Tag Archives: advice

Wedding Guest Dress Help

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! Long time no talk! How’s your February going? Did you see the news about six more weeks of winter? Woof. Although, to be completely honest I’m not that surprised. It is only February after all. I’ve been writing away the last few weeks (TBH #NoPlanJan was a FAIL) but I still got just about the entire first draft of my book done. This month it’s all about the edits baby.

Aside from the book, there’s been something else distracting me on the internet. And I need your help Hart Beat! I’m so excited because this spring I have a few events (cough weddings) I’m going to and I need suggestions on where to get a dress. Last fall I went to a wedding in Vermont and wore a great dress from Reformation but it’s black and the weddings this year are in the spring so I’m not sure black is the best. Plus, isn’t it bad luck to wear black to a wedding? Halp meeeee.

Hannah Hart Beat

Anyway, since last summer I started doing yoga every day my body has gone through #changes and I’m not sure it’s the best dress anyway for me right now. So, send me your recommendations! Where have you gotten dresses for weddings in the past? I’m not wanting to spend Ulla Johnson money but am looking for something a little more than Asos. I’ve been hitting all my staples like Madewell and Sézane but nada at the moment. Maybe it’s too early? Comment or message me your favorite brands and I will be forever grateful 🙏🏼.

P.S. Both these dresses here are said Ulla Johnson 💸😭.

Hannah Hart Beat

Do or Don’t: Ice Cold Showers

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. Guess what? I’m finally over the flu! So many happy dances happening in Bay Ridge right now. This week of bed rest has gotten me thinking about ways I can (try) and boost my immune system this winter in Brooklyn. One thing that I’ve read a few times in the last month is the benefit of an ice cold shower. An article in The New York Times presented the idea as a way to get something really difficult out of the way early in the day. I’m not sure that reason for cold showers makes me want to take the plunge (ha) but other health benefits I’m reading seem pretty valid.

Apparently, turning the water all the way to ice ice ice cold for the last thirty seconds of a shower can help with the following,

  • Increased alertness A way to wake up hella faster in the morning than three cups of coffee? Sounding promising.
  • Clearer skin and healthier hair The acne trick that I wish I knew years ago. Plus shinier hair!? Sign me up.
  • Improves immune system Yes, okay, I need help finally curing the flu but TBH I can’t really imagine ducking under an ice cold shower when I’m this sick. To each her own I guess…
  • Stimulates weight loss ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Not something I’m looking to do but I guess it should be added to the list.
  • Eases stress …… I’ll take it. I’LL TAKE IT. I’ll try anything that helps ease stress. My shoulders are continuously in a state of painful tension.
  • Relieves depression This is a huge statement that is hard for me to believe. I prefer to think of this benefit as cold showers “can help boost your immediate mood” which I personally, always can use. Winter is a hard time for me. Anything that I can find to help boost my mood is a good thing.

All of this info is coming from the internet (sites like Fast Company and Medical Daily so please know I didn’t consult a doctor writing this. Take all this with a grain of salt and NOT as an official medical suggestion. After reading all of this. turning the water all the way cold for the last thirty seconds of every shower is something I’m going to start this week. What about you, Hart Beat? If this is something you’ve ever even considered I would love to chat.

Update. I tried it. It is painful as hell but I’m gonna keep at it. Anyone else given it a try?

Hannah Hart Beat

Top photo of a house tour by Remodelista. Illustration via The Jungalow.

 

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?

Hannah Hart Beat - OKreal

OKREAL Talk & Life Advice

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Evening, Hart Beat. Have you heard about OKREAL? I can’t remember how exactly I came across the site but it’s one that I’ve wanted to share with you for a while. I mean, who doesn’t love inspirational quotes like the one above of this one below?

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

 

 

OKREAL is a site that pulls quotes, articles and advice from women working in creative fields. From the time that I’ve followed their Instagram account they have interviewed Ann Friedman (LURV HER), Rachael Yaeger and Joy Bryant among others. Aside from original interviews and articles, the site also pulls inspirational pieces by writes that we all know and love. One of my favorites was this speech written by my role model Mary Karr.

Not only does the OKREAL website have a treasure trove of life advice, baller women inspiration and general MHM HELL YEA moments but they also have a great Instagram account that brings these three feelings into your feed when you’re on the go.

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

Hannah Hart Beat - Hey OK Real

All quotes and images via OKREAL.

Need other inspiration, got another post right here waiting for you.

 

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

Looking for the One

Hannah Hart Beat

Hey Hart Beat. A bit ago I shared the exciting news that one of our favorite advice columns Dear Sugar was coming out with a podcast of the same name. One of my resolutions this year was to read more actual books which has been great but means I’ve been falling behind on some of my favorite podcasts, like Dear Sugar.

This morning on the train I caught up and listened to the two most recent episodes of the show. I immediately knew I had to share them with you here. The episodes are a part one and part two of a discussion on the idea of looking for “the one.”

In the first episode, “The Anxiety“, Cheryl and Steve talk about all the letters the receive from women asking for their advice on finding true love. The women who write in they say, have everything going for them in their careers, friendships and personal growth. What the women say they are missing is finding someone to share their life with and are wondering if and how they will ever find “the one.”

The second episode, “The Reality“, focuses on the scientific research that women actually do have a hard time finding men to couple up with since the data confirms there are less and less “available” men in the world.

They are both so eye opening, Hart Beat. I may be in a relationship but I know that for years I was always wondering this very question, will I find the one? And, more importantly, how?? I have so many amazing single lady friends and it baffles me daily that they’re single. While I strongly believe there is nothing to be ashamed and nothing wrong with being a single woman, that sentiment only matters if you are happy and want to be single. If you’re like me and countless other women I know, coupling up (for whatever reason) is something desired.

The podcast episodes definitely don’t tell you exactly how to find the one, or even confirm that there is one person for everyone (something that I don’t think is true either). But, it is so wonderful to hear Cheryl and Steve talk about this theme. I hope you like listening to them too.

P.S. Some dating advice I’ve written on the blog here and here.

Update: The Sugars did a Part Three of the series called “Reimagining the Spinster” where they speak with Kate Bolick, author of Spinster. Listen to it if you haven’t!

Hannah Hart Beat

New Year, New Me

Hannah Hart Beat

Hey Hart Beat. Hopefully you’re not appalled that this image is coming way after New Years actually happened. I feel like 2016 was off to a great start and maybe all of us (yours truly included) need a little fire under our bellies reminder.

I love this list written by Woody Guthrie in 1942. Most of them still apply which I love. “Don’t get lonesome.” and “Stay glad.” are two of my favorites. The list is below in case you’re having trouble reading Mr. Guthrie’s handwriting. Cheers to you, Hart Beat, this wintery Wednesday.

1. Work more and better
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
4. Shave
5. Take bath
6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Dont get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hoping machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but dont waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight

Image via Open Culture.

Cold Weather Advice for NYC

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Hey Hart Beat. The SNOWPOCALYPSE is coming. Apparently. I’m not keeping up with the news that much but from what I’ve heard NYC and the surrounding area is going to be buried in snow this weekend. I really don’t think we can complain since it’s been such a mild winter so far but, this cold snap has had me thinking of some of my favorite advice.

My first job living in New York City was working at a Flea Market in Chelsea Market. It was such a great first job in the city and one of the reasons was because I got to meet natives from all over New York and, just as interestingly, tourists from all over the world. One day I was chatting with a man while his wife tried on some of the dresses I was selling and casually commented that his hometown in Norway gets so cold in the winter that the ocean freezes a meter thick. Let’s all think about this a minute. THE OCEAN. MADE OF SALT. FREEZES SO CARS CAN DRIVE ON IT. That’s some kind of cold I don’t want to know.

When I responded with a YOU BE CRAZY OLD MAN, he laughed and said one of the wisest things I’ve ever heard and since then have repeated to myself every cold winter day. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” 

And let’s face it, the man is right. The times I’m freezing my tuckus off are when I’ve underestimated the cold and am not wearing enough layers. If I bundle up enough though, it’s hard to be really cold. This means don’t dress sexy in January. I wear leggings and fleece lined Mom jeans and two different down jackets. I wear hats and scarfs and two pairs of gloves. So New Yorkers out there, let’s not be naive and dress warm because that wise old man was right. It’s cold out there and tomorrow I’m going to be remembering his wise words and hope you do too.

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Top photo via Shawn Hoke and bottom photo I took last winter.

Reese Witherspoon preaching feminism 🙌

Hannah Hart Beat

Hey Hart Beat! It’s lunch time so I thought I would share some reading for you if you’re looking for that kind of thing right now. Last night on Facebook I came across Reese Witherspoon’s acceptance speech for Glamour Women of the Year Award. I’ve been a long time fan of Reese and this speech made me love her even more. I admire so much her attitude and her advocation for ambitious women. One of the main points that Reese makes is, in this world dominated by men, if you see somewhere where you think you can add benefit, do it! Don’t wait for someone else to create the world for you. Anyway, here’s the whole speech if you’re interested. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did, Hart Beat.

I can’t thank Glamour magazine enough and Conde Nast and Cindi for asking me to be here. You just made this night so amazing. These incredible, inspiring women are doing so many things to change how we perceive women, and I hope Amy Schumer and all the other nominees that when you consider making your biopic, you’ll give me the rights first, which would be great. Although Amy, I’ll have to play your grandmother in the movie (by Hollywood standards), and you’ll probably have to play your own mother.

I’m so excited that so many young women are here tonight. This all started for me when I was a little girl. I was 14 years old when I learned that I love acting, and I still do. Acting allows me to slip into the skin of all kinds of different women, and not in a creepy “Silence of the Lambs” way…but in a way that lets me explore the full spectrum of humanity. Every woman I’ve ever played is passionate and strong and flawed, except for Tracy Flick. She’s 100 percent perfect, but she made me say that. But I also learned at 14 years old that I was ambitious. Really ambitious. Did I say that out loud? Let’s talk about ambition.

I want everybody to close their eyes and think of a dirty word, like a really dirty word. Now open your eyes. Was any of your words ambition? I didn’t think so. See, I just kind of started wondering lately why female ambition is a trait that people are so afraid of. Why do people have prejudiced opinions about women who accomplish things? Why is that perceived as a negative? In a study by Georgetown University in 2005, a group of professors asked candidates to evaluate male ambition vs. female ambition in politicians. Respondents were less likely to vote for power-seeking women than power-seeking men. They also perceived ambitious women as looking out for themselves. They even reported ambitious women as provoking feelings of disgust.

Now, in my life I have always found more comfort in being the underdog. Whether people thought I couldn’t do something or they said it was impossible, I always rose to the challenge. I enjoyed reaching for the impossible. I remember when I was 18 years old and applying to colleges, I had this male college counselor, and he said, “Don’t even bother applying to Stanford, sweetie. Your SAT scores aren’t good enough.” But I did it anyway, and I got in. (But it wasn’t because of my SAT scores!)

When I got into the film business, I was doing dramas, and casting directors didn’t know if I could be funny. So I did a comedy, “Legally Blonde,” and then my entire career I was pigeonholed. I did comedies, they didn’t think I was serious. I did dramas, they didn’t think I was funny. And I got older and they didn’t think I could still be viable. So about three years ago, I found myself very curious about the state of the movie business. I really wondered how the digital evolution was affecting the landscape of filmmaking and specifically why studios were making fewer and fewer movies. So I started asking questions, and I decided to meet with the heads of each of the different movie studios that I had been friends with for years and I had made many movies with them. Each of the meetings started with something very casual like, “How are your kids?” and “Wow, has it really been that long since ‘Walk the Line’?” At the end of the meeting, I sort of casually brought up, “So, how many movies are in development with a female lead?” And by lead, I don’t mean wife of the lead or the girlfriend of the lead. The lead, the hero of the story. I was met with nothing, blank stares, excessive blinking, uncomfortable shifting. No one wanted to answer the question because the fact was the studios weren’t developing anything starring a woman. The only studio that was was turning a man’s role into a woman’s role. And the studio heads didn’t apologize. They don’t have to apologize. They are interested in profits — and after all, they run subsidiary companies of giant corporations.

But I was flabbergasted. This was 2012, and it made no sense to me. Where was our Sally Field in “Norma Rae” or Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” or Goldie Hawn in, you name it, any Goldie Hawn movie: “Overboard,” “Wildcats,” “Private Benjamin”? These women shaped my idea of what it meant to be a woman of strength and character and humor in this world. And my beautiful, intelligent daughter, who is 16 years old now, would not grow up idolizing that same group of women. Instead, she’d be forced to watch a chorus of talented, accomplished women Saran wrapped into tight leather pants, tottering along on very cute, but completely impractical, shoes turn to a male lead and ask breathlessly, “What do we do now?!” Seriously, I’m not kidding. Go back and watch any movie, and you’ll see this line over and over. I love to ask questions, but it’s my most hated question.

I dread reading scripts that have no women involved in their creation because inevitably I get to that part where the girl turns to the guy, and she says, “What do we do now?!” Do you know any woman in any crisis situation who has absolutely no idea what to do? I mean, don’t they tell people in crisis, even children, “If you’re in trouble, talk to a woman.” It’s ridiculous that a woman wouldn’t know what to do.

So, anyway, after going to these studios and telling people about how there’s barely any female leads in films and the industry’s in crisis, people were aghast. “That’s horrible,” they said. And then they changed the subject and moved on with their dinner and moved on with their lives. But I could not change the subject. I couldn’t turn to some man and say, “What do we do now?” This is my life.

I’ve made movies all my life, for 25 years, since I was 14 years old. It was time to turn to myself and say, “OK, Reese, what are we going to do now?” The answer was very clear. My mother, who is here tonight, a very strong, smart Southern woman, said to me, “If you want something done, honey, do it yourself.”

So, I started my own production company, Pacific Standard Films, with the mission to tell stories about women. And I was nervous, y’all. I was spending my own money, which everyone in the movie business always tells you, “Don’t spend your own money on anything.” I was warned that on the crazy chance Pacific Standard would acquire any good scripts we would never make it past our first few years in business because there just wasn’t a market for buying female-driven material. But like Elle Woods, I do not like to be underestimated.

I’m a very avid reader. In fact, I’m a complete book nerd. So is my producing partner, so we tore through tons of manuscripts and read so many things before they were published, but we could only find two pieces of material that we thought were right. We optioned them with our own money, and we prayed that they would work. Both had strong, complicated, fascinating women at the center and both were written by women. And lo and behold, both books hit number one on the New York Times bestsellers list. One is called “Gone Girl” and the second is called “Wild.” So we made those two films last year, and those two films rose to over half a billion dollars world wide and we got three Academy Award nominations for women in acting performances. So that is year one. Against the odds, Pacific Standard has had a year two and year three. We bought five more bestselling books. Next year, we’re going to make two of those, “Big Little Lies” and “Luckiest Girl Alive,” into films. We have over 25 films in development and three television shows, and they all have female leads of different ages and different races and different jobs. Some are astronauts, some are soldiers, some are scientists, one is even a Supreme Court justice. They’re not just good or bad; they’re bold and hunted and dangerous and triumphant like the real women we meet every single day of our lives. But our company isn’t just thriving because it feels like a good thing to do. It’s thriving because female-driven films work. This year alone, “Trainwreck” with Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy,” “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Cinderella,” the “Hunger Games” franchise, those made over 2.2 billion dollars world wide. Films with women at the center are not a public service project, they are a big time, bottom line-enhancing, money-making commodity.

I think we are in a culture crisis in every field. In every industry, women are underrepresented and underpaid in leadership positions. Under 5 percent of CEOS of fortune 500 companies are women. Only 19 percent of Congress is women. No wonder we don’t have the health care we deserve or paid family leave or public access to early childhood education. That really worries me. How can we expect legislation or our needs to be served if we don’t have equal representation? So here’s my hope: If you’re in politics, media, the tech industry, or working as an entrepreneur or a teacher or a construction worker or a caregiver, you know the problems we are all facing. I urge each one of you to ask yourselves: What do we do now? That’s a big question. What is it in life that you think you can’t accomplish? Or what is it that people have said that you cannot do? Wouldn’t it feel really good to prove them all wrong? Because I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It’s just believing in yourself and your abilities. Imagine this: What would happen if we were all brave enough to be a little bit more ambitious? I think the world would change.

P.S. Another inspiring feminist that I love talks about her secret to great hair. Hint, the answer is feminism.

Baba Yaga advice

Advice from Baba Yaga

Alice Gao

Hey Hart Beat. If you know me and this here blog then you know how much I love good advice. From Dear Sugar, famous artists and the occasional Norwegian man, I’ll take it all and so, I was very happy to discover recently the advice column Ask Baba Yaga, from one of my favorite blogs The Hairpin. Baba Yaga is the brain child of Taisia Kitaiskaia, a writer and poet, and the author takes great skill in answering people’s questions in the spirit of a wise old.. guru? Clan leader? I can’t figure out the tone exactly but I love it. With questions ranging from “How do I stop hating everyone?” to “Am I watching too much television?” there’s a question and answer just for you. Here are a few of my favorites. What would you ask Baba Yaga, Hart Beat?

Will I ever fall in love again?Baba Yaga advice

How can I stop eating sweets?
Baba Yaga advice

Is it possible to truly love my partner if I know I could do better?
Baba Yaga advice

How can I make the most of my time?
Baba-time-pressure

How do relationships survive mental illness?
baba-mental-illness

Am I watching too much television?
baba-tv

Top photo via @alice_gao