September 3, 2018

Currently: August 2018

Currently: August 2018 on Shutterbean.com

Currently August 2018:


Goodbye August, Hello September.

August was a doozy.  August always is if you have a child out of school for the summer. There’s this pull of trying to savor all the time with your child while working and then sometimes wanting to go back to school just because you love a routine and rhythm. Summer seems to end the second school starts.

And here we are in September already.

Here’s what August 2017 &  August 2016  looked like btw. I love reading some of my old entries.

The weird thing about living in the Bay Area (where I have lived most of my life), is that this is the time of year where the leaves start changing and we get hints of Autumn cues like leaves falling but then we are BLASTED with heat. It’s very confusing for the mind. Especially when you just want to settle into sweater weather and start getting cozy.

August was my birthday month. I turned 39. This is the last year of my 40s. This was also the first birthday I had without my Mom. We were up in Tahoe for it. It’s such a weird thing to go on a yearly vacation without her. Trips are more mellow and quiet. At least this trip I got to stay up late talking with my friend Eileen til 2 AM. My mom would have been proud.

For every birthday, my parents would call me first thing in the morning. They’d have the phone on speaker phone. Their singing was a little off tune. My mom lead the way. This was the first time it didn’t happen.  We were in Tahoe and my Dad had a major head cold. New normals.

I did receive:

a birthday card that sang me “CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES” (the kind of card my mom would have sent me)

a birthday package from a friend who was glad I was born

a birthday bracelet from my boys that looks like the veins of a tree.

a birthday voxer from a friend who imitated Marilyn Monroe’s voice

a double date night in Tahoe with lots of drinks, food and a dairy queen cone with my bro & sis

at least a dozen birthday cards in my PO BOX (THANK YOU)

Birthdays are a trip when you get older. I am just so glad that people are still thoughtful. THANK YOU.

This month was also big because my 6-page spread in Better Homes & Gardens on Meal Prepping came out!

My Everyday Life: Week 29 on Shutterbean.com

It was so awesome to see so many people tag me in their photos of the magazine in their Instagram stories. It felt so fun and special knowing that a lot of you are cooking from the story.

My Everyday Life: Week 29 on Shutterbean.com

The assignment came at a particularly tough time during my grief process and knowing that it would have made my mom so proud kept me going. Thank you so much to Nancy & team!  Thank you for believing in me and thank you for lighting a fire under my butt to get my work together to show. It was just what I needed at the time.

My Everyday Life: Week 29 on Shutterbean.com

Currently: August 2018 on Shutterbean.com


Inspired By:

Slowing down. Libraries. Real Life.

Go outside. Seriously.

Get off your phone.

Look at the world. Try not to stress out.

Sometimes when you pay attention hard enough, you’ll see some real goodness around you.

I was rocking out to a song on the treadmill. There’s a guy next to me watching Queer Eye on his phone and all of a sudden my phone fell and he saw me catch it. Like almost falling on the treadmill but VICTORY.  I looked over, and he mouthed “Nice catch!”  I laughed and we smiled.

Pay attention to little things like that.

They will make you feel a million times happier than any like from someone online.



We have been watching a few things on TV this month. Better Call Saul has been fun. I like adding New Mexico-ish vibes to my dreamscape before bed. I also just really love the fact that you can have a TV show that goes back in time in a series (Breaking Bad). It makes me believe in time travel somehow.

We started watching Lodge 49. I love Wyatt Russell. I look at his face and think “LOVE CHILD OF GOLDIE HAWN & KURT RUSSELL!!!” the show reminds me a bit of  The Big Lebowski.  Funny because he goes by Dud in the show. Dud for Dudley. The dude abides. His father dies in the show and he’s left with his twin sister so in some ways I key into the grief aspect. I like it. It’s weird. It’s kinda kooky too.

We finished Orange is the New Black. I dunno if I liked the season but I’m interested in seeing what happens now that the season is over. Not spoiling. Almost did.


I’ve oscillated (love that word) between two books this month.

I haven’t finished either one of them. My life is getting in the way.

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

How to Break Up with Your Phone

This book should be required reading. It will make you think hard about the time you put into life online.

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

You’re on an Airplane

A fun one to read by Parker Posey (love her!)

Currently August 2018 on Shutterbean.com

Casey also read all of these books while we were on vacation.

It makes me happy when he is taking time out from his programming brain (he designs smart home systems) and fills it with words. It’s really important to reset your brain.

Miracle in the Andes

The Accidental Billionaires

The Blind Side

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

Thinking About:

The new school year mostly. Cooper is in 4th grade. He will have a lot more homework this year. He’s using PEN!! There will be sports this year and lots of school stuff.  I am hoping to get into a good routine with my health- both mentally and physically. That way I can help support him during this year when he becomes a 10-year-old! TEN. TEN YEARS OLD. I mean…where does the time go???

Listening To:

I’m currently working on a few playlists. One that’s good for treadmill use. Stuff with a good beat.

I’m only like 4 songs in so I’ll wait until there’s something cohesive in there.

We also listened to a few podcasts in the car on the way up to Tahoe:

The Way I Heard it With Mike Rowe

I used to know Mike Rowe in another life… when I helped manage a recording studio in the city. He’s an amazing human being with a gift for storytelling. His podcasts are really short. I really like this format.

My Everyday Life: Week 31 on Shutterbean.com

Dream Life:

I had a dream that my mom gave me a cough drop. She found it behind the stone of our old house in Tahoe.

Also dreaming mostly in a different time era. 1970s-1980s.

The coloring of places in my dreams is super retro.

Must be all of the nostalgic animated gifs I’ve been looking at on my phone.

Haven’t been getting enough sleep (watching tv before bed!) so hopefully, September will bring more sleep. We shall see.


Eating and drinking all kinds of things this August.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

We had a lot of Homemade Dried Fruit batches in our kitchen this Summer.

I drank a lot of Manhattans in Tahoe.

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

My dad got me into his favorite cereal- Heritage Flakes. It’s really good if you add raisins and bananas.

He orders it through Amazon (he’s got a subscription!).

It made me happy to see him use technology to make life easier for himself.


My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

Birthday cone with my brother. Being in Dairy Queen with him makes me feel like we are still young.

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

Cooper started to like peanut butter this month so that makes me beyond happy.


My Everyday Life: Week 34 on Shutterbean.com

Your crisp is on my list.

Simple Mixed Berry Crumble with whipped cream is a wonderful summer dessert. Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com!

This month I did a lot of photography for One Potato.

It meant some of my own work had to be put aside. Gotta pay the bills, yo!

I am excited to see that they’re doing so well! It makes me happy to know that my photography is helping people easily cook with their families.

My Everyday Life: Week 31 on Shutterbean.com

A lot of pancakes were consumed this month. Everyday Pancakes for the win!

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

Does Summer food get any better?

My Everyday Life: Week 33 on Shutterbean.com

This month I shared:

Tracy from Shutterbean shares her current Favorite Pens! See what's in her pen case!

My current favorite pens! Did you see?

Get Ready for the New School Year with some tips from Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com!

Also, you can see how we get ready for the new school year at my house.

Altar this Month:

My Everyday Life: Week 32 on Shutterbean.com

Manifesting some family love!

Self Portrait for August:

Currently August 2018 - Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.com


Currently: August 2018 on Shutterbean.com

Let’s Check in!

How was your August? What are you looking forward to in September??!



  • Sina

    Hi Tracy, your August sounds wonderful and I absolutely love your portrait! “Amazing”!
    Saying good bye to summer and starting an new school year is what we do here as well. My older kid is in 3rd grade now and the (not so) little 5-year-old is almost disappointed she has to wait yet another year for school to finally start (in Germany kids start school at age 6). I loved summer but I sure do love the rhythm and reliability of school and work as well. We returned from vacation one week ago and are slowly settling into a routine. I’ll continue my bujo and list making to keep it all together…
    Have a good week! Sina

  • Caitlin

    Tracy, your self portrait is AMAZING! So happy whenever I see successes for you like BHG and One Potato. Great job! Everytime I’m in the north bay (not often, I’m in Berkeley) I hope I’ll run into you 🙂

  • KG

    HAHA! Your crisp is on my list!

  • Sarah

    Wow! Congrats on the magazine spread. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Big deal!! Way to go.

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