DIPLO TRAVEL: Dresden Hotel and Transport


When looking for a hotel we are always looking for the best value for money. I like staying in affordable yet clean hotels that have simple yet modern interior design. We stayed at a place that ticked all those boxes and exceeded expectation when we went to Dresden, Germany. Our friends found this amazing deal on Booking.com at only € 70 per night, including buffet breakfast for 2 people. It was discounted from around € 100 and required no upfront payment and had free [read more]

BLOG CRUSH: Chuzai Living


I am so happy to start off a series called "Blog Crush," featuring bloggers I admire around the world, with Kaho of Chuzai Living Blog. Chuzai Living is one of my biggest blog inspirations and Kaho is my very first blog-friend. Kaho started commenting on my blog in Indonesia and soon met up and found out that not only were we fellow trailing-spouses, but also neighbours in Jakarta.  I truly miss living in the same city as Kaho, meeting up and talking about about expat life, interior [read more]

How to hang things securely without damaging walls

hang clock without damaging wall 1

As an expat we are perpetually renting and one of my challenges is to decorate with the least amount of damage to fix up when I leave, so I can get my security deposit back. In the past I've used 3M command strips, but recently I found an even better alternative. The problem with 3M and similar products is that if the wall paint is matte, then temporary hooks and tapes might not be very secure. I've had stuff fall and break. Full disclosure: This is still a risk even with this method using [read more]

DIPLO LUST LIST: 3 Luxe Philippine Beach Vacations

El Nido

I miss the beach so much! I swam in a lake once this entire summer, but I haven't swam in a proper beach in years. Even vacations in Bali were never about getting in the water. Bali beaches were bad luck for me... strong currents, unclean water and wounding my feet after a few steps in the booby-trapped sand. I am exaggerating of course. My Bali vacations were about amazing food and appreciating the culture. So after 4 years in the biggest archipelago in the world and a year in Berlin, I [read more]

DIPLO BEAUTY: How to Paint Your Nails Perfectly


I got an email from Amelia of Duckling to Swan when she moved to Jakarta a while back. When I checked out her blog and IG feed I couldn't get over how perfect her nails were. Currently drooling over her 4th inspired star manicure. Gold and bling chic!  So I asked her and she was nice enough to answer. I've been following the video and advice ever since and I can now do my own nails in a neat and tidy way. Hooray. I hope she doesn't mind that I am posting her tips. You guys should try it out! It [read more]

JAKARTA TO DO: Nano Healthy Family Reflexology

nano healthy family-003

One of the great pleasures of living in Jakarta is enjoying affordable massage and reflexology treatments. The best price I found with clean and nice facilities was at Nano Health Family. (There are many cheap spas but they might not be as clean.) You wouldn't believe how big this place is. It's not super luxurious but there therapists are well-trained and they have the biggest lazy boys I've ever seen with a TV and head set provided. Crazy right? We arrived on a weekday thinking it [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Die Kleine Gesellschaft

Die Kleine Gesellschaft-005

I was walking along Friedrichstrasse yesterday to meet a friend and found some really cute and cool shops all in a row. If you are in the area I definitely recommend checking out these special stores. I am definitely keeping them in mind when I need Berlin souvenirs, unique gifts and cards, children's toys, party supplies, etc. It is one of Top 10 Berlin's top picks for souvenir shopping in Berlin. The name translates to "the small company" and though it is a small store there are many [read more]


bling it on

I’ve been wanting to do a series called Diplo Lust List for a while now. After all what fun is life if there is nothing to lust after? I love beautiful design and even though cannot afford everything I lust for, keeping notes on it opens my minds to possibilities and inspires me when I am decorating my flat or DIY-ing. I feel that wanting and being inspired by beautiful design also helps me strive to work harder, save more and be more disciplined and creative financially. I hope this also [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Arirang Korean Lunch


You can tell I really love a restaurant because I tend to obsess about it. I ate in Arirang Korean Restaurant three times in one week. I wrote about having dinner there so I thought I'd write about my lunch time experience. We were a bigger group this time 7 people (and a baby) and initially my companions thought we were ordering too little. I reassured them that the servings were massive and true enough, we couldn't finish everything we ordered. We were all completely stuffed and happy with the [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Arirang Korean BBQ

arirang korean berlin-007

I love Korean BBQ and I've been craving for it since we left Jakarta. We first discovered the joys of Korean food, especially BBQ in Jakarta where there is quite a Korean population. Our Apartment in Jakarta was had many Korean establishments near by and this was our favourite place to go.   Here in Berlin we have a go-to place for super spicy Korean Bulgogi but they don't serve it Korean BBQ-style on your table. Now we finally found a place for affordable and delicious Korean BBQ at Arirang. It [read more]



This is definitely an interesting shop that has everything from optical toys to functional office organisers to home accessories and gifts. What makes it different is that everything is made using their copyright-protected Werkhaus connecting system and natural, environmentally friendly materials that can be easily separated from each other and recycled. The products are light, yet very sturdy and affordable. Below are some of my favourite designs. What do you think of them? Yay or [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Small Bites of Athens


Arriving Athens at scorching noon, we were ravenous. One thing great about Athens is you can find small bites at ever corner. I just want to share with you the littles bites we took while roaming around the streets on our Greek vacation.  Street Food Vendors I love street food and we were able to indulge, while doing a lot of walking in Athens. Vendors along Metropoleos with carts full of greek delicacies like these gorgeous bread rings sugar dusted donuts that get sugar all over your face [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Frau Behrens Torten


I first "e-met" (past tense of e-meet) slow-traveller Sean when he wrote this post and connected it to my write-up on this beloved Berlin summer tradition. A few days ago I had tea and cakes with Sean and his partner Mufidah at a delightful little cake shop called Frau Behrens. Their cakes are light and not too sweet. You order your cake at the counter and let the staff know where you are seated. There are so many choices and by 3pm when we met, many of the cakes were on their last slices. [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Kahla Porcelain


The first time I passed by Kahla's shop, I fell in love. Though their porcelain is slightly thicker than I expected, I adore their modern yet classy designs. Going to their store is a delightful experience because they displays have a sense of whimsy. With all the eye-candy, I feel like a little girl in a candy store. You know how much I love beautiful and clever design right? Anything but ordinary They have very colourful designs and I drool over the ones with gold details but my favourite [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Greek Souvlaki


Taverna Bairaktaris' Pork Souvlaki This has to be the most memorable dish of our Athens trip. Taverna Bairaktaris serves honest to goodness Greek food minus the frills. It is an institution among the locals and has been around since 1879 and is the only restaurant in Athens that can say it was around during the first Modern Olympic games.  Their humble souvlaki has legendary status with the locals. This is a complete and tasty meal in a small pita wrap which is super affordable and [read more]

DIPLO BEAUTY: Bloom Liquid Eyeliner

cat eye eyeliner makeup

I've used this eyeliner since I was in college. I remember visiting Beauty Bar in front of our school and trying all the different products and the excitement I felt when I finally found the best eyeliner ever. This is my secret to the perfect cat eye! More than a decade later, I have yet to find an eyeliner that can do better at the same price range. Why I love it Smudge-proof.  Once it dries, I don't worry about it smudging on my eyelids. If I accidentally rub it, it doesn't smear. I've [read more]

Bolognese Pasta Sauce Recipe

ritz carlton lobo bolognese sauce recipe

I'm posting this recipe for some diplo friends who asked for it after I brought the sauce for a potluck party we just had. Since learning the recipe at a cooking class with Ritz Carlton's Italian chef, Bolognese has become a favourite dish in our household. We've made a few adjustments of course. The secret of this recipe is 1) using only the best and freshest ingredients you can find and 2) more than one kind of ground meat and letting it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before you [read more]

DIPLO READS: Crazy Rich Asians

crazy rich asians kevin kwan book

Summer is here! And for lazy days in the park or lounging by a beach somewhere, I love fun, lighthearted laugh-out-loud reads. Normally I like memoirs like these, but I was curious about Crazy Rich Asians because several people I follow online were reading it and seemed to enjoy it. It's a tale about... what else... crazy rich Asians. You can take it both ways: these Asians are indeed "crazy rich", but you can also say they are crazy and rich! This book is not to be taken too seriously which is [read more]

Making it Blissful at Home

diplo home beach photowall

I am happy to say that I wrote my first article as one of the Blissmakers on MakeItBlissful.com. Imagine how ecstatic I was when editor, Martine de Luna, asked me to be part of her amazing online magazine that has such a heartening message women. Honestly I was surprised to be asked, because though I strive daily to find bliss, I feel that it can also be a struggle. So imagine what a confidence booster it was to be asked to join such an inspiring group of women.  MAKE IT BLISSFUL is more than a [read more]

DIPLO BEAUTY: GlamPalm Hair Iron

glampalm hair iron

I usually put my hair up in a bun or ponytail, but there are rare occasion, like parties or receptions, that I feel like having my hair down. Before I liked to have it straight and sleek but these days I prefer sexy beach waves. In the Philippines I would usually go to a parlour for this, but in Jakarta I found that because of the language barrier it wasn't easy to get the results I wanted. I find that salon people can also be a bit harsh with my hair and the products can also irritate my [read more]