Fitness Friday 02.20

Happy Fitness Friday! Since the start of the year, I’ve been sticking tight on sticking to my workout routine and making sure I’m checking off the boxes each week. I’ve been feeling great, feeling slimmer and my jeans and clothes have been fitting great! Although, I was recently quickly reminded at how easy it is to fall out of a routine. FitnessFriday 02.20 - bee life blog
This Valentine’s Day we definitely over indulged on a few sweet treats and I also missed a workout or two, in addition to enjoying leftover cookie skillet for a few extra days (so good!)!  So what I quickly realized was that it’s easy to fall off a bit if, I’m not sticking to the workout routine that works for me.  I know myself, and I know I need to stick to a minimum of three days of a good workout, stick to a stricter diet and limit my cheat days — and any derivation of that hurts more than it helps!

Bonus is we’re only two months into the new year, so this reminder definitely comes at a good times, especially as busy season is quickly approaching.  I’ve been sticking to my goals and also know which ones I need to continue to work on, like my core strength!  What lessons have you learned about your fitness journey so far this year?

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5 Ways to Celebrate 30!

Secret time! I’m turning 30 in under a month. Second secret time, I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m really trying to embrace it, so excuse me as I put on a fake smile and try to embrace it all — and maybe go a little overboard in doing so. If you’re like me and hitting a big milestone this year, but can’t figure out how to celebrate, I’m here to help, with five fun ideas!
5WaystoCelebrate30_beelifeblogGet out of Town. Whether it’s a week long cruise or a weekend trip to a new city to explore sometimes getting out of town is just what the doctor ordered.  A good way to figure out affordable and easy places to get to for a longer weekend trip is looking at nonstop destinations that your airport flies too, finding a VRBO or bouquet hotel, or finding a spot that is drivable – 6-hours would be the max if you’re going for an extended weekend.

Boozy Brunch. If you’re a bee reader, you know I have a strong love for brunch, from the food to the beverages — you really can’t go wrong in my opinion. So instead of ordering a mimosas, order the mimosa kit and the waffles and enjoy the finer brunch things in life. This can be with family, gal pals or even just your number one.

Plan a Spa Day. Whether it’s solo, for a full day of R&R or an afternoon at the spa with your girlfriends — a spa day is a must to celebrate a big milestone birthday and simply relax! So make sure to plan out a day to get the works, from a facial, massage to your nails, this could even be a good gift hint to family or friends.

Night on the Town. If you’re a little more low key, it’s still important to treat yourself and maybe even splurge a bit! Whether it’s rooftop bar drinks, a high-end speakeasy or a nicer dinner spot, grab your core crew, throw on some sparkles and secure a dinner reservation – the best part is you can still be home by 9pm and jump right into those PJs.

Shopping Spree. Another way to celebrate the big day is going on a little shopping spree! If you’re like me, I don’t do a whole lot of clothing shopping out of guilt and other necessities. So, start saving a few extra pennies so you can really splurge and get a few new pieces to celebrate the new decade.

Last, but not least there is one other VERY important piece of any birthday celebration that should never be forgotten is the cake or two. Please never, ever, ever forget the birthday cake or your version of birthday cake. The best part is that after your birthday, you get to eat cake for breakfast, so you’re winning even after the big day. To try and embrace and overcome my 30 anxiety, I will definitely be celebrating with a few of these over the course of my birthday month!

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Valentine’s Day – 2020

Sending lots of love and sweet wishing all my bee readers a Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️!  I’ve been having a lot of fun getting the house ready, planning treats for Moz and even doing some scheming on something meaningful for my number one, B — and now the day is finally here! How’re you celebrating the love?ValentinesDay2020_beelifeblog
photo: Marina Claire & Co.

B and I will be cooking at home tonight, listening to Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra radio, may play a card game or two and will most likely end up watching Vanderpump Rules and falling asleep on the couch — and there is nothing else I’d rather do than spend it with my unit of Moz and B.

Since we’re keeping it simple this year, I thought it would be fun to share fourteen things that B and I love to do together when we’re staying in:

  1. Watching basketball, specifically the NBA
  2. Cooking dinner
  3. Drinks on our back patio (when it’s warm out)
  4. Making breakfast and drinking coffee on the weekends
  5. Play cards, specifically Kings in the Corner
  6. Watch documentaries
  7. Scheme our next house project
  8. Just sit and talk — no tv, no music
  9. Host friends for dinner and drinks
  10. Late night facetimes with our west coast friends
  11. Play with Moz
  12. Watch Bravo
  13. Mini scrabble tournaments
  14. Morning or evening walks with Moz

Some of our best memories, are spending nights sipping on our favorite drinks, listening to music and talking the night away.  We also love whipping up a fun meal or two — I’m super excited for our Valentine dinner, don’t worry I’ll be sharing recipes if everything comes out as good as it seems!

xoxo

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Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Sweet treats are for the pups too! This recipe is coming to you just in time to spoil your pup this Valentine’s Day… or even National Dog Biscuit Day on February 23rd! My fellow dog lover and bestie, D first introduced these treats to us, since she made them for her pup and Moz’s BFF, Maybel. They’re even gluten free and have dog friendly favorite’s like pumpkin and peanut butter!  So since D and Maybel moved to the coast, Moz has been in need for some homemade, yummy treats — and what better time to spoil her than for Valentine’s Day?
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Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
– 3 cups of brown rice flour
15oz can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
– 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs

This recipe is pretty easy, the only thing that will take some time is mixing and then flattening out your dough – I also linked the pure pumpkin and brown rice flour above! It is quite messy to work with, so make sure to have extra brown rice flour on hand and readily available for multiple applications.

Pro-tip: I refrigerated the second half of the batch over night and prepped and cooked the next day and this was a bit easier to work with.
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Step-by-Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your un-greased cookie sheets ready!

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a spoon and then just got my hands in there to mix everything together well. Optional: cover and refrigerate over night, for easier handling

3. After everything is mixed, divide the dough in half. Put brown rice flour down on your counter and heavily over your rolling pin. Then roll out half of the dough so it’s a half-inch thick. Cut with cutout shape of your choice, place an inch apart on cookie sheet.

4. Since this is a harder dough to work with, I did just roll a few balls together and pressed them down on the the sheet, while also making some cute dog bone and heart shaped treats for Moz!

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes was enough for me to see the edges turning a golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for 30-minutes.

6. Refrigerate or freeze baked cookies for longer storage, otherwise store in a room temperature treat jar for up to a week. When serving to your pup, feel free to add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for an extra special treat!
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My cookies didn’t come out looking the prettiest, but they soften a bit over time after they set and cook, Moz is definitely a little cookie obsessed as I was making these!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and is a great one to keep on hand, especially since it’s a five ingredient recipe, and your pup will love them (plus you can even try a bit yourself – they aren’t terrible!). These are definitely Moz approved ✅🐶!

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Latest Obsessions 02.20

It’s Valentine week! And I have been obsessing over all things Valentine’s, can’t you tell?! From home decor, homemade valentines, picking out a meaningful gift and even getting wardrobe ready for the day of hearts — it’s been X’s and O’s, conversation hearts, everything pink and lot’s of love over here at the Bee residence, so let’s get to it!

Festive Valentine Sweaters. I couldn’t resist getting a festive oversized heart sweater for this Valentine’s Day!  I’ve had my eye on this sweater for some time now, but thought I would get it in grey or a lighter pink — but I went for the white with a bright red heart and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately these are selling out quick on Amazon, but I found a few other fun Valentine-heart inspired sweaters that you can still snatch up before the holiday!
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Shop the pieces: Red Heart Sweater from Loft ($59.50), Pink/White Amazon Heart Sweater ($26.99) + Prime Friendly option, Blue Hearts & Stars Sweater from J. Crew ($115), Sweater with Heart Elbows ($22), Dog is My Valentine Tee from Target ($14.99)

DIY Valentine Decor. From my floral letter X’s and O’s door hanger craft to my hand painted table runner, the Valentine crafts have been sweet and festive for a personalized touch around the house! I shared how I made this table runner for under $20! It was so easy, super affordable and makes such a sweet statement across the dining room table. If you want to see the full DIY breakdown, check out my blog post here. If you’re hoping to make some custom, cute and thoughtful Valentine’s — I made these cute wooden love letter’s that are festive and cute and perfect for everyone!
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Shop the pieces: Plain table runner from Amazon, Heart tassel garland from Target 

Galentine’s Brunch. I’m slowly regretting not actually hosting a Galentine’s brunch this year and will definitely have it on my to-do next year! What sounds better than a table of all your favorite girls, delicious brunch and mimosas? Not a whole lot, especially in the middle of February! In case you’re trying to finalize your Galentine brunch deets, check out my Galentine’s Brunch Planning guide, here!

Although I’ve been all about Valentine’s Day, I must admit I haven’t thought as much about a gift for my hubby, B — but the last few years, we’ve taken the less extravagant route and will probably spend our time staying in, cooking a tasty meal, playing some games and exchanging thoughtful notes/cards to each other. If you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, my Valentine Gift guide features five FREE ideas that will still show your Valentine how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Gift Guide: 5 Free Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s Day is a week away! So if you’re scrambling to figure something out — have no fear, bee life is here! Because trust me, it’s easy to forget about getting a Valentine gift, grabbing a card at the last minute and the last bouquet of flowers at the grocery store (p.s. I always love flowers).  In all the Valentine hype, I think we also forget that we don’t have to spend a ton of money to show someone we love them! My Valentine gift guide is not like the others… because these gifts will cost you $0 (or very minimum amount) and will still create a special memory and show your Valentine all the love!
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photo: Michelle M. Loufman Photography

Make a Spotify Playlist. This can be fun for you, while being super special for your boo (bonus: you can update it throughout the year)! I made a playlist for B, called #emnblovetracks (off of all of our hashtags) the playlist is stacked with songs we listened too when we first started dating, songs we love together, and other songs that just make me think of him, it’s the perfect mix to our love story. So once you spend some time creating your playlist, all you have to do is share the link with your mix-tape soul mate and a sweet little note!

Fourteen Days of Memories. It’s easy to just get something to check off the Valentine check list — so why not focus and show love before and beyond the holiday. Pick fourteen days to just share love. Whether it’s a daily text with a memory or compliment, a throwback photo, a handwritten note on a post-it note, or maybe it’s in the form of cooking dinner or an extra long hug.  Two years ago I did 28-straight days of little things for B and it was fun (& hard!) to think of different ways to tell B how much I love him — sometimes they were just lists of memories, things I love about him, or a cute little card that tied back to us.

Volunteer Together. Volunteering is the perfect way to share an experience together while sharing love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Consider donating/sorting books for kids, getting involved at a local animal shelter (we walk dogs at ours!), collecting canned goods or even just going through your clothes or old things and pulling together a bag or two of items to donate! This gives you an opportunity to find a new passion, spend time together and give back.
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Make a Paper Card. Literally just take a piece of printer paper, fold it into fours, grab some markers and doodle it up, with all words, phrases, memories, or hearts and a cute little love sentiment. Inside spill your heart out, tape a picture and share your love to your special person.  The last card I made for B, I wrote in black market writing my favorite things he is to me… “running buddy, the office binge watching, coffee drinker…”

Watch a Classic Movie. One of my favorite romantic comedies is When Harry Met Sally and you can watch it for ‘free’ on Hulu! The music is dreamy, the characters are funny and the story makes your heart ache. BONUS: The Notebook is also available on Netflix *grins* — so grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a movie together.

We should always share and show love to our special people, and it doesn’t need to break the bank or be an extravagant gift every year — sometimes it’s good to just keep it simple and to the point 😍. xoxo

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Galentine’s Brunch Planning Guide

With Galentine’s falling on a weekend, it is the perfect excuse to host a brunch! And for me, there is nothing more that I love than a good brunch — not to mention, I think it’s one of the easier meals to host, while still being able to make an impressive spread that is tasty for everyone. But don’t worry, I have you covered from the menu, recipes, table setting, Valentine’s and decor, too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(2)When it comes to brunch food, there are a ton of great recipes that are overnight prep so all you have to do the morning of, is stick them in the oven and wait for your guests to arrive! Not to mention both casseroles are easy to prep, don’t require a done of ingredients and cover both bases for those friends who are sticking to a diet or maybe love indulging in a little something sweet! The overnight egg casserole is easy to switch out to be meat free if you’re accounting for any dietary needs. Fresh fruit with brunch is always a must, I like to go with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries – something colorful and health conscious to take away some of the guilt!

Galentine’s Brunch Menu:
– Overnight Casseroles: Breakfast Egg Casserole + French Toast Casserole
– Fresh Fruit
– Donut holes or Cinnamon rolls
Bloody Mary Bar
– Mimosas

Lastly the beverages for your Galentine’s Brunch are just as important as the food! Knowing your gal-pals preferences always helps streamline this, so you can have a mix of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas or can stick to one. This post on how to create your own Bloody Mary bar can help you make a fun statement and if you’re planning for mimosas, be sure to grab a few extra juices besides the standard, like cranberry or pineapple plus your fresh fruit can garnish these too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(3)Set the Table & Decor. Since it’s your gal pals, keeping the table setting and decor simple, yet fun and festive is key and will also let you enjoy yourself too! Making your own table runner and place settings can help save some money with taking little time and effort on the crafting side, and still resulting in a big impact. This hand painted X’s and O’s table runner, I shared last week is just too stinkin’ cute and is pretty in pink for Galentine’s Day!

Also, don’t let your gals go home empty handed without a little keepsake; these wooden love letter Valentine’s can be customized with everyone’s names or fun little notes like, “U R CUTE” or “BFF4L” or “Ride or Die.” Adding a little note on the back is another way to send a little extra love their way! These will help finish off your table decor and filling these seats, while also bringing a big smile to your pals faces. And snag the colorful cute heart tassel garland from Target for only $6 to add to your table decor or hang in an entry way! Galentines_beelifeblog(1)Finishing Touches. Getting festive red or pink paper straws can be a fun touch for those Bloody Mary’s or the mimosas. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch if you wanted to switch out your table centerpiece.  Don’t forget to set the mood for your brunch with some music, check out my Heart Ache playlist or my emnblovetracks playlist for a mix of all those feelings of love. Heart Ache has a lot of good throw backs, especially some good ones to sing with your gals.

Happy Galentine Brunching!

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DIY – Wooden Love Letter Valentine’s

I love getting crafty and making my own Valentine’s especially when it comes to my hubby! A few years ago, I shared my go-to homemade paper Valentine, made from scrapbook paper, pictures, stickers and ribbon — but this year I wanted to mix it up and do something still crafty but different.
DIY_Valentines(3)I found these really cute wooden pieces at Michael’s for this fun DIY Valentine that is so easy and affordable to make by stacking them to make mini love letter envelopes with big hearts on them! Super easy, super cute and then you can personalize them for all your Valentines. The best part is these wooden Valentine’s can double as adorable place-settings for your Galentine’s brunch!

Craft Supplies:
– (1) Wooden Hearts – 21pcs
– (2) Rectangular Wooden Signs – 6pcs
– All purpose craft paint Valentine colors of your choice ($0.79 each)
– Hot Glue
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $12
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Step 1: First things first, is to paint all of your wooden pieces — have fun with this and mix and match but pick colors that’ll compliment each other. I did a lot of white bases with pink or red hearts.  I also did a few pink and red bases with white hearts which was a fun pop!

Step 2: You’ll probably need to do a few coats, especially the white on the wood — it soaks up the color, make sure to paint both sides of the bases and let all your pieces dry with plenty of time!

Step 3: Once everything is painted and dried, you can hot glue your hearts onto your bases. I kept my centered, but you could offset to write if you wanted too!

Step 4: Personalize as you’d like with fun phrases, names, or cute messages on the heart and write a longer message on the back of the bases for all your favorites. If you’re using these as place settings for a Galentine’s brunch or dinner you can stick with names or write fun little notes for each of your bae’s.
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These little love letter Valentine’s are to cute, hand held and also dual purpose (which I also love!) So get your crafting pants on and head over to snag these supplies so you can create your own custom, cute and clever Valentine’s that will be the perfect keepsake for friends, family or all your gal pals.

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Gearing up for Valentine’s Day? Check out these easy painted Valentine themed table runner or this festive floral door decor!

DIY – Painted Valentine Table Runner

Ohhh, you guys!! This was a fun, easy and affordable craft and I just love how it turned out! This custom Valentine-inspired painted table runner is a spin on an everyday piece and not one that I really ever thought about making, at least one that didn’t involve buying fabric, sewing or investing a ton of time on. Read more to see my supply list, project cost and step-by-step for painting and creating your own X’s and O’s table runner, just in time for a Galentine’s brunch!
DIYTableRunner(3)Craft Supplies:
Off-white plain linen table runner from Amazon ($14.99)
All purpose craft paint: Pink / Rose from Michael’s ($0.79 each)
– Smaller paint brush – I have this 7ct Paint Brush set from Target

Project Cost: $17
(not including paint brushes)

Step-by-Step:
1. I order my linen table runner from Amazon, there was a brief though to try and make my own with buying fabric – but I quickly saw that being a disaster. Two-day shipping and $14.99 on Amazon, sounded way better! I compromised on the size (14″ x 72″), as I like a wider table runner since we have a larger dining room table, but found a off-white linen that looked to be perfect.
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2. Paint color was my toughest decision – I initially planned to do black, but thought red could be fun and then ultimately decided on a lighter pink as that worked better with dining home decor and I love how it turned out! Now to the fun stuff…
3. Before I got painted, I did have to iron my table runner to smooth out some of the fold marks! I didn’t get it as smooth as I would’ve liked, but it was much better than before – this was definitely needed before painting.
4. Get ready to paint! I put paper bags down in order to paint, and painted on my dining room table — which was a good feel for the space while I painted and scaling my X’s and O’s. Starting in the bottom corner I kept it simple and fit four across and repeated the pattern by alternating which letter I started with and worked my way towards the center.
Pro-tip: I eyed my spacing and letter size, but you could use a ruler to keep spacing even between lines and/or letter height!
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5. Keep going until you finish up the length of your runner! Keep in mind as you’re painting if you mess up, or have brush strokes showing, it’s OK — it’s suppose to look hand drawn and painted which gives it a unique look. Besides, from a distance you can’t really see any of the imperfections.

I let this dry overnight before styling this up! I had another pink table runner that was a little wider than mine, so I was able to layer underneath and the pinks complimented each other perfectly! I then added a few jars with conversation sweet heart candy, some fun colorful garland, this table was just needing a few finishing touches for a Galentine’s brunch!

Besides just completely loving how this came out (slightly obsessed!) — the price can’t be beat for a custom piece that fits EXACTLY what you were wanting.  $16 is about the going rate, if not more for you’re every day or holiday themed table runner, so I imagine I’ll be doing this in the future for more holidays or special occasions! Plus it only took me about 45-minutes to iron and paint.

What do you think!?

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