Monday, 31 October 2016

Not-So-Scarecrow

Happy Halloween, you monsters! I know, most of you probably already celebrated on Saturday but I'm a big believer that Halloween is always on the 31st of October. It makes very little sense to me how people often celebrate Halloween on the weekend—prior or after—but they don't do that on other 'holidays.' I mean, nobody decides to celebrate Valentine's Day before the day, right? If they do, at least, it's not a universal thing. So, no, Halloween is still today—although it's Monday. If you still want to celebrate Halloween but not make too much fuss about it, why not indulge yourself in a low-key kind of spook? Like a scary movie or a creepy book? For the film, I would definitely recommend Crimson Peak, a gothic love story by none other than Guillermo del Toro, or any Tim Burton films—except the new ones, perhaps. For the book, something like Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger or The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman seem like the perfect read for this day. 

Tremendous makeup as usual by Cynthia


Hand-me-down plaid shirt // old hat + dungaree // photos by Cynthia

This year I was somewhere between hectic and chilled, so I opted for a not-so-costumey outfit yet heavy on the makeup. My apt and gorgeous friend Cynthia was kind enough to indulge me this year too—she must be sick of me already—so I cannot be any more grateful. If it wasn't apparent yet—I can't see why not because there's no hay or other farm elements in this costume—this is me as a scarecrow. The initial idea was derived—if not stolen—from Jen of JennifHsieh. But once I was done with the makeup and photos, I start to doubt that I look like a scarecrow—especially without all the appropriate props I just mentioned. Mainly, this costume was an excuse for me to go outside without combing my hair, ha! There's an unfinished house just across the street from Cynthia's house, so we took advantage of it and took photos there. You can see Cynthia's makeup and costume as Morticia Addams on her instagram. Check it out!



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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Mix It Up a Notch: Dark-Coloured Jeans

Okay, I have to be honest: there are actually two pairs of pants in this post—the last one is a different pair—but since I can't find enough outfits with the first pair, I thought I'd just mix the two. Eh, why not, right? They are both hand-me-downs from my Stepmom that she gave me the middle of last year. Yeah, still quite 'new,' I suppose. But, since I've gained significant amount of weight, these became the only pairs of pants to fit me just right—although now the second pair barely fits me anymore. At first glance, I thought the first pair was navy in colour but my Stepmom insisted it was actually black. Now I can totally see that she was right—what was wrong with my eyes! They're both super comfy and perfect for a day when I just felt like throwing on any random clothing item I could find. Since the colours are dark and not too distinct, they're so versatile and quickly became a closet staple. Absolutely going to wear them more, though more out of necessity than style choice.


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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Birthday Blues

Adorable little enamel pin by Aufa that I purchased as an early present for myself


Last week was my birthday. Yup, I turned 24 and can't be any giddier! This year I decided to have another celebration, like I did three years ago, just because. My stepmom and I cooked up a storm in the morning and had my friends over for lunch. Uli, Sindi, Cynthia, Enggar and Oji all made a special appearance—it just so happens that the majority of my guests have had the experience of taking photos for my blog, wow! It was a simple three-course meal, with creamy mushroom soup for appetiser, this recipe as the main course and es campur for dessert. I'm so glad to see everyone enjoying their food—even Cynthia claimed to like the appetiser although she hates mushrooms!—but I feel like I failed as a host, because we ended up breaking into small groups at times and watching TV for the most part. I even sneaked out for several minutes to take these pictures. I'm sorry, you guys, and thanks for coming! They brought me presents too, which I didn't expect but was so happy to receive. They're all very meaningful to me and I'm so happy they know me so well :')

Book of Deer 'Stove' shirt // hand-me-down/vintage skirt // thrifted loafers // fish pin by Aufa // dept. store hair scarf // photos by Akita

Birthdays have always been bittersweet for me. I've always loved—and claimed to love—my birthday, but it always disappoints me without fail. I hate the actual day, but I think I'm enchanted by the idea. When it comes to my day of birth, I have really high expectations and every year reality lets me down. This year I decided to invite my friends over—which somehow only amount to 5 people—because I decided it was time I took action on my birthday instead of waiting for something good to happen. But alas, the wheel turns outside my control again and shit happens anyway. Like magic, though, the next day I felt absolutely fine, as if a cloud just hangs over me every October 20th. I was also constantly reminded by all the people I wish could be there too, like my Mom and Firu—and all of my friends who live abroad, including you guys. But hopefully you had a better day than I did—not during the celebration, but during the actual birthday!

P.S: It was VERY important to me to be wearing Book of Deer on my birthday. Yep, yep, yep!




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Monday, 24 October 2016

24 Before 25

I can't believe that by this time next year, I'll be in my mid-twenties. When I was much, much younger, I thought it would probably be the age in which I would be getting married or having a permanent job. Guess life never goes the way you plan it—or if it does, you might be asking questions about what you HAVEN'T done. Last year I said my list was about self-growth, but in hindsight, it didn't seem like much growth happened to me anyway. This year, I feel like getting in touch with the adventurous side of me, flipping through pages of the past and really investing on the future. No Firu-related goal this year because I don't want to get hurt by my own expectations anymore. Things will happen when they happen, but, meanwhile, there's this list.

1. Finish all the YA series that I followed
Maybe a last huzzah before I step into adulthood? I used to follow tons of YA series when I was in high school—junior and senior, but sometimes these series take years to conclude and the price of books just keeps getting more and more out of my budget range. I think it's time for some closure and read the ending of these stories. These series include Artemis Fowl and The Keys to the Kingdom.

2. Borrow (a) book(s) from the library
One of my favourite pastimes when I was still in school and living in Germany. Ever since I got back home, I haven't really ventured to libraries much—except the one at my campus, and even then have only ever borrowed one book. I'd like to do this more often, maybe even borrow some German books from Goethe Institut. We'll see.

3. Create a series of illustrations
Something I've been meaning to do for a long time, but I'm so easily distracted, it's not even funny anymore. I feel like I need to set this one as a goal to keep myself focused and create pieces that I can add into my portfolio. I'm thinking something blogger-related or maybe something more general. The goal is to make more than one series, so fingers crossed.

4. Send my work to a publication
I know, this was included in last year's list too. But, since I have yet to achieve it, I thought I'd include it in this one as well, as I still wish to get published one way or another. Last week I actually sent something out to Fashion Revolution to be used in their new zine. The result hasn't come out yet, though. If any of you is making a zine, please let me know. I'd love to contribute!

5. Try the traditional cuisine of a new country
When I say a 'new country,' I'm not talking about a newly independent country. Just a country whose traditional cuisine I have yet to taste. It'll probably be hard to find in Jakarta, though.

6. Meet up with a (new) blogger friend
Yes! I'd love to meet up with you, if you consider me your blogger friend. I'd like to make more online friends in this field and 'collaborate'—or, you know, hang out. If you don't live in Indonesia but will visit one day, let me know when! I'd love to meet you!

7. Try taking analog photos
I've always admired the way analog photos look. I think there's a certain sentimentality attached to the way the images are developed. It also reminds me of my primary school years, when I used to carry around the analog camera my mother had on field trips and school events. Plus, you can't constantly check what the photo would look like, so I want to be surprised with how it turns out.

8. Read more German books
Absolutely! Last year I finally finished a German book that I bought way back in 2011 when I first moved there. It turns out to be quite a tremendous read and I'm super thrilled to have read it. All languages have their own characteristics and charm, including German, so I'd like to explore that more. My friend Frederick gave me three books to kick start this challenge, I'm so excited!

9. Visit a friend I've never met before
This also goes to all my online friends out there—are you out there? When I wrote down this goal, I thought of going abroad to visit my online friends. So, you know, having an adventure as well as meeting someone I've known—and not known—for so long. Double the fun, right?

10. Try doing something spontaneous
To be honest, I don't remember the last time I was being spontaneous. It was a huge part of me in Germany and I miss that. I want to be that person again, who doesn't take life too seriously and can just be in the moment.

11. #MeatlessMonday
If you don't know, there is a bit of a social movement going on, where people don't eat meat every Monday. I know, it's not exactly veganism, but I think it helps reduce our carbon footprint—if even by a little. Personally, for me, I'd like to take it a step further and become a vegan once every week.

12. Work on my blog design (seriously!)
Self-explanatory, no?

13. Explore more historical sites in Jakarta
Jakarta is filled with so many museums, historical landmarks, and such, but I cannot believe that I've only been to probably 10% of them. I'd really love to explore the town more and learn more about our history and culture—as well as find new photo settings, I suppose.

14. Re-read my books
This goes hand-in-hand with the first goal. It's been so long since I read all the YA series I have yet to finish, so I think I'd need to re-read all my series to know where I left off. Also, there are plenty of books that I remember enjoying, just sitting on my bookshelves. I think it's time to revisit these great stories.

15. Join a Goodreads Indonesia challenge
There's a group on Goodreads for Indonesian users. They often have a monthly or so challenge. I'd love to join in on one sometime.

16. Start buying organic/recyclable products
This goes not only to food—which, I think, will be the hardest to commit to, actually—but also to beauty and bath products. What I mean by recyclable is the packaging, so products with recyclable/recycled packagings. Recently, I bought shampoo and conditioner from Organic Care and I'm loving it so far!

17. Attend a talk/workshop
I think attending a talk/seminar is part of being an adult. It's interesting to see experts talk about things that I'm interested in, acquiring new knowledge and be part of the discussion. A talk is more favourable for me, at the moment, because they are usually free.

18. Read one scientific article every week
In order to be more responsible towards nature, I think it's important to know about the universe that we live in. Plus, there are breakthroughs all the time and I'd like to keep with the programme.

19. Take the public transportation (whenever possible)
Again, trying to do my part for the environment. I already take public transportation on a daily basis anyway, but sometimes my lazyness gets the best of me and I take something less public—like the taxi—which is obviously not as eco-friendly as, say, a bus or a train.

20. Join and complete an artistic challenge (at  least once!)
Yes! There are so many artistic challenges lately and I've been missing out! I don't want to miss out anymore. Right now, I'm still going strong with my inktober, but I'd love to join watercolour month or other challenges in the future too.

21. Talk more about being a conscious consumer on the blog (and social media)
Although I try to practice this in my daily life, I think I don't share as much as I'd like or should on the internet. I'd love to do more of that. I think it's important to inspire people to become a conscious consumer, and I know I've been inspired by many fellow bloggers as well. Hopefully, I can inspire you too!

22. Invest on zero waste appliances/tools (NO PLASTIC!)
Yup! Zero waste lifestyle has been sitting at the back of my mind for the past year or so. It needs to stop sitting and start moving. Baby steps to get there that will, hopefully, really get me there.

23. Lose at least 5 kg (Goal: 58 kg)
Before you say anything about body positivity and body image, this is not that at all. It's just that, when you've ever reached a certain weight and posture in your life, where you feel better and more confident than ever, you kind of want to go back to that—or am I the only one? This is that. I want to fit into all my clothes again, to feel like I'm the best possible version of myself and to know that I've done what I could to be my best.

24. Manage money better (and save up for the future!)
As always, the most important goal for last. Money is a huge issue when you've reached an age where you can't possibly ask for allowance from your parents anymore. It's just good sense to manage it better and work out a system where you won't go broke in the middle of the month—or year, or any time period of choice. Plus, I want to really start thinking about my future and set up a budget to achieve the future that I want.


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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Style Swap with Divina Aulia pt. II

Last year, my friend Divina and I did a little collaboration where we swap outfits. When we left off that day, the duty was clear: she was supposed to edit the video, I was supposed to edit the photos. While I delivered my end of the bargain, she turned out to have lost the footage completely. So, knowing that she would be back in town this year, we decided to reshoot the whole thing—though with completely new outfits. Maybe we should really start thinking of making this an annual collaboration. What do you say? However, this time due to some personal reasons, we were underprepared and only came up with two outfits. Plus, we didn't swap completely—we kept an item or two from our own outfits in the end. It still creates a whole other feel, though, so it still serves the purpose. Enjoy!

The first thing you need to know about these photos is that they were taken a day after Divina's wedding—yes, she's a Mrs. now—which I helped document for her vlog. We were both pooped from the experience and, hence, were underprepared in terms of clothes. I also lost a bit of weight over the course of 12 months, so I became less considerate about whether or not an item would still fit the both of us—stupidly brought something my sister owns, which I struggle to fit into. We made it work—by not swapping fully—and other tricks up Vina's sleeves. Still not swapping shoes, obviously, since our sizes are still significantly different. Let us know what you think about the partially swapped outfits and if you feel it's different from last time!

I think this photo summarises how different we are

I thought I'd spice this post up by editing the pictures differently for the first two outfits and the last two. I really like this staircase, off-angle kind of shots. It looks almost candid and mysterious, don't you think? Second error I brought to this session is bringing a top that doesn't even cover the elbows, which is simply unwearable for hijab wearers like Vina—I'm so sorry! But I do think it looks so different from if we stuck to the rules and swapped everything. Our window of opportunity for a photoshoot at the time was also quite tight, so we had to hurry up snapping these shots and recording the video. So that's it for our experience this time around. It didn't take as long and wasn't as well-planned, but it was still quite a session. You should be able to catch our video on her channel next week, stay tuned!


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