Collagen, Who Are You? & Energizing Collagen Matcha Elixir

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I met Vital Proteins at FounderMade’s beauty summit in the beginning of this past summer. I was most definitely late to the collagen party, but oh so excited to join it. I tested one pack and felt immediate energy shifts upon consumption. I was hooked. I used my coupon code and ordered my first lil tub o’ collagen peptides. My collagen ritual entailed filtered water, two scoops of collagen, and a splash of lemon juice. Sometimes a drop of stevia or a few mint leaves for those hot NYC days.

The first visible sign –that I could give immediate credit to collagen peptides–  were my strong nails. Fresh out of a gel manicure, rock solid nails. I was fascinated. I also physically felt an energy boost upon finishing a nice glass of collagen water. My skin was at its best. But I did not know why. I soon realized I had no idea what I was consuming and needed to figure it out, pronto.

As it turns out, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is only logical that we see immediate effects in a clear complexion, reduced wrinkles, and taut skin- as the skin is the largest organ in the body. And as we age, the production of collagen goes down by 2% every year. Just because I am in my early twenties, does not mean I don’t benefit from the glory of collagen. I sure as hell do. Taking collagen, supports healthy hair, skin and nails, but additionally primes your bone and joint strength. When I added my collagen elixirs to my routine, I drank it in the morning prior to attending a SoulCycle class. Little did I know, collagen is a fantastic pre and post workout supplement. The support of collagen over the past six months has been integral to my active lifestyle, which includes spin, HIIT and yoga.

I am so grateful I fell into the abyss of collagen through Vital Proteins, who sources their products sustainably. VP sources their collagen from grass-fed, pasture- raised, bovine hides from Brazil. Hence, VP is not a vegan product as collagen comes from beef and fish. Vital Proteins is exceptionally transparent about the source of their products and shares as much information as possible.

In closing, I have rounded up the benefits that have made positive contributions to my well-being,

Collagen is a fantastic supplement to support an active lifestyle.

It is a rejuvenating pre and post workout supplement that strengthens joints and bones.

I am not the only active human benefitting from Collagen. Vital Proteins sponsored professional athletes with collagen for 2 years and injuries went down by 60%. I mean? Rad sauce. VP is now the Chicago Cubs official collagen partner. They have even requested a sports green to make VP’s products more applicable to athletes.

It improves gut health.

I feel better when my stomach feels better. For a young woman with extensive stomach issues, that are deeply intertwined with my anxiety and emotions, my tummy can be deeply affected by my surroundings. Improving my gut health improves my overall well being. I devote time to better understand my body, and to learn how it be strengthened. The largest part of the equation, is without a doubt, the gut. To have a high functioning, clean gut takes genuine effort and care, but it is rewarding in every other sphere.

Your nails are strong even through the trials of a gel manicure.

(hopefully a non-toxic one– if your city permits such an indulgence)

‘Nuff said. I hope I have convinced you!

Head to my instagram for a giveaway of my TWO favorite products with Vital Proteins!!

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Energizing Matcha Collagen Tonic

1 serving Vital proteins collagen peptides

1 cup Almond milk

Less than half a cup of hot water

1- 2 tsp. Matcha

½ tsp.  Cordyceps 

1 tsp. coconut oil (1 tbsp)

Optional: 1 tsp raw honey or drop of stevia

  1. Boil hot water to prep your matcha and then use a matcha (or deep) bowl, to whisk your matcha with hot water
  2. Meanwhile, heat almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat and load the rest of your ingredients in a blender or bowl if you have a frother
  3. Once your milk is warm, blend or froth until desired texture
  4. Top with loose leaf tea or edible flowers to increase beauty

Enjoy!

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Collagen gifted by Vital Proteins

For More Information regarding collagen and Vital Proteins, visit:  VitalProteins.com // Cision PR Newswire // Vogue.com  // Paleo Magazine Radio: Interview with founder of VP

Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk

No Shortcuts

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Passion & persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts.

Diane von Furstenberg

This might be a fault of mine, but I have trouble empathizing with those who are displeased with  their lives and yet they do not think to make any changes. It frustrates me to see my loved ones, friends or acquaintances unhappy with their circumstances. It hurts to see those ignore the fire of their passions. I love seeing people pursue their passions.

Passionate people are my favorite. I do not care what your passion is. Just have one. Live it out. I am taking an Introduction to African Civilization course this semester and I love it. My professor, is amazing. She is funny, weird and wildly passionate about Africa. It is evident that her knowledge of Africa, is quite expansive. She spits out facts and then makes a cultural observation. She has clearly spent quite some time in various cities in Africa and has used her experiences to give her a unique perspective of the continent. Listening to her lecture and learning from her is exciting. When passionate people share, they are taking you along their adventure.

Upon reflecting on the current state of my life, I am fairly pleased and extraordinarily grateful. I love the path the Lord is leading me on. I have a ball pursuing my passions. I am not interested in wasting the time I have of being a young woman. I take risks. I explore this fantastic globe. I mess up. I make amazing friends. I seek adventures daily.

I would not want my life any other way. Each and every risk has somehow benefitted me. Whether it has worked out in my favor or taught me a lesson, it has positively contributed to sharpening my character. I love taking advantage of my free time and my schedule. Filling it with laughter and adventure is something I will never regret. A fearful life is not something that interests me; a bold one, however, is appetizing.

Xo H 

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Photographed by Ruut DeMeo RMD Portraits | | Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland

Wearing: Zara hat (similar here), Mango jacket (unavailable, similar here), Viktoria + Woods Riot Crop Tank, Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Britton, Joie Barlow booties (other colors available here), Linea Pelle purse (quite old and unavailable)

Restless ’til I

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Restless ‘til I Rest

Last week, I began another semester at the College of Charleston. I was elated to be back in Chucktown and reconnect with my darling friends and peers, but stressed nonetheless. I was jet lagged, exhausted, and excited. I also refused to admit defeat. I refused to acknowledge my anxiety. I do not know why we millennials find ourselves denying our mental and emotional states until we are completely broken down by stress. I do not want to participate in that cultural habit and I hope to asses my circumstances whenever they might be out of sorts.

Each semester of my college career feels as if I am starting a temporary job. You have one week to get comfortable with your surroundings, nail down the perfect academic schedule, and maintain mental agility for new schoolwork. I found myself constantly checking my email for academic updates, sprinting to Barnes & Noble on multiple occasions, and organizing my social life in the most frazzled state. I kept telling myself it would feel normal soon enough, upon finding a routine. I settle in a routine, that looks different every few months of my life. The whole process is unnatural. College is like that, you have a consistently abnormal schedule for 4 (or more) years.

Do you know how I felt? Restless. Utterly restless. I was crawling about campus, running on limited hours of sleep and attempting to perfect every inch of my life. It is impossible to perfectly arrange the details of one’s current schedule. Yes, I sort of managed an amazing schedule with a four day weekend every weekend, but I do know that surprises will stir up my days. As I found myself in a quiet moment, spotify found Restless by Audrey Assad, and I quickly realized my personal setback.

And I’m restless, I’m restless

‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You

I am restless, I’m restless

‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You

Oh God, I wanna rest in You

Sometimes my outrageous attempts to be positively combating life simply leads to tears. I began every morning prepared to conquer the day, with an exceptionally enthusiastic attitude and yet I still found myself overwhelmed. I was bubbling with anxiety. Is it so bad to say, “I am effing anxious and every bit of this week sucks?” Why couldn’t I admit it? Was it that all my peers are faking it? They are all so calm. Eerily calm.

Transitions take time. Acknowledging when we need a hot second to rest is crucial to feeling like ourselves and being the best little human we are capable of living as. I am not striving for perfection, and I do not suggest you try that. I would much rather admit to feeling anxious. Then follow the acceptance of my feelings with a hot bath, good book and solid quiet time. We have got to rest, my friends, if we want to understand anything about our surroundings, circumstances and current reality. Resting should be a priority.

I am peeking at my accounting homework now, with a little smile. I can do it. Last week, there was no chance of me understanding content, and now I am ready. We need time, most frequently, in order to get it.

I know that the Lord has called me to so much more than an anxious, academic-fearing heart. I am very excited for this season of my life; the lessons that I will learn, the love I will get to share and adventures that await. Don’t let your restless heart get in the way of life.

Need some rest inspiration? I’ve got your back.

  • Hot tea (opt for herbal)
  • Exercise
  • Hydration
  • A healthy diet 
  • Chill on the sugar, it messes everything up
  • Quiet time
  • To Do Lists (let your brain breathe)
  • Reading  
  • Taking the time for a nap
  • Candles- just don’t fall asleep
  • A hot bath, also don’t fall asleep
  • Navigate a schedule that permits a full night’s sleep
  • Jesus? He is the best, but whatever floats your boat babe!

None of this is helping? No worries, I will redirect you to a brilliantly inspiring article. I know I am not full of all the wisdom in the world, but Goop seemingly has it together (Thanks Gwyneth!)  

Listening to:

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Photographed by the talented Ruut DeMeo, RMD Portraits | | Hampden, Baltimore, Maryland 

Wearing: Adidas graphic sweatshirt, Vintage Men’s Shirt (worn as jacket), Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jeanne Britton, Joie Barlow booties 

Sparkle

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Sparkle.

Last Monday, I was off to an anxious, stressed and emotional start to finals week.

I wandered to a local coffee shop to flip through emails, complete a paper and hopefully relax a bit. After my brief encounter with my almond chai, I hustled home in full stride with music blasting in my earphones. I paused before I entered my home. I have a new neighbor. A new shop by my house. A sweet boutique. A stellar owner. Her face is warm, hugs inviting and smile authentic. Fine, I will walk inside for a hug. I bee lined for her arms, avoiding eye contact entirely. I nestled into the perfect hug, and my glasses quickly steamed by my hot tears. “Is everything okay?” Caroline asked. “I am stressed. Anxious. Emotional.”  Caroline quickly ushered me to a comfortable seat and handed me a candy cane. Armed with motherly solace, she is equipped for anything.

Before we began conversing to discuss my emotional state, she said, “I just want you to know how loved you are.” Caroline met my mother this past weekend, and they adored each other. “I saw the way your mother looked at you Hannah, she loves you unconditionally. You are so loved.” I accepted her sweet words of encouragement but trembled as I recalled school’s harsh reality, “I am genuinely fearful of failing an exam.” I sniffled, holding back tears in fear of damaging a fresh coat of make up. Caroline’s words were perfect. Her comfort continued as she repeatedly told me, “You are more than a grade.”

Why is it that love is reassuring? The power of love never ceases to astound me. As she comforted me, I glanced at my tattoo, mom’s words whispering, “I love you,” in the midst of my anger with temporal frustrations. “Hannah, you are more than a grade,” Caroline did not stop with her encouragement. She continued to build me back up, “You sparkle Hannah. We all know it. We see you and you sparkle.” I do not know if I smiled, teared up or just shut my eyes in acceptance of this genuine love. At some point in the conversation I just laid my head on Caroline’s lap, like a dog begging for a head rub. Caroline carefully patted my back, her kind words flowing, and love filled my heart to the brim. The support of her words and touch, enabled me to forget the possibility of failure.

Throughout the morning, previous to my encounter with Caroline, I prayed for the Lord’s comfort. I asked for peace for the week, but begged him for temporary relief of my anxiety. I have experienced several recent doses of love directly from God. However, I find great comfort in the arms of those around me. Physical touch is crucial to my emotional health. Odd, but it is me. I need hugs, snuggles and head pats. Instead of God soothing me in alone time, He did what He had to get me into the arms of His love. Letting Caroline be a vessel of His compassion, was incredibly kind of Him. I joyfully accepted the love I received. The tangible relief of falling into a hug. Caroline’s motherly love and empathy. The sweet reminder of listening to words I know to be true but struggle to believe during a time like finals. Finals hurt my heart. Finals challenge not only my learning disabilities, as well as my anxiety and emotions.

“You Sparkle,” my heart instantly melted. It was affirming, yet again, that something might be seen in me than more than the identity of being a student. I am in fact more than a grade, I am more than my GPA, and I am more than a student. I am much more than a student and I hope to known for that. I hope to be known for hugs, love and laughter. I hope to known for being my true self and settling for nothing less. Including, restraining from the self-deprecating thought process whilst enduring a difficult course. It was a joy to hear that I might sparkle to someone around me, I am undeserving of such a compliment but whoah did it tickle my heart. Authenticity. Transparency. Human’s like it. It is relatable.

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Sleeveless turtlenecks can be paired with a short or long sleeved tee. Long sleeves create the illusion of a full sweater, while short sleeves allow the turtleneck to hold attention.

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Grandmother’s pug featured in le blog post. Pugs are the best accessories. I love a good prop, especially a silly one.

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Mastering the art of the turtleneck tuck. Slip into your turtleneck, leave your hair inside the sweater and slowly pull front pieces to frame your face.
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Momma’s words always with me. Xo. P.S Did you hear that naked nails are trending this winter? Giving my nails a break from gel, but missing polish.
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Golden hour and natural curls. Only a few products to tame the mane but tough to beat with the current humidity in Charleston!

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Miss new bootie. All about my new thigh highs! Winter must have.

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Photographed by Davy Kesey | | Charleston, SC

Wearing: Madewell turtleneck, Piko Tee w/ lace trim (similar), J Brand coated jeans (last season but similar here ) Stuart Weitzman Lowland Boot in black suede found at Charleston’s Bob Ellis, similar boots here, here and here.

Sweet Things

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This holiday season is uh er hmm exciting? Stressful? Eventful? Yes, yes! Eventful. As a college student, Thanksgiving is no break. Thanksgiving is the time to eat, hang with family, possibly relax and then curl into a bloated ball of emotions when you realize you forgot about your project. This is not an attempt to give you an anxiety attack, I can assure you holidays are full of smiles! However, I am cautiously approaching the activities I choose seeing as my academic obligations cannot be put on hold until CHRISTMAS break. So close, yet so wildly far from reach. I have decided to plan accordingly and am hoping to schedule this week to avoid a procrastination meltdown.

I distract myself from holiday anxiety with my favorite thing; clothes. Put on a good outfit and the world is your damn oyster. A solid ensemble is strangely encouraging. Habitually, I dress up on test days. Not a heels and plunging neckline situation, but simply an average cool look. Clothes have the ability to speed up the process of getting things done. Somehow making an ordeal into just another day. I do not rely on material things to satisfy my stresses but I will not deny the comfort of a good outfit. This holiday inspo look is the perfect motivation to have fun with your style! Be playful. Play with accessories, trends, and the world around you.

Clothes are not the only sweet soothing thing in life, there are lots of little things that make life lovely. I’ve compiled a little list of little things about me. Little things that make me Hannah, and all that it entails. Daily thoughts, routines, and things that make me happy. I encourage you to do the same. Write it, type it, or screech it from your rooftop. I know you may be stressed by the motley crew arriving at your home for this week. Or the test you have as soon as your return to school. Or your crazy sister who has decided to turn on you this holiday season. Don’t forget those good things, never forget those little things. The little things that make your best friend hug you, your mom proud, and your puppy lick your face. We are all of the little things miraculously poured into a tender soul. Here are some little things about me…

Little Things (about me)

  • Always buying a book and planning a trip
  • Never leave the house without a sweater
  • Lunch, coffee or adventures with mom? We are both equipped with an “activity” i.e. notebook or novel
  • I’ll take my popcorn with chocolate chips and sea salt
  • Hot tea > Coffee
  • Utterly obsessed with cheerios. If you haven’t heard, the whole lot of cheerios are now gluten free.
  • Lettering is therapeutic
  • I think that cool air sooths my anxiety
  • The only heat I know to be a comfort- sauna
  • Going to the movies is my bliss
  • To do lists
  • Crossing off completed tasks on said list
  • The best beach days are long. You hit the glow of sunset and the breeze that follows
  • Cozy is my favorite
  • Stupidly extroverted. I love my peeps
  • Don’t know how to help me? Hug me
  • Dream day: A stormy summer day in Maine. Slightly sunburned from days lounging poolside and dipping in the icy ocean. Today is the day when the air is cool, fog dense, and raindrops drizzle. A storm if we are lucky. My family friends and I are are scattered throughout the house snuggled up with our books, puzzles, and movies. I am cozied in the library with Mika. Picture us with our messy, sticky, salty curls. The sleepy satisfaction of sun-kissed faces leave us with few words. A paddywax summer candle is burning. The windows are stuck open with crisp air rippling indoors. We are wrapped in snuggles, comfy in sweatpants and covered in various crumbs. A dream day that I’ve been lucky enough to experience many times.

Remember the good and be grateful for the challenges. You my dear, are growing up.

It is in the little things that we find joy as well as true rest.

 
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Photographed by Abby Tierney | | Charleston, SC

Wearing: Elizabeth & James dress  ℅ Beckett Boutique, Zara booties & vintage clutch

Slate Marble Studs ℅ Rocksbox USE CODE: itzmannyexoxo for one FREE month of Rocksbox! 

Chew on Choice

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So let’s say I could tell you to pick the next three years of your life. The first option is all excitement. It is entirely fun and good. However, you remain the same. The second option, is unexpected. Filled with plenty of joy as well as challenges. Some of the trials may be far from ideal. You leave those three years of ups, downs and in betweens, a different person. You grow. What would you choose?

My life is extraordinary. I attribute that to the assortment of blessings, adventures and relationships that surround me. I also am aware that the road I travel largely shapes my character. The past few years have been thrilling, and having recently lived in New York City for the summer, I was heavily doused in an assortment of stimulation. Upon returning to Charleston I experienced major culture shock. It took nearly a month before I felt even slightly grounded in the present. Along with coming to terms with the lifestyle of Charleston, real life repeatedly slapped me in the face. I felt like I could not keep up with it. Every inch of me wanted to crawl in a hole and give up. I desperately wanted an out from my feelings and my circumstances. Oddly enough I had expected this season of my life to be a challenge, however I did not believe I was at all equipped to handle life the way it hit me these past few months.

I am choosing a challenging road by finishing school. Call me crazy, but I actually believe by completing my degree I am following God’s plan for my life. I know that by this decision, I am choosing His plan for my life, and not Hannah’s utopia. I am completely aware that school is hard as hell for me. I am one of those problem students that needs a significant amount of attention. Those students exist in college, for sure. I want to be a good student, but I do not strive for perfection in the classroom because that is not my reality. It is not my strength and that is okay. It is okay because I am not giving up. It is okay because I am not allowing school to butcher my self-esteem. It is okay because I am refusing to allow anxiety to ruin this. I am intentionally keeping myself in an environment where I do not thrive. Yes, maybe, if I was crazy enough I could transfer (for the 3rd time) to an institution where I could study what might apply to my future career. That is not happening, I am staying at the College of Charleston and utilizing this opportunity for growth. I have the rest of my life to aspire to more, to follow my dreams and feel good at what “I do,” but for now, God is teaching me what it is like to be doing something that does not make me feel good, which is being a student.

I could not have asked for this semester to have turned out in any other manner than which it did. I have grown exponentially throughout this season of my life. I am blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to keep learning who I am, and how God has created me. I love a good challenge, I really do. The challenges have been more than I thought I was equipped for and I could explain several situations as genuine pain throughout these past few months. Pain makes you grow. Challenge makes you grow. Excitement leads to joy. It does not mean I am a sad sack of tears. Quite the contrary, I have been overwhelmed with love and joy. God has spoke to me in the sweetest of ways, with the simplest of words. God acknowledging His plan for my life, is a dream come true. I could not ask for more right now.


I encourage you to take the road that leads to growth. The road that will make you a different, stronger, and braver human.

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Photographed by Abby Tierney | | Charleston, SC  

Wearing: Mango jacket (last season, similar HERE), Madewell tee (ON SALE), Madewell Perfect Fall Jean (ON SALE), Superga Cotu Classic & Meli Melo Clemence bagBeckett Boutique (Check out their insta !!) 

Follow the journey on snapchat @hannyebr & insta @therealhannybee Xo