Monday, September 1, 2014

Week in Recap: Mind Your Own Business

Hello, Friends!

Oh how I've missed writing weekly recap on this blog! This is my first week in recap after my summer vacation, so I'm so excited to journal again!

First of all, last weekend was all about family. After not seeing Michael for about three weeks, I felt like wanting to spend every second with him. My parents were in town, so we went to their favorite Chinese restaurant in a nearby mall called Duck King to have some dim sum. We brought Michael of course, and that's when I noticed that he could no longer fit to the restaurant high-chair! My oh my, how has he grown, that little man of mine!


Also on the weekend, I organized Michael's wardrobe, throwing away clothes that have become too shabby or worn out, and keep away clothing that are still wearable but have grown too small for him. I have bought him some new, bigger house shirts and shorts that I kept in the drawer, so now out they were and moved to his wardrobe! Just look at this white set with yellow trims and cute lion prints on it. Little children's clothes are just so cheerful-looking! I love it! Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that children should look like children and dress like children, not like mini-grown ups! That include happy colors and cheerful tiny prints! Soon Michael will grow into a young boy, and he will wear more grown-up things, but for now, let him be toddler that he is.


Michael doesn't care for TV, but he likes music and watching children's song video clips on YouTube. Usually, as a treat, I would allow him to go upstairs to my room, sit in front of my work desk and watch some children clips on my pink laptop. His favorite song is "One, One, I Love Mommy". 


As office life goes, as busy as work life can be, I always make time to do little things that make me happy. I love taking selfies in the morning, especially when I feel like I look good, to send to my husband. It's like our "Good morning" ritual, because he usually leave the house when I'm still in bed. We used to work in the same office when we met, and my husband loves seeing me all dressed up for work.


I also love wearing things that spice up my office wardrobe. Like these teal blue wedges with cute bows and electric blue sequin Kitson purse. I love anything sparkly. Things like these might look frivolous and silly, but they make me happy and feel excited to go to work!


You might know that one of my responsibilities at the office is managing the office Penthouse, and I am trying to think of adding more variety on the flower arrangement on those flowers. I usually ordered white and purple orchids, because they last long, but I really want to try out other kinds of flowers. The problem is, not only the flowers should be pretty to look at, with lively colors - because the Penthouse is all white and cream and brown and black, very very masculine looking - they also should be low maintenance and have a relatively long "shelf life". I chose to try pink lillies, and I think they turned out beautifully. Just look at this flower arrangement below, they're beautiful! I think next week I'll try red lillies and perhaps colorful calla lillies. We'll see.


Last week I also started to use this new journal, as I wrote in this post.


Last week, some coworkers and I went to a bazaar in an apartment complex not far from the office. We went during lunch hour to visit a friend who used to work as one of the secretaries in our office who opened a booth there, Dian. She has a fashion online store and her business was successful enough that she had been making twice as much as her salary on a consistent basis for several months already when she quit her job some time ago. She resigned because her mother was ill and she wanted to help her Dad with their family business, as well as spending more time to care for her Mom and expand her own thriving fashion business. Dian fly to Bangkok, Thailand several times a year to buy new items for her store. She is still young and I admire her bravery, tenacity and business acumen to choose life as an entrepreneur. It's not an easy route, I know. During the last Lebaran holiday, she carried bags and bags on merchandise with her motorbike, going to one JNE office to another (somekind of UPS expedition office) to look for one that was opened during the holiday, because she was commited to her customers to send the goods within two days after date of purchase. Also, it's not for the faint hearted to not depend on fixed monthly salary as we usually get as employees!

As young as she is, I am sure Dian will very soon be a force to be reckon with and not one to mince her words. She might be much younger than me, but she has inspired me to have my own business and be my own boss someday! I am happy to say that my husband and I have started something this year, but it's still a secret, so I cannot share with you. ^__^


At Dian's booth, I bought these two fuzzy baggy sweaters. They are so soft and comfortable, and the candy colors are so pretty. They come in many colors, but I opted for mint green and peachy pink. Dian's collection is mostly too young for my age, but these two I can wear many times when I accompany my husband to go to the movies. Hubby loves to go to the movies, and the theaters are just so notoriously cold that I always carry an extra layer. I have two cardigans in mint green and rose pink that I have been wearing for years and they have provided warmth and comfort in many occassions, both in the cold movie theaters and also in the office. You have seen them many times on this blog, but the colors have started to fade and they look old and worn out now. I need some new layers to accompany me when I'm going to the movies, and there they are!


These are my old cardigans. They may look okay in picture, but in reality the colors have faded and they look worn out.


On Friday, I went on a date night with Hubby. After work I changed into this new dress that I like very much. My Mom had it made for me, and I'm so in love with the cheerful colors and flower patterns. I also love the sheath style, I am a sucker for dresses that are shapely but not too tight, modest and comfortable, not like they were being sprayed on my body! I paired the dress with my Kate Spade red geranium purse - a birthday gift from Hubby - and four-inches red wedges. I usually only wear two-inches heels and wedges for practicality and comfort, but I can make exception for occasions that don't require me to walk for miles and miles for hours and hours. I knew that I would spend most of the evening sitting down, so a little higher-than-usual heels would not hurt. Plus, they make my legs looked super long!


I also tried out this bold red Dior lipstick, a gift from a friend. I usually wear pink lipstick, this is the first time I rocked red lips. Happily, coworkers complemented my new look and told me I looked more "alive" than my usual signature pale look.


We had dinner at a Thai restaurant called Chandara at my favorite mall downtown: Plaza Indonesia. I'm not a sucker for Thai food, but Hubby wanted to try something new, so I complied to his wish. I had anchovy fried rice, while Hubby chose tom yum soup. We also shared fried chicken wings and chicken wrapped with pandan leaves. 




Michael needed new sandals. His old ones, the soles have thinned out and tattered, so after dinner we went to Mothercare to purchase a new pair. His old pair came in size 7, but instead of size 8, I decided to go with size 9, because toddler grew so fast! When I bought him his current sandals, they were way too big for him, and now after only five months he have outgrown them. Michael have one pair of sandals for morning and late afternoon walks to the park, and one pair of shoes for going out. Buying him a good quality pair of sandals is a good investment because he wears them a lot. These are what we got him: a pair of sandals in army green. 


The style is exactly the same with his current sandals. I like the ergonomic, adjustable design, because it means the sandals can cater to Michael's feet development to the maximum. Now I am tempted to go out to Mothercare again and get him a new pair of shoes as well, for near future when he needs a new pair. Why? For a very simpe and economical simple reason: Mothercare is having a 50% off for boy shoes and sandals. I might go back there next week and buy some more things for Michael. 

We had a little bit of problem when paying because the system at Mothercare was down. I was very annoyed because the last time I tried to purchase something at a different Mothercare store, the same thing happened. They really need to fix their system! Nevertheless, the sales lady offered to take my cell phone number and call me when the system was up and running again. Well, we did plan to hang out for a while at Fountain Lounge, so that's what I end up doing, because I really wanted to get Michael those sandals.

By the way, these are his current sandals, same style, different colors and embellishment. 


Fountain Lounge is an upscale cafe at a five star hotel downtown, Grand Hyatt. It's expensive, but it's my favorite lounge because the atmosphere is so nice, serene, elegant, opulent yet understated and tasteful. Not tacky or overly luxurious. Though I said it's my favorite lounge, we don't go there often. In fact, the last time we went there was before we got married! So it's a special evening, indeed! 

The hotel is located inside the mall, and the lounge is not far from Mothercare. When the store called, we were in the middle of ordering our drinks, and I could easily walk to the store to pick up the sandals and paid, then got back to find our order was ready and waiting. Convenient.

This is how Fountain Lounge looks. The live music and acapella singers were very beautiful as well, providing a nice, subtle, romantic background for cozying up on the sofa and having intimate conversation.


We also love the view from the lounge: the Bunderan HI. It's one of the most famous city landmark of Jakarta, and it looks very beautiful at night, with all the lights and skyscrapers surrounding the Bunderan HI fountain and pool. 

We went home when it was almost midnite. I could not remember when the last time we had a real date like this was. Usually we went home around ten on date nights. We are parents, we don't stay out until wee hours in the morning!


Last week's to-do-list:
  • Read Chapter 16 of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle": Smashing Pumpkins.
  • Read and contemplate on the Book of Proverbs Chapter 4.
  • Interview potential contractor for renovation project.
  • Declutter and organize my work desk. Done, but I cluttered it yet again! Sigh. 
  • Organize Michael's closets.
  • Organize property files online.
  • Purchase new sandals and bottles for Michael. Turned out Michael doesn't need new bottles just yet.
  • Pay bills.
  • Fix refrigerator downstairs.

This week's to do list:
  • Read Chapter 19 of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle": Hungry Month.
  • Read and contemplate on the Book of Proverbs Chapter 4.
  • Start the renovation project: taking down the existing roof, and pay down payment to contractor.
  • Declutter and organize my work desk, again.
  • Continue to organize property files online.
  • Pay local helps and discussing their payment scheme.
  • Fix refrigerator upstairs.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Having massage.
  • Last appointment with my dermatologist.
  • Send gift to a friend out-of-town who is having a birthday.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:

Monday



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Sunday

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why and How I Love Mondays

`kate spade, cedar street elissa, kate spade new york, working mom, fashionista mom, stylish mom, career woman

Hello and happy Monday, Friends!

Do you love Mondays? I do! Of course I love everyday, but Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are somehow felt more special to me.

Why do I love Mondays?

Who doesn't love a fresh start?

Over the weekend I made plans, to-do-list and goals. I publish my posts on Mondays and write my week recap and to-do-list for the week on Mondays. As the first day of the week, Monday gives me the opportunity to make it happen! Don't you want that good feeling of accomplisments? I do, and I like to start fresh and new on Monday.

How to have a fresh start on Mondays:
  • Create your to-do-list, task list, things to accomplish for the upcoming week, whatever you'd like to name it, on Sunday night. It will give you a sense of purpose and guideline to walk the upcoming week. Some project examples: create centerpiece for your coffee table, read one chapter of that book you are trying to finish, write one post for your blog, organize the pantry, sell used books on the internet. etc.
  • Start small. I have weekly project list that I write on my week recap post, but every night I make to-do-list for the day after. It helps to structure my mind and make my day (and week) that much more productive, because I won't forget things.
  • Wake up a little bit early on Monday. Just fifteen minutes early is enough. Use that extra time to mentally prepare your mind and body which will give you that good start and set a calmer tone to last you through the whole week. Pray. Read one or two verses from the Bible. Enjoy your morning coffee and favorite banana muffin with no rush. Savor the moment of showering with sweet scented magnolia soap that you just bought the weekend before. Joke with your husband, children, or pet. Sing to yourself when putting on your makeup. Do one of those things. Or even two. Don't worry. You have fifteen minutes to spare.

Recharged after weekend!

Weekend for me, and most people I'm sure, is for unwinding and relaxing. On Monday morning, I usually have more energy level, determination, and good spirit after a weekend of recharging, so I'd like to get back on track and get productive.

How to be on your tip top condition on Monday morning:

  • Don't get too tired! Get wild on Saturday, wind down on Sunday evening.
  • Get enough sleep on Sunday night.
  • Avoid Monday morning chaos by preparing as much as you can on Sunday night: breakfast prepwork, the clothes you are going to wear (and your children's clothes), school lunches and supplies, etc. I always prepare a week's worth of working clothes on Sunday evening. No need to think of what I'm going to wear in the morning, when I'm already in rush!

Mondays are very forgiving!

So, you didn't get to do all that you want to accomplish last week? Monday is the time to fix it and challenge yourself to reach that goal this time. Failed your workout last week? Now you know how improve it this week.

How to make the best of it:
  • Learn from what didn't work the week before. For example, I try out new or improved recipe for our weekly meatless dinner on Mondays.
  • If I skipped my workout routine, eating healthy, bible study, whatever, last week, I can always "repent" and do it this coming Monday. Afterall, Monday means a new week!
kate spade, cedar street elissa, kate spade new york, working mom, fashionista mom, stylish mom, career woman

kate spade, cedar street elissa, kate spade new york, working mom, fashionista mom, stylish mom, career woman

Monday evening is the best time for doing some chores

Like grocery shopping! I almost always go to the grocery stores on Monday evenings to avoid long check out lines. Also, why do laundry on the weekend? Why not keeping some chores you usually do on Saturday for Monday evenings? That will free up some more time to enjoy weekend.

How to make the most of Monday evening chores:

  • Try to do your grocery shopping on Mondays. I can almost guarantee that you will spend less time in the store because there is no long lines at the checkout line.
  • Monday is usually very busy, so I avoid heavy-duty chores like cleaning out the fridge. In addition to grocery shopping, my favorite Monday chore is doing laundry that needs no ironing, like sheets, towels, and undergarments. We use automatic machine, so basically all I need to do is dump the laundry into the machine with some detergent, push the button, and that's it. When laundry is done, I can fold them after my son's bedtime while accompanying Hubby watching DVD.

Lesser crowd for evening outs, date nights and movie nights

In Indonesia, going to early movie nights on Monday evenings translate to having most of the theater to ourselves, no lines to buy ticket, you can arrive at the cinema pretty much ten minutes before movie starts and can still get a pretty good seat, and cheaper ticket price. Also, some restaurants have special rate for Mondays.This frugal gal loves discount!

How to make the most of Sunday evening specials:
  • Try meeting your girlfriends for coffee, lunch or dinner on Monday evenings. If you are a wife or mother, weekends are usually for family, so your can keep your Mondays free for your friends.
  • Try to look for special Monday rates at nearby restaurants.
  • If you are single and work like I did, of course you would prefer to hang out on Friday evenings, because you don't need to get up early the next day. But try Monday evenings for a change once in a while. It will give you something fun and exciting to look forward to on Monday!

Monday is the best time to flaunt the new you

Show off that new haircut, that new necklace and cute skirt that you've got from weekend shopping. Try out the new color combination that you want to mix.

How to present the new you on Mondays:
  • Prepare the clothes that you are going to wear the night before. When I was single, I change purse and accessories on a daily basis. After being a mother, I didn't bother to do such meticulous fashion planning, so I change my purse once a week or once every two weeks. I plan my weekly ensemble based on the purse that I choose to wear for that week. It's fun to do on Sunday evening, it takes only 10-20 minutes to plan a whole week ensemble, and it saves plenty of time and sanity on the morning rush. Also, it keeps me fashionable at all times. The secret is because I don't need to think of "What am I going to wear?" every morning, just once a week.
  • If you have children who go to school, prepare their clothes for the week or help and teach them to do so. Make a game out of it so they won't think that as a burden.
  • Wash and pre-style your hair on Sunday evening.
kate spade, cedar street elissa, kate spade new york, working mom, fashionista mom, stylish mom, career woman

kate spade, cedar street elissa, kate spade new york, working mom, fashionista mom, stylish mom, career woman
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:

Monday



Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

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