36 hours in Luxembourg

36 hours in Luxembourg

36 hours in Luxembourg
Back in 2018, a client invited me to Luxembourg to photograph a family christening and a family shoot. It really was a flying visit, 36 hours in Luxembourg but we managed to see some beautiful sites that I wanted to share with you.

To be honest I knew nothing about Luxembourg and struggled to find much online to guide me. Luxembourg is a small European country, surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany. It’s mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, rocky gorges of the Mullerthal region in the east, and the Moselle river valley in the southeast. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs.

 

 

 

 

 

With such little time to explore, as I was working both days we were there, we stayed in the city for sightseeing. Getting around the city is easy using the tram service which we find reliable and cheap. In fact, at the weekend it’s free to travel to the city by tram!

Luxembourg is a UNESCO World Heritage City and I could see why it is so pretty with its pastel-colored facades and chimney rooftops. Travel to the Chemin de la Corniche, which literally translates ” the most beautiful balconyfor stunning views of the city and canal. There is a bench at the top to sit down and take in the breathtaking views of this fairytale city.

 

36 hours in Luxembourg

Head back down into the city and enjoy wandering around the streets and back alleys of the old city. You will be greeted by beautiful architecture and pink and lemon houses, cobbled streets and open squares where you can sit back and enjoy a drink or two people watching

36 hours in Luxembourg
36 hours in Luxembourg

Whilst in Europe never pass up a patisserie, these window displays of macarons of every color of the rainbow were calling my name!

If you have time, grab a bus up into the woods for a hike. I was up on the German border to photograph the christening and the scenery was breathtaking! I wish I could have stayed longer to explore a bit more

I would definitely recommend visiting Luxembourg for a weekend break, so quick and easy to get too from the UK. The price of food and drink is typical European city prices, the locals speak English, French, and German.

Have you visited Luxembourg, would love to hear your thoughts in the comments

I flew British Airways from LHR to Luxembourg

I stayed in the Sofitel Luxembourg City

NB: All photos and opinions are my own

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Vegan Banana Loaf

Vegan Banana Loaf

The infamous banana loaf must be the most baked cake whilst we have all been on lockdown. We buy those bananas to be healthy and start a new diet, and before we know it, they are turning black and the diets on hold whilst we bake a banana loaf to use them up! We’ve all been there, haven’t we!

Browsing one of my favorite Instagram accounts the other day @foodie_yuki, I spotted her vegan banana loaf with a chocolate topping and decided to give it ago. I changed up the flour as I am gluten intolerant.

 

Vegan Banana Loaf

Dry ingredients
190g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
5g (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder/ gf option available
1,5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
3g (1/2 tsp) salt
1,5g-3g (1/2 to 1 tsp) ground cinnamon, optional

Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup / 150 grams light brown sugar
70g (1/3 cup) neutral oil
120 ml (1/2 cup) plant milk (I used almond)
1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or extract
220g (about 2) overripe bananas
1/2 cup of blueberries (optional)

Chocolate glaze
140g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp coconut oil

Vegan Banana Loaf

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) degrees, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease and line a  9 x 5-inch loaf pan. {My loaf pan dimensions- 25.5 cms x 11.5 cms (10 x 5 inches), height of 7 cms}. In a medium mixing bowl, sift all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Place all the wet ingredients into a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold gently just until combined and no more flour pockets are visible. Do not overmix the batter.
Add the chopped walnuts or other add-ins and fold them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the baking pan. Gently tap it on the counter 2-3 times to remove the air bubbles. Bake on the middle rack for 45-50 min or until a toothpick inserted near centre of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the banana bread into the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting or slicing.
To make the glaze: melt chopped chocolate and coconut oil over a double boil. Let cool down a little, then pour over the cooled cake.
Set aside to set for a couple of hours.

Recipe credits Yukiko Tanzi

10 Ways to use Styled Stock Photography

10 Ways to use Styled Stock Photography

With the “opening” of my Style Stock Studio the other week, selling styled stock imagery for creative female entrepreneurs ( boy that’s a mouthful), I thought it would be a good idea to show you 10 ways you can use stock imagery in your everyday business. Not everyone has the budget to hire a Personal Brand Photographer, this is where styled stock photography is a great alternative. It can be personalized and is an affordable option when budget is tight.

Instagram

Trying to come up with fresh imagery 7 days a week can be stressful and ever so time-consuming. Stock imagery is a great way to fill in those gaps on your feed when you are lacking in creativity, or/and time. Style Stock Studio images allow you to crop, add filters that fit with your feed colours. In this example of my feed, I have used a quote from the Green and White Bundle V.1 and a coffee image from the Coffee V.1 bundle. 

 

style stock photography

 

 

 

Facebook/Twitter

We have all heard the quote “a photo is worth a thousand words”, the analytics show this on our social media accounts too. People are much more engaged when there is a photo to grab their attention, and are more likely to read what you have to say. Use styled stock imagery to add to your Facebook and Twitter posts for maximum engagement

Newsletter

How often are you sending out a newsletter? Monthly, weekly, maybe daily. Finding images to place into your newsletter can be time consuming. Another great example of when using styled stock photography can really help you concentrate on talking to your clients instead of searching for the right image.

Advertising

This image is from my Tulips and Coffee collection,  I added graphics and text to make a Facebook advert that stands out. I have kept to my website fonts and colours to keep on brand.

 

Stories

Sometimes we want to make our stories look a tad more polished, use stock imagery to get a message across and why not use a Canva template (see below) to elevate that little bit more. Here I have used a template I have made on Canva with one of my Style Stock Studio images for Instagram stories to the run up of my launch. Canva I love Canva, and if you don’t know what I am talking about, click here. Canva is available on desktop and mobile, a great resource for making templates for all your social media, advertising, logos, newsletter, stories, the list is endless. Use a Canva template and pop in a stock image from any of my collections to take it from boring to exciting!

Marketing

I love using Stock Imagery to keep my brand on point when designing my marketing literature. Whether this is to be printed or a digital version. Here I have used images from Style Stock Studio for my Personal Branding digital magazine that goes out to my clients. Imagery that tells a story to my clients is so important. Choose stock imagery that resonates with your brand is key.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest is becoming a massive part of marketing today. I use Pinterest as a search engine more than I do Google. Pinterest is a visual platform, and it is important to have good imagery to encourage people to pin, save to a board and the end game to click the link to the article you are promoting. Gina from Limitbreaker uses stock imagery very well for her Pinterest graphics. This image is from my Eucalyptus and Coffee bundle. Adding your own graphics and text makes the stock image fit with your brand.

 

style stock photography

Website

Styled stock photography is very handy when filling in areas on your website, especially when it comes to the contact me/us page. I have used an image with a laptop from the Eucalyptus and Coffee on my contact me page. I needed an image that had a device in and this image was perfect, representing contact by email.

 

Blog

I love the way Gina from Limit Breaker has used one of the stock images from the Eucalyptus and Coffee bundle on her blog. Gina has used the image as a header for her blog post.

 

style stock photography

 

I hope this has been helpful and given you some ideas and how and where to use Style Stock Studio images in your business.

5 Tips for Working from Home – Covid 19

5 Tips for Working from Home – Covid 19

Amid times of uncertainties, many of us are working from home, who may have never worked from home before. This can be quite bewildering and difficult at times, especially if you have kids home from school and a partner also working from home.

I am currently juggling with 5 adults working from home, routine, structure and self-care have never been more important than now.

Here are my 5 top tips for working from home :

Maintain a routine 

We are creatures of habit, a routine is really important for our mental health. Set an alarm. You want to avoid having lie-ins. Get up and get dressed, do not spend the day in your PJs. I know how easy that can be, trust me! I have definitely found putting on my makeup and smart casual dress code has really helped with my mindset when working from home. If you are homeschooling too, set up a timetable for the kids, remembering to schedule playtime for them. Our kids need routine as much as we do and making a visual timetable for them is a fun task to all get involved in. I have found a timetable has been really useful for us when needing to share the same space. Booking in time to use a quite space for conference calls so we are not all needing that same space at once.

Exercise

Our daily steps are definitely going to suffer whilst we are in lockdown. Schedule time to do some yoga, go for a walk (remember to adhere to social distancing), look up youtube videos for at-home exercise routines.  Joe Wickes is live on youtube daily at 9 am for Pe with Joe. Such a brilliant idea for our kids and no reason why you cannot join in too.

Virtual Coffee Mornings

How lucky are we to have the technology to connect with friends, family and work colleagues by Zoom, and Skype (among the many apps out there). Use this technology to have a virtual coffee morning. I have been holding weekly Zoom calls with my network ladies, and it’s been such fun, we have a giggle and still manage some networking lol.

Dedicated workspace

This is really important. Do not be tempted to set up your home office from the comfort of your bed or sofa, seriously! Find a space, whether it is the kitchen table or pop a table/desk in your bedroom if need be, having dedicated space is so important for a positive mindset. Take time to make it feel special, layout your makeshift desk with a candle, favorite mug, and a notepad for example. Pop a plant or some cheery flowers on your “desk” too. Remember to charge laptops/iPads the night before so you are all ready to go in the morning.

Take breaks

Don’t forget to take breaks, schedule in coffee breaks and a lunch break, as you would in your day job. A great time to all get together over a cuppa away from your work set up as well. This is your time to grab some vitamin D, sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Read a magazine or book, do stay away from your computer though.

Finally, this is temporary. Please do not get stressed. I hope you have found my 5 tips helpful and do share any tips you have in the comments

Stay safe, stay inside, protect our NHS

Personal Branding Shoot – Menovibrant

Personal Branding Shoot – Menovibrant

Personal Branding Photography

I had the great pleasure of photographing Nona’s Personal Branding for her new business venture MenoVibrant. MenoVibrant is a healthy lifestyle website aimed at helping women going through the menopause with tips on exercise and healthy eating. I for one cannot wait for Nona to launch her website as I am that woman!

Personal Branding Photography

As well as MenoVibarnt, Nona runs a non for profit running club near Peterborough, Sawtry Walk to Run. Her love for running came about when Nona started her weight loss journey 3 years ago. She put a shout out on a local Facebook forum looking for other likeminded women who wanted to start running. She was inundated with other women just like herself who wanted to tone up, start running for health reason. Over 30 women turned up! And thats how the running club was born.

Personal Branding Photography

Nona really is such an inspiration and I wanted to make sure her massive personality and love for life came through in her images. Nona needed a mix of images for her different hats she wears. We chose several locations to fit the brief as well as outfits that were on brand and show Nona’s bright and cheery personality.

Personal Branding Photography

To help Nona prepare for her Personal Branding session I sent her my free guide “Planning for your Personal Branding Shoot”. This free guide is sent to all my clients when they book a session with me. 14 pages full of tips on what props to bring, location ideas, what to wear and so much more.

At the time of writing this post, Nona’s website is still under construction but do keep checking back as I know it goes live very soon.