Sane At Home Mom, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

When Your Cooking Fails to Impress

It’s been raining cats, dogs and rhinos lately and somehow this has temporarily pulled my attention away from my crocheting to cooking.

I am not a particularly good cook. I didn’t even know how until 2015 when I moved to Batam & became a SAHM (thank God for Google). Now I’m decent enough but the fact remains that it is not an activity I’ll ever volunteer for.

So the rain made me want to exert a little more effort than usual in the kitchen last night. Nothing fancy, I just added soup when I already had the meat & vegetable viands ready (my maximum is 2).Β  But even though it was really nothing fancy, apparently I was expecting my “customers” to be pleased and satiated.

They were satiated alright but a wee little comment came from the husband about the soup having a “weird aftertaste”. I felt shot. And although my 11 year old responded that the soup tasted fine to her, my evening was ruined.

I’m such a drama-queen. It was just a ready mix of cream of mushroom soup that came from a packet. Yeah, the kind to which you add water and stir while boiling. 3 minutes is all it takes. Exactly! Not even my own recipe or something I slaved over.

And yet I obsessed about it in my head last night.

Which led me to thinking about life in general and about exploring and continuing to learn. I do it to please myself, to grow and to have fun. And, while certainly nice to have, the approval of others is purely optional (well, maybe a little when it comes to feeding others and only if it’s something that didn’t come from a packet).

Sometimes I forget.



(But there was really nothing wrong with the soup. I tasted it! 🀨)



Diamond Painting

Bitten By A Sticky-Glittery Bug

Hello my friends! How have you been? I’m doing wonderful! 😎🌞

If you were wondering why I was silent it’s because I was bitten by the most wonderful bug ever – Diamond Painting!


I was looking for something for my daughter to do during the school break and thought to give diamond painting a try. So theeeen ….

Oh. My. Lord.

I’m hooked 😍😍😍

At first my daughter was tentative, so I got to working on the pattern (?) first. But now she won’t sleep until she’s done a patch or two πŸ˜† I myself am so enamored with it, so sure that it’s gonna be a passion, that I’m dedicating a page to it on this blog! πŸ˜†

our (temporary) creative station 😁

If you don’t know what Diamond Painting is, I liken it to cross-stitching but you use beads (resins) instead. The result is a really very pretty & glittery picture.


We’re starting our crafty-colorful journey with this cutesy adorable owl which is, as of this post, about 75% done:


… But I’ve got big plans to move on to more intricate pictures. As a matter of fact, it’s taking me a lot of willpower not to do like most DP enthusiasts do – go on a huge diamond painting spree 🀩

If you happen to love this hobby too, I’d love to hear from you.Β  Do share your experience or some tips that’d be useful for a neophyte enthusiast like me. Likewise, if you blog about diamond painting, do leave a link in the comments section so I can read about your DP adventures too ❀️

Better Pictures 2018

Fetish For My Feet

After laboring on the streets for challenge #2 I’m only glad to move on to challenge #3 with the subject of water and the assignment of exploring vertical and horizontal orientation.

Using the right orientation for your photos is actually a very pragmatic tip to keep in mind because it can help convey the message more effectively. On thinking about it, I realized I have a strong bias for horizontal pictures, as evidenced by those I use on this blog, but I’ve never really given it any thought until this course.

Remembering that I have a lot of pictures of water in my files and wanting to check if I had taken any vertical shots at all, I came up with this:


And then a horizontal version:


Both were taken at the same time, and obviously with the same subject: water my feet 🀣 (And between you and me, I think both orientations work just fine πŸ˜„).

Well what do you think of that? I learned something new about myself today – I really like my feet! I have more pictures of them, if you want. No? Okay, your loss πŸ˜„πŸ˜‹


November Read: One Small Step Can Change Your Life

KaizenOne of the perks of being a Kindle owner is being able to download free ebooks. (I think this is where Amazon puts new and aspiring authors to test the waters, you know, before they charge for their book … But I’m just taking a wild guess here 😁).Β 

Anyhow, I’ve downloaded quite a few free ebooks in the past and find that most of them should [perhaps] just remain free. I don’t say this to be mean, I know writing takes a lot of work but, there’s something to be said for quality and talent (or real good editors & proofreaders). I just think that quality and talent deserve distinction, price be one of them.

I digress because I can’t imagine this book, authored by Clinical Psychologist Robert Maurer, would stay free for very long*. It is well-written and well-organized. I wasn’t distracted by errors in grammar and composition (which I sadly often find even in books that aren’t free), and the thought process represented by the chapters flows logically and smoothly.

But good grammar and composition is definitely not all this book has to offer. The content itself, while not something novel or ground-breaking, is gold.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Tao Te Ching

Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, is very familiar in the field of work.Β  Kaizen advocates using very small steps to improve a habit, a process or product using very small moments to inspire new products and inventions. Because it is so identified with efficiency at work, it just totally escaped me that Kaizen could also be applied to your personal and daily life.Β  (Yes, I’m looking at you flabby, post-baby body! 😠).

“Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” ~ Tao Te Ching

Chances are, there’s something in your life that you want to change or improve but have been dithering on.Β  According to the author:Β  “All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear.Β  But the small steps of kaizen disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play.”

The key idea here is how fear (of change/improvement) can be conquered by something small. The book helps the reader explore how small can be very potent through chapters on asking small questions, thinking small thoughts, taking small actions, solving small problems, bestowing small rewards, and identifying small moments.

Even problems such as pessimism can be subdued by the question: What is one thing about me (or my spouse, or my place of work) that is special?

The book ends with the chapter “Kaizen for Life”Β  and encourages the reader to hold on to the essence of Kaizen, which is an optimistic belief in our potential for continuous improvement.

Like earlier mentioned this book was an easy yet stimulating read. I love books that give pragmatic and sound advice, more so this one where the recommendations do not involve drastic actions or shelling out money. I highly recommend this πŸ™‚

In ending I’d like to share with you one of the phrases that I highlighted and which is, I think, my favorite in the entire book:

If you spend a minute or two each day writing a kind note to tuck into a loved one’s briefcase or a child’s lunchbox, you may save yourself the headache that comesΒ  when relationships grow cool from a lack of nurturance and daily care”.

Now excuse me, I gotta go give my eldest a hug πŸ™‚


‘* as of this blogpost, the Kindle edition is now priced at $7.23 … aww, drats! 😢


September Reads

rainy day

The rainy month of September was a good month for me to catch up on my reading πŸ™‚Nothing like the soothing sound of steady rain to cocoon you into a fantasy world that exists between yummy smelling pages πŸ’–πŸ’–

~ oOo ~


Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

A refreshingΒ  and funny read from the 1900s about a 29 y.o. lady named Valancy who lives a miserable, uneventful life with her domineering mother and strict aunt. The story begins with her birthday and on this day she feels wretched with nothing to look forward to but only the same old same old.

Emboldened by her favorite author’s words to not let fear control your life and, unbeknownst to her family, she decides to go to a doctor to have her heart checked.Β  In the heat of a sudden emergency, the doctor mistakenly gives Valancy the wrong prognosis: she only has 1 year left to live. This sets off a whole chain of events that sees our heroin becoming assertive and making bold choices without consultation and input from her sanctimonious family – much to their great surprise and anxiety.

By following the desires of her heart, Valancy finally finds happiness and love … and great riches! Which of course completely upsets the family dynamics and forces the family to regard Valancy in a much more ‘favorable’ light.

They Mostly Come Out At NightΒ  by BenProduct Detailsedict Patrick

The villagers of the forest seal themselves in their cellars at night, whispering folk tales to each other about the monsters that prey on them in the dark. Only the Magpie King, their shadowy, unseen protector, can keep them safe.

A dark, enthralling fairytale that reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” movie. Only that in this book, the monsters are very real.


These 2 wonderful home happiness themed books have given me plenty of inspiration, motivation, and ideas ~

Shelter for the Spirit: How to Make Your Home a Haven in a Hectic World by [Moran, Victoria]

Shelter for the Spirit: How to Make Your Home a Haven in a Hectic World by Victoria Moran

“Our homes can be so much more than drop-off zones where we collapse after work. It can be a haven in which people can revitalize mind, body and soul”.

I have to agree that “this book helps all readers make their homes places in which they and their guests enjoy spending their moments”.Β  With chapters on simplifying, cooking, celebrating and comforts among others, it made me look at the home as a place where beauty, love and magic can happen every day.


The Art of HomeMaking by [May, Alison]

The Art of Homemaking by Alison May

“There is much joy to be found within our own four walls if we are only willing to stop trying to escape ourselves by filling up our days with a stream of outside activity that serves little purpose”.

This book is a nifty 30-day guide of ways to organize and enjoy the art of home-making, as well as to make lovely space for YOU, the home-maker magician that’s in charge of the castle.Β  Each day provides you with something to focus on, along with a short task-list of things to do to bring that day’s focus into practice.

This book can be used as a sort of 30-day project to introduce you to the art of home-making one daily focus at a time, or used as a reference to improve certain aspects of one’s home-making. I am a stickler for guide books like these and was only too enthusiastic to dive into the daily assignments and tips. I only chose those that were relevant for me of course, but I’ve been non-the-less inspired and motivated πŸ™‚

~ oOo ~


Dippin’ My Hook In Filet (Stashbustin’ Part 2)


I’ve been crushing on filet crochet for the longest time now (maybe longer than my crush on Irish crochet 😍) but have always been daunted to try it.

Isn’t it difficult and labor intensive? It’s gorgeous but … won’t it take too long to finish say, a table runner? And can you do it while listening to an audiobook? Or must you focus your attention on it 110% that even stopping to breathe renders a mistake in pattern execution? πŸ€”

(I ask because of this exercise which turned out to be quite stressful).

But I have this project of using up all the yarns I currently have on hand you see. I am shifting my focus and creativity into thread crochet and crochet for warm weather (excited much!πŸ™ƒ 😁) and I didn’t want to be burdened with the cold weather yarns I bought back when I was into sweaters.

I have this fancy turquoise yarn I used in the past to make an infinity cowl and my Kindle cosy with. It’s got good drape but the metallic thread that runs through it gives it a bit of a rough texture that bites into skin. It’s not really that bad, but enough to make me push my cowl into the back of the closet. You know how soft always trumps everything else when it comes to wearables!

metallic turquise silver

The metallic thread also gives it a fancy look that I don’t quite know what to do with. I think you can use it best to crochet embellishments with like trims and edges. Or perhaps fancy accessories that you only wear for special occasions. (Another obstacle in buying yarn online, you don’t get to use the important sense of touch).

Anyhoot, I decided to use it for my very first ever filet crochet experience. Ta-daaaaah!!!

filet crochet

As you can see, I just started with the simplest filet pattern I could find. And I didn’t know where the project was headed, I just wanted to use up the yarn πŸ˜„

Notice how I progressed in pattern choice from very easy to easy and then to okay, now we’re talkin’? 🀣. Surprisingly, I found the whole filet exercise to be hassle-free.

The verdict on filet: definitely thumbs up! πŸ‘πŸ‘ I know it depends on the pattern of course, but this project was quite easy to do. I didn’t even have a print-out of the pattern, I just took it right off my laptop screen.Β  (For more intricate patterns though, a print-out is imperative I would say).

And what’s best, I was doing it while listening to my audio studies πŸ‘ Score!

Filet crochet is definitely going into my crochet bucket list. Plus, I used up all that fancy turquoise yarn!πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Share Your World

Share Your World – September 4, 2017

old plants

Participating in this week’s SYW prompt πŸ˜ƒ It’s already Tuesday here in Indonesia but this is when I get to see the questions, so … and technically it should still be Monday evening in some parts of the world anyways 😁

So here we go:

What colour do you feel most comfortable wearing?

Right now in my pregnant state almost all pieces are black. There’s one blue, one gray, one white and one silver – because they did not come in black and I really needed them. A dress for special occasions is green, but this was lent to me by my cousin.

The moment I learned I was pregnant I right away chose black to be my colour because I didn’t want to invest in a lot of pregnancy clothes. Nobody can truly be sure that today I’m wearing the same top that I wore last Saturday. And that’s my point!Β πŸ˜†Β πŸ˜† Black also does a fine job hiding the flab and making me look pulled together somehowΒ πŸ‘

What is your favourite type of dog?

One that can take care of itself πŸ™„

List at least five favourite flowers or plants?

I can’t! I don’t know their names πŸ˜† Besides, I love all plants as long as they’re healthy, happily blooming and have no desire to take over my house with their roots and unwieldy leaves. Flowering plants are the best, but they’re also high maintenance in my experience.

This is a very timely question because lately I have become interested in buying (and caring for) potted plants.Β  The picture at the top of this post was taken when my plants first came home. I don’t have a green thumb, so by now of course, a few have already given up all hope of survival and still a few are struggling to make sense of their situation πŸ˜†

These 3 beauties I just bought last Saturday after my doctor’s appointment:

new plants

I hope they bloom instead of giving up on me right away πŸ˜† The 3rd one on the right is my favorite – it seems to be a very resilient plant and I usually see them at resorts, al fresco restos, hotels and golf courses in various lovely colors:


What inspired you this past week?

These plants I just featured. It’s always exciting to be at the start of a new hobby πŸ™‚


~~ oOo ~~

041514 sywbanner

~~ oOo ~~