Mini Shopaholic


New year's atmosphere has already come. It's here. I feel it. But, instead of doing some reflection or preparing a new year resolution, I enjoy this day by reading Sophie Kinsella latest book. Although I am not into chiclit, but these shopaholic series are too good to be ignored. I read all books from the shopaholic series and always cekikikan then and there.

This time Becky Brandon is back with her 2-yr-old daughter, Minnie Brandon. At first Becky thought it is easy to be a mother and she is excited to have Minnie as her shopping partner for life. But things not always turn out as she plans. From Minnie's attitude, financial crisis, a surprise party and many more, Becky stories never fail to entertain us.

This novel has already been translated in Bahasa by Gramedia on December 2010.

Quote of the Day

We must never stop dreaming
Dreams provide nourishment for the soul
Just as a meal does for the body

(The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle


Wrapping up this end of year with one of the best of Haruki Murakami's works. This is the last Murakami's book in my bookshelf *sigh*. I guess I need to wait for his newest work impatiently.

The story is as stunning as usual. It's about an ordinary-30-something guy, Toru Okada, who experienced 3 losses in his life which are his job at a law firm, his wife's cat and the last one his wife herself. In searching the missing cat and his wife, he encounters a group of bizarre people and things. Beside those bizarre stuff, it is also told that the main character, Toru Okada likes to climb down to a dry well in the neighborhood. He stays there for days to think and finally meets a very strange experience. What do you think, is it weird enough?

If you love Murakami's works, you will enjoy this book since there are lots of bizarre stuffs. They are just too bizarre until you are confused either they are real or only imaginative. No need to think about that. Just read the story carefully and absorb the details. At the end of the story you will realize that you have gone through a fantastic experience.

Mesmerizing. Fascinating. Murakami at his best.

December Books


Wooohooo...new year is coming to town. It's time to list down my favorite books in 2010. While arranging the books list I bumped into tons of books that have not been read yet. Some of them are even still wrapped in plastic *sigh*. Yep..the urge of buying new books sometimes (or should I say 'very often') is just so unbearable *excuse*. No wonder that I keep buying books although I realize that at home I still have a lot of books to read.

If in the old time I used to read one book until finished and not reading a new one before it reached the ending, but not now. Currently I adopt my hubby's habit which is reading this book a little and before finishing it, I have already chosen another book, until I finally realize that I read 4-5 books in the same period. Since I am not young anymore, once in a while I find myself not remembering the content of the book and need to reread the book from the beginning. Uhm...perhaps that's one of the cause that slow my reading ability or again...another confession, the older you are, the slower you read:)

Dongeng 7 Menit


Choosing children story books are not an easy thing to do. There are certain things to note, such as: the illustration, the content and also the way the authors tell their story. Sometimes I find a book with beautiful illustration but the story is not too interesting for children or the other way around.

Until one day, a friend suggested me to buy Dongeng 7 Menit series written by a popular author, Clara Ng. The series consist of 7 books. I bought one book, checked the content and the illustration and at last showed it to my girls, Najla and Zea. Fortunately they love it. I am sure most of children will love these series since they're written down with interesting stories and colorful illustration. Clara Ng tried to modify our traditional stories e.g. Si Kancil, Wayang, Dewi Sri, etc, with current condition and I guess she did an excellent job.

Yesterday I went to Gramedia Grandy, enjoyed a 30% discount and bought the other 5 books of the series. My girls were super happy. Busy with their new story books. They did have a great time. It's just a perfect year end gift.

Habibie & Ainun


Terima kasih Allah, Engkau telah menjadikan Ainun dan saya manunggal jiwa, roh, batin dan nurani kami melekat pada diri kami sepanjang masa dimanapun kami berada

An extraordinary love story of our former president, Bapak Habibie and Ibu Ainun. Their 48 years and 10 days of marriage life is a very good example for us. Some people say that marriage is not a simple thing. This statement is clearly not for Bapak Habibie and Ibu Ainun. They enjoy their marriage. They adore each other. They respect their partner. Their love remain unchanged.

Don't imagine this book as a romance book. This is not a simple book to read. The flow is a bit slow. At the beginning of the book, it tells more about our country condition, Indonesia. How Bapak Habibie was recalled from Germany by our former president, Bapak Soeharto, to go back to Indonesia. How Bapak Habibie transformed from a technocrat into a politician and how he actually felt about it. Their intense love stories can be read in the last two chapters when Ibu Ainun was hospitalized in Germany for two months and at last passed away there.

I read these last two chapters carefully and I could feel that love was in the air. I am totally touched. Even the doctors in Germany who took care of Ibu Ainun truly impressed by the way Habibie and Ainun interacted with each other. A beautiful love story. A blessed love. Splendid.

Batik Najlazea: December Collection




Need a new batik blouse? Get bored of your old batik collection? Well, it's just the right time to check Batik Najlazea December collection. Batik lovers, take your time and choose your favorite here.

Babies


It's stunning to watch a one year journey of four babies from around the world. From their first breath until their first step. We will go around the globe to watch the babies from Namibia, Africa to Mongolia, continued to Tokyo and ended at SanFrancisco, USA.

It's interesting to watch Namibian and Mongolian babies spending their time outdoor. They play with their brothers and also the animals cheerfully. While Japanese and American babies mostly stay at home with many kinds of toys, once in a while their parents take them to the play ground or join a play group.

Babies will never fail to entertain us. Look at their cute faces, they immediately transform the peaceful feeling. From these four babies, I learn the definition of happiness. Looking at Namibian and Mongolian babies, with very limited facilities e.g. toys, but it seems that doesn't reduce their happiness. They're the happy-go-lucky babies. While Japanese baby sometimes gets cranky, perhaps she gets bored of having stayed at home without any friend. Just a simple comparison. However no need to look for happiness, it is simply in our hearts not elsewhere.

Her Big Smile


Last Friday my little girl's school conducted an outing to Gelanggang Samudra Ancol. Here we were, Zea and I, walking hand in hand together enjoying various animal shows. Our lovely date was ended with 4D Theater. We entered a studio and watched the 4D movie with special glasses. While her other friends were screaming and asking their moms to leave the theater (perhaps 4D theater's too scary for students at age 2-3 years old), not for Zea.

Despite watching the movie, I was paying more attention to watch Zea's gesture, in case she's also afraid and we needed to stay out of the studio very soon. Fortunately, instead of getting scary, she watched the 4D movie religiously. At the end of the show, while we stepped out of the studio, she said to me, "Filmnya sebentar banget ya, Ma?!" Wew...what a girl. Look at her big smile above, it's obvious that she did enjoy the show.

Trapped Among Lovely Fabrics


A friend who is now interested to do the sewing activity asked me to do the fabrics hunting since she lives outside Jakarta. She needs certain fabrics with colorful, cute and adorable pattern. A very engaging request. I always love doing books and fabrics hunting.

Yesterday I started my mission. Browsing from one fabric shop to others all day long. After hard and long thinking *exaggerating*, finally I decided to purchase 6 different fabrics. Wew...I really love the feeling of being trapped among tons of beautiful fabrics. It's just great.Happy sewing, mbak Yana:)

After Orchard


When you heard the word 'Singapore', what do you associate it with? The answer will not far from Orchard Road, Merlion, shopping, clean, green, safe, and the list will go on and on with all positive things. That's Singapore in the eyes of tourists.

Never thought that Singapore could have a very different impression when it's told by Margareta Astaman. She was a student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for 4 years. Living in Singapore for 4 years and staying there for only 3 days and 2 nights (like most Indonesian used to do) can cause a big different stories. No more beautiful Singapore. Life seems so hard.

From Margareta's stories, we could learn about the education system in Singapore, the every days life there, the interaction among the people, the Singaporean values of life, and many more and at last we will realize why many young people there commit suicide, why they're afraid to dream, and how hard their lives are.

Of course, talking about Singapore is not only talking about negative things. Sure there are many great things for us to learn. Their discipline, their hard works, their honesty and the like. But, in the end I conclude that life is not only about having high grade or great career. What is the career for if you don't enjoy it? Working hard all day long, going home and feeling totally tired and lonely. This was exactly that happened to the author, after she graduated from NTU with flying colors and got a great job in Singapore just like what her dream, finally she just missed something, "...di hari ketiga bekerja, gue mulai bertanya-tanya apakah jadi ibu rumah tangga akan jadi cita-cita yang lebih masuk akal dan menyenangkan."

I quote the author's conclusion about her life in Singapore, "Gue hidup selama 4 tahun di Singapur, gue ga pernah bisa punya temen deket. Semuanya terlalu sibuk dengan kerjanya masing-masing, bahkan untuk senyum. Semua punya rencana sendiri dimana gue ga pernah jadi bagian dari rencana mereka. Gue selalu sendiri. Dan gue ga inget, kapan selama 4 tahun itu gue ngerasa seneng...."

I enjoy Margareta's stories. It makes me laughing and thinking at the same time. Imagine, her campus is surrounded by beautiful garden and completed by swimming pool but none of the college students ever sit or swim there, they're just too busy to enjoy the garden or the swimming pool. For me, it's just ironic.

In the end, we are back to the definition of life itself. Life is about choices. You're the one who decide where you want to take your life to. Either to be a career woman or just a full-time-mom. It's all about choices.

Batik Najlazea: November Collection




Hi...there, batik lovers, here they are, our November collection. Colorful batik blouses from beautiful Cirebon batik. For more detail collection, check them all here. We'll be waiting for your order..:)

Les Amis de Martine


Does the above serial ring a bell? In the old days, we called it Tini serial. A children book with very beautiful illustration created by Gilbert Delahaye and Marcel Marlier. This serial is my all time favorite book.

A few weeks a go when I browsed around Gramedia bookstore to find new story books for Najla, I came across this serial. I thought the content of the book was similar with the old Tini serial. Without thinking much, I directly bought 4 books. I saw there're already 10 books for this serial.

At home, with great excitement I introduced Najla with this serial, well...actually I also wanted to ask Zea to join us but unfortunately she's a bit busy with her lapis legit...:)

While we were discussing the book together, I just found out that the book was different from the old serial. Not only the title is different, now it's called Tina. But also the content. It seems that the new Tina is just a compilation from former Tini serial. Therefore it's stated on the front cover of the book 'Based on the album by Gilbert Delahaye and Marcel Marlier'. This Tina serial now is translated and published by PT Bhuana Ilmu Populer (Gramedia Group). I still prefer the old Tini since the story is more complete. But looking at Najla's enthusiasm, I guess this book is good enough. Moreover it's completed by 40 stickers, so beside reading the story, the children will be busy sticking the stickers in the book.

Theodore Boone


I've been in love with books for such a long time. They have accompanied me since I was a little girl, during my teenage period, up until now. They have been there, coloring my life faithfully. At that time, I also had several favorite authors who put great influence in my life. Started from Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon and the last one, John Grisham. Enid Blyton's writings made me once planned to be a children book author. While Agatha Christie really influenced me to be a detective, and the last one, John Grisham who successfully made me choosing law school and in the end deciding to be a lawyer:)

This latest book from John Grisham had already been translated by Gramedia Pustaka Utama on September 2010. It's about Theo Boone, a 13-yr-old-boy, who is crazy about law since both of his parents are lawyers. Not like other boys his age, Theo is different, his favorite place is court room. He knows well many judges, police officers and court officers. He wants to be a good lawyer someday.

Until one day, he knows something --perhaps too much-- that at last puts him into one of the most sensational murder case.

Do not expect to read a breathtaking legal thriller like Grisham usually writes. This book is targeted for teenagers. Therefore the story is very simple. Very predictable. For me as an emak-emak, it's just an ordinary book.

Finally, My New Template

After almost 3 years with that very standard blogspot template, finally here it is, my new template. Thanks to Mbak Yana from Kerlip Bintang who had already been very patient in assisting me with this template project. As a very 'gaptek' person, I am so happppyyy to see my new template.

I love the header: a woman, a bookshelf, butterfly and green colour. It's so me. It's just perfect. Hopefully this new template will make me write more often, at least 15 posts a month, uhm...we'll see:)

The Social Network


As a Facebook account owner, I was curious to watch this movie. I wanted to know how Mark Zuckerberg could be an accidental billionaire in such a young age. Never thought that the movie is a bit serious. I didn't say that I didn't enjoy it. I just thought that the movie could be more fun.

According to my hubby (who doesn't have a facebook account), "It's ironic. Actually Zuckerberg's purpose of creating this social network was to get more friends , but unfortunately at the moment he launched the Facebook, he'd already lost his friends."

Yup, after facebook's launched and Zuckerberg claimed that he's the founder, he directly faced several legalsuits from his friends. Perhaps, the answer of this condition was as stated in the movie tagline: You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. Yes, as simple as that.

The movie is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.

The Batik Notebook is Here


Welcoming the November rain with a new batik notebook created by Mbak Tarlen from Tobucil. I admire her a lot. She has a beyond belief creativity. I wish I could be like her. Creating many great and useful stuffs.

I love batik. No wonder that this batik notebook was a love at first sight. Yes , at the moment I saw it, I felt in love with it. I ordered it and this morning the notebook arrived, yay...

Actually I plan to use this notebook and replace the old one, but unfortunately when I see this new notebook, I just can't write on it. It's just too beautiful. I feel reluctant to use it and plan to keep it instead *dilemma*:)

Between Two Different Requests


It's definitely true that a child brings his/her own genetic character. It happens to my two girls. Although they are sisters. They are raised by the same parents. They are treated in the exactly same way. Living in the same home. Studying in the same school. But, still they have their original characters. The bigger they are, the more their different characters appear.

It happened just now, when I planned to go out for some urgent matters. As usual every time their mom seems to change her dress and starts to do some make-up, their curiosity will reach the highest level and the investigation will soon be started by asking tons of questions, such as: "Ma, where are you going?", "What time will you go back?", "Ma, promise me, you will arrive home soon, won't you?." Sometimes the investigative session will be ended by asking their favorite things.

When I arrived home in the afternoon, they run all along our terrace to welcome their mom. Najla started by asking, "Ma, buku titipan Kakak dibeliin kan?" and her little sister, Zea also asked for her request, "Ma, kue lapis legit titipan Zea mana?" While her big sister always requests me to buy her story books, Zea is still consistent to ask for food, haha.... they have their own favorite stuffs. Ah..girls, you make my day. As always.

What A Wonderful World

Find a job that you like
then you don't have to work for the rest of your life

This lines have been haunting me for quite sometime. But nowadays, after I check my weekly schedule and compare it with my former weekly activities, it seems that I almost get there *deep grateful*.

My weekly schedule in the old days:
Monday - Friday: Office 8.30 am -5.30 pm
(I left home at 6 am and returned home at 7 pm. Experiencing the horrible traffic jam, endless meeting, deadline, reports, and all mandatory office stuffs).

My recent weekly schedule:
Monday: Campus 8 am -1.30 pm
(I am back to campus, not for my post graduate study but for teaching, yeah...I am a lecturer now *blushing*).

Tuesday-Thursday:
Managing my online shop. Dealing with my batik collections. On these 2 days, time seemingly flies away. Stuck among batik fabric are absolutely fun. Time will never be enough.

Wednesday-Friday:
Going to the office. Following up the works that need to be done.
(the office belongs to my best buddy, therefore my proposal to have a flexible working hour is approved *_*)

Saturday:
Yoga Practice: 7am-9am

Sunday:
It's time to have a special date with my girls & hubby.

Please note that Tuesday-Friday activities are subject to change, i.e. if there's a lunch invitation or a must see movie or just an 'emak-emak' chit-chat, they are aturable :)

I know it is just too good to be true. I guess 'lucky' is my middle name now. Well....life is wonderful.... Alhamdulillah.....

Eat Pray Love (The Movie)


I watched the movie yesterday without great expectation. I know an adaptation from a book into a movie is going to be hard. Moreover Eat Pray Love is one of my favorite memoir. I love the book a lot and I already have my own imagination over the book.

But, I need to admit that I enjoy the movie. Of course it's not as detail as the book, but still it's enchanting. Despite the charming Julia Roberts and the beautiful setting of Italy, India and Bali, I also found a good lesson from the movie. A life lesson. If you want to get happiness, you don't have to go around the globe, the happiness is here, in your heart. As human, we the one who control ourselves, our mind. We are the mind master. Many great quotes spread along the movie. A truly inspiring movie.

Relaunching: www.batiknajlazea.com


Hi...there, I've just finished redesigning my online shop website, www.batiknajlazea.com. Well...I love the template, it's just sooooo...me, colorful and chic, matching with our colorful batik collections. I also have uploaded around 20 batik collections, there're still a lot of pictures to be uploaded. I am working on it. Just check it out, hope you guys like it.

Big thanks for mbak Yana who fully assisted me with the website redesigning project. I really appreciate your great work mbak, thank you. For those who need a web designer assistance, I highly recommend Mbak Yana from Kerlip Bintang, she's awesome.

A Tea Story


Welcoming October with a sad story. My little girl, Najla, got fever and finally hospitalized for 4 days. Thank God, she's getting better now. She's already home. Get well soon, baby.

Okay, enough about gloomy things. Let's talk about something nice. Let's talk about tea. Tea? Yes, that incredible drink. My love for tea started 8 years a go. Back when I got married. My hubby and also his family love tea very much. They drink tea 3-4 times a day. At first I only tried it for fun. But later on I felt in love with it. I finally adopt my hubby's habit to have morning and afternoon tea while we discuss about many things. Well, it seems that I not only get married with my hubby but also with his habit:)

From there on I begin to eye tea collections in every supermarket. I buy many different kinds and brands of tea. Never thought that the tea hunting is really engaging.

After tasting many kinds of tea, lately I fall for local tea, Teh Prendjak, from Tanjung Pinang. This tea is awesome. The rose flavor is very unique. Just try it. You're going to love it. If in the old days, it's a bit difficult to find Teh Prendjak since you have to buy it in Riau, but nowadays, almost all big supermarkets in Jakarta sell it. Check it out.

Oh My Goodness! Buku Pintar Seorang Creative Junkies


Berpikir boleh 'out of the box'
tapi yang dipilih untuk dieksekusi harus yang 'inside the box'
seperti Harry Houdini yang selalu berhasil cari jalan keluar dari box dalam keadaan terikat

A friend gave me this book as a present for my on-line shop launching. It' s a story about a very creative man, Yoris Sebastian. He's a young creative entrepreneur. At the age of 26, he became the youngest General Manager of Hard Rock Cafe in Asia (the second youngest GM in the world). A very inspiring book. I feel that this book is specially dedicated to me since it's perfectly fit with my condition now.

Yoris believes that creativity is not Intelligence Quotient (IQ). If IQ is genetic and can't be changed, it's different with creativity. Creativity is a habit. A skill that can be developed. This book gives simple and practical tips from Yoris on how to become a creative person.

Everybody can be a creative junkie. How? According to Yoris, start now, every big step starts with an inch. Enrich your knowledge since knowledge makes you powerful. Avoid MeeTooism. Be different. Be yourself and shine on your own way.

Also important is to create your creative habitat. Find a place with creative people and surrounding. This condition will lead you to become one of them, a creative person. Don't stay in your comfortable zone too long, you will enjoy it too much, no more challenges, and lose your creative habit.

A very important book. I recommend this book to many of my friends since it gives many good inputs to me. I just feel that leaving my 14 years career is the best decision that I'd ever made. I'm already on the right track. There are tons things to do. I just need to move on and be persistence.

Last but not least, I really appreciate this great present. Thanks buddy, suddenly I want us to visit one of our favorite venue, eating our Roti Canai, sipping our teh tarik and discuss this book all day long. Sounds great, doesn't it? Don't worry, it's on me :)

The Millenium Trilogy



I want to write about my favorite trilogy this year, yes.. the Millenium Trilogy, the series of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist that written down by a genius Swedish author Stieg Larsson. I have just finished reading the third book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, this is the final story of Salander and Blomkvist. It wraps up all the 3 books. From the hospital where Salander and his evil father placed, move to Salander's trial and the interference of Sapo, Swedish Secret Police. The book is a bit slow moving with complex affair. But you won't be disappointed. Larsson stories will never let us down. You'll find part of legal drama, conspiracy and thriller here. One thing that I miss after finished reading this final chapter is there will be no more stories about Salander and Blomkvist.

Unfortunatelly, Larsson went too soon. He's dead of a sudden heart attack on November 2004. It turned out that Larsson actually planned to write 10 books of this Millenium series. Some of the book drafts are already in his computer and managed by his life partner, Eva Gabrielsson. At first Eva wanted to continue these series, but since Larsson left no written will, therefore according to Swedish Law, all Larsson's estates will be inherited to his father and brother. At this moment, there is a dispute between Eva and Larsson' family. Just hoping that all dispute could be settled amicably, so we could enjoy the next book of Millenium series very soon.

I also have just watched the Swedish DVD of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. And I need to admit that the movies are awesome. All my imagination about Salander and Blomkvist were adapted perfectly in the movies. Lisbeth Salander seems so real. Not many books could be adapted as successful as this one.

Hollywood also plans to remake the movie. It's scheduled to hit the theaters on December 2011. But I am definitely sure that the American version will not compete with the Swedish version.

Warna Air 2


Warna Air is the sequel of the Color Trilogy written and drawn by Korean artist, Kim Dong Hwa. Still as enchanted as the first book, Warna Tanah.

Again, it tells about mother and daughter relationship in rural Korea. The beautiful girl, Ehwa and her mom. This time Ehwa is getting more mature. She learns how to fall in love, how to miss someone, and also how to experience broken hearted. Her mom also has her own love story with the picture man. They share their stories, although now, along with her grown up, Ehwa keeps some stories as secrets from her mom, but still their conversation about women, romance and sexuality are delivered in a beautiful way. Hwa describes Ehwa and her mom relationship just like a flower grows, from its seeds until it blooms. Very engaging.

The artwork is once again masterful, the writing is poetic and the detail is breathtaking. The detail of the flowers, houses, skies and everything are simply incredible. I am amazed with the faces of the characters, with just a few lines, we see the beauty of Ehwa and her mom.

The book is also completed with reading-group discussion guide. Perhaps since the book contains important elements about human relationship, the culture, the gender issues, and many more, it is very interesting to discuss it and listen to other people thoughts.

Translated into bahasa and published by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama on August 2010 and I was lucky to be one of the early readers of this book since I received it for free, thank you Gramedia.

A must have trilogy. Very recommended. Now, I need to wait (impatiently) for the last book The Color of Heaven.

Happy Eid Mubarak 1431 H


A very belated Idul Fitri greeting, tssh... as usual Idul Fitri is always be a very busy day. A long holiday without any 'leyeh-leyeh' day. Busy with a lot of things, the packing, the mudik, the family gathering, the food, the dirty laundry, the messy house, and finally the prayer to see si mbak coming back very soon *can't wait...can't hardly wait*

Despite all the 'tiring' activities, Idul Fitri will always be a special day. A lovely day. A day to embrace. A day to forgive and to forget. A day that always warms my heart. Hopefully, we still have the opportunity to welcome Ramadhan month and the beautiful Idul Fitri next year, amin.

Entrok


Entrok is a debut novel written by Okky Madasari. Entrok means bra in Javanese. A story about a mother, Marni, and her daughter, Rahayu, in rural area in Central Java during 1950s -1990s. Marni is a hardworker, she works hard to give the best for her only daughter, Rahayu. Unfortunately, the more mature Rahayu, the more disagreements they both have.

As an illiterate Javanese woman, Marni still worships her ancestors, while Rahayu as a modern girl learns about religion at school. Rahayu can't live with it. This condition leads to a wide gap between them. They live in their own thoughts.

This novel delivers a detail description about life in a village. How difficult to live as a poor and uneducated people. In fact, even the rich people also experience certain bad things, such as: every time the election day comes, they are forced to give donation to certain political party, if they refuse to do so, they will charged against the government and will be put in jail. Unfairness and political abuse from authoritarian ruler are everywhere now and forever. The poor are always the victims.

This novel reminds me of Ahmad Tohari's trilogy Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk. Perhaps since the setting is in a small village, the characters are intimidated people, and they face tragical moments from the beginning until the end.

Overall, it is a good read. I recommend this novel, glad to find an Indonesian novel with different genre written down by a young author.

Pak Beye dan Istananya


This book is a bestseller. Everybody talks about it, reviews it and put it as a must have item. A book about our president from different point of view, written uniquely by Wisnu Nugroho, a kompasianer, in his blog. With the tag line, mengabarkan yang tidak penting agar yang penting tetap penting, Wisnu tells many interesting stories that happen in the palace. From the kinds of vehicles owned by the ministers, their shoes, our president favorite food, etc.

Formerly Wisnu was a Kompas journalist that assigned in the palace. Therefore he had a lot of opportunities to explore what's going on in that 'sacred' palace. A very recommended book. Enjoyable.

This book is the first from the tetralogy. Can't hardly wait for the second book.

My Lucky Week


It seemed that last week was my lucky week since I received 2 free books, a novel, Entrok and a graphic novel, Warna Air 2.

It's all started when I bought More Indonesia magazine August edition. The magazine offered 20 Entrok novel for free. I sent an e-mail and suddenly last week mister postman came and delivered the novel. Yay...the novel is written down by Okky Madasari. I am still reading it, a very interesting novel.

My luck didn't stop there, on the same week, I suddenly received an e-mail from Mbak Dwi Astuti from Promosi Fiksi Gramedia Pustaka Utama, she said that she really appreciated my review about Kim Dong Hwa graphic novel, Warna Tanah 1 and as their appreciation, Gramedia would send me the second book of the trilogy, Warna Air 2. I am so honored that my simple review could be appreciated that much.

Can't wait to read those 2 books in the middle of this hustle and bustle, i.e. the Lebaran day is getting closer, the nanny will take leave very soon, be ready to turn into Upik Abu, the mudik plan is also on the list and not to forget the most important part, the packing, one of the exhausting things to do.

All in all, these presents really made my day. Big thanks to More Indonesia magazine and Mbak Dwi Astuti from Gramedia.

Oooppss...Time Flies

Yes...time flies. Real fast. We have to move faster otherwise we can't catch it up and left behind without nothing. I just realize that today's already the 19th day of Ramadhan, ehm...Lebaran is getting closer, no wonder Jakarta traffic jam is getting worse. Especially this weekend since most people already received the Lebaran allowance aka THR and of course they can't stand the urge to go shopping.

This Ramadhan is really different. After 14 years always had breakfasting here, there and everywhere, i.e. in the office, in the train station, in the train itself (mostly) or in angkot with favorite menu a bottle of ice green tea and a plastic of gorengan and had very rare opportunity to have breakfasting at home unless on weekend. Finally this year I receive a great blessing to embrace a peaceful Ramadhan at home with my petite family. What a great blessing. Thank God. I am lost in words.

Now during Ramadhan, I have special activities with my girls, every afternoon, after taking a bath, we always walk along our housing complex and find out that some of my neighbors suddenly becoming tajil sellers. It's so fun not only to choose what tajil for today, but also this special moments with my girls are priceless. Oh..how I lost a lot of magic moments with them all this time. And realizing that time flies, whoaaaa...I wish I could turn back time.

At the end, again and again, I am so grateful with my life now. Thank God, I am still given the opportunity to spend the beautiful moments with my girls and my family as the whole. It's true, the more you are grateful, the more blessing will come to you. However, there is also one different thing to be noted this year which is no more THR for me *sigh*.

Between the Assassinations


I once enjoyed Aravind Adiga The White Tiger a lot. No wonder it's awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2008. I have great expectation when I purchased and started to read this book. The setting is almost similar with The White Tiger, in India, telling about people there with their frustration against the discriminations of castes, religions, and status.

In Between the Assassinations, Adiga created a fictional Indian city called Kittur and he eyed the life of people there within 7 (seven) days. So, you'll find 12 (twelve) different stories from different people. I thought that at the end of the book these 12 stories will meet, but it turns out that all these stories aren't related.

Well..it seems that this book is only an anthology of 12 (twelve) short stories that made during the period of Indira Gandhi assassination in 1984 and his son, Rajiv Gandhi assassination in 1991. Nothing more. I absolutely love The White Tiger more than this one.

Warna Tanah 1


A very beautiful graphic novel made by Kim Dong Hwa, a Korean author/artist. This story is just too beautiful, I am speechless. Enjoying every page of it, the drawing, the story, and all.

It is a story about Ehwa, a little girl and her single mother who live in rural Korea. It's started when Ehwa just 7 years old and along with the coming of the rainy season, she turns into a young lady. Ehwa and her mom, both grow and change. However their strong-mom-and-daughter-relationship make them supporting each other in facing the world and their surrounding that sometimes not too friendly to them.

The author, Dong Hwa, describes these women lives with rain and flowers as metaphor. Therefore you will find a very poetic graphic novel. This is more like a poem than a graphic novel. And I also amaze to find out that a male writer can capture woman's emotion and attitude so accurate.

Warna Tanah 1 (The Color of Earth) is the first from the trilogy. Hopefully PT Gramedia PustakaUtama will translate all. I just can't wait for the 2nd book, Warna Air .

Happy Birthday, Ayah


Dear Ayah,

It's your birthday,
I know

but somehow I feel
like I'm the one getting the present....
another wonderful year
of having you

to love.


Tons of loves, hugs & kisses,

Mama, Najla & Zea

Yes...We're Open Now


Pfiuuuhhhh...after a lot of postponement, at last my online shop, www.batiknajlazea.com can be launched. The website is still far from perfect and also there are only 4 wardrobe collection there and unfortunately 1 wardrobe already sold. But not too worry, I still have around 40 wardrobes to be up loaded in there. Just wait. I am working on it.

While waiting the completion of the website, I made a Facebook account for Batik Najlazea and I already finished up loading around 30 photos there. If you want to join our Facebook account, just add us on www.facebook.com/batik najlazea.

I think that's all for today, I let you know for any up date about our Batik Najlazea collection.

PS: The above picture is once again Najla & Zea wearing too big wardrobe from Batik Najlazea collection.

The Japanese Wife


The Japanese Wife is an Indian movie directed by Aparna Sen. It's a unique love story between Indian man and a Japanese girl. Snehamoy, a schoolteacher in India and Miyage, a young girl in Japan, meet through letters, fall in love over letters, and even get married through letters. They have been married for 15 years, but have never met. Imagine, there are 637 letters, 4 phone calls, 15 years of married, but they have never met. In fact, they end up in a sad ending.

Instead of its unique yet sad love story, this movie shows many beautiful spots. The scenes move back and forth from India to Japan accompany Snehamoy and Miyage feeling, their happiness and sorrow.

Definitely not a common love story, but there is no such bizarre thing when love comes around. It's simply love. That's it.

Birthday Stories


The idea came out when Haruki Murakami read stories about birthday and he felt haunted about them. Then he began to think to collect short stories related to birthdays and put them in one anthology. He never thought that it's going to be hard to find the birthday stories, it turned out that not many authors talking about birthdays. Until he finally asked everyone he knew to assist him and inform him if they knew anything related to birthday stories.

So..here it is an anthology of 13 birthday stories written by 13 different authors (only one story written by Murakami). If we think that birthdays should be a great moment, not in this anthology, some are warm stories while others are quite dark. Since there are 13 different authors here, be ready for 13 different writing style. Not all stories are easy to read, some are a bit hard. My favorite of course Birthday Girl written by Murakami.

All in all it's brilliant to have this kind of anthology due to as Murakami said, "as long as the earth of ours continues to circle around the sun, your birthday will come around once a year, whether or not it gets reported on the radio, for you it will be a special day."

Dwilogi: Padang Bulan & Cinta di Dalam Gelas


.....semuanya akan meninggalkanmu
kecuali secangkir kopi
dia ada di situ, tetap di situ, hangat,
dan selalu dapat dipeluk


Andrea Hirata is back with his newest book, a two-in-one book Dwilogi Padang Bulan. It is a continuation of Maryamah Karpov, Andrea's latest book in Laskar Pelangi Quartet.

There is a love story between Ikal and A Ling, also story about a strong girl yet a truly survivor, Maryamah, and the most enjoyable part is stories about Melayu people and their unique habit.

I always enjoy the way Andrea convey his stories. He has his own style. Full of humor. He's an excellent observer of people, environmental and nature. Salute to his social and cultural research. I will wait for his next work.

The Help


Reading many good reviews about this book. Curious about it. Read it. Can't stop it. At last fall in love with it thoroughly.

This is a debut novel written down by Kathryn Stockett. It's about African-American maids working in white households in Mississippi during the early 1960s. the novel is told from the perspective of three characters, two African-American maids and one young white woman. All of them get together in a secret project to document the experiences of the African-American maids while serving for white family. At that time this issue is very sensitive. Once they get caught, they have to face the risk of losing friends, love even life.

A breathtaking story. Stockett wrote this novel beautifully, perhaps since some of the stories were based on her true stories. A very recommended book. Soon it will be adapted into movie.

Already translated into bahasa by Penerbit Matahati on May 2010.

So Little Time, Too Much To Do



Pppfffiuhhhh....Arkarna's tittle of song, So Little Time Too Much To Do, really representing my condition now. So many things to do. I don't know which one to go first. My plan to launch my online shop on early of July finally is postponed due to certain things are not perfect yet.

In the middle of my hectic world, out of the blue, a friend asked me to join her in a short trip to Singapore. Uhmm...a very tempting offer. After thinking about it over and over, at the end I said yes. I just think I need to relax. Who knows after recharging, I come back with new brilliant ideas.

It's only a 3-day-journey. Yes, Singapore Great Sale is on now. But, we stayed away from it *denial*. Honestly, we didn't do much shopping there. Purchased things that make me super excited are my favorite items, i.e. Yasmin Ahmad's VCDs, Sepet and Sepet 2:Gubra, and also Haruki Murakami's book Birthday Stories. Yay..

I also visited a friend who studies there. Therefore this trip mostly full of chit-chat, everywhere, at cafe, under the tree or at every bench we found. Just the 3 of us accompanied by interesting topics to talk about, a glass of teh tarik and kaya toast. What a beautiful moment.

Now I am back with the new spirit. Ready to face the world *exaggerating*. Well....it's time to go back to my online shop project now. Wish me luck.

PS: Above pictures are Najla & Zea wearing our wardrobe collection, Batik Najlazea, too big for them? Yeah...those items are actually for adult.

Jingga


......buku ini adalah tentang Anda. Tentang kita. Tentang betapa indah dan berharganya menjadi manusia dalam waktu kita yang sangat terbatas di atas bumi ini.

Aku merayakan saat kita bersama sekarang, hidup adalah traveling terbesar.


Second book written by Marina S. Kusumawardhani after the first one Keliling Eropa 6 Bulan Hanya 1000 Dollar. This time Marina tells about her journey around India and Thailand. But, don't get it wrong, this is not an ordinary travel books that now scattering in almost all bookshops. As written down in the cover of the book, this is A Journey to India and Thailand in Searching a Heaven on Earth. Yes, Marina's journey has changed her life forever.

Marina is a special girl. Imagine, just to realize her dream of visiting India, she saved her money for 2 years and finally at the age of 18 with Rp 7 millions from her saving, she headed to India all alone.

And the journey to find the heaven on earth began from Himalaya, Kashmir, Gangga River and remote beaches in Thailand. She met many interesting people and asked them many questions about God, religion, life, etc. At the end she concluded that to find the heaven on earth, one must purify him/herself, asked ourselves, who am I. I know this is not a simple book. Despite info on alternative places to visit, we will also need to concentrate and 'enjoy' Marina's discussion with the people she met on the journey. So, where is it exactly the heaven on earth? Could Marina find it?

If you want to read a travel book with differrent 'tone', this is it. Published by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama on June 2010.

Oooopss...It's Getting Closer


Never realize that resign has a lot of meaning and most of them are positive. Since I left my job, I am now enjoying life more and more. I don't have to deal with working hour anymore. Oh....I am free. Free as a bird. It's me who will be in charge for everything. And I decide to do the things I like.

The idea actually came up 3 months a go when I was at Inacraft, one of my favorite craft events. While surrounded by tons of batik fabrics, suddenly tadaaaa....the urge to have my own products to sell just showed up. Since I love batik, I love batik wardrobe, at last I choose batik as my core business.

Finally, here I am, busy preparing for my on-line shop. Started with batik hunting, back and forth to the tailors scattered around Jakarta, taking pictures for the ready wardrobe, this and that. It turns out that so many things to prepare. It gave me headache sometimes. Still, the excitement is here. This is just too good to be true. I am very much grateful. Thank God.

I still need to perfect some matters before everything is on the right track. Hopefully, I'll be able to launch the on-line shop next month (it's 6 days to go actually). Wish me luck.

Ps: The above picture is my clothing label. Yes, I choose Najlazea as my brand.

Prisoner of Tehran


A memoir of Marina Nemat, a Russian girl, who grew up in Iran during Iranian Revolution in 1970s. Her story reminds me of Marjane Satrapi's memoir, Persepolis. But, if Marjane was sent out of Iran by her parents during the revolution, not for Marina, she stayed there and experienced horrible moments.

As a Christian girl, it's absolutely not easy for her to grow up during that moment. Later on, after complaining about her maths lessons being replaced by Islamic studies, Marina was arrested late one evening. She was taken to Evin, a notorious prison where interrogation and torture were part of daily routine. Marina was sentenced to death at the age of 16.

Her fate was changed when a prison guard saved her from bullet but on the other hand asked her a shocking request: to marry him and conversion to Islam. Finally, Marina left the prison and began her new life as a wife. But, once again, something happened and changed her world forever, her husband was killed by his rival factions. Marina once again returned to Evin. Lucky her, after more than 2 years at Evin, with her father-in-law hard effort finally she was released and went back to her family.

Reading Marina's experience put me into deep grief, I do feel sorry for her to lose her childhood and lead a normal life. However I admire her courage, her wisdom and her fight to save her integrity and family. It's really an extraordinary tale of faith and survival. I could not put the book down.

This memoir has been translated into 13 languages and soon will be adapted into a movie. While Marina now lives in Canada with her husband and their 2 sons.

Amazing Chats


Some short yet amazing chats with my little girls, Najla (5 yrs old) & Nayzea (3 yrs old):
Najla: Ma, tau temen aku yang namanya Anya?
Mama: Iya, kenapa kak?

Najla: Anya itu seperti anak laki-laki
Mama: Oh...ya?!
Najla: Pasti Anya itu tombol ya, ma?

Najla is crazy about maths lesson now. A simple maths lesson of course.
Najla: Ma, belajar kurang-kurangan yuk!
Mama: Oke, misalnya kakak punya 9 puding coklat, adik Zea minta 7 puding, sekarang puding kakak sisa berapa?
Najla: Ya.....kok adik Zea minta pudingnya banyak banget????


Nayzea's hair is getting longer, she asked for a hair cutting.
Zea: Ma, rambut aku udah panjang, ke salon yuk ma!
Mama: Zea, mau potong rambut?
Zea: Iya mama, rambut aku sudah gerondong

Oh...kids, you never stop amazing me. Love you full.

PS: Picture was taken on Najla's school farewell party last year.

Capitalism: A Love Story


The latest Michael Moore's documentary movie. Moore delivers his research on the root causes of the global financial crisis of 2007-2010. The mortgage, the derivative transaction, the politics, etc, all influences one another. Moore shows the documents and interviews many people in order to convey accurate facts about capitalism and how it could lead to a horrible ending. A very good movie, I learn a lot.

I watched this movie at Blitz GI and felt like a movie owner since there were only 2 (two) persons, my friend and I, who watched it:)

Lovely Moments

I experience a lot of great moments lately, such as:

  • Welcoming a friend who visited Jakarta for a short time period. Since she missed oxtail soup a lot, so we took her to Oxtail Soup Ibu Samino in Senayan. Great food with reasonable price. Then watching Shrek Forever After, continued with taking pictures at Museum Nasional (Museum Gajah) *tourist mode on* and ending our journey at Starbucks WTC. A glass of green tea latte would be a perfect companion to end this tiring yet beautiful day.
  • Visiting SMESCO Gallery and bought beautiful Batik fabrics.
  • Having free lunch at Takigawa Sency with former colleagues and Soup at Plaza Indonesia with a friend who celebrated her new career at new office. Congrats Rina dear!
  • Reading 100 Kata. Stories that written down in 100 words, not more. Creative. Love it.
  • Watching Sex and the City 2. Funny.Crazy. Entertaining as usual.
Look...so many great moments here, oh...I love life!

A Special Birthday Package


I have some problems with my internet connection for the past one week, oh....I miss blogging a lot. Finally, today I can go on line *big smile*.

I want to tell about friendship. My 30-year-old-friendship. Imagine. You have a 30-year-old-friendship. On this special friend's birthday, you will get confused what to give as a birthday present since it seems for the past 30 years all possible presents have already been given, unless a house or a car *grin*.

It happens to me. Karin and I have been friends since 1980 back when we were still in elementary school *yes...we're old, haha*. Everytime her birthday comes (June 3), I am busy thinking about the birthday present. The easiest present is book since we're both book freaks. But, recently, at the moment we see a good book, we just buy it and give it as present even it's not birthday yet. So, books are not special present anymore.

2 years a go I ordered her birthday cupcakes . Last year, she had to undergo a serious surgery, thank God, it run well, I bought her a praying wear. This year, I blogged hop here and there and finally arrived at this great blog. I got so excited to see her products and at last ordered some cute items. I guess custom-made items are the best present for special friend. Thank you, Sawo Kecik. And happy birthday dear Karin, wishing you a great life ahead, sorry for the late posting, blame it on internet provider...:)

We are All Made of Glue


I felt in love with Marina Lewycka's first novel A Short History of Tractors In Ukrainian, therefore at the moment I saw this book, I was so sure to purchase it, moreover after I read the synopsis on the back page of the book. But, it turned out that the book is not as good as I thought. I still prefer her first book. I don't know perhaps I expect too much since her first book is fabulous.

The book tells about a middle-aged-woman, Georgie Sinclair who is left by her hubby. She stays with her son who is obsessed with the End of the World. And suddenly her elderly neighbor has decided they are related. Therefore when this neighbor gets an accident and hospitalized, Georgie needs to take care of her, her big house and also her pets, stinky cats. There are still a pair of real estate agents who are interested to sell the house, there are the repairman with his family, and also social workers who want to put the neighbor in a nursing room. All these people stuck together with their own purposes and make this book so difficult to enjoy.

And...I finally leave it without reaching the ending.

Life is Good

It's nearly 2 months since I 'd made one of my big decision in my life, which was to become a full-time mom. So far, I have been through many memorable moments. I once feel a huge euphoria, waking up in the morning without nothing to worry about. No more long-boring-meetings, no more deadlines, no more annoying arguments, no more trapped in a traffic jam, then and there. Yay...life could be that great, indeed.

But, on the other hand, I am also familiar with certain questions, such as:"How are things going with you?", "You miss the office stuff, don't you?", "You're sorry leaving your job, aren't you?", it will go on and on. Every time I come across my ex-colleagues, my yoga friends, my college friends, etc, most of them always keep acting this way, at first feeling surprised when they heard that after being a career woman for 14 years, I finally resigned from my job, then continued with a big WHY I left my job, then a bigger WHY when I said I want to become a stay-at-home-mom, then end up with their own conclusions that I will feel bored at home and will eventually feel sorry for my decision. Why....oh why, people love to judge, sometimes (or very often) they think that their opinions are the best. Is it so difficult to respect other people choice? I remember a wise saying exclaims that if you can't say something nice, just keep silent.

While the truth is as I mentioned in the first paragraph, I am sure that this is the best decision I ever made. I have never felt this happy before. This peaceful feeling can't lie. Happiness spreads all over me and influences my surrounding. My girls are the best supporters. They're happy to see their mom around.

But this euphoria could also lead to a scary moment. When I decided to leave my job, I have many projects in my mind to be realized. I plan to work from home. Doing the translation, reviewing and drafting, etc, from home. I never realize that working from home means I have no boss who will supervise me and instruct me this and that. I am the one who decides when to finish it. For a moment I find difficulties to adapt with these new things. I become a procrastinator. Postponing everything since I'm easily distracted by many things *excuses*. I am lack of self discipline. It turns out that it's very hard to be a discipline person when you need to manage yourself. Easy to say but it's hard to act.

I thank God, I realize it just now that I need to manage my time properly. Now, I try to get my self discipline bit by bit. I begin to rearrange my projects one by one and hopefully can realize it very soon. I just want to say that life is good, never better, and enjoy it a lot, hope you all do the same.

(More) Movies Review



Again, more movies from my dusty DVDs collection. The first one is Cache (Hidden), a 2005 France movie. A very creepy movie. The lead character here is Georges who receives packages containing videos of himself with his family shot secretly from the street and alarming crayon drawing whose meaning is obscure. He has no idea who maybe sending him.

Gradually, the tapes are getting more personal, suggesting that the sender has known Georges for sometime. Just like France movies, the movie moves a bit slow but it is still enjoyable since it makes us too curious to find out the ending of the movie.

The second movie is Elegy. A 2008 movie. Talking about love and special relationship. A 70-yr-old lecturer (Ben Kingsley) falls in love with his 24-yr-old student (Penelope Cruz). Their love stories are not a happy one. They face the ups-and-downs of love life. Problems here and there. Not only due to their more than 30 years difference of age but also many other things, i.e. their way of thinking, their beliefs, etc. A magnificent love story. Deeply touching.