Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: Denim Dress

This dress might be my last purchase from H&M ever. I can't quite remember but I think so, yes. And that was 3 years ago. By then, I already started thinking about ethical fashion and going sweatshop-free. But I saw this dress in the catalogue they sent me from time to time and couldn't resist—don't worry, I haven't bought anything from them since. However, three years later, this is still a favourite casual dress of mine. It's so easy to throw on and looks good with pretty much anything. The fabric is also very comfy, so I always find myself going for it. So far, I seem to prefer dressing it up than wearing it on its own. I mean, it's a solid coloured—albeit textured—dress, so it would look quite plain and blah without anything else. But of course I wear it like that off camera, because it's just perfect for when I can't be bothered with putting some pants on. How would you style it?

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

Monthly Read: The Wildwood Chronicles

As promised, here comes the second most voted series from the survey I did back in January. Truth be told, yes, I almost forgot about this one—and that's how it got to the very last days of the month to make its appearance. Hopefully, this is everything you expect it to be—and more. For the first recommendation, I thought I'd go with the month's (accidental) theme: the environment. You will most likely have heard of this series—yes, it's a series—but I'd recommend them to you anyway. If you've read it, please leave a comment below and we can start a discussion—spoiler-free, please.

Wildwood. Under Wildwood and Wildwood Imperium are written by Colin Meloy—the frontman of The Decemberists—and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. It tells the story, first, of a girl named Prue and her brother, who got kidnapped—or stolen?—by a murder of crows and brought to the Impassable Wilderness—also known as Wildwood. She went to search for him, obviously, but not without the company of Curtis who followed her into the woods. Everything started unraveling, welcoming us into the Wildwood world and capture our hearts in the most intriguing way, filled with adventures, friendship and—most importantly—magic.

The most notable characteristic of these books is the beautiful correlation between the story and the illustration. It was almost as if they were both created by the same person—then again, I reckon they know each other very well. The aesthetics of both the illustration style and the use of words really capture the moment and the emotion between each scene. The story itself is so refreshing with dominant female characters—both in the protagonist and antagonist—and the not-so-black-and-white plot. It feels more real than any of its young adult predecessors. It also teaches children and teenagers that killing someone isn't an easy feat and should not be taken lightly—as it just seems to be the case when they watch superhero movies or other such things.

Oh yes, where is the environment in all this, you ask? Well, Wildwood teaches us to love our nature. It also depicts the growing industry which spews pollution and boosts capitalism with its impacts on the environment. It touches on sensitive subjects, such as global warming, child labour and the sweatshop industry in such an implicit way that is suitable for children. Not only will this offer your children youthful adventures, they will also learn to analyse the relationships we humans have with mother nature. Hopefully, this will encourage them to be more earth-friendly.

Please leave a comment down below if you've read the book and let's start a discussion!

Fanart I made for the series. Yes, it's THAT good!

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Camera Obscura

Last week my photography class took me on a field trip to the oldest part of Jakarta. It just seems like the faculty's favourite hangout spot. It does have plenty of wonderful architecture, so it is the perfect setting for a photo shoot. As you can tell, I am completely milking it. The weather was clearly indecisive, as it was raining when we took off from campus, blistering hot when we arrived and cloudy towards the end of our session. Even on weekdays, this places seems to supply a plethora of festivities and cultural entertainment. On this day, we rented two bikes so that anyone can take turns to ride them and others will shoot them, as part of our photography exercise—panning and freezing actions. I got a turn as well, but since the bike was awfully unbalanced, my arm was shaking from holding the whole structure together so that it wouldn't topple over. I rather enjoyed the trip, as photography is one of my favourite things ever. The trip home was exhausting but I had quite a blast.

Threadless t-shirt + Converse sneakers (old) // thrifted jacket + backpack // Sis's skirt // gifted socks // outfit photos by Jess

Now, this is probably the most accurate depiction of my campus look. For the past several months, I've been struggling on what to wear and what to bring to class—as I tend to get bored with life that easily. I want to wear something cute, just to lift my mood up after limited amount of sleep, but sometimes I just can't be bothered with being witty about my clothes. The simplest thing I do is to throw on a comfortable top—in most cases this means graphic t-shirts—and a cozy skirt—anything close to the knees or longer—and a dependable pair of shoes. The denim jacket is a campus essential as it gets chilly indoors, but outdoors is still quite hot. I'm sure you're bored of it by now. And, last but not least, a roomy yet light bag—preferably backpack—to store all my books, notes, water bottle and lunch. So what does your college outfit look like? Do tell!

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Ethical Fashion: Pepaloves

If you have a penchant for vintage clothing, you will love this one! But—chances are—you already do. Pepaloves is one of those brands that is not a stranger to the blogging world. Bloggers from all over the world—mainly, Europe and the U.S.—have been seen wearing their adorable items. They are not only very unique and incredibly cute, but also ethically made which makes them easy to love. Started out in the late '90s, this Spain-based label has been producing handmade clothes by keeping the wellbeing of their workers and the environment in mind. What used to be a small family business is now a leading clothing line, offering unique prints, form-fitting silhouettes and trend-setting styles with every item.

Aside from their quirky pieces, what sets Pepaloves apart from other fashion line is their animal commitment. This means that all of their products are made without any animal origin materials, such as leather, wool, hair, silk or feathers. Instead they use alternatives, such as cotton, acrylic, spandex, rayon, polyester and polyurethane. They are fully aware of what pain and suffering the manufacturing process of wool and other animal origin materials causes on the animals and refuses to contribute. Instead, they choose to celebrate the technological advances of textile manufacturing which requires no cruelty towards animal. Why should other creatures suffer for our own pleasure, right?

Photos by Indestructible Factory

Before I knew that they were ethical, I was attracted to Pepaloves thanks to their quirky styles and amazing uses of colour. Their items are almost always one-of-a-kind yet incredibly versatile. However, after finding out that they're ethical, I am more than over the moon for them. It is hard enough finding an ethical fashion brand, but harder still to find a good vintage-inspired one. It does mean a lot to know that a brand that I know and love is apparently ethical—especially since it's quite big among bloggers as well. Hopefully, other vintage-inspired brands will follow suit—or even all the brands, for that matter. To be honest, I don't know if Pepaloves has collections and lookbooks—though I can't seem to find any—or if they simply launch new items whenever they can. Either way, they always deliver with the quirkiest items and current styles.

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

FINALLY In the Flesh!

Exactly a week ago, Amel of Charming Berryz took me as a plus one to attend the Lazada Luncheon which she was invited to. We've known each other online for a while and tried to meet in person several times—but somehow just kept missing each other. But finally! She is so much cuter in person and so much more petite than I thought—as in thin, not short...just to clarify. I thought she would be kind of shy or kept to herself—as I usually am—but she was so friendly and got along with everyone pretty quickly. It was such a suspense that she came late because of Jakarta's traffic, which she's not used to—welcome!—but when she finally arrived I was so thrilled to finally meet her. We stayed a while after the event was over to catch up and hang out—and, obviously, snap each other's photos. You can see Amel's outfit on her blog—along with her outfit deets, obviously.

H&M top (old) // Sox Galeri socks (old) // May & June skirt // thrifted denim jacket + loafers // photos by Amel

Aside from Amel, obviously I had the chance to meet so many other bloggers, including Olivia Fabrianne, Thelma Kisela, Vina Sagita and Vani Sagita. Okay, to be honest, I didn't know any of them when I first came in—none of them looked familiar to me. Maybe it's because they all have such contrasting style to myself, that I don't feel attracted to them in the slightest had I found them online. However, they were all quite friendly and welcoming that I was glad to have met them. This is the first blogging event I have ever attended, so it was rather strange—and I couldn't help but to feel out of place—to be there. The conversation they had was so different from anything I'm familiar with and it seems that we have different goals and perspective about blogging in our heads. What surprised me the most is that most of them—if not all—haven't been blogging for as long as I have, yet they've had more success in getting endorsements and business opportunities than myself. It's hard not to get beat up by that fact—haven't I always been honest with you?—but I'd rather see past that point and hang out with them again some other time.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cheddar + Butter Popcorn

We all love a snack now and then. Sometimes, though, we're so lazy to make them ourselves that we buy them from the grocery store, completely oblivious to the amount of sugar, salt and hazardous chemicals in them. This is simply me talking from my own experience, of course. But, if you try to look, there are actually plenty of snacks we can make in the snap of a finger—not literally, mind you—so why don't we try to ensure our own nutrition intake, instead of leaving it to big companies, who may or may not care whether or not we keep on living? This recipe is an incredibly simple one. I must say it takes less than 30 minutes, at least—I'd say 10 but I might be a little cocky. It takes very little effort, super yummy and quite nutritious too. Plus, it's a good company to have during movie nights with the family.

  • 250 gr corn
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 100 gr butter
  • grated cheddar, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a wide sauce pan on low to medium heat
  2. Add the corn and quickly close it with a lid
  3. Wait for it to pop and, when the pop becomes less frequent, take the pan off the heat
  4. In a smaller frying pan, melt the butter
  5. When the butter is melted through, grated the cheese on top and let it melt too
  6. Add salt to the melted butter and cheese, if you like, then remove from heat
  7. Move the popcorn from the sauce pan to a large bowl (or a jar)
  8. Add salt to taste and start mixing them together
  9. Add the melted butter and cheese on top of the popcorn
  10. Dig in!

Tips: Careful not to put too many popcorn in a small pot, as I did; the corn will overflow and not all will pop. Make sure to put the heat to low or medium. It might take a little longer but the corns will not get burnt. To make the butter spread evenly, you can fill the bowl/jar half full then add half the butter, fill it up and add the rest. Do not take the lid off before removing the pan from the heat—or before it has a chance to cool down—the corns will pop all over the place. You can pop the corn directly with the butter—without olive oil. This recipe originally uses sour cream instead of cheddar, you should try that too! Lass euch schmecken!

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