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.


January 24, 2018

Intentions for the Year

2018 Intentions on Shutterbean.com

Now that we’re almost at the end of January (WHOA THAT FLEW BY), I think it’s time I post my Intentions for the Year. I’ve had a moment to really digest the new year and I’m ready to tackle it.

2018 Intentions on Shutterbean.com

Intentions for the Year 2018

more art – Because it keeps me sane. That’s obviously why I am still blogging 10 years later. I’ve been keeping honest with that through my new Etsy shop/Instagram project @TheHandwritingClub. Thank you for your orders and thank you for following along on my journey. Let’s see where it goes!

more sleepovers/dinners with friends/ladies craft weekend – I want to have people over and feed them. Mostly because my family eats the same things all the time and it would be a good way to shake things up. My mom had a lot of dinner parties and I think it’s time for me to start making that a priority.  Also, sleepovers are awesome.

teach a meal prep class- I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile. I just need to find a venue that has a kitchen. Anyone local wanna direct me to a place? Might be a good way for me to test some things so I can keep working on my future book.

take better care of myself- I haven’t been so good about this lately. I need to get back on track with better eating habits/physical activity. Maybe I just need to start using my fitbit again? I have to find the charger first. Gonna do a Whole30 again this year too. Just have to block some time off in my calendar.

help my family create a new normal without my mom- There’s a bunch of things we have to do this year. I have to go through my Mom’s things and figure out what to do with them. There’s stuff to donate/stuff to sell. Also, we have to figure out new routines as a family, new traditions, new everything. It’s going to be challenging at times. This I know for sure, but we’ll get through it as a family!

continue streamlining my life/house- I worked really hard on this last year and now I have all of this stuff from my mom to figure out. One thing I know is that the more stuff you have, the more your stuff starts to own you. Being conscious of what I’m bringing in and getting rid of will only help!  I’d like to continue to sell stuff on Poshmark and ThredUp so my closets can get cleaned out even more. My friend is coming down from Oregon to help me at the beginning of February and I’m excited to keep clearing stuff out. Things can really add up when you have a kid!

travel!  I really need to get out and see some new things. Life is short! This year I hope to go to New Orleans (maybe teach a class with Joy?), Tahoe, Monterey, Big Sur, Oregon?  WHO KNOWS!  Maybe I should renew my passport while I’m at it. I’ve also really wanted to go to New Mexico…

2018 Intentions on Shutterbean.com

WORD for 2018:


1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.

3. to strengthen, build up, or promote

I’m hoping to do this with the help of good eating habits, quality time with family and friends, and teaching/learning this year. It’s time I put the energy into myself. I’ve been too busy putting on everyone else’s oxygen mask before I put on my own! I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store.
What about you? Do you have any Intentions for 2018? I’d love to see what you’re planning!


January 22, 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:

It’s Monday and we’re back in the mix! All it takes is a couple of days away from home and I get the urge to REBOOT everything in my life. There’s something about being away that makes you appreciate/miss your routines at home. Since my Mom died, things have been thrown off but right now, at this moment, I’m starting to feel more like myself again. Time to get my Intentions for the Week out!

Oh!  I did some Meal Prep! this week, so that’s exciting.

Shutterbean Meal Prep - See more on Shutterbean.com

Meal Prep includes:

potato salad / a riff off these chocolate energy bars / mom’s green salad vinagrette/ lemon ginger elixir/pasta salad/hard-boiled eggs in an Instant Pot


Intentions for the Week:

  • 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
  • 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
  • free up space on my phone
  • find time to be creative
  • get haircut (YAAAAAAY!)
  • figure out party for school auction/meet with sonia

Last Week’s Intentions:

  • accounting work
  • conquer laundry pile
  • hang out with Leslie
  • sort through letters/enter addresses in my holiday card spreadsheet
  • post Intentions for the Year (probably tomorrow!)
  • eat more salads
  • work on printer
  • delete surplus of photos on computer
  • send out letters/stuff for The Handwriting Club
  • make lemon ginger elixir
  • clean out fridge/keep it clean
  • have a long date with my calendar
  • figure out Easter vacation plans
  • order a kit from ThredUp to clean out closet
  • make a list of things I want to do around the house this year
  • make a new recipe for the blog   (check out this orzo)
  • get outside & move body go to yoga
  • dip toes in the ocean (stood in a creek)


Mantra for the Week: