Jan + Feb 2018

Hi there! We are two months into 2018 and for the most part, I’m liking it. It has been a lot of time indoors, a lot of shoveling (thanks, Joe!), washing off germs, and much cozying up by the fireplace.

As it happens every year, I’m anxious to leave winter behind and move onto spring. I’m craving fresh air coming through our windows, the smell of grass and dirt, and not to mention the end of all this winter sickness! Not that we don’t love indoor time with all the painting, fort-building, and movie nights, but I’ll be real happy when I don’t have to bundle up 3 different people (not including myself and Joe) whenever we need to go anywhere.

  In the meantime, I keep buying myself fresh flowers and telling myself to hang in there. Here are all things 2018 so far. I’m happy to report that many of the goings-on have coincided with my new years resolutions:

We’ve had various playdates during these past two cold months and I am ever so thankful for the company of lovely ladies to have grown-up conversation with while our kids destroy whatever play space is set up (#WORTHIT) Here is Claire and Rosie doing their play-doh thing. Not pictured, the mamas having the snacks and catching up!

In health news, I am definitely the girl who cried Whole 30. Joe and I attempted a Whole 30 round in January. I made it to day 18 before saying YOLO and having some wine and baking a pan of brownies. I tried to restart a few times but just haven’t been able to stick to it hardcore yet. I’m taking a break for now and just trying to not overthink food and just eat as healthfully as I know how. I still would like to attempt and complete a round at SOME point this year. Even though we didn’t finish the round, we still made and ate a whole lot of tasty and nutritious meals and that was not effort wasted. I mean, look at my stuffed sweet potato Viking ship of health.

I will say that during my two weeks of super clean eating, I was feeling pretty fit and fabulous. I also started subbing Zumba classes at our gym for a little fitness extra credit and was feeling so good that I was even taking selfies. In our bathroom. And posting on social media. Sooooo… if nothing else, yay for some fitness and confidence!


A couple of house projects on my listy-list have come to life recently thanks to my design assistant Joe! They weren’t big projects, but it sure feels great to have them done! Here are some before and afters:

Our main level powder room was perfectly functional but seriously boring. I found these great shelves on a garage sale site and then Joe got the pipe brackets off Amazon. Even though it’s just a couple of shelves, I feel like this little improvement has made me so happy.

We also finally finished dressing up this wine storage unit that we got from our neighbor this fall. Joe painted it with chalk paint and I finally found knobs that I really liked for it. Now… to actually fill it with wine!

Ladies nights have been going strong. In January, I attended my first Gopher Hockey game in FOREVER as it was the Hockey Cheerleading alumni night. I can’t believe it’s been already 10 years since college graduation and the end of my illustrious cheerleading career (I’m totally kidding about the illustrious part). I loved being able to see my lovely former teammates (who are also my current friends, all these years later), and I also loved being able to see how fabulous and CRAZY TALENTED the current cheerleaders are. We also got to witness a win against Notre Dame that night… all great things!

(Before the stands filled up… LOVED being back in Mariucci! Or 3M at Mariucci as it is now called)

I also love that some of the recent ladies nights I’ve attended with different groups of friends have been about doing activities instead of just dinner. My sister-in-law Andrea plus my friend Jessica hit up The Dancing House for Warriors and Wine (wine and yoga, YAY!). And then I went with my Alissa/Vicky/Tamanna group to try a Barre class at Yoga 4 You followed by dinner and drinks at Bonfire. After that barre class, dinner and drinks felt well-deserved! I feel more toned just even thinking about that class… so much booty building!

Even though these are the slowest months for photography, I’ve gotten out to do a variety of shoots (mostly indoors, thankfully!). So far, I’ve done families, a newborn session, and I’ve also dabbled in headshots! It’s currently in the works, but I’m hoping to hold headshot mini sessions this spring. Stay tuned for details if this is something you might be interested in! Cold months has also meant time to work on my website, create a business plan and goals for this year, and work on renaming and rebranding myself. All good things that I’m excited to share soon!

Poor Cece got struck with the flu and strep throat the week of Valentine’s Day and ended up missing several days of school. Still, her Valentine’s Day spirit was strong and she spent her days off school working on beautiful Valentine’s for her classmates.

The day to day around here during January and February was  pretty much the Mama, Ares, and Rosie show. It’s a pretty good show. There’s lot of laughing and avacados, and mayhem, and I love it.

As far as my self-care resolution goes, I’ve made it a point to buy fresh flowers every week (it’s the best $3.99 I think one can spend at Aldi and fresh flowers go a long way in perking up a stay-at-home mama during the winter!).

I’ve also managed to read two books in the past two months. Usually when I’m at the library I have to used the drive-by technique and I just swipe a couple of the librarian-recommended titles from the displays (thank goodness for librarians!). The Wife Between Us was a fast, suspenseful read… much like the other popular “girl” thrillers recently (The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Luckiest Girl Alive, etc.). I loved how there were great twists up until the very end… definitely recommend! I also read The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands despite how ridiculous the title is. I definitely enjoy self-help and relationship-centric books and this was full of great advice as to how to treat your spouse… lots of “golden rule” thinking and being mindful and respectful of the feelings of your partner, as all good things flow in the relationship when you do so. Never a bad reminder!

And one more thing. I don’t know that this necessarily falls into the category of self care, but we got a puppy at the end of February. Her name is Zuzu and she’s from Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue in Hudson. We have been dog-less for nearly three years and Joe has been missing having critters and the girls were also dying for a dog and promising to take care of it. Although having a puppy has been a tremendous amount of work, our family sure loves our new addition. More about her in the next post!!!


Also, here’s a throwback post from 5 years ago about getting through winter and the great indoors. Boy, life looked a lot different back then!


  1. Buffy says:

    Would you be interrested in writing a few articles or posting some photo galleries on my site?

    1. Rachel Gaetz says:

      I would be interested! Please email me at rygaetz@gmail.com to discuss more.

  2. Wanda says:

    My site is set up for guest post if you want to register and write a post or create a gallery?

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