Wedding Planning – Flowers

When it comes to flowers for your wedding, there are a lot of things to consider, like… first and foremost if you even want real flowers at your wedding! There are so many alternatives from realistic fake flowers to paper flowers! For me, I knew I wanted fresh flowers at our wedding. Flowers are something I’ve always dreamed about for my wedding, lots and lots of flowers… everywhere.  But as you’ll quickly come to find out, like I did, flowers are not cheap! In fact, I had a few vendors reply first stating their minimum price for an event, and it was double my budget, so I kindly responded and said thanks, but not going to work for me!

I will admit, I was a bit discouraged, and started mentally talking myself off the ledge of needing over the top florals, and starting thinking of how I would be able to simplify everything in order to at least have some flowers that I could afford.  Well upon many searches and reaching out to a few more unknown florists, I found my one.
Wedding Planning - Flowers
Here are a few tips for when you start the chats with potential florists:
1. Have pictures ready on pinterest to share with your florist! If you’re talking over the phone, try and send these ahead of time or a link to your pinterest page so you can talk through your vision live
2. Know ballpark numbers of how much you’ll need of hand bouquets, boutineers, centerpieces, ceremony space, hand corsages, etc. this of course helps with that estimating part
3. If your florist is asking you questions about your venue and ceremony space that is making you think, for example – does your church expects that the bouquets/centerpieces are donations?  You’ll want to gut check to see if other florists ask the same question, this verify’s experience and level of detail
4. Because…. if they’re considered donations you may not be able to reuse them in your venue space as additional decor or a centerpiece. Speaking of which, talk through with your florist how pieces can be used in both the ceremony and receptions spaces
5. Get ready to take notes and google a lot of different flowers, I know the basics, but a lot of what I wanted I only knew by seeing it – also ask about similar more affordable flowers that might work to get you the look you want
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your florist for a mood board/image to support pricing to make sure the vision and reality will match!

Our flowers for the wedding, are one of the things I am most excited about – besides the stunning venue and marrying my B.  I can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out, they’re definitely close to the level of my wildest dreams, and I can’t wait to see them come to life, in our venue, on our wedding day!

Sources: Top Left | Top Right | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

Chocolate Mug Cake – The Recipe

Happy Friday! Ever craving an after dinner sweet, but don’t have anything baked or sweets to pull from? I’ve got a recipe that pulls from ingredients that are easy to store and have around the house, and perfect for those sweets cravings! Plus it has a low ‘bake’ time – since it’s all done in the microwave, yeap, it’s that easy… not to mention mouth-watering and delicious!Chocolate Cake Mug Recipe - the bee lifeWhat You’ll Need:
– 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 3 tablespoons of almond milk
– 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 12 oz. microwave safe mug
– Splash of vanilla extract <optional>
– Pinch of salt <optional>
– 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips <optional>

Step-by-Step:
1.  First measure out the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into your mug, and blend together with a fork.
2. Next add the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla, blend together until smooth finish.  If you’re using chocolate chips, stir these in last!
3. Microwave on high for 90-seconds – let cool for 2-3 minutes before eating! Your cake should be moist and delicious!
4. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cake RecipeThis is a great option for a dinner party, for individual serving sizes for your guests, or even splitting one to share!  This would be great paired with raspberries, ice cream or whip cream as additional toppings, enjoy!

Cheers to 2017!

Happy New Year! Ringing in 2017 was an absolute blast! I cannot get over the fact that we’re already two-days in to the new year, and reality is finally starting to set-in after a nice, long, much needed holiday break.

Our New Year was spent with family, it’s always fun when my extended family Christmas lands on New Year’s Eve. For our family Christmas we always enjoy pork, sauerkraut and dumplings, presents, white elephant, pass the trash, LRC, and this year we added in a few other fun games like the mitten present game (made famous by the internet). Oh, and add in about six dogs, a handle of Titos, 22 people and six bottles of champagne, beer and you’ve got one helluva night, let alone New Year’s.

nye_3
2017 – I cannot wait to see what you bring, I know you’ll be full of firsts, amazing moments, lots of laughs, I’m sure a few challenges and tears. Coming from a year with no expectations, that was unbelievably amazing I can only imagine what this year will be like.


Cheers to you, cheers to 2017!

Winter Weekends – Parties

Christmas parties are in full swing as we are nearly 1-week from the big day! And after this past weekend, I am exhausted although super excited and ready for the Christmas holiday and break.

Thursday kicked-off the start of our holiday parties, starting with my first work holiday party with my new company! It was hosted at a new hip speakeasy, called Magnolia- it’s front is a doughnut and coffee shop, and it smells amazing! With the lights up, and elegant decor this club turned into a cozy and intimate party!

Saturday night, was party number 2 and we hosted! We had a house full of near and dear neighbors and friends.  The premise was to be a game night, mainly playing LRC and then my family’s card game, Pass The Trash all for some extra cash, but the games were a minimum, since everyone was busy chatting, catching up and laughing, snacking and sipping.

Christmas Ale and champagne were the drinks of choice! The ladies were shipping champagne to celebrate, one of my besties A, who got engaged on Friday – YAY!!! I also had my signature party favor – jello shots with pop-rocks. For food, our neighbors killed it with homemade popcorn and bourbon meatballs, along with your standard party snacks. We also did a white elephant ornament exchange which was rather tame but still funny, the highlight ornaments were a framed high-school photo of one of our neighbors, airplane bottles taped together with a hook, and a handmade wooden snowman!
winter-weekends-parties_2winter-weekends-parties_3winter-weekends-parties_4Come Sunday, we were both pretty spent and partied out. But now it’s just a few short days of work until a much needed, holiday break with family!

Cheers!

Little Beers – The Recipe

Happy Friday!  Although I am not the biggest fan of shots, there are a few shots that I kind of love, the Little Beer included.
little-beer-recipe-the-bee-lifeIt may be silly, but Little Beers remind me of family and the holidays (because that’s what my family does at the holidays *smiles*). Not to mention it’s super smooth, a little sweet, they’re pretty darn cute, oh and super easy to make!

What You’ll Need:
– Shot or small tasting glasses
– Licor 43
– Cream

Step-by-Step:
1. Pour the Licor 43 into your shot glass, leave some room a the top.
2. Top off with cream – watch the magic happen!
3. Cheers, table tap, and enjoy!

If you have an upcoming holiday party or looking to spice up your family’s Christmas grab these two ingredients and it’ll be a hit – we can usually talk most of the aunts and cousins into these since they’re so delicious and smooth!

Cheers!!

Weekend Recap – Clam Bake

This past weekend, continued the theme of our jammed packed October (fall-filled) weekends! And because of that I needed an extra day to recover since it was such a whirlwind.

It was my aunt’s annual clam bake weekend, which meant our house was full of family and friends.  The clam bake was super special this year since we celebrated my Aunt’s 60th birthday, not to mention the Indians are headed to the World Series; WOOO! So more family than usual came into town and the normal guest list was skimmed down to VIP’s only.  Although it was about 80+ VIPs. When you throw together good food, family, friends, corn hole, pumpkin beers, football pools and some good games you can’t go wrong with an awesome night.

The rest of the weekend leading up to the clambake was full of rude contractors, cleaning the house (pre and post), friends, brunch, and a nap or two. This month has been a blast but is flying by, I can’t believe we’re a week away from November!

Weekend Recap – Everything CLE

October has been a blast so far, but it’s also moving way too quickly. This past weekend was a busy one, but so much fun!

The weekend started off with a big home win for the Indians against Toronto Blue Jays and they got their second win Saturday afternoon.  Two more wins and we will be in the World Series!  Saturday morning we ran our 3rd annual Browns 5k, finally the weather was perfect for it. The race is pretty easy, non competitive (except for this year, B was a man on a mission) plus you get a pretty sweet medal. This year we finished the race on the field, which was pretty awesome!! We were done by 10AM and finished with a beer, it was a beautiful start to our Saturday.

Saturday night was the Cleveland Magazine’s annual Best of Cleveland Party at the Public Auditorium.  The theme was our NBA Championship and the land of champions! It was another fun night full of delicious food, tasty drinks, good music and good company.  Here were the nights standout’s and links for you to check them out yourself!

  • FruitVibe Juice Co. – The guys at FruitVibe had a few of there drinks available to test including the Pumpkin Cider (yum!) FruitVibe has a wide offering of cold pressed juices; they offer cleanses, personal delivery and a fresh raw perspective on the juice phenomenon!
  • Banyan Tree – This quaint shop in Tremont is perfect for unique gifts or if you’re looking to spoil yourself with some unique sweaters, scarves, jewelry and other cute accessories. Shop online too!
  • Spa West – A VIP treat at the Best of CLE, they offered chair massages, hand and arm massages and facial consultations, you can always expect the best with Spa West.  I am also a VIP member at Spa West, and their monthly membership is the perfect way to pamper yourself!
  • CLE Clothing Co. – As another VIP perk, we went home with a Land of Champions t-shirt, which was perfect for the nights theme.  I’ve bragged and loved on CLE Clothing Co. before and I will continue – the shirts and materials are seriously the best.

Other highlights of the night was reliving the game highlights on the big screen from our last game, which led us to breaking history and winning our first championship! Another VIP perk was the two specialty drinks they made inspired by the Cavs win, “The Block” and “The Shot” they were delicious.  There was live music, a DJ, the Cavs scream team and cheerleaders also made an appearance and were tossing tees throughout the night.  It was a lot of fun especially once the music really got going. The venue and lighting were epic and quite a statement it was a great night!

Sunday was more fun and socializing, we had friends over to watch the Brown’s game out on the big screen!  The weather this weekend was amazing for mid-late October so we really got to enjoy the day. We had a great spread of yummy food and a plethora of beers.

It was a great weekend, but definitely need another weekend to recover now!

5 Reasons To Host a Fall Party

If you don’t have an upcoming fall party planned, I highly recommend getting something in the books whether it’s later this month or into early November. And if you’re not convinced why you should be hosting a fall party… or that it can be SUPER easy, let me tell you how. reasons-to-host-a-fall-partyBrunch & Football – Throwing together a football brunch can be really easy too, with a magic thing called breakfast casserole (recipe to come)! Most of the prep for a breakfast casserole is the night ahead, so all you have to do the morning of is throw it in the oven.  Have a TV with football? Boom, turn it on and grab some mimosas or bloody mary makings and your set for a day of drinking, friends and football – check out our brunch last fall.

Chili – I’ll be sharing my mom’s delicious chili recipe (that I’ve adopted overtime) on an upcoming post.  But as long as you have a killer recipe, a box or two of cornbread and a crockpot, all you need to do is throw the ingredients together in the morning and by mid-afternoon or by dinner time you’ll have a delicious, easy to serve, low mess and matience dish for your guests!  Have some friends bring some beers and dessert and you’ve got a low key night. Light some candles, start a fire and pull out some games and you’ve got a fun night ahead of you.

Pumpkin Beers – Literally craft a party around pumpkins beers (or harvest blends).  Have your guests bring a six pack or two, and let the tasting begin.  You could even create score cards and a rating system for everyone to weigh in.

Breweries or New Spots –  Don’t want to host something at your house? Plan a gathering at a local pub or a new brewery with your favorites.  Not only will there be no mess to clean up at the end of the night, but you’ll be able to try something new or enjoy a fan favorite.  Then end the night with a bonfire back at your house!

Pie Baking – Have a girls afternoon and bake some pies! Pop open some wine or rose, share some recipes and bake some yummy pies or fall favorites to work out the kinks for upcoming holiday celebrations!

The summer’s are always so busy so try and catch-up with friends now before the holiday craze starts up again! You don’t need to be too elaborate or overthink your upcoming fall party, it can be easy, low key and affordable!

Hosting an upcoming fall party? Share your pictures or hacks with me on twitter or instagram @mmariebee.

#BestOfCle – 2016

We are just a few short days away from one of my favorite months. October is one of my favorite months for many reasons,  but one of those reasons is because of  Cleveland Magazine’s annual Best of Cleveland Party! I’ve attended this event for the last six years and I’m amazed that it keeps getting better, it’s such a fun time.

img_0033
Photo cred: Thom Sheridan, Cleveland Magazine

Reasons To Attend

You’ll Be Surrounded By The Best... for an entire night! The best food, best drinks, shops, local businesses, apartments, sweet treats, music and organizations. Nearly 70 of the best will be at your finger tips.

Giving Back. This event raises money every year to help benefit the Breakthrough Schools of Greater Cleveland. An organization striving to give back and excel our youth with high-quality education.

Keep On Celebrating… our NBA Championship! Every year has a theme and this year’s theme to no surprise is all about our huge and historical championship this past June. What better way to keep on partying and celebrating our win with 1,700 of your closest friends – it won’t be as packed as the parade. *winks*

Legendary Venue… Public Auditorium has been the host of legends and the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, what greater stage and venue to enjoy the best than be in the presence of the best.

img_0068
Photo cred: Thom Sheridan, Cleveland Magazine

Tips for the Night

Go with Friends: Whether it’s a double date or a group of your closest pals grab some friends to enjoy in the fun! It definitely helps make the night.

Go VIP: If you’re really looking for a night out celebrating your favorite city whether you’re homegrown or a transplant this night will give you a taste of everything that makes us great!  So go all out and truly enjoy the exclusive rooms, treatment, drinks and eats.

Uber: You will definitely enjoy yourself and a few adult beverages especially if you go the VIP route, so be sure to play it safe and carpool or grab an Uber to and from!

This party is truly not like any other you’ll attend throughout the year. The atmosphere is infectious especially once the music really gets going; you can even jump on the legendary stage and show off your moves! Tickets are officially on sale and the countdown to Saturday, October 15th will be here before we know it.

For more tickets & information: CLICK HERE!