Monthly Archives: December 2016

Born Standing Up Book Review

This year I had the absolute joy of seeing three of my favorite standup comedians on stage.  The adventure started in Milwaukee to go see one of the best, Brian Regan.  From there, it was down to Chicago to catch Louie CK (a bucket list item crossed off!), then finally up to Madison to chill with Bill Burr.  It was a great lineup of amazing talent…and I loved each performance for different reasons.

Though I don’t have experience in standup comedy, I do have experience in writing…and I know how challenging comedy writing can be…ESPECIALLY standup.  It takes a special person to take on that task, and it’s become quite clear to me overtime that, while all standup entertainers may technically be “comedians”, not all comedians can do standup.  It’s a skill, a talent, that only few and far between can do and do well.

And before all the great comedians of today, there was a little twirpy dude who put on some bunny ears, hopped up on stage and hoped for the best.  Little did he know that he would soon become the biggest concert draw in the history of standup comedy.

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Filled with hilarious stories of failures and successes and told in the unique voice of the author himself, Born Standing Up is an eye-opening autobiography from famed entertainer, Steve Martin.  Though most people today may know him as a banjo player/movie star/author, Steve Martin actually got his start doing standup shows…and Born Standing Up is an intimate look at why he decided to do standup, then walk away forever.

Steve Martin has quite the resume.  His “professional” life started at age 10 when he worked selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland theme park.  A decade later, he worked the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm where he got his taste for magic and comedy.

Throughout the rest of his years, Martin worked to fine-tune his skills, highlighting in his book the sacrifices, discipline and originality that helped make him an icon.  By the early 70’s, Martin was the biggest concert draw in the history of standup and enjoyed massive success during his run on Saturday Night Live.

But, as we all know, heavy is the head that wears the crown…and as most talented performers will tell you, it’s quite lonely at the top.  In 1981 Martin made the choice to quit standup forever…and as a true and gifted writer, explains his story and his reasonings with elegant prose and lovely language.

A superb testament to the sheer tenacity, concentration and focus it takes to be one of the greats, Born Standing Up helps peel back the layers to this multi-talented performer and shows the world, with great gusto, one wild and crazy guy.

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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23 Fun Facts about White Christmas

I don’t know about you, but it’s just not the holiday season unless I’ve watched White Christmas at least 10 times.  I’m not even kidding.  I’m OBSESSED with this movie.  Amazing music, a fantastic cast, and DROP DEAD GORGEOUS COSTUMES make this an anticipated classic year after year.

White Christmas was released in 1954, following the success of the film, Holiday Inn, released about 12 years before.  Both staring Bing Crosby and featuring the song, “White Christmas”, these movies were a welcome relief from a world broken by war and violence.  White Christmas was actually the most successful movie in 1954, bringing in millions of dollars and securing “White Christmas” as a beloved song by kids and adults of all ages.

Starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Danny Kaye, White Christmas tells the story of two pairs of entertainers and their quest to bring a little holiday magic to a small town in Vermont.  A sweet and heartwarming film that will tug at your heartstrings, White Christmas always brings me to tears with its sweet and simple message of hope and good cheer.

So pour yourself  a nice cup of milk and whip up a liverwurst sandwich…because here are 23 Fun Facts about White Christmas!

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Rosemary Clooney has revealed that she only accepted the role in White Christmas so she could perform with Bing Crosby.
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White Christmas is the third of three films to feature Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”.  The other two movies are Holiday Inn and Blue Skies.
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According to Clooney, the midnight snack scene, in which Bing Crosby expounds on his theory of what foods cause what dreams, was almost entirely improvised.
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The “Sisters” performance done by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye was originally not in the script.  The two were clowning around on set and director Michael Curtiz thought it was so funny that he decided to film it.  The laughs in the scene are genuine and unscripted.
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The photo that Vera-Ellen shows to Bing Crosby and Danny Kay of her brother, Bennie, is actually a photo of Carl Switzer, known for his role as Alfalfa in Our Gang.  Switzer also appeared in It’s a Wonderful Life as the boy who opens up the gym floor during the high school dance scene.
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Both Fred Astaire and Donald O’Connor were in the running to play Phil Davis.  Astaire turned the role down, as he was in temporary retirement, and O’Connor was cast but had to pull out at the last minute due to a horrible fever.  Danny Kaye was cast as a last minute replacement.
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Vera-Ellen’s singing was dubbed by Rosemary Clooney’s friend, Trudy Stevens.
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Both Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen were from Cincinnati, OH.  And though Rosemary played the elder of the sisters, she was actually 7 years younger than Vera-Ellen.
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In Rosemary Clooney’s number, “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me”, she can be seen dancing with George Chakiris.  He would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role 7 years later for his part as Bernardo in West Side Story.
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Although this is a beloved holiday film with fantastic music, there is no official soundtrack.  Decca controlled soundtrack rights for the film, but Rosemary Clooney was under exclusive contract to Columbia and was unable to perform on a competitor’s label.  As a result, both Decca and Columbia each released their own White Christmas album in 1954.  Peggy Lee filled in for Rosemary Clooney’s voice on the Decca album and Rosemary’s own sister, Betty Clooney, sang for Vera-Ellen on the Columbia version.
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White Christmas was the first film to be produced in Paramount’s wide screen process, “VistaVision”.
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Bob Fosse was the uncredited choreographer for White Christmas.
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The Vermont Inn is the remodeled Connecticut Inn set from the earlier holiday film, Holiday Inn.
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That’s not the only connection.  Tunes from Holiday Inn can be heard at various times in White Christmas.  Besides the title song, Bing Crosby plays a part of “Washington’s Birthday” at the beginning of the midnight snack scene and Vera-Ellen dances to a quick version of “Abraham” in the scene with the yellow dress.
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Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, though romantically entwined in the movie, had a 25-year age gap between them, Crosby being 51 and Clooney being 26.  Ironically they both died at the same age of 74.
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At 18 years old, Vera-Ellen became one of the youngest ever Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.  White Christmas does wonders in showing off this girl’s dance moves!  The film also premiered at Radio City.
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The fabulous costumes in White Christmas were designed by fame costume designer, Edith Head.  Head has won 8 Academy Awards for her costumes, including awards for All About Eve, A Place in the Sun, Roman Holiday, The Facts of Life, and many others.
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Yes, Rosemary Clooney is related to actor George Clooney.  Rosemary is George’s aunt.
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White Christmas was the most financially successful movie of 1954, bringing in $12 million, which is about $106 million today.  WOW!

After the final shot wrapped, the actors were told that they needed to redo the final scene, since the King and Queen of Greece were visiting the set and the producer hoped to “give them something to remember”.  The entire scene was “reshot”, but without film in the camera.  Bing Crosby was also not on set, as he had already left to play golf.
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Before the release of the movie, the song “White Christmas” won an Academy Award for Best Song and was a hit single almost every year from 1942 to 1962.  It’s also the best-selling single of ALL TIME.
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The duet that Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing together, “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep”, was nominated for a Best Song Oscar, but lost to “Three Coins in the Fountain”.
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The director of White Christmas, Michael Curtiz, also directed Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Captain Blood, Angels with Dirty Faces, Four Daughters and many more.
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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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How to Make Thick and Chunky Yarn

Tis the season for thick and cozy yarn, but here’s the problem…that warm, thick, chunky blanket yarn can run you about 12 bucks a skein…and not only that, but you get WAY less than you think you do. So, here’s the simple solution – make your own!

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Yes, it does take some time, but with all the Christmas movies you have yet to watch, it can go a lot faster than you think.

For my chunky yarn, I used Lion Brand Homespun Thick and Quick Yarn (Tudor – #315), which was on sale at my local Hobby Lobby.

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Now all you do to turn this thin yarn into thick yarn is you start chaining, and then you keep going until you’re done. Yup, this thick and cozy yarn is just one super long chain!  For reference, here’s the comparison in thickness (chain on the left, yarn on the right):

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I bought four skeins and turned them all into thick yarn…then I think I’m going to braid them together and sew them into a big cozy blanket because – after all –

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You could also use an extra large crochet hook or big knitting needles to make something with your extra thick yarn.

Happy Crocheting!

 

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

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Relationship Goals

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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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5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Cookies

It’s inevitable…whether it’s your co-worker, friend, or crazy aunt, someone is bound to send an email sometime between now and December 19th with the following subject line:

LET’S DO A COOKIE EXCHANGE!

While there are some folks who will jump at this opportunity (me!), there are others who just don’t have the time, patience, money, or skills to bake an insane amount of cookies around the holiday season…but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on the fun!

Let the grocery store do the work for you!  With these five no-fail, insanely easy cookie decorating ideas, you can still have fun decorating and gifting cookies without all the stress that comes with baking!  Simply buy your favorite cookies as your base and add your own special touches at home.

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Whether it’s Nilla Wafers, Oreos, Nutter Butters, or just regular old sugar cookies, these no-bake cookie decorating ideas are just the ticket to a batch of cookies you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.  They’re simple, affordable, and most of all, fun!

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Cookies

Nilla Wafer Cookies
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OREO Polar Bear Cookies
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Polar Bear Cookies

Nutter Butter Snowmen
Brown Eyed Baker Blog

Easy Reindeer Sugar Cookies
One Little Project at a Time Blog
These reindeer sugar cookies are really easy to make and they look ADORABLE! The cookie recipe is so good! Perfectly even cookies, with no chilling required!

Milano Cookie Reindeer
Momerish Blog
Reindeer Cookies

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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15 Christmas Books to Read Out Loud

One of my favorite holiday memories is sitting around the tree and reading stories together around cups of hot cocoa and trays of homemade cookies.  I know, it sounds super cliché, but it’s what we did.  There was nothing like leaving the stresses of work and school behind and getting into comfy pj’s and slippers and listening to my dad read How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Polar Express.  The light of the tree was bright enough to illuminate the pages, and we’d pass the book around and take turns reading the story out loud.

As a proud product of quality parenting, I can tell you this…it is crucial, neigh ESSENTIAL, to take the time to read to your kids.  Whether it’s a quick picture book or a lengthy novel, just taking the time every day or every week to set aside and tell a story is so very important to healthy childhood development, at least, IMHO.  I look back on those moments with my dad and the rest of my family and I cherish them like no other.  Just listening to his voice, the rhythm of his words…I miss those moments dearly…and I greatly look forward to carrying on that tradition with my own family someday.

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When it came to our holiday reading list, the books were quite…shall we say, eclectic.  Sure we’d read the classics, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Snowman, but we’d also read some really strange books, like The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming and The Jolly Christmas Postman.  Since my dad worked at a library, he had hilarious books right at his fingertips…and below are just SOME of the books we’d read together around the holiday season.

If you’re looking to start a reading tradition with your kids, this list is a great place to start.  With books that are great for kids of all ages, this list of 15 Christmas Books to Read Out Loud will get you and your family in the holiday spirit in no time…and this tradition will certainly stick with you and your kids for years to come!

15 Christmas Books to Read Out Loud

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
By:  Dr. Seuss
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A classic favorite around the holidays, How the Grinch Stole Christmas tells the story of a creature called The Grinch who has lived in a cave, hating Christmas, for 53 years.  Watching the town of Whoville celebrate Christmas makes him so angry that he decides to dress up as Santa Claus and “steal” Christmas from the Whos, including all their food, decorations, and gifts.  But when Christmas arrives and the joy of the holiday still abounds in Whoville, the Grinch learns a powerful lesson about the meaning of the holiday.

The Polar Express
By:  Chris Van Allsburg
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Perhaps one of my all-time favorite books, The Polar Express is a treasured story about a little boy who boards a magic train headed for the North Pole.  Together with a handful of other children, he gets a first-hand look at the Big Man himself, and is even gifted a special present by Santa Claus that serves as a special reminder about the magic of the season.  Get out the tissues for this one.

The Snowman
By:  Raymond Briggs
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Another family favorite, The Snowman is actually a wordless book, told entirely with full-color illustrations.  You can gather around and “read” the story together, or designate a special story teller to put words to the images.  After a massive snowfall, a little boy rushes out into the wintery weather to build a snowman.  But later on that night, he learns that his snowman has come to life!  Throughout the night, the boy and his snowman embark on a multitude of adventures together, culminating with a very special trip that will stay in the boy’s memory for the rest of his life.  The Snowman was also made into a movie, which I highly recommend.  Just the music alone is worth a listen.

The Jolly Christmas Postman
By:  Janet Ahlberg
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A fun and brightly illustrated book, The Jolly Christmas Postman contains letters to Santa from a variety of characters, including the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s Men.  But perhaps the best thing about this book is that it’s interactive.  Kids can physically open letters, read postcards, assemble puzzles, and more.  This is a great book for a snow day and a fun way to interact with older kids.

The Nutcracker
By:  E.T.A. Hoffman
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Whether you see the ballet or read the book with the family this year, there’s really nothing quite like experiencing The Nutcracker.  A simple and charming story filled with the magical dreams of children, The Nutcracker is sure to entertain kids of all ages.  If you decide to sit down and read it together, try to find the version with the Maurice Sendak illustrations.  It’s beautiful and terrifying at the same time!

The Little Match Girl
By:  Hans Christian Andersen
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The Little Match Girl is not for the faint of heart.  A book more suited to older kids, The Little Match Girl is a story about a little homeless girl who tries to sell matches on the last day of the year.  She has nothing to protect her from the cold and eventually she takes refuge between the space of two houses.  She ends up using her matches for warmth and what she sees after lighting her matches, well, it’s absolutely beautifully heartbreaking.  A book that teaches kids about appreciation and kindness, The Little Match Girl is one that will stick with them for years to come.

Letters from Father Christmas
By:  J.R.R. Tolkien
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A personal favorite of my dad’s, Letters from Father Christmas comes from the same man who brought us The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Every December, an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for Tolkien’s children.  Inside would be a letter, complete with spidery handwriting and drawings, from Father Christmas himself.  A charming and magical book that will give you new parenting goals, Letters from Father Christmas shows how one father truly did his best to make Christmas the most wonderful time for his family.

The Night Before Christmas
By:  Clement C. Moore
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OK, well this one is just a given.  The Night Before Christmas is a beautiful book that is great for kids of all ages.  Filled with amazing illustrations and readable prose, this traditional Christmas story is one that can be told in less than 30 minutes, so it’s great for bed time and kids who can’t sit still for too long.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
By:  Robert E. Barry
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When Mr. Willowby orders his Christmas tree, he comes to discover that it’s just simply too big!  He orders his butler to trim a little off the top and discard it.  But what happens to that treetop?  Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree follows the tree top from Mr. Willowby’s house through a forest of friendly creatures who all get to share in a bit of Christmas joy.  I actually read this book a couple years ago with my sister and loved it!  It just brought a smile to my face and I just know it will do the same for you!

A Charlie Brown Christmas
By:  Charles M. Schulz
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A book version of the popular TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a cherished family tradition…and it just wouldn’t be Christmas in our house without reading this book at least twice!  A heartwarming tale that talks about the reason for the season, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a sweet and beautiful tale about love, friendship, and what the Christmas spirit truly means.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By:  Francis Pharcellus Churchyes-virginia_book

In 1897, a young girl wrote to The New York Sun asking whether Santa Claus truly existed.  The paper’s response, written by Francis P. Church, has become a beloved holiday tradition for years.  Another one that almost always brings me to tears, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus is a book every child should read, as well as every parent and parent-to-be.

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
By:  Jan and Mike Berenstain
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A great book for kids who are wrapped up in the gifts, The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving teaches kids a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.  A wonderful addition to the full Berenstain Bears collection, The Joy of Giving is one that will help teach kids that sometimes it’s nicer to give than to receive.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
By:  Eric A. Kimmel
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Like many other kids out there, I grew up in a bi-religious household.  My mom was Jewish and my dad was Catholic, so we got to celebrate the best of both worlds!  And since Hanukkah almost always falls on our around Christmas, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins always made it on our reading list.  When a traveler visits a synagogue that is haunted by Hanukkah goblins, he must use his wit and smarts to beat these goblins at their own game.  A book filled with amazing illustrations, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is one that kids and families of all religions can read together and enjoy.

An Orange for Frankie
By:  Patricia Polacco
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A somewhat true story about the author’s own experiences, An Orange for Frankie tells the story of a little boy named Frankie, who is the youngest boy in his family.  He and his family are overjoyed for Christmas, but when Frankie’s father still remains delayed from his business trip on Christmas Eve, Frankie becomes worried.  His father promised to bring back oranges for the mantelpiece, and it just won’t be Christmas without them…or Pa!  A sweet book that’s close to the author’s heart, An Orange for Frankie teaches an important lesson about giving.

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story
By:  Lemony Snicket
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Hahahaha, I laugh just thinking about this book!  A yummy potato pancake resists his fate of being cooked in oil and runs screaming through the village, spreading a delicious aroma AND a message about a holiday that has nothing to do with Christmas.  A Christmas book about Hanukkah, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming is an extremely clever book brought to you by Lemony Snicket and a great story for families who celebrate one or both of these holidays.

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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18 Fun Facts about Sammy Davis Jr.

If he were alive today, Sammy Davis, Jr. would be 91 years old.  Born December 8, 1925, SDJ was a powerhouse entertainer.  A skilled dancer, singer, performer, and impersonator, SDJ got his start on the vaudeville stage and worked his way up to the stages of Broadway and The Capitol Theatre.

A beloved friend of Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy, and many more influential people of the time, SDJ was a strong advocate for black rights and Jewish rights.  He financially supported the Civil Rights movement and even challenged marriage laws by marrying a white Swedish model during a time when interracial marriage was banned in 31 states.

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As a tried and true Sinatra fan, I’m well aware of SDJ and consider him to be one of the most amazing performers of this century.  I mean, just take a listen to “Candy Man” or “What Kind of Fool Am I?” and try not to have all the feels.

WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I?:

Awarded and nominated for several awards over the course of his career, SDJ held his own in various films, TV shows, and Broadway runs.  He’s won a Tony Award, Grammy Awards, and has been nominated for several others.

Of course, the road to success is paved with potholes.  SDJ’s path to stardom was a bumpy one, and despite his immense popularity and support from big names like Sinatra and Kennedy, he still was a victim of racism and prejudice.

But through it all, SDJ turned to music as his outlet.  He recorded several records over the course of his life and even had a Billboard #1 Hit with the song, “Candy Man”.

CANDY MAN:

A few years ago I read In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. by Wil Haygood and fell even deeper in love with SDJ.  An amazing biography that digs deep into a troubled and complicated life, In Black and White is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about this amazing entertainer.

For those looking for a reader’s digest version, here are a few fun facts about Sammy Davis Jr. and the amazing life he led.

18 Fun Facts about Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. got his start performing on vaudeville stages with his parents.  Both his mom and dad were dancers with the Will Mastin Troupe.  In 1928, when SDJ was only three years old, he joined the Troupe as its youngest member.

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After his parents split up, SDJ went to live with his father.  They continued performing together until SDJ was drafted into the army in 1943.  During his service, he experienced horrendous racial prejudice that his father had previously protected him from.  He was harassed and abused by white soldiers and even suffered a broken nose after a fight with his fellow servicemen.

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After the war, SDJ continued performing with the Will Mastin Trio (previously Troupe).  His career took off in 1947 when he and his Trio opened for Frank Sinatra at the Capitol Theatre in New York.

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On November 19, 1954, SDJ nearly lost his life in an automobile accident in the California desert.  The accident shattered his face and cost him his left eye.  While in the hospital, he spent hours discussing philosophy with a rabbi on staff.  Shortly thereafter, SDJ converted to Judaism.

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Contrary to what some may think, the accident acted as a catalyst in SDJ’s career.  A year after his brush with death, he released two top-selling albums and booked several headlining performances in Las Vegas and New York.  He appeared in several TV shows and films, including Porgy and Bess and The Frank Sinatra Show, and starred in the 1956 Broadway hit, Mr. Wonderful.

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By 1960, SDJ was a star in his own right.  He has a massive following, was a proud member of the legendary Rat Pack (along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop), and was a staple in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles night club scenes.

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Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, SDJ continued making records and was the first artist to be signed on the Reprise label, launched by his life-long friend, Frank Sinatra.

SDJ was nominated for a Record of the Year Grammy for the heartbreaking song, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”, a song which reached the Top 20 of the Billboard pop charts and remains one of his most popular songs to date.

His life stage work continued to shine as well, and in 1964 he received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the musical, Golden Boy.

In terms of social activism, SDJ was a powerhouse.  At the height of his career, SDJ refused to perform at any club that practiced racial segregation, leading to the integration of several venues in Miami Beach and Las Vegas.

He also challenged the bigotry of the era by marrying Swedish actress May Britt at a time when interracial marriages were forbidden by law in 31 states.

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SDJ was a large financial supporter of the Civil Rights movement; however, he had a very complex relationship with the black community, drawing criticism after physically embracing and endorsing President Richard Nixon in 1972.

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During that same year, SDJ finally got his #1 chart hit with the song, “Candy Man”.  He continued to release records and appear in films throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

His career finally took a massive hit in 1989, when doctors discovered a tumor in this throat.  SDJ underwent painful radiation therapy, but eventually succumbed to throat cancer on May 16, 1990, at the age of 64.

A gifted performer and entertainer, SDJ was awarded a prestigious Kennedy Center Medal for Career Achievement in 1987 and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 2001.  His song “What Kind of Fool Am I?” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Throughout the course of his career, SDJ was nominated for three Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards (winning in 1990 for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy for Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th Anniversary Celebration) and won one Tony Award for Best Actor in Golden Boy in 1965.  He was also awarded the NAACP Spingarn Medal Award, the NATAS Special Citation Award, and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1977 for his work in Sammy and Company.

He stared in or appeared in more than 60 films, TV shows, and specials and was in four stage productions on Broadway.

You can also see SDJ’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6254 Hollywood Blvd.

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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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13 Amazing DIY Ugly Sweaters

Tis the season for ugly sweater parties! I don’t know how or why this tradition started, but since it’s caught on, even the high-end department stores have gone to great lengths to create fashionable (and EXPENSIVE) ugly sweaters…but I don’t play by those rulez!

The whole point of ugly sweaters is to make them as tacky as possible…and if you ask me, the only way to really do that is to make them yourself!

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And if you need some creative inspiration, here are a few amazing ugly sweaters made by creative minds just like yours! Just dig through your craft stash and grab your hot glue gun, some feathers, a few pieces of felt and an old sweater and you have the makings to create something truly fantastic!

Maybe Christmas spirit, like this, doesn’t come from a store…
Your Big Collection of Outrageously Ugly DIY Christmas Sweater Ideas - DIY for Life:

Puke up some holiday cheer!
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Well, this is slightly morbid…
Ugly Christmas Sweater

Don’t have a mantel?  BECOME THE MANTEL!
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Want to go in together?  This couple has the right idea!
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Because…why not.
DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters To Try This Holiday Season | University of Illinois News:

This is a dollar store dream come true!
Ugly Sweater Party —:

BE A SNOWGLOBE!
Learn how to make an uncommon DIY ugly Christmas sweater with this Snow Globe DIY Ugly Sweater tutorial. By using a clear plastic bowl, you will give the illusion of a snow globe bursting out of the front of your homemade ugly Christmas sweater.:

This is my kind of Christmas spirit!
UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER MENS BOOZING SNOWMAN LIGHTS MUSIC JINGLE BELLS SONG SZ L #whocares #Crewneck:

I’m pretty sure my 3rd grade teacher owned this sweater 😉
Adorable 2 doves & a Pear in Garland Christmas Tree Ugly Christmas Sweaters Light UP sz L With matching TuTu Tree Skirt w presents Womens by tackyuglychristmas on Etsy:

This one’s sure to get you on the naughty list!
Naughty Ugly Christmas Party Holiday Sweater Mens XL Special Auction | eBay | best stuff:

Really can’t get much uglier than this one…
Image result for ugly sweater

Hahahahahahhahaha I honestly love this.
Image result for ugly sweater

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

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Count Your Blessings

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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 Edible Treats for Gift Giving

Though December is dominated by cookies of all varieties, not everyone is aboard the cookie train (I know, hard to believe!).  Some folks prefer homemade candies, while others love the combination of salty/sweet snacks.  For those who are looking for a little something different, here are 9 Edible Treats for Gift Giving that AREN’T Cookies!

Great for hostess gifts or for giving out along with your cookie plate, these edible candies and treats are an easy and cost-friendly alternative to baking batches and batches of cookies.  I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a die-hard cookie fan and every year my kitchen turns into a butter paradise in December…but I always try to include a little homemade candy arrangement as well.  It’s something different in terms of taste and texture and it’s a quick project to work on while my cookies bake away in the oven.

So if you’re looking for an easy candy recipe or something simple and quick to bring to your work cookie exchange, look no further than these 9 Sweet Treats that are Great for Gift Giving!

edible-treats

Christmas Muddy Buddies
lovetobeinthekitchen.com
holiday-nuddy-buddies

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
tammileetips.com
cinnamon-sugar-prezels

Homemade Turtle Clusters
flavorite.netturtles

Homemade Peanut Brittle
cincyshopper.compeanut-brittle

Vanilla Cinnamon Candied Almonds
thechunkychef.comvanilla-cinnamon-almonds

White Chocolate Tag-a-Lings
lemontreedwelling.comting-a-lings

Reindeer Rice Krispies
thirtyhandmadedays.comreindeer-rice-krispies

Easy Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites
crunchycreamysweet.compretzel-caramel-bites

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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