November 15, 2018

Homemade Holiday Gift Party

Host a Homemade Holiday Gift Party with the help of Nugget Markets! Find the recipes to sugar scrubs, infused vodka and vanilla extract on Shutterbean.com!

 Last year, my friend Sonia and I put together the idea of a Homemade Holiday Gift Party as one of the auction items at Cooper’s school.  Earlier this month I hosted the party at my house with the help of Nugget Markets. Let me show you what was involved in hosting the party! 

Host a Homemade Holiday Gift Party with the help of Nugget Markets! Find the recipes to sugar scrubs, infused vodka and vanilla extract on Shutterbean.com!

It all started with a flyer! This is what I made for our auction party so people would sign up.

Host a Homemade Holiday Gift Party with the help of Nugget Markets! Find the recipes to sugar scrubs, infused vodka and vanilla extract on Shutterbean.com!


Questions to ask yourself before planning a party:

  • How many people can we accommodate?
  • What items should we make?
  • How long does it take to make said items?
  • Do items need time to set/cure?
  • What instruments/tools do you need for the party?
  • How many items will everyone leave with?
  • What will they take their items home with?
  • What will be on the grocery list?
  • Food/drink?
  • What does my space need to welcome guests?

If you’re working with a friend, you can easily divide and conquer!


November 13, 2018

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas from Shutterbean.com!

Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away. Are we ready??

I’m not, but NOW IS THE TIME where I figure it all out.

Looking through my archives has given me a lot of inspiration, though. Here are some of my favorite recipes that are guaranteed to make your Thanksgiving holiday warm and bright.  And if you’re looking for a unique/tasty turkey recipe, Mark Bittman’s braised turkey is MY FAVORITE. I’ve used the recipe for the past 5 years.  It’s really made quite a few stress-free holidays.

Let’s looking into the Shutterbean archives for some Thanksgiving Menu Ideas!


November 12, 2018

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 combination of productive, fun and restful! Went out to dinner with my bro & sister and spent the night at my parent’s house in the city.  Stayed up real late with cocktails!  So fun!

When I got home, we spent the whole day in bed on Saturday watching movies as a family. The air is so bad up here in Northern California that we spent most of the weekend inside for the rest of the weekend.   I made my closet look nice and organized again.  I also did some meal prep and knocked off a bunch of things on my TO DO LIST.  While I was working around the house, I ordered a Costco delivery from Instacart ( here’s $10 off your first order! ) and it was SOOOOOO helpful. It saved me so much time having food and supplies delivered to the house. We’re in good shape for the week!

Here’s my meal prep:

 Meal Prep this Week Includes:


Intentions for the Week:

  • prep for a conference call
  • order books
  • exercise/go to the gym
  • make doc appointment
  • trip to post office
  • volunteer at school
  • make treats for school function
  • delete photos from phone
  • catch up on social media
  • thanksgiving post
  • work through emails
  • drink more water
  • make a batch of kombucha
  • write down meals in food journal
  • rsvp to party
  • make time for art
  • get enough sleep
  • work on a new recipe
  • finalize Thanksgiving plans
  • return at Target
  • track steps with my Fitbit
  • bookkeeping work



  • Vote
  • Laundry
  • Exercise/workout 
  • Wash car
  • Clean up house
  • Make kombucha
  • Make banana bread
  • Write down food in food journal
  • Make a recipe/take photos/edit
  • Invoice/Send 1099
  • Edit food journal/ order
  • Post Currently October 2018 post
  • Catch up on social media
  • drink more water (this helps)
  • track steps with my Fitbit
  • Car appointment!!! YAY
  • Send thank you notes
  • Paint nails
  • Clean out purse
  • Organize/sort receipts
  • Delete some photos from phone

Mantra for the Week:


Every week, Tracy Benjamin from Shutterbean.com types up her TO DO list with her Intentions for the Week post. Check out this week's post!

Pump Jam for this Monday:



Don’t forget to write down your Intentions for the Week! It will help hold you accountable throughout the week!

Wishing you a productive week!



November 11, 2018

My Everyday Life: Week 45

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 45

The smoke here in Northern California is so bad. It’s making the light feel so weird during the day.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Please keep California in your thoughts and prayers. It’s so scary!

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Did you vote this week? I did!

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

I also had a homemade holiday gift party at my house. I’m writing up a post and will share it soon!

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

It was so much fun!

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Everyone left with a homemade goodie bag!

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com

Cheeseboard dreams.

My Everyday Life: Week 45 on Shutterbean.com


November 9, 2018


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


  1. Why aren’t we voting on our phones yet?
  2. This honey fudge looks GOOOOOOOOD
  3. This might be Cooper one day
  4. Some fascinating facts about Antartica.
  5. A look behind the Banksy stunt.
  6. Edward Gorey + Cats = true love
  7. 6 steps to becoming a better writer
  8. How to be a more patient person.
  9. This DIY makes me want to pull out my sewing machine.
  10. Instagram has a major harassment problem.
  11. Here’s how popular yoga & mediation really are.
  12. It’s hard to believe this is plane food.
  13. Here are the best/worst airports in the USA.
  14. Don’t wear a red shirt to Target, lol
  15. Journal envy. WOW
  16. This mushroom stuffing looks sooooooo good.
  17. Was 1993 the best year in music?
  18. Apparently, there’s going to be a Breaking Bad movie!
  19. What if all I want is a mediocre life?
  20. I’d actually really love to have a 70s themed dinner party.
  21. Mental break: the best dance scenes in movies.
  22. Setting intentions while grieving– I wish I saw this a year ago.
  23. Magic makers:  rainbow maker / star confetti  / tea towel / crystal balls  
  24.  I hope you make pumpkin french toast this weekend or sometime soon!



November 8, 2018

Carrot Ginger Bread

Carrot Ginger Bread is a great way to use leftover carrots. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

During the colder months, I like to have some type of baked good on the counter for breakfast or afternoon snacks while Casey and I work from home.

It definitely makes our routine a little sweeter.

Carrot Ginger Bread is a great way to use leftover carrots. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

I was looking for a way to use up applesauce and the carrots I had in the fridge and this Carrot Ginger Bread recipe from the new cookbook, Heritage Baking caught my eye.  Any recipe that helps me prevent food waste is alright in my book!

Carrot Ginger Bread is a great way to use leftover carrots. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

It’s a dense loaf fortified with whole wheat flour.  I love seeing the little bits of orange from the carrot shreds popping through each slice.  In this batch,  I added walnuts because I like my bread nutty. See also: Hippy Banana Bread

Next time I’m going to add crystallized ginger (I didn’t have any in the pantry!) like the original recipe suggests (about 1/4 cup) and maybe I’ll throw some raisins in there too.  Definitely tucking a few slices in the freezer for safe keeping so we don’t eat ALLLLLLL the bread in a day.  These are things you learn about yourself over time 😉


November 6, 2018

Currently: October 2018


Currently: October 2018 on Shutterbean.com

Currently October 2018

This month was punctuated by two weddings (one in Santa Fe and one in Pebble Beach!) and COOPER TURNING 10!  Whew!!

My Everyday Life: Week 40 on Shutterbean.com

October felt like a lot all at once.  October brought up a lot of feelings, that’s for sure.

October was my 11th month without my Mom.  A lot is being stirred up again as we make Thanksgiving plans. My Mom’s own mom died on Halloween and my mom was the same exact age I was when her mother died- 38. I remember where I was sitting in my house when my Mom told me the news about her Mom. We were about to go trick-or-treating and she was crying.  Memories come back when you least expect it and this Autumn it’s happening more than ever as I feel my Mom’s spirit with me.

I know that November is going to have ups and downs as I move through the first year of grief. I’ve learned so much about myself and my family through the process.