19 May 2019

A Beginner's Guide To Lettering



Last September I attended a brush lettering workshop and have been inspired ( & a bit obsessed) with lettering ever since! I'll get onto the details of the workshop shortly but I wanted to write up a post to help those looking to learn how to letter get some information so they can get started.



I have always had really horrible handwriting but have always admired beautiful calligraphy fonts and modern calligraphy in particular. So when I saw that Little Old Goose (Lucy) was hosting a beginners brush lettering workshop in Leicester, I thought I'd try something new. The workshop taught me how to letter in a modern calligraphy style using a brush pen and ink and I came home with some worksheets, a bit of practice and a beautifully written quote. I really recommend Lucy's workshops as they are intimate, you don't have to be afraid of going by yourself because lots of people came alone and she really gives everyone the attention they need!





After the workshop, I continued practicing drills, words and quotes using the brush pen, which is basically a water pen) and ink. I wanted to move onto something more defined and colourful so I purchased some coloured brush pens from WHSmith - just to get me started. I thought they were a cheap and cheerful option for practicing.





A few months later and I seem to be getting better and better... it only comes with practice! I recommend practicing a lot. I even began making homemade cards for birthdays, weddings and other occasions as a) it saves money b) personalised cards are cute and c) more practice.



More recently I was very kindly gifted some Tombow pens, which are basically the creme de la creme of lettering pens. The thinner nib gave me more opportunity to create more delicate letters and was actually much easy to control now that I've mastered the technique using the WHSmith pens. I sometimes like the delicate look but for bigger prints, the thicker style fills out the page and looks better.





You can also find plenty of books and workbooks that can help you practice your drills and words. It can also help with defining your style of lettering. I quite like the neat font but sometimes it's nice to make it a bit more fluid - you'll know what this means when you come to do it yourself! This particular book by Kirsten Burke is really good as you can practice using whatever pen you fancy, although the book does focus on a calligraphy pen (which I might actually have a go at next!)

There are a few Youtube channels that can be helpful too. I really like AmandaRachLee's work as she incorporates lettering with doodles and bullet journalling. I also find that Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for quotes, styles and ideas.



I'd really recommend building up and not investing too much in it in case it isn't for you. I found this the best way and now I feel like I'm pretty good (though you may disagree!). My family still find it hilarious that I have really scruffy handwriting but can letter really neatly... my sister is obsessed with me writing things for her! So I hope this was helpful to those looking to get into lettering but are a bit confused as to where to begin.

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12 May 2019

Five Uses For The Body Shop 100% Natural Shea Butter



Not long ago I wrote this post as I had discovered a new Body Shop range that I am obsessed with! From the range, I was most impressed by the 100% Natural Shea Butter, which I didn't realise I needed until I used it.

When the sales person demonstrated this product on my hand, I knew I had to bring it home with me. I feel like it is most comparable to coconut oil. I love coconut oil for EVERYTHING - my hair, my skin, my body. When she tried this on my arm, it felt a lot more nourishing than coconut oil, so I knew it would be a great multipurpose alternative to coconut oil every once in a while.

The staff at The Body Shop handed me a leaflet with the uses of the product and how you can DIY different treatments at home using it. I knew I had to try some of them so I thought I'd share some recipes and ways that you too can use the 100% Shea Butter.



EXFOLIATING LIP SCRUB

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 little tub for storage


I am constantly moisturising my lips as they often get very dry and flaky but I rarely exfoliate them. So I mixed together a quick and easy shea butter and brown sugar lip scrub which I can store in a little tub and use as and when I need it.



NOURISHING & STRENGTHENING HAIR TREATMENT

  • 1 part shea butter
  • 2 parts coconut oil
  • 1 part castor oil


Combining the three ingredients together and applying as needed through the lengths of your hair (up to you if you choose to concentrate it on the ends or massage throughout). The hydration is supplied by the coconut oil, nourishment, thanks to the shea butter, and the castor oil strengthens the hair.



CALMING BATH MELTS

  • 1 part shea butter
  • 3 parts shower gel
  • a few drops of lavender oil
  • flower petals (optional)
  • ice cube tray


To make your very own bath melts, just mix all the ingredients together and equally distribute them into an ice cube tray. Freeze them and whenever you fancy a nice long bath, just pop one out and drop it in your bath - if you've added flower petals, your bath will look extra fancy!



HYDRATING BODY SCRUB
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part coffee granules
  • 2 parts shea butter


Gently rub the brown sugar and coffee scrub on your body and exfoliate the skin in an upwards direction. Apply the shea butter to add hydration back into the skin and then wash away in the shower.




DIY PEDICURE

  • Shea butter
  • Brown sugar


Soak your feet in warm water for 5 minutes. Then exfoliate the dead skin using the brown sugar and wash away once your skin is feeling smooth. Apply the shea butter as a moisturiser and gently massage into the skin. And voila! An at-home pedicure that doesn't break the bank.



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6 May 2019

Discovering Leicester With LoyalFree | AD







This is a sponsored post with LoyalFree

It's easy to become a creature of habit when you are living in a city you've grown up in. You go to the same places to eat, you visit the same shops and you repeat your routine. After recently discovering the LoyalFree app, I've found I'm branching out a bit more and more open to discovered new places around my hometown.

LoyalFree is an app that provides you with hundreds of offers, loyalty schemes and other information, all available within your home town. They recently got in touch as they partnered up with BID Leicester to promote places around Leicester and I am so happy they did because the app is brilliant. It is simple & easy to use and a huge bonus is that it's entirely free!





After quickly signing up on the app, I could instantly see so many deals near me. There were so many to choose from... an independent clothing store, my local optician and even the Pheonix Cinema! You can view all offers or choose a category (e.g.: cafes or services) from the filters menu so you can find exactly what you are looking for. LoyalFree makes it so easy for you to discover new or old places around your city and provide you with a discount or offer.

On the app you can also find Tours & Trails. These are ready selected locations so you can follow the trail and visit them. I'm really excited to try the coffee trail (although I'll get a hot chocolate because they are so yum!) and cheese trail. Perfect for a night out with the girls or an afternoon with the family.

If you are from Leicester and fancy knowing where the best deals are, download the app here and continue reading for my top five locations available on LoyalFree.



THE TOP FIVE


1. Peter Pizzeria, Welford Place.
If you've been following me on Instagram lately, you'll know I've visited this place a couple of times over the past few weeks and I love it! If you are a fan of a delicious stone baked pizza in a quirky setting, this is where you need to go. I have never ever finished an entire pizza to myself until I went here - now that's saying something! Calling on mums (and dads) - you can eat free on Mondays... I'm incredibly jealous!



2. Cocoa Amore, Silver Street.
I had to give this cafe / chocolatier a shout out because it is amazing! I've done a chocolate making course here before and it was a great experience to learn about the origins of chocolate and taste chocolate from all around the world. If you want to gift someone a course or just fancy getting your hands on some chocolate, do make a visit! Currently they have a loyalty scheme so you can claim a free hot chocolate after 5 hot chocolate purchases... now that's an offer I can't refuse.

3. Boots, Gallowtree Gate.
At the time of writing up this post, the app has an offer for a free No7 mini makeover at Boots! I am a fan of No7 so I couldn't not share this with you all. If you are a fan of the brand too or fancy a mooch around Boots, make sure you check the app first.



4. The Body Shop, Clock Tower.
I've always been a lover of The Body Shop but recently they are just nailing it. I recently did a review of their new Shea range but I've seen about 10 more things I need to get my hands on since! Luckily the LoyalFree app had an offer for £10 off a £25 spend and made it a lot more kinder on my bank account.

5. Prana Cafe, Horsefair Street.
This cafe is a) situated in the most beautiful building and b) offers food & delicious drinks for vegan diets. A little outside the hustle and bustle of the main city centre, the cafe is nearby the town hall and fountains, which is lovely to walk around on a sunny day. Right now there is an offer for coffee and vegan cake for just £5 - what a delicious treat!





So those are my top favourite places available on the LoyalFree app but there are hundreds more! Don't miss out on any discounts and download the app here.

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5 May 2019

Lifestyle Favourites From The Past Few Months



It's been a little while since I did a favourites post so today I thought I'd share some of the lifestyle bits I've been loving over the past few months. Let's get stuck in...



If you read this post, you'll know I'm a fan of Mrs Hinch and am into the whole cleaning thing. I knew of Zoflora prior to Mrs Hinch but never really experimented with different scents. After moving into our new home, I've built up a little (though my husband would argue it's not very little) collection of Zoflora's. I like different scents for different rooms and sometimes I just fancy a change.

Anyway, over the past few months I've been loving the Mountain Air Zoflora. If you like the Linen Fresh one, you might also like this as it leaves a soft refreshing smell. It's also pet friendly, which is a bonus for pet owners, but we love it regardless!



When I've been focussing at work or just want to listen to some music, I've been enjoying my Frends Headphones (similar) as they. They are so easy to travel around with and fold neatly into a little pouch. If you fancy a new pair of headphones, check this brand out.



During our recent travels I got to spend a lot of time with my book! This never happens but with a lack of English channels available during our holiday, we had a lot of non-screen time. So I finally got to read a couple more chapters from An Edited Life by Anna Newton (aka The Anna Edit). I love all things organisation and streamlining so this book was right up my street. I'll be sure to pop up a more in-depth review of the book once I've finished it all but for now, I'm really enjoying it!



Look how beautiful this candle and perfume is! Aldi have done a great job with the No 14 Velvety Rose Candle and Fragrance - I am in love. I understand that it is a dupe for Jo Malone (I actually purchased the men's fragrance for my husband) but it's great that more inexpensive versions are accessible. I really love this scent so will definitely check out the others!



Last year I attended a brush lettering workshop with Little Old Goose and it was so good! I've been practicing more recently and have really been enjoying defining a style. It's a nice hobby to have aside from blogging because I can just grab a few sheets of paper and get writing. I recently got gifted this book about modern calligraphy and I'm sure it'll be even more helpful!



What have you been enjoying recently?
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28 Apr 2019

Our First Ski Holiday | Tignes, France



If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't, you definitely should!) you'd know that last weekend we had just returned from a week in France. We thought we'd do something a little different for our holiday this year and skiing was something really out of the ordinary for us. We usually like warmer places like the UAE or Singapore so a ski trip to Tignes was a new adventure!

I thought I'd share a picture diary with you all as well as provide you with details of our trip. Or if you are thinking of going on a ski trip but aren't sure if it's for you - this blog post may help you out a little.



Clothing
We travelled in April, which is towards the end of the ski season so the clothing was discounted in lot of stores - wahey! We'd never been skiing before so we had to buy all the correct clothing: ski jacket, salopettes, thermals, base layers, hats, gloves, boots - the lot! The Mr actually got given salopettes and jackets from family and I got just the salopettes so after scrounging around, the rest of our clothing was bought from Aldi (when they had ski themed special offers) and Sports Direct (especially the Nevica branded stuff). Skiing in April is also a lot warmer so we didn't have to invest that much in warm layers but do make sure to do your research before purchasing!









Accommodation
As we were travelling in a group (there was 9 of us including 2 children) we decided to rent out a chalet. We settled on this chalet as it ticked all the boxes: close to the resort, looked so cosy and included my husbands request for a hot tub! The accommodation definitely lived up to the expectation - it was brilliant. Lots of space for larger groups like ours and the kitchen was very well equipped, which was important for us as we wanted to cook dinners. I highly recommend checking this place out if you are after similar things. 


Learning to ski
So the Mr and I had never actually been skiing or tried it prior to this trip. It's probably wise to book into a session of indoor skiing before looking into a ski holiday but we weren't too bothered as we were up for the challenge and enjoyed the company.

We got ski passes and booked ski lessons for the week we were there. Group lessons are between 9am-12pm so be prepared! We had a backpack filled with the necessities... water, snack bars and lunch (of course). Anyway, after day 1 of our ski lessons we were well and truly pooped. I'm not a fit person, exercise wise, so skiing was a massive work out for my legs. The lesson itself was okay but we felt a bit out of our comfort zone as the instructors took us on a green slope (the easiest one) and we really struggled to get down.

Luckily, our family and friends who joined us on the trip did know how to ski and they actually helped us out more so than the instructor. So after day 2, we decided to ditch the lessons (which you can totally do) and practice on our own. By day three we had mastered the green slope and started to experiment with faster speeds and sharper turns - it was so exciting! 

If you are going with people who know how to ski already, I'd say ditch the lessons and ask them to help you out instead. It's much more productive and of course a little cheaper (the ski passes are the biggest cost). 


The best part
Was definitely hopping on the cable cars to see the most amazing views (and you can hop on them to come straight back down instead of skiing!) 






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