December 31, 2016

Currently: December 2016

Currently December 2016 on Shutterbean.com

Currently the last day of December.

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-


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.

Currently December 2016 on Shutterbean.com

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).

Reading: On my nightstand, I have The Artist’s Way (which I am going to start next week), Voracious (which is a good read!) and You are a Badass because I could use a pep talk for 2017.

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!

See you next year!


  • Jane M

    Welp I have been reflecting on 2016 and then the future 2017. I went into 2016 nervous and jerky -and I don’t want to do that again -but I am quite anxious for what’s in store and ahead. GRRRR. I usually write out my goals on my computer in and tuck them into a GOALS folder by year. This year I don’t think I feel like doing this only to be disappointed on December 31st…so we shall see. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2017 and I look forward to reading your blog throughout the year! Best always!

    • Tracy

      You have the power to make 2017 not nervous and jerky! You can do it. Trust that you’ve grown this year and put your best foot forward! It’s time for you to put the lessons you’ve learned into practice!!!!

  • Diane

    Re: Instant Pot. I think it absolutely replaces the slow cooker (see: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/why-pressure-cookers-are-better-than-slow-cookers.html), but sometimes I want to make stew in the Instant Pot and also have rice… I don’t have a rice cooker, but these are the times when I wish I did. (Though I usually just make rice ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.)

    • Tracy

      Good point! I wonder if it would mean that I would just make my rice on my Meal Prep days and then do a instant pot batch of stew/meat/whatever during the week!

  • dana828

    Happy (almost) 2017!
    We just returned from our first ever non-traditional Christmas vacation to Florida. Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center, and a few days at the beach. The main reason for the trip was to spread my mother-in-laws ashes in the ocean that she loved so much. Now I’m all gung-ho to work on planning our summer vacation to Oregon! Portland airbnb already booked for a couple of the nights, but still so much to do!
    I’ve been working on minimalism this past year, and hope to make big strides in that direction in 2017 I have that Minimalism documentary in my watchlist already, and will probably watch it tomorrow. It seems an appropriate start to the new year!
    Watching: Narcos. Dang it’s brutal.
    Reading: Still reading A Little Life. Also listening to Power of the Dog. Again, brutal. Need to find some new music for the new year.
    Eating: all of the things. Looking at salads to kickstart the new year. Also pushing more towards vegetarianism. I was a vegetarian for a few years in my 20s, and my 15-yr-old has been a vegetarian for over 2 years, so we’re about 90% veggie at home already. I want to make this a focus for 2017, and dip my toe into veganism a bit, too. But damn, how does anyone live without cheese?!
    Wishing you a fantastic New Year!

    • eulalia

      i got a copy of “a little life” from the library earlier this year and when i finished reading it, i promptly ordered my own copy from amazon. it’s easily one of the best novels i read in 2016 and i totally see a re-read in my future, once i get my TBR pile under control.

    • Tracy

      Wow! I want to go to Portland in 2017 too!
      I am hoping that whatever I can reduce (spending wise) can go into travel, because it’s really what makes me happiest- getting outside my comfort zone, seeing new things and then appreciating my home/routine when I get back.

      Casey watches Narcos. It’s way too intense for me. It makes my heart feel really tight.

      Happy New Year! May this new year bring you good health and happiness! xo

    • Sara

      I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years, Each year I think I’m going to go Vegan and it’s always the CHEESE that stops me!

  • Judi

    Hey Tracy! My December was rolling along just fine and on schedule until I broke 2 of my fingers whilst running. And they had to cut my wedding ring off of my broken finger. That was very painful and I don’t recommend it for anyone! So I wasn’t able to do Christmas like i wanted to (wrapping/cooking/writing) and now I’m sick and I can’t do New Year’s like i want to. So I feel a bit frustrated but am trying to have peace in this holding pattern and find the joy in being still, and reflecting on things.
    I love how you have created this space and community here and look forward to all that you post. It’s inspirational and something i would like to aspire to. May you have a very safe, happy, and peaceful New Year!

    • Tracy

      OUCH!!!!!! Events like this slow us down….on purpose. I hope that you find the peace you’re looking for! Happy New Year, Judi!!

  • Paula

    Currently coming to terms with the fact that I have to go back to work on Tuesday and teach sleep deprived children who have been sleeping in till noon the past two weeks off.

    Daydreaming about my daughter’s new room as we are expecting a baby inJune and I am debating moving her to a new room or keeping her in her own. If I move her and put the baby in her old room is that going to cause some weird behaviour? The things that keep me up at night.

    I recently did a binge on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills too as I have never picked it up but watch the others religiously. Now I am watching season 6 to better understand why they are so edgy around each other. Also I giggle every time they say “munchausen”.

    Currently re-reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty as there is a HBO series coming in the new year and I needed a refresher.

    Craving all the carbs right now and am really into savoury this pregnancy. Give me all the chips and onion dip as well please. Obsessed with black iced tea lemonades and missing coffee like crazy.

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to enjoying what you have in store for us in 2017 on your blog and instagram!

    • Tracy

      omg the munchausen thing.
      i was like GIVE IT A REST.
      but also…like…can we just take it easy, y’all

      Oh yes! I am curious about Big Little Lies. I like your idea of reading it first.

      Right now Cooper and I are reading the book- The Witches and I hope to watch the movie with him soon. We’re almost done!

      I ate so many carbs when I was pregnant. I craved tater tots and doughnuts all the time…when i wasn’t craving green grapes and cucumber.

  • Sara

    Hi Tracy, Love your website!!

    I loved Good Girls Revolt and also Bored to Death. Currently watching Foyles War and plan to start Doctor Foster as it was recommended. Fleabag on Prime was also great.

    Reading -Girl with the lower back tattoo

    We love our rice cooker but don’t use the crock pot much anymore. Would like to try an instant pot.

    Going back to work Tuesday as well and not really ready, but ready for more of a schedule.

    Happy New Year!

    • Tracy

      I miss Bored to Death!
      I think I’ll watch that again this year.
      Thanks for your recommendations, I’m gonna put them on my list.

      What I like about that instant pot is that you can sear whatever you’re putting in there. I hated how I had to pull out a pan to sear something to sit in a crock pot for hours.

      Happy New Year!

  • Allison

    Yep, doing my (FIRST) Whole30 in January, woo!
    Also my best friend got me the You Are a Badass book for Christmas. I can’t wait to read it!

    I’m reading Home is Burning which is a dark but funny memoir about sickness and terminal illness. Also reading, “How to be a Woman” – yay feminism!

    Have a good new year!

    • Tracy

      Good luck with your Whole30! If I can do it, you can!

      Thanks for the book recommendations! I am going to look them up 🙂

  • Mandy

    Just watched the Minimalists documentary. Loved it! They also have a podcast I’ve been devouring.

  • Erinlucy

    I’ve been really into the minimalists the past month or so. It’s always been my dream to live in a house with nothing in storage. My husband thinks I’m insane and I could feel him panicking as I told him of my plans for a massive new year purge. WHATEVER NICK. Minimalism makes so much sense to me. It seems light and elegant and less stressful. Anyway. I always drink from a cup with a kid and straw at night since one night, 5 years ago, I awoke to find my cat drinking from my glass on my nightstand. I tell myself I just happened to catch her on the first night she ever did this and that we hadn’t been sharing a glass for god knows how long. I’m so inspired by your art mornings with Cooper. I’m really bad at ‘playing’ with my kids but I would love to do more art and crafts with them. Sorry for the crazy long comment. Happy new year!!

    • Tracy

      I see you as an artistic mama too! I love what you do with your lunches 🙂

  • Chelsey N

    Binged Good Girls Revolt today (currently on ep. 8) based on your mention. Yes to loving Cindy and the show overall. Soundtrack is great too!

  • Shannon

    Yay for Good Girls Revolt!! Have a happy new year and all the best in setting your intentions for 2017!

  • Caroline

    All of my mugs need to be white or some other light colour on the inside so I can see if there is anything in there! My pottery instructor told me a horror story of (almost) not noticing a mouse in a coffee mug one morning! Yikes!

    Have you watched the 12 Monkeys tv show? It’s well done for a series on time travel.

    Currently re-watching the minimalist documentary. Love it. Keeps me motivated to purge crap out of my house to lighten my life in 2017.

    Wishing you and your family all the best in the New Year.

    • Tracy

      oh my goodness. A MOUSE. A MOUSE.
      I can’t even imagine how much I would scream.

      I haven’t watched that show, but I’m interested in it. I’ll look up the trailer online.
      I listened to the Minimalists podcast while I was doing laundry (and purging clothes we don’t need!) this week. It felt pretty awesome. Happy New Year, Caroline!

  • Vanessa

    OMG. A spider. I’m going to have nightmares now. It’s sippy cups for me from here on out.

  • Jane M

    FYI – you might have seen this, but the Kitchn website has a feature article on the INSTAPOT! I know my sis has a pot like this and raves — this may be in my FUTURE! How are you enjoying yours????

  • erica

    happy new year! Oregon has quite the grocery stores, maybe there’s a connection?? I live 10 minutes from half a dozen choices, all good in their own way. And we went to Eugene for a basketball game over the break and there’s a really nice grocery store right on campus along with a WF not far. I don’t recall so much as a convenience store within striking distance of my college campus?!
    balance is best, rules suck and life is short!
    here’s to 2017! xo

  • Christa

    We got home last night from a quick trip to Fredericksburg, TX to visit our friends who up and moved from LA to buy a fully-functioning B&B…amazing! It was a fun trip, but between that and being away for several days over Christmas, I’m really glad to be home and even (gasp!) at my office today. I like my normal life 😉

    Looking forward to incorporating actual exercise into my life in 2017, learning more about Ayurveda, getting my guest room/office situated (after 5 1/2 years in our house…so ashamed…), and planning our wedding. 2017 will be good 🙂

  • Shantel

    I loved Good Girls Revolt right away. It is one of the best shows I have watched in a long time. Binged it in two days. I’m really bummed that Amazon cancelled it.

  • Sara

    2017 = MORE ART!!!
    My 7 year old took two art camps over holiday vacation weeks and he’s obsessed. My parents bought him a great art kit that looks like something Inspector Gadget would have. We LOVE it!

    Can you remind me where you and Cooper were finding online art classes? I so want to do that this year!

    Happy 2017 to you and your family!

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