Episode 01: Anna Newton of the Anna Edit
Welcome back to a brand new episode of You, Me and a Cup of Tea! This week, I’m sitting down with Anna Newton of The Anna Edit!
Beauty Guru, Capsule Wardrobe Queen, Lifestyle Blogger, and Author Extraordinaire, Anna and I sat down at her lovely home in Brighton for a chat!
A few things we talked about:
Canyon Swinging in New Zealand: https://youtu.be/tTyP8RArrIk?t=396
Swimming in the Sea: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0WIJcxHzLz/
My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: https://www.waterstones.com/book/my-sister-the-serial-killer/oyinkan-braithwaite/9781786495976
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: https://www.waterstones.com/book/queenie/candice-carty-williams/9781409180050
Ordinary People by Diana Evans: https://www.waterstones.com/book/ordinary-people/diana-evans/9781784707248
Desert Island Discs: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3CueKdarL5T7jtFXVgUD9V
If you’d like to find more of Anna on the internet you can find her on:
Her blog: https://www.theannaedit.com/
And of course you can also find her book, An Edited Life, wherever books are sold!
Keep scrolling for Interview Transcript!
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (Coming Soon)
Ghenet: Hello internet friends! Welcome to a brand new episode of You, Me and a Cup of Tea. I’m Ghenet, and this week I’m sitting down with Anna Newton of The Anna Edit! Beauty guru, capsule wardrobe Queen, and author extraordinaire, Anna and I sat down at her lovely home in Brighton for a chat. So without further ado here she is!
Ghenet: Hi Anna! Thank you so much for letting me come round to your gorgeous house! It’s so pretty!
Anna: Thank you! Thank you for bringing the best thing of cakes! You weren’t just like lemon drizzle, you’re like, lemon drizzle, and a cookie, and a, like, nut tart!
Ghenet: I mean, it’s the least… it’s the least I could do! Any excuse to buy baked goods right.
Anna: Yeah, Exactly!
Ghenet: Well I do really appreciate you hanging out with me today and having a little chat.
Anna: Thank you!
Ghenet: So yeah! Shall we dive, just, right in with the questions?
Anna: Let’s do this!
Ghenet: Great. Right. Ready. Question number one: Are you an early bird or a late riser?
Anna: I am one of those annoying eye-rolly… I love the morning. You know when you’re like on holiday, on holiday with friends there’s always that one that’s like in the morning making breakfast. Yes that’s me. I’m annoying. I like-.
Ghenet: What time do you wake up?
Anna: -hey guys! Everyone ready? Everyone ready for the morning? It’s a great day! It varies. Sometimes I’m like really early. I think this morning I was was when I was 5, half 5?
Ghenet: Oh wow, that is early!
Anna: …But sometimes I’m more like a 7. Seven’s, like, kind of more normal, kind of average. So that’s not that early… but I really like getting up. That’s my most productive time of the morning. Get up and I wrote a blog post this morning and then I like went out and exercised. Yeah I quite like it. I’m just so productive. By 3:00 p.m., I’m rubbish. Like do not even, don’t ask me to do anything by come like three o’clock.
Ghenet: Do you get a second wind later in the day, or is it all…
Anna: Oh, no no no.
Ghenet: You’re not one of those people?
Anna: No, that’s the thing. So I… whenever people are like, oh gosh you’re a morning bird, but it means by afternoon I-I’m useless. I’m literally-
Ghenet: There’s nothing there.
Anna: Yeah, there’s nothing there. So for me, I’m a hundred percent annoying morning person.
Ghenet: An early bird. Very very early.
Anna: Oh yeah.
Ghenet: Chips or crisps.
Anna: Oh crisps. Yeah I think that… Is that controversial? Compared to other people that I’ve asked What’s been the consensus so far.
Ghenet: I think it’s been a pretty even mix of both to be honest. What is your go to flavour of crisp though, is the real…
Anna: I love… It’s very boring but I do love a good like ready salted. I think that’s the control. You can like- You need to try the ready salted, because that’s how you can tell, ‘OK. Is this a good… Is this a good crisp?” But I love- I mean I don’t eat too much meat these days but I love like, M&S do like a smoked ham, it’s delightful, or like a barbecue beef, love. Flame grill steak McCoy’s, love. Anything that sort of takes the roof of your mouth off as well, like a McCoy’s salt and vinegar. Absolutely adore. Pom Bears, what a classic. Chip sticks, classic. I feel like the list I’ve just given you… about ten there!
Ghenet: The consensus is crisps, that’s your-
Anna: Yeah. I love chips and I love fries. I’m really love Burger King fry. They’re like perfectly crispy, nice and salty and delicious. Love that. I like a chip shop chip but I love the little crispy bits, not the really like potato bits… The crispy, fatty… love those!
Ghenet: Little bits that have broken off and got like extra fried, yeah.
Anna: So good. So, I love crispy, so I think that’s why I’d be a Crisp rather than a chip.
Ghenet: It’s the te- It’s like the different texture isn’t it?
Anna: Yeah. Oh my God, Pringles. Sorry. PRINGLES. How could- I feel bad, I feel rude for leaving them out! Pringles. Oh my God, flame gr- flame… What’s it called? The Monster Munch that are like, flaming hot monster munch! When Lily was pregnant, like, she would be, like, I just need some flaming hot monster munch, and I would be like, I’ll take one for the team, and cause you know I’m a good friend, I’ll also have a massive sharing bag with you but we have one each. It was a great excuse to eat like a lot of yeah the flaming hot monster munch.
Ghenet: I mean I don’t blame me. That sounds pretty great.
Anna: That was the longest list ever!
Ghenet: I have a mental image now of you and Lily, just like, la la la!
Anna: Yeah, yeah yeah! We’ve like gone down to the local corner shop and we’re like eating it on the way home. Seriously, that happened more than once!
Ghenet: That is so funny! But crisps, that’s it…
Anna: Oh I feel like that answer, that has solidified. I was like maybe a bit on the fence and then the fact I could reel off about 15 crisps that I adore? A hundred percent crisps.
Ghenet: Tell me about the time that you did something that scared you.
Anna: Oh! Change of- change of pace!
Ghenet: Yeah, complete 180!
Anna: Complete 180. Something that scared me. When my husband and I, Mark went on our honeymoon, we went to New Zealand and that’s like quite known for extreme sport. And I wouldn’t say I’m an extreme sports kind of gal. But everyone was like you have to do something you, have to do something. I was not for a bungee jump. Because that’s when you like, you know you fall, and then you’re springing around upside down for too long. I was like, the initial jump? Cool, but the boinging around after, I was like, not- No thank you. Not into that. You are literally upside down and they like have to wheel you back in. No thanks. So that’s off the cards for me. Water sports, yeah… It was it was more these like jumping off things. That’s what New Zealand is known as, known for…like a skydive. My sister went and did a skydive and we ended up, we were like, ‘Okay what’s the least terrifying version of this we can do?’ And we found a Canyon Swing which is where you’re kind of dropped but you sort of swing across a little bit and then come back and then they eventually, like, reel you back in. And I was like, ‘That doesn’t sound as terrifying,’ because it’s not like boinging around and you can do it with someone else. So me and my husband decided to do it together, so we were, like, clamped together. And then this guy literally had to push me off the edge, because I was, otherwise I was not going…
Ghenet: Just free-falling
Anna: Yay. I was I was just going to go- I was going to be like, ‘No, I’m fine, thank you very much. You take my money, don’t worry about a refund. It’s cool.’ This guy literally pushed us off and there was a freefall drop moment before the cord kicks in. And me and Mark still say to this day we’re like- Mark- We both agreed that it felt like our butts were about to fall out. Like it was the most terrifying thing, that like 10- it wasn’t even 10 seconds, it was probably like 4 seconds before-.
Ghenet: But it feels like it’s really long.
Anna: Oh my word, It felt like we were falling forever but it must have been a matter of seconds before it kicks in and then you swing across and then you’re like, ah this just feels like a gigantic swing but those split seconds of falling were terrifying. And then once we got back up, they were laughing and they were like, oh you can do that again if you want, like we’ll let you have a free go. And we were both like, ‘No, we’re okay thanks.’. We were like, no no we’re fine. Done it once.
Ghenet: Was that something that you guys were like, ‘We need to at least do one thing, just because that’s what New Zealand is known for, or-.
Anna: Yeah. We were like, It’ll be fun to do like one scary terrifying thing that New Zealand was known for, but it was terrifying. It was- oh my god it was so scary! When I think of it now- We have a video of it and when we watch back the video, I still get sweaty, like, thinking about it, I’m like, No.
Ghenet: Have you. Have you re-watched a number of times or is it just like, every once in a while?
Anna: We sit down once a year, we watch it together. No! It was- I was re-watching it for video purposes, to like put it in a video, and I was like, Yeah that- no. Never again. I’ve done it once. No thanks. People are like, oh we should sky dive, and I’m like, no.
Ghenet: Yeah. I don’t know if I could skydive. I just- I’m not great with heights.
Anna: Yeah, me neither!
Ghenet: So that’s probably not- That’s probably not the best idea!
Anna: Or planes! I’m like- the plane, the side door is open! And then someone pushes you out of a plane! And then you freefall for a really long time, like no not for me.
Ghenet: But for those of us who want to be adventurous but maybe- but maybe don’t- don’t have the bravery to go- to go skydiving, canyon swinging!
Anna: Yeah! A canyon swing, it’s the perfect in-between. You do it once, your butt falls out but it’s fine. Totally fine.
Ghenet: Was it like a really nice view around as well? Or is it very-.
Anna: It was gorgeous. Like literally over a canyon. This gorgeous canyon, with like a river running through it. It was from quite- It was a lot higher than I thought it would be though.
Ghenet: Yeah I guess that’s the trade-off isn’t it?
Anna: Oh my God, I’m sweating now just thinking about it.
Ghenet: That’s OK. We can- we can- we can do a detour and move on! But I’m quite proud of you for doing that, that’s very good!
Anna: Thanks! Thank you!
Ghenet: And in another complete 180, what was your first screen name?
Anna: Oh my first screen name?
Ghenet: Taking it back.
Anna: I think it might’ve been, when we were at senior school, they were like, ‘hey you need to come up with a password because passwords are going to be a thing.’ It’s like they knew. They knew that- Okay. I’m- I’m of the generation where I went to school and there was two computers. And I went to senior school and there’s a whole room of computers and it’s like, okay, computers are like happening. The internet, it’s a thing. And I remember they sat us down in IT, and they’re like, you need to think of a really easy to remember password because you’re going to need to know passwords. And I- they said your favourite colour and your favourite number. So my favourite colour at the time was lilac. And then my favourite number: 17. I can say this now because none of my passwords,- nothing is lilac 17, it’s cool. Lilac 17. And I have a feeling it might have been lilac 17 but then I was very boring and like my first Hotmail account was like Anna Gardner 1. Boring whereas all my friends had like Little Miss Minx, like something with 69 in it -.
Ghenet: Things that we probably shouldn’t have been doing when we were teenagers?
Anna: No, like thirteen! Little Miss Mix 69, like what?
Ghenet: Mine was really terrible, the one I remember. One of them- I had two that I remember and they’re both like… they’re so cringe! One of them was Oreo vixen and then my birthday, but like, vixen with three x’s.
Anna: Oh, yeah! X!
Ghenet: I’m a bit like, if my parents knew that…
Anna: Would they be cool with that?
Ghenet: I don’t think they’d be cool with that. It was like the thing everybody did.
Anna: Yeah. Triple X. Yes that was really big. Having sixty nine in it somewhere was really big. Having like Little Miss was really cool. If I had Little Miss Sugar. We couldn’t find her on line for the longest time it’s because she’s about sugar with an E. We were like oh, oh ok. That was kind of funny. We were like, ‘where are you, Lauren, we can’t find you.’ Mark’s is really funny, we were talking about this the other day, and his was Funky Monkey 69.
Ghenet: Oh my God. That’s amazing.
Anna: I was like that is so good! But mine was boring!
Ghenet: No! That’s- I mean it’s- it’s kind of interesting though isn’t it. Because if you think about like… I’m still kind of one of those millennials that like remembers before the Internet was a thing. And then, like when it became a thing, is when I was a teenager. Like I still remember, like, you know, when- when my phone was just one tiny little thing and you had to-.
Anna: Oh, Snake!
Ghenet: Yup, we’d play snake! And you had to like press every number multiple times to get the letter you wanted and you had to like write words letter by letter and you know like. When Facebook, you actually had to have a college email to sign up for Facebook. So it’s kind of- it’s always- I like asking this question because it’s always really interesting like everyone has a slightly different relationship with the internet in that way.
Anna: And when they would remember it from. Like I didn’t have Facebook until I was 18. Yeah you’re right. You had to put in your school and, yeah.
Ghenet: Well because I remember when I got into school, I was like oh I can have a Facebook now and then you would like make your Facebook account and then it would, like, show you all the people who were going to your school. There were literally people I was friends with on Facebook. I never even met in real life! It was just the thing that you did was to go join all these groups and stuff. But it’s all a bit different now. It’s like- I dunno. I had a moment there, I was like ‘Oh yeah!’.
Anna: Oh, nostalgia! Cute!
Ghenet: Yeah well it’s kind of- it’s just funny isn’t it? Like, you see kids now on the train and stuff and they’ve got like iPads and all sorts of things and I was like I didn’t even get my first phone until I was 17? 16, 17 maybe?
Anna: I think I was, yeah, similar age I just have not my tape Walkman then graduated to a CD Walkman. I was like, WOW, made it! Imagine having an iPad, like, from the age of three or something. You just- I can’t- I can’t- That’s like the generation that’s coming up. They’re so good at tech like, they know how to use an iPad at the age of three, it’s amazing. But, yeah, from a generation that literally had a tape- a tape player, where you’d like make your own songs… Like make your own discs on the radio. Your own mix tapes from the radio.
Ghenet: Oh my god I remember that!
Anna: And the deejay will start talking, you’ll be like, ‘NO!’ You’d like run across the room and turn it off!
Ghenet: ‘I was recording that!’ Yeah. Or they, they play- they’d like cut to an advert and the song wasn’t over or something.
Anna: Yeah. And you’re like, ‘Stop! I need this for my mix tape!’.
Ghenet: Ah, the good old days. That takes me back especially, literally I had my little tape recorder trying to record making mix tapes and stuff. The kids today, they don’t know. They don’t.
Anna: That was the best. And then when a new song came out, you’d be like I think this is this is ready for the mixtape but you have to find the right point in the mix tapes they didn’t like record over something else that you wanted. Hashtag memories.
Ghenet: Hashtag memories indeed. Gosh. Well, do you know, I think I saw something on- trying to remember where it was. But it was like talking about- you know when you have like word documents and stuff, the save button always looks like a floppy disk. But there are like kids today who don’t know what a floppy disk is?
Anna: Oh, there’s YouTube videos on that! Yeah!
Ghenet: So they don’t know why that’s the symbol.
Anna: Yeah they’re like, what is this weird square?
Ghenet: This weird square with like a squiggle in it, like what’s happening? Oh my gosh.
Anna: So funny.
Ghenet: Yeah. It’s weird to think about though. Right! Anyway! I think about definitely qualifies as a tangent!
Anna: Yes! There you go!
Ghenet: A tangent about the youth of today!
Anna: We did the tangent! We did the tangent!
Ghenet: Alright. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their life?
Anna: Oh. Something people should do at least once in their life. Ok, let me just like- I can’t use the Canyon Swing! The canyon swing possibly would have been up there, but I can’t spend another four minutes talking about a canyon swing.
Ghenet: It’ll be second on the list.
Anna: Second on the list! I think have- having a dip in the UK sea. OK. Hear me out on this one. OK. And like we live in the UK I’m really lucky I live by the sea. It’s like a five minute walk while five minute drive 20 minute walk. And like yes I probably quite inspired because yesterday was really really hot. It’s really hot today guys, when we’re recording this like, Whoa! We are boiling in here.
Ghenet: It’s quite warm.
Anna: It is quite warm! Though, be grateful that we’ve like closed the windows and stuff for the audio. So hopefully it’s sort of like panning out. But yeah, yesterday we took a lunch break, down the beach and we went in the sea and it is freezing. When you first get in it’s like- Mark got up to his knees and he was just like no, I don’t know how I feel about this. He literally got up to his knees and he’s like No. Like ready to turn round. And I was like, ‘Come on, I’m in! Like, once you’re in it’s fine!’ And then once you’re in it’s actually really not that bad. It’s that initial moment but then you come out and you feel so energized and so great. Also really hungry whenever you swim you always get like ridiculous hungry. That’s when I could eat McDonald’s actually when you get out like- that feels so so good. I always think like the UK really fresh kind of cold sea is good. It’s like really good. It’s supposed to be very good for you. I know people do it all year round, personally I can only handle it in the summer.
Ghenet: When it’s had a bit of time to warm up.
Anna: Yeah, a bit of time to warm up! But for the last three years? Four years? Basically ever since we moved back to Brighton. I was like, at least once a summer I’m going to go in the sea. And we have, and I always feel so good when I do it. So that would be my tip, is like, we all need to get in the sea more. Even if it’s freezing. It’s really not as bad once you get in, I promise.
Ghenet: Do you like to swim outside of that or is that like your thing, that you just-
Anna: I don’t- I’m not a big swimmer. I think because it took me so long- I actually had… My primary school had a swimming pool, which makes it sound very fancy. It was like a greenhouse. Like, it had been there since my mum- my mum also went to that school was so we’re talking like years ago.
Ghenet: Oh Wow.
Anna: It had been there since then. So it was kind of gross, like growing fungus. Mold, you know, it wasn’t brilliant… like moths everywhere. It wasn’t pretty but it meant that we got to have swimming lessons when we were younger. And I was in the lowest group for the longest time. Me and my best friend, Mel- we’re still best friends now. We’re like ‘Wow, it really took us years to get a preliminary, didn’t it?’ Like we were like- Oh my God, not even at level 1. So I think ‘cause I was so terrible at swimming as a child… I can swim now, but I’m not like crazy into it. Like it’s not really my bag. Can’t be dealing with all the hair washing.
Ghenet: Yeah that’s- that’s true.
Anna: No it’s really- really, really not for me but I do-.
Ghenet: Although that’s, I suppose if you’re going swimming in the sea that’s not really as much of an issue is it? You get those nice beachy waves!
Anna: I do like, once a summer and I’m like, okay that’s me done. Like, tap it out. I’m done here. Like fresh water lovely lovely. But, yeah, no, I’m not- I just, no- what do you do? Wear a swimming cap?
Ghenet: I mean I don’t really go swimming pools… I think I’m slightly allergic to the chlorine ‘cause it always like- and my eyes are really sensitive so I don’t really like swimming pools but I’ve always loved swimming. But like, at the beach. Or we went to the Lake District last year, and we went swimming in the lakes, and that was really amazing and it was right after that heat wave as well, so the water felt amazing. But yeah, no, I- I’ve always loved to swim but I just don’t- I don’t enjoy it as much if it’s like in a pool because it inevitably leaves me feeling like I’m drying out, and like my skin is really dry and my eyes are really irritated…
Anna: Yeah, and then if you have like blonde hair it makes your hair green. I’m like, no. That’s not for me.
Ghenet: Yeah. It’s not great for my curly hair either. It’s not the one… But I mean, you know, on a hot enough day, I’d happily wander down to- Maybe after this I’ll have a little wander!
Anna: Yeah! Go have a dip! Honestly it’s very warm! It’s very warm, I can confirm.
Ghenet: Alright. Are there any times when you feel insecure about anything?
Anna: Oh my God, yes! Yeah I think- I would love to be like, ‘I’m so secure’. Yeah, all the time. I think what I do, like and what we do as bloggers… it’s so weird. Whenever my friends have to record themselves in a video for work or, like take a company photo for their LinkedIn or something, they’re like I don’t know how you do this because like… Or one of my friends have to like listen to herself back in a recording. And she was like, ‘I don’t know how you do this! Listening to yourself back is so weird.’ And I’m like, it- it really is… Like you’re kind of-.
Ghenet: I don’t think it gets easier either. It’s always a bit strange.
Anna: Yeah, you’re- You’re watching videos of yourself or listening to yourself on audio or you’re looking at pictures of yourself. Of course, you’re going to look back and be like, ‘Wow that wasn’t my best angle’ or like ‘wow, you sound really bad’, you know, ‘you sound really dumb today’, or ‘Why did you say that? That’s so silly’. So, like, always. Yeah, I think that’s like a really natural thing especially given my profession and what I do. You’re constantly analyzing yourself and editing yourself, you’re, you know, cutting bits out of videos or cutting clips out of audio, or like, changing the lighting in a photo. So I always- 100 percent, 100 percent. I like- I think especially with women and our bodies… Like, we have time when we really feel ourselves. Sometimes, you’re like, ‘Yeah!’ I like work out once, I’m like ‘Wooo!’ Eat one salad, yeah, great! But then, you have days you’re like, ‘I feel bloated, I can’t think of anything worse than taking a photo today.’ And then you do, when you take it, you’re like, ‘oh gross.’ Whenever Mark is like taking a photo- you just kind of- you know before you’ve even seen it. If you’re not having a day where you feel great, you’re always going to look back and be like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel great.’.
Ghenet: It reads really clearly when you’re uncomfortable or unhappy about something because you just do these- There’s these little things that you do to, like, hide.
Anna: Yeah. You like kind of hunch, or like, your hair or something. I think it’s like really natural and I definitely have like ebbs and flows with it. Sometimes I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m really great. I’m having a good secure day’ and other days I’m like yeah I’m really not’. I think it’s totally normal. I think that’s just like part of the package of life. And when I’m having those moments, I just tell myself that they pass and normally it’s related to the fact that I’ve, like, just eaten Magnums all day, you haven’t left the house, you haven’t moved you haven’t, like, done anything to make yourself feel good. So, there’s normally a reason because of it and I can normally rationalize it in my head and be like, ‘Maybe, tomorrow just have one Magnum,’ You know what I mean? Like-
Ghenet: Well, I don’t know, I mean it has been very hot!
Anna: It has been so hot, but maybe it- In my head, I can kind of always rationalize it and like- I’m able to know what it is. Yeah, and be like, ‘Okay, well maybe tomorrow you can do X Y Z and that will make you feel a bit better… will, like, help with your bloating and make you feel a bit better about yourself. So normally it’s because of that, I think.
Ghenet: Is that something that you feel like, as you’ve got an older you’ve gotten a better handle on it? Or is it- you’ve just always been- just that-.
Anna: No, I think it is something that as you get older, you really like- you know yourself, you know your body and you can read yourself so much more. I think it’s a really brilliant skill to have. We always say, like- I think it’s totally a girl thing because me and my friends, we always look back at photos and are like, ‘we look great! What were we worrying about?’ And I know that you’d probably look back at a photo- if you’d take a photo today, you don’t feel great… You’ll probably look back in a year, and be like, ‘what were you- you look great!’ Like you were- you were having a really good moment! Like, your skin was glowing, or your hair looked really good that day or something like that. And so, yeah, I do think it’s something that as you get older you definitely… you’re just able- I’m just able to rationalize it a bit more in my head.
Ghenet: Well, I think it’s also, like- We’re our own worst enemies, aren’t we? So we’re just- if you’re not having a good day, you’re just going to have- you find more things to criticize! “Oh, that’s not a good angle,’ or like ‘lay off the Magnums,’ or whatever. But in actuality, I guess it’s just- it’s just learning to sort of… quiet that voice a little bit.
Anna: Yeah, just accept it, just be, like, cool with it. I definitely- I definitely find myself having more of these days. And I also think, with what I do, like, putting stuff out on the internet- you probably find the same… It actually makes you feel really, like- you do grow like this extra thick layer of skin. And I think that’s really awesome that someone can turn around and be like, ‘I hate this,’ and you turn around and you’re like, ‘actually, I quite like it!’ I think that’s a really cool thing that kind of comes out. I’ve done this for like nine years now, so it definitely is like a learning curve with it.
Ghenet: So you’ve definitely had a bit of practice.
Anna: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s- that’s like a really awesome thing that comes out of it. You’re a bit like- people can throw stuff and you’re, like, I’m OK, like I’m- I’m cool. I’m cool with myself today. And that’s like really nice. More of those days…
Ghenet: Yeah. We always want more.
Anna: Yeah exactly.
Ghenet: But I guess it’s also, like- being someone who put so much of their life online, you get a lot of feedback from people. I guess there’s always that sort of side of it as well, is people making comments about things and sometimes not always the nicest things. And if someone happens to touch on something that you’re, like, a little bit insecure about already…
Ghenet: It’s just- there’s sort of that tendency as well to have that sort of spiral out into-
Anna: Definitely. I think because I’ve done it for so long, I’ve had everything. Before I made videos, I didn’t even realize that half, like- I actually went to a new dentist and he was like, ‘You’ve got a’… how did he say it? He was like, ‘you’ve got a lazy muscle,’ or something in my mouth, which means that like one of my lips doesn’t rise as highly as the other one when I talk. I didn’t even realize it was a thing of mine until I made YouTube videos.
Ghenet: You, like, saw it on your face?
Anna: No! Until someone commented, and was like, ‘Oh that’s- that’s really strange!’ I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I did not even notice.
Ghenet: Someone commented on that?!
Anna: Yeah. They were like, ‘Have you had a stroke?’. I was like, ‘I’m alright, don’t worry about me, I’m fine!’ Because, I guess that’s something that can happen to people who’ve had a stroke. I was just like- it’s it’s kind of crazy the small things that people pick up on that you’re like, ‘oh, I didn’t even realize that.’ I feel like after 9 years, I’ve genuinely heard them all. So there’s nothing new that anyone can, like, throw into the mix, and you just realize like life is too short to care about… your appearance, ultimately. I don’t know… I feel like after 9 years, I really have had it all, I’m like, ‘throw that one to the back of the pile.’ If there’s anything new, in fact, it kind of tickles- I’m like, ‘Oh! Oh! That’s a new one! I hadn’t heard that before!’
Ghenet: Points for creativity!
Anna: But you’re right, you put you put stuff online, you have to- you have to take the good with the bad. It’s a balance, and I’m so lucky with my audience; they’re such a nice- a nice group of people. I’m so lucky to meet quite a few of them in real life and I’m always just like, wow- what incred- what an incredible bunch of, like, switched on girls and guys you are… like, so intelligent, so lovely, really warm and loving. And yeah, I feel very lucky.
Ghenet: Yeah. Yeah. I have things I’m insecure about, so when I’m putting stuff out in the world, I’m always suddenly worried. Like, what if someone picks up on that one thing…. that even though it’s me blowing it up in my head, there’s always that fear, isn’t there? Of, oh well, someone’s going to call me out on that and then like, what do I do?
Anna: Yeah, but then… I always think the same. And then someone does! And then you live. And life goes on, and the world keeps turning, and you’re like, ‘it’s fine!’ Like it’s just- it just words at the end of the day. Like, I can’t- I can’t sit here and say, like, I read all my comments and I never get upset by any of them… I think the ones I get more upset about are when people- people have, like, the wrong end of the stick or have, like, misunderstood a situation or misunderstood something I’ve said or done. And I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish we could just sit down and have a chat. But with that, you’re- you’re kind of never going to win. So quite often, I’ll, like, go to write something out and then I’ll delete it, and be like, ‘No, it’s just not…’
Ghenet: So you write it down, just so you can get it out, and then you’re just like-
Anna: I don’t even do it- I don’t even do it in that, like, conscious way, I’m more just, like- because I’m, like, genuinely going to reply… and then I go to, like, press send and I’m like, ‘I just don’t think any good kind of comes from this like back and forth’… I’m just like- there’s there’s so many lovely comments, I’d rather reply and like those, and ‘thank you so much!’ and ‘that’s lovely!’ Like, it’s such a nice community, I’d rather focus on that aspect. And yeah I just- I just don’t think you can really win. So, I go for the Kate Moss: “Never complain, never explain.” I, like, love- I love that, in a way. ‘Cause she’s just like, just leave- Just leave it. Do you know what I mean?
Ghenet: Like, this is my life, I’m gonna do me.
Anna: Yeah! Just leave it!
Ghenet: Yeah. Well that’s quite nice. Yeah. Never complain never explain.
Anna: There you go!
Ghenet: I’m gonna write that in big words on my wall! Just constantly… Cool. What is the last book that you read?
Anna: Ooh! The last book that I read was The Only Story by Julian Barnes, which I picked up-
Ghenet: Did he write One Day?
Anna: That’s David Nichols… This guy has written a book, I can’t remember what it’s called but it won, like, the Booker Prize. So this guy is like celebrated author! I think he’s written about 13 books, 14 books? So, a lot. And this was like a love story in three parts. And I picked it up because in Waterstones, it had one of those little, like, blurbs one of the staff members had written, and had been like, ‘this was really good!’ And I always love when I see those, and think, ‘Oh, I’ll pick it up!’ So I picked up, bought it, read it. I don’t know… it wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read this year. It would probably be in, like, the lower echelons of the list. I just found it a bit rambly and you no when it’s a bit rambly and it’s been really hot… I think we’ve always struggled to like keep our attention focussed on certain things… I just find it a bit, kind of- bit, like… By the end, kind of happy to get to the end of it and I just was wanting to get to the end… and not in a, like, ‘I need to know what happens,’ just because I wanted to finish it, but… I’ve really been like a book reading thing this year! I read before that, My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and it was really really good. It does what it says on the tin. Her sister is a serial killer- it’s brilliant! So I feel like I’ve read some real crackers this year. Any books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I, like, adore! I just got an order through yesterday that was basically just like Taylor Jenkins Reid books. My husband was, like, ‘Excuse me, are those books?’ and I was like, ‘yes,’ because I told him that I would finish my current pile before I bought more! It’s like my new thing. It’s like my new lipsticks! I can’t stop!
Ghenet: How far are you through your current pile?
Anna: My God, I think I’ve got about 14. Like-
Ghenet: What, left to read?
Anna: Yeah, to read. It is really big.
Ghenet: What are some of the things that are on this list or that you’ve read from it so far?
Anna: So- So these are all currently unread. I’ve got One Day by David Nichols. It’s funny that you mentioned him earlier. I’ve actually read that before, but I couldn’t remember the ending but I know that it’s sad, but I read it back when I was commuting to London for my job and that was like eight years ago now, so… I couldn’t remember it. I just- and everyone keeps talking about it, I was like, I kind of want to- I want to… revisit that.
Ghenet: Give it a reread.
Anna: Yeah! So, that one… what else have I got? Taylor Jenkins Reid, three books. Queenie…
Ghenet: Oh, I’ve got that as well!
Anna: Oh, have you read it?
Ghenet: No, I haven’t started it yet but-
Anna: It’s supposed to be amazing!
Ghenet: I’ve heard amazing things! That one’s on my list.
Anna: Yes! I’m really really excited. That could be, like, my next one actually. Ordinary People by Diana Evans or Diane Evans? Diane Evans or Diana Evans. That’s supposed to be very good. Yeah, but there’s a lot. I can’t stop buying books. Also, I can’t stop reading them and I’m basically a library for my friends. They come around and they’re like, ‘You done with that book?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure!’ Pass it on! So it’s quite nice…Like-
Ghenet: I mean, there are worse ways to spend your time!
Anna: Yeah, and your money, people are like, ‘Oh what a waste,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I am basically just a library, so it’s cool.’ Yeah.
Ghenet: Yeah. No I’m very- I like to read before bed, so I’m always- I always have books… that I’ve got with me-
Anna: So relaxing!
Ghenet: Yeah. It just like helps you just, like, chill out and I always put my phone in the other room, so I’m not, like, on my phone… I’m reading before bed.
Anna: That’s very good!
Ghenet: But I like having the actual books, like, I like turning pages and I like doing stuff, like- just ‘cause there’s something just kind of nice about that… seeing the books. Like, when I’ve read them, if I don’t want to keep them, then I’ll… give them on but, I’ve got- it’s nice looking back at your collection…
Anna: It is!
Ghenet: I love that! I love that. There’s something nice about that!
Anna: Yeah! It is! I feel a bit- I always end up giving… my like- I’m like, ‘oh, you have to read this one!’ and then giving them away and then I never see them again!
Ghenet: Oh no!
Anna: My friends are like, ‘Oh yeah sorry about that!’ but then, normally they’ve, like, passed it on to someone else! That’s good. As long as these good books are getting passed along… Yeah, I’m happy. I’m happy.
Ghenet: That is the important thing! What are your three Desert Island Discs?
Anna: Okay, so when we were on this honeymoon, we obviously spent a lot of time together…
Ghenet: (jokily) Did you? Really? On your honeymoon?
Anna: Yes! Oh my God, we went away for three weeks! So we were a bit like, cool! Looking forward to speaking to other people… but we decided one night we were like, ‘What what are our top ten favourite songs of all time.’ And then since that moment, that was like, a year and a half ago now? I’ve kept a list on my iPhone that actually has my top 10 favourite songs…
Ghenet: Oh my gosh!
Anna: And it’s, like, moved around a little bit. I’m really happy with where I’m at. So I’m just quickly going to look, get my phone out and find the songs and I will pick my three favorite songs.
Ghenet: I mean, feel free to do more than three since you’ve got a- you’ve got a lovely list!
Anna: Yeah. If I had to pick my favourite favourite favourite song of all time… it would be Don’t Speak by No Doubt..
Ghenet: Oooooo, what a good tune!!
Anna: It is such a good song!
Ghenet: (singing) You and me… we used to be…
Anna: It’s like my karaoke song as well…
Ghenet: Is it? That is a good one…
Anna: It’s such a good one to play at karaoke, because everyone knows the words. You don’t need to look at the words, and like, at the end, when she’s just like, ‘DON’T!’ And, like, everyone starts screaming, it’s very dramatic!
Ghenet: That is… That- you painted quite a picture there… that is… I can just see that, everyone like-
Anna: I said that I didn’t want a hen party because I think they’re pants and I ended up having two because my friends were like, ‘No!’ Okay.
Ghenet: Was there karaoke involved, and did you sing Don’t Speak?
Anna: Yes. And one of them had karaoke, and we sung Don’t Speak, and I was just like This. Is. Brilliant. It was-
Ghenet: ‘I’m glad I had a hen do now.’
Anna: Yeah, It was really really good. And whenever I get drunk… it might happen tomorrow. I think we’re doing a bottomless brunch tomorrow. Whenever I do a bottomless brunch, we end up then like drunkenly calling Lucky Voice and being like, ‘scuse me! Can we come to Lucky Voice?’ And it’s like 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon and there’s just kids parties there, and like, us… three of us went in like an eight person room just to do karaoke one time.
Ghenet: Oh, that sounds like so much fun!
Anna: But Don’t Speak is bloody brilliant. So that’s my favourite favourite favourite. I also really love Kate Nash Foundations. It’s like a song of my youth… you know, like, crappy ex-boyfriend… crappy ex-boyfriend is like, ‘listen to this song, it, like- it’s us,’ and you’re just like, oh puh-lease,’ and then you listen to it, and you’re crying and it was all very dramatic.
Ghenet: Yeah. Yup!
Anna: I love listening to that more. It was just- that’s like the song of my youth.
Ghenet: Yeah. I do love Kate Nash. She’s pretty-
Anna: I love Kate Nash and that is just like… such a track. And then I also- I’ve got quite a lot of like old, old songs. I have a real thing for ABBA, I love ABBA.
Ghenet: I mean, fair.
Anna: Like who doesn’t love ABBA? My my cousin was in an ABBA tribute band, which is brilliant. But I think I would have to pick-
Ghenet: That’s amazing!
Anna: Oh yeah. Professionally! For like many years! I think if I had to pick an old- an oldie but a goodie, it’d be Madonna, Like A Prayer. When that song comes on you can’t like, not- (snaps rhythmically) dance! Like you have to kind of snap along and like, the clapping in the middle, and the gospel choir come in. It’s just… brilliant. Like the way that that song builds… I adore.
Ghenet: It’s one of those songs that anywhere you are, if you hear it you’re immediately like, ‘What a TUNE!’
Anna: Yeah! You can’t- you just couldn’t sit down. That comes on at a wedding and your feet are hurting, you-
Ghenet: You get up
Anna: Yeah, you would have to get up anyway…
Ghenet: You will take your shoes off and you will get up and dance your face off.
Anna: Yeah, I adore that song.
Ghenet: …and then pretend you’re in the Gospel Choir!
Anna: Yeah, exactly! You have to pretend you’re in the Gospel Choir! Whenever, like, friends do that thing where they’re like, ‘request a song for our wedding,’ we’ll put that on the playlist. That sort of song. I’m like, young and old, we will all enjoy that song.
Anna: It’s a tune. That’s my top three. I stick by them.
Ghenet: No, those are great! I mean, I kind of want to know what the rest of them are on your list!
Anna: Oh my God, should I give you- I’ll give you the rundown!
Ghenet: Oh my gosh. Yes please.
Anna: OK. Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, I’ll Be Missing You.
Ghenet: Oh my GOD!!
Anna: Like- oh this is old school.
Ghenet: Oh, what a song!
Anna: I remember that coming out. It was so sad.
Ghenet: I remember when that came out too!
Anna: Kate Nash, Foundations. George Michael, Careless Whisper mainly for like the saxophone bit! I just love it. Queen and David Bowie, Under Pressure. Again, it’s that baseline.
Anna: The Eagles, Hotel California. Great song, really reminds- like, my dad loves the Eagles. We listened to that so much when we the younger. Madonna, Like a Prayer I’ve mentioned. The Fugees, Killing Me Softly.
Ghenet: Oh my God, yes.
Anna: Love it. ABBA, The Winner Takes It All. Hard to pick a favourite ABBA but I think that has to be the best one. Then I’ve got No Doubt, Don’t Speak, and then it has to be- there has to be a Spice Girls. Very controversial: Viva Forever.
Ghenet: Oh no, that’s such a good one though!
Anna: It’s beautiful. It’s so beautiful!
Ghenet: Such a good one.
Anna: It’s really sad! And then I’ve got kind of… some that sit on the edge, like Lovefool. Brilliant song. Reflector, Arcade Fire… Edge of Seventeen, Stevie- Stevie Nicks. So there’s a couple that are, like, on the periphery… but if- if I had to pick a Top 10. Also, The Kooks, Naive. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that, that’s a brilliant song. Also, they’re from Brighton.
Ghenet: Oh, okay, yeah!
Anna: So, I’m always like, ‘Our local band!’ Yeah. Gosh, sorry. I really, like- I took that question to the next level. You want three, I’ll give you ten!
Ghenet: No that’s okay! But it’s so- It’s always so interesting to hear about the kinds of music that people… like, that connects with people?
Ghenet: I mean, just- the music that I listened to when I was younger, like, my- We didn’t really listen to the radio, we listened to what my parents were listening to. So I have very strong memories when it comes to certain types of music. Like, if you put on Paul Simon’s Graceland album, A) I can sing all of it and B) it gives me very specific memories of, like, driving with my parents and me and my sister in the back of the car like singing along to like, ‘(singing) if you be my bodyguard,’ do you know what I mean? Like, it’s so interesting that people have such different things, but, like, music has that ability to…
Ghenet: …like, remind you of very specific moments in your life to, like, cherish-
Anna: But I bet if you did the same… I bet if you had 10, you’d, like, know the memory for each one.
Ghenet: Oh absolutely!
Anna: It’s always a memory. It’s great.
Ghenet: Yeah. Like a very specific moment. Which is why as well, if I’m out anywhere and I hear that song I’m immediately like-
Anna: Yes! Jam!
Ghenet: That’s why! Because they’re so good and it’s just- yeah… I think one of mine also would be Come On Eileen. That one’s a-
Anna: Oh my God.
Ghenet: Anywhere I am, the second I hear that- the little thing at the beginning I’m just like, ‘Yup-’
Ghenet: ‘-and we’re dancing.’
Anna: You can’t not!
Anna: You actually can’t not for that song!
Ghenet: Such a good one!
Ghenet: Now I- I also just now just want to go home and like listen to all the ones that you’ve…
Anna: You should make a playlist! I’ve made a playlist of those and whenever I’m like a little bit sad, or I can’t get motivated, and I don’t know what to do- You know when you’re, like, overwhelmed… you’re like, ‘Oh, I’ve got so many podcasts to listen to, so many YouTube videos… Aaaah! Where do I start?’ Sometimes just put that on. I listen to my ten favourite songs and I’m like, ‘Yeah, picked good,’
Ghenet: Oh, that’s such a good idea! Your, like, little happiness playlist.
Anna: Yeah it is!
Ghenet: Like it’s just gonna put you in a good mood no matter what!
Anna: It does! It really does! Oh, I love it.
Ghenet: Have you ever had moments where you’ve put too much pressure on yourself?
Anna: Ooh… definitely. I think… so, my, like, history with the whole blogging thing, my career before… is I did a degree in psychology, was like, ‘oh no not for me, thank you very much!’ And then I actually started my blog when I was at Uni. I’ve always loved beauty, always been into that, but started the blog just as purely a hobby, like fun thing on the side, didn’t tell anyone about it. My big secret! And then, like, people would start drunken- like then word go out and people come up to me, drunk in the club and be like, ‘I love your blog!’ and I was like, ‘This is wild!’ like, you know, the Uni of Nottingham blog… I think they were the only people who are reading it, bless them. And then I graduated, went into beauty PR, did some internships and then my blog started to like pick up traffic and I managed to pick up a few sponsored pieces of work and I was like, ‘oh well this is weird!’ I got my first paycheck from YouTube. You have to earn- back in the day, you had to earn £60 and then they would issue you a check… and then you would go and pay in the check like your account. SO old school. I was like, ‘Dad I just… made a check!’ Like this- I was like holding this £60 check. Like I just made a check from YouTube, and he was like, ‘what, these videos that, likem you film in your bedroom and you upload online?’ It had taken me like, five months to get that- you know to get the amount that it could, like, become a check. I was like, ‘This is wild!’ like nobody could believe it! So I was- It was kind of getting to the point I was earning dribs and drabs, very much dribs and drabs through that and then I also had my career, I guess, in beauty PR editorial. And then it got to the point where I was like, ‘I don’t- I don’t know-’ I was at a real crossroads… I was like, ‘I don’t know- is this more of a thing than I think it is? Who knows?’ And I was currently at that point working part time and- for a beauty start up. And then, at the end of my six months probation, they were like, you’re either going to have to work full time or not at all. It’s not like really working out. And Mark and I just moved to London. He got a job there and he was like, ‘I’ll help you, like I’ll help to support us, like, while you’re kind of getting started. And if you need a bit of help. I was like, ‘that’s amazing, thank you.’ And we just- I was like, ‘Fine. Fine. I quit. Thanks, but no thanks.’ And it was sort of a… worst case scenario this doesn’t work out and I’ll-
Ghenet: -find something else…
Anna: Yeah exactly. I’ll work- go back and work in beauty PR. I had a bit of experience by then, so… like I had a couple of contacts. And I just kind of like went for it. But in those initial few years like, wow, I really went for it… like I- That’s the thing with when you for yourself, there’s no- people always say, ‘I could ne-’ My friends are always like, ‘How do you do it, working from home? When I work from home, I do nothing! I just watch Jeremy Kyle!’ and I’m like, it’s so different when it’s your everyday and it’s your livelihood! It’s like, if you don’t do that, nothing’s getting done. No one else is going to do it for you. No one’s going to pick up the slack. And yeah, there’s no boss like breathing down your neck… but you’re almost, like, breathing down your own neck… That’s a weird visual. So, it was those first couple of years I put a lot of pressure on myself to- to make it a job basically! Like, it wasn’t, and then all of a sudden it kind of was, and… yeah.
Ghenet: And I guess, to like make that sacrifice almost worth it… That makes sense.
Anna: Yeah. I had to make ends meet, ultimately. Like Mark was on a salary but not- you know, he had just graduated and we were living in a ridiculously expensive but ridiculously small, like, London flat. You know you just kind of have to make it work or else you’re both gonna have to move home and sort of start from scratch again. So I worked… just like anyone who’s self-employed or is starting their side hustle, or whatever like… you put everything into it! Like, all of the hours, all of the weekends, non-stop. And it took me a while to realize I could take a week off and the world would still be turning and everyone would still be there when I got back, and I felt like that was actually a really healthy thing for me to do. But it took me a- it took me like years-
Ghenet: to get to that point.
Anna: Yeah. And even- even now when I take like, a bit of time off I’m- like I miss- I love what I do so I miss it. I still struggle to kind of step away and be like, ‘it’s cool I’ll be back in a week, okay.’ But it’s- I think when you do work for yourself, it’s a really important lesson to learn. Big time. And the thing is, is I think… people think… oh and it must be coming from other people you’re seeing online. You’re seeing other people do things, it’s pressure from that. For me, it was genuinely coming from myself though. Like, I am someone who- like I was always really studious at school and I always like really wanted to try hard and I always had to try my best. It’s like, that is me as a person, and I think it’s a lot- that’s the same for a lot of us. So for me, the pressure is genuinely this, like, intrinsic thing I’ve created.
Anna: I’ve made all these routines and rules like, ‘Oh I post a blog at this time and I post a You-’ and people are like, you know you just made up that rule for yourself, you can break it at any time… and I’m like, Oh yeah I didn’t really realize that…
Ghenet: I mean, that being said, I suppose it is nice to have that structure in that sense. Since you are working from home and it is… sort of… there’s other elements that come into play?
Anna: For me, I needed structure or else. Like, I would just be sort of wandering around doing nothing. So, for me, like I need I needed that but because I’ve created this real like routine for myself I sort of forget that… it’s cool to like- it’s cool to take a week off, it’s fine. But- but for those first couple of years… Yeah. It was intense. But, you know, it pays off. And then you’re like, ‘oh actually I’ve-’ I’m so lucky now to still be in a position where I’ve got a job that I love and I love what I do. So it was totally worth it… But- like- yeah the graft. The graft! As- as is with any- anything when you’re like doing it on your own. You have to put the graft in. It’s important.
Ghenet: Yeah. All right. Next question… What food sums up happiness?
Anna: (gasps) My gut reaction is to say, like, Italian food is so good and I love it and I could eat it everyday and never get bored. But I think when you’re talking about happiness, like for me it would actually be my mom’s cooking… like my mom’s home baked cooking. Like my mom’s side of the family, they are all incredible-
Anna: Cooks, bakers. You don’t enter one of like my auntie’s houses or my grandmother’s house without there being a baked good of some kind that probably is quite fresh…
Ghenet: Like, literally just come out the oven…
Anna: Yeah. I went round my parents’ to drop round a fan yesterday and my mum had made a sunken amaretto cake and it was just like… there… Just like calling now…
Ghenet: I don’t know what that is but I want some!
Anna: I know! She’d never made it before, it’s a Nigella recipe and it was just there! And I was like- Oh my word, it was incredible. So yeah, there’s just always- there’s always baked goods. Like, my mom, I wouldn’t say she’s like a cook- she doesn’t really enjoy doing dinners necessarily but she really enjoys baking… like, puddings, desserts, cakes are her speciality.
Ghenet: Does she have one thing that you’re like, ‘I would eat this all the time every time you make it’?
Anna: She makes an evaporated milk cake which I don’t think is like a tra- traditionally known cake…
Ghenet: No, I was gonna say, I’m not- I don’t-
Anna: I think it’s… from one of her diaries in the 80s or something.
Ghenet: Oh wow, OK!
Anna: But it’s just evaporated milk and kind of- I think it’s got like sultanas in? It’s like a loaf… It’s really delicious. So delicious. She makes really good flapjack. Marc loves her bread pudding. Her lemon drizzle is Lily’s favourite. But yeah, my friends came down and stayed with us this weekend, we had like a long weekend with them. And my mom just made like two loads of cake for them, and was like, ‘Oh this old cake, oh no big deal! And I was like, ‘Mom, like I know you’ve-
Ghenet: Like, you’ve just made this!
Anna: Yeah I was like, ‘I know you’ve made it for my friends, it’s very sweet.’ But yeah. I feel like my mom’s cooking for me is just- yeah, it’s just ultimate happiness. It’s the best.
Ghenet: It’s the food you were raised on! It brings back so many happy memories.
Anna: Exactly! Exactly!
Ghenet: I mean, you’ve just talked about all these baked goods.
Anna: Sorry! I know! We’ve got baked goods! It’s fine, I’ll send you back with some!
Ghenet: Alright! What is the one thing aside from necessities that you always have on you?
Anna: Hmm. Do you know what I really love? And I thought that people act like dickheads when these things first came out… But I have I’ve really been converted to the AirPod life… the AirPods that go in your ears?
Ghenet: Oh yeah!
Anna: You know like the wireless headphone-y things? And when they first came out I was just like, ‘oh my God’ like rolling my eyes at people on the Tube, like, ‘No, sorry.’ Like, not a thing, not gonna happen. No, they look silly. And then I don’t know why I bought- I think my dad had bought pair and said that they were amazing. And I tried them out and I was like, oh actually they are very, very, very good. Because I work from home, so I’m quite, like- I’m like moving around the house quite a bit. They’re just fab! They’re so good for cleaning, because you can just put them in, you can clean your flat. And then like listen to a podcast whilst you’re doing it, whilst you’re doing the hoovering, all of that kind of stuff. So I mean they’re definitely not a necessity, but I do- I like go everywhere with them. If I’ve left the house I’ve got my little AirPods. And I really didn’t think I would be that person-
Ghenet: That has them?
Anna: I kind of hate myself for it… But I do- they’re really good! Or just wireless headphones in general… just a good thing to have if you really enjoy listening to podcasts…
Ghenet: Yeah, like, I mean I’ve got- I’ve got my headphones on my neck, and the times that I’ve, like left them at home, or the battery’s died and I’m just a bit like, ‘Oh, what do I do now?’
Anna: Exactly! That’s all you need, like, some kind of like wireless headphones situation. Especially if you’re, yeah, you’re into podcasts, you like listen to like YouTube videos or music… any of that kind of business. Yeah. I can’t believe- I didn’t think I’d be telling you this was my answer to the question, but a hundred percent.
Ghenet: I mean that’s good to know, like… now, just-
Anna: Yeah, but you’ve got- you’ve got your head- you’re fine! You’ve got those!
Ghenet: I know! I’m literally sitting here with my own headphones around my neck.
Anna: Literally got them around your neck! I love that! I love that!
Ghenet: They’re just an accessory now. I just- just wherever I go, I put them on!
Anna: Yeah! Why not!
Ghenet: All right. What is a misconception that you think people have about you?
Anna: Oh, that is a great question. I think… people think… that because I make YouTube videos, or like I did a book tour earlier this year, I’ll do like book events in front of like quite large rooms of people… I think people think that that means that I am someone who is like super confident and super comfortable talking in front of, like, large groups of people or talking in a meeting or anything like that… And I am really not! Like, really really not. I think people forget that YouTube videos… we started making these in our bedrooms, like, ‘cause we didn’t- we weren’t talking to our friends about our love of beauty, no one was interested… they were bored. They were like, ‘No.’ So we went online to find these communities, and… but we were doing them- to no- to no one! Like, to no one! You didn’t think anyone was going to watch them. And so, yeah, you would just be sat in your bedroom, like on your own, talking to a camera. And that is so different to talking to a room full of people. And yeah, people are like, ‘oh you’ll be fine- you’ll be fine with that, you make YouTube videos!’ And I’m like, ‘NO, guys!’
Ghenet: It’s very different!
Anna: It’s a very different thing. And occasionally I do sponsored work with brands and it involves a crew and someone with lighting and someone on sound and then someone like coming and moving hair out your face and then like, someone watching on a monitor and I’m like, ‘Whoa! No this is totally out of my comfort zone.’ Something that I’ve learned to sort of, you gee yourself up for these things and you can get through it but I couldn’t do that as like a day job. That’s really, like, not my comfort zone at all and I always leave and I’m like, ‘Okay now I can breathe.’
Ghenet: But then do you think… so like, with your book tour for example… because you knew it was all people who are like from your community…
Anna: So different. Yes. Yes.
Ghenet: Does that make it- does that make it easier versus like, just having to like, I don’t know, do a speech in front of loads of people?
Anna: Yeah totally. Yeah. 100 percent. You’re in front of a room where people- like, they don’t have to be there… like, they’re there ‘cause they want to be there, they’re there because they’ve, like, read my book or they follow me on Instagram or something… so different. Like, really nice warm vibes…
Ghenet: Like they’ve come because they’ve connected with you about something.
Anna: Yeah. And you look out and there’s always like- people are smiling and they’re like nodding and if I forget my train of thought… like, we all laugh together and it’s not like an awkward feeling but occasionally I’ll do like a corporate thing where I’m like there to talk about podcasting or there to talk about- I’m- I’m like the token blogger they’ve invited along to, like- but you know, a room full of people who were there on a training day or something, you know what I mean… and then it’s like ‘wow com- completely different.
Ghenet: Completely different vibe. This is very-
Anna: Very different! But ina way, I’m someone who like- yeah I can be quite scared of things like that but ultimately you always felt really good when you’ve done something you’re a little bit scared off, so… Initially, I would always be like, ‘no I’m okay, thank you!’ I don’t want to take on that speaking engagement, whereas now I’m like-
Ghenet: whether it’s speaking or swinging from a canyon!
Anna: Yeah! Exactly!
Ghenet: You’ve done it! Well done.
Anna: I’ve done it and I always think back and I’m like, ‘oh, actually it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.’ And it’s- it’s good. The more I do it, the more I- the less I’m scared of it for next time. But yeah, it is kind of terrifying to put yourself in those situations, and it’s very different to filming a YouTube video!
Ghenet: So it’s an aspect of it that you think sometimes people just assume that once you’ve done one, you can do all of it. But they’re just-
Anna: Yeah, like, you can talk to camera! I’m like, ‘Yeah I could talk to camera… in a room… on my own.’ Yeah exactly! Not in front of 20 people watching me! Like, a very different thing.
Ghenet: Yeah. I mean to be fair sometimes I do like Instagram Stories and my husband’s walking next to me, and I’m just a bit like…
Ghenet: Can you go away for a bit so I can talk to my phone?
Anna: You know, I don’t think that changes! Like even now…. I’m so like- I’ll still like go off into a corner to like do an Instagram story or something, like vlogging on the street… I’ll like, look to see if there’s like no one around. Like, it’s still something that even all these years later, I’m like, ‘Oh weird!’ I’m still not used to it. Yeah. In front of other people is always a very different thing.
Ghenet: Yeah absolutely. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Anna: Oh! Even more nostalgia! I feel like we have taken the nostalgia to, like, a new level.
Ghenet: I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan of nostalgia.
Anna: Oh yeah yeah yeah, me too.
Ghenet: I’m a big fan of nostalgia!
Anna: When I was a kid, I really, very seriously thought that I had the potential of being a pop star, like- I really thought I was like-
Ghenet: Oh my gosh! Yes!
Anna: You know what? I think- I think I can do it. You know? I I think I could learn the dances. My voices is not good. I’m not saying I’m a singer by any stretch of the imagination, but I can like hold a tune-ish? I was like, I think- in a band not a solo artist. I think in a band I could be one of the more… I wasn’t gonna be the lead singer, but I think I could have been like a backup. You know, like doing a harmony kind of thing. Yeah, I really really really did believe I had the likes… It was- it was the pop star era! It was the B*witched, it was the Backstreet Boys, it was the Spice Girls, it was- I love that I went for B*witched over the Spice Girls then! I don’t know why that came out of my mouth. But it was that era, it was that time! It was Top of the Pops, you know! And I really thought, ‘Yeah! Why not?’ Like I think-
Ghenet: I mean, that’s what you and your friends in the playground… pretend to be those little groups.
Anna: Exactly! I was like, ‘I think I could be on Popstars: The Rivals’ and Pete Waterman or whoever it was back in the day, would be like, ‘You’re not bad, you’re not gonna be a lead singer but you could be in the back!’ Like, fine. Yeah. That was- it got to the point where… you’re so right, you’d be in the band at school and then I- that that graduated to like also doing it at kid’s birthday parties… like me and my friends would be like, ‘Okay, everyone sit down, we’re going to sing you a song.’ And then I remember my dad being at the back with like all the parents like waiting to pick everyone up and me and my friends- it was the girl’s birthday who was also in the band, so we were like- Yeah.
Ghenet: We were indulging the birthday girl.
Anna: Yeah yeah yeah, it wasn’t like I- we’d turn up to random kids birthday parties and be like, ‘Hey guys! Listen to us!’ No, it was like always when it was one of the people in the band, and I just remember my dad being in the back and just like watching and shaking his head. And then, on the journey home, he was like, ‘Anna, this has got to stop…’ This has got to stop! And I was just like, why? And he was like- not, like, no- just like, no babe. Just- just-
Ghenet: I love you, but no.
Anna: Yeah, I love you but no. And so that was when my popstar dreams came crashing- No it was- it wasn’t that, it was just the fact that actually, you start- you become a bit more adult, you realize it’s probably not a viable- financially viable..
Anna: Yeah, option. You realize all the kids in those bands went to Sylvia Young Theatre School. Yeah. And you didn’t. And so, you’re like, okay maybe this isn’t happening. And it was sad but it’s- it’s fine, it’s fine. I don’t think I’m ever going to be posting like- could you imagine me posting, like, cover videos on YouTube? If things start taking a turn…
Ghenet: Well, you know! I mean as long as you got like your hairbrush as a microphone and your lovely pink boa on, I mean I would sit and watch that!
Anna: Can you imagine? Oh my word!
Ghenet: Wonderful. All right. We are on our final question! Describe your perfect day.
Anna: Oh, my perfect day. Okay, my perfect day… Despite me being an early bird, I think I’d have a lie in. Not like crazy. Half 8:00? 9:00? Lovely.
Ghenet: That is quite a lie in.
Anna: Yeah. That is quite a lie in! Yeah I’d say yeah like- half 8:00, I have a little lie in. I would’ve gone to bed really early the night before so I’m well rested. Dreamy.
Ghenet: and waking up without an alarm.
Anna: Oh, wake up without an alarm!
Ghenet: When you just wake up, and you’re like, ‘Aaah.’
Anna: Oh, beautiful. Although whenever I do that, I wake up at like half 5:00 and I’m like, why? What’s going on? But yeah, waking up without an alarm, that be the dream. And then… then some kind of brunch food, but maybe here, like maybe make- me and my husband would cook some brunch. Like taking our time over it, maybe a shakshuka, or pan- pancakes. Wait! Pancakes.
Ghenet: Yes, absolutely.
Anna: Some pancake buttermilk pancakes, the real deal. Yes please.
Ghenet: I mean I’m American. I can never say no to pancakes!
Anna: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Exactly! Come on! It’s like the national food, like. Yeah, it’s- because it’s the best. Yeah, maybe some pancakes. Then, maybe… maybe we would go out? We’d, like, go out for the day… maybe do like, a walk? Now I’m getting a bit old-er, I do like a walk. I have two pairs of walking boots…. don’t know why. So that’s- just that’s the level of Granny, where I’m at. Maybe like a little walk, maybe with my parents… we’ll go for like, a little wander round the Downs, and then I’ll come back in the afternoon. Maybe then- the day would’ve have been really nice weather until then and then it would get, like, a little bit cold… then it’s time to hunker down. Then there’ll be like a really long proportion of the afternoons spent reading… Very sociable. And then like a massive- a really big dinner that I would cook. I really love cooking, like- cooking for me is ultimate relaxation mode. Mark’s always like, ‘Oh I’ll cook dinner this evening’ and I’m like No! Because like genuinely for me that is the highlight of my day, like cooking dinner. I’d cook like something from a recipe book, really big, really- takes like two hours, you know what I mean? Like, something proper. Cook something from a recipe book. And then I would just like, spend the evening, just watching TV. That’s- if there could be karaoke in there in some day, at some point, that would also make it that ultimate day! Yeah, maybe I’d have a couple of drinks, get a bit tipsy, and be like, let’s do karaoke! Like, but it has to be unplanned. So maybe I’ll do some karaoke and then be, like-
Ghenet: Only if the vibe takes you there.
Anna: Yeah. Only if- that would be optional. Optional. And then, like… then a nice early night. Pre-midnight always. Yeah. Wow. Oh my God, that sounds- I’m like excited about my own perfect day! That sounds so nice!
Ghenet: Well that’s the thing! People are always like, ‘Oh yeah, no I love to-’, ‘Oh yeah, and I’ll do this,’ and they get to the end of it, and they’re just like, that was just a really nice day!
Anna: Yeah! That is a really nice day!
Ghenet: What a nice day!
Anna: Also, kind of doable. Like, as long as- possibly not the karaoke thing yet but maybe that would be like a different type of Saturday where I went for like a bottomless- I actually don’t really like bottomless brunches… when my friends that do… and I’m always like I don’t even like Prosecco guys, like, can we do this with Amaretto and coke? Is that possible? So maybe like a couple of drinks, and then- then just like a mid-afternoon karaoke. Now I’m older, I like the day drinking vibes. Like, I like- you know, if we can be in bed by 9 p.m. that would be perfect, thanks. Any of my perfect days involve an early night. I’m like, early night, thanks!
Ghenet: I get to that- I’m at that stage now where I get to that point. I’m like, ‘Oh, no, it’s 9:30! Okay, I’m just gonna start getting ready for bed now.’ Like literally no matter what we’re doing.
Anna: Just let me take my make up off… yeah, you’re like, at a restaurant, you’re like starting- you know, tapping your foot, you’re like, ‘okay, can we… can we, uh, can we get the bill please?’
Ghenet: It’s not unusual to make a reservation for like 7:00, right? That’s not to early, right?
Anna: No! Oh My God, no! 6:00!
Ghenet: So I- so I can be home by that time!
Anna: Yeah! Totally! did.
Ghenet: Yeah. Amazing. Well, thank you so-
Anna: Thank you!
Ghenet: -So much, for agreeing to do to my lovely little podcast! And then-
Anna: Thank you for melting with me, in my office.
Ghenet: Oh no! Don’t worry! It was-
Anna: I promise, when this- when this is finished that, the fan is going immediately back on.
Ghenet: I know, well I appreciate you turning it off for the time period, more than anything
Anna: Yes! We’ve both down like at least a pint of water!
Ghenet: Yeah, we both were just taking sort of periodic-
Anna: My hair was wet, it is now dry. Brilliant. Brilliant! Thank you so much!
Ghenet: Yeah, no, thank you!