Girls Weekend at Northern Outdoors

April 12, 2017

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More often than not life has a knack of getting in the way. Between the demands of work and family life, it can often feel like you do not have enough time for yourself let alone cultivating valuable relationships. In our society, we tend to put a greater focus on the importance of romantic relationships and lose sight of all the wonderful other relationships life has to offer- like your relationship with oneself, or how loved and appreciated we can feel in the context of a friendship.

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A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to partake in a girls getaway weekend with my bestie Chelsea, and our new friend Lauren. We ventured up to Northern Maine to stay at Northern Outdoors, an all-season resort in The Forks that is home to snowmobiling, rafting, hiking, hunting, fishing, as well as a microbrewery and pub. We arrived mid morning on a Friday and upon unpacking we instantly found ourselves seated by the fireplace playing cards, chatting, and listening to good music.

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What was incredible was how within just a minute or two after meeting Lauren (Chelsea’s friend and fellow lifestyle photographer) I felt instantly close and felt an emotional connection to her. This is what is awesome about forming friendships! Great friends are basically soul mates- the connection runs deep and unlike romantic relationships, they are not fleeting. Instead, these kinds of relationships immediately allow you to feel supported and cared for without the pressure to complete the other person. They also allow you feel known, seen, heard and understood on a really profound level.

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Unlike romantic relationships, friendships aren’t typically dynamics where we “lose ourselves,” but rather where we find ourselves — through introspection, vulnerability, and emotional generosity. Friendships help you to become your best self. For me, friendships — especially with other women — have allowed me to explore who I am and where I want to go in life. This is why a weekend spent with two other extraordinary women was so good for our souls. It allowed for us each to not only regroup and recharge from the stress of daily life but also to grow on a spiritual level by challenging one another and supporting each other through our unique gifts and perspectives.

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What was especially wonderful was watching Chelsea and Lauren take turns taking photos over the weekend. As photographers they each have their own unique eye and vision, however, they both were open to learning from one another when it came to shooting this blog content. Lauren having had her photography business for longer constantly provided Chelsea with words of encouragement and offered her feedback into taking her dreams & passions into a viable career.

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This whole experience reminded me of how very important it is to surround yourself with friends who encourage you to succeed, rather than feel insecure and challenged by you rising ahead. It is so important to be friends with people who are deeply committed to not only their own personal evolution but who are also committed to seeing you thrive and want to be apart of your journey. Remember: you have control over who makes up your tribe- why not surround yourself powerful, accomplished, thoughtful individuals whom your greatly admire?

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That evening we went to the Kennebec River Brewery and Restaurant inside the main lodge for a delicious dinner of mouthwatering burgers, home-cut fries, and pasta. Lauren ordered the flight of their most popular beers and Chelsea made sure to try their “Netflix & Chill” mixed drink (definitely 10/10 would suggest). We ended up sitting in the restaurant for hours talking and laughing.

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When we got back to our cabin we were able to relax and laugh some more while watching Modern Family since the cabin we were staying in had a TV with DISH network. Speaking of amenities, I just have to take a moment and point out how incredible our cabin was. We stayed in Black Bear, which was fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen. We packed premade meals from our favorite Tripp’s Farmhouse Café that we were able to heat up and enjoy all weekend long. Also, did we mention there was a Jacuzzi in the Master bedroom? This weekend was the definition of relaxation!

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Close to the resort is the well-known Moxie falls scenic area, which we were able to hike to. Even if it’s technically the spring season in Maine, the snow on the ground makes for a prolonged sense of winter. Instead of curse the copious amounts of snow that remained, we embraced the opportunity to snowmobile and see Moxie falls covered in a white frozen splendor. Also, the three of us girls found hiking in the snow to be a welcome challenge and throughout our walk through the woods enjoyed the sound of our L.L. Bean boots crunch through the snow.

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Weekend getaways don’t have to be a luxury. If you plan ahead, budget, and prioritize you can easily plan a weekend away. More and more I’m seeing how life has to be about balance. There is something to be said about the phrase “work hard, play hard.” As much as your career is important so are your relationships. Without proper nourishment, they will not blossom and grow. What better way to spend time with loved ones than during a weekend spent in nature? I’m of the belief that life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest and I’m blessed that my home state of Maine makes for the perfect playground. You better believe I’m already planning a getaway weekend to Northern Outdoors again for this summer. Plus then the outdoor pool will be open and I can plan on crossing off whitewater rafting from my bucket list!

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Photography by Lauren Hebert and Centered Images


Thank you, Northern Outdoors for collaborating with us on this post!


LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

The Throat Chakra

April 4, 2017

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The Throat Chakra controls the energy that enables you to communicate and is located at the top of your throat to the base of your neck. When unblocked, this energy is used to express ourselves, our thoughts, and our truths.

The Throat Chakra is the driving force behind all outward connection with others. It allows for use to spill our minds and profess our passions. The energy created from the rest of our bodies chakras help form our perceptions and feelings but the energy created from the Throat Chakra is used to express those feelings to the world. This expression can take the form of spoken words, writing, gesture, or art, It’s home to our creativity that gets put forth in our daily life.

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A clear Throat Chakra leaves you in a state of openness with yourself and the people in your life. This also means you’re in a confident and independent mindset, which enables you to become inspired more easily. An open Throat Chakra helps you build better connections with others because you are able to communicate and speak your mind.

A closed Throat Chakra can cause you to feel isolated or inauthentic. To begin, this chakra can become blocked when you ignore or silence your inner thoughts and feelings. It can also become blocked when you take on beliefs and opinions of others especially if you don’t agree with them.

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You can physically feel the tightness in your throat when you try to hold in the truth. In the long run, a Throat Chakra imbalance can lead to self-consciousness, timidity, anger, depression, and even physical pain in the throat, neck, and mouth area.

It’s simple to figure out if you’re causing an imbalance to the Throat Chaka. Be real with yourself and think of what you might not be telling someone. Allow yourself space and time to reflect on your actions, thoughts, and feelings to make sure they are true to you. Are you pretending to feel a certain way within a relationship? Are you silencing your voice for the satisfaction of others? Even if you are unsure of yourself, you can begin to unblock the Throat Chakra by sharing your uncertainties.

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Get in touch with your Throat Chakra:

Blue is the empowering color of the Throat Chakra so lay out under the sky (which is actually the Throat Chakra’s natural element). On a smaller scale, try wearing something blue or using it in your artwork. The crystals and gemstones to wear and keep near include sapphire, aquamarine, quartz crystal, turquoise, blue topaz, and blue lace agate.

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Enhance your chakra balancing with yoga and aromatherapy as well.
Throat exercises, Lion pose, Plow Pose, and Camel pose are good places to start. And whether it’s a candle, incense, or essential oils, breathe in lavender, geranium, and chamomile scents.

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There are a number of things to do for yourself that will help open up and improve the balance of your Throat Chakra. Since it is the root of your self-expression get involved in a creativity activity to stir up some inspiration; anything from getting your paint out to writing a long overdue journal entry or just sing and dance to your favorite music! In order to sharpen your confidence and independence, which are also important traits of the Throat Chakra, try taking off and going somewhere on your own for a while. And no matter what you do, it is always vital to own your emotions and practice your truths.

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Model Logan Ronan


There are only two chakras left to explore of the TFC Chakra Series! Don’t miss the next post where we’ll look into the Third Eye Chakra!

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

 +Sadie (our freelance contributor)

Shop Local: Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe

March 28, 2017

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Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe, located in Auburn, Maine creates products “greater than gluten-free.” The owner, Mark Tripp offers a different look at the food our society likes to eat on a daily basis that may not be the healthiest options. He transforms foods like bagels, cupcakes, cake, chili, pies, and donuts into food that our bodies can process and breakdown easier just by choosing top notch and unlikely ingredients. We spent a day with Mark learning about his journey to better health and wellbeing. He offered us an inside look at his day behind the counter baking and making tasty treats suitable for even the sweetest tooth. From the unsuspecting eye Mark’s cupcakes and treats look decadent, to say the least, but what we found out is that they are made with the simplest, whole ingredients- from sweeteners like honey and bananas to healthy fats like avocado and coconut.

Our community is beyond fortunate to have someone so dedicated to healthy eating and work to create an opportunity for others to experience a healthy lifestyle, great food, and eat in such an inclusive environment (allergen friendly). The Fashion Cookbook is honored to be able to share the Tripp’s story and encourage you to visit them! Remember the food we eat is not only fuel for our bodies, but it also has such an incredible impact on our whole wellbeing- mind and spirit.

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What drove you to open a cafe with mainly gluten and dairy free products?

The desire to open a cafe was a multi-headed dragon. First off I had seen such great success with a grain free lifestyle and wholeheartedly believed in it and the positive changes that I wanted to share. I always enjoyed cooking for myself and with the encouragement from a close friend I started making my grain free products for other people, and selling them privately out of our house. I enjoyed doing it and it covered the cost of my own foods as an added benefit. Once I saw the demand for such a clean product I thought just maybe this could be an actual business. Although a grain free lifestyle was rather popular on the West Coast, I knew we were behind the curve here on the East Coast. I also knew going forward I would need to expand beyond my own home kitchen, get licensed, and insured. I found a shared community kitchen in an old elementary school in Peru, it was small, inefficient but it was just what we needed to be “legit”.

From there we set off to farmers markets selling our grain free muffins, “granola”, and cookies. During this venture, we saw there was a gap in our local food network for humanely, organically raised meats. We added heritage bred swine, free range chickens, eggs, bees, and maple syrup to our small line-up. We had success in the farmers market scene and at one point we sold wholesale to 17 stores in Maine. It was through the farmers market that we had the chance to open a brick and motor cafe. Although about 5 years ahead of schedule the opportunity couldn’t be passed up. Knowing the grain free market was fairly limited and unknown here in Maine, we thought gluten free would be most appropriate. Being a dedicated gluten free facility we are still able to produce our grain free items while providing a completely gluten free friendly environment.

Once up and running it was quickly noticed gluten and dairy allergies seem to go hand in hand for most, being fluid we opted to incorporate dairy free into most of our products as well. It didn’t stop there, though, we’ve no pushed on further and have many allergen friendly products that are gluten, dairy, soy, egg, yeast free and vegan option as well.

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Is gluten free for everybody?

Gluten free isn’t for everyone, but it should be. I think it’s a combination of gluten and our current big AG practices that are causing so many diseases and sicknesses in today’s world.

Would you consider going gluten free a diet or a lifestyle change? Why?

I see it as a lifestyle, and for myself, I feel people shouldn’t stop at gluten free. There are even more benefits to being grain free along with healthy alternatives. Just because something may be labeled as gluten free doesn’t mean its “good for you”. If you don’t change your lifestyle and just go on a gluten-free “diet” it is going to fail eventually, and when it does you’re going to feel worse than before you started.

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What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding gluten as an allergen?

I feel that not only does everyone have a gluten allergy but an allergy to grains in general. Some people may handle gluten or grains better than others, but it’s my true belief that if you get rid of gluten and or grains for 30 days you will see a noticeable difference if your reintroduce. While eating clean, whole, and grain free you reduce inflammation throughout your body and in turn, you have a strong healthy immune system ready to ward off any unwanted guests. Once I changed my lifestyle to grain free I saw a significant improvement in my health.

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What can you tell us about you (your products) that makes you stand out?

The difference between our products and most any other gluten free product you find is the quality of ingredients. We don’t stop at gluten-free, we use high-quality ingredients but most importantly its what we don’t use like soy, high fructose corn syrup, canola/vegetable oils, fillers, hydrogenated oils, white sugars, imitation extracts, etc. We use healthy fats such as organic coconut oil, organic butter, olive oils, pure extracts, natural sweeteners, high quality “flours, and starches”. To go along with our products we find it equally important to be providing customer service and atmosphere that matches the high-quality products.

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What is your 5-year plan, or goals for the future?

My 5-year goal is to have a larger more efficient facility to expand the Tripp’s brand. Larger seating area for those wishing to stay and enjoy the allergen friendly environment. An observation area to see our homebrew Kombucha in production. Have our meals-to-go program up and running full speed, offering good nutritionally sound meals for those on the run. To have our brand established in Maine at a minimum, hopefully, New England. Stretch our reach through wholesale clients and who knows, we aren’t ruling out the possibility of franchising.

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We had the opportunity to be the first ones to try Tripp’s newest debut: the raw chocolate brownie! Completely raw and vegan, their brownie was by far one the best desserts we’ve ever tried. It was so gooey and delicious- you would never know it was a healthier option.

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We loved Tripp’s Farmhouse café so much that we want to share the experience with you!! We are giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky reader.

To enter:

1. Must follow Tripp’s Facebook page

2. Must follow The Fashion Cookbook’s Facebook page

3. Leave us a comment telling us what menu item you are most excited to try

Good luck! Winner will be selected by April 5th at noon.

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Photography by Centered Images


Thank you again Tripp’s Farmhouse Cafe for collaborating with us!


LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

Self-Care Sunday & Self-Love Always

February 12, 2017

DSC_0253On the cusp of Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to focus on the kind of love that is arguably the most important… the love of yourself. The practice of self-love is not equated with promoting ego, conceit, or arrogance, but rather is about honoring yourself as you would others. First love yourself, and then others will love you. Self-love is about learning to love your mind, your body, and your soul. It’s about learning to accept the failures that help you to be able to grow. When you are able to accept yourself as you are in its entirety, it will make loving others, in all their differences- flaws included- all the more meaningful.

To commence this journey to self-love you must treat yourself as if you’re having a love affair… with yourself.DSC_0268To begin with, you must start by treating yourself with more kindness. When you begin to self-sabotage or think negatively of yourself you must interrupt that thinking and turn it into kind and loving thoughts. Open your heart and mind so that you can feel what it is you need and watch the universe conspire to support you.

Just as you would to a significant other, it’s important you forgive yourself- daily. We are all human and every single one of use makes mistakes. It is how we grow from these mistakes that truly defines us.

Surround yourself with supportive family and friends who love you. Set boundaries and release yourself from relationships that are toxic. Part of protecting yourself means learning to say no when you need to.DSC_0285DSC_0320Lastly, pamper yourself. A lover would buy you flowers or leave you love notes around the house. They would do whatever they could to take care of you and make you feel special. You must do the same by taking care of yourself by putting yourself first. Thus, comes forth the need for self-care.

Self-care is the way in which you take time to show your body and mind that you care. Yes, it could be treating yourself to a massage at the spa once in awhile, but more than that it is the things you do daily to remind yourself that you matter.DSC_0270DSC_0262Read books that exercise your brain and challenge you to put yourself first each and every day.

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Clear your space by burning palo santo, sage, or incense to rid yourself of negative energies.DSC_0277DSC_0311Administer essential oils on pulse points. Rose, jasmine, vanilla, honeysuckle, sandalwood and frankincense are all wonderful essential oils. They boost the energy of self-love.DSC_0314cDSC_0319Explore the art of Ayurvedic self-massage and use flower oils to assist in the emotional and spiritual levels of health.DSC_0338

Self-love is complete acceptance of yourself. To know who you are, where you have come from, and all the places you still have to go.

DSC_0332DSC_0280Meditation is the deepest form of self-love there is. Remember, if you have 15 minutes for Facebook, you can set aside 15 minutes for a practice that actually purifies your heart and connects you to who you really are. DSC_0307DSC_0290Heal yourself with crystals. Crystals can help heal deep-seated issues, bringing forth good health and greater happiness. Each crystal has its own unique healing properties — some are best suited for abundance and prosperity, while others are better for love, relationships, and harmony, or even protection and shielding.DSC_0334


Photography by Chelsea Blood

Model Logan Ronan (our newest intern)

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