Monthly Archives: April 2017

27 Inspiring Quotes by the Most Influential Women Authors

Feel the need to be inspired?  Check out these amazing quotes from some of the most influential women in literature.

What other quotes would you add to this list?  Comment below with your suggestions!

wuthering-heights-quote

“And, of course, men know best about everything…except what women know better.”
Middlemarch, George Eliot

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me.  I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
– To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”
The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

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“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.  Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

the-bell-jar-quote

“If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only.  Don not say,
’I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day–
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so.  Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.”
Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

beloved-quote

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them.  How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.  To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume

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“…because in spite of everything, I still believe that people really are good at heart.”
The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

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“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
The Awakening, Kate Chopin

“Thinking has, many a time, made me sad, darling; but doing never did in all my life…My precept is, do something, my sister, do good if you can; but at any rate, do something.”
North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

the-handmaids-tale-quote

“The world you desire can be won.  It exists…it is real…it is possible…it’s yours.”
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

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“The greatest wisdom doesn’t know itself.  The richest plan is not to have one.”
Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich

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“Sometimes we reveal ourselves when we are least like ourselves.”
Henry and June, Anais Nin

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“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on.  Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone.  The world does not deliver meaning to you.  You have to make it meaningful…and decide what you want and need and must do.  It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world.  But that’s the deal:  you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags.  Finding an identity is easy.  It’s the easy way out.”
On Beauty, Zadie Smith

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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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24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios

Ask any animator, illustrator, cartoon lover, or storyteller where there dream job would be…chances are most, if not all, of them would have Pixar Studios on their list.

Located in Emeryville, California, Pixar Studios is the genius behind such classics as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, and much more. Known for inspiring creativity and a super positive work environment, Pixar has become a beacon in the corporate hemisphere…treating their employees with respect and encouraging animators to think outside of the box – so much so that many animators decorate their workspaces to look like castles, tiny homes, tiki houses, and playrooms!

With a sprawling campus that includes a basketball court, several game rooms, and even a secret speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase, Pixar Studios is a playground for creative minds. Though it may have been more open to visitors back in the day, it currently does not offer tours of the campus…but you can take a little digital ride through the history of Pixar with these 24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios!

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MORE PIXAR STUFF!!
Also, don’t forget to check out this collection of 51 Fun Facts About Your Favorite Pixar Movies or decorate your home with your favorite Pixar characters with this collection of Adorable Pixar Decorations You Need In Your Home.  Finally, you can learn more about Pixar and the start of this amazing company by reading Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc.

24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios 

Pixar was formed in 1979 and soon after became the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm.

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As part of Lucasfilm, they produced computer animation sequences for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).

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Steve Jobs bought Pixar for $5 million in February 1986.  In today’s money, that’s roughly $11 million.

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Luxo Jr. was the first Pixar film to be nominated for an Academy Award.  It was a defining film for the company and involved a young, energetic lamp that struggles to play with a ball as an older lamp looks on.  The little lamp, Luxo Jr., would go on to become part of the iconic Pixar logo in later years.

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The first Toy Story film was the first full-length feature film to be made entirely using CGI.  It had a production budget of only $30 million, less than half of Disney’s The Lion King, made only the year before, which cost almost $80 million.

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Toy Story 2 made almost $245 million domestically, making it the first sequel to make more than the original.

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In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion.

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As a way to both market its animation software and generate money, Pixar once produced commercials for various companies, including Tropicana, Listerine, and Lifesavers.

“A-113” is an Easter egg that appears in all Pixar films.  It is a tribute to a classroom number at California Institute of the Arts that was used by many animation students, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

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There is a secret speakeasy at Pixar called The Lucky 7 Lounge – it is hidden behind a bookcase.

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Cars is Pixar’s most profitable film.  It has generated $10 billion (!!!) in just merchandise sales alone.

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John Ratzenberger has been a voice actor in every single Pixar film.

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Collectively, as of 2015, Pixar has won 26 Academy Awards, 5 Golden Globes, and 3 Grammys…I mean, NBD.

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The entire staff of Finding Nemo had to take a graduate course on Ichthyology (the study of fish) before making the movie.

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Pixar Studios has more than 1,200 employees.

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A typical Pixar employee only animates about 3 minutes of film per year.

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Toy Story 3 was the first Pixar film to gross more than $1 billion.

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There is an annual event called “Pixarpalooza”, complete with a Battle of the Bands competition.

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Animators at Pixar Studios go crazy with their workspaces.

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Pixar has an ergonomist come in on a weekly basis to make adjustments to the animators’ workstations.

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The name Pixar came about as a result of a mashup between two ideas.  Co-founder Alvy Ray Smith though the name should be “Pixer”, since it sounded like a fake Spanish verb for “to make pictures”…but another co-founder, Loren Carpender, liked “Radar”, since that sounded futuristic.  So, they combined the two into Pixar.

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Pixar has a school, titled Pixar University, where employees can take free classes in sculpting, painting, ballet, and live-action filmmaking.

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When a Pixar movie succeeds at the box office, the leadership team hands out bonus checks by hand to congratulate everyone on the team.

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Pixar names the babies born during the making of each production in the credits.

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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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I Like Big Buttons and I Cannot Lie!: 12 Button Crafts

If you love hoarding crafting supplies like I do, chances are you probably have a bucket of buttons in your stash. I like to think I’ll put them to good use one day…but truth be told, I haven’t yet found a project I liked that involved buttons…until now!

button collage

From cute pocket embellishments to even cuter bookmarks and canvas art, these 12 button crafts are, well, cute as a button!

I Like Big Buttons and I Cannot Lie!: 12 Button Crafts

Button Bookmarks
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bookmarks

Fruity Button Coasters
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button-coasters

Cute as a Button Calendar
makezine.com
calender

Button Trinket Boxes
joann.com
contianers

Button Flats
ilovetocreate.com
flats

Crocheted Button Flowers
bustedbutton.com
flower-crochet

Heart Button Canvas
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heart-canvas

Button Mirror
bhg.com
mirror

Embellished Pants Pockets
pearlsandscissors.com
pants

Yo-Yo Pillow
fiskars.com
yoyo

Framed Up Button House
morestomach.com
up-house

Button Tray
melstampz.blogspot.com
tray

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

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Nice is Different Than Good

into-the-woods

“Nice is different than good.”
Into the Woods

 

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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Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

I am one of probably a handful of people who actually loves Brussels sprouts. I LOVE them. Blanched, grilled, roasted…I’ll eat them however…and they’re even better if combined with pancetta or bacon…

I mean, what’s not instantly improved with bacon, really?

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Anyway, in an effort to eat more veggies, I’ve been keeping Brussels sprouts in my fridge for last-minute side dish ideas. And since I absolutely HATE grocery shopping, these particular sprouts would have actually started sprouting something if I didn’t use them ASAP…

So I scoured my fridge and pantry for ingredients I could throw together for dinner…and as luck would have it, I happened to have everything I needed to create this tasty rigatoni pasta dish with bacon and Brussels sprouts!

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This pasta dish made WAAAAY too much pasta (not a bad thing, just a forewarning!), so you could easily cut it in half for a more manageable amount. I think next time I might add some grilled chicken, since this dish is a bit lacking on the protein.

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Served alongside a side salad, this Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon will force even the pickiest of eaters to widen their palette.

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Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. rigatoni noodles
  • 5-6 large fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced and chopped thin
  • 8-10 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook rigatoni noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While your pasta cooks, cook bacon in large skillet.  Once crisp, remove from pan.
  3. Drain bacon grease, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons.
  4. Add chopped Brussels sprouts to the skillet, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add garlic, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until sprouts soften a bit, about 8 minutes.
  5. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pan.  Add Brussels sprouts mixture to pasta, along with Parmesan cheese and cooked bacon.  Mix to combine.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over pasta.  Add oil to your liking.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve immediately and top with remaining cheese.

 

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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25 Fun Facts You Should Know: BOOK EDITION

With a history that dates back thousands of years, it should come as no surprise that the industry of book publishing is bursting with interesting facts and tidbits. From the longest sentence ever published to the first published novel, this collection of 25 Fun Facts You Should Know: Book Edition is sure to satisfy any bookworm!

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So grab a cup of tea, settle in under a cozy blanket, and have fun learning about the history of books!

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25 Fun Facts You Should Know: BOOK EDITION

According to Google, there have been 129,864,880 books published as of 2010.  Clearly that number is much higher today!

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The first book ever written with typewriter was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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The most expensive book ever purchased was Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci.  It was purchased by Bill Gates for a cool $30.8 million.

“Bibliosmia” is the joy of smelling old books.

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One out of every eight letters you read is the letter “E”.

The longest sentence ever printed is in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.  It clocks in at about 823 words.

The average person reads at about 300 words per minute.

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J.R.R. Tolkien typed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers.

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The Harvard University library has four law books bound in human skin.

The longest book in the world is Remembrance of Things Past (A la recherche du temps perdu) by Marcel Proust.  It contains about 9,609,000 characters.

It takes an average of about 475 hours to write an average length novel.  Better get crackin’!

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Women buy about 68% of all books sold.

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There have been more than 20,000 books written about the game of Chess.

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The biggest book in the world is The Klencke Atlas.  It’s about 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide when opened.

In the United States, people buy an average of 57 books per second.

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It took Noah Webster 36 years to write his first dictionary.

The first book described as a best-seller was Fools of Nature by Alice Brown (1889).

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed in film and television more than any other human character in literature.

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The Bay Psalm Book is the first book written in America…it’s also thought to be the most expensive book in the world.Image result for The Bay Psalm Book

Technically, the first novel ever written was The Tale of Genji in 1007, a work of Japanese literature.

Only about 2% of more than 1/2 million books published each year sell more than 500,000 copies.

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John Milton used 8,000 different words in his epic poem, Paradise Lost.

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The Bible is the world’s best-selling book.  It’s followed by Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

The world’s first eBook was a digital copy of The Declaration of Independence.

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Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought was the first book ever purchased on amazon.com.

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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 Cast of Pushing Daisies…Where Are They Now?

Whenever I need a little pick-me-up or something to do on a rainy day, I almost always pop in an episode or three of ABC’s Pushing Daisies.  A whimsical and delicious wonderland of a TV show, Pushing Daisies was the story of a pie maker named Ned who had the ability to bring the dead back to life with a single touch.  Of course, this came with a catch…he could only keep the dead alive for one minute before he had to touch them again and make them dead forever.  If he kept something alive for longer than a minute, something else would have to die.  To make matters worse, once Ned touched a dead thing once, he could never touch it again.

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I know it sounds confusing, but it’s quite simple…and Jim Dale is there to narrate your way through it!  I mean, that alone is pretty awesome!  But just in case, here’s an example pulled right from episode 1:

Ned’s dog, Digby, gets hit by a car and is instantly killed.  Ned touches Digby and brings him back to life.  Now, he can touch him again and Digby will be dead forever, OR he can let Digby live and something else would then drop dead (in this case, it was a squirrel).  However, Ned can never touch or pet Digby because if he does, Digby will instantly die.  Make sense?  OK, off we go!

So in between baking pies, Ned works alongside Emerson Cod, a hilarious detective who uses Ned’s power to ask murdered victims “who dun it” before Ned touches them again and they go back to being dead.  Then they both collect – and split – the monetary reward.  I know this sounds SUPER morbid, but it’s so enjoyable and whimsy!

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Now, all that’s well and good, but when Ned discovers his childhood sweetheart was killed on a cruise and he has the ability to bring her back to life, he’s faced with a tough choice…he can do it, but in doing so, he’d certainly kill someone else and he’d never be able to touch, hug, kiss, or embrace his sweetheart ever again…

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#SpoilerAlert

So begins Pushing Daisies.

Also starring Swoosie Kurtz and Kristin Chenowith, alongside a whole slew of guest stars (including David Arquette, Diana Scarwid, Raul Esparza, Paul Reubens, Carlos Alazraqui, Mo Collins, Molly Shannon and SO MANY MORE), Pushing Daisies not only has magical storylines with hilarious death scenarios (death by scratch-n-sniff, death by taffy, death by hugging machine, death by deep fryer…you get the picture), it also includes fantastic makeup and visual effects – and don’t even get me started on the costumes!

Even though this show only lasted a short two seasons before it was cancelled, many of the cast members were nominated for awards for their work on the show and the show itself won an Emmy and several other accolades during its short time on air.  There have been whisperings about giving the show closure in the form of a movie or comic book, but nothing concrete has been mentioned as of yet.

If you were a fan of Pushing Daisies and wanted nothing more than to jump through your screen into The Pie Hole with Olive and the gang, here’s a little update as to what the cast has been up to since Pushing Daisies wrapped in 2009.

 

The Cast of Pushing Daisies…Where Are They Now?

Lee Pace
Ned the Pie Maker
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A graduate of the Julliard School Drama program, Lee Pace is a classically trained theater actor, having performed in a variety of Shakespearean plays, including Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Richard III (Richard III), and Julius Caesar (Cassius).  After his time in Julliard, Pace made his Broadway debut in 2011 in the play The Normal Heart.  His first movie role came in the film, Soldier’s Girl, a true story about a transsexual soldier who falls in love with a military man.  He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on the film.  Pace went on to act in a few other movies, including Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and When in Rome, before his work on Pushing Daisies.  For his role as Ned, Pace was nominated for several awards, including:  Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series, and a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Television Series.  After Pushing Daisies, Pace went back to the big screen and has done several great movies, including Lincoln (2012), The Hobbit (2013), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).  Currently Pace can be seen in the TV show, Halt and Catch Fire on AMC.

Anna Friel
Charlotte “Chuck” Charles
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Born in Greater Manchester, Anna Friel is a gift given to us by our friends across the Pond.  An actress since the age of 13, Friel got her start on TV in British soap operas.  She was one half of the first on-air lesbian kiss in British soap history (on the program, Brookside) and won a National Television Award for her work on the series.  Friel gained even greater exposure when she appeared in the TV film, The Tribe, which included nudity and a controversial menage a trois scene between two of her male co-stars.  After her work on Pushing Daisies, Friel was offered six pilots following the cancellation of the show, but she declined all of them to focus on expanding her film career.  Unfortunately, the films she was in were a series of flops, including Land of the Lost (2009).  In 2011, she decided to do a few TV appearances and has done mainly TV work ever since.  She was most recently seen in the 2016 film, I.T., alongside Pierce Brosnan.

Kristin Chenoweth
Olive Snook
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A star in her own right, Kristin Chenoweth continues to impress with her amazing talent.  With a slew of awards under her tiny little belt, Chenoweth has not slowed down one bit since leaving The Pie Hole.  Her role as Olive Snook earned her two Emmy nominations, one of which she won in 2009.  After her work on Pushing Daisies wrapped, Chenoweth went on to guest-star as April Rhodes in FOX’s, Glee, a role she’d rehash several times throughout the run of the series.  She’s also since appeared in three Broadway shows, about 30 TV shows and movies, and a variety of other specials and theatrical performances.  Chenoweth is currently touring her new album, “The Art of Elegance”, and has recently signed on to star in a new CBS pilot titled Perfect Citizen.

Chi McBride
Emerson Cod
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Kenneth “Chi” McBride was born in Chicago, IL, which is how he got his nickname he goes by today.  Originally wanting to pursue a career in music, McBride studied several instruments and joined a gospel choir in Chicago before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia to work as a billing clerk.  His first success in show business came with the hit song, “He’s a Champ”, written about boxer Mike Tyson and actress Robin Givens.  Convinced he should try his hand in front of the camera, McBride moved to LA and landed guest spots in In Living Color and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Typically typecast as “the right hand man” or “the crass detective”, McBride delighted viewers with his portrayal of Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies.  Since retiring from undercover work with The Pie Maker, McBride has done lots of TV and movie roles, most very similar to his role as Detective Cod.  He’s currently starring as Captain Lou Grover in Hawaii Five-O and has also appeared recently in Gone in 60 Seconds, The Terminal, and Draft Day.

Ellen Greene
Vivian Charles
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Similar to her character on Pushing Daisies, Ellen Greene is a true lover of music, theater, and entertainment.  A singer and actress by trade, Greene was in several Broadway shows and performances before landing her role as the artsy and whimsical Vivian Charles.  After Pushing Daisies ended, Greene starred as Miss Adelaide in the Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls and had a small story arch in the soap opera, The Young and the Restless.  Greene’s more recent work has included a handful of voiceover opportunities, as well as appearances in The Walking Dead web series.

Swoosie Kurtz
Lily Charles
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Named after her father’s military Boeing Flying Fortress bomber, Swoosie Kurtz is no stranger to TV, film, or stage.  Perhaps best known for her role as Alex Reed Halsey on the NBC drama, Sisters, Kurtz acted in a handful of television shows before landing the role of the tough but sweet one-eyed foil to Vivian, Lily Charles.  Kurtz’s recent work has included guest spots in ER, LOST, Desperate Housewives, Nurse Jackie, and Mike & Molly.

Jim Dale
Narrator
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There’s no denying that Pushing Daisies wouldn’t be the wonderful show it is without the voice of the narrator.  Voiced by none other than Jim Dale (the same man who narrated the Harry Potter audiobooks – a role that got him two Grammy Awards), the narrator provides whimsy banter that’s only occasionally topped with Emerson’s clever one-liners.  Dale recently had an off-Broadway one man show, titled Just Jim Dale, which one him the 2015 Outer Critics Award and the Drama Desk Award.  He’s also provided narration for a handful of audiobooks, including The Night Circus, The Emerald Atlas, and The Fire Chronicle.

 

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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