Festive cooking with Perfect Italiano

Can you believe Christmas is creeping up on us once again?

This festive period is my favorite time of the year, so I’m not complaining. Who could fault delicious feasts, gifts exchanging, and merry-making? Even if you’re not religious (like myself) this season is for all to indulge in a bit of year-end fun! My idea of a Christmas party is cooking up a storm at home.

I’ve been hosting Christmas parties at my place for a couple of years now, and this year will be no exception! I love nothing more than filling up my loved ones’ tummies with lovingly made homecooked food as we gather around the table, clink our glasses together and laugh heartily. I may have to get down and dirty in the kitchen for awhile, but seeing their appreciative smiles makes it all worth it. I’m glad I came across these quick & easy festive menu by Perfect Italiano recently, they prove that cooking doesn’t have to be needlessly tedious or complicated when you have the right recipe and ingredients!

Perfect Italiano Food Fixes in 15 shares a 5 course menu from appetizer to dessert, featuring the right Perfect Italiano cheese to match each dish. It offers you the simple solution of providing new ideas and inspiration – just in time for the festive season! Perfect Italiano is a cooking cheese brand that adds Italian flair to everyday family meals. The secret to good Italian cooking lies in the freshness of the ingredients used. And that exact same philosophy is applied to Perfect Italiano cheeses – only the best ingredients are used – so that you can achieve perfect Italian recipes, anytime and anywhere.


I’ve taken inspiration from two of their festive recipes to recreate these delicious dishes in the comfort of my own home, and I’ve provided my reworked recipes below!

Alfredo Pasta Bake (view the original recipe from Perfect Italiano here)

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 400g fusilli pasta
  • 200g sliced chicken filet / breast
  • 100g broccoli, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 200g sliced mushrooms (your favorite type, I used a mixture of portobello, white & brown button)
  • 200ml cooking cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • half a cube of chicken stock
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lots and lots of Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes

Directions:

  1. Boil the pasta with a pinch of salt and a drip of olive oil until 95% cooked. Texture should be slightly undercooked or very al dente, because further cooking will be done in the oven later on. Rinse with cold water, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Stir fry the onions, garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil under onions are tender. Add broccoli, chicken meat and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes over high heat.
  3. Add the cooking cream and half a cube of chicken stock and cook on low heat until stock has dissolved completely.
  4. Turn off heat, stir in cooked fusilli pasta, do a taste test (add salt/pepper where desired) and spoon into baking dishes. Take note that the cheese will provide saltiness as well.
  5. Top off with a generous amount of Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes, sprinkle with paprika for good color, then bake at 200 degrees in a preheated oven for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

The end result is a deliciously creamy and cheesy pasta dish that I could eat over and over again! The creaminess is light enough without being too overwhelming so it will appeal to even non-fans of creamy pastas, and I’ve chosen to subtitute peas with broccoli and ham with chicken pieces from the original recipe because I prefer this combination of ingredients better.

I also find that adding the stock cube to the cream gives more depth to the flavor. It’s a fuss-free crowd pleaser with ingredients that most people eat and aren’t too pricey, exactly what I want to realistically achieve when I’m cooking for large groups!

Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes is my preferred choice of cheese to use when I’m baking a savory dish – just look at the way it melted and that gorgeous color and texture! I can simply pre-cook the pasta, sprinkle the cheese on, wait for my guests’ arrival and in less than 10 minutes they’ll have a mouthwatering cheesy meal straight out of my oven. Total prep & cooking time less than 40 minutes!

 

…And if you thought cheeses could only be used in savory dishes and are therefore one-dimensional, you’re about to be very surprised, like I was when I tried out this innovative Parmesan Apple Crumble!

Parmesan Apple Crumble (view the original recipe from Perfect Italiano here)

Ingredients (serves 8):

(for crumble)

  • 200g softened salted butter
  • 175g white sugar
  • 300g plain or all purpose flour
  • 100g Perfect Italiano Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

(for filling)

  • 500g red apples, skinned and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place flour, sugar and Perfect Italian Parmesan in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Add softened butter & vanilla extract then combine everything together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Moving onto the filling, place sliced apples in a bowl and sprinkle on the nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Spoon the apple filling evenly onto a baking then, then cover entirely with breadcrumbs topping and sprinkle more Perfect Italiano Parmesan on top.
  5. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes in a preheated oven, or until crumble is golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The end result blew me away!

I could not taste any distinct cheese or Parmesan in my apple crumble, but it had a slight savory touch which I’ve not had in other apple crumbles before. I’ve changed this recipe from the original on their website by reducing the amount of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar quite a bit to suit my personal taste.

Hence, if you attempt this recipe, do not be alarmed if your apple filling does not look as brown as mine!

Scoop out a portion and top off with vanilla ice cream for instant satisfaction. Go the extra mile by sprinkling biscuit / cookie crumbs on top and I even added popcorn bits to mine! Sure to win over anyone with a sweet tooth, and it tastes just like Christmas. This is a dessert that is uncommonly found outside, and I’m glad I found this recipe because I never realized how incredibly easy and inexpensive it was for me to replicate this myself at home.

You’ll never look at store bought apple crumble the same way again, because this was moist and full of flavor and not dry like some versions found outside! I think the Perfect Italiano Parmesan added a boost of flavor to the crumble, which is what makes is taste so special.

Looking for more perfectly cheesy recipes to whip up in your kitchen?

Check out Perfect Italiano Food Fixes in 15 where there’s already an achievable 5 course menu waiting for you and your loved ones’ hungry stomachs. On their website are 15 seconds videos showing you how to achieve the same recipe at home – letting you know that cooking doesn’t have to be overly stressful or tiresome – it can be simple and yet still perfect! Tag your own recreations of Perfect Italiano recipes at #perfectitalianosg on social media to share your creations with other home cooks!

xoxo,
Jess

Estée Lauder Aqua Brilliance

I don’t usually wear foundation on my face when I go out because the wrong type can feel heavy and look cakey on my skin, but my recent discovery of Estée Lauder Aqua Brilliance has converted me into a fan!

These days, it’s all about the fresh faced dewy look, and Estée Lauder seems to understand that perfectly with the Aqua Brilliance Range. Developed in conjunction with the world renowned Estée Lauder skincare Asia Research team, Estée Lauder introduces the new Futurist Aqua Brilliance Moisture Infused Liquid Makeup SPF 15/PA++ and Futurist Aqua Brilliance Compact Makeup SPF 20/PA++.

Futurist Aqua Brilliance is more than makeup. It’s hydrating, illuminating skincare. Designed specifically for Asian skin, this deceptively light formula, liquid or compact, is a potent way to deliver intense moisture that leaves skin feeling hydrated for hours. From the moment it makes contact, this innovative foundation creates a flawless finish that helps minimize the appearance of pores and giving a more evened out skin tone.

This advanced formula contains the ingenious Revival Plant Extract, which has a unique ability to preserve itself from dryness. This extract is derived from the hardiest wild flowering plant in the Balkans, known as the “resurrection plant.” This plant has the unique and extraordinary ability to completely dry out and yet still survive. Then, once water is re-introduced, the plant fully recovers and continues to flourish, bloom and grow. Even in the harshest weather conditions and extreme temperature change, the “resurrection plant,” withers and dries but bounces back immediately after contact with water. The Revival Plant Extract is integrated into Futurist Aqua Brilliance to help it deliver that persistent moisture, and the extra dewiness that Asian skin needs.

Incredibly smooth and light, the Futurist Aqua Brilliance Moisture Infused Liquid Makeup SPF 15/PA ++ glides on the skin for medium to full, buildable coverage. Imperfections are diffused, fine lines and pores disappear, and the finish, plumped with sophisticated moisturizers, stays flawless and natural all day. Skin retains that moisture, staying more supple and fresh, even after you take it off.

I usually squeeze out two pumps worth of product directly onto my clean fingertips, then proceed to make small dabs around my face and then blend out with my fingers.

The texture of this foundation is easily spreadable and lightweight, which makes it easy to apply. I’m all about fuss free make up, so you won’t find me with a make up brush any time soon, and I love how easy this foundation is to use!

Making five dots on my face (forehead, cheeks, nose and chin) I slowly and gently start blending it from the center of my face, not forgetting to work it into my neck and jawline. It takes barely a minute for me to do my entire face!

This is the end result of using Futurist Aqua Brilliance Moisture Infused Liquid Makeup SPF 15/PA ++: most of my imperfections such as small blemishes, light pigmentation and redness are vastly reduced! My skin immediately looks livelier, with the color more evened out, and the best part of it all is that it’s not cakey in the slightest, which is something I can’t stand. My original skin tone is slightly reddish, so this provides just the right amount of color correction. It’s also hydrating enough that my dry skin doesn’t show any signs of flaking or drying out further (which usually happens when I wear foundation) and it remained plump even after I took the make up off!

If you’re more of a compact powder sort of person, then the Futurist Aqua Brilliance Compact Makeup SPF20/PA++ is for you!

All the radiance of a fluid with the ease and versatility of a powder compact foundation, and none of the potential for dryness, this innovative aqua gel-emulsion formula delivers hours of intense hydration.

You can build your desired coverage from medium to full, while this sophisticated blend hydrates and illuminates the skin. It’s a foundation, a treatment, and a powdery soft compact in one, with innovative oil-and-shine controlling components that don’t compromise on moisture. It contains naturally occurring waxes and skin-friendly oils to create a flexible, moist barrier that coats the skin like a breathable, conditioning veil. The waxes melt at body temperature, so they blend effortlessly into the skin. The veil secures the skin’s existing moisture, preventing evaporation, and locks in the hydrating properties of the foundation.

I prefer to use this product on-the-go, because when I’m out and about, I don’t want liquid foundation all over my hands which could potentially get onto my clothes or make a mess if I’m not careful, so this compact version is my go-to for quick touch ups. A few light pats on my oily T-zone area reduces the shine drastically.

In a country like Singapore where make up melts off your face pretty quickly, it’s always a good idea to carry around something portable for some quick fixes on the run! It comes with its own soft sponge which makes blending and application a breeze.

To complement the natural & radiant look Estée Lauder Aqua Brilliance provides, I suggest keeping the rest of your make up light and fresh-faced!

Always make sure your brows are nicely groomed. Here I’ve got on highlighter (which is very important for that luminescent glow), a rosy blush, concealer, pencil & eyeliner, falsies and lip stain. I like using lip stains because the color lasts longer and sometimes looks like I’ve got nothing on! After all, the best kind of make up is the type that looks like you didn’t bother applying anything at all…

It should look effortless! Whatever you do, be convincing at it. You don’t wanna look like you spent an hour putting on face paint in the morning, you want to look like you were born with it. My personal tip is to keep everything light – don’t go overboard with anything, which includes eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, etc. Sometimes, less is more.

A close up on my face reveals how nicely the products blend with my own complexion, it feels and looks like second skin. No powdery, cakey look!

Thanks to using Estée Lauder’s Perfect Duo skin care (Micro Essence + Advanced Night Repair) and their Aqua Brilliance make up, I can flaunt picture-perfect skin!

If you like what you see, you can also check out my video on Her World Plus where I demonstrate my daily make up routine, completed with the Aqua Brilliance.
Drop by the ION Orchard Estée Lauder boutique for a foundation fitting session and quote ‘Shiberty’ for a SPECIAL SURPRISE! If you purchase any of the Futurist Aqua Brilliance foundations, you will also receive a complimentary mini foundation brush.

xoxo,
Jess

Estee Lauder Perfect Duo

I don’t know much about perfection.

What I do know is that the closest thing I’ve felt to perfection in this world is when you’re completely in love with someone, and he, with you. That no matter what happens, you know you’ve got each others’ backs. That is the most reassuring feeling in the world. So a lot of you have probably heard this story before, but for those who don’t know, you’re about to find out how I met my boyfriend, 5 long years ago!

I was 17 years old, lonely and rather aimless in life, searching for things to fill my time with everyday. Thanks to my friends’ influence in school, I picked up a first person shooter game called Left 4 Dead. I was looking for someone to play the game with online, when I came across this person named DaNang. I didn’t think much of him, to me, he was like any other player in the virtual world: just another pixel. We played a couple of games together, and from there on, we started chatting more frequently because I thought he was nice enough and had a good sense of humor.

We were both not particularly good at the game either, so it was fun having someone else to figure out the game by your side. Our conversations in game eventually turned to Skype calls, where I saw him on camera for the first time! We talked online everyday for a few months, before he suddenly surprised me with the suggestion that he would like to make a trip to Singapore to visit me. He’s an Australian (but Vietnamese in ethnicity) and had been living in Melbourne all his life. Both taken aback and terribly excited by this idea, I told him I couldn’t wait to see him in person. For the next few weeks and days, I couldn’t keep these thoughts out of my head: What if I don’t like him in person? What if he’s not as funny or charming in real life? What if he has body odour?? What if he’s a serial killer?!?

So many thoughts raced through my brain. Thoughts of infatuation, excitement, hope, and fear. Fear of getting my heart broken again, but yet I still had hope that this would turn out to be something good. I know mama always told me not to talk to strangers and give them personal information, ESPECIALLY on the internet, but I seem to enjoy breaking those rules. Sometimes, when you step out of your comfort zone, you get rewarded for it.

So after much anticipation and months of endless flirting and chatting, he arrived at Changi Airport, where I greeted him with a nervous smile and a friendly hug. At this point in time, we were obviously not “dating” per se, so I did not want to be too close. I kept my distance for awhile, but after warming up to each other, I realized he’s actually an even better person offline than online. No more overnight Skype calls that lasted for hours and hours on end. No more staring at the screen, wondering what it would be like to hold his hand, or to touch his face, or to hear his laughter in person.

Everything felt so surreal, like he popped out of a fairytale book (in this case, a computer screen) and jumped into my life. We went on many dates throughout the 2 weeks he spent in Singapore and I had an awesome time bringing him to our popular spots like Night Safari and Singapore Flyer! The beginning of our relationship was everything it should’ve been. Butterflies in my stomach, romantic words exchanged too many times a day that it made other people nauseous, pure devotion to each other and most importantly, the willingness to love and make things work, despite the long distance factor. Everything was wonderful, except the fact that we lived oceans, mountains and countries apart. An 8 hour flight journey apart, to be exact. That was no easy feat. If you’ve ever known anyone in a long distance relationship, they’ll tell you it’s one of the most difficult things they’ve done. It breaks your heart. The nights never feel lonelier or longer. It questions your faith and strength after awhile, and it never gets easier, only harder.

Many times, Sam and I contemplated giving up on what we had. We weren’t emotionally ready for that sort of roller coaster ride, I guess… what with me being so young and all. I asked myself if I really wanted that sort of commitment, when I hadn’t even turned 20 years old. What did I think I knew of love, to dive into something so serious and heavy? I don’t know what it is that made us grit our teeth and pull through the crappy times in our relationship, but I’m seriously glad things somehow worked out in the end. I’ve learned so much from being in this relationship and it has completely changed me as a person. Fast forward 5 years later, we raise adorable little bunnies together, we live together, we cook together, we bake together… everything I do, he’s right by my side. We complement each other in ways that makes the universe make sense. We’re completely different in many ways, yet freakishly alike in others.

Like the way my boyfriend gives me strength and support, bringing out the best in me, Estée Lauder has a perfect duo of their own. When used together daily, I have noticed Estée Lauder’s Micro Essence and Advanced Night Repair works brilliantly to help me achieve radiant skin.

Estée Lauder’s Micro Essence is a first of its kind, high performance “essence-in-lotion.” From the very first use, my skin felt more hydrated and radiant, with enhanced clarity. In two weeks, my skin’s texture is more refined.

Used day after day, Micro Essence has aided my skin to become stronger at its foundation and more resistant to signs of aging, which has ultimately resulted in my skin looking and feeling more youthful. My skin appeared healthy and emanated a glow from deep within!

How to use: With your hands: Pour 5 or 6 drops of Micro Essence in hand and rub hands together. Gently press the Micro Essence into skin from the center out. Start at chin and move upwards to cheeks and forehead. Rub hands together to warm, and then gently wrap face using warm hands to complete application.

I love using the Micro Essence because it’s given me noticeably more translucent looking complexion in a matter of weeks, and the texture of this lotion feels awesome on my skin! Not a fan of applying creams or serums that feel too sticky or heavy, this lotion is adequately hydrating and even though I don’t have any noticeable wrinkles yet, I believe that prevention is better than cure, so I’m gonna go ahead and start using anti-aging products while I’m still in my early twenties.

Starring alongside the Micro Essence, my regular usage of Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair reveals a smoother, more radiant, younger look while waking up to more beautiful skin every day. Advanced Night Repair has proven to dramatically reduce my key signs of visible aging.

It maximizes the power of my skin’s natural nighttime renewal with the exclusive ChronoluxCB™ technology (with more than 25 patents and patents pending worldwide). It’s also great for every ethnicity and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, leaving skin feeling smoother, hydrated, and more even toned.

How to use: As a nightly ritual, apply a drop on each fingertip of one hand. Touch fingertips of both hands together, and massage serum over face and neck, starting at the center, then smoothing it outwards.

My mum is a big fan of Estée Lauder, and she got all excited when she saw this bottle on my vanity desk because she’s been swearing by this product! She’s probably the biggest believer of skincare products of any woman I know, so a testimonial from her is one I take seriously.

I would strongly encourage anyone to use both the Micro Essence and Advanced Night Repair together to experience the synergistic repair qualities, which actively transforms your skin from within.

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I’ve entered a Perfect Duo contest on Her World Plus, and I’d absolutely love if you’d take a moment to vote for our video entry as seen below!

Alongside other awesome blogger friends like Yina, Jessica (Tippytapp) and Juli, we’ve come up with short videos about definition of a Perfect Duo, inspired by our recent discovery of Estée Lauder’s Perfect Duo beauty products.

You can stand a chance to win Estée Lauder’s Perfect Duo products by voting for your favorite video at this link! If you enjoyed our little montage, I’d really appreciate if you could give us your vote. Sam voluntarily helped me edit & do up the video entry from scratch from his collection of our photos & videos together, knowing how awful I at doing videos, which I thought was really sweet of him. This would not be possible at all without his help and support.

Thank you my dear for participating in this campaign with me! :*

xoxo,
Jess

Slim Couture Post 4: 10 reasons why I don’t want to be fat anymore or EVER AGAIN

Over the past few years, I’ve gained and lost more than 20kg. Yeah…. that is A LOT of weight.

At my heaviest I was something like 82kg.. and now I’m a few kg below 60kg. My ideal weight according to Slim Couture is 52kg, and even though I don’t dare to say this to their face (in case they laugh at me / in case it doesn’t happen), really, in my heart I’m hoping for 50kg. My height is 168cm. I know of girls around my height who are 45kg-50kg and they look amazing. If I’m going to set a target for myself, might as well put it at the level of “amazing”, right? My next goal is to be as slim as possible, not just to be of a “healthy weight” anymore, because I’ve already achieved that. Now, it’s moving on the next mile stone and honestly, it’s about ideals – not just the basics. I know I already have a lot of blog posts documenting my weight loss… but in this post, I want to dig a little deeper and share with you my innermost thoughts, and some secrets.

Being obese made me extremely upset.

I felt horrible about myself all the time, and I always came up with sad excuses to make up for what I lacked (confidence, a realistic perception of my own body and the determination to do something about it). Friends who hadn’t seen me in a long time always had to mask their surprise / shock / horror when they saw how much weight I’d gained. Even my own mother offered me MONEY if I “could lose at least 5kg”. I can’t remember the exact amount, but I think it was $3000 in cash. She was THAT desperate to see her daughter healthy, beautiful and happy again. Most days, I felt dejected, victimized, and most of all… unaccepted. In my head, a little voice always goes, “Why can’t these people love me for who I am? Why can’t they just be happy for me and accept that I like food, and that I’m okay with being fat?”

I got so so so angry at anyone who called me fat. I KNEW it was the truth, but I hated how everyone used “fat” as a weapon against me. At the end of the day, nobody likes their flaws being pointed out and thrown around for the fun of public humiliation, even if it is the truth. No slut likes to be called a slut even if they are one deemed by society’s standards, no short person wants to be called a midget, no ugly person wants to be labelled as unattractive and the more you call someone out for being less than perfect, the more likely they will recline further into their shell and block themselves out from the world.

I wish I had someone else to blame for my weight gain. I was so selfish that I almost wished I could scream and yell at my boyfriend for taking me to buffets at least once a week. We would (I shit you not) go for a Japanese buffet, then an ice cream dessert cafe straight after that. We were pretty much stuffed silly every single day. I bet Sam never knew I’d get so fat. He probably just wanted to make his girlfriend happy, and since food made her happy, he bought her food. The scariest part about weight gain is how quickly it all happened to me. Fair enough, I was extremely oblivious in my relationship and thought that because I had already found a man who would “love me no matter what”, I could let myself go and it would be okay because someone in this world promised to love me unconditionally… but I never knew I’d fallen so deep, and so far, that I lost not just my self-confidence, but myself entirely. Well yeah, I’m not blind and I always knew I was getting bigger in size with every passing day, but obesity hit me real good. It kicked me so hard in the face, that I was knocked out and in denial for the longest time. I thought that I was “curvy” and “real-sized”, but I didn’t realize I was actually disgustingly unhealthy and the worst part of being super overweight is looking in the mirror, and seeing your reflection scream back at you: “YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF. This is all because of your laziness, greediness, and your unwillingness to do anything to change this situation.”

Some people don’t gain weight as easily as others. Some people pile on weight like it’s their job to do so. You could put on 5-8kg in just a month if you have horrible eating habits (which I did), and unless you’ve ever worked off more than 5-8kg of fats before… you have NO IDEA how fucking difficult it is. Let me tell you something. As someone who has yoyo-ed 20kg the past few years, I can say that weight is not difficult to lose. 1 or 2kg? No problem. I can lose that in less than a week. The real difficult part is STAYING MOTIVATED AND DETERMINED, and keeping up the weight loss progress. And losing anything more than 5kg, yeah, that’s tough. Fat people are fat for a reason. They love food / they are super lazy / they eat all sorts of bad food / whatever reason. Even if they know that they’ve gained weight and want to do something about it, the core reason for their weight gain in the first place STILL exists. Old habits die hard. I know for the love of god that I still love food to this day, as much as I did when I was 82kg. I could still eat 6 meals a day if I didn’t know any better. I still would be more than happy to have carbs for every meal and a soft drink + dessert to accompany it… don’t forget to order my starter along with the main course, too. My favorite meal is supper. What can I say? I’m a greedy girl. There’s no other way to put it.

But through all the emotional trauma, life changes and self-denial, somewhere along the line, I decided that “enough was enough” and I’ve just about HAD IT with being a fat girl. No more feeling like I’m worth less just because I’ve got flabs hanging out everywhere. No more crying myself to sleep because of something someone had said, or because I hated myself for what I was doing to me. No more wondering how it’d feel like to be comfortable in my own skin again. No more dying while climbing a flight of stairs. I HATED BEING FAT, AND GOD, I NEVER EVER EVER EVER WANT TO BE FAT AGAIN.

I came up with 10 very simple reasons why I never want to be fat again / why I hated being fat, and searched through my old pictures to bring you the very best of my worst pics for added entertainment value. I’m surprised by my own brazen (or you can say shameless) behavior, publishing photos that equal to social suicide but whatever, man. That person isn’t me anymore, and if photos of myself in the past can teach a lesson or provide some laughs to people, why not? This post revolves entirely around my personal opinions on obesity because I hope it’ll reach out to whoever needs this little push along their way. Everyone already knows the basic reasons why you should lose weight: for health, for self-confidence, blah blah blah. You already know that. I don’t have to tell you. My reasons in this post vary from personal, to superficial and plain legit. If you don’t agree with any of these reasons, let me tell you first that I don’t care. We all have the right to feel what we want about ourselves, but having come so far on my own weight loss journey, I thought it would be a real shame if I didn’t share these sentiments with girls (and guys) who might find them helpful. Even though I have not reached my goal weight yet and I’m still chubby in my opinion.. I’ll get there soon enough. Here’s my own motivation for doing so.

 

10 REASONS WHY I DON’T WANT TO BE FAT ANYMORE (OR EVER AGAIN!):

1) I want to wear cute clothes in normal sizes. I want to wear high heels without being paranoid of them buckling under my immense weight.

You see this photo above? I wore my pajamas shorts out to the beach (during winter) over my leggings. Because I couldn’t find any other shorts that could fit me. My bottom was a size 16. Everything else either didn’t fit, or felt terribly uncomfortable. So I wore my pajamas out. ….Sad? I THINK SO.

I want to be able to walk into any store, and instantly be able to pick out the style or piece that I like, without worrying “do they have XL for this?”. I want to be able to shop freely without shop assistants eyeing me suspiciously because they think I’ll tear their clothes when I try them on. I don’t want the shop assistant to instantly pick out “plus size styles” for me the moment I walk into the store telling me “this is what we have in your size”, giving me special help as if I’m some disabled person who’s not able to choose her own clothes. I want to be able to wear skinny jeans, tight bodycon dresses, crop tops and short shorts. Most clothes were made and designed for skinny people. It’s really difficult to find nice clothes that fit a UK 16 girl well. I’ve been down that road, and shopping trips actually end up being frustrating and demoralizing as opposed to a fun time a normal girl would have. Every mirror you look into wants to fight a war with you. Somehow, everything looks like shit on you. NOTHING FITS.

 

2) When you get fat, your boobs get enormous. Guess what? Enormous boobs are HEAVY.

They gave me severe backache. Even my feet would hurt from lifting so much weight on a daily basis. I couldn’t sleep properly at night because of how much my back ached every day. Don’t know how large my boobs were at my fattest, maybe a very large C or borderline D, but boy.. imagine carrying around watermelons on your chest. That’s what it felt like. They were so big, they literally hurt. Jogging or running was a nightmare because those things wouldn’t stop jiggling and bouncing everywhere. Every bra felt like it didn’t give enough support, and for some reason, bras were extremely uncomfortable to wear. I hated wearing bras back then.

Also, overly large boobs are obscene.. Overly-large-anything is obscene, and breasts are no different. Even when I wore an innocent tank top, I looked like I was trying too hard to be sexy or that I’m trying to flash my cleavage 24/7. Holy shit, look at my boobs in the pic above. Hahahah hilarious. My boobs aren’t even 1/4 that size now I think. I’m very happy about my current modest B cup, by the way. My chest and back thanks me for not heaving around watermelons all day, too.

 

3) I wanna take photos beside my gorgeous, slimmer girlfriends and not feel terribly inferior and horrible about myself.

I don’t want to “hide behind people” in group shots in order for me to appear smaller, and them, larger. I don’t want to only take pictures in a specific angle because that’s the only one I look semi-decent in.

Above: no photoshop.
Below: also no photoshop.

This changing-room-selfie was taken just this week. Not having to photoshop so much saves me plenty of time when I’m posting stuff online, and I am also no longer afraid of my own reflection.

 

4) I wanna feel sexy, happy and comfortable in my own skin – even when I’m naked. That beast above? NOT sexy.

It’s not a nice feeling when your thighs rub together when you walk, or when your armpits get smelly because the fats are blocking ventilation, or when your arse crack never gets to see the light of day because it’s squashed together from the mass that is itself. I guess when I was obese, I could pretend I wasn’t so by covering myself up with long flowy clothes… but you can’t hide from the naked truth. Staring at my own naked body was gut-wrenching.

It’s easy to pretend or forget that you’re actually super overweight when you get used to your own reflection and hide behind loose or “flattering” clothing. Or just tell yourself that you’re curvy, and that you look fine because you can “fill our your clothes”. Well I realized that once I stripped off my clothes and stared back at my own naked reflection, there’s A LOT of flaws that were staring right back at me. All that cellulite that I usually cover up with a long dress…. stretch marks…. lumps and bumps. Even if you hide them with clothing, they don’t go away – they still exist on you. Are you really happy in your own skin? Or are you only happy when you’re covered up as much as possible?

 

5) Even if you’re born with good features or a pretty face, getting fat can fuck that all up.

I’m not going to waste my time trying to think of how to phrase this in a less obnoxious way: I think I was born with pretty good looks. At least, I do not think I am ugly, but that’s not to say I think I’m a 10. I would give myself a 7/10. That’s a healthy dosage of self confidence, right? I’d be worried about anyone who gives themselves a 6 or lower. I’m happy with my facial features. But man, when I started piling on the kilograms… a lot of the original “me” got lost along the way.

I used to think that even though I was getting fatter, “at least my face still looks good”. OH HOW WRONG I WAS. Your body and your face are not two separate entities. They go hand in hand. If your body is weak, healthy, malnourished or obese, IT SHOWS on your face. Why do you think drug addicts’ faces look like hell? Because their body went through hell.

This is a recent selfie of me, which you can compare to the above:

Yeah, so my eyebrows are completely different and the new make up / angle helps a bit, but the main point is my face and features seemed to have changed completely. My face no longer seems as “stretched” or as wide. Oh my god, suddenly I have a nose bridge again! And no, I’ve never done fillers or anything. Also, not sure why, but my skin wasn’t as good when I was obese. Think it was all the unhealthy, artery (and pore?) clogging food I was stuffing my face with.

So yes, if you’re quite overweight, losing weight WILL make your face look better.

 

 

6) I don’t want people to look at me and think, “what the fuck is that fat person doing?”

Because we’re all judgemental people. If it was a normal girl riding that pony, it would be fine. But because I am SO FAT in this picture, I automatically look ridiculous, and even though the pony ain’t a living pony, suddenly we’re concerned for the pony’s health. Hey, machine pony, you ok? You sure you’re not breaking under that pressure? Well, okay, if you say so…

When I was obese, I couldn’t eat in complete peace because I always felt like people were judging me when I ordered or ate my food. They’re probably thinking in their heads, “Are you sure you want a whole pizza AND a pasta by yourself?”. Honestly, can you blame them? If you see a drug addict sniffing more drugs, wouldn’t you feel bad for them and perhaps even give a disapproving look or reach out a concerned hand? Or if an alcoholic starts downing shots like there’s no tomorrow.. surely there’s a cause for concern around here?

Yeah, people should mind their own business. If they know what’s good for them, they won’t say much in fear of offending you. But you can betcha ass they’re definitely thinking, “perhaps you should probably order a salad instead.” when you’re dining with them. Hell, they may even get uncomfortable around you because you eat so much. You may even look on in disgust as someone orders two desserts when the only thing they should be ordering is a personal trainer. I know I’ve done it to overweight people before (judge them), AND I’ve also been the one to gross people out by my habits (being judged).

 

7) For years, I dreamt of wearing a bikini out with confidence some day.

Swimwear is every fat person’s worst nightmare. Because on the beach, it makes no sense to cover up yourself completely… we have no choice but to bear our skin. Unless you wear a wetsuit, like I did, of course. Wearing that wetsuit and looking that thick… sheesh, I was lucky no great white shark came along and mistook me for a seal or a baby pilot whale.

I’m so happy to announce that in my recent trip to Bali, I actually wore a bikini set and went snorkeling in it!!!! YES I was embarrassed, yes I still had flabs jiggling in the wind as the speed boat whizzed through the ocean, but boy, was it liberating to jump into the ocean in nothing but my bikini. It felt AMAZING. I felt so free. Didn’t matter in that moment that I don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret angel, it mattered that I was proud enough of my own body to have a nice day out at sea without fretting over how fat and awful I may look.

 

8) I wanted the people who loved me to not be embarrassed of my physique. I wanted them to be proud of who I was.

I don’t know how my boyfriend still loved me even though I looked like that…. he even tried to cover my tummy for me. Aw.

Life is TOO SHORT to live a good part of it hating your own body. Stop that shit right now. Even though your partner may love you truly for who you are, nobody in their right mind wouldn’t prefer a fit partner. Fit partners live better and longer. When you’re really fat, it does not ONLY affect you. It definitely affects the people around you. It affects their thoughts of you and how they behave around you. It may not necessarily make your friends or loved ones think of you any worse, but being fat has ONLY ever brought about inconvenience – never convenience. Unless it’s keeping warm, then your skinny friends can snuggle up to you, I guess. I know a lot of my friends and family were getting extremely concerned about my well-being – “What’s wrong with Jessica? Why is she letting herself get so fat? Does she have an eating disorder? Is she depressed? What’s wrong?!” Because, let’s face it – being really fat is NOT normal. It’s unhealthy, both physically and mentally. If I had continued being greedy and lazy and getting fatter, I would not only be doing myself a disfavor, but I would be letting down the people who care about me as well. They, and I, deserve better than that.

 

 

9) I’m sick and tired of having to suck in my fat gut ALL THE TIME!

If you always eat huge amounts of food, eventually the fat will start depositing in areas like your thighs, arms, face, etc… But most immediately, it goes to your stomach. Look how huge and bulbous my tummy used to be!!! I had no waistline whatsoever. People probably couldn’t decide if I was just really overweight, or 4 months pregnant. Oh, I was pregnant alright, with a food baby that I carried around for YEARS! If I didn’t suck in my stomach it would hang loose and bulge incessantly. Yuck. With a lot of dieting and hard work, I finally have a nice waist line now!!! Never going to give it up. EVER.

 

 

10) Last, but definitely not least…. I don’t want to let myself give people reasons to insult me, or make me feel like I’m worth any less a person, just because I’m fat. Enough of the fat jokes, fat insults, fat comments.

Thank god I’m not fat anymore, because every Chinese New Year, my loud relatives no longer exclaim with widened eyes, “WAH!!! JESSIE!! SOOOO00O0O0OO0 FAT AH!!!!!!!!!!!! *pinch cheeks*”

….There is truly nothing more embarrassing than taunting relatives during Chinese New Year. Every flaw you ever had, they won’t hesitate to put it out in the open for discussion material. Nearing 30 but not married? Get hounded. Failing at school? Get hounded. Getting fatter and fatter? Get hounded. In front of all your cousins and other relatives…. where to hide your face?

The harsh truth and reality of the world is, if you’re fat, you WILL be judged, and you will be teased. But you can put an end to all of it.

…So there, are my 10 personal reasons as to why I don’t want to EVER be fat again. If you can’t relate to any of my points, congratulations, you’ve never been fat. Lucky you. If you CAN relate to what I’ve said, I beg you, do yourself a favor and start shedding those pounds. I’ve been where you are now, and it’s possible to emerge from that pile of confidence-sucking crap.

“Man, I regret losing all that weight, being healthier, looking better and feeling greater!” - SAID NO ONE EVER. I wanna thank Slim Couture for inspiring me to write this blog post. They did not ask me to write this post, by the way, it’s completely by my own accord and 100% my idea. If you’re new around here, Slim Couture is a TCM-method and Singapore based company, passionate in helping women achieve their target weight and physique. I’ve been visiting Slim Couture on and off since a couple of months ago, and they’ve aided me greatly in achieving my weight loss. I have so much to thank Slim Couture for! I know I say this every time, but I really do. Without the constant support from the ladies at Slim Couture, I would have definitely not be well on my way to achieving my target weight at this instance. I honestly SUCK at dieting, that’s why my progress is considered very slow compared to their other clients. Thanks to their Divine Slim treatment, I’ve gotten rid of 8kg, and an unbelievable amount of inches off my waist, arms, ass and thighs!

Check out my posts for more Slim Couture information here: Post 1 (beginning of my journey with them), Post 2 (weight loss progress), Post 3 (sam’s progress and our first event). For this post, I didn’t feel the need to hard sell because you all should already know by now how much I believe in Slim Couture’s treatment, and the gist of how their TCM methods work.. What you may not have known, though, is how much happier you’ll be as a fit, healthy or slim person instead of being miserably overweight.

Life-changing in every aspect, and without a doubt the best thing / most difficult I’ve done for myself in recent times. If you need help with getting started on your journey… I know of someone you can call.

SLIM COUTURE

Official website: http://slim-couture.com
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/SlimCouturePteLtd

18 Cross Street, #02-06
China Square Central
Singapore 048423
Tel: (+65) 6536 8586

190 Clemenceau Ave 2,
Singapore Shopping Centre, #05-29
Singapore 239924
Tel: (+65) 6336 8665

xoxo,
Jess

The Open House, Bali

For my 22nd birthday last month, we escaped to Bali where we spent a few blissful days basking in the sun, chasing after dolphins and watching sunsets on the beach – a much needed respite amid the madness that is known as the 3/4 year end rush.

I’ve been to Bali once before, 2 years ago with my family, however, I felt that the trip didn’t do any justice to what it could have been. I left Bali thinking it was overrated, with too many caucasians and too little things to do. Seemed like all they have is overly crowded beaches and cheap booze. How wrong I was! My family was not interested in doing much except visiting the typical tourist places and eating a lot, so the itinerary was not terribly interesting. I’m really glad I decided to give it a second shot and explore further on my own, because I fell in love with what I discovered. Bali is such an amazing destination! It has everything I love – beautiful beaches and sunsets, good cheap food, scenic sights to photograph, adrenaline-filled activities, and a ridiculous amount of varied accommodation with different budgets to take your pick from.

This time around, we chose The Open House to be our home in Bali for 3 nights, and it was an absolutely awesome decision!

Upon arrival, we were greeted by an ice cream truck at the entrance, two delicious welcome drinks and we were immediately won over by the rustic charm the whole place exudes. I love the wooden furniture and fixtures that are found everywhere in hotel – that’s how I know I’m in Bali! Checking in was a breeze with the efficient and friendly staff, and we couldn’t wait to check out our room!

The Open House offers 17 suites distributed in two floors, and while it’s not a large establishment, I believe that’s the beauty of it! I’m not a fan of staying in large hotels with too many people and squeezing with the crowds, waiting an hour just to check in and facing a sea of people during breakfast buffets in the morning. Not my idea of relaxation.

Our room was adequately spacious with a large balcony where you can enjoy your quiet cup of morning coffee with a view of palm trees and their swimming pool! The wooden fixtures are typical of Bali, and the colonial tiles on the floor are a cute little touch. If I could use one word to describe The Open House, it would be “zen”. Whatever worries you have, you’ll realize you’d left it at their doorstep. We had a hard time getting out of the marshmallowy king sized bed every morning. An iPod dock, LCD TV, beach bag (which proved to be extremely handy for us) and complimentary wi-fi are other thoughtful perks you can enjoy. It’s not glitzy or glamorous, but it succeeds tremendously in what it aims to be, which is comfortable and intimate – being the perfect opportunity to catch up with your thoughts and life itself. We felt right at home straight away.

I could spend all day bumming around with my favorite book and a fresh mango juice in hand in perfect contentment. I’m a fan of their minimalist decor. Sometimes, less is more.

Breakfasts at The Open House are peaceful affairs. The guests here are mindful and considerate, and I’m glad to report there wasn’t any shrieking kids to disrupt my peace during my stay. While they do cater to families, I’d recommend this down to earth accommodation more for couples and friends who want somewhere nice to stay in Bali without forking out too much, and if you don’t mind that there isn’t additional facilities such as a gym, etc. Instead of a breakfast buffet, The Open House offers an ala carte menu which is cooked to your request, and there’s a decent selection to provide you a heart breakfast when you wake up.

Next to the pool, there is a lounge area for you to read, do your work, sit and chat or even enjoy a full body massage on the beds provided! An outsourced masseuse will come directly to your room or to the massage area when you make an appointment, so you don’t have to leave the hotel to experience massage bliss. We were so tempted to try the massage next to the pool because the rates were so competitive, but we couldn’t squeeze any more time out of our schedule, which was spent exploring different parts of Bali!

If you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to leave your gorgeous hotel to eat (who could blame you?), the in house restaurant is worth a try! I especially enjoyed the burger, mango juice and home made coconut ice cream (not pictured here). There’s a good selection of local, international and western fare to cater to different tastes.

Or else, you could take a short walk to Jimbaran beach, a gorgeous white sand swimming beach, which is essentially your backyard because it’s just one minute away – and indulge in one of their many seafood restaurants scattered across the beach and have a romantic candlelit dinner! Jimbaran is a great location because it’s rather serene, close to the local life and touristy enough without feeling over commercialized.

The fact that The Open House is literally next to this gorgeous beach is probably my utmost favorite factor about it. The sunsets here are to die for, and the array of BBQed seafood is value for money. Nothing beats dining with a sunset view, listening to the waves gently wash onto shore, sand in your feet, beer in your hand.. The moment the sun descends from the sky, it’s painted in all sorts of orange and red hues which make for perfect Bali silhouette pics! I have never seen sunsets more gorgeous than this. Sunset watching is probably one of my favoritest things to do in the world – there is no simpler pleasure. You can also sit back and watch planes landing nearby from the beach because it’s only 20 minutes from the airport. I love how this beach attracts both locals and tourists to its beauty. When the sun starts to set, you’ll see local families running from the shore into the shallow waters helping their fishermen hubbies and daddies pull in their colorful fishing boats with fresh catches of the day, which I found heartwarming.

Bali must have magical healing powers – just one night there and I already felt anew. The island has this effect on you – once you’ve been there before, you’ll want to go back again. I can finally understand why this Indonesian island is loved by people worldwide – its raw, cultural beauty that’s so welcoming towards foreigners, is easy to get used to. With so many hotels to choose from in Bali, I hope my review on The Open House gives you better insight on whether it’s suitable for your travelings needs!

• The Open House •
Website: http://theopenhousebali.com
Address: Jalan Pemelisan Agung No. 25, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia 80361
Email: info@theopenhousebali.com
Phone: +62 (361) 709 160

I’d like to give special thanks to the kind people at The Open House for making my stay with them so wonderful! Overall, I could not fault the place at all. Warm and sincere service, nice food, fantastic location, comfortable spacious rooms, great ambience – you’ll definitely want to be back after staying here once. Exclusively for readers of this blog, you can quote “Shiberty” when making a booking with them for a special welcome gift that will be prepared just for you!

Would I recommend staying at The Open House in Bali? Most definitely.

xoxo,
Jess
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