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.

 

 

 

Pet Peeves At A Concert; A Rant Coming Up!

Good morning!
Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to see Emeli Sande live in concert, thanks to a very generous offer of press tickets. But whilst I was there, a few things really annoyed me, whilst trying to enjoy a good concert. So, but if a grumpy post today, but here are my pet peeves at a concert:
The person always on their phone.

Throughout the concert, they will be on Facebook, Instagram, even Snapchat. And only part of this is to document the concert going on in front of them. The huge, lumimous screen is the distraction-seemingly exarcebated by the darkness a concert usually takes place in. Can’t we just enjoy it, without technology, for once? Like back when Rock concerts were a full foot-stamping-sing-along affair? Because that looks far more entertaining and enjoyable.

People moving about the row.
Or even just walking out. There’s probably a clearer cut exit path than having to bumble down one fully packed out row. Instead of going through a throng of people, and treading in their toes, why not go out the right way?

Hecklers
At a stand up concert, the put downs can be rather funny. (Look up Jimmy Carr vs Blonde Women on YouTube if you don’t believe me!) But at a concert? I remember seeing Anastacia back in 2015, yet whilst she was talking-due to a Q&A feature of the Resurrection tour-a group were constantly heckling her, meaning we couldn’t hear her. It’s not funny! And it was all really crude axioms, seemingly sexual, that were being shouted. I wish for the artist to be in control, and to enjoy their show. Heckling is not very funny at a rock concert.
Playing your own music.
You pay decent money to watch a show, but then there’s always one person who gets their phone out, in order to play their own music, usually during the middle of a song. Why?! Just Why?! We come to hear the artist, often on in a quite pricey ticket, not your rap music that’s muffled in its sound. Turn it off, sit down, and enjoy the show. You won’t annoy anyone, promise.

Feet on seats.

Why is it acceptable to put your feet up on the back of somebody else’s chair? Even if there is very limited leg room, I don’t wish to smell your stinky shoes, or to be annoyed at you kicking my chair. Besides, you can always stamp your feet in time to the beat on the floor.
What are your pet peeves at a concert?
Lydia
XO

***

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

***

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.

Inside My Bullet Journal. (Guest post by Envy Fisher.)

Today’s guest post is by Envy Fisher, over at Lost In translation. Be sure to visit her blog by clicking here!

I think every blogger will agree with me that we live in the age of Bullet Journals. I know very few bloggers who don’t have a notebook full of fancy spreads to keep their lives organized. If you were to see mine though… I’m not cut out for the Bullet Journal life. I scribble my to-do lists first thing in the morning on the first piece of paper I can find. Illustrating and color-coding is nice and all, but wouldn’t it make more sense to use that time to actually start doing the things on your list? Apart from that, no matter how pretty I’d make my Bullet Journal, I don’t see myself looking back on it in five years time and thinking: ‘Man, my life was awesome back then, look at all these things I had to do!’ No, I’d rather remember the stories of my life by writing them down. So instead of a Bullet Journal, I keep an old-fashioned journal. Though I don’t think ‘old-fashioned’ is the right word. My journal is a little bit different than the old school journals and diaries. Let me show you.

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I started this journal in February 2017, fairly recently. It was the first time I had a completely blank journal, no lines or anything. At first that scared me to no end. I have a reputation for not being able to write a sentence in a straight line on a completely blank piece of paper. After a day or two I realized blank pages are the best though: you’re not limited to just writing, you have more than enough space to add illustrations.

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The first illustrations appeared while I was planning my blog’s relaunch. I needed a rough sketch for a header and was writing about how nervous I was for the relaunch. Then I picked up a pencil and started doodling. It felt weird at first. Diaries aren’t sketch pads. I immediately regretted that thought. Why follow the rules of journaling if you can pick and choose, then make your journal exactly what you want it to be?

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From that moment on I illustrated the stories of my life that I wrote down in my journal. The illustrations became bigger and bigger, until I made pages in an art journal style. I made these to motivate myself, to get over my ex-boyfriend and as a tribute to Antwerp, the Belgian city I fell in love with in February.

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There’s nothing I won’t try in my journal. I’ve used pen, pencil, acrylic paint, chalk, and spray paint. It’s fun to try so many different media in the middle of writing the story of your life. But that doesn’t mean every page is a success. For example, when I first used my can of red spray paint, the paint went straight through the pages and stained more than I’d expected… It looked a little bit like a massacre to be honest. Luckily I was able to cover it all up with a picture.

The thing I like best about the combination between diary, travel journal and art journal is that there’s no pressure to do anything. I don’t have to make a fancy spread, I don’t have to write about my day if I don’t want to and if I feel uninspired I don’t have to make any illustrations or collages. But when I do feel like doing any of those things, my journal is there for me with as many blank pages as I need. So how about it? Can I convince you to give this kind of journal a try instead of the Bullet Journal? I promise you won’t regret it!

x Envy

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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.

Benecos Cosmetics Package Review.


Disclaimer: this was sent to me to review at my own request. What follows is my honest opinion. Thank you to Ingrid Hume at Pravera!

Imagine this; it’s a rainy day, you’ve been drenched, and drive home in a bit of  a sullen mood. You start to blog, seemingly in a miserable mood, but then the postman arrives. (He’s more drenched than you, by the way.) But he has a package for you!

That was me on a Wednesday afternoon.

Benecos is a brand that I read about over at Kimberly Jessica; I also really liked its USP, in having certified organic and natural cosmetics. (After all, our skin does have to breath, and it doesn’t always benefit it, coating it on make up that has been lumped on.) Needless to say, that was something that I was sold on instantly.

I received….

  • Natural eyeshadow in Matt.
  • Lip brush.
  • Eye shadow brush.
  • Natural concealer perfect coverage, light.
  • Lipstick, peach.

You can see all of these products together as above.

Packaging:

Fistula, for the two brushes, I felt that the packaging was a little bit excessive. Quite simply, it dwarfed the actual product, and whilst opening the lip and eye brushes, I was at risk of mangling the bristles a little bit. (You open up the package from beneath, which expands the plastic pocketing the brush is in.) To be honest though, this was my only real criticism.


Design:

For me, things have to be functional, as well as pleasing to the eye. The products fit the bill in this respect; I live the feel of the brushes, they are very soft. They are also shaped well enough to be twirled about etc., when applying make up. The eyeshadow also has a really nice case, meaning that any excess powder can be caught. The casing for the lipstick is also pretty. The concealer was the only one which could be adapted slightly; the brush is not as flexible, meaning that blending the coverage is not really as possible as it could be. (I used my fingers in the end-not that I advise you to-but it is a good product.

See….just look at this brush!!

I’ll get to the product part of the review in a minute, I promise. Bit a brand that promises to be natural and organic, as well as having a pretty design, is what I love best. Because, well, who wouldn’t?!

But they are jeer than the averge , relatively cheap brush as well. When applying the eyeshadow, the brush really does glide well. And in terms of cosmetics, that’s needed, in order to get a very smooth application, surely? It worked for me.

Although isn’t matte spelt like matte, not Matt? (I’m not sure, that’s a genuine question. Any answers I’d love for you to leave in the comments below.)

Product:

I’ll go by each product, one at a time, for this section, because I can be more logical, as well as chronological, in that order:

  • Natural Eyeshadow Matt.

Now, as somebody who is very shortsighted, I do have trouble applying eye make up, or anything related. But this eyeshadow is soooo nice! Glides on easily, highlights my eyes, and generally stays put. I love it, quite simply. And I think that any blog reader would love it also.

  • Lip brush.

I’m not really sure what to make of this, really. It feels nice, and the lipstick glides on, but it doesn’t seem to pick up much pigment. And it also needs to be really cleaned after.

  • Eyeshadow brush.

I love this brush! It works really well with the eyeshadow, and is designed well enough, meaning that it can be used effectively.

  • Concealer.

The brush in this is not flexible at all, meaning that you can’t actually really blend any of the liquid. This is a pity, because although it looks very orange at first, it blends really well, and is quite light on my skin. I’ll definitely use this for any acne breakout!

  • Lipstick.

I live this product best of all! It smells good, has a thick and creamy texture, and lasts reasonably well.

What do you think of these products? Click here to find out more about the brand involved, and maybe purchase a few.

Lydia

XO

***

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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