Shop Local

Shop Local: Seed to Stem

February 8, 2016


Today we bring you an extra special post! The Fashion Cookbook is starting a new Shop Local series, where we share local gems in the greater Worcester and Boston area with you. To start us off we are visiting a whimsical store called, “Seed to Stem” a small gift shop located on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. Seed to Stem is owned by two lovely ladies, Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue, who curate eclectic natural pieces, from air plants to various animal skulls and so much more, to make a unique shopping experience like no other.

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Tell us a little about yourself? We are both in our 30’s and are from small towns that skirt Worcester… Westborough and Grafton. Candace and I met about 12/13 years ago and quickly became best friends… always doing projects together and going on adventures…antiquing..exploring..etc. I grew up in my mother’s flower shop with an attached greenhouse where my love of plants started. Candace worked at the flower shop when we met and also grew a love for plants. We both enjoy creating with our hands, painting, art, interior design, good music, good beer, animals, the outdoors, antiquing and traveling.

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What inspired you to start the store? Candace and I started making terrariums at home for fun and decided that we should do a craft show. Candace was working as an executive assistant in a large company and I was working as a veterinary technician. We attended stART on the Street in Worcester and people were so interested that we soon began doing more shows. I was living at my mothers at the time and her kitchen became a plant lab. We then took over Candace’s spare bedroom and did the same. We decided to then rent a small room in the Cider Mill building in Sterling to set up our wares in-between shows. We quickly outgrew that space and opened our little shop on Shrewsbury Street. We were inspired to open the shop due to the positive response we had from customers, friends, and family. We also both love merchandising and setting up store displays, so having a space to change all the time is perfect for us. We also wanted to bring nature into people’s lives in a more modern and stylish way. shoplocalhomedecor shoplocalwoo

Where do you see yourself in five years? We hope within 5 years (or sooner) to expand our store…. We are planning on carrying a much more diverse line of goods… We are hoping to become a true “lifestyle” shop. We are hoping to expand into having a kitchen section with carefully curated kitchen goods… a very selective clothing and accessory section, expanding our furniture and antiques collections, and offering more home decor items.

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 What advice do you have for budding female entrepreneurs? Our advice for budding entrepreneurs is to just go for it… take the risk and don’t think too much while doing it.


What do you hope people take away from their experience at shopping at your store? We hope that by connecting people with nature who might otherwise not have much connection, that we can help them further connect to themselves..”connecting humans with their roots” …. We wanted to create an environment that can inspire and intrigue people. We both believe that your surroundings really affect your well-being. We hope people can step into our space and feel inspired to re-create their own space. We also hope people will feel inspired to live with plants, and feel good about learning how to care for them until it becomes second nature.

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 Thank you Candace and Virginia for letting us tour your beautiful store and interview you!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Wine & Dine

November 23, 2015

Wine & Dine

The story usually goes something like… you are preparing yourself to be wined and dined by a significant other or potential suitor. You ransack your closet looking for the perfect ensemble, amassing piles of clothes on your bedroom floor, scrambling about to finish hair, makeup, and that manicure you somehow forgot about. The anticipation is exciting but the process stressful. 

It’s rare that we use this phrase in the context of wining and dining yourself or taking some time out of your busy schedule to join a friend for a drink and a meal. So this post is all about taking it back to basics, dressing elegantly but not fussy, enjoying a pizza (or two!) and a glass of wine, and cherishing moments of laughter, good conversation, and a warm ambiance.

The New Rules of the Wine & Dine

1. Wining and dining shalt not be reserved only for significant others or suitors.

In layman’s terms, make time to wine & dine yourself (say, after a stressful week at work) and your friends to show your appreciation for their friendship and to be there to laugh, listen, and offer words of wisdom or encouragement.

2.  Thou shalt dress up but not dress fussy.

Blend comfort and style with a chic poncho (that way you can eat as much as you’d like!) or stay warm and stylish with a sweater dress for a more form fitting look. The key to avoiding a massive fight with your closet every time you get dressed is to invest in timeless pieces that are appropriate for day or night and never go out of style.

3. Thou shalt not stress about primping.

Keep your makeup simple and sophisticated by focusing on flawless skin, polished brows, and lashes (add a subtle cat eye for a bit of extra drama).

Don’t stress about getting a blow out! A fishtail braid or ponytail accessorized with a fun headband give you a chic and put together look without much effort (*added bonus: they also work great on dirty tresses).


And now…

Some tips for wining & dining.

1. Explore your hometown or city.

You never know what hidden gems you might find. While we love Boston, New York, LA, São Paulo, and other big cities that we’ve been blessed to spend time in we’ve also come to appreciate  all that Worcester has to offer. We are incredibly lucky to have a plethora of restaurants of varying tastes to choose from. We recently enjoyed authentic Neapolitan pizza just fifteen minutes away from home at Volturno Pizza, an italian restaurant located on Shrewsbury street.

2. Explore your taste buds.

Speaking of Volturno, we had clams on our pizza… and it was delicious! Wining and dining is all about the experience. Create more memorable experiences by trying something new and exploring your taste buds. You never know what you might discover!

3. Carve out “me” time.

Sometimes the only way to get some “me” time is to step away from the stress of work and home and just get away for a weekend. If a weekend is too great of a commitment then plan a night out. A great way to spice things up and do something special for yourself is to stay in tune with local events happening near you.

Attend an evening event that forces you to take some time to pamper and treat yourself to an extra special night out!

For our west coast friends – the inspiration for this post came from speaking with our new friend Jenna at Fairmont Hotels, West Coast. She told us about the themed events that the Fairmont San Jose hosts each month. With this month’s being “Wine & Dine,”  we are sad to be missing out. Boy, do we wish we were in San Jose during these chilly days –  especially at the Fairmont Hotel, which is conveniently located close to more than 60 wineries!! Fortunately, we still created a couple of inspired looks for you to serve as inspiration for a wine & dine evening on your calendar.  It is a tad chillier here in Massachusetts so we brought some New England flare to our looks. However, if you are enjoying those warmer temperatures you can easily tweak this look. For cooler evenings, opt for bare legs and strappy sandals with a light knit sweater dress or an a-line skirt with a light weight poncho.

So, Cali girls attend the event and soak up some extra sunshine and glamour for us, will you? For the rest of you, if wining and dining isn’t on your calendar yet go ahead and pencil it in now.


Outfit Ingredients: 

Sweater dress:  Abercrombie & Fitch
Tights: Express
Heels: Aldo
Purse: Kate Spade
Necklaces: TJ Maxx, Bauble Bar (pendant)


Outfit Ingredients:
Cape: Ralph Lauren
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Aldo
Headband: Loft
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Clutch: Kate Spade

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 *Special thanks to Fairmont San Jose for collaborating with us!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

Northern Maine x Free People

November 20, 2015

Today Sadie (our newest freelance contributor) and I bring you back to a long weekend we spent in Fort Kent, Maine this past October. I had been invited to my older brother’s annual barn dance that weekend and I ended up renting a cabin close by with Sadie and our other best friend Melissa. Together, we partnered with Free People to create beautiful imagery to mirror the stunning northern Maine setting. We hope you enjoy reliving this magical weekend just as much as we have…♥

Sadie is up first sharing about her experience:

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Being from Maine can mean very different things depending on what county you’re from. That’s why a Fort Kent weekend cabin trip had me unaware of what to expect; I was home, but just in an undiscovered part of it.DSC_0668

The first photographs Hannah and I set out to capture once we arrived at our cabin escape were taken in the lovely mid-morning sunlight. The air was freezing but the presence of the farm animals and hand built barn added an element of life and warmth. I even remember at one point hearing a crying kitten from the barn but we couldn’t get to it. Being obsessed with fluffy animals and not being able to help the cat made it hard to continue shooting. I just hoped we would find the little creature at the barn dance later that night.

We all got ready in the cabin, dressed in our boots, flannels and sweaters. The fall air was thin and crisp as we walked down a dirt road to the party. It seemed like the entire town of Fort Kent was invited and welcomed. It also seemed like this communal event was the epitome of a barn dance: complete with a roaring fire, potluck supper, fiddle, acoustic guitars, and lots of hay.DSC_0661

Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People:: High Plains Printed DressOver the knee socks, Sounder Lace Up BootsMatador Hat, and Graceland Choker

It didn’t take long before I heard the same kitten cry again, but this time a child was holding it. The little girl explained to me that they found her alone in the woods and decided to give the kitten a home with them. I was relieved to know the kitten had a home and I kept thinking about what that meant. The kitten served as a symbol for my overall feeling about our weekend at the northernmost pinnacle of Maine; an undeniable feeling of welcoming, acceptance, and understanding.

The night was complete with dancing children, laughter, live music, delicious food, and great conversation. The whole weekend actually carried the same tune, beginning with our six hour drive up. It felt grounding to expand my roots in the state I grew up in, which is a feeling I had been in search for. Days like these remind me that we can choose to accept what comes along with open arms. We can continue to grow our roots anywhere. -Sadiemainefreepeoplefreepeople3

It had been close to five years since I last made the trip to the most northern part of Maine. If I remember correctly the last time I went was during the wintertime of my senior year of high school, and with me was father, younger brother Camden, and our exchange student (sister) Nastya. To think so much has changed since then, but also how so much has stayed the same.

Whenever I return to the state of Maine, I feel a deep sense of nostalgia and sometimes it tastes bitter-sweet. The environment is what is most familiar to me, as well as the people I love and care for the most live there. In the past something has tended to feel out of place for me though; almost like every time I return something is different. I’m realizing I am what is different. Just like the trees that go through the stages of life: I blossom, grow, fade and repeat. Depending on where I am in that process, I have often felt like I’m not whole in one specific setting.


Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People: Cable Open Back SweaterStrappy Back Bra, Compass Cuff Beanie, Rolled Crop Skinny, Quilted Denim JacketBenson Chelsea Boot, and Slouchy Vegan Tote

During that weekend when I returned to Fort Kent I was in one of those transitions. This time, however, in the midst of feeling incomplete and anxious with my latest transition, I started to relax because I felt at home. It started with the long drive up North. With Melissa driving and Sadie in the back seat, our favorite tunes blaring, the ride up was so rejuvenating, despite it being 6 hours long. On both sides of the highway were thousands of trees ablaze in fiery colors. The foliage alone was worth the pilgrimage.

When we arrived, Sadie and I immediately began taking photos on my brother Taylor’s property. After we met back up with Melissa and relaxed in the cabin, we sipped Halloween ale, listened to Sadie’s record player, and played cards on the living room floor for several hours. It was so nice to be removed from all my daily worries and have the moment to focus on spending time with people who truly mattered.

Later that night at the barn dance I was able to talk around the fire with Taylor, my cousins Marty and Kiernan, and their friend Caleb. The whole evening was such a extraordinary experience. Children from the town played games inside the barn while Taylor and Kiernan played the fiddle and guitar. Others gathered around the fire, eating delicious warm foods, and enjoying conversation. It was such a joyous occasion!- Hannah


“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath


Outfit Ingredients c/o Free People: Fitted Denim Jacket, Maura Printed Velvet FlareEclipse Brami and Graceland Chokerfreepeoplefarmcow

*This post was created in collaboration with Free People Natick



+ Sadie

Update Your Look! Event

April 14, 2015

The Infamous White Room at Crompton Collective – right before the party started. How awesome are those dream catchers?

So grateful for the opportunity to share The Fashion Cookbook with you all! Your feedback and kind words warmed our hearts.

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Thank you to all of the lovely ladies who came out to the event! It was truly a pleasure meeting you!


So many lovely finds in the Haberdash booth! Three words – Vintage, Vintage, Awesome.


Found the cutest little accessories from fellow blogger, Holly Dolly. We’re talking sewing spoodle necklaces, say what?! Too cute.


Project Bead also made an appearance, selling these gorgeous bracelets for a great cause – funding education in Ghana.


Met our new Photographer Bestie Nina from Blue Fly Lens and her adorable little one. Those cheeks are everything, and her photography is pretty amazing too. 


We had a blast styling! It was so much fun creating outfits from all of our vendor booths. Can you say, shop ’till you drop?

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A couple weeks ago we held a very special event with a local company named Crompton Collective. Crompton Collective is a curated boutique marketplace located in a beautiful historic mill in downtown Worcester. On the last Sunday of March, we partnered with them for an “Update Your Look” fashion event. The event itself consisted of local shops and vendors coming together, who focused on clothing, jewelry, accessories, and hair & makeup. These vendors both showcased and sold their products in what Crompton calls, “the white room,” which is used primarily for larger events and every Saturday afternoon hosts a farmer’s market. The Fashion Cookbook was there to offer styling advice and taught attendees how to work their new pieces into their Spring wardrobe. This was our first shopping event and it was such an incredible experience! It was so special to meet people from the community and to introduce The Fashion Cookbook to  help serve their fashion needs.

Thank you to everyone that came to the event, chatted with us, got a mini style consultation, and allowed us to share our passions with you. We hope that you’ve been inspired to shop local. When we shop local we support not only businesses but people. We connect on a more personal level with those who are passionate about creating. Not only do we support our local economies but we forge friendships and we give greater meaning to the things we buy. Our material possessions take on stories, the visions of artists and curators.

Thank you to all of the vendors who came out – Nkd Waxing, Lashes, and MakeupThe Trunk & DisorderlyAlexis GraceFig Knitting, North Water St. Handbags, Haberdash VintageThe Hidden JewelThe Wolf and IProject Bead ,HollyDolly.

We can’t thank the Crompton team enough for all of their support throughout the planning of this event! We couldn’t have asked for better partners. Amy, your creative vision, determination, and positivity has inspired us. To Emily, Kat, and Olivia we couldn’t have done this without you!

Special thanks to Dalena Nguyen for her amazing photography. You can check her out on Tumblr and Instagram @Via.Grid.

We made this little video to share this experience with all of you who could not attend! Enjoy!


Love Hannah + Patricia, Blog Signature

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