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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The Pantry


Favorite Summer Shoes

Today I'm rounding up some of my very favorite shoe finds! As you can see, I have a bit of a problem...


Saltwater sandals. These are one of my favorite summer finds. They are comfortable, cute and slightly earthy. I love that I can throw them on with a sundress, lightweight pants or denim shorts. My favorite part is the color! Adds such a fun pop to any ensemble and now I'm crushing on so many others.

TOMS Morocco crochet slip-ons. I've long been a fan of TOMS shoes. Not only is it a wonderful mission, but these shoes are adorable and comfortable. Comfort is key in my life, even prior to mom-dom. I've worn TOMS to travel Europe, for flying, for walking to work each day and my feet have never hurt, ever. I love this crocheted cobalt version because again, that pop of color and the crotchet adds some nice, lightweight, breathable summer texture.

Birkenstocks. I have these from last summer and I'm still obsessed with them. They are comfortable and chic and I can't believe how well the white upper held up after a summer of wear. I'm looking forward to another full season of these bad boys!

Tory Burch Mini-Miller Open Toe Wedges. These were a Mother's Day gift from Shaun and Penelope and I'm kind of obsessed with them. They are well-made, beautiful and comfortable - perfect for work or dinner out and I know they will be awesome in Las Vegas next week! These are definitely the splurge on the list, but I know that they will last for a long time to come.

Pointed Faux Leather Loafers. I stalked these shoes for about a month, checking every single day for my size to be back in stock. They are super affordable and surprisingly well-made and they are just a great statement shoe for the season. The backless nature keeps them feeling summery while the black and white contrast adds oh so much drama!

What are your favorite shoes for the season?


Here's what bugs me about daycare...

If you've been reading TAA for a while, you know that Shaun and I decided to send Penelope to daycare starting when she was 6 months old. Though we love it and know it was the right choice for our family (for a number of reasons), it still ranks as one of the hardest things I've ever done. Overall we are very happy with daycare. She is such a happy kid, she is loved, she is excited to go to 'school' (most mornings), she is learning so much and she is able to play with other children her age. I'd say I'm mostly very happy with the current situation.

But here's what bugs me. When daycare centers - because technically Penelope is in daycare, not in school - have events and other parent-mandated occasions during daycare hours. And not at the very beginning or the very end of those hours...like right smack in the middle of the day events for which parents are expected to be present.

This morning, I found out that today is "school uniform measurement day." When the new daycare session starts in August, Penelope will be moved up to the next room and that age group wears uniforms each day. I have lots of thoughts on uniform-wearing, which is a post for another time, but I was informed that measurements are from 3-5pm today and a parent needs to be present.

Um, what? Daycare hours are until 5:30 and we pay extra for late pick up at 6. So now Shaun or I need to leave work early to be there for measurements. And this is on top of Penelope getting sick last week, resulting in Shaun and I each taking a day off of work to be home with her. Add to that that I've been sick for the last 2 weeks and have already been in and out of the office on sick days and for a multitude of doctor appointments...and well, I just can't swing it.

So what are we parents to do? And this isn't the only time this has been an issue.

In October, daycare started their Halloween party - for parents to join - at 1:30pm. I'm sorry but even if I'm leaving early for trick or treating, a 1:30 family party at daycare is just not going to happen. That's a half day at work at best, and for me, if have to leave the office by 12:30 to make it in time and at that point, it's really not even worth going in at all. It was a similar deal for the Christmas and Easter parties. All the kids in these classes have working parents...so why are parent events scheduled during work hours? And midday work hours no less?

It's hard enough to be a working parent with a child in daycare without these other events that are seemingly designed to either make us crazy or make us feel extreme guilt about not being there. I missed the Halloween party last year (because it was on another tail end of P being sick and skipping so much office time), but knew she was so young she probably wouldn't know the difference. I did make a note though that this year, I need to be there and so I have a half day penciled in on the calendar.

So I'm not sure what I plan to accomplish with this post, other than to say that sometimes being a working parent with a child in daycare really sucks. It's hard and guilt-ridden and there is seemingly always something to deal with or work into the schedule. And thus I ask, daycares...please, can we schedule parent events for before or after hours?

And so parents I ask you...have you ever dealt with this? Do your daycare centers or schools schedule events in the middle of the work day?


You Guys...


So you may be wondering why I've been semi-MIA for the last couple of weeks, and friends, let me tell you something...the last two weeks have been pretty trying. It's pretty rare - nay, unheard of - for me to be blogging at 9PM on a Saturday night, but here I am, alone in my parents living room, waiting for the Outlander season finale to begin and thought I'd do a quick catch up on the blog.

If you follow me on instagram, you were probably overloaded with photos of my dear friend Tanuja's wedding 2 weekends ago, which took place in Dallas, TX. I left Shaun and Penelope home for the weekend, and flew to Dallas to spend the weekend with my college ladies and it was so much fun. In short, the wedding was amazing. I planned to do an immediate photo post to share all the amazingness, but unfortunately I have done nothing of the sort. During that weekend in Dallas, I felt like I was fighting off some sort of sinus situation, but attributed it to flying, sleeping in a hotel, and all the fun things that happen when traveling is involved. I woke up that Sunday morning with no voice whatsoever and just overall feeling totally hit-by-truckish. I flew home that afternoon, and on the descent into Newark, my right ear was in excruciating pain. It never quite popped, I continued to have nary a voice, and my sinuses just got worse.

On Tuesday, I stayed home from work and saw my general practitioner. After a healthy dose of antibiotics, ear drops and nasal spray, I was laid up for 2 days, sleeping and watching 50 Shades of Grey. I was back to work Thursday and Friday, but truth be told, I was still feeling pretty terrible, mainly due to an ear that STILL FELT CLOGGED. You guys, this is such a terrible feeling. I've never suffered from ear pain or anything of the sort, but let me tell you - this is one of the worst ailments I've ever had.

That got us to Memorial Day Weekend - another post that I've been meaning to do! We hit the beach last Saturday and spent Sunday at my parents house. By Monday my ear was feeling even worse and so we ended up at urgent care on Memorial Day morning. I was prescribed prednisone to help the inflammation in my ear and referred to an ENT. Though I didn't feel better, I had peace of mind just speaking to a doctor. Tuesday, I awoke feeling just as terrible and so I got a same-day ENT appointment.

The meeting with the ENT was ok...we at least got a plan in place to fix things. Oh also, I forgot to mention, I have to fly again on June 8th for my annual work trip to Las Vegas (a trip I do NOT intend to miss!). The doctor informed me that my ear is still totally filled with fluid and has nowhere to drain. He upped my dose of steroid and made a plan for me to come back next Wednesday (2.5 weeks after the initial incident). If it's not drained on its own by then, he will manually drain it and install a tube so that I can fly next week.

I wish I could say that I feel better, but yesterday and today my ear has felt even more clogged and just worse. So I may end up just going in on Monday, depending on how things shake out over the next 2 days.

The worst part about the ear situation is that it just makes me feel not well overall. I've been tired, hard of hearing on that side, and just uncomfortable. Here's hoping that things will work out this week!

So on another note...work has been truly crazy. We are getting ready for our biggest trip of the year and so being out of the office sick (or in the office and sick) has not been awesome. Oh and! Penelope got sent home on Wednesday from daycare with a fever. So we've been fighting that one too.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. Now that I've rambled on and on about my ailments...how have you been? I have so many posts that I've been planning to write, but just honestly have barely kept it together as is and so here's hoping that this week will be a bit more biz as usual.

This weekend, Shaun is reffing soccer with his dad and brother, and so Penelope and I are shacked up at my parents house. It has been really nice and relaxing. We spent today out by the pool and now I'm laid out on the couch about to watch Outlander while Penelope snoozes upstairs. It's fun to just be a kid again sometimes, especially when not feeling 100%. Though I must shout out to my husband who has been so freaking amazing while I've been super annoying and insufferable with illness for the last 2 weeks. He's been a rockstar taking care of me and Penelope and hopefully that won't have to be the case for much longer!

So what have you guys been up to lately? Are you enjoying this glorious weather as much as I have been? Have you ever suffered from severe ear clogging and pain?! How did you treat it?