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

Happy 20th Birthday, My Kecoakman!

Friday, July 27, 2012
Yesterday (July 26, 2012) was my boyfriend, Yoseph (a.k.a. Kecoakman)'s 20th birthday. And we were so grateful that for one more year, we could celebrate it together :D For his birthday, I made him a few things.

The first one is, knowing his love of foods - particularly cheese and strawberry - the special strawberry cheesecake! I really made it from scratch, no instant anything whatsoever (yes, I'll be posting the recipe soon. I know, some people have requested it) (; This cake also came with a special box, which I doodled on myself to make it more personalized.
I'm really happy that everyone loved it, especially Y. He couldn't stop eating, one slice after another! :p But his family protested that I kept making them gaining more and more weight whenever I come with foods :p

The next thing I made him is.... an electronic greeting card! In the form of a stop-motion video. It was REAL crazy making it by myself, because there were simply so much to do to make a stop-motion video. You need to draw 'em, some need cutting, then arrange them per scene, take picture of every single scene, then compile it into a pretty video. But it was soooo worth it, because Y loved it most, even more than the cake! :p
Here's a link to the better quality one, but despite its better quality, unfortunately Youtube made the duration twice longer by automatically doubling the video O.o And hopefully I'll be posting a simple DIY tutorial for a stop-motion video soon as well (;

The last thing I made him is... the surprises. hhas The first surprise was with half of his family and some of the people in his parents' music school, and the second one was with his junior-high friends (they even managed to make an announcement through the mall's loudspeakers!). He was really happy to receive both surprises, especially the one with his old friends. It was priceless to see him smile and laugh; worth every penny, every effort, everything. :'D

Indeed, unfortunately, the surprises weren't carried out too smoothly. It's either I am too bad a liar or my boyfriend is too smart a person, because he seemed to have guessed that I would give him surprises. -.-"

So yeah, that's basically everything about his special day! :D
Will you be a darling and wish him a very happy birthday as well???
Thanks for being born and yosephizing my life (':

MGR's Own "Crazy for Accessories!"

Monday, July 23, 2012
Before, I posted "Crazy for Accessories" from another shop. But now, I proudly present you, Marsha-Go-Round's very own collection of all brand new and ready accessories: Crazy for Accessories! :D
Here are some of our most recommended pieces:

I guarantee, they are all gorgeous and very affordable! Truly pretty for less, no? :p Remember to check 'em here (; Happy shopping!

Crazy for Accessories!

Thursday, July 19, 2012
I have this favorite online shop (Fideleshop Gracie) that mainly sells accessories such as necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings. And I gotta tell you, they're super cute! The price is quite reasonable as well. However, I only have one piece of their bracelets :p Let me show you my Wish List from their collections...

My favorite necklaces:

I really do love how that lovely Cafe de Paris necklace will always make me feel like I'm in a cute patisserie in Paris. And that beautiful Prongs necklace! I hope I can buy a pair of them, one for me and one for Amanda, my girl who also happens to be as hardcore a Potterhead as moi.

And the gorgeous rings...

The Bride's Flower ring is pretty! I've always loved pastel, and that shade of mint makes me feel all vintage beauty. And both the Athena's Ring and Vintage Leaf ring really satisfy my thirst of vintage!

And now the bracelet! *puppy-eyed*

Where do I begin to even describe how head-over-heels I am about this Vogue Charm bracelet?? I've always been huge fan of charm bracelet, and this one is so pretty!

Omygod, please please please, Universe, please send these cuties into my jewelry box (which is made from old body butter pot) now!

My Girl

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Have... you met Anna Chlumsky? *Barney Stinson style* :D She played in a family movie back in 1994, My Girl 2 - which was just aired a few days ago on one of the national TV stations. And to my surprise, besides the interesting storyline, the main character - a little girl played by Anna Chlumsky - was exceptionally well-dressed! :p Here are some images I managed to find around the internet.

Ahh, I really want that floral skirt and the white top with blue flowers embroidered on it... What about you? Found a new fashion muse lately? (;

Weekend in Instagram

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It started out as a lazy weekend, curling up in our bed refusing to leave the warmth and coziness of our blanket (by "our" I mean "my and my dog, Dipsy's"). But in the end, we've got to... cos it was gonna be an awesome weekend! :D My mom and I drove to Uncle Hari's home in Depok to celebrate the return of his family to Indonesia (his wife is an Indonesian diplomat who had been working in Stockholm for the last four years, and she brought along all their four kids). And I was really thrilled because the three musketeers were finally reunited once more! (; The three musketeers consist of my cousin Endi (Uncle Hari's oldest son), Ben (Aunt Meithy's youngest son) and me! Everyone in the family always say that we took the closeness after our parents. :p And since we were all in the atmosphere of festivity, so we popped a bottle of champagne! It was a great day indeed. And the next day, I helped out Mom at her workplace. (: How was your weekend?

PS. I fancy that bookshelf at my Uncle's home! Cute, isn't it? And what about that big W (for Wirawan family) as a focal point? Adorable!