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One Raffles Place

The Central Business District area in Singapore is one place I have definitely not explored much of, despite my 23 years of existence in this country.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always thought that there was absolutely nothing to do in the CBD except get lost in the concrete jungle maze. I was definitely caught by surprise when I exited Raffles Place MRT one evening and walked right into One Raffles Place.

You’ll see this huge sign and H&M as soon as you exit the MRT station. Surrounding this mall are numerous trendy bars & restaurants that ooze modern city vibes!

Upon entering the shopping mall, I realized I had 6 whole levels of food, fashion, beauty & lifestyle services to explore! All of this being right smack in the middle of the CBD, with huge skyscraper office buildings surrounding it. A lighthearted oasis in the middle of a very serious place! Some of the more notable stores that One Raffles Place houses are H&M, Melissa, Swatch, Owndays, Pandora, The Body Shop, Uniqlo, Paris Baguette, Gong Cha, and many more brands we love.

Because I haven’t window shopped (or actually shopped) in months, I headed straight for the upper levels where the fashion stores are mainly located!

The first shop I dived into was Amanda.

It was my first time hearing of this label, but they carried an impressive range of semi-formal clothes that will take you from day to night and work to play, which I figured would be perfect for the many office ladies that patronize this part of the city! They’ve even got gown selections in case you’re shopping for a formal event.

I almost bought this dainty bejeweled neckline dress from Amanda (#04-33/34), because you know what they say about a girl never being able to have too many LBDs.. I like A-line cut dresses the best, and this simple dress could take me anywhere from a corporate event to a romantic dinner date with my boyfriend!

A couple of stores down from Amanda, you’ll find Sarah B (#04-21), probably my personal number 1 store in all of One Raffles Place! The shopkeeper was extremely friendly and helpful as well, so ++++ points for service!

I LOVE that most of their apparels seem to be in these colors: black, white, navy blue and nudes. Those are all of my favorite colors to wear, missing only one of my other staple wardrobe color: grey.

While they do have other fancy and unique apparels, my style choice will always be something more timeless and classic.

Candid shot of a happy shopaholic going about her ways!

Shopping is extremely serious business.

Tried on this lace tunic which I regretted not stumbling across earlier, because this would’ve been so apt for Chinese New Year!!! It’s really difficult to find clothing with oriental details that don’t scream “I AM FOR WEARING DURING CNY ONLY”, and this top is one of the few options out there.

But then I found another blouse from Sarah B which I adore even more!!!!!! Can’t stop obsessing over this white lace top. It’s basically perfection.

Easy to wear, very comfortable, a staple in your wardrobe that will look good anywhere and anytime. I’m all for practicality and comfort, so this ensemble was right up my alley!

Just because I was in the CBD, I decided to try on something more office-appropriate. Fun fact: I have never worked a day in any office in all my life! Ever since I was a teenager, I have been self employed. In my teenage years, I did some side blogging and part-time modeling work. When I was 18, I focused more on blogging and cake making work… I’ve never looked back since!

Although I wear my home clothes to my work place (and by work place I mean either in front of my computer or in the kitchen) sometimes I wonder what life would be like as an office lady, having to look good and dress up every single day!

I really have to give it to those ladies who embrace pencil skirts and uncomfortable stilettos every single day in the good name of fashion and professionalism.

Apart from clothing stores, One Raffles Place has other lifestyle options for you to browse, such as all sorts of eyewear from Owndays (#03-02/03)!

If I didn’t have corrective eye surgery already done, I would be sporting fun-looking eyewear frames like these to show people that you can be geeky AND cool at the same time.

There’s something for everyone here at Sarah B (#04-21), including a whole lot of pretty accessories to try on and match with your outfits!

Remember how Swatch (#01-14) was all the rage when we used to be in school? (if you’re from my era!)

They’re still coming up with fun-looking watches that are targeted at the younger generation! When I was in primary school, I would rotate Swatch watches every year and it would be the coolest thing to happen to me. I wore them with so much pride. When my nephew grows a little older, the first watch I’ll buy him will be Swatch!

To showcase the fashion choices available at One Raffles Place, a few of my other blogger friends and I will be styling 2 mannequins each, that will be on display at th atrium from 31 March – 27th April and they’re a part of a contest that’s happening in April, so look out for my mannequins when you head down! Both outfits I’ve picked out are from Sarah B, whose clothes I’m sure you girls will love.

If ever you find yourself wandering around the CBD, you now know where you can find a one-stop shopping mall that will settle all of your needs!

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie by Perfect Italiano

When I think of comfort food, I usually think of warm, hearty dishes that will fill up not only my tummy, but practically my entire being. Comfort food is the kinda food you’d want to have when you stay home on a rainy Sunday evening. It’s the kinda food you wish your mom would cook more often. It’s the food that brings back feelings of quiet happiness and nostalgia. I guess comfort food is different for everyone.

For me, one of my ultimate comfort food choice would be ooey gooey shepherd’s pie.

There’s just something about shepherd’s pie that I can’t get enough of. Maybe it’s the moist meaty interior with a smooth potato top that checks all my boxes. It’s the perfect ratio of meat to carbs, and I can find so little fault with this classic dish! This is one recipe I find myself going back to time and time again, and it’s so fail proof that I believe even someone with no experience in the kitchen can successfully manage. Just try it, and you’ll see what I mean. I know most shepherd’s pies don’t come with a cheesy topping, but I really do feel that it adds a world of flavor dimension by simply including one extra ingredient. A crusty potato top is good, but a cheesy crusty potato top is FANTASTIC. See what I’m getting at? And there’s no brand of cheese that is a bigger mainstay in my fridge than Perfect Italiano!

Perfect Italiano is a cooking cheese brand that adds simple Italian flair to everyday family meals! I’ve decided to use Pizza Plus because of its unique blend of cheeses. Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus consists of Mozzarella, Parmesan and Cheddar. Mozzarella gives the recipe a stretchy nature, while Parmesan and Cheddar add different notes of flavours.

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

Meat Filling
700g russet potatoes, halved
600g beef, minced
250g frozen mixed vege (carrots, peas, corn)
1 clove minced garlic, minced
1 large white onion, diced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
150g tomato puree
2 chicken or beef stock cubes
a splashing of red wine
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
olive oil
herbs (bay leaf, parsley, etc), sugar & black pepper to taste

Cheesy Potato Crust
150g Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus
a handful of breadcrumbs
170g butter
10g garlic / onion powder
80g milk

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot over high heat for 30 minutes or until very tender
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over low heat for 2 minutes in a large pan
  3. Add minced beef & stock cubes to the pan, stir fry for 2 minutes
  4. Pour in mixed vege, cherry tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, BBQ sauce and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes
  5. Turn heat off, mix your 2 tablespoons with a bit of water in a bowl to thicken the sauce, pour cornstarch paste into meat mixture and stir vigorously, making sure no lumps form
  6. Strain the water from the boiled potatoes & mash the potatoes with butter, garlic / onion powder and milk until evenly mixed and smooth
  7. Spoon the meat filling into ramekins / oven proof pans
  8. Top off with a layer of potatoes, sprinkle on Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus and finally top off with breadcrumbs
  9. Bake in oven for 8 minutes at 180 degrees or airfry at 200 degrees for 5 minutes
  10. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving, and enjoy

I love so many things about this Shepherd’s Pie!!!!

There will be many Shepher’s Pie recipes out there, but I can bet you that very few of them would be just like mine. First off, the addition of Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus cheese makes it over the top delicious. Secondly, including BBQ sauce and red wine in the recipe is essential for me. The BBQ sauce lends a bit of smokiness and sweetness, while the red wine gives it a nice kick. I love red meat with red wine.

I adore making this in large batches for potlucks, gatherings / parties or even just to store in the freezer in individual heat-proof containers, because all I have to do is take it out of the freezer when I want a good meal, pop it into the airfryer or oven for 8 minutes and I’m good to go!

This recipe freezes and keeps extremely well, therefore making it perfect for people who cook their own food at home (like me). Make it once and you’ll have enough to last you through some weeks! Less cleaning up, and saves you a ton of effort and time.

Personally, I prefer my dishes really “wet” with a loooot of sauce, so that’s why I chose to use tomato puree, to ensure there will be lots of liquid to coat the meat with.. because dry meat is just blurghhhh. I don’t hold back with the butter in my mashed potato as well. #YOLO! The secret to great mashed potato is lots of butter and seasoning! And of course, the inclusion of milk makes sure that the mash is nice and moist, making it easy to spread over the top as well.

All in all, I would have to say this is a recipe that I will be keeping for life. I’ve never made this for anyone who hasn’t not loved it. It hits all the right spots, and is truly the epitome of comfort food. Once again, I have found yet another favorite recipe to cook with Perfect Italiano cheese. Stretchy, full of bite and flavor, their cheeses seem to go well with a thousand and one dishes I’ve been whipping up in my kitchen!

For more yummy talk about cheeses and home cooked food, head on over to Perfect Italiano’s website to gain inspiration and look at recipes that will make you drool!

Don’t forget to hashtag #PerfectItalianoSG when you use their cheese in your homecooked food and post photos on social media!

xoxo,
Jess

Silkygirl Cosmetics

What’s the most important step of your make up routine? For me, it’s ABSOLUTELY gotta be my eyebrows and lips!

I was born with very scarce brow hair, so I need eyebrow embroidery to look normal. And I have naturally pale lips. People ask me all the time, “where are your eyebrows? are you sick? why do you look so pale?” Guys… it’s just the way I was born. Sigh. Well, nothing a bit of make up can’t fix, of course!

Playing around with these new cosmetic products from SILKYGIRL!

They’ve recently launched the Expert Brow Slim Liner and new shades for their Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balm.

The Expert Brow Slim Liner has become my new go-to eyebrow pencil because of how light, sleek and functional it is!

It’s super easy to use. While the pigments are easily buildable for a deeper color, the color I’m using (Natural Brown 01) is quite light, so I can avoid looking like I drew on my eyebrows with crayons! Not sure about you, but I tend to get a bit heavy handed when I’m doing my make up.

I’m the girl that starts off thinking “just a thin line of eyeliner for a natural look” and 1 minute later, I end up with full smokey eyeshadow with an elaborate winged cat eye. Not even kidding. So something that builds up slowly instead of starting off strong works very well for me.

The 1.8mm slim tip makes for concise drawing, giving you the sharp edges you need for eyebrows with higher arches! It’s got additional plus points such as being long wearing, waterproof and fragrance free as well!

It’s a double sided product that comes with a spoolie brush at the other end for easy brushing of your eyebrows.

I don’t find myself using it often because I literally lack eyebrow hair (lol) but I’m sure it will come in handy for girls with thicker brows!

Ta-dah! All done with my eyebrows!

It’s a very natural look that’s great for everyday wear and effortless to pull off.

Moving onto lips, how pretty are these new shades of Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balms?!

I honestly think that bright lip colors are essential in every woman’s make up pouch. They add instant pop of life to your face, and makes your whole look so much more refreshing and fun!

Glides on so smoothly, and there wasn’t any chapping on my lips despite wearing it for a couple of hours. My dry lips didn’t have a problem with this. As you can see for yourself, the color payoff is fantastic!

Is it a lipstick, or a lipbalm? It’s actually both! The Moisture Boost Lipcolor Balm is essentially:

  • A lipcolor balm with a boost of color and moisture
  • Long-lasting moisture, long-wearing
  • Enriched with Vitamin A, C and E to nourish and condition lips
  • Lightweight, creamy
  • Retractable
  • No fragrance, no paraben, no carmine, no animal testing

My impression of SILKYGIRL products has always been that of a value-for-money, fun make up brand that’s very suitable for younger girls especially, and I’m glad that hasn’t changed! They’re still coming up with cosmetics that suit the needs of young ladies and keeping up with the trends. .

So girls, be free to express yourself with dramatic make up on your face! Experiment. Have fun. Be yourself.

For more updates on SILKYGIRL’s latest product releases and information, follow SILKYGIRL’s Facebook page, visit their official website and their account on Instagram!

xoxo,
Jess

Laurier 7-Day Challenge

Every single person in this world has insecurities. Some, more than others, and sometimes, on certain days, more so. For me, I always get extra insecure and frustrated during my period week. The mood swings and hormonal imbalance hit me really hard, and I feel the physical & mental effects a whole week before that time of the month. It’s usually pretty awful. I suppose you’re meant to grow out of “horrible period woes” by the time you reach your 20′s, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for me. I still suffer from terrible mood swings and ground shaking painful cramps. But if there’s one comfort I have during my time of the month (apart from painkillers!!!), it would have to be Laurier.

I’ve been using Laurier’s feminine care products since at least 6 years ago, and I haven’t even tried another brand since. Laurier is the number 1 brand in total Singapore Sanitary Protection Category, offering a wide variety of high-quality products to suit every woman’s needs. Laurier believes in empowering women to live their lives with freedom and not being held back by their period. This is achieved through Kao Japan’s advanced technology that produces high quality Laurier sanitary protection products, giving maximum absorbency and comfort to her consumers.

What I really like from Laurier is their Super Slimguard sanitary napkin range, which provides great absorbency and it really is the thinnest pad I’ve ever come across!

There’s no going back to the other thick, fluffy, uncomfortable pads from other brands once you’ve tried this. It honestly changed my life. I can’t wear tampons for several reasons probably inappropriate to state here *raises eyebrows*, that’s why I’m heavily reliant on pads. They’re also one of the few brands out there to provide a SUPER long pad (35cm) because nothing’s worse than waking up to night time leakage in the morning. Because Singaporean ma, must kia su a bit, buy pad also must buy super long one.

Laurier knows they can’t change our periods, but they can change the way we feel about them. To achieve that, Laurier is running the Laurier 7-Day Challenge, challenging & urging girls to empower themselves by overcoming their insecurities and debunk period myths together. It’s time to start embracing our natural selves and be comfortable in our own skin! Participants get to redeem prizes with every challenge successfully completed. When you complete all 7 challenges successfully, stand a chance to participate in the lucky draw for the grand prize: 2D1N weekend staycation at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore and raise funds for charity at the same time. Laurier will donate $20* per successful/completed participant to The Straits Time School Pocket Money Fund. For more info, you can visit their website at www.Laurier7DayChallenge.com! *T&C apply.

So what does the Laurier 7-Day Challenge consist of? Well here’s my take on it, and I hope it will encourage you to try it out too! The challenges are pretty straightforward, so this should be a piece of cake.

Day 1: Tell your friends about the Laurier 7-Day Challenge. Spread the love and nominate at least 3 (female) friends to kick start their empowerment journey now!

I’ve nominated my sweetest gal pals, Gillian Sng, Mabel Yeo and Amanda Tan! All my Nuffnang girls, who have been there for me through so much. I know they’re great sports and will happily take up this challenge!

Day 3: Let loose and take a crazy video of yourself dancing or being absolutely silly for at least 5 seconds. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are!

A video posted by Jessica Loh (@shiberty) on

 

Aaaand here’s my take, going nuts in the kitchen of my new cafe, Shiberty Bakes! I’ve been so stressed lately, and it felt good to just go nuts for awhile. Still giggle every time I see this ridiculous video.

Day 4: Nothing should hold you back from being active or doing the things you want to do, even being on your period. Take a snap of yourself (or with friends!) doing a creative jump shot.

Tadah!!!! I rarely ever jump, so this shot is quite the rarity. Gravity is not my friend. If you squint hard enough, you’ll see a confused looking grandmother in the background, who shot me a strange look as she walked past me. She must be wondering why this girl is jumping for joy in the middle of nowhere.

Also, please spot my spontaneous flying pink slipper, which got flung off my foot when I lifted my feet off the ground!

Day 6: Whenever we get our periods, it’s like we suddenly have nothing to wear. Wearing anything tight, or white, is an absolute no-go unless we choose a good quality, ultra slim pad. True, or False?

…True! I would definitely find myself subconsciously choosing darker colored clothing during my time of the month in fear of accidental leakage. However, I do like wearing tight jeans, because the snug fit makes me forget that I’m even wearing a pad. But visible panty lines are a big No No, so to avoid this, I use the Laurier Super Slimguard 22.5cm day range!

 

Day 7: Embrace your natural beauty! Let it shine through and share your no make up selfie with us.

There you have it! My straight out of bed look. Hair roughly tied back in a ponytail, obviously still in my pajamas, and not an ounce of make up on me.

No make up, no problem! The older I get, the more I have learned the embrace my imperfections with grace and acceptance. Pigmentation, blemishes, stretch marks, cellulite.. all of these things make us human. While I would like to try and minimize their existence, I won’t beat myself up over not being perfect. As long as I like myself the way I am, that’s more than good enough for me.

Because of this mindset, I have come to peace with the way I look and live my life. How I look doesn’t define who I am. Some days I’m going to be dolled up and glamorous, while other days I will be dressed down and plain ol’ simple me. But every single day, I am awesome and fabulous, regardless of what I wear, what I do or where I go! Think you’ll be up to the Laurier 7-Day Challenge too? You can register at www.Laurier7DayChallenge.com and start on your first challenge by nominating your friends!

Laurier will be having a roadshow outside Somerset H&M this coming Sat, 19th March 2015, from 2pm to 5pm. Walk away with a Kao goodie bag worth $35 if you complete 2 of the challenges on the spot! While stocks last and weather conditions apply. You may check LaurierSG’s Facebook page for the latest updates.

Why don’t you girls consider dropping by the roadshow this weekend if you’re around the area? Whatever it is that’s in that goodie bag, I’m sure you girls will find it useful! I love Kao products!

xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad by Perfect Italiano

I’d like to consider myself a very domestic person.

Sure, I love a good night out with my friends, but more than anything, I think I enjoy house parties the best. Cooking up a feast at a comfortable homely environment, have your friends gather around the dining table or couch, enjoying good home cooked food while chatting and laughing over some drinks… Now, I’ll take that over a night out almost any day. So you can imagine that cooking is honestly one of my favoritest things to do in the world!

I know many people find cooking a chore, but I find it to be one of the most satisfying tasks I can accomplish on a day-to-day basis because it provides me instant gratification. You get to be creative, share the love with your friends by feeding their hungry tummies, enjoy delicious food cooked to your own preferences and of course, flaunt your kitchen skills and impress people! What I DON’T like, however, is the mad rush to get everything prepped right before a big dinner party.. Last weekend, I was tasked to cook for a party that had approximately 20 people, and that kinda intimidated me a little bit! I’m used to cooking for 2-6 people, or perhaps even up to 8 or 10, but 20 pax is a whole different ball game. I needed to do various dishes that complemented each other and tasted great, yet not too difficult to achieve as I’ll be the main one executing them. I came up with this Summer Pasta Salad recipe which got a great response from people, with some even requesting to bring back the leftovers, so I take that as a good sign!

Summer Pasta Salad

This makes a good light lunch or a fantastic side dish to go with meats or heavier main items. But what I like most about it is that it can be made hours in advance, just chuck it in the fridge or leave it out in an air conditioned room and it’s all ready for your guests to dig into as soon as they arrive!

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 200g chicken sausages, sliced
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200g sour cream
  • 100g coleslaw veg, chopped
  • 200g boiled egg, diced
  • 350g cooked macaroni
  • 3 avocados, mashed
  • 1 yellow / white onion, chopped
  • a good splashing / 4 tablespoons of japanese sesame dressing & olive oil
  • 100g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella
  • Perfect Italiano Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil eggs until stiff, then deshell them.
  2. Cook macaroni pasta in boiling water for about 7 minutes or until al dente, then drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pasta to prevent sticking, and set aside.
  3. Stir fry chicken sausages, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and onions until cooked.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all the cooked ingredients, fresh ingredients and mozzarella together, until well combined.
  5. Give a further splashing of sesame dressing on top.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs and Perfect Italiano Parmesan cheese.
  7. Toss in fridge or leave out in a cool temperature room, and serve cold!

I love this pasta salad. It’s as versatile as you want it to be! Make it meat-free for a vegetarian option. You can include or take away any ingredients according to your preferences, but keep the sour cream, dressing, cheese, and pasta because that will be your base recipe to work with. I’m a very casual and fuss-free cook, so I prefer using recipes that do not require exact measurements

. I like to make it up as I go, depending on my mood. I’ve made several variations of this recipe, other times including corn kernels, chicken breast to substitute the sausages, and replaced the avocados with pesto sauce – they were all mighty delicious! I named this summer pasta salad because of all the fresh ingredients it uses, and I reckon this would be perfect served up at a summer picnic or BBQ! Or in Singapore, where you know, it’s perpetually summer around here.

I think the key to this pasta salad lies in the sour cream base. Many pasta salads use mayonnaise which I find to be a bit thicker and heavier. I feel that pasta salads should be kept light, and refreshing!

Of course, the addition of Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Cheese gives a nice subtle texture & bite to the dish, and the sesame dressing lends a sweetness because the sour cream doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own. I like to garnish with Perfect Italiano Parmesan Cheese for that sharp, savory hint of cheese as well. You can keep this salad in the fridge for up to 2 days.

I can always count on Perfect Italiano’s range of cheeses to dress up my home cooking, turning otherwise boring dishes into something different and tantalizing! My life would never be the same without cheese. I think I’ve lost count of the number of cheese-related recipes I’ve posted on this blog.

I hope you guys have enjoyed looking at or recreating them, as I always try to come up with different recipes that aren’t too similar, to show you that cheese can really be used in a huuuge selection of recipes! One ingredient, tons of uses. That’s why I almost always have a packet of Perfect Italiano cheese in my fridge, no matter the time of year!

Available at leading supermarkets, visit Perfect Italiano’s official website for more cheesy ideas to experiment in your kitchen with, and don’t forget to hashtag your own homemade creations using #PerfectItalianoSG on Instagram!

xoxo,
Jess
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