Monday, January 31, 2011

Citrus, Lemon Yogurt Cake.

I can't seem to get enough citrus fruit this winter. This morning I had my citrus in the form of these goodies made for a play date, I was tickled pink to have the excuse to bake/eat them. I used Meyer lemons from a friend's tree and made the batter into muffins instead of using a cake pan. If you try this recipe and decide to go the muffin route, bake for only 20 minutes. 
(thanks Kristi for bringing your chickies over and playing with us!)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch.

 I remember every lunch-date my Mom and I had together. There were very, very few when I was little (four kids made this difficult), and just a few when I got older (owning a business made this difficult). My favorite lunch-dates were the unexpected ones; meeting in Sacramento to shop for dresses for my brother's wedding and lunching at a little gourmet pizza restaurant, running into each other in town and deciding on Clam Chowder, salad and macaroons at Courtyard Cafe and driving a half hour to sample a recommended creme brulee at Bidwell Street Bistro. There were never enough lunch-dates scheduled or spontaneously born, something I regret deeply. (All the sudden this regret seems silly in a way. Mothers and Daughters everywhere don't even think twice about lunching together, I know it meant a lot to me because I rarely had my Mom's attention to myself but other than that I never thought about looking into the future and wishing hopelessly we could meet up for a bite.)
One of my favorite outings with The Little Girls is "Ladies Who Lunch". Yesterday we were "Ladies Who Lunch at La Bou". They repeated/chanted this all day. I love everything about "Ladies Who Lunch". The ordering, finding the perfect spot, the first bites and the chatter throughout. I admit (and pat myself on the back just a little) that The Little Girls are amazingly behaved in restaurants, it is an absolute treat and this fact is not lost on them. Sometimes we get compliments from fellow diners on their way out, yesterday an older gentleman patted Savannah on the head and told both girls how much he and his wife enjoyed watching our interaction while they ate. I will remember each of these lunch-dates as I am sure my Mom did with fondness and warmth, they fill a hole in my heart and are a bright spot in my life.
 Oh and after we hit DSW for some "trying on". It doesn't get better than watching The Little Girls on the hunt for the perfect "clocking noise" (the sound of heels on hard floor). These were the clock-i-est.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life Imitating Art 2.

Art Class Wednesday-our muses.
 The students did a fantastic job yesterday with another still life project. The smell of chocolate cupcakes in the art room was overwhelming.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Away Its Goes.

 I watched another hoarding show, this was the byproduct.
Tim made 2 trips to donate to Snowline Hospice, truck full both times, and 1 trip to the dump.
 This contagious cleaning process of watching people on these shows, drowning in their stuff and cleaning up their lives couldn't come at a better time for us. We need to make room for Baby B and truthfully, it is so nice to live with less stuff. Living with less "things" shines a light on wanting to develop better relationships and finding out what really matters. ALL the toys now fit comfortably in the Little Girls bedroom, it is a small room but doesn't look cluttered (when it is tidy). They were so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of toys, their attention span and imaginations seemed stunted. They literally danced in the cleared spaces in the living and playroom. And the rest of the weekend they squealed with delight when they recognized a long-lost toy previously hidden by other toys. They also played "house" more than anything this weekend, two baby dolls got a lot of attention.
 I whittled my 1 linen closet down to 3 sets of sheets for the Master bed, 1 for the guest bed, 2 for the Little Girls' bed, 2 bath towels and washcloths each and 1 beach towel/person. We must have donated at least 12 blankets/throws/comforters.
We drank a lot of tea over the weekend while enjoying company and a CLEAN house. Thank you Jenni for your friendship, your help in the yard and for bravely cleaning out the microwave.

Friday, January 21, 2011


 Very few toys excite Tim and make him run to Target for more. Lego is the exception. It is a nice break for me because The Little Girls see this activity as a special time they spend with their Daddy. Savannah does the kits by herself with very little help while Ivy needs supervision mostly because the entire time she is jumping up and down in elation. I am amazed by their ability to follow through with the directions and create exactly what they intended, and their pride and confidence in the final projects build character which makes everyone in this house happy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life Imitating Art.

 I never know if my Art students will grasp an assignment fully, appreciate it or hate it. Last week we did our first Still Life in pastels, a project every student enjoyed. They sat so quietly listening to the classical music, drawing in earnest from their individual perspectives. In the last five months there have been only two projects that captured even the wiliest of attentions; this composition and the Clothespin Ornaments. The following examples are what I consider the best of the best from last week.
 Nathan, 6th grade.
 Camryn, 5th grade.
 Steven, 3rd grade.
Bryce, 3rd grade.
Octavia, 1st grade (six years old!)
And my quick and a little off scale example based on our muse, 'Cake Dish With Citrus'.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cut The Clutter.

Over time I've realized that TV shows documenting hoarders and their road to healing/recovery are very valuable. I am not a hoarder, but clutter in the form of papers and magazines stack up around this house quickly, leaving me agitated and desperate for a place to start cleaning. Both Tim and I love, love, LOVE magazines and can never keep up with the constant and eventual income of our subscriptions. So I have decided that one hoarding show a day keeps the clutter away from this house. Yesterday I watched Enough Already with Peter Walsh on the OWN, this one lady had over 2000 magazines! Immediately after the show I searched the living space, Honey Hut and bedroom for any and all magazines. I went through each one, tearing out articles of interest and inspiration. I can't believe I haven't done this sooner. I can't wait to watch the next hoarding show and see what clutter I clear/donate/trash next!
Evidence of my de-cluttering. As I look at this stack, it doesn't seem like that much but it's burden felt like a mountain of magazines. Oh, and my de-cluttering was contagious because Tim made a serious dent in his stack too as well as canceling 11, yes 11 subscriptions.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Checking in.

This week has been busy and passed with a complicated schedule, one I'm happy to leave in the past. I am eager for this weekend and returning to our normal flow. I haven't much felt like toting around the camera or feeding this blog, my creativity seems a little low. On the other hand I have made a conscious effort to pay close attention and cherish bedtime conversations with Ivy (no child snuggles better than Ivy) and Savannah's questions pondering life (why kids hit and if they'll end up in jail, heaven, birth, death and why Miriam from ballet is never allowed to come over-no matter how many times she invites herself...not ever.) Wait a minute... through the above debriefing I see that this week boiled down to the important stuff, I'll take these precious moments and conversations with The Little Girls into the weekend and next week too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Impromptu Fondue.

 The February issue of Martha Stewart Living came in the mail yesterday. The chocolate gracing the cover made my pregnant self crazy for fondue. Normally I don't give in to such cravings but I can't help it in my hormonal state so the family enjoyed a quick dark chocolate fondue with oranges, apples, marshmallows and graham crackers. Messy? Yes. Regrettable? No.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Well Fed.

 I haven't seen Faith in three and a half years. If you would have told me 7 years ago that we would have gone this long without seeing each other, I would have bet against you and never believed you. When she first moved back East, I made every available attempt vacation time would allow to fly to Boston in order to catch up with her. I was with her when I found out about my Mom's death, serendipitous really, because she had just lost her own sweet Mama not long before I did. In college we had all sorts of adventures; city trips, camping trips, a Sundance business venture, there was rarely a free length of time that we weren't playing games or running around. And just like it always is with kindred friendships, yesterday our conversation picked up just where we left it. From the moment I picked her up at the train station to the moment I dropped her back, I was Home. Nothing feeds your spirit like reconnecting with an old friend. We didn't talk about the past instead we lived in the few hours we had eating at Tower Cafe and creating at art BEAST. The perfect afternoon.
 Faith and Savannah feeding Chai Latte to Penelope. 
 Painting the wall at art BEAST.
 Faith is an artist. She used to paint. Now, she is a performance artist. See Here.
 Dress up at art BEAST.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Third Times A Charm.

Dear Honey Hutters! We are having a baby! We couldn't be more thrilled to actually share this exciting information openly, finally. We tend to border on the cautious side with this such delicate type of information and so we are silent no more and announce that I am happily comfortable in my 2nd trimester. We expect this new baby early July. Savannah drew the above picture on Christmas day when we told The Little Girls (isn't it nice that Bambi could come to my delivery? I hope this very happy nurse wheels me to a gurney that actually fits my whole body, not just my torso). The Little Girls have been most helpful in offering up ways to help this Mama with whatever I might need when baby comes. Ivy has offered to share "Bween", her blanket (not a chance in hell) and change the baby's diaper (could she please first teach herself how to stop using them at bedtime/poop time?). We look forward to these next months with complete happiness knowing that this family was meant to grow, and our love with it. 
Baby B!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Proper Poppy.

(Jeni and I with our kids, August 2010)
My friend Jeni has just recently built a website showcasing her talent for design, decor and penchant for making life beautiful all around her. She has such classic taste, an eye for timeless style. I love her 'favorite things' page (it is so her!), and I look forward to each and every post. She just posted the Christmas party she and her husband Robbie through for their friends, it was spectacular! Jeni is so charming, I think you will love her blog. Check it out here.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Kids ask a lot of questions and I love it. Their imaginations run wild and hit walls of void explanations which lead to long lines of questioning not unlike police interrogation. The Little Girls have been at this a while, especially Savannah, and on Wednesdays my art students can barely contain their questions as they always bubble to the top. Amy Poehler is my favorite 10 year old, she amply captures the exact type of questioning I'm talking about (and I love her lisp!).

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Most Spectacular Show On Earth.

The other day I read Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. I've been wanting to read this book for some time now, I got it for Christmas and when the perfect rainy day presented itself...I devoured it. I now wish I would have read it more slowly and savored the experience. This book transported me to an adventure of running away with the circus during the Great Depression. I fell in love with the characters and their desire to fit in somewhere, forgetting their past and surrounding themselves with unique and strangely freakish performers. Delightfully intriguing, don't you love it when a book is this delicious?
When Tim and I first started dating I had this incredible desire to go see the circus. He took me to see Ringling Brothers when it came to Sacramento. My excitement ran high waiting for the show to start, but about 10 minutes into the show I started to be sick to my stomach. I couldn't bare the sadness of those caged, trained animals and no animal showed it's emotion more than the elephant. Twenty minutes in and I was in tears. The elephants paraded single file around the arena, trunk to tail-trunk to tail. The last elephant in the line lost the tail of the elephant in front and the trainers whip came down hard, fear flooded the straggling elephant's body as her trunk desperately grabbed at the tiny tail ahead. That was it for me, my romanticized dream of the circus was over and I have had no thoughts of ever going back. I'll stick to reading novels about circus life (if you read it, you'll fall in love with Rosie the elephant), I am far more interested in life behind the scenes of the big top anyways.
The movie based on the book comes out in April. I can't wait!

Happy New Year and thank you for following The Honey Hut.