Discovering Green Caviar with Meal Belly

We all know how important healthy eating is.

But we all also know, that healthy eating isn’t always the most feasible. For one or more of these reasons: not readily available, pricey, troublesome, or simply not being convenient or tasty enough.

Meal Belly intends to try change all of that, starting with one super ingredient! Founded in September 2016, Meal Belly is an online retailer specialising in gourmet ingredients and pioneers its flagship product, Green Caviar, through its e-commerce platform, www.mealbelly.com. They’re the first to launch Green Caviar, so you no longer have to travel overseas to have a taste of this product.

Most people in Singapore probably have never heard of this particular type of seaweed before, because it’s so uncommon over here. But here’s sharing some fun facts about Green Caviar:

  • Caulerpa lentillifera is the scientific name, and it’s a species of bryopsidale green algae from coastal regions in the Indo-Pacific
  • It’s also commonly known as Sea Grapes or Green Caviar, or Umibudo in Japanese
  • Effortless and convenient for everyday meals
  • Only 4 calories per 100 grams
  • Can be eaten on its own as a snack, with a dipping sauce, or as a side dish / garnish
  • It can only be readily purchased on www.mealbelly.com in Singapore, and will be delivered in 1-2 working days to your doorstep!
  • Safe for consumption for kids, expecting and breastfeeding mums in moderation – it also has high contents of iodine, which is ideal for them!

Considering there are so many benefits to this super seaweed, I was really interested in trying to incorporate this ingredient in my everyday meals, so here’s a super quick and easy recipe to share with you guys!

Cold Udon with Green Caviar

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 serve of udon
30ml of udon sauce
150ml cold water
slivers of Japanese wakame
10g of cubed cold tofu
Meal Belly’s Green Caviar
garnish with cherry tomato / furikake

Directions:

  1. Rinse Green Caviar in water for 10 seconds, then soak in ice cold water for 3 minutes, before draining water and setting aside
  2. Blanch 1 serving of udon in hot water for 3 minutes, then run under cold water until cool to the touch, set aside
  3. Soak dried out Japanese wakame in water for a few minutes until fully rehydrated
  4. Combine udon sauce, cold water, cooked udon, tofu, wakame and top off with Green Caviar, then serve cold! Done in 5 minutes.

So preparing Meal Belly’s green caviar is completely fuss-free and idiot-proof, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is.

They come packed in little sachets of 20g such as these, and also in 100g & 200g. They’re sealed fresh and they really do still smell of the sea!

The texture is rather mushy and doesn’t look like much in this state. But just wait a few minutes and watch this seaweed spring back into life before your very eyes!

After rinsing, I dunked it in a cup of ice cold water for a few minutes.. then I saw the seaweed getting plumper and grow in size, which was really fun to witness!!!

After just 3 short minutes, this is what you’ll end up with.

A whole bunch of fresh Green Caviar! They do resemble sea grapes, huh? I find them strangely adorable!!!!

Don’t soak them in water for longer than a few minutes, because they’ll lose the crunch and texture, then return to the mushy state it was in before. It is advisable to rinse and soak them thoroughly so that they’re not too salty – they’re packed freshly in oxygenated water, so a good rinse will help reduce the sodium content before your immediate consumption.

I chose this cold udon recipe to pair with Green Caviar because I wanted to keep in line with the whole fuss-free, healthy eating theme.

Also, because Green Caviar is famed as an Okinawa delicacy, I had to pay tribute to Japanese cuisine. I really enjoy cold dishes because it’s so refreshing to have them in Singapore’s sweltering heat! I really enjoy Green Caviar’s crunchy texture and versatile nature, and can see myself including this as a topping to many different dishes. Salads, pastas, side sishes, and even soups!

It tastes like seaweed – slightly of the sea, slightly salty, but mild enough to accompany any type of sauce you soak it in. I think it’ll be pretty  delicious in something tangy and spicy. I’ll try it with Thai sweet chilli next!

What are its health benefits?

A tasty and affordable superfood, Green Caviar packs a nutritional punch. Here are some of the benefits of the vitamin and minerals that it contains.

  • Vitamin A: Helps to maintain a healthy eyesight and promotes skin regeneration for better skin.
  • Vitamin C: Strengthens the immune system, prevents stroke, cardiovascular and other diseases.
  • Calcium: Keeps bones strong, which prevents onset of osteoporosis.Iodine: Prevents thyroid disease, which can lead to dry skin, constipation, weight gain, fatigue and other symptoms.
  • Potassium: Helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, maintain bone density, and prevent cardiovascular disease.

When I attended an event to learn more about Meal Belly’s Green Caviar, they served it up in a poke bowl, which is a Hawaiian concept for raw fish salad!

As you can see, Green Caviar is commonly associated with other healthy foods because of its highly nutritional contents.

Personally I think this is a great ingredient to have in my cabinets at home, because it’s so unique – I can bet that whoever I prepare this for will ask, “What is this?!” and it’s a sure conversation-starter! I feel it would go particularly well with canapes, something I love doing for events and house parties.

Green Caviar stores for at least 8 months in your fridge while sealed tightly in its original packaging, so you don’t have to worry about its shelf life either. you don’t have to worry about its shelf life either.

Due to the rise of superfood and healthy eating among consumers, the farming of green caviar has spread from Okinawa to other Asian countries, such as South Vietnam where it’s farmed and then harvested by hand for your enjoyment.

Meal Belly is the only store stocking this product now, so hit up their website to stock your kitchen with this unique superfood! Enjoy up to $16 off from now till end January.

Enter “Shibertyxmb” to receive additional 10% off!

xoxo,
Jess

A 24 year old’s rants about stress management, expectations, idealism and self-pressure

Extracted from my Dayre, because I’m feeling all of these emotions all over again..

Today’s post will just be random pent up feelings I’ve been holding in for a long time.

Yesterday, I was speaking to a doctor I’d just seen for the first time, who’s a lovely lady that I enjoyed chatting with for about an hour. She was examining my skin when she commented that I look like I don’t sleep enough. I guess she could tell just from looking at me.

“I don’t”, I told her, half laughing but half pitying myself because I’m hit by the harsh reality of this sad truth. I worry about a lot of things. I let my emotions get in the way too much. I don’t sleep well at all. I’ve got a never ending to list and work piled up to my neck each and every week. I don’t even have time for holidays but I forcefully put everything on hold at my own risk, because I just needed a breather.

Some peace, space, and sanity. There are good days, and there are near meltdown days. I’m happy most of the time, but I don’t have time to just sit back and BE happy. There’s always some kind of problem to be fixed in my life. There’s always a thousand and one things on my mind.

As I said this out loud to a stranger, I almost kind of teared up, because the amount of pressure I am constantly under kind of came out of my mouth like verbal diarrhea and here I was spilling my life story to someone I had just met.

Yes, I’m always smiling. I’m always joking around. But underneath that cheerfulness, lies something deeper and darker. For people like me, happiness is an everyday, conscious decision. It is a choice. It is making the effort to focus on the good, and not let the negative aspects take over my emotions and activities. It’s choosing to say, “I can do this. Yes I can.” Instead of, “Fuck me, fuck this shit, fuck the whole world.”

Happiness is simple, yes. But my life isn’t simple. It’s really anything but. But it’s the life I have, and it’s the life I chose. Even if I didn’t choose certain conditions, they sure did stick with me. So it shall be the life I live. I don’t know what it is with me, but sleep always seems impossible. Before I met my current boyfriend, quality sleep was something I used to dream about.

Ever since I broke up with my ex of many years, I’ve been struggling with insomnia a whole lot. I used to sleep A LOT. Like 12 hours some days. That was the good life. Now? My sleep schedule is completely fucked up.

I get so little sleep because I’m stressed and then I can’t function in the day because of how tired I am, and because I get so little done in the day I become even more stressed by night so then I can’t sleep even more and the next day I’m even more exhausted, and this cycle never seems to end.

Days of bad sleep dragged into weeks and then months, now I can’t even remember the last time I had good sleep that lasted sufficiently.

Stress management is something I never realized I was so bad at. I guess ever since I’ve started running the cafe, my stress levels have reached an all time high. My hair is dropping like nobody’s business. I gave up even sweeping the floor regularly.

Every time I’d sweep the floor, by hours later, it would be covered in hair again, because that is just how frequently strands are falling off my head. You can even see patches of baldness on my scalp now. I’m 24 and balding. Jesus.

Maybe my problem is that I want too much. I think I can handle everything, but the matter of fact is, I cannot do everything myself sometimes, and I’m not a superwoman.

I thought I could go out there and run a cafe by myself at 24 without an investor, business partner, mentor, no prior experience, and just make it work. While the numbers have got to work their magic, at the same time, I thought I would be able to manage a healthy social life at the same time.

Go out with friends, have romantic dates, go on holidays, maintain my social media, complete my blogging assignments on time, keep up with people in my life, do housework, travel when given the opportunity, all these while running the cafe, thinking constantly about how to improve and having to deal with problems thrown my way..

Some days, it just gets too much. I realized that in the midst of trying to be somebody, I ended up not wanting to be anybody. Recently, I realized that I just wanted to not have any responsibilities to my name. The feeling of not wanting to be shiberty, or a cafe owner, or have people chase me for blog drafts or look for me when problems arise.

I just wanted to be Jessica Loh, nameless happy carefree girl walking down the street, and nobody knows her name, but that’s alright. Because she’s happy just living her life in her own little bubble. Maybe a 9 to 5 standard office job isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I mean, it’s certainly something I could get used to.. Right?

But noooooo I couldn’t just be happy with that, could I? I wanted to start a cafe, and so I did. I wanted to be different, and so I am. Sometimes I wonder, what is so frightening about the ordinary. What is it about myself that screams inside “we refuse to conform to the norm” and seek self validation from being different. Why try to be different, when by doing so, you’re just being the same as everyone else?

I feel like I’ve been chasing ideals since forever, and well, I’m just sick of it. Tired of chasing perfection, to be putting myself under so much stress that I can barely function. Beating myself up over not performing as well as I wanted to or expected myself to. All these expectations, they’re killing me. They’re killing my happiness, vibes, creativity and soul.

They’re suffocating me. I’ve just had enough of these RIDICULOUS standards I’ve set for myself and my life, standards I wholeheartedly believed I needed to achieve in order to be happy.

Just like how I was on holiday recently with Daric, and everyday, I was out chasing the perfect itinerary, planning our days from morning to night, needing to know what we were going to get up to every hour, taking a ton of photos as we go, just so we could have the “perfect holiday”.

Now I realized just how fucking insane that was. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the time off work we had with each other in a foreign country, I’m shuttling us back and forth, from place to place. Gotta. Complete. Everything. On. Our. Itinerary.

It’s not until we have quiet moments to ourselves, when we DIDN’T plan anything but ended up enjoying ourselves anyway, that I realize, the less you expect, the more pleasantly surprised you’ll be. Some of my best moments in Perth with Daric were just simple ones of us laying beside each other on bean bags in front of a warm fireplace, as opposed to the grand adventures we went on. Adventures were nice, but the small nameless moments ended up being the most precious memories.

And in those moments, I had zero expectations for them to be magical…. They just were. In their own quiet little way. I loved that.

Of course it’s healthy to have expectations. But don’t kill yourself over them. Do your best, and let the rest happen naturally. I’m such an over thinker. I’m so concerned about whether it’s perfect, I would rather abandon the project than finish it knowing that it’s not the best I could do. I realize now that it’s not the right way to approach things. The best way to do something, is to get that thing done. An imperfectly done job is better than a perfect unexecuted idea on most days.

So yeah. While I have many reasons to be happy, I realized that two things have been making things much rougher for myself than they should’ve been, and that is having too many expectations, and poor stress / time management. Poor time management also leads to more stress, that’s why I grouped them together. Everything is interlinked.

I’m sharing this on my dayre because I know many of you in your twenties and thirties out there reading this are trying your best to place first in this rat race we call life, just like I am. We’re SOOO obsessed with being the best we could be. That’s what our generation has been told since we were young. We’re told we can do anything. We can be anybody we want to. But you don’t HAVE to be SOMEBODY in order to be somebody.

You can just do you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So what if you’re not outrightly extraordinary, commercially pretty or hugely successful. Just know that to the world, you may not feel like you’re somebody, but to someone, you’re their entire world.

You know who is an extraordinary person to me? Someone who can find something special in everyday, minute things. Someone who can smile in the face of adversity, and always make someone else laugh.

Being a good person and learning how to be contented with life is THE most successful thing you can achieve. I believe that with every inch of my beating heart. Some people walk around rich and successful, yet not realizing how to be a decent human being people actually like. It’s so sad.

Life is too complicated these days. All the gadgets, technology, fast paced living and getting caught up in the hustle and bustle. I want this to stop.

I wanna stop using my phone during dinner times. I remember someone asking me, “Why are you using your phone during dinner?” And I replied, “Because there’s always messages to reply.”

And they said, “So? You know there’s going to be never ending work no matter what. Even if you finish your work now, you’ll have more later on. So leave the work for later on. Have your meal in peace. Assign and allocate time to breathe, eat, think and work, separately.”

Those words stuck with me, and unless it’s something super urgent, I don’t think I’ve bothered attending calls or texts about work when I don’t feel like there’s an immediate impending urge to, since. Dinner times, are just dinner times now.

Gotta learn to let go.

Let go of your expectations Jess. And the self pressure. Negativity. The need to take photos at every happy moment. The need to be a slave to your phone, social image and work.

Go back to basics.

Enjoy the little things. Relish the nameless moments you never got to capture on camera because you were too busy living in it. Don’t forget to breathe. Tackle your to do list by checking things off one by one. Worrying never did anyone any good. Stop chasing after ideals that aren’t real life. Define your own life by what you think is good enough for you, instead of comparing yourself to other people. When you feel like giving up, remember why you started in the first place.

Back to the nice woman I met yesterday. After an accidental rant to her about how stressed I am with my life and job, she gave me a reassuring touch on the arm and said, “I think you’re doing a fantastic job.”

And these words she said made me want to burst out sobbing.

“I’ve never met you, but I’ve heard a lot about you from other people. They tell me about your blog, and the amazing food you make at your cafe. I would love to visit some day. Some people even openly expressed that I should engage you to write about my business when I mentioned that I was keen in doing marketing with bloggers! They say you’re different, and that they like you a lot. I think you’ve done really well, especially for your age.”

I’ve been my own harshest critic, so to hear these kind words being uttered from a stranger, meant the world. I just looked at her and said thank you. She has no idea how much weight her words hold. A bit of kindness definitely goes a long way.

I can never relate when people say things like “for your age”. I don’t feel like I’m doing well for my age at all, I always feel like I could be doing much BETTER. Could it be a disease we are all plagued with because we were born in Singapore? Perhaps it IS the truth – that I actually can do way, way better.

But I think I’ve been terribly unkind to myself by not recognizing what I’ve accomplished. By not giving myself credit for what I’ve already done, by choosing to only stress over and focus on what I HAVEN’T done.

I’ve got the rest of my life to do everything I want to do. What’s the big hurry? And what’s all the fuss about?

Stressing over something won’t get the job done. If anything, it hinders your productivity.

I swear, from today onwards, I’m going to live my life differently. I’m going to try nitpicking faults and wallowing in the shadows of “what ifs” and “could have beens”. Stop the comparisons, expectations, unnecessary negativity, and self given pressure. Stress is something self created. I need to stop giving myself shit I don’t deserve.

There will always be naysayers. People who tell you or make you feel like you’re not doing good enough. Perhaps that voice is your parents, your boss, your partner or even a voice inside your head. But don’t listen to it. Don’t let it consume you, because you know how hard you’ve worked for everything you have, and only you know what you can really achieve.

I will do my very best to learn from each and every mistake I make, and not let this be an excuse for complacency or pure laziness. I will live each day with no regrets, and I know that if I keep chasing ideals, I will always regret not doing better. I will reward myself when I’ve done well, but not punish myself for not doing the best I can, for the best is yet to be. I will learn to manage my time for work, relationships and pleasure so that I have enough for all of the above.

And SLEEP. God, I miss good sleep. You really can’t function without it.

I read before that the easiest way to have what you want, is to want what you have. And I have a lot to be grateful for. I never want to forget that. Because being happy is not just as simple as “be”. You gotta know what to hold onto, and what to let go.

Today, I’m letting go of unhealthy expectations, and I’m just going to let myself live. Mistakes are essential to becoming better, and I should embrace them with grace.

In our quest to make the most out of our lives, let us not forget how to actually live.

xoxo,
Jess

Squeaky Clean with Cetaphil

Ever since I was a kid, my mum has been repeatedly reminding me about the importance of adequate facial cleansing. I attribute this to the fact that I used to be quite a tomboy-ish girl with questionable hygiene habits.

Yes, can you imagine that!!!! Me, a tomboy. I think the very suggestion of that idea might make some of my friends chuckle. I really wasn’t much of a girly girl when I was growing up, and my mum was horrified at how I would only use water to cleanse my face (if I remembered to specifically wash it, at all).

The very first facial cleanser brand she introduced me to when I was in Primary School, was Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

And now, about a decade and a half later, you can still find Cetaphil in my toilet, and it’s still one of the most recognizable gentle washes available in the market, loved by many over the years!

You know a brand is worth relying on when it’s been around for this long and still going strong. About one bottle is sold every minute across the globe and its formula developed in 1947 still holds true to tradition, without change – even to this day.

Part of my daily essentials, Cetaphil is a powerful yet gentle wash that is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin! They even have a specific range for babies’ delicate skin. I had rather sensitive skin that was going through tons of hormonal changes when I was younger, so it’s no wonder that my mom introduced me to a brand that would be gentle on my adolescent skin, that’s packed with moisturizing ingredients.

This soap-free cleanser has won numerous awards from beauty industry insiders and the healthcare community. Its gentle, non-irritating properties soothe your skin as it cleans!

I’m quite particular about the facial cleansers that I use. I want something that cleans deeply and thoroughly without drying out my skin too much, and not too strongly scented or peppered with chemicals that might be harsh on my skin.

It also cannot be too mild or rich, because I tend to have oily skin on my forehead while I’ve got dry spots on my cheeks. Having combination skin (oily + dry in certain areas) can be problematic, but the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser pretty much solves that issue for me because I don’t need to worry about the formula at all, it’s perfect for everyday use and my skin feels clean without feeling dehydrated, each and every time!

Other perks of the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser that you can expect:

✓ Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
✓ Ideal for both face and body
✓ Works without causing skin irritation
✓ pH-balanced non-soap formulation
✓ Can be used with or without water

I can even share this facial cleanser with my boyfriend which is a huge plus point, because we enjoy interchanging and sharing facial products whenever I stay over at his place, however sometimes men’s facial products can be too strong for me to use and he finds some of my cleansers too flowery scented for him.

He likes trying new brands but often gets break outs whenever he applies a new product because his skin is even more sensitive than mine, and I like to keep a bottle of Cetaphil around for him whenever his skin is going through a bad week, because it instantly calms his complexion and tones down the general redness.

Don’t just take my word for it, you have to try Cetaphil if you’re looking for an all-rounder facial that will be gentle and good to your skin. For all of the stress we put our skin through, including environmental factors (dusty / overly sunny situations), application of make up products, smoking, drinking alcohol and general negligence towards our skin and health – it’s good to know we will always have something to fall back on.

Website: http://cetaphil.com.sg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CetaphilSG
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cetaphils

This article is brought to you in collaboration with Galderma Singapore.

xoxo,
Jess

Augmenting aesthetics with Celevenus

On the whole, I would say I’m pretty happy with the face I was born with.

For the most part, I think my face is adequately good looking. It’s symmetrical, I think I have nice eyes (although they’re a little squinty and small), I like my smile, and I enjoy having a long face with a sharp chin, however, like any normal human being.. I have many things I would change about my face, if I could.

For example, I think my jawline is too wide and square-ish which makes me appear less feminine. My nose is too flat from a frontal view without a prominent nose bridge. I would like to have lifted cheeks, less poofy eye bags, and reduced laugh lines around my mouth. Sounds like I’m nitpicking, right? Well, perhaps I am.

I’ve always thought about doing something to alter the way I look that is non-permanent or surgical because I’m too scared that I may not end up liking a permanent effect. But something that lasts a year or even two, I guess I could deal with that! I’ve been all about the #YOLO life the past year, so I decided – why not?

Let’s do something to my face. Something safe, something that will make me look better and give me a boost of confidence.

I decided to do my first-ever aesthetic treatments at Celevenus, as I heard good reviews from my blogger friend Jessica Tham, who also visited Dr Dylan Chau at Celevenus.

I was greeted by their friendly receptionists and was asked to take a seat before they introduced me to Dr Dylan Chau where I would have my first consultation with him, and speak to him about my desires and what I’d like to temporarily alter about my face.

Dr Dylan Chau was warm, very collected and knowledgeable, which made me feel like my face was in good hands! Dr. Chau is well versed in solving dermatological problems ranging from pigmentation, acne scars and enlarged pores to simply rejuvenating and adding glow to a dull skin through his array of laser treatments. Dr Chau is also known for augmenting the nose, chin, cheeks, lips as well as contouring the face that is best suited for his patient.

Being a Sculptra and Thread Lift trainer and Key Opinion Leader for doctors, he takes his anti-aging treatments to a whole new realm.

Dr Dylan has 8 years of experience in the use of Sculptra and Polylactic Acid Injection. He has trained numerous doctors in Singapore and overseas.

As a pioneer in PDO threads in Singapore, Dr Dylan has performed many cases over the years. He is able to improvise the techniques of thread lifting to greater heights and constantly uses only the best and latest threads. He also innovates by taking part in the manufacture and study of them with Korean counterparts which makes his threads and techniques a cut above the rest. His latest inventions include AestheLift and AestheLift Mint, which are currently the most advanced in the market, moving from PDO threads to PLA threads in the future.

I prefer calling him Dr Dylan than Dr Chau because it sounds more affectionate, hehe.

He looked at different parts of my face and voiced out what he think could be improved, then asked for my own concerns and opinions. We decided to go with reducing my jawline and raising my nose bridge to start off with. He has an extremely good eye for aesthetics and pointed out some flaws in my face that even I didn’t notice before!

So I set an appointment date, and came back another day to have my procedures done.

Numbing cream was applied on the appropriate areas and left to take effect for about 40 minutes, and while I was waiting, my nerves took over me! I kept texting my friends, “OMG. I’m really going to do it!!!  I’m breaking out in cold sweat” and they were all like… “Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll be fine!” – I would soon find out they were right, and I had nothing to worry about at all!

First up – I was about to get my Square Jaw Reduction Injection.

This injection is used to make overdeveloped jaw muscles smaller. After the injections, the weakened muscles will shrink in size over time, resulting in a slimmer looking face.

I guess I have rather large jaw muscles due to using my back teeth to chew a lot, as my front teeth are quite sensitive and weak! I want to reduce my jawline for a more V shaped face.

The actual physical pain is negligible. I tend to overthink the procedures and worry a lot about potential side effects, but when it comes to doing it, it would all be over in a breeze. I’m just a worry wart.

The thought of it is honestly worse than how it actually feels. The needles are very thin and when it goes into your face, it feels like a sore, stinging pain, that is about 4/10 on my personal scale of pain tolerance. It lasts for 5 seconds or so, then slowly fades away as soon as the needle is pulled out. Several jabs were made on each side of my face, and by 10 minutes we were done. While I don’t exactly like needles, I am quite used to them, having done acupuncture on my body and all. At one point I’ve actually had 30 needles sticking out of my body! The more you relax, the less the muscles will hurt.

Right after my Square Jaw Reduction Injection was done, Dr Dylan made sure I was calm and ready for the next procedure, before swiftly moving on to my next treatment – Nose Thread Lift – HIKO.

PDO Thread Lift is an advanced skin tightening technology where fine threads called polydioxanone (PDO) that were commonly used in surgery are inserted into targeted areas under the skin to stimulate skin tissue.

As a result, the skin tissues create new tissue fibroblasts and collagen, which produces a tightening effect from inside out.

The versatile PDO threads can also be used to heighten the nose bridge, giving it a natural elevated look. The latest PDO threads can even used to enhance nose tip. Something that cannot be done with dermal filler injection. The result is a more natural looking, structured nose than the traditional method of dermal fillers. It also lasts longer.

This one was more uncomfortable than the previous injections, as it is slightly more complicated, however Dr Dylan was reassuring, gentle and skillful, which made me feel better and I’m glad he’s so experienced, so it could all be over and done with as quickly as possible! It got slightly bloody what with the needle going in and out of my nose, so I’ve spared you guys those photos. It’s certainly not a significant amount of blood, but I repeatedly asked them, “am I bleeding?!” to which they replied, “yes, but only a bit.” I just needed to know. LOL.

I had threads inserted to achieve a natural lift, and Dr Dylan made sure I was happy with the height before he stopped.

And now… let’s look at the results!!!! Are you guys excited?

I couldn’t wait to look in the mirror to see the immediate difference in my face!

BOOM! This was taken immediately after injections done at two different areas of my face. The jaw reduction effect will only appear in 3-4 weeks, so you wouldn’t see any difference here, however check out my new nose!!! Homaigod. My nose bridge suddenly EXISTS.

 

In case you can’t tell the difference yourself, let me make it easier for you with these Before & After comparisons:

I never realized how flat my nose used to be… until now. Just look at that height difference. The pic on the right was taken while my nose was still swollen, after the swelling went down by 15%, it looked way more natural!

My nose was quite sensitive to touch for a couple of days after the procedure, so I avoided sleeping on my side at night and touching it in general as I wanted to keep it clean, but there really wasn’t any down time. After getting my infections done, I went for dinner and shopped around Orchard Road without a problem. Just 2 painkillers were enough to numb the discomfort for the first night!

It’s so much better than silicone fillers in my opinion because the threads don’t have the opportunity to move around as much, and give a more solid, natural look.

And after 3-4 weeks, let’s check out the difference in my jaw line after the reduction effect kicks in! :D

I was amazed by the reduction in size when I took photos to make a side by side comparison!!! On a day to day observational basis, I did not see any visible difference, but everyone asked me if I lost weight because I looked like I really did! Easily takes a kg or two off your face.

When I went back to Celevenus for my nose review, Dr Dylan suggested that I could get Scultra done as well, because my eyebags were relatively obvious. It’s a straightforward procedure with results you can’t deny!

Puffy eye bags or dark eye circles sometime look worse with sunken or hollowed tear troughs under the eyes. Therefore once the hollows are filled up, the eye bags or dark eye circles will look better and less obvious.

Traditionally, when there is a need to top up facial volume, it is usually done with dermal fillers. The latest trend, however, is to achieve global facial volume replacement with Sculptra. Known as ‘the liquid facelift’, Sculptra is essentially poly-L-lactic acid, a material that has been used widely as sutures which can be gradually and naturally absorbed by the body as it works to replace lost collagen. The substantially increased collagen will correct the sunken areas, folds, wrinkles and skin laxity as a consequence of aging. The result, looks and feels more natural than what fillers can do.

And here’s the mandatory Before & After, once again! Check out how much less haggard I look with my eyes no longer looking like I sleep at 3am everyday (which, by the way, I do.)

WHAT A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE AMIRITE?!?!!

I really liked how there was zero downtime for this, just jab and go, wait for the results to start showing after a month or two! I know many Singaporeans struggle with horridly puffy and tired looking eyes no thanks to our stressful lifestyles, so this is something even the least vain of people could consider because it doesn’t really alter the way you look, just perks up your tired looking eyes! I also need to use a lot less concealer than before, and the effect is so natural, you’ll just look like you’ve had plenty of beauty rest recently. Love it.

And this was my face several months after getting my jaw, eyebags and nose done! Totally marveling at the effects. I am beyond pleased with my experience at Celevenus, because of their professionalism, great results and efficiency at getting everything done! The procedures went without a hitch, and the results were even better than I expected.

I realized that aesthetics treatments aren’t as scary as I used to think they were, and that they’re actually rather temporary, lasting anywhere from months to 2 years. I totally wouldn’t mind topping up and going for more so that I will look my best at all times!

Would I recommend Celevenus, Dr Dylan and the treatments I’ve personally done? Yes, I would in a heartbeat. I’ve already introduced a few personal friends to the place. It’s non-surgical, non-permanent, low-risk and I would do it all over again whenever I feel like I want to have a little positive change.They gave me absolutely no problems at all, while making my face look better in ways that people could notice but would’ve never guessed was aesthetic augmentation!

They’d simply assume I had contoured my nose or lost a bunch of weight. Thanks for the confidence boost, Celevenus! And deep thanks to Dr Dylan and his caring team for being so conscientious, making my first experience with facial aesthetics an absolutely pleasant one!!!

xoxo,
Jess

Leaving my skeletons behind

Extracted from my latest Dayre post.. here’s an emotional bit of me I haven’t shared in quite awhile.

Laying quietly next to him the night before, we talked about things like we usually do, throwing topics out there and discussing just about everything and nothing. Then we came across the topic of whether it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Being someone who loves deeply each time I decide I’m truly in it for real, I would say.. Life would have so little meaning if you didn’t give your heart away. Such love can be in the form of friendship, kinship or relationship. It’s selfless, bold and fulfilling.

But sometimes, it doesn’t always stay that way. Life gets the better of love. Patience turns into annoyance, effort morphs into complacency, kind words evolve into harsh ones and love slips through your fingers without you even realizing it.

I can’t say I don’t envy people who have never felt great loss of someone important in their lives. Sometimes I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse to be the type of person who feels every single thing intensely. Maybe living in oblivion is sad in its own quiet way, but it’s not the kind of sad that leaves you picking the pieces of your heart off the floor.

Most break ups are sad. But some are mind numbingly tragic.

Maybe, one day you’ll meet someone who starts a fire in you that never dies. But the saddest truth you’ll come to know is that you may not end up spending the rest of your life with that person.

Perhaps it’s especially morbid to meet such a person at a young age, because you spend the rest of your days trying to fill the empty hole they left behind. The realization that it’s probably never going to feel the same with anyone else is overwhelming. Suddenly, your life is completely defined by three segments: Before you met him, when you were with him, and life after it all fell apart.

I thought I knew what it meant to be heartbroken, but I did not know what it really felt like until I found myself choosing to lie on the floor instead of the bed to cry, because the floor felt cold and hard, and I just wanted to feel something apart from the hole in my empty heart.

Not eating, not moving, barely breathing, replaying the same sad song for hours on end, replaying everything you could and should have done better, questioning the point of your very existence, questioning God even though you’re not even religious. It’s when you choose to bleed just to know you’re alive.

It’s also when you’re wailing loudly despite knowing there’s no one there to hear your pathetic cries or to give you their sympathy. I thought we were going to have children and the rest of our lives together. After all, that’s the only future I ever knew. People don’t realize that I did not just lose a boyfriend of 6 years – I lost the house we were staying in together, my job that we worked together in, my everyday lifestyle, everything that I knew.

I thought that when the days of uncontrollable sobbing and being motionless in bed for extended periods of time stopped, so would the pain. Today, it has been more than a year since I decided to leave my ex of 6 years.

While I don’t cry over it as often as I used to, and no longer see his face or hear his name in everything I do and everywhere I go and I realize that my life is my own.. it still gets me real down every now and then. Just when I thought I’ve gotten over it, there will come a sleepless night that convinces me otherwise. And then it hit me.

There are some wounds that will take more than just a few years to heal, and there are broken hearts that surgery can’t fix.

I should allow myself to feel everything that I am feeling, and I should feel no shame in admitting that yes, even though a year has passed (it’s coming to 2 soon), sometimes I still think of Sam and everything we used to do and have. Not in a particularly romantic way, but sometimes, just mourning the loss of something really special and great.

After all, we’ve stayed in three different homes together, raised adorable pets together, been through unimaginable shit with each other, built a business and worked together, saw the other person’s face everyday for 5 years straight – we basically revolved every inch of our lives around each other. I did spend more than a quarter of my life with this person, and he taught me a lot of what I know today as a person.

I was supposed to marry him, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I did not. I left him instead. Because despite how truly amazing we could be together sometimes, the bad times would rock and shake my entire world and left me with zero self esteem, and a lot of negative emotions, which eventually ate me up inside. Our lack of experience in dealing with difficult life situations and snarky attitude got the better of us.

Everyday, I am still learning new lessons from my previous relationship. I often reflect and think about what it all means. Everyday, I am finding new meaning. Recently, I’ve found myself thinking about Sam a lot more, and I was confused by why this was happening.

After some pondering, I realize it’s because of a new character making a significant impact in my life story. Shortly after my break up with Sam, I dated someone for 8 months, from late last year to a few months ago.

Yeah, it didn’t work out. I’d hate to call it a rebound, but I guess I was lonely, and he was enthusiastic, appearing at the right place at the right time. I thought that was what I wanted. Several months in, however, I realized it was a mistake, and called it off when I could no longer keep up pretending that it was going fine, when it wasn’t. We weren’t suitable for each other at all.

But this time around, dear dayre, it’s different. Right from the start, I could tell. This guy makes me feel things I never believed I would feel again. Emotions that I haven’t felt since 7 years ago. He tugs on heart strings from parts of my heart that I did not know were still alive. It made me flashback to when Sam and I first got together.

I felt overwhelmed with a ton of emotions. I was shellshocked that this was even happening. I thought my love with Sam was a once in a lifetime sort of experience, so how could it be that I’m fantasizing about a future with this new guy the way I used to with Sam? Immediately, I recognized what I was feeling.

I felt guilty, like I was replacing Sam. Or rather, the placement of Sam in my heart, in his good memory. While unpleasant thoughts of how everything went to shit still do haunt me, at the very core of it all, I choose to remember him as the guy who taught me what love was. Even after he left, that’s how I always saw him.

I always knew I would be able to have relationships after Sam. I’m generally a cheerful person, and I have lots of love to give, so it wasn’t going to be a problem to find someone to have a relationship with. I just kind of expected that I would have relationships that could never match up to what Sam and I had. I assumed I would get into relationships, watch them not work out, get the hell out of them, rinse and repeat.

But what I did not realize is that my undeserving, malfunctioning, fucked up piece of shit scumbag heart could still, by the grace of God, love someone THAT wholeheartedly again. Somehow, this guy makes my broken heart feel whole again.

And that actually scares the shit out of me.

I was scared of several things. Firstly, the higher you go, the harder you’ll fall. All that vulnerability I took so long to harden my shell just to cover up for, is now being exposed once again. Of course I’m scarred, and naturally think of the worst case scenario. I can tell this would ruin me all anew if it doesn’t work out. And this time, I’m not so sure I will be okay again. I barely made it out with my sanity and dignity intact for the last one.

Secondly..

What makes it even more terrifying is that he’s been one of my best friends for more than a year, and I was very close to him even before we started dating. In a way, he’s been my rock and support, consistently being the best to me, always lending a helping hand in my time of need and making me smile without fail.

So if we don’t work out, I stand to lose one of my closest friends in this lifetime.

Thirdly, I guess I’m royally screwed because I feel like he could be the new love of my life. I don’t know, I could probably even marry this guy. He seems like he would make a great dad and husband. Perhaps it’s too early to tell right now, but that’s how deep I’m in it already. And I’ve only felt this way two times in my entire life: once with Sam, and once more with him.

Let’s give the new guy a name. Let’s call him D. My relationship with D the last two months has shown me how I’ve grown as a person, and a partner. I’m noticeably more self giving, patient, understanding, gentle and willing to compromise. Much more so than before. Only someone like D could bring out these traits in me and encourage me to be the best version of myself possible, because he’s such a great character himself.

So yeah. Basically I’ve been thinking of Sam more often these days because I find myself going through similar experiences with D as I had with Sam, and I’m frightened by the similarities. Can you blame me? It ended so badly for me the last time and I’m just afraid history will repeat itself.

But no love ever came without sacrifices and risks; I should stop this negativity and focus on the good. Because, God, I want to be happily in love again. I want to hand my broken heart to someone else to mend, and not have to bear this burden all by myself.

While I’ve learnt to discover happiness in doing certain things alone, I think generally I am a very social person and it saddens me not having someone special to talk to me about all the thoughts that swim in my head before I sleep at night, or just having someone around for a cuddle whenever I feel like one.

Someone I can devote all my time, affection and love to. I love myself, I do, but I find much greater joy in loving someone else. I used to think that was a sign of weakness, not being able to be happy alone, but now I think that’s just bullshit.

Some people are happier being single, and the world can accept that, so why can’t we agree that it’s perfectly fine to admit that you’re happier being attached? I don’t mean get into a pointless relationship just for the sake of being one (which is possibly what I did for the previous guy I dated) but actually being with someone who becomes your better half. How is that not an ideal situation to be in?

And that’s exactly how I feel. Despite only dating for two months, I feel like D is my better half already. He has always been the ray of light to guide me past difficult times, and he makes me want to become a better person, for myself, and for him.

Sam might have been the love of my life up till I was 23, but D could be the great love of my life, for well, the rest of my life. And even if it’s not D, although I hope it is, I should be open to the idea that love doesn’t die when the relationship does. Love is a form of energy, and it should be transferred into different forms and reinvested in new people.

I’ve held relentlessly onto precious memories of Sam and I, safeguarding and regarding them as the best I’ll have in my life, leaving little room for anyone or anything else to enter. But I shouldn’t hold onto something so tightly when its already over.

I shouldn’t be worried about D becoming something to “replace” what I’ve been holding dear – he is in fact, a whole new category and placement of his own, earning a rightful and massive spot in my heart, creating new memories to replace some painful ones that currently exist.

Maybe it’s time to give yourself a break, Jess. Perhaps it really is time to stop asking yourself each and every day, “Why did something so good end so bad? Will we ever have the chance to start anew? Will I ever be as happy again? Why did you say and do the things that you did? Why couldn’t you have done any better?”

Because you know what. The past, truly has come and gone. Like there’s literally nothing I can do about what I’ve already lost.. That’s gone with the wind. What I CAN do is actually take the hard lessons and truths I’ve gathered from my relationship with Sam, and apply it in this new one. Don’t screw it up Jess. Let’s not make the same mistakes again, you know you won’t forgive yourself this time. We’ll be the best that we can be. We totally deserve another chance at being happy again.

And make me happy, D does. Dear dayre, he makes my heart sing. He makes the bad days better, and the good days the best they could possibly be. When I gave up on myself last year, he didn’t give up on me. He holds me when I cry, listens tirelessly when I talk (too much), kisses me when I least expect it and smiles at me for no reason. And when he smiles at me, I can never not smile back at him.

He’s a constant ball of positive energy, and seems to absolutely adore every quirk I have. He laughs at all the weird shit I do, even the horribly unglamorous and dorky stuff. He makes me feel like I can truly be myself, because someone loves me just the way I am. He knows about my past, my dark secrets and my pain. But he looks at me and smiles as though I am perfect.

Sometimes I feel real emotional when he does that, because I know that when he looks into my eyes, he doesn’t see the rain that I hide behind them. He sees rainbows, twinkles and fireworks and most of all, he just sees a girl he loves more than anything he’s known before.

He doesn’t look at me with sympathetic or frowning eyes like he recognizes the broken person I am, all he knows is that I make him complete. He accepts me with all my emotional baggage, scars and tantrums, and gives me renewed faith in many things I gave up on.

There’s just something really beautiful about that kind of naivety and innocence. Starting on a clean slate. No past to worry about, just the potential of a future to look forward to. Just so many chances to make things right this time around.

I may not have believed it was possible to do so before, but I feel like I am slowly but surely letting go of my pain and regret. I’ll never forget the crazy beautiful devastating memories and all the lessons you’ve taught me Sam, but my heart has had enough of crying over what we were.

We are no longer. We only exist as separate entities now. You in your own world, and me, in my own.

To think, my world used to be you. And now, I have a whole new world without you. Looks like the world is bigger than we thought it was, huh?

I really hope you’re doing well, and being happy, wherever you are. That’s all I ever wanted for the both of us – to be happy. Even if that means living without each other’s presence. We have memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for being a part of my life, and in some ways you will definitely always be. But I think I’m ready to start a new chapter now.

And this one will begin not with tears but instead, with a smile and a hopeful heart, and you will not be the main character no more. I may not know what the ending is, but ultimately I am the author of my own life story, and I can rewrite the ending if I don’t like it enough – that is the most empowering thing I’ve ever felt.

To realize that your heart is even more resilient and powerful than any other part of you that exists because it can stop beating completely, and then burst back into life one day again… is indeed a life changing thing.

I’m leaving my skeletons behind, memories in my heart, and regrets to the wind.

xoxo,
Jess
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