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3 Sleek Design Ideas for a More Photogenic Home Office

Instagram is getting bigger and more influential by the day. It now has more than 800 million active users, making it one of the largest social media platforms. It is also the perfect platform to use for a variety of purposes, from personal branding to connecting with a broader audience and promoting your work.

The key to conquering Instagram is great visuals. If you’re like me and you work from a home office, setting up an office that looks good on camera will make producing Instagram content – and content for other platforms, including YouTube – a lot easier. Here are some of the design ideas to begin with.

Limit the Number of Colours

Look at the most successful Instagram influencers and you will quickly notice a pattern. Their indoor, in-office photos are usually taken in rooms or areas with a limited number of colours. White and light grey are the most popular colours in this genre, but you can easily integrate other colours into your home office as long as you limit the number colours in the room.

You can also mix and match colours with patterns and textures. I personally love the combination of white walls and silver or steel accents. White and wooden textures also work great together. Once a main theme is defined, you only need to build the rest of the room around it.

Another important factor to consider is balance. You can’t have a clean-looking home office when all of the office appliances and ornaments appear unorganized. Add elements to different areas of the office as you see fit. Avoid overcrowding one part and try to maintain balance by using spaces (white space in particular) and levels (such as elevating your main monitor with a stand).

More Natural Light

The best lighting to use is natural light. Natural light, especially during the golden hours, offers the most flattering results when used for photography. Since light is entering the office through windows, you have more control over the softness and intensity of the light.

You can still use artificial light to brighten things up, but there are a few details to attend to when you do. For starters, find high quality LED lights for better colour accuracy. Cheap, low-quality lights will produce a green or purple hue when used for photography.

You also need to pay close attention to the softness and direction of the light. Try to position the light so that you can take pictures without them being exposed in the frame.


Every detail of the home office helps create the perfect setting for your Instagram and social media posts. There is no point in having a modern-looking, super-clean desk when you have an old radiator on the corner of every photo. Look at the catalogue of modern radiators on to solve this problem once and for all.

With a sleek and clean home office set up, you can make Instagram photos, produce your own YouTube videos, and develop a stronger social media presence as a professional or a business owner. You’ll also have an awesome home office to work in!

Planning a Cruise: Norwegian Fjords

I feel I should tell you first of all that I am not a great sailor; for me, cruises generally represent a terrifying experience that should be avoided at all costs. The vast waters, the days at sea, the claustrophobic aspect of being trapped on-board.  Though I am getting better at travelling on water, I imagine it is far easier to distract oneself on the relatively short rides between Greek Islands than it is on a cruise.


There is one destination for which I would be prepared to try to overcome my fear of cruises. Norway.  The Fjords.  Such dramatically beautiful landscapes coupled with fairytale stops along the way.  This is one journey I would love to make.


A fascination of Norway, indeed Scandinavia in general, fuels this dream and a desire to travel as a family encourages me to make more imminent plans.  Added to that, Jasmine has requested that we see the Northern Lights, and Sonny has asked that we find somewhere to go where there will be snow.  A Norwegian Fjords cruise may just tick all of our boxes.


I have been researching Fjord cruise journeys, routes and destinations to find the places I would most like to spend time in and Bergen, pictured above, is rapidly scaling the top of my list. Featuring Bryggen, which is on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites, and Fløyen, which is intriguingly described as a “mountain city”, Bergen seems to have a bit of everything.


Another place high on my list of cruise destinations is Stavanger.  Home to Preikestolen or “Pulpit Rock”, which was name by Lonely Planet as the number one most breathtaking viewing platform in the world, Stavanger combines sublime nature with bustling metropolis to offer an experience unlike many others.  With a huge array of shops and dining opportunities, there are just so many reasons to visit.


I am quite sure those views could never get boring!

As the children get older, I am more and more convinced that they would thrive on a cruise and soak up all the knowledge and culture on offer.  They already adore travelling; seeing new places and learning new things, having been exposed from an early age.  The best thing we can do for them now is continue to foster that love of travel so that they might hold on to it for a lifetime.

With that in mind, I’m off to take a closer look at Norwegian Fjord cruises…

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Un Peu D’Amour Français

I’ve been a little bit in love with France since a school trip in Year 7.  Surprisingly, really, considering the trip consisted of multiple assault courses, thunderstorms, and evening meals of such dubious composition that they inspired an ill-advised attempt at vegetarianism.  Still, since that amazing holiday, there have been far lovelier trips, including four to Paris.  Highlights have included two weeks in a beautiful yurt in rural Calvados, five days spent exploring the Normandy/Brittany border (bonjour, Mont St. Michel), and a comprehensive tour of the prettiest seaside towns the North of the country has to offer.


Despite these numerous visit I have but scratched the tip of the French iceberg; there are many more places that I would like to see.

Provence for the lavender, Monet’s garden, a vineyard or two; skiing, even.  A villa in the south, a chateau in the North.  Borders and peninsulas.  Camping.  City breaks.  Mountains and countryside.  So much more to see and do.


I am fascinated by the draw of other cities; how do they compare to Paris?  Are they as loud, as sleepless?  Do they cater so well to children?  I would also like to return to Paris.  When we stayed with the children three years ago, there was just so much to do.  We treated ourselves at a chocolate museum, scaled the Eiffel Tower, skipped along the Champs Elysee, rode a carousel in the Tuileries, marvelled at the love locks on Pont des Arts and visited the Pompidou Centre for yet another spectacular view.  There simply were not enough days for museums, boat trips, parks and shops.  We could stay a month, I am sure, and still not see it all.

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Not only is it a country full of vastly differing landscapes and vibrant people, with culture and history aplenty (not to mention incredible food), France has the benefit of being that little bit closer than many other desirable destinations.  Accessible by car, boat, train or tiny little aeroplane (seriously, tiny), it is barely any time away at all.  Yet those few short hours spent travelling seem to take us worlds away.  For France is indubitably England’s far more sophisticated and, dare I say, beautiful big sister.

Holidays in France have been a huge, happy part of my life for 17 years, and I hope that never changes.  We had intended to camp near Cherbourg this summer, though James’ work is so seasonal that it is looking unlikely that we will be able to get away at all.  Undeterred, we will plan something; perhaps not for this year but for next, at least.  Whether it is a few days somewhere we have not visited before, or a week in a familiar place, we will make the most of our French vacation.





Book Review – AniMalcolm by David Baddiel

Jasmine loves a chapter book and has made her way through entire collections (Roald Dahl and David Walliams to name a couple) so was very excited to be given the opportunity to review the new David Baddiel book, AniMalcolm. So far, she has only read the first three chapters but first impressions are good; she immediately found the premise of someone who doesn’t like animals being surrounded by animals very amusing.


Aimed at boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 11, AniMalcom is written in a style that children can easily comprehend and, at the age of 8, Jasmine has been able to read it to herself without any problems. It is available in hardback (£12.99), paperback (£6.99) and audiobook.


With the summer holidays rapidly approaching, I have been looking for new chapter books to encourage Jasmine to continue reading even when school is out and AniMalcolm is the perfect start to the collection. To find out more, check out the official trailer below.

I am looking for recommendations of other suitable books for Jasmine’s collection and would love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

Last Minute Country Escapes

Spontaneous nights away are just about as exciting as it gets for me, I love nothing more than hastily packing up an overnight bag, grabbing the kids from school and heading off for the weekend. We are so fortunate to have some truly beautiful locations within an hour’s drive away and you can’t really beat the English countryside for a relaxing short break.


We have been lucky enough to stay in some gorgeous places in Surrey, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall and have a long wishlist of destinations we would still like to visit. I have been browsing the Great Little Escapes website and am very taken with the Peak District, though it is that bit further and would be impossible to manage in a weekend, sadly.

As well as being relaxing, short family breaks are oh so good at promoting strong family relationships, reconnecting with nature, and can be as educational as you want them to be.


We have only recently returned from Devon but I am already looking to book in our next few trips away; they really do brighten up my year.

Where are your favourite places to stay as a family? I am always looking for inspiration!