Fitness Friday 02.21

Happy last Friday of February, aka as the shortest and longest month of the year! Did you start the year off with grandiose fitness plans and then just complete fall flat, like me? I’m here to keep myself accountable and be honest with my readers that I have let my physical health continue fall to the wayside – but I’m going to share with you an inside secret that has helped me flip that around and might be able to help you too.

What is it you might ask? Planning!

It may seem pretty obvious — but there is a whole lot of planning that needs to happen in order to make your goals a reality, whether they’re fitness, life or work related! The first step of planning is outlining those goals, but the next step is how are you going to accomplish them? This is where it can include multiple phases of planning and where my planning fell short.

Here is where my planning fell short in accomplishing my fitness goals — I told myself, “I want to workout tomorrow” — but what I didn’t plan was what workout I was going to do. Was it going to be a run? Was the weather good enough for a run? Was it going to be a yoga class? A circuit workout? I quickly realized, I needed to have that actual workout planned and figured out going into my workout day. This allowed me to look for a workout ahead of time that was attainable, whether I had the proper equipment and how long I needed to plan for.

Since I started doing this – which sadly hasn’t been long – I have been 3 for 6 in my workout days, accomplishing workouts and have a lot of sore, achey muscles! But I know continuing to plan, will only help keep me consistent, on track and one step closer to accomplishing my fitness goals.

Valentine’s Day – 2021

Spoiler: We prefer to stay home on Valentine’s Day, even before this pandemic hit – it’s funny, because last year we were gearing up for a fun night in, which before March of 2020 was a welcomed infrequent occurrence. I’m learning to love Valentine’s Day as I get older, because I used to absolutely despise this day. But now, the only bone I have to pick is that of the expectations of this one day to show someone how much you love them with a grandiose gesture or a commercialized gift (even if we love them). What happened to showing our love each and every day?

Photo by Marnia Claire & Co. Photography

Back in 2018, I dedicated the entire month of February to sharing little pieces of love to B – whether it was a little note, a memory, a special card or a punny gift, and it was so much fun, but it was also tough! Why can’t we try to share a little piece of love, a smile, a compliment to the people in our world’s every single day? That’s why I’m excited to share my little challenge, but it’s going up post-Valentine’s Day because we need to share it beyond one day!

With that, I wish you all a sweet and simple Valentine’s Day. B and I will be creating our own little memories together, over indulging in delicious eats and yummy treats. We’ll be cozied up by the fire, sipping on some bubbles and watching basketball.

Latest Obsessions 02.21

Each year, I fall a little more in love with Valentine’s Day. And this week leading up to the day has me wearing hearts, lots of pink and snacking on a bunch of sweets! I have been completely obsessed with getting ready for Valentine’s Day and beyond. I’ve been stocking up on heart and love themed accessories to look festive, and also share love with those who might see me (even if it’s just through a Zoom). Here are a few of the pieces I’ve grabbed and other ways I’ve been getting ready to celebrate heart day!

Heart Tee’s. I’ve been obsessed with finding fun and sweet heart-themed shirts to not know wear for Valentine’s Day but will also work all year-round. This navy with colored hearts tee is so sweet and fun from Loft – they also have a sweat suit in this same print! Shop a few more of my pieces below.

Gimme All The Sweets! Confession time: my sweet tooth has been a bit out of control lately. From snacking on festive M&M’s, to pre-ordering Valentine treats from our favorite KEC — so naturally I had to make some homemade cut out cookies because I bought new Valentine themed cut outs! Topped with my mom’s homemade frosting recipe – these are not only too cute but they taste ah-mah-zing!

Heart Earrings. From oversized to understated, I found all the options for a touch of love to sprinkle from my ears. These oversized heart hoops from Target are so much fun and I had to have them as soon as I saw them — better for you, they’re now 20% off! I also got the these cute and sassy leopard faux leather heart earrings from a local CLE Etsy shop called Frantiques, they were must-have as soon as I saw them. Not to mention they’re so comfy and super cute!

Dressing The House With Pink & Red. Since we’re obviously staying in this Valentine’s Day, I made sure to dress our living room mantle and hearth with some dashes of red and pink! We spend most of our time in our living room, especially on the weekends and now it’s festive for the holiday.

Shop my pieces: White Clip Heart Long Sleeve, Leopard Faux Leather Earrings, Navy Heart Tee, Oversized Heart Earrings, Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt

After this Valentine’s Day holiday, I will definitely be needing to jump off the sweets train and jump back on the workout train (I’ve been so horrible!) But I’m excited to enjoy some extra special treats and a delicious dinner at home, while rocking a cute outfit and some fun accessories — I think I’ll be rocking the Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt and those oversized heart earrings. Putting on a real outfit will make it feel like we haven’t spent the last 41 consecutive days at home!

How are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine Reese’s Chocolate Chip Skillet – Recipe

Last Valentine’s Day we were ahead of the stay-at-home curve and enjoyed a night in making our favorite Taco Pizza and a chocolate chip skilled filled with reese’s cups! YUM! It was as good as it sounds, and I’m here to help you save your Valentine’s day with this easy and delicious sweet treat that’ll blow you and your significant other away.

Ok, let’s get into the good stuff – you only need two ingredients for an easy sweet treat for your Valentine.

Shopping List:
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Roll
– 9-10 Reese’s Cups/Hearts
– Case Iron Skillet
– Ice Cream, optional for serving

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Press half of your cookie down into the bottom of your cast iron skillet.
2. Next fill your skillet with your Reese’s hearts — you can use normal Reese’s too.
3. Use your remaining cookie dough to form a top over your Reese’s hearts and press to cookie base.
4. Ready to bake! With your oven preheated to 350 — you’re ready to pop this cookie in. Recommended recipes say to bake for 20-minutes until golden brown, we had to bake a little extra (maybe 15-20 minutes) since it hadn’t cooked all the way through. If you cut into your cookie and the dough doesn’t look cooked, pop the skillet back in and keep checking every 5-minutes pending your dough density.
5. Serve up with some ice cream, sprinkles or extra peanut butter sauce for a sweet Valentine treat!

This cookie skillet is as delicious as it sounds and looks and is well worth the calories! It would also be delicious if you topped with some ice cream and chocolate syrup for a little extra, YUM. Just because you might be staying home this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean it hasn’t to be boring or simple — put a spin and make it special with this delicious dish.

From my sweet tooth to yours, enjoy!

Valentine Date Night At Home Ideas

Planning to stay in this Valentine’s Day? We usually like to stay in for Valentine’s Day and grab or make a special dinner, some sweets and drinks for an ultimate date night at home. But, just in case you’re feeling a bit lost — I have some fun, creative and easy date night or date day ideas to help celebrate the holiday this year. Don’t worry they are simple, fun and can be customized to you and your boo!

Make It Festive. An easy way to feel festive and make your Valentine’s Day at home special is adding a little festive flair! Whether it’s cutting out paper hearts with construction paper and stringing them up for some garland, buying some flowers to have around the house or making this X’s & O’s painted table runner, by simply adding a bit of red and pink can help spark the mood for the holiday!

Make it A Crafting Afternoon. I snagged a few kids craft kits from Target by Spritz, that are now sold out – but Michael’s has some similar clay hearts that you can paint. Whether you paint them for each other as keepsakes to bring out each year, or paint to gift as a Valentine to family or friends – this is a fun, creative, and low key afternoon! These wooden love letters will be a fun DIY and keepsake to make, too.

Game Night. B & I love game night at home, it has become a quarantine go-to. We love to play Yahtzee, King In the Corners and Scrabble. Of course grabbing a few classic board games like Life, Clue, Sorry! or even Candy Land would be fun while bringing back some childhood memories! Put on some tunes, pour a drink or three and get some friendly competition going with your boo!

Walk & Sip. Bundle up, grab your masks and take a morning snowy stroll to grab some coffee to-go at your favorite local coffee shop! Maybe even take the long way home while you sip and enjoy the quiet of the morning – plus you’re helping support a local business. You could even plan for a boozy evening stroll if that is more your speed, with some spiked coco or cider!

Of course another easy way to celebrate at home is grabbing some dinner to-go from your favorite local spot. Planning on just making dessert at home can be another fun memory with your sig-o. I’ll be sharing an easy and delicious recipe for a cookie skillet that is oh so good and is sure to impress anyone! Finally, if you need some last minute gift ideas, here are 5 free Valentine gift ideas.

How’re you celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year?

Ten Things About Bee

So apparently I unknowingly have this every three year blog post going, that I’m excited to share again. And you may be saying to yourself, what are you talking about? Well, in order to share a little bit about me, the bee, to my new and returning readers, I am tackling ten questions, while including my answers from 2015 and 2018 (see, every three years!). It’s sort of funny to see how things change, or not — but I may be in need of a few refreshed questions, so you’ll have to leave your ideas in the comments below!

Photo by: Michelle Loufman

Ok, are you ready? Here we go!

1. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.
2021: A house in Jackson Hole with a personal gym (see what I did there)
2018: A vacation or four… maybe a sports car.
2015: My own personal gym.

2. Spring vs. Fall?
2021: Fall baby.
2018: Still fall. 
2015: Fall – clam bakes, sweaters, pumpkins, coffee, jeans, scarfs, cool runs… shall I continue?

3. What’s on your nightstand?
2021: Pretty much the same as 2018 — lamp, picture frame, phone charger, ring holder, coaster, medicine….
2018: Lamp, ring holder, small vase with flowers, coaster & water glass
2015: Pictures of me and B and my glasses.

4. What’s your favorite room in your house?
2021: Our basement bath is pretty dreamy!
2018: Although our sunroom is still a gem, my new favorite room is our master suite (it was not finished in 2015!) … and our basement makeover (reveal coming soon!)
2015: Our sunroom!

5. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?
2021: I think I want to bring someone back from the dead, but I’m not sure who. TBD.
2018: This one is tough, maybe some Bravo reality stars? RHOBH or Vanderpump!
2015: Too many choices…. it’s a toss up between Derek Jeter and Katy Perry

6. Name one thing on your bucket list.
2021: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Jackson Hole
2018: Travel to Europe
2015: Sky dive with B

7. What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?
2021: This past trip to Jackson Hole was pretty epic and special
2018: Our honeymoon to Palm Desert was a pretty great vacation
2015: Jackson Hole w/ B and my parents! The company makes all the difference.

8. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to…
2021: Somewhere I wouldn’t think to travel that would totally blow me away like Bali.
2018: Lake Como & Greece
2015: Ireland & Germany

9. Backyard BBQ or Formal Dinner?
2021: A formal backyard BBQ!
2018: Same! But I do love a good meal out on the patio on a summer night.
2015: Formal dinner – I love getting dressed up, and sitting around the table sharing stories, good laughs and a bottle of wine.

10. What advice would you give your teen self?
2021: Be true to you, be bold, be brave, but also listen and learn with an open heart and open mind.
2018: Don’t let silly people affect you to the point of insecurities or anxiety – they do not define you, and there is a world of people out there that won’t tear you down.
2015: There is a much bigger world out there; explore it as much as possible, and even if you break away – there is still a bigger world beyond that.

Ok, that was still fun — but in all seriousness, I’m ready to shake up some questions & maybe even do another Q&A post in a couple months. What fun questions do you want me to answer? Comment below!

Latest Obsessions 01.21

January’s latest obsessions are coming in hot to share a few things that I’ve been loving on! I’ve been waking up and falling asleep reading my latest book obsession — and I’ve been getting excited working on some smaller project spaces getting the house organized for the year. I also recently shared my go-to pieces for getting organized, that work in ANY space. We’ve been watching a lot of sports with the NBA officially back (woo!) and our teams being in the NFL Playoffs, we’ve been engulfed in all of it.

Currently Obsessing Over & Reading: Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer — Yup, I am definitely a Twilight fan, although I was late to the game and resisted at all costs when it first came about. I first watched the movies and then read the books (definitely the way to do it). This latest book is all from Edward’s perspective and I am eating up this love story all over again — and I love being taken into a bit of a fantasy world.

Now Wearing: Headbands & Bows – I’ve always loved accessories that are bold, colorful and slightly obnoxious, although they’re usually paired with something much simpler. And I’ve had a lot of fun lately with bold hair clips, knotted headbands, and cute statement earrings — plus they’re perfect for looking halfway decent on a Zoom call!

Getting Organized! My accessory closet was in need of some purging, clean-up and glam organization — I’ve had so much fun finding clear and acrylic pieces to help me organize this space while also displaying all those fun accessories for my eyes to see. A few of those finds are in this picture including the acrylic shelves, stackable jars, necklace wall rack and the four-drawer jewelry box. See the full reveal here!

Most importantly, on top of all of these latest obsessions – I’ve been obsessed with making lists and getting things crossed off. From scheduling appointments, taking care of my health, to getting projects complete inside the office and at home — it’s been refreshing to cross off those to-do’s, especially in these long, colder winter months — while also keeping myself accountable!

What have you been obsessing over lately? What has gotten you up and going each day this month of January?

Before & After: Accessory Closet Makeover

One really amazing thing about our master bedroom, is the fact that we have not one, but two walk-in closets — the even better part? I had full intentions of sharing these with B, but he said “Nope! They’re all yours.” 😍 Since these are in our attic, they both are a bit oddly shaped and my accessories closet is definitely the smaller of the two, but works out perfectly for all my fun and special pieces to be on full display.

To get this closet, which quickly became a catch all, organized I focused on three areas to get this looking better and straightened up. (1) Purge! I went through all my jewelry and consolidated, donated or stored away, this also included scarfs and handbags. (2) Invest in jewelry specific organization pieces, and (3) paint old TV console that I use for storage. These three things combined helped make it more functional while also looking even more gorg, if I do say so myself.

By purging and consolidating, I was able to even get rid of a few different cube solutions and really consolidate and streamline everything for a clean and useful space, while also limiting myself to what I can store, so that I have to keep up with replacing or purging when new items come in.

Ok, so I think the things that really pushed this makeover to the next level were the acrylic jewelry organizers I grabbed – and might I add am pretty obsessed with. The two-pack acrylic mounted jewelry stands were an impulse purchase, that I wasn’t sure exactly how I would use them — but they came in clutch and I love how they free up counter space while displaying my necklaces tangled-free and easy to see! I then found these clear jewelry boxes, one with four-drawers in white, and another with six-drawers in white. The six-drawer case is shorter, so it fits perfectly on top of my updated shoe console. I also grabbed this stackable accessory container on a whim, and again I love how it contains pieces, stacks tall, while still showing off the pretty things.

Finally, I ordered a 4-pack of clear shelves to utilize in the space. I wasn’t 100% sure the configuration or what I would want to put on them — I was initially thinking smaller hand bags or displayed jewelry — but ended up putting some pictures and keepsakes I already had in the space to have my favorite people close. I ended up using the other two in my larger closet, which is still getting organized with it’s own update!

Two final key pieces that really helped spice up this space and make it functional was the addition of a make-shift counter on top of the vertical cubed storage. Because it’s an old attic, there was a decent gap between that and the wall — but getting this Blue Hawk white laminate board, we were able to cut in half and utilize for both of my closet spaces which had this same problem. This created a space where I could put my larger jewelry box, while still having some space for added decor or storage pieces.

Finally, painting our old brown TV console to white to match the space was a necessity! I almost didn’t do it, but I’m so glad I spent the time and 10-million coats of white paint to give this babe a face lift. I had left over speckled dot peel and stick wallpaper from Target from a previous project that was just enough to add as a backer and give this a bit more glam and flair. And by consolidating all my of heels to this space it really gave a clean separation between bags and shoes. I just kept my wedding shoes as a focal point in the tall cubed piece!

With a few extra hooks and nails I was able to add storage for more bags, wide brim hats, some satin and lace. The last thing I plan to do is spray paint the hooks from silver to gold and also do the same for the wall sconce to spray paint the silver hardware gold for a cost effective update! As I mentioned, my larger clothing closet is also getting a bit of an update, while also getting organized and cleaned out — a mini reveal and a few of my hacks for that coming soon. This space was transformed within a weekend, and I find myself just opening the closet door to peak inside at the perfection and pretty!

Here’s to creating more beauty and organization in our lives! xox

Getting Organized: Functional Must-Haves for Any Space

One of my favorite parts of the new year, and colder winter months is getting the inside of my home organized, decluttered and fresh for the year! Once the warm weather rolls around, I don’t want to be stuck in my house organizing a closet. Last January, I tackled my office closet and the year before that our tiny kitchen pantry — and I’m happy to report, both spaces are still clean, organized and most importantly super functional. As I tackle each of these different and unique spaces, there are a few must-have and go-to pieces that are functional and work in a plethora of spaces, especially when creating your own organizational solutions.

Left: Office Closet // Right: Budget Bathroom Makeover

Let’s Talk Shelving Solutions. Ok, so my absolute favorite piece and go-to for a closet space is a cube organizer shelf – these range in a variety of options, but are relatively affordable and provide a variety of storage from clothes, to shoes, to craft supplies! I typically get the 11″ cube, but if you’re wanting something a bit more sturdy with more fabric storage box options, the 13″ cube organizer shelf is the next best thing. These are available at Targets (linked), Lowe’s and even Home Depot, just to name a few. Plus they are great for horizontal or vertical spaces!

I am also all for creating your own shelves to create room to organize for your unique space, especially when it comes to closets. We live in a 100+ year-old home, so our closets are odd shaped and each one is a little different, so you have to get creative and go semi-custom, but don’t let the word custom scare you off or think you have to spend lots of $$$$! A super easy way to create a shelf that also looks nice is, laminate shelf boards (pick your depth, length as needed) paired with a simple L shelf bracket – this is a super affordable option to add custom shelves to a closet. You can get a fancier looking shelf bracket depending on the look like these gold brackets; just remember to check for weight limits, and try to drill into a stud whenever possible! I also have spray painted the simple L shelf brackets, gold (screw heads too) for a higher end look at a much lower price.

Shop Shelving Solutions: Blue Hawk Laminate Shelf, 6 Cube Organizer Shelf, 8 Cube Organizer Shelf, Gold Brackets, L Shelf Bracket

My Favorite Storage Containers. Now that we have our spaces and nooks created, the next best part is all the boxes and baskets to store our goodies. Baskets and storage bins are great for a variety of spaces and contain the goods to a space within your space, allowing ease of use and function. My go-to basket, is the Y-Weave bins from Target — they come in a variety of neutral colors and sizes for all of the things! I use these in my bathroom, hall linen closet and even our kitchen pantry, they’re also affordable and sturdy.

Plastic clear storage bins (without lids) are also a go-to favorite, although a little more expensive these are a clean look and again work in any space. I’m currently working on my accessories closet in our master bedroom and definitely splurged on clear storage solutions! Fabric bins are another great way to give a higher-end look to store craft supplies, scarfs, clothes or toys.

Shop Storage Containers: Y-Weave Medium Basket, 13″ Fabric Cute Storage, Clear Rectangular Organizer, Clear Organizer Bin

Once you have the pieces and parts to help get you organized, it’s also important to sort, purge and consolidate the contents of the space you’re organizing — often times this may need to come first to see what you’re working with, the types of things you need to store and how much you have of everything! Don’t be afraid to find or reuse containers around your house if you can’t afford (or don’t want too) buy all new baskets or matching pieces, it’s 100% ok to work your way to a matching and perfectly organized space.

What spaces are you tackling to get organized to start your year off?