Thank You and Good Bye, 2017!

29 Dec 2017

Skyscrapers in Jakarta 2017 | Hola Darla

By the time you're reading this post, I will be halfway through my trip round Java with my husband. We started planning this trip right before finding out about the pregnancy. Thank goodness that I'm already through the first trimester at the time of the trip. It ends up being some sort of babymoon for us, but that's a story for another post.

In 2017, I didn't write as many posts that I did last year, so I decided not to put a round up of links. Instead, I'm writing the thing that I am most grateful for this year: It's this baby inside my belly.

I hope everything goes smoothly and perfectly for us in 2018. I'm both excited and anxious about what changes 2018 (and the baby) will bring to our life!

Happy New Year, friends!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Dara's Thoughts on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

20 Dec 2017

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Movie Review | Hola Darla

It's been a year since our hearts were collectively broken by Rogue One and then by the news of Carrie Fisher's passing away. Has your heart been healed? I thought mine had, but then I watched The Last Jedi and saw that dedication and my gut got punched. Ouch!

Some spoilers below, so beware!

We're Having a Baby!

6 Dec 2017

14 Weeks Ramadhana Kecil Baby Announcement | Hola Darla

We are so excited to announce that Ramadhana Kecil is due in early June 2018!

I'm currently 14 weeks pregnant and finally back on my feet after being miserable for weeks of being nauseated 24/7. The first trimester was not fun at all, but at least the baby and I are both healthy + thriving and that's what really matters now.

Talk to you later, friends! xoxo

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

What's in My Everyday Bag (September 2017)*

29 Sep 2017

What's in My Bag September 2017 with Tokopedia cover | Hola Darla

Kalau kamu kenal aku di dunia nyata, kamu pasti tau kalau aku adalah orang terkepo sedunia (:p). Jadi, salah satu jenis postingan favoritku tiap liat blog orang lain adalah home tour, room tour, atau postingan kayak gini: what's in my bag, alias isi tas. Kepo banget kan? Hihihihi...

Aku udah beberapa kali bikin postingan isi tas sebelumnya (di antaranya adalah postingan ini dan ini), tapi seiring berjalannya waktu dan banyaknya perubahan di kehidupanku, isi tasku juga tentunya berevolusi. Kalau pas kuliah dulu aku masih suka bawa-bawa laptop ke mana-mana dan harus pakai tas yang agak besar, sekarang aku lebih milih pakai tas yang kecil. Kalau dulu aku suka dengan ransel, sekarang aku lebih suka pakai sling bag. I don't know, I guess I'm just getting older and start liking simpler things :')

What's in My Bag September 2017 with Tokopedia | Hola Darla

Anyhow... inilah barang-barang yang biasanya ada di dalam tasku yang mungil:

1. Planner - Karena sekarang siswa privatku lumayan banyak dan ada yang suka ubah-ubah jadwal, cuma nyusun jadwal dalam kepala jadi makin bikin pusing. Makanya sekarang aku punya planner khusus yang aku bawa ke mana-mana.
2. Novel - Kadang ada jeda waktu yang cukup banyak di sela-sela jadwal ngajar, jadi aku selalu bawa novel supaya bisa baca sambil nunggu waktu ngajar selanjutnya.
3. Dompet
4. Peralatan touch up - Makin ke sini aku makin males dandan, tapi yang tetap wajib dipakai adalah sunblock, bedak, eyeliner, dan lipstik (sebenernya aku gak suka pakai lipstik tapi berhubung mukaku akhir-akhir ini nampak pucat, jadi terpaksa dirajin-rajinin hahaha).
5. Kamera - Sekarang aku lebih suka bawa kamera saku ke mana-mana karena lebih ringkas dan ringan dibanding DSLR. Dan lebih praktis juga untuk quick shoot karena kamera saku kan sistemnya point and shoot jadi gak ribet. Kualitasnya memang jauh di bawah DSLR tapi kalau cuma untuk Instagram doang mah lumayan lah.
6. Charger dan power bank - Manusia jaman now memang gak bisa hidup tanpa listrik. Hihihihi...
7. Handphone dan wireless earphone - Dua lagi barang yang gak bisa dipisahkan dari kehidupan manusia jaman now xp

Segitu aja sih sebenernya. Kalau didaftar begini mah jadi keliatan banyak ya, padahal kalau udah masuk tas mah kayaknya dikit kok. Hehe

Terus, tasnya beli di mana? Nih ya sebagai manusia jaman now (aku gak suka istilah 'jaman now' tapi somehow jadi kebawa-bawa mulu di tiap percakapan, ugh!! *tutup muka*) kamu bisa langsung aja cari tas wanita di Tokopedia. Gak ribet, tinggal cari aja yang kamu suka, beli, dan tunggu tasnya diantar mamang kurir ekspedisi langsung ke tempat kamu. Kalau udah, jangan lupa posting tas kamu sama isinya apa aja di blog atau Instagram terus colek aku ya, aku kepo banget soalnya :p

PS. Udah cek model baju batik kombinasi brokat di Tokopedia juga belum?

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Hello Again!

26 Sep 2017

Hello Again | Hola Darla

Ah... well, this is embarrassing.

I never meant to stop blogging entirely for more than two months. That was never my intention. But then I went and did that. I have lots of things to say, but I couldn't seem to form them into words.

There's a lot happened in these two months. The highlight of them all is perhaps the one where Miku (my sister's cat) went missing and magically came home ten days later. My sister was miserable during those ten days, but I guess that's a story for another post.

In a few days, September will end and then October (the best of months because it's my birthday month!) will start. The beginning of the wet season has already creeping in between the last hot days of the dry season. I'm not ready yet to face the wet season but what can I do, eh?

I'm currently reading The Handmaid's Tale and loving it so far. The world gets scarier each day so I guess the story of The Handmaid's Tale feels even more real. For the first time in months, I don't have a pile of books to be read. The Handmaid's Tale is the last one. I've been waiting specifically for October to go book-shopping because I have a 20% discount voucher from Books and Beyond that can only be used in my birthday month.

So, in conclusion: October is my birthday month. Hahahahaha

Right. I'm gonna stop rambling now.

See ya! xx

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Thoughts on "Spider-Man: Homecoming"

22 Jul 2017

Spider-Man Homecoming art by Ryan Meinerding
When it was announced that Spider-Man would join the MCU, I was one of those people who got super excited. There had been too many memes circulating the internet about how poor Peter Parker didn't get to join the Avengers. When the news broke that Sony and Marvel were teaming up to create a new Spidey movie series as well as make Spidey join the Avengers, I was so happy and over the moon. But then the honeymoon phase was over and came the worries that this new Spider-Man man would not be as good as the first one (the one played by Tobey Maguire) or be as a mess as the second one (the one with Andrew Garfield). So I waited. Then, surprise! It was good!

Unlike the first two series, Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn't tell us in details how Peter got his powers. The film opens with Peter Parker on his way to Berlin to join Iron-Man's side on that Civil War climax scene and its aftermath, when Tony Starks tells him that he will keep in touch and assigns Happy as their middleman. But then days go by and Tony hasn't contacted Peter yet. His life goes on; school, hanging out with friends, and catching bad guys around his neighbourhood. He keeps trying to contact Tony but without success. One night he sees two men in the middle of a weapon trade. The weapon is high tech and obviously dangerous. He goes on to investigate them, even goes so far as following them onto a ferry ship, where everything goes wrong and he has to be saved by Iron-Man. Iron-Man tells him to stop investigating the weapon and causing harm to innocent people. He also takes the Spider-Man's suit. This leaves Peter devastated. He returns to his normal life and takes Liz (his crush) to the homecoming dance. But on the night of the dance he discovers the secret behind the man who invents the advanced weapons. It's a plot twist you wouldn't see coming and it's SO GOOD! (I won't tell you, obviously.)

Homecoming is another small-scale movie in the MCU, after Ant-Man. The story is very 'teenage-y' and no city destroyed, only small parts of it blown. It's refreshing to have one light movie in between all these kaboom-kaboom-cities-destroyed-innocent-people-are-killed movies. Is it better than the previous two series? Oh yes, absolutely! Like I said before, this movie is very teenager and the casts are suitable for playing high school students. The casts are also very diversed without putting any stereotype. I like that. We need that right now.

So if you haven't seen Homecoming yet, there's still a chance for you as it's still showing in your local cinemas. Go watch it!

A post shared by Dara Oct (@darlaoct) on

Image via.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Back from Mudik, to the Ordinary Life

15 Jul 2017

Bronjong Way Lima Pesawaran Lampung | Hola Darla
Hey, there. Did y'all miss me? Well I doubt that, but here I am! Back again to the blogging world!

So, this year's mudik journey wasn't as bad as the previous years'. We didn't get stuck in traffic jam. It was very smooth & we got to Lampung in less than 12 hours (this time we traveled from Bogor, not Bandung). Eid wasn't bad either. I got less question of "Have you got any child yet?" than last year hahah! It was a win because who doesn't dread those kinds of question, am I right?

Now I'm back to the normal life: morning reading, afternoon & night tutoring, cuddling with the cats, and all the likes. Last week we went to see Homecoming & although it wasn't The Amazing Spider-Man, it was an amazing Spider-Man movie (ha! :p) One review post coming up in a few days. Also, this month I won't do a Recent Reads post because I only finished one book! I can't say if it's good or bad, but at least it proved that I'm still able to give myself a break from that madness of my reading craze haha. I'll include that one book in next month's Recent Reads, along with the books I finish this month.

Alright, guys. I guess I'll see you around, then?

A post shared by Dara Oct (@darlaoct) on

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Eid Mubarak, Friends!

24 Jun 2017

Eid Mubarak | Hola Darla
Hi, Friends! Greetings from Pesawaran, Lampung. I've been staying at my in-laws' house since Wednesday afternoon. Eid is tomorrow & we're super excited! I wish all my Muslim friends a very blessed Eid. Happy holiday!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Wonder Woman Movie Review

16 Jun 2017

Wonder Woman Movie Review | Hola Darla
You might have been already sick of me saying how I don't like DC and how I'm more of a Marvel kind of girl. Remember how I fell asleep while in the movie theater watching Dawn of Justice? No, wait, I didn't write a review for Dawn of Justice, did I? Well, I guess no one is surprised that I enjoyed Wonder Woman, though. Yes, that's right. Wonder Woman is the first movie in the DCEU that didn't make me yawn. Not even once. Well done, ladies!
Wonder Woman Movie Review | Hola Darla
Set during the World War I, Wonder Woman is the best back story of a superhero so far (yep, even compared to those of Marvel's). Diana has been training her whole life to fight, but she lives in a peaceful, tropical island of Themyscira, so that made me wonder why and how she ends up fighting in the WWI. Turns out, Themyscira is located not too far from the war zone and is actually invisible in the middle of the sea unless you come sailing (or flying) right into the territory. Steve Trevor, an American spy working for the Brits, flies in a small plane and crashes into the sea near the coast of Themyscira. Luckily, Diana spots him as she is running from her mother while crying near a cliff on the beach (cheesy yet classy LOL). She saves him from drowning, but the fleet that is pursuing him soon arrives at the beach and a fight breaks between the German soldiers and the Amazons. The Amazons kill all of the soldiers and Steve is brought to the palace and interrogated using the Lasso of Truth (kind of like Veritaserum but more practical). He tells them about the war. Diana believes that the war is caused by Ares (the god of war). She steals the Godkiller sword and leaves Themyscira with Steve. Believing that Ares disguises himself as a German general, Ludendorff, Diana goes to the front line, accompanied by her squad (#squadgoals, everyone!)
Wonder Woman #squadgoals | Hola Darla
Okay. At this point, you must have heard a lot of good things about Wonder Woman, so I don't even know how to put it. I just... really, really love this movie! I had high hopes before watching it because everyone on Twitter said it was gonna be awesome, and also everything about Wonder Woman screams "GIRL POWER!" and "FEMINISM!" and you know what? It is good. It is awesome. I won't compare it again to the previous movies in DCEU because it won't do them justice; heck, I won't even compare it to any other movies because Wonder Woman is in a whole different league. Everything else will find it hard to compete because Wonder Woman has set the bar sky high (I'm looking at you, Marvel!)

So, if you haven't watched it... why? It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to the mankind. You don't want to miss it. Go watch it! Go, go, go!

All images are from IMDb.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Recent Reads: May

9 Jun 2017

Recent Reads: May | Hola Darla
I successfully slowed down my reading pace in May, yay! Only three books added to my read list. May was kinda busy for me because it was still exams season. Then Ramadan came along and so I didn't as much time to read as I did in the previous months. May felt like a cleanse for my reading addiction and I'm happy about it, honestly :)

Okay, so here are the three books I read in May:

1. Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens | Hola Darla The next book from the Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series. In Murder and Mistletoe, Daisy and Hazel are on their Christmas break. They are visiting Daisy's brother in Cambridge. But as usual, trouble seems to always be able to find them. A string of accidents happens to an heir just a few days before he turns 21, which is on Christmas. Our detectives race with time to find the culprit before the accidents turn into something fatal. Just like the other books in this series, Murder and Mistletoe is very fun to read. Both Daisy and Hazel have matured a bit more compared to themselves in the first book. There are also teenage crushes, which is very cute. Another thing I like about Robin Stevens is that she doesn't shy away from writing about same sex relationships/crushes in her books, even though the setting is in the early 20th century, when same sex relationships were still a taboo and not accepted by the society. It's quite refreshing. Like I mentioned in my previous Recent Reads post, I already have another book in the series, Creambuns and Crimes, but I haven't got around to that. Soon!

2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Hola Darla
I was very late to the Red Queen party, but here I am. I've read praises for this series from book bloggers I follow, so it had been sitting in my TBR list for quite a long time before I decided to start reading it. Red Queen is about a world divided by the colour of the people's blood; there are the red people (commoners) and the silver people (people with superpowers, thus have higher class). Mare Barrow is a red, but in an incident, it is revealed that she has silver power. It surprises the king and queen because there has been no such thing happened before. She is taken under the crown's wing, given a false silver identity, and betrothed to a prince. Things, of course, go south. Mare is divided between the two world; her old life, family, and friends, or her new life as a future princess. I got bored halfway through, because the pace is very slow, but I managed to finish it in May. The story is interesting, actually, despite its slowness. The twist is quite predictable, but still delivered in a good way. I already have the next book in the series, Glass Sword, and it's next on my TBR list.

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn | Hola Darla
Camille Parker returns to her hometown and stays in her mother's house for a few days to cover the story of the murder of two young girls, whose teeth have both been removed by the murderer. She meets a lot of people from her past life there, including her teenage half-sister whom she hadn't seen for years. Since the local police are not very helpful, Camille must go around town looking for clues by herself. But as the mystery unfolded, the past Camille has long forgotten about is starting to unfold too. Gillian Flynn sure knows how to write. Her description is very vivid and also gross and it made me shiver. I had to take a break while I was reading a part where a rape is being vividly described. But man, the story is so, so good. The twist is very unpredictable; it leaves me gaping but also satisfied. It's the perfect ending for the story. You have to read it if you haven't!


Part of the reason why I didn't read many books last month is perhaps because I find it hard to finish Fallout by Gwenda Bond. I started reading in mid May and I haven't finished it now. I don't know why I read it very slowly. It's quite good so far. I don't know much about her character in the comic books, but Lois Lane in this book is smart and sassy, almost similar to Veronica Mars. Reading it has been a struggle for me, but I'm determined to finish it as soon as possible because I already have two books in queue (and I've been eyeing some other books to buy haha!)
Lois Lane Fallout by Gwenda Bonds | Hola Darla
See you in the next Recent Reads!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

TV Shows I'm Currently Obsessed With

23 May 2017

With the exams season over and the finals week not starting until next month, I've been pretty much unemployed right now. In order to tone down my reading-craze a bit, I've been watching quite a lot of TV shows. Here are four TV shows I'm currently obsessed with:

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A mutual on Tumblr got super obsessed with this show that he couldn't stop reblogging all Brooklyn Nine-Nine gifsets. I kept seeing the gifsets that I finally got sick of them and decided to watch the show. I got hooked instantly. This show is so hilarious! It tells the story of a detective squad from the 99th precinct of NYPD. They are all good detectives with unique personalities. Police procedural has always been my favourite genre, and with almost all my fave police shows already got canceled (Motive, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, etc.) this comedy has become #1 on my list.

2. Superstore

Superstore is a workplace comedy set in a hypermarket called Cloud9. I've never worked in retail. but from what I've read working retail can be very stressful. Superstore tells the comedic side of said stressful job. It also makes fun of the corporate and how badly they treat their employees. Season 2 was concluded earlier this month with a tragic episode which is a mixture of hilarious and heartbreaking.

3. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

This show has always been on my list of favourite TV shows, although I have mixed feeling about it. The first half of this season (the Ghost Rider arc) was very boring and I stopped watching at episode 6. But then I decided to start watching again near the end of the season and I must say that the second half of the season (the crazy robot aka LMD aka AIDA arc) is fantastic! I feel that the show has drifted too far away from the whole MCU, but the last scene in the season finale (is it a cliffhanger, I'm not sure) hinted that perhaps the next season will have a direct link to the upcoming Infinity War? Let's just see.

4. Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I know a lot of people hate Keeping Up with the Kardashians (and the family altogether), but it's a show that's so ridiculous that you can get so attached to it, get it? Hahah... I hadn't really watched this show, but a few months ago E! Channel aired a marathon of season 12 right before season 13 premiered and I can't stop watching since. I like them, they're kind of funny.

There are several series already on my list that I haven't started watching yet (e.g. Sense8, Iron Fist, etc.) and there are also series premiering their new seasons next month. But Ramadan is starting in 3 days so I'm very conflicted between watching these shows or devoting myself to ibadah hahahaha :p

What are your favourite TV shows?

Image from 1/2/3/4

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


20 May 2017

Dara (@darlaoct) on Instagram
The wet season has finally ended abruptly, and just like that, the dry season starts. We haven't had rain for almost a week now. It's very common every year that the rain suddenly stops when Ramadan arrives. We'll start the fasting month about a week from now. The beginning of the month is also a four day weekend so the traffic in Bandung is going to be waaayy more crowded. But hey, at least it's going to be fun. It's Ramadan!
Dara (@darlaoct) on Instagram
Speaking of which, I've been doing this campaign for Bearbrand on my Instagram account. Check it out!

Aside of that, life has been pretty much the same as usual: reading, tutoring, binge watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine (more of that coming soon on a blog post), some more reading, rinse and repeat. My orders from Book Depository came yesterday and I'm going to read even more. This craziness hasn't stopped. I'm done with my 2017 Reading Challenge earlier this month. I've become a monster hahahaha!
Dara (@darlaoct) on Instagram
Dara (@darlaoct) on Instagram
Also, I've been avoiding the news, especially on Twitter. The world is crazy. My country is crazy. It seems like everything triggers my anxiety. I've been spending more time on Tumblr instead, reblogging cat videos and memes (are we friends there?). Someday I'm going to toughen up and face the world, but today is not that day.
Dara (@darlaoct) on Instagram
Anyone feeling the same?

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

11 May 2017

Due to me and my husband living in different cities now, it has become quite hard for us to go to movie premieres. I had planned to go visit him on the premiere day of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 so we could watch together, but life happened and we ended up watching it on the weekend. It was fine, though, because our country got to see the movie earlier than most of other countries (including the US), so I still think that's a win(?)

So anyway... In this second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the team is already fully established as 'the guardians'. At the beginning of the movie, they are on a mission of protecting the Sovereign's batteries from a monster who is trying to stole them. They succeed and in turn of their service, the Sovereign hand Nebula over to them. She had become a prisoner after trying to steal the batteries. The Guardians then flee, but unbeknownst to the rest of them, Rocket stole some of the batteries. On their way home, they are attacked by the Sovereign's fleet but they are saved by a stranger. Turns out, the stranger is Peter Quill's estranged father, Ego the Living Planet. He asks Peter to come home with him to his planet. Peter is skeptic at first, but Gamora convinces him, so Peter, Gamora, and Drax go with Ego while Rocket, Baby Groot, and Nebula are left to fix their broken ship. The Sovereign is still looking for them and they recruit Yondu and his crew to find the Guardians. But then Yondu's crew betray him and a mutiny breaks out. Yondu, Rocket, Baby Groot, and Kraglin (one of Yondu's loyal men) team up to escape, while the rest of the Guardians find out who Ego really is and what he really wants.

While Volume 2 is not a huge disappointment, I honestly still like Volume 1 much better. This movie suffers from the 'personal story' syndrome, something that has become quite a trend lately (I read about it somewhere but can't find the link to the article). The visual effects, the jokes, and the characters are perfect, but the story is a little bit off. Also, I haven't read any Guardians of the Galaxy comic books, but I've read in a forum discussion that Peter Quill's father in the comic books is not Ego the Living Planet, so maybe I should find out why the writer decided so. And I'm very curious how the Guardians will fit in the upcoming Avengers movie! Anybody else feels the same way?

All in all, I'm giving this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Image via.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Recent Reads: April

8 May 2017

Recent Reads: April | Hola Darla
I'm changing the title of the monthly Books I Finished In... post into the shorter and catchier Recent Reads. So, here it is... Recent Reads: April.

My books purchase is under control, at least for now hahah! I only impulsively bought one book, the others were planned purchases. I'm limiting myself to read one book per week, so in April I finished these five books:

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens | Hola Darla
It's a good thing that there are quite a lot of books in this series because I like it very much. I hope Robin Stevens is planning to keep writing and producing more and more books in this series, like Agatha Christie did with all her detectives and sleuths. In this book, the girls are back again in the Deepdean School. Someone is murdered and secrets of older students are out. The Detective Society has grown quite bigger than in the previous books, so Daisy and Hazel are not alone in solving these two cases. I must say that this book is kinda scary compared to the previous ones in the series. The victim is a student and two students also go missing, so the girls are actually involved instead of being the outsiders looking in. I like this book very much, maybe even more than the previous ones I've read.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | Hola Darla
In A Study in Charlotte, we are introduced to Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, the direct descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson who happen to be the same age and go to the same boarding school (though it's a setup done by Jamie's father). A student is murdered and the clues point to the two of them, so they have to solve the mystery while avoiding being arrested for the murder they didn't do. Every book blogger I follow praises this book. Unfortunately, the bookshops in Bandung and Jakarta don't have it so I had to order it online and wait patiently for it to arrive for almost a month (international shipping is so ugh!). It's so worth the wait! Although it's weird to read that Holmes and Watson are romantically involved (I'm not a JohnLock shipper, sorry...), I like the characters. I like Charlotte's personality and Jamie's rage (is that bad? Lol). I also like Jamie's relationship with his estranged father and his new family. I'm currently waiting for the paperback version of the second book to be available in Book Depository.

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah | Hola Darla
Why would a rich children books author change her will to leave everything to her dying secretary instead of her two children? The reason might surprise you for a second and make you roll your eyes immediately after. It's very silly. While I like the majority of the characters in A Study in Charlotte, I hate everyone in Closed Casket. Nobody is likable. The case itself is good and very Agatha Christie-ish, but the characters are awful. Yes, that's including the Hercule Poirot.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty | Hola Darla
Big Little Lies shows us how our action can change other people's lives forever. It's heartbreaking but also quite funny. With the HBO series finale getting praises everywhere on the internet, I became very curious about this book. I decided to read the book first before watching the show. I've been looking for adult books to read because every book I've read is YA and Big Little Lies won my heart right after I finished reading the very first page. I really like it! I'm definitely going to read more books by Liane Moriarty.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | Hola Darla
When someone kills themselves, we may never know and understand what drives them to do that. But before she committed suicide, Hannah recorded cassette tapes and set them to be sent around the thirteen people responsible for her actions after her death. This book was also bought by me because of the words about the Netflix show going around on the internet. Some people like it, others say it's sending the wrong message. But I must say the book is very good and well written. It's a quick read, I finished it in less than a day, but it left a huge hole in my heart. I cried halfway into reading it. It's very heartbreaking. But I read somewhere that the show has several differences from the book. I haven't seen it but I will when I get the time. It's Netflix, so I'm probably going to finish the whole show in one seating.


Whoa, that's still quite a lot of books, isn't it? Haha... But I'm taking it veeeeeeryyyyy slow this month. I'm currently reading two books, Red Queen and the next installment in the Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series, Mistletoe and Murder. I started Red Queen in March but I'm still halfway through it. I started Mistletoe and Murder last week but I haven't finished either.
Currently Reading: Early May | Hola Darla
What about you? What have you read lately? Give me book recommendations! ;)

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Anda Pencinta Trekking? Inilah 5 Tempat Wisata yang Sangat Patut Anda Jelajahi!

5 May 2017

Menjelajahi alam memang selalu menantang dan memberikan sensasi yang menyenangkan. Mendaki gunung, melewati lembah, mengikuti jalan setapak alami, serta menyibakkan dedaunan merupakan pengalaman yang tidak dapat digantikan dengan suatu apa pun. Selain itu, pengalaman bertemu hewan-hewan yang tidak biasa Anda lihat tentu menjadi suatu hal yang tidak terlupakan.

Bagi Anda yang tengah berwisata di kota Bogor, 5 tempat wisata berikut ini harus Anda coba untuk melakukan trekking yang santai bersama keluarga.

Messy Home Tour

3 May 2017

A home tour blog post is like one of the most popular posts that every single blogger from every single niche seems to do. Pinterest is most likely to be blamed. I mean, who doesn't go swoooooonnnn whenever they browse Pinterest and seeing all the pretty home decors, am I right? So, writing a home tour post has always been in my mind since I started blogging in 2009. Eight years later, I still haven't done it. My house has abundant natural light and it will certainly look good if only I have the creativity (and also the money and the patience) to decor it like those rooms on Pinterest. Also, my house never seems to be tidy enough to be photographed and shared to the whole blogoland. So, while I was trying (so hard!) to tidy up, I got this silly idea to just take pictures of these messy rooms and created this post!
Messy Home Tour: Living Room | Hola Darla

Books I Finished in March

13 Apr 2017

Books I Finished in March - Hola Darla
My husband reminded me to start controlling my spending on books because I spent almost 1m for books alone last month! Isn't that crazy? He keeps sending mixed signals, though, because he's actually the devil behind it all. Whenever we are in the bookstore he's all like "Just buy it!" every time I touch a book. I hate him! (Also I love him for that LOL)

So, anyway... Here are five books I read in March:

Agatha Christie's Witness of Prosecution - Hola Darla
I normally loathe it when a good book gets its movie/TV cover, but this one literally caught my eyes right when I walked into the bookstore (they're so damned smart at displaying!) I regret buying this book because as I read on I realised half way that I actually had read all the stories. Compulsive book shopping is not good, kids!

2. 20 Cerita Detektif Diambil dari Majalah Bobo: Lukisan yang Dapat Mencuri
20 Cerita Detektif dari Majalah Bobo - Hola Darla
For Indonesian 90's kids, Majalah Bobo is a part of our childhood. It's a kids magazine with short stories, comics, science articles, etc. This book is a compilation of 20 detective stories taken from Majalah Bobo. I've been thinking about writing stories for children, so I read this book for inspirations. All of them are actually quite simple but I can see that children will get absorbed to the stories. I love all the stories!

3. Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries Series by Robin Stevens
Robin Steven's Murder Most Unladylike Series - Hola Darla
Oh my god this series! I'm so so SO in love with these books. I was looking for A Study in Charlotte at the bookstore when I saw these colourful books on display (again, they're so smart!) They didn't have A Study in Charlotte so I picked one of these colourful books to read the synopsis on the back cover. Turns out, it's a detective series too. It's about two school girls who form a detective society and solve murders together. I bought the first one of the series (the blue one), took it home, and finished it in 6 days. Then I bought the second one (the green one) and finished it in 2 days! I also finished the third one (orange) in 2 days. I was obsessed, okay?


That is all for March. As for this month, I've already finished two books so far. I'm currently reading two books and yesterday two more books I ordered online had arrived on my doorstep. It's gonna be a busy month!

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Saat Jual Kaos Kaki Bayi Perempuan Online, Dapatkan Perhatian Para Ibu Terlebih Dulu!*

24 Mar 2017

Sebagai insan yang gemar membelanjakan uang, wanita memang sepertinya mempunyai daya tarik tersendiri untuk pelaku bisnis, apalagi ibu-ibu. Termasuk di dalamnya adalah pebisnis e-commerce. Wanita memiliki sikap belanja yang berbeda dengan kaum adam, contohnya untuk aksesoris buah hati mereka seperti kaos kaki bayi perempuan. Cara belanja wanita sudah pasti menimbulkan tanda tanya bagaimana cara agar bisa memuaskan dahaga belanja mereka. Ketika kepuasan belanja sudah mereka raih, pasti mereka akan terus menjadikan Anda sebagai tempat belanjanya.

This is what life looks/feels like lately

20 Mar 2017

Dara at Kedai Seni Djakarta | Hola Darla
It's been almost 2 months that Afief and I live separately. He landed a new job in Jakarta and had to move there immediately, while I still have to stay here in Bandung because I still need to teach my students at least until SBMPTN (uni entrance test, which is around May/June).

Everything happened so fast. Afief left his previous job on October and had been freelancing for a project with a community from Australia. All the while, he had been interviewed by this company several times since December. By the end of January, he had had about five interviews with them but still no news about whether he was going to be hired or not. And then, on Friday, 3 February, he got an email from them, saying that he was accepted and he would start on Monday, 6 February. So we went to Jakarta on Saturday to find him a place to stay and he moved there on Sunday. Just like that and I've lived alone since.
Empty bed | Hola Darla
Little Ungil | Hola Darla
I must admit that I've always wanted to live alone since junior high. But since I went to a uni in town, I didn't move out of my parents' house. And then just a few months after graduation, I got married and moved in with Afief, so I had never really lived alone. I adjusted to this solo living quite well, though. But it gets lonely sometimes, especially when I come home late after night tutoring and there are just cats greeting me at the door. There are nights I want to cuddle, but there's only Chop-Chop (the other two are not cuddlers) and then Ungil comes and bugs Chop-Chop to the point that he goes out of the house for the rest of the night :(
Argo Parahyangan Kelas Ekonomi AC | Hola Darla
Old carriages in Purwakarta Railway Station | Hola Darla
We visit each other every weekend. We take turns; last week was my turn to visit him in Jakarta, so this week is his turn to visit me here in Bandung. So, there have been a lot of solo train rides. Long distance relationship is expensive haha! But we will survive. It's only temporary and I'm joining him in Jakarta later this year. We only need to figure things out about where we are going to live in, because surely we can't live in a small room with three cats (I'm not going to give them up!) so we need to find a house. And finding a house in Jakarta won't be easy. All fingers are crossed and all prayers are sent.

Dara | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Tentang Hijab Instan*

12 Mar 2017

Beli Aneka Hijab Instan di Tokopedia | Hola Darla
Dari dulu, aku emang gak suka ribet. Pengennya segala sesuatu cepet beres, cepet selesai, gak bertele-tele & to the point aja. Sampe udah gede gini pun ternyata aku masih gak suka ribet. Boro-boro contouring, nyisir aja kadang enggak. Untung pake hijab. (JOROK!!! :p)

Books I Finished in February

8 Mar 2017

Books I Finished in February - Hola Darla
The reading craze still continues, friends! In February, I read another four books. I'm way ahead of my 2017 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I even edited it; I changed my goal from reading 12 books this year to reading 20 books. I'm halfway there & super excited. The last time I read this crazily was in 2012, I guess? I don't know. I may have never even read 12 books in a year. So, let's do this!

These are the four books I read last month:

1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Hola Darla
I received this book a few months ago for the Travelling Novel Challenge. The pace is very slow that I eventually stopped reading after page 20-ish. I like Shirley Jackon's short story, The Lottery, that I read for a class in college, but reading her longer writing is kind of painful for me (maybe I'm just dumb haha). She took her time to describe everything in such minute details while the main plot itself is actually quite brief. I also found it hard for me to imagine the time and place setting; is it in America or England, 1800s or 1900s? (Again, maybe I'm just dumb.) I also failed to identify the climax. The novel seems to just end right there. Overall, this novel isn't for me.

2. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Dash & Lily's Books of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Hola Darla
I really like Rachel Cohn & David Levithan's another collaboration, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and I also like its movie adaptation (starring Michael Cera & Kat Dennings, so I had been wanting to read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares for years. The imported books shops in my city never have it in stock, so when I found out that a translated version of this book has been released, I bought it immediately. Just like Nick & Norah's, Dash & Lily's is a simple & sweet story about girl meets boy in a silly setting. Lily is bored during the holidays & his brother suggests that she leaves a journal in a bookshop. The journal, filled with clues & dares, is found by Dash, who decides to take the dare. The journal goes back and forth between the two of them & when they finally meet... nope, they don't instantly fall in love with each other. Haha! Go read it. You're gonna like it ;)

3. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini - Hola Darla
I first found out about this novel when I watched its movie adaptation. I read several pages of the ebook (which I pirated... oops!) The story is about a teenage boy who has depression and suicidal thoughts. When he almost jumps off a bridge, he decides that he needs help & then he checks himself in to a mental ward in a hospital. Since I liked it, I decided to order a printed copy. Right after I ordered this book, I found out that the author, Ned Vizzini, committed suicide a few years ago. It broke my heart. And it certainly made the book have deeper meaning and more authentic. Mental health is something that people in my country don't really pay attention to; even I used to think that people who commit suicide is stupid. I was very, very wrong. More people should read this book to open their mind.

4. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Hola Darla
(Technically, I finished this book just a few minutes after midnight on March 1, but... whatever!) I didn't really know about Terry Pratchett, but I've read Neil Gaiman's Coraline in junior high & really liked it. Good Omens was one of the book that I started reading for a readalong with the NovelTea Book Club, but I didn't finish it & completely forgot about it. I finally got around to continue reading it last month. It's very funny! It's a story about the several days before what is supposed to be the armageddon, but because of some errors made by both the 'good' & 'evil' the armageddon plan becomes hilariously flawed. The story relies heavily with Christian versions of the apocalypse, but I'm quite familiar with Christian myths (I like myths from different religions and beliefs; they're fun readings). If you're not, the book might be a bit confusing, but the footnotes help (or not? :p) & you can just find everything else in Wikipedia.


It's halfway through March & I've already read two books. I'm on my third one right now, but I have this project with a deadline around the corner, so I may read less this month. It makes me sad. I guess I've become an addict at this point!

Hi, I'm Dara, and I'm a book addict.

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