Valentine’s Day – 2021

Spoiler: We prefer to stay home on Valentine’s Day, even before this pandemic hit – it’s funny, because last year we were gearing up for a fun night in, which before March of 2020 was a welcomed infrequent occurrence. I’m learning to love Valentine’s Day as I get older, because I used to absolutely despise this day. But now, the only bone I have to pick is that of the expectations of this one day to show someone how much you love them with a grandiose gesture or a commercialized gift (even if we love them). What happened to showing our love each and every day?

Photo by Marnia Claire & Co. Photography

Back in 2018, I dedicated the entire month of February to sharing little pieces of love to B – whether it was a little note, a memory, a special card or a punny gift, and it was so much fun, but it was also tough! Why can’t we try to share a little piece of love, a smile, a compliment to the people in our world’s every single day? That’s why I’m excited to share my little challenge, but it’s going up post-Valentine’s Day because we need to share it beyond one day!

With that, I wish you all a sweet and simple Valentine’s Day. B and I will be creating our own little memories together, over indulging in delicious eats and yummy treats. We’ll be cozied up by the fire, sipping on some bubbles and watching basketball.

Latest Obsessions 02.21

Each year, I fall a little more in love with Valentine’s Day. And this week leading up to the day has me wearing hearts, lots of pink and snacking on a bunch of sweets! I have been completely obsessed with getting ready for Valentine’s Day and beyond. I’ve been stocking up on heart and love themed accessories to look festive, and also share love with those who might see me (even if it’s just through a Zoom). Here are a few of the pieces I’ve grabbed and other ways I’ve been getting ready to celebrate heart day!

Heart Tee’s. I’ve been obsessed with finding fun and sweet heart-themed shirts to not know wear for Valentine’s Day but will also work all year-round. This navy with colored hearts tee is so sweet and fun from Loft – they also have a sweat suit in this same print! Shop a few more of my pieces below.

Gimme All The Sweets! Confession time: my sweet tooth has been a bit out of control lately. From snacking on festive M&M’s, to pre-ordering Valentine treats from our favorite KEC — so naturally I had to make some homemade cut out cookies because I bought new Valentine themed cut outs! Topped with my mom’s homemade frosting recipe – these are not only too cute but they taste ah-mah-zing!

Heart Earrings. From oversized to understated, I found all the options for a touch of love to sprinkle from my ears. These oversized heart hoops from Target are so much fun and I had to have them as soon as I saw them — better for you, they’re now 20% off! I also got the these cute and sassy leopard faux leather heart earrings from a local CLE Etsy shop called Frantiques, they were must-have as soon as I saw them. Not to mention they’re so comfy and super cute!

Dressing The House With Pink & Red. Since we’re obviously staying in this Valentine’s Day, I made sure to dress our living room mantle and hearth with some dashes of red and pink! We spend most of our time in our living room, especially on the weekends and now it’s festive for the holiday.

Shop my pieces: White Clip Heart Long Sleeve, Leopard Faux Leather Earrings, Navy Heart Tee, Oversized Heart Earrings, Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt

After this Valentine’s Day holiday, I will definitely be needing to jump off the sweets train and jump back on the workout train (I’ve been so horrible!) But I’m excited to enjoy some extra special treats and a delicious dinner at home, while rocking a cute outfit and some fun accessories — I think I’ll be rocking the Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt and those oversized heart earrings. Putting on a real outfit will make it feel like we haven’t spent the last 41 consecutive days at home!

How are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine Reese’s Chocolate Chip Skillet – Recipe

Last Valentine’s Day we were ahead of the stay-at-home curve and enjoyed a night in making our favorite Taco Pizza and a chocolate chip skilled filled with reese’s cups! YUM! It was as good as it sounds, and I’m here to help you save your Valentine’s day with this easy and delicious sweet treat that’ll blow you and your significant other away.

Ok, let’s get into the good stuff – you only need two ingredients for an easy sweet treat for your Valentine.

Shopping List:
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Roll
– 9-10 Reese’s Cups/Hearts
– Case Iron Skillet
– Ice Cream, optional for serving

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Press half of your cookie down into the bottom of your cast iron skillet.
2. Next fill your skillet with your Reese’s hearts — you can use normal Reese’s too.
3. Use your remaining cookie dough to form a top over your Reese’s hearts and press to cookie base.
4. Ready to bake! With your oven preheated to 350 — you’re ready to pop this cookie in. Recommended recipes say to bake for 20-minutes until golden brown, we had to bake a little extra (maybe 15-20 minutes) since it hadn’t cooked all the way through. If you cut into your cookie and the dough doesn’t look cooked, pop the skillet back in and keep checking every 5-minutes pending your dough density.
5. Serve up with some ice cream, sprinkles or extra peanut butter sauce for a sweet Valentine treat!

This cookie skillet is as delicious as it sounds and looks and is well worth the calories! It would also be delicious if you topped with some ice cream and chocolate syrup for a little extra, YUM. Just because you might be staying home this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean it hasn’t to be boring or simple — put a spin and make it special with this delicious dish.

From my sweet tooth to yours, enjoy!

Valentine Date Night At Home Ideas

Planning to stay in this Valentine’s Day? We usually like to stay in for Valentine’s Day and grab or make a special dinner, some sweets and drinks for an ultimate date night at home. But, just in case you’re feeling a bit lost — I have some fun, creative and easy date night or date day ideas to help celebrate the holiday this year. Don’t worry they are simple, fun and can be customized to you and your boo!

Make It Festive. An easy way to feel festive and make your Valentine’s Day at home special is adding a little festive flair! Whether it’s cutting out paper hearts with construction paper and stringing them up for some garland, buying some flowers to have around the house or making this X’s & O’s painted table runner, by simply adding a bit of red and pink can help spark the mood for the holiday!

Make it A Crafting Afternoon. I snagged a few kids craft kits from Target by Spritz, that are now sold out – but Michael’s has some similar clay hearts that you can paint. Whether you paint them for each other as keepsakes to bring out each year, or paint to gift as a Valentine to family or friends – this is a fun, creative, and low key afternoon! These wooden love letters will be a fun DIY and keepsake to make, too.

Game Night. B & I love game night at home, it has become a quarantine go-to. We love to play Yahtzee, King In the Corners and Scrabble. Of course grabbing a few classic board games like Life, Clue, Sorry! or even Candy Land would be fun while bringing back some childhood memories! Put on some tunes, pour a drink or three and get some friendly competition going with your boo!

Walk & Sip. Bundle up, grab your masks and take a morning snowy stroll to grab some coffee to-go at your favorite local coffee shop! Maybe even take the long way home while you sip and enjoy the quiet of the morning – plus you’re helping support a local business. You could even plan for a boozy evening stroll if that is more your speed, with some spiked coco or cider!

Of course another easy way to celebrate at home is grabbing some dinner to-go from your favorite local spot. Planning on just making dessert at home can be another fun memory with your sig-o. I’ll be sharing an easy and delicious recipe for a cookie skillet that is oh so good and is sure to impress anyone! Finally, if you need some last minute gift ideas, here are 5 free Valentine gift ideas.

How’re you celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year?

Valentine’s Day – 2020

Sending lots of love and sweet wishes to all my bee readers, a Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️!  I’ve been having a lot of fun getting the house ready, planning treats for Moz and even doing some scheming on something meaningful for my number one, B — and now the day is finally here! How’re you celebrating the love?ValentinesDay2020_beelifeblog
photo: Marina Claire & Co.

B and I will be cooking at home tonight, listening to Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra radio, may play a card game or two and will most likely end up watching Vanderpump Rules and falling asleep on the couch — and there is nothing else I’d rather do than spend it with my core unit of Moz and B.

Since we’re keeping it simple this year, I thought it would be fun to share fourteen things that B and I love to do together when we’re staying in:

  1. Watching basketball, specifically the NBA
  2. Cooking dinner
  3. Drinks on our back patio (when it’s warm out)
  4. Making breakfast and drinking coffee on the weekends
  5. Play cards, specifically Kings in the Corner
  6. Watch documentaries
  7. Scheme our next house project
  8. Just sit and talk — no tv, no music
  9. Host friends for dinner and drinks
  10. Late night facetimes with our west coast friends
  11. Play with Moz
  12. Watch Bravo
  13. Mini scrabble tournaments
  14. Morning or evening walks with Moz

Some of our best memories, are spending nights sipping on our favorite drinks, listening to music and talking the night away.  We also love whipping up a fun, delicious meal or two — I’m super excited for our Valentine dinner, don’t worry I’ll be sharing recipes if everything comes out as good as it seems!

xoxo

bee (1)

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats Recipe

Sweet treats are for the pups too! This recipe is coming to you just in time to spoil your pup this Valentine’s Day… or any National Dog Day! My fellow dog lover and bestie, D first introduced these treats to us, since she made them for her pup and Moz’s BFF, Maybel. They’re even gluten free and have dog friendly favorite’s like pumpkin and peanut butter!  So since D and Maybel moved to the coast, Moz has been in need for some homemade, yummy treats — and what better time to spoil her than for Valentine’s Day?
DogTreats(5)
Dog Biscuit Ingredients:
– 3 cups of brown rice flour
15oz can of pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
– 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– 2 eggs

This recipe is pretty easy, the only thing that will take some time is mixing and then flattening out your dough – I also linked the pure pumpkin and brown rice flour above! It is quite messy to work with, so make sure to have extra brown rice flour on hand and readily available for multiple applications.

Pro-tip: I refrigerated the second half of the batch over night and prepped and cooked the next day and this was a bit easier to work with.
DogTreats(4)
Step-by-Step:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your un-greased cookie sheets ready!

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a spoon and then just got my hands in there to mix everything together well. Optional: cover and refrigerate over night, for easier handling

3. After everything is mixed, divide the dough in half. Put brown rice flour down on your counter and heavily over your rolling pin. Then roll out half of the dough so it’s a half-inch thick. Cut with cutout shape of your choice, place an inch apart on cookie sheet.

4. Since this is a harder dough to work with, I did just roll a few balls together and pressed them down on the the sheet, while also making some cute dog bone and heart shaped treats for Moz!

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. 35 minutes was enough for me to see the edges turning a golden brown. Let cool on a baking rack for 30-minutes.

6. Refrigerate or freeze baked cookies for longer storage, otherwise store in a room temperature treat jar for up to a week. When serving to your pup, feel free to add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for an extra special treat!
DogTreats(7)
DogTreats(6)
My cookies didn’t come out looking the prettiest, but they soften a bit over time after they set and cook, Moz is definitely a little cookie obsessed as I was making these!  This recipe is from Betty Crocker and is a great one to keep on hand, especially since it’s a five ingredient recipe, and your pup will love them (plus you can even try a bit yourself – they aren’t terrible!). These are definitely Moz approved ✅🐶!

bee (1)

Latest Obsessions 02.20

It’s Valentine week! And I have been obsessing over all things Valentine’s, can’t you tell?! From home decor, homemade valentines, picking out a meaningful gift and even getting wardrobe ready for the day of hearts — it’s been X’s and O’s, conversation hearts, everything pink and lot’s of love over here at the Bee residence, so let’s get to it!

Festive Valentine Sweaters. I couldn’t resist getting a festive oversized heart sweater for this Valentine’s Day!  I’ve had my eye on this sweater for some time now, but thought I would get it in grey or a lighter pink — but I went for the white with a bright red heart and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately these are selling out quick on Amazon, but I found a few other fun Valentine-heart inspired sweaters that you can still snatch up before the holiday!
LatestObsessions0220(1)
ValentineSweaters
Shop the pieces: Red Heart Sweater from Loft ($59.50), Pink/White Amazon Heart Sweater ($26.99) + Prime Friendly option, Blue Hearts & Stars Sweater from J. Crew ($115), Sweater with Heart Elbows ($22), Dog is My Valentine Tee from Target ($14.99)

DIY Valentine Decor. From my floral letter X’s and O’s door hanger craft to my hand painted table runner, the Valentine crafts have been sweet and festive for a personalized touch around the house! I shared how I made this table runner for under $20! It was so easy, super affordable and makes such a sweet statement across the dining room table. If you want to see the full DIY breakdown, check out my blog post here. If you’re hoping to make some custom, cute and thoughtful Valentine’s — I made these cute wooden love letter’s that are festive and cute and perfect for everyone!
LatestObsessions0220(3)
Shop the pieces: Plain table runner from Amazon, Heart tassel garland from Target 

Galentine’s Brunch. I’m slowly regretting not actually hosting a Galentine’s brunch this year and will definitely have it on my to-do next year! What sounds better than a table of all your favorite girls, delicious brunch and mimosas? Not a whole lot, especially in the middle of February! In case you’re trying to finalize your Galentine brunch deets, check out my Galentine’s Brunch Planning guide, here!

Although I’ve been all about Valentine’s Day, I must admit I haven’t thought as much about a gift for my hubby, B — but the last few years, we’ve taken the less extravagant route and will probably spend our time staying in, cooking a tasty meal, playing some games and exchanging thoughtful notes/cards to each other. If you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, my Valentine Gift guide features five FREE ideas that will still show your Valentine how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

bee (1)

 

Gift Guide: 5 Free Valentine Gifts

Valentine’s Day is a week away! So if you’re scrambling to figure something out — have no fear, bee life is here! Because trust me, it’s easy to forget about getting a Valentine gift, grabbing a card at the last minute and the last bouquet of flowers at the grocery store (p.s. I always love flowers).  In all the Valentine hype, I think we also forget that we don’t have to spend a ton of money to show someone we love them! My Valentine gift guide is not like the others… because these gifts will cost you $0 (or very minimum amount) and will still create a special memory and show your Valentine all the love!
ValentinesGiftGuide(3)
photo: Michelle M. Loufman Photography

Make a Spotify Playlist. This can be fun for you, while being super special for your boo (bonus: you can update it throughout the year)! I made a playlist for B, called #emnblovetracks (off of all of our hashtags) the playlist is stacked with songs we listened too when we first started dating, songs we love together, and other songs that just make me think of him, it’s the perfect mix to our love story. So once you spend some time creating your playlist, all you have to do is share the link with your mix-tape soul mate and a sweet little note!

Fourteen Days of Memories. It’s easy to just get something to check off the Valentine check list — so why not focus and show love before and beyond the holiday. Pick fourteen days to just share love. Whether it’s a daily text with a memory or compliment, a throwback photo, a handwritten note on a post-it note, or maybe it’s in the form of cooking dinner or an extra long hug.  Two years ago I did 28-straight days of little things for B and it was fun (& hard!) to think of different ways to tell B how much I love him — sometimes they were just lists of memories, things I love about him, or a cute little card that tied back to us.

Volunteer Together. Volunteering is the perfect way to share an experience together while sharing love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Consider donating/sorting books for kids, getting involved at a local animal shelter (we walk dogs at ours!), collecting canned goods or even just going through your clothes or old things and pulling together a bag or two of items to donate! This gives you an opportunity to find a new passion, spend time together and give back.
ValentinesGiftGuide(1)
Make a Paper Card. Literally just take a piece of printer paper, fold it into fours, grab some markers and doodle it up, with all words, phrases, memories, or hearts and a cute little love sentiment. Inside spill your heart out, tape a picture and share your love to your special person.  The last card I made for B, I wrote in black market writing my favorite things he is to me… “running buddy, the office binge watching, coffee drinker…”

Watch a Classic Movie. One of my favorite romantic comedies is When Harry Met Sally and you can watch it for ‘free’ on Hulu! The music is dreamy, the characters are funny and the story makes your heart ache. BONUS: The Notebook is also available on Netflix *grins* — so grab some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy a movie together.

We should always share and show love to our special people, and it doesn’t need to break the bank or be an extravagant gift every year — sometimes it’s good to just keep it simple and to the point 😍. xoxo

bee (1)

Galentine’s Brunch Planning Guide

With Galentine’s falling on a weekend, it is the perfect excuse to host a brunch! And for me, there is nothing more that I love than a good brunch — not to mention, I think it’s one of the easier meals to host, while still being able to make an impressive spread that is tasty for everyone. But don’t worry, I have you covered from the menu, recipes, table setting, Valentine’s and decor, too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(2)When it comes to brunch food, there are a ton of great recipes that are overnight prep so all you have to do the morning of, is stick them in the oven and wait for your guests to arrive! Not to mention both casseroles are easy to prep, don’t require a done of ingredients and cover both bases for those friends who are sticking to a diet or maybe love indulging in a little something sweet! The overnight egg casserole is easy to switch out to be meat free if you’re accounting for any dietary needs. Fresh fruit with brunch is always a must, I like to go with blueberries, strawberries or raspberries – something colorful and health conscious to take away some of the guilt!

Galentine’s Brunch Menu:
– Overnight Casseroles: Breakfast Egg Casserole + French Toast Casserole
– Fresh Fruit
– Donut holes or Cinnamon rolls
Bloody Mary Bar
– Mimosas

Lastly the beverages for your Galentine’s Brunch are just as important as the food! Knowing your gal-pals preferences always helps streamline this, so you can have a mix of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas or can stick to one. This post on how to create your own Bloody Mary bar can help you make a fun statement and if you’re planning for mimosas, be sure to grab a few extra juices besides the standard, like cranberry or pineapple plus your fresh fruit can garnish these too!
Galentines_beelifeblog(3)Set the Table & Decor. Since it’s your gal pals, keeping the table setting and decor simple, yet fun and festive is key and will also let you enjoy yourself too! Making your own table runner and place settings can help save some money with taking little time and effort on the crafting side, and still resulting in a big impact. This hand painted X’s and O’s table runner, I shared last week is just too stinkin’ cute and is pretty in pink for Galentine’s Day!

Also, don’t let your gals go home empty handed without a little keepsake; these wooden love letter Valentine’s can be customized with everyone’s names or fun little notes like, “U R CUTE” or “BFF4L” or “Ride or Die.” Adding a little note on the back is another way to send a little extra love their way! These will help finish off your table decor and filling these seats, while also bringing a big smile to your pals faces. And snag the colorful cute heart tassel garland from Target for only $6 to add to your table decor or hang in an entry way! Galentines_beelifeblog(1)Finishing Touches. Getting festive red or pink paper straws can be a fun touch for those Bloody Mary’s or the mimosas. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch if you wanted to switch out your table centerpiece.  Don’t forget to set the mood for your brunch with some music, check out my Heart Ache playlist or my emnblovetracks playlist for a mix of all those feelings of love. Heart Ache has a lot of good throw backs, especially some good ones to sing with your gals.

Happy Galentine Brunching!

bee (1)