February 5, 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:

Hello, MONDAY! Fancy meeting you again! This weekend was pretty fun. Went up to St. Helena and did a Sip & Paint class with my friend Helen Jane! We got to make Georgia O’Keefe paintings while we drank wine. Got home yesterday afternoon in time for the Super Bowl. My boys are pretty unhappy right now since the Pats lost :(  We will probably be eating our feelings this week. Definitely going to try to make this Thai Basil Beef happen and maybe a Baked Pasta situation. We’ll see!

I’m ready to get back into the swing of our routine, do some meal prep, clean out the fridge and get my head in the game. The weather is supposed to be really nice here in the Bay Area this week so I can’t wait to open the windows and let fresh air in.  One of the biggest things I’m working on this week is going through all the books in my office/studio and getting rid of all the magazines I’ve saved and never looked through. My friend Jessica is coming down from Oregon to help! I cannot wait to get my space organized enough to show you. YAY!

Let’s get our heads in the games with an Intentions for the Week list.

 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!

Intentions for the Week:

  • make valentines/send out
  • get some exercise going on
  • clean out studio space! streamline closets
  • brush lettering class
  • finish laundry
  • take photos for handwriting club
  • clean out fridge
  • write thank you notes
  • trip to Salvation Army (DONATE STUFF LIKE A MOFO)
  • post a new recipe on the blog
  • post wilbur hot springs photos on the blog
  • drink more water (this is helping)
  • send out orders for The Handwriting Club


Last Week’s Intentions:

Mantra this week:



What about you? What are you up to this week? Leave your intentions and get your head in the game!



February 4, 2018

My Everyday Life: Week 5

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 5

Making chocolate with my mom’s candy molds! 

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Tea at Heather’s house.

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Somehow convinced him to hold hands and he didn’t let go.

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Having a chat with a pigeon.

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Ella found a new spot.

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Working in the playroom.

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Working on a new zine for The Handwriting Club! 

My Everyday Life: Week 5 on Shutterbean.com


February 2, 2018



Welcome to I LOVE LISTS. It’s Friday. Here’s a list for you:

  1. The female price of male pleasure.
  2. Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers!
  3. All your mystery hotel fees explained.
  4. Preach
  5. I would like one of these for my car. Lavender & orange please!
  6. Rollercoaster photos are always good for a laugh.
  7. Minor modern day annoyances we have to deal with now.
  8. Everyone snaps the same Instagram travel photos.
  9. A recipe for two doughnuts. Thank you very much, maj.
  10. Shots of the super blue moon from around the world.
  11. This home is dreamy.
  12. Don’t love Mondays? Here’s how to change that.
  13. The lunch rush of the future.
  14. Shazam for art looks pretty cool.
  15. Valentine’s Day cards that include candy.
  16. The best/weirdest halftime shows in history.
  17. Everyone is talking about keto these days. What’s the keto diet anyways?
  18. Mustard is having a moment.
  19. The world of coincidence on NY streets. Very cool!
  20. This seems excessive.
  21. When humans are gone, this is what our homes might look like.
  22. One of my favorite things to make for Valentine’s Day
  23. I don’t have a problem starting, it’s finishing that trips me up.

have a great weekend!

January 31, 2018

Currently: January 2018

Currently January 2018 on Shutterbean.comCurrently January 2018 on Shutterbean.com

Currently January 2018

The first month of the year is down.

Eleven more to go.

Does this year feel different to you?

Everything feels different to me.

I missed the November and December Currently post and part of me feels let down because I was sooo close to having a whole FULL year of posts to look back on.  I just didn’t have the drive to push through my trauma and write after my mom died. I wasn’t ready to evaluate my months.  It felt like I was in a coma. I had so much to do in a little amount of time and then I went through Christmas and it’s allll such a blur to me now.

The IDEA of a new year and a having fresh/intentional start have helped me to return to a somewhat “normal” work life. I’ve been shooting a lot for One Potato (I style/shoot all of their recipe cards). That got me back in the grocery shopping mode. In December, I used a lot of Door Dash for takeout (didn’t feel like cooking AT ALL). I also became a big fan of Instacart and had groceries delivered a few times. That’s a luxury!  I’m finally enjoying cooking again. Honestly, I didn’t want to clean. I also wanted someone else to take care of me. So, I did.

I’ll have more recipes to offer soon, I hope.

My Everyday Life: Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

Instead of cooking, I moved stuff around my house, organized, made art, sorted out some of my mom’s things and helped my family in January. I spent a lot of quality time with friends. I had a digital detox where I didn’t use my phone for a weekend (other than to play music and take pictures). I’ve been giving myself permission to go slow-not rush, over-analyze things. I’ve really had to ease back into my schedule and let things get sorted out how they’re supposed to, without worrying about it.

My Everyday Life: Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

Inspired By:

I have been inspired by the people who are following me along the way. I had no idea how much love and support I would receive from strangers by sharing my own grief online. I started a hashtag- #keepgriefweird because, in my experience, grief has been/will be weird.

For some people, grief feels contagious.

If you hang around it,

you might catch it.

No one is immune to it.

Some people don’t want to see another person wallow in it.

Sometimes it’s painful for other people to witness.

Sometimes people aren’t ready to move past their own grief.

Sometimes people aren’t willing to accept the fact that we all die.

We’re here for a reason, whether it’s big or small.

Death is inevitable and so is grief.

So many people have gone through this before us.

Sometimes it never really sinks in until it happens to you.

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

So many of you have shared your experiences with me and I am so grateful to see so many different perspectives.

Your guidance and thoughtful words sure feel like a blessing.


We’ve been watching This is Us. Love that show. My mom loved it too. She was happy that some wholesome goodness was still left in entertainment. It was a very cathartic show for our family. It helped my brother and I discuss a lot of things about our childhood with my mom. Sometimes when I’m watching it I feel really sad because I know she would have been really interested to see where the plot went. It’s those little things that creep up on me, but other than that I really love the show. It helps me process a lot. It makes me thankful that I had my mom for a majority of my life.

We also watched the first season of SMILF. Was pretty funny at times. Kinda crass. Can’t entirely relate but I really love Rose O’Donnell’s character. She’s great to watch in it. I forgot how I grew up with her talk show. She was one of my other childhood heroes besides Oprah and Martha Stewart.

And Shameless…definitely jumped the shark. I fall asleep to it every week.

Right now Casey is bingeing on This Old House episodes. We’ve watched quite a few Fixer Upper episodes too. Makes me want to redo our bathrooms so bad!

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com


I am currently hoarding a bunch of grief books. I haven’t really made a lot of time to sit down and read. If something doesn’t catch my attention in the first few pages, I pass. That’s where my attention is right now.

After I do my I LOVE LISTS for the week and spend that time reading on the internet, I’m zapped out. Maybe I should sign myself up for a book club so I’ll be forced to finish a book. But what if I don’t like it???!!! Do I have to finish it? That sounds like torture.

Every now and then I’ve been looking through my mom’s recipe binder. I’ll share it one day. It’s special.

My Everyday Life: Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

Thinking About:

The future. I’m 38 now. I could potentially have another life without my mom. To be honest, it makes me feel so many things at once. Where will this work take me? What am I supposed to be doing now? What is life like when my Mom can’t share in it?  She read my website RELIGIOUSLY and so it’s so weird coming back to this space and not having her be a part of it. This blog was a way for her to get to know me and how I saw the world, not just as her daughter but as a friend.  What does my website look like without me knowing MY MOM IS GOING TO READ WHAT I POST? Week 46 was the last week she will have ever seen. My dad doesn’t really read my website. I don’t think?  He only read it when my mom called him over to check out something she thought was cool when she was playing around on the computer. I don’t have a parent who reads my website. That is weird.

It’s 2018 and I’ve been doing this for almost 11 years.


Where do I go from here?

Listening To:

I’ve been enjoying this song when I clean house lately:

This track randomly popped up when I was listening to something else and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at the moment. Thank you, Spock.

Also, I highly recommend Peaceful Piano. If you want to feel feelings, put on some piano music.

Dream Life:

I’ve had one dream of mom so far. She was laying on the floor wrapped up in a blanket and I looked over at her and she opened her eyes. That’s all I remember.

The week before she died, I had a dream that I called my mother and she didn’t answer. I said to myself, “Oh. Why are you calling her? She died. You can’t talk to her anymore.”  I woke up in a panic, thinking HOLY SHIT what just happened. I called my mom when I woke up and there was no answer, but I remembered she was in Hawaii. So it was a bizarre moment of dreaming of something and having it happen.

Since I had that dream, in the week before she died, we had three really long/deep phone conversations. I don’t know if that dream had anything to do with it, but we didn’t rush each other off the phone. I am so thankful for that.

I feel her presence a lot. Sometimes so much that I don’t realize she’s gone. I feel her all around me!  Her voice is even in my head. So many weird things happen on a daily basis that I know she would appreciate. My mom ALWAYS taught me to look for signs and connections with things so it’s like almost EVERYTHING I see or experience is covered in signs. Sometimes I feel her when I see the color orange. I see hearts everywhere. I feel like she’s speaking to me through music. I think she’s a hawk watching over me. I asked her to find me a parking space twice so far and both of them were right in front of a church. It makes real life feel like dream life at times. Have you ever seen Stranger than Fiction? My life feels kinda like that right now. I don’t know if I see things because it’s a sign from her or if I just think like my mom so much that I find everything so oddly connected.


Right after my mom died I stopped eating. My appetite was all weird. I woke up at 4 am for almost 3 weeks. I got my appetite back at the end of December and started eating feelings. We had so many family functions/the funeral/friends and family visiting. SO MUCH FOOD. So much lasagna, I felt like Garfield for a bit.

2018 Intentions on Shutterbean.com

My intentional word for the year is NOURISH.

I’ve spent the past week trying to be mindful of what I’m eating. Staying away from bread because they lead me down a path of anxiety and when I don’t have them, I don’t have the chance to even go down that path. Restrictions are sometimes the easiest way for me to jumpstart discipline. Anyways, I’m adding more activity to my life and more of a “cleaner” quasi whole30 diet in the mix. The key is giving myself grace when I wanna let LIVE and enjoy something.

Eating Orzo with Pancetta & Pine Nuts because it reminds me of my mom.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Getting back into the Meal Prep zone. Hallelujah.

Shutterbean Meal Prep - See more on Shutterbean.com

Highlights of the Month include:

Currently January 2018 on Shutterbean.com

January Self Portrait:

My Everyday Life: Week 2 on Shutterbean.com

Enough about me. What about you? How was your January?

January 29, 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:

Hello there LAST MONDAY OF JANUARY. I can’t believe we’re about to hit February soon. Last week was pretty productive! I did a lot of things that WEREN’T on my list like cleaning out my garage!  I also got my car fixed/oil changed. That’s something I’ve been putting off for awhile. I always dread car appointments because I don’t know how much time I’ll be without my car. Feels good to have that done.

This week I have quite a few things happening. The one thing that I am really excited for is taking a brush lettering class. My mother-in-law gifted me with it for Christmas. It will be a nice way to close out the week of hard work!   Here are my Intentions for the Week!

Intentions for the Week/ Shutterbean.com

Intentions for the Week:

  • laundry
  • salvation army + target+ library
  • exercise dance/yoga/walk
  • finish Currently post for January
  • meetup with Sonia
  • get supplies for art class
  • straighten up pantry
  • mail packages to camden & erin
  • take a skillshare class for my Ipad Pro 
  • try a new recipe
  • accounting work
  • free up space on phone
  • post pictures from Wilbur Hot Springs
  • drink more water (this is helping)

Last Week’s Intentions:

  • finish laundry
  • bring in car for service
  • oil change on car
  • return library books
  • edit photos/upload/invoice
  • add new zine to The Handwriting Club (take photos/post)
  • get outside and go for a walk
  • YOGA (did Dance instead!)
  • make more dinners at home
  • work on a new recipe
  • post pictures from the weekend
  • figure out when I’m going to do a workshop & where
  • get supplies for brush lettering class
  • keep up the healthy eating habits
  • finish Intentions for the Year post (you can see it here!)
  • free up space on my phone
  • find time to be creative
  • get haircut (YAAAAAAY!)
  • figure out party for school auction/meet with sonia

Mantra for the Week:

Intentions for the Week/ Shutterbean.com

What’s on your agenda this week? Get your Intentions for the Week out on paper, it helps!


January 28, 2018

My Everyday Life: Week 4

Here’s what this past week looked like: My Everyday Life Week 4

This week I spent a good portion of my time packing up orders from The Handwriting Club!

I’ll be adding more stuff soon!

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Handwritten additions to my packages…

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Simple touches.

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Decorating the envelopes has been a lot of fun.


My friend Cindy sent me a stamp that says MAGIC and I’ve been putting it to good use.

Thanks, Cindy!

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Sun dog.

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com

Nourishing breakfast.

My Everyday Life: Week 4 on Shutterbean.com


January 26, 2018


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

Welcome to I LOVE LISTS. It’s Friday! Here’s a list for ya:

  1. Understanding Grief
  2. On having an only child
  3. This recipe is why I now have cauliflower on my grocery list
  4. Ways to make traveling less stressful.
  5. Handling AWKWARD situations
  6. The funny thing is, my husband tries to cozy up to me when I’m using a knife…
  7. Photos to blow your mind.
  8. How the college classroom has evolved over the years
  9. I really need to make tahini cookies sometime soon.
  10. Pretties: moon necklace /crystal ball/star picnic blanket
  11. 2 ways to radically help you rethink your career
  12. The hands and the legs? Is this picture photoshopped? Oprah! Weird!
  13. 9 photographs that have made history
  14. Romantic valentines day gifts you can frame
  15. How restaurants are surviving higher minimum wage increases
  16. We’re going back to sound with Sonic Branding in advertising– pay attention to your podcasts!
  17. This embroidery is unbelievable
  18. Simple Valentine’s Day ideas
  19. This short film looks so cool. I wanna watch it!
  20. Stop asking your kid about their day.