Although we aren't experiencing harsh winter weather here in Southern California, some of you have a few more months to go of snow storms, chilly mornings, and grey skies. That's why we chatted with Terri McHugh to hear how she keeps warm all winter long. Terri is a lifestyle and brand photographer and blogger with impeccable style. We absolutely swoon over her tasteful design and hoe decor sprinkled throughout her Instagram feed, amidst sharing her life as a mom of three. She hails all the way from North Carolina on the east coast making her the perfect person to talk about the best tips to fill winter days with warmth!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Is it ok that this question gave me anxiety? HA! I don’t usually talk a whole lot about myself… but I can handle answering this. I think I wear many hats in the ‘job’ category, but to give it a label, I’ve been a professional photographer for the last 4 years, and in recent years, introduced blogging into that process. As far as location, I get to live on the beautiful east coast of North Carolina with my sweet family. We have the best and most rowdy kiddos ever – Liam, 8, Phoenix, 6, and Avenleigh, 4. I majored in Psychology, because I was too afraid to follow my singing and acting career. No, but seriously, true story!
We love your Instagram feed, and the littles in it! How do you find a balance between your job and managing your home and family?
Aw, thank you. I really appreciate the sweet words! Finding balance is tricky and I’m not so sure I have it all quite figured out, but what seems to work well for us is being each other’s support system. We all have projects, due dates, practices, commitments, and each one of those is no greater than the other. We really work at making sure we help each other through these processes, and that means the world to me, not having to bear the load alone. That goes as far as maintaining our home in a decent shape! The motto I try to instill is: leave it better than how you found it.
Do you enjoy the winter season?
Yes, it can definitely get cold around here! We live in a little town near the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina. Um, I’m trying to find a good way to answer that. It’s a dichotomy haha. I enjoy the winter season during the holidays. It’s a necessity and must be present. Outside of that, winter can go back to where it came from, BUT that is most likely the Florida native in me lashing out.
How do you keep cozy on all those chilly days?
I do love a good blanket and sitting by the fire, and I never turn down a good, strong cup of coffee.
Do you have any favorite hot drinks that you like to sip on with your kiddos?
Yesss, definitely! I love making our own version of Starbucks’ caramel apple spice. SO good.
What do you think creates a home?
I love this question because I feel like I’m always challenging myself to achieve just that, less house, MORE home! For us, I know it's a matter of feeling comfortable in our space. I think I’ve made the mistake in the past of choosing pieces that were overpriced and not practical for our life. It just made it a very awkward house. You know what I mean, like the pretty couch you don’t actually ever sit on? Who wants that?! Now we aim for comfort and practicality, while keeping the aesthetic intact.
Are there any recipes that you specifically enjoy in the winter time?
I automatically think of soups first! I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I will scarf down a good bowl of soup ANY day! This winter we’ve enjoyed a lot of butternut squash/tomato soup, topped with fennel and feta.
What are three essentials to keep in your home all winter long?
This is equivalent to ‘if you were trapped on an island…’ haha. Ok, so absolute home winter essentials would have to be: a great and cozy throw blanket, a delicious smelling candle, and an endless supply of coffee.
Sweatpants and blankets inside, or bundled and adventuring outdoors?
Both! Who doesn’t enjoy a good bundled up sesh on the couch? I like to stay active as well, so adventuring outdoors is always part of our week!
We love your style! What are a few design tips you have for home decor?
You’re the sweetest, thank you so much! Well, I think everyone has a different aesthetic, but to give you a more concrete answer, try to find practical and comfortable pieces within the style you enjoy the most. This is especially a great idea if you have little ones! I’m a big fan of the mid-mod style, but not everything within that category works for our family, so I mix and match what does.
Follow Terri on Instagram for more inspiration.