Tag Archives: winter

10 Christmas Cookies with 5 Ingredients or Less

I love baking cookies for the holidays, but one of the most stressful elements of holiday baking is buying all the ingredients.  Frankly I don’t have room to store 5 bags of flour, 4 bags of sugar, and 10 sticks of butter…however, there are some tasty cookies you can make using only a handful of ingredients!

Not only are these great for holiday baking, but 5-ingredient or less cookies are also great for clearing out your baking cabinet to make room for new ingredients.  Some of these are even no-bake recipes, so you can make several batches without overworking your oven.

Easy to give as gifts and make for family and friends, these quick and easy cookies will help you hack your holiday baking!

10 Christmas Cookies with 5 Ingredients or Less

  1. Shortbread Cookies
  2. Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies
  3. Pecan Bars
  4. Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
  5. Oatmeal Cookies
  6. Buckeyes
  7. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  8. Coconut Cookies
  9. Monster Cookies
  10. Almond Florentines

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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The Family Stone: Where Are They Now?

While several holiday movies can bring a tear to my eye (A Charlie Brown Christmas, ami right!?), there’s only one that makes me break down and weep like a disturbed child…

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THE FAMILY F*CKING STONE.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s totally worth seeing…but I urge you to have the following on hand:

  1. Tissues
  2. More tissues
  3. EVEN MORE TISSUES
  4. All the comfort food to warm your soul
  5. Coffee (THEY DRINK SO MUCH COFFEE IN THIS MOVIE)

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I can’t watch this movie more than one time during the Christmas season, but it’s still one of my favorite holiday flicks.

With an all-star cast (Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Craig T. Nelson, Luke Wilson), this movie doesn’t skimp on amazing acting performances. It’s sad, it’s happy, it’s bittersweet in that holiday-magic-Christmas-movie kind of way…and, maybe most importantly, it’s relatable.

Since it’s the holiday season, I will commit to watching The Family Stone ONCE, and I fully expect a plate of mac and cheese and double-stuffed OREOS when it’s over.

Now celebrating it’s 12th year as one of the must-watch holiday movies, The Family Stone is bound to become a holiday favorite…so let’s dive in and take a look at what this cast of characters has been up to recently…

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The Family Stone: Where Are They Now?

Sarah Jessica Parker (Meredith Morton)

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Probably best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker has been acting in movies and TV since she was a child. She spent a good portion of her years after SatC on stage…and in 2005 made her return to film after a hiatus from Hollywood in the movie, The Family Stone. Parker actually received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy for her role as the uptight Meredith Morton. Parker went on to guest-star on Glee in a role very similar to the one that put her on the map. Currently Parker runs her own production company, Pretty Matches, which has been creating content for HBO and other channels since 2009. The company is currently running a web series called “City.Ballet”, which takes viewers behind the scenes with dancers of the New York City Ballet. In 2017, Parker announced that she will be partnering with the American Library Association to create Book Club Central, a new online platform that will provide reading resources, including recommendations, expert-curated book lists, and other content for book clubs and readers. Parker will serve as the honorary chair and will choose the books for the platform, as well as post discussion topics.

Rachel McAdams (Amy Stone)

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Rachel McAdams is a product of the great land of Canada. After getting her start in Canadian TV, McAdams made the jump to Hollywood around 2004 with her landmark roles in Mean Girls and The Notebook. After her work as Amy in The Family Stone, she was hailed by the media as Hollywood’s new “it girl”, and received a BAFTA nomination for Best Rising Star. After a brief brak from acting, McAdams came back with powerhouse roles in True Detective and Spotlight, a role which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 2017, she appeared in the film, Disobedience and you can see her again in 2018 in the film, Game Night, which is a murder mystery party-style thriller that will also star Jason Bateman.

Diane Keaton (Sybil Stone)

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No stranger to the screen and stage, it’s no surprise that Diane Keaton blew us away with her portrayal of Sybil Stone in The Family Stone. The role earned her a Satellite Award nomination. For the rest of the 2000’s, Keaton did a handful of rom-com’s and comedies that all earned medium success. In 2010, she reunited with her Family Stone co-star, Rachel McAdams, for the film, Morning Glory. As of 2016, Keaton has a variety of film projects in different states of production. She’s set to appear in a British romance, Hampstead, also starring Brendan Gleeson, and the Netflix comedy, Divanation, which will reunite her with her First Wives Club co-stars, Bett Midler and Goldie Hawn, to portray a singing group that reconnects after a volatile split 30 years prior.

Dermot Mulroney (Everett Stone)

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A staple in the rom-com genre, Dermot Mulroney is maybe best known for his part opposite Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Mulroney has also appeared in many westerns, either playing an outlaw or a gunman. After his role as Everett Stone, he appeared in a few other films and had reoccurring role as Zooey Deschanel’s “fancyman” boyfriend, Russel in the Fox series, New Girl. Mulroney is also an accomplished cellist and has appeared alongside Alanis Morissette and Melissa Etheridge. He also played the cello in the film, Samantha. In 2017, Mulroney had a role in the film, The Mountain Between Us, and is expected to return to TV next spring for New Girl’s final season.

Claire Danes (Julie Morton)

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Claire Danes is a celebrated (and well-educated) actress. After her role as SJP’s sister, Julie Morton, in The Family Stone, Danes went on to appear in a few more films, including Evening, Stardust, and Me and Orson Welles. However her best work was on TV. She starred as Temple Grandin in the 2010 made-for-TV movie, Temple Grandin, and since 2011 has played Carrie Mathison on the series, Homeland.

Luke Wilson (Ben Stone)

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One half of the famous Wilson brothers duo (there are actually three brothers, though Luke and Owen share the most fame), Luke Wilson was the comic relief The Family Stone needed. After his portrayal as the fun-loving Ben Stone, Wilson appeared in 3:10 to Yuma, Blades of Glory, Concussion, Rock Dog, and most recently, Measure of a Man in 2017. Wilson and his brother, Owen, have also co-written a Wright Brothers biopic, in which they both plan to star. There has been no release date yet for that film.

Craig T. Nelson (Kelly Stone)

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An early member of The Groundlings comedy troupe, Craig T. Nelson was a regular performer at The Comedy Store. In 1973, he left the world of comedy, saying it left him “unfulfilled” and made the shift to dramas. As was the case with his co-star, Diane Keaton, Nelson was also nominated for a Satellite Award for his portrayal as Kelly in The Family Stone. After that, he reunited with Luke Wilson in Blades of Glory and made a name for himself in the series, Parenthood, as Ezekiel Braverman. Nelson also voiced the character of Mr. Incredible in Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles, a role which he plans to revisit for The Incredibles 2, due out in 2018.

Tyrone Giordano (Thad Stone)

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Like his character in The Family Stone, Tyrone Giordano is deaf in real life. After his role as Thad, the deaf and gay member of the Stone family, Giordano played the deaf brother of Ashton Kutcher’s character in the film, A Lot Like Love. He can also be seen in the 2008 film, Untraceable, starring Diane Lane. Giordano was recently on stage in Pippin and in the 2010 film, The Next Three Days.

Elizabeth Reaser (Suzannah Stone)

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You may know her from Twilight or Grey’s Anatomy, but Elizabeth Reaser has had quite the career. After her small but meaningful role as Suzannah Stone, Reaser went to star in the Twilight series, as well as several other films, including Puccini for Beginners, Hello, My Name is Doris, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. She also had a long-standing run as Ava/Rebecca in Grey’s Anatomy and also had roles in True Detective, Mad Men, and most recently, The Haunting of Hill House, a miniseries due out in 2018 (Netflix original).

Brian J. White (Patrick Thomas)

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Brian J. White, who played Thad’s partner, Patrick Thomas, is a graduate of Dartmouth College. He got his start in TV, appearing in Moesha, The Parkers, and The Shield before moving to films. After The Family Stone, White had a handful of other movie roles, as well as having a regular role in the series Men of a Certain Age. He has appeared in the series Scandal as the love interest of Olivia Pope and is currently acting in NBC’s Chicago Fire.

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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Scandinavian Santa Gnome

I think it’s safe to say that I’m fully embracing this hygge lifestyle…so much so that when I came across the pattern for this Scandinavian Santa Gnome, I couldn’t resist the urge!

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This adorable little crocheted Santa gnome is so cute and cuddly. With an extra tall hat and an extra full beard, this little guy is great for hiding in between the branches of your Christmas tree.

*For the beard, I used a textured white yarn that I had on hand. But you can get a similar effect by using regular white yarn and pulling the strings apart to make the beard look full and styled. Then just trim it as necessary!

I loved this pattern so much and can’t wait to make another little gnome…maybe a little fat Viking man?! 😉

Scandinavian Santa Gnome

Materials:

  • Red yarn of choice
  • White yarn of choice
  • Black yarn of choice
  • Peach yarn of choice
  • G crochet hook (4.00 mm)
  • Fiberfill

You can find the pattern for this Santa Gnome at 1dogwoof.com.

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

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I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

christmas be white

“May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white.”
White Christmas

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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15 Recipes for Hanukkah

Put on your yamacha, it’s time to celebrate Hanukkah!

David Schwimmer Ross GIF

Like almost EVERY JEWISH HOLIDAY, Hanukkah is commemorated by eating food…lots and lots and lots of food.  We play dreidel for chocolate coins, we eat potato pancakes and donuts fried in oil, and if we’re really lucky, we get to dine on brisket, mandel bread, and rugulah cookies (or as we call them in our house, JEW-galah cookies!).

recipes-for-hanukkah

While lighting the menorah and playing dreidel are important traditional rituals that make this holiday so fun, you really can’t celebrate Hanukkah without eating some tasty food…so here are 15 delicious recipes that you can make for Hanukkah, or any day!

Adam Sandler Hanukkah GIF by Saturday Night Live

15 Recipes for Hanukkah

Jumbo Potato Pancake with Sage

jumbo-pancake

Crispy Potato Latkes

pancakes

Caramel Apple Upside Down Noodle Kugel

noodle-kugel

Olive Oil Cake

olive-oil-cake

Pinata Dreidel Cookies

dreidel-cookies

Mandel Bread

mandel bread

Chocolate Pumpkin Almond Rugelach

rugeleh

Perfect Potato Latkes

potato pancakes

Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)

jelly donuts

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

chocolate tart

Gingerbread Hanukkah Cookies

gingerbread cookies

Stained Glass Hanukkah Cookies

stained glass cookies

Homemade Hanukkah Gelt

gelt

Jelly Doughnut Muffins

donut muffind

Hanukkah White Hot Chocolate

white chocolate

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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23 Fun Facts about Home Alone

Do you ask your drugstore cashier if the toothbrush you’re buying has been approved by the American Dental Association? Do you say “WOOF!” after looking at an ugly picture of your brother’s S.O.?  Do you lay awake at night and think about what toys, tools, and stuff around your house you can use if burglars break into your home? If so, you’ve probably seen Home Alone at least a good handful of times…

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Easily one of the best Christmas movies ever, Home Alone is a must on my watch list come Christmastime.  While several of the cast members thought this movie would be a bit of a flop, it actually went on to be the most successful movie of 1990 and even won a Guinness Book of World Records Award. It spawned several sequels, a couple board games, a video game and a whole slew of merchandise…not to mention a great collection of one-liners that will go down in cinematic history as some of our all-time favorites, ami right?

macaulay culkin 90s GIF by Home Alone

For those of us who grew up with Home Alone and its sequels, this collection of 23 Fun Facts about Home Alone is sure to make you happier than Harry sticking his burning hand in the snow.

23 Fun Facts About Home Alone

The role of Kevin was written specifically for Macaulay Culkin (John Hughes got the idea for Home Alone during the making of Uncle Buck, which also starred Culkin), but more than 100 pre-teens came in to audition for the role.

Waving Home Alone GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Macaulay’s younger brother Kieran also scored a part in Home Alone as Kevin’s bed-wedding cousin, Fuller.

Home Alone 90S GIF

In its opening weekend, Home Alone topped the box office, making $17 million. The movie maintained its number one spot for 12 weeks and remained in the top 10 until June 1991. It became the highest grossing film of 1990 and earned a Guinness World Record as the highest-grossing live-action comedy ever domestically.

Home Alone GIF

The house used to film many of the Home Alone scenes is located at 671 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka, Illinois. It recently sold to a new owner for $1.6 million.

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All of the film, including those few Paris shots, were actually filmed in Chicago.

The role of Harry was offered to both Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz, both of whom turned down the part.  The role eventually went to Joe Pesci.

Excellent Home Alone GIF

Speaking of Joe Pesci, in order to get the most authentic performance possible, Pesci did his best to avoid Culkin on set so the actor would indeed be afraid of him.

And Culkin had good reason…during a rehearsal for the scene where Pesci says, “I’m gonna bite all your fingers off, one at a time”, Pesci actually bit Culkin’s finger and broke the skin.

Related image

Pesci was also not too familiar with the family-friendly flick. The actor who starred in Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino was all too comfortable dropping the F bomb on occasion. To try and fix his knack for swearing, director Chris Columbus told him to use the word “fridge” instead.

home alone wink GIF

And it should come as no surprise that Harry and Marv shouldn’t have survived Kevin’s attack. In 2012, Dr. Ryan St. Clair diagnosed the likely outcome of their injuries. The iron that hit Harry in the face would have caused a “blowout fracture” leading to “serious disfigurement and debilitating double vision if not repaired properly”. The blowtorch that blew fire on Marv’s head would cause his skin and bone tissue on his head to be so damaged and rotted that his skull bone would essentially die. You can read the full report here.

Home Alone Fire GIF

Daniel Stern agreed to let Kevin put a real tarantula on his face, however, he only agreed to one take. The blood-curdling scream was actually dubbed in later so as to not frighten the spider.

Home Alone Spider GIF

The film Kevin watches, Angels with Filthy Souls, is not a real movie, so don’t bother looking it up. But how can we convince Hollywood to make this happen??

rory culkin GIF

The picture of Buzz’s girlfriend (WOOF) that Kevin finds in Buzz’s room was actually the art director’s son made to look like a girl. Columbus thought using a real girl’s photo would be too cruel.

home alone GIF

Kevin’s proclamation, “You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?” was an improvised line by Culkin.

home alone you guys give up or are you thirsty for more GIF

The part of Tic-Tac Santa (Ken Hudson Campbell) was almost given to SNL actor, Chris Farley.

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Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern were friends long before Home Alone. They shared screen time in the 1982 film, I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can and would almost always make each other laugh.

John Candy’s entire funeral home story, and all of his lines for that matter, was improvised.

Animated GIF

In an earlier version of the script, Uncle Frank was the one who actually paid the burglars to rip off Kevin’s family while he knew they’d be away. Look what ya did, ya little jerk!

Look What You Did You Little Jerk 90S GIF by Home Alone

Screenwriter John Hughes wrote the entire script in just nine days after a bout of traveler’s anxiety.

When Peter McCallister is cleaning the kitchen counter, you can briefly see Kevin’s plane ticket in the trash…so the family really wouldn’t realize he was gone since he legit didn’t have a ticket.

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Catherine O’Hara revealed in 2014 that Culkin still calls her “mom”.

John Candy shared all of his screen time with Catherine O’Hara. The two previously worked together on SCTV and were good friends. Candy passed away on O’Hara’s 40th birthday, and O’Hara gave a tearful eulogy at his funeral.

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Culkin’s map that his character uses to set up the traps was actually drawn by Culkin.

Home Alone Battle Plan GIF

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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8 Handmade Hostess Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Love

Are you traveling for the holidays? Thank your hostess for everything they’ve done with one of these awesome homemade hostess gifts. Sure, you can pick up a box of chocolates on the way or spring for a $15 bottle of wine, but what better way to show someone how much you care than with something that’s homemade?

These fun crafts also make great gifts or stocking stuffers, so even if you’re not going to someone else’s house for the holidays, you can make one of these little trinkets for a quick and easy gift idea!

8 Handmade Hostess Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Love

hostess-gifts

  1. Rosemary and Peppermint Scrub
  2. Slate Coasters
  3. Recipe Box
  4. Painted Utensils
  5. Monogrammed Cheese Board
  6. Crystal Wine Stoppers
  7. Hot Chocolate Gift Set
  8. Homemade Vanilla Extract

 

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

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