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We chose the name The Fashion Cookbook because we believe style is made up of many intricate ingredients - such as lifestyle, values, and career - and accented by unique flavors like a pinch of sass, a teaspoon of whimsy, and a dash of glamour.

Wine & Dine

November 23, 2015

Wine & Dine

The story usually goes something like… you are preparing yourself to be wined and dined by a significant other or potential suitor. You ransack your closet looking for the perfect ensemble, amassing piles of clothes on your bedroom floor, scrambling about to finish hair, makeup, and that manicure you somehow forgot about. The anticipation is exciting but the process stressful. 

It’s rare that we use this phrase in the context of wining and dining yourself or taking some time out of your busy schedule to join a friend for a drink and a meal. So this post is all about taking it back to basics, dressing elegantly but not fussy, enjoying a pizza (or two!) and a glass of wine, and cherishing moments of laughter, good conversation, and a warm ambiance.

The New Rules of the Wine & Dine

1. Wining and dining shalt not be reserved only for significant others or suitors.

In layman’s terms, make time to wine & dine yourself (say, after a stressful week at work) and your friends to show your appreciation for their friendship and to be there to laugh, listen, and offer words of wisdom or encouragement.

2.  Thou shalt dress up but not dress fussy.

Blend comfort and style with a chic poncho (that way you can eat as much as you’d like!) or stay warm and stylish with a sweater dress for a more form fitting look. The key to avoiding a massive fight with your closet every time you get dressed is to invest in timeless pieces that are appropriate for day or night and never go out of style.

3. Thou shalt not stress about primping.

Keep your makeup simple and sophisticated by focusing on flawless skin, polished brows, and lashes (add a subtle cat eye for a bit of extra drama).

Don’t stress about getting a blow out! A fishtail braid or ponytail accessorized with a fun headband give you a chic and put together look without much effort (*added bonus: they also work great on dirty tresses).


And now…

Some tips for wining & dining.

1. Explore your hometown or city.

You never know what hidden gems you might find. While we love Boston, New York, LA, São Paulo, and other big cities that we’ve been blessed to spend time in we’ve also come to appreciate  all that Worcester has to offer. We are incredibly lucky to have a plethora of restaurants of varying tastes to choose from. We recently enjoyed authentic Neapolitan pizza just fifteen minutes away from home at Volturno Pizza, an italian restaurant located on Shrewsbury street.

2. Explore your taste buds.

Speaking of Volturno, we had clams on our pizza… and it was delicious! Wining and dining is all about the experience. Create more memorable experiences by trying something new and exploring your taste buds. You never know what you might discover!

3. Carve out “me” time.

Sometimes the only way to get some “me” time is to step away from the stress of work and home and just get away for a weekend. If a weekend is too great of a commitment then plan a night out. A great way to spice things up and do something special for yourself is to stay in tune with local events happening near you.

Attend an evening event that forces you to take some time to pamper and treat yourself to an extra special night out!

For our west coast friends – the inspiration for this post came from speaking with our new friend Jenna at Fairmont Hotels, West Coast. She told us about the themed events that the Fairmont San Jose hosts each month. With this month’s being “Wine & Dine,”  we are sad to be missing out. Boy, do we wish we were in San Jose during these chilly days –  especially at the Fairmont Hotel, which is conveniently located close to more than 60 wineries!! Fortunately, we still created a couple of inspired looks for you to serve as inspiration for a wine & dine evening on your calendar.  It is a tad chillier here in Massachusetts so we brought some New England flare to our looks. However, if you are enjoying those warmer temperatures you can easily tweak this look. For cooler evenings, opt for bare legs and strappy sandals with a light knit sweater dress or an a-line skirt with a light weight poncho.

So, Cali girls attend the event and soak up some extra sunshine and glamour for us, will you? For the rest of you, if wining and dining isn’t on your calendar yet go ahead and pencil it in now.


Outfit Ingredients: 

Sweater dress:  Abercrombie & Fitch
Tights: Express
Heels: Aldo
Purse: Kate Spade
Necklaces: TJ Maxx, Bauble Bar (pendant)


Outfit Ingredients:
Cape: Ralph Lauren
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Aldo
Headband: Loft
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Clutch: Kate Spade

wineanddine17wineanddineacc wineanddine16wineanddine3wineanddine7

 *Special thanks to Fairmont San Jose for collaborating with us!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Northern Maine x Free People

November 20, 2015

Today Sadie (our newest freelance contributor) and I bring you back to a long weekend we spent in Fort Kent, Maine this past October. I had been invited to my older brother’s annual barn dance that weekend and I ended up renting a cabin close by with Sadie and our other best friend Melissa. Together, we partnered with Free People to create beautiful imagery to mirror the stunning northern Maine setting. We hope you enjoy reliving this magical weekend just as much as we have…♥

Sadie is up first sharing about her experience:

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Being from Maine can mean very different things depending on what county you’re from. That’s why a Fort Kent weekend cabin trip had me unaware of what to expect; I was home, but just in an undiscovered part of it.DSC_0668

The first photographs Hannah and I set out to capture once we arrived at our cabin escape were taken in the lovely mid-morning sunlight. The air was freezing but the presence of the farm animals and hand built barn added an element of life and warmth. I even remember at one point hearing a crying kitten from the barn but we couldn’t get to it. Being obsessed with fluffy animals and not being able to help the cat made it hard to continue shooting. I just hoped we would find the little creature at the barn dance later that night.

We all got ready in the cabin, dressed in our boots, flannels and sweaters. The fall air was thin and crisp as we walked down a dirt road to the party. It seemed like the entire town of Fort Kent was invited and welcomed. It also seemed like this communal event was the epitome of a barn dance: complete with a roaring fire, potluck supper, fiddle, acoustic guitars, and lots of hay.DSC_0661

Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People:: High Plains Printed DressOver the knee socks, Sounder Lace Up BootsMatador Hat, and Graceland Choker

It didn’t take long before I heard the same kitten cry again, but this time a child was holding it. The little girl explained to me that they found her alone in the woods and decided to give the kitten a home with them. I was relieved to know the kitten had a home and I kept thinking about what that meant. The kitten served as a symbol for my overall feeling about our weekend at the northernmost pinnacle of Maine; an undeniable feeling of welcoming, acceptance, and understanding.

The night was complete with dancing children, laughter, live music, delicious food, and great conversation. The whole weekend actually carried the same tune, beginning with our six hour drive up. It felt grounding to expand my roots in the state I grew up in, which is a feeling I had been in search for. Days like these remind me that we can choose to accept what comes along with open arms. We can continue to grow our roots anywhere. -Sadiemainefreepeoplefreepeople3

It had been close to five years since I last made the trip to the most northern part of Maine. If I remember correctly the last time I went was during the wintertime of my senior year of high school, and with me was father, younger brother Camden, and our exchange student (sister) Nastya. To think so much has changed since then, but also how so much has stayed the same.

Whenever I return to the state of Maine, I feel a deep sense of nostalgia and sometimes it tastes bitter-sweet. The environment is what is most familiar to me, as well as the people I love and care for the most live there. In the past something has tended to feel out of place for me though; almost like every time I return something is different. I’m realizing I am what is different. Just like the trees that go through the stages of life: I blossom, grow, fade and repeat. Depending on where I am in that process, I have often felt like I’m not whole in one specific setting.


Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People: Cable Open Back SweaterStrappy Back Bra, Compass Cuff Beanie, Rolled Crop Skinny, Quilted Denim JacketBenson Chelsea Boot, and Slouchy Vegan Tote

During that weekend when I returned to Fort Kent I was in one of those transitions. This time, however, in the midst of feeling incomplete and anxious with my latest transition, I started to relax because I felt at home. It started with the long drive up North. With Melissa driving and Sadie in the back seat, our favorite tunes blaring, the ride up was so rejuvenating, despite it being 6 hours long. On both sides of the highway were thousands of trees ablaze in fiery colors. The foliage alone was worth the pilgrimage.

When we arrived, Sadie and I immediately began taking photos on my brother Taylor’s property. After we met back up with Melissa and relaxed in the cabin, we sipped Halloween ale, listened to Sadie’s record player, and played cards on the living room floor for several hours. It was so nice to be removed from all my daily worries and have the moment to focus on spending time with people who truly mattered.

Later that night at the barn dance I was able to talk around the fire with Taylor, my cousins Marty and Kiernan, and their friend Caleb. The whole evening was such a extraordinary experience. Children from the town played games inside the barn while Taylor and Kiernan played the fiddle and guitar. Others gathered around the fire, eating delicious warm foods, and enjoying conversation. It was such a joyous occasion!- Hannah


“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath


Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People: Fitted Denim Jacket, Maura Printed Velvet FlareEclipse Brami and Graceland Chokerfreepeoplefarmcow

*This post was created in collaboration with Free People Natick



+ Sadie

The Sacral Chakra

November 19, 2015

We introduce to you today the Sacral Chakra: the second energy point rising up through our bodies.


Place your palms on your lower abdomen for a moment and think about what brings you pleasure and what you are passionate about. This is where the Sacral Chakra is located and it helps create energy in your body that is connected with sexuality, well-being, enthusiasm, and openness. When this chakra is open and clear, feelings of trust, enjoyment, flirtatiousness, and love are pronounced. We feel confidence within yourself and confidence where we stand within your important relationships.

But events in your daily life can block the Sacral Chakra energies which can cause us to feel unsatisfied, bored, and unworthy as an individual and in our relationships. If this energy center is not balanced we can end up not feeling like ourselves and we can become uncomfortable in our own bodies.

sujajuiceessentials sacralchakrameditation

This chakra struck me in particular because its imbalance consequences sang a similar tune as the emotions I’ve been feeling recently about myself. I find myself regularly bored and sometimes uninterested in my favorite things like painting and reading poetry. These things aren’t satisfying me at the moment and that doesn’t make me feel like myself. It’s almost like if I’m not constantly trying to remedy my boredom by giving myself more tasks, more options, or more responsibilities I don’t feel like a worthy, employee, friend, or family member.- Sadie

Sometimes we can’t exactly tell if our Sacral Chakra is imbalanced or we can’t spot immediately what’s making us feel like a dull version of ourselves. But you would be surprised by the things you can learn about yourself simply by asking yourself a few meaningful questions. To check in with your Sacral Chakra try asking “has anything or anyone new presented itself in my life recently?” “Do I feel comfortable where I am?” “Do my relationships fulfill me?” or “ Which aspects of my life, if any, am I getting pleasure from?”


Defining some of the causes of our un-fulfillment is an important start to clearing and balancing our Sacral Chakra center. And, there are still other ways to get in touch with the Sacral Chakra:sacralchakrameditation2

The color connected to the Sacral Chakra is orange. Wear shades of orange to encourage the expression of feelings, openness, and confidence. (Experiment with what you are wearing beneath your clothes as well – after all, your sex-drive is connected to this chakra ;)

sacralchakrasoak2woodwinkedandcosaltsoak1Aromatherapy scents include sandalwood, tangerine, orange, geranium, and texas cedar wood. Buy some flowers, light a candle, stir up a concoction with your essential oils, or eat oranges! It’s all about your body and mind so whatever inspires feelings of enthusiasm, sensuality, and openness within you is best!

The Sacral Chakra element is water so try listening to rolling ocean waves, rain showers, or waterfalls to inspire a balanced energy. To soothe yourself even further, create a Sacral Chakra bath and include an invigorating bath salt. Our favorite is this bath salt from Woodwinked & Co., made from dead sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, lavender buds, lavender essential oil, and vanilla oil. It’s so relaxing!


The best exercise to get in tune with and awaken the Sacral Chakra is dancing! Hula hooping is another fun exercise for the Sacral Chakra because of the exaggerated hip and abdomen movements. And, If you want to incorporate a mindfulness of the Sacral Chakra in your yoga practice try focussing on downward dog and three-legged downward dog. These poses place emphasis on the lower abdomen which will encourage openness, confidence, and enthusiasm.

The Sacral Chakra crystals and gemstones to wear and keep near include red and brown aventurine, carnelian, red garnet, red jasper, and ruby.

sunsalutation2sunsalutation sacralchakrapose2Sujajuice

Lastly, balancing the Sacral Chakra is necessary before intertwining with other people’s energies. Before engaging with others intimately, you might try asking yourself is this person also balanced emotionally, physically, mentally and most importantly spiritually. Most of these questions are answered by eating habits. What you put into your body manifests itself in your exterior.

We strongly believe in living a healthy, happy lifestyle filled with intention and meaning. The journey to embracing inner and outer beauty starts with what you put inside your body and how you treat your body as a whole. Together, both Patricia and I are working on making better health choices and working on practicing mindfulness. We are starting to incorporate more organic and healthy foods in our diet. Since we both lead such hectic lives, USDA certified Organic, Non-GMO & cold-pressured juices, like the Suja Essentials make nutrition convenient since they are packed with vital nutrients, amino acids, omegas & antioxidants.

Stay tuned for the Solar Plexus Chakra which we will explore on the next post of the Chakra Series!

 Special thanks to Suja Juice, Starlight and Seaweed, and Woodwinked & Co. for sponsoring this post!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

 +Sadie, our newest freelance contributor

The Root Chakra

November 3, 2015

For awhile now, Chakra has simply been an elusive buzz word to us. Its meaning and concept sort of illusory. We didn’t understand how to get in touch with each one or what we were even supposed to be getting in touch with. But the hierarchy of the seven Chakras has been integrated into yogic practices for centuries, causing us to think that maybe our own lives could benefit from more understanding.



DSC_1017In this collaborative series, we want to dive in and embrace the seven Chakras within our bodies. These seven Chakras are energy centers, with each one ascending up through your body towards your head. Each center flows and circulates a different type of energy and when you are aware of them they can help you feel happy, balanced, and open. But, the Chakra energies can become blocked, leading to illness and other unwanted imbalances. Everything we think, say, and do can affect our Chakras and each Chakra can be nourished uniquely. You can work on balancing each of the chakras in any location at any point of your life. To help us today we enlisted our friend Daysha Williams in a Washington Heights, Manhattan apartment and photographer Aubrey Renee in the woods of Louisville, Kentucky.

We figured maybe learning about the capabilities of these energy points within our bodies could lead to a better state of being. So we hit the books (and internet), put them into practice and placed our focus on the first, bottom-most Chakra; the Root Chakra. DSC_1013Trace your finger all the way down your spine. At its very base is where the Root Chakra resides. Like a plant in the earth that uses its roots for security and growth, the Root Chakra is the foundation of our body and mind where we derive our sense of safety, survival, and trust. When this energy point is balanced and open you feel stable and comfortable in your daily life. But the Root Chakra can become unbalanced by things like a difficult home life, an unhealthy relationship, abandonment, and feelings of low self-worth. These negative aspects can lead to anxiety, fear, depression, migraines, feeling spacey, and low immunity.

chakraposeWe realized we struggle with some of these ailments daily. It was eye-opening that on the very first Chakra we had already discovered a source of imbalance and that we could try to remedy that imbalance by thinking in terms of the Root Chakra.

Being a recent college grad with duties to help my family while also planning a big move across the country has got me feeling misplaced. Sometimes it resembles a state of limbo where I have no actual ground to allow roots to grow. I can’t make every aspect of my living situation change right now but I’m experimenting with ways to keep the Root Chakra balanced and in check.   -Hannah

Juggling school, work, and family have me feeling like a leaf in the wind – being blown around in every direction. This balancing act is giving me whiplash and the uncertainty of potentially moving next May for work has me feeling unsettled. But I’m coming to terms with the notion that my roots don’t need to be firmly planted just yet and in the meantime, balancing my Root Chakra can keep me rooted.   -Patricia

The color connected to the Root Chakra is red, so try wearing colors in the red spectrum to encourage balance between mind, body, and earth.chakrarollonAromatherapeutic scents include nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, and patchouli. You can use essential oils, light sandalwood incense, or even sipping on a ginger tea will do! (*Bonus for ingesting something warm because this too helps you connect to the Root Chakra).

Root Chakra crystals and gemstones to wear and keep near include bloodstone, onyx, tigers eye, hematite, obsidian, and ruby.rootchakra1If you want to incorporate a mindfulness of the Root Chakra into your yoga practice try focusing on head-to-knee, standing forward bend, mountain pose, or meditate while sitting on the ground outside. These poses strongly connect you to the earth which will encourage a confident and grounded emotional energy that helps the Root Chakra thrive.

rootchakra7Since the Root Chakra’s element is earth, you can also listen to the elemental sound of thunder and quaking earth to inspire a balanced energy. We downloaded a long thunderstorm track and usually listen to it before falling asleep or while meditating.

rootchakra2rootchakra3rootchakra4rootchakra5We’re so excited to expand into a larger lifestyle brand that emphasizes positive body image and natural beauty. As part of this process we are launching a seven part chakra series that highlights and introduces each chakra and how they impact each of our lives. To encourage you in your own mindfulness journey we will be providing reader giveaways along the way with products that support local retailers and inspire you to value natural beauty solutions.

Look out for the Sacral Chakra post coming out next week!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature +Sadie, our newest freelance contributor


♥ We warmly welcome our newest member to the Fashion Cookbook team, Sadie Bonang! You may remember her from her apartment tour this past summer. Special thanks for helping us on the research and putting our thoughts into words for this post. This is such an important series and we are so happy to have you be apart of it and bring such a wonderful perspective. ♥

Thank you Daysha for being so open to helping us illustrate balancing the root chakra and for being such a positive light. 

Extra big thanks to Aubrey for your help with the yoga photography. We only recently found about her through following her Instagram and were immediately drawn to her authenticity, depth, and ability to draw meaning from those around her. 


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