July was another rollercoaster month — but it had some lovely moments of normal. I think those are the moments I need to remind myself more of, those moments of normal.
The month started out with a travel first for B and I — although we were only heading to see my parents, we traveled in a different way than we ever have before. A 73-feet RV! Luckily we didn’t have to worry about driving, so we had a stress free and relaxing ride hanging out with the family. It was massive, and was even bigger once it was parked and stretched out. Once we arrived to our parents, this allowed the fam we traveled with to stay in the RV while we stayed in my parents house — it worked out perfectly!
Luckily we were with family that we’ve seen off and on throughout the last few months — keeping our bubble consistent, but we headed in for my aunt’s beautiful backyard wedding. I know this is the exact scenario everyone has been reading about to avoid for the last three months – I wouldn’t lie if I didn’t say I was anxious about it, but I was also excited to see everyone. We all shared concerns, but we all have been safe, have limited our foot print and continue to take proper safety precautions. The first night together we spent playing corn hole, listening to music, playing games and eating delicious summer cookout food. It was a lot of fun and great being together.
The next day was pretty low key before the wedding. Luckily, the wedding was hosted in my cousins very large backyard. My aunt looked absolutely stunning in her BHLDN wedding dress too and their ceremony was so perfect and shared a lot of special moments between L&A. The wedding guests were pretty much everyone we had been with the night before, so not a lot of new people interacting or mingling and those that were new kept their distance and masked up. We also kept up our intense corn hole tournaments going once the wedding facilities were complete — as it got pretty competitive before we all called it a night and just sat around the fire. Other wedding highlights included fun with the pop-up Polaroid photo booth, eating delicious Nancy cake, Chromatic, Midnight Train to George and getting a surprise firework display since the wedding was on the Fourth of July!
The rest of July was filled with knocking out a few backyard projects, that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming weeks. We’ve also had a hot July summer days, so it’s been some sweaty afternoons and evenings – while taking advantage of early morning tee times, I think we golfed almost every week in July! We’ve been soaking up patio dinners and front porch nights while enjoying refreshing beverages.
Another month, more obsessions, more quarantine and still social distancing over here. So my latest obsessions are exactly what summer’s are made of: Golf. Grilling. And Work Outs.
B and I have quickly turned golfing into a weekly routine. We’ve been going out early to get nine holes in before the work day. It’s also been necessary to go out early to beat the hot summer heat we’ve been blessed with. It’s become a fun hobby, that B is already so great at and loves that I’ve come to enjoy — I just haven’t always make it out in previous years! We’ve also made it another fun summer activity to do with my aunts, too! This has led me to wanting to upgrade my hand-me-down golf bag, however — golf bags aren’t cheap, especially the ones I want. *grins*
Grilling is our preferred dinner method of choice, especially in the summer! We’ve also been loving our MeatboxLocal ground beef delivery. We’ve been completely stocked for burgers all summer, and have also loved grilling up some bacon on the castiron skillet for bacon cheeseburgers — YUM! Grilling out over the summer, means spending more time and extending our nights into our outdoor living space on the patio. In addition to grilling a lot, we have also been trying to eat a lot better and low carb! B has been really good about it, so that has been keeping it in check — it’s definitely easier when you have a partner to keep you accountable.
The last latest obsession that has been also keeping us in check beyond eating better is getting up and working out! As I shared in my July Fitness Friday that we’ve had to pivot the workout routine because of the intense summer heat — although even the morning workouts with the humidity are still pretty sweaty which make the workouts feel a little more effective. I still want to get back into a bit of a running routine and take advantage of the cooler days so I can help accomplish my running goals for the year! It’s helped that B has been working out with me too, along with the aunts or getting a quick one in at our house.
Besides these latest summer obsessions — I’ve been trying to stay busy and distracted with some house projects, that I’ll be sharing soon, to avoid the reality that is still continuing of coronavirus. I thought maybe these summer months and nice weather would be a breeze to get through, but the mental health and anxiety has been a constant battle. I know I’m not the only one — but it’s important we continue to take care of ourselves and check in with each other, still. It’s easy to get wrapped up and just because things have continued to be the rollercoaster they have been since March doesn’t mean people are the same or it’s gotten easier.
Here’s to staying positive, healthy and happy!
Hey Bee Readers — Are you still with me? I know it’s been a minute, but I needed to take a minute. A long minute. I have also started and stopped writing this post, trying to figure out where I wanted to go. But, I think the best way to reflect and share life lately, especially from the beginning of the month, is by sharing a long winded Instagram post from June 8th.
OK. So now how about the rest of life and what’s been going on for the entire month of June?! The month of May seemed like a slow ease back into visiting with people, while the world slowly opened back up and breaking out of our strict quarantine. But June… there were weekends in June that were packed visiting with friends and family (socially distant, smart and safe, of course) and a bit more old normal, that seemed to come in swift and fast. And for me, a little too swift and fast. I’ve been dealing with some new social anxiety and mixed feelings about it all. But at the same time, these moments have been refreshing, they’ve been needed — but the breaks have been needed too.
So let’s talk about the much needed old normal and fun stuff. Here are a few June highlights: A nice weekend with my parents, lots of burgers and eggs (not together), an afternoon stroll with A + B, doggy play dates, a fun pool day to celebrate Father’s Day, Moz’s birthday, fun impromptu neighbor hangs and even a golf date with B!
And here we are, the end of three full months of corona, four if you want to count all of March. And we’re still living in and navigating this “new” normal. B and I are still working from home, with no major plan of returning from either of our companies — so we’ve mentally adjusted to that mindset. We’ve also been keeping busy with house projects and new plans, itching to go somewhere on an airplane and also praying for a bit of of the old normal before the end of the year (wishful thinking, I know).
I also needed to reset mentally, reset the creativity, reset the goals and priorities and focus on life. As I mentioned, I have some fun things and cool reveals I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks, while trying to still stay creative and inspired outside of the office. How have you continued to stay inspired? Is your work life back to normal or are you still rocking the WFH office?
The world needs a little happiness right now, and I think we can start small with some delicious local dones! In honor of National Donut Day, I wanted to highlight our go-to gourmet donut shop, Brewnuts. Not to mention, it’s hard not to smile and swoon over the bright, beachy and pink decor that makes Brewnuts, even if it’s just to get donuts to-go.
Brewnuts has been able to continue to serve the great City of Cleveland even during hard times like COVID-19 and this past weeks BLM movements; they’re always a sound voice and ally for the entire community. The husband and wife duo breathe Cleveland which is evident in all that they do. Since food places had to transition to take out only, or close in mid-March, Brewnuts jumped right on board. They embraced the new guidelines including spacing out their waiting line with pink tape and sharing the latest updates through their Instagram.
Brewnuts offers a delicious weekly or bi-weekly rotating menu featuring the most decadent flavors that make you want to go every single week! You can also always count on them for pop culture themed dones, they’re latest? A Tiger King themed done. When social outings and events were a thing, Brewnuts always hosted fun themed parties to coordinate with their dones or just to support and celebrate fun Cleveland things
So, let’s get back to the main event – National Donut Day! Brewnuts of course has an incredible line up to celebrate National Donut Day featuring their top 12 fan favorite flavors: Cookie Dough Cheesecake Filled, Key Lime Pie Filled, Vegan Maple Cream Stick, Vegan Peanut Butter Oreo, Champagne Gummy Bear, Banana Golden Graham Nutella, Cake Batter Frosted, Cereal Milk + Fruity Pebbles, Funfetti Buttermilk Bar, Strawberry Sprinkle, Classic Glazed and Maple Bacon.
We also went there last week because they had a few must-have flavors including my favorite animal cracker fry cake and B wanted the brownie sea salt caramel. We also got Strawberry Shortcake and Vegan Blue Razz Lemonade. Our pro-tip especially with the take out options, and if you’re planning to go over the weekend, make sure to go early like when they first open — that way you can make sure to get your pick of flavors and maybe even avoid waiting in a longer line!
Brewnuts is the perfect spot to bring friends or family who may be visiting from out of town, even if it’s for take out! The donuts are big enough to share, but also not too big to finish one yourself, no shame! Brewnuts is our go-to post-race spot and is the perfect spot for a little celebration or a night cap. Also you must follow Brewnuts on Instagram so you can swoon over their dones and get the latest scoop on menu updates and even when they’re sold out for the day!
May has been tough, but it’s also had some glimpses of normal — well, what used to be normal. And it’s also had glimpses of “the new normal” as everyone seems to be calling it. May has been a month of slowly starting to see family again, some in normal ways, some in different more protected and distant ways. May has seen some lows and it’s seen some highs. May has also been the last month of the temporary hope of this thing all being over, because this new normal definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. May has even had a few WTF moments.
We started the month off with a little road trip to finally see my parents. It was much needed on both sides. The best part was we were able to make it there in one trip, and hunkered in over the weekend with lots of eats, drinks, board games and laughs and still able to maintain social distance from the world. My mom even surprised me with a homemade birthday cake, so we finally got to celebrate a belated birthday since our big plans in March all got kiboshed. It was great to be together in person, instead of 4-hour virtual chats, and as I mentioned, a much needed visit.
Mother’s Day consisted of a masked and mostly socially distant family gathering with our in-laws and supporting local to shower our mom’s with some special gifts. We also attended not one but two of our first virtual college graduations for my younger cousins, and even a virtual wedding (technically the last day of April)! The virtual graduations definitely had their advantages, beyond just being a new concept — but it also gave us an opportunity to actually attend and participate in these moments when we might not have been able to travel to them before (pre or post corona).
More May highlights included lots of walks with Moz and even a few car rides to the Starbucks drive thru for puppachinos. We’ve also been perfecting our breakfast sandwich making skills, including grilling bacon on the grill in a cast iron skillet along with grilling out local meats from MeatboxLocal to help mix-up our dinner menu. We’ve also finally gotten around to planning a few fun house projects while also reaching out to contractors for a few not so fun projects. We’ve been admiring all of our flowers budding and blooming and all the beautiful green with all the rain we’ve been getting. B and I also celebrated 9 years together with burritos and a brisk walk. We’ve also had fun counting down the days until when we can get our haircuts… which is now only one more week away! The weather also started to feel a lot like summer, so the weekends have been spent outside, like all day, every day — which has been really nice.
The month of May was also a big month for the state of Ohio as they started the phased re-openings early on in the month of May. I was actually surprised at how much started to reopen so quickly. Dentists, veterinarians, retail, dine-in at restaurants, salons, hair dressers and gyms have all been able to reopen (among many other things) this month. And it’s been interesting to balance and start having conversations with family and friends to understand what everyone is comfortable with as things reopen.
As much as I’m craving for getting back to “normal” and back into a routine, there is still a major fear factor — although it’s not a fear of even getting it, it’s the feat of potentially spreading it and also other people’s perception along with trying to be responsible for our community and those who are close to us. It’s a very weird time, but luckily there were a few moments of normal — so I hope that continues to be the case as we jump into June. And hopefully, we can get a trip in still this year. What were your May highlights?
The weather is finally starting to break and it’s been so nice to spend weekends, evenings and even a few working afternoon outside in the sunshine and warmth. With quarantine and remote work continuing, I’m starting to get transition my mindset a bit more to try and embrace all of this a bit more. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and mental health strain which I’ll be sharing more about on my Fitness Friday this month. So, with trying to transition my mindset, I’m trying to stay busy by planning for a few projects and a few other things I love, while living in workout pants and sports bras.
Mini Office Makeover. Fun fact; our home office wasn’t ever intentionally set-up for designed to be an actual home office. I know typing that out makes it sounds really stupid – but it’s true! Up until recently, B and I only occasionally work from home and would just set-up shop in the dining room or living room. Our home office was designed to be a fun space that serves as another guest room and home to our sports memorabilia. So I’m brainstorming on some easy, cost-effective ways to make this a bit more inspirational, fun and creative for a more long term working space. I’m thinking pink, and I’ll leave it at that.
Anything Bravo. I would just like to personally take a moment to thank Bravo (and bubbly), for giving me some sense of sanity and a mental escape throughout this super weird time that is quickly becoming the “new normal.” B and I have rewatched the entire series of Vanderpump Rules, even as this latest season wraps up. And my two favorite housewives series are now on, RHOBH and RHONY, along with Andy being back with his virtual WWHL which are still enjoyable.
Some Backyard Plans. Our back patio is pretty set and perfect, besides adding some seasonal plants around to spruce up the space a bit more. B and I have talked off and on about doing some additional privacy-scaping in the back area, but just haven’t gotten around to it. So I’m sketching up some plans to pitch to B, since he is jones-ing to get that project going. We’ve also chatted about adding a floating deck and hot tub… so we will see how that all fits in.
Travel Daydreaming. Flights are so cheap right now. It’s been really easy to daydream and want to plan and just book a flight. Airlines are also still offering no charge rebooking fees (at least Southwest still it!) so it’s eliminating some of the potential risk. It’s just so hard to plan right now, and it breaks my heart to think we might not travel on an airplane this year — but I’m still hoping.
So you’ll be catching me this weekend making some plans, getting inspired and definitely watching some bravo while sipping some bubbles and daydreaming of the day that we feel safe to fly on an airplane again and explore the world. And I’m still obsessing over Target Drive-Up, it’s been well over two months since I’ve actually stepped foot in one. What’ve you been obsessing over lately?
Today marks 60 days since I was last in my office working and 60 days straight of working from home. It’s taken a bit to get into a routine, from coffee to lunch to working out and 9 to 5 work — but I’m finally in somewhat of a rhythm? My routines have completely changed from when I was going into the office, for better or for worse.
Morning Routine. I’ve had a really tough time waking up early and getting in my morning workouts — so I’ve been sleeping in a bit later than normal and loving every moment of it. Usually B and I sit with our coffee and chat the morning away before I head upstairs to jump on my mornings calls and starting my work day. But let’s back up to the coffee, office life consisted of Starbucks almost every morning (yes, I’m saving so much money in quarantine) — so I switched to the VIA Instant Packets from Starbucks. B likes K-Cups, but they honestly don’t do anything from me, but the VIA Packets are a good enough fix! I’ve also enjoyed using all my coffee mugs — we usually don’t use many of them, so I’ve been digging deep and making sure the rotation is on point.
My Office & Assistant. This is truly the first time our home office is being utilized as an office! It has definitely helped having a dedicated space to go up to and I always make sure to kiss B, good-bye before I head up. I was able to bring my mouse, keyboard and monitor when we left the office back in March, and that has been a huge help with work productivity. My Moz girl has been an awesome office assistant, lap warmer and occasional Zoom bomber! She loves when I have lunch too, and has definitely picked up a few social media tricks.
WFH Wear. I’ve been absolutely loving wearing athleisure-wear and comfy clothes throughout the day. Big comfy sweaters, lots of headbands and yoga pants have been my go-to, also wearing my workout clothes throughout the day gives me no excuse to squeeze a workout in during lunch, the afternoon or right after the workday. Don’t worry, I’ve had a few days where I’ve put jeans on, a nice shirt and even some make-up — yes the jeans still fit, so that is at least something!
Week Night Evenings. We’ve been having some good weather evenings with sunshine, so we’ve been making sure Moz has been getting her walks in — even when the weather isn’t looking so great. The sunny evenings have also been a new go-to favorite for getting my workouts in too, and much better than our basement. I also haven’t been a hurry, because we have all evening and just another day at home to wake-up too!
I’ve come to realize that it might make sense to invest in an Nespresso machine, because I really miss my expresso is my coffee every morning. Bravo has also been keeping me sane during quarantine — B and I have been rewatching Vanderpump Rules, RHOBH and RHONY just started and of course we’ve been loving the current season of Pump Rules. I also want to continue to focus on my diet — but more to come on that in my next Fitness Friday post!
My hubby, B get’s full credit for this recipe and it’s just too good not to share — so consider this a guest blog from my one and only (he even took the pictures!) Since quarantine has started, we’ve definitely been enjoying a few more sweets than normal, so he was on the hunt for a healthier dessert recipe that would also be dairy-free for me! So, as I mention — B get’s full credit for finding this five-ingredient recipe and grabbing all the ingredients, and when he mentioned he was making cookie dough, I definitely did not complain *grins* !
Although this is a simple recipe and only utilized 2-cups of cashews, this definitely makes a larger portion that will last nights to help satisfy that sweet treat. B also decided to get 95% dark chocolate to help with that healthy portion of this tasty treat — but you can definitely decide to put in whatever chocolate, or other goodies you may want to add into this treat.
– 2-cups of Whole Cashews
– 95% Dark Chocolate Bar
– 3 tbsp. Agave
– 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
– 1/4 cup of Almond Flour
1. First, boil 3-4 cups of water. Once the water comes to a boil, pour over your cashews in a glass bowl. Let your cashews soak in the water for 3-4 hours.
2. Once the cashew’s have soaked, drain the water from the cashews. Add your cashews, almond flour, coconut oil and agave into a food processor and blend well.
3. The blended mixture should appear creamy and well blended.
4. On a cutting board, break up your chocolate bar into smaller chunks
5. Scrape your cashew base into a bowl and then add your chocolate bar chunks and mix together, then refrigerate before serving!
This was such a yummy treat and definitely felt guilt-free when enjoying. After having it this first round, it would be fun to play around with adding in some other types of chocolate or goodies like sprinkles or m&ms for a little extra color and crunch! I am not a huge lover of super dark chocolate, but mixed in with this, it was definitely a good balance of tart and sweet with the cookie dough.
All of us around the world and U.S. altered our Easter traditions this year — stayed away from family, didn’t attend church and opted for workout clothes instead of our Sunday best. This year is already making to be one for the books and I know this Easter will also be one of those moments that is talked about years from now. We definitely missed spending time with our families this year but tried to make the most of our this untraditional holiday, which I hope is one of the few holidays affected by this pandemic.
I woke up pretty early, for no good reason — so I took the opportunity to take Moz for a car ride to the Starbucks drive thru for some hot coffee and a puppachino for Moz! She got her Easter treat and loved every minute of it. We had a pretty low-key morning, sipping coffee and catching up on Little Fires Everywhere before cooking our yummy brunch. We had plans to make my parent’s waffle recipe, had bacon queued up and even mimosas ready to go 🥂! Waffle’s is my families go-to holiday brunch breakfast and always paired with bacon and hash browns — we opted for some eggs instead of hash browns. While we ate our brunch, we watched Easter mass
Once brunch was done, I snuck a nap in with Moz. And woke up to the weather shaping up and the sun peaking out — making for a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I made myself get out for a 5-mile run, which felt pretty good and was much needed after over indulging in our delicious brunch. I even got to see my aunts by chance on my run and from a 6-foot distance for a quick hi! When I got back, B and I took Moz for a nice long walk — enjoying all the blooming trees, flowers, fresh air and sunshine while Moz was just loving life, smiling with her tongue out the whole time. Luckily we were able to maintain good social distance during our walk, and even while I was on my run — as I’ve opted to just run in the road to avoid the sidewalk traffic, especially on the weekends. As you can see, my Easter outfit consisted of PJ’s and activeware with zero make up and some pretty great hat hair.
We spent the rest of our day FaceTiming with our parents and a few other family members catching up, sipped on a Manhattan and had a super fancy Easter dinner with a DiGiorno pizza and salad and finished the night watching the latest episode of KUWTK. We made it a pretty great day (minus breaking a dining room chair and champagne flute 🙃), enjoying the incredible sunshine and weather, had the perfect mix of active and relaxing while eating some pretty great food — while documenting the day to family/friends via pictures and texts. How did you send your Easter?
Baking during quarantine? Check out this easy bundt cake recipe!