Page 1

December 2018 | Issue 108




Christmas trends Issue 108 - December 2018 VIDA Magazine is a quarterly lifestyle magazine aiming to empower people to lead a better, healthier and happier life



A wealth of talent How does it feel to be receiving VIDA magazine right to your door this time? We’re back to providing you with a quarterly publication dedicated to bringing you the best in lifestyle, food, fashion, travel and health. In this issue, we aim to promote and nurture the fantastic local talent in many different fields. We catch up with different bands, athletes, designers and producers and get a glimpse on how they’re navigating their way to success. It’s just a few more weeks until Christmas, and we’re sure like us you are counting down the days. Do you wonder what is trendy and stylish for Christmas décor this year? Look out for a few tips for different exquisite colour combinations and styles to impress your guests. In doing so, try make the Christmas season more sustainable. The holiday season can take a toll on the environment so we’re here to help you discover some ways on how you can make your Christmas greener this year!ț

FKL OneOneO Pitkali Road, Attard ATD 2214 Malta, Europe Tel: (+356) 2339 2339

Concept, production and design MediaToday Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann Malta Tel: (+356) 21382741 Editors

Philippa Zammit Claire Ciantar

Layout, design & illustration

Claire Ciantar Advertising

Wishing you the happiest of holidays.

Tel: (+356) 2339 2407/8

Until March!

Philippa and Claire CONTENTS 5. Local

37. Gourmet

48. Fashion

54. Environment

28. Shoot

43. Travel

50. Home

56. Health

It is understood that all material supplied by agents (printed or otherwise) to promote their products is supplied with all necessary permissions for reproduction. Whilst great care and attention has been taken by the editorial team to ensure accuracy of text, advertising and other published matter, we disclaim all responsibility for any omissions and errors. The editor and publisher do not necessarily agree with views expressed in articles, adverts, letters, or other content appearing in this publication.


ON THE COVER Model: Emma G at Models M Photography: Gary Bugeja Styling: Malcolm Gauci Makeup: Jennifer Dimech Hair: Neville Zammit

Turkish delight

42 Supporting local




Hearty soup recipes


christmas markets in germany








Photos: Sasha Shumarayeva

christmas decor trends


Rejection and diversity



Support local How is it that we support famous personalities but rarely support local talent? For some, climbing the ladder of success can be daunting and at times, seems impossible. Our local community should offer genuine, enthusiastic support. The courage to showcase one’s talent and hard work to the world should be applauded because let’s face it, most of us aren’t willing to do that. When is the last time you supported something local?

4 Issue 108 December 2018



Andrea Fabri pro drifter Andrea Fabri is one of the youngest aspiring pro drifters in Malta. With only three years of experience, he has already achieved more than 15 podium finishes. He tells us the story of his road to the top. 3. What is the one skill you need to nail drift competitions? The skill you need to have in a drift competition is your self-control. You have to eliminate all emotion and the adrenaline rush and just focus on the behaviour of the car. When you manage to gain the control of every movement of the car, without feeling scared or excited, you will be able to put the vehicle in all the right places desired by the judges, which eventually gets you the big win.

1. For those who might not be familiar with the sport, what exactly is drifting? Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. Apart from this, the driver will be instructed by three judges to take a particular driving line, while maintaining the greatest angle and proximity to the clipping points appointed by the judges. 2. How did you get started in drifting? My first road car was a Toyota MR2. I discovered my adrenaline rush for drifting at public car parks. Not having a proper local track was a big problem for me, but I still took precautions and began training in car parking areas. It was not the ideal car for drifting since it was a mid-engine car. It was very difficult to put it sideways and not spin out, but after some time I got the hang of it. After that I knew I had to step up my game.

6 Issue 108 December 2018

4. What makes a good drift car and what is it about your car that makes it stand out? An example of a good drift car is one which has a front engine, rear wheel drive layout, with the most reliable engine possible. A key ingredient that we focused on our Supra build was to put all the weight of the car in the proper position. We moved the battery, fire extinguisher, fuse box and radiator all the way to the back of the car, to put as much weight at the back as possible, in order to increase grip on the rear wheels. We also made sure that the parts used were of high quality, since another important ingredient is reliability. In the drifting world, there are no second chances, you either win or lose, there is no doing it better in the next run. The last part that we really focused on, based on the car setup, was to set it up according to my driving style. 5. How did your collaboration with Enemed come about? Knowing Enemed is a very serious company, I showed interest in their product and asked if we could meet up and work together to promote their fuel on our car, with the aim to develop E Power as a very capable racing fuel. We both worked in a very professional manner and the results were very satisfying. 6. Your car, a Toyota Supra, runs on Epower fuel. What are the benefits of this fuel and how do you differentiate it from others? Everyone knows that our Supra runs purely on Epower fuel. A major advantage of this fuel is that it can be found at local petrol stations at a very low cost when comparing it to other racing fuels. From a technical view, with the 98

Octane that Epower got, we are running at 530 BHP and still on a low power setting. This proves that even when driving a high-powered car, we don’t have to buy super expensive fuels with limited lifetime. The engine will still perform as needed, without having to change the fuel filter and clean the fuel lines due to the corrosion that normal racing fuel usually produces. This was not only very cost effective but also had a good result. 7. How do you keep focused during a competition? In a drifting competition, you must be focused at all times. Even when you are not driving, you should be studying other drivers and observing their techniques, in order to calculate the level of driving of every driver on the day. All drivers should remain calm, at all costs, and analyse everything, while still having fun on the track. A key ingredient is actually to have fun. 8. Looking back, what was your favourite moment of 2018? My favorite moment of the 2018 Championship was the final round. Before the final we encountered a lot of wear and tear damages on the car and had to take the engine out just four days before the event. My crew and I managed to fix everything in time, just hours before the event and worked our way to the top, closing the 2018

Championship at 1st Place. This was very emotional for me after, as I really did want to return the favor to my crew and sponsors and show my appreciation. We worked very well together and ultimately, hard work really paid off! 9. What are you hoping to achieve next year? Any longterm career goals or are you just having fun driving for now? In the near future my dream is to step up my game and compete internationally, representing my country. Along the years, we managed to build a very competitive vehicle to be ready for this moment, and I am very sure we are now up to spec to compete abroad. It was never my intention to just enjoy driving, I always craved the competition. 10. What advice would you give to young kids looking to get into the sport? My advice to young kids or new drivers that love the drifting discipline, is to mainly focus on their driving skills and not how much money one pumps into the car. It’s not what you drive, it’s how you drive it. A highly-skilled drifting driver could easily beat any high-powered car, which is driven by someone that lacks skill. When you manage to master your current car, then start building and developing it according to your driving style. Issue 108 December 2018



Luke Debono bodybuilding Champion

Luke Debono is a special needs teacher and a champion bodybuilder. He won the Arnold Classic Overall championship in 2016. He now runs his own bespoke meal prep company based in Kent, UK and also teaches sports to youngsters in prison. 1. Can you tell me a little bit about how your passion for fitness evolved? Where do you train and why did you begin training in the first place? I was a skinny boy with a bit of a needy personality. I started lifting weights when I was about 14, just to add some weight around my frame. I enjoyed the process and starting seeing a hint of results after a few months. This fuelled my passion to such an extent that I took courses to become a massage therapist as well as a personal trainer. I would later go on to compete and win world titles in bodybuilding. My passion for fitness also led me to make the biggest decision of my life, which was to leave the island and pursue further studies in a sport-related position abroad. It has had a profound effect on my life, not only in terms of the sizes of my shirts, but also in my lifestyle and the choices I’ve made. I now train at a wellequipped gym called Evolution in Aylesford, Kent. 2. When did you decide to take bodybuilding seriously? My first show was in 2011, when I won the Maltese Junior and Novice categories. I came to the realisation that I could be good at bodybuilding on a local level if I kept training consistently and eating well. In 2013, I placed second at the Mr Malta competition and placed 4th in my first IFBB European championships. Two years later, I won my first and only Mr Malta title before clinching my first international

Gold at the IFBB Europeans that same year. I think that was when I realised I was no longer going to be competing against amateur competitors and that from then on, if I wanted to win more shows I would need to be 100% into it. 3. What does strength mean to you, and why is being strong so important? For me, it means being able to push/pull and move against great resistance. That for me is strength. I think people, especially girls, have now started to move away from being afraid of the weights area. I think strong has truly become the new sexy. From women to professional strongmen, people are motivated to squat heavier, push harder and lift bigger and heavier weights. I believe that it is the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies it that seals the deal. 4. How would you describe the local bodybuilding and fitness scene? Being in Kent since 2015, I must say I am not exactly the guy to be asked about the local bodybuilding scene. However, more athletes in all categories are competing both locally and also internationally with great success. We have females in the Pro league as well as men. The future looks bright and the young generation, although statistics of BMI will not show this, seems to have been swept by a fitness revolution. 5. In your opinion, what are the most important attributes for an athlete to have if they wish to become successful bodybuilders? I would say consistency and patience. I feel that with the combination of the two attributes, you would be in a favourable position to reach your goals. Too many athletes burn out because they go in too far, too soon. I believe you must find a way to be constantly improving over long periods of time, consistently taking baby steps, thus avoiding feeling that you are burning out. 6. It’s hard to keep up with how many competitions you’ve won. What moment thus far in your bodybuilding career stands out as really memorable amongst all of your accomplishments so far? I think without a shadow of a doubt winning the 2016 Arnold Classic Overall trophy in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was the greatest thing I have accomplished yet (although sadly he was not present for the ceremony). This took place in 2016, in Barcelona. Before that I had secured a European title, as well as other national titles. I think it was a historic moment for Maltese bodybuilding to finally have Malta on the map at such a prestigious and highly acclaimed competition.

8 Issue 108 December 2018


xandru grech fitness guru Xandru Grech is one of the finest middle-distance runners Malta has ever produced as underlined by the national records he set in 1995 over the 800m and 1,500m distances. He now coaches athletics to young athletes which keeps his passion for running alive. 1. You’re known for being a TV personality as well as for your participation in various sports. What is the achievement you’re the most proud of in this field? I guess the one I am most proud of must be in 1995, when I won two individual medals in the small nations games in the 800m and 1500m. It’s the only time a Maltese athlete won two individual medals in middle distance in the history of these games. I also broke my national records in both races. From an emotional perspective however, I would say that the bronze I won in 1999 changed my life. I was anorexic and stopped believing in myself... that bronze instils peace of mind till this very day. 2. When and where did you start running? How old were you? I started competing in races at the age of 9. But I was always a runner. My mother used to tell me that I never walked. According to her, I got up, wobbled, balanced myself and... ran. 3. Describe your ideal race. In my eyes, an ideal race is one where the world freezes and continues to move only in slow motion. Here, sounds, smells and all the other senses are heightened. In order to be in the perfect zone of pushing your limits 100%, your mind, body and soul must be in sync, all aligned. And before you know it, the race is over and you have no idea what you even placed. But there is no one in front of you. As soon as you cross that finish line, it all comes rushing back to you; the perfect technique, the change of pace, the memory of your mind telling your body to push more, constantly defying and over-powering the urge to stop. 4. As an ex-athlete, do you miss the thrill of racing? I miss it daily. When you reach those extremities of the pure adrenaline rush, of pushing your body beyond its limits, of over achieving and winning, it’s hard to stop and proceed to live a normal life. I miss those natural highs. It’s difficult to describe – it’s like

wearing a superhero outfit and suddenly having the ability to run super fast, faster than most. Then one fine day, you place the suit in a wardrobe and are forced to become a mere mortal, never to experience that speed and thrill again. 5. You run two gyms called Move Pro at Niume in Imriehel and another called Move Smart in Kalkara. How do you differentiate between the two? Move Pro is a personalised centre, with innovative 30-minute long, effective sessions. Move Smart, located at Smart City has three areas, on the other hand: a 35-minute long fat burning circuit, a gym and a functional area. Move Pro can get the best results with just 2 x 30-minute sessions per week. Move Smart also has lots of advantages: great prices, the Milon strength endurance circuit, a functional zone, free parking and anti-bacterial spray. It’s also located in a very beautiful area. 6. Malta hosted several world leading triathletes during the Super League Triathlon in October. How were you involved? I was contacted by Super League to see if I would be ready to meet up with them, determine whether Malta would be a good host location and to see if I could help in that regard. This was over a year ago, and last weekend we hosted the mega international event, with the largest amount of Olympian’s in one race. 26 foreign channels and millions all over the world watched Malta, in all its beauty. You can find the race on Super League Triathlon Malta. 7. What is your main challenge right now? I work with the Iniala group and we have many interesting projects at the moment, including luxury apartments and offices, art galleries, gastronomy fairs, Inspirasia foundation and our new luxury boutique hotel and restaurant. I am also hoping to bring super league over to Malta once again, as a coach for my athletes to perform in the small nations games and other races. Issue 108 December 2018




10 Issue 108 December 2018

Photo: David dp Attard Issue 108 December 2018


local Together since 2010, The Crowns are not new to the local music scene and are well-known for their energetic live performances and contemporary sound. In 2013, The Crowns released their debut album, 'Someone Else', which produced five chart topping singles and a Christmas themed song. It landed the band with nominations such as 'Best Artist' and 'Best Album'. The Crowns is composed of Victorio Gauci (Vocalist), Gianluca Cappitta (Rhythm guitar), Giuseppe Pecci (Lead Guitar), Chris Ciantar (Bass Guitar) and Luke Vella Clark (Drums).

1. How did the band come together and how long ago was that? Gianluca Cappitta, our rhythm guitarist, had already met all the members separately. He has known Chris Ciantar (bassist) since primary school. He also knew Luke Vella Clark (the drummer) through work. The three of them came together for a musical project which did not last long. Shortly after, Victorio Gauci (the frontman) approached Gianluca to tell him he was interested in starting a band, which was very convenient for Gianluca at the time. Victorio approached Luke and Chris who both quickly accepted the preposition. Gianluca tied up all the loose ends around February 2010. Around a year and a half later, the band realised the need for a keyboard sound and Jean Paul Mollicone (a school friend of Gianluca and Chris) was recruited. 2. What's the significance of the band name? When the band was still in its early days, we started rehearsing at the Sacro Cuor band club in Sliema. Soon after we started to gain momentum and booked a few gigs. At this point, the band needed a name, so we started coming up with ideas - some were okay, but some were just funny. We seemed to be getting nowhere until we noticed that on the marble floor of the room we used to play in, there was the big logo of the band club with a large crown on top of it to signify Our Lady. The band thought that 'The Crowns', as a band name, sounded cool - and let's face it, it was definitely better than all the ideas we had jotted down on paper In the first place.

12 Issue 108 December 2018

Photo: David dp Attard

of song writing and musical composition since then. Not to mention that two years ago we had a change in lineup, where Jean Paul was replaced with Giuseppe Pecci on guitars. This change has had the largest impact on our sound as well as the feel of our songs. 5. When should we expect another full album? Our next album is currently in the works. We should be releasing it mid-2019. 6. Who are your musical influences overall? We've had many influences throughout the years. Inspiration comes from bands like Coldplay, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Imagine Dragons, and Linkin Park…the list goes on and on. 7. What is your favourite song to perform live? We enjoy playing all our original music live, but the one that always wins has to be Mary Jane. However, our first single, Memories, comes a close second. This song remains a regular on our set lists to this day. 8. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened during a gig? Eight years have brought a lot of stories with them. Many of these memories are funny and even infuriating. The ones that stick out most where when we lost all lighting on sage and when Victorio attempted to impress the crowd with his acrobatics and fell flat on his back during a performance. Kudos to Vic for continuing with the song… legend!

3. Could you explain what The Crowns stand for musically? Through our music, we generally express the meaningful experiences we've been through. We aim to sound modern whilst still retaining the classic sounds that inspired us when we were young. What we love doing the most is playing live and showing everyone a good time.

9. What is the creative process like when writing a song? The process of writing songs is not always the same. Normally, we start off with a guitar riff or a groove. The rest of the band then fills in the blanks, tweaking things along the way. Sometimes, a song is born out of fooling around during rehearsals or even from a new instrument/toy.

4. How do you guys think you have grown as artists since the release of your album Someone Else? Times change and so do we. We have all gone through changes in our personal lives, as well as with each other. This can be heard in our new music. When taking into consideration that our debut album was released in 2013 and mainly written and recorded in 2012 - six years ago - we believe to have evolved and matured both in terms

10. What does the next year look like for you guys? If all goes according to plan, we are expecting to have quite a busy year promoting the release of our new album, whilst doing our thing on stage as well as on the radios and online. We would also like to experience a week or two of playing abroad in some decent venues. We have a lot of ideas, and we're just very excited about the prospect of putting them into practice. Issue 108 December 2018



14 Issue 108 December 2018

INTERVIEW Issue 108 December 2018




2011 saw the birth of The New Victorians, following their success at the Alchemy Songwriting Competition in the U.S. The song-writing duo, Philippa and Bettina, fuse their classical music foundation with their love for technology, creating an Electronic Indie sound most notable for its haunting harmonies and clever lyrics. Both multiinstrumentalists and performance artists, the sisters are intent on redefining the contemporary music scene, taking listeners on a journey by means of both their live gigs and their music videos.

1. How did the band come together? We are very well aware that you two are sisters, but how did you know you wanted to work together as a musical duo? We both picked up instruments at a young age. Bet started classical piano at eight years old and I started messing around with the guitar at the age of six. For a few years we’d both write songs and hide them from each other, until...we didn’t anymore, hah! All through our teenage years we jammed in the basement – dramatic lyrics, minor chords, failed harmonies... all your typical clichés. Then one day during a lecture, Bet came across a songwriting competition on Twitter. It was in the US and the judges included Evanescence’s David Hodges, and Kris Allan, the American Idol Winner, amongst others. We thought we’d give it a shot and signed up as ‘Phyllis and Bertie’ for lack of a better name at such short notice. Ten days later we flew to the US, won the Youth Division Award, and the rest is history! 2. What's the significance of the band name? The deep version is...the Victorian era was an age of change and innovation, and we feel we want to bring just that with our music – change, innovation, new stories, and new sounds. The shallow version is...we like what it sounds like. 3. Could you explain what The New Victorians stands for musically? Growth. The fusion of our folk/acoustic roots, with our love for technology. An ever-evolving sound with harmonies always at the centre. 4. How do you guys think you have grown as artists since the release of your debut album SEEKER SEEKER? SEEKER SEEKER was made up of a range of songs, from those we’d written at the age of 13 pre-TNV, to others composed specifically for the album. I think it sounded like that – like the journey to finding our sound. There was a slow shift from raw folk to experimenting with technology in our later teens. Since SEEKER SEEKER, and since completing our studies in the UK, I think we have a clearer vision of what stories we want to tell, what we want to sound like, and how we can achieve that sound as a duo. Our latest three-track EP SILENCE was a much clearer representation of where we’re at as artists today, and shows the direction we wish to be moving towards. 5. When should we expect another full album? Good question! We have loads of songs on the back-burner but we’re kind of enjoying putting our efforts into a single at a time for now.

16 Issue 108 December 2018

6. What is the creative process like when writing a song? They tend to differ, although most times Bettina or myself will come up with the bones of a song alone on the piano or guitar respectively. Eventually, once it’s in a rough shape we usually show it to the other, who typically criticises it harshly, making lyric, structure, and groove changes. We’d then start laying down a rough version of the track on Abelton, messing around with beats and synths to see which direction we think we should take it in. 7. Who are your musical influences overall? Ooooh many! Sigrid, Maggie Rogers, Emily Warren, Bleechers, Haim, Mumford and Sons, Florence and The Machine, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Oh Wonder, Vulfpeck, and FKJ amongst others. 8. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Currently I’d say we write mostly from a place of empathy/ sympathy. I find I’m much more articulate about things when I’m at a certain distance, watching everything unfold with a bit of perspective, and then telling the story from my point of view. ‘Lie Liar’, ‘Come Back’, and now our latest single ‘Put It In Words’, were all written from that place of observing a loved one in a moment of crisis, and channelling our own feelings of helplessness into song. 9. What is your favorite song to perform live? I think mine (Philippa) would have to be ‘Close Your Eyes’. 10. Any future collaborations we should be expecting? None so far – but maybe we should now you mention it. 11. What was it like opening up for Anastacia, on her European Tour – Evolution? Awesome! It was such a privilege to get to play our Full SILENCE EP for such a nice, warm crowd...and before such a legend. 12. What does the next year look like for you guys? New singles and new releases! We’re also super excited to announce that our original audio-theatrical show MARA, that we composed and directed alongside a fantastic female cast, has just been selected by the Vault Festival London, for a run between February and March we’re pumped! Plans to visit other festivals with the piece are also in the pipeline… exciting! Issue 108 December 2018


18 Issue 108 September 2018

Photo: Kris Micallef Issue 108 December 2018



Even if they hadn't won the Best Band and the Best Song categories at the 2014 Malta Music Awards or any of the 8 awards they received before that, Red Electrick's commitment towards making quality music remains undisputed. At the core of the popular songs that have made them a household name is a band with a genuine love of music. Theirs is a sound collectively influenced by both the bluesy swagger of 70s rock and a more contemporary lilt that flaunts as much groove as it does grit, all delivered with an encompassing ray of Mediterranean sunshine, that probably explains the upbeat feeling their music effortlessly projects. 1. How did the band come together? And how did you all know you wanted to work with one another? The band came together at the secondary school we all attended. We used to jam during school breaks, perform at school events and we also participated in Battle of the Bands in sixth form… in different bands, however. We went to university and things just took off from there. We all felt that we had a similar passion and love for music. We felt that we understood each other in terms of the joys and struggles we faced as teens so it just felt like the right thing to do at the time. 2. What's the significance of the band name? When we started out, we were quite a heavy rock band. So the term ‘electrick’ represents the heavy use of electric guitars, particularly in our first album. The term ‘red’ had no significance when we chose it, but nowadays we like to say that it represents the main colour of our national flag. The ‘K’ at the end of ‘electrick’ was simply because we wanted to add a twist to our name, so it felt like a good idea at the time… we were 18! 3. Could you explain what Red Electrick stands for musically? We have always been a band that produced music we like to listen to. We never tried to copy what’s on the radio, or what’s selling at that given moment. Yes, we were always subconsciously influenced by what was on the radio, because you are always exposed to music people are listening to, and yes, our music tends to be inspired by what people are listening to as well. We do genuinely like pop music though, so we would say our style is pop with band arrangements. 4. How do you guys think you have grown as artists since the release of your first album? We’ve grown just like any other artist who wants to grow and who wants to stay relevant. It’s a natural process - you can’t plan it and you can’t force it. It happens to those who genuinely want to be better, who genuinely want to stay relevant, and who also want to stay active at the end of the day. The second an artist gets comfortable and stops wanting to improve, is the second they will stop seeing results. That’s our theory, anyways! 5. You’ve released a new single called City Lights. What’s the story behind this song? “Sometimes, goodbye means hello, it’s fine to let it go, sometimes.” The song is basically about the fact that in life, something bad can happen to you, but it can also be the start of something even better. In Maltese we have an expression, which is “Jinghalaqlek bieb, u jinfethulek mija”. It could be about anything from a break up from a loved one to a fall out with a

20 Issue 108 September 2018

Photo: Kris Micallef

dear friend. It’s a message to always remember that when your intentions are good with the people around you, the universe will always point good things your way. 6. When should we expect another full album? 2019! 7. What is the creative process like when writing a song? There has never been a formula with us! However, during the past 10 months, we have been writing as a band and it really took us back to the days when we started out, writing together in the rehearsal room. It’s amazing, and probably the best part of being in a band… getting in a room, jamming, and writing music. We all bring ideas to the table as individuals and then we work them out together. Not everyone in the band is naturally inclined towards being a writer, however, by means of this process, we are pushing each other to be better writers, and this is what creates a feeling of everyone owning the songs. That is what being in a band is all about. 8. Do you look to any specific artists, songs or albums for inspiration when making music? Who are your musical influences overall? Yes, but most of the time it’s to reference a snare drum sound or something of the sort. When it comes to writing, as we said earlier, we do get influenced subconsciously by what is on the radio. In general, however, we write music we like to listen back to in the car when it is done. 9. What is your favourite song to perform live? G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S at the moment is killing it each time. It is such a fun song to play and people love it. We also noticed that young kids enjoy it, too – five to ten year olds. The funny thing is that some of the fans who have been with us since the beginning are now parents and are bringing their kids to the shows. Our audience demographic has never been as broad as it is today. 10. Any future collaborations we should be expecting? We’re always looking to collaborate with other artists just because it’s generally a super fun process. Next year, we have quite a few collaborations up our sleeves and not only during our concerts, but possibly also in a song or two. 11. What does the next year look like for you guys? Album, annual concert, and another two projects, which we cannot mention because the way we announce things is all part of the fun. 2018 was a really good year, thankfully, and 2019 is looking to be another full one. Issue 108 December 2018





As a firm believer that food should be super tasty, yet packed with nutrients and energy, Rebecca decided not to settle for what was on the market, and started creating the nut butters that she herself longed for. We catch up with her to find out more about her very own range of locally produced healthy nut butters. When asked what led to the beginning of this venture, Rebecca says, ‘’The more I shopped around, the more I realised that there were not enough nut butters available on the market - butters that didn't have added oil, added sugar, and so many other unnecessary ingredients that I could

never pronounce. I took on the challenge to create a range of butters made from 100% natural ingredients.” Most store-bought brands use oils, preservatives, and hydrogenated fats, which makes the nut butter last almost a year (or more) on the shelf. Nothing that lasts for that long

can possibly be healthy. What makes Rebecca’s nut butters unique? The nuts are blended with their natural oils for that pure, yummy taste. Freshly made upon order, her nut butters have a shelf life of not more than four months… but believe me, a jar will surely not last that long. Packed with protein and healthy fats, these butters make the perfect addition to both savoury and sweet meals not to mention the fact that they are super addictive so you can even enjoy by the spoonful! Rebecca says that ‘’when it comes to nut butters, the less ingredients the better. When it comes to my nut butters, you’ll only find one ingredient. As the label reads, ‘Nuttin’ But Nuts!, they’re made of nothing but nuts… and of course lots of love!’’ Rebecca started off with four nut butters − the classic peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter, and a sunflower seed butter. She then launched the cashew butter, which won the hearts of many, including her own. ‘’ The cashew butter is so addictive. I can’t stop eating it straight from the jar. I have to hide it to stop myself from emptying it in one go.’’ Positive feedback and many happy people later, Rebecca started experimenting by blending a mixture of nuts and adding flavour to her nut butters by using spices. She launched her top sellers − the 3-nut butter, which is a blend of peanuts, cashews with crunchy pecans, and her absolute favourite, which is the chai-spiced almond butter. Through all these changes, one thing has stayed the same − her passion for delicious products made with the

healthiest wholesome ingredients she can find! ‘’Six months ago, this was a dream. Fast forward to today and I am actually living this dream. I would have never in a million years expected this outcome. I’ve met incredible souls along the way which made my journey a very exciting one. Although it was my hard work and determination that led me here today, I wouldn’t have done it without the support of my loved ones. I am forever grateful.’’ Rebecca is determined to continue sharing her ideas with people who value their health. She plans on expanding her nut butter range and working on exciting and new products. She tells us she’s “ready to make next year one to remember.” The first thing on the list is a vegan chocolate spread, which in her opinion, “tastes better than the real thing.” So for all the chocolate lovers out there, be ready for a treat. She’s got many things in store for 2019 and Rebecca insists that “obstacles in life do not mean the end of the world.” She will continue being herself, spread positive vibes and share her passion with others who appreciate it.’ Be sure not to miss any updates and product info by following both her Instagram and Facebook page munch.abunch

‘’When I opened the jar, I was surprised with all the pecans bits. I love to add it to my apple as a snack.’’ ‘’How to describe the chai-spiced almond butter? Christmas in a jar. Enough said.’’ ‘’Once you get your hands on your first jar, there’s no going back!!!’’ ‘’ I add it to everything! From fruit to salads and even marinated my salmon fillet with almond butter once. Super delicious!’’

22 Issue 108 December 2018 Issue 108 December 2018





Bespoke Headbands Maggy Zammit Meilak is as humble and down-to-earth as they come - bubbly and lively on the one hand, but also serious and professional when the need to be arises. I knew her work before I got to meet her in person, as a mutual friend was so chuffed with her new handmade headband back in May, when Maggy’s business started: since then it has flourished. In between one commitment and the next, we came together as I was truly intrigued by this recent phenomenon in the accessory department. The first thing I wanted to know was how it all started, and from then on the conversation became quite fluid and dynamic; we could say it was a very organic interview, building on Maggy’s responses. Read on to know about Maggy and her world, also known as La Chic Bandeau. Interview by Stephanie Xerri Agius Given that this is quite a new niche in the accessory department, how would you say it all started? If I had to tell you that it all started as a light-hearted ‘dare’, you would not believe it. I had a wedding to attend so I was on the lookout for a headband. The only option I had was one particular shop that came with a recommendation, but on second thoughts it turned out to be way too expensive. A friend of mine causally joked, ‘why don’t you create your own?’ I laughed it off at first but my inner creative voice pushed me to go for it. Being a member of the Carnival Committee, contributed to this too. So I created my very first headband. Little did I know it would get such positive feedback, as soon as I shared it on a popular social media page. A friend of mine, for whom I also designed a headband went on to do the same and, faster than you could say the word ‘headband’, the two posts were seen and commented on by loads of people. The concept boomed straight away after that. However, I can pinpoint the 26th May as a special day because it was then that it all flourished, with my Facebook page La Chic Bandeau following some time later. One event led to another, and I now cater for occasions such as weddings, Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies (both mothers and daughters), as well as for fashion events. The latter enabled me to meet a person like Sandy, with whom I have worked on some photo shoots. Orders have become more regular and structured, but I always ensure that they are done with love and not as a chore; I am so thankful and appreciative for the success of something that started out unintentionally. Now, I look ahead to the Christmas period which I can tell will be rich in something other than just Christmas trees – watch out for the handmade headband!

24 Issue 108 December 2018

Did you envisage this type of success and what were your initial concerns? I really did not expect this to be so much in demand. In fact, I was afraid that it would either be a passing trend or that when the order numbers increased, I would not be able to keep up the pace. In reality, I was my own enemy, constantly fighting off self-doubt. I did not know myself initially, I did not believe I could be that creative, until I held the final products in my hand. After that, I felt my craft was going from strength to strength, so I pushed myself to create intricate, interesting designs. If anything, I told myself that this was a very creative and relaxing way of spending my free time. I had another concern, however, namely that it would stop being a personal passion and become just another job, something that would be part of a routine. And yes, there is a mechanical aspect to it, but I try to keep a clear head and plan ahead. The request for handmade headbands has been overwhelming, which is positive but admittedly stressful at times. My way of coping and enjoying the ride is to balance out orders, so that I can comfortably and confidently appease everyone. What are the challenges behind this passion of yours? First of all, it is time-consuming, both in terms of the design and the execution of the headband. Every single one is original so as a client, you know there is nobody else out there with the same design. That in itself adds to the pressure, because I have to come up with new looks for each and every piece. Despite the added pressure, which I can easily avoid by doing more of the same, I believe in the idea of uniqueness, where no two headbands are exactly the same, simply because the

chance of people attending the same event and wearing the same headband increases in a small country like Malta. Another time-related aspect that people may not consider is the time that goes into having customers try on the bands and eventually come to collect them. Even then I have to be available in person. Could you take us through the stages of creating a handmade headband? There are two options. First the customer contacts me either through Facebook or by word of mouth (through a mutual acquaintance). In general, if the customer has already chosen a dress or outfit, they send a photo or ideally, bring it with them in person. This works as a starting point; a springboard for ideas. We build on the colour scheme and materials (so that if customers have other similar clothing items in their wardrobe, they may wear the headband more than once). When customers do not have the outfit planned yet, I tentatively start with the headband, but sometimes customers are confused as to what they really want. Through a discussion, I fill in the gaps until we agree on the image or design they have in mind. There are customers, however, who have no clue whatsoever, and prefer leaving it up to me; it is literally in my hands to come up with a vision for their headband. Where do you get your ideas from and how do you source materials? Believe it or not, I do not really plan or have a definite idea from the outset. Very often I design according to the person standing in front of me. Occasionally I do a quick search online but most times I just end up creating a piece, inexplicable even to myself. In terms of materials, I source them from abroad. Unfortunately, I do not have many options locally when it comes to the range of materials, because the gems and detailed pieces are difficult to come by. What is your vision for the near future? Who would your ideal clients be? Now that I am on this path, I would like to keep going. It gives me great satisfaction and pride knowing that many people from different walks of life wear my creations, including well-known personalities and artists, such as local talent Gaia Cauchi and some hopefuls who took part in X-Factor Malta, not to mention the many models who appeared in photo shoots. I do not like getting ahead of myself, however, and prefer being grounded and true to my roots. Despite these small but significant successes, I know that I started out in a humble and unassuming way, so for me, it is important to remember where I come from, in order to appreciate how far this has taken me. My motto is ‘Live the life you love and love the life you live’, which goes hand in hand with my vision to take this journey one step at a time. Issue 108 December 2018


TIPS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON Jennifer’s love for art and makeup started at a very early age, and in 2014, her passion blossomed into a full-time career. Since then, she’s been working as a professional freelance make-up artist, bringing her artwork to life through makeup artistry.

This CHRISTMAS Season you can't get it wrong with these two looks suggested by Jennifer.

Sparkly Eye, apply glitter on the inner eyelid for a more party effect and glamorous look after you enhance the routs of the lashes with darker shades. Glossy Lips are back in… apply after filling your lips with lip liner and lipstick for a long lasting effect. Star of the show. All about that shine and glitter.

Simple Eyeshadow with flat brush. Apply a light base all over and contour the brow bone with a darker shade, then add a Winged Liner Effect

Blend and Extend pencil with angled brush to help you achieve the perfect winged liner effect

Complete both looks with Party LASHES.

RED LIPSTICK is a must have for the festive season especially with WINGED LINER

She completed several comprehensive makeup-artistry programmes and continues to acquire education on current makeup trends, techniques, and latest product knowledge. Jennifer often travels to various locations to enhance her knowledge. In fact, in September 2018 she travelled to Paris, where she attended a Masterclass hosted by Beyonce’s very own makeup artist, Sir John. She also had the opportunity to work on a well-known blogger during Paris Fashion Week, and her work was later featured on Elle and Vogue. In previous years, she also worked on other Fashion Weeks in Romania, New York City, and Milan, where she worked closely with Donatella Versace’s make-up artist. Jennifer plans on conducting her very own make-up seminar to fellow artists. This Masterclass will be launched towards the beginning of 2019. One can visit her Facebook page and apply upon release of more information.

MakeUp sponsored by


Mango blazer & skirt Topshop jumper Stradivarius earrings

Full look Bershka

Stradivarius jumper & earrings Bershka blazer

Mango suit & boots Stradivarius earrings

Full look Mango

Mango Blazer Stradivarius earrings

Mango trench coat




IN SHAPE BEFORE XMAS Winter is the ideal season to gather around a table with family or friends. As Christmas is just around the corner, it’s good to prepare ourselves for the intense food binges that await, by detoxifying with the help of something different. Choose healthy and wholesome ingredients like pumpkin, spinach, courgette, and fennel. Make recipes even tastier with spices such as turmeric and ginger! JacLeRoi provide us with two hearty soups, guaranteed to keep you warm this winter season.

36 Issue 108 December 2018 Issue 108 December 2018




2tbsp butter

½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms

6tbsps allpurpose flour

½tsp salt

¼ cup chopped onion

1/8tsp pepper

1 cup half-andhalf cream

2 cans of chicken broth


1 cup dry lentils

5 cups red beets

¾ cup onion

3tbsp olive oil

2 bay leaves




In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium to high heat, then sauté the mushrooms and onion until tender. Mix the flour, salt, pepper and one can of broth until smooth then stir into the mushroom mixture. Stir in the remaining

4. 5.


4 cups green cabbage

5tbsp tomato sauce

2 tbsp white vinegar

¼ cup fresh dill chopped

1 ½ cups carrots

8-10 cups vegetable stock

Salt & pepper

METHOD broth. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for about 2 minutes until it’s thickened. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream. Let it simmer for approx. 15 minutes, uncovered to let the flavours blend, and stir occasionally.

1. 2. 3.



Preheat oven to 200°C. Chop the beets, cabbage, carrots and onions into small chunks. Place the chopped items into a large bowl and cover with dashes of olive oil, salt and pepper seasoning. Spread the prepared vegetables out on foil lined baking, making sure they are in one layer. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes until


7. 8. 9.

the pieces are browned. Transfer the vegetables to a large pot and stir in the lentils, tomato sauce, vegetable stock and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar and dill, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.


FOR THE VEGETARIANS Here in Malta, there’s no denying we love burgers, but burgers don’t always have to be the heavy greasy kind you find at the village festa. When prepared well, burgers can be very healthy, and an extremely creative affair! Nella Grech from NVKD Foods shares her healthy vegetarian Jackfruit ‘Pulled Pork’ burger recipe with us .


SPONSORED BY: This month we are giving away a copy of PAPER GHOSTS BY JULIA HEABERLIN

Send your entries to What is the name of the 1984 movie starring Bill Murray dealing with Ghosts?

by no later than 15th December Last month's winner is CLAIRE SPITERI Issue 108 December 2018

40 Issue 108 December 2018



For the jackfruit 'pulled pork' • 1 packet jackfruit (you can get this from health stores or Asian stores) • Spice rub in the packet (if provided) • ½ cup + 1/3 cup BBQ sauce • 1 tsp cajun spice • 1 tsp smoked paprika • ½ tsp Himalayan salt


For the guacamole • 1 ripe avocado • 1 tbsp lime juice • Salt & pepper For the burger • 3 wholegrain burger buns • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage • 3 slices vegan cheese (you can use sheeze, violife ect). • 2 sliced tomatoes

Start with the jackfruit - drain any excess liquids from the packet/can (if it is preserved in brine). Using your hands, separate the jackfruit into pulled pork like shreds. 2. In a bowl, mix the spices and the jackfruit and rub the spices into the fruit. 3. Add the 1/2 cup BBQ sauce to the mixture and mix until evenly coated. Leave the whole mixture to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour. 4. Pre-heat the oven to 120C and line a baking dish with baking paper. 5. Transfer the jackfruit to the oven and bake for around 40 minutes, keeping a close watch and turning occasionally. When it starts to dry up, add the rest of the BBQsauce and mix again. Bake at setting 120 for another 20mins. 6. When done, split the burger buns into halves and toast on the hob. Add a slice of cheese to the bottom part of the bun and leave it to melt. 7. Layer the tomato on the cheese, BBQ jackfruit, guacamole & shredded cabbage. Serve by itself or with a side salad.

You can follow more of Nella’s recipes at

40 Issue 108 December 2018


A real T urkish delight Words by Liam Carter

42 Issue 108 December 2018 Issue 108 December 2018



travel Wander through the largest covered market in the world, witness the ancient treasures of the city, indulge in a wide selection of fine Turkish treats and experience the ‘Sultan’ way of life. ISTANBUL is a feast for the eyes and the soul.


t was the capital city of some of history’s greatest empires. The Romans, The Byzantines and The Ottomans, all picked Istanbul as their home city. Today, it is the most populous city in Turkey, uniquely straddling the Bosporous Strait, connecting the continents of Asia and Europe. Istanbul is massive; therefore, I would suggest that first time visitors stay in the Sultanahmet district. Apart from being the oldest part of the city, it is in essence the beating heart of the city. It is in these bustling, zealous streets that you’ll find the city’s main sought after attractions such as: the 6th century marvellous Hagia Sophia, the stunning Blue Mosque - a still active mosque decorated with blue marble tiles, and also the ever sensational Grand Bazaar.

scrub, and a fine massage that will restore you back to your pre-boarding self. I would also highly suggest sacrificing a day to visit the Princess’ Islands, an archipelago of islands just off the coast of Istanbul. You can easily hop on a fast ferry, and this trip on its own is worth the time, as you can watch hundreds of seagulls escort the ferry to the islands. As soon as you arrive, you will instantly notice the rather peculiar distinguishable factors of these Islands; silence and serenity. Here, all motorised vehicles are banned, and the only sounds you’ll hear while gazing at the Victorian era cottages will be those of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles.

The latter is the largest covered market in the world, and a bazaar like no other. With 18 gates, 61 streets, and over 4,000 shops, it will surely gobble a large chunk of your trip. Here you’ll find just about anything you can imagine from hand woven towels to carpets, antiques, jewellery, spices, Turkish treats, and even nazi regalia! Keep in mind that there aren’t any fixed prices here and therefore, you must try your hand at haggling with the merchants. Istanbul’s attractions will wear you down, so I would highly suggest going for a hamam (Turkish bath). It’s a three step process of sauna and steam, a full body wash with a deep

If you’re short on time, yet still in the mood for a trip on the waters around Istanbul, I highly suggest going for a full Bosphorus tour. Most ferries depart from Eminönü Station, and the shortest cruise goes all the way to the Asian Side. If afterwards your stomach is rumbling and gurgling, be sure to check out some of the best fish restaurants right beside the boarding point at Eminönü. Note: • Make sure you obtain a visa before travelling to Istanbul. • Istanbul is a city heavily reliant on cash. • Wear proper clothing when visiting religious sites. • Be ready to haggle. Prices in the bazaar are flexible so you might end up buying something 70% cheaper than the original price listed.

44 Issue 108 December 2018 Issue 108 December 2018






here's nothing like the scents of hot glühwein, freshly baked gingerbread and bratwurst wafting through the air to get you into the holiday feels. The roofs are covered with thin sheets of snow and people stand around, cozied up in the winter attire we can’t quite pull off in Malta, drinking, eating and just being merry.

It’s the perfect trip for couples looking for a romantic long weekend or families wanting to give the gift of Christmas their children will never forget.

Germans take things very seriously and the holiday season is no exception, when Germany transforms into a land of Christmas. The streets are decked in Christmas decorations, the buildings are festively lit and there is a contagious holiday spirit all around.

Marienplatz Christmas Market, Munich Magic fills the air in Munich as Christmas cheer brings the stunning Marienplatz to life. Leisurely stroll through the wooden stalls window-shopping at everything on offer from beeswax candles to classic German nutcrackers. Save some room in your suitcase to bring one of those bad boys home! Munich is a beautiful city all year round, but at Christmas time it is blissful.

The main squares of the cities fill with wooden stalls selling hot mulled wine, traditional knick-knacks and glorious holiday delicacies like candied apples and roasted chestnuts. You’ll have to pinch yourself because you will swear you are actually in the North Pole - it’s that adorable. Germany is simply magic at Christmastime. For the perfect winter wonderland get-away visiting the most festive Christmas markets in Europe, plan a trip to any major city in Germany from late November until just after Christmas.

Here is a roundup of the best Christmas markets you should visit in Germany this year.

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg The Christmas market in Nuremberg is one of the most traditional dating back to 1628. Out of 180 stalls, there are 30 that have remained unchanged since 1890! Nuremberg is famous for its traditional gingerbread or lebkuchen, the “original Nuremberg” bratwursts, and of course beer. Lots and lots of beer! Nuremberg is a destination great for the whole family with a “Christmas City” for children, complete with a two-tiered merrygo-round, Ferris wheel and steam railway.

The Berliner Weinachtszeit, Berlin In Berlin alone there are 70 markets spread across the city. If there is one market that you shouldn't miss in Berlin, it’s the Berliner Weinachtszeit at Roten Rathaus, just a few hundred meters from the famous Alexanderplatz. Look for the 50-meter Ferris wheel, you can’t miss it. All of the stalls are decked out in 1900s fashion giving the market a very unique, very Berlin vibe. Not to mention the large 600 square meter ice skating ring where you can rent a pair of skates for only four euros. “Christmas Avenue”, Cologne Cologne welcomes over four million visitors during the holiday season to the many Christmas markets throughout the city. For something traditional, with a modern twist, “Christmas Avenue” is Cologne’s LGBT Christmas market, decked with pink and purple chalets. You’ll find everything from chocolate penises to pink nutcrackers and daily drag queen shows in Germany’s gay capital. Dortmunder Weihnachtsmark, Dortmund The Christmas market in Dortmund is one of the most famous in Germany. Join 3.5 million visitors to 300 traditional stalls and one spectacular Christmas tree at 45 meters! Dortmund’s dazzling Christmas tree steals the show and in some years has even been the tallest in the world.




Chamber of Fashion Malta T

he Chamber of Fashion Malta Foundation is a non-profit organisation run by a team of professional business women volunteers. The mission of the Chamber is to promote culture through fashion by holding fashion-related events and supporting local education in Textile and Fashion Design studies at MCAST. 2018 has been another colourful, successful year for the Chamber of Fashion Malta. Some of our initiatives throughout the year included: January The Chamber of Fashion organised a student exchange between MCAST, a leading fashion academy in Rome and local genius fashion designers Charles and Ron. The students spent a month stocking up on work experience at the atelier of Charles and Ron. What's more, three MCAST students went to an Italian academy in Rome to spend a few weeks getting hands-on experience for their Textile and Fashion Design course. This was made possible due to an ongoing educational initiative, run by the Chamber of Fashion Malta Foundation to support the Ministry of Education. May Six teams from five different schools participated in Trash Fashion; a fashion show initiated by WasteServe as part of the Company's DONT WASTE WASTE CAMPAIGN. Students were inspired to look creatively at objects that are non- recyclable, and those that would otherwise end up in a landfill. They could choose from items including textiles, rubber, foam and wood based materials. Students imaginatively recycled and reinvented jewellery from rubber tyres and broken ceramics. Items of clothing were made from vegetable sacks, mesh screening, denim and leather, amongst other materials. The evening was introduced and awards were given by Dr. Jose Herrera, Minister for The Environment, who complemented the teams for promoting sustainable fashion. One of the judges of this fashion show was the Academic Director of The Chamber of Fashion Malta Foundation. June On Croatia National day, Croatian fashion designer Matija Cop was invited to Malta to inspire fashion students and emerging designers. Cop, who uses 3D Laser printing production methods, exhibited his work and delivered a lecture to fashion students at The Fortress Builders, Valletta. The Hon. Minister for Education Dr. Evarist Bartolo opened the event, which was followed by an event by the Croation Consulate, attended by diplomats and Her Excellency, the President of Malta.

48 Issue 108 December 2018

On the day, the Chamber also teamed up with Maltese designer James Dimech who gave an inspiring presentation to a group of students studying Textile and Fashion Design and their teachers about different production techniques and inspiration for their designs. Examples of the uniquely produced garments were on show. July Every summer, the Chamber of Fashion presents a significant international fashion show. The Chamber's ''International Evening of Culture through fashion'' was proudly held at the majestic Verdala Palace on the 19th of July, under the patronage of Her Excellency, the President of Malta. The exhibited collections were by renowned fashion designers Giada Curti and Marina Corazziari from Italy, Sladana Krstic from Croatia, entrepreneur Danny Moodliyar from South Africa and local designer James Dimech. Proceeds from the event's tickets were donated to The Community Chest Fund Foundation. September During July's international Evening of Culture through Fashion, a model was chosen by a foreign scouting agency. The Chamber of Fashion sponsored this model to participate in an international event in Lecce, Italy. The beautiful Maltese model has now made it to yet another international event and we couldn't be any more proud and wish her the best of luck! In the meantime... The Chamber of Fashion continues to sponsor and support students with textiles and materials for use in the classroom at MCAST to enable them to practice, learn and exhibit their work. The Chamber has also been in consultation talks with the Ministry of Education and Employment on the spacial design and equipping of secondary school classrooms ahead of Textiles and Fashion Design being introduced as a curriculum subject in 2019. Thanks to a lot of hard work throughout the whole year and support from the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Employment and Malta Tourism Authority, the Chamber of Fashion continues to achieve its dreams and objectives.

The Chamber of Fashion Malta Foundation was founded by Dr. Juliana Scerri Ferrante and is administered by Vice-President Dorianne Mamo, Events Director Moira Chetcuti and Academic Director Penny Apap Brown. For more information follow them on Facebook:


Christmas Trends



Japanese style: balanced sobriety If last year was dominated by the Hygge style, this season will not forget the minimalist philosophy either. A purism of design characterised by clean and neat lines, inspired mainly by the light-coloured woods, matt brass, and shiny black surfaces of a sophisticated Japanese aesthetic, which finds expression in restrained natural tones. The decorative geometric shapes give the idea of clarity, perfection, and balance. The colours range from pure white to rose gold, a shiny cool grey, a deep bordeaux

50 Issue 108 December 2018

Folk style: vivid heritage This style interprets traditional handcraft skills from diverse cultures- Scandinavian, Eastern European, and South American - in a modern way that is full of vitality and joy, with strong colours like mustard, petrol, and red. Particularly, in evidence are patterns drawn from folklore and ethnic motifs, often in appliqué or embroidery. This can be the perfect trend for people who love travelling and bringing back home souvenirs or traditional objects from the countries they’ve visited. Mixing and matching Russian dolls, Swedish wooden Dala horses, or handmade felted gnomes is not only possible this season, but it’s also super fashionable!


Blue and gold: splendid history This style is perfect for those who love luxury, and don't want to experiment with new extravagant trends. Inspired by Rococo and Baroque style, this luxurious and elegant theme reminds us of the opulence of the 15th century Italian palaces. In fact, the aim of this trend is to reinterpret the Baroque philosophy in unconventional and modern ways. The predominant colours are gold and dark blue, as well as dark red and brown. These are the perfect hues to express the drama. In terms of materials, the real protagonists are lace, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, and marble. These are always combined with dark, saturated colours, together with accents in aventurine and blue aquamarine. Why not surprise your guests with sophistication this Christmas?

red and black. ‘Less is more’ is always valid, even for this up-coming Christmas 2018!


ike every year, one of the world’s most popular Christmas fairs, Christmasworld, held in Frankfurt, has set the trends, themes, and colours, which will be stamping their mark on this festive season. In fact, four main trend-setting styles have been presented and staged as the core of this upcoming Christmas: vivid heritage, eclectic gathering, balanced sobriety, and splendid history.

Contemporary style: Eclectic gathering This extravagant trend combines apparent contrasts of exaggerated shapes, materials, and patterns, such as crystal, foil, mother of pearl, and mirrorglass, with playful details. It creates surprise collage effects in pink, lemon yellow, mandarin orange, azure, rosé, black, and gold. Decorations recreate animal shapes like butterflies or chicks with strong and joyful colours, giving your house (or your Christmas tree) a happy and absolutely eye-catching, striking look! Now that you are aware of the latest Christmas trends for 2018, there is nothing else to do but to start getting creative, interpret, and adapt those styles according to your taste! Spoiler alert: I could also anticipate the four emotional worlds of style for the next festive season, but I will keep this secret for a future issue.




52 Issue 108 December 2018

Travel education


All I want for CHRISTMAS is sustainable living WORDS BY ELLE BORG


hristmas is just around the corner, and we’re starting to smell the cinnamon, mulled wine, and 'l-imbuljuta tal-qastan' that characterise a Maltese Christmas. Unfortunately though, with Christmas comes a rather large amount of waste, from food waste (despite the fact that nanna keeps insisting that you’re growing and need the extra piece of timpana) to extra wrapping paper, and it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Fret not our little eco-elves, we’ve got a couple of sustainable solutions for you that will abolish any slight chance of you getting coal in your stocking… Food waste We all know that this is a biggie, and we all know that part of what makes us Maltese is the fact that we love our food (in copious amounts) but there’s no need for it to go to waste. Apart from the obvious, like pigging out on Boxing Day on all the leftovers, here are some other tips… Leftover oranges - turn your spare oranges into orange and clove pomander balls: It’s really simple, all you have to do is stick some cloves into an orange and let it set, creating your very own natural christmas air freshener. Instead of throwing all your vegetable peelings away, why not use them for compost? Great for your garden (helps with impressing the neighbours too!) as well as great for the environment.

54 Issue 108 December 2018

Wrapping paper The amount of wrapping paper used every Christmas is astonishing, so use that paper again and make something beautiful. You can do a number of things, from fashioning your own pretty envelopes, to creating Christmas bunting for those Christmas drinks you’ve got planned, to simply lining your drawers and making your Monday-morning sock hunt slightly more colourful. The possibilities are endless, get creative! Christmas Trees Instead of splurging on some big fancy synthetic tree, grab a couple of seeds, some soil and a pot and grow your own (if you’re not exactly green-thumbed, go buy a potted tree and water it religiously). The tree can be of any variety you like, and I guarantee would make for a better conversation piece than your typical boxed tree. Just keep in mind that the most sustainable way to get your gardening on is to plant indigenous and/or non-invasive plants. Presents It’s the thought that counts, so avoid buying gifts if you don’t think the person will like it, and give them vouchers instead. It’s a great way to ensure that the person will get a gift they like, whilst also ensuring that there won’t be any extra, unwanted gifts sitting at the bottom of landfills. Issue 108 December 2018





nxiety typically involves an emotional component such as nervousness or fear - a physiological component, which may include fast breathing, trembling, high heart rate, or stomach churning, as well as a cognitive component, such as an impending sense of doom or negative thoughts. These characteristics can ultimately affect our daily behaviour through, for example, putting off day-today tasks, avoiding people or dealing with difficult situations, insomnia, engaging in excessive smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or taking illicit substances to calm down.


It comes as no shock that every individual differs as to how vulnerable they feel in a variety of stressful situations. If you are reading this, and feel that this topic somehow applies to you at this specific moment in time, first of all, you need to be aware that anxiety is entirely normal at times of stress. It’s appropriate to mention that the right amount of stress can actually be helpful - in that it can serve as a motivation to reach higher goals and accomplish new challenges in life. However, it is also known that too much stress can seriously interfere with you living a normal life. This is why I would like to point out some strategies that many can try, in order to ease out some of the stress in your everyday life. Reviewing all the stressful circumstances in life Whilst this may seem like an obvious step, many do not seek to dedicate sufficient time to address all that is bothering them. It is vitally important to think about all the things that are going on - things which might be causing ultimate stress - and do your utmost to find practical long-term solutions to reduce the latter. Addressing stressful situations through proper time management The lack of appropriate time management is probably a sin of many. Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself, and say “no” to things you don’t need to do, in order to be able to deal with the most important projects first. Let’s not forget to mention that despite all the benefits that come with today’s technological advancements, they may also work against us. It is wise to remember that time spent off the mighty Facebook, and other social media networks, could actually be used to get some work done. Learning to relax and distract yourself from troubles The physical symptoms of anxiety occur because adrenaline is being released by the nervous system into the bloodstream and as a result, affects organs such as the heart, stomach, and muscles. It is not going to be any more fruitful to continuously worry

56 Issue 108 December 2018

about something. Make sure you find time to engage in activities you like to help keep your mind off things. Go for a walk, watch a movie, or listen to some nice music. Relaxation and breathing exercises can help you control the physical symptoms of anxiety, especially if they occur regularly. Looking after your health No matter how busy you are, it’s very important to find time to eat well, exercise regularly, and rest properly. It is wise to mention that sleep plays an important role in managing stress. It provides our body with the opportunity to regenerate, eliminate toxins, and wash-away all the negative thoughts. Sleep disruption creates havoc in the brain, thereby, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. Try to cut down on energy drinks or coffee, for caffeine intake furthers the issue, by potentially increasing anxiety. Adopting a rational approach to challenging negative thoughts Sometimes the key to problem-solving is all about mind power and motivation. Try to overcome the tendency to exaggerate how threatening a situation is, and to underplay how effectively you can cope with this situation. Stop judging yourself too harshly, and most of all, refrain from comparing yourself to others. Everyone works best at their own specific pace. Seeking support whenever appropriate No man is an island, therefore do seek support from family members or close friends, whenever you deem necessary. Never be hesitant to visit your G.P. if you think your anxiety problem is getting too overwhelming to cope with, especially if you are going through a rough patch on a more personal level. In conclusion, don’t get anxious about feeling anxious! Everyone manages to pull through the various transitions of life differently. Remind yourself that anxiety can be reversed once you practice mindfulness and engage in activities that make you feel good. Allow yourself to recognize that mild anxiety is a warning sign that reminds us to be aware of certain issues that may necessitate some attention. Moreover, when feelings like persistent sadness, social disinterest or low motivation, begin to affect a student’s ability to carry out the necessary steps to be successful, then its’ time to reach out for professional help. Never ignore a problem; both physical and emotional challenges can be successfully managed, especially when dealt with at an early stage.

Georgiana Farrugia Bonnici is a Diagnostic Radiographer & Junior Doctor Issue 108 December 2018




In Today’s World You might not agree with someone’s religious preferences, political views, or sexual orientation, but it is important to accept those people as human beings and respect and accept their decisions, as long as they are not hurting anyone. SAMIRA ZAMMIT, a representative within the university -based media organisation, The Third Eye, speaks about how being more accepting of others by ditching the conservative opposing mentality and allowing the vibrant diversification to grow, enables us to be more positive, happy and successful .


ave you ever found yourself urging for a sense of belonging? Perhaps you’ve wanted to fit in so badly that you’ve asked yourself what made you so inferior to others? For you, that feeling may last just a couple of minutes, but for others, it may become an inevitable part of the life they lead. We speak of diversity and inclusion as core values for international unity and cooperation, while refusing to acknowledge that we are falling short of the mark through our actions. Diversity is commonly defined as the range of varying perspectives, experiences, and interests. In other words, it encompasses the valuation of differences. We ought to celebrate such distinctions as we are all equal in the eyes of the law, irrelevant of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. Nevertheless, the inclusion element is fundamental in the presence of diversity. It wouldn’t make much sense having a multiplicity of opinions, unless there is social agreement and acceptance. It goes without saying that acceptance is not as easy as it may sound. It is natural that one disagrees with opposing views, as it is also true that no man is an island. The joy brought about by acceptance is simply an innate aspiration. Countless; there’s no other word which better describes how many moments of anxiety I had to experience until I felt that someone actually made me feel welcome. Be it handling an interview, surviving the first day of university, travelling to an unknown country,or bearing the good old reunions – the list is endless. Being exposed to numerous adverts and posts on social media portraying the ‘ideal’ lifestyle and promoting what might be viewed as ‘the best ways of living’, we may fall into the trap of adopting a misconception. That is, we are expected to abide by the fixed standard. This is what

58 Issue 108 December 2018

constantly prompts us to assume that we are not good enough. I oppose to this dictation of uniformity and standardisation, as I ardently believe in the power of diversification. How astonishing would living in a colourful world be, rather than a monochromatic one? A myriad of studies has led many writers to envisage the importance of belonging to a group; one of them being Nathan DeWall, a psychologist from the University of Kentucky. DeWall dates the concept of inclusion back to our forefathers and admits that this assisted them in enduring barbarous environments. They provided security and protection to each other in the same way that we seek such factors when blending into a social group. One of the rival elements we are constantly battling is rejection. It doesn’t exclusively concern romantic relationships, but reaches the family circle and friendships, as well as new-born connections with strangers. Exclusion may lead to destructive mental health issues, and further affect society at large. Hence, we are persistently bombarded by the various manners one may opt for, in terms of seeking outside help. I strongly agree that we should all bear in mind how to cope when facing the situation at stake. Let us ditch the conservative opposing mentality and allow the vibrant diversification to grow. Let us nurture and cultivate diversity and strive for peace, unity and love. Let us empower dignity and equality. Let us improve our environment and shape a better world for us to enjoy, and for generations to come. I guarantee that you’d be fascinated by how much you could learn simply by exposing yourself to different people, opinions, languages, and cultures. Every little bit helps; make yours count. Issue 108 December 2018


Health education



Opt for healthier options for dessert such as apples, apricots, banana, raisins, frozen berries or yogurt.

Be careful with food portions for yourself and when serving others. You may have spent a whole day preparing lunch or dinner for a whole family. If you serve a large pasta dish as a starter, no one would appreciate your efforts in cooking turkey as a main course. Small portions are enough. Another important pitfall during Christmas time is left overs. The best thing to do is use them during the next family meal or freeze them. This will also avoid food wastage. Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the party and do not starve yourself prior to the banquet as this will leave you so famished that you end up overeating. A bowl of porridge in the morning helps control your appetite later on in the day. Eat slowly as it takes approximately 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that you’re full. This is why any meal should last at least that long to eat!

it benefits your health and wellbeing. 30 minutes of moderate activity each day can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions or diseases, manages weight control, and makes you feel good about yourself. This activity can be accumulated in bouts of 10 minutes or more if it’s more convenient. Remember, they say something is better than nothing, but more is better than something. Here are some tips: • • • • • • •

Take a walk outside. Plan well and fit exercise into your regime. Do not fall into the ‘all or nothing’ trap. If you missed on a day, don’t give up. Aim to do at least 10 minutes of exercise. Download a 10-minute workout and follow it. Exercise before eating. Do your own chores. Find a workout buddy to accompany you at the gym, for a walk, or join a zumba, pilates or aerobics class together.

Buffets can be a disaster for someone trying to eat healthily. Fill half of the plate with salad and vegetables, and the rest with protein products like salmon or chicken.

These are simple tips on how you can enjoy the Christmas festivities and get through this period without too much of an impact on your health and waistline.

Apart from watching what you eat, include physical activity in your schedule. Regular physical activity is important because

On behalf of all my colleagues at the department, I wish you and your families a blessed and healthy Christmas.

Donate Blood

hristmas is notoriously known as a time tfor indulgence. Despite this time being a festive season, it should not be the time when one should justify overeating. It is understood that the last thing someone would want to hear around Christmas time is to eat healthy. Indeed, many people change their lifestyle around Christmas time and New Year as many tend to party and eat out. It is a good time to meet up with family, workmates, and old friends in a social environment and it is tradition for such social events to include an abundance of food and drink. The food usually served is not really the type of food most health experts and nutritionists recommend. So, shall we take Christmas as a green light to indulge in food and then turn a new leaf in the New Year? Deep down, we all know that New Year’s resolutions are not usually kept! Would you rather be careful what you eat, not exaggerate, but still enjoy yourself? Wondering how you are going to survive this season? Indeed, there are different ways in which one can enjoy the festive season without disrupting a healthy lifestyle. If you’re hosting your own dinner party, opt for lower calorie,

less sweet, salty and fatty ingredients when preparing the traditional favourites with these tips: • Make open-top mince pies. Using less pastry cuts down on calories and fat. • Instead of sausage rolls, opt for chicken, vegetable and mushroom kebabs • Don't use cream or cream cheese for dips. Choose tomato-based dips, such as salsa, lentil or chickpea dip. Otherwise, mix some chopped herbs into low-fat yoghurt. Use cucumber and carrot sticks instead of salty biscuits or sticks to dig in. • Serve rice cakes, oatcakes, plain popcorn, walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds that are rich in protein, essential fats and minerals. • Serve mulled wine (mix wine with 100% freshly squeezed orange juice) instead of wine only or try non-alcoholic, low calorie drinks, such as home-made fruit extracts. • Grill meat and fish on a wire rack to allow excess fat to drain off. • Use healthier fats for cooking.

save a life Blood Donation Centre

i n G u a r d a m a n g i a o p e n s 7 d ay s a w e e k f r o m 0 8: 0 0 t i l l 18: 0 0 . E: T: 220 66 209 | M: 79 307 307 12th December

16th December

Santa Lucia - mobile unit – Serenity Garden (Chinese garden) from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Mġarr - mobile unit – next to Parish Church from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

9th December

23rd December

Mqabba - mobile unit – next to Parish Church from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Żurrieq - mobile unit – in front of Local Council Administrative Offices from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Xewkija Gozo – mobile team – in Xewkija Berġa from 8:00am till 1:00pm. 13th December Mosta - mobile unit – in PAMA Village Shopping Complex parking area from 8:30am till 1:00pm.

Xewkija Gozo – mobile team – in Xewkija Berġa from 8:00am till 1:00pm. Xewkija Gozo – mobile team – in Xewkija Berġa from 8:00am till 1:00pm.

w w w.facebook .com/bloodmalta 60 Issue 108 December 2018

30mins is all it takes




ife is full of suffering. We lose things that are valuable to us, and we break friendships or relationships with people who once were dear to us. We argue with the people who mean the most to us, and we grieve over the people who were separated from us by death. Throughout life’s suffering, in addition to losing things and people, we often end up losing ourselves. We lose our inner child whilst growing up, our own authentic personality whilst trying to be like everyone else in society, and worst of all, our happiness whilst we worry and experience sadnness about the distress that life brings with it. Because of all of this, today I wanted to focus on what it takes to be happy throughout all of this suffering. First of all, I believe that everyone is suffering in one way or another, and that true happiness does not lie in the things around us, but comes from within us. Another belief I live by is that heaven and hell are not found in our life after death, but are found in this life, and are located right inside us. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect and write about the actions that help me live a happy, beautiful life; the actions that help me live in heaven on Earth. Getting my inner child out I try to never forget to play, run, draw, and most of all, laugh! I try doing all of these things on a daily basis! I control what I can control, and I let go of the rest For every situation that is bringing me down, I ask myself “can I control it?” If so, then I take on a management position and control the situation by changing it. If I can’t control it, then I simply let it go. I don’t dwell on it, I don’t worry about it, and I don’t think about it. I look at it with the perspective that if I can’t control the heavy bulk, then I shouldn’t carry it with me either. I get rid of people who bring me down A lot of people take on life’s suffering and carry the load throughout their whole life. They carry the heavy bulk on their shoulders, and this brings with it a lot of negative energy. I like to imagine people living in their own bubble of energy. Some have a positive energy, some have a calm energy, and some have an inspiring energy, whilst others have a negative energy. I believe that once I get close to someone, I get infected by their energy. My past experiences taught me to surround myself with people who are positive, people who want the best for me, people who make me happy, and people who are happy themselves, whilst staying away from people who bring me down. I’m not afraid to break off a relationship anymore; be it with a partner, my parents, my colleague, or my friend. I’d rather keep my distance than try to change someone. My time and energy is my life, and I don’t want to waste my life on people that suck the living happiness out of me. I live constantly with death I lost my older and only brother exactly this time two years ago, and although a lot of people look at me strangely for being so positive about it, I cannot help but see it as a blessing. I mention

62 Issue 108 December 2018

the situation quite often, both with friends and people who I never met before. I don’t mention it for sympathy or pity, but rather, because it is a big part of my life and I live with his death every single day. Although it sounds sad, the death of my dear brother taught me not to take the people I love for granted. Nowadays, I rarely have arguments with people I admire, and when I do, I do it in a sensible way and try to improve the situation as soon as I can. Living with death also taught me to appreciate my own life. Therefore, every single day, I make sure that I take the time to feel gratitude towards simply being alive. All of this leaves little room for complaints and sadness, and although I do get depressed sometimes, I give myself time to feel it without suppressing it, and before I know it, it leaves my body and goes away. I work on my soul I work on myself and on my happiness by listening to myself. I always try to search for things that make me happy. I reflect on my mistakes. I apologise to the people whom I’ve wronged and always try to stay true to myself. Most of all, I give myself time to heal. In reality, we are all victims of something; death, loss, grief, depression, manipulation, sadness, and anxiety. I go through all of these too and never forget to give myself time to heal from them. I do what I love, more oftenn and more frequently! This is my purpose in life. I often ask myself a lot of existentialist questions; What is my purpose? Why do I exist? Why am I here? What do I want to become? Who am I? Throughout the years that I’ve been working hard on myself and on my soul, I’ve realised that my purpose is to inspire others with my words, because that brings me a lot of joy. I paint and draw, I make cards and gifts for the people who mean a lot to me, and I do voluntary work. I always try to find out what makes me happy. I always search for that thing that gives my stomach butterflies. I try to think and worry less We think all the time. We think when we are awake and we also think when we are asleep. Our brain never stops working. However, throughout my life I realised that being happy means being able to think less, to worry less, and to stress less by taking life a day at a time and being present. Happiness, for me, means looking back at my life as years go by, and instead of asking myself “where did those years go?”, I tell myself “I’ve enjoyed every minute and every breath of it.” Those were the actions that I reflected upon. However, I want to add that in no way do I want to impose and tell you that this is what you are supposed to do to be happy. We are all different and what works for me, may not work for you. These actions were just the things I have personally been constantly working on to become positive, happy, and healthy. It took me a lot of years to get to this point, and I’m not completely where I want to be yet. I still work on myself every single day, however, I truly believe that our life is built upon habits - so do yourself a favour and make sure you form good ones. Issue 108 December 2018


Escape from the ordinary









64 Issue 108 December 2018

Vida Magazine December 2018 | Issue 112