Thursday, 31 October 2013

There Are No Strings on Me

"Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween"

-This Is Halloween, The Nightmare Before Christmas OST

Do you feel that chill that comes with the spook of Halloween eve? I swear, it just ran right through me. I've only celebrated Halloween once and it was my sweet seventeen. There are plenty of parties out here on Halloween and my roommates asked me to go to one later tonight. Usually I just end up staying home, too afraid to watch horror movies by myself. Not to say I've never watched one, though. When it comes to spooky films, I always opted towards asian ones. Japan and Thailand have the scariest and most awesome scary movies I know. If you're looking for some real spook, I recommend checking out One Missed Call (Japanese version, all three movies) and Coming Soon. The previous, I've only watched the first and the last - the last being the scariest and most grotesque. The latter, I'm too much of a chicken to try and watch but from the narrative I should think it's pretty scary. My favourite scary movie is definitely The Eye 10. It's a mix of spook and hilarity that you just can't miss. Not much into ghosts? Another great watch that fits the Halloween theme is Stoker. Oh, man, that film is highly intriguing. Trust me, it'll turn out like you wouldn't believe.

The Executive blouse // Club L pinafore dress via ASOS // H&M tights // Accesorize hairband // Tracce ballet flats

This year I dressed up as a sort of marionette. Though not exactly a ghost, there's something spooky about a marionette (or am I playing too much Ragnarok Online?). This marionette, though, has got no strings attached to her - much like Pinocchio. This 'costume' is a re-styling of a costume from my sweet seventeen (which you can see below). Okay, I'm gonna level with you. I was actually planning on buying a ribbon to wrap around my hairband so my hair would look like it did four years ago. Not much changed, I think, except for the fact that I have cuter clothes now. I still drew on my face, arms and tights (technically, I borrowed my sister's back then). The shoes are both from Tracce - the one from four years ago broke a year later. I tried to make the whole appearance look spooky - I even put make up on. But I guess it looks less like a costume and more like an everyday attire. So there you go, comment below to tell me which costume is better. If you need a quick, spooky read, this just spooked me recently. Enjoy this spooky night and careful for what's behind you!

My sister and me at my Sweet Seventeen Halloween Birthday Bash

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Mix It Up a Notch: Bunny Peter Pan Collar

When I first started blogging, I was suddenly exposed to so many adorable clothing trends, such as the infamous peter pan collar. After being bombarded mercilessly by their adorableness, I was quickly on the search for one myself. Spring of last year did I find this really adorable top in H&M for sale! I tried it on first but didn't really think twice upon purchasing it. Why should I? This top is perfect! I adore the bunny pattern printed all over it, looking like the storyboard of an endless loop of animation. I love how it's a little short on me and how well it goes with pretty much anything. Ah, I couldn't ask for a better first piece with peter pan collar. It's really, really lovely! Although, after washing, I have to iron it and I'm not a huge fan of ironing things. Haha. But I definitely still want to style more of this top in the future so keep an eye out for more bunnies on peter pan collar. Hopefully, I get to style it with more colourful pieces in the future, it's been muted far too long.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Wonders of Autumn

Originally, I had no posts planned for today. But, seeing as I've been taking plenty of pictures of autumn, I thought I'd share the obsession. I saw loads and loads of mushrooms. They just pop out everywhere in autumn, it seems. There are various shapes and sizes. They're all so beautiful. My ultimate autumn dream is to go to a forest somewhere and go mushroom hunting someday. Oh, it'd be wonderful...if it ever happens. The best part of autumn is being able to see various shades of colours right next to one another. On a sunny day, it feels as though the sun left an everlasting mark. And, you know, I'm not the only one pretty much smitten by autumn. I see plenty of people taking pictures of autumn with their phones or cameras as well. Clearly, they want to preserve this beautiful scenery before it's replaced with bald trees and cold snow. Oh, how I wish autumn could last forever.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Back to the Comfort Zone

H&M top (under the sweater) // DIY infinity scarf // Brave Soul sweater // C&A paisley pants // thrifted boots via Kleider Kreisel // photos by Adit

Okay, you know I have a limited amount of clothing pieces when I put together an outfit from pieces I've already worn earlier this season. No, scratch that. This month even. But some things are so comfortable you don't want to take them off. Also, these pictures weren't actually meant for an outfit post but school has started and I'm foreseeing a busy semester - or at least I'm going to make myself busy to get it over with. These photos were taken on a grocery run by my old/new roommate Adit. We lived together - along with Firu and 3 other people - back in Karlsruhe. It's so weird to be roomies again but also very nice. I feel more comfortable at home now. Plus, he cooks a lot and, when he has some leftover, I can have it. Yum!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

21 Before 22

I was a little early on writing a 21 before 22 list this year. I'm so glad I'm not married yet - though if I were proposed, it would also be incredible - because now I get to do these 21 exciting things for the next year. I'm focusing a lot on art and experience this year. By the way, I was inspired by Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon to write this list prettily on a piece of paper. It is so much more inspiring when written in various colours and styles, now pinned on my pinboard to inspire me everyday. Hopefully, I can complete them this year!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Birthday Bits

Arithalia dress // vintage cape via lucedale vintage // thrifted tall boots via Kleider Kreisel // outfit photos by Galuh

Apparently, yesterday was my 21st birthday. Wow, twenty-first. That's huge. When I was little, I believed this is the age I was going to get married, mostly only because I thought twenty-one is the age people normally get married. But here I am, twenty-one and not even close to being ready to get married. I do feel much more mature than, say, when I was 17, though. That, finally, I've earned my years on this earth. In case you missed it, I posted a review of my birthday list last week and I'm working on my 21 before 22 list as we speak. On Saturday, we had a little get together at my place. By 'we', I mean Firu, Galuh, Saku-chan, Shasti, my good friend Rezy, my roommates and me. My old/new roommate Adit, Rezy and Firu cooked Nasi KuningAyam KuningPerkedel and Tempe Orek - all of which was delicious! - while I baked a Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting - which cost me a lot of blood. The frosting failed but it still tasted pretty good and I got to make something with pumpkin. It was great, getting together with some friends, having a little something like a tumpeng. At the end of the night, I got three presents - Firu got me this really awesome sketch book with canvas covers. And one from Iva is still on the way! Eep! Can't wait!

Here are my presents: a canvas-cover sketchbook, a bookmark, a postcard and a Fondue set

Wearing something awesome on my birthday was in my autumn bucket list. Check! Ever since last autumn, I've wanted a cape but never found an affordable and adorable one...until I raided Clara's closet last month and it was practically filled with incredibly adorable items. I bought two items, this being the first one. It is so cute and cozy, though not really suitable for a windy or snowy day, I reckon. But it's definitely perfect for a sunny, autumn day - which on the day this outfit was snapped, it was. And I've decided to feel good on my birthday, wearing my absolute favourite dress, despite the fact that it isn't in an autumn colour. But the cut is very comfortable, it accentuates my figure in a subtle and classy way, leaving a feminine and casual impression for onlookers. Not to put a damper on things, but birthday is the biggest downer of the year. Every year I wonder how many people would remember my birthday and end up getting disappointed by the small amount. But it's still my favourite day of the year. I mean, I feel a little wiser every year. By the way, below is the way Clara styled it herself. Her blog just recently got a new domain so it's impossible to track the exact outfit post right now but go check out her blog for more adorable clothes.

Claradevi of Lucedale

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Take a Peek Inside My Bedroom!

Finally I am ready to show you guys my new-and-improved room! My best friend, Gina, has been bugging me to show her my room for months now. For those of you who's followed me since the very beginning (roughly a year now), you might have seen my previous room tour. After that I have moved twice and this is the last room I have, the one I'm staying in now. It is, by far, the smallest room I've ever inhabited - you know, compared to my bedroom in Indonesia, in Karlsruhe and in Halle. Which makes it easier to arrange and decorate. By the way, the circle above is my room name plate which I made myself. So...uhh, yeah, enjoy the room tour!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Burgundy Overload

These days it is physically impossible to walk around town without stumbling upon changed leaves at least once. And, boy, it makes my heart flutter! I mean, look at all these beautiful golden leaves. How can you not be happy? Anyhoo, today is my first class of the semester and I am just so excited. Geeky, I know, but I feel like this semester is going to be a good one. The colder part of year is the perfect time to just stay home or go to the library and hit the books. I've gotten hold of my surroundings now and I'm pretty thrilled to see new faces among the crowds. This weekend is my birthday weekend and Firu's coming over tomorrow so I just can't wait. It's going to be a great one. Well, I hope. We're going to get together with some friends on Saturday and have fun. I'm a bit nervous, actually. I'm not known for my ability to hold an incredible party. Thankfully, Firu's a wizard with awkward conversations and can turn a horrible situation upside down.

Theory X dress (worn as top) // 1982 blazer // C&A pants // DIY infinity scarf // Deichmann boots // vintage hat + purse // photos of me by Galuh

Whoever came up with hats and scarves is a genius! Being a low maintenance girl, my hair has this natural flow of not looking awesome. You can see my hair and know that I'm not styling it at all. But with the help of a scarf and hat (when necessary), it magically becomes, well, presentable. Haha. I've always loved the way Japanese girls with long hair wear their scarves around their hair. They look so cute and cozy! And this year I'm one step closer to wearing scarves with long hair. Yaay! Please pardon my burgundy outburst in this outfit. Is that the 'in' colour this season? It's been floating around the interweb, I stumbled upon it so many times. It seems the only not-yet-worn clothing pieces which echo autumn that I own are only in the colour of burgundy. Oops, guess I've worn all my best autumn vomit look too early in the season. So please bear with me and more burgundy outbursts for at least the remaining of autumn.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

20 Before 21 List - RECAP

Wow, I can't believe it's almost my birthday already. I am seriously scared and hyped up about it. This is probably the first time ever I'm so terrified of my birthday. Signs of getting older, they say. Good news: I can finally enter bars in the US - though I don't live there or have any immediate plans of going there. Let's see how good I've been this past year. Here's a recap of my 20 before 21 List I made last year. Oh, God, I'm seriously petrified. I don't think I did very well.

1. Learn one more language

You probably don't know but I have a penchant for other languages and I want to learn as many languages as I possibly can. This far, I can already speak 4 languages rather well, including my native language, Indonesian. Last semester, I joined a French course at the uni. It was a lot of fun and I am very pleased to be able to understand some words, even sentences, of French when I read fashion blogs - such as Valentine's or Betty's or Alix's - and listen to French songs - Cœur de Pirate is my go-to gal. I'm not yet very good, we didn't even manage to go through the whole book that we were using. But I could understand enough already. 

Not only that, I've been trying to talk more and more in Javanese, my parents' native tongue. I don't know a lot but I love the language and it's been very fun, engaging with Firu, his sister and his friends in Javanese. Sometimes I amuse my parents in my efforts but they also seem very pleased. They're all better than me, though.

2. Buy an actual DSLR

My long-lost dream finally came true! Ever since a friend of mine brought her SLR to a trip we took together in high school, I've been lusting over such a not-so-little beauty and couldn't wait to get my hands on one. But I wanted it to be used as much as possible so until I could find a better use for it other than collecting dust in my cabinet, I refused to purchase it. Then I started this blog and reason made its appearance to me. I didn't have the budget to purchase one, though. I reached my peak when opportunity came knocking and I brainstormed. The SLR I have and am using for everyday uses is a Canon EOS 600D or Canon Rebel T3i complete with a EF-S 18-135mm zoom lens, which is exactly what I was looking for. 

Sometimes people ask me what kind of camera they should buy and, let me tell you, I haven't got a clue. Tips from me: determine what you're going to be using your camera for, look up camera types from various developers - I believe Nikon and Canon to be the best - and see which ones fit you most, both technically and financially. Also, if you're not using your camera for photography hobbies or professional work, I suggest you stick to pocket cameras. These days, there are already plenty amazing ones that you can work with, with a quality nearing an SLR camera.

3. Go abroad (a country other than Germany)

We went to Paris! Yaay! It was the most magical city and I fell instantly in love. Yes, cliché, I know. But Paris has all these beautiful architectures, lined with cafés and bistros and let's not forget Shakespeare & Co. They say it's the city of love and I can see why. Everything about it was so beautiful and grand. The trip actually inspired me to take up a French course later on. We saw plenty of incredible places, experience loads of interesting happenstance and eat some very delicious - and not so delicious - dishes. All and all, it was definitely worth our while. I can't wait to go back to Paris someday. Maybe I'll make a point of camping in Shakespeare & Co. You can read more of our trip in four sections here

4. Spend less (especially on clothes)

This is so hard to gauge. I'm not sure I did but I did calculate my spendings from January to June this year, so more or less 6 months of splurging. Here's the result: I spent 225.61€ for clothes alone, which is 30.7% of all my expenses. I got 12 items out of it, with an average of 18.8€. If I were to equalise (?) my splurges, this means that I purchase 2 items per month. And I stick by this rule...or at least I try to. Although, I do stray away from retails these days and it has been helping my wallet's health a lot. Also, I've started opening a shop my closet site and it's helped my income a little so I'm happy about that too. I'll try to stick with my within budget shopping tips from now on. Promise.

6. Become more socially active + 16. Gain at least one German friend

This is also hard to gauge. What defines that I'm already socially active? Last October, I started a brand new semester in a brand new university. So, obviously, I made some friends. How else are you going to survive? I met a really incredible girl who later on became one of my dearest friends, Sakurako. Aside from her, I became friends with loads of people, mostly girls from all over the world. There is also one French guy, Saku-chan's roommate (now boyfriend). But, most importantly, I made friends with some Germans. They turn out to be really cool and helpful and I love some of them. Not only did I make friends with foreigners but I also gained some Indonesian friends as well, thanks to Firu. Last summer was, in fact, all about getting together with friends. You know what, I announce this goal accomplished!

9. Decorate my room

Earlier this year, I moved into a new room. Still the same apartment but a different room. A roommate of mine moved out and I had been eyeing his room, which was bigger than mine, so I saw it as an opportunity. Having a new space, though just down the hall from the previous one, is thoroughly inspiring. I was so pumped to decorate my room! After searching for some inspirations online, mainly bloggers' bedrooms, which always look absolutely dreamy for some reason. My room isn't as pretty as I'd like it to be but it's the best I can afford with my budget right now and I am so satisfied by how it all turns out. Very, very nice. I'll probably post about it sometime soon so stay tuned!

10. Get to know other bloggers/illustrators

Okay, on the topic of blogging, I've gotten a lot better this year. For starters, my blog got a makeover, my closet is opened for sale and I've started new features, such as Sartorial Obsession, Lessons Learnt and, most importantly, the new-and-improved Illustrators Arise. So basically, it's a monthly-or-so feature where I interview some of my favourite illustrators. Obviously, I got to know plenty of them. They are all very friendly, talented and simply amazing. I'm so glad I started this feature because I got to know more illustrators than I used to. Go right now and check out their incredible works! Bloggers-wise, I've dived into Chictopia recently where I met plenty of nice bloggers, like October and Kathy, whose blogs I just adore. I just wish I have plenty of topics/themes to talk about with other bloggers. I'm so bad at socialising.

12. Create a film and post it on the blog

Nope, didn't do this one. So why did I put it up here, you say? Because I was willing to receive at least half a point for making two videos and putting them both on the blog. If you haven't seen them yet - and it's probably better that you don't - you can watch them here and here. The latter is much more to my liking, if I were being honest at all. I was just figuring out how to work my beloved Prixma for video shooting and how to edit the footages I captured with iMovie. It's probably not blockbuster material. Heck, it's not even a short film. But I think I did pretty well. I definitely would like to do more in the future. Hopefully, the promise/plan I made with a friend isn't going to waste and I'll really be able to make awesome videos like Elsie and Emma's.

14. Watch more Sundance films

Is it cheating that I didn't watch many Sundance films before I gazed back at this list and saw that it was one of my goals? So long as I got it done before the dreaded 21st birthday, am I right? This year I didn't manage to watch as many films as I used to. I did watch relatively a lot when hanging out with my friends or Firu, though. We watched plenty of films, starting from something mainstream like RED to something non-English like Xi You Xiang Mo Pian (which I liked very much!). But I end up always watching the Sundance films by myself, such as The Lifeguard and Welcome to the Rileys - which were rather intense. They have yet to beat my favourite Sundance film of all time, Like Crazy, though. My new roommate is actually a former roommate of mine, who is a movie-fanatic as well. Our taste in films are pretty similar so I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more cultured movies later on.

17. Buy a picnic basket and go on a picnic with Firu

Can we compromise a little on this? Firstly, I didn't buy a picnic basket, I found one perfectly pretty and usable one in the basement. I cleaned it up a bit and used it to go on a picnic trip with Galuh, Firu's sister, two months ago. Does that count? I did go on a picnic, though it was anything but ideal. The whole point is for me to actually be able to go on a picnic with someone I was comfortable with, right? I should say, mission accompplished.

18. Stargaze in the summer + 19. Go to the beach

I wrote these down with a romantic notion in mind. However, it didn't go as I'd thought it would be. We didn't stargaze in a vast field of grass, lying on our backs and pointing at one or other constellations. We didn't set up a cosmic telescope to peek through galaxies. What we did was stand at a bus stop, waiting for the nightline. It wasn't much of a stargaze as it was a star-noticing. But I still count it. I got to see the stars on a summer night, that was all I asked for. Also, we didn't go to the beach but we went to the countryside and it was ever so blissful. Last summer was such a blast.

20. Have a fancy dinner date with Firu at least once

Okay, it wasn't a date and it wasn't dinner. We were in Paris and decided we should try a hand at an actual Parisian meal. It took us two hours to get through everything! Granted, the dessert came an hour after we finished the main course. Firu and I did order a package menu for two while the other sorted through their own dishes. Our meal consisted of appetizer (which was Foie Gras that I did NOT like), main course (which was Roasted Duck in minute amount) and dessert (which was disappointing cream pudding). All in all, it was an interesting experience and next time we do this, I'd be sure to enjoy the meal more.

Wow, yeah! That was all I could (or could not, you be the judge) accomplish! It was kind of fun, going through everything listed here. I can't wait to make a list for next year and embark on a whole new journey and goals for myself. It's been really fun, having something to accomplish. Sometimes in life, I feel lost on what I was supposed to excel in and what I should use my time for. But with this list, I have more of a direction. There's no guarantee I won't change somewhere along the way and not want to do plenty from the list. There's nothing wrong with that, though. I'll work on my new list now and show you guys later.