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Life

Life-learned lessons, relationships, marriage, faith, lifestyle, and everything else in between.

Filtering by Tag: dallas foodie

What Makes a Home

Debora Manusama

We moved to America as a family 4 years ago with no savings. And finally on April 2018, we bought our first home!

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On 10 Years After Turning 18. And The People I Love.

Debora Manusama

So I just turned 28 last week. You know what that means? It's been 10 years since I went to college. Wow! My biggest mistakes were made in the last decade. I pray and hope that some of my biggest achievements will be accomplished this decade!

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Sushi, Cocktails, and Therapeutic Girl-Time

Debora Manusama

I don't know about you, but I feel like a night out with my girlfriends is vital for my sanity lol. It doesn't have to be super epic and crazy, we just need to get together and be girls ya know. And talk about everything from parenting to men in fitted suits ;) 

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On Losing Sleep & Chasing Dreams

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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" I lost sleep so I wouldn't have to lose my dream" - Group 1 Crew

I love this quote above by Group 1 Crew that talks about how this rapper spent sleepless nights working on a beat machine when he was younger, to create music and make his dreams come true.

I am not a rapper but I find this line to be so relatable.

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I originally wanted to start an e-commerce business so I don't have to rely on this blog to make an extra income. Plus, I was just so tired of the pretentious nature of the 'influencer industry', so I wanted to lay low and just blog for fun, not for money.

But then God kept on opening doors for me and my blog, and in the last couple of months, I have been blessed with opportunities and partnerships that have given me access to get free food, free tickets, and some extra money.

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So I embraced it. Doing my best to maintain the quality of my contents, without selling stuff to you guys all the time. Do it in a tasteful way, and yada yada yada. And this is time-consuming!

Now I have invested all of my money to building my store, so I have to do all that I can to make money from it! And so came the stress to do photoshoots, marketing, packaging, pop up shops, etc.

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To cut cost, I've decided to do my own photoshoots, even though I am not a professional photographer. I don't have a fancy DSLR so I have to rent one every once in a while and invite friends to support and model my stuff.

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This chick you see in the pic above is Emonne Markland. She is an author, a speaker, a TV producer, and most of all she is a mother and a wife. We met through instagram. She invited me to her Leave Your Beauty Mark coffee connect last year and she's been very supportive ever since! I find that genuine love to be rare, and I am grateful to have people like her in my life.

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It's not easy to maintain my relationships with people though (my family included). I get so busy all the time, my mind gets so occupied with my to-do lists that I can't even think about what I'm cooking for dinner or saying hi to a friend I haven't seen in a while.

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See the photo above? I woke up like that. Like a junkie with bags under my eyes lol. What can I do, I only got 4 hours of sleep!

But why do I do this, really. Are we struggling that bad financially? Can't I just get a 'normal job'?

Well the answer to both questions is NO, my friends. My family isn't going through a financial crisis, although J's surgery back in July was a big hit for us. I just really, really want to contribute to the household income with whatever I can do. I just like to hustle. It's just in me. And if doing what I love can bring us some extra money, why not?

And a 'normal job'? No way. I do not want to be chained to a portioned vacation days. I want to be there for J whenever I want and can although I feel like I haven't done it well enough after being a 'stay-at-home mom' for 3 years now.

Because while most people work from 9 to 5. Moms work from wake to sleep. 

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I believe this chaos is only for a season, though. I believe that I will eventually learn to manage my time better, to let go of some projects that are too time consuming, and to put my family first.

Because like this candle says in the pic above : "Light your home, light the world".

It all starts from home. And whatever I'm chasing won't be any good if I don't put my family first. Hmm...

 

*Item details : Starling Project Vanilla Hemlock Candle | Mozdeb Pretty Thoughts Journal & #Momstruggle Bag 

*behind the scene photos by Vanessa Espinoza, who was also modelling for me. 

Expecting A Little and Getting A Lot.

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I usually treat my birthdays like the New Years. I would stay up until 12, list all of the major things that had happened throughout the year (from the last birthday to the upcoming birthday), and then list my goals for the 'new year'. I'd also expect my loved ones to put together a more elaborate celebration for me. Like last year, I asked Mr.Man for a staycation in downtown Dallas. This year however, I didn't feel the need to do anything major. I just wanted to chill with my family! Maybe I am getting old?

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So didn't do much prior to the 'big day', even though it was going to my birthday + mother's day combo. I just went to Susie Cakes, got my Vanilla Celebration cake (Susie gave me discounts, thank you ma'am), and got my pictures taken by the talented Beckley & Co. 

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The theme of the shoot was just me strolling around downtown Dallas with some white balloons, wearing nothing fancy, just a casual kimono sleeve dress by ASOS, no high heels, just me being me.

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Yeah, I suck at fake-laughing. LOL. Anyways, if you were wondering about the necklace...

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It's PETRA necklace by SLATE, it's sold for $70, but if you sign up for a monthly jewelry subscription with Rocksbox using my code MOZDEBXOXO, you can borrow it for a month for FREE along with 2 other jewelries on your first month :)

Afterwards, the birthday week that I thought would be 'plain' and simple turned out to be epic when on Wednesday Ms. Lauryn Hill performed in Dallas. I have been a fan of hers my whole life and to finally see her perform was a dream come true!

I went to a bunch of meetings during the week, got some partnership opportunities that I look forward to, and finally went to a yummy brunch with my family at our favorite spot on Saturday.

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Of course you cannot expect a 2.5 year old to behave at brunch. We stayed for 1.5 hour and then left immediately before he started screaming. Haha. #momstruggles.

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I had the lox benedict, wasn't impressed because look at those tiny pieces of lox! And the caviars were barely there. Ugh, I was expecting more, I would go with the Duck Confit at next time.

On the day, I stayed home the whole day with Mr. Man and J. We ate some home-cooked Indonesian food (which is the best food!), watched TV, and just chilled. But then at night, Mr.Man took us to Perry's Steakhouse for some serious dinner.

Had some Rosa Regale, chopped salad, fried asparagus, and the Mother's Day specials : Pork Chops. Unfortunately, they were very salty so I didn't finish mine. And we weren't the only ones disappointed, the guests on the table next to us were also disappointed!

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It was still a good night regardless, because I got to spend time with my two favorite people at a nice restaurant. Mr.Man said he took us to fancy dinner (and gave me a budget to go shopping! He also booked me a massage appointment) because I didn't ask for anything this year.

Funny how that works in life and relationships sometimes. When you don't demand too much and pressure others to give to you too much, you might just get more than you expect. 

 

And I thought wow  I didn't plan to have such a great birthday week this year, but everything fell into place just perfectly and I got to enjoy my birthday without asking too much or spending too much.  bday (9 of 9)

We told one of the servers that we weren't happy with the pork chops so they didn't charge us for them (yay!). We ended the night by savoring some delicious desserts that actually saved the night.

Well,I hope you guys had a wonderful Mother's Day and to all of you May babies out there, happy birthday! Cheers!

 

T-Shirt-Making, Butterfly-watching - Latest VLOGS

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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If you've followed this blog for more than a couple of months or if you follow me on  social media, you might be aware of the fact that I have started a youtube channel since the beginning of this year. It's something I've always wanted to explore, and I'm grateful that I took the big step to make it happen. I don't really talk in my videos because I still feel weird doing it, but I would definitely start 'talking' on my upcoming videos, especially the 'travel' ones :) Anyways, for now, here are some of my latest videos!

https://youtu.be/D1bQOu59HXw

https://youtu.be/4b-gttt73dQ

Feel free to like and share them, and most importantly, don't forget to subscribe :)

Time to Start Unpacking.

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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Today is the International Women's Day, and according to wikipedia, it is the day where women are celebrated for their social, political, and economic achievements. But I personally believe that women are to be celebrated, loved, and respected regardless of their socio-economic status.     So I wanna take this time to honor you ladies, no matter who you are, what you do for living, and what you look like - you are amazing, beautiful, and loved :)

Speaking of honoring women, I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know some of the most inspiring and strongest women I've ever known at the monthly gathering called OpenSeat

unfiltered-2 This month, the decor theme was Rustic (hence the burlap table runner!), the meal theme was Brunch (I made the virgin mimosas and it was pretty awesome!!), and...

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the overall theme was "Unfiltered". I came up with that word for the theme because I've noticed how we as a society have been 'depending' on photo filters to make our lives look better online. But at this month's OpenSeat, the founder Queen aimed for us ladies to hear a real, unfiltered story from our fellow woman, and learn from her. And last Saturday, it happened to be the beautiful Ashley Nesbitt

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Her story was so powerful and inspiring, it left me pondering upon this one quote that she said :

Throughout my childhood until adulthood, I've had a lot of new beginnings. But I realized one day, that I had not taken the time to upack the things I'd been carrying with me.

She wasn't just talking about the suitcases and physical things that she had carried, but distorted perspectives, unresolved issues, fear, and disappointments that we humans often carry through life. 

Some women still make their current spouse/partner pay for their past lovers' mistakes, because they still carry that trauma and distrust. Some still carry their fear to try pursuing their dreams because of their past failures. Or...in my case, I was still carrying my past mistakes, those labels people put on me in the past into my marriage! 

   And you know what, you might have physically moved on  (hey, I've migrated to another country!), but until youresolve your  ast issues, you will always find yourself battling with them, over and over and over again. Some even until they are on their deathbed! 

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Now we don't want that do we? Especially with our families and our future at stake, we cannot afford to 'crowd' our lives with our baggages and destroy our relationships. It's time to start unpacking, ladies. I said 'start' because I believe it's a journey, and not an overnight thing. 

We're in this together. 

 

*suitcase image cred 

Why Mommy-dates Are Vital for Our Survival

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

No matter how 'fun' and 'okay' my motherhood life might seem on social media (hashtag it #momlife hayyy ;) ), I am gonna be real honest with you and tell you this : I face real challenges that other moms face and there are days when I just snap and lose my patience. I remember crying in the restroom because I had J's poop all over my shirt last year. Sometimes we feel helpless and just overwhelmed, no matter how many kids we have and however young or old they are.

At those moments, we tend to think that we are the only one going through this, while the other moms have it all together. But let me tell you this : we ALL have those days in our walks as mothers and wives. So why go through it alone when you can have your fellow mommy-friends supporting you and cheering for you?

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That's why I think having a community of moms who uphold the kind of values you uphold is very important. We bring our kids to playdates so they can socialize and learn to interact with other kids, why don't we go on mommy-dates ourselves?

I'm so grateful for my friend and neighbor, Roselle, who has been able to pick me up and go on little playdate slash mommy-dates with me on almost every Tuesday. We've been to local libraries, Dallas Arboretum, and recently, a Midwestern-based restaurant that specializes in ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard, Culver's.

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Started back in 1984, Culver's has now grown to over 550 restaurants, including in the DFW metroplex. We went to the one in The Colony, which was just opened back in September of 2015. And of course, we brought our kiddos with us.

Roselle decided to try the Beef Pot Roast sandwich (left) with some BBQ sauce on top, and I tried the ButterBurger Cheese. Yum!!

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I like the fact that their ButterBurger is cooked-to-order and the patties are NOT frozen, seared to perfection, so you get that crust when you bite into it. Check them out on instagram to see more of their delicious burgers, sammiches, and more. 

Over the delicious lunch, Roselle and I talked about everything from parenting, Disney movies, to Beyonce! I love that when you carpool and go out for lunch with your fellow moms and their kid(s), you get to see how they deal with their kids, how they overcome challenges you might be facing or have yet to face. And be real, you know.

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For dessert, I tried the Frozen Custard made with cold-pressed vanilla and fine dairy. This one's the Chocolate Chip Cookie Concrete Mixer. I added some brownie bits too!

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Roselle tried the flavor of the day which was Cherry Cheesecake and she said it was super yummy!!

We ended the afternoon by taking photos (and being photobombed by our sons) and taking a long ride home together.

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Wherever you are in your journey of motherhood, don't ever feel like you are alone. Find a good friend and hold on to them. Support them and cheer for them, because we are better together.