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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Friday
Jan232015

Five Things Friday

 

{A new coffee shop find; perfect pitstop for mom and dad on the way to the park}

 

Happy Friday!

Don't you just love shortened weeks? This one really flew by and I'm not complaining. A violent stomach bug has been running rampant and while Penelope and I have managed to escape it this far, Shaun was not so lucky. I spent a few nights this week resuming my Scandal obsession and am about half way through season 3. This weekend, we are expecting a bit of snow, we have a birthday party to attend and I have some writing projects to hunker down on. Aside from that, I'm planning to relax, get some things done around the house and hopefully squeeze in a bit more Scandal and last night's Parenthood. I hope you all have a great weekend!


{best chicken wings made by my cousin}

 


{the final season of Justified is here! Boyd 4E.}


 

{a new and much needed haircut}

 

{apparently this is a thing; i love valentine's day goodies!}

 

Also:

if you are a serial amazon shopper like me, here are some shopping tips!

these broccoli meatballs look amaze-balls

so sad justified is ending, but here's why

one of my favorite comediennes and one who is totally underrated

55 things this future dad wants his future daughter to know

love these 9 things very successful people never do

can't wait to try these ginger coconut whipped sweet potatoes or these berry crunch french toast cups

i can't get these blood orange curd bars out of my head

and...i think i have all the supplies at home for this better than anything cake

love these oscar noms made into lego posters

these 6 truths about motherhood. yes.

how your co-workers know more about you than your friends. #truestory and i love my co-workers!

and finally...the best peter prentice moments (from the mindy project...peter is my favorite!)

 

 

Thursday
Jan222015

TBT: My Favorite Posts Over the Last 5 Years

{doing a happy pie crust dance, circa 2011}

 

It's hard to believe, but this past weekend marked 5 years since I started The Avid Appetite. 

5 years.

We all know how quickly time flies, and well, these last 5 years certainly have. I started blogging as a way to work some creativity into my life. I had always been a writer and had dreams of becoming a journalist, a novelist, a screen writer, a TV writer. Instead, I became a blogger and it's enriched my life in so many ways. Not only did it help land me a job all those years ago (because I finally had real writing samples!) that would become a career that I love and look forward to each day, but it has also been with me through some of the biggest and most special moments of my life. 

 

{we rang in TAA's 2nd birthday with this dainty little cupcake}

 

I don't usually make a big deal about blog anniversaries, and some years have gone by with nary a notice. But this year, I've taken some time to reflect on just how important this blog is to me. It's documented my journey as a writer, as a cook, a baker, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and as a mother. And though there are waves of time when I leave the blog alone, when days or weeks may go by without a post, I'm always thinking about my blog and how to make it better; about what new content I can share. How can I keep it interesting? How can I find the motivation to write? How can I squeeze in the time to make this a great place for friends to come and feel at home, when I feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day? It's not easy, but I do it because I love it. I can't imagine my life without it, or without all of you who come and read and interact and comment and who have become friends to me. So please, don't stop stopping by. Even if you read and don't comment (I know there are a lot of you out there!), I hope that you enjoy what I put out into the world, and that some of my posts have added something to your life. And I want to say Thank You. Because you've added something to mine. I look forward to comments and interaction more than you know. I love that I've become real life friends with other readers and bloggers. What a wonderful community this is!

 

For today's Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of my own favorite posts over the last 5 years of The Avid Appetite. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Food Stuff:

If you are in the market for a great party platter, try a rustic cheese board

I really miss making this roasted shrimp with fennel & feta

These individual egg cups are still a breakfast staple in our house

I often refer back to this lightened up, simple turkey meatloaf for dinner

It's almost Irish soda bread season and this is the best one I've ever had

One of my all-time favorite fails: this green velvet Jets cake

I fell hard for these cookie butter M&M bars

Layered Oreo cakes bars will make you the star of any party, any time

One of my all-time favorites: loaded butterscotch blondies + salted chocolate glaze

A beautiful, pillowy summertime treat: pineapple coconut dream bars

Please give me pretzel-crusted brownies with fluffy buttercream everyday until the end of time

These lovely malted chocolate cupcakes that I made for my Mom's birthday a few years ago

Blue velvet Giants cupcakes for their Superbowl run

Dexter season premiere cupcakes that got a lot of buzz

One time I threw a True Blood theme party

 I almost forgot about these chocolate-dipped fruit pops in marshmallow sauce

Celebrate St. Patricks Day with these chocolate stout mini cakes

12 go-to kitchen tools; this list still rings true in our house!

How I helped my BFF make 350 truffles for her engagement party

Individual red velvet Oreo cheesecakes --->perfect for Valentine's Day

 

 

Non-Food Stuff:

When do you start feeling like an adult? Now that I'm a Mom, I do feel like one. Sometimes.

Our dream destination wedding in Aruba

We bought an apartment

We're having a baby!

Enjoying our 'lasts' before baby

Penelope Jane's birth story, part i, ii, iii

Penelope's first birthday --->this already feels like so long ago, and we are approaching her 2nd birthday in just a couple of weeks!

The ugliness of Mom judgement (or: why can't we all just be friends?)

Traveling with a toddler or kiddo? I have 35 tips for toddler airline travel

10 things to know about sending your kids to daycare

9 tips for all of you new parents out there

Here's a quick look at a day in my life

...and finally, the very first post that started it all.

There are so many, many more posts that I could add to this list, but these are just some of my all-time favorites! I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing! Please continue hanging out with me!

xo,

Rachel

 

 

Tuesday
Jan202015

Time Saving Tips for Moms in the Morning

As I suspect is the case for many of you working Moms out there, getting yourself and your child up and out the door in the morning can really be a situation. And not a good situation like Sunday evening on the couch with some wine and popcorn and Kung Fu Panda on the blu-ray. No. I mean a situation like trying so hard to just have it together enough to stumble out the door while looking semi-presentable with a semi-clean faced child and some semblance of all the goods needed for the day. After doing this whole working/daycare drop-off routine for about 18 months, I've learned a few things about how to get 'er done. And so for today's Baby Talk Tuesday, I'm dishing on some tips that may seem small or obvious, but that truly help get us out the door in the morning.

 

Prep bottle/sippy cup/breakfast the night before. Penelope is 90% off of bottles, but she does still get a sippy cup of milk in the morning. Usually, the first thing she wants is her 'baba' (I've also convinced her that 'baba' also means 'sippy cup'). It's so much easier when I have it poured and waiting in the fridge for her.

Do all laundry on the weekend so that drawers are filled to the brim with clothing for the week. This is huge, especially for the kids' stuff. I do all of P's laundry on Sundays so that we start the week with lots of clothing options, limiting my own scramble to throw an outfit together for her at the last minute. Also, you should own at least a week's worth of clothing for each kid so that laundry can stretch for the week.

Have snacks at the ready. Penelope gets breakfast when she arrives at daycare, but some mornings she wakes up really hungry. I like to have bananas, some dried fruit, cheese sticks and Babybel cheeses at the ready should she decide she wants a snack while I finish getting ready, or in the stroller on the way.

Keep coat, hat, mittens and school bag in same place. We walk to school each morning (unless it's really snowing or raining) and we keep all of her daily stuff right in the stroller so it's ready to rock once we are.

Moms, get your make up routine down. I can do mine in less than five minutes. It may not be the most extensive make up job, but I can get moisturizer, foundation, blush, a light dusting of eye shadow and mascara on in 5 minutes or less. Lipstick goes on after P's drop off so that I can smother her in kisses.

Pack lunch the night before. I know this is so obvious, but I often leave it for the morning because I'm too tired/lazy at night to do it, and that inevitably means I'll be late. 

Get kids dressed as soon as they wake. P goes from crib to changing table for a new diaper and clothes for the day so it usually eliminates the need for multiple trips to get changed (unless she needs a new diaper before we leave for the day, which does happen on occasion). Otherwise, she is dressed and ready for the day before she even leaves her room.

Don't wash your hair everyday. I only wash my hair twice a week and so I take a very brief shower each morning without a hair wash. This saves so.much.time. No washing time, no conditioning, no blow drying. I can get away with a brush and a quick flat ironing and be good to go. Also dry shampoo is a wonderful thing.

Don't plan for any tasks aside from presentably getting out of the house. The mornings when I plan to finish dishes from the night before or tidy up for the cleaning lady or fold a bit of laundry are the mornings when I end up frazzled and late. Mornings are for getting out of the house, nothing more.

Have the right tools. A good lunch bag, clean tupperware, a stocked fridge, clean underwear. All of these things will ensure no further delays en route to your ultimate mission: getting out the door.

So those are the things we are doing these days to try and get out of the house each morning on time. I'm always looking for new ideas and thoughts that can help tighten it up!

What are your time saving tips for getting out of the house?

How do your mornings usually go with