Fitness Friday 07.17

Happy Fitness Friday!

So I’m in a funny place with my workout routine, I feel motivated but at the same time am feeling discouraged – which both contradict each other.  Motivate is defined as a stimulate interest in or enthusiasm for doing something and discouraged is defined as having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened.  Complete opposites!
FF 07.17 - the bee life
I was thrown off my normal routine these past two weeks, so I understand that is probably where a lot of the discouraged feeling is coming from.  And I’m motivated knowing that half marathon training is just starting to pick up, and I’ve actually been running! I’ve been making progress with sticking with my workout routine and growing stronger, but admittedly I haven’t seen some of the progress I’d like to see with my weight.

I am also day three into no sweets for 30-days.  It’s going to be tough with a bridal shower and wedding thrown into the mix, but practicing self-control for 30-days is a personal thing I want to challenge myself with, and something I know I can do.  I just need a few extra jumpstarts to accompany the exercise.

How do you push yourself to new limits?  What is standing in the way of your goals?

Travel: #EmnBtoSTL

Since we flew in and out of St. Louis, we were able to spend two-days in St. Louis on our way out from the Ozarks, and a quick brunch on our way out to the lake.  Needless to say our 2-days in St. Louis were jam packed with prime tourist spots and a few off the path places.   We wish we would’ve had more time to explore, but definitely got a taste of St. Louis.

Half & Half Brunch
I had been researching some good food spots, luckily we were able to at least attend one spot.  It was the perfect pit stop to refuel after an early morning of travel and before the drive to the lake.  The atmosphere was quaint and cozy, the service was friendly and on point, the food was amazing and wish we could’ve gone back for more!

Gateway Arch 
We popped over the the Gateway arch to start one of our days.  The last time I was in St. Louis, I was too young to remember, old photographs are all I have as a memory, so it was great to go back and appreciate the beauty.   Not to mention this was B’s first trip to the city.  We were late to the game booking a tour to go up inside the arch, but we were able to snap enough photos around the manicured greens.  This is definitely a must in STL.

Anheuser Busch Brewery
Of course we made a stop to the iconic “all-American” brewery.  This little village located on the perimeter of downtown, was an impressive site to see with many of the buildings built in the 1800’s, that by the way are in pristine condition.   The complimentary tour was the perfect combination of tradition and taste, while we began and ended our visit in the bier garden! A highlight of our stop here was touring the Clydesdale barn built in 1885, and then snapping a photo with one too!

We had a great trip at the lake, ending it with fun activities in St. Louis.  We definitely want to get back to visit a few new spots and enjoy a few again!

Travel: Lake of the Ozarks

B and I were lucky enough to take another awesome vacation this past week.  We headed west-ish for my aunt’s belated 60th birthday trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.  A first for B and I, it was a treasured childhood spot for my mom and her family growing up, with lots of memories in and around the lake!

Days consisted of bikinis, sunshine, pool gossip sessions, corn hole tournaments, cold beers, fishing and ski-dos.  One day the ladies went hiking and explored around Ha Ha Tonka State Park, climbing 317 stairs both ways, while exploring old castle ruins, breath-taking water spots and the natural bridge.
Travel - Ozarks - the bee life
Night’s consisted of large family dinners with St. Louis style ribs paired with incredible spreads of fresh salads, fruit, lots of beverages, including of course, Manhattans.  There were also many family stories shared, reminisced of old times, and lots of laughs.  We celebrated my Aunt’s 60th our last night at the lake, and her gratitude for everyone making the trip there, was exactly the reason we went, to create and share in family memories.

It was a great vacation, full of sunshine, awesome weather and even better company.  We can’t wait to get back to the lake!

House Tour – Backyard Patio

If you’ve been reading along, you may have gotten hints of our latest home project/renovation… our backyard patio!  This project was 100% a want on B’s end, and maybe about a 55% want on my end.  Sure I’ve wanted and dreamed about a backyard patio in our blank slate of a yard, but we’ve gone this long, so why not wait some more? But once B started getting quotes and kept moving the project forward, I jumped on board and helped from an aesthetic perspective to help pull it all together and finish it off.

The space we picked is off the back of the house, and connects seamlessly to the driveway for a universal flow for expanded living space. We’ve got plans for the house in a few of these areas so we designed with that in mind. Last summer we were looking into doing a square paver patio, but after numerous chats with family/contractors, it didn’t seem like it’d last for the price we’d have to pay. Plus it was WAY more than we were expecting at the time.  So we started exploring stamped concrete this time around figuring out textures and colors we liked.   It all came together just how we envisioned it!
House Tour - Patio(7) - the bee life

Since we only had one piece of furniture, the dining table a hand-me-down from B’s aunt & uncle (2-years ago!), we went shopping for some pieces.  We had our eye on black iron chairs that matched the table pretty well and found a similar base for the umbrella, so we were able to use the table. The dining space works out perfectly and we’ve already had a few dinners out on the patio.  The conversation set was a find that I fell in love with thanks to Emily Henderson, but luckily we were able to take advantage of some Memorial Day sales and got a great price on everything!

The last finishing touch that really pulls the space together (besides the super comfortable wide chairs – that I am OBSESSED with) are the bistro lights!  I’d bought almost half of the lights we needed when they were on sale last season for a steal of $8 each compared to $24.99 *WOW* – moral of the story, always buy more than you think you’ll need, especially if they’re $8 and you don’t have a use for them at the time!

We’ve spent so much time outside in these last few weeks now that we have this additional living space.  It was definitely worth it and I’m glad B pushed for this, because we love how it turned out and having another space to entertain in!

// Want the look?
Dining Chairs; Lowes || Outdoor Fire Pit; Lowes || Table Umbrella; Target || Umbrella Base; Target || Bistro Lights; Target || Conversation Set & Chairs; Target 

Weekend Recap – Sunshine & Friends

It was another perfect summer weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the company was enjoyed.  Friday night started with some porch drinks with our neighbors and a late dinner date!  It was a great kickoff to the weekend.

Saturday morning we got up early to attend a yoga class and volunteer through our friends new venture, Yogatta Give Back. It’s a combination of yoga and volunteering. First you start with the class, followed by volunteering wherever the spot is, it’s a wide variety of places and causes. We volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, and spruced up their community area. It was the perfect morning outside!

Saturday night we attended our first wedding of 2017! It was a dear former co-workers wedding, and it was the perfect night for these two to tie the knot.  They exchanged vows in front of a breathtaking back drop of endless views, and the reception was in a rustic and charming lodge on the property.  We had breakfast for dinner and they made 150 mini cakes, of their cake, for guests to enjoy. The bride is an insane baker (Snicklefritz Bakeshop), and so is the groom, so decadent treats were of plenty! It was a sweet night for a very sweet couple, their love and the love of everyone attending was so evident!

Sunday was filled with some pampering, sunshine, neighbors and even a run! I can’t believe it was the last official weekend of June, another perfect one for summer.

How did you spend your last weekend of June?

Latest Obsessions 06.17

Happy Friday!  Here are my latest obsessions for the month of June, a hodgepodge of personal and some new music faves for you to try!

Latest Obsessions 06.17 - the bee life

Our Patio.  Full disclosure, this was a project that B wanted done 10x more than I did (full reveal to be posted next week!), but I am so glad we did it. It’s like night and day, and we spend so much time out there. I can’t wait for more summer nights with friends, grilling out, plenty of laughs and drinks to go around! Not to mention, Moz loves it too.

Working Out. Yes. I’m finally there, pushing myself and making myself get out of bed when I really wanted to sleep in (like this morning) and on those hot summer days after work.  It’s that making that decision to say yes, and do it versus saying no and regretting. Our wedding countdown is getting shorter and shorter, and I still have big goals to hit – so I need to keep conquering them all!

Witness. Katy Perry’s newest CD officially hit the stores 2-weeks ago, and since I got concert tickets for her upcoming tour, Katy sent CD’s straight to my door!  This has been my new jam in the car, my favorite songs are Hey Hey Hey, Roulette and Swish Swish.   Also if you’re looking for some good music my two go-to playlists on Spotify are “Today’s Top Hits” and “Cardio

Share what you’ve been obsessing over in the comments below! I want to know!!

Weekend Recap – CVNP Topography

B and I had the honor of being guests at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Topography event, Saturday night.

Not knowing what to expect, I was quickly blown away by the array of food, all supplied and catered by Spice Kitchen & Bar and the interactive cocktail experience while enjoying the trail system, leading us to an open field of beautifully dressed tables set for 200. A seated dinner was served at 8:15, it started with a salad and then family style dishes for the main meal. The food and service was exceptional.
Topography 2017 - the bee life
We were lucky to be accompanied by a great group of friends for this incredibly unique dining experience. After dinner we were able to sit around camp fires, sipping cocktails and enjoying the perfect summer night. A band played in the distance, while various tents were set up with bars or desserts!

The event supports and raises money for Trails Forever, with helps protect and preserve the CVNP trails.   B and I will definitely be heading back to check out the park in the future to enjoy some hikes.  If you have a chance, keep this event on your radar for next year, especially if you want to enjoy an unforgettable evening at a beautiful, local, national park with the best local cuisine.

Fitness Friday 06.17

Woah! We’re half way done with 2017, how have your fitness and health goals been treading so far?  I’ve stuck it out for the last 5-months, and I’m not stopping! It feels so good to have the routine of working out, me time to sweat it out and work on myself, to keep myself accountable.  Not to mention half-marathon training is officially starting next week, eek!
Fitness Friday 06.17 - the bee life
Let’s talk about this half marathon training… it’s been a hot second since I’ve trained for a half marathon, the mental preparation is just as hard as the physical. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it, but I am trying to have a positive outlook and approach to it. I want to do well and stay on top of training, I’m just not feeling very confident about it. My body can’t handle the running like it used too.

But I am also curious and excited, because I have the cross training part nailed down (first time ever in all my half trainings), and I feel like the half training will help me be more accountable for my in between days to get nearly a full week of working out in, #weddingdiet.

Needless to say, there is going to be many runs (especially the hot ones) when I want to stop, not only do I need to train my legs again, but I need to train my brain to get ready for this half!

Happy Training!

Weddings: Creating Your Sweetheart Table

One trend that seems to be increasingly popular is the idea of a sweetheart table for the bride and groom. I’ve read a few articles about the pros and cons of having a sweetheart table, and I am sure each bride and groom have their own reasons. For us, it’s simple. We have a small bridal party, and I think it would silly to make them sit without their sig-o’s at a table! Plus I love the idea of B and I having our own intimate spot to sit together and watch the magic of our wedding unfold.

And since we’re doing a sweetheart table, I wanted to do it right, which means pulling in the key elements to really make a statement with our table. Those key pieces to help make your sweetheart table standout are; the chair(s), floral accents, pop of personalization, and placement. Creating Sweetheart Table - the bee lifeThe Chair: Consider a furniture rental vendor that has awesome vintage chairs or a bold settee, these will stand out from the rest of your chairs in the venue signifying these are for the bride and groom.

Floral Accents: My personal favorite for a sweetheart table is a garland floral arrangement. This adds texture and depth to your table, while also calling it to be different from the rest of the tables.  Also consider bold arrangements that could be placed along side the tables or back flanking the space.

Pop of Personalization: The go-to seems to be adding Mr. & Mrs. on top of the table or a sign hanging from the back of the chairs. But consider other meaning full words that might be used or even using the initial of your new last name to make a bold pop.

Placement: When considering all of these elements for your sweetheart table, think about where this will be – if you’re going to have signs on the back of your chairs, will your chairs be in a place that others will be able to view and admire? Is a floral arch behind your table going to flow with the space or look out of place?  You can also work to make your sweetheart table to be the focal point of the venue if it’s lack luster our outdoors.

Pulling these key elements together will create a special place for you and your groom to dine to enjoy your first meal as husband and wife! Happy planning!

Image Source Inspiration: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right