Monthly Archives: August 2017

21 Fun Facts About New Girl

Dust off those driving moccasins… Jess and the gang will be back for the final season of New Girl!

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With only eight episodes lined up, season 7 was picked up in May of this year and supposedly will feature a jump in time.  Starting three years after the season 6 finale (Jess and Nick rekindle their romance, Schmidt and Cece learn they’re pregnant, and Winston reconnects with his father), season 7 will feature major milestones for all the main characters over the period of one year, including a big one in the series finale…MAYBE JESS AND NICK TIE THE KNOT!!?!!?  OMG.

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Still no word on a release date, but the cast and crew are super excited, and so am I!!  I love New Girl and hope that this show gets the ending it deserves.  I’ll certainly miss Prank Sinatra, Jess’s AMAZING wardrobe, and all of Schmidt’s jar-worthy one-liners, but we know all good things must come to an end.

I’ve recently rewatched New Girl for the third time and just love it more and more.  If you can’t get enough of Jess and the gang, here are 21 Fun Facts about New Girl that will have you loving this adorkable show more and more!


21 Fun Facts About New Girl

Originally titled Chicks & Dicks, New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether was 29 when her idea for a theatrical production was turned into a TV show.  She had never worked on TV before and decided to pitch a sitcom based on her experience of spending four years moving from one Craigslist sublet to another.

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Though he’s portrayed as a lazy slob in the show, actor Jake Johnson (Nick Miller) actually had to lose 15 pounds before the pilot episode started filming.

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When ABC’s Happy Endings was thought to have a not-so-happy ending, actor Damon Wayans Jr. (Coach) decided to take the role on New Girl instead.  His sudden departure was due to the fact that Happy Endings was actually not cancelled, so Wayans was contractually obligated to return to the series.  This prompted the introduction of another character, Winston (Lamorne Morris), in the second episode.  When Happy Endings finally did end, Wayans returned to New Girl.

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Coach and Jess may have gotten off to a rocky start in the show, but actors Wayans and Zooey Deschanel actually go way back…they went to high school together at Crossroads School in Santa Monica.

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Jake Kasdan, who directed Freaks and Geeks, directed the pilot of New Girl, as well as a handful of other episodes.  He’s also an executive producer on the show.

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According to the show producers, it’s their goal to actually make the game of “True American” impossible to understand…so good luck, dedicated patriots.

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Dennis Farina, who played Nick’s father Walt, actually passed away a few months after his character was killed off.

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In episode 2 of season 2, the actress who play’s Winston’s sister (Keenyah Hill) was previously on America’s Next Top Model.  Schmidt (Max Greenfield) actually makes a reference to Tyra Banks when he is hitting on her.

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All of the male actors have played police officers at some time in their careers: Lamorne Morris on New Girl, Max Greenfield on Veronica Mars, and Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. in Let’s Be Cops.

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Deschanel’s random leave (when Jess serves a few months on jury duty) was written into the script because Deschanel was pregnant at the time.

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The exterior shot of Nick’s bar is actually called “The Griffin”.  It’s located in L.A. on Los Feliz Blvd.

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Hannah Simone (Cece) studied international relations and political science at the University of British Columbia.  Before acting, she was working with the UN in London, where she was born.  Dis lady is beautiful and smart!

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Just like their characters, both Jake Johnson (Nick) and Lamorne Morris (Winston) are from Chicago.

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Max Greenfield is scared of birds.

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If Damon Wayans Jr. looks familiar, it may be because he is!  His dad is Damon Wayans Sr. and his brothers are Marlon and Shawn Wayans.

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Zooey Deschanel is in a band called “She & Him”.  She’s also the co-founder of “Hello Giggles”, a blog that celebrates all things adorable and trendy.

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Not surprisingly, a lot of the best parts of New Girl are actually improvised.  The writers encourage the cast to riff off each other and they just let the cameras roll.

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Originally Amanda Bynes was up for the role of Jessica Day.  #eww  Thankfully Deschanel fell in love with the series after reading the script and made it a point to get the project.

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Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson actually auditioned together and became fast friends through the audition process.  BROS FOR LIFE!

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Bears are mentioned in some way in every episode.

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Exterior shots of the loft apartment building are of a building located on the corner of Avery St. and Traction Ave. in L.A.

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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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12 Crocheted Afghans for Fall

Fall is right around the corner, so now’s the perfect time to get those hooks ready and start crocheting your cozy and comfy fall afghans!

Great for beginners, crocheted afghans instantly cozy up your home and work best when accompanied with a book and a cup of coffee!


12 Crocheted Afghans for Fall

Shades of Blue Afghan

afghan 1

Grey Crocheted Blanket

afghan 2

Purple and Orange Crocheted Blanket

afghan 3

Rainbow Blanket

afghan 4

Brown and White Striped Blanket

afghan 5

Cozy Afghan

afghan 6

Cream and Coffee Afghan

afghan 7

Large Hexagon Afghan

afghan 8

Granny Square Afghan

afghan 9

Southwestern Print Afghan

afghan 10

Teal and Brown Cozy Afghan

afghan 11

Fall Colors Afghan

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

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“Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your piece of mind, self-respect, values, morals, or self-worth.”

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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10 Stunning Blackberry Recipes

Sometimes I feel that the blackberry gets a bad rap.  The seeds get stuck in your teeth, they have an edible pit that makes them somewhat tough to bake with, and they can be pricy at times…but, you guys…they’re so delicious!

Packed with vitamin C and fiber, blackberries are super healthy for you and low in calories (win-win!).  They can be eaten raw, cooked into jams and sauces, or baked into cakes and breads.  They add amazing flavors to sweet and savory dishes and can also be used to color your batter or cake icing blue or purple.

As we wrap up the end of the summer, you might find blackberries on sale at your local market.  If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to put these little power foods to good use, here are 10 Stunning Blackberry Recipes that will have you drooling in no time!

10 Stunning Blackberry Recipes

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  1. Blackberry Honey Clafoutis
  2. Blackberry Chocolate Tart
  3. Blackberry Lime Bars
  4. Blackberry and Sweet Basil Galette
  5. Blackberry French Beignets
  6. Blackberry Cucumber Gin and Tonic
  7. Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles
  8. Blackberry and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
  9. Triple Berry Couscous Salad
  10. Blackberry Buttermilk Pancakes


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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Devil in the White City Book Review

Chicago, 1893.  The city was still rebuilding after the fire that left 100,000 homeless and destroyed most of the wooden buildings that peppered the downtown area.  In an attempt to draw more people and revenue to the city, Chicago grew as a national retail center and produced a crop of brand-name business tycoons, including Marshall Field, Philip Armour, and George Pullman.  People began coming to the city to shop the best in (affordable) fashion and see the birth of a new type of architecture that would come to define and reinvent Chicago.

At the age of 26, a young man named Daniel Burnham joined the offices of Carter, Drake, and Wright, an architectural firm behind the Manierre Building, Lennox Building, Mercantile Library, New York Academy of Design, and Grant Park.  While there, he met a man named John Wellborn Root and, together, the two designed one of the first American skyscrapers: the Masonic Temple Building in Chicago.  Measuring 21 stories and 302 feet, the temple held claim as the tallest building of its time (but was ultimately torn down in 1939).

Right in the midst of their 15 minutes of fame for the Temple Building, Burnham and Root were asked to oversee design and construction of The World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, named so to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage.  The duo accepted the challenge, but when Root passed away suddenly, Burnham was left to create a new team, bringing on such visionaries as Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, and Louis Sullivan to help him turn then-desolate Jackson Park into an amazing world’s fairground.

It was a feat.  A HUGE feat.  Financial panic and an extremely tight timeframe caused major stress on the architects, not to mention the fact that Chicago had to compete with the most recent release of the Paris World’s Fair: The Eiffel Tower.  And brewing under all the commotion surrounding the fair, tucked away in a small area away from the hustle and bustle, a murderer by the name of H.H. Holmes was plotting a most gruesome rouge to take advantage of the fair’s most delicate and feminine fair-goers…


And so begins Erik Larson’s book, Devil in the White City.  The true story of the fair that changed America, this book is a captivating account of the trials and tribulations that came with designing the World’s Columbian Exposition.

Besides being about the building of the fair, this book also explores the life of H.H. Holmes, a charming murderer masquerading as a doctor to woo and attract young women, then ultimately torturing and killing them.

The two storylines exist independent of each other until the opening of the World’s Fair.  The massive draw of the exposition was all the motivation Holmes needed to construct his own hotel on the fairgrounds, for women only of course, where he could set up his own murderous torture dungeon, brimming right under the hype of the Columbian Exposition.

Told with amazing detail and captivating language, Devil in the White City brings the Chicago World’s Fair to life.  It puts you right in the heat of the action, takes you into the brainstorming room with Burnham’s team…into the hotel with H.H. Holmes, and into the streets of the fair that, from then on, defined architectural design.


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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16 Fun Facts about The World’s Fairs

Have you ever taken a spin on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier?  Have you enjoyed a nice bowl of Shredded Wheat or taken selfies next to the Eiffel Tower or Space Needle?


You may not know it, but all those things and MORE were products of an Exhibition Fair.  First started in the UK in the 1800’s, Exhibition Fairs (or World Fairs) have attracted millions of people for generations.  They’ve been held all over the globe, from Spain to Germany…Chicago to New York.

An Exhibition Fair usually features various inventions, discoveries, and insane structures meant to give fair-goers a “view of the future”.  Past exhibits have included the Space Needle in Seattle, the Ferris Wheel in Chicago, the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri, and the Unisphere in New York.

As is the case with most fairs, food is also a hot commodity, with Belgain waffles, bananas, ice cream cones, Juicy Fruit gum, Shredded Wheat cereal, and popcorn making debuts at various Exhibition Fairs all over the world.

After finishing Devil in the White City, a book about the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, I became FASCINATED with these attractions.  I did a little research and gathered a few fun tidbits here about the history of the World’s Fair!

16 Fun Facts about The World’s Fairs

The Eiffel Tower, The Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago), the Ferris Wheel, the Japanese Tea Garden (San Francisco), the Unisphere (New York), the St. Louis Zoo, and the Space Needle were all thanks to various exposition exhibits.

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A ticket to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 would cost you $0.50 (about $13.00 today).

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Chicago’s 1893 Fair was dubbed “The White City”.  It was said to have inspired author L. Frank Baum to create the Emerald City in his book, The Wizard of Oz.

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Shredded Wheat cereal, diet soda, Aunt Jemima syrup, Juicy Fruit gum, Belgian waffles, the Ford Mustang, the ice cream cone, and color TV all made their first grand appearances at various World Fairs.

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From above, the 1958 Expo in Brussels (intentionally) was shaped to look like a cow.

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Though it’s a trademark of Disney World now, the “It’s a Small World” ride actually premiered at the 1964 Fair in New York.

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The St. Louis Fair in 1904 had a “Living Museum” exhibit, which showcased living people from around the world…definitely one of the less politically correct aspects of the Fair from our modern perspective!

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The first World’s Fair was titled The Great Exhibition and took place in the UK.  It was attended by all members of British royalty, as well as Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, and Alfred Tennyson.

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Six million people – equivalent to a third of the entire population of Britain at the time – attended The Great Exhibition.

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The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 was the first World’s Fair to be hosted in the US (Philadelphia, PA, to be exact).

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The 1876 World’s Fair also introduced fair-goers to new and exciting foods, including bananas, popcorn, Hires Root Beer, and Heinz ketchup.

Visitors to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York got to hear Albert Einstein give a speech discussing cosmic rays.

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The Westinghouse Time Capsule, which is not to be opened for thousands of years still (6939), was one of the more popular exhibits of the 1939 NY Fair.  The time capsule contains writings by Albert Einstein, copies of Life magazine, a kewpie doll, a pack of Camel cigarettes, a Mickey Mouse watch and much more.  It’s located at 40°44′34.089″N 73°50′43.842″W at a depth of 50 feet.

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The 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle was one of the only fairs to actually make a profit.

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World Expositions are still happening, though maybe not as publicized as they once were.  The 2017 fair is currently running in Astana, Kazakhstan (June 10 – September 10).

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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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9 Cool Crochet Bags and Purses

If you get bored of crochet projects or love a classic one-skein wonder or stashbuster, than crochet bags are for you.

Often easy to work up in a couple hours or less, crochet bags make shopping at stores and farmer’s markets so much easier.  Clear out your stash by making bags in various colors or just practice the basics with these simple crochet bags for “hookers” of all skill levels!

crochet bags and purses

Grey and White Winter Clutch

Granny Square Bag

Teddy Bear Coin Purse

Tapestry Bag

Fox Bag

Pineapple Bag

Pizza, Watermelon, and Candy Corn Bags

Farmer’s Market Bags

Slushee Bags

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

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Wishing Too Much


“You’re wishin’ too much, baby.  You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”
–Elizabeth Gilbert

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 Amazing Cherry Recipes

I love cherries.  I find them ‘cherry’ delicious…they’re really the ‘cherry on top’ of every dessert…not getting cherries year round is really the pits…in fact, I consider cherries ‘mon cherri’ of summer baking…

OK, I’m done.

Cherries really are a delicious fruit and can add sweetness to both savory dishes and desserts.  Now in the peak of their season, cherries are great for summer cooking and baking…or just snacking on during a backyard BBQ or picnic.


If you’re looking for fun and clever ways to use cherries in your food this summer, here are 12 Amazing Cherry Recipes that are sure to please!

12 Amazing Cherry Recipes

Cherry Almond Oatmeal


Cherry and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Fresh Cherry Cobbler


Cherry Frangipane Tart


Cherry Chocolate Shortcake


Quinoa Cherry and Goat Cheese Salad


Grilled Tofu with Cherry Salsa


Cherry and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


Cherry Curd Cookie Tarts


Fresh Cherry Salsa with Goat Cheese


Duck and Cherry Hamburger


Cherry Bruschetta


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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21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

Sometimes we just need a good, healthy ugly cry.

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Sure, you can listen to Tom Waits or Taylor Swift and cry one out…or pop in The Family Stone or Titanic if you’re feeling blue…but for us bookworms, the list of books practically guaranteed to stimulate an ugly cry is often too long to even consider…

The thing about books is that you spend SO MUCH TIME with these characters.  A sad movie is over and done in a couple hours…but for some of us, a sad book may take months to complete…so it really is an emotional roller coaster to finish some of these stories!

I love a good ugly cry…and I give big props to books that can bring me to tears.  While some of these were more tear-jerking than others, they are all worthy of a read if you’re feeling like you need to open the floodgates a little bit.

books to read for a good ugly cry

21 Books to Read for a Good Ugly Cry

One Day
David Nicholls

A relationship is brought to life over the course of 20 years. Snapshots are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year, and as Dex and Em face fights, laughter, tears, and missed opportunities, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart

A group of friends spends a beautiful summer on a private island, laughing, swimming, as socialites do. But when an accident causes a secret to be released, everything changes. This book is slow to start, but the end made it worth it for me.

My Sister’s Keeper
Jodi Picoult

What would you do for the people you love? When Anna is forced to sacrifice her health for the safety of her sister, Kate, questions about life and morality are raised. A provocative novel that raises important ethical issues, this story is about the struggle for survival…at all costs.

Elie Wiesel

Perhaps the most brilliant and heart-breaking book in the Holocaust canon of literature, Night should be required reading for every human being. Honest, eye-opening, and terrifying at times, this memoir puts readers right into the middle of the chaos.

Bottomless Belly Button
Dash Shaw

This graphic novel tells the story of a family that comes together for one weekend, only to discover that the reason for the gathering is that mom and dad are getting divorced. A story for the times, this novel is so truthful, raw, and honest.

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

After Susie Salmon is murdered, she tries to help her family solve the mysteries surrounding her death. Told from Susie’s perspective as she watches the aftermath of her murder unfold from Heaven, this story raises interesting questions about the afterlife, and what that means for those who must continue on surviving.

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This timeless tale tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe. Through a collection of extraordinary encounters and discoveries, we learn, along with the Prince, how wonderful and sad life can be.

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness

Oh man…if you’re only gonna read one book on this list for the ultimate ugly cry, it should be this one. One of the most truthful and beautiful portrayals of what it’s like to loose a loved one to a sickness, this story will utterly wreck you.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom

After Mitch Albom reconnects with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz, at the end of Morrie’s life, a beautiful friendship develops that turns into a collection of final lessons on how to live. You know how this one ends, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

This memoir explores important questions about life as a widow, a wife, and a mom. When author Joan Didion suddenly looses her husband at the dinner table, she embarks on a journey of anger, healing, and understanding that’s all too familiar if you’ve ever lost a loved one.

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

After the human race is basically obliterated after an unsubscribed apocalypse of some kind, a father and his son must fight for survival in a world that is nearly void of life. This is a quick, but powerful read.

Fabio Moon

How would our lives be different if we waited in the longer line in the grocery store? If we really ended up with our soul mate? If we got our dream job? This graphic novel explores the question that forever plagues the human race: what if? Truly inspiring and bittersweet, this book was one I found myself reading again immediately after finishing it the first time.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny story about family, love, loyalty, and hope, this book is beautifully crafted and is a captivating look at all the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Set during WWII, this groundbreaking novel tells the story of a girl, Liesel Meminger, and her love of books. Narrated by Death himself, this story raises interesting questions about why and how we die, using the background of the war to better highlight how all walks of life continue to run from the same enemy.

The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch

After his fatal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, professor Randy Pausch gives his class one last lecture before retiring to spend the rest of his life with his family. This one is a heart-wrencher. Filled with inspiring and motivational quotes, this little book packs a powerful punch.

Love You Forever
Robert Munsch

A short children’s story about a mother and son, this book is probably on the shelf of children all over the US. The deeper message of aging and the circle of life make this book a must for kids (and adults) of all ages.

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates

I’ve realized that this book is on a lot of book lists that I do, but it’s just that good. As we watch a seemingly perfect marriage fall apart at the seams, it becomes clear that relationships are a lot different to those on the inside, and sometimes what we see is NOT what you get.

Red Hook Road
Ayelet Waldman

This one hit me in a very unexpected way. As a newly married couple drives to their reception, they become victims of a deadly car crash. The families awaiting their arrival are left to pick up the pieces, and go from planning a wedding to planning a funeral.  Now they must learn to work together to honor the wishes of the now deceased bride and groom.

Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson

OMG. I’m sure we all read this as pre-teens, yes? The ultimate he/she friendship story, this book tells the tale of Jess and Leslie, two friends who create a magical kingdom together where they reign as king and queen, that is until a tragic accident changes everything. OMG WITH THE TISSUES.

To Dance with the White Dog
Terry Kay

This was the first book that ever made me cry!  When Sam Peek’s wife passes away, his children worry that he won’t be able to take care of himself; however, when a mysterious white dog appears, Sam wonders if it’s the spirit of his wife returning to him.

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck

A beautiful story about friendship, this classic book hits ya right in the gut. Two outsiders work together to find their place in a society that wants nothing to do with them. A story that has birthed a Broadway play and not one, but THREE acclaimed films, this book is great for a good, classic cry.

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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