Things I Love Thursday

  • Fresh flowers
  • Bacon butties made by my boyfriend in the morning (life is great, isn’t it?)
  • Overcoming
  • Happy customers and lots of great work
  • Dinner with the loveliest of new friends
  • Buying presents for wonderful people
  • Making my own pesto
  • My new laptop… I can proofread large documents without having to wait a full 10 seconds for Word to unfreeze when trying to save
  • Candles
  • Keeping close contact with my two best friends via our very cool WhatsApp group
  • Snapchat! (clairebonello)
  • Casey Neistat (I kind of want to slap the guy, but I’m adoring his daily vlogs)
  • Pleasant French lessons
  • Managing to somehow give directions in Luxembourg to a French woman in French
  • My Dad visiting Luxembourg this week
  • A long weekend in Antwerp
  • A visit to the most beautiful small city of Lier
  • Sunny Belgian days
  • Cycling (even if I get so stressed out and sometimes even completely fall off my bike…)
  • Meeting a lovely old friend in Antwerp
  • Fine dining (always)
  • Buying tickets to see Slash in Luxembourg in June!
  • Plans

Music Mondays: cup runneth over

A dreamy song to wedge us into a productive frame of mind today (especially if you’re recovering from a long weekend). We spent a few days in Antwerp, Belgium, and we were surprised by how beautiful the city is. It was more of a chilled-out type of holiday (especially when it sometimes wouldn’t stop raining), but now we’re back in full-force work-mode. Hope you’re all having fantastic Mondays!

{ Andrew Bird // Pulaski at Night }

PS: The Music Mondays playlist.

Violets and nuns, oh my! (The LUSH Mother’s Day range.)

Claire Bonello LUSH

LUSH warms the cockles of my heart. It’s such a fun, good company, with excellent products and lovely staff. This week, I headed off to a bloggers’ event where we all discovered the new Mother’s Day range. (PS: yes, I know, Mother’s Day was last Sunday in Malta, and even earlier in other parts of the world, but in Luxembourg, it’s much later, in June.) The event was top-notch, as usual, (they even gave us gorgeous fresh flowers for our hair! And the LUSH representatives were kind enough to translate all their beautiful French explanations into English for poor little me) and I emerged with such a feel-good feeling.

Mostly due to the delicious strawberry concoction (above) and the delicious nibbles (below). Oh my, I must have had about five desserts. So good.

LUSH Mother's Day nibbles

The LUSH team are the kindest with bloggers, and sent us all home with a giant bag full of wonderful stuff from the Mother’s Day range. Clockwise from the top: Ultraviolet bubble bar, Yummy Mummy shower gel, Yummy Mummy body conditioner, Kerbside Violet solid perfume, and the Mother Superior bubble bar.

LUSH Mother's Day 2015

My favourites have to be the beautiful purple-y Yummy Mummy shower gel, and the hilarious Mother Superior bubble bar. Apart from looking amazing, they also smell out-of-this-world wonderful, and after a couple of hours at a LUSH shop, I practically radiated a fresh LUSH scent out of my pores. (I loved it.)

LUSH Mother's Day range

I had the best time with my sweet Luxembourg friends. Below, I’m posing with the lovely Betty and my best Luxembourg friend, Valentina. (My dress is from Zara.)

LUSH Betty Valentina Claire

It was a fabulous event, and I can’t wait to use up all my new products. I also picked up the Mask of Magnaminty (after trying out a sample a few weeks ago and loving it), and I became slightly obsessed with one of their new fragrances, All Good Things (it smells smokey yet sweet like candy floss – amazing) – I must save up for it ASAP.

And now our bathroom is a little overwhelmed by LUSH products… Oh well. ;)

Things I Love Thursday

  • A fabulous bloggers’ event at LUSH Luxembourg, where they showed us the Mother’s Day collection – I emerged smelling like a LUSH shop with a giant fresh flower in my hair <3
  • Warmer weather and sunny skies
  • My new laptop! It arrived almost a week early(!) and is gorgeous. I love typing on it, even if it’s going to take me a long while to fully appreciate the new system.
  • Snapchat (add me, I’m clairebonello)
  • Flamenco
  • The absolute best support from the best of friends
  • Having spent 5 years and a half with my beloved boyfriend <3
  • Justice
  • A book I’m really enjoying
  • Cider al fresco
  • Cider anywhere, for that matter
  • My friend Annelise finding a Love Heart that says ‘YOLO’
  • Peanut butter smoothies
  • Finishing off some wonderful work for wonderful clients
  • Meditation (surprise surprise)
  • My sweet beautiful friend Valentina, who always makes me smile so much

26 Tasks Before my 27th Birthday

26 things

One of my favourite long-time readers, Hillary, sent me a card for my 26th birthday this year (an absolutely fantastic Roald Dahl card!), and she included a giant list of 26 things she’s challenged me to complete by the time I turn 27. Sheesh. Well, I’m excited.

Let’s take a look at the list in detail:

  1. Plant or grow something
  2. Pay 26 strangers a compliment
  3. Wear something you made yourself
  4. Travel by boat
  5. Read Le Petit Prince in French
  6. Eat dessert before dinner
  7. Write a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages
  8. Keep an elderly person company
  9. Watch the movie God Help the Girl
  10. On your next trip, take a disposable camera then develop the photos
  11. Go out and spend all day walking, no public transport
  12. Run at least 5km
  13. Cook a 3-course meal of new recipes
  14. Go on a spur-of-the-moment adventure – don’t stop to overthink!
  15. Challenge: spend a week sans make-up, natural beauty only
  16. Send your mum surprise flowers, just because – show your parents you appreciate them without a special occasion ^^
  17. Write a poem (limerick, ode to Dave, epic about your cat – your call!)
  18. Dance in the kitchen
  19. Do something for charity
  20. Make a birthday card instead of buying one
  21. Fly a kite, relive childhood!
  22. Make a mixtape for someone else
  23. Challenge: unplug from social media for a week (though your blog doesn’t count – I’d miss it!)
  24. Try a new hairstyle
  25. Order at a restaurant in Luxembourgish
  26. Watch Amélie in French

What a list! I’ve already finished a few since turning 26 (4 and 18, par exemple), while some sound impossible (13, 23, 25), but I’m terribly exciting about completing as many as possible by the time March 2016 rolls around. Thanks so much for the awesome birthday “gift”, Hillary! I’m hoping to post a couple of update posts as the year goes on.

Music Mondays: all you get is a mouthful of blood

It’s a bit of a mellow song this week. My boyfriend has a couple of days off this week, so we’re trying to form some kind of long-weekend trip. Which means that I have to finish All My Work by Wednesday night, but then I’ll get to relax for a full four days, mmm.

Being a freelancer is tough, but after a few months of it, I’m starting to slowly get into a pleasant routine, in which I am flexible (for myself and my clients, as needs be) and happily productive.

Keep an eye out for quite a special post (it’s a list, surprise surprise) that will be up tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a very productive Monday.

{ Fruit Bats // When U Love Somebody }

PS: The Music Mondays playlist.

PPS: For some inane reason, I’m really getting into Snapchat recently. Add me: clairebonello.

Sunday Photo Mishmash: work hard, play hard

What an absolutely wonderful week. I’ve felt so good and so productive, while taking plenty of time off for adventures and day trips in the countryside. We visited Vianden (gorgeous!!) and Mullerthal (above) with our friend Anke, who was visiting, and we had such a lovely time in nature and exploring castles and seeing giant trees up close! I also saw red slugs for the first time ever – I never knew that slugs came in a red variation – but Anke, who is German, assures me that they’re super common in this part of the world. I have too many photos of red slugs now. Fascinated.

We also (obviously) ate a lot of amazingly delicious food, including Flammkuchen, which is an Alsatian dish (which I am slightly obsessed with now). The one below was a very fancy one, with goat’s cheese and pear. I could eat them all day, every day.

Apart from the travelling and exciting trips, I also got a lot of work done this week, and it’s been a particularly enjoyable week, with lots of super-interesting text to work on. I’m also very excited about ordering a new laptop (long overdue – I’m sure you can currently hear my laptop’s fan, wherever you are), which should arrive in just over a week.

I also attended the most beautiful wedding of my Italian friend Valentina this week – which was such a treat. As I said, it’s been a fantastic week.

Hope everyone is having a splendid Sunday!