Latest Obsessions 04.20 – Spring Purchases

One of my latest obsession has been Drive-Up pick-up at Target! I was always a fan of in store pick-up pre-coronavirus, but never felt worthy of Drive-Up. But that has definitely changed and I’m sure it will be a new favorite that stays once things go “back to normal.”  I’ve been limiting my outings and in doing so, been doing a good job at not shopping for non-essential items, but there have been a few things I’ve recently splurged on from Target and a few other online gems, that I wanted to share!
LatestObsessions04.20_Target
Fruit Dinner Plate. The Opalhouse collection continues to release beauties at Target and has always been a favorite collection since they launched a few seasons ago. When I saw these bright and festive melamine dinner plates I had to have them – plus they gave me some subtle Cinco De Mayo vibes.

Embossed Floral Tumbler. With the weather warming up, outdoor dining is on my mind! Since I grabbed some new summer-inspired dinner plates from Opalhouse, I also decided to grab some cute, plastic and durable tumblers for entertaining outdoors – not to mention these are nice worry-free glasses to have around the house.
LatestObsessions04.20
Shop My Recent Purchases: Fruit Dinner Plate | Embossed Floral Tumbler | Vintage Yahtzee | Gold Rim Champagne Flutes

Vintage Yahtzee. We’ve been dabbling in a bit more board games than normal, and one staple that we don’t own is Yahtzee! We always play it when we’re home visiting my parents, so I was shocked it took us 30 days into quarantine to figure out we needed to order it. Needless to say, it’s on the way and I love the vintage style of this version we bought.

Gold Rim Stemless Champagne Flutes. I’ve been in the market for some new champagne flutes, so I popped over to Pottery Barn to see what they had! I wanted something classic and usable, these gold rimmed stemless champagne flutes were the perfect addition, plus they are on sale!

The second best part of my Target Drive-Up orders, is I also treat myself to some Starbucks (and yes I’ve waited 30-minutes in the drive-thru for my Starbucks fix)! But my new routine is an early morning Target pick-up about every other week, that way the Starbucks waits aren’t too long and I’m back in time for my morning meetings! What have been your latest obsessions? 

bee (1)

Fitness Friday 04.20

Hi Bees! Looking back at last month’s Fitness Friday, we were just a week into quarantine, and the news of settling in and adjusting our lives and fitness routines accordingly was fresh and still settling in. Now it is very much a reality and further adjusting has been a continuous journey as each of the days passes. So now the real question — have you totally rocked your fitness routine or have you completely stumped it?
Fitness Friday_04.2020For me, I’ve been sticking to my workout routine pretty well — it’s of course been different, not as intense and shorter some days than others but I’m sticking to getting my days in. I missed a few days at the beginning of the month because I was having some bad medication side effects I was dealing with, but once I figured that out I was back in commission. I have even gotten a few runs in this month and pushing myself to slowly increase my mileage – this has been nice to get some extra calories burned!

One of my biggest hurdles is my new WFH gym. I have one kettle bell weighing in at 25lbs, one hand weight at 10lbs, a jump rope (that I can only use outside) and a yoga mat. I tried to order to hand weights early in the pandemic for in-store pick-up at Target, but those quickly sold out, hence after I ordered two — only one was available *face palm* So I’ve been reliant on body-weight and cardio based workouts and my runs when the weather is decent. Anyone else the same?
FitnessFriday_04.2020(2)Now for some real talk. I’ve been able to maintain a pretty positive outlook through all of this — but this week I hit a wall. Wednesday was tough. It was a long work day, I had intentionally pushed my workout to the evening — but by the time the day wrapped up I had no interest in working out. I wanted to cry. I was feeling on an island, feeling drained, and uninspired. So I sat and stared out the window for a bit, ate a pretzel stick and four animal crackers and debated with myself in my head. I finally got up, made myself go to my basement gym, put my sneakers on and queue up a 36-minute cardio workout. I’m glad I made myself workout, I needed it. I felt about 80% better, but it was definitely better than crying and feeling sorry for myself — although I know we all need those moments sometimes.
FitnessFriday_04.2020(3)Luckily, my Coach is still sharing and posting lots of free workouts on his YouTube Channel so if you’re looking for something new be sure to check out his page! I have also done some virtual yoga with my dear friend from Yogatta Give Back— she is hosting a donation based session every Tuesday. Finally, I’ve seen that through sharing my workouts and talking with friends/family we’ve all sort of kept each other motivated knowingly or not — so share your struggles and share your successes because you just might inspire someone to go for a run!

bee (1)

Here are a few of my favorite Quarantine Workouts: The Big Nasty, Fitness Test, Giant Metcon Circuit

Easter 2020 Recap

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.
Easter2020(1)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
Easter2020(2)
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.
Easter2020(3) 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?

bee (1)

Baking during quarantine? Check out this easy bundt cake recipe!

Easy Bundt Cake Recipe

With my new found love of bundt cakes, I wanted to try making my own to see if I was able to make anything as good as the Whole Foods ones! The other factor I was dealing with was finding a recipe that didn’t call for heavy cream or lots of ingredients, especially since we’re trying to limit our grocery trips!
BundtCake(4)
Since I only had mini-bundt cake pan, I altered the bake time to accommodate for the smaller pans, but also included the bake time if you have a full-sized pan. I also modified this recipe to incorporate almond milk.

Bundt Cake Ingredients:
– Cooking Spray / Crisco
– 1.5 cups of stick butter (3-stick)
– 2 cups of sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 1 TBSP. vanilla extract
– 3 cups of flour
– 6 TBSP. cornstarch
– 1.5 TSP. kosher salt
– 1/2 cup of almond milk

Glaze Ingredients:
– 1.5 cups of powdered sugar
– 4-5 TBSP. almond milk
– 1/2 TSP. vanilla extract
– 1/8 TSP. kosher salt

Cake Step-by-Step:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 and grease your bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer beat softened butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added – with your last egg, add your vanilla extract in and mix well.
4. Next in another bowl whisk you dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
BundtCake(1)
5. Now take half of your dry ingredients and mix with your first bowl of wet ingredients – beating well until combined. Pour in 3-tablespoons of your almond milk and milk until fully incorporated, then add remaining dry ingredients and rest of the milk depending on consistency.
6. One your batter is ready, it’s time to bake! Pour your batter into greased pans – do not fill your batter up to the top and about half way up, smoothing the top with a spatula. I knew better, but still filled up my first batch to the top – see my #fail below, although it did make for a yummy scraps!
BundtCake(2)
7. For mini bundt pans, cook for 20-minutes and make sure your toothpick comes out clean – I was able to get 10-mini cakes, if I hadn’t over filled we probably would’ve had a dozen mini cakes. If you’re baking in a full-size pan, back for 55-minutes.
8. Let cakes cool in pan and invert cake pan onto a plate or cooling rack.

Glaze Step-by-Step:
1. Whisk together your powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Since I used almond milk, I gradually added the milk to make sure the consistency was good.
2. Pour of cake and serve!

The cake batter reminds me a lot like my mom’s Christmas cookie dough! It’s sooo yummy, and I definitely licked the bowl and batters clean. Once I filled the tins in about half way, they cooked perfectly at 20-minutes and came out relatively easy with the cooling guides. I love the little personal-sized bundt cakes for a post-dinner or breakfast snack — just add some sprinkles on top and you’ve got a sweet little treat!

bee (1)

 

Recipe inspired by Maria’s Kitchen

Budget Bathroom Makeover

Before we had our incredible second bathroom, we made do with our second floor bathroom, and only one bathroom at the time, with some updates when we first moved in, mainly painting the original green white. Over time a few more updates were made like a new faucet and rug here and there – but nothing major after the first big paint. But those same yellow dingy looking tiles were always there, just staring at me. They had to go! We definitely didn’t want to tear them all off, we have plans for a big gut job one day  — but we aren’t there yet. So how would we get rid of these gross tiles and upgrade our space for under $500?
Bathroom_Before(1)
Above: Bathroom before

It wasn’t until I saw home decor and color extraordinaire, At Home With Ashley, do an affordable bathroom upgrade, that I was inspired to paint the tile! Painting that yellow, gross and dingy tile to a crisp white to match the upper half of the walls would be the subtle update this space needed to completely transform it and mask an ugly, ugly detail that encompasses the whole room. Painting the tile would of course be the most work in this budget project — but would foster the biggest reward.

First, we cleaned the tile with TSP cleaner and then prepped the walls using Kilz Primer per Ashley’s reco (we bought a gallon, but it goes on so thing you could probably get away with a quartz depending on your space) – we did two coats of the primer, as it’s quick dry. Three things about this primer: it’s super thin, super stick and smells terrible! But this was definitely a necessary step and helped sooo much when it came to painting the top coat. As we started seeing the space transform with the paint, we started getting inspired for a more updates, while still sticking to a lower budget.
Bathroom_After(1)
Above: Bathroom after

We ended up pulling the trigger on getting a larger vanity with more counter space! This is something we’ve always talked about for this bathroom, especially since the current vanity is the most generic of generic vanities. Obviously we knew the sink wouldn’t be under the mirror based on the light placement, but that will change one day.  The additional counter space and drawers were two things we really wanted over the awkward mirror placement. We also switched out our mirror to a frameless option. Finding a mirror that works between those two lights is REALLY tough, so we’re pretty limited – another reason to move those lights eventually.
Bathroom_After(2)Shop our pieces: New Vanity | Faucet | Curved Frameless Mirror | Towel Ring | Towel Bars | Opalhouse Soap Dispenser 

When we moved in the previous owner probably had about five or six different shelves and towel bars in the bathroom. We removed a few, but still had two on either side of the clawfoot tub. So we upgraded to, two new silver towel bars to stack at the front part of the shower and opted for a hand towel ring closer to the vanity. I got super fancy with a grey glass soap dispenser from Target and painted our orange hook rack to a lighter and muted blue that matches better to the floor and our shower curtain.

We ended up needing to get a new faucet from Lowe’s based on the mounting options with the new vanity, so we ordered the same faucet we had just the larger one to fit this vanity, it’s a classic look that I just love! A few other finishing touches that I’m still working on are finding some fun bathroom inspired prints to put in the white frame on the closet shelf and maybe a new shower curtain — but I like the current one with the subtle pops of blues.
Bathroom_(3)Bathroom_After(4)
All-in-all we spent around $460 on this update and it’s such an improvement! The not so great laminate tile isn’t as noticeable with the white on white updates with the tile and walls. The vanity offers additional storage, more counter space and I know our future guests will love the additional counter space!

Project Price & Breakdown:
– Vanity & Faucet: $299
– Paint & Cleaning Supplies: $55
– Mirror: $30
– Soap Dispenser: $12
– Towel Wracks: $44
– New Toilet Seat: $20
TOTAL: $460

This was a fun quarantine project that we were able to tackle over the course of two weekends. We pre-ordered as much of our materials and supplies as possible and had them directly shipped to our house or did in store pick-ups so that we could limit our foot print and interaction with people! What’s your favorite part of this makeover?

bee (1)

 

DIY – Painted Front Doormat

This weekend was pretty great, and Saturday was pretty perfect. The sun was shining all day long and the temp was ideal to catch some rays. Meaning we were outside pretty much the entire day. B touched up the paint on the front porch, we got our patio furniture out, got a run in and I even got this fun DIY project done. This painted DIY doormat is an affordable and fun way to add a custom finishing touch to your front door decor.
PaintedDoormat - beelifeblog(2)
Project Supply List:
Plain Coco Coir Doormat
Outdoor Acrylic Paint
Foam Brush Variety Pack
Satin Polyurethane

Estimated Project Total: $30

Step-by-Step:
– Once you have your supplies secure – which pro-tip you can still order from Michael’s and they’ll bring it out to your car and throw it in the trunk, no human contact.
– Your rugs will most likely come rolled, so make sure you get them flattened out before you craft, I placed some heavy photo albums on the ends for a couple days.

Pro-Tip: If you’re painting the whole back drop of your rug, make sure to grab two of  your background color – I barely had enough pink! Also grab 3-4 bottles of the Polyurethane. Also the assorted foam brush packet had the perfect variety of sizes for the detail of my design, not the best quality but got the job done.
PaintedDoormat - beelifeblog(3)

– Now for the fun! Figure out your design. I found my inspiration from Gradin Road and thought it was totally perfect and a fun pop of spring to add to our front porch! If you’re opting for a phrase with letters you’ll want to get a stencil cut out – a Cricket would be perfect to help customize (I don’t have one of those yet!)

– I hand drew and cut out the body of my bee to help get me started and then free handed the rest of my bee with paint and brushes. But feel free to create stencils and paint as you feel comfortable. I did a lot of dabbing with my foam brushes to make sure the paint covered the mat properly.
PaintedDoormat - beelifeblog(4)
– Once you have your design painted, go over spots with painted to make sure it’s covered and pops as much as you’d like. From there I picked my background color and filled in the rest of the doormat it was a tough decision between pink or green. As I said above, make sure to grab at least two tubes of your background paint, I barely had enough with one of my pink and just barely enough to cover my 30″ x 18″ rug.

– Once you’re happy with your paint coverage and design, it’s time for the final step! Paint your polyurethane over top the entire piece to help seal in the paint. I used two full tubes, but could’ve definitely used at least one or two more – it dries clear so it doesn’t impact your design at all!

There is still time to see how this holds up in the weather — luckily it is on a covered front porch, but definitely gets full sun in the morning. I love how it turned out and layered with a colorful underlay rug to make sure it really pops on the front porch!  I still have another plain rug to paint and create a fun design — I can’t decide if I’ll safe it for the holidays or a funny saying, time will tell!

bee (1)

House Tour: Spring Inspired Easter Table Decor

It’s April 1st! Flowers are starting to bloom and my peonies are budding out front — which means spring is coming! And the most spring filled holiday is just a few weeks away, Easter. So I wanted to share some inspiration for how you can create an easy, simple and sweet Easter tablescape with fresh blooms!  EasterDecor(4)-beelifeblog
This spring inspired tablescape is made possible because I finally made my first trip to Home Sense in February and instantly fell in love with this muted floral table runner and these fun woven Cynthia Rowley placemats. I opted to use the green to help finish my Easter table look, but also grabbed them in a bright yellow because I loved both of the colors so much and could see them easily transitioning into the Summer. Not to mention they came in 8-packs for an affordable $7.99 each, can’t beat it in my opinion!

Once you have your base pieces figured out — it’s time to top off with your centerpiece. Putting together this easy centerpiece can be accomplished with simple vases from the Dollar Store (which I use for a lot of different things) and springtime blooms that can be grabbed in a bunch and split up and cut to make these cute arrangements. Try to get flowers that are a bit sturdier and live a bit longer. I then sprinkled gold foil eggs around the vases (here are some similar gold foil eggs I found) — if you don’t have eggs or want it to be a little less-Easter you can nix completely or sprinkle in a spring garland throughout our vases.  Lastly, I finished off the centerpiece by adding in a few of my white porcelain bunnies with gold ears – these were found in Target’s dollar bins the last few years. EasterDecor(2)-beelifeblog
EasterDecor(1)-beelifeblog
To help complete the rest of the room with a touch of Easter, I hung my go-to boxwood leaf wreath in between the windows. Side note: I think everyone should have a boxwood wreath or two, it’s great for spring, summer or just pop of green when the world is a little extra grey – here is an affordable one I found on Amazon for $20. I also love hanging a wreath in a little bit more unconventional space as it helps pull in the focal point of the room. I then hung my pastel egg garland over the window for a little extra pop of Easter. With uncertainty of how Easter is going to be this year, I definitely kept this year’s centerpiece simple, bright and full of spring. Last year we were hosting, so I went a little more over the top and full on Easter. So if you’re looking for something to make a bigger statement, check out last year’s Easter table decor.
EasterDecor(3)-beelifeblog
I’m not really sure what our plan for Easter is this year, whether we’ll be with family or staying home — either way, we’ve got a bright and cheerful focal point to enjoy for the rest of April, and I’m sure the flowers will get refreshed along the way with some more pops of color! Are you planning for Easter yet, or still trying to go with the flow of social-distancing?

bee (1)

Weekend Roundup – March

Well, when I was planning out my March content this post was going to be a fun one to write and jammed packed! Here is everything that we had planned and promptly was cancelled week after week, after week, thanks to the pandemic. Obviously, I am not the only one that has had a lot of cancelled plans/trips/life moments — but I was trying to overcome my turning 30 anxiety by doing as much fun stuff as possible. But in all honesty the perspective of this pandemic as I mentioned in my birthday reflections (it’s a good read) quickly changed the 30 anxiety into a much different perspective and reality — I mean it doesn’t even feel like I actually turned 30 😝.
MarchRoundUp(3)-beelifeblogOur Cancelled Plans:

  • Trip to Philadelphia for the actual birthday
  • Spa Day + Dinner with Friends
  • Jesus Christ Superstar Broadway Play
  • Parents Coming into Town for Birthday Celebrations
  • A hair cut
  • Cancelled Birthday Cake

So yes, there was a lot of fun and celebrating that was going to be had, between my birthday and then my Dad’s retirement we were going to have a lot of fun especially this last weekend! BUT, even though we had a few more quieter weekends than anticipated, we still had a lot of fun and made the most out of everything — especially my birthday weekend.

My Birthday Weekend. With our Philly trip cancelled, I decided to partake in all of my favorite things I love doing at home. This included getting a final workout in at the gym, sipping on some coffee and getting spoiled with fun surprise deliveries throughout the weekend which included champagne 🍾, flowers 💐, and a coffee ☕ gift card from one of our favorite spots Brewellas. Saturday night for dinner we headed to our favorite dinner spot – Georgetown, mainly because they have all night happy hour on Saturday and a tasty menu paired with delicious drinks. We overindulged and then headed home for more drinks, card games and music.
MarchRoundUp(2)-beelifeblogSunday we woke up and headed to volunteer and walk dogs at the local dog shelter we volunteer at. We then made sure Moz got out for her walk too before relaxing and heading over to an incredible impromptu birthday dinner at my aunts. They prepared Lobster tail, scallops, filet and a sweet potato dish — oh my gosh. The food was incredible. We finished the evening with my very own ‘Corona Pie’ which was pretty tasty and garnished with my favorite cake candies.

My actual birthday was on a Monday, so I took that off work and just enjoyed my day. We started my first day in my 30’s with a grocery trip, because the apocalypse was coming and March 16th is basically the day the world stopped – at least in Ohio. The first day of no school, remote working, gyms closed, masses cancelled, restaurants and bars closed… it was like a screeching halt. Luckily, I was still able to grab my free Starbucks coffee, to-go of course, before heading home and hanging out. I got a workout in and even took Moz to the park to soak in some of my favorite city views.
MarchRoundUp(1)-beelifeblogOther March Highlights. We’ve been cranking on house projects, one of which was our fireplace hearth makeover and another which I’ll be sharing here soon as we just wrapped it up this past weekend and did all the finishing touches. Moz has also gotten more walks this past month then she has in a long time, it’s been nice to get her fresh air and out catching all those smells. I did get to see my girlfriends at the beginning of the month — which was good to get that in, since they have littles and it might be awhile before we’re all together again.

I feel like I’m a broken record but it’s really important that we continue to focus on the positive — if you’re upset about the seven things that just got cancelled, find seven positives out of those negatives. Write them down, even. Remember to keep your routine, stay active, get outside, eat well and stay in touch with all your peoples. This will be temporary in the grand scheme of life and there is plenty to be thankful for 💛.

bee (1)

Latest Obsessions 03.20 – Quarantine Ed.

I think it’s time for a little fun, anyone else feel the same way? As I’ve mentioned in a few of my last posts — things have changed pretty quickly these last few weeks especially in the state of Ohio, but I’ll share a bit more of all that in a upcoming recap post about March.

Anyways — since social distancing, self-quarantining and virtual happy hours are quickly becoming the new norm, there hasn’t been a whole lot to do, or a whole lot that we’ve wanted to do as this pandemic continues to creep and sweep into communities and the nation. It’s so important that we continue to remain as positive on all the changes, so that is why I’m sharing with you my latest quarantine obsessions.
LatestObsessions03.20-beelifeblog
Getting Outside. Sadly, we live in Ohio which means March/April weather is always hit or miss and I’ve gotten a little jelly of the quarantine folks on the West Coast or down South who are out riding bikes or just sitting in the sun!  But, stay positive! We’ve still been making it a point to either bundle up and get Moz out for a walk, or even pop down to nearby parks for some new scenery that helps break up the day and is 100% fresh air intake.

Workout From Home (WFH). Much to my dismay, I’ve embraced working out from home but also to my coaches credit has become somewhat easy since he’s been sharing free workouts online that are mostly body weight and easy to do at home! The best part, is if you’re looking for some more WFH routines, you can access all of them on my coaches YouTube channel. A few of my favorites so far have been the Cardio Fat Incinerator, Body Weight Workout, and the Post St. Patty’s Day Blitz (good if you’re a bit hungover!) Need a little added Fitness inspo? Read my latest Fitness Friday post to get motivated.

Game Night. This should be no surprise, but board games are making a come back! And I even like to throw in a few card games, because we have a few go-to card games that we love to play (Kings in the Corner + Blitz) when we’re just sipping on some beverages, listening to music and hanging out. On the docket for this weekend is playing LIFE! B and I have never played this game together, so it’s fun this will be a first for us.

Not Planning for the Future. I am definitely a planner — and what makes me even more scared is everything that just gotten cancelled in March and now quickly becoming April being queued up and squeezed into 8 short months. *smiles* Yes, we still have a few trips we need to reschedule and figure out, but for now I’m just letting things be and hoping we can start planning again soon, but for now eliminating that stress and just not planning anything (it’s sort of refreshing – at least for now!).

A few other things we’ve been trying to do to stay close to home is ordering in-store pick-ups as much as possible, ordering UberEats from a few of our favorite local spots to give them as much love as possible.  We also stocked up on a few supplies so that we could tackle a few house projects, which I’m so excited about!

bee (1)