Recycling Clothes from the 90s & 00s

I am a hoarder. It is sad, but unfortunately true. I have stuff in my wardrobe from as far back as the 90s!

My defence is that because I haven’t changed dress size, they still fit the same. Just a few styling tricks to make them look new again for 2018, and voila, no need to buy new clothes!

Here are some of my personal favourite pieces that have stood the test of time (and fashion trends!).

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Dear 2017

If I had to describe 2017, I’d say it was a year of learning. There were the fun bits: I got to travel to many places, I made new friends, strengthened other friendships and gained many new experiences.

But 2017 was also a year of many changes and challenges.

I naively thought that hitting my 30s meant I was finally an “adult”; that there wasn’t a whole lot to learn and even less to grow.

This year, I was humbled to find that I have so much more to learn – and a whole lot more growing up to do.

Took a long, hard look at 2017 before I wrote it a letter and finally bid it farewell. (Which is why this video is a few days into this fresh year.)

Melbourne City with Jade Seah (Part II)

Part II of this travelogue where you can join us as we explore the city!

We had such a great time driving out of Melbourne city to Mornington Peninsula, where we spent our time picking strawberries, riding horses by the beach, venturing through grass mazes and petting kangaroos, wallabies and koalas! Watch Part I of this travelogue here.

We then drove back to the city where we checked out Hosier Lane, Crown Casino, Queen Victoria Market and other gems.

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Wedding Preparation

So I’m getting married soon, and don’t I know it, with all the reminders from well-meaning loved ones! To be honest, I always thought I’d get married much later in life, like at 40, so this is all coming a lot sooner than I’d expected.

Anyone who says planning a wedding is easy must be mad (or the most organised person in the world). I am obviously not…least not the organised part, heh. And so it’s been one kind of journey for me…some parts kind of fun, others, not so! I shamelessly ask brides-to-be, no matter if they are close friends or not, “Where to start?!”. Many brides, gown designers and even florists say, “Pinterest”. And so began my Pinterest journey.

I started with flowers. I love flowers, and started with the kind of floral arrangements and colours I would like, as this would set the mood for the wedding. I don’t have one absolute favourite flower per say, but I am partial to deep red roses and wild flowers in all shades of whites, pinks, purples and cornflower blue.

Jade Seah Wedding

While I like white, I love a mix of colours and I definitely prefer more random looking-arrangements; nothing too perfect or tightly-arranged. Some Pinterest inspiration I found:

Jade Seah

This is one of my own arrangements I did a few months ago – so excuse the bad photography!

Jade Seah Wedding

And this is one of my favourite bouquets to have received so far – made even sweeter that it was a surprise delivery on my birthday! Look at that mix of colours!

Jade Seah Wedding

So having decided on the flowers, the next thing that excited me was…the dress. Funnily enough, many people, my mother included, thought I already knew what kind of dress I would want for my wedding. I don’t! I’ve never had a ‘dream wedding’ ideal in my head. To be really honest, I wasn’t even sure I’d ever get married, so a fella was never really in the mix –  this means I never had the luxury for years of planning/thinking about this whole wedding thing!

But I digress. So on gowns… I don’t even like gowns. For my Catholic Confirmation at sixteen, my cousin wore a lovely full-length white gown – I wore a bias-cut slipdress (looking back, slightly inappropriate for church, but ah well…). For my JC prom, when all my girlfriends got dolled up in what they now call ‘cupcake dresses’ – usually a bustier top with a poufy, ballgown-skirt – I wore a little black dress.

I only wore a ‘gown’ for my TKGS prom at sixteen – it was a simple, slim-fitting, strapless A-line dress in navy. (Ahh…the three years I suffered a bad smile in braces…)

jade seah

In the course of my work as a Mediacorp artiste, I’ve had to wear gowns a few times and never felt too comfortable in them. Like this red gown I wore to some awards show is lovely, but I remember feeling like I’d played dress-up in someone else’s closet that night.

Jade Seah weddingThere was one year I wore a simple, slim-fitting, strapless A-line (spot the trend! haha) Valentino for Star Awards, and I think that was one of the gowns I didn’t mind as much.

Jade Seah weddingI also really like this gown by my childhood friend, Jade Swee of Time Taken to Make a Dress, that I wore for the premiere of The Phantom of the Opera. (Excuse the bare feet! It was taken at a gf’s place and you know we Asians don’t wear our shoes into others’ places!)

Jade Seah Wedding

jade seah

I’ve always felt like a bit of a dork in gowns, and I absolutely hate gowns that feel ‘prom-like’ – no poufy confections for me!

So I started pinning potential gowns on Pinterest and it took a pretty long time! I went through so many gowns that just didn’t appeal to me – too poufy, too revealing, too form-fitting, too ‘prom-like’, too glamorous – so here are the few that did:

Jade Seah Wedding

Jade Seah Wedding

Working with Casey of Calla Bridal to design a gown for my wedding…you can check out some of the process in these videos!

Will show more of the dress in time!

Actually, while Pinterest is a great place to start when looking for wedding inspiration, in ‘kiasu’ (for non-Singaporean readers, translation/meaning of ‘kiasu’ here) Singapore, the very first thing you must, must MUST settle is the venue. These things get booked up fast, dang! I never realised…

With both my man and I being Roman Catholics, the church wedding mass (or ‘service’ as is more commonly known outside the Catholic circle) is the most important thing. While we both met in the Church of the Holy Family in Katong (the old one, before it was completely demolished to make way for the modern building that now stands in its place…sigh), we preferred a smaller, more intimate place for our wedding mass. And so began the search and decision on the church for the wedding.

Tip to all Catholics: should you wish to be married in the Church of St Teresa, book like two thousand years in advance or something! I don’t know why, but it seems to be the most popular Catholic church in Singapore to be married in – perhaps that it is all-white and sits pretty atop a hill in Kampong Bahru?

jade seah

Jade Seah
(Photo credits: here)

Think about it: there are only 52 Saturdays in a year available for weddings – and these get booked up REAL fast. So many girlfriends have settled for Friday weddings as they are insistent on being wed in St Teresa’s…thankfully neither my man and I have such desires. We picked a church that was meaningful to us, picked a Saturday, and we worked everything around that date. Easy peasy!

Next came the decisions for lunch/dinner venues. A few that we shortlisted:

1. The gorgeous and historic Alkaff Mansion

jade seah wedding alkaff mansion

2. My number one pick for a lunch venue (never been a fan of this formal dinner thing; I just want a big, casual buffet lunch without much fuss like having to deal with table arrangements) – the breathtakingly gorgeous Flower Field Hall at Gardens by the Bay

Jade seah wedding

Jade Seah wedding

I love going to Gardens by the Bay just to look at and enjoy the beauty of the plants. It’s like a garden wedding without Singapore’s tropical heat (I don’t actually mind the heat but I got many protests when I mentioned an outdoor wedding to friends and family…boo.)

Sadly, this is waaaaay over budget, so had to scrap the idea… It’s so beautiful though. You should definitely consider this if you have a bigger budget!

3. The lovely (and also historic!) Burkill Hall at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Burkill hall Singapore Botanic Gardens

Love that it’s a restored colonial house, and that it’s in one of my favourite places in Singapore – the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

4. Another heritage site set in lovely greenery: the old Changi Command House, now known as Changi Cove

jade seah wedding changi cove

changi command house

changi command house

What a lot of work! Had to go down to recce the spaces, work out the cost (as a lot of these places don’t have set packages; have to bring vendors such as caterers, flowers, alcohol in separately)…

With that settled, I could move on to more fun (and slightly vain and frivlous, heh) things such as hair and makeup.

I want to work with so many wonderful makeup artists who have since become friends. However, I can only work with one person on the day (boo!!) and so came the very difficult decision. It’s not that I feel the one I finally decided on is superior to the others; it’s simply that I know what kind of makeup I want on that day, and this person has created exactly that look for me before for a magazine shoot.

I want a really soft look for makeup. Something like this:

Jade Seah makeup

To be able to carry off this kind look requires great skin (okay, and those cheekbones wouldn’t hurt…). I’ve always had slightly problematic skin – I still get breakouts (yes, what the hell, right??) and there are periods where my skin gets flaky and rough too, which then triggers a new wave of breakouts, argh! All this is made worse each time I travel (and I’ve been travelling quite a bit!), and especially so when I visit non-tropical places. I think my skin is only really happy in the humid tropics!

For this reason, I do not turn on the air-conditioning when I sleep. In fact, I am not a fan of air-conditioning at all! Not only do I not like feeling cold (and I get cold really easily) I hate how it dries out your skin, hair and throat. I’ve never understood why so many Singaporeans ‘cannot live’ without the A/C.

Jade seah
Photo credits: here

Yes, I use a moisturiser to try to combat this, and I also always bring a richer moisturiser with me on my travels. I find myself still suffering peeling, sensitive skin when overseas though – it’s like the moisturiser doesn’t absorb as much as it should, and sits more on the skin’s surface, or something. However, I’ve recently found that the secret that saves my skin when away on winter trips – oil! Putting oil on one’s face is such a counter-intuitive thing to do for us Asians, and especially from us Singaporeans. Most of us suffer from oily skin and a lot of us have had to battle acne breakouts at one point in our life or another. A lot of this is blamed on excess sebum (oil) being secreted, and the reason for this is precisely our humid climate. So most of us from this part of the world would never think of putting more oil on our faces! But for some reason, oil gets absorbed into my sometimes patchy and peeling skin a lot more readily than regular moisturiser!

Ok, to be fair, it’s not just any oil (don’t go putting cooking oil on your face, pleas!). It started when I was introduced to Clarins’ Double Serum by a friend, after I was complaining to her about my skin woes. She told me about this product that was literally two serums in one – the two serums are even contained in separate chambers within a single product.

jade seah
Photo credits: here

The two liquids are ‘lipidic-oil’ and ‘hydric water’ which is a dual formula that apparently mimics skin in this ‘golden ratio’ of oil to water, which encourages maximum absorption into the skin – instead of sitting on top like some moisturisers do. I love how it sinks into my skin and doesn’t feel oily at all. Heads up though, if you’re a fan of gel-based products: it definitely feels a lot more ‘silky’ then the after-feel of using gel-based stuff. I personally dislike gel-based products as some ‘sting’ and I also don’t like the ‘cooling’ sensation when you first put gel stuff on the face. The skin also feels ‘unprotected’ after using such products and looks as dull as it did before – oftentimes it feels a bit of a waste of my time applying the stuff. I caveat that this is a personal preference. So I like the Clarins Double Serum as it absorbs quickly, is easy to spread (I follow the Clarins’ way of warming the product between my palms then pressing it on the face) and leaves it feeling silky smooth and ready for sunblock and makeup. Bonus: the botanical oils smells like a spa on your face!

This is how it looks like when you pump out the product. You can see the distinct two serums.

jade seah
Photo credits: here and here

So no more ‘cracks’/peeling skin thanks to the superb hydration properties – our skin is apparently made up of oil and water and hence needs both. So that’s one skin woe solved, but there’s a wonderful side effect too: it’s a superb anti-ageing product! My fine lines have been reduced, my skin looks a lot more radiant, even sans makeup and I feel like the skin is slightly firmer and more lifted – yay! Was at dinner with a gf I haven’t seen in awhile last week and mid-meal she suddenly asked what I’ve ‘done’ – “you look younger, babe!”. If that doesn’t make me want to stick with it, I don’t know what will. Such bimbotic vanity, I know, I know… But I only share good things, so:

Try out this product for free by clicking here!

On top of this, to get my face in shape, I have been avoiding the sun (I used to sun tan regularly!) and doing sports only before dawn or in the evenings. Sun damage! I’ve also been keeping up with my Shaping Facial Lift routine; you can read more on how to get a smaller face and take a good selfie here.

Next, hair. My hair stylist is super excited and asking me what kind of hair I would like for the wedding – I don’t know! Up? Down? Hair up? All I know is that I don’t want it straight, and that I don’t want it looking too ‘done’. But since I have naturally stick-straight hair and get it permed regularly precisely so it isn’t stick-straight, that’s a bit of a no-brainer, heh. Recently filmed a video with her where we explored different types of hairstyles for the wedding – look out for it soon!

Some hair ideas I’ve explored:

jade seah

Jade Seah

And a sneak peek of one we tried for the ‘Wedding Hairstyles’ video coming soon on my channel on ChicPeek:

Jade Seah

So that’s venue, flowers, church wedding dress, makeup, skincare and hair covered…look out for the next post(s) where I’ll share honeymoon plans (woo hoo – most fun part of wedding planning!), hen’s trips, designing the evening gown and more details on the rest as I countdown a few more months to the big day!

Flashback Friday

So while I haven’t made the time to do a ‘Draw My Life’ video, I found these old pictures while clearing out my computer! I think I scanned them for a magazine interview I did for i-Weekly or something quite awhile back, so I thought to share. Take it like a precursor to a ‘Draw My Life’ video. Don’t laugh k!! (Try hard not to, at least? LOL)

I don’t have a lot of baby photos. Apparently, I wasn’t a very cute kid, so my (much cuter!) older brother with the huge eyes got more photo love. It’s ok, it made me have to try harder to develop winning charm and personality since my face didn’t do it, hahaha!

I had a simple, but extremely happy upbringing. It was just four of us when I was born (my younger brother would only be born when I was a teenager), and my family is very close-knit unit, including the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Both my folks worked full-time, but they were the kind to make the effort to take us out as often as they could. Growing up, I assumed that everyone else’s folks did this too, but I now realise just how much of an extra effort my parents made, especially given the limited time and money they had, and I am very grateful. Guess my love for the beach started with them; they’d take us to East Coast almost weekly. Sometimes we’d go to fly kites, sometimes to play ball, catching or just to run around like the crazy kids we were. There was always food – it was always a picnic with sandwiches, chips and biscuits. There would almost always be a home-cooked curry, and now and then we had barbecues with a small pit my dad would bring.

In case you’ve ever wondered, I hardly post pictures of those closest to me because I respect their preference not to. My loved ones are very private, so I try hard to find pictures that don’t include them. (It really limits my photo choices sometimes though!)

This was when I was in primary school. Yes, I was a KC girl. I have no idea why my uniform was such a different shade from everyone else’s though!

Sports, art, music – I wanted to do everything in school! Co-curricular activities (CCA), or extra-curricular activities (ECA), as they were known in the 90s, were only for those in primary three and above, but so when I was in primary one, my cousin and I managed to convince the school we ‘had’ to be allowed to be in the art club. I remember many a Saturday morning spent in school, learning to sketch, draw and paint. I don’t think any of my early works of art survived though, so none to show here.

I was so happy when I turned nine and was in primary three. All the CCAs for the picking! On top of the piano lessons I was having at home that I had bugged my folks to let me have, I begged mum for violin lessons when a violin CCA class opened. Sadly I broke my first violin en route to my first class – I was excitedly skipping and swinging my new instrument as I did; it slipped out of my hands, smashed into a wall and the chin rest broke off. That was a short career indeed. My folks were pretty mad with me and refused to buy me another one.

Mum had told me stories of how she wanted to be a Girl Guide when she was in school, but the family was so poor they couldn’t afford the extra money for her to buy the Guide uniform. I decided hence I wanted to try to be part of a uniformed group too. I joined the Brownies in school, not really knowing what it was they did. I found I really liked how they tried to help people and to make the world a better place. Some of the fantastical bits appealed to my geeky side as well – the groups were known as packs, and each one of us was part of a pack – we were either Fairies, Pixies, Gnomes, Elves, Goblins; cool stuff like that. I remember being sad I was a Gnome, when I really wanted to be a Fairy or Elf (they looked so much prettier in the pictures in the Brownie Handbook!).  Still, I was pretty stoked to be part of this (what I thought was cool) group. I made the most of it and I enjoyed the activities and the outings. I was even made a Sixer, which is kind of the leader of a pack. This is me all geeky-happy trying on my brand-new, too-big and un-ironed uniform at home. Couldn’t even keep my eyes open lol.

We played netball once for Physical Education (PE), and I fell in love. I liked music, loved art and enjoyed being a Brownie, but it was in sports that I really felt I belonged. I joined netball as a CCA, and when I’d made it to the school team in primary four, soon found I had little time for other activities. =( My other interests took a little backseat, and I never made it to become a Guide.

Secondary school – now that was one wild ride. Will share more soon! Tell me what CCAs you joined in school, and share your memorable experiences with me too please!