#ClaireNotes – February 2017

February was an eventful month, from my and my boyfriend’s birthday month, to going on our first weekend getaway, going to a concert, celebrating one year in recovery and so much more, but I had three goals in mind for this month…

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1. Celebrating my Birthday [Achieved]

Of course it’s my birthday every year, but this year is my first birthday in recovery. I woke up in the morning with the brightest smile on my face (and this is highly unusual as I am NOT a morning person! And nor will I ever be), all happy that it was my birthday.

Work greeted me with open arms, the children in the Early School (my department) also sung happy birthday to me… and overall it was a good day. My boyfriend couldn’t celebrate with me as he was without a car and couldn’t travel much, but I celebrated it with my BFF and older sister. We watched Harry Potter and got many nice presents during my birthday week.

2. Weekend Getaway

I’d been looking forward to this for AAAAAAAGES. After two weeks recovering from gastric flu and not seeing my boyfriend, I got to spend a weekend annoying the living banjos out of him… and also kick back and relax hehehe.

We went to the Santana Hotel in Bugibba. No regrets there. Great service, great location close to all amenities (and by close, I mean there is an actual convenience store next door). Even though we only had B&B, next I will most definitely book half-board because the food was simply exquisite!

3. Symphonic Beatles

This event was organised by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in aid of Qalb it-Tfal (translated to: Children’s Hearts), which is a hospital in Malta that helps parents of prematurely born babies pay for surgeries and doctors’ bills.

After a meltdown about how insecure I felt about what I was wearing and spotting my ex, who coincidentally happened to be sitting several seats away IN THE SAME ROW, the event started. I was really happy with how the event turned out though. All songs were beautifully sung with guests like popular local singer Amber.

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So this is what February was like. I’d like to thank everyone for the birthday greetings, presents, likes, comments and overall support. YOU ROCK ❤

Malta: The Where, What & What Nots.

I’ve lived on the island of Malta my whole life. That’s over two decades, which is a pretty long time if you ask me. Throughout this time, I’ve learnt a lot on my country: the language, the history, the mysteries, the good, the bad and the plain jaw-dropping amazing. This post is a quick overview and guide on my home country, and ultimately why it’s the most beautiful gem in Europe, if not the world.

So grab yourselves a glass of wine (perhaps Maltese-grown Merlot?), or a cup of tea, sit back in your chairs and enjoy the journey… Continue reading Malta: The Where, What & What Nots.

“It all just got real…” – My Journey to Being Diagnosed

I led a normal childhood, as far as I can remember. I was the imaginative, creative weirdo who loved her imaginary friends and playing soccer. I had really good friends of both genders, played well with everyone and the teachers mostly loved me. However, I always had the same problem: I thought too little about consequences of my actions, but was preoccupied with what people taught of me: always was and probably always will be.

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I had a normal, happy childhood

There was nothing weird with my family. My parents are your average, strict hard-working parents who wanted the best for their children, and my older sister was… well… an older sister. She means well, I know, but sometimes she can be a bit harsh. But in a good sisterly way, I’m sure.

Fast forward to when I turned eleven: when the problems started. I was moved to all-girls secondary (high) school. I had no friends except for one a year above me (who’s still my best friend to this day… TEN YEARS LATER!), and I always sat with my sister during free periods. I had acne, low self-esteem and a reputation for being an outcast. I went from playing and talking to everyone to being left out, getting picked last for team work and talking to nobody but my sister and my best friend. During secondary school, I used to think I had depression, but brushed it off. The idea never stuck. Me, former class clown, depressed?! Nah!

I only ever liked three subjects at school: English, Italian and French. Having three languages was no walk in the park. I loved writing stories in English and present them to my teachers, who all told me the same thing: “You have talent”. I used to hate my French teacher for the two years that I had her, and never did my homework. She told me I’d fail, but I always got good marks in French. Italian was a different story. We were a tight-knit group, and I still sometimes talk to some of them when I see them around.

Also during this time I was bullied. The names were endless: weirdo, strange, Shrek, ugly. I was also called names for listening to rock music and always being gloomy. But that’s how I was. They’d never understand the consequences of their words.

In June 2011, I lost my uncle to cancer. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Despite not being too close with him, he always had nothing but wise words of wisdom to tell me and my sister. The day he died I was sick, in bed, studying his favourite subject: the French Revolution. I dedicated my History exam to him… didn’t go so well. I got an E. Sorry, Uncle. I still love you.

That year, in October, came the saddest day of my life: losing my grandfather. My hero, the greatest man to ever enter my life. He was smart, funny, a good man all in all: the person I aspired to become when I was older. I spent that day just staring without a focus on things. I was so sad that all I did when I went home was stare at the ceiling, remember the good old days with him. The laughter, sadness and wisdom we shared together. Losing him left me devastated and unable to cope.

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Losing my hero left me devastated

That led me to a downward spiral. I’d call my mum, crying that I hated everyone and everything, that I was alone and no one would miss me. This left her a little worried, but she brushed it off as a phase, simple sadness or something of that sort. 2011-2012 were the worst years of my life. My grades were plummeting; I had just two friends and being single didn’t help at all. I thought nobody wanted to be with me, or even liked me. I hid it all: the pain, the sadness, being lonely and alone. I hid it like it was nothing. And I was good at it. I good at making people think I was okay.

Fast forward three years. I was still sad, constantly tired, didn’t enjoy the things I used to love—reading and watching series—and my self-esteem was ever so low.

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I hid my sadness very well

During that time, however, something did change: I started seeing someone. As he plays a role in this, we’ll call him X. X was smart, charming, a fellow animal lover and mature. I was instantly in love. We were both Beatles fans, and having met for the first time on John Lennon’s birthday made the relationship extra special. I was working as a secretary, and was not happy with my job. X encouraged me to call someone for help. Something I wanted to do for ten years… and it happened. I called my psychologist, Dr G, and set up my first appointment for December 2015. Also during that time, I went to see a doctor, and told him about my health issues. He told me to take a blood test, because it might have been thyroid issues, and if they came out negative, chances are I have depression. And, lo and behold…

The tests came out negative.

I had depression. It all just got real now. After ten years, I was finally diagnosed.

Soon enough, things with X were going sour. He’d be encourage me to do thigs the hard way—go hard or go home, he’d tell me in his own way—like putting on make-up, changing my style, moving out, not listen to my parents and much more. X would tell me he means well and cares about my wellbeing, which for him meant cutting my family off. Unfortunately, being blinded by my love for him, I listened to him. I spent about three months not talking to my family.

Things started getting worse, and one day, he just told me that it was better to stay away from him. I spent the next three days in hospital, crying for him, crying for dear life, with my mother by side. Oh, mother, if it wasn’t for you then, I’d probably have killed myself. She came with me to every doctor’s appointment, kissed me goodnight and checked up on me constantly. I felt stupid for having cut her off of my life because of X. Stupid and foolish and sad at the same time.

And finally we come to the present:

  • I’m seeing a specialist every four weeks to overlook my progress
  • I’m in a fun, amazing relationship
  • My family still loves me
  • My friends both love me to bits
  • I started this blog

And most of all…

  • I am where I want to be 🙂

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REVIEW: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick Nude Collection by Kate Moss Shade 45 4/5

I needed a nude lipstick for ages! Lack of funds and being a lazy person are to blame, but I finally found the PERFECT shade when I visited the local drugstore (pharmacy). And it was from Kate Moss’ Nude Collection by Rimmel.

First off, I love all the lipsticks’ packaging, with the slanting top cap resembling the top part of a lipstick. But what really has me is the COLOUR used for the packaging. I mean, look at them!

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Cute right?!

Now moving on to the actual shade I bought, which is 45. The colour itself is a nude-ish brown type of colour, which is EXACTLY what I was going for at the time. The colour is quite natural so you can use it for a more natural make-up look, which I’m all for.

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One thing I didn’t really like about it was the fact that it didn’t really last as long as the title says, which is ‘long lasting’, which is why it lost a rating for me.

But I’ll definitely get more shades from this collection! Also because the thing is SO SO SOOOO cheap! I mean, EUR5.75 for a nice-looking thing like this?! Definite bargain and definite buy!

Collective Haul // eBay, Beautifulhalo.com, Asos

This month I decided to indulge myself with some items which I bought online. Because, you know… I wanted to. And these are the items I bought:

From eBay, I got this marble print cover for my phone. It’s made of plastic and so can be bended. I wanted the cover to be hard, plus the print is a little faded… like it was printed on, but I’m still happy with this.

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I also bought a knock=off Ted Baker bag for less than £20… WHAAAAAAT!!!! Yes, really y’all. Less than £20, so less than EUR20. I haven’t received it yet, but it looks something like this:

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Moving on… from Asos I got this really amazing book called ‘Map my Style’. It helps with creating or improving your style, and also helps with designing your own outfits.

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Another thing I got from Asos is this floral halter dress. I got it in a size 12 and it’s still a little big (good news for me!). The rib part is all elasticated and the halter straps are thin.image3xxlimage2xxl

And last but certainly not least, the items I got from Beautifulhalo.com. I got this amazing watch. It has no numbers, but instead has the different moons, which I love a lot.

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I also got this cute silk top. Despite being a size XL it was a bit too tight round the chest area (which means someone’s got to lay off the crisps!),and the colour I got is completely different from the one I ordered, but I still like it.

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Last item is a black gem necklace. I chuckled at the sight of the packaging, thinking it was something big, but turned out to be this.1463055839227

Bag Essentials

I’ve been slacking on posts, I know. I have no excuses apart from procrastination. Big time procrastination. So as my comeback, I decided to write about my bag essentials. As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that these are things I have in my bag; this is not an essentials bible.

Nail Files

Broken or chipped nail? No problemo! These printed emery board by Dirty Works are the perfect fix for better looking nails!

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Pen & Notepad

I’m a writer, and get inspired everywhere I go. So a notebook and pen are always carried around with me. The ones I’m using are by Gorjuss, and they actually are gorgeous!

Magazine

Whenever I’m stuck on the bus in traffic, a good read is always a good company. I’m currently reading Glamour Magazine with Reese Witherspoon on the cover.

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Sunglasses

Where I live is sunny sunny sunny, so a pair is always in my bag. I’m currently obsessed with these cat-eye sunglasses from River Island!

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Tweezers

I carry these with me because… well, you can never know when you need an eyebrow fix. The ones I use are these slanted ones by Dirty WOrk (can you tell I’m obsessed with this brand?)

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Nail Clipper

Because my nails suck, and if one is chipped or broken, then off they all go! I use Ms Manicure’s nail clipper with the grip so it’s slippery-free.

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Lip Balm

Since the weather here is humid and very dry, lips often get dry and chipped in a blink of an eye. Pearly Shine by Nivea is the perfect lip balm for those dry lips, so pucker up ladies!

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Hand Cream

Yas, ma’am! Like I said, with this weather we’re having, your skin is bound to get dry, so I use this hand cream with shea butter, which I got from H&M, and I haven’t used anything since.

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Compact Mirror

Obviously, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself (sorry, got carried away there). I use this cute one from Katty Miyoko

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Boohoo & New Look Mini Haul

Greeting earthlings!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I decided to treat you all with a mini Boohoo and New Look haul. Let’s start off with Boohoo!

First thing I got was this beautiful dress with bell sleeves. I actually thought the colour in the picture looked more grey than khaki, but when I received the dress and tried it on I thought it looked gorgeous in khaki

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Another thing which I got from Boohoo is this drop-dead gorgeous short sleeved playsuit which I got in berry. it has pockets and came with a belt. Despite being a size too big, it was a little smug on the sides, but I absolutely love it.

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Next up are the items I got from New Look.

First thing I got is this cute clutch bag which I will be wearing for a wedding very soon. It took me a while to find the perfect clutch bag… until I saw this one and fell completely in love with it.

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I also got something I’d been looking for for AGES, which are these shorts that go down to the kneecaps.

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My ~star buy~ were these cute butterfly fairy lights which looks stunning and magical when lit up. I wanted to change up my room and got these fairy lights to decorate a little.

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So that was my mini haul for today. Stay tuned for more hauls similar to this, and hope to see you again very very soon. Bye!