I am so excited to introduce you to the charming world of Miranda's Notebook, if you don't already follow this lovely blog! Not only is Miranda's blog aesthetically gorgeous, it's also thoughtful, engaging, and features wonderful ideas and places to explore London. Miranda herself strikes me as a timeless, classic lady, and I've been a big fan of her writing and photography for quite a while. I'll let her take it away!
1 :: How would you describe your blog, and what was the inspiration that got you started?
Miranda’s Notebook is a lifestyle blog, in which I predominately write about things food, fashion and London related. I’ve always been the sort of person who has to share what they love, and that was the main motivation behind the start of the blog. I think of my blog as a love letter to London, as it’s my favourite city in the world, and I adore writing about it.
2 :: Although I have yet to meet you (hopefully one day very soon!), through your blog, you seem like a positive, driven, and hard-working lady. How do you motivate yourself to get things done, and to pick yourself up when you need to?
I’d love to meet up! Getting to know other bloggers is always so fun. I don’t find it too hard to motivate myself because I really love writing my blog and taking pictures. If I didn’t enjoy it, there’s no way I could force myself to post as much as I do! I’ve always been a hard-worker though. I grew up wanting to be a ballerina and going to dance classes for 2-3 hours almost every day. There’s nothing like ballet training to teach you the value of focused hard work and discipline.
3 :: I love your Miracle Morning Challenge post! And I have to say, I am very impressed with your voluntary 5am wake up calls. What would be your advice for someone who is trying to become a morning person?
My advice would be to start small. Maybe don’t aim for a 5am rise at first – try just setting your alarm ½ an hour earlier than your usual wake up time. Also, be strict with yourself about getting to bed at a reasonable time the night before. Switch off your technology and read a book for half an hour before going to sleep – it really helps to get a good night’s rest.
4 :: As I grew up in Wimbledon myself, and spend a lot of time in Richmond, Putney and other SW areas, I love your posts highlighting the wonderful places dotted around in South West London. If someone was visiting for a day in London (those local areas and beyond), what kind of itinerary would you draw up for them, to showcase your favourite spots?
Within my area, I would definitely recommend visits to Kew Gardens, Ham House and Petersham Nurseries, with a stop at The Dysart Petersham (my favourite local restaurant) for lunch or dinner. I also recently took a trip by boat from Kingston to Hampton Court, which was so much fun and gave such wonderful views of the river, so I’d recommend that too!
5 :: You have a full time job, as well as investing so much time and effort into your amazing blog. How do you manage your time so well, and does it ever become stressful?
It is a challenge to juggle working almost full-time, as well as publishing 7 posts (and now a mini podcast!) every week. My early morning routine is what enables me to get everything done, and since starting it I’ve been able to do more and feel less stressed which is wonderful! Now I’m working on developing a great evening routine too, as there is still so much more I want to fit into my day!
6 :: You always look so stylish and well put-together! How would you describe your style, and which are your favourite shops to browse for clothes?
Thanks so much! I always describe my style as a mix of American Preppy, English Rose and French Chic – a reflection of all the countries I’ve lived in! I spend far too much time browsing in the Bentall Centre in Kingston – it’s so tempting! My favourite area in London to shop is Marylebone High Street as it’s filled with so many of my favourite shops.
7 :: I love how creative you get in the kitchen! Your recent Honey & Vanilla Fro-yo recipe
looks fantastic. Could you link to 3 of your favourite recipes that you have on Miranda's Notebook, and tell us a little about each one?
Hmm, it’s hard to narrow it down to 3 as I love my food! My Homemade Vanilla Extract is definitely a favourite though, as it’s so easy to do but makes such a lovely gift to bring along to a dinner party. Ideal for a birthday party (or Mother’s Day treat!) is this Strawberry Milkshake Cake – I just love how pretty it is! Finally, a typical weeknight meal for me would be this Sea Bass with Mustard and Capers dish.
8 :: I always enjoy your Lovely Links posts. Which websites (not necessarily blogs) do you visit most regularly, and why would you recommend them?
I’m not actually very good at spending time reading blogs and websites as regularly as I’d like. This is definitely something I’d like to spend more time doing! Interesting articles do often catch my eye though. I follow numerous art galleries, museums, blogs, etc on Facebook or via email, so there always seems to be something engaging that pops up in my email or newsfeed that I can’t resist reading.
9 :: What do you find are the most challenging aspects of blogging? And if others feel similarly, what would you suggest to try and overcome them?
Getting everything done that I want to get done is definitely the most challenging! There always seems to be more I could do. Learning when to be firm with myself and just switch off is a hard lesson to master – one I’m still struggling with! I just try to step away from myself and think ‘what kind of person do I want to be? The girl who can’t stop looking at her phone, or the one who spends time having an engaged conversation with a friend or family member?’ Switching off from social media can be very difficult, especially when it often feels like the work of a blogger is never done, but keeping a balance is so important.
10 :: To finish with, I'd love some book recommendations from you! I loved your post on Swallows & Amazons (those books were my absolute favourites when I was younger!), and as it's summertime and everyone needs a few good novels to enjoy, which 3 would be your picks?
Well, right now I’m reading Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, which is the perfect light summer read. It’s a true-life story about an American in London, who meets the love of her life and moves to Paris to be with him. It’s filled with little recipes that reflect each stage in their blossoming relationship and is really charming.
My Family and Other Animals is another brilliant read for the summer, as it's set in sunny Corfu and is hilariously funny!
If you haven’t read I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith, then that’s always a great one to add to your reading pile too.
Thank you so much to Miranda for her Q&A answers - please hop on over and say hello!
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