Big Mark Question : Work Life Balance?

Current issue that I am facing now is that, I have been doing so much things for my career based on the agenda and timeline that I set, for myself and for my family. But when my kid fell sick, what would I do with that agenda? That's just becoming bullshits.

So I am trying to write down everything here, and be 100% blatantly honest about this. About the fact that I am a mother, who happens to work, and happens to be having a really good career at the moment. 

Honestly though, I am not in a workforce or such, I am just enjoying myself at the moment. All of you readers, if you do know me well, I have been in a running manner for 2012 until 2014. Graduated in the same week as wedding weekend, honeymoon, and got the first job (that I still treasure until now), all in the same week. I'm not sacrificing myself, not gonna put that, that way. But, sometimes you really need time for yourself to grow. Of course, my ultimate happiness is Anya, I know, and by working, it does lead feelings of guilt and stress because I can't be with her during daytime, and now, to mention, during weekdays. It is hard, so hard that I turn to a workaholic. I don't mind with that word, I do even think it is a good word. So here I am filled my days with loaded works, and just enjoy the time, I don't wanna waste a single minutes not to learn because for me, now I have been sacrificing a lot of my time with Anya. The only thing that hooked me in is that, I have a plan, and I will stick to my plan even though sometimes that plan would crumble down and turn to be bullshit when I want myself to be around her, and be there when she is sick. 

The only thing that I would need to do better is organising everything. I am quite bad in time management because of the loads, I know I should have set priorities but it's never as easy as it seems. I am still learning and I will learn until I can do it, it's no brainer, I need to manage myself to be able to do it. It is of course to make both of my career and my family flourish, that's the plan, the only best plan I have. I have been putting pressure for myself and I think I need to get to work smarter rather than harder. 

A good friend of mine, told me, rather than I am dwelling on how I am not with my daughter, I better focus on the fact that my role in the company is actually benefiting my family.
"The most successful career moms have found ways to be efficient in both worlds -- and that requires being able to come to terms with choices and focus on the priorities that are in the moment," says Lisa Pierson Weinberger, a lawyer and the founder of the website Mom, Esq.
I think I can ace a lot of stuffs, make up and fashion for instance, or hit on a guy. Now, acing this one complex management of time, family, and career, I can spend my whole life to be able to claim myself a good manager. It is hard, especially when you need to prioritise. Deep down in my heart, my daughter has always been number 1 priority, but then I am not too sure of what I do.

Juggling between work and life is always tricky, you can't seem to enjoy one thing over another too much. It's getting complicated when you lose balance, but please, who could have balance all the time, we're human after all.

When talking about time we spend with our kids. The question would be, is it quantity or quality, or both? But the new groundbreaking study tells us that :
"It’s quality – not the quantity – of time spent with young children that matters most, according to a groundbreaking new study. It found the amount of time mums spend with their children aged three to 11 has little bearing on how successful and well-adjusted they’ll become later in life." Read more on the article
Lately I have been feeling stress out to the fact that I couldn't be next to my daughter when she is sick. I just wanted to be with her when she calls Mama, right away. But then, it is the price I am paying. All of these stuffs happening, made me think.. of what do I actually seek in life in all honesty?

After a long discussion with people I trust, I have been also thinking of resigning and be a stay at home mother. But, my gut said no. I need to put myself first to be happy, in all justification that I have, this is not selfish, but it's more to a smarter move. I can just resign in the next few months and be there for my daughter, but then I will feel lost, lost of things that actually make me who I am right now. But, to set a deadline is always important, I know exactly what my timeline is and when to stop. I guess this is the boldest move that I have done so far in my life, that will require a lot of sacrifices, but I know this will all going to be worth it. I believed in my plan, still believing it and will make all parties related to believe in it.

This is an honest writing, I hope you guys can get inspired in my last few paragraphs and decide what's best for yourself.

Selfie session when she got sick yesterday, fluffy eyes, not in the mood. 
This is also when she got sick last weekend, the only position she wanted me to do, snuggle all the time.
On our way to the third paediatrician. She is so pretty.  


My 20s is only 4 more years left :O

Hello! Been absent for so long, yet I still don't have the heart to ditch this blog. I literally grew up with this blog with me. I had started writing when I had a lot of broken heart 4 or 5 years ago LOL. Well, I am that kind of a person who tends to write when I feel sad, or happy. So, what have I been feeling recently?

Grateful and unprepared - almost all of the time.

Why grateful?

1. Because, I have all that I need, in my 26, I have a great husband, a lovely daughter, a growing good career and what's most important is that I know exactly what I want and what I need to do to get what I want.

Why unprepared?

2. Because, life tends to surprise us. I almost have always caught up unprepared for most of things. I think just got lucky a lot. LOL.

So the other day, I was talking to my friend, casually. There are few things that make me realize, it is not easy being 20s. Especially in our age, in this age. If I were asked by a person, whether ready or I am not having a family in such a very young age, I would be brutally honest about it saying that, yes I was ready to get married but I was unprepared to be a relatively young mother. That's also why maybe I got a little blues here and there although I am saying being a mother of Anya is an ultimate happiness, it really is.
It was different when I was only 21, 22, relationships made me crazy, I fell in love, I broke up many times, I thought I was in love, and I realized that person wasn't, or the other way around. I learned a lot of harsh truths when I hit my 20s. I made bad decisions, I made great ones too. Let's have a look to your few years back, we would feel like we've made enough mistakes and don't want to disappoint anyone again. One bad decision won't ruin your life though, but it helps you make the right one.
Other thing that I feel burdening is peer pressure doesn't go away, sometimes you feel the pressure of having to need to achieve something in the certain age, and often these pressures just don't align with who we are, so we become angry with ourselves. But in time, we will begin to accept ourselves the way we are.
And we realized, we don't have so many friends like we had before. Our interests may change, our daily activities would barrier us so much in meeting up, and sometimes you feel sad about this. Yes, 20s would steal this to you sooner or later, it is a bitter truth but as time goes by, you can't have everything just like when you were young, you feel like you and your friends own the world.

But yes, life changed, everything changed. But it is good.
So, happy belated birthday to myself, just before we end this good month of October.

Thank you Prancing Peony for the loveliest bouquet ever!

Got surprised in the office, thank you husband.


Happy Father's Day

Hello, again! Long time no post.
This post is inspired by my boss who keeps telling me to start to write on my blog again, well, she has a point, though. Don't give up on something you like, no matter how busy you are now. Very well - said, Ma'am!

So this post is going to talk about the Father-Daughter bonding relation ship. Anyway, recently I have just read a post which says
Fathers, then, have a profound impact on their daughters' lives. Yet many women, because of separation or discomfort, are unable to fully explore their relationship with their fathers and spend instead much more of their time examining their mother-daughter bond. Clearly, though, to fully develop her life and her self, a daughter needs to consider her relationship with dad. Understanding how that essential bond has shaped her, she can then face the challenge of accepting her life (and her father) and get on with the general business of becoming the woman she wants to be.
I totally agree that any relationship involving parents has quite a big of an impact toward's one's life. In a study published within the past year, researchers examined whether the quality of the parents' - kids' relationship, especially father-daughter relationship is related to a daughter stress response. A father's influence in his daughter's life shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men.

We now live in the culture where Dad involved in the parenting as much as the Mom would be. I personally think, my husband needs to spend time with our infant daughter. At home, I let my husband take care her physical needs to support me. It's not that I am expecting much from it, but I want them to naturally bond, and I think, technically it will happen if I let my husband do few little chores for her. I want him to be present in her little activities and her big milestones. This will naturally shape her self-esteem, and by having her Dad always around - always involved, it will diminish her insecurity and increase her own confidence in her own abilities.

I believe Resa can bring the best out of Anya, just like the way he does to me. :)
He treats me with respect and full love, he shows respects to his Mother which is very essential for me, he values women as human beings, daughter will see what their Dads believe about women by how they value and respect women, or by how fail they do so.

Direct involvement and encouragement by father can be quite a challenge, it can be started by verbal encouragement, being consistently present in her life, being alert and sensitive to her feelings, taking time to listen to her thoughts and taking an active interest in her hobbies.

This post is dedicated to my Dad, and my Husband to celebrate Father's Day.
Writing this while listening to John Mayer - Daughter <3 p="">
Me and My Dad, Anya and her Kong

Few shots of Anya and her beloved Daddy on our latest trip.

Love this shot <3 td="">


Long-Postponed, My Dear Online Store

Due to the busy-ness of being new mother, I have abandoned my dear online fashion web store for a 'decade', a store which few years ago gave a big impact in my life. I really want to start a new fresh journey with Tosca Belle, and I actually wanted to change the color of the layout on the website, but I truthfully don't have enough time.

But I eventually  managed to upload some of new collections there. 
Kindly please check and shop!  

Get 10% Discount off by purchasing via Twitter @tosca_belle


New Little (and Happy) Family Activities

Hi again, people!
I wanna share you few of our favorite activities as a new little happy family. Resa and I never expect anything but Anya being a healthy and happy baby, other than that we always think them as a bonus. Resa is someone who really keen in playing music, he got them all--almost all instruments in a band, he can play, top of that he plays quite good piano. I, myself, love to play instruments, but I honestly suck at everything I play, like guitar, I can only play few *sigh*, and piano, well maybe some more better than that, but, honestly, not good at all. I still remember my parents bought me a piano as my birthday present on my 20th Birthday. Happy to receive it from them although it was kinda late for me to learn *but I still, though*. Both, me and Resa are curious on what Anya will like to do, is it music, science, dancing, singing? We are excited to wait. But as she grew so healthy until now *Thank You, Lord*, I like to try to stimulate her in various activities, simple but quite effective, at home.

Books Reading
We don't only read children's books, but also all books. Highlight (my-everyday-guilty-pleasure) I read her Daily Mail US Showbiz almost everyday (hahaha...), the fact is I try to make her listen to English words as a starter then if she wants to learn it, I will try to help. No pressure. (But I hope she does).

Posing with her Dadda

Playing Piano Together
Although, again, I am far from a good player, I love to show her some of my favorite tunes. We also love to listen to Resa's play sometimes. I read in a baby literature that this kind of activity stimulate her left part of brain which activates her creativity. Well, hopefully she's not bothered by my fail play....

And ...Cuddling!
I don't want to be ashamed of showing some affection towards my husband as a parent. I really think that love should be shown right, and directly in front of our kid(s). We kiss, we hug, we cuddle everyday, that are ways to effectively show love. I grew myself in one affectionate family, that is why PDA is not a sin for us, unless for you who'd think so.

Of course, Singing!
Sharing you one of her favorite songs I love to sing for her. I know I know, my voice is sooo bad (I want to laugh after I sing), but I agree that Mother's voice will always be a lullaby for the children (EXCEPT the nagging and everything hahaha...)

Randy Davis - Jingle Bells

Bells on bobtails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighin' song tonight
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun.
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air.
What a bright time, it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time it's a swell time
To go ridin' in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and mingle in the jinglin' beat
That's the jingle bell, rock
Spoken: Come on
--- Instrumental ---
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun.
Spoken: Play it again
--- Instrumental ---
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air.
What a bright time, it's the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time it's a swell time
To go ridin' in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and mingle in the jinglin' beat
That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell, rock

Possibly her stunned shocked and cringed face when she hears me singing.
That's all I've got for today, hopefully you enjoy my post! See you soon. :)


Dear Bunga : The One with The Thumb

Getting prettier each day! Visit her blog : http://www.cliche-au-lait.com/
Although our latest meeting was a year ago, and we don't see each other very frequent that doesn't make me ban you from the list of people I care most, you made yourself on the A-List since 3 years ago. I remember clearly our journey in Germany back then, the memory I'd like to treasure forever. I honestly can't really remember the day we first met. I was your jutek senior, though. That, I remember. Bunga, you were the tallest among the other people, and that what made you stand out. I remember you told me you play basketball, and from there I knew where you got your envious posture. Swear to God, you were so tall I could only envy. I know you're different from the others, when I got to know what music you listened to, and what a book-worm you are. It was only an era of Facebook Notes, and I remember clearly you did like to write in the notes, just like me. Then, we got to know better when we were away from home. We shared the same feelings, the same broken hearts, the same experiences, the same cold biting winter. Frankfurt, our favorite city among others cities in Germany. We drew quite a lot of memories there, from boots sale ...to our Lebaran session in KJRI Frankfurt. Gosh, I miss those days!

The day you published your book. Elevator. I was a very proud friend, I bought it directly online, and after I read it, I asked my sisters, my cousins to buy it also. So here, I am giving you a thumb up for that! Virtually!

I knew you are a smart-ass. I knew it from your liking. You always dig sci-fi and I am now encouraging you to write one novel! I know you can do it.

You were very honest to me, even with your big secrets, this what made me put a big trust on you, the same exact way. I didn't know that we would be close, at all. But I am glad that we are now, even years have already passed by. 

I knew we clicked so much, joking with you on F.R.I.E.N.D.S quotes, B. We need to get back on our plan, buying the original version of complete series, and watch it, make it a monthly agenda. I am sure our kids (Anya and your future kids) will share the same taste. 

Blog Collabo
Anyway, this is the first time being open to her. LOL. We are doing a blog collaboration, merely because we want to blog regularly, not depending on mood! So, the idea of this blog-collab is very wide. We kinda want to start it with this one. If you want to know her better, go visit her blog here http://www.cliche-au-lait.com/ and follow her Instagram http://instagram.com/clicheaulait
What I love so much about her blog is that she gives so much tips and tricks on healthy life-style, and also make up, which I also dig a lot. Probably, we will going to do a collab on the two things I mentioned. Finger crossed!
Graduating College
How we express exactly about it. :)
Anyway, contrary to your liking in putting ice to your coffee, I admire your writing on the blog Au-Lait. 


Check out her letter to me here : Dear Nana...

Although you probably can't recall, yet I still clearly remember the very first day I met you. The memories are very clear I was so stunned at your cute bangs back then (seriously, for real I was). It was one very hot and nerve-wracking day for it was the first time I stepped into college and had to be interviewed for the whole campus orientation related stuffs. My mind was blank, yet excited, yet scared, yet somewhat I was very sure that I'd be getting one cool experience I won't forget. 

Long story short, back then it had never crosses my mind that I'll ended up having a very good friendship with you someday. I swear to God, YOU were one of the most jutekseniors among all, it scared me in the same time it amused me. I mean, it's not that you were being evil or just had to perform a role of the bad-cop guy, you know. You talked to me, you led me, you told me things I should do as a freshman. It's just, you NEVER smiled during the whole Campus Orientation activities, not even a tiny flinch of curvy lips. You had this straight, cool, eyebrow-raised expression on your face and you kept it the whole day. And honestly, I was afraid of you. (HEY DO NOT LAUGH AT ME, YOU EVILLY DEVILLY ACTRESS!)

Yes, in the end, I finally knew it was all just mere an act for the sake of Ospek and you have a very gorgeous smile you should know that. 

I was probably too astonished by your appearance as an evil senior so I was scared to talk to you even when all the orientation thingy were ended. I found that we were on the same class and I had this curiosity thought of what kind of person you are as a friend, not as Teteh Nana. But still, I didn't know why I was probably too shy to take the initiation of starting conversation with you especially I am originally a very passive and awkward person. And then one day you were the one who started it. The very first conversation of us, friend-to-friend wise. 
"Bung, lo juga ambil Kreatives Schreiben A kan ya? Bareng dong. Di mana sih kelasnya? Eh plis gausah panggil gue Teteh ya, geuleuh."
Years and years and years passes by, and look at us now. I can say that you are one of the person I really care about, the person who shares same likings and interests with me, the person who understands me, the person who walks with me on the same path even though we were dealing with our own problems back then, the person who knows me really, like, really well. The person who shares secrets with me and the person who keeps my secrets :))

The person I trust. The person who inspires. 

And… the person who does this BLOG-COLLABO writings with me, WOOHOOOO~! 

Yes, readers, both of us are bloggers and we both have the same passion for writings. Although I have to admit that we only write in our own blog when we're both in the mood. Seriously our blog-mood craze probably fluctuates so much yet in the end we always ended up back to our blog. We're occasional bloggers, let's just call it that way then. 

This blog-collabo we're currently doing, are one of our attempt to be better bloggers. To write better, to post more, to speak up, to tell more stories, to capture the moments and make it linger. To cherish the existence of our life in this world. To create footprints. :)

So, starting from now, you will find some posting that I write in collaboration with her. It is more likely like we're both having a conversation through our blogpost. An open conversation everyone can enjoy and also be a part of it. Who knows that someday we might be having a blog-collabo with you too, perhaps? 

Anyway, to make it less confusing I will put 'Dear Nana,..' on the title of every blog-collabo posts I'm about to write. And I guess that will also make it easier to read and to know which one is the reply to which one. You know what I'm saying, right? :-/

This is her blog and you might as well want to read more of her writings for she is one talented writer out there.http://arikaindra.blogspot.com

She has one beautiful daughter named Anya and you will also get daily dose of Anya's cute photos (and also sometimes funny meme of her, made by the Daddy) if you decided to follow her on twitter/instagram. Come on, is there anything cuter in the universe than cute babies? 

Read more here : Dear Nana...


Sunshine in Strassbourg

Pretty little store in Strasbourg

That red box.

No filter needed. Blue sky, flying birds. Warm.

Typical river-side in Europe.

I was on a boat trip sight-seeing Strassbourg, France.

Cool one!

I admit I miss this nuance.

To explore the world is a gift which the majority of the world will never have the opportunity to do. I am glad that I have experienced being away from home (although it was only a year). When I meet people in the countries I visited, they always smile from ear to ear when they hear about where I come from, what an exotic country I was born in.

And I eventually came back home. When I meet my friends here, they fascinated with my stories, when I visit France, or Spain. Most of them said, "Wow, I wish I could travel to those places like you.", and pangs of guilt strike me every time. I should say that I honestly don't travel so much, of course I believe that you have to know pain to know pleasure, so strong emotions make me who I am. That being said gilt I mentioned, made me self-reflect on other emotions I experience when I'm on the road.

1. Appreciation
Go listen Passenger - Let Her Go. I found the lyric best describes my feeling when I was on the road away from home.
"Only hate the road when you're missing home."
2. Enjoyment
Simple I know, but seeing and doing things out of the ordinary every day is something very special. It's fun, exciting and most of all it's enjoyable.

3. Loneliness
Loneliness is something that every traveler experiences, you see a beautiful sunrise or a forest covered all up with snow but no one there to share it with you. You wish so much that your friends or family could be there so you could appreciate it together, and that's normal. This is what I felt during my trip to Strassbourg. Even though I was with Resa's good Aunt that time, I feel lonely. I wished for so much that I could have shared the boat trip with Resa. But as I travel there something clicked in my mind and I realized that sure it may be true that:
"Happiness is only real when shared" - Alexander Supertramp
4. Frustration
I must admit I suffer from this a lot.

  • "When I ask how far, I'd like a distance or a time, 'quite far' doesn't tell me much!" especially when it was in other language than English
You get the picture, right? Traveling, and being away from home teaches us patience for sure, it just takes some of us a little longer to learn it than others.

5. Love
Love hit me in different ways on the road, love for a country, love for old friends and family, love for my new friends, love for my home. All of it is awesome, to break your comfort zone and find love in something you're either doing now or missing from back home is a great thing. Being traveled away from home, you will find new loves, I guess, you go with it.

I will leave this post to my dearest friend @bungaistyani go to her cool blog here : Cliche-Au-Lait by Bunga Istyani I am sure she will feel the same way as I do.

The best capture I got in my camera, it's blurred and ..you're cropped. Sorry, Bungi!


Not a Muffin-Top, It's Muffin Muffin

I used to love baking muffins. Because it's easy, that's why I love. I'm gonna share you two (very) easy recipes of chocolate and vanilla muffins. Hope you'll like it!

This basic vanilla muffin delicious as they are or you can use this recipe as a starting point for adding your own variations of flavor.


  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
I really love how this smells, I usually put the orchid after taking the bean out, in my kitchen, so it will leave the vanilla smell a bit, which I love.

  • Or I usually what I used on the photo below, Instant muffin mix. (This is why I said, easy). HAHAHA.

  • Method :
    Preheat oven to 180 or 160 C fan-forced, place muffin papers in one 12-hole muffin tray.
    Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl
    In a jug, mix egg, milk and oil
    (or ..use the instant mix one LOL)
    Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined
    Bake for 22-25 mins.
    Leave to cool in tin for 5 mins, then tansfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

    • You can vary muffin recipe by adding 1 cup of additional ingredients of your choice
    • You could use one cup of mashed banana or one cup of chocolate chips or even one cup of diced, cooked apples
    • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung of Kidspot
    • And approved by my older sister (because she's the master of baking and cooking)
      You can find a lot more other recipes here : Food.com

      I have to admit I am not really keen on cooking or baking. But I had a great time when baking this, of course with a lot of help from people around me. That time, I was helped by Auxana, a Russian friend of mine, who loves to bake a lot. So, actually this recipe, I got it from her. Well, honestly, I didn't know if there's such instant mix, where we can easily use on baking muffins and even cake. *Sigh* I think, I should really spend a lot more time in the kitchen, since I have a daughter now.

      Anyway, this is one of my resolutions of 2014. Spending more time in the kitchen. I am inspired by my friends, who love cooking, and love posting their creations on the social media. Every time they post something, I always salivate. That is why, I want to be better in cooking and also baking. It's about time for Anya to eat solids, so I think it's time for me to learn. At least, I don't have to master in both, but I want to be able to cook something that she ask me, in the future. Come to think of it, I seldom cook and bake for Resa, well almost never! *sigh again*.

      Just last week he bought me a recipe book for baby food, maybe it was some kind of code that he also wants me to start to learn. So, yeah, in 6 weeks I will have plenty of time to do this. So let's!


      Long-gone Vacay

      Well I miss everything about being here, probably someday I will take Anya and Resa here with me. 
      Picture from my holiday in Mallorca, Spain. 

      Blogging (so-called) Resolutions

      I grew together with this blog, literally. I love to dream big, I love to write all of my plans, I love to share whatever is going on with my life, happy, or even sad stories. I am obsessed with changes. I am a dynamic person, I love to try something new. If you've read my blog for long, you know that these are some of my favorite topics. This blog has slowly transformed from fashion blog into somewhat curhat blog. Earlier this year, again, my resolution is to be more active in blogging. I miss doing that Outfit of The Day posts. This one is clearly going back on the track (well, hopefully), and I will, too, update about Anya, probably giving out tips on taking care newborn, on how to struggle with breastfeeding, and of course ..the parenthood.

      I am looking forward to slowly adding topics on this blog. Because I want to focus with Anya, I am taking a break from work, and that will (hopefully) give me some free time at home to blog again, for sure. Well, let's aim for blogging on a weekly basis--(challenge accepted).

      I will also do some reviews on books again, and on products as well. Recently, I just bought one of my friends' newest book named "Save My Soul" written by Falla Adinda, I am going to review that one too.
      Apparently Anya loves it too!
      Dalai Lama XIV

      “The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.”

      ― Dalai Lama XIV


      Long Term Goals?

      I have just read an article about financial planning, well, I have read a lot of them but this one clearly pinched my heart. I realized way before that, rich people think differently than average people. It's not that me and Resa don't plan well on our lives especially on our financial, coming to realize we have a baby now. But, as normal as it may sound, to new family like us, we might still to learn on baby steps.

      Well, anyway, since I was in college, I was, and am still quite diligent to take notes on my spending, and even Resa's. Up until now, I have my little 'black book'-no, not a book that consists of  my male mistress phone numbers, no- but, yes, I name it a black book, because it is very, very private. Not even Resa can open it without my permission. Okay, so back on the article I read, find it here Something About Aay. I am putting myself so much alike the writer. It's not that I am claiming myself as a shopaholic, no, but I have a quite low consciousness on financial. Resa and I, yes, we have put some amount on the investment, which is going good so far, but I really want to be able to put 50% of my monthly salary, for some real investment, as for like mutual funds. Because, yes, honestly, 50% is quite a bit far for me.

      To make it happen, some expenses cuts that I need to do are the following :
      1. Shoes and bags, because I buy them each, once a month, to reward myself. Now come to a better thinking of my financial future ...reward of what?
      2. (I honestly never buy clothes, so worry free on retail-clothing-boutiques!)
      3. Taxi expense. (Call me a doll, but for this one, I can't). It's either getting picked up by my husband, or my sister, or taxi, or I will cancel my trip on the go.
      4. Nongkrong-nongkrong or hanging out on a weekly basis. This must be cut! For you who read this, please be honest to yourself, how much money you spend on this one on a weekly or monthly basis, try to compile all your receipts, you must be then surprised on how big the amount is. Probably for me, I will try to cut it to a monthly thingy rather than weekly. I have realized that Resa and I are using a huge amount of spending when it comes to this. Maybe we will miss out on time with friends as well, but this will give even a bigger impact for our long plan ahead.

      I found a good article to read also, in which it says :
      “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck because you know a lot of those dollars are going toward long-term financial goals, I think that’s really a good thing,” says Katie Brewer, a Certified Financial Planner for LearnVest Planning Services.
      "The more difficult the situation is, the higher you will rise if you think correctly about it."~Harriet Hale Rix, The Rich Mentality 
      Prosperity is a way of thinking. So is poverty. You are poor if you believe yourself to be poor, and you are rich if you can think rich thoughts, and it's not always materialistic. But, I want to amplify this frugal living for my long-term financial goals. Because, I want my kids to live prosper, and to think prosper. How? This is a question I can not answer. Can you?

      See here also, an article about David Sapper, a car salesman and his Tina, a real estate broker, live on a set budget of $2,500 from their two paychecks that must cover all groceries, health care bills and extracurricular expenses here : Why You Should Be Living Paycheck to Paycheck.

      Share yours!


      Baby Blues

      Feeling blue when your baby is brand-new

      Having a baby can be both exhilarating and exhausting. It can bring much joy, but it can also challenge you in ways you never expected. Soon after giving birth, many women feel weepy and moody. You may be blessed with a beautiful baby and a loving partner, yet you find yourself crying over things that usually wouldn't bother you.

      You may also feel exhausted, unable to sleep, trapped, or anxious. Your appetite may increase or decrease, or you might feel irritable, nervous, worried about being a good mother, or afraid that being a mother will never feel better than it does right now. Rest assured: All these feelings — known as the "baby blues" or "postpartum blues" — are normal during the first couple of weeks after childbirth. In fact, up to 80 percent of new moms experience them.

      Causes and treatment of the baby blues

      After birth, your body changes rapidly. Your hormone levels drop, your milk comes in and your breasts may become engorged, and you may feel exhausted. These physical realities can bring on the baby blues.

      Emotional factors also contribute to the blues. You may feel anxious about your baby's well-being, your transition to motherhood, or adjusting to your new routine. Your new responsibilities can feel overwhelming.

      The good thing is that the baby blues aren't an illness, and they will go away on their own. No treatment is necessary other than reassurance, support from family and friends, rest, and time. Sleep deprivation can make the blues worse, so make an effort to rest whenever you can. Even a ten-minute nap can leave you feeling better.

      When someone you know has the baby blues

      Partners, friends, and relatives: The best thing you can do is reassure the new mother that many women feel this way after giving birth. She's exhausted, she's unsure of herself, and, if it's her first child, she's never done any of this before. No wonder she feels overwhelmed!

      Just listen to her. Encourage her to cry if she needs to. Tell her what a wonderful job she's doing. Keep visitors to a minimum. Take phone messages for her. Tell her she doesn't have to send out thank-you cards now. Make dinner for her. Help her create a schedule and set priorities — things that must be done versus things that can wait.

      Give her permission to take care of herself, too. Insist that she rest as much as possible, and volunteer to watch the baby while she naps. Above all, let her know you're there for her no matter what.

      Baby blues or postpartum depression?

      People often confuse the baby blues with postpartum depression (PPD) because they have common symptoms. So how do you know whether you're going through the baby blues or a clinical depression?

      If you're in the first couple of postpartum weeks, expect some emotional upheaval. But if you continue to feel this way for more than two to three weeks after giving birth, call your doctor or midwife and seek professional support. The same goes if you have a history of depression, if there's depression in your family of origin, or if symptoms — such as negative thoughts or feelings of anxiety — are particularly troublesome.

      I am willing to share this just because I want to spread the good message that my Tita Badette told me before, "It's okay not to be okay."

      Baby Blues: I feel guilty putting those two words together. Especially when I look at the bigger scope of things…how so many people in this world struggle daily to get pregnant, keep their babies, have their adoption go through, or even foster a child.

      And here I am with a healthy baby girl. I will say, though, it is a reality for so many more women than I ever knew. Some even find themselves struggling with postpartum depression. I hope that I can at least share my experience and let you New Moms know you’re not the only ones, and it’s okay… there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to get back to “You” for a moment.

      We had our precious baby girl at 9:30am on Thursday, August 29th 2013. I remember that first night in the hospital, after 4 days of staying there and the struggle to recover from the surgery on the first 2 days, how it was ALL worth it! I couldn’t understand how anyone could ever feel anything less than this enormous amount of pure love! I looked over and saw Resa holding Anya in her unmatched hospital swaddle (lol, just need to point that out), and I felt so at peace and right where I was supposed to be. I knew this was what I was meant to be: a Wife, and a Mother to these two amazing people. Nothing in the world was ever going to change that or take that away from me…

      We settled in, and the true test of parenting began! Anyway, that first week was tough, but blissful. You can’t see up from down, but are in such a state of disbelief and euphoria that this little beautiful soul is yours. Happiness just takes over, and your phone immediately fills up with videos and pictures of this little life. She is finally here! I thought, as she lay in my arms, depending on me for every move. That… is a wonderful feeling. There is some reprieve, although it is few and far between, but it’s manageable.

      I knew that I had this little mood swings, when I realized that I haven't fully recovered from the surgery, and I realized the reality of how much responsibility I was about to have settled in. This little person is dependent on me. I remember that first night, the nurse telling me she needs to eat every 2-3 hours since he’s a newborn. I immediately mapped out in my brain the next 24 hours. I couldn't sleep at all at the first 2 days, and that was also because of the number of the visitors reached out the maximum on the day two. So, I was so tired that day. I was confused on how my life will turn out to? I was afraid that I won't be good enough for Anya, or whether I won't be producing enough breast milk to be given to her. But it was all common, until I felt something wrong with my own feeling that I felt so much jealous in my self of seeing Resa holding Anya, and looking at our precious newborn daughter in a deep love. This might sound weird, that I got jealous of my own daughter. But yes, that's what I felt and I won't be again ashamed of admitting it.

      I have always been his apple of his eyes. He treats me like a princess, and I was the only one. But now when Anya came, that jealous feeling started to slip through the joyful feeling that I have. I couldn't control it, so I was crying with no reason on the day 6 we had Anya together with us. I honestly, confronted Resa to fight. That was so bad that I couldn't control my emotion, but then I realized that I need to put myself together and fix this. As soon as I realized that I this will gone very wrong if I didn't take it seriously, I talked to him over my feelings, and we try to fix that up. Resa realized that he hasn't asked me on how I am feeling with my post-surgery stitches, and maybe that was also one of the causes I have had a bit of a hard feeling on him. Sorry, baby.

      I had a hard time of going back to work. Really hard.
      I spent the last 2 months of my maternity leave to stock up breast milk for Anya, later when I needed to go back to work. I felt like I was a milk machine. But, luckily, my Mother was really there for me. She was the one who gave me that strength to carry on. On the breast feeding experience, it was quite smooth comparing to the other mothers who had difficulties until after months of breast feeding. Mine, was only occur until Anya turn the 2nd weeks.

      Made all of these in Bandung and had to bring them to Jakarta with a big hope they won't melt

      and Thank God, they didn't!
      The first week on getting back to office was quite hard for me. I wasn't sure that I still wanted the career and everything. But my Mom said, let's just give it a try, I won't know if I never try. Hard was when I need to keep up on working and pumping for Anya at the office. That wasn't an easy adjustment. Truthfully, I was happy that I got to wear my office attires, those high heels that I have not been using for almost a year, and happy that I would be able to have interaction with people in the office, other than my family and my close friends. Because, you know, I need that.

      My tired feet on my first few days of working. Yes I was tired, and I don't need a validation on this from anyone :)

      Beside the fear of not being able to work properly for the company, I also develop the fear of being responsible for a human being. I was scared leaving Anya only with her new nanny at home. This feeling didn't just vanish as time goes by.

      I didn't succeed on the first month of going back to work. I failed to manage my feeling. I felt so unhappy that time. To give you the whole portion of the story, I didn't get to sleep properly almost everyday. I was afraid that Anya won't get enough milk intake, so I prepared the bottles for her at 2 until 4 pm everyday, and to give you the whole picture of it, I didn't quite succeed in managing my time, between work and Anya. I got home at 21:00pm almost everyday, even though my boss was so generous and so understanding that she even gave me permission to leave early, but the traffic is always so bad here in Jakarta, where I live.

      I went to the 2nd surgery only less than 3 months after my Caesarean surgery.
      Just 2 weeks after my beloved sister in law has passed away, exactly on 20th of November 2013. I felt that something really was wrong with my body. I thought that I was only tired, because I was still adjusting with work and all that. But, the pain I felt that time was so severe that I needed to be bed rested for few days. I didn't go to work almost a week that time. I couldn't even walk properly. 
      After being observed for hundred times already with 10 different specialists ( it was so tiring, it was so traumatic, and I tried to erase the whole memory of it), went through different blood tests, CT Scan, sonograms, rontgen, you name it ..went doing every suggestion from those doctors, for the whole week. I was so scared that something bad is really happening with my body. I have Anya now, and I really didn't wanna die. Really. This was not an exaggeration, but I was really scared.

      On the 2nd of December 2013, just the day that my parents were planning to fly to Germany to visit my big sister(who was soon to give birth to a handsome baby boy), we went to the hospital, intentionally only for the seek of 2nd, no, 3rd, no ...maybe 8th opinion from a different doctor. I was so shocked that I was told to go through a surgery in mid night. Can you even imagine how I felt? I was basically told to leave my baby girl, to do a surgery, although (luckily, Alhamdulillah) what I had actually wasn't as bad as cancer whatsoever, but still, I was scared though. That night, I feel like everything is falling down. My parents cancelled their flight, and my Mom couldn't stop crying that night. Of course, I knew how she felt that particular night.

      I stayed in the hospital for 3 days to recover from Laparoscopy surgery that I had that night. It turned out that few different complications, and infections were happening in the internal organs in my abdomen. Finally, I got to know what has actually been happening with my body after the previous week, I was being left by the previous doctors-curious of what happened actually. I even had pain killers in few different types and they didn't work a bit to lessen the pain I that I had felt.

      The 2 night stay at the hospital has brought up the fear, the gloominess, that I couldn't even explain. I felt so gloomy up to the point I was crying everyday. Resa was doing his best to keep me accompanied. I was told to be fully bed rested in order to recover from the surgery for the whole 2 weeks. I spent my day only checking phones, and of course taking care of Anya. Also, because the nanny left just right at the night I went under surgery (but she came back few days after only to help taking care Anya for few days). Family and friends visited me, and when someone is coming I didn't feel gloomy, I act just as normal as always.

      But then, I discovered that this gloomy feeling caused by the antibiotics that I need to take for the 6 days straight and because of that I couldn't eat (at all), really at all. You can't think straight if you don't get enough food in your tummy, right? Then, I lost around 6 kg just right after that. I felt lost, unloved, alone and at my wits end. It’s weird, because I have an amazing and supportive husband, a loving family and wonderful friends. But at that moment… I felt like NO ONE understood me. No one knows my thoughts, my fears, my wishes… heck, I didn’t even know my own wishes. Resa would say, “What can I do?” and I’d say, “I don’t know!” And it’s true! I didn’t know! I felt depressed that I couldn't breast feed Anya, and the stock of the milk is rapidly going down. I was so stressed that time. The only distraction was my phone, I tried to socialize through Path, Instagram, posting huge amount of Anya's picture just to keep me happy.

      I tried to get back on my feet after being able to eat, and to feel better. Resa took me out for a dinner at a sushi restaurant after my doctor check up, to make me even feel better. So there I was back on my feet. But then, something happened, occured some Twitwar and Pathwar and I-don't-know-but-it-was-happening-so-fast. I honestly was quite disturbed by this incident. But then, I talked my feelings out to Resa, and also my best friends, and truthfully, they did a great job in order to make me feel better. But, I realized, I was the one who is responsible to make myself feel better. I feel hatred towards everything that disturbed me that time, but then I realized, if I hated someone of doing something, that was my problem. So, I was trying to just ditch the hatred and just move on with my life--do most important things, Anya, Resa, my family and friends, and my work.

      But honestly probably that was one of those causes that has triggered the baby blues or the post natal depression all over again.

      To have the feeling of fear having to be responsible of a human being that is my own daughter, no matter how many books you read, NOTHING prepares you better than the real thing.

      One day my baby blues got the best out of me, I felt so low that day that I was in my most comfortable home dress, un-showered with sweats all over my body, because I needed to take care of my daughter and run some work from home (still in the bed rest period) and sweet loving little baby girl who couldn’t look at me and smile to make it all better. She was just too young. I started crying. I was feeding Anya and crying my eyes out. I felt like I had officially come undone. I imagined blissful days, tired nights, but quiet loving moments. I imagined a beautiful post-pregnancy glow that embodied me 24-7. But This was none of that. I didn’t feel like myself. Where was the super woman who always thought and knew she could do it all? Where was the organized  Me who had it all under control no matter what the obstacle? She was gone, and I thought… forever.

      That day my breast milk production was still very low, I haven't yet fully recovered, I was so stressed out that I even browsed the best formula on the internet for my baby girl, I was crying whilst browsing. Maybe I stressed out too much because I wanted to be fully committed to breast feeding, and it turned out after just a night of a surgery, bam, I won't be able to do that anymore.

      (But Thank God, even until now, I am still exclusively breast feeding and pumping for her. So cheers to that!)

      Then I again, talked it out to Resa and gave him a kiss and tell him I was sorry…I was sorry for the weeks of losing myself. I was sorry for the weeks to come when I won’t be myself, and I am sorry I can’t do it ALL like I thought I could.  And it made me feel so much better.

      A day after, I went out for a stroll at the mall and shop a little bit for Anya. It made me feel a lot better. I needed to go back to the "single me" who always have time to hang out with my friends, to shop for my self, to find some good shirts for my husband, and all.

      For me, it was taking a minute to step away from the situation and truly appreciate the miracle of life and the blessing we have. We need to know that it’s okay if we don’t have that perfect post-pregnancy glow and the body to go with it that we thought we’d have. It’s okay that sometimes our milk production is challenged and we aren’t producing as much as we dreamed we would. It’s okay if we can’t do it ALL because…. we have already done so much! I needed to remember that hormones have a mind of their own, and I couldn’t allow that to anchor in my thoughts. The biggest thing for me was trying to do something I would normally do…Doing something for Me, the version of me I always knew and was.  I used to think it was selfish to be a new mom and ever think the word Me. But now I realize, there is no Anya without Me. And I want her to see the best of Me in hopes that he can grow up to be an amazing, wonderful happy woman who finds her own Me in herself. That’s what family and life is all about. Being whole with yourself, to be the best YOU for everyone else.

      I chatted with my Tita who is now in Tanzania doing her bussiness based on her passion, and she was in quiet the same condition as mine. She told me that;

      "It is chemical imbalance that is happening in your body, in your brain, you can't have control over it. Depression is a flaw in chemistry, not (your) character."

      Every time I feel low, I always remember these words. I hope my post is a good enough one to read, although it's involving so many curhat. I hope nobody will get offended by my post, and to them who will, again, it's their problem. :)

      One final words from a good friend of mine :

      "Hard is hard, hard is not relative."

      so ..it's okay not to feel okay. 


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