Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

Welcome to my world!

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Have a Hot Dog Halloween

Happy Halloween!

We've got a busy few days coming up, but it's all fun things! It is Halloween, after all!Today a few of us are having a pot luck lunch at work and I'm wearing a little orange to get in the spirit. Penelope has a Halloween party at school and then tonight we'll take her trick or treating in our building, which I'm really looking forward to. Tomorrow evening, we have a grown-ups Halloween party in our building and I'm pretty excited for this year's costume, which I'll share next week! 

As Hallowen approached, I was trying to come up with a costume for Penelope that would capture her personality right now. Of course, she is still obsessed with Mickey Mouse and so I knew that was the right way to go. I decided to DIY her costume and I'm really happy that I did. 


I wanted her costume to be comfortable, not too bulky and channel Mickey without being overly Mickey, if you know what I mean. 


The base of her costume is a simple black long sleeve shirt (with a white one underneath for extra warmth) and black leggings that she already had. 


I found red bike shorts at Old Navy and though I thought I'd have to break out my little sewing kit for the white buttons, I stumbled upon this stiff adhesive felt. I cut two circles and stuck them right onto the shorts. I also thought that I might need some stitches to reinforce the buttons, however, they stuck strongly with no reinforcements needed.


I searched high and low for yellow shoes or sneakers and they were actually pretty hard to track down. Old Navy for the win again, as that was the only place I could find that sold yellow sneakers. These are yellow ombre and super cute. I know P will get lots of wear out of these beyond Halloween for sure.


As for her Mickey ears, I did buy her a Mickey ear headband, however, I knew that she would never actually keep this on. I decided to make little ears out of the same stiff felt (it came in a multi-color pack!). I cut 4 circles and stuck them together to make 2 ears, felted front and back. I bent the bottom pretty stiffly and hot glued each ear to a bobby pin. The ears turned out pretty delicate and I had to keep fixing one of them (P ripped one out and apart within 30 seconds of putting them in her hair!), but that's the beauty of hot glue. Oh I also pulled the top of her hair back into two tiny pigtails, then placed the bobby pins right in front of the little hair ties. 


I kept wondering how to make her a tail, and in the end, I just didn't. I kind of ran out of time, couldn't get creative enough to get 'er done, and figured that she would probably not be super comfy having one pinned to her booty anyway.


So that's how Penelope's Halloween costume came to be. I hope you all have a truly awesome - and safe! - weekend! 


What are you being for Halloween?

What are your Halloween plans?



Halloween Playlist

I don't know about you, but I always find that a good playlist can not only make or break a party, but also a regular day. I love getting into the holiday spirit with a solid playlist to amplify my morning walk to the office, or to stream quietly on my computer at work. It makes a simple day feel all the more special. I scoured Spotify and my own music library to put together what I think is a pretty solid Halloween playlist and I hope you'll weigh in with some additions. Of course, many of these songs are not actually Halloween-centric, but I kind of like that even more since it feels moody and no too 'themey'. I hope you enjoy!



What would you add to a Halloween playlist?


*Updated to note: For Time Warp & Over at the Frankenstein Place, I highly recommend The Rocky Horror Show: The New Broadway Cast recording. It's updated and awesome and features Daphne Rubin-Vega (for all of you Rent fanatics like myself). Considering this show had little to no plot line, it was just a super, super fun Broadway show and one of my favorites!



How Do You Spend Halloween With Your Kids?

One of the most fun things about being a parent is getting to celebrate holidays with a kid in tow. It totally rejuvenates holidays and makes them fun again {in case any of that original spark was lost in the course of growing up!}. Though I love all the candy and spooky movies that go along with Halloween, I'm not really one for dressing up. But, with a rambunctious toddler who wants to see and do absolutely everything, suddenly Halloween has become a season that I absolutely couldn't wait for!

We had a few events this past weekend. It started off with a kids Halloween party in our building on Saturday morning. By Sunday evening, Penelope was just about ready to live in her costume as we took her to a Harvest Fest and trunk or treat at Shaun's parents' church. Since Penelope is still a little young for trick or treating (though we DO plan to take her on Friday evening!), these two events were pretty great for a little tiny nugget with little tiny legs and a propensity for tiredness after about an hour or so.


On Friday, Penelope's school will have a Halloween party in the middle of the afternoon. I'm sad to say that the likelihood of me making it to the party is slim to none. It makes me sad that I won't be able to see her class all dressed up and having fun, but my hope is to skip out of work a little early at least and then take her trick-or-treating in our building! Our building has a fun program where participating families can hang a pumpkin on their door to signify that there are tricks or treats to be had. I'm sure that P won't make it very far {in fact, I'm counting on only a floor or 2 and then we'll be back home to hand out candy also!} but I can't wait to take her. She loves collecting things and putting them in bins or bags, and she started to get the hang of it at Sunday evening's trunk or treat.

So that's how we are ringing in Halloween 2014. After trick or treating and P's bedtime, Shaun and I will likely curl up on the couch with some wine, some Halloween candy and a scary movie or two!

How are you celebrating Halloween with your kiddos?

What are your kids being for Halloween?