Making Me Smile

15 August 2014

Jakarta Apartment Blog Blogger
Fresh lilies on my dining table. And the smell of them when you walk into the room.
Expat Blogger Apartment
Finally getting started on painting our bedroom. The makeover is now in progress.
Swatch Essie Haute As Hello
Summer nail colors, especially this one - Essie Haute As Hello.
Home style Expat Blogger
All white coffee table.

It's been a while since my last Making Me Smile post, hasn't it?! I thought it was about time I pop one in, especially since they're actually one of my favourite posts to do. I have so many little things that aren't necessarily worthy of an entire post to themselves, but should be shared all the same. 

I've been terrible with keeping up to my blog lately, I'm the kind of person who hates routine, but struggles without one. Since moving to Jakarta my life has felt a little bit disorganised. I'm certainly a person who has to get into a flow with something, once I'm on a roll, I'm good, I'm going, but the act of actually getting going is easier said than done. With moving apartment again earlier this year, a long visit from my mum, several mini-breaks (not complaining about those!!) and a capricious social calendar, I've never really formulated a new routine here. 

Gradually, over the last few months, my to-do list has been growing longer and longer, unfortunately once that happens I have a tendancy to avoid it altogether and just bury my head in the sand. Not exactly the greatest plan of attack, huh?! So this week, thanks to the hubs, who is a billion times more 'on it' and organised than me, I've made a good dent on the list and going forward the aim is to get into more of a routine. Here's hoping!

Do you enjoy having a routine to stick to? How do you make sure you get through your to-do list and stay on top of tasks? Any tips would be more than welcome ;)

The Holy Crab // Senopati

13 August 2014

I'm somewhat behind in my posts, but let's pretend I didn't post a picture of this visit well over a week (*cough* or two *cough*) ago...

I was chatting with a friend about restaurants and when they told the name of a new place here, Holy Crab!! For some reason those kind of names suck me in - there's a Chinese restaurant here called "Fook Yew" that I just know I'm going to have to visit sometime. Clearly, I'm so grown up and very logical in my restaurant choices!

As I was saying, I heard about Holy Crab, one of the latest additions to Gunawarman, a popular street with tonnes of great restaurants and cafes in South Jakarta, from a friend. It's actually not that new, it opened in March I believe, but as an expat it sometimes takes a while to hear about these things.

Holy Crab, which I realised on arrival is actually called The Holy Crab (doesn't sound quite so good now does it?!) touts itself as a Louisiana style crab shack, and I think it does a fairly authentic job at being just that. Not that I've ever been to Louisiana, but going from what I've seen from the likes of shows like 'Swamp People' and other such Discovery Channel gems, this is what I imagine a crab shack to be! (If anyone reading this actually has a real clue please feel free to weigh in in the comment section) It was really busy, even on a weeknight when we visited, but after a short wait, we got a table, donned our bibs and got ready to get messy.

Fools error wearing white...better make sure that bibs on tight. 

Peace & Tranquility at Uma Sapna // Seminyak, Bali

5 August 2014

Undoubtedly one of the biggest perks of living in Jakarta is the fact that the beautiful island of Bali is just a stone's throw away. 

There are many sides to the 'island of the Gods', most famously these are Kuta (a backpacker/sufer party area), Ubud (laid back town with magnificent vistas over rice paddies in the centre of the island), Nusa Dua (Luxury tourist enclave with white sand beaches) and Seminyak (a costal town area with a charming bustle, endless boutique stores, a myriad of great restaurants and uber cool beach bars) On this particular visit to Bali we were staying in the latter, Seminyak. The area has a few large hotels such as W Hotel and Anantara but the majority of the area is made up of charming villa complexes nestled on the sleepy back-streets. 

Uma Sapna is one such place. Tucked away down a quiet street with an understated reception area at the roadside, you could easily miss it. But after checking in and being led though a small gateway beneath frangipani trees, we were greeted by a luxurious and tranquil hideaway. Stark white walls,  draped with bright flowers, lead to wooden doorways, hidden behind them, individual villas with perfectly manicured gardens and private swimming pools. The place has a true feeling of serenity and calm. Our villa was 'Raja Ampat', one of the twenty-six villas on this property. Welcome drinks and fruit were awaiting us when we entered our villa garden with just the gentle trickle of water from a small fountain at the end of our private pool. On entering our villa, a wonderful smell wafted over us; the staff had set up essential oil over a candle in the bathroom and soft music played in the background. Immediately we felt totally relaxed and at home, it was clear right away that it would be SO hard to leave.

Our beautiful villa bedroom - modern bright and airy minimalism
Spacious, open concept bathroom with a huge polished concrete tub and double vanity.

During our stay it was the Mr.'s birthday. The staff at Uma Sapna were so kind to setup up gorgeous room decorations, and even gave him a birthday cake, which as you'd expect from a place as perfect as this, was truly delicious! It's small touches that make all the difference, and this was one of many that are done so well at Uma Sapna. 

However beautiful the room may have been, the pool and garden area were something else. With an abundance of lush plants, two loungers, an odd passing lizard, and carefully enclosed to give you privacy, we loved every minute we spent in this space. The blazing Bali sunshine can sometimes get a touch too hot, but that's really no problem when you can take a dip in the pool so easily, or sit and enjoy an icy cool drink in the shaded areas.

A relaxing nook with a daybed, perfect for a nap or some reading in the shade.

A highlight of this trip for us was breakfast each morning. Each evening a breakfast card is placed in your room, on this card you could then tick whichever options took your fancy. You simply hang it on your villa door before going to bed and then the next morning the wonderful staff at Uma Sapna will deliver it to you at whatever time you choose. I've never been a fan of communal hotel breakfasts  (and have always chosen room service when I could) but this stay really cemented that preference! Being able to roll out of bed and eat a delicious breakfast in without having to worry about the time, or even getting dressed is just such a luxurious pleasure, don't you think?

Breakfast of your choice, served in the tranquility of your villa every morning.
Cooling off in our private pool.

We spent much of our time on this trip just lounging by the pool, listening to music, reading and napping in the sun. And perhaps that's the only criticism I have of Uma Sapna... it really makes it extremely difficult to leave the place. But, with the some of the best of Bali's restaurants and bars within walking distance, a ten minute stroll to the beach, and so many unique stores to browse you do need to force yourself to leave this haven at least a couple of times, even though you probably really, really don't want to.

Uma Sapna Villa
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia. 
+62 361 736 628

My Work Space // Inspiration Board

31 July 2014

I spend a lot of time at my desk so I like to be surrounded by pretty little things that make me smile. I'd been meaning to make an inspiration board/noticeboard for my office for quite some time. (I actually got around to it a several weeks ago, but I'm only just getting round to sharing the pics with you now - I thought you could use a break from all the travel posts)

The trick with a noticeboard is to create that jumbled yet pretty finish. Of course, you can do it the organic way but that means you'll have a lot of not-so-pretty cork showing for a while. So you're other option is to fake it and just fill it all up at once. The thing is, that 'I just found this and liked it and pinned it on here' random look actually takes quite a bit of pre-planning. Here's a few tips might help you if you're planning to put one together:

Potato Head Beach Club or Ku De Ta // Bali

25 July 2014

The West side of Bali, in particular, the not-so-sleepy Seminyak area, is scattered with great restaurants, cool cafes and beachside bars. Included amongst these are a couple of world-famous beach clubs. Most people who have ventured to Bali will have heard of, if not visited, Ku De Ta. It's the original, and as such, somewhat of a Bali Institution. From what I hear, it was THE place to go to see (sunsets) and be seen. These days it's got some hot competition, and the strongest of these contenders is Potato Head Beach Club, just a ten minute stroll north up the beach. 

On this trip we decided we'd check out both and try to work out, which is better Potato Head Beach Club or Ku De Ta?

The result was unequivocally Potato Head! 

Reasons why and plenty of pictures after the jump...