Paris


I’ve been dragging my feet writing this post, even though I’m excited to share my experience with you guys and answer your questions. I guess it’s because posting a Paris recap means it’s really over! I enjoyed every minute of my 10-day trip and I am so happy to be back in New York, but a little part of me is bummed that this incredible trip is over. I guess that just means I need to plan the next trip to look forward to! 😉

So many people have asked about highlights of my trip and I’m not sure what to tell them because every day was great in its own way. The weather was warm and sunny, the food was delicious, and of course I loved seeing iconic landmarks. I had been to Paris before, two years ago, so I had a good sense of what I wanted to see again and what new restaurants I wanted to try. I tried to maximize my time but also enjoy a break from fast-paced New York and live a more laid-back Parisian life, if only for a week and a half. 

I traveled with my roommate, Leah, and she found the most incredible AirBnb where we stayed. Parisian apartments tend to have charming peculiarities, and this one was no exception. The refrigerator was in an alcove down the hall instead of in the kitchen, and the door to the apartment could only be opened by pulling the door towards you and jiggling the key just so. We were also directly above several (incredible) restaurants and a bar. When the noise from the bar and restaurants finally died down at 1 or 2am, we were woken by the overwhelming smell of bread baking at 5am–not that I’m complaining. 

Speaking of food: 

Holybelly

A restaurant in Montmartre
Chez Michel


Folks and Sparrows 

Those of you who know me know how much I love trying new reataurants. It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do in New York and anywhere new I go. The meal above from Chez Michel, while not the most photogenic, was one of the best I’ve had in my life. Leah and I went there on our first day immediately after dropping our bags off in the Airbnb because we were ravenous . I enjoyed it so much that I ended up returning on one of our last nights by myself. I put my phone down, drank a glass of wine, and enjoyed the most delicious steak and potatoes (pictured above) and rice pudding with homemade date and apricot preserves (not pictured because I was too busy having a transcendent experience. I never knew rice pudding could be so incredible). 

A few of my favorite places:

Sadaharu Aoki for pastries and sweets

Buvette for breakfast

Chez Michel for lunch or dinner

Folks and Sparrows for coffee (and free wifi) 

Onto the museums and sites! Some of you know I studied Media, Culture, and the Arts in college, and that’s actually why I was in Paris two years ago. Needless to say, I love art. I love museums, I love graffiti and street art, I love photography, paintings, sculptures, you name it. I also love tourist-y destinations like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. I even love the tourist spots in New York. There’s a reason that millions of people visit them every year, and it’s because they’re incredible. I feel blessed that I can see them whenever I want! Except Times Square, which is one of Dante’s circles of hell. 

Anyway, my point here is that you probably know all of the touristy spots you have to visit–and if you don’t, feel free to ask!–but I’d like to share some of the places that you might not know about, but definitely should go to! 

Louis Vuitton Foundation



If you’ve seen my Instagram, you know how much I love this place. The architecture is incredible and it always has new and interesting art exhibits. The museum itself is like a maze that I happily wandered around in all day–I walked about 4 miles just within the museum! It’s easily accessible by train and located in a beautiful park. I can’t recommend it enough.

Montmartre 





Chances are you’ve heard of Montmartre, or at least seen pictures of the famous restaurant La Maison Rose that sits atop a hilly intersection there. So many artists lived or worked there (Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, and Matisse, just to name a few) and  Sacré-Cœur Basilica is at the very top. It’s a little bit out of the way on the outskirts of the city and requires a lot of walking, so you might be tempted to skip it. However, it’s easily one of my favorite places in Paris. I recommend going during the week, wearing good walking shoes, and grabbing a gelato cone to munch on while enjoying incredible views of the city. 

Musée de l’Orangerie



This museum is located right by the Louvre and has a ton of dreamy impressionist art. It’s small enough that you can see everything, and of course my favorite rooms have huge Monet paintings and lots of natural light. 

And a few more pictures: 


The Louvre


Notre Dame


The Eiffel Tower 


The Seine


The dreamiest facades


The Arc de Triomphe on our last night. They decided to close the stairs to the top early, for no apparent reason, and I was so disappointed but this sunset was really something else. We walked down the Champs-Élysées and shopped and then went back to our Airbnb to drink wine with some friends and it was still a great night! 

Xoxo,

– Hannah 

Cold Shoulder

Wow.  Can you tell I like off-the-shoulder tops?  I realize this is my third outfit post in a row featuring an off-the-shoulder top and I’m thinking maybe I need to branch out…but at the same time, don’t mess with a good thing, right? I’m still working on a post about my Paris trip, but for now, here is my first outfit of the day back in New York–all black, big surprise. This top can also be pushed up and worn to cover your shoulders if you get chilly (and I did, because I wore this on a rainy day) and is on sale now for under $10, which is basically free.  Shop this whole outfit by using the links below! 🙂

Top: UNIQLO (similar style here, also from UNIQLO) // Shoes: Forever 21 // Black Jeans: BDG

Design your own case + giveaway! 

Quick, what’s the one thing you always have in your hand? If you’re anything like me, it’s your phone (or an ice cream cone, but that’s a totally different blog post). So it makes sense to have a cute phone case, right? 

I was totally out of the loop and had my phone in a very durable, Fran Drescher pink case since I bought it several months ago. I wanted a cute case, sure, but as much as I love customizable accessories, I’m kind of a lazy shopper and rarely go on the hunt for something–I just know what I like when I see it. That’s kind of the point of following blogs and Instagram. 

Anyway, CaseApp contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to collaborate with them by designing my own  custom iPhone case and doing my first  giveaway, and of course I jumped at that opportunity. You can upload a picture of anything you want and add text, and the site is super easy to use. I toyed with the idea of writing something cheeky, like “don’t call me baby” or a “Hotline Bling” lyric, but I decided to keep it simple and instead uploaded a picture of some pink marble. Surprise, surprise. 

They were generous enough to offer me two cases, and since my little sister is the queen of having a new case every week, I decided to give one to her. She chose one of their pre-made options, which is a pattern of plants and cacti (we’re obviously related). 

If you want to browse or design your own iPhone case or laptop skin, you can go to www.caseapp.com and use the code FASHIONORFUNCTION20 for 20% off your order, and head to my Instagram for a giveaway! 

Xoxo,

– Hannah 

What to do when you’re bored with your winter clothes

This happens every year. Every single year I get prematurely pumped for Spring and take my sundresses out of storage, pack up  my heavier sweaters in a box in the closet, and start browsing pastel sandals online, only to be hit by a blizzard. 

The mild December weather always tricks me into thinking that we’ll “skip” winter this year, and even though I know this always happens, I still can’t help but get my hopes up. I am so over all the sweaters and lumpy layers and Hunter boots. Even my favorite black coat is starting to drive me crazy-the sleeves are made of a faux-leather material that squeaks when I move my arms, and every time I hear it I am again filled with rage that I have to wear my heaviest coat in March, post-daylight-saving. 

If you are also bored by all of your winter clothing options but unable to buy an entirely new wardrobe to wear for the few remaining weeks of winter weather, this is for you. Here are my best tips for ~spicing things up~ without ~spending all of your money~. 

Borrow clothes/do a clothing swap


Featuring: my roommate’s Madewell coat that doesn’t squeak when I move 

I am lucky enough to have very cool, well-dressed roommates who are also very generous when it comes to sharing closets. We often swap items for the day when we’re feeling exasperated with our own options, and it is so refreshing to wear someone else’s clothes instead of your own! If you don’t have roommates (or if your roommates aren’t cool, bummer) then find a friend with a similar style and swap a few items. I do this several times a year with my best friend. I purge my closet and let her go through the clothes that don’t fit or aren’t really my style any more, and she does the same for me. Anything unwanted gets donated. 

Buy inexpensive transitional accessories

Featuring: Forever 21 sheer polka dot tights

The whole point of this post is that I don’t want to spend tons of money on clothes that I’ll pack away in approximately four weeks and trade for sundresses and sandals. But accessories are an inexpensive way to give some interest to your most-worn outfits. Add fishnets under pants, a silk scarf around your neck, or a belt to change up your go-to outfits. 

Experiment with layers

I know. Duh. There is not a single blog or fashion magazine that hasn’t mentioned the importance of layering when it’s cold. I’m just suggesting you change things up and not wear the same old layers. I have three or four go-to outfits that I know look good and are flattering, and I can put those together in my sleep–usually because I am half-asleep when I race out the door for work before I’ve had my coffee. When I have extra time, I like to change things up. I wrote a whole post about this, so if you want to read more, you can here

Xoxo, 

– Hannah 

What to wear when you’re ready for spring but it’s still snowing 

If you’re anything like me, you have those moments where you look at your closet in despair and cry, internally or out loud to anyone who will listen, “I have nothing to wear!” 

I find this is even more true now that I am trying to curate a capsule wardrobe. I’m not quite there yet, but I have significantly pared down my closet in the past several months. 

When I get into a creative rut like this, I often borrow clothes from my very cool roommates. This gives me the small thrill of wearing new (to me) clothes while keeping true to my goals and not buying too many new clothes.

I hit one of these ruts last week, and instead of giving in and buying something new, I decided to take a page out of Rebecca Jacob’s book and layer one of my favorite warm weather shirts over a turtleneck. I loved the pop of color and spring feel, with the warmth of several layers. I think this outfit would’ve been a bit more successful if the sleeves of the blue top were flowy, but I like how it looked with my jacket on, and it was such a breath of fresh air to wear something different! 

Top: H&M (last season, similar here) // Boots: Old Navy // Earrings: Bing Bang NYC 

Xoxo,

– Hannah

New Blue Shoes 

I don’t know how you decide what to wear, but for me it varies every morning. Sometimes I plan an outfit the night before, and sometimes I’ll wait for inspiration to strike in the morning. Other times I wake up, check the weather, see a number below freezing, and wonder if it’s inappropriate to wear my pink fuzzy robe and comforter to work. 

This outfit was all about the shoes. They were a Christmas present from my mom. I asked for them back in November, and she spent the entire month pretending she hadn’t bought them, making me even more excited to open them on Christmas day. I immediately tried them on and found that they were not only cute as heck, but also comfortable, which is like hitting the shoe jackpot. 

Only time and distance can really test shoes, though, so I wore these to get brunch with one of my best friends a few weeks ago.

On their first public appearance, my shoes got coffee spilled on them, but also received a sincere compliment from a stranger, so ya win some ya lose some. Perhaps more important, the shoes were able to stand up to my personal Good Shoe Test™ meaning they didn’t hurt my feet after 4 miles of walking in them. 4 miles is not an arbitrary number, but one I have arrived at after years of research and tracking my average walking distance on my phone. I usually average 4 miles of walking a day, and shoes that can get me through the day without giving me blisters or aching arches are A+ in my book.

Also, if that hasn’t sold you by now, they are on sale for under $20 right now, which makes me want to buy another pair just to get in on such a good deal. I’m not being paid by Zara to tell you this, I just get aggressively excited about a really good sale. If you do too, you can buy the shoes from Zara’s website << by clicking that link. Happy shopping! 



Xoxo,

– Hannah

New Years Resolutions + Thoughts on Personal Growth

Image via Tumblr

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you kindly. 

There is something about a new start, even one as arbitrary as a changing year, that makes me feel so optimistic. I am not usually one to write out a list of New Years resolutions, mostly because I am afraid I’ll aim too high or too low and set myself up for failure. For example–if I set a goal to work out every day and I can’t make that happen, then I’ve failed. But if I set a goal to work out once a week, am I selling myself short? Or worse, what if I can’t even manage my “safety” goal and then really feel like a failure? 

Yeah, I’m probably over-thinking it. So I don’t set resolutions. But I am participating in 21 days of prayer and fasting with my church, and I notice that I have been praying for specific things and ways I would like to grow this year. Which I guess are resolutions in their own way, just not ones that you could quantify in a list.

One realization I’ve had during this time of daily prayer and scripture is that I’ve been living my life with a spirit of fear. This isn’t really news to me or anyone who knows me well. I have always been anxious, since I was a child, and it’s something that I struggle with. There are good weeks and bad weeks, but there is always that anxiety lingering just below the surface even on the good weeks. 

BUT God really revealed to me just how much I have been letting fear consume me and determine my decisions in ways that I didn’t even realize. I have been dwelling on my regrets lately, and looking back on decisions I made out of fear and distrust, rather than making the decision that was best for me. I don’t want to live that way, so I’ve been taking small steps to live without unnecessary fear and anxiety–especially over things that don’t matter. This is just the start of a long process, but I already feel great about it and excited to continue to grow.

Do you make resolutions, or do you have a theme for 2017? In what ways are you hoping to improve this year? Leave a comment below and let me know!

xoxo,

– Hannah