Wanderlust Wall Art

Do you like to hit the open road with your friends or family?  Do you have a few favorite locals that you just loved exploring?  If so, you’re gonna love this cute Wanderlust Wall Art!


Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved road trips.  My family used to take them all the time and we rarely flew anywhere for vacation.  I mean, why fly when you can pack five people and a ton of suitcases in a Toyota Camry, blast some Tom Waits and hit the open road?

Even now, my husband and I love to travel and we’ve taken a good handful of road trips in our time together.  To help highlight a few of our favorite places, I created this cute Wanderlust Wall Art, featuring heart-shaped cut-outs of cities we’ve loved along the way.

Chicago, Madison, Marquette, Nashville, Las Vegas, Boston, Portland, Seattle, and Cleveland all made the list as some of our favorite cities, but honestly this picture could have been twice the size filled with even more places.


Whether you’ve been born and raised in one town or you find Johnny Cash’s song “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” perfectly sums up your life on the road, this cute wall art is a super cost-effective way to remember some of your favorite spots!  Simply buy a map of the US (or print out smaller maps of your favorite cities!) and use a heart template to cut a heart around the city.  Glue your hearts to a piece of 12 in. x 12 in. scrapbook paper and pop that baby in a frame and in no time at all, you have a fun piece of artwork that may even motivate you to hit the road…again.


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

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The Good Ol’ Days


“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.”

The Office

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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Seasonal Produce Printables

One of my favorite things about summer is going to local farmers markets.  For those of us who live in the Midwest, it’s often hard to find fresh seasonal produce at our local stores, so whenever the farmer’s markets come to town, we do our best to stock up on fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies.

And one of the best ways to buy your produce is to know what’s in season when you’re out shopping.  Buying produce when it’s in season often means fresher, cheaper, and tastier ingredients…and who doesn’t love that?

To help you learn what is in season when, here are some handy printables so you can see what fruits, veggies, and herbs are in season every month of the year.  Happy shopping!

Looking for clever ways to use your favorite herbs?  Check out this herb printable for some handy ideas!









Download All Produce Printables Here!

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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Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something – Part 1

A couple months ago, my sister and I got back from an epically splendiferious adventure to Harry Potter World Orlando.  We were completely immersed in the Wizarding World for three magical days.  We sipped butterbeer, got fitted for wands, and dined at The Leaky Cauldron.  We walked through Hogwarts, road the Hogwarts Express, and even took a walk through Gringotts Bank.  It was truly a wonderland for us Potterheads…and I still find myself daydreaming about how much fun we had on that trip.

Needless to say, I returned with a deep desire to jump back into the Harry Potter series.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read Harry Potter, but since I’m now in my 30’s and considered an adult (boo), I tried recording some thoughts that popped into my head as I re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I also decided to invest in the illustrated editions of the first two Harry Potter books (the third one is due out later this year!), so I’ve also included some beautiful illustrations from the book in case you haven’t seen how insanely amazing this book is…

Despite some of my commentary here, I have to say that I love this series even more now than I did when I first read it.  I think I have a deeper understanding for the language and the story now, and as a student of literature, I feel like I can better understand the depth of the characters and how 3-dimentional they were, even before the first movie came out.

The themes that softly hide under the bigger messages about friendship and bravery are what really make this series for me, particularly in Sorcerer’s Stone.  The Mirror of Erised chapter still remains one of my favorite parts of the series, and Dumbledore’s simple message, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live…”, has stayed with me since the moment I read it all those years ago.

Harry’s struggle to accept the fact that his parents are dead also hit me in a different way this time…as I felt like I could relate to Harry in a way I couldn’t before.  What I originally thought was an annoying quality in his character had morphed into something much more understandable this time around, and I found myself sympathizing with Harry, perhaps even relating to him.

I hope you enjoy these fun little thoughts that popped into my head as I re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!  Stay tuned for part 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, coming soon!

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something

Part 1:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter Collage-1

Why didn’t Hagrid tell Harry how to get onto the platform?

If Voldemort truly wanted to kill Harry, was a spell REALLY necessary? I mean he was one year old!

How did NO ONE see a whole slew of wizards running into a wall in the busy London underground?

What is the point of bringing a toad to Hogwarts?

Is there a deeper meaning to “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”? Am I missing something?  TO POTTERMORE!!  (the theories on this are a bit of a stretch…but interesting!).

How do they keep track of House Points? Are Professors responsible for keeping track of how many points they give and take?

Can we just agree that the Remembrall is literally the most pointless invention ever?

Did Hermione rock out to The Spice Girls?

How can Harry be the greatest Seeker in a century and not be able to catch an envelope from an air full of envelopes?

I would just like to point out that in the illustrated version of Sorcerer’s Stone, you can see that there’s a beer shop under the bookstore.  This, IMHO, is brilliant.
flourish and blotts

Dumbledore: “And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”  Da-fuk kind of school is this?

The first-years were 11 when they just left their homes for like 8 months of the year. Did any first-years have separation anxiety from their parents?

Does Hogwarts have a fine arts program?

Why would anyone play Quidditch? Like, seriously…this game seems suuuuper deadly.

If every door in the castle can be opened with ‘Alohomora’, including the one with the 3-headed dog behind it, why do these doors even have locks on them? Take a lesson from Gringotts, guys!

Man, it takes a long time for this wizard trinity to become official friends.

I wonder if Ron and Hermione reminisce about the first time they met on the train…

The Mirror of Erised is still one of my favorite Harry Potter chapters.

Neville is adorable.

HOLD ON…Harry gets caught out of bed at night and gets 150 points taken away from Gryffindor AND has detention in the Forbidden Forest AND has to face Voldemort?? He only got 10 points for saving Hermione’s LIFE!  Someone NEEDS to sort out her priorities!

How does the Sorcerer’s Stone even work? How does it turn any metal into gold and produce the Elixir of Life?  Is this like a stone soup thing?

How did Quirrell survive with a face on the back of his face? How did he shower or sleep or poop?


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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51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Whether they make you cry, laugh, or hug your toys just a little bit tighter, there’s no denying that Pixar has a way of tugging at the heartstrings.  Movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Up, and WALL-E have earned their spots on favorite film lists, Oscar lists, and on several “go-to-movies-when-you-need-an-ugly-cry” lists…I mean, if that opening marriage montage from Up doesn’t rip your heart out and feed it to the dogs…


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Though each movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, whenever I see a preview with that little bouncing Luxo Jr., I instantly find myself smiling.  I have always enjoyed Pixar movies and a few Pixar films (Toy Story for sure!) would easily make it on my list of desert island flicks.

Of course there’s no denying that a TON of work goes into making these amazing movies…and teams of animators and designers often spend upwards of 5 years working on each Pixar film….and in those 5 years, a lot can go on behind the scenes!


For lovers of any Pixar film or just Pixar in general, here are 51 fun facts about Pixar’s movie collection!  Plus, scroll down for even MORE Pixar fun!


51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Toy Story (1995)

The toolbox on top of the milk crate that Woody is trapped in is a Binford, the same type of tool that Tim Allen used on his TV show, Home Improvement.

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The carpet in Sid’s house has the same hexagonal pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.

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Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined.  After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career.  Jim Carrey and Chevy Chase were also offered the part, but were unable to sign due to the movie’s small budget.

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A Bug’s Life (1998)

The character of Thumper is named after Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi, one of John Lasseter’s favorite characters.

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A Bug’s Life only took three years to make, the shortest of all the Pixar film cycles to date.

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The two mosquitoes trapped in the light of the bug zapper are the voices of the co-directors of the film, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.

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Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 is one of three Disney movies to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture.  The other two are Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

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For the scene where Woody looks at the merchandise from “Woody’s Roundup”, mockups of the toys were shown to Tom Hanks in the recording studio.  His spontaneous reactions to the toys were recorded and used for Woody’s dialogue in the scene.

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The dust in the scene where Woody meets Wheezy set a record for number of particles animated for a movie by a computer.

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Sully had 2,320,413 animated hair strands!  It often took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of him for that reason.

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Monster’s Inc. is the first Pixar film to tease their next film by including a small cameo (in this case, their next film would be Finding Nemo).

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Unlike previous Pixar productions, each of the main characters (Sully, Mike, and Boo) were assigned their own individual animator.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

As of September 2015, Finding Nemo is the bestselling DVD of all time, with 41 million copies sold.

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The role of Dory the fish was specifically written for Ellen DeGeneres.

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Despite the fact that Marlin and Dory spend a good portion of the movie together, Dory never says Marlin’s name.  The two also have opposite personalities and are opposite colors on the color wheel.

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The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles is perhaps one of the most violet Pixar films, with 35 explosions, 189 buttons being pressed, and approximately 640 gunshots.

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The line Syndrome says to Mr. Incredible (“Too late!  Fifteen years too late!”) holds special meaning, as the sequel to The Incredibles is set to release 14 years after the first.

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Want to steal all of Edna’s fashionable costumes?  The code to her lab is 6395742.

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Cars (2006)

This was the last feature film of celebrities Paul Newman and George Carlin.  Both died shortly after the movie was released and, ironically, Cars would turn out to be Newman’s highest-grossing film of his career.

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More than 100 unique car characters were created for the film and the merchandising.

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One of the racing cars is white and sports an Apple logo with the number 84.  A nod to then Pixar owner, Steve Jobs, this racing car pays homage to the Apple Macintosh computer, which came out in 1984.

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Ratatouille (2007)

In order to nail down the movements of rats, Pixar animators kept rats as pets for more than a year to better study the movement of their fur, noses, ears, paws and tails.

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Director Brad Bird cast Patton Oswalt in the main role after hearing his stand-up routine about the menu at the Black Angus Steakhouse.

The window shop displaying dead rats actually exists.  It is the window of Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles, an exterminator established in 1872 located in France.

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WALL-E (2008)

Coincidently, composer Thomas Newman’s uncle, Lionel Newman, worked on the film, Hello, Dolly!.

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WALL-E takes place 700 years in the future.

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Andrew Stanton and the Pixar team watched every single Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton movie during lunch breaks for about a year and a half to inspire the possibilities of pure visual storytelling.

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Up (2009)

Though only 20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off, Carl’s house would actually need 12,658,392 balloons to lift off the ground.

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Carl’s face and body were modeled after squares.  This was to emphasize how boxed in he was in life and in his home.

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Were you a hot mess watching that marriage montage in Up?  You’re not alone.  Even in storyboard form, the married life sequence that opens the film brought members of the production team to tears.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, both in love with the chemistry their characters shared on screen, insisted that they record their lines together in the same room, a style of recording rarely done with animated films.  Voice actors John Goodman and Billy Crystal did the same in Monsters, Inc.

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There are 302 characters in Toy Story 3 and it was the first animated film ever to make more than $1 billion worldwide.

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When Barbie is going through Ken’s closet, she comes across a blue and gold Letterman jacket with a “K” embroidered on it and a “State” pennant lying across the front.  Michael Keaton, who voiced Ken, graduated from Kent State University, whose colors are blue and gold.

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Cars 2 (2011)

Cars 2 was the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

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After Mater and McQueen are done “cow tipping”, you can see them drive past the Drive-In.  The movie being shown in the Drive-In is The Incredimobiles, the cars version of The Incredibles.

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The British Intelligence seal in the private jet that McMissile and Shiftwell use says “Honor, Animus, Vis Equorum”, meaning “Honor, Spirit, Horse Power”.

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Brave (2012)

Even though she does not have a love interest, Merida was granted the status of Disney Princess, an honor that upset a lot of true Disney fans.  She’s the first Disney princess not to be based on any pre-existing character or historical figure and is the first princess to be represented from Pixar.

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Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, and Julie Walters, who all starred in Brave, also had roles in the Harry Potter films.

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The only thing we ever see Merida eat is apples.  This might be a dedication to Steve Jobs, who passed away during production of this film.  Brave is also dedicated to him.

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Monsters University (2013)

When Sully enters Mike and Randall’s room with Fear Tech’s pig, a motivational poster can be seen above Randall’s bed that reads, “Winds of Change: Shh…Can you hear them?”.  Randall says this same line to Mike in the locker room in Monsters, Inc.

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Monsters University, along with Cars 2, are the only Pixar films not nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.  Both of their predecessors, Monsters, Inc. and Cars are the only Pixar films not to win Oscars.

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As the students enter the School of Scaring building, they all touch the front paw of the statue in front of the building.  This is a reference to a tradition at Harvard University where students touch the left foot of the statue of John Harvard for good luck.  As a result, the foot of the statue of Harvard is shiny and polished down.  The animators included that on the statue in the movie as well.

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Inside Out (2015)

According to director Pete Docter, each emotion in Inside Out is based on a shape:  Joy on a star, sadness on a teardrop, anger on a fire brick, fear on a raw nerve, and disgust on broccoli.

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When Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera pitched the film to Mindy Kaling (Disgust), she was moved to tears and said, “I think it’s great that you guys are making a film that shows it’s difficult to grow up and that it’s okay to be sad about it.”

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Lewis Black was the studio’s first, and only choice to play Anger.

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The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Perhaps since it closely followed the release of Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur is the lowest-grossing Pixar movie ever, both domestically and worldwide.

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The Good Dinosaur is one of the few dinosaur films where T-Rex’s are not portrayed as villains.

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Since there were no dinosaurs to study while animating this film, young Arlo’s movements were based on those of young elephants.

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Finding Dory (2016)

The setting of the film was changed from an aquatic park to a Marine Biology Institute after the crew of Pixar screened the controversial documentary, Blackfish.

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Despite the 13 year gap between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, Finding Dory only takes place 1 year after the prequel.

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Hank the octopus only has seven tentacles because the animators realized they could not fit eight onto his body.  His backstory was rewritten to account for the missing limb.

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Want even MORE Pixar?  Check out these other fun posts!


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 Cute and Adorable Things You Can Make with Perler Beads

If you were the product of creative parents, you may remember playing with Perler Beads. Wheather you arranged them on a grid to make coasters for grandma or strung them on a necklace to play Pretty, Pretty Princess, Perler Beads have a way of transporting you back to those golden years of childhood.

Even in today’s trend-centered creative world, Perler Beads still own a space in the craft store. With large beads with big grids for younger crafters and smaller beads and intricate patterns for more advanced bead workers, this simple and humble plastic bead has stood the test of time…holding its own as other crafty trends came and went and disappeared forever.
If you loved playing with Perler Beads as a kid, chances are you’re going to love them even more as an adult…especially with these 9 Cute and Adorable Things You Can Make with Perler Beads!


Want some more Perler Bead fun? Check out these Toy Story Coasters I made last year!

9 Super Cute and Adorable Things You Can Make with Perler Beads

Chevron Necklace

Wedding Cake Topper

Monogram Pins

Trinket Basket

Earphone Cord Holder

Camper Keychain

Odds n’ Ends Plate


Garden Planters

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

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Here’s to the Ones Who Dream


“Here’s to the ones who dream;
Foolish as they may seem;
Here’s to the hearts that ache;
Here’s to the mess we make.”

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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