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).ย  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! ๐Ÿคจ)




Book Review Day| Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

tidying up

I love to tidy and organize! I just cannot focus if my environment is topsy-turvy. I strive for next-to-bare table top surfaces, bare floors and not a single dirty dish in the sink!ย  But that’s just me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now meet Marie Kondo, she runs an acclaimed consulting business in Tokyo that helps clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. She’s the author of this marvelous book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing”.

Marie had me at “Your real life begins after putting your house in order” ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought all the while that I already had the art of tidying down to a tee, I do watch “Clean House” every chance I get. But this book showed me even more and better tidying success secrets that were real eye-openers. Here are just three solid lessons I learned:

Tidying must start with discarding –

When tidying, Marie recommends putting everything in one place, preferably out on the floor. And then to go through every single item asking yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, away it must go. To support that point, the book teaches us to dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely.

Most of us do not discard. We’re sentimental so we just store things to oblivion. Marie says “putting things away only creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved”.

Store your things to make your life shine –

“The secret to maintaining an uncluttered room is to pursue ultimate simplicity in storage so that you can tell at a glance how much you have”.

Have you ever found out after a thorough tidying session that you have more than what you need of a particular object? That happens to me a lot. And that’s because not only do we sometimes keep the same type of item in different parts of the house, we also tend to forget they are there (or how many we already have) when we don’t see them.

Since reading this book, I’ve invested in a few simple plastic containers that allow me to see what’s inside. But aside from that, and as this book will tell you, all you really need are shelves or drawers and some empty shoeboxes.

Your living space affects your body –

“It’s a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially ‘detox’ our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well”.

When we’ve paired down everything in our house to only those that are truly essential and which spark joy in us, what a relaxing haven we create for ourselves and our loved ones. Instead of shelves of ‘invisible’ books gathering dust, each one that passed the ‘joy-test’ is a real keepsake that inspires instead of clutters.


I couldn’t sit still as I was reading this book, it was so motivating that I’d sporadically get up in between pages and clean out a closet or room right then and there. I discarded so much in the process, even items I hung on to for sentimental reasons but which really were just sitting there occupying space. And Marie is right, I don’t miss them!

That said, this review really doesn’t give the book enough justice. You just have to read it yourself to appreciate it fully. I guarantee it will leave you with dozens of simple, straightforward, yet brilliant tips on tidying and organizing.

~ O ~

And now for my book related poll:ย  Which type are you – dog ears or bookmarks? ๐Ÿ™‚ And feel free to share your reasons in the comments section!

~ O ~

Book Review Day is a monthly blogging event hosted by the beautiful Nivedita at Weird and Wonderful.

Have you read something amazing this month?ย  ๐Ÿ™‚