Travel // Lessons Learned, San Juan Edition

Packing tips

If you’re lucky enough to be on or heading to vacation (it is that time of year), I learned a few things during a recent trip to Puerto Rico that I’d like to pass on to you:

1. Itsy bitsy bikinis are fun on the beach. Bikini, Hustler Hollywood

2. Good-smelling, effective, water-resistant sunscreen is a must. See itsy bitsy bikini above. Neutrogena Beach Defense, Walgreens

3. A good shaving cream–one that works on, uh, sensitive areas–is a must. See itsy bitsy bikini above. Coochy Rash-Free Shave Creme, Hustler Hollywood

4. Headphones make the entire airport/plane experience 10x more pleasant (or at least tolerable). Gaiam Flat-Cable Earbuds, Radio Shack

5. Plunging v-neck dresses are better in pictures than in practice. You will NOT be waving your hands in the air in a dress like this, regardless of how little you care. Club L dress, ASOS

6. Sunglasses hide the dark circles under your eyes as you reluctantly board the plane home. They also hide the tears. Sunglasses from a random street vendor

7. Double-sided body tape is necessary for plunging V-neck dresses, but proves futile against 9,000% humidity. Stylin’ Tape, Hustler Hollywood

San Juan beach

Happy travels!

Style // I Beat the Trend!

I know it’s still summer, but every year around this time I start missing my boots and sweaters like they’re old friends I haven’t seen in a while. While browsing for a little cool-weather inspiration on, I came across the ultimate fashion validation: Fall fashion trends that fall right in line with my personal style. Don’t you love when that happens?

Monochromatic gray I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: gray is the perfect non-color. Don’t take my word for it (shout out to LeVar Burton); Stella, Giorgio, and Vivienne all agree.

Gucci-gray front
Originally posted: March 2011

Menswear and fur I’ve always been a fan of menswear, ever since elementary school when I discovered that doing backflips in a dress just wasn’t practical. The juxtaposition of tailoring and texture is a favorite combination.

menswear and fur
Originally posted: December 2010

red plaid Chalk it up to a combo of school uniform envy and watching Aerosmith’s “Crazy” video one too many times, but something about traditional red plaid screams cozy and naughty all at the same time. The combo is just too good to resist.

red plaid skirt
Originally posted: May 2011

In conclusion, fashion is a self-perpetuating cycle of faux invented “trends” meant to turn rational human beings into rabid consumerist zombies. Gawd, I love it.

Work // Magazines in the Wild!

What seemed like a neverending merry-go-round of scouting and photo shoots has borne fruit! The latest issues of Baby Guide, Cincinnati HOME, and Cincinnati Wedding magazines are out in the wild, which means you should absolutely check them out on newsstands and online.

Dressing our mini models on set. They were so cute!

Dressing our Baby Guide mini models on set. They were so cute!

I wrote several pieces for the front-of-book pages of Cincinnati HOME in addition to producing and styling shoots, so take a look and let me know what you think.

Cincinnati Wedding Summer 2015

This cover was shot on a 90-degree, 1000% humidity day in the middle of a random field at Devou Park. We were sweating with a capital S!

Speaking of Cincinnati Wedding magazine, we’re partnering with the City Flea this weekend! I selected a handful of my favorite vendors (including folks we’ve worked with on stories and photo shoots) to be part of a special wedding aisle at the July 25th flea. Stop by Washington Park between 10a-4p for inspiration and/or to say hey!

Shop Around // Atelier by AdornUSA

Atelier by AdornUSA

I’ve known about Atelier by AdornUSA for a while, but I’ve known the company’s founder, Arlene Aranzamendez, even longer. We initially met when she did some graphic design work for a company I used to work for, and have managed to keep in touch via seemingly random encounters over the years.

A few years ago, Arlene opened an online-only jewelry shop, then expanded to a small boutique in Madeira, and now has a cool spot in Hyde Park Square right above Tanya’s Image Salon. The new boutique is filled with the kind of bold, unusual pieces I can always count on finding at Atelier: crazy-colorful statement necklaces, multicolored snakeskin clutches, and all sorts of jewelry overflowing with (tasteful) bling of the highest order.

Atelier07 Atelier05 Atelier by AdornUSA

There’s a good selection of clothes, too: party dresses in bright colors, several on-trend matching sets, and a tropical print vegan leather pencil skirt I’ve had my eye on since I first visited–y’all know I’m all about tropical prints this season. They’ve even started to carry beauty products by Tokyo Milk and fragrances by the awesomely-named line Juliette Has a Gun.

Atelier06 Atelier04 Atelier by AdornUSA

Arlene has a great eye and a mind for business, and I’d love to see Atelier expand to a ground-level storefront someday. Until then, I know where to get my fix of dynamic styles that can’t be found anywhere else in the city.

Atelier by Adorn USA, 2716 Erie Avenue, 2nd floor. You can also shop online at

Meanwhile, On the Other Side of the Camera

Tiernae Salley Photography

A few months ago, Dayton-based photographer Tiernae Salley contacted me about doing some lifestyle photography to build her portfolio. I’m not a model by any means, but I’m always happy to help out fellow creatives (and self-photography is so time consuming), so we made plans for an hour-long session at New Riff Distillery.

It was so fun! I did my best Vogue imitation and preened and posed in the beautiful bar and patio area while Tiernae snapped away. She was so friendly and down-to-earth that it was hard not to gab through the entire session (which would’ve produced awful pictures), but I think we got some good ones. Let me know what you think!

  View More: Tiernae-Salley-photography Tiernae Salley Photography

Thanks, Tiernae! If you’d like to see more of her work, visit

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