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Redefining fashion from being on trend to being your best self and helping you transform the ingredients in your day to day life - from work, lifestyle, health, and personal style - into ‘recipes’ for living a naturally fashionable life.

Coffee Talk: Career Advice for Being in Your Mid-Twenties

April 4, 2017

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In these past few months, I’ve received a lot of questions from readers and peers regarding career advice. After having many conversions around building your dream career or how to your start your business, I thought it would be helpful if I share with you some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way.

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Identify your Passion

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always known what make my heart sing. I’ve always enjoyed flexing my creative muscles and telling a story through acting, dance, singing, writing, style, and through a variety of other mediums. Not everyone knows so deeply what makes him or her tick and that’s ok. The reality is that your twenties are the perfect time for career exploration. While it can feel counterintuitive to do so after you’ve invested time, energy, and even finances into pursuing a specific job, there’s really no better time to try something new than right now.

If you’re still in school be sure to take advantage of internships to explore different career paths. If you’re out of school and are already in a job that feels lifeless but you’re not able to quit yet try to volunteer at an organization that sparks your interest or set up an information interview with a company. Perhaps take night classes or go to conferences to explore passions.

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Grow your Network

Network, network, network. Honestly, this is one of the most important pieces of career advice you’ll ever get. Good or bad, it all comes down to who you know, not always what you know. No matter your chosen field, your network will pay an important role throughout your career. So, it’s best if you can start growing it as early as possible. Attend networking events and be sure to utilize LinkedIn. If all else fails, talk to your family + friends and ask around if anyone knows of anyone in the industry you are most interested in.

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Build your Brand

While you’re channeling energy into building your network, you should also be working on building your personal brand. Create a personal website that can act as your digital portfolio. Also, make sure you have personalized business cards at all times. An important aspect of building your brand is also the way you carry yourself and how others perceive you in the community. Get involved by speaking at events, being more active on social media, joining associations, or volunteering for a worthy cause and make a positive name for yourself.

Learn as Much as You Can

Your twenties are the perfect time to be a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as you can. Find a mentor you trust and can learn from. Ask questions. Do research and reading on your own time. Listen closely to feedback and constructive criticism so that you can use that input to continuously grow and improve. Now is the time to learn as much as you possibly can and grow in the most formative years of your career.

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Set Goals, but be Flexible

The cliché saying “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” comes to mind. Setting goals allow you the structure to know what you’re working towards and it also helps to motivate. Really take the time to think through what is it is your desire to accomplish. Then research and brainstorm ways to make this a reality. Set your goals, but at the same time, recognize that life requires a certain degree of flexibility. You never know what opportunities lay ahead and if you’re too focused on following one path you may miss out on chances of a lifetime.

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Photography by Logan Ronan

 LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Spotlight Series: Mother & Daughter Style

April 2, 2017

There’s something to be said about the phrase “I got it from my mama.” As a daughter of a strong, caring, and vibrant lady, my mother has always had a strong influence in my life. Although I’m not a mother yet myself, I so enjoy learning about motherhood from my dear friends who are. That is why today I’m sharing with you a very special look into the important role a mother plays in her daughter’s life with the example of my friend Kristina. I’ve only known Kristina for a short while, but we’ve become quite close over these past few months. Of all Kristina’s wonderful qualities, her passion for motherhood was so infectious and pure that it truly stood out to me. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn from her in many areas of life. Today she and her daughter, Alexandria graciously join me on the blog to share their story of being mother & daughter and how that relationship impacts both their overall body image and relationship with fashion. –Hannahfashionistamomdaughter What did you learn about yourself through this experience of taking photos and writing for the blog? We really enjoyed embracing who we were throughout this experience.  Our thoughts as mother and daughter come from a relationship fostered in embracing individuality and loving every bit of who we are.  Knowing yourself, and identifying your inner being, is something that I believe as a mother is crucial in teaching my daughter to love who she is, and be comfortable with the things that take her away from what society dictates.  Through this experience, I was able to just let her be, pick out the wardrobe that suited her needs, and made her most comfortable in front of the camera.

A mother-daughter relationship is incredibly important to nurture and strengthen throughout life, not just in the moment, or when your child declares they need you.  To me, they always need, you, whether they realize it or not.  Life gets busy, and the daily to-do list often becomes stressful and tiring, however, remembering to laugh, respect each other, and listen, are what remind us to not lose sight of the relationship at the core of craziness.

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What new thoughts do you have about each of your futures? I am not sure if either of us has new thoughts about the future, more like, thoughts that continue to evolve and change as we grow together as mother and daughter.  Alex has a bright future, she’s a hard worker, open minded, free in spirit, yet surprisingly grounded at her age.  Most importantly, she is very comfortable with who she is and does not fall into peer related pressures.  At this age, peer groups can already be difficult, however, she remains true to herself, and helps all of her friends to get along.  My fierce, but gentle peace keeper!

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What have you learned about your mother from becoming a mother?  Ha!  That she was right!  On a serious note, she gave me a great sense of self.  I was empowered to be me, to like me, to accept me, and not change for others.  This is something I have carried into my life as and adult, and as a mother.  She was firm, and offered tough love when needed, always holding her ground.  Never wavering in her love for me, and belief in me.  My situation is and was unique, in that my parents could not have children, and chose to adopt me.  It has been a beautiful and special relationship from the beginning, one that I am truly blessed to have.  I still strive to be half as good as she, and to apply some of her parenting with my soul mixed in. So far, so good!

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What’s your best hope for your daughter based on what you know about fashion, style, body image, and overall identity? I hope for Alex to identify with herself on all levels, not try to fit into any societal mold, but to just be.  When you are a confident woman, stand tall, and find a style that is all your own, you become free from body image struggles, and insecurities.  It is amazing how it just sets you free.  A confident woman, a woman who knows who she is, and does not stray from the very nature of her soul, is a woman who is sexy.  It is never about the look…..it is all about the being. 

What worries you given the complexities your daughter faces, as she grows older? I worry about her education, her relationships with other women and her intimate relationships as well.  I want her to understand that she needs her own path in life, not a path that suits others needs, but her own.  I want her to understand that life is beautiful, full of wonder, and can take you to so many places.  I hope she never limits herself but continues to push herself to be a better human and to have a great love of humanity.  With the way, the world is at this time, and the hate that still exists, I hope I can raise a compassionate woman, who respects differences, faiths of all kinds, and the beautiful colors that make up humanity.  I hope that she will impact people on some level, and empower others to be the best version of themselves they can be.

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What are your thoughts as to how you can better prepare and equip her to face social pressures and other influences?There will always be social pressures, and negative influences, but with a solid foundation, and a strong sense of self, I believe she will be prepared to ward off such influences.

What are your thoughts about how fashion has impacted your previous as well as present life? I have always loved my sense of style, one that in ingrained in comfort and as I like to call it, sass!  I dress in what makes me comfortable and feel pretty, not in what others think I should wear.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to follow the latest trends, but I chose what I like, what will fit my body type, and what will make me smile.  I have never been one to wear something just because a magazine says I should.

How has becoming a mother impacted and influenced your own present view on identity and fashion? As a mother, I have always enjoyed purchasing clothing for the kids and myself as well as my husband.  I often look at the latest trends and then choose according to their likes and dislikes.  I guess I choose based on my own way of thinking about style, that it can be your own.  I have never wanted them to think about fashion as something that rules them, to me that is simply not healthy.  Clothing should be an accessory to your soul, that’s what makes it work per individual.

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Alexandria, what defines beauty in your mind? Being a good person, helping people, and not falling in a pattern that your friends think you should follow.  I am ok with me, and I think that is beautiful.

How does what you wear impact how you see yourself? I like to be comfortable, and I love miss matched socks!  I like it, and it’s funny, and I guess I see myself as funny. Yup, I am kind of a funny girl!  If I am comfortable, then that makes me comfortable at school too. Mom says, stand tall and be you, so I do!

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What are some ways that your mother influences your style and view of yourself? Mom sometimes gets tired of me wearing some of the same things often, but she knows they are my favorites, so she always lets me.  My mom says I can just be me, and pick out things that represent me, not the kid next to me.  And I am like, well yeah, why would I dress for someone else?  My mom always looks nice, but I like to tease her.  Mom said that I am a girl that is beautiful from the inside first, the outside is part of your inside….a reflection of who you are as a girl and person.  So I say to myself, just be you, Alex!

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Thinking about fashion and identity, what advice do you have for your friends? My friends are often focused on name brands, to the point that they make sure to comment when someone has something they want and don’t have or have that is not name brand.  I don’t think it is okay to make fun of someone who does not have a name brand item on, that’s just not cool.  Why? Because, what does it even matter anyway?!  I say be comfortable, and it isn’t your business what other people wear or do, cause they are not you.

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What do you like to wear and why? I love leggings, miss matched socks, and comfy shirts.  Leggings are soft, and I love leggings with patterns because they are fun.  Sometimes I wear fun heels or dressy boots, but I am usually a sneaker girl.  I love Under Armour sneakers, cause they are really comfy for my feet all day.  I like dressed sometimes, but nothing poofy!  Less is more I say.

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LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Kristina & Alexandria

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

Step Into the Fire

March 21, 2017

newlookPerhaps it’s because yesterday was the first day of Spring, or maybe that I now have bright new red hair, but lately I’ve felt the fire awaken within me.changescoffeshopred

In my last post, I discussed how I’m finally feeling more positive after experiencing a major setback and moving back home to Maine. I just need to say that I received so much wonderful feedback from readers and family since then, that I want to take a moment and sincerely thank you all. The truth is I blog because it’s my creative outlet and I’d be doing it even if no one was reading this, however, knowing that my words resonated with people and in some way helped to encourage others I feel abundantly blessed.

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My best friend and trusted photographer, Chelsea and I went to Forage Market the other day and I was reflective of how much growth has transpired since January when I last took photos there and wrote a blog post on self-healing. First off I’m not sure if you’d pick up on this or not, but I’m wearing almost the entire same outfit as before with the exception of some accessories. It’s incredible what a few details like a scarf and hat can do- almost like how in life when you have just a couple new things going for you, you feel so much more confident in yourself. I feel like a new person like never before.

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I recently stumbled across an article on Mind Body Green called, “How To Detoxify Your Body By Using Your Mind” and it seemed to perfectly encapsulate all that I’ve been processing these days. Essentially healing starts from within and that your mind is the ultimate source of where your whole reality is formed. It’s a very heavy topic, but I think one that all humans question and ponder. I’m just finally in a place where I can accept that I do not have all the answers and that it will all work out.

“The brain is generally defined as, that which is limited to the inner workings of the physical brain structure held within the cranium. The mind is the intelligence that has no definitive location within the body. Its reach extends to every cell of the physical body and outside the body, into the spiritual realm.”

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Outfit Ingredients: bodysuit- Express (on sale) | jeans- 7 For All Mankind | boots- Steve Madden | hat- Club Monaco | scarf- Burberry | bag- Louis Vuitton | bracelets- Alex & Ani

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To heal we have to learn how to “die” — to let go of all that we were — to embrace becoming a new, healed “whole” self.

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After experiencing a lot of setbacks and painful moments these past few months I’m reminded of something my spiritual healer told me. She said that even when terrible things happen sometimes they are being used by the greater Universe to cleanse you, much as good things can come from a forest fire. Forest fires are a natural and necessary part of the ecosystem. Even healthy forests contain dead trees and decaying plant matter; when a fire turns them to ashes, nutrients return to the soil instead of remaining captive in old vegetation. Sometimes when something burns down it will grow back stronger and more bountiful than you ever imagined.

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Photography by Centered Images

LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

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