No Day But Today

rent-quote

“Forget regret or life is yours to miss.”
–RENT

 

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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10 Cake Pops You’ll Actually WANT to Make

Let’s be honest, no one really LIKES cake pops, right?  I mean, sure…if they’re there, you’ll eat them…but does anyone really CRAVE a cake pop?

Yeah…I didn’t think so.  But that’s all about to change!

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From cake pops with bacon to cake pops made out of those tasty Little Debbie cream pies, these 10 cake pop recipes are treats you’ll actually WANT to make!

Pinterest Top 10:
10 Cake Pops You’ll Actually WANT to Make

Salted Caramel Cake Pops
salted caramel

Maple Bacon Cake Pops
maple bacon

Geode Cake Pops
geode

Lemon Raspberry Cake Pops
lemon raspberry

Toasted S’more Truffle Pops
smore truffle

Oatmeal Crème Pie Cake Pops
oatmeal pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Pops
chocolate peanut butter

Easy Cinnamon Roll Cake Pops
cinnamon roll

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
cookie bites

Sweet Chocolate Cherry Bombs
cherry bombs

Want more cute cake pop ideas?  Check out my Pinterest board, Cute Cake Pop Ideas!

 

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

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Daytripper Book Review

I picked up Daytripper on a whim.  I was looking for a new graphic novel to read and was just browsing through the small, yet substantial, graphic novel section of my local library.  I noticed the cover of Daytripper and was slightly intrigued.  I thumbed through it and the illustrations alone sucked me in.  When I got home and started reading, I had no idea what I was getting myself into…and little did I know I was about to embark on a book that would overwhelm me in every way possible.

After I read Daytripper, I just sat in my living room and cried.  I cried my bloody eyes out.  I went back and thumbed through it again, then cried some more.  It wasn’t that it was sad…it was just so beautiful, so profound.  On the surface level, it is a story about death…but if you really dig in deep, it’s so much more than that.  It’s a story about choices, about deciding to stay or go.  It’s a story about moments, about those events that change and shape your life, and those quiet intimate seconds you share with a loved one.  It’s a story about beginnings and endings and all the moments in between that help shape and mold us into who we are.

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The birth of Bras de Oliva Domingos was a miracle in and of itself.  The son of a famous Brazilian writer, Bras was born in the middle of a blackout and somehow survived.  Now, as a young adult, Bras is an inspiring writer himself, spending his days writing obituaries for the local paper…trying to find the moments, tell the stories, that made these people who they were while his story has barley just begun.

Throughout Daytripper, Bras tries to figure out his own stories…tries to piece together the moments that have helped shape his life.  Each chapter introduces us to someone important in Bras’s life, then ends with Bras’s death.  Each death comes about differently as a result of a choice Bras made.  Each chapter begs the question, “What is life and how, in death, is life valued?”.

This amazing story is accompanied with stunning watercolor illustrations, made to give you the feeling of moving through a dream.  A somewhat quiet comic with little dialogue, Daytripper relies on subtle glances, soft hugs, quiet moments to help tell the story.  It’s a lyrical, emotional and visual journey that uses those intimate moments to ask the big questions.

The message of Daytripper lies in the answer to a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point:  What are the most important days of your life?  Is it the moment you’re born?  Is it when you meet your first love?  When you have your first kiss?  When you see your child in your arms?  When you finally find your dream job?  Or maybe the most important days are the days where nothing happens…when you see a bird in a tree or feel fresh rain on your face.  Maybe the important days are the ones you spend sitting on the couch with your loved one or just playing in the park with your dog.

Like all the best stories, Daytripper is a story about stories…about beginnings and endings.  It’s about choices, big and small, that shape us, mold us, create us.

Perhaps the best way to sum up Daytripper is with this interaction between young Bras and his father, taken from the book itself:

 

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.

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34 Fun Facts About The Office

The Office is one of the first shows I remember watching religiously when it was on TV.  Every Thursday night, I’d make dinner, turn my phone on silent, and tune into NBC to catch The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Outsourced (remember that one!?).

After the seasons came out on DVD, I bought them all (Black Friday Deal!) and I’ve easily watched the series a good three or four times now.  I still laugh at the stapler in the Jell-O…still cry when Jim and Pam get married…and my heart still breaks for Dwight after he kills Angela’s cat.

The thing I loved the most about The Office was that the characters were real…they were relatable and flawed.  I loved Michael Scott because I had a boss just like him.  I had friends who had a relationship very similar to Jim and Pam…and of course, every office has at least one Creed!

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The actors on the show were so invested in its success that several went on to be writers, directors, and producers for later Office episodes…and if you follow the cast on Instagram or Twitter, you can tell how much they STILL love each other (can we just talk about the fact that Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey are real-life BFF’s and Jenna still wears the ring that Jim got for Pam!!  OMG WITH THIS, YOU GUYS!!).

If you miss the Dunder Mifflin crew as much as I do, here are 34 Fun Facts about The Office that will make you feel all the warm fuzzies!

 

34 Fun Facts About The Office

Though Ricky Gervais made fun of the American version of The Office time and time again, he and fellow The Office UK creator Stephen Merchant actually helped creator Greg Daniels write the pilot of the American version.  Gervais also played one of the people interviewing for Michael Scott’s job after Michael leaves.

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The initial team of writers for The Office included four cast members:  Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor), B.J. Novak (Ryan Howard), Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson), Mike Schur (Dwight’s cousin, Mose) and Greg Daniels.

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Mindy Kaling was hired on for The Office after Greg Daniels saw her perform her two-woman show, Matt & Ben (about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) with her roommate.  You can read all about this amazing experience in Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.

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Mindy’s roommate, Brenda Withers, actually made a cameo in the “Booze Cruise” episode as corporate representative, Brenda Matlowe.

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Producers originally wanted John Krasinski to read for Dwight…but Krasinski felt Jim Halpert was a better fit for him.  He turned down the option to read for Dwight and told producers, “If you can’t find a Jim, I’ll come in and read for that.”  THANK GOD!

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YOU GUYS – When Krasinski got the part of Jim, the first thing he asked was if Jenna Fisher got the part of Pam.  When Fisher got the part of Pam, the first thing she asked was if Krazinski got the part of Jim.  MY HEART!!

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Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad) actually auditioned for the part of Michael Scott.  He was originally cast, but was obviously beat out by Steve Carell when Carell’s other project fell apart, but Odenkirk would make a guest appearance later on in season 9 as the “Michael Scott” of the office where Pam interviews.

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Krasinski and Novak played little league together as kids and also knew each other in high school.

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Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone) also attended high school together in Georgia.

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Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Lapin-Vance) was actually working as a casting associate on the show and would read lines with actors.  At one point, producers asked her to do some more reading and she had no idea she was actually auditioning for the part that was created specifically for her.

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Creed Bratton’s name is actually Creed Bratton IRL.  He was also a musician in the band, The Grass Roots.

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Steve Carell has written two episodes of The Office: “Casino Night” and “Survivor Man”.

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Carell actually won a Writer’s Guild of America Award for “Casino Night” (also known as the one where Pam and Jim kiss!).

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Michael Scott’s kiss with Oscar in “Gay Witch Hunt” was actually improvised by Carell.  The shocked faces of the cast were real reactions.

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Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) was working at 1-800-DENTIST when she was cast on the show.  Anything is possible, you guys!

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Not only are Fisher and Martin BFF’s in real life and have Target shopping dates together, Fisher is also godmother of Kinsey’s daughter, Isabel.

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Paul Giamatti was NBC’s first choice to play Michael Scott; he turned down the role.  Good thing, or else we wouldn’t have this magical moment:

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The paper that is highlighted during the opening credits of The Office is actually a Los Angeles Department of City Planning document.

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After season 1 of The Office, reviews were mixed and the show was facing cancellation.  It was Carell’s film, The 40-Year-Old Virgin that shot Carell into stardom and ended up saving the show.

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Jenna Fisher was really pregnant during Pam’s pregnancy story line.

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In the episode “The Launch Party”, Krasinski accidentally signs his real name on Meredith’s pelvic cast instead of Jim’s.

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Although Dunder Mifflin is a fictitious company, it is recognized by the Scranton Chamber of Commerce because of all the tourism it has given to the city.  Quill.com also sells Dunder Mifflin-branded paper.

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Steve Carell’s real-life wife, Nancy Walls, guest-starred on The Office as Michael’s realtor, Carol Stills.

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In the episode, “Basketball”, Daryl mentioned that the winner of the basketball game gets “dinner at Farley’s”.  Farley’s was an actual restaurant in Scranton and had a Michael Scott burger on their menu.

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The Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin is located at 1725 Slough Avenue.  That’s not a real street in Scranton, PA, though it is a reference to the UK version of the show, which takes place in Slough, England.  CLEVER!

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The computers on set really worked.  Cast members would surf the web and play games during filming, which helped the cast feel like they were in a real office.

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Originally, Parks and Recreation was supposed to be a spin-off of The Office, with Rashida Jones’ character, Karen, bridging the gap between the two shows.  That idea was ultimately scrapped.

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The character of Jim Halpert was also originally supposed to be played by Adam Scott, who would go on to star in Parks and Recreation as Ben Wyatt.  Amy Pohler was also set to play Jan Levenson-Gould before she was cast as Leslie Knope on P&R.  #JimFace

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The opening shots of Scranton in The Office credits were actually shot by John Krasinski.  He visited Scranton for research after landing the part of Jim and filmed various areas around town, as well as interviewed people who worked at paper companies.

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Pam’s lactation consultant after she gives birth in “The Delivery” is actually Fisher’s real-life husband, Lee Kirk.

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Krasinski, Kaling, and Ellie Kemper (Erin) were all previously interns at Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

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Fischer has never revealed what Steve Carell whispered to her during Pam and Michael’s airport farewell, but the sentiments they shared were real, as Fischer was told to just “say goodbye to Steve”.

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Amy Adams was a relatively unknown actress when she played the purse girl in “Hot Girl”.

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Steve Carell’s return in the series finale was kept a secret from network executives to avoid any possibility of spoilers.

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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!

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Toilet Paper Roll “Speaker” and Phone Holder

I don’t know about you, but I love jamming out to my favorite tunes when I’m cooking.  Maybe some Sinatra if I’m making pasta…maybe some bluegrass if I’m making some down-home stick-to-your-ribs comfort food…or, if all else fails, I’ll just pop on Pandora and hit shuffle!

But sometimes it’s hard to hear the phone speaker when I have pots and pans moving all over the place…and I always lose my phone under some towel or cookbook, only to find it when it ultimately falls on the floor…

So instead, I’ve found a crafty way to keep track of my phone AND hear my music better when I’m cooking!  The solution, funny enough, lies in your bathroom.

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Yes, I’m talking about toilet paper rolls.  Love em or hate em, these buggers are pretty useful around the house…and this little DIY Phone Speaker is a clever way to use it to your benefit.  All you need is some paper or Washi Tape to dress it up!

Make sure you put your phone or device into the holder speaker side down, which will help pump out the sound so you can jam to Dr. Dre when you’re cooking, cleaning or just chillin’ on the couch.

Toilet Paper Roll Phone Holder

Materials:

  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Pencil
  • Craft Knife or Scissors
  • Washi Tape or Patterned Paper
  • Glue Sticks
  • 4 Push Pins

Instructions:

Place your phone on top of the toilet paper roll and trace around it to measure how big your hole will need to be.  Use a buddy to hold the toilet paper roll or tape it to your desk to prevent it from moving around.

Using a craft knife or scissors, cut out the hole.

Now it’s time to decorate!  You can use Washi Tape to decorate your phone holder quickly, or use patterned paper to glue onto the toilet paper roll.

Push one push pin into front and back of each round side of toilet paper roll.

Place your phone in the holder and jam out to your favorite tunes!

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

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Accepting the Whole

accept

“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile.  You had to accept it as a whole – like the world, or the person you loved.”
–Stewart O’Nan

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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One Pot Chicken n’ Potatoes with Maple Mustard Sauce

Can I just take a moment and share my love of one-pot meals?  Less dishes, less prep…just chop, drop and plop it in the oven and, in about an hour, you have a delicious meal ready to go.

Usually my one-pot meal consists of throwing everything in my fridge in the slow cooker and hoping for some type of chili or soup to magically create itself, but the other week it was just too hot to have the slow cooker going all day…so I had to resort to the roasting pan.

roasted-chicken-and-potatoes

I had some chicken thighs that were pushing their “good-by” date, so I grabbed some potatoes and tried to whip up a honey-mustard sauce…but I was out of honey.

So, maple syrup it was!  The sauce for this chicken turned out to be a little sweet, but I still really liked it!  You can use whatever mustard combination you’d like…I literally grabbed all the mustards in my fridge and said, “to hell with it!”.

This is a really good recipe for dark chicken on the bone, as the rich flavors of the dark meat pair really well with the bright flavors of the sauce…but if you’re not a dark meat fan, I’m sure this would be equally as tasty with white meat, too!

One Pot Chicken n’ Potatoes with Maple Mustard Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (I used thighs with the skin still on for added flavor, but skinless also works)
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • Dried parsley
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • ½ cup maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Season chicken to taste (I used a little salt and pepper on each side).  Transfer to glass casserole dish or skillet.  Set aside.*
  2. Season potatoes with parsley, paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Toss to coat.  Pour into casserole dish with chicken.
    In small bowl, combine Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, brown mustard and maple syrup.  Whisk until combined.  Pour mustard mix over chicken and potatoes.  Toss to coat (I got in there with my hands and just mixed everything together).
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until chicken registers done on the meat thermometer.

*If you’re using skin-on chicken thighs and want to sear the skin side before adding to the casserole dish, I highly recommend doing that.  I didn’t do that for this dish, but I’ve done it for other one-pot dishes and it’s so delicious!

 

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

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