September 22, 2015

A New Beginning

Amanda_Blog_5Hi there! It’s been a while. The truth is, I thought I was done with blogging. Between the long term commitment of writing books and the instant gratification of Instagram, I felt it was extraneous to keep going with the in-between of maintaining a blog. I also felt I’d evolved beyond the look, feel and function of my starter blog, and while there was maybe something charming about the low tech aspect of it, I was left craving a more effective way to communicate with you.

But after a year of freedom from my blog commitment, I missed it. In retrospect I realized that my best ideas had actually come from the discipline of sitting down a few times a week to clarify and express what was going on in my creative mind. Blogging helped me maintain focus and track the progression of thoughts and inspirations. In fact, my next book, about what I’ve learned from living on a farm, was sold to Penguin based on the collection of my blog posts on that subject. I’m always preaching about the importance of gathering visuals and displaying them together so you can actually see who you are aesthetically, and it turns out that my blog is simply that – an inspiration board of ideas and experiences and images that capture my attention.

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The exterior of my office in what was an old garden shed, built in 1860. Photo by Harry Crowder.

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Snack time in the garden with elderflower cordial I made from the tree in our garden. For you Americans, cordial is like a concentrated syrup that you add to sparkling water. I love that you can control the sweetness by how much you add. Also, you can add gin to make a great summer cocktail. Photo by Harry Crowder.

So over the last 6 months I hired an expert to help me redesign the blog in a way that is easier for me to use according to my practices – I love a simple snapshot, I love having a chat, sharing a recipe, telling you a story, and I love a collage. I have also evolved the overall focus and aesthetic to reflect the city-girl-moves-to-a-farm double life that I live today. For the most part I live and work on a farm in the English countryside. General wellbeing and family come first. Work comes second. I love to do all the countryside clichés – cook, ride horses, make jam, and spend most of the day on my own in a garden-shed-turned-office without a telephone. I am surrounded by open fields and more animals than I can count. It’s a beautiful life that I have worked hard to pull off. But I am also an American – a nearly life-long New Yorker with a passion for travel and a long history of working in fashion. Those variations are included too.

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I bought these vintage jodphurs (worn here with Chloé flats) on eBay. I had this romantic idea that I would embrace the Ralph-Lauren style exaggerated hips. My jury’s still out on whether they work or not. More on this later……Photo by Harry Crowder.

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This is my daughter Coco’s old bedroom, which at 14 years old she has sadly grown to big for. Now it’s a guest room, still displaying her loves of all things horse-related. Photo by Harry Crowder.

The result is that my blog is highly personal, and I plan to keep it that way. I am not a reporter, nor do I have a team of people working for me. I won’t post every day, more likely two or three times a week – make sure you subscribe so you know when I do. I hope you have fun exploring the site. Move your cursor around over the images to see captions and more photos right there on the home page – the glorious benefits of technology. And I would love to hear from you – feedback and questions are welcome!

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The track leading up to our cottage from the main driveway. I’ve tried so hard to make the grass grow more heartily in the middle, but as it’s a bridleway, horses trod on it each time I re-seed it. I guess the gods of the countryside don’t want my path to be too tidy.

In this post, I’ve included some photos by Harry Crowder that were taken for Harper’s Bazaar UK. I loved this shoot because I feel the pictures reflect the real me – I’m in my own clothes, wearing little makeup, in my quiet little paradise away from it all where I can enjoy my family, talk to my animals, get my work done, and feel connected to my surroundings.

Enjoy. And thank you for finding me, or for coming back.

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Gina Novish
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1 year 6 months ago

Thank you for your blogging. Iloveyourblog.

Helen James
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1 year 6 months ago
so delighted to see you back blogging, You have a unique voice and i so enjoy reading your delight and experiences in the english country side, especially as I had a similar (ish) path moving to the depths of the irish countryside after 10 yrs in NYC, and working in fashion also and writing a blog as a way of gathering thoughts and ideas together in some sort of organised way, i really relate to that. So thank you for coming back to us and i cannot wait for your next book i am still delighting in Always pack a… Read more »
Lori
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1 year 6 months ago

Glad to see you’re blogging again. Although I’m Canadian, I have a life-long love of both New York and the English countryside. Your blog definitely fits the bill! Looking forward to reading more. I have both of your books on my shelf- love them too 🙂

Marcy Bongiovanni
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Marcy Bongiovanni
1 year 6 months ago

So glad you are continuing the blog! I get to live my English countryside dreams vicariously through your posts. Thank you for sharing your experiences and all the beautiful photos!!

Imen
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1 year 6 months ago

Welcome back Amanda, hurrah!

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