honey bee

With spring right around the corner (and by around the corner, I mean slapping us in the face with humidity and allergens; and by spring, I mean summer (remember:  I LIVE IN FL)), I am getting super excited about getting my hands in the dirt and spending some well needed time with my old gardening/bee keeper friend (remember him?).  He has invited the Mr. and I to help him plant his spring garden which means I'll get another well-needed lesson in tending to the earth.  And hopefully some pointers on how to make our own garden super successful this year.

It also means that I'll get to go visit his honey bees.  Last April, he invited us to his annual "Honey Slinging", a big family affair where generations gather together to collect the honey from his loyal bees.  I was so unbelievably honored to be a part of it.  It is an amazing process to watch how honey is extracted from the combs.  Plus, you cannot imagine the most amazing floral sweetness that comes from chewing on a freshly torn piece of honey comb, filled to the brim with fresh honey.  It really is an experience like no other.

Naturally, I got super excited when I came across this post the other day, showing so beautifully the art of "Honey Slinging".  Here's the video of the process:


honey harvest from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

If you ever get the chance to interact with honey bees and be a part of extracting the honey, don't miss it.  It is truly a miraculous little example of creation.  

Hope your Wednesday is sunny and springy today!



As some of you may know, I am from Texas.  Let's just say, I try to keep that quiet around these parts.

Most people who were born in Texas and no longer live there left for some reason, and usually that reason is negative.  And Texas is a really BIG state.  I mean, there are roughly 270,000 square miles filled with reasons not to like Texas.

However--and this is the part that is a little difficult to admit--there are also roughly 270,000 square miles of reasons why one might enjoy Texas.  Having grown up in a small north Texas town, a place where culture and liberal thought wasn't really...well...how can I say this...well represented,  I developed a sweeping generalization that all of Texas (expect Austin, of course) was exactly like where I grew up.  Now that I've been away for a while, my youthful generalizations are slowly breaking down and I am becoming more open to the fact that there are in fact, wonderful things in Texas.

All that being said, recently I've stumbled across some pretty neat things about Texas that I would have never noticed when I younger.  In fact, these recent findings kind of evoke a sense of fondness about growing up in Texas.  Weird how the memory works, huh?

For example...

Design*Sponge recently did a city guide on Denton, a town about 30 minutes from where I grew up.  And I have to say, it looks pretty damn cool.  Of course, I always thought it was a terrible town when I was growing up but now it looks kind of amazing.

The Bayless-Selby House Museum, Denton, TX

And check out this amazing initiative they started in Houston (sprawling concrete jungle and corporate oil capital of the world) where area hospitals set up farmers markets outside so patients can have access to healthy fruits and vegetables.  Seriously, I am completely shocked by that one.

Houston Farmer's Market. Who knew???

I ran across this adorable city guide and was shocked to learn that it was in Gainesville, a tiny insignificant town about 15 minutes from my home town.  We didn't think anything could possibly exist there that was even remotely cool.

Downtown Gainesville, TX

And last but certainly not least--I bet you didn't know that The Homesick Texan, foodie and blogger extraordinaire, went to college in my hometown and writes about it fondly on her wildly popular blog!

NOTE:  The one thing I always did appreciate about my hometown was the above mentioned alma mater of The Homesick Texan, Austin College.  It is a wonderful private liberal arts college--extremely academically strong, service minded, and globally aware.  My parents work there and I am very proud to have been a part of the AC family since I was born.  Go Roos!

I was so excited to see The Homesick Texan write about a wonderful little cafe, The Tiffin Shop, in my hometown and recreate one of their signature sandwiches on her blog.  It really caught me by surprise because growing up, we saw The Tiffin Shop as just another little unknown eatery in town.  Nothing really special.  But looking back, it really was a delicious little place.

Asparagus and Cream Cheese Sandwich, The Homesick Texan

It's funny how it takes a few years, several thousand miles, and some friendly reminders to help you appreciate where you're from.

Maybe today I'll throw on some cowboy boots and say "y'all" a little more than usual in honor of the Texas I never gave a chance, the Texas I still have yet to explore, the Texas I'm sure I'll fall madly in love with.


Vday Shuffle

In honor of the holiday, I made you all a special edition of Weekly Shuffle.  Believe it or not, all these songs actually did come on my shuffle today--I truly only had to leave out 4 songs.  I guess my shuffle is in cahoots with Hallmark, Nestle, Godiva, and whoever the top selling teddy bear company is.

Disclaimer:  Not all the songs are about successful love--some are downright depressing.  But about love, nonetheless.  And therefore equally appropriate for the holiday.

Tell me, dear internet cosmos--are you listening to cheesy love songs today?


Friday Round Up

Happy Friday!  I haven't had a free second to sit down with you, my dear internet cosmos, all week long. It's been a super busy one.  I'm absolutely looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Here are some fun finds from around the web.  Enjoy!

I love this list of things that we all love about one of the clear classics of our generation, Ten Things I Hate About You.  And anyone who says this movie is anything less than a classic is lying.  (Image from here.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most beautiful pesto of all time:

Jordan recently posted about having a progressive dinner...in Paris...with all of her beautiful friends and their beautiful apartments and the beautiful glow from beautiful Parisian candlelight.

All I can say is I really really really wish I was friends with these people.  Le sigh.

(Images from here)



Almost a year ago, I embarked on a bit of a health craze.  I decided I was going to spend the year trying to  make myself as healthy as I possibly could be--mentally, physically, emotionally, creatively, wholly.  I worked on my diet, cut alcohol out during the week (for the most part...), cut my coffee to half-caffinated and no more than a cup a day (for anyone who knows me, you know this is a HUGE DEAL), pumped up the vitamins and minerals, went to a therapist and my primary doc often to make sure I was on the right track, meditated, woke up early and went to bed at a reasonable time.  The list goes on and on.  Seriously, I was the perfect patient.

In addition to all of this, I dusted off the old running shoes and hit the pavement.

DISCLAIMER:  I am in no way a serious runner.  By saying that "I run", I do not mean that "I run all the time and I love it all the time and I run far and I run races and I'm a bad ass runner."  I mean that I run a few times a week, a few miles at a time, just enough to get my heart pumping and keep my psyche happy.  Oh, and not get fat.

Anyway, getting back into running has definitely had it's ups and downs.  Sometimes, I'll have a great run on Monday and a totally horrible run on Wednesday.  It's not always kitties and bunnies.  But I can say that never fail, I never feel healthier and more energized than after a run.  And that's enough of a reason to keep it up.  Plus my butt is getting huge and even though all my clothes (and therefore my bank account) hate it, the Mr. seems to love it.

I ran across this little gem the other day and I couldn't resist sharing it here with you.  I was literally laughing out loud.  Seriously, click here and read it.

My favorite tip:  Getting a run in before happy hour means you get tipsy on half a glass of wine instead of your usual two. That’s not being a lush, that’s just sound economic planning.

Hey, like I said, I cut alcohol out of my week most of the time.

So, even if you only run for 5 minutes without stopping, it's more than a lot of people can do, and you'll feel awesome.  Plus, you'll feel less guilty about the chocolate cake you eat afterward.

Here's to health!