Monthly Archives: July 2016

33 Books that are Worth Re-Reading

Let’s face it…you have a shelf of books in your living room of stuff you read in middle school and high school and then never read again. I know, I do, too. And I’m betting sprinkled throughout that shelf are books you were SUPPOSED to read in middle school and high school but just never did…again, guilty of that, too. But now that you’re older and wiser, some of those books might be worth revisiting. And who knows, you might actually find yourself liking them!

When I graduated from college, I embarked on a journey to go back and read these once assigned materials and actually take the time to let them sink in. Some I found myself loving, despite hating it years ago (Macbeth and Dark Princess), while others I just still hated (sorry Moby Dick fans!). And there were some I loved reading in school and found a new appreciation for later on in life (Persuasion, The Alchemist, and The Phantom Tollbooth).

If you’re looking to expand your reading list this summer, this is a great place to get started. Filled with short, enjoyable reads (and some doozies), this list had me falling in love with literature all over again.

So, as my mom would say, put on those big girl pants and admit defeat…your teachers had it right. These are the books that will stick with you and will continue offering life lessons each and every time you jump in.

 33 Books that are Worth Re-Reading


  1. The Diary of a Young Girl
  2. The Golden Ass
  3. Dark Princess
  4. Fahrenheit 451
  5. The Phantom Tollbooth
  6. Macbeth
  7. The Giver
  8. The Catcher in the Rye
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  10. The Lorax
  11. Frankenstein
  12. The Missing Piece
  13. Doctor Faustus
  14. The Great Gatsby
  15. Where the Wild Things Are
  16. Night
  17. The Alchemist
  18. Where the Sidewalk Ends
  19. The Golden Compass
  20. Anne of Green Gables
  21. Revolutionary Road
  22. Beloved
  23. Hamlet
  24. Everything that Rises Must Converge
  25. Persuasion
  26. To Kill a Mockingbird
  27. As I Lay Dying
  28. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  29. Watership Down
  30. Animal Farm
  31. A Separate Peace
  32. Pride and Prejudice
  33. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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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7 of the Best Breweries in the Midwest

Besides sports and snow, the Midwest is king in beer. With new breweries popping up every day, the Midwest has claim on some of the best beers in the nation. As a brewer’s wife, I have had my fair share of hoppy, malty, delicious beverages, and I’ve gathered for you a few of my favorite must-see breweries.


The great thing about the breweries listed here is that they all can and distribute, and you should be able to find most of these at your local liquor store…but nothing quite beats getting a fresh beer at the tap room!

You could easily hit up all of these on an epic beer-cation (we did 3 Floyds, Founders, New Glarus, and New Holland in one trip), or make a short weekend of it and visit a couple breweries in a given region. Ale Asylum and New Glarus are somewhat close to each other, as are Revolution and Half Acre. Founders and New Holland are a short drive from each other and 3 Floyds is easily reached in a few hours from Chicago.

And if you decide to travel to any of these breweries, do yourself a favor and take a tour! The New Glarus Hard Hat Tour is well worth the $30…and the tour at Revolution will excite beer nerds of all kinds. Most also offer food, so gather up your friends, jump in the car, and enjoy a beautiful summer day at one of these fine Midwest brewpubs!


Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI
Popular Brews: All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Founders also offers a dinner series, beer tastings, and classes in beer making and evaluating.
Food Served: Yes.

If you’re making a trip out to the Founders Brewery, do yourself a favor and go on a guided tour. See how the beer is made, packaged, and promoted in their amazing state-of-the-art facility. There’s also stunning artwork that decorates their workspace, including beer bottle chandeliers and living wall art made of hops. After your tour, stop into the Founders taproom (it’s beautiful!) and have a snack and a tasty libation.


Revolution Brewing, Chicago, IL
Popular Brews: Anti-Hero IPA, Eugene Porter, Bottom Up Wit, A Little Crazy
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. You can also organize private tours for groups up to 30 people.
Food Served: Yes.

A Chicago favorite, Revolution Brewing is a popular hang out for locals. A huge taproom make this a great place for parties and gatherings, and beer is almost on a constant rotation so there’s new stuff quite often. It was also the filming location for the 2013 movie, Drinking Buddies. With several award-winning brews and an awesome location to boot, Revolution Brewing is a must-see brewery for hop heads.


New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, WI
Popular Brews: Spotted Cow, Moon Man, Serendipity, Fat Squirrel, Totally Naked
Tours: New Glarus offers free self-guided tours during operation hours. For the real deal though, sign up for the Hard Hat Tour, a near 3-hour behind-the-scenes tour of this amazing world-class brewery. The Hard Hat Tour fills up fast though, since it’s only offered on Fridays…so plan ahead. If you can get tickets, believe me, it’s well worth it!
Food Served: No. But you can take your beer out to the hop garden and enjoy a lovely view of New Glarus.

I have been to this brewery several times and it still amazes me every time we visit. Besides the fact that the beer is probably some of the best in the country, the brewery itself looks like it was dropped into Wisconsin straight out of Germany. With lovely scenic views and a facility that is sure to impress, a visit to New Glarus Brewing is well worth the trip this summer!


3 Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN
Popular Brews: Zombie Dust, Alpha King, Gumballhead, Robert the Bruce
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered on Saturdays.
Food Served: Yes. (and it’s AMAZING!)

A true treasure in Munster, 3 Floyds is, in a word, eclectic. Their brewpub is tiny and they don’t accept reservations, so plan ahead if you’re on a tight schedule. However, their food is some of the best I’ve had in a while and well worth the wait. If you need to grab and go, you can visit the Beer To Go station and grab your favorite brews that may be hard to find at liquor stores. 3 Floyds also hosts the infamous Dark Lord Day, a one-day festival that is the golden ticket for many beer enthusiasts.


Half Acre Beer, Chicago, IL
Popular Brews: Daisy Cutter, Gone Away IPA, Space (taproom only)
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered every Saturday. A small fee gets you in the tour, three beer samples, and a pint glass.
Food Served: Yes.

With two facilities in Chicago, Half Acre is quickly expanding and growing into a popular location for beer fans. A recent decision to offer food at the brewery has helped increase foot traffic, especially in the summer months. Not unlike other breweries, Half Acre also offers beers you can only get at the taproom, including Space, one of the best IPA’s I’ve ever had.


Ale Asylum, Madison, WI
Popular Brews: Hopalicious, Bedlam!, Ambergeddon, Madtown Nutbrown
Tours: Brewery Tours are offered every Sunday. Includes a special sampling and a free pint of your choice.
Food Served: Yes.

One of many breweries in Madison, Ale Asylum is a favorite for hop heads and chips and salsa fans. Strong and bold IPA’s and tasty late-night snacks make this a favorite hang out for visitors and locals alike. When you’re done there, head on down the street to Karben4 Brewing, another great brew pub pumping out tasty Wisconsin brews.


New Holland Brewing, Holland, MI
Popular Brews: Dragon’s Milk, the Hatter series
Tours: Joint tours of the brewery and distillery are offered every Saturday.
Food Served: Yes.

A nice brewpub in a sweet little town, New Holland Brewing offers good drinks and good food. Located in the sweet and quaint town of Holland, MI, this large-scale brewery produces beers that are big in flavor. With seasonal offerings and beers to appeal to more refined tastes (session beers, high gravity beers, barrel aged, and funky and sour beers, for example), this brewpub aims to challenge the pallet and present new and unique flavors on an ever-growing beer list.

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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3 Fandom-tastic Geeky Crafts

This post is dedicated to all my fellow nerds and geeks out there…today is EMBRACE YOUR GEEKNESS DAY! Whether it’s video games, movies, books, TV shows, or comics that get your juices flowing, today is the perfect day to embrace whatever it is that satisfies your geeky desires.

Today I’m embracing a few of my TV obsessions: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad. Below are some fun crafty ways for you to celebrate your devotion to any or all of these shows. Subtle yet recognizable, these projects will help you show off your love for these iconic TV programs.


The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Inspired Necklace

I really don’t think there’s a TWD fan out there that doesn’t love Daryl Dixon. Armed with amazing hunting and tracking skills, a killer bow and arrow (that you can totally buy at Wal-Mart!), and rugged sexy good looks, Daryl is the guy you want on your side should the zombie apocalypse ever happen. Modeled after Daryl’s winged jacket and showcasing an arrow with a little bead of blood, this Daryl Dixon Inspired Necklace is a moderate and fun way to show your true love for this bike-riding man’s man.


Cut your chain to size and attach your jump ring and metal clasp. String two wing charms on your chain, making sure the feathers on both sides face outwards. In the middle of the wings, use a jump ring to attach the arrow and red bead to the necklace. To make my wings stand out straight, I actually used E6000 glue to attach the two wings together on the back of the charms. This prevents them from moving around and flipping over when I wear my necklace.


Game of Thrones: Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragon Eggs

Though these eggs won’t hatch into ginormous dragons, they will look awesome on your bookshelf next to your Game of Thrones box set! Made using small wooden eggs and clay, Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragon Eggs are sure to bring you a feeling of power and strength.


I used three wooden eggs to create these dragon eggs. You can find these eggs at almost any craft store in the woodcrafting section. Warm green, white, or brown clay in your hands until soft and pliable. I used about ½ a package for each egg. Roll out small pieces to about 1/8 in. thickness and cut out several tear-shaped pieces. I used the tear shape from this mini metal cutter set. The clay won’t adhere to the wood, so I used E6000 to attach the clay to the wooden eggs. A very small amount will do here. Start at the bottom of the egg and work your way to the top, staggering rows as you go and making sure the points all face down. Once you’ve completed all your eggs, bake at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t hatch dragons!! Let cool completely before handling.


Breaking Bad: Breaking Bad Logo Ornament

So I’ve admittedly watched a lot of TV in my day, but few shows can compare to Breaking Bad. Led by loveable goof balls Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, the cast of Breaking Bad is really what makes this show so fantastic. If you’re in the slim percent of people who haven’t watched this show, it’s definitely worth a binge this summer.


For the square felt pieces, I printed out a 3 in. x 3 in. template (you’ll need four 3 in. boxes total). I also printed out the letters (B, a, B, r) and created templates out of those as well (letters were Arial font, bold; size 150 font). Attach your square templates to green felt and your letter templates to white felt and cut out all your pieces. Hand sew 3 sides of your square template, leaving one side open. Remove template and turn right side out. Glue letters to piece and hand stitch numbers in upper right corner. Stuff lightly and sew square closed. Repeat for other square. Use a needle and thread to attach a string to the tops of both squares, measuring your string so the squares overlap when hung, about 6 in.

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

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Putting the Pieces Back Together


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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Blueberry Muffin Cake

Crispy topping, large plump blueberries, and soft n’ moist n’ fluffy sponge…all the magical ingredients that make blueberry muffins so delicious. But sometimes, one blueberry muffin just isn’t enough…sometimes you just have to take your love of muffins to the next level and craft the most delicious and tasty Blueberry Muffin Cake.

Topped with vanilla glaze, this light and fluffy Blueberry Muffin Cake recipe is one you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again. The streusel topping of this cake adds the perfect amount of sweetness and texture. Serve it as breakfast or dessert…or breakfast dessert!


Blueberry Muffin Cake



  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature


  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (reserved) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries


  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon milk



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray 9 in. round pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine crumb ingredients. Use pastry cutter to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Add egg. Alternate mixing in flour (reserve that 1 tablespoon for later) and milk, finishing with milk. Add baking powder and salt. Mix until mostly smooth.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon reserved flour over blueberries and toss to coat. This will help keep berries suspended in the cake. Fold berries into cake batter.
  6. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top evenly with crumb topping.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Carefully remove and let cool completely on cooling grid.
  9. Once cooled, mix ingredients for glaze. Drizzle on top of cake.

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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10 of My Favorite Audiobooks

Whether you’re driving, flying, running, walking, biking, or hiking, listening to an audiobook is a great way to help pass the time. As a commuter by choice and for pleasure, I greatly enjoy listening to audiobooks, and I’ve gathered a few of my fave’s here below.

Most of these are great for shorter trips and are easy to digest and understand (maybe safe A Song of Ice and Fire for those longer vacations). Read by actors, authors, and other celebrities, these 10 audiobooks hold a special place on my digital shelf of books I find myself returning to again and again.




The Harry Potter series
Written By:
J.K. Rowling
Read By: Jim Dale
Why I Love It: In a word, Jim Dale’s voice is magical. It’s even easier to get lost in the magical world of Harry Potter when you’re listening to Dale read to you. Character voices and an attention to inflection make this one of the most enjoyable audiobook series ever.


Choose Your Own Autobiography
Written By:
Neil Patrick Harris
Read By: Neil Patrick Harris
Why I Love It: It’s simply ADORKABLE. With his genuine wit and good humor, NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography is a fun romp through the life of this multi-talented entertainer. Best of all, it’s interactive! To be honest though, the book is totally worth reading, too…as it also includes fun drawings and photos you obviously miss on the audiobook.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Written By:
Douglas Adams
Read By: Stephen Fry
Why I Love It: A weird and wacky tale to begin with, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is made all the more fantastic with Stephen Fry behind it. With laugh-out-loud humor, Fry brings this intergalactic story to life…and his interpretation of Marvin is simply glorious.


A Song of Ice and Fire series
Written By:
George R. R. Martin
Read By: Roy Dotrice
Why I Love It: I have to say, I don’t think I would enjoy the A Song of Ice and Fire series if I wasn’t listening to it on CD. Told with amazing attention to detail and character, Roy Dotrice continues to astound me with his reading of George R. R. Martin’s series. Dotrice actually earned a place in the Guinness World Records in 2004 for the highest number of character voices by a single actor (he voiced 224 unique characters in A Game of Thrones alone!).


World War Z
Written By:
Max Brooks
Read By: Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, John Turturro, Max Brooks, Nathan Fillion, Rob Reiner, Frank Darabont, Carl Reiner, and many more
Why I Love It: Wow. This was a unique experience. Told by an entire cast of characters, only a handful of which are listed above, World War Z is one of the best zombie novels of its genre. Told from the perspective of several people all over the world, each of which are experiencing a different part of this apocalyptic world, World War Z is a must-listen for fans of zombie lore.


The Cuckoo’s Calling
Written By:
Robert Galbraith
Read By: Robert Glenister
Why I Love It: I have to admit, it took me a while to really get into The Cuckoo’s Calling, but it was Robert Glenister’s voice that kept me tuning in day after day. Written by Robert Galbraith (a pen name for Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling), this mystery thriller does take a while to hook you in, but Glenister’s voice will sooth you through to the end.


The Hunger Games series
Written By:
Suzanne Collins
Read By: Suzanne Collins
Why I Love It: While she’s no Roy Dotrice or Tina Fey, author Suzanne Collins still does a great job in bringing The Hunger Games story and its characters to life. Great for road trips and short flights, this audio series is easy to follow and enjoyable for boys and girls of all ages.


A Walk in the Woods
Written By:
Bill Bryson
Read By: Bill Bryson
Why I Love It: If you’ve never read or listened to A Walk in the Woods, I suggest you do so immediately. Known as one of the best travel writers of today, Bill Bryson’s account of his journey into the Appalachian wilderness is perfect for a long family road trip. Told with brutal honesty and humor that any traveler can relate to, A Walk in the Woods is an easy audiobook that listeners of all ages are sure to love.


Written By:
Tina Fey
Read By: Tina Fey
Why I Love It: I mean, doesn’t Tina Fey say it all? Told with the same wit and wisdom we’ve come to know and love, Fey’s account of Bossypants is the perfect way to indulge in this wonderful book. From her start in Chicago (represent!!) to her successful runs on SNL and 30 Rock, Fey shares all the tips and tricks she’s learned along the way to becoming a strong, powerful, and sexy-ass lady of laughs.


Written By:
Toni Morrison
Read By: Toni Morrison
Why I Love It: You thought her prose was smooth and silky? That’s nothing compared to her voice. The heartbreaking story of Beloved is made all the more enticing by the sultry voice of Toni Morrison. This beautiful novel is read at a slower pace, allowing the words of Morrison’s tragic and beautiful story to soak deep into our skin. Take the time to enjoy this one, guys. Listening to Morrison read this novel is truly an amazing experience.

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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The Sandlot Kids…Where Are They Now?

I know this is shameful and I fully respect the fact that I might loose some readers after this…but up until about one month ago, I had never seen The Sandlot. I know, I know. It was up there with other gems like Back to the Future, Sixteen Candles, Aliens, The Karate Kid, The Goonies, Die Hard and others that I missed during my childhood. Too many Leo movies to watch, guys!

But now I can add The Sandlot to my list of movies I’ve seen, and not only that, my list of movies I love! What a gem! I mean, nothing gets me like a baseball movie (A League of Their Own, am I right?!), but this flick was just adorable.

The Sandlot actually had a 20th anniversary celebration not too long ago and provided an update on how the cast is doing (spoiler alert, not too awesome). If you want to relish in those glory days and not even think about where the cast is now, stop reading! If you’re curious if Bertram survived the 60s or if Benny made it as an all-star baseball player, I present to you…



Mike Vitar, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez
After Benny pickled The Beast, his reputation spread all over town. From then on, he was known as Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez. And the nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.27.44 AM

After his role as Benny in The Sandlot, Vitar went on to also star in D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks. He retired from acting after 1997 and, since 2002, has been a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Most recently Vitar and two other firemen were involved in a physical altercation with another man on Halloween 2015. He was booked on December 3 for the incident and was later released on bail. He now faces up to four years in prison for his role in the argument.


Patrick Renna, Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter
“Hamilton Porter became a professional wrestler. You know him as The Great Hambino.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.27.23 AM

Loveable ‘Ham’ Porter has gone on to do several movies and TV shows since The Sandlot. His most recent movie, Fear, Inc., came out in April of this year. Renna also does voiceover work on occasion. Renna also occasionally hangs out with fellow Sandlot cast mate, Chauncey Leopardi.


Marty York, Alan ‘Yeah-Yeah’ McClennan
“Yeah-Yeah’s parents shipped him off to military school. After the army, he became one of the pioneering developers of bungee jumping.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.26.54 AM

After making some appearances in Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World, York took a break from acting until 2011, when he starred in the indie comedy, The Brothers Sinclair. York was arrested in 2009 for domestic assault and reportedly used his MySpace page to raises funds for his legal defense. He was also presumed dead when a housekeeper found his body in a hotel room in Las Vegas (not dead, just extremely hungover).


Tom Guiry, Scotty Smalls
Becomes a professional baseball announcer (and movie narrator) and remains lifelong friends with Benny.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.25.56 AM

After The Sandlot, Guiry continued acting in movies and TV, starring in Lassie, U-571, Black Hawk Down, Mystic River, Strangers with Candy, and many more. He was also arrested in 2013 for allegedly head-butting a police officer after he was told he was too drunk to board a flight. You’re killin’ me, Smalls!


Chauncey Leopardi, Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous
“Squints grew up and married Wendy Peffercorn. They have nine kids. They bought Vincent’s Drugstore and they still own it to this day.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.29.05 AM

Leopardi made small appearances in several popular TV shows, including Boy Meets World, Freaks and Geeks, and Gilmore Girls. He took a break from acting, then made his return to the big screen in the 2013 movie, Coldwater. He maintains an active presence on Twitter under the name of his beloved Sandlot character.


Brandon Adams, Kenny DeNunez
“DeNunez played triple-A ball, but he never got to the majors. He owns is own business now, and he coaches a little league team that his sons play on called the Heaters.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.28.46 AM

Adams has also starred in his fair share of movies and TV after The Sandlot. A musician as well as an actor, Adams also raps, performing under the name B. Lee. Like most childhood actors, he took a large break from the biz so he could focus on living his life. Still popping up here and there on the big and small screen, Adams continues to perform to this day.


Shane Obedzinski, Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons
“Timmy and Tommy became an architect and a contractor. They started out small, designing playground equipment and prefabricated tree houses. But they became multimillionaires when they invented mini malls.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.28.06 AM

Obedzinski (Tommy) didn’t do much acting after The Sandlot. After high school, he has joined forces with a man by the name of Charlie Jonathan to open a series of pizzerias and restaurants across the country. Between the two of them, they have now opened more than 30 different restaurants.


Victor DiMattia, Timmy Timmons

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.29.21 AM


Like his fictional brother, DiMattia (Timmy) also disappeared from the small and big screens after The Sandlot. He did a few TV shows and does some voiceover work now, but for the most part has stayed out of the spotlight.


Grant Gelt, Bertram Grover Weeks
“Bertram got really into the ‘60s, and no one ever saw him again.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.28.26 AM

Gelt also continued acting a little after filming The Sandlot, but currently works at New Sound Artist Management where he manages rock bands. System of a Down, Deftones, and Mudvayne are some of the bands he works with. As a child of the 60s, Bertram would be proud.

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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DIY Matching Fishing Game

If your summer is anything like mine, you’re gearing up for a few months full of baby showers and birthday parties. It seems like spring has sprung and almost everyone in my circle is settling down and starting families of their own.

And, as a child of the 80s and 90s, I feel like I was very spoiled in terms of sheer toy awesomeness. The toys of my nostalgic years just don’t match up to the toys of today…and I just can’t see spending all this money on a toy that was built to last no more than 2 months.


SO, I’ve resulted to creating handmade toys. Yup, that’s right…making fun play things by hand. Crocheted amigurumi characters, sewn stuffed toys, and fun games for kids are on my to-do list as I craft up some fun gifts for family and friends for these upcoming celebrations and holidays (CHRISTMAS IS COMING).

To start, I’ve been working on this cute matching fish game, reminiscent of the 90s board game “Let’s Go Fishin’”.


While these fish won’t move around and chomp on your line, they will look beautiful lying on your floor! 😉  Great for teaching kids how to match colors, patterns, or words, this fishing game is both fun and educational for young minds…best of all, it’s super easy to make!

Matching Fishing Game


  • Fabric (I used a charm pack)
  • Fish Template (find one online or draw by hand)
  • Scissors
  • Fabric pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Stuffing
  • Needle and thread
  • Yarn
  • Wooden Pole
  • Bendable Wire (I used flower wire)


  1. Using your template, cut out as many fish as you’d like. Since you’ll be sewing two sides together, make sure you have the fabric positioned correctly to give you two uniform fish (outsides facing in).
  2. Sew the fish together, leaving a small hole for stuffing.  I found it helpful to leave the hole on the bottom of the fish.  Turn your fish rights side out. Stuff your fish lightly and then continue sewing it closed by hand.
    HELPFUL TIP:  To stuff the tail, I used the arm of my sunglasses to shove the stuffing into the tail.  Worked perfectly!
  3. Using needle and yarn, sew a small loop on front of fish.  You can also use hot glue to attach numbers, words, or patterns to your fish…use your imagination!
  4. To create your pole, wrap yarn around one end of your wooden pole. Use glue to secure, if necessary. On other end, attach folded wire. This is what your kid will use to “hook” onto the loops on the front of the fish.
    Here’s a close-up of the hook.  I just wrapped the yarn around the wire, then folded the wire up to secure the yarn.
  5. And there you have it! This is a super easy and fun project and it makes a great gift idea for growing young minds.

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 Only Thing Standing Between You and Your Goal


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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9 Clever Ways to Keep Your Food Cold in the Summer


If you’re a citizen of ‘MURICA, chances are you’re donning your red, white, and blue attire and heading to your local firework display or BBQ cookout, picnic basket in hand. And if you’re traveling with fruit, deli salads, meats, cheeses, desserts, or the like, you’re probably wondering how to keep your food cold, despite boiling July temperatures. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re just trying to keep your edibles cold in transit or you need them cold for outdoor entertaining, these picnic and entertaining hacks will help you keep your cool and refreshing treats, well, cool and refreshing.

Summertime Hacks!
How to Keep Your Food Cold


Place bottles of water in the freezer and use them to keep food cold when traveling. If frozen at least a week in advance, the bottles could stay frozen for up to a day, much more economical than that gas station ice that lasts about 2 seconds.

Keep drinks cold by placing them in a mixture of water and ice. Using just ice won’t distribute the cold as evenly as water will, so placing your drinks in an ice bath will keep them colder longer.

Full coolers tend to stay cold longer, so if your cooler has empty space, fill it with ice.

If traveling by car, keep your food/cooler in the passenger area. The temperature is usually cooler inside the car than it is in the trunk.

Create an ice bowl by putting a medium-sized bowl inside a larger bowl, then fill the larger bowl with water and freeze. Serve your salad or fruit in the insulated bowls.

If possible, freeze part of your dish. If you’re serving a fruit salad, mix in frozen blueberries before you head out the door. They should defrost in about 30 minutes.

Fill small water balloons with water and pop them in the freezer. Use them around your food to keep your table cold and decorative!
Side note, add some food coloring to the water before you freeze it. Peel the balloon off the frozen water for an amazing winter (or summer) decoration.

If you’re traveling a long distance, consider waiting to assemble your dish until you arrive at your destination. Mayonnaise, for example, can be kept at room temperature until the container is opened. It might also allow for easier travel if you don’t have to worry about your bowl tipping over. Just cut and package everything and assemble when ready.

Like your fridge, a cooler will stay colder if the lid stays closed. Avoid opening and closing the lid of your food cooler by keeping drinks and food in separate coolers, if possible.

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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