9 Cool Crochet Bags and Purses

If you get bored of crochet projects or love a classic one-skein wonder or stashbuster, than crochet bags are for you.

Often easy to work up in a couple hours or less, crochet bags make shopping at stores and farmer’s markets so much easier.  Clear out your stash by making bags in various colors or just practice the basics with these simple crochet bags for “hookers” of all skill levels!

crochet bags and purses

Grey and White Winter Clutch

Granny Square Bag

Teddy Bear Coin Purse

Tapestry Bag

Fox Bag

Pineapple Bag

Pizza, Watermelon, and Candy Corn Bags

Farmer’s Market Bags

Slushee Bags

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

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Wishing Too Much

wishbone-backbone

“You’re wishin’ too much, baby.  You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”
–Elizabeth Gilbert

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 Amazing Cherry Recipes

I love cherries.  I find them ‘cherry’ delicious…they’re really the ‘cherry on top’ of every dessert…not getting cherries year round is really the pits…in fact, I consider cherries ‘mon cherri’ of summer baking…

OK, I’m done.

Cherries really are a delicious fruit and can add sweetness to both savory dishes and desserts.  Now in the peak of their season, cherries are great for summer cooking and baking…or just snacking on during a backyard BBQ or picnic.

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If you’re looking for fun and clever ways to use cherries in your food this summer, here are 12 Amazing Cherry Recipes that are sure to please!

12 Amazing Cherry Recipes

Cherry Almond Oatmeal

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Cherry and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Fresh Cherry Cobbler

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Cherry Frangipane Tart

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Cherry Chocolate Shortcake

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Quinoa Cherry and Goat Cheese Salad

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Grilled Tofu with Cherry Salsa

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Cherry and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Cherry Curd Cookie Tarts

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Fresh Cherry Salsa with Goat Cheese

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Duck and Cherry Hamburger

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Cherry Bruschetta

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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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21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

Sometimes we just need a good, healthy ugly cry.

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Sure, you can listen to Tom Waits or Taylor Swift and cry one out…or pop in The Family Stone or Titanic if you’re feeling blue…but for us bookworms, the list of books practically guaranteed to stimulate an ugly cry is often too long to even consider…

The thing about books is that you spend SO MUCH TIME with these characters.  A sad movie is over and done in a couple hours…but for some of us, a sad book may take months to complete…so it really is an emotional roller coaster to finish some of these stories!

I love a good ugly cry…and I give big props to books that can bring me to tears.  While some of these were more tear-jerking than others, they are all worthy of a read if you’re feeling like you need to open the floodgates a little bit.

books to read for a good ugly cry

21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

One Day
David Nicholls

A relationship is brought to life over the course of 20 years. Snapshots are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year, and as Dex and Em face fights, laughter, tears, and missed opportunities, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart

A group of friends spends a beautiful summer on a private island, laughing, swimming, as socialites do. But when an accident causes a secret to be released, everything changes. This book is slow to start, but the end made it worth it for me.

My Sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult

What would you do for the people you love? When Anna is forced to sacrifice her health for the safety of her sister, Kate, questions about life and morality are raised. A provocative novel that raises important ethical issues, this story is about the struggle for survival…at all costs.

Night
Elie Wiesel

Perhaps the most brilliant and heart-breaking book in the Holocaust canon of literature, Night should be required reading for every human being. Honest, eye-opening, and terrifying at times, this memoir puts readers right into the middle of the chaos.

Bottomless Belly Button
Dash Shaw

This graphic novel tells the story of a family that comes together for one weekend, only to discover that the reason for the gathering is that mom and dad are getting divorced. A story for the times, this novel is so truthful, raw, and honest.

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

After Susie Salmon is murdered, she tries to help her family solve the mysteries surrounding her death. Told from Susie’s perspective as she watches the aftermath of her murder unfold from Heaven, this story raises interesting questions about the afterlife, and what that means for those who must continue on surviving.

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This timeless tale tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe. Through a collection of extraordinary encounters and discoveries, we learn, along with the Prince, how wonderful and sad life can be.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness

Oh man…if you’re only gonna read one book on this list for the ultimate ugly cry, it should be this one. One of the most truthful and beautiful portrayals of what it’s like to loose a loved one to a sickness, this story will utterly wreck you.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom

After Mitch Albom reconnects with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, at the end of Morrie’s life, a beautiful friendship develops that turns into a collection of final lessons on how to live. You know how this one ends, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

This memoir explores important questions about life as a widow, a wife, and a mom. When author Joan Didion suddenly looses her husband at the dinner table, she embarks on a journey of anger, healing, and understanding that’s all too familiar if you’ve ever lost a loved one.

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

After the human race is basically obliterated after an unsubscribed apocalypse of some kind, a father and his son must fight for survival in a world that is nearly void of life. This is a quick, but powerful read.

Daytripper
Fabio Moon

How would our lives be different if we waited in the longer line in the grocery store? If we really ended up with our soul mate? If we got our dream job? This graphic novel explores the question that forever plagues the human race: what if? Truly inspiring and bittersweet, this book was one I found myself reading again immediately after finishing it the first time.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny story about family, love, loyalty, and hope, this book is beautifully crafted and is a captivating look at all the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Set during WWII, this groundbreaking novel tells the story of a girl, Liesel Meminger, and her love of books. Narrated by Death himself, this story raises interesting questions about why and how we die, using the background of the war to better highlight how all walks of life continue to run from the same enemy.

The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch

After his fatal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, professor Randy Pausch gives his class one last lecture before retiring to spend the rest of his life with his family. This one is a heart-wrencher. Filled with inspiring and motivational quotes, this little book packs a powerful punch.

Love You Forever
Robert Munsch

A short children’s story about a mother and son, this book is probably on the shelf of children all over the US. The deeper message of aging and the circle of life make this book a must for kids (and adults) of all ages.

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates

I’ve realized that this book is on a lot of book lists that I do, but it’s just that good. As we watch a seemingly perfect marriage fall apart at the seams, it becomes clear that relationships are a lot different to those on the inside, and sometimes what we see is NOT what you get.

Red Hook Road
Ayelet Waldman

This one hit me in a very unexpected way. As a newly married couple drives to their reception, they become victims of a deadly car crash. The families awaiting their arrival are left to pick up the pieces, and go from planning a wedding to planning a funeral.  Now they must learn to work together to honor the wishes of the now deceased bride and groom.

Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson

OMG. I’m sure we all read this as pre-teens, yes? The ultimate he/she friendship story, this book tells the tale of Jess and Leslie, two friends who create a magical kingdom together where they reign as king and queen, that is until a tragic accident changes everything. OMG WITH THE TISSUES.

To Dance with the White Dog
Terry Kay

This was the first book that ever made me cry!  When Sam Peek’s wife passes away, his children worry that he won’t be able to take care of himself; however, when a mysterious white dog appears, Sam wonders if it’s the spirit of his wife returning to him.

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck

A beautiful story about friendship, this classic book hits ya right in the gut. Two outsiders work together to find their place in a society that wants nothing to do with them. A story that has birthed a Broadway play and not one, but THREE acclaimed films, this book is great for a good, classic cry.

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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20 Fun Facts about Robert De Niro

Thought to be one of the greatest actors of his generation, Robert De Niro turns 74 today!  Happy birthday, Bobbie!

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Best known for his tough-guy roles, De Niro has a SLEW of movies under his belt, most of which feature him in a leading role.  He has two Academy Awards, seven nominations, and a bunch of other accolades that have helped him skyrocket into stardom.

To help celebrate De Niro’s birthday, here are 20 fun facts about our favorite tough guy!

fun facts about robert de niro

20 Fun Facts about Robert De Niro

Despite his tough-guy persona, Robert De Niro actually comes from an artistic background.  His mother was a painter and poet and his father was an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor.

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De Niro has been nominated five times for an Academy Award and has won twice for The Godfather: Part 2 and Raging Bull.

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De Niro and Marlon Brando are the only two actors to win an Oscar for playing the same character: Vito Corleone.

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De Niro has appeared in more than 90 films, with several more in various stages of production.

For his role in Raging Bull, De Niro put on about 60 pounds by eating loads of ice cream and spaghetti.

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De Niro learned to speak Sicilian for his role in The Godfather: Part 2 and also worked as a taxi driver to prepare for his part in Taxi Driver.

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De Niro performed a lot of his own stunts during the filming of The Deer Hunter.

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The f-bomb is said about 115 times throughout the film, Raging Bull, mostly during improvised scenes.

De Niro is co-owner of a restaurant called “Rubicon”, with director Francis Ford Coppola and the late Robin Williams.  He also owns a restaurant called “Ago” in West Hollywood.

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For his role in Taxi Driver, which earned him an Oscar nomination, De Niro was paid $35,000.  His part in Little Fockers 34 years later earned him $20 million.

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De Niro’s co-star in The Deer Hunter, Christopher Walken, was second choice for the role of Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents.

De Niro has gone on record saying his favorite actress to work with is Meryl Streep.

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De Niro and legendary director Martin Scorsese have collaborated on eight films since 1973 – Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino.

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Originally, the role of Frank Costello in The Departed was supposed to go to De Niro; however, he turned it down.  The part was given to Jack Nicholson instead.

The famous face-off between De Niro and Al Pacino in the restaurant scene in Heat had no rehearsals.  De Niro said the scene should not be rehearsed so the unfamiliarity between the two characters would seem more genuine.

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De Niro has said in interviews that the scene in The Deer Hunter where his character visits his friend in the hospital was the most emotional scene he’s ever done and even broke down in tears while talking about it.

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Jimmy Conway, De Niro’s character in Goodfellas, is based on real-life mobster Jimmy Burke, aka Jimmy the Gent or The Big Irishman.

Supposedly, De Niro was the last person to see John Belushi alive, only a few hours before his death.

The famous, “You talkin’ to me?” scene in Taxi Driver was actually 100% improvised.

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De Niro paid a dentist about $5,000 to have his teeth look bad for his role in Cape Fear.  He later paid $20,000 to have them fixed.

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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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14 Painted Rock Ideas to Liven Up the World

Let’s face facts…sometimes the world sucks.

There’s no avoiding it…there’s no denying it.  But, there might be something you can do to help spread some cheer throughout the year!

Whether you want to brighten up your garden, your neighborhood, or your community, these painted rocks are sure to bring just a little joy into someone’s life.  Scatter them around your home, in your garden, or spread them around your local park or forest preserve.  A little joke can go a long way, and these painted rocks might just be the motivation your friend or neighbor needs to keep on truckin’!

14 Painted Rock Ideas to Liven Up the World

painted rock ideas

  1. Monster Rocks
  2. Weather Rock
  3. Scripted LOVE Rock
  4. Heart Balloons Rock
  5. Not All Who Wander Rock
  6. Inspirational Rocks
  7. Owl Rocks
  8. Rainbow Rocks
  9. Jawa Star Wars Rocks
  10. Cactus Rocks
  11. Minions Rocks
  12. Potted Rocks
  13. Garden Rocks
  14. Gold Rocks

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

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The True Dreamers

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“I address you all tonight for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, magicians…you are the true dreamers.”
–Brian Selznick

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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