Sunday, March 24, 2019


There is nothing I love more about stripes combined with white, especially in Spring. To me, this combination is timeless and classic. Every time I wear white and navy/grey stripes, I feel like I am going sailing, in my own yacht.

This year's weather has been wonderful for us here in the suburb of Los Angeles. We've been getting a lot of rain and we're officially over the draught. Thank goodness! The past two days have been warmed up a bit and it is warm enough to wear light clothes outside.  What? that doesn't sound right. It is always warm enough to wear light clothes in Los Angeles regardless the season.

For the love of stripes, I wore it in two days...

On Saturday, I wore a navy and white shirts with white crop jeans. To pop Spring color like, I added orange belts and necklace.

And on Sunday I wore a white t-shirt with grey and white maxi skirt.

Nothing says Spring like the classic stripes and white. It is so crisp, just like my dog.

Monday, March 11, 2019

On Raising a Soon To Be Teenage Boy

I was listening to my favorite radio station as I was driving to work this morning and there was this caller with a deep nice voice. I learned seconds later that he is only 12 years old. He's the same age as my son. That boy is going through puberity. His voice says it all. Listening to this boy talking with the radio hosts brought a quick flashback of two conversations that we had during our family dinner the night before.

At the dinner table, my youngest one asked her big brother about his height and she wondered how tall her brother would be when he is an adult. Then our conversation swift from height to the change of voice in puberty. My son told us about how some of his friends' voices have changed. They have developed the deep heavy voice that is no longer little boys' voice. My son's voice has not changed a bit. The only visible signs that I can see in him is his hair and face are a little bit oily.

Later on that night, right before bedtime, he was trying on his new black dress shoes that we purchased earlier that day. He needs these shoes for his upcoming jazz and band festivals (competition) for his school. He had black pants and a white button-down shirt to complete his look. "Wow, I look really tall on these shoes." He made a comment about himself as he was looking at the mirror. He is already 5 cm taller than his 165 cm tall mom. The shoes we got him adds another 2 cm on his height. I stood next to him, he was towering over me. I saw the obvious difference in our height. Then it hit me, just like that. Tears rolling down my face. He caught me wiping it off.

I am raising a soon to be teenage boy. When he was a small child, he found spending time with me, going places with me, talking to me, being hugged and kissed by me were all pleasurable things to do. The closeness between us felt so right. It was like a continuation of the founding attachment to the nurturing parent who bore and gave him birth. For the first couple of years of his life, I was the center of his universe, but this enjoyment of special closeness starts to change. It changes with the separation,oppositions, and  differentiation of adolescence that drive him toward independence particularly with the onset of puberty.

I've seen this growing up between my mom and my little brother; growing up requires giving up for both my mother and my brother. I know the case will be the same with me and my son. Each of us must let something precious go. I am most likely be the one who feels the sacrifice more because at least, my adolescent son will have the excitement and satisfaction of growing older to look forward to.  I am going to be the one who mourns the years of easy attachment that have been lost. I will never have my son as a little boy anymore.

The past couple of months have been quite interesting for me as a mother. We've had 'more than usual' arguments. He is more opposition to me, arguing with me. I know this is part of growing up. He is now more willing to take on my authority. He has started to criticize my decisions and questions my capacity to understand who and how he is becoming. He creates more contrast to me by having interests that show me that he has less in common with me than before. For instance, he takes up more activities and entertainment that I would not pursue.........

"Oh mom, please don't cry. I am only this tall because of these shoes." He immediately took off his shoes and said, "See, I am not that tall." Then he gave me a hug. A really big one. You're growing up so fast was the only words that came out of my mouth last night, but deep inside my heart I was feeling all kind of feelings; pride, happiness, uncertainty, and fear. My son didn't need to know any of that. All he needs to see is this brave and confident woman (who sometimes gets upset and cries for no obvious reasons) he calls mom.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Why Do I Take My Children To Visit College

It all started in Summer 2015, when we visited my brother in law who lives in Rhode Island. We made plans to visit a few places in the East Coast; Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

My brother in law lives close to one of the Ivy League College; Brown University. When I found out about that, I immediately thought about visiting some colleges as one of our places to visit during our vacation. During that 7 days of visiting the states I mentioned above, we were able to visit Brown University in Rhode Island, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) both located in Cambridge, a city very close to Boston, Massachusetts. We're so fortunate that during our visit to Harvard and MIT, we've got to have a private tour to see places that public won't be able to see because we know someone who works there.

In front of Harvard main library (July 2015)

MIT  (July 2015)

Inside Harvard School of Law library

Harvard dormitory

Since then,  college visits have become our go to places every time we visit other cities or states. Just like how we love to visit museums, we learn so much by visiting universities and most importantly, the kids were having fun.

To this day we have taken our two children to the following universities or colleges:
1. Brown University (Rhode Island)
2. Harvard University (Massachusetts)
3. MIT (Massachusetts)
4. Stanford University (California)
5. University of Cincinnati (Ohio,-My husband's alma mater)
6. Ohio State University (Ohio)
7. University of California Los Angeles (UCLA,- our home)
8. California Institute of Technology (California)
9. Pepperdine University (California)
Stanford University (November 2016)

Stanford University (November 2016)

UCLA School of Law (Summer 2018)

UCLA (Summer 2018)

Why do I take my children to visit colleges? Aren't they still too young? By the time I am writing this, my kids are in 7th and 3rd grade. They were only in kindergarten and 4th grade when I first took them to the IVY league colleges in 2015. If we talk to our kids at a very young age about how bad smoking and the use of drugs are, why don't we talk to them about how important and good college is for their future?

We had started college conversation early, even before we actually took them to their first college visit. By visiting college we want them to get the actual feels of how college actually looks like. We want our children to see the possibilities that are in front of them. We want them to see their career options. For example, my daughter,-like millions of other kids-, wants to be a doctor. What should she do in order to be a doctor? She needs to finish high school and go to a college to study medicine. By taking her for a visit to a college, she can see how the classroom looks like, the lab, the library, the dormitory, the student's lounge, and so on. 

California Institut of Techonology (January 2019)

The same thing applies to my son. He is always fascinated by science and math. Our visit to MIT has sparked his dream of becoming a scientist. While we're at MIT, we're able to tour their laboratory of technology. My son's eyes were lid up when he saw the lab. I remembered when we left MIT that day, he told us that he doesn't want to go anywhere else to study other than MIT. Harvard didn't even spark his interest.  

MIT (July 2015)

MIT (July 2015)

Would they go to those colleges someday? Maybe yes maybe not and their interests might change too. While my daughter is still dreaming of becoming a doctor, my son has shown interest in the job of lawyers. That happened after our visit to the School of Law at UCLA. That is how kids function, they are evolving. As parents, our job is to show them the possibilities. Someday, they might get rejected by their favorite colleges but that's okay. 

The bottom line is, both my husband and I believe that we really need to be going into their young minds so they understand that college is important for their future. We urge them to chase their dream and college can help them with that. We want to show them that when they work hard, more opportunities will open up to them.

By visiting colleges we want them to envision their future. With that, our journey continues.

California Institute of Technology (January 2019)

California Institute of Technology (January 2019)

Ohio State (January 2018)

University of Cincinnati, Ohio (June 2018)

California State University (January 2019)

Monday, February 4, 2019

How I Wear My Skinny Jeans with Ankle Boots (Booties)

What are skinny jeans? Skinny jeans are jeans that are tight all the way from waist to ankles. Skinny jeans will make our legs shorter than they actually are. It is because their build involves lowering the crotch area. If you have long skinny legs, then skinny jeans are perfect for you. If you don't, that doesn't mean you can't wear them. I am only 5'4'' or 164 cm and my lower body is not as slender but I love skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans itu apa sih? Skinny jeans adalah celana jeans ketat mulai dari bagian pinggang sampai mata kaki. Skinny jeans membuat kaki kita tampak lebih pendek  karena bagian sela pukang atau kelangkang dibuat lebih pendek. Jika kaki kamu panjang dan kurus, maka skinny jeans cocok buat kamu. Jika tidak, bukan berarti kamu tidak bisa memakai skinny jeans. Tinggi saya cuma 164 cm dan bagian bawah badan saya tidak langsing. Tapi saya suka skinny jeans.

How do we wear skinny jeans? By how I mean what kind of shoes do we wear with our skinny jeans. There are many ways; we can wear them with sneakers, flip-flop, flats, high heels, wedges, tall boots, half calf boots or ankle boot. All kind of shoes.

Bagaimana kita memakai skinny jeans? Maksud saya disini adalah sepatu apa yang tepat untuk dipakai dengan skinny jeans.  Banyak cara, kita bisa pakai sneakers, sendal jepit, sepatu tanpa hak, sepatu hak tinggi, sepatu wedges, sepatu boot sebetis/lutut atau sepatu boot semata kaki. Semua sepatu bisa.

Here are five ways you can wear your skinny jeans with ankle boots:

Berikut adalah lima cara memakai skinny jeans dengan ankle boots:

1. Crop skinny jeans
I like wearing crop skinny jeans with ankle boots because the hem of the jeans fall right above the boots and it exposes just a little skin on your legs. This way I don't have to roll them up.

1. Crop skinny jeans
Saya suka memakai skinny jeans ini dengan ankle boot karena bagian bawah jeans jatuh tepat diatas boots dan menampakan sedikit bagian kulit kaki. 

2. Roll-up your skinny jeans once
If your skinny jeans are too long, roll it up once to create a cuff, leaving a little skin on your legs exposed. The cuff should not be more than two inches.

2. Gulung bagian bawah celana sekali
Jika celana kamu terlalu panjang, gulung keatas sekali, dan buat agar kulit kakimu tampak sedikit. Gulungan bawah celana jangan lebih dari 3 cm.

3. Roll-up your skinny jeans twice
This is my favorite way to wear skinny jeans. I roll the bottom of the jeans twice. I keep the roll nice and small to create a seamless look. Expose a little skin in between your ankle boots and the bottom of the jeans.

3. Gulung bagian bawah celana dua kali
Ini cara favorite saya saat memaki celana jeans. Gulung bagian bawah celana dua kali. Usahakan untuk membuat gulungan tersebut agak kecil biar tampak bagus. Tampakkan sedikit kulit kaki antara bagian atas boot dan bagian bawah jeans.

4. Tuck the bottom of your skinny jeans in
This is the way to create crop jeans look if your jeans are too long ad you dan want to roll it up with cuffs.

4. Gulung bagian bawah celana ke dalam. Cara ini bisa membuat skinny jeans tampak seperti skinny crop jeans kalau kamu tidak mau digulung keatas.

5. Tuck your jeans inside your ankle boots
If you wear ankle boots that are a few inches tall above your ankle, the best way to wear them is by tucking your jeans inside your boots. If you style it this way, try to wear dark color boots with dark color jeans to give an effect of longer legs.

5. Selipkan bagian bawah celana ke dalam ankle boots
Jika ankle boots kamu lebih tinggi beberapa centimeter dari mata kaki, cara terbaik dalam hal ini adalah dengan memasukkan atau menyelipkan bagian bawah jeans kedalam boots. Jika kamu pilih style seperti ini, usahakan untuk memakai boots dan jeans berwarna gelas agar kakimu tampak lebih panjang.

Those are five ways of wearing your skinny jeans with ankle boots. Thank you for reading!

Itulah lima cara memakai skinny jeans dengan ankle boots atau boots semata kaki. Terima kasih sudah membaca.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Consumption vs Creation (Konsumsi vs Kreasi)

A few days ago, I got a notification from my phone, well, it is more like a "friendly reminder" than a notification. My phone told me that I have exceeded my allowable screen time on social media. I've spent 2 hours and 30 minutes on social media alone in less than 10 hours. It was embarrassing for me. I  allow myself to be on social media for 60 minutes every day, not more. So within 24 hours, I utilize the 1 hour to update my Facebook or Instagram status, scrolling down the screen to see other's people's updates or talk with friends on Facebook messenger. I've avoided individual or group chat on What's Up other than with my own family. 

Beberapa hari yang lalu, saya mendapat notfikasi dari handphone,- sebenarnya lebih kepada peringatan- yang mengingatkan saya kalau saya sudah melebihi waktu yang saya batasi untuk mengecek sosial media. Saya telah menghabiskan waktu sebanyak 2 jam 30 menit di sosiaal media dalam kurun waktu kurang dari 10 jam. Memalukan sekali. Saya tidak disiplin waktu. Setiap hari, saya mengijinkan diri saya untuk mengecek sosial media selama 60 menit, tidak lebi. Jadi dalam kurun waktu 24 jam, saya memanfaatkan waktu satu jam untuk mengupdate status di Facebook, Instagram atau mengecek status teman-teman. Saya jarang berkomunikasi lewat What's Up kecuali dengan keluarga atau untuk kebutuhan yang penting saja.

When I'm on Facebook, I am on consumption mode. I might update something which means I create something, but 98 percent of the time I am consuming. Consuming is not always bad, but over consuming is definitely not good. I realize that I have been consuming more than creating lately. When I am away from Facebook or any other social media, I am more productive. I am most likely in the consumption mode. I would write, I would sew, I would paint, I play piano or I would seek another different type of consumptions that add knowledge and value for myself or people around me.

Ketika saya di Facebook, saya beara dalam mode konsumsi. Saya mungkin mengupdate status yang artinya saya kreatif, tetapi 98 persen waktu yang saya habiskan di Facebook adalah untuk mengkonsumsi. Konsumsi tidak selalu berkonotasi buruk, ada kalanya konsumsi merupakan hal yang baik, contohnya saat membaca buku. Kita mengkonsumsi informasi. Tetapi saya menyadari, akhir-akhir ini saya lebih banyak mengkonsumsi daripada berkreasi. Lucunya, ketika saya menghindari Facebook atau sosial media lainnya, saya menjadi lebh kreatif. Saya menulis, menjahit, membuat lukisan, bermain piano atau mncari kegiatan lain yang lebih bermanfaat untuk saya dan orang-orang disekitar saya.

Last night I was planning to write but as I changed into my pajama to be more comfortable, my unsupervised brain told me that I should consume instead. My brain told me that I've worked so hard during the day and night time is the time to wind down, to relax. It told me to read. I listened to my brain.  After reading only a few pages, I went back into Facebook. 

Semalam saya berencana untuk menulis, tetapi begitu saya berganti pakain dengan mengenakan piyama, otak saya yang tidak ter-supervisi mengatakan bahwa saya lebih baik mengkonsumsi. Otak saya mengatakan saya telah bekerja sepanjang hari dan lebih baik istirahat dengan membaca buku, relax. Seperti orang di hipnotis, sayapun setuju dengan perintah otak saya tersebut. Setelah membaca beberapa halaman, saya kembali ke Facebook.

Can you see how easy I fell into consumption mode? Because consumption is easy and fun. Consumption often makes me feel that I've contributed to something. Consumption makes me feel I am part of the "big picture." I ignored my goal and my plan to write. There's nothing wrong about reading. Reading is good for me. I need to read more book if I want to be better at writing. This is exactly like how I feel every time I am on Pinterest. I love scrolling down the screen to see other people's creation that inspired me and I feel like I am being creative. Ideas swimming down in my head but until I create something, I don't do anything creative at all.

Begitu mudahnya bukan terjerumus ke dalam konsumsi? Karena konsumsi itu mudah dan menyenangkan. Konsumsi kadang membuat saya merasa telah berkontribusi kepada sesuatu. Kosumsi membuat saya merasa menjadi bagian dari sesuatu yang besar. Semalan saya mengabaikan goal atau rencana saya untuk menulis. Tentu tidak ada yang salah dengan membaca. Membaca justru sangat berguna buat saya. Saya harus banyak membaca apabila ingin lebih baik dalam menulis. Sama halnya ketika saya mengecek Pinterest. Saya suka sekali mengecek layar handphone saya untuk melihat ke-kreatifan orang lain di Pinterest yang kadang menginspirasi saya dan saya merasa sudah kreatif. Ide-idu berenang di otak saya, tapi apabila saya tidak menciptakan sessuatu, saya belum kreatif.

What does it take to be creative? Does it mean we have to be crafty? I read an article that says creation doesn't mean that we are or we have to be crafty. It just means that we put ourselves into something that doesn't exist before. I like sewing, cooking, and writing. I occasionally paint too. I never call myself crafty, because I am not.
A friend told me that she is not a creative person, she is not talented. She doesn't have any inspiration to be creative. I think being creative is really not about talent. It is something that you can learn. In my case, my inspiration actually comes when I take action. Pick something that interests you and learns how to do it. You have all the tools to do it. it is called YOUTUBE!

Apa yang harus kita miliki untuk menjadi kreatif? Apakah artinya kita harus crafty? Saya pernah membaca artikel yang mengatakan berkreasi bukan berarti kita harus crafty. Berkreasi artinya kita menciptakan sesuatu yang sebelumnya tidak ada atau kita tidak bisa menjadi bisa. Saya suka menjahit, memasak dan menulis. Kadang-kadang saya juga melukis. Saya tidak pernah merasa crafty, karena saya memang tidak crafty.
Seorang berteman berkata ke saya kalau dia bukan orang yang kreatif, dia tidak punya bakat. Menurut saya, kreatifitas itu bukan soal bakat. Kreatifitas dapat kita pelajari. Dalam kasus saya, inspirasi biasanya datang saat saya mengambil aksi untuk menciptakan sesuatu.  Pilihlah sesuatu yang kamu suka atau kamu untuk dipelajari. Kamu tidak perlu ikut kursus,  untuk urasan awal, semua bisa dipelajari lewat YOUTUBE!

I didn't know how to sew, but 5 years ago I taught myself how to sew from a tutorial on Youtube (see how consuming can be a good thing when you put something into creation afterward?). Since then, my skill in sewing has grown. 

Dulu saya tidak bisa menjahit, tetapi lima tahun yang lalu saya penasaran dan saya belajar menjahit lewat tutorial di Youtube. Saya terus berlatih dan sekarang keahlian menjahit saya sudah jauh lebih baik dibanding lima tahun yang lalu.

I didn't know how to paint,  I hated painting thinking I am not talented at all. Not until two years ago when I saw my sister in law started painting and introduced me to an awesome tutorial that guides me to do a step by step painting tutorial using acrylic paint. I have paints a few and some of them are hanging on my wall. I would have never thought I could paint.

Dulu saya tidak bisa melukis, saya benci melukis karena saya tidak punya bakat melukis. Lalu dua tahun yang lalu kakak ipar saya memperkenalkan saya ke tutorial yang mengajarkan tahap-tahapan melukis dengan cat acrylic. Sayapun telah melukis beberapa lukisan yang sebagian saya pajang di dinding di rumah. Siapa sangka.

I didn't know how to play piano, I never took any piano lesson in my life.  Not until a year ago I learned another tutorial on Youtube on how to play Piano. I practice every day. Now I can play a few songs on Piano. 

Dulu saya tidak bisa bermain piano. Saya tidak pernah kursus piano. Tahun lalu, saya belajar piano lewat tutorial di Youtube. Saya berlatih tiap hari selama kurang lebih 15030 menit kadang lebih. Sekarang, saya bisa memainkan beberapa lagu lewat piano.

From my personal experience, I can say that creating something that does not exist before into existence DEFINITELY feels so much better than just consuming something that's created by someone else. You can always learn something from the comfort of your house on a website called YOUTUBE. 

Dari pengalaman pribadi, saya bisa berkata bahwa menciptakan sesuatu yang tidak ada menjadi ada terasa lebih memuaskan daripada mengkonsumsi sesuatu yang diciptakan oleh orang lain. Kamu bisa belajar apapun dengan nyaman di rumah, tanpa harus melangkah di website yang bernama YOUTUBE. 

Consumption is easy and fun but creation is challenging and rewarding.

Below are a few things I've created when I was on creation mode.

Matching skirt for us

Eiffel Tower 

Matching Pajama Robes for my family (they are acting here)

Buffalo checks blanket and pillow cover

Laura Inggals (Little House on The Praire) for my daughter's Halloween costume last year

Snowman sugar cookies for the holiday

Butter Croissant

Two tier skirt for my daughter

Cream puff

Thanks for reading. I hope this post inspire you to create something.

How to Style Denim Jacket with Dresses

>>>Bahasa Indonesia text berwarna biru>>>>

Denim or jeans jacket is one of the fashion pieces I can not live without. It is very versatille, I can wear it in may different functions and activities. It is one of those trends that never goes out of style.  Jeans in general gives more of a casual looks to the outfit we wear, in many cases it can dress down a formal outfit to have that casual look. 

Denim atau jeans adalah salah satu pakaian yang harus saya punyai. Jeans sangat versatile, bisa dipakai untuk bermacam-macam fungsi dan acara. Jeans adalah pakaian yang tidak pernah ketinggalan jaman. Secara umum, jeans memberikan kesan casual untuk outfit yang kita pakai.  Dalam banyak kesempatan, pakaian yang formal bisa dibuat sedikit casual apabila dipadu dengan jeans.

Let's talk about the denim/jeans jeacket. If we search or jeans jacket at the store on or on the internet, we will find many different versions; blue wash with classic cut, white, black, grey, vintage style with oversized fit. It can be overwhelming. I am a very traditional person about jeans jacket. I like the blue wash with classis cut.

Mari kita bicara soal jaket jeans. Jika kita membrowse internet atau toko, kita akan jumpai berbagai macam jaket jeans: jaket jeans berwarna biru dengan potongan classic, jaket jeans putih, hitam, abu-abu atau jacket jeans vintage dengan style yang oversize. Kadang bisa membuat kita kewalahan dalam memilih jaket yang ingin kita miliki. Kalau saya sangat tradisional soal jeans. Saya suka jaket berwarna biru dengan potongan classic.

There are many ways to wear denim jacket. You can pair it with pants, skirts, dress, exercise outfit or even your pajamas if you want. In this post, I'd like to share how to wear denim jacket with dress.

Banyak cara yang bisa kita padukan dalam memakai jaket jeans. Kamu bisa padukan dengan celana, rok, dress, pakaian olah raga atau bahkan piyama jika kamu mau. Di postingan kali ini, saya ingin berbagi soal bagaimana memadukan jaket jeans dengan dress atau baju terusan.

1. Wear it with a t-shirt dress and a pair of sneakers

If you're a busy woman or a busy mom like me, this look can be your alternatif to pants.  A shirt dress with jeans can be a good alternatif to keep that casual yet chic look. To make the outfit looks a little softer, you can add a light scarf. To make it loooks more tough or casual, you can add a baseball hat.

For your footwear, you can pair it with tall boots, ankle boots, flats or sandals.

1. Padukan dengan t-shirt dress dan sepatu sneakers atau sepatu kets

Kalau kamu adalah wanita atau ibu yang sibuk seperti saya, padanan ini bisa menjadi alternaif selain celana untuk kesan casual tetapi tepat terlihat chic atau stylish,  Untuk menambah kesan feminin, kamu bisa pakai scarf tipis. Untuk menambah kesan sedikit tomboy, kamu bisa pakai topi baseball. Untuk alas kaki, selain sneakers bisa juga dipadu dengan sepatu boots semata kaki, sepatu tanpa hak atau sendal.

2. Wear it with a body-con dress 

For me personally, a body-con dress can be too sexy to wear for everyday wear because it's too tight. However, I get less of that affect when I pair a body can with a jacket, such as this denim jacket. I make this black body-con dress more casual with a pair of sneakers and hats.

2. Padukan dengan body-con dress (baju pas badan)

Kalau bagi saya, baju pas badan kadang terlihat terlalu seksi untuk dipakai sehari-hari. Walau begitu, jika body con ini saya pakai dengan jaket seperti jaket jeans, kesan seksi itu agak berkurang. Dibawah ini saya padukan body con dress hitam dengan sneakers dan topi.

3. Wear it with a-line or flowy dress and ankle boot or tall boots

This pair can be worn for the office, a date with your husband or boyfriend, a brunch with friends or just simply when you feel like you want to dress up. To add a little more fun, I put on a hat.

 3. Padukan dengan a-line dress atau dress yang feminin dengan ankle boots atau boots sebetis

Paduan ini bisa dipakai ke kantor, kencan dengan pacar atau suami, makan siang dengan teman atau kegiatan apapun yang membuat kamu merasa ingin dandan. 

4. Wear it with a maxi dress

In the last five years, I wore a matching outfit with my daughter on Mother's Day. Last year, this is what we wore. We wore a black maxi dress with denim jacket.

 4. Padukan dengan maxi dress.

Lima tahun terkahir, setiap Hari Ibu, saya dan anak saya memakan baju kembar. Tahun lalu, baju panjang hitam inilah yang saya pakai dengan jaket jeans.

 Thank you for reading, I hope this post gives you ideas about how to pair your denim jacket.