My bucket list of experiences. (In association with Eventbite.)

Eventbite contacted me a little while ago. (I know-I was so surprised also!) In exchange for giving my blog some coverage on their social media, they asked me to create a list of experiences I cherish, in the form of a bucket list. So, for today’s post, this is exactly what I’m doing.

Here goes!

Ping pong for my birthday.

It was at Bounce in London-well, I think that’s what the restaurant was called-and most of my relatives were there, and we were just being silly. (I did get a few ping pong balls whacked at me…) Life goes so fast, and it’s often really intense, but this was the antithesis of this.

Listening to Golden Days.

The new album by Brian may and Kerry Ellis. I have yet to listen to all of this, but I already have firm favourites, such as The Panic Attack Song. There was so much excitement for me-and I felt like a kid again-in downloading it, and just walking round, playing it at home.

Teaching a relative the Presidents since Herbert Hoover.

One of the most prominent hallmarks of my version of Aspergers Syndrome is that I can become very obsessive, and some facts I can recall in great detail, as a result. (I use ‘a relative’ to be indirect, because my personal life is private, therefore separate from this ol’ blog.) I have been able to recite the Presidents since Herbet Hoover from the age of fourteen, I think. But my ASD has often served to alienate-people can be scared of me. (WHY??) But being able to teach presidential history-whilst sitting, key policy, impact, etc-has been great of me, because I can put my knowledge to use, passing it on. (Well, up, as they’re older than me, but still…..) Presidents are a love of mine.

Blogging daily.

Quite the challenge!

Seeing Emeli Sande live.

Although some things went a little bit wrong during the performance, to be asked to review her show, as a spur-of-the-moment proposal, it felt like I was ‘making it’. I had done what I had always wanted to do. And it was a great night out!

Beginning pilates.

Here’s a secret: I am neither athletic, inclined to exercise, or at all flexible. Beginning pilates has totally changed that! I go weekly, and it has helped my core muscles, as well as toning my abs just a little bit more. But I feel far more confident now! I feel better about myself, and able to walk tall, assert myself even, instead of slouching, scuttling away. If you lacked the confidence that I did, I really suggest that you give this a go.

Working with Bagleman.

What’s wrong about finding out about how Bagels are made? Not much, in my book, and I had to travel for it-all good in the end. I got to explore a part of Brighton that I didn’t even know existed also.

Reading The Summer Of Impossible Things.

I was sent this as a proof copy, but how I cried. A tour-de-force novel about time travel, bringing relatives alive, and changing times, this was affirming for me. (It was the last line of the book that got me: “Thank you for being brave”.) Rowan Coleman is brilliant. And I wish that I could write like her.

Interviewing Jemma Morgan.

Interview your blogging hero? Why not!

Getting accepted to the NTCJ.

The NTCJ is something that I have wanted to do for a long time-simply because it trains you to be a Journalist. And it’s recognised by various industry heavyweights. To be a journalist is what I have wanted to be for a long time-and getting the acceptance email was a truly happy day.

 

There’s still more to come in 2017; and all I have to say is, “Bring it on”.

Until tomorrow-

Lydia

XO

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My iTunes Playlist.

Since my eighteenth birthday, I have been using my new iPHONE, in order to listen to songs on the go. And to be honest it has made quite a difference; better sound quality, inclusive of album artwork, and I could browse the store for hours. Anyway, apart from digressing just a teeny bit, I wanted to show you my playlist I listen to on the way to college. It’s called ‘Feel good Songs’-because I need motivation in the morning’s, and above all, these songs make me feel happy.

Flash, Queen Rock Montreal.

For some reason, this live version of ‘Flash’ is not included on the DVD, hence why I hadn’t been aware of its existence until very recently. I love it! Although Queen perform it as a very stripped-back number, meaning it lacks some of the verses, and I think that the melody has been changed just slightly, it’s a ‘feel good’ song to me. Gotta channel some of Flash’s power, after all.

Sultans of Swing, Private Investigations.

This is an old one, this one. Dire Straits are singing about a band that they saw, way back when. But I love the fusion of sound across this song-a sort of juxtaposition of sound, a little bit of rock, etc.

Another one Bites The Dust, Queen Rock Montreal.

Because who wouldn’t want to listen to a song with a powerful, seemingly thumping, bass line, that was played at boxing matches, a long time ago? The chords make me feel powerful in this respect-in knowing that I can ostensibly stand tall, and take pride in myself. Plus, it’s Mercury ad-libbing like crazy throughout.

All Cried Out, Alf.

Alison Moyet, and a song telling a man to shove it? I’m on board, the same way I am for her love songs. (Love Letters, anyone?)

Let Me Entertain You, Queen Rock Montreal.

By this point, you’d have probably guessed that my iTUNES is a little bit limited, owing to the large influence that Queen currently have on it. (Not that it’s a bad thing!) But-although not the Robbie Williams song-this is a fast-paced, drum-fuelled song. Smashing! (Quite literally. And it gets my adrenaline going.) Because who doesn’t love a little bit of Mercury?

When I’m Alone, Live At Union Chapel.

Because who doesn’t love a good ballad?

Killer Queen/I’m In Love With My Car, Queen Rock Montreal.

Okay, so technically, this is a medley, hence why I had to put the two songs together. I LOVE how Killer Queen leads into the (incredibly raspy) version of I’m In Love With My Car. The latter track is very raw-and there’s just so much energy.

Naughty, Heavy Rotation.

This is not on the CD, and is on the digital version. I identify with the subject of the lyrics, especially the bridge: “..don’t care what the people may say, I’m going to do it my way..” (Well, something along those lines, anyway. ) I think that we should all embrace our weirdness-because that makes us us-and this is the perfect soundtrack.

Tired Of Being Blonde, Spoiled Girl.

Although this was from one of Carly Simon’s albums that was considered to be, well, a bit of a flop-and not reaching the heights of No Secrets-it’s the drum loop that I really like. And although she did not write this song, I really love the story of the lyrics-a woman leaving her husband, because he underestimates her worth, and persists in making her nothing but a sex object.

Keep Yourself Alive, Queen Rock Montreal.

And there’s an improvised jam at the beginning!

What Can We Do (Deeper Love.)

Although this is an advertising song, I really like the choruses: “I (got deeper love) x3 *ad lib*

Resurrection, A 4 App.

This is Anastacia’s first live album, and I was delighted to see that one of my favourite songs was the opener-Ressurection. I think it would be fair to say that this is about her second cancer, and surviving it. But the last part is so deep, and it just makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. If she can come back like this again, I can do anything, right?

Jailhouse Rock, Queen Rock Montreal.

This is a cover by Queen; and although the guitar can be a little bit heavy at times-it’s probably in the design of the cover-I love how Freddie Mercury sort of growls on this track. He also becomes very frustrated at the reserved Canadian audience, which makes me smile at his impertinence.

Shamless, Live At Union Chapel.

I’m with Lissie on this one; I’m tired of the magazine industry, in the sense that it is just about a women’s appearance, and doesn’t seem to always take her self worth into account. This was a rock song on the studio album, but has been formed into an acoustic version on this live album. I love it!

We Will Rock You (Fast), Queen Rock Montreal.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is the concert opener, and has great energy!

Underground Army, A 4 App.

This is an Anastacia song that I’m not familar with, really, but the lyrics are so encouraging, and they seem to suggest a sort of kindness. I love it.

Don’t You Give Up On Me, Live At Union Chapel. 

I sometimes feel as if people have given up on me-usually on one of those dark days, where nothing is going right. (We all have days like that, don’t we?) But this is a song that encourages me, and it makes me happy. The perfect way to finish a playlist!

What do you listen to on your playlists?

Lydia

XO

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

 

 

 

Two of the best facial scrubs; guest post by Grace Brown.

This is part of a series of guest posts this week; to view Grace’s blog, click here.

So today I wanted to talk about two of the best facial scrubs I’ve ever used. I’m a big fan of exfoliating scrubs, I feel that they give my face a much more thorough cleanse than standard face washes. I’ve tried and tested quite a few over the years however these beauties are by far my favourites.

I’ll start with my old faithful; The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub. I’ve been using this face wash for years and I’ve not yet tired of it. Its actually made several appearances on my own blog as I just love using it that much.

GRACEBEE BODYSHOP TEA TREE SQUEAKY CLEAN SCRUB

The scrub is fairly pricey compared to other similar products, coming in at £7.50 for 100ml. That being said its worth every penny. This product features ‘purifying tea tree oil’ and the exfoliating micro-beads are biodegradable meaning they wont hurt the environment. Its perfect for normal or blemished skin and I will always go back to repurchase more when I run out.

The next scrub I’ve fallen in love with is the Miss Patisserie Orange Coffi Scrub. I’ve only been using this product for around 2 months but its already a firm favourite. The scrub is from a small cosmetic brand based in Cardiff that I probably never would have heard of had I not been invited to a press day there last year.

GRACEBEE MISS PATISSERIE ORANGE COFFI SCRUB

This product is a coffee lovers dream. The exfoliating granules smell incredibly strong but also include hint of sweet orange so that its not overbearing. This beautifully scented scrub is infused with both coconut and almond oil to leave you skin feeling soft and hydrated. Again its a fairly pricey retailing at nearly £14 a pop but for that you get 200g of product which will last months.

So those were my two absolute favourite facial scrubs that you can buy right now! I’d also just like to thank Lydia for letting me guest post on her blog!

Grace x

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Sylvia Plath And The Haunted Reader By Gail Crowther; Review. 

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me from Fronthill Media, the publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read this book, and asked to review it. What follows constitutes my truest thoughts.

As readers will know, I am an avid fan of Sylvia Plath ; I have been that way since about the age of thirteen, having been introduced to her via (the now defunct) Company Magazine. (Because wonders will never cease!)
There is a rather stereotyped image of Plath, which I think is now partially down to her committing suicide. But she was not just this image of a Depressed wife, seemingly stuck in  shadow of her husband, Ted Hughes. Rather, she was vibrant, seemingly dancing to the beat of her own drum; she wrote almost as with this electric energy. And if anyone sees me reading one of her books, they always raise their eyebrows, making ‘oh’ noises as the perceived content.

At the time of writing this post, I have yet to finish the book; I’m sort of muddling through, due to other commitments such as revision. I’m not sure I necessarily understand it as much as I should, in spite of the fact that it has been coached from an easy writing style. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

I also think this book is quite radical in its thinking-in the sense of being a new way of thinking about Plath. Rather than being a mere academic subject, she is personal to every reader, meaning different, vibrant, and almost as if alive in our own heads. And I’m grateful to Crowther for doing this, as it’s a brilliant concept.

Score: 11/15

Click here to buy the book.

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In need of a new Foundation Blender? Go to Basic Beauty Tools via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Let’s Have An Honest Chat About Aspergers Sydrome. (A note to fellow Aspergians like me…)

Let’s just have an honest chat, shall we? From the ‘aspergic’ blogger whose blog you’ve been reading, to you, the presumably neurotypical reader. (Or maybe you’re a fellow ‘Aspergian’-in that case, welcome! You are among friends here 😃)

Having Aspergers Sydrome is hard; over on Twitter, I saw one parent saying that her son refers to it as “my trouble”. The problem is that we are often in our own worlds-the comforting place inside our heads, where we can escape, almost. It’s the outside world that intrudes in, I feel-those sudden load noises, horrible sensations, and not understanding what your classmates are trying to convey. (Believe me, it is so difficult. And although I could probably count my friends on both hands, it is those that be deciphered that are scary.)

Questions are hard to interpret.

Conversation is hard to maintain.

Noise is hard to bare.

Sticking to the social code is hard.

And that’s just the beginning.

Aspergers is something complex, complicated, but at its core it’s caring; all the ‘aspergic’ people I have met are some of the most brilliant minds there are. They care in different ways for you. And they are so incredibly loyal. These are the people that I take strength from, and who this post is on tribute to. They are the best in human nature.

And if you’re reading this, as a fellow ‘Aspergian’, I want you to know that you aren’t as ‘bad’ as sometimes made out to be; you have so much potential, and the ability to move to a higher plane. Forget these so called popularity contests at schools-they don’t reflect the real world. Keep your friends close. And you’ll be fine 😁

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Having It All….At What Price? Guest Post By Lisa Kallas, Sugar Loaf Dreamer.

This is a guest post by Lisa Kallas, over at Sugar Loaf Dreamer. (Click here to visit her blog.)

When my mum was leaving school you were encouraged to stay at home and be a housewife and mother. If they did work it was in retail, nursing and light duties work. When I was leaving school you were encouraged to attend university and get agood job. Some of us never saw the inside of a university or college and went straight into work. At that point if you were lucky you found yourself a good provider and worked part time, able to have the choice to either work or stay at home when you became a mother. When my daughter was going through school university became more of a necessity to get a good job, a lot of women delayed getting married and having children as they were forging their careers and by the time they do decide to settle down it takes two incomes to just get by…….sound familiar???

In this the 21st century women can be anything they want no longer just holding down retail or admin jobs, they are becoming CEOs and entrepreneurs pushing the limits of those glass ceilings. We have cracked a lot of them, however we are still struggling for equal pay with men but that’s a whole other blog!!
So here you are mid career, maybe married trying to fit everything in. Your work, gym, socialising with the girls, shopping, cooking, cleaning all the incidental jobs traditionally held by women……you almost have to schedule a date with your partner in your diary just to fit it in. Then along comes baby……now what? How many times have you heard a newly pregnant lady say “I haven’t got time for a baby”? Well that’s when you have to take a step back and prioritise.

Believe it or not men, now more than ever want to be hands on with the child raising process. As far as jobs around the home go, men don’t always notice what we women do, so it seems they are lazy or unhelpful. This is not necessarily the case, most times if you ask they will help. So learn to delegate around the house. Put a time limit on the amount of work you bring home, I know you do….most of us will spend some personal time checking and answering emails, trust me, just because you may have your pjs on and a glass of wine in your hand it’s still work, so maximum 1 hour and then its family time, even if that family consists of only a partner or a dog. Cut it back.

At work, especially if you are the manager or CEO delegate, delegate, delegate. No one can do it all alone. One of the easiest ways of running a successful business with a happy team is inclusion. Teach them what you know, that way you won’t have to worry if you are absent from work….others now know how to run the joint without you. Trust me, that delegation bit, I struggled with that for years and then I became ill. Learning to share the load at work made such a difference to not only my happiness but the satisfaction of my team. It will also allow you to spend less work time when bub comes along.

It is a very personal choice whether to be a working parent or not, again I stress, some of us don’t have that choice and need to continue working while parenting. If that’sthe case make time, try to do a little housework each night and free up your weekends as much as possible for your family. Be there 100%, time with your children passes so quickly, they grow so fast, don’t miss it.

We can have it all if we wish, we can do anything a man does if we want to, we study and work for it. As someone that continued to work while parenting it is with experience I say make time, the years go so fast and unfortunately you can never get that time again.

Through all of this you also need to find some ME time. Burnout is a killer of many things, careers, marriages, friendships and people. Never be afraid to to ask for help, there is no sign of weakness in admitting you need it. Breathe in life and exhale love, that is what we need to do daily.

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If you go to Basic Beauty Tools website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Hippeas Puffs Review.


Disclaimer: This post is a review of a PR sample. What follows is my honest opinion.

Now, I will confess; I do not really enjoy trying new things. I know what I like, what I dislike, and I’m quite happy that way, thank you very much. But when I saw Hippeas Puffs, I was intrigued, and wanted to try them. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

These are essentially crisps-more a ‘puff’-made from what I understand to be chickpeas. (But I’m not sure about that!)

Branding:

We need to talk about the yellow. On a supermarket shelf, yellow stands out, particularly something that is not too gaudy, and not too like a canary. I love the branding of these Puffs-simply because they are cool, and more than just a little bit edgy. Plus, look at this box. What’s not to love?!


There also is not a lot made about the fact that these are chickpeas; for a lot of other vegetable-based brands, there is a big deal made about that some ingredients are ‘veggie’. Now, I don’t particularly like vegetables, but I eat them as part of a healthy lifestyle. Why would I want to have this continually put in front of me? This is why I like Hippeas; they make vegetables cooler than most other brands.

The product:


Talk about Voluminous!

There are several different flavours to try:

  • In herbs we trust.
  • Sweet and smokin’
  • Far out fajita
  • Pepper power

There’s something for everyone here! (Even me, the fussy vegetable eater…) My first piece of feedback would have to be that the actual bag can sometimes be a little bit empty; additionally, several people who I shared these with commented on the same issue. For a snack that is so light, there could be more put into each bag-because believe me, that’s not necessarily going to abait hunger! (No one would judge you if you took a second bag, right?)

My favorite flavours would have to be Sweet and smokin’-just like me, ha ha!-and Far out fajita. These are by far the best flavours, I feel, simply because they have enough flavour to satisfy you; they are not too overpowering, neither are they too strong. In Herbs We Trust by contrast-what a great name!-was a little bit too smelly for me, which put me off a little bit. I also initially liked Pepper Power but it was too strong for me a day later, having had a large glass of water. (The smell and the semi burning feel!)

So, I guess the Jury is out.

But I’ve found one of my new favourite snacks; and these have got to be better than something sugar based, right? (I’m not sure, so be sure to check this-the question was rhetorical.) I’m going to put one of these in my handbag whenever I know that I’ll be out and about, without a lot of time for food. They are convenient, yummy, good for you. I’m on board!

Rating: 13/15

Click here to buy some delecious snacks.

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With the purchase of a Spongedry via this link , you can now, if you add my blog code under ‘Note to seller’, get an extra free blender:

Pink: LYDIAPINK
Purple: LYDIAPURPLE
Black: LYDIABLACK