Review and Renew

Catherine Sheppard The Life Styled New Years 2018 Office

Here we are folks, 2018. 2017 was... interesting, to say the least, and I can't say I'm sad to now be referring to it as "last year." But as I scrolled through Instagram on New Years Day, it was one time where I actually found myself appreciating the toot toot of everyone's horns. It's inspiring to see people you know and people you don't know reflecting back on all the positive changes in their lives that year, and be reminded that a lot of good can still come in a time of disarray and uncertainty. Babies were born, exciting career opportunities came, dreams were realized, rings were put on people's fingers. Life always goes on, and it's still beautiful even amongst the ugly.

The start of a new year comes with a lot of mixed feelings for most people. On one hand, we are just coming out of a time of indulgence and celebration of family, friends, and abundance. It's a perfect time to refresh, renew, and reset. After a nice break with family (and lots and lots of food), it's an opportunity to take a look at your life from space and decide how you want the next chapter of your story to be written. I'm a big believer in doing this. Whether you call it setting intentions, making resolutions, or just reflecting, there's nothing wrong with having a set time in the year that facilitates this kind of exploration and positive thinking.

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I think we can all agree that January 1st isn't just prancing into the field of wildflowers without a care, and a solid foolproof plan to conquer the world. It's a bit loaded and full of so much pressure. It's a time where I know I tend to look at the success of others and ask myself why I'm not where they are. Why certain things I did in 2017 didn't turn out better, or why with the start of 2018, I STILL haven't reached goals I've had for years. It's a harsh reality check that comes right on time every year. But with that comes a reminder that we are never short on new opportunities to turn things around.

Confession: I haven't written down a single resolution yet. But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking, strategizing, and asking myself a lot of questions these past few days. I don't believe that we HAVE to sit down with a notepad in front of us on one exact day. For our family at least, the 31st and 1st were busy days hanging out with friends, cleaning, organizing, and preparing to dive back into reality. I was too focused on finishing up the break, and literally clearing out the space so I could get ready to fill it with new energy. I wanted to wait until I was in the right mindset. So today, I'm listing my 2017 wins and 2018 intentions right here.

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Rather than trying fit all your resolutions into a couple of days, I think the entire month of January is ideal for starting the year off with intention, and reflecting on how far you've come. It tends to be a quieter, cozier, more uneventful month with plenty of space for thinking. At this time, I always think it's interesting to look back at where you were one year ago, starting the year that just passed, and acknowledge how far you've come even if it's not in the exact direction you originally intended. Here are some of my wins from 2017:

- Raised my little toddler from 1 to 2 years, and not only survived but finally determined that I think I can do this. ;)

- Got to know our new neighborhood in the suburbs and made/grew some truly wonderful friendships that we never would have made had we not moved here.

- Settled into our new home and crossed some of the annoying but necessary first projects off our list, now finally feeling like we can see things start to get cuter around here, and like this is actually our home.

- Brought Fashion Feng Shui back into my business, and began sharing it in fun new ways.

- Started doing workshops! It's something I always wanted to do but was scared to get up in front of a group, and now they actually feel natural to me.

- Relaunched my website and entire brand, and learned Photoshop and Squarespace along the way so I can do a lot of my own web updates (this felt like a HUGE accomplishment, haha).

- Reconnected with my personal styling roots in a new way, and gave my services a complete overhaul to make them more modern and beneficial for my clients. Stay tuned for more info on those in the coming weeks!

- Went on a dream vacation to San Francisco and Napa with Ian.

- Invested in new professionals to help me grow my business, like a coach, childcare, and an attorney.

- Styled the wardrobe on another season of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, a show I so enjoy working on (BTW do you want to see some examples of this type of work? Styling for TV is something I do on the side, so I never know if you guys would find it interesting or not - let me know in the comments).

Some of these wins might seem small to others, but have been some pretty big milestones for me, and I definitely want to celebrate them.

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And here are some ways I want to grow in 2018:

- Make meditation a part of my daily life. I think I could really benefit from it, specifically for the way it helps with daily anxiety/frustration and the way you view the world (that's a WATER intention if I've ever heard one).

- Let go of trying to please others, and focus on what really serves me. I may seem like someone who marches to her own beat (I am an Aquarius after all), but I also worry a LOT about what people will think of the choices I make (that's a quality of my underlying Fire essence - caring what other people think - and this is another water intention).

- Go with the flow, and accept the things I can't change, like my past (water, water, water).

- Move into my endeavors with ambition and full commitment (a WOOD intention).

- Do more of what makes me happy, even if I don't really know what that is while I'm too busy with my To Do lists (a FIRE intention).

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I'm doing my best to move into 2018 with an open mind, a sense of peace with the state of the world, and a bit of nitty gritty drive. January is a hit-the-ground-running type of deal with a VERY exciting secret project which I'm working around the clock to prep for right now (check my Facebook and Instagram before the end of this week for a tad bit more info on that and a favor I need from you), my Fashion Feng Shui workshop at Blue Bell Farm in Fayette, MO on 1/20, another workshop in LA, a fun work trip to Palm Springs in February, and lots of new content specifically designed to help you with your style conundrums! 

Here's to the start of another year. Let's make it a good one, filled with authenticity and damn good style!

Photography by Ashley Burns

To Party or Not to Party

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The theme of this year's holiday season for me has been to try my hardest to get things done before I normally do at this time. I failed on some things (getting the Christmas shopping all done the week after Thanksgiving) and succeeded on others (starting to work out again before Jan 1 this time so I don't hate myself after the holidays - more on that later). I typically get so caught up in the bustle of the season that I'm not even thinking about what's to come in January, starting with what to wear on New Years Eve! Luckily, so many of the best shopping sites are free and quick shipping, so if we sneak in our orders this week, they'll definitely be here before the 31st. What are you doing on New Years? The past few years we have made it a tradition to stay home, make carbonara, and open a bottle of nice red wine. However this year, we won't be just back from traveling like we normally are (we are staying home for Christmas for the first time this year!) so I might be in the mood to go out! Either way, I pulled all my top picks for New Years outfits - whether you're staying in or going out! See the roundups below...

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If you are going out, I love anything sequined or beaded for NYE as much as anyone, but there are a lot of other fun fabrics to rock - lamé, velvet, fringe, faux fur, animal print, or just a fun graphic print. It's kind of like going to Vegas, no matter where you are. If none of those appeal to you or you find yourself out of time, a sleek black number never fails!

FAVORITES FOR GOING OUT

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IF YOU ARE STAYING IN, I feel like this is the perfect time to treat yourself to some new cozy sweats, robe, or PJ's, don't you? Not only will you love having them for a celebratory night in, but you'll thank yourself all through the rest of the winter for starting the year off with some new luxurious loungewear!

FAVORITES FOR STAYING IN

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Photography by Ashley Burns

WORKSHOPS in 2018

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I've been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year lately, and I can definitely say that one of my standout favorite parts of 2017 was the workshops I started hosting! I love working with my clients so much, helping them have those a-ha moments for their personal style, and there's something so special about bringing that energy to a group setting. Having a room full of people with different personalities and senses of style creates a unique learning environment that you don't often get when it comes to fashion. One where we can all feed off each other's individuality, and see living examples of how no two people (or styles) are the same. I'm so happy that this year was finally the year I got over some of the fears I always had about doing them (such as, "what if no one shows up?") and made it happen. I hosted several workshops here in LA, teaching about how to find your essence, and how your style can serve you in achieving your deepest desires. The feedback has been so positive, and I'm beyond excited keep them going in 2018. So, that's why I'm kicking off the year with not one but two workshops in January! The first is shaking things up a bit. I'm taking the workshop ON THE ROAD to somewhere brand new to me: Blue Bell Farm, just outside of Columbia, MO! I learned about this gorgeous place from one of my best friends who lives there, and was all heart eyes when I saw that not only is it the dreamiest setting, but that they couldn't be a more perfect match for The Life Styled and Fashion Feng Shui! They actually host element themed farm-to-table dinners, with everything from the cocktails, food, to the table decor inspired by one of the five elements! I know! Needless to say, I'm dying to grab a seat at that table and just had to find a way to collaborate with them! So, I'm teaming up with Blue Bell Farm to host the ultimate INTENTION SETTING workshop with Fashion Feng Shui on January 20th, and we are offering a holiday discount ($50 off!) to those who grab their tickets before the 23rd!

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In this intimate and cozy workshop, you will learn a whole new way of looking at your closet and how to make decisions without any doubt in your mind that what you're wearing and buying is right for YOU. We will be focusing on the five elements, how you can use them to settle into your own defined personal style, and how your wardrobe can help you reach all your goals in 2018. We will be starting the year off with a bang and a killer closet that does nothing but excite us and help us be our best selves. All of the details and a link to get tickets are HERE. So if you're in the area, grab a friend and make it a girls' day! This would make the perfect Christmas gift for your gal pals, or something fun to ask Santa for. Can't wait to sip wine and enjoy elemental farm-to-table goodness together after the workshop too. It's sure to be a day to remember!

If you are in LA, not to worry! A local intention setting workshop is in the works for January. Details for that coming soon! If you're interested in attending, leave a comment below and tell me: do you prefer a weekend or a weekday evening?

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Photography by Ashley Burns