The Hot Seat: Meet Amanda

Hello again m’dears. I am so excited to announce that this week, I shall be interviewing a lady that needs no introduction (except this one), the fabulous Amanda Lyle from Inside the Life of Moi, a fantastic blog that demonstrates Amanda’s considerable writing talents. Don’t just take my word for it; have a read of her brilliantly entertaining interview below and then check out her insanely addictive blog!

Over to you, Amanda!

                                     interview

 *Pours glass of wine and slips into the hot seat, surprised that it isn’t as hot as it suggests, and she didn’t need that ice pack, after all*

 

Hi Amanda! Why don’t you tell my readers a little about yourself…without using the letter ‘e’. I’m kidding, go e-nuts!

Alrighteeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (<- enough e for you?) Where do I start? I am a 21-year-old (one can wish) 28-year-old with a fondness for happy dancing, biscuit dunking, photography and all things 90’s (Lycra included!). I am also a mother of three sometimes-adorable-but-mostly-quite-annoying children (ages 2, 5 & 10) I have been married to my partner in crime for almost 5 years and I live in the Southwest of England: land of cider, farms and not much else. I would love nothing more than to become a writer, but unfortunately I am yet to start that book I have been harping on about for the past TWO YEARS <- And the Queen of procrastination award goes to…. Oh yes, that would be MOI!

 

Why did you decide to start blogging?

Okay, so this might sound morbid, but 18 months ago I was, to put it bluntly, in a bit of a crappy place. I was lost, misguided and falling apart (it didn’t help that I was living in the dreaded Coventry at the time *shudder*) One day, I decided to write. I hadn’t written anything for so long, but I had this overwhelming desire to write and write until I could write no more! Writing not only helped to heal many of my wounds, but it also gave me clarity. Over time, it occurred to me, I wasn’t lost anymore. I was free …and I had a pretty awesome blog to show for it! (<- Not to blow my own trumpet or anything!) If it wasn’t for my blog and the huge amount of support I have received over the past 18 months or so, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Cheesy, I know….but so very true! THANK YOU, GUYS! *wipes tear*

 

Your blog has become very successful. Has this changed your day to day life in any way?

 

I mean, I would like to say I get hounded with fan mail and stopped in the street, but I would be lying. Nothing much has changed really…boring, I know! However, I do get the odd person come over to me and tell me they read my blog. I then glow a bright shade of cherry tomato and scurry off embarrassed.

Random Fact: Only a few close friends know about my blog.

 

What one piece of advice would you give to other bloggers?

As Dory once said in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming!” Oh no, that’s not right, I meant… Just keep writing! You’re bound to come up with something publishable at some point!

Also, never be too critical with yourself. Some of the pieces I assumed would go down like a lead balloon, actually floated higher than I could ever imagine. My most popular post to date (Dear Husband: An Unconventional Love Letter) I was close to not publishing at all because I felt it wasn’t well-written.

So, just go for it – what’s the worst that can happen?

 

You have written some very honest and personal posts. Did you find this difficult?

Naturally, I am a very open person. I don’t feel like I have anything to hide. However, there have been a few posts in which I found myself hovering over the ‘publish’ button for a good half an hour before mustering up the courage to press. One of those posts was:I love you, but I don’t like you: A story of fractured bonds and motherly guilt. This was my most personal post to date. I really opened up and allowed my thoughts to run free. I couldn’t have received a better response from my readers. It was the first time I had been left both speechless and overwhelmed by everyone’s understanding and generosity. The positive response from my post has opened doors for me to continue to write more open and honest posts in future. It feels so liberating to be able to share myself so openly with everyone and not be judged. I have so much respect for all of my readers. Not to sound too hippy, but they have touched my heart in so many ways. I couldn’t be more blessed. I’m a very lucky girl!

 

Okay. That was too serious a question. Let’s lighten things up: are you a girly-girl or the more outdoorsy type?

The outdoorsy type?!  *cackles uncontrollably*

I couldn’t be further from the outdoorsy type. My husband would describe me as ‘high maintenance’ but I would say I’m more of a girly-girl. I love make up to the point that if my husband ever left me, I’d probably marry it (Okay that sounded a bit extreme….but I do adore it!) …and the thought of dating again *shudder* sends me into hot sweat!

I also have a slightly unhealthy obsession with nail varnish and pretty much own every colour of the rainbow! So, I’d have to marry my nail varnish collection too!

…Is that even legit?

Apart from one pretty traumatic experience at Glastonbury festival involving over-flowing porter-loos, hippy tea and enough mud to build a mud city…

glasto
(Source: www.dumb.com)

…you wouldn’t catch me camping EVER! I mean, where would I plug my hair straighteners? A tree? And how am I supposed to climb mountains in heels? Nah. It just isn’t me! I’d choose makeup, heels and bags over hiking boots, oversized backpacks and….eeerrr….mosquito bites, any day!

You’re a mother. What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever received?

When parenthood becomes overwhelming, lock yourself in a cupboard with a strong drink and pretend everything is AAAAAAAAA-Okay! I’m kidding, of course. The most important thing is to love your children unconditionally, no matter how much they make you want to rock back and forth in an under-stair cupboard. Never underestimated love.

 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to overcome it?

Now and then my brain will shoot blanks. Rather than panic, I take some much-needed time off from writing and allow my ideas to reform. After a few weeks, I find that my head is so cram-packed with ideas it is ready to POP! That wasn’t meant to sound sexual at all. Honest!

 

Curveball: Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits or cakes?

I would say…. They are biscakes! (<- see what I did there!)

 

What do you do to unwind after a long day?

I usually run a bubble bath, pour myself a glass of wine, put my headphones in and fantasise about being anywhere but dreary old England. Other times, I’ll light some joss-sticks and meditate to the sound of panpipes and whales singing. Okay…one of the previous statements was, in fact, a lie… I’ll leave you guys to figure that out.

 

And now for some weird questions…

Who would you rather go clubbing with: Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama?

I reckon Michelle Obama would be a complete party animal after a few sparkling wines…therefore, I’d have to choose her to go clubbing with her.

Hillary Clinton, I have her down as a more hot cocoa-drinking, sheepskin slipper-wearing and bed at an appropriate hour, kind of girl.

OH MY GOSH! I’m turning into Hillary Clinton, aren’t I? *shudder*

 

If you could have be any kind of shark, which would you choose?

Umm, there’s different breeds of sharks? I thought a shark was a shark… *Googles* Okay, according to Wikipedia there are 509 species of shark… waaaaay too many to choose from! Can I just say Sharky from Sharky and George? (Remember that awesome TV show?) I mean, what other shark wears a Panama hat?

shark
(Source: www.youtube.com)

If you had the power of invisibility, would you rob a bank?

Of course not, I would never do such a thing! I’d be too busy doing other awesome things like hanging out in the male changing rooms *Coughs* Nah, I probably would rob the bank … I could do with a nice new handbag and wardrobe to match! I meant… I would give it to charity, obviously!

 

You get the chance to appear on a tacky reality TV show for a lot of money…do you take it?

It depends how much I would get paid and which reality TV show it was. I can’t sing to save my life, so X-Factor would be out of the question….*thinks about past contestants* ..or maybe not? I haven’t got any outstanding talents… I mean, I can’t spin plates with my eyes closed whilst doing the splits and yodelling, nor can I eat one hundred pork pies in one sitting…so, Britain’s Got Talent isalso out of the question. And given my dislike for the wilderness, you wouldn’t catch me eating bugs in the jungle…forget that! I’m not remotely a celebrity…but get me freaken out of here! So…. Big Brother it is!

Perhaps I’ll audition for next year?

pig fly

(source: http://paulstudentstories.blogspot.co.uk/)

Janey, it has been a pleasure! Thank you so much for inviting me to sit on the Hot Seat… I can officially say… This seat is HOT…or perhaps it’s just me, having a hot flush?! Or maybe it’s these glaring studio lights? (We’re in a studio, right?) Either way, I’m glad I brought that ice pack!

*Stumbles off stage tipsily holding an icepack to her backside*

Thank you so much Amanda! What a fun interview this was. I’m off to listen to panpipes and whales because, frankly, that sounds amazing. 

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The Hot Seat: Meet Mecia

Hey everyone! A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post asking for some ideas to help me with my writer’s block and wow did you guys give me a lot of ideas!

I’ve decided to make a feature where I will interview fellow bloggers. I’m going to call it The Hot Seat (I hope I’m not unintentionally copying someone by naming it that). Hopefully it will be a great way for you all to connect with even more people and spread the blog love

   

First up is the wonderful Mecia from NotQuiteLondon

               

   

Mecia is a beauty blogger who writes fantastic and helpful reviews. Check out her answers below and then head on over to her blog; you won’t regret it! 

  
Hi Mecia! That’s a lovely name, where is it from? 

Thank you. It’s Portuguese. I used to hate it purely because it’s so hard for people to pronounce it, sometimes I think being called Mary would be so much easier. 

You live in London. Tell us one thing you like and one think you dislike about living there.

Ok so my boyfriend had a go at me when I mentioned on my blog that I live in London. Its not strictly London it’s literally 30 mins outside, however as I am so close to it I refuse to budge and I am sticking to my guns because I am just too stubborn.

Anyway…….what I hate about London is the ridiculous amount of snobby people, I mean it doesn’t costs anything to be polite and these people just don’t get it. Also the way everyone packs the trains and underground is ridiculous and extremely smelly.

I love exploring London and my favourite place is Camden Market. It’s the perfect city to explore but the crowds can sometimes be a little off-putting. 

Describe your blog to potential readers. 

It’s a mixture of beauty and make up reviews. As well as the odd tag posts which I seem to be obsessed with. I also like to throw some skincare tips into the mix. 
Why did you choose to blog about beauty?

I love all aspects of beauty, particular skincare. It’s such a diverse industry that is constantly changing which makes it super exciting to blog about. I tend to blog about products that I love and that I hope other people will too.

In your blog, you discuss how it took you a while to muster up the courage to publish your blog. Why was this? 

I am was just nervous how my blog would be received. I didn’t want to be seen as yet another beauty blog, which is why I keep it as individual as possible. It’s a scary thought when you don’t know how other people will react to something that you’ve written so that was my biggest fear.

However I am so glad that I’ve done it, everyone has been super nice and the support has been beyond incredible. I definitely encourage everyone to do it.

What does your writing process consist of?

I am one of those people that doesn’t make lists or drafts. If I have an idea I just write it up, take some pics, edit and voila. I love writing and luckily it comes very natural to me, so the writing process is fairly easy and relaxed.

Who is your beauty and style inspiration? 

Oh lord, I wish I had a style inspiration because maybe I would dress a bit better haha. I have quite a relaxed approach when it comes to style so I love people like Jennifer Lawrence, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Anniston. Those ladies always look amazing in jeans and a vest, which is me all over.

As far as a beauty inspiration I would have to say my mum, the woman never wears make up, her skin is flawless and all she wears is a moisturiser. She’s slightly crazy but if I have her gorgeous skin when I’m her age, I will be a very happy lady. On a more unrealistic scale I love and hate how beautiful Kim Kardashian is.

  

What are your desert island beauty products? 

Dry shampoo. Waterproof mascara. Burt Bees lip balm. Alpha H micro exfoliant.

Explain what your “spending ban” is. How has it been going? 

Ok so I had this great idea to ban myself from buying any make up for a whole month. I have so much that its getting out of control, half of it I haven’t even used yet which is just mad. So I decided to set myself this little challenge which quite frankly hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I have one more week to go and I am super proud I haven’t relapsed yet. It has made me realise that I buy make up just because I want things straight away, so I am going to use up what I already have first and then buy things that I only need.

What, in your opinion, is an absolute beauty no-no? 

Overdrawn eyebrows 2 shades darker than your skin and hair. Ladies, just no. It offends me and hurts my eyes. Eyebrows are sisters NOT twins!

What are your opinions on plastic surgery and Botox? 

Each to their own, if it makes you happy then do it. I personally wouldn’t do it coz I am too scared of ending up like Sylvester’s Stallone’s mum!

  


And now for some weird questions…


Would you prefer to be a talking elephant or a non-verbal house cat? 

Definitely a cat! They have such an easy life, and get everything done for them. I would specifically like to be a big fat ginger cat.


You must choose one of these: punch Hilary Clinton or bear-hug Donald Trump.

Can I punch both? Seriously I am not normally a violent person.

A world famous politician tells you a deep, dark secret. You could sell the information to a newspaper for half a million pounds. Do you?

I would sell it in a heartbeat. I hate politics and think that given the chance they too would sell information and betray their own kind. I am a very loyal person and would never betray my friends BUT politics is so corrupted these days that it’s hard to trust or feel sorry for any of them.

Thank you so much Mecia! 

Here are some of my favourite posts from Mecia’s blog: 

The importance of a good skincare routine

My trip to Dermalogica HQ

Spending ban (make up)

Stay tuned over the next few days for another interview with a fabulous blogger!