Category Archives: Heath & Wellness

Meditation

Hi Hart Beat. How’s your night going? I went back to the Bar Ballet class I went to for the first time since the summer tonight. It literally kicked my ass and I could barely walk home. I think that’s a good thing? Anyway, what I really wanted to talk to you about tonight is something that keeps popping up over and over again for me. Do you meditate, Hart Beat?

I’m sure it’s one of those things like when you buy a car and then start to see it everywhere but I swear that ever since I started meditating about a month ago it’s now everywhere I look. The New York Times is writing articles about it, one of my favorite podcasts is having episodes about it, man, even signs for Headspace are popping up all over the subway. I guess it all started for me when I was growing up and my dad would take 20 minutes a day to meditate. It was always so strange to me and my brother that he would just, seemingly randomly, sit in a corner and close his eyes for what seemed like a sitting nap. When I got into high school he tried to teach me how to become mindful but it didn’t work for me at all. In fact, it gave me more depressive thoughts and anxiety.

If you know me Hart Beat, you know I don’t like to be alone. I get sad when I’m alone. I get sad when it’s too quiet. It’s progressed so much that now, even at the ripe old age of 26 I still can’t fall asleep without listening to anything. Right now I’m going through the David Sedaris library for the hundredth time. It’s a problem. And I love David Sedaris. I also have a hard time working from home when it’s just me in the apartment all day. Pedro will come home and find me sitting on the couch close to tears just looking out the window. No bueno.

This is a long-winded way of saying that last month I thought I’d try something new. Mindfulness is always a buzz word floating around and after November 8th I was really needing some sense of community and peace. So I googled “meditation centers in manhattan” and, to my surprise, one came up that didn’t look half so kooky. The Kadampa Meditation Center is two blocks from my office (win) and is while it’s technically a religious site dedicated to the teachings of Buddhism, the also have daily meditation meetings that I’ve been going to. It’s hard, Hart Beat. I really don’t like sitting in a room in silence with just my thoughts. It’s been a month and I still feel far away from where I know I can be in the practice. Sometimes when I sit down I can’t stop my work to-do list running through my mind.Sometimes I end up thinking about what I imagine who pro meditation Hannah would be. Sometimes I fall asleep. But I’ve kept going and I’ve tried to start my mornings off too with just breathing exercises.

So I wanted to turn to you, Hart Beat. Have you ever tried meditating? Too weird? Not weird enough? Breathing meditation? Transcendental meditation? Running meditation? I want to hear it. And I promise I’ll report back in a week or so with my progress.

Photo from *dapple dapple on flikr.

The Secret to Shoulder Pain

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! I hope you’re week is going well. As I said earlier this week, I’m on break this week from work and the city and am spending time relaxxxxiiiinnnnng. It’s amazing. One thing that I’ve noticed this week not working is how much better my back feels. For years I’ve had what I call “chronic shoulder stress syndrome.” This is 100% self-diagnosed and something that I’ve always attributed to having larger than normal breasts. I’ve seen chiropractics and doctors and they’ve all said that the reason my shoulders are so tight is because of they way I slouch at my computer. ** Currently straightening my back to the sound of cracks and one “oof” ** This is probably true but other than randomly reminding myself to sit up straight nothing much helps ease the pain.

But eureka! Last week I heard great news from a massage therapist that I went to see (thanks mom!). As soon as I walked into the room she told me that the reason my shoulders were so tight wasn’t because I slouch (although that obviously doesn’t help) it was because the muscles in my chest are scrunched so tight. She said instead of working on my shoulders I need to work on opening up my chest and that that will then trickle all the way down to my lower back. Ever since then I’ve been trying a few different stretches and MAN MY SHOULDERS ARE LOOSENING UP.

I thought maybe this might help some of you others out there so here is what I’ve been doing,

  • Massaging my jaw. This sounds really weird but whatever. I’ve been just rubbing my jaw lightly every night or so and what it’s been doing is opening up my neck and then, the secret to all, my chest.
  • Arching my back. Um, I do this all the time. And every time I do this huge CRACK comes out of my chest. Hopefully a good crack.
  • Arm stretches. This one has been a game changer. Every time I’m in the shower and my body is all warm from the water I place my hand on the side of the shower wall with my fingers pointed behind me. Then I straighten out my arm and gently stretch out my chest as much as I can. My arms are super tight but I can feel my chest getting looser and looser every time.

So, hopefully this will help. Obviously I am not a doctor and if you’re really having shoulder pain/problems go see your doc and get some serious medical advice. But, if you’re just wanting to help your posture try these! And please pass on other suggestions. The holiday season is coming and I can feel my stress level rising with each passing day.

Photo by Allan Grant, 1947.

Life

Is this what I should be spending my time on right now?

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Oh what a question. Right, Hart Beat? One of the things I struggle with day to day at work, at home, writing this blog, riding the train and yada yada is how to prioritize. My mind works at one thousand miles an hour and multi-tasking isn’t a skill, it’s something I inherently do. All in all this is a great thing for my career and general well being but, at times (often crucial deadline times), it can be not a help but a hinderance.

Working on this blog for instance. I often will sit down to write a post, realize I need an image to begin the post, go to Pinterest for inspiration and then spend the next hour just browsing rando Pinterest boards. Fun? Yes. Helpful? Ehhhh. Not UN-helpful but maybe not the most important thing I could be working on. This happens at work too, I’ll be going through my email and get a calendar pop-up notification. This will then spiral me onto my calendar, then onto a doc I have to prepare for another meeting next week. Boom. I’ve successfully derailed something important (like answering urgent emails) to something important but not THE thing I should be looking at that moment.

Enter the question, Is this really what you should be spending your time on right now? I’ve started asking myself this question any time I start a new task. Whether it’s working on a project for two months from now to deciding what to do before I head out to work I’m asking myself to really think about how I’m spending my time. So far so good. I know there are other tips out there too, though. You got any, Hart Beat?

The secret to fuller eyebrows

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. Let’s talk about eyebrows. The idea for this post came a few weeks ago when a friend of mine from work praised the magic of the famous Glossier Boy Brow. The idea of it sounded amazing. What it is is kind of like a mascara for your eyebrows. You brush it in and it fills up the brow while setting it in place. Sounds perfecto, no? I ordered the Boy Brow and immediately started using it and telling all my friends. I even have a draft here in the backend of the blog praising the product.

BUT, this past week I decided to splurge a bit and visit the Of a Kind praised eyebrow expert Sania to see if she could spruce them up a bit. I’ve dabbled in different eyebrow places and upkeep trends since moving to New York. For a while I was obsessed with threading at this cheapo place in Williamsburg. Then I found my way to Boom Boom Brow Bar in the West Village. There I let them pluck and tint my brows to a better arch. It was pretty good but I got tired of looking like a muppet for the first few days while the tint relaxed a bit. Enter Glossier and the Boy Brow which has been the latest fourré in eyebrow maintenance.

As soon as I walked up the stairs to Sania’s enormous and beautiful loft space studio I was like, daaaaaaaamn. If this place doesn’t breath the air of “we know what we’re doing” then I don’t know what does. I mean, if Rihanna and SJP trust their eyebrows to Sania then you know you’re in a swanky well praised place. When I sat down and Sania (in the flesh) took one look at my brows she was like stop everything you’re doing. She told me the following,

Stop the Boy Brow yesterday and don’t put anymore crap in your brows. The lotion/mascara/tint thing you’re doing is pulling out all your follicles and killing any growth you thought you were doing.

She then went on to pluck lots of strays while telling me it will take a bit to get to the perfect brow she knows I want. The main point she kept honing down on was to avoid your brows like the plague. “If you wouldn’t put it in your scalp, then don’t put it in your brows.” Well said, Sania.

She did tell me that the one thing I can put in my brows to fluff them our are natural brow pencils. (She sells a baller pencil that I bought and am now obsessed with.) I can promise, my eyebrows look fuller even after a few days of pretty much leaving them alone.

TL;DR? Don’t put any shit in your eyebrows. Go visit Sania if you feel like you need more assistance.

Do you have any eyebrow tips you want to pass along?

Photo via tumblr.

How to Win the War Against Static Hair

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! A few weeks ago I tried something crazy and shared it with you. If you don’t have a crystal clear memory (and I don’t blame you) the idea was to see if I could wean myself off washing my hair every day. Like that time I tried to give up coffee cold turkey, this test did not work.

Some of you gave me great suggestions about the trick to not washing your hair every day but, no amount of blow drying, baby powder or magic conditioner could battle against my oily roots. This post is not about how I’m a failure though. This post is about two hair habits that I actually do everyday and how they can help you win the war against static hair.

Hannah Hart Beat

Hannah Hart Beat

The first trick is that for years I’ve been using these special hair towels. They come in all different brands and different styles but at the basic level they all do the same thing. Instead of causing static in your hair (damn you BB&B college towels) they wick water away. So instead of rubbing and causing friction, you can just kind of wrap your hair up and then it dries on its own sans frizz. The towel I’m loving lately comes from the Of a Kind personal care shop and comes with a little button to tie it in a turban. Dreams do come true.

The other hair tool that I actually swear by is my wooden hair brush. I’ve had different variations for years and love it so much that I even keep a travel sized wooden brush in my backpack for unruly hair days. The one that I have right now is a Holzstifte. It sounds like a fancy Italian car and I love it. I wish I could actually lead you somewhere you could buy it online but I got in a store in Maine and apparently Holzstifte has not joined us in the age of the internet. You can find other ones similar here and here.

The reason I love a wooden bristles is because it (again) doesn’t make any static when brushing and it doesn’t break your hair (as much) as normal Duane Reade brushes. Extra bonus is that it feels like you’re massaging fingers through your hair. Head massages always win in my book. What about you, Hart Beat? You have any other secret hair tips up your sleeve?

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Photos by Pedro Rodriguez for Hannah Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat

Beauty Challenge: Zero Purchases

Hannah Hart Beat

Afternoon, Hart Beat. Let’s talk beauty. Last week our favorite ladies over at Of a Kind release an amazing array of their favorite beauty products. The collection is both luxurious, surprisingly affordable and wrapped with the most beautiful packaging. This week, Claire and Erica continued the conversation on their podcast and talked about their love for these beauty products.

While I love me some buttery soft lotion (weird description? probs) I confess that I have a problem accumulating lotions and products. I know that all my past roommates can confirm that at any time next to my bed I have at least three bottles of lotion and three different kinds of mascara floating on my dresser.

Hannah Hart Beat

This is a problem, Hart Beat. Especially when people like of a kind email be lists of beautiful beauty products that I want, nay, need. What I realized after loading my shopping cart with pretty much their entire collection, I stopped. Do I really need all these products when I have an apartment full of pretty much the same thing? I mean, I really want them all (like no joke that hair towel is everything) but can I make due until I actually need to replace my towel instead of adding another one to the massive pile?

Yes I can. So I’m challenging myself to something and I thought, if you’re anything like me Hart Beat, you might want to try too. I decided that I’m not going to buy any more beauty products until I finish everything that I own now. No more face lotion, no more shampoo, no more lipstick. Sorry Claire and Erica 😞.

What do you think, Hart Beat? Do you have the same problem I do? Want to try this with me? Or are you thinking I’m crazy because buying new beauty products is one of the most satisfying things in the worls (no lie). Bet you I go longer with what’s stacked up in my medicine cabinet…

Both photos by Of a Kind.

Hannah Hart Beat

Tell me, when do you wash your hair?

Hannah Hart Beat

Hey Hart Beat. I have a question for you. It’s personal and a little weird but I’m going to do it anyway. How often do you wash your hair?

Let me preface this by saying I am a clean person. Pedro may say otherwise but I promise, I adhere to the standard cleanliness of body and living space. That being said, for my entire life I never thought twice about washing and conditioning my hair every day. I mean, I showered every day so that meant I washed my hair every day. Right?

Nope. I’ve been hearing from Pedro ever since we started dating that washing your hair every day is horrible for it. He should know, he has amazing hair. Pedro conditions every day but only washes his hair a few times a week. This theory was confirmed when I went to get my hair cut last week and the stylist was like HOLY MOLEY WOMAN YOUR HAIR IS SO DRY.

 

Hannah Hart Beat

To my defense, there are a couple reasons why I’ve traditionally washed my hair every day. For one, I like clean hair! The other main reason I’m sure other blondes out there can relate to, is that washing your hair makes it actually lighter. Like the color is brighter and your hair is blonder. Why? It’s pretty simple, the oiler it gets the darker it gets and so after a few days of not washing my hair and only conditioning it looks like I’ve gone about three shades browner. Sometimes people even ask if I’ve dyed my hair. I love being a blonde and if the simple answer to keeping the shine on is washing my hair everyday then I’ll do it. Some companies sell specialist shampoo that is designed to lighten your blonde dyed hair colour. However, for all you natural blondes out there, shampoo for natural blonde hair does exist too! Make sure that you use these sorts of products about once a week because they are so effective people will question whether you have had your hair redyed! Now that I have it on good opinion that washing is bad, I’m not sure anymore.

So Hart Beat, I reach out to you. How often do you wash your hair? And if you’re blonde, do you have any tips for keeping it light during the non-wash days? Help a girl out, Hart Beat. My hair and I thank you in advance.

Second photo by Alpha Smoot.

Hannah Hart Beat

Bag Envy

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Heyyy Hart Beat. Over the summer I was enticed enough by a beautiful email sent to me from Everlane to buy this amazing backpack. Even after six months I’m still obsessed with it and use it for work everyday. This fall, Everlane announced a few new bags they added to their collection and one of them has me particularly in love…

Isn’t the Petra Crossbody the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? My best friend Samantha has it and even after seeing it in person I can confidently say it’s just as breathtaking as it is in the photos. The bag is a little (a lot for me) on the expensive side for a crossbody bag but, in typical Everlane fashion (get it?) they break down the costs and let you know that this bag should really cost $1,300. CRAZY PANTS. Soooo, if you look at it that way Hart Beat, you’re actually saving yourself $935. Jkjk. As always I recommend this piece of financial advice before hitting the “purchase now” button. I know it’s on my list right now.

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Top and bottom photo via @thetrottergirl. Second photo via Everlane.

I’m 😍😍😍 (goo-goo eyes) for Levis

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Ohhhh Hart Beat. I’m starting to realize that my days of biddie skirts and skin tight pants are behind me. I dress differently now than I did at 21. Okay, maybe this isn’t a surprise. I still have my iconic scarf collection and am still wearing mostly black (some things can never change) but all in all, the garb that I threw on every day in college has transitioned into something more… comfortable or classic as I would prefer. The realization has come slowly but surely over the years and has been cemented recently when I discovered I was borrowing Pedro’s clothes more and more.

I’m taller than Pedro but even so, he and I generally wear the same size in clothes. Aside from sneakers (because I don’t have a death wish) I borrow most of his things, including his Levis—for the legitimate boyfriend jean look. I realized it was time for me to invest in some of my own vintage Levis and I was in luck a few weekends ago when I walked by a pop-up space in Greenpoint that had exclusively piles and piles of vintage Levis. As you can see below, there were lots to pick from and lucky for me the owner of the store helped me pick out a bunch. I had one of Pedro’s pairs on at the time so I could show him the effect I was looking for in the pants. After about five minutes BOOM, I had my perfect pair.

These bad boys are short in the length so I can show my shoes (YUP) and slowchy enough to constitute boyfriend jeans. (#lifewin) Are you with me in the boyfriend jean boat, Hart Beat? Do you have a place you like to buy vintage Levis? Does my butt look good in these pants? Jkjkjk, you don’t have to answer that, I know I’m rocking the mom jean here.

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Photos by Pedro Rodriguez for Hannah Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat

Pansy, a cheeky way to spend your Tuesday

Hannah Hart Beat

Hey Hart Beat! This post is a little NSFW but whateves. Hopefully you’re not opening up this link on you’re huge ass screen in front of all your employees. Oh, you did? Sorry about that Hart Beat… This post should make it up to you!

A while back in one of my Friday link lists (cop out, I KNOW) I shared this great article from the NYT about how, apparently, today’s ladies are forgoing thongs for the ever more comfortable and appealing cotton panties. Now, my rule of thumb when reading something on in The New York Times is that if there’s a “trend” or “culture” piece written there, then the trend is about two months old. While The Times may be up to date with the world news, they are not, on it when it comes to culture or fashion.

In terms of the actual bulk of the article however, I couldn’t agree more. As much as I love my Hanky Panky’s I find lately that I’ve been grabbing the more comfortable, albeit definitely not as attractive underwear. This is where Pansy comes in. The brand makes very simple, very cotton and very alluring panties and bras. While I cannot (to say it simply) wear the bras, this underwear looks out of control and I think I’m going to have to order some for myself. Even if not I am LOVING the photos that they took for their new collection. The girls are so real! Hey brands, this works.

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