Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reality hits: Everybody's moved on.  Everybody... except for me :).  It finally hits me in a real way.  It's like there's an untapped part of my brain, my memory, my heart, that's been rerouting all facts, and avoiding all truth, that has finally seen the light.

There's this hope that as long as I keep holding on, everything is possible, and I won't have to deal with the pain of letting go something that was never mine to hold.  I wanted to avoid the pain, so instead I dealt with the suffering.  Suffering of being in limbo.  Never truly faced my fears.

I decided to surrender.  To let go.  To let myself move on.  To free myself.

There's been lotsa "reminder" this past week.  Everything resonates that sometimes things happen in life and they're not what you really want.  But you gotta accept it.  Go with the flow.  Let go.  And everything is gonna work out.  Whether is to what you want to happen or not... everything always works out.  Live always goes on and you'll learn to be adapt to reality.  Whatever might come.

I'm the one resenting change.  I'm the one refused to let go.

I'm the one who chooses to forget everything I've learned during my travels.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Help Save SFBI

I first set foot at SFBI back in October 2009.  How my life has changed since then.  From a one week class, to six months internship, to one year of employment, and the list goes on.  

I think it is very important to surround yourself with people with passion, dream, and the drive to do what it takes and share that knowledge with you.  SFBI has been the place that first opened the door for me to explore my passion.  It is filled with people who shares the same interest and who are willing to share it with me.  It is not just a work place for me, as I have gone through so many things with it.  I went through the lowest point of my life when I was working there, and found supports from all the people who I am proud to call friends.  

I've met people from all over the world during my employment there.  Everyone who has attended SFBI would vouch that it is a great school.  Baking is not like any other type of work.  It requires practice, perseverance, passion, attention to details, and many others.... At SFBI, students are not restricted to the typical Monday thru Friday, 8 am - 12 pm.  I remember my most favorite day to work was always Saturdays.  That is not an official school day, but students would always come in on Saturdays to practice on their skills.  They choose the items they would like to work on and they do it on their free time.  And that is made possible by SFBI because they don't shut down their doors or limit access from their students on their off days.  That's one of the things I love the most about SFBI, among other things.  Even as an intern and employee, I was always encouraged to create, try new things, and explore my creativity.  Where else could a newbie get such opportunities?

The news came today thru the grapevine that SFBI is in jeopardy of being shut down due to some licensing issue on the state board. I still can't believe it.  It is supposed to happen effective immediately.  That means the door will be shut by January 1st.  It would be such a shame if SFBI have to close its door. It would be a loss to the industry and to future bakers and pastry chefs...

So help keep SFBI open.  Sign the petition.  Share the link.  Spread the word.

It'll take you 30 seconds to sign the petition and another 30 to share it.  Help keep my home away from home stay open. Help my friends keep their jobs.  And help future bakers and chefs to learn the way I have learned.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

living live to the fullest.. not.

I really haven't been myself lately.  I'm not sure what it is... Winter?  The rain and cold weather? Graveyard shift?  Mercury retrograde? Or maybe just the realization that I've managed to run away for the past two years and now I can't run away anymore?

I think it's Mercury retrograde.

The past few weeks have just been exhausting.  I really haven't been myself.  And I miss me.

I think I know what I need to let go.  I think I know but it's so hard to do.

If I let go, would things get better?

I miss sunny skies...
I miss the simpler days...
I miss me...
I miss...

Monday, December 3, 2012


There's no escaping life.

You can leave, but you have to deal with everything eventually.  Sooner or later.  Tho it is easier to postpone and take a break from reality.

Sooner or later, you'll have to deal with the pieces of the shattered glass.

It's time to grow up. Tho the kid inside is resisting to do so.  She still wants to play in the rain.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Usher, your song and your dance moves blow my mind :).  

They say life is a battlefield
I say bring it on

If you wanna know how I feel
Live it till it's gone
I'm just saying that what don't kill
Only makes you strong

If you don't recognize what is real
Then forever is a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long

Time, some things never change here we go again
Feel like i'm losing my mind
Shake it up, let it go I don't care anymore
Just go numb
You never know until you let go
Let's go numb

I can feel you now

Keep on doing the same old thing
And you expecting change
Well is that really insanity

Or just a losers' game
I only trust in the things I feel
Some may say that's strange
You better recognize what is real
Cause forever is a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long

Time, some things never change here we go again
Feel like i'm losing my mind
Shake it up, let it go I don't care anymore
Just go numb
You never know until you let go
Let's go numb

I can feel you now
I can feel you now
I can feel you now
I can feel you now

But you can't feel it till you're numb

Shake it off, let it go I don't care anymore

I can feel you now
I can feel you now
I can feel you now

Can you feel it?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

in between gratitude and balance

Yin and yang is one of my favorite symbols.  It's a reminder that in darkness there's always light and vise versa.  It's my way of telling myself that it's okay to once in a while fall off the wagon of gratitude and balance.

It's good when I have a sense of control.  But it's all really just an illusion because in live everything is uncertain.  And in the middle of all these uncertainty, I feel a kick of fear.  A sense of self doubt.  What if I can't deliver up to the standard that is expected of me?

"Do not feed on insecurities.  It will consume you" -unknown

It would be nice to have a hand to hold in times like this.

Thoughts are contagious.  Both negatives and positives spread like viruses.  I'd like to maintain the positives and I've managed to do that most of the times.  But alas,  it's time to yet again face my fear.

Friday, November 16, 2012


This word has been stuck in my mind ever since I came back to chilly bay area: "PHASE".

There's so many different phases in life.  It's fascinating.  People go through phases in different pace.  Some people experienced so much at younger ages that they become mature early on their years.  Others have peaceful start in their youth [like me!] and it takes them much longer before they truly experience live.  Some argue that you have to be at a certain phase in your life once you reach a certain age.  I certainly don't live my life that way.  

I think my whole life I have been discontent.  I'm not saying that I wasn't a grateful, happy person.  That I am.  But at the same time, there's always this constant need for acceptance; for society's approval for me to convince myself that I am awesome.  I need constant support from the world outside to tell me that I'm doing just fine.  It's always been like that.  And I'm sure I'm not the only one, whether you want to admit it or not.  I grew up in a society where everybody judge each other; constantly "helping" each other by telling them what they're doing is wrong if it doesn't follow the regular unwritten standard of living. It's a habit of constant giving and receiving judgement.  It's not "wrong" per se, but this habit prevents the actual self to show itself.  We masked our personality so much with what everybody think we should be.  

Last summer was truly something.  It's a phase.  I dunno if it's the traveling, the meditation, yoga practices.... or maybe it's just time.  But one morning I woke up, and I no longer need that.  I can honestly say now that "your opinion matters, but not that much."  I truly do enjoy my own company and like the person that I am.  Not to say that I'm anti social.. no way.. I love being around people, but I no longer need the constant companion and approval.   

Being out there, seeing so many beautiful things, seeing what others are dealing with their lives, brings everything into perspective.  Everything could be so much worse.  I travel.  I have a great family who loves me more than anything in the world.  I have a roof over my head, blanket to keep me warm. I even have a car, a smartphone, a job waiting for me upon my return.  Sure I went through some difficult times. But who doesn't?

People actually really don't need much in their lives to be happy.  We are surrounded with abundance! It's just a matter of perspective.  If you think you don't have enough, you will never have enough.  

Back to the whole "phase" thing... sometimes people meet in different phases of their lives.  And it seems unfortunate but it's unavoidable because we go by our own pace.  I saw this quote the other day that I really like: "What's meant to be will always find its way" -unknown.

And it will.  Just like everything else in life ;).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

big girls don't cry

Great parents are those that allow their kids to dream.  To do whatever their hearts desire.

Great parents are the ones that say "Go for it.  Put on your best effort.  If you succeed I'll be there for you.  If you fail, I'll be there for you."

Great parents never stop believing in their kids.

Great parents never stop being parents. They treat their grown-up kids as if they're still babies.

Great parents make their kids want to be better each and every day.

Great parents have healing touches.  They heal all kinds of wounds: battle scars, tummy aches, cold... and even heart ache.

The greatest parents are my parents.

I love them the most.  Without them I wouldn't be who I am today.

Big girls don't usually cry.  But there's always exceptions to the rule.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happiness is the way

*found a little hummingbird inside this cute little flower* 

I found a complete version of one of my favorite quotes :)

“There is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way.
So, treasure every moment that you have.
And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special.

And remember that time waits for no one.
So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school,
Until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds,
Until you have kids, until your kids leave the house,
Until you start work, Until you retire,
Until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night,
Until Saturday morning, until you get a new car or home,
Until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer ,
Until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth,

Until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink,
Until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again,
To decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy
Happiness is a journey, not a destination

Work like you don’t need the money,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
And dance like no one’s watching.
” Author Unknown

I like this quote even more now :).  
It's almost time to go home... bittersweet again.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

power of the mind

Do you believe in the power of your own thoughts?  I do.

Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.  
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. - Unknown

A thought is like a tiny seed that ignites everything.  Before you can grow out a limb, you must have roots, and before there is a root, there's a seed [sounds like something from the movie inception, eh?].

Twice I have vividly experienced amazing "coincidences" when things just sorta "happened" perfectly  in a magical way.  Both happened when I was pursuing something that I have always wanted, and both were the best moments of my life.

First was when I went to OZ early this year.  I had always wanted to go, and the fear to just do it was always in the way.  Until one day I finally decided to just go.

It happened again quite recently on my trip to Ubud.

*Yoga Barn's Entrance*

Since I started practicing yoga, I have always wanted to go on a yoga retreat.  It was a last minute decision, strongly questioned by everyone around me.  A girl traveling alone is always perceived as being uncommon in Indonesia, mostly for safety reasons.  But just like last time, things just... happened. Ubud Aura, the little cottage I stayed at, was the loveliest place.  Quaint and tranquil.  Yoga Bard next door is superb.  And here's the twist... unknowingly and unplanned, my aunt happened to be taking a yoga instructor certification in the same town. I found that out after I've arrived in Bali. But what are the odds that the place where she's practicing at was exactly the same one that I was going to?  She was literally practicing next door from my hotel room, and she was living within walking distance.  So of course we hung out every single night.  It was so nice to be able to catch up with her.  She even took me to a local residence and I was able to really submerge with the locals.  So it was, yet again, one of the most amazing experiences in my life.

*Yoga Barn's walkway to studios*

*view from my room at Ubud Aura*

Come to think of it... it hadn't just happened twice... it had happened over and over again, I just never really noticed it because everything happened so naturally...

Your thoughts are the architect of your destiny. -David O. McKay

We are formed and molded by our thoughts.  Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act.  Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them. -Buddha

I'm not writing this to brainwash people or to convince anybody about the power of your mind.  It's merely a reminder to myself on how wonderful things could happen when I follow my deepest desire and just let go.  Sometimes it's not so easy.  Sometimes my mind gets so cluttered with so many thoughts, so many fears, so many what ifs....   I'm afraid to deal with things that I cannot control... like other people's feelings, emotions, thoughts.  Every now and then, I need to remind myself:


Whatever happens, everything is going to be alright.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

a little bit on love...

Love is the most powerful thing.  I believe that pure, unconditional love can defeat anything:  fear, doubts, sadness,  anger... anything.

I'm so happy that I was able to attend my cousin's wedding.  It's good to be surrounded by love ;).  Here's a reading I like a lot from my cousin's wedding:

Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies.  We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.

For love is the creator of our favorite memories, and the foundation of our fondest dreams.  Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places.  and this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all -- one known only by those who love. -Dwi S.

Sometimes when a relationship comes to an end, we questioned if love is worth all the pain... but I'm realizing that for me, it is.  Because it is not love that's causing the pain, it's the ego of not being able to be with the one we love.  It's the ego that cannot accept that maybe it's just not meant to be and that you just have to let go.

By letting go it all gets done.  The world is won by those who let go.  But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.  -Lao Tzu

The most important thing is that for every failed relationship, we take the best out of it.  There's a reason our paths crossed, and while they're crossed we've shared some great moments together.  Live is all about learning, and thru experiences is the only way that the universe can teach us.

Now I know that I should always talk it out.  I need to be more honest about my feelings to myself so I don't end up not realizing how I truly felt until it's too late.  And I just watched Glee and I'm realizing that all these dramas typically happened when people are in high school or collages!!  Well, lessons learned are still lessons learned.  Better late than never! ;-p

I miss you still tho... but I'm sure someday we'll meet again.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nature vs Nurture and Everything in Between

Nature brought me here.  Just like a tree in a vast big forest, each one is uniquely its own.  I am. As I look inside more and more, I'm becoming more aware of a different side of me that has been idly watching.

Nurture taught me right from wrong.  The blueprint in life.  Story books, fairy tales, and cultural habits that built ideas and believes on how live is supposed to be lived.  But who decide that that's how it's supposed to be?  And why do I have to conform with whoever it is that decided that it is how it is?  Who says right from wrong?  Who dictates on how people should talk and act and interact with one another?

I have a dream.  No, I have two dreams.  I desire both, and both are equally vivid. When my desire lean stronger to one end, the other got ignored and put aside.  One seems to require me to let go of the other.  But when I'm becoming closer to one, I suddenly got reminded of the other one.

Which one is nature made and which one is nurture?  How to manifest both?

This ME that I'm becoming more aware and familiar with, is not really what society think I should be, and I have to keep reminding myself to stay true and not let my ego-driven-self took over as it always did.

Nature and nurture need to go alongside each other.  Just like Yin and Yang are always together.

I am who I am.  I'm happy with who I am.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I spent six months in the bay area.

In six months I
... bought a car
... got a job
... left a job
... danced my ass off
... discovered that wine might be another nemesis, along with vodka
... made new friends
... got my heart broken
... found out that I, too, am capable of hurting others
... rock climbed
... hiked
... saw many beautifully blue skies, sunrises, and sunsets
... saw magnificent things created by my colleagues and participated in it
... passed out
... did lots of other crazy, stupid, awesome things I shall not disclose here [cuz that would be stupid]

I wanted to [have]
... figured my life out [like... right now. asap. enlightenment come now.]
... a relationship with someone who probably only exists in my head [my idea of a prince charming came right out of a non-existing fairytale]
... be done with my divorce [any day now... can somebody just sign the darn paperwork?]
... be emotionally, financially, physically stable [I still can't do a headstand]
... a cute little puppy [or maybe just doggy sit for a few days]

Come to think of it, six months is not a whole lot of time.

The only constant in life is change.  Right now I'm on the phase of my life where there is nothing constant.  And I was impatient.  I wanted to figure things out... now.

Your journey has molded you for your greater good. And it was exactly what it needed to be.  Don't think that you've lost time.  It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now.  And now is the right time.  -Asha Tyson

I'm practicing patient.  I'm learning to be idle.  To be friends with silence and solitude. To see things as they are.

Breath in.... breath out...

Monday, September 24, 2012


Song stuck in my head. So fun to dance to :).


Going nowhere fast. We’ve reached the climax.
Were together now we’re undone.
Won’t commit so we choose to run away.
Do we separate?
Don’t wanna give in so we both gave up.
Can’t take it back. It’s too late.
We’ve reached the climax, climax.

I've fallen somehow, feet off the ground
Love is the cloud that keeps raining down.
Where are you now? When I need you around
I'm on my knees but it seems we're

Going nowhere fast. We’ve reached the climax.
Were together now we’re undone.
Won’t commit so we choose to run away.
Do we separate?
Don’t wanna give in so we both gave up.
Can’t take it back. It’s too late.
We’ve reached the climax, climax.

I gave my best, it wasn't enough
You get upset, we argue too much
We made a mess of what used to be love.
So why do I care, I care at all, at all, at all, at all

Going nowhere fast. We’ve reached the climax.
Were together now we’re undone.
Won’t commit so we choose to run away.
Do we separate?
Don’t wanna give in so we both gave up.
Can’t take it back. It’s too late.
We’ve reached the climax, climax.

You say it’s better if we love each other separately.
I just need you one more time
I can’t get what we had off my mind,
Where are you now? When I need you around
I'm on my knees but it seems we're...

Going nowhere fast. We’ve reached the climax.
Were together now we’re undone.
Won’t commit so we choose to run away.
Do we separate?
Don’t wanna give in so we both gave up.
Can’t take it back. It’s too late.
We’ve reached the climax, climax.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Food for Thoughts

Déjà vu, from French, literally "already seen", is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past. 

Timing is everything.  Everything in life happens for a reason. Yet often times I still find myself dwelling on the past or fantasizing about the future. This trip feels like a dejavu. Being here, sitting here, feels just like the last time, yet not really. It's almost like I've never left. I'm trying to cherish the moment. Yet in this silence, it's so hard to not reminisce about the past or think about what's coming up in the future. This is my moment of solitude. This is the time to silence the mind. Be still with the heart and soul. Yet the crazy monkeys keep chattering...

Change is inevitable. Change is exciting. Change is scary.

Have you ever wanted something so much, but thought that it's completely out of your reach?  Have you ever miss something that was never truly yours?

So here's some food for thoughts:

"In the end, we only regret the changes we didn't take, relationship we are afraid to have, and the decision we waited too long to make" -unknown

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser" -John W. Gardner

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new" -Albert Einstein

Change is coming soon. And sometimes it freaks me out. When I freak out, I think of the past. How nice and safe it was back then. Back then when there's a hand to hold, something to fall back to. Then I wished I could go back to the past and just stay there. Like being inside a mother's womb; well protected, without a fear of the world. Even though you know it's not the right thing, even though it was only meant to be a temporary escape, no matter how wrong it was, the past is safe... especially in my mind, where I've decided perhaps subconsciously to erase everything that's negative.

But I was never content then, I wanted change.

I fear of the unknown. I don't like wanting things that I might not be able to get. Now and then, it's still the same turmoil. Same questions. There's been moments of clarity. Moments of fearlessness. Moments where fear of the unknown changes into curiosity and excitements.  Yet now and then they all come back.

Timing is everything. I fear, yet I desire, change.  Everything happens when it's supposed to happen.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which had opened for us - Hellen Keller 

How do you know for sure that the door has closes for good...?

I miss creating something great.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

going where the whisk goes...

Well, hello again :).

Wow, I am really bad in keeping this blog up and running! Promise I’ll be better from now on. What can I do…I’m a master in procrastinating… one of my gifts, I guess :-p.

Anyways, I’m back baybee!!! Well… actually… not really. As a matter of fact, I’m just about to leave again. Haha!

This summer in the bay area has been such a great time of my life. This year has been, overall, the craziest, most whirlwind, very much confused, filled with lotsa laughter and tears, yet a thoroughly very rewarding time of my life. If my life were a book, last year would be the “epic turns of event filled with lotsa drama.” This year would be “holy shit, more unexpected turns of events with lots more dramas, and much self reflecting and soul searching”.

“not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves” – Henry David Thoreau

Divorce is a bitch. Yea, that’s right. Divorce is a five-letter word: B I T C H. It causes so much disruption in your heart and soul. Not only that you have to deal with the heartbreak, you also have to deal with the issue of trust/betrayal, broken promises, attachment, starting over, questioning of your self worth, your identity, yada yada yada. Wow, speaking of a shit load of emotional baggage [am I revealing too much here? Oh well, what the hell… it is what it is].

I ran away last year. I thought if I just left, I could just start over fresh. But you can’t avoid dealing with life. The universe has its way of bringing you back to where you have to be. So I came back. If I hadn’t come back, I wouldn’t have figured out that I what I need to do is face and accept the past. I wouldn’t have figured out that I need to stop RUNNING AWAY.

Someone asked me last year before I left “why do you want to leave?”
I said “I need to find myself”
He said “don’t look too far”

He was right. I was looking everywhere for something to find me, when I should’ve looked within.

“peace comes from within. Do not seek it without” - Buddha

There’s a saying that there are three different types of people who will walk into your life… one that comes for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. I’ve been lucky enough to have met many people who inspire, help, love, and enriched my life one way or another. I met someone who I thought was only gonna be in my life for a season. Turns out this person was here for a reason. Life reveals things in a timely manner. Only after it happens you can look back and say, “oh wow… that’s what I was meant to see”. This person was not supposed to be anything more than anything, but I ended up learning so much about myself from him. I never understood why I get so infatuated to him. But now I realized that it’s because I see things in him that I want to see in me. Things that I have been struggling with with myself.

“unless you learn to face your own shadow, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you” - unknown

I admire his drive, his confidence. He’s so comfortable with himself that he can even be seen as arrogant. He’s so focused that nothing could divert him from his path. He is who he is and he doesn’t try to be anyone else but himself. It’s take it or leave it with him.

I wanna get there. I wanna find my drive. I have the passions, but I’m lacking the direction; I’m lacking the drive. I’ve been too scatter-minded. I’m all over the place and focusing on all the wrong things. It’s time to get my priority straight. Love will come when the time is right. When I’m full and complete, that’s when I can be an equal partner to anyone. 
 So I’m leaving again. Not to run away nor to escape. I love my life. It’s perfect. What’s there to run away from? The journey will continue on. And it could only get better :).

“life isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be lived… sometimes happy, other times rough. But with every ups and downs you learn lessons that make you strong” –unknown

“be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them, And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer” – Reiner Maria Rilke

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

where do i go?

What to do when your heart is torn between two things?

I know that life is about taking chances, but how do you know that you're not missing out on something real?

How do you choose between two open roads that seem equally opportunistic?

To stay means... the bay area blue sky and great weather,  a job that I love doing, endless supply of good food, places to hang out, new friends to meet, old friends and family to catch my back [...and the list goes on and on].

To stay also means... missing out on the chance of exploring OZ and what opportunities might present themselves there [...tho as they say, the door of opportunity never truly closes].

To go means... saying hello again to OZ's great beaches, cities, cafes, families, exploring a new and different country, working on my Oz's accent [haha] [but seriously, I love their accent], making new friends, catching up with old ones, family that'll catch my back [...and the list goes on and on].

To go also means... saying goodbye to the bay area and everything that I love about it [...tho I can always come back].

They say that it's all about the journey and not the destination.  They also say that sometimes things need to be broken to create new ways for other great things to happen.

I'm lucky, I know.  But I'm so torn that sometimes I feel like despite on how fast I'm moving, I'm actually standing still.  My life is a book waiting to be written.  With all the possibilities, how does one choose?

I wish, I wish, I wish...  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

when life gives you lemon ...

... make lemonade, and it might be surprisingly yummy!

Back to Indo and I can't help to constantly think about how lucky I am to get the opportunity to explore so many different places, meet so many incredible people, eat so much delectable foods, and view so many of nature's beauties.

I guess now that my travel is seemingly coming closer to ending, I'm starting to reminisce on all the wonderful things that had happened the past six months.  Crazy how fast time flies.  Crazy how much I've learned and grown.  I know that my travel will never truly come to an "end".  Now that  I've tasted the joy of traveling, I'm sure I will continue traveling.  It's just that this one is special, cuz it's truly my coming out to the world on my own.   

*little treasures on my aunt's garden*

I'm slowly planning for my trip back to the States now.  I feel giddy sometimes, to the point that I could not fall asleep!  Going back to the States means going back HOME.  I can't wait to go back to the familiar places [oh how I miss you, San Francisco!!!!], and meeting with all my lovely family and friends.  But at the same time, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the time I spend in OZ so much that I really can't wait to go back there again hahaha... I guess I'm still human after all!!

One of the best parts of my trip is the fact that I almost meet with every one of my cousins!  Coming from such large families, I have relatives all over the world.  But because I've been in the States for so many years, I have kinda lost touch with many of them. I didn't think I would be able to meet with all of them again, but as faith would have it, I was SO FRIGGIN' LUCKY to meet with almost all of them.  Even had a chance to hang out, work out, chat, sing, and even have deep conversations with them... 

*can't get enough macarons and lattes*

*who needs flip-flops when you have tan lines like one? ^^*

*beautiful sunset in Melbourne*

*Clovely beach, Sydney*

I'm in a good place right now.  Life is good.  I feel good.  

So many things I want to share with whoever is reading this blog!!  I still need to write about my macaron hunt in Sydney and Melbourne, but I think that'll have to wait till when I have more free time.  TWO more weeks in Indo, and I'm going to spend it to the fullest by doing what I love the most and with the people that matters the most ;).


Sunday, February 19, 2012

it's an OZ thing :)

Can't believe how fast time flies... feels like it was just yesterday that I flew over to Sydney and started my days at Sonoma.  But now I'm back in Melbourne... and within days I'd be flying over to Indo.

I realized, over and over again, that I should be updating this blog more frequently... it's just that it always takes me a while to actually blog (writing and editing pictures).  And often time, I rather be going out or planning out where to go next. Either that or I just don't have internet connection when I feel like writing. But today is one of those days when I don't feel like going out because the weather is looking quite gloomy and cold out there...
So what's the verdict??? I still dunno what I want to do with my life or where I want to live.  All I know is  I love, love, love Sydney.  It's a metropolitan surrounded by beaches.  How cool is that?  You get to experience living in a big city, but at the same time, the white sandy beaches are only minutes away.  I wish I had more time to spend in Sydney, but I have to leave for now.  So many nice memories I'm taking with me :).  I love the people I worked with, eventho often time I'm finding myself thinking "why the heck am I not understanding what they're saying???"  I figured out that OZs don't roll their "r", so words like "butter" becomes "buttah", "better" becomes "bettah"... so "everything is always bettah with buttah" hahahaha :-p. They also use words not commonly used is the US such as "heaps", "darling" and "bloody".  

I loved seeing the similarity and differences between OZs and US cultures.  Learned a few little tricks here and there and found one in particular to be my favorite, a trick of devouring a timtam bar... and there's actually a name for it according to wikipedia, the tim tam slam :).

What you need to perform this spectacular act is a cup of hot beverage of your choice (can be coffee, latte, tea, or whatever you want) and some Tim Tam bars (one is simply not enough).  

First, you bite the corners of your tim tam bar.  

Then, as if you're using a straw, slightly submerge one end of the bitten corner in your hot beverage, and suck thru the other end.  The hot beverage will seep thru the biscuit and the chocolate center will slowly start to melt.  

You have like a few second to devour the yummy goodness before the whole thing start to crumble and if you don't do it fast enough, you'll end up with messy fingers and face ;-). 

it's there, and now it's gone! voila!
Ahh the tricks you learned from traveling.... hahahaha

I can't get over Sydney's beautiful beaches too... so even though I have to leave this time around, I will definitely come back again!  There's still so much to see and do... so farewell for now and see you again soon!

*my OZ's snack pack, made by lovely Winnie @ Sonoma

details in the fabric

"Details In The Fabric"
(feat. James Morrison)

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling on your threads
And breaking yourself up

If it's a broken part, replace it
If it's a broken arm, then brace it
If it's a broken heart, then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
And stay strong
I'm doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature's sewing machine?

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

Monday, February 6, 2012

rude awakening

Have you ever played a puzzle and found all the right pieces and, as if you have a super power, everything falls into place just perfectly? Isn't it awesome when that happens?  Well it's even more awesome when you see magic like that happening in real life...

I'm so used to planning everything so meticulously and altho I'm pretty good in adjusting when things didn't go my way, I'm always the kind of person who likes things to be organized and planned out.  This hasn't really been the case with my life the past years...

I left SF hastily... sold everything, booked a flight, left everything behind and just ran away.  But my running away was probably one of the best things I probably have ever done for myself.  No plans.  Out of my comfort zone.

See, the coolest thing is that when you have no plans, sometimes life just seems to unravel itself quite perfectly... quite magically.

After flying into Melbourne, there was nothing on the drawing board.  I had always wanted to go to Australia and maybe even live here.  Can't see what life is like in this country without experiencing it first hand.  I had a few job leads in Sydney, so I decided to book a flight to Sydney sooner than later.  So here's where the magic happened...

Without knowing the neighborhood, I actually found a room for rent within walking distance from this bakery that I was referred to.  What are the odds??  The owner of the house are so nice that they even picked me up from the airport!! Upon talking with the people at the bakery, I decided to work there on a three-weeks trial basis.  

But here's where the rude awakening happened... the job starts at freakin' 3 o'clock in the morning!! Holy shiet... I've been on vacation and now I have to force myself to wake up at 2am!!!!  That's when I usually go to sleep! And I had to walk for 30 minutes before I start the work.  Oh... my... gawd...  To make it even worse... Sydney has been welcoming me with ... rain ... in the middle of its summer.... >_<

But guess what.... turns out that my cousin, who at first I didn't know was living in Sydney, lives really close to where I work.  Fifteen minutes walking distance!!! Crazy awesome! 

... doesn't really make the 3am start time any better, but at least I don't have to walk 30 minutes to and from work ^_^.

I'm not sure what I'm gonna do after this three weeks... but you know what, it's alright! I'm gonna leave the drawing board empty.  We'll see what the universe have in plan for me ;).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

confession of a pastry snob

Okay.  I admit it.  There's no denying.  Why even bother.  Facts are simply just facts.  I am, truly, without a doubt... a pastry snob.  There I said it.

I am even more absolutely and completely picky when it comes to my biggest obsession, macarons.  With the sudden boom of interests in these lovely-teeny-tiny-perfect-little-confections, a lot of misconceptions have been created.  Made out of a few simple ingredients, they are very far from being simple.  Complicated little divas.

People who think that macarons are overrated just think that way because they have not tasted what real macarons are supposed to taste like.

People who doesn't know what real macarons are made of aren't able to appreciate them.

To me, the perfect macarons should:
*Have perfect, even, feet
*Have smooth tops
*Be slightly crunchy on the outside, but should not make a "crunch" sound when you bite into it
*Be cakey on the inside
*Have no gaps in between
*Not chewy
*Have identifiable flavor profile, but not overpowered 
*Not be too sweet

Even in the States, there are too many pastry shops that sell these so-called-macarons-that-they-really-should-not-be-selling.  So disappointing.  And now I'm having similar experiences in Melbourne.  Pretty looking things that looks as scrumptious, but taste soooooo far from what they're supposed to be.

Anyway... enough rants about the macarons ;).  The past few days, my lovely cousins have been taking me around town and showing me some really good eats in Melbourne.  Here are some noteworthy ones..... 

*Three Bags Full: Brunch.  Gosh how I MISS brunch! Got the big breakfast.  Filling and satisfying.  The roasted mushrooms were really good.  The wait to be seated was not too long, but it took a while for the food to come out.  Their coffee is really good tho. Highly recommended.

*Lindt Cafe: excellent pastry.  Super delicious entremets.  Worth every penny.  Will definitely go back to try more. (pic on prev. post)

*Max Brenner: excellent hot cocoa concept.  Didn't try any desserts or truffles... will have to go back. (pic on prev. post)

*Brunetti - nutella macaron:  sugar overload. OMG.  I struggled to finish it.  They simply put a dollop of nutella as the filling.  Shells were gap-y and crunchy. The server gave me one that had different shell sizes.  I asked for one that looks better.  Their tiramisu is just alright.  Nothing to brag home about...

*Puccino - salted caramel macaron:  It was actually decent.  The shells have the right texture and they look pretty darn sexy. But the salted caramel was a bit too sweet to finish a whole one.  (no pic)

*Laurent - mango-passion macaron: huge, massive, utter disappointment.  Even their shapes are not appealing.  And the taste was even more disappointing.  Couldn't even make up the mango-passion flavor, and even worse, there's a weird bitter aftertaste.  Their cassis mousse could be better.  Basic jaconde, biscuit, and cassis mousse.  A gelee insert would add a nice touch and perhaps present more cassis flavor.

I'm flying out to Sydney tomorrow, and I'm on a mission!! I'm challenged to find the best macarons in OZ (or at least, in Melbourne and Sydney).  I'm excited to try more desserts and pastries too!  Hopefully I won't get too fat when I go back to Indo.... hahaha

Saturday, January 21, 2012

turning pages

*Flinders Street*

After spending quite a while in my dear hometown Indonesia, it's finally time to move again.  New country, new culture, same old discomfort of having to adjust to a new habit.  But I've learned that it comes with anything you do in life.  Change is uncomfortable, but it's exciting.  A set of routine is pleasant, but then it might get boring.  The key is to accept both the discomfort and the boredom.  Seems simple, yet so hard to do.

I didn't like Indonesia when I first arrived, but toward the end of my stay, I ended up loving it.  I enjoy my routine, learned to cross the crazy busy streets, and even catch the public transportations.  Love the food, the daily work out, yoga, nearby relatives/family, friends, trainers... and especially, it's wonderful to be close to my parents.  

My heart was torn between two countries... America and Indonesia.  But the journey is nowhere near ending.  So on to my next destination.... Australia.  The country that I would've ended in if I had not chosen to follow my older brother's step to go to America.  I've always, always, always wanted to go to Australia.  No reason.  Just something I've always wanted to do.  It's finally time to make that dream come true.  So here I am... Melbourne.

*lindt cafe - wimbledon, hot mocha, and chocolate hazelnut gateau. simply to-die for*

Despite of having wanted to come here for so long, being in a new place is always... strange.  Australia is similar, yet very different with America.  First few nights were rough, of course.  I was terribly missing my freedom, my independence... as usual :).  Not knowing how to get around, unfamiliar with my surroundings, I felt exactly the same way as I did my first month in Indonesia.  I was sure that I wouldn't like Australia.  Kept thinking about my daily work out regime, the wonderful food in Indonesia, my ultimate freedom in America, my friends, my family, everything that I no longer have, or simply not know how to attain yet in this strange land.  Secretly I was feeling happy that I wasn't "loving" Australia.... would've made things...well...easier :).

*pie face - chicken mushroom and lemon pies - mediocre, but brought a smile on my face :)*

*street art*

But two days turned into three... then to four... and all was history.  Melbourne... ahh the city... the cafes... the stunning street performers.  Beautiful, spacious, clean, contemporary.  That's how I would describe Melbourne at this point.  What am I to do.... now my heart is torn between three countries :-p.  Wish I could pick all my favorite things and create my own Utopia.  It's all good though. I'm so lucky to be able to see all these beauties. I can't wait to see what's next to come :).

*max sherman, the bald man - hot chocolate, super cute presentation*

*max sherman - assorted truffles, didn't get to try any yet*

*max sherman - toffee latte*