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! 

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Entries in Weddings (5)


Four Years

Four years ago, Shaun and I got married.

We had an amazing wedding weekend in Aruba, filled with lots of family and friends. We spent our days lounging, celebrating, drinking and jumping off a dock into the cool blue water. Four years has flown by in a flash and I can wait to see what the next 40 bring to us!


and 4 years later...

Happy Four Years, my love! Here's to 100 more.


Being Unprepared for a Hurricane

Hi friends! It's Monday! I'm ready for a good week...how about you?

This weekend was a crazy one. Hurricane Irene blasted the East coast in a terrifying, crazy, harrowing storm.

Luckily, Shaun and I were safely tucked away at his brother Steven's wedding in Wilmington, Delaware. Though DE got hit, the hotel was like a bunker...so we were pretty safe for Saturday and Sunday.

But when we arrived home, it was clear that we were beyond unprepared for the storm. While we were lucky enough to not have any damage to our condo or experience flooding on our drive home, our building had lost power and we were told that it could be a week (week!) before it returned.

Why I felt unprepared:

I only had a smattering of scented candles on hand, instead of a real back-up lighting source. I thought this would be enough for any possible emergency. Oh how wrong and naive I was. Not only was this not enough, it was not even close to what we'd need, lighting-wise. Once the darkness fell, we realized that it would be much more beneficial to have large pillared, unscented candles to get us through. And what we really wanted was an oil lamp.

Lack of batteries. We have a really nice flashlight...but it's only one flashlight. And we only had one set of batteries for said flashlight. Not great if you're stuck for a few days and all of your stores are sold out of batteries.

We only had two gallons of water on hand. Though we didn't lose water, it was highly possible that we could have. And then we really would have been screwed. Two gallons would get us very far if we were without water for more than a day or two.

I had no ice. We have a cooler on our terrace, which we thought would be great to use for some cold goods. But ice was in seriously short supply. In hindsight, it would really be great to have a big bag of ice in the fridge at all times.

We had limited cash. This really wasn't an issue, but it easily could have been. I never keep cash on hand, but it might not be a bad idea to have a small stash of it for emergencies.

Food. Luckily, I usually keep canned goods and plenty of food on hand, but it was clear that I had little in the way of emergency-ready goods. We had use of the stove, but if we had not, it would have been a tough one. Canned goods, energy bars, nut butters, and frozen bread probably would do the trick.

So with all of this in mind, I felt a little scattered and overall unprepared for such an event. Luckily, our power came back on late last night. I'm now planning to create a full-blown emergency kit should another disaster strike. I'll be sure to keep you posted on my ideas and how I get it done!

Questions of the Day:

How prepared are you for an emergency?

What's in your emergency kit? Or what would you put in your kit?

psst...I'm blogging about my bro-in-law's hurricane wedding over on The Peach & The Pit...hope you'll check it out!


Our Pirate-Themed Beach BBQ Rehearsal Dinner

First thing's first...when I arrived home last night I had a fabulous gift waiting for me. Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean had sent me a birthday gift! She sent this adorable tote and a very sweet card. I cannot wait to rock this to cart around summer goodies, my shoes and lunch to work or even to the beach! I love Lindsay's blog because she always has great, healthy ideas and she uses ingredients that all of us have on hand. Thank you Lindsay!

Today I'm still dreaming of my beach wedding, and so I thought it would be fun to also tell you about our rehearsal dinner since it was just as fun as the wedding itself. As part of our wedding weekend in Aruba, Shaun's parents graciously hosted a rehearsal dinner for all 80 of our guests who had traveled for the wedding.

We started the evening with a rehearsal under a big white tent at the Westin Aruba Resort, in prep for our sunset beach ceremony the following evening. While Shaun donned a Tommy Bahama shirt (in my favorite color), I rocked a cute black and white dress from White House Black Market with pearls which were a gift from my dad. I also carried my ribbon bouquet, which was made by my bestie Catherine at my bridal shower.

My dad definitely had a tough time at the rehearsal. I think the idea of his oldest daughter getting married started to set in! My dad and I are very close. I was SO excited to marry Shaun, but admittedly a part of me was very sad that my 'kid' days with my parents were ending for good.

With all my ladies after the rehearsal...Love them all!

Following the rehearsal, we headed down to the Holiday Inn, where Shaun's parents had planned a beach barbecue!

Complete with food, wine & beer and a DJ to boot, I'm pretty sure this was truly a one-of-a-kind rehearsal dinner.

Not only did they plan a great party, but they also handed out party favors at the start of the barbecue...pirate gear! Everyone received a bandana, eye patch and giant gold hoop earring. After all, nothing says ice breaker like pirate paraphernalia. Both of our dads rocked the pirate look...

We all settled in for some delicious food and drink...

...followed by an evening of dancing under the stars!

I have to say that this was one of the best nights of my life. The best part about this dinner was that all of our friends and family on both sides got to know each other before the wedding! By the time the wedding actually rolled around, different friends and family members were becoming friends! My cousins were hanging out with my friends; our families were intermingling. I really can't think of anything better.

I'm not going to lie...there may have been multiple playings of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer. We are from Jersey, after all.

Christine, Me & Lindsey

Shaun dancing with my sisters, Kimbelry & Christine

Dancing with Catherine

A group of our AMAZING friends who joined us for the weekend!

No one wanted the night to end. We kept yelling to the DJ, "One more song!" And to our delight, he obliged.


Our group of 'non-parents' at the rehearsal dinner - love all of these people!

So there you have it...our fantastic and extremely unique rehearsal barbecue on the beach. So what do you think? Have you ever been to an out-of-the-ordinary rehearsal dinner? Any other themed ones out there?