Dash Hotel, Seminyak, Bali: How I Spend My Days Staying In.

Do you have that one friend you haven’t seen in years—but somehow you know that both of you still consider one another as trusted friends?

I guess that’s how I would describe my friendship with Chika (hope that feeling is mutual!). We knew each other through our blogs, became friends, randomly went to Singapore together, and saw each other at irregular intervals. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw her, really—must have been more than 2-3 years. So, of course, when she messaged me out of the blue and invited me to come along with her to Bali for a 3-day trip, I said YES.

MY DASHING ‘BELATED’ BIRTHDAY

When we arrived at our hotel, Chika, being the sweet thing that she is, surprised me with a chocolate cake with a candle on top. “Happy belated birthday!” she shouted, and we laughed, and we screamed, and we hugged, and then I blew the candle.

“Why are you so romantic?”
“I know. I should be a guy,” Chika laughed. “I think I’ll be a romantic boyfriend.”

And of course, soon after, conversations about love, heartbreak, guys, and relationships ensued: over a plate of chocolate cake.

I guess this was how we set the tone for the rest of our Bali getaway. For Chika, this would be her well-deserved vacation to take some rest from work. For me, as Bali has been my second home, I don’t have any plans for sightseeing or exploring. We just wanted to stay in, watch movies, order room service, and catch-up.

DASH HOTEL, SEMINYAK: OUR QUIRKY RABBIT NEST IN BALI

Chika invited me to stay at Dash Hotel in Petitenget, Seminyak, during our getaway. I didn’t think I’ve ever heard about the hotel before; but when I saw the facade, I realized that I have been passing this hotel many times!

Why, it is located near some of Seminyak’s beach-hangout places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta. And it is also only a walking distance from some of my favorite spots, like Biku and Cafe Organic.

I have always found this particular hotel intriguing, as it looks so bold and ‘out of place’ in the midst of Seminyak’s signature style; just like a rebellious teenager. Every time I passed this hotel, I always told myself that I wanted to see what it’s all about one day.

And finally, I got a chance to do it! (thanks, Chika!)

Inside, the hotel’s playful design screams fun, young, and vibrant. It’s so bold in a way that you might love it or hate it (like you would a durian!). I happened to like it simply because being there, looking at those vibrant colors, made me feel happy and energized. The hotel is so unique in its own way, that I would definitely tell a story about the quirkiness of it and my fun experience staying here in some dinner parties.

I instantly fell in love with ‘the Red Bunny’—which turned out to be… everywhere.

There’s a giant upside-down Red Bunny by the red poolside (yes, the pool is red!), a big Red Bunny plushie on the bed (place upside-down), a smaller upside-down Red Bunny on the table, and little Red Bunnies on our yellow bathrobe! (I still regretted my decision for not buying the smaller Red Bunny… it’s so soft and cute!)

The room (including its walls and ceiling) is vibrant with industrial/urban street style. Chika and I found it so intriguing that we started snapping pictures, to see which side of the walls would appear to be more photogenic. We laughed when we realized that we have a big bathtub in the middle of the room, right behind our huge bed: it’s sitting there in the open.

“This place could be such a fun place for adventurous young couples in honeymoon!” I climbed into the bathtub, fully-clothed. “It’s so big; I could even sleep here!”

But I guess our favorite spot in the room was our bed: it was so soft and comfortable; the perfect place from where we can watch movies, browse the Internet (yes, wi-fi is really fast!), and of course: having our girl’s talk.

So, that was how most of our days went by. Swimming in the red pool, lounging on its pool chair, climbing up the stairs to The Shack (where they have a pretty rooftop bar and jacuzzi), and lazying in bed watching HBO movies from the TV set, wrapped in our Red Bunny bathrobe.

Of course, with their playful and quirky approach, I would assume that the hotel would be wild and noisy: full of young people celebrating their summer or spring breaks. But, turned out, during my stay (even in the evening), I wasn’t bothered by any loud noises at all! There were also some couples and families staying here. Chika and I even talked to an old Italian couple on vacation during breakfast.

DINING IN AT MYA KITCHEN

When we’re hungry, we dragged ourselves to the hotel’s restaurant because we didn’t feel like going out. Luckily, the food was surprisingly tasty (were you, like me, skeptical towards hotel’s restaurants sometimes?), so we kept coming back to Mya Kitchen, ordering so much food every time (but our plates were always clean!), switching between comforting Asian and Western food.

My comfort lies in savory dishes like chicken wings, pasta, and porridge, while Chika’s is in sweet drinks like this one (Chika said it was sinfully delicious, but I would leave it to her to explain):

Our favorite time at the restaurant, though, was breakfast time.

We were surprised when we got a menu with so many options! The staff told us that they didn’t serve breakfast buffet, but we could order anything from the menu, as much as we wanted, and they were all included in our breakfast package!

Upon hearing this, Chika and I ordered a bunch of food and drinks; we ended up having our breakfast in 2 rounds. We were laughing when the table was so cramped with our plates and bowls; but again, we finished them all. Very impressive, indeed! (or we’re just that hungry).

WHEN CHIKA WAS GONE.

On our last day, Chika left for the airport very early in the morning, as she needed to catch a meeting in Jakarta. When she was gone, the room suddenly felt so empty and quiet.

I hugged the Red Bunny and tried to sleep some more, but I couldn’t seem to do it, so I just turned on the TV and watched some movies. I found out that I also got a mild fever and a cold, so rather than going down for breakfast, I decided to order room service. The chicken porridge was warm and tasty, and after a while, it gave me the push to finally leave the bed and hit the shower.

At around 10, I went up to the gym, thinking that I would do some morning yoga (they have yoga mats!), but as I passed the Rabbit Hole (their spa), I changed my mind. What’s better than having a massage when you have a cold?

I entered the spa, and the lady told me that they were free, so I could get my massage right away if I wanted to. I said yes immediately and decided on a back and shoulder massage; as I started to feel some tension developing in my head and shoulders.

To be honest, I did not expect much from the massage. I thought it would just be an excellent way to relax a bit, but turned out the lady who massaged me was very good!

It wasn’t one of those massages when you cringe instead of loosened up. The pressure was good, and the ambiance was so serene. I liked it when my massage room was quiet; with a faint smell of aromatherapy. I could feel some of my tight muscles loosened up; especially around my shoulders, and when I was putting my clothes back on after the massage, my mild headache (that came with the cold in the morning) had disappeared.

I went down to the lobby area afterward, where they have a sun-bathed seating area/library to do some journaling before I checked out (follow my Instagram to have a look at my Bali travel journal).

I have always loved some quality time with my girls; even when we have nothing better to do but watching movies together or reading books next to each other (or dining in!). With some friends, it seems like no matter how long you haven’t seen each other, you can always catch up so effortlessly; as if there’s no expiry date on your friendship whatsoever.

I felt so lucky and blessed knowing that I have some wonderful girlfriends around me. The ones who support and believe in me. The ones who wish to collaborate instead of competing. The ones who may not have similar views or beliefs about life with me, but mature enough to not let differences get in our way.

Do you have a circle of girlfriends you cherish as well?
How do you spend quality time together when you can’t meet up frequently?

Hanny Kusumawati

 

 

DASH HOTEL SEMINYAK
AddressJl. Petitenget No.148, Kerobokan Kelod,
Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361

How to create a vision board and what to do with it.

Me and my vision board(s)

I read too much self-help books growing up (I read self-help books of Canfield & Carnegie since high school—maybe that explains why I grow up like this!). And it was from those books that I absorbed the ideas of vision board and the power of thoughts.

I created my first vision board in my first year in college. I did it on an A4 page that I inserted into a clear envelope inside my ring binder.

It was pretty straightforward and there was nothing aesthetic about it: basically, I just cut out some pictures from old magazines—pictures that represent the things I want in life. At the time, these are pictures of handsome guys, lovey-dovey romantic scenes, and branded goods (plenty of them in the magazine’s ads!). I scribbled some affirmations on top of it with a gel pen. Something along the lines of ‘You’re Beautiful’ or ‘Guys Like You!’.

I guess you could see where my priority lies back then.

What is a vision board?

A Wikipedia entry describes a vision board as:

“A collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of your dreams, goals, and things that make you happy. It can also be called a dream board, treasure map, or vision map. Creating a vision board can be a useful tool to help you conceptualize your goals and can serve as a source of motivation as you work towards achieving your dreams.

After my college days, I kept on creating vision boards, at least once every 1-2 year(s). I no longer made it in my ring binder, though. Sometimes I made a spread of my vision board inside my journal. Other times I created my vision board as a desktop wallpaper so I can see it every time I open my laptop. And about 10 years ago I bought a writing board in a bookstore: half of it is a cork board and the other half is a whiteboard. I used it to create my vision board ever since.

To me, apart from trying to figure out what kind of life I want for myself, making a vision board is simply a fun activity—especially when I am stuck at home with nothing better to do. It’s a bit like daydreaming (or hallucinating), but this time you could actually see what you’ve been daydreaming about right there, on the board (or paper, or whatever medium you choose).

Collecting words, images, and pictures for your vision board.

Because I have stopped hoarding magazines, these days I go to the Internet to find pictures and images for my vision board. My favorite go-to places are Unsplash, Storyblocks, and Pinterest. However, when it comes to selecting words, pictures, or images, there is one thing I learned from my previous mistakes in creating vision board(s).

Previously, I was very literal when it comes to my vision boards. If I wanted to lose weight, I would find a picture of a girl with a fit and well-toned body. If I wanted to be in a relationship, I would find a picture of a happy couple. If I wanted a house, I tried to find a picture of a beautiful house. If I wanted more money? Exactly. I would find a picture of a huge pile of money.

I did this for quite some time only to realize that I usually lost my interest in my vision board after 2-3 weeks (which means I would take down my vision board from the wall and hide it behind my cupboard). Somehow, seeing those things on my vision board weighed me down with the realization that I do not have them. Every time I looked at my vision board, I felt a bit stressed out, as if I was forced to work hard to make them a reality; or else I would end up a failure.

So, here’s how I created my vision board today: instead of focusing on finding the images of the things I want, I am focusing on finding pictures, quotes, or images that stir a happy and comfortable feeling inside of me. That’s it. No more images of a bunch of branded goods, a pile of money, or a first-class cabin–if seeing them don’t make me feel happy or comfortable.

The same goes for finding a quote. If my heart melts when I read the quote, the quote ends up on my vision board.

I realized that this is the approach that works best for me: to concentrate on feelings instead of things.

I want to be able to look at my vision board and feel happy instead of stressed out from thinking about how I would get all those things I didn’t have. I want to look at my vision board and be reminded of the feeling I have always wanted to feel in life: happy, content, peaceful, creative, free, loving, safe.

A vision board works best for me when it focuses on feelings instead of things.

If you think you’re someone like me, you might want to try this approach for your vision board. However, if you think you’re more motivated, driven, and inspired when you know you’re chasing things instead of feelings, by all means, create your vision board that way!

The bottom line is to create the vision board you’ll love, that will make you feel happy and inspired after seeing it instead of stressed out and demotivated. Find out which type of person you are, and create a vision board that will serve you best!

Using your vision board.

After finding all the pictures, images, and words or quotes I want to use on my vision board, I usually print them all (I use usual photocopy paper) and then cut them out. Then, I will try to find the best layout for the cut-outs to be displayed on the board. I mostly use washi tapes and cardboard pins to do this (instead of glues or double-sided tape). I want to make sure that I can reuse the board again the following year.

Once I’m done with my vision board, I display it in a spot where I can see it often, on a daily basis. If I find some particular pictures or quotes that annoy me somehow, I take them down or replace them with something else.

I like to see my vision board as a living organism that grows with my state of mind and my state of being. So, I allow myself to change things here and there when I feel the urge to do so. Plus, the idea of having this vision board is to lift up my mood! So, I want to make sure that I like what I see and can feel an instant boost of happiness just by looking at it.

Keeping a vision journal as a company.

Whenever I feel inspired (usually on a relaxing Sunday evening), I will pick an image or a quote from my vision board, look at it, and write down whatever goes through my mind about that particular image or quote. It helps me to access the feeling each picture or quote evoke in me and clarify what the image/words actually represents.

Here are some questions I use to help me when I’m journaling about my vision board:

  1. Why does this particular image/quote feel good to me?
  2. What does this image/quote remind me of?
  3. What does this image/quote represent in my life?
  4. What can I do, daily, to recreate the feeling this image/quote evoke in me?
  5. What would my days look like if I have experienced everything that is represented by this image/quote?
  6. How would I be a different person if I have experienced everything that is represented by this image/quote?
  7. How would my outlook on life change if I have experienced everything that is represented by this image/quote?

To me, answering those questions help to gain clarity on the kind of life I aspire to have and the kind of person I’d like to be. It feels easier because I don’t have to start writing from nothing: I have a picture I want to write about and some questions related to the picture! Now, all I need to do is answer those questions honestly.

I actually find this journaling activity relaxing. It really helps me to bring something abstract into a more concrete pen-on-paper kind of thing. Whenever I reread the journal, I was reminded again of the feelings I want to invite into my life.

It serves as a compass that keeps on pointing to the North whenever I feel like I’m disoriented or about to get lost.

Creating a vision board together.

Creating a vision board doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. If you like, you can also work on a shared vision board with a group of friends, with your spouse, or even with your colleagues.

When I was still working full-time, I created a ‘professional’ vision board together with everyone else from my division. The end result was our division’s vision board, representing everyone’s professional wishes and dreams. Once we completed the board, we took turns to point out the images or quotes we’ve pasted. Each person told everyone else what their images/quotes represent; both for the division and for his/her professional development.

It was a really interesting exercise because it stirred a fun and relaxed conversations about things that are not usually talked about! Professionally, we’re usually talking about what we want (promotion, opportunities, flexible office hours, payrise) instead of why we want them. Discussing the images and quotes in the vision board by answering some of the journaling questions listed above can really help us to understand others better: to know what’s important for them and find out what really moves or motivates them in life.

So, feel free to work on your vision board as a group or a pair!

Anyway, I’ll be very happy to hear your stories about creating a vision board or keeping a vision journal. Let me know if you’ve tried this and what kind of vision board works best for you!

Until then,

Hanny Kusumawati

DIY for Bookworms: Make A Dangling Bookmark

DIY Dangling Bookmark: For A Leisurely Weekend at Home

Hi, Lovelies!

If you’re thinking of spending a leisurely weekend at home reading books, I hope you’ll love this easy DIY dangling bookmark project as much as I do!

A few days ago, I was binge-watching some YouTube videos from Traveler’s Notebook community and ended up in Ali Brown‘s channel—where she made a tutorial on making dangling bookmarks for her journals.

After creating mine (which I loved), I realized that this can actually be a great bookmark not only for my journal, but also for the books I’m reading! I’m the kind of person who reads multiple books at a time, so a bookmark always comes in handy.

However, regular bookmarks frustrate me because: 1) they slip and fall easily from the book inside my bag; 2) slipping the bookmarks in and out when I travel caused me to misplace the bookmarks or end up losing them; and 3) sometimes when I finished reading a book, I accidentally left a bookmark between the pages, and couldn’t find this bookmark until one day I reread the book again and voila—my ‘missing’ bookmark was there!

I realized that dangling bookmarks solve those problems: 1) they don’t slip and fall easily; 2) I don’t have to slip the bookmark in and out because I can just read the book while the bookmark is dangling right there, looking pretty; and 3) because the bookmark is dangling from the page, I would definitely notice it and take it out before storing the finished book—no more ‘missing’ bookmark hidden between the pages of a long-forgotten book!

So, I decided to create several dangling bookmarks for the books I’m reading this month (will add the list down below). They are so easy to make, and I even make some as gifts for my fellow bookworms!

Dangling Bookmark: Tools + Supplies + How-to

Basically, you only need:

  • a  string (this is the one I use; I love it because the knot is very tight and it has been treated with wax)
  • some charms, beads, or broken accessories you can upcycle
  • a pair of scissors

That’s it!

So, basically, what you need to do is measure the length of your bookmark. Sure, there are different sizes of books; but usually, I only make two different lengths: for the paperback size and the hardcover size. These are the two sizes of books I mostly read anyway.

Just measure the length so you can have the desired dangling effect once the bookmark is slipped between the pages.

After that, add some charms or beads to the end of each string, and tie a loose knot. Insert the dangling bookmark between your book’s pages and adjust the length when necessary. When you’re happy, tighten the knot. And just like that, you have your dangling bookmark.

Now, you can slip the string between the first page of the book and the page you’re currently reading. Bring the string close to the binding of your book, and it will rest there nicely while you’re reading; and it won’t bother you at all.

Dangling Bookmark: Use What You Have!

I didn’t buy the charms on my dangling bookmarks. Most of them came from broken accessories that I liked so much, but because they were broken, I couldn’t wear them anymore. I kept them in my drawer thinking that one day I would fix them, but of course, it never happened.

So, I’m happy that they can get a second life!

This bird bookmark, for instance, came from a broken earring I got years ago. Some others came from broken bracelets and from my mother’s beads collection.

So, why don’t you check your drawer and see what kind of charms or beads you can use to make your own dangling bookmark? (If you don’t have any, you can also get some charms from here.)

Let me know if you tried to make a dangling bookmark this weekend! Feel free to share some pictures of your dangling bookmark and tag me if you like!

I assure you that you’ll have a pleasant weekend making your own dangling bookmark, and read your book while the bookmark is dangling pretty between the pages!

Hanny Kusumawati

 

 

 

The books I’m currently reading:

  • After Midnight by Rainbow Rowell (just finished it today!)
  • Balik Kampung 
  • Lotus by Lijia Zhang
  • Kebaya Tales by Lee Su Kim
  • Sales Mind: 48 Tools to Help You Sell by Helen Kensett
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (reread)
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (reread)
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • A Journey Through the Heart of A Pig by Johnny Lloyd (reread)
You might have noticed some links to Tokopedia e-commerce site in this post, but this is NOT a sponsored post. Personally, I love using the site to get my craft supplies for a bargain, so maybe you want to check it out.