• Rachel Katzman

2018 in review...

This year flew by like a blink of an eye. I feel like I always say that every year goes by super-fast, but this year I truly felt it. There were so many great things that I experienced this year - mostly related to my day job and my blogs, so this year was definitely a successful year for me but a year of change.

A few exciting things that happened in 2018! I started off the year with a promotion at work which was very exciting, but it also came with a lot of changes - in a good way. My boss that I had worked with for 7 years resigned and our team expanded a gazillion percent, it seemed like! We snagged a fantastic new VP of our department and in August I got a new boss (he's great, btw, so all good news here). I especially LOVE working with the people in my team every day. They are truly the reason why I wake up in the morning and look forward to coming to work. Without their love and support, I wouldn't be able to be as badass and feeling as confident without my people. They are truly special people. :) These are the people that I get to collaborate with but also celebrate our birthdays, work achievements and everything in-between. Because when you spend so much time with your colleagues day-to-day, they truly become your family.

So yes, a lot happened at work but even more happened in regards to my side gigs! While Risky Veggie was definitely working towards giving you fresh new content, my other blog Meat Your Vegetables pretty much exploded in 2018. Daniel (my blogging partner and I), received an incredible opportunity to do an Indian night pop-up food event as a fundraising for a synagogue in our neighborhood. We planned to do a cooking demo as well and figured maybe we'll get 50 people. Well, jokes on us, because we ended up selling out at 200! So yes, we cooked for 200 people - granted we had a few people helping us with some of the food prep but the event was a huge success. I think because there's no kosher Indian restaurant here in Chicago that people were excited to get a night out with some new ethnic food! The demo went very well too. We showed them how to make your own spice mix and use it to make homemade pickles - that we served on each table, AND everyone got to take home a sampling of the spice mix. Very interactive and our guests just couldn't get enough. It was quite humbling to get such incredibly kind compliments and having our friends and family there to support us made it even sweeter. Granted, neither of our spouses were there, but that's okay, they support us all the way, no matter if they don't like Indian food, or they had to work. :) But 2019 looks like is going to include some more food events that Meat Your Vegetables will be a part of, so watch out, world! We're comin' for ya!

Lots of other exciting events took place in 2018. I feel like I've become more legit when it comes to my blogging because I'm working on some collaborations coming soon! With the help of my work bestie, Alex, I've finally created a media kit (so message me if you're interested in a collab with me). It's given me the confidence to say "yes, I'm an expert on X, Y, and Z - let's help each other support our businesses!" And while this was all in the works, I was doing some major networking. Daniel and I headed to New Jersey in November to attend the Jewish Food Media Conference where I met some of my biggest inspiration in the kosher food blogging world - and made some great new friends!

Ah, and of course I can't forget about my first sheital sale in Kansas City over Passover! This was new territory for me, stepping into the world of SELLING wigs, but it was a great first step and now I've become a more well-rounded "sheital concierge", as I like to call myself now. Not only do I help you with purchasing a wig, but I help with consulting on repairs, cut, color, style and help you sell your wig too! My goal is to be as full-service as I can with your wig, so message me if need an honest opinion or a friend to help you with this process - I'm trying to make it as stress-free as possible!

So as much as my professional/blogging life has changed, there were a lot of personal changes in 2018. My husband got a job at Groupon (yay!) after being unemployed off and on for about 2 years, this was a definite positive swing for us in our marriage and I'm so grateful that he has been given a great opportunity and a place to really grow in the company.

On top of that, my grandma moved out of her house after living there for 55 years. Every year, my sisters and I would go to Miami for Thanksgiving and spend it at her house and being that she was turning 92 in November, she made the decision over the summer to put the house up for sale. My sisters and I acted quick to book tickets for our last hurrah at her house. We helped her pack up lots of memories (granted, she didn't have as much stuff as you'd think for 55 years), but we had some special moments with her, going through her stuff with her (when usually, you might clean out your grandma's house after she passes), so that made it special. And because she's not sentimental about "stuff", it made it easier for us, since the 3 of us can get a little sentimental. This was the house that we felt was our second home. The house that we went to visit a few times a year since we were born. So many great memories - including MANY laughs took place in that house. It was bittersweet, but she was ready. She's now living in independent living just a few miles away and is happy and healthy. What more could her grandchildren ask for?

And while we said goodbye to grandma's house, our family came together just a few weeks later to celebrate my second niece's Bat Mitzvah. It was a fantastic weekend and here's hoping we can continue celebrating family events together for many years to come. I was also blessed to have caught up with some old friends, one from work from about 6 years ago, and another friend of mine from youth group days in High School that I haven't seen since her wedding 12 years ago!

And of course, Daniel and I competed in 2 kosher BBQ competitions (one in Chicago and one in Dallas), always a fun time, and check out my reviews of these 2 events!

This year was great, thankfully but I'm looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for me - including some exciting collaborations coming soon, that's what I'm excited to get working on soon!

Happy New Year, ya'll! See you in 2019!



PS - anything you'd like me to write about in the New Year? Any product reviews or recipes you'd like me to feature? Drop me a line at!

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