Tag Archives: pop culture

Shake it Off!


“So I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music
In my mind saying, ‘It’s gonna be alright.'”
Shake it Off, Taylor Swift

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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Patronus Wreath

As I’ve gotten older and wiser in my years, I’ve come to appreciate the story of Harry Potter differently.  When I first read it, I loved the friendships and the imaginative writing.  I loved the use of allusion and symbolism and had a deep appreciation for the amazing plot development that this series undertakes.

But the more I read it, the more I came to appreciate and relate to other smaller elements of the story…namely, the Dementors.


For those who are unaware, Dementors are ghost-like demons who guard the wizard prison, Azkaban.  They are the physical manifestation of author J.K. Rowling’s experience with depression…and they “kill” their victims by literally sucking the joy out of them.

The only way to get rid of a Dementor is to cast a spell (Expecto Patronum!).  The spell admits a Patronus, or a silver-like animal guardian that is also symbolic of each witch or wizard.

A few weeks ago, I did a post on how to make your own collection of felt Patronuses, and today I’m FINALLY going to share how I used them!


I decided to create a Patronus Wreath to keep bad thoughts at bay.  I’m hoping it acts like a Dream Catcher…protecting my safe space and removing the negative and bad thoughts that every so often crowd my mind.

This wreath was made with a bunch of Christmas items that I got on sale last year, so shop the clearance section and see what you can find!

Patronus Wreath


  • Felt Patronuses (see how to make these here)
  • Gold stick wreath (if you can’t find a gold stick wreath, you can spray paint a regular stick wreath with gold glitter spray)
  • Various gold ribbons
  • Chipboard star ornament
  • Paint colors of your choice (I used black and purple)
  • Paintbrush
  • Gold letter stickers
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks


  1. If your wreath needs to be spray painted, do that first. If it’s already gold and glittery, let’s get started!
  2. Cut out your patronuses. You can find the tutorial for them here.
  3. Wrap your wreath with various gold ribbons. The ribbons I used came in a set, so they worked together, but use whatever you’d like to add various texture to the wreath.  You could even add color ribbons if you want.  You can tie the ribbons or use the hot glue gun to secure them.
  4. Paint your star chipboard ornament however you’d like. I wanted a galaxy print to add some color, but you could paint it gold with glitter or just leave it as is.  Place “Expecto Patronum!” stickers on star; secure with thin layer of Mod Podge, if needed.
  5. Arrange your star and felt patronuses around the wreath. Secure with hot glue.  Hang it on your door to keep away the bad thoughts!

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


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Happiness is Where You Are


“There comes a day
when you’re gonna look around
and realize happiness
is where you are.”

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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21 Fun Facts About the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A few days ago I was just reminiscing about my recent trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  As I was unpacking my boxes after our move, I came across my Butterbeer cup, my wand, and a few other things I picked up on our journey…and I found myself missing it more and more!

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Regardless of whether you love or loath Harry Potter, there’s no denying that the park abounds with amazing detail.  Movie props pepper the park, voices of familiar characters can be heard throughout the Hogwarts castle, and you can even TAKE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS between parks!


I may or may not have cried on that ride…but I definitely cried.

J.K. Rowling had a hand in everything while the park was being created, from the look and flow of the scenery to the title of the songs that crooner Celestia Warbeck sings on stage.  It really is a dream come true for fans of the series and is FILLED with little nods that lovers of the books and movies are sure to appreciate.

If you’re planning a trip to TWWoHP in the near future, here are 21 little nuggets (or should I say Galleons!) to keep in mind as you plan your trip!


21 Fun Facts About The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Many of the Wizarding World staff members are from the U.K.  The park hired a large number of its team members directly from Britain to make the experience as authentic as possible.

Every staff member also takes an exam, testing their knowledge of the books and movies to make sure their interactions go as smoothly as possible.  Nothing’s getting past these guys!

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Author J.K. Rowling had final say on the Butterbeer recipe served at the park.

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A Crumple-Horned Snorkack, Luna Lovegood’s favorite magical creature, can be seen in the Magical Menagerie store…though Luna herself has yet to find one IRL.

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Look up in the windows of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and you’ll see house elves all over the place!  Even Kreacher makes an appearance from behind the curtain of 12 Grimmauld Place every few minutes.  CREEEEEEEPY!

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Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride features appearances from original actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rupert Grint; however, Emma Watson nor Daniel Radcliffe reprised their roles…so Harry and Hermione might sound different on the ride.

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Though Moaning Myrtle haunts the girls’ bathroom in the books and movies, boys and girls can hear Moaning Myrtle haunt their toilets throughout the park bathrooms.

In order to build Diagon Alley, the famous Jaws ride had to be taken down. As a tribute, a record is visible in the windows of the shop on Charing Cross Road, where the Jaws ride was, that has a song titled “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bo Legged Women”, a direct quote from the Jaws movie.  There’s also a set of shark teeth in the Mullpepper’s Apothecary.

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There’s an actual London-style phone in the King’s Cross section of the park.  If you dial 62442 (MAGIC), you’ll be connected to the Ministry of Magic.

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The Hogwarts Express was built in Switzerland and was artificially aged to make it look as though it had made the journey from Hogwarts to London thousands of times.

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The same musicians hired to play the film soundtracks played new arrangements for the park attractions.

J.K. Rowling wrote the titles of every song Celestia Warbeck sings in the park.

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You can converse with the goblin tellers inside Gringotts Bank.  If you ring a desk bell, the goblin teller will look directly at you (!!).  Ask the goblin a question like, “How old are you?” or “Did you know there’s a dragon on the roof?” and see what they say…

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You can trade your muggle money in for Gringotts money, which can be used throughout the park.

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Ask an employee in London’s King Cross station how to find Platform 9¾…they will look at you like you’re crazy, bristle in annoyance or confusion, or make a sarcastic remark about how bonkers you are. The wizards working at both Potter-themed parks know their stuff — and they stay in character (and challenge your Harry Potter knowledge) at every turn.

The earmuffs near the mandrake roots, the desks and chalkboard in the Dark Arts classroom, Cho Chang’s dress from the Yule Ball, the carriage compartment in the Hogwarts Express train and, most notably, Hagrid’s motorcycle are just a few of the real movie props you can spot in the park.

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The dragon atop Gringotts is a Ukrainian Ironbelly…and it has breathed fire more than 15,000 times since the park opened.

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Nearly all of the Horcruxes are available for purchase at the parks.  The only missing Horcruxes are Helga Hufflepuff’s cup and Harry himself. The locket, ring, Tom Riddle’s diary, a stuffed Nagini, and even Rowena Ravenclaw’s bedazzled diadem are for sale.

Want a challenge?  Mention the name “Voldemort” to any Harry Potter park employee…

The actual costumes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire are on display at Gladrags Wizardwear.

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In the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes joke shop, you can adopt your very own Pygmy Puff.  When you do, the attendant will ring a bell and announce the name of your Pygmy Puff to the whole store.

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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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Smart and Tough and Strong


“I have touched glitter in the past 24 hours…but that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.”
New Girl

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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21 Fun Facts About New Girl

Dust off those driving moccasins… Jess and the gang will be back for the final season of New Girl!

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With only eight episodes lined up, season 7 was picked up in May of this year and supposedly will feature a jump in time.  Starting three years after the season 6 finale (Jess and Nick rekindle their romance, Schmidt and Cece learn they’re pregnant, and Winston reconnects with his father), season 7 will feature major milestones for all the main characters over the period of one year, including a big one in the series finale…MAYBE JESS AND NICK TIE THE KNOT!!?!!?  OMG.

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Still no word on a release date, but the cast and crew are super excited, and so am I!!  I love New Girl and hope that this show gets the ending it deserves.  I’ll certainly miss Prank Sinatra, Jess’s AMAZING wardrobe, and all of Schmidt’s jar-worthy one-liners, but we know all good things must come to an end.

I’ve recently rewatched New Girl for the third time and just love it more and more.  If you can’t get enough of Jess and the gang, here are 21 Fun Facts about New Girl that will have you loving this adorkable show more and more!


21 Fun Facts About New Girl

Originally titled Chicks & Dicks, New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether was 29 when her idea for a theatrical production was turned into a TV show.  She had never worked on TV before and decided to pitch a sitcom based on her experience of spending four years moving from one Craigslist sublet to another.

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Though he’s portrayed as a lazy slob in the show, actor Jake Johnson (Nick Miller) actually had to lose 15 pounds before the pilot episode started filming.

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When ABC’s Happy Endings was thought to have a not-so-happy ending, actor Damon Wayans Jr. (Coach) decided to take the role on New Girl instead.  His sudden departure was due to the fact that Happy Endings was actually not cancelled, so Wayans was contractually obligated to return to the series.  This prompted the introduction of another character, Winston (Lamorne Morris), in the second episode.  When Happy Endings finally did end, Wayans returned to New Girl.

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Coach and Jess may have gotten off to a rocky start in the show, but actors Wayans and Zooey Deschanel actually go way back…they went to high school together at Crossroads School in Santa Monica.

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Jake Kasdan, who directed Freaks and Geeks, directed the pilot of New Girl, as well as a handful of other episodes.  He’s also an executive producer on the show.

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According to the show producers, it’s their goal to actually make the game of “True American” impossible to understand…so good luck, dedicated patriots.

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Dennis Farina, who played Nick’s father Walt, actually passed away a few months after his character was killed off.

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In episode 2 of season 2, the actress who play’s Winston’s sister (Keenyah Hill) was previously on America’s Next Top Model.  Schmidt (Max Greenfield) actually makes a reference to Tyra Banks when he is hitting on her.

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All of the male actors have played police officers at some time in their careers: Lamorne Morris on New Girl, Max Greenfield on Veronica Mars, and Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. in Let’s Be Cops.

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Deschanel’s random leave (when Jess serves a few months on jury duty) was written into the script because Deschanel was pregnant at the time.

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The exterior shot of Nick’s bar is actually called “The Griffin”.  It’s located in L.A. on Los Feliz Blvd.

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Hannah Simone (Cece) studied international relations and political science at the University of British Columbia.  Before acting, she was working with the UN in London, where she was born.  Dis lady is beautiful and smart!

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Just like their characters, both Jake Johnson (Nick) and Lamorne Morris (Winston) are from Chicago.

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Max Greenfield is scared of birds.

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If Damon Wayans Jr. looks familiar, it may be because he is!  His dad is Damon Wayans Sr. and his brothers are Marlon and Shawn Wayans.

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Zooey Deschanel is in a band called “She & Him”.  She’s also the co-founder of “Hello Giggles”, a blog that celebrates all things adorable and trendy.

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Not surprisingly, a lot of the best parts of New Girl are actually improvised.  The writers encourage the cast to riff off each other and they just let the cameras roll.

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Originally Amanda Bynes was up for the role of Jessica Day.  #eww  Thankfully Deschanel fell in love with the series after reading the script and made it a point to get the project.

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Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson actually auditioned together and became fast friends through the audition process.  BROS FOR LIFE!

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Bears are mentioned in some way in every episode.

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Exterior shots of the loft apartment building are of a building located on the corner of Avery St. and Traction Ave. in L.A.

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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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18 Fun Facts about Wonder Woman

Growing up, I knew nothing about Wonder Woman.  I’ve never seen the show or read the comics…I mean, I could pick her out of a lineup, but other than that, I was clueless.

So when the 2017 movie hit theaters, I wasn’t really itching to see it.  I mean, yeah it looked cool…and a female superhero with a rocking body seemed pretty bad ass…but it wasn’t like I HAD to be first in line, ya know?

So one day after work my sister and I decided to check it out…we’d heard good reviews and Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are pretty easy on the eyes, so…what could it hurt?



I went in with little to no expectations and left that theater feeling like I could conquer the world.  I almost wished for a moment that I was a younger version of myself, seeing an Israeli woman with actual meat on her bones (and a baby in her belly, but more on that later!) kicking ass and taking names.

If you loved this movieor are looking for a reason to finally see it, here are 18 Fun Facts about the 2017 film, Wonder Woman.

18 Fun Facts about Wonder Woman

When filming re-shoots and her own stunts (BAD ASS), Gal Gadot was actually 5 months pregnant.  Her baby bump was visible, so the crew created a costume that had a green screen around her belly so they could remove the bump post-production.

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Want to visit Themyscira in real life?  You can!  Head on over to the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy, the real-life location for this mythical city.

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In order to play the role of Wonder Woman, Gadot trained for 9 months and gained 17 pounds of muscle.

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In the comics, Steve Trevor and Diana met during WWII, but for the film, it was changed to WWI.  This change was made because filmmakers thought the era was more suitable.  Civilization was finding its roots and there were questions about women’s rights, topics that better suited the story Patty Jenkins (director) wanted to tell.

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This film features Diana Prince, the original Wonder Woman, and Artemis and Orana, who briefly held the title of Wonder Woman in the comics.  The actresses who played them, Gadot, Ann Wolfe and Myling Ng, were all trained in martial arts.

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The evil villain, General Ludendorff, was actually a real person…and was just as ruthless as his movie counterpart.  He was also a supporter of the Nazi regime.

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The scene where Diana eats ice cream for the first time and praises the vendor is taken directly from the “New 52” DC Comics.

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The sweet discussion between Diana and Steve in the boat about “the pleasures of the flesh” was improvised.

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Both Jenkins and Lynda Carter (the original Wonder Woman from the TV show) wanted Carter to make a cameo in the film, however she could not due to scheduling conflicts.

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The film’s closing credits contain thanks to the people who made significant contributions to Wonder Woman over the years.  These include Wonder Woman comic writers William Marston, George Perez, Jim Lee and Cliff Chiang, as well as Lynda Carter, the first live-action Wonder Woman.

With an opening of $103 million, this film marked the highest US opening for a female director.

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Although it’s hinted that Dr. Maru’s facial scars were made by fire, her disfigurement is actually more consistent with the effects of mustard gas, something her boss in the film, General Ludendorff, was a proponent of using on enemies.  The gas is corrosive and attacks mucous tissue, such as eyes and the inside of the mouth.  Her mask is based on the actual prosthetic created to conceal face injuries from mustard gas.  They were made out of tin, painted a flesh color, and attached to the face using straps.  These were the first aesthetic prosthetic ever created to help injured soldiers regain some normality in their lives.

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Filmmakers sited Superman (1978), Batman Begins (2005), the Indiana Jones films, Casablanca (1942), and The Little Mermaid (1989) as influences and inspiration.

Gadot and Emily Carey, who played young Diana in the movie, share the same birthday (April 30).

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Director Patty Jenkins and the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, also share the same birthday (July 24).

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Before team Jenkins/Gadot got their hands on the Wonder Woman script, Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Valhalla Rising, Bronson) was interested in directing and insisted that Christina Hendricks play the role of Wonder Woman.

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The film wrapped on May 3, the birthday of the Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton Marston.

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Never once in the film does anyone call or name the title character Wonder Woman.

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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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