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Announcement: I’m participating in NaBloPoMo February 2013!



It seems like everyone’s preparing for Valentine’s already (including myself … but only mentally). I’m still deciding what to make for Stanley when the day comes, but one thing I’ve decided to do is taking on the challenge to blog everyday throughout February!


This will be the first time I participate in NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month :)

NaBloPoMo is a daily writing/blogging exercise that challenges bloggers to stay disciplined throughout the month. At BlogHer, NaBloPoMo runs all year round. The fun part is that every month features a different theme.

And the theme for this February will be about love & sex.

As I prepare my heart to take on the topic all month long *gasp!*, I invite you to take a peek at what I’ll be covering:


Friday, February 1, 2013
When was the last time you said “I love you”?

Monday, February 4, 2013
Tell us about your first crush.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
How old were you the first time you fell in love?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Do you remain friends with ex-boyfriends after you break up?

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Describe your ideal date night.

Friday, February 8, 2013
Name the most romantic movie of all time.

Monday, February 11, 2013
What is your ideal Valentine’s Day celebration?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
If you could send out Valentine this year as you did back in grade school,
what type of Valentine would you send out to your blogosphere class?

Thursday, February 14, 2013
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Friday, February 15, 2013
How did this Valentine’s Day compare with Valentine’s Days of years past?

Monday, February 18, 2013
What is the most romantic book you’ve ever read?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Martin Luther King Jr. unpacked love and hate when he said,
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Which is easier for you to feel: Love or hate?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Erich Fromm said, “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’
Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you’.”
How do you define mature love?

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Do you think people can live without love?

Friday, February 22, 2013
Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
Do you agree or disagree?

Monday, February 25, 2013
Do you think you would enjoy being a “sex symbol?”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Do you think sex education should come from the parents, the school, or a mix of both?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Mae West described sex as “emotion in motion.” Unpack this idea in a post.

Thursday, February 28, 2013
When do you feel your sexiest?


* * * * * * * * * *


So girls, you up for the challenge? Quick – signup before February 5. After that you won’t be able to participate.

And guys, as you can see, February will be an exciting month for you to discover real answers from real women. I don’t promise that you’ll completely understand how women think by the end of the month, but I can guarantee better chances of landing yourself on the next date, improving your sex life, and getting your woman to want you more :)

Feel free to bloghop around the list of participants here.


Buh-bye now, January. February … here we come!




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Grilling at Pangkep 33

Grilling at Pangkep 33


Rainy days call for platefuls of heartwarming food.



No matter the weather, Pangkep 33 has got all the spices to hearten you up and stifle your livid moods. Take a peek at the great stuff they brought to our dinner table:




Cumi Telur Bakar (Grilled squid with egg): Every bite of this tanginess was delightful – it’s soft, tart, and chewy all at once. Take a chunk out of the pulpy squid and dip it into the bowl of kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), and I’m sure the bite will tickle your appetite as it did to mine. Definitely one enticing starter for our night.

Kangkung Bunga Pepaya (Stir-fried water spinach mixed with papaya flower buds): I grew up eating plenty of vegetables, but kangkung, or water spinach, is one of my all-time favorites because it has crunchier stalks compared to most leafy greens out there. Kangkung is almost like the go-to vegetable choice in Southeast Asian cuisines. Traditionally prepared with just a simple stir-fry and some sambal, the crisp kangkung texture and the bitter, biting buds made a perfect match for this dish. Papaya flower buds are a popular finishing touch to a lot of Indonesian dishes, and for this one they’re an excellent complement to enrich the chewy kangkung stalks and add a dash of acridity to it. Don’t forget to include those sweet tomato slices to your biteful to make everything taste extra juicy.

Kuwe Rica (Grilled trevally jack with freshly ground red chillies and chopped onion): Pangkep 33 is truly a gem for those who really want to feel satiated. Frankly I was dumbfounded to see the size of these fish when they were served, as it’s rare to find helpings as big as these in other seafood restaurants. Not to mention the bulky, fleshy treasures I found once I dug my fork deep into those vibrant bed of chillis. Careful though – it’s hot. Nonetheless worth the cry for some scrumptious flare-up inside your belly.

Pangkep 33
Jl. Pluit Putera Raya No.12A
Jakarta Utara 14450
(021) 7078 5432
Visit Facebook page at Pangkep 33
Follow @pangkep33 on Twitter



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Little Nibble: Klappertaart, Manadonese coconut tart with rum



There’s something sweet, squishy, and delicious on my breakfast table this morning. It was a gift I received from Stanley upon his return from a four-day trip to Manado, the largest city in the Sulawesi province.






It’s the luscious Indonesian klappertart, which literally means coconut tart. Thank you baby! :) It’s great to keep my belly thick and warm while the weather’s making everyone trembling these days.


One word: YUM.

You won’t want to miss this Dutch-influenced dessert when you visit the city of Manado. Sold at just about every bakery store throughout the city, klaapertart’s allure has reached to a nationwide popularity today.

Thanks to heaps of young coconut flesh and juice, the klaapertart custard tastes piquantly soft, almost like the French soufflé. Blended with a fluff of wheat, eggs, milk, sugar, and margarine, the delicate custard had me melting at my breakfast table.

Stanley got me the one with the rum flavor, but I sensed dashes of sweet-smelling cinnamon too, with slivers of crisp almonds and raisin sprinkles smothering the crown of this feathery treat.

Nothing feels better than finishing the whole tart by the end of the day.


Have you ever tried a klappertart before?




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Fruits With Benefits: B is for Blueberries



This is the second post of Fruits With Benefits: Eating Healthy From A to Z.
To see the complete series, click here.


Hello Monday! Hope your weekend was restful. Let’s start off this week without moaning :)


Monday is a great day to have these blues~


Enjoying smoother skin now? Good – say thanks to your avocado. Every other Monday I’ll be filling you up with a juicy fruit that quells your sugar cravings and fully satisfies your appetite. With bite-sized information and easy-to-grab fruits, I aim to make you eat more of these goods so you can feel good and look good.

Continue reading Fruits With Benefits: B is for Blueberries

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Fitness Journal: How to set goals that lead to success


my fitness journal-01

*Current goal*3.1 miles at max pace 7’59″ / mi (read: under 24:45 min)
Total mileage: 14.48 mi
Target mileage of the week: (nil)




“Plastic bag.”




Katy Perry – Firework




MondaY, 21 JANUARY 2013

5.22 mi run in 51:38 min (pace: 9’54″ / mi)




Thursday, 24 January 2013

4.76 mi run in 45:17 min (pace: 9’31” / mi)


(Resistance training: Elliptical machine)

00:00 – 05:00 – Level 7
05:00-07:00 – Level 25
07:00 – 08:00 – Level 24
08:00 – 09:00 – Level 23
09:00 – 10:00 – Level 22
10:00 – 11:00 – Level 21
11:00 – 12:00 – Level 18
12:00 – 14:00 – Level 25
14:00 – 15:00 – Level 24
15:00 – 16:00 – Level 23
16:00 – 17:00 – Level 22
17:00 – 18:00 – Level 21
18:00 – 19:00 – Level 18
19:00 – 22:00 – Level 25
22:00 – 23:00 – Level 7








Saturday, 26 January 2013

4.5 mi run in 43:58 min (pace: 9’46” / mi)




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TGIF! {The 4th}




January 2013
It’s that time of the week again – a time to pause and appreciate what you already have in life :)

– Image courtesy of Bible Gateway






The Pope prays for Indonesia, specifically for the disastrous flooding in Jakarta.


Has a shot to work for company DEFWe finally had that interview we missed last week. Went to the office, received a test assignment, and did it poorly, thanks to my time management skills. Well I need to work on that, but this post is about being thankful, not for criticism. I’m sure they’ve selected only a couple of candidates from the thousands of job applicants, and I’m grateful to be one of them. So in brief, I learned some important lessons from the chance encounter, and despite the poor work, I’m hoping and waiting to hear back from them.


♡ Kelly Sommer’s piece on Time Management & Efficiency on Darling MagazineThe well-written article is a gentle nudge on my shoulder to keep track on my focus on time efficiency. I tend to overlook the amount of time I will need to finish a project (I know I said I’m jobless, but what I meant was a 9-to-5 job. I do freelance writing and sometimes illustration projects). Aside from her practical tips, I’ve bookmarked the article into my good-writing-samples folder. Speaking of which…


Got a wealth of great stories to inspire my writing. I curate some timeless, inspirational writings on this blog, but I also keep tons of printed and online articles alike containing the most moving stories and as told by the richest voices in the history of Gutenberg’s movable type. I have a lot of great people and great writers to model from. In the words of Gandhi: “Imitation is the sincerest flattery.”

Let me share some picks from the folder:


Belly laughs. Sometimes I just want to space out and stop thinking about everything, lest I overthink things (it’s a really bad habit, woman). Russell Peters always saves the day with my all-time favorite clip on the topic:


Hot chocolate at midnight. Or just chocolate, for that matter.



I have a positive influence. One reader told me the other day that he now drinks water like a camel ;) (and I an elephant) Glad to know and do keep it up! I’ve publicly logged my daily 3 to 4 liters of water I drink to suppress my unquenchable thirst for knowledge, truth, and wisdom, excluding the countless cups of tea.


You’re not sick; you’re thirsty. Don’t treat thirst with medication.

– Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries For Water


I’m thankful now for my mother, who passed me the gallons of H2O whenever I cry as an infant. The healthy habit prevails to this day.


How many glasses of water have you drank today? Try looking at each full glass as a blessing :)




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16 powerful girly songs that keeps you strong and going



I know, I know – judging from the headline, call me girly-girl all you want.

In my defense, I’m a jobless twenty-something girl who doesn’t have everything all figured out yet in life (and this is a totally different topic, something I might frequently touch upon in the near future).

After all, I’ve only achieved one out of the five milestones sociologists consider as becoming an adult: Completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child.

Equipped with our tech-savviness, multitasking skills, innovative ideas, and a “fresher” perspective, modern society perceives Millennials as the new breed that will replace Gens X and Y in the workforce. Other twenty-somethings go back to their hometowns after college and live in their parents’ backyard, falling behind from the employed population.

That would be me.

I’m scared, and I’m confused about the future. But I know one thing’s for sure: I am not alone.

Being alone in this changing times is frightening, especially when you feel like no one understands your situation and there’s no one to talk to about this dilemma. I myself have experienced suicidal episodes during my junior year in college. Just the thought of life after graduation frightened me so much that I considered ending my life was the only solution.

Well, unless you’re stupid, it’s not. Because there’s more to life than just the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness in itself is readily attainable, but as human beings, I believe each one of us has our own unique life purpose to live by, and therefore hold the responsibility to ensue the purpose. Some will die for love, while others will suffer for the welfare of others.

But before I get too philosophical about the nuts of bolts of living the twenty-something life, or just life, let me stop and say that in a few scrolls away, I’ll be sharing with you my inspiration to keep moving forward no matter what life brings me ahead – good music.

Music moves people. Good music moves people to do positive actions. Katy Perry wrote Firework for a reason. She wanted to inspire the people who are labelled by society as “different”, or “weird”, or “disabled”, to never give up in spite of rejects. She dedicated the music video to the It Gets Better Project, a national movement in America responsible for suicide prevention and encouraging self-esteem within the LGBT community.

I’ll let Katy Perry herself explain the purpose of her song, courtesy of MTV:


“People are coming back and almost adopting it as their own anthem, and it’s hard, I think, to write an anthem that’s not cheesy. And I hope that this could be something in that category. I hope this could be one of those things where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.’


So I guess the following songs are my anthems?

What I know is that these tunes give me a sense of power. That I still matter. That for as long as I’m still alive, God still has a plan for me, an important job for me to do.

Some of these I’ve listened for more than a decade, while others are top-charters from recent times. Some you might recognize because they’re featured on my fitness journal, others you might hear them when you were way younger – that is, if you’re a fellow ’90s kid.

For every song on this list, I plucked the most meaningful words and phrases from the lyrics. Aside from my weekly Power Words, I always find myself mutter these phrases under my breath whenever I need an extra oomph to push forward during my runs.

My hope is for you, whether you’re a twenty-something, thirty-something, or just someone who needs a power tune-up, to get inspired by these anthems and share your life’s meaning by living out your purpose … starting today.

Enjoy the tunes!


1. Spice Girls – Stop



Slow it down, read the sign,
so you know just where you are going


2. Hoku – Perfect Day



People say
They say that it’s just a phase
They tell me to act my age
… Well I am.


3. Lea Salonga – Reflection



Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?


4. Girls’ Generation – Stay Girls




wanna be wanna be 素敵な
gonna be gonna be 大人に
なれるように居たい でも …



I wonder … how much I have changed?
I can’t see it myself, but
Have I become closer to the person that I long to become?

Wanna be, wanna be, I want
Gonna be, gonna be, to become
A wonderful woman, however …


5. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)



It’s time to be a big girl now
And big girls don’t cry


6. Britney Spears – Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman



But if you look at me closely
You will see it in my eyes
This girl will always find her way


7. Celine Dion – Because You Love Me



You gave me faith ’cause You believe
I’m everything I am
Because You love me


8. Pink – F**kin Perfect



You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead


9. Avril Lavigne – My World



And think to myself,
Where do I belong forever,
In whose arms, the time and place?


10. Michelle Branch – You Set Me Free



There’s a will
There’s a way
Sometimes words just can’t explain
This is real
I’m afraid
I guess this time there’s just no hiding, fighting


11. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway



Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me but
Gotta keep moving on, moving on
Fly away, breakaway …


12. Katy Perry – Firework



Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road


13. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston – When You Believe



A small but still, resilient voice
Says hope is very near


14. The Voice Within – Christina Aguilera



You’ll make it
You’ll make it
Just don’t go forsaking yourself


15. Only Hope – Mandy Moore



When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again


16. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance

My heart is really close to this song. So, … I included every word from the lyrics.



I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)



Consider today who you are and what you’re worth.

Do you want to look back to this day and wonder where all the moments have gone?




via Sailor Moon Fansite on Weebly


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Don’t Quit


Here on The Classics, I curate timeless texts that continually inspire my writing and, at the same time, provide perspective to the meaning of life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


– Author unknown


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North Jakarta’s best Indian food

Handi Biryani: We picked fish as our masala, which now I learn is a poor choice for any biryani dishes. It must have tasted juicier and more fragrant with chicken, or mutton. Essentially, we lost the centerpiece that binds the vibrant scents of this dish into whole. Fish consistency leans toward tender-flimsy instead of the tender-flabby we want to be absorbed with rich aromas of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. So the thin layers of fish fibers did not carry the balms of basmati into digestion, but left the fragrance feel scattered instead. Otherwise, this scent-laden selection is your best bet to nourish all senses of the soul. Pour over your spoonfuls with the tikka makhanwala sauce or the palak paneer sauce for some serious flavor enhancements.


I often have sensual cravings.

By now, my trip to India three years ago felt like a yonder memory. Frequently struck by far-flung memories of its rich heritage, exotic charms, and colorful spices, my gut is getting desperate for some ghee.


It doesn’t get any better when Indian restaurants are rare in town. Even if we found one, it’s hard to get around Jakarta on these rainy days without researching alternative roads to avoid still-flooded locations.

So we lingered around North Jakarta and opted for locations to which we know roads would be clear.

Thanks to Stanley’s excellent memory, he recalled a place he’s recently been to, a treasure-trove where I finally quenched my ghee cravings – the Queen’s of India at Sunter.

“I knew you’d love it,” he said. He smiled his usual smile after doing his study of my face everytime I taste my dozens of first bites.




Since its original delicacies first launched in 1986, franchisers Mr and Mrs Shamdasani have been offering would-be entrepreneurs the opportunity to model Seminyak’s thriving Queen’s Tandoor outlet in sparse locations throughout Asia, from the eclectic gourmand’s paradise at Robertson Quay in Singapore all the way to the eastmost borders of the continent in Saudi Arabia.

Sumptuous dishes and excellent service, two non-negotiable commitments of any successful restaurant business, earned the Queen’s franchise multiple nationwide awards, including a spot on Indonesian Tatler’s annual feature of Indonesia’s Best Restaurants.

Famed for its ochres and other muted hues befitting traditional Indian interiors, curry cravers like me feel welcomed to the soothing ambiance as if truly dining against the backdrop of India.

Catering to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners alike, I invite you to indulge your senses with the richest, truest taste of Indian cuisine around town.




Complimentary side dish: These salty crackers are great companions to our buttery main courses. Each of these three dipping condiments provides a unique taste of their own. On the far left is a classic Chinese sauce made with vinegared carrots, pickles, and onions. In the middle bowl seats a thick slew of sweet mango and chili flavors, which didn’t go well in my tongue with the saltiness from the crackers. My personal favorite is the leftmost bowl – a peppered spinach dip. It made the plain old saltcrackers a gusto-boosting fare as you soak up the briny blends of both flavors.

Chicken Tikka Makhanwala: Drench yourself in this warm, blood-red pool of exotic soup. Submerged in the viscosity, the North Indian delicacy flaunts juicy-tender bits of barbecued chicken. Enriched with tomatoes and cream and lavishly dressed in a variety of Oriental spices, the rich butter sauce flavors are certainly not for the faint of belly. Every spoonful of this dish stirs the most unmitigated emotions of my gut!
Lasooni Palak Paneer: What better way to enjoy spinach than to inject heaps of garlic to it? If it wasn’t for Popeye, anyone who fared on this bed of muddy greens can have the wits, gallant, and strength of the spinach-driven character – since most of the leafy green’s vitamins are fat-soluble and that the palak paneer is beefed with butterfats. This classic palate is the epitome of delicious bitterness, which sounds contradicting ’til you taste the lush for yourself.  Raw, biting, and touched with astringent dairy from the cottage cheese chunks tucked underneath, carnivores can find it difficult to say no to these greens.

Handi Biryani: We picked fish as our masala, which now I learn is a poor choice for any biryani dishes. It must have tasted juicier and more fragrant with chicken, or mutton. Essentially, we lost the centerpiece that binds the vibrant scents of this dish into whole. Fish consistency leans toward tender-flimsy instead of the tender-flabby we want to be absorbed with rich aromas of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. So the thin layers of fish fibers did not carry the balms of basmati into digestion, but left the fragrance feel scattered instead. Otherwise, this scent-laden selection is your best bet to nourish all senses of the soul. Pour over your spoonfuls with the tikka makhanwala sauce or the palak paneer sauce for some serious flavor enhancements.
Handi Biryani: We picked fish as our masala, which now I learn is a poor choice for any biryani dishes. It must have tasted juicier and more fragrant with chicken, or mutton. Essentially, we lost the centerpiece that binds the vibrant scents of this dish into whole. Fish consistency leans toward tender-flimsy instead of the tender-flabby we want to be absorbed with rich aromas of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. So the thin layers of fish fibers did not carry the balms of basmati into digestion, but left the fragrance feel scattered instead. Otherwise, this scent-laden selection is your best bet to nourish all senses of the soul. Pour over your spoonfuls with the tikka makhanwala sauce or the palak paneer sauce for some serious flavor enhancements.

Queen’s of India: Indian & Chinese Cuisine
Sunlake Hotel, 1st Floor
Jl. Danau Permai Raya Blok C 1
Jakarta Utara 14350
(021) 650 9969, 6583 1477