Latest Obsessions 12.19

Christmas is just 5 short days away! It’s that last minute crunch to get everything perfect and ready for the big day and all the stops along the way. With last minute gifts popping up, a few more gatherings being hosted and attended, the time gets away from us quickly — so my latest obsessions are all about helping navigate threw the last minute pushes, while still enjoying the holidays and keeping yourself a priority.
LatestObsessions12.19(1)-beelifeblogEasy Brunches. We’re hosting a brunch with some friends this weekend, and then also prepping to have some easy food around for our holiday mornings — so I am pulling out the recipe for that super easy french toast casserole that I made for Easter brunch! You prep the dish and refrigerate overnight and all you have to do is stick it in the oven coming the next morning! It’s SO easy and SO yummy.

Last Minute Gifts. From stocking stuffers, to a few trinkets or two, shopping local is how I’m going to wrap up those last minute gifts that always seem to creep in. And if I can’t find just what I’m looking for at the local shops, I will break out the craft supplies and make an ornament – as that has been my go to gift the last few years and it’s so easy to make it personalized and special for whoever you’re giving it too!

Holiday Outfits. Usually I am on top of having a few of these figured out — but not this year! Everything has really creeped up on me. Luckily I have a nice variety of options to pull from and build upon.  My last minute holiday fashion guide has a mix of casual ideas paired with more party inspiration, especially if it’s a bit more dresser for work!
LatestObsessions12.19(2)-beelifeblog  Me Time. With having a bit extra time off around the holidays, I’m going to make sure to take a bit of time for me — and I hope you all try and do the same for you! I’m not going to slack off with my workout routine, in fact, my fitness studio is offering a Christmas Eve class and I am 100% pumped I’ll be able to get in a workout in time for the holidays.  On top of not compromising my workout routine, I’ll be making time to volunteer with a local dog shelter I’ve been volunteering at the last few months — the pups need a good Christmas too!

On top of prepping for brunch, getting all my last minute gifts purchased and made, I still have a lot of Christmas-ing left to do! I will be making a bunch of Christmas cookies this weekend (cut outs, gingerbread and peanut butter blossoms) and getting in a few more of those Christmas classic movies like Elf, Home Alone (for the millionth time) and even It’s A Wonderful Life (on Christmas Eve of course!).

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Granny’s Whiskey Sours – The Recipe

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with my fellow bee readers.  Before I share this with you all, I have to give you some of the history, why this recipe is so sacred and why it’s so fricken good. And also, I’m sharing this with you because it’s still summer despite what the rest of the social world seems to think!
Whiskey Sour Recipe - bee life blog
Urban legend has it, this is my great-grandma’s recipe – it’s unclear whether this was a family staple, or a staple that was also shared at the bar (Marty’s) they owned in St. Louis near Anheuser-Busch.  Helen was born September 11, 1911, she was the woman who told you to ear your crust otherwise you’ll have long saggy ear lobs, like she did (although, I’m pretty sure they were from the clip-on earrings she rocked) the woman that also smiled, was always dealing cards and laughing.  This recipe is so detailed and specific that you must follow the rules and directions to a tee, or you will mess up the whole thing!  The most important rule to remember is 1-to-1-to-1.

What You’ll Need:
– Ten High Whiskey
– Frozen Lemonade Mix
– Water
– Maraschino Cherries
– Ice

Step-by-Step:
1. Dump your frozen lemonade mix into the blender.  Measure out your whiskey by filling up the empty lemonade canister, pour into blender over top frozen mix.  Fill up empty lemonade canister with water and pour over top.
2. Blend up, until nicely mixed together.
3. Over rocks, in a scotch glass pour mixture – garnish with some cherry juice & cherries.

The recipe is so simple and so DELICIOUS, it’s one of the reasons I love it so much plus it was my Granny’s so that’s just the cherry on top (literally).  Another fun little story about my great grandparent’s bar near Anheuser, is a lot of the brewers and workers from the brewery would come for lunch or after work to the bar.  Which meant my mom and aunts as children had special visits to the Clydesdale barns and were even able to ride the horses!   This recipe is a staple at most gatherings and family events, whether it’s summer or we’re cooped up inside — we always cheers to ‘Granny’ after a batch is poured.

So go ahead and enjoy this delicious drink and don’t feel bad when you’re whipping up your second batch of sours.

Cheers!

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Weekend Recap – Annual Clam Bake

As the last weekend of October is behind us, it ended with another busy weekend full of friends, family and fun! The weather is finally feeling like fall too, I know I was complaining of not being in the fall spirit early in the month because it was so sunny and warm – definitely in the fall spirit now with the rain and chilly weekend we had.  It made for a cold clam bake, but that didn’t keep the party away.
2017 Clam Bake - the bee life
The clam bake is pretty much the same every year, with a few exceptions; like who is there, the sporting events being televised, and the weather.   Some years more family is able to join, while in other years it’s a smaller crowd.  We were hopeful that we might be doing some World Series watch parties at this year’s clam bake, but no dice – although the OSU vs. Penn State game made up for it. And although the rain cleared before the fun started, it was still a cool night which made for a lot of crowding around outdoor heaters and fires or frequent trips inside to warm up!

It’s always a fun time, an October tradition that I love – and this year it was essentially the last hurrah before our big day! Eek!

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!!

Manhattans – The Recipe

It’s Friday my friends, and the nights are starting to get cooler – so I’ve got the perfect, classic drink for all of you – Manhattans.

Manhattans hold a special meaning to my family, it’s become our little family staple drink in order to remember my Grandma, Marilyn – it was definitely her drink.  Manhattans are a bit strong, depending on your level of taste, but oh so good once you acquire a taste for them.  I’m going to share my recipe – although I feel like there are a few variations you can do to mix it up.

What You’ll Need:

1. Whiskey – I prefer Makers Mark
2. Sweet Vermouth
3. Cherries
4. Bitters – Optional
5. Ice

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Directions: First get lots of ice cubes in your glass, get a shot glass (big or small) and pour in your sweet vermouth – 1 full shot.  Next pour in equal amounts of the Makers Mark, from there you can add a cherry or two for garnish and a splash, or pour of cherry juice. I don’t like adding bitters, but is definitely on some recipes. As you can see I even have Manhattans recipe napkins that were an awesome find at Marshalls – but have a totally different recipe.

Once you’ve mixed your drink to perfection and give it a good stir, be sure to cheers before taking your first sip! And if you have nothing to cheers for, cheers to Marilyn!


Cheers to Marilyn!

Christmas Hangover.

Am I the only one with a Christmas hangover?  Somehow, I don’t think that I am. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, full of love, laughter, sweet moments… and not too much drama (let’s face it, families are the best at drama).

This Christmas was one of new traditions and changes. I spent Christmas for the first time ever away from “home” – and at our home with B, our first Christmas in five years that we’ve spent together!

The weather has been a bit amazing too – mid to high 50’s in the midwest, is NOT common especially for this time of the year.  Being able to take Moz on a walk on Christmas Eve in yoga pants and a sweatshirt was amazing. In fact we’d joked about a month previous that it’d be cool to do the exact thing.

Our Christmas Eve was nice and busy – we did a lot of prep around the house, I did a lot of baking and Christmas dinner prep, and of course a few last minute gifts with B.  We went to church and then came home snapped a few pictures and made some pizza’s and flipped the TV between It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf!  We also toasted with Manhattan’s in honor of my Grandma’s birthday and to new traditions.

Christmas morning we woke up and opened our stockings and presents – we had a great Christmas and both spoiled each other.  We relaxed a bit and then got ready and headed to B’s grandma Dee’s house for breakfast. We then headed over to his parent’s for presents and a movie for most of the afternoon! We finally headed back up to our place just in time to prep and cook dinner while my parents made it into town!  My aunts came over too – and we had a nice dinner around the table talking and enjoying each-others company.  More presents ensured after dinner from my parents!  It was then almost time to call it a night.

The mayhem continued on Saturday – after relaxing a bit in the morning we headed down the road to my aunts house for Hampel Christmas. Snacking and drinking, playing a new pickle game, laughing, dancing and catching up was the next few hours until dinner.  Pork, sauerkraut, gravy and dumplings are the main dinner items – presents and white elephant followed after dinner and then the games commenced.  We always play Pass the Trash and this year played a few fun games of LRC.

Finally, Sunday was B’s birthday – so we headed to church with our parents and then out to brunch right after.  It wasn’t until almost 3 o’clock we finally had the house back to ourselves and were able to crash for a nice nap!

It was four days of non-stop family, drinking, eating, and a lot of fun.  I’ve enjoyed taking some down time today to continue to relax and recover and get the house back in order.

Merry Christmas!

 

Seven Clam Bake’s

This past weekend marked my Aunts’ 15-annual clam bake – and it’s been a tradition for me for the last 7-years; I wouldn’t miss it for the world! So in honor of the 15th year, I decided to compile as many pictures as I could find of the last 7 clam bakes.  It’s funny looking back at how everyone has changed, how new friends and family have come over the years and how some things just never change, i.e. the booze, great food, laughs and good times. It seriously is one of my favorite day’s of the year, and something I always look forward too! This year there was 80-people who attended and we had probably the worst weather I can remember, rain all day, and just cold! Luckily the rain did break for some time in the evening.  But it was another year full of laughs and good times.

Enjoy this look back…

2009 – My First Clam Bake

2010 – Last year was fun, let’s do it again!

2011 – B’s First Clam Bake!

2012 – M&K’s first Clam Bake!

2013 – The Year We Got Moz! (at the Clam Bake)

2014 – Perfect weather, family + friends!!

2015 – 15th Anniversary!

There have been a lot of good times at these clam bakes, as this small sampling of all the pictures shows! I can’t wait to see what next year unfolds!

Until then,

Traditions.

Soo… I just can’t help myself, but I am just in the Christmas mood! This year especially with the house, moving, and work… oh and the lack of snow, it’s been hard to get into the Christmas spirit.  We are almost half way through December and I have no Christmas decorations up, half of our apartment is packed up and the other half of our things are making their way to the house.

But, this past weekend, was another holiday tradition that I wouldn’t pass up this year.  Since I’ve moved to CLE, I’ve always made it a point to go home the first weekend in December to help my parents get their Christmas tree… and since I’ve been with B, the last four years we’ve kept that up.

It’s as simple as this:

When? First Weekend in December.
Where? Baughman’s Christmas Tree Farm. Every. Year.
What?
Brave the Elements in Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree.
Who?  My Mom Always has the Final Say.

Then… we take pictures in front of the tree… and then we cut the tree down.  In 2011, it was actually B’s first time harvesting a real Christmas tree!  This year we had a little more fun with our pictures (well, except my parents, they sort of just stood there.)

Once we’ve found the tree, we grab some hot chocolate, (with a mini candy cane thrown in) and then get home to decorate the tree! It’s always a fun weekend with the family, and having those traditions that build up the anticipation for the upcoming Christmas Holiday.

Do you go to the same place every year to get your Christmas tree?

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday Reminders – Gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, there is no doubt that everyone is thinking about all of the wonderful things in their life. For me it’s simple. I am thankful for the wonderful people in my life; family and friends, co-workers and furry friends. No one big thing stands out, but it’s all of the small ones.

“Sometimes, the Best Way to Make a Big Difference is Adding Up Lots of Small Ones.”  – Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

This time of the year is always fun, family comes together because of tradition, and with tradition new memories are made. For my family, the tradition is as simple as getting together, and as I’ve gotten older, traditions are starting to change. People can’t always make a weekend, too many things are going on, the weather prohibits travel, work isn’t as flexible…  I am not always a fan of change, especially when it comes to traditions and holidays, but I’m trying to look at it as an opportunities for new memories and traditions. With all the change, it reminds me to be more thankful for the time I do get to spend with my family and friends.

I think we all need to remember to be grateful, around this time of the year… but even more importantly always.