southern style

Vacation Style

Hey Ladies!

I've missed writing for you over the past 2 weeks!! 

Don't get me wrong, the little hiatus Blake and I took to go on vacation and celebrate his birthday (3 weeks late) was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed!!  But I'm so glad to be back and hoary to get back into the swing of things!!

I hope you're having a fabulous start to your Summer too :)  Do you have a beach vacation planned as well!?  Have you done your vacation outfit shopping yet!?  If not, you're gonna want to take out a pin and paper, or get your online-shopping finger ready to click, because I'm about to show you some FABULOUS Summer outfits!! 

1. The Perfect Floral Maxi

This one is my #1 favorite!  Obviously I love it, because I chose to carry it in my own shop!!  The Carly Dress can be found HERE for only $45!!  Its so soft, has the perfect floral print, and HAS POCKETS!!!  

Unfortunately, I only have 2 Larges left though... I would say that the large fits a size 6, 8, or 10 based on chest size!!  Its a babydoll cut, so its only fitted in the chest, and the rest of it is loose and flowy no matter what size you get!  I wear it all the time myself, and its definitely a smart buy!!

 

2. Pineapple Shorts

These babies are making me feel like I should change the theme of my blog...  

I typically HATE shorts... My legs are particularly white, 1 of my knees is messed up from a biking accident, and I'm starting to get varicose veins... So, even at only 26 years old, I generally HATE SHORTS!!  But this Summer has somehow been completely different!!  

Since I don't particularly like my legs, I search SO HARD to find shorts that are so amazing my legs won't even be noticed!!  If I'm going to wear shorts, they better be freaking awesome!!!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably noticed that I've actually been on a shorts kick recently... I've been stumbling onto SO MANY great pair!!  And people have even started to comment that I "always have the cutest shorts!"  It didn't really occur to me until after the second person said it, but I have to agree with them LOL!!  If I'm going to put myself out into the world of social media with a pair of shorts on, then you better believe they are WORTH IT!!

My favorite pair thus far this Summer are these J Crew Linen Pineapple Shorts!!  You can find them HERE for a staggering $98.  But before you panic, J Crew is doing a 25% off sales June 17-19th and if you watch my Instagram Stories, I'll let you know when they go on sale again!  And the top I paired with them can be found HERE for only $29.50! 

I mean, just look at that cute bow people!!  And just in case you are worried about the length, its perfect!!  Not too long and not too short - a perfect 3.5" inseam!!!

 

3. Floppy Hats

Big floppy straw hats have been trending for about 3 years now!  I carry CUSTOM monogrammed hats in my shop for $50, which you can order HERE!  

But I'm also really into the ones that say cute things like "Do Not Disturb," or "Find Me in the Sun"!  All of which would cost me too much to make, so I've linked some really great, inexpensive ones below!!  

The bottom line is, if you want to be a trendy female with all the cutest beachwear out on the sand this year, you need a big floppy hat, I promise!

 

4. A Super Cute Bathing Suit

My favorite one from this year's beach trip was provided to me by Lauren James - the cutest, preppiest, most perfect Southern fashion boutique EVER!!  It has a really dainty floral pattern, and an adorable peplum!!  You can find each piece here: TOP & BOTTOM 

I'm wearing both in Medium here, for size reference!!  The top has underwire with full boob support!!  I wore it strapless, though it does come with a strap if going strapless is uncomfortable for you!!  The bottoms provide full butt coverage, and have mesh instead of traditional bathing suit material on the sides so that they're not too tight where some of use girls hold a little extra cushion (A.K.A. Love Handles LOL)!!  And y'all, even if this bathing suit isn't one that suits your style, please at least go to their website and check it out, because they featured me on the page for the bating suit top!!!  What an honor!!  Thank you Lauren James!!!

 

5. White Linen Pants

I actually found these beauties while we were at the beach!!  The weather was SOOOOO cold the first day that Blake and I had to go buy some warmer clothes to survive since we only brought, you know, shorts and tanks for a freaking BEACH VACATION!!!  So where did we go!?  THE OUTLETS!!!  J Crew factory first, of course!!

IMG_4080-1.jpg

These white linen pants are only $59.50 and you can find them HERE!  J Crew Factory constantly does sales as well, so again, if you watch my Instagram Stories, I will let you know the next time they do!!  As far as sizing goes for these, I do want to point out that I bought these pants in another color in a size 4, but I went up to a size 6 in the white just because they are white!  I feel like the bigger size made them look better!  I just wanted you to know that!!  The hat is from my shop (link above) and the top can be found HERE!  P.S. THIS is the other color I bought just in case you were curious!!

 

6. A Cute Sun Dress

I shared all the specifics about this dress the week before we left for the beach, but I had actually purchased it specifically for our vacation!  This cute lightweight linen J Crew dress was perfect for the one fancy dinner we always go to when we are down there (Greg Norman's - you should go the next time you're in North Myrtle)!!  Check out my last blog post HERE if you want more specific details about this outfit!  But for now I'll just share the links: DRESS, CLUTCH, BANGLE, & SHOES

IMG_3594-2.jpg

I'm actually giving 1 lucky winner one of these clutches & a necklace this weekend!!  Head over to my Instagram or click HERE to enter!

I'm ashamed to say that I think shopping for and during a vacation is the absolute best part, but really, y'all probably already knew that about me *smirks and thinks "I should just end the post on that note" LOL*  I know the pineapple shorts are a little expensive, but a few of the items (floral maxi, sloppy hat, linen pants) are at the best price points you would be able to find!!  And really, the point of the pineapple shorts is the super cute pattern!  Use those as a visual example of what you should look for when you go shopping for your vacation attire!!  But seriously, don't miss out on those J Crew quality linen pants for under $60!!  Everyone needs a pair of white linen pants!!

I hope y'all enjoy your Summer vaca wardrobe as much as I loved mine!!

XOXO

-Rachel

The bathing suit was given to me free of charge from Lauren James, but all thoughts, opinions, and information are my own!!

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