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10 ways to lose weight effectively

If you’re human, like me, you would have most likely put on some weight in December.

With all that festive feasting, how could you not?! Alcohol, cakes, indulgent meals…. yep, December is kinda notorious for that. So by the time January comes, one of the top few tasks on most peoples’ New Year’s Resolutions list would be “to lose weight”. I know it sure is on mine! I’ve lost a significant amount of weight last year, but my progress got kinda stagnant towards the end part of it… however, a new year is for revived opportunities, so say goodbye to complacency and hello PERSEVERANCE!

In case you don’t know, here’s how much weight I’ve lost:


“HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODEHHHHH!!! NOW PASS ME A BURGER OR I’LL EAT YOUR DOG.” - the old me on the left

LOL. I knowwwwwwwwwww. It’s awful. And kinda (very) scary. Trust me, when I was scrolling through my old photos trying to find the fattest full body shot of myself I could find, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw this. Like, I always knew I was gaining weight, but I could NEVER fathom just how much. You know that quote, “You don’t know what you’ve lost until its gone?” Yeah, in my case its about the amount of fats. I’m not sure of the exact number but I think I’ve lost approximately 10-11kg since then.

To be fair, this was probably THE most unflattering picture of me ever taken…. AND the worst dress I’ve ever worn, in the worst possible angle. It’s amazingly cringe-worthy on so many levels. Not even just cringe-worthy, GASP-inducing! I was really big but I don’t think I really walked around looking like that everyday…. there are plenty of other pictures of me looking like a normal fat person (if that makes sense lol), but this one REALLY takes the cake. This one stole the whole cake and ate it by herself hahaha. I contemplated over whether I should post this picture or not, but I figured I have nothing to lose since I’m not that person any more. I am the much healthier and happier girl on the right side of the pic now! The pic in the purple dress was taken 31st December on the last day of 2012. Within 10 months, I think I made good progress and I’m proud of myself. I thought I would have binged and caved in to my old habits eventually and my weight would rebound back up again, but I’ve maintained it surprisingly well! In my old post, I mentioned that I aim to lose 7kg this year, so that is my new goal I have to work towards in 2013.

Quite a lot of people have been asking me lately, “How did you do it?” (I suppose some thought I’d never able to do it) so I decided to do a blog post with some of my own tips that helped me along the way, to provide some motivation to the people out there that truly need it. I’m not reaching out to annoying girls who are perfectly normal sized but complain that they are fat, I hope to reach out to actually overweight people who have a physical and mental condition that they want to mend. From the messages I’ve been getting, I know some of you feel helpless, but you are not. Everyone already KNOWS how to lose weight – eat less, exercise more. It’s just that simple. But what people want to hear is other straightforward baby steps that they can take so that the task seems more feasible, and not too daunting. What they want to hear is an easier solution. I can tell you this, losing weight is anything but easy, especially if you do it the good old fashioned way (excluding slimming pills, diet suppressants, detox teas, liposuction, fad diets, bulimia) but taking small steps so that your body gets accustomed to your new lifestyle change will make it much easier. I still have a considerable amount of work to do and progress to make before I’m well satisfied with my body, so I will have to refer back to this list whenever my strength happens to waiver this year…. which I pray will not happen, but I know it will some time or another, I am only human. I don’t claim to be a diet / body / health / nutritionist expert of sorts, but this list below has worked well for me, and I hope it will for you too.

Shiberty’s list of 10 ways to lose weight effectively:

1) Drink more water in between and right before meals.

Water is the healthiest and most natural diet suppressant.
• Not only does drinking enough water aid in keeping your skin clear, body hydrated and your brain functioning properly, it also results in you feeling full for longer periods of time. When I feel like snacking in between meals, I drink a lot of cold, CARBONATED water to make my cravings go away. 80% of the time, it works. 20% of the time, unforunately I succumb to my temptations. The gas and bubbles from the drink makes me burp and kind of bloated, which is a fab solution when you’re hungry although you’re not supposed to be… it tricks your body into thinking that you’re not. Also, drink half a glass of cold water before you have any meal. It WILL decrease the amount of food you will eat quite significantly. I try to drink carbonated cold water whenever I can, it works better than still water.


2) Skip supper.

Everyone knows that to lose weight, you have to eat less in general.
• Most importantly, you have to watch what you eat at night, from 7pm onwards. In the day, your metabolism rate is much higher and burns up calories faster than it would at night. The excess calories that don’t get used by the time you sleep will be stored as sugar in your body, and converted into fat cells eventually. I can’t tell you to skip dinner because that would be unhealthy, but have a light dinner made of mainly protein and vegetables, and ALWAYS skip supper when you can!!! A good way to make sure you don’t succumb to supper cravings is to sleep earlier. Wake up and have breakfast the next morning instead. People who head to bed after 1am will definitely feel kinda hungry by that time, unless they had a late dinner, which is also not good. When I feel hungry at night, I go to sleep. You can’t feel hungry (or any conscious feeling at all) when you’re asleep. If you’re too hungry to fall asleep, which happens to me some times… for gods sake, fix yourself something light to snack on then off to bed you go!

3) Weigh yourself everyday.

When I was gaining weight, I kept myself off the weighing scale for as long as possible..
• I ran far away from it whenever I saw one. I couldn’t face the truth. Not for a long time. But now, I jump on the weighing scale everyday, for a reality check. If you want to lose weight, you HAVE to face the truth – that your body is in an unhealthy state right now, and you NEED to do something about it. Look at your weight. Is it a number you’d like to see? No it is not. It sucks. It’s so damn high, what the hell happened to you? What number would look a lot better on the scale, and what dress would look really good on you if your weight actually were the number you hope for it to be? Plan a weekly target for your weight loss. Don’t get far fetched and think about how much weight you want to lose in the next half a year. Start slow, but steady. Start by losing 500g this week. 500g is really easy, you could lose 500g in a day or two if all you ate was a moderate amount of salad, fruits, protein and water. When you lose your first 500g, you’ll instantly feel a mini sense of triumph. And that sense of achievement and self-fulfillment will become addictive, as you see your weight drop more and more every day, even if its only by 200g sometimes. If you wanna get thinner, you weigh yourself everyday to monitor your progress, to make sure you’re on the right track. You don’t leave it to chance and luck and hope weight loss just happen to you. If you’re not seeing enough results, TRY HARDER. Just like how if you wanna get rich, or when you’re doing a business, you calculate your finances and sales profit all the time to keep track of your record!

4) Eat when you need and want to, but in small, controlled amounts.

When you need to eat: 
• It’s better to have 4 or 5 small meals throughout the day, than to have 1 or 2 gigantic ones. Your body breaks down the food easier and faster when it comes in moderated amounts. A sure bet to lose weight is to snack frequently on healthier options in between lunch and dinner, so you don’t end up eating too much at night. Snack on dried seaweed, cheeses, fruits, anything that doesn’t have a super high amount of carbs / sugar will do just fine. Or drink carbonated water, like I said! Most people look forward to dinner because its their biggest and most indulgent meal… That’s gonna have to change!

When you want to eat: 
• If you have a craving that lasts for hours or even days and it just won’t seem to go away, satisfy it. If you feel like ice cream, have some ice cream. Share it with a friend. Don’t order your usual 2 scoops of ice cream. Have one scoop instead. If you can bring yourself to, have only a few spoonfuls, enough to satisfy your craving and keep yourself sane. Sustainable dieting is so important. Most of the time, people give up their diets halfway because it drove them insane. They felt like they couldn’t eat anything at all. So I’m taking a different approach and telling you, EAT if you really feel like you want to. But always learn how to moderate. If I’m dying for pasta, (one of my favorite foods) I will have pasta for lunch, in a small portion much lesser than what I’d normally have if I let myself indulge. Then I’ll opt for a low-carb meal for dinner to make up for my high intake of carbohydrates in the afternoon. This way, you’ll find its much easier to adhere to your diet for prolonged periods of time.

5) Don’t over order when you’re dining out in restaurants. 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
• When you look at the menu in a restaurant, you wanna order literally EVERYTHING. You let your gluttony get the better of you, and you end up ordering more than you can eat. Damn it! Over-ordered again. But the food is already in front of you, on the table….. You’re gonna have to pay for that anyway……..  Mama always taught you not to waste food. Gah, you hate seeing perfectly good and yummy food being thrown away. Hate wasting food, hate wasting food. Must finish everything. So you reach out into the table, and you keep putting food into your mouth, even when you should have and could have stopped 300 calories ago. You’re not eating because you’re still hungry, you’re eating just because the food is there. It’s in front of you. A natural reaction. If this scenario sounds like you, then you’re JUST like me. Stop doing that.

• Don’t order your starter, main course and dessert all at the start of the meal. Order a main course first, then think about whether you’re hungry enough to have a side dish. If you are, why not share it with your dining partner? Don’t even think about dessert until you’re done with all the savory food. Think ya got space in your tummy? Drink half a glass of water. If you still insist on dessert after all of that – fine, go ahead. But chances are, you won’t.  When you think you’ve had quite enough but afraid you may reach out for more, proclaim loudly, “I’m really full now.” I do that when I’m with a group of friends and it prevents me from eating more coz if I do I’d look really stupid, and a liar. LOL. Or, simply ask the waiter to clear your table. Voila. The food isn’t in your face any more, so you don’t have to think about whether you should continue eating. Problem solved.

6) Stop eating when you feel adequately satiated, not when you feel full or bloated.

Your stomach is like a muscle you can train.
• If you persistently have smaller meals, your stomach will naturally shrink as well, and it won’t need as much food to become full. The first time you cut down on your usual amount of intake, you’ll feel slightly unsatisfied or reluctant, but you’ll get used to it very quickly. You’ll feel the results of this theory in a mere week, try it. It does’t have to be a drastic difference. If you love rice, and are used to having it all the time for dinner, then instead of a whole bowl, reduce it to 3/4 bowl. After a week or two, reduce it to half a bowl. It will make a world of difference in time to come.

• Some people don’t know when to stop eating. (*raises hands* I am one of them!) They gorge themselves until they’re crazily bloated. You should actually stop eating when you feel adequately SATIATED. What does adequately satiated mean? When your tummy isn’t growling any more. When you feel like you’ve got enough in your stomach to keep you going for at least another hour or two, not the whole damn day. When hunger isn’t an issue, and when you can go back to functioning normally. Stop eating at that point. You don’t need to be FULL all the time. Eating till you’re full isn’t satisfying your body’s needs, it is satisfying your own endless greed. 

7) Pick up a friendly or competitive sport with a friend.

Hate going running, or to the gym? 
• Me too. The weather is wayyy too hot and humid outside to go running, and the gym is just…. well, boring. Sounds like excuses? They probably are. So rid yourself of excuses and pick up a totally fun sport with a friend! You’ll end up doing it for the fun factor, rather than exercising, which becomes a byproduct. I some times play table tennis with the boyfriend, and badminton with friends, and burn more calories than I notice. Other fun activities such as swimming works great as well – as long as you’re moving and using energy, you’re burning up calories. Exercise becomes a lot more bearable when you have a friend to motivate you – I prefer competitive sports so that I have a reason to perform even better and try harder each time we play! Find a spontaneous and reliable friend who’s willing to commit to a new activity with you. It’s important you find someone you can rely on to always show up, because if your friend / work out partner starts getting lazy, chances are you will get affected as well. Yoga? Soccer? Pilates? Tennis? Whatever you fancy. Just find something, and do it. Anything but sitting on your ass.

8) Lower your carbohydrates intake.

“Is butter a carb?” – Regina George, Mean Girls.
• No, butter isn’t a carb, Regina. Butter = fat. Technically, eating foods high in fat (oily friend chicken, fatty char siew) doesn’t make you as fat as eating carbohydrates does. If you made Person A eat KFC everyday, and Person B eat Pasta Mania everyday, Person B will most likely put on more weight than Person A because of their high amount of carbohydrates intake from the pasta. The biggest factor of my weight loss is definitely going on a low-carbohydrate diet. Low carb doesn’t mean NO carb, it just means I’ve reduced my carb intake significantly while still consuming enough to keep my body running normally. It is imperative that a person who wants to lose weight efficiently understands what carbohydrates do to your body. So let’s have a little science lesson.

What ARE carbs? Main sources of carbohydrates include noodles, rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, any starchy or sugary food. Sugar = also carbs. So that means an innocent looking piece of fruit or vegetable has a certain amount of carbs as well, for it is naturally sweet. Let’s use an apple as an example. But that doesn’t mean that eating an apple will make you fat –  there are good carbs, and bad carbs.

Good Carbs AKA Complex Carbs
• We can reap the health benefits of good carbs by choosing carbohydrates full of fiber. These carbs that get absorbed slowly into our systems, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

Bad Carbs AKA Processed Carbs
• We can minimize the health risk of bad carbs by eating fewer refined and processed carbohydrates that strip away beneficial fiber. Examples: white bread and white rice.

Carbohydrate Addiction
• The consumption of carbohydrates can actually cause an addiction for many people, because of the serotonin release they induce. Serotonin is a brain chemical that improves the mood and induces a relaxing effect by decreasing stress and anxiety as well as reducing pain. People with low serotonin levels may therefore reach for more and more carbohydrates in an attempt to feel better, which can eventually lead to weight gain.

Fat Storage
• After eating carbohydrates, the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which is mainly responsible for regulating blood sugar levels by letting the carbohydrates, broken down into sugar, enter the cells of the liver and muscles to be used for energy. However, insulin also has the role of regulating fat storage. High levels of circulating insulin, which are associated with the consumption of carbohydrates, help with the storage of carbohydrates and excess calories not required for immediate use as fat. In other words, carbohydrates promote the release of insulin, which in turn promotes fat storage.

(Source 1, Source 2.)

These days, I don’t even have to exercise excessively or starve myself to lose weight – I just have to lower my carbs intake, and I usually see weight loss results within days. I’ve lost as much as 2 kilos in a week simply by reducing processed carbs, and eating more protein, fat + complex carbs such as fruits and vegetables. Coupled with increased exercising, the results can be quite drastic. Like an 11kg sort of drastic-ally wonderful. Losing weight isn’t the difficult part, it’s MAINTAINING the weight that is the biggest hurdle. After losing some, you’ll gain some back… but your aim is to keep most of it off!

9) Always wear nice clothes that actually fit you.

Why? I’ll tell you why.

The Clothes Know Best
• The easiest, idiot proof way to tell if you’ve gained weight is trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans, or a dress that would normally fit you just fine. You don’t even have to voluntarily step onto a weighing scale to find out – your clothes will instantly tell you. Now, if you’re the type who likes to wear baggy, loose-fitting stuff all the time, your weight gain may not be immediately obvious. And it doesn’t feel good when your clothes that used to fit, don’t any more. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do something about it.

Baggage Allowance
• When I was a UK Size 14, some times I’d buy a dress that was UK Size 16 just in case I got even fatter. It was almost as if I was prepping myself for future weight gain. These days, I swear by all UK size 10 dresses, even if some times they’re a little tight around my hips or chest. On several occasions I wore dresses so tight fitting, I could barely breathe in them. BUT I’M NOT GOING TO BUY A GOD DAMN SIZE UP ANY MORE. Doing so is pretty much giving myself the OK to become fatter again. I will not accept this behavior from myself. What I wanna do, is downsize even more. If my dress is tight, I’m going to lose enough weight so that it fits perfectly, and hopefully one day it will be loose, like all my other now-redundant UK size 12s, 14s, and 16s!!! I have quite a lot of clothes that don’t fit me at all any more, mainly ranging from UK 14 to 16s. I know how hard it is to find nice clothes when you’re  of a certain size, so if you’re interested in buying my pretty clothes off me (all in perfect condition), drop me a mail at Shiberty@hotmail.com.

Wear Nice Clothes To Feel Good About Yourself
• There was a period of time I recycled the same old boring, ugly clothes over and over again, because those would be all that’d fit me. Fashion didn’t even matter to me, and I just let myself go. No make up, hair was shit, fashion sense was also shit… It was severely depressing. Even if you’re a big girl, you deserve to indulge in fashion! Pamper yourself and wear nice clothing. It will inspire you to shed some pounds so that you may look even better in future outfits. Completely letting yourself go and not caring how you end up looking or feeling like, is the worst possible thing you could do for yourself. Don’t let yourself go, don’t lose hope. I know its inevitable that you lose some self-confidence when you gain weight, which is why you need to regain your self-love back. Most girls don’t bother to lose weight because they don’t BELIEVE that they are worth the change, or that they CAN do it. Losing weight is 60% mindset and willpower, 25% dieting, 15% exercise.

10) Celebrate every victory!

…No matter how small.
• Keeping your morale up is vital for weight loss. Always think positive, and give yourself rewards for seemingly little achievements. You didn’t have supper last night? GOOD FOR YOU. You had grilled fish instead of pasta? Splendid. Buy yourself a little gift (a healthy cookbook?). Tell your boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, sister, brother or friend about it. Get them to support you. You won’t survive this journey on your own. Don’t beat yourself up over little mistakes, such as failing to resist your favorite dessert after dinner time. That’s okay. Just exercise tomorrow to burn the calories off. Don’t blame yourself if you’re not straight away seeing the results you were hoping for. It will not be easy, it will not be quick, but it will be completely worth every single tear and sweat drop that came out of this. By the end of it all, you’ll see that I was right. Like I’ve said before, you didn’t put on all that weight in one day, so don’t expect only a day to burn it off. …But it’s always better to be sore the next day, than sorry.

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Aside from all that I’ve mentioned above, of course I have to highlight that I was extremely fortunate enough to have undergone acupuncture weight management treatment with Eu Yan Sang and be their featured blogger, which gave me the push I desperately needed! Read about my weight loss journey with EYS here: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3. Oh, and if you have a friend whom you know that is struggling with weight issues or someone who needs some encouragement and inspiration – do me a favor, & help me share this post with them!

Always remember: Your body is constantly a work in progress.

No slim or trim figure lasts forever unless you bother to maintain it. And no overweight or obese person will be fat or thick forever either, unless you continue stuffing your face and gorging your body with unhealthy food day after day. I’m on the same path, just like you. We are all in this together. I hope by the end of 2013, I can look back on my current pictures and say “Look how much smaller my arms / thighs have gotten!”. TODAY is always the right day to start making a change. If you don’t do it in 2013, when will it ever happen? A year from now, when you look back, you’ll wish you’d started a year ago. Take it from a person who once proclaimed to the world that she loved food more than herself. I still love food to the heavens, hell and back. And I’m really fucking lazy when it comes to physical activities to boot. You can do it if you want to. But only if you really, REALLY want it badly enough. So ask yourself…. do you, now?

Hear this, and repeat after me: I’M DOING THIS FOR ME.

Not because some assholes are calling me mean names. Not because I’m being pressured into it. I’m doing this out of my own good sense and will because I’ve finally had enough of my own lame excuses. Because I need to start loving myself properly again. Because I deserve to be healthy, and happy.


Good luck!!!!!!!! 

xoxo,
Jess

Out with the old, in with the new

Hello.

Yes, I’m still alive, breathing and kicking.. after 2 weeks of not updating my blog. Here’s a hastily picture of me taken in a cab 2 days ago as evidence. Sorry for my disappearance. Don’t be mad at me.

Here’s a cute little Maltese puppy to beg for your forgiveness.

…No? Not good enough?

How about a cute puppy giving a cute girl a cute kiss on the cheek? That oughta do it.

Her name is Knuckles btw. She belongs to my previous high school teacher.

As you should know, I’ve been deadly busy with all the moving houses and stuff… finally, this end week feels a little bit more sane with some time to myself, and I look forward to days of doing nothing in December because I feel like I’ve had too many things to do for too long a time!

In actual fact I don’t have the time to blog in the first place but I feel bad enough for leaving this space untouched for a prolonged period of time so I’m going to finish this entry about moving houses before scrambling to do my advertorial. Here’s what I’ve been through the past 2 weeks..

Where it all began:

Sam dumping our stuff into big black bags. I was too emo and moping around in disbelief, to even begin packing till the very last minute. My idea of packing = grab whatever I can, shove them into bags until the bags threaten to break under pressure. Sounds easy but you would never imagine the amount of shit I have in my room!!! After throwing away lots, I’m still left with plenty.

And yes, Sam drew that picture of us that’s hanging on the wall…. but the frame came loose and it dangled sideways for a year.

Stuff on the floor.

More stuff sprawled across the bed. Yikes!!!

The only beauty I can find about moving houses (involuntarily) is discovering hidden gems. Look at this queer drawing I did back in high school. As in literally in math class I sat down and drew this. When everyone else was doing algebra, this was the kind of entertainment I’d fill my time with. Whatta freak lol. The words read: “I would like to have you for dinner…”

Clearly, I was a very disturbed child. X_X

The old house looking like a riot place as everyone madly runs about packing everything into bags and boxes….

It broke my heart to see all our nice things being put into cardboard boxes. :(

I know there weren’t going to be thrown away, but instead moved to a new home, but still….. I can’t help!!! I really do have attachment issues. This was the only home I’ve ever truly known. Well it is the first, but I know it won’t be the last.

My last night sleeping in that bed and room.

…When I wake up tomorrow, life will be different.

For the record, this is what I used to wake up to every morning!

My old room’s tiny innit? On the top green shelf there used to be mountain of soft toys, but by the time I took this picture most of my belongings were cleared. Sam’s widescreen com on the left, my square-ish one on the right. I prefer screens that aren’t too big so I don’t have to move my head when I’m looking at the computer.

This is me punishing my mum for making us move out, by having her carry my heavy boxes around.

Lol just kidding I’m not an imbecile. She just offered to help with that one particular box and didn’t lift a finger after that…

Speaking of my mother, I burst out laughing when I saw this old picture of her we uncovered whilst moving. She was 20 in the picture, and I am 20 now. I can see a MILD resemblance… do you? The lips (thin upper lip, thicker lower lip that juts out a bit) and almond shaped eyes eyes, mostly. Her nose is sharper than mine and my jawline is a lot more angular.

I’m looking at her lashes wondering if they’re real or photoshopped or what!!! I don’t know if they had photoshop or fake lashes back then O.O

I literally said out loud “Bye bye my room… I will miss you.” and everyone laughed. Why doesn’t anyone take me seriously???

Look at it.. its so bright, colorful and happy looking! Just like a kids room which I love coz some times I still feel like 10 years old. I miss my green shelves, purple table and bright yellow walls!

I also especially miss my traffic-light lookalike lights. They used a dimmer switch which is an AMAZINGLY underrated feature in houses.. all new age condos and private houses should install dimmer lights. Being able to adjust the amount of light intensity according to your mood seriously rocks.

As we were driving away in Simei for one last time, I tried to take a picture of Savannah Condo Park during a red light stop from the outside for keeps sake but this KNNB lorry decided to drive into my frame at the last split second my shutter went off. I didn’t even see it coming. Couldn’t resnap the shot because the traffic lights turned green…

 Oh well.

First few days of moving was Ikea hell. Needed to get new stuff for the house but it happened to the weekend AND a public holiday for Deepavali…. We were swimming in crowds of people!!!

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The new place:

For those of you who don’t know yet, I chose the Yishun condo in the end.

I would like to sincerely say a big thank you to every single person who has taken the time to leave me a comment on my blog posts or writing me emails to help me gain different perspectives on the situation, and giving me your 2 cents on the situation. Thank you for sharing your own stories, and for giving me the encouragement I badly needed.

You guys get me!

Someone told me, a home is not just a house. A home should be somewhere beautiful and comfortable where you can look forward to coming back to after a long day of work, a place where relationships grow and memories can be made. That really hit home with me.

So I’ve decided to stay in a totally new neighbourhood, Yishun (kind of in the middle of nowhere really) despite Novena offering extreme convenience. After all, what the hell would I do if I can’t bake or cook?!?! Although I wouldn’t call this place my ideal home or the epitome of comfort I’m quite happy to make the most out of what I have here. :)

Ta-dah. My new room at Yishun!!!! I got the master bedroom with a king sized bed and an ensuite bathroom, hallelujah!! This was the first night so it looks very bare.

I didn’t cry the first night sleeping here, like I thought I would. Ok maybe crying is a bit dramatic but I thought I would at least not be able to sleep properly… turns out I slept just fine despite the foreign environment because this king sized bed is actually damn comfortable o.o

After staying here a whole week, here’s how my room looks right now!
As a reader on Formspring requested: HOUSE TOUR TIME!!!! Welcome to my new place!

I’ve finished packing my clothes but there are still boxes of bags, trinkets, accessories and cosmetics to be unloaded neatly… phew... one step at a time!

My luscious king sized bed and pretty purple silk sheets which I get to relish every night, and my black and white furry bed guardians watching over me. They all have P names, just so you know.

Phillip (the biggest, the original.. and the dirtiest haha), Ping (the china looking one), and the tiny ones are Poing, Peanut, Paella, Parsley, Pepperoni, Potato, Pizza, Pineapple and Pumpkin!!! :D Unfortunately there is one penguin missing in this photo (11 in total) because I brought him out the other day and forgot to take him out of my bag still.

There is so much more S.P.A.C.E in my new room!!!

I can actually WALK around freely despite fitting a huge bed in it…. ahhhh. I try to focus on the good parts about my new place as much as possible, and have almost gotten over my break up with Savannah. Always look on the bright side of life!

Where I’m sitting now talking (typing?) to you guys!!!

My tiny computer desk which I bought from Ikea without measuring properly. Think I might have to go get a new one because this is annoyingly small.

Check out my wardrobe!!! It’s damn bigggg balllzz, and there’s TWO of the same sized wardrobes available.

So happy!!!!

Even has extra space to hang Sam’s blazers for him. It’s a helluva lot easier for me to find outfits these days. Previously I had to fold a lot of my clothes and folded clothes are a pain in the ass to take out and put back.

I mean I still have a decent amount of folded clothes in both wardrobes, but being able to hang that much clothes is a new luxury to me.

Take a peek inside my drawers, and you’ll find….


Forbidden stuff. Woops LOL. I may just be the first blogger in Singapore to publicly publicize her panties and bras on her blog. How???? Controversial and scandalous enough for you?

Told you I would make up for my absence in blogging.

Next drawer down is a lot more toned down.

Color pencils, books and stuff from when I used to be 13, pimply, bespectacled and absolutely alone in life besides these books I would escape into, wishing reality wasn’t real. I would stay up till 4am reading book after book in wide eyed wonder… these are some favorites I just had to keep.

Several display items that are close to my heart :)

I actually have A LOT of display items but I don’t have enough space to keep em so I’ve put away 80% of them in the store room in boxes… Amazingly enough in the 3 years I’ve had that killer whale photo frame, I never bothered to put my photo in it. I guess I like looking at it just as is. Some day I’ll finally have a photo of me interacting with killers in there!!!

A closer look at Baby Shiberty. Hehehe.

…I was so cute… mama, what happened to me???

This part, I thought some girls might be curious enough to wanna see :) A box of body lotions, contact lenses, a purple Prada purse, scrubs…

My sunglasses (mostly hidden unfortunately) and bangles collection! I prefer wearing bangles to bracelets because you just slip them on and go. I don’t like fiddling with hooks and stuff that slips around in my hands.

Lots and lots of hairbands, hair ties and clips!!! I love hair accessories!

One of my three drawers filled with crazy & beautiful necklaces. Am a neck piece kinda girl.

My bedside: Phillip, products I use often, my DSLR, a polaroid cam, Sam’s glasses & passport. No idea what the last two were doing there.

My own bathroom!!! Weeeeeee I hate sharing toilets with other people so this is a god send.

I’ve got a bath tub but haven’t soaked in yet because the faucet looks so oldddd and ancient I’m afraid of what would come out of it. Lol. I look forward to dressing this bathroom up with romantic candles over the course of this week, though! :D Then I’ll have a warm, bubbly soak.

The shower area, and a reflection of the toilet bowl. I like the marble flooring.

So, the only real complain I have about my new room…. is the window / view!!!! I only have one window in the room and it looks like this:

These blinds are so ugly, and old!

They might not look so bad in pictures but wait till you try working them. They don’t even go up or down properly any more. I wanna replace them with flowy lacey curtains, but then realized why the original owners (this is a rented place) installed blinds instead of curtains which are a more “open” concept…

The view is HOW uninspiring... LOL……. yeah, I’ll keep those blinds, thanks.

So sad lor!!! At Savannah I was spoiled with views of the PIE and lush greenery and fountains, here I’m looking at an unfinished construction site. *sighs* However, this does mean that this house keeps very cool in the afternoons, unlike my old place which had a lot of glass windows that did provide great views and sunlight but made the house feel like a green house every single day.

Also, I’m not sure where to store my hand bags.

Right now they’re just sitting in a pile beside my bed. How DO girls normally store their bags??? I’d assume their wardrobe is completely filled with clothes. I know people with the luxury of a looott of space can easily find a place for their bags, but even though I said this room is big, its not really big enough to house a huge shelf especially for bags. :/

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Ready to see the rest of the house?! :D


Our glass coffee table and the two humble couches. On the left is this lousy pok hard couch they left us with, on the right is a red couch we brought over from the old home which is covered mostly by… Oops, my giant killer whale Tilikum and Abby Bear… coz I haven’t found a place for them yet… I might be throwing Abby Bear out (sniffles. had to dispose of a lot of my things) and suspend Tilikum from the ceiling in my room just like my old place.

The whole living room area! Very spacious indeed. I’d love to have guests come over soon!!!! I can’t wait to host an advanced Christmas party here. I’ve already bought a festive bright red cake stand and I’m going to make a beautiful red velvet cake for my guests to go “oooh” and “Ahhh” at… omg I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!! This year I’m going to Bali with my family for X’mas! :D

The dining table they provided us with.

Meh, it’s a rented place so I’m not gonna bother about the dining table as long as I can eat off it and it doesn’t make me cringe too much.. but that thing hanging on the wall is so ugly!!! And kind of disturbing. Looks like torture devices or a really old sewing technique of sorts. Anyone know what it is?

My brother and Sam aren’t home so I couldn’t ask for their permissions to take pictures of their rooms but what the hell I’m going to do it anyway. This is my brother’s room. Most guys have utterly boring rooms.

And this is Sam’s! I gave him that domokun and scrumps toy :)

The kitchen is TINY and it gets really warm because not enough breezes come by. The only saving grace is the built in oven!!!

The fridge, however, is rather big. Haven’t stocked up on groceries just yet, had to throw away all my sauces and marinades in my old fridge which we left behind T____T

We have an enormous amount of butter because of my baking! All that much beer belongs to my Australian boyfriend Sam… you know, Aussies and their alcohol.

Most guests at our old place were amused with this pile of my baking supplies! Pull open those drawers and you’ll find bags of flour, cake decorating tools, piping tips… very fun to play with!!!

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Well that brings us to the end of my new house tour! The pool area downstairs is actually quite nice and reminds me just a little of my old condo, but I decided against posting pictures in the end because I don’t want too many people to know where exactly I’m staying in case they recognize it. I have a tendency to walk around my condo in my PJs sometimes hahaha. All I can say is I live quite near Yishun MRT! And even though Yishun is MILES away from anywhere except Northpoint, the heartland shopping centre, Northpoint is actually pretty cool. A range of restaurants to choose from (so much better than my old Eastpoint wtf) and a Party World KTV andddd a Golden Village cinema!!! Hurrah!!!!

And I actually live much closer now to a number of friends, to their delight. Because of this I’ve been having more suppers as they drive and pick us up to have yummeh food at 11pm… oh no! Both a good and bad thing.

I’m going to embrace this change of life. Thank you for being here with me. Talk to you guys soon.

xoxo,
Jess

The last chapter in Savannah

It’s been a long time since I was a model for a photo shoot.

Used to do it here and there for fun and for extra cash when I was younger and slimmer but eventually grew tired of the whole thing…. Nevertheless, it was really cool for me to be in front of the lens once again. I’m constantly in front of the camera thanks to my blogging life and vain friends, but to be a so-called “model” again for a day was extremely exciting! And tiring. I forgot that it was a tough job to do too. Waking up at 7am for godforsaken morning shoots, slapping on tons of make up on your face and forcing contact lenses into half closed eyes when you’re not even awake, rushing down to stupid isolated locations, trying to think of different unique poses that looks good on camera while balancing in heels and crossing difficult terrain…. Trying to breathe in tight outfits… Having to deal with perverted / condescending photographers (some times, but most of them were nice) and the list goes on! I think my least favorite part about doing photo shoots was letting other people do my make up. I really hate the amount of foundation they pile on and I always question if their brushes and products are clean enough. I don’t break out often but the worst break out I’ve had in my life was after a make up session with a terrible make up artist!!! Whole forehead covered in zits omg D:
Anyway today’s post is not a ranty, negative one but in fact a picture intensive, happy one. It was a real pleasure for me to have a photoshoot done with the amazingly talented Bobby Kiran Yeo. You might’ve already heard of Bobby before, or seen his pictures around somewhere because he’s a pretty popular photographer in Singapore!!! Especially his couple photo shoots, which are some of the best perspectives and angles I’ve ever seen. I wanted to do a shoot to take pretty pictures for my Youtube channel, Twitter & blog backgrounds… and we planned on doing it at Botanical Gardens at first, but eventually settled to shooting at my condo, much to my delight.
I thought it was a great idea because I’m leaving this place so soon, and these snaps would probably be the last pictures ever taken of me in this home. Like I said I’m super attached to this place so these pictures mean the world to me. They remind me of all the laughter and tears I’ve had around here and all the memories I’ve shared with friends & family. 
Enjoy the picture gallery! 
This is probably my most favorite one!! :) I like this so much I cropped it this way too:
Thank you Bobby for capturing these moments of me at home, and for being so comfortable & professional to work with! He’s funny, not overly pushy or too demanding as a photographer, and comes up with fantastic creative ideas. He was the genius who persuaded me to use Tilikum (my giant killer whale which I lugged back from Orlando, Florida, USA) as a shoot prop! It’s rather unfortunate that the pics had to be resized to fit my blog layout, what a shame. They’re incredibly high res and look so different when magnified full sized on a big computer screen in its full glory!!! O_O  Wish I could let you guys see the original versions. I have this urge to frame some of the best looking ones up in my new place LOL… But that would be too narcissistic, even for me.
Please show Bobby Kiran Yeo some support by following him on Instagram at @BobbyKiranYeo to get regular updates of his recent snaps on your mobile, or follow / “Like” him on Facebook here!!!
If you’re looking for a ROM / wedding / pre-wedding photographer, romantic couple shoot, or other photography services…. drop Bobby a message and let him know I referred you! :) Quote my name & “Like” his Facebook page for 10% off the total package. He is also available for surprise proposals, overseas shoots, birthday parties, blogshop shoots. You’ll love his work. He really does find the best angles and moments of each individual to bring out in his photography. Having shot with many different photographers before, Bobby stands out from the rest by letting you be yourself and letting your true essence shine through the photo. All pictures were taken in the beautiful holiday resort-like condo that I’ve had the privilege of staying in. Maybe now you can sorta understand why I’m so reluctant to leave.

..And with that, the last chapter of my life in the Savannah is finally coming to an end.
xoxo,
Jess

I love the iPhone 5……. and it loves me too

My mum is awesome in ways that are totally random. Random in the sense that she would call me up one fine afternoon, totally out of the blue, going “Do you want the iPhone 5?”

………..DO I WANT THE iPHONE 5? Is that even a question??!!?!!?

After 2 weeks of using it, I’m completely smitten. I love how lightweight it is, the processing is definitely much faster, the screen display is bigger and absolutely gorgeous. But most of all, I love the improved cameras. Both front and back. I’m constantly snapping pictures of stuff, and I hardly bring my DSLR out to play these days, so the iPhone camera HAS to do the job for me. I’m always snapping & uploading on the go. (Instagram & Twitter) I was using an iPhone 4 before I switched to the iPhone 5 so it’s a pretty big culture shock!!! For 4S users I don’t think the difference is that noticeable, although Siri is now more advanced. Except I still don’t use it to do anything practical except chatting with her when I’m awfully bored. (Siri, what is the meaning of life? Siri, I’m bored. Siri, what is love?). Anyway here are some iPhone 5 FRONT CAMERA camhoe snapshots for your viewing pleasure….. You will not believe how awesome it is!!! With good lighting and a steady hand, the quality is pretty damn good.

Warning: Do not proceed if you get deeply offended by overwhelming self-love, extremely long faux eyelashes and cleavage staring at you in the face.

I asked Sam what title would be appropriate for a blog post full of narcissistic shots. He said, “For My Male Readers”

If you’re wondering why the hell I’m dressed up to the nines…. well I was going to do an outdoor photoshoot to take some nice pictures for my blog & Youtube channel background the other day, but it rained as I was about to leave the house. :( So I did a mini photo shoot at home, with the new iPhone 5 & me. The rescheduled shoot is happening TODAY, with a talented photographer I really wanna shoot with, so…

PLEASE DON’T RAIN TODAY, WEATHER GODS. OTL

(This also means you will probably be seeing more photos of me on the blog in this similar get up in the near future, brace yourselves.)

xoxo,
Jess

Begin Again

There is a big surprise at the end of this lengthy post!!! If you are impatient you can skip it, but it would be nice if you read what I have to say first :)

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So…. sorry for the lack of updates recently, I’ve been working on something pretty exciting.

I’m quite emotional while writing this because I can’t believe it is actually happening. I really can’t believe I actually managed to get it done. Not without the help of some incredibly talented people who were generous enough to lend their awesomeness to me, of course. I don’t know where to start or how to tell you guys what I’m doing or what is on my mind. Let me try to phrase this into proper sentences.

Here goes.

I’ve always liked singing since I was a kid. My mum would tell funny stories to people during dinner time of how when I was 3 years old, I would walk up to strangers and start singing Michael Learns To Rock unabashedly. Obviously I’ve lost that flair along the way, because I am actually quite reserved in real life as an adult now. But the point is, I’ve loved music ever since I could remember. Growing up, whenever I felt neglected, alone, rejected, angry, sad, disappointed, confused… I would turn to music to console myself. Humans have never been there every step of the way with me, but music has. Soothing tunes would fill my ears and soul and I’d instantly feel my mood lift and the world seemed to make sense once again. When I got bullied in school, I dreaded waking up and having to go to school every single day. Then I joined the choir, and realized that whenever I sang my heart out, life was better. There wasn’t a bad day that a good song couldn’t fix. My relationship with music hasn’t faltered since.. and till today it is a huge part of my every day life.

So now you know how it all started. The second part of my story is to tell you guys why I decided to record a Youtube video of myself singing. This next part is going to be a little shameless. So bear with me. When I was in the school choir, my choir teacher called me the Reigning Queen of all the kids she has taught. Hahahahah I kid you not. To be fair, I was only 11 years old and I think she just liked me extra because I was the teacher’s pet and was happy to sing for her whenever she asked. M primary school friends didn’t understand what the word Reigning meant, and always made fun of me for being Raining Queen instead…. -_- Anyways, that was the first time in my life anybody told me I could sing. Since then, my choir teacher gave me the confidence to embrace singing as a hobby. I went karaoke-ing with my mother every other weekend, singing The Beatles, Carpenters, Eagles, and I loved every second of it. I thought to myself, “how nice would it be if I could do what I love for a living, and sing as my job? I want to grow up to be a singer.”

That’s my childhood ambition. To be a singer. To sing on a stage and hear people applauding me and singing along with me and all that jazz….. I feel a little bit embarrassed typing this because, whose childhood ambition was NOT to be a superstar?! Everyone wanted to be rich and famous. Everyone wants to be a superstar. I grew up wanting to be the next Avril Lavigne. She was my hero. (my new hero is Taylor Swift but that’s for another post) Much to my own disappointment, after leaving the school choir, I somehow never bothered pursuing my music hobby / ambition any further. I just left it as it is. The older I got, the less I believed in myself and it just seemed like a silly dream. When I grew older and reality sank in… I understood that being good at singing just isn’t good enough. Being just decent at karaoke will not make you a superstar. I realize that now. I pursued cake making instead which I realize a lot lesser people have the talent for (yay) so I felt a bit more special. I know a lot of people who can sing who never really got anywhere even though they tried, so I was worried I’d end up like them. I told myself, “Aiya, don’t embarrass yourself please. You think you really superstar meh? Your singing just okay only lor. Don’t be naive. Grow up, get a real job, live life like everybody else.”

But no matter what I did, the thought of singing never left my head. I would always be searching for Youtube covers online and admire people who had the courage to post their singing online. It seemed like so much fun. When you love music as much as I do, you would want to share it with other people, and have them share it with you. Even some videos that got less than a hundred views, I would still enjoy watching them sing and knew I liked watching them for their individuality and unique cover, not because they were the best singer in the world. I knew I would die with regrets if I didn’t get off my ass and record my own cover some day. To do what I’ve wanted to do, when I dared to dream. When dreams weren’t considered ridiculous and out of reach. What would life be worth if you never tried to achieve the impossible? It’s okay if I don’t become a superstar (LOL). It’s okay if my videos don’t get a lot of views, if people don’t think I’m that special, or if I never got that singing career I’ve wanted so bad. I can always have a normal working job, but sing as my hobby, sing because it makes me happy. I will do the things I like doing BECAUSE I LIKE doing them, I shouldn’t expect anything else to come out of it. I started my cakes at Shiberty’s Sweets (http://shibertys.blogspot.com) the exact same way. It exploded and snowballed into something bigger than I’ve ever expected, but I never intended to turn out that way. It just did, and I’m happy it did. If it didn’t, that’s fine with me as well. You guys have been so kind to me all this while, supporting my cakes since the very beginning, and some of you have been reading my blog for years, I know. I appreciate your encouragement and being here with me, watching me grow. I hope you like this new side of me (I’m actually moving and on video now!! Strange huh?) and that you welcome it with open arms because I’m going to be doing  many more covers after this, I reckon. You’re going to have to get used to it :P

I don’t know how people will react to my video, or if they will even give a damn at all. But I’ll tell you what. I am darn happy I actually managed to get it done, and watching it makes me SO excited for myself. Definitely made the right move here!!!! My friends and loved ones have been so supportive, it makes me want to cry. My best friend was literally bursting with excitement and it was so heartwarming to see how proud he was of me. My mother just kept smiling while she was listening, and insisted that I downloaded the song into her phone immediately. I didn’t think they would be even more excited than me. Thank you to everyone who has ever asked me to pursue singing and for making me believe it’s important to do what you love. Life is too short to live being practical every single day.

Some day you just gotta let all your reservations go, and sing.
Enjoy the music.

This is my cover of Begin Again, by Taylor Swift, with Sky Ong. A track on her new album Red which will be releasing 22nd October 2012.

I would LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK if you posted it on Twitter / Facebook / anywhere you want to, or shared it with your friends!! If you don’t like it, I promise I will try harder the next video, and even harder the next. And diet a bit more so my arms don’t look so flabby lol… The camera being lower than my face is not a good angle… We finished recording the main voice audio and filming the video in less than 5 hours! Not bad huh? How long Sky took to record the instrumental and mix everything else is a different story altogether, of course…

If any musicians, music producers or videographers would like to work with me for future Youtube videos, please email me at Shiberty@hotmail.com because I’m going to need all the help I can get! :) For those who are doing this professionally and are for hire, feel free to email me your rates as well.

Big big big shout out to Sky Ong who you also saw in the video!!!!!!! ♥ He came up with the kick ass instrumental track, and is the genius / master mind behind this whole video. He plays the drums, guitar, sings a bit, and does everything else in between omg. We did the filming at East Coast Park, and mixed the song in his home studio!! How crazy TALENTED is he?! You don’t know how much this all means to me Sky. Love you big time! He’s also in a local band called Black Forest, do check their music out here!

Special thanks to super sweet Xin Ang as well, who provided the lovely backing vocals and the harmonizing bits, which helped me in the parts I struggled in. You sound like an angel girl! She also played the bass in the instrumental track and was a huge help for filming. All these people, so multi talented! Love!!! And thank you to Huiwen for hooking me up with Sky in the first place! You guys are srsly da best.

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You’d make my day if you hit the play button… and let the music Begin Again! :)

xoxo,
Jess
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