17 Fun Facts About Kate Winslet

You may know her from Sense and Sensibility, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or maybe this little film she did called Titanic

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Based on her resume, there’s no denying that Kate Winslet is an amazing actress.  She’s talented, kind, humble, and not to mention, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD (even PEOPLE Magazine says so!).

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Today is Kate Winslet’s birthday, and to celebrate this amazing woman, here are 17 Fun Facts about Kate Winslet!

17 Fun Facts About Kate Winslet

Kate got an early start to acting. She began intensive training as a 10-year-old at the Redroofs Drama School in England.

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Her first major role was in a television mini-series called Anglo Saxon Attitudes at the age of 17.

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While Kate was working on her acting chops, she was also slinging pork chops in a deli in England. She was actually working there when her agent called and told her she got the role of Juliet Hulme in Heavenly Creatures (a role that won her the British Film Actress of the Year Award in 1996).

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Kate was the only one not wearing a wet suit during those water scenes in Titanic. PRO.

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And it should come as no surprise that her and Leo have remained life-long friends. Kate has mentioned in interviews that they talk every night, her kids call him “Uncle Leo” (OMG!), and he even walked her down the aisle during her marriage to Ned Rocknroll.

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Kate’s Oscar for The Reader made her the youngest actor to have been nominated six times for an Oscar at just 33 years old.

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Kate keeps an Oscar in her bathroom so friends can practice their ‘win speech’ in the mirror…serious BFF goals.

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Kate is such a good actress that she won an Emmy for playing…herself. She played a comedic version of herself in the British show, Extras (this is also one of the best episodes of this series, BTW).

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After she was cast as Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, she sent James Cameron a bunch of roses to thank him for casting her. Class move, Kate!

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She also recorded a song for the movie, Christmas Carol: The Movie called “What If?”. It was released as a single and reached the top ten in the United Kingdom.

Kate was originally cast as Nola Rice in Woody Allen’s Match Point, but had to drop out at the last minute. The role then went to Scarlett Johansson.

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The film Revolutionary Road, which reunited her with Leo, was directed by her then-husband, Sam Mendes. The various sex scenes between her and Leo had to be filmed in front of her husband…which she said was a “profoundly weird experience”.  Ya don’t say?!

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Her role in The Reader helped her become one of only about 9 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, and SAG Award for the same performance.

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Kate also has a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for her reading of Listen to the Storyteller.

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Kate has no shame about her body. She’s appeared nude in more than 15 movies.

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Of all the movies she’s done, she feels the most pride for her performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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Acting also runs in Kate’s blood. Her parents, Roger and Sally Winslet, are both actors and her grandparents founded the Reading Repertory Theatre.

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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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7 Cute Crochet Projects to Decorate Your Home for Fall

These aren’t your grandma’s crochet patterns.  Liven up your fall décor by creating a cozy space with these adorable fall crochet projects.  Cute pumpkins, festive garlands, cozy blankets…these projects will help you turn your living room into a comfy, cushy fall oasis!

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7 Cute Crochet Projects to Decorate Your Home for Fall

Plaid Crochet Pumpkin
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Fall in Love Afghan
fal afghan

Fall Apple Basket
apple basket

Crochet Succulent Planter
succulent planter

Tea Time Pumpkin Coasters
pumpkin coasters

Thanksgiving Crochet Banner
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Cozy Crochet Pinecones
cozy pinecones

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

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Believing in Magic

magic

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
–Roald Dahl

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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9 Ways to Bake with Liquor

Whether you’re cooking up a batch of tomato sauce or making some rich brownies for dessert, there’s no denying that alcohol makes everything better. Add a little red wine to your sauce…pour some whisky in the brownie batter…a little taste of your favorite libation can boost the flavor and richness of almost any dish.

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One of my favorite ways to use liquors is in baked goods. I’ve added whisky to chocolate cake and tequila to strawberry ice box pie. It’s a fun way to create delicious cocktail-inspired sweets that even the young ones can enjoy! So forgo the shots…enjoy a taste of your favorite booze with these 9 tasty alcohol-inspired dessert recipes.

9 Ways to Bake with Liquor

Absinthe Jellies

Bourbon Salted Caramel Candy

Brandy Alexander Pie

Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

Nutella Vodka Shots

Scotch Whiskey Cake

Tequila Lime Cheesecake Bars

Whiskey Bacon Brownies

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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8 Books that Encourage Discussion – Part 2

Several months ago, I gave some suggestions for books that encourage discussion.  Since that post, I’ve read several other books that would be great for book clubs, talking about over dinner, or reading with your family.

Whether you’re looking for a new book to bring to your group or just like a book that really makes you think, here are 8 more Books that Encourage Discussion.

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8 Books that Encourage Discussion – Part 2

For Interracial Groups:
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Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult – During her shift at a Connecticut hospital, Ruth Jefferson begins a routine checkup on a newborn baby, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents of the newborn, who are high-ranking white supremacists, don’t want Ruth, an African-American nurse, touching their child. But when the baby goes into cardiac distress, Ruth is put in a tough position…does she safe the child or obey the parents’ wishes and leave the baby to die? An emotional and extremely relevant book, Small Great Things tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and acceptance with great empathy and candor.

For Groups with History Buffs:
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Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders – Set over the course of one night, Lincoln in the Bardo is an amazing novel about death, grief, acceptance, and understanding. Two days after his young son Willie dies, Abraham Lincoln goes to visit his son’s crypt in the dark of night. As Lincoln sits with his son’s body, the cemetery comes to life with ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, talking about death, grief, and the powers of good and evil. With dark humor and grace, Saunders’s novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read and will surely encourage discussions not only about Lincoln himself, but about fathers and sons, life and death, and all the other big and small choices along the way.

For Feminist Groups:
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Becoming Unbecoming, Una – A devastating personal account of gender violence told in comic book form, Becoming Unbecoming is about a woman’s struggle with shame and social responsibility after she becomes the victim of a very violet act. Set against the backdrop of the 1970’s Yorkshire Ripper manhunt, this graphic novel interweaves two emotional stories into one.
Read more by visiting my Becoming Unbecoming review.

For Groups with Lots of Millennials:
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The Circle, Dave Eggers – When Mae Holland is hired to work for The Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms, the flurry of activities and clubs to join – it all seems too good to be true. But as Mae begins to learn more about The Circle and her role there, important questions begin to rise about privacy, history, and personal connections. This book is sure to get under your skin and will certainly make you think twice about every email you send, every bill you pay online, and every picture you share – either privately or publicity.
Read more by visiting my The Circle review.

For Groups Wanting to Talk About the Tough Stuff:
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A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness – Around midnight, 13-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom…but this isn’t the monster that’s been haunting Conor’s dreams for the past few nights…this is a new one…it’s ancient and wild. It’s goal is simple…all it wants from Conor is the truth. A book that will shake you to your core, A Monster Calls is about the things that haunt us, both real and imagined, and how sometimes acknowledging those fears is the best way to start healing. Bring tissues for this one, guys.
Read more by visiting my A Monster Calls review.

For Groups Going Back to the Classics:
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Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee – For those book clubs that want to dive back into the classics, there’s no better place to start than To Kill a Mockingbird. A story that can speak to any generation, TKAM is basic book club 101. And if you’re looking to further your conversation, consider the sequel to TKAM, Go Set a Watchman. Set 20 years after we last left the Finch family, Scout returns home to visit her father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Scout begins to realize how small-minded Maycomb, Alabama remains, even as the rest of the world begins to move forward. Adding depth, context, and understanding to its companion novel, Go Set a Watchman shows readers that things aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes it’s just as hard to come home again as it was to leave in the first place.

For Groups with Dreamers:
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Daytripper, Fabio Moon – What are the most important days of your life? The day you met your spouse? The day your child was born? The day you got your dream job? Or maybe it was just one Thursday when everything just seemed to go right. In this stunning graphic novel, Bras de Oliva Domingos explores the days that changed him. Days that helped make him who he is. A mysterious and moving story about life itself, this journey uses the quiet moments, the stolen glances, the quick brushes of the skin, to ask the big question…what’s it all about?
Read more by visiting my Daytripper review.

For Groups Looking for YA Books:
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Everything Everything, Nicola Yoon – Maddie is sick. She’s allergic to the world. She doesn’t leave her house and spends her days in her white, clean, pristine room. But when a moving truck arrives next door and she sees a tall, lean boy step out, everything (everything) changes. A story about living, in whatever form that may take, Everything, Everything is a modern take on John Travolta’s Boy in the Plastic Bubble, and will surely encourage discussions about what it really means to live your life.

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 Gossip Girl

Hey Upper East Siders,

It may be hard to believe, but it was 10 YEARS AGO (September 19, 2007) that Gossip Girl aired on The CW.

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Starring Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Ed Westwick and Penn Badgley, the show about the wealthy elite of New York had “guilty pleasure” written all over it…and was a pinnacle of pop culture and fashion goals during its time on-air.  Filled with everything you could ever want in a teen drama (pretty boys, sexy ladies, love triangles, one-night stands, and AMAZING clothes), Gossip Girl established a bit of a cult following…and still has a loyal fan base to this day.

And any show about drama has to have drama off-set, right?  If your desire for more dirt on this crew of pretty, rich snobs has you scouring the Internet for rumors and secrets, look no further!  Here you’ll find 28 tid-bits about the making of Gossip Girl.

So invite your squad over for brunch and keep the mimosas flowing…here are 28 Fun Facts about Gossip Girl!

28 Fun Facts about Gossip Girl

There weren’t a lot of girls that came in to audition for Serena Van der Woodsen – Blake Lively basically had the role from the start…but she wasn’t so sure.  She wanted to finish college, so she declined the role at first.  The producers told her she could to go Columbia University one day a week to work on her degree, but with the show’s success, she never ended up finishing college.

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Supposedly, Blake and Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) were not the BFF’s IRL that their characters were.  They were friendly to each other, but not close like Serena and Blair.

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However, Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) and Chace Crawford (Nate Crawford) really were tight behind the scenes!  The duo actually lived together in NYC when the show started filming.

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Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey) has been noted as saying that he didn’t like being on Gossip Girl, but was closest in real life to his character.

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Penn and Blake dated for three years while filming Gossip Girl.  However, they split in 2010 and kept their split a secret for two months.  They didn’t want their personal drama to relate to the show.  #PROS

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The production staff had their own “Gossip Girl”.  Before hacking was even a major problem, someone was stealing the Gossip Girl scripts via email and selling them online.  They found out it was a teenager from Russia or Bulgaria, but they were underage and couldn’t be prosecuted.

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A reboot or spinoff isn’t COMPLETELY off the table…Blake is all about reprising her role, but the rest of the cast and producers are on the fence…no strong yes’s, but no strong no’s, either!

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Then-mayor of NY, Michael Bloomberg, was so impressed with how the show showcased the city that he declared January 26th Gossip Girl Day in NYC.

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It cost between $10,000 and $60,000 per day to film in New York.

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The actors who played Rufus (Matthew Settle) and Lily (Kelly Rutherford) also used to date in real life before the show began.  They’re still great friends! ❤

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Blair’s look was inspired by Audrey Hepburn, while Serena’s look was inspired by Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.

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The Van der Woodsen’s apartment in the Milan Condominiums complex on the Upper East Side sold for $6.8 million.

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Chuck’s hotel – The Empire – is a real hotel.  They serve the “XOXO Cocktail”, with a secret ingredient that they’ll “never tell”.

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Gossip Girl was one of the first shows whose DVR and iTunes numbers were higher than the actual viewing numbers.

The show’s costume designer, Eric Daman, won an Emmy for his costumes that he designed for Sex and the City.

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The Humphrey’s are considered to be ‘poor’ because they are from Brooklyn…but real estate in both Brooklyn and the Upper East Side is about $1,400 per square foot.

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Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphry) may look familiar to you…she also starred as Little Cindy Lou Who in Jim Carrey’s The Grinch.

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Blake and Penn were also home-schooled together as 11-year-olds.  Aww!!

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Kristen Bell, who did the voiceover for the series, finally appears on-screen to audition for a film adaptation of Dan’s novel.  How meta.

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Serena, Blair and Dan appear in every episode of the show.

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To keep with its pop culture feel, the title of every episode is based around a reference to a film, book or TV show.

Westwick and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa) also dated for a period of time in real life.

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Alexa Chung, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Karlie Kloss and Liz Hurley all make cameos on the show.

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Jennifer Behr, the designer of Blair’s iconic headbands, released a gift set of nine replicas in 2012 that would have cost you a cool $4,000.

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Chuck has a pet dog named Monkey on the show, but in the books, Chuck actually has a pet monkey.

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SPOILERS BELOW!

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Producers knew that Blair and Chuck would end up together from the beginning of the series!

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Penn Badgley didn’t know he was ‘Gossip Girl’ until the moment they shot the scene where it’s revealed.

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Blake was fitted for her wedding dress for Dan and Serena’s wedding the day after her real-life wedding to Ryan Reynolds.

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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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DIY Floor Pouf

So my husband and I recently moved into a new apartment…in an effort to be more “adult”, we got rid of all our furniture and decided to upgrade to couches and chairs that didn’t come from the cesspool that is Craigslist…been there, done that…and it’s gross.

We’ve yet to purchase a couch for our new place, but we still needed a place to sit and chillax while we watched TV or what have you, so I decided to make some floor poufs.

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I had a ton of extra fabric laying around and these poufs put a serious dent in my stash, which my storage closet very much appreciated! 😉  They’re great for beginners and involve very little measuring, which my brain very much appreciated!

You’ll need about 2 yards of fabric, depending on how big you want your pouf to be.  You’ll need two panels that measure 24 in. X 24 in. – these will be the top and bottom of your pouf.  For the sides, you’ll need four panels that measure 24 in. high X 16 in. wide.  Then you’ll pin them together (front side down) like so:

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Then you just run this baby through the sewing machine!  Start by sewing all the side panels to the bottom square, then sew the top panel to the top side panel.  Finish by sewing the top square to the front panel, being sure to leave a good 4 inches or so to turn right-side-out and stuff.

Once you’re done sewing, turn your piece right-side-out.  Fill with stuffing of your choice – I used Poly-Fill (I used 3 of the big bags).  Once filled, sew up the remaining hole and enjoy!

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

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