Monday, 20 March 2017

Urban Concrete Jungle

Currently reading: The Adventures of Tintin

The other day a couple middle school buddies of mine—and a couple of their high school mates—and I went out after around 8 years of not seeing each other. It felt kind of surreal, that it made me absolutely nervous to see them again. And it was almost 10 years ago that we last hung out together too—wow, can't believe middle school was so long ago! But then we met up and, it turns out, they hadn't changed one bit—at least in all the ways that mattered—and I was quickly put at ease. It went amazingly well, until I overthought—as always—and accidentally left early. It's less frustrating and more humiliatingly funny, to be honest. It's just an instant reminder that I've become much more serious and deliberate then when I was 14. And, God, did I do so many more embarrassing deeds back then! But it's like I didn't even bat an eyelash. Ah, youth—a time when you're completely free and innocent, so thoughtless it's charming. In the end, my friends told me to just loosen up next time, it's not like we haven't known each other for over a decade. Well, I'm just happy to know there's a "next time."

Hand-me-down shirt + backpack + pants // thrifted vest // unethical boots // photos by Cafa

So, uhh, yeah, these photos were obviously—or not so obviously—not taken during that hangout I mentioned earlier. They were taken by my brother, who turns out to be a pretty awesome photographer—in case you missed it on my instagram. The crazy thing is he doesn't actually know anything about photography but has a great eye for composition—just like Galuh, to be honest. Now, a little story about the outfit: yes, I made an unethical purchase recently. In fact, it was during the last post. After the photos were taken, the soles of the shoes came off and, well, I didn't have any spare ones, so I bought a pair. It's actually from a brand that I used to like back in high school—but because it's unethical, I won't mention it. Hopefully, this pair will last me a good decade before it deteriorates. Aside from those, the rest of this outfit are, thankfully, ethically acquired. Do you guys even remember this vest? It's been a good 2 years since the last time I wore it. Thought I'd never wear it again, but lo and behold.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Vegan Blueberry & Apple Pancakes

Okay, crazy thing: my apple sauce is still there. I thought I'd use it all up for this recipe as well as come up with something that I can potentially enjoy on Meatless Monday—for me, it's basically Vegan Monday. As I was going through pinterest, looking for some kind of dessert-style food using apple sauce, I stumbled upon this recipe. This was, as usual, a last minute decision, so I had to somehow use whatever I already have at home—substituting some ingredients that I lack. The recipe was simple enough, the taste was marvellous but it was definitely stuffy, so keep that in mind before making this. Lastly, I used the blueberry jam because my Stepmom suggested using the blueberry jam my sister bought months ago but never finished. Now on to the recipe!

Yep, I burnt it all
(original recipe from Feasting on Fruit; makes 3-4)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (recipe here)
  • 2 tbsp. blueberry jam
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (the original recipe recommends oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used multigrain milk)
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until combined. Do not over blend.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet/frying pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Since it's quite thick, spread/smooth into a circle.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides. When you can easily slide a spatula under, it's time to flip.
  6. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
  7. Top with fruit, vegan butter and/or maple syrup, your choice.
  8. Serve while hot, bon appétit!
Tips:  Make sure all the ingredients are in room temperature to ease the mixing process. It turns out, the dough will be incredibly thick, so if you have a mixer, you can use that instead. Oat flour is gluten-free, so if you're avoiding gluten, use it instead. In effect, I believe it won't be as thick and sticky, as is the case with all-purpose flour. The milk I used here was multi-grain milk, which consists of soy bean, purple brown rice, black sesame, malt extract and barley—but a regular soy milk would work just the same. If you can, boil the apple sauce from my previous recipe with a bit of water, to make it less thick. Be careful when frying the pancakes, as the dough is really sticky and may stick to the spoon you use to scoop it. Spread it carefully and evenly. Lass es euch schmecken!

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Monday, 13 March 2017

Homemate 家族

It's actually funny to see so many food bloggers there at once

Currently reading: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Last week Uli, Mimin and I met up for some Mexican food at Taco Local. While Uli had introduced this place to Mimin and she became a regular, this was my first time coming here. The place actually consists of a plethora of cafés. It was one building connecting a total of 3-4 eateries. The first time I saw this area was from Oriza's blog, Belle Riso. The best part is, we got to just sit in one place and order a food from the other places as well. We started off with a selection of Mexican food—Uli ordered tacos, Mimin ordered quesadilla, I ordered burrito and nachos for the table. For someone who'd never eaten proper Mexican food before, I had no idea how filling a burrito could be—and could only finish one half of it. Nevertheless, we moved on to giant servings of kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) from Homemate. Mimin ordered the strawberry with—I want to say—caramel sauce adorned with small raisins, while Uli and I shared the green tea option—with green tea syrup. The ice was super smooth and the green tea was remarkably delicious.

old batik dress + cut-out shoes // batik ribbon (from this dress) // Sis's skirt // hand-me-down purse // outfit photos by Uli

Aside from the great food, the architecture and interior of the eatery was also very, very lovely. I fell in love with it at first sight. I guess I wasn't the only one, because there were a lot of food bloggers around then too—constantly moving around the food to get the best shot. At first, I thought they were taking photos for the new menu, but it soon became clear to me that they were bloggers. In fact, Hans from Eat and Treats—whom I follow on instagram—came a bit later. For a second there, our eyes met and lingered, and I thought: "Does he recognise me?" but I guess he was staring only because I was, ha! It's too bad that I was super stuffed before I could eat everything the place had to offer, because I really would love to try But First Coffee's canele and cakes. Rest assured, I will definitely come back here sometime!

P.S: Wave goodbye to these shoes because you ain't going to see them on the blog no more!

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Third-World Feminism

Since it's International Women's Day, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about this issue, which has been bugging me for years. I feel like this is a topic that not many people delve into—despite the fact that it's so in tune with feminism, which has gained some popularity in the past decade or so. However, feminism is definitely a controversial and sensitive topic to a lot of people, so if you're not interested in that or feel like you would be easily offended by it, feel free to click away. Be warned, that if you stay, you would need to respect the opinions laid out on this page—either by me or any (possible) commenters.

In the past couple decades or so, there seems to be a rise in feminism throughout the globe. More and more women are speaking out against bigotry and sexism, starting up conversations that will dive into topics, which might be unthinkable in the previous centuries. Activists, public figures and pretty much any woman in the world, through social media and other means, have started to take a stand and making a point of not bowing down to the stereotypes and conservative views of women in any roles of their lives. Topics, such as body positivity, female empowerment and non-gender-based fields, seem to be the hot trend of the masses. With these conversations, people start to develop ideas and actions which would make the world a better place for women. They won't stand down  to sexual discriminations anymore. The world is slowly changing.

That being said, the development and growth the world is taking in that regard seem to be focused on some topics more than others. Articles, movements and online contents on body positivity, for instance, seem to be in abundance, whereas fair trade and ethical fashion, for example, fall to the wayside, rendered less popular and less interesting than the previous topic. When talking about female empowerment, people rarely think about slavery in the fashion industry. Often public figures open a discussion on feminism one minute and record themselves purchasing from unethical brands the next. This makes no sense to me, as if feminism is a jest only for the elites.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought feminism was about equality—okay, gender equality, but equality nonetheless. Does that mean if certain groups of people are treated like garbage, so long as both the men and women are equally treated as such, it's okay to keep treating them that way? Is social equality not part of feminism as well? Hence, are we actually empowering all women, or just the privileged ones—the ones with so many opportunities already awaiting them for the rest of their lives?

Here are some facts (source): According to the Clean Clothes Campaign, in the Cambodian garment industry over 80% of workers are women, aged 18-35. In Guangdong in China young women face 150 hours of overtime each month—60% have no contract, 90% no access to social insurance. In Bangladesh garment workers—most of whom are women—earn £44 per month; just ¼ of a living wage. What's more, these workers will be heavily affected by the toxic waste produced in the manufacturing process of clothing afterwards. Now, while girls' education in other countries may not have a direct line to our lives, this modern slavery does. There is something very simple we can do to fight it and empower these women. Shouldn't their livelihood and well-being matter as much as ours? Shouldn't we hear their plea, which has been shut down time and time again, and come to their rescue?

You can start simple: just ask a question. Inquire your favourite retail brand of their code of ethics, demand that they pay their workers fair wages, and push them to be more environmentally responsible. We as a consumer have the right and privilege to give out our opinions about the way a brand conducts their business. They as a business need to listen to us, lest they want to lose customers and, potentially, money. If we take a stand and start to question the way they run their business, demanding a better way to manufacture and deliver their products to us, they will start to question their methods and make changes in how they conduct their business. Yes, we have more power than we realise.

If you want to find more information on how to support them and how to spread the word, you can always check out the Fashion Revolution homepage. There are also numerous awesome organisations that can help you find information on this topic, such as Anti-Slavery International, Clean Clothes Campaign, Ethical Fashion Forum, Fairtrade International and many more. If you choose to stop supporting unethical businesses and opt for slow fashion, there are clothing brands, whose sole purpose is to empower women, such as Naja, Mata Traders and Tiralahilacha, among others.

This Women's Day, let us speak for those whose voices cannot be heard!

P.S: the sources are linked on the pictures

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

A Desperate Attempt

Sometime last week Tasha and I met up again for another photoshoot...kind of thing. I don't really have many local influencer friends, so it's always a pleasure to catch up with her and take photos of each other. You can hop on over to her instagram to see her outfit, by the way. Thankfully, this time we didn't have to wait a year to do this again. We visited the site we met up in last time too, since Tasha said she spotted some great new areas for photoshoots there. The place was gorgeous, but a security guard forbid us from taking photos. So we moved to another location, where another security guard told us off again. Man! What the hell? In the end, we decided to just stick to the deserted locations, where no security guard would care to even notice us. It was kind of exhausting. Next time, we'll make sure to go somewhere camera-friendly. Hopefully, it will be sometime this year.

vintage shirt + loafers // old socks // Oh My Bows hairbow (giveaway!) // Book of Deer skirt // hand-me-down purse // 

photos by Tasha

Finally another styling of this quirky Book of Deer skirt. It's just such an easy skirt to wear, that I'm not sure how to style it for the blog. For me, this skirt falls under the casual category—I love wearing it around the house and to classes, with a simple graphic t-shirt on top. But, of course, for the blog one needs more effort than that. This look was really quickly put together, though—a desperate attempt to wear more items that I rarely showcase on the blog. Wish I spared more time to think about it, because this look is absolutely all over the place. Exhibit A: my hairbow. I can't believe how lopsided and disorderly it was the whole day. It would have been better to let my hair loose perhaps. Plus, I felt like the outfit was so out of place in the location. Ugh. Don't even start with my physical attributes. I'm not in the most confident state at the moment. Have you ever felt like that about an outfit? How did you overcome it?

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February in Overview

Still sticking with this new format, I'm afraid not much has changed. I guess I have been in full consumption-mode, with books, music, films, and food. I've just gained probably around 500gr, but it made all the difference. So—perhaps a bit too late—I decided to start working out again towards the end of the month. Honestly, I haven't been working out in so long, that my body ached for the next two days afterwards. Wow, signs of getting old? I think so! After watching this TED talk, I thought I ought to start getting my life together and straighten things out.

Currently reading
It was another month of reading a The Keys to the Kingdom book, specifically the Grim Tuesday one, plus a manga series. This time I opted for something more gore and less dainty—and more volumes—with a series called Alive: The Final Evolution. It tells the story of aliens and superpowers, but also of youth and friendship. It feels like a mix of Mirai Nikki and Kingdom Hearts. Only after re-reading it this month did I realise that I never actually read the story until the end. It's such an absolute thrill and, well, quite explains the music I was in the mood for.

Currently watching
The anime mood has gone full force this month. I've been checking out several Japanese animated movies that I either have been wanting to watch for months or I just happened to stumble upon and love. First off, there is バケモノの子 (The Boy and the Beast), which is definitely a must-watch from a couple years ago. It's from the makers of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Wolf Children. Absolutely love the story and the characters! Tissue might be necessary. There was also 心が叫びたがってるんだ (Anthem of the Heart), with Masayoshi Tanaka as the character designer. The story is very cute and so thoughtful—with quite an unexpected ending. Lastly, there's ねらわれた学園 (Psychic School Wars), though I don't think the English title fits the story quite right. The graphic is amazing and I can so relate to the main character.

In terms of series, I tried out several and they could be a hit or miss. There were a lot, but only a select few stuck to my heart. I was in the mood for really laid back, chill series with minimal storyline, so I really enjoyed series like Flying Witch and Tari Tari—also Red Data Girl, because it's set in the countryside for the most part. There was also something unexpected like Plastic Memories, which I watched just out of the blue, but really got me in the guts and made me weep throughout the last episode. The most recent and memorable series that I finished was recommended by my brother, 坂道のアポロん (Kids on the Slope). It's set in the post-war era—perhaps around 1940s to 1950s—and revolves around Jazz. The story got me in all the right places, and I can't believe how hooked I was. Thanks, bro!

Currently listening
Galileo Galilei has been stuck in my mind this month. I just recently listened back to their OP for Ano Hana and I suddenly had bouts of nostalgia. So much so, that I actually created this playlist—which got a lot of editing the first few days of its publication. If you feel like listening to songs that remind you of youth and friendship, go ahead and have a listen! It's just too bad that, only after getting so hooked by their songs, I found out that they disbanded just last year. I guess no more new feels from them then.

Highlight of the month

a WIP of one of my final projects // post-exam book haul // rekindling friendship (if there ever was) with Gita // fun photoshoot with Tasha

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