Latest Fashion Obsessions 07.17

This month’s latest obsessions is a fashion edition. Covering off on all my favorite summer pieces from the beach, to the patio, to a wedding!  Let’s face it, that is pretty much what the whole summer is about, and your wardrobe can never have enough options for any of those occasions!
Latest Fashion Obsessions_07.17 - the bee life
For the Beach:  My must have is high-waisted bikini bottoms! A little over a year ago, these were hard to find, now you can find them almost everywhere! From Target, to Old Navy to Athleta, the prints and options are endless and adorable!  Since my beach bod has been a work in progress, this is a cute way for me to feel more confident and comfortable!  Not to mention everything is on SALE right now! Stock-up!

For the Patio: For the cool summer nights I’ve been loving a pair of mid-rise jean shorts paired with a flowy long sleeve shirt or sweater.  It’s perfect for a low-key night with friends sitting around the fire, sipping on a tasty beverage and listening to some good tunes.

For the Wedding:  I first fell in love with Jessakae on Pinterest when I saw these gorgeous floral printed dressed.  Although, like most clothing pins on Pinterest, the links never work but I decided to click, and to my surprise the link worked! I’ve bought three dresses off Jessakae, they arrive quickly, the fabric is incredible soft and light and they’re great for casual events or to dress up with heels and a nice hair style. They also offer tops, bottoms, and cute shoes!

There is still plenty of summer left to stock your wardrobe with all these essentials, I know I have been!

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Planning Your Honeymoon

When planning a wedding, the honeymoon is often the second most talked about event beyond the big day.  And it is often the thing the couple ends up looking forward to, maybe even more than the wedding day? So with so much pressure on the big day, there is equal pressure for the week after.  Here are a few tips for planning your honeymoon!
Planning Your Honeymoon - the bee life

  1. Consider a Mini-Moon. Since we’re getting married in November, our dream spots aren’t in season in November or December, so we were a little bummed out.  Until family/friends were telling us we had to get away still, even if it was local in the U.S. Problem solved, tickets/resort booked! There are so many cities popping up all over the U.S. that can allow for the perfect romantic getaway you’re looking for. Oh, and you can still plan that dream spot the following year! Check out these mini-moon spots from Travel + Leisure
  2. Go Someplace New. We are totally guilty of vacationing to the same places, so this is the perfect excuse to try someplace new.  Whether you’re keeping it in the continental U.S., or venturing over seas, there are endless places to visit.  If you’re like us, the list goes on for days of dream vacation destinations.
  3. Add It To Your Registry! With new innovative registries becoming more popular, like Zola, you can literally add a honeymoon fund to your list! This allows guests to contribute money for your dream vacation, and can help take off some of the financial burden for the couples dream trip.
  4. Relaxation vs. Adventure. Choosing your destination may be impacted by what you’re planning to do on your vacation.  Consider if you’ll want to strictly relax, or want to have endless options of excursions and places to visit.  A city destination will probably be more on the go vs. a warm resort town on the west coast.  Looking for excursions and activities, maybe consider a mountain resort getaway or hiking through the Grand Canon or Smokey Mountains.
  5. Consider Connections.  Do you know family/friends that have vacationed in spots you’ve dreamed of going? Ask them for tips on places to stay and restaurants to visit.  Better yet, if family/friends have time shares that you can take advantage of, do it! Then you just have to worry about airfare, maybe a rental car and your day-to-day expenses! A honeymoon on a budget, is never a bad thing!

Whatever trip you plan, and wherever you end up going, will be a memorable trip!  Just remember why you’re going, it’s your first trip as husband and wife (husband/husband or wife/wife)!!

 

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Fitness Friday 07.17

Happy Fitness Friday!

So I’m in a funny place with my workout routine, I feel motivated but at the same time am feeling discouraged – which both contradict each other.  Motivate is defined as a stimulate interest in or enthusiasm for doing something and discouraged is defined as having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened.  Complete opposites!
FF 07.17 - the bee life
I was thrown off my normal routine these past two weeks, so I understand that is probably where a lot of the discouraged feeling is coming from.  And I’m motivated knowing that half marathon training is just starting to pick up, and I’ve actually been running! I’ve been making progress with sticking with my workout routine and growing stronger, but admittedly I haven’t seen some of the progress I’d like to see with my weight.

I am also day three into no sweets for 30-days.  It’s going to be tough with a bridal shower and wedding thrown into the mix, but practicing self-control for 30-days is a personal thing I want to challenge myself with, and something I know I can do.  I just need a few extra jumpstarts to accompany the exercise.

How do you push yourself to new limits?  What is standing in the way of your goals?

Travel: #EmnBtoSTL

Since we flew in and out of St. Louis, we were able to spend two-days in St. Louis on our way out from the Ozarks, and a quick brunch on our way out to the lake.  Needless to say our 2-days in St. Louis were jam packed with prime tourist spots and a few off the path places.   We wish we would’ve had more time to explore, but definitely got a taste of St. Louis.

Half & Half Brunch
I had been researching some good food spots, luckily we were able to at least attend one spot.  It was the perfect pit stop to refuel after an early morning of travel and before the drive to the lake.  The atmosphere was quaint and cozy, the service was friendly and on point, the food was amazing and wish we could’ve gone back for more!

Gateway Arch 
We popped over the the Gateway arch to start one of our days.  The last time I was in St. Louis, I was too young to remember, old photographs are all I have as a memory, so it was great to go back and appreciate the beauty.   Not to mention this was B’s first trip to the city.  We were late to the game booking a tour to go up inside the arch, but we were able to snap enough photos around the manicured greens.  This is definitely a must in STL.

Anheuser Busch Brewery
Of course we made a stop to the iconic “all-American” brewery.  This little village located on the perimeter of downtown, was an impressive site to see with many of the buildings built in the 1800’s, that by the way are in pristine condition.   The complimentary tour was the perfect combination of tradition and taste, while we began and ended our visit in the bier garden! A highlight of our stop here was touring the Clydesdale barn built in 1885, and then snapping a photo with one too!

We had a great trip at the lake, ending it with fun activities in St. Louis.  We definitely want to get back to visit a few new spots and enjoy a few again!

Travel: Lake of the Ozarks

B and I were lucky enough to take another awesome vacation this past week.  We headed west-ish for my aunt’s belated 60th birthday trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.  A first for B and I, it was a treasured childhood spot for my mom and her family growing up, with lots of memories in and around the lake!

Days consisted of bikinis, sunshine, pool gossip sessions, corn hole tournaments, cold beers, fishing and ski-dos.  One day the ladies went hiking and explored around Ha Ha Tonka State Park, climbing 317 stairs both ways, while exploring old castle ruins, breath-taking water spots and the natural bridge.
Travel - Ozarks - the bee life
Night’s consisted of large family dinners with St. Louis style ribs paired with incredible spreads of fresh salads, fruit, lots of beverages, including of course, Manhattans.  There were also many family stories shared, reminisced of old times, and lots of laughs.  We celebrated my Aunt’s 60th our last night at the lake, and her gratitude for everyone making the trip there, was exactly the reason we went, to create and share in family memories.

It was a great vacation, full of sunshine, awesome weather and even better company.  We can’t wait to get back to the lake!

House Tour – Backyard Patio

If you’ve been reading along, you may have gotten hints of our latest home project/renovation… our backyard patio!  This project was 100% a want on B’s end, and maybe about a 55% want on my end.  Sure I’ve wanted and dreamed about a backyard patio in our blank slate of a yard, but we’ve gone this long, so why not wait some more? But once B started getting quotes and kept moving the project forward, I jumped on board and helped from an aesthetic perspective to help pull it all together and finish it off.

The space we picked is off the back of the house, and connects seamlessly to the driveway for a universal flow for expanded living space. We’ve got plans for the house in a few of these areas so we designed with that in mind. Last summer we were looking into doing a square paver patio, but after numerous chats with family/contractors, it didn’t seem like it’d last for the price we’d have to pay. Plus it was WAY more than we were expecting at the time.  So we started exploring stamped concrete this time around figuring out textures and colors we liked.   It all came together just how we envisioned it!
House Tour - Patio(7) - the bee life

Since we only had one piece of furniture, the dining table a hand-me-down from B’s aunt & uncle (2-years ago!), we went shopping for some pieces.  We had our eye on black iron chairs that matched the table pretty well and found a similar base for the umbrella, so we were able to use the table. The dining space works out perfectly and we’ve already had a few dinners out on the patio.  The conversation set was a find that I fell in love with thanks to Emily Henderson, but luckily we were able to take advantage of some Memorial Day sales and got a great price on everything!

The last finishing touch that really pulls the space together (besides the super comfortable wide chairs – that I am OBSESSED with) are the bistro lights!  I’d bought almost half of the lights we needed when they were on sale last season for a steal of $8 each compared to $24.99 *WOW* – moral of the story, always buy more than you think you’ll need, especially if they’re $8 and you don’t have a use for them at the time!

We’ve spent so much time outside in these last few weeks now that we have this additional living space.  It was definitely worth it and I’m glad B pushed for this, because we love how it turned out and having another space to entertain in!

// Want the look?
Dining Chairs; Lowes || Outdoor Fire Pit; Lowes || Table Umbrella; Target || Umbrella Base; Target || Bistro Lights; Target || Conversation Set & Chairs; Target 

Weekend Recap – Sunshine & Friends

It was another perfect summer weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the company was enjoyed.  Friday night started with some porch drinks with our neighbors and a late dinner date!  It was a great kickoff to the weekend.

Saturday morning we got up early to attend a yoga class and volunteer through our friends new venture, Yogatta Give Back. It’s a combination of yoga and volunteering. First you start with the class, followed by volunteering wherever the spot is, it’s a wide variety of places and causes. We volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, and spruced up their community area. It was the perfect morning outside!

Saturday night we attended our first wedding of 2017! It was a dear former co-workers wedding, and it was the perfect night for these two to tie the knot.  They exchanged vows in front of a breathtaking back drop of endless views, and the reception was in a rustic and charming lodge on the property.  We had breakfast for dinner and they made 150 mini cakes, of their cake, for guests to enjoy. The bride is an insane baker (Snicklefritz Bakeshop), and so is the groom, so decadent treats were of plenty! It was a sweet night for a very sweet couple, their love and the love of everyone attending was so evident!

Sunday was filled with some pampering, sunshine, neighbors and even a run! I can’t believe it was the last official weekend of June, another perfect one for summer.

How did you spend your last weekend of June?

Latest Obsessions 06.17

Happy Friday!  Here are my latest obsessions for the month of June, a hodgepodge of personal and some new music faves for you to try!

Latest Obsessions 06.17 - the bee life

Our Patio.  Full disclosure, this was a project that B wanted done 10x more than I did (full reveal to be posted next week!), but I am so glad we did it. It’s like night and day, and we spend so much time out there. I can’t wait for more summer nights with friends, grilling out, plenty of laughs and drinks to go around! Not to mention, Moz loves it too.

Working Out. Yes. I’m finally there, pushing myself and making myself get out of bed when I really wanted to sleep in (like this morning) and on those hot summer days after work.  It’s that making that decision to say yes, and do it versus saying no and regretting. Our wedding countdown is getting shorter and shorter, and I still have big goals to hit – so I need to keep conquering them all!

Witness. Katy Perry’s newest CD officially hit the stores 2-weeks ago, and since I got concert tickets for her upcoming tour, Katy sent CD’s straight to my door!  This has been my new jam in the car, my favorite songs are Hey Hey Hey, Roulette and Swish Swish.   Also if you’re looking for some good music my two go-to playlists on Spotify are “Today’s Top Hits” and “Cardio

Share what you’ve been obsessing over in the comments below! I want to know!!

Weekend Recap – CVNP Topography

B and I had the honor of being guests at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Topography event, Saturday night.

Not knowing what to expect, I was quickly blown away by the array of food, all supplied and catered by Spice Kitchen & Bar and the interactive cocktail experience while enjoying the trail system, leading us to an open field of beautifully dressed tables set for 200. A seated dinner was served at 8:15, it started with a salad and then family style dishes for the main meal. The food and service was exceptional.

We were lucky to be accompanied by a great group of friends for this incredibly unique dining experience. After dinner we were able to sit around camp fires, sipping cocktails and enjoying the perfect summer night. A band played in the distance, while various tents were set up with bars or desserts!

The event supports and raises money for Trails Forever, with helps protect and preserve the CVNP trails.   B and I will definitely be heading back to check out the park in the future to enjoy some hikes.  If you have a chance, keep this event on your radar for next year, especially if you want to enjoy an unforgettable evening at a beautiful, local, national park with the best local cuisine.