Funfetti Cake Bars – Recipe

It’s birthday week, and it wouldn’t be a birthday without some Funfetti 🎉! Funfetti is one of my favorites, I even got a Funfetti birthday cake last year – which I was able to snag just in time the bakery closed for a few months. So this year to get my Funfetti fix, I wanted to try something new and make my own Funfetti cake bars. The verdict? Amazing!

Not only did this recipe turn out tasty, it’s also pretty easy! And my favorite kind of dessert recipe is one that is easy and delicious. I did end up having to bake it a little longer than the recipe I was inspired by to get it golden brown and not gooey in the middle.

Cake Bar Ingredients List:
– 1 pouch Sugar Cookie Mix
– 1 box White Cake Mix
– 3 Large Eggs
– 1 Cup Melted Butter (aka 2 sticks)
– 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Rainbow Sprinkles

Frosting Ingredients List:
– 4ish Cups of Confectionary Sugar
– 6 Teaspoons of Butter, Softened
– 2-3 Tablespoons of Almond Milk (if you use cow’s milk, use 4-5 TBSP.)
– 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Grab a large mixing bowl and add the (1) dry sugar cookie mix, (2) dry cake mix, (3) three large eggs, (4) melted butter, and (5) vanilla extract. I use a spoon to hand mix, my dough was super thick and hard to mix after awhile, it might mess up your hand blender. Mix together until ingredients are well blended with no clumps.
3. Time for some fun! Pour sprinkles over top of your mix – I did not measure – and just eye balled what looked good. *grins* Then, with a spatula or wooden spoon mix in your sprinkles to the batter – add more sprinkles as needed.
4. Pour your batter into the baking dish, as I mentioned my batter was pretty thick. Spread evenly throughout the pan.
5. Cook for 30-35 minutes (or according to your oven) the main thing is making sure the edges are golden brown and the center should not be wiggly – make sure a tooth pick comes out clean from the middle. Not clean? Add 5-minute increments and keep testing, until center is clean. Once center is clean, take out and let cool in pan.

Frosting Instructions:
1. Pour powdered sugar and almond extract into a bowl.
2. Beat butter in a mixing bowl until creamy, and add to your powdered sugar and almond extract. Now add your almond milk and mix with a hand blender. Add more powdered sugar as needed to thicken or to taste better – to be safe, only add 2-tablespoons of almond milk to start and add more as needed for a thicker consistency.
3. Once your funfetti cake bar is cool, spread frosting all over the top. Add sprinkles over top to finish this off! Serve right away or refrigerate – I opted to refrigerate, which helped the frosting set a bit more.

The edges and bottom were nice and brown with a nice crunch, and the middle of the bars were a bit softer but still cooked. The sprinkles in the cookie bars add a nice crunch and the homemade frosting is the perfect compliment to these bars. These would be a perfect party treat, when birthday parties are acceptable again!






This recipe was inspired by Together As A Family.

Pandemic Approved Birthday Apparel

I’m quickly approaching my second pandemic birthday, well given that last year on my dreaded 30th birthday the world literally came to a screeching halt. All of my grandiose plans to distract from turning 30 last year got cancelled one by one — so I’ve come to realize and accept normal bday fun is a thing of the past, at least for another trip around the sun. So I’m ditching the heels and glittery skirts and swapping them in for glam sweatshirts and obnoxiously cute accessories for a birthday celebration in.

Since we’re still sort of living in a pandemic of weird times, the way to rock your birthday is with some glammed up, comfy and super cute sweatshirts – jeans are optional. I shopped a few super cute and most affordable sweatshirt options that can make a fun statement for your special day. Also, a few of my latest obsessions from February are also perfect for having a nice birthday at home. One trend that has come out of this pandemic, that I absolutely love is these cute sweatshirts with puffy sleeves, bejewels, or ruffles – like finally! Why has this taken so long?

Shop Sweatshirts: H&M Black Ruffle Sweatshirt, Beaded Puffy Sleeve Sweatshirt, Old Navy Be The Love Sweatshirt, H&M Pink Love Sweatshirt, Old Navy Cream Floral Sweatshirt

Okay, now that we have options for a cute staple sweatshirt – it’s time to add on some accessories and little more personal flair. Whether it’s a statement tee, a splurge on a chunky gold necklace or a keepsake of your zodiac sign – treat yourself with something special that brings out your personality. I am all about sharing love, drinking bubbles, loving on the pups and letting my pisces pride shine. Wearing some beaded or oversized earrings is another way to dress up a more casual look to help you stand out and feel extra special for your birthday.

Shop these pieces: Dog Mom Tee on Etsy, J. Crew Chunky Gold Chain Necklace, Love Tee from H&M, On Sale: Pisces Ring Set from Anthropology

As I continue to embrace another pandemic birthday, I’m going to keep enjoying the finer things, sip on plenty of bubbles and eat way to much cake — and I’m going to be comfy and cute while I’m doing it! Speaking of the finer things, if you are looking for a little more something special, here is some inspo from last year’s pre-pandemic looks. Here’s to the official birthday countdown, another pandemic birthday, which actually doesn’t officially count.

Valentine Reese’s Chocolate Chip Skillet – Recipe

Last Valentine’s Day we were ahead of the stay-at-home curve and enjoyed a night in making our favorite Taco Pizza and a chocolate chip skilled filled with reese’s cups! YUM! It was as good as it sounds, and I’m here to help you save your Valentine’s day with this easy and delicious sweet treat that’ll blow you and your significant other away.

Ok, let’s get into the good stuff – you only need two ingredients for an easy sweet treat for your Valentine.

Shopping List:
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Roll
– 9-10 Reese’s Cups/Hearts
– Case Iron Skillet
– Ice Cream, optional for serving

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Press half of your cookie down into the bottom of your cast iron skillet.
2. Next fill your skillet with your Reese’s hearts — you can use normal Reese’s too.
3. Use your remaining cookie dough to form a top over your Reese’s hearts and press to cookie base.
4. Ready to bake! With your oven preheated to 350 — you’re ready to pop this cookie in. Recommended recipes say to bake for 20-minutes until golden brown, we had to bake a little extra (maybe 15-20 minutes) since it hadn’t cooked all the way through. If you cut into your cookie and the dough doesn’t look cooked, pop the skillet back in and keep checking every 5-minutes pending your dough density.
5. Serve up with some ice cream, sprinkles or extra peanut butter sauce for a sweet Valentine treat!

This cookie skillet is as delicious as it sounds and looks and is well worth the calories! It would also be delicious if you topped with some ice cream and chocolate syrup for a little extra, YUM. Just because you might be staying home this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean it hasn’t to be boring or simple — put a spin and make it special with this delicious dish.

From my sweet tooth to yours, enjoy!

Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Supporting our local small businesses, whether they be adorable boutiques, a coffee spot or favorite bakery, has never been more critical than it has been this year. Many of these businesses were forced to shut down, adapt and maneuver through new restrictions, cleaning requirements and much more. So, I’ve been trying to support my favorite spots as much as possible, whether it’s an extra $20 into the tip jar, or opting to spend a little more money at a boutique vs. going to a bigger box store. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a shopping guide to help support local Cleveland businesses this Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and throughout the holiday season!

Brewella’s is a neighborhood favorite for us because it’s so close to home and delivers delicious treats, like crepes, and always have incredible seasonal menus — I’m anxiously awaiting their Christmas menu to drop! Brewella’s is also home to an incredible vibe with lots of fun and unique collectibles available for purchase. When in doubt, a gift-card is always a great stocking stuffer and easy way to support local.

Two Cafe & Boutique is truly a treat, for more than one reason! First, it employs individuals with exceptionalities to help bridge them into local workforce. Two, its cafe is farm-to-fork, serving breakfast and lunch with seasonal menus and the freshest ingredients. Three, the boutique sources lines that are for a cause while supporting other businesses in the US. The boutique is also the perfect spot for that hard to get person, a show stopper gift and stocking stuffers.

Meatboxlocal brings local, Ohio farmed meats to your front door. This is a great gift that you can ship to friends and family you might not be seeing this season. With a variety of beef and chicken options, this is the perfect way to stay stocked on those meats – while ordering from the comfort of your own home. Plus, the meat is hormone free, grass-fed with free deliveries made weekly within a 50-mile radius from CLE.

Home for the Holidays. This pop-up shop always makes a splash each year — and this year you can even shop online and do curbside pick-up! Home for the Holidays curates local vendors and goodies into one place, making it a shop small, shop on steroids. And they’re stocked with gifts for everyone including your furry friends. My personal fave is finding hand painted Cleveland-themed ornaments!

I’ve been shopping at Lovely Paperie & Gifts and sister store Babycakes Children’s Boutique this entire pandemic — even more than previous years. Why? When I’ve popped in-store to shop, it’s never crowded like big box stores, making this a place I feel safe shopping at! Both of these stores offer special keepsakes, thoughtful gifts and the perfect card for any milestone, holiday or just because. Plus nationwide shipping, in-store or curbside pick-up are available!

Besides finding the perfect gift at any of these spots, grabbing a gift card is another super easy way to instantly support your favorite small biz, and gifting your favorite spot to your favorite people! I’m planning on grabbing smaller amount gift cards from a few other favorite local spots to gift to friends/family and stuff stockings like Nature’s Oasis, Milo & Me, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. I’m also hoping to shop a few new local spots this year that I’ve been following on Instagram!

And if you’re shopping in person this season, don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer and a little extra space to those shopping around you!

A Thanksgiving Table for Two

Anyone else staying home this Thanksgiving and keeping it small? B and I are planning to have a traditional feast for two! But we have this giant dining room table, and usually I’m prepping and styling the table for a larger family feast, but it’s different this year. So if any one else is having a dilemma about making a cozier dinner table for two, I’m sharing our transformed dining room, and a few tips to help create a more intimate space at your larger dining room table!

We are planning on cooking half of our meal, while also getting a little help from Whole Foods and a few other local small businesses with some pre-ordered food and desserts — which I’m super excited about! Ok, now to the fun, transforming your dining room…

Cut Your Table in Thirds. First thing I did, was took our pumpkin centerpiece and table runner and basically split the table in thirds. This gave me a smaller space to work with, while still enjoying our fall-centerpiece! This also allows for you to have some additional space for wine, side dishes and other treats, while creating a more intimate space for dinner.

Set-up Place Settings. Next, I set-up our table settings to help designate where B and I would be sitting. I utilized placemats, napkins, plates and silverware that I already had, so it was easy to bring these spaces to life. And of course brought out my new Monique Lhuillier Gabrielle Etched Flutes and coupes, to finish the space for our adult beverages.

Add Finishing Touches. From the gravy boat (so excited to finally use ours for the first time!), to fresh flowers in your favorite glass and candles sprinkled throughout — the only thing left for the day of is the bird and all the delicious sides! Set your radio to some Peggy Lee radio and you’ll be in for a nice, relaxing evening for two.

I must admit, I’m super excited to have our actual Thanksgiving day… and weekend all to ourselves. We signed up to run our local Turkey Trot, virtually so we’ll be able to partake in a quick morning run, before lounging around, eating delicious food and sipping on drinks throughout the day. Then, I think we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit!

What new traditions are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Bee’s Champagne Coven Cocktail – Recipe

With Halloween just a few days away, I wanted an easy, delicious and festive halloween cocktail, to sip the night away! And in sticking to my bee routes, I kept it bubble based — and found a recipe that I adapted to give me everything I was looking for, not to mention perfect to serve up to your entire coven.

This creation is essentially a puree for your bubbles, that will add some fun flavors to your cocktail, while giving your bubbles an evil poition-y look! Not to mention it has ginger, fresh lemon and blueberries, so it’s like adding a healthy cleanse to your bubbles, right?

Ingredients:
– 1 Lemon
– 3/4 cup of Blueberries
– 2 TSP of Sugar
– 1 TBS of Ginger (minced)

You’ll also need, a muddler, fine wire strainer and handheld juicer.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. In a measuring bowl, add your blueberries, sugar, and freshly squeezed lemon – do this by cutting it in have and juice each half into bowl.
2. Prep your ginger by cutting off the skin so that it’s completely bare — then utilize a garlic mincer to get juice out, finely cut the rest of your ginger – add this to the rest of the ingredients.
3. Once all the ingredients are in your mixing bowl, use a muddler to crush blueberries and mix ingredients together – it will still be a little chunky, but you should have a nice purple color of juice (see middle picture above).
4. This is when you can get your fine mesh strainer, to strain your mixture into a new bowl. I do not have one, so B had the brilliant idea of using the top of a cocktail shaker — this helped strain the puree pretty well!
5. Once it’s all strained, you’re ready to serve! Add a splash of your puree to your champagne flute before adding the bubbles — this helps get a nice mixture. Next, slowly pour your bubbles in, I say slowly because the puree will have a reaction to the bubbles and will overflow. Continue until you’re topped off and then garnish with blueberries to serve!

Cheers witches!






This recipe was inspired by Self Proclaimed Foodie’s Recipe

Latest Obsessions 09.20 – Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes

If you’ve been reading along, you may have seen my mom’s 60th birthday at the cabin in the woods! And one of my favorite parts that I still can’t stop obsessing over are the amazing cakes we ordered from our go-to local bakery; Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes also known as KEC. Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes is quickly becoming a household name in the CLE area, and it’s for a variety of reasons from her celebration of national holidays, like Harry Potter Day to having custom holiday menus and just a variety of delicious every day sweets available, you really can’t go wrong.

Let’s talk about her Party Cake Collection first. With a newly expanded collection of new party cake flavors — these are easy to order and fun to make a statement for any occasion. Whether you’re rocking a pink theme, in need of a smash cake or want something for a milestone birthday – these cakes are gorgeous and also allow you to add personal touches with birthday candles or a cake topper. Our go-to is the Reese party cake, it has layers of peanut butter and chocolate cake and a crispy crunchy peanut butter layer that is just so yummy. For my 30th we were able to get the Macaron Sprinkle (see below) aka a more delicious spin on funfetti cake, plus with KEC’s staple macaron’s on top. The next one we want to order is the Cookie Dough one, um YUM! Rule of thumb for ordering cakes from KEC, always try to plan at least a month out if not more — extra for busy seasons/holidays.

Next up is her Buttercream Cake Collection. This is another variety of cake designs that fit a number of special occasions and themes! We first tried her buttercream cake collection for our wedding — and we ordered a hand painted floral cake as B and I’s cut cake with a chocolate fudge flavor. Honestly it was so easy, because we picked the size, colors and example from one I saw on her instagram and then I got a special cake topper that personalized it more for our special day. The best part? We were able to order a mini recreation of our cake for our 1st anniversary! For my mom’s birthday we got the Retro Dot cake with a Vanilla Blackberry flavor. There are endless possibilities with the buttercream collection from colors to sizes and flavors!

Every other delicious treat. This is a loaded section, loaded of sweet, deliciousness. On top of making incredible cakes — KEC also offers a variety of cupcake and macaron flavors, cookie dough, cakesicles, cookies, and chocolate covered oreos. Getting a sleeve of macarons is always a nice party/hostess gift to bring for sampling with friends – or honestly just a date night at home – as you can get a box of 6 or 12! Another reason I like to go into the store to order my cakes is so I can grab a treat or two like a gigantic salted chocolate chip cookie or pick up the newest macaron flavors!

Holiday Menus. We recently took advantage and jumped on the train of ordering off last year’s Thanksgiving menu, and got an incredible spice cake (pictured below, in the middle) to bring home for the family! It was gorgeous, delicious and a fun piece to bring to our family feast. I unfortunately missed out on ordering off the Christmas menu — because you must order fast, as KEC only offers a limited number of orders for the holiday menus. I’m excited to see what she has to offer this year — one benefit of following her on social is getting the latest updates and info on when the menus are going to drop!

Ever since we got our wedding cake from Kelsey Elizabeth, it’s become a sentimental and go-to spot for special occasions and big birthdays — and also has me wanting and planning for our next cake, or another sweet treat! I mean you don’t always need a reason to order a delicious cake right?!

No Bake Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cup Recipe

Introducing the newest blog series: Baking with B! My hubby, B has been a rockstar during quarantine to find recipes that are not only easy, but dairy free and healthy-ish! His latest is also keto friendly and requires very little prep as it’s a no-bake recipe. These were a welcomed surprise and are so easy to whip together for a quick treat whether it’s just for two or a nice after dinner treat for an intimate dinner party. Check out the shopping list and super simple step-by-step instructions below, and try not to drool over these sweet treats!

Super easy shopping list and super easy to throw into a bowl, with minimum tools needed! But a few things to consider when you’re shopping; the last time we made this treat, I asked B to leave out the Stevia sweetener to see if there would be a difference, as I can taste the sweetness (and I’m not a huge fan!) – the taste difference wasn’t that drastic, so if you’re not a fan it’s worth leaving out. We also used virgin organic coconut oil, which holds a bit more of a coconut taste – again not bad in my opinion paired with chocolate, but something to note when you’re grabbing your coconut oil (i.e. organic vs. not).

Shopping List: (Makes about 6-peanut butter cups)
– 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
– 1.5 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
– 4 Tablespoons of Creamy Organic Peanut Butter
– 3-5 drops of liquid Stevia Sweetener (optional)
– Pecans (optional)
– Cupcake Liners

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, pour all of your ingredients together into a bowl. Using organic peanut butter is key, since you’ll want this to be a liquid base substance, so if your peanut butter is thicker you may need to melt it!
2. Once your ingredients are mixed, get your cupcake liners prepped! We filled the bottom of each of the liners with pecans – which is optional of course. Then scoop equal parts throughout for your thickness, if you have any extra top off your cups!
3. Once you batter is all poured, place peanut butter cups into the freezer. Let freeze for a few hours before serving and enjoying. Store in freezer in between snacking!

So there you have it, a delicious, easy, dairy-free and keto friendly sweet treat! Here to help my Bee readers satisfy their sweet tooth, in new and easy ways — in case you missed it, check out this super easy and also dairy free cookie dough recipe!

Local Love – Mother’s Day Edition

Hey CLE Bees! If you’re in need of some last minute Mother’s Day gifts, I have a few local faves that are perfect, while offering limited human interaction and most importantly something sweet that mom will love — even if you’re racing against the clock! Psst. Just in case you forgot, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10th.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts in Rocky River, Ohio. This is always one of my favorite go-to spots for a special card or gift — and Kate the owner has definitely adapted with times to make sure everyone can still gift the perfect gift with that Lovely Paperie touch anyone who frequents has come to know and love. Kate teamed up with a few other local vendors and created a number of Mother’s Day Gift Sets — she’s offering shipping, curbside pick-up and even local porch drop offs! We were able to ship and pick up to spoil our momma’s and it was so easy. Also, you can still shop online for all other occasions from cards, to gifts or even something for you — so be sure to check-out Lovely online for those birthday celebrations, anniversaries and other special occasions that always pop-up! Shop Lovely Here. LovelyPaperie_MothersDay
Images courtesy of Lovely Paperie & Gifts and Emily Millay Photography

Boundary & Thorn in Lakewood, Ohio. I’ve shared lots of love for B&T on the Bee Life and Lucy the owner and creator has the perfect Mother’s Day cards. She is also selling her inventory made easy thanks to her Instagram Stories you can shop directly on there and she is also offering porch pick-ups in Lakewood! Looking for something more than a card? Lucy also has beautiful letter prints, her Happiest Hour cocktail prints, Kitchen Punnies and botanical pieces, make sure to check out her Instagram and website to shop!
Boundary&Thorn_MothersDay
Images courtesy of Boundary & Thorn

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. I’ve been so excited to see some local favorites opening back up and offering online ordering and takeout items, especially Mitchell’s! This is the perfect way to surprise mom with an ice cream party at home, tote and all, while still being able to pick out all of mom’s favorite flavors. As long as you order by 4pm, you’ll be able to pick-up the very next day — so this is an easy fix if you haven’t been able to figure out a surprise for mom yet or are craving some homemade ice cream! Shop Mitchell’s Ice Cream here.
MitchellsIceCream_MothersDay
Image credit: Mitchell’s Ice Cream

Mother’s Day Cupcake Bouquet by A Cookie & a Cupcake. This local bakery is offering another sweet surprise, that I also think would pair nicely with a card and ice cream – it’s a Mother’s Day half dozen cupcake bouquet. Flavors include red velvet, chocolate and vanilla — plus they’re beautifully decorated with floral designs and colors! These are just $21, available to order if you call-in and you can also order through Grubhub or UberEats! Weekly Cupcake Kits are also available for curbside pick-up or drop-off through select food delivery services and with different themes each week! Order and shop here.
CookieCupcake_Mother'sDay
Images courtesy of A Cookie & A Cupcake

Although we may be social distancing and not spending Mother’s Day with our mom’s this year like we have in previous year’s there are so many awesome local shops that could use our support during this tough time, while still making Mom feel special and giving her a sweet treat for her special day! Happy Mother’s Day!

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