Posts tagged blogger
Giving Is What Truly Matters

Around the holidays, a lot of us tend to get so stressed out at work, stressed about family, stressed about getting gifts, the list goes on! But the absolute most important part about the holiday season - and any time of year, for that matter, is G I V I N G. giving Although it's a hobby, blogging has brought so much joy into my life in the past couple months. I was invited to share my thoughts, challenges & support into the Bloggers Gonna Blog Facebook group a little while back, and it has changed the game for me. I never thought I could meet such talented, motivated & supportive people over the internet! The group has played a huge role in teaching me that blogging and building your personal brand is oh, SO much more than that. It's about CONNECTING with others and GIVING the support that you want and need as well. It takes a whole community to build a community. I'm so thankful to be part of such an awesome group of like-minded peeps. Georgie & Christina coordinated a big gift exchange for us all and I was so excited to give and get my gift! 

Secret Santa

My beautiful bloggy secret santa was Cassie from Almost Getting It Together! Cassie is a blogger in San Francisco who works full time in marketing and has time to run her awesome website. I love reading through all of her tips and lifestyle posts! Check out her blog for simple recipes and awesome travel tips.

Cassie put together one awesome gift. I've never tried these Rise Bars before and I'm so glad she introduced me to them because they're delicious!! Such wholesome ingredients. My favorite was the Carob Chip and the Sunflower Cinnamon! I haven't bought these at the grocery store yet, but my bet is that you can for sure find them at a Whole Foods! Cassie hit the nail right on the head here as I'm always on the go or in the office and ALWAYS need to have my snacks on me ;)



Cassie also sent over some Cheesy Pizza Kale Chips! Another great snack to always have on hand.


The next two items are my favorite. This Sweet Almond and Raspberry Seed oil has been saving my skin every night. Even though this winter has been extremely mild [not complaining], as soon as the weather gets below 70, my skin seriously turns into leather [Florida baby]. I get so dry! This oil makes my face and hands feel smooth and refreshed all the time. I've been using it at night and my skin doesn't feel so parched in the morning. 


I also received this amazing DIY skin care kit from The ingredients all come from family farms and fair trade coops. It's all natural and includes coconut oil - I'm in! I can't wait to experiment with this. I also love knowing exactly what's going into the product that I schmear on my face every night. 



Thank you SO much, Cassie for the amazing Secret Santa gift! I'm so thankful to be part of such an awesome group. Going into 2016 I can't wait to keep connecting with other bloggers. It's so important to give support in order to receive it. Check out Beverly's post on to see what I got her for our gift exchange! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful, fantastic, all around amazing holiday this year. 

XO- Rach

What are your Christmas plans? New Years plans?

Did you take part in a gift exchange this year?

What's your favorite part about the holidays?

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Apple Muffins
These Gluten Free Sweet Potato Apple Muffins are the perfect snack before a workout, a healthy desert or even a quick bite to add for your breakfast! Made with only wholesome ingredients - sweet potato, apples, coconut oil & walnuts, they will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a nice boost of energy!

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Apple Muffins via!

I needed some serious baking therapy on Thursday night but I had very little ingredients in my apartment. Sometimes this is the best time to come up with new recipes because it forces you to get really creative with what you have on hand! And it's definitely the cheapest way to bake.Gluten Free Sweet Potato Apple Muffins via - a healthy muffin alternative to when you're in the mood for something sweet!Gluten Free Sweet Potato Apple Muffins via

[yumprint-recipe id='7'] 

A Taste of the Finger Lakes: 1 Day, 8 Wineries.

Hello!! It's been a while, huh? I decided to take a short hiatus from blogging. October has been a very busy month at work, a very busy month in general, and sometimes I just can't do it all.  In addition to work, there's been some really great times this month. One of my best friends, Corinne, came to visit philly, I got to travel to Ohio for work and this weekend we were able to head to the Finger Lakes in New York! Next weekend, I'll leave October with a bang in the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. There's been a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. 

The Finger Lakes: 1 Day, 8 Wineries

Michael and I left PA on Friday night after work to head up to New York. Our friends Andrew and Lauren invited us to stay at their relative's B&B in Hector, NY, which is right off of Seneca Lake. Oh man. It is GORGEOUS up there. We stayed in Lauren's family's guest house, which resembled a rustic barn. Complete with two horses in the backyard, and a labrador named Maisey, who was the coolest dog ever. 

IMG_0210Michael And Maisy: The Finger LakesWe started off Saturday morning with a big breakfast and a short hike down to the gorge led by Maisey. Side note - she picked up a semi-fresh deer leg in the woods on the way down. Yum! Maisey & Deer Leg Taking the Hector PlungeIMG_0180 IMG_0181After our hike, we quickly showered and got ready for a full day of wine tastings. Around Seneca Lake, there are more than 20 wineries. We made it to 8 of them in a time span of 6 hours...we made pretty good progress! I will say that we tasted so many wines, that I don't remember each one. I have a few absolute favorites and I will explain in pictures. We took a group photo at every stop so that we could look back and remember each winery we stopped at. A full day of wine tasting leads to a blurry memory...who would have thought? The best part about tasting wine in the Finger Lakes...each winery averages about $4 to taste 6 different wines. 

Stop 1: Lamoreaux Landing Wine CellarsLamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars

Lamoreaux was one of my favorites. The wines were all amazing and the view was picture perfect. My favorite wine at Lamoreaux was the 2012 76 West, a Bordeaux blend that combines Cabarnet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Listen to this description: Bright notes of blackberry and blueberries harmonize with aromas of luxurious vanilla and espresso. A classic steak wine or an accompaniment to Roquefort cheese. Um YES PLEASE.

Stop 2: Standing Stone VineyardsStanding Stone Vineyards

At Standing Stone, we went for a wine and cheese pairing, otherwise known as a match made in heaven. The cheese really changes the way that the wine tastes and it's so fun to try all of the different combinations. My favorite combo at Standing Stone was the Smokehouse Red wine paired with a spicy chipotle cheddar cheese. Lauren noted that she downed a whole bottle of this watching Magic Mike XXL, and I can definitely see why because it's so smooth, so I am now referring to this wine as the Magic Mike Wine. 

Stop 3: Hector Wine CompanyHector Wine Company

Hector Wine Company looked like a classy brewery inside. The atmosphere was great, but to me the wines weren't as memorable as the other wineries we stopped by. They definitely win for best logo design, though - I love it! 

Stop 4: Damiani Wine Vineyards Damiami Wine Cellars

We stopped for lunch before heading to Damiani Wine Cellars - perfect timing because at Damiami we were able to pair chocolate with the wine for desert! My favorite pairing was the black tea dark chocolate (INCREDIBLE) with the Cabernet Franc. Another match made in heaven. 

IMG_0244 Damiami Wine Cellars

Stop 5: Ryan William VineyardsRyan William Vineyard

Ryan William Vineyard might have been my favorite in terms of the tastings. Every single one I tasted was so different and SO amazing. The Chardonnay was incredible. I ended up purchasing a bottle of Pinot Noir Rose´. I usually hate drinking Rose´ because it's way too sweet for me, but this one was a game changer. Had to buy it. The guys even loved it and termed it 'Brose´' Ryan William Vineyard

I don't even know what's going on here.

Ryan William Vineyard

Clearly excited about my new wine...

Stop 6: Atwater Estate VineyardsAtwater Vineyards

Atwater was awesome. I loved the cozy atmosphere and in addition to the wine tasting, they added on a special treat of a mulled wine tasting at the end. Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing. Can't get much better than heated and spiced wine. Perfect for a winter night. Atwater VineyardsIMG_0302

Had to buy a shirt to remember this experience. No coincidence that I spent more money as the day went feels great when you're a little buzzed until you look at your bank account later! Woops. 

Stop 7: Chateau Lafayette ReneauChateau Lafeyette Reneau

Chateau Lafeyette Reneau was beautiful inside will high ceilings and a view overlooking the lake, but these wines were mostly too sweet for my liking with an exception to their Cabernet Sauvignon - it was amazing.

Stop 8: Hazlitt 1852 VineyardsHazlitt

Hazlitt was by far the most fun. Hazlitt is super quirky inside, with a taxidermy grape weasel on the wall (yes, I thought it was a real animal at first,) and popcorn served to go along with the wine tasting. So great. The wines here were great, too, but the music playing was even better, so I think we were mainly focused on singing out loud and feeling that wine. 

It was a weekend well spent with great company. No 'wining' over here! However, I'm very ready to get back into a routine this week.


XO - Rach

Let's chat:

What's your favorite wine?

Bloggers - have you ever needed to take a hiatus from blogging?

How was your weekend?