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!



August 23, 2019


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


  1. Forty is the new forty.
  2. Being an Aunt is my favorite.
  3. Mini cherry hand pies. Yes, please. 
  4. Also, magic halva bars. YUM.
  5. Melissa makes me want no-mow grass!
  6. Holy bison stampede!
  7. How to not feel lonely.
  8. Dream job- underwater photographer
  9. Photographer captures the world from day to night.
  10. Dawson has a gigantic family.
  11. Some of these crappy kitchen designs are horrifying.
  12. I need to get myself in a Japanese hot spring soon.
  13. 15 Early Signs of a Bad Freelance Client.
  14. Finding pockets of time throughout the day.
  15. Look what you can do with a shipping container.
  16. These art-inspired recipes are fun to look at.
  17. Tricks that will help you check your phone less.
  18. Books to read if you’re obsessed with your phone.
  19. What happens to your body & brain when you don’t get enough sleep?
  20. Make some some spicy pickled carrots this weekend!
  21. Hotels can be pretty creative sometimes.
  22. Life in America’s Service Industry
  23. New cookbook love: Every Day is Saturday / Two Peas & Their Pod

There are more food journals in my Etsy shop!! Go get yourself one!

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

Pick up some stickers while you’re there!

Buy yourself (or a loved one!) a print! There are a few left!

I’ll be adding more prints and some new zines to the shop soon. Stay tuned!

And if you want to work on your own creative practice, here’s 2 months FREE Premium membership to Skillshare.  My creative practice has improved greatly since I started taking classes several years ago!  You can see more on @thehandwritingclub

August 21, 2019

Spicy Pickled Carrots

Sometimes you end up with too many carrots in your fridge with no real purpose. My old standby recipe for too many carrots (it’s a common thing here) is Carrot Coconut Soup. This Summer I started pickling onions (I’ll share my technique another time!) and so I thought, why not make some Spicy Pickled Carrots while I was at it?

These pickled carrots have a good OOOMPH to them. The curry adds some depth, the jalapeno adds a little heat and the tangy-sweet brine brings out the sweetness in the carrots.  I brought some to a party to put with a cheese board and they were demolished. My favorite part is that they maintain their crunch. They are a much better thing to reach for when you’re craving something crunchy like potato chips (which is like all the time for me!).


August 19, 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!

This weekend was a fun one! I celebrated my 40th birthday!!!! 


View this post on Instagram


THIS IS 40! 🦁✨ My mom said her 40s were her favorite decade and I say BRING IT!! 🤗

A post shared by Tracy Benjamin (@shutterbean) on

THIS IS 40! We are back from our trip to Italy. You can see more on Week 33 and Week 32.  It was a trip of a lifetime, that’s for sure. The only problem is that husband came back with a nasty cold so it’s delayed getting really getting back into the swing of things. We still have some unpacking to do and prep for the new school year which starts THIS WEEK for us. Can you believe Cooper is going to be in FIFTH GRADE??!! I cannot. This is week 34 of 2019. Let’s figure out our Intentions for the week, shall we?!

Intentions for the Week:

  • laundry
  • get my steps in my with my Fitbit (I’m on a roll!)
  • take Cooper out to lunch
  • drink a lot of water
  • try not to get husband’s cold
  • package up orders/ post office drop-off
  • clean up house
  • tackle paper piles
  • try to go to the Farmer’s Market 
  • empty carry-on backpack
  • order more food journals for the shop
  • back to school shopping
  • have a date with my calendar
  • figure out next workshop to teach
  • edit photos
  • work on my vision board
  • take photos for client
  • write post about where we ate in Italy
  • wash school uniforms/prep
  • figure out airbnb with HJH
  • trip to Target
  • therapist appt.
  • conference call
  • create an invoice
  • follow up on website stuff
  • catch up on social media
  • work in the yard
  • paint nails

Last Week’s Intentions:

  • take pictures
  • work in my sketchbook
  • see the statue of David
  • go to a few museums
  • check out Boboli Garden
  • eat gelato every night (almost!)
  • have pizza
  • be present and observe!
  • keep cool (it’s SO HOT HERE!)
  • relax
  • daydream
  • laundry
  • pack suitcase
  • unpack suitcase
  • post new recipe
  • catch up on social media
  • grocery shopping
  • take it easy/recover from jet-lag
  • edit photos/post photos from Italy
  • work on the post of where we ate in Italy
  • research photo albums for trip
  • write thank-you notes
  • prep for photoshoot 
  • take  Etsy shop off vacation mode
  • continue adding to my food journal
  • track my steps with Fitbit
  • continue reading Save Me the Plums   + Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe
  • celebrate my birthday
  • back to school shopping

Pump Jam for the Week:


Recipes to Try:

Mango Turmeric Smoothie is a great/healthy way to start the day. Coconut milk is the base, making it completely vegan! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Mango Turmeric Smoothie

Creamy Zucchini Carbonara made with fresh zucchini and crispy bacon! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Zucchini Carbonara

Zucchini Herb Fritters

Spicy Zucchini Fritatta

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

Grilled Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

Mantra for the Week:

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

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

I’m rooting for you!

Sending sparkles,