Wednesday, November 23, 2016

{Discovering New Territories}


WARNING: Long post ahead revealing some major life changes...

As I looked at this photo from my recent family travels to Alaska, the Simon and Garfunkel lyrics came to mind, "I AM A ROCK. I AM AN ISLAND." (Are you singing it now, too?)

Upon further inspection of this song however, I realize that I am exactly the opposite of what Paul Simon is singing about. I have let down all my walls, created friendships that I cherish, let myself be completely vulnerable to learning new things, seized unexpected opportunities, and felt immense amounts of triumph and pain. All of which I am extremely proud of and have led me to where I am now and where I am going.

I would not trade my experiences for the world. Because of what I have accomplished and created, my life is forever changed.

Which brings me to my next life challenge. As if I haven't challenged myself enough. Ha! (Some call it "shiny object syndrome," I prefer to call it striving for life happiness and fulfillment.)

I have been presented with an amazing opportunity in the area of Interior Design sales. After much consideration for what is best for my family and my future, I made the difficult decision to resign from my 12-year career as a teacher, specifically my position of 11 years with Troy School District. I am honored to have been chosen to join the F. Schumacher & Co.team as their Account Executive for Michigan. I accepted the position and as of July 11, started a career in a totally new industry.

So, if it seems like I have fallen off the face of the earth, well it's because I kind of have. I consciously stepped away from social media, from my connections with others, and focused on what matters most: myself and my family. I needed to take care of my own health and happiness; without it, I can achieve nothing. And when I am not 100%, neither is my family.

(If you are even remotely feeling out of touch, trust me. Two weeks without social media will do wonders for your immediate relationships. Just think of all the YOU time you'll have and the IN PERSON conversations you can have rather than behind a screen!)

In the past 3 weeks, there has been a whirlwind of transitions, unknowns, goodbyes, hellos, excitement, and new challenges...in such a short amount of time.

My head is spinning.

And although I'm stepping into new territory, I have never been so sure about my past, present, and future. I am forever grateful for the life lessons I have learned and every experience that has brought me to where I am today. Being aware of the signs in my life and having a plan in place for my future makes every decision easier and stronger. Even if it's a totally new challenge; I welcome it.

So to end this long rant and summarize:
I am no longer teaching, but will forever use the skills I have gained. I have a new full-time job in Interior Design sales, allowing me to grow as a creative professional and serve others on a daily basis. I am continuing to style clients on an exclusive basis only. The Styled Life is still a part of my life and always will be. If you haven't heard from me in a while, this is why. I love you all and will slowly resume my regular posting, but I'm not totally ready to come back to social media full-time. I plan to write about this interesting shift in the future.

And to really end...
Thank you to all for your love, support, and understanding. As much as I have needed to disconnect from the world of social media, I cannot say enough about the amazing people I am friends with, in real life and here on Facebook! Hugs and love to all.

"Always believe in yourself. No one else can do life exactly like you."

XO,
Courtney

Saturday, June 25, 2016

What to Wear for the 4th of July



Sunshine. BBQ's. Fireworks. Red. White. And. Blue.

The 4th of July is the perfect time to spend time with family and friends...and also plan a stylish, yet festive outfit!

The key to dressing your best without looking like an American flag is mixing all three colors, red, white and blue, tastefully.  I like to find a print that includes 2 or all 3 of the colors and then add accessories to match.

I have included shopping options at the bottom of the post for additional ideas!

What are you wearing to celebrate our nation's independence in style?

Outfit set created in my online closet: www.thestyledlife.com







Thursday, June 2, 2016

What is your plan?




Have you ever wanted something so badly it hurt?
Like you could feel it in your heart that there is a higher purpose you are meant to serve?

Or in wardrobe terms... have you ever stood in front of your closet just waiting for an outfit to pop out at you because you KNOW you have something in there to wear.

But the outfit didn't magically appear and you ended up feeling overwhelmed with options.

Don't you just wish there was an EASY button?!

My easy button could best be described as "shiny object syndrome." I loved moving from one style to the next and having fun. It was easy!  There were always new combinations to make, new things to buy, new fashions to follow.  But if I didn't have a signature style, who was I trying to be when I got dressed?

Sadly, my closet felt the same way every time I stood in front of it. Nothing changed.

Until I created a plan.  I wrote down what I so badly wanted in my life.

And then I decided to do something about it and focus on what really mattered...ME.
And you know what happened next? Everything else fell into place.
So here is my question for you…

What do you want so badly it hurts?

I dare you to WRITE it down. Read it out loud to yourself every morning. Feel that fire burning inside of you and put those thoughts out into the world. Because, you know, your thoughts become things.

With Style & Love,
Courtney

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Favorite Spring Trends


Not sure which trends to try this year or what to add to your closet?  
My favorite spring trends right now are:
FRINGE & TASSELS
DENIM
OFF THE SHOULDER TOPS
LACE-UP SHOES
ORANGE



Shop the 2016 Spring Trends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

How to Dress for an Outdoor Winter Engagement Photo Shoot

pinterest.com
Dressing for an outdoor shoot in the cold winter months can be tricky.  You don't want to sacrifice your style but you need to stay warm!

The best way to look your best and fight the chill is with the right coat.

Here are just a few that I found for a client:

Saturday, February 13, 2016

About a Coat






Today's post is brought to you by this fabulous coat. And sparkly tassel loafers. And an amazing haircut and color by my favorite stylist, Monica Arthur at RED The Salon.  Happy Friday!

Shop similar statement coats here:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wantable Style Edit Review


I recently tried out a style subscription: Wantable.  The Wantable Style Edit is a personal styling subscription box that is sent right to your doorstep.  It works kind of like Stitch Fix – first you fill out your style profile and size info, then pay a $20 styling fee (credited against your purchase), and if you buy everything in your edit, you save 25%! Wantable also offers box subscriptions for accessories, makeup, intimates wear, and another personal styling subscription for workout wear.  I think I'm going to check the fitness one out next.  It will definitely save me a trip to my local Lululemon store!



These are the 5 items that came in my shipment:
1 sweater
1 dress/tunic
2 tops
1 skirt

Here is what they looked like on:






All cute pieces, but sadly I sent them all back.  If I were to order a new box, I would definitely make some notes to my stylist to send me some dressier pieces.  I like the casual look, but this box missed the mark on my style.  Each item was a new brand I had never heard of and I loved getting a box of clothes that someone else picked out for me!

If you are looking to have a personal stylist ship you 5 items to try in the comfort of your own home, I highly suggest you give it a whirl.  Use my link to try it out and see for yourself!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

How to Wear a Blanket Scarf (Youtube video tutorial included!)






I love trying new ways to wear the same old thing...case and point with my scarf tutorial.  I have never made a youtube video before, so excuse any rookie mistakes!  

This scarf has great colors of mustard, olive, turquoise, maroon, orange and navy.  I went with a navy background to make the scarf the accent point of the outfit.  

Have a great day!


Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 Was the Year of the Coat

Every year I seem to have a specific "item" that I'm stocking up on.  One year it was boots: I invested in my Sorels, Uggs, and Hunters.

Another year it was sweaters: I ended up with 5 different types of turtleneck, nordic, and fisherman sweaters.

A different year it was scarves.  Ah, who am I kidding, every year is scarves for me.

But this year specifically, I have been searching for the right outerwear pieces to round out my wardrobe.  Especially when the winters in Michigan are harsh, oftentimes the only thing people see is my coat!

Since I've spent this much time curating my own coat collection, I thought I would share with you my new additions and how to complete your own collection.


(from top left to bottom right)

1. Lightweight Jacket
Every closet needs a short jacket that looks good with jeans or yoga pants.  This timeless style will take you from fall to spring and provide the perfect amount of warmth.  Trust me, there are plenty days that I just wanted a cute coat to throw on and go.  This one does the trick!  It was definitely a splurge for me, but I took into consideration the classic style, timeless brand, and high-quality when purchasing.  (And used my Nordstrom notes + a few gift cards. That helped.)

2. Collarless Wool Coat
It is coooold out there!!  The double-cloth wool coat is spot on with its style and function.  The collarless top is great for layering scarves over to give it a finishing touch.  I also like that there is plenty of room for layering underneath without looking bulky.  The winter white color is a bonus that it looks great with black and any color cold-weather accessories!  I scooped up this beauty for less than $100 when J.Crew offered 50% off of sale + a 15% off teacher discount.  
(I also have my hooded, to my knees, look-like-I'm-wearing-a-sleeping-bag-in-public coat for those -15ยบ days.  It's just not as stylish.)

3. Fur-embellished Coat
2015 was the year of fur.  Fur pom-poms on purses, fur scarves, fur on hoods, fur on gloves, fur on coats!  I couldn't pass up the fun factor of this plush wool coat with the colorful fur stripes.  This coat can go on over just about anything and be the center of attention.  (What you love my coat? Awesome! It totally distracts you from noticing that I'm still wearing my pajamas underneath.) But seriously, when you find a coat that's FUN, I can guarantee you'll feel fabulous in it.  I found this one during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in June and knew I would regret not taking it home with me when December rolled around.

4. Bright Seasonless Topper
A coat that is lightweight, has a bold color, and girly details will always dress up any outfit.  This particular coat can be worn as part of an outfit or as an extra layer of warmth.  Since it's not made to layer bulky items underneath, it is also very slimming.  This coat was a steal from a fellow mom who was selling it for $5.  

5. Hooded Raincoat
Okay, total deal here.  This coat came from Abercrombie & Fitch for the whopping price of $9.99.  Don't hate me.  It was just there on the sale rack, waiting, for me to grab it and run!  But seriously, every closet needs a raincoat.  And not the bright vinyl yellow kind to splash in the puddles with.  A stylish raincoat that will also double as a great layer when it's sunny out at well. 

Are you having the year of the coat like me?  Or are there other items on your "must have" list?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Ultimate Travel Outfit (or How to Travel in Comfortable Style)

For many of us, the holiday season equals travel. Finding the right balance between comfort and style, when traversing airports, train stations, and surviving long car rides, can seem like a challenge. I'm here to tell you that you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort and you can totally take your travel wardrobe to the next level with items you may already own. 

Are there seriously other options to just putting on your best active wear?  Yes!  Some of the outfit options below even include yoga pants. *gasp* 

The most important things to remember when choosing what to wear for travel are: 

  • You can feel cozy and look good at the same time.
  • 9 times out of 10 you will receive better service when you're dressed well.
  • How you look affects your mood; It's a much better feeling when you like what you are wearing!

Here are my top 5 travel outfit ideas.  Some of them were worn for travel others are outfits that I wish I was wearing to travel in!

Option 1 
Wear a sleeved maxi dress with a blanket scarf and sneakers.  I wore this outfit to travel to Charleston, South Carolina for New Year's this year.




Option 2 
Wear a tunic shirt with leggings, boots, and a colorful scarf.  I wore this outfit during our travels around Germany this past fall.



Option 3
Wear a flowy blouse with black leggings and boots.  This is an inspiration outfit I found at my local Francesca's




Option 4
Wear a drawstring skirt with a cotton tshirt.  Add a scarf and coat with comfortable shoes.  (I would substitute the flip flops for sneakers in cooler weather.)




Option 5
Wear leggings, a tee, and a sweater tied around your waist.  Add some fun printed leopard sneakers like this fellow traveler I met in the Charleston airport!



I am so excited to collaborate with Betabrand in their "Wanderlust Holiday Wardrobe" challenge.  If you are looking for new travel-wear be sure to check out their women's pants and their red-eye wrap!  They definitely have the right essentials to complete your travel wardrobe!