Tag Archives: pop culture

Stacked Marauder’s Mugs

Every true Harry Potter fan knows about the four Marauders.  A group of Gryffindor friends made up of Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter, the four attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 1970s and had a serious knack for rule-breaking…

The truest of friends during their time at Hogwarts, Pettigrew, Black, and Potter all became unregistered Animagi (a wizard who can turn into an animal) in order to protect their friend, Lupin, who was a werewolf.  Pettigrew’s Animagus was a rat, making him small enough to slip under the Whomping Willow so the group could go to the Shrieking Shack, where Lupin would stay during his time as a werewolf.  Black – a dog – and Potter – a stag – were both big enough as animals to help control Remus during his monthly transformations.

In order to protect their identity, the four Marauders gave each other names that nodded to their animal counterparts.  Throughout the Harry Potter series, these four are known as Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Pettigrew), Padfoot (Black) and Prongs (Potter).

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Towards the end of their education, Remus, Peter, Sirius, and James created the Marauder’s Map, a small, bewitched roll of parchment that displayed the castle grounds and inhabitants of Hogwarts – including all staff, ghosts, and students – in great detail.  It showed where everyone was in the castle so the boys could continue their mischievous ways without getting caught, as well as help Lupin escape the castle when the full moon rose and he would begin his transformation.

At an unspecified point in time, the map was discovered and confiscated by Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch…and remained in his custody until Fred and George Weasley stole the map in their first year and later passed it on to James’s son, Harry, in 1993.

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Much of the history of the Four Marauders is introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and continues to come up now and again throughout the remainder of the story.

Designed to pay homage to the four Marauder’s, these stacking bowls each feature the name of one of the Marauder’s, as well as the footprint of their animal counterparts on the back.

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Great for holding snacks, treats, or just odds and ends on your desk, these stacking bowls are a must for any Harry Potter fan, and are available for purchase at my Between the Pages Etsy shop!

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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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45 Fun Facts About Breaking Bad

Let’s face facts…Breaking Bad is easily one of the best TV shows ever.

breaking bad bryan cranston walter white correct thats right

Starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad was part of the golden age of AMC, airing alongside such classics as The Walking Dead and Mad Men.  A story with a simple plot (a cancer patient decides to make meth to raise money for his treatments), Breaking Bad set the bar for amazing television programming, combining tormented characters with intoxicating storylines to keep viewers addicted to the program week after week.

Set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad was a modern day western, complete with good guys, bad guys, and a heavy dose of casualties.  In its short 5 seasons, Breaking Bad took viewers from this…

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…to this…

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…and by the end, we were just hoping we’d make it out alive.

I’m currently rewatching Breaking Bad for the 3rd or 4th time now, and thought I’d share some interesting facts I’ve learned about this amazing show.  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen Breaking Bad, note that there are spoilers ahead…you’ve been warned!

With a large fandom that continues to binge watch this amazing series, I think it’s safe to say that Breaking Bad will continue to be a cultural phenomenon for years to come…and whether you love Walt or you hate him, you can’t deny that man’s got us all by the…well, you know…

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45 Fun Facts About Breaking Bad

The name Walter White gives to his alter ego, “Heisenberg”, is a shout out to Werner Heisenberg, one of the most important physicists of the 20th century.  He won the Nobel Prize for developing the theory of quantum mechanics.

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The cast of Breaking Bad is filled with comedians. Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman), Bill Burr (Kuby), Lavell Crawford (Huell), Steven Michael Quezada (Steve Gomie), and Javier Grajeda (Juan Bolsa) have all done stand-up or comedic acting.  Even front-runner Bryan Cranston (Walter White) spent a few years doing stand-up before making it in Hollywood.

Gus Fring’s death was actually based on a real story. Rocket scientist John Parsons came to an unfortunate end when he was making up a batch of mercury fulminate for a special effects project.  Something went wrong and the batch blew up in his face.  He supposedly survived several hours with half of his face peeled off before finally succumbing to his injuries.

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Lovers of Breaking Bad and AMC’s other amazing show, The Walking Dead, know that there are several parallels between the two shows…one being that famed zombie artist, Greg Nicotero, who is the mastermind behind the zombies on TWD, was brought on to help create the final look of Fring’s blown off face. According to producer Vince Gilligan, it took months to get it right.

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Actress Julia Minesci, who plays the meth addict and hooker Wendy, is actually much healthier than she looks. She’s done the Hawaii Ironman six times, the Germany Ironman once, and has run countless marathons in between.

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Gale’s complete karaoke video is on YouTube.

Several of the residences in Breaking Bad are real family homes, including the homes of Walter White and Hank and Marie Schrader. You can see both homes, and many other famous Breaking Bad filming locations, on the Albuquerque Breaking Bad tour.

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The coordinates that Walt hides on a Lotto ticket reminding him of where his money is buried actually point to Q Studios in Albuquerque, where Breaking Bad was filmed.

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Los Pollos Hermanos, the restaurant of Gus Fring, is actually a real chicken restaurant in Albuquerque. Named Twisters in real life, the restaurant still sports the painted chicken brothers logo on the inside.

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Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston actually first met on the set of The X Files. Gillian wrote an episode called “Drive” and he needed to cast an actor who “could be scary and kind of loathsome but at the same time had a deep, resounding humanity”…hmmm…sound familiar?  Cranston got the part and Gilligan would later approach him again to star in his new show, Breaking Bad.

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The now famous Heisenberg Hat was originally given to Cranston to prevent sunburn on his shaved head.

Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn (Skyler White), Bob Odenkirk, and Jessica Hecht (Gretchen) were all guest-stars on Seinfeld.

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The science behind Breaking Bad is flawed for a reason. Show creators felt that viewers might try to emulate Walter’s recipe based on what happens in the show, so Gilligan had a real DEA crew on set to advise him on what science to include and what to leave out.

Besides the popular Breaking Bad tours, New Mexico also offers blue meth candy, blue meth doughnuts, locally brewed Heisenberg beer, Heisenberg Pez dispensers and much more.

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After watching Season 5, Episode 14 – “Ozmandias” – George R.R. Martin called Walter White “a bigger monster than anyone in Game of Thrones”.

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Besides winning three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, A Critics’ Choice Award, and having slew of other wins and nominations under his belt, actor Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) has never had one acting class…just a natural heart-breaker!

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Nearly two decades before Breaking Bad, Cranston was in the original Power Rangers!, voicing the character of the Twin Man. The Blue Ranger (Billy Cranston) was also named after him…kind of had to be the blue one, right?

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Jesse Pinkman was actually supposed to be killed off at the end of the first season…however, the chemistry between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston was so strong and Paul was such a joy to work with that Gillian said it would be a “colossal mistake to kill off Jesse”. Yeah, bitch!

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On the final day of filming the show, Cranston got a Breaking Bad tattoo on the inside of his finger. Aaron Paul also has “No Half Measures” tattooed on his arm.

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According to Anna Gunn, Cranston cried for 15 minutes after filming the scene in which Walt watches Jesse’s girlfriend Jane die.

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The first, fourth, tenth, and thirteenth episodes of season 2 all have black and white teaser intros. When you combine the titles for those episodes, you get Seven Thirty-Seven/Down/Over/ABQ – foreshadowing the plane crash at the end of the season.

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The iconic “roof pizza” scene was shot on the very first take.  #pro

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Ironically, Christopher Cousins (Ted Beneke) needed a stunt man to film his neck-breaking scene because Cousins himself was recovering from spinal surgery.

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While RJ Mitte (Walt Jr.) does have cerebral palsy, he walks without crutches and had to learn how to walk with them for his role on the show.

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There are 62 episodes total of Breaking Bad. The 62nd element on the periodic table is Samarium, which is used to treat pain in lung cancer patients.

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Walt Jr. is the only major character that Jesse Pinkman never meets or encounters throughout the entire series.

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There are 270 deaths throughout the five seasons of Breaking Bad.

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Walt Jr.’s site, http://www.savewalterwhite.com, is a real website. Donations made on the site go to the National Cancer Coalition.  Click on the banner to check it out!

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The final episode of the series, “Felina”, can be broken up into three elements: Fe, Li, Na – iron, lithium, and sodium…or blood, meth, and tears.

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In the premiere episode of the 5th and final season, the camera lingers on Walt’s New Hampshire plate, showing the state motto, “Live Free or Die”. This is the name of the season 5 premiere and also foreshadows the outcome of the two main characters.

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Before signing with AMC, a lot of networks passed on Breaking Bad, including HBO, Showtime, TNT, and FX.

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Whenever you see the blue meth on screen on Breaking Bad, what you’re actually seeing is blue rock candy…specifically blue rock candy from The Candy Lady, a boutique candy store in Albuquerque. They now have a whole line of Breaking Bad-inspired treats, which they sell under The Bad Candy Lady line.

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Jesse Pinkman says his famed “Bitch!” 54 times throughout the series. That’s roughly once per episode.

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Marius Stan, who played Walter’s boss, Bogdan, at the car wash, has a PhD in chemistry and is a Senior Computational Energy Scientist at Argonne National Lab.

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Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) was beloved by cast and crew alike. On his last day on set, everyone wore black armbands in his memory.

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Gilligan’s one regret about the show: Jesse’s teeth.  Jesse took a lot of beatings throughout the show and obviously used meth and other drugs.  In real life, Jesse’s teeth would have probably been terrible.  But…dat smile…SWOON.

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Aaron Paul was once a contestant on The Price is Right. Hold on to your ovaries, ladies…

Aaron Paul also auditioned for the role of Francis in Malcolm in the Middle, meaning he would have played Bryan Cranston’s son 8 years before Breaking Bad.

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Another Walking Dead Easter egg…The car that Walt buys Walt Jr. is the same car Glenn drives in The Walking Dead.

Furthermore, the general manager who sold Walt the car was named Glenn.

There are also a bunch of fan theories that Jesse Pinkman was the drug dealer for The Walking Dead character, Merle Dixon.

Shooting the series in New Mexico pumped about $1 million per episode into the local economy.

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The term “breaking bad” is a southern colloquialism, referring to someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow.

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Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris (Hank Schrader) also appeared in Little Miss Sunshine, which was also filmed on location in Albuquerque.  Cranston was the agent Stan Grossman and Norris was the police officer that investigated the bus after the horn on the bus broke.

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It should come as no surprise that the bromance between Cranston and Paul is alive and stronger than ever.  They still talk often and Cranston was even a groomsmen in Aaron Paul’s wedding.

Breaking Bad guys:

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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11 Magical Unicorn Treats

A few years ago I took a very reliable, 100% true-to-fact quiz online to find out the identity of my spirit animal.  As I entered the magical forest, I waited for my spirit animal to approach…I was hoping for something awesome like a wolf or a bear…but when I clicked, I was so amazed to discover that my spirit animal was none other than the unicorn!

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Yup, the wonderful, magical, colorful, amazing unicorn.  It’s actually kind of perfect considering my love of creativity and imagination…and the fact that my dad would sing “The Last Unicorn” to me before bed every night may have cemented my spirit animal into my subconscious.  Needless to say, my inner unicorn has absolutely loved this recent craze of unicorn-themed crafts and foods….and I just had to gather up a few of my favorite unicorn-themed treats!

Cakes, cookies, candies and more all get the unicorn treatment with this collection of 11 Magical Unicorn Treats!  Great for birthdays or just any occasion where you want to feel extra magical, these unicorn treats will literally help you taste the rainbow!

11 Magical Unicorn Treats

Unicorn Bark
thespruce.com
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Unicorn Blondies
bakeat350.blogspot.com
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Unicorn Cake
100layercakelet.com
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Unicorn Cheesecake
cakestyle.com
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Unicorn Poop Cookies
rosannapansino.com
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Unicorn Doughnuts
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Unicorn Fudge
tastemade.com
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Unicorn Hot Chocolate
dixiecrystals.com
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Unicorn Macarons
kawaiisweetworld.com
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Unicorn Popcorn
kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com
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Unicorn Pop Tarts
awwsam.com
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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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35 Fun Facts About The Wonder Years

Ask me what my favorite movie is and I’ll have to list at least two or three.  There are just so many factors!!  But when it comes to my favorite TV show, hands down, every time…it’s The Wonder Years.

What I love about The Wonder Years is that it’s not neat and tidy.  Things do not end the way you may think they will…or the way you want them to…and that’s just how life is, honestly.  People don’t live happily ever after.  People die.  People break up and get divorced.  Our first loves, our true loves, are not always the ones we end up with…and this show does an amazing job of bringing that to life in the most relatable, honest and heartfelt way.

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I’ve watched The Wonder Years a ridiculous amount of times.  I’m actually watching it now as I write this post!  I watched it for the first time with my dad when it was on ABC, then again when it was on Nick at Nite.  I watched it when it was released on Netflix a good handful of times and then again after my dad died…and apparently here I go again!  No other show, movie, play, or book has touched my life the way this show has…and, much like an old friend I know I can count on when times get tough, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Even now, all these years later, certain episodes still make me laugh.  A lot make me cry…and some just hit home in a way that nearly knocks me off my feet.  I had a romance like Kevin and Winnie’s…I knew people like Paul and Becky Slater.  I had teachers like Mr. Collins and my grandpa was so much like Mr. Arnold.  These were real people to me…they were a part of my story.  I’ve never experienced anything like that before or since, and I will forever be grateful to the cast and production team for telling their story the way they did…in a manner that was honest and true.

The Wonder Years recently had a 25 year anniversary…and was finally released on DVD not too long ago after an epic battle to obtain music rights to several of the songs that helped make this show so great.  A few days ago I did a post on Where The Wonder Years Cast is Now, and now I bring you a few fun facts about the making of this iconic American TV show!

35 Fun Facts About The Wonder Years

Kevin Arnold’s (Fred Savage) and Winnie Cooper’s (Danica McKellar) first kiss was also Savage and McKellar’s first kiss! Savage was just 11 and McKellar was 12 when they shot that scene.
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Actress Danica McKellar was up against her sister, Crystal, for the part of Winnie Cooper. Producers finally decided on Danica the day before the pilot began shooting because she was older and her hair color better complimented Fred Savage’s hair.
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But Crystal got her chance in the spotlight, too. You can see Crystal McKellar play the role of Becky Slater throughout the series.  Ironically she’s the one Kevin dates early on to make Winnie jealous.  Cold move, Kev…cold move.
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Olivia D’Abo, who played Kevin’s sister Karen, had hair extensions put in to complete her ‘flower child’ look.
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After its first season, which was only 6 episodes, The Wonder Years took home an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1988.
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If that chemistry between Kevin and Winnie looked like the real deal, it’s because it was! McKellar has said that both she and Savage had crushes on each other in the early days of filming, but their relationship eventually turned into a more brother-sister bond…as is the case with most of these young folk!  Savage was quoted as saying, “I was in love with her for the same reasons every other boy fell in love with her.  You won’t meet a sweeter, nicer girl – and she’s gorgeous.”  STOP IT.
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The city where The Wonder Years took place is never mentioned, but the Arnold’s house was located in Burbank, California and the interior was replicated on a soundstage.
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Many fans have tried to debunk this and search the series for clues…including zooming in on the license plate of the family car and the shot of Wayne’s (Jason Hervey) driver’s license. Both ground the series in California, but it’s never explained exactly where it takes place.
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A TON of actors made guest appearances on The Wonder Years, including Juliette Lewis, Jim Caviezel, Alicia Silverstone, Giovanni Ribisi, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, David Schwimmer, Robin Thicke, John Corbett and several more.
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Ben Savage, Fred Savage’s younger brother, even made a little guest appearance in the Valentine’s Day episode! Look at him!!

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Yes, the entire cast is still super close to this day (which makes me happier than you will ever know), but the moms of all the kids also really hit it off…since they were all on set with their kids all the time. Joanne Savage, Mahalia McKellar, Marsha Hervey, and Jane Saviano (Josh Saviano’s (Paul) mom) still talk and get together.  How precious is that?!

The Wonder Years was partly inspired by film, A Christmas Story. From the coming-of-age theme to the use of narration, the two cultural staples had quite a lot in common.  Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) even made an appearance in the final two episodes of The Wonder Years as one of Kevin’s roommates.

The Wonder Years also was pretty revolutionary for its time in terms of production value. The dramedy only used one camera to film the entire series and the use of a narrator and lack of a laugh track was a bit unheard of for the time.

Casting a lead is never easy…especially when your lead is an 11-year-old boy. So producers Carol Black and Neal Marlens interviewed five casting directors for recommendations on who should play Kevin Arnold.  Every single one of them said Fred Savage.  Boy’s got skillz!

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Perhaps the success of The Wonder Years has to do with the fact that it premiered after the 1988 Super Bowl. More than 80 million viewers tuned in that year to watch the Washington Redskins crush the Denver Broncos and were then treated to a bit of Americana television.

In 1989, at the tender age of 13, Savage became the youngest actor to be nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. He was nominated again in 1990.
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A lot of the dialogue between Kevin and Winnie was picked up from conversations that Savage and McKellar would have off-screen.

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The on-again, off-again romance between Kevin and Winnie was an integral part of the series…but between the third and fourth seasons, the split was solely because McKellar had experienced a huge growth spurt, leaving her little 5-foot co-star in the dust. The two remained separated just long enough for Savage to catch up in height!

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It was Dan Lauria’s idea to make his character, Jack Arnold, a veteran of the Korean War. Lauria himself was a marine and Vietnam War vet and he wanted to bring that part of his life into his character.  It certainly helped and added much-needed dimension to Mr. Arnold.

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Daniel Stern narrates the series as grown-up Kevin Arnold. You might know Stern from a little movie called Home Alone.

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Stern also directed several episodes of The Wonder Years.

In the series finale, it’s mentioned that Kevin’s friend Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) goes off to Harvard and becomes a lawyer. In real life, actor Saviano actually attended Yale to become a lawyer.  He’s a lawyer to this day, working to protect, build and exploit celebrity and corporate brands.

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The little boy’s voice in the finale asking grown-up Kevin to come outside and play catch is actually Stern’s real life son.

The reason it took so long to release The Wonder Years on DVD was because it was near impossible to get all the music rights for the songs that really brought this series to life, including the title song, “I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends”. Eventually, about 96% of the original music was cleared, and The Wonder Years has finally made it to DVD!  WISH LIST!!!!!

The Wonder Years: Complete Series (slipcase)(26DVD)

Since the actors on The Wonder Years were all so young, they often had to balance filming with school…therefore a lot of scenes were actually shot separately. For example, in the scene where Kevin climbs into Winnie’s bedroom after she is in a car accident and they say “I love you” FOR THE FIRST TIME, it was actually each actor saying “I love you” to a piece of tape!

Though he played a total nerd in the series, Saviano was actually a varsity athlete. McKellar, who was a bit of an athlete in the series, was actually a total book nerd and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics…with honors, no less.

Savage, McKellar, and Saviano have all said that the episodes that feature Mr. Collins, the stern and fair math teacher, were their favorite episodes in the series.

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Lauria and Alley Mills (Norma Arnold), who played Kevin’s parents on the show, didn’t have any real life children of their own; therefore, they basically adopted all the kids on set and the vibe was very much that of a tight family unit.

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Paul’s bar mitzvah episode was one of the first depictions of Judaism on mainstream prime-time television. Savage was invited to Saviano’s real life bar mitzvah, but couldn’t go because he was filming a movie.  However, both Saviano and McKellar attended Savage’s bar mitzvah.  OMG THE CUTENESS…I CAN’T TAKE IT MUCH LONGER.

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In order to make it easier for Savage to react to the voiceover, there was a real narrator on set reading the lines out loud.

Young actors of today, look to Savage, Saviano, and McKellar as gleaming examples of child actors going on to live pretty amazing lives. Savage attended Stanford and is now directing movies and TV (including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Modern Family), Saviano is a Yale graduate practicing law, and McKellar graduated from UCLA with honors and has written four books about mathematics, one of which made it to the New York Times Best Seller List.

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The house used for exterior shots of the home throughout the series is 516 University Ave., Burbank, CA.

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After the series ended, Savage’s mom kept the New York Jets jacket worn by Kevin during the show’s first few seasons. In October 2014, Savage donated the jacket to the Smithsonian.

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Fred Savage, Blake Sennett, and Dan Lauria all guest-starred on Ben Savage’s show, Boy Meets World.

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Savage is also the only cast member to appear in every episode of the series.

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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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Is You Okay? Book Review

The first Glozell video I saw was “The Cinnamon Challenge”.  Here was some crazy loud woman with one heck of an amazing weave downing a LADLE full of cinnamon and somehow not dying…I felt bad laughing hysterically but I couldn’t help it!  I instantly fell in love with her and her vibrant personality.

I plowed through a few more of her challenge videos, including “The Wasabi Challenge” and “The Hot Pepper Challenge”, and –of course— “A Push Up Bra Will Help Me Get My Man”.  I couldn’t get enough.  She was just so lovable in her stupidity.

My sister and I share a mutual love of Glozell.  And when we found out she was writing a book, we made a mental note to attend her signing, no questions asked.  Well, I guess that note blew away in the wind…but when I opened my Christmas gifts from her and found Glozell’s book, Is You Okay?, smiling up at me between the ripped Christmas paper, I got instantly excited and jumped in that night.

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Filled with everything a “Glo-worm” or “Glo-bug” or Glozell fan could ever want, Is You Okay?, is a gem of a book, filled with surprising inspiration and motivation to follow your dreams.  Written as if Glozell was just chatting with you over lunch, Is You Okay? is an intimate look into Glozell’s personal life and how she got her start as an Internet-tainer.

A true and quite unusual success story, Glozell talks about her journey from filming “A Push Up Bra Will Help Me Get My Man” to her special episode where she got to sit down and interview President Barak Obama.  Hers is a story that is not far-fetched or out of reach for others who are just as dedicated and resilient as she is…and it’s that message that makes this book pretty inspiring.

Of course, every success story has bumpy roads.  “The Cinnamon Challenge”, for example, was a life-changing video that put Glozell on the map as one of YouTube’s most successful hosts…but it also nearly killed her…like, for realz.  Easily her most popular video with 50,714,327 views and counting, “The Cinnamon Challenge” basically turned her into an overnight sensation…and helped guide her voice and message for the rest of her insanely crazy videos.

Also peppered with personal stories about Glozell’s family, love life (celebrity drama included!), and even a few family photos, Is You Okay? will make you laugh out loud with stories that are embarrassing, ridiculous, and relatable.  She’s a shining, albeit strange, example of success and she continues to pump out videos and collaborations to this day.  With 4.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, GloZell Green, Glozell has proven herself to be a true entertainer in every sense of the word…making millions smile and laugh one video at a time.

Over and out.

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Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

To think that I even have to write about Alan Rickman in the past tense is breaking my heart.  A true gem of a human being and one of the finest actors the stage and screen has ever seen, Alan Rickman was a brilliant and talented performer.  On the day he died, I just sat in my car and cried a long, ugly cry…for what was, what will never be…

Most people today know Alan Rickman from the Harry Potter franchise, but those die-hard (see?  See what I did there??) Rickman fans know he’s been around long before Severus Snape.

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A product of the theater, Rickman started acting in various plays in England before moving to America to star in his first Hollywood movie, Die Hard.  His deadpan humor, sultry voice, and Jimmy Stewart-like charm made him a favorite among his fans and colleagues.

I have been a fan of Rickman since I first saw him in Sense and Sensibility (easily one of my favorites!).  I loved his sad and loveable portrayal of one of my favorite Austen men, Colonel Brandon.  After SaS, he blew me away in Snowcake and, of course, there was no better choice for Snape in the Harry Potter films!

An actor who loved what he did because of the true passion of telling a story, Rickman wasn’t in it for the money or the fame…he didn’t care about the show or the awards or the hullabaloo of it all…he just truly, and honestly, loved acting.  He was selective with his roles, picking parts that meant something to him and that challenged him as a performer.  He was often typecast as a villain, which was ironic considering he was a man with a loving and giving heart.

Several of Rickman’s fellow actors and friends, namely Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Daniel Radcliffe, to name just a few, do nothing but sing his praises.  He was a man who loved fully and gave back in any way he could.  He was honest and true and grateful for what he was able to achieve in his short life.

Two days ago would have been Alan Rickman’s 70th birthday.  He had an all-too short acting career that only spanned about 30 years.  He brought some of our most memorable characters to life and he will remain in the hearts of those that loved and respected him…always.

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I’M NOT CRYING…YOU’RE CRYING!

 

25 Fun Facts About Alan Rickman

Rickman studied graphic design at The Royal College of Art in London in the late 1960’s.  He opened a studio in SoHo, called Graphiti, where he helped design book jackets, album sleeves, ads, and layouts for magazines.

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Rickman rarely, if ever, watched his own performances on screen.

He’s quoted as saying the Australian outback is the most beautiful place he’s ever visited.

Rickman was an avid bird lover.

Before his first motion picture role in Die Hard, Rickman was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in The Tempest and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

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Rickman earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985.  When the play hit the big screen three years later as Dangerous Liaisons, John Malkovich played the role of Valmont.

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Rickman dated his teenage sweetheart, Rima Horton, from 1965 until 2012, when they got married in a super-secret ceremony, followed by a lunch date and a walk around New York.

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Horton was adamant against having children, though Rickman has stated several times that he would have liked to have had a family.

Rickman’s final job was doing a voiceover for the short film, This Tortoise Could Save a Life, for the Save the Children and Refugee Council.

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Rickman was also the Honorary President of the International Performers Aid Trust, an organization assisting artists and performers challenged by poverty.

In 1995, Rickman was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History (#34) and was ranked again at #83 in 2007.

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Rickman did not start acting until he was almost 30 years old.

For his role as Severus Snape, J.K. Rowling told Rickman the fate of Snape’s character and of his love for Lilly before anyone else in the world knew.

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The sexy, languid tone of Rickman’s voice was the result of a speech impediment, caused by not being able to move his jaw properly.

Though several fans believe Rickman deserved at least ONE Oscar nomination, he never got one…and he didn’t care.  “Parts win prizes, not actors,” he said.  Rickman did, however, win a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award, a BAFTA Award and several others throughout his career.

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Even though he appeared in several plays in his lifetime, Rickman suffered from crippling stage fright.

Rickman was a student at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, the same school attended by fellow Brit, Hugh Grant.

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Like his character in Bottle Shock, Rickman was a win connoisseur.

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Actor Tom Burke is Rickman’s Godson.

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Though J.K. Rowling has said that she even had Rickman in mind when writing the character of Severus Snape, Warner Brothers preferred Tim Roth for the role and only agreed to cast Rickman after Roth backed out in order to do Planet of the Apes.

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Rickman and Warwick Davis both starred in the Harry Potter films together (Warwick was Professor Flitwick).  The two also played the part of Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 2005, Davis wearing the suit and Rickman providing the voice.

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His first role as Hans Gruber in Die Hard earned him a spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the “100 Best Villains” (he came in at #46).

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J.K. Rowling wasn’t the only one inspired by Rickman.  Author Angela Pell stated that she wrote the role of Alex Hughes in Snowcake with Rickman in mind.  The character’s name was actually originally Alan, but Rickman convinced her to change it to Alex.

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Rickman said that the film Nashville was the one that ultimately changed his life and made him decide to be an actor.

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Rickman and fellow Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe remained very close up until Rickman’s passing.  Rickman would attend all of Radcliffe’s shows in London and New York and kept in touch with his co-star long after his filming on the series ended.

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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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2017 Printable Oscar Ballot

Well, award season is finally here!  The Oscars air on ABC this Sunday, February 26th…and I can’t wait!

Hosted by late-night sweetheart, Jimmy Kimmel, the 2017 Oscars are bound to be a riot…and there are some GREAT movies in the line-up this year.

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Now in my household, the Oscars are SERIOUS business.  We have themed foods, we dress in our most glamorous pajamas, and snuggle in to see the brightest stars on Hollywood walk the red carpet.

One tradition I’m thinking of starting this year is to have an Oscar ballot contest…to see who can pick the winners in each category.  My family and I used to play this all the time and it was always fun to see who won (usually my dad…probably out shear dumb luck!).

Though there was never a prize, I’m thinking of instituting one this year…suggestions are accepted!

If you want to have your own fun watching the 2017 Oscars, here is a free, printable ballot you can download and print and use to track your picks for all the Oscar categories.

Are you gonna tune in with me and watch the Oscars this Sunday?  Let me know what movie you’re hoping will win!

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT YOUR 2017 OSCAR BALLOT!

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

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