*This is the first in a 3-part series on my defining “words” for 2012. Here’s a little about my annual ritual. I wrote this on New Year’s Eve at a spa resort in Arizona, surrounded by the most beautiful nature (some of my photos are above.) Talk about inspiration! Stay tuned for my other two New Year’s words later in the week.


As I read the latest issue of Whole Living this morning, I came across this thought: The new year isn’t a do-over; it’s an opportunity to take your next big step. It got me thinking about how I want to take all the accomplishments and growth of 2011 and continue building on them to create something entirely new in the coming year. As a blogger, it can be challenging to balance the demands of immediacy (posting every morning and every afternoon) with the need to stay constantly innovative. During especially busy periods, it can be all too tempting to fall into the trap of doing what’s proven and safe – covering the topics that have worked for me in the past.

But the danger in that lies in the loss of creative thinking (which is where the most inspiring ideas are born!) So, my first word for 2012 is expand, in an effort to keep pushing myself and my team to new heights of creativity in the parties we design, the DIY’s we conceive, the recipes we photograph and the words we write. Excellence is the goal, but if we don’t always achieve it, that’s okay as long as we take a leap and aim to do something a little different and better than what’s been done before. So readers, it’s up to you to keep me accountable with your feedback this year. Tell me what you love, what you don’t and what could be better so I can keep going a little farther every day in my journey of making this blog a place of beauty and inspiration.


  1. 1
    Al | January 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I love this Camille, and the idea of defining words for the New Year – something I want to try myself! Honestly, I follow many DIY and design blogs, but yours literally is the one I jump to first when I browse through my Google Reader with my coffee each morning. I love that your tutorials or posts aren’t EPIC NOVELS that swallow you whole. Beautiful pictures, well written, and concise. I really enjoy this blog, so though you want to expand, you’re doing a great job now…

    Best to you in 2012, darling, and would LOVE to hear about the wellness trip you took…I’ve been looking at doing the same but have heard mixed reviews…

    Have a fantastic day!!

    • Camille Styles | January 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks sweets, that really does mean SO much to hear. And I can’t recommend the wellness trip concept highly enough. It was such a time of rejuvenation…my husband and I had a chance to talk about our hopes & dreams for this year and beyond. And just being surrounded by such stunning nature was refreshing in and of itself. Not to mention the heavenly spa treatments… 🙂

  2. 2
    Supal | January 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Evolve is such a great word! I agree with Whole Living. It’s an opportunity. For me, I feel as if I’m using what I have learned in 2011 and executing it in 2012. Taking the next step. It’s such an organic way of putting a resolution. Loved this, Camille.

  3. 3
    chris | January 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Love the idea of “expand” because it can mean so many things….but most of all it speaks of growing, and that is always a healthy direction to take. My own word for the coming year is “listen”. By that, I’m thinking of listening with my whole mind when others are talking, listening to my own intuition when it is telling me to pause and reflect (or go full steam ahead!) and listening to all the beauiful sounds that I take for granted everyday. Happy New Year!

  4. 4
    Carrie | January 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Love this and you’ve inspired me to pick my words for 2012 (it is so hard to narrow down!). I agree with your earlier commenters – I appreciate the concise nature of your posts and of course the beautiful images. To answer your question about expanding and what I would like to see more of, I particularly enjoy your posts about parties you have thrown in your personal life and your travels. Part of your appeal is that you are simultaneously down to earth while conveying a sense of charm and grace. As you grow Camille Styles into a “brand” (I hate that word) I think it would be awesome to see more of “you.” What are you enjoying these days? What did you throw together for dinner last night? How are you making every day special? Of course, I’d also love a home tour of your amazing house. Looking forward to a great 2012. 🙂

    • Camille Styles | January 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks Carrie, that is such great feedback and I definitely want to incorporate more of the personal details into posts this year. I feel like every time I post about what’s going on in my life, it gives me a chance to really connect with you guys in a new way… which is really my favorite thing about blogging in the first place!

  5. 5
    desiree {chic coastal living} | January 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Beautiful photos! Happy New Year!

  6. 6
    Love This Life | January 3, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Oh, I wish I was there! I miss those days of traveling often. I always thought when we had children we wouldn’t slow down but reality has set in and our annual New Years adventures have dwindled. The views there look gorgeous and I bet you had a great time recharging your batteries. I certainly understand the toll an internet business can take. Sometimes, it seems it can zap you dry. Happy New Year and to 2012, the best year yet for fulfilling all your dreams!

  7. 7
    Kasey | January 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Great defining words for the new year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

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