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March 3, 2017

I love lists

Keep Breathing- as seen on I love lists by Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com

Welcome to I love lists! It’s Friday. Let’s see what’s up on the internet this week:

  1. We live in the Age of Rudeness.
  2. Instant Pot  recipe I want to make: kale + carrots
  3. I can make your handclap.
  4. Purchasing Your Peace of Mind
  5. You might be able to find serenity in these food photos.
  6. I’d probably buy the fruit by the foot.
  7. Military Packing Systems– I employ quite of few of these tricks!
  8. Everything is so beautiful in here.
  9. If you want to change your tech wallpaper for March.
  10. Invest in yourself.
  11. Hi-tech parenting these days. 
  12. A brief history of Food as Art.
  13. If you want to impress make a hot toddy in a french press. (here’s a good recipe)
  14. Some really good costumes up in here.
  15. A whole lotta smiles.
  16. What SF looked like when my mom grew up there.
  17. You can clean your whole kitchen in 30 minutes.
  18. What a beautiful kitchen!!
  19. I’m totally going to do architectural lettering exercise.
  20. This is helpful if you want to check in with yourself.
  21. A few ways to brighten someone’s day.
  22. Hallelujah. You can make a small batch of focaccia! 
  23. How about some waffles for your weekend?

have a great weekend!

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March 2, 2017

Easy French Toast

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

My love affair with cooking started when I brought home my first cookbook (ordered from the Scholastic books fair at school, naturally).  It was theBetter Homes & Gardens New Junior Cookbook!  The image of a red checkered cover with two children on the front will forever be burned into my brain. 

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

There were a few times I found myself talking to other people in college about this cookbook.

Everyone always said they tried the snickerdoodles recipe.

For me, it was the french toast.

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

This here french toast recipe changed my life.

Making French toast at 8 years old was a major life skill to have. A skill my brothers had not yet figured out. A skill that would serve me well in life, but most importantly throughout my childhood,  when I had to barter/bribe my older brothers.  French toast, while we were watching Saturday cartoons, could get me out of washing my dad’s car sometimes. I imagine I easily weaseled my way out of clearing the dishes with a batch of French Toast. We’re Italian. Food is our everything. 

I have to say, that I had a few things preventing me from reaching my french toast potential as a youth. We only ever had whole wheat bread in our house and margarine was the preferred spread of choice. French bread with and butter was reserved for when my parent’s had people over. And BOY DID WE INDULGE.

Now, our french toast is mostly made from sourdough bread (my husband’s favorite bread) and we use real butter.

One Friday night, with a little extra bourbon in my glass, I inadvertently found my first cookbook on for sale Etsy.  It arrive last week!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feast your eyes on some of the illustrations from the book!

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

I posted a video of this on my Instagram stories and a few of you also cooked from this book too!

Do you remember it too??? LOOK AT THE R in FRUIT!!!

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

Super sandwiches!

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com
Cooper has been at home this week from school with a really bad case of poison oak. Our schedules have been thrown off and we’re busy doing a lot of catching up with school work. 

I thought that it would be fun to throw a Shutterbean cooking lesson in the teaching plan while we’re at it.

 

Making French Toast from scratch with kids is a great way to empower them to continue learning in the kitchen! See more on Shutterbean.com

(This is an old picture. I would never put a picture of him with poison oak online!)

Yesterday morning we made French Toast together and he said it was one of the best french toasts he’s ever had! It’s an Easy French Toast recipe. Totally simple and uncomplicated.  We’re cinnamon lovers in my house so I add a little bit extra on top of the final result.

It’s a special thing to teach Cooper how to make one of his favorite breakfasts. The best part is that we live in the house I grew up in, so we get to be in the kitchen where I learned how to cook.  We stand in the same exact spot where my mom taught me so many important life skills I use to this day (Thanks, Mom! I owe you!!)

My hope is that he remembers these moments of magic in the kitchen when he takes these skills with him into adulthood. Maybe eating french toast on sourdough bread in his first college apartment will remind him of staying at home and spending quality time with his Mom, who did whatever it took to help him heal and feel better.

One can only hope.

CONTINUE READING

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February 28, 2017

Currently: February 2017

 Currently February 2017 on Shutterbean.com

Currently: February 2017

Last day of February. Blossoms are blossoming.

We’re getting a few sunny days sprinkled in with our rainy days!

As I write this, I’m sitting in the back of the car as we drive home from visiting family in Idaho to surprise my mother-in-law on her birthday. We had a blast! I ate and drank too much, but we were with family, so WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

Cooper has poison oak. It’s really bad. The worst of it is on his face. Poor guy.

I really hope it doesn’t scar!

Currently February 2017 on Shutterbean.com

Inspired by:

MAKING THINGS WITH OTHER PEOPLE!

Cooper and I are still hooked on making our melted crayon art together. I’ve also been keeping up with taking classes on Skillshare and have been really enjoying that. My journal is keeping me sane.

Also! I had a Ladies Craft Night–Valentine’s Day.  I am going to try to put together another one soon. Thinking Easter candy might be a fun situation! Or maybe dyeing eggs?

Watching: 

We’re happy that Billions is back!  I’ve fallen asleep during the first few episodes. Sometimes my brain just checks out when there’s too much information to absorb late at night. But I have to say, I love falling asleep while watching something.

We’re also really excited to have new episodes of This is Us to watch. Are you watching it too??? The last episode had me bawling!!!!!

Another great show I watched this month— Z: The Beginning of Everything. Christina Ricci is so fun to watch. I’ve always loved her. The costumes and the set design are just dreamy!

Sneaky Pete has also been good. We’re working our way through it slooooowly.

Casey has been watching This Old House on youtube this month…..it’s always on in the background and I catch myself watching too.

Reading:

Old cookbooks! Vintage cookbooks!  Been reading through old recipes to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. I’m fascinating out simple older recipes used to be. The directions are always a lot shorter with a lot less description of what you’re supposed to do. I also love looking at all the photography. So much has changed in the way people present/style food!

I picked up the book the Tao of Leadership at a thrift store this month. When I was in college, I studied Eastern Philosophy and really loved learning about Taoism. When I’m out thrifting, I feel like the books pick ME. This one has been quite enjoyable. The information is bite-sized, so I read maybe 1-2 pages a day. It’s a nice addition to my meditation practice.

Thinking about: 

Doing the Whole30 again. Or maybe just going without bread for awhile. I gotta work more on my self-control. I’m noticing that I can be disciplined when I give myself some rules. The problem is I’ll be like…. NO BREAD STARTING TOMORROW!! And then I have toast at breakfast. I’m trying not to be hard on myself, but I also gotta get REAL with myself.

Taking a floral class online.  I want my flower arrangements to be less boring. For some reason they always look the same even when I try to do something different.

I really need to color my hair and cut it. It’s overgrown!!!!!! I’ve gotta lot of gray!  I NEED A SHAPE.

See also: My Short Hair Pinterest Board

Listening to:  

I first fell in love with Philip Glass when I saw the movie The Hours (which is one of my favorites) and I listen to him a lot when I work. His music helps me focus and it’s super relaxing!

Cooper and I are also enjoying the song “Hand Clap” by Fitz & the Tantrums

Still going through all of The Minimalist Podcast episodes too!

Dream Life:

Nothing fun to report. I haven’t been remembering my dreams when I wake up.

But I am daydreaming a lot. Hopefully, I’ll make some of my daydreams happen.

Eating/Drinking:  

I’ve been into eating arugula salads with feta, tomatoes, and marinated artichokes (see below!). Sometimes I throw some sunflower seeds up in there. I toss it with a lemon juice and olive oil. I think I’m gonna throw some chicken in this week.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

And I gotta get myself back on the kombucha making cycle. I traveled and was thrown off of my routine and I’ve just let my scoby GO/GROW!

SO! Tell me what’s up with you! 

How was your February?

Leave your stream of consciousness in the comments :)

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February 26, 2017

My Everyday Life: Week 8

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life: Week 8

Rosie’s shelfie.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

Cooper and I are into word search puzzles this week.

VERY VERY INTO THEM.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

Also doing more melted crayon art. 

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

On my fridge this week:

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

A tree I never noticed downtown. I think it might be a succulent?

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

I’ve been very into wedge salads lately.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

Another batch of hippy banana bread.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

Ramen date with my boys.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

Trying on new specs.

I need a lint brush.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

The power went out for about 5 hours this week.

Made our bedroom really cozy.

My Everyday Life: Week 8 on Shutterbean.com

CONTINUE READING

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February 24, 2017

I love lists

I love lists!! A collection of random links on the internet by Tracy of Shutterbean.com!

Welcome to I love lists! It’s Friday. Let’s surf the internet together!

  1. Adulting school!!! It’s a thing!
  2. I want to make eggplant bacon.
  3. If you’re having an Oscar party.
  4. Here’s a bunch of life changing habits. I’m currently working on making yoga a habit.
  5. What do you think about the broth trend?
  6. If you also love reading other people’s morning routines.
  7. I really appreciated their discussion on Friends/Friendship.
  8. This color test was kinda hard.
  9. Hey Ryan, look at the name of this bar in SF!
  10. Wes Anderson references other movies in his movies.
  11. Internet searches: japanese stoneware mugs   gold vintage clocks / smock apron
  12. What happens when you go without the internet for a month?
  13. A reminder that we are tiny and insignificant.
  14. Old photos of children planning. Also cool- Photos from NYC in the 70s.
  15. These gifts from grandma are too cute!
  16. I could definitely see Cooper & Casey doing this.
  17. I still have fond memories of #5
  18. New favorite fonts: Aldine / Market Deco / Fifty-Five
  19. Way to go, Ree!
  20. Apparently, I was a Sagittarius in a past life. Who makes these tests??!
  21. Weekend Reading: Everything that Remains
  22. Pre-Order the new Joy the Baker cookbook- Over Easy!! Yay MAJ!

have a great weekend!

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February 23, 2017

Melted Crayon Art

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

A few months ago I came home with an old vintage heating tray.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Just seeing the heating tray jogged so many good memories of making Melted Crayon Art when I was a kid.

I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my 8 year old son, Cooper!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

A random trip to the thrift store has provided hours of entertainment in my home.

He loves it just as much as I do!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

We’ve been spending at least one night a week after school playing around with colors.

We talk about our day.

We talk about colors.

We talk about how colors make us feel.

We relax together.

We laugh and make funny word combinations.

We learn from each other.

all while melting crayons.

It’s never about the end result for us. 

It’s about the journey along the way.

It’s about learning how colors change and shift.

It’s about learning what colors blend well together.

It’s about learning how to be patient and letting things develop.

It’s about trying new combinations. 

It’s about play.

It’s about creating magic with simple things.

It’s about quality time, with undivided attention.

It’s seriously one of my favorite things to do as a parent!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

WHAT WE USE:

HEATING TRAY

You can find them on ebay, look out for them in thrift stores and you might be able to find some on Amazon.

I bet you could use an electric griddle too!

Just know that whatever you use, use good judgment. You don’t want crayon toxins in your food. My heating tray is just used for crayons. CRAYON ONLY!!!

CRAYONS

Use the ones you’ve got!! My mom saved a lot of my crayons from my childhood and when my niece was little, so we have quite a ton to go through. If you’re looking for a particular color scheme, you can buy crayons in bulk on Amazon. I did it for my ladies craft night last month to get all of those Valentine’s colors.

ALUMINUM FOIL

Crayons have a lot of oil in them. If you’re not careful the oil will get into your heating tray. Before I turn on the heating tray, I place a piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around the top, making sure to cover the edges to prevent the crayon oil getting into the heating element. Put on the aluminum foil before you heat it up or else you’ll burn your fingers trying to put it on a hot heating tray.

PARCHMENT PAPER

This is what we melt crayons on. If you use regular paper (like we do sometimes) the oils will soak up in the paper. Using parchment paper makes a better print. It’s also really easy to use/makes for a quick cleanup.

EXACTO KNIFE

Taking the wrappers off of crayons is a pain. Use an Exacto knife and cut the wrapper off.

(I find it to be VERY satisfying)

TOOTHPICKS/POPSICLE STICKS

You’ll want to move around colors, but you’ll burn your hands if you’re not careful. Use sticks!

GLASS OF WATER

Keep a glass of water nearby. You never know when little impatient fingers will strike!! Dip your finger(s) that have wax on them in cold water. The wax will harden instantly, and you’ll prevent some burning from happening.  Watch your sleeves and clothes. Wax is hard to get out of cloth. Use common sense and be careful!

PAPER

For our crayon projects, we always use a heavy cardstock or large index cards. You’ll want a paper with some weight. It will make the process a bit easier if your paper is thick.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Ahhhh the smell of crayons.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Speaking of crayons, you should watch this crayon video from my childhood:

Here’s my heating tray!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CRAYONS ONLY.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

So, I wrap it in foil.

Then I add parchment on top.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

I cut it to fit.  Heat up the tray. AND GO.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Now you can melt the crayons on top of the parchment.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Takes a few minutes for them to melt fully.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Use a stick to mix it up.

PLAY.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Swirls are fun.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

When you’re ready to make a print, place a piece of paper down.

We use big index cards!

Pull the paper up slowly. I find it’s best to pull from an edge.

Pretend you’re peeling back the back of a poloroid.

AND WATCH THE MAGIC HAPPEN.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

TADA.

We find that each color batch can produce 4 pretty good prints.

You can see that the bottom right is the last print pulled.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

The first prints are pretty dense.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

And sometimes you find beauty in whatever is leftover on the parchment paper.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Time to make something old brand new again.

OLD: Framed fabric from Cooper’s nursery.

Insert crying emoji here _______.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

NEW: Melted Crayon Art!!!!!!!!!

I love how it turned out.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

More examples of crayon art:

Cooper’s Valentine’s Day cards:

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

A nice orange/yellow/pink/red scheme

My Everyday Life - Week 6 on Shutterbean.com

I love how it can end up looking like topographical maps.

My Everyday Life Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

This was a crazy day and alllll of the crazy energy went into art making.

I am grateful for art making.

My Everyday Life Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Yes.

Here's what the past week looked like on My Everyday Life- a weekly photo series by Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.

This was my color scheme for January:

Currently January 2017 on Shutterbean.com!

Hope this inspires you to make some melted crayon art of your own!