September 7, 2016

avenaI’ve taken something of a break from blogging lately. Part of it was out of necessity because there were simply not enough minutes that made up each day—between work and finishing school, but also because I’ve been overwhelmed emotionally. In the past two weeks alone I’ve completed my master’s degree, finished my 6-month long internship with New Balance, moved out of the home I lived-in nannied for to temporarily move home, only to pack up and leave once again this upcoming Friday. The next destination in the journey? Los Angeles.

Over the past few months I’ve felt such a deep and intense feeling that I can only describe as growing pains. It’s felt as if my bud has begun to blossom and each petal is working passionately to outstretch towards the sunlight, while at the same time my roots cling deeper and sink further into the earth. Is it possible to grow in two directions? In my case, during this intense transition I’ve felt pulled between treasuring family with the desire to follow my passions and dreams. I’ve known for sometime now that I would have to choose following my heart, no matter if that takes me away from everyone that I love.

flowers2 garden

Home is not where you are from, it is where you belong. Some of us travel the whole world to find it. Others, find it in a person.

Beau Taplin

avenabotanicalsWhen I think of the concept of home I’m reminded that I’ve felt at home in many situations, in several environments, with different people, and at times on my own. As much as there are elements in our lives that serve as emotional anchors, these things will eventually fade or can change. I’m learning more and more that it’s about treasuring them while they last, and holding dear with you their lessons as you embark without them. ring  watergardenAs I continue to grow, so does The Fashion Cookbook. The people who contribute to it also grow, and as a result it is always evolving.

I’m so humbled and blessed that this mere blog has been one of the most formative outlets for me. It is in someways a physical manifestation of my being. When I think about what I dream about the most, it’s never been about a job or career, but always boiled down to the fact that I’ve wanted my everyday to be about being wholeheartedly myself and I tend to be the most in touch with that self when I’m creative or serving others. What’s beautiful is that I’ve started to find a way to do that through blogging and image consulting services. Little by little I’m working towards the life I’ve always desired, and also I’m connecting to my soul + purpose along the way.

flowers lemonbalm

I’m nervous of the next step, but I’m also thrilled beyond belief. No, I do not have a sure way of knowing if I’ll find success on the west coast, but I’m proud of myself for my willingness to try.

pathapothecaryThese photos were taken at the beautiful apothecary Avena Botanicals in Rockport, Maine. I highly suggest checking it out if you’re ever in the area! The herb gardens are so breathtaking and there are so many tucked away corners perfect for meditation and reflecting. 

Outfit Ingredients

Hat- Club Monaco

Dress- J. Crew

Denim Jacket- Forever 21

Rose quartz necklace- Mexicali Blues



Meditation for Depression

August 5, 2016

I can speak from experience in saying that the worst kind of depression is the kind that is brought on by absolutely nothing. No external events, circumstances or outcomes caused the heaviness you suddenly start to feel in your extremities. Unwarranted depressive states are paralyzing. It feels like you’re walking through a swamp with no visible way out. But even more frightening, you have no desire to find a way out.

When negative energies get built up in the mental body, they start to take up space in the physical body. And with us being earthly creatures, we have no sense of how to move this energy. It stays stagnant and only continues its massive build and depression becomes our norm. We have no idea how to transmute this energy into bliss, joy, radiance.

Meditation is the connection to the spiritual being within, to access the physical body, to move this stuck and damaging energy. My preferred form of meditation for relieving depression, is Kundalini meditations. Kundalini is a term for a primal energy, a shakti, that is mostly untouched residing in a coil at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga is the practice of using breath, meditation, and poses to move the kundalini energy through all your chakras and up to your brain both releasing the kundalini energy, and stimulating your nervous system and body.  meditationforyoga meditationforyoga2The first exercise I turn to regularly is a Breath of Fire exercise.

Breath of fire is a fast breath where you pulse the diaphragm towards your spine on the exhale rapidly. Breath of fire should not be done by any ladies on their moon cycle or who are pregnant. Just take long deep breaths instead.

In this exercise, sit cross legged, with your right and left arms parallel to the ground at your heart center, with the right hand on top of the left, palms down. Pulse your arms down towards your navel on your exhale, and back up to your heart center in your inhale, as you do breath of fire through an “O” mouth breath.

This is my personal favorite for loosening up the energy in the heart space, so it can be moved and transformed further through your practice.

Do this for 3-6 minutesyogafordepression2The second exercise is called Fists of Anger.

Sit cross legged with your hands in fists, and your thumbs resting on top of your other four fingers. Move the arms in a backwards circular motion behind the head on each exhale, one at a time right after another, using the same fast pace and “O” mouth breath of fire from the previous exercise.

This exercise is for clearing and  rewriting your arcline. Your arcline deals with your karmic abundance. It is the transmitter that sends out your different energies and frequencies from your aura. Your arcline is earlobe to earlobe in men and women, and also nipple to nipple in only women. It is the place where negative thought patterns and imprints from unhealthy experiences occupy space, and are projected back into the universe as your energy field. Clearing your arcline and rewriting negative past experiences and imprints, creates a new slate of love, bliss, wealth, and ease in what you give out to the universe, and in what it has to give back to you.

Do this for 3-6 minutesyogafordepressionThe last exercise is done in child’s pose.

With your feet together and your knees apart, lay your front body over your knees, sit back on your heels, and rest the hands extending from the crown of your head in a prayer position. Allow long deep breaths to move from your lower belly, to the crown of your head, all the way back down the body and out the root chakra. Feel the buzzing of your cells and your nervous system awake, vibrant, and changed. Feel a diamond white light at your third eye chakra and at the heart chakra, opening you up to receiving even more comforting, quiet light. Let the breath moving through your body, ground you and anchor you to mother earth. Feel the trust and reverence for the universe you now have within your clean state.

Do this for 3 minutes



Wellness contributor

The Journey of Self-Awareness

July 31, 2016

A·ware·ness – one word, three syllables. This powerful word gives root to another even more powerful word, self-awareness, which is the topic of today’s blog post. But let’s introduce the concept of awareness before we go any further. Awareness is defined as a state of consciousness or knowledge. It marks the first step towards any informed action. It implies that we’ve become exposed to or acquired knowledge of a situation, emotion, or state – that our eyes have been opened. Every campaign for change often begins with awareness as the first step in mobilization. People simply cannot champion for something they don’t know about, right?


Descending from this concept is the less understood and less practiced idea of self-awareness – and it is one of those grand gifts and mysteries bestowed upon as humans. To put it in philosophical terms we are conscious of being conscious. 

Simply put, I like to think of it as having a full understanding of self.

It is knowing what drives you versus what makes you tick. To me, self-awareness is an extension of self-love and self-worth. It is an increased level of emotional intelligence that allows you to be honest with yourself and others about your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motivations, and emotions.

When we live our lives on auto pilot we miss valuable opportunities to experience life to its fullest extent.

One of the main areas where this comes into play is with relationships.

Self-awareness is the difference between anticipating conflict and engaging in a productive conversation and getting into a blowout fight. Self-awareness gives us the clarity and empowerment to ask for help. It allows us to acknowledge our weaknesses while paying equal tribute to our strengths. It is an understanding that allows us to pursue our passions. Self-awareness allows us to peel back the layers and discover what truly makes us happy beyond the will imposed by others or our own appropriation of others’ beliefs.Beaching8

Self-awareness begins with introspection. But it’s not a singular journey by any means. Self-awareness at its best involves thoughtful reflection of how we engage with others and their perceptions of us. Feedback from others can help us see the things we don’t see such as how our intentions translate into actions, and what if anything is lost in translation. Feedback from those you trust can shed light on our areas of development and are an integral part of becoming more self-aware.

Notice that the title of this post is not “The Journey to Self-Awareness” but rather “The Journey of Self-Awareness.” Self-awareness is an iterative process and a continuous journey. You should strive for progress along the way as you build upon your learnings but self-awareness as an end goal in and of itself loses sight of the idea of a journey. Sure, there are some lessons in self-awareness which would serve you well to begin practicing sooner rather than later, like how to better handle conflict or how to better lead others, but the process of self-discovery is in my opinion, part of our lifelong journey and is what drives us to pursue everyday with curiosity, fervor, and passion.
Beaching6 Beaching7Beaching5


Top: Express

Pants: Express

Earrings: Express

Shoes: Steve Madden



Blog Signature Patricia


Embracing Your Full Existence

July 11, 2016

The Fashion Cookbook has grown a lot over the years, and it has expanded to cover topics far beyond outfit inspiration. In fact, we hope to inspire our readers on a deep level. Today I’m eager to share a different kind of post with you. Victoria Cyzewski, our wellness contributor wrote a beautiful and insightful piece about embracing your full existence. Victoria played a vital role in my self-love and spiritual journey and it means so much to me that she has joined The Fashion Cookbook and can bring a new perspective to our team. I hope you can take a moment to read her words and truly reflect on them.

–Hannahfreepeopledress freepeoplethecape sunsetonthecapeWhen We Forget

We are souls having a human experience. We posses both a grounded earthly pull within our bones and our cells, and yet the soaring whimsical thoughts of the divine within our hearts. This duality that is the nature of having an earthly human experience, combined with our relationship to the majesty and abundance of the universe can often times become confusing and tricky for us when we are thinking with our rational human mind. More often than not, when we are experiencing a human world of anxiety, confusion, and opposition, we have forgotten the flip side of our existence. The magical, eternal, non-material side of our existence that calls us upwards to the sky and to the heavens. It’s the golden light of calm that oxygenates your cells when you take a relaxed deep breath. It’s the indescribable awe and humbleness you feel when you watch the orange sunrise over the ocean. It’s the real truth of our existence in this suit of clothes we call a body. Though the body is anchored in this human life we are here to do the work of our quiet, higher soul’s calling.sunsetonthecape1Surrender

Let go of the certainty you think accompanies a world you can see and feel in this moment of consciousness. Transcend the belief that your eyes, your hands, your feet, your beating heart and all that rules you and dictates your accomplishments, your failures, your joys, and your disappointments. Surrender to the truth that you were created from much more than that. So much more that it is too grand, too colorful, too full of blessings, grace and majesty for you to see with these eyes. Surrender to the quiet that contains all the answers you have been seeking.thecape2 thecapeChange Your Prayer

Ask the energetic fairies pulling your consciousness higher what they would have you do; How they would have you be and show up in this human experience? Shift your prayer from asking how you can acquire things and achieve things, to a prayer of how you can serve. Ask the divine how it would like you to be of service and the vehicle of divine love. Pray to simply be the faucet; Be the contraption in which honest love and wisdom can speak through and can connect with your brothers and sisters having this experience with you.

thecapefreepeople                                                                                          Dress- Free People



& Victoria

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