Happy 1st Birthday Samudra!

Well today marks the beginning of August.. so July just flew by and I have barely sat at my computer as life has been filled with adventures, play dates, birthdays, voting, Ramadhan, Lebaran, and most importantly for me, July marked the first Birthday of our beautiful boy, Samudra.

Due to school holidays and Ramadhan, most people were leaving the country to go visit family or to enjoy an escape from this city, so Putra and I decided on a very intimate gathering for Samudra, as we had both agreed that he is too young to understand what a birthday party is. So to celebrate his birthday week, firstly I took him on a quick trip to Bali to visit some beautiful friends visiting from Sweden. While we were away swimming and enjoying the fresh air, Putra had other plans going on and had decided to morph the intimate gathering into a big party and cocktail party for after 6pm… it seems Indonesians are happier the bigger the crowd. If you have ever been to an Indonesian wedding, or seen a group of Indonesians travelling together, you will know what I mean!

So on the day, the house filled with lots of kids from the neighbourhood and friends, and then groups of friends came and went until after buka puasa (break fasting for Ramadhan) at 6.00pm and Putra took his place at the bar and mixed up mojito’s and martini’s until the early hours of the next morning.

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the family and friends who made the day so special, for the embarrassing mountain of gifts that Samudra received, delicious cakes, and giggles.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful ray of sunshine, thank you for filling my days with love and pure bliss, tears, laughter and craziness. I love you from the tips of my toes to the stars and beyond. xoxoxoxoxo


Happy Birthday my beautiful boy!


Happiness to start the day in his new ball pit..


Hanging out with Daffa before the party


Ok, I’m ready!


The kids arrived!


Happy Birthday to you!


Blow out your candles..


..Or maybe I’ll help you sayang..


A sneaky finger into the icing..


Feeling a little overwhelmed by all the love..


Bapak, help!


Jeremy taking some time out with the phone


The birthday boy with his kakek


Delicious birthday cupcakes by Tasya


Azzam enjoying cake with his lovely mum, Fithri


Happy Birthday nenek and Samudra!

Public Holiday Fun in Jakarta

Jakarta has so many public holidays that it’s difficult to keep up with them, especially when you don’t travel to work in an office so every day feels sort of like a holiday, even if you are working super long hours, because you have a sense of delicious freedom not having to leave the house.

I do LOVE public holidays though as it means I can spend a whole day with Samudra having adventures.  I can’t remember exactly when this holiday was exactly due to my backlog, but kakek joined us on an early morning walk through Ragunan Zoo to the primate centre where we watched all the orangutan’s hanging around.  I hadn’t walked through the indoor dark cave-like pathways before and it is pitch black in sections with strange rope vines hanging so it’s a little bit freaky but fun to end up at glass sections where you can see the orangutans hanging out.  I do feel sorry for them though, outside their enclosures is a big space where the gorillas roam around surrounded by jungle. I guess if the other monkeys were allowed out they would all quickly escape, so instead they have a bare environment with no grass or leaves on trees which is upsetting.

Samudra enjoyed seeing the monkeys with his kakek though, as did loads of other children and families wandering around, and he especially loved to watch the monkeys from Kalimantan making loud musical noises outside in their enclosure as they swung around.

It was a lovely visit to Ragunan and it was time to leave as the sun started getting too hot once again, and the crowds had become huge as is usual for a public holiday.

After a nap at home, Putra and I decided to make the most of the day off and make it a day for Samudra and ended up taking him to Wowzania at Lippo Mall in Kemang.  This play centre is overpriced for sure, but there is a section for little kids which Samudra loves to play in, with a ball pit, activity wall, merry go round and slide with water splashing around inside the plastic covering.  When you are limited with outdoor activities with a lack of parklands and so much sunshine, sometimes the mall will just have to do.

I hope you all have a lovely day.


Watching the elephants with kakek


The entrance to the primate center


Hanging out in the morning sunshine


A very barren enclosure


Just hanging around..


Playing in the ball pit at Wowzonia, Kemang


Loving the activity wall now he can pull himself up..


Making bapak feel dizzy on the merry-go-round

Lestari Sayang Anak’s 5th Anniversary

This is another incredibly late post, but I wanted to share some pictures from the anniversary of Lestari Sayang Anak in Cipete. Five years ago, Ingrid and her husbands dream to open an orphanage to improve the life of abandoned babies and toddlers, who cannot be taken care of by their biological families, came to fruition. It was originally set up to look after baby boys but now has a little girl also, as well as Ingrid’s two gorgeous adopted daughters.

I love the energy every time I have had the pleasure to visit them, as the kids get along so well and are so loving and kind towards eachother. It must be so much fun to grow up surrounded by so many best friends and adoring helpers. It is such a loving family environment and since their move to the new location, the kids have so much room to play in and so much equipment to keep them energised and playing.

Their anniversary party was attended by many visitors who had fun playing with the kids, watching a little performance, speeches and a raffle with some gorgeous prizes. There were toy donations and happiness all around and I want to congratulate Ingrid on all her hard work and for all the love that she has for these beautiful children.

Today they will receive a new baby in the orphanage and I know it will be showered with love and affection from all it’s new siblings and I can’t wait to visit and meet the newest addition.

If you would like to visit Ingrid and the children or to make a donation, they would be so happy to hear from you. You can contact them through https://www.facebook.com/lestarisayanganak


Samudra getting some loving cuddles from the boys


Lovely Ingrid and a guest


Happiness with Ingrid’s daughter


Playing with the boys


Singing Happy Birthday..


Happy 5th Anniversary Lestari.. Yum!


So much cuteness!


Sweet little Joshua


Receiving gifts of toys


Indonesia Creative Week 2014

Today I have decided it’s high time I FINALLY sort out some photos off my desktop and clear my computer as we have many adventures coming in the next few weeks and I need to de-clutter my laptop before it gets out of hand.. and besides, I am so far behind in blog posts that I have had to archive so many photos as the events I went to were so long ago now.. eeek.

One such event was the long anticipated Indonesia Creative Week which is organised by my friend Joe.  Since its fruition I have looked forward to attending for weeks, or even months beforehand, only to have last minute barriers stopping me from going, i.e. horrible sickness during pregnancy and unexpected trips out of Jakarta.  This year I was certain I would finally make it and was looking forward to seeing bright and inspiring new designs on the catwalk, only to find at the last minute that the event would clash with a work trip to Cirebon. My saving grace was that I would have one day to attend before we had to leave.  So my plan was to visit during the day time to check out the market stalls with Samudra, then drop him home and return to take photos of the shows later in the evening.

We headed to Gandaria Mall and walked inside, heading straight for the food section.. ohmygoodness, so many tasty treats, cupcakes, biscuits, vegan food and many others. I couldn’t resist the Ferrero Sandwich oat cookies in a jar, a heart shaped cookie with a gorgeous bird design and a chocolate ball on a stick covered in coloured speckles.

Then it was time to check out the rest of the stalls, full of creations by Indonesian designers, clothes, stationery, shoes, and cool bits and pieces.  I made a few purchases, although as usual I wanted everything, so I could support the local designers and then Samudra decided he had had enough of all the attention he was receiving so we headed off to eat and then to catch a taxi home to drop him off.  By the time we went to leave, the skies had opened up and it was absolutely pouring with rain!  This meant that the taxi line was ridiculously long and the traffic to get home took so long that there was no way I could make it back again for the evening shows! It seems the universe is against me when trying to make it to Indonesia Creative Week shows!

I do love to see the creations of people here and every year it just gets better and better. Here’s hoping in 2015 there will be no obstacles in my way and I’ll get to photograph the shows again.  With a wriggling baby pulling on the camera cord as usual and trying to press every button he can get his hands on, my photos are limited… but here’s a little peak of some of the yummy treats that were at ICW..

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Makes my mouth water to see these cupcakes and treats!

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Merry Go Round Cupcakes and cakes… yum!

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What to eat? They all look delicious..

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Willpower? What’s that?

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Some of my purchases: Notebooks and keyrings by Sancraft, Cool black scarf by Chronicles, Nutella Sandwich cookies by Kukki and biscuits by Merry Go Round. YUM.

A lovely Sunday morning stroll….

Hello! Remember me? I seem to be neglecting this blog yet again and of course can offer many excuses but really I have just been living and I haven’t had a chance to transfer all my camera memory cards… in WEEKS… now the backlog is making the task of writing quite daunting!

So instead of transferring all my photos, I will just download my phone photos from Sunday mornings adventure with little Samudra.  As per usual he was awake super early, and although my eyes were sleepy and my body so tired I asked Putra if he wanted to go to Car Free Day and he answered in the negative, but I couldn’t think how else to entertain Samudra so early on a Sunday morning.  As soon as I told the taxi driver our destination he mentioned that there was no Car Free Day because of Ramadan, so in a panic about what to do I just asked him to take us to the Ratu Plaza end of  Jl. Sudirman and I would make a decision from there, whether to just go for a walk, or detour over to Taman Suropati.  We arrived to see the road was blocked off.. Car Free Day was on! Hip hip hooray! but where were all the people?? No matter, with Samudra in my sling and the sun covered by clouds, we started our walk and it was the quietest walk I have ever had in Jakarta! Is everyone here fasting for Ramadan? There were no more than 100 people on the whole road as we walked for over an hour.. Samudra and I sang the whole way and spun in circles giggling… we practically had the road to ourselves which was an absolute treat!

We did manage to find another great source of entertainment and amusement on our travels though, just as we arrived near Taman Samanggi, I noticed a man with a duck waddling along behind him.. Samudra was so excited so we caught up to them and had a quick chat.  The man was enjoying a Sunday walk with his duck, named Boi, and they were having a lovely time! Roads free of bikes and thousand of joggers and sunday strollers, so they were heading all the way up to Monas.  The few stragglers along the road came over to take photos and then quickly disappeared in fits of laughters and bewilderment, and we decided to let them enjoy their journey in peace.  Only in Jakarta would you find someone taking their duck for a Sunday walk!

Once we arrived at the fountain at Bundaran HI I was again amazed that there were so few people around!  There was no buzz of activity, but the sounds of the water splashing about, so we sat and watched it while I caught my breath and we enjoyed the fountain.  I thought it was a great ‘calm before the storm’ with the impending Presidential elections to be held on Wednesday 9th July. No doubt the fountain and surrounds will be heaving with people and I will definately be steering clear of the area and keep to the comforts of home.

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend, and for those that can, please use your right to VOTE and just think about who would be the best leader to bring hope to your country…  My opinion doesn’t count, but if it did, JOKOWI you have my vote a thousand times over!

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Taking his duck for a walk… as you do.

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Boi is one seriously fit and happy duck!

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Enjoying the flowers which I have never noticed before due to the crowds..

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The empty streets of Jakarta… it’s a miracle!

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Samudra giggling as we swirl and dance around the road!

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We made it to the fountain and enjoyed the tranquility.

One Fine Sunday… Taman Suropati, Menteng

Another early morning and Putra left for filming in Kelapa Gading at 5.00am so I was wide awake and wondering what to do for entertainment with Samudra on a Sunday.  I wasn’t feeling energised enough to make the long walk for Car Free Day but decided we would head to Taman Suropati so Samudra could get back out in nature again on this beautiful day.

By the time we had eaten and showered it was 6.30am, still early, but we headed off to the park in a taxi to beat the morning heat.  Again, once we arrived it was already busy with children running around and chasing bubbles, a band playing music with a singer who looked no older than 10, birds flying around, the water fountains splashing water and catching the suns rays creating beautiful rainbows, and laughter all around us.

I sat on a bench to put Samudra’s hat on and two seconds later we were asked to be in some people’s photos, then we were joined by a lovely mum, dad, and their little boy Heru who was only two months older than Samudra.  The boys ended up crawling around on the grass and playing ball until we were asked to move off the grass (ooops!), and then were joined by another family and their son Gabriel.  It’s very easy to meet people with a baby here and so we spent an hour chatting and playing before the two families had to leave, and Samudra and I ended up sneakily having a breakfast picnic of tofu under a tree on the grass at the edge of the park, where the gardener couldn’t see us.  We played some more before the students and teachers of Taman Suropati Chamber arrived.  I was really hoping to see Ages and his lovely wife Yasminka, who run TSC, but it was getting too hot and Samudra was getting restless and tired, so we only stayed to watch a couple of songs as they practised for their big upcoming concert, before we walked off to find a taxi home.  It was unbearably stifling by the time we finally hailed a cab and both ended up having a nap when we got home.

In the afternoon we went for a little walk around the complex and met some of the boys from the neighbourhood and a lovely mum and her baby that apparently live in the next street up.

It ended up being a super fun day of meeting people, playing and relaxing which was the perfect way to end yet another week.  Time really does fly by way too quickly!

I hope you all had a beautiful week too wherever in the world you are.


Very sweet little boy, Gabriel, at Taman Suropati


Playing with the ball on the grass with Heru…


..and then…. No you can’t play with my ball!


Taman Suropati Chamber in the park.. students learning from Hendra… I love Sundays!


Sony giving guitar lessons in the park


Showing off for the camera in the afternoon sunlight


Another beautiful mum and a new friend for Samudra


Local boys… love them!

Ohhhhhh yum….

Anyone who has been following this blog would know that I have spent many mornings out walking in the complex at supid-o’clock with little Samudra… which I have actually LOVED, and then just recently, I looked a little more closely while we were doing our rounds near the park to discover this cake seller! He is outside the school by the park super early every morning to tempt the kids with his tasty treats before they start school.. and so I decided to give them a try and bought only one just to test them.. Low and behold, the warm and spongy freshly cooked cakes, topped with chocolate sprinkles had me hooked at first bite! I found myself WANTING to get up at a ridiculous hour for days, packing Samudra into his sling and practically running back to the cake seller… a whole packet of 6 cakes cost Rp. 10,000, so about AUD$1, what a bargain!

I soon realised my new found addiction was ridiculous and I had to temporarily stop walking just so I wouldn’t be tempted… and be torturing poor Samudra with the smell of freshly baked cakes he couldn’t eat as we made our way home again.

Do yourself a favour and try them though if you see them around… enak kue!


Enak kue!!!! ooooh how can I resist??

JFFF 2014 at Kelapa Gading

Well hello!

It’s been over a month now since my 100 Days of Happiness ended and we have been caught up in a whirlwind of play dates, events, work, adventures and giving my back a break from carrying the camera plus Samudra everywhere I go, every single day.

I have really missed keeping a record of all that has been going on as I find it difficult to remember otherwise and keeping up with all the new milestones in little Samudra’s life. He is now aware of his hands, toes, and loves to pull himself up and stand while bouncing himself up and down in excitement. We have met some more lovely children and mum’s here in Jakarta which has been great and been to some more 1st birthday parties which has been super cute.

So now I have found myself neglecting this blog and thought maybe I should go through my memory cards and see what I actually have been doing when I have managed to drag the camera out again.

Firstly I have found pictures from Jakarta Food & Fashion Festival (JFFF) which is an annual event held out in Kelapa Gading which is quite far from where we live, so it makes it difficult to find motivation to fight the traffic to get there. This event celebrates with fashion shows every day from top Indonesian designers and newcomers, as well as as a super packed area for Indonesian food lovers. We know how much Indonesians LOVE their food by now, so even at 10.00pm the area was buzzing with people even on a Sunday night, tasting dishes from throughout the country while listening to music being played up on stage. At the beginning of this event there is a night carnival which I have only been to once, a few years ago, and it was amazing, with a parade of incredible and colourful costumes, music and dancers, ending with a loud and colourful fireworks display. Unfortunately I missed it this year, and only managed to make it along to one show, in support of my dear friend, and Indonesia’s youngest fashion designer, Rafi Ridwan. As I had Samudra with me I wasn’t able to sit in the photographers pit as usual, but had to sit in the seats closest to the exit door incase my little baby lost it and started crying during the show. When we entered the auditorim he was squealing so loudly that I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to bring him, but once the show started, he sat quietly in awe of the lights, music and models on the catwalk. Rafi presented 40 garments during the show, all in red hues and the designs looked gorgeous. I am just guttered that I didn’t get any good pictures because of my seating.

The show was followed with us meeting up with kakek and nenek to indulge in some local delicacies at the food festival, along with thousands of other like minded people.

So I will endeavour to update this blog a little more frequently in the future, even if only for my own memories sake.

I hope you are all healthy and happy wherever you are in the world.


Look what I found out in the garden! A big friendly lizard..


Catching up with my good friend and superstar Fashion Photographer Eddy Bogel at JFFF


Samudra enjoying his first experience at a fashion show with Putra.


One of Rafi’s designs, ooooooh I wish I had taken proper photos at this show!


10pm and the Food Festival is still packed on a Sunday night!


Enjoying some local music at the festival. See you there next year!


100 Days of Happiness – Day 100

Well today marks the end of the 100 Days of Happiness challenge and although I am posting this way after the fact, I can say I feel a little lost not having to write at the end of each day so I can remember what has been happening.

Today I went to Plaza Semanggi with Putra and Samudra and FINALLY we got the chance to eat at Loving Hut again. I have been wanting to go there since I was first pregnant with Samudra and somehow the idea of the traffic to get there has always been a deterrent, but today we had a purpose as Putra had to shoot some footage from the Sky Dining area. When Loving Hut was open in Kemang, it seemed that Treen and I were the only customers that ever ventured into the shop and I ended up getting it delivered to my room almost daily in the end although it was only a 5 minute walk away (how Indonesian of me!). As a vegan/vegetarian restaurant it didn’t stay open long in our area but I was surprised to turn up the restaurant today and see that it was pretty much full. Now if only it was closer to home.

With full bellies we headed up to the Sky Dining area so Putra could film and then the lightning came! Big bolts up in the sky being reflected in the tall glass windows of the buildings around us. It was ridiculously humid up there and just as we left to go inside the rain started so it was perfect timing.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing at home, watching dvd’s and relaxing and so this concludes the 100 Days of Happiness. I don’t think the purpose of this challenge was to be and stay completely happy for 100 days straight as that is undeniably impossible, but to be able to find moments of happiness in each day and find something to be grateful for, that is definitely achievable. In these past 100 days there have been tears, homesickness, laughter, love, giggles, adventures, frustration, watching Samudra learn to sit and then be able to stand holding onto things, watching 6 tiny new teeth appear, meeting new friends, too many kids and babies to recall, loads of walking, plenty of food, movies, music, trips to Singapore and Jogja, and all the rest. For me, I am just happy to have a record of the past 100 magical days with Samudra.

So thank you for joining me on my mini adventures and for baring with me as I overload on photos of my little miracle, but it really is an amazing journey to be on.

Now to find a new project to start posting about…

I hope you also had 100 happy days along with us wherever in the world you are.

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Day 100: We made it bubba! Happiness.

100 Days of Happiness – Day 99

This morning we missed out on our morning walk as it was a little late before I managed to get up and find motivation and the sun was already far too warm.  If I miss the early morning window to walk then I end up covered in sweat and uncomfortable within a minute of walking and as there are not many trees around for shade, I feel like I may just spontaneously combust carrying around an almost 9kg little bundle of joy.  I would also risk the comments of walking around with Samudra without an umbrella, jacket, and shoes to guard him from the sun from all the ibu ibu on the street. ha!

So instead I snapped way too many pictures of him sleeping in the morning because waking up next to his loveliness fills my heart with happiness and he looked way too cute with this teddy today (thanks Sarah Ooi).

In the afternoon I could hear lots of laughing and squeals coming from the front of the house so I took Samudra out to see what was going on.. the front doorstep was filled with people and a tiny little baby furry creature.  I still have no idea exactly what it was, (is it a type of possum?)  but I kind of felt sorry for it being surrounded by people and arms reaching out to it and it looked a little frightened and tried to get away but had no chance of that.  It climbed over my legs and proceeded to start biting on my feet ever so gently and it was freaking me out but I didn’t want to startle it even more.  Apparently it had been found near the drain outside the house, so after everyone had played with it, it was given a bath and a quick dry out in the super hot sun and placed in a tiny cage. Oh no! Not more animals in cages and I wanted to know where was it’s mother and what if she came back looking for it? If only I knew more bahasa I would have freed it there and then, but in the afternoon it seemed to have gone so I hope it is safely reunited with its mother or playing in a tree somewhere.

More giggles, and playtime with my little boy and the day was over yet again.

I hope you had a beautiful day wherever in the world you are too.

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Day 99: Too cute even when he’s asleep. Happiness.

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Day 99: Bless this furry creature! Happiness.

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Day 99: A second before he realised what was infront of him and then being so scared! Happiness.

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Day 99: Daffa getting tickled. Happiness.