Tag Archives: summer

15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

Not like we ever NEED a reason to go out for happy hour, but this Wednesday…February 22…is NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY. A DAY OF MARGARITAS. TEQUILA FLOWING LIKE WATER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, YOU GUYS.

drinking jon stewart alcohol happy hour margarita

Now it’s no secret that I love tequila. If a beer just won’t do and I need something stronger, tequila is my go-to. I love it straight and I love it mixed…just don’t you dare ruin that delicious liquid with your nasty drink mixes…just don’t do it.

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If you have to make a fruity, girly drink, baller up and make it! Margaritas are crazy easy to make and oftentimes only require five ingredients or less:

drinking alcohol archer tequila margarita

Now let’s celebrate National Margarita Day the RIGHT Way…with tasty homemade cocktails that go down oh so easy and are great for us Midwestern folk who are just daydreaming of warm summer beaches and sunshine.

15 Amazing Margarita Recipes

margarita-recipes

Pink Lemonade Margarita

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Strawberry Mango Margarita

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Champagne Lemonade Margarita

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Cranberry Margarita

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Mango Raspberry Margarita

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Blackberry Margarita

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Coconut Margarita

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Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita

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Blood Orange Margarita

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Skinny Champagne Margarita

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Cucumber Lime Margarita

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Peach Margarita

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Tropical Rum Margarita

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Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

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Cantaloupe Margarita

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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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Pistachio Ice Box Cake

What is it about that artificial pistachio flavor that just tastes so freaking good?  Pistachio ice cream…pistachio cake…pistachio pudding…you’d think the toxic neon green color might deter me, but no.  I love me pistachio flavored anything.

And this Pistachio Ice Box Cake is no exception.  A play on the popular Watergate Salad (another guilty pleasure that I can just eat with a wooden spoon while sitting in my pj’s on my couch watching Gossip Girl), this cake combines only a few ingredients to create a tasty n0-bake summer treat that’s great for, well, anything!

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As is custom with most ice box cakes and pies, this treat gets better the longer it sits.  Since it’s made in a small pan, it doesn’t make many servings, so plan ahead if you plan on making this for a party.  However, because this recipe is pretty simple and VERY budget friendly, this is a great party treat if you double the ingredients and use a larger 9 in. x 13 in. pan instead.

Pistachio Ice Box Cake

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.50.16 PMIngredients:

  • 2 (3.4 oz) packages instant pistachio pudding
  • 2¼ cups cold milk
  • 16 oz. frozen whipped topping, defrosted
  • 18 to 20 graham crackers
  • Chopped pistachios for decorating

 

Directions:

  1. Like an 8 in. x 8 in. pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until combined. Refrigerate 5 minutes.
  3. Fold 8 oz. whipped topping into pudding until combined.
  4. Place one layer graham crackers in prepared pan. Top with half of pistachio pudding. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining 8 oz. whipped topping. Top with chopped pistachios.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.

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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16 A+ Back-to-School Movies

It’s been a few years now since I have had to worry about back to school time, but there’s no denying that around the end of August, I still feel that little pang of happy anxiety…the fear and excitement of starting a new school year filled with new people, new opportunities, and new SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

I was in the small percentile of nerdy girls who actually looked forward to the start of school. Since I was in band for the majority of my educational career, I met a lot of my high school and college classmates a few weeks before the start of classes. I looked forward to shopping for school supplies and shopping for college text books was always a fun (albeit expensive!) adventure.

Though I don’t have to worry about collecting my school planner and trying to remember my locker combination anymore, I still do love watching other people go through it! Therefore, I’ve collected my top 16 back to school movies, sure to get you in the S-P-I-R-I-T!

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Grease (1978)
stockard channing grease betty rizzo rizzo pink ladiesMay I just say…#SquadGoals.
A definite guilty pleasure, Grease holds a spot up there as one of my favorite back-to-school movies. For extra credit, check out Grease 2, where you’ll learn helpful songs that teach you about the months of the year and how plants reproduce. All helpful information.

Animal House (1978)
john belushi animal house drinking college jack danielsThe ultimate college prep movie.

The Breakfast Club (1985)
IFC the breakfast club
One of my favorite movies of all time, The Breakfast Club is the ultimate high school movie. With a character to represent every high school cliché, this classic 80’s film teaches us all that, at the end of the day, the labels we strive for never really matter.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
matthew broderick ferris buellers day off 80s 1980s 1986Because Mondays will always suck.

Back to School (1986)
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To help get his son on the straight and narrow, Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) heads off to college. In true Dangerfield fashion, hilarity ensues, and the film ends with an ironic message from Dangerfield on how to deal with life’s challenges.

Dead Poets Society (1989)
words ideas literature dead poets society change the world
If you’ve been lucky enough to have a teacher or professor like John Keating, you best count your blessings. A testament to the importance of language and words, Dead Poets Society is a beautiful film that should be on the syllabus for any student, no matter what their discipline.

Kindergarten Cop (1990)
shut up kindergarten cop arnold schwarzeneggerBecause children.

Clueless (1995)
Hollywood Suite clueless alicia silverstone push as if
A true time capsule of 90’s culture, Clueless is a joy for those who were products of the time. Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless is a feel-good film that may look trashy on the outside, but has a heart of gold.

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1997)
richard dreyfuss mr hollands opus dvd collection meme
I can honestly say that some of the best high school and college memories I have are of my time in band. The arts are ESSENTIAL to a well-rounded and productive education, and Mr. Holland’s Opus is a sweet dedication to those who continue to fight so hard to keep the arts active in their school districts.

Rushmore (1998)
television wes anderson cinemax jason schwartzman rushmore
It’s a little romantic, a little heartbreaking, a little sad, and a whole lot of funny. Another one of my all-time fave’s, Rushmore is a whimsical and wonderful story of a small prep school and the boy who just couldn’t let it go. Filled with familiar tales of awkward friendships and unrequited love, Rushmore will have you smiling from start to finish.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
heath ledger 10 things i hate about you outofexcuses heeeeeeeeeatthhhh - swoooooon
In all honesty, here are the two best things about this film:

  • Heath Ledger
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Aaaand that’s about it.

Election (1999)
movies reese witherspoon cupcake tracy flick election movie
We all know her…the pushy, smart, show-off who overtook the school walls with “Vote for Me” posters. She was on the ballot for Class President, Homecoming Queen, Prom Queen, and graduated valedictorian. Every school has one, and in Election, Reese Witherspoon captures her so perfectly. Her relationship with her teacher (Matthew Broderick) alone makes this one a must-see before school starts.

Remember the Titans (2000)
football team training american football remember the titansThe ultimate in feel-good movies, Remember the Titans will attack your emotional core. Denzel Washington shines as a football coach who has to battle racism, failing students, and a school system that is working against him. Despite all odds, the love and dedication he shows his team make this a heart-warming film that anyone will enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
harry potter diagon alleyLet’s be honest, when Harry and Hagrid go to Diagon Alley to shop for his school supplies, you can’t help but just squeal with glee! Harry’s introduction into Hogwarts and the wizarding world rings familiar with those going to high school or college for the first time. Meeting new friends, getting used to new professors, and navigating a new landscape are stressors for any student, but Harry and his friends show us that just sharing some jelly beans can go a long way in establishing life-long connections.

School Ties (2001)
https://danhairfield.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/screen-shot-2012-04-22-at-4-03-02-pm.png?w=526&h=329A hidden gem in the back-to-school movie line-up, School Ties stars Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell, and Anthony Rapp. Taking place in a private all-boys school, School Ties covers touchy topics such as racism, bigotry, and prejudice and pushes the door wide open on the difficulties students face from their parents and their environment.

Mean Girls (2004)
mean girls chaos regina george chaotic running aroundThis movie is so fetch.

The cool girls may not be as cool as you think, and Mean Girls sheds light on what makes the Regina’s of the world tick. HINT: Be weary of those girls with wacko moms…

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 American Graffiti

Hey cool cats! Fans of 1970s cinema might remember a little gem by the name of American Graffiti, a teenage coming-of-age dramedy that helped launched the careers of several beloved actors, including Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Ron Howard, and Richard Dryfus.

Directed by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, American Graffiti has remained in popular movie culture for more than 40 years now, and today is celebrating its 43rd anniversary.

Released August 11, 1973, American Graffiti sits comfortably between The Godfather and Star Wars in the amazing lineup that was 1970s cinema. Originally thought to be a flop by the studio that produced it (Universal), American Graffiti actually turned out to be one of the most profitable movies of all time, and even landed a Best Picture Oscar nomination, a Best Director nomination, and nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Candy Clark), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

To help celebrate the release of this wonderful film, here are a few fun facts about the movie that set the bar for all other high school flicks to come…

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When Charles Martin Smith pulls up on his Vespa in the beginning of the movie, his crash into the building wasn’t scripted. He genuinely lost control of the bike during filming and Lucas decided to keep the shot.

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American Graffiti was shot in sequence…in 29 days.

When radio personality Wolfman Jack makes an on-air prank call to Pinky’s Pizza, the voice on the other end is belongs to George Lucas.

Ironically, Lucas missed his high school reunion because he was too busy shooting this classic high school film.

Newcomer Harrison Ford was asked to cut his hair for the film, but he refused, stating his role was too short. He did offer to wear a hat instead.

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Lucas kept several first takes in this film, including the scene where Carol gets hit in the face with a water balloon. The balloon was scripted to hit the side of the car, but actress Mackenzie Phillips adlibbed the rest of the scene, and Lucas decided to keep it.

Universal thought so little of American Graffiti that the film sat on the shelf for 6 months before the studio finally decided to release it in the summer of 1973. To their surprise, the film was an enormous success, becoming one of the most profitable films of all time and launching the careers of several of today’s most well known actors.

One of the main reasons so many studios turned down American Graffiti was because Lucas wanted at least 40 classic rock n’ roll songs on the soundtrack, leading to a large music rights bill. Universal finally decided to fund the picture after Lucas’ friend, Francis Ford Coppola—fresh from his success with The Godfather the year before—came on board as a producer.

Speaking of, American Graffiti also got an additional $175,000 added to the budget after Coppola signed on, solely for the studio to be able to say, “from the man who brought you The Godfather…”.

Mel’s Drive-In was demolished after the movie was completed, but re-opened as a small chain in 1981. There are two restaurants in Hollywood themed after the movie, and one in San Francisco, where Lucas occasionally dines.

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Ever wonder why movie credits are so long? You can thank George Lucas for that! Due to the low budget, Lucas was unable to pay all of the crew members, so he offered a screen credit in lieu of payment, which many accepted. Traditionally, only department heads received screen credits, so this was a big deal to anyone looking to further their career in Hollywood. This has now become a tradition in most, if not all, Hollywood films.

There is a rumor that while Lucas was editing American Graffiti, a co-worker asked him for “reel two, dialogue two”, which abbreviated to R2-D2, inspiring the name of the little droid in Lucas’ later film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

About 300 pre-1960’s cars were needed to create the cruising scenes in American Graffiti, and more than 1,000 classic car owners responded to ads placed in local newspapers.

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American Graffiti was almost exclusively shot at night.

Paul LeMat, Harrison Ford, and Bo Hopkins were often drunk between takes and had climbing competitions to the top of the local Holiday Inn sign.

Charles Martin Smith and Ron Howard, both 18 at the time, were the only two teenage principal actors of the film. Most of the principal cast members were in their 20’s, with the exception of Mackenzie Phillips, who was 12, and Harrison Ford, who turned 30 during filming.

Ron Howard and Cindy Williams would go on to act together in TV, Howard starring in Happy Days, which debuted the year after American Graffiti was released, and Williams starring in the Happy Days spinoff, Laverne & Shirley, two years later. Williams also guest-starred in Happy Days with Howard.

Even though Ron Howard was supposed to be a year older than Cindy Williams, Howard is actually seven years younger than Williams in real life.

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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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9 Awesome Smores Recipes

Even the hottest, muggiest summer day is instantly improved by eating a smore.  Gooey chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers come together in an ultimate marriage of happiness and deliciousness.

But smores can sometimes be a pain to eat.  One bite and all the chocolate and marshmallow just ooze out the back of your happiness sandwich and all down your hand.  That’s just no fun for anyone…

But with these awesome bloggers and their tasty recipes, you can get the flavors you love without the mess!  Brownies, sushi, even smores milkshakes make this collection of smores recipes summertime staples for lovers of these campfire treat!

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Gooey smores brownies from The Little Sous Chef:

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Smores muddy buddies from Like Mother Like Daughter:

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Sushi smores from Tastemade:

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Smore cheese ball from Chef in Training:

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Smores cheesecake from Baked by an Introvert:

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Smore milkshake from Eat. Thrive. Glow.:

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Pretzel smores bites from Well Plated:

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Smores doughnuts from Dessert Now, Dinner Later:

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Smores popcorn balls from I Heart Eating:

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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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Painted Watermelon Shoes

Nothing screams summer quite like a nice juicy slice of watermelon. To celebrate National Watermelon Day today, I’ve created a fun way to show off my love of watermelons: Watermelon Shoes!

These shoes are so freaking cute and are such a fun way to liven up a fun summer dress. Since I had white shoes and Rit Dye on hand, I hand dyed my shoes, but you can easily do these with pink or red tennis shoes and save yourself a lot of time (but it is fun to use Rit Dye!).

Some words of caution: make sure you wear gloves when using Rit Dye, as the water you’re using is HOT and the dye will color your skin. Also, be aware that the Rit Dye might also tint your plastic container. If you’re using another brand of dye, just make sure you read the instructions on how to use and set the dye to get the best life out of your dyed shoes!

Painted Watermelon Shoes

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Materials:

  • White tennis shoes
  • Rit Dye in Scarlet Red
  • Plastic or latex gloves
  • Plastic container
  • Masking tape
  • Craft Smart Paint in Apple Tart
  • Craft Smart Paint in Black
  • Craft Smart Paint in White
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brushes

Directions:

  1. Remove the laces from your shoes. Prepare your Rit Dye following the instructions on the bottle. I added a teapot full of boiling water to my plastic container and then added about ½ the bottle of Rit Dye. I mixed the two together for a good 2 minutes before dunking in my shoes.
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  2. With your gloves on, dunk your shoes bottoms up into the dye mixture. It’s ok if the bottoms, sides, and insides get dyed; we’re gonna paint over the sides and you won’t see the insides! Once your shoes are completely covered in the dye, let them sit on a piece of aluminum foil or an old cloth for about 5 minutes.
  3. The darkness of the red will fade as the shoes dry, so if you want a deep red shoe, dip your shoes in the dye again. I wanted a pink color to mine so I stopped after one dip (this is how they looked after one dip…but once they dried, they were the pink in the picture shown above).
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  4. When your shoes are the color you want, let them dry completely (overnight is best).
  5. Before painting my shoes, I wanted to set the dye and remove any excess. This is optional, but be aware that your shoes might bleed onto your socks/feet if they get wet. To set the dye, you can wash your shoes in the washer/dryer (by themselves unless you want pink laundry!), or you can set up a little bath of warm water and detergent and hand-wash your shoes, which is what I did. I washed them, moving them back and forth in the soapy water, for about five minutes…then rinsed them clean. Let your shoes dry completely before moving on to painting.
  6. To create a clean white line around your shoes, use masking tape to mark off about ¼ in. around each shoe. Using a brush and the Apple Tart paint, paint one coat of green under the masking tape. Let dry about 10 minutes. Paint second coat. Carefully remove tape and let dry.
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  7. So when I colored my shoes, the sides and tops of the rubber siding got a little tinted…so I decided to paint over it with white paint. I cleaned up the line around the shoe and painted over the top rubber toe. This is optional if your shoes remained a nice shade of white.
  8. To seal the paint, I covered all the painted areas with a coat of Mod Podge. This also adds a nice shine to your shoes! Let dry.
  9. Finally, using a small brush and your black paint, paint on your seeds. You can arrange them however you’d like. If you don’t feel comfortable using a brush, you can also draw your seeds on with a Sharpie marker.
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  10. Lace up your shoes and you’re ready to rock your watermelon kickers!
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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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Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day and, with the record heat we’ve had here in Chicago, I plan on celebrating all week long!

And nothing quite says summer like an ice cream sandwich. Whether it’s the traditional chocolate graham sandwiches or the upscale chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, a cool and refreshing ice cream sandwich just hits the spot every time.

And today, I have a fun way to celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich day with just three ingredients: cookies, ice cream, and sprinkles…can’t go wrong there!

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These cute little sandwich bites are great for any season and are sure to please kids and adults alike.

To start, use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out as many ice cream balls as you’d like. Place them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will harden them a little bit and make them easier to work with.

Once your ice cream balls have hardened, sandwich each ball between two Vanilla Wafer cookies. Roll edges of cookie sandwich in sprinkles and enjoy!

Great for those days that are just too hot to be outside, this is a fun project for kids to help with and a tasty treat for any summer birthday party or BBQ.

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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