Four Days in Amsterdam

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I missed you guys soo much! First off, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year filled with peace, positivity and laughter. In case you haven’t read the last few posts from 2018, I announced a small break from my blog over the new year as I was travelling to Amsterdam and I thought why not share my trip with all of you, including some of the things I got for myself.

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Just a quick side note before I forget: I haven’t yet posted about what I got for Christmas yet because I still need to meet my best friend to give her hers and her boyfriend’s gifts so I’ll wait for that and then publish the post, but in the meantime…

And can we admire the beauty of this photo?! This is the Alps as we passed over them on our way to Eindhoven Airport…

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DAY 1

I woke up at around 4am because the flight was at 8am. I needed to pack the last few things before heading to the airport. Once we were all checked out of the airport, we headed to Efteling Park, – luggage and all – and spent the whole day there. I probably had the greatest time in a park ever that day. One of the rides gave me such a fright the photo taken was me crying with my eyes closed! Everyone had a laugh at that, including me. It was terrifying, to say the least! The park’s theme is mystical and forest-y (it’s not a word but there’s no other way to describe it). Before went to the hotel, we watched a mesmerising fountain show, which was very beautiful and colourful.

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Been up since 4am, how tired I look on a scale from 1 to 10?!
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The quill moved as if someone was writing and the whole incubator with the book rotated
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This is as soon as we passed through the entrance. Isn’t it pretty?!

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DAY 2

We were all pretty knackered after spending a whole day at Efteling Park, so we spent most of the day. In the evening, we went to a place where we could play VR games. I wasn’t the best – in fact I was the worst in my team – but it was a lot of fun and an unforgettable experience!

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This candy store wasn’t the cheapest, but there were a lot of brands and products which I’d never seen before… like purple Oreos!

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I’m obsessed with these rubber ducks; I’ve seen a lot of them in London and to see them in Amsterdam was amusing! I decided to name all of them Robert
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NYFA has always been my dream, and to actually see the one in Amsterdam in person made me super emotional. I couldn’t attend for personal and financial reasons, but maybe someday I will!

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DAY 3

This day was the reason we actually planned the holiday in the first place: New Years’ Eve! The original plan was going partying at a very swanky and exclusive club and then head to one of the many bridges of Amsterdam (just several minutes away from the club) to see the fireworks and actually put up some ourselves!

Things didn’t exactly go to plan because all fireworks were sold out so we didn’t get to use anything, and we only spent several minutes at the club and didn’t go back in. But we still saw the fireworks and it was magical and out of this world. The fireworks people put up themselves went up until TWO IN THE MORNING. Seriously, we arrived at our hotel room at 1am and they were still going on!!

I was very tired on that day so I didn’t take too many photos.

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DAY 4

Our last full day! /sad face/ After the previous night, we decided to just take things easy and not do any extravagant things. I had some girl time and went souvenir shopping (correction: only I did a spree!) and then headed to Body Worlds – which was amazing! – before meeting back with the boys. Afterwards, we went to a bar which had a Glow Golf course under it and it was… interesting. Again, I wasn’t the best but we had a laugh and it was a great night, like any other.

I won’t be including pictures of Body Worlds because it might upset some people and there’s some graphic content within it like dissected brains and skeletons. But in case you’re intrigued, everything displayed in the museum is REAL. Exhibitions consist of actual dead people and it impressed me a lot at how well-preserved they were. There are interesting facts with every display about the body and diseases. I learned a lot and some displays were… interesting, in a very weird way.

“DAY 5”

I put it in quotation marks because it’s the day we all travelled back home. We woke up at around 5am to pack the last few things before we waited for our taxi driver to drive us to Eindhoven airport.

Overall, it was one of the greatest holidays ever. I’ll definitely visit Amsterdam again in the (hopefully near) future.

HAUL

In the banner of the post, which you can read above, I listed that I will include a “mini haul” of what I got.  There are some things I didn’t find online to link them in case you wanted to buy them, and I’m feeling quite poorly so I won’t post any photos, just the links, and then list the things I didn’t find and describe them as best as I could.

Products not listed above include:

  • Two fanny packs: one plain with two zippers and another one with one zipper and a chain across the middle/ The first one is for casual outings and the latter for more formal occasions.
  • A collapsible shopper bag with Amsterdam-related things all over it, such as tulips, the name written and bicycles.
  • A Totoro coin purse from a comic store.
  • A Slytherin jumper with green and grey horizontal stripes and the house crest on the left side.
  • Several souvenirs, pairs of socks and round cotton pads.

I hope you enjoyed this post, apologies for it being very long and full of photos but I believe pictures speak for themselves in my case. If you’re thinking of travelling to Amsterdam in the future let me know in the comments below! Where are you planning to visit? How long will you be staying? Let’s start a conversation!

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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…

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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

#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…

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… 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.