Friday, 15 June 2018

At My Desk: My Home Office

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office. 


Ever since I moved into my new flat in September, I've been itching to give my readers a tour and to show you how I've styled my home. However, in reality, it's taken me quite a long time to really get into adding all the little touches that make it worth sharing. It took me 6 months to even get myself a coffee table! Fast-forward to June, and it's finally starting to look like my own. 

My office is my unused spare room. It's actually the slowest room in terms of progress, and it's still half empty (apart from various boxes, laundry, and my spin bike), but I'm starting to really love my desk setup so I thought I'd take you on a little tour of my work corner, and show you where I spend my days.

Not gonna lie, sometimes I don't even work in here - it's very tempting to flop down on the sofa on my Chromebook, or even work from my bed if I'm having a bad endometriosis day, but my office is so lovely and bright and I definitely feel more motivated and productive when I work at my desk. Especially now that I have plenty of plants and pretty things to go on it.

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

The Key Elements


My desk itself is the IKEA Micke. If I remained true to my heart I'd have gone for a chunky rustic reclaimed wood-style desk top, but I don't have the budget for what I really want so I deferred to my inner handbag basic and went for the pristine white IKEA option. And I do really love it. The drawers are lovely and huge so I can stash plenty of snacks and stationary without my workspace being cluttered. My current chair is also an IKEA buy, but only a temporary measure, so not really worth mentioning - although, I will say that, for a basic, folding chair, it is surprisingly comfy and I'm happy to work all day on it.

I work on a 2015 iMac, which I definitely prefer now to a PC and would never switch back. I was so happy when I made this purchase, I could have cried. I'd been making do with a knackered old Windows laptop that was completely fried from 4 years of university, and I really wanted something that would catapult me into my new freelance career and do everything I needed it to do. It also allows me to sync everything up with my clients, as most of our shared documents and calendars are in iCloud. 

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

The Wall Art

This is something I'm still working on, as this room is still very much a shell, compared to other rooms in my home. However, I recently came across the perfect focal piece on an impromptu trip to Dunelm. As an ex-Londoner, I do still crave the city from time to time, so this Canvas Map of London (£16.99) just jumped out at me. 

I find it so understated, yet fascinating. I keep looking at it and reliving so many fond memories of my home and University in Greenwich, and travels around the city. It's the perfect colour scheme too, as it has a touch of neutral gold running through it. It also matches my University of Greenwich map notepad perfectly! 

I also have my degree certification framed on the wall by my desk, as well as this motivational quote print. I felt like I had to have one of those. I think I'd have to hand in my blogging card if I didn't!

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

The Little Touches


Copper Basket - Primark

Copper Plated Standing Photo Frame - £5 Dunelm
(Inspirational photo of my gorgeous Dad not included, obvs)

Rose Gold 2018 Diary - Tu at Sainsbury's

Mini Succulent (part of a pack of 3) - IKEA

Mini Cacti (part of a pack of 3) - Sainsbury's

Himalayan Salt Lamp - £15 Amazon 

Harry Potter Mouse Mat - Etsy

Daily Gratitude Journal - £18 Happi Empire via NOTHS

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.


It was so important to me to have a photo of my Dad at my desk. He was so instrumental in helping me through my degree an getting me to where I wanted to be career-wise, and I hate that he's no longer here to see me progress. He gave me endless inspiration, and believed in me when I was losing the will to live over my dissertation and wanted to jack it all in. I love this little copper photo frame, and having Dad here will help me stay focused and not procrastinate - he'd be kicking my arse 7 ways to Sunday if he thought I was slacking. 

The other notable accessory here is my Himalayan Salt Lamp. I've been a convert to salt lamps for a few years now and I now have one in pretty much every room. I just love how soothing they are and they really help with my anxiety - of which a lot is related to work. I can't be doing with bright, fluro lamps, which tend to leave me agitated and on the way to a migraine, so the warm glow of the salt lamp is exactly what I need if I'm working in the evening. It certainly helps me fall asleep quicker after staring at a computer screen all afternoon. 

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

Plants


There HAD to be plants! I've always been a lover of houseplants, but I think I'm now the latest recruit to the 'crazy plant lady' tribe. Once I started I couldn't stop. I have 3 plants in here at the moment, but I'm sure more will find their way in. I just find them so beautiful and now I just have this need to be surrounded by them. On my desk, I have my mini Dracaena, which I picked up on a whim while at the Garden Centre in Matlock one weekend, and this cute little mini succulent from IKEA. 

The crowning plant glory in the office so far is this Calathia, which was also from Matlock Garden Centre. I keep it in the office because I kept freaking me out at night when I put it in my bedroom. As a prayer plant, they rustle at night as they close up for the evening, and again in the morning when they unfold to receive the light again. 

#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.
#OfficeInspo! As a freelancer, my office is, literally, in my spare room. Take a peep at how I'm styling my home office.

What's Missing?


Eventually in here I would like a sofa-bed (because it's customary to have somewhere for visitors to sleep when they stay over) a rug, and some sort of shelving unit to display books, folders, and some more of my plants on. I'm also thinking of adding a little coffee table so that I can see clients in here eventually. Once all these things have been added (along with the rest of the plants) I'll be doing an update to this post to show you the finished result.

So, that's my office so far. It's still a work in progress, but I'm so pleased with how it's progressing that I had to share my desk space with you all. I can't wait to show you the rest of my home!

What finishing touches do you have in your office?


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Sunday, 10 June 2018

My Dad the Explorer - Map Gifts for Father's Day

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...


For the first time this year, my Dad is no longer here to wish a Happy Father's Day to. Although, to be honest, I can't remember the last time I actually physically saw my Dad on Father's Day - apart from the customary phone call or Facetime - because he was never in the country!! Even so, the run up to Father's Day has been a little tough this year, but I couldn't not get in on Maps International's #MapsforDad theme. My dad was quite the globetrotter!

So, my content this year is a little trip down travel memory lane, and might also provide some Father's Day Gift inspiration for those shopping for a Travel-Mad Dad...

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...
A Pin for every Memory

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...

My parents actually have their own Personalised Classic Map Pin-board by Maps International, which my brother and I chipped in and bought for my Mum's birthday, following their epic trip to Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong in 2016 (which was a huge tick off their bucket list). Since they both retired, my parents have been relentless, unstoppable travellers, and they had the best time going over the map and sticking pins in every country they've visited during their years together. They've covered a lot of ground between them!

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...
A Singapore Sling at the Famous Raffles Hotel
My Dad had many happy travel memories. Among the ones he would talk about most were celebrating Australia Day in Sydney with cousins, visiting Bob Marley's House in Jamaica, cruising in Cape Verde, and returning time and time again to Taurito, Gran Canaria, which my mum and I actually visited together in April this year for some quiet time and reflection (you can read more about our trip to Mogan, Gran Canaria here). It was the only place Dad had said he wanted to go this year, so we had to make that happen for him, and we had a wonderful, if a little emotional, time.

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...

Of course, we travelled as a family also when my brother and I were younger. We didn't have the most money in the world, but when we did scrape enough together to get away we really made it count! My best travel memories include a road trip through France - which included camping in the Loire Valley, and ended in a stay in a rather grand looking rented chateau in Dordogne, along with many family friends - Malta with extended family, and a beautiful week spent in Portinatx, Ibiza, just the four of us.

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...
Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...

My Dad a laugh a minute, and never happier than when he was exploring somewhere sunny, or relaxing with a nice, cold beer by a pool or on the beach. I'm so happy that he got to travel so much during his retirement, but sorry for all the trips he wanted to take that he won't get to experience now. Guess this means I'm going to have to up my own travel game. The good news is, I now have my very own Scratch the World® map print!

Some Dads aren't here to celebrate with us this Father's Day, but we can still celebrate their adventures, and get inspiration for our own...

While I've travelled a fair bit in my time, and even spent a few years living and working in the Canary Islands, I'll admit I haven't actually ventured that far - mostly due to budget and a fear of flying. However, I'm suddenly experiencing a renewed sense of wanderlust this year, and my bucket-list is growing by the day! My Dad would have had great fun going over this scratch-off world map print with me, making recommendations and sharing stories. It would have made the perfect Father's Day gift for him.

This map has given me a nudge to organise myself and make some more travel happen this year, and moving forward. It's something I really do love, and I don't get to do enough of it. I'm going to be posting about various items on my bucket-list soon, to keep me on my toes.

If you're looking for the perfect Father's Day gift for a travel enthusiast, there's nothing more special than a Personalised World Map, or a Scratch Print. Maps International has a huge range of bespoke map gifts and prints that come with the Dave Stoker seal of approval!

Browse the full range of travel and hobby prints over at mapsinternational.co.uk 


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