Posts in Journal

Listening to Music While Working: Yes, No, or Maybe?

I, for one, can not handle music while working. The best I can do is rainymood.com with a splash of Ghibli instrumentals in the background; anything with actual words often leads to increasingly passionate karaoke.

Even on days when I’m too grumpy to sing, I still find it hard to focus. Realizing this has helped me fine-tune my work process: in the past, I would simply try to grin and bear it. The result was always awful, and I’d often end up deleting a majority of whatever I’d written during that session.

It’s not just music, really. It’s almost any sound. I’m the type of person who prefers to work on things in one sitting, and I guess music–or conversation–anything at all–is capable of bringing my train of thought to a soulsucking halt.

Learning new things about the way I work is my new method of self-study. I’m not sure if I’m glorifying work too much here; I’m sure that in a perfect and utopian world people would never have to work. But to be honest, I enjoy the process of writing. I see new article topics as challenges to solve, and with each new day I learn about new concepts. Today, for example, I learned about the Sustainable Development Goals. Yesterday, I learned about new water purification techniques that are being developed by private companies.

I’ve found that I love my job. I’ve found that I am still, after all this time, a highly competitive person–and that I do my best when I feel compelled to prove that I am capable. I’ve also found that I think most clearly in a locked and silent room.

A few years ago the thought of loving silence would have spooked me. Many years ago I feared the quiet, and solitude–to the point where I would force my eyes open during a shower, no matter how much soap crept in.

Silence had a body with a presence and a voice all its own. I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone with this strange and foreign thing, of hearing my voice bounce off its limbs — and so I avoided it whenever possible. But no matter how I tried to establish distance, it continued to pursue me. Despite every radio and hallway and corner and locked door I placed in her path, she showed up and made herself comfortable in the corner. Just sitting there. Waiting and watching for something to happen. Living in this type of home felt like being wrapped in a silken cocoon, with gauzy layers of sound separating me from the rest of the world. It felt like being eternally drunk and scrambling for something to hang on to.

Why, then, did I come to long for it? You spend so long together with someone else eventually you start looking for the other when they’ve gone — this even though at first you swore you’d always hate them, and that you would stay cold and distant. One day you wake up and you realize you’ve given in. You can no longer live without that presence.

It reminds me of something my husband said during a discussion–that you can’t spend that much time with a person and not love them at least a little.

Perhaps, over all these years of living together, my body has learned to love the quiet.

(Note: there is one artist I can listen to while working. That’s Aerocity, an old friend of mine from Twitter).

Ebi, a Jakarta Copywriter and Content Strategist

That (the title) just seems so weird to me. Me? A copywriter? Content strategist? Getting paid to write?

For the past few years I’ve had the good fortune to work on a number of very interesting marketing and content projects in Jakarta and Singapore. If you told me five years ago that I’d dip my toes into Southeast Asian startup scenes and help companies here craft interesting blogs and compelling websites, I probably would’ve rolled my eyes. For quite a few years I used to think very lowly of Asia; working there would’ve seemed like a downgrade from whatever menial job I might find over in the States. Thanks, American education system (and the fact that my brothers and I were never truly exposed to scenes of daily life in countries that weren’t the good ‘ol US of A).

And I remember when I was in high school and my mother told me to consider a career in technical or copy writing. Bahumbug!, I thought. Who wants to write for a living?

I do, it turns out.

It’s interesting–after several years of nonstop work I’ve found myself in the tech-business-healthcare niche. Or more precisely, the startup niche. I’ve written for startups all over the planet, from the bigger ones to the super-local, homegrown companies. Some are solving clunky and outdated healthcare status quos; others are simply trying to grow their gelato truck business.

In today’s world startup founders seem very glamorous. No one wants to be a boring entrepreneur anymore, they want to be a founder. They want to make waves. They want to [insert a bunch of cool-sounding buzzwords here about impact and magic and rockstar changes]. They want to scale their company and launch in [arbitrary number] new countries by the end of Q4. 

Something like that.

The reason I work as a freelance content writer (loosely based in Jakarta and Tangerang) is simple. I can’t do anything else. I’ve been offered several full-time jobs in places like Kuningan, but my current living situation makes it impossible for me to commute on a daily basis. This “shackle” that limits me to remote jobs has also given me the freedom to work with so many interesting clients with admirable visions and missions, and though on some days I desperately wish for the stability of a fixed income, most weeks I’m awestruck by the variety of founders I get to meet. They have so many unique ways of thinking; ask each of them to solve the same problem and you’d probably get five or six different, totally creative, mostly crazy, and absolutely interesting solutions.

So much growth is happening in Southeast Asia, and I’m lucky that I moved here when I did. Seeing the “scene” (I loathe that word, but regrettably, it’s apt) develop before my eyes is awe-inspiring. Just a few years ago, Gojek was a simple idea in Nadiem Makarim’s head. Now, it’s changed the face of a nation. Which companies will follow suit? Which will fall apart? Who will be the next villain?

Ultimately the startup story is a human story; a new way to save the world or to conquer it. In one ring you have Elizabeth Holmes, a Helen of Troy gone wrong. In the other you have Martin Shkreli, who found out the hard way that messing with the Wu-Tang Clan dooms you to a life of suffering (I jest). People give in to greed and lust and desire all the time; they put in hours after countless hours to try and become the best versions of themselves, too.

I empathize with startup founders, though I personally would never want to become one. It’s a hard, lonely world–my experience with a community of Series A-B founders has emphasized that immensely. We idolize founders without properly taking the time to consider the burdens placed on their shoulders, the constraints they have to face, the struggle of juggling a tech team and operations team and finance team. The pain of having to scale faster and faster while doing it sustainably, of having to walk in to an investor meeting without knowing what the outcome will be.

In the long run, I’m just a tiny cog in the brutish, beautiful world of startups. And I guess you could ask: why tech? Why business and healthcare and startups in general?

My dad has always loved technology; in my childhood he was the kind of guy to buy a new phone and test it for a few days before returning it (or keeping it, if he liked it). He’s the one who lets me access his CBT Nuggets accounts when I have free time, the one who bought me a massive Snap Circuits kit when I was in middle school so that I could make little LED bulbs light up. I still have fond memories of seeing him playing Warcraft when I was five or six, and it’s a shame that I was just so artistically inclined. If I’d liked math more I might’ve followed his footsteps and gotten a tech or electrical engineering degree.

I’m glad, then, that his influence has guided me here. Here is where I get to blend my inherited love for beta testing and new technology with my obsession for art and stories and words. Here is where I get to see the world develop. Here is where I get to view the splendor of human hearts as they do their best and change, quite literally, entire worlds. Though I think sometimes about retreating entirely and sticking to literary writing, I know that I probably will never be able to follow through. Something always pulls me back here.

I actually was intending on writing this as some smarmy direct-sales SEO-targeted post to advertise my content writing services for potential clients based in Southeast Asia, but I guess I don’t have the heart to do so. Here’s my call-to-action anyways: if you need someone to consult with about a website or just need a friend’s shoulder to cry on as endless deadlines loom, I’m here.

And thanks, you guys (my clients, I mean, if you’re reading this), for taking a chance on me. Thanks for the super-straightforward instructions (I need 2000-word evergreen articles each about these plants, here’s the spreadsheet) and for the personal connections. (I guess I’m supposed to name drop here to build credibility but that’s just so smarmy, LOL).

If you feel like my experience could be of use to you, then drop me a message below. Don’t forget to tell me your favorite breakfast food; mine is definitely fluffy pancakes drizzled with artificially-sweetened maple syrup and fresh-cut berries. And I hope you have a lovely day, a good meeting, a gentle weekend ahead.

The Slick and Gorgeous World

I often think back to three or four years ago, when I managed to post something nearly every week on my blog. I know that plenty of other people lament the loss of Geocities websites, confessional (and admittedly ugly) online journals, and more. Nowadays most people are very careful about what they post, share, and say online. On top of that, there’s such a push to be polished and to create content vs. to simply blog. Everything has to be optimized, the pictures have to be slick and gorgeous… the posts have to read like stories. God forbid you have any typos.

I’m trying to let go of that push to create content and to simply be honest. That’s what drove the creation of my book–blunt honesty about imperfections. It can be difficult some days, especially since my work as a copy+content writer is tied directly to my real identity . Whenever I’m about to reveal something incredibly personal, a part of me thinks, “Don’t you want to be as professional as possible?”

But then I remind myself that we’re all telling human stories here. Regardless of whether my client is a MNC or homegrown business, there are humans running things. And I think (I hope) that my imperfections, slight awkwardness, and smile can be charming.

Hmm, what else? Indo Twitter has been a fiasco for the past few days, with controversies popping up left and right. I’ve been listening to a lot of pop music over the past few days–TWICE and Bol4 and, of course, IU. I’m also working on my next book, which will be a collection of poetry–and I think I have a working title! There’s a lot of stuff left to rearrange and fix in that manuscript, so you guys probably won’t see it until 2020. Apologies for that!

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about motherhood and parenthood. It’s funny and a bit concerning that mothers are always expected or demanded to sacrifice their hopes and wishes. Honestly, I’m more than sick of being told that I’m selfish for working; that I need to support my husband more; that I’m not subservient enough; that I’m not doing enough to help my husband achieve his maximum potential. What about me? What about my aspirations? What about my maximum potential? I really hate this provincial depiction of marriage as the whole “woman helps man” deal; my husband and I support each other, and we’re doing our best to grow and parent together.

It’s different now. Women will only become more empowered in the future. I envision a day when women will no longer be bought and sold by their families for dowries, when women can choose to go to school or to get married or both, when women can walk down the street without fearing retribution or harassment. I simply hope my daughter inherits a better world.

Travel Diary: September 2018, Bandung (Part 2)

It’s funny that I’m only updating this blog now, a full month after we went to Bandung. Sorry, everyone!

First stop: Kawah Putih! We left for this tourist destination at around 10 or 11 am from Lembang (later than intended).

This place looks EXACTLY like it does in the photos on Google. So if you plan to go here to adventure, and you hope to discover something magical and wonderful and something more, then… you shouldn’t go.

It’s nice to do a bit of hiking at Kawah Putih, but like many places in Indonesia, there are lots and lots of hawkers waiting to sell you things. It also smells like sulfur. There are plenty of souvenir shops lining some of the roads, and you can ride a horse around for a few minutes (similar to Bromo). I’d definitely recommend Bromo if you’re looking for the mountain-and-horse-riding experience.

That being said, we did have some fun here, and it was interesting to see the crater up close.

You don’t have to stay overnight at the Maribaya Hot Springs Resort to enjoy it. I can’t seem to recall what happened between Kawah Putih and Maribaya, but we arrived here at around 4 pm—which means we only had an hour to explore the place!

We were a bit disappointed to discover that the resort was less of a hiking destination and more of a series of paid photo opportunities—from 15-16 of the Instagrammable places that you could take pictures at, a majority of them were ticketed. It was absolutely beautiful, but considering we were hoping to find some sort of magical forest wonderland here….

well…

:’)

Fairy Land (?) is a whole new attraction built by the same people who built Maribaya. Since it was still under construction, the tickets were given as a bonus to drum up attention for the place. And it worked! Fortunately for us, it closed at 6—we spent an hour wandering around this place. There are so many fun child-friendly activities and attractions here, like a wooden playground, a massive seesaw, and cute-and-slightly-terrifying fairy statues. If you have children, it’s absolutely worth a visit!

We didn’t stop by Kampung Daun this time! Instead, we ate dinner, then drove to Bukit Moko. This is the view from the top of the hill—gorgeous, right? From this point, it looked like the city lights really were stars. I swear that I could see them twinkling in the distance (or maybe my eyes were just broken).

The drive up to Bukit Moko is frightening, mainly because there are very few lights. Make sure to download Waze before you head there! The map point is in the right place; you just have to follow it allllll the way up the hill. We arrived to the hill at 10 or 11 pm, and had to walk 1-2 kilometers since the road up was also under construction.

There were some men hanging around the gate. After charing us Rp. 10.000 to enter, we made our way up and finally found a few ojek who agreed to bring us to the top for Rp. 10.000 each.

We stayed for about 3 hours, then made our way back down and drove to Jakarta that night.

Travel Diary: September 2018, Bandung (Part 1)

We drove to Bandung over the weekend of September 8-9th so I could serve as one of the speakers of PADghrs’ “Coming In” workshop. I was honored to be able to listen to so many different styles of writing. I hope my guidance and input helped them in some way.

The event was held at 107 Garage Room, which was actually less of a room and more like a cozy and large and warm multipurpose space. There’s a coffee shop, a small store, lots of small tables, and a rentable event room (which is what we used). We ate lunch at Johnny’s Burgers (or something like that)—they had a food truck on the property and the burgers were amazing.

That was on Saturday. We went exploring a bit on Sunday and visited Bakmie Naripan, which has some absolutely delicious bakmie (babi + ayam ada). Don’t go during regular lunch hours! It’s very crowded. We visited at around 3 pm and didn’t have to wait at all.

 The entrance to Garasi Opa.
The entrance to Garasi Opa.

After Naripan we visited Kineruku, an indie library in [I forget where, but I’ll update this later]. There was a small vintage shop named Garasi Opa right next door. Though we looked around, nothing caught our eye and we left to see the books.

 Kineruku is a small bookstore, library, and cafe. It was a shame that we didn’t get to taste the food!
Kineruku is a small bookstore, library, and cafe. It was a shame that we didn’t get to taste the food!

Kineruku is small—not really a library but a house that’s been dedicated to books. Bandung residents can make a library card for less than Rp. 100.000 a year, and if I lived in Bandung, you can bet I’d be there everyday. Later that night we had dinner with some lovely friends at Le Jardin, a new hip cafe that’d just opened. The ambience was okay-ish, and the cafe itself was definitely Instagrammable. The music playing was typical Pop 40 fare and somehow, it didn’t really mesh with the natural, green style.

I felt a little bit sad about it. But it was beautiful and the food was tasty enough (about 40-70rb per person). So I was glad to be able to go there.

 The #aesthetic bathroom at Le Jardin. Excuse the toilet!
The #aesthetic bathroom at Le Jardin. Excuse the toilet!

Later that night, we decided to drive all the way to Lembang and extend our trip by a day. But I’ll wrap up this diary here—I have more pictures and stories than I expected.

All my love, 

Ebi

Poesie Perfume Reviews Master List

Hi everyone! To make this a little bit easier for y’all, I’ve placed all of my reviews in an Airtable. You can filter and sort by collection, by type of perfume.. so I hope you’ll enjoy this masterlist of Poesie Perfume reviews.

Overall, as a perfume house, I find that Poesie excels in creating light, whistle-like fragrances. They don’t always have the best throw or longevity, but while they’re around, they’re so bright, lovely, and simple. To solve the longevity problem, I usually dab the perfume into my hair, and then it lasts for the whole day.

My favorites from Poesie include Innocence, Madar, and Tiny Phantom—all delicate fragrances that boast strong sweetness. Others to try include County Line and Madchenland.

Luvmilk: Massive Haul + Review (2018)

Hiya! I’m back with yet another review of my beloved indie skincare + makeup products. Today we’ll be talking about Luvmilk, a gorgeous skincare brand that got its start on etsy, before moving to its own standalone site. Customs screwed me over with a Rp. 700.000 tax (why? WHY? that’s USD $50, btw) because the value was over $100 (total was $157). Though she kindly understated the value, Customs opened the box and found the actual invoice inside. I’m not sure why they taxed me 30% of the value, because that’s a huge amount, but fortunately, the order was worth it. WORTH IT.

I’d always been planning to order from Luvmilk (since about a year ago), but for some reason I never got around to it. When I saw that they’d released a Halloween collection in their EDP, I decided to finally check out (I had about 20 things in my cart). Here’s everything I received—I also ordered a $25 mystery box.

These lip balms cost $2.50. They are the creamiest and lightest that I’ve ever tried, so much so that it sometimes feels I’m not wearing anything. They’re not amazingly moisturizing (I’d rate them a 6 on a 1 to 10 scale), but they smell amazing. AMAZING. My one complaint is that if you lick your lips, they taste nothing like they smell >_<

Luvmilk’s body sprays come in 4 sizes: 1 oz is $4, 2 oz is $6, 4 oz is $12, and 8 oz is $24. These smell amazing as well and have crazy throw and longevity. I sprayed once—ONCE—on myself and it lasted the entire day. I actually received a 1 oz prior to this in one of my Hello Waffles subscription boxes (that scent was Summer Surprise) and that’s part of what made me even more interested in this brand. I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to Bath&Bodyworks.

Welcome to all of my new conditioners. The 8 oz size is $12, the 4 oz is $7, and the 2 oz is $4. I got a bunch (a BUNCH) and let me tell you, these work great on my hair. I have severely damaged hair that gets tangled very, very easily. It can be hard to brush and more often than not, it’s just a frazzled mess. Many of the conditioners I’ve tried from the store have done nothing for my hair, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that after trying them out, my hair felt lighter and was much easier to brush. You can see in the center on the top row—that’s how much I used for one wash. I have long hair that stretches past my neck and to my back.

Note: I’ve only tried ‘Goblin Lover’, but I think there might be a spice in the conditioner because when I used it to condition my hair, some of it got into my scalp and it began feeling a bit tingly D: It was a very uncomfortable feeling..

The conditioners’ scents last over a day—they’re faint by the second day of wearing, but it’s so nice to go to sleep in a cloud of sweet-smelling perfume.

You can see how much more conditioner I use vs. shampoo.. Oh my gosh. These shampoos aren’t anything mindblowing, but I love how wonderfully they smell. They clean my hair well—my hair gets very oily after 2-3 days, and with just a few pumps I was able to work the shampoo into a medium lather and wash my hair. It’s very gentle compared to the Chinese shampoos my husband likes to use. These come in three sizes: 2 oz = $4, 4 oz = $7, and 8 oz = $12.

So what you’re seeing here is a mix of 3 products. First, the Goat’s Milk Lotion, which is literally the nicest lotion I have ever tried. It’s so creamy, it feels like you’re wearing nothing, and the fragrances SMELL. AMAZING. I’m not sure how many times I can repeat that but OMG THEY SMELL GREAT. I’ve tried Aphrodite’s Temple; wore it at around 7 pm after my shower, and it lasted until bed time (which, shamefully, is around 1 am). Despite its light texture, it truly feels so, so soft on my skin. I have severe dryness issues and I feel like I’ve found my holy grail.

I have not tried the dusting powder or the sugar scrub yet, so I will get back to you on that <3

As you can see, these little beauties are still unopened. I’m planning on using them today, and when I do, I’ll come back and update this post!

Overall, I’m very happy with my Luvmilk order, so much so that I’m planning on making another one as soon as I use up one of these products. I can’t express how much I love every single thing I’ve gotten—the smells are great and so complex and rich and LONGLASTING, the conditioner actually works, the body sprays double as room sprays and leave my house smelling fantastic.. SERIOUSLY worth the money. Okay! I’m going to say bye now and smother myself in lotion again. I hope this review was a bit helpful!

Everything Full of Light and Love, + Short Story!

Hi! It’s 1 in the morning, which means I have time to write my blog. It’s funny, because back in high school I used to use my blog as a silly place to rant and talk about life and boy problems. I think a lot of people did–hence why Livejournal and poorly designed Blogger websites were so popular.

Now, though, everything is about content and SEO and ranking high and getting pageviews and monetizing. The Internet isn’t personal anymore; it’s a money-making machine. And that has felt very lonely at times.

What have I been up to? Well, aside from my awesome day job as the Community Facilitator over at SEA Founders, I’ve been preparing for Ubud. Because yes, I’ll be at Ubud Writers + Readers Festival alongside some of the most talented writers in the world. It still feels like an absolute dream. These past few weeks have been a mess, what with moving to the new house and going to Singapore (twice!) and everything else. Life is busy. I’m sure you know that well.

Like always, I’ve been struggling with doubt and confusion about who I am and what I’m doing and whether or not I should continue what I’ve been doing this whole time. Confession: I’ve been dealing with a lot of pent-up frustration recently, which I think stems from this internalized idea that I shouldn’t complain about what I’m going through because I’m so lucky to have what I do. As a result, I’ve been lashing out passive-aggressively quite a lot recently. 

I’ve been trying to take a “break” of sorts and kind of return to a schedule; the recent commotion has left me scrambling for time and struggling to make sense of everything that’s been going on. I’ve been thinking more and more about that Australian travel blogger who went nuclear and deleted her Instagram page; I wonder how she’s doing and if she’s living her best life. The more time I spend on Instagram and Facebook, the more I get sucked into pretty pictures and this idea that I’m not “flawless” enough or not “aesthetic” enough or not this enough or that enough, that I’m not “engaging” enough with my followers, etc., etc.

The truth is that I’m tired and burnt out, more than slightly so, and I have too little energy for social media except as a silent consumer of all these gorgeous images and curated everythings. So if you’re reading this and you’re a follower, then I’m sorry. 

Anyways, my short story was published a week or two in the Jakarta Post! It’s an excerpt; I cut a lot out to make room for the word count limit. Maybe one day I’ll share the full version with everyone! It was originally titled “Mania”; they tacked on the “Painting” part.

I hope, as always, that you have a wonderful day.

Kawaii/Jfashion Fukubukuro 2019

Hi everyone, I rarely do this type of post (admittedly, I haven’t blogged much at all in the past year or so..) but I wanted to share this as a 1) reminder for myself and 2) resource for any of you who may be looking for the Lucky Bags/Fukubukuro from our favorite Japanese brands.

In case you didn’t know, fukubukuro are a tradition in Japan. Initially, they were created to move old stock and make room for new things—it’s generally considered bad luck to have things from the previous year. In the past, many fashion fukubukuro would include things that hadn’t been popular and sold at discounted prices.

Now, though, many of the popular Japanese kawaii fashion companies will manufacture and design fukubukuro-only clothes. Preorders generally open mid-end November and early December, so hopefully this post is right on time.

Anyways, in case you want to buy any of these, you can try zenmarket.com/Buyee/Tenso (shipping forwarder companies, who will place the order in Japan, have it mailed to their warehouse, re-packed, then sent to you) or Tenshi, an independent shopping agent who I’ve heard many wonderful things about.

Brand: one spo
Options: Caramel Latte or White Mocha
Price: 10,800 yen (tax included)
Items: 8 (including bag)
Link: https://onespo-store.net/s/181109OSP/?link=top_bnr_01
Contents: Fur Neck Warmer, Jacket, Beret, One Piece, Hoodie, Skirt, Bag Belt, Bag
Comments: I didn’t like these at first, but the more I look at them the more they’re growing on me. The bag is really cute. I’m not 100% sure about the hoodie but I think everything else is adorable!

Brand: Anmille
Options: Sweet or Girly
Price:
8,000 yen (tax excluded)
Items:
5 (including bag)
Link:
https://evelyn.tokyo.jp/item/detail/1_2_ANMF-002_90/23
Contents: Tank Top, Jacket/Sweater, Skirt, Blouse, Bag
Comments: Anmille is a sister brand of evelyn, which we’ll see below. I like this set. With tax and shipping, though, it ends up being around 9,500 yen—and I wasn’t able to justify this purchase since most of the items seem fairly standard. You could get the tank top and long skirt pretty much anywhere.

Brand: Evelyn
Options: Black Mix or Off White
Price:
8,000 yen (tax excluded)
Items:
5 (including bag)
Link:
https://evelyn.tokyo.jp/item/detail/1_1_EVMF-002_90/70
Contents: One Piece, 2 x Blouse, Skirt, Bag
Comments: I think I’m going to be getting this fukubukuro. I fell in love with it at first sight! I appreciate how easy the set is to coord, especially because I’m a big lazy butt. The neckline on the blouse is just so sweet and doll-like, and I love the frills on the other top-sweater-thing.

Brand: Honey Cinnamon
Options: Unisex or Girly
Price:
10,800 yen (tax excluded?)
Items:
5 (including bag)
Link:
not yet available (?), launching on December 1st
Contents: Outer, Blouse, One Piece, Skirt, Bag
Comments: I was waiting on Honey Cinnamon and a few other brands to make my decision about fukubukuro this year, since it’s my first time, but I’m not really feeling the contents of this happy bag! In a sense it was a relief because there are so many other happy bags I want, but still.. The bag is really cute but the blouse looks thin (and it’s one that I could get anywhere). The pockets on the skirt are just so bafflingly huge that I don’t know if they’d look good on me. And the dress is also one that we’ve seen in plenty of other lineups this year.

Brand: Ank Rouge
Options: Black or Pink (?)
Price:
16,200 yen (including tax)
Items:
7 (including bag)
Link:
https://www.shibuya109.jp/ap/item/i/A0AL0000EUDP
Contents: Outer (Jacket), 3 x One Piece, 2 Surprise, Bag
Comments: This fukubukuro is a little bit on the expensive side, but they’ve definitely released some adorable sh*t for this year’s lucky bag. THAT HOODIE IS SO CUTE! I’m also really really drooling over the coquettish one piece. I think the deciding factor that might sway me is knowing whether those 2 secret items might be accessories or clothes. Last year’s bag was only 10,800 yen so I’m curious as to what could justify that steep 5,000 yen price jump.

Brand: Cecil McBee
Options: Type A (fluffy poofy coat) or Type B (breasted coat)
Price:
10,000 yen (excluding tax)
Items:
9 (including bag)
Link:
https://www.shibuya109.jp/ap/item/i/A0AL0000EUDN
Contents: Jacket, Skirt x 2, One Piece, Sweater (Sweater Dress?), Sweater,Hoodie, Blouse
Comments: I’m a sucker for bargains, which means I’m really on the verge about this lucky bag. Considering I live in Indonesia, I probably won’t put the jacket or sweater (sweater-dress?) to much use. But you could probably make a whole week of coords with this bag, and that means there’s VALUE!!! AHHHHHH. But at the same time, “conceit is much fine, life is only once”? Come on Cecil, you can do better than that..

This brand actually has several other lucky bags, but those are geared more towards workout gear/merch.

Brand: Cherite by Prime Pattern
Options: Just one type!
Price:
10,800 yen (including tax)
Items:
7 (including bag)
Link:
https://fashionwalker.com/brand/primepattern/item/PPA0119H0001?areaid=ebPPA01&link=BRAND_PPA01_RANKING
Contents: Blouse, Sweater, Skirt, Sweater Dress, Bag, Cardigan
Comments: This is definitely a surprise stunner because I have paid essentially zero attention to this brand, and then all of a sudden they come out with this incredible lucky bag. It’s sold out on their site, so if you like this, definitely go snag one on fashionwalker! You can do a lot with these six items since they all work so pleasantly together. The fact that there’s no jacket here is probably one of the reasons why I like it so much.

Brand: Swankiss
Options: Just one infamous angel bag
Price:
19,440 yen (including tax)
Items:
6 (including bag)
Link:
https://fashionwalker.com/brand/primepattern/item/PPA0119H0001?areaid=ebPPA01&link=BRAND_PPA01_RANKING
Contents: Blouse x 2, Dress, Outer (Jacket), Beret
Comments: The Swankiss Angel Bag is pretty famous. It just launched today (Nov 27) and was sold out on the site in like, less than an hour. Personally I don’t like it as much as I want to, and I definitely can’t justify the 19,400 yen price tag. I found the length of the dress and the coat to be a bit short. On top of that, one of the 5 clothing items you get is a beret—in my humble opinion, there are better options to get this year. The lace on the blouse is also really… OUT THERE..

Brand: EATME
Options: Black or Pink
Price:
16,200 yen (including tax)
Items:
6 (including bag)
Link:
https://runway-webstore.com/ap/item/i/m/3418679001?aid3=rcmenu_NA_list
Contents: Outer (Jacket), One Piece, Bag, 3 x Mystery
Comments: If it were up to me and I had to choose between Ank Rouge or this, I’d most likely go with Ank Rouge. Their one piece is very similar, and I prefer how Ank Rouge has designed theirs.

Brand: merry jenny
Options: White or Pink, but can’t choose
Price:
10,000 yen (excluding tax)
Items:
5 (including bag)
Link:
https://fashionwalker.com/brand/merryjenny/item/MYJ0119H0001?areaid=ebMYJ01&link=BRAND_MYJ01_NEWARRIVAL
Contents: One Piece, Cap, Outer (Coat), Blouse, Bag
Comments: The dress is very cute, but everything else is meh. Nothing spectacular about this one, so I’m going to skip.

Brand: mercuryduo
Options: Pink Beige or Light Grey, but can’t choose
Price:
12,960 yen (including tax)
Items:
5 (including bag)
Link:
https://runway-webstore.com/ap/item/i/m/0018679001?colvar=M84&aid3=md_official_store
Contents: Bag, Coat, Knit Dress, Skirt, Lace Top (“Bustier”)
Comments: I am very torn about this bag because I’m not sure what I’m going to get! I don’t love the previews enough to say, “Oh my god, I NEED this”. I like the outfits the models are wearing (see the photos below) but.. will I actually be getting anything even remotely similar to that? I was almost going to get this, but ultimately decided against it 🙁

Brand: dazzlin
Options: Beige or Grey, but can’t choose
Price:
10,800 yen (including tax)
Items:
6 (including bag)
Link:
https://runway-webstore.com/ap/item/i/m/0218679001?pi=p_sp_dz_2019happybag&aid3=2019_fukubukuro_dz
Contents: Bag, Coat, Basic Skirt, Knit, Dress, ?
Comments: I love the dazzlin brand but I also can’t justify this purchase. I really hate blind buying, and I don’t want to spend that much money on things I may totally hate.

Okay! Phew, thanks for sticking around. Anyways, I really like the dominant color themes this year—grey, pinkish beige, white, black..

We can also see a shift in these brands to a more larme-esque style, which I love. Glen check is also featuring incredibly prominently, which is nice because we can see how different brands have interpreted the trend and choose which we like best.

Some other brands whose lucky bags I’m waiting on:

Rosemarie seoir (the Holy Grail)
and of course, Liz Lisa.

I’m actually a bit apprehensive about Liz Lisa because they’ve been doing so many patterned fukubukuro (I wasn’t a fan of the My Melody print from last year). I’m curious to see whether they’ll jump on the glen check trend as well. I hope that this post helped you out a bit, and thanks for stopping by <3

Koinworks Review: Simple, Easy P2P Lending (+ Promo Code)

Hi guys! I wrote a variation of this post on my old blog, but it’s gone now. So I decided to rewrite it. 

I have about Rp 3.000.000 in Koinworks: it’s a simple way of investing spare money, and they always have nice promos. Like this one:

Basically, all you have to do is sign up with the link above (or with the code 27967) and you’ll get a free Rp. 50.000 to invest. Pretty nice, right? I wish I had used a code before signing up.

Sign up: You’ll need a KTP, KITAS, or passport (that’s what I used). It’s very easy to sign up as long as you have a bank account and KTP in your name.

Fees: 1% from every borrower repayment, and Rp. 5.000 withdrawal fee

Minimum investment: Rp. 100.000 (This makes Koinworks ideal for newbie investors who just want to squirrel away some spare money at the end of the month. Other investment options, like Modalku, require upwards of Rp. 1.000.000)

Length of time: 1 to 12 months

Safety and guarantees: Loans are reviewed and rated by safety. “A” Grade loans are the safest, and if the payments default you will get your money back. The amount of money returned lowers with each grade, so you can choose how much risk you want to take.

Returns: My Net Annualized Return so far is 18.13%. Pretty good when you remember that mutual funds and other long-term deposit options tend to offer, at best, 7-8%. From Koinworks: “NAR is calculated using a formula where interest received, plus late fees received, minus the 1% service fee paid we divided by the outstanding principal amount of the loan at the beginning of that monthly payment period.”

Top-up: You can top up with a variety of methods. They create a Virtual Account just for you.

On the Portfolio tab, I can quickly see all of my investments. If I click on “Details”, I can then see the repayment schedule and amount. Different colored circles = different things. A green circle, for example, means that the person paid on time. A blue one means that they paid late. A red one means they haven’t paid at all, and missed the deadline.

So far, everyone has been paying on time (except for one guy, who paid a little late on both of his last installments).

Note: You do have to invest in Rp. 100.000 increments. For example, you can’t just invest Rp. 65.000 in a loan, or Rp. 250.000. It has to be an exact multiple of Rp. 100.000.

Pros: 

  • Fast and easy to sign up
  • Returns up to 30%
  • Small starting amount 
  • Detailed look at loans and payment schedules
  • Fast deposits and withdrawals

Cons:

  • 1% fees are a bit high

Overall, I think Koinworks is a safe, fun option for most people. I definitely recommend it for anyone who has some free time and wants to grow their money a bit. I think you’ll get the most out of this if you invest at least Rp. 100.000 a month (since there is a Rp. 5.000 withdrawal fee now).

Okay, thank you for your love! I’ll talk to you later ( I hope the weird mishmash of topics isn’t too offputting for you).