November 18, 2016

I love lists

I love lists // shutterbean

Happy Friday! Welcome to I love Lists. Let’s surf the internet together!

  1. My friend Kari makes the most amazing floral prints.
  2. You seriously don’t need to convince me to write things down.
  3. There’s one of these in SF. We tried it. It was weird.
  4. Movie accents- broken down.
  5. Thanksgiving tips!!
  6. Some really funny e-cards.
  7. My pinterest board filled with quotes
  8. How to make it look like you’re home when you’re traveling.
  9. I’ve had the uni at Swan Oyster Depot!
  10. NYC Escapes. Check this out, brother!
  11. A cute little DIY I’d like to try with Cooper.
  12. A butcher shop that’s been in business since the 1600s?!
  13. Fighting anxiety….with scrambled eggs?
  14. These whale photos impress me.
  15. Lol supermoon.
  16. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk  (also- the book!)
  17. I can’t believe how densely populated Hong Kong is.
  18. These Masala Chai Fig Buns = OMG.
  19. Deb has the right idea with this marbled cheesecake pumpkin slab pie.
  20. From above. Wow.
  21. I would like to start a Cookbook Club. 
  22. I got pumpkin pie.
  23. Speaking of pumpkin….put this recipe in your weekend lineup.
November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

A roundup of Thanksgiving Menu Ideas to add extra love to your Thanksgiving Feast! Find more on Shutterbean.com

One week away from the big day!!!!  I’m starting to put together my Thanksgiving menu.

Are you wanting to shake things up a bit and try some new recipes?


Here are a bunch of Thanksgiving Menu Ideas to help inspire your meal planning:


November 15, 2016

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes


We spent every Thanksgiving with my Auntie Marilyn and Uncle Bob. Half of the time we went to my Aunt’s house and then later, my mom later took over hosting duty. One thing never changed-the menu.

  • cheese + crackers (too many!)
  • vegetable platter + ranch sour cream dip
  • baked artichoke squares (my all time fave!)
  • Roasted Turkey + Gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes 
  • Sausage Chestnut Stuffing 
  • Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Beans (later we replaced with creamed spinach)
  • Parker House Rolls
  • Cranberry Jell-o casserole (my guilty pleasure)

As kids, we were just as excited to see the sweet potatoes as we were to see my Aunt & Uncle. My aunt’s sweet potato contribution was truly a labor of love, and even at a young age we knew that to be true.

Over the years, she figured out how to adapt the recipe to help feed growing kids.  She was delighted when her experiment with using canned sweet potatoes instead of roasting her own paid off. 

When I was in high school, my aunt lost her battle with cancer. It was the first major death in my family. Our first holiday without her was hard and it continued to be hard until we learned how to be OK with new traditions while preserving as many as we could.

Every year after her death, my Uncle Bob continued to come to our Thanksgiving with the sweet potatoes. He stood in the kitchen placing every single pecan on top of the orange hued casserole dish to make it ever. so. perfect.  He paused after every few rows of pecans, choking back the tears. I always watched in awe, as my dreams of being a caterer and working in the kitchen transpired. When the Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes came out of the oven and onto the buffet table, us kids would circle around it like hawks. We tried our hardest to see how big of a scoop we could get away with before my mom told us to stop.

Every year we’d say grace and at least 3 people would tear up. We ate the sweet potato casserole to remember my aunt and to remember how many Thanksgivings we were all lucky to share together. Food is incredibly powerful that way.

In the year right before Casey and I were married, my Uncle Bob died suddenly of a heart attack. There was another empty place at our table.  

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

In gathering my Uncle’s stuff, I was given his Sunset Magazine cookbook- the very one with the recipe my Aunt & Uncle used to make this sweet potato casserole.

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition I’ve upheld for the past 10 years.

(Hey Mom- is this Auntie Marilyn’s handwriting or Uncle Bob’s?)

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

There are definitely a lot of sweet potato casserole recipes out there.

I had no idea that people put marshmallows on their sweet potatoes until I was in college! 

What does that even taste like??!

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

You probably have your own family’s recipe.

This one is mine.

My Thanksgiving doesn’t taste the same without it.


November 13, 2016

My Everyday Life: Week 45

Here’s what My Everyday Life Week 45 looked like:

First day of Cooper’s art class. I showed up early to pick him up and found a pink sunset in a creek close by.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Last day of Fall baseball.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

He falls asleep reading almost every night now and he has books all over his bed.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Chasing rainbows on the bed.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Ramen night.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Everything feels pretty nuts right now.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com


My anxiety boiled this week and I forced myself to go to yoga. It had been almost two years since the last time I went.

I need it. I don’t know why I don’t make the time to do it.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com


November 11, 2016

I love lists

I love lists // shutterbean


Welcome to I love Lists. It’s Friday. Let’s surf the web together:

  1. Really makes you think. I should put my own playlist together.
  2. So excited for this coloring book! Love seeing the process.
  3. Some photo assignments if you’re looking to shake things up.
  4. I loved reading this perspective of a wedding photographer
  5. Currently craving this salad.
  6. How do people make things like this?? My big fingers can’t do things that precise.
  7. I was curious why Hillary was wearing purple too.
  8. Something to use for holiday get togethers- a big board for cheese plates!
  9. Confession: I suck at making pancakes
  10. Food related ballot results.
  11. I’ve been stress eating frozen fruit this week. I guess things could be worse.
  12. If you need a pick-me-up.
  13. Bad signs never get old.
  14. This is beautiful.
  15. These paintings make me hold my breath.
  16. New favorite etsy shop. Wow. her work stops me.
  17. Some books to sink your teeth into.
  18. Doughnut ATMS. HELLO 2016.
  19. I am not sure why, but this creeps me out.
  20. I love leftover hacks. Look what you can do with Indian food!
  21. Our world is beautiful. Let’s not mess it up.
  22. Thank you ladies, thank you.
November 10, 2016

The Best Writing Pens (part 2!)

Check out the Best Writing Pens on Shutterbean.com!

That’s right. Tracy, the pen enthusiast is back to talk about some of The Best Writing Pens!

I was super spoiled on one of my flights to Jamaica last week. There was an plug outlet in the seat in front of me AND TVs in the seats. I didn’t get much work done that flight, unless you consider watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, work. Somehow I always seem to keep up with them while I’m flying over something. It’s their makeup. I’m hooked.

Then I went home from Jamaica and had a flight that sent me to Philly and then to CA. Instead of charging my laptop at the airport in Jamaica, I was like “Oh, I got this. They have outlets.”  And then they did not.

I had a 6 1/2 hour flight home with:

  • 30% phone battery life
  • 30% laptop life
  • no TVs in the seats
  • no TVs at all
  • not even the music on the arm rest thing worked
  • ummm crap. are we slaves to electrical power or WHAT?!

That’s when I pulled out my pens and started writing. Somehow, way up there somewhere high in the clouds, I had myself a little pen party in the sky. It was actually really fun. I think I killed at least an hour doing it.

So, yeah.  I’m that girl who brings out her whole bag of pens and starts playing with them on the flight. Yes, I’ll let you watch me write. I can already see your eyes on my page. Don’t act like you didn’t just pay close attention to how I draw my capital R. It’s cool as long as you don’t harumph when I ask to get by you to head to the bathroom (the only bad thing about the window seat for an introvert).

I wrote about my favorite pens in March and since then I have incorporated a few more into my arsenal.

Best Writing Pens

This is all fun until you do the title last and you screw up the capital R (someone was watching me!!!). Oh well. Not all lists are perfect.

Best Writing Pens

Pentel Stylo up above. Never mind the sharpie bleed through. Those dang Sharpies!!!

Best Writing Pens

Pentel Plastic Fountain Pen is really good if you are scared of metal nibs cutting through your paper…and you’re super messy with ink.

Best Writing Pens

Pilot Dr. Grip – I honestly have no idea how this pen arrived in my life. Somehow…in the back of my mind I think that it was my dad’s pen? I dunno. It pleases my giant man hands. They’re definitely not surgeon hands. Any doctors care to weigh in on what grip doctors need when using a pen? Thank you in advance.

(I just read the description and it says that the design makes it so you don’t have to grip the pen as hard, alleviating hand stress!) I guess it’s like Dr. Scholl’s for pens.

Best Writing Pens

Uni Jetstream 1.0 – Thank you, reader!

Best Writing Pens

Tombow Hard     All the heart eye emojis for this one.

Best Writing Pens

Tombow Soft is my new lover. It’s what I used to make this list with.

Best Writing Pens

Sharpie Brush Pen is so much fun!!!

Best Writing Pens

Sharpie Chisel Tip is still my #1 Sharpie boo. Always + forever.

Be sure to check out my other post because THE MORE PENS, THE MERRIER!

The Best Writing Pens- Tracy from Shutterbean.com shares what's in her pen case!


What are you favorite pens these days?

I love it when we get all pen nerdy here.


November 7, 2016

Bread Sausage Apple Hash

Bread Sausage Apple Hash is the perfect way to bring the flavors of Thanksgiving into breakfast. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I’ve made several hashes in my lifetime. Heck, I made a ton with I was on Whole 30!  I was browsing through a Julia Turshen’s book- Small Victories Cookbook and thought this recipe for Bread Sausage Apple Hash would be the perfect thing to

  • break the whole30 with
  • whet your appetite for Thanksgiving meals
  • serve company for breakfast or breakfast for dinner!


Bread Sausage Apple Hash

So what’s a bread hash? It’s a lot like stuffing but a little less mushy.

Bread Sausage Apple Hash

This recipe has a sweet savory vibe. The sausage is balanced out with the tart/sweet apples and the flavors enhanced with a nice dose of sage.

Bread Sausage Apple Hash

Any excuse to have bread, sausage & eggs is fine with me!