Blogs I Love: Shutterbean

Blog I Love:

shutterbean header

Who they are: 

blogs i love shutterbean

Smart, sassy, half of the Joy The Baker podcast duo, Tracy from just may be your new best friend. Or at least you want her to be.

Maybe you already know Tracy from the podcast or her blog and I’m late to the party, but seriously, I can’t get enough of this blog.

Tracy says this about herself:

I’m a working mom/wife/photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. – Read more of her words here.

Time magazine pretty much nailed it perfectly when they said this about Shutterbean.

Some bloggers take you too far into their worlds, documenting their every move. Tracy Benjamin, also known as Shutterbean, offers just enough of a window to leave you wanting more. Her beautifully shot recipes are usually fun and easy to make, offering variations on classics like banh mi sandwiches and Bloody Marys. Weekly collections of quirky links and a feature called “My Everyday Life” offer her takes on friends, family, food and more. A sleek, easy-to-navigate design is a cherry on the top of Shutterbean’s already delicious sundae.

 Why I love and what I learn from it:

Tracy and I share a deep love of stripes. Her recipes all look delicious. Her photography is beautiful. The stories around the food are usually funny. And then there are ridiculously helpful posts like The Perfect Fried Egg.

 Posts I find inspiring:

Even though Shutterbean is mostly a food blog, I my favorite posts are her Every Day Life weekly round-up of photographs. Tracy captures the beauty of daily life in creative and interesting ways. She actually inspires me to want to take better photographs and to stop and pay attention to my surroundings.

Tracy also has an occasional series called Out and About – places to go and eat. There are a lot of Bay Area locations because she’s based there and being a native myself, it’s like hanging around my old stomping grounds. With better photos!

On the Plate:

Obviously there are a ton of recipes on Shutterbean because it’s a food blog. The difference is the photography, adding cute graphics to her photos and her obvious love of food.

A small sampling of the recipes I want to make:

Orange Cream Floats

Honey Rosemary Lemonade

Goat Cheese Guacamole with Pita Chips

Orzo Salad

Grilled Greek Panzanella

Life Changing Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

If you haven’t already, go check out and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Blogs I Love: Rosie Molinary

Blog I Love: Rosie

rosie molinary

Who they are: 

blogs i love

Rosie Molinary is a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s my co-creator/facilitator of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher, author of two books – Beautiful You and Hijas Americanas, she’s a body image expert, teacher, board chair of Circle deLuz,  adoptive mama and friend. She’s also a prolific writer, fantasy football nut and cardigan collector.

When asked what work she goes, she invites us to take a peek under the hood and a peek inside her classroom.

Why I love Rosie and what I learn from it:

Rosie is a master at self-care. She wasn’t always. When she started out as a teacher in her early twenties, she ended up in the emergency room twice. In a week.

She learned self-care the hard way. And she writes and teaches what she does, so you don’t have to. I love her for that!

All of her self-care posts show how busy people can make their lives better by taking the time to take care of themselves.

She shows you how to say no so you can say yes to the things most important in your life.

How scheduling a break can help you be more productive in the long run.

Her starter steps to self-acceptance is an absolute must read.

Flipping the switch (from self-hate to self-acceptance).

Quieting the anxiety. The name says it all.

A road map for resilience.

 Posts I find inspiring:

Spark Your Systems is a series of posts which for me are completely awe-inspiring. Rosie outlines how she handles various aspects of her life and she makes organization seem completely reasonable and doable. Some of my favorites are: Menu Planning and Planning for What You Need, Want and Have To Do (my want-to-do list somehow always gets lost).

Giving up The Facade – would you go au natural, even for a day? Rosie challenges her students (and the community at large) go forgo make up and hair products for a day and to let the world see the real person. I’m fascinated by this phenomenon because I grew up in an era where make up was optional for a lot of us. Not so much for this next generation. In the past she has shared photos of her scrubbed clean students and they all look beautiful.

Getting Over A Break Up: A Primer. Who hasn’t been there? Here are real steps to help you feel better.

 If you haven’t already, go check out and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Blogs I Love: Curvy Yoga

Blog I Love: Curvy Yoga


Who they are:

Anna Guest-Jelley is the mastermind behind Curvy Yoga – a training and inspiration portal for curvy yogis and their allies and teachers.

I was fortunate enough to meet Anna pretty quickly after my yoga teacher training and had the opportunity to interview her for our Featured Teacher Series. You can check out those interviews here and here.

Basically, she is a rock star.

Recently she guest posted here at TGBTS about How Restorative Yoga Healed My Body Image – which includes a free restorative section from her book Permission to Curve.

Anna organized the Curvy Yoga community to send photos to the Yoga Journal Model Contest and published all the photos on her site. If you look you may even find some familiar faces.

Some local Sacramento Curvy Yogis from It’s All Yoga and I talked with Anna about our Curvy Yogi photo shoot, radical insight and the subversiveness of acceptance and the interviews are here and here.

In other words, Anna has been a TGBTS ally since the start and she is not only a warm, generous person, but also an inspiration. I am so happy to have Anna in my corner.


Why I love Curvy Yoga and what I learn from it:

Anna writes thoughtful, thought-provoking posts and provides information I haven’t found anywhere else.  She inspires me to bring yoga to people who may believe they can not do it for whatever reason.

Posts I find inspiring:

Why Touching Your Toes Doesn’t Matter

Restorative Yoga (a simple practice for home)

25 Ways to Add Yoga to Your Life

13 Ways of Looking At A Yoga Pose

Weighty Words

Dear Yoga Journal

Curvy Yogis, Represent!

Yogi Imperfect

Are You Advanced In Your Practice?

Finding Your Teacher

Yoga From the Wounded Place

If you haven’t already, go check out Curvy Yoga and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Blogs I Love: Yes and Yes

Blog I Love: Yes and Yes

Who they are:

Yes and Yes is written by the effervescent Sarah Von Bargen – a globe-trotting, cheese loving, list making, business woman of the most awesome variety. I’ve had the pleasure of brunching with her while she visited Sacramento and was pleasantly surprised that she is even more awesome in person than she is online.

Did I also mention she has taught English in Taiwan? A girl after my own heart.

Why I love Yes and Yes and what I learn from it:

What isn’t to love? I mean, seriously. Sarah starting writing the blog she wanted to read and as it turns out found exactly what other people want to read too: smart, funny, thought-provoking, inspiring, and helpful posts on a variety of topics.

I’ve learned how to solo lady travel, pack, create a list of new experiences and follow through on them, say NO, restart a new year, give a compliment. Seriously, the list goes on and on, but I think you get the point.

Sarah writes to help her readers. In a clever way. So refreshing!

I’ve even written about adoption for Yes and Yes and was honored to be included in the Yes and Yes community.

Posts I find inspiring:

Greatest Hits! Titles include: How To Create An Amazing Group of Friends, Settle the Eff Down: (Or How to Avoid Psyching Yourself Out), How to Get Over A Break Up, How Do I Become a Grown Up Parts 1 and 2!

Mini Travel Guides

Taiwan – Since we are totally taking little girl back to Taiwan at some point, I loved this travel guide.

Sarah revisited Taiwan recently on her way back home. Here are some Notes from the Road.

Sarah’s advice for Getting A Good ESL Job may come in super handy when we return to Taiwan.

If you haven’t already, go check out Yes and Yes and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Blogs I Love: 100 Days of Real Food

Blog I Love: 100 Days of Real Food

Who they are:

100 Day of Real Food‘s tag line – 1 Family, 2 Kids and 0 Processed Foods pretty much sums it up. A couple of years ago, Lisa – the mom behind the blog – read Michael Pollen’s In Defense of Food and had a major food epiphany and decided to change how her family ate for 100 days. They are still at it and she writes about how they keep their food real.

Why I love 100 Days of Real Food and what I learn from it:

I have been really interested in whole food and organics for the better part of a decade. I honestly can’t remember why I decided to start eating whole foods, maybe it was starting to really learn to cook and realizing how fulfilling it is to feed myself.  Also reading books like This Organic Life: Confessions of A Suburban Homesteader changed how I thought about where my food came from. After reading this book, I signed up for a CSA and began eating foods in season and grown close to home. And I started feeling better.

When I was studying to become a teacher, we got to work in school gardens with some of our students. It was pretty eye-opening how little students knew about where their food came from. That experience helped me to want to help others eat better.

One of the ways I teach students about food is sharing what I eat. This may sound weird, but I show my students my meals. I eat breakfast at school and show them my steel cut oats with cooked apples or yogurt with honey and real blueberries.  Sometimes we sit together at lunch time. They are so interested in what I’m eating. They usually say they’ve never heard of it or comment that it looks weird, but smells good. We talk about the importance of eating the rainbow. Not like eating every color Skittles (actual conversation), but to eat different colored fruits and vegetables. On my birthday, I bring treats: strawberries and vanilla wafers with whipped cream. Well, I don’t use the dairy anymore, but they love it.

I love food and now that I’m in change of feeding another human, I am even more concerned with the quality of said food. Plus with all my allergies, I’ve got to be pretty diligent about reading labels and keeping allergens out of my system.

I absolutely love reading about other people’s adventures in navigating the real food world.
Posts I find inspiring:

Real Food Tips: 7 Healthy Holiday Parties (for kids!) – as a teacher, I am thankful for posts like this one full of ideas on how not to sugar up the kiddos at school. I’ve already tried a couple of these ideas with great success (recycled trash crafts and board games with the teacher playing day) and I look forward to my return to the classroom to try more.

Real Food Tips: 10 Ways To Switch Up Your Kid’s Lunch – Kid’s lunch? What about MY lunch? Really, in all seriousness, use these ideas to make your own lunch better.

Real Food Tips: 10 Reasons To Cut Out Processed Foods – please know I still eat completely and utter like crap some of the time. On purpose. But 90% of the time, we are hitting up the whole foods.

Real Food Tips: 12 Ways to Keep It Cheap – Eating whole food can be expensive. Lisa has specific tips to help defray the cost. At this point my life, I’d rather spend money on quality food than medicine in the future. I’m that guy now.

Welcome to 100 Days of Real Food – where it all started and a 10-Day Pledge.

Lunch photos on Facebook – I very much want Lisa to make my lunch.

If you haven’t already, go check out 100 Days of Real Food and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?