2020 Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

I don’t know about you, but I am so looking forward to spring. Even though I feel this winter was pretty lame, in New Jersey. (Hardly any snow. Yet, a LOT of germs that didn’t seem to die off. Thus, making my house feel like an infirmary.) I LOONG for the warm breeze. Being outdoors. And, wearing Spring Clothes! I took the liberty of finding ALL of my favorite items that are trending this season. So, may I present to you this 2020 Spring Capsule Wardrobe!

Microblading Near Me

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Recently, I did something that I should have done long LONG ago! I got my eyebrows microbladed! I grew tired of hearing about it, and seeing such amazing results on every other Instagram Influencer. After turning forty, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Coincidently, I noticed my eyebrows thinning. Thankfully, I happened to find the best microblading place, near me. In Cherry Hill, New Jersey…

Morning Devotion ~ My Struggle and My Solution

Travel & Leisure

There was a time that I woke up with anticipation of my morning devotion. I enjoyed this quiet time, alone, reading my bible and praying. It became part and parcel of my morning routine throughout my college years, and my years in the workplace. I’m the kind of person that requires quiet, alone time, with some form of caffeinated beverage, at least thirty minutes before I do anything useful. So, there’s really no reason why I can’t spend these initial moments of each day with the Lord…

Once I became a foster parent, I recognized that my alone time had to revolve around a tiny other being. That was the start of some inconsistency in my morning devotion. Then, after going through some very difficult trials (as a foster parent), let’s just say that my morning devotion became obsolete. Since then, it’s been an ongoing struggle. Nevertheless, I have been praying for something…anything to resurrect the anticipation, I once had.

Winter Date Outfits

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

Ok, Girlies. I know it’s tempting to stay indoors all winter and order take-out. Scott and I definitely spend more weekend nights at home, in the winter. But, once in a while you have to get out and about with your significant other. And, have a reason to wear something other than sweat pants! Today, I’m sharing a few Winter Date Outfits to give you some inspiration and perhaps motivation to make reservations for something special. Some of these pieces are high end. Others are under $50. Check it out!

Westin Grand Cayman ~ Our 5 Day Winter Vacation

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

Scott and I just returned from a 5-Day Winter Vacation to the Westin, Grand Cayman. When planning this trip, I specifically wanted a location in which Scott and I could enjoy calm and clear ocean water. The Seven Mile Beach, in Grand Cayman is known for it’s outrageously calm and clear ocean water. So, that was an easy decision. We decided on the Westin in Grand Cayman because it is situated on the Seven Mile Beach and had all the amenities we were looking for. In this blog post, I’m going to share an overview of the Westin, Grand Cayman. I’ll also share what we ate, since let’s face it, vacation is 50% about experiencing great food!

Warm Winter Salad ~ Butternut Squash & Quinoa

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

I’m no different than most of the human population, hoping to start the New Year on a healthy note! The issue for me is that it’s harder to eat healthy during the winter months. (Right!?) Cold weather goes hand in hand with comfort food, and we all know that a cold and crisp salad is anything but comfort food. So, this past weekend I set out to create a warm winter salad that could bring us the best of both worlds. All the nutrition a salad would have with a comfort food feel. It’s delicious and warm and oh, so good!

Warm & Cozy Winter Sale

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Christmas is over. For some of us, the winter season begins to feel dreary. The next three months are usually long and cold, in the northeast. There are a few things, however, that make this season warm and cozy. Warm fires, sweaters, comfy loungewear, soft pjs, fuzzy slippers, and faux fur blankets…to name a few. Thankfully, many retailers are hosting their annual Winter Sale. So, NOW is the best time to get whatever you need to stay warm and cozy!

Mexican Lasagna

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

Scott and I both love Mexican Food. It’s one of my favorite ethnic foods eat and cook. Recently, I made what you’d call a Mexican Lasagna. It had layers, sauce, and cheese. Similar to Italian style lasagna. But with soft tortillas, taco-flavored beef, and sharp cheddar cheese. Since I host a few holiday dinners at the house, it’s nice having some easy and delicious recipes like this one on hand!

Easy Holiday Cookies

Rachel Maria's Recipes

Ok, here is why these are called EASY Holiday Cookies. (Secret, revealed.)

I use an already-made pie crust. Of course you can use a homemade pie crust if you prefer. But, my theory is, why do something that’s already done for you? These cookies are quick, easy, BEAUTIFUL, and oh so good.

They take about 10 minutes to assemble, and the kids love to help roll them up. I’ve been making these, in a pinch, for years. An easy crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

Black Friday 2019 ~ What to Buy & Where to Find It!

Fashion & Lifestyle

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with Black Friday. On one hand, I love a great deal, just like the next girl. But, I love Thanksgiving a lot more. The idea of cutting this holiday short to save some money is a tempting trap. Not to mention, I would rather pay someone to stand in a claustrophobia-induced crowd, on my behalf. (And, that kinda puts me back at square one.) Last but not least, it’s so confusing to figure out what to buy and where to find it. So, in this blog post, I’m going to share some tips I have learned, that can help you get the most out of your Black Friday. While saving you TIME and money. Because both are pretty sacred, this time of year!

KIDS Gift Guide 2019-2020

Baby, Fashion & Lifestyle

Nothing compares to celebrating the holidays with children. Most of us remember the days of excitement, wonder, and expectation that filled our childhood days with joy. Scott and I are so grateful to celebrate the upcoming holidays with our two year old son, Chase. Even though, I fear, this may be the last Christmas without the pressure of hunting down the unreasonably popular, most-requested toy. So, for those of you who do have children old enough to make such requests (in some cases, demands)… This Kids Gift Guide is for you.

Thanksgiving Countdown

The House on High Street

So, you’re hosting Thanksgiving, this year? Congratulations! Or, shall we say, Good Luck? So far, Scott and I have hosted four Thanksgiving Dinners at The House on High Street. Rather successfully. Hosting any holiday dinner can be stressful. I think the best advice I can give you is to plan ahead and pace yourself. I created my own Thanksgiving Countdown! So, here are some tips for you in preparing for one of the greatest holidays, ever. Have fun!

The Ultimate Men's Gift Guide

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

You would think it’s easier to shop for men. They’re supposedly more laid back and less complex. And yet, every year, I struggle to find the perfect holiday gift for my husband, Scott. Sometimes, we’ll joke around and I’ll remind him how easy it is to shop for me! “I would love anything from Nordstrom, Loft, Anthropologie, Kendra Scott, Lagos, etc.” But, Scott is super picky and prefers to buy things himself. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research on unique men’s gift ideas. I discovered a bunch of  things that have more originality. As of today, Scott does not own anything, on this list. But, I think he’d love anything that falls into his category. Therefore, I’m calling this The Ultimate Men’s Gift Guide. Because if Scott would love it, I’m sure your man will, too!

How to Find the Best Artificial Christmas Tree...

Food & Home, The House on High Street

Several years ago, Scott purchased a very tall Christmas Tree at the end of the season, for a great price. It looked beautiful in The House on High Street. But, after several years of use, it was time to replace. I wanted to do some homework, because as you are probably aware, artificial Christmas Trees can be pretty expensive. In this blog post, I’m sharing a few tips that I’ve learned, as far as what to look for, before buying an artificial Christmas Tree.

My Favorite Fall Recipes

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

There are many reasons why FALL is a favored season. Aside from all the perks (breaking out the boots, picking pumpkins, and going on hay rides), it’s a great time to cook hearty, comfort foods, in the oven. Not to mention, there are limitless ideas to flavor just about anything with a little pumpkin spice. Today, I’m sharing my favorite fall recipes, that I’ve been making at home!

The Power of Resilience

Foster Care & Family, Health & Fitness

Dear Friend. I have a message for you, today. I know during our most difficult circumstances, we struggle with a lot of fear. Whether it’s a recent loss of a loved one, a break up with the love of your life, unemployment, sickness, depression, you name it… FEAR can make its way into our mind and hearts.

“I’ll never recover from this. I’ll never be the same. I’ll never be able to move on. I’ll never be happy. I’ll never be able to replace what I just lost…”

But there is something that takes root at the very first moments of despair, and that is RESILIENCE. It’s a God-given characteristic that we all possess. Whether we know it or not. Or like it or not. Life may not get easier. But one thing is for certain, we will get STRONGER and more RESILIENT.

Master Bedroom Makeover

Food & Home, The House on High Street

Scott and I have lived in The House on High Street for almost six years. Initially, we filled our two-hundred-something-year-old home with furniture from auctions. In keeping with the traditional feel. Lately, we’ve been redecorating, one room at a time. Our bedroom was a hodge podge of mixed match furniture, from our past lives and residencies. Needless to say, this master bedroom makeover was long overdue!

FIVE Fabulous Fall Booties!

Beauty & Fashion

In spite of the fact that it is officially FALL, it still feels like summer in New Jersey. Nevertheless, it’s a great time to shop for booties. They are the perfect transition between sandals and tall boots. They’re all much more versatile than tall boots. Right now, there are so many great styles. But, there are FIVE Fabulous Fall Booties that I could not wait to show you!

Surviving the Terrible Twos

Baby, Foster Care & Family

Lawd, help me. Chase is turning two, in a few weeks. Scott and I have already observed behaviors that can only be explained as “The Terrible Twos”. Now, I’m no expert. I have only been around children and babies for many, many years. I think the terrible twos can manifest in many different ways. And, there is no one size fits all description of it nor remedy for it. In this blog post, I’m going to share some general things I’ve learned about this critical stage of life. And, how I am literally praying my way through it!

Sofia Vergara at Walmart

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Some gals love wearing expensive clothes. Others like to look expensive at an affordable price. Sofia Vergara may be a celebrity who can afford expensive just-about-anything. Yet, thanks to the inspiration of her family, she has made it possible for women of all sizes and at all price points to enjoy wearing expensive looking clothes. If you haven’t checked out Sofia Vergara at Walmart, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Acai Bowl ~ WHERE Have You Been All My Life?

Foster Care & Family

It looks like sorbet. Tastes like sorbet. And, it’s one of THE GREATEST SUPERFOODS ON THE PLANET! Acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee’) is a small, dark purple fruit that is found in tropical rain forests. An acai bowl is created with acai pulp, typically blended with additional frozen fruit, and topped with treasures of you name it…Granola, Coconut, Berries, banana, cacao nibs, etc. I seriously don’t understand how I have gone over 45 years without even trying an acai bowl. To say that I am now eternally hooked, is an understatement.

Favorite Things ~ Fall 2019

Fashion & Lifestyle

It seems like every few weeks, I discover something new to fall in love with. Between the changing of seasons, having a growing toddler, and networking with other content creators… I’m constantly learning or trying something new. In today’s blog post, I’m sharing my favorite things. All of which, I am enjoying this fall season.

How to Decorate for FALL ~ Under $100

Food & Home, The House on High Street

The Fall season is drawing near. I love this time of year, for good reason. The air is crisp and fresh. The aroma of fall can’t be beat. Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Apple Pie, Cedar, etc. The colors are so vibrant. And, it’s hands-down the best time for outdoor photos!

Before moving into The House on High Street, I only had a townhouse or condo to decorate. It can be expensive decorating even a small space. So, now having a larger space, things can get out of hand! In this post, I’m going to show you How to decorate for Fall ~under $100!

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms & Gravy

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

My mom originally made this recipe, and before that I had absolutely zero interest in salisbury steak. My only experience was serving it, as a waitress, in a diner, to maybe one out of a thousand patrons. Needless to say, it didn’t look very appetizing. I didn’t understand the concept of a salisbury steak. Was it a glorified burger? A miniature meatloaf? Why is it called steak, if it’s made with ground meat?

Chase is Turning Two ~ Summary of the Past Year

Foster Care & Family

In a few weeks, my little boy is turning two. It’s been a while since I’ve provided an update on Chase! So much has happened during this past year. Chase has experienced some monumental milestones. From his first steps to his official adoption day, in April. Prior to that, I wasn’t able to show photos of his face. So, in this blog post, I’m going to share a summary of Chase (with lots of photos) from the past year.

Travel Like a Pro ~ Even with a Toddler!

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

Ok, so I may not be considered a Pro at traveling. But, I do know how to travel like one. Some may say I go overboard, because I do a LOT of planning, and I try to think of everything. Of course, it’s easier to travel like a pro without a baby or toddler (let alone several) in tote! But, it can be done, as well. In this blog post, I’m going to provide some tips on How to Travel Like a Pro, along with how to do so with a toddler in tote! 

Why Did You Decide to Stop Being a Foster Parent?

Foster Care & Family

I guess it’s only fitting for me to write a blog post sharing why Scott and I have recently decided to stop being foster parents. Last year, I published two blog posts about why we decided to foster, in the first place. And, what eventually played out. Overall? Being a foster parent was a zillion times harder than I ever imagined. Never before has my human heart endured such pain, and such joy to the magnitude I have experienced. In a nutshell, I’m just not cut out for this rollercoaster ride, any longer.

Back to School! TWENTY Teacher Fashion Staples

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

It’s bittersweet to me that I am not shopping for Back-to-School Teacher clothes, anymore. It’s been several years since I’ve been out of the classroom. Of course, there are some things that I miss. But, at least I can participate in helping my teacher friends prepare for the upcoming school year. Teaching is the one of the hardest jobs in the world! It’s mental. Physical. And, emotional. Personally, I always felt better prepared for the school day by dressing stylish AND comfortable! This blog post will contain TEN Teacher Fashion Staples that will elevate a teacher’s wardrobe while providing comfort, as well.

My New Skin Care System by Jan Marini

Beauty & Fashion, Health & Fitness

Friends, I am so excited to share about a comprehensive skin care system that I will be using for the next several weeks. I was recently selected by Jan Marini’s research team to not only try her award-winning skin care management system, but to speak with Jan, (founder and Chairman of the Board), personally for a 30-minute one-on-one consultation! In this post, I’m going to share what I learned from this conversation. Along with the skin care system that Jan Marini, herself, has recommended for me.

Teeth Whitening at Home ~ Smile Brilliant & Giveaway!

Health & Fitness

They say a smile is worth a thousand words. But, I’m convinced that a white smile is priceless. Recently, I partnered with Smile Brilliant and was given a teeth-whitening kit in exchange for an honest review. In this blog post I’m going to share all about my teeth whitening at home experience, using Smile Brilliant. From start to finish. And, let you see for yourself the difference this whitening kit has made, in my smile!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019 My Top 25

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

So help me, next year, I’ll be so much better at this! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I did my best, this year, to share my picks for the sale, this year. I know how much time it takes to physically go into a store, find what you’re looking for, try things on, and deal with the crowd. My goal is to make this easier for you. What I didn’t know is just how fast many items will sell out! (Even during the first few minutes of Early Access.) In this blog post, I’m going to share my top 25 picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. And, for those items that are already sold out, I’ll share the next best thing.

What to Buy at The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) is so big and popular that it can be a little overwhelming and stressful! If you are still learning about this sale and want the basic information (dates, FAQs, etc.) check out my post called, “Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for Beginners!” In this blog post, I’m going to share my top picks, in each category, to give you an idea on what to buy! I’m also going to share EIGHT Possible Looks with some of the same pieces, so you can narrow down your wishlist, and have some REAL Head-to-Toe outfits, ready to go! So, if you’re wondering what to buy at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, this year…keep reading!

What is Collagen and Why I Take It, Daily

Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Sometimes, I need to remind myself that I am a mommy, to a toddler, in my forties. Most of the time, I don’t have time to think about it. But, what I do think about, is my health. And, how important it is for me to feel healthy and strong, every day! I don’t care about the number of birthdays I celebrate. I care about feeling my best, and living as long as I can, for my son, Chase! Recently, I started adding collagen powder to my health regime. I read a lot about it, and I figured it was time to give it a try.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ~ For Beginners!

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

The annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is truly a one of a kind sale. If you love fashion or Nordstrom, in general, buckle your seat belts. Because the next few weeks are going to go by fast and you’re going to want to be prepared for this once-a-year, spectacular SALE!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale takes place, each year, in mid-July. What makes this sale unique and unlike any other “SALE” is one major (and I mean MAJOR) factor…

These are NEW styles and items, from dozens of designers, that are coming out in the Fall. So, most of the public won’t even have access to these new styles. And, for a limited time, you can snag your favorite NEW items, for an unbelievably gracious discount!

In this blog post, I’m going to give you the lay of the land and share how this works. How you can prepare. Along with my picks that I’d recommend for any fashionista, as well. 

Blueberry Croissant Pudding

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

Summer is the perfect time, for all things, BLUEBERRY. (Ok, and corn, tomatoes, peaches, and strawberries…) But, since Chase loves blueberries, the most. And, since I recently created this recipe (inspired by Ina Garten’s Croissant Bread Pudding) using blueberries (in lieu of raisins), we’re going with it. This Blueberry Croissant Pudding is sure to be a big hit at your next summer barbecue. I promise!

Summer 2019 ~ Fashion DUPES

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

I’ve written a few blog posts, recently, on fashion pieces and their much less expensive counterpart. I think there are a lot of variables to consider, when it comes to style and fashion. Personally, I look for specific qualities in fashion pieces over the fact that they are merely “on trend”. But, here are some heavy-hitter items, that are undeniably popular, right now. Along with their much-less-expensive twin. Some of these pairs look so identical (with similar quality) that it’s a NO-Brainer. Of course, you can be the judge. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite Fashion Dupes for the Summer 2019 season

Fashion Dupe Examples

Ingredients to Avoid

Fashion & Lifestyle

I know. You’ve already read articles, studies, blogs, etc. regarding healthy vs. unhealthy foods we eat. I’ve come across a few hundred…thousand myself. But, have you ever wondered what some of the ingredients are in your food? Have you ever felt overwhelmed with which ones are good and which one you should avoid, completely?

At one time or another, I’ve omitted something from my diet. I’ve tried depleting fat grams. Gluten. Meat. Dairy. Bread. Sugar. You name it, and I’ve tried it. Sure, there were some improvements in my health. I even lost a few pounds on some of these bandwagon lifestyles. But, it wasn’t until a few years ago, that I realized how important it was to avoid certain INGREDIENTS, in my diet!

Chicken Florentine

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

Chicken Florentine is Scott’s favorite dish that I make, at home. I prefer using cooper sharp cheese, as it melts great and gives such a superb flavor to the chicken. Since it already has spinach in it, I just pair it with mashed potatoes or rice. And, the best part is that I make everything in one large frying pan!

Father's Day Gift Guide 2019

Travel & Leisure

Father’s Day is very special to me. I’m fortunate to have a dad that is (and always was) extraordinary, in every way! BUT…like most men, he’s not easy to shop for. So, I scoured the internet and found a bunch of ideas for this Father’s Day Gift Guide! One thing I believe most dads have in common is this: They don’t expect an expensive gift. So, most of these items are under $50 OR on sale!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

There are certain foods that taste just as good, when baked over fried! Eggplant parmesan is one of those foods! Unlike lasagna (with the no-boil pasta option, now available), eggplant parmesan is definitely more time consuming. Especially if you choose to fry the eggplant, first. But, in my opinion, baked eggplant parmesan is the way to go. It’s healthier, easier and quicker to make.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Have you been watching my food demos on Instagram, yet? If not, you may not know what you’re missing. I try to do a step-by-step tutorial in cooking, at least twice each week! Anyway, I made this yesterday. One eggplant, about ten inches long, was enough to feed Scott and myself at least three dinners worth. What I’m trying to say is that eggplant goes FAR when you’re making eggplant parmesan. I’d suggest one per 3-4 eaters. (That’d be having not much, if anything, left over.)

Memorial Day Sales 2019 ~ My Top 8 Picks!

Fashion & Lifestyle

First things first. Memorial Day is a day to remember all of those who have served (or are currently serving) our country! Don’t forget to wear your red, white, and blue to celebrate this wonderful holiday. Also, if you decide to take advantage of the Memorial Day Sales, I’ve rounded up some of my picks that are great steals. I know these sale weekends can be overwhelming. So, I tried to find the best of the best for you.

Secrets in Los Cabos ~ Resort Wear

Fashion & Lifestyle

Recently, Scott was awarded a trip to the Secrets Resort, in Los Cabos, for being amongst the top ten percent Outside-Sales Reps, for Home Depot. Of course, I was thrilled to be invited and super proud of my hubby for his accomplishments. The Secrets resort, in Los Cabos, is a gorgeous resort with an intertwined gold course and breathtaking views. From the ocean and mountains, to palm trees and cactus! Talk about a great mix. Speaking of mix, I was excited to sport some of my favorite resort wear pieces mainly from Revolve, Amazon, Nordstrom, and Walmart. (I guess you can say that’s another great mix, right there!)

My Diet & Fitness Routine

Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

I’m sometimes asked about my diet and fitness routine. Most likely because I’m in my forties, I look fairly fit, and yet I love food! I spend a lot of time, in my kitchen, creating home cooked meals. I’ve been a foodie from a young age, because I grew up in an Italian family that…You guessed it, LOVES FOOD! Fortunately, I also love fitness. So, just like everyone else, I do my best to stay fit. Everyone struggles in some shape or form, when it comes to balancing their diets and fitness.

We are living in a culture that worships “thin”. Most of us have grown up with the mentality that it’s better to LOOK GOOD than FEEL GOOD. But, I’m here to tell you that it’s AWESOME to FEEL GOOD! And, to actually be healthy. I’ve learned so many lessons about dieting and fitness over the past several decades. And, that’s what it’s all about! Finding that balance so we can reach our wellness potential. 

So, if you’re looking for some friend-to-friend advice. Or, just some tips on what I’ve learned throughout my years regarding diet and fitness, read on…

Adoption Day ~ Welcome, Chase Matthew!

Foster Care & Family

I can’t believe it! Someone, please pinch me! After three years of fostering, several years of waiting, and a devastating heart-break, Scott and I FINALLY celebrated Adoption Day! Last week, we adopted Baby Blue. We can now call him, Chase Matthew. I can also show his handsome face, too! 

Some of you have been following our foster journey from the beginning. You know about the tragedy we dealt with, just a few months before Blue (Chase) came into our lives. To say that Scott and I were apprehensive about loving another baby and giving our hearts over, completely is an understatement. But, God worked His miraculous hand in having just the right people in place, at the right time. Baby Blue was meant to be Chase Matthew long before we even met him. 

Concealers ~ My Review on Some of the Most Popular!

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Over the years, I’ve tried dozens of concealers for covering up dark spots or blemishes on my face. I find that as I get older I prefer less coverage. My skin is not as smooth as it was in my earlier, adult years. And, my priorities and preferences have changed. I like having an SPF in my concealer (and foundation). I also prefer something that goes on fairly light, and can last all day. I consider it a bonus if it’s waterproof so that I can wear it on vacation. 

In this post, I’m going to share my review on five concealers that I’ve recently tried over the past year! Yes, I spent that much time. Wearing each one, for up to two months! Everyone deserves to look and feel beautiful, and finding the right foundation and/or concealer is an important step in the right direction.

How It Feels to be Adopting a Foster Baby

Foster Care & Family

Oh my goodness. I can’t even believe I just wrote the title of this blog post. I am flooded with emotions, as Scott and I are preparing to adopt our first child. A one and a half year old BEAUTIFUL boy that I’ve nicknamed Baby Blue. We have had the privilege of nurturing him since he was five days old! Barely five pounds. Loving on him as if we were the mom and dad every child deserves to have. Unsure if we would lose him, and never even see him again.

We’ve been there. Done that. 

BUT, after years of waiting…Years of trials and a massive heartbreak, it’s finally happening. In just a few days, Baby Blue will have a forever mom and a forever dad. Scott and I will be forever parents.  

I’m going to do my best to share how it feels to finally be adopting a foster baby. For anyone that is waiting for their heart’s desire, my prayer is that this blog post will bless you, in an extraordinary way!

DIY Treats for Easter Baskets

Foster Care & Family

Easter is coming! Time to pick out our Sunday best. Decide on a dinner menu. Bake cookies. And, fill Easter baskets for the kiddos. In this post, I’m going to share my favorite DIY Treats for Easter Baskets, that I found on Pinterest. 

I recently did a Facebook & Instagram Live. I tried making a few of these DIY treats that look so perfect (and easy) on Pinterest! As most of you already know, I primarily focus on FOOD & FASHION, here. (On my Instagram stories, I do a lot of cooking demos and fashion try-ons.) Arts & Crafts? Not so much. 

Nevertheless, just like most of us Pinterest stalkers, I sometimes feel challenged to recreate ideas that look so cute and simple. 

In this post, I’m going to break down 5 DIY Easter Treats that I tried making myself. (In case you missed the LIVE Videos.) Whether you are a mom, grandmother, auntie, classroom teacher, etc. I’m pretty sure that you will want to try at least one of these ideas. 

New BRAND Alert ~ PEACH Active Wear

Beauty & Fashion, Travel & Leisure

So, you may know by now, that I’ve been open to working with retailers and brands, as a Life & Style Influencer. It’s taken a while for me to gain some momentum, and I have a long way to go. One of the most important aspects of what I do is working with retailers and brands that I absolutely LOVE. 

Some days, I feel that I am inundated with invitations from brands that I have no interest in wearing or using. (Or, trying.) I’m very picky! If it’s clothing, per say, it has to be modest, well made, affordable, stylish, and comfortable. If it’s a retailer, they need to have excellent customer service, quick and low-cost shipping, and a FREE return policy.

I know. High standards.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new brand that meets all of my criteria. I’m officially in love with this brand! It’s called Peach. (Also known as: Discover Peach.) Peach apparel is designed for gym, work, and play. These are super comfortable and stylish pieces for the active mommy and modern woman. Let me share a few reasons why I am in love with the brand, Peach!

Instant Pot Cabbage Soup

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

Allergy season is in full swing! I have been struggling with cold symptoms of all sorts for the past few weeks. Yesterday, I had a craving for hot soup. I made cabbage a few times, in my instant pot. And, I loved how easy and quick it was. So, I decided to throw together a cabbage soup, with ingredients I had on hand. It came out so good! I had to share it with you!

2019 Spring Fashion Trends & Affordable Ideas

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Each season brings about new temperatures, activities, and you guessed it…Fashion trends! Personally, I never feel obligated to partake in fashion trends. Unless they are practical, fun, and affordable! In this post, I’m going to share the 2019 Spring Fashion Trends that I think are worthwhile. (Yes, there are a lot of trends, but I try to select the most practical ones for regular gals, like you and me! I’ll also share some affordable options, for each trend. With different price points. Ya ready??

Learning to Ski ~ As an Adult

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

This weekend, Scott took me skiing. It was my first time, officially learning to ski. I had gone skiing, once before, in my early twenties. But, I made the mistake of going with a group of experienced skiers (who advised against taking a lesson). Let’s just say, the skiing didn’t go that well. I was grateful, however, that I could at least say that I tried.

Since starting LE Woman (in my forties), I made a commitment to model extraordinary living, regardless of our circumstances! (Age, body-type, disability, etc.) Last year, I tackled scuba diving. Another experience that initially went badly, for me, many years prior. I’m so glad that I did it, for a second time, because I loved it!

Since then, I’ve been wanting to give snow skiing another shot. In this blog post, I’m going to share how my first official ski lesson went. Along with some advice for you first-timers. Especially those who may feel that it’s too late to learn something new. 

Home Remedies for Depression

Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a long time. For years, I struggled with debilitating health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. I didn’t realize I was depressed, because I wasn’t sad. I just felt…paralyzed and numb. Depression comes in many ways. My hopes in writing this blog post is to encourage you (or someone you know) to get medical help if you feel that you are struggling with depression. I also want to share some home remedies that can help, as well.

Random Acts of Kindness ~ 20 Ideas that are Short & Sweet!

Foster Care & Family

Some days I feel like I don’t have enough hours of the day to get everything accomplished. Other days, I feel burdened that I could be doing more. Blogging is something that I feel is my gift to share with others, while doing something I love and enjoy. But, it takes up a lot of time. I sometimes wonder if I should be doing something all together, different!

This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day. (It’s February 19th this year, in case you didn’t know. Because I surely didn’t! lol) And, I figured it’d be a good time to reflect and brainstorm some ways we can make time to spread random acts of kindness. 

A Special Occasion Look on a Budget

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Meet Giavanna, a recent college graduate, with an invitation to a Black Tie Wedding. Gia, like any girl, loves nice dresses. Nice, heels. Nice, bags, etc. But, sometimes, it can be difficult to dress the way we want, when we’re on a budget. Fortunately, there are a bunch of tricks up a girl’s sleeve. I’m grateful Gia allowed me to lend a helping hand and show her how to shop for a special occasion look, on a budget! So, I’m sharing all of my tricks and tips…

Real Confidence ~ You Have What It Takes!

Foster Care & Family

I started using Instagram a little over a year ago with a greater intention. My hope is to expand my reach and hopefully make a greater impact on women, around the world. I love helping anyone, really. But, I have a deep burden in my heart to help women.

Why, you may ask? Because God allowed me to experience a lot of tribulation, that women can understand and relate to, best. My story is actually far from glamorous. Yet, for whatever reason, God has me using it. Ironically, it was after my greatest tribulations, that I learned about real confidence. My confidence comes from God, alone. It’s part of the message I hope to share with every woman I know!

Hosting a Galentine's Day Party!

Food & Home, The House on High Street

I’ve been enjoying Valentine’s Day, ever since I was a little girl. Back then, I loved making cards and passing out treats to my classmates and teachers. It was simple fun, and it made me happy to share even the littlest thing with others.

When I first heard about a “Galentine’s Day Part”, I thought it was so silly or merely reserved for single women. But, then I remembered something. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers! It’s a day to spend with those you love! Galentine’s Day (official or not) can be the perfect excuse to gather the friends you love and do something special. And, fun! 

In today’s post, I’m going to share just how easy it is to throw something together. Without spending a lot of time or money! Read on…

Winter 2019 Top Fashion Pieces & Their Much Less Expensive Counterparts

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

I realize a lot of fashion bloggers post fashion pieces that are way out of the average women’s league. Who wouldn’t want to wear quality fashion pieces that are show stoppers? But, let’s be realistic. Most of us are not spending several hundred dollars on a jacket! Especially, when we can achieve a very similar look for much less. So, in this post, I’m going to share some of the top fashion pieces, for this winter 2019, along with their much less expensive counterparts. 

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Food & Home, Rachel Maria's Recipes

It’s Super Bowl LIII on Sunday! I’m still sad that the Eagles are not going to be playing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the game! We are hosting friends and family. (Honestly? If the Eagles were playing, I wouldn’t host anyone. Because, I’d be anti-social and glued to the TV. LOL!) Anyway, I made these buffalo chicken fingers last weekend, and they were a huge hit! I highly recommend you try these, immediately if not sooner! 

Baby Blue's Bedroom Makeover ~ Transportation Theme

Baby, Foster Care & Family, The House on High Street

Baby Blue is now fifteen months old! And that’s how long it’s taken to complete his bedroom makeover. As you may recall, Scott and I have done quite a few bedroom makeovers throughout the past five years. (Six makeovers for two bedrooms. But, who’s counting!) So, I guess you can say we’re slowing down a bit. However, Baby Blue finally has his very own, little boy bedroom. With a transportation theme! From firetrucks to motorcycles. Dump-trucks, trains, race cars, and seaplanes. It’s super fitting, since Baby Blue is all about, “Go! Go! Go!”

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup

Rachel Maria's Recipes

We’ve been eating a lot of new dishes at The House on High Street, lately! I’ve been experimenting with new ingredients in an attempt to replace a few that I haven’t been too happy with. 

Anyway, it’s been so cold outside! I’ve been craving hot soup with a lot of flavor and just enough spice. I decided to experiment with essential Chinese Food ingredients because I just love that ginger/soy/sesame/chili sauce flavor! And, come on now. Who doesn’t love Noodle Soup?

What to Wear on Valentine's Day?

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

So, you may or may not love Valentine’s Day. But like it or not, it’s coming in a few weeks, and I believe we can choose to make it extraordinary. Last year on Valentine’s Day, I cried a lot. Over a broken heart. I was missing Baby Banana so much. At that time, Scott and I really had no certainty of being forever parents. Anyway, I’m regretful that I didn’t make it a little more special. Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate love and our loved ones! So this year, I’m wearing something Valentine-sy. I’m eating a big serving of chocolate. And, I’m going to celebrate all the love that surrounds me, every day! So, let’s get to the fun part. What to wear for Valentine’s Day?

The Perfect Crudité Platter ~ With Authentic Asiago Cheese!

Fashion & Lifestyle, Food & Home, Health & Fitness, Rachel Maria's Recipes

The Holidays may be over, but Scott and I are still hosting gatherings at The House on High Street. On Sunday, we had our neighbors over for the Eagles’ Game. (They won!) Even though we typically serve burgers, wings, and/or pizza for a football gathering, I wanted to make something that was healthy and delicious! So, I put together the perfect Crudité platter! If you haven’t made one before, I have such good news for you. It’s super easy. And, fun! And, so worth making because it’s delicious and healthy.

Heading into 2019 with Confidence and a New Attitude!

Fashion & Lifestyle, Foster Care & Family

I know that New Year’s Resolutions can be corny and ineffective. I’ve read that 80% of them fail by February! That’s not a very promising statistic. I also read that in order to truly make a lasting improvement (like a habit) it has to be repeated for 60 days. So, if we can just keep a commitment until the end of February, we can make 2019 a successful year!

Rachel's Top TEN Picks from the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale!

Beauty & Fashion, Fashion & Lifestyle

Hey, there! So, you may know that I am on vacation from blogging. (Until next week.) But, I wanted to put this blog post together because the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale is going on right now. And, it ends on January 2nd. If you’re a Nordstrom lover, like myself, you know that there are only two sales a year! The Anniversary Sale (in July) and the Half-Yearly Sale (end of December). So, I decided to round up my TOP TEN picks to help you identify some of the best of the best deals. Items that are not only on sale, but great accents, possibly necessities, for your wardrobe!

Five Lessons that Saved My Marriage

Foster Care & Family

There was a time I thought I’d never make it. But, in just a few months, I’ll be celebrating my tenth year wedding anniversary! It is said that tin or aluminum best represent the tenth year of marriage because these metals reflect the resilience and tougher-than-nails strength of a marriage. Since the average length of marriages that end in divorce is eight years, I suppose it’s safe to say, Scott and I somehow made it over the hump! 

How 2020, Tik Tok, Donald Trump, and Cancer have changed LE Woman

Foster Care & Family

Hi Friends! Long time no blog posting. As you know, 2020 has presented a series of turbulent circumstances. For me, it started out “going back to brunette” and growing as a Social Media Influencer on Instagram. Then COVID happened and the Black Lives Matter Movement ignited. Little did I know how much crazier things were going to get for me, as a result of this, and in conjunction to this!

Coincidently (but not really), I had been praying about my role as a blogger (and social media Influencer) a LOT. Even prior to 2020. Something on my heart was unsettling. I shared this sentiment, several times, on Instagram. “I believe I am on the right road. But, not the right path.”

In this blog post, I’m going to share the new direction of LE Woman. And, how three BIG things (much bigger than a hair color change) have influenced and prepared me for something exciting and new.


By coincidence (not really though), I got on Tik Tok in the beginning of quarantine. In a short amount of time, I was watching dozens of videos, daily. Uploaded from Americans, from sea to sea. I was amazed at the coverage. Go figure. A chinese-owned social media platform that allows people to upload NEWS before CNN and FOX get their hands on in. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see something happening than listen to the propagandized, twisted, biased version of what happened.

In addition to enjoying Tik Tok content, I began sharing my own video content. What started out as Lip Sync Comedy has turned into a Conservative Commentary and Conservative Comedy. Since 90% of the Media and Entertainment Industry is liberal. I recognized a need for a conservative perspective. So, that’s what I’m doing! I’m also gradually uploading some of my Tik Tok videos to You Tube. (As I know some people are reluctant to use this this Platform. Even though Facebook is probably more intrusive of our privacy, than we can imagine. Thus, why conservative content is often censored.)


Not sure if you know, but LE Woman evolved as a result of my health. In 2012 I experienced the perfect storm of autoimmune disorders. Unfortunately, my work as a school administrator, was affected. Long story short, several doctors urged me to resign. My health would only get worse. By this point, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis EBV, Hypothyroidism, and PMDD.

But, at the onset of 2020, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

I chose to keep this private. (Only sharing with my immediate family and closest friends who prayed for me, daily.) This all happened during quarantine. (Which may explain my social-media standpoint on Covid-19. I talked to a LOT of doctors and nurses in several different locations. More on this, later.)

In early June, I had surgery to remove a tumor from my right breast. By the grace of God, the margins of the tumor and my lymph nodes were CLEAR! All related tests came back negative. There is/was no evidence of cancer. This is a result of prayer. I always said, Friends who pray are worth their weight in gold.

Of course, standardized modern medicine recommended chemotherapy. But, after seeing three doctors, I have decided to take the holistic approach, to starve any potential cancer cells. One thing I’ve learned from my medical history and experience as a school administrator: ONE SIZE FITS ALL STANDARDS never work for all.

I know that stress can cause cancer. Over the past 16 years, I’ve lost a husband. A home. A job. A child. And a pregnancy. God allowed me to experience these things for a reason. It’s just starting to come together, for me. I know the path God has paved for me. EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE of my past has prepared me for this.

Donald Trump

Like it or not; Know it of Not…2020 is a fight for the presidency of our country. The chaos we have experienced is NO COINCIDENCE. Some of us are aware of what’s been going on for the past four years. There has been an unprecedented number of attacks on our national president, Donald Trump. (Who has factually done more for the American People than any other president in our lifetime.)

The Media hates our president. The democrats on Capital Hill hate our president. The majority of Hollywood hates our president. Perhaps you hate our president.

There was a time that I did NOT believe Donald Trump was suitable for presidency. In fact, I got into many heated debates about this. I got caught up in the media’s interpretation of him. I was turned off by his womanizing past. I’m still turned off by some of his language. But, after doing a lot of research, and more importantly watching and his actions. And listening to the people who can testify to these actions, I have come to not only support Donald Trump as president. I believe he is the best president our country has had, in my lifetime.

A few weeks ago, I was harassed for wearing a Trump hat, in a grocery store parking lot. A man screamed to me, “You’re a Pedophile!” I don’t know what got into me, but I turned to my assailant and sternly yelled back, “Why are you harassing me?” He literally began to coward as he climbed into his truck. Oh, if he would have allowed me to have a debate with him, right then and there (in front of a few jaw-dropped bystanders) I would have gone ALL IN!

“How dare you call ME a pedophile. You presume the president is a pedophile, do you? Let me guess, your propaganda-inspired media brainwashed that into your brain, right? Congratulations. PROVE THIS TO ME. Show me a video. A confession. Anything that proves this. Little does you pea-sized, ignorant brain know what’s coming in a few months. You will learn what is really going on in Washington. You will learn who the real pedophiles are. THE ONES WHO HATE DONALD TRUMP.”

But, I didn’t.

I just turned around and walked into the grocery store. Where three different people said, “I love your hat” with a wink.

Here’s a recap of the most epic debate moment of 2012:

Hillary Clinton: “Ya Know, it is…it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the LAW in our country.”

Donald Trump: “Cause you’d be in jail.”

Moving Forward

I’m not sure, specifically, what this new path will look like, for me. 2020 has undoubtedly been a roller coaster for me, as it has for our country, and everyone in it!

My health is a priority. My family is a priority. (I’ll provide an update on Chase, soon. He’s doing so much better now that he is seeing friends, again!) Doing God’s will is a priority. (I’m a work-in-progress.)

I think LE Woman is going to morph into something more Truth-Centered Commentary and Conservative Entertainment Resource. When I say, Conservative Entertainment, what I really mean is without a brainwashing affect. I’ll share more about this in my coming posts. And, I’ll keep you “posted” on where and how I’ll continue sharing content.

I hope you’ll continue to follow along and show your support. If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see or how LE Woman can evolve into something more relevant, in today’s changing times, please leave a comment below! God bless you! xo

Rachel Scheyer

How to Apply Individual Lashes

Beauty & Fashion

I’m often asked about my almost perfect eye lashes. Even though God didn’t give me perfect eye lashes. (Of course, my husband and Baby Blue have them!) Anyway, I can’t remember the first time I wore false eyelashes. What I do recall is having no luck with the traditional one-strip lash. It never looked natural. And, shortly after getting them to stay on, they’d peel off on one side or the other. Not attractive!

Then, about ten years ago, I had my lashes done at a salon, for a special occasion. They looked so natural, and stayed on for over a week! Soon after, I discovered that individual lashes and lash glue are available at any drug store! So, I decided to give try applying them, myself. 

Low Carb Irish Potatoes

Rachel Maria's Recipes

I grew up loving Irish Potatoes. These heavenly confections of delight only came around, once a year. Around St. Patrick’s Day. As delicious as they may be, Irish Potatoes are very high in sugar! So, this year, I decided to create low carb Irish potatoes, with less sugar.

In fact, I opted for organic agave nectar, which has a very low glycemic index. And, unsweetened coconut. Don’t worry, they are still delicious. They are still the perfect sweet treat for St. Patrick’s Day!

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