Saturday, 30 November 2013

An Hour Before the Year's First Snow

So I positively jinxed myself on my previous outfit post. It snowed earlier this week - only an hour after I snapped these shots - and I couldn't believe my eyes. I mean, seriously. November hasn't even ended yet and it practically stormed out. Some people were really excited, though. A girl even snapped a photo of the snow during class and her camera made a sound which made everyone turn. What surprised me was that I felt more excited about the snow than I thought I would be. I'm at least excited about the holidays, though. No, no, not because I celebrate Christmas but mostly because I'll be spending time with Firu after two months of not seeing each other. Oh, man, it feels like yesterday was only the beginning of 2013 and all of a sudden it's almost 2014 already. Man, time sure does fly, huh? This year was filled with change and loads of learning. I feel like I've grown up a lot this year and my eyes are open to new things now. Wait, no, I'll save all this speech for the New Year's maybe. For now, I'm just a tiny bit excited about snow. Plus, there'll be a Clothes Swapping Party in two weeks. Totally super excited about that! This will be my first one. A lot of cool people are coming, people with immaculate sense of style. I'm so looking forward to getting some of their items.

Hand-me-down batik dress (worn as a top) // Primark belt // old skirt // H&M tights // Pieces scarf // thrifted bolero + oxfords

Last week there was a flea market at the Engineering Campus. It's called the Mädchenflohmarkt - literally translated as the Ladies' Flea Market. The name seriously reflects the content. The place was packed with girls selling and buying stuff. There was a DJ setting the mood and muscular guys wearing aprons and selling cakes and cookies. It was really nice. I went there with Saku-chan (you can actually see us on the right in the second photo above) and went home with this lovely green bolero and these adorable black-and-white oxfords. Yes, another pair of shoes. Firu would flip out. I've always wanted such beautiful oxfords and I just can't believe how comfortable they are. Too bad they're not appropriate for cold weather. Well, for snowy weather anyway. They're not cold but just real slippery. And with the snow and icy roads, I can't risk slipping on my bum with these shoes on. You can't deny how beautiful they are and I'm so excited to wear them again soon. But for now, it's time for some winter planning.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mix It Up a Notch: Red Plaid Skirt

Plaid is one of my favourite patterns. Then again, it's also everyone else's. There's something obviously preppy about the pattern, especially on skirts. This little number was acquired from H&M on their online clearance sale last year. The pattern clearly kept drawing me toward more preppy outfits. I love its texture and the length is just perfect. The elastic waistband can be kind of annoying, since it keeps causing the skirt to ride up from my waist. The material is pretty lightweight, making it appropriate for any kind of weather. I hope I'll get to wear this skirt in less preppy outfits in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for this skirt 'cause I'm definitely going to get more wear out of it.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Last Colours of Autumn

Lookie what Iva bought me for my birthday! At least someone stuck to the list. After years of yearning, I finally get the chance to read this book from Tash Aw. I'm so excited to leaf through all the pages. As you've probably guessed, I've read through the last book in a week (and you can read my review here). One of my goals this year was to read a book a month but this month I'm reading two! Huh, what do you know? I might get a little lazy in December so here's to compensate for it. Meanwhile, autumn passes by so quickly. Most trees out here have gone positively bald and the leaves disappear from the ground. I'm surprised to still be able to find heaps of autumn colours like in these photos. But, I'm warning you, these are the last colours of autumn and, before you know it, the snow will start falling and you can't see the leaves anymore. I hate winter - there, I've said it! - but I'm okay with a bit of snow right now. In fact, I'm getting a little bit sentimental about it a couple weeks ago. Just please don't stretch out like you did last time, dear winter! I'm a girl who rises and falls with the sun.

Primark top + coat (old) // Brave Soul sweater via TK Maxx // ONLY skirt // H&M tights // DIY scarf // Golddigga boots via Sportsdirect

Though - according to the calendar - winter's supposed to start nearing the end of December, I can already feel autumn slipping away. So, as a way of saying goodbye (for now), I put together a subtly fall outfit. I'm breaking out the other boots now that winter is slowly taking over. The comfort sweater is, of course, an honorary member of this farewell. Mustard tights, autumn-coloured scarf, what else? Oh yeah, the skirt! Which is very autumn-appropriate but has yet to be worn this season. Yeah, so strange, people kept staring at my boots - which, I admit, is pretty quirky but so what? As the world gets colder, you will be seeing more of these babies. I'm so proud autumn held on. It's such a persistent season. You go, autumn! Don't let winter take over just yet! Tell it to wait for its turn to come (and to stop when spring's turn comes)! I'm not letting go of autumn just yet.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Let's Talk About Copyrights!

Lately printed clothes have been all the rage in the fashion industry, haven't they? From quirky pattern-prints to illustrated pieces which is to be found all over the place. There are also printed clothes with classical paintings on them. Personally, I too love such items. Who can say no to items with beautiful scenes painted on or adorable patterns all over? Sadly, not all these items were acquired legally nor ethically - some of them are stolen from their rightful creators. Such a sad, sad truth. And - guess what? - you might actually own one or two of these items.

I myself am not a famous or even sought-after illustrator. But some of my favourite illustrators have had their items stolen and sold without their knowledge (some are even by pretty renowned brands/store!). For instance, Kelly Bastow has once had an issue where one of her illustrations was sold on t-shirts at Forever21 and she had no idea of this - nor did she get credited or paid for it. The last I heard the issue had yet to be resolved but the item was quickly removed from their store - though they did not apologise. Most recently, Lois van Baarle also got one of her illustrations re-coloured and illegally sold by Romwe. Yes, you've probably seen this store in some fashion blogs and may even own one or two of their products. This isn't, however, Romwe's first plagiarism act. You can see (at least from leggings alone) countless of works they've stolen - and more which aren't for sale anymore. The worst part is - especially in Lois's case - the works they stole are hugely copyrighted (it's Disney! Who doesn't know it?).
Kelly's case with F21

ROMWE's sweater

Lois's original illustration
My message to you: PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THESE ACTS! There are various incredibly beautiful prints and illustrations on clothing items for sale in stores you can support, such as Nadinoo or Threadless. They have a selection of unique patterns and inspiring illustrations you can purchase for a reasonable price. In fact, Threadless allows you to vote for your favourite artworks to make it to the store to be sold. You actually get to support the illustrations as well as the artists. Nadinoo has their items handmade and even supported illustrators, such as Geneviève Godbout. Some artists prefer to sell their items independently - be it on clothing items or on other products. You can find them on society6 and Etsy

What about big brands? Well, to be honest, I think it's hard to trust a brand which has stolen other people's works. If they did it once, chances are they don't really care where their designs come from, so long as it keep the money coming. Some do it unknowingly - or at least claim to do so - and some purposefully steal from others (such is the case when they do it over and over again or many simultaneously). It's best to trust the brands/store which only sell the items they design themselves or clearly credit the artists who came up with the designs. This obviously excludes brands/stores which sell classical paintings on their clothes - though it is no longer considered as stealing. So let us fight against plagiarism and support the artists in what they do!

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Best Part of Believe Is the LIE

Nobody but a blogger understands that a blog is only one dimension of a person's personality, life and feelings. A fact that, for some reason, doesn't seem to come across to non-bloggers - something other bloggers like Elizabeth and Tieka have mentioned before. I'm currently reading Jodi Picoult's (and her daughter Samantha's) YA book "Between the Lines," which tells a story about a character of a fairy tale who has other aspirations apart from his roles in the story and wanted to get out of the book. That whoever he was in the story was only a part of himself as a whole. Funny how his feelings resonate with mine as I'm typing this post. There are countless times when I smile in photos but was actually pretty upset at the moment. Or when I filtered what I type down here to insert just the good stuff. Yes, I'm writing this blog for no one but myself. So it shouldn't matter what I put here? Well, there's high quality content and there's plain ranting. For the latter, I've already got a special place. And here is just for the happy stuff. That doesn't mean I'm always happy just because I post here all the time. It's called dedication.

Atmosphere blazer // thrifted skirt + boots // Primark coat // H&M tights // DIY scarf // vintage purse

Lately, I only wear two outfits per week: my weekday outfit and my weekend outfit. There's no significant difference between them. One just happens to be the outfit I wear on weekdays and the other just happens to be the outfit I wear on the weekend. Otherwise, I just put on a shirt and jeans and I'm ready to go. What? Dressing up can be such a drag sometimes, especially if you've got a lot on your plate already and have to get up early for class. So pretty much all outfits you see here are my day-to-day outfit. On another note, there's a white version of this blouse still available in my store. Check it out - and other adorable items - if you're interested!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Lasagna 4 Sehat 5 Sempurna

In Indonesia there is a principle called "4 sehat 5 sempurna" which dictates the ideal and nutritional staple diet. Literally translated, "4 sehat 5 sempurna" means 4 healthy (food), 5 perfect (diet). The first four meaning carbs (usually rice), meat, veggies and fruits and the fifth being milk. This means, if you eat the four staple food on a daily basis, you're already pretty healthy but with milk you have all the nutrition you need. As children, we are encouraged in school to eat this staple food. But as we grow older, we tend to forget that our body still need these nutritions. Personally, since leaving home almost three years ago, I'd forgotten how to eat healthily. So I decided to come up with a recipe to put together these staple food into one tasty dish. No fuss, just yum!

Ingredients (4 portions):

  • 400 gr minced meat (remember to defrost!)
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 200 gr creamed spinach
  • 200 gr sour cream
  • 6 lasagna sheets
  • grated cheese (optional)
  • salt (to taste)
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven (200ºC)
  2. Heat the oil on a frying pan on the stove, spread it out
  3. Put the meat on the pan and let it fry a bit
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan
  5. Defrost the creamed spinach (if it's frozen) and add it into the pan
  6. Mix everything well and let it cook for ca. 1 minute
  7. Add the grated cheese and salt
  8. Put the sauce and lasagna sheets on a baking dish in turn, starting and ending with the sauce
  9. Add the sour cream on the very top and sprinkle parmesan cheese to your liking
  10. Let it bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes
  11. Serve it while it's warm!

Tips: Though, traditionally, people use minced beef for lasagna, I used turkey and they taste not too different plus there's less oil. You may make the tomato sauce yourself by using fresh tomatoes and juice them nicely instead of store-bought tomato sauce. Instead of creamed spinach, I recommend fresh spinach (I used creamed one because it is cheaper out here). Remember to boil your lasagna sheets before cooking if it needs to be boiled first. Otherwise, DO NOT BOIL THEM! I made this mistake before and it ruined the sheets. Obviously, you can use any other cheese instead of the parmesan on top. I added oregano in the end but I don't think it makes much of a difference.

Lasagna is one of my favourite dishes. I always thought it was so hard to make but I was wrong. If you aren't much of a cook, please don't be discouraged. Neither am I! But this is seriously easy to make. And, if you live alone, this could be your meal for two days straight. I'm on a cooking roll these days so I'm excited to try out new recipes and making my own. Well, lass euch schmecken!

Monday, 18 November 2013

A Tree on Someone Else's Yard

Sometimes people don't realise the amount of commitment blogging entails, especially if you have a nine-to-five job or are studying full-time. I can see my friends jeering at me now - especially those studying in Indonesia. My student life is quite breezy compared to most students but I still go to classes, hold presentations and write papers. In addition, I'm making a portfolio this semester and getting a job to get some income flowing! But, honestly, the most difficult part is taking outfit pictures - as Daria mentioned recently. Just like her, I don't like having people stare at me while I'm taking outfit shots. It's better when I'm with friends. But sometimes some places are so stunning that I almost don't care it's out in the open, like this tree for instance. It's in someone else's lawn by the side of the street. I thought it was très beautiful and I decided to make it my backdrop. It's a solid evidence that the colours of autumn aren't ready to fade away yet. On a side note, I'm joining NaNoWriMo this year (almost 6000 words so far!). I'd like to publish this story if I ever get it done. Wish me luck!

Primark blouse via Kleider Kreisel // Esprit lace dress + legging // Pieces scarf // Yumi coat c/o my sister // thrifted boots

Last year my sister and I swapped clothes. She lived in Australia so she needed summer clothes while I needed winter clothes. Now that she's back in Jakarta, she told me that I could keep her coat: this adorable coat from Yumi! I didn't know about that brand until she sent me this coat. But later on I looked it up and learned to love it. Plus, it's a pretty ethical brand. In fact, it was one of the brands a local clothing store Fingerz is supporting. Fingerz is a local shop here in Kassel, where only Fairtrade or ethical clothes are sold. Uttam Nepal, the owner of Yumi, comes from Nepal and knows what a major impact a European invested brand can have to the local markets. They source their products ethically from India and China, where they also have local offices that are frequently visited by their staff. Not only is their work ethics quite fair, their products are so drool-worthy. I'm eyeing this number right now, if only it comes in my size.