Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Greatest Ideas


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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30 Classic Recipes You Need in Your Wheelhouse

I think it’s fair to say that everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe or a pancakes recipe tucked away in their recipe binder.  Maybe it was mom’s or grandma’s…or maybe it’s just a recipe from Pinterest that ACTUALLY WORKED.  Regardless of where it came from, having a few classic recipes in your wheelhouse is never a bad idea.

Though I love cookbooks and collecting recipes, I actually really like to be creative in the kitchen.  A dash of something here, a sprinkle there…you never know what just might work!

I know this can be stressful for some folks…but seriously, if you have the staples down pat, you really can have fun adding in different textures and flavors…I mean the worst thing that happens is you just order Chinese, right?

So, as my mother would say, “put on your big girl pants!”.  These classic recipes are great to have in your back pocket in case you find yourself entertaining a crowd or needing to cook up a last-minute meal.

PBS Digital Studios food cooking dinner julia child

30 Classic Recipes You Need in Your Wheelhouse


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chicken Pot Pie

Garlic Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Fried Chicken


Buttermilk Pancakes

Mac n’ Cheese

Chicken Noodle Soup

Potato Salad


French Toast

Roasted Chicken

Mashed Potatoes


Pot Roast


Grilled Salmon

Beef Stew


Grilled Cheese

Basic Vinaigrette



Bloody Mary

Apple Pie

Buttercream Frosting


Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

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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30 Books That Were Made into Oscar-Winning Films

From book to blockbuster, these 30 memoirs and novels were turned into huge award-winning and nominated films.  Why this is by no means a comprehensive list, take a look and see if your favorite book ever got the Hollywood treatment!

30 Books That Were Made into Oscar-Winning Films


12 Years a Slave, based on the memoir, Twelve Years a Slave


Argo, based on the book, Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History


Slumdog Millionaire, based on the novel, Q&A


No Country for Old Men, based on the novel, No Country for Old Men


Million Dollar Baby, based on the collection of short stories, Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner


The English Patient, based on the novel, The English Patient


Forrest Gump, based on the novel, Forrest Gump


Schindler’s List, based on the novel, Schindler’s Ark (later released as Schindler’s List)


The Silence of the Lambs, based on the novel, The Silence of the Lambs


Dances With Wolves, based on the novel, Dances with Wolves


Rain Man, based on the book, The Real Rain Man: Kim Peek


Out of Africa, based on the memoir, Out of Africa


Ordinary People, based on the novel, Ordinary People


Kramer vs. Kramer, based on the novel, Kramer vs. Kramer


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


The Sting, based on the novel, The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man


Oliver! based on the novel, Oliver Twist


The Sound of Music, based on the memoir, The Story of the Trapp Singers


Gone with the Wind, based on the novel, Gone with the Wind


The Godfather, based on the novel, The Godfather


The Blind Side, based on the memoir, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game


Mary Poppins, based on the book, Mary Poppins


Misery, based on the novel, Misery


Room, based on the novel, ROOM


The Revenant, based on the novel, The Revenant


Still Alice, based on the book, Still Alice


Rebecca, based on the book, Rebecca


Brokeback Mountain, based on the short story, Brokeback Mountain


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on the novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


The Help, based on the book, The Help


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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25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

To think that I even have to write about Alan Rickman in the past tense is breaking my heart.  A true gem of a human being and one of the finest actors the stage and screen has ever seen, Alan Rickman was a brilliant and talented performer.  On the day he died, I just sat in my car and cried a long, ugly cry…for what was, what will never be…

Most people today know Alan Rickman from the Harry Potter franchise, but those die-hard (see?  See what I did there??) Rickman fans know he’s been around long before Severus Snape.


A product of the theater, Rickman started acting in various plays in England before moving to America to star in his first Hollywood movie, Die Hard.  His deadpan humor, sultry voice, and Jimmy Stewart-like charm made him a favorite among his fans and colleagues.

I have been a fan of Rickman since I first saw him in Sense and Sensibility (easily one of my favorites!).  I loved his sad and loveable portrayal of one of my favorite Austen men, Colonel Brandon.  After SaS, he blew me away in Snowcake and, of course, there was no better choice for Snape in the Harry Potter films!

An actor who loved what he did because of the true passion of telling a story, Rickman wasn’t in it for the money or the fame…he didn’t care about the show or the awards or the hullabaloo of it all…he just truly, and honestly, loved acting.  He was selective with his roles, picking parts that meant something to him and that challenged him as a performer.  He was often typecast as a villain, which was ironic considering he was a man with a loving and giving heart.

Several of Rickman’s fellow actors and friends, namely Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Daniel Radcliffe, to name just a few, do nothing but sing his praises.  He was a man who loved fully and gave back in any way he could.  He was honest and true and grateful for what he was able to achieve in his short life.

Two days ago would have been Alan Rickman’s 70th birthday.  He had an all-too short acting career that only spanned about 30 years.  He brought some of our most memorable characters to life and he will remain in the hearts of those that loved and respected him…always.

alan rickman



25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

Rickman studied graphic design at The Royal College of Art in London in the late 1960’s.  He opened a studio in SoHo, called Graphiti, where he helped design book jackets, album sleeves, ads, and layouts for magazines.


Rickman rarely, if ever, watched his own performances on screen.

He’s quoted as saying the Australian outback is the most beautiful place he’s ever visited.

Rickman was an avid bird lover.

Before his first motion picture role in Die Hard, Rickman was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in The Tempest and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Image result for alan rickman royal shakespeare company

Rickman earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985.  When the play hit the big screen three years later as Dangerous Liaisons, John Malkovich played the role of Valmont.

Image result for alan rickman Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Rickman dated his teenage sweetheart, Rima Horton, from 1965 until 2012, when they got married in a super-secret ceremony, followed by a lunch date and a walk around New York.

Image result for alan rickman wife

Horton was adamant against having children, though Rickman has stated several times that he would have liked to have had a family.

Rickman’s final job was doing a voiceover for the short film, This Tortoise Could Save a Life, for the Save the Children and Refugee Council.

Mic youtube alan rickman turtle charity

Rickman was also the Honorary President of the International Performers Aid Trust, an organization assisting artists and performers challenged by poverty.

In 1995, Rickman was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History (#34) and was ranked again at #83 in 2007.

alan rickman

Rickman did not start acting until he was almost 30 years old.

For his role as Severus Snape, J.K. Rowling told Rickman the fate of Snape’s character and of his love for Lilly before anyone else in the world knew.

Mashable alan rickman snape

The sexy, languid tone of Rickman’s voice was the result of a speech impediment, caused by not being able to move his jaw properly.

Though several fans believe Rickman deserved at least ONE Oscar nomination, he never got one…and he didn’t care.  “Parts win prizes, not actors,” he said.  Rickman did, however, win a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award, a BAFTA Award and several others throughout his career.

harry my hunt alan rickman love actually alan rickman hunt

Even though he appeared in several plays in his lifetime, Rickman suffered from crippling stage fright.

Rickman was a student at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, the same school attended by fellow Brit, Hugh Grant.

Image result for Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith

Like his character in Bottle Shock, Rickman was a win connoisseur.

celebrities alan rickman bottle shock

Actor Tom Burke is Rickman’s Godson.

Image result for Tom Burke, alan rickman

Though J.K. Rowling has said that she even had Rickman in mind when writing the character of Severus Snape, Warner Brothers preferred Tim Roth for the role and only agreed to cast Rickman after Roth backed out in order to do Planet of the Apes.

Image result for Tim Roth

Rickman and Warwick Davis both starred in the Harry Potter films together (Warwick was Professor Flitwick).  The two also played the part of Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 2005, Davis wearing the suit and Rickman providing the voice.

galaxy guide hitchhikers

His first role as Hans Gruber in Die Hard earned him a spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the “100 Best Villains” (he came in at #46).

alan rickman die hard Hans Gruber

J.K. Rowling wasn’t the only one inspired by Rickman.  Author Angela Pell stated that she wrote the role of Alex Hughes in Snowcake with Rickman in mind.  The character’s name was actually originally Alan, but Rickman convinced her to change it to Alex.

my hunt alan rickman alan rickman hunt snow cake alex hughes

Rickman said that the film Nashville was the one that ultimately changed his life and made him decide to be an actor.

Image result for nashville movie

Rickman and fellow Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe remained very close up until Rickman’s passing.  Rickman would attend all of Radcliffe’s shows in London and New York and kept in touch with his co-star long after his filming on the series ended.

Image result for alan rickman, daniel radcliffe

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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2017 Printable Oscar Ballot

Well, award season is finally here!  The Oscars air on ABC this Sunday, February 26th…and I can’t wait!

Hosted by late-night sweetheart, Jimmy Kimmel, the 2017 Oscars are bound to be a riot…and there are some GREAT movies in the line-up this year.


Now in my household, the Oscars are SERIOUS business.  We have themed foods, we dress in our most glamorous pajamas, and snuggle in to see the brightest stars on Hollywood walk the red carpet.

One tradition I’m thinking of starting this year is to have an Oscar ballot contest…to see who can pick the winners in each category.  My family and I used to play this all the time and it was always fun to see who won (usually my dad…probably out shear dumb luck!).

Though there was never a prize, I’m thinking of instituting one this year…suggestions are accepted!

If you want to have your own fun watching the 2017 Oscars, here is a free, printable ballot you can download and print and use to track your picks for all the Oscar categories.

Are you gonna tune in with me and watch the Oscars this Sunday?  Let me know what movie you’re hoping will win!


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

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There Are No Wrong Roads


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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15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

Not like we ever NEED a reason to go out for happy hour, but this Wednesday…February 22…is NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY. A DAY OF MARGARITAS. TEQUILA FLOWING LIKE WATER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, YOU GUYS.

drinking jon stewart alcohol happy hour margarita

Now it’s no secret that I love tequila. If a beer just won’t do and I need something stronger, tequila is my go-to. I love it straight and I love it mixed…just don’t you dare ruin that delicious liquid with your nasty drink mixes…just don’t do it.

friday tequila margarita tequilasaur

If you have to make a fruity, girly drink, baller up and make it! Margaritas are crazy easy to make and oftentimes only require five ingredients or less:

drinking alcohol archer tequila margarita

Now let’s celebrate National Margarita Day the RIGHT Way…with tasty homemade cocktails that go down oh so easy and are great for us Midwestern folk who are just daydreaming of warm summer beaches and sunshine.

15 Amazing Margarita Recipes


Pink Lemonade Margarita


Strawberry Mango Margarita


Champagne Lemonade Margarita


Cranberry Margarita


Mango Raspberry Margarita


Blackberry Margarita


Coconut Margarita


Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita


Blood Orange Margarita


Skinny Champagne Margarita


Cucumber Lime Margarita


Peach Margarita


Tropical Rum Margarita


Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita


Cantaloupe Margarita


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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