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26 Tasks Before my 27th Birthday (Final Review)

Rock Werchter 2016

Last year, the wonderful Hillary sent over a beautiful card with a list of 26 things that she challenged me to complete before my 27th birthday. The list is below, along with whether I managed to achieve it or not (or to which extent).

  1. Plant or grow something
    This was a roaring success, because I suddenly have a little herb garden which I reared from packets of seeds! They’re still too small to try, but they’re getting bigger every day.
  2. Pay 26 strangers a compliment
    I haven’t been able to keep count on this, but I have put an extra effort in doing this with as many people as possible.
  3. Wear something you made yourself
    I once made a dress (which mostly involved buying the material, cutting it, doing a bit of the sewing, and then giving up and letting my Mum finish it – but most of the work WAS done by me, somehow), and I have worn it on several occasions.
  4. Travel by boat
    With the good old Gozo Ferry, several times. I love it.
  5. Read Le Petit Prince in French
    Done! It was a beautiful read. I had previously read it in English (but years ago), so reading it in French was wonderful.
  6. Eat dessert before dinner
    Too often to note.
  7. Write a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages
    I have written several messages and emails to people who I hadn’t spoken to in ages, but I’m meaning to do this properly with a proper handwritten letter to my old best friend.
  8. Keep an elderly person company
    I don’t think I’ve done this in the past year properly (although I might have just forgotten – and you’d need to define “elderly”), but it’s definitely on my to-do list.
  9. Watch the movie God Help the Girl
    Watched it! It was a sweet movie, but the singing threw me off sometimes.
  10. On your next trip, take a disposable camera then develop the photos
    Done! At Rock Werchter last summer (one of the photos is above!).
  11. Go out and spend all day walking, no public transport
    I walk a lot in Luxembourg – although I haven’t kept track of whether I’ve spent a whole day of walking without any public transport, so I still need to technically complete this properly.
  12. Run at least 5km
    Didn’t complete. I have run 5km before, but that was a couple of years ago, and I’ve barely done any running at all since. I really need to get back on that saddle.
  13. Cook a 3-course meal of new recipes
    My lovely friend Valentina kindly helped me with this, including lasagna with white sauce, and tiramisù.
  14. Go on a spur-of-the-moment adventure – don’t stop to overthink!
    Once, on a sunny afternoon in Luxembourg, my boyfriend and I caught a bus, a train, and another bus to the Upper-Sûre Lake in the north of Luxembourg – we had a glorious swim in the lake there and a walk, before heading back home. Such a treasured memory.
  15. Challenge: spend a week sans make-up, natural beauty only
    I did this in January, and it was very nice to have more free time (it takes me about 10 minutes to do my make-up, and then a couple of minutes to take it off) and less “stuff” on my face. However, it was also very nice to start wearing it again. I don’t wear it every day, so this was not too much of a challenge, but it was cool to experience it for several days at a stretch.
  16. Send your mum surprise flowers, just because – show your parents you appreciate them without a special occasion ^^
    I did this! It was lovely to see their happy faces on Skype with the flowers I sent.
  17. Write a poem (limerick, ode to Dave, epic about your cat – your call!)
    I don’t think I’ve written any poetry this year, but I have written a few short pieces of prose, so I’m pleased about that.
  18. Dance in the kitchen
    Done, always.
  19. Do something for charity
    I sent a monetary donation for refugees arriving in Greece, and I took part in a production of The Vagina Monologues which was put up completely by volunteers, and all the money went to a women’s refuge in Luxembourg. I’m also a part of the Charity Subcommittee during my traineeship at the European Commission.
  20. Make a birthday card instead of buying one
    I actually didn’t manage to do this this year, but I have done it before.
  21. Fly a kite, relive childhood!
    I haven’t flown a kite in several years, and I love it! Really need to fish out an old one when I’m back in Malta and head to an open space.
  22. Make a mixtape for someone else
    I haven’t done this properly, but I do share specific songs with people I love very often.
  23. Challenge: unplug from social media for a week 
    I did this last year for about five days over Easter – we went on a trip to Sardegna and I completely unplugged myself from social media, email, and everything on the internet! It was not the most pleasant of times.
  24. Try a new hairstyle
    I don’t feel like I’ve done this properly, but I have experimented a tiny bit with some different hairstyles in the past. I still want to do something “drastic” someday, like a blunt fringe or a new hair colour.
  25. Order at a restaurant in Luxembourgish
    Restaurant servers are rarely Luxembourgish (or know Luxembourgish), so I haven’t really achieved this, BUT I have had “conversations” at the supermarket in Luxembourgish (i.e. hello, thank you, goodbye).
  26. Watch Amélie in French
    Done! I must admit, I could barely understand any of it, but at least I had watched it with English subtitles a few years ago, so I had a general idea of what was going on.

Thanks again to the lovely Hillary for the ideas. :) Some of the tasks on this list that I’d love to achieve before I’m 28 are: write a letter to an old friend, keep an elderly person company, run, cook more, write some poetry, and try a new hairstyle. Any other suggestions?

Things I Love Thursday

http://lovetheworldlife.tumblr.com/post/103226568630

  • A long weekend in Rome with my boyfriend
  • A late night film with my bestie
  • Wrapping Christmas presents
  • Roman food
  • The Vatican museums, Villa Borghese… all the things in Rome <3
  • My blog
  • A good talk
  • Going for a swim with a friend
  • Red wine
  • Getting Christmas nails done
  • Hanging out with old friends

A Course for Newcomers in Luxembourg

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When I arrived in Luxembourg, I wrote a blog post about my very first impressions. I can’t believe it will soon be a whole entire year since I wrote that post! Still a little over a month to go, though. :)

A lovely woman who lives in Luxembourg had read that blog post and sent me a sweet email to welcome me to Luxembourg (and gave me a bunch of hugely useful tips!) – one of her suggestions had been to attend a course that was specifically tailored for newcomers to Luxembourg. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend that course, because there weren’t any new courses being held, but the woman who takes care of these courses just emailed me to say that there are new ones that are about to be held, and I thought it would be helpful to spread the word.

These courses are free to attend (and include lunch!), and the length of time you’ve been in Luxembourg is not a restriction. Unfortunately, these courses are currently only available to non-EU nationals, but I’m hoping that some people who fall under that category will come across this and apply.

The first course will be on December 5th. It will also eventually be offered in Portuguese. Check out further details on their website. Happy relocating!

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.

A Big Announcement

Let’s go back to this post from 2011. I’m very, very much still a ship. And this time, I’m as confident and excited as ever. The unknowns are huger, and that makes me smile even more. So many wonderful opportunities to learn are ahead of me, and so many AMAZING unthinkably-beautiful moments await.

I’m very much moving into the unknown, yes. But isn’t that the appeal? The thrill of it?

Essentially: I’m moving to Luxembourg in January. This blog is about to get greener/more snowy/more about mainland-Europe. I’m so excited.

Things I Love Thursday

  • Feeling a little better
  • Revisiting the books I read in 2013
  • Swimming! In the sea! Twice! Once with one of my longest, loveliest friends! And another time with my boyfriend!
  • Standing up for myself
  • So much blogging
  • A tiny bit of productivity
  • Helpful classmates
  • Doing well in my Maltese proofreading course
  • Completing a trial run of some Vichy products
  • Drinks and nibbles with all the parents together at my boyfriend’s house
  • A surprise 60th birthday party for Dave’s lovely aunt
  • Watching the Manoel Theatre panto (hilarity all around)
  • Brunch at a lovely friend’s house (with lots of chats about theses and OSCOLA and Lebanese surnames(!))
  • Getting my LUSH Boxing Day sale order!
  • Meeting a pug who slightly stole my heart
  • Going to a bar called Times Gone By in Gżira and having delicious Thai food and amazing beer (and I don’t usually love beer so much)
  • Compiling a post with all of my 2013 favourites all together

Falling Off the Bone

ribs1

WARNING: this blog post is not for non-meat eaters. Definitely not.

I’m sure most of you have realised, but I’m not much of a cook – I can bake, but that’s usually it. However, sometimes I venture out of my comfort zone and try out a recipe for dinner (usually for my boyfriend and me to share). A few weeks ago, my boyfriend wanted me to make ribs. I found this recipe (AKA THE BEST RIBS RECIPE, EVER OF LIFE), and we haven’t looked back. I think we’ve had ribs three – or even four? – times since.

ribs2

The meat falls off the bone – it’s so worth it, even though the recipe takes about 4 hours to make (including purchasing the ribs, boiling them, and letting them sit in the oven). Hunt’s BBQ sauce is fantastic on them (Bold is a good one!), and I’m craving this again. It’s actually a very simple recipe, and very difficult to mess up. You can get a lot of work done while they’re boiling/in the oven, although by the end of it the smell will drive you crazy and you won’t be able to do anything until you’re able to munch on the amazingness that is this meal.

I made these potatoes to accompany the dish the first time I made these ribs, but I didn’t let the potatoes bake for long enough, so it wasn’t a success (but the buttery mixture was amazing!).

Make these ribs. If you like meat. You’ll thank me. I’m sure of it.

Juicefest

juice1

A couple of weeks ago, one of my close friends went on a little raw food + juice cleanse thing. I’m still a little confused by it as a general concept, but that’s not important for this post. This post is about a little meet-up we had where we blended and juiced a bunch of fruit and vegetables and drank them in wine glasses. Obviously.

juice3

Some of the recipes we sampled included a Strawberry and Basil Smoothie (pictured below), a Stress Reliever Detox Drink, and a juice with lemon/celery/ginger/apples (my favourite!).

juice2

The Cake of Awesome™

Andrew cake 1

As you might have spotted on a previous Sunday Photo Mishmash, I made a Cake of Awesome™ a few weeks ago, for my boyfriend’s brother’s birthday. It turned out really well – and here are a few photos showing it off.

Andrew cake 2

I used this white chocolate cake recipe, and made three layers (one of which was blue), and covered the whole thing with this cream cheese frosting (which was also a shade of blue). Finally, I put lots of purple sprinkles on the top. The presentation wasn’t the best, but at least it all held together and everyone said it was delicious.

Andrew cake 3

Ohhh yeah.