January 31, 2017

Currently January 2017

Currently January 2017 on Shutterbean.com!

Currently: January 2017

Last day of January!  Wow. That went by fast…. I think?  I wonder how many of you are on Whole 30 and if this is your last day??  How did it go?  Tell meeeeeee. Also, what are you going to eat first??!  I think I ate toast.

This month I was pretty anti-social because I was spending most of my time getting rid of stuff we don’t need anymore. All of my free time has been dedicated to that. (HOLY COW IT’S SO MUCH WORK and I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO GO!) I’ve been busy thinking about what it means to live a minimal life.

This month I had to cut down my time online because I found myself having random panic attacks while checking Facebook throughout the day. This post really helped. Thank you, Tsh.

This month I pitched a home design company I admire to see if they would want to work together on a few finishing touches to our bedroom.


Instead of beating myself up, it just made me realize that I would have never known if I didn’t ask.

There’s the old saying

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Get.”


I asked and I didn’t get.

How do I stop myself from going down a rabbit hole of AHHHHHHHH?!!!!!???

I broke it down in my head:

Don’t stop asking, because one day you’ll learn that rejection made you stronger and it was all worth the effort. When someone sees your true value, you’ll know that what you’ve been working towards has been well worth it. 

As a parent, I’m seeing that I have to reinforce this lesson with Cooper often.  He gets frustrated that he isn’t a natural at something. He’s gotta practice! He’s gotta put effort in because the process gets easier over time. Sometimes the process makes you realize that you wanted something completely different altogether!

It’s funny how we can have parallel experiences at completely different stages of our lives.

Currently January 2017 on Shutterbean.com!

Inspired by:

Art!  Cooper and I have been finding happiness in melting crayons right now. If you’re following my Instagram stories, you’ve already seen the melting extravaganza.  I bought a hot tray  (for $4.50!) from a thrift shop in December and decided to put it to good use last week. You can find one on eBay if you wanna get an older/cheaper model.

Here’s what I do:

I put down a piece of paper. We melt crayons using the heat tray and then we make prints by dipping paper into the melted wax. What I love about it most is that we create really cool color combinations together. (see above!)  It’s something I did when I was in Girl Scouts many many years ago.

I am currently looking into seeing what I can do with some of my spare time. I would like to put it to good use by volunteering. Anyone know of some good organizations in the Bay Area that might be a good fit? Food? Art? Kids? Gardening? Let me know!


We had an unexpected This is Us binge this month. Silly me didn’t pay attention and thought that there were more episodes and I was so sad when we ran out!  I can see why so many of you suggested it as a replacement to Parenthood. IT IS SO GOOD!  My brother and I are trying to get my parents to watch it, but my dad is knee-deep in Warriors games right now so, hopefully, they’ll get into it soon. I can’t wait to talk about it with my Mom.

Other things we saw:

Captain Fantastic (best movie I’ve seen in a long while!). Incredible, really.

La La Land Loved the colors. The set design was remarkable. Emma Stone impressed me with her singing! I have to say that I was distracted by Ryan Gosling’s new teeth (I notice everything) for the first half of the movie and it kinda made me sad. I thought he was fiiiiiiiiine just the way he was. Teeth add character to a person’s face.  When everyone’s teeth look the same it freaks me out. Just start watching older movies and you’ll see how different people looked.

The Eighties Miniseries on Netflix. LOVED THIS. A lot of it brought me back to my childhood. It was also really interesting to see how things unfolded from an adult perspective.

The Battered Bastards of Baseballwhat a cool story! Casey picked this one out and I was surprised how much I liked it.


I have been reading Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life + listening to their podcast (they also read from the book in some of the episodes).  I’ve been flipping through the book Everyday Matters for the past week or so.  Finding a little inspiration to keep trying, no matter what life throws at me. I highly recommend if you’re interested in drawing.

Thinking about: 

What really bring value into my life?  It’s a result from the Minimalist book. Taking away all of this stuff made me realize how much stuff I’ve been holding onto….mostly because I didn’t have the brain space to deal with it. But in not dealing with it, I always got a nagging voice saying:


And then I’d go into a headspace of being a failure at doing something I keep putting off.

When you finally getting around to doing it, YOU DON’T HAVE THAT NAGGING VOICE ANYMORE.

And when you live a life without that nagging voice, you’re a lot happier because you can see…

All you’ve accomplished. 

I’m also trying to create a master list of what we use/need each month so I can plan shopping trips better and avoid over-spending because I don’t have a solid plan. Wish me luck.

Listening to:

Mirah– I’m going through a phase right now where all I want to do is listen to happier music from my 20s. Mirah has always been one of my favorites.

Leon Bridges– I first heard his song “River” during a yoga class last month. I’ve been hooked. He is so soulful. I’ve been using him as an example for Cooper to see that people can express their feelings through song.

The Minimalist Podcast (check out more of my current favorite podcasts)

Dream Life:

Right now I am not remembering what I am dreaming at night….but then during the day I get these little blasts of a memory and I have to really think if it was something that happened or something I dreamt.  In other words, my life feels like Deja Vu most of the time.


Hippy Banana Bread and Lemon Ginger Elixir.

(I don’t know why I didn’t put the Lemon Ginger in the Drinking section, oof).

I now have the hippy banana bread recipe memorized by heart. There was one loaf where I added an extra half cup of flour and it resulted in a dry bread. This last batch, I made gluten free with Cup4Cup and it worked PERFECTLY. Tastes just like the gluten-full version.


Not enough water and too much coffee.

Lemon Ginger Elixir.

Yes. I’m actually drinking some while typing this because my fingers are COLD and I need to warm them up.

It’s great if you put whiskey in it… really good cold too.

That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll drink more water next month.

You know the drill.

Leave your stream of consciousness in the notes!

How was your January? Any goals for February? 

  • Sid

    Ha! I’ve got the movie Captain Fantastic down on my “bucket” list. Hoping to watch it this week.

    Thinking about Trump and his travel ban. I’ve been to America twice. And I wanna come back. I wanna visit Nevada. I want to see Antelope Canyon, but with current hostile atmosphere I’m too afraid to risk it.

  • Patri Lara

    I remember this last summer you posted the trailer of Captain Fantastic and really wanted to watch it. So these last Christmas I did and I loved it so much! *sigh*

    Reading the message above mine I have to add that I really want to go to the United States once in my life at least (I’m from Spain) but I think I’m going to wait like four years…

    Oh, and I felt bummed for you when you got that “no” from that design company… 🙁 Their lost, Tracy!
    I love your blog and I love the way you live life and I love how you are always doing something 🙂

    Okey, I stop now. Have a great day!!!

    • Tracy

      Thank you so much Patri Lara. I hope you can visit the USA sooner than 4 years from now! I’d love to go back to Spain. I was only there for a day when I went.

      • Patri Lara

        You have to come to Spain again!!! You will love our food so much… I promise is good everywhere in the country 😉
        I was born in the south of Spain in Jerez (do you know Sherry wine? I’m from there!) but I live in Barcelona, north-east.
        So if you ever come here (and remember me! lol) tell me and I’ll show you around.

        It is super weird to talk to you, because I’ve been following you for years!!! and never commented – I don’t know why – and the other day I was thinking that as I like people to talk to me I should do the same, so here am I talking your ear off!

        Anyway… later! 😉

  • Jane M

    I think PURGE should be my middle name! I feel so much better after I get the stuff out of my house. So…in the last 4 years I have STOPPED buying JUNK and it clearly makes me feel better! Why buy JUNK only to haul it to the curb? Each morning I write my elderly MIL and recount the day before. While living in the moment I think I am not doing enough – then writing it all out I think WOW I did all that?! Hip Hip Hooray for me!

    • Tracy

      I love getting rid of things as well. My problem is that I am not good about maintenance. My brain gets distracted with other things and I fall off my routine.

      But I’m learning! I’m on my way to less!

  • Christine

    Regarding the design company…

    I have been trying to remind myself and my 8 year old daughter that feedback from other people tells you more about them than you.

    It is a reflection of what is important to them right now, not your value.

    (I forget where I first read this…Tara Mohr?)

    • Tracy

      Totally! It’s not tied into my value. I know that there’s always a right time and right place for things and other people’s decisions don’t necessarily have anything to do with me.

      You cannot control how people feel about you. The only thing you can control is how you feel about yourself.

      • Tracy

        And I love that—

        It is a reflection of what is important to them right now, not your value.

  • Rachel

    Hi! Long time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted to say that when I read the part about you being denied by the home design company and it making you feel rejected and want to go “AGHHHH” I felt for you. I recently started my cooking blog at least partially inspired by your blog and how authentically you portray yourself on your blog/social media. I think that it’s the home design company’s loss because I can only imagine how much originality you would’ve imparted on that space and they definitely missed out.

    Also following your instagram stories always makes me want to make more time for art…perhaps February is the time for more art (and more lemon ginger elixir cocktails). They sound delicious.

    • Tracy

      Thanks for your kind words, Rachel.

      I want to be as real and honest in what I do. Not being true to myself can bring on more trouble than it’s worth!

      I hope February brings you more art <3

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    I’ve been really into The Minimalists podcast too and I can’t even tell you how much it’s changed my thinking! The more I think about the ‘stuff’ in my life, the more I gain perspective on who I am/who I want to be/all that jazz. It’s crazy how much objects can affect out daily lives!

    Also, for me I’m loving yoga, sleeping (ahh go figure!) and giving myself a break every once in a while. With blogging, I tend to beat myself up over not getting a post out ‘on time’ or posting as much as others, but then I’m like ‘LADY STOP IT’ and tell myself to chill out for a second.

    Loving these posts! xo

    • Tracy

      YESSSSS. It’s definitely changing my way of thinking too!! My house is becoming a place where I want to be because I am not buried in the stress of organizing all of the stuff we have. It’s about SLOWING things down. BEING MINDFUL. Getting rid of whatever doesn’t serve you or bring value!

      RE: blogging— You will feel better about what you’re doing if you give yourself the space you need to recharge and fill yourself up again. Much love!

  • Alex

    I haven’t thought about Mirah in years and all of a sudden Look Up popped into my head a few days ago and it’s been stuck there. So many good memories of listening to Mirah in college.

  • Megan

    Last year, I decided to put myself out there and was rejected and rejected again. For some pretty laughable endeavors — it felt embarrassing. BUT! As Pollyanna as it sounds, I found myself celebrating the rejections as leaving the door open for something better. You might find yourself looking back someday soon and realizing that this project, it may have been a bad fit for whatever reason. Celebrate, I say! 🙂
    My husband is going to hate that I found out about The Eighties miniseries! I’ll subject him to it just the same.
    Dr. Oz says we’re supposed to drink oolong tea. I have no idea why, but I’m game! Turns out it’s one of the only teas I crave without sugar, so bonus!
    Cleaned out the fridge this weekend, and it was so good for my brain. Related: I need to make something with almond flour, because it looks like I keep buying it and just hide it. That stuff’s expensive!
    My goal for February is to actually check off the New Year Fresh Start items on my to-do list. Normally, I give myself until Chinese New Year, but even that wasn’t enough time for the mess that was Jan ’17. Still — hope springs eternal!

    • Tracy

      Celebrate indeed!

      Hippy banana bread has almond flour in it 😉

      I wonder why we’re supposed to drink oolong tea….

      What kind of New Year Fresh Start items do you have on your to-do list?

      • Megan

        Ha! Don’t you know I’ve already printed off the hippy banana bread recipe?! 😉 The only dried fruit I have is figs, so I’m going to use those — we’ll see if that’s a good decision. (But — figs. How bad can it be?)

        OK, so I looked it up: Apparently, oolong tea is a metabolism booster. I’ll take it.

        Ohhh…the usual Fresh Start: Declutter! (My house is like a hydra: I clear one area, two more piles spring up in its place. But! The areas I finished but good? They are still beautiful!) Meal Prep, consistently! Strength training! Walk more! I also want to try new things every week, but do new recipes count every week? It’s what I’ve been doing this past month, but not exactly what I had in mind. Meh — it’s a start.

  • Cheryl

    It isn’t about ‘rejecting the rejection’ (‘it’s their loss’), it’s about acknowledging the fact that the whole world isn’t going to like/admire/want you, and that’s perfectly acceptable–that’s what makes you a grown-up. Sometimes I think the political mess we’re in is an unanticipated consequence of a generation trying to build self-esteem without grounding it in self-worth–there are a whole lot of people out there who feel newly empowered to be mean because it’s how they feel, who don’t see the need for critical thinking and logic, especially when it impacts themselves.

  • Lola

    Leon Bridges is THE BEST.

  • Allison

    Woohoo! Last day of Whole30 for me. It was such a great experience!

    So sorry about your denial, but I love your attitude and find it inspiring.

  • Megan

    It’s funny how rejection usually means something better (and more importantly, a better fit for you) is right around the corner. I often look back at rejection and think how happy I am I didn’t get it, because I would not have received something better later. Not always..:) but many times this is so true.

    I’ve been leaning heavily on caffeine this month. Thanks for the reminder to drink more water. Probably would ease some anxiety too.

    Trying to keep my chin up in this political mess. Waiting to find the right way to voice my opinion, show love and support those that need it right now. I don’t want to look back and say I did nothing during this turbulent time. It’s so important that we pay attention, as painful as it can be.

    Hang in there.

    • Tracy

      TOTALLY! re: rejection. I believe that what is meant to be is meant to be. You can’t force things in life. It doesn’t work that way.

  • hillary

    I always look forward to these posts – so inspiring.

    Thinking about: keeping this gestating baby inside for at least another week or two. The feeling of having one child born during an Obama administration and one during Trump.

    Inspired by: the women and men in my community actively organizing themselves. That and also bold, monochrome graphics.

    Watching: iZombie. (Light and fun and not gory.)

    Reading: birth books alternating with light, fun YA fiction. Light and fun is the name of the game right now.

    Drinking: TJs lemon echinacea juice thing and wishing I’d just made your lemon-ginger elixir instead

    Eating: a lot less than I was the last 9 months.

    re minimalism: I am already so excited to get rid of baby stuff as this new little one grows.

    • Tracy

      what kind of monochrome graphics are you into?

      has your healthcare been ok throughout your pregnancy? i hope you’re on a good plan!

      i just bought a bottle of the lemon echinacea to see what people like about it. I haven’t been ready to open it yet. waiting until I finish this batch of elixir.

      good luck with the last few weeks of your pregnancy. I hope you get enough sleep! And good luck with your delivery xo

  • Kathryn

    I just read an article called “The Business of Dance” by Farooq Chaudhry and this bit really popped out at me:
    “I have tried very hard over the years to steer away from notions of success as well as failure. They are both misleading. Success can make you feel that you are a lot better than you are while failure can make you feel otherwise. If anything, being comfortable with the prospect of failure can be a more potent force for success. If there is no fear of it when it happens, it can be incredibly illuminating. This is because failure demands more honest and focused questioning of yourself than success does.”

    Last year at a dance conference I attended one of the organizers, Brent Schneider, said “Failure is how we learned to walk, why would it be any different when making dances?”

    I feel like we put too much pressure on ourselves to be successful. I feel like true success comes from learning from “failures” or rejections.

    Anyway, all this to say: sending you love.

    • Tracy

      Yes yes yes.

      I am going to add the visual to my repertoire for Cooper. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  • Holly

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing about your rejection. Often I feel like we only share the good in our professional life- the promotion, the raise, the time we asked and it was a big YES. All of us experience setbacks and “no’s” as well as success so let’s talk about that too!

    For what it is worth, I would let you have full artistic license over decorating any space in my home! You have great taste, no matter if this one specific job worked out or not.

    • Tracy

      Yes! Let’s quit trying to make things look like they come naturally or easy.

      I saw something that said:

      Nothing good ever comes easy.

      (which can is not always true)

      When things work out well, sometimes it’s because a LOT of effort and hard work was put into making it so. I think people forget that. People see the end result and not the journey.

  • Katie @ Live Half Full

    I’m on Whole30 day 25! I’m not sure what I want to eat first- I honestly don’t want this feeling to go away and am a little nervous on what to add back first. Any suggestions?

    • Tracy

      I would just keep at it. Slowly add things, but if you are finding that is working for you- STICK TO IT. It’s a lot harder to get back to it after you start in with old habits again.

  • Julie

    Well, you totally hit a bunch of my thoughts/feelings/everything. We just moved, so I’m also going through a PURGE EVERYTHING moment. It’s awesome. I’m also fighting the “stop thinking about something and just do it” monster (actually, I guess I’m always fighting). And I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a blogger who admitted when something didn’t go right on their blog, and I think it is AMAZING and inspiring that you shared that with us. My sister and I just started making some Type 1 diabetes related items to showcase on an Instagram account I have for Type 1 Diabetes (I was diagnosed when I was 5), and it’s actually really inspiring to hear how other people handle the ups and downs of creativity and dealing with social media/blogs/everything. My goals for February are to bullet journal more and to do another Whole 21/30/something at some point…

    • Tracy

      yes!!! and thank you.

      when we learn through the process, it makes the process worth going through!

      what i am finding myself working through at this moment:

      restriction breeds creativity.

      sounds like you’re on the same path 🙂

  • Bri

    Totally agree with some of the other comments. I love following you for many reasons but one reason that tops the lists is your transparency. Thank you for always being so open and honest even if days seems like struggle city. We’re in this together and can learn from each other. Thanks for all you do, Tracy!

  • Malia

    This comment hit home, “This month I had to cut down my time online because I found myself having random panic attacks while checking Facebook throughout the day.”

    In October I made a conscience decision to remove myself from Facebook and I haven’t been back. The political rhetoric was really getting to me, so much so, I wasn’t able to sleep and I was arguing with people who I otherwise think are swell. It was the best decision for me. I did pick-up a nasty Instagram habit, but instead of being angry by the political climate of my feed, I enjoy pictures about cooking, design, french bulldogs, national parks, etc. I still waste time on social media, but it no longer feels damaging.

    I also had to balance to the amount of time I spend reading the news and listening to NPR. I want to stay informed, and I am passionate about the issues, but I can’t let things that are immediately out of my control negatively impact my mental health and well-being. I now reserve my drive time to listening to Audible (currently listening to Noah Trevor read his memoir and I HIGHLY recommend it) and I arrive at work at the beginning of the day and home at the end of the day in a much better mood. My husband and I reserve a portion of our evening to discuss trending news — but we do it together so neither of us ends up in a panic (who am I kidding, I’m the only one who panics).

    It’s a balance and what works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for someone else.

    Thanks for sharing your life.

  • Carrie

    I just finished my 5th round of Whole30 today! This round, I learned that I need to give others grace. All of the friends I started with didn’t make it halfway… It’s lead to some better understanding about my own control issues and the attitude that I have towards others.

  • Adrienne

    Tracy –
    I love the idea of looking back at your month in a glance. I think that with my running around like crazy I am trying hard to make little changes and this would be an awesome way to be able to monitor those in manageable increments.

    On another note – I am planning on likely doing the Whole 30 in March, but one of the things I am going to miss is Kombucha!! Do you still brew frequently? I have not seen any in your weekly meal prep lately, or was this something that was hard to get going again after Whole 30??

  • Jordan

    I love that you shared your “fail” – it’s so easy to assume everyone else is successful while you’re struggling. PS – I’m a fan of https://thefailfeed.com/

  • Nicole Stone

    Did you ever see this TED talk on rejection? It’s pretty inspiring and nails what you said: Don’t ask, don’t get.


  • Julie

    I am finishing a Whole30 tomorrow and I can’t freaking believe I made it. The last two times I tried I quit at day 11 and day 21. This time it didn’t feel so hard – maybe because it’s January and a lot of people I know are trying to eat healthier. I learned that even though it feels really hard in the moment to say no to something – for me it was a drink after I put my kids to bed – it only feels hard for a few minutes. The feeling passes and you go on. I don’t have to give in to every impulse to avoid that “this is hard” feeling. I’m excited to be done and also a little apprehensive about where my eating habits will go from here. Besides weight loss, I don’t feel dramatically different (no tiger blood here), so I don’t ever see myself going paleo. However, I also don’t want to get back to eating candy throughout the day. I could see myself doing this every January to reset.

    • Tracy

      You are so right about that. I have to remind myself that the feeling will pass after a few minutes. It certainly takes a lot of practice to make that connection. Keep up the good work! You should feel proud of your accomplishment!

  • Sarah


    I just love your monthly recaps and reflections! It’s a good practice for all of us– and seeing you do it helps me reflect.
    Inspired by- love. I just got engaged two weeks ago and was expecting I would instantly stress out (pick a date! pick my wedding party! start looking at venues!) and instead have just been luxuriating in the quiet excitement (we’ve only told our parents and close friends). Also inspired by you! Your insta stories have made art feel like an accessible, natural expression that should be built into every day, and it’s like mental yoga. I’ve started watercoloring and love it. Thank you!
    Watching-finishing up West Wing! It’s such a long show, and sometimes I can’t stand watching something political on top of real life, but it actually has really changed my relationships with politics for the better (I used to just ignore it because I didn’t understand it.)
    Thinking about- the future of our country and vulnerability/rejection/change (I have a final interview for a new job today, and find out in March if I’ll be moving across the country for grad school)
    Listening to- NPR, as always, but also John Steven Morgan (look him up! incredible piano music– he wrote all the songs and plays in BART stations/GG park)
    Reading- not as much as I’d like! February is the month I’ll finish that book on my nightstand.
    Eating-whole milk yogurt with blueberries and Kashi every morning!

    • Tracy

      Thanks for the music tip! I’ll look him up after I finish all my emails tonight!! It makes me so happy to hear that you are bringing art in your everyday! It certainly is helping us right now! xoxox Good luck with your interview!

  • dana828

    Thank you for sharing your story of rejection. So so important that we all learn how to deal with this and learn from it, especially in this age of “everyone gets a trophy”. I feel that it’s on us to teach our kids how to handle and grow from their failures. If you never fail, you aren’t trying hard enough. 🙂
    January…I worked too much, drank too much beer, and somehow made it through. January is a crazy-busy work month for me, and I’m so glad it’s over. I was so envious of all the purging and organizing you were doing at the beginning of the month! I started out strong but with the lack of time once the holiday break was over I’ve gotten nothing further accomplished. Now I can get back to it! My goal is to deal with my basement mess by my birthday (March 19).
    WATCHING: Bates Motel season 4. Also just started The Santa Clarita Diet the other night and it is so stupid/funny!
    LISTENING: The Minimalists podcast and Rick Bayless’ podcast. Amos Lee. Gregory Alan Isakov. Lera Lynn.
    READING: still making my way through A Little Life. I kind of don’t want to finish it because then what??
    EATING: A long-anticipated taco & mezcal place just opened here, and we’ve visited twice this week. I can’t wait until we can ride our bikes down there on Sunday afternoons for Mexican Ashtrays (Tecate w/ chili salt and lime) and tacos! Apparently I only know how to cook on Sundays lately. I spent the first two Sundays of the month stocking the freezer with soups. Your carrot-coconut soup has been a big hit! Cooking the rest of the week…nope.
    DRINKING: too much beer. It was Barrel Aged January at our favorite local brewery, and we were there entirely too much. Perhaps I should do a dry February?
    DREAMING: Oregon. Still. I am OBSESSED with planning our summer vacation. All lodging is booked (7 different stops in 11 nights. too much??) I’m pouring over websites and guidebooks and dreaming of hikes and rafting trips and brewery visits and riverside cabin stays.
    Enjoy your February!

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