No Pants No Problem

How many times have you avoided starting something because you knew you couldn’t do it perfectly? I almost didn’t write this post because I couldn’t think of a title. Think Pink? No, cheesy. Something…about fall? Come on, Hannah, you’ve exhausted every possible fall quote.

I think most of you who read this blog know me personally, but sometimes strangers reach out and let me know they follow along on here or Instagram (hiiii Internet friends! Keep it coming! Words of affirmation is my love language!). I’m always worried that my sense of humor doesn’t translate through the screen and people are left thinking Is this girl for real???

Because I’m a frustrated perfectionist, I often will scrap a whole project before it even begins if I don’t think I can complete it exactly how I envision it in my mind. Or I’ll let my room become a complete mess if I can’t find a place for a single pair of shoes. Why even bother if it isn’t ever good enough?

So for my fellow perfectionists, I thought I would share a few things that encouraged me today:

You improve through daily practice, not by leaps and bounds. Natural talents and gifts are a blessing, but they can work against you if you grew up not having to work hard at anything to do well. Sometimes things don’t come naturally, and success is incremental. This is especially true with things like working out: we all want a six-pack and toned calves after our first day at the gym, but rarely are we willing to put in the work, little by little, every day.

Failure isn’t the end of the world and is a valuable learning tool. Trust me, I’m saying this for me as much as you. I am so afraid of failing that sometimes I won’t even try. But failure is feedback, and it helps you figure out what to do differently next time to succeed.

You are more valuable than the sum of your achievements. This reminder comes from an article I read by psychotherapist Katherine Schafler on Thrive Global. She says that “people connect most to the ordinary things about you,” like the way you can’t decide what to order at a restaurant, the long-winded voicemails you leave, or the way you play with your hair when you’re bored. In contrast, she says during therapy sessions something that people never say are things like “I miss the way he got a 3.8 GPA in college.” We’re proud of the accomplishments of our friends, lovers, and children, but when we really start to list the reasons we love them, those reasons have little to do with success.

So here I am, in an outfit that doesn’t look exactly how I pictured in my head. I couldn’t find a skirt or a pair of pants to go with this shirt-dress/sweater combo, so…I nixed the pants. No pants, no problem. ✌🏻

Sweater: Madewell // Shirt-dress: Zara (last season, similar dress at ASOS // Tights: Forever 21 // Earrings: Madewell (sold out, similar also from Madewell)

I don’t know what I’m doing and it’s okay

If you know me in real life or follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that last week I turned 22. I posted a picture with the obligatory Taylor Swift caption about feeling “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.” 

But if I’m being honest, I’m mostly just confused and lonely. 

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great birthday that I spent with one of my closest friends at some of my favorite places, and my friends who couldn’t be there sent love from all over the world. I received so many heartfelt presents and kind words (and for someone whose love language is words of affirmation, sometimes that is truly the best gift!). 

But overall I’ve felt like I have no direction. I don’t know what I want, and I am paralyzed by fear when anyone asks me about my goals, or my plans now that I’ve graduated, or why I moved back to New York, or if I’ll move to Austraia to be with Josiah–

Honestly, just writing down all of those things freaks me out! I have no idea what I’m doing and I feel like I should. When I look through old journal entries or at pictures from when I was 16, I don’t recognize that person. She knew what she wanted, she was willing to work hard to get there, and she made a plan so it would all come together. And she had a vision for the future. If you had asked 16-year-old Hannah what 22-year-old Hannah was up to, she would’ve said that I’d be married, settled down, working as a photographer, living the NYC dream. 

I am none of those things, but I still cling to that identity that I imagined for myself so long ago, under such different circumstances. Sometimes who you thought you would be feels more real than who you actually are. 

But in the midst of this emotional turmoil, I feel so grateful to have friends who remind me that it’s okay. They don’t know what they’re doing either. Even if they are married or have their dream job or live in the perfect apartment, there are still parts of their lives that are messy and painful and lonely. And, most important, that God is the only source of actual contentment, no matter what stage of life you’re in. 

I am generally a private, guarded person, so it makes me very nervous to post these vulnerable thoughts on a blog that anyone I know (or don’t know) can read. But if it encourages even one person then it’s worth it. I don’t want anyone to look at my Instagram or blog and think I’m living some glamorous New York City dream life. I’m just working hard and doing my best, like you.

Xoxo,

– Hannah   

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

Happy October!  Everyone bust out your pumpkin spice lattes, Anne of Green Gables quotes, and red lipstick!

Really though, October is a great month, and I’m enjoying the cool, crisp weather (and I’m enjoying saying the word “crisp” to describe everything) and dressing in so many snuggly layers.  I like to dress in all black so when I go home to visit my family everyone is tricked into thinking I lost weight in Paris and I’m now très chic, when really I’ve been eating an entire bag of caramel apple lollipops for breakfast every morning this month.

 Shirt: UNIQLO // Pants: Gap // Cape: Forever 21 // Shoes: Forever 21 // Lipstick: Nars

xoxo

– Hannah

Spring 2016 Fashion Forecast

Fashion week has come and gone in New York, and now we all know what to wear this coming spring 2016 (and it’s probably nothing from future presidential candidate Kanye West’s collection).  For once it’s not florals on top of florals, and instead, for what I suspect is the first time in history, the fashion forecast and the weather forecast are the same: blue skies and puffy, white clouds.

Yes, friends, my time has finally come.  Those of you who know me or follow my Instagram know I really, really love clouds.  I love wearing clothes with cloud patterns or even just in white and blue colors that resemble the sky.  This is a trend that has yet to catch on and makes me seem a little eccentric.  But while I was in Paris this spring, I spotted a dress in a boutique that was covered in a cloud print, and I knew it was only a matter of time before New York picked up on it.

And here we are.  The Mara Hoffman Ready-To-Wear Spring 2016 collection is the stuff of my dreams.   In addition to flowy, white dresses and psychedelic rainbow patterns, the designer dressed many of her models – and even her adorable family! – in head-to-toe cloud print. I love everything about this collection and can’t wait until I can get my hands on it!

Photo Credit: Mara Hoffman

I’m not going to say I started this trend, but . . . here I am at fashion week last year in September 2014. 😉

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xoxo,

– Hannah

Back to Black 





 It’s been weird adjusting to being back in New York.  And not just to the time difference – although that did have me waking up at five in the morning for at least a week while my body got used to a different time zone.  I miss Paris even more than I thought I would.  But I’m finally starting to get used to New York again, which includes slowly transitioning back into wearing way too much black and denim.  If you’ve been keeping up with my blog or Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been flittering around in pastel skirts and bright sundresses, and that’s all fine and good for summer.  But I’m excited for fall, not for the pumpkin spice lattes that will now contain real, actual pumpkin, but for all of the black sweaters and velvet leggings that I’ll be able to wear once it’s cold.  Until then, I’m sticking to sheer tops to survive the New York heat.

Xoxo,

– Hannah

Paris

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Bonjour mes amis! Many of you have been asking why I’m in Paris, for how long, and, most importantly, what I’ve been eating while I’m here.  I thought I’d write a post and update everyone on how things are.  Spoiler alert: they’re great.

I’m in Paris for a six week study abroad program with nine other students. I’m studying French Culture, Art, and Civilization, which means I’m spending most of my time at some of the best museums in the world.  I’ve only been here two weeks and I’ve already been to Notre Dame, St Denis, Chartres, Sainte-Chapelle, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musée Carnavalet, the Musée de Cluny, the Musée de l’Orangerie, and the Louvre (twice!).  I’m exhausted, but loving every minute of it!

It’s a scary thing living 3,625 miles from home.  I knew I’d be challenged to grow when I decided to take my very first flight abroad to live in a country I had never even visited.  But I’m having a great time doing things that push me out of my comfort zone.  I rode on a hot air balloon even though I’m terrified of heights.  I tried escargot.  I ordered a chocolate croissant in French even though I feel like I have a toddler’s vocabulary.  It’s scary, but it feels great.

For anyone who has been to Paris, please leave a comment or send me an email with your favorite spots to visit and must-eat pastries.  Merci in advance!

To see more pictures from my trip, follow my instagram here.

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xoxo,

– Hannah

Spring Formal

 I had the best time at my last spring formal a few weeks ago. Despite tripping over a loose floorboard in my high heels and falling flat on my face moments after this picture, I managed to dance the night away and have a great time (at least I didn’t fall at formal, right?).
My favorite part of formal is always spending time with my friends. Yes, I see most of them every day, but there’s something exciting about getting all dressed up and partying together. The fact that this was our last formal together just made it better. 

  

 

  

Xoxo,

– Hannah