SSS

… stands for a Surprise Short-trip to Singapore!

just like the name, it was a surprise trip–not something we planned for from a long time–and it was short. the main idea was just to meet my parents and spend quality time together.

and that we did!

and because that was the main idea, i don’t really have much to tell about the trip itself, nor that much pictures. we mainly stayed in, going out only to get lunch and dinner, talked & played cards. might be boring for you to see, but it was so much fun for us. 🙂 most of the pics we got was from our last full day together, when we visited the Botanic Gardens, the only place we went to other than restaurants/grocery stores. 😀 (okay, we also went to Mustafa Centre, of course, but that doesn’t count.)

though the jetlag left us tired but it was at the same time so refreshing and came at just the right moment when i was so fed up with work. i miss my parents again already now, but hopefully our next gathering isn’t too far away from now. 🙂

happy summer & mid-year (and soon midsummer), everyone! ❤

PS. the pictures were taken by 4 different people and 5 different cameras, hence the quality differences.

take it slow

in case you’re wondering (which i’m sure you haven’t been doing) where i have gone to for the past month, here is the answer: nowhere. i haven’t really been offline, though i have been lagging in terms of reading other people’s blogs & updates. here’s something new: i haven’t been sewing either.

it’s not another case of depression this time. it’s simply the realization of just how much clothes i have vs how often i actually wear them. sounds familiar?

usually one would have this problem when one buys clothes, cheap ones, clothes on sale, etc. but when one sews one’s own clothes, is that really possible? well, yeah.

you know how it goes. you can’t seem to stop yourself from getting a nice looking fabric–same thing that goes for nice looking clothes applies as well to fabrics–and you end up getting a few too many. and when you finally have an idea to make something, you open up your fabric stash only to find that nothing there is the right one for your idea! you quickly have to go out and get a new one. repeat by a hundred times.

and then you finally get to make what you wanted. you wear it with pride once, twice, and then you already have another idea for another sewing project, and you repeat the same process all over again.

i’m not saying it happens overnight, of course. i’ve only been sewing now for about 8 years, and already i can see that i have a problem. so i started ‘throwing away’ my old(er) clothes that i bought from stores, and by this i meant either giving them up for charity or bringing them to H&M for recycling. but still it seems that my closet is just getting more and more clothes.

i don’t know yet how it’s going to end, but at least i can tell you that i’m trying to reduce it now before it’s too late. i mean… i’m sure we all know by now just how ‘dangerous’ fast fashion is, right? dangerous for the environment and dangerous for the human resources. now if you thought by making your own clothes you can at least reduce that danger, think again. where do you think the fabrics come from? not all of them grow on trees either. there are still human resources, other than you, the seamstress/tailor, involved in the making of that. it makes me sad sometimes, seeing somebody make dozens of clothes a month, either for him-/herself or for others, and this is just because he/she can. of course i can’t tell just how hollow or full his/her closet is, but still… i think it’s wiser to not be excessive in anything, don’t you?

with that in mind, i am trying to be more careful in what fabrics i buy & what i’ll make from them. i no longer set myself to sew at least 2 sewing projects a month or at least 20 projects per year, or whatever, but instead sew something i actually need & will definitely wear for a long time. i hear you, i’m saying “good luck!” to myself as well! 😀

so anyway, to really answer that question as to what i’ve been doing for the past month, here are some things:

  • read the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book. i wish i could one day see the production of this, it looked great in my own imagination! 😉
  • got a short social visit from my uncle and aunt, yay! auntunclenmeit was their first time here in Finland and of course it had to be super windy when they were here. ergh! but at least the sun was shining, the foods were great (i again of course had to introduce muikkuja aka vendace to them), the talks were fun, and i was just so grateful that somebody from the family could visit me!auntnmewe got to visit Suomenlinna – the Fortress island despite the harsh wind, enjoyed our walk in the city and the market square, and also went to the Helsinki City Museum, which is also very nice and surprisingly nostalgic for all of us (even though we come from a different part of the world!). they were really nice 2 days that i spent with them! and hey, that’s the second time this year already that i got to play tourist in my own (new) country!
  • my husband & i and my mum-in-law taught our nephew to say our names, and he succeeded! he remembered who we were, and whenever we ‘tested’ if he knew which one of us was which, he always got it right! and he liked our names so much that my sister-in-law sent us a video a week after that, where it showed that he just kept saying our names over and over again. ❤ that feeling when somebody small who couldn’t really say much of anything yet suddenly kept calling your name is just unbearably lovely!!
  • i learned how to make my first lasagne! also how NOT to make it, LOL. i only followed a recipe though, so it really wasn’t any rocket science. the first time i made it i only managed to put in 2 layers of the lasagna sheet, because the sauce were all already used up, ahahaha…. needless to say, i had to make another one, pronto, and with advices (and okay, a little bit of help) from my husband, i finally got it right this time. lasagne1no picture of the first lasagne because it was quite embarrassing, haha! not that this second one is a good looking one either, but whatever! lasagne2it’s a vegetarian lasagne with spinach and cottage cheese as the main content. it was really good for a beginner’s attempt!

that was pretty much it. of course there are other boring things like going to work and doing house chores some time there in the middle, and oh, watching some series in Netflix, but really… nothing else worth mentioning. :p

it’s time for me to take it slow and enjoy life as it is.

my summer holiday 2016…

… has ended. i swear, if there’s any 4 weeks in a year that goes by too fast, they’re always during the summer holiday! pffft.

here’s a quick recap of all that was done, minus the trip to Singapore because that one already had 3 separate blog posts.

Summer cottage, re-painted

as usual, we went to my husband’s grandparents’ summer cottage. but this time we went there with a mission, and i don’t mean to have fun: we had to re-paint the main building and the warehouse building next to it. don’t get me wrong, painting is fun (yes, even painting a house), but the part that was tough was the preparation. first we had to brush, brush, brush off the old paint & green moss with a mini metal brush, and brush them some more until they are evenly non-coloured…. and then and only then we could start painting. huffff! we were so busy, we didn’t have time for pics on the brushing, but there are proofs of the painting! (plus my fashionable country-side get-up, ha!)

seeing the result & the scenery around the cottage, i suppose it was worth all the work, and i can only say: thank goodness the paint ran out in the middle, otherwise we would still be working there! 😀

on the last pic, though the 2 buildings are quite far, i hope you can see the result of our paintings. if you compare the colours of the building from the first 2 pics while i was painting them and this last pic, you can clearly see the darker paint… and how lovely it is painted, right? 😉 we managed to do the staircases too just before the paint ran out.

Newcomer

my mum-in-law and her husband lost their dog 3 years ago. we had been trying to persuade them to take a new one for years to no avail, but suddenly when we were in Singapore they made an announcement: they were adopting a cat!

H is a bengal cat and he is very shy. i don’t remember now how old he is, maybe around 2 years old? at first when we came around for a visit, he didn’t want to come near us and only hid under the sofa. but after a while, he realized we posed no threat, took a nap beside me, and even let us pet him. ❤ welcome to the family, H!

Pie experiments

summer equals fresh berries here in Finland, and there’s really nothing better than Finnish strawberries and blueberries! i have always been fond of strawberries, so of course a strawberry pie was called for.

i used 1 liter of strawberries (yep, that’s how we measure strawberries here, by liter), and in my opinion i could’ve put some more! 😀 the best way to eat it (the Finnish way) is with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, of course. it was quite successful, except that the crust was too thick on the sides–or maybe it just needed more strawberries, like i said. but the taste was superb!

we planned to make another pie after successfully making this one, to give to my husband’s granddad. but this time we decided to try the blueberries, because he happens to love blueberry pies. and so, the experiment began again.

for the blueberry pie, i used 600 grams of blueberries and just a very small amount of sugar. the first pic shows the pie before baking, and the second pic was the result! it was an even better success, and my husband’s granddad loved it. 🙂 for Finnish blueberry pies, it’s also good to eat them with hot caramel sauce. mmmm….

Turning 35 (!!!)

can’t believe i’m already halfway through my thirties! but anyway, there’s always a reason to celebrate, and my choice of celebration this year is sushi. AGAIN.

woot! they were gone in 60 seconds. 😀 just kidding, of course it took longer than that, and i did not finish them all by myself!

flamingo

being 35 doesn’t have to mean being old & boring, right?

that is all we had the time to do this summer holiday. didn’t i say it went by so quickly?

the highlight of 2015

after a dark period in my life in spring/summer 2015, something came up that cheered me up and made me look forward to it. you know how you get excited when there’s something good to look forward to? it gets you going no matter how tough your present day feels like.

this thing is a gift from my mum: a year-end trip to Bali, Indonesia.

before i start, i would just like to say that many people (Indonesian and others) take it for granted that they can be around their families throughout the year. many of the people i know who live outside of their own home countries can visit their home countries & families at least once a year, some even many times a year. those people are quite lucky, and i hope they know it.

the last time i went to Indonesia and met my family was 4,5 years ago. the last time i spent Christmas and new year’s eve with them was 10 years ago. i couldn’t even remember anymore what it feels like to celebrate both events in +30C degrees!

the last time i went to Bali was about 5,5 years ago, and all my life i had only always visited Bali for a maximum 7 day trip. this time, i was there for 2 weeks.

so what all did i do there in 2 weeks, you might wonder. which temples did i go to, did i surf, did i snorkel, did i dive… well, sorry to disappoint you, but both my husband & i had been there as tourists a few times that now we didn’t even do any tourist-y thing. the main point was to just spend as much time with my family as possible, doing everyday stuff that might be boring for some but very precious to me as i can never do it while i’m here and my family is half a world away.

in a true Indonesian style, to be honest we had some mishaps in our trip, one of them was my sister getting food poisoning right on Christmas day and ended up in the emergency room. other mishaps included unexpected traffic jams that lasted 2 hours (it was in front of the Monkey Forest in Ubud), the AC in our hotel room being broken (not funny when it was otherwise +35C degrees outside), and… actually, let’s just forget about the other mishaps. :p because the most important thing is, i was with my family! yay!

the highlight of this trip, and probably of my whole 2015, was the new year’s eve. my whole family & i went to stay at a villa in Umalas, and not only the place itself was gorgeous, but what we did was something i hadn’t done in a long time with my family: sitting down together watching TV, playing cards and dominoes, listening to my dad’s choices of music, having lots of laugh… and when midnight came, we watched the fireworks (& flying lanterns) from all around Bali and hugged each other at 12 o’ clock. 🙂 that was simply priceless.

now i am back here in cold Finland (it just turned -20C degrees right on the day we came back here. thanks a lot, mother nature!), and seeing these pics got me teary-eyed again. i don’t think parting with my family will ever get any easier, no matter how many times i have visited my home country and family over the course of my stay abroad.

but anyway, without further ado, here are some pics of my trip.

first, our hotel, which is more like a lodge than a hotel, since it only has 10 rooms. very peaceful & lovely.

next, the sights we saw and things we did when we visited Ubud. unfortunately it rained every day when we were there, and then there were the traffic jams. but like i said, at least we were all together during those days!

after our stay in Ubud, these were all the other things we did, which was fun for us but maybe boring to you… 😀 some were taken in Sanur beach, some were in Batu Bolong beach, and most of them just around our hotel.

and lastly, our new year celebration. 🙂

that’s it for now, and my, what a lengthy post this turned out to be! again, i wish you all a great 2016! may love and happiness always be with us! 🙂

PS. the pictures shown in this blog post were taken by 3 different cameras & people, but most of them were by my husband and my sister. thanks for letting me use them here!

little planes for a little guy

now that i’ve somewhat gotten the hang of my overlocker, i decided it’s time again to do some quick & easy project for a baby.

babyplane1

self-made baby pants

when i first saw the fabric, of course i got reminded of my husband who is plane crazy… i mean, crazy about planes. 😀 but since the print is really small, i thought it would look better as a kid’s clothing rather than for an adult. so, pants for little A it is!

the pattern is no. 137C from BurdaStyle magazine 05/2015. i thought the knee patches look so adorable. i was lucky to still have a bit of reddish orange jersey left from my previous sewing projects, and it was just the perfect size for the knee patches, waistband, and the edges of the leg parts.

babyplane2

the plane fabric is jersey that is made of mostly cotton + a bit of elastane. in reality, the background colour of the plane jersey is a stronger light blue than in these pics. i couldn’t make the pics’ colours look realistic enough, egh.

since i was too lazy to put the interfacing on the knee patches, i of course encountered a big problem when sewing them on to the pants. they would’ve been “stabilized” with the interfacing, so that i would’ve been able to sew good oval shapes on them. but instead i made those uneven sewing lines, so i figured i would just sew each of them twice in completely different directions in order for them to look like it was meant to be uneven like that. 😉

babyplane3

just for a size comparison, i took a picture of the pants with my hand on it… see how small they are? ❤

babyplane5

there’s wide elastic band inside the waistband, to make sure the diaper stays put! 😀

babyplane4

and as for the itty bitty edges of the leg parts, they are just made of folded/double-layered jersey.

it took me about 3 hours from copying the pattern to sewing the last stitch. i had so much fun making them, and thought that even if the parents didn’t like the pants then it’s okay. it was more of a practice thing for me anyway.

but when i gave the pants to them yesterday and little A was there too, he got so excited, took the pants close to his face and started mumbling happily while looking at them. ❤ there’s nothing more precious than that! i THINK he loved them. 😀

on July 2015, i…

1. did 3 sewing projects and 1 remake project. this is all thanks to the rainy summer days right when i was having my summer holiday. summer? what summer? :p

2. turned 34. this time i let it slip on my other social media account exactly when my birthday was, and people actually congratulated me. wow. i mean, even those whom i hadn’t talked to for years. it felt weird, in a nice way. since i just had a slight mental breakdown some months ago, this made me appreciate my life, and myself, a little bit more. so thank you, those who cared to drop me a line & wished me happy birthday. 🙂

birthdaydinner

birthday dinner: sushi!

3. went to the family’s summer place & spent quality time with my siblings-in-law, and baby A! he was just so cute & i’ll never forget how he smiled at me when i “danced” with him. during the same stay, i got to have my very first sighting of a wild deer. it just came stampeding in the middle of our summer place one morning, stopped in its track when it noticed me (i was alone, we were about 20 m apart), and then continued to stampede away. unfortunately i didn’t even have my phone to take any picture, but it happened. i felt so lucky to be the only one who experienced that.

mokki

babysitting & relaxing at the same time

4. lost an aunt. she was one of my dad’s older sister, whom my husband had fortunately also met almost a decade ago. she once invited us to her house just so that she could also get to know my husband (then-boyfriend) and took us out to eat. there are countless times when my family and i spent times with her during the Eid al-Fitr & Eid al-Adha celebrations, going on trips to Bandung, and other family gatherings. she was somehow always there, it’s hard to imagine that now she won’t be anymore. but i hope she has found peace now. you will be missed, Bude. ❤

5. was again reminded that i do have friends. so they may not be the same kind as the ones i had once in my life a long time ago, but it felt nice when i met them at a party, after a long time that i had not met them, and the first thing they wanted to do was hug me, and take pictures with me. when i was having my breakdown, i ‘complained’ about the fact that i never have any pictures of myself & (a) friend(s). i felt like i had no one, except for my husband and family (well, they’re always there for me, so they don’t count. sorry!). so imagine my surprise when this happened. i would walk around in the party, and all the time somebody would call me and say, “i want to get a picture of us together!” and ask somebody else to take the pic. maybe to them i will just be in one of their 1000 pics uploaded to FB or Instagram, but to me it actually meant a lot more than that. thank you, for whatever your reason was to get that picture of us together, you made me realize that i am not alone.

collage

i ❤ these people. 😀

6. had my first experience of singing karaoke in front of everybody… outside of my own home town. this happened on the same party as number 5. for those who don’t know, karaoke in Jakarta is just like in Japan, done in private rooms, only to be shared with your close friends/family. well… this is Europe! karaoke = singing and embarrassing yourself in front of the whole bar. or a party. but i did it! HA! though i did it with 2 of my friends, not completely alone. people danced to our song, so i don’t think it was that bad! 😉

7. went to Copenhagen for a day. it was fun!

8. got contacted for a possibility to become a model for a world known brand/company. it was the same agency as the one in this blog post. what surprised me was that they actually contacted me (!!! after all these years!), and the brand/company is THAT famous. this was another reminder of everything i wrote there on my old blog post, that i should be happy with the way i am. though i knew that since it was still a pre-production election, and they only ‘judged’ it solely by our looks, i wouldn’t stand a chance among the other candidates–this is because i never, ever, won for anything based on my looks–but still i felt good about myself. the agency cared enough to contact me & give me a chance, so that was nice. i didn’t end up getting it (just found that out yesterday), which is a bummer since i could really use some extra money (who wouldn’t), but it’s okay. i think maybe the whole thing happened only to remind myself about the fact that i am good enough to even be considered. 🙂

yay, i got through another month! welcome August!

PS. for safety & privacy reason, i heavily edited the pics. obviously most of the pics were taken by other people, and the credits go to them, not me.

to be remembered

isn’t that what we all want?

i don’t mean in the way that when you pass away from life, people will remember you (though that would be nice as well), but more like in everyday life.

you pass by someone who used to sit next to you in elementary school, and he remembers you.

it’s your birthday, and your old friend whom you haven’t met for years remembers it and sends you a short but sweet birthday wish.

your new boss who has only been at work with you for a few days calls you by your name, correctly.

i don’t know about you, but i at least like being remembered in simple things like these. it makes me feel like i’ve made quite an impression in other people’s lives for them to remember my name, my face, etc. (well, remembering my birthday is a great bonus.)

about a month ago, there was a family party from my husband’s side. my husband’s grandmum, which i have known now for about 9 years, came as well, with my husband’s granddad. around 2 months before, we had met for lunch as well. so it wasn’t as if we hadn’t met for years.

but, my husband’s grandmum did not remember me. actually, she did not remember pretty much anyone, not even my husband, or my husband’s mum. she could only introduce herself as the wife of my husband’s granddad.

yes, she suffers from dementia. and i have been told, before that party, that her condition had started to become worse. but i really wasn’t ready to be forgotten.

of course, when i think of it, it’s only natural that she did not remember people whom she doesn’t meet every day (or week). and technically i have only been in 1/10 of her entire life. so, it makes sense. knowing that i wasn’t the only one she did not remember was also… er… comforting? :p

a few weeks after the party, she got admitted to the hospital. the dementia is now so bad that she can not be left alone/unattended anymore (for fear that she might wander about, and get lost on her own). when they tested her memory, she could only get 1 correct answer out of 10. we take turns visiting her there, just to talk to her and relive the memories.

the first time my husband & i visited her, we were a bit nervous. what if she couldn’t remember us at all? would she panic? did she even want to see us?

but when we walked through the door of her room, she looked at my husband and said warmly, “hello! i’ve been waiting for you!” and went on to say his name. and she looked at me, and called me by my name, correctly! 🙂

we were both so happy and relieved. we spent a bit more than an hour there just to talk to her, about the past. sometimes she got confused, but she was always so positive, and when we reminded her of how things actually were, she laughed about her own forgetfulness.

then, just before we left, she asked us to help her get up from bed. my husband asked, “what do you want, grandmum?”, worried that she might get confused again and thought she needed to come home with us. but her answer was, “i want to give you two goodbye kisses!”

🙂 it was a happy day, to be remembered by someone who has dementia.

she is currently still in hospital & we are still taking turns to see her. i think it’s doing her good to be with her family members, and talking about the past (and my husband also tests her about the present time sometimes). she still remembered us whenever we visited her.

and i will always remember that she remembered me. 🙂