Currently: May 2017

Currently May 2017 on - check out a roundup of the month by Tracy Benjamin

Last day of May! YAY. Cooper has about a week left of school and then we’re done for the year. WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? I feel like this school year went by so dang fast and there’s so much to be done in the next week it’s like WHOAAAAAAAA.

June will probably be the last month that I have in my current bullet journal (I started it in September!) It took me a few months to figure out how much space I needed, so I’ll be much more considerate in my next one. Will I get another orange one??? Hmmm. Something to look forward to this Summer, and you know how much I love a project!

Sidenote- in June, I will have been doing this “Currently” series for a whole year. WOW!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!!!!! It’s been a really good way of getting my head in the game for the next month by reviewing what just happened. I can’t wait to go back and see what I was doing in past years…that is if I am good at keeping up this habit!

I digress….


Currently May 2017 on - check out a roundup of the month by Tracy Benjamin

Inspired By:

Pen pals!

Seriously 100% INSPIRED.

Having a P.O. Box has the been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  Thank you to everyone who has sent me mail. You have no idea how much it has helped pull me out of a MAJOR funk. Your kindness, magic and heartfelt letters have been so good for the soul.


Here’s the address:

Tracy Shutterbean

P.O. Box 604

San Anselmo, CA 94929

I volunteered about 8 hours of my time at my local church thrift store this month. It has been such a delightful experience. I daydream of having a store one day filled with cool finds. But for now, I have been living vicariously through this store. It is so gratifying to see some of the displays that I create help sell items. It’s actually kind of a thrill!

The best part is spending my time with the older women who work there. They’re so delighted to have someone who is willing & able (me!) to teach them about technology and make their work life simpler. They also love the fact that I’m tall (compared to them) and can reach things that are high up on the shelves.

Volunteer your time in any way you can, if you can!  It makes you feel good and others are left feeling grateful and happy.



This month we’ve been into Master of None. For those of you who aren’t sure about Aziz Ansari—he has totally grown on me!  I thought he was kind of annoying on Parks & Rec but DANG he is funny, observant, and an amazing story teller. His book Modern Romance totally changed my mind!  How cool is that he gets to write himself into such cool positions like being a host of a food tv show with trips to ITALY.  Are you watching it?  We have Cooper singing, “Eating in Italy is my Favorite Thing!”

We’re getting excited to start House of Cards soon (goodbyeeeeeeeeeee week of life while we binge on it!). No, but seriously I am a little nervous because my internal clock has been changing a bit. I’m waking up earlier these days, and as a result, I crash a lot earlier at night which means I ALWAYS FALL ASLEEP while are watching tv shows.

I guess it prolongs series, huh? There’s the silver lining!

Also really enjoying Abstract: The Art of Design (on Netflix)   I was up late the other night (tooooo much coffee) and I watched a couple episodes. I can’t wait to watch more!  I love the way the filmmaker chooses to deliver information. It definitely catches the attention of my visual brain. Plus it’s helping me to see design in a different way.


I definitely haven’t made enough time for leisure reading lately. I do have If Walls Could Talk on my nightstand that I’ve been reading slowly. It’s pretty fascinating to see how much things have evolved in our homes over the past few hundred years. You get to see where some of our expressions like “hit the hay” come from. This kind of stuff fascinates me to no end.

Any summer reading you’re excited about?

Thinking About:


Cooper is signed up for one camp so far. I am going to have to shuffle my schedule a bit, so I am trying to figure out what our daily schedule will be like this Summer. I suppose he is going to be in #shutterbeancamp this summer!!!  Last year we cooked from How to Cook in 10 Easy Lessons  together and we still have many more recipes to accomplish.

I’d love to take him on some adventures around the Bay Area and maybe up north. Getting away from home inspires me (with all the new things too see & experience) and it helps me appreciate our routine.

Summer Bucket list is coming up soon! I am just waiting on Cooper to finish his and we’ll be all set.

Listening To:

This month I’ve been listening to a lot to Dorothy Ashby. One of my followers on Instagram gave me the tip (THANK YOU!). It’s the perfect soundtrack to my life right now. It definitely makes me feel happy and less stressed! Sometimes it reminds me of the movie Sideways and makes me daydream about being on a road trip. Sighhhhhhh.

Also back into the mix listening to Uhh Yeah Dude. I need their sense of humor in my ear holes right now.


Dream Life:

Back in Tahoe! This time I’m at some hotel. I think it might be at this hotel I went to when I was young for my dad’s business conference when I was a kid. I keep remembering stairwells. I wonder if something traumatic happened there and I am trying to relive it in my dreams?

I also had a dream that I was involved in an emergency plane crash. We landed in snow… buried in a snow bank.  I woke myself up before I had a chance to see if we made it out alive. I gotta take it easy on my dream life right now. GEEZ.


Thinking of cutting out bread (here we are again!).

Thinking of doing a cleanse (ugggh. juice or food??!).

Thinking of having a reset so I can start the summer with some good health intentions. (always the case!)

Maybe I just need a salad. (or not to eat bread)

I bought some string cheese for some protein snacks and I’ve been pairing it with pretzels and inadvertently turning said snack into DINNER and then my family is like WHAT IS FOR DINNER and I have to be like….”OH CRAP, what can I make them and not be tempted to eat cuz I just ate my weight in pretzels and string cheese???”

String cheese = yes.

Pretzels = NO

I can’t stop eating pretzels when I start.

Must remember some of these healthy snack options! 

On the flipside, I added this Ginger Brew to my meal prep routine so HOORAY.

Love ginger beer? You can make your own concentrate for drinks & cocktails. Find the recipe on

This month’s self-portrait:

New hair. Same sass. I am always in the freaking car these days.

Also, want to buy my favorite sweater in every single color.

My Everyday Life: Week 21 on

Journal spread for May:

Currently May 2017 on - check out a roundup of the month by Tracy Benjamin

Lots of events in May. BRING IT ON, JUNE.

SO! Tell me what’s up with you! 

How was your MAY?

What do you want to do in JUNE?

Leave your stream of consciousness in the comments below. It’s fun!

  • Jane M

    I went to the gym THE MOST TIMES EVER in a month this month of May! WOOT WOOT! I do Aqua Aerobics – I know I know – but I’m the 1 in the class that really does the workout with gusto (AND go under and get my hair wet!). Now I have to make a goal for JUNE – hmmmm I need to think that over.

    • Tracy

      omg that is fantastic!!! you should be super proud of yourself!!!

  • Paula

    I am currently struggling with my summer bucket list as I am due with our second baby on June 2nd (patiently waiting it out over here as we are in the midst of a heat wave). When my first child was born in the summer (late August) I did not make any plans and felt like it was a summer wasted so now I am really trying to put in the effort to come up with some fun things for us to do so our summer does not feel like an endless stream of late night feedings and not getting enough sleep.

    So far on my list I have:

    Make homemade donuts (just bought a donut pan and excited to try it out)
    A road trip here and there to an outdoor pool/lake or maybe go to the mountains for the day
    Ice cream for dinner on a really hot day
    Trips to the library

    I think June will be about keeping it simple as we will be in survival mode for a bit with a new baby and hopefully July we can branch out and do a few more things that involve leaving town 🙂

    • Tracy

      all of these things sound like good things!
      i need to make more baked doughnuts myself. Thanks for the reminder.

      Also- remember to take good care of yourself this summer. your body will be healing. don’t push yourself too hard. enjoy the newness of the season. xo

  • Abby

    I am determined to make June the month that I really buckle down on the budget front. My husband and I have definitely gotten off track lately and with BOTH of our student loans coming out of deferment in June, now is the time to get things together. I’m going to start with meal planning (I have been doing a terrible job lately!) and then go from there. Tonight we’re having breakfast pizza!

  • Ashley

    May flew by and my goal is to get stuff DONE in June!

    Hoping to do more reading and less TV (which should be easy since most of our shows will be over for the summer).

    Need to start knitting a blanket for my sister in law’s baby shower in July!

    Working on making our outdoor patio a space we really enjoy sitting and hanging out. Our house is a major remodel and the patio needs to be taken out and redone, but there’s no reason for it to not be as enjoyable as possible in the meantime! Frankly, I need to start on a lot of yard work that I’ve been putting off until other things are done.

    Going to an IVF consultation in June, exciting and terrifying.

    • Ashley

      ALSO trying to spend less money in June, but I NEED that sweater from Banana! Today is still May, so maybe… haha 😉

    • Tracy

      wow! big things for the summer!

      do you know what you want to read during the summer?
      it’s important to be outside during this time of year—ENJOY that patio!!!

  • Angela

    May was for finishing up my quarter for school and I’m so glad to check that off my list. Was just working on my summer bucket list, which I’ll be starting with a bang tomorrow, and it includes:
    Eating Ice Cream at 3 new shops.
    Taking a ferry somewhere new
    Planning my in-laws visit (8 days! in our apartment!)
    Going on some bike rides
    Trying two new workouts with friends (pilates? boot camp?)

    • Tracy

      ooooh. i like all of these things!!
      good luck with the 8 day visit. Maybe your ice cream journey can be part of it??!

  • Sarah

    Love these posts so much! I’ve been wanting to send you a postcard, but life has been busy busy and I haven’t gotten a chance. There is a local artist’s painting at my climbing gym in berkeley of a woman cutting her hair that reminds me of you (didn’t know if that was creepy – eek!).

    I am currently reading David Foster Wallace’s Broom of the System. It is entertaining but a slow read because he basically writes in endless paragraphs. Worth checking out if you like fiction!

  • Scarlett

    I’m gonna have to look into Dorothy Ashby! Your description piqued my interest so much. And I’m so into Master of None! I was so bummed out when I finished the season. Ugh! I’m obsessed with Alessandra Mastronardi’s style in that show.

    • Tracy

      Her style is supreme.
      Last night we watched the final episode….not knowing it was the last one and then my husband yelled at the TV. GOOD TIMES GOOD TIMES. What a cliffhanger!

  • Scarlett

    ALSO. I am on the no-bread train myself. I’ve been trying to stick with NSNG (no sugar, no grains– check out Vinnie Tortorich on twitter for more info) as a way to reset (and lose a bit before my wedding and honeymoon this summer) and it’s been going ok! I just love bread though. Especially a good crusty baguette. Sigh.

    • Tracy

      wedding! honeymoon! exciting!
      i hope you eat all the carbs on your honeymoon.


      i lost 8 lbs. a week before my wedding (stress with wedding + work).
      my dress didn’t fit. it was loose. that’s weird. that’s never happened.
      i went to mcdonalds and ate all the fries.
      it was delightful.
      my dress fit.
      happy ending.

  • hillary

    Reading: Operating Instructions for the second – but not last! – time. Anne Lamott is the best.

    Watching: Downton Abbey over lunch at work. I stopped after season 3 and now I remember why.

    Listening: Old Frank Deford pieces. RIP. I loved his voice.

    Eating: Anything made in the Instant Pot. And banana muffins. And lots of rice for some reason.

    Inspired by: The smell of oranges in the hallway. Leaning in to the chaos that is. The promise of sleep one day.

    • Sasha

      I’m loving my Instant Pot too!! I’ve been making lots of recipes from Nom Nom Paleo

    • Tracy

      Putting that Anne Lamott book on my list! I see her at my grocery store sometimes 🙂
      we are eating a lot of rice here too for some reason….maybe it’s the instant pot!

      • hillary

        It is seriously the most amazingly honest portrayal of the life with an infant. I think I would hug her if I ever saw her in person. She was supposed to speak at an institution where I used to work. They cancelled the event because people complained that some of her beliefs conflicted with those of the Catholic Jesuit school. I was heartbroken.

        I need to meal plan some Nom Nom Paleo recipes for next week. My husband smoked three kinds of ribs yesterday so we are set on meat for a while.

        These posts are just my absolute fave.

  • Megan

    School is out tomorrow in our district (!!!), so May has been extra hectic with all the end of year jazz. I feel totally unprepared for summer — I’m like a dog chasing my tail — but it’s coming anyway so might as well just jump on in!

    Reading: How to Raise an Adult

    Listening: podcasts! Sad to have finished Crimetown; love Storybrand and The Lazy Genius; sometimes have enough time for The Tim Ferriss Show

    Watching: finished Better Call Saul (on Netflix)

    Eating: It’s watermelon time in South Texas!!! And way too much chips and salsa lately

    Inspired by: You, Sister! 🙂 You’re doin’ things!!!

    • Tracy

      We love Better Call Saul!
      I just ate chips & salsa for dinner
      How to Raise an Adult sounds like a good book to read! I should read it.

  • Sasha

    I’ve got a lot of stress going on right now so I decided to do a Whole30 to help manage that and not try to eat my feelings. So far I’m doing good and I think its helping me.

    Eating: Whole30 meals, and using my Instant Pot a lot! I’m loving it.

    Watching: Going to watch my hometown play the A’s next week! I’m super excited 🙂 Also, Jeopardy is my jam every night.

    Planning: Going home to visit my parents, a Montreal trip to meet up with friends to celebrate Canada Day, a camping trip to Yosemite, and a Napa trip to celebrate my 8th wedding anniversary

    • Tracy

      What do you love to make in the Instant pot?

      • hillary

        Yes – tell us! I need to branch out beyond weekly eggs, oatmeal, rice and chicken.

      • Sasha

        From Nom Nom Paleo, I’ve made her Braised Kale + Carrots, Beef Chili,
        Pork +Cabbage soup(I’ve used beef as well), Mexican Beef and her Kalua Pig.

        From Pioneer Woman, I’ve adapted her Pot Roast and Braised Short Ribs in the Instant Pot.

        I also make eggs, soups and Chicken Tikka Masala.

  • Rebeca

    May was intense, I’d say. I turned 32, freaked out thinking I was pregnant, freaked out even more thinking my boyfriend was sick again, caused my first car accident (thankfully a tiny thing!), and had to spend our holiday money on an emergency. But at least no one’s sick or pregnant! 🙂

    In June I want to relax (I have my first week off work since October – woot!), go on more hikes, break in the mini Magnum moulds I bought, keep eating all of the fruits, and read more! My work schedule changes in July and June is a transition month for me.

  • meag

    cleanses! i work at a juice bar and i feel like everyone’s always on a cleanse. i’ve never done a juice cleanse but i have recently started taking daily wheatgrass shots and doing yoga 5x a week! apparently 1 oz wheatgrass = 2 lbs green produce. DANG! dunno if it’s working, but my skin is clearer and it makes me feel #healthy.

  • Leah

    My family and I used to stay at Granlibakken all the time when we visited Tahoe in the summer. My parents got married there. Small world!

  • sarah

    curious if you would ever do Whole 30 again? I am on day 7 using lots of your tips and recipes, thanks!

    • Tracy

      definitely! the hardest part for me is figuring out when it works with my schedule. 🙂 Good luck!

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