Currently wondering how I ever went a whole month without eating bread.
Currently wearing yoga pants because they fit and they make me more motivated to clean my house. Is that weird? Probably. Sometimes I put my sneakers on because it also helps.
So, we’re home this Christmas break. We’re laying low, although Casey has been working a lot. No trips planned. If you’ve been following along on Instagram Stories (@shutterbean), we’ve been doing a lot of art around here and I’m slowly trying to get myself organized around the house. I’m in the process of rearranging our (MY) books and finishing up our bedroom. Just on the search for lights…and am having a hard time finding ones that we can both agree on.
This whole month my house has been a disaster zone, so I am looking forward to it being straightened up and organized. I’ve been putting Cooper to work while we’re stay-cationing. I’m making him earn screen time by doing chores and helping me organize. He’s really good at matching socks and that makes me sooo happy. That’s one of my least favorite things to do when it comes to laundry.
Next week, I plan on figuring out my Instant Pot situation, taking trips to Salvation Army (goodbye rice cooker and crock pot?) while I purge a bunch of stuff and pair down my closet. Dim Sum is in my future. I have a craving for it, so maybe we’ll make a weekday SF adventure for it.
I’m also wanting to make some intentions for 2017. I did it a few years ago and would love to be more intentional as we head into a new year. I am ready for a clean slate/fresh start.
You to heed my advice-
ALWAYS LOOK FOR ANYTHING IN YOUR GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND BEFORE YOU DRINK FROM IT.
I woke up. Took a sip of water and was like-
What is this in my mouth?
It feels like a nail clipping. WTF
And then I spit it out. Looked at my bathroom sink
and it was
Like a big gnarly white one.
I now have lids on every glass I drink from.
OK, let’s break it down.
Inspired by: The book,Overview. The photography is so beautiful. Earth is AMAZING. If you’re like me and LOVE seeing the patterns on land & water while you’re on an airplane, you’ll love this book. The imagery is spectacular.
I’m inspired by light and rainbows right now. The winter light in my house is really beautiful. There’s this haze in the morning that brings me back to my childhood. Santa popped a rainbow maker in Cooper’s stocking so we’ve been obsessed with watching the rainbows fill up our family room when the sun comes up in the morning. The other morning Cooper woke me up because he saw the pinkest sunrise and he knew I would love it. Makes me happy to see that my love for nature is rubbing off on him. He is a light seeker.
Watching: I haven’t been watching much TV this month because I’ve been working at night. Although I did have a little Real Housewives Beverly Hills binge during my introvert session after Christmas. It was niiiiiice. I watched the movie Minimalism: A Documentary about Important Things. I thought it was really good. Now I want to travel and throw everything out.
I’m not sure what jogged my memory of the movie 12 Monkeys, but we watched it this week. I had been wanting to for awhile. It’s as good as I remembered it to be in my early 20s. It was made in 1995!! It would be such a different movie if it was made now. Probably filled with CG. Brad Pitt was kind of my hero in my early 20s. I loved him in Fight Club and he was loony tunes in 12 Monkeys. He knows how to act crazy.
I forgot to tell you last month that we also went through the show- Good Girls Revolt. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a little hit of Mad Men (I miss that show). I believe it’s on Amazon! The fashion/set design is pretty awesome. Cindy is one of my favorite characters (on TV, maybe ever).
Thinking about: 2017 and minimalism. I didn’t really follow a capsule wardrobe in Autumn (after almost a year!) and it really threw me off. What was I thinking??! (I wasn’t) But it just reinforced the fact that my life suffers without plans and intentions. I want to spend 2017 coming up with systems and structures that make SENSE and make me WANT to keep them up because THEY WORK. The capsule wardrobe was a really good system because I was DELIBERATE about what I was doing. It’s time to figure out what I must/need to sacrifice so I can pair down all of the things I am managing in my life/in my brain. It could be as simple as going paperless. Action needed!
Listening to: I guess I have to quit it with the Christmas music. I made this Christmas mix last year and I’ve been listening to all season. Also, if you’re on spotify, you can get your 2016 mix of all the music you listened to (repeatedly) for the year. Mine is pretty random, just like me. Shutterbean 2016 Mix. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Vitamin String Quartet while I work. I love when they play a song I know.
Dream Life: Oregon…still. Woods…grocery stores. I do a lot of grocery shopping in my sleep. Weird, huh? Every now and then I will get a flashback of one of my dreams while I’m going about my everyday life. There’s a lot of deja vu happening lately. Life is interesting, to say the least.
Eating: All the bread. Thinking about doing Whole30 again for a nice reset. But to balance it out, I’ve been eating spinach like a mofo. It’s all because I got a giant bag of it at Costco and I’ve been working my way through it. I like it sauteed in olive oil with tons of garlic, red pepper flakes and a splash of vinegar at the end for tang. I just need to get myself into some better routines. The holidays threw me off.
Drinking: Lemon Ginger Elixir. It’s this concoction that I’ve had a local hippy grocery store called Good Earth. I’ll make it for the blog soon because it’s good. It’s got a kick but I believe it totally helps fight colds.
I’m also super obsessed with this Lemon Ginger Kevita. If I could have a tap of it at my house, I would. There’s just something about the mouth burn that I’m hooked on. So yeah, anything lemon + ginger and I’m there.
What have you been up to??
How was your December?
How are you going to make 2017 great?
You know the drill. Leave your stream of consciousness in the notes!
This week is all about reflection and…… trying still fit into my pants. 2016 was pretty full. Elastic waistbands and all. There were ups and downs. Highs and lows. Ebbs and flows.
I’m ready for 2017, what about you?
I poked around my google analytics and figured out what the top 25 posts on Shutterbean were this year. Also, YOU GUYS!! In March I will be working on this blog for 10 years! We have to do something special, right? So, here we have it.
Here are the Most Popular Posts of 2016 on Shutterbean:
I did the Whole 30 from the end of September to October. It was challenging but I made it through. This post has been circulating around the internet a lot since! I’m already figuring out what month in 2017 I’ll do my next one. Yes…I totally could use another round. I need another reset.
Someone asked if I could write about the AFTER period.
All I have to say is that I have been eating too much bread.
My body doesn’t like bread even though my mind wants it.
I am trying to work that out. It’s taking me longer to break that habit than I thought.
Another popular post. Although, “snacking” isn’t really allowed on Whole 30. My purpose of this post was to show some ideas of stuff I snacked on as a meal instead of making myself a whole labor intensive meal. We have snack dinners all the time at my house. Life is busy, yo.
Out of all of the capsules I did this year during capsule wardrobe project (by Fall I ended up blending winter & spring) this one was one of my favorites. I found a lot of my basic outfits in this capsule. It really helped me fine tune what my style is.
This week, I am going through my closet to pair down my wardrobe even more. There are too many things taking up room in my closet that I will probably never wear again. This time of year makes me want to purge everything! I love it.
One of my most popular beverage posts this year. This turmeric latte is a great afternoon pick-me-up. Turmeric is good for inflammation— which is something I realized that happens to me (as well as bloating) when I eat too many carbs. Getting older is really fun.
This capsule made me realize that I have to have purple/blues in my wardrobe. I love a pop of green too. It’s a color scheme that makes me happy and people compliment me when I wear those particular colors. So, that’s cool!
I learned that I can’t trust that I will like trending season color story, so it’s best for me to collect the things I like- in the colors I want and make up my own wardrobe. Trendsetter, I’m not. I just want to be comfortable. I don’t want to waste time figuring out what I’m wearing because I know whatever I have in my closet works well together for me. That’s my style now.
After 10 years of holding out on you, I finally shared what I make on every one of our Thanksgivings– this pecan topped sweet potato situation. My Aunt & Uncle used to make it when I was young and I’ve carried on the tradition. I’m working on my Thanksgiving menu here on Shutterbean slooooowly. It took me 7 years to give you my Creamed Spinach. Maybe next year I’ll show you how I make my turkey?
2016 was the year that I showed the internet what a huge pen nerd I am. In the process, I found so many other people like me so THANK YOU. Thank you for being proud of loving pens. You are awesome. In 2017, I am going to try to put something magical together…hopefully with pens. I’ll keep you posted.
In 2016, I brought back some of my High Straightenance posts (thanks to my partnership with Seventh Generation!). I also did my laundry room and linen closet. I’m happy to say that I’ve kept up with all of these spaces. I have some closet cleaning to do this January, but other than that we’re good to go. Anything you wanna see in 2017? Let me know!
This year was a little weird as far as meal prep goes. I spent most of the year shooting & styling the recipes for One Potato, so my weekly grocery routine was thrown way off. Most of our meals involved leftovers of some of the meals I made or something pieced together with leftover ingredients. On a shoot day, I would be making 3-4 recipes, so I always had ingredients overflowing in my fridge. My fridge was in flux most of the year, but the process made me think A LOT about what makes a really good simple weeknight dinner. It was such a good learning experience.
This post ignited my love for making art. I felt like a scientist in my bathroom and it was soooooo nice to step away from the kitchen a bit. Some of you tried tie-dying with bleach and sent me pictures of your results. Let’s do more art in 2017, K??
One of my goals is to teach Home Ec. Did you know that? This post was a good reminder of all I already know and some of what I’d like to teach. Taking care of your kitchen/appliances is super important!
Game changer recipe. I loved how many of you tagged me in photos on Instagram (@shutterbean #shutterbeanrecipes) of these rolls. These rolls were on the tables of a lot of your holiday dinners and that made me so dang happy.
Habits! I talked about habits. I created a lot of good habits this year and got rid of quite a few. In 2017, I want to work on mapping out my daily routine in a healthier/more productive way. Let’s figure that out together!
I worked on this post with my favorite bread company- Dave’s Killer Bread. I first had their bread when I was up in Oregon for college and when I was approached to work with them I was like SHUT UP! NO WAY.
Now I am just hoping that I can find a Sin Dawg somewhere in CA soon…..
Transforming my kitchen was one my favorite highlights this year. It made SUCH a difference. Mostly, I just feel more comfortable working in a space that makes me sooooo happy. We’re currently working on our bedroom now. I’ll share some photos soon.
I was in a really long line at the grocery store yesterday when I witnessed two older (than me) women giving each other a gigantic/supportive hug that lasted pretty close to 8 seconds. One woman was saying how tired she was and the other woman asked how she could help. Everyone in my lane was witness to this exchange. It was a beautiful thing to watch. And daaaaaaaang. It sure made me want a hug.
Most of the time I see or am involved in this conversation:
How’s your holiday season?
I AM ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND.
Totally. Me too. WHAT DID I COMMIT TO?
[And then we talk about all we have to do and it goes on and on and ON FOREVER AND EVER.]
Or we hug and ask how we could possibly help.
I like that option better.
During this time of year, I have to pull out my tools to get me through the season.
These are some of my Self-Care Strategies for the Holidays
(besides hugging people):
Give yourself permission to go slow.
I am learning this…constantly. I’m a person who rushes through things (I’m also easily distracted) and as a result, I accidentally make mistakes (like put the wrong address on a card!).
Things I say to myself to remind myself to go slow:
Take your time. It’s not a race.
It will get done.
What can you have someone else help with?When you focus, things are executed better.
When you focus, things are executed better.
It’s OK that you didn’t send your cards out at the beginning of the month. You sent them out and that’s what matters.
Don’t Forget to breathe.
My coping mechanism is holding my breath. It’s really bad. Don’t be like me. Take a breather. Seriously, yoga definitely helps. Breathing is an easy way to give yourself a pause. Take a deep breath before you leave your car or walk into a party. Center yourself. Think about what you’re about to walk into. Remember some of your healthy coping mechanisms and GO.
Take yourself out of the situation.
Some people call this running away from your problems. I think that sometimes taking yourself out of the situation can be a good way to advocate for yourself. It doesn’t have to be big or dramatic. You can just casually, non-aggressively excuse yourself.
Let me give you a scenario:
During this time of year, my stress can make me say/do things that are not helpful. Like the other day at the bank, I almost lost it on the lady “helping” me, but I excused myself and I said, “I have to go now. Thank you for your help.” I came back the next day and apologized for my swift exit and picked up where we left off. I left because I knew I would have said things I didn’t want to. I was protecting (us) really. Yelling at someone would have solved nothing.
This can be done with relatives…especially during political/heated discussions. Just remember to try to be considerate while doing so. So, your aunt is going off about something and your dad is about to lose it and you don’t know what to do? Slowly walk to another room (bathrooms work!) and hang out there for a bit. Heck! Walk to your car because you “forgot something,” if you can.
Can’t leave? Just BREATHE. Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before you accidentally launch into something you might regret. Again, PAUSE.
Get Enough Rest.
This is part of the give yourself permission to goslow concept. Make sure you slow down this time of year and get rest. Put yourself to bed early if you can. You need all the energy you can get if you have to be around tons of people. Unless you’re an extrovert, then please TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.
Make Better Food Choices & Drink Plenty of Water.
The food choices…well that’s kind of hard this time of year. Find some good choices and go after them. It’s definitely easier said than done. And if you do go overboard, get yourself back on track after all of the parties and such and don’t waste energy beating yourself up. It can seriously distract you from engaging with others if you’re feeling really bad about yourself. Every day is a new day. You have til January to start something new….like the Whole30!
It’s cold & dry. Drink water. Your skin will thank you….especially if you’re drinking alcohol.
Take a Walk/Go Outside:
This is something I have to do especially during this time of year. As an introvert, I can get SOOOO drained from being around a lot of people all at once. Talk about over-stimulation! I really need some time to clear my head and just THINK thoughts without being interrupted. When I am scheduling out my days, I always try to see if there is a window of time where I can get outside. If there isn’t one, I get up earlier and do it.
When I’m outside, I like to see all the stuff that’s going on in nature. It helps remind me how ridiculous some of the things I stress out about are. NATURE IS WONDERFUL. Stress doesn’t belong in nature.
Lower Expectations/Have None!
When you have no expectations, you leave room to be pleasantly surprised by something. If you have expectations, you can be easily disappointed….and then possibly spiral into how much someone/something let you down. Don’t place any expectations on anything or anyone. It will help you be as present as possible and enjoy WHAT IS.
Unplug your phone. Like for real.
It’s not always easy for me unplug from my phone. Especially when I see something that I could add to My Everyday Life series. When I am around friends and family I try really hard to be present. Plus, my parents get SUPER annoyed when ANYONE looks at their phones, so there are little things I do to help prevent me from getting sucked in/lectured. Sometimes I’ll leave my phone in the other room, or if I need to take photos, I turn my phone on airplane mode, so I don’t see any alerts. If something is urgent, I excuse myself (when I can) and take care of it away from the crowd.
Engage All of Your Senses.
This is tied into not having your phone/a screen/device distracting you. The other day we left the house and I thought I didn’t have my phone with me. Hello, panic. But also….WHY PANIC???!
What did we do before we had screens?
We paid attention and made memories by really experiencing what we were experiencing! When I didn’t have my phone, I remembered that I can make memories in other ways….like paying attention to smells, sounds, environments and visuals. There are smells I still remember from my childhood. What would I ever be able to remember from this period of my life? Who knows!
You don’t always need a photo to prove you were there. Pull out a piece of paper and write down your memory. Better yet, write in a journal.
Focus on Making Good Memories.
How many holiday seasons we get to experience in our lives? This is my 37th Christmas. Each Christmas has been different somehow. Try to make each holiday special so you can remember what happened. Silly photos can help….especially when older relatives are involved. Maybe you want to start a new tradition? Bring something new into the mix.
Sometimes I worry not getting someone the right gift because I put a lot of pressure on myself. But you know what? I can make an effort in engaging in really awesome conversations with people and that can abolish my gift insecurities. Good memories/conversations can last a lifetime!
Steal Time for Yourself.
One of my friends said on Twitter this week that she goes to the movies (secretly!) when she’s out shopping. Another friend of mine just took herself out for a pedicure. I took myself out to breakfast the other morning so I could make TO DO lists without being distracted by all of my work around the house. Figure out what you can do to make yourself feel better during the holidays. It can even be something like reading a book while you’re waiting in your car or taking a hot bath (with bubbles & a cocktail!) at night. When you do take that time for yourself, reall APPRECIATE IT.
Reflect on the Past Year.
With all the rushing around, don’t forget that we’re closing out the year. Give yourself some kudos. WHEW! We made it through another year! Write down some things you learned this year. What are you most proud of? What will you take with you into the new year? I loved watching Marie Forleo’s Year End Review+ I’m planning on working through my 2017 intentions with Chani Nicholas and taking stock of what happened in 2016, during Cooper’s school break. 2016 was a crazy year but still filled with a lot good things. Find the good things!
Do you have any self-care strategies to add? Leave comments below!
Don’t forget to be a good advocate for yourself and have a fantastic holiday!!!