Fitness Friday 12.20 – 10-Miler Virtual Race Recap

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a dedicated race recap on the blog, but this one was special — so I wanted to share. If you’ve been reading along on monthly Fitness Friday posts, you may have recognized a pattern and my focus on one specific fitness goal: running 6 races in 2020. Which all came from 2019, where we only ran one race and we usually do a couple!

The one race that we did run in 2019, was our annual 10-Miler race we always run in April. This is always a no brainer that we like to sign-up for no matter what and we always make sure to sign-up early in the year. And 2020 was no different, we were registered and then the pandemic hit. As the April race day approached, we knew it would be pushed… we kept waiting, and waiting, nothing in the summer came up and then finally it was rescheduled for an October date. Woo! October came, and the date approached and the decision to push indefinitely to 2021 was made. Runners could opt to run virtual or defer to next year. For B and I, we had planned to run this in 2020 and we were going to run it in 2020, so we switched to virtual and waited for our packets.

Welp! Long story short, I got sick in early November, we got hit with a ton of snow and now it’s December and we have this 10-miler race to still run… in December in the Midwest. We knew we would have to keep an eye out on the weather and plan quickly — which didn’t really help for me, who hasn’t been running, training or working out. And a 10-miler run, isn’t such a breeze when you’re not doing anything. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to running this and anticipated a lot of walking/running. But I needed to finish it and mark it off the list.

Two-Days Before the Run. It was Wednesday night, B and I have both been watching the weather separately and saw that the temps and conditions Friday and Saturday would be a possibility — but Friday morning was looking like the better option and without rain. Thursday, we confirmed that we would have to plan for Friday AM and account for at least 2+ hours. This was not a lot of time to mentally prepare, except that it was going to happen.

Race Morning. We woke up early, got ready and hit the pavement by 6:45am. I told B that we needed to start slow — the weather was surprisingly perfect around 41-degrees. And we stayed at a steady pace, didn’t have to worry about traffic, people or icy sidewalks. We continued at a speed for the distance we had ahead of us and stuck around an 11-minute + pace. Mile 8, I was feeling good and we took about a minute off with our pace and continued at a slightly quicker pace for the last two miles. As we hit mile 9, I started to get a bit emotional, I couldn’t believe we were still running and feeling decent and the end was in sight!

We finished at 1:53:10, with plenty of time to walk a bit, cool down and get back to the house before we started our work days! And even better yet, although I ended limping a bit and hunched over, I still had a smile on my face. This 10-mile race, went better than planned and as good as it could’ve went — I’m so happy that I was able to accomplish this. Now, I just have one more race to run before the end of the year to officially complete this 2020 fitness goal.

Adding Christmas Magic to Your Master Bedroom

Since we are home a lot more, there was one space that usually goes untouched most years when it comes to Christmas decorating, our master bedroom. Sure, we always switch out our bedding with some cozy and festive fleece bed sheets — but that is about it. And with our sitting area rearranged from the summer, I thought the space was in need of a little Christmas magic!

Here are three easy ways you can add Christmas magic to your master bedroom, a guest room or any other space for that matter without breaking the bank or going complete Elf in every room, and it’s how I added a little extra sparkle to our master bedroom this Christmas season, that is sure to be replicated year after year!

A Simple Christmas Tree. I had smaller 4ft. alpine tree in need of a spot. With a slanted ceiling in our master by our seating area, this height and tree was the perfect addition. I opted to keep it simple with just some circular LED lights and left off ornaments or a topper — and it adds a bit of magic, especially at night. I wrapped a circular knit scarf around the base for an easy tree skirt!

Festive Fleece Bedsheets. These are an absolute must, especially in your guest rooms — it makes a bed extra cozy and soft. We love neutral Christmas prints or some classic plaid. I always keep an eye out on the sets at Target each year — I am loving the dog print this year, and hope Santa brings it to me for Christmas! Add a few extra accent holiday-themed pillows to finish off your bed with a bit of Christmas!

Greenery & Garland. A few more finishing touches is all you need to finish up adding a layer of Christmas to your master bedroom! An extra bottle brush tree was perfect addition to our side table in our conversation area. I also added some greenery on a mirror and on top of our mini fireplace to give it a bit more of a cozy feel. Lastly, I strung up some gold and white ‘Merry Christmas’ garland over our gallery wall for a little extra sparkle.

Falling asleep to the glow of our little Christmas tree has been such a treat each night, especially since our main floor is so magical with so much Christmas — I often don’t want to leave it, especially at the glow and darkness of the night. Am I the only one like that?

If you’ve wanted to add a little extra Christmas to a guest room, kids room, or even your master — just remember to keep it simple and focus on a few areas to make a statement and sprinkle of Christmas. Like a corner with a little, skinny tree or making your bed a sugar plum heaven to rest your head!

Here’s to More Sweet Christmas Dreams!

House Tour – A Brush Bottle Tree Dining Room

It’s no secret that one of my favorite rooms in our house is our dining room. It was one of the first completed rooms with real furniture and I always love transforming our large dining room table with the seasons always making a statement. We also have these beautiful built-ins, with a cozy bench and beveled glass, which is the true shining star of this room. These last few Christmas’ I’ve grabbed a few bottle brush trees – but it wasn’t until I saw these ones from Target, that I knew I needed a few more to really make a state and fill the dining room table.

The 20″ bottle brush trees at Target by Threshold were simply stunning with their height and the cream would be the perfect integration into our holiday decor. I also had to grab a few of the 15″ pink trees and some green 10″ bottle brush trees for the supporting cast. I made sure to grab these in November and ordered with drive-up pickup (my new favorite thing of 2020) — I must admit, I did splurge a little bit, but only because I was going on convenience as I haven’t been shopping in stores. When it came to styling it’s not exactly a symmetrical look, but I like how it turned out! To ground the centerpiece I used my dark green plaid table runner, and then to finish it off, I added battery operated string lights and left over greenery from our Christmas tree.

The rest of the room is complete and cozy with more greenery, lights, and cozy holiday pillows. I even created a bench out of two chairs, using a fluffy blanket to finish off the look at the end of the table — I absolutely love it. My 6ft alpine tree is also in it’s corner, covered head to toe with memories and special ornaments (not pictured), I always have so much fun putting this tree together each year. Finally, I have my DIY bottle brush tree snow globe place settings from last Christmas ready in case we do end up hosting, even a small dinner this holiday season.

I can’t wait for the built-in window to fill in with Christmas cards from loved family and friends — that is truly my favorite part of the dining room during this time of the year. Sadly, we won’t be hosting our annual Christmas party — so my favorite moment in the year also won’t be happening, the moment when our dining room is filled and our friends are packed around the table, as we play card games, sing to music, and laugh the night away.

Fitness Friday 11.20 – Turkey Trot Recap

Morning, bee readers! How was your Thanksgiving? Ours ended up being a well rounded day, which was in many thanks to us signing up to run our city’s virtual Turkey Trot! This was also my fourth race of the year, as I’m still cranking towards my goal of 6-runs in 2020 (more on that at the end).

In fact, the last two weekends we’ve checked off two of our virtual races — which for me, both have been a little more of a struggle than I’d like, but I have also not been working out! Usually my cross training saves me when I’m not able to run as much, because it keeps me in shape and toned — but when you’re not doing any of that, I can only expect it to not be as easy. Last weekend, we ran a 5k and for our Turkey Trot we opted to a little 5-miler, because why not?!

It’s a little funny, because all of the races have been hoping to be rescheduled for in-person — that a lot of these turned virtual last minute, so we’ve been waiting for race packets and more specifically, for our annual 10-miler (that is usually in April). Which we just received our race packets a week ago, so now we’re trying to get all of these runs in, right as the weather has turned and grown more unpredictable. We’ve also pushed some runs even more, because I was also sick for a few weeks, so running with a cough and congestion isn’t really ideal and knew I wouldn’t be helping myself out there either.

Long story short, my 10-miler is probably going to be my 5th and last race of the year, making me fall one short of my goal of 6. And it’s going to be the hardest, because I know I am not in shape to breeze through 10-miles as I’ve done in previous years, so I’m feeling a repeat of 2017 coming in.

Our Virtual 5k Race from the Previous Weekend

I wanted to push myself during our Turkey Trot to get through 5-miles, because I know I have this 10-mile race looming that I want to and will complete. I’m also not sure if I want to get one or two more mid-size mile runs in before going after 10. I’ve trained and not trained for a number of half-marathons and 10-milers, and especially without my cross training — and I know, I’m not helping myself out.

So! As we jump right into Christmas, I’ll definitely be sharing my 10-miler journey in all it’s pain and glory within the coming weeks once I finally check that off this list.

Happy Thanksgiving – 2020

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving, and I know this year looks different for many of us… no family gatherings, no road trips to visit extended family, no house hopping from one turkey dinner to the next. And it’s especially easy in the solitude, to be reminded of the things we should be doing — the things we aren’t doing. But I’m here to say, we can’t focus on that!

Instead we need to hug the people we can. And count our blessings, big or small this year — be thankful for our health, and the health of our friends and family. A super easy way to do this, is take out a piece of paper and write (or type) them down.

photo by: Michelle Loufman Photography

Here are a few things B and I are thankful for this year:

  1. Time we’ve been able to spend with family, specifically pool days & July 4th
  2. Having jobs and ones that we are able to work from home
  3. Good music and Yahtzee
  4. Another year with our Moz
  5. The time we’ve been able to see friends this year
  6. Curbside pick-up
  7. Our Jackson Hole trip
  8. Rain on Me – Lady Gaga
  9. Getting to know our neighbors more this year
  10. A husband who likes to grocery shop!

Ok, your turn! Even just taking a moment before dinner, and sharing a few things you’re especially thankful for, or telling someone via the phone or text this year — share a little extra gratitude and soak in the good that we’ve been able to find this year β™₯️.





Still prepping for the big day? See how we’re getting ready for a quiet Thanksgiving Dinner for Two!

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?

Celebrating Three Years Married.

B and I are celebrating three years married today! We’ve spent 242 of the last 365 days together in our house, making year three together one to remember. And as much as I always love looking back at our special day becoming Mr. & Mrs. and closing my eyes bringing back those feelings of pure joy and happiness — I also like reflecting on the new year as husband and wife that we have under our belts.

This year has brought on new challenges, for all of us. B has stepped up in a lot of ways, and I’ve been so grateful for that. He’s also learned a bit more about the ebbs and flows of my anxiety, especially my pandemic anxiety. This year has also showed how resilient we both have been to change and adjusting well together over time with the challenges of the pandemic. And a big part of that has been, due to the fact that we’re on the same page, we talk, we ask each other when we need help, take breaks to catch up in the day, look out for each other and still surprise each other with little every day moments.

In this third year together, we’ve become unofficial co-workers, deeply invested in Bravo reruns, have played a lot of Yahtzee, taken more walks with Moz, have stopped setting our alarms on the weekend, we played a lot of golf, took a much-needed risk and jumped on an airplane together, rocked out to Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album more than either one of us may want to admit, and cook at home more than ever.

And as much as I hate the pandemic, and a lot of things about this year — I wouldn’t ever change my partner who I’m so lucky to have next to me day in and day out to talk about all this crazy with, forget about the crazy with, dance and laugh through this life together.

House Anniversary Tour: Our 2020 Projects

We’re celebrating six years as homeowners! Homeowners may be one of the ultimate adulting moves (besides having kids), as it comes with a mixed bag of unknowns that can be really great and really horrible. This year’s house anniversary tour is going to be highlighting the updates we’ve made this year both fun and not so fun, as we definitely tackled a few while we’ve been quarantined at home!

But, before then — I wanted to share a few of our not so great house moments, since homeownership isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Before we even moved into our house, our refrigerator busted — that was an automatic couple hundred dollars right off that bat that we weren’t planning on! One of the first really cold winters, we came home to frozen pipes in our kitchen! Since then we’ve learned to run the water over night on those super cold days. Did I mention we live in a 100+ year old home?

Fireplace Hearth Makeover. This was a vanity project that we did pretty early on in quarantine, that was a quick weekend win, once we figured out what tile we wanted! We finally got rid of the original red tile and gave it a lighter update, see the fun before and after here.

New Furnace. This was a not so fun one, but something that B really wanted. The last two winter’s we’ve had to make significant finance repairs to our 25-year old furnace, and B had enough with it! He was able to take advantage of getting a more efficient unit for a decent price with the same company who installed our AC the summer of 2018.

Main Bathroom Budget Update. I loved this project — it was intended to be a temporary update on a space that we will most likely eventually gut and completely redo, so we wanted to make sure this was on a lower budget, while also taking care of a few of our pain points, which were a small, generic counter and sink and the yellowy tiles all over the room. My favorite transformation was painting the tile white, it completely transformed the space! Check out the full makeover here.

Sunroom Flat Roof. This was our least fun project, both from finding a company to do the work to the final price tag. But alas, it was definitely a necessity as we had a pretty decent and consistent leak from our flat roof into our sunroom. Long story short, apparently residential flat roofs are an anomaly and there is a variety of verbiage to describe how to fix these which is super confusing as a homeowner. Thank goodness for good friends with dad’s who are roofers πŸŽ‰. All in, we had about 6 different companies quote the project, and consumed about a month of our lives for approximately $2,450. But hey, no more leaks!

Backyard Makeover. Oh, I loved this project. It was definitely under estimated of how much of an impact this would actually make — I didn’t realize how much of a sad backyard we had until this project was complete! We added in some custom beds, edging and modern fences to help hide a few ugly things we don’t have control over. I love looking at our backyard now, it’s so pretty! Click to see the full makeover here.

Office Update. Since working from home has become permanent, my at home office definitely needed a little refresh to be a bit more functional for actually being a home office! This project was low budget, and quick which has made the space feel a bit more complete, even though it’s not pink. See my office update, here!

We’ve had six wonderful years at our house, and it’s always so fun to see how far we’ve come and improvements we’ve made along the way. It’s been a staple of fun memories, parties, milestones, late nights and early mornings, it’s been our home sweet home.