Fitness Friday 05.19

It’s time to talk food, that thing we love to hate – especially when it comes to your fitness success and reaching those goals.  Food has always been a struggle for me, understanding the balance of life, the things I love (that aren’t so great for you) and then also understanding my gastro issues that have been recent within the last 2-years. Because let me tell you, I love cake and cookies and cupcakes and I believe in the beauty of balance – especially when it comes to enjoying the finer things in life.
Fitness Friday 05.19 - the bee life
Within my health and fitness journey, there are a few rules I’ve learned that work for me while being able to have that balance – and when I’ve been very strict with them I see great results – and when I’m a bit more lenient I know exactly what I need to cut to see a change. But one thing is for sure, whether I’m strict or not – I always enjoy those cupcakes.

Little to No Carbs – Fun fact: Carbs are hidden in a lot of different things that appear to be healthy or good for you – this includes a fair amount of fruits and vegetables, like carrots, apples, bananas, and melons (just to name a few).  So really understanding what foods you’re putting in your body and what they contain is half the battle – then you just have to cut them out! Also pasta, just stop eating it.

When in Doubt: Berries – Speaking of knowing what is good for you vs. what is not – when in doubt when it comes to your fruits, berries are the way to go.  These are your besties and easy rule to remember: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries. Yes.

No Dairy – This one isn’t so tough for me, since I’m lactose intolerant I pretty much steer clear, but I am able to enjoy hard cheese – like Extra Sharp Cheddar – so I can get my cheese fix, although I noticed that when I completely cut this out pre-wedding, I felt great and was trimmer. So I think there is some method to the madness of a dairy free diet, whether you have an allergy or not.

Say Bye to Pizza – I will admit, I also indulge in pizza every now and then when we’re home for the night – but again, when we cut out pizza for nearly 4-months pre-wedding the extra weight and temptation went away! We also can’t do cauliflower crust, because my stomach hates me – so it really became all or nothing from a pizza perspective.

Complicated Order – Don’t be afraid to have a complicated order at the restaurant and also just say no to the free sides ahead of time – because as much as you think you won’t eat that side of fries with your burger, let me tell you you’ll probably have at least half if they’re in front of you!  So when it came down to it – I would order a burger with NO bun (yup! cut those carbs) and I was order a side salad in place of the fries (bye, carbs!)

The biggest thing to understand when it comes to food and your health – not everything works for everyone.  Sure, there are a few obvious things that should be avoided, but no one “diet” works for everyone. The second thing to understand that it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle, you truly have to be proactive every single day to make smart food choices.

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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

(2) Prepping the Shower Walls We planned out our bathroom project with complete to-do lists and listing out all the materials, quantities and everything we would need for the various projects ahead of time so we could make a big purchase and have everything ready to roll when we needed it.  One more pricey thing we did not account for was needing to waterproof paint the cement board and covering the seams pre-tile.  The membrane seam cover was a bit expensive – and also added a few days of prep that initially anticipated, but ultimately super important to have that ready to go!

(3) Removing Extra Mortar – We knew to wipe down the tiles after they were up for a bit, but we didn’t know how quickly or how deep we should go within the tiles of wiping away the extra mortar (AKA – I also probably used wayyy to much mortar).  There were a few issues with wiping down the mortar – the spacers we used would’ve fallen out and we used a lot of spacers – then because we didn’t get as deep as we should’ve in the cracks – we had to do a lot of hand scrapping (with this nifty tool) to deepen the cracks in order to be grout ready. We also didn’t scrap as deep as we should’ve in some spots which ran into some issues when grouting.

If you find yourself using a grout remover tool between your tiles, be careful that you don’t get out of line and scratch your tiles – we unfortunately learned that the hard way too! 

(4) Being A Little More Patient   Since I’m the tile-smith in the house, I definitely was in the mode of just getting it up and getting it done – so there were a few areas that B and I maybe should’ve addressed pre-tiling. There were a few spots in the ceiling and wall that the nail heads weren’t in as straight or deep as they should’ve causing tiles to stick out a bit. Also paying better attention and pushing the tiles nice and flush with others in line, was something I noticed once I was grouting could’ve been done better.  Tiling Lessons - the bee life (2)
So after two days worth of long working sessions, not everything was a complete bust! We also had a few things that worked out well, and really helped pull the space together even with some of our learnings.

Things That Worked

(1) Tile Sheets with Subway Tiles – We wanted the subway tile look, and were able to more easily accomplish this by using sheets of subway tile that were a bit smaller.  From a sanity perspective, I can’t imagine doing each tile one by one – maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad – but it definitely helped putting up 12×12 sheets.

(2) Pre-Mixed Grout To finish up the space, after the hours of scrapping – we opted to get a pre-mixed grout to finish the space.  Although this was more expensive, it was really easy from a prep perspective and also super easy to work with.  We use a Warm Grey grout finish – and ended up needing about three of the half gallon tubs.

Even with the hiccups, the shower did come out great and we’re so happy with the grout color we picked out.  The shower definitely isn’t perfect – but B and I will be mostly the one ones to know where all of the imperfections are.  We also feel super accomplished and so proud of how it came out.  We just have a few finishing touches to do before we can start using it!

Questions for me? Leave a comment below!

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DIY – Floating Rectangular Wall Shelves

For our bathroom project we have an ugly door above our toilet that is access to a crawl space area that we don’t use, but might need to access so we couldn’t do anything too permanent. So in addition to painting this ugly door white, we wanted to hide it a little more, I knew I wanted to put some sort of shelf in that area, but I couldn’t decide how many, what kind or finding the perfect pre-made piece that fit.
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That is when I spotted some beautiful old wood we had in our garage and I was inspired to build our own rectangular floating wall shelf to help cover it up while also bringing in some natural wood feel into the space.  Since these pieces of wood were just shy of 4-feet they would work perfectly for the space. Here is how I built our shelf – you’ll need minimum materials, especially if you have your own scrap wood lying around!

What You’ll Need:
– Wood Glue
– Miter Saw
– Nail Gun + Nails
– Wood Boards
– L brackets for hanging + Screws

Step-by-Step:
1. Measure your space & determine the size of your shelf, I wanted it to be a bit oversized the crawl space door area, but didn’t want it to be too tall. So I went with 3-feet in length and then about 8-inches high including the thickness of the main shelfs.
2. Measure and draw lines and cut your pieces of wood for your main top and bottom shelves with the miter saw.
3. Determine and measure your in-between pieces and cut appropriately with the miter saw. You should have all your pieces cut! Two long top and bottom pieces and then two smaller side pieces that will fit in between the longer pieces, connecting them!
4. Add wood glue to your in-between pieces and attach the top with your in-between with a nail gun.  You may need a helper to hold the pieces in place while one staples, be sure to staple along the length of your board. Continue this for all four corners, be sure to wipe any excess glue after stapling the pieces together.
5. Let your piece dry before moving forward with adding the L brackets and hanging. Sand any rough edges, paint or stain if necessary based on your aesthetic.
Pro-tip: Make sure the screws going into the shelf aren’t longer than the board thickness!
6.  Determine spacing based on wall studs and add the L brackets to the inside of the top of the shelf and then drill into the wall with screws (this is probably a two person job!). We will be painting the metal part touching the wall – although once filled up with towels you can’t even tell!
7. Now for the fun part – adding the finishing touches and add your finishes!
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I’m so excited to be adding in finishing touches to our bathroom space – and as you can see you’re getting a bit of sneak peak of the space, but mainly the showstopper (that floor!) We still have small finishing touches to do around the room, like the crawl space door we’re trying to hide, we still need to cover up that heating pipe entrance – plus I’m sure I’ll be getting some different accents to put on top of the shelf.

Price Breakdown:
So the obnoxious part of this (for you, not me!), is the cost of this project was $0. The wood for the shelves we got from my sister in-law’s house, because I knew I would have a good project pop up to use them with!  Everything else was around the house – but pending the wood, you can get the Wood Glue for about $3, L-brackets for about $5, and screws for anywhere from .30 – .50 cents each. Meaning you could make this shelf for about $10-15.
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Since a lot of our bathroom is white with the black pops of black in the floor, I love the addition of natural wood, we have another finishing piece to help tie into this vibe that we have yet to do as well – so the big reveal will have to be a bit delayed still.  But I’ll be sharing some of our project woes, lessons learned to help you prevent the same mistakes on your upcoming projects!

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Eight.

Okay, I totally lied. Last year I said it would be the last year ‘celebrating’ this little anniversary of B and I. But I can’t help it! Eight years ago today was B and I’s first date, which was supposed to be just a couple drinks, but ended up with B and I bar hopping and literally just talking the night away. And it was a night that I walked into being so nervous but also so certain and then as the night went on I was just completely done – like head over heels, cash the check, send the ring – soulmate.
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We have been very lucky in love, we’ve been able to create a beautiful home together while still being able to travel and do all the things we love to do.  We have our little family of three with Moz and we couldn’t be more obsessed with her. #dogparents
We of course have had our ups and downs, our disagreements and our trying times through these eight years – but we always come out together as a stronger team.

This year we really went crazy celebrating eight years – by finally finishing our bathroom project and ate some Chipotle because you know, Cinco De Mayo.

xox

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom.  From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
Mother's Day Gift Guide - the bee life
Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!)  And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials!  Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>

Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday!  Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!

Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch.  This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!

Shop the Gift Guide: Williams Sonoma Gardening Gloves | Target Glass Jar Candle | Homebody Book by Joanna Gaines | Anthropologie Block Letter Monogram Necklace | Aveda Hand Relief Cream | Love You, Mom Mug from Target | Anthropologie Flora Robe | Boundary & Thorn Mother’s Day Car

The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine.  The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant!  But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox

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10-Miler Recap – 2019

This past weekend was our 10-Miler race weekend, and officially kicked off our 2019 running season! We’ve ran this race for the last 5-years, aka 50-miles, and it’s always challenging in new ways but also always so rewarding once the race is finished. Last year’s race was a huge accomplishment and super significant in my fitness journey and my life journey – it’s funny how races can be like that.  This year my goal was to simply run the whole race without stopping.
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If you’re an avid runner, especially an average one like me, you know that every race is different, every variable is unpredictable, not matter how much you train or prepare.  For me, during this race I was feeling great until about mile 7, then the side cramps kicked in and the leg soreness started and stayed for the last three miles.  I slowed down a lot, but I also was able to pick up speed and I just didn’t stop, B stayed by my side too which definitely helped, even though we didn’t have the best finish time.

What was super awesome about the 10-Miler race this year was it was my friend K’s first big race! We ran back in October for K’s first 10k and after she kicked that goal’s but her next goal was to run this race –  and she kicked this goal’s butt too. I was so proud of her, she persisted through all the elements, through all the miles and crossed the finish like with pure victory!!
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Running is just as much of a mental game as it is physical and I’m always reminded of that with each race, but also realize that I’m able to face and conquer new challenges with each one and know that I am capable!

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Latest Obsessions 04.19 – Outdoor Dinnerware

Guys, guess what! Spring is practically here which means summer is right around the corner, which means patio season is coming soon!  And with all the daydreaming about warm days – which we’re probably all doing – I can’t help but dream about those nights hosting dinners on the patio or even just enjoy a light weekend brunch with B.  It’s truly one of my favorite things! So, I went hunting for some more fun pieces to incorporate into patio season for dining and entertaining that can stand alone or mix in with other fun patterns and prints of existing pieces. Here are a few different looks and styles for you to shop for this summer! Spoiler: I may just be shopping all of these.

Bright & Modern: Can you say Hello Don Draper? These pops of color are so fun especially in the summer and these modern twists on vintage looks are so fun to incorporate into your outdoor serve ware this summer!  I’m also a firm believer that having super cute acrylic and plastic cups for fun cocktails or lemonade especially from a safety perspective on patios!
Latest Obsessions - Outdoor - the bee life (1)Shop the West Elm Diamond Colored Acrylic | Crate & Barrel Dua Yellow Melamine Plate

All American: From Memorial Day – to the 4th of July – to Labor Day these can be a staple all summer long! I have lemon patterned enamel plates from Pottery Barn from a previous season – and I absolutely love them, they’re durable and fairly heavy duty for an outdoor set and not just flimsy plastic that’ll blow away! Plus they have blue with white stars cork placemats – yay!
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Shop these enamel plates from Pottery Barn

Classic & Colorful: I’m slightly obsessed with these Modern Melamine Dinnerware plates especially the grapefruit, silver pine and citrus yellow – they’re in my shopping chart and they’re currently on sale! I like these too because they can be a grounding element while being able to pull in some fun printed plates and patterns.  The sleek design are definitely functional and the glasses look fancy while still being outdoor friendly!
Latest Obsessions - Outdoor - the bee life (3)Shop West Elm Fluted Acrylic Glassware | West Elm Modern Melamine Dinnerware 

Honorable Mentions: Last year I was completely obsessed with all of the Opalhouse dinnerware, and I’ve been admittedly keeping an eye out for this seasons prints and patterns – which are finally out! They also have some vintage plastic glassware in a variety of colors that are perfect for all seasons. Another outdoor dining essential is having a flatware caddy that is easy to back-up inside and portable outside – I bought a metal one last year and it’s been clutch even for indoor entertaining, now I just need a few more styles!
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Shop the Honorable Mentions: West Elm Summertime Plates | Target Floral Salad Plate | Macrame Table Runner | West Elm Rattan Flatware Caddy  | Target Floral Embossed Plastic Tumbler

The fun part about entertaining outdoors is that you can mix a variety of textures, styles and materials (like glass and plastics) to pull in a warm and organic look for your guests… without looking like you spent the true number of hours you did working on your tablescape! I’m ready for you summer – but don’t go away too soon once you get here.

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Overnight French Coast Casserole – The Recipe

For Easter brunch this year I made a new dish, that I’ve had at my aunts but this was new to my immediate family and for me! So it was a perfect time to make it for them.  Plus, it’s an overnight casserole, so all your prep is the night before and all you have to do morning of is pop it in the oven – SO EASY! Not to mention, this is SOOOO good, especially if you love some breakfast sweets.
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Prep Time: 20-minutes
Cook Time:
45-minutes

What You’ll Need:
– 10-12 slices of white bread (I used 10)
– 5-6 eggs (I used 6)
– 1/2 cup of margarine aka 1-stick
– 1.5 cups of brown sugar
– 1-teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)
– 9×13 baking pan
– Maple Syrup for serving
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Step-by-Step:
1. Items to prep ahead: (a) Melt your stick butter (b) Beat your 6-eggs into a bowl, add your milk and stir well (c) Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon into a smaller bowl.
2. Now that you have all the main fixings prepped, take your 9×13 baking pan and pour your melted butter across the bottom – from there fill the pan with your first layer of bread.  Only 4-full pieces fit in my pan, so I cut one in half to fill in the little spot left.
3. Sprinkle about half of your cinnamon and brown sugar mix overtop the first layer.
4. Add your second layer of bread, I adjusted where my smaller pieces were from the bottom, just because!
5. Pour your egg and milk mixture over all of the bread.
6. Sprinkle the rest of your cinnamon and brown sugar mixture overtop.
7. Cover and refrigerate over night!
8. Good morning! Pre-heat your oven to 350 and bake covered for 30-minutes.
9. After 30-minutes, uncover and bake for 15-minutes or until set and toppings are browned.
10. Serve with maple syrup & enjoy! French Toast (6) - the bee life
The next time I make this dish, I have a few other ideas on how to step this up to the next level, adding in apples in between the layers for an apple french toast, or even having a strawberry drizzle to put on top before serving and eating. Doesn’t that sound even more delish?!  But seriously, if you love a good sweet in the morning – this is so easy and so delicious!

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Weekend Recap – Easter Things

Easter fell super late this year, so it’s crazy that April is nearly over – eeek! But the Easter weekend flew by just like the rest of this month has been. Not to mention the weather was gross and rainy (but those May flowers are coming!!) it made you just want to lay around and not do much besides watch some playoff basketball – which we did!

All of last week, I was prepping to host my first Easter brunch, even though it wasn’t going to be for the masses – I wanted to make sure I had a nice well-rounded meal planned.  I knew I wanted to make this Overnight French Coast Casserole recipe, so that was a definite (recipe coming later this week!), bacon is always a brunch staple in our household, and then I made a batch of scrambled eggs and had blueberries and raspberries too! The guys made up bloodies, while mom and I stuck with coffee. It was so all so delicious and so filling, yum!
Easter Weekend Recap - the bee life
We wrapped up our Easter weekend with B’s family with a tasty ham, mashed potatoes, baked carrots and salad – we definitely ate well this weekend, that is for sure.  We even helped our nieces with an Easter egg hunt! They were so cute and excited to open their plastic eggs filled with coins and candy and find their Easter baskets – it was super fun to see them so excited about the holiday fun!

Beyond all the Easter festivities, we enjoyed some local eats at some of our favorite spots and even a few new ones – we had a lot of good catching up and laughs, not to mention a house full of pups that kept us busy! How was your weekend?

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