Dec 31, 2014

2014: Year in Review


Happy belated Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your beloved ones and had your wishes come true.

I can’t believe this is the last day of December and even more mind-blowing that this is the last day of 2014.

Looking back, it’s been an adventurous year with all the good and not-so-good experience mashing up together.

I remember I had a rough 2013, which is why at the beginning of 2014, I told myself “you know what, I’m in charge of my happiness and I’mma start focusing on myself now.”

So that’s what I did.

Taking that first step was hard, I almost forgot how to be “selfish”. I’m not trying to brag that I’m the most selfless person on this earth, but I used to care so much for every single thing, or every single person, and most of the time, for the wrong people and forgetting about myself.

However, I find myself to be more spontaneous and carefree this year, and it feels damn good. I’ve always been a planner. I plan out everything beforehand and things should go the way I plan otherwise I’d be upset. But I managed to let go this part of me, not all though, because some things are really need to be planned, and I’ve become less rigid.

This explains the impromptu travels, blind dates (yes omg, can you believe it) and generally not giving a damn of what other people think. Some say that this is being ignorant, but hey, ignorance is a bliss.

Oh, I think I have not shared that my name is on the acknowledgement page of a book. It’s my previous boss’ book that I had been helping with earlier this year and this is one of my greatest achievements so far.


So yes, I got a new job this year. Not exactly my dream job but I get to meet a bunch (and I mean a BUNCH) of new people. I also started taking Chinese class again and joined a few interest groups. I’m happy to say that I can call some of the new people I’ve met this year good friends of mine now.

I’m still an introvert though, although I can be the most extroverted person among the introverts. I’ve been working on it and actually I have seen an improvement this year.

I’ve let go of the past that I had been holding on to for too long and I’m not taking the what-ifs and all the “we’ll see”s seriously anymore, because I know they’re just false hopes and hell no, I’m not waiting for anyone or anything to come my way anymore, ain’t nobody got time for that!

On a different note, I’m also very happy that two of my good friends from Uni have gotten married this year. Funny thing is that both of them are the ones who had very little dating experience and ended up with their first bf/gf. I’m expecting some offspring next year and I can’t wait to hold them in my hands.


photo (2)

Again, on a random note, I’m still keeping my hair short this year and I think I prefer it this way. You know what they say, short hur don’t currrrr.

photo (1)

That was my update for this whole year. Overall it’s been a good year, especially that I get to make new good friends from different places.

Main lesson from 2014 and previous years:

Don’t depend your happiness on anything or anyone, because if that thing or that person leaves, he/she/it will take the happiness from you. Be your own happiness.

I hope next year is just as good or even better. Can’t wait for the new adventures and experience in 2015!

Having said this, I wish you a very happy new year! May joy, happiness and blessings be always with you.

Have a great New Year’s Eve everyone! Stay safe and take care <3


xo, Jo

Nov 18, 2014

‘Begin Again’ Soundtrack + Fashion (#TT149)

Hello lovelies!

Have you watched the movie “Begin Again” yet? If you haven’t, GO WATCH IT. It’s like a musical 500 Days of Summer and I just love it! Keira Knightley is amazing as usual, but in this movie it’s a little more special because she sings! And it’s her real voice, I was like wow it’s so good! She has that Norah Jones kind of voice but sweeter. I watched the movie like a month ago but only recently started digging out the soundtrack list. This movie is just my favorite kind of movie!

Check out some of my favorite songs off the movie:

My favorite scene!

This song is just brilliant.

Adam Levine also has his own version below.

Both versions are equally good, but I guess I still like Keira’s better as it has a different feel and emotions to it :)

The weather is so gloomy nowadays, it rains almost every single day and I just like to listen to something soothing, lightweight and calm (if that makes sense lol). This movie soundtrack is definitely my current go-to playlist. Have I mentioned that I love Keira’s voice?

I basically fell in love with Keira’s character, Gretta. Cool personality, great talent, and also awesome fashion sense! I wish I could steal her wardrobe because I love every single outfit she wears in the movie.

I L.O.V.E every single outfit on Keira Knightley in the movie "Begin Again". (collage not made by me).  Read my opinion about the movie:
Keira Knightley in Begin Again
cropped high-waisted pleated pants in 'begin again'

Love the laidback preppy-ish style! I need a wardrobe transformation!


Have a lovely week ahead :)

xo, Jo

Nov 16, 2014

Taylor Swift’s “1989”– My Top 5 Songs

Hello lovelies!

As you may have or have not already known that our girl Tay-tay just dropped her latest album last week and I thought I would write a short review since I had pre-ordered it and started listening to it non-stop ever since it was available.

The genre of this album is obviously pop, but thank goodness it’s a good kind of pop where lyrics still matter. Many of the songs kind of sound hipster-ish and indie-influenced, which are very much reflected from the polaroid album theme.

The original album consists of 13 songs, while deluxe album has 3 bonus songs plus 3 bonus audio tracks of Taylor sharing her experience during the song writing process.

If you have listened to ‘Shake It Off’, let me tell you, the other songs sound nothing like it. I don’t mean it in a negative way, but they’re not the catchy type that you can’t get it out of your head for a couple of weeks then get sick of it after a month.

Since YouTube still pretty much restricts the original songs to be posted, I can’t post them here. However, I’ll post some of the lyrics instead.

5. How You Get The Girl

My first impression of this song is it could be a great soundtrack of a movie or TV show. The chorus is catchy enough without being too overwhelming. The lyrics is basically some advice from Taylor to guys out there on how to get the girl y’all! Guys, pay attention. I also like how she has a little twist in it.

And then you say,

I want you for worse or for better,
I would wait forever and ever,
Broke your heart, I'll put it back together.
I would wait forever and ever.
And that's how it works
It's how you get the girl, girl...

Tell her how you must have lost your mind.
And you left her all alone, and never told her why (why).
And that's how it works.
That's how you lost the girl.

4. Out of The Woods

I’ve reviewed this song in my previous post here. Unfortunately, the video is no longer working because Taylor and her label basically removed all of her “1989” songs from YouTube and Spotify. She even removed ALL of her songs from past albums off Spotify (sad face).

3. Style

I’m not a big fan of the verses, but I love the chorus. I also really like of how this song is produced, the music sounds very modern and just plain cool. On a random note, am I the only one who pictures Harry Styles here? Sorry I had to lol.

You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
'Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style

You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt
And I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
'Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style.

2. I Wish You Would

Ok, I think I just found a new trend here. Again I love LOVE the chorus but not so much on the verses. This song has a very cool set of guitar chords and I think the verses could have been done better with a more interesting tune. Every time I listen to this song, there’s a tiny little feeling inside of me saying “man I wish the verses were more interesting”. But perhaps it was purposely done to get the feel of the story behind the song. As for the lyrics, girllll I know exactly how this feels!

I wish you would come back
Wish I never hung up the phone like I did
I wish you knew that I'll never forget you as long as I live, I
Wish you were right here, right now, it's all good, I wish you would

I wish we could go back
And remember what we were fighting for
I wish you knew that I miss you too much to be mad anymore
Wish you were right here, right now, it's all good, I wish you would

1. Blank Space

OMG, OMG, first of all let me just say this. I am BEYOND excited when I found out this was a single because this song is my absolute favorite from the beginning. If you listen to the bonus audio from the deluxe album, you can hear how this song was first made acoustically and I wish there was a full track of the acoustic version because I love it. Anyways, this song was on repeat for one full week and I didn’t get bored of it at all. And now the music video is here!!! It’s a pure gem. Just watch.


Till next time!

xo, Jo

Oct 21, 2014

We were built to fall apart (#TT148)

Hello lovelies! 

Have you listened to Taylor Swift's "Out of The Woods"? It has some pretty interesting lyrics which many claim as somewhat confusing. But somehow to me personally, I can relate to the song. It's about that state in a relationship that you're not sure where it's going to. It can be scary, it can be exhausting, but it can be exciting as well. 

"Out of The Woods" is not a single. Instead, Taylor released her latest single "Welcome to New York" today. Stay tuned for next week's post!

On a different note, I find that my music playlist nowadays is a little different than usual - LOTS of catchy DJ songs. I think I just want to listen to something that makes me wanna dance and forget about the world a.k.a work, people's attitudes, judgments, struggles to fit in, and "friends". Being in my own zone and not thinking about what other people think is just awesome. SHAKE IT OFF BABY!

Below is just a taste of my current diverse playlist. So shall we dance together? :)

Have a great week ahead!

xo, Jo

Oct 12, 2014

Cleansing Oils: Fancl, DHC, Origins, Boscia


Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while!! I’ve been wanting to post this since forever but never really had the time to really sit down and blog.

I’m sure most of you are already familiar with cleansing oils – oils that claim to remove your makeup much better than other regular makeup removers. I’ve tried a few brands that are popular for their cleansing oils, so read more for the reviews!

First of all, when I wanted to try cleansing oil for the first time early last year, I had decided that I wouldn’t opt for the mineral oil based, e.g. Shu Uemura cleansing oils, as I’d prefer more natural products. Coincidentally, my then-colleague gave me a sample of DHC cleansing oil! The tiny bottle is so cute :3



This olive oil based cleansing oil removes my makeup pretty darn well. After cleansing, my skin feels smooth and there’s no tight feeling on the skin. However, after several uses, I find it quite drying on my skin and gives me a breakout, not a major one though, but still. I think because after using cleansing oil I still wash my face with my regular facial cleanser so it over cleanses? So yeah, if you have a dry skin, you may not want to use this every single day. One more thing is that it stings my eyes so bad! This concludes that I won’t purchase this product, sorry DHC!

Next is another sample! Haha. I visited a Fancl outlet and asked whether they had a smaller sized bottle for the cleansing oil, they said they didn’t but gave me a sample instead. This one has thinner consistency compared to DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, clear in color and does just as great job in removing my makeup. It also doesn’t sting my eyes as bad. I personally like Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil better than DHC’s. It doesn’t have scent either, while DHC one has a slight chemical scent.


While I quite liked the Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil, I decided to try other brands just for the sake of exploring different options. Fancl also closed down its stores in Singapore not long after that so I couldn’t go back to purchase. I did my research and listed a few brands. One of them was Origins Clean Energy and after trying this cleansing oil, I knew I had made a right decision!

Clean Energy™ Gentle cleansing oil

The consistency is just nice - not too thick but not too thin either. It removes makeup well and has a slight flowery scent since it has sunflower and safflower oil in it. It stings the eyes a little if you really work the oil to remove the waterproof eye makeup. It’s free of parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance and color, petrolatum and not tested on animals. Love it! The only minus point is the packaging since they don’t sell the bottle with a pump and we need to buy the pump separately. I know other countries may sell the pump packaging but not in Singapore.

IMG_1245Finished til the last drop!

Last but definitely not least, it’s the infamous MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil!


This one has the lightest consistency by far, I was so surprised of how watery it was at the first time. The color is greenish and has a hint of minty eucalyptus scent and it’s literally cooling on the skin. The oil is derived from various kinds of plants such as eucalyptus, olive, safflower, jojoba, eggplant, turmeric, henna, basil, rose hip, green tea, and many more! I LOVE this cleansing oil and I actually see an improvement in my skin that the whiteheads are lesser than before. I thought Origins Clean Energy was the best, but I guess I may give the title to Boscia Makeup-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil =)

I’m aware that Boscia has another newer product of cleansing oil – Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel, I’m guessing that the consistency is thicker since it’s gel. By looking at online reviews, many people still prefer the MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil. I’d love to try it though! Anyone tried it before?

Which is your favorite cleansing oil?

xo, Jo

Aug 19, 2014

Switch of Pop (#TT147)


Taylor’s new single “Shake It Off” really REALLY surprised me (not in a bad way though). I was like, “Tay..lor?”, I guess it’s time to say goodbye to fairytale country music.

But actually a shift in music genre can be expected, since her previous album “Red” is more towards pop than country. I think pop suits her, plus we get to see her “fun” side a little more through pop music and of course, her cute awkwardness =) I’m excited to hear the rest of the songs off her new album “1989”.

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, shake it off

On the other hand, the ever sweet Hilary Duff released another single titled “All About You” which has a little country touch. Some refuse to call it pop country, but use a term “pop folk” instead. Well, to me personally there are no defined lines amongst music genres today, everything mashes up together and most of them sound great. I remember the first “mashed up” genre that I listened to was by Forever The Sickest Kids, and apparently it was called powerpop rock/punk. I LOVED IT.

I really really like this song and I can’t wait to see the official music video. It’s definitely more catchy compared to “Chasing The Sun” I shall expect different varieties of music from Hilary’s new album!

On a random note, I feel like chopping my hair off again to shoulder length, just like Hilary’s =) need to gather courage to do it though because it really takes time for my hair to grow.

Meanwhile, enjoy the new music video by Maroon 5 for their latest hit “Maps”!

Thoughts on Swift’s and Duff’s new music?

xo, Jo

Jul 30, 2014

Hilary Duff is back! (#TT146)

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you’d know that I’m a huge fan of Hilary Duff. Her music comeback is definitely one of the things that I’m super excited about, although I kinda like her more as an actress. Nonetheless, I like her songs, especially those from her first album, “Metamorphosis”. It’s her best album in my opinion. I’m so gonna buy her new album!

She’s still as pretty as ever!!! Her body is more muscular though lol. This song is refreshing and so summery =)

What do you think of this song?

xo, Jo

Jul 16, 2014

Jenny Lewis, Colbie Caillat & TFIOS Soundtrack (#TT145)

Hello lovelies!

If you think you're having a boring week so far, watch this music video by Jenny Lewis and I promise that it will give you a smile! You may see some familiar faces in awesomely unexpected costumes :)

Another great video of a great song comes from Colbie Caillat. This song has such beautiful lyrics which conveys an important message and every girl/woman NEEDS to listen to this. 


How many of you are fan-girling right now? :D

I just watched the TFIOS movie last week (I know, I know) and I just LOVE the soundtrack. I would also like to make a confession..

I didn't shed a tear watching this :O which was really surprising!!! I almost teared at one part though, ALMOST. I purposely watched online at home so that I could be the worst crybaby ever without anyone judging, but at the end of the movie I didn't use a single tissue lol. 

I'm not sure whether it was because of the slightly poor audio or the fact that I paused the movie several times to do other things, or my overall sensitivity has decreased haha. Anyways, it was a good movie and it was slightly different than what I had expected, in a good way :) 

The full soundtrack list:

1. Ed Sheeran -- "All Of The Stars"
2. Jake Bugg -- "Simple As This"
3. Grouplove -- "Let Me In"
4. Birdy -- "Tee Shirt"
5. Kodaline -- "All I Want"
6. Tom Odell -- "Long Way Down"
7. Charli XCX -- "Boom Clap"
8. STRFKR -- "While I'm Alive"
9. Indians -- "Oblivion"
10. The Radio Dept. -- "Strange Things Will Happen"
11. Afasi & Filthy -- "Bomfallarella"
12. Ray LaMontagne -- "Without Words"
13. Birdy -- "Not About Angels"
14. Lykke Li -- "No One Ever Loved"
15. M83 -- "Wait"
16. Birdy ft. Jaymes Young -- "Best Shot" (bonus track)

My favorites are "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX and "Bomfallarella" by Afasi & Filthy, which are also the only two upbeat songs in the entire list. 

She has been mistaken a lot by people as Lorde. Well, that was my first impression as well, thanks to the thick wild black wavy hair, but she definitely has a different style. Love this song!

Next is a hip-hop Swedish duo whom I think are pretty darn rad. (Thank you John Green!) One of them kind of sounds like Eminem. When I first listened to this song, I was hooked immediately. When I listened for the second time, I thought this was the same song as the song Julia Stiles danced to on a table being drunk in the movie "10 Things I Hate About You" (one of the best movies ever btw), but later I found out it was "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G. They both share similar beats! 

That's all for this week. Till next time!

xo, Jo

Jul 13, 2014

Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner & Remover Review


I went to Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner launch in Sephora Singapore a few weeks back, just because they had appealing promotion. At the end I got my hands on their sunscreen “Dream Screen” as well. I might do a separate review on that.


The promotion was that if we bought 2 They’re Real! products, they would give a free They’re Real Mascara in mini size and a cosmetic pouch. I got the pouch (and really liking it), but not the mascara because it was out of stock when I arrived there as it was limited =( the staff only told me that it was out of stock AFTER I paid the products, in which I got a liner and a remover – because I thought I would get the mascara so I thought I’d just get the remover. Quite disappointed as I really want to try the mascara and I’m not even a mascara person. Heard good reviews about it, so perhaps next time!


Opening up the liner.. Upon opening the cap, you will see this tiny orange plastic protector at the AccuFlex tip. Just take it off and twist the base for the gel to come out. I was really excited to try this liner, as it’s quite a breakthrough for a gel liner.


For the first time, you may need several twists to get the product squeezed out, but after the first use, you only need one twist and it allows you to draw up to 5 thick strokes.


This liner is designed for those who like their eyeliner thick, as it’s quite tricky to work it for thin look. Consistency wise is pretty smooth and very black, but it may get flaky when you do layering. I don’t know whether it’s because my eyelashes are rather long, but when I blink, I can see flakes from the product fallen on my upper cheeks and the roots of my eyelashes clump together.

Natural look vs winged look


They’re Real! remover is described as gel remover, however it’s more like a lotion-based to me. I personally like the packaging because it’s very slim and sleek. I guess it would not last very long if I use it everyday since you need a pretty significant amount of product to saturate the cotton pad to completely remove the They’re Real! eyeliner. It still does the job though.



They’re Real! push-up liner:

+ Handy, no brush needed
+ Good for thick and winged eye look
+ Waterproof
+ Dries quickly

- Flaky
- Can be a little messy
- A little tricky for thin natural look
- Not very smudge-proof

Will I repurchase – probably not, I still prefer the conventional gel liner in a pot with a brush. I just find it easier to control, has better consistency and more smudge-proof. But if you’re curious to try and you’re a thick eyeliner person, I think it’s worth the try. Price wise I think it’s still reasonable, around SGD38.

They’re Real! remover:

+ Does a decent job
+ Light consistency
+ Nice packaging
+ Not drying

- Tube hole is too small
- Require a generous amount of product to completely remove eye makeup

Will I repurchase – maaaaybe. It’s an okay remover, but I still prefer water or oil based type of remover though, since you don’t need a lot of product to completely remove the makeup. I’d feel cleaner as well.


Have you tried Benefit They’re Real! products yet?

xo, Jo

Jul 9, 2014

Summer Jams (#TT144)

Happiness and Music Rebecca Bains Thinking in the sunshine gazing out to sea ,  warmth on my bones,  lungs of fresh air :)

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while! Weekly post has become monthly post now haha. I guess that’s what you get if you have a busy life..

Anyways! I present to you my top 10 favorite songs at the moment. I spent quite a while narrowing down my favorites to top 10, so I hope you enjoy it! (Click the song title to listen on YouTube)

10. Mr. Probz – Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)

9. Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Latch 

8. Route 94 ft. Jess Glynne – My Love

7. Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be 

6. Klingande – Jubel (Original Mix)

5. Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)

4. AJR – I’m Ready

3. Becky G – Shower

And the TOP 2….

2. MKTO – Classic

Always puts me in a good mood!

1. Gallant - Manhattan


You may see a new trend in my music picks here.. More than half of them is techno/DJ-mix type of music. I’m surprised as well!! I guess I like those that are not too loud? In terms of beats and basses. The pure party music just gives me a headache after 5 minutes lol.

Can’t wait for 26th July!!! I’ll be with my friends in Jakarta celebrating… many things. Haha it will be a fun crazy night ;)

Have a splendid summer!

xo, Jo

Jun 4, 2014

Love finds you (#TT143)

Hello lovelies!

Can we just stop doing everything and listen to this song for a while? It gives hope for the broken hearted. 

I know people make promises all the time
Then they turn right around and break them
When someone cuts your heart open with a knife, now you're bleeding
But I could be that guy to heal it over time
And I won't stop until you believe it
'Cause baby you're worth it

So don't act like it's a bad thing to fall in love with me
'Cause you might look around and find your dreams come true, with me
Spent all your time and your money just to find out that my love was free
So don't act like it's a bad thing to fall in love with me, me
It's not a bad thing to fall in love with me, me

"Yes baby, I'm bleeding. Please heal me."

That was my first official response to this song. The lyrics are simply HOPE. 

Then I went to watch the video on YouTube, and I really didn't expect to watch a love documentary. Watching this gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside, until a part came when a couple said "love finds you". I don't know why, but it just hit me and I swear I almost teared. 

Probably because my underground mission now is to find love. These three words simply tell you (well, me) not to rush because without you knowing, love is on its way to find you. There will be a time when it finally finds you and all the wait becomes so worth it.  

I have to admit that I create stories a lot in my head on a regular basis of a possible happy ending. My happy ending. Every time when I start to think "this part of storyline is impossible to happen", I told myself "well, that's the point. Since it's not gonna happen, you can just let it exist in your daydream." I know, I know, I mind-talk to myself a lot. Lol

Anyways, I think this song will be my theme song for the next.. Well, until love really finds me. 

I've discovered one strange thing. While I'm getting prone to be emotional these days (screw hormonal imbalance, I might need to check with a doctor), I find that my resistance of pain is somehow getting stronger. Probably I'm like a shattered glass, it's already broken, so how more broken can it get, right?

In fact, I'm more drawn to things that may possibly hurt me. In this case, what Gotye says can really be applied "you can get addicted to certain kind of sadness." It's oddly true.

So that's it for this week. Just one song. Well, I do listen to a lot of songs these days, thanks to Spotify (found my love for Ariana Grande and Chinese songs lol), but I dedicate this post to this one song only. 

If you're interested, you can find me on Spotify under "limjoanna"

Thanks for reading and caring.

xo, Jo

May 26, 2014

Kunshan/Shanghai Trip - Chinese Wedding


One of my closest friends in Uni has finally tied the knot! The wedding took place on May 18th at her hometown, Kunshan, China. I got to be one of the bridesmaids with other 2 girls, whom one of them is my Uni mate as well, so we flew to Shanghai over the weekend. There were lots of food, drinks, driving, and zero beauty sleep. Let the photos do the talking!

Trying out which dishes to be served on the actual wedding dayIMG_5187IMG_5376

Mini bachelorette room partyIMG_5192

Bensu Private Pickled Fish Hotpot (‘private’ here refers to their home recipe lol)IMG_5201

Chinese massage on the night before the wedding (the bride really pampered us)IMG_5213

But after that we got hungry and dropped by KFC for supper at 00:00 hrs (sorry not sorry)IMG_5218

The wedding day!

The beautiful bride :)

Groom came to bride’s house to pick her up and invite her to their new homeIMG_5221IMG_5231IMG_1106

Me at the wedding reception hall during rehearsal! :PIMG_5361IMG_5364

The wedding ceremony

Next day: BBQ lunch before heading back to ShanghaiIMG_1137

The newlywed with our wedding card!

Fried Xia Long Bao!

Night-out before going back to Singapore the next day :/IMG_5339

Last meal in Shanghai:
Traditional Xia Long Bao


Dumplings, rice siew mai, fried pork chop with fried rice cakeIMG_5281

Warm beancurd with soy sauce, chilli oil and salty condiments IMG_5285

Pork noodles

Avril Lavigne lemon tea! Haha

Best liquor in China!!!! The aroma is like chocolate to me ;)IMG_5288

Many people seem to be tying the knot these days. It’s wedding season! Congrats to all the newlyweds!

xo, Jo