Today I went to clean up my house and saw this suitcase below which belonged to my great-aunt Odette. I think she must be around 93 years old now. She's still alive and kicking in Paris, living on her own in a small apartment on the 6th floor without a lift (I kid you not!). When I was studying in Paris, I would come over to her place once a month and have lunch with her. Before I left to go back to Jakarta, she asked me what I wanted to take from her belongings since we didn't know when I would be able to come back to Paris. Now, every time I came to visit my great-aunt, after lunch, we would open one of her many photo albums (she's travelled all around the world) and she would tell me stories about her adventures. So naturally, I asked if I could have her albums :)

But besides the albums (I think I have at least 20 of them), she also gave me this suitcase with historic newspaper clipping... If you see the photo below, she has about 3-4 newspapers for the date of May 8th, 1945 when the Germans finally surrendered and World War II ended...

This photo below is also pretty awesome, taken when Paris was still under German occupation. The sign says "Attention, if you go beyond this line, you will be shot"

The 2 photos below are part of her travel albums. My great-aunt studied art at school and was quite talented. She finally got a job making maps but as you can see, she still drew for her albums...

Here are some photos of Tati (as I normally call her) during her youth. She's not a very easy woman to be around and much preferred animals to humans, but deep down she was nice and I really hope she's doing well right now...


I've been craving fresh fish lately and when I saw that my friend, mba Ayu Husodo had a steamed fish recipe on her blog, I knew I had to try it out. Especially because it's a Jamie Oliver recipe! Mba Ayu has been challenging herself to cook several of Jamie's recipes and so far, she's done a really great job and all of them have been successful.
Besides cooking every single day for her family (yes ladies, you read that right!), mba Ayu also makes handmade crafts which I talked about in a previous post and which you can see on this website...

So anyway, back to this wonderful fish which I cooked today... It was amazingly good! I made a few changes from the original recipe on mba Ayu's blog but it's just cause I was trying to be creative...hahaha... oh and I ate the fish with some organic sweet potatoes from YUM's organic farm and they were perfect with the fish!

See below for the recipe:

Asian-style Steamed Fish (for 1 serving)

100-150g grouper fish (kerapu in indonesian)
A handful of pak choi or bok choi, slice half lengthways

Bring to boil a pan of hot water. Use a colander or a steamer or a pyrex dish. Put in the pak choi first and the fish on top of it. Steam for about 10 minutes. Check that the fish is cooked through.

For the sauce:
2 cm ginger, peel and grate
2 cloves of garlic, peel and grate
2 cm lemongrass, cut finely
1/2 fresh red chilli
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lime/lemon (add according to your taste)
1/2 tsp honey

Mix all the ingredients together and once your fish and pak choi are ready, put them on a plate and drizzle with the sauce. You can eat this with white rice. Or like me, just take some sweet potatoes, cut in 8 lengthwise, drizzle some olive oil on them and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. When they're cooked, give them some salt & pepper to taste.




Today, I fell in love with this song again...



Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM), where I work, just finished a film documentary about our projects. It's amazing to see on video the different projects that we talk about daily and work hard to keep going.

I'm going to let the video speak for itself so enjoy!!

Yayasan Usaha Mulia (english version) from Yayasan Usaha Mulia on Vimeo.



I'd like to share with you some really cute interior and design images I found on Pinterest lately. I've just really loved going through the images and getting inspired... it's really like a breath of fresh air!
So what's it all about you ask? Well, Pinterest is like a pinboard, as if you were at home, looking at magazines, cutting images and pinning them on the board. Instead of doing all that manually, on Pinterest all you have to do is click the "Pin It" button and it goes directly to your board :) Check mine out here: echarekso

Source: decor8.blog via echarekso on Pinterest

Source: 1.bp.blogspot.com via echarekso on Pinterest

Source: classiq.ro via echarekso on Pinterest



Wouldn't you like to spend your summer holiday in this camping car?

I've been looking for activities for my almost 7-year old son for this summer holidays. I'm a bit concerned because I work during the day (only until 2-3 pm though but still...) and I was actually looking for a summer camp where he would spend half a day there every day. Unfortunately, the one I found came highly un-recommended by 2 friends so I had to drop that idea.

So 2 days ago, I went on my own hunt for activities, so I thought I'd share them here in case you too are searching for activities for your child:

- Tennis Camp at Jakarta International Tennis Academy - Cilandak Sport Center
4 x weekly for 2 hours each session costs Rp. 450,000/child

- Swimming lessons at Cilandak Sports Center
1 x weekly for 1 hour session costs Rp. 300,000/child + entrance fee
2 x weekly for 1 hour session costs Rp. 600,000/child + entrance fee

- Futsal lessons at Cilandak Sport Center
Futsal Academy - every Friday for 1 hour - Rp. 350,000/month
TFK Futsalkids - every Saturday for 3 hours - (no price)

- Taman Musik Dian Indonesia
No special summer camps but you can join their music classes any time.
4 x weekly for 30min - 1 hour session costs Rp. 290,000/month
Classes include: piano, drums, percussions, vocal. Get more info here.

- Jawa Jawi Java
Summer classes in the art of Batik, Gamelan, Javanese dances, etc.
No specific price yet but call (021-9979 4949 or 021 - 769 0311) for more info.

- Abrakadoodle
Abrakadoodle is an award-winning art holiday camp and classes.
Programs for 3 to 5 days costs between Rp. 1,500,000 to Rp. 2,500,000.
For more info, click here.

- Kutakatik Art & Craft Class
Kids will paint, draw, cook, sew and many more. Classes for 3-6 yrs old and 7-13 yrs old.
5 x weekly from 10 to 12 pm costs Rp. 600,000/child.
Located in Pondok Indah and run by talented sisters. Check here for more info.

* A special website designed for holiday activities for kids: www.liburananak.com
* Family Guide To Jakarta did a whole post on their forum about Summer Camps. Check it out for more info!
* If you're planning to spend some time in Bali for this summer holiday, check out the Bali With Kids website for ideas of what to do during your holidays.

[i completely forgot where i got this photo from]



I haven't had much time lately to update this blog because of work and other personal activities. However, I have had time to listen to a couple of TED Talks on my way to the office. My iPod is a trusty companion in my car, especially when I'm stuck in traffic...

The last 2 talks that I listened to were so good but I shouldn't have listened to them before coming to the office because my eyes were puffy after so much crying. These talks below have opened my eyes - Roger Ebert's talk reminded me to be grateful and always stay positive during hard times and Sam Richards' talk taught me about how to put yourself in someone else's shoes and how empathy could most probably save the world from destroying each other.

From the TED website: When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.

From the TED website: By leading the Americans in his audience at TEDxPSU step by step through the thought process, sociologist Sam Richards sets an extraordinary challenge: can they understand -- not approve of, but understand -- the motivations of an Iraqi insurgent? And by extension, can anyone truly understand and empathize with another?