September 22, 2016

Currently: September 2016

Currently - September 2016 on Shutterbean.com

Currently eating cold green grapes as I type this. I am wishing it was chocolate. Grapes are definitely not chocolate. But they’re cold and they’re sweet and crunchy, so there’s that. I went through a frozen grape phase when I was a kid…now I can’t….I mean…my teeth hurt just thinking of it.

The air was cold today. I enjoyed that. I love Fall. It’s my favorite season. I know I’m supposed to hate it when the light changes and it gets dark early but I just wanna snuggle by the fire and have cozy weekends with no plans.  I want soups, hot toddies and baked goods.  Oprah said her favorite day is a rainy day because there are no expectations. You’re not rushing around doing errands….you’re faced with a rainy day. Man, I miss rainy days and Oprah. Can I just lay in bed when it rains and watch Oprah non-stop? Hello, dream day. I hope there’s a moscow mule involved in this fantasy.

You know what’s coming up? Cooper’s birthday. Homeboy is turning 8 on October 2nd. You would think after all of these years his birthday wouldn’t come as a shock to me but the 2nd day of the month is like such a weird day! It’s like…can we just ease into the fact that it’s October oh and YOUR BABY IS ANOTHER YEAR OLDER. Time to figure out what to do for his birthday STAT. I’m thinking he should have an ice cream cake this year….

OK so I am on day three of like slowly easing myself into the Whole30 situation. I want to eliminate a few things and see how it goes before I go full force. I have a dinner I was invited to, Fleet Week and Cooper’s birthday in the next few weeks so WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO FIND TIME?  But anyways, day three isn’t that bad. The no sugar in the coffee is weird (I normally am a milk with 1/2 teaspoon sugar person) but I think I’ll get used to it. I’ve been drinking the Califia Barista Blend with my Americanos in the morning and things have been good so far. I really miss toast.

I have had a tab for Camp Wandawega open up in my browser for the past 3 days. I really want to go to Summer Camp…or a place that’s like Summer Camp. Has anyone been?  Do you know of another place that’s like an adult camp? TELL ME.  Also, do you do that? Do you leave tabs opened for days? I secretly get excited when my computer closes them accidentally because then I don’t have the pressure of closing a tab. It’s already done for me. START OVER.

One of the biggest things that’s inspiring me right now is the Bullet Journal Junkies group of Facebook. I’ll write more about my bullet journal but OMG I am so blown away with how people organize/decorate their lives through their journals. Totally inspirational. It’s one of the only reasons that I’m still on facebook… Meanwhile, I keep hoarding images on my pinterest board….

Casey has been watching 90210 while he works this month and I’ve been dabbling in a little Roseanne. We also watched Wayne’s World the other night. It’s been fun re-watching things from our childhood with adult eyes. There are so many lines we use on a regular basis that came from the movie Wayne’s World and oh my god no wonder I’m such a smart ass. I loved Roseanne when I was younger. Like LOVED HER. I have probably seen She-Devil as many times as I have Troop Beverly Hills (which is a lot).

Working on my Fall Capsule Wardrobe right now. I think it might just be a combination of my Winter Capsule mixed with my Summer Capsule. There are a few things that I didn’t wear from the Summer Capsule because it wasn’t warm enough, but now that it’s technically our summer here in the Bay Area, we’ll see. I think I’m at the point in my wardrobe where I understand what I like to wear and what I need/don’t need in my closet. This sweater (thanks to a friend with friends & family discount!) and these clogs are my latest additions. I’m gonna keep this fall pretty classic. I just need to pull a few looks so I have deliberate choices.

Let’s see. What else am I into right now?

Typing my feelings out on my typewriter.

Organizing things in my bathroom.

Keeping my linen closet clean.  I am trying to figure out the next projects to work on in my house. I think my prop closet might be next because HOLY COW IT IS OUT OF CONTROL. I also need to create a library in my house because my book situation is silly.

Trying to find a good time to visit my maj in New Orleans.

Figuring out a craft night situation sometime in October or November (STAY TUNED!) at Neve & Hawk in San Anselmo.

Been listening to the Flight of the Conchords on repeat.

Also listening to the Red Sox…constantly. I mean, not on purpose but all the games are being obsessively watched in my household. Things are tense. There is so much male energy floating around. My cats and I are like so over it.

Reading a few books at time (like I normally do). Right now it’s Modern Romance and This is a Story of a Happy Marriage. Both of their writing styles are so appealing to me right now.

Continuing to enjoy being totally random on snapchat (username: tshutterbean)

Navigating my way through Instagram Stories (you can find me here).

Still not sure which one I like better. I mean…I like snapchat but I also like Instagram but I like Instagram the way it was before Facebook messed it up. UGH FACEBOOK.  Can we just chill on technology for a bit, please?

That’s what’s up this month. Thank you for reading. What’s up with you??!

Type your stream of consciousness in the comments. It’s fun.


  • Victoria Pease

    I love these Currently posts Tracy, I find them strangely calming to read. Currently waiting for my first black coffee of the day to cool down and bring me to life before tackling an epic to do list at work. The end of the week is always the busiest. Currently dreaming of paella, chilled red wine and girly chats that are on their way this weekend. I want to make margaritas too.


  • Monica B.

    I’ve come here with my cup of coffee in the quiet of the early morning. To me it’s really late as I used to get up in the early dark morning hours to start my day. Now I seem to rise with the sunrise and that’s late. Living in the city, I need to take in the much needed quiet before venturing into the outside world – kind of like wrapping myself in a suit of armor made of peace and centeredness. I drink organic coffee with a bit of agave (low glycemic) and it’s made a world of difference. I am an aunt to 5 children and I’ve always wondered how parents felt about time, birthdays and events because I know I find kids’ birthdays to be reminders of “yep, life keeps going” or cause for immediate review to evaluate the use of time over the year. To me it has more of a message than the New Year’s celebrations. Probably because of the human, soul-to-soul connection – if that makes any sense. Cooper is turning 8 – what popped in my mind was if he likes ice cream, maybe you could gift him an ice cream maker, and then maybe that’s another way to inspire interest in the kitchen. Just a thought as I was reading.

    I love fall! Just the other day, after I returned from vacation (which I never take 10 days) I really thought about environments that speak to my soul. I’m from a small rural/coastal community in southern new england. I spent much of my life living with both farmland and ocean. I had the best of both worlds – but on this trip I felt the effects of the humidity even on the coast (I have lived in the city for 5 years and it can be a steam oven! And I’m really not comfortable in more ways than one) I’ve traveled to mountainous regions and remember feeling the big exhale every time. So I’m wondering if a place like Vermont or central/northern Colorado is a more comfortable place. But now I have concerns for my Mom, a widow of 5 years, aging and all that goes with that scenario. My beloved’s Mom (who lives in VA – do you know how HOT it get’s there 🙁 ? – is a widow and lives alone, is 10 years older than my Mom. He’s shared he is not a new englander, he loves the city, he’s from the south. Anyway, this is a pressing issue for me and I’m praying for the divine answer. Like I said, I love fall. The boots, clogs, sweaters, crisp air, hot cider, the pumpkins, farms, being out doors. I joyfully accept all of it! Halloween is my favorite holiday, always has been. It’s always been nature’s finale to me before standing bare naked while preparing in due time for another show come spring. But while living in the city, I’ve so come to appreciate the trees as they stand there ‘bare boned’ – in the city parks they are just gorgeous especially on wet days. Their skeletal structure against crisp blue skies or misty days is mystical and reminds me of trueness, authenticity. So many plusses and minuses right? I’m praying for the divine answer.

    I have to say this about vacations. I usually only take days, no more than 5 days. I love to go places and have magical or mystical experiences. I go with the idea of “having a one on one session” with the divine so to speak. Perhaps to better explain one might think “on a ghost hunt”, but I’m not looking for ghosts. I’m seeking the divine connection with the universe. Sort of like “tell my thy ways, show me thy works”. I have to say it happens every time, near or far. I have some amazing photos from this last trip. My times away are really quite special and this time I felt the presence in a strong, confirming way.

    I haven’t been to an adult summer camp, but this year a creative summer camp came across my path!! It’s called The Unique Camp in Northern CA. I wanted to go thinking it would help push me over the threshold – I struggle with deeply feeding my creative soul. I’ve acknowledged my creativity, but I still keep it hidden, private as I have done my entire life. Anyway, I didn’t go this year – actually when I called it was sold out. But why does it take so long for me to take steps towards good adventure? I encourage you to call the camp, make a reservation and let us all know how it was! CELEBRATE!

    TABS? Hi, I’m Monica, and I have issues. (note I used plural – ha!ha!) Are you kidding me…there’s a list on this mac sitting under that arrow at the top, because I already open with 10 tabs – Shutterbean is one – and have several – ok, way more than several more!!! I have pressing organizing issues here! Clean up, clean out time. UGH!

    We watch Friends on Netflix! I admit it and I’m ok with it! It reminds me of so many things, my life during that time, my life in the city now. And I still have my favorites – all the cast members! We don’t have television! I know I know, I hear the gasps! We haven’t had television in forever. It’s ok! I say it’s ok, because I’m an introvert and an hsp so watching tv and living in the city is energetic overload – too much. It’s ok. We can turn to the internet to get news – so reading is our thing. I’m also a book-aholic! I love books! I wish I could read more. I wish I could get paid to read! I love them so much, someone thought I worked at the local bookstore – was I flattered! For my summer reading list – made it 3/4 the way through 4 books. I must confess I have a hard time finishing any book because I don’t want it to end! WTF is that all about?? I have several books for fall – just picked up Commonweath – Ann Patchett (she will be my neighborhood the end of this month for a book signing, I’m going!!), A Thousand Mornings – Mary Oliver (there’s a clue for vaca-loca! 😉 ), The Inn at Lake Devine – E. Lipman, an oldy.

    It’s interesting reading your comment about Facebook. I share the same thought! I’m don’t visit FB nearly as much. I love instagram, but I haven’t figured out the IG stories yet – droid user over here. My creative being is poking me to seriously start documenting my life. I wish I had more time. I don’t. I work 7 days a week amongst the other crabs in this bucket and it get’s exhausting. I admire YOU because you have a family and all those responsibilities and you do it, and do it well! I’m holding back on Pinterest, I could easily find myself in a mess – I’ve been thinking about how to keep that organized to match a goal rather than a random accumulation of stuff. I’ll have to check out the bullet journal FB page. I’m also praying to meet members of my tribe. I live in a large city and have yet to meet the tribe members – just seems like a sign, right? Oh, who knows….

    There was a list friday you posted a while back (early spring?). On that list was a link for relieving stress, it was a 5 minute or so video on yoga/stretching the psoas muscle. I will tell you it is extremely helpful. I do it regularly and find it’s beneficial in many ways, including reducing cravings!! I just want to say you share such good stuff. It’s always ‘good medicine’ to come here. Anyway, happy Thursday to the readers here, you and your family! Onward…..

    • Tracy

      wow wow! where do i begin.

      we have an ice cream machine! I don’t know why I don’t use it more often…dangit!

      I love agave in my coffee too!

      The Unique Camp—- I went to a camp in CA called Camp Unique when I was a kid. Maybe this is a sign!

      Finding your tribe is kinda hard. I think I’m still working on mine. I think as I get older I learn so much about what I want and don’t want to invite into my life, so it can make the process kind of daunting. Responsibilities change, priorities shift and time is so limited. I think I’m also still trying to figure out how friendships work in my schedule when my time with my family is so limited. My current tribe is small but I love each person so fiercely… maybe that’s all I need in life! That’s something I working through right now. But really….finding like-minded people is key.

  • Lisa

    I am so sick and tired of worrying about my weight.
    My kids are reading like champs in 1st and 3rd grade and I am such a proud momma!
    what would i do without coffee and toast? What reason would there be to get up in the morning?
    I am in a major cooking slump.
    Easy recipes only for me these days.
    Fall….ahhhhhh….I want to drink it in.
    Srsly what is with this weight thing?? Im getting on my OWN nerves with it! Now that is bad.

    • Tracy

      I think it starts with asking yourself some questions.

      Why do you want to lose weight?
      What will losing weight accomplish?
      What is your relationship with food?
      What is causing you not to take care of yourself?
      How are you feeling when you feel like you need to be eating or steering yourself off course?

      These are the things I’m meditating on right now. The inner excavation is a part of the process!! The mental work is just as important as the physical work.

      Also yay on kids reading! Isn’t that awesome? I am LOVING IT.
      I’m in a slump too but I feel like I’m working my way out of it.
      Easy recipes always.
      I think we just need to slow down and be more deliberate. Take it easy. Take it easy on ourselves.

  • jen

    Tracy, I’ve been loving your instagram stories especially when there is music on in the background. So fun to see/hear what you are doing. And you have a lovely voice!

    I’m a native CA girl who has been living in VA for years and yes, Monica- this was a HOT summer! As much as I miss aspects of CA, I have a profound love of living in VA. The rhythm of the seasons here, the trees, the snow, and even the humidity.

    I’m curious to see more about the bullet journal as I’ve gone from Erin Condren back to ye old Franklin Covey. I needed something more professional for work.

    Happy early birthday to your sweet boy. Whenever his silly, happy face pops up on instagram, it fills me with joy. September/October always feels like birthday season to me- so many people’s birthdays that I’ve kept the EC perpetual calendar to plan out cards, gifts and parties.

    Thank you for your blog and IG posts. There are so many Serious things happening right now and sometimes, I need a spot of hope. There is a lot of light coming from you and it shines. Thank you.

    • Tracy

      Thank you thank you! It’s funny that you say that because the word hope keeps popping up in my life. It’s all we can hope for.

      I went to Virginia when I was really young. It’s so pretty there. So many trees!!!! I love the trees on the East Coast during the summer. They’re so lush.

  • Paula

    Modern Romance is an awesome book. I heard the audio version is fantastic too but have yet to check it out. I love to use the page where he discusses grammar and missed opportunities (the girl who couldn’t spell who properly and instead sounded like an owl). I admit I read that section to my grade 9 students so they can see the value of good grammar and how it applies to even text messages.

    I find this bullet journal idea intriguing. I am tempted to check it out a bit more and see if I should start journalling that way.

    I miss Oprah too. Now I just have to live with videos of past shows on youtube.

    Right now I am binge watching Friday Night Lights. I missed it the first time around and am really into it.

    Happy early birthday to Cooper! Can’t wait to see what you decide on for a cake.

    • Tracy

      Oh I have to listen to the audiobook! I would love to hear him read it. I wonder how the diagrams would be. That’s one of the best things about the book!

      The best part about the bullet journal is that you can adapt it to suit your needs!

      Friday Night Lights is THE BEST! Especially when the weather starts to turn a little colder. We watched that whole show last year. It was like the best month ever.

  • Sara

    Oh my, I LOVED both Modern Romance and This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage. I started reading Ann Patchett about two years ago. Now I’ve read all of her work (my favorite was State of Wonder) and I’m going to get her new book Commonwealth any day now. She is wonderful. Aziz Ansari is equally, though vastly differently, wonderful. Have you watched his Netflix show, Master of None? It’s based on his Modern Romance and it’s ASTOUNDING. Happy reading & watching! 🙂

    • Tracy

      YES! I watched the show first and now I’m on the book. I LOVED THE SHOW. I love his delivery of honest/real moments.

  • libby

    I love these stream of consciousness posts.
    I always said that I’d never go on a diet that wouldn’t let me have toast–my favorite food. Or pasta–my second favorite food.
    Then my cholesterol got high. I told my Dr that I was thinking about going vegan and she showed me these studies that suggest going low carb, instead.
    So here I am! I’m doing it. And it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. But GOD do I miss toast. I don’t miss pasta as much as I thought I would but I miss toast.

    PS You and Joy have my favorite IG stories. Please never stop. 😀

    • Tracy

      the pasta i can do without….it’s the no sandwiches thing and no toast thing i have a hard time with!!!!!

  • Sandra

    I wish I had more motivation to clean up my eats. I feel so much better when I eat well. And it shows on my body.

    I’m currently stuck in a horrible love/hate relationship with chips and salsa. Those tortilla chips that Safeway fries up in house? UGH. SO GOOD.

    I need a haircut but I just moved. And finding a new hair stylist is like one of the top 3 things I find super daunting in life.

    We just brought one of my moms cats home to our house because we think we have a mouse. I forgot how much I love having animals around. I think we’re going to have to keep him, even if he doesnt catch anything.

    I want to make your baked spaghetti for dinner so hard but I should probably stick with the chicken and veggies that are on the menu. LIFE CHOICES.

    • Tracy

      Oh gosh. I’ve never seen those chips in my Safeway. That would be the death of me. Hi my name is Tracy and it’s been 4 days since my last tortilla chip and OMG WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT THEM? (it’s sad. life is sad)

      finding a new hairstylist anywhere is hard. Let’s be REAL!! I am getting ready to quit mine. SIGGGGGH. I think if you like someone’s haircut/color, you should ask them where they go and then see if they would recommend them. It’s always nice when you know someone who can vouch for them.

      make the sauce for the baked spaghetti and the put it over veggies with a little bit of cheese. It’s a good compromise to all the pasta!

  • Preeti

    I realized that the more I looked at awesome layouts for bullet journal the less I used mine. There was so much anxiety involved with making sure I don’t mess up. So I just started using it my way. I realized that I’m a minimalist when it comes to layouts (#minimalistbujo). But one thing that I totally want to incorporate is the Habit Tracker.

    Thanks for this post. Posts like these is what I miss about blogging these days.


    • Tracy

      I felt that way too and then I told myself that it’s about the journey to find a system that works best for what I need. I’ve been switching it up each week to see how it goes and being totally OK if it’s not perfect. It’s research!! And then one day I will have the format down so it will all be muscle memory. That’s my hope at least….

  • Jean

    Taking a little breather from cleaning up around here so I’ve parked myself on my deck to soak up some of the last of the summer’s/first of the fall’s sun with your thoughts as my company. I can so relate to that feeling of Cooper’s birthday catching you off guard every year. My 23 year old daughter’s birthday is March 2 and I always think I’ve got all this time when really it’s like her birthday is more in February than March. You’d think I’d have it down by now! A yellow jacket just flew into my iced coffee…light with a little Truvia…fished it out with my straw…the bees are all having their last hurrah here on the East Coast. I usually get really blue this time of year. Even tho I love Fall this is the hardest transition for me to make, always has been ever since I was a little kid. I’m doing better this year maybe because I’ve got a trip to Portland and Seattle in October to look forward to, my first time. So much I want to eat and see, see and eat not sure which order of preference. There is a pileated woodpecker doing his Woody the Woodpecker laugh in the woods behind my house and the black walnuts are dropping off the trees threateningly close to my head. Just finished reading Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Wanted to highlight so many things-sign of a good read to me. This feels so good I could sit here for the rest of the day. Thanks for the nudge I needed to take the time to do this, Tracy. Your creative energies are stellar.

    • Tracy

      Oh wow! YOU KNOW. It’s like is it in September or is it in October??? And it throws me off that there are only 30 days in September. Maybe it will never not catch me off guard. Time to accept it.

      i LOVE the pacific northwest during the fall. I used to go back to Eugene, OR to visit my good friends from college. It’s been too long since I saw an Oregon autumn. I need to fix that.

  • Morgan

    I love these posts and I love that you invited your readers to have their own stream of consciousness! I’m currently eating a bowl of vegan chili that I made waaaaaaay too spicy so my mouth is on FIRE. I’m also procrastinating reading a thing I need to read before a meeting for a yoga workshop I’m teaching in a few weeks. I recently redid my closet in my new condo and, while I am normally a slobby slob slobberson, the newness of a perfectly organized closet perfectly tailored to my things is making me obsessively neat (also the fact that I just halved my square footage in order to afford buying property and so there really needs to be a place for everything and everything in its place for the place to not feel like a stressbomb disaster zone – I love reading your organizing posts for inspiration!).

    • Tracy

      i love my chili spicy. I love everything spicy.

      oooooooh you go! keep up the good work and remember it’s all about making good habits.

  • Sarah

    We offer adult camp for the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities if you are ever looking for a reason to visit Minnesota (no joke, Minnesota is the shit). There’s nothing better than camp in the fall – chocos, wool socks, fires, s’mores, tea and hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, hiking in crunchy leaves. Just the best.

  • Lisa

    So I didn’t want to go to summer camp for adults until I read this. Such a good read. http://www.gq.com/story/adult-camp-midlife-crisis

    Fall is bath season for me. Nothing better than a crisp walk around the Vancouver seawall and then a hot bath – with wine/hot toddy/whisky/moscow mule.

    Fall also means applying to grad school. Keeping the promises I made to myself. Being ok with taking up space.

    Dusting off the slow cooker. I wish chicken didn’t break down so much in there, but I guess it’s just an excuse to indulge in some red meat. Or veggie options!

    I’m taking a sign language class starting next week. I’ve always been intrigued by the language, and the culture.

    I feel you on the masculine energy that sports brings out. My boo is a football fan, so Sundays have officially become lady time for my cat and I. There’s only so many concussions I can witness in a weekend.

    Last weekend a trip to IKEA put me in full nesting mode. Candles, revamped the pillow cases, and – of course – some baby succulents to add to the family.

    Thanks for this, Tracy. I love getting to check in with you, and then with me.

    • Tracy

      I can’t wait to read that article!

      wow your vancouver fall bath season sounds pretty epic.

      i am learning to not expect anything from anyone during baseball games. go about my business tra la laaaaaaaaaa

      you make me want to go to IKEA now

      nice to check in with you too!!!

      I’m hooked on making/drinking both broth. My slowcooker has been on all week!

  • Mandy


    I heard about this camp on a podcast.

    It was featured on “Shark Tank”

  • Christa

    Love these posts, Tracy!

    I am envious of your cool weather because it’s still hot as eff in Los Angeles. I think after next week is over it will be better, but this weekend is going to be steamy.

    I am anxiously awaiting starting a new medication for my MS.

    I am also feeling like I need a bit of re-check with eating and doing better with it. We just got back from vacation, which was great, but also always throws eating and digesting off!

    Why is it so hard to start a dedicated yoga practice? If I could answer this for myself, I’d be thrilled.

    It was really fun to write this inconsequential little piece…thanks for the inspiration!

    • Tracy

      i spoke too soon. today was hot! but it’s kinda chilly tonight so there’s that.

      good luck with your medication! I hope it works better for you.

      vacation throws EVERYTHING off.

      I’ve never been able to have a dedicated yoga practice. Actually that’s not true. When I was in college there was a PE requirement and I chose yoga. If you missed 2 classes in the semester you would fail and the class was two days a week. It was the only way I was able to do it.

  • The Wooden Spoon

    Love, love, love your lists!

  • caitlin

    love these posts. THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts. also thank you for sharing your thoughts on snapchat cause I find it so refreshing to see “real life” stuff like that in comparison to instagram where everything looks perfect all the time 🙂

    • Tracy

      THANK YOU! I am so sick of seeing lives that aren’t real anymore. Why are people taking sooooooo much time to make things look effortless. It’s not real. xoxoxoxox

  • Shawna

    I just bought a ton of stickers for my BuJo on this site – https://www.anxietyaids.ca/ – and now I have to patiently wait for them and try to hide the cc bill from my husband. LOL

    Happy Friday!!

  • gabrielle

    I tried whole30 and it just wasn’t for me (it has been for many of my friends though). what has worked is the 21 day fix. you can still have some dairy and carbs and booze but it’s not 100% elimination of everything. i did the 3 day quick fix and lost 5 pounds (yes, I’m sure it was water weight too) but that convinced me to try the regular 21 day fix and it’s been great. maybe take a look?

  • Ellen W

    Lots of sports stuff going on in our house – first fall baseball games this morning in broiling heat, now college football on today and NFL tomorrow. Plus husband and older son are huge Dodger fans.

    I get so annoyed with myself when I am stewing over my weight. I have consistently exercised 5-6/week for many years without weight loss. I have celiac so the thought of restricting my diet more or cooking separate meals makes it challenging for me to really crack down on my snacking.

    • Tracy

      Oh man. The snacking is what does me in. I think it’s probably because I never eat enough in a meal to carry me to the next one. Working on managing that with better choices!

  • Juliet

    I did a whole 30 last year and I loved it but there never is s good time. A way to have toast is to use thin sweet potato slices as toast (I love this with avocado). It’s a good Whole 30 alternative. And coconut milk in coffee is REALLY good (the kind from a can). Love these posts!! Can’t wait to try bullet journaling starting in January (when my current planner runs out)…doing lots of research now and I love seeing yours!

  • hillary

    My favorite kind of posts!

    Currently I am…

    Stewing about the influx of inlaws coming my way for Christmas. Yes, it is three months away. No, I don’t know how I will deal. I have questions and you were one of the first people I thought of to help me answer them.

    Seven (extra) people. In my house. For three days.

    Owning 12 plates. They are a formal family. Can I get away with paper for one meal a day? I feel like all I will be doing for three days is cooking and washing pans and emptying the dishwasher.

    Thinking I need an extra fridge/freezer and maybe a hotel room for those three days.

    Celebrating Christmas. They do. I don’t. Do I have to decorate?

    Needing meal ideas. Meat-centric. Enough to feed 15 even though we will be 10. These are big eaters. And one needs entirely separate meals. And there are small people involved.

    Planning my way out of this so that don’t work myself into a three-month frenzy.

    Needing a new and beautiful notebook devoted entirely to this process. That could soothe.

    • Tracy

      Oooh I like this challenge.

      For about 5-6 years I hosted Christmas Eve with about 22 people. 15 extra people spending the night. I made three soups and a ton of garlic bread.
      I made sure one of the soups was creamy (to fill people up), one was meaty (for the dudes and ladies like me who like meaty soups) and one was made with a vegetable base (like butternut squash soup)(for those who are trying to save room for dessert).

      you could always make some lasagnas ahead of time. family loves lasagna and chili too!

      make them use paper plates. not all the time, but make a really casual breakfast or lunch that won’t require another washing of your plates.

      Yes you have to decorate but if you don’t want to do it, farm it out to someone. Find someone to help you.

      you have so much time to prepare yourself. focus on halloween! what are you gonna be for Halloween?

      • hillary

        I knew you would be the one to ask!

        The soup idea is a stellar one. And I just made your killer garlic bread after years of wanting to try it (just as amazing as I’d hoped) so I will add that to the mix. Lasagna is a definite. The picky eater will eat lasagna but only if there are no onions and no ricotta. And no meat. So basically cheese, tomatoes and noodles. Which, lucky, most children can also get behind.

        Paper plates are just going to have to happen. Did I mention I will be 32 weeks pregnant when this all goes down? I am going to milk that excuse for all it’s worth.

        The impending visit is motivating me to get our house together – paint, patch, decorate. If I just tell myself I need to do the Christmas decoration thing, and allow myself the time and money to do it, I will.

        And my husband and I agreed on acquiring a Craigslist fridge/freezer for this reason and a whole bunch of others. It feels gluttonous to do it but sanity is important too.

        Halloween? I just want to carve all the pumpkins, roast all the seeds, decorate a bunch of cookies and see if my three year old is into it this year.

        What is Cooper going to be?

  • Kelly

    Love your blog!

    I did a Whole30 in January and am starting again on October 1st. It is a little annoying, but makes you feel good, cook for yourself and make better choices. Best of luck and I suggest doing some prep on the weekend. And stick to you commitment to yourself!

    Summer camp for kids (and adults) is an amazing opportunity. Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park has a joint family camp for kids and parents in August. DO IT!

  • Sarah

    I dream about going to this camp I saw posted through Molly Yeh, http://www.ungluedmarket.com/labor-day-summer-camp/

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