Starting Anew


Well looky here! Notice anything different? Over the past couple of months, I have been bursting with excitement about the makeover that was taking place on this little blog of mine. I have been wanting to breathe new life into it for awhile now, and it feels like Christmas to finally be able to do it. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Megan over at Hitch Design really brought it to life with her incredible graphic design talent (as an added bonus, she's a total guru in the blogging world and a pleasure to work with), and Bre amazed me with her speedy and crafty web development skills - she is a real machine, that one! Both these girls have amazing blogs as well, so check them out at The Fresh Exchange and I'm Breanna Rose. Oh - and they hail from my home states, Michigan and Minnesota. Never underestimate the power of a nice midwestern girl!

Now that The Life Styled is looking all shiny and new, I can't help but get a bit misty eyed thinking about how far it's come. When I started the blog in 2009, I had no idea what I was doing - I barely even understood what a blog was. I just wanted a place to be creative and put my thoughts about style out to the world, even if it was only my friends and family who saw it. Now it is such a big part of my life. Everything I see and do becomes a blogging opportunity. If I travel to a new town, my first thought is "This is the perfect spot for an outfit post." If I score a great find at the flea market, I think "I have to show this to my readers." If I try a great cocktail recipe, I go on the hunt for the perfect glass to display it in so I can share it on the blog (food & drink posts coming soon!). It gives me an extra incentive to be creative and proactive because my blog is sitting there with its puppy dog eyes saying "feed me!". But most importantly, I love that this environment gives me a platform to connect with so many people who are equally as passionate about this stuff as I am.

I've been thinking a lot about how to define my voice as a blogger, and what might set me apart from all the other inspiring content out there. I think there are two distinct personalities that I bring to this blog. First is my career as a fashion stylist. In my work, I am an "expert," telling people what to wear, how to wear it, and ways that fashion can help you improve your life. This is what inspired me to start the blog in the first place. I love sharing tips, how to's, trends, styling projects I worked on, and professional inspiration with you guys. I get a lot of questions. "Should I keep this shirt?" or "How do I wear a blazer when I'm used to flowy cardigans?" "Is neon going to stick around?" And what better place to address those topics? P.S. If you have a style question, leave a comment or contact me and let's talk about it right here!

But there's also another half of the equation. See, sometimes I'm not Catherine The Stylist. Sometimes I'm just Catherine, a girl who loves style and experiments with it like everyone else. I dabble in trends that I'm unsure about. I'll try a DIY and not exactly nail it. I don't always know what to wear. I shop on a budget. I like to blog about these things too, as simply a fan of fashion. So, I'll show you an outfit that I put together out of old stuff in my wardrobe (because who can buy a whole new outfit every day really?), share the things on my wish list, or the beauty products I'm trying - my personal style endeavors, perfect or not.

The two outfits in these photos featuring the same Madewell top reminded me of my two blogging personalities and how they intersect. One is polished and ready for an evening out in the city while the other is comfortable and no frills, but still with intention. On the pages of this blog, you will continue to see this mix of my two voices. There will be outfits, there will be pretty stuff to shop for, but most of all, my goal is to provide a little inspiration to style your life in more ways than just with clothes. Whether it's serving yourself French press coffee in the morning, sprucing up an old side table with a daring new paint job, or jotting a phone number on gold trimmed calling cards, there are opportunities for style everywhere you turn. I really feel that when you treat your life with all the creative energy and inspiration your heart can handle, you attract the success and happiness that you truly deserve.

Outfit 1: Madewell top (sold out in this color), HRH Collection necklace, Zara skirt and shoes, Michael Kors watch, H&M ring, Outfit 2: Madewell top, Cosabella bra (call to order the neon yellow), J.Crew belt, Zara jeans, Converse shoes, Michael Kors watch, Bracelets - Topshop, F21, J.Crew, Kate Spade

Thanks to all of you who have been with me from the start, and those who are just tuning in. I'm so excited to have you here with me!

Photos by my loving husband, Ian Sheppard