Monday, April 27, 2015

I Love Colors and That's OK

Hello, my beautiful Friends!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you might know that I just love colors. Especially in an outfit. My Mom often criticize my fashion sense, saying that my love for cheerful colors, pattern mixing, daring color combination, tendency for over-accesorizing, Hello Kitty, various shades of pink and all things cute and kawaii as kitschy, childish, and unclassy. She herself loves neutral colors, simple lines, high named brands, and animal prints. She oozes class and exudes elegance.

Well, yeah, I admire Audrey and Coco. A lot. But I am not them. Elegance is not my first, middle, nor my last name. I love looking at pictures of high-society ladies like Ivanka Trump and Aerin Lauder. I admire their fashion sense and simplicity. But I know that if I wear what they wear on a daily basis, I would get bored pretty quickly. Their fashion sense is their own. Mine is mine.

And my fashion sense can be summed up in M3F as I wrote in About section of this blog: modest, frugal, feminine and fun. And I would underline the word FUN.

Fashion is what get me going out of bed in the morning, most of the time. I'm not a morning person, waking up early to go to work or pretty much to do anything early in the morning is a hard chore. However, thinking about all the pretty colors and fun outfits and accesories that I'm going to wear that day makes me excited and want to throw aside the blanket, get into the shower and start my morning preparation ritual that would set the tone for the whole day.

Granted, once I'm dressed and dash out the door, I would forget about what I wear. And that works for me. By liking what I see in the mirror before starting my day, I start the day in a joyful mode and soon after I can focus to do whatever it is I need or want to do for the day: go to work, go to the park with my son, meeting friends, trying out new restaurant, clean the house, prepare holiday decoration. My morning ritual - beauty and fashion - is like what a stage actress does before she starts the show: make up and preparation to get into the role.
My role is not an elegant lady of leisure that covers the page of a magazine. My role is a daughter of God, a wife, a mother, a career woman, a business owner, a middle class woman who loves life and embraces it with open arms and sparkles in her eyes. A woman who loves colors, Hello Kitty, pinks, and kitschy, cute stuff. Tacky to some, pretty and fun to me.

And that's OK. Take a look around you. The color of the sky, the different shapes of flowers, birds, texture of grass, food, architecture of buildings, different bone structure of people around the world. Can't you tell? The Lord loves beauty and variety.

After all, if all women look like Ivanka and Aerin, Coco and Audrey, don't you think the fashion world would be a little bit boring? After all, it's their individuality that makes these magnificent ladies stand out among everyone else.

What say you? ^__^

That's why Kate Spade is one of my favorite brands. It's fun, colorful, good quality, and relatively affordable. I love this Kate Spade purse in tosca. The color is fun, the shape classic, and it can carry a multitude of things. I finish the look with hot fuschia wedges with this cute bow and colorful beaded necklace and bracelets. Unclassy? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely.

R & M Richards R & M Collection Long-Sleeve Ruffle-Front Jacket Dress • $89.99 Lauren Ralph Lauren Ruffled Skirt • $79.50 Style&co. Silver-Tone Purple and Blue Bead Long Necklace • $16.99 Mixit Hematite Multicolor Bead Earring and Necklace Set • $16.80 Kate Spade New York 'lucca Drive - Small Candace' Leather Satchel • $358 Kate Spade New York 'cedar Street - Maise' Satchel • $298 DAZZLING DESIGNS Multicolor Heart-Shape Faceted Glass Bead Stretch Bracelet • $15.99 BLEU NYC Bleu Multicolor Beads Stretch Bracelet • $8.99 Frye Alexa Leather Bow Wedge, Red • $99.50 Shoe Magnate Inc Who Bows There? Wedge • $39.99 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week in Recap: Through A Dark Valley

Hi Friends!

Last week has been a rough one for me as well as for our family. I have a bit of medical condition that needs urgent treatment. I will not elaborate what the problem is, but let's just say that I might take an absence from blogging for the next couple of weeks to take care of this condition. Hereby I ask your kindness to pray for me and for my family. 

Still, life goes on. There are still many wonderful things to do, lovely sights to see, delicious food to eat, fun activities to enjoy, and happiness in this life to smile and laugh about!

On the weekend I went out with my family to the nearest mall. It just so happened that all three of us wore stripes that day, which was unplanned and rather hillarious. Hubby wore green, I wore blue, and Michael represented his parents by wearing blue-and-green overall that he got from my mother in law.

My big man and little man in stripes.

Michael has been a bit fuzzy for the past several days, It seems like he knows that Mommy is unwell. He kissed me all the time and held my hand when taking nap. Little children surely know more than we think they do!

Michael loves to play horsie with Daddy and Mommy, so when he saw these horse statues he naturally were attracted to them!

After the mall, we went to visit the nursery that I wrote about in my previous post. This time, we made it to go inside and talked to the teachers. We let Michael explore by himself around the play/classroom. Seems like he likes it! I plan to get him in a trial class in the next couple of weeks after my medical treatment.

If you find yourself in a seemingly no-way-out, pretty bad situation, I urge you to keep on living and keep on praying. And keep on being a good person. You really don't need to prove that you are good, because God in Heaven is not blind. He sees your effort. He sees your trials. And in the Lord's economics, nothing goes to waste. Including trials and hardships. They will bear fruit, with interest!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;
You restore my strength. You guide me along the right path
for the sake of your name.
Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm
for you are at my side;
Your rod and staff give me courage.

You set a table before me as my enemies watch;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and love will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week in Recap: Easter Care Package, Learning N Giving

This week...
I found this quote:
How many times have you felt that the world is so unfair since those who are obviously wicked and do bad deeds went unpunished, sometimes even thrived and unjustly rewarded - at least in monetary and recognition value - instead of others who obviously do good deed but went unnoticed because they're not good in self promoting? Too many times. How many times have you felt that all your good deeds were unrecognized and unappreciated? Again, too many times, I'm sure. It happened to me, too.
But remember, the thing is to be a good person, not proving that you are a good person. The Lord - who sees all - is not blind. Even if somethings it seems like He is not present in our everyday lives. He sees everything. Do good because you are good and because your Father in Heaven is good, not as a proof of your own goodness.
I realized that Michael is not so little anymore. I mean, hello, where did the baby go? Suddenly he grew so tall! Time does flies, as cliche as it might sound. On Saturday we visited a kindergarten where we plan to send Michael to. Michael is not old enough to enter kindergarten, but we want him to join some sort of preschool where he goes to a playgroup of ten toddler three times a week for ninety minutes, where he can socialize and play with children his own age. We are not the kind of parents who believe that children should be taught to read and write at a very young age. We believe that children should be active and play and do simple chores instead of being cooped up in classroom for hours. They can learn so much from such simple activities such as hand-eye coordination, motoric skills, manners, etc. However, we also realized that Michael lacks socializing with childen his own age. That's why we want him to join playgroup close to our house. It's within walking distance. Unfortunately, I didn't do enough research. We ended up at another children language center that is closed on Saturday. The kindergarten we were supposed to visit is located at the other side of the mall, but I didn't realize that. I phoned them again on Monday and made another appointment this coming Saturday.
Though sometimes I feel like Michael is no longer a baby, there are times I like to tell myself, "Well, he's is a baby, afterall!" At least when he talks he still sounds like one, hehehe... 
I was in the mood for doing spring cleaning and organizing, so I reorganized my purse, and divided the content of my purse into four small bags and pouches. I like using small pouches because it makes changing bags extra easy and you know where everything is. For example, if I'm looking for my phone, I know it's in my pink pouch. Wet wipes? The white flower pouch. House keys? In my pink bag organizer. The small trick helps a lot. No more rummaging around the huge bag looking for something.
I repurposed a Body Shop gift box from Christmas as body care container like this. I love repurposing things, especially containers, because I hate to waste the money to buy things as well as littering the environment with too many (cute) packaging. Nowadays, products and gifts come in pretty baskets and boxes, which in mind are perfectly okay to repurpose instead of keep buying new containers.
In this digital era, many people don't make photo albums anymore, because they keep all their pictures on computer. We have one album, which is our wedding album. After some pondering, I decided that the album did no good just sitting on the shelf gathering dust. So I took it down, wiped the dust clean, and put it on display on our living room coffee table. I created this photo album stand from a piece of company merchandise sample that is merely almost thrown away, which I decorated with these paper red flowers that came with a Christmas package.
Because the album is there for everyone to see, now Hubby and I remember to flip through it once in a while when we feel nostalgic. Michael loves to flip through it, too. The funny thing is, because he was not in the pictures, he said that he was "waiting in the car". He still doesn't understand that when his parents got married, he was not born yet. Guests are also welcomed to flip through the album, and it serves as a good conversation topic. Who knows, I might be inspired to create an album every several years or so and put it on display like this!
As parents, we try to guide Michael as well as we could. For example. how to be brave and try all sorts of games by himself (with our supervision, of course). And if he falls down, we encourage him to try again, but "Next time, be more careful!"
We taught him about grocery shopping and the value of money. He even created a game of ATM machine, mimicking me taking out cash from the ATM! So many things can be taught and learned doing grocery shopping with a child. We taught him to only buy things that we need, put those UHT chocolate milk back on the shelves because he's already got many at home, and we taught him to help carry a bit of the groceries.
Michael learned that he should not be selfish and only buy things for himself. I told him, "Let's buy some bananas for Daddy!" and that's what he did putting in the bananas inside the shopping cart! "It's for Daddy!" he said.
In addition to learning how to haul and navigate a shopping cart, Michael also learned that he should wait patiently and guard the cart when Mommy was inspecting other produce.
Of course, when I do my biweekly grocery shopping, I go alone! I only carry Michael along when go shopping within walking distance from home to buy some neccessities that we ran out and it's not time yet to go for "real" grocery shopping. I schedule my grocery shopping twice a month, because the more frequent I go, the more money I tend to spend. For fresh produce, since they won't last two weeks, I buy additional vegetables from street sellers and this nearby grocery store.
Learning is not only for children. It's a lifelong process for us to grow continuously. Education doesn't stop at school, and it's not only about math, language, and science. You might know that one of my job is managing our Penthouse floors and in-house apartment. I have a team graduated from some of the well-known three-star, four-star, and five-star hotels in town. It's a good opportunity to learn some practical skills used in running a hotel that can be applied at home, such as housekeeping, pantry inventory system, fancy coffee making, etc. Last week, I had a bit of free time before going home, so I asked one of the girls to teach me to fold napkin for fancy dining. It took me a while, but I finally was able to make my own masterpieces. Here they are! I love entertaining at home, and next time when I do, I can add a little bit of fancy touch with my own newly-acquired fancy napkin folding skill! Thank you, Sandy! From left to right first row: fleur elis, Padang house, cove. Second row: Sydney, fan, and candle. I might be a career woman with my own track record, but I am still a homemaker at heart, and I love learning new skills that I can carry with me for many many years to enhance and beautify my home. ^__^
As a relatively new mom, I also learned one thing about this little human being I called my son. I think I have shared with you how a human being recognized beauty from a very early age, but I got yet another confirmation last week. Michael loves music and watching nursery rhymes on YouTube, and I let him indulge once in while. Once he asked to play the song "You Are My Sunshine" and since there was a new video that I wanted to watch first, I played this song titled "Love Story" by a beautiful Japanese singer Namie Amuro. She is a beautiful woman with small stature, powerful voice, and long thick mane of hair. I expected Michael to protest, instead he watched unblinking, mesmerized by Namie Amuro's lovely voice, pretty face, fabulous ballad song, and luxurious long hair. Michael likes women with long hair, perhaps because Mommy has long hair. After the song ended, I asked him, "Isn't she gorgeous?" And his answer was a definite yes.
Michael has a neighbor friend, Emily, who is a pretty child with shy demeanor. She is three years old, a year older than Michael. One afternoon, Hubby and I took Michael to play the swing at the park and we were joined by another little girl named Michelle. She is also three years old, but being a tall toddler, Michael is just as tall as she is. Actually, Michael is the tallest two year old among our neighborhood, people always assume he is three years old, until they hear him talk. An interesting story, we asked Michael when we walked home, "Isn't Michelle pretty?" Michael answered, "She is." Then I asked him again, "Who is prettier? Emily or Michelle?" And Michael answered again, "Emily is prettier."
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't intend to teach my child to judge a girl by her look alone. As precious as beauty is, it does fade away. What surprised me was, even a two year old can make such a distinctive comparison and preference. As a mother, I learned new things continuously which remind me again and again, as small as a child is, he is a full, different, separate human being. He is not an extension of yourself. He is an independent human on his own.
Being a 37 years old mom, and as skinny as I was before giving birth, my body shape changed. I'm naturally small boned, but I have gained some extra weight for the past year. Most of my jeans no longer fit me, and I need several pairs of comfy, stretchy, lightweight pants to wear for our upcoming summer vacation. So I went online and bought this pair of mint pants. They only cost about five bucks and turned out to be a good buy. The material is extremely lightweight - perfect for travel -, they are comfortable to wear, and the color is very pretty. I plan to give this pair a try out for several wears before making decision to buy some more pairs in different colors.

I wish I could get my old body shape back, because my skinny frame used to be able to carry many many styles of clothes, but hey, let's get everything into proportion, shall we. I'm not a celebrity who makes a living from my look. I can get away looking like a real mommy and a woman almost 40, as long as I don't let myself go completely. There are more other important things in life that deserve my attention than trying too hard to lose weight: God, family, home, work, reading a good book, preparing a healthy meal, decorating my house, hanging out with friends and family, writing a post for this blog, walking through the park on a sunny day, drinking tea with my husband, ...
Irregardless, I still love to maintain my look. Haha! This is one of those selfies I sometime take to send to my husband at work. He loves to see his wife looking presentable everyday.
I have an auntie who lives alone. She has been having numerous hard times and trials for the past several months, and she was rather depressed about it. I thought I wanted to do something to cheer her up a bit. Easter basket is not a common thing here in Indonesia, but I thought I would prepare some sort of care package, an Easter gift basket if you will, for her, just to show that I care about her. She lacks nothing, and I don't want to give her "yet another thing that requires dusting"; so I bought some new things and gather several things around that house that I thought she might enjoy and won't create clutter at her house. Some girlie thing that she can actually use.
A bottle of shea body lotion. A new house dress in cheerful yellow color. A baby blue silk scarf with lovely flower pattern that is extremely soft to touch. Some necklaces - because I remember that her favorite accessories are necklaces. A fancy gold metal belt that she can wear to the office. She loves to read, so I gave her two books: one is one of my favorite reads - The Red Tent - a historical fiction based on a passage in the Bible. I have one myself and when I saw another one at a used book store, I snatched it, intended to give it as a present to someone who enjoy reading, though at that time I had no idea whom I would give it to. Hubby suggested a funny book titled My Stupid Boss. It's a collection of hillarious stories about life at the office that I bought for my own Boss - just for the humor of it. The later book is not new. I have one and Hubby also had one, so I gave his extra copy for Auntie. I hope it can make her laugh because the stories are quite funny and entertaining.
Preparing a gift basket or a care package is so much fun! I might write a separate post about this topic later on. 
Last but not least, happy belated Easter from our family to yours! Here's a picture of the three of us after Easter Sunday Mass. As you can see, Hubby wore a nice handpainted batik shirt with jeans and a pair and shoes, which made me quite thrilled because usually he prefers casual look with sandals! That's my Easter present, I guess, seeing him (a bit) dressed up for Church.
And no, none of us wore new clothes for Easter Sunday. We wore good clothes, but not brand new. We didn't feel like we needed purchasing yet another new things to celebrate Easter. After all, Jesus Christ has made us all new with His death and ressurection, hasn't He? ^__^
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:


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