If you watch my Instagram stories, you probably saw that we put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. One of my favorite things about the holiday season is turning on the Christmas tree lights first thing in the morning and enjoying the peace and quiet with a hot cup of coffee before everyone wakes up. I should just sit there and enjoy it, but I usually have my laptop open too, responding to emails and getting work done. Or online shopping…you know, only the necessities. It would be probably be more serene if I didn’t have a glowing screen in front of my face but we both know that’s not going to happen.

I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you’ve been inundated with gift guides all over the web. I love looking at them, do you guys too? Would you like to see them on Rachel Cooks next year? Email me or leave a comment and let me know! In the meantime, I’ll informally mention a few things that caught my eye today. Or are you one of those people who already has all your presents bought and wrapped?

Comment that’s making me smile: I’ve been loving all the comments coming in lately! If you make one of my recipes, I LOVE reading your comments and I will respond to you! Erica made my 5 Ingredient Chicken Chili and commented, “Made the chili last night – so quick and easy. My husband and I loved it! I couldn’t find chicken taco seasoning mix so just used regular taco seasoning mix and it was still very good. Just ate a bowl of the leftover chili for lunch today and it is even more flavorful than last night. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I’ve already shared it with people at my office.” Thanks for sharing, Erica!

Latest and greatest: If you haven’t been around lately, here’s what recipes I shared recently:

Must have print: The basement remodel hasn’t actually started yet, but I told Ben this print is finding a place to live down there. It’s non-negotiable. Any other Friends fans in the crowd?

Gift idea: I love these cute little air plants – they come in a box wrapped with twine – I think this would be a darling hostess gift!

Stocking stuffers for men: I think this, these (Ben loves these), or this would be perfect!

Teacher present: I hope they don’t read this, but this year I’m buying teal earrings for my kids’ teachers. Since they both have food allergies, I wanted to do something special this year related to food allergies. I saw the idea on a Facebook ad, but went about it on my own. I’m sharing a shabby photo so you can see how it all came together, but it was an inexpensive gift that they’ll hopefully love. Handing your kid off to teachers is never easy, but when they have food allergies, you’re literally put your kid’s life in the hands of the teacher. I’m endlessly grateful for their care of my children. If you’re interested in doing the same, here’s what I bought:

food allergy gift idea

For me, and maybe you: I love the neutral colors of this pretty infinity scarf.

Making me want another baby: I mean, I can’t even deal with these tiny tiny pink Uggs.

Other great recipes I’ve spotted:

Popcorn recipe to try: Churro Popcorn!


I hope you all had a great week! Any fun plans for the weekend?