January 4, 2016

Highlights of 2015:

Highlights of 2015 on Shutterbean.com

It’s the first Monday of the new year. It’s also my Mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom! I owe you some profiteroles  Instead of getting stressed about all we want to do and accomplish today/this week/this month/this year, let’s give ourselves a moment to look back at 2015. Go easy on yourself today. If you’re feeling a little anxious, go through some pictures of last year and find the moments that defined the year. The good/the bad…. all of it.

Here’s how my 2015 went:

Cooper lost 6 teeth this year. He has big kid teeth now. It’s crazy.

We experienced a lot of good sunsets- this one stood out the most.

Meal prep! If you look at #shutterbeanmealprep tag on Instagram, you can see all of the weeks I meal prepped. I kinda fell off the wagon during the last few months of the year because of work but I’m hoping to create more space and time to do it in 2016 as it only benefits my family and saves me time throughout the week. You can read more about meal prep here.

I volunteered a lot at Cooper’s school this year. Highlight- bingo night.

This year I wanted to dedicate more time to making art. I got Cooper involved. It’s something I am going to continue doing in 2016. I’d like to spend at least one night a week working on art together.

I wrote a post about my favorite coloring books and shared some of my favorite books for drawing in 2015.

I spent a chunk of time analyzing/figuring out how to organize my purse system. I wrote a whole post about it. The only thing that’s changed is that I have gotten rid of the folders and created a binder/ calendar system to keep my life in check. Once I have my system nailed down, I’ll share it with you. I’m still experimenting.

I had a nice visit with Maj! She came for a weekend and we went to the beach.

We stopped podcasting this year because of our work schedules. I’m not sure if we’re going to start up again. I miss it a lot, but I am not sure how I ever made time for it in years past! We’ll see what 2016 will bring.

I went up to Portland- wrote a post about dining up there and got to hang out with two of my best friends from college time.

Traveled with my mom to Los Angeles for my sister-in-law’s bridal shower!

Had a little overnight trip to Napa with Casey.

Worked with my friend Leslie on a photo shoot with Juice Beauty. I got to put my styling skills to the test!

Took Cooper to Chinatown in SF and wondered why we never did it before.

Went on a trip with Joy! We spent a whole week together on a Caribbean cruise.

It was weird. It was awesome.

We got to play tourists in our own city! Casey and I went to Alcatraz with his sister & her family while Cooper was in school. It was so much fun and it happened to be on St.Patrick’s Day!

We took a road trip down to LA.

Because my brother got married! We had such a wonderful time.

One of my favorite pictures of Pinot in 2015.

Beach trip with friends visiting from NYC who feel like family.

We drove up to Idaho for Easter. Cooper got to see snow for the first time.

Cousins hanging out!

Cooper played little league this year. He rocked it. Baseball is his sport.

We painted a few walls in our house black this year. This made me BEYOND happy.

2015 was the year of BUCHA in the Benjamin household. I started making kombucha and haven’t stopped.

Cooper started writing sentences this year. It’s been so awesome to see him become such a good reader and writer!

Here’s what I’m talking about:

My favorite pic of the two of us.

My favorite pic of me and my mom.

I judged a burger contest up at Sutter Home!

I finally found a painted portrait for our house. This lady (I haven’t named her yet!) came from a random Salvation Army trip and only cost $5.  Score of a lifetime. What should I name her?

I flew out to Connecticut and saw my grandma!  My dad and I traveled together and it was such a fun experience being with him on a trip as an adult. I also had a wonderful time with my cousins.

I got to spend time with my brother & his wife in NYC right after they moved there.

I found this sign there.

A weekend away with my boo. Big shoutout to my parents for watching Cooper for us!

Cooper graduated from Kindergarten!

We spent a lot of time with our neighbor friends who have a pool in 2015!

At one point there was a swan raft!

We enjoyed sunny mornings in this part of the kitchen and then we moved to the other side of the room and now use a wood table for our meals. This concrete table is now my work space.

We had a few beach trips.

I spent a day exploring the Academy of Sciences with my niece who came to visit from Boston.

It was fun to have a teenager in our house. I guess because she was staying in my childhood bedroom and it brought back a lot of memories of youth.

In 2015 I went to the farmer’s market more. 2016 will be full of more trips.

My hair was purple for half of the year.

Something I tried to practice:

Cooper and I have been like 80% gluten free for about 6 months this year.

I’ll tell you all about it sometime.

Fireworks, fog & Katy Perry at my parent’s house on the 4th of July.

I practiced my handwriting like a mofo this year.

Had a big sleep over with my friend Helen Jane and her kids. It was incredible.

Nailed my style with stitch fix this year.

We had a few impromptu hike + creek days.

Beach chairs changed my life (dramatic enough?).

Went to Tahoe with my family for a summer vacation. Took this photo of my Dad.

It makes me so happy. That was a really good week.

Had a really nice double day date with Gaby + her husband.

Hung out with a bunch of cats at Kit Tea.

Took my niece on my favorite hike.

Turned 36.

Started working for One Potato, taking all of the shots for their recipes cards.

My friend Lisa started working with me and it’s been awesome.

Came up with a way to organize my grocery lists through the process.

Gotta keep organized!

Took a lot of pictures of bees this year.

Cooper started 1 st grade!

I bought him a point & shoot camera this year and we went on some photo adventures.

Made good friends with some awesome people at Williams Sonoma.

Found my photo tribe at school.

Grew a sunflower. Grew a bunch of tomatoes but killed them.

I made some really good dinners. This one stood out.

Went to State Bird Provisions. Finally.

Binged on Mr. Robot. Also watched the entire series of Friday Night Lights.

Put together this little corner in our house…and then took it down a month or two later.

Took a twerking class….

Celebrated my friend’s 40th birthday. Lisa helped make my year brighter.

Went to Idaho again to celebrate my father-in-law’s 70th birthday.

Went fishing! Caught nothing!

Did more drawing….

Celebrated this 7 year old.

Stayed up late and saw the red moon with the kids.

Judged a Tomato contest at Kendall Jackson.

Hung out in the garden with my friend Tucker. Made silly faces.

Watched two guinea pigs for a week. Kept them alive.

Made a painting.

Got my astrology chart done from a professional. Thanks, maj!

Took Cooper to a wedding. Had the best time dancing with him.

Slowed down and tried to stay present while on Mom duty this year.

Another trip to Portland! This time for Kettle Chips.

Got to have a long lunch with my friend Erin up in Portland.

Wore more color in 2015.  Here’s proof. Changing your hair color can do that to you.

Everyone loved to tell me that my purse matched my hair when it was purple.

Tell me something I don’t know 😉

Watched the Blue Angels with my family.

Cleaned my kitchen a million times. It’s getting painted this month and I am SOOOOO EXCITED.

Went on a pumpkin patch field trip. If you look at this picture from far away you can see a chicken’s head.

Started decorating our living room.

Dressed up as a panda for Halloween.

Cooper was a zombie. Casey was a king.

Sorted candy. Ate one piece. I need an award for that.

Celebrated Leslie.

Started researching wood this year. Casey and I went deep. That sounds weird.

Head out of the gutter…. but we almost did a gigantic project around the house….

Went to Benihana twice with my parents. My dad loves it and I love that.

Drank a good share of bourbon. Less gin this year.

Took Cooper to Lynmar Estate three times. Had sushi at Hana every time on the way home.

Watched Anne Lamott put together a salad. CREEPER ALERT.

Brought my mom’s rug back into our family room. Changed up the house’s energy.

Set up a photography project with Cooper. Loved it.

Played a lot of  board games with my little family.

Fell in love with gold.

Hosted Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving table.

Watched cousins play in redwoods.

Got rid a few things at the dump this year. FREEDOM FROM STUFF!!!

Had a blast with our holiday decor this year.

Fried some wonton wrappers.   Game changed.

Had some amazing FaceTime chats with my friend Cleo. Enough for her to write this for school!

Found love in brush pens.

Bought a sideboard off of Craiglist…. big bookshelf/wood project abandoned. Problem solved.

We now have a music listening area in our house. It’s been good for us.

Put up this gallery wall. Embraced the color of this couch.

Went to Sonoma for a day with Lisa. No kids. Just two ladies thrifting all day without interruptions.

Worked from this area for the last few months of 2015.

Celebrated Christmas Eve at my house.

Felt truly grateful to be with loved ones this Christmas.

My Everyday Life: Week 52  on Shutterbean.com

Also got a new tree!


Took a million pictures of rain drops on my succulents.

I tried to take it easy during this Christmas break after a year of being on the go…..but I used the downtime to organize my house and purge a bunch of stuff. I did sleep late a few times…and when I say late, I mean like 8am max.

This year was awesome and I didn’t even mention all the FOOD I ATE in my Highlights of 2015!!!!!!!! Dang!

I am so thankful for this life and you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s my 2016 equally awesome, if not better!

Thanks for reading Shutterbean!  If you’d like check out my everyday life, follow me on Instagram and be sure keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter,  Bloglovin,  Pinterest, or subscribe via email to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

  • Patri

    Happy New Year, Tracy!!! 🙂
    I love reading your blog. You are daaaaaa bomb, chica!
    Kisses from Spain

  • Alicia

    What an amazing year!!

  • Kate

    What an incredible year! Thanks for continuing to inspire me. Happy 2016!

  • Joy

    Wow! What an incredible year. That photo of Pinot is the best!

    And for what it’s worth–if you and Joy ever find the time, I’d love to have you podcast again! Yours was my favorite.

  • Danielle

    I loved this post! What a fantastic year 🙂

  • Bonnie Sanders

    Tracy, thanks for sharing your photos, recipes, family and life. You are so talented and by far my favorite blogger. Here’s to continued success, health and prosperity in the new year! Happy New Year 2016.

  • Carol G

    I agree!!! Beautiful pictures! Thought of you yesterday while having drinks at Buckeye and I’m making Thai Beef with basil tonight for my family! Guess I’m a Shutterbeanista! Wishing everyone a happy healthy and productive 2016!!

  • Liz

    I loved this round up of your year! Your website is my go to for almost everything haha! I would love to see more posts about creating art, i loved the snapchats of your black and gold canvas project!

  • Fairlight

    You amaze me. You totally inspire me. I can’t believe that you have a real job on top of all of this. That inspires me more. And now I’m off for an afternoon of Food Prep! I wish you a wonderful 2016, and look forward to all that you’ll share.

  • emily

    i would call the lady in your painting maureen

  • Stasha

    Gorgeous home, gorgeous family, gorgeous lady! Always love your blog posts- especially the photos- so inspiring! Miss the podcast though.

  • Stephanie

    You are just awesome, I love your blog so much. You are inspiring me to do more with my Sundays and meal prep!

  • Hannah

    Elouise…I think your portrait lady’s name is Elouise.
    Happy Happy New Year! Your 2015 looked fabulous and I wish you a beautiful 2016!

  • Laura

    What a beautiful year! Your pictures are amazing! You’ve inspired me to try and capture more moments this year.

  • Maggie

    I love everything about this and everything about your blog. Seriously, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for continuing to inspire us in both new and old ways!

  • Jenny

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful highlight reel of your year! You always inspire and encourage me in the kitchen, creatively, organizationally and in motherhood. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

  • Cindy

    Man, what a vibrant year! I’m glad I got to finally meet you and also talk your face off. I’m working on my handwriting in 2016, mine backslid majorly when I was pregnant from a wicked case of carpal tunnel (I could barely grip a pen)! I always appreciate when you share your pen samples.

    PS, I cannot wait to see your painted kitchen!

  • Monica B.

    What tremendous year! Even though I don’t have a blog, this inspires me to look through my photos (and there’s A LOT!) and recap my year! THANK YOU for the inspiration! Love your blog Tracy!!

  • mary

    tracy, your blog is one of the very few I still check daily. i think you’ve inspired me to finally buy a new camera, and start taking pictures again…. you have CRAZY talent!!

    it’s been awesome checking in with you everyday…. here’s to great things in 2016!

    (pinch those handsome little cheeks on cooper – MAN, he’s cute!).

  • Elyse

    You are a magical mom. Truly, you are inspiring me to be present, creative, and adventurous when I have kids some day! Cooper is very lucky 🙂

  • Christa

    I’d love to hear about your 80% gluten free experiment! Something we’ve considered, but it seems so haaaaard…I need your sage advice!

  • Yvette

    Reading your blog is truly a highlight of my week here in Sydney, Australia! It constantly inspires me to travel back to SF. Love your photos, fam, food and vibe. I hope 2016 is great for you! I love your recipes, please keep posting your creations! x

  • L

    Thank you, Tracy! Your Blog is so inspiring and your photos are incredible. Thank you for sharing your multipe talents with us, reading your posts makes me happy 🙂 Many greetings from Germany, L

  • Nikki

    What a great post! Thanks for being an inspiration to me. Your grocery list method is so genius, btw. How I hate running back and forth to different aisles because there was something further down on my list. It would be so awesome if you and Joy started podcasting again. I’ve listened to each one at least 3x now… Even my husband asked the other day, “what happened to Joy the Baker?”
    Anyway whatever you guys decide, thank you for sharing your stories, delicious recipes that I make all the time, and beautiful perspective on life!

  • Panya

    I have the same water bottle as Cooper! I’d initially bought a ‘regular’-sized Whole Foods brand bottle with a mirrored lid, but it’s too tall for my Harvey’s messenger bag, so I bought that blue Lifefactory one and it fits perfectly. 😀

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