Weekend Roundup – August

The month of August has been a constant whirlwind and we still have almost two weeks left! The weekends have been packed from weekend trips, to birthday parties and girls meet ups.  On top of the weekends, the week nights have also been jammed packed, back to back, leading right into the weekends – I’m honestly exhausted! But, as exhausting as it’s all been, it’s been a lot of fun, with great moments, so here’s a quick round-up so far.
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The first weekend in August was spent back home celebrating my brother and sister-in-laws baby shower!  It was a busy weekend, as I was helping mom with a lot of the party details as I was in charge of the woodland themed decor, while also making sure the shower went off without a hitch.  Family and friends traveled in from near and far to celebrate and spoil the parents to be and future baby girl.  After the shower, the little bit let of the weekend left was spent with extended and immediate family during this quick 36-hour trip. Weekend Recap(3)-beelifeblogWeekend #2 was a little less busy? We hosted dear friends on Friday night, grilled out and enjoyed a beautiful evening on the patio, we even had s’mores! It is always great catching up with those two and we’re always thankful for the time we get to spend with them especially now that they have a little one!  Saturday, I got together with the girls, we went for a hike through the park and got our monthly catch-up in. Again, the time with these girls is so precious as we’re all in different stages of our life, Beks has two beautiful little kiddos, A is expecting her first and I am just living life.
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The rest of Saturday, B and I were able to actually relax, take a nap, grab a bite to eat and watch our shows.  Our Sunday was crazy, as we were double booked with bday parties, that weren’t so close geographically.  Our nieces’ 4th bday (unfortunately I can only post photos of the delicious sweets due to political reasons) was earlier in the day and then we went to a surprise 60th to a dear family friend.  Both parties were fun, we got lots of time in with the 4th birthday princess and then helped pull off a successful surprise party and laughed the night away.
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Weekend #3 – We headed back home again this time on Thursday night so that I could get my wisdom teeth out Friday morning!  It was something I wasn’t looking forward to doing, but was told it should and needed to be done. I opted for no gas, so after the procedure was done, mom and I rand a few errands before heading back to the house to ‘rest.’ Saturday the guys went golfing, while Mom and I did a few more errands for a project she asked for my help out – a closet makeover for my brother’s baby nursery (which turned out amazing.)  The rest of the weekend was fairly low key, as I tried to eat soft food, iced my face and did salt water rinses for my wisdom teeth post op care.
Weekend Recap(4)-beelifeblog In between all of these weekends there has been week night dinners, after work functions, work summer outings, hair cuts, running errands, a few runs, walks with Moz and reality TV.  The rest of August is still jammed back, but more of that will be shared with you all soon! xox

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National Prosecco Day – Easy Recipe

It’s National Prosecco Day! This day might be just as exciting as my birthday or being able to eat cake – I mean cake and Prosecco? Yes, please! And although I tend to drink Prosecco like the next Prohibition is coming – I finally tried drinking my Prosecco with a twist that always seemed a little trendy but always peaked my curiosity.  What is it you ask? A popsicle in my Prosecco!
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What You’ll Need:
– A bottle of your favorite Prosecco – I love Ruffino or Freixenet
– Popsicles of Choice – I used Outshine Fruit Bars Mango & Pomegranate

I felt the flavor choice was a big part of my decision, because I wanted it to pair well with the bubbles, so just think of potential mimosas juice flavors; Strawberry, Raspberry, Mango, Pomegranate, or Pineapple. Once you have your Prosecco and popsicle it’s time to pop that bottle! Pro-Tip: Don’t fill your glass up with the bubbles, when you add in the popsicle it’ll fizz more and takes up some room – I recommend filling a little more than half way with the bubbles, if not get ready to take a quick sip to save the overflow!
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The Final Verdict: The addition of the popsicle was actually refreshing and had great taste, I especially liked it with the Mango flavor! I was actually surprised at how good it tasted – because I’m of course a fan of Prosecco on it’s own. And let’s be honest, it’s just a nice summery treat!

So cheers to all my fellow Prosecco lovers who celebrate National Prosecco Day any day!

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Rodan+Fields Product Sample Review

Let’s talk skincare for a minute.  In my daily essentials post – I made the disclaimer that I am in no way, shape or form a big make-up, beauty or skincare expert and I say that again. Because I am super low maintenance when it comes to my make-up, skincare routine and everyday maintenance, but I was super excited to try these Rodan+Fields skincare products – because I know I should give my skin a little more love than it gets.  After discussing with my consultant my skin type, and how I like to keep it simple she sent me the a few samples to give a try and tell you all about!
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Redefine Regimen. This is one of the four regimens R+F offers – and this one specifically helps minimize appearance of fine lines and pores, while protecting your skin from harsh environmental elements that accelerate visible signs of aging – which nobody wants any part of that.

  1. Daily Cleansing Mask – This Kaolin Clay-based mask was a quick and easy way to exfoliate the skin and clean out pores.  After massaging the mask onto my face I waited to recommended 2-minutes which was just enough time for the mask to feel like it was drying before rinsing it all away. My skin felt soft and clean afterwards.
  2. Lip Renewing Serum – The Redefine lip serum had conditioning peptides and vitamins to help your lips stay full and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  3. Intensive Renewing Serum – I felt like I was rubbing silk on my face with this final step of the regimen and it was so lovely.  The serum is to be applied after cleaning and toning and to be applied over the entire face (watch the eyes!) – with the overall goal of reducing wrinkles and making your skin firmer and fuller.

R+F Review-beelifeblog(4)Radiant Defense – Liquid Perfection. I was super excited to give this foundation a try, because it also happens to be SPF30 on top of giving you flawless coverage. I used three of the colors, since typically I would probably be the lightest one on the chain – but given my summer glow and abundance of freckles, I thought the two second lightest colors might work well on my skin too.  I think the Beige was the perfect shade for me, not to light and not to dark – also the coverage of this sample was the perfect amount and gave a good base.  It covered up imperfections like my little color patch in the top of my forehead, plus it was light and airy and I didn’t feel like I had a pound of make-up on – which I feel like is just as important as everything else.  I felt flawless and effortless all in one and that feeling carried on into the day.

Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. This was a refreshing way to get ready for bed and end a long day with a little self-care and pampering. This product is not recommended for sensitive skin – I wouldn’t say I have super sensitive skin, but it can be sensitive – so I dampened my face before applying for a gentler exfoliation.  I kept this on my face for 60-seconds before wiping away.  The paste was gritty and had a very nice light smell to it so it was very refreshing – after wiping away the paste my skin felt super smooth and soft!
RFProductReview - beelifeblog(2)Overall all the products had super light or no scents, which is important to me with a routine, so it was very refreshing using each of the different products.  The Radiant Defense is a product I would definitely love using especially for special occasions or those days I need a little extra umph to get me going – I did feel super beautiful using it. I think it’s also important finding a good cleanser to exfoliate the face every now and again and R+F definitely offers a variety of options for all skin types and ages!

Learn more about Rodan + Fields and their life changing skincare.

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*Disclosure: I was asked by my Rodan+Fields Consultant to share these products and promote Rodan+Fields. In exchange, I received complimentary samples of product . All opinions are my own.

3 Party Planning Hacks – Baby Shower Ed.

This past weekend was my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I was lucky to help with the planning and was in charge of the decor.  I love a good party, and I love a good party with a theme.  The theme for K’s shower was Woodland, and as I worked through the decor it quickly morphed to a Woodland Glam theme especially once we learned the baby is a girl. So instead of breaking everything down, I wanted to share a few hacks I did for this baby shower that made a statement and helped pull everything together.
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Framed Art: One easy way to help decorate and pull the theme through was with framed art of little Woodland animals with flower crowns. Since Woodland was also K’s baby room theme, I wanted to get prints framed that could work for the shower and that could then be hung in the nursery for room decor! It was a fun conversation piece during the shower as party guests spotted them throughout the house – plus I think N&K really liked them. I purchased 6 Baby Animals with Flowers Crowns and these 11×17 frames from Michaels Craft Store.
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DIY Floral Letter: This was another piece that was used as decor at the shower and will now find a home in the nursery as well. The muted colors that were picked out play into that glam, Woodland and romantic feel.  Not to mention this was super easy and an affordable DIY that made a huge statement as part of the main centerpiece in the opening room as guests came into the baby shower. Read the full Floral Letter DIY how-to by click here.
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Dessert Table:  A dessert table has been my must-have staple for all the parties that I plan.  This is an easy way to make a great statement, while having a lot of yummy treats, lots of options and it’s another way to help pull in a theme.  There are a few pieces to mix and match for your dessert table, my go-to’s are at least one cake, maybe two depending on the size, cake pops and chocolate covered pretzels. Designed sugar cookies are another great addition to a dessert table too! Displaying everything at various levels helps give another wow factor to your sweet treats and finishing off with greens and a table runner pull it all together.
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A few other must-haves at parties are balloons and the way we pull this off is by buying those personal sized helium tanks – these make it so easy and transportation a breeze. Depending the occasion, fresh flowers are always a nice touch especially if it’s a baby or bridal shower.  I also love making sure napkins, plates and glassware are on theme and compliments to the entire party.  I love how everything came together for K’s special day, it was exhausting pulling it all together, but definitely worth it!

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DIY – $25 Floral Letter

This is a DIY I have had my eyes on for a long time and I finally got around to grabbing the supplies and giving it a try!  A floral letter can be perfect for hanging on your door in the spring with you’re families last name initial, hanging in a living space, bedroom or for nursery decor.  My initial inspiration for baby shower decor, with it doubling as nursery decor after the shower! The theme of the baby shower was Woodland glam, so I went with a bit more muted colors for my floral color palette.
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What You’ll Need:
– Hot Glue Gun & Glue // Mod Podge would probably work well too
– Letter of Your Choice – I grabbed this 13″ B from Michael’s for $4.99
– A mix of florals – grab smaller filler flowers & larger florals
– Shop my Florals: Hydrangea & Rose Bundle ($6) | Green Wild Mum Stem ($5) | Toast Strawflower Bush ($6) 
– Ribbon for hanging or clip
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Step-by-Step:
1. When shopping for your florals, grab a good mix of size, color accents and potential filler pieces, you’ll definitely want more than not enough! I bought 5-different stems/bunches.
2. Start by de-heading your faux flowers from their stems and start playing around with placement on your letter.
3. I put larger/heavier flowers in the bottom corner to help anchor the piece and also did this in the top of the B to help add some equal weight.
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4. From there I filled in with smaller flowers and use my smallest flowers to really fill in smaller spots and make it feel lush and full – while still holding to the shape of the B.
5. As you work in sections and get areas figured out, cut underneath of flower stems as low to the flower as you can in order to keep it somewhat flush to the letter. Then, begin gluing your determined sections into place – I was very generous with the hot glue around the stem area, and even onto the underneath of the leaves to help secure in place.
6. Continue adding florals until the top part of your letter is completely filled! Let dry a bit to ensure florals are completely secure. Then you’re ready for decorating/hanging!

Don’t forget to have fun, get creative and use other pieces of your flowers like some of the leaves to help fill in the space – I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough flowers to fill the space and this helped even everything out.

 

Since I was making this as a gift, I’ll definitely be making one for us next to keep and use on the front door.  I can see this being a new go-to gift for a people this upcoming holiday season or would be an awesome housewarming present! A few other ideas for your floral letters would be spelling out smaller words like MOM for Mother’s Day or just using the same flower and color to really create a bold statement – this could also be done with numbers for a milestone birthday.  I also love how this completed a centerpiece statement at shower and can’t wait to see if in the finished nursery!

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House Tour: Back Patio 2.0

In my July latest obsessions, I was gushing over our outdoor living space and back patio. Well it’s been two years since we first created this space and shared the initial reveal – but I don’t believe I ever shared the before pictures *shocked face* so on this house tour, I’m going to share a few befores of the space and where it is today.  Every year it changes a little bit – last year we added more furniture for company, the plants and greenery change each year, and the bistro light pattern gets mixed up too. This year we even rotated the dining table, I know – HUGE changes. *teasing*

 

The Furniture: We still love the furniture we got from Target and always keep our eye on the summer sales to see if there are any new pieces we want, or if we are ready to upgrade the dining set with one that matches our furniture. I was tempted, B however was not on board after he saw the price (boo!) – B has ulterior motives and wants the Fernhill Metal sofa, so that he can fit more comfortable for afternoon naps.  We also want to get another umbrella to have for our seating area, as the afternoons around 3-4pm is prime sunshine time, so it gets pretty toasty (and a little unbearable to be honest) which will be functional and pretty.

Color Scheme:  I’ve tried to stick pretty close to black and white to compliment the patio furniture – and I am sure you’re thinking, white cushions for outside?! They’ve lasted pretty great and came with Scotch Guard on them, and I recently learned you can buy Scotch Guard and reapply annually, so these beauties are getting a fresh coat so they can last! I’ve added in pops of green this year with the fun banana leave Tommy Bahama pillows from TJMaxx online (which are 50% off from what I got them for!). And splurge on the black and white pillows and chair cushions for the dining area last summer time.
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Stamped Concrete: When we were discussing our patio, we were gun-hoe on pavers, but after research in materials and then even discussing with family friends that pavers didn’t hold up as well. So we started looking more into stamped concrete and determined that was a more sustainable investment for our space, plus we had a little more customization options – we were super happy with the way it came out!

Gas Fireplace: This was another must-have on my list, as I HATE the smell of bon fires and smelling like them at the end of the night — this is the perfect central spot for heat, roasting marshmallows or even just a drink holder when the fire isn’t on. We didn’t want anything too big and something a bit more natural looking.  I also love the lanterns scattered throughout the space to give it a homey feel – especially at night it has quite the ambiance.

 

House Tour - Patio (4)We were able to completely transform a somewhat awkward nook and blank space in our backyard to a functional outdoor living space with living and dining space. It gives us the right amount of privacy, while still being open to the rest of the backyard.  Eventually we want to close off the small back porch to be all kitchen and would put a sliding door in where the window is in that back nook area – yes always planning for the next project.

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Weekend Recap – Summer Things

This weekend was a hot one, with the weather apps saying it “feels like 100” most of the weekend, we didn’t let that deter us from summer fun activities! We also wasted no time getting started with the weekend and were in full weekend mode as soon as I left the office Friday afternoon.  Weekend(1) - the beelifeFriday we headed to get drinks pre-Tribe game at a low key cocktail lounge just outside of downtown.  We made it in time for happy hour and half priced handcrafted cocktails that were absolutely incredible – we will definitely be heading back for another date night.  It was the perfect pre-game to the Tribe game that happened to be dollar dog night, and happened to be one of those ‘feels like 100’ and super sweaty nights.  We ended up going with my aunts and then my aunt and uncle came up for the fun as well – it was a family occasion and a great night for a ball game, and a big W for the home team! And we didn’t let the heat interfere with the fun!
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Saturday was a mix of fun – as my parents got into town Friday night, so the guys headed out for golf with the aunts, while mom and I got to hung out, went shopping and had a delicious lunch on a patio with some bubbles before more fun started!  My other aunt ended up coming into town too, so we had more hangs with all the aunties and a delicious dinner of fresh walleye, summery salads and plenty of laughs and an unplanned late night!

To round out the weekend, Sunday kicked off with church and brunch – the guys got in another round of golf too! Then I was off to eastern Ohio for a bridal shower in wine country at the beautiful Ferrante winery.  The picturesque venue was the perfect compliment to the weekend and enjoying all the amazing summer weather, while also showering a sweet friend with lots of bride-to-be love!

The evening wrapped up on the patio with B before the rain started which ended up being the perfect transition inside to watch the Big Little Lies season finale! The weekend was definitely a whirlwind of fun, but so totally worth it and so much family time ❤
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Latest Obsessions 07.19

It’s HOT in the SUMMER and oh how I love it, so much! So let my latest obsessions, summer edition continue into the month of July – because I am just eating it all up. One thing about summer is it always makes me want to travel, and coming fresh off a trip the travel bug is still lingering, hot! On the opposite side of that, because the weather has been so great we’ve been loving our outdoor living space and soaking up as much sun and summer nights as possible in our own backyard oasis.
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Summer 2020 Travel Plans:  With a bigger trip falling through that we had on our radar for next summer, my wheels have already started turning for another big trip or multiple little ones to fill in the gap.  2020 is going to be a big year – so as much as I hate thinking about it and rushing away 2019, it is definitely going to be one that calls for some planning! Speaking of 2019 – we still have a few more trips queued up and are still swooning from the west coast, lush Portland was definitely an awesome trip!

Our Backyard Oasis: We’ve been a bit obsessed with our back patio and using it as much as possible, from eating dinner, snacks, to late nights sitting with music playing and drinks flowing until it’s time for bed! On the weekends, it’s honestly been weird to sit around inside for too long unless it’s first thing in the morning.  Moz loves it too, she gets all the sun spots!

Running Routine: I’m slowly getting back into my running and fitness routine! It’s been a slow start to 2019 and even slower start this summer – my June Fitness Friday post shares the latest updates from pulling my back, to physical therapy and now getting back to it.  Although this might be one thing I don’t love about summer, is running in the heat – so I’m pushing through and making myself still run!

What’re your favorite things about summer?

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House Tour: Bathroom Remodel

Are you ready to see our bathroom remodel? It’s finally time to share a tour of the transformed space – which honestly came out amazing – especially for B and I doing 80% of the work! This was part of our basement makeover and gives our basement a completely new livable space.
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