Why We Celebrate the Little Things

Monday marked our three year engagement anniversary and in May it will be 8-years together – I love all of our little anniversaries.  And although we are married and have other bigger anniversaries to celebrate, we still like to celebrate and reflect on these little moments that we’ve shared together.
Little Moments - the bee life

Why We Celebrate: From 3-months to 3-years, to the day we got the keys to our (first) house, a monumental trip, or the day we got our Moz – it’s these little things that lay the foundation of our relationship and the reason for it’s existence today, tomorrow and ten years from now. It’s celebrating these little moments that help keep the joy of those moments alive while looking forward to the future.

Sometimes we celebrate with a handmade card, sometimes flowers, or recreating a meal (like Chipotle and Champagne from the night we got engaged) or just sending a little text or picture about a memory from that day.  We save going all out for the bigger anniversaries!  It’s also fun reflecting on all the firsts we’ve had together, while also still realizing how many firsts we still have yet to have.

Cheers to celebrating the little things!

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My Daily Essentials

Full disclosure (I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of that lately on here!) – I’m not a huge make-up girl or beauty guru, I probably take 15-20 minutes to get ready on average and part of that time is because I end up getting distracted playing with Moz or talking with B.  My hair and make-up routine is low maintenance, so my daily essentials might be a bit non-traditional but they’re essential beyond my beauty routine, making them truly my essentials!
Daily Essentials - the bee life
Voluminous Mascara by L’Oreal.  Mascara is an absolute must! Within the last few years I’ve become more confident with just wearing mascara (no eye liner) as my main eye make-up and keeping my look as natural as possible. I especially love this L’Oreal brand because of the brush, coverage and really letting my lashes pop! Beyond mascara I throw on some blush and usually call it a day in the make-up department.

Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme. This is a MUST, especially in the winter when dry hands are prevalent and seem to be never ending! Not only does this instantly make you’re hands feel lush and not dry, the lotion smells amazing and is almost therapeutic – the travel size bottles are perfect to tote around everywhere.

Echinacea – Immune Support. Staying on top of my immune health is always a priority, that is why I take echinacea at least 1x a day, when I’m starting to feel something come on I’ll up my dosage to the recommended dosage of 3x a day.

Secret Unscented Deodorant. This may seem like a given daily essential – but the key for me is the unscented part! I can’t stand scented deodorants, I blame my bloodhound nose, plus this allows me to have my perfume standout as my signature scent!
Daily Essentials - the bee life (2)
I also love throwing on a few bangles with inspiring sentiments, always make sure I have my Neutrogena Norwegian Formula lip moisturizer in my work bag, because winter, decide if it’s going to be a glasses day or not – then I’m ready to take on the day!  As I mentioned, my routine and all my go-to essentials are low maintenance and help my skin and soul feeling great!

What’re your daily essentials? Leave a comment below!

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Fitness Friday 01.19

It’s a new year, which mean it’s time to reset on your fitness goals, evaluate wins and losses from the past year and start focusing on the now and make things happen! Because Fitness has and will continue to be a priority for me, I wanted to really focus on specific goals for my health and wellness beyond my other goals for the new year and what better way to kickoff the first Fitness Friday than with clear goals of the year!
fitness friday 01.19 - the bee life
Run More! Running has always been part of my fitness, some years more miles than others – with the goal of still running a handful of races, I want to incorporate running in my routine beyond the training for the races and making it more of constant.

Build My Core Strength. This should have been a priority for the past 13 years – due to  my chronic back pain – which has been flaring up more than lately, I’ve been thinking about ways to moderate this more as I get older.  And one thing that I’ve been told in my years is building my core strength, so by adding in a simple addition of regular planks I hope to build this up!

Less Carbs.  Plain and simple. I’ll begin buckling down on this a bit more, as I’ve been enjoying the finer things in life lately.

Remaining Consistent with Bootcamp. The last two years I’ve gotten into a good groove, seen progress and continued to get stronger.  I like the group fitness class and it’s an easy way to check off 2 or 3 days of workouts in the week!

Although I’m not working towards fitting into a wedding dress – this past year was a good year of maintaining my routine, sticking strong on my diet.  I worked so hard to establish that routine and make the big progress that I did – I don’t want to loose that routine or happiness I gained in myself.  So here’s to another year of becoming and loving your best self!

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6 Pieces To Expand Your Wardrobe for under $30

Who doesn’t love a good accessory? As the seasons shift and the days get cooler, layering and switching up options for versatility is always a goal for me.  I like having outfits that work daytime and can easily be updated for an evening look for those week after work happy hours or last minute date nights.  The best part is you don’t have to spend a fortune to expand your wardrobe options!  Here are a few key pieces I always like to add to my wardrobe to help switch up looks – plus I’ve found pieces that are under $30 to help you expand your wardrobe too!Expand Wardrobe - bee life(1) More Scarves, Please!  Expanding your scarf collection with patterned and neutral scarves can expand your wardrobe options dramatically.  If you’re working with a  patterned scarf, like this Leopard Print Scarf from Gap  – you can stick to a neutral color palette as your base canvas versus a neutral scarf with a patterned dress or sweater.  Scarfs can also help you transition summer pieces into fall!

(2) Classic Booties. And buy multiple colors! Once you find a good classic pair of booties, stock up! You will quickly find that you’ll be switching these in and out all season long.  A great pair of booties can go with a variety of looks from a dress to jeans, plus they keep your tootsies warm!  Check out these booties from TJMaxx that come in both camel and black… and yes they’re under $30.

(3) Statement Necklace.  A statement necklace can change a whole look taking it from basic to glam.  I love taking a more casual look and adding a necklace making it feel more complete and ready to take on the day.  This is also another easy way to transition an outfit from daytime (no necklace) to nighttime (necklace!)  Pro-tip: Stock up with sales, like this sale at New York & Company happening right now!

(4) A Nude Handbag (or four). You should probably have like four nude handbags in different styles from over the shoulder, to a structured tote, to a work bag.  A nude bag can help make a statement when paired with fun colors, and is also professional for the work week! Aldo has a handful of nude stunners on sale, for under $30.

(5) A Neutral Jean Jacket. For under $30?! Hell yeah! The key is finding one that is classic and neutral both in colors and embellishments like this Jean Jacket from Target.  With the right jacket your wardrobe can be styled from casual to evening and from summer to fall.  Pro-tip: if you plan to layer a lot with you jean jacket, consider going up a size, or you may be somewhat limited to your seasons!  I love styling my jean jacket with a fun dress or styling it down with a t-shirt.

(6) Layering Vests.  Adding a few vests to your wardrobe will not only be functional, but will also give you a variety of options for switching out looks for continued versatility.  Having a few key vest types can help whether you’re dressing up a look (like this Vest from Nordstrom Rack) or being more casual on the weekend for a quick trip to the store or a walk with the pup (shop this Puffer Vest from Old Navy)!
6 Pieces Wardrobe - the bee life
Shop the pieces: Leopard Print Scarf from Gap | Vest from Nordstrom RackJean Jacket from Target | Booties from TJMaxx | Structured Tote from Aldo | Statement Necklace from New York & Co.

I am always looking for easy and budget friendly ways to expand my wardrobe while making sure my looks and pieces are functional!  A lot of these may seem like basics, but the key is to expanding and adding to your wardrobe expanding outfit options for all occasions.  Happy Shopping!

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Weekend Recap – Fall Fever

We had the perfect fall filled weekend with friends and family.  We went off the grid for a couple days into the middle of nowhere, like the places when you’re driving and you see amish buggy signs, fields of cows and just beautiful fall foliage flanking the roads.

Venturing to the middle of nowhere is a yearly tradition that B and I have been doing for five years… finding our way back to Southern Tier Brewery in Lakewood, NY.  We especially try and go in the late summer months/fall so that we can get a taste of their delicious seasonal beers – Pumking and Warlock.  We love the spot and always enjoy each other’s company catching up, laughing and making plans for the future.

The rest of the weekend was the perfect mix of rest and relaxation with a taste of catching up with family and friends.  Saturday we went to a local brewery called Rohrbach Brewing Company to grab some lunch and taste a few beers with K + T.  From lunch we headed to this beyond adorable little farm that had monstrous pumpkins, gorgeous gourds, colorful mums, and lots and lots of beautiful colors.  It was like a dream and this perfect little spot was run by a husband and wife, they had their trophy pumpkins on display for people to admire – they had to be close to 50 pounds or more. Although, I did a pretty great job of racking up our own batch of pumpkins – we weighed out at 70 pounds worth of pumpkins and gourds! Whoops!

It was great catching up with friends and family, getting in some much needed fall activities, sipping some delicious beers, and being able to sleep in a few days too!  October is one of my most favorite months and this long weekend full of all things that make it perfect was exactly why.  What do you love about the fall?

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Local Love: Brewella’s

The cutest little coffee and crepe shop opened up near us that we’re pretty sure this might become a new go-to spot, especially on the weekends.  With an inviting store front Brewella’s isn’t just your typical coffee shop, they also sell collectibles and use them as decor around this quaint shop that is an instagramers dream for the next swoon worthy decor photo. 

Let’s talk Crepes. With over nine different flavors of savory and sweet you can’t go wrong with either pick – I guess it just depends on what mood you’re in! We devoured the sweet chocolate, banana and peanut butter crepe, the ham & gruyere cheese, and then the egg, spinach and cheese.  Not only are their options for just about anyone, the batter of the crepes is so light and airy that you don’t feel stuffed after eating this delicious and generous serving! They also give you fancy vintage folks to eat with – playing right into that collectibles vibe.

Coffee talks. Between B and I our go-to’s are the hot drip coffee (for me) and the iced coffee (for B).  They serve Phoenix coffee and it’s quite tasty if I do say so myself.  They’ve even introduced a couple season drinks to the menu like the Jack-o-Latte and Hot Apple Cider, which are on my list for our next sit-down visit!

Brewella’s started as just being opened on weekends but are now open 6-days a week, woo – more opportunities for crepes! Whenever we’ve visited on the weekends there is a full house as it’s definitely become a neighborhood favorite for most as the atmosphere is so inviting and there are little nooks to cozy up in with a loved one to enjoy some coffee and crepes and chats.

Cheers to new neighborhood hangouts!

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5 Hosting Tips for Fall

It’s getting to one of my favorite times of the year – the time for holiday parties and plenty of opportunities for hosting friends and family.  Whether you’re planning an intimate sit down dinner or a more festive party, these five tips will help cover your bases, wow guests and have a fun night to remember!
Party Hosting Tips - the bee life
These tips will also help you relax as a host while still having those finishing touches and taking your party to the next level.

  1. Consider a Bulk Signature Cocktail. Signature cocktails can be fun, especially if it’s more of a seasonal drink for the fall and winter months.  As a host pro-tip, make these in bulk ahead of time in a pitcher or shaker – that way you won’t be stuck making everyone a drink as they come in.  Don’t forget the garnish and a fun cocktail napkin to top off the full effect!
  2. Make a Killer Charcuterie Board. This can serve as your focal point and will cover the bases on a variety of food categories from meats and cheeses, to breads, jams, nuts and fresh fruit that will make guests want to dive right in.  Check out Skinnytaste or Spend with Pennies on some tips to making a killer board.
  3. Don’t Forget the Dessert! It’s easy to get caught up figuring out the main dishes for the evening and overlook the best part, dessert!  This is something to keep simple whether it’s buying some more expensive chocolate bars, baking fresh chocolate chip cookies or asking friends to help bring this, so you can check it off the list!
  4. Plastic vs. Non-Plastic Plates. The great debate on which to use continues! I often shy away from plastic because I prefer the aesthetic look of plates – but depending on which type of party you’re hosting, one might make more sense than the other.  For example a more intimate dinner party or smaller guest count may call for plates to add that extra touch, but if you’re having a large party that is a bit more casual save yourself the end of the night clean-up and grab plastic bowls and plates!
  5. Create Welcoming Smells. This can be an easy victory – if you’ve been prepping food all day, your house might have a mixture of smells, so to clear it up light a few candles with similar scents throughout your home (don’t forget the bathroom!) or throw in some chocolate chip cookies right before guests arrive for a homey welcome.

If you’re looking for inspiration to host a fall party and ways to keep it simple read; 5 Reasons to Host a Fall Party.  And don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your own party, as the host it’s easy to get caught up in perfection and making sure everyone else is taken care of – but don’t forget to grab yourself a drink too!

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Image Sources:  Skinnytaste \ The Effortless Chic | Apartment 34

Ten Things – 2018

Three years ago I shared ten things to help my readers get to know a little more about me – it was funny reading it back and looking at how I would answer now. So I thought it was time for an update and another little intro to any new bee readers. So please enjoy these ten things about me, oh and I’ve included my 2015 answers just for fun!
Meet the Bee
1. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.
2015: My own personal gym.
2018: A vacation or four… maybe a sports car.

2. Spring vs. Fall?
2015: Fall – clam bakes, sweaters, pumpkins, coffee, jeans, scarfs, cool runs… shall I continue?
2018: Still fall. ❤

3. What’s on your nightstand?
2015: Pictures of me and B and my glasses.
2018: Lamp, ring holder, small vase with flowers, coaster & water glass

4. What’s your favorite room in your house?
2015: Our sunroom!
2018: Although our sunroom is still a gem, my new favorite room is our master suite (it was not finished in 2015!) … and our basement makeover (reveal coming soon!)

5. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?
2015: Too many choices…. it’s a toss up between Derek Jeter and Katy Perry
2018: This one is tough, maybe some Bravo reality stars? RHOBH or Vanderpump!

6. Name one thing on your bucket list.
2015: Sky dive with B
2018: Travel to Europe

7. What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?
2015: Jackson Hole w/ B and my parents! The company makes all the difference.
2018: Our honeymoon to Palm Desert was a pretty great vacation

8. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to…
2015: Ireland & Germany
2018: Lake Como & Greece

9. Backyard BBQ or Formal Dinner?
2015: Formal dinner – I love getting dressed up, and sitting around the table sharing stories, good laughs and a bottle of wine.
2018: Same! But I do love a good meal out on the patio on a summer night.

10. What advice would you give your teen self?
2015: 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.
2018: Don’t let silly people affect you to the point of insecurities or anxiety – they do not define you, and there is a world of people out there that won’t tear you down.

Some of these were tough to answer again! But it’s fun to reflect on these ten things, as life and the world seems to move too fast.  Have a question you want me to answer? Leave a comment below!

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DIY – $50 Trunk Makeover

You see, we found this old trunk on a neighbors tree lawn and had to snatch it up, it had admittedly seen better days… but that never stops me.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it just yet, but that would come in time… after some trunk searches on Pinterest I determined to flip this baby into a coffee table, but I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to finish this piece.   I was tempted to go the all white route or maybe pink with gold accents? And then the inside… what was I going to do with the inside?!  Oh, and we didn’t need another coffee table. *smiles*

The trunk was pretty banged up, it had old stickers all over it and then the inside was a little stinky with some blue paper that was torn.  It was a little daunting – how easy was the inside paper going to come off? What about the outside… and getting those stickers off?  Well with a little bit of water and a scrapper the paper came off with a little added elbow grease and help from B.  To my surprise, the stickers came off the same way! Although, I still didn’t know how I wanted to finish this sucker.

After doing some research, I liked the look of Hairpin legs and found these 6″ black ones on Amazon, so I purchased – still trying to figure out the color scheme, knowing I could spray paint to match if the black wouldn’t work.  I finally decided I was going to stick to the trunks original colors and just bring some life back to it! I loved the gold accents and couldn’t cope with the idea of painting over them in white or another color. After a good clean and a few layers of paint, this trunk was seeing new life.

To finish off this DIY, I finally went with some fabric for the inside vs. peal and stick paper.  I thought the fabric would be nice to work with, and a lot of options for the patterns and colors.  $18 later we had our fabric picked out, I bought 4-yards just to be safe and within one night cut and place the fabric to line the trunk with 3M Adhesive spray.   Before adding the fabric, I did spray the inside with bleach a few times (with weeks in between) to help with the smell and kill anything that might be hanging out!

DIY Cost Breakdown:

  • Trunk = $0.00
  • Hairpin Legs = $25.00
  • Paint Supplies = $12.00
  • Fabric = $18
  • TOTAL = $55.00 

We also figured out a home for this guy, with our Basement Makeover happening, this was another piece of the puzzle that fit just perfectly with the overall look and feel of the space.  It’s a little side table and perfect for some extra storage for blankets, games and extra candles!  Of course, I love the way it came out and how the gold pops against the black – plus it looks perfect in the new space.

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