Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time to renew my passport

From Evernote:

Time to renew my passport

Here I am at the Indonesian Embassy renewing my passport for the 4th times. 
Sitting in the waiting room while listening & watching if it is my turn to submit all the documents needed. 
And just like other people who live overseas, passport is my life. So I must get this thing done first before anything else. The passport is actually still valid but I have to renew it so I can book a ticket for my next trip.

There are so many people in the room already when I entered this room at around 10am after getting the form (free of charge), filling it up, getting my queue number, and taking my photo (also free of charge). 

I'm queuing just like anyone else and I am glad that the service here is pretty organized, clear and fast. I just got my number called, by the way. So I have submitted all my documents and got my receipt to collect my new passport later in an hour or two. I have asked my husband to take the kids back to the hotel and let them swim rather than waiting here with me. Children are bad at waiting so it's better to let them enjoy the trip here :)

This is the 4th time my passport is issued from Indonesian embassy everywhere in the world as I have been traveling everywhere & moving from one country to another. 

Every time I have a chance to go back home to Indonesia is always a privilege for me. So whenever I go back to Indonesia, I want to make the best of the time eating all the food that I have been missing while I'm overseas. I don't even care about gaining weight as I have another 1 or 2 years to exercise before I indulge on the delicious Indonesian dishes and street food again :)

But now I am still waiting for my number to be called again to collect my passport. So while waiting, I just continue writing. 

I'm excited to see my parents. They will join me here from Jakarta and will be spending time with me and my family for about 2 months. Yay! I'm so happy! I hope they won't have difficulties arriving at my place. I miss them so much already and so do my kids. They keep on talking about what to do when eyang & kakung (grandma & grandpa) are with them. Thanks to Air Asia, now every one can fly indeed :) 

I'm looking forward to eat my mom's food again. To me, she is always the master chef! No matter how I practice the same cooking using her recipe, still, it turns out different taste :(

My dad can't eat the food that I cook as he isn't familiar with the taste and the style of cooking. Same here! :) So, if my mom cooks, I'd better resign and just resume my job as the food eater :D

Ok, I think I'm getting bored and my new passport are still far from being completed. So I have to think of doing something else that will entertain me and lift up my spirit a little bit.

I'm still having a little bit of jet-lag after the long flight yesterday. I feel like somebody has taken away all my energy and if I'm given a pillow, I'll snooze right away Zzzzzz

I'm going to check out the canteen. Probably I can buy some Teh Botol there or some Indonesian food :) 

I'll be back writing again. Please come back and continue reading. I will tell you my story about my super cute purple baby chick ;)

Ok, I'm back, just wanna tell you that luckily I decided to go out of the room to check out the canteen as it turns out the new passport collection is outside! Fuih! I nearly missed my name to be called! No, not yet. I still have to wait for a while until I get my new passport. After I get it, I want to start enjoying my trip here, shopping, photo-shooting, swimming, eating as much as local dishes my stomach can take :)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Good bye 2012, Welcome 2013


December came. In Philippines, December is the busiest month of the year. Christmas shopping and wrapping presents are my favorite thing to do. I am the living proof of that as I was super busy even on the 1st day of December as I opened Sophie Paris stall in a 3-day bazaar. During the bazaar, my knowledge, my skill in fashion and beauty, my business, and my direct selling skill are tested to the max. I worked so hard every day and night to prepare the bazaar. Lucky for me, I had the full support of Sophie Paris Philippines Business Center 046. I managed to earn more  income not only for me but also for BC 046. I managed to get more members too. 
And since Christmas was approaching, as a leader, I had a challenge of pushing the sales in my group even higher. I held a Sophie Solution training and Sophie Beauty Academy together with BC 046. I was so thrilled I was able to share my beauty and fashionista tips to every one attending the event. I made more sales during the event... :D In fact, I had to go back and forth collecting and delivering orders to my group and also to customers. I was also busy attending Christmas party everywhere. At Sophie Paris BC 046 Christmas Party attended by General Manager of Sophie Paris Philippines Inc: Sir Henry Lindberg, I was honored as the Motivational speaker as I shared my experience Sophieling Good, Sophieling Great :)

But then, I had to put a halt on all my activities when my helper went home for her Christmas and New Year break. Since my kids are in holiday, I also stopped going to the gym, replacing it with cleaning up my house and doing all the house chores. I focus on spending time with my little family. I took the children to Enchanted Kingdom, a fun theme park in Santa Rosa. We had a blast in the park as a family. I really enjoy the family time. Even without a helper, I can survive :)
I can even practice my photography again. As we are preparing to welcome the New Year, I would like to end my story here.

Contrary to what many people had feared about 2012 as the end of the world, I started to see status of my friends that said the year 2012 was the best year, and I also want to join them to say that 2012 was fantastic year! It was the year of revelation for me. It was the year of make over and learning something new. It was a better year compared to 2011. As I gain the momentum of being healthy, happy, and beautiful from inside and outside, I hope 2013 will keep me rolling into good fortune and better life. Thank you Lord for allowing me to feel your presence in my life. As we bid good bye to 2012, I give you my hope, love, and faith for a better life in 2013. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 to all my readers, my family and my friends!!







Highlight of my life for the 2nd half year 2012 Pt 1

To continue from my previous post, now I'm going to share with you the highlight of my life for the 2nd half year of 2012 before we say good-bye to 2012 and we'll welcome 2013.

Still in June 2012 event, my daughter started her first day of school. She was delighted to go to school for the first time and she wore all pink and carried her beloved Barney bag with her. I walk her to school everyday together with her classmate. So everyday I have 2-hour me-time :) At first I wanted to just sit down at the restaurant nearby her school while reading a book and enjoy my me-time, but then I realize that if I did this everyday, I would feel bored and grow fat as I would be tempted to eat and eat while waiting for her. Luckily, on the 4th floor of the same building, there's a gym. So my friend and I joined the gym and sweat it out for 1 hour at least before we sit down at that restaurant to eat our lunch and have a chat. Usually I would go to the gym for running 3 times a week, then once a week I would sit down doing the lazy exercise: sauna bath ;) This way I won't feel guilty taking in some calories during lunch break with my friends :) See how much calories I burned:


Because I exercise for an hour regularly at least 3 times a week, I managed to loose weight. Yay! The gym regime also taught me to choose my food and change my diet to include healthy menu everyday. My friend and I get really addictive to work out at the gym because after exercising, we will feel happy and healthy. I guess we got addictive to the hormones that are released during working out such as endorphin and serotonin. I prove it my self how exercise can change me and my life completely. Not only that I manage to shed some pounds, I also can think better as exercise helps to pump more oxygen to my brain. I am beautiful and happy inside and outside. That's the great thing about exercise regularly. So, I highly recommend you to start exercising regularly. You don't have to go to the gym. Just start at home! I know the 1st start is the hardest point. But once you get going, you'll get addicted to exercise.

Since now I gain my body shape, my face shines and my skin glow, I want to do makeover to my overall look. I want to be more fashionable and look more beautiful. And I was very lucky to be able to join Sophie Paris Philippines Inc. as their partner. So, my beauty and fashion business days began.

With exercise regularly and doing business in make up & fashion, I am able to transform myself from an ugly duckling into a beautiful healthy and happy swan :) God is also very happy with me too that He helped me to win a basic make-up training from Babymama Philippines photo contest! Yay! I won the prize of learn to do basic make up with Ana Isip. Ana Isip is a professional make-up artist in Philippines. You can check out her work at her website: Makeup by Ana Isip.


That was July to early August 2012.

By end of August to early September, I still continued doing my routine: kids, home, cooking, art & craft, photography, gym and my Sophie Paris business. In doing business with Sophie Paris, I learned the art of direct selling and the art of running your own fashion business. I was shy at first to approach people offering Sophie Paris products, so I just wore all the products myself. But then the response from people were great! Sophie Paris products are beautiful and really eye-catching, especially the bags. When I wear the products, people started to ask me about it. So, there I went, starting to explain and offer people Sophie Paris products. Not only did I manage to sell many Sophie Paris Products, I also managed to get new members to join the happy family of Sophie Paris Philippines and to help me to sell more and to a bigger market. I also saw myself going back and forth to Sophie Paris Philippines main office in  Mandaluyong, Makati. You see how I become busier and busier everyday. 

My days with Sophie Paris Philippines flourished when I won their twitter competition for having the most Sophiesticated Total look. You can read the post on Sophie Paris Philippines tumbler here: 

#SOPHIEsticated Total Look

In art and craft, I made a surprise birthday cake for my husband. I learned to make a fondant figurine and I made my husband fondant figurine that surprisingly really looked like him.. :D
Here is the fondant figurine of my husband:

Having no oven at home didn't stop me from making a birthday cake. I made a no-bake birthday cake the same way as I made cake-pop but multiple times bigger than a cake pop.
My husband got his morning birthday surprise from me... :) He laughed so much looking at the figurine of himself. My daughter was very happy requesting him, "Daddy, can I eat you?".. :D.. :D

In October, still in happy mode, I won another Sophie Paris Philippines twitter competition again. This time I won a ticket to go to Sophie Paris Philippines 10 anniversary Danca Extravaganza and Miss Sophie Paris Philippines coronation night at Sofitel hotel. While I was busy preparing myself and my dress to attend this big event, another Sophie Paris ticket winner contacted me to give away her ticket as she could not attend the event. Oh la la!! How lucky can I be? I got 2 free ticket to go to the grand event!

Then, also in October, I was requested to teach for a day during teacher day at my son's school. I know I am good at art & craft, so I choose to become an art teacher. I prepared my material for teaching to make sure the children would have fun and able to enjoy their creation. We would give our art & craft creations for the class teacher. I divided the classroom into 3 groups, one of the groups doing the fondant art. I prepared the no-bake cake for them to decorate. Here is the cake before and after decorated:
and below is result of my teaching day :)

I am grateful that I was requested to teach in my son's classroom because then I was able to appreciate how hard work it is to be a teacher that has to control and teach 28 students everyday. By teaching in my son's classroom, I was able to get to know my son's classmates this helps my son to feel proud being in the classroom.

Before October ended, my parents visited me in Philippines. This sure brought big big smile on my face. I took my parents for a culinary experience in Philippines. They really enjoyed their trip to Philippines. They agreed that IT IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES indeed :)
When they were in Philippines, St. Pedro Calungsod was canonized on October 21. This is a rare event. They said I am blessed. I believe I do as I was able to end October on a high note: I was upgraded to a franchisee level in my business with Sophie Paris Philippines. My group made more than P25K in sales!

In early November, I took the whole family to go back to Malaysia again for a short vacation. This time it was really only us staying in our Malaysia home. I got to clean up the whole house everyday for a week; sweeping, mopping, dusting, brushing, washing, etc. This activity helped me to loose weight more. As you can see, the simpler exercise starts at home! Clean up your house and you'll clean up the fat in your body too! You kill 2 birds with 1 stone :D


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Highlight of my life for the 1st half year of 2012

Hello! How are you doing? I'm so sorry that I have not been able to post stories here more often. I've been super duper busy for the whole year I didn't even realize that in 2 days the year 2012 is about to end and we'll welcome the new year 2013. I can't believe how fast time flies! It's 1 year already! I'm 1 year older and hopefully I'm 1 year wiser too... :)

Honestly, I don't want this year to end as 2012 has been a fantastic year for me. It's like God wanted to make up for  2011 which was not a good year for me. There are so many good things happening in my life since the start of the year. For the whole year, I was able to sharpen my art skill to create the happiness in my life. It was the year that I learned more and more about the art of decorating cake with fondant. It was also the year that I learned the art of photography and the art of business and direct selling. For the first half year, my lucky star always shone on me. In what ever competition I joined, I won the prize and this helped me to shine even more. This fantastic year has taught me that if I could channel the good energy to do what I can do best, I am a happy person and I will be able to end this year on a high note.

Without doubt, I would like to share with you all why this year is such a wonderful year for me complete with the photographs.


The highlight of the year for me started with this:


You remember reading this? It's here: Dragon year fondant cake
Since October 2011, I have been learning to make fondant decoration because I wanted to make my son a special birthday cake on his 7th birthday. I got addicted to making fondant decoration since the result of my son's birthday cake was great. So I continued practicing decorating with fondant for whatever occasion and I'm glad I made this to welcome the Dragon year for the Dragon year has become a nice year for me... :)

Next is this:


I made this for my good friend's birthday. I also made the basket from old newspaper:


Those were January and February 2012. 

For March 2012:
My good friend took me and my daughter to visit the floating library The Logos Hope which visited Manila Port:


Then she also took us to visit Museo Pambata (Children Museum) in Manila:

You can read my story here: Visit to Museo Pambata

In March I upgraded my iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S... :)
With my iPhone 4S, my photography and post production skill expanded. I have many photos to share with you:



Look! I found Australia on the sky... :) The cloud shaped like Australia continent formed above my house.

I took photo of my son who joined swimming class for the first time using my iPhone 4S. This was his first day of swimming lesson:


In April, 
for the first time, I joined The International food festival in which I showcased the dishes from countries I wanted to represent. In the event, I represented Indonesia (my beloved country for sure), Malaysia (as my other half is Malaysian), and also Vietnam. I know many visitors would love to eat Vietnamese food as well. Since there's no other people wanted to showcase Vietnam dishes (which was so unfortunate as Vietnamese food is super yummy), so I represented Vietnam because I love the Vietnamese fresh spring roll which I happen to know how to make it well... :) During that event, I was also requested to do cooking demo. And so I presented how to cook Beef Rendang as I sold beef Rendang on my stall to represent Indonesian food. Visit this post to get my:  special beef Rendang recipe.

I served the Beef Rendang with mini cone-shaped Javanese yellow rice (mini nasi tumpeng), with fresh Vietnamese spring roll, boiled quail egg, fried sausage, and scrambled egg. This dish was a hit! I sold all of my stock even more as people even were willing to buy my Beef Rendang dish without the beef Rendang... :D
As for Malaysia, I presented the Penang Prawn Noodle soup complete with the spicy chilly on request. I also introduced cold lemon Barley drink to represent Malaysia. Too bad I can't do Teh Tarik (pulled tea), as this will be even more authentic Malaysian drink... :)

The Beef Rendang dish and the Vietnamese Spring roll sold out first as here in Philippines, people like to eat rice more than noodle. But my Prawn Noodle soup also nearly sold out. 


End of April to early May 2012, I went back to Malaysia for summer vacation. I invited my parents to join us in Malaysia. These are the photographs of our summer vacation:




End of May 2012, still in vacation mode, we went to Anilao Beach in Batangas:

Then, on the 1st day of June 2012, I was invited to attend a violin and cello summer concert at Adventist University of Philippines. My son played his solo piece on violin: 'Etude'. He made me proud! He was only 7 years old and this was his 2nd recital. If you can understand Bahasa Indonesia, you can read my article at BatikIndonesia.com here: Batik dan pemain biola cilik
Here is his photograph:
Isn't he gorgeous? My son looks so cool in his batik shirt while playing his solo piece.

It's getting dark outside and I have to prepare dinner for my husband and my kids. So far these are the highlight of my life for the 1st half year in 2012. I will try my best to continue writing the next post for the 2nd half year in 2012. Stay tune!












Sunday, July 08, 2012

Serenitea - Not your ordinary cup of tea, really!


From Evernote:

Serenitea - Not your ordinary cup of tea, really!

Hokkaido pearl milk tea from Serenitea @ Solenad 2, Nuvali, Santa Rosa - Tagaytay road, Santa Rosa, Philippines.

It's my first time to come to Serenitea. All along I've been wondering why so many people willing to queue just to get a cup of Serenitea milk tea. 



After I tasted this Hokkaido pearl milk tea, I know why: because it's very delicious and it's definitely not your ordinary cup of tea just like what it's said on the Serenitea tag line.


There are so many kinds of tea you can choose. You choose the flavor, then choose how much sugar contain u want, then you choose the sinkers such as pearl, panna cotta, grass jelly, aloe vera, etc. 

Since it was my 1st time, I go with the #1 on costumer's choice list: Hokkaido. Hokkaido is milk tea with caramel flavor. I chose the sinkers: Tapioca pearl bubbles because I'm familiar with the taste and texture.

If you come to Philippines, on the way to Tagaytay, you stop by Serenitea. But before you go there, make sure you check out the website: http://iloveserenitea.com/ and 

make a mental note what to order so that you won't make the queue even longer because you just can't make up your mind which tea to order in the counter :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visit to Museo Pambata (Children Museum) in Manila


Summer holiday in Philippines ended nearly a month ago and my children have started their new term at school. Also for my little girl who is 3.9 years old, she has started her 1st day of school last Monday. To help me recover from the holiday mode, I try to get busy as much as possible doing things that I love to do, such as learning some photography techniques, doing some arts and crafts, cooking, reading, and writing. 

This year is our 3rd year of living in The Philippines. I have become more and more accustomed to the way of life here and honestly, I have difficulty proving to the locals that I am a foreigner without my passport. Everything about me is just so Filipina. I get about 99.9% people thought I am local even with my broken Tagalog...:)

As part of my way to learn more about The Philippines way of life, I wanted a visit to Museo Pambata (http://www.museopambata.org) in Manila. Museo Pambata is a museum for children, in which displays all the stories and history of Philippines. I've asked my husband to accompany us to visit this place, but unfortunately, his working commitment is everything to him. Fortunately for me, one of my good friends invited me and my daughter to go there.
Museo Pambata has 8 different theme rooms. We visited all the theme rooms and my daughter got more and more excited as we moved from one theme room to the other. 
One particular room that got me so excited was the 'Global Village' room. The things displayed in this room would be able to explain why I do look exactly like the Filipina :)

In this room, we could see all the things such as musical instruments and children games used in Philippines which are exactly the same as the ones I know in my country, Indonesia. The musical instruments such as Angklung, Gambang (or in Philippines it's called Gabang), Gong, Kenong were on display. The games such as: congklak (or in Phillipines it's called sungka), dampu (in Philippines it's called sudsod), and Philippine dance called Tinikling (a traditional dance in between 2 long bamboo poles). My daughter had so much fun trying and touching everything in there and at the same time, I explained to her that all these things also can be found in my country and her country, Malaysia. 
Especially for Tinikling dance, I have to confess that I don't know the name in Indonesia and Malaysia, but the1st time I saw this kind of dancing with my own eyes was when I visited Sarawak Cultural Village in Sarawak, Malaysia. Before my visit to Sarawak Cultural Village, I only saw the Indonesian dancing with 2 long bamboo poles in the TV. So, this kind of traditional dance where the dancers will dance in between 2 long bamboo poles is a traditional dance of Indonesian, Malaysian, and Filipinos. From here, we can learn how our great great great grandparents had traveled from Indonesia to Malaysia and Philippines and invested the same culture and heritage to the 3 countries. Ha! No wonder I am such a chameleon here in South East Asia. I can look like a Malaysian, or look like a Filipina and definitely look like an Indonesian...:)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Fixing a broken (tele)communication

My family and friends are scattered all over the world, but in this modern world, technology and internet have helped us to shorten the distance and make communication easier among us although we live in different parts of the world. This is my primary reason why I have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Multiply, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, and any other social networking sites. I need to stay in touch with my family and friends, especially with my immediate family. My high speed internet connection is my best friend especially when it is teamed up with my iPhone & iPad. So, I really have no problem to reach almost every one in the world.

For those who don't like to use social networking websites to communicate, there's always email, phone or sms. 

But, unfortunately, the other sides that I communicate with, many of them do not have good access on the internet because the country doesn't have a good infrastructure for the high speed broadband connection or also because the cost to have an internet connection or a smartphone is still too expensive for them. My parents, for example. My parents are retired and they live on pension income which is very little because my dad was only a teacher before he retired. My mom was a teacher too before she retired, but she doesn't get pension money because she was only a contractual teacher. So, with only less than US$100 a month to survive, my parents won't have enough budget to buy a smartphone, a computer, or to install an internet connection. The same thing happens with my brother. My brother has a smartphone but he can't afford to buy the internet package for his smartphone. So, as you can see, I have a broken telecommunication with my immediate family. Annnnnnddddd....to make matter worst, for unexplained reason, my smartphone provider (Globe) in Philippines has problem receiving Short Messages (SMS) that are sent by my parents mobile phone provider (XL) in Indonesia. So, I cannot receive any smses at all from my parents until my parents decided to use a different mobile phone provider. I can't change a provider cause I am a postpaid customer that is bounded by a contract. My iPhone can only use the sim card from that one mobile phone provider.

I noticed this problem by end of last year. I have reported the problem to Globe and they have done any checking to their network between Philippines and Indonesia, and they told me that nothing is wrong. So, that means, the problem could be from XL, because I can receive SMS from other mobile phone providers in Indonesia such as from Telkomsel and IM3. But then, sending SMS to me in Philippines from Indonesia is quite expensive especially for my parents. For me, calling Indonesia from Philippines is expensive. So, the communication is limited only on urgent and important matters. I only call my parents once a month and they only text me when they have important news. They even seldom reply to my text if it's not urgent to reply. Honestly, I feel sad and disappointed. 

But since I have a high speed internet connection at home, I try my best to find a way to fix the broken (tele)communication. This search brought me to this website: www.freesms4us.com. From this website, I can send and receive smses for free to any Indonesia mobile phone numbers, regardless the providers! And the best part is that whenever I send sms using this website, the number comes out to reply is an Indonesian phone number which I can read the reply on the same website.This is important cause that means my parents will send/reply sms to me for local rate. It's definitely cheaper for them and it's free for me. But the downside is, the sms isn't guaranteed to be delivered and received. I hope the website can improve on this because this website is really good to help people that have the same problem like me.








Thursday, February 02, 2012

Dragon Year fondant cake



To welcome the new water Dragon Year, I decided to make my own dessert: Dragon New Year Fondant Cake.

I used 4 ready-made mini round sponge cakes with 3 different tastes (melon, yam, and pandan) to be decorated. The decorations are all made of marshmallow fondant that I made by myself. I like to use the marshmallow fondant better than the commercial fondant I bought from the store because marshmallow fondant tastes better.



To continue reading this post, click here: My Dragon New Year fondant cake