Life Update & Why I Haven’t Been Blogging

rachel Barkules

I’m sure you have noticed that I have not been blogging for the past 3 months.  And my social media presence has been very minimal.

The reason is, I am currently going thru something extremely difficult in my personal life. I have been going thru this for a long time now.  But the sh*t really hit the fan around the holidays.  And things got waaaaay worse each day after that.  I tried to continue blogging.  But it became to difficult to fake a smile when I was hurting so bad on the inside.  I found it necessary to take a step back and focus on myself.

Although I am not going to share exactly what I am going thru right now (I will one day when I’m not in the middle of it), I can tell you this is one of the hardest things I have had to face.  I am personally going thru my own crisis, plus my loved ones are facing difficult times of their own.  My sister, Jaclyn, just got a divorce.  And my Grandma (my Mom’s Mom) had brain surgery 3 weeks ago.  To say the least, my entire family is really going thru a difficult time right now.

Thank you all so much for your love and support!  I have missed you all very much.  I really appreciate your understanding while I am going thru this private matter.  I love and appreciate every single one of you!!

I have always loved blogging.  It has been an amazing platform for me to express my love of clothes, makeup and accessories.  I have really missed it and plan to be returning to it very soon. :)

Much love! XO, Rachel

Dressed Up for the Holidays

barkules family

Last Sunday we went to the theatre to see ‘The Nutcracker’.  It was so much fun!  I feel so blessed that I get to give my kids experiences like this.  It was such a special night, one that they will remember forever.

I knew I wanted us all dressed up, coordinating without matching.  I didn’t start thinking about our outfits until a week before (eek!).  I had purchased this dress about a month ago knowing I would wear it for something during the holidays.  So I decided to go with all black & white, with a pop of red.

It can be difficult coordinating an entire family.  I recommend sticking with a color scheme or theme.  With that in mind you can pick out pieces that reflect each persons individuality.  This way everyone feel comfortable with what they are wearing while still having a cohesive look.

My Outfit: Dress | Shoes | Clutch | MAC ‘Lady Danger’ Lipstick
Sofia: Dress (huge sale!) | Headband | Shoes
John: Suit
Caleb: Suit Jacket | Suit Pants | Bow Tie/Pocket Square | Shoes

boys suit

rachel barkules

kids holiday outfits

new years eve dress
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My Kids Christmas Wishlist

kids christmas wishlist

My kids Christmas wishlist was soooo long this year.  Between all the advertisements on tv, talking to their friends and the Target toy catalogue; both their lists were very big.  Not only were they big, but they were so disorganized.  I have a handwritten list that made very little sense.  And a Target catalogue that was all circled and marked up with what each of them wanted.

I finally sat down last night to make sense of it all.  Since I ship everything I need to get this figured out now!  (I don’t like going out and shopping at the stores this time of year unless I have to.)

The names of toys this year are cracking me up.  Me and John were laughing so hard looking at their lists because of the toy names!  Sofia’s list literally says: tsum tsum, flip-a-zoo, zippy zac, snuggie tails, hamster in a house, wow wee chip robot dog, zoomer meowzies.  I couldn’t keep from laughing out loud as I read these names!!

And if I had known the whole Hatchimals thing was such a huge craze, I would have purchased one weeks ago.  Now they are no where to be found and tripled in price on eBay.  So if you can find one in a store, grab it quick!

There seemed to be a common theme for each of the kids.  Sofia wants anything to do with pets or animals.  While Caleb wants anything Star Wars, Power Rangers or nerf guns.

I’ve been getting so many questions about gift ideas for kids and what I am getting my kids.  I organized their wish lists to show you everything they are asking for.  If you have procrastinated (like I always do) this will help you so much!  Click on the picture below to shop an item:

I keep getting questions about my Christmas sweater and lip color.

Details here: Christmas Sweater | Lip: Nars ‘Cardinal Red’ Lipliner + Bite Beauty ‘Pomegranate’ Lipstick

Weekend Family Time


My Outfit: Top | Jeans | Shoes | Hat | Bracelet | Earrings, similar for less | Bag

Sofia’s Outfit: Dress | Vest | Hat | Shoes

Caleb’s Outfit: Shirt | Shoes

I love the weekends so much because it means I get to spend quality time with my family.  The week is so busy and some days it feels like the only time we spend together as a family is during dinner.  But on the weekend we get to spend the whole day together!

We have so many favorite things to do as a family.  One is a family movie night.  We all snuggle on the couch with tons of popcorn and candy while watching a movie.  We also love to get out during the day, eat a yummy lunch, or check out an art fair or farmers market.  And of course, now that we live in Florida, the beach and pool has been added to the list of favorite weekend activities.

No matter what we do, the most important thing to me is that I am spending quality time with my children.  They are growing up so fast!  I want to make sure we are always talking and they feel comfortable telling me anything.  I want to be apart of all areas of their lives and I don’t want to miss a thing!  :)

Sofia’s style has been changing lately.  She just turned 8 and she’s in the in-between stage of not being a tiny little girl, but she’s not a teenager.  I guess she’s technically a ‘tween’ (pause for me to shed a little tear).   But with this she is finding her own style.  She is very girly but I find it difficult to find age appropriate outfits that are girly (and affordable!).  Most clothes for girls her age are full of loud crazy colors and prints, and aren’t girly at all.

Last week we all went shopping and it was fun to see what Sofia picked out.  She grabbed a lot of dresses, of course!  She wants to look pretty but first and foremost is her comfort.  This dress is crazy comfy!  And she felt so fancy in her “high heel shoes” :)  I love how she looks like a young lady and still girly.  She loved this outfit and she shined all day in it!

mother daughter time

girls fashion

hyde park fountain
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Big Life Changes

life changes

Chelsea28 Dress | Shoes (similar) | Belt (similar) | Earrings | Bracelet Set | Ring

There has been so many big changes in our lives the last 2 months! We have moved out of Chicago to Tampa. We are officially Tampa residents!!

A little back story: I have been wanting to move back to Tampa really bad for years. I moved from Tampa to Chicago 10.5 years ago. I loved the area we lived in, I love the people and I love the food. It was a great place to live. But it never felt like home to me. Every time I came back to Tampa to visit my family, Tampa felt like home.

For 2 years John and I have been seriously talking about moving to Tampa. We knew the timing had to be right for this move to happen. With 2 young kids we can’t just pick up and throw our stuff into a car, drive down and figure it out when we get there. Everything had to be right for this move to be possible.

For 2 years John has been looking for jobs in Tampa and nothing has worked out. We started to wonder if this was ever going to happen for us. Our kids get older every year (obviously!) and I was starting to think our window of perfect timing for them was closing. I wanted to move when they were young enough that it is easy to start over.

Then… 2 months ago I was offered my dream job!
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