Free Spirited American Volunteers

I always love to have volunteers from the United States of America because I adore the country, the freedom, and liberty. So when American volunteers come, it is very delightful to me to ask them about anything related to their country. The first American volunteer that I got at the learning center is Ian Alfaro from Hawai, but his family is from Mexico so he is also a Mexican. He is a surfer anyway and he brought his surfboard to our learning center, he did surf at Balian Beach.


Next, I met a couple from Washington, USA. They are Lisa Beck and Daniel Kirkpatrick. They are married with three children, their oldest son is in the same as me. I also asked them to be my American parents, and they said yes. They are very nice and kind. Once they asked me about teaching my sons English then I said that my sons had a speech delay, they cheered me up and Daniel told me a story about some different animal, for example, a rabbit, a snake, a chicken, a bird, a fish, a frog who are taught to swim, to fly and to walk. In the swimming lesson, none of them can swim except fish and frog. Next, in the flying lesson, none of them can fly except a bird, even the chicken is hardly fly. At last in the walking lesson, none of them can walk except a chicken, the rabbit jumps and the snake slithers.

He said that the moral story was every child has his own skill and ability timing, so I shouldn’t worry about the speech delay happen to my sons. It is a very heart-warming story that ever given to me to cheer me as a mom. In fact, Daniel and Lisa are education consultants. So they work to train people, to train students, to set or design a school program and so on. They also run an international school. Daniel also an Aikido practitioner, so he taught the kids and me about Aikido. It is totally a coincidence because I am truly interested in Aikido since a long time ago I watched an actor who practiced Aikido because it is the only martial art that is used to defend yourself not to “attack”. And yes it is true Aikido is the harmony of energy.

Although Daniel and Lisa are old and ugly (hahaha this was Daniel idea) but they are really fun and adventurous! Then after Daniel and Lisa, there was Shannon Breslin from Chicago. She works at California right now. She was just graduated from university when she came volunteering at our learning center. She has a cheerful and positive attitude. Shannon loves to play soccer, she is really sporty. Once I ran with her in the hills and she could keep going running uphill and downhill faster than me. I told her that she’s got log slim legs like a horse! Haha she is indeed tall. When we ran together she was afraid of the dogs barking at us and she used me to cover her LOL!

Thanks to Hannah Spencer from NZ who took this picture

After Shannon, there was an adult volunteer who works as a speech therapist and as a secondary school teacher (I think it a high school). She is not really American because she is a Russian who moved to the USA. Her name is Laura Kovalenko. She is a yoga enthusiast too! Like me. We have the same interest in exercise and workouts, the difference is just she can do difficult yoga poses while I still can’t hahaha. I have ever consulted about my son speech delay and she advised me very well. She is very open and friendly. The way she taught the kids make me learn how to teach better. I even invited her to come to the English lesson of my private student and we played continuing story with the dice. Laura lives in New York! Yeah, New York my dream city. I want to visit NYC someday, I will just call Laura to pick me up from Ellis Island. Laura said that the statue of Liberty is close to her home. Wow!

Who is going to be the next American volunteer that I would meet at the Learning Center Eka Chita Pradnyan? I don’t know, we’ll see. From them, I got many souvenirs. It is funny because Shannon and Laura gave me the same thing: bracelet. Shannon gave me a brown mosquito repellent bracelet while Laura gave me a white bracelet. And they almost look the same braided bracelet! Just in different colors. Daniel and Lisa gave me the most things that I really like: American Magazine! Besides that, they also gave me a foldable magnifying glass and mechanical flashlight (without battery but using our muscle to turn on the light) for an outdoor activity. Even more, Daniel wrote me a credit as an English teacher! Thanks a lot for the gifts, I will keep them and remember you always in my heart.

💕 Intan Rastini


Eco-Stylish Wooden Sunnies

Have you ever heard about sunglasses made from woods or bamboo? Even, recently I’ve noticed sunglasses made from the recycled skateboard material. Sustainable development* is getting wide-spread. People are thinking about more eco-friendly products nowadays. Something that we can renew, regrow, reuse, recycle is more considerable to make a new trend. In addition, using an eco-friendly product, I believe will make us feel less guilty about polluting our lovely planet Earth.

I think everybody likes a good environment but even better when you can see natural elements make a really amazing fashion.

-Wooden Sunnies

By the end of August, I joined an Instagram giveaway held by the Wooden Sunnies. There were bamboo sunglasses as the prize, so I was really interested to join it. Then I won. Yes, I won the bamboo sunglasses!!!


I got contacted via a direct message by the owner of Wooden Sunnies. He said that I would be the winner, but because of the bamboo glasses on the giveaway are quite big, he offered me a Lolita, instead. Wanna know which one is the bamboo sunglasses and which one is Lolita?

These are the bamboo sunglasses. Aren’t they cool to make you stand out?

And these sunglasses are Lolita. Oh so stunning!


I bet the bamboo sunglasses would fit my husband rather than me because he has a big head, really a big head for an Asian man. I like the bamboo sunglasses because the bamboo material is eco-friendly and regrowable easily yet it is also sustainable. However, I wasn’t disappointed at all when Mr. Joel, the Wooden Sunnies owner, told me that he would send Lolita for me because he believed Lolita suited better for ladies rather than the bamboo ones.

Lolita sunglasses have a transparent plastic frame edge, but the arms are zebra wood. Zebra wood is kind of wood from Africa that has very noticeable stripes of zebra pattern. Mr. Joel told me that he was unsure about the Lolita as it has a plastic edge, but then it becomes favorite! He sells this one more than all others lately. Yes, indeed Lolita really looks great. Lolita sunglasses has surprised Mr. Joel because they are sold out the quickest. These sunnies are perfect for everyone. Fit men and women.


My Sunnies prize is packed with a bamboo cylindrical container, just like a hollow big bamboo stem. It is also provided with a black fabric pouch and a lens cleaning cloth. As Lolita arrived at my home… My husband tried to put them on but they don’t fit my husband! Wow! His head is really big or Lolita sunnies are quite small? Even my son tried wearing them too and they fit pretty well on him! Hahaha… So actually Lolita fit everyone, except my husband. The head’s width of my husband is big enough for Lolita. So maybe, as I guess, the bamboo sunglasses will suit him better.



When I get Lolita, I look into its wooden arms, they are engraved with “polarized” on the left side and “handmade” on the right side. Lolita is handmade and it is also equipped with polarized lenses. The front lenses have a mirror finish that reflects images just like a metallic mirror. It is handmade, so it is so special. How about “polarized”? what does it mean? Polarized is a term for the lenses of the sunglasses that help to reduce reflected glare from the water and flat surfaces.

How do polarized lenses work? Light usually scatters in all directions; but when it’s reflected from flat surfaces, it tends to become polarized – meaning it travels in a more uniform (usually horizontal) direction. This creates an annoying and sometimes dangerous intensity of reflected light that causes glare and reduces visibility.

Polarized lenses contain a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light, reducing glare. They provide superior glare protection – especially on the water. Polarized lenses also may reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal display (LCDs) or light emitting diode displays (LEDs) such as digital screens. So, with polarized lenses, you may be unable to see your cell phone or GPS device (Reference: – Polarized Sunglasses).


I have proved it myself, when I was taking pictures at the beach, it was hard to see my phone display with the sunglasses on. The display was totally dark. However, it was really cool to wear Lolita at the beach as it was totally sunny and the sunlight glaring from the sea water. The vision through Lolita lenses are clear but the sunlight is not strikingly bright to my eyes. They are lightweight and now are my best friends in this tropical sunny country. The wooden sunnies are perfect for outdoor activity and to protect my eyes from the sunlight.


I am lucky I got these cool handmade wooden sunnies as a prize. If you buy these sunnies from Wooden Sunnies, $10 of every sale goes to You are not only purchasing an eco-stylish product but also contributing to the sustainability of marine life too. Well, so many thanks to Wooden Sunnies who had considered kindly the suitable sunnies for me as a perfect gift and moreover for raising awareness to the single-use plastic that pollutes our planet. For a better earth for our children, grandchildren and grand grandchildren.


Something renewable, regrowable and sustainable. It makes people feel a little bit better about what they’re doing.

– Wooden Sunnies



If you are interested to seek wooden sunnies and be friends with the sustainable ecosystem, please go and check… they have various styles of sunglasses. Even more, this September Wooden Sunnies has launched a new range called ‘EmDeez’. The new ones are round sunglasses made from dark and light bamboo frame. Aaaww, another adorable bamboo sunnies… What are you waiting for? Let’s check it out!


*Based on Encarta Dictionary, sustainable development means an economic development without polluting environment: economic development maintained within acceptable levels of global resource depletion and environmental pollution


💚 Intan Rastini

Strong Abs Exercise

Since I was a teenager I’ve always been wanting to have a flat and strong abdomens. It was like since I was in secondary school that my belly start to be not flat anymore. So when I was in high school I send an e-mail to Seventeen Magazine asking them if they could send me the copy of abs exercise from their magazine at certain edition. So they replied me and were very kind to send me a colorful copy of this Strong Abs Exercise via air mail from USA! To keep the digital copy, so I wrote it on my blog. The copy paper is very easy to use while you don’t remember how to do the steps because you can carry it with you while you are exercising. If you want to do this exercise you can memorize it too! As long as you keep exercising you will remember the steps automatically.

Get Strong Abs!

Rock that teeny bikini! All you need are five moves for fifteen minutes, three days a week . . . and a confident Yeah, you know it! Attitude.

Your equipments:
2-pound weights, a ball, a chair and a mat.

Great for your entire midsection!
A Using a sturdy table or the steps on a staircase, place hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Stand on balls of feet (like in a push-up).
B Lift knee across stomach, turning hips (knee should go toward opposite shoulder). Repeat on other side to complete one rep. Do 20 reps.

Flattens your lower abs and shapes your curves.
A Sit on the edge of a chair, with knees bent and a soccer ball or stack of books at your feet. Raise your knees up, bringing your feet off the floor.
B Use your abs to lift legs up and over the ball never letting feet touch the floor. To complete one rep, return feet to position A. Do six reps.

17 TIP: To get six-pack abs in a couple of months, make sure to suck in your stomach and keep abs contracted as you do each exercise. If you feel a deeper strain in your neck, legs, or upper back than in your belly, you’re using the wrong muscles.

Feel it in your lower abs and sides!
A Lie on a mat or towel, with left hand behind head. Bend knees; place feet flat on floor.
B Use your abs to lift left elbow to right knee (don’t just turn elbow in). Do 15 on each side.

Works all the abdominals!
A Sit on the floor, hands flat and slightly behind you. Start with bent knees and feet off the floor.
B Lean back, and extend legs (not all the way) for one count. Return to start. Do 12 reps.

Your best total-core move!
A Lie down holding a 2-lb. weight in each hand. Start with left arm overhead and left knee lifted.
B Take five seconds to lower left limbs as you lift right arm and right leg. Do for one minute.

Taken from Seventeen Magazine USA 2008.

Happy exercise!

Translation into Indonesian:

Dapatkan Perut yang Kuat!

Tampil mempesona dengan baju renang layaknya remaja! Semua yang kamu butuhkan adalah lima gerakan sederhana dalam lima belas menit, tiga kali seminggu . . . dan sebuah sikap – yeah, kamu tau itu! – percaya diri!

Peralatan yang dibutuhkan:
sepasang dumbel 1 kg, sebuah bola sepak, sebuah kursi dan matras.

Bagus untuk seluruh bagian tengah!
A Gunakan meja yang kokoh atau anak tangga, letakkan kedua tangan terpisah sejauh sedikit lebih lebar dari lebar bahu. Berdiri dengan berjinjit (seperti dalam push-up).
B Angkat lutut menyilangi perut, putar pinggul searah dengan arah menyilang lutut (lutut sebaiknya diangkat berlawanan arah dengan bahu). Lakukan 20 pengulangan.

Meratakan perut bagian bawah dan membentuk lekuk tubuh.
A Duduk di pinggir kursi sisi samping, dengan lutut ditekuk dan sebuah bola sepak atau tumpukan buku di bawah kaki. Angkat lutut ke atas, membuat kaki terangkat semakin jauh dari lantai.
B Gunakan otot perut untuk mengangkat kaki ke atas melintasi bola dan jangan biarkan kaki menyentuh lantai, kembalikan kaki ke posisi A. Lakukan enam pengulangan.

TIP: Untuk mendapatkan perut six-packs dalam dua bulan, pastikan untuk menarik perut ke dalam dan jaga perut tetap terkontraksi selama melakukan masing-masing gerakan latihan. Jika kamu merasakan tegangan yang dalam pada leher, kaki atau punggung atas dari pada di perut, maka kamu menggunakan otot-otot yang salah.

Rasakan pada perut bagian bawah dan sisi samping perut!
A Berbaring pada sebuah matras atau handuk, dengan tangan kiri di belakang kepala. Tekuk kedua lutut; letakkan kaki rata di atas lantai.
B Gunakan perutmu untuk mengangkat siku kiri ke lutut sebelah kanan (jangan hanya memutar siku ke arah lutut). Lakukan 15 gerakan di masing-masing sisi kiri dan kanan tubuh.

Menggerakan semua bagian perut!
A Duduk di atas lantai, tangan diletakkan rata pada lantai dan berada di belakang punggung. Mulai dengan menekuk kedua lutut dan kaki berada di atas lantai.
B Bersandar ke belakang, dan panjangkan kedua kaki ke depan (tapi tidak diluruskan seluruhnya) untuk satu hitungan. Kembali ke awal. Lakukan 12 kali pengulangan.

Gerakan inti total yang terbaik!
A Berbaring dengan kedua tangan masing-masing menggenggam sebuah dumbel 1 kg. Mulai dengan tangan kiri di atas kepala dan lutut kiri diangkat ke atas.
B Lakukan selama lima detik untuk menurunkan anggota badan sebelah kiri sambil menaikkan tangan kanan ke atas kepala dan kaki kanan dengan lutut ditekuk ke atas.

Diterjemahkan dari Seventeen Magazine USA 2008.

Jadi apakah perut saya kuat dan rata sekarang? Untuk ukuran emak-emak beranak dua, perut post-partum saya sih masih jelly-belly, tapi kalau mau ukuran lingkar pinggang saya, kira-kira tetap di angka 75 cm sedangkan lingkar panggul saya 85 cm. Karena kulit perut pernah melar maksimal waktu mengandung, setelah kempes lapisan kulit perut saya masih bertumpuk, sih. Lumayan lemaknya terkikis sedikit demi sedikit sampai celana ukuran sebelum menikah jadi muat lagi dipakai. Apalagi saya imbangi lari pagi 30-45 menit, ya… Gimana tertarik punya perut kuar dan ramping? Latihan ini juga untuk menguatkan otot perut.


Selamat berlatih!

💛Intan Rastini

Homemade Spinach Chips!

I love potato chips, but it is difficult to slice the potato very thin to have a crispy homemade potato chips. Instead I have a bunch of spinach given by my relatives, so I made this veggie chips. This recipe I got from Radita Puspa‘s mom. So thank you for the recipe!

I consider the spinach chips as snacks and complements for my meal. As a snack I eat the chip with tomato sauce, and it is delicious!

Scroll down if you want the recipe in English.

Spinach cips with thin flour mixture

Keripik Bayam

1. Daun salam 3 lembar
2. Air 500 ml
3. Minyak goreng 300 ml
4. Daun Bayam yang lebar dan tua
5. Tepung beras 5 sdm
6. Garam 1/4 sdm dan lada 1/4 sdt

Cara membuat:
1. Cuci bersih daun salam dan daun bayam dan petik dari batangnya
2. Rebus daun salam dengan air sampai mendidih, setelah mendidih biarkan dingin
3. Campur tepung beras dengan garam, lada bubuk dan gula secukupnya aduk rata
4. Ambil air rebusan daun salam yang sudah dingin sebanyak 10 sendok makan, campurkan dengan tepung beras, aduk perlahan sampai tercampur rata dengan kekentalan yang cukup
5. Siapkan wajan dan panaskan minyak goreng
6. Celupkan daun bayam ke adonan tepung lalu goreng, angkat jika tepung sudah berwarna kuning kecokelatan
7. Ulangin proses mencelup setiap daun bayam ke adonan tepung dan goreng sampai semua bahan habis atau dirasa jumlah keripik bayam sudah cukup
8. Tiriskan semua keripik bayam yang telah digoreng saat sudah dingin simpan dalam wadah kedap udara supaya tetap renyah
9. Keripik bayam siap disajikan sebagai pelengkap hidangan Anda

Jumlah: 20 keripik bayam dengan ukuran bervariasi. Dominan yang berukuran setelapak tangan saya.

Spinach chips with nutritional yeast

Spinach Chips

1. 3 pcs of bay leaves
2. 500 ml of water
3. 300 ml of frying oil
4. 20 spinach leaves, choose wide and old ones
5. 5 tbs of rice flour
6. 1/4 of salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper powder

How to cook:

1. Clean the bay leaves and spinach with water, remove the spinach branch from each leave
2. Boil the bay leaves with water, after it’s boiling, let it be cool by air temperature
3. Mix rhe rice flour with salt and pepper well
4. Take 10 tablespoon of boiled bay leaves water, mix and stir with the flour. Stir until it is well-mixed
5. Prepare the frying pan or wok, pour the frying oil and heat it
6. Dip a spinach leave to the flour mixture then fry it. Take it from the frying pan when its color is already golden brown. Or the leave is felt stiff just like a chip
7. Redo the process until all the spinach is fried or until yoi think you have enough spinach chips
8. Drain all spinach chips until they are not hot anymore then keep in air thight storage to preserve its crispiness
9. Spinach chips are reay to serve as the complements to your meal

I have tried this recipe 4 times. I tried with thick flour mixture, thin flour mixture, I mix the mixture with flaxseeds and then I mix with nutritional yeast. All of them are just fine! If you use thicker mixture the chips will be hard when they are not crispy anymore but if you use very thin flour mixture it will be soft and chewy when it loses ita crispiness.

With my recipe you will have about 20 spinach leaves with various size of the leaves, but mostly they are as big as my palm. My kids really love the spinach chips!

A heap of spinach chips for my sons

💚 Intan Rastini

Membuat Acar Jerman “Sauerkraut” dari Kubis

Suami saya suka banget dengan acar. Biasanya yang saya buat cuma acar mentimun dan wortel dikasi bawang merah pakai cuka dan gula. Kali ini ada acar baru yang enak juga dan bagus untuk saluran pencernaan karena mengandung probiotik dari tanaman. Tanaman apa yang dipakai? Yaitu, kubis! Acar ini saya ketahui dari adik saya, Ryandi. Sekarang dia udah gemar makan makanan sehat dan yang plant-based karena dia udah vegan. Saya jadi ketularan dan akhirnya nyobain sauerkraut bikinan dia dan mama dari kubis merah. Rasanya asyeeeewwmmm bangeetss! Kayaknya karena proses fermentasinya berjalan terus jadi asemnya ga ketulungan apalagi buatnya di Surabaya yang panas.

Sauerkraut kubis merah buatan Ryandi dan mama dari Surabaya

Di rumah, saya coba sendiri bikin sauerkraut pakai kubis putih atau hijau. Saya fermentasi dalam waktu 3 hari aja langsung panen supaya asemnya bisa ditoleransi lidah dan perut. Tapi adik saya bilang kalau baru 3 hari koloni probiotiknya kurang banyak itu. Nggak apa-apa deh dari pada perutku perih. Kenapa ada probiotik? Karena kubis secara alami mengandung asam laktat yang disukai bakteri baik tersebut. Yuk cuss buat… Ryandi bilang “gut is our second brain, so take a good care of your gut!”

Kita coba dengan membuat sedikit dulu, next time saya mau coba bikin dengan 1 kg kubis 😙


1. 250gr kubis putih

2. 1/4 sendok makan garam Himalaya atau pink salt


1. Talenan bersih

2. Pisau

3. Mangkok besar buat mencampur

4. Toples kaca ukuran 500ml yang bermulut lebar

5. Kain bersih

6. Karet atau pita buat mengikat kain yang menutup toples


Sebelum membuat: Pastikan semua peralatan yang akan digunakan bersih, ya.. dicuci dengan sabun lalu dibilas hingga tidak ada sisa sabunnya. Keringkan hingga tidak lembab. Termasuk tangan, karena akan menggunakan tangan untu meremas kubis.

Cara Membuat:

1. Cuci kubis dengan air matang, lalu tiriskan

2. Buang bagian kubis yang layu atau jelek

3. Iris-iris tipis helai kubis seperti pita, buang bagian tengahnya yang keras

4. Masukkan irisan kubis ke dalam mangkok besar dan taburi garam Himalaya

5. Remas-remas kubis yang sudah ditaburi garam sampai layu dan keluar sari airnya. Saya meremas kira-kira 7 menit.

6. Mulai masukkan irisan kubis yang sudah diremas ke dalam toples dan tuang juga ke toples sari air kubis yang keluar hasil peremasan tadi di mangkok

7. Tekan-tekan kubis di dalam toples agar semua bagian kubis terendam air garam, jangan sampai ada bagian kubis yang tidak terendam air garam, ya!

8. Tutup toples dengan kain dan ikat dengan karet atau pita dengan kencang, letakkan di tempat gelap yang terhindar dari sinar matahari dan biarkan hingga besok untuk memulai proses fermentasi

9. Setelah 24 jam cek lagi apakah semua bagian kubis terendam air garam, jika air garam dirasa kurang merendam seluruh kubis yang ada, bisa tambahkan larutan garam 1/2 sendok teh dengan air 250 ml. Cek tiap hari apakah ada bagian kubis yang tidak terendam, jika ada, tekan-tekan dengan sendok bersih

10. Setelah 3 hari, cicipi apakah rasa sauerkraut sudah sesuai selera. Jika asamnya masih kurang bisa difermentasikan hingga beberapa hari sampai derajat asamnya pas

11. Tidak ada patokan khusus sampai berapa hari sauerkraut yang asamnya pas bisa dipanen, tergantung suhu udara tempat tinggal. Semakin dingin, semakin lambat proses fermentasi berlangsung. Jika dirasa udah pas untuk dipanen, silakan lepas tutup kain dan tutup dengan tutup toples yang sesuai lalu letakkan ke dalam lemari es

12. Sauerkraut bisa dinikmati sebagai tambahan saat makan mie goreng, nasi goreng, mie ayam, dan lainnya sesuai selera!

Rasanya gimana? Asem-asem segeeeer gitu. Ada gurih dari garam ada sedikit manis dari hasil fermentasi kubisnya sendiri. Teksturnya ada renyahnya ada lembutnya. Hihihihi campur aduk, ya rasanya? Cobain sendiri, deh! Pokoknya appetizing banget, menggugah selera makan.

Mudah ya bikinnya? Jangan lupa sauerkraut memgandung bakteri baik untuk saluran pencernaan tapi bakteri baiknya datang dari tanaman bukan susu sapi atau dairy products. 😉😚

Saya tinggal di tenpat yang relatif dingin di daerah perbukitan, maka setelah 3 hari rasa asam sauerkrautnya saya rasa pas langsung aja saya panen. Rasa asamnya bisa berbeda setiap hari apalagi kalau di tempat panas seperti di daerah pesisir yang membuat proses fermentasi berjalan cepat.

Ada tips supaya seluruh bagian kubis terendam air garam semua yaitu dengan memasukkan toples yang lebih kecil berisi batu ke dalam toples berisu sauerkraut agar ada pemberat yang menjaga kubis tetap terendam. Seperti ini, diambil dari

Emang kalau ga terendam semua kenapa? Bisa muncul bakteri yang tak baik atau jamur! Air garam bisa mengawetkan dan menjamin proses fermentasi berjalan aman. Saya pernah mendapati noda putih jamur di kubis yang tidak terendam, tapi saya cicipi sih nggak sampai sakit perut (jangan ditiru ya…. Hehehe). Mending dibuang saja bagian yang berjamur, sisanya, kubis yang masih terendam air garam masih aman, kok!

Suami saya suka dong dengan sauerkraut bikinan istrinya, apalagi ini baru baginya. Saya suka juga! Waktu makan mie kuah pakai sauerkraut berasa kayak makan mie ayam pakai acar! Karena asem-asemnya itu menyegarkan, nggak tau kok kombinasinya bikin terasa seperti mie ayam di dagang-dagang pinggir jalan gitu, lho? Nggak percaya, cobain aja!

Selamat mencoba, ya!

💚 Intan Rastini