About   /   Contact   /   Sponsor   /   Blog + Web Design

April 13, 2014

Intern With Me! & A Freebie

Hey friends!

If you follow me on Twitter then you already know the exciting news, but so many things have been happening so quickly that I need to blog about them!

First piece of exciting news:

HEART & ARROW IS EXPANDING!


I'm saving all of the juicy details for later because 1. I love surprises and 2. I know it will knock your socks off. Seriously.

I've talked to a few close people about it (to double check that I'm not crazy) and I promise this is a game changer. Holy cow I'm freakin' excited.

Honestly ever since I had this idea three days ago I have felt so energized and had so many thoughts that I can't even fall asleep at night. Entrepreneur problems to the max! I just feel like I'm overflowing with creative juices again and I can't wait to continue the digital designing that I've mastered, while venturing out in an entirely different direction.

Tomorrow my Honors Thesis is due for editing, SO, I should be writing the last ten pages right now, but back to that whole 'overflowing with ideas' thing... I literally cannot focus on anything but this new idea.

Are you as excited as I am now?! This leads my to my next exciting announcement...

I'M LOOKING FOR AN INTERN!


With that expansion in mind, I'm looking for an intern to help with communicating both my Heart & Arrow brand AND my new brand! Aka blog posts, social media (starting accounts from scratch for the new brand), some design (but more emphasis on the branding), and LOTS of communications!

Do you have 5 hours/week free this summer, a computer/a phone, and want to help me grow my brands? Check out all of details on my website & and please feel free to email me with questions! This internship IS unpaid, but if you are a student I can work with your school to try and get you course credit.

I know that I can't do everything, so I definitely am looking for someone who is like me and willing to help get these brands rockin' after I graduate in May. I honestly don't forsee having enough income to be able to hire anyone in the near future, but if you're looking to work with a creative start-up company this is your chance! ... And I think I'm pretty fun to work with, too!

Apply to intern with me today!!

Annnnddddd without further ado, my last piece of fun news is a little design treat for you!

"Enjoy Today" iPhone, iPad, & Desktop Wallpaper Freebie

What do ya think?! I hand drew those cute little flower pots last night while watching Catching Fire. Not really sure where the inspiration came from, haha. I hope you enjoy this dainty little design!

DOWNLOAD THE "ENJOY TODAY" WALLPAPERS HERE.

Have a fabulous Sunday everyone! I'm off to disconnect from technology and finish my thesis! WOOHOO!

XX
WHITNEY BLAKE

March 20, 2014

Tips for Running Your First Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran my second half marathon (my first was the Disney Princess!) and let me tell y'all the brutal 100% truth...
I hadn't run for the three weeks prior to the run. Whoops! School, work, life, spring break, and just general senior-year-of-college chaos completely got in the way. I trained so hard for my first one, then got really sick from nervousness right before the race (that's what happens when you run with 20,000 people for the first time) so it was a struggle.

Sunday however, I maintained a solid but slow 10:30 pace, and felt great until about mile 9, which is when my hips and joints started aching. Basically that's when the training really could have pushed me through! I stopped, and stretched my hips and back, and then pushed on until I crossed the finish line!


My mom was SO nice and offered to run the race with me and she acted like my own personal cheerleader the whole time. And I could not be more grateful for her support! We talked about how pretty the beach was as we ran by it, picked out our dream houses, and chatted about all of the other runners in the race. When things finally got tough in that last 5K, she cheered me on and we counted down the mileage together, putting one foot in front of the other.

Our mantra became, "one more mile". One more mile until the next water stop. One more mile until we were halfway through. One more mile until the last 5K. One more mile until the torture was over.

That last mile was tough, but thanks to my family (and my dad and sister at the 13 mile marker!) I was able to push through and sprint to the end. It was such a great feeling! (Minus the crazy sore joints rthe day after).

After getting back home and showering (and eating... a lot) I realized that there are so many things that I would have loved to know before my first race. Now as a two-timer I feel like I'm allowed to share some advice with the non-professional running world!


1. BE OPTIMISTIC! I'm pretty sure running is 60% mental (I mean obviously if I can run 13.1 miles without training). If you keep telling yourself that this will be a fun run, and thank your body for even being healthy enough to get out there, then it will be fun! Just keep thinking happy thoughts, even when you hit that wall around mile 8.

2. HYDRATE. The importance of this cannot be understated! To run your best (or even just run for 13 miles) your muscles need to be healthy and happy. That means hydrating enough in advance to recharge the cells and not just fill up your stomach before the race. I focus on hydration the the 2-3 days before, and then I'm ready to go on the morning of the race!

3. YOU WILL CHAFE. Oh yes, prepare for some really lovely chaffing, in really really awkward places. My first half I got blisters on my thighs where my shorts rubbed, and my second I chaffed on ym butt where the seam of my leggings were rubbing (I think?). I didn't even notice until I got in the shower and it BURNED! There are some cool little roll on gels that can help prevent it. Other common places to chaffe are: sports bra lines, ipod holder on your arms, and blisters all over your feet (my sister gets them between her toes).

4. GIVE YOUR OUTFIT A TEST RUN. Before your race, run a few miles in the outfit that you plan on running in. I didn't do this for last weekend's run and ended up having my undies slide down under my leggings... I'm sure you can imagine how awk it was to reach in my pants and pull them up while running. So yeah, test everything out!

5. EAT THE IN-RACE FREEBIES WITH CAUTION. Do you choose Gu? Sports Beans? Fruit? Sports Bars? Whatever you choose, try to bring what you trained with for your big day. Most races will give out some brand of free goo packets around mile 7 or 8, but I advise you to use caution. Some Gu flavors (like chocolate) seem tasty by they actually have caffeine in them. This could be beneficial in hyping you up for that last run to the finish, or it could hurt your stomach/make your heart go a million miles an hour. Also, some people's bodies can't process the sugar in Gu while running and it actually makes them get sick. Long story short, don't try a new Gu during your race.


Have you run a half for full marathon? Share your experiences and tips in the comments section!  


XX
WHITNEY BLAKE

March 14, 2014

Springing Into Style & A Clean Apartment!

Happy Friday friends!
I don't know what's in the air today but I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning and I feel like I could conquer the world!

Task one: write the blog post I've been putting off for a week now...

About a week ago I was selected to do a really fun campaign with Kleenex to chat about their awesome new patterns and designs. Easy peesy considering that I ADORE their designs, and they match my apartment perfectly! I bought a couple of their new boxes, started typing up a post about how I was ready to 'spring into spring style', and all that was left was to take some fun product photos in my normally impeccable apartment.

But that's where things took a turn for the awkward...

My apartment has NEVER been further from clean in my entire life. Ever. I literally had piles of clothes on my floor, and at one point there wasn't even a path to my bed. So naturally, I kept putting off cleaning my room due to school, work, and life getting in the way. And I was completely intimidated by the monstrous mess.

But then last night I decided it was time. I had run out of clean clothes, my family was coming to visit, and I was tired of living like a frat guy. I cleaned for four hours last night, did laundry, scrubbed my bathroom, and then passed the heck out.

But look at this glorious sight I woke up to:


HALLELUJAH I CAN SEE THE FLOOR AGAIN.

The bathroom is no longer a place out of my nightmares.


And I don't feel absolutely guilty taking a picture of said bathroom because I know y'all won't cringe in horror.

So back to Kleenex.

I have to say, it was super easy finding patterns that match my apartment and my lifestyle, which I honestly found shocking! Have you ever thought to coordinate your Kleenex tissues to your outfit or home decor? I hadn't until I found out that Kleenex now has SO MANY fabulous new patterns to celebrate 90 years of style. Chevron, ikat, damask, greek key, and moroccan tile to name a few. Whoa.

The blue moroccan tile inspired box fit perfectly with my blue ombre bathroom, so I snatched it up as soon as I found it! But I'm also a sucker for the greek key patterns so I grabbed that one to put in my pool bag also.


It's so easy to be stylish with the little details by Kleenex!

Ready to go buy some of your own pretty patterns and save money?? Head on over to Kleenex.com and take their style quiz! It's fun to test your pattern knowledge, and for every answer that you get right, you get a bigger coupon - winning!

What Kleenex pattern in your favorite?

XX
WHITNEY BLAKE

This post was sponsored by Kleenex but all opinions are completely my own!

March 10, 2014

5 Ways to Bust Sugar Cravings for Good!

Not-so-secret confession: I have the biggest sweet tooth on this planet.

I may be stuffed to the brim from the biggest 12 course meal, but I just can't say no to dessert. Cake, gelato, cookies BRING. THEM. ON. Unfortunately those tasty little indulgences also bring with them so many unhealthy effects. Things like my hips and waist magically expanding, the subsequent sugar high and crash, and keeping the cravings cycle going. This needs to end.

I'm really working on eating healthier and there's no getting around the fact that a healthy diet cannot happen with my current levels of sugar consumption. My biggest struggle is that I keep trying to just cut sugar out, then I crave it like an addict, and then I binge... That's no way to build a healthy lifestyle!

So to make habits that are actually sustainable, I've made a secret Pinterest board with tips and tricks, and then made an effort to take those ideas from Pinterest to reality. Here are some tips that are actually working for me!
  • Purge your pantry - If you don't have a hundred different sweet snacks to binge on then guess what, you CANT binge! I cleared out literally everything sweet and overly indulgent (ex: chocolate bars, cookie dough, gelato, sodas) except for a box of Girl Scout cookies and my Speculoos Cookie Butter. I've found that it forces me to satisfy my cravings with naturally sweet things or just drink water.
  • Out of sight out of mind - Like I mentioned, I did keep a couple tasty treats on hand for absolute 'the world will end if I don't have a cookie now' emergencies. But to make sure I don't constantly dive for the cookie butter as my go-to snack, I have my sweets entirely buried and hidden at the back of my pantry - and it works! I've started to really enjoy fresh mango slices in the afternoon instead of something with artificial sweeteners in it.
  • Make the swap - Once it's time to hit up the grocery store, I try to find naturally sweet things that I enjoy. Instead of having a soda for an afternoon caffeine boost, I love Archer Farms hazelnut flavored coffee or Awake Tazo tea. Fruit is also a super obvious but awesome way to satisfy cravings, with minimal calories! 
  • Stay accountable - one of the most helpful things I've done in my journey to eating healthier was having my best friend in on it. I know I can rely on her to tell me not to get a milkshake on the way home from class, and I do the same for her. It's so nice having someone to get me through those ruts and keep myself focused!
  • It's ok to slip up - It's ok to go out and have a drink or two with your friends one night, but it's not ok to do that every night. I look at my eating habits in terms of weeks rather than days. If I have a bad day and eat way too much for dinner out after work, that's fine! I really try not to get down on myself and give up because of it (this is where texting your bestie comes into play!). I acknowledge that it was my one free day of the week and carry on. By doing this and keeping a more positive and long term outlook, I've found that it does become a healthy lifestyle choice instead of a yo-yo diet. 
I know that I'm so guilty of wishing I could just magically lose 10 pounds by the summer. But I've started to realize that eating healthy is about a lot more than losing weight. 

I feel healthier.

I may not have the time to run or workout nearly as much as I want to, but by eating right I feel like I've balanced that out and I can keep my head clear amongst the chaos of senior year. I've been using MyFitnessPal to log the things I eat, and by having the journal aspect keeps me even more accountable. My focus isn't on counting calories so much as just making the smarter choice between options. Like, have oatmeal with apple slices instead of a big bagel for breakfast. Or tea instead of an energy drink. 

I'd love to chat about healthy eating and keep each other accountable, so feel free to comment, tweet me, email me, or add me on MyFitnessPal (username: whitv) and Nike+ Running (username: whitvass)!


It's time to say goodbye to sugar cravings for good!


XX
WHITNEY BLAKE


February 21, 2014

10 Times I Always Say Yes

Lately I've felt like I'm being pulled in a million different directions. It's overwhelming and exhausting, but I'm getting through it! Lists have become my best friend, and I have a countdown going to graduation on May 9th. I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

As my honors advisor (and a marathoner) put it, "this is the last sprint the the finish line". I'm in the .2 of a 26.2 mile race, exhausted, and questioning why the hell I signed up to be this overachiever.

But I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, thinking just one day, or maybe a week ahead. And when I take the time to relax, I remember why I signed up to be this girl.

I have no regrets. Literally. I've done everything I could possibly do as a college student and that is the most incredible feeling! That whole laundry list of things is something I'll save for another post on another day. But dang, I am really happy with how far I've come since freshman year.

Today I want to share with y'all where I find my moments of rest.

These are the moments I always say yes to:

1. Evenings where I ban myself from working after 9pm
It's so nice to give myself 'working hours' and a time where I can turn off the business owner side of me and just breathe.

2. Travel planning
I have so many places that I want to go, but a super limited budget so that means it's time to dream big and scour the internet for deals to make it affordable!

3. Wine night
well duh.

4. Once Upon a Time Sunday nights
This show is my JAM and I just can't wait until it comes back on in March!

5. Anything related to pug puppies
Including but not limited to: looking at puppies, making social media accounts for my future puppy, looking for fun accessories, and getting lost on the puppy section of pinterest

6. Naps


7. Trying new natural products 
Keeping my skin clear amongst the struggles of unhealthy quick meals and stress on stress on stress has been a bit of a struggle this year. But I've been contacted to try the SAY YES to carrots natural skincare line so hopefully that can help a sister out - stay tuned!

8. Online shopping
I'm pretty sure retail therapy is a real thing

9. Any time I can drink coffee
It's my very real addiction, but it fuels this insane lifestyle so I can't kick the habit just yet!

10. Winning free things
YES to carrots is giving away 500 (yes, FIVE HUNDRED) fragrance free makeup removing wipes! Head on over and enter for your chance to win one!

ITS FINALLY FRIDAY YALL! Have a fantastic weekend!!

XX
WHITNEY BLAKE