Walking Through Adversity

I can’t believe a year has come and gone since I shared this post with you all.  And here I am, celebrating another trip around the sun.  If I’m being fully honest, this has not been a birthday I have been looking forward to celebrating.  In fact, I had planned on skipping it all together.  And while I’m not quite ready to share my full story with you all here on the blog, I did want to dedicate today’s post to sharing what I’ve learned as I’ve walked through adversity.

This past year was the hardest year of my life.  It was filled with grief and loss, hurt and betrayal, a lot of difficult changes, and a violent car accident, that 4 months later, has left me with lingering health issues.  BUT as hard as this past year was, it was also one of the most amazing and fruitful years of my life.  I developed some of the richest friendships I’ve ever had, I was able to spend an exponential amount of time with my family and my niece, I accepted a new job that was created specifically for me,  and I bought a new home that I love.  I also learned a lot of about myself, what it looks like to persevere, and most importantly, deepened my relationship with Jesus.  So with that, here are the lessons I’ve learned that helped to carry me through the difficult days.  And my hope in sharing this, is that it will help some of you:

  1.  Be gentle with yourself.  When you are walking through something difficult, it’s ok that it feels hard, or even impossible.  It’s ok to take the time you need to grieve.  It’s ok if you can’t get out of bed.  And it’s ok to really feel what you need to feel so that you can process it and move on.
  2. Take care of you.  I learned that I was really good at taking care of others, but not nearly as good at taking care of myself.  And it’s been a fun process to discover what it means to put myself first.
  3. Make appointments with your grief.  This was hugely instrumental for me.  Particularly as I was navigating everyday day life and a demanding career. I found that if I could set aside time to grieve, it helped me to hold things together when I needed to, and kept me moving forward in a healthy way.
  4. Let others help you.  This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn.  I love to do things for other people, but struggled to let other people do things for me.  But once I was in my car accident and couldn’t take care of myself for a little while, I really had no choice.  It felt vulnerable and scary at first, but it was also an incredible experience to let people in and let them love on me (Matthew 5:4).
  5. Vulnerability is beautiful.  It is so important to be vulnerable and share with the right people.  Being totally transparent with my family and closest friends was not only freeing, but was also incredibly healing.
  6. Make sure you are FULLY known by at least one other person in your life.  One of my best friends says this a lot, and it is so true.  Whether it is a spouse, a friend, a parent, make sure there is one person in your life who knows your FULLY.  Darkness breeds darkness, and the enemy preys on isolation, so it’s important that we live fully in the light and are known.
  7. Joy and sorrow can exist in the same space.  While I had a lot of sorrow in my life this last year, it was also mixed with an abundance of joy.  That felt confusing to me at first.  But once I learned it was ok to feel both at the same time, it made it a lot easier to extend myself some grace and banish the guilt (John 16:20).
  8. We are fully equipped to deal with what happens in our lives.  I had heard a sermon about this once, and it really resonated with me.  And as I look back on the last couple of years, and really on my entire life, I can see the plans that God was laying that would allow for me to be prepared, protected, and able to weather this storm. And even more importantly, come out stronger on the other side (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
  9. Lean in.  We are stronger than we think we are if we lean into Jesus.  If someone had told me ahead of time what would happen in my life, I don’t think I would have believed that I’d get through it.  But I did.  And I am a stronger and more compassionate person because of it.  But that is not of my own doing.  It is because I leaned in hard, dug deep into my faith, and trusted fully in His plan for me (Mark 10:27).
  10. You won’t be in the valley forever.  One day last summer, my brother and I were sitting in his kitchen, and he encouraged me not to miss out on any more of my life and what my future could be because I was too afraid to let go of the past and my own plans for my future. And in that moment, I realized that God was giving me the choice to leave the valley and start climbing my way back to the top of the mountain.  That is the path I chose. And while some days it’s still incredibly hard and that loss still feels unbearable, as I embark on this 36th year of my life, I am finding myself in a wonderful, happy new season.  I have been  afforded a fresh start. I have a heart filled with gratitude. I have a life full of people who love and support me. And most importantly, I am enjoying the sweet moments of the present, and eagerly anticipating what is to come.  Ever hopeful and believing in the plan that God has in store for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).  So cheers to another year, and the adventure, love, and happy times to come…

Top | Skirt, similar, similar(obsessed!) | Heels | Sofa | Black and White Pillow | Rug

And I also want to say THANK YOU for all of your love and support along the way.  Love you guys and am SO very grateful for this community.

xoxo,

Abby

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Skirted

I tend to gravitate towards dresses.  But the Grandstand skirt from the Cabi Spring line just might be my favorite thing in my closet right now.  I seriously love everything about it.  The fabric, the stripes, the pockets, the tie waist.  It’s really an all-around perfect piece in my book.  Plus it goes with so many different things, I know it’s going to be a go-to in my wardrobe this season.

Sweater | Skirt c/o cabi | Necklaces (here and here) | Hat | Sunnies | Booties

Is it just me, or does this feel like the longest week EVER?  Hopefully your week is going by a lot faster than mine.  I am so ready for the weekend already.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

French Kande

I am so excited to be teaming up with one of my favorite jewelry brands, French Kande, to talk about their Spring line today (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for a special offer for All Dolled Up readers!).  If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know what a HUGE fan I am of their jewelry.  Everything is handcrafted in LA and cast from original medallions found at local Parisian flea markets.  And not only that, but every piece is unique and each medallion has a special meaning.  The necklace I’m wearing today is my personal favorite piece from the current line.  In fact, it might just be my favorite French Kande piece to date. I love the mix of metal and pearls, and love layering this gorgeous piece or wearing it alone.

Necklace c/o French Kande

Olive Top | Denim (obsessed and they’re under $90!) | Bag | Sunnies | Heels

And now for the fun part! If you place an order with French Kande, enter code ABBY at checkout for a FREE pair of earring with any $150 purchase!  How fun is that?

Happy Monday, and happy shopping, sweet friends!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Green for Christmas

I love red and sparkles so much, sometimes I forget about wearing green during the holidays.  So when I saw this choker top at Express, I knew it would be perfect back to my favorite black faux fur vest and studded booties.  And not only does this look work perfectly for the holidays, it will work well beyond the month of December too.

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Top  (obsessed) | Vest | Denim | Sunnies | Bag (old), similar | Booties

Can you guys believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?  I can hardly wrap my head around it.  Thank you so much for stopping by and for all of your support this year.  I appreciate you all so much.  Wishing you and your loved ones a cozy, safe, and wonderful Christmas celebration.

And Happy Friday!

xoxo,

Abby

Rose Quartz Skirt

I have absolutely been loving shades of blush and rose quartz this season.  And this sweet pleated skirt has quickly become a favorite in my wardrobe.  Not only is it easy and fun to style (with some serious twirl factor!), but it’s less than $40, and a perfect choice for those holiday parties coming up this month!

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Skirt, also love this color, and this velvet version | Tee | Jacket | Necklace | Sunnies | Clutch (sold out), similar | Pumps

Hope you guys have a great Monday!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

On Repeat

I’ve posted a similar version of this outfit a few times on my Instagram this Fall, and I’ve gotten so many questions about it (especially this buffalo plaid shirt), that I wanted to share it on my blog too.  It’s such a cute and easy look to throw together, and it would be perfect (and comfy!) for a casual Thanksgiving dinner.  Plus, how amazing are these booties?

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Denim Jacket | Tunic (obsessed and it’s on sale for 40% off!) | Leggings | Plaid Shirt (on sale for less than $20!)| Sunnies | Bag | Booties, also here

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

Choker Collar

One trend I’ve been really excited to try this season is the choker collar. It’s a fun silhouette, that in all honesty, makes me a little nostalgic for the ’90’s.  Plus, how could I resist this dress once I realized it had pockets!  It also comes in a ton of fun colors and is less than $50!

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Dress | Bag | Sunnies | Booties (old), similar, similar

Can you believe it’s November already? The end of this year is just flying by!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

Blanket Scarf

One of my favorite things about Fall is pulling out all of my cozy blanket scarves.  Not only are they practical, but they add such a fun pop of color and texture to your outfit.  Plus, they’re affordable, so it’s a trend that anyone can jump on. And because there are so many good ones out there this year, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites for you below (all under $30).

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Scarf (old) love this, this, this, this, and this | Sweater (LOVE-under $40) | Skinnies | Sunnies | Bag | Pumps

Happy Friday!  Does anyone have any fun plans this weekend?

xoxo,

Abby

 

Velvet

Velvet is one of my very favorite trends of the seasons.  In fact, velvet is always a favorite fabric of mine (particularly crushed), so I’m really glad that it’s going to be important to the Fall season and can’t wait to add more pieces to my wardrobe.  In fact, I’m thinking I would really like a pair of velvet heels or booties.  And maybe even a velvet bomber (see what I mean? I LOVE velvet!).  But I’d love to know, how are you guys feeling about this trend?

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Thanks so much for stopping by, friends!

xoxo,

Abby

 

 

Cold Shoulder

When I was in college, my very favorite top in my closet was a white and black cold shoulder cut-out top from Bebe.  So when I saw this cute cold-shoulder sweater at Top Shop in NYC a couple of weeks ago, it pulled on my heartstrings for all sorts of nostalgic reasons.  And then it made me feel really old when I realized that I was reliving the shoulder cut-out trend for a second time in my life.  But even all these years later, it’s still a trend I love.

DSC_7965 DSC_7966 DSC_8006 DSC_7986 DSC_7964 DSC_8029 DSC_7990 DSC_7976DSC_8034 DSC_8043Top: Topshop (also comes in olive!)| Skinnies: 7 for all mankind | Necklace: BaubleBar | Sunnies: Karen Walker | Bag: Phillip Lim | Heels: Jessica Simpson, also love these

Hope you guys are having a great week!  And don’t forget, you can still CLICK HERE and vote for me to be on the cover of Redbook Magazine!!  Eeek!

Thanks so much for your support!

xoxo,

Abby