Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

rachel barkules

DRESS: English Factory, also available Here (sized up to Medium) | SNEAKERS: Steve Madeden (under $50) | BAG: Celine | NECKLACE: Lana Jewelry, similar under $50 & Chanel | HOOP EARRINGS: Lana Jewelry, similar for $25

I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with Sofia.  Everywhere I went all I saw were pregnant women and babies in strollers.  I swear, every woman in America was pregnant or had a newborn baby!  Then another time, I was thinking of cutting my long hair into a short cute haircut.  And again… when I stepped outside my house, turned on my tv or looked at a magazine, every woman had a short cute haircut.

Whatever occupies our thoughts, that’s what we notice all around us.  Creating the life you want first starts with what you think about and what your attitude is.  Whatever is going on inside your head will turn into action.  And those actions will determine your tomorrow.  A bad attitude can ruin a moment or a day.  But when a bad attitude turns into actions, it can ruin months or years of your life.  A positive attitude will constantly see opportunity and the glass half full, creating a beautiful life.

A few months ago I was having a bad attitude and complaining about something going on in my life.  It was something that had been happening on and off for months, and each time it happened I got all upset and complained about it.  Someone in my life gave me a hard reality check (which I did not like in the moment), this person said: everything going on right now is because of decisions you have made.  You choose this, and then choose that.  You may not have known it would turn out this way.  But your life right now is all from choices you have made.

steve madden emmi platform sneaker

At first that really pissed me off and I didn’t want to accept it.  But then after my stubbornness went away and I let it digest, I realized how true that is and also how powerful that is!

Accepting this means I am the only one responsible for creating my life and I don’t get to blame anyone else for my problems.  I will admit, in the moment it does feel good to blame someone else for that shitty thing that is going on.  But all you are doing is giving that person the power to determine the direction of your life.  By blaming someone else for your problems you are giving them power over you.

Fully grabbing onto this concept has put me back in the drivers seat of my own life.  I get to take the wheel and determine what direction I’m going.  If I don’t like my current situation, I can’t go back and change today.  But with a positive attitude and a clear mind, I can make choices today that will change my tomorrow for the better.

And that’s the really exciting part!  Being fully responsible for my life and everything in it, gives me the power to determine where my life is going.  And honey, it’s bright future :)

XO, Rachel

casual black dress

steve madden emmi platform sneaker leopard

dress and sneakers

February #OOTD’s

express ripped jeans

JACKET: Good American | TEE: Jordache (40% off) | JEANS: Express (favorite jeans! 40% off today!!) | SNEAKERS: Chanel, similar by Saint Laurent, similar for $40 | BAG: Givenchy, similar under $300

best leggings

LEGGINGS: Zella – LOVE!! (hold you in and the perfect thickness) | CAMO SWEATSHIRT: Express (soooo soft & 40% off today) | SNEAKERS: Gucci, Love This for under $100 | SUNGLASSES: Quay

gucci jacket

JACKET: Gucci (old), similar Here | TEE: Topshop | BAG: Chanel, similar from Gucci, similar under $220 | NECKLACE: Lana Jewelry, similar under $50 | HOOP EARRINGS: Lana Jewelry, similar for $25

gucci sneakers

JACKET: BP. | V-NECK TEE: Topshop (obsessed, also bought black) | JEANS: Express (40% off today) | SHOES: Gucci, similar under $100 | BAG: Chanel, love this from Givenchy, love this under $60 | HOOP EARRINGS: Lana Jewelry, similar for $25 | NECKLACE: Lana Jewelry, similar under $50 | SUNGLASSES: Quay | Full blog post Here

art museum

SWEATSHIRT: Topshop | JEANS: Express (favorite jeans! 40% off today!!) | SNEAKERS: Christian Louboutin, similar for $90 | BACKPACK: Chanel, similar Here

topshop tie dye sweatshirt

SWEATSHIRT: Topshop | NECKLACE: Chanel

working single mom

JACKET: Ivy Park | PANTS: Ivy Park | TANK: Topshop | SHOES: Chanel, similar for $40 | BAG: Celine | NECKLACE: Chanel

little league baseball

TEE: Topshop | JEANS: Express (favorite jeans! 40% off today!!) | SNEAKERS: Gucci, love These & These | BACKPACK: Chanel, similar Here | SUNGLASSES: Quay

athleisure

LEGGINGS: Zella – LOVE!! (hold you in and the perfect thickness) | JACKET: Nike (also comes in black & white) | SNEAKERS: Valentino, love these for $90, similar under $50 | BAG: Givenchy, similar under $300

sunday funday

TEE: Topshop | JEANS: Express (favorite jeans! 40% off today!!) | SNEAKERS: Gucci, Love This for under $100 | MARGARITA GLASS: Here

How I Juggle Working Full Time & Being a Single Mom

working single mom

JACKET: Ivy Park | PANTS: Ivy Park | TANK: Topshop | SHOES: Chanel, similar for $40 | BAG: Celine | NECKLACE: Chanel

I have a full time job, I’m a full time single Mom and I blog.  I try to work out 3 times a week, eat healthy, raise good humans, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work, keep my house clean, laundry, kids activities, play dates, homework, time for myself and some fun, etc.  I’ve never really stopped to think about how that is a lot to juggle. I mean, it didn’t all happen at once or overnight.  I’ve always been a woman that does what needs to get done; as things come at me I figure it out and keep moving forward.

Recently I was asked the question by a friend who babysat for me: “How do I do it all?  Without any help?”  Then she added in how well mannered, sweet and not spoiled my kids are :)  I cried happy tears after she left.  Side note, as a Mom I feel like I’m failing all the time.  It’s the only thing in life where there isn’t a report or score or any way to know if you are doing it right.  There is no rule book, you just go with your gut and pray.

Back on topic, my Mom does help me when she is able to.  But I don’t have a nanny or assistant that helps me regularly.  I am solely responsible for my job and all things to do with my kids Monday-Friday, and most weekends.  I had never really stopped to think about how I do it all until I was asked this question.

It is a massive juggling act!  I know there are a lot of working single Mom’s out there doing the same juggling act every single day.  I thought about what I do that helps me stay on top of everything and not lose my sanity.

  • MULTI TASK: I rarely get to do just one task at a time.  I am usually doing 3-4 things at once.  I work from home, so I will do a load of laundry and the dishes in between emails and conference calls.  Or I will answer an email at a red light while driving my kids to school.  I can grocery shop or be on the stair master during a conference call.  And I have never answered a phone call while on the toilet or in the shower (okay I have!)  I have become a master at wearing multiple hats all day long.  Funny story about working from home and multitasking: Caleb was home sick with the flu.  I was working all day.  I had run upstairs to make my bed and put normal clothes on (I was still in my sleep shirt and socks).  Caleb comes upstairs a minute later with two fingers covering his mouth.  I rush him into the bathroom to the toilet… he doesn’t make it!  He throws up all over my bare legs and socks (and of course the floor).  Before I have a chance to clean myself up I get a very important phone call I had been waiting for all morning.  I answer the call and have a professional conversation for 10 minutes while standing in my bedroom covered in vomit. Not the glamorous moment that goes on Instagram! And yes I immediately showered as soon as I was off the call.
  • SCHEDULING & TIME MANAGEMENT:  This is the #1 thing that makes me able to do what I do!!  My kids schedule, my work schedule and my personal scheduled is so precise and works together in a way that my day is able to move smoothly.  I put so much thought into all the schedules and how they can work cohesively together.  Before committing to anything or scheduling an appointment, I look at the overall schedule and think about how it’s going to flow.  Then each day I think about what is on my to do list and how I will get it done.  For example: if I know I will be sitting at Caleb’s baseball practice for 90 minutes that evening I will save emails for that time.  Or I will do a work project that takes me several hours and make that my at home laundry day.
  • EVERY MOMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH MY KIDS SOMETHING: There are things to be learned (and taught) all day long.  I am always looking for moments to teach my kids life lessons about kindness, love, forgiveness, friendship, hard work, math, grammar, doing the right thing and being a good person.  Rarely is there a big moment like an after school special movie where we all sit down and talk about the lessons of life at the most opportune moment.  They usually present themselves in the car of the way to school when I am really tired, when I’m in the shower, trying to work, at bedtime, or having an adult conversation.  Never waste these moments!  Being a parent is your #1 job!!!  Always make the time to teach your kids the right thing and raise great people.
  • LIST OF GREAT BABYSITTERS: With all of this work and being “on” all the time, I need a night out.  I need time to get out and do the things I like to do, not as a Mom or employee; just me!  It’s so important to take a mental break from it all and do something you enjoy for yourself.  Find babysitters you love and trust, and that your kids love and look forward to seeing.  While you are out, knowing that your kids are well taken care gives you the mental freedom to enjoy yourself.  These moments are sooo important!  It’s all about balance.  When you take care of yourself and do what you like to do, you can return back to work and being a Mom with a more positive attitude.
  • GO WITH THE FLOW:  Shit will hit the fan and things will break bad!  Life happens!  This is a guarantee, there will be a point where things are not going your way and you will have a bad day!  And when you don’t have a partner to lean on, you have to just go with the flow and do what you can.  You have to prioritize what’s important and let the small things roll off your back.  Because I have so many things on my plate all at one time, I have to decide what I will give my time and attention to.  Don’t spend time, energy or loose sleep over something that really isn’t important to your life or your kids lives.
  • GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK: I am the first one to be very hard on myself.  I constantly think I can do better, be more patient, work harder, cook a better dinner (or cook at all and stop ordering uber eats), work out more, wear makeup more often, dress cuter, clean out that closet and the list goes on.  But then I stop and think about all the great things I’m doing right.  And how I’m only one person and there are only so many hours in the day.  I like to believe I’m Superwoman, but I’m actually not… I’m only human.  And being human I’m going to have bad days, get overwhelmed, cry in my closet and not always get everything right.  The important thing is that I keep trying and never give up!  All I have to do is look at my kids faces and those smiles, and I know I am doing something right :)

XO, Rachel

How I Use My Waist Trainer & the Results I See

waist trainer

WAIST TRAINER | CAMO LEGGINGS

I’ve been using a waist trainer for about 2 years now.  I swear by it!  It really works!!  There are several different ways, or reasons, I like to wear it.

  • I wear it several hours a day a few days a week for “maintenance”.  It helps cinch in my waist, giving that hourglass look and make it flat.  I’m not always that consistent with this.  Some times I will forget and go weeks without wearing it.  I really notice a difference (in a negative way) that I’m not wearing it.  The more I wear it the more I notice an hourglass shape to my body and flatter tummy.   It also helps me throughout the day to not over eat and to only eat when I actually need to.
  • When I have a special event that evening, I wear it all day- like the minute I wake up I put it on and don’t take it off all day.  It eliminates all bloating and excess water weight in my mid section.  I can see a noticeable difference in the size of my waist line and the flatness of my tummy.
  • I wear it while I work out, especially when doing cardio.  I’ve only done this a few times.  This will make you sweat so much in your midsection and make your tummy very flat.  One time I lost 4 pounds doing the stair master and wearing my waist trainer.  Now this is just temporary water weight loss.  But my tummy was very flat that evening!
  • You can wear it under clothes for a cinched, curvy look.  I personally have never done this for a special event.  But I have friends that have and they love it.  They will wear it under a fitted dress to give them that curvy cinched flat midsection.
  • It gives me better posture.  While wearing this waist trainer it forces me to sit upright and stand straight.  It’s almost impossible to slump over my shoulders because it’s not comfortable.  I love wearing it while sitting at my desk working because I have to sit up straight with my shoulders back.  I notice at the end of the day I don’t have as much back and neck pain because I’ve been sitting with better posture all day.

Back to Blogging

topshop v-neck white tee

JACKET: BP. | V-NECK TEE: Topshop (obsessed, also bought black) | JEANS: Express (40% off today) | SHOES: Gucci, Love This & This for under $100 | BAG: Chanel, love this from Givenchy, love this under $40 | HOOP EARRINGS: Lana Jewelry, similar for $25 | NECKLACE: Lana Jewelry, similar under $50

This past year I have taken a break from my blog.  Soooo much has happened!  John and I got divorced, you can read my post about it here.  Going thru a divorce is very difficult, I needed to focus my time on my kids and myself.  My blog was the thing that got put on the shelf to free up time.  It was necessary time that I needed for myself and for my kids.

I am so happy and thankful I was able to spend that time healing and getting into a better place.  I talked a lot about it and what helped me the most in my New Year’s post.

I first want to say a HUGE thank you to all of YOU!!!!  Over the past year I have gotten the most amazing comments, dm’s, emails.  I have truly felt the love from you.  You have no idea some of the timing of your comments and what they have meant to me.  You all have been so encouraging and supportive.  I love you very much and am forever grateful for you!

I am so happy to return to blogging!  I have missed it so much.  I have missed putting together cute outfits and sharing new beauty products I have found.  Writing my blog pushes me to try new things and keep up to date with styles and trends.  I am so excited to be back to it!!  My Mom is now taking my pictures and Sofia has taken a lot of my pictures that I post on IG.  I’m using my iPhone instead of a professional camera, so the quality isn’t quite as good.  You will be seeing a lot of laughing or silly pictures.  My Mom is hysterical when taking my pictures and I can’t stop laughing! :). She will sing these silly made up songs in a high pitched squeaky voice to get me to laugh lol!

About the Outfit: I love finding great basics for my closet.  I especially love finding great t-shirts!  I’m always checking to see when Topshop comes out with new basic tees and tanks and I always buy them.  And they never disappoint!  I bought this v-neck tee in white and in black.  I love the cut and the length.  The black is a little thicker than the white.  The white is thick enough that it is not see through.

These jeans I’m wearing from Express are very high waisted.  They hit above my belly button.  So they are perfect for anything super cropped or if you want your legs to look a lot longer.  Express also makes jeans that look the same in a mid-rise, although I think they are more of a high rise because they hit me right at the belly button.  This pair I wear at least several times a week for more than a year, and I just ordered a second pair.  Both are 40% off today!

Have a great weekend!
XO, Rachel

express high waisted jeans

gucci sneakers

green cropped jacket

express ripped jeans