Jess Daily (Or What My Cat Does Everyday)

30 Apr 2015

#JessDaily on Instagram
There's never a dull moment in our house now, thanks to this big purring ball of fur. She wakes us up every morning by meowing loudly in front of our bedroom door. After successfully waking us up, she then waits for us to get up and get out of the bedroom. By the time we walk out the door, she will already lay on her back, exposing her fluffy stomach asking for a rub. She won't stop bugging us before she gets what she wants. Then she will force ask us to open the front door so she can chill in the yard. She will be outside until about 11am, then she will go back inside to take a long nap. She usually wakes up from her nap at 4pm, which is her play time. She likes to play chase with her imaginary kitty friends (seriously; she loves running around the house as if she is chasing or being chased by other kitties) until about 8pm, at which she will start bugging me again.
#JessDaily on Instagram
She also has this habit of jumping to the top of our wardrobe then walk to the door frame via the door. Then she will just stay there, chilling like it's a normal place for a cat to chill. She was small enough to fit on top of the door frame when she did this for the very first time, but she has grown so big that she has to struggle to get a comfortable position there. Usually, she can't get down off that thing by herself, so after a few minutes she will eventually cry for help. Silly cat!
A video posted by Dara Octaputri (@darlaoct) on
Here's a bonus video of how she gets to the top of the door frame in case you're curious how she can get there:

Adopting Jess was absolutely the best idea ever!

PS. You can search #jessdaily on Instagram for more pictures and videos of her ;)

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The Ever-Changing Dreams: Where I'll be in the Next 5 Years (Casa Elana for IHB Blog Post Challenge)

28 Apr 2015

Where I'll be in the Next 5 Years (Casa Elana for IHB Blog Post Challenge)
Oh you know me. I'm a dreamer with a lot of ever-changing dreams. I used to dream of becoming a teacher when I grow up. Then I dreamed about leaving my city behind to live alone in another town. I also had this wild dream of traveling around the world all by myself (oh the thought of being lost in a foreign country!). Then I settled down. I moved out of my parents house to start a new adventure with a guy I love the most. Then my dreams shifted. And I love it.

I once had this (kind of) job interview where the interviewer asked that typical question: "How do you see yourself in the next five years?" I honestly didn't have any idea back then. But I quickly came up with an answer. "In the next five years," I said, "I will have been married. With two kids, perhaps. I can see myself teaching in a junior high or high school. I can also see myself becoming a boss of my own small business." I thought my answer was smart and satisfying, and I'm sure now that the interviewer thought so because I ended up getting said job position.

The funny thing is, my answer to that question is the exact same answer if you ask me right now. The difference is that I'll say it with confidence. So, where will I be in the next five years?

1. I will be a mother of two
Although I still want to postpone having kids right now as there are still some issues I want to solve first, we're planning to start a family in the next year or two. Hopefully, we will have been parents of two kids by 2020. I'm so excited!

2. I will go back into teaching
I know, I know. I've said it many times that I want to be a stay at home mum. But lately I have been feeling empty. I feel like my teaching skills and English skills are deteriorating after four months of not teaching. I'm planning to go back to teaching, but I will manage my teaching schedule so it won't make me too busy to take care of my (future) children.

3. My small business(es) will be bigger and stronger
I already co-own a small business together with Vicky. We've been managing it for almost a year and I'd gladly say that things are going quite good! Right now, I'm also in a talk about rebuilding an old brand of scarves line. If it goes smoothly, I will co-own my second small business. Hopefully, in the next five years both my business can grow bigger and stronger.

4. I will move back to Bandung City (or to another city!)
Just one day after our wedding, my husband and I moved in to a nice little house in Padalarang, West Bandung Regency. It's one hour away from Bandung City (the city where I was born and raised). I actually love it here because it's quiet and peaceful, but if my husband still works for the same company in the next five years, we will want to move back to the city. It will be even better if my husband gets another job in another city because we can start a new adventure in a new place! I've been living in Bandung all my life, so the thought of moving to another city always excites me. Haha

5. I will be a 'bigger' blogger
I must admit that I still have that little dream of being famous because of my blog. I mean, which blogger doesn't? I've put more efforts on this blog and I have seen the results: I have gained several new followers in the past couple months, my blog traffic is higher now, and I constantly get comments on each post. I'm doing baby steps but I'm getting there. I love blogging and the new friendships it brings. Hopefully, I can have more and more blogging friends in the next five years ;)

There will be lots and lots of obstacles in my journey to reach these dreams, I know. But I will try. I will try hard to make them come true. And by writing it here for the world to see, I hope it will give me more motivations to reach them all.

And 2020, I'm ready for ya.

***

This post is submitted to the Casa Elana for IHB Blog Post Challenge,
a challenge held by Indonesian Hijab Blogger and Casa Elana Shop.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The 2015 Asian African Carnival

26 Apr 2015

Hi, guys! Just stopping by to write a quick post. I didn't get the chance to write a Weekend Links post because I attended the 2015 Asian African Carnival. FYI, my city (Bandung) was where the first Asian African Conference was held in 1955. This year, the commemoretion is held as a big event. The city council prepared everything since the beginning of April. The event itself has started from 18 April, but the carnival was yesterday. I didn't have the DSLR with me, so I only took several pictures using my phone. Sorry if the quality is not as good. See you on Tuesday!
The 2015 Asian African Carnival
The 2015 Asian African Carnival
Video mapping at Gedung Merdeka Bandung for the 2015 Asian African Carnival
In front of the Asian African Conference Monument

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

23 Apr 2015

Avengers: Age Of Ultron poster wallpaper
I was kind of lucky. I had been anticipating the release of Age of Ultron to be on 1 May 2015, but turned out that it was released on 22 April in my country. We got two tickets for the evening and so yesterday I watched Age of Ultron :)

Avengers: Age of Ultron opens with a fight scene between the Avengers and the Hydra soldiers led by Strucker in an eastern Europe city called Sokovia. The team succesfully beat Strucker and find his experiments there, including the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. They also find Loki's scepter, which they bring back to Stark's place. Without the rest of the team knowing, Stark and Banner (the Science Bros :p) use the scepter to build an artificial intelligent called Ultron, which is originally intended to be installed to Stark's peacekeeping robots seen earlier in the movie. They fail, however, then they leave the computers on while they go upstairs where a party is being held. After the party, the team gather and then this scene happens, where Ultron first comes alive and makes the memorable speech we have seen in the clips released by Marvel a few months ago. Together with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, Ultron tries to create a real body while also try to "save" the world. And by "save" he really means to sweep all humankinds off the Earth to start anew.

Age of Ultron serves as a good climax for Phase Two. Thanks to Scarlet Witch's ability, we can see a glimpse into the Avengers' personal deepest fears. The whole movie is personal. We get to see into Hawkeye's real identity; we get to see Black Widow's past and the reason why she seems so cold and "business-minded". Also, we get to see some romance, something that didn't occur in the first Avengers movie. I totally didn't see the romance coming, and I'm sure most of you didn't either, but it gives a little nice surprise into the mostly-dark theme.

And because of the mostly-dark theme, the Marvel jokes don't occur too often. There are only two running jokes in the movie; the first one isThor and his hammer, and the other one is Captain America's 'old man'-ness. The lack of humour is understandable, though. Ultron gives a real threat to Earth and he really seems too strong for the Avengers to beat. His origin also breaks the team and the whole Captain America versus Iron Man (which will be the main story of the third Captain America) can be seen in this movie. The Avengers are doomed. There's no joke about it.

I'd give Avengers: Age of Ultron 4,5 out of 5 stars. Totally recommended! But if you're not following Marvel Cinematic Universe, I'd suggest you watch the previous installments first. I mean, man... You really don't know what you're missing out. Haha :p
Afief and Dara after watching Age of Ultron

Poster via.

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Likes & Dislikes: Phone Cases from Head Case Designs

20 Apr 2015

Hardcases from Head Case Designs for Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 and Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
When I was in uni, I had come to realise that I always bought mobile phones of which accessories were not widely available. Remember when you could change your Nokia phone cases to any colour you want? Well, mine was always limited to boring white or boring black. When people could change their cases to transparent cases, I was super jealous. Then I bought a Sony Ericsson. The same thing happened and I was stuck with my boring, factory default case. I gave up, then I put stickers on it then decided to accept it just the way it was.

When the dawn of smartphones came, I bought my very first Android. It was the tiny Sony Ericsson Xperia X8. While everybody was using Samsung with all their fancy, colourful hard cases, I let my dear phone stay naked. I couldn't find a case for it. When I changed it with Sony Xperia Miro, the same thing happened again. I was so tired and fed up, and when I almost gave up, I found Head Case Designs on eBay. I didn't have a Paypal account back then, so I had to pay someone to buy it for me and had them ship it to my address. So for the first time in my life, my phone had a nice, cute hardcase. I was so happy.

I was so in love with the hardcase. I bought another hardcase for my Samsung Ace 3. Although there were various cases I could find in my local shop, I still went back to Head Case Designs because they have super awesome choices. And when I ordered yet another new phone, I also ordered a new hardcase. So in total, I have bought three cases from them. I'm so obsessed!
Hardcase from Head Case Designs for Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
Likes

  • The designs are so cute. There are various choices and styles, from chevron patterns, floral, animals, to retro. However, I somehow always end up buying hardcases with cats on it (I'm a crazy cat lady!)
  • The material is nice. It gives firm grips for the phone and it makes the phone don't slip off easily from my sweaty palms.
  • It's so affordable!
  • They give you free shipping worldwide with no minimum purchase. How cool is that?

Scratches on hardcase for Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 from Head Case Designs
Dislikes

  • The picture is not scratch-resistant. The hardcase on my Ace 3 has several scratches, like a long scratch across the cat's eye and some on its corner. But I'm glad that it's the hardcase that was scratched and not my phone. This is why putting on hardcase is important for your phone, you guys.
  • Nothing else!


I've only had my new case for a week now, but I'm already thinking about order another one or two for my Grand Prime. I am so obsessed! I mean, look at their new line here. Should I buy another one, like, right now?
Hardcase from Head Case Designs for Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Head Case Designs. I didn't receive any compensation for writing this post. This post is my honest thoughts about their product and not sponsored by them.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

18 Apr 2015


Whoa, it's Saturday already? Time flies! I barely remember what I did this week. One thing I remember, though, is that I have been impatiently waiting for the season premiere of Orphan Black which will be airing tomorrow morning (or tonight in US time). Bring it on, BBC!

In the meantime, let's enjoy these links I've found during the week:
Now I'm going to prepare some pizza dough to be baked in the morning so I can eat pizzas while watching Orphan Black. Also, look at this good news! Orange Is The New Black is coming back this June!!!



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

What I Wore: Roadtrip Outfit

16 Apr 2015

Roadtrip Outfit
Roadtrip Outfit
When you go on a roadtrip, you'll want to wear something as comfortable as possible. But given the fact that I was going to visit a friend who just got married, I thought it would not be okay to wear t-shirt+jeans (a combo I love the most!), so I pair my old blue jeans with my favourite polka dot shirt (which I wore for my picture on the sidebar) and my favourite grey scarf (which I also wore for said picture :p). These jeans made me look fat, but whatev. It was super comfy!

What I wore:
- Grey scarf | Unbranded | IDR 20k
- Polka dot shirt | Esprit | Thrifted
- Blue jeans | Custome made | IDR 90k
- Sneakers | Converse | My sister's

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Roadtrip to Bekasi (+ An ONA Bag Giveaway)

14 Apr 2015

Roadtrip to Bekasi
Roadtrips are awesome. Remember when Vicky, Irma, and I went on a roadtrip to Jakarta? We had another chance to do another roadtrip, but this time we went to Bekasi to visit a friend. Afief joined us this time. We went to visit May who got married the previous week, but we couldn't come to her wedding reception. We decided to visit her on Sunday. As always, Vicky was our driver because she's the only one who can drive. Haha!
Roadtrip to Bekasi
We revisited the rest area and took some pictures in front of the very same elephant statue. We took our time during the trip because we were supposed to pick up Arif on our way there, but Arif hadn't arrived at the spot yet. So we visited some more rest areas, just because :p
Roadtrip to Bekasi
We arrived at May's place in the afternoon (that means we spent, like, six hours on the road, when we actually needed only two hours to get there. Haha!) It had been months since I saw May, so it was nice to catch up with her. We talked about a lot of things, had our late lunch, talked some more, and when the clock struck five, we headed home.
Roadtrip to Bekasi
The five of us on our way back home
This kind of trips are getting hard to conduct because we're getting busier and busier each day. We had planned it for weeks. At first, there were eight of us who agreed to go, but three bailed out. I now understand why they say that as we grow up, we have less and less friends. It's inevitable. We're growing up and getting more responsibilities. We should really cherish the friendships we have in adulthood. Friends are blessings :)

***

ONA Bag and Pinhole Press Giveaway
ONA Bag and Pinhole Press are giving away one ONA Palma Bag and one FUJI X100T camera plus Pinhole Press gift card (worth $1900) to celebrate Mother's Day! Click on the image to enter this super awesome giveaway. I know you want to win it!

*Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with ONA Bag and/or Pinhole Press. I get an additional entry everytime someone enters this giveaway through the link on this page.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Weekend Links

12 Apr 2015


Weekend links is finally back! This week has been a lot of biting by Jess, thousands of phonecalls from new clients, sneezing + headaches, and many more mischievous. But today Afief and I will join a bunch of friends going on a roadtrip to visit a friend in Bekasi, yay! May got married last week but none of us could come to the reception, so we decided to go there this week instead. Better late than never, we think.

Well... now links!
  • Jacky has some good points on competition in blogging world.
  • Similarly, jealousy in blogging world exists too! Here's how we all can benefit from it.
  • Are you following Anna Kendrick on Instagram? She has been posting pictures of people posing the 'boss pitch' pose in front of Pitch Perfect 2 poster. Turns out, there is a story behind the pose.
  • I'm not really into fashion, because... well let's be honest, I'd rather buy food than clothes. Haha! But if I had all the money in the world, I would take my lazy butt and head to the shop to buy all these stuffs from Sara's latest Inspired By post. The boots. The dresses. Omg!
  • I must admit that I'm a bad book club member. I'm only on page 24 of NovelTea Book Club's book of choice this month, Good Omens. But I really recommend the club to you if you love reading. They're all awesome ladies and most of them are bloggers too. Good place to make new friends ;)
That's it for this week. Have a fun weekend! Also, next week is Orphan Black's season 3 premiere! Who's as excited as I am? ;D



Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

English and Me (+ #BookishScene Link Up)

10 Apr 2015

Good grammar is attractive by Grammarly
I have been meaning to write a '20 Random Facts About Me' post for a while now, but I realise that it is not something you can write in one sitting. I tried to write it a few days ago but after a while, I only managed to write 3 random facts about me. So I decided to postpone it until I remember the facts randomly. Haha

Fact #1 on my list goes like "English is not my first language. It is not even my second nor my third language." It dawned on me that I have never actually written a post about this particular topic and then I thought "Perhaps it will be interesting!"

In my country's ever-changing curriculum, English is not a compulsory subject until middle school. However, a lot of elementary schools, especially those in big cities like Bandung, add English as its local content. I started getting English in fourth grade. I still remember the first lesson. It was spelling. The teacher was a beautiful young student teacher called Miss Naning. After the first few lessons, she gave us a spelling test and promised to give a prize for someone who got the highest score. It was me! I got 100 and she wrote "Congratulations!" on the corner of the page. It wasn't until years later that I knew what the word meant, LOL! Anyway, she gave me the prize and it was a pack of snack bar. I was so happy back then. The test result and the prize were what made me fall in love with English. I excelled my classmates in English classes all the way through my school years. I was the walking English dictionary in high school. My friends often turned to me and asked what particular words meant and I would help them with English homework.

And then it came the time to choose my major for uni. I had always wanted to be a teacher. Combining that with my love for English, I decided to choose English Education as my major. I learnt a lot of new things about English language in my courses. I became so into grammar and loved correcting other people's grammar. I became a 'grammar police' in no time.

Grammatical error in Samsung's official website
Can't believe Samsung have this grammatical error on their website :(
I had no idea that being enchanted by English grammar could be frustating, though. People in my country often use incorrect English and it keeps giving me headaches. It gives me itches I can't really scratch. It also makes me look like a jerk who can't stop criticising people for using incorrect English. But I can't just shut up seeing people misusing the language I really like. It's not only once that people accuse me of being a traitor of my own country and nationality because of my love for English. Haha! People can be mean like that :p

All those things set aside, my English is still far from perfect, though. I'm just an outsider of the language after all. Just another grammar nazi on the Internet. This is actually one of the reasons why I started blogging. I want to perfect my English while making friends with people from all around the world. You guys have helped me improve my English. Thank you so much! And pardon me if several things on my blog get lost in translation. I really hope I've never written something too odd or offensive. Haha!

***


Dara's bookshelf for #BookishScene link up
This week I'm joining Georgie's and Josephine's Bookish Scene link up. The theme for this week is "bookshelf". My bookshelf currently only has several books because I haven't brought all of my collections from my parents' house. As you can see, out of the fifteen books on my shelf, only two books are in my native language. The rest is in English. One book is actually a grammar exercise book. See? I'm sooo in love with English!

Image via.

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Likes & Dislikes: Veronica Mars #2 Mr Kiss and Tell

8 Apr 2015

Veronica Mars #2 Mr Kiss and Tell review
Forgive me for being absent. I've been feeling unwell since two days ago, and I went on a crazy motorcycle ride through a flooding road in a heavy rain yesterday and that added sneezing to the list. The sunny side is... I managed to finish reading Veronica Mars #2, yay! But I haven't continued my reading for Good Omens (this month's book for the NovelTea Book Club). I need to read more today so I can catch up with this week's discussion, but in the meantime, I think I'll share with you what I like and what I don't like from Veronica Mars #2 Mr Kiss and Tell.

You see, I'm head over heels for Veronica Mars. I had heard about the TV series since years ago, but hadn't had the chance to watch it until last year. So I binge-watched like crazy and finished two seasons in a week (yeah I can be that mad when it comes to binge watching. Plus, I was unemployed at that time, so I had plenty of time to waste. Haha!). I was over the moon when they released the movie last year. The timing couldn't be better than that. I had just finished watching the whole series right before the movie was released. It was a bliss.

That same year, the first book was also released (see? 2014 was my year!). My local bookstore is unreliable when it comes to providing imported books, so I bought a digital version of the novel titled The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line. The book tells the story a few months after the events in the movie and it also reveals what happens to Veronica's mother after the last time she sees her in the TV series. I really like the book. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

The second book, Mr Kiss and Tell, was planned to be released the same year, but then was delayed until January this year. Right after the release date, I went to my local bookstore, but of course they didn't have it. They had the first book though, months after the release date. Yes, they are that bad. I couldn't bear to wait for four weeks of shipping if I bought the paperback version online, so I decided to once again order a digital copy. Instant download and I started reading. Here are my thoughts about it (spoilers alert!).

Likes

  • Lots of Logan, yay! In the first book, Logan is on duty off shore somewhere at the Arabic sea. He only appears a few times in the book when he and Veronica are Skype-ing, but in the second book he is off duty and they live together in Veronica's small apartment. And they have a puppy! There are some points in the book where I became so afraid that they would break up, but thank goodness they stay together through out the story. There's still a sad ending, though, but you have to read it because I won't spoil it here. Haha!
  • Weevil wins his case and it ignites another case of planted evidence against the sheriff department. The department has been corrupted since the TV series, so it's nice to finally see them getting in trouble for what they have done. Oh and Sheriff Lamb has a serious competitor in the election. Who knows maybe Neptune can finally be a nice place?


Dislikes

  • The main case itself is kinda boring. The mystery is solved half way through the book, but since the evidences and the witnesses are a bit unreliable, the second half of the book is Veronica trying to prove that Mr Kiss and Tell is guilty of the crime. I personally prefer whodunnit mystery ala Agatha Christie, something that presents in the first book, so this book's mystery is not too appealing to me. But if that's your cup of tea, you will like it.
  • That's it! All the other aspects are good.


From what I've read in the Internets, Rob Thomas and the publishing house only signed a deal for two books. People are speculating about third and more books. Seeing all the reviews and Marshmallows' excitement over the movie and the book series, I'm quite sure that this is not the end of Veronica Mars. Perhaps Netflix would pick up a new series? Everything is possible, my friends. Everything is possible.

So, which ones of you are Marshmallows? High five!!!

Image via.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

A Letter to Everything

4 Apr 2015

Dear husband
Dear husband,
I'm opening this letter with one simple sentence for you: I love you. Those three words are exchanged for a gazillion times but I swear I mean it. I say it with more and more love everytime. This April, you're turning 25 (a quarter of century!) and the same day will mark our third year of saying 'I love you's. And I'm so very super glad to be able to call you 'my husband' this year. I love you (for the umpteenth time).

Dear Jess
Dear Jess,
You're fluffy and hyperactive and amazingly annoying and annoyingly amazing. Can you please lessen your nap time and spend the day cuddling and playing catch with me instead? I told my husband that I needed a cat to keep me company during the lonesome days when I was home and he was at work, but you're not helping at all! No, just kidding. You're entertaining even when you're asleep. I love your tail, baby.

Dear skin
Dear skin,
I'm 23 and a half this month, so can we break up with the breakout already? It was fine during my teenage years because although my friends had flawless skins and I was the only pimpled-faced kid in high school, I accepted it because that was normal during puberty. But I'm an adult now! I want to wear make up without pimples making my eyebrows look ridiculously uneven (what pimples pop out on eyebrows, anyway?). Please?

Dear April
Dear April,
I have high hopes for you. I must say that I miss sunny days when the skies are blue and cloudless. I miss those days when I can do my laundry and hang it out and then go nap-nap without worrying if it will rain. Please bring the sun out, April. I'm counting on you.

Dear readers,
We're having a long weekend for Easter here in Indonesia. I stay at home to avoid the traffic. (Trust me. The roads practically become parking lots because the vehicles are not moving. At all.) But I'm going to spend these days cuddling with my husband and my cat and also finishing Veronica Mars #2, so Weekend Links won't be up this weekend. It will be back next week. I hope your weekend is as relaxing as mine (if not more).

PS. I've created a new Facebook page for this blog. Give a girl a like? ;)

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook