London Beauty Haul

Greeting my beautiful friends! I may have been back two whole weeks but I never really had the energy to actually put this post together for you. I’m sorry. I was feeling very depressed, and all I wrote were depressing posts or ones that were written ages ago and just proofread and published, and the heatwave (nicely named Lucifer, and I am not making this up!) in Malta didn’t help either.

But I’m back to being myself now, and cannot wait what beauty products I bought when I was in London…

Continue reading “London Beauty Haul”

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REVIEW: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child 5/5

I engaged in a lot of speculation in the days leading up to attending Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I purposely didn’t read the play (also because I’m still halfway through the third Harry Potter book) or any reviews before I saw the show. We both wanted to be completely immersed in the experience. So, for the months leading up to D-Day (the play was booked A YEAR PRIOR!), I was filled with questions: “Do you think there will be moving paintings?” “Will there be ghosts?” “What about Hagrid? Will he be in it?” My concern was for the details, the stuff that without them, the story will not feel as—dare I say it—magical.

Y’all, the details are present and then some. Since I am bound by #keepthesecrets button confidentiality (everyone was handed this on a button as we left the performance of Par One), I shall not reveal the whats and hows. Instead I will do the most “non-review” review possible and share my four main observations of the play.

The casting was spot-on

I lowkey cried four times during the play. The first was when we initially see Harry, Ron and Hermione together. The actor portraying Ron Weasley was phenomenal—funny, touching and so clearly captures Ron’s loyalty. I found myself enchanted by his interpretation of Weasley life.

Grown-up Harry Potter is a man whose emotions are still as much on the surface as they were when he was a boy, reinforcing that he will always be tortured by his past. The difficulties of growing up were present throughout the story, specifically the idea that being an adult doesn’t mean we are grown.

This was something that was lamented by the portrayal of Draco Malfoy focused on a man who not only had to live with the sins of his family, but who continues to struggle with his father’s doctrine. You could see the actor wrestling with Draco’s Death Eater-based socialization, particularly when it comes to raising his son while still having to interact with the rest of the wizarding world.

Lastly, Hermione Granger, was hands down my favorite. The actress had to balance many incarnations of Hermione: her bravery, brains and calm approach to the chaos of the wizard world. Hermione was played as the badass we all know her to be and did everything in heels for most of the play. Plus, there were many nods to the feminist household Ron and Hermione live in, from the hyphenated last name of their children to hints that Ron is part joke-shop-owner and part stay-at-home-parent.

The trio’s kids are going to be okay

The actress who plays Rose Granger-Weasley was both wonderful and tragic. Her performance was stunning, and Rose was presented as the perfect blend of her parents. Her energy level was through the roof and every time she was on stage you couldn’t take your eyes off her. The tragic part was that she was not given more to do; her character is sparse after the first half of the show, and clearly could have handled more.

One of the recurring themes of the show (and the HP canon in general) was the troubles of being an outcast. Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are those people. If Rose fits in and excels at everything (like mother like daughter, basically), Albus and Scorpius fail. The portrayal of Albus, however, was what the play promised, a teenage boy whose famous father’s image is so daunting that he must either rebel against or surpass it. The presentation of Scorpius is not at all what one would expect from a Malfoy. He is goofy, book-smart, nerdy, awkward and totally weird (basically a blend of the iconic trio, in my opinion). Like many folks in the theater, I could relate.

How does one overcome stigma?

This theme was clearly one of the cruxes of the play and manifested in Draco. The portrayal of Draco, a man who has had almost every adult figure in his life fail him (and struggles with his place in the wizard world) blew me away. Draco was given a lot more layers in this story, as a parent, a husband and a man trying to exist in a society that does not trust him.

In the books, Draco always felt like a shadow figure, and in the films, I thought he was played up more as a boy whose jealousy and privilege where poisoning him. It was nice to see him as more than this. Layers manifested in the ways Draco was portrayed as a complicated man, someone who wants to help his son become more than a product of Death Eaters.

Boys can cry

All of the characters, and the actors portraying them, presented themselves as multi-dimensional people. Rose was not only smart, but she also a jock. Ginny writes for the sports section of The Daily Prophet and is a loving mother in an egalitarian household. (Harry does the cooking just fyi). Hermione runs the Ministry, Ron works part-time, and their children hold both their last names.

But what was most telling was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. Both boys are allowed to share their deepest feelings with each other, without ridicule or judgement. They express their fears, hug a lot and demonstrate that boys can cry. We also see this with Harry and Albus. Harry allows his son to see him crying and devastated. Even Draco gets a few moments where we realize how close to the surface his emotions run, yet Draco is more aware of the restrictions masculinity places on expressing feelings.

Conclusion

In short, The Cursed Child lived up to my expectations and beyond. Please accept my apologies for the lack of details in this non-review review, but I do fear the wrath of Professor McGonagall if any secrets are revealed.

#KeeptheSecrets

Travelling to London

Travelling to London? Follow these tips!!

Comino Magazine - Influencers

As one of the most visited cities in the world, London is jam-packed with tourists. So how can you skip the crowds, save money and make the most out of your London experience? Find out with these tips!

1. Check the Weather and Pack Accordingly

The weather in London can be very temperamental so always check the forecast before you pack. When I was there this year, the weather was mostly cold and windy, and there was a massive heatwave just a few short weeks before. Typically, January is the coldest month, with an average of 7°C and July the hottest, at 19 °C.

2. Use a Visitor Oyster Card

Once you land at the airport, look for an Oyster top-up machine, add some credit and you are good to go. A week in Zones 1-3 costs less than £40!

3. Travel during Off Peak Times

Low season is usually January…

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#ClaireNotes… London Edition! – July 2017

London baby!

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My most anticipated holiday to date has to be this one. It had been planned and booked for over a year! One week in London, jam-packed with fantastic events and banter (knowing me) with my bestfriend of 12 years.

The downside? Being at the airport at 4 in the morning. Yeah, I am not a morning person. But there were some upsides!: seven days with my bestfriend in the whole world. And shopping. And musicals. And souvenirs!

BFF’s Birthday in London

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Why the Cursed Child poster, you may be wondering…? Well, because we booked to see both parts of the play on her birthday!

I cannot share any details on the play itself (#keepthesecrets), but let’s just say it was beautiful and the transitions from one scene to another were out of this world and… dare I say… MAGICAL!

Brighton

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The day before Cursed Child we went to Brighton. We attended an event called Pop Up Pug Café which you can assume what it was all about.

After the Café we caught the bus to the Royal Pavilion…

Me

… and then headed to the amazing Brighton Pier, which was a lifelong dream of mine to visit.

You can tell the weather wasn’t in our favour, but we still had the greatest time!


Would you like a post on my week in London? Let me know in the comments’ section below!

Summer Must-Haves // 2017

I am currently in London enjoying myself,
but I also want YOU to enjoy yourselves by reading a post!
So here goes! Be back on the 27th July!


denim skirts

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There’s different ways you can wear this wardrobe staple throughout the year, but the best accessory for summer is definitely a plain white t-shirt (scroll further down) and beautifully tanned legs.

off-the-shoulder tops

Probably one of my favourite trends I can never wear because of my big… assets. Maybe someday I will have the guts and small assets to wear these tops. The bonus is that you can wear these with anything.

denim jackets

I probably have over four denim jackets in my wardrobe – one of which is vintage Levi’s – and I wear each one of them with different things. And if someone tells you not to double denim an outfit, go triple denim (is this possible? Anyone?)

backpacks

I probably have more backpacks than any other type of bag. Not only are they cute, but they are also very spacious and good for travelling (you gotta look good for the locals you know!). Will I be buying more?… Don’t test me.

bodycon dresses

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Because of the bumps and lumps I call my body, I cannot wear these without looking like a jelly twisted with a piece of rope all around. But I love looking at these and they’re nice for a date night, a BFF bonding date and so much more.

soft shorts

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Perfect for girls who have thighs like mine or cannot  tolerate denim shorts stuck to their body because of the heat. You can wear this either with a smart or a casual outfit. Many materials and colours to choose from!

t-shirt dresses

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The comfiest kind of dress out there.. You can team them up with heels, boots, tennis shoes, sandals… you name it! If it’s plain, add patterns, and the other way round. Win-win.

peasant blouses

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This summer has seen the comeback of the peasant blouses. Most of them have embroideries with patterns and colours.

stripes

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If anyone ever said that this trend is going out of fashion, they are absolutely wrong. A trend that was inspired by the nautical style, it has been in and out of style over the years, but has stuck over the last few years.

white tees

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This timeless trend dates back to the Footloose days, and has been a trendsetter ever since I knew what fashion and style meant. Pair with classic denim jeans and white trainers and you’re perfect.

crop tops

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Subject to many controversies, yet we still love them. Should women with a bit of pooch round the mid-area wear them? I personally think that anyone can wear anything they want s long they feel comfortable and confident in their outfits. And there’s mini different types of crop tops you could wear.

florals

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I hope florals never go out of fashion because I love them. Colourful, big and bright are three things I wish my clothes were more of (I’m trying, don’t judge me!). I own a few floral printed items of clothing but I am still struggling to go full-mode floral like the first photo. But I will… someday.

A Leap of Faith: Things are Changing…

“Clean” Eating

For some people, eating clean means being healthy and cutting down on junk food and add up the fruits and vegetables. Since I’m a junkie at heart and have probably had a total of five vegetables in my 23 years of life, I am taking a different approach to this whole clean eating thing: incorporating more and more vegetables in my diet until I can ultimately limit my junk food intake. SOunds easy? It’s not. Not for me, at least. But I’m trying, which counts.

Internship

After being contacted by Comino Magazine to be a regular collaborator, I had to accept the opportunity. “But what will happen to your blog?” It will still be here. “And you?” Yes, me too.

This is not only an opportunity to help a fellow blogger, but also myself to be a better writer and get my work out there, which is outside of my sassy, realistic and blunt blog.

New Job?

The question mark is so important in this case which is why I decided to underline it. With the driving exams (practical and theory) fast approaching, which means I need to save up for a car from now (or should I have started before?!?!), I decided to get a part-time job for the summer, as a Fashion Advisor (fancy) in a popular retail shop in a popular mall in Malta. I started this week, and so far, I love it!

… But wait! I might have a day job as a Support Worker for children during summer.

Shigh. So many things, so little time.

Vitamins

This was an unexpected thing, but I’ve started taking fish oil vitamins. They were recommended to me by my psychiatrist to help with my concentration and memory. I’m going on week three and I’ve seen a mental transformation in relation to memory and how I process thoughts. I’ve taken vitamins before but they made me more tired and physically sick, but these are really good so far! I am taking one capsule of Pharmepa RESTORE | 1000 mg pure EPA omega-3 fish oil a day.

The Planet Is Dying… & It’s All Our Fault

Earlier this week I attended an event about energy efficiency. And while the speakers discussed this issue on a more broad level, it really got me thinking: our planet is slowly dying. It’s good that conferences like this are happening all over the country, because it goes to show that someone is doing something about it… but are we?

Let’s Get Technical…

Debra Kelly on Listverse said that, “It’s no secret that our planet is in a pretty dire condition. Extinction rates have been estimated to be about 1,000 times higher than they should be, and that’s all due to human influence—and interference. With around 20,000 species at risk for extinction and countless others that we haven’t even discovered yet also dying, scientists are rushing to figure out what we can do about it. Some have suggested the sixth great mass extinction is looming on the horizon, and the problem is a massive one. It’s so big that there are things that you do every day that are helping to bring about the end of the world, and chances are that you might not even know it.”

What are we doing wrong?

These pictures from Bored Panda are just a few examples of what humans are doing that are killing the planet:

The burning of fossil fuels helps the Arctic ice melt faster

CO2 emission causes tsunamis

Cutting the trees for the white and soft toilet paper hurts the forests

Plastic pollutes the water that we drink

Meat and dairy industry pollutes the air

Heating our homes heats the Earth as well

Irresponsible usage of electricity causes the floods

The Greenhouse Effect

The exchange of incoming and outgoing radiation that warms the Earth is often referred to as the greenhouse effect because a greenhouse works in much the same way.

Incoming UV radiation from the Sun easily passes through the glass walls of a greenhouse and is absorbed by the plants and hard surfaces inside. Weaker IR (infrared) radiation, however, has difficulty passing through the glass walls and is trapped inside, thus warming the greenhouse. This effect lets tropical plants thrive inside a greenhouse, even during a cold winter.

So imagine what we are doing to our planet with the greenhouse effect… The Sun’s heat passes through the ozone layer, through the cracks of it, and the heat is trapped within it. Ice caps are melting, natural disasters are at an all time high and temperatures are soaring high (and if you live in either Malta or the UK, you know what this is!).

What can we do to help save the planet?

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I’ll admit that “save” is an interesting word choice, especially considering many scientists think that we are beyond saving after the environmental devastation we have put Earth through thus far. However, as an optimist, I believe every little bit counts and we can still make this planet a beautiful place, and hopefully save its creatures from impending doom. The choices we each make today are important.

This article is very informative if YOU want to help our planet stay alive.