Sunday, 28 February 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: Navy Printed Dress

Don't ask me when I bought this dress because I can't tell you the exact year. But I definitely know I was still in school, possibly in 11th-12th grade or 9th grade. See? I don't remember. What I remember is this Arithalia number was a love at first sight. It has a beautiful cut and a perfect fit—surprisingly, for all my sizes. It has a ribbon at the back so you can tie it as tightly as you please, but it will still be comfortable and loose enough thanks to its elastic waist at the back. The padded chest area enables me to wear it without bra—although I've never done so outside of the house. Due to its dark and muted colours, I tend to break it out in the winter. But because it's made and purchased in Indonesia, it is perfectly suitable for warmer weather. There's no chance in the foreseeable future that I'll throw it away, too, since it holds so many precious memories with Firu.

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Ethical Fashion: Diario de Una Couturier

Diario de Una Couturier is a unique ethical brand for me, because they found me first. But from the very beginning, I couldn't stop falling in love with their products. It is an ethical clothing line based in Barcelona and Berlin. Each item is handmade with love in small local workshops. Their concept is all about femininity, gentleness and romanticism, packaged in the minimalism of their silhouette and the striking natural colours of their pieces. Their goal is to come back to the fashion origins, to the elegance based on simplicity and basic skills. It's perfect for a modern woman who seeks unique, high quality pieces and comfort.

It wasn't until less than a year ago that DDUC finally opened an online store and less than five months ago they finally set up an independent website. Previously, they operated from their instagram account—which is still active. Unlike most clothing lines, DDUC doesn't comply to the seasonal collection rule. They create a collection when they're ready, taking time to work their magic for the best quality and design. Whenever you see the finished product, you know it is worth it.

My favourite collection of their is actually the SS 2015 one. All the pinafores just get me! There was a point when I almost purchased one but realised the size wouldn't fit me—and it was clearance so it wasn't possible to get another one. What I love most about DdUC is their lookbook shoots. It is always so raw and simple, with the optimal use of natural lighting and everyday pose. This was also the only collection I've seen so far, where they've included shoes in as well. All the denim is also amazingly well-done. My favourite is the striped dungaree. DdUC is currently working on their next collection and I'm stocked to see what it's going to be like.

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Monday, 22 February 2016


Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to attend an illustration workshop with Kamo-sensei. In case you don't know who she is, Kamo-sensei is a quite well-known Japanese illustrator who specialises in cute illustrations using pens. Her style is super cute and unique! The workshop was called Kawaii Illustration Workshop. She actually managed to hold two workshops two days in a row, one in Japan Foundation and one at Gramedia, a local bookstore—I joined the latter. She held the workshop in Japanese, with the help of an interpreter. My friend Jess also joined the workshop. Kamo-sensei in person is really adorable and kind too. Her teaching method is incredibly easy to follow. She gave each of us two postcards she prepared beforehand to take home. I will take good care of it forever! As the workshop was sponsored by ZEBRA, we were given some of their pens to bring home. It wasn't much for most people perhaps, but free stationery is always welcome in my world. 

H&M dress + overknee socks // 1982 varsity jacket // C&A hat // Picard backpack (all old) // MKS ankle boots // photos by Jessica

In 2016 opportunity is something I'd like to have in abundance. Whenever I see an opportunity to learn, to earn money, to contribute to the people and to be a better person, well, I would like to think that I will grab at it right away. Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes I put it off to a point that it will no longer be available and I would've missed out. When that happens, sometimes I would be sorry, I would regret it greatly, but sometimes I would be indifferent. Either way, I would rather be the person who tried and failed than a person who gave up before a fight. When I say opportunity, it means something that I can acquire with my current state of mind, state of finance and state of schedule. Sometimes it means choosing between two choices, sometimes it means working hard toward making it happen. But, whether or not the opportunity opens new doors for me, I would know that it's worth a shot. All the time.

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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Links à la Mode, February 18

Last Wednesday Independent Fashion Blogger featured me in their weekly Links à la Mode. I have Devinne of Mox and Socks to thank for sharing about it and letting me know that I got picked. Thanks, Devinne! In case you didn't know, Links à la Mode is a weekly program by IFB, where 20 blog posts from 20 different bloggers will be featured on their website. If you get picked, you will have to feature these posts on your blog as well. That means you will not only get picked up by IFB, but you will be featured by 19 other bloggers. Isn't that fantastic?

If you want to join in on the fun, read the guidelines here and submit to their Facebook page. It's really simple and you also get to discover some amazing blogs that you'd never thought of before. Some of these posts are really amazing and opened my eyes to things that never crossed my mind. You should also check them out. Who knows? You might end up following some of them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to karaoke with my Germany gang!

Links à la Mode, February 18

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

POPCORN: Hemingway & Gellhorn

Before I start this post, I'd like to thank all of you who filled my readers survey last month. The results are in and, apparently, most of you prefer to get a movie recommendation from me—followed closely by the literature post, which will come up next month. But, since the original title might not fit some of the genres I'll be posting—let's face it: not all movies are great for dates—I decided to change the title but still essentially the same. Anyway, without further ado, here's this month's movie!

If you didn't know—or in case you hadn't noticed—I'm a romantic. That means I think about love around 99% of the time. However, it's not always the kind of love that you think, where there are flowers and chocolate, cuddling and pet names—although they may be nice too. I appreciate love in all its glory and downfall. In fact, stories of heartbreaks—and eventual moving on—relate to me the most. Hey, we can't appreciate the good things without knowing the struggle and hardship, right? This is one of those tales, where although love prevailed, it wasn't always shipshape. It is hard evidence that even when you care about someone dearly, it might not conquer all after all.

The film tells the love story between Ernest Hemingway, the famous American writer, and a famous war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn. If you're a follower of Hemingway, you might have heard of their affair—his greatest one, I hear. The storyline is told from the point-of-view of Gellhorn in her later years, as she accounted her life with Hemingway when she was younger. Their first meeting was quite ordinary but it clearly struck a chord in their memory. Nicole Kidman—playing Gellhorn—delivers superbly as usual, portraying her emotions in such a raw yet restrained way as a strong, independent woman would. Clive Owen's acting is not to be underestimated either, as he plays the short-tempered Hemingway wonderfully. The make up and costume design departments are also a cause for applause. They did well with dressing both Hemingway and Gellhorn, as well as transforming the distinct faces of the actors to age and portray the characters.

Upon watching this, please note that this is an HBO movie, which means there will most certainly be tasteful nudity. If you are uncomfortable with that, you could always look for the director's cut. I promise it won't affect the storyline greatly—although you might miss out on the great chemistry between the two actors. Also, this is not a documentary—although, in some parts, the cinematography is so well done you would almost believe it is—so most parts of it have been—shall we say—hollywood-ised, meaning made to be more glamorous than it should be. What I love most, however, about this story is the raw telling of love, where it's definitely not just flowers and cuddles. And sometimes people lose to their own ego.

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

No-Bake Cheesecake in a Jar: 3 WAYS

Usually, I would post a recipe on the 15th of every month. But, since it's Valentine's Day—and, regardless of how you feel about it, you might want to eat something sweet today—I thought it would be perfect to post this recipe today. At first, I wanted to make some baked goods because it feels like it's been a while since the last time I baked. However, since it would be too much of a hassle, my sister and I decided to make some no-bake dessert. Cheesecake was our dessert of choice, as we both love it so much. However, we reached an impasse when we couldn't agree what kind of cheesecake we wanted to make. That's when we came up with the idea of making three different cheesecakes to satisfy both our taste buds. Hope this will sweeten your V-day!

Ingredients  (makes 3 jars, via Brit.Co)
For the crust
  • 5 graham crackers
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  1. Crush the graham crackers until they become crumbs. For this, I used pestle and mortar as they were handy in my household, but you can also use a food processor or a ziploc bag and roller
  2. Move the crumbs to a mixing bowl then add sugar then the melted butter, mix well
  3. Put the crumbs at the bottom of the jar(s). You can flatten the crust using an ice cream scoop, or simply a table spoon
  4. Put the jars in the freezer for 10 minutes while you prepare the cheesecake
For the cheesecake
  • 250 gr cream cheese, room temperature
  • 200 gr sweetened condense milk
  • 1/8 cup (roughly 3/4 lemon) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  1. Beat the cream cheese (easier with an electric mixer) until it's soft and creamy
  2. Add the condense milk little by little, making sure it's fully integrated
  3. Finally, add the lemon juice and vanilla extract then mix well
  4. Once it is put in the jar, refrigerate it for 2 hours (or freeze it for 30 minutes)
For the salted caramel
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • a pinch of sea salt
  1.  In a saucepan (or wok) heat the sugar in low heat, it will take a while
  2. Let it sit in the heat until all has melt into a brown goo
  3. Add water and let it dissolve
  4. Remove from heat and quickly add in the butter
  5. Add the cream in a steady stream while mixing
  6. Finally, add in the salt and let it melt

For the layering
Oreo version
  1. After the crust is set, add the cheesecake layer and let it freeze for 30 minutes
  2. Take out the jar and add a layer of crushed oreos (I used double stuff)
  3. Add the cheesecake layer again and let it freeze for another 30 minutes
  4. Take it out and add more crushed oreos on top
Strawberry version
  1. Cut strawberries in half depending on the size of your jar
  2. Once the crust is set, put the strawberries around the perimeter, facing outward
  3. Add the cheesecake layer and let it freeze for 30 minutes
  4. Take out the jar and add a salted caramel layer then let it freeze for 30 minutes
  5. Take it out and add another cheesecake layer
  6. Add a strawberry on top for garnish and freeze it for 30 minutes
Salted Caramel version
  1. After the crust is set, add the cheesecake layer and freeze it for 30 minutes
  2. Take out the jar and add the salted caramel layer
  3. Let it freeze for 30 minutes and add garnish
  4. Yum!
Tips: First and foremost, you don't have to use fancy mason jars for this, any old mayonnaise/jam jars would do! (That's what I used.) Better use the cup measurement for the lemon, as the sizes of lemons vary. Do not add water to the sugar before it melts, when cooking the caramel. It will prevent the sugar from browning. Crush the oreos using pestle and mortar, ziploc bag and roller or food processor—or just use your hands. Do not forget to freeze every layer before adding a new one to prevent it from sinking into one. You can obviously change up the layers as you see please. Lass euch schmecken!

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Friday, 12 February 2016

Everyone Has Idols But I'd Rather Have Friends

Towards the end of last month, my best friends Uli, Cindy and I (plus two more friends) went to a tiny exhibition at Hubble Scoop, which is an ice cream place that just opened. It held an art show on its store opening—and apparently still goes on until now. Prior to going there, I actually didn't know what it was for but the artist lineup was amazing so I just had to go there. The place was incredibly small and the exhibition was held on the second floor—while the store is downstairs. It was held in one tiny room, where you can pretty much see everything from one spot. There were also sketchbooks and stationery to use there, so Cindy and I couldn't resist. Her sketch was amazing as always! You can see ours here and here (can you guess which one mine is?). Afterwards, we had to try the ice cream. I tried one called "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and—while the name is anything but creative—it was really quirky what with the roast beef bits and pancakes put into the mix, yet didn't taste weird at all. Hopefully, they'll hold more exhibitions in the future!

New Yorker top (old) // thrifted denim jacket + sandals // ... maxi skirt // hand-me-down purse // outfit photos by Akita

The outfit photos were actually taken the next week when my sister and I had a bit of a Saturdate, but this was also the outfit I wore to the exhibition. I was ecstatic when I tried to put on this skirt and—although a little tight—it fit me nicely! This was bought last March when I went to Surabaya to visit my grandparents. It hasn't fit me at all since then but I could finally take it out for a spin. Plus, it's my first ever maxi skirt since high school. Sure, I've had a number of longer skirts, but nothing which goes all the way to my ankle. It's orange, which is my favourite colour, but also means that it is hard to pair with anything else. I absolutely love it's flowy—albeit rather thick—material. My sister thinks I look like I just walked out of prison. What do you think?

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