Showing posts with label arisan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label arisan. Show all posts

The Blizzard

Welcoming 2018 with a blizzard?
So New York City :).

This January, we had Grayson storm, or some say the #bombcyclone, saying hi to New York State and most of the Northeast parts of the country. I remember having this similar type of blizzard every year, but surely it's getting colder, and colder, and colder.

Read also: Welcoming Jonas 

Cold? super.
It went sub zero pretty quickly and the temperature plunged to around single digit Fahrenheit or two digit minus in Celcius. I am talking about up to minus 23 degree C real feel.
Painfully cold, at least for me and my New Yorkers here.
The sky is blue and the sun is shining, mind you, but the temperature is deadly cold.
Well, being an Indonesian, this double digit cold temperature is really disheartening.
Even after we spend 4 years in Geneve, Switzerland, with tons of snow surrounded by mountains, I never recall having cold days like this.

our car in the back of the house.

Kalau banyak teman-teman yang komentar di beberapa akun media sosialku pengen main salju di NYC, aku malah lagi sebel banget dengan winter kali ini.
Yah, bukannya ngga mau bersyukur masih merasakan cantiknya white December and January plus foto-foto lucu di salju yang memang magical plus ber-snow angel ria, tapi kalau dinginnya udah minus 2 digit seperti ini jadinya udah ngga lucu lagi. 
Mana karena dingin, setiap keluar rumah harus pakai banyak lapisan di badan, kaki, muka, dan kepala sampai ngga ada cantik-cantiknya lagi huahahaha #emangkapancantiknyaneng.
Belum lagi jalan yang harus super hati-hati (kalau kata Bo kayak grandma) kalau ngga mau jatuh karena black ice.
Duuuh jangan sampai!
Oya satu lagi...kalau winter dan dingin banget kayak sekarang, bawaannya makaaaaaan melulu.
SUPER GAWAT! karena timbangan memang sedang tidak bersahabat sejak 1 tahun terakhir ini.

Dan memang kalau sudah begini, rumput tetangga selalu terlihat lebih ungu hijau.
Lihat foto teman-teman dan juga suamiku yang sedang ada di Indonesia menikmati hangatnya matahari sambil berjemur di pantai rasanya  pengen ikutan buka baju dan lalu gemetar kedinginan.
Atau ngintip ceritanya neng Idah Ceris  bareng Jasmin yang asyik tracking di gunung plus piknik di tengah hutan asri sambil menikmati pesta budaya dan jajan tradisional pakai baju batik cantik. 
Tambah semangat kan megangin mangkok bakso plus pempek Lampung bawaan mama yang ngebul di dapur.

And this is our last winter in NYC. For now.
Idealnya kan saljunya banyak tapi matahari bersinar cerah, ngga pakai angin yang membekukan tulang dan hatimu, plus cuaca yang mentok di 10 derajat Celcius (jangan Farenheit, karena jadinya minus juga hehe). Jadi bisa foto syantik a la a la di berbagai sudut kota keyen ini kan. kan. kan.

Well, looks like that is NOT the case.

Jadi ya nikmati saja.

Sekali-kali boleh kan sebel sama salju yang aslinya cantik ini hehehe.
Juga dengan NYC, the greatest city on earth (kata banyak orang ya) saat ini yang cuacanya buat kuping dan pipi serasa hilang dan bikin bawaannya pengen makan melulu (timbanganku gusti >_<),  herannya tidak mengurangi nafsu menjajah segala winter sale di mana-mana dan bikin bokek instantly .
See, selalu habis gelap terbitlah terang. Ada kesenangan di balik penderitaan hahaha.
Selalu bersyukur diberi nikmat sehat oleh-Nya.

sekolah anak-anak pun tutup :)

Well, during the blizzard, we just stayed at home, cooked enough (if not a lot) food and binged with the kids, as the school was closed as well. We watched and listened (the wind was literally howling) to the snowflakes falling the sky, took a few pictures and cleaned up the pathway using my neighbors shovels, hand in hand with my hero of the day, Abang Bo :).
The usual ritual.

Blizzard is indeed no joke but if you are well prepared and you know what to do, then you are most likely will survive it!
I have shared some tips and tricks from an amateur blizzard-lover (if there is such thing) like me back in 2015, when my family and I experienced the first blizzard here in NYC.

Read also: Surviving #blizzardof2015

This year, we were not going to Astoria Park as it was super cold as well there obviously as the wind came from the East River.
Unlike January last year when we insanely went out in the middle of the blizzard and tons of took pictures, we chose to stay at home and continued with our movie-binge list :).

last year blizzard :)

Afterwards, everything was back to normal.

Well, not 100 percent normal but I mean, schools and works continue so here we go get ready for the messy roads, still brutally cold weather, delayed traffics and some closings.
Manhattan as always is messy and slippery with those soggy left-over snow piles wherever you look.
And still, we are struggling with the super cold temperature that might stay for a while.
At least we have to endure it for another week or so.
But I'm sure it will better soon.

Hello, Manhattan...

So, wherever you are, stay warm and safe, okay!
Winter is definitely here.

Bakso Isi Telur - Indonesian Egg-filled Meatball Soup

"Give me bakso and I will be the happiest girl in the world"
                                                                       Obi Frakarsa, 2017


Bakso has always been my favorite.

No matter what the weather is, be it super cold and perfect-for-a-bowl-of-hot-soup night or scorching hot summer days, bakso has been one of the most wanted dishes at home.  
During winter, I always have  chicken or beef broth ready, with some bakso .
My kids and I adore it!
I can eat them on daily basis, although I know too much meat is not good.

In NYC, we do have options to buy bakso from Asian or oriental groceries.
But they are usually not halal or use too much MSG :(, so really not a good choice for me. 
The best choice for me is to cook it myself.

While we're away from home, us, the Moslems, often worry about the food we eat as we are bound to at halal food. As we don't eat pork and all its derivative products, we  have to be careful with the ingredients of all the food we have. Something that we don't have to worry about when we are in Indonesia. That's why I love cooking everything myself to make sure about it. I know we share the same concern with one of my dearest friends from Em(b)ak Ceria, Isti"adzah Rohyati. She used to live in Suly, Iraq and although Iraq is pretty much
 dominated by moslems, but being away from home makes us cook almost everything. Even Isti is very good at making tofu at home! Yes, home-made tofu! How I envy here :). She's back to Indonesia now and I believe she has more relaxing time at home in Indonesia.
So now, are you ready to cook it with me?
Wanna try Bakso Isi Telur or Indonesian egg-filled meatball soup, if I may freely translated it? 

Let's start with the ingredients:

Minced beef - 250 gr. Feel free to substitute it with chicken, mutton or no meat at all.
Beef chunk - 100 gr,  for the soup broth.
Maizena - 1 spoonful
Soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce - 1 teaspoon
Sesame oil - if desired, 1 teaspon
Salt - as needed
Pepper - as needed
Nutmeg  - as needed
Sugar - as needed
Eggs - 4
Shallots - thinly sliced
Onions - finely chopped
Spring onions - thinly sliced

How to cook:

First, boil the eggs until done and peel the shell. Put it aside. 
You can have the whole egg in one jumbo meatball or you can cut them into half or what you desire.
Boil the beef chunk for broth, add onions, salt, pepper and a bit sugar if you like, until it's nicely done and tasty. Sprinkle it with thinly slices spring onions.

Then mix the minced beef with all the sauce and spices, make sure they are all well blend.
Add one spoon of maizena to help forming the meatballs.

Shape the meatballs with eggs inside.
Cook it on a boiling pot of water, or broth will be better, until it is done and floating on the pot. Depending on the size, it takes at least 15 minutes in boiling water to cook those meatballs, but slightly longer is better so that we're sure that the meatballs are well-cooked.

Hope you enjoy this super simple recipe.
Eat it hot with some extra fried onion and chili if you like. Some also like to add egg noodles or bihun or vermicelli on a bowl of bakso.
I also like to add extra kick with apple cider vinegar.
And voilaaaa...

Enjoy Bakso Isi TelorIndonesian Egg-filled Meatball Soup

Throwback Tuesday: Sunrise on Punthuk Setumbu

Throwback Tuesday: Sunrise on Punthuk Setumbu

"What time is it, ma? My husband sleepily asked me behind his blanket
"Time to wake up", I replied with big smile on my face. 
And it was only 3 AM in the morning.
There was no sound other then the humming air conditioner in our room.
"Alright..give me 5 minutes. You get the kids ready" replied my hubby.
And there we were..waking up at 3 AM in the cold morning at Magelang, eager to catch sunrise at Punthuk Setumbu.
The idea of climbing up the hills at pitch black dawn to see the magnificent sunrise overlooking Mount Merapi and the famous Borobudur Temple is indeed tantalizing.

And here's our pictorial stories..

Our adventure at Punthuk Setumbu began as we decided to explore Yogyakarta during our summer break in Indonesia
It was back to 2013, when Bo et Obi were pretty young.

It took us around 40 minutes from our hotel in Magelang to Punthuk Setumbu.
We rent our car from Jogja and drove to Magelang to see the magnificent Borobudur Temple.
Good thing it came with the driver so what we did was enjoying the views, and some traditional food authentically sold in food stalls, along the way. 
The route was packed, with trucks, cars, motorcycles, people. 
But that's the beauty of the road trip, right.
Traffic is unavoidable, so try to embrace it :).

So, long story short, we arrived in Magelang in the evening.
Straight to the hotel after dinner, we have set our hearth on hiking up to Punthuk Setumbu the next morning.
Needless to say I have to convince my kids to come along with us.
I knew it was a bit too much to ask them to hike at 4 AM in the morning, 'just to see the sunrise' (as my son put it).
The compromise was they would come but stayed and slept again in the car.

So, at 3.30 AM we drove there and  apparently we could only park in one of the 'designated spots' in Karangrejo Village. The rest we have to take ojek, the motorcab, to certain area and continued with walking to the top. We paid Rp 150.000,- (around USD 12) per person for ojek and our 'tracking guide' plus the entrance fee. I didn't whether it was that expensive but it was pitch black and we didn't want to miss the sunrise.

We walked around 10 minuted to reach the top.
It was not that bad although it was a bit slippery.
I was so relieved I left my kids in the car with our driver.
Imagine sleepy heads tracking in slippery, muddy path up the hill.

When we got to the top, it was almost packed.
But we managed to secure some spots and prepare our gears.
And the rest...
As you can see in the pictures.

All those early morning circus is worth it!


If you see the misty part of some of the photos, that's Borobudur Temple.

Here are some of the snaps of Borobudur Temple, with Bo et Obi on it.
Happy to share more about this majestic Buddhist temple, one of the biggest in the world, to you all in another post.
For sure, Bo et Obi loved traveling to Jogjakarta, especially visiting Borobudur Temple.
They did explore the temple and run around the area near the temple.

Whenever I travel , I somehow remember my fellow traveler blogger, Elisa Koraag.
Mami Icha, our nickname for her, has been blogging for the last..I don't know how long LOL. She's been like a 'veteran' to us, blogging since years ago and still enjoying it up until now. She travels a lot as well, either with her beautiful children or with her lovely hubby. For sure, she traveled to many parts of Indonesia, including Jogja and Lampung, my hometown.

That's my sweet memories of Punthuk Setumbu.
What's your lovely throwback memory this week?

p.s : I will keep my Throwback Tuesday features but will post it every Wednesday or Thursday :).

Beauty: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34 La Rafinée

Hi, everyone.
Ready to peek the next lipstick collection of mine?
Let me introduce you to Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34, La Rafinée,  then.

Belum bosen kan ya untuk membahas lipstik or lipen tercinta?
Aku belum!
Maafkan kalau aku masih semangat aja mereview lipstik-lipstik tercinta yang selalu aku bawa ke mana-mana. Bahkan sepertinya tasku pun berat karena aneka lipstik dan make-up pouch LOL. Plus dokumen kerja pastinya.

Tapi bener deh. 
Dengan aneka ragam model, jenis, warna dan model lipstik yang ada sekarang, sepertinya mereview lipstik setiap hari juga ngga akan habis-habis. 
Apalagi saya suka penasaran dengan berbagai lipstik model dan warna baru.
Seringkali belum selesai dengan satu lipstik, saya sudah tergoda lagi dengan yang lain.
Boleh kan...
So, stick around!

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34 La Rafinée

Here's my take on Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no.34, La Rafinee


Chanel is for sure an established brand.

Many of us know it for many iconic items like Chanel bag or Chanel no.5 perfume, for example.
But for me, Chanel lipstick is irresistible.
I don't know exactly when they started launching the beauty products but for sure I have been enjoying some of them. 

I first used Chanel lipstick when I was in Geneve, Switzerland, back in 2007. 
It was somehow cheaper in Europe to get European brands,- of course, Indah, it's where they come from LOL.
And now, they have the velvet collection which is perfect me...and you!

love the color


The lipstick is Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no.34, La Rafinée

As I copied from the website, "This non-drying matte lipstick glides on lips with intensely rich, long-wearing colour and a sumptuously soft, velvet matte finish". That's what the website says.

Sounds great, right.

And the composition of this lipstick is "mother-of-pearl pigments deliver rich colour and a soft finish. Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter comfort and moisturize." Still from Chanel's website.
That is why it's nice and soft on your lips, yet looks beautifully matte with saturated color.

La Rafinée itself means 'refined'.
So I suppose this color is a refined shade that you will definitely love.

The price for this liquid matte is USD 37, before taxes and shipping.

I usually buy it in my favorite shop, Sephora, and you can definitely check it on or any major department stores here in NYC, like Macy's, Saks 5th Avenue, Barney's, Bergdorf and Goodman and more. They also have it in Chanel boutique.


Here's how Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34 La Rafinée looks on my complexion. 

that kind of nude I love so much ...

And this is how it looks when I put it on my lips


I love it because the color is beautiful!
The prefect 'nude' I love put on my lips.
It's like dusty rose but more 'stand-out' for my complexion.

And the most important part is it feels sooo good on my lips!
Yes, another 'comfortable'  lipstick I can put on and on again.
It gives you velvet finish and matte but not drying.
So, I guess that's the reason why it feels great.
It may not stay that long, compared to others

The packaging is sleek and elegant. Not too fancy but it serves the purpose.


As I can read in the box, -finely printed of course, the lipstick is made of mixture of, among others, Isononyl isononanoate, dicaprylyl carbonate, synthetic wax, jojoba esters, shea butter,  and more :). 

The lipstick is made in France.

The ingredients


It's quite expensive.

That's it!
Well, it's not the most expensive lipstick I have ever had, but loving it and using it most of the time means I have to buy more :).

That's the only no-no I have in mind.
The rest is fine for me.

So, finalement,  I give  Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34 La Rafinée the score 9 out of 10.  

Dan kalau bicara lipstik, saya kok jadi inget neng Cheila Ribut alias Bu Guru Kecil deh.

Beberapa chat di WAG terkahir kami banyak ngobrolin soal lipstik hehehe.
Dan Cheila senang sepertinya mencoba aneka warna dan jenis lipstik baru. Mulai dari warna yang nude, bold, sampai warna in between yang juga cocok untuk semua.

Just like me :)
Dan yang penting kan pede dan nyaman di bibir.
So I guess, mom blogger kondang yang juga guru imut asyik di kampungnya dan sarat prestasi ini have the same soft spot for lipstick. Go check out her blog (link up here and you will see and read her colorful world.

Oke, ini ceritaku tentang lipstik  Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick no. 34 La Rafinée.
Semoga ngga bosen ya dengan reviewku.
Ditunggu postingan lipstik-lipstik tercinta berikutnya ya.
Muuuaaah et amusez-vous bien!


Meet My Writer-buddy, Diah Dwi Arti

Pernah punya cita-cita menjadi penulis?
Atau malah sudah berhasil menjadi penulis dan menerbitkan buku?
Saya juga pengen, malah punya keinginan untuk menulis serius dan menggelontorkan buku karya sendiri yang benar-benar saya suka. Tapi sampai sekarang, masih banyak alasaaaan yang menghalangi saya memenuhi keinginan yang satu ini. 
Mulai dari waktu yang terbatas (tapi untuk mantengin sale dan online shop masih bisa >_<), distraksi, sampai pekerjaan kantor yang hobi banget 'mampir' macam abang bakso kesayangan di kompleks kami dulu.

Walhasil, saya mencari akal dengan mencoba membuat tulisan pendek dan mengikuti kontes blog yang salah satu hadiahnya adalah menerbitkan hasil tulisan kita dalam sebuh buku. Dan di salah satu kontes inilah saya pertama kali kenal mba Diah Dwi Arti.

Time to meet my writer-buddy, Diah Dwi Arti.

Continuing our 'arisan blog', or our blog-hoping and linky party, this time I get a chance to introduce my dear friend, Diah, a mom of two, Damar and Darojat.
Two precious children whose names are shortened to be her famous blog,

As I previously mentioned above, we 'met' firstly in Pakdhe Abdul Cholik's contest about mother. Both of our stories, together with many others, were published in the same book titile Hati Seluas Samudera. We both talked about how deeply thankful we all are to our moms. For me who have spent so much time away from my mom, it felt like pouring my heart out missing her :).

photo was taken from

But, back to, on her blog, she talks a lot things that matter to her family and her readers.
I truly enjoy reading her piece on kids and everything around them. 
And she also writes a lot about her travel with her kids and family, including the most recent trip to Madiun to try 'river-tubing'. It certainly looks fun and feels like I want to try it as well!

Her personal touch is her signature, as she shares many aspects of her personal life without patronizing. We can surely take some lessons of life from her reflection on many simple but meaningful things. One recent post that she wrote was about her cat, which, sadly, has died not too long ago. Here she wrote about how cats and kittens teach us to be patient and compassion towards others. She also once shared about blogging, the trend of social media and what will happen afterwards! There are some vantage points for us all here.

All those stories are just simply flowing and full of good messages as well as points to ponder.

Not to mention her other books and anthology! 
She won some blog contests, wrote for, contributed to, and so many more!
I really envy her and I hope I can follow her path in blogging and writing.

a glimpse of

Although most of her posts are in Bahasa Indonesia, do you know that she has another website dedicated to her stories in English as well?
Yuuup... go check and get to know more of Diah Dwi Arti. She also have another blog filled with her fictions called  hari-hari fiksi and one in Javanese, the traditional language of Java people. Thumbs up, Mba Diah :). You surely are serious in blogging and preserving Indonesian intangible heritages like traditional language and folktales.

Check out her other social media platforms:
Twitter: @diahdwiarti
Instagram: @diahdwiarti
Facebook: Diah Dwi Arti
Youtube: Diah Dwi Arti

Ini yang saya suka dari arisan blog. Kita akan selalu belajar mengenai hal baru dan mendapat inspirasi dari teman-teman di dunia blogging.

Keep up the great works and hope to see you soon, mba :)

Ikhlas yang selalu berbuah manis...


Pasti teman-teman juga sering mendengar kata sakti ini.


Mudah melafalkannya, namun tidak semudah itu untuk benar-benar meresapi makna dan menjalaninya setulus hati.

Dari kamus besar yang aku jumpai di dunia maya, ikhlas diartikan sebagai "bersih hati, tulus hati"...dan ketika ia menjadi kata kerja, mengikhlaskan, maka ia bermakna "memberikan atau menyerahkan dengan tulus hati, merelakan"...


Again, I took a deep breath and thought that it will not be that easy to ...

Biasanya, saat kita tertimpa suatu musibah, mendapat cobaan atau kehilangan sesuatu, banyak yang menyarankan kita untuk mengikhlaskan kejadian naas yang menimpa kita tadi. 


"Sudah, ikhlasin ajaaa.....toh barangnya udah ilang, nanti juga ada gantinya..

Relakan deeh...mungkin dia memang bukan jodohmu..
Kalau kita ridho dan ikhlas, insya Allah Yang Kuasa akan  selalu memberikan yang terbaik"

Sounds very familiar riteee...

Dan itu yang membuat saya berpikir lagi, apakah saya sudah bisa benar-benar ikhlas dalam menjalani hidup.

Sesungguhnya, saya memang masih terus dan akan terus belajar untuk ikhlas. 

Bukan hanya sekedar rela, tapi belakangan ngedumel atau dalam hati ngomel karena memang pada dasarnya belum rela-rela banget. Tapi memang beneran rela yang sesungguhnya. Tulus memberikan, menerima dan menjalani apa yang memang sudah menjadi jalan dan takdir-Nya serta tidak mengharapkan suatu apa kecuali apa yang dikarunai oleh-Nya.

Waktu awal-awal saya didiagnosa kanker payudara, saya sempat stress berat. 

Tidak habis pikir dan batin selalu bertanya kenapa saya, kenapa kanker payudara, kenapa sekarang! Rasanya tidak ikhlas ketika tahu saya, yang bisa dibilang jarang sekali sakit, yang penuh semangat meniti karir di negara baru dengan segala keseruannya, harus mengubah semua rencana dan prioritas ke depan. Meskipun sempat sedih yang mendalam, namun suami dan mama selalu ingatkan saya untuk mengikhlaskan semua.

Sincerely let things go and ready to be purified. To be refined and have faith that the Almighty givea you nothing but the best.
As simple as that.

Dan amboi...betapa indahnya balasan dan pahala bagi orang-orang yang ikhlas.

Seperti yang diceritakan dengan manis oleh Ade Anita via novel Islaminya, Lukisan Hati.

Sudah pada kenal mba Ade kan? Mama cantik yang awet muda dan super funny ini memang super special, termasuk di grup Whatsapp kami yang super seru dan menjadi salah satu sumber kebahagiaan buatku :).

Dengan berlatarbelakang adat budaya Sumatera Selatan, novel ini dengan lugas menyampaikan serangkaian peristiwa yang menimpa  Solasfiana dan Sofyan, dua tokoh sentral dalam novel ini, beserta keluarga mereka.

Kalau teman-teman sempat membaca novel pertama, Yang Tersimpan di Sudut Hati, novel ini adalah lanjutan dari kisah cinta Solasfiana dan Sofyan yang penuh dengan suratan takdir yang diakhiri dengan a twist of fate yang penuh kejutan. Mulai dari kematian keluarga tercinta, diusir dari kampung sendiri, sampai tinggal di kandang kambing dan berkirim surat serta bertukar kabar di bawah pohon istimewa. 

Teman-teman langsung baca sendiri ya novelnya, as I am not going to spoil it.

Menariknya, hal-hal kecil yang merupakan khas tradisi wong kito atau orang Sumatera Selatan juga diselipkan di sini, seperti bahasa dengan logat khas Palembang serta aneka makanan khas Sumatera Selatan (yang aku sukaaa banget dan asli bikin kangen). 

My apologies mba Ade Anita kalau saya baru bisa selesai membaca bukumu ini, yang diberikan saat kita bertemu di salah satu ajang pemberian penghargaan bagi perempuan-perempuan istimewa. Sampai aku bawa ke NYC dan sering ikutan sidang di UN lho, untuk aku baca di sela-sela lunch break. 

Ditunggu buku berikutnya yaaaaa :).