How to: one simple calligraphy hack you need to know

Lately I have seen so many articles and cool videos on creating customised planners that are a little less ordinary. Cue impossibly cute headers, doodles and you guessed it – calligraphy skills that you could only dream of. Or so you thought. If there’s one thing I took away from all of these posts is that there is one simple calligraphy hack that anyone can do. And no, you don’t need to invest in an expensive calligraphy set!

Downward strokes.

Okay, so if the above heading is all you have read so far then get your mind out of the gutter!

The most simple way to memorise this simple caligrapgy hack is remembering that all downward stokes are to be accentuated.

Think of this example:

For most people the letter ‘o’ will be written in an anti-clockwise motion. This means that you will accentuate the left hand side of the ‘o,’ and by accentuate, I mean thicken. What we are aiming to do is create the effect that the different angles of a real calligraphy pen create.

I would recommend trying it out on your own handwriting style first off. Grab a notepad and write out a word in your usual style, going back to each letter and then thickening the part where a downward stroke was used.

Once you get the hang of it, try out different handwriting styles (Pinterest is really great for some inspo).

I would love to see your calligraphy pics so go ahead and share your style with me on Instagram and Facebook!

xx

 

How To Fake Blog Editing Like A Pro

Blog Editing

I love blogging and it definitely must be close to a year since I started TheGlowDown – I feel terrible for not remembering, I honestly feel as though I have forgotten an important birthday!

There are so many blogs out there that editing your own blog is essential to help create the best possible version of your blog/brand/image. And yep, if you want to take blogging seriously it is likely you’re gonna need to invest your time and a lil £ in your tools used to edit and create. But don’t panic, you don’t need the latest MacBook or Photoshopping tools to help create your vision, just some time, patience and drive to get your blog looking pro!

Here are just a few low-budget, user-friendly programs/tools/apps I use to make the most out of my blog…

iPiccy

iPiccy

Great for photo editing – slightly similar to Photoshop but free! You do need to register and create an account, but once you do your images you upload for edit are saved to your profile. I have probably used this program the most for photo editing such as adding clip-art and adding text.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey

So you have probably heard a lot more about PicMonkey than iPiccy for photo editing. Again it is free and you don’t actually have to register/create an account with this one. It is super user friendly and a little more visual with the different tools you can use – a definite must-have editing tool if you aren’t too used to any other photo editing programs.

Polyvore

Polyvore

So it took me foreverrrrrr to figure out this was the program everyone was using to create those perfectly simplistic outfit wishlist style posts. Simply go online and create an account and you’re ready to start creating your own collage of fashion/beauty/home wants. There is minimal editing with the images you chose to make up your collage, however you don’t really need to over-edit these kinda posts. The great thing too is that you can add a sort of toggle bar (that polyvore automatically creates for you) so people can easily shop your looks/items!

WordPress

Wordpress

So I feel like this is kinda an obvious one, and if you’re already blogging chances are you have either heard of WordPress or you’re already using it! But I decided to include it just for those who may be using the Blogger platform to see as a comparison. It is a little more complex to use – editing a blog post itself is pretty simple and easy, but there are a lot more tools to help edit your blog on WordPress which may be a little daunting, but personally I definitely think it’s the better platform out of the two.

Etsy

Etsy

So you might be wondering why I have included Etsy for a post on how to edit your blog like a pro but waitttttt…if like me you are still discovering and learning about the world of html, then you might want to check out some of the amazing blog templates or custom designs that people sell on Etsy. I think a big part of blogging is creating your personal style and brand, and that definitely comes across in your blog design. So unless you are a whizz-hand at blog design, do look in to blog friendly template designers.

iPhone Editing Apps

Iphone Apps1   IPhone Apps2

Ahhh okay so this is kinda like find the apps but I will give a brief overview of the ones I use for editing photos for my blog!

PicFX – great little app for adding light effects to photos, for example when ‘orbs’ appear on photos, you can add these to your photos in a creative way.

Evernote – so this isn’t a photo editing app but it does help with the editing of my blog. I use it to create checklists and to write down blog ideas when I’m out and about and getting out my notebook isn’t so doable.

Moldiv – this one I have been loving lately. Great for creating collages or adding text to images.

Afterlight – this is the only photo editing app I have that wasn’t free, but for 79p you still can’t go wrong. Perfect app for editing photos – esp. if you have taken photos without great lighting and need to edit them to look lighter/brighter.

Fotor – again, a great app for creating simple but effective collages.

& Other Tips

So here are a few quick blogging tips I want to share with you guys that help to make the most out of your blog…

+ Use Bloglovin (follow me here) to promote you blog posts and also to connect with other blogs

+ Hootsuite is a great way to schedule social media posts to promote awareness of your blog

+ StumbleUpon is a great website that allows you to submit links to your own blog posts, but also to ‘stumble’ across other people’s blogs

+ Get organised. Use your phone notes, a notebook, an organiser or create your own blogging calender. Getting organised = more balanced, professional and focused blog

+ Use Instagram and We Heart it for simple images and inspiration (just be wary of copyright issues)

+ Be social media savvy. Everyone says it but it is soooo relevant to blog promotion today. Fake being a pro who has a team of people working on their social media accounts and link up all your social media content – just make sure you don’t overshare/spam your followers with too much content to handle.

So that is it – my top tips on how to fake blog editing like a pro! I know it’s a pretty lengthy post but I hope you guys find my tips useful – this is my first kinda post like this where I have shared blog tips, but seeing as though TheGlowDown has been running for around a year I thought I would share what I have learnt!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoys the start of their week!

Top 5 Love Your Hair Tips

Processed with Moldiv

Eek yes that is my hair in the pic above!! Anyway so most of us are never completely satisfied with what our parents/genes/god gave us and that is especially true when it comes to our hair! And I am definitely someone who is never completely satisfied with my own – it never grows long enough, it gets dry and/or oily, it’s not as thick as I want it. Everything bar the colour (loving how my hairdresser colours it!) is always kinda in between – I’m talking a barnett with a mind of it’s own…who else is with me here?! So I have decided to narrow down my top 5 most important and crucial haircare tips that you can follow too to help rule reign over your do..

Haircare Collage

1. Use sulfate free shampoos – all those nasties essentially damage your hair as they are only in there to create a lather. Also avoid silicones if possible in your shampoos too.

2. Wash your hair less – Kim K only does it once every 5 days and so should you.

3. Use a hair oil – my favourite is the original Moroccan Oil. It helps soothe and smoothe, nourish and protect, my hair always feels a million times better when I pop some on freshly washed just-towel-dried hair.

4. Use less heat – banish those styling tools! Okay that’s a bit drastic but you should definitely limit them. Try let your hair air-dry or if you need to blow dry it, skip the straighteners.

5. Use gentle hair accessories – lover of a pony-tail or hair bun? Harsh elastics/bobbles break off your hair so opt for more hair friendly alternatives. Think alligator clips and invisbobble style bobbles – seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread..they even keep hair in place when working out!!

Oh and did I mention I am a serious lover of the sleep bun a la Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential? Yep the sleep bun means serious business and a must for that perfect next day hair with zero effort!!

What are your top haircare tips? Please Share!

Also check out my post here on the best dry shampoo I’ve found on the high street that only costs £1!

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

TheGlowDown Amazingly Delicious Scones!

This is the highly coveted ( …you will understand once you have tried them! ) recipe for the cheese scones that I posted a picture of in my Yummy Healthy Options post – which you can read here. Okay, so they’re not so healthy but the picture my mum sent me of ones she had made was too cute and they are too delicious not to share with you!

– 225g/8oz self-raising flour

– 50g/2oz butter

– 1 egg

– 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

– a little milk

– 75g/3oz grated strong cheese

– a pinch of salt and pepper

– Combine the flour, butter, dried mustard powder, cheese and salt&pepper in a bowl — do this by using your hands to kinda rub/kneed it all together

– Once the mixture is starting to come together, add the egg and a little milk to help it all bind

– Spread a little flour onto a clean work surface and begin to roll out the dough to your desired thickness ( about 1cm or less works well)

– Cut into whatever shapes take your fancy!! Then brush each one with a little milk or egg

– Place on a baking tray and in to the oven on the top shelf  for 10-15mins at 220 oc/425f/gas mark 7

I loved when my mum made these at home as a treat, and they are sooooo nice eaten warm and fresh – cut in half and a little butter mmmmm it’s enough to make you drool! And who doesn’t enjoy a savoury treat once in a while – move over sweet stuff!

Anyway a big thank-you to my mum who was kind enough to share her recipe after me nagging her for it, I know she has been reading my blog back home and is so supportive! ♡♡♡ xo