where are you?

I’m not much of a writer.. never have been.  I keep my blog for when I feel inspired and have words but most of the time my inspiration comes from visuals:

Please follow along on Instagram @rachelj_




Three years ago, after being sick for a week, I was lying in bed trying to sleep. I had been warned by my doctor that the prescription needed to be taken first thing in the morning or with an early breakfast or it would be keeping me up all night. That day I had been busy at work and missed taking it early. So there I was, watching the 11pm news.

I saw the story about an officer at MIT that had been shot. Sadly, this sort of news isn’t unusual. But with the marathon bombing confirmed as a bombing and a deliberate act, Bostonians were on edge. The next breaking news story was a that there was a carjacking reported on Memorial Drive. They made a point to comment that they were investigating whether the two incidents were related.

Now I’m not sure why but I had a pit in my stomach. The kind of fight or flight intuition that you’re not sure exactly where it came from, but there’s not denying it’s there.

And within a minute I heard it outside my windows. Screeching tires. Men yelling. What seemed like a thousand shots fired. Bombs. (Bombs?!) Sirens.

It went on what seemed like forever. (They say in an incident like this that it feels like time moves slowly. When I later heard the report, it was actually a full 20 minutes of gunfire).

As we all learned, the Boston Marathon bombers had stolen a vehicle. They parked their vehicle full of explosives and weapons on a street around the corner and were planning their escape, transferring their arsenal from car to car when the WPD zoned in.


I had grabbed my 16 month old son from his crib. Woke my husband (who can sleep through ANYTHING).

The next 17ish hours we were told to “shelter in place”. There were National Guards searching the neighborhood homes and stationed in our courtyard. I spent a good portion of the day in the bathtub, the only room in the house without windows, with our son and the iPad.


(First photo – helicopter hovering over grey roof, Second photo – grey roof is building next door to our house. I didn’t see these photos until a year after it happened.)

At 6PM the ‘shelter in place’ was lifted. I wanted to get out and stay at my parents house. I couldn’t imagine sleeping in Watertown while there was a potentially dangerous terrorist somewhere in our town. As we were walking the bags out to the car, I heard another round of shots fired and the National Guards yelled at us to get in the house and get down.

Once again we were indoors, hunkered down. Our cellphones were in and out of service all day, due to the police scanners and government trackers trying to determine the bombers whereabouts. I had been brave enough to peek at the television here and there and saw that the recent shots were from about 10 blocks up Mt.Auburn St. They had surrounded boat where they believed he was hiding.


We all know the rest of the story.


In the days, months, years since the Boston Marathon bombing and the events in Watertown, I have seen our community prove what it means to be #BostonStrong. I will always think of the men and women who serve to protect our neighborhoods; who walk out the door each morning not knowing whether it’s going to be a shoplifter at Best Buy or something like this.

Then I heard about Officer Dic Donohue. Dic was one of those guys. An MBTA transit police officer that was one of the first responders on scene that night. Dic was shot in his femoral artery and lost pretty much all of his blood supply. He was legally dead for 45 minutes. The closest hospital, Mt. Auburn Hospital gave him 46 units of blood. After a lengthy rehabilitation Dic Donohue became Sgt. Donohue and recently retired. Dic and his gorgeous wife Kim are also expecting Baby No.2 in 2016 (apparently on the 3 year anniversary 4/19!).

Hearing this story changed inspired me. My son was born at Mt.Auburn and all of this unfolded between our home and the hospital.

In July 2013, just months after the Marathon, the Red Cross and Dic Donohue hosted the Boston Strong Blood Drive in Copley Square. That’s when I made the decision to become a blood donor. It was the one thing that could make me feel like I could help someone in a crisis. I can’t imagine doing what our first responders do on a daily basis. I’m so grateful that they are there to help and protect us. Donating blood is the one thing I can do to feel like I’m strong, too. God willing, as long as I’m healthy and able, I will be giving blood to help those in need.


There’s something magical about Fenway Park. For many it’s a beautiful green sanctuary in the heart of the city, filled with pride, love and triumph after years of heartbreak. Fenway IS the heart of Boston.

I remember Fenway with my dad but mostly the cursing on the MassPike as he missed the exit.

My first real memory of Fenway Park was with a friend. We were at a daytime all ages concert on Lansdowne St. and our friend, who knew the park and the employees well, persuaded me to leave the concert to go see how the ballgame was going. We walked up to the gate and after a brief exchange, we we walked through, just like that. It was just before the 7th Inning Stretch. We sang, ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’, watched for an inning and went back to the concert. Until then, I hadn’t been inside Fenway Park since I was small. It was incredible. Impressed with our friend’s connection at the gate and setting eyes on the ball field for the first time in a decade, I knew then I was a lifer. Boston you’re my home.

And in the decade since then? Countless games and events. I took a week off from work with my best friend to serve as extras (paid gig, mind you) in Fever Pitch. A WBZ reporter stopped us on our way in to our 7am call and asked what we thought of the team that year, we said they were going to take the World Series because we were there with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. Guess what? They did!

The year we moved to NY (I know) for what we thought would be forever but ended up only eight weeks, I caught a game with friends the night before the move. I cried, ugly cried, as “Dirty Water” played, and even more for “Tessie”, I walked back to Brighton that night, crying the whole way home. I should’ve known that NY wasn’t going to work out.

And there is nothing better than getting out of work on a summer day, heading to get a drink and bite to eat and catching a game to wrap up your evening.

Just last year as my family was walking into the game late, we were stopped and picked to sit next to the dugout as a party of their My Fenway promotion.

Years and years of the hopes and dreams of everyone who ever loved the Boston Red Sox lives in Fenway Park. It consumes you as you walk in and it makes you never want to leave.


Friday morning started like a Monday, I forgot my cellphone on my way to work, had many projects going on at once and needed the extra espresso to get it all in order – by the time I left the office I was more than ready to visit the opening of the Lookout Farm Taproom.

Lookout Farm is known for it’s ‘pick your own’ produce. Just about everyone I know has brought their kids to take the train ride around the orchard to pick apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, pumpkins, etc. They have a large playground at the top of the hill with a petting zoo.

And now, with the recently released Lookout Farm Hard Cider, there’s something for the adults.

The cider is delicious, like fresh crisp apples. The taproom itself is beautiful, constructed from reclaimed wood from the barns, apple crates, and part of a 1957 Ford tractor.

We ordered a flight to sample each one of the ciders on tap – the signature Farmhouse Blend, a summer cider with ginger and lemongrass, a hops blend, and an oak blend. We also ordered the soft pretzels and a flatbread. The charcuterie boards from New England Charcuterie looked incredible but you have to save some things for next time.

beach J

Friday afternoon I couldn’t wait to start the weekend, it was hot sunny, perfect for a trip to the beach. Good thing we got there when we did Saturday. Sunday afternoon dissolved into a cool, rainy evening and the cooling trend continues through the beginning of this week.

Back to Saturday, Saturday we took a trip to Nantasket Beach for low tide. Perfect beach for a 3 year old – we walked the sand bars, ate grilled-cheese and fries, played in the arcade and rode the Paragon Carousel.

Most of the summer we enjoy the family’s beach home in North Truro. The house is located on a private beach in a quiet neighborhood, much different than the city beaches like Nantasket, Wollaston or even Duxbury Beach. It’s also a 2+ hour drive to get to North Truro, so it’s nice to have the choice of these public beaches close by.

What are your favorite beaches to visit in the summer?


Next month begins the summer music series at Assembly Row in Somerville.

Acoustic Mondays will run June 15 through Sept. 28 and take place at The Point. LIVE Music Thursdays will run June 4 through Sept. 24 and will take place in the amphitheater in Baxter Park.

TeamShred supplies the artists for Acoustic Mondays and LIVE Music Thursdays. If you are or you know an artist that should be heard, please let us know.

Assembly Row is a great place for an after work stroll, dinner, drinks or bring the kids for their playground and splashpad, all along the Mystic River. Easy to get to, all events are free and free parking.

Can’t wait to start off the series on Monday June 15th!


after a long holiday weekend, it’s back to marketing. feeling inspired and ready to roll out new advertising.
next week the Summer Music Series begins at Assembly Row – more on that later