Northcoast Harbor 15k – Recap

This past weekend we checked off another race for our 2018 running season – number 3 of 4.  The cool thing about this race was it offered three running distances and was the perfect offering for all types of runners.  We stumbled upon this race when I was helping my friend K look for a 10k to run this year, she set a goal for herself to run and train for one!  So after signing up for the Northcoast Harbor 15k a few months ago, I helped K set-up a training schedule so she could start training and get ready for the race!

What I love about running is that it’s a completely individualized ‘sport’ especially in this arena as adults, it doesn’t matter if you’re a faster runner, someone working towards a PR/qualifying for big race, 60-year-old walking, or running 11:00-minute miles.  And this race was very much about that.  B signed up to run the 15k, K & I were running the 10k and K’s fiance was running the 5k.  We picked races based on our comfort level and what we wanted to accomplish.  For me my goal was to help K reach her goal, so I signed up the 10k and I told her I was in it for the long road or as she would put it “my slow mile times.”

The race got started just as the sun was rising, we had lake views to our left and cities views to our right, it was the perfect mix of what I love about this city and why I love a good downtown race.  We stuck close to the shoreline running in front of the airport, looping back around the Brown’s stadium to finish right where we started at Voinovich Park. Voinovich Park at Northcoast Harbor has always been my favorite views of the city, so it was a great starting and ending spot – plus great for our post-race metal pics.

The sun was shining just as we all crossed the finish line and turned into a pretty nice Saturday morning for late October.  I stuck with K the whole way and we all came out of the race meeting our goals and feeling super accomplished!  We went and celebrated with our new post-race place, a local doughnut shop, Brewnuts for an adult beverage and some tasty treats!

B and I have a 5k coming up in December that we’re doing more as a group/fun activity and less about the running… although we will see how much we can really stick to that!  But we’re excited, as it’s been a race we’ve had on our list for a few years just have never gotten around to doing it! This was a nice accomplishment and another metal to hang up in our home office.

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Latest Obsessions 10.18

Besides being obsessed with fall and the month of October – because let’s face it, it’s one of the best months for the welcoming cool sweatshirt weather, luscious orange and white pumpkins, warm coffee, big sweaters, blue jeans and booties!
Latest Obsessions 10.18 - bee life blog
Buffalo Plaid.  I’d like to personally thank Marshall’s for this obsession, with some recent birthday present shopping – I’ve noticed that winter gear is in full force (and won’t last long.)  So I’ve been stocking up on a few pieces as I stop in, although these have all happen to be buffalo plaid!  Not only does it work for fall, but it’s the perfect transition into the holiday season.

Mustard Accents.   This turned into a little obsession when I started planning and designing out the finishing touches for our Basement Makeover. It started with looking for the perfect accent mustard colored blanket, but is slowly turning into clothes and other statement pieces.  There is something about it, that again feels like fall – but also from a decor perspective pulls in a modern vibe that I just love!

Layered Doormats.  I love this look and am in search of a larger, colorful mat to layer under a few of our funner/useful mats.  This look is great for adding in a seasonal flair, a pop of color or just a grand statement to welcome guests.  This post from Chris loves Julia has a great key to help you decide how to layer your doormats by mixing in some patterns for a strong base.

Everything Fall. Did I already mention this? But seriously, after this past weekend that seemed like a fall dream, I have been primping the house and our front porch with mums, pumpkins and gourds.  I love creating our own little fall paradise and making a statement for those who pass by and those who come up and visit!  This year I purchased pink pumpkins – yup, I think it might be my new thing.

What have you been obsessing over lately? Leave a comment below, I want to know!

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How To: $60 Shiplap Wall

One of our side projects for our Basement Renovation was a statement wall that we decided to finish with shiplap.  If you read my post about Shiplap Wall Inspiration, you saw there are a lot of options and considerations for a shiplap wall! Well, B and I weighed our options and since our basement look is more of a unfinished-finished look, we didn’t want to drop too much money into this and opted for a more natural wood look vs. painted.  And I’d say we were successful with the whole statement wall because it is definitely a statement and looks more than just stained plywood.

We also decided to do long singular unison pieces, since we were working with a smaller wall vs. doing alternating pieces.  Our wall was also not level – being a century home and in the basement so we had to get a little creative once we started placing the actual boards.

What You’ll Need:

  • Measure your space & determine your measurements; we bought (2) 4×8′ maple plywood boards from Lowe’s ($25 ea.)
  • Table Saw – this will ensure even and straight cuts for your panels, we cut our panels to be 8″ wide (my dad helped us with this one!)
  • Stain of your choosing, we used Minwax – light Walnut ($9)
  • Nail Gun w/ compressor and finishing nails
  • A couple of popsicle sticks

Step by Step:

  1. Before you get your wood, you’ll want to prep your area, we removed some walls/studs and had to put up new studs since we were working with some odd configurations – we also made sure that all of our water proofing paint was taken care of on the wall, floor and the pole in that area.
  2. Upon determining your measurements and purchasing the wood, you’ll want to measure and cut your boards to create your panels – as I said we decided on 8″ for our panel width. A table saw will be super helpful in this case to make sure your panels are straight all the way across! Be sure to use the proper safety precautions when cutting.
  3. After we had our boards cut, we picked out a stain – light walnut to be exact. We applied two coats of stain over the course of 2-days.  I used a foam brush for easy application.  I wasn’t too careful about the thickness of the stain for the first coat since I knew it would soak into the wood, which it did. After the second coat the color was the dark hue I was looking for, we were ready to hang!  If you’re using this in a more finished space, you might want to consider putting a poly over top to keep it a bit more polished and shiny.
  4. Thanks to our handy friend C – we were able to borrow his compressor and nail gun, which allowed putting up the boards quick and easy.  We measured each board and made final length cuts on the site before securing into place, because we were butting these up against an uneven wall.  You may be wondering about the popsicle sticks, well we used these in between each panel to have even space, we put these in tight and removed once we had our next panel up.
  5. Beyond the minor cutting of the ends of the boards, we only had to cut around one outlet and had to do a smaller skinner piece across the top that took some measuring twice and cutting three times. *smiles*  We were able to get all the boards up in one night, although it was a little late by the time we finished!

The nail gun was crucial to getting this wall up and making the boards look almost like they’re glued up and hole free! It was a dream to finally get to use one, they’ve always looked like fun and I have to say it was awesome and efficient.  I am trying to think of other projects and excuses to borrow it again…. but I digress. With our Shiplap statement wall complete we were one step closer to wrapping up this makeover and adding the finishing touches!

For $60 we made a huge impact and it was super easy to pull together, the natural wood and color pull into the ceiling of the original beams and makes this unfinished finished basement feel cohesive and complete.  B was pretty impressed and happy with the way these turned out, it was an all around win!

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Weekend Recap – Fall Fever

We had the perfect fall filled weekend with friends and family.  We went off the grid for a couple days into the middle of nowhere, like the places when you’re driving and you see amish buggy signs, fields of cows and just beautiful fall foliage flanking the roads.

Venturing to the middle of nowhere is a yearly tradition that B and I have been doing for five years… finding our way back to Southern Tier Brewery in Lakewood, NY.  We especially try and go in the late summer months/fall so that we can get a taste of their delicious seasonal beers – Pumking and Warlock.  We love the spot and always enjoy each other’s company catching up, laughing and making plans for the future.

The rest of the weekend was the perfect mix of rest and relaxation with a taste of catching up with family and friends.  Saturday we went to a local brewery called Rohrbach Brewing Company to grab some lunch and taste a few beers with K + T.  From lunch we headed to this beyond adorable little farm that had monstrous pumpkins, gorgeous gourds, colorful mums, and lots and lots of beautiful colors.  It was like a dream and this perfect little spot was run by a husband and wife, they had their trophy pumpkins on display for people to admire – they had to be close to 50 pounds or more. Although, I did a pretty great job of racking up our own batch of pumpkins – we weighed out at 70 pounds worth of pumpkins and gourds! Whoops!

It was great catching up with friends and family, getting in some much needed fall activities, sipping some delicious beers, and being able to sleep in a few days too!  October is one of my most favorite months and this long weekend full of all things that make it perfect was exactly why.  What do you love about the fall?

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Fitness Friday 10.18

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I thought I would switch up my typical Fitness Friday and share some helpful information around breast cancer, ways to be screened and other considerations to help prevent your chances of getting cancer.
Fitness Friday 10.18 - bee life blog
Knowing Your History.  This can be the difference of someone being an average risk to a high risk of having cancer.  Know your family history, whether it’s someone who has had invasive breast cancer or BRCA 1/2 gene mutation, especially if they’re a first relative.  If you have a family history your breast cancer screenings can start as early as 26 vs. an average risk person starting at 40.

Make Healthy Choices. These may seem like a big DUH, but how we treat our body and what we put into our body can greatly affect how we run!  All of these things that can prevent cancer may seem a bit obvious, avoiding use of tobacco, increased physical actively, working out regularly,  sun protection, and healthy diet choices are among the few.  Sometimes it seems like cancer will be unavoidable, but we can at least strive to make healthy decisions and actively avoid things we know are obvious cancer causers (tobacco – sun – etc.)

Check Your Body. Being aware of your body is important, whether it’s providing self exams to check your breasts for lumps or abnormalities or being aware of potential sun spots that may have not been there before.  It’s important to know your body so you can listen to your body and know when something might be off.  When in doubt, have it checked out my your physician.

Go to the Doctor. Maintaining your annual visits to your primary care physician and OBGYN can help mediate risks and also keep you on track for clinical breast exams – which should occur every three years starting at the age of 20, until it’s time to start receiving mammograms.

As a board member on a local organization that helps provide emergency financial assistance to women actively receiving breast cancer treatment who cannot afford life necessities – the risks of breast cancer are prevalent.   With that comes heart wrenching stories of those who lost the fight (like a 38-year old mom of two, who died within a year of being diagnosed), although it also allows for a lot of inspiring stories of those who’ve beat it.  Another sobering moment recently that hit home is my cousin who is my age going through preventative surgery as she has the BRCA gene mutation.  It’s something we can easily forget about, unless we know someone directly affected – so it’s good to stay informed and aware!

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Sources: Susan G. Komen – High Risk & Self Awareness| Mayo Clinic – Preventing Cancer

Local Love: Brewella’s

The cutest little coffee and crepe shop opened up near us that we’re pretty sure this might become a new go-to spot, especially on the weekends.  With an inviting store front Brewella’s isn’t just your typical coffee shop, they also sell collectibles and use them as decor around this quaint shop that is an instagramers dream for the next swoon worthy decor photo. 

Let’s talk Crepes. With over nine different flavors of savory and sweet you can’t go wrong with either pick – I guess it just depends on what mood you’re in! We devoured the sweet chocolate, banana and peanut butter crepe, the ham & gruyere cheese, and then the egg, spinach and cheese.  Not only are their options for just about anyone, the batter of the crepes is so light and airy that you don’t feel stuffed after eating this delicious and generous serving! They also give you fancy vintage folks to eat with – playing right into that collectibles vibe.

Coffee talks. Between B and I our go-to’s are the hot drip coffee (for me) and the iced coffee (for B).  They serve Phoenix coffee and it’s quite tasty if I do say so myself.  They’ve even introduced a couple season drinks to the menu like the Jack-o-Latte and Hot Apple Cider, which are on my list for our next sit-down visit!

Brewella’s started as just being opened on weekends but are now open 6-days a week, woo – more opportunities for crepes! Whenever we’ve visited on the weekends there is a full house as it’s definitely become a neighborhood favorite for most as the atmosphere is so inviting and there are little nooks to cozy up in with a loved one to enjoy some coffee and crepes and chats.

Cheers to new neighborhood hangouts!

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5 Hosting Tips for Fall

It’s getting to one of my favorite times of the year – the time for holiday parties and plenty of opportunities for hosting friends and family.  Whether you’re planning an intimate sit down dinner or a more festive party, these five tips will help cover your bases, wow guests and have a fun night to remember!
Party Hosting Tips - the bee life
These tips will also help you relax as a host while still having those finishing touches and taking your party to the next level.

  1. Consider a Bulk Signature Cocktail. Signature cocktails can be fun, especially if it’s more of a seasonal drink for the fall and winter months.  As a host pro-tip, make these in bulk ahead of time in a pitcher or shaker – that way you won’t be stuck making everyone a drink as they come in.  Don’t forget the garnish and a fun cocktail napkin to top off the full effect!
  2. Make a Killer Charcuterie Board. This can serve as your focal point and will cover the bases on a variety of food categories from meats and cheeses, to breads, jams, nuts and fresh fruit that will make guests want to dive right in.  Check out Skinnytaste or Spend with Pennies on some tips to making a killer board.
  3. Don’t Forget the Dessert! It’s easy to get caught up figuring out the main dishes for the evening and overlook the best part, dessert!  This is something to keep simple whether it’s buying some more expensive chocolate bars, baking fresh chocolate chip cookies or asking friends to help bring this, so you can check it off the list!
  4. Plastic vs. Non-Plastic Plates. The great debate on which to use continues! I often shy away from plastic because I prefer the aesthetic look of plates – but depending on which type of party you’re hosting, one might make more sense than the other.  For example a more intimate dinner party or smaller guest count may call for plates to add that extra touch, but if you’re having a large party that is a bit more casual save yourself the end of the night clean-up and grab plastic bowls and plates!
  5. Create Welcoming Smells. This can be an easy victory – if you’ve been prepping food all day, your house might have a mixture of smells, so to clear it up light a few candles with similar scents throughout your home (don’t forget the bathroom!) or throw in some chocolate chip cookies right before guests arrive for a homey welcome.

If you’re looking for inspiration to host a fall party and ways to keep it simple read; 5 Reasons to Host a Fall Party.  And don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your own party, as the host it’s easy to get caught up in perfection and making sure everyone else is taken care of – but don’t forget to grab yourself a drink too!

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Image Sources:  Skinnytaste \ The Effortless Chic | Apartment 34

Ten Things – 2018

Three years ago I shared ten things to help my readers get to know a little more about me – it was funny reading it back and looking at how I would answer now. So I thought it was time for an update and another little intro to any new bee readers. So please enjoy these ten things about me, oh and I’ve included my 2015 answers just for fun!
Meet the Bee
1. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.
2015: My own personal gym.
2018: A vacation or four… maybe a sports car.

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

3. What’s on your nightstand?
2015: Pictures of me and B and my glasses.
2018: Lamp, ring holder, small vase with flowers, coaster & water glass

4. What’s your favorite room in your house?
2015: Our sunroom!
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!)

5. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?
2015: Too many choices…. it’s a toss up between Derek Jeter and Katy Perry
2018: This one is tough, maybe some Bravo reality stars? RHOBH or Vanderpump!

6. Name one thing on your bucket list.
2015: Sky dive with B
2018: Travel to Europe

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

8. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to…
2015: Ireland & Germany
2018: Lake Como & Greece

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

10. What advice would you give your teen self?
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.
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.

Some of these were tough to answer again! But it’s fun to reflect on these ten things, as life and the world seems to move too fast.  Have a question you want me to answer? Leave a comment below!

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DIY – $50 Trunk Makeover

You see, we found this old trunk on a neighbors tree lawn and had to snatch it up, it had admittedly seen better days… but that never stops me.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it just yet, but that would come in time… after some trunk searches on Pinterest I determined to flip this baby into a coffee table, but I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to finish this piece.   I was tempted to go the all white route or maybe pink with gold accents? And then the inside… what was I going to do with the inside?!  Oh, and we didn’t need another coffee table. *smiles*

The trunk was pretty banged up, it had old stickers all over it and then the inside was a little stinky with some blue paper that was torn.  It was a little daunting – how easy was the inside paper going to come off? What about the outside… and getting those stickers off?  Well with a little bit of water and a scrapper the paper came off with a little added elbow grease and help from B.  To my surprise, the stickers came off the same way! Although, I still didn’t know how I wanted to finish this sucker.

After doing some research, I liked the look of Hairpin legs and found these 6″ black ones Amazon, so I purchased – still trying to figure out the color scheme, knowing I could spray paint to match if the black wouldn’t work.  I finally decided I was going to stick to the trunks original colors and just bring some life back to it! I loved the gold accents and couldn’t cope with the idea of painting over them in white or another color. After a good clean and a few layers of paint, this trunk was seeing new life.

To finish off this DIY, I finally went with some fabric for the inside vs. peal and stick paper.  I thought the fabric would be nice to work with, and a lot of options for the patterns and colors.  $18 later we had our fabric picked out, I bought 4-yards just to be safe and within one night cut and place the fabric to line the trunk with 3M Adhesive spray.   Before adding the fabric, I did spray the inside with bleach a few times (with weeks in between) to help with the smell and kill anything that might be hanging out!

DIY Cost Breakdown:

  • Trunk = $0.00
  • Hairpin Legs = $25.00
  • Paint Supplies = $12.00
  • Fabric = $18
  • TOTAL = $55.00 

We also figured out a home for this guy, with our Basement Makeover happening, this was another piece of the puzzle that fit just perfectly with the overall look and feel of the space.  It’s a little side table and perfect for some extra storage for blankets, games and extra candles!  Of course, I love the way it came out and how the gold pops against the black – plus it looks perfect in the new space.

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