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!

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!


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.


Leg Day, Bro.

I MISS LAST WEEK WHEN THE WEATHER FELT LIKE SUMMER! Remember when we didn’t all have seasonal depression for two days? Remember when we went out wearing dresses without tights or coats because it was legitimately 80 degrees? MAN. Those were the days.




This is how all outfits should look; no layers! Well, I mean, technically the flannel was a layer BUT I didn’t even have to wear it because it was no joke 80 degrees. In February. It’s kind of exciting but as I was literally laying out on my back deck in a bikini I couldn’t help but think… ok yes the Earth is definitely in trouble. Also worth mentioning about this dress, I’m wearing a medium. It runs a little on the smaller side and I was way worried about it shrinking the first time I washed it.


My brother turned 32 last week (I think he’s 32….? Yes I’m 30 so that must be it) anyway… we went out for a quick drink at our local dive bar which apparently turns into a friggen college club now on Tuesday’s. It actually hurts my heart. I spent my 21st birthday at this sports bar and now there’s a DJ, fist pumpers, girls dancing on the bar in items that I wouldn’t even classify as clothes, napkins being thrown in the air. It’s ABSURD. AH. I digress. The point of that story was that this is what I wore that day and night. I ran out of the house with a coat on because I expected it to be freezing and the air was still warm. It made me so so so so happy, for two days, and now it’s back to big puffy winter coats and boots. BLEH.

So on my instagram this week I went on a little rant about body image, and what I decided was that I am going to stop tweaking my photos to make myself appear to be physically different. I’ve only ever done this to my hips and butt area, really, (maybe a little smoothing of the skin up close) but it’s got to stop. I’ve been working very hard on my body in the gym and while I have a long journey ahead of me before I feel like I’ll be completely happy with my body, if that ever happens, I am so happy with where I’m at today. It is SO EASY to beat yourself up and compare yourself to others, ESPECIALLY if you are a blogger. It used to be oh she has more followers than me, she gets more likes than me… and then it snowballs into her boobs are bigger, her legs are longer, she has a thigh gap, her hair is perfect, she’s also had two kids and she doesn’t have any stretch marks or that extra saggy skin around her mid section that won’t. fucking. go away. It started to drive me insane. I became so fixated on how I don’t look that I wasn’t appreciating how I do look. I shit you not, it was one of the biggest factors in why I stopped blogging in October. The pressure of comparing myself to others became way too much for me. I took a little step back from social media and blogging and started working on myself. Not only physically but mentally as well, really accepting who I am and what I bring to the table. I’ve had two kids… and sometimes I’m like well jesus Kennedy is almost 4 there’s no excuse to still look like this! But then I’m like jesus Kennedy is only almost 4 and I’ve come a long way from where I was! I can’t compare my body now to the body I had when I was in college. I can’t compare the body I have now to someone else’s body who may or may not have had kids, who may work harder than me on getting the body they have, who may eat all the right things and never touch a doughnut. I am who I am and I’m working with what I got but I am going to try my absolute hardest to keep it 100% authentic moving forward. No more making my ass look thinner in my photos. What you see is what you get from now on!



Wednesday Worst

Hola friends! So on Wednesdays I am most likely going to be sharing things that I am less than pleased with. They will, for the most part, be beauty related purchases. I might throw in some clothing items and whatnot, but the main focus will probably be beauty and wellness items. First off!

eos lotion

EOS body lotion. Let me first start off by saying that I am a big fan of most EOS products… their shaving cream is amazing and I live for their lip balms… so I was quick to grab this off the shelf when I was in the market for a new body lotion. (I don’t typically like to buy the same product twice in a row unless I absolutely love it). 

SO anyway. The lotion started off pretty good, nothing too magical about it… however I guess I expected more from an eos product. AND THEN after like a week or two of using it, it just stopped coming out. Maybe I got a faulty bottle?… but the pump mechanism on this particular lotion blows. It just stopped pumping. I was like…. there is no way I went through an entire bottle of lotion THAT quickly… and sure enough, I did not (obviously). The bottle is completely full. And you can’t even pop the top off to dump out the rest of the lotion if you had to, because once the pump comes off there is no opening to the rest of the bottle, it has to come through the faulty pumper. WHAT THE EFF. The lotion itself also felt like it was basically water. Maybe it’s supposed to be suuuuper hydrating, but it didn’t feel like it was settling into my skin at all. Overall, I would not recommend this product to anyone, for the sheer fact that the bottle is terrible, lol, but also the lotion isn’t that great either.

My mom had purchased a bottle of O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair Body Lotion and holy hell, that stuff works. I am quite a fan! I’ve used their hand lotion before at work since being a server and a bar tender your hands are always in water and lookin kinda scary and I loved the stuff. I was unaware they made actual body lotion until last week, but it gets my vote!

Dead or Alive

You ever have one of those treat yo’self moments? Well duh, of course you have. Mine usually come when I’m buying donuts, to be quite honest, but every once in a while I like to treat mahself to something I feel like I might live in. This Skull Cashmere sweater was definitely one of those things.





I purchased this sweater between my birthday and Christmas and really had no where to wear it for a while. I begged people to take me out so I had an excuse, LOL. Now I pretty much wear it once a week. I throw it on with these leather leggings or black skinny jeans. When the weather starts to get a little warmer I foresee myself wearing it tucked into a black mini-skirt with my over the knee boots. Soon guys! So soon. (we hope!) It’s cashmere, so it’s obviously soft AF. I bought a size medium so it hangs a little loose. There is nothing I hate more than a tight uncomfortable sweater and I like the way the baggy tops look paired with leather leggings.

sig 3


Friday Favorites

HAPPY FRIDAY! We made it! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through the week. Gold star for you! I used to do this thing on the blog called ‘Wednesday Worst’ and ‘Friday Favorites.’ This was waaaaay before I blogged my own personal style.. I used to follow red carpet trends and post my least favorite celeb looks and then looks I loved. It was exhausting, haha. I’m still going to post my Wednesday Worsts and my Friday Favorites, but now I’m going to focus more on fashion and beauty related items that I have personal experience with. STARTING WITH…


VII code oxygen under eye masks. GUYS. This is the stuff dreams are made of. I promise you the skin under my eyes has never felt softer or looked more energized. I’m a shit sleeper. I work until 3am sometimes and wake up at the butt crack of dawn with the girls, and when I’m not working until 3am I’m still awake until at least after midnight every single night. By law, my under eye circles should be out of control, however, I’ve been using these beauties recently and the difference is noticeable. I felt softer skin immediately after the first use and I can see the skin under my eyes brightening after 5 uses. I have 3 sets left and I’m torn between wanting to use them all the next 3 nights or space it out and save them so they last, hah. These are great because they are made to be slept in. You stick them right under your eyes, push a little bit to keep them in place, and slumber away. I will say the first time I used these I woke up and one was missing. I have no idea how long it stayed in place for, but my under eye did feel soft and smooth, so long enough I suppose. It does not say on the package how often to use these, but after a little searching on the website I found it says to use them 2 to 3 times a week. So one box of 8 should last you at least a month. OH MY GOD I just realized I only have one set left while counting how many came in a box!!! Oh man… this is sad news guys. SAD SAD news. Click the link above to get more details on these little life changers and of course, to buy a box of your own. You will love the results! Image-1 (2)