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!!


- Rachel

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

Top 10 Most Haves

So, on Saturday's Chambray Dress post I mentioned that I might just go ahead and do an entire series on my Top 10 Summer Must Haves for your closet... And since I started it with the chambray dress (because that is an absolute MUST HAVE) I will continue it this week, and just give you the rest of the nine all at one, here, tonight!

My Top 10 Must Haves for your Summer {but really all year long} Closet:

1. A Chambray Dress - as mentioned previously in Saturday night's post - an absolute must have for all year long because of its versatility and comfortableness!  I have narrowed all of the ones I showed in that post down to my one favorite, which you can shop below.

2. Hole-y Jeans - I have been searching for the perfect pair for YEARS!!  These trendy pants have been popular for going on almost a decade, and I think they are here to stay... And THAT's why you need to have a pair in your closet!!  It took me so long to find the right pair because I wanted them to be ripped up on the more extreme end, but not be too light of a wash at the same time!!  I found these beauties at the Lucky Brand store in Charlotte, NC and they were on super sale for $37!!!  I told the associate what I was looking for and she knew just the pair - but she had to go dig for them in the back room, and I was so "lucky" that they still had my size OMG!  And you aren't going to believe it, but I found you my EXACT pair HERE and still available in all sizes!!  Am I amazing, or what!?  But I also linked a GREAT, LESS RIPPED up pair below!

3. Nude Pumps - Mine are Michael Kors, and surprisingly VERY comfortable!  They are a little darker than the beloved Louboutins #shoegoals, but I'm pretty proud of this pair I got for my birthday all the same!  You too need a pair of nude heels because 1. nude goes with EVERYTHING (you name it, you can where a nude shoe with it, I promise) and 2. If you don't like to where heels much, then this could be the ONLY pair you have to own... Since they go with everything, duh!  I've linked my exact pair HERE.  These aren't too high, but are still high enough to give that sexy leg silhouette, and they are such a good price point for MK!  I also linked a lighter-colored nude pair below!

4. A Black & White Striped Shirt - This is more of a personal opinion than a widely agreed upon "must-have" fact... But you all know my style tips are totally legit because I'm never wrong **wink, wink**  But seriously, its the perfect go-to!!  To accompany my former posts about adding a pop-of-color accessory (shoes, necklace, etc.) to your wardrobe, a black and white striped shirt adds the perfect base for that!!  It has enough character on its own for a casual, neutral look, but when the time comes that you needed to jazz it up a bit, it is perfectly suited for that too!! I linked a cute one with a PEPLUM below, but you can find my exact one HERE (side note: online it says "blue" but I promise it looks white in person - just look at the pic below)!!

5. White Denim - And unless you have little boys running around with dirt on them all the time, I really hope you already have a pair!!  White denim is a staple for me from March to October here in the South!!  Like, I have more than 1 pair so I don't have to wash white clothes often enough to keep 1 pair clean!!  You can find my favorite pair HERE, but I have also linked a less expensive pair below!

6. A Chambray Shirt - Just as versatile as the chambray dress, a chambray shirt is important just because of the simple fact that it goes with everything!!  Do you have a pair of unusual colored pants or a pair of patterned shorts that you never know what top to wear with it!?  Well, whether they're dressy or casual, a safe answer would be a chambray shirt!!  I have linked my exact one down below this time because its important that you check that one out... A long sleeved, collard chambray shirt would be most valuable to your wardrobe because it can be worn all year long if you just roll the sleeves up in the warmer months, and the collar allows it to be dressed up easier! This one is on the higher end of shirt prices, but if you've been following along with me for any amount of time, you know I prefer quality over quantity, and I've had this shirt for 5 years now!!  It's not a purchase you will have to make again for a very long time and totally worth the cost!!  Though, you can get a cheaper version HERE but it doesn't look quite as good ;)

7. Navy Shorts - This is just something you should have because everyone will be wearing shorts this Summer, and I personally think navy is better for the Summer months than black now that navy is so popular!  Navy shorts will go with everything now-a-days, including black and brown -  thank you 21st Century!!  I've linked a pair I've had for 3 years now, below!

8. White "Keds" - I always say "Keds" when I'm talking about these perfect little white tennis shoes, but mine are actually Vans!  I love these shoes, even though they are somewhat of a pain to keep white!  They are the cutest little Taylor Swift addition to any dress (to make it a little more casual), with any shorts and t-shirt combo, or with jeans and a casual top!!  I've linked my favorite pair that are always in stock, below!

9. A Little Black Dress - Ok people, I'm adding this one to the list because it is very important for every woman's wardrobe, but I feel like it needs no explanation...  You just have to have one!!  I've linked a simple, elegant, classy (DEMURE) one below!  P.S. Its only $50!!!

10. A White Button Down - This one is no joke either!!  Even more than the chambray shirt, this shirt could go with everything, and then some; could be dressed up or down; could be long sleeved for colder months or could have the sleeves rolled up for warmer months!  I have 6 of this style top people, varying in price from White House Black Market to Forever 21, but all still just as valuable outfit wise!!  I've linked one from a company I haven't even heard of before below - it has the white-button-down classic cut, is in the mid-price range, and is still available in all sizes!  However, my favorite of all time is from WHBM, I've linked the short sleeve version HERE ($34.99) because its Summer and they only have the short sleeved ones right now (and they are on super sale)... And for those of you that know me know that I hate that store since working there, so you can believe it if I say something from there is great... It must REALLY BE!

Here are the items I've picked out for your closet - Happy Shopping: