.:: { Kitchen } Almond Coconut Granola ::.

This granola is my latest addiction. Lovely golden brown, crisp and sweet-but-not-too-sweet granola, with the addition of coconut chips which I’m also crazy about lately. I love having it with a cup of milk, topping it some dried cranberries. Morning, made.

Almond Coconut Granola

Almond Coconut Granola

4 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

a handful of sliced almonds

a handful of roasted coconut chips

dried fruit, optional

  1. Mix rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract. Fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and almonds are thoroughly coated.
  2. Turn the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer.
  3. Bake until the top is lightly browned – about 30 minutes, stirring the oats halfway through. Add sliced almonds and coconut chips, bake for another 15-30 minutes until crisp.
  4. Cool, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container.

.:: Changes ::.

Let me start this by saying…

We’re expecting! I’m on my third semester now and pretty much counting the weeks down to the estimated due date which is only a few months away. Being pregnant for most of this year has brought a lot of change to my lifestyle, pretty much everything is a learning process and everything is a new experience.

Coffee

Before, almost every morning I would go with a few girls from work to get a nice hot cup of coffee at a nearby cafe. And I would drink at the very least two cups daily. Pretty much soon after I found out I was pregnant I made a conscious decision to reduce my coffee intake, even though technically my GP said I could drink two cups a day, and the first few days were nauseating to say the least. However I did weaned myself off coffee successfully when I started feeling sick almost every minute of every day and the smell of coffee put me off. Even now I no longer feel sick, yet I still think coffee smells aggravating and I sometimes wonder how could one drink that stuff! Such irony, I went from a true coffee addict to one who could actually survive without coffee and not missing it one bit!

Cooking & Baking

I used to be an early bird, waking up at 5am to prepare lunch every single morning. Now, I just can’t be bothered. I couldn’t stand the smell of  garlic and onion and the likes of them for a good part of the pregnancy, which makes it harder to cook and also now that it’s winter, it’s so much easier to just stay in bed in the morning. Luckily we found a catering service providing Indonesian food that delivers to our workplace on weekdays, so I only have to worry about weekends.

Outfit and Makeup

The first few mo ths when my body hadn’t really changed that much I still wear my usual office attire. Now I feel different about clothes and makeup in general. In short, I no longer give a sh*t. I never wanted to buy too many clothes I could only wear during my pregnancy so shopping is no longer as exciting as it used to, when most clothes don’t fit me like it used to. And I no longer cared for makeup, I still wear the basics but I don’t even wear lipstick anymore, which I never used to leave home without.

Nesting

The first few months I didn’t feel like doing much, I left a lot of the cleaning to D. I still do, but I start feeling the kick to declutter, clean and organize areas of my home. Maybe it’s the nesting instinct kicking in, maybe I’m just getting back on track, but it feels good to be productive, albeit a little slower than usual, and have a clean home as a result.

Preparation

We’ve started buying a lot of baby stuff, yet haven’t found a place for a lot of them. And there seems to be no end to this whole world of shopping. There’s also still a lot of prep we still need to go through. Scary yet exciting at the same time.

.:: { Book } Before I Go To Sleep ::.

Before I Go To Sleep

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me…

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

I was only randomly looking for new reads at the library and I was so excited when my eyes caught this book on the shelf. I watched the movie adaptation, and I loved it. Having done so however, did take away some of the thrill factor, after all I know how it ends. Not to say it was not exciting to read the book. I did manage to finish it in a few days, unable to peel myself away from the story.

The book received quite a lot of praises and adapted into a movie. Sounds like a guarantee for a good read. I did enjoy reading it, the idea of the story is great. Yes you could easily guessed how it would end. I could overlook that. What I found hard to overlook were the plot holes. And there were lots of them. I kept flipping back to prior chapters just to check some things actually plot holes, and quite obvious ones too! The ending also seems a bit rushed and over-simplified.

All in all, an okay read if you have free time to spare, but do prepare for some plot holes.

.:: Friday Favorites – Daily Blog Reads ::.

Howdy! Today I’d like to share some of my current favorite blogs, a few I’ve followed for a long time and a few new finds, that I check out on a daily basis – perfect to kill the time during those long commuting hours.

Vivianna Does Makeup

One of my all-time favorites, I really enjoy Anna’s YouTube videos, beauty reviews and lifestyle posts. She also posts regularly so there’s always something new and interesting to read every.single.day.

Kendi Everyday

Another all-time favorite that never gets old. A few years back I really enjoyed her 30-for-30 posts. I found it an interesting concept, though I’ve never had the courage to attempt something similar. And I always love her witty words and her stunning outfit pics.

Forever Amber

A new-ish find for me but it quickly becomes one of my favorite. I can’t stop scrolling through the older posts coz they are so witty and interestingly written. The posts are generally quite long, but they are all worth your while. I especially love Amber’s random daily musings and weekly diary-style recaps. And her gorgeous outfits of course.

Hi Sugarplum!

Another obsession of mine aside from all those beauty and lifestyle blogs is home and organizing blogs, and this is a particular favorite coz Cassie’s posts are the perfect balance of home stuff, style posts ( especially love the dressing room diaries ), travel reports and just random bits.

A Beautiful Mess

This one always one of the sites I check out on a daily basis, I always wonder how Elsie and Emma, the sisters behind this blog, never fails to come up with all these inspiring DIY posts, interesting recipes to try and a lot of other stuff too.

Putting Me Together

Another new find for me and what I love about this blog is that girl-next-door style that Audrey has which feels easy to relate to and also her great tips on remixing certain pieces of clothing with different things so they don’t look boring.

And the rest – check out my blogroll section, I’ve listed most of my favorite ones!

.:: A Day in the Life ::.

I’ve been wanting to document random bits of my days just for fun, I think it would be quite interesting to one day look back and read through what I was up to one random day in my life. And I love reading other people’s day-in-life posts. So here’s my Saturday, 30th of January 2016.

6.30 It’s Saturday and I absolutely have no plans, just my kind of Saturday. However I’m up! Well I’ve actually been up since 6 but the first thing I did was checking my social media while trying to gather some energy to drag me out of bed. Bad habit as at 6 am it is still not too bright, but I couldn’t help myself. Made coffee and realized I ran out of milk. So black it is. Took my coffee and laptop out to the balcony and enjoyed a bit of a quiet time – sipping my coffee while checking out some of my favorite blogs for new posts.

7.00 Preparing the ingredients for a wholemeal bread. I love love love my bread maker, all I have to do is throw in the ingredients together and touch a few buttons and voila. Fresh homemade bread just like that. Well, technically I still have to wait for three hours before the bread is ready. But still. I continued to wash my coffee cup, run a cycle of laundry and tidy up around the house a little bit – a neat little routine I do most Saturday mornings, which I actually enjoy, it just feels so great once the house is clean and spotless and the weekend is only starting.

8.00 I recalled the supermarket had a few special offers including rice, so I went and ordered groceries online. I mean, who would want to walk to the supermarket and lug a 5-kg bag of rice back home, when you have the option to have someone deliver it to your kitchen. They wouldn’t reach me until Wednesday coz they have free shipping on Wednesdays and yes I’m cheap like that.

10.15 I thought to have a me-time scouring the city, and feeling guilty leaving D behind, I prepared aglio olio for lunch.

11.40 Missed the closest train stop to the library. Which means I have to go there last and rush my shopping before the library closes.

14.45 Okay, how did the time fly? A few shop-hopping, lipstick-swatching at Sephora and it’s suddenly almost 3. I didn’t buy anything – which is probably for the best, I definitely don’t need new clothes or makeup. Had to miss brow wax – the queue was crazy – to rush to the library coz I really need my book fix. Been pretty bad at keeping my resolution and January is ending and I haven’t read any books. As much as I like my Kindle, I sometimes miss holding actual books.

15.40 Stopped for coffee break. I went to this particular cafe coz I saw they had kaya toast. I pictured thick warm kaya toasts like the ones at kopi tiam places and my stomach was growling just thinking about it. And… they ran out of kaya. Just my luck!

16.50 On the train home starting on my awesome find today – Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson. I’ve watched the movie and it was mind blowing. Couldn’t be more excited to read the book now.

19.10 In the middle of a movie night in and playing scrabble – our favorite pastime on the weekends.

22.15 Finished watching two movies, Burnt and Spectre. And the weather is still so nice and cool. Time for bed soon.. Nighty night!

.:: Sephora and Kiehl’s Haul ::.

Sephora Haul

I go through phases, when I’m into clothes, i’m INTO clothes, when I’m into shoes, I’m INTO shoes. And now i’m back into makeup. Well, I only wear the basics most days, but as I was shopping for a special occasion I found myself being drawn into one thing, and one quickly becomes two, and three, and four.. Bad habit, I know. But I recently cleared out my old stash and got rid of a few old things that are way too old and it felt liberating, it feels right to start afresh with a few new things. I’ve promised myself I would be good and would not get more than the basics, the stuff I would use on a regular basis. Having said that, I allowed myself to splurge a little bit at Sephora and Kiehl’s and invest on a few quality stuff that I would (hopefully) enjoy wearing and love to bits. So here’s what I got and a quick first impressions.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

This primer doesn’t have the smooth-siliconey feel which is the case with a lot of primers. I’m used to siliconey primers, so the fact that this doesn’t have the same feel had me having second thoughts. But I decided to give it a chance – especially coz after browsing around this one is quite a value for money. It is darn expensive but other brands offer the same price for much lesser product. I’m pretty pleasantly surprised at how this primer performs as I said, I’m used to siliconey primer and the non siliconey ones I’ve tried doesn’t do so well. This one, though, delivers. It feels lightweight and sinks in very quickly. I only need a pea-sized amount of it to cover my whole face and it holds up really well for four to five hours.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation in Bamboo Beige

This foundation has a medium to high coverage and as such is a great choice for long wear or special occasion. I would not use this on a day coz the great coverage means it does feel like you have something on and I’d like my skin to breathe more easily. Having said that, I definitely love the look it creates – flawless, smooth and almost poreless skin.

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

This powder foundation has a really smooth silky texture and that’s what makes me caved in in the first place. It comes in a wide range of color so there should be something for everyone, I asked the lovely lady at Sephora to color-match for me, and thankfully I did coz otherwise I would probably go something too light for my face – the shade I got actually looks dark on the pan but turns out to blend perfectly well with my skin shade.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight

This baked highlighter powder is LOVE at first sight. I sotted it at Sephora and definitely wanted one, but I thought I would sleep on it. I went back the next day and of course they sold out – only a day after it was released according to the sales assistant. They kindly referred me to go to the counter at David Jones, and so I did. And luckily they had it! What I love about it is that it gives a subtle glow without being glittery or shiny. I could get away wearing it even during day time, and it would just look like a healthy sheen. Some highlighter could look over the top that you could only use it on certain occasion, but this one is perfectly pretty.

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Mother

Love this thing as I mentioned on my Sunday Post here. It is easy to apply and dries down to a matte finish in pretty much an instant. And the color is oh so gorgeous! Seriously this could start a liquid lipstick craze, and I’ve already had my eyes on a few others. I’m still trying to be good though!

Kat von D vs Formula X Nail Polish in Tijuana

I generally don’t spend more than $10 on nail polish but I’ve been wanting to try Formula X in a while, and this collaboration with Kat von D collection has that beautiful classic red and I think I would get a lot of use out of it. The polish has a nice and easy-to-apply formula and I feel like I could get away with one coat, even though two coats give a more polished and shiny finish.

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate

I love the Midnight Recovery Concentrate so much and I’m running out of day serum so I thought I would give this a go. As this product is intended for day use, I expected it to simply sink into the skin in an instant, which is not the case. It does feel like having a layer of oil on my face, though not as heavy as the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. But the good news, somehow it does work putting on makeup on my face, and it doesn’t look like I have oily skin.

And that’s a wrap for now! Time to hide my wallet!

.:: The Sunday Post ~ New Year Favorites::.

It was the first week back at work, and I have been quite productive tackling stuff with a renewed sense of energy. It might have something to do with the new year spirit, but let’s savor that sense of accomplishment for a little while. Now it’s a bit of a quiet moment this weekend and a great time to reflect of what’s been happening lately. It’s the second weekend of the new year and the first when I’m pretty much have the time to myself. December had been festive with lots of year-end parties and visits from family and friends. My two-and-a-half-week break went in a flurry with trips and touristy stuff while I show my sister, D’s family and my lovely friend miss O around. Couldn’t be more grateful for the visits and the chance to catch up. And of course, wouldn’t be me without a plan for more catch up, ie my trip back home. Hoping to realize it soon-ish so I need to start taking the steps to make it happen.

This week as the new year starts, the weather has been horrendous. It’s supposed to be the peak of summer, but it’s been raining cats and dogs like nothing else matters. It literally didn’t stop raining for three days straight, stopped and started raining again. It’s like winter all over again. It finally got better on Friday, and surprise surprise I heard it’s going to reach 38 degrees next week. Such extremes! On a good note, the weather has been extremely wonderful today and I spent the whole afternoon sitting out at the balcony enjoying the welcoming breeze, planning the week ahead, organizing my phone, browsing and watching YouTube and Pretty Little Liars.

This week I have some new favorites and exciting finds. Here are some of them!

Favorite breakfast: Overnight oats

I tried overnight oats last year, but I found it to be too thick for my liking which I guessed was due to too much yogurt. I attempted overnight oats again earlier this week, this time adding just my favorite almond milk and it’s wonderful! I love incorporating chia seeds and maple syrup in my overnight oats and adding blueberry and coconut flakes on top. Morning made!

IMG_8029

Favorite drink: T2 Very Coco Berry

T2 has a new fruity tea range, and it is bomb diggity! From the very first sip of the very coco berry flavor, all I could think about was I’ve never tasted anything like it! Coconut-flavored tea! As it’s a warm weekend I make a cold tea and in true T2 fashion, added slices of pineapples. Yum! Practically the best tea ever.

Favorite snack: Nestle Galak

A friend of mine just got back from Europe and brought me this chocolate bar. She recalled I posted a picture of it on Facebook when I was in Italy, isn’t she the sweetest. To be honest, I’ve never even tasted it! I took a pic coz “galak” means something in Indonesian. But of course I couldn’t pass a nice treat.

Favorite lip combo: Kat von D Everlasting Liqud Lipstick ( Mother ) and Nuxe Reve de Miel

Okay I’ve been wanting to get this Kat von D liquid lipstick but the shade I wanted, Mother, was out of stock even until last week. And this Thursday I popped into Sephora, definitely sure it would be still unavailable, but lo and behold, they had it! I could not be more excited. It’s a lovely dusty mauve pink with a matte finish, it is not too light, not too dark, slightly vibrant yet perfect for everyday wear. I’ve only had it for a few days, but it’s a quick and definite favorite. It does feel drying on the lips after some time, so I add a layer of my favorite lip balm Nuxe Reve de Miel and they make the perfect combo.

Favorite nail polish: Rimmel 60 seconds Nail Polish in Rose Libertine

I have been on the lookout for the perfect peachy-pink polish for what feels like forever. I had bought a few including these Sally Hansen ones here, but none pleases me as much as this wonderful Rose Libertine. It is slightly muted but not too murky, it is not too orange like a lot of peachy-pink polish do, and it has a very nice formula that actually lasts a few days – I do a lot of chores so if something last even two days straight, it is godsent. It is just perfection.

IMG_8024

Favorite shoes: Nine West 7Hollie Boots

As it has been a very wet week, it was the perfect chance to break into these boots I purchased a couple of months back, I thought I would have to wait until next winter. This pair was practically all I wore this week, and it’s so easy pairing it with black midi skirt.

And that’s a wrap for today!