You Will Be Found

dear-evan-hansen

“Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on on the ground
You will be found.”
–Dear Evan Hansen

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 Jellies, Jams and Other Canned Creations

Canning isn’t just for pickling…you can make delicious jams, jellies, butters and even salsas using the ol’ trusty mason jar.

Not only is this a great way to use fruits and veggies that are nearing season’s end, but these canned creations make great gifts for the holidays.

Surprise the hostess with the mostess with some homemade apple butter, or fill holiday stockings with a can of homemade salsa. Thrifty and fun to assemble, these canned jellies, jams and butters will help you clean out your produce stash in no time!

10 Jellies, Jams and Other Canned Creations

jellies-and-james

  1. Canned Apple Pie Filling
  2. Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
  3. Old Fashioned Apple Butter
  4. Homemade Salsa
  5. Bourbon Soaked Cherries
  6. Pumpkin Ginger Jam
  7. 5-Minute Lime Curd
  8. Blackberry Jam
  9. Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
  10. Vanilla Spiced Pear Butter

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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A Spark of Light Book Review

For years I’ve judged Jodi Picoult’s books by their covers. Often showcasing minimal photography covered with large type that’s mainly indicative of chic lit, I walked right past her shelf of novels, not realizing the true beauty I was missing.

My recent appreciation for Picoult was not out of the blue…it came to me on a little cloud in the form of my sister, who has read not one, not two, but near 15 of Picoult’s novels. She gave me a long list of Jodi books to read that I’m STILL plowing through!

The first Picoult book I read was Small Great Things, a gripping novel about the large racial issues that still plague our country. It was a captivating story that I was not expecting, as was My Sister’s Keeper, the second Picoult book I added to my repertoire. When my sister told me that Picoult would be coming to Milwaukee to promote her new book and do a talk, we knew we had to go!

I didn’t know anything about A Spark of Light before going to Picoult’s talk. While I wasn’t surprised that Picoult decided to cover a hot-button issue in her most recent novel (abortion), I was pleasantly surprised with her candor. A genuine advocate not for woman, Picoult spoke with great respect about the women she interviewed who had recently had abortions, doctors she shadowed performing abortions, and the thousands of men and women who stood outside the clinics day after day trying to convince desperate women to change their minds.

This book does not take sides, nor does it show one side in a better light than another. As Picoult says herself, there are times people can be on both sides of the argument, and that’s okay. If anything, that means that more and more people are open to understanding that abortion is and never will be a political issue…but will always be a human rights issue.

Image result for a spark of light book cover

The Center shines brightly in the little Mississippi town that houses it. A clinic that offers women help with birth control, pregnancy screenings, sensitive cancer diagnoses and yes, abortions, the Center is a refuge for women all over the south, including the 10 or so people that have arrived there for various reasons this warm fall day.

However, in the early morning hours, a distraught gunman bursts through the door, opening fire and killing several patients, doctors and nurses instantly. The rest, including those severely injured, are held hostage.

After Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, gets to the scene, he begins communication with the gunman inside. However McElroy’s job is made increasingly more difficult when he comes to learn that his sister and 15-year-old daughter, Wren, are among those still inside the clinic.

Working back in time from the end of the hostage situation to the morning hours before the shooter stepped foot into the center, A Spark of Light slowly brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters, including a pregnant nurse who puts her fears aside to help others, a doctor who does his work honorably in spite of his own beliefs, a pro-life protester, a young woman who has just had an abortion, as well as a disturbed killer who will stop at nothing to seek his revenge.

Fearless and thought-provoking, A Spark of Light tackles a complicated issue with decency and respect. It’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong, but more so about understanding. What does it mean to be a good parent? How do we balance the rights of a pregnant woman with the rights of the life inside her?

At one point in the talk, Picoult asked the audience to raise their hand if they knew anyone who had an abortion in their lifetime…more than half of the audience raised their hands, including my sister and me. Many of us know – or are – women that have suffered through this. Most women don’t get pregnant hoping to have an abortion…for several women, this is a last resort, whether it’s for their own health or the life inside of them. This is not an issue that should divide a country, it’s an issue that should be talked about, understood and respected. If A Spark of Light does anything, it serves as its namesake, striking a match on a conversation, no matter how big or small, that might help at least one person better understand a woman’s right to make her own decisions.

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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50 Fun Facts You Can Use to Impress Your Friends in 2019

Last year I shared 50 fun facts to impress your friends in 2018 and you guys liked it so much that I decided to do it again!

So cure that social anxiety at upcoming holiday parties and be ready to impress your friends with these fun and completely random facts that are sure to make you the talk of 2019!

50 Fun Facts You Can Use to Impress Your Friends in 2019

FUN FACTS 2019

Pteronophobia is the fear of being tickled by feathers.

So far, two diseases have been successfully eradicated: smallpox in the 1970s and rinderpest in 2001.

Bananas are curved because they grow towards the sun.

During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.

Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman.

A baby spider is called a spiderling.

Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch television for 3 hours.

The average male gets bored of a shopping trip after 26 minutes.

A small child could swim through the veins of a blue whale.

The Twitter bird actually has a name – Larry. It comes from Larry Bird, the famous basketball player.

An apple, potato and onion all taste the same if you eat them with your nose plugged.

The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the world in their lifetime.

Tears contain a natural pain killer which reduces pain and improves your mood. This is why you tend to feel better after a good cry!

Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on TV.

Snails have 14,000 teeth.

Daddy longlegs have penises, which technically makes them not a spider.

Eight of the ten largest statues in the world are of Buddhas.

It took the creator of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, one month to solve the cube after he created it. As of June 2018, the world record is 4.22 seconds.

Magpies are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

Digging a hole to China is theoretically possible if you start in Argentina.

People don’t sneeze in their sleep doe to the brain shutting down that reflex.

A chef’s hat has exactly 100 pleats. They’re to represent the “hundred ways to cook an egg”.

Horses have the largest eyes of any mammal.

There are more collect calls on Father’s Day than on any other day of the year.

More people are allergic to cow’s milk than any other food.

You are born with 300 bones, but by the time you are an adult, you only have 206.

Blue-eyed people tend to have the highest tolerance of alcohol.

More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

A flea can jump up to 200 times its own height. That’s the equivalent of a human jumping the Empire State Building.

There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.

There are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach in the world.

“Almost” is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.

All swans in England belong to the Queen.

There are more plastic flamingos in the US than real ones.

At any one time, about 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk.

M&M’s stands for “Mars & Murries”, the last names of the candy’s founders.

In the USA, there are more Chinese restaurants than all the McDonalds, KFC’s Burger Kings and Wendys put together.

A million seconds is about 12 days. A billion seconds is more than 31 years.

Our ears and nose never stop growing.

Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.

Grocery stores in France are forbidden by law to throw away the food they haven’t sold. They must donate unused edible food to charities or make sure it gets processed into animal food or composed.

Every year, Americans create around 1/5 of the world’s trash.

Travelling decreases the risk of heart attack and depression and supports brain health.

Norway has a town called “Hell”. It freezes over quite regularly.

The average person spends only 10 minutes a day speaking.

An average raindrop falls at the speed of roughly 7 miles an hour.

The sunlight you see is about 8.5 minutes old – that’s how long it takes for light to travel to Earth from the Sun.

If you spend 10 minutes every work day pooping, you get paid 43 paid hours every year just for pooping.

Contestants that are kicked off Gordon Ramsey’s shows are given psychological evaluations  to make sure they won’t hurt themselves or others as a result of their participation.

Fingers prune in water to give you a better grip.

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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7 Adorable Ideas for Thanksgiving

Decorating and hosting Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful…You can still wow your guests with simple, easy touches that A) won’t take a ton of time to make and B) won’t cost you an arm and a turkey leg!

7 Adorable Ideas for Thanksgiving

Fun for a kids table or just those who are young at heart, this Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade centerpiece is honestly the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a while! Make your little town out of cardboard boxes, then decorate with your favorite holiday balloons!

macys-parade

What are you grateful for this year? Make a place for guests to write down their gratitude with this DIY Thanksgiving Embroidery Hoop Wreath. A quick and easy project to make, this is one decoration you can have out every year.

thankful-sign

Create a cozy atmosphere with these Faux Knit Pumpkins. Perfect for decorating the table or using as cute place cards, these little mini pumpkins are a sweet and subtle way to warm up your holiday table.

yarn-pumpkins

And speaking of warming up your table, these DIY Knit Coasters will keep your table safe and protected when you start bringing out those amazing hot dishes. Not only do they look cozy and warm, but they’re a great yarn-buster (and something to do when that damn turkey is defrosting!).

knit-cozies

These Painted and Personalized Corn Husks are also a great way to direct people where to sit at your feast. Use gold spray paint to decorate the corn, then write the names of your guests in gold paint marker.

place-setting

Forget those paper menus…this DIY Menu Pumpkin is a cute and festive way to let your guests know what’s being served at your feast. You could even use chalkboard paint so you can reuse the pumpkin year after year!

menu-pumpkin

Finally, send guests home with a cute box full of yummy leftovers. Use paper and stamps to customize your own Disposable Thanksgiving Containers.

leftovers

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

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Girl, All You Got to Say Is…

no no no

“My name is NO
My sign is NO
My number is NO
You need to let it go
You need to let it go
Need to let it go
Nah to the ah to the no, no, no.”
–Meghan Trainor, “No”

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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12 Days of Christmas Candy

I love making cookies for the holidays, but it’s a ton of work to have your oven on all day every day and batches of cookies all over your house. My fridge is packed with so much butter and eggs that I don’t even have room for ACTUAL food to live on 😉

I’ve been trying to cut back on the cookies in recent years, so I like to off-set and fill in my cookie baskets with some homemade candies. Candies often take less than an hour to make and often require 0 baking time. They’re great for bringing into the office, as one batch usually makes a ton of servings…and they’re great for gifting, as they can stay out at room temperature and be packaged without the fear of ruining any decorations.

If you’re looking for some quick and easy treats to make this holiday season, look no further than these 12 holiday candy recipes. From peanut buttery buckeyes to candy-coated popcorn, these sweets are sure to get your friends and family in the holiday spirit!

12 Days of Christmas Candy

12-days-of-christmas-candy

  1. Homemade Gum Drops
  2. Salted Nut Roll
  3. Marshmallow Bon-Bons
  4. Buckeye Balls
  5. White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge
  6. Homemade Peanut Brittle
  7. Chocolate Orange Party Mix
  8. Vegan Candy Pecans
  9. Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn Crunch
  10. Easy Homemade Almond Joy Bars
  11. Turtle Pretzel Clusters
  12. Chocolate Peanut Candy Bars

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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