Monday, 27 February 2017

Mix It Up a Notch: Short Denim Dungaree

This denim number from a retail store, I think, is the last clothing item purchase I made in Germany. It was definitely the last time I relapsed on purchasing from unethical retail stores. It hasn't actually been worn all that often, because I bought this as I was leaving Germany and pieces like this are rather scandalous in Indonesia. Plus, after my significant weight gain, the shorts refused to fit me anymore. Then it fit me for a while, and now I'm back to being too snug for it. This is probably also the only impractical piece of clothing that I own. When I wear it, I forget that I can't simply take the pants of in the toilet, but would need to strip all the way down to do my 'business.' The really cute cut and lovely material make up for its impracticality, though. I love the little detail on the breast pocket! Now I'm just waiting for more sunny days and smaller thighs to finally fit into this darling again.

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Dreaming with a Broken Heart

"Pandora's Box" by Wickana Laksmi Dewi

For some reason, the last two weeks of February seems to be packed with art exhibitions all across the city. It's making me feel both excited and dizzy, unable to choose which ones to look at first. I could probably just make a round, but, if you know Jakarta at all, you know it won't be easy. Not exactly by choice, last Saturday I decided to visit the Broken Heart Gallery exhibition—which is a super small installation at Plaza Indonesia—with my partner-in-crime of a sister. There were some interesting works—two of which from artists that I've heard of (and even interviewed) before. Although I didn't enjoy the exhibition very much—except for the fact that it served as a setting for an outfit shooting rather well—it made me think of heartbreaks. There are just so many shapes and sizes of heartbreaks, though it's a shame that the exhibition only highlighted the romantic kind—especially when all the other varieties can hurt just as badly. What do you guys think of heartbreaks? How did you go through it?

Book of Deer top // swapped pinafore // old tights + ribbon // MKS shoes (old) // hand-me-down purse // photos by Akita (again)

For me, for example, heartbreak is a daily occurrence. Every morning I wake up and find that I'm so far away from him, it reminds me of reality time and time again. It reminds me of the distance between us—not just in length, but also in time and money. Every time I think of what I'd rather be doing right now or where I'd rather be, I think of an alternate universe where I didn't make the decision I did, no matter how much happier it made me. I think of an entirely different world where I could've been happy with the situation that I had, although I knew that I left it for a reason. But I also think a heart has got to break now and then to know how to be whole. I think what doesn't kill you does make you stronger, even if you have to drag yourself to be so. My heart has broken one too many times, but I think I wouldn't be able to stand where I do now or be who I am now, had it not gone so much.

P.S: Whoa! This post got dark real quick. Just want to say: this outfit is another part of my "wear more of things I rarely do" goal!

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Apple Scones

There is really such thing as serendipity, don't you think? Well, this really doesn't explain much, but this month's recipe and post was created on pure chance. First of all, I still have a tremendous leftover apple sauce from the previous recipe, so I thought I'd incorporate that for this recipe as well. Secondly, I happened to have a food photography assignment, so the lighting in these photos was courtesy of the photo studio at my campus. Maybe I should invest in one too someday. The original recipe was taken from a Japanese manga I used to read in grade school called Delicious! Since it's the first recipe the main protagonist made—and she's not good at cooking—I thought it would be mighty simple—and it is!—so I thought I'd give it a go. I've never eaten/seen scones up close before, so I'm sorry if these don't look like scones. Let me know what you guys think!

(original recipe from Delicious! by Miyuki Kobayashi; makes 8)
  • 200gr flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 50gr butter, room temperature
  • 5 tbsp. milk, room temperature
  • 5 tbsp. apple filling (recipe here)
  • vanilla essence (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven at 200ºC
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl
  3. Add in the butter slowly while mixing with your hands
  4. Add the milk little by little while keep mixing the mixture
  5. If you have vanilla essence, you can add it here too
  6. Add in the apple sauce and mix well
  7. Divide the mixture into 8 balls (or use a glass to create scone shapes)
  8. On a baking dish lined with baking paper, position the scones in ca. 5 cm intervals
  9. Stick the dish in the oven for 16-30 minutes
  10. Take it out when it's turned golden
  11. Serve it while it's hot! 
Tips:  If you don't want to make the apple filling, feel free to use store-bought apple jam or sauce. Make sure all the ingredients are in room temperature, lest they should not mix well. Careful with adding the milk, if it turns out to be too much, the mixture might get sticky and take longer to bake. Add more apple filling, if you feel that the recommended portion is not enough. For the vegan option, you can substitute butter with vegan butter or coconut oil and the milk with soy or almond milk. This dish is a perfect companion for afternoon tea or a quick breakfast to-go or midnight snacks for an all-nighter. You can devour it with a bit of whipped cream on top or slather more apple sauce on the outside. Lass es euch schmecken!

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Friday, 10 February 2017

One-Sided Friendship

Disclaimer: This post is a very personal one that I wrote last April. I have no idea what happened and why it had been sitting on the draft section for so long. And so, as I'm editing this post to be more accurate, I realise these feelings still ring true—and click 'publish'. If you don't like this kind of posts—or are easily offended—please feel free to click away.

I am 24. For some people, I am young.

But I feel like I'm older than I should be, considering where I am in life. In case you didn't know, I'm still pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in my third semester. It has also been said by many of my friends—IRL and online—that I'm mature beyond my years, although I'm not sure if that is true. I'd like to be so, of course, and I try to be more mature than myself all the time. Maybe that is why I consider myself old at 24.

At least, I feel I'm too old to hold on to fake friends and to keep one-sided friendships.

There have been times in the past when I try so hard to keep in contact with someone who's never bothered to do the same with me. Oftentimes they do not respond as enthusiastically as I hoped they would—or at all even—and I end up feeling tired and frustrated. Why don't they like me? Is there something wrong with me? When I talk about this to people who care about me, they advise me to leave these people alone, to stop trying to be friends with them—which is obvious, of course, but I didn't see this as a solution. I wanted to befriend them so much...except it's not them I wanted; it's someone like them who cares about me and whose principles are aligned with mine. And they're clearly not that kind of person, so why can't I let it go? I was doing myself and these people a disservice. I must have annoyed them a great deal, while also torturing myself in the process. Who's got anything to gain from this then?

It's not that different from a crush, I suppose—which is also my area of expertise when I was younger. My family and friends clearly saw that I was torturing myself, trying to get a guy's attention—except, with friendships, it felt much more confusing and much more frustrating. I couldn't see that this person had no interest in me and there's actually nothing wrong with that.

Hope you're not thinking I'm a victim so far, because I've also been on the other side of the door. I've also had people who try so hard to befriend me, to connect with me and be kind to me. Yet, although I don't hate them, I can't force myself to be comfortable around them. So I would humour them and hang out with them when they ask, but I wouldn't talk to them first because I don't want to put myself in that uncomfortable position. Because I know what it's like to be them, I try to be kind to them and give an appropriate response whenever possible. But we would probably never be best friends, no matter how much we try to fake it. And that's okay, they're not bad people and neither am I. We're just at different wavelengths. If we were to become best friends, we will have to change the very core that makes us...well, us.

When I was younger, I would most likely pretend to enjoy other people's company just to survive. It didn't matter that I didn't fit in, I just had to pretend I did. But I'm 24 now, and I don't have as much energy to waste on people who just don't care about me. All that time and energy trying to patch up something irreparable could be used to make the world a better place—or at least to reach my dreams. I'm not going to stop being kind to people, of course, but I'm going to stop wasting my time for people who don't even spare half a second of their day to think about me.

I'm 24 now and that should mean something.

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Twilight Town

As February rolls around, this part of my life is starting to roll into a close. It's a bit relieving and a bit terrifying, but right now I'm just focused at finishing it at the stage that it's at. I'm sorry if you don't know what I'm talking about, but it's rather personal so I don't think I can disclose it at the moment. I'm also at a very strange phase of my life, where everything feels dull and pointless. I can't remember the last time I felt really excited to do something or planning something to the very last detail. This feels a lot like a phase I'd experienced before in 2014—around the time I knew I was going back home. I mean, I wouldn't say I'm not happy with the life I have right now, but I think I feel like I settled, you know. Something is missing; the fire in me is extinguished. Has anyone ever experienced this before? Could you help me fight this...demotivation?

thrifted dress via Delightfully Tacky // hand-me-down blazer + purse // old hat + socks // MKS shoes (old) // photos by Akita

As for the clothes, I'm still trying to wear more of the stuff that I rarely ever flaunt on the blog. This thrifted number is actually one of my absolute favourite pieces, but I wonder why I never really style it differently from time to time. It has the perfect colour for autumn—god, I wish I still live somewhere with four seasons!—so I thought it would look good with this coat-like blazer. Then I just incorporated more autumnal colours to the look...and voilá! By the way, these photos were taken during twilight—hence the title—so it was basically a race against time to make it before all the light from the sun completely disappeared. Please don't mind my wiry hair! It was a long day.

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January in Overview

Since it's the start of a new year, I thought I'd shake this overview up a bit. Not too different, I suppose—and I am still trying to find a format that I like—but I do feel like a bit of a change. The beginning of 2017 was quite hectic for me, but I'm starting to sort things out for the future. I've been neglecting the 24 before 25 list entirely and getting back to some comfort reads and watches. Food-wise, I really haven't been holding back, so I probably need to exercise and cut back next month. Otherwise, this has been a month of action and less of ponder, so there's really nothing I'm excited or thinking about.

Currently reading
On Goodreads, it's stated that I'm currently re-reading Mister Monday, the first instalment to Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom series. Although that is true, I put it on hold for a while because I was re-reading an old favourite from my manga collection, Gatcha Gacha (Indonesian version titled "Love Me Or Not," for some reason). It's a yankee-styled love comedy of a serial monogamist, a gorgeous yet brutal girl, an awkward-in-love class president, a good-for-nothing delinquent with a dark past and, well, let's just say the story unravels unpredictably. Yes, both are re-reads.

Currently watching
In terms of films, I watched a couple inspiring ones this month. Eddie the Eagle, for example, starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman. Not only was I inspired by Eddie's tremendous and rock-filled journey towards the Olympics, I was also awed by Taron's amazing acting. If I had to compare, I feel like it has similar feel to One Chance. There was also The Hundred-Foot Journey, which tells the story of an Indian family who opens a restaurant in France right across the street from a one Michelin-starred eatery. It has a similar feel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and, to me, Ratatouille. I'm not sure if it's based on true story, but the storyline is definitely true to life.

In terms of series, I was in an anime mood this month that I watched several titles—as recommended by Firu. The one title that stuck by me—because of how crazy relatable the story is—is ReLIFE. Derived from a Japanese webtoon series, ReLIFE tells the story of a 28-year-old guy who re-lives a life as a high schooler as part of the ReLIFE experiment. Thanks to a pill developed by the company, he regains his outer physique from his adolescence. Feeling like he has a dead-end job at a convenience store, this experiment is supposed to teach him what he lacks as a member of society. Now you tell me, if you wouldn't want a pill yourself.

Currently listening
Bump of Chicken. Why? Because they perform the first OP and ED for 3月のライオン (March Comes Like the Lion), which I've been watching since last month. Firu introduced the band to me years ago, actually, because of this song they performed with Miku Hatsune. Not a fan of Miku myself, but lately I found myself drawn towards their pieces, such as Answer, Fighter and Go. Their is something hopeful about their music. Just a tune that I could listen to forever.

Highlight of the month

Snack shopping with the family // lunch aesthetics + current read // finals BTS (illustration) // finals BTS (photography)

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