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Redefining fashion from being on trend to being your best self and helping you transform the ingredients in your day to day life - from work, lifestyle, health, and personal style - into ‘recipes’ for living a naturally fashionable life.

Step Into the Fire

March 21, 2017

newlookPerhaps it’s because yesterday was the first day of Spring, or maybe that I now have bright new red hair, but lately I’ve felt the fire awaken within me.changescoffeshopred

In my last post, I discussed how I’m finally feeling more positive after experiencing a major setback and moving back home to Maine. I just need to say that I received so much wonderful feedback from readers and family since then, that I want to take a moment and sincerely thank you all. The truth is I blog because it’s my creative outlet and I’d be doing it even if no one was reading this, however, knowing that my words resonated with people and in some way helped to encourage others I feel abundantly blessed.

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My best friend and trusted photographer, Chelsea and I went to Forage Market the other day and I was reflective of how much growth has transpired since January when I last took photos there and wrote a blog post on self-healing. First off I’m not sure if you’d pick up on this or not, but I’m wearing almost the entire same outfit as before with the exception of some accessories. It’s incredible what a few details like a scarf and hat can do- almost like how in life when you have just a couple new things going for you, you feel so much more confident in yourself. I feel like a new person like never before.

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I recently stumbled across an article on Mind Body Green called, “How To Detoxify Your Body By Using Your Mind” and it seemed to perfectly encapsulate all that I’ve been processing these days. Essentially healing starts from within and that your mind is the ultimate source of where your whole reality is formed. It’s a very heavy topic, but I think one that all humans question and ponder. I’m just finally in a place where I can accept that I do not have all the answers and that it will all work out.

“The brain is generally defined as, that which is limited to the inner workings of the physical brain structure held within the cranium. The mind is the intelligence that has no definitive location within the body. Its reach extends to every cell of the physical body and outside the body, into the spiritual realm.”

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Outfit Ingredients: bodysuit- Express (on sale) | jeans- 7 For All Mankind | boots- Steve Madden | hat- Club Monaco | scarf- Burberry | bag- Louis Vuitton | bracelets- Alex & Ani

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To heal we have to learn how to “die” — to let go of all that we were — to embrace becoming a new, healed “whole” self.

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After experiencing a lot of setbacks and painful moments these past few months I’m reminded of something my spiritual healer told me. She said that even when terrible things happen sometimes they are being used by the greater Universe to cleanse you, much as good things can come from a forest fire. Forest fires are a natural and necessary part of the ecosystem. Even healthy forests contain dead trees and decaying plant matter; when a fire turns them to ashes, nutrients return to the soil instead of remaining captive in old vegetation. Sometimes when something burns down it will grow back stronger and more bountiful than you ever imagined.

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Photography by Chelsea Blood

LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

Minor Setback for a Major Comeback

March 11, 2017

Portlandshopping MaineWe’ve all had moments where we felt as if our life was falling apart around us, or that our world has completely turned upside down. These hurdles, setbacks, roadblocks, or whatever you prefer to call them, test our self-confidence, raise doubt in your capabilities, and even have us questioning our own worth. I know I for one have felt every one of these forces and this winter has been one of the hardest transitions of my life. With the help of therapy, friends, family, and A LOT of self-help books I’m finally feeling more positive. I thought I’d use this post as an opportunity to not only continue to discover better ways to cope, but also share my insights with you too and hope that they can benefit you in some way. More and more I’m realizing that there are many things we do not have control over, but we do ultimately have control over how we respond.hannah

Your identity is not tied up in labels.

Having experienced a decent amount of professional growth during college within my industry, it’s been a major let down to move from Los Angeles back to my hometown in Maine. My strides in the fashion industry appear to have come to a screeching halt and I’m left wondering what’s left of me now?

As humans, we tend to define our character and sense of worth through titles, careers, and relationships. And when one of those ceases to define us anymore it can be very disorienting, or even lead to us questioning our whole essence. Instead, embrace your new reality. Remember that so many people before you have gone through major setbacks and that it is perfectly normal. You’ll need plenty of time to rebuild whatever comes next so don’t rush it. Instead of moping, use this time to get as good at your craft as you can.

These challenges that you are facing right now do not reflect your inner value, but rather are merely a part of life. Remember no job or relationship can determine your worth. You have been and will always be worthy.

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Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend in the same situation.

Ask yourself, would I degrade, criticize, ignore, judge, or think negatively of a friend who was going through a difficult situation? Absolutely not. You would listen, be supportive, kind, loving and offer helpful advice to that person.

When we criticize or judge ourselves, we end up convincing ourselves that we are not worthy or that we are not good enough. In the end, we are only adding to our own pain and suffering. This is the perfect time to offer yourself the same kindness and compassion you would offer a friend. When we see our friends struggling we tend to remind them that this too shall pass. Tell this to yourself and remember that you are stronger than you think. A very powerful exercise it to write down what you would say to a friend who was going through a tough time and offer those same words to yourself.

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Seek evidence of your strengths.

During times of great struggle and when you’re feeling like you do not amount to much, it’s so important to remember that you do possess strengths. Think long and hard about what those strengths are. Remind yourself you’ve been faced with challenges before and that you made it to the other side. They were times before that you felt like things could not get better and look at how you are standing here today.

Identify strengths you used to get through a challenge in the past or to achieve things you’re proud of. Ask yourself, how can I apply these strengths to support myself now? What does this say about me? Also, identify resources that can offer you help. Remember that there are people in your life who love you and want to help you through dark times. Sometimes, during big transitions, we push people away. I know I for one recently felt like I was imposing or that I was somehow too much for others to handle. Not only did I end up feeling isolated and alone, but I hurt my friends by pushing them away. Practice vulnerability and allow yourself to receive community and love from others. Being able to share and commune with others can be a powerful way to recover from big change.

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Set and maintain healthy boundaries.

During times of great difficulty and when your emotions are shot, it’s essential that you not add extra stress to your life. Instead, focus on self-care and putting your own needs first. Perhaps you trade in a night-out for a night-in of watching your favorite shows on Netflix. This is a time where you need to shield yourself from negative people and unnecessary drama. Instead, utilize stress-management practices, such as prayer, nature walks, yoga, and journaling to relax and recenter.

When one door closes, another opens.

In between my senior year and graduate year, I applied for a variety of part-time summer jobs and kept getting rejected. I remember being so distraught, however, I had no idea what was in store. Just weeks later I found out that I was accepted for an internship with Tommy Hilfiger in New York City. Had I gotten those other jobs and accepted those positions I would not have had the opportunity to work my dream job. This story reminds me that you never know what is to come. I constantly try to remind myself of this when I’m feeling lost and hopeless in my current transition.

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What I’m wondering is what major life transitions have you gone through, and how did you deal with it? Do you have any advice?

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Outfit Ingredients: hat- Free People | dress- Forever 21 | necklace- Arthlin | sneakers- Adidas Originals | wallet- Needless Society

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 Photography by Chelsea MacLeod of El Photography


 P.s Even though I just finished writing this, I have a feeling that I’m going to be rereading this post often for I still have a long way to go.

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

 

Shop Local: Needless Society

March 4, 2017

DSC_0122At the Fashion Cookbook, we strive to empower local artisans and promote more sustainable consumer choices. One of the things we often come across as image consultants is that many people own repeats of clothing items and accessories. So, not only are people spending more money in the long run, but they are also contributing to unnecessary waste for this planet. Instead, we recommend investing in high-quality products that will last you a long time.

Recently while scrolling through Instagram we stumbled across an incredible brand called “Needless Society” that’s based here right out of Lewiston, Maine. Immediately we were drawn to their high-quality leather goods and design, but also their friendly and cool demeanor across social media. How awesome is that we found another Maine-based brand that was hiding right under our nose this entire time?

I had the amazing opportunity of meeting the owners of Needless Society, husband and wife duo Phoebe and Rance Pope over coffee at local gem Forage Market the other weekend, where we discussed their brand more in depth and I got to know more about the people I’m directly supporting by choosing to shop locally. They graciously allowed me to check out their super secret workshop where the magic happens and allowed me to snap some photos to share with you, my readers. I hope you not only take some time to read the interview they did with me but also please go check out their website! Phoebe and Rance both exude kindness and have such big hearts. As someone who grew up in Lewiston/Auburn it makes me so happy to know that they want to build their business in this little city of ours. They truly want to see the community thrive and pay homage to the rich history of great American manufacturing. I implore you to think about supporting local next time you need a new wallet or purse- plus you will be giving back to our community. A win-win in our book.DSC_0058DSC_0057Tell us a little about yourself! We have been together since December 2013. We were married in May 2016. Needless was started in September 2015. We live in Lewiston, ME and love Mexican food.

What inspired you to start your brand? Crafting and creating together. And we started having trouble finding well-made items in stores, so we decided to make our own. DSC_0162DSC_0117What do you hope people take away from their experience at shopping from your brand? A quality made good that will last forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years? We hope to have higher production with employees and eventually a retail location in Lewiston.  DSC_0072DSC_0076What are your favorite products you sell? Phoebe loves the Simple Slim wallets and Rance carries the Wander Wallet. Neither of us like to carry many cards or cash at once. Less is more!DSC_0146DSC_0103How are you involved in the community? We always try to support other local businesses in Lewiston! Forage Market is our favorite cafe and we frequent the Italian Bakery.  We also love getting custom orders from locals like the apron we made for the bar manager, Thomas, at Marchè.DSC_0052DSC_0115What advice do you have for others hoping to start a business/brand from scratch? Well, it’s really hard work and can be frustrating at times but believing is achieving!DSC_0174DSC_0138DSC_0087What is it like owning a business as a couple? We get this question a lot, people ask us all the time if we fight. We don’t! We have very similar tastes and agree with most decisions. Maybe not all couples would want to spend as much time together as we do, but we aren’t complaining yet.

Are there things that you each bring to the process. If so, what is that? Rance has a background in leather and sales and Phoebe has a BFA in photography. We design and build our products together but Rance really brings the technical aspects. Phoebe manages our website and social media, but Rance takes some of the photos we use too. It’s really a great balance!DSC_0159


Photography by Chelsea Blood

Velvet Choker Giveaway

February 26, 2017

70s

You are not your roots. You are a flower grown from them.

seventiesvibes

Living back home has had its challenges, but it’s also brought many unforeseen opportunities. I think perhaps the best gift thus far has been that I’ve been given the chance to see my hometown in a new light. Growing up I always felt trapped by the small town feel and lack of diversity. The past five years I’ve grown exponentially by pushing my personal limitations and exposing myself to a myriad of new perspectives while in college. Now, in hometown again, the challenge I face is to continue to grow in a setting that I once found stagnant and even stifling.

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I’ve always favored the industrial framework of my town. The old brick mills connect me to my French Canadian heritage and remind me of the opportunities that originally brought my family to this area. Walking around the downtown part of Lewiston while taking these photos I couldn’t help but reflect of how I myself have been shaped by this community. I think about how special it is now to walk into the local Starbucks and always know someone- how once I used to cringe at this, but now after living in a large city this is something I have come to appreciate, and even more, treasure.

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I’m at an interesting point in life where I’m torn between the forces that once grounded me (home, family, religion, etc.) and wanting to break through the molding and completely rebuild what defines me. On one hand, I’m grateful for how I was raised, but on the other, I see how limiting it can be. I’m not someone who does well with transition, but I’m trying to accept that I’m in some kind of a free fall and learn all that I can by embracing the pain that comes from a time of growth.

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In this outfit I felt major 70’s vibes and treasured that something I wore could connect me to an entire decade I never actually experienced. The coat I’m wearing, for instance, reminded me of something my grandmother would have worn during that time and in this exact setting. For that reason, I felt somewhat close to her even though she’s no longer living. Being in this familiar setting I feel so much nostalgia, but more and more I see how I’ll always hold a piece of home in my heart no matter where I am in life or where I live.

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You can imagine my excitement when a local jewelry artist named Lincey Pepin recently contacted me to collaborate and I read that she was based out of my hometown. I was blown away that there are other creatives living in this community and pursuing their dreams in the greater fashion industry. Named Arthlin, her collection is sourced from materials made in the USA and each piece is handmade with care. I paired the velvet choker she gifted me with my Free People velvet flares to complete my retro look. What do you think? I’m wondering what you would wear this velvet choker with because Arthlin and I are giving away this same necklace to one lucky reader. Leave your comment below and I’ll choose one winner by Friday March 3rd at 12pm.

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LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

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