“What makes a good interview?”

Good morning.-

Can I be honest? It has been a privilege for me to interview various people from the age of fourteen-and I love it. It’s one of my favourite parts of blogging. But you could probably say that it’s unusual. (And I’m eighteen now!) At first it wasn’t something to be taken seriously-this blog was kept separate from my educational life-otherwise I would have probably been mocked. (I was, back when this blog was in a more infant stage.)

But what makes a good interview?

Mine have largely been through email, because famous people wish not to be bothered, or they can’t make the time for you. Therefore, the questions have to be thought of in advance, and written in a format understandable to the interviewee, concise enough to convey enough information and able to get to the point. Plus, your audience has to understand them, otherwise, why read the interview?

See? There’s a lot of work that goes into these.

And the sad truth is, people only largely agree to interviews because they are promoting a new product, be it a book, album, CD, live show, giveaway, etc. There are exceptions, of course. But in order to promote whatever it is, add this in, and then ask other questions gradually, which are about other subjects. You’ll get a mix of both hopefully, rather than just standard answers.

And anyone of interest is always good for your blog hits; remember my interview with Marc Martel? My stats rocketed.

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.

30 ways to spread kindness. 

Kindness is a virtue, but this world can lack it at the best of times. In light of recent events, I decided to write a list of 30 ways to read kindness:

  1. Give money to a homeless person.
  2. Better still, buy them a bacon butty.
  3. Or a tea.
  4. Offer to do a job for somebody.
  5. Write a surprise letter.
  6. Better still, write a letter to an elderly relative.
  7. Go on a blog commenting spree!
  8. Or a blog follow spree.
  9. Send a surprise parcel.
  10. Buy something from a Blogger’s easy shop.
  11. Write and hide a secret note.
  12. Throw a surprise party.
  13. Create a treasure hunt for your partner.
  14. Book a surprise meal.
  15. Pay for the next round.
  16. Go on an Instagram comment spree.
  17. Donate to a charity.
  18. Sponser somebody on their charitable run.
  19. Retweet the above.
  20. Write someone a poem.
  21. Crochet someone a scarf.
  22. Hide a secret message in a library book.
  23. Compliment someone.
  24. Send a thoughtful text.
  25. Call a relative you haven’t seen in a while.
  26. Do the washing up.
  27. Walk the dog.
  28. Retweet various blog posts.
  29. Cook a meal.
  30. Bake a cake.

What do you do to be kind?

Lydia

XO

 

15 Reasons You should Have A Planner.

Over the course of writing for this blog, you can probably see that I am an advocate for planners, as well as organisation and planning. But instead of posting a photo-centric post for today, I wanted to post a logical post about the benefits of a planner.

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They don’t crash. 

What bothered me most about my old Samsung phone was that, due to a storage problem, it was constantly glitching, crashing, and subsequently would loose information. A planner doesn’t do this! Everything needed is at your fingertips.

They hold everything!

My planner has everything, as it is almost like a backpack to me. It has my vouchers, my train cards, medication, and the occasional photo. They really do hold everything-and you can add wallets in also.

Keep a blog or a business going. 

In a planner, there’s a clear layout, meaning that you can juggle lots of information at once. This is a useful detail for keeping a blog, or starting a business, surely? And a very helpful asset at that.

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Never miss a deadline.

If you’re a student, a writer, a blogger, or anyone else who is always working furiously towards a deadline, this is for you. You can keep track of all that you need to do, and it’s all within reach (see next point.) You can keep your timetable in there, as well as planning various assignments.

Information all within a reach.

Every tiny piece of information can be caught in a planner. And you can easily retrieve it, without having to recall where you stood it.

Doodling!

Doodling is such a lovely thing….and there was something in Cosmo about it positively impacting productivity. I love to draw in my planner, just to ponder occasionally.

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It’s your own space.

In a world that is often very hectic, where we rush from one thing to another, there’s not a lot of space just for us, where we can think, reflect, etc. A planner is your own private space, and can act as a port of refugee.

Private diary. 

Because why not?

You can make it colourful!

A podcast I downloaded a little while had Gala Darling as a guest, but part of the conversation revolved around how adding just some colour into your lifestyle can have a positive impact. Looking into my planner makes me happy, because of the amount of colour I use.

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Organise a social life.

As a student, I don’t always wish to be doing homework, extra reading, tasks, revision , etc devoted to my qualifications all the time. This means I have to plan my time carefully, as to get the best out of both. And a planner does this well!

Keep track of a habit.

Whether you want to stop biting your nails, try new foods, stop smoking, etc, a planner can track this.

Reach your goals!

At the start of each year, I like to create a list of goals to achieve for the year. It’s an approach that allows me to set our my goals, thus systematically and logically allowing me to work towards them.

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Store the contact details of your friends and work.

Pretty self explanatory, really.

Keep track of your post.

I like to write letters, and there will be more on the blog about that soon. Anyway, a planner could be used to keep track of this if you’re like me-who you’ve written to, if you’ve had any replies, etc.

Save money.

As I like to save money, I have an insert, which allows me to keep my vouchers all in one place. You could do the same!

What do you use your planner for?

Lydia

***

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 a free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Why promoting Asperger’s syndrome is important to me.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome; to be honest, it wasn’t really a surprise. I was always the lonely kid, with their head stuck in a book, too knowledgable for their own good, and way too nosy too boot. But since then, promoting Aspergers Syndrome has become more and more important to me. And not just because it was something related to myself; several people I knew were also diagnosed, there was problems with support, and more.

Despite the many struggles I had to undergo-bullying, lack of understanding my lessons, and more-it came to me that the whole condition could be used for good. Because we do not need to be ashamed. We should not have to be afraid. And above all, we should not discredit ourselves for having this condition. Aspergers Syndrome is something innately beautiful. And I say this from observing the people I know who are on spectrum, and not in relation to myself.

I strongly believe that all I have achieved is because of my ASD, coupled with hard work. Over the years, I have surprised myself. Blogger? Check. Columnist? Check. Interviewer (sort of)? Also check.

Promoting Aspergers allows me to educate people about this condition; I am tired of institutions lacking support as well as understanding. I am tired of people saying that the were scared of me, in knowing that I had been diagnosed with ASD. I hope for a world that, among other things, will one day understand people with Autism. I think that society disadvantages itself when it disenfranchises us; ever heard of job discrimination, trouble at schools, etc? People who have Aspergers Syndrome are human too, the same as everyone else.

I promote Aspergers as it’s something that I see differently; mental health does not necessarily have to be an issue, as long as we have the correct support network.

Thank you for listening.

Fentimans Rose Lemonade Review. *

Update: Since this was posted, I have since been informed that the packaging had to be like it was, or the bottles would have smashed.

Disclaimer: These four samples were sent to me directly from Fentimans at my own request-I love Rose Lemonade, and I wished to review them. What follows is my honest opinion. 
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Now, we all like pretty things, don’t we? (For the sake of this post, I’ll assume we all do.) But look how pretty this Lemonade is! Pink, in a very cute bottle, and it has a rose flavour. What more could anyone possibly want? This is what I usually treat myself to when I feel glum, but I was delighted to be given the chance to review this.

(And before you ask, that is indeed my hand in the photo.)

For this review, I will be looking at packaging, taste, as well as the product itself. Let the review commence!

Packaging: 

Now, I like it when brands make an attempt to be ethical, simply by cutting down on their packaging, and the amount they have. I will admit to being a little bit disappointed with Fentimans; there was four bottles in a massive box. (Emphasis on ‘massive’.) This may have just been because this came as part of my Blogger Mail, but there was a lot of bubble wrap inside. There wasn’t really a need for this; the bottles were unlikely to have arrived damaged, but this risk could have been managed with less packaging.

As you can see, I was really happy to receive this package; four bottles of my favourite drink! (I usually have a bottle when I feel blue..)

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Branding: 

I love the colour of this-largely because it’s pink, and as a product, that screams ‘unique’ to me. There’s just something pretty and charming about this product. It makes me feel nostalgic, I guess.

It also has good branding, in the respect that it has a very ‘retro’ feel; it reminds me of the illustrations from Milly Molly Mandy. There was also a similar drink that I use to take fishing as a child. Nostalgia is a good thing, right?

It’s also easy to open-a bonus to clumsy me!

The product itself:

fullsizeoutput_dbI have a lot of Lemonade. As somebody who detests sparkling water-it’s a sensory thing-this only had a slight tinge of this, meaning there was an appropriate amount of fizz. It also tastes nice-like rhubarb and custard sweets, but with less range, and more of a sweet influence. It may not be to everyone’s taste, though-if I can use the analogy of Marmite-but best not spill it over yourself, as wasps will come after you.

Overall, I do love Rose Lemonade, but I would love to see an adjustment made to the packaging. I give this product a rate of fourteen out of fifteen.

Click here to buy Rose Lemonade.

***

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.

 

 

 

 

18 Things learnt in eighteen years.

Life should be so simple at times, right? Wrong! There are a lot of lessons to be learnt-and to be honest, I’m still learning a lot daily. So, here is something I wanted to share with you-and it’s my version of a top eighteen on my list.

  1. Help will come to you, if you ask for it. It’s like that old saying, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. I spent a lot of time not getting, simply because A: I didn’t understand how to, and B: people scare me at the best of times. Nowadays, I think that this has completely switched-besides, you read my product reviews, don’t you? I also couldn’t claim to be a Columnist otherwise.
  2. Organisation is a bonus. Everyone will have deadlines, appointments, and some things to do at one point. 
  3. Caster sugar goes with royal icing, not flour. Exactly.
  4. Call people out if they’re rude. Rudeness is not really acceptable, to be honest-and I got very bored with it at several different educational instutions. So I called them out on it-because, why do it?
  5. Kindness is a virtue. Kindness is a great trait, and it shows in everything that you do. It also leaves us with that warm, fuzzy feeling.
  6. Tolerance is the best trait. Going with kindness, of course.
  7. Stick to your ideas. Ideas are a very fundamental thing-and whole societies, books, opinions, etc are built on them. Even if it sounds really silly at first, stick to them-don’t let anyone talk you down about them. They are your very own.
  8. Aspergers is not a limitation, and neither is what life throws at you. On a personal note here: once I was diagnosed with ASD-not really a surprise, to be honest-I got very tired,  very quickly, with people saying that I could not do something, due to ASD. How silly! Life is not a limitation, and neither is a disability-we can overcome. Life has beauty. Live it to the fullest.
  9. Popularity is not everything. Whilst in education, I would often go head-to-head with people who believed that because they were popular, they had the right to dominate everything. It also ostensibly gave them the right to be mean. (Ha ha!) Popularity is not everything.
  10. Family is what count. Need I say any more?
  11. You can do anything you put your mind to. You just need to dream it.
  12. Gender is not what should prevent you from doing anything. To the day I die, I will proclaim myself to be a proud feminist. Because we’re all human-and I can do anything a boy can do!
  13. Tease, now and then. Because this allows you to laugh at Life. With a capital L.
  14. Be bold. Dare to triumph, wherever you go. Because there’s (nearly) always a next time, and you can try and try again.
  15. Colour is everything. You’ll be bold that way.
  16. Never put a cake in a fridge. Apparently it is not good for icing.
  17. If there is something you perceive to be wrong, you should speak about it. And that way, we can get rid of injustices.
  18. Believe yourself. You are capable of more than you know. 

What have you learnt?

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.

How To Stop Time By Matt Haig; Release And Review.

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Disclaimer: I was sent this proof copy for a review by Canongate, at my own request. What follows is my honest opinion.

How To Stop Time is (finally) out today. Whew! Take it from me; this is a great book. And I really enjoyed it. Take it from me, if you like time travel, fiction, and just a little sprinkle of humour, you’ll love this book. (Oh, and if you’re a fan of the eighties classic Highlander, you’ll love this book. Like me!)

As not to give too much away, I’ll tell you the very basic plot line, in spite of the fact that there are many layers to dissect: Tom Hazard has an ailment, meaning that he ages not as fast as other humans. In fact, he has been alive for centuries. And it costs him dearly. But who would suspect this from a London history teacher?

I really like the structure of the book, it that there are continual flashes forward and backwards in time-perfect for somebody who loves history like me! There are appearances from Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the Bard, Captain Cook, Witch Hunters, and many more. They interact with Tom, whilst he contemplates his own ailment. And the way that they are characterised is just so vivid-which makes the novel somewhat alive. Because that’s what you’d want in a history teacher, isn’t it?

My only real feedback is that the protagonist of Tom Hazard isn’t always in touch with reality-obviously, being somebody who has been alive for over three centuries, you wouldn’t be. But I feel that this lets the book down, just a little bit. For example, when interacting with boys in his class, he almost seems as if to not comprehend the situation-even during a mugging incident. He is seemingly away in the clouds, and not focused at all. The plot line could have been a little bit snappier as a result. (But then again, dear readers, that’s just my humble  opinion. Each of us are different in our tastes, after all.

I will admit that the end had me just a little bit teary. This book is innately human to the core, which can teach us a lot about ourselves. to anyone reading this, it’s worth reading. And I give it a rate of 14/15.

Click here to buy How To Stop Time. 

***

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In defence of Journalists.

 

As an aspiring Journalist, I must admit that ‘Journo stereotypes’ really do anger me; that we are ruthless in pursuit of a story, we hack phones, that we are corrupt, harass celebrities, etc. That we pay for our sources, write for our own agendas, steal information. For this post, I wanted to offer up an opinion piece in defence of Journalism, and anyone practicing this craft.

Now, I do appreciate that there are exceptions-people who regularly break this. I remember the hacking scandal with News Of The World; to be honest, it still disgusts me. And it is not a reflection of all Journalists-this was the exception. (I still stand by the view that there could have been specific legislation passed to curb is practice-make a penalty harsher.)

Journalism-in the reportage sense-is about getting the facts, and publishing them in in the public interest. Because how else can we solve issues, keep public officials to account, and find out about any local events otherwise? This isn’t just from a newspaper-there are websites, magazines, as well as the ever present (and dominant) social media. And it plays this function, because well, it’s a powerful tool of democracy, isn’t it? It gives the knowledge that is power.

But if anyone makes up lies, there is libel laws-so why would they want to?! There’s a stiff penalty attached to it-and could have an effect on whatever publication. So why would anyone wish to have this as an industry-wide vice?

(Well, they wouldn’t..) The intention is to publish in the interest of the public.

What do you think?

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.

 

Rowan Coleman Interview. 

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Rowan Coleman released her next book, The Summer Of Impossible Things, just two days ago.  It stands out from all of her previous works. Here, I emailed her a few questions, in order to find out more. (Thanks also to Tess Henderson.)

Since the last interview, you’ve written and are about to release a new book, The Summer Of Impossible Things. What was the inspiration behind it? 

Quite a few inspirations, but I suppose mostly I have always wanted to write a time travel novel. It’s a concept that is endlessly fascinating and inspiring, the idea that you can experience another time, and perhaps alter the future. And at around about the time I started to think about this I kept seeing and reading about one particular place and time, Brooklyn 1977. So it felt like the universe was telling me something.

The Summer Of Impossible Things is largely based in Brooklyn, USA. How did you go about adding in the authentic detail?

I went to Brooklyn, and spent a week there, and I’m so glad I did. My idea of Brooklyn was quite different from the reality, and the location of Bay Ridge had its own character too. I learnt a lot, took about 1000 photos, talked to anyone who would talk to me and walked in the footsteps of my characters, finding the locations and charting them on a map. I went during very hot weather so it was great for recreating the sense of the 77 heatwave.

A theme explored throughout the book is ‘love conquers all’. Do you agree, and if so, why?

I don’t think love automatically conquers all, but I do think if it’s driven by passion, courage and great determination it’s a universal force can surmount almost anything.

Asides from the latest book, do you have any other books currently in the works?

I am now working on the next book, but I can’t tell you anymore about it yet!

What are your tips for success?

Hmmm I don’t know. I never really feel like I’ve achieved it! But I do believe in working hard, being persistent and pushing yourself to be better.

And finally, one random question: if any actor could play you in a biopic of your life, who would you cast and why?

Haha!! Oh, um….. Rachel Weiss. So me but thin, and beautiful, married to James Bond and with Brown eyes! 

Click here to buy The Summer Of Impossible Things.

The Summer Of Impossible Things By Rowan Coleman: Release And Review. 

Disclaimer: On the announcement of release, I requested the proof of this book to review. What follows is my honest opinion, having been a fan of Rowan Coleman for a while now. 

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Excuse my language, but what a bloody brilliant book this is! (You can also have some tripled alliteration along with that.) Having arrived in the post, I was surprised at the bulk-more that three hundred pages, and presumably longer than any other volumes written prior. Eagerly, I got stuck in. (A long car journey warrants this. At twelve hours, I needed a long book!)

Firstly, I was a little bit bewildered at the ‘voice’ of Luna, the protagonist of the book. She, at thirty, seems a little bit childish, almost idealistic, in repeating the same mistakes, over and over again. (Apart from that, she’s really cool in that she works in a male-dominated environment, dressing to reflect this.) But with the revelation that she can travel through time, Luna begins to change-meaning I developed more empathy towards her. (The mother of the story has died, but her two daughters have to uncover the secret she leaves behind in Brooklyn. )

Trust me, this is a very tense book, as well as highly emotional. In the end though, I loved the twist. And I promise that I won’t spoil it for you.

However, at times I did feel that this book is too weighty-in that the depth of description often goes against the plotline. It can take a little while to get going, fully immersed into the story. (It could do with maybe cutting some of this?) But once I did, I was completely captivated by this book. Immersed fully. And I was disappointed once it ended. It’ll be a firm favorite on my bookshelves from now on.

It’s released today, and I encourage you all to buy it.

Rate: 14/15

Click here to buy The Summer Of Impossible Things. 

The Blogger Tag.

Good morning-

I really love tag posts, and looking through A Beautiful Chaos, I came across the blogger tag, which you can view here. I wanted to do my own version, so here goes!

Why did you start blogging?

This is a question that I’ve been asked a few times now; the short version is that I was a lonely teenager-still am!-and having saved a clipping from SHOUT Magazine, I wanted “in”. And I set this blog up…

 

Who is your idol?

Jacqueline Kennedy.

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live, and why?

Probably Amsterdam. The people there are so nice, I love the history, and there is seemingly fairly liberal attitudes.

 

What is your signature scent?

Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift.

 

What is your favourite makeup brand?

Probably Benecos, or maybe Miss Sporty. I have specific products I like, I don’t tend to go for brands-

 

What do you prefer, highstreet or highend fashion?

Highstreet, always! It’s in my budget, and lasts for a while. I love New Look, H&M, and other shops-so, Paperchase, etc.

 

What is your favourite song?
I have several: ‘Left Outside Alone’, ‘No Son Of Mine’, ‘Sultans Of Swing’, ‘Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll’, ‘All I Want Is You’, ‘Don’t Laugh At Me’, and more..
And your favourite Album?
Again, I have several; A 4 App, Coming Around Again, We Can’t Dance, A Kind Of Magic…
Which is your favourite: Facebook, twitter or instagram?
Twitter!
Which celebrity style inspires you?
Probably Anastacia; I love her tour jackets!
What has been your favourite holiday?
To the states.
I tag anyone who wishes to do this tag,
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.

 

Staying organised: a how-to guide of tips.


Although nearly always a semi-rhetorical question, a lot of people ask me “how are you so organised?” I use my planner extensively, and it allows me to keep control of many things-being a blogger, student, columnist, as well as progressing on in further education. So, for this post, I want to share a few tips about what to do and what not to do, in keeping organised.

  • Do keep a planner, and take it with you everywhere-just stick it in a bag, or under an arm. You don’t have to decorate it, but it can keep track of so many things.
  • Don’t overpack it, however. As you can see, there is not enough space in the planner in the photo-and it was one of the main reasons why that I wished to upgrade it. But on a serious note, it looks all very daunting, doesn’t it?!
  • Do colour code! This will allow you to see what needs to be done, and often months in advance.
  • Do have a wall calendar. (But if you have personal appointments ,also keep it private.) I find that, visually, if anything is stuck in a place I always look at, I will be more likely to remember and recall the information.
  • Don’t get bogged down in all of the finer detail. You can decorate, but that can deviate from the point.
  • Do set reminders on your phone.
  • Do create lists!!
  • Don’t plan every little detail to the inane, such as using a timetable to track your movements, hour by hour. This really frustrates me at times, because I know I have other commitments-I.e a social life!-and then it feels like I have not accomplished what I set out to do. It’s a crushing feeling.
  • Don’t take on other people’s organisation. And yes, I guess I am a hypocrite for writing this-but it drives me mad, I have enough to be worrying about.
  • Do have fun with your organisation!

What are your tips for organisation?

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.

15 thoughts I have when and to do with blogging…

We all have thoughts whilst blogging, don’t we? For today’s post, I thought I’d share five of my thoughts.

  1. *Sees new blogger on Twitter* “Maybe a guest post week would be fun? They could be one of the guests-a perfect thing for them!”
  2. “WHY are you rejecting me?? WAAAHHH” -On a brand that declares that I am too small a Blogger to have ever graced their presence.
  3. “Twitter is important. Twitter is everything. Twitter keeps this little space going. My blog would not exist without Twitter.”
  4. “I wish I was like…” (insert the names of many Bloggers here.)
  5. “Why do people live tweet police dramas?”-on Line Of Duty.
  6. “Maybe I should post extracts of my new novel?”
  7. “I wish I could earn a decent fee from Blogging, and that brands would pay me…”
  8. “WHY ON EARTH did I decide to post daily?!?!”
  9. *Anger at people who follow/unfollow me constantly*
  10. “How could I have used up another ten percent of my free photo storage space, when I only uploaded another TEN photos?!”
  11. “I loovvvveee freebies. This is why I blog..”
  12. ‘Not really!!”
  13. “Maybe I should start a Facebook page?”
  14. “This is all too much hard work”
  15. *Repeat all again*

What thoughts do you have whilst blogging?

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.

On hateful language in politics, and some ideas about reforming a system. 

Prior to taking Politics for my A-levels, I was warned that it would make me a cynic; whilst I’d describe myself as being sceptical, I’m not really apathetic. Today is a year on from that referendum; rather than commenting on Brexit or Bremain, I wanted to analyse the actual mechanics of the Referendum-thereby suggesting possible reform.

Parliamentary Sovereignty.

Because of the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, Referendums aren’t common. We had: the common market vote (1975), AV for MP’s (2011), Scottish independence (which England couldn’t vote in), and Brexit (2016). Although not necessarily binding, we still have the First Past The Post system, giving a majority, and also a mandate because of it, to Parliament. The reform here needs to be less of a fragmented system-because the results will be disputed otherwise, because generally speaking, it’s only two percent either way.

Collective responsibility.

Basically: the cabinet is obliged to work with the PM in public on policy. Once inside the cabinet rooms, they can disagree, but once public, it’s generally advised to be in line with the PM. But for this referendum, it was suspended, which I found a bit odd: surely our leaders should be unbiased, and not promoting another agenda? I would like to see secret ballots instead, without the need for campaigning-and also because it got to be so misleading. (Voters don’t need lies! They need truth!)

The question needs to have the implication.

Generally speaking, we are all opinionated. And we vote on those opinions we hold dear-whether it’s pro big buisness, against unions, etc. But to have a simple yes/no balloted paper does not give the implication of what happens otherwise, lest the result swing the other way. Because of the way his position had been undermined, David Cameron resigned from being PM. With that is a leadership election, new cabinet-so much transition. And I feel as if this was not really understood at the time. We need possibly implications, and procedures in place.

The way voted for.

Ostensibly, this referendum may have been a protest vote-along the lines of “vote the other way, we’ll shake the establishment”. This is not good because if true, it is not truly representative. Politics is about you, the people-and we only have the chance to show what we want every once in a while. We shouldn’t be voting like this.

But a note about mandates.

The majority vote gives the government a mandate. Simple as.

Hate crime is still inexcusable.

On reading that hate crime had rocketed after the referendum, I was truly disgusted. Brexit was a vote about whether the UK wanted to stay in a political organisation-not about hate! (The rhetoric of some leaders was awful; this was a vote about an organisation. ) And surely EU citizens and immigrants still have every right to live here!? We need them. We’d be silly to think so otherwise.

If there is a oddity of reaction-what I’m calling this reaction-but I would still like this to be called out.

 

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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 planner Wishlist…

I am very excited to be getting a new planner: you’ll be able too see my reasons as for the switch soon, as I’ll be posting about it soon. (Long story short, I needed an upgrade, as everything was becoming too crammed into my personal sized planner.) I love to have everything laid out visually on paper, as I otherwise can become very muddled. But this is my Wishlist of what I would like to decorate the new Planner with!

Washi tape:

Washi tape allows me to decorate the pages of the diary, and because it has very pretty pictures, I can ‘theme’ each week. To decorate is something that I find to be really calming. And when I come back to whatever page, it makes me smile. Paperchase have owl washi tape-click here to view-as well as Blue gingham tape-click here also to view. I usually choose patterns that are typically quite dark, so I wished to go for something brighter this time. Hobbycraft have gold washi tape (click here). Plus Paperchase have mint pink! (Click here also.) As you can see, I was almost stupidly excited.

 

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Look at the Washi tape and stickers!

Stickers:

So, yes, I am upgrading a size, because I have so much to juggle now. It needs stickers, surely? These Paperchase stickers are able to point to to specifically important post; by contrast, I just like these stickers because they are rose gold. And there’s also these stickers, which are just too pretty to not include.

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Even back on this old set up, there’s a lot of stickers!

And to keep track of appointments?

There are these lovely looking sticky notes from Paperchase. (Click here to view.) I tend to add in a lot at the last minute-even to just scribble a note on a post it-which would makes these a great addition. I also love that they can book mark certain pages-just what I need!

Other paper things:

Whilst browsing the net, one tip I read was that, in order to create a new pocket, just simply hole punch an envelope, and put it in your planner. Genius! I came across this lovely looking envelope (click here to view). And in case I run out of writing paper? These yellow refills look lovely.

The planner I have my eye on has tabs for an undated diary (I’m not sure about this format, bare in mind), a meal planner, shopping list, budgeting, and notes. Although some of these I may switch round-maybe with new dividers, such as Blog, Writing, etc-I’m keen to be changing my planner.

Let’s see how this goes,

Untitled design

 

***

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.