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Annual wrap-up: Buh-bye 2012, hello 2013!


Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

– Aristotle


As Hellen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in the ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

My blog didn’t come as a blank slate when I signed up for the domain in March 2011. In fact, up to this very day I’m still relocating valuable posts from previous blogs to this one (See FAQ). At the same time I frequently edit and update all of these posts to match my current format and style – just to get everything on site to feel more coherent. It’s quite recent that I began fully committing myself to blogging – and by blogging, I mean producing useful and/or helpful content regularly to you.

In the past, I complain a lot. I abused blogging by making it as an outlet to release my anger and even to intensify my outrage. Looking back now, it’s difficult for me to move on in peace, because all I see is disorganized thinking and loads of negativity.

I’m choosing to let go of these unresourceful thoughts and keep pressing forward to see the positive light.

Everything else can go. What remains is my character.


Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution
long after the excitement of the moment has passed.

– Cavett Robert


In order to make peace with my past, I feel the need to highlight the rights and evaluate the wrongs, see what changes I have to make, and better prepare for 2013 accordingly. At the same time I plan to improve my character based on the progress I’ve made in various aspects of my life. So I’m simultaneously setting achievable goals as I go along reviewing my 2012.

I encourage you to do the same. It may take a while to plan out everything, but NOW is the time to make the change – to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Make friends with your past, and you’ll move on to a better future.

Here’s my month-to-month overview of how I’ve spent 2012:



  • On January 1, I’ve established that 2012 will be a new year to noodle up my life. I reviewed how I spent my New Year’s Eve. I failed at the attempt of making Harumi‘s Salmon Burger, and resolved to make the next attempt successful. I had my first ever midnight kiss for a new year’s celebration. I received a cute polaroid as my Christmas present, which I’ve been using to take pictures of cute stuff.

I also looked up the dictionary on the definition of “noodle”, and to “noodle up” means “to improvise; experiment; devise freely; think creatively”. Stanley and I challenged each other to exercise consistently and maintain our physical health. It’s also a test of persistence, perseverance, and patience.

Naturally I’ve been going to the gym and running more often than he does. But our performance on the road showed us who’s the real boss – him.


Love is a game that two can play and both win.

– Eva Gabor


I’ve also aimed to publish 10 dishes I’ve cooked throughout 2012, which should include a successful Salmon Burger. In the end, I’ve never actually made the second attempt at Salmon Burger. Instead, I’ve made more than 10 dishes this year that are worth publishing on this blog:


      1. Crustless Quiche with Cheese, Spinach, and Mushrooms
      2. Baked Spinach with Extra Cheese
      3. Farro Curry with Lentils
      4. Kimchi Fried Rice
      5. Chinese Style Fried Rice
      6. Warm Red Rice Pudding + Chilled Ginger Pudding
      7. Jjajangmyeon Spaghetti
      8. Baked Rice
      9. Chinese ABC Soup
      10. Lotus Root Soup
      11. Honey-Orange Glazed Broiled Sea Bass with Kale over Cheesy Sauce
      12. Black Bean Soup
      13. Avocado Pasta
      14. Spinach Fettucini Alfredo


That’s 14 recipes, exceeding my 10-recipe goal :) So here’s what I’m aiming next year: I want to prepare 15 recipes that deserves to be published on this blog – including the Salmon Burger and the Blueberry Clafouti (see June).

I also wanted to write for 3 different publications. I wrote on 2: For BBOOKS and for Sribu. (see full list of writing samples). Next year I still want to write for 3 different publications.

And to keep sleeping.

And to keep reading. I want to read one book at a time, breaking my habit of reading multiple books simultaneously. Out of all the books I will read in 2013, I want to write 3 book reviews.



– Image courtesy of Sarah Painter





  • On February 3, I made an attempt to write 3 haikus in a week. The school assignment only required us to write 1, but I managed 3. The teacher liked “Tea Time” the best. I want to write 3 haikus again next year.
  • On February 24, which is my 22nd birthday, I reviewed the things I learned at 21. Lesson learned: Life goes on, so get over it, move on, and follow through.
  • On February 27, I believe that my name predetermines my future success. Want to know something weird? Bro #1’s name is Vincent. Bro #2’s name is Jeffrey. My name is Stacia. I know, right? Every time I order something from Starbucks and they ask for my name, I say ‘Michelle’. That way I won’t have to repeat myself and correct them like I always do ever since I was born. 


– Image courtesy of Glamour via Tumblr





  • On March 1, I made it through my last day of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge. I got to know myself better, and I’m thinking of doing it again next year … but with better writing. This is just too crappy:


1. A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
2. A photo of something you ate today.
3. Your favorite store.
4. Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
5. A photo of yourself two years ago.
6. A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
7. Your dream wedding.
8. A song and a photo to match your mood.
9. A photo of the item you last purchased.
10. A photo of your favorite place to eat.
11. What’s in your makeup bag?
12. A photograph of the town you lived in.
13. Your favorite musician and why?
14. A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
15. Something you don’t leave the house without.
16. A photo of you and your family.
17. Your celebrity crush.
18. Something you crave a lot.
19. Another picture of yourself.
20. The meaning behind your blog name.
21. A photo of something that makes you happy.
22. Bullet your whole day.
23. 20 facts about you.
24. What’s in your purse?
25. Something that you miss.
26. Think back to how you were 5 years ago. How have you changed since then?
27. Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs.
28. Your favorite movie.
29. Something you could never get tired of doing.
30. A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.


  • On March 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of nine months. I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers I’ve received :)


June 2011

July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012

February 2012


  • On March 26, I shared a video “My Generasi” that reflects the way things were just a decade ago – before Facebook, Justin Bieber, and mechanical pencils.
  • On March 30, I posted a school assignment I did to practice studying people of all ages. We were told to draw ourselves and another person of the opposite sex in different ages. I drew myself with Stanley aging gracefully.





Why 33-day diet?
Day 1: Phone’s working, yay

Day 3: 2 days of making sleep as a luxurious experience

Day 8: Saying goodbye to sleep

Day 10: So far so good

Day 12: Daylight savings cost nighttime sleep, but great for long distance relationships

Day 15: Nothing much, really.

Day 18: Finally coming off

Day 24: Somebody’s coming over here :) 

Day 25: Dang!  |  Dang! part 2
Day 26: Wasted calories on envy
Lesson learned: New update after MIA for over a week…


  • On April 21, I see that all of us have a need to express ourselves in our daily lives.
  • On April 26, I revealed my deepest insecurity. I desire to surrender and to please wholeheartedly, because I want security that lasts a lifetime.
  • On April 27, I discovered that all the world’s a stage. We put on so many selves everyday. Who are you and what do you believe in?





  • On May 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of eleven months. I made a drawing of a pig to illustrate how I feel for the past eleven months.


I also received a bouquet of pink flowers from Stanley :)




  • On May 29, I launched the first ever Recommended restaurant series with a post that features Japanese restaurant Kushi-Tsuru in Japantown, San Francisco. I wanted to share pictures of the good stuff I’ve just eaten. I certainly didn’t expect it to grow to its present state, which has evolved to become enriching and insightful. No doubt plenty of room for improvement in food-reviewing, but I definitely want to keep eating good food, take better pictures of them, and keep up with my food writing. I’m in this for the long haul.
  • On May 30, I made it through the first day of partial fasting. I established that I believe in the power of abstinence. Abstinence does not equal to being deprived. Abstinence from things I don’t really need gives me focus to what I have to do for the day. I experienced satiety, contentment, and gratitude.
  • On May 31, I made it through the second day of partial fasting. I discovered that at the very core, it is all about self-acceptance. Reading Oprah helps.





  • On June 1, I made it through the third day of partial fasting. I learned that being true to yourself and knowing what you can do within your limitations improve my self-control.
  • On June 5, I revealed my failed attempt at the Blueberry Clafouti. Health may be a priority; but I learned my lesson in baking: Trust butter. Along with the Salmon Burger, the Blueberry Clafouti is another menu on my recipe list to keep trying to make until I succeed.
  • On June 9, I read about Miranda Kerr’s profile on the upcoming issue of Vogue UK. Her advice for keeping a man is to keep up the effort to make yourself look good and feel good. She clearly understands reciprocity, one of the many reasons why I admire her.
  • On June 19, Stanley and I celebrated our long-distance relationship of one year.I made a drawing of our world, with us as pigs, to illustrate how I feel for the past year.





  • On June 24, I sighed. 47 days till real life begins (see August). I realized that it will be very rewarding when we get the dream job we love so much that we never want to retire.
  • On June 28, I revealed the secret, DIY, all-natural ingredients of my leave-in conditioner to maintain hair health. They’re super greasy, but leaves your hair feeling silky-smooth after shower.
  • On June 28, I also rambled a bit about ending my June . This is the reason why I have a consistent fitness journal today (see January).


Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. 
They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.

– Jim Carrey





  • On July 4, I found out that my RHR (resting heart rate) is 53 bpm :) The lower it is, the less your heart has to work. A normal range is between 60 to 80. Lower than 60 and it means you’re athletic.
  • On July 5, I updated my first progress trying NISIM F.A.S.T. Shampoo and Conditioner. I would buy the products again whenever I desperately want to grow long hair!
  • On July 5, I began a quest to reach the runner’s high all over again. Besides food and sex, I think achieving a runner’s high is a great motivator for everyone.
  • On July 15, I learned that like everything else, there’s actually a sweet spot in running. Don’t run too hard or too easy – Run so you get out of your comfort zone, but also challenges you enough. 
  • On July 16, I promptly found out that bro #1 is coming to San Francisco. I haven’t seen him in about three years. He was the one who encouraged me to:


–       WORRY LESS
–       SLEEP MORE
–       TAKE IT EASY
–       ENJOY LIFE!!


I was 2, Jeffrey was 5, and Vincent was 8. They both kissed me on the cheek in a couple of other photographs. I love them too.
I was 2, Jeffrey was 5, and Vincent was 8. They both kissed me on the cheek in a couple of other photographs. I love them too.



PASSION to me: Proactivity, Assertiveness, Social, Spirited, Open-minded, Natural.

Proactive in seeking out opportunities. 
Assertive in communicating with others about what you feel and standing up for yourself when others bring you down.
Social and influential, only with a mere glimpse of a smile and you’ve made an impact on a stranger’s day.
 and energetic, because we know we can always learn something new everyday, being 

Open-minded to all kinds of things.

Above all, a natural feeling toward that particular area your PASSION lies, not because of the money, is your answer to how you must spend the rest of your life, doing just that for a living. 





  • On August 2, I updated my last progress trying NISIM F.A.S.T. Shampoo and Conditioner. I would buy the products again whenever I desperately want to grow long hair!
  • On August 4, I ran on empty. There’s actually a scientific backup for its benefits.
  • On August 4, I also tried a hybrid fruit: The Dipple Dandy pluot. Pluots are a mix of plums and apricots. The delicious Dipple Dandy looks like this:




  • On August 7, I made a review about the things I’ve learned after keeping food diary for 40 days without any particular intention other than watching what I eat. I learned the importance of:


    1. Mindfulness. I became conscious of what I put into my mouth.
    2. Being timely. I grew a habit of eating breakfast at the same time everyday (very early) and spread my meals evenly throughout the day. I stop eating hours before I go to sleep.
    3. Letting go. I let go of the fear to be perfect and eat perfectly all the time. I skipped a meal or two and indulged more times than I can count. 
    4. Forgiving yourself. Like I said, I didn’t have any specific goal I wanted to achieve out of keeping this food diary, so there’s very little room for failure. However, at that time I was pushing myself to reboot my running routine. I missed a workout. I thought I failed. But that’s just one workout – training your heart and your mind is a process, and processes have both successes and setbacks.
    5. And simply… Love. I love to eat, and I eat what I love. I want to eat what I love so much that I skip a meal or two in order to save my stomach for a later time to fill it with love. I really, really can’t live without mangoes and avocados.


  • On August 10, just two days after I’m done with my last day of school, I came back to Jakarta for good. Real life begins.

As soon as I went out of the baggage claim, I saw Stanley’s face, and out of his hand appeared a bouquet of pink roses :)


  • On August 27, I posted photographs I’ve taken during my trip to Taman Safari in Bogor, Indonesia. I really, really, really love animals. They’re just like us.






Look at all the colors!






  • On October 3, I received a pleasant surprise at work – yes, the flowers :)


Check out my blue toenail! A common badge for runners.
Check out my blue toenail! A common badge for runners.





That's my gray tank top and I.
That’s my gray tank top and I.









Taming the rabbit within.
Taming the rabbit within.





  • On December 1, I asked myself: “What would you like to do if money were no object?” I answered that question with: to make a lasting impact. I invite you to ask yourself the same question. Don’t be afraid to give a bold answer. Dedicate your life to your answer.


You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

– Scott Jurek


  • December 2 is Jony‘s birthday.
  • On December 5, I quoted Will Smith on the keys to life: Running and reading. Based on my life in the year 2012 alone, I hold the quote true.
  • On December 8, I realized that I must exercise self-control in everything, not just in one aspect of my life. I’m still keeping it up.




  • On December 10, I attended the soft opening of Dessert Company Jakarta. I’m impressed with all they have in store. I love their silk banana fritters.



Joshua 1:9 (Amplified)

Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous.
Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.



    1. Men and women are different, but created equal in value.
    2. Act in the knowledge that God loves you unconditionally.
    3. Courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the presence of it.
  • On December 24, I wrote about 2 beauty products I really love: A Lancome mascara and an exfoliator by The Body Shop. I found a common ground with the girl I got the gift for (Lancome mascaras), and I’m thankful for the gift I received (a TBS product). Yippee!
  • This Christmas, I wished for little acts of kindness to turn viral. Santa may be fantasy, but I believe in kindness … and that it is very real. I’m not a naturally kind person, but I can practice being one.




– Image courtesy of The Birthday Project.


Whew… What a year. I’m sure this post is something I’m going to keep looking back throughout 2013.

I hope you log your progress for the goals you’ve set in 2013 too, because looking forward requires you to face your past.

Ask yourself: How was 2012 for me? How can I make a better transition toward the year ahead?

Resolve to change for the better. And remember: Always be true to yourself, because it’s the only way your character can grow.




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Recommended Restaurant: Seafood in a pan

Mussels in Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce: (I’m just copying and pasting as described on the menu) Blue mussels cooked in our homemade garlic lemon butter sauce; served with warm bread. The taste? I love the thick sauce. As I’m now acquainted with tiny Indonesian portions compared to that in the States, I didn’t expect large, juicy mussels to be served on my table. Like I said, sauce is silky-savory; it’s imbued with briny and buttery ingredients with a whiff of citrus freshness. I ended up dipping everything else on our dinner table into the sauce that night. I refused to take a second bite at the flimsy bread though – they’re not warm as claimed, nor do they carry any substantial taste.

Poached Halibut with Spicy Teriyaki Sauce + Grilled Peri-Peri Prawns: This is a combination platter of two Fish&Co menus. I wish portion of the halibut was bigger than the king prawns. As you can see from the picture, fish is blatantly smaller than helpings of side veggies. However, I have to give the overall taste of this dish a thumbs-up. Unlike most mid-level restaurants, equal care and attention is given to everything on the pan, and that includes the side veggies. They’re cooked just crunchy enough to bite (and even lightly seasoned with salt and pepper) but not as raw as a tasteless bud. I haven’t even begin to tell how much I love the rice and its richness – each bite sensitizes every tissue of your tongue. It’s got dried raisins in the poignant mixture that, when eaten with the spicy, fleshy prawns and a hint of teriyaki sweetness, you get just a little bit closer to heaven. Highly exclusive for all you seafood lovers.

Fish & Co
Living World Alam Sutera
Ground Floor No. 25
Jl. Alam Sutera Boulevard Kav. 21
Serpong Utara, Tangerang Selatan 15325
(021) 2923 9452
Visit Facebook page at Fish&Co. Indonesia
Follow @FishnCoINDO on Twitter



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This Christmas, give a little love


December 2012

This Christmas, I’m asking Santa to make everything in this video to turn viral in real life…



1 Corinthians 3:13 (English Standard Version)

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Every day is a gift. Today is no different: It’s a super gift, a day lovers and strangers alike celebrate the gift of giving and recognize the values of having one another.

Take a look at all the things you already have – cherish them, tell them you love them.

Spread the good news: A Savior is born, and no one will ever be the same again.

So do not be afraid, but seize today and the days ahead with boldness; become a doer by grace, encourage dreamers to act, and inspire others with your little acts of kindness – for if you will, you can make a difference.


Merry Christmas!