Summer 2012

Autumn is my favorite season of allllll time and it’s coming up!  Have you ever experienced Autumn in the Bay Area?  It’s warm, hazy and there’s a slight chill to the air. We have this thing called Indian Summer which means that the leaves are falling and it’s like 80+ degrees. It’s weird, but it’s what I’m used to. Before we welcome Autumn, let’s recap Summer shall we?

I’m seriously not ready for all this pumpkin latte talk.

First up. Let’s discuss my Summer Bucket list items.

I painted my nails a girly color. Check.

Oh yes, I DID make Boozy Popsicles. Piña Colada Ice Pops CHECK.

S’mores? Chiggidy CHECK.

I had a BBQ! Labor Day weekend was all about the Benjamins. That’s right. We had a total of 15 people at my house.

Here’s what I made:

Babyback Ribs with Espresso BBQ Sauce, my Killer Garlic Bread, Carnival Slaw & Coconut Cake with Berries & Cream

That’s one of the best menus I’ve ever concocted. It spurred a rib eating contest. NO JOKE.

12. Three brothers TIED with 12 each.

Mother truckin’ CHECK.

I got all High Straightenence-y with my mother-in-law with this load of stuff from Costco.

We took pictures. We had an audience. WE FIT THREE CARTS OF STUFF IN MY CAR.

The only thing I regret? Not getting a Costco churro.

I started a new journal/notebook this summer. I also fell in love with washi tape.

I need to craft or I’ll die. True story.

We got two beta fish for Cooper this Summer. One of them is called Red Sox.

The other one’s name gets made up on the fly. Poor no-named fish! Wait. You’re Fred! No. Now you’re Dylan!

I moved into the house I grew up in. We’re still unpacking. We’re settling in. It’s been crazy/cool/trippy.

It felt more like home when I unpacked my cookbooks though.

I fell madly in love with infinity scarves this summer. We need them in San Francisco. It’s cold in the summer.

I know, I know. I can just make them by sewing two ends of the scarf together. Don’t make me.

My husband taught me how to make an awesome paper airplane. We flew them on a sunny Saturday summer AM.

I drove over the foggy Golden Gate Bridge in a convertible with the top down with my friend Leslie.

It was sunny in Marin. Pssshaw.

I did another juice cleanse! I also got hooked on Bikram yoga for a good month.

And then I went to New York…and went for broke!

I flew to New York to visit my brother & go to the Big Summer Potluck.

Me and Joy in the streets of NYC. Totes maj.

I got to meet legendary Jacob Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. I also got to stand in THE Smitten Kitchen.

Major love to you Deb. Can’t wait to see you on your book tour out WEST!!!

Now can you get Cooper to eat blintzes? Thanks.

I got crazy with my niece Camden who was visiting from Boston. Hi CAM!!!! Miss you!

I made  this Coconut Cake three times this summer.

I got people hooked on it and I went up a dress size. I don’t want to talk about it.

I binged on Breaking Bad. I MEAN?!! W.W.???? A YEAR IS TOO LONG TO WAIT!!!!!!!!

I finally learned to appreciate sunflowers.

I’m supposed to love them as a Leo and it took me 33 years to make that happen.

A quick visit to the SF Ferry Building for lunch with Rena, Hula, Lisa & Christine on a foggy Saturday morning. <3

A lot of outdoor water coloring in the sun with Cooper.

I ate a lot of corn, zucchini and AVOCADO this summer. What else is new?

A swimming race between brothers. Typical Benjamin family competition. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.


Darth Vader & what’s the name of this Transformer?

I fell in love with Freezer Breakfast Burritos & got my sister-in-law hooked!

Casey had a Dawson’s Creek marathon this Summer. I watched like half of it. The fashions! I can’t deal.

Katie Holmes looks crazy here and I love that I caught the subtitles at the right exact moment.

Also. The scene where Dawson gets drunk at that one party? THE BEST.

I totes forgot how annoying Andy is. Uggh.

I got my hair colored & cut. No it’s not purple. But maybe one day. YOLO.

I fell under a hypnotic trance…. AKA pool water.

I taught a food styling class with Joy. There’s another one coming up in October. You should come!

I moved into a new office at work. Moving a whole office is not fun. Have you done it? You know what I’m talking about.

You move, you set up your office. Things are out of whack and YOU WORK.


Target shenanigans with my boo. Typical Summer behavior. Fall will be filled with scarves & hats.

Watch out.

I spent my 33rd birthday at the Monterey Aquarium. I still owe you some pictures from that!

I wore this striped skirt from Target like it was going out of style and I bought this striped hat.

I’m sitting here wondering what a striped tattoo would look like…

Summer 2012 was pretty dope.

You can see what my Autumn looks like on Instagram.


  • Julie

    Ok, fine. I’ll make the dang coconut cake.

    I feel like it’s been pressuring me every time I see a photo of it. Cake pressure. I think it’s a real thing.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Awesome hair and time with Joy and that cake! and Rolo’s and your cute little boy – looks great. All except the moving. I hate moving too!

  • Cláudia Trindade

    Tracy, i like everything … especially the new color for nails and hair cut. And, of course, all the recipes we prepared this summer! In this side of the atlantic ocean, I can tell you that since I met your blog, I started to eat a more healthily. Thank you!
    A lot of Kisses for you and you lovely family

  • Carla

    Crazy looking summer 🙂 I am also looking forward to Autumn (my fav season!) but still have stuff from my summer bucket list to do!!!

  • Adeline

    That looked (looks!) like a brilliant summer!

    Also, right-click-save-as on that Dawson picture. I just know it’ll come in handy very soon.

  • Jessica Ann

    I am so glad it isn’t just my family that get weirdly hyper-competitive when we get together. Looks like an awesome summer! I am looking forward to autumn because I love me some tights!

  • Erica { }

    I almost spit out my food when I read “I YOLO’d on ROLO’s”

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    AHHH your summer looks like it was so filled with fun and adventure! I’m dying waiting for Breaking Bad too. WHY do we have to wait?! What the hell is going on???

  • Patricia

    I’ve already made the coconut cake twice this summer!
    And this afternoon I am doing it again to celebrate my birthday with my family tomorrow.
    My dad really loves it! And he insisted I make it! 🙂

  • Jane M

    Fun times for you! SUMMER 2012. I’m looking forward to fall. My fav time of year. Crunchy leaves, cool crisp air, got married in September. Good times like that.

  • Kat

    I made the coconut cake three times too!

  • Diane

    I’m jealous of your cookbook collection and love the new haircut! My hair is down to my waist and I keep thinking of chopping it all off.

  • Elizabeth T

    When I first started working a couple of years ago, I was fresh out of college and was working a commutable distance from my parents’ home. A month after I started working, they moved us across the state (granted this is NJ and “across the state” doesn’t mean quite as much) and I decided commuting from my parents’ was out of the question. So not only did I have to pack around the office (I didn’t have much to pack but I had to help pack my supervisors’ files… all those files…), I had to hunt for an apartment to live in and furniture to furnish it!

    Sounds like you had a nice, full summer though!

  • Kelsey

    I love your instagram feed! I’m totes staying tuned for fall.

  • joy the baker

    love your summer! love your life!

  • Amy

    Your summer looks so awesome!

    Also, I can’t wait to hang out at the food styling workshop in October! CANNOT WAIT.

    Lastly, I’m also obsessed with stripes thanks to the trip to Paris I took this year. Old Navy has a really adorable striped infinity scarf right now…just FYI. It’s adorable. I need it to stop being 91 degrees in freaking Sacramento so I can rock it.

  • Jenn

    Transformer’s name is Optimus Prime! 🙂

    And that cake looks amazeballs. I think I’m going to try it (except using coconut flour instead of regular flour – gluten and I are not friends)

  • Kelli

    YOLO! You know how to live. Loved this post. Creativity abounds. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us.

  • Leah

    What a great summer, looks like you made the most of it!!!

  • Dottie

    Girl! What a delicious amazing fun filled summer you had! Truly inspiring and chocked full of fun and laughter and of course GREAT FOOD!

    Now, let’s try to do those drinks with me and Alix for Autumn. YEAH!

    PS: I’m gonna totally make out with your corn casserole recipe tonight. OH YEAH!

  • Nicolette

    Chiggidy check was the perfect expression to use at that moment. I said it out loud. It’s a treat.

  • Priya

    Tracey, I have to make that coconut cake. Like someone else says, it’s pressuring me to make it! However I have a 3week old baby which is seriously affecting my ability to cook and in particular, bake. It will be winter (and in in the UK here) and berries will totes not be in season then. Any suggestions on how to adapt the cake and add another flavour/ topping instead of berries? Or would it still be awesome without the fruit topping?
    And about a stripey tattoo, have you considered a barcode? Maybe the barcode for a black sharpie or some cookie butter?!

  • Nicole

    I don’t want summer to leave, even though I love fall, too. Yours looks amazing! Love your nail color, for serious. I totally watched DC this summer, too.

  • alyssa

    Ah! We just started marathoning Breaking Bad! We’re at the middle/end of season 2! It’s so gooooood!

    Also, I think I need to make that coconut cake, like, now.

  • Christine

    A year is much, much too long to wait!

  • Stephie @ Eat your heart out

    I moved offices a couple of weeks ago…and I’m still waiting on some furniture so I can’t totally settle in until that arrives! You’re right, it is totally frustrating!

    Looks like you had an awesome summer. YOLO!

  • Lia

    Your summer was super awesome! I’m very jealous – mine mostly consisted of rain (UK) and soggy flip-flops, and that’s the opposite of fun. My Autumn is just about to get amazing, as finally FINALLY, i will get my cookie butter in 2 days! You are so the poster girl for that stuff!

    Yay for good times!

  • Kali

    Striped tattoo, YES!

  • Amanda Barkey

    I heart this post… I seriously STARED at your cookbook picture for a solid minuet- amaze. also, pool water. whoa. I am longing for some of your San Fran weather down here in the OC… after this heat wave we have had I am SO ready for fall time!

  • Stephanie

    What a glorious summer you’re having! I’m totes jelly. Except for the moving part. But seriously. So much awesome. And I’m pinning that coconut cake recipe and making it ASAP because I need it in my life! Bring on the stretchy pants and leggings…

  • Jenny

    Looks like you’ve had an awesome summer! I need an opportunity to make that coconut cake, it looks divine with the topping.

  • Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    OMG! W.W. right? Also why did Hank have to be sitting on the toilet when he discovered that? I can’t wait to see how they are going to loop back around to the opening scene of the season with Walt and the Oozie! I love Fall too, get ready for another epic season of the League!

  • Julie J.

    Born and raised in the Bay Area too … agreed, Fall is the best season in our area. Fall weather and pumpkin pie … lovely!

  • Jade Sheldon

    I’m going to try and make this coconut cake with coconut flour so it’s gluten free!

    Looks like you had an awesome summer. I need to make a end of summer post!

  • Ashley

    You’re cut haircuts always tempt me to chop mine shorter! You’re so cute – and your summer looked rad.

  • heather

    i heart you tracy. loved looking at your summer. fall is going to be the bomb digidy too!

  • CampingGirl

    Your summer looks wonderfully relaxing and filled with family and friends…. exactly what a summer should be. However… I got stuck on “cold” and “San Francisco”. I live in Canada and I refuse to wear a scarf for cold until at least November. A good fashion scarf however may be used now and again. 🙂

  • Mira C

    I always look forward to your photos, Tracy! What a lovely collection of summer memories!

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

    Coconut Cake?? ALRIGHT!! (see how easy that was? I’m SO easy to pressure!)

  • Marilyn

    Loving your summer photos Tracy! Totes YOLO-ing going on up there!!

  • Sera

    haha what a great summer!! I’d love to see your Autumn as well but for some reason or another my instagram is refusing to find your instagram… any ideas?

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