Monday, December 21, 2009

Decorate Yourself

These earrings always make me heart melt. I came upon Catbird, a brooklyn boutique, last year while walking to the subway after student teaching. I often find myself daydreaming of re-walking the streets of new york and Catbird is one of my frequent stops. I can not count how many times I walked through their shop in person. Now I settle for perusing their web-cite and blog.
You can read their blog here. These ladies always make me wish I had millions to spend. All of their merchandise is genuine which I find refreshing in our consumer world. Check them out, but beware - you will want everything.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our First Christmas

Chris and I decided to celebrate our Christmas in Ohio a week early so that when we return from visiting family we will already have things cleaned up. Also, we really wanted to be able to share the spirit of Christmas just the two of us.

We chose Saturday morning to be our mini Christmas because it snowed ALL Friday night! Not only did we get to wake up to a white Christmas we also fell asleep between a roaring fire and beautiful tree. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.

Winter Poem:

Ev-er-y winter we scamper about, gather wood, wrap presents, sing carols out loud

We open up boxes, bring in a tree

decorate cookies, drink coco, snuggle clo-se-ly

Pine in the air filling our lungs, fire in the place toasting our buns

Throughout all the world there is no place to be, that is as quite as special as near stocking and tree


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...

... Is singing loud for all to hear!

Photo from my mom's Christmas decorations
(Get it? singer sewing machine - singer on magazine)

Cant wait to be home for the holidays! So far this season I have experienced two rounds of spontaneous caroling, keep it coming!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Six Geese A-Skating

Have you ever seen a Goose fall on its Caboose?
(Sing this to the tune of the children's song "down by the bay")

This is just a small clip of a hilarious day watching a gaggle of geese glide across the frozen pond in our "backyard".

...and if geese don't give you a giggle maybe this kid will


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Paper Plane in a Pine Tree

We have been very lucky this holiday season. between generous family donations, my thrift shopping, and a little creativity, we have been able to deck the halls and make this apartment our home.
Chris and I drove five minutes (yes you read me right only FIVE minutes) down the road to a tree farm to saw down our tree. We figured our first christmas needed a fresh tree. Plus it is the perfect time because there are no pets or small beings to mess with it ... the only downside was the family of jumping spiders I discovered while decorating ...

When it comes to ornaments on your tree, it is well known that your first year can be a bit skimpy. When my brother got married my sister and I were still young, so his beautiful wife invited us over to make ornaments with popsicle sticks, glue, and lots of love. I believe some of our masterpieces still hang on their tree today.

For our first tree, I had picked up some shining glass balls at the base thrift shop and we were pleasantly surprised with the Christmas cheer passed onto us in ornament form by our families over Thanksgiving break. I look forward to the day when we get to pull out the ornaments and tell each of their stories. Right now I will share one of them with you. Two of our favorite handmade ornaments make our hearts soar with pleasant memories each time we look at them.
These paper airplane F-16s were lovingly thrown at us as we left our wedding reception rather than rice or birdseed. Somehow I stumbled across a how-to paper airplane F-16 video in the wedding planning process and proceeded to cut, fold, tape, and stamp until I had a few hundred prepared. I am so happy that we have found further use for them! (and thanks to those who helped me fold!)

Thanks also to my ADORABLE nephew who picked up each airplane after it was thrown, we still have dozens of them ... any ideas for other uses?

Friday, December 11, 2009

You will be visited by three ghosts ...

This haunting image is actually a shot from my bridal portraits. Normally I don't associate our wedding with spooky stories, but in the eighth grade I played the ghost of Christmas past in our middle school's annual production of A Christmas Carol and I love how this image reminds me of it. I also love the image because to me it is spiritual. It reminds me that although I find myself physically out of the theatre from time to time, it is where a part of my soul lives. It was taken at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas by our wedding photographer Joe Cogliandro of J. Cogliandro Photography whose focus is artistic storytelling.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Married Shoes

When I was observing at a day nursery in Manhattan one clever 5 year old made it clear to me that I couldn't possibly be a grown up because I didn't wear a "Mawied Wing". Both of her parents wore married rings, so where was mine? When it came time to get married I thought back to said adorable child and "married things". I decided to take things a step further and invested in beautiful married shoes. I chose to wear shoes that would last me much longer than a day so every-time I wear them I can relive the moment they brought me down the aisle. My light pink metallic flats came from J.Crew.

Lovely ladies and their shoes

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

This past Tuesday marked month four of being married. We celebrated with Peanuts and pumpkins.

Martha's Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Dream of Pantry

If you are an HGTV junkie like me, its likely that you have drooled over hard wood floors or bathtubs with invisible edges. Chris and I look forward to the days when we have a family home full of toys to trip over, children to chase, and plenty of organized space to play. For now we decided that we wanted to stay small after just being married and therefore chose to go for an apartment over base housing. We LOVE our apartment! Somehow we lucked out with a working fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and two walk in closets. The moment we walked into the space we were sold.

Our kitchen though is still a typical small apartment kitchen. I can't reach over half of the cabinets because they are so high up. This got me dreaming.

I have done what I can with what we've got to bring the dream to reality. Our apartment comes with a room equip for a washer and dryer, but I have decided to save up quarters and haul our loads to the club house in order to enjoy a walk in pantry. There is something about being able to see all of your groceries and cooking gear.
It is a big help to keep mixing bowls handy.
Clear containers are AMAZING.
and of course don't forget to recycle.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ready to Rumble

When we looked out the window, we noticed something was going down by the pond. Chris and I watched the saga unfold.

Geese on one side.

Ducks on the other.

As you can see in the first Photo, the geese were on the move. It wasn't long after the Geese landed that the ducks decided to flee.
Fortunately, we avoided a massacre - though there was a whole lot of quacking going on.

Welcome back to Ohio.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Risky Business

I am currently working on a new project. One that is going to take me many places ... and I am not exactly sure where I am going to end up once it is over. Anyway I am making a bold move and therefore wont be able to post on this blog very often for a month or so. If you are interested in what I am up to please read and comment freely on my blog at

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I took a trip to the local Library yesterday to officially become a member of this community. I was blown away. We have been buying furniture and paying bills ever since we got married, so saying goodbye to cash has become all too familiar. We are staying on budget which is a challenge because I LOVE shopping. I love the hunt of shopping and the deals I can find (we have a Tuesday morning, TJMAXX, and goodwill within 5 min ... heaven). I love shopping because it really is a challenge these days to find items that express who you are. I think people's style says a lot about them ... clearly I watch a lot of What Not to Wear. To go a little deeper if I may, I think this belief also stems from my theatre experience. It is astounding how much the style of a set or costume can tell you about a character. All the worlds a stage people - what does your style say about you?

I digress. Lets go back to the library. The best thing about 'shopping' at the library is, The library is FREE! I went in and came out with stuff without spending any money. Awesome. Not only did I not spend money, I am also reducing my clutter because I am going to bring it all back! Going to the library should be a step in a shopaholics recovery process because you still get the rush of a good find without spending a dime.

I registered for my card but am only allowed to check out two items at a time until I get my real card in the mail (I didn't have any proof of my address =/ ). The librarian offered to explain how things were laid out, but I stopped her short explaining that I really wanted to browse and figure it out myself - the perfect hunting ground for discoveries. I wandered around for a bit reading titles until my neck turned stiff from being tilted sideways, read a few magazines, and made my final selections. Here is what I ended up with:

Thrift Score by: Al Hoff Substitute Teaching A to Z by: Barbara Pressman

I have started Thrift Score and it is hilarious especially if you like to thrift. I am also thinking about signing up as a substitute here to support my teaching practice and shopping habits =) . I have only ever substituted once in elementary drama rooms and still have much to learn.

Need a new adventure? Go to the library and wander around!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Sing along if you want to - Cry if you have to"

I am SO excited about finding new opportunities in Ohio. I have a lot to discover and once Chris leaves for Alabama, LOTS of time to explore the area.

I am still at the point where I am not always 100% sure what to do with my time. I keep googling to look for leads on hot spots, parks, jobs, theaters, classes etc. So far I have been happy cooking, shopping, and getting things set up in our new space, but the time is coming where I've got to join a book club or something =)

Looking for a job with my degree (educational theatre) is interesting because I really do feel that I can do whatever the heck I want to with it. I do however sort of agree with my mom's remark that people are not looking for me so I need to look for them. It's true that finding a job will take effort on my part, but I do think people are looking for me; they just don't know I'm here. Its time to get the word out.

I am not entirely sure which direction I want to go in or when I want to start. Chris will be out of town for 5 weeks so I have been given 5 free weeks before creating a routine.

I have pretty much always managed to keep myself busy. But before the other day I didn't realize how necessary contributing to something is to me or how sensitive I would be about not having a job outside our home. Chris came home the other day casually saying "I went to work today what did you do" WOW talk about waterworks. Word to the wise husbands, don't make that mistake. No matter how you say it, it will be heard as sass. After profuse apologies I think he got the idea that staying at home cooking and cleaning is both a job, a joy, and a sacrifice.

My goodness.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What's for lunch?

This is the question I have been waking up to lately.

Since Chris doesn't eat breakfast and I
have to (see hulking out reference in last post, or ask anyone who has spent time with me while hungry) lunch is beginning to be somewhat of an issue. I LOVE breakfast. Not only is it said to be the most important meal of the day, it is also the most delicious. The time I spend making and eating breakfast is my favorite part of the day. The morning is so peaceful. To quote Kelley McRae's 'Morning song', "I love the mornings cause nobody needs nothing from me. I love the mornings cause the world goes and leaves me alone." I use this time to prepare for the day by fueling up, watching the news, and reading blogs.

The problem now that I am married is that I want to make myself a big breakfast and 3-4 hours later Chris would like for us to have lunch together.

a. I am not hungry b. I just made breakfast and am not ready to mess the kitchen again

This morning I chose to solve this problem by making BRUNCH. Ah thank goodness for combination breakfast and lunch. I know this wont work everyday, but soon Chris will be off at work and I can eat when I like.

I went ahead and finished cooking the rest of the bacon we had in the house. I am very bad about letting food go to waste by not cooking it in time, so I am trying to get better at using everything up. Thanks to the awesome cookbook Chris' sponsor parents from the academy got us I found a waffle batter recipe. What came of it? TEXAS blueberry waffles.

Our whole brunch ended up having a Texas theme to it. We received a texas shaped waffle iron as a wedding gift (which works wonderfully!), I just happened to be drinking tea out of my Texas mug "you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas", and finally while we were eating Deep in the heart of Texas played on my random music mix. Glorious. We are both full and properly prepared for a kick ass kind of day.


This is a fruit salad I made for a dinner we went to the other night cherry, grape, pineapple, pear, blueberry, and apple.

Any tips on how to get my husband to love breakfast are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"So how is married life?"

This is the most common question I am getting now. Answer: it is wonderful! It still amazes us that we get to do this forever and we are not just playing house. I completely understand why this isn't the choice that everyone makes and how that is for the better, but for us I am so glad. I truly believe that we needed to find each other and that together we are much more ourselves than we are apart. Not to be sappy, but many of you asked.

There was a period of time when we would look at the other one in happy disbelief wondering 'why are you still here'. The funny part about being married is that you have someone with you most all of the time. Its a funny yet rewarding transition.

Marriage, Moving, new job, and no job can bring up many interesting conversations. I don't know if all of you know this, but I pretty much Hulk out if I am hungry. Rule number one in our house is get a snack before having a serious conversation lol. at least once a day Chris will say "are you hungry" not with concern in his voice, but fear and suspicion. Our squabbles are SO silly, but I know they bring us closer and are a necessary part of us talking through things. I quote myself from yesterday saying "don't you dare say I can't have more bookshelves" and at some point Chris explaining that we can't leave the apartment because "its shark week". So no worries, we haven't turned into sappy robots. We are just having as much fun as we can with this new life arrangement. I'll keep you posted, but for now we need to go find a couch.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Wife

I am currently sitting at our new kitchen table listening to the thunder rumble outside as i ponder what to do today. This phrase keeps repeating in my mind: So this is my new life - this is being a wife. haha.

We have been in our apartment for a week now and Chris started work yesterday. Today is my second day on my own. It is so odd to be without limitations - what the heck am I going to do!? We still need some furniture, but what with the giant flash of lightening that just lit the room and without Chris' opinion - i don't really see that happening today.


perhaps I will paint a wall
do some laundry down the hall

wash the dishes in the sink
make sure the apartment doesn't stink

Unpack the closet (It's a walk in !)
take a spin in the gym
watch the ducks and take things in

perhaps I will do it all
or perhaps I'll do nothing at all

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meet the Iffts

Hello Friends! I have returned to the blog for a moment before moving to introduce you to my new family.

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Andrew Ifft

(My new name is Rachel Marie Ifft)

On our honeymoon in Antigua, Pina Coladas in hand

The wedding was beyond wonderful for us. We are so happy that our friends and family came to celebrate even during a heat wave! I will have to give more details later when the pictures come in.

I am not entirely sure yet which direction this blog will go in once we are moved in. I am sure there will be many stories to tell of the trip up to Ohio and settling into military life, but as to what EXCATLY I will be doing once we move ... not entirely sure. This is a grand adventure that I am so ready to begin! Right now we are living at home with our parents before we can move ... one can live in limbo only for so long and with two its even harder. Much love to everyone!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I've Got to Shake Shake Shake My Sillies Out

I don't know if we are all familiar with children's songs, but I believe they pretty much have the best advice:
I've gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I've gotta clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I've gotta jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I've gotta yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
Yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
Yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I've gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away,
And wiggle my waggles away!

AH! Why am I feeling so silly!? oh yes it may have something to do with our wedding in ... 15 days ... along with seeing all of my lovely ladies and family, the honeymoon trip, and don't forget move to the midwest and military life.

Busy times my friends. I suppose we are always in some state of transition, but this one takes the cake for me (or cupcake since they have been on my mind lately). Its amazing to remember past transitions and how I felt then. I still remember my last day of elementary school and the fantastic fear of transitioning to New York City for college.

Thank you for your patience, support, and smiles. I am very blessed to have so many outstanding people in my life. I hope that we can all make the best of what we have while always striving to make things better for others. The next few weeks are going to be quite a ride! Please join me by putting your arms up in the air and wiggling your waggles away!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I have always liked 2%

Chris' Graduation from the United States Air Force Academy was truly awesome. The weeks activities were fantastic and I am so proud of all of his hard work!

At the Academy they claim that only 2% of Cadets who enter with a girlfriend will make it all the way to graduation with the same girl. We are proud to be part of the 2% and are enjoying this time with each other and our friends and family before we marry on the 27th!

He is going to be quite an honorable officer =)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

With Love

Our Mothers Day card to our mommies from Rachel and Chris:

Know how I mentioned before about my favorite picture of me and my mommy? Well going through Chris' baby album I found a similiar one with him and his mom (same age!). I made this card for both of our mothers and it was a big hit. I think adding photos to anything makes for a better gift.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

She Always Comes Back

In honor of Mothers Day:
I love this photo of me and my mommy!

In the Monks house we grew up watching/listening to Baby Songs. Here is one of our favorites. I still sing this song whenever I miss my mommy =)

I couldn't get a copy of the song without the intro and the song "sharing" before it, but thats ok because sharing is pretty wonderful as well. enjoy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sweet Inspiration

I don't know about you, but every time I turn around my room is a MESS! Living in a small space is nice because I know where everything is, but I take one thing out to do a project and WOAH it's like a tornado hit.

No, I am not going to embarrass myself by posting a photo of my messy room, but I will tell you my cleaning secret. Since I can't seem to keep my thoughts organized when everything is a mess and I have a hard time making myself clean up I really needed to come up with some motivation.

Fortunately I now have some sweet inspiration.

About two months ago Chris was in town and we went out for a long day of wedding planning. I will spare you the details, but basically 7 hours into our trip and nothing decided on Chris turned the car around and took me to Anthropologie. He bought me a candle so that I wouldn't have to go home empty handed (obviously he's amazing).

Now, when my room is a mess I set a timer for either 15 or 30 minutes (depending on the clutter) and light the candle. The aroma from the candle reminds me to stay calm and fills my room with a fresh clean scent. When the candle is lit I know it is time to get to work. Setting a timer really helps because it gives me a challenge to see how much I can get done in such little time. It also keeps me from slacking off or getting distracted when it is time to clean.

If you find yourself surrounded by clutter and can't seem to find any motivation to clean things up start your own cleaning ritual. I am only writing about mine because it helped me a lot!