Our Engagement Story

I went back and forth on whether or not to write this out for a few reasons… 1: I haven’t written a blog post in over a year, almost two. I don’t even think I can call this “my blog” anymore. And 2: I’m not even sure how to put it into words because I’m pretty sure I blacked out for the entire thing. Alas, I shall try my best because I love reading engagement stories, so selfishly, I’d like to share mine. To get the full picture of how the day went down though, I have to take you back to February 2020…

Brian and I decided we wanted to go away for a romantic weekend for Valentine’s Day earlier this year. We researched tons of places and I finally had my heart set on Mohonk Mountain House. Sadly, V-Day fell on Presidents Day Weekend, and almost every single resort, including that one, was requiring guests to book at least two nights, which we just could not commit to. So we settled on an Inn located right across the water from New Hope. It was actually really beautiful, quiet, and romantic… however, Brian was deathly ill. The most sick I have ever seen him, ever. He spent the entirety of our trip in the room in bed, except for our “romantic dinner,” which he pulled himself together for. Actually, looking back on it we’re pretty positive he had the Corona Virus before we knew it was a thing. He was sick for weeks. But I’m getting off topic… since that weekend I have been dying to visit Mohonk Mountain House, which I haven’t been shy about dropping hints here and there. So the year pushed on, and as you know, all hell breaks loose, AND we bought a house. So it felt like getting engaged and making any big trips just were not going to be in the cards for us this year. Then, about two months ago, Brian told me he was taking me away for the weekend for my birthday, it’s going to be a surprise, and it was going to make our trip to Ireland “look like a trip to a truck stop.” A bold statement if I’ve ever heard one, especially since the only thing I knew about this trip was that it was a road trip. Where could we possibly be driving that could make Ireland look like trash? Over the next few weeks I went back and forth between obsessing over it, and trying desperately not to think about it. It’s really hard to genuinely surprise me, mostly because I usually dig things out of people and ruin it for myself, so I tried my hardest not to ask for any hints. I wanted to be surprised. One day Brian let it slip that the ride was only 2 and a half hours and the snoop in me took over. I googled directions to Mohonk.. and what do you know? It’s only a 2 and a half hour drive. I started telling all of my friends that I thought he was taking me to Mohonk and tried not to lose my shit for a couple weeks. One night we’re sitting in the kitchen and the topic of the trip came up and I let it slip that I felt like I knew where we were going. I didn’t want to tell him… because I didn’t want him to tell me if I was right or wrong, but he got me to say it and then he immediately LAUGHED IN MY FACE. I believe he said something like… “Are you serious? You think we’re going to Mohonk Mountain House?” *uncontrollable laughter* quickly followed by the sound of my dreams being violently shattered. Then he told Charlotte we were going somewhere in the Poconos, and she let that slip, which I was less than excited about. I had to give myself pep talks to be grateful that we got to go anywhere and that I should be thankful because Brian is not a planner and he’s literally planning an entire weekend getaway for me. Alas, the day comes and we pack up the car and hit the road.

I am not good with directions nor do I pay attention to much when I’m in the passenger seat so I just assumed we were on our way to PA and checked out. About 2 hours into our trip with not much time left to go I happen to look up and see an exit sign for Scranton and I thought to myself, son of a bitch we really are going to Pennsylvania. Quickly followed by another little internal pep talk; it’s ok, Rachel.. this weekend is still going to be amazing. Just enjoy yourself and go with it, trust the process, it’s ok. About 10 minutes later we pull off at an exit I don’t see the sign for but assume is Scranton and we’re driving through this really cute little town center with mountains on either side of us and I’m thinking to myself it’s really not so bad, when we come to a giant sign for Mohonk Mountain House and my exact words to Brian were “are you fucking kidding me???” He got me. He truly surprised me, and I was deliriously excited for the weekend ahead of us.

Fast forward about a half hour; it’s about 3:30pm and we’re in our beautiful room settling in and enjoying the view when Brian suggests going for a hike. A hike? Say what now? There’s like 40 minutes left of sunlight and you want to go on a hike to the top of a mountain? I objected at first and he told me I was “being negative” so fine… off we go! To say we were not prepared for this hike was an understatement. I wasn’t really dressed for hiking, we didn’t bring any water with us, and Brian was so excited for what he had planned he speed walked the entire trail. All along the path were these little gazebos built into the side of the mountain, so we would stop and take a quick break and enjoy the view from each one. I would catch my breath, re-apply my Chapstick, blow my nose and we’d set off for the next stop. Finally we come to the top of the mountain only to find… a tower. To which Brian suggests we walk to the top. The view from the bottom was beautiful enough but I have to admit, despite the 6 story climb ahead of me, I did want to see the view from the very top, so we walked… and walked… and walked. By the time we reached the top of the tower I was dead. I couldn’t breathe, I was desperate for water, my nose was running like it had a leak, my legs felt useless. I leaned over the side of the tower and basically dry heaved I was so exhausted, LOL, all the while taking in the gorgeous view while the sun was getting ready to set. I turned around to see what Brian was doing since he wasn’t enjoying the view with me and he’s just standing there… awkwardly smiling. From this moment on it’s somewhat of a blur, but I do know his exact words were, “if I don’t do this now I will be thinking about it all weekend…” as he bent down on one knee and took a ring out of his coat pocket. Cue the shock. There was no long winded, drawn out, emotional speech. There was just “will you marry me?” To which I replied… “are you serious right now?” I put my hands over my face and tried to catch my breath. Brian sat there, on one knee, waiting for me to say something. I’m not sure I said “yes” right away, but I hugged and kissed him and told him I loved him. He started to put the ring on my finger and asked, “did you ever say yes? Is this a yes?” I think we both blacked out, honestly.

I always said I wanted some fancy photographer hidden in the bushes to capture the moment, but to be completely honest with you, I think the fact that it was just the two of us wrapped up in that moment is one of my favorite details about the whole thing. I was sure I wanted it documented from start to finish, but MY GOD, the added layer of stress that must add for the man who is about to propose. Especially since Brian did not have a concrete plan that weekend.. he was just going to carry the ring around “until the moment felt right.” Lucky for him that moment happened to be basically as soon as we got there. So we have a few selfies from the top of the tower immediately after he asked with our red, cold noses, and our watery eyes (from the wind…we didn’t both cry.. certainly not), but they’re the happiest pictures.

Anyway, after a few minutes of hugging and kissing, and acting like it was the wind that was making our eyes so watery, we began our hike back to the hotel before it got really dark. We made a few pit stops on the way and FaceTimed our parents, shared the news, then spent the rest of the weekend enjoying ourselves. I’m sure the fact that we were freshly engaged had a lot to do with how freaking incredible the weekend was, but I also think Mohonk Mountain House itself deserved some of the credit. I’ve never been somewhere so beautiful, so close to home. Despite the Covid restrictions, there was SO much to do and see. We hiked each day we were there, including the afternoon before we left. We went back up to the tower to get a picture of the view from the top… something we neglected to do on our first trip up there amidst all of the happy chaos. We had some of the most delicious meals we’ve ever had. They have a 5-course Brunch. BRUNCH! Do you need that much food for breakfast? No. But it’s included in our stay so we ate it anyway. I had the most relaxing massage of my life, enjoyed the outdoor hot tub with incredible views. We even got to sit down and watch some live music for the first time in almost a year. Honestly, there is nothing about Mohonk Mountain House I am not completely obsessed with. I’m dying to go back.

I’m happy to say I was genuinely surprised Brian proposed on this trip. You see, I thought the weekend at Mohonk was the surprise. We just bought a house, we started renovating it from top to bottom, we have a lot of expenses, I truly did not think a ring was even an option right now. I think I mentioned to a couple friends that I felt like he could propose that weekend, but I didn’t even want to get it in my head and set myself up for disappointment if it didn’t happen. So when he bent down on one knee and pulled a little blue box out of his jacket pocket, I nearly fell over. It really was the surprise of my life. And like I said, it’s hard to surprise me. In retrospect there were a few things that should have been a dead giveaway; one, he was cleaning and shining his boots right before we left. Which he claims he was going to do anyway because they were really dirty and needed a good cleaning, but to me it was suspicious. Also, he kept saying he might get a hair cut and shave off his goatee before our trip. He’s been growing that all out since March, so THAT also made me suspicious. There were a few other things but now that the dust has settled I can hardly remember what they were. As for wedding plans… we have none, yet. Once we’re settled into the new house within the next couple of months we can start that planning process, but for now, we’re soaking up every minute of the fun that comes with being engaged.

In the Tweeds

I had worked from home for so long I forgot what it was like to have to actually get dressed every day. When I started commuting into the city again over the summer I think part of me was most looking forward to playing with more “sophisticated” pieces.

I will say I typically wear this dress with tights and ankle booties… the over the knee boot is a tad extreme for the office. Also, these boots are insanely comfortable but not made (in my opinion) to be worn a full day, or trekking to and from the subway station, ha. I’ve been wearing this hat a lot lately and I just found it in yellow on Poshmark! I’m obsessed with Poshmark, guys. OBSESSED! I’m selling a bunch of stuff on my own account… a lot of things you’ve seen on the blog before. So if you feel like shopping you can do so here. ;] YAY.

Can we talk about this velvet bomber jacket for a hot minute? I was obsessed with it because of the color, and it’s even more stunning in person. I constantly wear nothing but black, especially in the winter, so one of my wardrobe goals was to incorporate more color and this was just the item to get the ball rolling. A few of the items I’m wearing here are from Shein; a kind of discounted online retail site. I personally adore the site, but I know some women can be a little bit weary because of the prices. Here are my tips to shopping a site like Shein:

  • Try to only shop items that have customer reviews.
    • A lot of the pieces they upload onto sites like this look great in pictures, but you can’t be 100% sure that is exactly what you’re getting. Pay attention to the customer reviews, they will be way more honest about how it fits, the quality of the material, the color, etc.
  • Try to shop items that have customer pictures.
    • One of the best ways to shop is to see an item on a real consumer versus on a model. One; it’s more realistic if you have an average body type, and two; it’s a picture of the actual item you will be receiving versus the piece they shot on a model which could be totally different quality.
  • Pay attention to shipping times
    • The first time I made a purchase through Shein it took over a month for me to receive my order. I was like WHAT THE #$%&! is happening here??? Little did I know some items aren’t available to ship right away. They do make note of this on the site, but you kind of have to dig for the information. Otherwise, shipping is pretty standard if not relatively quick.
  • If you’re paying $10 for a sweater, expect a $10 sweater.
    • These aren’t the classic, timeless pieces that are going to last you the rest of your life. If you’re paying $10 for a sweater, you’re going to be getting a $10 sweater. Do not expect amazing craftsmanship. I mean, don’t expect to receive crap either, but just be realistic about your expectations. I recently received a sweater that looked cute in the picture, but when I tried it on it had NO shape. Just a big grey box with sleeves. Because it’s a sweater you kind of make due and work the whole ‘oversized’ trend, but if it was anything else it would have bothered me. I bought a pink faux fur coat (that I am obsessed with!!!) and it arrived with the buttons hanging on by less than a thread. You may need to do some fixing up yourself on little things like that.
  • Use a site like this to shop “trendy” pieces
    • I was dying for a mid-length leopard print faux fur coat but wasn’t sure whether or not I would really love it. I found one on Shein for like…. $30 maybe… maybe even less. I’m happy to say I am in love with it, and it’ll be on the blog next, but I’m glad I didn’t splurge on something like that. It’s not the kind of piece you’ll wear every day (even though people say leopard is a neutral) and being that it’s a heavy faux fur coat it’s not something I can wear all year long either. Sites like that are perfect for trend shopping because you’re not going to want to spend a lot of money on something with limited wearability. (is that a word??)

This is, according to Brian, his favorite picture of me. This is the result of him speeding towards me taking a million pictures a minute and me getting ready to smack my very expensive camera out of his hand if he didn’t stop, LOL, but the smile is big and cheesy and genuine. He and Charlotte both shot these pictures for this post… and while it’s not horribly complicated, I’m so impressed with the pictures Char took! She was way more into taking the pictures than being in any and I love teaching her how to use the camera. I’m so glad she has a little knack for it already. To be honest, Kennedy loves taking pictures too, and for a 4 year old, she isn’t bad either. Proud mommy!


I really look forward to any event which allows me to dress up, even the littlest bit, so fancy date nights really excite me. Except our favorite “fancy” date night spot is surprisingly casual, so, womp womp. Over the weekend we planned to grab dinner at a cute, “fancy schamncy” place in town, so I dressed right up… but we changed our plans last minute to get dinner with friends instead… at a very casual Mexican restaurant. So needless to say I was absurdly over dressed for the occasion but whatever… that’s just me.




I snagged this dress off of Amazon towards the end of the summer and felt like I didn’t wear it nearly as often as I should have for how cute it was. It had been tucked into the depths of my closet since then, but in searching for something to go with my favorite over the knee boots I wanted to wear a piece I haven’t worn in a while. It may be a heinously inappropriate dress for mid-January but paired with these boots and a warm coat (not the leather one pictured here) it was perfect.


I had worn the same faux leather jacket from H&M for the last …. 5 years? Through every season; with layers if it was too cold, with barely anything if it was too warm. It was my actual go to. Unfortunately it basically died this year. The risk you take with a faux-leather item from a store like that… it started to peel. I will say it lasted way longer than I ever thought it would, but when I finally had the courage to let it go for good I knew I needed to find something else I would love just as much, if not more, which meant I knew I had to spend a little more money this time around. Cut to Linea Pelle’s Cameron leather jacket. AND SWOON. I had not-so-secretly been lusting after this jacket for, let’s just say, a hot minute. It finally went on sale and I pounced on that “add to cart” button like a hungry jungle cat stalking its prey. Ya feel me? This particular style is sold out (biggest BOOOOOOOO ever) BUT an almost identical version with embellished sleeves is still available, and truly, just as perfect. The fit is more snug than I would like it to be… which means layering will probably not be an option… unless it just needs some time to be broken in. If you want the tighter fit, it’s true to size, if you want a more versatile look and the ability to throw this over literally anything, I suggest ordering a size up (I’m wearing a small).

SIDE NOTE! Don’t forget to enter my #giveaway to win an electronic toothbrush (read: game changer) from Smile Brilliant, happening nowwwww. Enter here/.

The Item Everyone NEEDS in their Bathroom

Yes that’s right… I said needs. This is no exaggeration.

I was recently gifted an electronic tooth brush and I have to be honest, I was entirely too excited to try it. I’ve been using an electronic tooth brush for the last two years and I was underwhelmed. I know they’re supposed to be incredible for your teeth, but I felt like it was only slightly more powerful than a regular ol’ scrubbin’ brush. As soon as I opened the package and looked at my Smile Brilliant tooth brush I knew I was in for a whole new experience.

There are 5 different settings on this brush; clean, whiten, massage, gum care, and sensitive. I typically switch back and forth between the clean and whiten setting, but I’ve dabbled in all of them. I enjoy the massage setting, for obvious reasons, and sometimes I prefer the sensitive setting over the clean setting because let me tell you, the clean is an INTENSE clean. It has a quick pulse every 30 seconds to remind you to switch the area of your mouth you’re cleaning, and automatically turns off after 2 minutes. I promise you my mouth has never felt so clean and refreshed! I am so obsessed with this tooth brush I keep trying to convince Brian that he needs to use the extra head they sent me and try it for himself, LOL. (he has yet to take me up on that offer, but that’s his loss, honestly).

An electronic tooth brush is not cheap; so I’m giving one lucky reader the chance to *win* one of your own! Enter here. *(giveaway usually runs for 1-2 weeks, hosted by Smile Brilliant. You will be contacted directly by a member of their team if you’re the winner!)

Wide Leg Obsession

I currently have four pairs of wide leg pants hanging on my clothing rack. It’s one of the main things I am obsessed with this year. You can also add overalls to that list… I now have 3 pairs and the collection is growing. So, naturally I adore these wide leg overalls A LOT.




LOL this last picture actually cracks me up… that’s what happens when you just keep snapping and hoping at least one picture comes out. Not that I think this picture is ‘blog material,’ so to speak, but I think it’s a pretty funny one so whatever. I tried on this ruffle top and fell in love immediately, so I purchased it without having any idea what the hell I would pair it with. I held onto it for a couple weeks, and then these Shein pants came to me and, wa-la! The perfect pair. The straps on these overalls are actually detachable, and they came with a long belt in matching fabric, and we all know versatility makes my world go round, so I was pretty stoked on that.


Spring is in the Air… Right??

My favorite meme so far this year said, “2017 sucked but at least it had a spring.” AND MY GOD. Have truer words ever been spoken? I was starting to get spoiled thinking New Jersey was no longer going to have long, horrendous winters, but we were so wrong. Winter started late and it just won’t seem to go away. Here and there we have been catching little glimpses of warmer weather and I am here for it. I’ve been changing my outfits 4 times a day just to get everything in before it gets cold again, hah.




We’ve been spending tons of time outside trying to soak up the warm weather while it’s here, and I’ve been forcing myself to sit outside and read as well. I started a book right after Christmas and I cannot bring myself to get through it! Actually, some of ya’ll have probably read it. The Sinner? It was made into a TV show this past year for TNT. I have yet to watch it, but I feel like I should because I am more than half way through the book, still incredibly confused, and bored. DOES IT GET BETTER?! I need answers. Anyway. This top was $10 at Forever21. It’s one of those tops that you can throw on with pretty much anything, jeans… if you’re brave enough (which I am not), overalls, over a bikini at the beach. $10 seemed like a pretty legit investment for this piece. The skirt is old, but I’ve linked to a very similar style above.


Seeing Stars

If you have been following along on my Instagram, then you’re well aware by now I have recently purchased a pair of high waisted faux leather leggings I am obsessed with. I’ve been trying to find any and every excuse to wear these bad boys as often as possible…seriously, I’d wear them to work if I thought my boss wouldn’t kill me.


I really cannot say enough amazing things about these leggings. I am obsessed with the fact that they’re high waisted. I love leggings but I feel like they’re all super low-rise and my ass crack is hanging out half the time. I’m always stopping to hike them up… it’s just not comfortable. These fit like a little leather glove. They suck everything in like Spanx and yet are incredibly stretchy. I bought a small and when I took them out of the package they looked like they would fit Charlotte. I was like oh hellllllll noooooo. But they fit perfectly and they’re so comfortable. I wore these out for drinks last week with a long tank top and booties because it was still pretty chilly, but it’s going to be all crop tops and body suits as the weather gets warmer. They are a little more on the expensive side, especially for leggings, but Revolve has FREE 2 day shipping and they’re seriously so comfortable and flattering they are worth every single cent. It’s worth mentioning that this is in no way a sponsored post… I just really, really love them that much, haha. 

Isn’t this top so fun? I bought it in December when I had to bar tend on New Years Eve and wanted something festive… however I didn’t end up wearing it because I figured the bell sleeves would get in the way. It’s been sitting in my closet since, waiting for the perfect bottoms to pair it with, and here they are. I love the sheer star print… I’m also feeling this top, and this one!


Over Winter Weather, Faux Real.

It’s the first week of spring and how are we celebrating? With a snow storm! COME ON MAN. I am not usually one to complain about weather but this year threw me for a damn loop. We had a very mild winter. December and January were hardly even considered winter. There was a week in February I spent in a bikini on my back deck. And now March? Snow storms galore! I took advantage of one day in between freezing cold weather and snow to snap a quick set of photos of this very 70’s inspired look I’ve been loving lately.




I’ve had 90% of this outfit for over 3 years now. Basically the t-shirt is the only new thing… whoops. This cropped faux fur jacket my x-husband bought me for my 22nd birthday maybe? Or 23rd? Jesus that was so long ago! I only break it out for special occasions, typically, which is how it’s been kept in such good condition all this time. These Tory Burch sunglasses I’ve had for just about as long, really. Basically everything I’ve linked to above is a similar style as these exact items are no longer available.


I’ve been big into my bandannas lately… they’re usually something I wear throughout the summer but I have been styling them in different ways, as shown in a recent post which you can check out here. I wore this outfit to work the other night, minus the fur and swapped out the flares & booties for skinny jeans and sneakers, and a co-worker of mine walked in wearing a bandanna tied in the exact same way! We were twinning and it was adorable. One of my favorite ways to style these is folded and wrapped like a choker, with a necklaces hanging slightly below it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing these in a variety of ways for the foreseeable future. I mean, they’re less than $2.50 at a craft store.. how can you beat that?

Friday Favorite

Let me tell you a funny story about this week’s favorite item. My first job out of college was for a shoe company (whose name is not important) and the CEO of that company was a pretty amazing guy who invested in a bunch of companies. He was a joy to work for, and eventually after we all ended up going our separate ways we kept in touch. One day myself and two of my former supervisors met him for lunch in the city. He was pretty jazzed about this new company he was working with and he couldn’t stop talking about the product. “It’s a brush that’ll change your life!” And we’re thinking… Ok guy… a brush is a brush. Fast forward maybe a year later and I get an e-mail from an old sorority sister of mine who was then interning for this company and she asked if she could send me a sample of this brush. I was like WHAT?! What are the chances?? I gladly accepted, and let me tell you, my life was forever changed.

wet brush

The Wet Brush

I have naturally very curly hair, my daughter has naturally VERY curly hair… and not all brushes were made for our type of mane. If you have read up on hair care, typically you are supposed to brush your hair dry to avoid damage, but the wet brush was designed to be used on, duh, wet hair. The combination of bristles gently glides through your hair, de-tangling as it goes, without any pulling. Another plus? It can also be used to massage your scalp and it feels UH-MAZ-ING. This is the only brush I can use on my girls’ hair. Literally, the only brush they will let me use. If you read my post on my hair extensions  then you have already heard me mention this brush before, and I was gifted the first brush 5 years ago. Since then I’ve purchased 4 more; two mini’s for Charlotte and Kennedy, and two more for myself. My dog’s ate my first one when they were puppies… Oh! Speaking of. They also make pet brushes! I say this all the time but I think I might have to invest in one for my boys as well. Anyway, click the link above to grab one for yourself if you haven’t already, you’ll be glad you did! This is legitimately a product I love and I think you will too.


Wednesday Worst

I typically hate online shopping. It’s not my jam. I like to test things out before I buy them… and also, I very rarely, if ever, return anything I purchased online. I have a pair of Under Armour sneakers I received like a month ago that I wore twice that are too small for me that are just sitting on my dresser. I’m quite lazy when it comes to that. So anyway, my point is, I don’t usually buy things online… much less from a Facebook ad (insert palm over face emoji here). I’m not sure if I blacked out when I bought this or what, but it was definitely a horrible purchase.

wednesday worst products

Activated Concealer Lifting Serum

Let me tell you WHY this was the worst purchase ever. 1. I’m stupid for buying something through a Facebook ad, as we have already established. 2. This wasn’t the product I purchased. I watched like 17 videos on Facebook about a foundation and concealer was basically like paint, and that was exactly what I was in the market for. I have skin that absorbs makeup even with the help of primer and setting spray or powder. After a few hours it looks like I have nothing on at all. I saw these videos and testimonials and I was like yes this looks like something I can really use… BUY! It took over a week to arrive in which time I had already forgotten all about it, but when it showed up at my door I was super excited! The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was that the bottle looked different. First red flag. I pumped a little bit out onto the top of my hand to blend it in to see what we were working with. It was basically tinted water. Purified water is the first ingredient. Second red flag. I gave it a go anyway and it literally just blends right into your skin………. like you’re not even wearing it. With zero coverage AT ALL. This is no paint-like foundation concealer. I don’t even know if it has a single benefit. I also tried it as just a concealer instead of foundation for a little spot treatment and it still does nothing. The product is useless. So lesson learned… stop shopping like an old lady buying the first product you see on a commercial or facebook ad and start doing a little research on the things you want. I have been using Kat Von D’s full coverage foundation and I do love it. I use No. 7 products as well for days when I’m just running errands or even if I am going to the gym and want a little coverage but don’t want to appear as though I’m wearing a full face of makeup. If you have a foundation you use that offers full coverage and is long lasting please let me know! I need recommendations!