A Thanksgiving Table for Two

Anyone else staying home this Thanksgiving and keeping it small? B and I are planning to have a traditional feast for two! But we have this giant dining room table, and usually I’m prepping and styling the table for a larger family feast, but it’s different this year. So if any one else is having a dilemma about making a cozier dinner table for two, I’m sharing our transformed dining room, and a few tips to help create a more intimate space at your larger dining room table!

We are planning on cooking half of our meal, while also getting a little help from Whole Foods and a few other local small businesses with some pre-ordered food and desserts — which I’m super excited about! Ok, now to the fun, transforming your dining room…

Cut Your Table in Thirds. First thing I did, was took our pumpkin centerpiece and table runner and basically split the table in thirds. This gave me a smaller space to work with, while still enjoying our fall-centerpiece! This also allows for you to have some additional space for wine, side dishes and other treats, while creating a more intimate space for dinner.

Set-up Place Settings. Next, I set-up our table settings to help designate where B and I would be sitting. I utilized placemats, napkins, plates and silverware that I already had, so it was easy to bring these spaces to life. And of course brought out my new Monique Lhuillier Gabrielle Etched Flutes and coupes, to finish the space for our adult beverages.

Add Finishing Touches. From the gravy boat (so excited to finally use ours for the first time!), to fresh flowers in your favorite glass and candles sprinkled throughout — the only thing left for the day of is the bird and all the delicious sides! Set your radio to some Peggy Lee radio and you’ll be in for a nice, relaxing evening for two.

I must admit, I’m super excited to have our actual Thanksgiving day… and weekend all to ourselves. We signed up to run our local Turkey Trot, virtually so we’ll be able to partake in a quick morning run, before lounging around, eating delicious food and sipping on drinks throughout the day. Then, I think we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit!

What new traditions are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Latest Obsessions – Old Navy Fall Haul

Earlier in quarantine, I purchased some nicer sweats and athleisure-ware from Old Navy. Now that fall is here, and winter is quickly approaching and WFH-ing and quarantine is still a thing, I figured it was time to stock up on a few additional pieces to get through the winter! So I wanted to share my favorites from my recent Old Navy hauls, and a few pieces I was a little bummed out about. Oh! And I also splurged on a few normal clothes, so I’m sharing those favorites too.

Let’s talk sweatpants. Before quarantine, my sweatpants have consisted of big bulky and very high school sized sweats — ones you don’t go out in public in. I realized that investing in a few nicer pairs, for our evening walks with Moz, target run or doctor’s appointment were needed. For reference, I’m wearing a size Large in the joggers featured, and I’m about 5’6″ and 150lbs.

MUST HAVE – Mid-Rise Breathe On Joggers: These are my absolute favorite! I grabbed these earlier in the year in a rose pink color, and recently snatched up another pair in light grey. They’re silky, have pockets and I like pulling them up around my ankles for a sportier look, plus they’re about belly button height so work well with a comfy crop.

Mid-Rise Sweater Knit Joggers: Compared to the breathe joggers, these are definitely a bit cozier given the sweater knit nature. They are also a bit thinner, but overall the same sort of style and fit as the breathe joggers — and also feature pockets! I have these in the Jet Stream green color, and I love the mix-up as I’m typically a go-to black person when it comes to my athleisure bottoms.

RETURN NOTICE: I loved these MC-Hammer-esq high-waisted elevate powersoft joggers but they just didn’t do it for me once I put them on. I think an XL would’ve given me the look I wanted, but the Large gave me a bit of camel toe, when I pulled it up to where it needed to be — and I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Now that we have the bottoms figured out, I love a few of Old Navy’s essential and classic tops.

Vintage Crew Neck Sweatshirt: This is also an essential that I love. I am waiting for the ‘More Love’ Heather Gray sweatshirt to arrive, as I plan on returning the Navy Stripe with heart, because I don’t love how it lines up at the bottom. I have a few other colors from earlier this year as well, and I ordere a size small for a more fitted look that can be dressed down or up with a pair of jeans.

Oversized Slub-Knit Weekend Tee: This loose, crop tee is another fave of mine. It’s definitely a little more oversized – so a size small is roomy and has a nice look especially when paired with high-rise workout pants, like these charcoal snake skin prints. I have the mauve over blush color and just ordered the sea haze.

Loose-Fit Short Sleeve Crop Tee: Since I’m completely obsessed with crop tees, I was excited to find these basic ones in addition to the weekend tee above. This tee doesn’t fit quite as loosely (see above) as the weekend tee does — I got a small, but I would’ve ordered a medium, if I would’ve known — as I definitely like a looser crop fit. Still, a classic and comfy tee to add to the rotation of your athleisure.

Ok! Now for a few REAL clothes and fun looks, that I do break out every now and again especially to enjoy the fall weather and feel a little human.

Cozy Leopard Print V-Neck Cardigan: I ordered this in the grey print and a size medium. It’s a little bigger than maybe I would’ve liked if shopping in person, but it’s still super comfy and a relaxed look. This sweater is so soft, and I love the options it allows buttoning up the front or keeping open. This sweater is also offered as a crew-neck sweater if you don’t want the button up.

Black Mid-Rise Raw-Edge Rockstar Ankle Jeans: These have been a summer and fall favorite, especially with the ripped edge and holes throughout — even though B makes fun of me a bit. They just pair so well with everything, and can easily be dressed up or dressed down, especially with the cozy leopard cardigan — I wear a size 10 in these!

Shop my faves: Crewneck Sweatshirt | Knit Joggers | Breathe On Joggers | Oversized Weekend Tee | Black Jeans | Leopard Cardigan

I may stock up on a few more pieces, but I feel a little more ready for the rest of quarantine and the winter season ahead – especially looking a little more put together, while still being comfortable! Have you picked up any Old Navy favorites lately? If so, leave in the comments below!

Fitness Friday 08.20

Hi my bees! It’s time for a ray of optimism in a year that is seemingly turning out to be one shit storm after the next. And I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been able to maintain the optimism as much as I was in the early months of quarantine.
FitnessFriday08.20-beelifeblogGoal #1 is to meet my running goal of 2020 and run six races. Since last Fitness Friday, I’ve been able to sign-up and add another race to our fall list — making a total of  four races (including my January run). Which makes me only two away from hitting my six! I was hoping to get a half in, but I’m not sure if that will happen — maybe it still will, we will see!

Goal #2 is to run at least 2x a week, starting tomorrow! I have been recently reminded that my workout routine has been less than consistent — and I need to lean in a bit more on fitness, exercise and getting outside more consistently than I have been, especially to help deal with my stress and anxiety in a healthier way (which FTR, has been through the roof 24/5 lately).

So I’m taking my race obstacles and anxiety obstacles and I’m going to step on them to more opportunities and reaching my goals and ultimately feeling better inside and out. What’re your current obstacles, and how can you jump on them to new opportunity?

Here’s to staying strong, staying active and reach our goals!

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Weekend Roundup – July 2020

July was another rollercoaster month — but it had some lovely moments of normal. I think those are the moments I need to remind myself more of, those moments of normal.

The month started out with a travel first for B and I — although we were only heading to see my parents, we traveled in a different way than we ever have before. A 73-feet RV! Luckily we didn’t have to worry about driving, so we had a stress free and relaxing ride hanging out with the family. It was massive, and was even bigger once it was parked and stretched out. Once we arrived to our parents, this allowed the fam we traveled with to stay in the RV while we stayed in my parents house — it worked out perfectly!
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Luckily we were with family that we’ve seen off and on throughout the last few months — keeping our bubble consistent, but we headed in for my aunt’s beautiful backyard wedding. I know this is the exact scenario everyone has been reading about to avoid for the last three months – I wouldn’t lie if I didn’t say I was anxious about it, but I was also excited to see everyone. We all shared concerns, but we all have been safe, have limited our foot print and continue to take proper safety precautions. The first night together we spent playing corn hole, listening to music, playing games and eating delicious summer cookout food. It was a lot of fun and great being together.
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The next day was pretty low key before the wedding. Luckily, the wedding was hosted in my cousins very large backyard. My aunt looked absolutely stunning in her BHLDN wedding dress too and their ceremony was so perfect and shared a lot of special moments between L&A. The wedding guests were pretty much everyone we had been with the night before, so not a lot of new people interacting or mingling and those that were new kept their distance and masked up. We also kept up our intense corn hole tournaments going once the wedding festivities were complete — as it got pretty competitive before we all called it a night and just sat around the fire. Other wedding highlights included fun with the pop-up Polaroid photo booth, eating delicious Nancy cake, Chromatic, Midnight Train to George and getting a surprise firework display since the wedding was on the Fourth of July!
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The rest of July was filled with knocking out a few backyard projects, that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming weeks. We’ve also had a hot July summer days, so it’s been some sweaty afternoons and evenings – while taking advantage of early morning tee times, I think we golfed almost every week in July! We’ve been soaking up patio dinners and front porch nights while enjoying refreshing beverages.

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Latest Obsessions 07.20

Another month, more obsessions, more quarantine and still social distancing over here. So my latest obsessions are exactly what summer’s are made of: Golf. Grilling. And Work Outs.

B and I have quickly turned golfing into a weekly routine. We’ve been going out early to get nine holes in before the work day. It’s also been necessary to go out early to beat the hot summer heat we’ve been blessed with. It’s become a fun hobby, that B is already so great at and loves that I’ve come to enjoy — I just haven’t always make it out in previous years! We’ve also made it another fun summer activity to do with my aunts, too! This has led me to wanting to upgrade my hand-me-down golf bag, however — golf bags aren’t cheap, especially the ones I want. *grins*
BeeLifeBlog_GolfGrilling is our preferred dinner method of choice, especially in the summer! We’ve also been loving our MeatboxLocal ground beef delivery. We’ve been completely stocked for burgers all summer, and have also loved grilling up some bacon on the castiron skillet for bacon cheeseburgers — YUM! Grilling out over the summer, means spending more time and extending our nights into our outdoor living space on the patio.  In addition to grilling a lot, we have also been trying to eat a lot better and low carb! B has been really good about it, so that has been keeping it in check — it’s definitely easier when you have a partner to keep you accountable.
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The last latest obsession that has been also keeping us in check beyond eating better is getting up and working out! As I shared in my July Fitness Friday that we’ve had to pivot the workout routine because of the intense summer heat — although even the morning workouts with the humidity are still pretty sweaty which make the workouts feel a little more effective. I still want to get back into a bit of a running routine and take advantage of the cooler days so I can help accomplish my running goals for the year! It’s helped that B has been working out with me too, along with the aunts or getting a quick one in at our house.
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Besides these latest summer obsessions — I’ve been trying to stay busy and distracted with some house projects, that I’ll be sharing soon, to avoid the reality that is still continuing of coronavirus. I thought maybe these summer months and nice weather would be a breeze to get through, but the mental health and anxiety has been a constant battle. I know I’m not the only one — but it’s important we continue to take care of ourselves and check in with each other, still. It’s easy to get wrapped up and just because things have continued to be the rollercoaster they have been since March doesn’t mean people are the same or it’s gotten easier.

Here’s to staying positive, healthy and happy!

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Fitness Friday 07.20

July has been off to a heat wave start here in the Midwest — which makes a small window of outdoor workout time if you want to beat the heat. And after spending March and April quarantined, we try to be outside as much as possible when we aren’t working our 9 to 5 – especially with the beautiful weather.

During April and May and even early June, I was running almost weekly if not more with the nice transition of weather. But June quickly became a quieter workout month – as I mentioned in my Life Lately – June Update, it was a busy month and also a mental break month, although the hits just keep on coming.
FitnessFriday07.20_beelifeblogSo with the heat, running has come to a halt. But getting up and fitting in morning workouts has been our new go-to with the help of group workouts with my aunts! We’ve continued to do online workouts and with the help of my aunts hand weights and other equipment, we’re able to do a bit more than just body weight workouts or running which is a nice mix-up.  Sadly, I don’t think B or myself will be returning to a gym anytime soon — and for multiple reasons. One reason is, I believe there is a perception for some people that the less you expose yourself too, the more likely people are to be OK seeing you even if it’s outside and socially distant. Another reason, is I just don’t fully understand the mask, droplet thing, and how that works in a gym if you’re not wearing a mask.

I was excited to start running again, as one of my 2020 fitness goals was to run 6 races this year. Well, I’m stuck at one — they all keep getting pushed back or rescheduled. I think eventually they’re all going to become virtual. Which is fine, I guess, I’ll still run with B, as long as we get our race metals! So there is definitely some push that is going to happen here late Q3 or Q4 to get the 5 more races finished! So far 2, have been rescheduled.

So until then, and while this heat continues, I’ll be squatting and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated!

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Life Lately – The Month of June

Hey Bee Readers — Are you still with me? I know it’s been a minute, but I needed to take a minute. A long minute. I have also started and stopped writing this post, trying to figure out where I wanted to go. But, I think the best way to reflect and share life lately, especially from the beginning of the month, is by sharing a long winded Instagram post from June 8th.
LifeLately-beelifeblog(1)OK. So now how about the rest of life and what’s been going on for the entire month of June?! The month of May seemed like a slow ease back into visiting with people, while the world slowly opened back up and breaking out of our strict quarantine. But June… there were weekends in June that were packed visiting with friends and family (socially distant, smart and safe, of course) and a bit more old normal, that seemed to come in swift and fast. And for me, a little too swift and fast. I’ve been dealing with some new social anxiety and mixed feelings about it all. But at the same time, these moments have been refreshing, they’ve been needed — but the breaks have been needed too.
LifeLately-beelifeblog(2)So let’s talk about the much needed old normal and fun stuff. Here are a few June highlights: A nice weekend with my parents, lots of burgers and eggs (not together), an afternoon stroll with A + B, doggy play dates, a fun pool day to celebrate Father’s Day, Moz’s birthday, fun impromptu neighbor hangs and even a golf date with B!

And here we are, the end of three full months of corona, four if you want to count all of March. And we’re still living in and navigating this “new” normal. B and I are still working from home, with no major plan of returning from either of our companies — so we’ve mentally adjusted to that mindset. We’ve also been keeping busy with house projects and new plans, itching to go somewhere on an airplane and also praying for a bit of of the old normal before the end of the year (wishful thinking, I know).
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I also needed to reset mentally, reset the creativity, reset the goals and priorities and focus on life. As I mentioned, I have some fun things and cool reveals I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks, while trying to still stay creative and inspired outside of the office. How have you continued to stay inspired? Is your work life back to normal or are you still rocking the WFH office?

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Weekend Roundup – May 2020

May has been tough, but it’s also had some glimpses of normal — well, what used to be normal. And it’s also had glimpses of “the new normal” as everyone seems to be calling it. May has been a month of slowly starting to see family again, some in normal ways, some in different more protected and distant ways. May has seen some lows and it’s seen some highs. May has also been the last month of the temporary hope of this thing all being over, because this new normal definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. May has even had a few WTF moments.
MayRecap(1)We started the month off with a little road trip to finally see my parents.  It was much needed on both sides. The best part was we were able to make it there in one trip, and hunkered in over the weekend with lots of eats, drinks, board games and laughs and still able to maintain social distance from the world. My mom even surprised me with a homemade birthday cake, so we finally got to celebrate a belated birthday since our big plans in March all got kiboshed. It was great to be together in person, instead of 4-hour virtual chats, and as I mentioned, a much needed visit.

Mother’s Day consisted of a masked and mostly socially distant family gathering with our in-laws and supporting local to shower our mom’s with some special gifts. We also attended not one but two of our first virtual college graduations for my younger cousins, and even a virtual wedding (technically the last day of April)! The virtual graduations definitely had their advantages, beyond just being a new concept — but it also gave us an opportunity to actually attend and participate in these moments when we might not have been able to travel to them before (pre or post corona).
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More May highlights included lots of walks with Moz and even a few car rides to the Starbucks drive thru for puppachinos. We’ve also been perfecting our breakfast sandwich making skills, including grilling bacon on the grill in a cast iron skillet along with grilling out local meats from MeatboxLocal to help mix-up our dinner menu. We’ve also finally gotten around to planning a few fun house projects while also reaching out to contractors for a few not so fun projects. We’ve been admiring all of our flowers budding and blooming and all the beautiful green with all the rain we’ve been getting. B and I also celebrated 9 years together with burritos and a brisk walk. We’ve also had fun counting down the days until when we can get our haircuts… which is now only one more week away! The weather also started to feel a lot like summer, so the weekends have been spent outside, like all day, every day — which has been really nice.
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The month of May was also a big month for the state of Ohio as they started the phased re-openings early on in the month of May. I was actually surprised at how much started to reopen so quickly. Dentists, veterinarians, retail, dine-in at restaurants, salons, hair dressers and gyms have all been able to reopen (among many other things) this month. And it’s been interesting to balance and start having conversations with family and friends to understand what everyone is comfortable with as things reopen.

As much as I’m craving for getting back to “normal” and back into a routine, there is still a major fear factor — although it’s not a fear of even getting it, it’s the fear of potentially spreading it and also other people’s perception along with trying to be responsible for our community and those who are close to us. It’s a very weird time, but luckily there were a few moments of normal — so I hope that continues to be the case as we jump into June. And hopefully, we can get a trip in still this year. What were your May highlights?

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A Day in the WFH Life

Today marks 60 days since I was last in my office working and 60 days straight of working from home. It’s taken a bit to get into a routine, from coffee to lunch to working out and 9 to 5 work — but I’m finally in somewhat of a rhythm? My routines have completely changed from when I was going into the office, for better or for worse.

Morning Routine. I’ve had a really tough time waking up early and getting in my morning workouts — so I’ve been sleeping in a bit later than normal and loving every moment of it. Usually B and I sit with our coffee and chat the morning away before I head upstairs to jump on my mornings calls and starting my work day. But let’s back up to the coffee, office life consisted of Starbucks almost every morning (yes, I’m saving so much money in quarantine) — so I switched to the VIA Instant Packets from Starbucks. B likes K-Cups, but they honestly don’t do anything from me, but the VIA Packets are a good enough fix! I’ve also enjoyed using all my coffee mugs — we usually don’t use many of them, so I’ve been digging deep and making sure the rotation is on point.
WFHlife(1)My Office & Assistant. This is truly the first time our home office is being utilized as an office! It has definitely helped having a dedicated space to go up to and I always make sure to kiss B, good-bye before I head up. I was able to bring my mouse, keyboard and monitor when we left the office back in March, and that has been a huge help with work productivity. My Moz girl has been an awesome office assistant, lap warmer and occasional Zoom bomber! She loves when I have lunch too, and has definitely picked up a few social media tricks.

WFH Wear. I’ve been absolutely loving wearing athleisure-wear and comfy clothes throughout the day. Big comfy sweaters, lots of headbands and yoga pants have been my go-to, also wearing my workout clothes throughout the day gives me no excuse to squeeze a workout in during lunch, the afternoon or right after the workday. Don’t worry, I’ve had a few days where I’ve put jeans on, a nice shirt and even some make-up — yes the jeans still fit, so that is at least something!
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Week Night Evenings. We’ve been having some good weather evenings with sunshine, so we’ve been making sure Moz has been getting her walks in — even when the weather isn’t looking so great. The sunny evenings have also been a new go-to favorite for getting my workouts in too, and much better than our basement. I also haven’t been a hurry, because we have all evening and just another day at home to wake-up too!

I’ve come to realize that it might make sense to invest in an Nespresso machine, because I really miss my expresso is my coffee every morning. Bravo has also been keeping me sane during quarantine — B and I have been rewatching Vanderpump Rules, RHOBH and RHONY just started and of course we’ve been loving the current season of Pump Rules. I also want to continue to focus on my diet — but more to come on that in my next Fitness Friday post!

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