Monthly Archives: August 2017

20 Fun Facts about Robert De Niro

Thought to be one of the greatest actors of his generation, Robert De Niro turns 74 today!  Happy birthday, Bobbie!

 stardust robert de niro neil gaiman GIF

Best known for his tough-guy roles, De Niro has a SLEW of movies under his belt, most of which feature him in a leading role.  He has two Academy Awards, seven nominations, and a bunch of other accolades that have helped him skyrocket into stardom.

To help celebrate De Niro’s birthday, here are 20 fun facts about our favorite tough guy!

fun facts about robert de niro

20 Fun Facts about Robert De Niro

Despite his tough-guy persona, Robert De Niro actually comes from an artistic background.  His mother was a painter and poet and his father was an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor.

Image result for robert de niro parents

De Niro has been nominated five times for an Academy Award and has won twice for The Godfather: Part 2 and Raging Bull.

 robert de niro GIF

De Niro and Marlon Brando are the only two actors to win an Oscar for playing the same character: Vito Corleone.

Image result for robert deniro, marlon brando

De Niro has appeared in more than 90 films, with several more in various stages of production.

For his role in Raging Bull, De Niro put on about 60 pounds by eating loads of ice cream and spaghetti.

 raging bull GIF

De Niro learned to speak Sicilian for his role in The Godfather: Part 2 and also worked as a taxi driver to prepare for his part in Taxi Driver.

 funny movie film cinema hip GIF

De Niro performed a lot of his own stunts during the filming of The Deer Hunter.

Image result for the deer hunter robert deniro

The f-bomb is said about 115 times throughout the film, Raging Bull, mostly during improvised scenes.

De Niro is co-owner of a restaurant called “Rubicon”, with director Francis Ford Coppola and the late Robin Williams.  He also owns a restaurant called “Ago” in West Hollywood.

Image result for Rubicon restaurant

For his role in Taxi Driver, which earned him an Oscar nomination, De Niro was paid $35,000.  His part in Little Fockers 34 years later earned him $20 million.

 movie happy cinema clapping applause GIF

De Niro’s co-star in The Deer Hunter, Christopher Walken, was second choice for the role of Jack Byrnes in Meet the Parents.

De Niro has gone on record saying his favorite actress to work with is Meryl Streep.

Image result for robert de niro, meryl streep

De Niro and legendary director Martin Scorsese have collaborated on eight films since 1973 – Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino.

Image result for robert de niro, martin scorsese

Originally, the role of Frank Costello in The Departed was supposed to go to De Niro; however, he turned it down.  The part was given to Jack Nicholson instead.

The famous face-off between De Niro and Al Pacino in the restaurant scene in Heat had no rehearsals.  De Niro said the scene should not be rehearsed so the unfamiliarity between the two characters would seem more genuine.

Image result for De Niro and Al Pacino in the restaurant scene in Heat

De Niro has said in interviews that the scene in The Deer Hunter where his character visits his friend in the hospital was the most emotional scene he’s ever done and even broke down in tears while talking about it.

Image result for the scene in The Deer Hunter where his character visits his friend in the hospital

Jimmy Conway, De Niro’s character in Goodfellas, is based on real-life mobster Jimmy Burke, aka Jimmy the Gent or The Big Irishman.

Supposedly, De Niro was the last person to see John Belushi alive, only a few hours before his death.

The famous, “You talkin’ to me?” scene in Taxi Driver was actually 100% improvised.

Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time robert de niro taxi driver travis bickle you talking to me GIF

De Niro paid a dentist about $5,000 to have his teeth look bad for his role in Cape Fear.  He later paid $20,000 to have them fixed.

Image result for cape fear

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under fun facts

14 Painted Rock Ideas to Liven Up the World

Let’s face facts…sometimes the world sucks.

There’s no avoiding it…there’s no denying it.  But, there might be something you can do to help spread some cheer throughout the year!

Whether you want to brighten up your garden, your neighborhood, or your community, these painted rocks are sure to bring just a little joy into someone’s life.  Scatter them around your home, in your garden, or spread them around your local park or forest preserve.  A little joke can go a long way, and these painted rocks might just be the motivation your friend or neighbor needs to keep on truckin’!

14 Painted Rock Ideas to Liven Up the World

painted rock ideas

  1. Monster Rocks
  2. Weather Rock
  3. Scripted LOVE Rock
  4. Heart Balloons Rock
  5. Not All Who Wander Rock
  6. Inspirational Rocks
  7. Owl Rocks
  8. Rainbow Rocks
  9. Jawa Star Wars Rocks
  10. Cactus Rocks
  11. Minions Rocks
  12. Potted Rocks
  13. Garden Rocks
  14. Gold Rocks

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

Leave a comment

Filed under gift ideas for all occasions

The True Dreamers


“I address you all tonight for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, magicians…you are the true dreamers.”
–Brian Selznick

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

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

12 Amazing Coconut Recipes

Are you nuts for coconuts?  Even though summer is almost over, you can still enjoy a bite of summer sunshine with these 12 delicious coconut recipes!


12 Amazing Coconut Recipes

Coconut Cake

coconut bundt cake

Coconut Lush

coconut lush

Coconut Bars


Chocolate Coconut Poke Cake

chocolate coconut cake

Toasted Coconut Pudding

toasted coconut pudding

Coconut Loaf Cake

coconut loaf cake

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

coconut ice cream

Outrageous Coconut Cheesecake

chocolate coconut cheesecake2

Coconut Oreos

coconut oreos

Coconut Cream Pie

coconut pie

Coconut Brownie Bites

coconut energy bites

Coconut Ice

coconut ice

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


Filed under dessert recipes

15 Great Quotes by Edith Wharton

Shakespeare wasn’t the only wordsmith ahead of his time. Dive into classics like Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and almost anything by Virginia Woolf and you’ll find wit and sarcasm that challenged the status quo.

Perhaps one of the most prolific of these writers was Edith Wharton. A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer, Wharton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928, and 1930 (GURL POWER!).  Her insider’s view of America’s privileged classes was the inspiration she needed to write humorous and insightful novels about social and psychological insight.

Her most famous novel, The Age of Innocence, won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1921, making her the first woman to win the award. A novel about the morals of 1800’s society, The Age of Innocence challenges views on love and passion. TAOI was one of 15 novels Wharton wrote in her lifetime, in addition to seven novellas, 85 short stories and a large collection of poetry and essays.

On August 11, 1937, Wharton died of a stroke in her home in Paris. As a genuine woman of words, Wharton has left us with a large collection of brilliant thoughts, only some of which are listed below. To celebrate this powerful woman of literature, here are 15 great quotes by the wonderful Edith Wharton.


15 Great Quotes by Edith Wharton

“Ah, good conversation – there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”


“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self…the very meaning of one’s soul.”


“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”


“The real marriage of true minds is for any two people to possess a sense of humor or irony pitched in exactly the same key, so that their joint glances on any subject cross like interarching searchlights.”


“Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn’t any.”


“I want somehow to get away with you into a world where…we shall be simply two human beings who love each other, who are the whole of life to each other; and nothing else on earth will matter.”

easy vs interesting

“In every heart there should be one grief that is like a well in the desert.”


“True originality consists not in a new manner, but in a new vision.”

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

18 Fun Facts about Wonder Woman

Growing up, I knew nothing about Wonder Woman.  I’ve never seen the show or read the comics…I mean, I could pick her out of a lineup, but other than that, I was clueless.

So when the 2017 movie hit theaters, I wasn’t really itching to see it.  I mean, yeah it looked cool…and a female superhero with a rocking body seemed pretty bad ass…but it wasn’t like I HAD to be first in line, ya know?

So one day after work my sister and I decided to check it out…we’d heard good reviews and Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are pretty easy on the eyes, so…what could it hurt?



I went in with little to no expectations and left that theater feeling like I could conquer the world.  I almost wished for a moment that I was a younger version of myself, seeing an Israeli woman with actual meat on her bones (and a baby in her belly, but more on that later!) kicking ass and taking names.

If you loved this movieor are looking for a reason to finally see it, here are 18 Fun Facts about the 2017 film, Wonder Woman.

18 Fun Facts about Wonder Woman

When filming re-shoots and her own stunts (BAD ASS), Gal Gadot was actually 5 months pregnant.  Her baby bump was visible, so the crew created a costume that had a green screen around her belly so they could remove the bump post-production.

Image result for gal gadot pregnant

Want to visit Themyscira in real life?  You can!  Head on over to the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy, the real-life location for this mythical city.

Image result for Amalfi Coast

In order to play the role of Wonder Woman, Gadot trained for 9 months and gained 17 pounds of muscle.

Image result for gal gadot workout progress

In the comics, Steve Trevor and Diana met during WWII, but for the film, it was changed to WWI.  This change was made because filmmakers thought the era was more suitable.  Civilization was finding its roots and there were questions about women’s rights, topics that better suited the story Patty Jenkins (director) wanted to tell.

 wonder woman feminism smash girl power equality GIF

This film features Diana Prince, the original Wonder Woman, and Artemis and Orana, who briefly held the title of Wonder Woman in the comics.  The actresses who played them, Gadot, Ann Wolfe and Myling Ng, were all trained in martial arts.

 movie woman trailer wonder woman superhero GIF

The evil villain, General Ludendorff, was actually a real person…and was just as ruthless as his movie counterpart.  He was also a supporter of the Nazi regime.

Image result for General Ludendorff

The scene where Diana eats ice cream for the first time and praises the vendor is taken directly from the “New 52” DC Comics.

Image result for Diana eats ice cream for the first time

The sweet discussion between Diana and Steve in the boat about “the pleasures of the flesh” was improvised.

Image result for Diana and steve on boat, pleasures of the flesh

Both Jenkins and Lynda Carter (the original Wonder Woman from the TV show) wanted Carter to make a cameo in the film, however she could not due to scheduling conflicts.

 wonder woman smh lynda carter pity GIF

The film’s closing credits contain thanks to the people who made significant contributions to Wonder Woman over the years.  These include Wonder Woman comic writers William Marston, George Perez, Jim Lee and Cliff Chiang, as well as Lynda Carter, the first live-action Wonder Woman.

With an opening of $103 million, this film marked the highest US opening for a female director.

 wonder woman flawless GIF

Although it’s hinted that Dr. Maru’s facial scars were made by fire, her disfigurement is actually more consistent with the effects of mustard gas, something her boss in the film, General Ludendorff, was a proponent of using on enemies.  The gas is corrosive and attacks mucous tissue, such as eyes and the inside of the mouth.  Her mask is based on the actual prosthetic created to conceal face injuries from mustard gas.  They were made out of tin, painted a flesh color, and attached to the face using straps.  These were the first aesthetic prosthetic ever created to help injured soldiers regain some normality in their lives.

Image result for Dr. Maru’

Filmmakers sited Superman (1978), Batman Begins (2005), the Indiana Jones films, Casablanca (1942), and The Little Mermaid (1989) as influences and inspiration.

Gadot and Emily Carey, who played young Diana in the movie, share the same birthday (April 30).

Image result for Emily Carey, gal gadot

Director Patty Jenkins and the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, also share the same birthday (July 24).

Image result for patty jenkins, wonder woman

Before team Jenkins/Gadot got their hands on the Wonder Woman script, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Valhalla Rising, Bronson) was interested in directing and insisted that Christina Hendricks play the role of Wonder Woman.

Image result for christina hendricks, wonder woman

The film wrapped on May 3, the birthday of the Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton Marston.

Image result for William Moulton Marston

Never once in the film does anyone call or name the title character Wonder Woman.

 reaction comics wonder woman super friends GIF

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under fun facts

Felt Patronus Ornaments

Let’s be honest…we’ve all taken the Patronus Quiz on Pottermore, right?  Were ya’ll as bummed with your Patronus as I was?

I mean, I was really excited to find out what my Patronus was, considering my spirit animal is the unicorn (you can find your own here!), but I was slightly disappointed to discover that my Patronus was a cat.

Image result for disappointed cat, gif

My disappointment was 2-fold:

  1. What help would cats REALLY be against Dementors? A stag could charge it, a wolf or dog could attack it…but really what would my cat even do?  Scratch out its non-existent eyeballs?  Sit there quietly in judgement?  Chuck hairballs at it?
  2. I’m allergic to cats. I’d be allergic to my own Patronus.

But alas, I stand by the quiz…and I’m sure, somewhere deep, deep down, my Patronus makes perfect sense.

Of course that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming of having a wolf or dog Patronus…and that’s where today’s craft comes in!  Made using sparkling white felt (you could also use clay!), these Patronuses are great for hanging on gifts, on Christmas trees, or throwing at people who get you down!  Expecto your Patronus on their face!!


To make the animal shapes, I just found animal silhouettes I liked online, then used them as a stencil to cut out my Patronuses.  You can use plain thin felt, but if you can find the thicker cut felt, that’s the best kind for making shapes like this…and sharp scissors…crazy sharp.

Finally, you can use glitter to add a touch of sparkle to your animals, since we all know Patronuses dance in sparkly lights and smoke.  The felt I found had sparkles already on it, so one step down, but you can always add your own sparkles with glitter or sparkle paint.


To make them into ornaments, just glue a small string to the back of each animal and you’re good to go!


The perfect gift for any Potter fan, these felt Patronus Ornaments are sure to keep bad thoughts and dreams at bay!

*Sidenote, about halfway through this project, I decided NOT to make ornaments, but something else instead…stay tuned for how I put my Patronus collection to work!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under felt crafts

Being Alive


“Don’t be afraid that it won’t be perfect…the only thing to be afraid of, really, is that it won’t be.”

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

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

Mini Waffle S’mores Sliders

You guys…August 10th is National S’mores Day!

 food dessert delicious marshmallow smores GIF

I LOVE s’mores.  I’ve made them in the oven, in the microwave, in brownies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and trail mix.  I’ve made them with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (YOU GUYS!), fruit, spicy chocolate, and a whole slew of other weird ingredients.

But in a few days it will OFFICIALLY be s’mores day…which means we can indulge in sweet s’mores without the guilt!


To celebrate, here’s a fun little recipe for tasty s’mores made with mini waffles.  For my chocolate, I actually used s’mores flavored Candy Melts candy…because why the F not?!

These are a quick and easy snack for after school, after dinner, or just for a taste of something sweet!

Mini Waffle S’mores Sliders


  • Mini Waffles
  • Standard Marshmallows
  • Mini Chocolate Bars (or whatever chocolate you like!)


Toast mini waffles.  As waffles toast, melt a few bars of chocolate.

Once toasted, let waffles cool slightly.  If desired, dip half of waffle in melted chocolate and let harden.

Place marshmallows under broiler for 1-2 minutes.  Watch them closely, especially if you’re using a toaster oven…they’ll brown fast!


Place chocolate bar on waffle and top with marshmallow.  Top with other waffle and dive in!


Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


Filed under dessert recipes

Reading Around the Country: 50 Books for 50 States

They say that books are the cheapest form of travel…and with this list of 50 Books for 50 States, you can make your way around the US from the comfort of your own couch.


Start your journey at the Whistle Stop Café in Alabama (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café), then journey into the Alaskan wilderness in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild.  Travel back in time to 1800’s Chicago for the Chicago World’s Fair in Devil in the White City, then get a true taste of Wyoming’s beautiful landscape in Annie Proulx’s collection of stories, Close Range.

This is the ultimate reading list for those looking to learn about the eclectic culture of the US, from the rough and tough landscapes of the American southwest to the picturesque mountains and valleys that abound on our coastal states.

Reading Around the Country: 50 Books for 50 States


  • Alabama – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Fannie Flagg
  • Alaska – Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • Arizona – Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
  • Arkansas – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • California – East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  • Colorado – Kings of Colorado, David E. Hilton
  • Connecticut – Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
  • Delaware – And Never Let Her Go, Ann Rule
  • Florida – Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston


  • Georgia – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
  • Hawaii – The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings
  • Idaho – Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
  • Illinois – Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  • Indiana – All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
  • Iowa – The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller
  • Kansas – In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • Kentucky – Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Louisiana – The Awakening, Kate Chopin


  • Maine – It, Stephen King
  • Maryland – The Sot-Weed Factor, John Barth
  • Massachusetts – The Crucible, Arthur Miller
  • Michigan – The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Minnesota – The Good Girl, Mary Kubica
  • Mississippi – The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  • Missouri – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Montana – A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Norman Maclean
  • Nebraska – O Pioneers!, Willa Cather


  • Nevada – Desperation, Stephen King
  • New Hampshire – A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  • New Jersey – American Pastoral, Philip Roth
  • New Mexico – The Milagro Beanfield War, Joe Mondragon
  • New York – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • North Carolina – A Land More Kind Than Home, Wiley Cash
  • North Dakota – The Round House, Louise Erdrich
  • Ohio – Deadeye Dick, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Oklahoma – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck


  • Oregon – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
  • Pennsylvania – Rabbit, Run, John Updike
  • Rhode Island – The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
  • South Carolina – The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  • South Dakota – The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Ann Weisgarber
  • Tennessee – A Death in the Family, James Agee
  • Texas – Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger
  • Utah – The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff
  • Vermont – Where the Rivers Flow North, Howard Frank Mosher


  • Virginia – Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Washington – Border Songs, Jim Lynch
  • West Virginia – Rocket Boys, Homer H. Hickam, Jr.
  • Wisconsin – A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
  • Wyoming – Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Annie Proulx

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.


Filed under book lists