Make sure you make someone feel loved today!

simple things like this warms my heart in a cold winter morning♡

Let’s Talk About:

My Skin’s Journey; how everything went downhill and how I regained hope.

Where my acne-prone-people at??? Life sucks when you’ve splurged all your money on good skincare products, drank enough water, done facials, stopped wearing makeup just for the sake of a good, smooth, and clear skin. The pressure is real, everytime someone’s trying to help (like giving you good recommendations and tips), you’re just too tired and scared of trying new things or you’ve tried that before and it didn’t work. You’ll try your best not to cover up your face with make up because you don’t want to make things worse, you don’t know what to do because you know if you stop trying, it will only get worse but if you keep on trying new things, you will have to be strong enough to see the result; if it flares or heal everything up.

Acne is pain. It could burst and bleed and hurt you in the most horrible way possible. Acne is a burden. It kills self confidence and messes up with your brain using false insults that you created yourself. Well, at least that’s for me.

I’ve always had an acne prone skin since I was in middle school but it was just one or two zits, nothing much. Not until I came to study in Australia. I’ve always wondered why my skin started to hate me so much back then. Mum always asked me if I was stressed or pressured with the change I was getting into but no! To be honest, I love the fact that I get to live in Sydney and leave everything behind to study something I really love and I get to make new friends! I’m all about that so stress is not the reason why my skin flared up. One time, things were getting worse because this whole thing was followed by a tremendous weight gain. I gave up trying. I cried so much, wishing that I could just get my clearer skin back. I was very insecure and tired of the pressure because i find every girls in my college beautiful. and I just can’t see it in myself. I could definitely type the whole complete story here, but this isn’t about me! I’m going to tell you the actual cause of it and how I start to love myself more.

I booked an appointment with a doctor from Hillsong Healthcare to get recommendations of good dermatologists nearby but then he told me that dermatologists are expensive here (since I’m an international /broke/ college student). He was examining my face and wrote down the type of acne I got. When he’s done with what he did, he recommended pills called Doxycycline that I have to consume for 5 months and an acne cream (which I didn’t end up buying because it wasn’t necessary). I had to cut dairy from my diet too because it’s written at the back of the Doxycycline. The first few days of consuming Doxycycline, I felt nauseous and it made me very sick but that’s just the medicine doing what it gotta do. I thought removing dairy completely from my diet was going to be a torture but no; I found heaps of alternatives here (thank you Australia). 5 months went by so fast, it’s actually crazy. By going dairy free, I’ve learned so much about self control over food, especially at parties. I failed a couple of times but I’ve learned the consequences (diarrhea, a fresh-newborn zit or even a very painful, bloated tummy) and it made me realise how unhealthy I was. My diet was all over the place—that’s the reason why I gained a ridiculous amount of weight, I was trying different face washes and masks just because they look so cute and beautiful!!! and yes, dairy plays a huge part here. Almost everything have dairy in it. Even salamis have milk powder in it can you believe that?! I was so mad because I bought a pack of it and I ate half already. It’s funny how I made myself lactose intolerant because everytime I cheated and ate something that have dairy in it, even the smallest amount of it, it will make my face itch, tummy growl, and I know that I’ll spend my night sitting in a toilet.

Regaining hope was really hard. It’s actually the hardest part because healing takes time and regaining hope was the starting point that I had to choose. Told myself that I’ve lost my beauty so I basically have nothing to lose. That was wrong, but that pushed me to step back up again and find a solution. Thankfully, my mum forced me to go to a dermatologist because she’s willing to pay, which led me to Hillsong Healthcare, where we got to book an appointment for free, thanks to NIB :) I’ve got so many encouragement and support from my dearest friends. They know how to make a girl feel safe and comfortable. I am forever grateful that I had to go through this in such positive environment! One thing I will never forget is this thing called “Silent Lovers”. It’s beautiful how you really do have people who look at you and wish they had your smile, your personality, your hair, your eyes, your hips, your legs, your sass, your humour, your voice, your ease, even just you. There are heaps of people out there who are too shy to let you know what they admire about you, wish for you or who they see themselves becoming because of you. My friend told me that she’d do ANYTHING to just get a body like mine. She told me that she had to wake up very early everyday just to get her make up done yet, I look beautiful even without make up on. She made me realise that we all have our own insecurities and we all admire others around us, wishing we were each other. Nobody’s perfect, we all have flaws and that what makes each and every one of us differently beautiful! If I can see beauty in others, why can’t I see beauty in myself?

Self love sounds very simple yet it’s a hard thing to do. How can we love other people when we can’t even love ourselves? For me personally, I’m still on a journey. I don’t think it’s a short one but I know that with every mistakes I made/going to make, I’ll learn something from it—that’s why we need grace. Would you condemn your friend if they did something wrong? If no, then why would you condemn yourself? xx

My Top 5 Favourite Coffee Shops in the Hills District ☕️

My mornings are basically fueled by caffeine.

Essential Coffee Order:
Hot —- Almond Flat White
Cold —- Almond Iced Caramel Latte

I don’t care if the cafe is aesthetically pleasing or cute or cozy or instagrammable. If the coffee taste like dirty dishwashing machine water (how do I know), I will be so heartbroken and probably never come back again.

Good Fella Coffee

COFFEE AND BAGELS ARE SUCH A NICE COMBO!!!! tried their flat white and poppy seed bagel with avo (sprinkled with salt & pepper & chilli flakes) and it was soo good. writing this makes me so hungry right now.

The Baron

I don’t come here that often just because it’s in Castle Hill, but when I do—- I always leave this place with a FULL. HEART. and tummy. The Baron is under the same management as Good Fella and The Tuckshop (I really need to go there because I know it’s going to be as good as the other two.) Bless the team who runs these cafes because it means so much for us, coffee lovers who live in the Hills District (we don’t have as many options as the city people do)

Piccolo Me

Located right across the main street next to where I live. The service is fast, people there are very nice and welcoming, atmosphere is good and they have a variety of brekkie, brunch and lunch. Coffee is AMAZING✨ The large size is huge (love it) and the espresso shot is strong. I’ve tried their almond flat white & avo toast... I fell in love. (they gave me 4 slices!!!)

The Farm

The fact that owner of this cafe knows me proves how much I love their coffee. Nuff said.

Comma Coffee

The good ol’ Comma Coffee. What can I say? Good coffee, great avo toast/bagel, amazing fudgy brownie (it melts in your mouth), warm and buttery H&C croissants, delicious potato pizza, fresh smoothies, and GREAT PEOPLE! (they always have seasonal menus which is awesome and fun)

Fear is what stops you, Courage is what keeps you going.

— What I learned from my surfing experiences.

About Me

“most of the times, I have no idea what am I doing.”

Hello! I’m Joanna Kristabel Duna. Indonesian born and raised, currently living in Sydney, Australia. I’ve been studying music for half of my life, it’s more than just a passion for me. Food is my love language; I love to cook & bake whenever I’m not too lazy (to be really honest with you). I love to veganise comfort food & desserts just because I’m dairy free. Will I ever convert into being a vegan? Probably!

I’m blessed with the ability to keep indoor plants alive even though most of the times, I have no idea what am I doing. I love poetry, surfing, doing my make up & dress up when I’m bored, and last but not least, netflix and chill. (Fun fact: I don’t watch TV Series... I just can’t commit to finish all the episodes.)

Anyways! Welcome to my blog. I’ll share everything I love from stories, original songs, recipes, poetry, plant updates, ootds, and many more here. I really don’t want to set a specific theme to my blog because I really don’t want to limit this platform to just share about one particular thing. I want to express myself more and I hope I could inspire and encourage more people to just live their lives better and to the fullest✨