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  • The LEGO Batman Movie AND The Boss Baby!

    by TG's Claire | Mar 20, 2017
    OMTG, you guys, I think I just set a record for myself in terms of epic movie watching! Yesterday, I saw TWO special screenings of cool coming flicks just so I could report back on what's good! (Also, because I am a fan. But mostly to report back!)

    The Boss Baby


    I kicked off in the morning with The Boss Baby. Now, I only have an older sister, so I don't know what it feels like to see Mum and Dad come home with a brand new baby - apparently, you feel kinda jelly! And to make matters worse for Tim Templeton, our hero, his new kid brother is... um... a little weird. I mean, he's in a tiny business suit, he can talk (in Alec Baldwin's voice) and he wants to eat sushi! Something's most def up with him and Tim can't wait to figure out what it is so he can hopefully regain his parents' undivided love and attention. 

    My fave things about this flick: It includes the most heart-melting puppy EVER. I mean EVER. Also, because of Tim's oversized imagination, there are some truly cray cray moments and it really is totes hilar. 
    That said: there's a bit of gross-out humour, which isn't really my jam. Just a warning in case you're eating something soft or squishy while watching!

    Next up in the afternoon - The LEGO Batman Movie! Since I was a massive fan of The LEGO Movie, I figured this one would rock my socks and it totally did! For starters, look who I got to meet!! How cool do we look together as a crime-fighting squad?! Big props to the cool people behind this flick for putting on so much fun stuff in the arvo - from face-painting to caricatures to cool LEGO stickers and masks and activities on the seats. 

    LEGO Batman heroes and Claire

    This flick's about LEGO Batman, the hero of Gotham City, even though, well, he clearly hasn't actually banished crime from Gotham at all! Turns out a life of a crime-fighting billionaire can be kinda lonely when you're all holed up in the Batcave with a microwave dinner. Enter Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Robin - a lonely orphan with massive, cute eyes - will he and Batman discover they're actually the crime-fighting fam the world needs?

    My fave things about this flick: The visuals! As with the first LEGO movie, it's a bricky, blocky, colourful feast for the eyes. I also really dig Rosario Dawson's Batgirl (or Barbara Gordon when not in costume), as well as the too-cute Harley Quinn. The insane, funny nature of this movie is perfect for fans of superhero flicks too.
    That said: Batman is hilariously self-centred and so focused on being a cool, tough guy that I guess he's just not as sweet as Emmet, our hero in The LEGO Movie. But does a softie secretly lurk under that tough-guy exterior? It might...

    The Boss Baby is in cinemas from 23 March.
    The LEGO Batman Movie is in cinemas from 30 March.
    Check out the current issue of TG with Emma Watson on the cover for a 'How to draw LEGO Batman' guide, plus a poster of Batgirl!

     

    6 Comments
  • OMTG the Beauty and the Beast Premiere!

    by TG's Claire | Mar 10, 2017

    Hi TGs!

    Are you excited about Beauty and the Beast? I DEFINITELY am. So much so that, at the time of writing, I have seen it twice! OMTG!

    The first time was with Aaron and Abbey. The second time was last night, at the Australian premiere! Heaps of fans had lined up on the street to watch everybody arrive at the State Theatre. It was all done up in special enchanted sparkles. Some gold-painted people were dressed up as candelabras so it was like the furniture had come to life! And there were lots of roses - like, collections of rose crystal jewellery and roses on the red carpet.

    Here I am standing on the red carpet!
    Claire on the red carpet

    Here I am in front of this magic mirror. Claire at the Beauty and the Beast premiere

    An awesome girl who looked wonderful was dressed up as Belle! Here she is. 
    A model is dressed as Belle

    Here's what happened when I tried to selfie with her. 
    Me and Belle
    Very ineffective! I am too short! Haha!

    Once we got inside the theatre, we got to see one of the stars of the film! Josh Gad, whose voice should be very familiar as he's Olaf, plays LeFou, Gaston's hilar sidekick. He told us the funniest thing that happened to him on set involved one of the many horses in the film. His horse was called Buddy, "but it was no buddy of mine!". Buddy was supposed to walk beside Josh along with Luke Evans (who plays Gaston) and his own horse. But Buddy was having none of it! Instead of going for a nice walk, Buddy decided to head backwards, then to bolt through the village! Even the horse's trainer started to laugh because he'd never seen anything like that before!

    He recorded a message of us all greeting Luke Evans on this phone AND treated us to a brief sing-a-long sesh of 'Gaston' the song. Which, by the way, is one of funniest bits of the movie. 

    But how was the movie? I can tell you right now you'll go to sleep singing the songs to yourself and you'll sigh for days over how stunning and gorgeous and magical it is. I know I am! Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme... 

    Tell me in the comments about whether you think you're gonna heart it!

    xo Claire

    Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas from March 23.
    Total Girl with Emma Watson on the cover is on sale Monday March 13.

     

    12 Comments
  • Real-Life Read - I'm a Games Boss

    by TG's Claire | Mar 08, 2017
    Hey TGs, happy International Women's Day! Here are three cool things to do today:

    1. Get pumped on what you and other women and girls have achieved!
    2. Get inspired by your fave females, whether real, fictional, historical or current! There are SO many. 
    3. Combine your powers with other women and girls - if you band together, who knows what you'll achieve. 

    Today, just for Women's Day, here's a spesh online-only Real-Life Read. Lisy Kane, a Melbourne-based games producer, is pretty ah-mazing so I thought you might like to read all about her! She spoke to TG to coincide with the release of Barbie Video Game Hero, in which Barbie is a coder!

    Lisy Kane the game boss
    My family had a laptop when I was young, a really old one, and we played a lot of video games. I was fascinated with how they worked and didn’t realise they were made by humans – real people! I wanted to create things and made things like pinball machines out of old cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, and marbles! They worked! They weren't great, but I enjoyed putting them together.


    These days, I even make games outside of work - I take part in Game Jam and do behind the scenes stuff. For Global Game Jam, I did some audio coding. I make music on the side! I’m always making stuff.

    Making games, you get to work with amazing people. In my role as a producer, I get to see everything – I get to see the code happening, I get to see the art being drawn. I’m the least artistic person in the team! But I love seeing these worlds being created. That’s what I love most about video games. A game I’m working on is a complete fantasy world filled with animals. I get to see that world being put together every day! 


    As a producer, I make sure the directors, coders, designers and artists all know what they’re doing so we can hit our release date! I got started doing IT in high school, then I studied game design and business at uni. I did work experience at a game studio while i was at uni. I didn’t know games were made in Australia, I thought they were all made overseas in big studios in America. But there are a lot of studios in Australia making games.

    If you want to get involved in making games, play lots of games! All types - and then think about why they're fun to use. You can explore work experience at a game studios – see if you can talk to them and ask for advice. Most will be extremely happy and helpful if you reach out to them. Look for free tools like Stencyl so you can make your own games! You don't have to code, you can drag and drop. Play around and make games with your friends - that's even more fun.

    The industry of games and tech is mostly male, which means one type of story is being told. Bringing more people, especially girls and women, means more stories will be told. So we need more women to enter the games industry and make cool games for me to play!



    1 Comment
  • Case closed! These rule!

    by TG's Claire | Feb 13, 2017
    Hi TGs!

    OK, weird confession time - I LOVE containers. You guys, I have a LOT of containers. 
    By 'containers' I mean anything that can hold another thing: lots of tins, boxes, pouches, handbags, folders... you name it. Sometimes my friends make fun of me for loving containers so much, but maybe they should think about a world with NO containers!!! Terrible, right? All your stuff would be EVERYWHERE. 

    Rant over. Did you know today's new mag day for TG? You can get your very own March issue with Tay on the cover right now. And newsstand copies all come with a super adorbs exclusive TG pencil case! I LOVE them. 

    BTW, there's two to collect: one with a cactus print (BEST) and one with an icy pole print (ALSO BEST). My fave is probs the cactus, though. 

    So here's what I can fit into mine: 
    TG March mag
    Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life textas
    Typo pen that's also a fan (sooo good in the heatwave)
    Cool mirror that looks like a perfume bottle
    Tokidoki stamp
    My TG watch
    Glitter glue
    Hair elastics
    Cute lil doll of Steven from Steven Universe, which I got this morn from TG friend Deeny (she works at TG's brother mag, K-Zone).

    BTW, if you're wondering what's up with the hearts in the background, those are the REALLY COOL heart notes you can pull out of the middle of the mag. YAASSS.

    Tell me - which pencil case is your jam - cactus print or icy poles? What can you fit into yours? 

    xo TG's Claire

    The exclusive TG pencil case

    * Contents of pencil case for illustrative purposes only. Free with the March issue of Total Girl, newsstand copies only.
    8 Comments
  • Hidden Figures is the coolest!

    by TG's Claire | Feb 07, 2017
    Hey TGs!

    Do you like space as much as I do? One of my fave ever interviews that ever ran in TG was with Marsha Ivins, an astronaut who'd been to space FIVE TIMES! I knew Hidden Figures would be the movie for me because I like rockets that go blasting off into zero gravity and also films about maths. 

    Hidden Figures has gotten really famous lately since it's won a swag of awards. I totally see why! It was smart and inspiring. I really think it's for YOU. For girls just like you who want to do big, amazing things. For girls who want to break down barriers and who won't take no for an answer and who want to be the first to get to do things that girls have never done before. The coolest thing is it's based on the real stories of real ground-breaking women who worked at NASA way back in the 1960s. 

    Hidden Figures

    When we first see our hero Katherine Goble, she's a little girl who is very, very, very good at maths (the real life Katherine graduated high school aged 14! How epic is that?!). Even though she lives in a time when being a girl and having brown-coloured skin make life very difficult for her in the world where she wants to make a mark - the mathematics behind space exploration - she's quietly tough and determined which makes all the difference.

    Do you want to see Hidden Figures? If you went to space, what would you most want to do? Let me know in the comments!

    xo Claire
    8 Comments
  • Totally Terrific Twozies

    by TG's Claire | Jan 13, 2017
    Hey TGs!

    Meet some new friends of mine - the Twozies!

    Here they are. Aren't they ca-ute?! Adorbs, right? 
    As you can see, Twozies are cute lil babies in animal hats. They come with a pet... but here's the fun bit - their pet doesn't match them, so you've got to go swap with a friend or other collector to reunite the Twozie and his or her pet!

    These are some Twozies that live at TGHQ. The puppy-hatted baby with the doggy is mine. The whale and sloth babies/pets belong to Sandra, who is a BFF of the TG team. 
    Some matched up Twozies


    But, as I said, they don't come matched. In a little fun pack, you'll get a totally random match up and while they'll still be SUPER SQUEE, they'll just not quite belong together. See what I mean? 

    Twozies who don't match their pet


    Safe to say I'm pretty obsessed with them - opening them is a surprise, matching them feels heaps rewarding and collecting them has been epic. Since they're def my jam, I thought you might like collecting them too (two!?). If you would like the fun and the surprise of your very own Twozies, find them with non-subscription copies of Total Girl's February mag, which is out on Monday!

    Do you wanna play with Twozies? What do you like to collect? Tell me in the comments below!
    xo Claire
    17 Comments
  • SING is the coolest!

    by TG's Claire | Dec 13, 2016

    Hey TGs!

    Let’s talk fave karaoke songs. Mine are Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Sorry by the Biebs. Yours? I mean I’m about 99.9 per cent sure you LOVE music and also ADORE singing. Which brings me to the most recent flick I saw, Sing, which is all about Buster Moon the koala’s dream of reviving his downtrodden theatre with a huge singing contest.

    I’m sure you’re going to love Sing, too! Here are three reasons why:

    1. The details are incredibly good. For example, at one point, a rooster in a business suit walks across the screen. This rooster isn’t really a character, he’s just there and he’s so cute and awesome that I ROFLed. Same goes for the whale in the hat.
    2. The music! Kinda goes without saying, but it’s good, really good. I thought the music was used in the film quite cleverly – it always worked with the story, and wasn’t just there because the song was a massive hit or whatevs.
    3. It’s hilar! You are going to ROFL, most definitely. I mean spoiler alert the carwash scene? TOO good. Haha!

    I went to the Sydney premiere of Sing on the weekend. Here were three good things about this premiere:

    1. They set up a mini stage with big lights and heaps of props. You can’t tell in this pic, but I tried to do a rockstar jump. Didn’t quite work out, as you can see.Claire at Sing premiere
    2. They had fairyfloss AND choc tops. Which was too many treats for me to handle! The choc top was delish, though.
    3. They had a super fun DJ, here she is. Claire with the DJ at the Sing premiere

    Are you going to see Sing? It’s out on Boxing Day. And don’t forget to tell me your fave songs to sing – in the shower, in the car, anywhere!

    Xo Claire

    17 Comments
  • Moana Is Pure Magic

    by TG's Claire | Nov 28, 2016
    Hey TGs!

    I'm updating my blog because IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! And I hope you're enjoying the school hols. One of the best things about the school hols? The Boxing Day flicks!

    Yep, just four sleeps until Moana is out in cinemas! Check out the trailer right here...

    Some of you would have read my earlier blog post from when I went to a special Moana screening, but I thought I'd update it with this super epic video Q&A with Auli'i Cravalho
    the Hawaiian teen voice actor behind the heroine. Here she is!



    How cool is Auli'i? THE COOLEST, that's how cool. 

    Here are my thoughts from my earlier post from that early screening of Moana

    1. OMTG it is SO BEAUTIFUL. It is breathtaking.
    2. That little pig who is Moana's friend - can it be MY friend? 
    3. I'm not crying, YOU are. 

    Moana is all about a Polynesian girl, the teen daughter of an island chief, who must go on an adventure to save her people. If you love the beach, long summers, coconuts and silly chickens, you're going to love this - it has it all. I think Moana is the hero we deserve: brave and headstrong, super determined and an unstoppable force of nature. I wish I could be more like her!

    Did you know a lot of the voice actors have Islander backgrounds? For example, newcomer Auli'i s part-native Hawaiian (her singing voice! SWOON!). Her spirited, feisty grandma is voiced by Rachel House, who is part Maori and who you might remember as Paula in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. And let's not forget Maui, the demigod who Moana journeys with, who is voiced by actual legend The Rock. The Rock, a.k.a Dwayne Johnson, is part Samoan. 

    So you know what? I'm calling it. Moana is the next Frozen and you're going to LOVE the music. Catch it in cinemas on Boxing Day

    Are you excited about Moana? If you had a talking animal sidekick, what would it be? 

    Claire xo


    7 Comments
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

    by TG's Claire | Nov 17, 2016
    Hey TGs!

    OMTG I LOVE premieres, and I love the world of Harry Potter. So, as you can imagine, when it was time to go to the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I was basically doing backflips with excitement. 
    Claire is in Newt Scamander's suitcase

     (By the way, I cannot actually do backflips. I am just not that talented. Haha.)

    Fantastic Beasts is set in a world well before Harry Potter and his pals ever went to Hogwarts. It's set in the 1920s, in New York - a world that's grand and gilded with some elegant gowns and beautiful buildings. In this world, a stranger from a strange land, Newt Scamander, brings a suitcase of magical animals and some of them break free! EEK. 

    I should say at this stage the movie is for older TGs - parts of it are quite dark and scary. But other parts of it are genuinely magical and of course I loved all the creatures. SPOILER ALERT my fave was the Niffler that appears early on that looks like a platypus with a treasure-stealing habit. I like shiny things too! Haha!

    At the premiere, I loved getting to climb into Newt's enchanted suitcase. Have a think about how they managed this special magic trick! It was the coolest!

    Also, we were given real, special magic wands at the premiere! But I have given mine to a very special person, Tam, who really IS magical. <3

    Are you going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? It's in cinemas TODAY! If you had a magical pet, what would it be? Let me know in the comments!

    xo Claire

    5 Comments
  • 12 Weird Zootopia Facts

    by TG's Claire | Oct 24, 2016
    Hey TGs, I'm back from my holidays!

    Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia

    I know you guys loooove Zootopia, so I thought I'd dig up some cray facts for you: 

    1. One giraffe has more than 9 million CGI hairs on his body! According to Screen Rant, this is more hairs than the last three Disney animated features put together! That is way, way hairier than even Rapunzel, who’s pretty famous for her mane (but isn’t, you know, actually COVERED in hair). Even smaller creatures have epic numbers of hairs – a mouse has about 400,000 hairs.
    2. Shakira the pop star from Colombia voices the super glam Gazelle. She contributed a song called Try Everything; Sia and Stargate wrote it.
    3. Judy the rabbit and your adorable heroine gets her mobile phone coverage from ‘PB&J’ – it says so on her screen. PB&J, get it?
    4. In Germany, the title of the movie is Zoomania.
    5. One of the sloths, Priscilla, is voiced by Kristen Bell (who also voices this character you may have heard of, Anna in Frozen). IRL, Kristen is a massive fan of sloths, so much so that when her friend tried to surprise her with one, Kristen started to bawl because she was so happy.
    6. To get their animal characters just right, the research team visited Kenya in Africa to see animals on the savannah and check out an IRL animal society in the wild.
    7. The team did heaps of homework - they spent than 15 months studying animal movement, fur and behaviour. They even examined fur on a microscopic level!
    8. During his studies of animals, one guy on the team got attacked so many times he ended up with the nickname Nate the Bait.
    9. The world of Zootopia has only mammals and some flies – it lacks reptiles, birds, fish, or amphibians.
    10. Trees in this movie have about 30,000 leaves on them and software was used to make sure even the plants never stayed still.
    11. The movie went crazy on animal-themed takes on real-world things, so keep an eye for Urban Snoutfitters (Urban Outfitters, a fashion store), Zuber (Uber, the ride sharing service), Targoat (like Target) and many more.
    12. The flower shop is called Flora and Fauna, really just a fancy way of saying ‘plants and animals’ but also the names of two of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty.

    If you lived in Zootopia, what kind of animal would you be? Tell me in the comments!

    Claire xo 

     


    15 Comments
  • I went to the circus!

    by TG's Claire | Sep 07, 2016

    Ever dreamt of running away to join the circus? Hey, me too. There are so many sparkles and cool costumes and everyone is talented at doing cool, daring stunts. But I’ve def realised I’m no stuntwoman and really, it’s best to leave the death-defying tricks to the professionals. LOL.

    Anyway – all this leads me to my recent evening at Kooza, which is the Cirque du Soleil’s most recent show. It’s incredibly spectacular and crazy and you sometimes feel like you’ve been transported to a different time or place. Like suddenly it’s the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. Or maybe it’s Carnivale in Rio. Or maybe a bunch of old-time storybook characters have come to life.

    I loved this act with lots of tumbling, gymnastic-type stunts that started with people getting propelled off these see-saw things. Imagine if Simone Biles the Olympic gymnast was getting heaps of extra height in her tumbles because she was being fired up into the air! Like that! Cool!

    I also enjoyed these two daredevils running around on the OUTSIDE of this enormous rotating structure. It was kind of insane. Like gravity? What gravity? And I was juuuuuust a little freaked out by the contortionists (like are their bones actually made of plasticine?) OMTG!

    I feel it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t like clowns for any reason, for example, if you find them scary, this might not be the show for you. There is a LOT of clowning throughout the show and it’s also very intense and in-your-face – especially for those in the front few rows.

    Do you like the circus too? Tell me in the comments!

    XO Claire
    7 Comments
  • The Secret Life of Pets goss!

    by TG's Claire | Aug 29, 2016
    Hey TGs!

    I LOVE ANIMALS. Literally, like all of them. Every time I encounter any dog or cat I basically melt into a puddle. They are my fave, especially Pomeranians (have you SEEN a Pomeranian? It's a fluffy teddy bear dog with a smiling face). So when I learnt the Sydney premiere of The Secret Life of Pets would include a pet cuddle station, I was beside myself. I mean really. Also, The Secret Life of Pets has a Pomeranian character - Gidget, a white-haired girl pomy who is friends with the terrier hero Max. What I'm saying is, this was the exact right event for me. 

    Check out the Secret Life Of Pets trailer HERE!



    I should say the pet cuddle station was done well and we didn't overhandle or scare the pets, which is incredibly important, don't you think? I was tempted to run across the room screaming, "OMG YOU ARE THE CUTEST THING EVER" at the sight of the creatures, but restrained myself to a polite pat. All animals were there with their owners so they were A-OK. 

    Here I am with my new friend Jackson.
    Jackson the poodle 
    This is a cat called Ember, who is a Highlander. Look at her amazing curly ears. 
    Ember the cat

     This Ruby. Don't you love her adorbs posing? 
    Ruby the dog
    This guy is Red the standard poodle. His fur was so soft, curly and beautiful. Red won my heart for sure. 
    TG's Claire and Red the poodle


    But what about the movie, I hear you say. I really do think you guys will LOVE IT. It's so much fun and terribly, terribly cute (like when I saw the puppy versions of Max and Duke the cuteness was almost TOO MUCH). Also, did I mention there's a Pomeranian? I think every single film should include them. Don't you? 

    But where would this goss blog be without some goss? Here you go:

    1. If Duke's voice sounds familiar, it's because it's the voice of Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cam on Modern Family - one of Lily's super funny, loveable dads. 

    2. Keep an eye out for the gnome from the short film Mower Minions, which screens before The Secret Life of Pets. This gnome pops up near the end. 

    3. The opening scene features a song by one of your fave singers EVER, guess who? 

    Are you going to see The Secret Life of Pets? It's out September 8.
    xoxo Claire
    14 Comments
  • OMTG Aladdin the musical!

    by TG's Claire | Aug 15, 2016

    Hey TGs!

    Do you love live theatre as much as I do? NGL, I love the movies, but when you’re at the theatre, the magic is right there, physically in front of you. The actors are there FOR YOU. You can clap for them in particular. The orchestra is real. Best. 

    Friend-Like-Me_Photo-By-Deen-van-Meer


    I had the great privilege of getting to see opening night of Disney’s Aladdin. Remember how I wrote about it ages ago when they first announced it was coming to Sydney? I was waaaay excited to get to finally check it out.

     Dazzling would be an understatement. It was very exciting and also just plain clever how they were able to transform the stage into Agrabah, a palace, a market place and a blinging cave of wonders. Wait ‘til you see Princess Jasmine’s costume – it’s legit so sparkly I bet they can see it from space. And the whole cast was so talented with the most beautiful voices and epic tap dancing skills! The genie, a super-cray larger-than-life dude, was of course one of my faves but I also enjoyed the baddies who hammed it up like crazy. Lol Iago and Jafar

    I thought the musical numbers were amazing (srsly, I can't stop singing all the songs). In particular, the Prince Ali song cracks me up. I mean he's boasting about having 95 white Persian monkeys! Haha! That's maybe too many monkeys.

    When they got to the Whole New World song, I knew I’d been promised a flying carpet that really does fly, and I was delighted. It was enchanting – an actual diamond sky, a view of the moon and everything. And the carpet DID fly, with Aladdin and Jasmine on it. I looked for cables and wires and couldn’t see anything. I spent the whole magnificent musical number trying to work out how they made it fly, even though I was swept away by it all. My latest theory is they used a whopping huge magnet of some kind. But, know what? It’s just as easy to believe they really did use magic.

    Are you going to see Aladdin? It’s on at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre until November 13! If you’d like to see inside the costumes department, check out the September issue of Total Girl (the one with Ari and Minnie Mouse on the cover!)

    Xoxo Claire

    1 Comment
  • Pokemon Go Secrets

    by TG's Claire | Jul 11, 2016
    Hey TGs!

    OK, have you tried Pokemon Go yet? (BTW, this app is best for older TGs who wanna play alongside Mum or Dad). 

    The thing about this app is it's maybe THE GREATEST THING EVER. It's waaay more fun than I thought and people are going cray for it all over the world! 

    If you're not yet familiar with it, it's a smartphone game (works with Apple or Android) and it's free (but you can buy stuff in the game, but you totally don't have to). Basically, like Ash the Pokemaster, you go and track down Pokemon in the real world! How insane is that?! 

    Sure, there are no actual Charmanders on your street (or are there?), but this game uses the camera in your phone to drop Pokemon into your field of vision! So it looks exactly like you just saw a Pikachu down at your local park - adorbs! Screengrab of Pokemon Go

    I started playing on the weekend once I started feeling better (I got sick lately, waaaaah) and, know what? I went down to Luna Park at night and found heaps of Pokemon! So here are my fave tips to help you become a Pokemaster!

    1. Safety first. If you are playing this game, make sure you are aware of your surroundings. DO NOT walk into anything. Srsly. I mean, you might end up on the Totally Embarrassing page of TG, or you could actually really get injured. That's why I do recommend taking your 'rents along. 

    2. When you see a Pokemon, keep your cool (they don't, like, run away from you or anything. UPDATE: OK, they sometimes DO run away, soz about it. This happens later on in the game, when the Pokemon are stronger and you are also a more experienced player. DW if they run away, you WILL catch them all, promise.). Throw Pokeballs at it using a swiping motion. It can be a lil hard to aim so angle your phone to be able to do it comfortably. DW if the Pokemon breaks free - that can just mean it's more powerful. You'll get it in the end. 

    3. Get rarer Pokemon who aren't normally around where you live by collecting eggs at Pokestops (landmarks around your neighbourhood, the app will show you these). You hatch the eggs by walking a certain distance. Really rare Pokemon need you to walk a really long way, like up to 10km! But it's worth it!  

    4. Head to grassy areas for certain types of Pokemon and to lakes and rivers for water-type Pokemon. Some Pokemon are nocturnal, so you might have to see if Mum or Dad is up for a lil nighttime stroll (don't stay up too late and defs be safe when you do this!).

    5. If you see stuff that looks like pink, floating confetti around a Pokestop, that means another player has used a lure to draw in more Pokemon. You can take advantage of the lure too and wait around to see lots of them. 

    6. In the bottom right hand corner, it'll show you little icons to demonstrate which Pokemon are nearby. Tap it to see it bigger - three feet mean the creature is a lil further away, one foot means it's quite close. 

    7. Another update, now I'm playing at a higher level - I find it easier to throw the Pokeball if I press and hold it for about a second and then the 'halo' around the Pokemon lights up. This seems to result in a much more controlled throw, which is great!
     
    Good luck all you Pokemasters. Stay safe (seriously, I am not kidding about this) and let me know if you catch a Snorlax. 

    Are you playing? Tell me how you're going in the comments. 

    xo TG's Claire
    10 Comments
  • Finding Dory secrets

    by TG's Claire | Jun 27, 2016
    Oh hey guys!

    I know it's been a reaaaallly long time since I posted (soz about it) but here I am again coz I wanted to tell you how much I loved Finding Dory. You've probs seen it by now, yeah? If not, get to the cinema stat coz it's just gorgeous. 

    I was lucky enough to get to go to the Sydney premiere screening with TG's Jess, of Jess' Entertainment Blog! Jess is an amazing red carpet reporter, exactly like you'd imagine, so by her side I got to mingle with some pretty epic celebs. 

    So yeah just casually here we are with Modern Family's Ty Burrell (he plays dorky dad Phil Dunphy) - in Finding Dory, he voices a beluga whale, one with messed up echolocation. He is super, super funny, both IRL and in the movie. "I play an idiot [in Finding Dory]... which is not a stretch for me," he told us.

    Ty Burrell

    Disney's sequel to Finding Nemo includes a ridiculously adorable baby Dory (she's so small she's mostly eyes) and it's also worth the price of admission just to see the short film before it, Piper. It's about a little sea bird and maybe it's the cutest thing ever? I mean while I was watching it I started crying a little because the cuteness was nearly too much to take. 

    Anyways, here are 5 did-you-know facts about Finding Dory
    1. The original voice of Nemo, Alexander Gould, voices a grown up in Dory. He lends his voice to one of the truck drivers who pops up at the end. 

    2. Ed O'Neill, also from Modern Family, plays Hank the cranky escape-artist octopus who helps Dory. Did you know octopuses really ARE amazing at escaping? Earlier this year, an octopus called Inky freed himself down a pipe from an aquarium in New Zealand. Speaking of Hank, he was legit the hardest animation Disney Pixar had ever done. 

    3. Becky, the crazy-eyed but still helpful bird, is named after a Becky who works in production at Pixar. 

    4. There are 5,000 stingrays in the stingray migration scene, according to Pixar Post.

    Have you seen this fishy tale yet? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments!

    xo TG's Claire
    8 Comments
  • I Saw The Jungle Book!!!

    by Claire | Apr 07, 2016
    Hey TGs!

    I saw the animated Jungle Book movie aaages ago and mostly I remember it being super cute with a big cartoon bear called Baloo singing jauntily with Mowgli, the messy-haired boy who befriends him.
     
    Fast-forward to last night’s very special screening of Disney’s The Jungle Book and wow, it’s really grown up. Firstly, let me tell you a little about the screening – Disney had gone all out to make us feel like we were in a jungle, with spooky green lighting, fake greenery everywhere and a literal herd of super-glammed-up moviegoers. Since the movie’s director, Jon Favreau, was there, it was an ~extra~ special screening.
     
    I really won’t give away heaps about the movie coz I want you to experience it for yourself, but I will say it was so exciting and tense in places that I was literally holding my breath, going ‘EEEK’, which is amazing because even though it looks like a crazy jungle scene with battles and high stakes, there are actually NO stakes at all, since it’s all made with computers, every last bit (except for the real boy, Neel Sethi, who had to react to stuff that wasn’t really there). I loved the smaller animals, such as the wolf cubs and the creatures that I think were a kind of hopping mouse (maybe?).
     
    Anyway, like I said, the director was there and since we’re all friends here, he decided to tell us some secrets about the movie…
     
    1. Quite often in computer-generated-image (CGI) movies, actors are literally talking to a mark of tape on a wall, but this time Neel got to interact with puppets, puppets made by Jim Henson (of the Muppets), which def helped since he was supposed to have a deep, emotional connection with them.

    2. Neel had never acted before. They found him after looking at thousands of actors – he was responding to a flyer his Indian dance teacher showed him.

    3. This guy called Christopher Walken (ask your ‘rents who that is) was chosen to play the crazy-huge ape character King Louie coz he could express the right mix of quirk, menace and could also sing!
     
    Will you see The Jungle Book when it comes out? If you lived in a jungle, which family of animals would you want to live with? Tell me in the comments! The Jungle Book is out in Aussie cinemas on 7 April!



    Xo TG’s Claire
    7 Comments
  • Sydney Royal Easter Show Excitement!

    by Claire | Mar 23, 2016

    Hi TGs!

     

    GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS? IT’S SHOW TIME!!!

    Yep, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is on right now. And I am going this weekend! YASSSSS.

     

    See, I haven’t actually been to it for many years (I went with my fam ages ago. I remember really wanting the showbag with the inflatable alien in it. Seemed cool at the time). But I’m going coz I really wanna see the animals, espesh the Pomeranians! Those are my fave – I love them coz they are the softest, fluffiest, happiest dogs ever. So I’m going to see them getting judged. I wonder whether I will die from a cuteness overload when I see the special first-place dog win a blue ribbon? Probably.

     

    I am also 10/10 excited to go see the cute livestock. I love the cows and sheep and things, but especially the little goats. I think they have the cutest faces and they make such awesome sounds! Haha.

     

    Another thing I love to see is the show baking – you know – heaps of extremely talented bakers make their very best chocolate cakes and lemon cakes and coffee cakes and bikkies and stuff. Did you know that there are heaps of rules for show baking? For example, they might say that you can ice the top, but not the sides, of a given cake and that no decorations (not even a sprinkling of coconut!) are allowed. I once entered a show baking contest but I was way out-classed.

     

    I also really enjoy things like the sideshows. One time, I won a huge, adorable sheep! I did it with one of those tombola games. I love that sheep. Best sheep ever!

     

    But do you know what my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE THING about the show is? (It’s not the fairyfloss, but good guess). It’s showbags! I adore them. You get heaps of stuff (sometimes lollies!) and you can always find something that is just totally you.

     

    I thought coz you’re my cool-as readers I might tell you some secrets about what’s in the extra-spesh TG showbag… ready? (I won’t tell you everything that’s in the bag… I still want you guys to be surprised).

     

    You get:

    • The latest TG mag
    • a backpack
    • a pencil case
    • stickers
    • a noodle snack and some vouchers (plus MORE).


    My fave item (besides the mag obvi) is the plush toy monster. They are called Frizzys and yours might be a diff colour from this one, but will be just as cute. Know what? He looks kinda like a Pomeranian! LOL!

    Frizzys
     

    Are you going to the show? It’s on ‘til March 30 so tell me in the comments if you are/have and spill on what you loved best.

     

    Xo TG’s Claire

    9 Comments
  • My Cutest Dream!

    by Claire | Feb 26, 2016

    Hi TGs!

     

    Got your March issue handy? If you have, you’ll have seen the suuuuper cute stuff we put in just for you. There’s usually some behind-the-scenes stuff that we don’t even manage to fit into TGHQ, so here’s a bit of it right now! This post will be like the extras that come on your DVD…

     

    There’s a story about the TG team living their cutest dreams. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil the surprise of exactly who on the team got to meet a llama for the story, but I got to meet him behind the scenes! Here he is with me!

    Llama and Claire


    His name is Cadbury and he is from Kindifarm, a mobile animal farm. That person whose arm you can see is his handler and BFF, Noeline.

    For the story, I DID get to live out my own cute dream, but you will have to pick up the mag to find out what that was!

     

    Another thing that happened for March’s mag was the team got to hang out with YouTube Kids superstar Charli of Charli’s Crafty Kitchen. She and her sister Ashlee came and visited TGHQ and they loved all the crazy stuff I keep on my desk. We took some happy snaps with my special pink Barbie phone case – it’s like a big mirror and it’s like having a built-in selfie-stick. Here we are having the super fun times… 

    Charli, Ashlee and Claire

    Charli Ashlee and Claire

     

    Did you know that I got to shoot Charli’s Penguin Pops for the mag? I shoot all the food in a photo studio (and then I EAT ALL THE FOOD, muahahaha). The super adorbs penguins were so cute that even the photographer loved them! If you can see the pic, take a close look. There’s a secret about the ice, can you guess what it might be?

     

    Tell me in the comments what YOUR cute dream would be and how you would make it come true!

     

    Xo Claire L

    14 Comments
  • Neko Atsume - The Cutest Cat Game Ever!

    by Claire | Jan 28, 2016

    Hi TGs!

    Do you love cats as much as I do? IDK if that’s possible coz I love them a LOT. 

    That’s why when two of my friends told me about this game that involves collecting cats, I knew they were onto something. And since then, I’ve been obsessed! I spend so much time caring for these virtual cats and worrying that they have enough food! Hahaha!

     

    Neko Atsume cats

     

    The game is called Neko Atsume, which is Japanese for ‘Kitty Collector’. DW, it’s in English. It’s also free to download, free to play and other than the initial download, doesn’t use any data. Score!

     

    I’m not the most massive gamer ever so this game suits me perfectly. It’s actually all about being patient and getting rewarded with magical amounts of cuteness! You get a yard and you put out food and toys, then wait for tiny, sweet cats to appear. When they do, you can take pictures of them for your special album and learn about their personalities. If they like their time in your yard, they’ll leave you sardines and you use these sardines to get MORE food for them and even cooler toys.

    Neko Atsume cat

    Basically, it’s like having a Tamagotchi with lots and lots of fun inside, and no pooing! Or like collecting Pokemon with no fighting or evolving!

     

    As a super dedicated player of Neko Atsume, I have some secret goss to share to help you play AWESOMELY.

     

    • Occasionally, a chubby white cat called Tubbs will turn up and eat all your food! Don’t get mad and chase him away by refilling the bowl when he’s still there. If you let him leave on his own, you will a bigger reward from him.

    • It’s worth it to save your gold sardines to eventually buy the extension so you can get cats in your house as well as your yard – you will build up fish much faster and see way more sweet kitties! All you have to do is be patient (and maybe use the fish exchange – 500 silver sardines can be traded for 10 gold).

    • Want to see a rare cat and snap a pic of him or her? Often, to get a rare cat, you need to put out both a premium item and special food but it’s not impossible to get rare cats with normal items like the baseball and the pyramid tent.

    • The elusive Peaches is SO hard to get a good photo of. Don’t forget to check your yard carefully for her unique heart-shaped patch – she might be hiding!

      
    Neko Atsume cats

    Don’t forget – if you want to download this app (works for Apple or Android phones), you gotta ask Mum or Dad first. If you do play, comment below and tell me which cats are in your yard right now!

     

    Claire XO

    UPDATE: I'm having trouble replying to the last comment so my solution is to reply ~within~ this post. Natalie asked how to expand the yard in the game, and here's my answer:

    Hi Natalie!

    The good thing about the game is you don't have to be a skilful gamer or anything, really it's more about being patient. They are super, super cute cats. I think in Japan you can get plushies of them and literally I would go over there right now if I could. To expand your yard, you need to save your gold fish up (yes, you really need HEAPS of them, 180 fish from memory). Then you press the remodel button. Be careful when you do this because if you have cats in your yard, they will disappear and you'll need to set out all the toys again. But you'll have more space and you'll be able to attract lots more kitties! Exciting!!

    22 Comments
  • The Amazing Star Wars Premiere!

    by Claire | Dec 17, 2015

    Hi TGs!

    Da da, da-da-da DA DA, da-da-da DA DA, dun dun dun DUNNNN. I’ve been singing the
    Star Wars song non-stop since I went to the Sydney premiere of The Force Awakens last night. I even did it in my sleep!

    Star Wars Leia
     

    Because, OMTG, is this movie EPIC! I should say early on it has an M rating, which means it’s only suitable for older TGs.


    I went to the premiere with TG’s Erin, who makes the very website you are looking at right now. First thing we saw? A
    Stormtrooper DJ! Coolest!

     

    Claire and Stormtrooper DJ

     

    By the way, when I saw him without his helmet, he was a bit of a sweaty mess. Being a Stormtrooper is hard.

     

    We also saw amazing models from the movie, like srsly bad dude Kylo Ren and yep, another Stormtrooper.

    Claire and Erin with Kylo Ren and Stormtrooper

     

    This little guy is BB-8 the droid and what a cutie he is! In the movie, it’s amazing how expressive he is – he can be happy, sad, funny and all sorts of other feels too.

    BB-8

    Claire and Erin and BB-8


    Here I am with Erin again and I’ve got my Google Cardboard, the Kylo Ren version (coz I think the Dark Side is cool). I guess it’s a kind of box you put on your face and you see the world like you’re in a video game! It works through your phone and an app.


    Star Wars cardboard 


    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE? Well, I’d never wanna spoil it for you, but there’s a new girl character you should know about – her name is Rey, she’s played by Daisy Ridley and, safe to say, she will be your new fave. She is the coolest! She is unstoppable. She also rocks a rad looped ponytail that I’m going to teach you how to do so stay tuned…

     

    ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS? Leave me a comment and tell me who your fave character is!

     

    Xoxo Claire 

    UPDATE: Find out how to do Rey's hair from the movie in my hair tutorial on the Beauty Blog!

    9 Comments
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Claire's Total Girl Goss Blog keeps you up to date with all the latest premieres (like the Cinderella movie), pop culture (like Barbie), and celeb news. Write to Claire about what you love most in the world of goss and entertainment, and she will cover it!