Farro Curry with Lentils

Sunday, 29 April 2012


Takes you back in time when pharaohs feasted on farro, combined with the richness of our modern-day Middle Eastern curry flavor. Taste the nuttiness of this rare grain with the tenderness of lentils in this scrumptious dish.

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Accepting the green-eyed monster


April 2012



It’s almost the end of April. How is everybody feeling?

Summer’s almost here. All over the world, men hail to the little girls in mini skirts and the sundresses. And all the ladies out there are feeling 10 times more self-conscious. Then again, it’s hard to get too depressed about your body image and drown yourself into self-pity, now that the sun is always out.

So, the easiest way out of that feeling is to become the ugly monster with green-colored glasses every time she looks at another woman.

I said that that’s the easiest way, but definitely not the best way.

Every woman, I believe, has felt that feeling. Even just a trace of it.

It’s not about being the fairest of them all, but fairer than most. Sociologists know from their numerous studies that what we want is not most of all, but more than the other fellow. The core of it all is a feeling of inadequacy. Some other woman has a better figure than you, better sense of style than you, better grades than you, whiter teeth than yours, and has a puppy while you don’t. Whether or not you’re attached, there’s always a high chance that get jealous now and then. Because we can’t help it – women are naturally competitive with each other. Why? Biologically speaking, a woman has got a lot more to lose than when a man competes with another man. A man may lose his pride, his ego, his reputation. But a woman, when she loses, she loses her girlfriend clan (support), her territories (comfort zone), her center stage (attention), her sense of security (well, security), and the most precious of all, her confidence.

The who’s-better-than-who game we never mention but all girls secretly play can only bring out the worst in you. If you don’t accept that green-eyed monster and admit it for what it is, by its ugly name and ugly form, you’ll never get over that feeling, and you’ll never move on, and you’ll never feel better, get better, be better.

Certainly, avoiding it will never make it go away.

I thought I could avoid it. But the longer time goes by, the bigger it grows. The easiest way out is to get it out of your system.

In my past entry when I last touched upon jealousy, Wasted calories on envy, first thing I reflect upon was this sentence that I wrote: But we’re human beings after all – we can’t control our feelings. No, we can control our feelings. It’s hard, but we can tame our negative emotions. That’s what high-EQ people have and what neurotic people like me lack of. Writing things down in my diary or in this blog like I’m doing right now usually lets me assess my mind and then reflect upon it, so that I can see clearly what I can change and what I need to work on. Jealousy is just there, stepping on you, and waiting for you to accept him. He’s just an ugly monster who can only be defeated if you accept his feelings. Once you’ve accepted him, he will always become a part of you, staying there with you for the rest of your life, reminding you that you can always improve yourself, and guiding you to the people you admire so that you will keep on being motivated by your natural spirits.

I also wrote: I feel jealous. And whenever I do, I never show it, express it to the person I like, or even admit it – not even to myself. Now that I’m admitting it and starting to accept it, even just writing it down in this blog entry and exploring the core of it without denying it, I already felt better. The more I think about it, the more I let go of the things I desire for now and become motivated to target those long-term goals, like owning a car, getting a job that I love and at the same time to make for a living, and of course that summer beach body I’m still working at. It’s only been a little over a week since I cooked all my meals at home and never spend a dime outside on food. I didn’t even visit the gym for the whole month. But I lost weight easier right now than when I was on my 33-day diet. Maybe it’s because that great feeling after I made something in the kitchen, and then when I crave for something outside, like a tiramisu or something, the first thing I did wasn’t going out to buy it, but look for its recipe. So, yes, now a secret has been revealed: I’m planning to make tiramisu cake. Specifically, a strawberry tiramisu cake. But that will be much later in the future. I still have a lot of mushrooms and cheese in my pantry.

Last but not least, I also wrote down these words: Basically, the whole idea of being jealous is thinking that the other has what you don’t. And what I don’t have right now until the end of the next 4 months is the time to shineI literally can count now how many days left until this semester ends. It’ll be exactly 18 days from today. And a week after that will be my graduation ceremony. And a couple more days after that ceremony, I will start my summer intersession semester, which is a fast-paced 3-week semester. Then a couple of days after those torturing 3 weeks, my summer semester will start. And my summer semester will end in 101 days from today. That will also be the day that I officially finish my lifetime education, as I don’t plan to earn a Master’s degree and decided to jump on the job-hunting bandwagon. Do you see the rush that I’m getting myself into? I’m speeding up my education precisely because I don’t want to be here. I feel obligated to be here (This is another story which I’ll cover on more in the future). I don’t have the desire to be here. I feel hopeless and dead inside whenever I’m far, far, far away from the people I love and care about.

On the flip side, though, since I’m far, far, far away from the people I love and care about, this is my time to prepare for that moment. I will only have the time to shine if I make that time. I know I will not sit around here forever and seclude myself from the world in this darkness, envying those people that have what I value most and all the things I treasure most.

Envy is narrow-minded. Envy does not see the big picture. Envy is only a small sphere of vision, as it only sees green, but in the ROYGBIV rainbow, in reality, there are also the colors red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet. The green-eyed is squeezed right at the center of vision. If you make that your focus, you won’t see the rainbow.

Plus, for those girlfriends and wives who often catch your beloved looking at another woman… it’s normal. It’s just one of those things we’re naturally attracted to, like Ryan Reynolds abs smile. Besides, men are simple. Men are visual, so it’s easier to make a man and keep him happy compared to a man making and keeping his woman happy.



From 9GAG.





Victoria’s Secret models have always been my motivation. I flipped through Treasure Yourself many times, and here I’d like to share Miranda Kerr’s tips for dealing with jealousy:



Identify what is making you jealous and why.

- Sit with it and accept it.

- Instead of focusing on the negative feeling jealousy can produce, look at it as an act of motivation. By doing this you will be less likely to concentrate on the things you don’t have and develop the drive to obtain the things you want.

- Take time to appreciate what you have.

- Get it out of your system. Write down how you feel, or talk to someone about it. This is better than letting these feelings bottle up where they can do more damage.

- Stop comparing yourself with others. Always keep in mind that everybody is different and unique in their own way. Make a conscious effort to think about your own good qualities and your own uniqueness.

- Be accepting of yourself.



There will always be someone smarter, funnier, prettier, taller, slimmer, kinder, wiser, more mature, more successful, more grounded, more godly than me. By that, I wish to improve myself in any way that I can so that I’m better person tomorrow and focus on what I already have today.

The answer, besides quitting making comparisons with others, is gratitude. Count your blessings. Focus on what you have been blessed with, whatever shines out of you most effortlessly. Of course, it’s easier said than done to remind yourself all of these things, especially when you’re put into fitting room full of Victoria’s Secret winged angels surrounding you, not that I have been in that kind of situation but it’s just worst-case scenario.

All you have to do to prevent the monster’s harmful effects on you is change your perspective: Change from that narrow-mindedness and widen your eyes. Yes, it’s difficult to see things when you only see the color green.

I believe that it’s just one of the things that grows over time as we gain more perspective in life and learn to grow with time, and I’ve still got plenty to learn about. Like the colors red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet.






28. Deprivation does not equal to preservation


Learn a new word today. Look for its definition, then write a prose with it. In a year, you’re going to pat yourself on the back having learned 365 words into your vocabulary with firm understanding.


: a person who is willingly or blindly the tool of another person.



Either you’re brainwashed by the media or you’re crazy enough to actually want to become the ame-damnee of society. It’s trendy to starve amongst catwalk models. It’s cool to binge. Barf all you want, smoke all the joints – but it’s not cool when you deprive yourself of the life you really want, girl.

Stay hungry, stay foolish, Steve Jobs said – but only for the satiety that life brings back to you when you’ve given your blood, sweat, and tears to the world. Leave your body and soul to yourself. Put them to good use.



Baked spinach with extra cheese

Friday, 27 April 2012



Impress your boyfriend on a weeknight date: Feed him bites of this savory spinach, with the extra cheese on top and its cheesy filling inside. Score.





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Men: What every woman should know about them and how to keep them happy


April 2012

I’ve been reading miss Fay for a while, and browsing around her archive while admiring her and adding her to my list of girl crushes… Here’s one post she did on 21 November 2008 that I’d like to share with you girls.





Oprah wrote this about men…

1.  If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.
2.  If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
3.  Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.
4.  Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
5.  Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.
6.  Slower is better. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.
7.  If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can’t “be friends”.
8.  A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend. Don’t settle.
9.  If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.
10. Don’t stay because you think “it will get better”.
11. You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
12. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.
13. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women.
14. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?
15. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.
16. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you.
17. If something bothers you, speak up.
18. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.
19. You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.
20. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are…even if he has more education or in a better job.




From 9GAG.



21. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less.
22. Never let a man define who you are.
23. Never borrow someone else’s man.
24. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.
25. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.
26. All men are NOT dogs.
27. You should not be the one doing all the bending…compromise is a two way street.
28. You need time to heal between relationships. There is nothing cute about baggage… Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.
29. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you… a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals… look for someone complimentary. ..not supplementary.
30. Dating is fun…even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.
31. Make him miss you sometimes… when a man always know where you are, and you’re always readily available to him – he takes it for granted.
32. Never move into his mother’s house.
33. Never co-sign for a man.

34. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.
35. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.




From 9GAG.



Share this with other women and men (just so they know)… You’ll make someone smile, another rethink her choices, and another woman prepare!












All the world’s a stage



Today was an ordinary day. For some reason, my energy levels feel pretty steady throughout the day. In fact, ever since I’ve started cooking again for everything I eat since the beginning of the week, I’ve been getting rid of stools consistently everyday and didn’t spend a dime outside of the house for food. Now it’s all coming back to me, the feeling of saving so much money and the pride you feel after making each meal in my little apartment kitchen.

Anyway, I was at the mall trying out some dresses when I finally found The One. I have a wedding to attend in Bali this coming September, and I’m still finding The One, the perfect dress for an amazing evening I’ll have at an outdoor wedding. The place is so cool (although I’ve never been there before), the church floats above an infinity pool. I have always been fascinated by infinity pools. Since I was young, I can spend hours browsing on the Internet just looking at pictures of infinity pools.


From Kiwi Collection




So, back to the story. I was trying on dresses upon dresses at BCBG, where I shop most of my party dresses (along with Bebe and Marciano). I’ve always loved these places because of how their clothes fit on my body. But what comes after that is their customer service. These shops tend to have saleswomen who genuinely assists your shopping experience. They study your body type and style, and then they pick out dresses that turn out to look better on you than you thought they would. And that’s what happened to me today. And the dress was on sale.

I won’t be posting up pictures of the dress here, because it’s supposed to be a surprise until that night for my boyfriend. Everytime we attend these kinds of events, I’ll surprise my look and he tells me which look looks best so far. The first time I saw him all dressed up in suit and wearing no glasses, in my heart I was dumbstruck. SO HANDSOME LAH. My bf is so handsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I texted my best friend C.

Anyway, the lady at BCBG who kept assisting me, I remember her name was Julie. It’s the store that’s located in Westfield mall at downtown San Francisco. Actually, all the saleswomen there were really helpful. At the end of the day, I discovered that I look best in salmon color. I’ve always thought everybody looks good, younger, happier, and just brighter in yellow, but it turns out that everybody is unique in their very own ways :)

Then I went to my evening class. It’s a creative writing class, which I enjoyed. We get to talk, discuss, share, and review stories among each other. At the end of the class, I chatted a bit with my teacher. It’s been a while since I’ve engaged myself in these kinds of conversations. He lived in Indonesia for a while back in the 80s, and it’s just nice that someone over here actually appreciates my culture. Although terrible things are happening right now, the economy is thriving and the country’s developing at such rapid rate, and that’s what made Jakarta a metropolitan. But he, my teacher, was interested in the secluded islands all across our country. It’s funny how the lingering problems underlying a nation are both a gift and a curse at the same time. Interfaith issues can never be solved unless everyone of us remind each other that Indonesia was founded under Pancasila’s principles:


1. Belief in the one and only God
2. Just and civilized humanity
3. the unity of Indonesia
4. Democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives .
5. Social justice for all the people of Indonesia.




And we’re notoriously known for our corruptness and interfaith conflicts and notably traffic jams.

Fortunately, because of where I come from, I’ve grown to respect all religions out there. We have Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Catholics, and the largest Muslim population in the world. Yet, for such a colorful country filled with people from all kinds of spiritual paths, it’s amazing how we can still stand as one.

Anyway, we touched upon lots of subjects like places where nature dominates the environment (Carmel, Yosemite, Sausalito, etc) and Japanese writers and the San Francisco literary beat movement. Lots of stuff to go back home and think through, which is exactly what I’m doing right now.

Back then, freedom of expression looks nothing like today. Most of us have blogs now where we can talk about anything and everything we want, using any kind of language we want. Foul, vulgar words are used publicly. I’m thankful too that everything’s becoming more flexible when it comes to self-expression: Your strong opinions get the chance to stand out as they are. You are no longer limited by the laws made out there.

So the idea that our dreams, imaginations, and creativity can take us to places we never thought of can help me guide through my struggles in this week’s assignments: a travel essay, personal discussion on some short memoirs we got in class, a reader’s response to one essay assigned, and my very own short memoir. That’s a bunch of stuff, but this is a lot of windows where my opinions can stand for itself and shine! And that’s the best thing about writing. You have to stand up for what you believe in. As you go along, from word to word, the process of writing starts to become a journey of self-discovery. And then you share your stories with people, and people will give back more stories to you that they’ve lived out, and that adds vibrance to your life.

When you think about it, it’s almost like everyday when you get out of the house, you’re performing a play.Every day we act in a certain way, we dress in a certain style, and you being the amazingly unique you that you are, verbalizing the words you would normally say and doing the things you would normally do. It’s all in the script, and God is constantly editing it behind your back. That’s how you see positive changes going on in your life, right?