Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 :: My Favorites & What I’m Ordering

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the biggest sale of the year! I always mark my calendar, look at the preview as early as it comes out, go to the store and shop on the first day. I’m sharing everything I have seen online that I currently have and love – highly recommend! Also, some items I know I will order.

I’ll be sharing my try on haul tomorrow :)


Clothing : Loungewear & Pj’s





My Experience with Dating After Divorce

I have been divorced and back on the dating market for 3 years now.  All I can say is, so much has changed since the last time I was single back in 2002.  Not only has our society changed so much when it comes to dating, I am now dating as a 38 year old divorced mom.  It’s a whole new world I have had to learn how to navigate.

Getting back on the dating scene after being married for 15 years has been exciting, fun and scary.  I love to have new experiences and adventures and enjoy meeting new people.  I also get scared I’m going to meet some creep with bad intentions and end up a skin suit.

I think dating can be fun if you go into it with the right approach.  Every date is an opportunity to get to know someone new from a different walk of life.  Everyone has a story.  I ask questions and hear their story, every man loves to talk about himself ;).  My personality is a huge talker, but I do my best to ask questions because I am there to get to know him.  Getting to know him is the only way I will know if I want a second date.  Even if it doesn’t go any further than a first date, it’s always an opportunity to learn something.  Something new he said about life, something new about myself, or learn more about what I want and what I don’t want.  Even a bad date is not a waste of time if I can find the lesson to be learned.

Always be safe!  I always meet my date at the restaurant.  I never let him know where I live until I feel completely comfortable and safe that he has that information.  For me, it’s at least several dates before I would let him pick me up and know where I live.  Also, to be alone in a car with a man is a vulnerable position.  This is another reason why I won’t let him pick me up until I’m comfortable.  Before a date I always let at least one person know where I’m going, what time, what I’m doing, etc.  And I check in regularly with that person throughout the date to ensure I am safe.  Always take the necessary steps to stay safe.

In the past 3 years I have been on many first dates and have had 2 relationships (one short and one long).  I have had many experiences; some good, some bad and some in between.  I plan to share specific stories of some of my dates in later posts.  There are some hysterical stories!

What do I find to be the biggest challenge?  Being in my upper 30’s it’s a unique group of men that are single.  I have found it’s either men that are divorced- which brings up all of those questions… What happened?  Do you have kids, how many, how old?  What is the coparenting relationship like?  If he talks negative about his ex-wife on the first date, run!  Then there are the men that have never been married.  Which leads to a different set of questions… Do you have commitment issues?  Are you a workaholic? Are you emotionally unavailable or have extreme mental health issues?  No one is a clean slate, myself included. 

I love the scene in ‘The Other Woman’ when Leslie Mann says: “The last time I was single the dating pool was everyone.  Now it’s a shallow puddle of age appropriate men.” LOL!!  Then Cameron Diaz goes on to say that it’s even worse than that!  This is pretty much how I have felt!

One advantage is most people my age know what they want.  They have an established life and aren’t going out on a date to waste time.  More often than not, they are up front about their life and what they are looking for.  The first date typically feels more like a job interview.  You go over all the important things and ask the hard questions.  I like this because I can make a logical decision before getting my heart invested.  Everyone has deal breakers.  You may as well ask right away and don’t waste time.

I have found it difficult to navigate dating while having young children. I am very protective over my children and always want them to feel safe.  My kids are with me the majority of the time and I don’t want to get a babysitter so I can go on a date.  I will only go on a date on nights they are with their dad.  Which doesn’t provide me a lot of free time to date.  I also keep my dating life extremely private from my kids.  I don’t tell them if I am going on a date.  They did know when I was in my longer relationship, only because they kept seeing his name pop up on my phone and they asked me about him.  They knew his name and they saw a picture of him and that’s about it.  

Still to this day my kids have never met anyone I have dated.  I tell my kids “when I meet someone who is special enough that has earned the right to meet you, that’s when you will meet him.”  And I take that very seriously.  My kids will ask me about dating once in a while.  They used to only want it to be just the 3 of us forever.  But now they have let me know they want me to meet someone and be in love.   I think as time as passed from the divorce and they are growing up, they don’t want me to live life alone.  I also think they like the idea of having a male figure in the home, it adds something that I can’t provide.  They have put in some special requests…. Caleb told me he wants a brother who is 9 or 10 years old. lol!

I spend almost all of my time with my kids, my family or working.  This doesn’t provide me much opportunity to meet someone.  This is another area I have found challenging.  Where do I meet someone?  I have tried dating apps – OMG! I could write a book on my experience on dating apps lol!  I go out with my girlfriends for dinner, drinks, music; this seems like it would be a good opportunity to meet someone.  But hasn’t ever worked out well for me.  Some advice given to me from my brother: if I’m out at a restaurant, bar, wherever and a man approaches me he’s a douche bag.  The good quality men don’t approach in this way, they usually just sit with their friends.  Which puts the ball in my court to approach him.  It’s good advice!  But it’s a hard one for me to swallow.  I believe in a man making the first move and pursuing the woman.  I can be very old fashion when it comes to dating.  But I’ve also been told that as a woman all I have to do is smile at a man from across the room that I’m interested in meeting.  And if he is interested he will walk over and say hi.  Again good advice, but hasn’t worked for me :/

I’m sharing this advice in hopes it will be helpful for someone.  If it works for you let me know ;)

I’ve always been a positive person and believe in love.  I am a true hopeless romantic.  I love romantic movies and the big grand gesture that the man does for the woman he loves.  I know it’s a movie, but I do believe that can happen in real life.  After a failed marriage and 3 years of dating and I’m currently as single as it gets (literally zero prospects currently!), it would be easy for me to become cynical or bitter.  But I refuse!  I will always believe in love.  I still believe the right man is out there for me somewhere.  And we will find each other when the time is right.  


Dress: Good American (my most worn dress ever!!) | Necklace: Lana Jewelry, similar under $40

Having an ‘All or Nothing’ Personality: the Pros & the Cons

Having an all or nothing personality, or I like to call it- being passionate, has many strengths and it also has many challenges. I live life to the fullest!! I have always had a ‘go big or go home’ view towards everything in my life. And as one of my closest friends says to me: “I rarely go home” lol :)

The pros: When I set my mind to something there isn’t anything that will stand in my way of accomplishing it. It’s not within me to try half way or give up. I give 110% of myself and my efforts to everything I do. I live life with a lot of passion and I allow that passion to guide me. If I’m not passionate about something, I don’t do it. So when I set my mind on something and pour my heart into it, I will always succeed!

When I commit to something or someone I am committed! Whether it is a friendship, romantic relationship, work, or a goal I set for myself – I stay committed all the way thru. This helps me to never give up on my goals and dreams. This also makes me very loyal to whoever I commit to, it takes a lot for me to end a relationship. I love very hard and with a lot of passion. This deep love and commitment I have makes me very passionate about being a great Mom. I take the responsibility of being a Mother very seriously and put my kids #1.

I feel life to the most. I experience love, laughter, joy in the deepest way possible. I physically feel the emotions so much it consumes my entire being. Which makes life so much fun! I am a forever optimist about life and always see the good in everyone.

The cons: Because I am a passionate person and feel life to the most, I also feel the ‘bad’ emotions to the most as well. When something devastating, traumatic or hurtful happens I go into such a deep place of pain. I feel the hurt so much deeper and worse than most. And it typically takes me longer to move out of that place of pain. I’ve been called a “victim” or “having a pity party”. But it’s the process I need to go thru in order for me to truly work thru these emotions and release them. If I move on before I’m ready with a fake smile these emotions will come back to bite me later. It’s always best to face emotions head on in the moment.

Good habits can take a turn into obsessions, leading to unhealthy behaviors. Let me give an example: Several years ago I wanted to lose about 20 pounds. It started off as working out 2-3 days a week and eating more healthy. Then I got obsessed with the high of the work outs and seeing results. I started working out 6 days a week and some times twice in the same day. I was only eating once a day and it was dry chicken and some veggies. I became obsessed with how skinny I could get. And I got very skinny!! I was so small I was photoshopping my body bigger for my IG pictures. Then I went a step further and went to a doctor to get a consultation for liposuction. He suggested lipo and a tummy tuck, making my waist 7 inches smaller (I was a 26 inch waist at the time). And that’s when I realized I had taken it too far!

Finding Balance: My highs are high and my lows are low. Having balance in my life is something I have always struggled with. I mean, it looks nice when I see others having balance. Just not sure how to accomplish that for myself. It almost feels like I’m not giving my full effort.

In 2020 I began working on finding more balance in my life. I worked on doing activities that use a medium amount of energy. Nothing to over stimulating and nothing to blah. It was my big attempt to find that balance. If I’m being completely honest, I got really bored lol! I was created to live life vibrantly and with a lot of excitement.

Always be unapologetically authentically YOU!

Joggers | Similar Tank | Similar Sunglasses

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Try-On Haul 2019

It’s that time of year again… I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!! I have shopped this sale for well over 10 years. This year I didn’t get as many pieces as I have in years past. But the pieces I did get I am completely obsessed with! I think I was a little more picky this year.

Here is my haul of everything I purchased! There are also some items I am adding at the bottom that are online only, which I plan on ordering for myself. Also at the bottom I am including items that I recommend getting. These are items I already have in my closet and I love so much I know you will too.

Icon & Ambassador card holders can shop online and in stores today. All Nordstrom card holders can shop tomorrow, Friday July 12th.

Happy Shopping :) XO, Rachel


Socialite Leopard Tee | Mother Denim | Steve Madden Booties

Mother Denim: This denim is one of my favorite things I purchased of the whole sale. I love the matte black button detail on the front. The fit is amazing! They are high waisted but not too high waisted. Fit true to size.

Leopard Tee: This tee is sooo soft and is a great quality for the price. It also comes in a traditional leopard color. I’m totally obsessed with the green! I sized up to a medium for a more slouchy fit.

Booties: I love the side slit and stud details. They have a great comfortable heel and I can tell I can wear these all day. They are much more of a true jet black then the photo makes them look.


Leith Wrap Dress | Similar Pumps

I have been looking for a red body con dress for a while. Dresses like this are to versatile. You can wear them dresses up with heels. Or dressed down with an oversized denim jacket and sneakers. This dress is very stretchy, I’m wearing a small. And it’s currently on sale for $31!!


Leather Jacket | B.P. Tee | Good American Denim | Leopard Scarf | Steve Madden Booties

Good American Denim: This denim is a great fit for a curvy body!! They are a true high waist. Comfortable fabric and very stretchy. Currently I am between a size 4 & 6 in denim. These run big and are so stretchy I am wearing the size 2. I also love the hem detail of them! It will look so cute with white sneakers. I have a feeling these will be my every day go to denim!

Leopard Scarf: I feel the need to purchase a new leopard scarf every year for fall. It’s one of my staples. I love the print of this one and the colors. And it is very warm!!! I started to sweat taking the pictures. It will be great for cooler weather.


Leopard Scarf | B.P. Tee | Mother Denim

Same leopard scarf as above. I wanted to show how cute it is with black denim. Like I said, the scarf is so warm so I left my short sleeve tee on. In cooler weather I would wear a long sleeve tee or sweater. Black, white and leopard is such a classic look!

Mother Denim: This denim is one of my favorite things I purchased of the whole sale. I love the matte black button detail on the front. The fit is amazing! They are high waisted but not too high waisted. Fit true to size.


Rails Jacket | B.P. Tee | Good American Denim | Booties

Rails Jacket: These jackets are always so easy to wear and so cute. They have fun details and great colors. Throw it on with jeans and a tee or with a pair of leggings. Wear booties or sneakers. They are very versatile. And always sell out almost immediately on the sale, so don’t wait.

B.P. Tee: Every year Nordstrom has a B.P. tee on the sale. This year is the best one so far. I can tell they have upped the quality from years past. For only $11, I’m getting more colors.

Good American Denim: This denim is a great fit for a curvy body!! They are a true high waist. Comfortable fabric and very stretchy. Currently I am between a size 4 & 6 in denim. These run big and are so stretchy I am wearing the size 2. I also love the hem detail of them! It will look so cute with white sneakers.


Adidas Tank | Zella Leggings | Addidas Sneakers

Adidas Tank: Love a good work out tank that can be work at the gym then out to run errands. This is a great staple tank that works for everyone. Runs true to size. There is really cute matching leggings to this tank. They weren’t in store and I plan to order them.

Zella Leggings: This is a great staple legging everyone should have in their closet. They are very thick and figure flattering. They are great for day to day running errands, living life, etc. I don’t wear them to work out in. Because they are so thick I don’t feel like the breathe enough for me.

Adidas Shoes: I really am obsessed with sneakers. My life has changed and has gotten so casual over the last year or 2. I pretty much live in sneakers now. These are sooooo super cute!!! I love black work out sneakers (because I typically wear all black to the gym) and these have the metallic gold which makes them even better! I am a true 8.5 in shoes. That’s what I bought without trying them on. They have plenty of room, even wondering if I should have gotten an 8. But with a sock the 8.5 will be perfect.


B.P. Top | B.P. Shorts | Ugg Slippers

Top & Shorts: So soft and so comfy!!! This set is so comfortable and not to heavy, so it will work in all climates (except maybe not really cold winter). I always size up to a medium in my loungewear and pj’s because I want them extra comfy.

Ugg Slippers: I love Ugg slippers and have always wanted a pair. I love how warm and cozy they are. And they have a nice sole to them to make them great to wear around the house all day on cold days. When I saw they were on the sale this year it was a no brainer I had to get them!


B.P. Crop Hoodie | B.P. Joggers | Ugg Slippers

Hoodie & Joggers: This is another thing I purchased that is one of my favorites! I love a cute matching loungewear set. Something I can wear around my house when my friends come over to watch a movie and I still feel cute. This set is so soft and a little warmer. Wearing a size medium.

Ugg Slippers: I love Ugg slippers and have always wanted a pair. I love how warm and cozy they are. And they have a nice sole to them to make them great to wear around the house all day on cold days.


Nordstrom PJ Set | Ugg Slippers

Nordstrom PJ Set: I have this set in a shorts set and also in an oversized sleep shirt. It’s one of the softest fabrics I have ever felt. I’m obsessed!! I was so excited to see the pants/long sleeve set on the sale. This is such a comfy set! This set does run a little large, I’m wearing a small.

Purity Set | Oribe Set

Purity Set: This is my favorite go to cleanser for years. I love it! It gets all my makeup off and keeps my skin clear. I bought this set last year on the sale and the big purity cleanser bottle just ran out last week. I use the big bottle to refill my smaller bottles. For $55, that is a great deal for facial cleanser for an entire year!

Oribe Set: Oribe is my favorite hair product brand by far! The dry texture spray is one of my favorite products they make, I can’t live without it! It gives my hair so much volume and texture. I’m also obsessed with their hairspray. This is a great value for 2 full size products!






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