September 4, 2019

Currently August 2019

Currently: August 2019

August was a big month.

I went to Italy with my family and then right when we came back, I turned 40. 

Summer ended and Cooper became a 5th grader!

School supplies were bought. We raced right into the school routine.

And then


Does that mean I don’t have to process being 40 yet?  I feel like I didn’t even process my Italy trip!

You know what’s weird?

To be asked, “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE 40?” a whole bunch of times in one week.

Honestly, I was just annoyed that my birthday was on a Sunday this year!

My Mom said her 40s were her favorite and an astrologer told me my 40s were going to be fun, SO THAT IS WHAT I THINK OF IT. 

The silver hair is coming in and I’m letting it because I am FASCINATED.  When I catch myself in the mirror and don’t recognize myself, 

I remind myself that, “Aging is a privilege, denied to many.”

And then my brain goes to a place where I think it’s pretty lame my Mom wasn’t here to see me turn 40. 

I’m in the it’s unfair stage of grief. I haven’t felt this feeling in awhile.  Traveling without my Mom brought it up.

And then I thought

maybe turning 40 didn’t feel as big of a deal to me because my Mom wasn’t around to make it a big deal. 

40 year old me.

It’s a ME I could have never imagined.  I think I’m starting to really like her.

Our family trip to Italy (with my dad, bro/sis, husband, niece and son!)  was pretty life changing.

We ate. We drank. We ADVENTURED. 

We did so much walking as a family- I LOVED IT.

It was also good for my brain to be away from the computer for awhile.

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

Here’s what my Currently Workbook 2019 looks like:

All the good things that happened this month. 

Let’s break it down.


Inspired By:

It’s obvious that I was inspired by Italy! You can see some of my trip photos in Week 32 + Week 33 on my blog.

We did a lot of walking…which was soo good for all of us. The only thing is that it was SO HOT WHILE WE WERE THERE.

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

I was talking to my cousin the other day about how I didn’t want to do any real/fun cooking for the first year after my Mom died. I haven’t really admitted that to anyone, but it’s true. Having a food/lifestyle blog made it hard to show up here. When we went to Italy, I suddenly fell back in love/sparked my curiousity with food again. THANK GOD I THOUGHT IT WAS GONE FOREVER. 

Thank you for the food inspiration, Italy.

You can read where we ate here.

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

It’s something else to see light in another part of the world.

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

My creative brain left recharged!


I did a lot of TV/Movie watching while on the plane.

When Harry Met Sally (an oldie by goodie! It was so cute. I’m glad I watched it again)

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (loved the last season– especially all the vacation scenes- makes me think of Dirty Dancing)

Orange Is the New Black (the last season has been pretty good so far)

Me, Earl & The Dying Girl  (so cute, so sweet, good eye candy, thoughtful)

Woodstock Three Days that Defined a Nation  (I loved learning about the clusterF that was Woodstock! the logistics looked like a nightmare!)

Life Itself (made me cry! I loved it)

500 Days of Summer (watched this one while working on the computer on the plane. I always love that big dancing scene)

2 Dope Queens– (loved this! If they showed more than 4 episodes on the flight, I would have binged)

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (loved the Eddie Murphy interview)

Dumb & Dumber (watched with Cooper! I cannot believe how much I quote from that movie reguarly)

But other than that, we didn’t watch any TV while we were away in Italy!



Save Me the Plums– I’m really enjoying this one.  I LOVE Ruth Reichl. 

However I put down my Kindle after we got home from Italy and haven’t picked it up again since. I need to make more time for reading. 

Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe

GOOD BOOK!  I believe my Mom communicates with me (constantly) so it’s nice to feel less alone in this. It’s a real trip!

Thinking About:

Turning 40. How weird it is that my Mom is not around to see me turn 40. I hope that I get to see Cooper turn 40. Life has its own timeline. 

Listening To:


This one is really good! I use it to reset. 


For when I need to smile!


Dream Life:

I had two encounters with a ghost where we were staying in Florence.  One was a woman in a plaid dress and the other one was in a blue shadow. I also felt my Mom’s presence all around me while we were there. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading that book about Signs!?!!

My real life sometimes feels like dream life and vice versa. 

I’m still in the 80s in my dreams. I am walking around neighborhoods and looking into abandoned buildings.


Prune Plums from my neighbor. Thank you, Pat.

Spicy Pickled Carrots in my fridge all August long!

I fell in love with white beans in Chianti.

I’m missing the slow mornings in Italy….

I made my Mom’s Grilled Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken!  Excited to have it in the rotation.

Shake up your grilled chicken game and make this Tangy Grilled Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken recipe! Find the instructions on Shutterbean.com!

Here’s all that we ate in Italy!

I shared Back to School Dinners on TheKitchn this month!

We are back in School Lunch Mode here!

Self Portrait for August:

THIS IS 40. 

That was August. We are in September. The weather is shifting and I’m excited for Autumn (sooooon)

September 2, 2019

Intentions 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!

Happy Monday, friends!

We have the day off for Labor Day. I’m going to try hard not to labor too much.  Although my house is looking rough around the edges!  

It’s week 36 of 2019. Let’s get into it by writing down our Intentions for the Week! Here are mine.


Intentions for the Week:

  • laundry
  • clean out back of car
  • drop off books at the library
  • clean up kitchen
  • go grocery shopping
  • clear some space on my 
  • figuring out composting for garden/setup
  • work on Currently Book for 2020 (preorder soon!)
  • post Currently August
  • finish post about day pack travel gear
  • package/ship order for The Handwriting Club
  • edit photos
  • go on a hike/wike
  • get my steps in my with my Fitbit 
  • have a date with my calendar
  • catch up on social media
  • drop off donations
  • work in the garden
  • paint toenails
  • do a face mask
  • figure out haircut
  • eat more salads
  • drink enough water
  • water all my house plants
  • put away bags in the front entryway
  • continue to work on my office organization
  • trip to the Container Store
  • track what I eat in my food journal


Last Week’s Intentions:

  • laundry
  • gather stuff to donate
  • drop off library books
  • have a date with my cousin
  • work on Currently for August
  • post where we ate in Italy
  • drink enough water
  • go for a hike/walk
  • eat a lot of salads
  • find a new lunchbox for Cooper
  • package/ship items from The Handwriting Club
  • clean out the back of car
  • work in the garden
  • edit photos
  • spend extra time with Cooper and his homework
  • clean up my closet
  • work on new recipe
  • catch up on social media
  • get my steps in my with my Fitbit  (can’t find charger!)
  • have a date with my calendar
  • clean up my office
  • clean up desk in kitchen
  • hang up calendar
  • paint toenails
  • do a face mask
  • therapist appt
  • empty carry-on backpack 


Recipes to Try:

Shortbread Strawberry Crumble

Strawberry Chia Jam

Bombay Fizz

Bacon Cheddar Waffles

Kale + Sausage French Bread Pizza


Pump Jam for the Week:


Mantra for the week!


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

I’m rooting for you!

Sending sparkles, 


September 1, 2019

My Everyday Life: Week 35

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 35

I cleaned up my desk and created a new vision board!

Sparkles at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Setting up a shot with Cooper.

We took pictures of our friends who are moving back East.

Little Grace!


August 30, 2019





  1. Attending Burning Man or Parenting a Toddler?
  2. Some ways to stay sane at the grocery store
  3. What my husband would do if I gave him a labelmaker…
  4. Hotel & Airbnb guest that were the worst!
  5. Ikea is sharing their best user hacks.
  6. Thank you for saying something Steven Tyler.
  7. Winners of a black & white children’s portrait photography contest.
  8. Photographs of women before/after becoming a Mom.
  9. Learning again how to pass the time.
  10. I’d love to do this wall treatment in my bathroom.
  11. Honestly, I want Fitbit to tell me where my charge cable is.
  12. Treat yourself: earrings / journal pen holder  /a beautiful scarf
  13. This is the epitome of comfort food.
  14. Grandmas who are far from being innocent. LOL at #7
  15. Things from the past that didn’t age well.
  16. The best HBO shows of all time.
  17. I like the fortunes book best.
  18. Inky black tattoos are pretty.
  19. I wish I had a carport to transform! Wow this is so cool.
  20. They should totally bring this thing back.


New print in the shop!  Printed from my #100daysartbeforebreakfast series

Check out this SUNFLOWER PRINT. Limited edition of 35.

Check out my Meal Plan/Back to School Dinner Strategies on the Kitchn this weekend! 

August 28, 2019

Places to Eat in Rome & Florence

Places to Eat in Rome & Florence

Family Italy Trip: August 4-15 2019

  • 3 days in Rome
  • 7 days in Florence
  • a whole bunch of time traveling on the plane (not sleeping)

I finally had a free moment to jot down all of the places where we ate in Italy this August.  If you want to see more pictures from my trip, check out week 32 and week 33 of My Everyday Life! Our family trip this summer included my Dad, brother Ryan, sister Ali, husband Casey, son Cooper, niece Camden and yours truly.  We normally go to Tahoe during this time of year and we switched it up!  The last time I was in Italy, I was about 26 years old.  Casey and I were engaged and we went with my brother and my parents.  That was 13 years ago!   Life has changed soooooo much since then. I believe I was capturing all of my photos on film back then.  I was torn between which camera to take– my 35mm or medium format camera?  Now I take all of my photos on my phone and don’t have to wait weeks to get my film back or spend time in the lab printing them.  Even though I’ve looked at all of these photos so many times while writing this,  I am still mentally processing the trip and I think I will be for some time as I ease back into real life.  Foreign travel will do that to you.

One of the best parts about the vacation was that brother Ryan and his wife Ali planned a week of meals and excursions for us to do including a wine tasting, a cheese making class and a trip to the Vatican.  My Mom was the last one to plan our family Europe trip and it was so nice having someone take charge in her absence! She would have been so proud.  I am so grateful to not have had the pressure of finding places to eat (thank you!).  I was able to be present and document our trip as the family photographer.  And here I am sharing it! The only bummer is that a few places we wanted to check out were unfortunately closed for summer vacation.

This is what August is like in Italy! 


August 26, 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!

We are now on week 35 of 2019.  Here’s what that week looked like last year for me. 

This weekend started with a birthday party, followed by a lady day, some meal prep, a photoshoot for friends and dinner with family in the city. This week is Cooper’s first FULL week of school and I’m ready for it!  Let’s get down our Intentions for the Week!


August 25, 2019

My Everyday Life: Week 34

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 34

My husband made me a cappuccino. Thank you, husband. I miss Italy and that helped. 

Spicy Pickled Carrots in my fridge this week!

Birthday dinner with my family! It’s been my first week of being 40!

My Dad sent me flowers. Thanks, Dad!

Birthday package from my friend Andrea. So grateful for the love I received for my birthday!

Last day of Summer break pool party!