Friday, December 27, 2013

Makeup Goodies from UK: Bourjois, Gelly Nail Paint, Sleek, and More!

Finally, I can present to you few goodies from England purchased a few months back when my family was there. I literally provided them with a list, in pdf so they could print it out and take with them, which they did. I didn't get everything on my list though, which is fine. Now that I think about it, I'm relieved that they didn't get me everything otherwise I will be stuck trying everything out for so many months forward and not be able to enjoy the ones I've already had. 

All of the stuff I got is from all the raves and reviews from different beauty videos and blogs. I'm so excited when my mom brought me these. I gotta be honest I'd completely forgotten about them, so it was kinda a Christmas surprise for myself. Well, maybe not but kinda. =P

Blogmas 25, 2013 ❄ Merry Christmas!

This holiday, I get to spend Christmas with my family. I feel really blessed to be able to do that. I'm aware I'm about two days late for posting my very last blogmas of the year, but I was occupied with friends, family, and jetlag.  Here's a recap of the last couple of days.

Visited a new mall called Lotte Avenue in Kuningan area if I'm not mistaken. There's so many new places for that past couple of years! I went from mall to mall, and ended the night with a quality time with my best friend. We went to the movie to watch Soekarno, a history of our first president and his fight for Indonesia's independence. It was a great movie, I have to say. 

The next morning, I woke up pretty early and waited for my parents to get up. We went out for some food shopping.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blogmas 24, 2013 ❄ Unity in Diversity

Happy Christmas eve! 
I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas. 
May your Christmas be filled with joy and blessings. =)

It's currently 4:55 am, Jakarta time. I woke up at 3.30am and couldn't go back to sleep. I'm certain I will be out of this world by 11 am, and that will be a problem since I have appointment with the US embassy for my visa. I need caffeine, pronto!

There's nothing going on just yet, but let me just touch base on the movie I watched last night with my mom and dad. Not many people I know like watching Indonesian movies. I understand that some Indo movies might be the worst, cheesiest, cheapest movies ever made, but many of them are worth watching and even translated into different languages so other people from different countries can watch too. Although, I gotta say, Indonesia is full of cultures and traditions which even an avid translators cannot capture the whole essence of the meanings behind a conversation. 

Tenggelamnya Kapal Vanderwicjk is a literature novel by Bayu Hamka. I've never heard of his name before only because I never paid attention. His work is well known through out the country, and this movie is adapted from the novel. It's a love story between two people from Padang/Minang tradition. I don't really understand the deeps and all about Indonesian tradition, but I do know some cultures lift up to their traditions very highly and proudly. The base message of the story is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which means Unity in Diversity. It's also the motto of Indonesia. 

Growing up, I've learned to memorize my country's motto, slogan, this and that. Unity in diversity sounds like a really great motto, especially for a country full of different backgrounds and languages like Indonesia. If you haven't known already, Indonesia consists of thousands of islands. Everybody is different, and even the languages are different. According to the trusty wikipedia (sense the sarcasm), there are more than 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 living languages in Indonesia. I strongly believe there are much more than that. Indonesia is very rich of diversity. 

I am an IBC - Indonesian born Chinese. I don't speak Mandarin or any other Chinese-esque languages. I only speak Bahasa, Indonesia's national language. Chinese is one of the ethnic groups in Indonesia (and in all the countries out there) and also a minority. I don't recall ever feeling outcasted or anything like that since I grew up in "Chinese area". No, it's not a china town or anything like that. It's just an area where many Chinese people live. I do remember the hatred and labels "Indonesian" people have towards Chinese people in Indonesia, and same goes the other way around. I am too guilty of that.

How amazing it is if everybody can just get along with one another, no matter where they're from or what they do, or what they believe in. I know it is much easier said than done. But I do believe with God grace, things will turn up and for now let me just pray on that. The very least we can do to make a change is from ourselves. As cheesy as that sounds, that's one simple act that I've never cared to do.

One very least thing I can start from is just be nice to one another. That might sound so simple, but harder to do. Let's challenge ourselves. Simply saying hi's and thank you's will do the trick, not always but often will.  =)


Blogmas 23, 2013 ❄ Reconnecting with Home - Jakartan Traffic and Village Food

Today was full of reenacting the routine of my parents. The jetlag got the best of me, I woke up at 3.30 am and couldn't go back to sleep for a while. I spent the early morning catching up with youtube videos and studying. My dad and mom were awake for a bit because of me. The kindly offered me something to eat, but I just told them to go back to sleep. Living at home can turn me back to a spoiled kid I once was. Wait. Scratch that. I still am, but I was way more. 

Anyway, I took some shots on my way to take my mom to the office with my dad. The traffic wasn't as bad. Jakarta is notorious for its really really bad traffic. If you're living in big cities, like New York City or Los Angeles, and if you think the traffic is bad there, try going to Jakarta. You'll learn to appreciate the traffic. I might make Jakarta sound horrible, but it's actually not. Of course, every place has its ups and downs. For Jakarta, it's its traffic for one and other things that I cannot care less about. I love the city no matter what people say. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blogmas 21 & 22, 2013 ❄ A Taste of My Hometown

Greeted by the humid air of Jakarta. Yes, I'm finally home! After a very long flight, I'm so relieved I arrived home safe and sound without any struggle whatsoever. 

My flight made a transit in Taipei. There's no direct flight from San Fransisco to Jakarta. It was a three-hour stop, so not bad at all. Although I was starving at the Taipei airport but too lazy and tired to even bother to buy food. I spent the entire time watching my favorite youtubers' vlogs, thanks to excellent wifi connection.

I did find something interesting in the Taipei airport. There were three prayer rooms near my departure gate - for Muslim, Buddhist and Christian. I've never really seen a prayer room in public place for Christian before. 

It took 5 hours from Taipei to Jakarta. About 10 minutes before the original scheduled arrival time, the captain announced there was a slight delay due to traffic at the Soekarno-Hatta airport, and they had to circle around for about half an hour. I was already anxious at that time. Thankfully, after I finally got off the plane, there was no line yet at the immigration. I went through and stuck waiting for luggage for more than 30 minutes. I was anxious that my luggage went missing or something. After all, it's been more than 2 years. 

Anyway, the first food I ate is this Bakmi Karet, which literally means rubber noodle. I just love this type of noodle, and you can't really find anything like it in the US. 

Later today, my parents and I went to the mall. It's really the main entertainment in Jakarta. Okay, I can't speak for every single Jakartan, but I basically grew up in the mall. My house is just a 10-minute walk to the mall. Most of people I know here do their "gathering" at the mall. Lunch, dinner, shopping, hanging out, window shopping, killing time, releasing stress, going to the movie, or anything you can basically do it at the mall. I gotta admit. I do miss the malls in Jakarta. Mall in the Bay Area is nothing compare to the malls here. 

Yin Yang, a mocktail  from the restaurant Duck King made from coke and syrup with some ingredients that I don't know and strawberries and lemon toppings on top. It is delicious. 

Here are a few random shots to give you a taste of what my hometown looks like. 

Thanks for dropping by!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Blogmas 19 & 20, 2013 ❄ Boden Honeycomb Sweater + Fly Home

It's finally the day. I'm leaving for Jakarta, Indonesia tonight. I've skipped a day in blogmas, I hope that's okay considering nothing exciting happens to tell other than my early Christmas/anniversary present had arrived!


It's not something too exciting, but it is for me. It is a sweater from For those who don't know about Boden, it's a British clothing retailer known for their casual basics and patterns. I first knew about Boden from the catalog sent to my place. I still don't know how they can reach me at my address while I'd never even heard about them before. It's kinda scary to think about how personal information travels out of your control. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blogmas 18, 2013 ❄ Snail Mail

I had another 8-hour long class about tax research skills in San Mateo. It was a dragging class, and I personally think it doesn't take 8 hours to learn how to find things in the internet/tax software. The good thing was there was no traffic when I went there and left home which was during rush hours.

When I got home, I found this in the mailbox. 
It's a late anniversary card. =) 

I've always love getting snail mail. In this modern time, when everything is done through email and texts, it feels really nice and somewhat jazzy to get a love letter in your actual, physical mailbox. I remember a while back I signed up on this website called penpal garden. I just checked, and I don't think it's the same website as it used to be. I got letters from someone from Russia and a girl from England. I was really excited. It didn't last long, though. I blame the postal service. =/

Later that night, I went to the movie with my boyfriend after so many months. I used to go to the movie almost every day when I was still in Indo. I know, it's crazy. The movie ticket is relatively cheaper compare to here and my parents love watching movies. It was a good time. We bought the ticket for Thor 2, but ended up watching The Hobbit 2 instead. I know he wanted to watch that, so I thought why not. Technically, we still paid for the movie. And there were not many people, I guess there's no harm done to switch movies. Well, I don't know. I'm not recommending it, though - not that there will be any reason to do it again in the future. 

Well, thank you for reading. I hope you learned something from the previous post from a guest author about what makeup products can harm your skin. 

When was the last time you sent/received a snail mail? 


What Makeup and Skin Care Products Are Harming Your Skin?

Hi everyone! This one is a guest blog post from Elizabeth Rago. You can learn more about her at the end of this post. I was contacted to feature this article. Here you go!

In a sea of cosmetic products, it is often hard to differentiate what products or lifestyle choices are producing unwanted breakouts, excessive oil, or unruly and irritated dry skin. It might not be the product that is the problem, per say, but the user. Mishandling products and veering off your usual regimen is the best way to harm your skin instead of fine tune and highlight your natural assets. So, what products are doing harm to your skin instead of good? Let’s examine a few dos and don’ts of using make up and skin care products.
Don’t use too much exfoliant. While giving a little extra nudge to the natural sloughing of the top layer of skin is suggested, going crazy with an exfoliant can cause more damage than good. Red, inflamed, irritated, and/or patchy dry skin are all symptoms that you have overindulged and are now harming your skin. It’s best to back away from the product and start to repair the damage you have done with calming products that will promote healing.
Don’t go to bed with a dirty face. Sleeping in a pool of your own oil, foundation, and faded liquid liner all night is probably not the path to flawless skin. The first rule of preparation for beauty sleep is “cleanse the skin.” There is no way around it, this easy breezy two-minute ritual can prevent breakouts and give your skin the best chance for repair and rejuvenation. Simplifying your evening regimen will make the process a little less time consuming.
Don’t get too liberal with the anti-acne treatment. Many products meant to zap zits are full of benzoyl peroxide. states benzoyl peroxide “is the only medication which can penetrate into the skin and deliver oxygen. Acne bacteria cannot live in the presence of oxygen, and benzoyl peroxide kills 99.9% of them almost instantly.However, over use of this product can eventually dry and irritate the skin, which will bring on more breakouts. If you are striking out with acne, it’s time to call in the big guns. Let a dermatologist tackle your concerns by determining whether your skin would benefit from a facial, peel treatment, or microdermabrasion. Medical spas offer a number of treatments that can combat the tougher to fight acne that some people might be suffering from.
Do use the right product. A common mistake consumers make is not matching the right product with their unique skin type. Establishing a relationship with a dermatologist, esthetician, or trained skin care professional will ensure you will be not only properly paired with the correct product, but educated about your skin’s condition. Since the skin is ever changing with age and horomones, having a professional on call who knows your skin’s history will be a convenient way to troubleshoot through concerns. In turn, you will not only save yourself unnecessary steps but pointless dollars spent on the wrong product.
If you find you are still having problems, it’s always best to speak to a professional dermatologist or practitioner at a medical spa to guide you through the process of choosing the best care and treatment for your skin concerns. Using product appropriately and removing it before bed should make a noticeable impact on your skin’s health and overall brilliance.
About the author: Elizabeth Rago is a writer specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, working with yoga studios, chiropractors, mental health, wellness practitioners and Thrive Medical Spa in Chicago. Elizabeth writes the weekly column, The Circular Home for Chicago Shopping (an editorial partner of the Chicago Tribune) and is Senior Editor of All Things Girl, highlighting topics related to the modern domestic woman. She has been published in Mamalode Magazine, and  Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Google+.

Beauty Review: Maybelline Eyestudio Plush Silk Eyeshadows

Hey everyone! A couple of my friends are getting married in the summer, and they asked me to do their makeup for their pre-wed photoshoots. I don't really have much experience in doing people's makeup, so I was really excited and worried at the same time. 

I didn't plan to buy anything new and thought that I could just use some shadows from my collection. But, of course, going to Target to pick up some everyday supplies several days ago resulted in me buying things that I didn't plan to. Including these:

Copper Chic

Mad Mauve

These are my very first Maybelline eyeshadows ever. I don't know why I've never tried their shadows before this. I gotta say, I'm really impressed with the quality of these two quads. They're both super pigmented. The texture is really buttery which means that it is easy to apply. It's not hard to get the color on to my eyes. As you can tell from the swatches, the palettes come in shimmery colors but still wearable for everyday look. 

I've been enjoying these products and totally didn't regret these purchase. 

Thank you for reading!

Jibber Jabber:
  • My parents are coming in a couple of weeks. I'm super excited to meet them.
  • I am planning to take my very first CPA exam by the end of next year. Another busy days are coming soon for me. Hopefully I can still keep up with my blogging. Will totally not abandon my beloved blog. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogmas 17, 2013 ❄ Bath & Body Works Haul

Another video for ya! =)

Any scent recommendation from Bath & Body Works?


Blogmas 16, 2013 ❄ Nothing Much

Posting two days late..Nothing much happens last Monday. I was just super exhausted from the weekend and ended up sleeping early and waking up late. ..


Blogmas 15, 2013 ❄ Christmas Photoshoot & Quick LOTD

Last Sunday, I helped out holding a Christmas photoshoot at church after the service as a fundraising for our new church building that's currently being renovated. Soon enough, we will move to a new building, our own building which is very exciting. My church had been looking for a building for more than 10 years at least. We're currently renting a building from another church who has the servie on Saturdays instead of Sundays. But what makes it tricky is that we need to put the place like it was before we use it every time. It's kinda difficult and not flexible at all. We need to leave at 1 pm while the service is over at around 11.30-ish. We still have refreshment, etc afterwards. So it is always a rush, especially for the facility team who needs to clean up the place.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blogmas 14, 2013 ❄ Crab Fest!

It's official. I failed blogging every single day during blogmas again this year. It is hard to keep up. 
Oh well.  

I agreed to cook for our annual crab fest this year. This was my first time cooking crabs, but I did take few pointers on our last crab fest. There were 10 people coming and I bought 15 large crabs assuming that one people would eat 1.5 crabs. I was wrong. The crabs were huge and we did have a lot of leftovers afterwards, but boy were they delicious. *brush shoulders* =p

I couldn't do it on my own in that short amount of time. Thankfully I have great assistants ready to help me. We started cooking at 4 pm finished at around 7 pm. We managed to fit 6 people in my boyfriend's tiny kitchen. It was really fun, although we all smelled like crab at the end. lol

We cooked half of the crabs with oyster sauce, and the other halves with ketchup. I guess this is asian style, seafood with lots of tasty sauce. I find that western-style cooking of seafood is bland for my taste. I list all the ingredients I used below and tried my best to replicate the measurements. I tasted as I cooked, and i I didn't really pay attention of the measurements. Haha. Hope you guys feel inspired to try these. They're really good!

Add caption
I forgot to take a close-up picture of the final product. =/

Sweet and Sour Crab

Eggs - beaten
Yellow onion - sliced
garlic - chopped
spring onion - chopped
soy sauce
oyster sauce
chicken stock powder (I substituted with vegetable stock) 
tapioca flour - to thicken the sauce

The Crab:
1. Clean and chop the crabs into 4 parts. (I usually asked the people in the store to do it for me)
2. Dip the crab in the beaten egg and pan fry until the color change to red and then set aside

The sauce:
1. In the wok, stir fry onion and garlic
2. Add in soy sauce, oyster sauce and ketchup
3. Add water, bring to boil
4. Add in sugar, and the stock powder
5. Taste and adjust accordingly
6. Add back the crabs
7. Add in the tapioca flour to thicken the sauce
8. Add spring onion
9. This step is optional: I put everything in the oven and let it heated up for about 20 minutes to make sure everything is cooked.

Crab with Oyster Sauce

Cooking oil
garlic - chopped
ginger - smashed
yellow onion - chopped
spring onion - chopped
soy sauce
sweet soy sauce
oyster sauce
cooking wine
tapioca flour (to thicken the sauce)

How to cook:
1. Clean and chop the crabs into 4 parts. 
2. Heat up the oil in the wok and sautee the garlic, ginger, and yellow onion. You will need a wok, which is deeper than a frying pan because you will need to put the crabs in it.
3. Add soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, black pepper and spring onion into the wok
4. Add in the crabs - try cooking in batches if you have limited space like I did - and stir fry them with the other ingredients until they're half way cooked
5. Add in water ( depending on how many crabs you're cooking - I'd say about a cup for every 4 crabs or as much as sauce as you want) and let it to boil until everything's cooked.
6. Add in tapioca flour with water to thicken the sauce
7. Taste and adjust accordingly
8. Same with the above, I also put the it in the oven for 20 minutes. Ready to serve!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blogmas 13, 2013 ❄ Vlogmas: Mini Ulta Haul

I know it's technically day 14 of blogmas.  I had an all-day seminar about tax updates for 2013/2014.  I just got home from my youth fellowship which I have every Friday night. We always hang out at this boba place called Quickly until around 12 at night. We had a Christmas celebration today, and I got a wireless mouse. Yay! 
I was completely swamped but managed to upload a video instead. Enjoy!

Happy weekend everyone!!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blogmas 12, 2013 ❄ Casino Party


I finally learned a thing or two about playing game in casino. Today was my company's holiday lunch party. The dress code was suits for the gentlemen and "something sparkly" for the ladies. I don't have anything sparkly really, so I went with a monochromatic look with bow prints which I really love!

For the makeup, I didn't really do something different. I thought I had more time, but I woke up later than usual. I really don't like getting ready under rush, so I just went with my pretty much go-to look. Gold shadows on the lids, and matte brown on the crease and smudgy brown liner with volumizing mascara. I chose to go witha matte red lipstick which I think goes really well with my black attire.

I didn't know the game craps could be so much fun. You roll the dice, and either you win or lose. Well, it's not that simple really, but I wouldn't even try to explain. It's just too complicated to explain in writing. I took quite few pictures but all of them have my coworkers in it, and I don't want to put their faces on public without permission. Sorry for that. 

All and all, it was a great day. 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blogmas 11, 2013 ❄ Merry Christmas = Happy Holidays?

I know, it's very late in the day but the day is not over yet. It's currently seventeen to 12 in my time and I really don't want to miss a day in my blogmas. 
Today was a nonstop craze for me. I worked longer hours than usual because of one major project, and when I went home I had instant noodle as dinner and went to my bible study, which I have every wednesday. 

I felt really exhausted and planned not to come to the bible study, but somehow I just came anyway and I'm so glad that I did. And it happens everytime. Every time I feel like tired and not wanting to come, I come anyway and I always end up feeling recharged. It's just the initial effort to do it that's the hardest.

I apologize for being so weird today. You might not understand what I'm writing about. Yes, I am writing solely because of my commitment to blogmas. So cheers to blogmas!

Tomorrow I'll be having "Casino Day" for my office holiday party. I just found out that for companies saying "Merry Christmas" is politically incorrect. So they say "Happy Holidays" instead.
What do you think?