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Odds & Ends

Happy International Women’s Day



Today is rather a significant, landmark day for our country.

This is the first year (that I can remember in my 30+ years) that American citizens are gathering together en-masse to recognize International Women’s Day. A day commemorating the global struggle for equal rights and the important contributions that women are making to society.

Ladies (and a few gents), in case you were wondering — women do a whole f*cking lot!

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How To Make This Your BEST January Ever!

Your best January Ever

January is a month of mixed emotions.

We’re all excited for what the future holds and all of those resolutions we’re trying to hold ourselves accountable for (step away from the cookies!), yet anxious for the same reasons. We’re happy that the chaos of the holidays is behind us, yet bummed that we’ve returned to the regular grind. Worst of all, if you live in my part of the country it’s freezing, overcast and wet. Like everyday. Really. Kiss those beautiful SATIN ANKLE WRAP FLATS goodbye for the next 3 months.

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The Best Cyber Monday Sales To Shop


If you’re anything like me, Black Friday is simply a day you wear black (it’s most slimming to conceal your Thanksgiving meal sins!), sit in front of the TV/iPad and totally veg out with little to no interaction with the “outside.”

Fighting aggressive crowds in overheated stores and packed parking lots is not exactly my idea of fun. But that’s just me… Personally, I prefer spending a few quality hours in front of my laptop with a coffee in hand on Cyber Monday and totally rocking my holiday shopping list.

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Bucket List


Did you guys sleep at all last night!?

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t handle the election result anxiety and fell asleep around 10:30am, only to wake up at 2 am to the news of a new President Elect.

With the 2016 Election results official, (for better-or-worse) this country is headed for major change. Based on the voter turnout and the months-long hostility brewing between constituents, clearly people felt moved enough about the current state of the country to make their voices heard and exercise their right as citizens.

So with new leadership being positioned to take over in 2017, now is the ideal time for us all to consider what all this change means for us and the things we want to see happen for ourselves, our friends and family and our country in 2017. Change is a complicated thing — before anything changes, we need to ultimately figure out exactly what we want.

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5 Things To Quit

5 things to quit

When it comes to living a healthy, balanced life there are always people telling us what to do.

The barrage of new diets, workout plans, fashion, products and general things to do and try can get beyond overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s just all too much.

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20 Questions, No. 3


Welcome back to the 3rd installment of 20 Questions!

This next batch of questions seems to be less business focused and more fun, fashion-y questions hopefully answered with, fun, fashion-y responses that you’ll love.

(Fashion-y?! Is that even a word?!)

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20 Questions, No. 2

20 questions

As promised, I’m back with the second installment of 20 Questions!

I was so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this little exercise LAST TIME AROUND! This week, I’m digging in and answering a few of the tougher questions I’ve had sent over. Although I post 5x a week, I still have a hard time sharing personal details about myself, so this has been a great opportunity to open up a bit more so that you guys can get to know me a little better. So much happens behind the scenes of THD and my life in general — it’s nice to finally share those details with you!

Hope you enjoy!

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20 Questions, No. 1


Did you ever play that game, 20 Questions?

I remember always being surprised by people’s unexpected answers. As silly as it sounds, that game was one of the best ways of really getting to know someone and their intricacies. I thought it could be interesting to share and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about me, about THD and about life in general… maybe not 20, though? That could be overkill.

Instead, let’s start this exercise with 5 really good ones…

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The One Thing I Do To Remedy Anxiety

easy anxiety remedy

Seems like anxiety is a fitting topic to wax poetic about on a Monday.

With school starting later this week and our normal schedule of lessons, practices, work and social commitments on overdrive, it’s no surprise that my anxiety is slowly rearing its ugly head.

The worst part?!

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What To Wear: Family Photography


Have you taken a family photo recently?

Isn’t it amazing what talented photographers can capture with a few clicks? No bickering, no meltdowns (adult AND child), no insecurities —  just pure joy and love come through their lenses. After recently borrowing some camera equipment from my friend and photographer extraordinaire, SHANNON AHLSTRAND, I came to the realization that:

1) Photography is physically hard work, y’all!

2) Shannon is a magician with the camera.

When giving back her equipment, I made sure to tell her as much and made her pinky swear that she would never leave me!!! She made me promise that I would help her put together a handy guide about coordinating complimentary color schemes and family photo wardrobes, which is apparently a HUGE source of anxiety/stress among her clients… even more so than getting everyone to smile pretty!

So here we are… and here YOU are:


1) Location, Location, Location…

Prior to picking any color scheme or specific outfits, it’s important to know your location. In this case, location has two components:


a. Where are you planning to use these photographs?

When booking your photographer, make sure you let them know exactly what you’re considering using your images for. Now, think about that specific space – a hallway, an office, a bedroom… wherever. Those spaces all have different color schemes in place and you want your beautiful family portrait to compliment them rather than stick out like a sore thumb.


b. Where are you planning to stage your photo-shoot?

Are you headed downtown for an urban backdrop, a beach-y Lake Erie shore, or a grassy field? Is this going to be a shoot surrounded by the calming shades of blue waters, or a photo opportunity engulfed by intense fall foliage? Your destination and season should be the starting point for selecting complimentary colors — so let’s move on to Rule #2!

2) Select Complimentary Colors

Now that you have a location confirmed, it becomes much easier to hone in on the colors! A summer beach photo-shoot practically begs for more muted, neutral colors, while a lush park setting mid-Fall is the ideal backdrop for richer, bolder tones. It’s important to think outside of the black and white fashion box, because as we can all attest, that’s a sure sign of some great 1980 + 90’s era photography! I swear,every family has at least one portrait shot in matching black or white turtlenecks.

Obviously, the photo below came from + the caption reads: ‘the family that caters together stays together.’

Need I say more?!

3) Start Neutral

Regardless of where your photo is being captured, each color scheme should be grounded with a neutral to keep it from skewing too circus-like or haphazard. Tans, browns, olives, greys are ideal for this task- and let’s not forget about denim. Yes, denim is a neutral!

4) Play With Color Pairings

So a neutral base has been established, now the fun starts! Let’s consider the beach background… obviously a blue would be a seamless compliment to your surroundings, but blue on it’s own will just fade away into the background. Instead, pair shades of blue with a contrasting pop of color to complete your palette — like a soft coral! Coral is on the opposite side of the color wheel, which is why it works.


Another approach to building a color palette is to complement a color with a color next to it on the color wheel. Continuing with the blue example, a purple or lavender would be a great match!


5) Layers Of Fun

So now you have the color thing sort of figured out, it’s time to make it look like it was all effortless. Easier said than done, right?

Actually, the easiest way to make outfits look natural and unstaged is through creative layering and the use of textures. Don’t be afraid of patterns, textures and layers! Think patterns under a solid jacket, or a plaid shirt open to reveal a solid color tee for men. Women, you’ve got lots of choices: a cardigan over a patterned dress, wrapped with a neutral belt, or a patterned scarf layered over a striped shirt, etc. Get creative, because this is where your personalities can shine through! The layers and textures also give your end photos tons of visual interest which keeps everything from looking too flat (a.k.a. BORING!).

This family DEFINITELY got it right:


6) Get Comfy

This rule is critical and may be the most important of all: find clothes that fit and flatter. Don’t wear something that’s not perfectly suited to you because it works with everyone else’s looks. Find something that makes you feel confident and fabulous – trust me, it shows in the final product!

Pro tip: A little bit of structure and shape (i.e. button downs, stitching & shaping) also has a way of making us look extra lean on camera!

Also, especially when kids are involved, don’t select anything to precious or fussy. Kids will be kids and therefore by universal law, get dirty. It’s all part of the fun. A good photographer will capture those special moments as they’re jumping in that mud puddle or picking up that disgusting worm, and those will be your favorite shots of the session. I promise.

So, what do you think? Think you’ve got this one?

In case you need a little more help in the visualization department, I’ve put together a few additional color schemes for a family of four.

Make sure to PINTEREST pin + bookmark for your next family shoot!


Family_ Photography_1_blues_reds_greys_neutral