Monthly Archives: July 2018

I’m No One’s Little Puppet


“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!


Raising the Bar: 12 Dessert Bar Recipes


Blueberry Lemon Pie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars


Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars

Snickerdoodle Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars


Funfetti Gooey Bars

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Key Lime Bars


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.


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


Here’s  a picture of Mercury compared to Earth:


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.

Image result for planet sizes

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.

Image result for mercury rotating

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.

Image result for mercury planet

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.

Image result for mercury distance from sun


Here’s a picture of Venus compared to Earth:


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

Image result for venus compared to earth

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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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.


Here’s a picture of Mars compared to Earth:


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.

Image result for Olympus Mons

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.


Here’s a picture of Jupiter compared to Earth:


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

Image result for jupiter with planets inside

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.

Image result for jupiter orbiting sun

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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Here’s a picture of Saturn compared to Earth:


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


Here’s a picture of Uranus compared to Earth:


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.


Here’s a picture of Neptune compared to Earth:


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.


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
















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


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.






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!


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

“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


Key Lime Ice Pops


Key Lime Dip


Key Lime Coffee Cake

coffee cake

Key Lime Pancakes


Key Lime Colada


Key Lime Parfaits


Key Lime Mojito


Key Lime Cheesecake


Key Lime Martini


Key Lime Bundt Cake

pound cake

Key Lime Ice Cream

ice cream

Key Lime Fat Bombs


Key Lime Cake


Key Lime Avocado 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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What do Do When I’m Gone Book Review

I sat at my computer for a long time wondering how to start writing this book review. I could start with a sappy story about my mom and how she’s endlessly supported us no matter what we wanted to do in our lives…I could write about how my relationship with my mom has evolved and changed so much in the last few years in ways I never could have imagined…I could write about her strength, her stubbornness, her undying love and sense of humor…but I won’t. Instead, I’ll say this: my mom is single-handedly the strongest, bravest woman I know and the thought of losing her shakes me to the core.

I saw What to Do When I’m Gone at my local library and really debated checking it out. I knew it would bring me to tears. I knew I’d ugly-cry basically from start to end, but I couldn’t help but wonder what sage advice might come from reading the pages. I carried it around with me as I browsed for other books and ultimately decided to give it a go.

By page 15, I was a hot mess express. I poured myself a glass of wine and, by page 30 was drinking straight from the bottle. In the quiet safe space of my reading room, I let myself sob.

A colorful, poignant assortment of advice handed down from mother to daughter on how to live, practically and spiritually, after mom has passed, What to Do When I’m Gone illustrates how to move on post-burial. The book begins with the funeral, or Day 1: “pour[ing] yourself a stiff glass of whiskey and make some fajitas” and continues with daily activities to help aid in the healing process.

Written and illustrated by a mother/daughter team, Suzy Hopkins and Hallie Bateman respectively, WTDWIG shows us that it’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to find enjoyment, and it’s okay to just sit there and allow yourself to cry. It’s advice only a mom can offer, and it’s nothing if not beautiful, enriching, and tender.

If there’s one thing I learned in losing my dad, it was that death is real. It’s very, very, real. It’s inevitable for all of us and there’s no getting around the fact that we’re all, at one time, going to lose someone important to us. What WTDWIG does goes beyond offering helpful advice…it shows how precious and short life is and makes no false promises that the grief will eventually fade. It shows that it’s okay to feel all the feels, whether it’s a day after losing your mom or 20 years later. It gives us the courage to keep living, to keep breathing, to keep going…no matter how impossible the thought of that may seem at the time.

I’m happy to say that What to Do When I’m Gone turned out to be exactly what I needed. It was a sweet and gentle reminder to call my mom and just sit and chat for a while. Though it wasn’t my mom offering this sage advice, it may as well have been. The wisdom and honesty that permeates these pages can only come from a mother who loves her daughter, who wants nothing but the best for her. It’s a book every daughter should read, whether her mother is alive or not. It’s raw and honest in the way only a mother can be, offering advice that both helps and hurts, and proving that we all retain just a little of our mother (no matter how much we may protest!) as we age, learn, and grow.

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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32 Fun Facts about Family Guy

It seems today that all we see is violence in movies and sex on TV…and no one is going to exploit that quite like Family Guy.


Chances are if there was a political faux pa, a media meltdown, a viral video or picture, or a celebrity feud in the past 20 years, Seth MacFarlane’s long-running cartoon was gonna bring it up and throw it right back in your face.

Family Guy GIF

Not shying away from any sensitive topic (I mean, they’ve covered everything from family abuse to creepy child-loving neighbors), Family Guy is a show that will make you laugh and cry. And personally, I LOVE it!

Family Guy Breakfast GIF

Sure they have their up and down episodes, and when they killed off Brian I just about lost it, but Family Guy is always a show I know I can turn to when I need a laugh. No one is safe from MacFarlane’s clever, on-topic writing, and the characters that make up the town of Quahog, Rhode Island are nothing if not colorful reminders of people you surely know in your own life…in situations we can ALL relate to, TBH…

Family Guy Knee Injury GIF

Hard to believe, but Family Guy is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, and after 16 seasons and countless celebrity guest-stars, there’s no denying that Family Guy will go down (giggity) in history as one freakin’ sweet show!

Whether you’re a religious watcher or someone who tunes in now and again when it’s running late-night on Cartoon Network, here are 32 fun facts any beer drinkin’, TV watchin’, couch sittin’ fan is gonna love!

32 Fun Facts about Family Guy

Seth Green based Chris’s voice on Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

Image result for buffalo bill, silence of the lambs

BFF’s Peter and Brian stemmed from creator Seth MacFarlane’s 1997 Cartoon Network short, Larry & Steve.

Image result for Larry & Steve

BONUS FACT:  MacFarlane also worked on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Johnny Bravo, as well as Dexter’s Laboratory, and Cow and Chicken.

cartoon network 90s GIF

Family Guy was the first animated program since The Flinstones to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys. Take that, Homer Simpson! 😉

daytona 500 friday GIF

In fact as of 2017, Family Guy has won 7 Emmy Awards.

Hot Family Guy GIF by FOXtvUK

And speaking of The Flinstones, MacFarlane also used to work for Hanna-Barbera, the house of The Flinstones and The Jetsons. There are several references to both of these TV shows in Family Guy because of MacFarlane’s affection and familiarity with those characters.

Image result for family guy, the flintstones

The Family Guy intro plays tribute to All in the Family. MacFarlane loved the classic 70s sitcom and wanted to pay homage to it in his own show.

Image result for family guy, all in the family

After Family Guy was cancelled for the second time, more than 100,000 fans signed a petition to bring it back on the air.

Happy Stewie Griffin GIF by Family Guy

Brian Griffin was named “Stoner of the Year” by High Times in 2009.

Family Guy Weed GIF

The main cast makes about $225,000 per episode.

Family Guy Wtf GIF by Cheezburger

According to his driver’s license, Quagmire would be 70 years old today. The gang discovers he was born in 1948 in the episode, “FOX-y Lady”.

quagmire GIF

Every episode includes at least one character saying “What the hell?” to another.

Image result for family guy, what the hell

The ultimate question…whether Stewie can be understood by his family…is still up for debate. Show creators pick and choose when Stewie can be heard and/or understood.

needy love me GIF

Joe’s wife Bonnie was pregnant for 7 years. She finally gave birth to Susie in season 7, episode 7.

Image result for family guy, bonnie gif

The character of Neil Goldman is named after one of the show’s writers; however the real Goldman has not worked on any episodes featuring the character he helped name.

Image result for family guy, Neil Goldman

It takes about one full year for ONE EPISODE to get on the air. That being said, they do obviously work on several episodes at once.

Family Guy GIF by Fox TV

Almost every episode also has two versions, one for TV and one for the DVD. Needless to say, the DVD versions are much…dirtier.

Naked Family Guy GIF

When Family Guy first aired, MacFarlane was the youngest executive producer in all of network TV. He was only 24 years old.

Seduce Family Guy GIF

The entire Family Guy franchise is worth about $2 billion.

counting money GIF by Family Guy

When producers decided to kill off Brian in 2013, the fan outcry reverberated off every wall. People signed petitions to bring Brian back and even boycotted the show. When Brian came back only two episodes later, fans thought their magic brought him back to life; however, it was all part of the storyline the whole time. Still, producers were overjoyed to know that Brian had so many fans out there!

high five stewie griffin GIF by Family Guy

The character of Peter Griffin was inspired by a security guard MacFarlane knew at the Rhode Island School of Design. The man, Paul Timmins, had a “big thick Rhode Island accent…with absolutely no self editing whatsoever.” Timmins is very proud of the honor.

Image result for peter griffin, Paul Timmins

At one time, Lacey Chabert, Cree Summer, and MacFarlane’s sister, Rachel, all voiced the character of Meg at one time before MacFarlane settled on Mila Kunis, who still voices Meg to this day.

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Kunis was only 16 when she landed the role of Meg.

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MacFarlane voices SO MANY CHARACTERS on Family Guy, including Peter Griffin, Brian Griffin, and Stewie Griffin. He also voices Glenn Quagmire, news anchor Tom Tucker, Lois’ father Carter Pewterschmidt and Dr. Hartman.

Peter Griffin Applause GIF by Family Guy

The character of Brian is heavily based on MacFarlane himself. They share the same “voice of reason”, hobbies, political views, and rationality.

brian griffin flask GIF by HULU

Though Quahog, Rhode Island doesn’t exist in real life, there’s lots of speculation at this little town is based on Cranston, RI.

Image result for Cranston, RI

One of MacFarlane’s favorite scenes from the show is when Peter tries to get Tom Selleck to eat a spoonful of beans through the TV screen.

Image result for family guy, tom selleck

MacFarlane modeled Stewie’s voice on the character of Rex Harrison from My Fair Lady, which makes this scene even better.

Image result for family guy, my fair lady

In 2009, Brian and Stewie made a joke about “Bruce Jenner’s vagina”…that was 6 years before Jenner went through a gender reassignment surgery to become Caitlyn.

Image result for family guy, bruce jenner

George Lucas, who is a huge fan of the show, gave MacFarlane permission to run with the Star Wars-themed episodes. That’s freakin’ sweet!

brian griffin GIF

Quagmire’s one-of-a-kind look was based on classic comedian, Bob Hope.

Image result for quagmire, bob hope

MacFarlane admitted that the reason Meg gets so much abuse in the show is because there are “a bunch of male writers not knowing how to write for a teenage girl.”

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 Super Easy Ways to Dress Up Your Office (or Work Space)

If you’re like most Americans, most of your waking hours are spent at work – sitting in front of a computer, your home nothing but a little cube in a sea of cubes, your only sense of relief being those 10 minutes you take to check up on Buzzfeed or watch the trailer to some movie your co-worker is talking about.

Image result for the office, it's a workspace gif

Though work can be a total drain on our state of mind, there are little things you can do to make your office (or work space) just a little happier!

- Please knock, this is an office. - It says workspace.


9 Super Easy Ways to Dress Up Your Office (or Work Space)

Turn plastic toys into fashionable bookends. This is a great way to use up toys your kids don’t play with anymore or a fun garage sale find you just couldn’t pass up.


Use embroidery floss to give a simple storage basket a cute embroidery design. This post has a helpful tutorial on how to create your design using a template.


Turn basic binder clips into cute office accessories with this easy tutorial that requires only a handful of supplies.

binder clips

Create a to-do list for the week with these fun clothespins and matching folders. This is an earth-friendly way to keep all your tasks organized and looking pretty!

to do list

Transform thumbtacks into colorful decor with a little paint! This project is easy and fun and a simple way to bring a pop of color into your work space.


A simple paint job turns these planters into cute cacti cups, great for storing pens, pencils, and other office nick knacks.


Keep track of your phone with this modest clay phone stand.


A cork board transforms into a reusable to-do list with some washi tape and thumb tacks.

to do

No room on your desk for a full calendar? Keep track of the date with this cute block calendar, which takes up a mere few inches.


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

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