Weekend Recap – City Love

This past weekend has been NON-STOP! It was a blast and it was centered around family and all of the things we love about this city.  The weekend started on Thursday night for us at a fundraiser wine tasting for the nonprofit I’m on the board of, JDBCF.  It was a fun evening, and it was hosted at a fun cozy spot in the Gordon Square area called Toast.

My cousins were in town for the weekend, so I was giving them the cities best picks for yummy eats and places to see while the explored the city Thursday and Friday.  We finally got to connect with them for dinner at our go-to summer spot; Collision Bend, Friday night.  Collision Bend has a great menu and perfect views and it’s always a great spot to show-off our city.  Saturday morning we started the day with our fitness class, then headed to the parks to rent some kayaks! Another fun way to see parts of our city and do something a little off the beaten path when visitors are in town.  B and I try and kayak at least once a year, so it was fun to get out with the family.

Saturday afternoon we switched gears and families and celebrated our nieces 3rd birthday – it was Moana themed, which now makes me slightly curious about the movie to see what all the fuss is about (unfortunately I can only post photos of the delicious sweets)! We ended the evening back home with some patio drinks and laughs with family story time. Sunday morning we took my cousins down to another park and showed them the endless city and lake views and the Solstice Steps.  Just another part of our city that we often take for granted and might get overlooked by visitors as well.  We then #brunched at the aunts house they made a few casseroles, including a french toast one that we’d never had before – and it was Ah-ma-zing!  I’m definitely going to be sharing the recipe in a future post!

It was a jammed packed weekend and it was great spending some extra time with our cousins that we usually see in small doses! Plus we got to do a few of our favorite things in our city. ❤

bee (1)

Advertisements

Fitness Friday 08.18

It’s time to talk food again.  The love-hate we have with sweet, delicious, carby food.  Last Fitness Friday, I was talking a bit about falling off the rails, being a little less strict with my routine – the boundaries started to get looser and I needed to rain it in.  So within the last month or so, I’ve tightened up on my diet and I can see the difference on a daily basis.  Trust me, there are some days where I ask myself, what more could I possibly change? But when I really test the accountability factor – I quickly figure out what needs to go and what can stay, and it usually comes down to FOOD!
Fitness Friday 08.18 - the bee life
Here are five tricks I do when I need to crack down, and honestly after a week or two of being strict, these aren’t as much of a battle as it is at first!  The most important thing to keep in mind – is that these aren’t quick ‘do this for a week’ and you’ll loose 20-pounds, these are lifestyle changes that will help you achieve your fitness goals and love yourself even more!

Smart Snacking.  A great work perk that I have is having snacks around, the decision between a mini bag of Doritos or picking up a banana/handful of nuts is the pass or fail. Don’t want to be tempted at all of picking wrong? Stop snacking and drink water!  It’ll be tough at first, but your body will quickly adapt and you won’t be craving a snack at 3pm.

Less Carbs, More Protein. Especially at dinner, this is a time when B and I have been loading up on meat and skipping out on the extras or scary sides.  We also switch out the buns for lettuce wraps, which is just as tasty and looks fancy for a week night meal at home.

Smaller Portions.  With smarter snacking and eating more filling foods, portions in line get a bit smaller, allowing you to get full faster.  Those after dinner cravings for some sweats are often eliminated after a nice filling and healthy dinner.

Limit Alcohol. Alcohol and beverages in general can be a surprise at how much sugars/carbs are actually jammed into them – so be sure to check the labels before drinking, you’ll thank yourself later.  Alcohol choices can also impact negatively or help, for this I stick to the Keto Alcohol rules, no beer and opt for those bubbles! Red wine is also a good choice or pure spirits, but be sure to avoid those sugary mixtures.

Stop Eating Pizza! Yup, I said it – just stop eating pizza! Try it for a month, try it for two… you won’t miss it, I promise.  Pizza is an easy food to over indulge on and is full of carbs, some people have pizza every Friday night… and then there are probably leftovers for the next day… just cut it out – you’ll see a difference.

The true key to living a healthy lifestyle, making gains, and maintaining your goal weight, all boils down to not only exercise but the supporting cast of FOOD – it’s that balance of both that is the perfect formula.

bee (1)

 

Miss a Fitness Friday? Catch-up!  May | June | July

Travel: #EmnBtoCbus

We snuck away this weekend to visit some friends in their new city: Columbus, Ohio.  Although it was a quick 24-hour trip for us, we seemed to squeeze in some pretty major places for tasty eats and drinks in addition to being able to catch up with our long lost friends!

We kicked off our festivities with a trip to North Market, which is an indoor market that is open 7-days a week with a variety of food vendors, shops and delicious smells.  Whether your shopping for lunch, grabbing meat for a dinner or fresh produce for an upcoming meal.  We were able to try a decent amount of the vendors like Brezel, Destination Donuts, Firdous Express and Hot Chicken Takeover, everything was delicious.  Oh and did I mention, you could walk around sipping the drink of your choice?  I opted for prosseco, yum!
Travel - #EmnBtoCbus - bee life blog
From North Market, we ventured to Wolf Ridge Brewing – this space is impressive with an intimate dining space, event room and then a back tap room giving you that local brewpub feel.  We hung out in the taproom, ordered a few tasting flights and discussed the many flavors of the beers.  With a pit stop back to the house to check on Moz, we headed out for a late dinner reservation at Service Bar. From the moment we walked in, the front doors are jaw dropping, I was in awe of the decor and atmosphere.  With gold tables, black leather booths, gold modern chandeliers and a 1920’s art decor wooden backdrop as the bar, this place was a mix of old world and modern.  Their menu’s also accommodated for vegetarians, gluten free and everyone else, the choices were a plenty and it couldn’t seem like you could pick wrong.

For Sunday #brunch we headed to Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen, again we were challenged with having to choose one item on the menu, so we started with the Brunch Ballz and then decided on the Hoofy Breakfast, which was a plate full of delicious carbs, gravy, eggs and bacon. I had to throw the towel in and get a doggy bag, although, almost everywhere we ate we ended up having leftovers!

We had a great trip visiting our friends, catching up and eating delicious things – we are already looking forward to heading back to visit them for another weekend, as it seems like there are plenty of more cool spots to checkout!

bee (1)

Latest Obsessions 08.18

Surprise, surprise – this month’s latest obsessions are mostly house obsessed, as I’ve got my eyes on the next prize and the projects just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger.  Beyond the house project bug, weekend getaways and trips or seasonal parties also have me heart-eyed with excitement.
Latest Obsessions 08.18 - the bee life
Basement Projects.  This is a two part.  Part one has been talked about off and on with B, but seriously discussions and planning have started to take place to build out a full-bathroom.  A good friend is a plumber, so with his expertise and help it doesn’t seem so daunting, yay!  Plus, it will add value to our home, making it 2-baths vs. 1-bath. Part two, is making the other space a bit more livable – we have a decent amount of space for storage, so the configuring has been playing out in my head and I think we can make it work.  The livable space might just be a bit industrial chic vs. completely finished basement. I love this article for some inspiration on finishing touches for your unfinished basement.

Seasonal Parties.  I can’t help but get excited for upcoming season parties, whether we’ll be hosting or attending – from the calm bake, to dare I say it…. Christmas?! Yup! I’m just looking forward to creating new memories and fun with family and friends.  And the only reason I have these on my mind, is because schedules get so crazy – we have to plan that far ahead especially if we want any chance of getting on our family/friends schedules!

Getaways.  Whether it’s a quick two-hour drive or a flight across the country, the travel bug continues and I’m excited to get out of town for a bit in the coming months.  With that, I can’t help but want to find the best brunch spots, shop for a few new outfits, and figure out other fun details to weave into the trip.  I’m trying not to wish these to come too soon though, because time has certainly been flying lately!

What’ve you been obsessing over? New house project or fashion trend – leave a comment, I want to know!

bee (1)

 

 

Image Sources: Bathroom Inspiration Party Decor Inspiration Unfinished Basement

Hofbrauhaus Half Marathon – Recap

This past weekend marked our 7th half marathon and it’s incredible what a difference a year makes.  We… or I should say, I struggled through out last half marathon, the Mighty Niagara last September, and this year seemed like a breeze, well… mostly.

Let’s rewind a bit – we signed up for this race a little over 2-months ago, I saw the price was about to increase and thought, why not? I easily convinced B and a little while later our registration was secured.  I took a difference approach to half training this year, and it seemed to work out, as I definitely got a few more mid-size runs than I had anticipated.  We ran 10-miles last weekend – so we were feeling as ready as we’d ever be going into the half on Sunday morning.
Work - Life
The start time for the race was 7am, which was good since it was going to warm up quickly and be pretty toasty by 9am, which would be just about finish time.  We started out at a good pace and keep in sync with each other, slowed down a little around mile 5 but then were cruising and feeling really good after mile 6, moving into miles 9 and 10.  The last three miles, were the longest and of course were straight pavement with the sun beating down on our backs.  Thankfully the first 10-miles were relatively covered, which helped immensely, or we definitely would’ve been screwed! But those last three were giving us flashbacks of last year’s struggle, but we didn’t stop, we kept running and we crossed that finish line together! I finished 12th out of 32 in my age division, (woah!) and we had a respectable time of 2:08:51 – it was a good run.
Hofbrahaus Half - the bee life (2)
We were covered in sweat when we crossed the finish line, and were happy to see the end.  The after party at Hofbrauhaus was a great atmosphere and the definition of a race-after party. In addition to the awesome metal all runners also got a beer and a brat, it was the perfect treat!  Live music was playing in the biergarten and there was a Starbucks truck sharing samples of their new coffee smoothies made with almond milk, yum!  It was an accomplishing start to our Sunday and good to check off another half.  As B said; “First half of 2018 and first one as a married couple. My run or die chick.”  ❤

bee (1)

 

 

 

Image Source: Finish Line photo from Hermes Road Racing Cleveland

 

Blueberry Mint Mixer – The Recipe

Summer may feel like it’s coming to an end – but let’s hang onto it just a little longer… I have an easy and tasty cocktail to help fill those hot summer days and long weekends!
Blueberry Mixer Recipe - the bee life
What You’ll Need:
– Vodka of your choosing, I used Tito’s
– Tonic water
– Frozen blueberries
– Mint leaf ice cubes

Step-by-Step:
1. Prep! The night before, get some fresh mint and make some ice cubes with mint in them! Rip off mint leaves and place into the cube tray and then pour ice over, have it sit overnight and you’ll have some fancy and tasty ice ready for your drink!
2. Okay, time to make the drinks! Place your mint ice cubes into the glasses and sprinkle a spoon or two of frozen blueberries over the ice cubes.
3. Use a shot glass and pour your vodka in, this is totally on preference, but I usually keep my drinks 1-to-1 with alcohol and the mixer. Once you’ve added your vodka, top off with your tonic.
4. Give it a stir, cheers with your boo and enjoy!
the bee life.pmg
This one is easy to have all the ingredients stocked around the kitchen and has hints of summer written all over it with the light flavors from the mint and blueberries.  The pinkish-purple coloring really make this a fun drink – not to mention the pretty mint garnishes from the ice cubes!

bee (1)

Dog Inspired Home Decor

I’ll be the first to admit it, I am a dog lover – and I am mildly obsessed with our little puggle, Moz!  We’ve invested in a few custom portraits of her,  have attended Paint Your Pet classes and frame some super cute photos of her. And although I feel like our house is quickly becoming consumed with mini gallery walls, I can’t help but want to create a Moz gallery wall. And, it’s okay if you’re whispering ‘crazy dog lady’ or rolling your eyes at me, as you read this!

Needing some inspiration like me? Here are some super cute ways to incorporate DOGS into your home in a chic, playful, sophisticated and not so crazy way.  From a nursery, entrance, living space or even your bathroom, I hope you’re inspired like I was to see how these can pull off a high-end look while still satisfying that inner-love for dogs.

Illustrations are a great way to incorporate your pooch, as the simplicity brings that certain level of sophistication. Incorporating canvas’ with multiple pieces and parts also helps create more of a statement without all the gallery wall work and planning.  Whether it’s created in a DIY paint class or an option you sourced online – there are plenty of options to purchase/create your custom pup portrait.

Another fun way to pull in your love of dogs is with some bold wallpaper that could be used in a mud room.  Wanting to keep it simple? Get an entry rug that will welcome guests and instantly set the mood that furry friends await. Photography is another way to pull in those sweet pups, with a gallery wall of three large prints – I mean, how cute are those puppy photos for a nursery? or using a common thread of familiar frames or black and white photos helps tie everything together for a cohesive look in the space.

If you’re considering adding in your furry friends to your home decor, it’s also important to consider what spaces might be appropriate for this with the way your house functions.  A few starting points to consider might be your master bedroom or theming a guest room themed with dogs (there are so cute dog bedsheets you can score; like these ones from Cynthia Rowley). A guest bathroom or mudroom might be a good space to bring in your love of dogs.  Start small or in a dedicated space and make sure you bring through your love of dogs in a sophisticated and stylish way!

bee (1)

 

 

Shop the Looks & Image Sources: Gallery wall with furry bench Frenchie Canvas Vintage Dogs Illustrated Wallpaper Three Puppies in a Nursery I hope you like dogs rug |Golden Gallery

Dairy Free Taco Night Recipes

There are a few staples that I miss dearly being dairy-free among my many other dietary restrictions, a few of those being staples at taco night… *clears throat* queso… sour cream… cheese… all the good things!  So since I’ve been sticking to the opt-out of dairy lifestyle and finding substitutes or alternate recipes to fill in those gaps, I wanted to share a few recipes I have my eyes on and will be testing out in the kitchen here shortly.
Dairy Free Taco Night - bee life blog
For any of those newer to the dairy free world, in case you didn’t know but a lot of recipes use cashews as a substitute for cheese.

Vegan Queso: I’ve been scoping out a few different recipes a spicy jalapeno recipe, this delicious looking one, and then one surprisingly with eggplant instead of cashews! I’ve already assessed a few of these and know I’ll have to peel back on some of the ingredients and alter accordingly to make sure they’re kosher for my stomach – but that is the fun part about cooking!

Dairy-Free Sour Cream: A 10-minute recipe to give you the taste and texture of real sour cream, sign me up!  This recipe looks so easy it would be silly not to try it out – and have as the perfect topper for build-your-own tacos!

While I continue to research and look for more dairy-free recipes to try, I feel like I can at least start getting back to a normal taco night by incorporating these recipes in.  I’m also super lucky that B not only is game to eat and try these different recipes out, but he often takes the first step and makes a lot of them with me!  It definitely helps being on the same page when it comes to diet and restrictions, because it can become a lot to remember!

Do you have any dairy free recipes that you just love? Leave me a comment! I want to try them!

bee (1)

 

 

 

Image Sources: The Cookie Rookie | 24 Carrot Kitchen (recipes also linked above)

 

Tips for Swoon Worthy Engagement Pics

Planning your engagement photos?  With the Pinterest & Instagram the exposure and pressure to have pin-worthy engagement photos is kind of a thing.  There are sooo many stunning photos out there it’s a bit intimidating! So how do you make yours special? Well, I have a few tips to help make sure these photos are swoon worthy, personalized and show stoppers.

Wardrobe.  If you really want something show stopping, yet simple – steal the show with a jaw dropping look. Whether it’s a gorgeous skirt, bright color in front of a stark back drop, or a casual look on a fall day – don’t skimp on the wardrobe! Also ladies, don’t forget about your significant other and making sure they step up to the plate and match your look.  Just remember, wear what you’re comfortable in, and true to you both as a couple!

Location.  Beach? Forest? City-scape?  Your favorite diner? With the help of your photographer scope out your spots, and see what might work – but have a couple ideas in mind.  Working to get multiple locations in one day? Make sure they’re close, and again chat with your photographer too see what might be possible. Don’t forget that some of the simplest locations will result in the most stunning pictures.

Time of Day.  We wanted some beach photos, and our photographer recommended sunrise photos instead of sunset.  Although we had to get up super early, the sky was perfect, no one was around and we were able to capture some gorgeous shots.  Evening photos could get tough and might need lighting to be involved, which could be a bit more costly, and some locations might not allow photography, so be sure to ask ahead of time if you photographer doesn’t!

Photographer. Finding the right photographer that has a portfolio inline with your vibe is important! But don’t forget about working within your budget – since you still have to save up for the big day! Although, this is a good test run to see how you’ll work with them on your actual wedding day.  Some photographers might also offer a package for engagement & wedding day, so be sure to ask!

For B and I, it was a little awkward at first, posing, kissing, and trying to look longingly at each other.  But once we got warmed up, we started to get the hang of it and have a little more fun.  Also have fun with props (balloons, your pup, fresh flowers) and don’t over think it – but also talk with your photographer and be sure to share your vision and even a few examples from your Pinterest board to show some different angles or inspiration!

bee (1)

 

Missed Out? Or planning your wedding? Check these out:  Our Engagement Photos Tips for Creating your Wedding Registry How to Plan your Honeymoon Our Wedding Sneak Peak

 

Image Sources: Black & White Close-up Blue Tulle Skirt White Dress Kiss Forest  Hands & City