My house is a constant work in progress. With my ever-so-changing ways, I’m always looking for new ideas to improve and fine tune each room using different color paints and pieces of furniture. For me, there is one room in particular that would require a larger makeover, our living room – mainly because of the layout. Don’t get me wrong, I love our current furniture, our century home built-in’s and calming color pallet. But you can always dream of better things!Sources: Top Left || Top Right || Bottom Left || Bottom Right
When thinking of pulling my dream living room space together in our current house, I would first and foremost need a completely different floor plan. Our living room is long and narrow, with two openings along the one side so it makes for limited layout options, so in order to have my dream living space, here are the 6-qualifiers that would help make my dream living room a reality;
- Flexible Layout: I love to rearrange furniture, so having options to move larger pieces into different spaces is key for me. I would also love the option to be able to have multiple areas within the space, for example a more intimate/formal seating area behind the larger living space.
- Neutral Bases & Pops of Color: When designing a room I like to start with big, neutral pieces; like this amazing sectional I found on Arhaus (see below). These types of pieces are the perfect starting point to build from. From there I like adding in pops of color with accent pillows, rugs or lamps, because these can always be switched out! My go-to colors are navy’s and white’s with hints pink or yellow to really highlight the neutrals.
- Comfy & Cozy: Since my fiance is 6’6″ finding a couch that is wide is important, this also makes for cozy family snuggles including the pup! To finish this feel, extra large and easy to grab blankets or pillows (you can never have too many pillows), in nearby baskets are a must.
- A Statement Piece: Like an awesome chair, a bold ottoman, or a show stopping mirror will help create a secondary focal point in the room. This could also be accomplished by dressing up the fireplace/mantle area with those pops of color or bold accessories.
- Metallics & Texture: Again, this is where the accessories come into play, whether it’s a fuzzy blanket or a fun metallic pillow, lamp, or picture frames, adding these different textures to the room creates depth and movement. And a little bit of glam.
- Family Photos: This is the finishing touch and a must in my book. Adding vintage and current family photos keeps loved ones close, while adding an element of history plus it’s a great conversation starter with guests. Pull this look off with a great symmetrical gallery wall or lined table or mantle filled with gold or silver frames.
Shop the Look: Arhaus Outerbanks Sectional, Faux Fur Throw, Arhaus Amelie Mirror, Target Deniz Side Table, Gold Frame 1, Gold Frame 2, Arhaus Velvet Pillow
My dream space would be traditional and classic, with a little bit of glam mixed in. It would still be practical and livable, it would be inviting and cozy for friends and family to enjoy. It would be big with lots of windows and a killer fireplace. My dream living room space would be a lot of things with killer unique and functional pieces.
Share your dream living room must-have’s in the comments below! Looking for more inspiration? Check out these other luxury living room selections from Arhaus for your dream living room!
Saturday after our half marathon we had to quickly jump on the road and head home so we could make it to our friends wedding that night! Yes. We ran a half marathon, then pretty much immediate jumped in a car for 4-hours, got pretty in 1-hour and were at the wedding with 5-minutes to spare. Woo! Staying with me?
Yeah, it was crazy but we wouldn’t have missed J and B’s wedding. They’ve become dear friends over the last few years, and we were honored to be guests at their nuptials. The venue was a historic arcade downtown and it was absolutely stunning. They wed on the grand staircase, their ceremony included a number of personal touches of loved ones past, each of the bride and grooms personalities/traits and how they’ve come to be as a couple. It was so sweet!
Once the ceremony finished, we were escorted up to cocktail hour to overlook the beautiful arcade. After some sips and snacks, we headed down to our tables and cheered for the bridal party and the bride and groom as they were officially announced to the reception! The food was delicious, B and I both got the steak, and we were both a bit ravenous since it was our first real meal of the day. Eek!
Once the dancing got started it was a great mix of throwbacks and we were living on the dance floor, only stopping for more drinks or slow songs! The second most fun part (besides J and B getting married) was dancing it up with this group of friends, our neighbors. We’ve been so lucky to have an awesome group so close!
It was a long day, but it was a great night celebrating these two sweet, funny and caring people! This wedding definitely got B and I excited for ours!
Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. E!
ICYMI (here and here) B and I were training for a half marathon! After 12-weeks of training and knocking off a majority of our long runs together we were feeling good going into the race. In addition we knew the race course was fairly flat, with little surprises, so we were ready to conquer it! Plus, it was a completely new race for us, it was on a Saturday, we were excited! We headed to the area Thursday and grab our race packets and made a quick stop to explore Niagara Falls, after all we were running the Mighty Niagara, so it only made sense to visit the mighty falls.
Fast Forward Race Morning: A race morning wouldn’t be a race morning if you didn’t have to wake up before the sun. With an hour-plus drive we had to leave by 6:30am to have plenty of time to figure out parking and get to the start line! With a start time at 9:15 – the sun was in full force, but luckily the first part of the course was nicely covered, and navigated us through the adorable town of Lewiston, we were off to a good start, and sticking to our pace.
By the time we hit mile 4/5 we were in straight sun down a long straight road. The mental game set in. By mile 7, I couldn’t handle the heat – I had to stop and take off my tank top and pour some water on my head, this would become the trend for the next 5-water stations and miles. By mile 8/9, the heat had really gotten to me, and I was in bad shape – but B stuck by my side. The remaining 5 miles were slow, hot and miserable, the mental and physical game was strong.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to finish a race before. I was defeated, mad at myself, mad at our time and overheated, but we finished and we finished together! My parents and Moz were waiting for us at the finish line, so it was good to see them and be done with the race. And at the end of the day, we accomplished a difficult feat and didn’t give up!
The after race festivities were impressive and the scenery throughout the race was beautiful, running along the Niagara River was stunning! We would definitely run the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon again, but would hope for much cooler weather. This being the first half in almost 3-years, it definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but I can’t say I’ve completely hung up my half-running sneaks just yet!
I needed an extra day to recover and get all the deets from the Saturday evenings festivities. It was my bachelorette! From initial plans to Vegas to see Magic Mike Live and the Backstreet Boys, to not knowing what the heck to do, we ended up deciding on a “low-key” night on the town.
The night started with snacks and a champagne toast at the house before the limo arrived. The girls also spoiled me with a pantie box, a basket full of my favorite champagne to help celebrate upcoming firsts, and a fun pop-up photobooth. My bride tribe was greeted with adorable goodie bags on the limo, they were filled with essentials for the night from water, snacks, hair ties, and of course mini-airplane bottle booze.
We headed to a local hot spot for dinner, Collision Bend Brewery. They also happen to have the best patio in town, and we were lucky to have the best seats in the place. We arrived just as the sun was setting and it was incredible. Not to mention our food and service was top notch. The waiter was a blast, and the atmosphere and drinks only helped get the party started a bit more!
From dinner we took a quick limo ride to the nearby club, we arrived before all the cool kids, which worked out perfectly for us because we had first dibs on the dance floor! The music was on point and all we wanted to do was dance! After a few hours at the club, we continued the dancing and giggles on the limo back to the house to call it a night.
As much fun as it all was, I am admittedly glad it’s over! All of these pre-wedding festivities have been fantastic, but also a ton of added stress/pressure, on top of high expectations, with an added layer of everyone’s opinion. So I am glad to be able to just focus on the big day, that is quickly approaching! Eeek!
This months latest obsessions are a bit all over the place, so bare with me!
Table Runners: OBSESSED. And the reason I love these so much is because they’re affordable ways to decorate and dress your dining room, or a hutch in the kitchen! Especially if you shop at a Home Good or Marshall’s they’re always switching these out seasonally, so your collection can keep growing. #guilty
Gaga: All over the place… I told you! After seeing Gaga in concert, I still can’t help but crank up her music, belt out some lyrics and bust a move. Her latest single, The Cure is also a latest obsession. Not to mention her upcoming documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two on Netflix looks intense!
House Projects: Since we’ve put a lot of things on hold since our big patio make-over earlier in the summer, and with another big event coming quickly *cough wedding cough* we’ve been behaving ourselves and holding off on a few things! But it’s just about that time when we’re just looking for something to work on. I’m itching for some landscaping, ready for that new kitchen, and maybe an office make-over?
Trips in 2018: Beyond seeing 2018 in writing (yikes!) – I’m super pumped for a number of vacations and trips that are being talked about/planned, it’s going to be another busy year of travel. ❤ I am jonesing to add more miles and a few new spots to my list of visited places!
What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Tweet me @mmariebee or leave a comment below!
Photo sources: Gaga Poster | Kitchen | Table Runner | Mykonos
With the last full weekend of August now behind us, the end of summer is starting to sink in. Not to mention, my end of summer bucket list is starting to get crossed off, too!
A few Saturday’s ago after church, B and I were gonna go find a patio for drinks and an early dinner. But after a full day of running around, hanging out on OUR patio sounded much better. A drink and soaking up the sun turned into a late night with the neighbors, drinking champagne, laughing and dancing with good friends.
Although our Friday night baseball game felt more like fall that summer, it was a great night – home run included, to root on the home team with friends! Plus we squeezed in a new downtown brewery before, which was nice to try a new hot spot.
B and I finally got out on the links together! We spent the late morning and early afternoon playing 9-holes and the weather was perfect and full of sunshine. Although I’m a bit more relaxed on the golf course I still enjoy playing and sinking a few putts and watching B crush the golf ball!
We spent Sunday morning kayaking, on the river and made our way out onto the lake, we felt like the first ones out there and it was perfect!
I’ve still got a few more to cross off on the list – but feeling good about knocking off these last bit of summer fun!
Woah! It’s the last Friday of August <wide-eyed emoji>
With it being the last week of August, that means we are quickly approaching half-marathon month, EEK! We are three-weeks away from breaking our 3-year break from halfs. I must admit, I am a bit excited to conquer this feat again! Not to mention, a completely new race and course, so it’ll be a fun experience in a different city… and state.
Training has been going pretty well, I was in a good groove of running and bootcamp every other day, even in the summer heat. I’ve had a few weeks where I haven’t run at all, except for my long run – and those have surprisingly gone well! I’m not stressing out, but I am also not letting myself slack off.
My favorite run so far was seven miles the weekend of my bridal shower – I was up super early, and my stomach grumbly, I wasn’t really feeling so hot, but it was going to be a long morning on top of a long day. So I decided to go and give seven a try. Since it was so early, on a Saturday it was quite and peaceful, and the stomach pains and weakness I was feeling eventually went away – I conquered those 7-miles, only stopping to pet a puppy. It felt so good. And since I still had time to kill after, I went to yoga for an hour.
Bootcamp has remained a constant these past 7-months, I’m stronger and I’m pushing myself to pick up the heavier weights – plus my trainer got me to write by fitness goal up on the board with the rest of the members, so now I can see it every day I go! And remember what the end goal is, beyond a healthy me.
Since we’ve been in #weddingdiet mode, we’ve been trying to be a bit more conscious with our dinner choices, on top of some recent dietary restrictions I’ve been faced with, the options become extremely limited. So we’ve had to try a few more options and stick solely to the basics; meat and veggies. But with this comes prep time and planning which are two crucial items when trying to eat right!
The goal for me, is finding recipes that can easily be tailored to fit within my dietary restrictions, which pretty much means, no cheese and nothing too spicy, among other things that I’ve just learned to stay away from – and even just in general the more plain the food is, sadly the safer it is for me! So although these recipes I’m dying to try will need to be altered – it doesn’t mean you all have to suffer too!
Beef Taco Salad Pizza: This looks so delicious, and very few ingredients too, which makes pulling this one together affordable! I would have to ditch the cheese and sour cream, but the seasoning and avocado will make up for any lost taste!
Black Bean Quinoa Burger: This plump looking burger calls for some spicy mayo, this would definitely need to be substituted out in addition to the cumin and cayenne called for in the actual burger. I love the idea of mango and avocado topping this quinoa black bean burger – mouth officially watering.
Greek Grilled Eggplant: This recipe again is super easy and low cost, making it a perfect busy-day dinner! Ingredients are probably all housed beyond maybe picking up a fresh eggplant to slice up and grill. I think you could probably guess by now, no feta for me! But some fresh basil would be a great topper.
Have any great, easy recipes? Leave a comment below and share them with me!
In case you missed it, part one was up yesterday, gushing over all my friends and family who came to my bridal shower this past weekend and helped make it so so special! Part two, is all about the decor and food that was the cherry on top to everything else! And since I am used to running the show, it was hard for me to take a back seat and not be involved in the planning or decorating, but I kept myself busy and let them do their thing, and I was BLOWN AWAY!
My mom, MIL and MOH<3 did an amazing job of coordinating all of this across state lines and literally building a beautiful space out of our garage. From the food to the decor, everything was thought of and done to a tee, on theme, and exactly what I would’ve done! So now, here are the deets you’ve been waiting for!
The Menu: Cucumber cream cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, turkey apple cheddar sandwiches, fresh fruit, and salad. Accompanied with Sangria and a Mimosa bar!
The Dessert Table: Two amazing cakes from Scratch Bakeshop in Rochester (with GOLD!), peanut butter bars, raspberry bars, dipped chocolate pretzel sticks, custom sugar cookies, doughnut hole kabobs, and fruit pizza cups. OH. MY. GOD. It was a dream come true.
The Decor/Games: Centerpieces filled with white and pink roses, gold, pink and black stripes everywhere and on the Date Night cards, the Who Am I? game cards, card table signage, and lots of balloons! It was all so beautiful.
The shower was just an absolute dream, and I know how much everyone put into this to make it a special day for me, and it truly was! The weather also shaped up and the sun was shining so it was a beautiful day for an outdoor backyard party. I was overwhelmed by all the love and support.
Next up, the bachelorette party and then… the real thing!