15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

Not like we ever NEED a reason to go out for happy hour, but this Wednesday…February 22…is NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY. A DAY OF MARGARITAS. TEQUILA FLOWING LIKE WATER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, YOU GUYS.

drinking jon stewart alcohol happy hour margarita

Now it’s no secret that I love tequila. If a beer just won’t do and I need something stronger, tequila is my go-to. I love it straight and I love it mixed…just don’t you dare ruin that delicious liquid with your nasty drink mixes…just don’t do it.

friday tequila margarita tequilasaur

If you have to make a fruity, girly drink, baller up and make it! Margaritas are crazy easy to make and oftentimes only require five ingredients or less:

drinking alcohol archer tequila margarita

Now let’s celebrate National Margarita Day the RIGHT Way…with tasty homemade cocktails that go down oh so easy and are great for us Midwestern folk who are just daydreaming of warm summer beaches and sunshine.

15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

margarita-recipes

Pink Lemonade Margarita

margarita1

Strawberry Mango Margarita

margarita2

Champagne Lemonade Margarita

margarita3

Cranberry Margarita

margarita4

Mango Raspberry Margarita

margarita5

Blackberry Margarita

margarita6

Coconut Margarita

margarita7

Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita

margarita8

Blood Orange Margarita

margarita9

Skinny Champagne Margarita

margarita10

Cucumber Lime Margarita

margarita11

Peach Margarita

margarita12

Tropical Rum Margarita

margarita13

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

margarita14

Cantaloupe Margarita

margarita15

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under drink recipes

Big Little Lies Book Review

It’s a song we’ve all heard before…the rich and privileged are never what they appear to be.  Though they may look happy and beautiful on the outside, behind closed doors they’re just as troubled and tortured as the rest of us.  Clearly, money can’t buy happiness…but it certainly can buy a whole butt-load of drama.

In Big Little Lies, three privileged women, each very different from the other, are thrown together in a series of crazy events that leads to someone getting killed.  A guilty-pleasure chick lit book involving husbands, ex-husbands, mothers and daughters, school drama and suburban scandal, Big Little Lies is a fun treat that shocks and surprises you with little twists and turns that lead to one heck of an ending.

big-little-lies-liane-moriarty

Our three protagonists are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane.  Madeline is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s funny, biting, and passionate…a driving force in her social circle.  Her friend, Celeste, is suburban royalty.  Beautiful beyond compare, Celeste strives to be the queen of the school parent body.  Jane, a new-to-town single mom, is sad and conflicted and has secret doubts about her past life.  All three women have children in the local school, which is the glue that begins to join these women together.  However, when Madeline and Celeste decide to take sad little Jane under their wing and help get her accustomed to the ‘politics’ of their social circle, it becomes clear that Jane and her son bring along more baggage than they thought…and things quickly begin to spin out of control…

In their own ways, Madeline, Celeste, and Jane are all easy to love and easy to hate.  They all have their quarks, but it’s clear that their hearts are in the right place…and they’re all just trying to do what’s best for their families, in whatever way they can.  They each experience trouble at home and each deal with it in their own way.  Some fight back, some cower down, and some just ignore it completely.  But for as different as these three women are, they share one commonality:  they are all hiding something from each other.

Big Little Lies is a book that will have you guessing all the way until the end.  A classic who-dun-it murder mystery (with a touch of sparkly drama!), Big Little Lies is about the lies we tell our friends, the lies we tell our families, and – perhaps most hurtful of all – the lies we tell ourselves.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book reviews

29 Fun Facts about Abraham Lincoln

Besides Frank Sinatra, Abraham Lincoln was probably one of the most influential people in my life.  Of course I didn’t know him personally, but my deep desire to learn everything I could about this mysterious man shaped my life in ways I never thought possible.

It was my love of Lincoln that motivated me to watch a 90’s made-for-TV movie called Tad, starring Kris Kristofferson as Abraham Lincoln, Jane Curtin as Mary Todd, and a very young Bug Hall as Lincoln’s son, Tad.  At the beginning of the movie, there is a solo trumpet playing “Hail to the Chief”.  It was that rendition that inspired my 10-year-old self to take up trumpet…an instrument that would stay a part of my life throughout my entire education and beyond.  It became my goal to one day play “Hail to the Chief” for the President one day…still workin’ on that one 😉

My love of Lincoln also got me interested in history education and The Civil War, an educational path I almost took in college before switching to literature.  He got me interested in presidential history and the history of my own home state.  And, as an added little how do ya do, the most recent Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis hit theaters on my birthday.  Ka-wink-ee-dink?  I think not.

For as famous and well-known as Lincoln is today, he was a very secluded man, prone to depression and large bouts of sadness.  He was instrumental in shaping several of today’s laws and government organizations, and has been named several times as one of the best presidents the US has ever had.

He holds the record for many strange accolades, including being the tallest president, the president with the biggest feet, the only president to hold a patent, the first president to be photographed at his inauguration, the first president to be added to the US currency, the first president with a beard, and was the first president to be born outside the original 13 colonies.

He fought for women’s rights…he fought for equal rights…he fought against slavery and he fought for the common man.  He honored education, loved his children dearly, and served his country not just as the President, but in local government as well.  A few days ago we celebrated Lincoln’s 208th birthday…and as a little celebration, here are 29 Fascinating Facts about our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.

last

29 Fun Facts about Abraham Lincoln

  1. Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender.
  2. Abraham’s son, Robert, was saved from a train accident by Edwin Booth, brother of his father’s killer, John Wilkes Booth.
    Image result for abraham lincoln, son robert
  3. Robert was also the only son of Abe Lincoln to live to adulthood.
  4. About 60 years ahead of his time, Abe was a firm believer that women should have the right to vote.
  5. Abe is among a large assortment of brilliant minds that do not own a college degree.  Others include Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs.
  6. Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day.
    Image result for abraham lincoln, charles darwin
  7. According to his own journals, Abraham Lincoln dreamt of his assassination before it happened…as did Martin Luther King, Jr.
  8. When he was running for president, Abe received a letter from a young 11-year-old girl named Grace Greenwood.  In the letter, she told Abe that he would look much more dignified and presidential with a beard.  He took her advice…and won.
    Image result for abraham lincoln, with and without a beard
  9. Abraham Lincoln has no confirmed living descendants.  The last known one, a great-grandson, died in 1985.
  10. So far, Lincoln is the tallest US president, standing at 6 foot 4 inches.  He also has the biggest feet of any US President, wearing a size 14 shoe.
    Image result for US presidents by height
  11. Lincoln did indeed hold important documents and speech notes inside his tall black hat.
    Image result for lincoln's hat
  12. After being shot, Lincoln remained in a coma for 9 hours before succumbing to his injuries.
    Image result for lincoln assassination
  13. Though today his views would be considered more democratic, Lincoln was actually the first Republican elected to the US Presidency.
  14. Abe was also the first US President to be born outside one of the original 13 colonies.
  15. Lincoln was the first President to be photographed at his inauguration.
  16. He was also the first to appear on a US coin.
    Image result for first US penny with lincoln
  17. Lincoln was a huge fan of Shakespeare and quoted him often.  John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Lincoln, was a famous Shakespearean actor and a personal favorite of Lincoln’s.
    Image result for john wilkes booth, actor
  18. Lincoln is the only President to hold a patent.  He invented a device to free steamboats that ran aground.
    Image result for lincoln's patent
  19. He was also a man of simple tastes.  He didn’t drink, smoke, or chew tobacco…and he never drank inside The White House.
  20. It was Honest Abe himself who officially established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
    Image result for lincoln thanksgiving
  21. Lincoln loved cats.  His own cat, Tabby, had a place at The White House dinner table.  He also had a dog named Fido.
    Image result for abe lincoln's cat
  22. Defeated only once in about 300 matches, Lincoln was an accomplished wrestler in his day.  He’s enshrined as an “Outstanding American” in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
    Image result for abe lincoln wrestler
  23. The last piece of legislation Lincoln signed before his assassination was the creation of the Secret Service.
  24. Illinois may be known as “The Land of Lincoln”, but he didn’t move here until he was 21.  He was born in Kentucky and spent time in Indiana before eventually settling in Illinois.
  25. The Lincoln Bedroom in The White House was never really Lincoln’s bedroom.  He used the space as his personal office, meeting with Cabinet members and signing documents, including The Emancipation Proclamation.
    Image result for the lincoln bedroom, the white house
  26. There are more books written about Abraham Lincoln than any other American to date.
  27. Tom Hanks is a descendent of Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks.  Abe and Tom are very, very, very distant cousins.
    Image result for abe lincoln, tom hanks
  28. Lincoln’s heterosexuality has been disputed on numerous occasions, as various biographers have claimed that Lincoln may have been homosexual or bisexual.  There are several stories about Lincoln sleeping in the same bed as some of his mail friends, though no actual concrete proof of Lincoln’s preferences have been unearthed as of yet.
  29. There are SEVERAL weird coincidences between Abe Lincoln and later President, John F. Kennedy.  Both were shot in the head on a Friday, both were elected to Congress exactly 100 years apart (1846/1946), both were elected to the presidency 100 years apart (1860/1960), both men’s successors were named Johnson (Andrew Johnson/Lyndon Johnson), both Johnson’s were born 100 years apart (1808/1908), both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot by a man with thee known names (John Wilkes Booth/Lee Harvey Oswald), both Lincoln and Kennedy contain seven letters, the names of both their assassins contain 15 letters, and Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theatre while Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln town car, made by Ford.
    Image result for abe lincoln, john f kennedy

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

Leave a comment

Filed under fun facts

12 Easy DIY Lip Scrubs

As a life-long trumpet player, I know all about taking care of your lips.  The cold, dry weather, the heat from the sun, it can all wreak havoc on your skin, especially your more sensitive areas on your face.

In the winter, I easily go through a few tubes of Chapstick before the season is over, but sometimes it just doesn’t do the trick.  When I need to bring out the big guns, I use lib scrubs.

easy-diy-lip-scrubs

Lib scrubs are so amazing, and once you start, you’ll find it hard to stop.  Made using anything from sugar to coffee, these scrubs help remove the dead skin and dirt from your lips and leave them feeling super soft.

Omaze love kiss the walking dead i love you

While you can buy scrubs in a variety of flavors and styles, it’s just as easy to make them at home…and chances are you probably have everything you need in your pantry already.  So don’t fear the extreme weather…make your skin super soft with these easy DIY Lib Scrubs!

PS – you can also use these on your feet and hands, too!  We won’t tell!  😉

12 Easy DIY Lip Scrubs

  1. Honey Lip Scrub
  2. Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Scrub
  3. Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub
  4. Cotton Candy Lip Scrub
  5. Cinnamon Lip Scrub
  6. Mint Lemonade Lip Scrub
  7. Cucumber Mint Sugar Scrub
  8. Dark Chocolate Lip Scrub
  9. Rose Petal and Mint Lip Scrub
  10. Pineapple Lip Scrub
  11. Vanilla Peppermint Lip Scrub
  12. Lavender Vanilla Lip Scrub

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

Leave a comment

Filed under gift ideas for all occasions

Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentines-day

Leave a comment

February 14, 2017 · 8:22 am

14 Tasty and Easy Desserts for 2

Happy early Valentine’s Day (and Galentine’s Day!)!  If you pride yourself on the last-minute hunt for Valentine’s Day gifts, then you’re in luck…because these 14 Tasty and Easy Desserts for Two make the perfect gift for your sweetie (or your group of gals!).

Whether you’re craving cookies, cakes, or brownies, these yummy desserts are sure to hit the sweet spot…and best of all, most of these recipes only make 2-4 servings…so waste not, want not!

So this year, forget the cheesy gifts…impress your Valentine with a tasty dessert you can split and share!

tasty-and-easy-desserts-for-2

14 Tasty and Easy Desserts for 2

Tasty Biegnets for 2
dessertfor2.com

desserts-for-2-1

Chocolate Fondue
foxandbriar.com

desserts-for-2-3

Cinnamon Apple Dessert Chimichangas
muchtaste.com

desserts-for-2-6

Fluffy S’mores Dip
homemadehooplah.com

desserts-for-2-4

Small Batch Brownies
dessertfor2.com

desserts-for-2-2

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Recipe
crazyforcrust.com

desserts-for-2-5

Berry Crisps for Two
reciperunner.com

desserts-for-2-10

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls for Two
bakingmischief.com

desserts-for-2-7

Pink Raspberry Vanilla Cakes
livforcake.com

desserts-for-2-8

Cherry Chocolate Mug Cake
lifemadesweeter.com

desserts-for-2-9

Mini Pear Cranberry Crisps
wholeandheavenlyoven.com

desserts-for-2-11

Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookies
number-2-pencil.com

desserts-for-2-12

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Cups
cookinglsl.com

desserts-for-2-13

Chocolate Cupcakes for 2
crunchycreamysweet.com

desserts-for-2-14

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under valentines day

The Circle Book Review

The digital age is both amazing and terrifying.  In today’s world, we can locate long-lost friends, instantly transfer money to different accounts, talk to people on the other side of the planet, buy and sell goods, and store precious media in the mysterious Cloud.  However, the digital age also sees countless occasions of identity theft, stalking, trolling, hacking, and viruses that can completely destroy everything on your hard drive.

The freedom we have to do whatever we want online, to see whatever we want and search for whatever we want, has people asking what privacy even is anymore.  What’s really ‘public domain’ in this age of digital media?  Is anything ever really deleted?  Is our privacy really protected?  How much information are we really giving away by shopping, banking, and playing online?  Are the measures we have in place safe enough to protect our most precious assets?  And, most importantly, what new developments are in store for a world that constantly begs for “the next best thing”?

In the fictional (but scarily true) novel, The Circle, it becomes clear that our digital profiles, no matter how secure we may think they are, offer an abundance of information to those running the Internet’s most powerful sites…and there’s little to nothing that can be done to stop it.

thecircle

When Mae Holland is hired to work for The Circle, the world’s most powerful Internet company, she cannot wait to jump in and get started.  Loosely and sort of obviously based on a Google-type company, The Circle is a powerhouse California start-up, featuring a sprawling campus, glass dining facilitates, cozy dorms, amazing after-work parties, and an abundance of clubs for practically every passion.

In a nutshell, The Circle aims to link users’ personal emails, social media, banking, purchasing history, and basically all online activity with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity that boasts about a “new age of civility and transparency”.  Want to buy new shoes?  Facebook message a friend?  Connect with a colleague’s professional network?  Pay a bill?  Schedule a party?  All that and more can be done within The Circle interface…and everyone who’s anyone has already joined.

Filled with young and impressionable minds, The Circle’s staff is made up of the best of the best from Silicon Valley…and Mae knows she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime to work there.  As she tours the campus, she becomes engrossed in the company’s activity and dedication to employee morale.  Famous musicians play on the lawn, an aquarium of rare fish offer a place of solitude, and employees seem almost happy and willing to go the extra mile for the good of the company.

Mae quickly learns the ropes of her job and impresses leadership with her skills and attention to detail.  As she starts to gain recognition at The Circle and her interface begins to grow, Mae learns how amazing this technology is…and how much it’s doing to improve the world at large…

Or is it?  Even as life outside of work grows distant…even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken…even as her role at The Circle becomes increasingly public…Mae still can’t believe her great fortune to be a part of this ground-breaking company.  But is this truly the opportunity of a lifetime…or is this the power of the digital age on young and influential minds?

What begins as a captivating story of one woman’s ambition to succeed soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense and terror, raising ethical and moral questions about privacy, democracy, and basic human rights.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

Leave a comment

Filed under book reviews