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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.

Pattern Play: 5 Tips for Mixing Prints

August 24, 2015

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Tip 1- A foolproof way to mix prints is to stay in the same color family. Unified shades can help blend together different patterns. At least one color should repeat through each piece of clothing in the outfit.

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Tip 2- Vary the scale of each print motif. The idea that opposites attract relate to patten play. Try pairing large and small prints or two seemingly opposite patterns, like stripes and florals.

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Tip 3- You can never go wrong with stipes. They look great on everyone! Though stripes produce increased visual impact compared to a non-print piece, their straightforward simplicity can tone down a more vibrant pattern and keep the outfit grounded.

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Tip 4- Incorporate a focal point when pattern mixing. For instance, try adding a pop of color- whether it be accent jewelry or even a pair of shoes. I tend to utilize my favorite Kate Spade bag :)

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Tip 5- Take risks when mixing and matching prints. The outfit is supposed to make a dynamic impression, so have fun with it! If you’re confident enough add in a third motif, for a print-happy ensemble.


 Ingredients:

Top-Loft

Skirt- Loft

Wedges- Steve Madden

Bag- Kate Spade

Watch- Michael Kors

Bracelets- Baublebar and 31 Bits


LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Loving Yourself

August 12, 2015

_MG_6594newwatermarkRecently,

I set out on a mission to create and to utilize this platform to dive deeper into blogging as an art. I partnered with friend and photographer extraordinaire, Nina Medard of Bluefly Lens, to kick off this new project – a monthly series centered around beauty. It is partly about finding beautiful places to explore and share with all of you, especially our fellow Massachusetts readers, but also to explore beauty itself. In the inaugaration piece I’d like to introduce you all to Chesterwood, the summer home of sculptor, Daniel Chester French, which is in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The property is breathtaking and so dynamic that I had to split this post up into two parts to truly celebrate the character of Chesterwood. I also want to speak on a subject that requires a level of authenticity and commitment that I can not do justice in one post.

I’d like to talk about finding yourself beautiful and share my ongoing journey to self-love with all of you.

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It is said that Daniel Chester French, world renowned sculptor most commonly known for the Abraham Lincoln monument, was a lover of  beauty. He was consumed by beautiful things for he drew his livelihood and his passions from inspiration. So he built a beautiful summer home in the Berkshires that was not only inspired by his many trips to Paris but also by the beautiful Berkshire Hills across the way. Like many of us, myself included, we crave beauty. We buy beautiful clothes, beautiful cars, beautiful homes, beautiful food, have beautiful children…and so on.

But where we seem to fall short is in finding beauty  in ourselves, in delighting at our reflection in the mirror. Sometimes it feels like we will love anyone but ourselves.

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When I was a child, I was perfectly content with my appearance. I enjoyed wearing pretty dresses and rocking dozens of multi colored butterfly clips, and I felt beautiful. Then, my family and I moved from Brazil to America and I no longer had those things to draw beauty from, we were poor, and I can still distinctly remember the forest green sweatsuit I wore to school more than once a week.

I looked like the Hulk and not in a cool way.

It was like I had nothing to hide behind and kids and adults alike began to tease me about my weight. I was severely underweight, though not unhealthy, and it was apparent that I was different.

When I had finally started to get my bearings, wearing cooler clothes and making friends, I turned 11. Things just got awkward from there. You know that phase where nothing in your face is proportional? Yeah, that was the one. I grew obsessed with how large my nose was and despised the obvious bump that ridiculed me every time I gazed at my reflection.

Eventually, I learned to tame my frizzy curls and began to dabble in the art of makeup. But by the time I had started to feel comfortable again life threw me another curve ball. I was chasing beauty, acceptance, validation. I was gasping for air trying to catch my breath when I woke up with a visibly swollen right foot (like I was transforming not into a beautiful mermaid but a puffer fish). I was 15 when I was diagnosed with lymphedema, which causes significant swelling throughout my right leg. Once again I felt defeated and certain I was turning into the Elephant Man. Over the years the swelling has gotten progressively worse bringing this nightmare closer to life and challenging my definitions of beauty.
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_MG_6506newwatermarkFor so many years I have been searching for this beauty – for self love.

And what I have found is this…self love comes from a history of love. It comes from the kindness and the love of others who build you up and displace all of the self loathing in your head with words of encouragement

I’d like to share this story of encouragement and love with all of you in the next post but I wanted to first open up about my struggles so that hopefully you realize we’ve all struggled and are struggling and it’s ok. We are human.

But we are also works of art.

_MG_6668newwatermark_MG_6672newwatermark_MG_6675newwatermark_MG_6583newwatermarkAlthough Chesterwood was filled with a variety of sculptures both old and new, some of Chester’s original work and others commissioned from upcoming local artists, I was drawn to this crocheted caterpillar made from recycled materials.

Perhaps it’s because I identify with this caterpillar – not because I’m waiting to transform into a butterfly (some unattainable state of perfect beauty) but because I’ve finally realized that all my unique quirks make me as cool as this caterpillar.

They make me a statement piece, something to talk about, someone to be recognized, a beauty all it’s own to be admired.

And you are too.


Special thank you goes out to Nina for helping me to capture this topic with such stunning photography. Check her out on Bluefly Lens for all of your photography needs, she does gorgeous wedding, portrait, and creative work.

Thank you to Chesterwood for allowing us to shoot at this amazing property. If you are ever in western Mass I highly recommend visiting Chesterwood. The breataking French inspired home, studio, original and modern sculptures will take your breath away and Stockbridge’s charming downtown area is well worth the drive. Not to mention, Stockbridge has the best donuts I have ever had (blueberry sour cream anyone?). Chesterwood also makes a stunning wedding venue… I know I’ve certainly got my eye on it.

To see more photos you can check out Nina’s blog post about the shoot and be sure to check back here for part two!

Ingredients:

Dress: Club Monaco

Necklace: Bauble Bar

Burgundy Heels: Zara

Anklet: Free People

Love,

Blog Signature Patricia

Easy Going

July 19, 2015

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 Ingredients:

Chambray dress- Loft

Bag- Kate Spade

Sneakers- Converse

Sunglasses- Loft


With temperatures in the mid nineties today, I think it’s fair to say that it is H-O-T out! On days like today I find it difficult to want to wear anything besides a sundress or high-waisted shorts. I especially find it difficult on work days to dress cute where it is so humid out because by the time I get to the office I’m already sweaty and sticky, as well as my hair is definitely not a pretty sight. With maintaining a fashion blog and now working in the industry, there comes a certain pressure to always represent myself in a stylish manner. Don’t get me wrong I loveeeee getting dressed in the morning and feeling cute, but there comes a point when I feel I can’t ever underdress. Lately, I have been slowly working on letting go of the need to be perfectly put together. For one, it has allowed me to focus on more important inner person things and in turn find more inner happiness. Another thing too I’ve noticed about wearing less makeup or not fully dressing up is how certain people treat you differently. If you find people do, maybe they shouldn’t be in your life if you always have to be hide behind your outer appearance. That may be just my opinion, but it’s something to think about…


LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

Mid Summer Reflections

July 14, 2015

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Ingredients:

Hat- Ralph Lauren

Top- Loft

Boyfriend jeans- Forever 21

Sneakers- Converse


I was going to start this by apologizing for not keeping up with blogging these past few weeks, but then I stopped myself. Yes, I wish I could be more consistent with blog content, but instead I’m doing my best to live in the moment. If you keep up with the blog, then you know that I’m in NYC interning for Tommy Hilfiger in their corporate office and Patricia is working full-time in Worcester at Unum. We are both building on our experiences and are making ends meet in post-grad life. We are so grateful to have this creative outlet and be able to focus on our journey, even if it takes longer than we anticipated. I keep reminding myself of a post Patricia wrote about how to avoid burning out. I absolutely love what I’m doing at work and am so energized by it, but after a full work day, workout, and hour-long commute, all I want to do when I come home is binge watch The Office on Netflix, make zucchini noodle pesto, and go to sleep.

I have every intention of posting more content and maintaining the blog on a daily basis, but lately I’ve been putting my other needs first. I feel contrived a lot of the time as a blogger because on one hand I’m so eager to share my experience, but on the other hand I don’t want to live my life from behind a screen. For instance, a couple weeks ago during the Fourth of July I left the city to spend a long weekend with a dear friend and her family in Rhode Island and on top of my excitement to see her, I thought of how cool a beach-side photo shoot and more Instagram material would be for the blog. While I was there though I wanted nothing more than to appreciate each moment I had and to be present. Besides had I posted photos it would appear like I had the luxury of vacationing and spending time on the beach, when in reality my friend graciously bought my roundtrip bus ticket because I could not afford one. If I could share what I thought was important from that trip it would be that I’m blessed with loving friends. I didn’t think an artsy photo of the ocean or a nautical outfit could have portrayed what I’m going through and depict a screenshot of my daily life from the inside. Besides that was my first real day off since before I finished school and I wanted to not only soak up the sun, but soak up the opportunity to disconnect from technology and social media.

This whole summer has been filled with amazing opportunities, but more than anything it has been a time for healing, self-discovery, and the pursuit of inner peace. I was anxious at first at the thought of moving to NYC to pursue fashion and wondered if I was going to do well. I knew in my heart that I needed this experience (both for resume building and personal growth), but I had no idea the degree in which I would thrive here. I will try harder to post more because I truly do love everything about this opportunity and as I grow spiritually I’m so eager I have this blog to use as a vehicle to lift you up as I have been. Yes, The Fashion Cookbook is about fashion & lifestyle, but it is so much more than that. I can’t wait to see the many ways in which Patricia and I can continue to grow and shine true beauty. Until then, thank you for joining us for the adventure!

LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

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