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! 🀨)

 

 

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The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

Another Reason I Feel Ambivalent About Social Media

So now that my friends are following me on my IG, I am reminded of one of the major reasons I quit Facebook many years ago – the feeling that I have to respond (at the very least “like”) their posts. (Which can be a total time-suck by the way, well, you know how it is).

Now I am in no way saying that my friends are requiring this of me, or at the very least, expecting this of me. The feeling of obligation is entirely mine. And I am quite good at dismissing it, actually.Β  But then another niggling thought surfaces: will my silence cost me likes and comments as well?

Aye, there’s the rub!

Because who among us doesn’t want that kind of support, encouragement and show of interest that comes from their likes & comments? It’s a wonderful feeling. Why deny yourself of that?

But the thing is, some of my friends like to stalk themselves (i.e. make a running commentary of their daily lives). There is nothing wrong with this, they are having fun and are not hurting anyone. But now, instead of seeing and being inspired by beautiful crochet masterpieces from the lovely creative people that I follow, I now see trivial, mundane photos of ordinary daily life. (Which, after a series of similar posts, ceases to be interesting to me, if I am to be completely honest).

To me this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it feels wonderful to be among friends, on the other, it is a distraction. I find myself at times wanting to unfollow and feeling guilty (a bad friend) for having that thought. I yearn for the blissful peace that I once experienced when I was just putting myself out there to strangers – no expectations, no obligations. (I also kept myself distanced from the occasional skirmish that seems to be normal among housewives/girlfriends. They’re thankfully temporary, we get back to wearing identical tops soon enough 🀭)

I guess I am just weird / naive / stuck-up / stick-up-her-arse / being a snob like that πŸ€­πŸ˜„

What are your thoughts about this kind of dilemma? Any tips for me?

 

handmade business, The Introvert Expat SAHM Diaries

My Brain’s Abuzz With 2019

Blame it on the ambivalent & un-inspiring goals I set for myself in 2018 (though I can’t be too hard on myself, I had recently given birth you know 😊), but my brain’s been abuzz with goals for 2019.

My episode of painful gastritis really did help me clarify things, one of them was realizing that I can’t really do “loose weight” as a goal again. I mean, yes, I could do with some weight loss, but I want this to be a side-effect of something bigger (and healthier!). Like fasting, because weight-loss is just one of the many effects of it and it isn’t even the best or most noteworthy.

Anyhow, I realized that I am galvanized into action by level-up goals that are fun and exciting but are also a bit scary and outside my comfort zone. I mean, I guess all of us are like this, no? In my case the more thought I gave to it the more it started to look like this:

goal: make life in Batam fun & engaging <- learn Indonesian <- make local friends (I only have fellow expat wives as friends so far) <- use my craft as a springboard <- sell my creations for fun <- learn all about social & online selling

Now this is really starting to look like a decent party 🀩

Already, because these goals are that exciting to me, I’ve taken some relevant action. I got friendly with my next-door neighbor. Now at least I’m friendly with someone local and hopefully she knows of a church that has English service (next action item).

I also made good on something I’ve wanted for some time, a dedicated craft site (fifiandriri.com). I also opened an IG account to serve as a portfolio of my creations. I’m finishing up all my crochet/knitting WIP’s at the moment so that I can start clean asap, with an eye on social selling this time.

I’m reading up about the handmade business, and my brain is lit with ideas and more to-do’s like learning product photography and opening up an FB for biz account.

So exciting! πŸ€ͺ

bulletin-board

How is all this going to help me with learning Indonesian? Simple, language is best learned though interaction & immersion. I’ve tried cooping myself up indoors facing my computer, the results are minimal and I’m not having any fun at all while at it. So I need to be out there and talk!

And how is this gonna force me into loosing weight? Well, lemme tell ya: I love to crochet lacy pieces of clothing. Clothing need to be modeled by a real person. You do the rest of the math 😁 😁

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!

DP03

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˜†

DP01
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.

DP02

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

DP04

… 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 ❀️

Staying Sane

May: Parties, Heels & Lace

partayThe marvelous month of May turned out to be much, much more than I anticipated πŸ‘

This coffee date earned me 3 invitations to all-wives-only get-togethers that did wonders to my soul. Of course, they were a bit challenging to work up to, not just because as a SAHM with a small baby I have difficulty finding time to even get a decent shower every day, but that I’m also an introvert whose default mode is a preference for solitary activities.

Nevertheless I noticed that these get-togethers energized me so much that I felt like treating myself to some heels 🀣 🀣

Out of all the urgent things that my wardrobe needs RIGHT NOW, I focus on my feet (which is not the first time) 🀣 Well, for one they’re so easy to dress up, they don’t have flab to skillfully camouflage with cut or color!

I bought them for special occasions (or just for walking around the house when I’m feeling sassy πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†) since I’m always scrambling at the last minute for what to wear whenever a special occasion pops up. I guess the vague plan is to work from the bottom up as far as updating my wardrobe is concerned πŸ˜†

I also finished a huge lace doily. Is it still a doily if it’s that huge? I think it’s earned table cover status πŸ€”

Channeling my inner home decorator ….

This house, although spacious and I love its location, is old and old fashioned. It’s got paint chipping off a few of its boring white walls, the furniture is ugly & uncomfortable (but they came with the house and they function 🀨), and it only has windows on one side so it can get hot and gloomy during daytime. I am grateful but resigned. 😏

— digression:

We can’t do any remodeling because it’s a “staff house” that comes with my husband’s expat package, rented long-term by the company to house any given foreign employee for certain periods of time. We can only request for repairs and maintenance; re-painting walls would fall into that category but we have a baby so we’re not very keen about that at the moment.

— end of digression:

Anyhoot, I decided no harm could come from letting my colorful personality shine now that I’m no longer pregnant & sleepy! So …

We had an A/C unit installed in the living room to counter the heat, I then claimed one of the boring walls with some frames, & put a carpet on the floor.

living room

And now this is where the family loves to hang out, including the baby 😍 It gets really cozy in the evenings when only the lampshade is on, there’s a good movie on TV, and a huge bowl of popcorn is being shared 😘

The kitchen also needed some color so I was truly pleased that a simple yellow tablecloth could make such a huge difference!

yellow happy

What else …?

Oh yes, I did read a book, just need to finish a few more pages, but it’s technically done so I can rake this up to a May finish as well:

May read

And the reason why I’m taking so long to finish this book – which is a lovely read by the way πŸ’˜) is because right after the pineapple table cloth, I went right in with my knitting needles for a racerback tee:

racerback tee

This is the back portion of the tee. I’m working on the front portion now alternating work on another project, a lace crochet pullover. I don’t know, I guess I’m just on a creative roll right now 😁

And that, my sexy friends, was May for me πŸ’–

How about you guys, what did you do in May?

Crochet

May’s Pineapple-y Finish πŸ

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Look at “Catherine”. She’s so “yuge” I can’t even picture her properly. We don’t have a large enough table that can properly accommodate her full size! 😁

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She’ll be even more gorgeous (& yuge) once I’m done blocking 😍 Which, from the looks of it, is going to be a bit of a challenge πŸ€”

IMG_E5655

And errr … wasn’t staying away from crochet a goal of mine for May? 🀣 Talk about a preposterous idea! 🀣

Fitness & Vanities, Looking Good

This Is How A Perfectionist/Procrastinator Goes Back to Exercising

Image result for funny minion quotes about exercise

I probably had my mouth agape while sleeping last night. And I probably was snoring. And it seems like I was stuck in place like an immobile statue to the bed. And I am aching all over. It’s especially brutal when I go down the stairs.

Whatever!

I’ve put it off for long enough …

I am finally exercising again! (Squeal!)Β  πŸ€— πŸ€— πŸ€—

I didn’t think it would be such a feat, but now that I think about it, my worrying about what to wear, where to exercise, how to exercise, how long to exercise, how often … that was just the perfectionist me procrastinating. I didn’t get it at first because I love to exercise. And I have no problem doing it at home. But I guess the body is a sneaky little thing, it likes to be lazy.

Well, lazy won’t get rid of my kangaroo pouch 😀 I’ve lost some post-baby weight already but, this pouch out front that’s just ruining my silhouette, it won’t go away without some deliberate physical activity.

Image result for funny exercise images free

First I had to get me a drill sergeant whose role was to tell me motivation started with getting off my fat assΒ πŸ’₯ (she actually said it like that!) and that, if it’s proving to be such a gargantuan effort to do something, that I should just start with blocking off the time. It didn’t matter if all I did was walk in place. Just honor that time as exercise time. Rinse and repeat until momentum builds up.

Well that’s what I did but the standing in place was a 5 min warm-up video by my favorite exercise team Daniel & Kelli, because as I stood there I thought “might as well”. And I followed that with a 5 minute cool down video because, having already warmed up I thought, “might as well”.

I allowed the first couple of days to not be perfect. To spend time tweaking stuff including creating a routine that would include feeding time for my baby. By Friday I had it down patΒ πŸ‘ Which brings us to today’s glorious muscle soreness 🀩, proof that all I needed was to start where I was and improve from there.

So what’s the lesson here?

For fellow perfectionists/procrastinators it is this:

  1. Get a coach/cheerleader/drill sergeant (whatever works) to motivate you because it really starts with your head. And if there’s nobody in your life that fits the bill (or you don’t want to spend the money) there are podcasts. I first had to sift through a few podcasts before I found Corinne, and her no-bs style of telling it like it is was just the kick in the arse I needed.
  2. If necessary, start ridiculously small. So small that you tell yourself, “Oh what the heck, I can do more than that”.
  3. Keep doing it and build on from there. You’re looking good, sexy thing! 🀩