How To Style a Bar Cart

March 30, 2015


Image via Pinterest

You’ve probably seen images of the bar cart online- or if you have a stylish friend, probably in their apartment. The bar cart is an essential piece for someone who entertains in their home often. It’s a fun way to organize your alcohol and glasses to make it easier for entertaining, as well as it serves as a fun styling feature for home decor. Once I created a Word Document for my future apartment planning, it wasn’t long after that I began scaling other blogs for bar cart styling tips. Its kinda crazy how many hours I spend on interior design websites and plan out what I will eventually buy to decorate my home with… When I tend to “window shop” and add items to my cart, it ends up totally just around $1,000 and sometimes over… and that doesn’t include the price for the actual alcohol to go in the bar cart. Yikes! It most likely has to do with the high quantity of Kate Spade and Lulu and Georgia items I pick out. Regardless if I had a big-girl-job, or not, that amount isn’t realistic. There is definitely a way to style a bar cart that is way cute and affordable, without relying on designer names.

 Version One: $987.30


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Overall, I have a very eclectic personal sense of style, but when it comes to home decor I’m drawn to minimalism and hints of girliness (that primarily being pops of gold and pink- my favorite color combo). If you look on Instagram and on other blogs, you’ll mainly find items like these and the cost will be quite steep. Fret not! For, I myself cannot afford to spend that much, and went on a search for similar pieces (also very cute) that followed the same aesthetic, but did not cost an arm and a leg. Because let’s be real… who can really spend that and not feel guilty?

Version Two: $226.77


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For this second version, I shopped mostly at Target, Walmart, Christmas Tree Shop, and The only hesitancy I have with shopping a these kind of stores (disregarding Etsy), is that they do not have as good a quality. I suggest checking out your local Goodwill store before going anywhere else. Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will also be more sustainable. Besides, then at the end of the day you will have a bar cart that is unique to you.

 p.s Don’t forget to add fresh flowers to your bar cart to liven up the space!


Blog Signature Hannah

Student Apartment Tour

February 16, 2015

Once again we are hosting a home tour! This time around we are traveling all the way to sunny Tampa, Florida to escape the cold and to visit a dear friend of Hannah’s. Today I want to introduce a very special friend of mine and fellow fashion blogger (also from Auburn, Maine!). Her name is Becca and she is incredibly talented. I first met her in middle school and we became close friends in high school. She has an incredible eye for style and has a budding career in graphic design ahead of her. I’m drawn to her eclectic aesthetic, talent for mixing high and low pieces, and her sharp wit. Be sure to check out her fashion blog, called “The Mirror Shot.”


Name: Becca Barton

School: University of Tampa

Occupation: Graphic Design Student and Freelancer— I’m currently a student at the University of Tampa, but I also spend a lot of time freelancing, creating websites and hand lettering for clients.

Interests: Designing, doodling, and traveling. Every once in a while, it’s nice to get off the computer and get out and explore new places.

Favorite stores: Bib + Tuck, (a clothes trading website with a stellar selection), Madewell, OakNYC


Let’s talk about your home! Do you own or rent, and how long have you been living in your current place? I rent, & was fortunate enough to find a really great place (& roommate, and cat named Macdaddy!) through Craigslist back in November.


What home items are important to invest in? What items do you recommend saving on? I’ve collected the objects in my home a lot like I’ve collected my wardrobe. It’s a collection of things that have caught my eye, and although it’s random at times, they somehow all go well together. I’m definitely drawn to rooms that look like a curated museum of the person who lives there.


What was the biggest design challenge you faced in decorating your home, and how did you overcome it? The biggest hurdle was downsizing from the one bedroom I had all to myself, to fitting everything into one room. It really forced me to look through everything and assess what I really needed, and what maybe wasn’t really all that necessary to keep. Thankfully now I think my room is now just a really condensed version of the things I love.


How long did it take for your home to look the way that it does now? Since I moved in a few months ago, I’ve worked pretty hard to get it to look the way it does. It was a lot of late nights spent rearranging furniture for the best configuration. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it to feel at home in the place you live.


(examples of her lettering work- for more check out her Instagram)


Where would you like to see yourself in five years? I’m still figuring out my niche, but right now I’m really loving what magazines like WIRED are doing with the interactive digital version of their magazines that they create for tablets. I’d love to be behind the scenes coding up a storm and working to make the digital experience of the magazine even better than the print version.


Like what you see? Or in need of a graphic designer & web developer? Be sure to check out her website here for more of her work!Becca

We want to give a special thank you to Becca for her help with this post 


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Valentine’s Day via Pinterest

February 11, 2015

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With Valentine’s Day coming up on Saturday, I’ve been busy pinning and planning a Galentine’s Day brunch for my lady friends using Pinterest. For those who do not know what Galentine’s Day is, it is based off of an episode of Parks and Recreation. Celebrated on February 13th it is a day where you celebrate your gal pals. Often times Valentine’s Day can be a tough time for people and it can be downright sad to those not in a relationship. Instead, I try to focus on showing the people in my life who I truly appreciate and care for, how loved they are. So, I put on a brunch to help people feel special during the “love” holiday. It’s super fun with cute decorations, plenty of pops of pink, balloons, tassel garland, mimosas, and of course breakfast food. Be sure to check back next week for the upcoming blog post that recaps the event!




-Mimosas topped with strawberries (kombucha version here)

-smoky Bloody Mary

-orange juice

-coffee & tea


-mini bagels and cream cheese

-mini egg bites

-heart shaped donuts

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year.. Every February 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” –Leslie Knope

*Images via Pinterest


Blog Signature Hannah

Our First Home Tour

January 26, 2015

The Fashion Cookbook is excited to do our very first home tour! Not only are we inspired by other blogs and websites, such as The Glitter Guide or The Every Girl, but also we are inspired by our very own friends and family. From time to time we will be featuring our friends and family’s home decor for a little extra style inspiration… xoxo

Name: For purposes of business and to add mystery to our first home tour, our host has decided to go under her Instagram name, @Truenovember.


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School: Clark University studying English and Business

Occupation: Student, community parent advocate, and entrepreneur

Interests: Reading, writing, arts and crafts, diy projects, photography, filofaxing

Favorite Stores: For furniture: thrift stores, consignment stores, flea markets, Home Goods. For everything else: Marshalls, Kate Spade, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, TJ Maxx, and Target.

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Let’s talk about your home! Do you own or rent, and how long have you been living in your current place? 6 months, rent.

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What home items are important to invest in? What items do you recommend saving on?

I tend to splurge on items that transcend the test of time (by time I mean me).

I save on trending or periodic items. Take for example my sofa. The sofa is the biggest piece of furniture in my living room. It is an item that I do not intend to replace every summer, winter, or fall. Yet, because I know that I embrace change and I’m the type of person that is constantly modifying things around (a little too often), I knew I needed to buy something that would effortlessly blend with whatever accent pieces, wall color, and window treatment changes, or whatever seasonal décor I threw its way. As bad as I imagined a hunter green tufted velvet sofa, and a glass crass coffee table, I just couldn’t.I couldn’t because a sofa of its type would’ve required for me to work around it. That’s too much commitment for a girl that changes things around every season.

To answer your question (chuckles), I’d say it is okay to invest in a good sofa because it tends to, very inevitably so, become a centerpiece. I went for a neutral color, beige, because it goes well with just about everything. I chose a material that can be easily cleaned just in case anyone (I can be slightly clumsy) accidentally drops say, a soda pop on it. I also stuck to tufted because I find that it adds character to an otherwise plain sofa and it makes it look timeless.

Good bed sheets, accent pillows, and window treatments are also worth splurging on because they are things that you either end up using often, or do not change often. I also like to splurge on flowers. I realize that there is an alternative to real flowers and that is I could go for plastic, where I wouldn’t have to buy real flowers as often. But, the alternative just does not work for me. I love flowers (and indoor plants) and find that they have an amazing way of making a home feel lively, fresh, and clean. They inspire me. Did you know that, according to a NASA study, houseplants have been shown to remove toxins from the air (they purify the air), reduce noise, and increase energy and health? True story.

Everything else, for example, frames, TV stand, vases, coffee tables, chairs, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, should not require anyone’s hard earned money. I hit the consignment store for everything else and live by spray paint.

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What was the biggest design challenge you faced in decorating your home, and how did you overcome it? 

I love light and space, yet as much as I loved and wanted high ceilings and huge windows, they quickly became a design challenge. I originally wanted white linen/cotton drapes. I had pictured them, sketched them and located them. They seemed to work simply perfect with everything in the house. It wasn’t until after I looked into the measurements and calculated the investment that I realized that because of the width (too wide) and height (too high) of the combined windows, an investment that had previously (at my old apartment) been less than $50.00 was all of a sudden over $200.00 (drapes and rods). That proved to be too much for my budget. Especially since I know that come next year, I would want to change them all over again. I moved on to plan B, blinds and shades. Waterfall Roman shades were at the top of my list. Yet because the size of each window was not recognized as standard size (width too thin or too wide), I soon found out that I had to get them custom made. This alternative turned out to be too expensive. It was during that process that I found out that Home Depot had very affordable vinyl shades that they custom cut right on the spot at no additional fee. I found some simple and very inexpensive shades in a variety of neutral colors for under $8.00 each. In addition to its price tag, I loved that they were thin enough to allow natural light in but also thick enough for privacy. I was able to get them in white. They were extremely easy to assemble. It took me less than 5 minutes to put each of them up and I love that once rolled down, they look as smooth as if they were made of fabric material. I spent under $45.00 in total. I hope to eventually get drapes, but as of now, I am more than confident with my off-white shades budget-friendly shades.

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How would you describe your personal decorating style? I’m not sure I can think of a particular name for my home décor style. Friends have described it as a blend of chic, rustic, contemporary, coastal, traditional, cottage-ish, and sometimes regency. I guess if I had to choose a descriptor I’d have to say eclectic because it allows me to not have to choose between profiles or periods; it is playful, while also serious, personal, while also detached.

I hold no reservations when it comes to mixing and matching old and new, East and West, luxe and humble, showy and quiet. My home holds objects I love, such as books and prints, and unique finds that strike my fancy. My home decor reflects my personal style in the sense that I can put together a smashing outfit from a jumble of sale-rack finds at Banana Republic or Savers, and my iTunes mix skips from Bach to Lauryn Hill to Ricardo Arjona and Hozier. Simply put, it’s me, curated.

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How long did it take for your home to look the way that it does now? I want to say 5 to 7 years but I can’t put an exact number to it since I remember working on my apartment since before I even had one. I am constantly adding, taking away, and shifting things around, mostly in my head, thus I’ll have to say it is always under construction.


Where would you like to see yourself in five years? Although I am inclined to say and stick with, “to become a published Latina author of short stories and poetry,” I have to stress and remind myself that five years is not that far off from now. Therefore, I would love to either be running my own business or work somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to develop my skills, take on challenging projects, and work in an environment that allows me continue to learn from and help people. I am driven to be the best at what I do, this hypothetical organization would have to fulfill that need.


Thank you so much @Truenovember for your help with this post! We loved spending time with you in your apartment this past weekend and for being able to talk fashion, life, and spirituality. We hope our readers enjoy your space just as much as we do! Also, we cannot get over your gallery wall! 


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

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