October 26, 2016

Currently: October 2016


Currently October 2016 on Shutterbean.com

Currently: October 2016

My child turned 8 this month. EIGHT YEARS OLD. This was my birth announcement on my blog. I had been blogging for almost 2 years when he was born. Crazy, right?

He and Casey went on an epic birthday trip to Boston at the beginning of the month. I had 4 days to myself. I organized. I relaxed. I worked.  I felt really sad that I couldn’t go but also really happy that they had that experience together.  All of the dishes that were in the sink were only mine. You should have seen how cute my dishwasher was. It was just all of my favorite bowls, coffee cups and a lot of spoons. It was a weird feeling to pick up after ONLY MYSELF in our house for a few days. Kinda nice. Kinda eerie.

I completed Whole30. You can see more of that here.

In October our health insurance rates went up A LOT.  I went into PANIC MODE instead of going problem solving mode.

My back gave out. My back always gives out when my brain is overloaded with stress over money.

I didn’t use food to cope. I just laid low (literally) and rested. That’s what my body told me to do.

I found a new chiropractor through the process. I really like her. She is the first person I’ve gone to in a LONG time that has true healing vibes. She wants to get to the root of problems instead of just put a band-aid on one part of my pain. It felt like the universe was giving me a hug to have solid care and now I’m all paranoid that I am going to lose access to her with new health insurance. Oy.

I’m trying something new with this format.

Let’s play:

Currently October 2016 on Shutterbean.com

Inspired by:

Minimal Bedrooms. I would like to have one, but I also want a bedroom that is filled with books. Casey isn’t a book lover so therein lies my problem.   I daydream about decorating our bedroom (we haven’t really done anything to it since we moved in 5 years ago) but other things in our life require our attention right now.

It’s life. It’s all good. It will happen in time but man….LIFE.

I always come back to this quote on the left when I see all the stuff online that makes me


It makes me really question what it is I WANT WANT WANT. I have to remember that the internet is not always real life and maybe I can use this as an opportunity to be creative with what we have.

Also inspiring me….

Bullet Journals. I’ve hit my three month mark of keeping it up. I usually last about 4-6 months and then I start a new system. Crossing my fingers it lasts. I think it will. Don’t worry, I will show you soon. Just still kinda working through the process right now.

How Restriction Breeds Creativity. I learned all about this over the past month with the Whole30. I am a solution oriented person, so having some of the food restrictions forced me to be creative about some of my food combinations. Today I made a potato salad that was pretty dang good. I’ll share it soon.  But… I would have never come to that combination if it wasn’t for the limitations.  I am really enjoying how limits can allow me to be more creative.


We watched Mascots. If you’re a fan of Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman….. you gotta see it. There were so many kooky moments that filled my heart. I love Christopher Guest’s brain and it’s so good to see the cast together again.

We started watching Back Off Haters  (from YouTube sensation Miranda Sings) last week and it’s HILARIOUS. It reminds me a little bit of Napoleon Dynamite. With all the stuff that I see on TV for youth, there’s a little glimmer of hope in there. I like that. Also, it’s so bizarre and I LOVE BIZARRE. The mom is one of my favorite characters and of course my life feels complete when I can see a little bit of Steve Little (I loved him in Eastbound & Down)

Started watching Easy. I think it might replace that hole in my heart that was left when Parenthood and Togetherness ended. I’m still new to it, so who knows. BUT I LIKE IT. I appreciate real life comedies. I’ve only watched two episodes and whoa. #real

Finished watching Grace & Frankie. Frankie is my spirit animal.  When I was little, 9-5 was one of my favorite movies. To see Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin still hustling and being relevant fills me with JOY. Love their honesty about getting older. I appreciate it so much.

Also… I really want to re-watch Boardwalk Empire. Dunno why. Just feeling it.


I wish I could say that I was devouring books right now. I’m not. I’m more in research things online mode. I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to make a fall capsule wardrobe. I think I am really just combining my Winter and a few pieces from my Summer Capsule and calling it a day. I just want to wear tunics, leggings and boots right now.

But there are two things on my kindle that I’ve been going back to every few nights when I need a little reading before bed to get my head in another place. I’ve been going back and forth between Taking the Leap  &  This is a Story About a Happy Marriage.  Good things to busy my mind before sleep.

Thinking About:

Habits & coping mechanisms. Understanding that if I am able to work on this myself, I am better equipped to help Cooper through his own challenges. It’s amazing to see much knowledge and perspective you gain when you can see some of your own behaviors in your children.

Listening to:

A lot of Bon Iver & Fiona Apple.  I’ve spent years building up my profile on Pandora (which I prefer sometimes over Spotify). Right now my stations are pretty dialed in. Casey has been testing out an Amazon Dot in our house right now. I was reluctant  to bring ANOTHER gadget into our lives because I am always worried about how technology will impact the way we think for ourselves….but I have to say that saying:

Alexa turn on Fiona Apple on Pandora

and have Fiona singing through a tiny speaker within seconds is pretty cool.

Yet again….I have questions to ask like.

How is this useful?

How will this make us lazy?

Can she order pizza?

Is my kid going to be able to order anything he wants on Amazon without my permission?

Dream life:

Been dreaming a lot lately. I don’t remember many details, but I know that most of my dreams for the past few months have taken place at camp or a hotel. The vibe kinda reminds me of when Don Draper fled and went off on his driving journey across the country. A lot of it has to do with logistics and the inter workings of camp/hotel life. My dreamscape has a Wet Hot American Summer vibe mixed with the BBC version of The Office. I know. It makes no sense. Maybe someday it will.


Like I’m still on the Whole30. I dunno. It’s just working for me.


Almond Milk Lattes.  Super into them. I have converted into a person who doesn’t need sugar in their coffee now. It’s weird.

So, what’s going on with you?

I love it when we check in with each other. 

Type your stream of consciousness in the comments!


    Great post! It does remind me to slow down.

    October in London has been a fun/cold/too many leaves on the road month. I had a pretty solid workout/eating routine I built in August/September. But with the weather change I need a new routine – New breakfast . new lunch and new GLOVES 🙂

    • Tracy

      Enjoy the newness of the season! The light here is pretty different in the Fall. I’m into it!

  • Jemma

    I love your “Currently” posts. Happy Birthday to Cooper! I’m an October/Libra birthday girl.

    Your handwritten list of “watching”, “eating”, “inspired by” categories has inspired ME to include something like this in my penpal letters/snail mail, as a little extra. 🙂

  • Shelly

    “This is us” replaced parenthood for me.

  • Shelly

    “This is us” replaced parenthood for me.

  • Jane M

    I really needed this new blog post this morning. I’m a whole heck of a lot older than you and I am feeling the same way! GAAAAH! I wrote a whole long email to my MIL about my mood – and now I must pick myself up and soldier on! I did whine a TAD saying WHEN.DOES.LIFE.GET.ANY.EASIER?! And I have good things coming- our daughter is getting married in a short 5 weeks! So fun, if only $$ wasn’t an issue. If only – kinda tired of that – so yeah, going to get on with it!

    • Tracy

      Whenever I ask my parents if life gets easier, they always say no.

      womp womp.

      the only thing we have control of (sorta) is how react to things.

      i think the hard part of getting older is really learning to leave some room for hope in your life. It’s really easy to get jaded.

      Good luck with the wedding! That’s so exciting. Hopefully it will all she dreamed of. xo

  • Lizbeth

    I’m doing the Whole30 now – I’m on Day 3 – and feel pretty good! You definitely inspired me to do it and I love your latest post about the snacks! I’d love to know more recipes that you cooked or modified to fit the program. Proud of you! 🙂

    • Tracy

      Oh that’s awesome!!! I am going to do one more post on some of the whole30 meals I had next week. Stay tuned and I AM PROUD OF YOU!!!

  • Lisa

    Tired, tired, tired. My partner’s new job has us up and out the door at 6:15 every morning. For some reason my body is having a hard time getting into this new routine. It doesn’t help that he’s chatty on the drive to work, and I can only focus on coffee 🙂

    Been having some issues with my ear. Long story short, may need to have my eardrum surgically reconstructed. Trying to take things day by day, not get ahead of myself, but it is tough.

    Applying to grad school trudges on. It’s so hard to write about yourself as if you are an investment. That kind of writing drains me.

    Apples, 24/7 apples. ‘Tis the season.

    Laughing at the SNL Trump skits from a safe distance here in Canada.

    Ready for a lazy weekend of soups, candles and rain.

    • Tracy

      Casey used to leave the house at 6AM when we were first married and we NEVER got used to that schedule. Never never. Even after doing it for a year.

      i am sorry to hear about your ear. Speaking of hearing. Did you know I lost most of my hearing in my left ear? 2 years ago I woke up with no hearing and it’s never come back. They were never able to figure out why. Ear trouble is so annoying because ears are sooooooo particular. There are so many intricate parts. Keeping you in my thoughts about that.

      i’m in full on apple mode.

      i love them.

      lazy weekend of soups, candles and rain sounds awesome. i want to add some hot chocolate to that equation.

      • Casey

        Actually left the house at 5:00 to be at my desk by 6:00. But I did get to go leave work at 2:00 and play lots of golf.

        And Casey is a book lover, if book is about Baseball or True Crime. Still don’t want a wall of them in my bedroom though.

  • Kate

    I really love this style post! I mean I love every post from you but I really hope you continue these currently posts monthly. And the handwritten list is gorgeous.

  • Theadora

    I’m on whole 30 day 26 and I’m thinking of keeping it up. About to start a new job and it has me feeling all quarter life crisis-y (I looked up Air Force reserves today…) I’m also having difficulty reading this month – I’m not sure what’s going on but I usually read around a book a week and I’ve been stuck on The Phantom Tollbooth (of all things!) for THREE WEEKS now.

    • Theodora

      This is freaky…..my name is Theodora!!! I’m considering a juice cleanse, whole30 and a 6 week bootcamp. I tried some juices from Pressed Juicery last week for breakfast and lunch and was OK. I wasn’t hungry, it felt like I could survive the whole day on juices. They were all delicious. I may do that for 3 days next week. The bootcamp starts on Nov.7th. It’s a bit expensive but what else do I have to do for the next 42 days? At least this will have me working out and eating healthier and drop some pounds before the new year! The bootcamp has unlimited training days, 1 day a week with a personal trainer, a mindset class (not sure what that means) and a custom meal plan which I know is eating whole foods, no preservatives, etc. Now to get the motivation to do all these things!!!

  • Sarah

    Tracy, I’m always blown away by how well you’re able to label your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I’ll have thoughts swirling around in there for months and only in a discussion with a friend will I realize that I’m mulling over a central theme (like your habits and coping mechanisms, or restriction breeding creativity). You’re an awesome for introspection.

    My stream-of-consciousness: starting to realize that I’m really cranky by the end of the day if I don’t spend time outdoors on a walk or run, excited that I pulled out the slow cooker (for Deb’s latest SK recipe) because I just feel ON TOP OF IT when that happens (which is honestly about twice a year). nervous for later today when I need to ask my boss for a letter of recommendation for a grad school program (which means they’ll know I’m leaving my job and put me on a timeline), stressed at the thought of running to 5 different grocery stores this weekend to finally restock the kitchen– it’s one of those weeks where we came back from a weekend away, missed the Farmer’s Market 🙁 and then ran out of all the staples like brown rice, toothpaste, paper towels, yogurt, and bread. Ugh!

    Also: last night just before I fell asleep, my boyfriend me what I was thinking about, and I told him that I was thinking about how good your dinner on your Instastory looked. I literally fell asleep dreaming of those smashed potatoes and brussels and onions and mushrooms!!

    • Joy

      Sarah, you’ve put my thoughts into words! I, too, am blown away by how Tracy can get inside her thoughts and feelings and write about them so well.

      Tracy, what you wrote about how much knowledge and perspective you gain when you watch your behaviors in your children–I don’t have children but I’ve been noticing some of my behaviors both in my husband and in my younger colleagues lately and it is always such a light bulb moment for me to see some of the behaviors I’d like to adjust played out by others.

      I love these posts! Thanks for sharing!

  • Candice

    Have you tried osteopathy? A friend shared how it had helped her post-miscarriage and I started going soon afterwards during my last pregnancy. Now two years later I stillgo occasionally and have taken both my kids and my husband started going for chronic sports related knee and back pain. And he hates going to the doctor usually- but goes BY CHOICE to the osteopath when he gets discomfort!

  • Heather

    So much inspiration from reading about your experiences! You rock for getting through so much while adapting your coping mechanisms. Woohoo! I hope your back is feeling better.

    Life here is in transition as my oldest leaves for college in January. I feel like I have so much to teach her still before she leaves home! Like what to buy at the grocery store/cook with to stretch the budget.

    Reading: Just finished Tell the Wolves I’m Home and Lucy and the Octupus…both beautifully written.

    Watching: Olive Kitteridge series from HBO, netflixed. Loved the book and although its kind of a sad story, I am big fans of Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.

    Inspired by: the weather. I love the changing seasons, or at least, the cooler, wetter weather of NorCal. I have so many soups I want to make.

    Drinking/Eating: Caramel apple herbal tea plus lots of taste testing going on with new baked goods. I need to decide what desserts to make for my annual girlfriends Thanksgivng lunch.

    Listening to: Eater Upsell’s podcast with JuliaTurshen …..you may have mentioned it on one of your Friday posts now that I think about it.

    Wondering: if you have any kid friendly podcasts recommendations. I remember you asking for some and could use some ideas for listening to with my carpool gang of middle schoolers.

  • Sarah C

    Hi Tracy. I love the book “This is a Story of a Happy Marriage”. I listened to Ann Patchett read it in audio-CD-Book format and loved it. It was right before I got married in 2015 and helped give me another perspective. The book also got me interested in Patchett’s other books. So far, I’m starting to think she’s my favorite author. The Magician’s Assistant and The Patron Saint of Liars and Truth and Beauty all were superb in my opinion. Maybe that’s because I read her marriage memoir first? Not sure. Today was my second day of work as a librarian in a super small library in Montana. They actually won an award in 2015 as the best small town library in America. I love books and I think it’ll be a good fit. I signed up for WINC and am enjoying a Bordeaux from them now as I wind down from my hectic second day of learning. Currently reading “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead for a book club I joined at the spur of the moment. I’m almost done with it and then I’ll read a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. I tried to read it a few years ago and wasn’t in the right mindset. I think now is the time. Congrats on having an 8-year old. Cooper seems like a great kid. End stream of consciousness. Hope you don’t mind I followed your directions.

  • Hillary

    You need to watch the Ted talk “Embrace the Shake” if you’re interested in how restriction breeds creativity! Here’s the link: https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?language=en

  • Christa

    Enjoying being actual friends, not just friendly coworkers, with a couple coworkers. We went to happy hour yesterday and it was delightful!

    Relieved that I have reacted well to the first two sessions of the new med I’m taking for my MS. Big relief.

    Slowly putting our wedding plans together. Need to find a caterer!

    Worried about money too. Realizing that that probably never actually goes away, does it?

    So happy for the cooler weather and little rain in Los Angeles. Really happy also to know about your blog and to follow along!

    • Tracy

      If I look at all of my old journals, I’m always writing about how worried I am about our financial situation, so I GUESS IT NEVER GOES AWAY!!!!!!!!

      Yay for your MS meds! I remember you were worried about that? YAY.

      I am always curious what it’s like for people to get married now with the invention of Pinterest.

      • Christa

        Pinterest has been really helpful in coming up with menu ideas for our brunch wedding and succulent decoration ideas. I’m trying to ignore everything else!

  • caitlin

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love these posts, Tracy. I’ve been majorly feeling how social media and filters and just the internet constantly make everything other than your own life appear perfect, so it’s majorly refreshing to hear a little real talk about imperfections and worries that I can relate to. I feel like this is why I appreciate shows like Broad City or any female personality who shows realness and lack of perfection. Not exactly sure where I’m going with this comment other than to say you inspire me almost everyday in different ways – whether it’s looking up one of your recipes I know will be great, or just seeing you interact with your son or your cats on snapchat 🙂 Your site is a staple of mine, along with Joy’s. Thank you for sharing with us all and being vulnerable! You help so many people by doing so. You are appreciated!

  • Kathryn

    Currently it’s 2am and I’m wide awake. Tonight was the first night back of the show I’m stage managing. I also finished focusing lights for my next show. And I sat down to schedule rehearsals for the piece I’m choreographing in that same show.
    I need winter break so very badly.
    Thank you so much for your posts about whole30. I’ve been thinking a lot about intention lately and your post was very timely.
    I know I’m doing too much but I can’t do any less than I currently am (being a double BFA is wonderful and terrible). I can’t wait for a day off to breathe.

  • Jenna

    Awwwww at the photo of Cooper as a baby, such a cutie! I’ve been following your blog since before he was born and do remember that post! Now I have a toddler of my own and a baby due in early January.

    I’m very tired and thought at first that you were inspired by animal bedrooms… haha. I’ve been inspired by the spring weather here in Australia – something about Spring and new beginnings for me. I’m a terrible procrastinator so need all the motivation I can get. I just started reading the newest Jodi Picoult book and am also reading a booking on Sibling Rivalry… Many of my thoughts are about our baby arriving in 10-ish weeks and how I can prepare my toddler for that, as well as what I need to do before I get into that newborn haze and can’t do… everything… any more. I’m listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast & freaking myself out. Also listening to a lot of kids music (The Wiggles) but that’s not really by choice… haha. My husband dreamed that there was a snake in our room last night and woke me up – and I’ve been finding it tough to sleep lately anyway, so not a lot of dreaming for me. I’ve been eating oatmeal cookies like I’m Cookie Monster. Oops. I’ve just started drinking coffee again after being repulsed by it for most of my pregnancy. LOVE coffee!

  • Rebeca

    When I think I couldn’t be more exhausted, life throws another challenge at me. Will you slow down, please? Still, there isn’t a day I don’t feel thankful. Caring for someone while also taking care of a business and making sure the laundry pile doesn’t eat us is draining, but his smiles, his gratitude and seeing him make progress give me life. So proud of him.

    I was up last night making witch finger cookies for my niece’s Halloween party. My I was tired, but seeing her face this morning was everything. I didn’t think loving someone this much was possible until she came into this world.

    My tinnitus seems to be getting louder and I’m worried those vertigo scares will mean an attack down the line. I don’t think my body is happy with my current schedule.

    I’m happy about all the things I’ve gotten rid of. I now realise how much stuff I had that added nothing to my life.

  • Colleen

    Thanks for sharing your successes and challenges. I worry about money all the time, some more than others. I’m in a bigger worry mode now and am diving deep into miser mode. It makes me feel like a have some sort of control and also helps me realize where leaks are (buying breakfast and lunch, I’m talking to you). Somehow it all works out but oh the stress. I hope things resolve for you. Keep on inspiring and thank you for all you do. Shutterbean is a long time favorite and still the first site I check in the morning.

  • Jenn

    I enjoy these posts, thanks! I am disabled and Amazon Echo saves me steps, and energy, every day. I ask Alexa to play music, play NPR, set timers, turn lights off and on, help with kitchen conversions and much more. My kids love Amazon Echo as well but sometimes they get a little short with Alexa:)

  • hillary

    Currently…. Drooping. That is the only word that comes to mind. My insides, my psyche, my energy. I lost my mojo this year and I don’t know where to find it.

    But also…
    Making – stuff (with yarn), food (basics), and a baby

    Holding – those insides up and in, my darling son, my love (not enough)

    Wishing – to extract myself from a job that has lost meaning

    Worrying – how to support a growing family and a growing itch to do something different.

  • libby

    Whaaaat is the deeeeal with the track names for this latest Bon Iver album?

    • Tracy

      oh gosh. have you listened to it??? IT IS NOT MY JAM. Like…ummm….what the heck HAPPENED??!!!!

  • Victoria

    Have you seriously lived in that house for 5 years already?!?! I was thinking MAYBEEEEE 3. Time is FLYING.

    I love the idea of minimal bedrooms too, but I also have a lot of stuff that I can’t seem to make belong anywhere else. Maybe I’ll strike a balance.

    Bullett journals are worth sticking with! I don’t worry about putting EVERYTHING into mine, but what I do decide to put in there keeps my head on straight.

    Fall and winter is for reading. I’m spending more time than I would like online. Like right now…I’m not into any shows, I have a few hours of peace and quiet, and I’m seeking out solace in the internet. LAME,

    Thinking over and working on coping habits is soooo important. I need to do that. I mean, see above! HA! Best of luck to you!

    I’m a Pandora junkie too! I’ve got some gooood channels. I don’t think I’ll ever be a spotify person.

    Yay for milk and coffee!!! People roll their eyes, but it is better!

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