Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Trip to Madura

I'll be honest, this post is actually long overdue. But I still want to share with you all the beauty we stumbled upon on of the island of Madura. So, a throwback post it is!

Madura is a separate island located very near to my city, only separated by a single strait but connected by a bridge which makes it easy for us to take a trip there. About a month ago, my friends and I had to go and do a video shoot for an upcoming school event we're having. It was a large group (around 15 people, I'd say) and all duties aside, we still wanted to make the most out of this little getaway, so a lot of us were bringing along our cameras and capturing every moment. It was a sunny Monday, and the weather was scorching hot, but I gotta say, Madura doesn't look so bad!

This was actually from a stop we made before reaching our first location. We had breakfast at a small open restaurant but was completely mesmerised by this open rice field we stumbled upon at the back of the restaurant. It was still around 7 AM so the beautiful view felt totally nice to experience.

After taking pictures and having breakfast together and hanging around, we finally went off to our first location: Bukit Jaddih (translates to Jaddih Hill, but let's not refer to it as that.)

As a tourist destination, Jaddih has recently been getting quite the attention. I've seen it in photos before, but arriving there felt surreal. The area looked stunning. Once you step out, in every direction, the scenery displayed white cliffs with coarse, rocky textures that was so picturesque, it was like standing in the middle of a painting, or a charcoal sketch. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before.

My favourite part was the water body we found sitting among the white-and-beige, wall-like ridges. The crystal clear water reflected this gorgeous, serene turquoise colour that was just beyond what words could express. It was the most aesthetically pleasing area to step into.

The soil was mainly limestone, so yes, it was basically hills and hills of chalk, which explained why there were so many trucks in sight, all of which we assumed were carrying the materials. A part of me felt that it was a shame a place so beautiful had to be, well, industrialized. But all in all, I was glad to have the chance to witness it in person.

Another area made of limestone hills, our second location (known as Arosbaya) was just as breathtaking. Of course it offers a different vibe apart from Bukit Jaddih. In Jaddih, the atmosphere was somewhat ethereal, but in Arosbaya, I felt like it was a way one could reconnect with ~*nature and its surroundings*~. You were surrounded with trees and bushes and earthy elements that made it seem like it'd be really easy to get lost.

I fell in love with how these rocks looked, their silhouettes and how it sort of exposed how they were formed. The shapes were imperfect and jagged, yet the side of these cliffs displayed almost perfect lines that adds to the structure of these majestic rocks (it strangely reminded me of the Grand Canyon, or the Twelve Apostles). This location was slightly more fascinating because there were pathways you could take, and caves that you could step into. It offered more and we basically had more to discover.

I actually created a short vlog highlighting this trip, 
you can find the video on my YouTube channel or you can click here:

Overall, this trip brought out the best in me. As a girl who'd relentlessly take pictures, visiting out-of-the-ordinary, beautiful places that were actually not too far from my own city was definitely something worth remembering. That day, we'd left at 5:30 AM and finished up at around 7 PM, so it was no doubt exhausting, but I'm so grateful for the experience. Sometimes you have to step just a little bit outside of your own little world to find places that can amaze you.

I'll see you around!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Four Apps to Change Your Life

I'm finally writing again after two weeks of, well, hell. I'm talking tests, late nights, and all those awesome responsibilities. But! I'm so glad I can now finally sit down and finish this post (one I've been preparing for a while now).

When life gets a little too hectic and your phone gets a little too cluttered, or maybe on the contrary, things are starting to look just a little too boring for your liking, I've found that these apps can be perfect for you. I've been using them for quite some time and thought that they were good and useful enough to be shared with all of you! (Note: Not a sponsored post, guys.) Trust me, these apps can change your life.


In case you haven't noticed, throughout 2016, social media has been working like a rocket going full speed ahead. And upon this development, it got to the point where Instagram, as we know it, isn't even just a picture-sharing platform anymore. It's art, guys.

Instagram is no longer just about the hashtags or photos, it's your feed. Yes, you are your own ~*brand*~. And I'm not even exaggerating on this. A lot of people are putting extra effort into creating a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed. Where all the colours and layouts count. That's why an app like UMUN would totally come in handy.

The pretty app not only allows you to plan which pictures to post by showing how they'll look on your feed, but it also has that sliding feature so you'll see what happens when your feed changes position after a new post. You can see the stats of your profile, and you can also check what it'd look like if you erased certain photos. Complete with some editing features as well, this app is perfect for helping me organise my feed. (Not that I try to have one ha-ha-ha)*.

*First rule of having an Instagram feed: Act like you're not even trying to keep one.


A lot of bloggers have been talking about Evernote and recommending it and I am so glad that I decided to try it out. I keep it because it helps you stay on top of all your plans, ideas, and notes, all packed into one! It keeps you super organised, and it fits perfectly for notorious planners and perfectionists like me.

Other than compiling a bunch of notes and putting them into categories, you can also turn them into to-do lists or reminders, depending on how you wish to use the stuff you wrote down. You could even record your own voice and put it inside your "notebook", and I think that's really impressive and useful for when you have an idea but just can't seem to put it into words in writing or when you don't have the time to jot them down. Their other feature that really impressed me was that you could take a picture of a document or any type of file, and they'll detect the photo and save the file as if it was scanned directly! It makes things super easy. Honestly guys, life-changing.


Haar kaas is mijn kaas - "Her cheese is my cheese". The sentences they choose for the quizzes sometimes just crack me up, I swear.

Being the ambitious over-achiever, it's always been kind of my thing to want to learn new languages. This year, I've been starting with Dutch. I think that compared to other apps that help you with language learning, Duolingo is certainly the best I've ever come across. The buttons and whole theme of the app kind of makes it feel really fun to start learning it step by step. You can set a goal for yourself whether it's just some laid-back practice that'll only take 3 minutes of your day everyday, or for something intensive, like if you want to gain 50 XP in one day (in which case you'll have to do more levels in that one day). 

They also help by sending reminders, that usually say "It's time for your daily Dutch lesson." And I think that makes it quite interesting. The app also makes sure that you're keeping all that new information inside your head, and they do this by making you repeat levels that you passed earlier. The repetitiveness may feel kind of annoying, but it honestly helps you remember, so your learning becomes much more effective! They offer a wide variety of courses (German, Italian, French, and more!) I'm a beginner in my Dutch but really excited that I'm learning it again. If you reach your goal daily for a longer period of time, you'll be keeping streaks, and that motivates me a lot to keep coming back to this app every now and then.

Plant Nanny
Self-care apps have to be one of the best reasons to be alive right now, you guys. The one goal that I've been setting for myself since last September was to drink at least 2 litres of water a day everyday. Thankfully, I've been successfully reaching it on, well, most days. It gets tricky but while continuing on this goal, I decided to start using Plant Nanny again.

The one thing I can't get enough of is how cute this app is. Like the name suggests, this app allows you to choose plants and water them everyday (as you drink water yourself) until they grow and reach new levels. Once they're fully grown, you put them in your garden, harvest their seeds, and you continue planting more.

I think the concept is absolutely brilliant and the plants are so adorable that it makes me somewhat excited to see them grow (does that make sense?). The app keeps your body information (such as weight and activity levels) and lets you know how much water you need in a day, and it keeps reminding you for the rest of the day until you drink sufficient water. According to them, I only need 1.7 litres of water for my body each day, but eh, I always go a little overboard.

So if you've been having a little bit of trouble trying to get yourself to drink enough water, I think getting an app like this would totally be helpful, and it's really fun to have something to "take care of" in the midst of leading a really busy life. In which case I mean your body of course, but in the app, your tiny adorable plants.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it helpful for you! These apps, again, did not sponsor me in any way, but I thought that they were so useful and can totally help change your life in one way or another. What apps have you been loving lately? Do you use any of the ones I listed above?
Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you, or share this post!

Have an awesome day.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

First Day of October

Hello, October! 

Time certainly flies. (Do you see those leaves falling already?) 

One of the first things I did on the first day of October was I drove my car for the first time ever (yeah no big deal ha-ha-ha). Since I'm now 17 and have finished my driving lessons, my mom's been making me drive as much as I can until I can get the hang of it. Yesterday I used my own car for the first time, and went slow and played safe, but I realised I wasn't that bad of a driver! It just so happened that my instructor was a man of many words (mostly telling me all the things I did wrong). But as it turns out, I drive just fine.

For lunch, mom and I went to the mall to this Indonesian restaurant called Linkafe. They served Indonesian cuisine and we basically met up with my relatives who recently flew in from New Zealand. It was a nice afternoon and even though I've been there before, I've come to really admire the interiors of the restaurant itself. The blue walls and cushions kind of just speak to you, don't they?

Pictured above is one of Indonesia's greatest snacks called pisang goreng which literally translates into fried banana. Yes, it's batter-fried slices of banana. Don't question it. It's amazing. Shortly afterwards, we had a lovely chat with all of them to catch up, and at around 3 PM we left because I'd been invited by Intro Magazine to the grand opening of their new retail space!

Intro is a new local e-magazine (although they make prints too) launching their first issue this October. I found them through Instagram and completely fell in love with their content- both aesthetically pleasing and fascinating to read! Their columns are thought-provoking, informative, and overall really enjoyable to read. Not only that, but they're also highly innovative with their new concept, that is turning their magazine into a retail space.

Located at the other side of town, yesterday was a grand opening of the space where they make the magazine come to life. Their motto is "step into a magazine. Literally." And that is indeed literally what happens.

As the magazine covers many topics circulating food, fashion, etc, the retail space (inhabiting a two-story, all-white-black-and-wood, Instagram-worthy building) shows the actual fashion brands featured in the magazine's issue, and these brands will have their space on the upper floor and display their clothes and sell to customers just as you would in a market! The same with the ones focused more on interior and home & living. Food was highly talked about in the magazine too, and in the house all these different local businesses (mentioned in the magazine) set up their own pop-up stands as well, and take their place on the first floor, making the area similar to a food court with a really large variety of food.

Aside from the grand opening, they also held a food tasting event that I was invited to through Instagram. This is where all these aforementioned local food enterprises serve their dishes for a taste test done by a large group of people (I'd say there were about 30 people pitching in. Me included.) I had an invitation for 3 people so I took my mom and my sister to do the food tasting with me. It was great and we loved it.

I found the many local businesses to be really creative with their menus, and each one provided excellent taste, so voting for whichever one we thought deserved the Intro Magazine's Best Dish Award of the Night was certainly a challenge. A few of my favourites- not gonna say which one I voted for though ;) -would be:
  • DorĂ© by LeTAO's signature Fromage cake. I'm really in love not only with the brand and its design and branding, but also their famous Jakarta-based cheesecakes that I got to try yesterday. Totally glorious.
  • Lareia Cake & Co's dishes. They actually served four different menus in the food tasting, but I do recall their to-die-for Tres Leches cake. I've always been a huge fan of Lareia (they make the prettiest cakes that also taste really good!)
  • The Egg'es Project's salted egg burgers. The dishes they served in the taste test came in mini burgers and I thought the idea to put salted egg in a burger was pretty cool. (I might be biased though, because I love eggs. Salted ones especially. And burgers, though! Who doesn't love burgers?)
Other than these, there were also a prawn salsa tortilla, pork belly rice, and a few other dishes. We hadn't had dinner but certainly left the place feeling full and perfectly satisfied!

Finally, we ticked a box in our little pieces of paper and put the vote into the glass bowls provided. We sadly had to leave early because it was getting late (not to mention a long way from home), so we didn't get to see as they accumulated the votes to award the Best Dish of the Night. As it turns out, the winner was the golden cheesecake franchise, Doré by LeTAO. Very well deserved!

All in all, this was an awesome experience. I applaud Intro Magazine for creating such a cool idea and successfully bringing it to life, and I also congratulate them on the launch and the grand opening. I'm so glad that I was able to experience this, especially since my dream job is to end up working in a magazine someday. Opening myself up to events and things like these is definitely beneficial, and helps me to learn more about the creative industry that I'm so eager to delve into.

How did you spend your first day of October?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you guys. :) I hope you have a good week!

I'll talk to you soon.