Monthly Archives: July 2017

Baked Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Sometimes mornings are hard…

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Getting up, getting ready, getting dressed, making breakfast, AND making lunch…that’s a lot to handle in the short span between the alarm and the start of work…and that’s why I’m loving these make-ahead breakfast bars.

baked-oatmeal-bars

Made up of oatmeal, fruit, and chocolate for a little something sweet, these Baked Oatmeal Bars are great for a healthy grab n’ go breakfast.

I used strawberries, blueberries, and bananas in these bars, but you could easily add raspberries or blackberries instead.  Play around with adding your favorite oatmeal ingredients (I’m definitely trying pumpkin pie spice and cranberries in the fall!) to update and improve the recipe!

*One batch made 12 bars for me and they’ll keep in the fridge for about a week.

You can find this recipe at Diary of a Debutante.

 

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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Eleanor & Park Book Review

Ah, young love.  It’s confusing and random…built on the gravely foundation of one or two common interests that mean “we’re meant to be!”  It’s the flutter of seeing him in the hallway, the blushing that comes when he grabs your hand for the first time.  Notes passed in hallways, diary entries littered with hearts and monograms, stolen glances during class…For young lovers, those first few months are magical and breathtaking.  They’re filled with time spent exploring each other’s likes and dislikes, sharing favorite CD’s and books, and finding the small moments between chemistry and math to sneak away for a moment alone.

Set in the 1980’s among a background of comic books and great music (this book would be worth making into a movie for the soundtrack alone), Eleanor & Park is the story of two 16-year-olds, both outcasts in their own right, who find that where they best belong is with each other.   It’s a story about the innocence of young love, the naivete of believing it will last forever.  Much like the characters themselves, this book is cute on the surface, but the foundation of the story left me, well, unsatisfied.

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Meet Eleanor – a young new-to-town girl with fiery red hair and a personality to match.  Her style is frumpy, her body is unproportioned, and her attitude about the world has pretty much been ruined by her troubled family life.

Meet Park – a young Korean-American kid with beautiful green eyes, a great taste in comic books, and a quiet, reserved personality that makes him sexy in that soft mysterious way.  He’s not the most popular kid in school, though the popular kids have adopted him as one of their own, and most days his mind wanders among a soundtrack of 1980’s rock songs that pump out all the feels.

When Eleanor is practically forced to sit with Park on the bus one day on the way to school, an inevitable meet-cute happens, and the two begin a quiet, intimate courtship, fueled by a love of comic books and mix tapes.  I mean, how 80’s is that?

In the beginning, Eleanor and Park sit in comfortable silence, reading comic books together and listening to music.  Most of the dialogue is said in the characters’ heads, a detail I loved and found personally very relatable.  As they spend more time together on the bus and in school, a wonderful friendship begins to form that slowly, oh so slowly, transforms into something more.

It was at this moment that I stopped liking Eleanor & Park.

I wanted to like this book…I really did.  It wasn’t a traditional love story, which I liked.  The characters were flawed, which I also liked.  But at some point along the road to romance, I lost interest.  Eleanor began to frustrate me with her hot and cold personality and I became aggravated with how cold she was to Park at times.  Granted, her behavior is understandable considering what we learn about her background, but that really wasn’t even enough for me to like her.

Personally, Park made this book for me.  His kindness and understanding were traits beyond his years, and his adoration for Eleanor despite her insecurities made him an unlikely, albeit romantic, hero.  His moments of quiet where he talks about Eleanor in his head are enough to make every girl hope that some guy out there thinks of her that way…and his determination to make Eleanor happy at the risk of his own happiness gave Park’s character much more fluidity and growth than Eleanor who, in comparison, seemed rather flat.

Even Eleanor’s secondary plot with her step-father seemed out of place to me.  His actions didn’t seem justified…at least not enough.  After the reveal at the end (don’t worry, no spoilers!), I just felt cheated…like I missed something along the way that led to that moment.

Did I love Eleanor & Park?  No.  But, for the most part, I enjoyed it.  It’s a story that will churn up those feelings deep down that only arise when you rewatch Dawson’s Creek or Boy Meets World…it will remind you of those late-night talks, those stolen kisses before your parents get home, and that wonderful notion, however false it may be, that true love never ends.

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 Jurassic Park: Where Are They Now?

The year 1993 was a magical time in cinematic history.  Throughout the course of the year, you could see Schindler’s List, The Fugitive, Sleepless in Seattle, Groundhog Day, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dazed and Confused, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Sandlot, The Last Action Hero, Philadelphia, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights in theaters.  But the highest grossing film, BY FAR, was the cult classic, Jurassic Park.

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Bringing in $914,691,118 worldwide (about $470 million more than the next highest grossing movie, Mrs. Doubtfire), Jurassic Park was a monster success.  Not only did it break box-office records by becoming the highest-grossing film ever made (at the time), but it spurred an insane amount of merchandise and sequels that we’re still making to this day.

The newest installment in the Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is due for release in June of 2018, but I think it’s safe to say that the original Jurassic Park is by far the best one.  With epic special effects that still stand up today, Jurassic Park is a favorite of sci-fi lovers of all ages.

Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough, Jurassic Park has it all…an amazing score, a fantastic cast, a slew of awards, and Goldblum…

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All the Goldblum.

You know you want to watch the original Jurassic Park now…and you know as soon as you watch it, you’re going to ask yourself, “I wonder what ever happened to little Timmy…”  Well, here lie the answers!

Let’s dive in and take a look at what the cast of the original Jurassic Park movie is up to nowadays…

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The Cast of Jurassic Park: Where Are They Now?

Jeff Goldblum
Ian Malcolm
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Let’s be honest, we all know Jeff Goldblum was the real star of Jurassic Park.  After his sexy and snarky portrayal of Ian Malcolm, Goldblum went on to appear in Independence Day, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lost World, and several other films.  He’s done voice work for Apple commercials, including the iMac and iBook, and has also voiced commercials for Toyota and the National Lottery.  Most recently, Goldblum has appeared in the ID sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  He can also be seen in the 2017 film, Thor: Ragnarok and the 2018 Jurassic World sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (!!!).

Sam Neill
Alan Grant
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A native of Northern Ireland, Neill has studied and worked all over Europe.  After his work on Jurassic Park, he appeared in a handful of other films, including Sirens, Event Horizon, and Bicentennial Man.  He’s also appeared in a handful of New Zealand films, most notably The Piano and Perfect Strangers.  He returned to Jurassic Park in Jurassic Park III and stars alongside Jeff Goldblum again in Thor: Ragnarok.  Neill will also play the voice of Old Mr. McGregor in the 2018 release of Peter Rabbit.

Laura Dern
Ellie Sattler
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The lovely Laura Dern has certainly made a glorious comeback since her work on Jurassic Park.  Since leaving the island, Dern has appeared in several award-winning films, including October Sky and Wild, for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  She had a minor role in Jurassic Park III and has continued to work both on film and TV pretty actively.  Dern can be seen in the most recent Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and has appeared in episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Twin Peaks.

Ariana Richards
Lex Murphy
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Ariana Richards was a gem of a child actress in her day, but recently has spent her adult life focusing on her art career.  She has appeared in the Christmas film, Prancer, and the B-cult classic Tremors, as well as reprising her role as Lex Murphy in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.  Her last film was in 2013 (Battledogs) and has since put her time into painting.  You can view her gallery at http://www.galleryariana.com.

Joseph Mazzello
Tim Murphy
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Though he was only 10 years old when he appeared in Jurassic Park, Joseph Mazzello had already appeared in five films before that, including Radio Flyer, for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture.  After Jurassic Park, Mazzello did a handful of other films, including an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.  In 2001, he got into USC School of Cinematic Arts with a recommendation letter from Steven Spielberg himself.  He paid for his education with his small appearance in The Lost World, something Mazzello jokingly refers to as his graduation present from Spielberg.  In 2010, he played one of the co-founders of Facebook in the film, The Social Network and made his directorial debut with the short film, Matters of Life and Death, in which he also stars.

Richard Attenborough
John Hammond
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Richard Attenborough, the older brother of naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough (Planet Earth) was a product of the stage.  His film career didn’t begin until he was 19, with an uncredited role in In Which We Serve.  Working primarily in British films, Attenborough enjoyed a long and lucrative career on the big screen.  After Jurassic Park, he made an appearance in the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and played Santa himself in Miracle on 34th Street the year after Jurassic Park came out.  His last film was Jurassic World in 2015, which came out the year after he passed away.

B.D. Wong
Henry Wu
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A celebrated Tony Award-winning actor and performer, B.D. Wong is no stranger to the big and small screens. His more notable roles include parts on Law and Order: SVU, Oz, and a reoccurring role as Dr. Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park series. He has appeared in several Broadway shows, including M. Butterfly, a role that earned him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theatre World Award all for the same role (he’s the only actor to achieve this monumental feat). He voiced Li Shang in Disney’s Mulan and was in the TV series Gotham for 12 episodes.  Fans of Dr. Henry Wu can catch Wong again in the 2018 film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Wayne Knight
Dennis Nedry
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You might know him from Seinfeld, Space Jam, or Toy Story 2, but chances are most people know him as “that guy from Jurassic Park”.  The first actor to be cast in Jurassic Park, Knight went on to have a stable career in TV and film.  He has voiced several TV cartoon characters and has made appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Bones.  Most recently, Knight was in the Coen Brother’s 2016 film, Hail, Caesar!

Martin Ferrero
Donald Gennaro
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The man who met his ill demise on the toilet in Jurassic Park has stayed pretty clear of movie and TV.  He had appearances in the 1995 film, Get Shorty and Heat, and his last film appearance was in 2001 in The Tailor of Panama.  In 2011, he reprised his role of Donald Gennaro in a CollegeHumor parody of Jurassic Park and as of 2008, has been a member of the Antaeus Company, an LA classical theater ensemble.

Bob Peck
Robert Muldoon
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It should come as no surprise that Bob Peck was a man of the stage.  He was a regular actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside Ian McKellen and Judi Dench.  After Jurassic Park, he appeared in several TV series and direct-to-TV films, including The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, The Merchant of Venice, and The Miracle Maker, which was released a year after his death from cancer.

 

 

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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Crochet Granny Square Baby Blanket

I usually avoid making crochet blankets because I will NEVER finish them.  I’m much more of an amigurumi girl…or scarves or hats or basically anything I can make over the course of binging a few episodes of Dawson’s Creek.

Then a few months ago I began a project to use up some extra yarn.  I started making these little granny squares and kept going until my stash ran out.  As luck would have it, I had JUST ENOUGH to make into a small baby blanket!

granny-square-baby-blanket

After realizing this, the little crochet squares continued to sit in my stash for yet another three or four months because I just didn’t want to commit to starting a blanket…but after going through a deep apartment purge, I finally decided to get started…I began laying out my squares and started assembling…

Well after weaving in all my ends (SO MUCH WEAVING) I’ve finally completed it!  I think it looks kind of cute!  I had some extra yarn left over so I made little pom-poms for the corners.

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To join my squares, I used the single crochet method, but there are several methods for joining granny squares if you don’t like the look of the border.  The reason I liked the single crochet method is that the front and back of the blanket look totally different, so you can showcase either side:

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I also arranged my squares in Excel before starting because I’m a nerd that way…it also ensures that you have enough squares AND that you don’t screw up your pattern as you numbly assemble all these squares.

granny square layout

If you’d like to make this blanket, you’ll need about 1 skein of each color (I used 7 colors).  Follow the instructions for making the little granny squares and keep going until you have about 156 squares (this blanket is 12 squares x 13 squares and measures about 24 in. x 26 in.).  If you follow my pattern, your blanket will be slightly small, perfect for a tiny human…but approximate that each granny square will give you about 2 in., so you can plot out the size of your blanket that way.

To assemble, I made one row at a time.  I joined back sides of 2 squares together and single crocheted to join the squares…then just repeated until the row was complete.  Once all my rows were done, I joined the rows together by placing back sides of the rows together and single crocheting to join row to row.

THEN I WEAVED IN ALL THE ENDS.

That took forever…mostly because I just got sick of it…but after a few cheesy movies, you should make good progress…especially if you weave in ends as you create the squares…which I didn’t do…so I was weaving like a mad-woman.

After making all my squares, I had a few strands of extra yarn…so I added some cute pom-poms to the corners of the blanket and tah dah!!

Whoever has a baby next, you have a cute little blanket comin’ your way!  😉

 

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

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It Only Ends Once

LOST

“It only ends once.  Anything that happens before that is just progress.”
–LOST

 

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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12 Pineapple Recipes for Summer

So it seems that watermelon was the new cupcake…and now pineapple is the new watermelon.  There’s pineapple stuff everywhere!

But, IMHO, the most important place for pineapple to be is in my face.

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And if you’re a fellow pineapple lover, here are 12 scrumptious and delicious pineapple recipes to get you through the rest of summer!

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12 Pineapple Recipes for Summer

Pineapple Salsa
The Gunny Sack
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Brown Sugar Pineapple Chicken
Carlsbad Cravings
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Bacon Wrapped Pineapple
Delish D’Lites
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Pineapple Bars
Mandy’s Recipe Box
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Pineapple Popsicle
Mama Loves Food!
pineapple-popsicles

Pineapple Fluff Salad
The Country Cook
pineapple-fluff

Pineapple Pancakes
The Stay at Home Chef
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Pineapple Cooler
Pizzazzerie
pineapple-cooler

Pineapple Chicken Salad
The Kitchen is my Playground
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Pineapple Coconut Thumbrint Cookies
Cooking Classy
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Pineapple Empanadas
Kitchen Gadget
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Pineapple Upside Down Doughnuts
Baker by Nature
pineapple-upside-down-doughnuts

 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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Kiss Me Like a Stranger Book Review

He was the music maker…the dreamer of dreams.  He brought some of our favorite characters to life, including Dr. Frankenstein, Willy Wonka, Leo Bloom, Sigerson Holmes, and Skip Donahue.  From his humble beginnings as a Shakespearean actor to his amazing collection of movies he made with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder challenged the comic genre.  He pushed himself, pushed his directors.  He poured himself into each project, owning and enveloping each of his characters with all the energy he could muster.  He may have been a simple Midwestern boy at heart, but Gene Wilder was nothing if not a believer in the extraordinary.

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In his very intimate and personal autobiography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, Wilder opens up and exposes his deepest secrets, talking about how his sick mother influenced his career path and his very real and emotional experiences with psychoanalysis.  He opens about his love affairs and marriages, including his sometimes tumultuous relationship with fellow comedian, Gilda Radner, and his difficult relationship with his adopted daughter, Katie.

While he does talk briefly about his projects and films, Kiss Me Like a Stranger is not a tell-all about a chocolate factory or a secret laboratory.  At its core, this book is about an actor’s search for truth, love, and acceptance.  It’s about mistakes and choices.  With eloquence and grace, it turns this larger-than-life comedian into a real person, a humble person.  A man who falls in and out of love, who struggles with raising a daughter not his own, and who – just like the rest of us – is just looking for love and fulfillment both personally and professionally.

Written about 10 years before his death, Kiss Me Like a Stranger is a frank, yet charming memoir that shows Wilder for what he truly was…a shy, gentle man who loved to make people laugh.  He was a dear friend, a doting husband, and a beloved actor who, like so many of his profession, had a series of serendipitous moments that propelled him, maybe unwillingly, into stardom.

 

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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