Weekend Recap – Flowers & Family

We got lucky this past weekend with an extra day making it a long weekend visiting the family back home.  The weekends are already jam packed, so the extra day was much needed and allowed a bit more time to relax and do some normal running around with the parents.

Mom and I went to the local nursery where she picked out some flowers to plant around the house, which I was able to get for her as a belated Mother’s Day present! Growing up, we always went this local farm to pick out flowers to plant around the house, so it was nostalgic while also realizing some things never change – like this little local green house, the owners, the flowers and the fact that my mom can’t make a decision even when she’s shopping for flowers! But it’s all those little things that never change that made the trip with Mom a memorable one.
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With the extra day, beyond the flower shopping, I was able to help mom with some decorating around the house (which she never lets me do!) we shopped a yard sale and we were even able to get all her new flowers planted and ready for spring! B and my dad went golfing, to a golf demo day and up to the local brewery – so they definitely stayed busy, while Mom and I got extra one on one time in.

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Eight.

Okay, I totally lied. Last year I said it would be the last year ‘celebrating’ this little anniversary of B and I. But I can’t help it! Eight years ago today was B and I’s first date, which was supposed to be just a couple drinks, but ended up with B and I bar hopping and literally just talking the night away. And it was a night that I walked into being so nervous but also so certain and then as the night went on I was just completely done – like head over heels, cash the check, send the ring – soulmate.
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We have been very lucky in love, we’ve been able to create a beautiful home together while still being able to travel and do all the things we love to do.  We have our little family of three with Moz and we couldn’t be more obsessed with her. #dogparents
We of course have had our ups and downs, our disagreements and our trying times through these eight years – but we always come out together as a stronger team.

This year we really went crazy celebrating eight years – by finally finishing our bathroom project and ate some Chipotle because you know, Cinco De Mayo.

xox

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – Sunday, May 12 – so if your in need of help on ideas to spoil mom this year, you’re in luck! I created this gift guide with a variety of ideas that can stand alone or be paired together to wow-mom.  From self care to home decor, to just because – you’ll be pampering and spoiling mom with these simple and personalized, yet easy gifts!
Mother's Day Gift Guide - the bee life
Self-Care: Gardening season is here, which means extra hand washing and dirt! Gear mom up with these fashionable floral gardening gloves from Williams Sonoma under $20 (on sale!)  And whether it’s self care after gardening or excessive hand-washing from home projects, Aveda’s hand relief cream is a must-have for anyone you love (and yourself!) it’s so luxurious – not to mention it’s the best hand healer, which is why it’s one of my daily essentials!  Lastly, spoil mom with a new robe, because you know the one she has was around when you still lived at home (eek!) – Anthro has a ton of beautiful options that’ll make mom feel like a million bucks and make her want to donate that old robe, ASAP. <Shoppable links below>

Home Decor: Joanna Gaines’ Hearth & Hand line at Target has THE perfect mug for mom, it’s simple and the perfect reminder to mom that you love her (because it says ‘Love You, Mom’) – especially if you can’t see or talk to her everyday!  Stay on the Chip & Jojo train and get mom Joanna’s newest book Homebody is the perfect guide for anyone who loves decorating or looking for design inspiration for their home!

Just Because. The Anthro Block Letter Monogram necklace is so simple and so elegant, whether it’s a first or last name initial, mom will absolutely love this – it’s an easy and thoughtful gift that can work for anyone on your list! You can’t forget a card for mom! Go homemade or local for a personalized touch.  This card from Boundary & Thorn is the perfect mix of florals and watercolors – mom will want to frame it!

Shop the Gift Guide: Williams Sonoma Gardening Gloves | Target Glass Jar Candle | Homebody Book by Joanna Gaines | Anthropologie Block Letter Monogram Necklace | Aveda Hand Relief Cream | Love You, Mom Mug from Target | Anthropologie Flora Robe | Boundary & Thorn Mother’s Day Car

The best part is you can even pair a few of these items together as little gift sets, or with other different pieces: like the Anthro Robe with a spa gift card or bottle of mom’s favorite wine.  The coffee mug could be paired with mom’s favorite coffee beans or k-cups, and the gardening gloves and hand cream would go great with a flower pot and fun flower for mom to plant!  But remember, beyond just spoiling your mom – make sure you tell her you love her. xox

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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.
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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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Valentine’s Day – 2019

Hey love birds and all you haters! I’m a day early, I know – but I wanted to share a little bit of love going into the ‘holiday’ and also a fun playlist I’ve created for all the feelings of love, from loving yourself to heartbreak to being head over heels in love, this playlist has it all, check the link below to listen (make sure it’s on shuffle)!

Click here to listen to Heart Ache by The Bee Life on Spotify

View More: http://marinaclaireandco.pass.us/emily--alex
Photo by: Marina Claire & Co. 

The beautiful thing about love is that it takes all shapes and forms. It’s not just having the love of a partner, it’s loving yourself, your family, your friends and your life.  Love is also reflecting on the love lost and love learned in your life to where you are today and how that’s shaped you into the person you are today.  I firmly believe I’ve become the person I am today because I’ve loved who I’ve loved – friends/family and significant others – and the loss I’ve experienced from that love (I even have a tattoo sharing that sentiment!).  So this Valentine’s day remember to love yourself and always share the love beyond just this day or just get lost in music.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo

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Local Love: Valentine’s Edition

Hello, Cleveland lovers! Guess what – Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away… eeek!  Are you ready? If not,  I have some of my favorite local spots that would be perfect for a coffee date, heart-felt card or a romantic date night.
Local Love - Valentines Edition - the bee life
Brewella’s: Decorated to the tee for the day of love, you might just fall in love with someone here.  Whether it’s a gift card, a coffee date for one of their seasonal latte’s (with homemade strawberry whip cream) or a breakfast date for crepes – Brewella’s will not only deliver in delicious drinks and eats, they’re festive pink and red decor will make you melt! Explore the coffee shop from their instagam.

Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes: KEC just dropped their Valentine menu, the key for this is ordering ahead to make sure your sweet treats are secure for your sweetie for the big day!  Not feeling all the kitchy V-day sweets?  KEC has a collection of customizable cakes for any occasion and other delicious treats stocked daily! Check out the Valentine menu here or tease your sweet tooth with KEC’s insta feed.

Boundary & Thorn:  The kitchen punny line of prints are so cute, and not to mention a little frisky!  This would be a fun little gift to give to a gal pal or sig-o, one of my personal favorites from the Coffee Punnies by B&T is “Wanna French” with a french press – it especially makes me think of B since we always make a french press on the weekends!  Boundary & Thorn also specializes in custom projects (dog portraits, wedding invites, holiday cards!) beyond her shop items! Shop B&T’s instagram feed.

Lovely Paperie & Gifts: Hey guys, listen up for this one! This would be a great place to bring your gal pal on a little shopping spree, to let her pick out a Lillie Pultzer piece, a monogram bracelet, or maybe some Kate Spade? If a shopping spree sounds a little too extravagant, they also have an assortment of stunning Valentine cards that would make anyone’s heart melt.  Ladies, they also have gifts for your guys too! Shop Lovely virtually here.

Distill Table: If you head to Distill you have to order one of their handcrafted cocktails, made with all locally sourced ingredients that will not only make your tastebuds giggle but the presentation will turn you to a heart eye-emoji.  The red velvet booths will make you want to cozy up with your Valentine while you enjoy all delicious and local food!
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So if you haven’t even thought of Valentine’s Day yet, maybe some of these local spots will inspire you – even if you’re not reading from CLE.   These are a lot of my favorite local shops that I like to frequent as often as I can especially for special occasions, looking for one of a kind gifts or for just some delicious local eats (or coffee, LBH)!

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Image Sources: Group image sourced from shops instagram feeds and linked within content.  

Why I Finally Decided To Change My Last Name

Confession time:  I wasn’t planning on changing my last name once B and I tied the knot – in fact I was pretty adamant about not changing it.  Everyone always asked me, “Well what does B think about it?” … and at first he didn’t love the idea, but as we talked about it over time he grew to understand my perspective and was accepting of the idea.  And no matter what people’s responses were to me saying I wasn’t going to change my name – because people definitely had opposing opinions – I knew that B and I were on the same page and that was all that mattered. In fact,  we actually joked more about B changing his last name instead of me changing mine.
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Now, it’s only fair of me to not share ALL my reasons of why I didn’t want to change my name – and those closest to me know. And if someone asked and REALLY wanted to know, sure I’d tell them, but I’m not going to just offer it up. *tongue out emoji*

But onto the good stuff about WHY I decided to change my name and HOW I shared the news with B. The reason why might sound really really stupid or even a little silly… but I wanted people to know that B and I were married.  Sure, most people knew, we both wear rings – but there were little moments in everyday life, that made me pause and have to explain, “No my husband’s last name is Wildebeest.”  I also felt that the whole point of being married is being one with each other as a union and in those little moments it didn’t seem that way at all.

So, as these little moments in life continued to happen over the course of our first year of marriage, I began throwing around the idea of changing my name – first to friends and then worked on convincing my stubborn self.  The first anniversary gift is paper, what better gift to give B than surprise him with my new social security card with my new name on it? … as the year went on, I continued to pitch myself on the change while those little moments continued to happen and build the case.  Plus, I knew B would be psyched, deep down happy, and not expecting it at all.
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Needless to say, I was a little nervous when I finally told B for our anniversary, because he’d gotten so OK with me NOT changing my name – that I wasn’t sure if he would really care anymore.  But he was so excited about it and not to mention completely shocked (and in a bit of disbelief)!

Final confession.  It’s still a bit of a struggle for me, I fought against conforming for so long and have a deep love for my maiden name that it hurts my heart a little – dramatic? Maybe, but I know that in time the change won’t even phase me, and that I’ll always be EB deep down.

To help with my name switch I enlisted HitchSwitch they provided detailed check-lists and pre-filled paper work to make the transitions easy while helping me feel not so lost navigating all the different updates! I still have a few updates to make, but all the major ones are checked off the list. ❤

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Beach Portrait Session Photo Credit: Marina Claire & Co.
Wedding & Engagement Photo Credit: Timothy Logan Photography

2018 Recap

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Happy all of the things! I took a bit of an unintentional hiatus for the end of the year, which seemed to be needed, thus back on track and a bit delayed here is my 2018 Recap, which I’ve been very reflective on this past week leading up to the New Year… and with mixed feelings, might I add… Year End Recap 2018 - the bee lifeCompared to 2016 and 2017… the only word I could think of to describe this past year was normal.  2016 was an epic year, it was the year we got engaged, the year the Cavs won the NBA Finals, the year I transition into a new job, plus we had some awesome trips mixed into all of that.  2017 was of course #ourweddingyear including more vacations and just all around amazing-ness.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with normal – it was just figuring out what’s next after two amazing years of it all.

So as I tried to not to overlook our “normal” 2018, I started thinking back about everything we did.  From two great trips, including one new city, to countless days/nights with friends, pool days & birthday parties with our nieces, lots of weekends back home, and many dinners and day dates in between – our 2018 was anything but normal mainly because of all the wonderful people we spent our days with – which I think is evident with the pictures above.

I also had some personal accomplishments coming off a year of ups and downs, and finally getting my butt in gear physically and professionally.  It felt great to run two long races without stopping from our 10-Miler in April to our half-marathon in August — it makes me want to continue our running streak and find new races to run, while sticking to our favorite ones.  A few other accomplishments I was proud of was joining the board of a nonprofit and my one-year anniversary at my company!

So here’s to 2018 and loving the new normal in 2019!

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Wednesday Reminders – Grateful

On the eve of Thanksgiving, it’s time to take a moment before all the crazy starts tomorrow and really reflect and remember what we’re truly grateful for.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m grateful for the wonderful people in my life.  My family, my friends, our neighbors and my coworkers — we are lucky to have so many thoughtful and caring people in our lives that we can call family.

We have been blessed with such a wonderful life and that in part has been because of the fabulous people in our lives and the opportunities they’ve provided for us to get to where we are today.  I hope you all have a blessed, happy and stress free Thanksgiving and remember to squeeze your friends and family a little tighter this year!

xox.

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