Monthly Archives: July 2018

I’m No One’s Little Puppet

hey-hey-hey

“Hey, hey, hey
You think that I’m a little baby
You that I am fragile like a Faberge
You think that I am cracking but you can’t break me
No-o-o-o-o no way!”
–Katy Perry, “Hey, Hey, Hey”

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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Raising the Bar: 12 Dessert Bar Recipes

When a piece of pie or a cookie just won’t do, smash them together and make yourself a dessert bar! Great for parties and summer gatherings, dessert bars can be made in almost any combination and basically involve pouring stuff into a 9 x 13 in. pan and baking it until you reach gooey, delicious perfection.

From the ol’ fashioned key lime bars to the upscale s’mores bars, these dessert bar recipes, well, raise the bar!

dessert-bar-recipes

Raising the Bar: 12 Dessert Bar Recipes

dessert-bars1

Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars

dessert-bars2

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars

Snickerdoodle Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars

dessert-bars3

Funfetti Gooey Bars

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Key Lime Bars

dessert-bars4

S’mores Bars

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Boston Cream Pie Bars

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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The Planets Book Review

There’s something deeply poetic and lyrical about space. The planets that make up our Solar System dance around the Sun in rotation, the stars ever-present in our seemingly endless sky.

The planets that lay on the outskirts of Earth showcase brilliant colors, made mostly of various gases and rock matter. In the grand scheme of things, not much is known about the planets in the Milky Way, making our Solar System one of the greatest mysteries of our natural world.

As an Earthling, I’ve naturally always been interested in space, as I’m sure most of us have at one point in our lives. It’s the great unknown, the uncharted divide, the terra incognita that turns young rocket builders into NASA astronauts.

I’ve always wanted to learn more about the plants’ creation and how our Solar System was formed; however, I knew I couldn’t get through a book that got heavier than a 5th grade science level! This left me with little options…

Until I learned about Dava Sobel’s book, The Planets. Billed as an easy-to-understand collection of essays about the planets of our Solar System, I was intrigued to learn more. Clocking in at just under 300 pages and divided into several digestible sections, I felt this was just the book I needed to give me a Reader’s Digest version of how the universe came to be.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The Planets is indeed a collection of lyrical essays, mixing scientific fact with poetic prose, however I found it lack on the science and heavy on the adjectives.

Broken down into sections, with each section covering a different element in the Milky Way (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, etc.), this book uses mythology, pop culture, religion and more to explain the creation of each entity. For example, the Mars chapter is written from the perspective of a rock while the chapter on the Sun uses the book of Genesis to explain the start of creation. While this was indeed interesting, it wasn’t quite the educational text I was hoping for.

Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t like it…I liked some. I thought much of Sobel’s prose was beautiful and the creative spin she put on each chapter certainly did not go unappreciated by a fellow creative writer; however, when I was done with the book, I felt no more educated than when I started.

For lovers of science and space, The Planets might disappoint you. This book is akin to “Physics for Poets”, in that it uses lovely, magical words to explain a concept so vast that it’s beyond most of our understanding. While the stories in this book are indeed entertaining, you’re better off going into this as a collection of short fiction than you are a book on scientific fact.

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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67 Fun Facts about the Planets

I’ve said several times that if I was born with a scientific mind, I’d want to be an astronomer. I love learning about space and our Solar System and the thought that there might be life out there in the universe is both fascinating and terrifying to me.

Sometimes when I’m bored or can’t fall asleep, I’ll just stumble various space sites and learn about the planets that make up our Solar System. Much like researching the Jon Benet Ramsey case at 2 am looking for the clue that will crack the case, part of me thinks maybe, just MAYBE, I’ll stumble upon something, well, out of this world.

planets

One article I found particularly interesting was that the planets don’t rotate around the sun like they’re on a racing track, as some TV shows and pictures would have you believe…they actually move in interesting oval patterns, with poor Pluto just on a path all it’s own:

Image result for planet gifsWhite is Mercury, light blue is Venus, brown is Earth, purple is Mars, grey is Jupiter, red is Saturn, yellow is Uranus, green is Neptune, dark blue is Pluto

If you also love learning about the vastness of our amazing Solar System, check out these fun facts about the planets.

67 Fun Facts about the Planets

MERCURY

Here’s  a picture of Mercury compared to Earth:

mercury

Mercury does not have any moons or rings.

Mercury GIF

A year on Mercury takes 88 Earth days.

Mercury GIF

The diameter of Mercury is about 3,031 miles, making it the smallest planet in our Solar System.

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The surface of Mercury that faces the sun sees temperatures upwards of 800 degrees F, while the other side of the planet can see temperatures as low as -280 degrees F.

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Despite being the closest planet to the sun, Mercury is the second-hottest planet, with Venus having a hotter surface temperature than Mercury.

Mercury is also the most cratered planet in the Solar System. It does not possess the ability to “self-heal” like other planets.

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Because it’s so close to the sun, Mercury is a hard planet for us to visit. Only two space crafts have ever visited: the Mariner 10 in 1974 and 1975 and the Messenger probe in 2004.

The Hubble Space Telescope cannot view Mercury. This is because Mercury is too close to the Sun and the brightness would harm the electrical components of the telescope.

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VENUS

Here’s a picture of Venus compared to Earth:

venus

Venus is often called Earths “sister planet” due to their proximity in size.

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The rotation of Venus is so slow that it travels around the sun quicker than it can make one rotation on its axis. This means that Venus has a longer day than it does a year.

Venus is the brightest object in our night sky after our Moon.

Image result for venus from earth

Like Mercury, Venus is also void of moons and rings.

Venus rotates in the opposite direction of most planets, known as retrograde rotation. A possible reason might be a collision with an asteroid or other object that caused the planet to alter its rotational path.

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Even though it’s not the closest planet to the sun, it’s certainly the hottest. The average surface temperature of Venus is about 863 degrees F.

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EARTH

The rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing, at about 17 milliseconds per one hundred years. This has the effect of lengthening our days, but it happens so slowly that it could take as long as 140 million years before the length of a day increases to 25 hours.

atmosphere GIF

The Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.

Earth is also the only planet not named after a mythical god.

Scientists have estimated that there are nearly 2 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way alone.

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According to scientists, the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.

The average temperature of Earth is about 55 degrees F.

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface, meaning much of the planet has never even been explored.

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Due to our distance from the sun, it takes about 8 minutes for light to reach our planet.

MARS

Here’s a picture of Mars compared to Earth:

mars

Mars is home to the tallest mountain in the Solar System: Olympus Mons. This volcano is 13 miles high and 373 miles in diameter. Scientists believe it could still be active.

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As of September 2014, there have been more than 40 missions to Mars, 18 of which have been successful.

Mars also has the largest dust storms in the Solar System. They can last for months and cover the entire planet.

Mars rests comfortably 35 million miles away from us.

There are signs of liquid water on Mars, meaning life could – in some way, shape, or form – exist there.

JUPITER

Here’s a picture of Jupiter compared to Earth:

jupiter

Jupiter is two and a half times more massive than all the other planets in the Solar System COMBINED.

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Despite its size, Jupiter has the shortest day of all the planets. It turns on its axis once every 9 hours and 55 minutes.

Jupiter orbits the sun once every 11.8 Earth years.

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The big red spot on Jupiter is actually a storm that has been raging for at least 350 years. It’s so large that three Earths could fit inside it.

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Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, clocking in at about 3,200 miles in diameter, bigger than Mercury.

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If Earth was the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be about as big as a basketball.

The volume of Jupiter is great enough to hold 1,300 Earths.

Jupiter also has the most moons in the Solar System, housing 67 that we know of.

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SATURN

Here’s a picture of Saturn compared to Earth:

saturn

Saturn is the most distant planet that can be seen with the naked eye.

Image result for saturn from earth

Saturn is mostly made up of hydrogen. Deep inside the planet, the hydrogen becomes metallic and there is a hot core in the center of the planet.

The famous Saturn rings are made mostly of chunks of ice and small amounts of carbonaceous dust. The rings stretch out to more than 75,000 miles from the planet and are incredibly thin, only about 65 feet thick.

Image result for saturn rings

Saturn is also the only planet in the Solar System that is less dense than water…meaning that if there was a body of water large enough to hold it, the planet would float.

Saturn’s moon, Titan, is the only body in our Solar System beyond Earth that is known to have water on the surface.

Image result for Titan moon

URANUS

Here’s a picture of Uranus compared to Earth:

uranus

Uranus was the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope.

It also is tipped over on its side, with an axial tilt of 98 degrees. It’s often described as “rolling around the Sun on its side”.

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Uranus makes one trip around the sun every 84 Earth years.

The upper atmosphere of the planet is made of water, ammonia and methane ice crystals, giving it the pale blue color it’s known for.

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The only space craft to fly by Uranus was the Voyager 2 in 1986.

Like Venus, Uranus also spins opposite to the rest of the planets in the Solar System.

Uranus also has 13 unique rings.

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Due to the fashion in which it spins, portions of Uranus can have nights that last more than 40 years.

NEPTUNE

Here’s a picture of Neptune compared to Earth:

neptune

It’s thought that Neptune actually formed much closer to the Sun before migrating to where it is now.

Neptune is not a solid planet, so it spins on its axis very rapidly (about takes about 18 hours to make one rotation).

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Neptune holds the record for the strongest winds in our Solar System. Wind speeds have gotten up to 1,300 mph.

“The Scooter” is a cloud that moves around Neptune about every 16 hours.

Image result for neptune the scooter

Neptune is so far from Earth that it took the Voyager 2 TWELVE YEARS to get there.

PLUTO

In 2006, Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet”, meaning it is a planetary-mass object being neither a planet nor a satellite (moon).

From the time Pluto was labeled as a planet, then demoted to a dwarf planet status (about 76 years), it never even completed a full rotation around the sun.

Image result for pluto's rotation

As a matter of fact, one journey around the sun for this dwarf planet takes 248 Earth years. This means that since its discovery in 1930, it has yet to complete a full orbit.

Pluto is smaller than our moon.

Image result for pluto compared to earth's moon

According to some astronomers, Pluto may have once been one of Neptune’s moons, but somehow broke out of the orbit.

One of the reasons Pluto was declassified as a planet was because there are asteroids in the Solar System that are bigger than Pluto.

Since its declassification, Pluto’s technical name is now 134340.

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 Garlands for the Whole Year

Be ready for every holiday and season with these 12 Garlands for the Whole Year. From New Year’s Day decor to garlands you can have up from fall through the winter, these seasonal decorations are great for beginning crafters and decorators!

12 Garlands for the Whole Year

garlands

January

january

February

february

March

march

April

april

May

may

June

june

July

july

August
This garland is made of pool noodles! What a fun idea! Dress up your pool party with this fun, waterproof decoration!

august

September
Dried apples make a festive garland you could use all the way through the fall and winter. Use it on your Thanksgiving table, too for a festive touch.

september

October

october

November

november

December
This one doesn’t have a tutorial, but it’s pretty easy to figure out! Some fake snow, some little fake trees, and a garland of plastic lights and you’re set to go!

december

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

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This is My Fight Song

fight-song
“Like a small boat on the ocean
Sending big waves into motion
How a single word can make a heart open
I might have one match but I can make an explosion.”
–Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”

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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15 Key Lime Pie Recipes

The scent of sunscreen is in the air…minivans arrive by the droves to unload groups of floatie-laiden children into the nearest public pool. For some, the arrival of summer means family vacations, days spent at the beach, kids and teachers on the loose, looking to have a little fun before school starts up again…

But for those of us who keep on working no matter what the season, there’s little to look forward to come summertime. Climbing into hot cars after a crappy day at work, dealing with alternating temperatures throughout your office building, not being able to “dress for the heat” without violating some company dress code…these are challenging times for corporate Americans…however, there’s one thing us low men can look forward to with the arrival of summer…KEY LIME PIE EVERYTHING.

Forget pumpkin spice…PSL’s aren’t really THAT great and you know it. The seasonal flavor to savor is key lime. Pies, ice cream, cheesecakes, fruit dips, even cocktails are made that much better with the addition of a zesty key lime.

So celebrate summer the right way with these 15 zesty key lime pie recipes!

15 Key Lime Pie Recipes

Traditional Key Lime Pie

pie

Key Lime Ice Pops

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Key Lime Dip

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Key Lime Coffee Cake

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Key Lime Pancakes

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Key Lime Colada

colata

Key Lime Parfaits

parfets

Key Lime Mojito

mojito

Key Lime Cheesecake

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Key Lime Martini

martini

Key Lime Bundt Cake

pound cake

Key Lime Ice Cream

ice cream

Key Lime Fat Bombs

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Key Lime Cake

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Key Lime Avocado Bars

bars

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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