southern

NEW J Crew Dress

Y'all, I have a SUPER short & sweet post for you this Wednesday night!!  I have a lot going on this week, so I didn't have time to sit down for too long to write, plus I think this piece speaks for itself:

This is my first J Crew dress ever!!  As obsessed as I am with the company, and as often as I incorporate them into my outfits, I know that must come as a complete shock for you... But its true!!

Honestly, J Crew tailors their dresses (literally) for those of us that don't have booties or boobs, so they, more often than not, just don't fit me right, for obvious reasons...  But this dress is really fantastic!!

Its shift style cut doesn't hug too much in all the wrong places, and I was even able to go down to a size 2 (I usually wear size 4 there)!  It has a great tie at that top that forms a cute key-hole at the neckline!  The color is great!  AND best of all, the price point is STELLAR for J Crew!!  Its only $88 and you can get it HERE!  And also, to achieve the same look, my exact wedges are HERE, my clutch is HERE, and my bangle is HERE :)

Happy Humpday Babes!!

XOXO

- Rachel

Choosing Happiness

You know how they say that LOVE is a choice... That you have to wake up everyday and CHOOSE to love!?  Well, I think the same goes for HAPPINESS!  And that you have to purposefully choose to be happy!!  

I promise I am preaching to the chior when I say ALL of this, because I seriously struggle with it more than any one person should, but I'm understanding more and more with every passing week that happiness is a choice, that I can choose to be happy, no matter my circumstances!!  

The take home message here is that YOU too can wake up every morning and CHOOSE to be happy... What an incredible way to stat any day!!!

And when I say I struggle with it, I mean, I really struggle with it...

I have the heart of an entrepreneur... I want to be my own boss with every fiber of my being... And that deep desire of my heart is pushing its way closer to the surface of my life more and more everyday!  Because of that, I STRUGGLE deep within my soul to work for someone else...  It is so hard for me to get up every morning at 6:00 (ok, 6:30 when my feet actually touch the ground) and drive to a job in which I am dedicating a VERY large portion of my time to making someone else's dreams come true... If you follow me on Instagram, I shared a couple of weeks ago about feeling like I am someone else for 9 hours a day until I get to come home and be the boutique owner/fashion blogger that I feel like I am meant to be...  And its just really hard living a life that *feels* like that!! 

But, on the other hand, Blake and I have longterm financial goals, and current lifestyle requirements that require 2 salaries, just plain and simple... So, I'm stuck in this mental/emotional battle where it can be so stinking easy to just be... Unhappy!!  I have a 40-hour-a-week job, and then I come home and do another 20-hour-a-week job; the latter of which is so fulfilling, but at the same time is still very hard work... So, I've let myself become tired and pretty drained, which allows so much space for The Enemy to take root in my life and breed unhappiness...

It's awful, and could easily put me into a downward cycle... I've suffered from depression before, and desperately don't want to let myself get back there... So, I've started to pray for CONTENTMENT!!  I've been asking God to help me to be happy where I am!  Happy where He's got me, because He knows best after all!!  CONTENT, but not COMPLACENCE... I don't want to settle for something that isn't the best it could be, because God doesn't want us to just sit around and wait for Him to make things happen.... He wants us to work hard and be CONTENT!!  

And like I've said, I am NO GOOD at this...  I've had to have Blake's help with this almost DAILY!!  He points me to the Lord, which is where I should go with all feelings of discontent anyway... Try telling the Master of the Universe that you aren't happy with what He's given you, LOL!  It kind of makes you sit and think before you open your mouth, and reconsider that you're just being selfish or greedy...  It reminds you of your place in this world and allows you to be more grateful!!  Praying for contentment has given me the ability to be more grateful for the job I do have...  At least I have a job, that pays the bills, allows me to have extra spending money to support all of my shopping habits (HAHAHAAA), and helps us to invest in our futures!!  Who am I to not be grateful for that!!?

So, when a local small business owner approached me about collaborating with her; with the offer of designing a custom t-shirt, I knew exactly what I wanted it to say!!!  I jumped on it without any hesitation!!  I had been thinking I needed a shirt to serve as a reminder to be grateful for how far I'd come, instead of constantly critiquing where I thought I should be, for a while!!  And #blessed just seemed so appropriate since I spend a good chunk of my day on social media LOL!  And look how amazing it turned out!!! 

Rachel is a graphic design student at USC (my alma mater), that decided to start a small business while still in school!!  Its called Old College Try Press, and she is so talented!!  She designs the fonts she uses HERSELF and then also prints the t-shirts HERSELF!!!  And, from the eyes of a business owner myself, since she cuts out all the middle-men, her prices are REALLY INCREDIBLE!!!  You can get this exact t-shirt HERE for just $15!!  Plus, Rachel has been generous enough to offer my followers a 20% off discount code so that you can design your own custom t-shirt with her as well!!!  CUSTOM t-shirts (a.k.a anything you want) are only $20 originally!  And if you use code: ADEMURELIFE at checkout, they will only be $16 HERE!  A custom shirt for that price is pretty unheard of!!  For size reference, I'm wearing the small. 

Furthermore, I know a few of you are getting married pretty soon... And I think Rachel could hook you up with some pretty rad monogrammed t-shirts for bridesmaids' gifts or bachelorette parties!!  Just go to her Etsy shop, select the "Your Design Here" option, select your font, font color, and t-shirt size, add to cart, type in the girls' initials in there, and then type in the coupon code during the checkout process!!  Sixteen dollar, custom shirts for the win!!!

"Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.  After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can't take anything with us when we leave it.  So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be CONTENT." - 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Have a wonderful rest of your holiday weekend!!

XOXO

- Rachel

This t-shirt was gifted to me, but all thoughts are my own!

H & M Finds

Y'all I just shopped at H & M for the first time in Charlotte for my birthday... Can you believe it, I was 26 years old before I had ever purchased anything from there!!  Well, actually, I didn't purchase anything on that exact trip, but I came home, convinced that that couldn't have been all the merchandise they had to offer, and proceeded to look online... AND BOY WAS I RIGHT {I love being right}!!!

So, even though I didn't really love my in-store experience, I REALLY loved my online one!!  I purchased both of these tops via hm.com, and I received them within 4 days!!  BONUS: I typically wear a small in tops, but I got this pink peplum shirt in an XS **Woot Woot**!!!  And then I got the cropped, lace top in a small, like I normally would!  They fit very well!!  

You can grab this top  HERE

You can grab this top HERE

You may be a little suspicious of the pink peplum top because it was only $17.99, but it is truly made very well!! The shirt part is a soft knit, and the peplum is a cotton blend.  LOVE IT!!  So hurry and snag yours because sizes are going fast!!  And OMG they have it in orange now too!!!

You can grab these heels  HERE

You can grab these heels HERE

And then I got this lace, cropped top!!  I am head-over-heels in love with high-waisted pants, as you all probably know already... So I've been trying out different cropped tops to compliment them recently.  I usually dress pretty modestly, so it is a huge step for me to embrace the cropped top trend!!  I still do not like my actual belly button to show, but a little mid-riff has been alright!!  I actually went out in public for a nice dinner with the hubs in this, and I can honestly say, I wasn't that uncomfortable!!  Plus, it helped that the lace detail on this top is quite elegant!!

You can grab this top  HERE

You can grab this top HERE

This one was only $24.99 and I got free shipping!!  So, all-in-all, 2 tops delivered to my house for under $45!!  What!?  Thats a steal!!  I am definitely a new fan of H & M (online)!!  Y'all should definitely give them a try as well too!!

XOXO

- Rachel

Lauren James

Take this Southern girl's word for it, this company makes THE MOST PERFECT Easter dresses!!  Well, really, they would be perfect anytime!!  You can't tell me that you couldn't make a dress this cute work for at least one thing going on in your life!?  Easter Sunday, a wedding, a graduation, a graduation PARTY, the Kentucky Derby, your beach vacation!?  Seriously, you could rock it!!

I really love the vision behind this company as well!!  Directly from their website:

"Lauren James was founded mid 2013 by registered nurse turned fashion designer, Lauren Stokes. Inspired by the classics and driven by modern styling, Lauren strives to capture a look that's unique yet timeless.

From the every day to the once in a lifetime, Lauren’s true inspiration is to develop clothing wearable on any occasion. Hours of painstaking design, meticulous sourcing of material, and hand crafted quality blend seamlessly in every garment produced.

Our mission is to deliver quality product with an exceptional level of customer service. We make goods that make you feel good, and that’s the way it should be." 

Quite DEMURE is not!?  

My favorite dress from their collection is The Savannah Solid Seersucker Dress, which is the one I have on, in Raspberry!!  For size reference, I did have to go up to a medium because of my boobs... But if you use their "True Fit" tool, they will tell you what size to get in a particular dress, but also whether or not a dress is even a good FIT for your body type!!  And they were right too, for me at least...  They told me a small in this dress would fit in the waist, but be too small in the bust, and that the medium would fit my bust and be too loose on my waist... And they nailed it!!  I ended up having to return the small for the medium, and you can tell it doesn't fit quite like an empire waist should.  But don't think that's Lauren James' fault... It was my own, because I didn't take their professional opinion as fact and stubbornly got the dress I just thought I had to have!! LOL Typical!!!  When, in fact, I should have gone with another style that better fit a small waist and large boobs combo.  When a dress company offers advice on which particular dress style will fit you the best, you should listen, and know that that's a good company!!

Since online boutiques don't have dressing rooms, I think this is an AMAZING feature for them to offer... As a customer, you will know how a dress fits before you even get it in the mail!!  And in a time crunch, that's priceless in my opinion!!!

They also carry all sorts of other preppy fashion and girly things, including: shorts, t-shirts, candles, bathing suits, blankets, jackets, bags, kaychains, and more!!!  You won't regret checking them out!!!  

XOXO - Rachel