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?

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

Wedding Planning – Groomswear

Groomswear, because there is nothing better than a well dressed man. And one of the most essential parts of the wedding day should be making sure your man is dressed his best.  A perk of having a small bridal party is that we have the luxury of ordering custom suits and having a few more options on where to shop, since we don’t have to worry about rentals.  I’m personally not a fan of the renting tux’s – there is a huge risk for them to be incorrectly sized for any one of the groomsmen or groom in turn throwing off the entire look of the day.  Not a risk we want to take.
Groomswear Inspiration - the bee life
The photos above are definitely a mix of inspiration, pulling pieces and parts, fabrics and colors together to give B a completely custom, fitted and handsome suit.  B is deciding if he wants to go the bow tie route, or more of a statement tie.  I also love the idea of having a pattern or floral’s, and even if not for the groom perhaps the Best Man/fathers.  There are so many options for tie’s, we’ve looked into creating custom ties or shopping at a favorite spot; Grand Frank.

We also really like the idea of having a colored suit or a suit with a bit more texture and movement. A few other items that will also need to be determined once the suit is figured out is finding a great pair of shoes, belt, socks, pocket square and tie.  I can’t wait to go shopping with B to pull our vision to life for the big day!

Did you go custom for you groom? Share tips/tricks in the comments below or on social @mmariebee.

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

Chocolate Mug Cake – The Recipe

Happy Friday! Ever craving an after dinner sweet, but don’t have anything baked or sweets to pull from? I’ve got a recipe that pulls from ingredients that are easy to store and have around the house, and perfect for those sweets cravings! Plus it has a low ‘bake’ time – since it’s all done in the microwave, yeap, it’s that easy… not to mention mouth-watering and delicious!Chocolate Cake Mug Recipe - the bee lifeWhat You’ll Need:
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 3 tablespoons of almond milk
– 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 12 oz. microwave safe mug
– Splash of vanilla extract <optional>
– Pinch of salt <optional>
– 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips <optional>

Step-by-Step:
1.  First measure out the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into your mug, and blend together with a fork.
2. Next add the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla, blend together until smooth finish.  If you’re using chocolate chips, stir these in last!
3. Microwave on high for 90-seconds – let cool for 2-3 minutes before eating! Your cake should be moist and delicious!
4. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cake RecipeThis is a great option for a dinner party, for individual serving sizes for your guests, or even splitting one to share!  This would be great paired with raspberries, ice cream or whip cream as additional toppings, enjoy!

Wedding Planning – Shower Dresses

Happy First Day of Spring!

As I am planning my wedding, I can’t help but try and find the perfect dresses for other wedding festivities, like the Bridal Shower, Bachelorette, and the Rehearsal! Since most of these festivities are in the spring/summer the clothes and options are starting to become endless and the decision is going to be tough!

Although I haven’t found my perfect dress(es) yet; I’ve pulled some looks that are serving as my inspiration, as there are a few different routes that I could go and you might be in the same boat!
Bridal Shower Dress Inpiration - the bee life
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If you’re like me and already started your hunt, consider the following…

All White: This is definitely an easy way to go and a classic option, wearing all white at any one of these festivities keeps you as the bride and truly the focal point!

Make A Statement: With a bright color! Showing up in a bright pink or patterned dress will help keep the focus on you.  This might be a fun way to show off a bit of your personality too!

Know Your Venue: Is your shower/rehearsal a sophisticated backyard soiree? Or is it a casual setting at a family members house? Or maybe a tea party theme at a local country club? Be sure that you’re standing out but also dressing to your venue to keep the theme of the day/night on point.

Will You Wear It Again? Ask yourself this question as your picking out the dress. You’ll want to make sure you can wear it again for a date night,  the honeymoon, a friends shower or family function! That way you won’t feel so bad if you invest a little more money that you were planning!

Happy Shopping!

Skinny Mexican Casserole – The Recipe

The other night B wanted mexican food, and since we’ve especially buttoned down on our eating habits this past month, we opted to search for an easy recipe that we could make at home vs. opting for our usual choices, Chipotle, chips and salsa, or rice and beans. So we found this recipe, and adapted it, by cutting out some ingredients we didn’t want, OH and the tortillas.
skinny-casserole-recipe-the-bee-lifeWhat You’ll Need:
– Can of corn
– Can of black beans
– 2-chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
– Half-onion chopped
– 3-garlic cloves
– Enchilada sauce
– Diced tomatoes with green chilies
– 9×13 pan
– Shredded cheddar cheese
– Cilantro for topping

Step-by-Step:
1. Cook your chicken breasts and shredded chicken once cooled; spread out evenly across the bottom of you 9×13 pan – this is your base!  Oh, and pre-heat your oven to 375.
2. Next, drain your corn and black beans and layer each one over the chicken.  Sprinkle your chopped onion evenly across with your garlic and then diced tomatoes.  Then take your enchilada sauce and evenly distribute across the top of your layers.  Lastly sprinkle cheddar cheese across the top.
3. Pop this in the oven for 25-minutes, wait to cool a bit and garnish with cilantro!  Salsa and guacamole also make great mixes to add as toppings to your dish.
4. Enjoy!
1We will definitely be making this dish again, it was so easy, filling and the perfect fix if you’re craving some Mexican food but want to skip on the tortilla and chips!

Baby Shower: Gift Guide

Sooo I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of babies coming into my 2017 world. Like a lot. And now that more friends are starting to have babies, I’ve started to think of more ways to give a special gift beyond the registry.
baby-shower-gift-guide-the-bee-life
Sources: Woodland Prints | Made in Cleveland Onesie | Tiffany’s Piggy Bank

Here are some different ideas to get you inspired to share the love and excitement for a sweet miracle coming into this world!

Nursery Decor: Figure out the theme for the babe’s new crib and find some wall art, clock or decor that’ll fit the space. A friend of mine is going for a woodland theme, so these watercolor animals from Society 6 are the perfect addition!

Local Onesie: This will be the perfect addition to this little ones new wardrobe and first clothes! Check Etsy if you don’t know any near you.

College Fund: If this is a close family member or friend, it might be great to go-in with some other family members and open up a college fund or get some savings bonds for the little one. Having this be an option for upcoming birthdays and holidays will not only help you but other family and friends in the future!

Of course buying a ton of adorable clothes, stuffed animals and cute little shoes, never gets old, but it’s fun to get more personalized, unique pieces that can make a personal touch to the space.

Six Dates.

It’s that time of the year again, and I’m back to share some unique ideas to switch up your normal Valentine’s Day routine – whether your single or dating!
six-dates-valentines-the-bee-lifeOne: Take a cooking class! This seems to be a popular date idea as of late, but having done this it would definitely be a bit more fun with a larger group of friends!  Most places also allow you to BYOW; so be sure to plan ahead and bring something that pairs well with your dinner.  B and I took a sushi making class, which was really great and unique – because it’s something that we probably would’ve never tried on our own!

Two: Paint and sip wine classes are another fun way to relax, be creative and try something new. Plus you can make this a group activity with a bunch of girlfriends or couples. If you don’t want to keep the painting, it could be a great gift for your mom or another friend! It’s a great way to get out and socialize especially with these colder winter days.

Three: Dinner at home with friends, potluck style. Help decide on a menu as a group and then pick a dish to bring. Pair it with some games, good wine/beer and company and you’ve got a fun night that is still different and unique but takes the pressure off of the big day!

Four: Take a fitness class together! Sign-up for a spin class or find a boot camp and start the morning off strong.  This is another way that you can work with a friend/partner to get you motivated to conquer your new year resolutions together.  Not to mention you won’t feel as guilty enjoying chocolate covered strawberries and champagne later in the night!

Five: Volunteering and giving back is the perfect way to share and give love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Some different ideas to look into around your area are; donating/sorting books for children, volunteering at a local animal shelter, collecting can-goods or serving hot meals at a shelter, visiting the sick/elderly, or donating clothes!

Six: Make something! Whether this be big or small, you could make Valentine’s cards for family/friends, paint wooden picture frames for the house or find your latest Pinterest Hack to make! Looking for some ideas? Check out my pinterest board: Bee Creative.

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, it might be harder to some of these specifically on the day, so get a jump start this weekend or the following! And last but not least, don’t forget to give a card to your honey, bestie, parents and friends!

XO

Cheers to 2017!

Happy New Year! Ringing in 2017 was an absolute blast! I cannot get over the fact that we’re already two-days in to the new year, and reality is finally starting to set-in after a nice, long, much needed holiday break.

Our New Year was spent with family, it’s always fun when my extended family Christmas lands on New Year’s Eve. For our family Christmas we always enjoy pork, sauerkraut and dumplings, presents, white elephant, pass the trash, LRC, and this year we added in a few other fun games like the mitten present game (made famous by the internet). Oh, and add in about six dogs, a handle of Titos, 22 people and six bottles of champagne, beer and you’ve got one helluva night, let alone New Year’s.

nye_3
2017 – I cannot wait to see what you bring, I know you’ll be full of firsts, amazing moments, lots of laughs, I’m sure a few challenges and tears. Coming from a year with no expectations, that was unbelievably amazing I can only imagine what this year will be like.


Cheers to you, cheers to 2017!