February 25, 2010


"I learned to love myself. Because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning. And if I don't like myself, there's no reason to even live the life."
(Gabourey Sidibe, 2010)


XoXo, Kezia Anastasia

February 23, 2010

A Thousand Layers

A s you might have noticed that I changed the header to my blog, and also the title of it to 'Mille Feuiles'. For the longest time I have been naming my blog the 'Pretty Little Corner' and it's not that I don't like the name, I guess I want my blog title to a reflection of the state of mind that I have right now (does this make sense? no? nevermind hehe).. So after considerations, I decided to go ahead and change the blog title.

Mille Feuilles is french, and it means many layers. It's actually a name of one of my favorite patisserie which I have yet learn to make (I will someday!). You can practically use anything in this Mille Feuilles. If you opt for sweet and pretty you can make it using strawberries and cream, or if you prefer a bittersweet symphony in your tastebuds, go with mocca. Some restaurants make savoury ones as well.

And of course, Mille Feuilles is the name of the Versace couture dress 'Dress of A Thousand Layers' that Carrie Bradshaw wears in Sex And The City Season 6, where she waited for Aleksandr Petrovsky in their posh Paris hotel suite for dinner - and he showed up really late. That dress is retailed for $79,000 *gasp*. It's so pretty, fluffy and I love the colour - I wonder how she managed to bring it to Paris?

I do think that life has a thousand layers yet to unfold. Every person has many layers to discover too, by ourselves and by others. As I looked back to my previous posts, I often write about the discoveries I made about myself, about life and about others. So, I think Mille Feuilles is the perfect fit for this blog's name (or am I just bored to death with the old title? hmmmmm... rocket science!)

Just a lil bit of wisdom from Shrek and Donkey before I log out...

Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Shrek: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs.
Shrek: NO. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.

Stay beautiful, friends :-)

XoXo, Kezia Anastasia

February 18, 2010

Happy Belated Everything!

T he second Sunday of February was the one day that probably mostly everyone anticipated. On 14th February this year, both Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year are celebrated at the same time. I know, I know, this post is overdue by almost a week - but I've been busy and thanks to micro-blogging trends now (follow me @misstazh) I felt like I've already blogged. So, without further a do, 'Happy Belated Valenchine (Valentine & Chinese NY)' altogether, friends! I hope you get to spent it with your loved ones and made them feel special too!

Well, I couldn't say that I'm celebrating both festivities in a big way this year. With Chinese NY, my family never really followed the tradition since I was young anyway. Even though I'm a mix of Chinese - Indonesian, my big family never celebrated CNY like what other families would do. I guess, the Chinese tradition is never big on the family, especially since my grandparents from my mom's side of the family were more Dutch than Chinese. So yeah, I probably had a few red envelopes when I grew up, but it was never extravagant. I remembered the day after CNY in school, where all my friends would talk about how much they 'harvested' yesterday (and the numbers were quite high!) and also what they did with their big families on the day, I would just listened intently with wonderment on my facial expression. 

Sure, at that time I was a bit jealous; after all, I was just a kid! I wish I knew how it felt to have lots and lots of red envelopes on CNY - but I don't. As I grew older and none the wiser, what I missed most in CNY is having to have gathered with my loved ones and having family dinners. Usually we had dinners at my parents' crib (because it's too expensive to dine outside on CNY - restaurants usually put high price tags and you have to have a special CNY menu set) and we would just relax and enjoy each other presence.

I think that's when I feel the happiest - being with my loved ones. That's why this year's Valentine's Day is a bit gloom for me because I was just overwhelmed by the feeling of not having my loved ones around me. No, I'm not talking about the one that comes in the shape of a boyfriend - I normally celebrates Valentine's Day with my single pals anyway - but I really miss my family this year. I guess I've been away from them too long now. 

Home is where the heart is - and truly, that's where my heart resides. It's funny how after not going back home for holidays in two years, once I stepped inside the house I grew up in, I left a huge sigh of relief and thought to myself "I'm home...". My parents, lil sister and myself have a ritual before going to bed where we all cramped and huddled in my parents bed, joked around or talked about the day that we had. My dad usually took the ownership of the TV remote control, my sis and I would perform some slapstick comedy for them, my mom would nod herself to sleep even though she was watching her favorite show - and we would intentionally annoy her to wake up. That moment right there, is where I feel most loved.

My mom always said that she felt the happiest when she has her two daughters around and we both feel the same way as her. Nothing beats the feeling of being around people you love the most and who loved you the most. I know that my parents and my sister love me no matter what, and I love them come what may. Sure, we have our arguments, but which family doesn't? You're bound to have frictions in your relationships. The key is not to love them because of such and such, but to love them in spite of our failures and weakness. My mom is the true example of this. 

She had her share of heartaches; a lot of them really. To cut the story short (or I'll be going on and on about it for pages) let's just say that my dad had been disloyal to her a few times since I was 11 years old (I think) - even thought she was hurting and angry, she always said to me and my sister that we are his children too and we should always give him the respect and love he deserves. After many trials, she always forgave him (to our dismay at that moment) because she felt such compassion towards him. Then, my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer, and I remembered crying and begging my dad on the phone to step up and be there when she needs him, for a change. I think I even threatened him a bit (to hate him for life if he ever left her again); I regretted saying those words to him since my emotion got the best of me. But he did step up. He never left my mom's side when she was in chemotherapy. 

Today, I can truly said that their relationship is getting better and better. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them last holiday. Sometimes they are so lovey dovey to each other, I secretly rolled my eyes. But seriously, I've never been happier and at peace with them. Sure, we all have things to work on to improve our family bond - but looking back at the past, I am truly grateful and thankful to God that our relationship improved greatly. 

Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13)

I'm taking a lesson from my favorite bible verse above, and from my mom, to love people in spite of. After all, love never fails. I really do believe that love is the center of everything. Jesus came down and died for us on the cross for love. Our parents gave birth to us because of love. Our dreams and passion comes from love. Faith and hope comes from love. We should celebrate love daily - not only on Valentine's Day.

As a guilty token from not blogging on time love token this month and as we celebrated love in all its glory, I've designed this wallpaper a while ago for my twitter background. I hope you like it :-) It's in 1024 x 768 resolution at the moment, but let me know if you want it in other resolutions that matches your screen :-)

And now these three remain:
Faith, Hope and Love
But the greatest of these is love
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Carry love wherever you go, friends :-)


February 10, 2010

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Do you still remember that moment when your age is less than that two digit binary code number (1 and 0 – the geeks will get me on this *LOL*) and you can’t wait to be an adult? I do.

I still remember how I used to dress up in my mom’s dresses, putting on her lipstick (only I pronounced it lisptick hehe), spritzing her perfume, drained myself with her necklaces, trying on her high heels and what not. I also still remember that one time when my mom didn’t let me borrow her lipstick, I coloured my lips with… red marker. I was scolded real bad :-P

My mom used to tell me stories on how I would cried and threw tantrums (notice the plural? Uh-huh) at clothing stores just because I wanted that fairy-princess dresses. True enough, she didn’t buy it for me. Back then, I knew I will be a fairy princess fashion designer so I can make all the dresses I wanted.

Then come the stage of japanese mangas. The first ever manga that I bought was Mari-Chan – it told the story of a girl who’s pursuing her dreams of becoming a ballerina. I wanted to be that girl. Because of my endless nagging and crying and screaming seeing her daughter’s potential, my mom finally enrolled me to a ballet class, which I absolutely loved. I was there for about three years I think, but then she pulled me out because it was getting too expensive. Funnily enough, when Mari-Chan manga series ended, so did my ‘dream’ of becoming a ballerina.

And then I started drawing japanese mangas. I love to copy drawings from my favorite mangas back then, but then started to develop my very own manga (which I didn’t finish due to boredom). Me and my little sister used to spend so many books just for drawing. It drove our teachers mad of course, because we didn’t really pay attention in class except if it was art class.

When I was in freshman year of high-school, I still do a little bit of japanese manga drawings. My favorite class was art class, and I usually got a pretty high mark in it. Come to Year 11, the time when we needed to choose which majors we are going to be in (be it Art, Physics or Economics). Based on the EQ and Talent Quiz the school held, my best major would be in Art & Design. I wanted to be an artist/designer/architect. But due to my parents being typical Indo-Chinese parents, they wanted me to do Economics instead. I didn’t really argue with them, so I just voluntarily agreed – and that goes on until college and graduation. Today, I’m just one of those corporate workers trying to climb the ‘corporate ladder’.

Okay, I’m going off the tangents here. Back to it!

Lately, there are so many of my friends doing their own small business (and not so small business). Pursuing their dreams slowly but sure. I can’t help to think on what my dreams are. There were so many of it. Fashion designer, Artist, Illustrator, Writer (thanks to Carrie Bradshaw), Editor-in-Chief for a prestigious fashion magazine (thanks to Devil Wears Prada) and the most recent: an event organizer of some sort. But, which one, really? I’m a natural born dreamer, and I tend to get a little carried away in my “imagination”.

I admire those people who got a clear vision on who they want to be and what they will be doing when they grow up. They will do practically anything (legal) to get their dreams – and usually they have already learn the basics on the field they’re pursuing. To be honest, I can’t believe I’m doing 9-5 desk work. I always pictured myself as someone who just couldn’t be chained to a desk. I always imagined myself doing something creative and exciting. Something in Art & Design.

When I told my mom I wanted to take Art & Design major in college, she told me “you don’t need to learn it when you got the talent. Just go and learn something in a business major so you can be a successful businesswoman…” It doesn’t work that way unfortunately. You still kinda need your ‘talents’ to be backed up by official certificates and qualifications.

I don’t know what got to me lately; I was so unsure of myself and of what I wanted to do. Some people called it the ‘quarter-life-crisis’. It felt like I hit my second puberty when self-identity crisis is all that was happening in your life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful and feel absolutely blessed with my job at the moment and the learning opportunities it gave me; but I just wanted something… more. I really don’t want to sound ungrateful and snobbish. Forgive me if I seem to sound like one.

But again, I don’t know what I wanted. It feels like I’ve been walking into this long neverending tunnel, and I can’t barely see the light at the end of it. I tested all the water in various pools, but I didn’t dive into one. How can I be so indecisive? What is my ultimate dream? Did I not fight for it hard enough? How did I lose sight of that little girl who was so sure on what she wanted to do in life?

I remembered the parable about talents that Jesus told in Matthew 25: 14-30; how the master gave his three servants talents, each according to their ability, before the master went on his journey. When the master came back, he was pleased with the two servants that multiplied the talents given to them. However, he was furious with that one servant who just buried his portion of the talents because he was scared. The master depicted him as an evil and lazy servant. The master took the one talent he gave to that servant, and gave it to the other faithful servant.

Sometimes I can’t help but to feel like that evil and lazy servant. Maybe because I didn’t pursue it hard enough, my dreams have yet to be granted; or worse, taken away from him and given to someone else. I haven’t been delighting myself in the Lord enough (Psalm 37:4) that’s why the desires of my heart have been ‘delayed’. What I need to do is pretty clear, isn’t it? There are so many passages in the bible that discuss this area – I should’ve get the hint (okay, I ignored the hints).

Maybe this entry sounded selfish – because I wanted things for myself not for others. I’m just trying to be really honest with how I feel right now. Trying to be an open book for a change. I don’t want to only write about my triumphs and victories but I really do want to write about my struggles and weakness. No, I’m not throwing a pity party for myself – I am over that part of my life. No one shows up to my pity party hehehe even though I threw one hell of a party.

I know that God’s plan for me is a plan to prosper me. I do think that He knows I’m not ready as I haven’t been faithful in small things. How can I be trusted with bigger things when I haven’t been faithful in small ones? My time has yet to come. The best has yet to come. But I believe and I have faith that it will come. This too shall pass. These experiences are all learning curves for me; I learned it the hard way.

One thing for sure though: I will never stop dreaming. And try to actually make it come true this time. It will take time for me to figure it out, but I’ll get there. I just need you to believe in me and I promise you, I’ll get there. And I will look back to this day and say “gosh, the flight has been bumpy but my God always promised a safe landing”.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true
(A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes - Ost Disney's Cinderella)

Stay beautiful, friends

PS: Just want to say congratulations to a friend who just launched her label for deeply fabulous baby girl fashion "Mischka Aoki" and to another friend who finally took her first step on her pursuit of Make Up Artistry dream :-) you know who you are! I am extremely proud of you both and I will support you guys 150% - wait for my turn yah, who knows we can turn this to a beautiful partnership mwahahahaha.

XoXo, Kezia Anastasia

February 04, 2010

Book Review: The Lovely Bones

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Published: Back Bay Books, 2002

Synopsis (warning: spoilers ahead!)

'The Lovely Bones' was written through the eyes of Susie Salmon - a 14 year old girl  from Philadelphia who was brutally murdered in an underground pit on a cornfield in one very unfortunate day by her quiet and awkward neighbour, George Harvey (referred as 'Mr Harvey' throughout the book). Her body was dismembered, put into a safe and was buried in a sinkhole. At first, the police only found a part of Susie's elbow, which didn't convince her family that she was murdered. Detective Len Fenerman scooped the area and later found Susie's biology notes, a copy of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' belonging to Susie, a love note addressed to her from Ray Singh; whom she was in love with; and her winter hat. The discoveries convinced the Salmons that Susie was indeed murdered.  

After being murdered, Susie's soul went to her own personal heaven. She met a girl, Holly in heaven - who soon became her best friend; and Franny, her heaven 'guidance counsellor'. As this is her own personal heaven, she can basically have anything she wanted in there. Susie continues to watch over her family (Father - Jack, Mother - Abigail, Sister - Lindsey, Brother - Buckley, Grandma Lynn and her beloved dog, Holiday) struggling to overcome their grief of losing Susie and trying to cope in their own ways.

Jack, Susie's father, suspected Mr Harvey of the murder - however he doesn't have enough evidence to convict him. He became stressed and obsessed with solving her daughter's murder case. Susie's mother, Abigail, became distant from her family and eventually started a short affair with Detective Len Fenerman; she left home shortly after. Grandma Lynn moved into the Salmons household to help Jack raise Lindsey and Buckley. Lindsey - Susie's younger sister - doesn't want to talk about her sister's death and Buckley - the youngest brother - still doesn't understand what had happened to Susie.

Also in the story - Ruth Connors; a friend of Susie's in school whose soul sometimes connected to Susie's. She actually felt Susie's presence in the parking lot the night Susie was murdered. Ruth became best friend with Ray Singh - the boy whom Susie love - and in times, Ray felt that Ruth is Susie. He was first suspected as Susie's murdered, however later proved his innocence with an airtight alibi.

Due to the growing suspicion around Mr Harvey, Lindsey Salmon sneaked into his house when he was gone. She managed to find a sketch drawing of the underground pit and stole it. However, Mr Harvey returned to the house unexpected that cause Lindsey to flee. Sensing danger, Mr Harvey left town and becomes a drifter. Because of Lindsey's discovery, the police bulldozed the cornfield and found a can of coke with Mr Harvey and Susie's fingerprints on it - making him an official suspect.

Later that year, a detective in Connecticut found a woman murdered by Mr Harvey and found Susie's charm bracelet on the murder scene. He called Fenerman and linked the murder with Susie. As they uncover unsolved murder cases and more evidence, Mr Harvey is discovered to be a serial killer who preys on young girls.

The story goes on as Susie watches her mother and father reconcile after years of separation, Lindsey grows up and got married, the love of his life - Ray Singh's friendship with Ruth; basically all the things she couldn't do anymore. While in a diner in wintery New Hampshire, Susie was watching Mr Harvey sees a young woman and approaches her but she rejects him. After the woman left, an icicle that was hanging above Mr Harvey fell and hits him on the head, causing him to die.


I came across 'The Lovely Bones' by watching the official trailer of the blockbuster movie adaption of the book (watch it here). I'm always intrigued if a movie is made based on a best-selling book; always compelled me to read the book first before I actually watch the movie since the book is ALWAYS a lot better than the movie. But nevertheless, I wanna watch this movie. Anyone wants to watch it with me? :-)

The idea of a personal heaven is magnificent and very surreal. I kept on having imagination on what it looks like in my head as I read through the book. I finished this book in two days; literally couldn't put it down! However, I don't really like the ending because Mr Harvey died by getting hit on the head with an icicle (natural causes); I'm like 'what?!' - I really wanted the police to catch him and putting him in prison - providing the Salmons with some sort of closure. But overall, I really enjoyed this book - highly recommended as I heard the movie is somewhat disappointing compared to the book itself.

Alice Sebold's story telling was so beautiful, vulnerable and moving at the same time. This is not a crime/thriller investigation novel even thought the backdrop of the story was murder. It's more like a drama, especially seeing the characters unfold in every chapter and the relationship between them. The struggles that every character has in dealing with Susie's death felt so real, especially how the father was obsessed with Susie's murder and how Lindsey sort of detached herself from everything. I especially like the quote on the last page of the book (shown below); which kind of state that Susie has finally able to let go of the world she once knew and realised that her death was only a dark chapter in the lovely journey set out for her loved ones that made them who they are now.

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections - sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent - that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.” (p. 320)

XoXo, Kezia Anastasia


February 03, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Grey

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we have a manual book in life, where everything is either black or white? Well, some things in life are black or white (black here means ‘bad’ and white means ‘good’). For example, cheating is obviously black and charity is white. Lying was considered black all the way, but then the term ‘white lies’ came up – when you are lying for a good purpose (or so you think). It doesn’t really considered as ‘black’ anymore because there’s an element of ‘white’ in it. That way it becomes a mixture of black and white, known as the grey area.

It’s really uncomfortable for me being in a situation where things are considered being in a ‘grey’ area – where you don’t really know whether it is wrong or right – and there are debates going on about it constantly.

One of the most common grey areas these days is body art; whether it’s piercing or tattoos. Maybe not for some, but if you’re holding certain beliefs/religion – it can be such a big grey spot. Some see it as a sin, some see it as an art.

I’ve been reading through Christian sites that discusses tattoos, just because I’m really really curious about this matter. This one article I found while I was googling away (yes, I’ve read that before you gave me the link) is pretty informative. However, rather than googling away for info, I decided to ask people that I actually know via twitter and facebook on their thoughts on the subject matter.

Let me clarify: my intention is not to divide people or to stir up arguments and stuff. I’m just curious, but I understand that curiosity can kill the cat. So, I’m very sorry if it sort of looked like I’m trying to ‘divide and conquer’ – I just think that twitter and facebook are the two most common public medias nowadays and a good platform to get information (people asked their friends opinions about what camera to get via twitter and facebook, why can’t I ask to get people’s opinions on tattoos on Christians? ^_^)


It’s interesting on the many different answers (and reactions) that I got. Some people (and most of them are Christians) think that it’s not a problem to have a tattoo; that it’s kinda cool – however considering it due to health reasons (unsteril needles can lead to skin diseases and worse, AIDS) and the fact that you are ‘marked’ forever with your tattoo (won’t look good when you’re all wrinkly and stuff). I’ve known some Christian friends who actually got tattoo-ed recently, and there are many Christian music artists out there that has a tattoo. So far, their tattoos are done at the intent of honoring God. I remembered one of my good friends took a pic of a member of a Christian band who was visiting their church. He’s got a tattoo of his favorite bible verse circling his arm.

I’ve also found via google that there are quite a few Christian tattoo shops in USA. Their policy is to just do tattoos that’s honoring to God – which means no satanic/demonic symbols, no pagan worship symbol, no nudity, etc.

Some other friends felt so strongly about this issue and opposed the idea of Christians (in general) having tattoos but I totally respect their opinions (we are allowed to have opinions, are we not?). Some friends forwarded me the link of the article I just posted above too for reference.

So far, I’m quite agreeing with the article; instead of asking whether Christians in general are allowed to get tattoos, we should ask whether it is okay for ME (as in, individually) to get a tattoo. I think what makes it harder to be okay with tattoo-ing is that the image of people with tattoos are somewhat ain’t good. And being Christians, we get judged more by both believers and non-believers. But, are we judging too much? Again, it remains in the grey area. I guess God gave us conscience and free will; so ultimately you have to make the decision for yourself and include God in it.

This is an excerpt from the article I’ve mentioned earlier:

“Self Exam - To Tattoo or Not To?

Here is a self-exam based on the ideas put forth in Romans 14. These questions will help you decide whether or not getting a tattoo is a sin for you:

1. How does my heart and my conscience convict me? Do I have freedom in Christ and a clear conscience before the Lord regarding the decision to get a tattoo?
2. Am I passing judgment on a brother or sister because I don't have freedom in Christ to receive a tattoo?
3. Will I still want this tattoo years from now?
4. Will my parents and family approve, and/or will my future spouse want me to have this tattoo?
5. Will I cause a weaker brother to stumble if I receive a tattoo?
6. Is my decision based on faith and will the result be glorifying to God?

Ultimately, the decision is between you and God. Though it may not be a black and white issue, there is a right choice for each individual. Take some time to honestly answer these questions and the Lord will show you what to do.

Do I want to get a tattoo?

Well, to be frankly honest with you, I’ve always wanted one. I have some ideas in my head on what to get IF I ever get tattooed one day. I only wanted a small one, and it sure will be hidden; am not going to parade it around. No, it’s not going to be a picture – I like the idea of having a word as a tattoo; something that has meaning for you so you don’t mind of having it for a lifetime. But yeah, I don’t know when I’ll be getting it – it’ll still be a while. If I’m getting one, I want to be sure of it and I want my loved ones to be okay about it, and I want it to reflect my faith in God. There are some of that self-exam questions that I am still thinking about, so yeah, not in the near future or maybe not ever. Who knows? :-)

As Dr Seuss would say, "Sometimes the question is complicated and the answer is simple".

Stay beautiful, friends!

XoXo, Kezia Anastasia