September 20, 2019




  1. Squirrel sniffs flower
  2. Inventory of emergency vehicles. Whoa.
  3. Baby zebra born with spots!
  4. Ambulance turned home.
  5. How to support an employee with social anxiety.
  6. North America is losing birds.
  7. This dress is beyond cute.
  8. Old photographs of classic beauties.
  9. I love a black accent wall.
  10. A photographer’s take on our relationship with our phones.
  11. How to tell someone to get off their phone.
  12. Instagram shouldn’t let kids see a long of things.
  13. Why some people become lifelong readers.
  14. I want to go last-minute camping.
  15. Go to therapy. Especially for your work stuff.
  16. Great homes architects designed for themselves.
  17. Little acts that can brighten someone’s day.
  18. Signs misspelled. 
  19. The most scenic drive in all of the states. 
  20. I bet you would like this, Lauren!
  21. Scientists studied logo designs.
  22. Dreamlife paintings one and two
  23. I had no idea what a slofie was.
  24. Chocolate Banana Bread should be in your weekend plans!
  25. Hey! I updated new FAVORITES in my SHOP section of my blog.


I LOVE LISTS // a collection of links from the 'net on Shutterbean.com

Orders of $35 or more get FREE SHIPPING in my Etsy shop!

Want to carve out time and LEARN some art and create a creative practice??!  Check out Skillshare!   Here’s 2 months FREE Premium membership to Skillshare.  My creative practice has improved greatly since I started taking classes several years ago!  You can see more on @thehandwritingclub



September 18, 2019

Daypack Travel Gear


I recently showed you what I like to bring on my carry-on backpack, and today I’m sharing my Daypack Travel Gear.  In this post, I will show you how I transport all of that stuff (from my carry-on!) into a more manageable, efficient system when I’ve arrived at my destination. 

Hello, below is me adventuring in Italy with my light backpack.

Let me show you what I carried with me!

The first step to organizing a daypack is figuring out what the essentials are. 


What do I want with me???

I made a list of what’s in my bag (always) and a list to spark thoughts while organizing my packing items.

I then out the list (on yellow paper) and laminated it with my laminator. 

That way I can use a dry erase marker to mark things off when I need to!

I used a three hole punch and put it in my binder of fun. 

Let’s move onto the backpack now that I know what I want to put in it. 



 We traveled to Italy in August, and it was HOT so I didn’t need to bring a sweater or jacket. It kept my load very light. When we planned on being away from our rental and exploring Florence and Rome and I knew I would be annoyed wearing a purse all day so I brought this lightweight/inexpensive backpack with me. 

The intention of this bag is that it’s LIGHT and is not to be filled up with so much stuff I can’t add to it.  It has enough room for a few things but won’t hurt my back and make everyone think I can carry their stuff too. I do not want to be the only sherpa for my family. 



My Day Trip Essentials for Italy (in Summer!)

Backpack- I bought this one from Baggu for the trip because it’s very light and folds up so small in my suitcase. It was a lifesaver!  I picked this plaid pattern because it sticks out but not too much. My family can find me from the back if I’m in a crowd.  I washed it in the washing machine while we were in Italy and it cleaned up nicely!

Birkenstocks– I have to admit that I was super nervous about bringing my birks on the trip. I didn’t know if they would end up giving me blisters but I am so happy to report that with all the 16k step days, my feet are so happy I brought them. I like that they can be dressed up or dressed down. They stay on my feet and molded to them now. I don’t know what I would do without. 

Sunglasses– always a must! Especially in the Summer. These ones block out the sun well!

Battery Charger- Since I take most of my photos for my blog on my iPhone now, this is a MUST. I don’t want to be stuck with a low battery. It can get really shady when you don’t know where you are and your battery is running low. I am thankful I thought to bring it with me on every outing. 

Water Bottle– I am never going to forget one as long as I travel. I was delighted that there are water bottle fillers in the airports now. When we were in Italy, there are water fountains all around Rome and Florence so it was nice to be able to fill up while we were on the go. I like this one because it is easy to clean (both ends screw off!) and it’s easy to hold if you’re walking around.

iPhone– Do I really go anywhere without it? No.

Sun Visor Hat– This one rolls up. It’s my favorite mostly because it’s compact and it’s a visor so my hair doesn’t get smooshed down by it.

Bandana– At 40 years old, I am a bandana convert. I didn’t really understand what the point was until I used on in Steamboat Springs Colorado this year. When it’s super hot outside, get one wet and wrap it around your neck. It will immediately cool you down. 

Journal I don’t bring my full journal with me when I’m out & about, but I do keep some paper because you just never know!  I like these cahier journals from Moleskine. They’re very light, don’t take up much space, and are great when we are at a restaurant and I want to occupy time with Cooper.

Favorite Pen– I like a Tombow brush pen for travel. It’s got the brush pen side that I love and a finer tip side for writing notes. The only drawback is that it’s not waterproof so if I spill water on the paper, my writing will bleed. I just make sure I don’t spill water on the paper.

Rose Salve– I like this stuff only because it has a few purposes. It’s great for lips but if I’m out and I have some time to kill, I’ll rub a little bit on my cuticles so they’re not chapped and dry. I keep some around because I like being prepared when Cooper has chapped lips which is pretty often because he doesn’t drink enough water.

Rosewater spray– I usually keep a small spritz bottle of this stuff handy.  When it’s hot, it’s a lifesaver. When my family is all crunchy and irritated, it’s also a lifesaver. Spraying your face with rosewater spray is like having a spa experience on the go. 

Sunscreen-  I always keep a little sunscreen in my bag because you just never know! It’s better to be safe than sorry. I am quite particular about the sunscreen I use. It can’t be sticky and it has to wipe in cleanly. This one is my favorite! 

Scrunchie– Now that my hair is longer it’s important for me to carry around a hairband. I like these ones that feel like a phone cord. They don’t rip my hair out and I can put it on my wrist without it cutting off my circulation.

Compact It’s always good to have a mirror to check in with yourself.  You never know how the day is going to treat you. 

Hand Sanitizer– You never know when you’ve touched something germy and disgusting. 

And of course… my wallet and a light sweater for just in case!

That’s what I like to bring with me in my Daypack Travel Gear. 

If you like looking inside other people’s bags (like me!) check out:

Carry On Bag Essentials- See what Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com packs on her carry on bag.

Carry On Essentials

What's In My Bag? Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com shares what's in her bag and how she stays organized!

What’s in My Bag?

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

Now that I know what I need to pack on my adventures, I can’t wait for my next one!

September 16, 2019

Intentions for the Week


Looking to get your head in the game? Tracy from Shutterbean makes a weekly TO DO LIST called her Intentions for the Week. Here's what this week looks like:


Happy Monday, friends!

It is Week 38 of 2019. Here’s what Week 38 looked like for me last year. 

This weekend we had a quite a few hangouts with friends, an art date and a dinner party!  I spent yesterday working in the yard (doing major trimming!) and had a chance to do some meal prep before we had a school function. I’m typing this from my bed and I’m sooooo sore and wiped out!  Let’s cut to the chase and figure out my Intentions for the week!


Meal prep for the week includes:


Favorites include:


Intentions for the Week:

  • laundry
  • track what I eat in my food journal
  • clean out the back of car
  • work through email/inbox
  • delete photos from phone
  • package/ship order for The Handwriting Club
  • prep for conference call
  • therapy appointment
  • get my steps in my with my Fitbit 
  • have a date with my calendar
  • write/send thank you notes
  • work on Currently Book for 2020 (preorder soon!)
  • finish post about day pack travel gear
  • order postcards
  • paint nails
  • trip to the post office
  • make salmon ramen
  • clean house for lunch date
  • make a new recipe
  • post recipe
  • work on some artwork to print
  • edit photos
  • make plans for Cooper’s birthday
  • grocery shopping
  • pull cards & work in sketchbook
  • work in the yard
  • clean up office
  • go to bed at a reasonable hour this week
  • finish Orange is the New Black
  • catch up on social media posting

Last Week’s Intentions:

  • laundry
  • track what I eat in my food journal
  • drink enough water
  • prep for conference call
  • therapy appointment
  • drop off library books
  • go grocery shopping
  • work on Currently Book for 2020 (preorder soon!)
  • finish post about day pack travel gear
  • package/ship order for The Handwriting Club
  • edit photos
  • go on a hike/walk
  • get my steps in my with my Fitbit 
  • have a date with my calendar
  • research prints
  • make a new recipe
  • catch up on social media
  • drop off donations
  • work in the garden
  • paint toenails
  • follow up about car
  • continue to work on my office organization
  • do a face mask
  • delete photos from phone
  • get enough sleep
  • playdate with Emma
  • breathwork with Faye
  • seed thing with Neiley
  • make time for leisure reading


Recipes to Try:

Mushroom Arugula Toast

Need a quick/simple dinner? Make Roasted Broccoli with White Bean with Lemon. Put an egg on it! Recipe on Shutterbean.com!

Roasted White Beans & Broccoli

Lemon Garlic Roasted Shrimp makes weeknight dinner making EASY. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com!  

Lemon Roasted Shrimp

Grape & Sage Pizza

Roasted Carrots with Chile Yogurt + Cilantro Sauce

Quick Tomato Basil Pasta

Small Batch Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza -makes enough for 2-4 people. Recipe on Shutterbean.com

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza

Pump Jam for the Week:



Mantra for the week!

I LOVE LISTS // a collection of links from the 'net on Shutterbean.com


Feeling stuck? Make a list! Write down your intentions for the week to help hold you accountable to action.

I’m rooting for you!

Sending sparkles, 


September 15, 2019

My Everyday Life: Week 37

Here’s what thist past week looked like – My Everyday Life Week 37

Spent the afternoon at the National Heirloom Expo with my friend Neiley!

The Dahlia section was my favorite part!

I wanted to bust out my paints and mix colors!

I hope to add some dahlias to my garden next summer. 


September 13, 2019



  1. Why every book club needs food.
  2. I still have no idea what a VSCO girl is.
  3. Women should go out with their girlfriends twice a week . 
  4. The perfect late night order in every fast food restaurant.
  5. Now all I want is Dim Sum
  6. Perhaps some people are going too far with emotional support animals?
  7. My new favorite overalls!
  8. Great American cities Then & Now
  9. This is so funny because it’s true.
  10. Wildlife photography amazes me.
  11. How to not feel lonely
  12. I have a Summer personality but I think it’s more Fall!
  13. Pretty excited by the cameras in the new iPhone Pro
  14. I’m so glad my Dad finally got hearing aids.
  15. How to hold a cat.
  16. Why women live longer that men…
  17. The rise of HANGRY
  18. I updated my favorite items in my shop!
  19. What happens when I’m no longer impressive for my age?
  20. Leopard Love: scarf / coat/ shower curtain / towel/ maxi skirt
  21. Such a pretty kitchen renovation!


Orders of $35 or more get FREE SHIPPING in my Etsy shop!

September 11, 2019

Chocolate Banana Bread

I’m not a person who likes chocolate in my banana bread but somehow this recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread just does it for me!  This recipe comes from a new favorite cookbook- Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook!  I made it because I thought it would be a good addition to my #shutterbeanmealprep


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tracy Benjamin (@shutterbean) on


The chocolate chips melt in there and stay melted which provides for an ooey-gooey experience. See what I’m talking about???!! 


What I like about is that it uses up brown bananas (yay!) and I’m not compelled to eat the entire loaf like I am with my maple olive oil banana bread. One piece provides me the sweetness I’m craving and I’m good!  I’m not constantly picking at it throughout the day.  But you know, I’ve got people in my family who love chocolate so that doesn’t mean it didn’t last less than 2 days in my house… 

I’m happy to welcome it into our rotation! We needed a new chocolatey treat for homework sessions around here!

Next round I’m going to use peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips! Wish me luck.


September 9, 2019

Intentions for the Week

Looking to get your head in the game? Tracy from Shutterbean makes a weekly TO DO LIST called her Intentions for the Week. Here's what this week looks like:


Happy Monday, friends!  

This weekend was a good one! We went over to a friend’s house on Friday, the boys and baseball and I cleaned house like a MOFO and got everything set up for the week. I got rid of bags of clothes and clocked in over 13k steps on my Fitbit just by cleaning the house! It felt good to get back in touch with my house.  There were so many things that just needed to be put away. I am glad I finally made a point to do it all. It feels likes I’m not just treading water. Let’s start this Monday with a deep breath.

It’s week 37 of 2019.  Here’s what week 37 looked like for me last year.

I’ve been using a moleskine calendar to track my Intentions for the week. It’s been helping.

Here are my Intentions for the Week!