Monday, 29 April 2013

Mix It Up a Notch: See-Through Peter Pan

Being one of the first items I bought from Primark last spring- which I already heard so much about by this point -, this top became one of my favourite pieces. It is see-through and one size too small for me but I learnt the tricks into wearing it six different ways my own way. When I wasn't wearing it under/over a dress, I usually slip a tank top under it. I adore the collar on it so very much. Whenever I felt like wearing something with adorable collars, I'd grab this top and put it on. I love how the form compliments my body and its translucent colour allows for an infinite number of possibilities. Subconsciously, though, I tend to pair it with navy-coloured items as well. I'm so excited to style it some more this upcoming summer.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Not Of Cobblestone Streets and Brickhouses

H&M dress (worn as a top) + blazer (borrowed) // Pimkie tulle skirt // gifted bag // tights c/o My Hudson // Studio Nine moccassins

The other day, a friend of mine led me to an interesting article about what happens when you live abroad. I'm afraid I have to disagree to some parts of it, though. For one, I didn't go abroad to start anew, with a clean slate or what have you. I don't have long enough history to want to rewrite it. I haven't burned so many bridges to want to build new ones somewhere else. That, to me, sounds a lot like running away. And if it was, it shouldn't cost this much. The reason I wanted to get out of the country, to experience life on the outside, is not what is in me personally. Sure, it's my personal interests but not my history. It's the culture on the outside, wanting to know how they live and if I would survive. To see how far I can go and test my limits - and break them. If all you want is a blank slate, a new start, doesn't that mean that starting anywhere, anywhere at all, wouldn't matter? It's a little sad for the country you choose and the efforts you make, don't you think? Though for the rest of the article, I kind of agree. Yes, sometimes it scares me how life goes on without me. And yes, sometimes I wish I was there to witness it all. But we keep in touch. Though life goes on back home without me, though places I used to know become less familiar anymore, though inside jokes pile on while I'm away, the same goes for me. I grow up, I change, what I hold dear changes and the things I know and learn pile on. I'm not the only one missing things. But I would choose this life over and over.

This kind of reminds me of tourists who go abroad to take pictures of the 'significant' places - probably with them in it as well - then go straight to shopping. As if you can't do that in your own country. Okay, shopping for typical items of the country, that's obvious, mandatory even. But shopping for clothes you could buy back home? That is just pointless. So you basically paid a huge sum amount of money, just for a different shopping experience? I can never understand that. When the time you spend on shopping pales in comparison to the time you spend on getting around and seeing all you should and could see, then that's acceptable. But otherwise, well. I once read on someone's blog about her experience going to Paris. Paris! That city I fell in love with thanks to all its artistical beauty. And all she remembered was getting in line to grab some Louis Vuitton bag or godknowswhat. I facepalm-ed all over. I wonder if they swoon, seeing the little details that they don't have back home. For example, these brick houses and cobblestone streets. Pretty much every street back home is asphalted and every houses have solid cement and paint, not rusticated like these. This is the neighbourhood where I live in, though it's not right in front of my house or anything, but definitely within walking distances. Note to self: go through here whenever I'm down.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Wheels on the Bike Go Round and Round

Bike style has been booming, hasn't it? Bike style, to me, is really humble which opposes high fashion - which, to be honest, I despise. Everyone can get a bike, it makes places more accessible and really fun plus healthy. Before, people tend to think that you have to wear pants/shorts upon riding bikes. Now, you can see plenty of ladies wearing skirts and dresses and strolling with their bikes. When they go past me, I can't help but to gape at the sight. Pretty ladies glimmer in the spring and summer, don't they? I especially love Elizabeth's rendition of bike styles. Plus, these ladies from Bikes + Babes. How nice it is to have a bike of your own. My ideal bike would have to be able to carry a passenger and have a basket on the front. I carry a lot of stuff so, of course, I'd need a basket. We had bikes when I was little. I used to ride it all day, especially during holidays. Our neighbourhood was so comfy for bike riding and I go crazy. I even biked in the rain. But a somewhat traumatic experience happened to me and I haven't biked much since. That doesn't mean I don't want to bike anymore, though.

Hello It's Valentine // Kittenhood // Delightfully Tacky // Blushing Ambition // A Beautiful Mess // Calivintage // Alive as Always // Downtown from Behind

Since the weather has gotten warmer and warmer lately, people have been going out with bikes. And is it just me or do bikes look more apparent in the sun? Maybe because the weather is awfully appropriate. Therefore, here I am, aching to own one myself. Every summer, this fever hits me like a storm. Every summer I promise myself I'll get a bike but never did. This summer, that's all about to change. I've been asking around whether to buy a bike or a tripod. Everyone says I should buy a bike. So a bike I'm getting. My friend, Rezy, bought a used bike in Kassel for only 30€ - and he lost some serious weight thanks to it too! Since I don't have much money in my budget for distractions like a bike or tripod, buying a used one is definitely the only way to go. I'll probably look for a bike later this weekend. Fingers crossed I'll be able to ride one before Monday comes. Though it doesn't do much for transportation costs for me, it'll still be awesome to bike everywhere. Gotta learn the bike routes around town!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

花より団子,男子じゃないよ!

There is a high school friend of mine called Maya, who now lives in Japan. Every year she always posts pictures of cherry blossoms or summer festivals on Facebook. You better BELIEVE I am just dipped deep in a lake of envy. Haha. Earlier this month another friend flew to Japan on vacation and I also just found an Indonesian fashion blog, The Sweetest Escape. Wrong timing, though, because Stevia is currently in Japan right now. It feels like everyone in the whole world is going to Japan right now and I'm stuck here, not even in my own hometown. Thank God, there are also cherry blossoms in Germany, though. Last spring, I didn't find any in Halle so I was mega excited upon finding tons in Kassel. Saku-chan told me about the different sorts of cherry blossoms. I think these ones here are 八重桜 (Yaezakura) or double-flowered cherry trees. There's even a cherry tree just across the street - that one's a 染井吉野 (Someiyoshino). For more info for different types of cherry blossoms, check this out. Despite my issues with the colour pink, I still think these are so beautiful. I wish we could go on 花見 (Hanami) or flower-viewing. Well, at least, if I can't be in Japan, I can spend the day with a Japanese friend. Yesterday was Saku-chan's birthday and we got together at her place on Saturday. When I said we, I meant Saku, Arnoud, his brother, Renate and I. There was a lot of food, a little bit of piano and accordion and plenty of fun. It was the first time ever I went home after midnight in Kassel.

Unbranded blouse // New Yorker jumper // flea market skirt // Sox Galeri socks // Deichmann oxfords

For the whole of winter I didn't wear this skirt at all. It looks terrible with coats. Well, at least, to me. It has always been too big on my waist but I never did anything about it. It has elastic waistband so I thought it didn't matter. Until now. I finally took it in and it fit better, I feel better wearing it. I am so glad I can finally wear this skirt the way I want to again. Though I didn't plan to match my outfits with my surroundings, I got pretty close. While I was taking these pictures, I stumbled upon a wise old man. We talked a little, small talks. He told me that he just got back from New Zealand a couple days and he still got jet lag. He then gave me a wisdom: "When you're young, you should travel!" A word of advice: spare some time in your daily life to listen to what old people have to say. Old people, who has something to say to youngsters, are wise. That means they have wisdom to share. And young people, who listen, are wise to take their wisdom. It's always so nice to meet such grandparent figures. The first wisdom I received from an old lady was, "Let the guy pay for your meal on your first date!" That was before I even met Firu. She said, it was to gauge just how much he likes you. A decent guy - doesn't have to be great or perfect, just decent - will at least do this for you.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Dear Photograph,

All photos via Dear Photograph

Sentimental value is the most important ingredient in Aesthetics. Have you ever looked at a place and wondered how many memories were made there, what kind of people have passed by or spent their childhood there? I certainly have. Old houses are so beautiful. But they're mostly beautiful thanks to all the memories made there, the passing ghosts of happenings back in the days. My grandmother's house, for example, is such a great, big house. But it is even greater because I know my parents' love bloomed there. Such a thing is sentimental value. That's what this blog Dear Photograph is all about: piecing together memories of the past with how the place looks now. Such a magical thing. Every photo renders me nostalgic, though I have never seen these people or places before. So search your house for an old photograph of yours or your family, search the location and snap a photo. I know I want to.

Friday, 19 April 2013

How Serendipitous!


"Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise." - Shakespeare&co.


When we were kids, our parents kept telling us to stay away from strangers, to not open the doors to strangers, to not take candies from strangers. They mean well. As we grow older, though, they actually encourage us to do the exact opposite. Granted, they think we can distinguish between good people and bad people. It is quite understandable. Maybe it is to make up for all the goodbyes we said in the past and those we will say in the future. I actually like talking to total strangers. Who knows? For all you know, this stranger can be a stepping stone to a better future. I especially love strange grannies. Old people always have so much wisdom about them and, if you talk to them kindly, they might share some with you. I should know. It happened to me once before I even met Firu. It happened to me once again around a week ago in Frankfurt. Here is the story of how it happened.

Vintage blouse via Capricious Traveler // Flattery Gardenia Hair Bow // flea market skirt // Sox Galeri socks // Typo satchel // 

Primark belt + brogues

Last week, I went to Frankfurt am Main, on a mission to take someone to the airport. She was an acquaintance and wanted to go home to Indonesia for good. At the airport, we accidentally found a couple. The husband - an Indonesian man - also wanted to board the same plane to go to Jakarta. After everything was taken care of - stressful and nerve wracking as they were - and they both boarded the plane, the wife and I were left by ourselves. The wife was a German lady with the name of Juliane. We both don't live in Frankfurt and, as we still had plenty of time on our hands, we decided to take a look around the city. Somehow, we ended up hanging out together, walking all the way from the main train station to the old town. Juliane was already over 70 yet she walked very quickly and did not rest up a lot all day. Wow! I am impressed! We visited a lot of places - the old opera house, Goethe's birth house, Japan Centre and Eurotower - and were a little bit mischievous. She reminded me of my grandmother and mother so, of course, I was fond of her right away. At the end of the day, she gave me her email adress and I promised to write to her soon. She lives in Würzburg and I am so excited to come visit someday! Yaay!

This is, by far, my favourite outfit! I love the blouse very much. It is batik-like and has butterflies on it. To accompany this pattern, I put on my floral hair bow that I snatched from Breanne's shop. Finally! It was bought around the end of autumn - when my hair was also a lot shorter - so wearing it was definitely out of the question. I adore it so much! My hair is still pretty short so I tied it at both sides, meeting them at the back and clipped the bow there. The skirt is the one I hauled from Wuppertal flea market almost three weeks ago. It was about six sizes too big for me but I took it in myself and it fits me perfectly now. Now this, this is my kind of skirt. It reminds me of my school uniform skirt from middle school, except that that one was made out of fabric and this one is more...silk. Plus, that one was navy and this one's lime-green, which is what I've been looking for. It has so much room and lovely structure. I am so smitten! The weather has been getting more and more pleasant lately that I don't need coats and scarves anymore. The sun also comes out to play even more frequently. Yippie! Spring, I thought you'd never come.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Firu ♥ Visya: Make-Believe Japan

Is it totally lame to still celebrate - even with just tiny squeals in your heart - your monthversaries when you've gone way past 2 years already? Is it totally lame to celebrate monthversaries at all? Haha, to hell with that. I am putting on a party hat and dancing in the moonlight because today is Firu's and my 33rd monthversary! Yaay! (In case you're too lazy to count, that means we've been together for 2 years 9 months). Though we're not together RIGHT NOW, I have yet a date story I haven't shared of when we were together two weeks ago. This day may also be called the day we went broke. All my life, I've always wanted to go to Japan. Since that has yet to come true, I have to settle with the Japanese quarter in Düsseldorf. One day, we went there to hang out at Café Relax and enjoy Japanese delicacies. We both ordered Matcha Latte and Curry Rice - croquette for Firu and chicken teriyaki for me. As for desserts, I had the Matcha Chiffon Cake while Firu enjoyed the Strawberry Berry Cake. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to make it at home - which I doubt he can do. Afterwards, we also bought the takoyaki and ramune I wanted to buy the other day and raided a bookstore. We saw many Japanese and I was so awed by how pretty the girls look. They always look so cute!

Scalloped-collar blouse via Kleider Kreisel // Lustre dress via TK Maxx // Firu's Jack & Jones cardigan // H&M tights // Deichmann chelsea boots // Typo satchel // Photos of me by Firu

Finally, the one post I have been dying to do! This dress was bought a long time ago - in January. But I wanted to wait for the perfect moment to wear it on the blog. I haven't even worn it until I came to visit Firu this time. This was the most perfect dress I have ever laid eyes on. First off, the cut is just my favourite, what with the dainty skirt and all. The semi-backless detail also attracts my eyes. But what got me totally hooked was the pattern on it. It was like wearing a painting on your body, oil paint-like and floral too! Perfect for spring, no? When it's gotten a little warmer, I'd like to wear this dress bare and show you all. By the way, the weather was playing with me that day. When we took off, it was damn cold so I borrowed Firu's cardigan but later on, it got warmer and warmer and I ended up sweating instead. Rawr! Make up your mind, weather! But that might mean that spring is finally taking over. About time now.