Saturday, 30 May 2015

Semarang Day 1: Paint the Temple Red

Welcome to Semarang! Such a small town - a huge contrast to the always-busy Jakarta. My parents were both born here and my Dad was raised here, while Mom was then raised in Surabaya. I've been coming here all my life, yet I haven't taken the time to explore the town, aside from all the culinary treats my parents never tired to introduce me to. Now that I'm older and realise how beautiful this vast country I'm from is, I've decided to explore it a little bit more. Before, I've introduced you to Toko Oen, which is an all-time favourite of mine. Now, let's go to the oldest Chinese temple here called Sam Poo Kong. Ever since the 1400s, the Chinese have come to Indonesia, especially Java, and resided here until now. There are many Chinese temples built all over this island, including in Semarang and Surabaya. This one in particular was built on the land that used to be the Garang River, where Admiral Zheng He - who was ironically Muslim - arrived in Nusantara (now Indonesia). When he left, his men built his statue in a cave where he used to pray. The temple underwent tons of renovation throughout the years, the one in 2002-2005 being the last one thus far.

The photo I took of Milzam taking a photo of me

Hand-me-down shirt (from Stepmom) // vintage shorts + hat // DF Fashion shoes // Cotton On purse (Sis's) // photos of me by Milzam

To be honest, I didn't bring enough "outfit post" clothes as I thought we would be far too busy and tired to do anything. Ahem, you see my family and I actually came to Semarang this time for yet another wedding. And I only brought clothes for one outfit post (and then tons of sleep attire). So I bugged my Stepmom to see if she has anything she no longer wears and/or I can borrow. That's how I ended up with this adorable top. The shoes are brand new, bought from Mayestik. If you're a Jakartan, you would know that this is a massive collective marketplace. I don't know what else to call it. Them being new are actually a torture on my feet; they're already covered in blisters. But I've always wanted cut-out shoes for so long and now it's mine! These photos were taken when I had a bit of quality time with my stepbrother, who turns out to be a really good photographer. We laughed so hard during the photoshoot and afterwards, when we went out to grab some boba tea until the sun went down.


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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Mix It Up a Notch: Mini Tulle Skirt

This might just be the prettiest but also the most uncomfortable skirt that I own. It's not uncomfortable in the sense that I can't breathe in it (the waist is fully-elastic) but in a sense that I seriously can't bend oven when I wear it. And, for an active girl such as myself, that is a huge challenge. Despite that fact, I seem to wear it often enough. What can I say? It's quite dreamy! This one I purchased at Pimkie for 5€! It wasn't perfect, even close to throwing me off buying it - the stitches were kind of fraying. I never even thought it would last this long but - look at us! - it's been 3 years and it's still wearable. In real life, this skirt has de-coloured a bit, going all grey - or maybe that's how it's always looked? I'm not sure - but it still appears pristine white in photos and from afar so I don't think it should matter. It's as close to an Alexandra Grecco dream that I can have at the moment - which means it's still pretty far away - but it successfully makes me feel like a ballerina time and time again.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Golden Years

They say that your 20s will be the best years of your life. Granted, you actually use it to your full advantage. These are the years you should lay all your cards, open all the doors, explore all your options and discover all the possibilities. It was one of the first things I learnt, upon scouring the internet to cheer myself up at the end of my teens. It freaked me out, changing the 1 in front of my age digit into a 2. I swear, this isn't how I felt when I turned 10. I guess it's different. When I turned 20, I felt like I haven't done enough to be called a 20-year-old. I even asked my friend who's older than me if he went through this phase too - the answer was no. However, through the years, I can finally say I have earned my years on this earth. I have worked and earned money, I have traveled high and low, I have taken responsibility for my doings, and - most importantly - I have made a difficult, life-changing decision for myself. But this is only the third year of my 20s, I still have a good seven more to go. Here's to the best years of our lives! This isn't my birthday, just FYI.

Primark shirt (thrifted) // vintage jumper + (gifted) purse // Studio Nine moccasins // C&A kitty hat // photos by Akita

If you kept wondering where I got this skirt/jumper from throughout that whole first paragraph, well, wonder no more! This is a skirt I found in the corner of one of our old wardrobes. I think it used to belong to my Mom - although she could have inherited it from my Grandma. When I put it on, I didn't really know what decade this jumper came from. But now that I've seen it in frames, it gives me a World War II/mid '40s vibe. Maybe it's just me. Although grey isn't normally one of my favourite colours, this one has a bit of a greenish hue that I like. Plus, obviously, the unique form. To be honest, the jumper used to have a wrap-and-button type of skirt. But I got it taken out since it would otherwise be too small and added a zipper, since otherwise it wouldn't cover anything. I'm just having trouble finding the perfect shirt to wear it with. Man, wish I have more vintage shirts.


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Sunday, 24 May 2015

3 Things: You've Learnt From Being a Mother

Welcome back, dear readers, to this blog's newest feature: 3 things! If you're new to the blog, 3 things is a monthly feature, where I ask a group of people from different professions (and interests) the three things involving their area of expertise. The idea is to connect more well-known people with their fans or public and get to know them a little better. Because, we all know how renowned people can seem quite out of reach at times. But, hopefully, by reading this feature, you will learn that they're actually human beings just like us, with comfortable habits and obstacles in their lives and we might actually get inspired by their answers. Thought I'd do a mother-themed month in May since International Mother's Day is this month, so let's see what these mothers have to say on this subject:

ANSWERS


Bianca Jagoe of biancajagoe.com
facebook || twitter || instagram || tumblr || pinterest
DO WHATEVER MAKES NOW BETTER. When my son was a newborn, times felt so impossibly tough and I didn't know how my little family were going to survive. My sister in law said those words to me - "Do whatever makes now better" - and they really stuck with me. I guess it was because I carried a lot of 'mom-guilt' - I wanted everything to be perfect and I felt inadequate because things weren't perfect. Letting go of guilt and just making choices that made 'now better' made life so much easier.
BE MINDFUL AND PRESENT. I have always had issues with anxiety and worrying too much about the future and the past, but I feel like my son is constantly teaching me how to enjoy day to day life more. He and I take a lot of walks together and I am always interested to see what things catch his eye. I love noticing the little things he observes and the ways that he is experiencing and getting to know the world around him - it is really uplifting and it helps me to connect with him and feel more present. This would have to be one of my favourite things about being a mom.
DOCUMENT. All of those cliches about time and children are ridiculously true. I look at my son and I say "You were just born!". I like to write down lists of things he's been doing, words he's picked up, foods and toys he's obsessed with, things he's been doing that make me laugh. Just noticing these things isn't enough because I'll forget them with the passing of time - I have to write them down.I think taking the time to document things makes time slow down a little bit, makes me pay more attention and I get to reflect upon his development (and my own as a mom).

  1. I have to remind myself, just has Soren is learning to speak, play and grow...I'm learning how to be a mommy. Allowing myself to learn and grow and be okay with that is GOOD and purposeful. I will accept that I am a great mom and I will accept each day as an opportunity to grow within this new role. Of all the roles I've been honored to take on in life, being a wife and a mom have truly been the very best.
  2. I've never been more tired or happy in my entire life. I really need to get into tea or something with caffeine to get a little pep in my step! Or maybe I could just work on eating healthier and exercising?! ;)
  3. Treat yo'self days, girl nights, date nights, alone time nights are essential!! DO make them a priority! 






Melissa Baswell Williams of Bubby and Bean
facebook || twitter || instagram || pinterest 
  • I am a very different kind of parent than I thought I'd be. For me, this was the biggest lesson. If you are pregnant (or in the adoption process) for the first time, you probably have a pretty clear idea in your head about how you are going to parent. I did anyway. And guess what? I ended up doing things a lot differently once I was actually experiencing motherhood. For the most part, I've done everything at least somewhat differently than I'd anticipated. Many things I've done completely differently. I could ramble on forever about the specifics with this. From how I would react to her right after birth to how I'd handle sleeping to when I'd stop breastfeeding, I've done almost nothing the way I pictured. So I'll just leave it at that.
  • It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about my (or anyone else's) parenting. I'm not going to sugarcoat here. Parents judge one another, and parenting topics can be very polarizing. I mean, you can probably just look at your Facebook feed for a couple of minutes and there will be some sort of parenting debate. Guess what?There isn't one right way. Period. There is only what works best for each child, each parent, and each family. And if someone is doing their best to be a genuinely good parent and someone else chastises their methods because they're different, that's really too bad - because if we all encouraged one another, regardless of parenting techniques, parenting would likely be collectively easier for everybody.
  • It's not as hard as I thought it would be. I think I really built it up in my head that raising a baby would be almost impossibly difficult for me, so ultimately, it just feels much easier in comparison. First of all, I got pregnant later in life, and I spent my twenties and much of my thirties focusing on my career, traveling, and only worrying about myself. I had a long time to convince myself that my freedom would be all but destroyed upon becoming a mother. It turns out that, for the most part, it's actually (usually) easier than it is hard. Once I got used to the lack of sleep (and truly, I have just gotten used to it, because it's still there 13 months later), the rest has sort of fallen into place.

So what have you learnt from being a mother, if you are one? And have you appreciated your mother enough?


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Friday, 22 May 2015

You've Got a (Real) Friend in Me

One of the perks of being a (self-proclaimed) freelancer: being able to hang out with my friends on weekdays before the rush hour. And, of course, I'm going to hang out with one of my favourite people, Cynthia. She calls us bi-weekly friends now - which is a huge step up from our annual friendship from before. As you grow older, you know that it's not in the frequency of your meeting where the strength of your relationships lay; it is in the quality of it. What does it matter to hang out over and over again with someone, if you can never truly be yourself in front of them? If you betray each other once the other turns their back? If one keeps giving and the other keeps taking? Believe me, we know what all of those feel like. We're young, but that doesn't mean we haven't learnt from our mistakes, from other's mistakes, from our heartaches. I know people who have given their whole lives for other people's happiness, only to realise one day that others care very little (if at all) for theirs. I also know people who never stop taking from others, never opening their eyes to people's problems and obstacles, drowning themselves in self-pity. I don't want to be either; I want to love myself as much as I love others. How am I supposed to spread happiness if I can't give it to myself first?

N.y.L.a. top + ... knee socks + Céline purse (Sis's) // Pimkie skirt // vintage loafers // photos by Cynthia

Ahem...okay, on a lighter note, I really didn't imagine my life would turn out this way. For starters, if you had asked me 5-10 years ago if I was going to be a style blogger, I would laugh in your face ungracefully and assumed you were being passive aggressive with me. The same goes for Cynthia, who is now very much into make up - maybe you can't tell but she did my eye makeup here. We were both probably the most ungirly girls in class back in high school. And now look where we are! She has mad skills too, in case you hadn't noticed that from her previous appearances. Maybe one of these days, I would actually ask her to do my makeup, I will pick out her clothes and we could do a double outfit post. That would be incredible! More update from me: next week I will be in Semarang, attending another cousin's wedding and, hopefully, meeting up with a new blogger friend. Can't wait! Until then!


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

ICGH Can Be Ordered Now!

In case you didn't know what ICGH stands for, it is Indonesian Childhood Games Handbook. As you can see from the linked post, I finished it around April of last year, as part of my portfolio for art school. But that was, say, the first draft. After a lot of revisions and additions later, I've decided to put this book up for sale. You can take a little sneak peek into the book here. Of course, some changes have been made, but it's not so major as to be completely different from the original copy. This book contains directions to play the game, winning techniques and Indonesian rock-paper-scissor, adorned with colourful and playful illustrations, which are children-friendly. It is written in basic English so it could also be a learning tool for non-native speakers out there, as well as easy to understand for English-speaking children. Printed on high quality paper in paperback makes it easy to bring these books everywhere.

Price: Rp 100.000,- (= US$ 8)
24 pages (200x200mm)
Worldwide shipping
Language: English

How to order:

1. Send me an email at alivegurl_3ple_as@yahoo.com with the subject "ICGH" or the title

OR

1. Contact me through my social media or LINE account (id: @RFU2789U) and let me know you're interested
2. We will discuss the whole process, shipping and payment method then voilà!

This book was made out of sympathy of how out of touch today's young generations are with nature and the outside. It is also made to get children as far away from gadgets as is needed. Instead of honing cyber skills, this book is made to urge younger generations to develop social skills as well as character that can only be achieved through direct interactions. It is also published in the hope of preserving traditional games of our ancestors and coming up with new ones, where technologies are not needed.


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Monday, 18 May 2015

Ladies Saturdate

If you've been following me for the past 3 years, you should definitely have recognised the lady in the first photo. Uh huh, you got that right: it's Ervina! Can you believe that we haven't seen each other in three years? THREE YEARS, no kidding. The last time we saw each other was in September 2012, right after I came back to Germany. Since then, she's moved from Kassel to Bremen and I moved from Halle to Kassel. I spent years promising to go visit her sometime but never did - and, boy, do I regret that now! - until we both went back to Indonesia: she for her mandatory internship abroad, me for, well, reasons I already mentioned. How lucky was it that her internship is in Jakarta! Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, Ervina is actually originally from Yogyakarta. So this is such a happy coincidence for both of us. However, she already moved out here since the end of January but we haven't managed to meet up until now - which is absolutely crazy! But we did, the other day, and I was so happy to see her. We met up with Enggar too, though, so we didn't manage to catch up a whole lot but we will definitely see each other again real soon!

N.y.L.a. top // May&June skirt // Golddigga boots via Sports Direct // Ebay purse (Sis's) // Urban Outfitters Hat // Gelugu Accessories necklace via Etsy // photos by Enggar

Since I started blogging, one of the things I've always wanted to do was take outfit photos in an urban setting. I feel like I've said this over and over but I've started blogging inspired by Bonnie of Flashes of Style, who used to go to New York a lot and now actually lives there. So, obviously, she took tons of outfit pictures in an urban setting. Well, Jakarta is no New York, but it does have some beautiful urban nooks and crannies where there aren't many people around. And this is one of my favourite urban corners of Jakarta, where the sidewalk is drop-dead gorgeous. Obviously, I had to have a go at taking pictures there - or more literally, having my pictures taken there. I'm so happy it was quite sunny then too! But taking pictures near tall buildings in Jakarta means you can't escape the cat calls from the workers from a nearby construction site. Enggar said, I shouldn't've responded. But I did, in a friendly way. Nothing wrong with that, they're across the street anyway.


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