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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Travel: Portland Eats & Drinks

It’s no secret one of my favorite things about traveling is all the good food involved.  Normally I’m researching months and weeks in advance of a trip, but I admittedly was a bit more relaxed with this trip, knowing we were visiting two new locals who love good food — while also knowing D is an amazing hostess and chef. This trip also had no shortage of champagne and local beers.

Ambonnay Champagne Bar: This cozy and quaint champagne bar was a bit off the beaten path (at least it seemed to be for me), but ended up being the perfect little spot for pre-dinner drinks, conversation and yummy champagne of course! With a rotating menu of different, hand sourced champagnes you can’t go wrong especially if you are a champagne connoisseur – we simply described our preferred bubbly finish and the lovely owner recommended a delicious glass… or two!
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Travel: #EmnBtoPDX

We’re fresh off a trip back from PDX aka Portland, Oregon! Our really good friends (F&D) and former neighbs moved out there at the end of March — so we just had to get out there for a visit and to see their new city! Our trip was a good mix of catching up, exploring the city and their neighborhood while also seeing some of the beautiful nature spots that Oregon has to offer from Mt. Hood to the Hood River, local markets, the Rose Gardens and all those historic Portland signs.

Highlight #1: Downtown Farmers Market + Rose Gardens — On our first day in, we explored a local farmers market with all of these fresh local vegetables, fruits and luscious flowers. One thing I was not expecting from PDX was the amount of greenery, beautiful flowers and all the fresh LOCAL fruits. It was pretty incredible and not to mention delicious as D stocked up for the week ahead on delicious treats. beelifeblog-pdx(3)
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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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Latest Obsessions 03.19 – March Roundup

To close out one of my favorite month’s of the year – my latest obsessions are honestly a bit of a roundup of some of this past month’s adventures, happenings and behind the scenes planning. Ironically we’re closing out the month with a fresh coat of snow after having a lovely day in the 50’s just yesterday. #Spring

Our Chicago Trip:  Our weekend getaway to Chicago was just what the doctor ordered and was a much needed escape from reality – not the mention B and I got to explore another city together and do as much city touristy things as possible while also trying to eat as much Chicago food as we could! This little trip as spurred our other 2019 trips into booking mode instead of just planning mode!

Bathroom Finishes & Accessories: With our bathroom remodel project well underway, we’re finally getting to a point where finishes are right around the corner and we have a defined space! … Although this just means my wheels have been spinning a bit more than usual with all the possibilities.  I still have yet to find some towel holders, soap tray, bath towels and other bath accessories that I love (well that aren’t $100 each) … so I think I’ll actually have to shop in a store vs. browsing online.
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Getting Back Into My Fitness Routine: I’ve been working to make this more intentional into my day to day and trying to prioritize around all of the other things that are such as life. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had good streaks and I’ve had bad streaks but the most important part is that it’s a priority and change is slowly happening – which is better than none at all!

Inspirational Books: I’ve been reading a lot lately which unfortunately isn’t usual for me! I’m more of a vacation/travel reader – but I’ve found some books lately that have been what I’ve needed, they’re educational, inspirational and motivational. I’m looking forward to sharing a few with you as I finish them up!

March was a bit of a rollercoaster of fun, emotions, change and everything in between so I’m happy to see it go and looking ahead to warm months with lots of possibilities, more obsessions and a whole lot more fun!

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Travel: #emnbtoCHI

In case you missed our Chicago Eats check them out here! Beyond wanting to eat as much yummy food as possible, we also wanted to be just plain tourists and checkout the best spots, while also getting a taste of the life of locals – which I think we did a nice balance of! So without further ado, here is the rest of our CHI-town round-up!

Skydeck at Willis Tower: With views from the 103 floor, you get 360 views of the city, Lake Michigan and every skyscraper in between!  The going rate to get up to the top floor is $25 per person (which is much cheaper than the Empire State Building). It was really fun to soak in all of the city views, plus we had perfect blue skies.

Pro-tip #1: Buy your tickets ahead of time to skip the line!
Pro-tip #2: You get 60-seconds on the glass ledge, so plan your angles ahead of time!
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Cloud Gate aka the Bean at Millennium Park: I mean, we had to check it out right? Everyone that goes to Chicago gets an iconic picture in front of the bean! Our bean pics were anything but iconic – I’m not sure why everyone is so obsessed with it because it just stretches out your face. If the weather was a little nicer, we would’ve explored the rest of the park a bit more!
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Run Through Lincoln Park & the Lakefront Trail: This was honestly my favorite part of our trip – our little 4 mile run through Lincoln Park and then popping over to the Lakefront Trail for stellar views of the Chicago skyline was an absolutely perfect start to our Friday.  Our hotel was about 2 blocks from entering Lincoln Park, so we ventured down the brownstone lined streets through the quiet of the morning before all the hustle and bustle. Lincoln Park was filled with doggy play dates, other runners and we even got to see some Zebra’s from the zoo!
CHI Recap - the bee life (3)The Chicago River: We were able to enjoy the stunning views of the Chicago river as we ventured to Willis Tower and the back to our hotel and down the Magnificent Mile back to the Gold Coast where we stayed. Again, because it was super chilly unless you were in direct sunlight, we weren’t able to take the 1.25 mile Riverwalk, but next time we go in the summer it will be a must!

Fun fact: The River was NOT still green after St. Patrick’s Day.
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A few other fun sightings we were able to soak in was the Chicago Tribune (Never Been Kissed) – our hotel even had a valet that didn’t allow you to self-park, so immediately our trip was starting out like a Ferris Bueller movie. We can’t wait to get back to CHI when the weather is a little nicer so we can explore on feet a little more; even though we still racked up 10.3 miles between our run and walking adventures!

What’re you favorite Chicago landmarks?

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Travel: Chicago Eats

We squeezed a lot in during our quick trip to Chicago – but there was definitely a lot more on the list of recommendations that we need to get back to try! We pretty much focused on brunch, dinner and dessert of course.

Chicago Style Pizza at Lou Malnati’s – This was B’s pick, since he’d seen the restaurant on Triple D – and it was also conveniently located near our hotel.  The vibe of the restaurant was low-key and because we were seated in the bar area – we had prime seating to watch a few of the March Madness games that were on.  We split a salad and a small classic Chicago deep dish pizza and it was more than enough for the two of us! From Lou’s we ventured over to Sprinkles, a cupcake place each picking out our own treat to enjoy as a night cap – which were absolutely delicious, btw.
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3 Art’s Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware – Through some tricky instagram research I found this spot which ended up also being right near our hotel, this place looked like a dream and with a brand like Restoration Hardware to back it up we knew this would be a top notch spot to enjoy brunch.  Luckily for us, we took advantage of being in town on a week day and beat weekend traffic and waits – and were seated right away next to the focal point fountain and chandelier. The brunch scramble with avocado and texas  toast and side of Canadian bacon did not disappoint, nor did the wedding cake fry cake doughnut or Bellini.  We could’ve stayed here all day… more to come on RH in my next recap!
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The Hampton Social – Another spot found through some tricky instagram research, this place looked trendy and seemed to have a menu to back it up with a decent variety of options to pick from.  Admittedly, B and I were both underwhelmed with not only the restaurant atmosphere/experience but with the food as well.  This would’ve maybe been a better spot for pre-dinner drinks and an appetizer, as everyone pretty much just wanted to get a photo with the ‘Rose all day’ neon sign, including the 12-year olds seated next to us and the food was good enough.
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Brunch, for brunch – This brunch spot had a huge menu to pick from with all your breakfast standards with some fun twists – making it a win-win for everyone.  B had the perfect scramble “Morning Wrecker” that was pretty much made for him, and I went against my better judgement and ordered on the more healthy train with a standard eggs/meat/toast combo instead of the doughnut french toast that I had my eye on.
Brunching Pro-tip: When you’re on vacay, just order the damn french toast – especially if it’s made from doughnuts!
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One reason we love to travel and something we always plan for when we do travel is finding good spots to eat – unfortunately with a short trip there are only so many meals to consume and only so much our stomachs can handle!  So, as I mentioned when we venture back to CHI next time we will definitely be returning to a few of these, while also exploring for some more yummy eats!

What’s your favorite CHI-town eats?
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29 Birthday Reflections

For all my Bee readers, and even close friends that may be reading along – you know I hate getting older (sorry too all my friends who are older than me, ilu!) – but I’m working on that imperfection and fear of getting older each year by trying to embrace my birthday!  Ha! So in honor of the start of the last year in my twenties *starts sobbing* … here are 29 birthday reflections/hopes/dreams or just things about me.
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Thinking of 29 things – was actually pretty hard, so here we go!

  1. Still love birthday cake.
  2. I was blonde when I was little
  3. I was named after a man, my great grandpa, Emil
  4. I hated having my picture taken from the ages 2-5 (& have pictures to prove it)
  5. Within the last 3-years I’ve had to figure out a lot of my dietary issues & have a random list of cannot eat items; like cauliflower to spicy foods to Chinese food
  6. I’m also lactose intolerant
  7. As much as I loved Barbie’s I also loved to play with Legos & Matchbox Cars as a kid
  8. Jasmine was my favorite Disney princess
  9. I love hosting parties and entertaining at our home
  10. I was a cat lady before I was a dog lady
  11. I love taking pictures and a lot of my friend’s favorite wedding pictures are candids I took ❤
  12. This will be my first birthday with my new last name
  13. I want to go on 5-trips before my next birthday
  14. I love being on a board as part of a local nonprofit that helps people who are fighting breast cancer in our community
  15. My goal is to read more books – I’ve already started!
  16. I want to take more time to talk and listen to my friends
  17. I love organizing and making things look pretty
  18. I want to run 3-half marathons before my next birthday
  19. I want to play more golf
  20. My high school year book prediction was that I’d be the Queen of England. lol #TheCrown
  21. Note to self: Take more walks… with Moz & B
  22. I love decorating and designing spaces, even if it’s just setting the dining room table
  23. I have yet to travel outside of the country!
  24. I’ll gladly admit I’m wrong… any day… but I rarely am *tongue face*
  25. My parents never had cable and still don’t have cable
  26. As much as I have expensive taste, I love a good bargain
  27. Cookie Dough is my favorite ice cream (if I could eat it)
  28. Remember to slow down and soak in the little things
  29. I want to continue to face my fears

Did I miss something? I’m sure I did – leave a comment below!

xo
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My 2019 Goals

New year, new goals – am I right? I am sure the interwebs and your social feeds have been bombarded with everyone’s resolutions, positive mindsets and consistent workout routines and clean diets for the last 8-days.  Well for me – I’ve been really thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, especially coming off of a super normal 2018.
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So as I’ve been thinking and thinking… and then looking back at past goals there were a few that came to mind immediately – traveling and my health routine.  More to come on the health routine – I’ll be kicking off my monthly Fitness Friday posts with my 2019 fitness goals, because those my friends will be a lengthly list as well.  *smiles*  Ok, ok, back to my 2019 goals.

More trips! This is pretty much a goal every year – and last year’s travel goal was a bit lofty, thus our travel game in 2018 was a bit weak compared to years previous.  So this year, I’m going to keep it simple and focus on longer weekend trips that B and I can take together whether it’s a car trip or a cheap flight. The other sub-goal of more trips is trying to fit a few new cities in – we’re repeat vacationers, so I want to make sure we keep exploring new places!

More time for friends.  We have friends that live next door, we have friends that live 1-hour away and we have friends that live hours away — so it’s important to continue to make time with all of the friends no matter how far away they are.  And the key to this is planning ahead!

Spend breaks. I have yet to be successful with this goal – and I know this will be a hard one, but we’ve had friends that have been successful with this and say it really helps! So we need to plan for our spend break(s) and make it happen.

No scrolling before bed.  I’m so guilty of this, and habits die hard – but this is one I really want to work on.  In fact, making it more of a rule, like no social media for an hour before bed as my work-week rule of thumb.

Keeping fitness a priority. As I mentioned, more to come on this – so stay tuned!

Continue being creative. One way that I’m able to express my creativity is through decorating our house and doing DIY projects or up-cycling furniture – and then sharing my projects and creations with all of you! So I want to continue to be inspired, take risks and be creative!

There are of course a million other things I want to work on for myself and do in this next year, but these were the few that stood out to me as priorities for the new year – that are just good for the soul.

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