American Flag Decor Inspiration

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

In order to kick off the holiday weekend and the unofficial kickoff to summer, decorating with the American Flag is a great way to be festive from Memorial Day, to the 4th of July to Labor Day!  You can leave it up, and your set for the summer so you can travel, entertain, enjoy the warm weather and socialize with friends.  Here is some inspiration for an easy and classic way to feel festive all summer long;

I love decorating with an American Flag, the colors are bright and timeless. Get your house prepped with a statement piece inside or decorate and show off outside, or better yet, both!

Enjoy!

Sources: Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

Latest Obsessions 05.17

Here’s what I’ve been completely obsessing over lately, spoiler alert, the theme of everything may or may not be summer. Yes, I am jonesing for warm weather and the perfect entertaining pieces from kitchen to patio.
Latest Obessions 05.17 - the bee life
Sources: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 

Lemon Patterned Everything.  From kitchen towels, to serving trays, to wrapping paper, a lemon pattern is bright and cheery, timeless and refreshing.  Kate Spade is currently feeding this obsession and has a lot of perfect lemon patterned pieces for entertaining, and the better part is you can go all out lemons or just buy a few key pieces to play off neutrals.

Patio Furniture. Spoiler, our latest home project is a back patio at our house.  Since we will have true, dedicated space for a patio and dining area, we now need to find the perfect mix that’ll be able to entertain a decent number of friends for impromptu family occasions or neighbor hangs.  I keep going back between more of a outdoor sectional vs. the traditional conversation set with a love seat and chairs.

Outdoor Entertaining. Staying on theme, I’ve been a bit obsessed with finding cute plasticware for outdoor parties and entertaining. In addition to that, upgrading and finding some cute plastic plates and finding a nice outdoor tray has been on my to-do list as well. Home Good’s is definitely going to be my go-to for this, I’m just waiting to pull the trigger.

What have you been obsessing about lately? Are you completely ready for summer mode too?

Weekend Recap – College Showers

This past weekend was a good mix of work and fun.

We started yet another house project Friday afternoon, even though we’re working with contractors, so we aren’t doing too much of the heavy lifting, just heavily babysitting. *winks*  But that should be finished up by tomorrow, so fingers crossed we got all the snafu’s worked out.  Don’t worry I’ll share the full project at a later date! Friday night we attended a watch party to watch the Cavs murder the Celtics in game two of the Eastern Conference finals, only to watch them loose at a buzzer beater last night. *grrrr*

Saturday after some of the babysitting stress subsided, we made it out of the house, over to our friend’s to celebrate her 30th! The theme of the night was “party like you’re in college” so there was plenty of drinking games and even a keg of beer.  In order to keep on theme for the night, we gifted the birthday girl with a t-shirt that read; “I Can’t Adult Today” it was perfect! We of course partook in some of the “college party” fun and ran the beer pong table for a few games before we retired and became spectators, mainly because we lost to a few cheaters (you know who you are.) It was a lot of fun, although B and I definitely didn’t party like we were in college. #adulting

Sunday was one of my bestie’s bridal showers.  It was fun catching up with friends and meeting a lot of her family! It was a beautiful shower with mimosas and lots of sweets, so it was extra perfect. A was spoiled with all of her beautiful gifts, because she has amazing taste. I can’t wait for her wedding in July!

On a side note, I can’t believe this next weekend is Memorial Day – where did May go?! What are your favorite May memorials of 2017?

XO

Fitness Friday 05.17

Happy Friday!  I just wanted to share a quick check-in on my fitness progress this far. Since the beginning of February I’ve been religious with my workout routine, sticking to my 3-days of bootcamp and enjoying every minute of it, well almost every minute of it. It’s hard to think that it’s been almost 4-full months meaning the big day is now only 6-months away.

Since results have been a bit slower, than I was hoping, I’ve started to work to get a few more workout sessions in, including Wednesday doubles. But like clockwork, as soon as I’m getting into a rhythm and groove, it’s going to be thrown off with a trip or a weekend full of parties and places to be.  This is when we are challenged the most, are we going to maintain and stick with our habits that we’ve worked so hard to build? Or are we going to slowly fall off that ladder and fall back into old, easy ways?
Fitness Friday 05.17_the bee lifeAnd this is when we’re reminded, that in order to maintain this healthy lifestyle, to continue to feel good and be healthy – we need to push through the obstacles that face us. We need to wake up early, we need to eat better, we need to pick up that heavier weight, and we need to push ourselves a little harder each workout.  There is not finish line or point when it stops, it might just change.

I’ve gotten to the point where I am tired of the excuses and I’m ready to continually kickass every day so that I have no more excuses.

Happy Lifting!

 

TBT – #CoakleyEverAfter

This Throwback Thursday is all about my bestie, and the day she married Travis.  As their first anniversary quickly approaches (this Sunday!) I wanted to take a walk down memory lane and share some pictures that weren’t shared last year on #CoakleyEverAfter – Part 1 and #CoakleyEverAfter – Part 2! All the events leading up to the big day, were amazing from the bridal shower to the bachelorette party, to weekends planning and prepping centerpieces.  And then the wedding, it was so beautiful and perfect, because it was my best friend’s wedding.  I’m so lucky to have been so involved and closely by Katie’s side the whole day! I can’t wait for her to do the same on my wedding.

Happy first Anniversary Katie & Travis!

Photo source as indicated: Iburi Photography

Wedding Planning – Flowers

When it comes to flowers for your wedding, there are a lot of things to consider, like… first and foremost if you even want real flowers at your wedding! There are so many alternatives from realistic fake flowers to paper flowers! For me, I knew I wanted fresh flowers at our wedding. Flowers are something I’ve always dreamed about for my wedding, lots and lots of flowers… everywhere.  But as you’ll quickly come to find out, like I did, flowers are not cheap! In fact, I had a few vendors reply first stating their minimum price for an event, and it was double my budget, so I kindly responded and said thanks, but not going to work for me!

I will admit, I was a bit discouraged, and started mentally talking myself off the ledge of needing over the top florals, and starting thinking of how I would be able to simplify everything in order to at least have some flowers that I could afford.  Well upon many searches and reaching out to a few more unknown florists, I found my one.
Wedding Planning - Flowers
Here are a few tips for when you start the chats with potential florists:
1. Have pictures ready on pinterest to share with your florist! If you’re talking over the phone, try and send these ahead of time or a link to your pinterest page so you can talk through your vision live
2. Know ballpark numbers of how much you’ll need of hand bouquets, boutineers, centerpieces, ceremony space, hand corsages, etc. this of course helps with that estimating part
3. If your florist is asking you questions about your venue and ceremony space that is making you think, for example – does your church expects that the bouquets/centerpieces are donations?  You’ll want to gut check to see if other florists ask the same question, this verify’s experience and level of detail
4. Because…. if they’re considered donations you may not be able to reuse them in your venue space as additional decor or a centerpiece. Speaking of which, talk through with your florist how pieces can be used in both the ceremony and receptions spaces
5. Get ready to take notes and google a lot of different flowers, I know the basics, but a lot of what I wanted I only knew by seeing it – also ask about similar more affordable flowers that might work to get you the look you want
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your florist for a mood board/image to support pricing to make sure the vision and reality will match!

Our flowers for the wedding, are one of the things I am most excited about – besides the stunning venue and marrying my B.  I can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out, they’re definitely close to the level of my wildest dreams, and I can’t wait to see them come to life, in our venue, on our wedding day!

Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

Travel: #EmnBtoDC

In case you missed our D.C. Eats recap, B and I were in Washington D.C. this past weekend! It was fun to jump in the car, hit the open road and get out of town for the weekend. Although we’d both been there before separately, we wanted to go back and see the historical beautiful sites, together.

Since our hotel was in a prime location, two blocks from the White House, and about a 20-minute walk from the National Mall, we were sneaker ready to hit up as many sites as possible. We got an early start Saturday, but many other tourists had gotten an even earlier start! Our first stop was the Washington Monument, and from there we went to the WWII memorial and walked along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial. There were many baby ducklings with their parents in the pool, they were too cute!

I was so looking forward to visiting the Lincoln Memorial and replicating that first time I walked in nearly 11 years before. I have the fondest memory of walking in from the bustling exterior and into this silent, peaceful and mesmerizing place. Sadly, it was not the same experience this time around.  People were yelling back and forth to one another to take a picture or facetiming with family/friends to show them the statue. I was so disappointed, and a little mad! But it was still an incredible place and site to see, the views inside and outside are stunning and breathtaking.

From there we checked out the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and hid from the rain under some trees surrounding it. From there we leisurely walked back through the park and made our way to the Smithsonian American History museum. We explored the war exhibits and the First Lady Exhibit; showing off their Inaugural Gown dresses and various White House China.

We made our way to the Capitol beating ominous clouds, again there were more adorable ducklings swimming in the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol. The Capitol is a massive building, and is radiant in symmetry. We hid from rain in various Starbucks on our way to lunch at District Taco’s.  We did a break back to the hotel, before we went back out and explored more around the White House, adoring the brownstone’s and historical buildings from the 1800’s surrounding it.

We clocked nearly 13-miles throughout our day Saturday, walking to all the sites, shopping and dinner in between. Because we were only there for the weekend, we definitely felt like we had to be selective we our choices but saw our must-see’s and had a fun weekend trip!

Travel: D.C. Eats

This past weekend, B surprised me with a trip to Washington D.C. to celebrate our dating anniversary! We always try and figure out places that are close-ish and within driving distance. This trip was just that. He booked this trip at the end of March, and didn’t tell me where we were headed until 5-days before!

The last time we were both in D.C. was for our 8th grade trips, so needless to say I am sure we didn’t appreciate a lot of it. Not to mention, going now, we were able to explore at our pace and more importantly find some good spots to eat and drink!

Cork Wine Bar
Cork was my surprise for B. I found a spot with the same name as our first date! It was a random find, located just North of Logan Circle. Cork’s atmosphere was cozy and intimate. They’re known for their old world wines, but we opted for bubbly and beer. They also recommend about 2-3 plates per person, so we ordered the full gamut! We started with the house-marinated olives and avocado. They were both pure heaven, and we hadn’t even gotten to the main course yet.  B ordered the grilled octopus salad, which was refreshing and light and a lot of great flavor. From there we enjoyed the crispy lemon and black pepper dusted calamari and rock shrimp, sauteed mushrooms and the lavender encrusted lamb chops. Everything was delicious, but the lamp chops were incredible, the taste and flavors beat any expectations.  We ordered the chocolate mousse to share and couldn’t stop gushing over everything we’d just ate.  Everything was phenomenal.

Astro Doughnuts
This was an Instagram find that happened to be walking distance from our hotel! So we popped over to Astro Doughnuts first thing Saturday AM with our coffee to get some sweet treats to kickoff the day.  We ordered the Maple Bacon, PB&J, and Almond Brittle. They were all delicious but the PB&J and Almond Brittle took the cake.  You can also order chicken or specialty sandwiches – but we stuck with the sweets.  It was on point!

Farmers & Distillers
Located in Chinatown, this spot is an urban twist on all types of cuisines, with their own stamp on the drink menu with their distilled alcohol.  This was your typical hot spot, it was bustling and loud.  The food was good, but it was so-so in comparison to our dinner at Cork. At Farmers & Distillers, we opted for the salad and pizza route. Our pizza picks were on point. We ordered the bacon & baby kale and the brie & tart apple, they were both delicious in their own way.  The food was good enough, but I wish we would’ve spent a little more timing finding a different spot with a cozier atmosphere.

We definitely ate well this past weekend in D.C. – and can’t wait to go back to try some new places and head back to a few favorites *cough Cork cough*

If you’ve got any D.C. must-eats, please comment below for our next trip there!

Bon Appetit!

Six.

Today mark’s six years with B and about 6-months until we’re married (!!!) and although we will have a new anniversary, this will always be our first.

As we’ve been prepping for our wedding with vendors, meetings, and security deposits, we’ve also been prepping for our wedding through the church with a series of quizzes and even an all day ‘prep course’.  I can hear some of you asking, a quiz? A course? Who is the church to decide if you’re able to get married? Valid, yes. But it’s our faith and how we grew up and a part of our wedding that is important to us, that it’s recognized in the church.  So during our all day course, we had to separate and write down where we saw ourselves in 5 and 10 years (along other things). And as we read these back to each other we laughed because they were nearly identical.  And although we talk about the future, our hopes and wants, it was a nice to sit down and actually write those things down and then discuss them with each other. Our “marriage prep” with the church has allowed us to talk about a few more things proactively vs. in the moment of life.

Every year together we grow a little more, we challenge each other, we become stronger, we love a little harder, we laugh, we try new things, we go new places, we support and encourage each other.

I can’t wait to walk down the aisle to this man and keep tallying up the years and memories together.

I love you, B! ❤