My Perfect Boy: Part One. Guest Post By Lisa Kallas.

This is anbrave, personal guest post, written by Lisa Kallas at Sugar Loaf Dreamer. (Click here to view her blog.)

February 7, 1993: a date I cannot nor would want to forget. You see, this was the day my second child was born. A handsome blue eyed boy. I now had a perfect pair as he had a sister 22 months older. He looked so much like her it was uncanny. She had been a perfect baby and toddler and now she had a little brother to follow in her footsteps.

When I say perfect she really was as close as you could get. She slept through the night from 5 weeks old, only ever cried when she was hungry or sick and at the point her little brother was born she had never thrown a tantrum, not even a teenie, tiny one. But this was a boy, he would probably be a little different.

When he was taking a little longer to sleep through the night I put it down to he’s just a boy!! Looking back if I had a dollar for every time I uttered those words I would be living on an island somewhere by now!! He was also really fussy, fussy feeding, fussy playing, just damn fussy. Oh well, he’s just a boy, they’re different ….right?

He started to hit his milestones and even though I had read that boys are usually slower than girls he was right on par with his super quick, super smart sister. But something was just … I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something. By this point he was just over 12 months old…..still not sleeping through the night. His behaviour was becoming a problem. For someone so small he was extremely strong both physically and strong willed. He was tearing apart the house and climbing….even on higher things that his older sister wouldn’t think of. He was physically hurting his big sister. He would get this look in his eyes that even though I loved and adored him… scared me too. He would stiffen and his eyes would glaze over; looking back now it was very frightening. Something had to give and my mum who up until then had remained quiet spoke up and agreed there was something not right. She had also noticed that he would rock back and forth at times. At first, being a musical family I just thought he was musical……then I realised that he was doing it whether there was music or not.

So I made an appointment and took him to our family Doctor, at this point he had not long turned 2, but he was causing absolute chaos in the family. My Doctor listened to me, watched him tear his office apart and told me there was nothing wrong with him and I just needed to be a little stricter with him.

So I took him home but certainly not feeling any more comfort than before. My mum suggested I take him to her Doctor as he has 4 sons, surely he would know if there was something wrong?  I agreed as I, by this point, was at my wits end. Long story short…..after being observed for 20 minutes I was told this was NOT normal and given a referral for a paediatrician. OK….now what?

So after a 2 month wait we finally had our date with the paediatrician. In the meantime I had been writing copious notes on sleep patterns, behaviours etc. The kindly, older Chinese origin paediatrician read through my notes quietly, at all times also observing my boy without it being obvious. He then re read through the Doctors referral. He then very quietly approached my son and engaged him in a couple of questions before leading him to the bed for some testing. Based on everything he knew from watching, reading and listening he was 90% sure my son had Hyperkenetisis…or in modern terms ADHD. Finally an answer, not one I wanted but at least it meant my boy wasn’t just the naughtiest kid in town. At that point I didn’t really know anything much about it and I certainly didn’t know anything about the Autistic Spectrum..Anyway, we were referred to one of our largest children’s hospitals for an assessment with a Child Behaviour Specialists ,which was a leader in the the field of ADHD. He confirmed the original diagnosis and at that point, being a mum that would do absolutely anything to help her son and her family, I agreed to trial him on some medication.

Medicating your child is a very personal decision and I butted heads with and lost a few friends over my choice but the positive results in him were outstanding. I had my son back, that was my main job as his mum. His improvement over all areas was outstanding….except sleep, we were now 3.5 and had never slept through the you think I was tired? Just a tad!

We started kindy and for the most part fitted it, but something was still not right.

You need to remember I didn’t own a computer, let alone know what Google was, so all and any information I could gather came from pamphlets the Doctors would give me and books.

We went on a family holiday to America, my parents, my children and myself. I would go into every book store I saw and would come out with a new book. I remember my dad saying to me why do you keep buying another book? My hope was that there may be just a snippet of information in one that was different to the others that I could learn from.the medication on its own was not enough, there was more and I needed to fix it…..I was his mum and his advocate that was my job. My dad joked to one of his specialists that I had more books on the subject than he did, he said maybe I could lend them some. You see I would take both or one of my parents to every Doctors appointment with us as I was always given so much information, I couldn’t always remember it myself. So between us it was like putting the pieces of a jigsaw together every time we went home.

Through all of this and his increasing doses of medication something just wasn’t right. He would metabolise his meds very fast so we would have to split them as doses every couple of hours to sustain him instead of just morning and afternoon.

He was becoming angry and violent , still not sleeping, extremely fussy with his eating…..when he started primary school he was restless, and sad as it is for me to say still after all these years he was bullied terribly due to the fact he was different. Not just because he was different though, because the parents of the other kids were so damn ignorant! I’m not sure how ADHD is, or was portrayed in the media in other countries, but here in Australia these kids were almost shown to be the devil incarnate. They would only show the worst of the worst in behaviour and this in turn frightened people, in believing that they were demented and dangerous. Unfortunately like most behaviour disorders ADHD has a spectrum that runs from the mildly dreamy ADD child ( without hyperactivity) to ,yes, the very destructive, angry and malicious ADHD child. However this usually is because other co morbid conditions run with the worst of the worst.

Children learn what their parents teach them and all I am going to say is there were some horrible, uneducated parents out there at the time. The bullying continued for my son right through school from the age of 6 through to 16….10 years of hell. No wonder he came to me and begged to leave when he did…….of course I said yes, it was still my job to be his advocate and protector and at the the age he is now, which is 24…..I still am.


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.

Interview With Calli Of Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses.

As part of this week’s guest posts, I wanted to mix things up a bit, meaning today with have an interview with Calli from Looking Through Rose Tinted Glasses. (Click here to view her blog.) Calli is also founder of @letsnotbequiet , which is a really cool initiative ; go and follow her!

Morning Calli, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Firstly, how and why did you come to blog?

1) I began blogging as a way to fill time. I began my blog when I was in a spout of anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I had left my job and didn’t have anywhere to go, so I started my blog as a way to stop me from being bored. I originally began the journey of becoming a Youtuber, but didn’t want to invest in a good editing software if I potentially wasn’t going to carry it on.

 What was your inspiration behind your blog?
2) My genres of blogging is food and entertainment. I share my love of baking by sharing my recipes and I also love writing about television. Writing reviews of shows is a really great way of some people noticing your work. I even had one of the directors of Broadchurch like one of my promotional tweets of the review!
 What would you describe as your blogging routine?
3) I usually spend my mornings getting some blogging work done. My morning is scheduling tweets, writing and promoting blog posts and getting some emails sent and answered. I tend to spend my afternoon drafting some posts and planning future ideas with companies.
What do you think about monetised blogs?
4) Does this mean making it professional? I think professional blogs are awesome, I’m really trying to make my blog a full time thing, it’s just a case of making companies understand that us bloggers charge for their services for a reason!
 Where do you see your blog in a years time?
5) It’s tough to say really, I hope that in a year I have done some TV work and more people will be reading my blog. It’s my dream to be a tv presenter and I am really hoping by next year I have done something TV related and that could make people read my blog and hopefully make more companies want to work with me!
 Who are your favourite bloggers?
6) I don’t really have a specific favourite blogger. I tend to just read blog posts that catch my eye on Twitter!
 For anyone who wishes to blog, do you have any advice?
7) My advice would be to just do it, and not care about what other people think. Food and entertainment is such an original combination in my eyes, and I haven’t found another blog quite like mine, so start your blog. Be patient. And have fun.

Grief, Loss, And How To Recognise It; Guest Post By Lisa Kallas.

This is a guest post by Lisa over at Sugar Loaf Dreams. (Click here to visit here blog.)


At some point in our lives we will all lose someone close to us, it’s a reality. Grief affects everyone differently and certainly does not follow a road map. What someone feels is completely different to another and can be at different times also. There are 7 known stages of grieving but they do not always follow the known order and there is no set time for each stage, as I said every ones experience is different.


Grief, loss and how to recognize it. So let’s take a closer look at the 7 Stages……..
1.NORMAL FUNCTIONING……this could be just before or immediately after the loss.

2.SHOCK AND DENIAL….. at this point there is likely to be
-Avoidance, a change in normal activities or just not wanting to do them anymore.
-Confusion, not being able to make decisions anything from something as minor as what to have for lunch to major decisions like having to chose a new telco.
-Fear, of being alone, what will happen to me now, the future as it is no longer how you planed it.
-Numbness, a feeling of nothing.
-Blame, what could you have done to stop this from happening.

-Frustration, maybe over the loss or maybe simply from how you are feeling.
-Anxiety, from worrying about the little things like the vacuuming not being done to what will happen if a war breaks out on the other side of the world.
-Irritation, over small inconsequential moments and can come across as either sadness or anger.
-Embarrassment, maybe your financial position has had to change or you are embarrassed because of your behavior struggling to cope.
-Shame, very much like Embarrassment above.

-Overwhelmed, not being ale to cope with the loss and all the changes and emotions that has brought.
-Blah, to me this is similar to NUMB, a feeling of nothing.
-Lack of energy, one of the major telltale signs of depression.
-Helplessness, unable to cope alone or do for yourself.

-Reaching out to others, a sign that you now realize you need help and others.
-Desire to tell ones story, sharing is good for you and you start to feel a freedom from the grief when retelling the story as opposed to utter sadness.
-Struggling to find meaning for what has happened, putting words to thoughts and feelings.

-Exploring options, looking into relocation, downsizing, new hobbies etc
– A new plan in place, drafting  plan for the future.

-Empowerment, taking back your life and being prepared to move forward.
-Security, feeling safe in your new decisions.
-Self Esteem, feeling strong to face the world by yourself.
-Meaning, finding a reason to move forward with your life with confidence.
So these are the recognized 7 stages but you may also notice other changes in your loved ones or yourself that could fit into this table of grieving. The most important thing to remember it does not happen smoothly or in a timely manner. Someone could actually start at stage 4 and jump back to stage 2, then 6 etc there is NO set road to travel, so don’t think just because someone is exhibiting one stage that they will just glide peacefully into the next one…..take it from me it ain’t going to happen that way!!!!
I have included here a post I wrote back in October last year based on our very own family journey through these stages……have a little read and I will fill you in on what is happening now, nearly 7 months on……

“As I sit here at my mums I can’t help but feel hopeless. The full weight of dads loss has engulfed her since we returned from our trip. She has now been rocked to her core and all I can do is watch brokenhearted.
There is nothing I can do, no words nor actions that can make it better…….all there is is time. How long? Forever.
Everyone handles their grief in different ways…..we can’t understand each individual’s journey, we’re not meant to. Grief is an extremely personal passage, unfortunately when it hits we are meant to carry on with life. We do, because we can, we need to or simply because others expect us to,
Time doesn’t make it go away, you don’t forget…….you just learn to adjust your life and get through it the best way possible. You need to acknowledge and accept that some days you can do great things and others you can barely move because you are so numb. Most of all you need to be gentle on yourself……no amount of positive self talk will change the journey or how long it will take.
I’ve spent the past 25 years trying to make life gentler and better for my children. I’ve spent the past 3 years trying to do the same for myself……but the reality that I now can’t do anything to help mum is very difficult. All I can do is listen……sometimes it’s hard to do, sometimes I’m busy, tired, or just unable to hear it at the time…
No matter what, grief is different for everyone……we need to remember the waves don’t always roll in gently……they crash and roll over rocks and uneven ground…..learning to stand strong and not get dragged out into the current is the hardest lesson we will ever have to complete……but it’s life and we will go on, if for no other reason than that’s what our loved one would want.
As I write this I can still hear dad say……”when it’s time to put your cue in the rack, there’s nothing you can do about it”. We need to attempt to move through our futures with the strength and courage he showed us as he left.”
So here we are nearly 7 full months later and although there have been improvements along the way we are still having very long, dark and sad days. For anyone that knows my mum she is a little impatient so any improvements should have happened by now and she thinks she should be back to normal and swinging from the chandeliers or something, she still hasn’t grasped the idea of the “new normal”. When I say this I get reminded she doesn’t like this new normal and wants to go back to her “old” self…….I realize this may never happen and we just need to keep working on this new normal.
I am well aware this can and probably will affect her the rest of her life…..all I and the rest of the family can do is be there. Be there through the good, happy, sad and somewhat frightening times for her, after all……she has always been there for us!
None of us really knows what is just around the corner that’s why you should always live your life to the fullest and be extremely grateful for what we have.

Time is our best friend and our worst enemy……we simply  need to understand this and just let it happen.

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.


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.


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


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.

Why You’ve Got To Be An Optimist In Life. Guest Post From Emily, Mind Of A Badger.

Today’s guest post is by Emily at Mind Of A Badger. (Click here to view her blog.) The photos included in the post should also be accredited to Roxanne Milward, whose Instagram account can be found at this link.

I find it very hard to describe myself. I don’t like filling in profile descriptions or those moments when you meet a new group of people and you have to summarise yourself really quickly. But if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m an optimist.

I think some people see optimists as having their heads in the clouds, that they’re somehow detached from reality, seeing things through rose-tinted glasses. And they go on about how they’re a realist instead because they’re grounded and realise that not everything in life works out. To those people, I’d argue that optimists also realise that some things don’t work out. I’d say that optimists aren’t blind to the negatives in life, they simply chose to not let these negatives get in their way.

You see, to me, optimism means giving things a chance. It means not quitting before you’ve even started. It means believing that something is possible instead of immediately damning it as impossible.

Let me give you an example. I had several conversations with people whilst at university about starting long distance relationships. They’d always be asking if trying would even be worth it or whether there was no point in trying because long distance relationships are sooo much harder. I’d want to shake them and say “Of course it is!!” Everything is always worth trying! If you don’t try, there’s already a guaranteed outcome – it won’t work. If you do try then, true, it might fail down the line, but it also might not! Why give up on a relationship before it’s even begun, before you’ve even given it a chance? It just makes no sense to me.

I think a similar thing when people tell me that they’re not going to do something because the last time they did it something went wrong. “Oh no, last time I went running I fell over and broke my ankle so I’m not doing that again.” Okay, fair enough, you had a bad experience, but that does not guarantee that the same thing is going to happen if you try it again! You can’t let one bad time stop you from having potentially great times in the future. You’re only hindering yourself.

If you’re reading this, I want you to go away from this post determined to focus on the possibilities in life. Don’t think about what could go wrong. I mean, do acknowledge any risks and take precautions against them, but don’t let those risks become guaranteed. Imagine how much you’d kick yourself for not taking up an opportunity if you could somehow see that it worked out in the end. Just, give life a chance.


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.

The 30 Questions Disney Tag (Guest post by Faz Dadabhoy.)

This is a guest post by Faz Dadabhoy, over at Living Like A Parisienne. Be sure to check out her blog by clicking here-and check back soon for my version of this tag.

I like to think that we all have a soft spot in our hearts for Disney. It’s such an important part our lives, whether it played a role in our childhood, or it’s something those younger than us are beginning to fall in love with. The magic, the stories, the imagination… Thank you, to Cody for nominating me! I thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip down Disney memory lane and I hope you all will re-discover some of your favourite Disney moments with me.In turn, I would love to tag Lydia, the proud owner of this lovely blog I am guest posting on. It’s only fair you share your Disney moments too!

1. Favourite character? 

I do love Minnie Mouse! I even have a hairband with her ears and little spotted bow. I love her that much!

2. Favourite princess?

Princess Jasmine. This is a princess who refused to marry for anything other than love and her best friend is a tiger. Life. Goals. 

3. Favourite heroine?

Merida. This film resonated with me, and I admire her strength and tomboyish nature.

4. Favourite prince? 

Prince Charming, although perhaps I say this because Chris Pine made one mighty handsome Prince Charming in Into The Woods.

5. Favourite hero?

Simba. He’s essentially Hamlet (my favourite Shakespeare tragedy) and one of the first characters I ever fell in love with.

6. Favourite animal?

Toulouse from The Aristocats is one cute little kitty! I love his name and cheeky nature! Of course, the French setting certainly helps…

7. Favourite sidekick?

Timon & Pumba. Oh, come on, now! You can’t separate these two, can you?

8. Favourite villain?

Maleficent is deliciously evil! And very open about it too! There’s no sneaking around with her, I love how she is blunt about being the bad girl!

9. Favourite original character?

It has to be Mickey Mouse, doesn’t it? He’s just so symbolic of Disney and generally quite a cheeky chap!

10. Favourite love song?

‘Can you Feel the Love Tonight’ is not only one of my favourite Disney songs, but one of the greatest love songs of all time. Snapping up Elton John to write this soundtrack was a stroke of genius.

11. Favourite song?

‘Beauty and the Beast’, as sung by Angela Lansbury. This is the most beautiful song in the world.

12. Favourite villain song?

‘We are Siamese (if you please)’. This song bores me and therefore I consider it villainous. And let’s be real, those Siamese twins certainly aren’t exactly the good guys!

13. Least favourite song?

I honestly had to Google for a list of Disney songs, because I struggled to find one I disliked! Perhaps, ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins. It’s just a little too dull for an otherwise glorious musical.

14. Favourite kiss?

Oh, this is a good one! But, it has to be Ellie jumping on Carl on their wedding day in Up. These two are relationship goals.

15. First film you saw?

I believe it was The Lion King. Or at least, that’s what my parents tell me.

16. Favourite classic?

The Parent Trap is one of the best films to ever grace our screens, and Lindsay Lohan was rather fantastic in this, don’t you think? It’s my go-to on a rainy day when I need perking up.

17. Song that always gets stuck in your head?

Everybody wants to be a cat… because the cat’s the only cat, that knows where it’s at…

18. Favourite Pixar film?

The Incredibles. I never get bored no matter how many times I watch it. I love a good superhero film!

19. Least favourite Pixar film?

A Bug’s Life just never impressed me. Maybe it’s my aversion to creepy crawlies…

20. Favourite sequel?

There aren’t many Disney sequels that wowed me, but I have to say that The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride was very true in nature to the original, and the opening sequence was pretty powerful too!

21. Overrated film?

Frozen. I have no shame in saying that. It’s not an awful film, but it’s certainly hyped up far too much.

22. Underrated film?

Hercules! I think there is so much wit that goes unnoticed as a child, but it makes for hilarious viewing when you understand the references.

23. Film that makes you laugh?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s dark, but that Jack Sparrow has got some good lines hasn’t he?

24. Film that makes you cry?

I bawl like a baby at Dumbo. And yes, you know exactly what scene I’m talking about. You know, when Dumbo visits his locked-up Mamma, and she cradles him in her trunk. I’m tearing up just thinking about it!

25. The saddest scene from your favourite film?

Please see below and weep with me.

26.  Saddest death?

If anyone were to answer anything other than Mufasa, I would call them a liar. That death affects us all.

27. Favourite quote?

“I’m a damsel, I’m in distress. I can handle this. Have a nice day.”
Megara proving that even when we’re in trouble, we don’t need a man to save the day!

28. Favourite theme park?

I have only ever been to Disneyland Paris, so I suppose that sways my decision a bit. Having said that, their Fantasy Land is marvellous.

29. Favourite theme park attraction?

Big Thunder Mountain is so underrated! It’s fast, it’s dark, it’s all over the place!

30. Favourite theme park show?

I think it’s only fitting to end this tag on that parade I watched when I was eighteen, and Prince Charming blew a kiss at me…

Tips For Being Vegan In An Consumerist World. (Guest post by Leigh, from I’m Sophia Leigh.)

Hey everyone.-

 I’m Leigh from I’m Sophia Leigh. (Click here to view.)  I’ll be the guest blogger for Lydia today. How exciting! This is my first ever guest post; I have decided to share with you some tips or ways to adapt veganism & environmentalism into the consumerist world we live in today. Hope you enjoy as these are things close to my heart & I believe that everyone needs to know ways to help our beautiful world. 
First of all I’ve been vegan for almost a year now and during that time I have learnt a lot ,from how much our choices affect the earth directly , through to how to at ually cook tofu which has been a great achievement for me, as for many years I’ve been that Chef who burns beans on toast. 

Did you know that to create one hamburger, we use enough water for thirty showers? So, now on to the reason I am writing this for you guys.

How to be vegan & environmental in this consumerist world:

1. Eat locally grown fruit & veggies – 

This is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint & is completely vegan friendly due to it just being fruits and veggies you are consuming.

2. Don’t buy into so many plastic items- 

This is one I was guilty for , before learning that plastic only has a certain amount of times it can be recycled. So, you may be recycling that empty bottle of shampoo but how many times was that plastic recycled before yours? Probably at least once already; instead invest in long lasting alternatives ,such as a shampoo bar from Lush ,or a bar of soap ,instead of that shower gel, liquid hand soap and face wash. 

3. Keep reusables in your home & bag- 

This way you won’t be tempted to buy the flimsy plastic carrier bags in the store ; you’ll have a canvas reusable bag there already. Using a stainless steel straw reduces the amount of single use plastic straws that end up in our oceans after one use , killing many of our marine life. 

4. Invest in good quality items – 

This will save you money in the long run; having good quality items in your life reduces the need to buy more creating even more waste in the world. Such as having good knives, pots, pans, glass containers, shoes, clothing etc.

5. Make your own food at home- 

This is great way to learn how to cook & will save you money in a way. Prepare your meals for the week , store in your containers , then take them to work or school. You’ll avoid the temptation to buy any non-vegan foods because you are hungry and craving a pick-me-up. 

6. Shop at second stores- 

This is a great one! You’re second hand items reduce the need for high street stores creating more clothing unethically and at low labour costs- give The True Cost Documentary a watch ; it tells you a lot about the fashion industry and how damaging it really is. Shopping second hand reduces the damage to our earth and our people and supports the local charity, second hand shop, or just the person you buy it from directly. For me I usually buy my items in charity stores and online sites such as EBay auctions & Depop. 

These just 6 ways you can be more sustainable in the world today- I do have more some over on my site & some I will be posting about soon. Hope you have enjoyed learning something new today- have you already been doing these things? Leave Lydia a comment below. If you want to give me a follow on social media I’m @sophialeighblog on Twitter and Instagram.
Much Love & Light,

Leigh xx