Five Dates

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and although I’m not the biggest fan of this day (even though this will be #5 with B) – I love, love. So in honor of our 5th, here are some cute ways to spice it up, show some more love and rekindle those “just started dating” sparks.

Five Dates - the bee life -

Write a love letter. Like a really good, spilling your heart out, a page straight from a Nicolas Sparks novel, aching of the soul… down right awesome, love letter. Find inspiring poems or quotes from his/her favorite book and gush a little. A piece of paper and pen is all you need for this one.

Make Out. Like it’s the first time you did.

Go for a walk, hand in hand. I know February isn’t always the warmest, unless you’re on the west coast or a southern bell. But bundle up, go to a park, and walk hand in hand, even if it’s for 20-minutes – oh and put those phones away! Just the two of you and Mother Nature.

Play some games. Keep the electronics off, throw on some tunes and play a board game or two. Scrabble, monopoly, uno, or a little bit of war?! Have a little friendly competition over wine and candlelight.

Skip dinner. Instead of a big fancy <expensive> dinner, try breakfast or brunch instead! Whether it’s making it at home or heading to your favorite diner, heart shaped pancakes and mimosas? What could be sweeter than that?

What I love about these ideas is they really get down to the core of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about, an extra day in the year, to spend dedicated time with the person we love. XO.

Christmas Hangover.

Am I the only one with a Christmas hangover?  Somehow, I don’t think that I am. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, full of love, laughter, sweet moments… and not too much drama (let’s face it, families are the best at drama).

This Christmas was one of new traditions and changes. I spent Christmas for the first time ever away from “home” – and at our home with B, our first Christmas in five years that we’ve spent together!

The weather has been a bit amazing too – mid to high 50’s in the midwest, is NOT common especially for this time of the year.  Being able to take Moz on a walk on Christmas Eve in yoga pants and a sweatshirt was amazing. In fact we’d joked about a month previous that it’d be cool to do the exact thing.

Our Christmas Eve was nice and busy – we did a lot of prep around the house, I did a lot of baking and Christmas dinner prep, and of course a few last minute gifts with B.  We went to church and then came home snapped a few pictures and made some pizza’s and flipped the TV between It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf!  We also toasted with Manhattan’s in honor of my Grandma’s birthday and to new traditions.

Christmas morning we woke up and opened our stockings and presents – we had a great Christmas and both spoiled each other.  We relaxed a bit and then got ready and headed to B’s grandma Dee’s house for breakfast. We then headed over to his parent’s for presents and a movie for most of the afternoon! We finally headed back up to our place just in time to prep and cook dinner while my parents made it into town!  My aunts came over too – and we had a nice dinner around the table talking and enjoying each-others company.  More presents ensured after dinner from my parents!  It was then almost time to call it a night.

The mayhem continued on Saturday – after relaxing a bit in the morning we headed down the road to my aunts house for Hampel Christmas. Snacking and drinking, playing a new pickle game, laughing, dancing and catching up was the next few hours until dinner.  Pork, sauerkraut, gravy and dumplings are the main dinner items – presents and white elephant followed after dinner and then the games commenced.  We always play Pass the Trash and this year played a few fun games of LRC.

Finally, Sunday was B’s birthday – so we headed to church with our parents and then out to brunch right after.  It wasn’t until almost 3 o’clock we finally had the house back to ourselves and were able to crash for a nice nap!

It was four days of non-stop family, drinking, eating, and a lot of fun.  I’ve enjoyed taking some down time today to continue to relax and recover and get the house back in order.

Merry Christmas!


A Weekend of CLE

This past weekend was a busy one, but it was so much fun!

It started on Friday, with Cleveland Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Best of Cleveland party! This was the fifth year I’ve attended the #BestofCLE and every year it gets better. There was one point in the night when I was in complete awe, looking around at the hundreds and hundreds of people just dancing and partying – and thought “This is my Friday night.”

In case you’ve never been to the #BestofCLE; it’s a gathering of all of Cleveland’s best restaurants, boutique’s, bakeries, clothing shops, car dealerships, clubs, and apartments. Samplings of great food, drinks and beers, along with other little goodies and discounts!  This year, I was all about the sweets, so I really only consumed a number of cupcakes and sushi over the course of the evening (I know, a horrible combo).

My Stops: 

Campbell’s Sweets Factory – I grabbed one of their ‘Wedding Cake’ flavored cupcakes, because it’s my favorite and it is delicious!

A Cookie & A Cupcake – Mini cupcakes! I went for a chocolate and vanilla, this little shop in Tremont never disappoints.

Main Street Cupcakes – It was their birthday, which meant sprinkles all over their cupcakes, which in my opinion is a perfect combination.

Jack Frost Donuts – I did not have these, simply because I would’ve been in a sugar coma. They had full-size, elaborately decorated donuts they were impressive and so beautiful (picture below).

A bunch of our friends were at the party so we had a fun time catching up with them, dancing and singing and sipping some cocktails! This party never disappoints and my absolute favorite part was when DJ EV came out, I seriously could’ve danced the entire night.  The music was so good.

Saturday AM we woke up to run the Dawg Pound 5k – it was an unwelcoming 43 degrees out with some intense winds, although it was much better than the cold rain we had last year.  A group from my office met up early to go down to the start line, the weather did not keep away the sold-out crowd.  The course was similar to last year, a good route with minor hills,the wind definitely tempered down once you got running, which was a good thing! B and I ran the whole time to finish just under 30-minutes, not bad for not training!  Then the group of us went up to a favorite local spot, Nauti Mermaid for Bloody Mary’s and brunch! The Bloody Mary came out with a fresh fried, Lake Erie perch, it was surprisingly delicious, the food was amazing too.  It was a fun start to our Saturday!

After our jam packed fun, it was pretty low-key and relaxing for the rest of the weekend. The #BestofCLE and the Dawg Pound 5k are definitely two of the reasons why I love Cleveland so much and why I love the month of October!

Happy Monday!


click here: 2015 Best of Cleveland’s Participating Winners 

football & brunch

Yesterday was the perfect day for football & brunch so we hosted a “Brown’s Brunch” for the game yesterday – although it was an eclectic group of football fans, we had some Steeler’s and Packer’s fans thrown into the mix, but it was all in good fun. The focal point of the day was the food, amazing weather, and of course the game – that we ended up winning! Yay!!

Also, since it turned out to be a gorgeous day, we were able to pull some strings and got an outdoor screen and projector so we could watch the game in the garage and enjoy the sunshine! We also borrowed a corn hole board for the occasion  – it was absolutely perfect.

The fan favorite seemed to be the Mini Apple Pies, I will share the recipe on a future post, I used a combination of two recipes, and they came out so adorably perfect! The breakfast souffle and chili seemed to be a hit too, we have so many left overs … except champagne…mimosas were popular; I definitely got my daily dose of Vitamin C yesterday!  With my meal plan. a lot of the prep was done on Saturday; so there was little prep or fuss on Sunday, it was great, because I was able to enjoy the company of our friends and neighbors!

It was definitely a successful Sunday Funday!


What a weekend! It was so busy, and so much fun – so many awesome things happened.

The big focal point around the weekend, was celebrating my aunts’ wedding – yes you read that correctly aunts, plural.  They decided to get married last month, just 2-weeks after the big Supreme Court decision.  So finally on Saturday we got to celebrate their marriage with family and friends.  Family started pouring in for the weekend Friday night with festivities starting early Saturday!

I was the designated photographer for my aunts, so I was busy popping around to all 170 guests making sure everyone was photographed, not to mention the group shots and cake cutting!  The cake cutting was about the only ‘wedding reception-esq’ thing that happened, besides an open bar with endless drinks.

The night ended over at our house, with some more drinks and a smaller crowd of the family – I was happy to host everyone around our dining room table.

Saturday also was a big day for B’s family, his brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first little girl, Avery into the world. She is the first grandchild, so it was a big deal!  We went to the hospital Sunday afternoon to meet her and see the new mom and dad!

The weekend was full of close family, good friends, lots of laughs and more memories to add to the books.  Moz even got to meet her new cousin, Findley (my aunt’s new puppy).  It was a nonstop weekend full of fun. I definitely have a weekend hangover to start this Monday off.

Ten Things

Here are ten senseless distractions; and a quick read to get to know a little more about me!  I saw this idea in another blog I like to read; Centsational Girl and loved this idea and thought it would be the perfect distraction for my afternoon. It was hard just picking one answer for each, but I tried my best.

1. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.  My own personal gym.

2. Spring vs. Fall ? Fall – clam bakes, sweaters, pumpkins, coffee, jeans, scarfs, cool runs… shall I continue?
3. What’s on your nightstand? 
Pictures of me and B and my glasses.

4. What’s your favorite room in your house?  Our sunroom! 5. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?  Too many choices…. it’s a toss up between Derek Jeter and Katy Perry

6. Name one thing on your bucket list.  Sky dive with B

7. What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?  Jackson Hole w/ B and my parents! The company makes all the difference.
8. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to
Ireland and Germany!

9. Backyard BBQ or Formal Dinner?  Formal dinner – I love getting dressed up, and sitting around the table sharing stories, good laughs and a bottle of wine.
10. What advice would you give your teen self?  
There is a much bigger world out there; explore it as much as possible, and even if you break away – there is still a bigger world beyond that.

Weekend in the Woods

This past weekend B and I got out of town for a quick weekend getaway to the Cabin in the Woods.  I grew up in the country, but even this place is a little bit in the middle of nowhere for me.  I couldn’t even tell you where the closest gas station or grocery store would be, nor do you pass one on the way.

It’s always nice to get away to this little retreat, it’s so quiet and peaceful – but also extremely buggy. Plus it’s super close to one of our favorite breweries – Southern Tier, so of course we headed up there for the afternoon too.  Tasty beers, great food and an awesome atmosphere – we stay for hours.  We’ve made a yearly tradition out of it, but will definitely be going back before Summer’s end.

When we are back at the cabin we usually relax, and play board games (like Sorry!) and walk around the property with Moz.  She was super fascinated with the frogs while we walked around the pond, every time they jumped in and made a splash she would get scared and then become super curious! It was so cute. We also visited a homemade ice cream shop in the nearby ‘town’ – massive portions, huge selection and so cheap!

It was a fun – quick weekend away. I love creating memories, and traditions with B, even if they’re simple.


As of Thursday evening, B and I are official homeowners… we got the keys to our house! The process has been so long, that the reality of it all is hitting me in waves.  We had a 60-day close, plus we are having some work done on the house, so there has been a lot of downtime.  Fortunately we have time left on our lease until the end of December, so we can get the house in tip-top shape and move in as needed.

We got a lot of work done around the house this past weekend, before and after pictures to come in a future post. But MY biggest accomplishment of the weekend was deciding on paint colors for the dining room and the living room… now only 5-other rooms to go… oh… and the actual painting…

We also met our neighbors this weekend, both sides seem super nice.. so I’m happy about that.