Echo Park Lake

December 13, 2016

echoparklakeA little over a month ago Sadie and I met at Echo Park Lake for brunch. There we enjoyed a cheap bottle of rosé and bagels with lox as we sat for hours discussing the result of the presidential election and filling each other in on what had been going on in our lives. The major theme from our conversation was how we both were wrought with anxiety over what comes next… That applied to both the state of the country, as well as in our personal lives.

Since these photos were taken, I’ve quit my job and moved across the country back home to Maine. I must have tried to write this blog post close to twenty times now. Each time I would attempt to collect my thoughts and begin typing, only to erase it all out of frustration that no amount of words seemed to do my experience justice. I have to admit there’s a part of me now that feels a similar dissatisfaction.picnicechoparkSo what happened? I wasn’t happy living in Los Angeles. I mean I was happy to be living in the physical city, but on a deeper level, I wasn’t fulfilled with my life opportunities there. It got to a point where I was constantly anxious and depressed at work and felt completely untethered to what normally grounds me. I was barely making enough money to survive and I felt extremely isolated living alone in a new environment. What’s more is what I thought I so desperately wanted was in actuality extremely unfulfilling to me. I was on a path to becoming “a success” on paper, but in my heart, I felt sad.

picnicechoparklakeroseAn important thing to learn earlier on is what motivates you. For me, money will never be what gets me up in the morning. I crave beauty, creativity, spirituality, empowering those around me, and making some sort of difference on this earth each day. Although I’ve been able to access aspects of these things in my past jobs, none have been as fulfilling as image consulting and blogging has been for me. It finally hit me that I don’t have to wait twenty plus years to work my way up the career ladder to then follow my dreams. I can fight for my dreams starting today.

If you were to die tomorrow how would you want to spend your day today? I realize that’s a pretty hefty statement, but it brings to light the truth of whether you’re living day-to-day in a meaningful way. No ones’ answer to that question would be quite the same, but I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people would choose to spend the day doing something that they really love.

florals“What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.” — Paulo Coelhoadidas

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future and reflecting over my time spent the past three months in California. There are moments where I think that I didn’t try hard enough or that I was weak by quitting my last job. So often it makes me feel that I wasn’t as smart or as driven as I thought I was, but then I’m reminded that I quit because I was miserable and wasn’t fulfilled on a soul level. Coming back definitely has its obstacles, but I’m happy that I have a chance to help my community and be a light where it’s so greatly needed.flowerssadieHannahecholakepark


Ingredients

Kimono- Forever 21

Shirt- Target

Denim- Forever 21

Sneakers- Adidas Originals

Necklace- Forever 21


adidasoriginalsechoparkpicnicI’m not sure what comes next, but I do know that only good can come from listening to your gut. I don’t regret at all listening to my inner voice when I decided to move to LA. I’ve grown so much in such a short amount of time and so much of it was due to taking chances and learning to not let fear rule me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit scared now trying to figure out  the job situation and what comes next, but a bigger part of me is excited by the unknown. I think it’s time I embrace my personal power and use my unique gifts to help bring love to the world- starting with you, my readers. Thank you for being apart of this journey xx

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

The Dress: Part Two (aka Combating Imposter Syndrome)

October 20, 2016

lacma6You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

This thought entered my mind and brought an instant smile to my face. It’s a thought that I want to share with you today. In a society where we are constantly competing and racing to prove our worth, we often tend to beat ourselves up over not feeling accomplished enough. We look at what our peers are achieving and we feel small and somehow less competent or worthy.impostersyndromeWe hear a tiny voice within us that says:

“Are you sure you’re ready?” What gives YOU the right to try this?”
“You’ll be so embarrassed when you fail.”
“Don’t even bother.”

That little voice whispering that you are not fit to succeed or even try is indicative of something called “impostor syndrome,” a phrase coined in the late 1970s by two psychologists. It refers to high-achievers who experience an unrelenting fear of being exposed as “frauds” to their peers and struggle with intense feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Though impostor syndrome is commonly attributed to women, it actually affects almost everyone and results in self-imposed limits marked by a sensation of unworthiness.impostersyndrome1In the first part of this post, I described the significance of this dress. I shared how prior to moving to Los Angeles how I felt anxious about the transition to a new environment, and at some level was fearful over how others would perceive me. Today I want to discuss the larger topic of imposter syndrome and give you advice that I wish I had been given on ways to ditch feelings of unworthiness once and for all.lacma4 lacma5


Outfit Ingredients

Dress- Forever 21

Shirt- Zara

Sneakers- Adidas Originals


lacma3Stop comparing yourself to others. There is a distinct difference between giving your best and being the best. Likewise, there’s a distinct difference between trying to better yourself and being better than everyone else.  The true secret to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is self-acceptance:  you don’t have to attain perfection to be worthy of the success you’ve achieved. In no way does this mean that you are lowering the bar. No, it’s about resetting it to a realistic standard that doesn’t leave you forever striving and feeling inadequate. Remember you do not have to attain perfection to share something with the world that enriches people’s lives in some way.impostersyndromelacmaOwn your success. You didn’t get to where you are by chance. Just as we must take responsibility for our failures in life, we must also take responsibility for our successes. Minimizing our successes serves no one. So if you sometimes feel undeserving of your success, try writing a list of all the key things you’ve accomplished over the last 5 years.lacma2Focus on the value you bring, not on attaining perfection. One of my dearest mentors would often remind me this past year that “perfect is the enemy of the good.” Meaning that one might never complete a task if one has decided not to stop until it is perfect. It’s in the same way that people may never even begin an important task because they feel reaching perfection is too hard.

 Also by being acutely aware of how hard we’re working to keep our head above water and fulfill expectations, we often mistakenly assume others are getting by more effortlessly. The reality is that many people are stretched and struggling just like you. Perhaps not in the same way, but in their own way, with their own unique set of challenges, insecurities, and internal struggles.lacma

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

The Dress: Part One

October 12, 2016

dress4This past Saturday marked my first full month living in Los Angeles. It’s been such an incredible journey so far. I feel like a houseplant that was just put in direct sunlight for the first time ever and is blooming like never before.dress8dress1I have a vivid memory from a couple months back that I feel compelled to share. At that point, I was finishing up my Master’s degree while working full-time and preparing mentally for the possibility of moving to LA. I had just had a phone interview with a famous lifestyle brand that I felt went well, but after the conversation was left feeling so anxious, not because of the fear of not getting the position like you would think, but actually I was anxious over what it would mean if I was to get the position. Beyond the obvious fear of starting my post-college life and all that that would mean, I was truly anxious about the very idea of what I was going to wear to work if I was hired… Yes, you read that right.dress5Everyone feels the pressure to look and act a certain way, but I’ve found that working in the fashion industry and especially being an image consultant, that I’ve felt both an extreme internal and external pressure to look beautiful. I found myself thinking over and over again at how my co-workers would most likely perceive me based on my clothing and style. Would they think I was qualified to work with influencers? It boiled down to whether they thought I was worthy. How crazy is that?!dress7dress3The very dress I’m wearing in this post was the result of one of those panics- I had stopped at the mall after work at the end of summer to pick up pieces for my new fall wardrobe. Knowing I was going to be moving to LA I searched for clothing that seemed it would fit the description “California cool”. I was immediately drawn to this dresses’ major 90s vibes, but also to that I could picture how I could wear it several ways- perfect for the broke fashionista, who relies heavily on versatility.tattoo


Outfit Ingredients

Dress- Forever 21

Denim jacket- Forever 21

Hat- Free People

Sneakers-Converse


dressAs an image consultant, I want our clients to not only feel good on the outside but more importantly on the inside. You are not a better person or somehow more qualified because you have more money to buy designer clothing or expensive makeup. For instance, this dress I’m wearing was only $20 and I feel great in it. I felt so great that when I wore it to work I didn’t even remember to think about if my co-workers would be impressed or not.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is because I want you to know that you are not alone in your worry or self-doubt. People around you may look like they have their shit together, but everyone goes through moments of feeling unattractive, dumb, or worthless. I’ve learned that this is the ego or the part of the mind that believes it is separate from love. Take a moment to recognize that anything that isn’t love is an illusion. The truth is that the perfect you isn’t something you need to create- you already are- the perfect you is the love within you.kisskissdress6LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Mastering the Art of Athleisure

September 24, 2016

athleisure2If you’re as guilty as I am of following supermodels’ every move on social media, then you’re probably familiar with the Athleisure inspired look. Leggings, crop top, bomber jacket, you know the drill. But some of you might also be wondering what in the world kind of word “athleisure” is.

If the latter is the case, don’t be scared by the “athletic” part of the word if you haven’t been to the gym in 6 months, and let’s embrace the “leisure” part of the word. This trend emerged sometime in the early 2000s and has recently become the go-to street look for models and fashion bloggers everywhere, and now it can be yours. The whole idea of Athleisure is basically getting dressed for a workout, without actually working out. Yes, you read that right. Although it’s the perfect outfit for days when you’re crammed with school or meetings and need to find a work appropriate outfit that you can later wear for a workout, there is no physical activity required to wear this. It is a minimalistic approach to dressing comfortably without sacrificing style.athleisure1 athleisure3Despite its simplicity and comfort, Athleisure is definitely not a cop-out; dirty sweatshirts and hole-y leggings will never be socially acceptable. A coworker once told me my style is “sporty chic” and as a someone who is half French I was extremely offended and thought “is she calling me lazy??”. I thought she meant that I don’t look put together, but after observing the Athleisure trend I would definitely take that as a compliment.

Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson says “athleisure is dead”, but I’m going to have to strongly disagree with that. With supermodels taking over this trend, and brands such as Beyonce’s new line Ivy Park emerging, fashion is taking a huge turn. Even brands such as Nike and New Balance have picked up on the Athleisure trend by adding “Lifestyle” categories to their brand. Athleisure has generated too much attention and praise for it to just be a passing fad, and honestly, I see it more as a movement. As we move into this technology-driven era where everything is fast paced, what better trend to complement the on-the-go lifestyle. Athleisure allows you to move around comfortably while tackling your busy schedule. Wear this trend wherever you want and however you want, whether that be to the grocery store or to a 5am Spin class.athleisureAt this point you probably understand the concept of Athleisure but maybe still aren’t sure how to style it. Models out and about in matching bombers or carelessly leaving a boxing class wearing a sports bra on the street can be pretty intimidating. Don’t let Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid off put you with their confidence and ease they wear their clothes with. There is not one specific body type that works best for the Athleisure trend, it’s about comfort, not looking like a supermodel. Athleisure is about being comfortable, so if wearing a sports bra in the middle of New York City isn’t for you, opt for something else.


Outfit Ingredients

Leggings – Lululemon

White Shoes- Adidas

Black shoes – Nike

Sunglasses – Rayban

Long White shirt – Banana Republic

Tied up white shirt – Project Social T

Green bomber – Pins and Needles


athleisure6

Here are my staples, most of which you probably already have in your closet:

  • Leggings: invest in a good pair. Spending the extra money doesn’t just buy you a brand name, it can save you the embarrassment of unknowingly walking around in leggings covered with holes.
  • Sneakers: white sneakers have become a trend of their own, one I am a huge fan of, but make sure you take good preventative care. I made the sad, sad mistake of not buying fabric protectant and had to accept that the stains on my once-treasured Stan Smiths made them unwearable.
  • Your gym shoes: if they’re clean, I say wear them with some skinny jeans and a cropped jacket.
  • Bomber jackets: extremely flattering, even more comfortable, this trendy jacket pulls together virtually any outfit to make it sporty.
  • Slip-ons: those Vans you used to wear as an angsty middle-schooler are coming back into style. Plain colors are more versatile, but I’ve noticed a lot of Instagrammers such as Lauren Elizabeth rocking the checkered slip on Vans if patterns are your thing.
  • Ankle Jeans: the skinny jean is slowly evolving and its next move is the ankle crop. Something about the just-above-the-ankle cut has an elongating effect on the legs and adds a small touch to the look. Topshop has been following this flattering trend for some time now, and they also offer pant lengths in Petite and Tall sizes!
  • Baseball hats: you can find them online, on the street, or in your dad’s closet
  • Leather jacket: pleather or leather, if you throw this on over the outfit you plan on working out in later, it instantly makes it chic
  • Duffel bags: if you still have an old gym bag lying around, use it. I recently rediscovered an Adidas duffel bag that I used to pack my volleyball gear in and have been using it as a carry-on for travel or as a weekender bag.
  • Windbreakers and puffy jackets: these are not only good for chilly weather, but a sleek windbreaker can easily dress down

LOVE,

Annabelle

Style Contributor

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