Tag Archives: winter

8 Edible Valentines

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is on the way.

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While I’m sure everyone loves getting little Valentine cards from friends, sometimes you just want nothing more than to indulge in some sweet, sweet, sugar…and what better way to do that than with edible valentines?

edible-valentines

A fun treat to bring in for coworkers or classmates, these edible valentines are sure to make even the biggest Valentine’s Day haters just a little cheery!

8 Edible Valentines

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

cupcakes

Love Stinks Valentines

love stinks

Love Macarons

loveu

Valentine Marshmallow Pops

marshmallows

Teddy Bear Pretzel Pops

bears

Perfect Match Valentine Boxes

matchstick

Valentine’s Day Cheesecakes

cheesecake

Valentine’s Day Omelet

pancake

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

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15 Fun Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmastime is here…

Sad Charlie Brown GIF

Happiness and cheer….

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Fun for all that children call their favorite time of year…

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Throughout the month of December, we’ve been diving in to some of our favorite holiday movies with trivia, fun facts, and more…in case you’re late to the party, you can check out some of our posts here:

Today we’re gonna explore one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, A Charlie Brown Christmas with 15 fun facts you might not know about this made-for-TV holiday special.

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Originally aired on CBS, A Charlie Brown Christmas got off to a rocky start…a small budget, a writer/creator who didn’t believe in the project and a skeptical network were not exactly the playing pieces the production team was looking for…however, the special became a fan favorite almost immediately and is now one of the most popular TV holiday specials in history, second only to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Starring several unknown child actors (many of whom did not get credit in the film) and backed by a score that’s come to be synonymous with Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas was the perfect disaster the Peanuts franchise needed…and, much like Charlie Brown’s little tree, just needed a little holiday love…

15 Fun Facts About A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first animated Peanuts cartoon.

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CBS and Coca-Cola only gave producers a measly $76,000 to cover production costs of A Charlie Brown Christmas. They only had a 6 month lead time and no idea how to budget the money. Thankfully, they made it all back, though. Writer/creator Charles Schulz, animator Bill Melendez, and executive producer Lee Mendelson wound up earing about $5 million for the special through 2000.

snoopy charlie brown GIF by Peanuts

Much like The Flintstones, A Charlie Brown Christmas was going to have a laugh track. Schulz was so offended by the idea, he left the room and didn’t return for several minutes. When he did return, Mendelson got the hint and the laugh track was canned.

Snoopy’s voice is actually Melendez barking and chuffing into a microphone, then sped up to give the recording a more emotive quality.

charlie brown GIF by Peanuts

The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas is about as “Christmas” as Santa himself; however, Schulz hated jazz and was not a fan of Vice Guaraldi’s arrangement.

Charlie Brown Television GIF

Because Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip was never meant to be animated – and because Melendez was unwilling to stray from Schulz’s distinctive character designs – it was a constant battle to animate Charlie Brown’s head. Its round shape made it difficult to depict Charlie’s head turning and, as was the case with most of the characters, his arms were too short to scratch his head.

charlie brown GIF by Peanuts

Snoopy, by contrast, was the show’s easiest figure to animate.

charlie brown GIF by Peanuts

When it came time to screen the special, CBS hated it. They thought it was slow and lacked energy. To add insult, someone misspelled Schulz in the credits, adding a “T” to his last name. Schulz himself thought the whole project was a disaster due to the crude animation.

A Charlie Brown Christmas GIF

However, viewers loved it! A Charlie Brown Christmas pulled a 50 share on its first viewing, meaning half of all households with a TV turned on were watching it (this equated to about 15 million people in 1965.

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CBS might also be ashamed to know that A Charlie Brown Christmas is actually the second longest-running Christmas special in TV history after Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Take that, jerks.

charlie brown snow GIF by Peanuts

The special also inspired viewers to scrap the aluminum tree, which came out only 7 years prior, for small living trees just like Charlie Brown’s. About four years after the special aired, aluminum trees were phased out and are now collector’s items.

Charlie Brown GIF by Peanuts

Peter Robbins, the voice behind Charlie Brown, continued to voice the character until he was 13 years old. In November 2015, the 59-year-old Robbins pleaded guilty to making criminal threats against a mobile home park manager and a sheriff.  The actor claimed that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder led him to making the threats and he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison. What a blockhead.

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Every child role was voiced by an actual child. Some of the child actors were so young at the time that they couldn’t even read the script.

A Charlie Brown Christmas also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program and a Peabody Award for excellence in programming.

a charlie brown christmas dancing GIF

Though Schulz was not a fan of the animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas gave birth to several other Peanuts animated specials, including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974), Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975), Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (1986), It’s Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown (1992) and It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (1995).

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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Every Time a Bell Rings…

its-a-wonderful-life

“Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
It’s a Wonderful Life

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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10 One-Bite Appetizers for the Holidays

Hosting for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful with this tasty one-bite appetizers. Whether you’re getting ready for Christmas dinner or planning a New Year’s party, these easy and quick bites will keep guests noshing and talking while you take care of stuff in the kitchen!

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10 One-Bite Appetizers for the Holidays

Fried Green Tomatoes

tomatoes

Avocado Deviled Eggs

egg

Sweet Bacon Crackers

bacon crackers

Spicy Tuna Wonton Cups

wonton

Stuffed Turkey Sausage Rolls

sausage rolls

Vegan Spinach Puffs

spinach puffs

Crispy Arancini

balls

Corn Dog Mini Muffins

corn dog

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

melon

Sausage Bites with Cranberry and Cheddar

sausage bites

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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13 Fun Facts about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It’s not Christmas without visiting the best Chicago family on screen: The Griswald’s.

Christmas Vacation GIF

This comedy of errors is a classic in the Christmas movie lineup, and after having just marathoned all the Vacation movies, I have to say that Christmas Vacation is probably my favorite.

Since we’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, if you haven’t poured yourself a moose mug of eggnog and watched Christmas Vacation yet, it’s about damn time you did. To help get you in the mood, here are 13 Fun Facts about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

Christmas Vacation GIF

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13 Fun Facts About National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswald’s childhood home was the same house used to film the TV series, Bewitched…and it’s actually not a house at all. It’s part of the Warner Bros. back lot, located on what is known as Blondie Street. The rest of the neighborhood is located there, as well, including the home of Todd and Margo, which is where Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and his family lived in Lethal Weapon.

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The only other Christmas movie to come out in 1989 besides Christmas Vacation was Prancer. Johnny Galecki (Rusty Griswald) starred in both.

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Christmas Vacation had an unusually high budget for a comedy: $27 million (probably to pay for all those lights!). However the movie had no problem making its money back. Its final domestic gross was more than $71 million.

Christmas Vacation Laughing GIF

Christmas Vacation, which was a sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation, spurred its OWN sequel, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. It was made for TV and finds cousin Eddie and his family stranded on an island in the South Pacific. Not surprisingly, it has a 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Eddie’s sweater/Dickie combo was actually a suggestion from Randy Quaid’s wife. You can buy your own Dickie, as well as your own set of Moose mugs and much more, right here: http://www.christmasvacationcollectibles.com/.

Christmas Vacation Ok GIF

Christmas Vacation was the final film for Mae Questel (Aunt Bethany), who started her career voicing Betty Boop in 1931.

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There were no rehearsals for the actors on Christmas Vacation. Chevy Chase’s tendency to ad-lib and improvise made such preparation useless.

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The Griswald’s neighbor, Todd, is played by Nicholas Guest, brother to actor/director Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, The Princess Bride, Spinal Tap).

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The famous insult scene where Chase rants on about his boss took a lot of planning. In order for the long-winded rant to go on without stopping, Chase had the crew place cue cards all over the set with various insults on them so he wouldn’t have to stop.

The production crew originally had a trained squirrel for the scene where it wreaks havoc on the house. Unfortunately, it died the day before the scene was shot. An untrained squirrel was used instead…adding to the chaos, of course.

Christmas Vacation GIF

Chase still has the PJ’s he wore in the film. His daughter has said that he wore them all the time.

Chevy Chase Christmas GIF by WhoSay

Chase broke his pinky filming the scene in the front yard where he’s kicking and hitting the decorations. Like a pro, he didn’t break character, but he used the pain to continue through the scene.

When Clark Griswold is having a hard time getting the Christmas lights to work, he turns to his son, Rusty, who answers with a classic Chevy Chase gag – looking at an imaginary watch on his wrist and excusing himself.

Gotta Go Christmas Vacation 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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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)

Image result for the family stone, sarah jessica parker

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)

Image result for the family stone, diane keaton

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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