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

xoxo,
Jess

Heaven in the hills

I’ve been to Perth so many times now but I’m still discovering new fantastic places to be every single time. Tourism Western Australia, you should honestly just hire me like right now. What are you waiting for?
My visit to Araleun Botanic Park was peaceful, serene and beautiful. There were very few other people in the huge grounds besides Sam & I so it was incredibly romantic to boot. It’s like we had this all to ourselves and we’d left the rest of the world behind. The weather was also thankfully being kind to us – after days of thunderstorms and hail, when I was at the park we had a little bit of sun, light breezes.. not too cold or hot. So happy to be surrounded by fields of gorgeous tulips, lush greenery and to breathe in the fresh, crisp air. I absolutely love how you can find natural gems like Araleun Botanic Park and Cottesloe Beach less than an hour from the city. We came at just the right time – in the middle of Winter and Spring, so the tulips were out and about. I hear in the summer, the tulips are replaced by beautiful rose blooms.

Araluen Botanic Park
362 Croyden Road Roleystone WA 6111

xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Shunji Matsuo @ 313 – My Salon Sponsor!

Located at Somerset 313, Shunji Matsuo is a Japanese-influenced salon that I’m happy to say is my new hair salon sponsor!!! :*

I’m very pleased to welcome Shunji Matsuo as my new hair sponsor because I adore their central location. I frequent Somerset 313 for my shopping and dining needs (Namely Forever 21 and Marche!) and it’s so convenient that I can now get my hair done there as well, then proceed to have an awesome day out in town with a fab new hairstyle!

You’ll probably spot Shunji Matsuo from afar because their wacky interior design really stands out among the cluster of other monotonous salons also at Somerset 313.

Huge, brightly colored polkadots are all over their walls! Brings the place to life.

I was pretty nervous about doing my hair here for the first time. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way before trying out a new hair stylist or salon. They can either make or break your look!

MAKE ME BEAUTIFUL PLEASE!!!!

Upon being seated, I was asked for my choice of beverage to be served, and then Eddie, my stylist for the day, came over to assess my hair and we discussed what I wanted done. I told him that my previous ombre dye job was very faded (which for the record was not done at Shunji Matsuo), and it’s time for a fresh new look!

The last time I did purple and pink ombre, now I want to go full-on bright red. I want my head to be a ball of fire!!!!

I specifically highlighted to him that I want bright red hair, BUT I didn’t want to bleach my hair, because my hair was already dry enough from the previous bleaching and dyeing. Demanding customer yes?? Lol. Want bright color but don’t want to bleach. Eddie took on the challenge and said he’ll do the best he can!

Here I am with some futuristic heat lamp rotating above my head, to set the color. I love and hate salon at the same time. Love them because I am always excited to get a mini make over, but I’m so impatient, sitting for a few hours in a salon absolutely kills me!!!

He used a Matrix red dye for the top part of my head, and an Acid color for my bottom bits! I DIG THAT RED. Reason for 2 different dyes is because he needed a stronger color to wash out the purple / pink that was faded but still evident on my ends. I didn’t question him much about the exact dyes he was gonna use because I decided to take a leap of faith and let him decide what would work best for me.

The red dye comes out so far towards my face because I have a lot of stray baby hair flying about :3

After a few hours and several rounds of tedious coloring, and lots of hair washing (Eddie gives good head massages! ♥_♥)…

Coloring done!

 Now to blow dry my new red hair!!!!!!! About this time I started singing in my head, “I’m sexy and I know it.” LOL.

I like it so much, thank you Eddie!!!! ^_______^

 He’s really quiet but sweet and professional when it comes to doing my hair, making sure I was comfortable and that I liked what he was doing every step of the way. I always prefer male to female hairstylists because I find they’re more gentle with my tresses than girls. I have this theory that male stylists are more gentle because they’re afraid of hurting girls, but female stylists are just gung ho and could care less about brushing your hair too hard / giving you too rough a hair wash. Anybody agrees?!

Before I go on to post a barrage of recent pictures of myself with red hair, I’d like to give a shout out to Shunji Matsuo for doing such a good job. I wasn’t sure of how much I’d like it, but I love the outcome. You’ve earned me about 50 more compliments since I dyed my hair 2 weeks ago ahahaha.

For those of you who are interested, here’s a rough price guide for you to check out! Please don’t ask me about their pricing and approach them directly to find out more about their services and rates instead as it depends on your hair length, which stylist you get, etc :)

Shunji Matsuo Hair Salon @ 313

313 Orchard Road, #03-26,
313@Somerset, Singapore 238895

+65 6238 0226

Email: lovehair@shunjimatsuo313.com.sg

Alternatively, find them on Facebook here.

Do make an appointment in advance and let them know which stylist you want, because it got sooo busy during late afternoon to evening time despite it being a weekday when I was there!

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Ok now to bomb random pictures of me with red hair taken recently!!!!!!!!

CALL ME ARIEL! (lol shameless but I do wish I was a mermaid)

The top park is still darker than my ends because I’d previously bleached the ends, but refused to bleach my top part too just to get it all the same tone.

So it’s technically still ombre, but a single colored ombre style. Definitely digging this more than multi colored ombre because the latter has become just too common now!

It really depends on the lighting as well… some times it looks full on bright red for my whole head, which I LOVE.

I can’t believe Eddie managed to get the top part that red without bleaching!!!

A pic with my cute blog manager, Jayne!

I think dyeing my hair ombre and embracing loud colors was one of my best decisions of 2012. I feel so alive every time I look into the mirror!!!! Even if I’m bored, I don’t look bored. Because how can a person with awesome hair like mine be bored?! Just looking at my own hair keeps me entertained. Only people with boring hair get bored!! *flips hair*

../lol bimbo mode ON.

I actually prefer this fiery red color a lot more to my brown and pink and purple ombre dye, which I also loved, but that was so difficult to match clothes with. I couldn’t wear colorful outfits because I felt like there’s too many different colors going on and I looked like a clown / walking christmas tree. I think red hair goes with pretty much any color, hence I’ve started wearing blues and greens more which I couldn’t even dream of doing with purple AND pink AND brown hair…

Hello! My third ever green dress to exist in my wardrobe. Only $39 from H&M. Gotta love cheap buys.

Ok this is totally random but my mum bought this red Kate Spade jacket recently and I stole it for awhile to take pictures in it – IT’S SO CUTE!!!!!!!!! And, of course, it matches my hair.

I want to wear this around Europe and visit the Eiffel tower in it!! ….Whenever I actually get to go to Europe.

Sam and I at at Universal Studios Singapore’s After Party event recently :)

With bright hair like this you really have to take care not to soak it in water for too long, or all the color is going to come right off! Hence the bun up during my bubble bath. With a good color protecting shampoo and shampooing every 2 days instead of daily…. my hair is still a lovely bright red after 2 weeks ish!!

End of picture spam. Going back to Shunji Matsuo to get a nourishing hair treatment soon to ease my dry hair ends, I can’t wait!!!

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P.S – Totally unrelated content, but I recently made a round of ASOS purchases and accidentally clicked on a few items twice, and ordered more than 1 of each item without realizing, wtf. Don’t ask me how I did that, lol, all I know is I have extra copies of pretty stuff now, so I thought I’d sell em off on my blog instead of letting them rot in my wardrobe as back up pieces!

I’m selling ASOS Shirt Dress in Daisy Print in UK 10 Size



Click here to see me wearing my own piece!

And…

Johnny Loves Rosie Garland Headband – Freesize, velcro adjustment at the back for easy wearing


You can click on the links above for more details about the products. Prices going for very similar as to what is stated on the ASOS website because these brand new items literally just arrived on my door step a few days ago! Can be picked up personally or I can mail it to you.

If you fancy these pretty items, email Shiberty@hotmail.com with subject title ASOS and state your interest! ;)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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