, YUM! The Lindt sea salt caramel chocolates we got which was also amazing and a fan favorite especially with some warm caramel sauce drizzled over the toasted s’more.  The Reese Cup was also just that little extra taste of yum that made a regular s’more next level.

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My Week of Low-to-No Carbs.

CARBS. I love carbs. But carbs are also not so great for you – especially those traditional carbs like breads, granola, pasta, potatoes… I always try and eat as low carb as possible but I of course have my faults – a quick sandwich for lunch, toast for breakfast, the occasional pizza, granola bars so I wanted to cut out those quick easy fixes for a meal, especially since I haven’t been able to workout because of my back flair up.  My week of low-to-no carbs still included carbs, but not those empty carbs, I also kept my keto rules in mind for my eats! Here’s how it all went down…
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My Three Rules. 
My three rules for the week that I stuck by were greens, meats and berries. Because I cut out a lot of easy go-to’s and snacks throughout the day I found myself fasting and eating way less vs. eating a snack-size bag of chips or grabbing granola for breakfast.  So I stuck to smaller portions of mixed nuts, drank lots of water and ate hearty lunches and dinners.

Lots of Salads. I had lots of salads, salads for lunch and salads for dinner.  Some I kept simple with tomatoes and cheese and other’s we dressed up with grilled shrimp, avocado, or taco meat for a taco salad!  A taco salad is a great way to skip the temptation of extra taco-themed carbs because all the good stuff are on your salad!

A Sweet Cheat or Two. I’ll admit it – I cheated! I made it until Wednesday before I broke and grab a cookie at the lunch table at work.  I then cheated AGAIN on Thursday with a donut at another work event.  But I stuck to carb-free breakfasts and ditched the Nature Valley granola bar breakfasts! So I was still really proud of how I stuck too it. Low Carb Week - the bee life(2)
Overall I felt better cutting out my usual carbs and even a little thinner, I was extremely conscious about what I ate – which helped and made me plan out my meals better including our dinners.  Although I did give into a few sweet temptations, I didn’t feel tempted with other cheats and it wasn’t that hard sticking to a more keto-esq diet for my week. I’m definitely going to continue this up, it also makes it easier since B also sticks pretty close to this same routine!

Try challenging your bad habits for 5-days and see what good you can do!

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Life Lately – Living in Color

Three months ago I shared a Life Lately & Bee update and how I was dealing with some major seasonal depression. And I’m happy to report that life lately has been so much better – even dealing with back pain and not being able to workout.  Life lately has been so pretty with the spring time, flowers blooming, fresh grilled dinners, bright pops of color and lots of sunshine.
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We’ve had a good mix of busy weekends and weekends when we haven’t had anything on the calendar – but somehow we’ve filled up our empty calendar days with projects around the house, walks with Moz, patio meals and naps on the back patio.  We’ve been getting the house ready for the summertime, with deep spring cleans, planting flowers and watching our peonies grow and bloom.

The busy weekends have been filled with friends and family. They’ve been filled with delicious meals, late nights, refreshing drinks and lot’s of catching up. They’ve been filled with cookouts, long drives, phone calls with friends and lots of pup snuggles and even some NBA finals.
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Life lately has also involved planning for summer trips and even the holidays, filling up upcoming weekends but still making sure we’re crossing off all the things on our home to-do list.  And it’s also making sure we’re staying healthy, happy and staying in touch with those near and dear! Although I still have a few of those sticking points to deal with from the beginning of the year, my mind is in the right place and ready for a good second half of 2019!

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Fitness Friday 06.19

It’s June! Which means it’s our half-way point in the year where we can check in on our fitness goals, reassess if we need too and prioritize our focus.

Normally about this time of the year, B and I are gearing up to start training for a half marathon. Unfortunately for us, we have yet to be registered for our next half.  Timing and dates with a few of the races we want to do aren’t lining up with other plans, so we are still on the hunt for a half to run this year!  But working out has taken a bit of a halt for me recently…
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I’ve been down and out from the workout department that’s why I’ve been focusing more on my food because that is the one thing I can control at this moment.  I’ve shared that I was diagnosed with chronic back pain when I was 16 – so I’ve always lived with back pain and restrictions, well right after our 10-miler, I grouted our bathroom shower and effed up my back! Perhaps the worst it’s been ever, the entire month of May I was out for the count, and struggling through painful everyday interactions. Resulting in a doctor visit, and now following up with physical therapy – I am luckily feeling better with time, but reluctant to get back into the workout game.

So, now what? Well I’m going to ease my way back in, I haven’t worked out in over a month, so I need to get back into it slow so I don’t hurt myself again.  I’m also looking forward to my physical therapy appointment in the next few weeks, to see what comes from that and get into a bit more robust routine to continue my core strengthening.

Overall, my fitness goals are still on track I’ve just had a few extra road bumps to navigate around, but I’m still confident I can run more, work on my core strength for my back, continue eating less carbs (I’ll be sharing my week of no carbs – next week!) and get back into bootcamp after I ease my way back into running.

Here’s to going slow, and getting back into the workout game, while I continue to stay on top of my food game.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

It’s officially June! Which mean’s Father’s Day is coming right up on June 16! To help pick out the perfect gift for dad,  I’ve pulled together and sourced some great deals that will also save you some money (win-win) while making a big impact and stealing dad’s heart.  Although it’s good to spoil dad, remember to work within your budget and do what you can – it’s the thought that counts, but please if you only remember or can get one thing, just get Dad a card and write him a sweet and thoughtful note.
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BOGO Power Tools: Home Depot is having a deal with Ryobi power tools – if you buy two batteries for $99 you get a free Ryobi power tool! Which are on average either $69 or $79 for the free power tool, this is a really great deal considering you’d send more than $99 if you bought the power tool and then the battery.  Win days hear with some new equipment for his workspace. This deal ends June 19 – so plenty of time to order in time for Dad.

Golf Gear: If Dad is an avid golfer there are a number of ways to feed his favorite past time.  This garage golf organizer is a cool gift for dad to keep all his golf gear organized all season long, even in those off months. Target’s golf polo’s are also on sale for $12 each originally priced at $19.99. Of course, another way to make sure dad golf’s this Father’s Day is taking him out yourself to hit the links!

Self-Care: Dad’s deserve self-care too! So make sure you spoil dad with some of the finer things, like these suede personalized slippers from Land’s End – these are also 40% off right now! Coordinate with mom if you don’t know his shoe size. If your dad works with his hands another easy and thoughtful gift is O’Keeffe’s Working Hands, hand cream again to keep up with that self-care. I also like to spoil my dad with his favorite scotch whenever I can, and Father’s Day is one of those times I’ll buy a bit older scotch that he might himself!

Shop the Gift Guide: Ryobi BOGO Deal at Home Depot | Garage Organizer | Golf Polo Shirt at Target | Suede Moccasin Slippers from Land’s End | O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream | MaCallan 12YR Scotch

Beyond spoiling Dad with gifts, I love the idea of experiences (like the golf outing!) or taking him on a local distillery or brewery tour, finding a bourbon tasting event, or even taking dad out to brunch just the two of you!  There are so many options for dad, and I only sourced a small sampling – from grilling, to gadgets, to hunting, or his favorite sports team gear.   Last year we even did a DIY with Dad – and built our own cornhole boards!

What’s your dad’s favorite things? Leave a comment below!

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How To: Install Vinyl Flooring

As we were getting ready for our bathroom project and pricing out various materials and finishes, we quickly saw the dollar signs as we wanted a completely tiled shower stall and initially wanted a tiled floor.  In addition to the dollar signs, time, effort and labor came into account and as I found slightly more affordable vinyl adhesive flooring options – that also had great patterns – it quickly rose to the top as a realistic option for this space.
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In addition to being more affordable than ceramic tile, vinyl flooring has other benefits like it’s highly resistant, it’s easy to install and low maintenance. Which is exactly the perfect mix of things we needed for this bathroom floor space! It really ended up being a no brainer – so let’s breakdown what you’ll need and how to install your own vinyl floor!

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Latest Obsessions 05.19 – Desert Inspired Decor

With our bathroom remodel coming close to an official wrap – the final decor is coming into play and I’ve been having fun by adding in some desert flair, inspired by our trips out to Palm Springs. Which, btw totally has me in vacay mode dreaming of days by the pool and nights dining at trendy restaurants with delicious food (yes I’m watching flights).  So the goal has been to make our bathroom feel like a desert resort – pulling in the all the things we love about PSP.

What I especially love about PSP decor are all the pops of color paired with modern and simplistic lines.  Not to mention, gold!  Channeling some desert inspired decor has allowed our black and while foundation hold strong while building upon those simpler design picks.  And although we’re pulling ours into our bathroom, I couldn’t help but be inspired by some other Palm Springs inspired mod decor, both simple and bold.
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Easy Ways to Bring in Palm Springs to Your Decor:

Faux Plants & Succulents: A few years ago finding good faux plants was a bit hard without spending an arm and a leg – today, you can still spend an arm and a leg for a fun faux cactus (I almost did) – or you can get a little creative and pull in a variety of faux stems and plants into the space.  We ended up creating a fun statement and pop of color with these 40″ Monstera Leaf Stem from Target and 41″ Red Ginger Flower Stem from Target. We found the clean vase at Home Goods, but I was also hemming and hahing about the basket route.  I’ll also continue to pull in smaller faux plants throughout the space for more colors and lush feel, also since we don’t have a ton of natural light this is an easy way to bring a little life into the space.

Pops of Color with Wall Art: We were browsing the aisle’s of Michael’s over the weekend and much to my surprise found this perfect leaves green and pink sign with a gold frame, can you say perfect?! AND it was 50% off, done and done.  They also had this cactus sign with gold frame, but it felt a little muted compared to the pink one.  Within that collection they also had a ton of succulents – but I couldn’t decide one just one so I grabbed the pink leaves sign and ran! (Don’t worry… I’ll be back!)

Photography:  I turned to Etsy to find a unique print to bring in some fun nods to our bathroom.  At first I wanted vintage black and white photos that were a little provocative and bathroom appropriate – but then I also wanted to pull in bright colors with that resort/destination feel.  Well this was one where I let B decide after providing an array of options, he ended up picking this print of palm tree and mid-century home by TheLensAndI. Pairing in a black frame it’s the perfect accent and compliment to the space and takes us right to Palm Springs.
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I love pulling in inspiration from trips we’ve traveled and places we love into our on home decor even if it’s just a focus into one room because it’s a little piece of that trip memory.  Our sunroom has pictures of all our Jackson Hole trips, and this new retreat is a little taste of another place that has become near and dear to our hearts.

What have you been obsessing over?!

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Image Sources: Audrey Hepburn Blue Living Room by Kelly GolightlyPalm Springs Inspired Living Room featured on Domino

Weekend Recap – Flowers & Family

We got lucky this past weekend with an extra day making it a long weekend visiting the family back home.  The weekends are already jam packed, so the extra day was much needed and allowed a bit more time to relax and do some normal running around with the parents.

Mom and I went to the local nursery where she picked out some flowers to plant around the house, which I was able to get for her as a belated Mother’s Day present! Growing up, we always went this local farm to pick out flowers to plant around the house, so it was nostalgic while also realizing some things never change – like this little local green house, the owners, the flowers and the fact that my mom can’t make a decision even when she’s shopping for flowers! But it’s all those little things that never change that made the trip with Mom a memorable one.
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With the extra day, beyond the flower shopping, I was able to help mom with some decorating around the house (which she never lets me do!) we shopped a yard sale and we were even able to get all her new flowers planted and ready for spring! B and my dad went golfing, to a golf demo day and up to the local brewery – so they definitely stayed busy, while Mom and I got extra one on one time in.

Another weekend bonus, was we  squeezed in a lunch with my bestie Kates and her hubby which is never enough time to catch up but I’m also grateful for the little time we get to spend together because it is all the small moments that add up over time.  Plus beyond the company of the two of them we also got to drink mimosas and eat yummy food. Can you say, win-win? Weekend Recap - the bee life (3)The second main event of the weekend was celebrating my aunts upcoming 60th birthday with the extended-immediate family.  With a lot of my other extended family out of state – my aunt and cousins who live in the neighboring town were really the closest family we had growing up, so we always spent birthday’s and smaller holidays together. And after looking through old pictures with my mom for her gallery wall and seeing a lot of those memories growing up the evening with everyone seemed perfect.
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We enjoyed dinner at a local spot with beautiful views while chatting, eating and drinking the night away.  After dinner we headed back to my aunts house and celebrated with cake, more drinks and played games that resulted in a lot of laughs and a late night!  I love these moments with my extended family because we’ve always been so close and even though we don’t always see each other as much as we’d like – it’s these moments and nights that never seem to skip a beat and I love even more how B fits so perfectly into them.

It was good getting back home – we made sure to bring home Monk’s bread, local BBQ sauce and garage sale find treasures. We haven’t been back since Christmas, so it was definitely a bit over due, although I have a feeling we’ll be making a few more trips back home than we usually do this year!

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