Healthy & Delicious Recipes I’ve Been Loving

At the beginning of the year I decided I wanted to start cooking more. I’ve never really been much of a cook. And when I do cook it’s so basic and boring I don’t enjoy it. In 2020 I got into a bad habit of ordering take-out for dinner almost every night. Although I was ordering “healthy” most nights, how healthy is it really? That’s the question I asked myself when I was killing it in the gym and still couldn’t loose weight.

I wanted to take control over all the food I’m eating, be more healthy and loose weight. In the last year and a half I’ve gained about 25 pounds. I can’t stand gaining weight and looking in the mirror and feeling like my body isn’t mine. I didn’t want to do some crazy crash diet. I want to create a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable.

For the last 7 weeks I have cooked healthy and delicious meals. Dinners that are full of flavor that I enjoy eating and look forward to! With the change in cooking my own healthy meals and working out, I have lost 8 pounds. More important than that, I feel so much healthier and stronger!

I want to share a couple of my favorite recipes that I have made. These are recipes that I have sent to my friends and have made multiple times because they are that good! They have tons of flavor, are not boring, and are great left over the next day. I will also share my tweaks and tips that I find helpful for each recipe. If I can make these meals, you can too!

Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad

I got this recipe off Eating Bird Food, you can see the entire recipe here. This recipe was a huge surprise to me how amazing it is! When I read the recipe nothing about it seemed like it was be so delicious. But the flavors are all so incredible I enjoy every bite and want to keep eating.

My changes: I always need a protein with every meal. The first time I made this bowl I added steak. The second time I made it I added chicken. Both are equally as delicious. The rest of the recipe I made as is. This recipe is what got me obsessed with roasting my vegetables, especially kale. I now roast kale almost every day and put it with everything. It’s great in a salad to add a crunch.

Avocado Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

This recipe comes from What’s Gaby Cooking. I have been following her on Instagram for years and have baked many of her yummy desserts and they are always so delicious!! (check out her chocolate chip banana bread and snickerdoodle cookies!) This is the first dinner recipe of hers that I have tried and it did not fail me. You can find the recipe here.

My changes: This is the first time I have made shrimp. All I can say is do not be intimidated. It was so simple! The same as grilling chicken. The recipe calls for 1/2 pound of shrimp. I made a whole pound and I was glad I did. The flavor on the shrimp is delicious, but everyone who ate it (except me) said it was a little too spicy. Unless you like very spicy food, I would cut back on the cayenne and chipotle pepper.

The homemade Pico de Gallo is very delicious, but also time consuming. If you are able to make it the day before or earlier in the day it will save a ton of time when cooking dinner. Or if you don’t want to do all that chopping and dicing you can buy one already made at the grocery store.

This dish is incredible left over. I stored all the ingredients separate from each other to keep them fresh. The bowl tasted the same the next day.

Lemon Herb Salmon

I got this recipe from YouTube channel More Seasoning. You can find the recipe here. He shows 3 different versions of how to make salmon, they all look amazing. I have only made the lemon herb salmon and it is delicious!

My changes: I made the salmon just like the recipe and I would not change anything about it. It was so delicious! I absolutely love the tip on how to wrap up each salmon filet individually in foil. It keeps the salmon so tender and there is no mess to clean up.

I made roasted green beans and kale to go with me. As my friend and I ate the salmon and veggies we couldn’t get over the flavor and how good it is! We kept saying it tastes way too good to be completely healthy. And, I made an extra salmon filet and ate it for lunch the next day. So happy I did!

Extra Cooking Tips that Have Helped Me

Make extra of every dinner. My days are very busy and I never want to spend time making lunch. Having healthy leftovers I can grab quickly keeps me on track to being healthy.

Always have cooked chicken in the fridge. I cook chicken 2-3 times a week for dinner. I lightly season it and cook about a pound extra. I cut it up the extra and keep it in my fridge. Chicken is so diverse, I can throw together a salad, mix it with salsa for tacos, etc.

Get a George Forman grill. I purchased one the beginning of January and I use it almost every night!! I purchased this one. It makes grilling soooo quick and easy! Then the grill plates remove and I put them in my dishwasher. I don’t know how I’ve lived without one.

Try new foods, new recipes, don’t be intimidated and have fun! I have began to enjoy cooking and I now look forward to it! I turn on music or my favorite tv show and zone out. It’s also a great time for my kids to come talk to me about their day. And there is great satisfaction in serving my family eating a delicious meal that I cooked!

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

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


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


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 on 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 of 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