Amal and his dad did a project together for an exhibition called the "Sketchbook Project" organized by ruangrupa, which is a well-known artists' initiative based in Jakarta. The exhibition was up till 9 December, but unfortunately I wasn't able to go see it.
Basically, the project is a collaboration between ruangrupa and tuatuasekolah who makes these sketchbooks. They sent a 100-page sketchbook to 29 artists from all around Indonesia and they had 3 months to fill in the pages. Since Amal is an avid sketchbook user, Amal's dad got the idea of collaborating with him on this project. Amal was very proud, as you can see in the photos below :)



This TED talk is one of the most inspiring I've heard.

As explained by Roy Bunker about the Barefoot College

"Who is a professional? A professional is someonewho has a combination of competence, confidence and belief. A water diviner is a professional. A traditional midwife is a professional. A traditional bowl setter is a professional."

This makes me think of YUM's plan to build a Vocation Technical & Training Center (VTTC) in Central Kalimantan, where nearly all the population in our working area have no education nor skill. If this succeeds, we'll be helping not only those who will be going to the VTTC but also their families and communities.

He ended with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi: 



What started out as a trip to Taman Mini and finding a spot to have a picnic suddenly became a trip to Kebun Raya Bogor (Bogor Botanical Gardens) because I made the wrong turn and since we were in the toll road in that direction, might as well just continue :)

A good tip for parents who don't want the hassle of cooking something for their picnic trip: go to All Fresh in TB Simatupang (in front of Citos), go to the salad & fruits bar and get yourself some nice fresh cut fruits as well as pasta salad and veggies!
Don't forget to bring sunglasses, hats, a ball, badminton rackets and of course, a nice fabric to sit down on the grass. Actually, we should've brought some cushions to sleep on :)



Just the other day, I was talking to my sister-in-law while we were seeing a documentary about Paris and the life of Toulouse-Lautrec. We were saying how it seems like a dream to have lived in Paris. The city is so beautiful, vibrant and full of art, especially during this time of year. The photos below are from one of my favorite blogs called Paris Daily Photo, and reminds me of the evenings when I would walk to a cafe, or just walking around the city. I'm so grateful to have had the chance to live there, and I wish everyone could do the same :)



A week ago, I found out that among the 10 nominees for CNN Hero of 2011 was an American lady who lived in Bali and worked in helping poor mothers get the best possible healthcare service when it came to prenatal, birth and postnatal care. Then several days later, I hear that she actually won the award! And you can definitely see why when you view the videos below. What a caring, gentle, compassionate person! Congratulations Ibu Robin and may you and your clinic Bumi Sehat continue to prosper and help many more women and mothers!

Portrait of a Hero: Robin Lim by CNN_International

"Every baby's first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet." ~ Ibu Robin Lim



This has to be one of the most AMAZING films ever made!! I am in love with this movie right now - Life in a Day is a project where thousands of people uploaded videos to YouTube about a single day on Earth, most precisely on July 24th, 2010. If you haven't seen it yet, go here and you can see it for free (or just view the video below)!! You will cry and laugh at the same time! Thumbs up for Indonesian filmmaker Soma Helmi for being one of the few contributors chosen to attend the premier of the movie at Sundance 2011. Her shots of Balinese life is truly beautiful!



Yesterday, Amal and I made cookies and decorated them. I don't know why the month of December just pushes us to start baking lots of cakes and cookies and distributing them to friends and family.
So here we are again, same as last year but this time, I'm happy to have finally found the BEST butter cookie recipe ever! Seriously, it's delicious and easy to make, and it was under my nose all this time....argh!

Almond Butter Cookies
(makes around 30-40 cookies depending on size)

3 cups all purpose flour
175g butter (Elle & Vire)
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup ground almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the butter, cut into pieces, the baking powder, a pinch of salt, the sugar and eggs. Beat until the mixture is well mixed (low beat), then add the ground almonds. Roll the dough into a ball.
3. Roll out the dough to 5 mm thick and use cookie cutters to make all sorts of shapes.
4. Transfer to a tray with baking sheet. Bake for around 10-15 minutes or until the bottom part of the cookie is brownish.

(from the cookbook "La Cuisine" by Letoile, Maine and Peter)

Note: Cookie cutters, ground almond and cookie sprinkles can be found at Titan baking shop on Jl. Fatmawati



This outfit is so 1990s but somehow I like it a lot: simple, cozy and stylish. Photo found via The Sartorialist

Stephmodo just did a blog post about this new French magazine called Doolittle and seriously, it's too cute... Love the t-shirt with the face!

Amal's a big fan of making cookies and when I saw these from this blog, I knew I'll be doing them for Christmas :)



I love scarves, I especially love them when I'm feeling "blah" and don't know what to wear so I just put on the most comfortable but boring thing I have.... then suddenly wear a scarf and "hey, it's not so boring after all!" :)

This video below is for all you scarf-holics out there... It's incredibly inspiring and I only realized after seeing this video how a simple piece of cloth can completely transform you. Enjoy!

Found via Stephmodo


Yes, it's the weekend and I finally have one of those days when I can just chillax, have lunch with my family, do some grocery shopping and come home, watch cartoons with Amal and browse freely...

The video below is one of my favorite DIYs from the Etsy podcast that I subscribe to (via iTunes). They also have an Etsy blog and Etsy YouTube page. For those of you who aren't familiar with Etsy, it's an online marketplace for all things handmade....very very cool! 


I've fallen in love with a new blog by Garance Dore, an illustrator from France who is now living in the US with her famous blogger boyfriend, Scott Schumann a.k.a The Sartorialist :)  

The way she writes is hilarious! You have to read her advice category which is so much fun, and I especially love a blog-post she did about a hotel in Paris she and Scott stayed in called Hotel Thoumieux. Her photo article is awesome; I especially like this shot below just cause I'm crazy about a good french breakfast...



My new favorite song:

Amal has been asking me to listen to The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun almost every day, but I stumbled upon this last night and I think it's one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard :)



I just came back from a 3-day long-awaited badly-needed holiday. This time I went with three girl friends, to Singapore to do some shopping therapy and just have fun. It was, of course, well worth it! Though my legs ached every single day from walking - going from IKEA to Orchard, then Universal Studios back to Orchard, and Mustafa Center too - I feel completely satisfied and ready to move on (till the next holiday of course!).
Here are some memories:



Beautiful bedroom design found on Apartment Therapy. Looks so cozy!

Super cute DIY felt monsters.... totally inspired to do this with Amal (found on Pinterest)

Been thinking a lot lately about having quotes around the house and I would definitely use this as one of them (found also via Pinterest)


H&M SINGAPORE (part deux)

I can't wait to go to Singapore! I'm leaving in 2 weeks time and you have no idea the excitement I'm feeling about going into the new H&M store there... I've been browsing through their online catalogue and there are so many things I want ;p



I've been wanting to post something about our last Cooking Playdate session but just didn't find the time to write down the recipes. 

Our last session was so much fun! Having our minds more set on our halloween theme, and some of us had to catch the Tame Impala concert in the evening, so our cooking experience became more an "eating" experience with each of us coming prepared with something previously cooked. However, we will share recipes in the Cooking Playdate blog, don't you worry :)

Ranie made us a delicious orange punch with fresh sunkist oranges, nata de coco, jellies and sprite. Yeah, she definitely rules the drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic!)

The food included lasagna (homemade by Sandri & me), barbecued chicken by Dinda, fresh salad from Tarra, spaghetti with corn by Dinda, pumpkin soup by me and topped off by an apple tart made by my lovely mother :)

What started out as lovely decorations were soon mutilated and carved into frightful halloween pumpkins (see below the adults having fun).

Et voila, the result of our hard labour!
And here we are below (minus Dinda, who had to leave early):


"…Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle…"

Steve Jobs

Found this quote via my friend Kim's blog and find it very peaceful to read, like I know exactly what he's talking about :)


I love these fresh organic vegetables that come every Friday from the YUM organic farm in Cipanas, West Java. The farm produces enough vegetables to make around 30 to 40 baskets of vegetables a week. Since YUM does not yet have a marketing officer to sell these baskets, I am helping out to find orders and distribute to people who are interested in buying YUM's vegetables. Also, every other Friday, we sell our vegetables at the JIS Farmer's Market, where other vendors sell canned organic food, homemade bread, etc. If only Jakarta also had it's own farmer's market :)



This is one amazing documentary that I hope will hit theatres in Indonesia. This was featured on E! News yesterday (yes, a woman deserves a bit of celebrity news once in a while). I love the story of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo - how he had a calling for puppeteering from an early age, and got teased by his friends because of it, yet he continued to fight for his passion and finally landed a job with Sesame Street. That just gives hope to so many kids out there who have a passion which might not be mainstream but if it's a passion, they should stick with it and their parents should support them as much as possible.

Take a look at this and tell me if it's not heartwarming :)



YUM organized it's first charity garage sale on October 16th and it was a great success! We sold second-hand clothing, toys, books, accessories and even had a bake sale with cakes made by the YUM staff and volunteers. It was a tiring yet fun event. Thank goodness, we had help from our volunteers, Beata and Kim, as well as 5 energetic JIS students who were helping out during their school break.

Here's a slideshow of photos made by Beata:



Halloween is coming up and The Cooking Playdate girls & I are planning to have a Halloween-themed gathering very soon. So of course, with a bit of time on my plate, I went through my fave site pinterest and found a couple of amazing halloween inspired decorations & ideas for a party. Have a look and you might be inspired to make a party too!

I also found 2 sites with great halloween costume ideas: go here and here if you're curious :)

Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken shared a great idea to decorate your pumpkin and also some free Halloween printables



We haven't been doing our monthly Cooking Playdate for quite some time now. First came the summer holidays, then back to school, and of course Ramadhan. We finally had some time early this month, but just in a casual sort of way, so the kids could play together as well as us getting some cooking done.

The theme we had was real simple cooking, with a healthy twist. We decided to make Spaghetti with vegetable bolognaise sauce, a peach tea (with real peaches) and Strawberries with Vanilla Honey Yoghurt dip. 

Did a lot of chopping for the vegetable bolognaise (even Sandri joined us!)...hehehe...

The result of mixing a little bit of minced meat, garlic, onions, mushrooms, celery and carrots, all diced in small cubes (you'll find the recipe in The Cooking Playdate blog).

This peach tea is always a hit whenever Ranie makes it. Just use tea (make black strong tea in a pot of boiling water), add ice, mix with real peaches and it's juice (in a can) and a little bit of sugar.

These strawberries were also a big hit, especially with the kids. I had got some strawberries from Cipanas the days before and they were really juicy. The dip was made with: Cimory natural yoghurt + vanilla essence + honey. Just try it out before you serve to make sure it's not too sweet or not sweet enough.

Here's an additional photo of the day: the kids were totally wet after being sprayed by Sandri & Arka. They loved being soaked!


Stumbled upon this beautiful gospel song while listening to the weekly iTunes review I downloaded. It's a really happy pick-me-up song, but even better 'cause there's the appearance of Ms. Jill Scott looking so fine (love her earrings!)...



I find these fashion illustrations just absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous! By Cate Parr, found on thecoolhunter's website...



This post inspired me to put up pictures of my son's room, which we just finished decorating. I think it's really important for a child to feel happy and content in his room. Amal chose himself the colors of his walls and I like that it's quite spacious enough for him to play in.
It took a while to decorate this room because we decided to give him a big bed instead of his small one that he had previously. Also, we repainted a bookshelf that my parents had and generously gave for him to use.

Amal's bookshelf and drawing board, with paintings he had made when he went to the Abrakadoodle camp this summer

Lots and lots of books :)

The "big boy" bed and on the wall is a map of the world I had bought 10 years ago when I was a student in Paris

Amal's clothes cupboard (previously owned by his dad) with Amal's paintings above it

The study area where he's supposed to be doing his homework (though he still prefers to do it in the living room!)