Monthly Archives: September 2017

20 Spooky Thrillers to Read for Halloween

The leaves have already started changing colors in Chicago…which means I’M READY FOR HALLOWEEN.

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I love me a good spine-tingling spooky thriller on a blustery fall night…and while I could easily populate this list with Stephen King novels alone, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite books perfect for reading in the weekends leading up to All Hallows Eve…

spooky-thrillers

Best accompanied with a blanket and a BIG cup of hot apple cider (having a guard dog on hand probably isn’t a bad idea, either), these spooky thrillers are sure to get under your skin and just sit there, lurking, until they crawl into your dreams at night to play…

20 Spooky Thrillers to Read for Halloween

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
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The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
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Room, Emma Donoghue
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The Never List, Koethi Zan
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World War Z, Max Brooks
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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
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Bird Box, Josh Malerman
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Haunted, Chuck Palahniuk
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The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
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The Road, Cormac McCarthy
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We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
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The Boy Who Drew Monsters, Keith Donohue
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The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey
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Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
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The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares, Joyce Carol Oates
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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
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The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders, Anthony Flacco
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Booked to Die, John Dunning
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Nocturnes, John Connolly
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Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
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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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28 Fun Facts About Disney World

It’s the most magical place on earth…and the most mysterious!  Filled with hidden tunnels, secret passageways, INSANE casting rules, and lots of secretive tidbits, Disney World has remained a favorite tourist destination for kids and adults alike.

Whether you go with the kids or just go because you’re a kid at heart, there’s no denying that Disney World is a place where dreams come true…and now you can learn a little more about this magical getaway with these 28 Fun Facts About Disney World!

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28 Fun Facts About Disney World

There’s no gum sold at any Disney World or Disneyland park…so if you chew, bring your own.

It’s NOT a small world after all…Disney World encompasses over 50 square miles.

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Hidden Mickey Mouse heads can be found everywhere.

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Guests at Disneyworld are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can.  Some of them even talk to you!

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Since its grand opening, Disneyworld has only closed 3 times: Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001, and a power failure in 2002.

Visit The Hat Shop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and you’ll see an old pay phone on the wall. Pick up the receiver and you can eavesdrop on an interesting conversation.

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There are no bathrooms located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, in keeping with the time period of that area.

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In the Magic Kingdom Train Station, look closely for articles left by other “guests,” including Mary Poppins and other characters from Disney films.

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An imagineer named George was killed during the building of Pirates of the Caribbean.  It is said his ghost haunts the ride to this day.  Workers say “goodnight George” before they shut down the ride each night as a superstition to prevent attraction break downs the next day.

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Epcot’s American Pavilion is home to an American flag taken from the rubble of 9/11/2001.

Underneath Disney World are miles of underground tunnels called utilidors that house the massive costume departments, cast member break rooms, garbage chutes and more.  It also serves as a way for cast members to get from one place to another without disrupting the “magic”.

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Disney World averaged 10,000 visitors per day when it first opened in 1971. Today that number has swelled closed to 50,000 visitors per day.

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The new Avatar section of Animal Kingdom cost more than $400 million to build.

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Epcot gardens grow over 30 tons of fruits and veggies each year to help feed hungry park visitors.

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The Disney Company bought 12,000 acres of Florida Wetlands located about 15 miles south of the park back in the 90’s. The idea was to maintain the balance of nature and offset the environmental impact of the parks.

More than 1.6 million turkey legs are consumed at the parks every year. They are such a fan favorite that you can buy turkey leg hats, t-shirts and other souvenirs.

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Disney’s first Audio Animatronics were introduced to the world at the 1966 World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. The two rides were “It’s A Small World” and “Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln”, which later evolved into today’s Hall of Presidents.

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You never have to pay for water in Disney World…just go to any quick service restaurant in the park and ask for a cup.

One of the most popular Disney souvenirs of all time was the Mickey Mouse watch. It was first introduced in 1933 and sold for $2.95. Walt Disney himself was presented with the 25th million watch in 1957.

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Disney’s Wedding Pavillion near the Grand Floridian Resort is designed to give the bride and groom a great view of Cinderella Castle while saying their vows.

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Over 10 million hamburgers, 7 million hot dogs and 9 million pounds of French fries are consumed by hungry Disney World guests every year.

Walt Disney World Costume Department is home to over 1.2 million pieces of clothing.

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It takes over 150 tractor trailer loads of decorations to deck the halls for holiday celebrations. Wonder what Disney’s electric bill is for all of this?  It’s zero…they have their own power plant.

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Admission was only $3.50 on opening day in 1971…a little more than $20 today.  Nowadays, a ticket is gonna run you closer to $100, depending on the parks you want to visit.

Designers built an apartment for Walt into the castle plan for Cinderella’s Castle, but he died before its completion. That space was later turned into a hotel room that’s only available if you win a promotion or sweepstakes.

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Disney World is the largest single-site employer in the US…and employees aren’t just called employees — they’re cast members.

An estimated 1.65 million pairs of eyeglasses have made their way to Disney World’s lost-and-found bins since 1971. Every year, the park finds an average of 6,000 cellphones, 3,500 digital cameras and 18,000 hats.

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Disney World’s biggest theme park, Animal Kingdom, encompasses 403 acres.

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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11 Adorable Bottle Cap Crafts

So earlier this week we explored some recipes you can make with beer, specifically stout and porters, so now let’s find a use for all those bottle caps that you have lying around the house!

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11 Adorable Bottle Cap Crafts

Make cute coasters for the den or bar with these bottle cap coasters.

19 Easy and Striking DIY Bottle Cap Craft Ideas - Diy Craft Ideas & Gardening

Show off your favorite wedding memories with these bottle cap magnets.

DIY Fridge Magnets Out of Bottle Caps **Using 1

Make adorable French macaron ornaments with bottle caps and glitter.

These are such adorable little DIY French macaron ornaments. Such a great idea and they have SO many uses!

Create an amazing back splash by attaching bottle caps to the wall (this is one of my favorite ideas!).

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…or attach them to a table…

DIY Bottle Cap Table – Your Projects@OBN

You know I love maps!  Show off your favorite places with these bottle cap magnets!

Bottle Cap Magnets  Recycled Atlas/ Map

Turn your favorite quote into a necklace with these bottle cap charms.

DIY book nerd necklaces. Cute upcycled bottle cap craft tutorial

Keep track of your wine glass with these cute bottle cap wine charms.

Create the ultimate poker game with these flattened beer bottle chips.

Beer Bottle Cap Poker Chip Set by TheArtofDrinkingBeer on Etsy, $175.00

Or turn your cap collection into an amazing wind chime.

Bottle Cap wind chime idea

So, you sew?  Try making these little pin holder rings to keep track of all your pins.

Pincushion Ring Tutorial - A bowl full of goodness

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

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Happiness is Where You Are

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“There comes a day
when you’re gonna look around
and realize happiness
is where you are.”
Moana

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 Decadent Dessert Recipes (with BEER!)

Tis the season for sweaters, pumpkins, scarves, and boots…which means it’s also time for hot apple cider, strong coffee, and tasty stouts and porters.

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OOOOOOH YEAH.

I could easily drink stout year-round, but I love it even more in the fall.  Often flavored with chocolate or coffee, stouts are the perfect ingredient to add to chocolate cakes and pies for added depth and flavor.

I’ve used Guinness in my baking before (check out my recipe for Guinness cupcakes!), but there are so many other (and BETTER) stouts and porters to use in your fall and winter baking…

So crack open some cold ones (for baking) and pour some whisky (for drinking) and enjoy these 12 chocolatey, decadent desserts all made with beer.

12 Decadent Dessert Recipes Made with Beer

Bacon and Beer Cookie Bars

Rich Beer Brownies

Beer Mousse

Beeramasu

Beer Cheesecake

Beer Cherry Pie

Guinness Chocolate Sauce

Coffee Stout Cookies

Rich Stout Fudge

Guinness Brownies

Vanilla Stout Pecan Pie

Stout TrufflesStout Truffles

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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Farm Anatomy Book Review

Call me crazy, but the thought of moving out into the country and owning a farm where I can grow my own produce and have a honey bee farm sounds like pure heaven.  I love the idea of living off the land and (slightly) off the grid, eating food you’ve grown yourself and having a job where you can get down and dirty working with your hands.

Realistic?  Maybe…but I’m not stupid.  I know farm life is hard work.  Your entire livelihood is dependent on the elements you can’t control….and there’s no calling in sick when work has to get done.  It requires expensive equipment, sometimes owning livestock, and apparently learning a whole new vocabulary of words I never even knew existed.

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In her beautifully illustrated book, Farm Anatomy, author Julia Rothman takes readers through various parts and pieces of country life, including layers of the soil, how to rotate your crops, how to make a barn (and what animals might come to occupy it), how to plow a field, how to grow seeds, how to make wine and spin yarn, as well as how to shear a sheep and identify the various cuts of pig, chicken, lamb, beef and rabbit.

The perfect book for budding farmers, Farm Anatomy aims to teach readers the bits and pieces that make a farm run, from reading the clouds to composting your waste.  Illustrated with amazing detail and filled with tons of tidbits about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about keeping bugs off your crops, this book is so fascinating and fun to read that you might even find yourself wanting to build a chicken coop in your own backyard.

Even if you’re not ready to go full Charlotte’s Web and start butchering pigs and collecting eggs, Farm Anatomy is a great resource for just living a simpler, more homemade lifestyle.  There are amazing recipes for carrot cake, buckwheat pancakes, and dill pickles, as well as helpful guides for how to can tomatoes, make bread and cheese, and how to cut a full chicken.

A colorful, fun, and entertaining coffee table book you’ll actually WANT to read, Farm Anatomy breaks down farming into manageable pieces, dissecting everything from the parts of a milking machine to the anatomy of a pig.  With witty illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, this book is bound to turn city dwellers into country mice, one seed at a time.

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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21 Fun Facts About the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A few days ago I was just reminiscing about my recent trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  As I was unpacking my boxes after our move, I came across my Butterbeer cup, my wand, and a few other things I picked up on our journey…and I found myself missing it more and more!

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Regardless of whether you love or loath Harry Potter, there’s no denying that the park abounds with amazing detail.  Movie props pepper the park, voices of familiar characters can be heard throughout the Hogwarts castle, and you can even TAKE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS between parks!

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I may or may not have cried on that ride…but I definitely cried.

J.K. Rowling had a hand in everything while the park was being created, from the look and flow of the scenery to the title of the songs that crooner Celestia Warbeck sings on stage.  It really is a dream come true for fans of the series and is FILLED with little nods that lovers of the books and movies are sure to appreciate.

If you’re planning a trip to TWWoHP in the near future, here are 21 little nuggets (or should I say Galleons!) to keep in mind as you plan your trip!

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21 Fun Facts About The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Many of the Wizarding World staff members are from the U.K.  The park hired a large number of its team members directly from Britain to make the experience as authentic as possible.

Every staff member also takes an exam, testing their knowledge of the books and movies to make sure their interactions go as smoothly as possible.  Nothing’s getting past these guys!

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Author J.K. Rowling had final say on the Butterbeer recipe served at the park.

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A Crumple-Horned Snorkack, Luna Lovegood’s favorite magical creature, can be seen in the Magical Menagerie store…though Luna herself has yet to find one IRL.

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Look up in the windows of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and you’ll see house elves all over the place!  Even Kreacher makes an appearance from behind the curtain of 12 Grimmauld Place every few minutes.  CREEEEEEEPY!

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Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride features appearances from original actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rupert Grint; however, Emma Watson nor Daniel Radcliffe reprised their roles…so Harry and Hermione might sound different on the ride.

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Though Moaning Myrtle haunts the girls’ bathroom in the books and movies, boys and girls can hear Moaning Myrtle haunt their toilets throughout the park bathrooms.

In order to build Diagon Alley, the famous Jaws ride had to be taken down. As a tribute, a record is visible in the windows of the shop on Charing Cross Road, where the Jaws ride was, that has a song titled “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bo Legged Women”, a direct quote from the Jaws movie.  There’s also a set of shark teeth in the Mullpepper’s Apothecary.

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There’s an actual London-style phone in the King’s Cross section of the park.  If you dial 62442 (MAGIC), you’ll be connected to the Ministry of Magic.

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The Hogwarts Express was built in Switzerland and was artificially aged to make it look as though it had made the journey from Hogwarts to London thousands of times.

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The same musicians hired to play the film soundtracks played new arrangements for the park attractions.

J.K. Rowling wrote the titles of every song Celestia Warbeck sings in the park.

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You can converse with the goblin tellers inside Gringotts Bank.  If you ring a desk bell, the goblin teller will look directly at you (!!).  Ask the goblin a question like, “How old are you?” or “Did you know there’s a dragon on the roof?” and see what they say…

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You can trade your muggle money in for Gringotts money, which can be used throughout the park.

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Ask an employee in London’s King Cross station how to find Platform 9¾…they will look at you like you’re crazy, bristle in annoyance or confusion, or make a sarcastic remark about how bonkers you are. The wizards working at both Potter-themed parks know their stuff — and they stay in character (and challenge your Harry Potter knowledge) at every turn.

The earmuffs near the mandrake roots, the desks and chalkboard in the Dark Arts classroom, Cho Chang’s dress from the Yule Ball, the carriage compartment in the Hogwarts Express train and, most notably, Hagrid’s motorcycle are just a few of the real movie props you can spot in the park.

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The dragon atop Gringotts is a Ukrainian Ironbelly…and it has breathed fire more than 15,000 times since the park opened.

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Nearly all of the Horcruxes are available for purchase at the parks.  The only missing Horcruxes are Helga Hufflepuff’s cup and Harry himself. The locket, ring, Tom Riddle’s diary, a stuffed Nagini, and even Rowena Ravenclaw’s bedazzled diadem are for sale.

Want a challenge?  Mention the name “Voldemort” to any Harry Potter park employee…

The actual costumes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire are on display at Gladrags Wizardwear.

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In the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes joke shop, you can adopt your very own Pygmy Puff.  When you do, the attendant will ring a bell and announce the name of your Pygmy Puff to the whole store.

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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 Wanderlust-worthy Ways to Decorate with Maps

My husband and I have a map in our living room where we track places we’ve  been in the US.  After a vacation, we put a pin in the cities we traveled to…it’s fun to see our life on a map and is great motivation for checking out places we’ve never been.

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We both love to travel and always bring a map with us when we hit the road because, as my dad always said, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…and we’re bound to get off course at least a good handful of times (after all, all the best restaurants and breweries are often tucked away off the beaten path!).

If you’re filled with a sense of wanderlust, there’s no better cure than to get out of the house…and these 12 Wanderlust-worthy map decorations might just be the motivation you need!

12 Wanderlust-worthy Ways to Decorate with Maps

Decoupage your favorite places on hexagon cork board pieces or wood and arrange them on your wall.

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Show off vintage maps of far-off places with these embroidery hoop wall hangings.

Fun way to display map art - or any kind of art for that matter :)

Decoupage rocks with your favorite cities or road trip paths.

https://myfancycraft.com/ MyFancyCraft artisans community represents works of the best craftsmen from all over Ukraine

Do you have travel on the brain?  Show off your favorite place within your silhouette.

Silhouette from map- I'd love to see if I could fit Poland and Lebanon within my noggin

Create mini globes of your favorite places.

Après avoir passé une petite après-midi au soleil à discuter entre copines de voyager et de nos petits moyens, il m’est venu une idée : comment voyager quand on à pas beaucoup de budget ? Sûr…

Smarten up your bookshelves.

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Where your country on your sleeve…

14 DIYs Using Maps - A Little Craft In Your Day

Show off all your favorite places with this wanderlust wall art.

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Turn an old vintage map into a stunning wreath.

30 Creative Diy Maps Decorations the one in the picture should have a compass in the middle to tie it together

Make lovely coasters with these vintage maps.

Remodelaholic | 20  More Free Printable Vintage Map Images

Decoupage a vintage map over a coffee table.

DIY IKEA Hack map table www.pillarboxblue.com #diydecor #diyfurniture #ikeahack

Frame pics of you and your buds in your favorite places with these map frames.

Top 10 DIY Map Gifts For Travel Lovers

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

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Smart and Tough and Strong

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“I have touched glitter in the past 24 hours…but that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.”
New Girl

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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Happy Labor Day!

labor day

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September 4, 2017 · 8:10 am