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.

 

 

 

Amazon Fire Stick Review. 

Disclaimer: thank you very much to The Ideas Network for sending me this. Although initially I did not request it, it has been a pleasure to review. What follows is my honest opinion.

Good morning; how has your day been so far?

I was recently sent the Amazon Fire Stick to review; not knowing much about it, I was at first curious..

A Firestick is essentially a memory you can plug into your TV (but not your laptop, due to a different output signal thing). Assuming you have a Smart TV, this gives you access to a variety of internet-based things; iplayer, Netflix, etc. Sounds good to me!


Firstly, I really liked the packaging, as you can see above. There’s just something so pleasing about this-how everything is in this box, effectively utilising the space given. Because all good things come in good packages, right?

For the sake of this review, I’d like to consider this as a work in progress, as you can see below..


To the left you can see the literal Stick, and to the right is a remote, which basically controls the set up.


And the whole instruction booklet!

Now, I will admit, I haven’t yet managed to set this up, but had to write this review, due to other time commitments. (Student/Blogger/Columnist/Freelancer etc!) But there’s the problem; the setup instructions were seemingly really complex. You have to plug the Stick in your TV, a plug to the mains, register via an account, and still have logins for the apps. Whew! On this basis, a Firestick is not something that’s necessarily for me-although you can take it with you, wherever you go. I think it would make a great gift for a university student, or somebody setting up their first home however. I just wish that it had a simpler set up, and that it could be used for your laptop!

What do you think of Amazon Firesticks?

Lydia

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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.

Just Bee Drinks: let’s save the bees!

Good morning.-

Wherever you are, I hope that it’s sunny at last. Today I’ll be reviewing Just Bee drinks that were sent to me as a PR sample. (This was at my own request, but what follows is my honest opinion.)

I love to receive Blogger Mail, and this product was no exception. Basically, it’s water, with an added drop of honey. To somebody who has Hayfever, this sounded like something that was ideal-and plus, they had the unique selling point of saving bees, and that it’s seemingly a family based business. What’s not to love?

The box was weighty, with three different flavour drinks:

  • Apple and Ginger
  • Blueberry
  • Lemon and Green Tea

 

Let’s get to the review!

Packaging:

This was a brand that I really like for its packaging-Just Bee were really quite savvy. Everything was packed in tightly, there was no space left not used, meaning that it was used to the best of its ability. (No waste here) The packaging was additionally sturdy-unlike other products that have come through the post, there was no rips, dents, etc. (As you can imagine, I was VERY excited by this point!)

Branding:

Again, all is well on the branding-I love that the story of Bees in the family, and a plan to help save them, is everywhere. (Some wildflower seeds were also included-I’ll be planting them soon!) The colour scheme is also appealing to the eye-subtle, and without the ‘blare’ of the brands. Lovely!

The Product Itself:

Now, I will admit, at first the flavours were not something I were looking forward to-after all, I’m not ‘big’ on trying new things, and they were outside of my comfort zone. I took the Apple and Ginger at first, and was pleasantly surprised. (I had thought it was going to be akin to a juice-complete with ‘bits’ floating around, and a variation of flavour.) It tasted nice, and kept me going through a rather long revision staple. I haven’t yet tried Blueberry or Lemon & Green Tea yet, as I’m saving them for another day. (A sort of treat!) But if you’d like a drink that has good intentions to save bees, and that taste’s nice, then you should go for this. I also think that it should be a staple to any lunchbox.

I rate this product to be 14/15.

What do you think? Would you try this?

Lydia

XO

Click here to visit their website, and maybe buy a drink or two.

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.

Jewellery Box Haul And Review. 

Disclaimer: this post contains a review of a PR sample. These pieces were sent to me to honestly review, which I have done so in the following piece. Thank you to Jewellery Box for working with me!

What girl doesn’t love jewellery? And good quality for a low price at that? (I know I do!) This is why I was delighted to receive this haul! (Because the post really excites me…) Let’s see what’s inside…please do be aware that this is a very ‘photo heavy’ post, designed to show these samples off..

(By the way, how do you like the new photography? I’m using a fancy new iPHONE now..)

Packaging/branding:

Well, it’s well branded, isn’t it? For every teeny tiny parcel that was included, the logo was stamped onto it. Classy! (On a serious note, I do love a brand that makes itself known.)

The packaging is also really cute…I like the theme, almost tropical in that respect-the hue of the paper and on the boxes reminded me a little bit of palm trees. And the packaging is far from excessive; what’s not to love? Environmentally, this is a good unique selling point.


And it’s almost alike to getting a lovely letter from your best friend! I particularly loved the envelopes best of all, simply because of this. (And what other brand uses envelopes as packaging? I can’t think of many.)


Even if a parcel, look how good the packaging looks! It’s like a package from a pen friend, who you haven’t seen in a long time. And as I was having a bad day when I received this, it really cheered me up.

The pieces themselves:

Oh, I have been spoilt!


This ring has to be my favourite piece overall. I love butterflies! (But the only finger it fitted on was this. Please, no jokes about engagements..) And this is somewhat of an oddity, as I’m not usually a ring person. But the metal used ensures that you are not left with a green band encompassing your finger at the end of the day. It also is small enough as not to get caught on anything-always a bonus.


And how do you like this new thumb ring? It was a little bit big, so it did slip and slid, yet it looks nice…so, I’ll look past this flaw for now! I also love how it looks a little bit like Pandora, yet has placed its own unique slant on the design. And besides, it makes my hands look more feminine. (As you can probably tell from my time of writing, they do get some abuse-nail biting, etc.) Let’s detract from that now!


Now I will admit to being a little bit silly. Whilst looking at the website, I got a little bit carried away, in noting that these were rose gold. I thought they’d be big hoops! (Turns out that they’re tiny..and I really struggled with the clasps. Turns out they were too tiny to fit in my lobes.) But they’d be a perfect gift for a niece..


I love charm bracelets, really I do, and I think I have found the next best thing. This braclet has an adjustable length, meaning it can be as long or as short as you like. It also means that there are spaces for a lot of charms! (Because who wouldn’t want that?) But as someone who has some sensory issues-ASD means I dislike some sensations, etc-this was also quite comforting. It doesn’t ‘bite’ or catch the skin, meaning that it slides freely up and down your arm. Perfect! I also love the L charm I was sent..


Can ya see it?

Finally..


Because I love the pendant, okay? The chain again didn’t make my neck itch, and it was small enough to be somewhat of a choker. Although I did struggle with the clasp a little bit, I love it regardless.

Feedback and general points:

  • The website could have photographs of people wearing the products, just to give a better sense of sizing, style, etc.
  • Clasps could be made just a little bit easier to use.

But all in all, I’m happy that I came across this brand, and will be turning to them for birthdays and for gifts. Visit them at their website to see more.

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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.