Behind-the-Scenes : Piccadilly Photoshoot

I know I’ve hinted at it, but there are some seriously fun things on the horizon for my event styling & coordination business, Piccadilly.  It has been a season of God moments and seeing new life breathed into long-held dreams.  Needless to say, it’s been very exciting.

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Part of this season includes a re-brand and re-launch of the business.  There’s lots of details included in something like that and I’m currently in the thick of it.  There’s no where I’d rather be though.  It’s honestly thrilling to be taking steps towards really seeing my dreams take flight.

It’s also scary… but whatever. Totally worth it!

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One super fun part of this process was a recent photo shoot that I had the opportunity to do with Erica of Erica Baker Photography and Bakers Tell Stories.  She’s incredibly gifted and on top of that a TOTAL BLAST to work with.  Who else will teach you how to dinosaur dance mid photo shoot?piccadilly disco ball

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Her wonderful friend AND my new friend, Sarah, of Fashion and Philosophers and Kicheko,  came to help as well and took these incredible behind-the-scenes shots.  You can see more and read her recap on her site here.  I’ve been obsessed with her blog for awhile now and I had more than one fan girl moment having her at my shoot. She’s pretty much the best!

We had the shoot at the uber-chic, too cool for school, Ulysses Room located at the 52 O St. Studios (ahem, it’s a great spot for events!).  I felt like my cool factor rocketed just by walking through the door.  The space belongs to the wonderful Virginia Arrisueño who is the master mind behind DeNada Designs and other creative endeavors like DC MEETMarket and Topaz&Arrow.  She is amazing and truly a joy to work with.  I hope I’ll have the opportunity to work with her again soon.

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If that wasn’t enough to make it the BEST.DAY.EVER.   My beautiful friends Janelle and Ashlynn came along to make sure everything went smoothly, looked pretty and was overall just wonderful.  Also, they lent their super cool dance moves to the mix. I mean, what more could you ask for?

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I can’t wait to share more with you as it unfolds!  I’m very much looking forward to the future. The BEST most definitely is still to come!

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Breathe

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Sometimes you just need a break.  I thought that maybe just switching to fewer posts would do the trick but I’m realizing I need a full on break while I focus on some other things in my life and more importantly just, rest.

“True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” Ps. 23:3 (MSG)

I love sharing this journey with you. You’re so encouraging and so inspiring. You add so much sparkle and fun to the everyday journey.  That being said, I think it’s important to pause and regroup sometimes.  So that’s my plan for the next two weeks. I’m going to take a short break from the blog and social media to rest, gather my thoughts and plan for the next season.  There’s some really exciting things in it. I can’t wait to share them with you!

I hope you’ll be here when I get back and ready to jump in to what’s next. It’s going to be good!

Hugs to each of you!

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Looking Forward

As this first #blogiversary week draws to a close I wanted to share a few exciting things with you.  I’m so incredibly relieved and honestly really proud of myself for meeting my goal.  I’m also tired. Can I take a nap, please? Posting five times a week takes time and usually that time happens in the middle of the night.  It’s not to say that it hasn’t been worth it, it totally has been, but I’m excited for some changes moving forward.

Namely, you may notice that I may not be posting quite as often over the summer months.

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.  

I’m just feeling the call to transfer some of the discipline that I have developed over this past year into some other areas of my life.  I proved to myself that I can do it in this area, now I’m working to transfer that skill elsewhere.  I have some other exciting projects I’m working on (I can’t wait to tell you all about them!) AND I’ve been feeling the need to rest.  That can almost seem like a dirty word in our super busy society, but I wholeheartedly believe in it’s importance.  That being said, I’m committing over the summer to focus on taking time to enjoy the moments…to laugh at the jokes…to have long chats on the porch…to lay in the sunshine… fall asleep in the hammock…read a book (or at least finish one)… make new friends and celebrate old ones… and, to really revel in the amazing adventure that is life.

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So while I may not be posting quite as often (I’m aiming for 2-3x a week instead of 5x), you can rest assured that I’m not going to lose momentum.  I’m more focused than ever.  I have more ideas than ever.  I’m also more excited than ever because I can see the amazing things that are in store.

I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey.  I really do believe the BEST is yet to come!

Signaturep.s. I’m also going to be taking into account your feedback from the survey here as I plan ahead for the next few months.

 

I need your opinion…

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Hey there!

How are you?  Hoping you’re enjoying this #blogiversary week as much as I am.  It’s always fun to look back and reminisce on the fun moments you’ve had along the way. I certainly have a lot to be grateful for.

That being said, even though this year has been great, I’m convinced there’s so much more in store for the future. I have so many ideas and am so excited for what might be next.  I don’t want to go there without you though?

I need your help.

Would you be willing to take a few minutes and answer a few quick questions about your experience here on the blog?  I want to know what you love and what drives you nuts. I want to hear your ideas. I know you have some good ones. Are there topics that I’m not covering that you want to hear more about?  What really resonates with you?

Would you be a doll and answer these quick questions on this link right here for me?

I also want to know if you’re one of the mystery people who used one of the following search terms to find me.  How awesome are these search terms?

neon shirts… because, awesome.

pink sofa … because yes, please!

horse love … because, I really don’t want to know.

80s workout … because, obvi.

one direction … because, everything is right in the world.

mc hammer gold pants … because, I’m clearly doing something right.

And of course, the number one searched term that landed people here… drum roll please…

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Glad to know my enthusiasm is catching.  Hoping “jazz hands” also gets folks here too. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. You’re the best!  Excited (with an very excited face) for what’s next on this adventure!

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Why I write

“If you want to be successful in life, look for the greatest need and work to fill it”

I was sitting in the back of a business seminar, wondering what the heck I was doing there, when the speaker at the front of the room spoke these words.  So simple and yet, profound. Years later and I still haven’t been able to shake them.

I left the session with the obvious question plaguing me, “What is the greatest need that I see around me?

Is it another blogger? No.

What about another small business? No.

Is it better customer service? No.

Is it prettier events? No.

Is it more beauty in the everyday? No, not really.

Is it a ShamWow? Nope.

I kept coming up empty, so I set about to listen to the conversations that took place around me. I started to pay attention to what I saw broadcast in our culture. I had conversations. I prayed. I listened.

Then it occurred to me.

People need to know that they matter.  That what we think, our perspective, our beauty, our voice, our offering to the world…matters.

We need to know that we are enough. That we are created uniquely and that we are seen.  We need to know our particular set of gifts and talents have a use in this great big world that we live in.

We need to know our value.

At the same time I began to recognize this need, I also saw how we are predisposed in our world to tell each other that we are not enough.  That we need the next gadget or the next cosmetic to be smart enough, beautiful enough, strong enough to matter. How messed up is that?

Here’s what really gets me though.  It’s bad enough that we walk around unsure of our own inherent value and feeling bad about ourselves, but the damage doesn’t stop there.

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You see a ripple effect of tragedy takes place when we do not understand that who we are and what we have to offer matters.  If we do not believe that we have anything to offer when we are faced with the battles of our lifetime, things like human trafficking, extreme poverty, hopelessness, loneliness, genocide, hunger (and the list goes on), then we don’t stand up.  We do not offer what is in our hands to do because, at our core, we don’t think that it matters.  Slowly, the one who does nothing becomes the ten who do nothing, who become the hundred who do nothing and pretty soon, we have a whole society of people so centered on their own insecurities and lack that they are incapable of being the hope to those hurting around them.

It has to stop.

You are too important.  The world needs you to rise up and understand that you matter.  That you are beautiful.  That your freedom matters.  We are waiting for what is in your hand to give.

So that’s why I write, because it’s in my hand to do and because you matter.

 
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Related Posts: “Power of One” and “Love Always

A Year In Review

This year has been pretty much amazing for me.  In no small part because of this blog.  Let me explain before I sound totally full of myself.  You see, keeping this blog has provided me with opportunities to connect with people that I might not have had the chance to otherwise.  It’s at times forced me to get off the couch and go explore my city.  It’s made me think more creatively about my schedule.  It’s caused me to slow down at literally smell the roses.  It’s also provided an outlet to process some important and at times difficult things I’ve encountered over the year.  It’s also helped me make new friends!

I mean really, how awesome is that?

I thought today it would be fun to share a few of my favorite posts and series from the past year.

In thinking about favorites, I’d have to start off with the #StyleLove series.  I mean how incredible are these women? Not only have they allowed me to invade their space and highlight their amazing style but they’ve taken the time to share their heart and the lessons on life they’ve learned along the way. I love this bit of advice that Beth shared in her #StyleLove interview, “Be yourself! You have been beautifully, wonderfully, and uniquely made….so be proud of it! Just think, if everyone were the same, what fun would the world be?!”  Isn’t that just what it’s all about?

This blog has also given me the opportunity to journal my travels and I’ve been to some pretty cool places over the past year including; Denmark, Puerto Rico, London and Bosnia just to name a few.  Looking back over these posts gets me excited to pack my bags again!

Probably one of the only reasons I’ve been able to keep my promise of posting 5x a week is because of the amazing people who have guest posted on the blog over the past year.  Here’s just a few of my favorites: “When Your Clothes Become Your Armor“, “Second Chances” and basically every “Girl Talk” post.  I guess, if I’m forced to admit it, I also enjoyed when the guy’s took over the blog.  Although there was a shocking lack of sparkle that week.

Speaking of sparkle, I love that blogging has provided me the opportunity to work with other creatives on what we’ve termed #YouSparkle projects.  Women like Lauren Modny, Mary-Jane of LeRoy French Flowers, Tanya of Birch+Honey and Ella of Start Close In Styling are just a few of the incredibly inspiration people I’ve had the opportunity to work on these projects with.

In fact, Ella has pretty much revolutionized my style over the past year.  She helped me survive my “No Shopping Challenge” by helping me “Shop My Closet” and find new favorites in the midst of old castoffs.  On top of that she’s helped me tackle the ginormous task of cleaning out my closet and FINALLY defining what my personal style is.

Lastly and I think in my mind, most importantly, this space has allowed me to share my heart with you.  It’s allowed me to share the battles I’m fighting, the lessons I’m learning and the hard won truths I’m holding onto in my own life.  Here are just a few posts that I feel like I’ve poured my heart into over the past year… “Masterpiece“, “Valleys“, “The Comparison Trap“, “Your Story“, “The Unknown” , “Hope is Dangerous“, “Anchor“, “Letting Go“, “The Power of One“… ok, maybe that’s more than a few… I pour my heart into a lot of what I write around here.

I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it… Thank you!

Thank you for coming along on this adventure with me.  I’d love to hear from you.  Do you have a favorite moment or post from this past year on Love Always Hannah?

 

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A Promise

A year ago this week, I made a promise to myself.

I’d known for a long time that I wanted to write.  I knew there were things on my heart to say.  I’d even had a blog for a long time.  Yet, I felt totally stuck.  I would post maybe, once a month about something random or I’d have a burst of inspiration for a week but then it would peter off and I’d be left apologizing for not having posted in 3 months.  It was a pretty depressing cycle.  Despite that, I still had this desire to write and to share my heart with whoever might happen to wander by.

Then one day I had the wonderful opportunity to have lunch with my pastor, Donna Pisani.  In the span of that one meal, she challenged me to stop playing it safe and to take the next step.  Don’t you just love people who will lovingly push you out of your comfort zone?  She’s such an encouragement in my life.

After that lunch, I made a promise to myself that I would start writing.  Not just writing periodically but that, for a year, I would post something 5 times a week.

As you can imagine, the thought of doing this scared me in no small way.

What if I ran out of things to say?  

What if nobody read?  

What if nobody cared?

What if I failed?build your wings

 

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I have to be honest and say that I am not the most disciplined person.  My track record of stick-to-it-ive-ness is not awesome.  Despite that fact though, I knew this was something that I not only wanted to do, but that I needed to do. I needed to prove to myself that I could stick to something and that I could keep a promise to myself.

Guess what?

I did it!

Granted it’s not been perfect, nor has it been easy.  There’s been a fair share of wordless posts and I definitely don’t think everything I’ve written has been gold; BUT I proved to myself that I can be consistent.  I’m pretty excited about that fact.

What makes me even more excited is that so many of you have come along on this journey with me.  

Thank you.

That is no small thing.  Thank you for your patience with me.  Thank you for your encouragement.  Thank you for just being there.  It means the world to me.

I’m excited to see what the next chapter of this adventure holds.  I know it’s going to be good.

This week I’m going to be recapping a few of my favorite moments from the journey thus far and talking about some exciting things moving forward. I hope you’ll stick around and share your thoughts on the journey thus far!

 

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