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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toddler camping essentials


1. canopy camping chair 2. glow bracelets 3. bubble hurricane 4. mysuperfoods blueberry vanilla heroes 5. led hand-powered flashlight 6. inflatable toddler bed 7. water bottle


This past weekend we went camping!

I'd like to call it glamping but we slept in a tent so I'm not sure that really counts as glamping. Tent and all, we had a great weekend camping at my aunt and uncle's summer/winter home in Pennsylvania. They host an annual campout for family and friends each June and it's always a wonderful time with my cousins. I love getting extended time with people - not just a dinner or a holiday. We had a whole weekend and I'll plan to do a full recap soon but I wanted to talk specifically about camping with a toddler in tow. I put together a few of the items we brought on our camping trip to keep Penelope comfy and happy.

When I saw this inflatable mattress on Daily Garnish, I bookmarked the post so that I could order the same one for all of our summer travels. I absolutely loved this item! It fits a standard crib sheet, was really nice quality and Penelope was excited to sleep on it once it was set up with her own blanket, pillow and dollies from home (another tip: bring your child's own blankets and pillows! It's nice for them to have some familiar items in their new 'bed'). It also has little arms on the sides to keep your tot from falling off (and if she does, it's only about 6 inches from the floor).

I made sure to bring lots of activities for her, but especially the bubble hurricane (our favorite item this summer) and some evening goodies to make the trip seem extra special. I brought her a small flashlight (not the exact one here but this one is on my list to pick up!) and glow stick bracelets. These were a huge hit! It was fun to crack them to light and P had a blast putting them together and watching them glow in the evening dusky hours (not going to lie, the adults also enjoyed these!).

Special snacks are also a great addition, and really one of the best parts of camping in my opinion. My mom brought these awesomely wholesome organic cookies for Penelope to enjoy, and I had plenty of cheese, crackers, fruit and other goodies for her. Oh and also a solid water bottle is clutch for keeping those kiddos hydrated.

So that's just a few of the items that we loved on our recent camping trip.

Do you camp?

Have you ever camped with your kids? If so, what are some of your favorite items to bring along?


a wedding in Dallas

A few weeks ago - before I was sick for like a month & on a week-long work trip extravaganza - I traveled to Texas for my friend Tanuja's wedding. Tanuja and I met in college and became immediate friends. I was so so thrilled when she met and became engaged to Ravin. They are a beautiful - and truly perfect for each other - couple.

Tanuja and Ravin decided to have their wedding in Tanuja's home state of Texas (though now she is  New Yorker!) and so as soon as she told me to save the date, I had it on the calendar immediately. Some of our other best friends from college - who live all over the country - also joined for the weekend...and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't so thrilled and over the moon to be spending an entire weekend with them. So I left Shaun and Penelope home for 48 hours and set on my way for one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever attended.

Congratulations to Tanuja & Ravin! Thank you for including me in your celebrations!



my new favorite bag

Is it me or is finding a great carry-on bag virtually impossible? I've gone through so many over the years and none have really ended in a resounding 'yes!'

In preparation for my trip to Las Vegas (and other upcoming summer travel), I was really stumped about this. I'd yet to find the perfect bag to house my many in-flight necessities that also did not feel like the straps (or my shoulders) would break.

My friend Carly told me about MZ Wallace and how they have the perfect everything totes. After doing some research, this bag fit all of my criteria:

Wipeable fabric
Shoulder straps
Zip top
Limited inner compartments
Able to fit a laptop

....and is Mom-friendly, without being diaper bag-ish.

It also seemed like the perfect size and so after digging around a bit, I settled on this floral print, a Nordstrom exclusive. Typically I'd go with a neutral (aka black) when spending this sort of money on a bag, but something about the floral just got me and when I couldn't get it out of my head, I knew it was the one.

In just under two weeks, I can safely say that I love this bag so much! It was awesome on the plane and perfect for carting my notebook, snacks, supplies and change of shoes to the trade show each day. Now that I'm home, it makes a perfectly chic carry all for my and Penelope's things on a day out. I know it will also be perfect for our upcoming Aruba trip and throughout the summer. This print will also carry through the fall and really, it will work year-round.

Thanks to Carly for the tip on this awesome bag...now I'm daydreaming of other MZ Wallace shapes, sizes and colors...

What are your favorite totes, bags or carry-ons?