Showing posts from 2013

Write Down Your Dream (Just Kidding)

Write down your dream and it will happen.

Just kidding.

So six months ago I was thinking of moving out our parents' house, and I wrote it here. Who knows that last month the husband and I actually managed to buy a house--with some financial help from the family--. It is an old house and now we're renovating it.

So I wrote down my dream, and it happened. But I don't think they are cause and effect. I believe we managed to buy the house because God is willing to provide what we need. And because we know we need the house, we have made arrangement and careful budget to make it happen.

The process of finding the house opened our eyes that the search was led by God. We looked at a couple of houses and nearly made the purchase, but something always happened: the buyer of one house decided to cancel the deal, the certificates of another house was troublesome, etc. I almost gave up. But now when I look back, God "sabotaged" those houses because He had something better pr…

Toko Abeng yang keramat

Ini ceritanya Juni 2012. Tahun lalu, saat kami masih terdampar di Dubai. Hari itu kami ke daerah Al Karama dekat Bur Dubai, dan suami mengajak saya jalan-jalan ke salah satu tempat paling keramat untuk warga perantau dari Indonesia: Toko Abeng!

Selama berbulan-bulan tinggal di Dubai, saya hanya mendengar gosip-gosip tentang Toko Abeng dari percakapan seperti ini:

Ibu 1: Eh gula merah datang loh di Toko Abeng!
Ibu 2: Oh yaaaa, ayo buruan kita ke sana sebelum kehabisan. Dan memang, jika tidak cepat-cepat, kami harus menunggu lama sebelum gula merah datang lagi di toko keramat ini.

Sebelum benar-benar datang ke Toko Abeng, saya membayangkan toko tersebut besar seperti supermarket. Bayangan saya salah.

Bisa dilihat barang-barang dagangan utama ada berdus-dus adalah Indomie (mie favorit di Dubai. Di supermarket saya sering lihat Indomie diborong orang-orang Emirati, Arab, India, dll), sambal botol (how can we Indonesians live without sambal botol, right?), Sosro (stok banyak!), dan pernak-…

Yen Berkisah: Kampungku Berau

Namaku Yen. Kampung halamanku di Kabupaten Berau, tepatnya di ibu kotanya: Tanjung Redeb, yang mungkin saat itu belum pantas disebut kota karena begitu kecilnya. Semua orang Berau saling mengenal berkat ukurannya yang mini dan suasana kampung yang akrab. Kami juga punya Sultan. Kapan-kapan aku akan ceritakan mengenai Sultan dan Pangeran dan Putri di Berau.

Beberapa langkah dari rumahku ada sungai deras mengalir, bersih dan jernih seperti semua sungai di Kalimantan saat pulau besar ini masih pantas disebut paru-paru dunia. Kami anak-anak kecil suka berenang di sana, yang perempuan dengan baju lengkap dan rok lebar yang berfungsi sebagai semi-pelampung. Maklum, mana ada baju renang saat itu. Baju kami saja adalah jahitan Mama sendiri, satu atau dua baju untuk dipakai setahun. Gaya renang kami? Gaya suka-suka dan siap kabur dari sungai jika terlihat ada buaya hendak melintas.

Sungai deras mengalir. Dekat hutan paru-paru dunia. Mungkin kamu bayangkan betapa nyamannya kampung halamanku. Ja…

I Worry

I worry.

Worry is your heart goes boom boom boom because you are uncertain of things. It makes you want to take a peek into the future, so that you can anticipate things. Or curse things.

Your prayer is a prayer of worry and requests as if you don't believe that everything He plans is good. You pray to ask for things, and you forget to listen to Him.

Worry is not trusting. You know the Lord holds your future and that future is according to His good, but you just cannot wait. You just do not trust Him.

Worry is being attached to things. You cannot say "I have nothing to lose." Because you have many things.

I worry.

And He told me what to do, that I should learn to let go. It is not easy. But he made it easy, somehow, when my hard disk crashed. Goodbye One Piece, Batman, Naruto, Fairy Tail, and tons of movies. And when I didn't get the house(s) that I wanted, over and over. He said that he had something better in store for me. Warning: "better" for Him might…

Let's Continue Serving Alcohol!

Dato Sri Idris Jala, currently a minister in Malaysian government, shared this story in Eagles Leadership Conference. It was such a privilege to attend that conference, btw, considering that I am no leader. Anyway, Dato Sri Idris Jala was elected the CEO of Malaysian Airlines at that time. In the introduction of the new CEO, one of his staff asked this difficult question. Please keep in mind that almost all the crews of Malaysian Airlines are Moslem, while Dato Sri Idris Jala is not. So they kinda wanted to test him.
Staff: Almost all of us are Moslems. Malaysia is an Islam country. Why do we serve alcohol in our flight? I do not want a political answer. I do not want a business answer. I want a religious answer. Idris Jala: Before answering your question, I have two questions for you. First: Is God all-powerful? Staff: Yes, he is. He is all-powerful.  Idris Jala: Second: Is God holy? Does he hate sins? Staff: Yes, he is holy. He hates sins.  Idris Jala: So why do you think an all-pow…

Thesis Statement

For the past half an hour I've been typing and deleting words in this post. I wrote about how I don't get the hang of the too-overused jargon "be positive" and "positive thinking," about the uncle taxi driver that was so nice yesterday, about a spoiled brat that I know and how I'm trying not to be one. But it all went only for one paragraph. And I don't know what to write next. Hence the deletion.

Why am I doing this? Remind me.

O, I remember. Brilliant Yotenega wrote this invitation of random writing for 36 days on this post on FB. Everyone is welcomed.

It's embarrassing, but lately my posts are the posts that I submitted for contest. Forgive me for I've succumbed that low. So in this post let me analyze myself of why I don't write as much as I want to.

I guess my problem is that I love thesis statement very much. I stuck at one paragraph and cannot move on to the other because I just find no concept to write. (Not that if I do write on…

Managing My Daily Budget

Let me be honest. Being married is a whole lot more difficult than being single, at least for me. Life as my single self knew has ended. There are so many things to think about now: thinking of how meals can appear three times a day at our dining table, thinking of how our little crib in the in-laws' house can be kept clean and decent, thinking how to save money for future: we dream of our own little house, our future children's education, and our pension plan.
That's why I started to find solace in snooping on other women's sharing on forums and blogs. It's easier to see how other women/people cope with life than having to figure everything out by myself from scratch. One thing that concerns me the most is our finance. My husband and I are both employees with limited salary, and I thought our limited salary can bring us anywhere, but I was wrong. Thanks to financial planners’ blogs, newsletters and twitters, I found out I can do something.
A few months ago my bro…

Gig Review: Eva De Roovere!

The husband went to a gig with me and enjoyed it! That's something because he usually gets bored whenever I drag him to a music--mostly classical--concert.

This one we went to last week was a gig performed by Eva De Roovere and Marc De Maeseneer, held by Yayasan Caraka Mulia, a center for Indonesian-Netherlands culture and language based in Surabaya. They are Belgian and the songs were in Dutch.

Before the gig, a Dutch guy from Yayasan Caraka Mulia creatively taught us a little bit of Dutch. Pretty interesting and we learned some Dutch words. By the way, all of the show was in Dutch. We didn't understand a thing :D

The gig was quite entertaining. Eva was on vocal, guitar, keyboard, and sometimes harmonica and some percussion. The songs, written by Eva, reminded me of Jewel Kilcher. I never had a lot of exposure to European pop music, so if I have to associate Eva's songs with what I've heard, I would say that they are country-ish. The chords were simple and easy-listen…

Thinking of moving out

For the past few months, my husband and I have been thinking of moving out of our parents' houses to our own place. We remember how fun it was when we were living at that small apartment. Just the two of us. We would be so happy, not that we are unhappy now, but I just know that it would be so exciting!

However, I started to do the math of living on our own, and boy it is not simple. Living on our own means a lot of expenses on our own. These are some that I can think of:

Monthly rent or mortgageNew furniture, if needed Water, electricity, gas billsGrocery shopping Only four but I believe the amount of money involved is not small, and the list can go on and on, especially if someday we have a child of our own.
Scary. But I believe moving to our own place is an essential step for our little family. Let's hope this year there'll be a way to start it.

Golden Goldie Gold

Belajar dari Paman Gober yang suka mengumpulkan koin emas, Berkat nasihat berbagai pihak dan bacaan financial news/blogs di internet, saya mulai senang membeli emas sejak beberapa tahun lalu. Awalnya saya berencana mengambil keuntungan lewat emas. Beli murah, disimpan sampai lama, nanti bisa dijual tinggi. Tetapi kemudian saya belajar dari @mrshananto di Twitter, kalo mau cari untung, borong baju di Mangdu aja terus dijual lagi dengan harga lebih tinggi.

Setelah membeli dan menjual emas (sedikit-sedikit sih) mulai dari harga emas masih IDR300,000 sampai sempat menyentuh IDR550,000 dan sekarang si emas beredar di area IDR500,000, saya belajar bahwa saya menyimpan emas untuk:

Sebagai pelindung nilai. Jadi begini, uang IDR1,500,000 lima tahun yang lalu, tahun ini daya belinya akan menurun karena inflasi. Maka saya melindungi nilai uang tersebut dengan menyulapnya menjadi emas 5gr lima tahun lalu. Tahun ini, 5gr emas tersebut jika saya jual akan menjadi sekitar IDR2,500,000 dan saya telah …

Soal Pupur

Karena kemarin ngobrol soal pupur sama @litarasmi di Twitter, jadi kepikiran nulis post ini, yaitu tentang pelembab, sunscreen, dan powder.

Post ini bakal basic banget ya, saya yakin para remaja sekalian ada yang sudah pake segala macam serum dan cream yang dahsyat plus makeup gyaru dan Korea-korea yang imut (tapi somewhat bikin ngeri) itu.

Berdasarkan fakta bahwa UVA dan UVB yang tiap hari dengan setia dikirimkan matahari kepada kita menyebabkan premature skin aging (cek di sini dan google deh soal). Premature skin aging ini meliputi flek, keriput, kulit kendor, dll. Coba cek deh di wajah tante-tante yang sudah agak berumur, fleknya pasti di tulang pipi kan? Itu karena tulang pipi adalah bagian yang paling menonjol dan paling terpapar sinar matahari.

Well, di US sih orang-orang concern dengan pake sunscreen untuk melindungi kulit dari UVA dan UVB karena mereka takut kena kanker. Tapi kita di Asia Tenggara yang kulitnya ga putih-putih amat mungkin ngga perlu setakut para bule, karena …

Giveaway from Si Cantik Tanpa Bangkrut

Hello lovelies!

(Gayanya manggil lovelies kalo udah post soal cantik-cantikan haha)

There is a beauty giveaway from Si Cantik Tanpa Bangkrut because her blog is having its second anniversary :party: (I don't even know my blog's birth date haha). Go check it out:

I have been following her blog since I don't know when, and I like it because she shares how to be pretty on a budget. Fits my wallet, doesn't it? :D Maybe the thing that intrigue me to frequently check Mak Mada's blog is because I like to see her daring outfit and sexy makeup. Check her bold red lips here. I wish one day I had the courage to sport red lips like hers. Another thing is her straightforward, honest review, which all of us need from a beauty blog: honest reviews.

If there is anything to be improved in her blog, please put more pictures, and bigger pictures. I met Mak Mada in an online forum, so I never met he…

On Organizing Money

A reminder for myself, which might be helpful for you as well, from @PritaGhozie's twitter today:

Sebaiknya sebuah rumah tangga yang ingin punya pengelolaan keuangan yang baik harus membagi dana menjadi 5 pos berbeda.

Giving: rekening ini isinya untuk menampung zakat penghasilan dan zakat harta yang sudah terkena mishabnya. (Or in my case: tithing).Living: ini isinya untuk bayar tagihan listrik, beli makanan, bayar uang sekolah anak, dan lainnya.Emergency Fund: ini isinya untuk dana darurat yang bisa diambil sewaktu-waktu saat dibutuhkan. Saving: pakai rekening ini untuk melakukanp roses menabung dan investasi bulanan.Playing: rekening ini bisa dipisahkan untuk suami & istri, agar bebas melakukan pengeluaran pribadi yang disukai. Contohnya ke salon, belanja, dll. They say that ideally these five posts need five different bank accounts. However you can always make mental bank accounts and keep tidy bookkeeping, right?
Have fun planning your financial life!