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!
Today is my mom’s 60th birthday! We were lucky enough to celebrate it earlier in the month with a long weekend away at an airbnb cabin. It was a backup to a cancelled week long trip that was supposed to be with the bigger extended family aka all my mom’s siblings plus a few cousins. So since it was a make-up to something to be much bigger, I wanted to really make sure my mom had a special weekend – celebrating her!
To make this weekend special for my mom’s big 60th birthday, there were a few things I focused on to help bring the birthday party to the cabin in the woods. One of those things was decorations! Luckily, this is a cabin we’ve stayed at before, so I had a pretty good feel for the space and the decorations I wanted to get to decorate the space. The second thing was bringing the people to the party – virtually of course! And lastly was the sweet treats and having a special cake to help make a statement for 60.
Virtual Birthday Wishes. With the world of COVID, things are definitely different — and since this much larger family trip wasn’t happening, I wanted to surprise my mom and bring her well wishes from her family and friends! DISCLAIMER: If anyone has mastered this craft, please comment below with help — but I’m not sure if there is any easy way to reach out to over 40 people asking for them to share a recorded video wish. For some people I reached out via email, Facebook messenger, text messages and Instagram DMs. I gathered videos, pictures and well wishes and even sourced a variety of pictures and memories of mom’s life and put them into an iMovie — it ended up being about a half hour long and was so fun making and even better surprising and watching my mom watch it.
The Decorations. As I mentioned, I knew the space but I also wanted to rein myself in, because I can easily go overboard with everything. So I think I did a pretty good job at keeping it simple! I picked the little theme of ’60 & Fabulous’ and kept on the color theme of gold and white. My big statement was getting oversized gold 6-0 balloons, a party pack that included a large Happy Birthday banner and other fun pieces that could be used throughout the cabin. In order to blow up the balloons at the cabin, I brought a mini helium tank from Michael’s — it was perfect for filling up the balloons. In addition to the birthday decorations, I also made sure to bring a few pieces from home to give it a homey and polished feel like table runners, candle holders, a cake stand, fresh flowers, matching plates and placemats.
TheSweets! Another super easy way to help create a statement and make your birthday queen feel special is ordering a fancy cake! Of course, I went with our go-to special occasion local cake place; Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes (KEC) — we had our wedding cake done there and ever since, those cakes have held a special place in our hearts and is our go-to. I went with a6″ Retro Dot buttercream cake, we got the Vanilla Blackberry flavor, and I was also able to pick out the colors, so I picked mom’s favorites! I also ordered a mini Reese’s party cake, because it’s delicious and my dad’s birthday is also in September so we gave him a little treat too! My dad also coordinated getting chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from a local baker near them, Morgy Cakes — he organized everything from the pick-up, to the flavor, to the design — it was so sweet and they were delicious. We made sure to have fun gold glittery 6-0 candles and tall skinny white and gold candles for mom to make an early birthday wish!
Since we were there for almost three nights, we had coordinated our meals between our two households, and had no shortage of food! We also made sure to plan a special dinner for Mom’s official birthday dinner which included steaks and a delicious sweet potato grilled dish (will share recipe!) — we also made a few epic charcuterie boards that served as our dinner at least one of the nights as we listened to music, chatted, played games and drank the nights away. My brother, SIL and niece also made it in for the trip, which I know was extra special for my mom — especially having all of us under one roof, which hasn’t been like that since Thanksgiving!
It was a super fun and exhausting weekend — and I know my mom loved every moment of it and now she gets to have a nice and relaxing day for her actual birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Since National Prosecco Day 🥂 was August 13th and this year of quarantine and new normal has been anything but normal — I’ve pretty much been treating every one of the last 165 days like National Prosecco Day! So to keep on a good theme of 2020, I wanted to share my favorite accessories for bubbly drinking.
Freezable Travel Tote: I was gifted a PackIt freezable wine bag, that also happens to perfectly fit a cold bottle of bubbly! The tote, closes up nicely and is easy to carry – you can even through it over your shoulder. In between use you can just throw it in the freeze and it’s ready to go for your next trip. Best part of all is they come in a variety of colors and fun patterns to fit anyone’s personality.
Champagne Seal Stoppers: This is a must have, and you must have at least two! This is also a go-to travel piece that I throw in my purse, is that bad 😬 ? But seriously, it helps save a bottle for multiple nights – which helps give your bottle of bubbles some extra life. I’ve used two different types and they both seem to hold a good seal and deliver bubbles and a significant pop when reopening (watch out, sometimes it’s packs a punch!) Shop the stainless steal stopper and the silicone expander — you can’t go wrong with either!
Bubbly Glassware Options: I recently splurged some worn glassware that I purchased from Marshall’s — don’t get me wrong, they were great bubbly flutes, but after time the gold decals wore off. So, I thought it was time to invest in some nicer champagne flutes and decided to get a few different styles — because sometimes I love the stemless route and sometimes I like something a little fancier 🤷🏼♀️. I went for these timeless stemless champagne flutes with a gold rim from Pottery Barn. And for something a little fancier, I couldn’t resist these Monique Lhuillier Gaberielle coupes and flutesetched glasses, they’re stunning and also scream special occasion. They’ll be perfect for the holidays.
Even if you’re not a bubbly connoisseur, but maybe know one — these make great gifts and can easily be paired with a nice bottle of bubbles! So whether you’re celebrating National Prosecco Day (every day) or just celebrating a birthday or love bubbles, like me, these are a few essentials that you’ll want to add to your bubble drinking arsenal.
Whenever we travel back to visit my parents, I always try and snag some of my childhood things to bring back or get rid of! So when I saw my old high school half and half white-cork board, I initially thought I didn’t want or need this — but I still grabbed it and brought it back home. With my new semi-permanent home office, I realized I could definitely use a space to post inspiration, write important to-do’s and hang a calendar, so as the wheels kept turning, I decided this could use a little face lift!
The best part was I was able to cover up my high school doodles that have lived on for over a decade *cringes a little* and give the dated wood grain a fresh and affordable update with the craft and paint supplies we already had. It just required a few coats of paint and a little patiences.
Craft Supply List:
– Old Bulletin Board
– Craft Paint, Colors of your Choice
– Foam Painter
– All Purpose Cleaner
– 3M Hangers Strips Step-by-Step:
1. Once you’ve figured out your colors, it’s time to prep the space. I chose to go with a pretty pink and white!
2. Before I started painting, I had to do some cleaning to remove old dry erase phrases that have been sitting on here for over a decade, so upon doing some research I found that an all purpose cleaner would do the trick – and it did. I left the cleaner sit on the dry erase writings for a little bit and then wiped off, I repeated this a few times until it was all clean!
3. I also had some sticky residue on the wood frame, so goo-gone helped clean that up before it was time to paint. It cleaned off well with a little elbow grease and a few scrubs.
4. I wasn’t entirely sure how the craft paint would go on the bulletin board part — but it went on relatively easy and surprisingly helped cover up some of the missing chunks and the written phrases, initials and numbers I had scattered throughout. It just took a few coats, especially where I had writing. I did sadly cover up ‘The O.C.” — RIP.
5. Next, it came time to work on the wooden boarder. I used some white wall paint for this, that had a bit of a gloss. This went on slow, since it did require about 4-5 coats – but it really helped make the pink pop and refreshed to something that would work better in my office space!
6. Once it was all painted, it was time to hang it up! I hung this with 3M strips and it has stayed up well! It’s the perfect space for my monthly calendar and a few other fun reminders. Although — I have not been great about getting my to-do’s crossed off!
Since I updated this old cork-white board, we’ve given the office space a bit of an update too — I’m excited to share next week as I’m just waiting for a few pieces to arrive in the main to finish up the gallery wall! The 3M Strips also worked great for already moving the placement already. It’s been great having a monthly overview calendar at a quick glance that has made this update so worth it, on top of having a fun pop of pink!
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?
Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom. From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!) And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials! Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>
Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday! Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!
Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch. This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!
The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine. The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant! But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox
As the days cool, the nights darken and the full effects of comfort food and fall hit us – I can’t help but look for recipes that fit the void of comfort food, while being diet-friendly. And by diet friendly, I don’t mean some strict diet I’m on, just the diet of agreeing with my stomach, aka no dairy! I’ve definitely become more strict on my no dairy, and feel much better without it. We’ve also been trying to eat low-carb, and have surprisingly been able to stick to that fairly well, also!
Baked Almond Feta with Rosemary (dairy free): This not only looks easy with minimum ingredients, but looks delicious and the perfect dish for appetizers and upcoming holiday parties! Plus all the dairy-free party goers can enjoy it too. Enjoy the full recipe here.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: We’ve already enjoyed this dish a few times, and all I can say is YUM! Not to mention, you don’t feel as guilty but can still indulge in buffalo chicken dip tastes without eating a million chips! The ranch and hot sauce are areas where I air with caution (and the best part about BCP) but this recipe offers great substitutes for the dairy free eaters. Enjoy the full recipe here.
Lasagna (gluten + dairy free): This is a must-try for this cool season and fits within our low-carb and dairy free diet restrictions! Although this has a bit more prep-time, it isn’t anything new when it comes to making lasagna – just a different kind of prep to get that cashew cheese substitute. Trina’s full recipe is available here.
Have you conformed your favorite comfortable foods to fit your dietary needs? If so, share them below!
This months latest obsessions are a bit all over the place, so bare with me!
Table Runners: OBSESSED. And the reason I love these so much is because they’re affordable ways to decorate and dress your dining room, or a hutch in the kitchen! Especially if you shop at a Home Good or Marshall’s they’re always switching these out seasonally, so your collection can keep growing. #guilty
Gaga: All over the place… I told you! After seeing Gaga in concert, I still can’t help but crank up her music, belt out some lyrics and bust a move. Her latest single, The Cure is also a latest obsession. Not to mention her upcoming documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two on Netflix looks intense!
House Projects: Since we’ve put a lot of things on hold since our big patio make-over earlier in the summer, and with another big event coming quickly *cough wedding cough* we’ve been behaving ourselves and holding off on a few things! But it’s just about that time when we’re just looking for something to work on. I’m itching for some landscaping, ready for that new kitchen, and maybe an office make-over?
Trips in 2018: Beyond seeing 2018 in writing (yikes!) – I’m super pumped for a number of vacations and trips that are being talked about/planned, it’s going to be another busy year of travel. ❤ I am jonesing to add more miles and a few new spots to my list of visited places!
What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Tweet me @mmariebee or leave a comment below!
I wanted to share some extra love today in honor of Valentine’s Day! I have always had a love/hate with this holiday, it always seemed to vary on if I was hating men that year or was head-over heels with someone. Now, that I’ve had a steady valentine for 6-years, I’ve come to still love it but not feel overly sentimental about it. There are so many other days and ways that I would rather focus and share my love with my forever valentine (in addition to day). Yes, it’s a commercialized holiday, but it’s also a day we don’t need to stress about, what we do need to do is share some extra love to those people around us, strangers too, share it with the people who might need it more than you! Whether you’re in a relationship, just getting over a rough breakup, or going steady with your forever valentine – there is never too much love to be shared or go around.