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Spring Forward

April 30, 2016

spring3Spring, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful times of the year. There’s something fundamentally inspiring of the rebirth process- watching flowers sprout from a cold and hardened ground and blossom into something incredible. I’ve always been drawn to the idea of starting over and doing so in such a raw manner. Although the actual start of spring begins on March 20th, living in New England it can feel like the new season does not start till late April because of all the snow and chilly weather.spring1For as many years as I can remember, I’ve had a difficult time in April. It’s always been the month that school begins to wrap up and I think my seasonal depression has almost always reached its breaking point. My body, both physically and mentally, is itching for a new start. So many people use this time to clean their home and enter the new season feeling more centered. As an image consultant, I definitely see the need for this and urge clients to assess which pieces in their wardrobe no longer serve a purpose. Just as we desire to clean our homes, inside our hearts we desire to cleanse our souls. Instead of merely focusing on scrubbing floors and purging our closest, we should also take time to clean and renew our inner person. For our souls are yearning to purge the bad to make room for the good. spring6springkatespade spring2

Similar to how daunting a deep clean can be, approaching a new way of thinking can also be overwhelming.

Begin by taking these steps:

  1. Breathe. No matter what happens in these next few months you do have control over how you interpret your experiences and how you move forward. By choosing to be mindful you are able to get rid of the yuck that has been weighing you down and finally get the fresh start you deserve.
  1. Lay it all out. Similar to how we would go through your closet looking at all your clothing, take time to step back and look at what needs work in your life. Where do you feel messy, dirty, and overwhelmed? What doesn’t fit you anymore? What behaviors and thought patterns have you outgrown?
  1. Sort through your life. Now that you’ve addressed areas in your life you wish to improve on and let go of, it’s time to work on changing your mindset. Select a good motivational book and read for understanding and growth. Set aside a quiet time in a quiet place for reading and meditation. Go inside yourself and listen to the messages you find there. I’ve been using my daily commute to listen to audiobooks and podcasts to begin and end my day. I highly suggest “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.
  1. Understand yourself. Now that you’ve learned more about yourself and why you do certain things or think the way you do, it’s time to let go of these negative feelings. Do to this by listening to how your body reacts as you name each negative part of your life you wish to strip away. Write down what you are experiencing as you move through this renewal experience. Keep a journal, jot down notes on your phone, do whatever you need to do to somehow record your thoughts and feelings are you change and grow. Share these observations with a trusted a friend or mentor.
  1. Let it go. Let go of the negative feelings. Set the emotion free and release yourself from its grip. Find your own way to do this. Perhaps it will be writing it down and watching that piece of paper burn. Do whatever will be symbolic and meaningful – something that you can remember and return to, if that negative feeling comes again to haunt you some time in the future.
  1. Open new doors. Now that you’ve parted with these negative feelings and behaviors, it’s time to open new doors. Visualize the opportunities ahead of you and welcome what may come your way. You now have so much more room in the closet of your mind. You are now ready to accept new possibilities and have a better appreciation of your life.

I hope in some way these words helped encourage you or lifted you up in spirit. As someone who battles depression and anxiety, taking the time to reflect and make positive changes is so liberating. I pray you also find strength in this process.

springsandals spring4 springoutfitOutfit Ingredients:

Top- Sienna Sky via TJ Maxx

Jeans- Loft

Jacket- Loft

Sandals- BCBG max azria

Necklace- Kendra Scott

Bracelets- Alex and Ani

Crossbody bag- Kate Spadespring5



Student Apartment Tour with Lauren Pfieffer

April 26, 2016

Today I would like to introduce you to a very special friend of mine! It was just three years ago that I reached out to Lauren Pfieffer of Someone Like You. I had found her blog through Teen Vogue’s ‘Fashion Click’ Blogger’s page and from there have visited her site almost daily. I was first drawn to Lauren’s adorable style and for her knack of weaving in vintage pieces, but then I kept coming back to her blog to read her writing. Over the years I stopped reading a lot of personal style blogs because I found them to be superficial and lacking of any true substance. Lauren’s, however, has been one that is anything but superficial. Not only does she inspire you to want to be a thrift store junkie, but she reveals a lot about herself in her writing that causes you to really reflect. It was because of this that I emailed Lauren all those years ago and since then we have been friends and pen-pals . We even got to meet up in person this summer in NYC (she was interning at Cosmo, while I was at Tommy Hilfiger) and became even more close. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Lauren to the blog and have her share with you her student apartment. –Hannah


Occupation? I am a student in my senior year studying fashion merchandising. On the side I’m a barista at the campus coffee shop– a dream job since I’m a coffee fiend!

Interests? I’ve been blogging for over six years now so that’s probably my favorite hobby! I find the whole process a nice break away from the rigors of school. I love reading, writing, and taking naps though when I have free time! I promise, I’m 22 not 92

Favorite stores? Since I’m a student on a very tight budget, thrift stores are actually my favorite! I rarely shop at popular retailers just because I often times I can find the same thing at thrift stores for a fraction of the price. When I do decide to splurge on a new item though, I’m addicted to Zara, dream of owning Anthropologie, and Target is of course my addiction. 12941111_1086569631386092_554485340_o12915157_1086569661386089_406777406_o12922055_1086569651386090_1657760112_oDo you own or rent, and how long have you been living in your current place? I live just a step off of my campus, Kent State University, in Ohio. I’ve been renting this single for a little over a year now since I got back from my study abroad trip in Italy. After one too many crazy roommates (try three in the last three years) I felt I needed my own space for awhile. 12941218_1086569658052756_7783283_o12896292_1086569654719423_635499687_o12939289_1086911494685239_389693151_nWhat was the biggest design challenge you faced in decorating your home and how did you overcome it? All the furniture came with the place so I really wanted all the accents to represent me and come together as a place that felt like who I was. It took a lot of adding little touches around the apartment to feel less like a model apartment and more like one I live in. Also, since I’m renting I’ve REALLY been itching to hang photos on the walls but obviously can’t. So, that’s been a huge obstacle to try and find ways to put things on my walls to liven things up. Let’s say you’d be surprised what a bit of tape and sticky tack can do!12919602_1086571568052565_2124545269_oWhat home items are important to invest in? I think it really depends on what your interests are! If you love to cook and plan on spending time in the kitchen, invest in really nice appliances to make the experience full for you. If you’re like me and spend a lot of time studying and doing things while sitting/laying down, investing in good furniture like couches and beds where you spend a lot of time is a must!12914887_1086571564719232_580089305_o 12921924_1086569671386088_820456194_oHow long did it take for your home to look the way it does now? Really about the year I’ve been staying in it! I thrift almost all my decor and little knick knacks, so it’s all built up along the way. I’ve tried becoming a minimalist, but it just doesn’t work for me…I love junk! I feel most comforted surrounded by my craziness of mix matched things. Don’t ever take away the thing from you home that feels most *you* just because of some new trend or another’s personal opinion.12915257_1086571581385897_1117924552_o12922390_1086571561385899_86936538_o12903861_1086571574719231_1398660986_oWhere do you see yourself in five years? Living in a shoebox apartment in New York City with a cat and still a lot of thrifted treasures! x12915235_1086571584719230_403623568_o 12903742_1086571588052563_1312570503_o


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Shop Local: Olives & Grace

April 20, 2016

Olives & Grace is an artisan gift shop tucked away in the adorable South-End neighborhood in Boston. We recently had the opportunity to tour the store and speak with shop owner, Sofi Madison about her experience as a successful female entrepreneur, sourcing local artisan goods, and more about shopping local in the Boston area. We’ve been quite smitten with Olives and Grace, or as some nickname “OG,” and getting the chance to learn first hand the inspiration behind the brand was magical. Not only are the goods sold at the store both charming and adorable, but the stories behind them are truly beautiful.

Sofi curates a wonderful array of items that are made by skilled craftsmen, who specialize in small batches and hand-sewn labels. Every week you visit Olives and Grace there is an opportunity to find out about new brands and products, as well as to support your local community, a win-win for the conscious consumer. No wonder Olives and Grace was the winner of “Best Gifts” in Boston! Read on to learn more about Sofi and her delightful store… olivesandgrace9Tell us a little about yourself? My name is Sofi Madison. I live and work in the South End, and spend most of my time growing my business and cooking with my boyfriend.olivesandgrace1 olivesandgrace2What inspired you to start the store? An undying love and respect for artists and their work.  I will always be an advocate for small businesses, and Olives & Grace allows me to march that march. olivesandgrace3What do you hope people take away from their experience at shopping at your store? I want people to get back to enjoying the act of buying something special for themselves and their loved ones.  When the gift is made using quality materials and ingredients, the packaging is beautiful, and the human behind the product is warm and devoted to their craft, you get to bring all of that goodness home with you. olivesandgrace4 olivesandgrace7throwthembowsWhere do you see yourself in five years? Likely having grown OG into something larger, or perhaps letting it take a new form altogether. olivesandgrace5What are some of your favorite products you sell? I’m going through a big ceramics romance.  My house looks like a ceramics shop, and I dig it. olivesandgrace10olivesandgrace11How are you involved in the Boston community? I’m a big supporter of other people’s successes, so any time I can celebrate others I will. olivesandgrace6What advice do you have for budding female entrepreneurs? Save room for health and wellness in your life, delegate, make sure your glass is half full. olivesandgrace8

Next time you’re looking for a piece with a story, a friendly smile, good conversation, or the best dog treats in town (and complimentary at that) make sure to stop by and see Sofi!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature


The Heart Chakra

April 18, 2016

This week, we’re about halfway through our Chakra Series and we’re landing right in the middle of our body’s energy points: the Heart Chakra.heartchakraYour Heart Chakra is an energy point in the center of your chest just above the heart. Maybe you’ve placed your hand here while trying to connect to, or understand an emotional situation, or while explaining your own feelings. This is because the Heart Chakra is where our inner peace, empathy, compassion, acceptance, and love reside. The energy created by the Heart Chakra is our ability to put forth love and balance our lower 3 material chakra with our higher 3 spiritual chakras.heartchakranatureA balanced Heart Chakra means you are feeling energized, open, loving, and loved. Flowing through you is the ability to forgive and have a positive understanding of letting go. This place does not harbor anger but rather pure expressions of abundant love. If you’re feeling as though these emotions are not coming easily to you, the Heart Chakra could be blocked. heartchakra1A number of things could cause a Heart Chakra blockage and it’s important to recognize which events in our lives can leave us feeling this way. Unresolved, damaged family and romantic relationships are some of the most common problems that lead to a blocked Heart Chakra. Continuing with interpersonal relationships, your heart center could feel blocked if you’ve been selfish or conditional with the way you’ve been accepting, loving, or treating others. Even spending too much time alone can close off your heart.heartchakratreeWhen the Heart Chakra is closed off, you could end up experiencing physical conditions such as chest tightness, heart disease, asthma, or heart palpations. Emotionally, you could be experiencing heartache, despair, or no desire for the flow of love – to or from others. Anger, hatred, and lack of purpose are some more extreme signs of a closed Heart Chakra.

heartchakrayoga heartchakrayoga2It’s important to remedy an imbalanced Heart Chakra. This energy center has the ability to fuel the rest of the energy centers coursing through your body. An open Heart Chakra is truly invigorating.heartchakraloveIf you feel that your Heart Chakra is in need of therapy, air is its natural element so try going for a walk on a windy day or go for a drive with the windows down to let the breeze whip around you. Practice deep breathing or simply listen to air blowing. A couple of our favorite elemental soundtracks we like to listen to would be soft wind chimes or a breezy forest. Couple this with Heart Chakra aromatherapy of eucalyptus, bergamot, rosemary, peppermint, or tea tree (Sadie’s absolute fav).IMG_1012The Heart Chakra crystals and gemstones to wear and keep near include moonstone, tourmaline, rose quartz, aventurine, emerald, green calcite, and green tourmaline. Hold them to your heart or pair them with wearing something green; the Heart Chakra color. You could also just try being around more green things to encourage a feeling of wholeness, acceptance, and love.heartchakragreenFor immediately noticeable effects, try practicing small acts of kindness! Pay for the person in line for coffee behind you, donate to a charity (any amount is always appreciated), or volunteer practically anywhere. Think about the people you love and maybe send them a little reminder note of that love. Go ahead and incorporate Heart Chakra mindfulness into your exercise routine by doing push-ups, walking, swimming, or doing camel pose, eagle, and/or cobra. Most things will feel possible with the openness of love and acceptance, so check in with yourself often to make sure you’re using the benefits of the Heart Chakra energy.heartchakrayogaloveDon’t miss the next post of the FCB Chakra Series where we’ll be speaking up about the Throat Chakra!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

 +Sadie (our freelance contributor)

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