Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Simple Gal's Journal: One Long N Busy N Fun Weekend

Hello, Friends! I'm sure you all love long weekend. I mean, who doesn't?
 
Here in Indonesia we had a long weekend due to Good Friday, so long weekend was a long weekend for both Christians and non-Christians alike. Also, in April, Hubby and I celebrate our second wedding anniversary, so in addition to daily life, going to Easter mass, etc., we also had a lovely dinner on Saturday evening. It's not neccessarily anniversary dinner, just a lovely evening out. We both love trying out new restaurants, and are willing to pay more to experience the ambiance and the interior. Yes, we are one of those people! We allocate a certain amount of money for this spending every month in our family budget, titled "entertainment budget", but we don't go every month. Sometimes we do, sometimes we skip two or three months, just spending weekends at home. Or sometimes we just go to a nearby movie theater on Friday night for a cheap date. We are flexible and much more simple after getting married. ^__^
 
I didn't take special outfit picture for the dinner, so here I will share some pictures snapped with my iPhone of what I wore. The dress is a little bit shorter than what I usually wear, but it's still modest. The line is simple and I wore a lot of accessories to adorn this otherwise very simple dress. It's all about the details!
 
I bought this colorful necklace years ago, and I also wore it in this post here. It was a risky buy from an online shop, I hesitated because it looked so colorful and tacky. So glad I finally decided to get it, because it turned out an exquisite piece which has been accessorizing many outfits, including this one!
 
green and red, date look, fashionista mom, stylish mom, women over thirty
 
Here I wore it with another outfit sometime in 2012. You can tell from the quality that this picture was NOT taken with an iPhone. Haha!
 
green and red, date look, fashionista mom, stylish mom, women over thirty
 
This is the overall look, with the lovely red bow wedges and purse. I wasn't sure about the green and red combination, for fearing I would like an overadorned Christmas tree (in April!), but I think I looked somewhat put together enough. I hope.
 
green and red, date look, fashionista mom, stylish mom, women over thirty
 
And here's my stack of arm candies. I love wearing multiple bangles and charm bracelets together.
 
arm candy, stacking bracelets, charm bracelet
 
Yes, I am one of those annoying people who loves to take selfie, either myself, or with my son, or with my husband. Well, some might call it vanity, that's partly true, but I also love making memories!
 
veal dish, veal navarin, le quartier, jakarta restaurant
 
We went to a fancy French retaurant and bistro called Le Quartier. The interior is gorgeous and the food is nice, but we're not coming back since we didn't find it to be extraordinary in terms of food, and there are so many other restaurants we would like to try. We only come back to the same establishment if the food or the ambiance is super exceptional, or it has a special meaning and nostalgia to us.
 
I'm the kind of person who is more willing to pay for experience and memory, than stuff. I can justify spending more than USD 250 on a lavish Valentine's dinner (once in a while of course!) in a magnificently romantic setting that I can remember for the rest of my life, yet I cannot justify spending the same amount on a pair of leather shoes, for example. I can justify spending thousands of dollars on custom-made trip to Italy, yet I cannot spend it on let's say, a Hermes bag, though I know I can even pass down the bag to my daughter since good quality leather handbag practically lasts forever. I guess we all have different spending style and preference.
 
veal dish, veal navarin, le quartier, jakarta restaurant
 
That evening I got out of my comfort zone and try to order something that is not my usual favorite. It's a veal dish, called veal navarin, which is basically marinated veal with peas, carrots, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, garlic, shallot, lots of herbs, cooked till tender, swimming in rich savory broth. It's not something that I would commonly order, but it was absolutely delicious!
 
veal dish, veal navarin, le quartier, jakarta restaurant
 
The next day is Easter Sunday, so we went to Mass, then had breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant where they serve chicken porridge with many little side dishes. Delish!
 
bubur ayam
 
We spent the rest of the day playing with our son and just relaxing at home. Our weekends are usually pretty simple. One day I asked Hubby, "Do you notice that our life and how we spend our time together is much simpler and cheaper now compared to when we were still dating?" He agreed. Having breakfast together, either restaurant-made porridge or home-made omelette and toasts now is just as cozy and enjoyable as paying for brunch at a five star hotel.
 
 
I don't know why, but Michael looooooves car! Real cars, not toy cars or hot wheels! On the weekends, we allow him to sit in Daddy's car where he pretends to steer the wheel and makes broom-broom noises. So cute!
 
toddler driving
 
We wanted to take Michael for a ride in the afternoon, but he was being naughty and didn't finish eating his afternoon snack. Soooo, no ride for that day! I insisted on being firm and keep my promises. When I said we'll take him for a ride if he finished off his meal, and he didn't, then he must know that Mommy meant business.
 
It was such a hot day, Hubby decided to make homemade frapuccino for us. Yes, you can definitely bring Starbucks home with you with just instant coffee, some cold water and ice cubes, and vanilla ice cream. Blend it well using a blender, and voila! You have your own homemade frappucino! Such refreshing, icy cold beverage in the middle of scorching heat. Delightful!
 
homemade frapuccino

That was our long Easter weekend. How was yours?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

A Simple Gal's Journal: Spring N Easter 2014 Resolutions

Happy Easter, Friends!

Can you believe it's April already? Before we realize it, the first quarter of 2014 had already passed. Spring time is here, and everything feels fresh and new. For me, here in Jakarta, the rainy season has ended, and I decided to do some spring cleaning. No, not that kind of spring cleaning. I clean my house everyday, not every season. I'm making Spring 2014 Resolutions! And Friends, I urge you, I invite you, please do join me! Besides, don't you think it's much more manageable to make short list of resolutions every quarter or so, compared to making a loooooong list once a year?

But first, let me give you a little update of how my 2014 Resolutions has been going...
You can read the full post of my 2014 Resolutions here.

Going to Church regularly

I'm sooooo glad to report that this one has been going well. Several weeks we did skip, because either me or my husband felt a little bit under the weather, so that's understandable. I'm so happy to go back to attending Holy Mass!

Reading the Bible every day

I skipped some days, too, but overall I've been reading the Bible on more regular basis since I installed the New American Bible app on my iPhone. I've been reading Peter, and now I'm reading James. I don't always understand it, sometimes I have to read over and over, but I'm learning and enjoying the process of reading the word of God as part of my daily life.

Getting back to exercising

Work in progress, is all I can say about this one! I skipped several weeks, too, because there were some crazy weeks, but I try to stick to it as much as I can. Not too bad, though I haven't been going as regularly as I would like. This week I only went once, and the week before, zero. I have paid for three-month membership at the gym nearby, for goodness sake, I feel like I must, must, must not waste da moneyyy!!


With all the odds and ends, I feel like I'm doing OK with the January resolutions. Now, let's get down to my Spring 2014 Resolutions.

Intentionally praying for my Husband everyday

I receive this book titled "The Wife Who Prays" from a friend. It compiles a list of prayers for husband that you can say quickly because each one is pretty short. The book is light and compact, since the writer intended for a book that a wife can carry everywhere in her purse, so it's not heavy nor bulky. As for me, I just put it on my writing table next to our bed, because I'd like to incorporate reading - or praying - a page of it into my before bedtime ritual every night. The prayers are divided into different topics such as praying for your husband's health, for his mind, for marriage, even for sex life, etc., there are 58 prayers in all, and I just read one every night or so in the order they were written.


Making to do list and actually doing them everyday

I found out that without to do list, I tend to forget things and my days just passed though happily, unproductively, if you know what I mean. I forgot little things like filling up the hand soap dispenser or bringing the book that I promised to lend a coworker. I planned to organize my book collection and never actually doing it because when I do have the time to do it, I forget and lounge on my bed browsing instagram instead. Not necessarlly because I'm lazy, but because I cannot remember what I should be doing! 

I received this pretty agenda as a promotional gift from a supplier, and it's just perfect. I color code my to do list in moderation to help me stay organized, but nothing fancy. I'm not the kind of person who treats the agenda or calendar as a personal scrapbook with stickers and cute things. I enjoy seeing people who do that, but I think it's more important for me to actually doing the projects instead of spending a lot of time planning and decorating my planner. 


Story Time with My Son Everyday

My son enjoys sitting on Mommy's lap while Mommy is reading him a story. It's not particularly before bedtime, but I do that quite often. Still, there are days when I forget to do that, so I plan to do that more frequently, because he seems to enjoy having someone read to him. 

I notice that my son, Michael, is not one who likes toys. He just plays with whatever things he finds around the house: empty boxes, spoons, Christmas balls, tins, Mommy's pantry things, remote, whatever. He doesn't really care for actual toys. He doesn't have a lot of toys, most of his toys he received as gifts or hand me downs from friends whose children have outgrown their toys, but he doesn't really care for them so we haven't got him any new toys lately. Just some blocks and that's pretty much it. We notice though, that he loves books. He love flipping (and tearing out) free magazines that we got, and he loves the two books that we got him. One in Indonesian language, one in English.


Finding Time to Read Books Again

Reading is my all time favorite hobby. However, changing in less than a year from a thirty-something single career woman who lives alone to a wife, then a mother, with all the grocery shopping, taking care of my husband, my baby, working full time outside the house, cleaning, decorating, blogging, watching YouTube videos, exercising, etc., I rarely read real books anymore. I find myself too tired in the evening to read 'heavy' books. So I plan to block an hour or two during weekends and while Baby Michael is napping, to read books. 

I plan to read one self-improvement book, and one light book at the same time, so I won't get bored. This is my current ones that I'm reading.

I read this years ago as a college student, and I want to refresh, because I do act as the CFO of the family, so naturally I'm interested in finance! ^__^


And this romance novel that should be an easy and entertaining reading...


Incorporating family journal into Style N Season blog

I have a family blog, but don't have enough time to manage it properly. I really want to document our lives as a family, not just channeling MY thought and recording MY fashion daily, I want to record US and OUR lives as a family instead of just ME ME ME! So I decided to insert some pictures and short diary of sort into my weekly post and share our family highlights of the week. Let's see how it goes, since I usually schedule my posts way in advance just in case life gets busy. 

Let's start with this week.

Last Sunday, after Church, we all went to a nearby mall for Sunday brunch. Hubby was craving for dim sum (sort of Chinese appetizer-like delicacies, usually served for brunch) and grilled duck, so we went to a restaurant called Duck King since we consider it to have the best grilled duck in town. Well, can't you tell from the name? Haha!



Hubby had some hainam rice (sort of spiced rice) and I had porridge. Duck King's porridge is really really good, so I wanted to give Michael some, but he refused and chose his Daddy's hainam rice instead. Perhaps he thought porridge was for babies only, and he is a toddler now, not a baby anymore, hehehe... Here he acted so grown up holding the menu, as if he could read and order straight from it. Michael is a relatively easy toddler. Whenever we take him to a restaurant, he just sits happily on a high chair and entertain himself with menu, spoons, and people watch. We are so blessed.


That particular Sunday was also the first time Michael visited Timezone, a game place extremely popular for children. I thought because he likes cars so much, he would like riding on this toy car. Well, he looked confused, unlike when he rides on a real car, but we would like to try again and see if he got the idea of a toy car next time. Other children seem to like Timezone very much. We don't want Michael to become too attached to such a place, of course. I know some children who refuse to eat unless the parents bribe and take them to Timezone. Frankly we believe more in tested and true, old-fashioned, traditional, conventional ways to raise a child. You know, like the way our parents raised us, and we don't turn so bad afterall, haha!  That includes traditional toys and play activities, lke running, jumping, blocks, walking around the neighborhood, making a game with everyday things they have around like spoons, leaves, papers, etc. instead of iPad and video games. However, we also want him to experience what was popular among children his age, or at least got a taste of it, if you know what I mean.


Ow, I took a snapshot of this cute phrase over here. It was from jewelry and diamond exhibition or something. Well, neither Hubby nor I wear diamond wedding rings on our fingers, we don't believe in that kind of marketing campaign that diamond ring is a must if two people want to get married, but I thought the phrase was lovely and inspiring! All marriages have "boiling mad" times, and that's when this phrase needs to jump in. Next time you have a fight with your husband, remember to keep calm because both of you are actually still madly in love no matter how annoyed you two at each other sometimes! That's a reminder for me, too! ^__^


Also, sometime last week, in the evening after tucking Michael in for the night, I reorganized his drawer and closet where I kept his things. I threw away his clothes that had become so worn out they are no longer wearable, and kept away things that are still in relatively good condition in a separate dresser drawer. I kept away his good and rarely used receiving blankets, warm blanket (he refuse to use blanket of any sort), towels, shoes, and other baby supplies that can be reused. I let friends borrow some of his things for their children, but I keep his old but still good clothes for our next baby, if God is willing to bless us with another one.

I'm glad to say that now he has empty spaces in his closet! No more too-tight or too-short shirts and worn-out pants stashed helter-skelter in the drawers! On the next day I went shopping at a baby store near my place and got him several new house shirts and pajamas, all in bigger size. Michael wears XL size now. He's not a baby baby anymore. Time flies! Sometimes I looked at him when he was asleep, so big now compared to just several months ago, and thought to myself: "Gosh! Where did my tiny baby go?"

Here are some of the clothes I got. I don't go crazy when I go shopping, either for myself or for my child, I just got what we needed. Baby clothes are so cute with their cheerful tiny prints and happy colors. Adorable! The store have clothes in characters like Angry Birds and Mickey Mouse, but I prefer to buy classic patterns like little animals, choo-choo, and polkadots. They are not trendy and will be "fashionable" far longer than Angry Bird. Also, somehow, they look more innocent and cute to me, and I want to savor every moment seeing Michael as baby, or semi toddler. Soon he will grow up to be a little boy and would want to choose his own grown-up-like outfits and popular character outfits! I wish boy's clothes were just as cute, but of course, as boys got bigger, their outfits will become more and more manly and not as cute as little girls' clothes! Well, I guess that's OK. Let Mommy wear the cute clothes, and Michael wears manly clothes like Daddy. Haha!


See what I mean? Every time I take a picture of him sleeping, I was like "Where did my Baby Michael go? When did he become so tall?" I know, I know, all Mommies say that, that's kind of annoying, isn't it!





And that's about it! I will check back with you in about several months or so with an update of how my Easter resolutions go. What about sharing your resolutions with me? Let's do this together!


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