It's So Bangkok! #1

Saturday, December 29, 2012
Hello there, lovely people!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS! I'm so sorry for being missing for quite a long time, but... I wanna wish you all a blessed year ahead! How was your Christmas? Hope you had a very merry one! (;

And now, I'm back with the long awaited story..... yep. My Bangkok story. It's too long ago, I know! But nonetheless I'll still share the story with you since it occupies a very special place in my heart (':

As I mentioned before, I went to BANGKOK, THAILAND to attend and be a part of the first ever Asia Pacific Model United Nations (APMUN) 2012. I was in Bangkok from 19-27 September 2012. This part one will consist of my story during APMUN from 19-24 September 2012! So... let's begin with part one, shall we?

September 19th, 2012
This is the day where we took off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand. As you might remember from my Singapore story, I am a nervous flyer. However, somehow, I didn't feel so bad about this flight. :p I guess I already knew it was going to be an amazing trip worth of any flight! When we arrived, it was already night time in Bangkok. But still, I was amazed with the modernity of the airport. It was so big and felt so modern! One of my fave airport for sure.

our first hotel and its surroundings, taken from Google Maps

We rented two cabs to hit our first hotel, City Lodge located in Sukhumvit 19. Though exhausted, we could not put off exploring around the hotel! Especially cos we were pretty famished :p Thank God our hotel was located near a bunch of street snack stalls and Circle K.

pad thai stall, taken from here

So we had for ourselves hearty portions of pad-thai. It was, spicy yes, but so delicious! It consists of rice noodle, or kwetiauw as we call it in Indonesia, eggs, some greens, and (in some, including this one I ate) shrimps. This pad thai, like most foods in Thailand as we would find out later, was very cheap but so yummy.

September 20th, 2012
And before we knew it, the first day of conference of APMUN 2012 had arrived. From that day until a couple of days later, we spent our mornings getting ready for the conference. Yep, business attire and make-up were my most loyal companions for those days.
On the first day, we had a registration session and Drop-In Rules of Procedure Training in the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, which would also be our venue for the conference. We made new friends instantly since everyone was so friendly! We had especially close relationship with the locals who also attended the conference. They positioned themselves automatically as the hosts (although they weren't part of the committee) and they did amazing jobs. Yeah, I personally think that this is something everyone can learn from.
Later on, our new Thai friends helped our way to the United Nations (UN) Building for the Opening Ceremony. The opening ceremony itself was an AMAZING experience, I'm telling you. We met with so many different people from so many different countries: China, Italy, Russia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA, Australia, and many more!

our new Thai friends and us: Marcella (IDN), Aor / O (TH), Natsha and Destin (IDN), Praewa / Prae (TH), Nuel (IDN), Wee / V (TH), Me!, Noon (TH). Btw, did you notice we were doing it ASEAN Style? :p

And so after the opening ceremony, we had to go back to QSCC for the first session of the conference. This time, without our Thai friends. Omygod it was an unforgettable experience! It was raining, no cab would take us to the MRT station, and most tuk-tuk drivers couldn't understand English! But thank God we finally managed to get on a tuk-tuk to the MRT station. The tuk-tuk ride was so fun! We were laughing our asses off. :p

September 21st-23rd, 2012
My partner, Nuel, and I were in the General Assembly Third Conference, which mainly talks about social and humanitarian issues. In APMUN, our GA 3rd talked about child labors and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015. It was extraordinary! I personally felt that I made notable improvements in this conference, compared to the one I had in Singapore. I managed to implement the advise from my previous chair in NTU MUN, Thomas, which was to 'push through' and deliver more because 'I had very good points', so yaay for me! :'D

The conference itself was different. In APMUN, we mainly had unmoderated caucuses instead of moderated ones. Therefore, our lobbying and negotiation capability were really put to the test! It was a great challenge for me, but thank God, with great cooperation with Nuel, we managed to make our voices more heard in the conference. We even became the sponsors of the draft resolutions.

Can you see me in the center? I was typing down the points coming
from other delegates at that time. :p

What also made this experience different from the previous ones I had was there were a plenary and a "crisis" in this one! Plenary is where all the committees were gathered, while "crisis" is a term for a sudden or impromptu issue delegates need to address in the middle of their regular conference. In APMUN 2012, our crisis was related to MDGs expiration. I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to speak at the podium, both during the plenary and the crisis!

In the end, the GA 3rd bunch became really close. I personally became very close with some of them, such as Sun from China, Kaushik from India, Andhika from University of Indonesia, Liliana from Italy, and of course, Prae and Fang from Thailand.

And as how it started, the conference came to a close before we knew it. We all had a closing ceremony to attend to, and... our proud delegation for our university managed to grab the award of Best Position Paper in GA 1st and Distinguished Delegation as a whole. Congrats to us!

September 24th, 2012
But, wait! APMUN had not ended yet! On 24 night we would have a delegate dance party. However, since we had no more conference sessions, we were free to explore Bangkok and do what Indonesian people do best: SHOPPING! So we went to Pratunam and Platinum, two shopping spots which are very famous in Bangkok.

Hmmm. Okay... we got lost. But we finally managed to arrive safely! Hoorraay! So we split into smaller groups and shopped all the way down. Mind you, Pratunam is some kind of a market which mainly sells VERY CHEAP clothings and souvenirs! Especially if you buy them in a large quantity (therefore it is best to shop in groups! :p). And if you are careful and persistent (like we were teehee), you can find very good stuffs with low price there!
On the other hand, Platinum is a shopping mall. Certainly, the goods there are more pricey than in Pratunam. But it's a good place to do window shopping and cool down after being a crazy shopzilla in Pratunam (they are located opposite of each other). And yeah, some people prefer to shop in Platinum because of the comfort (like some of my friends). So, it's your call!
After shopping, we rented two tuk-tuks to the station and went back to City Lodge by BTS.

When we arrived in Sukhumvit, there was still time before we had to get ready for the delegate dance party. So, some of my friends and I hit the Terminal 21, a very nice shopping mall near our hotel, to have dinner. This mall resembles Grand Indonesia in a way that they both have themes for each floor based on different countries around the world. However, I must say that I like Terminal 21 better than Grand Indonesia :p

Terminal 21, taken from Google Maps

After dinner, it was time to get ready for delegate dance party! Too bad though most of our delegation members were exhausted and opted out of the party. So, only Ayu, Natsha, Fandi and I would be going to the party at Sonic Club, which was said to be the hype club at the moment.
And we didn't regret our choice at all! It was such a fun night. We got crazy, dancing non-stop from around 11pm until around 2.30 am (making our Head of Delegation worried back in the hotel! :p). I tasted some drinks my friends bought, such as margarita from Liliana; they were quite nice and surprisingly reasonably priced.

Prae and her significant other, Noon and moi

So... yeah, all in all, APMUN 2012 had become an extraordinary experience that, I know, will always occupy a special place in my heart. (I even got teary-eyed writing about this!!!) I will never forget the lessons, the new experiences, the friendship, and the kindness I experienced during APMUN 2012. So, as my friend from India, Kaushik said, "The world is very small and we'll definitely meet again!! High hopes!!"

Until the second part! :*

Quick Update!

Thursday, October 11, 2012
I know, I know. I made terrible sin: abandoning this blog for so long!! ): However, I'm back with lots and lots and lots of stories. I hope this will make up for the 'missing in action' part, because I was indeed missing not without any justifiable reason! :p

Okay, here's a quick update before many long posts ahead about my latest adventures! :D

1. I am officially a Beswan Djarum batch 28 now! Meaning, I am an official scholarship recipient of Djarum Beasiswa Plus. Thank God!! :'D

2. I was awarded 'Best Student of IR Batch 2010' at the 51st Dies Natalis of my faculty past couple weeks ago! It really was an honor :'D

3. I went to BANGKOK, THAILAND to attend and be a part of Asia Pacific Model United Nations (APMUN) 2012! The very first one, organized by UN ESCAP and AIT! OMYGOD IT WAS BEYOND WORDS!! I'll be posting lotsa stories on this one, that's a promise (;

4. About two weeks ago, I and my friends from the IR Student Association 2012/13 had just been officially inaugurated (me as President of IREC)! :D Oh, and I am now having midterm exams (while I'm not feeling very well lately from exhaustion). So..... please bear with me if I shall be missing in action again O.o

Anyway, how are you guys doing?? Hope everything goes well in your life :D If not, don't worry it too shall pass (: Smell you later, pretty people, and oh, pleaseee wish me luck for my midterm exams! Smooches :*

DIY Galaxy Tee!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hello there, people! Welcome to another DIY post of mine, a sub-feature of the Studio/Kitchen feature. :D

Lately, I've been stunned by the gorgeous galaxy print fashion often seen in Tumblr and fashion blogs. Unfortunately, here in Indonesia, there are still so few stores that have them. AND, if any, they're unreasonably pricey (for my pocket, at least :p).

That's why, my friend Amanda and I decided to make our own DIY Galaxy Tees! Well, tanks, to be exact. (; And we wanna share that with you!

We mainly got the instruction from Wise Rabbit Says, but we added a few of our own touches here and there! (; We'll include our commentary on the process below.

First things first, here are the things that you'll need to make a DIY Galaxy Tee / Tank.

Supplies: a garment (I chose black for my first to-sell collection), bleach, water, spray bottle, acrylic paint, paintbrush or old toothbrush, hairdryer, some plastic bags, glove (optional, recommended if you have sensitive skin).

And now, let the process commence! :D

First mix up a bleach solution of 1 part bleach, 3 parts water and fill your spray bottle with it.
Commentary: We found out that this bleach/water ratio to be not quite effective on our garments, especially Amanda's. With that ratio, nothing really happens and the color change was minimum. So we changed it into about 5/2 bleach/water ratio. Different color and fabric might need different ratio, so don't be afraid to experiment. (;

Next lay out the T-shirt (with nothing around to avoid damage from bleach splatters). Place a plastic bag inside the T-shirt so the bleach doesn't seep through to the back of the garment (optional).
Commentary: We also laid a plastic bag that we had cut out into a bigger spread under our tanks, just to be safe if we do spill some bleach.

Then, start spraying! Start by spraying a little, use your hairdryer to make them dry faster and to see the pattern emerging. This helps you know where to spray next.
Commentary: By hairdrying them, you'll see what color appears out of the bleaching process like magic! Different color and fabric will have different color change. For instance, dark blue might produce pinkish color change, black to rusty brown (like Amanda's), and dark brown to red (like mine).

To help create a galaxy effect, twist the fabric in the middle to form a swirl, spray more heavily in the middle to form the center, and use your hairdryer again!
Commentary: In our first process, we found out that our spray bottle didn't really work as expected. Instead of smooth spray, it only produced big blotches. To get around this, I just poured some bleach onto the middle instead of spraying and then used my fingers to help even them out, and Amanda just kept spraying more! (;

Continue spraying until you get the pattern you want, and use your hairdryer again.
When it's dry, rinse the garment with lukewarm water (this step is different from the Wise Rabbit Says) to stop the bleaching process and prevent it to eat holes in your garment! Then let it dry again.

For the final touch, Wise Rabbit Says instructed to 'use the paint brush to slowly drip and stronger bleach solution (1 part water,1 part bleach- you only need a tiny amount for this) to give the effect of individual brighter stars'.
Commentary: Instead of more bleach, we used white acrylic paint and old toothbrush. Amanda and I had different method for our final touch. Amanda grabbed some of the acrylic paint (mixed with a little water) with her old toothbrush and just flicked the toothbrush to create the 'star drops'. On the other hand, I, too, grabbed some of the acrylic paint with my toothbrush and dabbed it onto different spots of the fabric, sometimes slightly brushing it. These two different methods produced different results as seen above! (; So, whichever you prefer!

And, TA-DAA! There you go, a brand new DIY Galaxy Tee / Tank of your own!

The above picture shows the brown one and bluish black one, instead of the pure black I used along the post. We also wanna thank Wise Rabbit Says big time for the tutorial.
And for you, beautiful readers, hope you enjoy this DIY, cos we certainly did! (; Feel free to experiment with different color and fabric, and share the result or the difficulties you found with us! Hopefully we can help you get around the errors. (; Toodles!


Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm often asked by my friends and acquaintances, "What makes your relationship last, still strong despite occasional problems?" In my answer, there are several things that I usually will mention. But in this post, I would share one particular thing among others that help me and my boyfriend maintain our relationship.

Yep, it is indeed evaluation!

I find it most useful to help us reflect back to the things we have done, what we love and what we dislike about those, and what can be done to improve them. So, what we normally do in evaluations?

First thing first: Evaluation session does not have to be formal, or clearly declared as "Evaluation Session". It can be carried out during your daily or nightly conversation with your loved one. However, there are a few things that, in my opinion, are needed to make this 'evaluation session' work as planned or as expected.

Number one. Make sure that the situation is right. There is no use in doing evaluation when either party is not into it: sleepy, in a bad mood, distracted... If you push your partner into doing the evaluation without he/she really willing to, well, don't expect too much of the result. The common things you'll find out of that circumstance: he/she won't contribute much in identifying the problem and in the solution seeking, he/she will just say "Mmm? Yes.. No.. Whatever you want, darling." and blardi-blardi-blar. In the end? You will only get pissed at your partner hhas So what can you do? Choose the good timing. If there is no good timing, create one. For example, take your loved one to a tea parlor for a relaxed, and private, tea time.

Number two. Now that you are on the same page to start an evaluation session, that you both understand it is important, you can both prepare yourselves to enter the session. I did a mistake recently. I planned a surprise evaluation session with my boyfriend without proper heads-up. The result? Because he wasn't prepared, he didn't have enough time to remember exactly what we've been through per parts and to prioritize which to bring up. And because of that, I did most of the talking. Yeppp, my bad. :p You see, without meaning to be sexist, I find out that most men don't see the world as women do. Most women take everything personally, tend to overanalyze every detail, etc etc etc. Truth is, men don't! hhas So they need a lil bit of preparation to recall the things needed for an evaluation.

Number three. I will play it simple on this one. Just be honest, say what you feel and what you expect. Sarcasm doesn't really help, although I have to admit sometimes it's tempting to do so especially for us girls (tested and proven from girl talks with girl friends). :p

Number four. Be open-minded, not defensive. This is pretty basic, but pretty hard to put into practice. Hello honey, news flash? This is evaluation anyway! hhas Sure there will be revelations, some might be unexpected, and sure there will be someone getting evaluation. I had an experience on this just before our second anniversary. I had such high anticipation because I was about to reveal what I've been suppressing for God knows how long. Unfortunately, what I thought would be releasing, that I would finally get to express some suppressed fear and that he would understand, didn't turn out as expected. hhas
You see, I don't know if it's just my boyfriend whose neocortex is so dominant, or most men are indeed like him as well, but my boyfriend loves to debate me! hhas And in our most recent evaluation, that made me perceive him as being defensive. He pointed out that it was ridiculous for me to think and to feel that way, because he's done this this this, he felt that that that. But like what I have stated over and over again, I was just expressing what I feel inside! hhas So notes to you, guys: we, girls, often think and feel some bad things, even if we know that's not right. Sometimes we just wanna share those thoughts and feelings with you, what trigger us to think/feel that way, and hope that you will at least understand our sensitivity about that particular issue. It doesn't necessarily mean blaming you guys or anything (or, at least I don't). (;
So to girls: let's maintain our tone, prepare our speech so that we put what we mean right, and never blame.
So to boys: just accept that girls can be irrational, no need to be defensive. Listen first, try to understand.

Number five. Wait until your partner finish speaking. Hold the urge to debate. There is a reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth. (; So I'll repeat, to both parties: Listen first, try to understand.

Number six. And remember, this is an evaluation session, not a trial court. Remember your objective. Your objective is to find what needs to be maintained and what to improve, not to find who's to blame.

These 6 things are amongst many things that I consider pretty important to have in evaluation session. :D Of course, every couple might differ, but isn't it the best part of a relationship: to learn more and more every day about your other half and discover new things about your relationship?

With that said, I wish you and your other half all the very best! (;

Thrift to Look Pretty for Less

Monday, July 30, 2012
I found out about thrifting since quite early, mostly from novels or movies. But, I really started thrifting when I was in high school. A 'flohmak market' was opened around my neighborhood, selling many secondhand and vintage stuffs. And I was instantly mesmerized. I love the process that resembles 'treasure hunting', I love the unexpected treasure I might find from a thrift stand, and I looove how the prices suit my low budget! :p Thrifting might be tricky, especially if you just start out. Therefore, let me share some tips that I've learned during my 'journey'! (;

I found it useful to have (mental) note on what I want and need. That's because a thrift stand/shop is usually so full of clothes/accessories and it can be a lil overwhelming! You might end up with a handful of clothes (that you don't even want/need that bad) and they might eventually end up on the back of your closet, forgotten and unwanted!

Don't just check the items you've got out! Before doing so, make sure you've looked through them again. Sort them into some categories (not too many, though), such as "Definitely", "Maybe", "Not really but I don't want anyone else to buy this", etc. And my suggestion is... buy the ones that you really love ONLY! Trust me, I know. :p

Always think about your existing wardrobe: "What do I need to flatter them with?", or "Is there any piece that I can't wear yet because I still have nothing to pair it with?". This helps keeping your shopping list thin and sharp, and you won't spend too much money (because you will tend to, seeing how cheap they actually are individually!) :p There's nothing wrong with wanting to buy something really different (not to complement the existing one), but be wise on how to manage it. (;

Check, check, check! No matter how cheap they are, you don't wanna walk away from that shop/stand with defected items, right?? Just because you're super excited, it's not an excuse to not spare a lil time checking through the items! Better be sure than sorry, true?

Now, being a hygiene-freak, the chance of getting other people's fungus, germs, etc kinda freaks me out. Therefore, I never ever ever EVER want to try the thrift items in store. To get around that problem, I usually go with either of these two options: first, wear them over the clothes I'm wearing, or second, I just position it align with my body to get a picture of the size. For tops, I see if it fits my shoulders from one end to another and my chest (by stretching it over), and for dresses and bottoms, my waistline. Plus, if I eventually DO buy them, I'll make sure I wash them all right. (;

If the thrift shop in question is an online shop, then to be surer of everything, don't be shy to ASK. Ask them: how many times it has been worn, the exact size, if there is any defect, etc. Why, you ask? Well, I won't deny that thrift items are cheap. But, that fact also makes us tend to overlook the importance of double-checking - which might make you end up with a pile of junks and a huge total amount of money that you've unconsciously wasted. (;

I hope this is helpful! It's a shame that there are still not so many decent thrift shops in Jakarta/Bandung, even less, Indonesia. But, that doesn't mean all hope is lost! Next time I'll be sharing about some places to find vintage and do thrifting, such as (online) shops, bazaars, and garage sales I've found along the way. Have fun thrifting! (;

Easy, Yummy Strawberry Cheesecake

Sunday, July 29, 2012
Hi again, pretty people! :D Welcome back to another Recipe post. As I promised you in my previous blog-post (and some others through Instagram and Twitter), here's the recipe for the strawberry cheesecake I made for my boyfriend's birthday (which he and his family really loved, so it's guaranteed! :p). It's really easy, I promise you, but it turns out really yummy! My whole family also loves it as well (;

I first got the recipe from BBC Good Food, and reading their title 'Strawberry Cheesecake in 4 easy steps', I was instantly sold! :p However, when they say "4 easy steps", they apparently mean "kind of un-detailed steps". That's why, as usual, I'll be adding my own commentary from my own practice as well! :D I happen to have made this recipe two times, the first one being a trial from which I learned a lot. :p

Let's begin!
To make Amber Lee's french macarons with my twist of cookies-and-cream you'll need...
250 gram digestive biscuits (I used Marie Regal biscuits)
100 gram butter , melted (I used the unsalted one from Orchid)
1 vanilla pod (the same as 2 tsp of vanilla crystal/powder)
600 gram soft cheese (or cream cheese like I did)
100 gram icing sugar
284 ml pot double cream (this one is not easy to find. I myself used topping ace from Vivo, and other recipes recommend to substitute it with whipping cream as well)

And for the topping, you'll need...
400g punnet strawberries, halved and stoned
25g icing sugar

The equipment you'll need...
23cm loose-bottomed tin (I used the 20cm one), baking parchment, plastic food bag, rolling pin, large bowl, dessert spoon, chopping board, kitchen knife, electric mixer, spatula, serving plate, blender or food processor, sieve

Now I'll give you the BBC Good Food's recipe below, paraphrased, accompanied with my commentary. (; (If you find any difficulty understanding the cooking term, check my post on them here.)

1. Make the base: Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment. Put the biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge (not freezer!) for 1 hour to set firmly.
Commentary: For my second time, I chose to use a blender instead of rolling pin. It resulted in smoother and more even crumbs. BUT, you are recommended to do so gradually (not crushing all 250 gram of the biscuits at one time) - especially if your blender is as old as mine. It will create even smoother crumbs. Plus, for the chilling time, it is at least one hour, never less.

2. Remove the vanilla seeds: Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways, leaving the tip intact, so that the two halves are still joined. Holding onto the tip of the pod, scrape out the seeds using the back of a kitchen knife.
Commentary: This step is only for you who use vanilla pod instead of crystallized / powder one.

3. Make the filling: Place the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Tip in the cream and continue beating until the mixture is completely combined. Now spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base, working from the edges inwards and making sure that there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
Commentary: My cream cheese came in the shape of blocks, and they're really hard to beat with mixer if they are just as they are. So, to help my faithful mixer, I chopped the cheese cream blocks into smaller cubes beforehand. This helps creating smoother mixture. (;

Look at this bowl of fresh strawberries!

4. Un-moulding and topping: Bring the cheesecake to room temperature, about 30 minutes before serving. To un-mould, place the base on top of a can, then gradually pull the sides of the tin down. Slip the cake onto a serving plate, removing the lining paper and base. Purée half the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 25g icing sugar and 1 tsp water, then sieve. Pile the remaining strawberries onto the cake, then pour over purée.
Commentary: Thank God my loose-bottomed tin came with a clasp that makes un-moulding easier! :D And remember, sieving the blended strawberries is important! My strawberry sauce got complimented because it was so silky smooth, without the unwanted sediment.

And that's all! It's ready to enjoy with loved ones. (;

So, how was it? Do you think you're gonna try it soon? Let me know how it turns out! (; Happy cooking!

Bralette with Candy

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hi again girls, welcome to another outfit post! :D Here I'm wearing a bralette from Clothinc's summer collection. I'm so thrilled with the bralette! It's the cutest, and it's also in polkadots - which is one of my most favorite patterns EVER. So yeah, I'm really happy with it. :D
It's really comfortable to wear, but being a bralette, well it definitely shows off too much skin of mine! :p Hence, I paired it with Marsha-Go-Round baby blue cropped blazer (good news, it's for sale! you can grab it here for only IDR 60k) and Tammy Tangs skinny pants, also in candy color which is pale pink. :D I'm really into pastel, candy colors! Can you tell? :p And if you wonder about the heels, they are from Paylesss - which are, despite the fact that they're pretty and comfortable to wear, pretty reasonable in price! Yeep, being a student of IR major, high heels are a major must-have. (;

For accessories, I chose the one and only piece I have from Fideleshop Gracie (I got it as a present for my achievement in college after I got 4.0 GPA four semesters in a row), "One Fine Day" charm bracelet. As for ring and necklace, I chose two pieces from Marsha-Go-Round's latest collection "Crazy for Accessories". They are the pretty "Flowers of Mint" ring (which is selling like hot cakes, grab it here!) and "White Rabbit" necklace (I know, you can grab this one here).

Clothinc polkadot bralette ♥ Marsha-Go-Round baby blue cropped blazer (for sale!) ♥
Tammy Tangs pale pink skinny pants ♥ Fideleshop Gracie "One Fine Day" charm bracelet ♥
Marsha-Go-Round "Flowers of Mint" ring ♥ Marsha-Go-Round "White Rabbit" necklace ♥
Payless black high heels