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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HUGE Instagram Photo Round-Up

quay sunglasses

I love any warm day that I get to be outside enjoying the sunshine!!

Sunglasses ($60!) | Top | Bracelet Set | Earrings | NARS ‘Turkish Delight’ Lipgloss

mother daughter quality time

I love any time I get to spend with my sweet kids.  Mother/daughter time is priceless to me!

Jacket | Top | Jeans | Shoes | Earrings | Sunglasses | Full post Here

Sofia’s Dress: Matilda Jane

tory burch crossbody bag

On our way to dinner before the open house & art show at Sofia’s school.

Tory Burch Bag | Jeans | Top & Jacket several years old | Bracelet

chambray top, basic tee, black ripped jeans

Some times basics can be the most hard to find!  I swear by these ripped jeans!!  I have had them for about 2 years, I still love them and they still fit & look amazing!  This v-neck tee is my favorite!  I own it in 5 colors.  And this chambray top is so soft and comfy!  I wear it more than I want to admit :)

Jeans | Tee | Chambray Top | Boots, so similar for less

chloe drew bag, quay sunglasses

Fresh mani deserves attention!  It’s a gel polish by Ibd, color is ‘inky pinky’.

Chloe Bag | Sunnies | Bracelet | Ring Set | Jeans

birthday party

On our way to celebrate my nephew’s 1st birthday!  I love a 1st birthday!  It’s so fun and it feels like such an accomplishment as a mother to make it thru your babies first year.  Happy Birthday Oliver!

Top | Jeans | Shoes, similar for less | Full post Here

Sofia: Jacket & Dress from Gap | Shoes

Caleb: Top & Shorts from Gap | Shoes


A few pretty things on my vanity.

iPhone Case | Candle | Earrings | Perfume

mirror selfie, pencil skirt & leather jacket

One of our good friends turned 40!  There was a surprise birthday party to celebrate!  It was so much fun!  Tons of friends celebrating, dancing, drinks and laughing!  It was extra fun because it was on my birthday weekend so it was 1 long weekend of celebrating :)

Faux Leather Jacket | Skirt | Shoes | Clutch | Earrings | Full post Here

celine ring bag

Jaclyn is the most generous sister and gave me a Celine bag for my birthday!  My 2 all time favorite designer bags are Givenchy and Celine.  I didn’t have a Celine and she got me my first!  I was so surprised and excited!  Thank you again Jaclyn!! :)

Blazer | Top | Jeans | Earrings | Necklace | Full outfit post Here

family photo

One of my favorite things to do when the weather warms up is to take a walk after dinner.  It is such a great way to end the day.

mirror selfie

I love the fun pop of color on top with white denim!

Top | Jeans | Shoes | Necklace | Earrings | Bracelet Set

cuddles & giggles

Last weekend the kids had a 3 day weekend.  It was cold and raining the entire time (bummer!).  So we stayed in, cuddled, watched movies, played games and ate tons of food… all while staying in our pj’s the entire time!  The kids decided to give me my Mother’s Day present early, this super cozy robe, so I could enjoy it over our loungy weekend.  It was very much appreciated as I didn’t take it off the whole time!

Robe | ‘eat cake for breakfast’ Sleep Shirt