Sunday, January 7, 2018

London Trip: Places To Visit (Famous Landmarks Version)

If you only have 3-4 days to spend in London where are the places you need to visit? I'll give you some ideas.

I visited London during winter time around mid December. So you can imagine how cold is that.

1. Borough Market
You can find a lot of fresh produces and snacks there. It's a good place to relax and take a look at what local If you come in the morning, best if you can prepare small change as the seller may not have change yet as they just open their businesses. The market is located near London Bridge station. Take note that on Monday not all stalls are open. You can check the opening time details here.

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London




Borough Market London


Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London

Borough Market London








2. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is where the United Kingdom royal family stay and also the administrative headquarters. It's opened for visiting during summer but a lot of tourists come other timings to visit the palace as well. Nearest train station: Hyde Park Corner.








The place no 3 - 5 are actually located quite near each other. So you can consider visit them in 1 day. You can take train to London Charing Cross Station and explore the area by foot. You can see the London Eye too from far.

London Eye Buckingham Palace Westminster Map

Charing Cross Station London
Charing Cross Station London

London Eye
London Eye



3. Big Ben
This famous landmark has actually an official name, the Victoria Tower. It's located at the Westminster House of Parliament.

Big Ben London


4. Westminster House of Parliament
This landmark has amazing design and not a place to miss when you visit London. It's located at the Thames River's bank. Tourists like to go to Westminster Bridge nearby to take picturesque view.





5. Trafalgar Square
This public square is mainly used as social gathering or political demonstration place. It has few beautiful commemorative sculptures. The National Gallery is also here. You can visit when you have time.

Trafalgar Square London

Trafalgar Square London

Trafalgar Square London





Sunday, December 24, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse (no gelatin) Recipe

I got this recipe from Pinterest long time ago and made it for one of my friend's birthday. It's easy, no oven required, nice and light, also looks pretty.



I modified the recipe a bit. I used strawberries instead of raspberries and I don't use gelatin on my recipe.

Things to take note:

  • Don't whip heavy cream in the same mixer that you use to whip cheese cream earlier. You must whip your heavy cream first then the cheese cream if you're using the same mixer. It doesn't work the other way around
  • I used President brand whip cream with 35.1% fat.  I learned that the higher the fat percentage, the better it will hold the shape.
  •  I used 90/100ml dessert cups. This recipe is good for 18 cups or so.



Recipe

Mousse
15 oz (3 1/2 cups) fresh strawberries  > i used around 7-8 pcs
1 1/2 cups (355ml) heavy cream/whip cream
12 oz (340 gr) cream cheese, softened
2 1/4 cups (260 gr) powdered sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
red food coloring (optional) > i used cherry red color

Crust
1 cup (120 gr) graham/digestive cracker crumbs (8 full sheets)
2 Tbsp (26 gr) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (56 gr) unsalted butter, melted

Topping (optional)
3/4 cups (175 ml) heavy cream/whip cream
2 Tbsp (26 gr) granulated sugar
8-10 fresh strawberries
some chocolate pearls
crushed pistachio


[For the crust]
Melt the butter and wait until it cools down. While waiting, put the digestive/graham crackers in plastic bag and mash them. Transfer them into a bowl. Add in the melted butter and sugar. Mix them well. Put  around 1.5 tbsp of mixture (or as you wish) to each dessert cup. Tap lightly or shake the cup to even out the mixture inside.




[For the mousse]
Process the strawberries in food processor or mash them in  a pan. Strain the puree using a fine mesh to separate out the seeds. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream using mixer on high speed until soft peaks formed. Add in 1/4 cup powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks formed. Shake off the excess cream from mixer blades, no need to wash for the next step.

Using mixer blend the cream cheese and 2 cups of powdered sugar until combined. Add in vanilla & red food coloring (optional) and mix. Increase to high speed and whip until light and fluffy. Add in the strawberry puree and combine. You can add in some raw strawberry puree too (from the straining mesh) into the cream.




Transfer the cream into big piping bag and pipe them to the dessert cups.

[For the toping]
Whip the heavy cream with sugar until soft peak formed. Transfer the cream to the piping bag. Cut the strawberries to your desired size.



If you need to transport them to somewhere, I recommend you to use cupcake box to hold them nicely. Unfortunately the box height doesn't match with the cup plus the lid. So I decided to remove the lid and they fit just nice in the box ^_^.







Sunday, September 3, 2017

Garuda Indonesia Experience From Singapore to London

I went for Europe trip last December and it was my longest flight that I ever had. I was terrified that I couldn't cope being inside closed room (I'm a bit claustrophobic) and above air for 14 hours long. But luckily I didn't fly alone and my experience with Garuda Indonesia airline was enjoyable.

Some details of my flight that time:
From: Changi Airport T3, Singapore
To: Heathrow Airport, London, UK
Flight: GA0086
Time: 11AM

The entertainment system was a bit old and slow though. The movie choices was not really updated.

entertainment system

headset
 Blanket and pillow were provided for all passenger when on board.
pillow and blanket

I was worried that the seat wouldn't be comfortable and I would get difficulty to sleep. The reclining seat was apparently comfortable, even for my parents, they also felt so. The leg room was also still acceptable. There's foot rest available.

comfortable reclining seat
 Every passenger will be given amenities pouch too. Inside there's a pair of thin sock, earplug, and eye mask.

The on board food was not bad.
lunch

dinner

Overall, it was a good flight. I don't remember we had bad turbulence. The food was good, entertainment system can be better, the seat was comfortable and

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Basic Principles of Classical Ballet

Hi fellow adult ballet learner,

I would like to share one useful book if you're just start picking up adult ballet, Basic Principles of Classical Ballet by Agrippina Vaganova. Maybe you heard of Vaganova ballet school in Russia. Yes, this book was written by Vaganova herself. Vaganova created a systematic ballet teaching system and is considered the best method so far.

Basic Principles of Classical Ballet - Agrippina Vaganova
Basic Principles of Classical Ballet - Agrippina Vaganova


The book was first released in year 1946 and has been republished since then. It covers all the fundamental theories of ballet movements, accompanied by 118 illustrations. It also includes the sample lessons with music accompaniment. It covers basic concepts of ballet, battements, rotary movements of the legs, the arms, jumps, beats, pointe work and turns.


Read my 10-month adult ballet journey


It's really a great accompaniment book for adult ballet beginner. It explains in details how the learner should do the movements. It's great that there are illustrations provided so learners can pick up the movements accurately and faster.

If you're thinking to purchase this Basic Principle of Classical Ballet book, get it here with discounted price and free shipping all around the world.


Tips on taking adult beginner ballet

Sunday, July 23, 2017

10-month Journey of Adult Ballet

10 month of adult ballet journey

Time flies! It's been 10 months now since I took my very first ballet class last year. It's been a tough period in the beginning, a lot of times I had contemplation whether to go to class and get scolded. I kinda didn't enjoy my classes that time. However, my super nice classmates motivated me to keep going. They encouraged me and since then I keep improving (thank god). I'm still far from perfect, obviously, but at least now I know much more about ballet and I think I'm living my childhood dream now.

Read my 6-month adult ballet journey

If you just started your adult ballet journey and want to know what have people who are in the same path have learned, this post may be suitable for you. Of course, not everyone have the same experience or same pace. Some people may have learned more than what I'm going to share, and for some people may go slower. There's no right or wrong. It's just different people (or different teachers) have different pace.

Tips on taking adult beginner ballet class

So by the end of my 10th month learning adult ballet, I've learned:

1. Plie: both demi plie and grand plie
2. Tendu
3. Jete
4. 8 body directions: croise, enface, efface, a la second, ecarte, epaule with devant (front) or derrire
5. Rond de Jambe: a terre, on l'air, double rond de jambe with combination of en dehors and en dedans
6. Frappe
7. Fondu
8. Retire
9. Releve
10. Developpe
11. Port de bras
12. Saute: Changement de pied
13. Glissade
14. Assemble
15. Temps lie
16. Pirouette


Last word, it's always important to have a good warm-up and stretching before you start the class. It helps to prepare the muscles for the movement. I noticed when I just first started, I always had the 'click' sound from my ankles. I realized after few months it's due to lack of warm-up. Once I started to have a good warm-up I didn't have that sound anymore. So, always remember to have a good warm-up and stretching before you practice.

My ballet class term is ending this month. It's been busy period for me this July and I may need to skip my last class due to work commitment. Hope I still can keep up in my next term of adult ballet next week.


So are you interested to pick up adult ballet class too? Find out some ballet schools where you can take adult beginner ballet class.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Impact of Shopping to Modern Society


In this modern era, shopping is getting popular as a stress relieving activity in society. Some people even make it as a hobby or a routine after working hour or on weekend. People likes to go shopping because buying stuffs, especially on bargain or sale items, gives them a sense of achievement. Shopping also boost the individual's overall mood as they browse around for pretty displays and interact with other people during the process.

However, shopping makes people to consume more things than what they actually need. They tend to buy things thinking that they might need it in the future. When the things are on sale, their subconscious mind urge them to buy because it is considered a good deal and they wouldn't be able to get them cheaper any further.

Shopping also makes people to build debt because of their consumerism habit. People think that owning things has impact on social status. Owning especially expensive branded stuffs has become their priority and they do not care if they have financial capability to purchase them.

In other way, shopping can boost the local economy. With the ubiquitous of shopping malls and online shops nowadays, local business can get positive impact. They can market and sell their products easier and faster. Online shops open almost everyday, contributes to bigger stream of sales to local business.

In conclusion, shopping has more bad impact to society nowadays as it makes people to fall into consumerism and often lead them to big debt as result of their conspicuous consumption habit.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 Fun Things to Do at Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, is a city in central Java, well-known for the famous heritage temples (such as Borobudur and Prambanan temple), education center, batik, and it's the only province in Indonesia with the monarchy system.

Here are unusual 3 fun things you can do at Yogyakarta:

1. Sandboarding at Gumuk Pasir
It's located around 1 hour driving from the Yogyakarta City. There's no entrance fee but there's around Rp15,000 parking fee. You can rent the sandboard for Rp 100,000/pc. You don't need to rent so many boards since you can take turn with your friends. Take a slide down at the sand hill and scream as loud as you want. It's such a fun activity to do. There's no time limitation for this activity.





2. Water Rafting at Sungai Elo
If you're beginner, go for the Sungai Elo water rafting (equivalent grade II AWA scale). You'll raft for 12.5KM in around 3 hours. Most of the operators will have 1 rest area where you can drink fresh coconut water. We spent around Rp 600,000 for 1 boat (5 pax including guide). If you want something more challenging, you can opt for another route Progo Atas or Progo Hulu. During weekend it can be very crowded so it's best if you can go during weekdays.





3. Cave Tubing at Goa Pindul
Goa Pindul is around 2 hours driving from the city. It's a relaxing water activity without swimming skill required. You just need to sit on the tube provided and a guide will pull you and group through the cave. The cave tubing only lasts for 30 minutes (it's 350m length) on normal day (when there's no many crowd). So if you want, you can get another activity river rafting. The name can be misleading. In fact, there's no rafting at all. It's the same as cave tubing but you'll do it on the river instead. This activity lasts for 1 hour. The total cost for 2 activities are Rp 70,000 - 90,000/pax.