Happy Thanksgiving – 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all my amazing bee readers! What’re you thankful for this year?  Every year, I’m always amazed and reminder at how lucky B and I are for our life and all of the amazing people we have surrounding us.

I’m also thankful for winning a fun little portrait mini-session earlier this month (see below) by the talented MML Photography, Michelle Loufman. B and I did a quick little session and the photos just captured so much of our love and personalities while being timeless photos for us to have for years to come.
Em and B Mini Session 2019
Photo by Michelle Loufman at MML Photography

I’ll have to admit that I’ve been a little jaded over this Thanksgiving holiday, especially this year — all the demands of family wanted me to shut it all off and just hide.  But all of my amazing friends listened to my stresses, frustrations and as much as they supported me, they also worked to share a different perspective for me to maybe change my mind… which ultimately ended up happening (yes, I know I’m being cryptic – what else is new?!)

So, I’m heading into this holiday with patiences and gratitude — Happy Thanksgiving!

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Latest Obsessions 11.19

November has finally been a month that B and I have been able to breathe.  Looking back at the last three months, we were literally booked everything single weekend from August through October — yikes! So needless to say, November has been a breath of fresh air with a little extra time to do more things we love, sleeping in and distressing from October.
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By finally being able to take a minute, I’ve been able to check off a few things on my to-do list (finally), make special memories and prepping for the fast approaching holiday season! These have been my latest obsessions this month.

Bathroom Organization. I’ve been trying to get my bathroom drawer stocked and organized since the beginning of October — and that’s just about how things have been going over here lately. BUT! It’s finally finished, and it’s perfect and beautiful and has a high-end feel for a small price of only $12. I wanted to make sure this bathroom was stocked for us and guests since our other main bathroom is two floors up!

Celebrating Two Years. Our anniversary was this past Monday, so B and I did a bit of celebrating and created new memories this year since we were actually home and not in sunny, Palm Springs. We went out Saturday to one of our favorite spots for dinner and drinks, then popped a bottle of bubbly when we got home. Monday we exchanged gifts – B really knocked it out of the park by creating roses out of cotton rounds (picture above), something he thought of all on his own.  He also had the vows he wrote me, but never shared since we had a Catholic ceremony, on cotton paper! These were the first time I read them and they were funny, sweet and brought me back to two years ago. We also went out to brunch and had a nice dinner at home that night!

Holiday Ready. …Well almost! I am trying to get there.  I’ve gotten a little jump start on some shopping and just started buying stuff, as I’m normally a December shopper. These next few weeks will be busy with Thanksgiving and then immediately jumping into December and hosting our annual holiday party.  So I’m getting my lists ready with ALL the things — from making a dairy free pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving to picking a day to get our Christmas tree! I’m excited for the holidays, but want them to go slow.

What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Are you stressing over the holidays or easing into them like me?

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Celebrating Two Years

It’s our two year anniversary! Part of me can’t believe it and part of me can — and part of me would love to relive that night all over again, in it’s pure magic, fun and perfectness. I loved our wedding, and I would plan another one (minus spending all that money again) in a heart beat.
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TBH. As much as the night was perfect there were a few moments that weren’t completely perfect, even though all the perfect moments out weighted those.  Like the fact that it was basically a tsunami from just before I left the house to head to the church to the end of the night when the party was shutting down. Which meant, our guests and ourselves were transporting two and from the church to the venue in a rush with strategic planning. But they say rain on your wedding day is good luck, right?

Another favorite memory of our wedding is the last two songs of the night.  It was big planning the last two songs with the DJ and he made an awesome choice of combining a song that B had recommended as a must play, Five More Hours by Chris Brown with Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling just afterwards (which you can see a snip of it below.) But I’ll never forget when Five More Hours came out and I rushed to find B so we could dance to this amazing song — that now brings tears to my eyes with happiness whenever it comes on.

These last two years with B have been about living our life and doing more of the things we love together, house projects, traveling, spending time with friends and family, working on our physical fitness and creating new memories together.  They’ve been about making plans, growing together, learning from one another, laughing and strengthening our team.  Now it’s time for some brunch, to celebrate!

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Wedding photo: Timothy-Logan Photography

Two Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

November is a special month — because it’s the month B and I finally tied the knot!  As you may or may not know there are “traditional” anniversary gifts for each year with a specific theme.  There is a list that has the traditional gifts paired with modern twists, and personally I like to try and stick to the traditional.  Last year I gifted B with papers sharing that I was finally going to change my last name (yes, after almost a year!).  So if you’re like me and on the hunt for something original, unique and spoiling your loved one, here are some Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift ideas with shop-able links!

The meaning for Cotton for an anniversary gift is “Cotton’s woven threads symbolize how you become more interconnected as time goes on and learn to be more flexible.”

Handmade Cotton Bud Ornament from Etsy. Etsy was the first spot I went to for inspiration, especially looking for something a little more unique and personalized.  One of the first things that caught my eye was this ornament — not only is it on theme, it’s also something that could easily be DIYed and even more customized as a anniversary keepsake. But for $14 with customization, you can’t beat it and I love ornaments to capture moments throughout our lives.
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Custom Embroidered Socks. This was another Etsy find that gives endless options to customize and make special for your man!  With so many different patterns and the ability to provide your own embroidered text with your wedding date, inside joke, wedding hashtag, or monogram — you really can’t go wrong with this.

His & Her Robes. Honestly, this was my first thought when I saw the second anniversary traditional gift was cotton. I jumped on Pottery Barn to see what was available — and even customizable. I liked the Vincent’s Men Robe, but it couldn’t be customized in the size I would need to get for B. I also loved this Bambo Waffle Robe from Williams Sonoma which also has monogram and different length options plus its on sale – not to mention there is just something about the waffle pattern that is so luxurious! Lastly I was searching on Land’s End for his and hers which had some other more holiday specific robes that would be perfect for Christmas pajamas!
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China is the modern gift theme which could be anything from a trip to China — a nice China dish to add for service — or even ordering Chinese food for a fun date-night in. The color is red, could be a ruby ring (hint-hint guys for the ladies) red garnet is also an option since garnet is the gemstone for two-years.

Have you already celebrated two years — do you stick to the anniversary gift themes? Or not?

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Weekend Roundup – October

It’s the final few days of October and I have to ask, how is this month already over? Although I feel like I’m a broken record lately saying that same thing every single month. But these last few months have just been a constant whirlwind, and although October is usually a whirlwind, there is something different and just something I love about October. Our weekends were packed with friends, late nights and fun… with a few quiet  moments, long walks and plenty of sunshine that was soaked in — I even got our front porch festive for fall!
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The first weekend we snuck away to the cabin again, and it was definitely feeling a bit more like fall then when we were there last month.  It was chilly and the leaves were finally starting to change. We did our typical trek to Southern Tier Brewing Company, but kept it a little shorter since we didn’t bring Moz and they were having an Oktoberfest event, so they didn’t have their typical food menu available. Whenever we’re at the cabin – it’s always a break and treat from reality.  Moz even got to see some piggy’s that were following us from the nearby farm on our morning walk!

The second weekend got kicked off a little early on Thursday for our big annual fundraiser event for JD Breast Cancer Foundation, the nonprofit I’m a board member on. We had a successful evening and were able to honor some amazing breast cancer fighters! That weekend we also had family in town for my aunties annual clam bake — which is one of my favorite things in the month of October. The clam bake is always a delicious meal, lots of laughs and always great seeing friends and family from out of town.
OctoberRoundup(2)-beelifeblogThe last two weekends consisted of more festive October/fall gatherings! Our friends hosted a pumpkin beer themed party and then we went to a Halloween party this past weekend — B and I don’t typically Halloween, as the Clam Bake is more our speed, but we had fun and finally figured out a cute and clever couples costume that felt like us! We were Jim and Pam from The Office, during Season 4’s episode featuring the Michael Scott Rabies for a Cure Fun Run.  Our hostess house was completely decked out for Halloween and we had a feast of delicious eats to enjoy with our drinks!
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I also was lucky to celebrate one of my best friend’s baby shower — she is a stunning mom-to-be and it was a beautiful afternoon with our little group of friends.  On top of all the fun, B and I have been volunteering with a local organization which has been filling in our free time between all the fun above — I’m excited to share more about in a future post about what we’ve been up too (because we love it!). And we love October — it’s always one of our favorite months filled with traditions and new memories.

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Weekend Recap – 21st Night of September

I may or may not still be recovering from the weekend! For nearing the end of September, the weather was toasty warm and full of sunshine – it was perfect for porch hangouts, two year old bday parties, a wedding and even a nap outside on the patio.  Yup, that was the flyover recap of the weekend, but the highlight was definitely K&J’s wedding on Saturday.

Funny enough, this was the first wedding we’ve been too in almost 2-years, the last wedding we went to was ours! So we were feeling a little rusty with the whole wedding guest game. K&J’s wedding also happened to be the 21st night of September – queue the Earth, Wind & Fire’s song September.  The ceremony was intimate as it took place in a wine cellar with friends and family gathered around. In addition the the intimate setting, the vows were personal and special to the couple with plenty of laughs for all to be had – it was the perfect mix of what makes up K&J.  The reception was full of dancing, laughs, pictures, catching up with coworkers and bonding with the bride and grooms family. It was a beautiful night for the newlyweds, not to mention the bride was simply stunning!
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Other highlights from the weekend included getting a Saturday workout in and enjoying a homemade breakfast afterwards on the patio with B as we enjoyed more of the beautiful weather and sunshine.  We did some housework, cleaned up the house and just enjoyed the day being home.  On Sunday we celebrated our nieces second birthday with her big party! The theme was minnie mouse and the weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor party – the girls even got me into the bounce house for a bit. I also got a major nap in on Sunday after the birthday fun, we had a late night from the wedding so apparently I needed it.
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It’s hard to believe we’re in the last full week of September with one more weekend left.  Where did this month go? Not to mention, Monday was officially the first day of Fall – but the weather definitely doesn’t feel like fall just yet, so I am still clinging onto Summer!

What were your weekend highlights?

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Latest Obsessions 08.19 – Faux Plants

I’m coming clean – I may or may not have a slight addiction with faux plants, as they’ve been my latest obsession.  Ever since our bathroom remodel and adding those finishing touches faux plants have been the answer to help spruce of the space since it’s in our basement!  So, I’ve been on the hunt, looking for great deals while also finding stuff to compliment the space. The ones that didn’t find a home for in the bathroom, have found homes in our basement living room helping give it a bit more life to this darker space.
Latest Obsessions - faux - beelifeblog(1) I haven’t really been a big fan of faux plants or flowers, just greenery around the holidays, until now and that’s because I think the faux plant industry as seriously picked up their game. There are so many more options available, that are beautiful, life like and are now available in an endless number of stores, from Marshall’s, to Target and even craft stores like Michael’s.  From succulents, to cactus or fig trees you can really create a statement in spaces were these real life creatures might not survive or if you want a low maintenance option for you living space – and all sort of styles and sizes.
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Guess what! There are end of season deals on some of these more summery faux plants – so I’ve shopped a few steals for you to keep an eye on when you’re out and about that I’ve taken advantage of our am about too!

Michael’s Craft Store: 6ft Dieffenbachia Tree originally $200 now $40 – style this in a fun basket and you’ve got an awesome statement.  Mini mixed cactus plant pot originally $20 now $4 or this mini succulent plant pot originally $15 now $3 (check stores for availability) I stocked up on these when I saw them severely price cut in stores and bunched them in our basement bathroom on the window sill, even one within the shower stall window! It really gives it a spa-like feel.

Target Opalhouse: 19×14″ Artificial Orbit Peacock Plant in Pot Green/White originally $24.99 now $12.48 in select stores (and other plants too!). I couldn’t pass up this 50% discount, plus it was a decent size to add a little more umph than a table top succulent.  I knew this guy would have a spot in our basement living room (pictured above).

TJMaxx: 36″ UV Proof Rubber Plant in Ceramic Pot originally $49 now $39 OR this 39″ potted cactus originally $99 now $75.  Before I settled on the stems and mini succulents for the bathroom, I REALLY wanted to get a massive cactus for that corner, but the numbers and the size I wanted to make an impact were a bit out of my budget (like this 5ft one from Target, still a hefty $129.99) – so I figured my alternate solution and maybe if I see one I like on sale I’ll go for it!
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I’ve also started to have a little fun with stems and styling those with various vases or even baskets – there are so many fun ways besides the traditional planter that faux plants (and real for that matter) can be dressed up to fit into your home – plus you can find them pretty affordable, without the worry of killing off a cool looking plant. SO! I have to know, have you been on the faux plant train for awhile? Or you a new found convert like me?

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Weekend Recap – Summer Things

This weekend was a hot one, with the weather apps saying it “feels like 100” most of the weekend, we didn’t let that deter us from summer fun activities! We also wasted no time getting started with the weekend and were in full weekend mode as soon as I left the office Friday afternoon.  Weekend(1) - the beelifeFriday we headed to get drinks pre-Tribe game at a low key cocktail lounge just outside of downtown.  We made it in time for happy hour and half priced handcrafted cocktails that were absolutely incredible – we will definitely be heading back for another date night.  It was the perfect pre-game to the Tribe game that happened to be dollar dog night, and happened to be one of those ‘feels like 100’ and super sweaty nights.  We ended up going with my aunts and then my aunt and uncle came up for the fun as well – it was a family occasion and a great night for a ball game, and a big W for the home team! And we didn’t let the heat interfere with the fun!
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Saturday was a mix of fun – as my parents got into town Friday night, so the guys headed out for golf with the aunts, while mom and I got to hung out, went shopping and had a delicious lunch on a patio with some bubbles before more fun started!  My other aunt ended up coming into town too, so we had more hangs with all the aunties and a delicious dinner of fresh walleye, summery salads and plenty of laughs and an unplanned late night!

To round out the weekend, Sunday kicked off with church and brunch – the guys got in another round of golf too! Then I was off to eastern Ohio for a bridal shower in wine country at the beautiful Ferrante winery.  The picturesque venue was the perfect compliment to the weekend and enjoying all the amazing summer weather, while also showering a sweet friend with lots of bride-to-be love!

The evening wrapped up on the patio with B before the rain started which ended up being the perfect transition inside to watch the Big Little Lies season finale! The weekend was definitely a whirlwind of fun, but so totally worth it and so much family time ❤
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Latest Obsessions 07.19

It’s HOT in the SUMMER and oh how I love it, so much! So let my latest obsessions, summer edition continue into the month of July – because I am just eating it all up. One thing about summer is it always makes me want to travel, and coming fresh off a trip the travel bug is still lingering, hot! On the opposite side of that, because the weather has been so great we’ve been loving our outdoor living space and soaking up as much sun and summer nights as possible in our own backyard oasis.
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Summer 2020 Travel Plans:  With a bigger trip falling through that we had on our radar for next summer, my wheels have already started turning for another big trip or multiple little ones to fill in the gap.  2020 is going to be a big year – so as much as I hate thinking about it and rushing away 2019, it is definitely going to be one that calls for some planning! Speaking of 2019 – we still have a few more trips queued up and are still swooning from the west coast, lush Portland was definitely an awesome trip!

Our Backyard Oasis: We’ve been a bit obsessed with our back patio and using it as much as possible, from eating dinner, snacks, to late nights sitting with music playing and drinks flowing until it’s time for bed! On the weekends, it’s honestly been weird to sit around inside for too long unless it’s first thing in the morning.  Moz loves it too, she gets all the sun spots!

Running Routine: I’m slowly getting back into my running and fitness routine! It’s been a slow start to 2019 and even slower start this summer – my June Fitness Friday post shares the latest updates from pulling my back, to physical therapy and now getting back to it.  Although this might be one thing I don’t love about summer, is running in the heat – so I’m pushing through and making myself still run!

What’re your favorite things about summer?

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