Do you ever meet amazing people and wonder how you ever lived your life without them?? And by meet - I mean read their blog obsessively and stalk their instagram feed until you know basically everything about them?! This is the joy and beauty of social media. Connecting amazing people who otherwise would never have had the chance to become soul mates! And today's guest blogger is one of those gems that - gosh - I cant even express my love for!! She's real life. She's wit, grit, endurance, beauty, and for me - a staple of my online life. Meet Rachel Kirkham:
Hi Everyone! About a week ago, Christy asked me to guest-blog for her and I squealed. For real. I've never done this before and I’m super excited!
 I “met” Christy by stalking Instagram. I’m a total pro at it,it’s a little scary. I saw all her gorgeous pics and realized that her personality was pretty much awesome and I knew it was a match made in cyber-heaven. And now I need her to get her butt to Jersey so we can hang because she’s the coolest. 
So who am I? My name is Rachel and I’m a mediocre mother of 3. My husband is a first year fellow in a Pulmonology and Critical Care fellowship in Southern New Jersey and we live just outside of Philadelphia. We have 2 years until we are officially done and we can call ourselves functional adults even though we’re in our mid-thirties and should have been functioning adults a long time ago. I write about my adventures in motherhood at - you should check it out. 
Since my husband is always working and rarely ever home I found myself straight up bored and decided to stop ignoring my gut and start something I was passionate about. 
30 years ago today (April 23rd) my father took his own life. The circumstances surrounding his suicide are still somewhat of a mystery to me but the bottom line is that he felt so alone and so horrible that he thought that ending his life was the only way out. This breaks my heart and I decided that I needed to do something to bring this horrible epidemic into the light. Enter, Wick’d by Jolie Fête - a line of candles that bring awareness to suicide and how to prevent it. 
A lot of soul has gone into the project. I really mean it when I say that my whole heart and should is in every single candle made. I make them in my kitchen late at night after my kids have gone to bed and each time I pour out a batch I think of the programs the sale of the candles will help fund. You see, 10% of all the money made from the candles will go directly to the Association for Suicide Prevention and help fund programs that will provide support and therapy for people who are suffering. 
Unfortunately my father isn’t my only loved one to take their life and the fact that I can count on 2 hands how many people I personally know who have done so, breaks my heart. It was time for me to do something about it, no matter how small it may be. It is my goal to use the candles to get people talking about suicide. Suicide is still such a taboo subject and it needs to be talked about freely and often for people to really start doing something to stop it. I believe that it is preventable and we have a duty to help prevent it. 
What does all of this have to do with style? Well I’ll tell you what…nothing. JUST KIDDING! It takes a lot to work out of your home and some days it’s so exhausting that you don’t want to do anything but stay in PJs and put your greasy hair in a bun and call it a day. I do this often assuming I ever get out of my gym clothes. But on the days that I dedicate to candle making, I have a few staples that make my life easier. 
1. My J-brand jeans with holes in the knees (so broken in and comfy they could pass as pajama jeans).
2. The t-shirt I got from running my first race so that I can look down and be motivated to keep going even when I’m tired.
3. My Monica Potter Home apron which is PERFECT for the crafty lady. It has everything and is definitely my staple.
4. Comfy shoes because standing up for hours making candles is a beast on your back.
I can’t say that I’m a beacon of style inspiration but I’m a pretty firm believer that having a uniform when working on your biz is actually pretty crucial. I work my best when I feel my best and these items are key to helping me be comfortable and productive. 
When I’m not up to my elbows in wax, I’m usually on the floor. I’m either banging out some yoga poses with my little people, playing cars with my 2 year old, or dressing and undressing American Girl dolls with my daughters. We keep it casual in the Kirkham house for sure - jeans and t-shirts, fun maxi dresses, gym clothes, and ponytails pretty much daily. That’s not to say I don’t love to dress up. Every once in a while I leave the house without children and then I kick it up a notch and try and be brave with my ensemble. My style inspirations are pretty much all drawn from Kate Spade. I can’t afford her stuff but I can try and recreate it with items from Target, Old Navy, and my newly discovered love, TJ Maxx. A few statement pieces from my lady Kate and I’m set. 
Behind every great and successful woman is a fabulous pair of shoes, a killer black dress, and an attitude that knocks down barriers and pushes boundaries. I’m knocking down the stigma of suicide one comfy outfit and candle at a time!
Xx, Rach
April 24, 2015 — Courtney Brown

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