Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s on my Face

September make-up1

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely lady-date with a close friend of mine, and we had wine and cheese and conversation. I took a couple of photos of my face before I hopped into my car, and I thought I’d share my make-up choices with you all.

September make-up2

Firstly, the tools:

Eyelash curler
Real Techniques powder brush
Real Techniques contour brush
Real Techniques blush brush
Real Techniques buffing brush

September make-up3

And, finally, the products:

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB cream (Normal skin, light shade)
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair
Rimmel Stay Matte powder in Pink Blossom
Stila Convertible Color in Lilium
theBalm FratBoy blush
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter
The Body Shop Strawberry Born Lippy lip balm
Caudalie Beauty Elixir

September make-up4

Hope you’ve enjoyed these. I’m such a mixed up blogger, aren’t I? I’m currently following a blogging ecourse called BUILD, and the lovely “tutor” suggests that a blog should only be centred on three main things. But I blog about all sorts of things! Make-up, thesis writing, books, every day gratitude, music… It’s all here. I don’t mind too much, though. I like that I have a corner of the Internet to put out whatever I please. :)

Book Haul: Murakami, Mantel, McEwan(!)

awesomebooks haul Sept 2013

A couple of weeks ago my awesome friend Anna was flabbergasted that I had never heard of awesomebooks.com. In fact, I had never heard of this fantastical website. Fantastical. I quickly hopped home and spent a good hour perusing its wondrous contents. This website has (mostly) used (and in good condition) books (e.g. ex-library books) which are sold at a fraction of their RRP and can be sent to Malta with completely free shipping. (Free shipping applies if you buy more than one book – but isn’t that obvious? How can you make a purchase from this website that contains just one book? Madness.)

The photo above shows the spoils of my very first order. It’s good, isn’t it? That lovely pile of books were about 14 euros. FOURTEEN. I’m still impressed. Their condition is good (some scuffs, but a couple even came in plastic sleeves), and although the shipping materials were a bit flimsy, nothing seemed to have been damaged due to the journey to my letter box, so that’s good enough for me.

Let’s get down to it.

  1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – I’ve been meaning to read Bring Up the Bodies for about a year, and then I found out that that book is actually the sequel to this one, so I’ve nabbed this one to read before I decide whether I’d like to read Bring Up the Bodies. And, I mean, I only wanted to read the latter because it was the Man Booker Prize winning book of last year. And then I found out that Wolf Hall is also a Man Booker Prize winning book. OKAY, THEN.
  2. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – I read an article earlier this year with someone’s top recommended books, and this was one of them. Since most of the rest of the books that were mentioned were some of my absolute favourites, I’m presuming that I’ll enjoy this one as well.
  3. The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa – This one is the same as Norwegian Wood. It was in the same article, among the same books that I’ve previously read, enjoyed and loved. So there’s (hopefully) a good change that I’ll like this one too.
  4. The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan – As some of you may have realised, McEwan is probably my favourite novelist ever, ever. I’m obsessed with his writing style and his use of words and his stories and creations. I’m doing a pretty good job of reading everything he’s ever published, and this is definitely next on my list. I’ve heard so many fantastic things about this one, so it seems like it might be one of his best. I’m very excited.
  5. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber – I can’t remember who recommended this book, but it might have actually been included in the list I mentioned above in which I discovered Norwegian Wood and The Bad Girl. It’s quite a bulky book, so let’s hope I like it. I’m still “struggling” through A Game of Thrones, but that’s mainly because it’s too bulky for me to lug around with me, and I only manage to read a chapter before I go to sleep on some nights (not too often, unfortunately, since I usually continue reading a book I’d have been reading throughout the day). I’d love to read the first four books from A Song of Ice and Fire, but I seem to have a bit of a logistical difficulty when it comes to bulky books. Also – I’m trying hard to focus on reading things for my thesis. And I often have proofreading jobs which require a lot of concentration. WHY AM I STILL RAMBLING?

Anyway. If you’re interested in awesomebooks.com, I would suggest that you sign up to their newsletter before making an order, because I did that and they sent me a cheeky little discount code which I used to knock off a further 3 euros (at least) off my total bill. It really is an awesome site. My shopping basket on that site is overflowing right now (I found an obscure history book for a bargainous 20 euros, but that’s still a lot of money since I don’t really need it) – it stands at around 30 euros with a bunch of books I’ve been meaning to read since forever and books which I’ve only recently thought about reading.

I love summer holidays and less intellectually taxing months because that means READING-READING-READING. It’s going to suck to have to slow down my reading in a few weeks’ time. I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, which is predictably fantastic. I adore Bryson’s travel writing, and this one is particularly good. So many laugh-out-loud moments. He’s definitely one of my favourite non-fiction writers.

ANYWAY. This post has been a bit of a ramble. But books are wonderful, and I could talk about them for days. Check out my GoodReads account for more updates about some of the books I’ve read, some of the books I’m reading, and so on. Add me if you have an account, I’d love to check out what you’ve been reading.

And one last thing – I already have an enormous pile of books in my To-Read list, but if you’ve read any book which you absolutely loved, do recommend it to me in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter, or via email (claire at clairebonello dot com). Or just let me know IRL if you ever see me prancing around.

Now

Making: A mental list of things I’d like to accomplish over the next few days.

Cooking: I’m not really one who cooks, but I do plan on preparing a few things for a family BBQ in a couple of days’ time. Even if it’s just these awesome peach caprese skewers (again).

Drinking: An espresso from a little cup and saucer I bought from Sicily.

Reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m not too sure about this one. Still around 1/4th in. And I found a grammar mistake. Tsk tsk.

Wanting: To make the most of my weekend.

Looking: At YouTube videos, as per.

Playing: Candy Crush Saga. URGH, YES, I’VE BEEN SUCKED IN. But I only let myself get sucked in after getting a bunch of proofreading projects done, so I’m a responsible crusher, if you catch my drift.

Wasting: Food. I realise I have a habit of leaving a bit of food in my plate, even if I thoroughly enjoyed something. I think that’s even some Japanese etiquette rule? But yeah, I should really stop doing that; it’s simply wasteful.

Sewing: Nothing, at the moment. I’m still planning on making a dress for myself this summer. It just hasn’t happened yet. The family sewing machine (which is currently borrowed by an aunt) is returning home over the next few days, so that will be my cue to actually give this project a go.

Wishing: 
For an even more productive summer. There’s still over a month left, and I need to do so much more. Mainly: more proofreading jobs, little projects (like sewing a dress), actually starting to write my Doctor of Laws thesis (and start a corresponding set of blog posts with my progress – like I did last year), preparing for my notarial warrant exam (next March), finishing off the summer project which is part of my Maltese proofreading course), and MORE BARBECUES WITH FRIENDS.

Enjoying: My blossoming proofreading business which gives me such joy and (yes, actually) satisfaction. I also get to read a lot of academic material which is a bonus; I learn about the most unlikely things.

Waiting: For next weekend when I’m off for a few days in Gozo with my two best friends, finally! There will be sparkling wine, I’m sure of it.

Liking: The Mary Lou Manizer highlighter by theBalm that I just received in the post today. It seems like it will be a fantastic product, and there’s so much of it. It’s on sale on feelunique.com right now.

Wondering: About what I’ll be doing tonight.

Loving: The Great British Bake Off. It’s back on TV, and while I’m super-sad that I’m not in the UK while watching it, it’s just simply exquisite television.

Hoping: That the next year will be fruitful and not too stressful.

Marvelling: At how it’s soon going to be a WHOLE YEAR since I moved back from England. What.

Needing: To visit the Topshop sale. Everything is probably gone already, but I’m hoping to find something awesome. I never appreciated Topshop enough when I lived in the UK.

Smelling: Like a LUSH solid perfume (Lust) a friend of mine got over for me from Italy a week ago.

Wearing: My pyjamas. Oops. It’s 2pm. This rarely happens, promise!

Following: A lot of people on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram. Hmm.

Noticing: That it’s 2pm and I should really put some regular clothes on and have some lunch.

Knowing: That summer in Malta is pretty awesome, even though the heat is often unbearable and things get sticky.

Thinking: About how I should spend the next 6 days. Lots of things and projects I’d like to do and finish, but not sure about when I should do what. Also, if I don’t plan things correctly, I’ll just lounge around with my pyjamas and watch questionable television shows online. Which wouldn’t be very good.

Bookmarking: This, because I’d love to present my freshly baked cookies in a lovelier manner.

Opening: My luggage and unpacking – just been on a trip to Sicily.

Giggling: Because my boyfriend insists on tickling me.

Feeling: A little gooey and loved up.

(Borrowed from Janine.)

Cheerful blog posts in your mailbox!

A little bit of housekeeping in this blog post.

Ever since I made the permanent + proper switch to clairebonello.com, most of my lovely email subscribers have been lost at the wayside. It’s very sad.

Therefore, I’m going to formally invite everyone who’d like to receive my blog’s updates via email to head over to the sidebar of my site (on the right – maybe you’ll need to scroll down a tiny bit) and enter your email address, and click Subscribe. You’ll receive an email with new blog posts the second they’re up, so you’ll never miss anything. I myself am an avid user of RSS feeds (feedly, yo), but email updates from certain blogs are still my favourite way of keeping up with my favourite websites. I’d love to pop into your inbox every so often. :)

Anyway, thanks to everyone for reading. Truly. I love updating this little space on the Internet, and it’s even better when you guys visibly enjoy it too. :)

Some of the best advice ever.

Something someone said. Something you did. Something you saw that bothered you. Something you remembered from a long time ago, that suddenly ruins your day.

This happens to me all the time. A friend of mine (who has studied Psychology – with a capital ‘P’) once told me that one of the most important things I need in my life (and due to how I see things) is closure, but closure for myself (often: on my own terms). So if closure is important for you, to be able to move on and get on with life and fun times and new memories, you might have to work a little harder and give closure to yourself.

And let things go.

9 Ingredients for a Fun Night with a Best Friend

Deliciousness.

Deliciousness.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a little celebratory evening with one of my best friends to celebrate the end of her Doctor of Laws thesis and the end of my fifth year Procedure exams. It was brilliant, and made me think about the ingredients for a perfect night in with a friend. (No, clubbing isn’t included in this list.)

  1. Cheese. Lots of cheese.
  2. Bread/crackers/bread-sticks.
  3. A lit candle.
  4. Glasses of wine. The wine should (ideally) be sparkling.
  5. Ridiculous conversations about anything and everything.
  6. A lovely swim at sunset just before the cheese + wine + bread consumption begins.
  7. Some form of sweet treat (sweet + salty popcorn, in our case – oh, so, so, so good).
  8. Questionable Google searches.
  9. Laughter aplenty.

Now: go ahead and create your own perfect little evenings with a friend (or two, or more!). They’re so good for the soul. I think my next project is going to be a barbecue with lots of special touches and homemade treats. Mmm.

How to Survive a Music Festival

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FESTIVALS. Don’t you love them? It’s quite a must if you’re a music + people + travel lover that you take yourself to a music festival. Europe does music festivals really well, and there’s always one going on during every weekend in Summer. My main music festival experience has been Glastonbury 2011. I’ve also been to other, smaller festivals. Fun times.

I actually don’t think I’m up for going to another major festival like Glasto – it was so tiring and overwhelming and dirty. Even though I saw amazing acts and drank all the delicious cider of Somerset, I had quite a few miserable moments. BUT, I would heartily recommend going to a festival, and I’ve decided to compile a little guide to help you survive your music festival experience (including a few things you should definitely take along). Mainly: enjoy yourself and always remember where you’ve pitched your tent.

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  1. Hygiene is important – take wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, deodorant.
  2. Wellies – my boyfriend thinks that hiking boots are a better option, but I still think wellies are the way to go. They’ll keep your legs (up till your knees, at least) free from that awful mud, and even though your wellies will start weighing a tonne as soon as they become caked in mud, it’s better than having your feet soaked in the aforementioned mud.
  3. A drawstring bag – light, and necessary.
  4. A water bottle (refill often).
  5. A small purse for money.
  6. If you’re camping, then don’t forget the obvious: tent, sleeping bag, pillow(!), etc.
  7. Consider taking/buying a fold-up chair for surprisingly welcome comfort.
  8. Get ready to stand or trudge through mud for a hell of a long amount of time
  9. Let go. Once you’re at a festival, you’re not going to be showering often, you’re going to need to be laid back: enjoy the music, the sights, the food…
  10. Don’t eat or drink too much. That would keep bathroom visits to a minimum.
  11. But do try out a few “stranger” things that can be found at music festivals. Ostrich burgers, amazing cider, South African delicacies… so many options!
  12. Take an extra mobile phone battery. There will be charging stations, but they will have a ridiculously long queue.
  13. Take a flag or two. You’ll find your tent easier, and have something to wave.
  14. Sunscreen. Lots of it. Even if it’s cloudy.
  15. Take some food. Cereal bars, beef jerky, crisps, nuts, biscuits.
  16. Prepare for all sorts of weather. Take wind cheaters, rain coats, (plastic) hats, sunglasses, scarves.
  17. Dry shampoo.
  18. A little mirror (optional, but useful when you need to check up on your face-paint or any mosquito bites on the face area – ick).
  19. A map of the festival grounds/surrounding areas.
  20. Embrace the hippie in you: paint flowers on your face, dance with people who are probably so high they can’t be pinned down, drink crazy-organic/vegan/raw/whatever juice,
  21. Maybe buy a really cheap phone to use for the duration of the festival. And a disposable camera. It won’t be pleasant if you lose/damage/get robbed of your smartphone or DSLR camera, right?
  22. A roll of toilet paper will be useful. And some more tissues while you’re at it.
  23. Clothes that you won’t mind getting destroyed by the mud/crazy jumping around/elements.
  24. Some sort of jacket/coat which you’re comfortable in, will keep you warm and dry, and has pockets. Maybe this shouldn’t be your favourite coat. And add a plastic raincoat to your list. You might need it.

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So those are my top tips for surviving music festivals. Let me know if you’d like any other information, and enjoy your music festival experience.