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

Y2Squared – Personal Branding Shoot

Y2Squared – Personal Branding Shoot

Last year I traveled back to Hong Kong where I used to live, visit friends and photograph some previous clients of mine. Angela is a good friend of mine and a client. She is an entrepreneur, running several businesses. From a semi-precious jewellery company, Y2 Squared and a playgroup EEK. Opposite ends of the spectrum so she needed a set of images to represent both companies.

Location was really important, we needed to find somewhere with lots of colour as well as a backdrop that was minimalistic.

We chose Stanley Market as our location as it offered all of the above, with a vibrant yellow wall just perfect for EEK. Angela’s brand colours for EEK are primary colours. The blue and yellow backdrops were just perfect.

 

Personal Brand Photograpy

 

 

As well as location, choosing outfits for Angela to wear had to be taken into account for both businesses. We discussed bringing in colour and pattern for the playgroup brand photos and keeping things much simpler for the jewellery business.

Angela also required product shots for Y2Squared, a mix of lifestyle and simple product shots showcasing the jewellery.

 

Personal Brand Photography

Personal Brand Photography

 

As you can see, one location can offer such a diverse set of images. When booking your personal branding shoot, take some time researching locations and ask your photographer too, they will know some great locations to shoot in too.

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.

 

How to Prepare for your Personal Branding Photo Shoot

How to Prepare for your Personal Branding Photo Shoot

Personal Branding Photographer Frome

 

You have found your photographer, contracts signed and shoot day is upon you. Preparation is key for a successful shoot for both photographer and client. When you book a Personal Branding Photography session with me I will send out a detailed guide to prepare you for your shoot. In the meantime here is my check list to help you prepare for a Personal Brand Photography session.

  • First things first you need to find a photographer whose work you like and book them ( check out this blog post here )
  • Send your photographer a Pinterest board of the style of images and locations that you would like. Include posing ideas as well.
  • Select what you are going to wear. Keep it simple, wear what feels most comfortable and add some accessories that are your brand colours. This is the time to book makeup and hair appointments too. ( check out my blog post here ).
  • Choose locations where you are most comfortable and that represent your brand . Think about coffee shops, your office space, local neighbourhood for example. Good lighting is key, your photographer can advise on locations too. Send addresses of locations to your photographer in advance so they can check out best spots for your shoot.
  • Think about props you want to bring with you. Mobile phone, laptop, notebooks and pens are great everyday props. Bring the tools of your trade along too ( if possible!)
  • Ask your photographer when you can expect your photos to be ready and how they will be delivered.

Shoot day is here , pack your bag with your props and clothing. Water to keep you hydrated and maybe some snacks. Most of all don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

I hope this series on Personal Brand Photography has been useful for you when considering booking a photographer.

Visit Bath Tour

Visit Bath Tour

Abbey Hotel Bath

I had the great pleasure of being invited onto the Bath Makers trip hosted by Visit Bath a couple of weeks ago. We moved to Bath a couple of years ago and like anywhere you live after a time it becomes a habit and you don’t notice all the new places popping up around you. Bath is full of amazing independent shops and businesses, it was great to see Bath through new eyes now we have moved to Frome.

Day 1

Our first stop was to meet at the newly furnished Abbey Hotel for coffee where we would be staying for the night too. Abbey Hotel is a boutique luxury hotel in the heart of Bath, the perfect location to visit all the stunning attractions and shopping Bath has to offer. Only a stones throw away from Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths.

Lunchtime was upon us and Acorn Restaurant were our hosts for lunch. Acorn is an award-winning, innovative vegan food restaurant in the heart of Bath. I was very excited to eat here as it had been on my list for a while now to visit. Richard Buckley owner and head chef treated us to a sumptuous taster menu with a flight of wines. All the crockery used are sourced from local artists which I loved. Our first course came out on a local Frome artist plates Jenny Barton ! I absolutely loved our first course, a coffee infused cauliflower core served on a bed of hazelnut polenta. There was just a subtle hint of coffee which you would never imagine working, but Richard makes cauliflower taste pretty special! This was served with a white Riesling. Other delights were donkey carrots roasted in saffron with parsley powder, almonds with truffle oil. How Richard can get so much taste in a powder is a miracle! The interior is modern and light , with secret nooks for a more intimate dinner.

Acorn Restaurant Bath

With our tastebuds tickled and our bellies full it was time to move on too Bath Aqua Glass Centre to try our hand at glass blowing. A traditional glassblowing & stained glass studio located in Bath. Bath Aqua Glass is famous for its Cremation Ashes glass collection. They do workshops, hen parties, and birthday parties. I am going to take my teens to make baubles at Christmas for the tree.

Next stop was a browse around interiors store Graham and Green on Walcot Street, the artisan quarters in Bath. It has been lovingly transformed from a former 20th century bake house, restoring many of its original features to add character to this unique store. I was in interiors heaven browsing sheepskin seat pads, cushions galore, linen bedlinen and Ubiety candles.

Stroll down to Kingsmead Square and the best gelato in Somerset awaits us at Swoon. I have to admit I am a regular here. My favourite being the pistachio. The pistachios are sourced from Bronte in Sicily. All their gelato’s are churned on site! Pop in and sit at the back and you may be lucky enough to see the gelato being made in person.

Swoon Gelato Bath

After filling our boots on gelato we made our way across the road to Grace and Ted. A curated collection of pre-owned designer clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women. I have actually purchased a beautiful Coach bag from here when we first arrived in Bath. A great treasure trove of clothing. I had my eye on a Chanel evening dress …in my dreams!

Grace and Ted Bath

We then wandered onto Le Vignoble an independent wine lounge with over 250 different wines, champagnes and liqueurs from all over the world. I love the idea of wine tasting on tap, with samples from 80p what a great night out and Sommeliers to advise. We were greeted with a tapas platter containing French cheeses, saucisson, cured hams, olives, bread and dip. I had an all cheese platter with a lovely glass of Sancerre.

Le Vignoble Bath

After a rest back at The Abbey Hotel we then make our way to dinner at the newly opened Koffmanns and Mr White’s. Serving a mix of French and English classics. After a day of eating and drinking I was glad to start our meal with a light salad. I am a vegetarian, so my main dish was a mushroom polenta packed full of flavour. After dinner we were guests in the Art Bar. I absolutely love the concept here of a curated gallery of local artist constantly changing , and all available to purchase. The tables have art books and pencils for you to doodle in as well. Such a fun idea! The Art Bar serves bespoke cocktails of which we were treated with a specially made cocktail for our party.

Day 2

Breakfast was served in Koffmanns and Mr Whites. I enjoyed a delicious serving of poached eggs on gluten free bread and free flowing coffee.

Today we were off to VV Rouleaux for a ribbon flower head dress workshop. I am like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to trimmings and buttons and such!  I was totally in my element here. At the back of the shop is an atelier where they hold workshops and make bespoke pieces. We were taught how to make flowers using wired ribbon and then attach to a headband. Very simple but so effective. By the end of the hour we were all channeling our inner Frida Khalo!

VV Rouleaux Bath

Lunch was at Beckford Bottle shop near the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Wow this restaurant is full of surprises. A huge wine shop greets you at one end of the shop, the restaurant at the other. Downstairs is the wine cellar and private dining room as well as a casual lounge are with open fire. As we sat down to our table, the food and wine just kept flowing. As a vegetarian I was not to be disappointed at the choice of plates on our table. Most memorable was the beetroot , balsamic vinegar with goats cheese and the marrow frittes and alioli. The tempur batter was so light and melted in the mouth.

Beckford Bottle Bath

My favourite bookstore in Bath is Toppings and Company. It was a pleasure to meet the staff and be given a tour of the shop all whilst sipping Earl Grey tea, which everyone will be welcomed with . Free tea and coffee and comfy chairs are part of the laid- back atmosphere here at Toppings. They hold regular book talks from local and International  artists, of which I have been to a couple and thoroughly enjoyed. The store itself is a sight to behold, beautiful wooden book shelves jammed packed with books, glass vases filled with fresh flowers await you.

Toppings and Company Bath

Next we visited The Good Day Cafe , and its name did not disappoint. The decor is pink, neon lights,  glass topped tables filled with succulents, modern pink velvet sofas all accessorised with cacti! An absolute Instagrammers dream lol. And the food and drinks was pretty photogenic too. I had a super beetroot latte and a slice of gluten free cake. I’ll definitely will be back here for my pink fix!

Good Day Cafe Bath

Our final independent shop was Chanii B, a designer shoe shop in Milsom Place. Chantal greeted us with her warm smile and champagne. Seriously what can be more fun than shopping for designer shoes and sipping on champagne! Chanii B Shoes and Accessories is a luxury shoe brand based in Bath, designed and created by internationally renowned designer Chantal Pilon.

Bath is such a beautiful city and we only touched the surface of the wonderful independent shops, cafes and restaurants that can be found here. If you are looking for a city break, book your self in for a couple of nights at The Abbey Hotel and start to explore the amazing diverse selection of places that Bath has to offer.

Thank you to Visit Bath for having me .

NB : This trip was gifted

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