Why I feel like a fraud


I had an absolute blast with the MIRROR MIRROR Morning Makeover challenge last week. It was like an explosion of glitter complete with flowing champagne and endless booty shaking.

In other words… seriously awesome.

But… behind the scenes? The picture looked a little different.

You see, as I was waving my virtual pom poms and cheering you all on, I was also fighting back tears {most times, pretty unsuccessfully.}

The reason? Last week I had to make one of the hardest decisions, ever.

My best friend, my furry fluffball of cuteness – Winnie – has been especially sick for the past 5 months.

Winnie - Chinchilla Persian


My once energetic kitty was crumbling into despair {severe arthritis and a relapsed compressed spinal cord are no fun, at all.}

We’ve been managing Winnie’s pain with a cocktail of painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Last week it was clear that this remedy could no longer hold off the pain.

The worst part about my little guy’s situation – his head is still totally with it {smart as a fox, cute as a button, quick as a…well, kitty}. It’s just that everything from his waist down was failing him.

I felt helpless, hopeful, and guilty all at the same time.  

While the decision weighed heavily on my heart & mind, I knew one thing for sure: Winnie’s comfort and happiness had to come first.

In the midst of our Mirror, Mirror soiree, I wanted to show up for you as well as lap up as much cuddle time with Winnie as possible.

This past Saturday, Winnie left us to find peace, comfort, and play with all the other furry kitties in the sky.

Our last morning together we shared a delicious brekky, snuggled and scratched, and I brushed his still gorgeous coat.

As much as I prepared for this moment, once he was gone – it felt like my heart broke into a million pieces.

The hardest part was leaving him behind. It was gut wrenching – my baby, my furry, sweet baby.

Right now my emotions are swinging. There are moments I feel at peace with everything and then I remember that I am never going to be able to hold, love on him or hear his larger than life meows again.

Right now, it’s Wednesday and here I am, in my office alone, no little companion at my feet or on the desk, tears streaming down my face, trying to accept that my quiet, empty house will never be the same again.

This is why I feel like a fraud.

Winnie - Chinchilla PersianSo why am I sharing this?
Because life does not look like a highly-curated Instagram feed. For anyone.

And as much as styling pretty pictures, working with gorgeous clients, and running challenges to help you make over your morning are TOTALLY me…

… being heart broken, crying and a puffy-eyed mess is also me. At least, right now. :)

I used to run away from my emotions. Desperately cling to that girl you see in the photos and stuff down all my feelings so that I always looked happy & sparkly.

Now I allow myself to feel all the things, no matter how painful it may be.

I’m now gifting myself some space to grieve and honor Winnie. That may mean I can’t update Instagram every day. Or write a blog post next week.

And, that’s ok.

Because life isn’t always Instagram-perfect. That’s what makes it beautiful.

With love and gratitude,

Shelley Cohen



p.s. As part of my grieving process, I wrote a letter to my Winnie. Feel free to read, if you’d like. If you’re grieving something: a loss of a pet, family member, friend, relationship, job – you may want to draft your own letter to your loss. I found it incredibly cathartic. 

Dearest little Winnie

I know this sounds weird that I’m writing you a letter, given that you cannot read. But you know that your sweet charm and irresistible good looks spoke to my inner crazy cat lady – so why stop now right?

You melted my heart and enriched my life in ways that I can’t fully express. You constantly made me smile and giggle at the cute little things you did.

I’ll miss your adorable chatty pigeon purrs and little creepy face when you’re spying on me.

I’ll miss your loud meow greetings when I get home and tummy tickle flops – even when my arms were full of groceries.

You won over even the toughest of cat haters….because nobody could resist your sweet face and even sweeter personality.

In our almost 12 years together, we’ve been through a lot. We were there for each other during fun times and tough times – you always knew if I was sick or had a bad day and turned the cuteness volume right up to make me smile.

I’m going to miss morning snuggles and hallway chasey time (you always won) and your claim to everything that was new!

You will ALWAYS hold a very special place in my heart and I’ll never forget the adventures we took and the amazing times we had together.

You were my number one (sorry Shaun but my Dad did warn you before we got married).

Shaun likes to think that you became his side-kick – his Robin…but we all know that he was your side-kick and that you were Batman. I think deep down Shaun knew that too…it’s OK, we’ll let him think that he was Batman.

Thank you for being the best friend a girl could have asked for and the overflowing amount of joy you brought to my life.

Your unconditional love and incredibly cute little nature had me constantly distracted and swooning over you from the moment I layed eyes on you.

I love you with every piece of my heart and will miss you every day.

Cuddles, kisses and tummy tickles,

Mum xoxo