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Rachel's Lookbook - A fashion, beauty & travel blog by Rachel Sobieck Rachel's Lookbook - A fashion, beauty & travel blog by Rachel Sobieck

Coping with Grief

- Lifestyle

Well… there’s no easy way to come back and talk about this. There has been so much on my mind lately, and the only thing that matters is why I couldn’t be here sooner. On December 23, 2020, I found out that my dearest grandma had been placed in hospice. Timing is really never ideal to hear this kind of news, but for the first time in months, I was looking forward to something: a four-day weekend and Christmas with my husband. And in that very instance, my world crashed. I felt completely and utterly empty.

My wonderful grandma had turned 95 a mere 10 days earlier. I had just spoken with her on the phone for her birthday, and she joked about how she didn’t like to celebrate birthdays anymore given her age. I told her, it’s always worth celebrating! I can’t say the news was completely unexpected, given her age and health over the past couple of years, but hearing this was harder than I could have ever imagined.

In the coming weeks, I felt numb. It is one thing to learn about a loved one being placed in hospice, and a whole other thing to wait… and wait… and wait… for the news that you know is coming. I prepared my mind as much as I could – thinking it might help ease the pain of what was coming, but when I woke up on January 6, 2021, I had an indescribable aching feeling in my heart. I was distraught. I was angry. I was in denial. My heart knew it was coming soon. After a painfully emotional day, my grandma joined her husband and many loved ones in heaven in the early morning hours on January 7, 2021. 

It’s been just over a month since the news. And while the day-to-day routine has become a little easier, the pain remains heavy.

Grief is never easy. It never has been and it never will. But I cannot even begin to express with words how much this loss was such a loss to everyone she knew. She wasn’t only my grandma, she was one of my best friends. She was truly such a strong influence in my life, my sisters’ lives, and my cousins’ lives. I have countless, and I mean countless, memories with her. Everything from fishing to antiquing to grabbing dinner at the local Wendy’s or Culvers, my grandma was a part of so many small and BIG moments that define who I am. I know everyone has different relationships with their grandparents, parents, siblings… but my relationship with her was truly special. Her relationship with my family was truly special.

And I know she’s watching down on us, on me, and still cheering me on just as much as ever. But I’m selfishly still wishing she was here on Earth to do that. I feel so much guilt for so many reasons – that I wasn’t able to see her in person sooner because of COVID-19, that I didn’t make it home for Christmas in 2019, that I didn’t call her more often… and I know that these are all just things that pop in my head as a part of the grieving process. But I just miss her so much. I know she’s happy, I know she’s in a better place, and I know she loves me. So I know I need to let go, but I just haven’t been able to yet.

And in the meantime, I will just re-share what I have about you because it’s the best I can do to honor you (though I know it will never be enough):

To my dearest grandma,

I don’t and will never have the right words to share that fully honor your life or truly capture how much impact you had in your 95 years here. Life without you is hard; your absence is more painful than I’ll ever be able to describe. But I know you are living a new beautiful life in heaven with grandpa, your parents, your brother and many loved ones who passed before you. And I know, we all know, you are dancing away in heaven!!!!!

And as much as it hurts us here, you are in a better place ❤️ You were a true light in life and in our world. You cared so deeply for your family, friends and everyone around you. Your presence could light up any room. My countless memories with you are moments I’ll treasure forever. There are so many, but I’ll share a few that stand out: our visits to the antique store, fishing with you and grandpa for the first time, when you would take the time to cut my Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger into 4 pieces (every single time), your amazing Chex Mix, your Rice Krispie chicken recipe, sharing so much delicious ice cream with you (as a part of your nightly routine), watching you do your morning twist dances (as a part of your morning routine), giving me a place to stay when I was first interviewing for jobs in Minneapolis after college… and all the times you cheered me on in big life moments (and you were there for so many of them)!

And I will never forget that no matter how many times I tried to help, you always waited on everyone hand and foot… because you just cared SO MUCH. Your love for me, for Joe, for Emma (even though you were scared of dogs… she loved you and you showed her so much love), for my sisters, for my cousins, for your children, for your daughter-in-law and son-in law, for your sister, for your entire family… your love knew no bounds. You enriched my life in ways I was never able to give back to you during your life, but I hope I can continue to honor you by being as caring and loving as you to all those around me. I am luckiest to have had you as my grandma! And while life without you will never be the same, we were so dang lucky to have you be a part of it while you were here.

Thank you for everything, I love you forever and ever and ever and ever…One day, we will meet again… until then, I hope you enjoy all of your dances in heaven.

Love you grandma… forever, and ever, and ever…

A Girl’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Watch

- Accessories, Fashion

Whether you are a man or a woman, owning a wristwatch is essential. However, many women do not know where to start when looking for the perfect watch to buy, as it’s not easy to find something functional yet stylish and feminine. The secret is to do your research and invest in at least one classic piece that you can pair with any outfit and wear forever. 

Here are five essential elements to consider when shopping for a watch.

1. Designer and brand

The market is packed with a wide range of designers and brands of watches from which you can choose. Some of the most popular and high-end brands for women’s watches are Rolex, Patek Philippe, Bulgari, Chopard, Longines, all available in specialized watch stores like Pisa Orologeria for example. While shopping, it is important to consider elements like the quality of the watches, cost, and durability as well. It would also help if you considered what other clients have to say about the brand or the designer. Note that sometimes the most popular brand may not be the best option. The same goes for designer watches. It all depends on your needs and the elements of the product. 

2. Style

The style of the watch is directly related to the shape of the case. Some popular types are rectangular cases, which are very chic and classic. round or even oval shaped cases are also a good option because they are eye-catching and sure to make your watch stand out. Your taste and personality should determine the style you choose. For instance, if you are always on the-go and in the corporate world, choose something medium-sized, easy to read and not too flashy. On the other hand, if you are very active and outdoorsy go for the exact opposite and also consider a smartwatch. Other factors to consider when choosing the style, include the material from which it is made (e.g., Gold, silver, diamond, sapphire etc.). 

3. Colors and prints

Depending on the material used to make the watch, they come in a wide range of colors. For instance, watches with leather and nylon bands may come in basically any color, while stainless steel watches are mostly silver, gold, or rose- colored. Gold watches are the most popular, especially for women, because of their classy look. However, many women also prefer silver, pink, and other bright and feminine colors and prints. 

4. Size

The average size of a woman’s wrist ranges between 12 to 17 inches in circumference. Most watches for women feature a diameter of 22 to 34 inches. However, the size differs from one brand and designer to the other. Watches with small diameters are ideal for women with small wrists, and larger ones are ideal for women with larger wrists. This means that the size of your wrist should determine the appropriate watch size. Other factors to consider include the use you intend for your watch: for instance, if you plan on using it as jewelry or an accessory, then a larger one would be better.  

5. Strap material

The most common strap materials are leather, metal, ceramic, rubber, and silicone. Rubber, silicone, and nylon strap materials are ideal for sports watches. On the other hand, leather wrist bands are suitable for people looking for watches to complement their wardrobe and make a fashion statement. Rubber watches are the most durable, followed by leather and metal. The ideal metal for a watch strap is stainless steel because it can withstand harsh conditions. The kind of strap you choose will determine the price, durability, and comfort of the watch. 

Choosing the best watch is important because it is an investment and a great accessory. A good quality watch can last you for years without worrying about it not matching your outfits, going out of style, or getting spoilt. This small guide should help you make the perfect decision.  

What Is The Key To Real Personal Style?

- Fashion

There’s nothing more personal than style. After all, they do say that ‘fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it’ and there’s certainly truth in that. We all want to be perceived in a certain way, and our style is a visual language that connects us to the wider world. In a day and age where fast fashion and the latest trends can dominate how we think about style, is there a way to make how we dress a little more personal? Without understanding your style language – what suits you, feels natural and communicates what you’re about – you’re in danger of making some costly mistakes. Put some thought into what you buy before making a purchase and you’ll get more wear out of pieces and feel more yourself.

Understand Yourself

The first port of call is really about understanding yourself and what suits you visually and in terms of your lifestyle. Start by mapping out the activities that you actually need clothes for. After all, there’s no point having a closet full of cocktail dresses if you rarely go out. You will probably have a few different categories of activity that you need to dress for in the course of an average month. Next, think about what body shape you have and what cuts might look good on you. Clothes should always work to your advantage to show off your shape and flatter you by highlighting your best features. It doesn’t mean that you can’t bring in trends if you like them – there’s generally a way to wear something that makes the most of your body. Also think about your coloring, what shades suit your skin tone and elements like your hairstyle too.

Invest In Love Forever Items

It’s funny to think that true style is usually about buying less, but it’s something that is very true. Choosing classic, beautifully made pieces becomes a lot easier when you’ve put in the work to understand your style in detail. You can channel this by looking through blogs, fashion magazines or curating a style Pinterest board that captures pictorically the elements you’ve defined. From this it should be fairly easy to pick up patterns in the type of garment that crops up – a navy blazer, say, or a leopard print skirt. You can assess your closet for these items, and if you don’t have them, it’s time to make a shopping list. This type of conscious buying, only shopping for what you need and making sure you buy the best version of it that you can afford – is a transformative approach. It keeps you true to your style and will save you money by making sure you’re only purchasing items you will definitely wear. 

Add Some Detail

They say the devil is in the detail, and that’s certainly true when it comes to those little touches which do so much to show off your personality. Finding that one style element where you can really express yourself is the secret sauce to really having a personal look. For some people it might be an amazing scarf collection, for others the combination of blazers and jeans. Still others might choose to adorn their bodies with intricate tattoos or eyebrow piercing jewelry, Check out Urban Body Jewelry for some great pieces. It’s all in these elements that your personality can start to truly shine through.