Today’s interview comes via the wonderful Amanda of Rhyme & Ribbons, and I’ve been so looking forward to sharing it here! I’ve read Rhyme & Ribbons for longer than I can remember, and have loved it since the very first time I clicked through to it. Amanda’s posts are so varied and beautifully put together, and always have so much personality to them that reading Rhyme & Ribbons feels just like catching up with a dear friend. So, enough from me, and here’s more from the lovely Amanda!
1. Will you tell us a little about how you got started writing Rhyme & Ribbons?
I started writing Rhyme & Ribbons right after my partner Sam and I moved to Stratford-upon-Avon. He had just started a year in the acting company at the Royal Shakespeare Company and I felt a bit lost. I had just finished my MA program, was on a visa that limited the amount of time that I could work, was in a new city and didn’t know anyone. I fell into blogging because I was desperate for a new way to socialise and a way to express myself creatively. Looking back at some of those first posts is very cringe-inspiring (there’s some horrific photography!) but I’ve loved every step of the blogging journey so far!
2. How would you sum up your blog, in just 3 words?
Comforting, creative and bookish. (Basically if my blog lived in the 1800s it would be someone’s spinster aunt.)
3. You’ve been blogging for a good few years now! How has your blog evolved over the years since you began writing it?
I’ve definitely figured out my voice. There was a lot of emulating what popular bloggers were doing at first. I quickly realised that even though I love reading them, I’m not really a Buzzed-esque list and GIF kind of blogger. I also took a vested interest in learning how to take proper photographs and how to style food. When I look back on some of my first recipe posts, I can see just how much my food styling and photography has progressed.
4. Would you share with us three of your favourite posts, and tell us why they’re particular favourites?
Even though it’s certainly not my most interesting post to read, I loved recapping my engagement party this past June. It was such a wonderful day that I can’t think of it without grinning. Another favourite post would be when I wrote about why I wear my grandmother’s engagement ring and why feeling connected to her is so important to me. (I promise I very rarely blog about wedding/engagement related things – it’s just pure coincidence that these made my top 3!) One of my other favourites would be my last post in the Bake Off Bake Along series that I hosted last year. It was the 2nd year in a row that I’ve baked along to the GBBO and while it’s a lot of work, it was tons of fun and definitely culminated in some silliness.
5. As a New Mexican in London, would you tell us a few of the things you love best about the city you now call home?
I love that London is a city with so many different personalities. Each neighbourhood could really be a city unto itself. It goes without saying, that there’s literally always something to do in London. In London you can experience so many different cultures, attitudes and traditions without ever journeying outside of the city. Albuquerque (where I’m from, yep, the “Breaking Bad” city) and London are world’s apart in mentality, but they both hold very special places in my heart.
6. What might Cider with Rosie readers be surprised to learn about you? Any secret skills or party tricks?
I have my MA in classical acting so I’ve been known to drop a Shakespeare monologue or two at a party…. (Not really, that would make me the most awkward person in the world). It’s not a very exciting party trick but I’m double jointed in some limbs so I can make my arms and hands do some fairly freaky things.
7. You’re a keen baker, right? :) What would you say is your signature bake (GBBO style!)?
I’m a bit baking obsessed! I applied for the GBBO this year and made it to the interview stage and I was over the moon to even get that far. I think some sort of cake would be my signature bake. I’m leaning towards my butternut squash cake with whipped marshmallow frosting. It’s definitely one of my favourite cakes to eat!
8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!
I always find these sort of questions to be really difficult because my natural tendency is to be a hoarder. Coupled with being an avid reader, my flat is covered in piles of books!
Albums: My first album would be “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter” by Josh Ritter – it’s phenomenal, and a “must listen” for an fans of American folk rock. My second choice, based purely on what my iTunes says I’ve listened to the most is Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs”
Books: I’m going to cheat slightly and say Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy (in one giant book ;) ) and “Nine Stories” by J.D. Salinger.
Films: Alfred Hitchock’s “Rebecca” and the original “The Wizard of Oz”
Ingredients: It would have to be some sort of fancy homemade pizza; sourdough crust, fresh mozzarella and basil, chorizo, pine nuts, truffle oil – the works!
Luxury Item: A soft bed with magical, constantly fresh sheets.
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