Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Spooky Makeover

Heidi-ho, dear readers! As you've probably realised upon walking into my blog, the layout has changed. It's something I've been thinking of for several months now but put in the back burner because things started happening and everything was crazy. But since plenty of things have changed and some infos are incorrect by now, I thought this would be the perfect time to make it happen. It seems way simpler than the last one, huh? While I enjoyed the splay of colours in the previous design, this more serene look is indeed what I need right now. Also, I hope it'll prevent your browser from crashing - because I heard my blog could be quite big in bytes. The spooky, bloody theme is completely coincidental to Halloween.

Because it's still new and fresh from the oven, it's still in experimental/beta stage. There might be some errors here and there for the next couple days. I apologise for the inconvenience. If you do find glitches/troubles with some parts of the blog, please do let me know so I can try and fix it for you. Some changes have yet to take effect because, honestly, I'm exhausted right now and it's clearly past the doctor's-order bedtime. Oops! Well, hope you like the new layout. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Do You Know the Pumpkin Girl?

Surprise, surprise! I can play the piano! It's not just a backdrop, mind you. If you must know, I've been playing since I was probably 8. My sister does too and my brother was in on it a bit too. None of us ever performed in public though, be it in a concert or a concour. We just never really take interest in music enough to turn it into something. We used to have the sweetest and kindest piano teacher, who never stopped smiling and being patient with me despite my spoiled-brat attitude. Miss Retno, if you happen to be reading, hello! I wasn't really interested in classical music so it easily bored me. So instead, she brought us songs we requested, such as "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa  Carlton or Disney songs or traditional/children songs. Though I've forgotten how to play most of the songs she taught us, there is one tune that I will never forget how to play. It's called "Sea Mist." I believe it was composed by James Bastien and it's the only song I can play almost without fault off the top of my head. It always makes me feel so calm and mellow. Lately, I've been trying to learn "Yin no Piano" from Darker than Black. Such a melancholic tune~

Asos dress + ... shirt + Céline bag (Sis's) // gifted beret (from Japan!) // Fioni shoes via Payless

Halloween is near! I'm hoping to attend Moola Mantra then, in which my best friend Gina is involved. Though I'm still unsure of the costume. This outfit really reminds me of Halloween. I guess a pair of skeleton tights are the only detail missing. This wasn't the first time I was going to borrow this dress of my sister's. Before, though, I was quite hesitant since, as an Asian woman, my skin has this yellow streak, which means wearing an orange dress makes me look rather flushed. But with this black shirt underneath, I'm not too afraid to finally rock this skater dress. The cut is absolutely my favourite, except maybe the low neckline and back, which makes it more suited as a pinafore than a dress on its own. At first, I was going to put on a pair of orange tights as well but then I felt it was pushing it a little, so black it is. I've been waiting for the right time to wear these shoes on the blog again, if you can't already tell. Current favourite, indeed! Also, for some reason, the hat is a real head-turner. Maybe because it slowly made its way to one side of my head, leaving it looking quite lopsided. Or it was more thanks to my giant-pumpkin look ;)

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Outtake bonus: my sister trying to photobomb me and me freaking out

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Culinary Feature: Toko Oen

Direction: right across the street from the Mall Sri Ratu (Jl. Pemuda no. 52)

Hello, fellow readers! Whoa, it seems it's been forever since the last time I did this feature and I'm so excited to share with you this one. If you've been following me a while, you probably have seen too many ice cream parlours featured around here - such as this one and this one - but this one is extra special. My family has been going there since forever, it's like the go-to ice cream parlour when we're in Semarang. Welcome to Toko Oen!

Naepolitan ice cream
Mocca ice cream
Tutti Frutti ice cream
Firstly, a little bit of history: Toko Oen was built back in 1936. Yes, it's been here before Indonesia was even an official country! The building is extra old, you can see the colonial influences as well as oriental thingamajigs. It wasn't even air conditioned until quite recently. There are a selection of food being sold, most famous is their variety of ice cream. There are normal flavours - vanilla, chocolate -, old-timer flavours - tutti frutti, naepolitan - and typical Indonesian flavour (Kopyor). With every serving of ice cream, you are served with a small glass of water. Aside from that, there are a number of old cookies and cakes, mostly Dutch delicacies. There are also meals and snacks. Their risoles are also rather famous too, my Dad and Stepbrother seemed to love them! The place is not only quite popular among the locals, but also among foreigners. I suppose, they really adore the colonial and historical setting. Price-wise, everything is reasonable and, actually, quite cheap. What fascinates me the most is how the building still stands tall after 78 years. This is actually only one of the two of such ice cream parlours, which is still served in its original building - the other one being in Malang. Come and see for yourself if you're ever in Semarang!

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Everything Will Be All Right If You Keep Me Next to You

"We're happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way. It's miserable and magical." - Taylor Swift, 22

If you can't already tell from the cliché title, I just turned 22 last Monday! Funny, I thought I would feel old and crippled. Instead, I had a blast! Big parties where I invite people I don't even like are so last decade. Eating street food with my family is the way to go now. That being said, I attended my cousin Armand's wedding on my birthday. The whole family - excluding my brother who still has school - flew out to Semarang on Sunday and drove together with the cousins' families to Kudus to the family of the bride. I fell in love with Kudus the moment I arrived and promised to come again soon. Culinary adventures were mandatory, obviously. You can catch them on my instagram feed. All this food, yum! There were some that I was familiar with and some I'd never tried before, all of which is a treat for my tongue. Right after the wedding, we went straight to Semarang and continued the celebration with my stepbrother. We watched lanterns float to the sky from the Tahu Gimbal vendor, a celebration from the citizens of Semarang for our new president, Jokowi. Did I not mention that his "coronation" was also on this day? We topped off the night by going to Toko Oen, an old ice cream parlour in Semarang, which I will be featuring in my next post.

Stepmom's pearl necklace + purse // Forever21 earrings (Sis's) // Tailor-made dress // Hand-me-down sandals

This might be a little confusing to some of you so I'm going to explain a few things. First things first, this hairstyle is a traditional Javanese hairstyle turned modern. It's called sanggul, which is basically the art of folding a woman's hair into itself to create a voluminous and floral-like look. It is similar to the way a geisha wears her hair. The hairstylist used extensions for the left part of my head but the little bun on the lower right is my actual hair. Secondly, in most Javanese weddings, the family - including first cousins - is given a uniform to wear. In the modern world, the female cousins are usually only given the materials to be made in any style they see fit. This is why you see my cousins and I wearing similar things in different cuts. My dress was inspired by my Stepmom's long dress, with the neckline from my sister's dress. Lastly, this wedding was less grand than my friends' wedding and it was set in the day. But I must say, I enjoyed this wedding better. Maybe when I get married, it will be as intimate as this.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22 Before 23 List

Since I'm going away on my birthday this year, I made sure that this birthday list would be finished before d-day. Yes, I'm that paranoid. Due to some unexpected events happening throughout the year last year, I'm trying to fabricate my goals more carefully this time. Honestly, number 22 is the one big goal that I'm eager to accomplish this year. Not an easy task, I tell ya. I'm not even 25 yet and I could feel myself drowning from the quarter-life crisis. Also, I feel like doing nothing due to the uncertainty of seeing Firu again next year. But I do try to make it all about going local and social. Yep, I'm ready to get back out there!

1. Attend an event on a campus
Despite the fact that I don't go to college anymore, I'm always intrigued by creative events on my friends' campuses. There's a plan to make this happen soon, actually, and my best friend Gina is involved in the event. Can't wait to see it!

2. Get something published
When I "published," I don't mean my blog where I can click published and everyone can read it. I mean, officially published, like by a publisher or the paper or a magazine. You know, something that actually involves proof-reading.

3. Have my beachy moment (at least once)
As I've mentioned before, I've never really gone to the beach before. Since I'm staying in one country rich with beaches and ocean, this might just be my year.

4. Get my driver's license
Yes, I realise I might be too old to start learning how to drive. If it makes this any better, I did learn how to drive back in high school but never got a license...for some reason. I reckon, if I get myself a license, I would have more freedom to go places.

5. Join an organisation/associaton
In other words, join a club. It would be nice to get to know other people with the same passion as I am. They would be so inspiring.

6. Do an art trade with someone
This was a favourite past time of mine. I really miss it and hope to know new artists by doing so.

7. Cook dinner for the whole family (at least once)
In Germany, cooking was a necessity. Because of that, I end up learning tons of different recipes I'd never attempted to try before. However, once I got back, I barely ever touched a utensil. But it would be nice to show my family what I learnt.

8. Eat at least one fruit & veggie everyday
Eating healthy is something I've always been meaning to do since I hit 20. I've read so many articles on the decreasing of your immune system and power of your health towards your late 20s that I freak out. And so here is the result.

9. Launch a secret project with my sister
It's a secret so I can't say anything yet but it's going to be good. Fingers crossed!

10. Befriend an Indonesian blogger
So excited for this! If you're reading this and happen to be a blogger, please do say hi!

11. Attend a music festival/event
Again, never went to a music festival so I'm very thrilled. Also, a friend of my stepmom's annually organises this musical event in Bromo. I'm hoping to join in next year...or at least just attend.

12. Try "new" Indonesian dishes
Despite having lived in this country my whole life, there are still tons of food that I have yet to try. It surprises me everyday! So I'm going to go out there and give my tongue a trip of a lifetime.

13. Get healthy ASAP! (and stay that way)
Silly goal, I know. I just don't want to be sick and restricted for too long.

14. Give the blog a makeover
Since a lot of things have changed, there are a lot of changes that needed to be done around here. The "About Me" page isn't even accurate anymore.

15. Actually finish my brother's request
Uh huh, I'm such a bad sister. My brother's been asking for me to draw him something for over 2 years and I've been such a jerk by letting it slip through the cracks. Oops!

16. Get independent income
Okay, if you'd been around for a while, you'd know that this has been bothering me for years.

17. See Firu's Family
Here's what I thought: Firu might not come home next year. That's a whole year I live in the same city as his family. There's no reason I can't see them while he's away. Also, his Dad actually just texted me this morning, asking me to come visit again sometime.

18. Learn the art of batik
One of our country's greatest legacy. It's known to be very precise and complicated. I'm willing to find out if I have the talent to make it work.

19. Feature a local hangout spot
Feels like it's been ages since I last did a Culinary Feature and I'm eager to find out more.

20. Read more Indonesian literature
Yeah, I usually read English literatures and don't give our local talents enough credits. This should change.

21. Join a rally (at least once)
As far as bravery goes, this is something I'd never done. It would be fun to actually support a cause by being there for it. I wouldn't mind going so far as to be a volunteer.

22. Figure out what I want to do with my life
The million-dollar question, am I right? If I can't do it by the end of next year, I think it's safe to say that I'm pretty much screwed. But, you know, it's not easy so I would love to at least give it some thoughts because, God knows, I'm not good at this.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Zizi + Dendi's Wedding Reception

B's wearing: Lustre dress via TK Maxx // Sis's cardigan // Rubi purse // Fioni shoes via Payless

Last weekend was my friends Zizi and Dendi's wedding. You might have heard of them from this post. This was the first friends' wedding that I've ever attended. Up to this day, weddings I've gone to have always been of family or my parents' acquaintances. It's so exciting to have married friends. I feel really grown up right now. Then again, a couple of my friends who also attended the wedding are married. No surprise there. The wedding was really lovely and huge! I realise most of the weddings I've ever attended were huge and festive and it never bothered me until now. The price of growing up, I guess, you start to realise how much things actually cost. It was all good fun and I was so glad to see my friends from Germany again. Too bad, Zizi and Dendi were so busy attending to the other guests that I could barely see them. I hope Zizi's reading this - because she always does and thank you for that - because I'd like to offer my congratulations once more. Today I'm attending yet another wedding, my cousin's this time. Free food on my birthday? Don't mind if I do!

Q's wearing: Princess Patterns maxi dress // Forever 21 jewelry // Stepmom's purse // Bourne shoes

Since I came back home, I'd been on the look out for the perfect pair of brogues. I left mine in Germany, due to the weight limit of Firu's and my luggages. The other day, when I was looking through Payless, due to the ever growing curiosity, I found this shiny pair for 50% off! Their original price was around 300,000 rupiahs - around US$30, I think - and that in itself is already a good price. A bargain or what? And here I thought thrifting in Jakarta - or more like South Tangerang - would be quite a challenge. Of course, the reception was just an excuse so I could actually purchase this pair. They're the comfiest brogues I've ever owned, despite being high-heels. Honestly, I do not regret that purchase at all! I just hope it looks awesome with my dress for today so I can wear it to another wedding.

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