How to make your own handwritten fonts

Last week I was invited up to London to take part in the  Dell Sessions based at the Bourne and Hollingsworth buildings (AKA the most Instagrammable place in existence) to try out the new Dell XPS because - let's face it - us bloggers are suckers for new gadgets. I spent the day surrounded by some of my favourite people, swapping stories and snapping Instagrams in the designated flat lay station. And no, I'm not joking. There was an actual work station there to help you create your own flat lays. Best thing ever.

Anyway, whilst it may have just looked like I spent the day snacking and socialising (which is only half true) I did get to grips with the new Dell XPS laptop and, guys, I kinda need one. Here's me typing away on a laptop that barely stays charged for three hours, and then there's Dell's version that stays alert for up to eighteen hours. That thing stays awake for longer than I do.

Not only that, but during the event we were also treated to a few masterclasses from famous faces in the industry - which is what I've chosen to share with you today. The second session of the day was hosted by Shini - who as we all know is the mastermind behind the blog Park & Cube and Cube Collective - and focussed on a bloggers graphic toolkit. 

The session focussed mostly on how to transfer your handwriting onto the internet. You know how you log into Instagram and you see millions of inspirational quotes in beautiful calligraphy? She taught us exactly how to do this. Or at least, kind of how to do it. The fancy writing part was lost on me and so I simply decided to embrace my toddler-esque hand writing and go with it. 

Shini talked us through the process and encouraged us to step outside of our creativity comfort zones. She advised us to stop copying and pasting various fonts online into our own spaces (ahem, guilty..) and instead inject more of ourselves into our posts by literally hand writing it. Or at least, a few words of it - don't go expecting a handwritten blog post from me any time soon. That's a big old hand cramp waiting to happen.

Anyway, to celebrate the return of my Tip Tuesdays I've decided to share everything I learnt during that session, in hopes that some of you might get some use out of it for your own blogs! You can thank Shini Park for this one, but the handwriting is all me baby. 

As if that's anything to be proud of.




how to create your own handwritten font


Get a plain piece of white paper and start sketching! Be sure to use a dark ink to make sure it shows up well enough for the next few steps. The trick is to keep on doodling your life away until you come up with the perfect typography. You can easily mix and match the letters, so don't fret!


Once you're happy with what you've done (woo!) get yourself in some decent lighting and snap away in flatlay format. Obviously the better the quality of camera, the better the outcome of the image, but an iPhone works just fine. If you have one, try scanning in your work for the best quality possible.


Next it's time to upload your images which you can do by either uploading in the bog-standard way or emailing yourself the photo. Open your typography flatlay and your chosen photograph into Photoshop (or your photo editing programme of choice!) and select the image with your writing. Next, click on the image tab, scroll down to adjustments and select the levels option.


This might look a little intimidating, but levelling out your text is a piece of cake. The aim of the game is to get the white as white as possible, and the black as black as possible. You can also do this by upping the contrast and brightness, but changing the levels takes just a few seconds. Play around with the three arrows underneath the graph until you get the perfect pic.


Now it's time to desaturate your image. It doesn't make too much of a difference if you're using black ink and white paper, but I do it anyway just to be safe - like I said, we want the black as black can be, and same for the white. You can find the desaturation option by selecting the 'image' tab and however over the
'adjustments' option. Click that for instant B&W.


Now we want to select the words / letter / doodles that we actually want to use on our final piece. To do this, select the 'lasso' tool (near the top of the left toolbar) and roughly draw around the text you want to include. Don't worry about the extra white space for now. Next, hold down the 'CMD' key and drag your selection over to the image you want to put the text over.


So now we have this big old blob of white with some text on top. Not quite what you were looking for? No sweat. Whilst you've still got that layer selected, head on over to the tool bar on the right hand side and find the drop down menu highlighted in the picture (it'll probably be the menu with the word 'normal' on it by default). Click that and voila! No more white background.


Now all you have to do is shift your text to it's desired location and there you have it - you're officially on your way to becoming Shini herself. Ahem *goals*. Anyway, be sure to fiddle around with different materials (inks, markers, biros - you name it) to find out what mediums you prefer. Other than that, it's all about practise, practise, practise! 


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*This post is in collaboration with Dell, but all thoughts, opinions (and handwriting) are my own!*


A new challenge (guess who's back)


The past week has been full of challenges.

Oh alright, I'll stop with the dramatic one-liners (for the time being anyway) and cut right to the chase. As of Friday afternoon, I am officially no longer a student. That's right people, I finished my degree! You know, so long as I pass and all that. But yes, a few days ago I handed in my dissertation and waved goodbye to University, and boy did that feel good. I'll get into that another time, but let's just say I've pretty much been counting the days since I started. Huzzah! I've officially indebted myself for a piece of paper that says I'm semi-smart enough for a job I don't even want any more. Ahem, anyway..

(Side note: I'm still working on finding an alternative conjunctive adverb to 'anyway'. Side note numero dos: despite my - hopefully - impending degree, I still had to Google what the hell a conjunctive adverb was.)

Anyway! After weeks of being near enough non-existent in the online world, I'm finally back! It feels so good being able to write about what I want to, how I want to (FYI, writing a 10,000 word essay on old fashion theories is not fun, like, at all) - so good in fact, that I plan on doing it a lot more, since, you know, it's now my job(!) to dedicate my life to this thing. Before I was trying to cram full-time blogging and full-time studying into my day, but for the first time in my life I can finally dedicate myself to the internet (uh, hello childhood dreams). I have so many ideas, so many projects coming up, so much to update you on and - let's face it - a lot of making up to do blog-wise.

So to celebrate some what of a fresh start for the blog, I've decided to take it back to basics both in terms of today's outfit and the story behind it. Basically, a few weeks ago I was asked by White Stuff to take part in a challenge, or - in my case - a non-challenge. Here's the deal.

Anyone that knows me will know that I've been working pretty much flat-out for the past few years. What can I say? Girl likes to be busy. My family and friends have been telling me to take some time out for months now, but I just couldn't justify getting behind on work for a few hours of, well, nothing. So when I was given the challenge to test out the quality of White Stuff clothing, whilst taking some time out of work..I mean, how could I say no? Well, I didn't. And so, I headed to the beach for a whole day of nothing. 

Okay, nearly nothing. I did have to go to class in the morning. But you know what? It did me a whole world of good. Apart from the few minutes of outfit snapping it was a technology-free zone, just like some time off should be. I did however connect to wi-fi as soon as I left the sand. Old habits die hard. The clothes, however, looked as good as new, minus a few grains of sand..

Let me know what you'd like to see on my blog in the future!


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*This post is in collaboration with White Stuff, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!*

The perfect fake tanning routine




Us bloggers form quite the bond with delivery people. I for one, have a very lovely postman that I see every other day called Jeff. We exchange Christmas presents, wave frantically at each other in the street and I'm actually going to be really sad when the day comes that Ollie and I have to move away from dear old Jeff. He's my friend. He's seen me at my best and oh, has that poor man seen me at my worst. I'd like to say Jeff knows me pretty darn well by now. That was, until I opened the door to him the other morning.

"Oh my god what's wrong!? Are you okay!? You've lost all your colouring!"

See, little did Jeff know that I was a closet pale girl. You'd think by looking at my dark features that my skin could hold at least some colour in it, but unfortunately my body hasn't had a real tan in years. Of course there's nothing wrong with pale, but - as you can tell by Jeff's reaction - it's just not the best look for me. So this got me thinking that, maybe, I'm actually not too bad when it comes to bronzing myself up, and so I thought I'd share a few of my secrets with you (and Jeff).


I won't lie to you guys, my tanning routine is pretty damn extensive. For years I used to use any old fake tan and pile it onto my skin in hopes of waking up the next day like some sort of Victoria's Secret model. Or J Lo - either would do. But instead I ended up waking up to orange-stained bed sheets, looking patchy and stinking of biscuits. These days, I'm much more tactful when it comes to when I tan and what I use to give myself that faux glow. I like to use a variety of exfoliants - from the Scrub Love coffee body scrub to a simple dry body brush,an epilator, a variety of moisturisers (oils, butters, lotions, you name it) and the Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark.


I feel like prepping is the most important part of any tanning routine. If the base is good, the tans gonna be good - it's as simple as that. When it comes to tanning it only actually takes me about ten minutes to put the brown stuff on my body - it's the rest of the routine that eats up my time. But trust me, it's worth it.

It all starts, well, before it even starts. I tend to do the majority of my tanning on either a Saturday or Sunday, depending on my plans, so at some point near the end of every week I like to do a once over on my legs (and *ahem* stomach) with my Braun Silk Epil epilator. Be sure to do any hair removal a day or so prior to actually tanning, to give your pores a chance to close up a little. This will ensure that the tan doesn't sit inside your pores, giving you a more natural finish. I like to scrub myself with a dry body brush both before and after epilator, to help get rid of any dead skin cells. Mm, sexy.

When it comes to actually tanning your skin the first step is to make sure your skin is completely clean and free of any deodorants and/or products. So, hop in the shower! Whilst there I like to give myself a good once over with a shower sponge, followed by a seriously intensive scrub using the Coffee Body Scrub by Scrub Love. Scrub scrub scrub. I love using this in the morning as the scent really helps to wake me and my skin up, but it's mostly a favourite of mine because of how easily it takes off any excess tan left over on my skin. The sweet almond oil helps to lift the pigment of the tan, whilst the coffee grounds buff it away, leaving super soft skin underneath. Yu will end up leaving your shower smelling like a cappuccino, and its the best feeling in the world.


The moment you've all been waiting for! At the moment I've been loving using a combination of Loving Tan's Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark (for my weekly tanner) and James Read's Express Glow Mask Body Tan for whenever I want a mini top-up or extra glow. Prior to tanning I make sure that I moisturise any dry sections of my skin, such as my knees, feet and elbows, to make sure I don't get any OTT dark patches. I also like to cover my hands and feet in lotion, so that when I carefully sweep the tan over my fingers and toes I don't end up with Oompah Loompah feet.

The Loving Tan takes around six hours to fully develop, but has absolutely zero biscuit-y smell when on your skin, so you can head out and about without a problem! It's potentially the darkest tan I've ever come across, but looks so unbelievably natural. It's so cliche to say, but I've actually had a few old friends come up to me asking me where I'd been on holiday. Oh, if only they knew the secrets hiding underneath. To apply, I simply buff it in using the Loving Tan mitt (although any decent mitt will do), allow it to dry for a few minutes and slip on some casual clothes. Then, six or so hours later I'll hop back in the shower and wash it off using just water.

This tan looks it's best for around four days or so. Sometimes I'll repeat the whole process again by this point, but most of the time I choose the lazy option. I'll shower, give myself a quick once over with some Scrub Love (exfoliating is key for a super natural tan) and dry myself off thoroughly. Then I'll pop on a layer of the James Read tanner - again, using a mitt - and leave it to work it's manage for a few hours or so. This one is a little more natural than the Loving Tan, but it's great for perking up the skin if you can't be bothered to go the whole hog. Top tip: Invest in a onesie. It'll become your new tanning-day BFF. I recommend one with cute animals ears.


Maintaining my tan is the bane of my life. I use deodorant and it rubs off. I scratch an itch, it rubs off. I breathe and - you guessed it - my tan rubs off. It's happened with every single tan Ive ever used, and the only way I've found to make it better (and not look so obvious) is to just go with it and exfoliate on the daily to ensure my skin remains smooth and the colour fades naturally. No one will ever know you're a secret pale girl like me. Apart from maybe your post man..

What are your top tips for the perfect fake tan?


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*This post is in collaboration with Scrub Love, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!*


How to get Colourpop in the UK / Gosend review

Gosend review haul Colourpop Anastasia Glow Kit Carli Bybel Palette Review


Could you imagine a world without the internet? I feel like every day I rely on the internet for more and more - whether it's catching up on my favourite TV shows or simply just Googling how to correctly boil an egg. #WorstCookEver. I swear, the internet has made me a much smarter human being than I would have been without it. Not only that, but it's also opened my eyes to a world of beauty products. Literally, there is a whole other world out there dedicated to beauty, it's insane. Problem is, that the rest of the world doesn't always like to ship to us minions here in the UK. But - being the determined beauty addict that I am - I decided to search high and low for the best way to get my hands on American goodies, without sitting on a flight for ten hours. Ladies and gentlemen, meet GoSend, AKA the website that's about to drain me of all my money.

Basically, GoSend gives you your very own US address that allows you to shop on just about any American website imaginable. And since GoSend is based in Delaware,  you're exempt from paying sales tax (huzzah) which means you're saving money on the boring bits, leaving you more to splurge on your order itself.

So how does it work? Well, when you sign up to GoSend you're given your own address that you're able to use when shopping online. So you get your shop on and order everything using your brand new details, which then gets sent out to your own virtual locker at GoSend HQ. They let you know when everything's arrived in your locker and send you snaps along the way to make sure you know exactly how everything looks upon arrival (so there's no nasty surprises when you get your hands on your parcel). To make it even better, GoSend consolidates all of your products into one box, keeping postage costs as low as possible.

There are two different payment options for GoSend, the basic being absolutely free and the VIP costing just $10 (about £6) a month. The VIP (which you can get free for three months using the code 'COCOCHIC' - you're welcome) gives you 80% off of shipping fees , consolidates your packages for free and also allows you to use the service called ShopAssist, which is basically your very own personal shopper on the internet. I ordered everything on the Wednesday, had it delivered to my locker on Saturday and had the package in my hands by the following Thursday. And then I did another huge Colourpop order a few days later. I have no self-control.

So needless to say, I like GoSend. I like it a lot. Be sure to check out the video linked above to see everything I picked up. Spoiler alert: I saved over £30 on the products alone. Aaand then I spent that £30 on more Colourpop.


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Win a £500 spending spree with UGG

It feels kind of weird writing this blog post now, considering I'm sat inside with a blanket over me, heater on, watching the rain pour down outside, but yes, apparently - dear people of the UK - summer is coming. So I have a proposition for you: why don't you go take some pictures of your feet? Okay maybe we need a little back story with this one. Slow down Steph, slow down.

So last week UGG set me the challenge to head out into the big wide world and explore my surroundings whilst snapping my new snazzy Zina sandals along the way. I've lived in this town for over two years now and prior to this mini challenge I was pretty sure I knew every nook and cranny like the back of my hand. Boy, was I wrong. So that day I gave myself the afternoon off from, well, life and decided to run wild in my home town (or at least, run wild as much as you can when you live in the quaint countryside). I explored the local markets, grabbed coffee at my favourite café (and actually sat down to drink it), I browsed the second hand stores, picked up some fresh flowers and - get this - I sat in a park and did nothing. Literally nothing.

Okay, so it wasn't quite the 'summer of a lifetime' adventure, but it was a well-needed afternoon off that was seriously long overdue. And hey, I found some new floorings (floorspiration?) for my next #IHaveThisThingWithFloors Insta snap. Two birds, one stone.

Now I guess it's time to address the elephant in the room here, because - let's be honest - you're probably not here to read about my day, are you? You guys want to win £500 to spend at UGG, don't you? Alright alright, here's how to be in with a chance of winning..

To enter, all you need to do is upload a photo to Instagram and/or Twitter by the 25th of May using the hashtag #SUMMERSAYS and tagging the lovely guys and gals at @UGGUK. And boom, you're instantly in with a chance to win a £500 spending spree AKA all the shoes! Full terms and conditions can be found here. Good luck!

*This post is in collaboration with UGG UK (duh) however all thoughts and pictures of feet are my own.*


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