Saturday, 28 July 2018

Mix It Up a Notch: Batik Bolero

If you've been following this blog a while, you might have noticed how much I love batik. Dress, pants, top, jacket, skirt—you name it, I love them all! The most unique and probably one of the oldest batik pieces I've been wearing to this day: it's a bolero. This bolero has been a much beloved item in my wardrobe since maybe 2009-2010. If I'm not mistaken, my Grandma got it for me and my sister once upon a time and I've just been loving it ever since. It's been around for so long, that it was one of the first items of clothing I wore within the first six months of my blogging. It helped that around that time I was obsessed with boleros too. I love its breezy cotton material, its rather neat and classic cut and its subtle mix of various colours. It can really make for a casual look as well as turn up the formality in an outfit. Funny thing is, I haven't actually rocked it all that much on the blog until a few years ago. But just know that they steal the spotlight more times offline ;)

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Reka Rupa Rasa

Concept art for the film "Anak Kebo" (lit. translated: Buffalo Boy) by Caravan Studio

Paper art by Sandy Lee, one of Indonesia's illustrators for National Geographics

Last week my friends Jess and Vivi and I visited an illustration exhibition—and art market—at Dia.Lo.Gue. If you're Indonesian, follow design and popculture, you will most likely know about this place. It is both a restaurant and an art space, which often holds exhibitions and workshops. Last week they held the Reka Rupa Rasa exhibition and art market, showcasing works from 13 illustrators, including those from Japan, South Korea and Thailand. The front area showcased various works by a select number of illustrators, including a concept art for an Indonesian movie—which my sister has been dying to watch—and the history of illustration in Indonesia. As you move slowly to the backside, you will be met with interesting activities and interactive displays. There is a small makeshift house with TVs inside, in which you can watch short animated films—including one made by our senior Sherchle. There is also a wall of doodles, where people can contribute with their own drawings, with a supply of markers on the side. Outside in the courtyard, you will finally arrive at the art market, where a number of people sell their work, including merchandise, prints, clothes and food. There are some names I recognise, such as Sukkha Citta, Koola Stuffa, Bernadet Putri—she remembered me!—and Loredanzo.

Hand-me-down top + skirt + purse // thrifted loafers // outfit photos by Jess and Vivi

It was a really fun exhibition to visit, I must say, but there were a few drawbacks that we experienced too. First of all, it was crazy crowded in there. The place was relatively small for so many works to be displayed—plus, the dining area is smack dab in the middle of it all. I'm sure we were bothering the luncheners, but there was really not much we could do to see all the works being displayed. It would've been better to separate the art stuff with the dining area, in my opinion. The interactive displays were really interesting, to be honest, but we completely missed out. For instance, the Wall of Doodle was already entirely covered by doodles. There was also one postcard exchange post, but it's all out of blank postcards already too. (Edit: and, apparently, the event will still go on until August 19th!) The art market area was also rather small, so there were very few tenants. I guess the main focus is the exhibition. After going around for a while, we didn't have any places to hang—even though we initially wanted to chill and order drinks there—so we walked to the nearby poké bowl place, Honu. We spent hours catching up and exchanging laughs, it was so much fun!

P.S: I apologise for my unruly hair. I'm not built to fashion blog after all.

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Saturday, 21 July 2018

TBR: Raiding My Sister's Bookshelf

This past few months, I have just been reading books and crossing things off this list. It's been a great ride and I've enjoyed most of them. Now, though, with only one left, I kind of need more books to dive into. Unfortunately, I'm living on a much tighter budget right now than earlier this year, so it's quite impossible for me to spend money on books anymore. Thankfully, I have my sister. Now, there's something you need to know: my sister is one of those people who love buying a plethora of books and forget to read them afterwards. It may not be a wise spending habit of hers, but it's a huge treat for me. Truth be told, her taste isn't all bad—I have found some of my favourite books amongst her untouched collection—so I'm excited to raid her bookshelf and widen my horizon. So, let's dig in!

The Illustrated A-Z of Classic Mythology

by Arthur Cotterell

This book is literally a small encyclopaedia of European mythology, such as Greek, Roman, Celtic and Nordic. My sister bought this at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale a few months ago. We both love mythology in general—Greek is my personal favourite—so we were both so excited about this one. I'm not sure what to find in this one, but the review looks great. I'm just excited to flip through.


You might have heard about this incredibly famous, absolutely beautiful and incredibly tearjerking animated movie. With the English title "Your Name," this movie has become one of my all-time favourites. I watched it three times in a row—and cried for the next 6 months. Well, here is the novel version—and it's in Japanese. I've never successfully finished a Japanese novel before, so this will most likely be a struggle. Wish me luck!

American Gods

I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. I have read so many of his books—his short story compilations are my favourites! However, although this book has been out for several years, I've never read this one before. Now that it has its own TV series, my sister's interest suddenly got piqued. She bought this book a few months ago on another book sale and hasn't touched it since (lol). It's quite a thick one. I'll need to roll my sleeves for this one.

Without You, There Is No Us

by Suki Kim

Probably the only book in this whole collection that my sister has finished. This was also bought at Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. It is a true story about North Korea, which is something I've always been very intrigued by. There is just something enigmatic about that part of the world, don't you think? After watching a bit of National Geographic's The Dictator's Rulebook, I had a little peek of the birth of the Kim Il Sung regime and dictatorship in North Korea. Any insider's view is always something I treasure. This book, in particular, is apparently based on investigative reports, so I don't know if I'll survive through all the emotions.

The Gospel of Loki

Another book on mythology! This book was bought, I think, also during Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. Loki is my favourite Norse god. The trickster and all that. This one may be a work of fiction, but it is still strongly based on the Norse mythology and I'm intrigued to read it. I don't think my sister knows this when she bought it, but it's apparently the first book in a series. Who knows if we'll be reading the rest, but I just have to try this one.

The Well Woman Handbook

by Suzie Hayman

There is, strangely, no record of this book on Goodreads. I tried searching by title, then by author, none of which wielded me any results. My sister got this one as a donation to the school she used to work in. I think it is basically about female hygiene and health—and how to care for the female body. I'm not sure how good—or bad—it will be, as the author is not a familiar name to me.

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

My sister bought this one actually two years ago at an imported book sale. Not even sure if my sister knows what the story is about, but I for one am completely smitten by the cover—not the boy on the cover, mind you. I love the typography on it! If I have to guess from the title—because I hardly ever read synopsis, to be honest—it's either something coming-of-age or mental illness-related. Either way, I'm intrigued.

The Infernals

Oh no! This is apparently the second instalment in the Samuel Johnson series. My sister might have read it, though, since John Connolly is one of her favourite authors. I, on the other hand, have never read any of his works before. Hopefully, my sister also has the prequel, so I can dive into that before going through this one. It is a fantasy story including demons, which is so down my sister's alley. The title and cover just makes me think of Dante.

The Little Sister

Without reading the synopsis first—purely from the title and cover—something about this book reminds me of Lolita. After a bit of digging, though, this book turns out to be the fifth instalment of a detective series. My sister got this one donated as well, so she probably didn't do a background research on it—as I wouldn't have done as well. My hope is that the story will still make sense without reading the first four books.

A Song for Ella Grey

My sister bought this one from Big Bad Wolf Book Sale as well. From the cover alone, I thought this would be a gothic love story—maybe involving a few vampires and werewolves here and there—but apparently it is more mythologically inclined than I thought. Inspired by the story of Orpheus, this is a YA novel about love, friendship and, well, mythology. I still think it can be somewhat gothic, to be honest. It does sound rather endearing, though.

The Dog

Honestly, I don't remember where this book came from. My sister could have gotten it from the donation pile, bought it at a book sale or even borrowed it from a friend. The cover alone intrigues me very much. The author is unfamiliar to me, so I cannot compare it with any of his previous works. It is apparently set in Dubai, a part of the world I've never run into in books. In Goodreads, it says that it is a story of alienation and heartbreak. If there were two words I feel most close to, they must be it.

Okay, I want to be honest, after writing this post and doing a bit more research on all the books, I feel a bit disheartened about some, but a lot more excited about others too. These are a lot of books, though, so I feel like it will take me quite a while to get through them all. Last time I listed the books I haven't read, it helped me keep on track with my reading—as a result, almost all of them are read by this point—so I think I will keep doing this for the foreseeable future. If you guys have a reading challenge or goal and you're having a slow year, maybe you should do this too. It will remind you how many you can cross off the list and how many more you still haven't touched. Look at it more as motivation, instead of failure. It will keep you organised and focused. Also, have you read any of these books? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

You, Me and Infinity

Eight. It's my favourite number...and a number of years I failed to picture. Five was my benchmark, seven was my 'finish line.' But eight was completely uncharted. It's almost ten, but not quite. It shows us that we have truly grown up together, both evolving at our own pace. We were so very different when we started out, that if we were to come face-to-face with our younger selves, they wouldn't be able to recognise us. But, without realising it, without meaning to, we have become the kind of couple we aspired to become. This past eight years have delivered me to this state: content, peaceful and confident.

It wasn't always like this, of course. When it was one, I remember having irrational bouts of jealousy—which are just laughable. I was insecure and possessive. Well, needless to say, it was a nightmare. We fought constantly, but with such an art, that people tend to think we had no problems as a couple. I wish! Two was better, I suppose, although much harder because of the new distance. We spent most of our time apart, adjusting to our separate lives. Still with the previous problems, obviously. People don't change that easily. Three and four were easier because the distance closed in, so we became once again a part of each other's lives. The fights became less and less each year, even after I threw myself halfway around the world for five, six and seven—though most nights I found myself in tears.

But this past year was different. You performed a miracle. You came home to me. You were willing to talk about all these things digging at the back of my head. You opened up to me like never before, and I began to understand, to feel relieved and to assure you in return. You held my hand in a way that I forget you could, like you're holding on to my soul too. Your eyes looked at me like a canopy, shading me from the harsh, harsh reality. Your laughter put a magic spell on me, setting everything to right in my world. It's nice to know some things never change, and that some others will never stay the same. You are the common denominator, and that is all I need.

This is how I know I've evolved in the one month you were here—more than I have in the three years you weren't: I stopped crying for you the third night after you left. You gave me strength when you let me know we are working towards the same goal. I began to see light at the end of the tunnel. It is the best feeling to know, that while everything else has changed, this alone hasn't. That we still care for one another and we are moving forward together. That you still want me now, the way you did eight years ago. That this isn't a limbo and we'll make sure of that. So hold my hand, honey, because I'm never letting go. Here's to eight years and counting, infinity and beyond.

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Saturday, 7 July 2018

My Current Lipstick Collection

If you've been following me on this blog for a while—a month? a year? three years?—you would probably notice that I almost never mention makeup. If you know me in real life, you'd know for sure that I'm not into makeup almost at all. That being said, there is one cosmetics item that got me weak in the knees—lip products. So, I may not have concealer, compact powder, blusher, mascara, eyeliner or eye shadow—and only just purchased my first ever foundation recently—but I own a lot of lip products. In fact, my so-called 'everyday makeup routine' is a smear of lipstick on my lips—now perhaps a foundation and lipstick for blusher—and I'm ready to go. What can I say? Lipsticks are just so alluring, they make my lips look much thicker than they are—usually two thin lines that disappear when I laugh—they really make you look so put together with minimal effort, and they come in various attractive packagings. Who can resist, right? I thought I'd share my collections with you guys, since I love them all and maybe you'd love them too.

NYX Butter Lipstick

Shades: BLS09 Candy Buttons + BLS10 Hot Tamale

It was one day when my sister was looking through some online stores in search of NYX lipsticks that we both bought these ones. Being a complete noob on the whole makeup situation, I thought I'd just start with one shade, Hot Tamale, while my sister bought two shades. I love my choice so much! It's much more orange than what I had expected—which was red—but it looks good on my lips. Orange is my favourite colour too, although this one is more vermillion. People keep noticing how nice they look on my lips, so I'm glad. Then my sister gave me her Candy Buttons one because it doesn't suit her at all—while on me it looks like the lighter shade of my lip colour. It looks almost as if I wasn't wearing anything with it on. I love that they're quite oily, since my lips tend to dry out. But, they tend to go all over the place—especially in intense heat—and easily wiped off, so it's quite hard for me to put on sometimes. They are true to colours, though, so you definitely get what you see. The reason I wanted NYX was because they're cruelty-free—although the parent company L'oreal isn't—but unfortunately not paraben/toxic-free.

Mineral Botanica Moisturising Lipstick

Shades: 011 Raspberry Blush + 012 Choco Madness

These are my most recent purchases and I'm still very much smitten with them. My sister and I just happened to stumble upon them at the mall and I was quickly sold. First of all, all their products are cruelty-free and locally made. This line in particular is parabens-free and antioxidant-infused. They are truly moisturising without being too oily or smeary with the most pigmented colours. Honestly, they have the best selection of colours. Mineral Botanica also sells Cushion Foundation, which I use in the shade beige, on top of which I draw a line on my cheeks with either of these lipsticks and blend to create a blush. Genius, no? (No, not really.) My sister also loves these lipsticks and was tempted to purchase one for herself after wearing mine for a bit—but she got the foundation instead. I love how well they made the chocolate colour, which looks incredibly red on my lips.

Burt's Bees Lipbalm

Flavours: Pink Grapefruit + Honey

Burt's Bees aren't actually for sale in Indonesia—well, at least not in department stores. You can look for them online—some vendors have them available—but for quite a handsome price. I actually do love them and had been meaning to try them out. They're cruelty-free as far as I know, use organic ingredients for their products and use recycled material for their packaging. These two I've got were brought to me by two different friends from two different countries. The grapefruit one was bought for me by my good friend Mimin from the US. It's part of their save-the-bee campaign and I'm so happy to have contributed to their cause—although technically Mimin was the one who paid for it. The honey one was brought to me by my good friend Iva from Germany. I must say they are rather on the pricey side and that's why I can only get the lipbalm—which I don't believe ever does anything for my dry lips. I'd like to say nice things about them, but they haven't worked magic on me, unfortunately.

Other Lipsticks

Revlon Colourburst Lip Crayon (240 Spectaculaire)

Benefit Benebalm

L.A. Girl Matte Flat Finish Pigment Gloss (GLG833 Fleur)

Here are some lipsticks that come in singles—two of which were handed down to me. Let's start with the Revlon lip crayon. I first found out about lip crayons when I watched one of Zoella's videos in 2014. The concept sounded interesting to me, so I was just pining over it. One day—I don't remember when, where or how—I just got one. The colour is really red and pigmented. The crayon melted one day, though, and it's become rather difficult to apply. It also doesn't stay on too long, but doesn't smear too easily. The Benefit Balm was given to me by my sister, after I used it far too many times. It doesn't really have any prominent colour, but very moisturising and flattering. It gives the lips that little glimmer that makes it look a lot more kissable—so to speak. Now it's all emptied out, though, but it was one of my favourites. The L.A. Girl liquid lipstick was given to me by my old friend Cynthia after one of our little collabs. I fell in love with it because the colour looks good on my lips and she let me have it. It dries quickly and doesn't smear—unless mixed with oily food—but it dehydrates my lips quite a lot. None of these brands are either eco-friendly or cruelty-free, to my knowledge.

What's your favourite lip product? I'd love to try out some more!

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