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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Filtering by Category: Not a recipe

Time for Christmas Cookies!

Tracy Byrne

Time for Christmas Cookies! | Cookie Tray 2015 | Pale Yellow

By Christmas cookie, I mean anything that can be served individually.  It's all about the cookie (treat) tray.  When I think of a well round Christmas cookie tray there are several flavors/textures I want to include: peppermint, gingerbread, orange or cranberry, eggnog, nutty, sugar cookies, and something chocolate.  Obviously I think about this a lot, there are many lists!  Above is 2015 cookie tray and at the bottom is the cookie tray from 2014.  I've been making Christmas cookie trays for at least 10 years.  The goal is to create a tray that is colorful and diverse in flavors and textures.  Here are some recipes to get your brains thinking!

Time for Christmas Cookies| Peppermint Blossoms | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Molassess Crinkles | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Shortbreads | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Tangerine and Cranberry Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Eggnog Shortbreads | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Sprinkle Sugar Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Red Velvet Blossoms | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Boozy Eggnog| Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies! | Cookie Tray 2014 | Pale Yellow

P.S. - Here are some I'm considering for this year's tray!

Whole 30 - Week 4

Tracy Byrne

And we are done!  I'll do a post in a few weeks showing some of my favorite recipes I used, but here is the final wrap-up of meal plans.  Let's hope I don't go crazy today on wine, Halloween candy, and pizza!

Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 23:

  • Baked eggs with roasted broccoli & cauliflower and spinach; chicken sausage; coffee with cashew milk
  • Chili with leftover pulled pork; half an avocado; roasted cauliflower
  • CHIPOTLE!! Carnitas with pico, salsa verde, guacamole, and lettuce; apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 24: 

  • Baked eggs with roasted broccoli & cauliflower and spinach; turkey and ham cold cuts: apple with almond butter; coffee with cashew milk
  • Massaged kale salad with leftover chicken thighs, artichokes, tomato, avocado, nut/seed mix, and apple
  • Spaghetti squash; roasted broccoli
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 25:

  • 2 eggs over easy; tomato; avocado; turkey + ham cold it's; half an apple; coffee with cashew milk
  • Chicken tenders; roasted veggies; banana/cocoa/cashew milk smoothie
  • Chicken and broccoli slaw salad; chicken and veggie kabab (not pictured); la croix 
  • Warm spiced apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 26:

  • Banana-almond chia pudding; banana/cocoa/cashew milk smoothie; coffee with cashew milk 
  • Turkey and ham roll-ups with tomato, avocado, & mustard; roasted veggies 
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, sausage, & chicken tenders
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 27:

  • Banana almond chia pudding; coffee with cashew milk
  • Massaged kale salad with chicken, apple, and avocado; pistachios
  • Coconut flour chicken tenders; oven baked sweet potato fries; roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 28:

  • Banana almond chia pudding; strawberry-pineapple cashew milk smoothie; coffee with cashew milk
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms and chicken sausage; roasted broccoli and cauliflower
  • Chicken and broccoli slaw salad; apple
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 29:

  • Banana almond chia pudding; chicken sausage; coffee with cashew milk
  • Kale salad with turkey, apples, avocado, and sunflower seeds; dill pickles
  • Coconut coated chicken tenders with mustard; apple with almond butter, sweet potato oven fries
Whole 30 Meal Plane | Pale Yellow

Day 30:

  • 2 eggs over easy; ham; coffee cashew milk
  • Chili; apple
  • Vegan pesto spaghetti squash with grilled chicken

Namibia II

Tracy Byrne

This summer I visited Namibia to study cheetah conservation.  Below is an assignment for my graduate program expressing my overarching take-away from the program.  There were many amazing moments, but this summarizes my change in attitudes, beliefs, and understandings.

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

A 4:30 am airport pickup is early.  Dean picks me up and laughs at my luggage.  It's a lot, but I "need" it all.  I'm going to Africa after all to work with cheetahs and see wildlife.

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

 Finally arriving in Windhoek after twenty hours of travel.  The expanse of land is immense.  There is red dirt everywhere with sparse trees.  I’m here, I’ve made it, I’m ready to experience it all.  Driving through Namibia to Otjiwarongo, everyone on the bus can spot the wildlife except for me; I’m starting to fell discouraged. 

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

 We arrive at Cheetah Conservation Fund, and I see them, not one, but many cheetah.  My first African wildlife in Africa has been seen.  How could I not realize how small cheetahs are?  They are quite unassuming.  Their speed enables them to catch their prey, but their size leaves them undefended.  Assumptions are made, cheetahs are killed, they are not perpetrators, but they are the victims.

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

 Cheetahs are legally allowed to be killed for trespassing on the land of farmers in Namibia.  It is thought that cheetahs are responsible for the killing of livestock and seen as a threat.  Genetic evidence and hair analysis through cheetah scat shows cheetahs rarely kill livestock and choose other prey (Marker et al, 2003).

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

 Cheetahs are threatened because they have lost their land; there are limited places for them to roam and 90% of cheetahs have habitats on farmlands.  Cheetahs are threatened due to a lack of understanding by humans, there is not one simple solution.  We can change the threatened status of cheetahs.  Knowledge can change the fate of cheetahs.  Holistic, multi-pronged strategies are the driving force of successful conservation.

Namibia II | Pale Yellow

 And yes, I eventually saw wildlife!


Marker, L. L., Muntifering, J. R., Dickman, A. J., Mills, M. G. L., & Macdonald, D. W. (2003). Quantifying prey preferences of free-ranging Namibian cheetahs.  South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 33(1), 43-53.







Whole 30 - Week 1

Tracy Byrne

Hi. Yes, I'm doing a Whole 30 with my maj Lynn. I wish we could be physically together to share meals and recipes, but the phone & moral support is excellent!

I eat food repeatedly whether or not I'm on a regime, so you'll see a lot of same. Makes things easier with less waste!  After six days the sugar withdrawal headaches finally went away.  When researching the Whole 30, they say the second week is the hardest, but hopefully this is not true.

Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 1:

  • Chia pudding with mixed berries (frozen) an a seed/nut/coconut mix; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Butternut squash soup; hazelnuts
  • Filet mignon (seriously amazing!). roasted broccoli
  • Half an apple with almond butter
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 2:

  • Chia pudding with mixed berries (frozen) an a seed/nut/coconut mix; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Butternut squash soup with hazelnuts; half an apple
  • Steak salad with onion & tomatoes; roasted broccoli; smashed sweet potato
  • Warm apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 3:

  • Baked eggs with broccoli & onion; bacon; half an apple
  • Slow cooker pork loin; bacon fat roasted sweet potato; simple green salad
  • Turkey burger on spinach; cauliflower "rice" sautéed  with onion & peppers
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 4:

  • Turkey burger with two fried eggs; half an apple; coffee with cashew milk
  • Unsweetened passion fruit tea
  • Guacamole with carrots; pork loin; mixed seeds and nuts
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara sauce, and chicken meatballs
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 5:

  • Baked eggs with broccoli & onions; 2 pieces bacon; coffee with cashew milk; banana
  • Pork loin; sweet potatoes; half an apple
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara, and meatballs
  • Chocolate pudding (full-fat coconut milk + banana + cocoa + almond butter); nut/seed mix
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 6:

  • Chia pudding with nut/seed mix; banana; coffee with cashew milk
  • Butternut squash soup with nut/seed mix; guacamole and carrots
  • Pork fried "rice" (cauliflower) with extra veggies; half an avocado; apple cider
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 7:

  • Baked eggs with veggie mix; half an avocado; coffee with cashew milk
  • Pork fried "rice" with extra veggies; apple
  • Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion; truffle fries (not compliant :-(, oh well)
Whole 30 Meal Plan | Pale Yellow

Day 8:

  • Baked eggs with veggie mix; half an avocado; coffee with cashew milk
  • Turkey wraps with lettuce, tomato, and avocado; apple
  • Spaghetti squash with mushrooms, marinara, and meatballs
  • Chocolate mouse (full-fat coconut milk, soaked almonds, 2 bananas, cocoa powder)

I Do What I Want v. 3

Tracy Byrne

It's been a busy, but amazing summer!


  • Mumford & Sons in the rain - they are amazing live, you must go see them
  • Nichole visited and we dined at Taverna Kyclades- one of my top 5 dining out experiences of all time, the food was exceptional
  • Rockaway Taco at Rockaway Surf Club - a summer fav, you can never have enough fish tacos and the people watching is phenomenal
  • Angela's wedding - in love with love, a beautiful day with my favorite girls celebrating the best couple


  • Namibia to study cheetahs - so much to bring, I'm mitten with these cats
  • African sunrises - and sunsets, spectacular
  • sleeping with elephants - pictures do not do it justice
  • eating all the game meat - oryx is the best, the zebra was weird


  • lobster night - a lovely summer tradition
  • perfect blueberry pie - bringing up my pie game
  • dessert & cocktails for dinner - always!  Butter & Scotch, you should go
  • solo lady dates - at Fort Defiance with a super barkeep
  • new succulent garden - thought about this all summer, finally made it happen!
  • beer tasting in Boston - Harpoon has the best pretzels
  • buffalo wings in Buffalo - why not?!?!
  • keeping it classy in Northern MI - fancy cheese tray after drinking and kayaking, perfect!


  • leaving puppy Si - I love him, I should have brought him back with me
  • all the frozen sangria - no more words needed
  • successful scallops - so tasty and I made them myself
  • Colonial Williamsburg - in the pillars for being naughty and lunch time cocktails in a tavern

I Do What I Want v.2

Tracy Byrne

I Do What I Want v.2 | Pale Yellow

How has life been lately?  Mine has been a balance of extremes: busy and overwhelming alternating with periods of being a recluse and binge watching TV.  The weather is starting to get warm and the sunshine is good for my soul.  Let's talk of pleasant things!  Hair cuts, lipstick, and new scarves are lovely.

I Do What I Want v.2 | Pale Yellow

My beauty routine has switched from chemicals to homemade remedies; there are a lot of essential oils going on.  Also plenty of baking soda and vinegar and coconut oil, it feels good.  I only wash my hair every 8-10 days.  Goal achieved.

I Do What I Want v.2 | Pale Yellow

Pinot Grigrio is my summer jam and I've been enjoying glass after glass.  Someday I'll write an ode to my love, it is keeping my evenings at a manageable level.

I Do What I Want v.2 | Pale Yellow

Beach walks have resumed!  Saturday mornings have been spent with Dean and Logan which makes for great companionship and exercise.  In other exercise news, spinning has taken an intensive turn and has somehow reached advanced levels.  I am not an advanced exercise girl, but I'm doing this.  Somehow.  And, the work ladies and I have started running after work!  We are working on a Couch to 5K, it feels good and I am getting strong!


I bought a cake mix and baked the cake.  I made my own frosting because I'm not a savage and decorated with sprinkles in a stencil.  Thirty is the perfect age for a sprinkle cake.

I do what I want | Pale Yellow

In a tragic note, my shelf toppled over and several of my favorite pieces of display ware crashed and broke.  Goodbye vintage pyrex, cake stand, and favorite tray :-(  I am still in shock that it happened, and used my energy to clean up the mess.

I do what I want | Pale Yellow

I replaced all of my plastic hangers with thing, non-slip, velvet hangers.  Seventy hangers later I still need a few more.  Time to down size.  It all makes me feel very grown up! #ThisIs30

I Do What I Want v.2 | Pale Yellow

And then there is maple ice cream.  I'm smitten.

I do what I want 2015 - v.1

Tracy Byrne


I broke my blog.  I tried to switch from a Wordpress hosted site to a Squarespace hosted site and I don't think it worked out correctly. It was actually done because I'm writing this from Squarespace, but it just doesn't seem right.  The breaking of my blog followed by the driving back to New York left me overwhelmed and unable to cope.


So I watched a TV, hours and hours of TV.  Prison Break!!!  Why did I not know of that show previously? It consumed two weeks of my life and I'm in love with Wentworth Miller.  Here is the most accurate summary ever via pinterest.  Now I'm watching Grey's Anatomy; the acting and drama are just as bad as I remember, but I can't stop.  Can't. Stop.


Grad school started yesterday, so my TV watching should be ending now that I have a calendar full of commitments.  In news that can only be classified as awesome - I'm going to Namibia for two weeks in July for grad school!  Obviously I'm over the moon at this next large and exciting travel adventure/opportunity.  I'll be studying great cat conservation, true story.


In an effort to improve my overall health and ready myself for hiking after cheetahs, I joined the local Y.  It's been a blast realizing how out of shape I am and taking 5:45 AM spin classes twice a week.  Favorite quote so far, "You're here working and everyone else is sleeping."  It's the right sort of motivation.

As for New Year's Resolutions, I'm not really down with that, but I love the idea of a word or phrase for the year.  The past few years has been "Today I choose joy," because I needed the reminder that happiness is a constant choice and the phrase has served me well.  It was time for a change.  "I do what I want" is a perfect phrase because with that as your reason, people don't argue.

"I'm buying you lunch for your birthday."

"Thank you, but you don't have to do that."

"It's ok, I do what I want."

Discussion over my friends.  The phrase is enabling me to say yes to everything I want to do for no other reason than that's what I want to do and say no for the same reason.  It took me thirty years to figure out that it's ok to do what I want and I'm embracing that theme 120% in 2015.  So who's going to join me in doing what they want?

Best of 2014

Tracy Byrne

After all the hits of 2013, 2014 was a little slow on Pale Yellow.  However, after checking my stats from WordPress, I'm actually up 9,000 views from last year.  So after all, not a bad year.  There was a lot of quinoa salads and overnight oats; not as many cupcakes.  It's hard to believe I've been blogging for three years and this past one was the most stressful.  Going back to school has cut into my free time drastically.  Imagine that, lol!  I hope 2015 allows me to focus on quality or quantity because I still enjoy this hobby very much! Here are the top 10 posts from 2014(all made it 2013, whoops!):

vanilla pudding shots // pale yellow
Eggnog Cheesecake Bars | Pale Yellow

Holiday Cookie Time

Tracy Byrne

What I Learned This Week #46

Tracy Byrne

Road Trippin' | Pale YellowWhat I Learned This Week:

  • Sat. 8/30 - Drinking a frozen creamsicle with a floater after a bottle of wine does not result in a good morning.
  • Sun. 8/31 -An ecotone is is the area between ecosystems often creating it's own ecosystem.
  • Mon. 9/1 - There few breweries open on a Monday afternoon in NYC.
  • Tues. 9/2 - Straw is the stalks or stems of grains like wheat, barley, or oats after the grain has been harvested. Hay is grass or legumes that have been cut and dried and is generally used as animal feed.
  • Wed. 9/3 - Biome may be a antiquated word soon with effects of human population and land usage.
  • Thurs. 9/4 - Thirty dollars is well worth the price of someone doing your laundry and folding it perfectly.
  • Fri. 9/5 - The power of suggestion is a powerful thing when it comes to food and beer!

Around the Internets:

    • I was too chicken to order one at Taco Bell, maybe I'll make one myself!
    • All of them should be framed and hung on my wall.
    • Gorgeous!
    • This needs to be on the dinner table soon, maybe I'll get more eggplant in my CSA.
    • I wish I could this.
    • Ranch on everything!Aquinas College Memories | Pale Yellow

What I Learned This Week #45

Tracy Byrne

IMG_3514-1.JPGThere are too many words, so it appears there are no words.

What I Learned This Week:

  • Sat. 8/9 - Two Broadway shows - one day!  Once was beautiful and touching and the cast was so talented.  They play all their own instruments and sing & dance. Les Misérables was an amazingly wonderful show.  The production, the voices, and the talent were almost too much to handle!  Seeing two Broadway shows on the same day was a bucket-list item I didn't know I had, but glad it's complete!
  • Sun. 8/10 - You blanch green beans by trimming the edges and dropping them in a pot of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes and then dunk in ice water.  Wrap in paper towels and freeze until you think of a purpose.
  • Mon. 8/11 - Although delicious, cheeseballs are a poor choice for road-trip snacking.
  • Tues. 8/12 - No one prepares you for what dying looks and feels like; books, movies, tv, second hand stories aren't reality.
  • Wed. 8/13 - To cook corn (yes, it's embarrassing that I had to look it up) add shucked corn to a pot of boiling, unsalted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, room and enjoy.
  • Thurs. 8/14 -At the end, all you need is love from family and friends.
  • Fri. 8/15 - Last Rites are no longer referred to as such; it's called Anointing of the Sick.  My Catholic education has not served me well.
  • IMG_3510.JPG

Around the Internets:

  • Goodbye or ghost?  Ghost for life!
  • Always in need of a good laugh, people are so funny & creative.
  • Butterscotch pudding in a chocolate chip cookie crust, sounds tasty.
  • It's tough being a lady.
  • Quite possibly my new favorite site!
  • New goal - learn to be properly polite all the time.
  • IMG_3522.JPG

What I Learned This Week #44

Tracy Byrne

All the dishes | Pale YellowMichigan, here I come! I didn't mean to not blog this week, it just happened.  There will be more posts next week. What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 8/1 - Her is a beautiful movie, but slightly terrifying in how believable that reality could become in a few years.
  • Sat. 8/2 - I'm at the point in my life where I have an established career and am making moves to improve upon said career.  Long term planning!
  • Sun. 8/3 - Going for daily beach walks refreshes my soul; I forget how important exercise is to my mental health.
  • Mon. 8/4 - Some days are just rough.
  • Tues. 8/5 - Filipino food is tasty.
  • Wed. 8/6 - There are not enough hours in the day.
  • Thurs. 8/7 - There are only about 12 species of life reliant on humans, but about 20,000 reliant on ants
  • Fri. 8/8 - Racoons will dig underground to get in a chicken coop and just eat the heads of chickens

Around the Internets:

  • Current students are in the "Selfie Generation," God, help us all!
  • Banana Cream Pie Blizzards - no words needed.
  • I wish I liked popsicles.
  • Peanut. Butter. Pie.  Love.

Cuteness Overload | Pale YellowOne Years Ago - Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pudding in Jars

What I Learned This Week #43

Tracy Byrne

Specimen collection | Pale YellowAnimal facts done, DNA camp beginning - being a science educator is the best! What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/25 - Racoons can live up to 15 years, but rarely make it past 5 years because of human interactions, i.e. cars.
  • Sat. 7/26 - Two year-olds have energy!!  Where did the energy to run around and be silly go?
  • Sun. 7/27 - Men have fears about dying alone in their apartment and being eaten by their pet too!
  • Mon. 7/28 - DNA barcoding can be completed on fungi using the ITS region of the DNA, awesome.
  • Tues. 7/29 - The entire staff is exhausted this summer and everyone is prone to after work naps.
  • Wed. 7/30 - Ingrid Michaelson is AMAZING live, her talent is pure and she gives a fantastic performance.
  • Thurs. 7/31 - Sometimes, no matter how closely you follow the protocol, your DNA extraction just doesn't work out.

Around the Internets:

  • It's been along time since I've made an actual cheesecake, the problem is finding people to eat it...
  • I want a bourbon slush right now.
  • Our words impact children, an important reminder for parents and teachers.
  • Comfort food.
  • Baking has given me several marriage proposals, maybe I need to make these cookies!

CSA Dinner | Pale YellowTwo Years Ag0 - M & M Cookies

What I Learned This Week #42

Tracy Byrne

CSA goodies | Pale YellowFinished last week's WILTW! What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/18 - To live and work in Aruba you need to be Arubian.  If you're not already Arubian, you need to marry one.  Even jobs like taxi driving are controlled by the government.
  • Sat. 7/19 - Do not, DO NOT, take pictures while waiting to go through customs at the airport.  Trust me!
  • Sun. 7/20 - The Starbucks in Howard Beach is filled with interesting people, very interesting people.
  • Mon. 7/21 - Do not go down the deep, dark rabbit hole that is the internet, it's a bad place.  My paper writing procrastination has no bounds.
  • Tues. 7/22 - Totally should have take this week off work...
  • Wed. 7/23 - Chickens are a threatened species in the wild.
  • Thurs. 7/24 - I'm not quite sure what I got in my CSA box, but the red and white beans are tasty!

Around the Internets:

  • Nothing wrong here.
  • I used to not like coconut or pineapple, but now I do and I'm ready for my pina colada.
  • Love this Instagram comparison!
  • A friend from college wrote these beautiful words about learning how to love yourself.
  • Yummy dinner idea.
  • Good to remember!
  • Sounds like the right way to visit all the states - I've been to a few like Juniors and Cafe du Monde and Ben & Jerry's.

Fresh Flowers | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Crack Pie

What I Learned This Week #41

Tracy Byrne

Butterflies | Pale YellowI spent four days of grad school at the zoo - cue more animal facts.  Also, I'm in Aruba! What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 7/11 - Komodo dragons can eat up to 100 lbs of food in a day!  Plus they kill their prey by biting them, letting their poisonous saliva do its work as they follow the animal for several days, and then the komodo dragon eats its prey.
  • Sat. 7/12 - Snapping turtles are the state turtle of New York.
  • Sun. 7/13 - If you are ever in the Bronx Zoo, step out and visit the Riverwalk, it is gorgeous and peaceful, you feel like you've been transplanted to another world.
  • Mon. 7/14 - Pere David's deer are in the middle of a rutting, and by rutting I mean alpha males beating beta males to get all the ladies into their harem.
  • Tues. 7/15 - If I want chicken fingers bad enough, I'll make them myself.  They were fantastic!
  • Wed. 7/16 - Wedding's in Aruba are simply the best, so easy!
  • Thurs. 7/17 - Aruba is only 19 miles long and  7 miles wide, you really can see most of the island on ATV.  Also, ATV-ing is terrifying/thrilling.

Around the Internets:

  • You had me at streusel!
  • Homemade coffee syrup without sweetened condensed milk for iced coffee = project August.
  • Parenting around the world, read them all!
  • #3, 6, 14, 15 - especially 15!

Homemade Chicken Fingers | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes One Year Ago - Slutty Cheesecake Bars

What I Learned This Week #40

Tracy Byrne

Baby Duck!! | Pale YellowOnly 4 more days until Aruba!  Also, I spent my three days at work research animal facts, I learned a lot! What I Learned This Week:

  • Sat. 7/5 - Chips and dip is a perfectly acceptable dinner.
  • Sun. 7/6 - I. Am. Such. A. Procrastinator.  Help!
  • Mon. 7/7 - Parrotfish, the jellybean variety, are made that way by being dipped in acid and dyed different colors.  Maybe we should not have Jellybean Parrotfish anymore...
  • Tues. 7/8 - Sulfur-crested cockatoos have been known to live for 100+ years and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots are monogamous.
  • Wed. 7/9 - Hamsters are in near extinction in the wild :-(
  • Thurs. 7/10 - Sometimes you just need a new haircut to freshen things up!

Around the Internets:

  • I love lists like this and this; it's the reason I travel!
  • As an educator I try to be a woman girls can look up to.
  • Baker's Royale had two amazing and decadent desserts this week, I can't wait to try.
  • Milkshake Week is genius!
  • Actually laughed out loud - too funny.

New Haircut | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Bacon Cupcakes, Take 3

What I Learned This Week #39

Tracy Byrne

On the plane | Best selfie for us ever | Pale YellowHappy Fourth (I mean fifth) of July!!! What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 6/27 - Impromptu birthday gatherings of cupcakes and champagne are the best sort of gatherings.Panorama of Costa Rican beach | Pale Yellow
  • Sat. 6/28 - A round beach in a cove surrounded by jungle covered mountains make a perfect setting for Lost reenactments in your head.  Also, I like sushi as long as there isn't any raw fish - hello K-krab!sushi | Pale Yellow
  • Sun. 6/29 - The sand becomes extremely hot in Costa Rica in the afternoon.  The best method is to run and scream. Iguanas will eat from your hand and their favorite food is mango.  They will, however, eat apple!feeding iguanas on the beach | Pale Yellow
  • Mon. 6/30 - If you are ever in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, you MUST go to the Monkey Bar. Fantastic atmosphere, cool people, and a free monkey tour through the jungle.  Yes, a free monkey tour!Monkey Bar , Guanacaste Costa Rica | Pale Yellow
  • Tues. 7/1 - The Arenal volcano erupted in 1968 destroying much of the jungle and villages around it.  It has not been active since 2010 and is set amongst gorgeous jungle and provides the means for lovely hot springs.Rainbow at Arenal Volcano Costa Rica | Pale Yellow
  • Wed. 7/2 - There is apparently no Spanish equivalent for "up top."  Baby monkeys are the best!I held a baby monkey | Pale Yellow
  • Thurs. 7/3 - Damn you Hurricane Arthur, you should have kept us in Costa Rica instead of just delaying us. Pura Vida!Costa Rican Sunset | Pale Yellow
  • Fri. 7/4 - When the rain cancels your beach plans, make new plans!  Nothing better than brunch and fireworks from a rooftop!  Costa Rica does not have an army, just a police force.  Peace.

Around the Internets:

Costa Rican Vacation 2014 | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Raspberry Frosting

30 While 30

Tracy Byrne

pale yellow | 30 while 30Cliche? Yes.  Am I still going to do it?  Absolutely! pale yellow | 30 while 30I hear 30 is the new 20 and your 30's are the best time in your life.  I'm not complaining about any other portion of my life, but it seems each season has gotten better than the last.  With that being said, I'm thinking I have a lot to look forward to in the next decade.

pale yellow | 30 while 30So here it goes, 30 things I would like to accomplish in my 31st year of living to kick-off this new decade properly:

pale yellow | 30 while 3030 while 30

  1. Visit an exotic location - Aruba & Costa Rica
  2. AQ girls’ weekend
  3. Visit 3 NYC landmarks: Cloisters, Guggenheim, 3rd location TBApale yellow | 30 while 30
  4. Convince my dad to give NYC another try
  5. Celebrate my 30th birthday with some of my very best lady friends in Costa Rica
  6. Run a 10K
  7. Find a no-poo routine
  8. Ride my bike to work at least once
  9. Limit treats to special times, not everydaypale yellow | 30 while 30
  10. Develop a locavore sensibility - joined a CSA!
  11. Bake for a wedding
  12. Make my own bitters
  13. Master macarons
  14. Make 12 different ice creams
  15. Bake a perfect piepale yellow | 30 while 30
  16. Cook a proper toffee
  17. Make a 3-layer, decadent cake
  18. Take a photography and/or food styling class
  19. Do two "Eat All The Food” Posts
  20. Complete a 30-day and/or 365-day photo challenge
  21. Create a realistic and responsible savings plan I can adhere to for at least six months
  22. Decorate my bedroompale yellow | 30 while 30
  23. Reduce the amount of clothing in my closet by 33%
  24. Develop a better separation between work and home life
  25. Learn to like, enjoy, and/or love gin
  26. Find a perfume I enjoy so I can start establishing a “signature” scent
  27. Finish reading 1 book of quality per month: Gone Girl, The Thirteenth Tale, The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks,
  28. Buy a proper, adult lady handbag and/or sunglassespale yellow | 30 while 30
  29. Maintain A’s in my graduate program
  30. Pick up the phone and call one far away friend a week

pale yellow | 30 while 30One Year Ago - Chocolate & Vanilla Twist Cupcakes

What I Learned This Week #38

Tracy Byrne

lobster roll selfie | Pale YellowWhat I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 6/20 - NYC DOT are idiots!  Why would you do construction on Flatbush, limiting traffic to one lane on a Friday during rush hour?  My 15 minute commute home turned into an hour.
  • Sat. 6/21 - Everyone loves frozen sangria and arepas!
  • Sun. 6/22 - Rock of Ages is a fantastic rock party!  It's a Broadway show for people who may not like Broadway shows!  It rocks hard and is super raunchy.
  • Mon. 6/23 - Crop tops and high waisted shorts are apparently a thing with teenage girls. #GladImNotATeenager
  • Tues. 6/24 - Moms and aunts are the best!  They left my apartment cleaner than it was when they arrived!
  • Wed. 6/25 - Waxing is not as painful as I imagined.
  • Thurs. 6/26 - I've said it before, but it's worth repeating; last day of school is really the best day of the year!  Teachers know how to celebrate!

Around the Internets:

Cupcakes in Process  | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago - Vanilla Cupcakes

What I Learned This Week #37

Tracy Byrne

Done! What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 6/13 - Scientifically, dog saliva can be used to disinfect wounds.  At least according to one fifth grade science project.
  • Sat. 6/14 - Totally possible to spend all day in my apartment without leaving once.
  • Sun. 6/15 - Gil Hodges was a baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers and now has a bridge named after him.
  • Mon. 6/16 - I have the most intense cravings when juice cleansing.
  • Tues. 6/17 - Hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil, aquaculture is growing fish, and aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics and aquaponics.
  • Wed. 6/18 - If you don't get your car inspected, you'll get a $65 ticket, boooooooo.
  • Thurs. 6/19 - The healthy eating challenge was great for my skin and swelling, however, it has reeked havoc on my digestive system.  I'm hoping a cup of coffee will take care of the problem tomorrow.

Around the Internets:

  • I want to eat all the lobster!  First this, then this!
  • Entenmann's copycat all the way.
  • Bourbon + peanut butter + shake = winning!

Image Source

Two Years Ago - Beef Taco Salad