Sunday, August 30, 2015

Justice League Run Sg 2015

Another Sunday morning once again spent waking up at 6am to get ready for another organised run. This time it's the Justice League Run. Hubs sprang this run on me a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, hubs forgot that I'm no longer the 50kg woman he met decades ago. He ordered a size 'M' shirt for me which is a little small around the shoulders for this mama of two.

This run is a fun run, at Sentosa, my least favourite place to run. Getting there is a pain. We took a taxi and due to the driver making a few circles, I left the taxi with a bit of vertigo. I rarely have vertigo so the taxi driver must be really terrible.

This is the race route. It's a 5km fun run. You know what that means? Walkers, prams and kids.

I went as Wonder Woman.

By the way, can Wonder Woman fly? I was a little envious of Superman's costume as it came with a cape.

Majority of the participants came dressed in the Justice League tops. (The superman in the middle is a cosplayer)

See the other cosplayers on the platform? Some look quite spectacular. I did see a very puny and short superman.

Hubs went as Green Lantern. I was hoping he would wear the eye mask but he didn't.

Unlike us, some participants made some effort to jazz up their outfits. I didn't understand the tutus though. I saw more than one tutu.

The run was crowded as expected. Everyone jostled for space. But the weather was good (unlike the Hello Kitty run which poured) so that immediately made everything better. I hated the upslopes and there were a few. I stupidly ran up the first slope and on top, my legs nearly died. So I walked up all the slopes after that. Once we were on flat ground, I felt a lot more comfortable.

Hubs ran ahead of me because I'm a much slower runner. He was at the last 1km when he spotted me running in the opposite direction. Why do I look so crazy when I run?

I remembered to take a pic of the FINISH. The end of a race is always anti-climatic. Like you cross the finish line and it's over. There isn't a bigger effort to cheer the participants in the last few metres. Compared to the start of a race, there's so much energy and noise...

My timing according to my app is 42 min which is roughly how long it takes me to run 5km.

We were given some sweets desserts.

I was hoping for a banana but I got this canned fruit in sweet syrup. And no spoon. So I ate the fruits like a superhero. I used my fingers.

Hubs was totally drenched after the run.

I looked like I just got out of the shower.

I hope hubs lets me sleep in next Sunday.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Weigh In Friday - Worked My Butt Off

Hello people,

My daughter informed me it's depressing to read my blog nowadays because all I talk about is my on-going saga of food sensitivity, bloating and headaches. I'm going to listen to my daughter and avoid any mention of illness, ailment or food related issues on my posts from now on. Except on my Friday's posts. So if you don't want to get depressed, just don't read my Friday posts. Deal?

First up, I want to say I've felt really good this week. I attribute it to 2 things: the probiotics I had been taking and making good food choices. The doctor only gave me 1 week's worth of probiotics so I hope the good effects stay. I still get a small amount of bloating but no headaches. The last time I had a headache was last Saturday. In my demented mind, I decided that Korean Fried Chicken could cure me. So when hubs brought home his Chicken-Up leftovers, I ate two wings.

Because the wings had been kept in the fridge overnight, they no longer tasted good. In fact, I didn't enjoy it at all. But I have abstained from fried chicken for so long, I just ate it. I am a weak person. My stomach informed me that it hated Chicken-Up fried chicken. I got sick as a dog. Huge thundering headache and so much wind I thought I would burst. It took me 6 hours to get rid of the wind and headache.

Apart from fried chicken, I also discovered 2 more items gave me excessive wind. The first one is leek. I have never bought leek in my life but nowadays I'm so garang. It seems, for me at least, leek produces huge amount of wind. So no good. Another thing which is a complete surprise to me is my Sensodyne mouth gargle. wtf? I gargle. I get wind. So weird, right? I've never used this brand of mouth gargle before and I started using this just about the same time I got this condition... Is it possible this is the trigger? Anyway, I'll never know. Whatever, the condition is triggered. Not using the gargle doesn't solve the problem. And yep, I'm never using mouth gargle again.

But other than fried chicken and leek, I made very good food choices. Most of the time I cook my own food because I find that's easier than looking for safe food outside. This week I ate out a number of times and to my delight, I got away without headaches.

I thought I might have some issues with this chicken soup (Tokyo Stew from Soup Spoon) as it looked oily but I had no problems. I did exercise some self-control and only drank 1/3 of the soup.

The doctor said I wasn't supposed to take spicy food but I ignored her advice and ate curry chicken at Curry Times. I love curry chicken but most places cook it with coconut milk which I am not allowed to eat because coconut milk kills me. Curry Times is the only restaurant that I know of that does not use coconut milk. And I had no problems after eating. In fact, I think my stomach loves curry. Don't worry, I'm a changed person now. I won't eat curry chicken every day.

This salmon meal from Lena's is a safe choice because my stomach loves fish. I did avoid the cream.

By the way, I can eat potatoes! I can eat potatoes! In my past life, I seldom eat potatoes other than french fries and sometimes mashed potatoes. I was more of a rice/noodles/bread kind of person. Now suddenly potatoes look very attractive to me. Being able to eat potatoes has opened up more food choices for me when I go out to eat. One of the things hubs and I used to do a lot before my food issues was go out and eat at different restaurants. Now that I can venture out and eat at a selected number of places, I'm starting to feel like a human being again.

Oh, you know what I did once I knew I could eat potatoes? I went out and looked for potato chips. I found this organic, lactose free, gluten free hand cooked potato chips which cost just under $3. I haven't tried it yet but I know it's going to taste delicious.

This week I tried a new oat drink. There's an organic store 5 min from my home and it stocks Oat-ly. For breakfast, I like to rotate a few safe food so I don't get sick of them. I have oatmeal porridge, rye crispbread with jam and oat milk with kamut cereal. Oat-ly doesn't seem to go well with my kamut cereal. It's almost like eating cereal with water. However, on its own, Oatly tastes fantastic. There is a chocolate version which I will definitely buy on my next trip.

With all that tasty food going into my stomach, I knew I couldn't lose any more weight without working for it. So this week I worked my butt off. I walked and walked. Especially after dinner. Where I live, there aren't many places to walk to. So it's been quite boring but I kept up my walk. I went for my run 3 times. I did my Pilates and I made sure I didn't overeat.
This morning I weighed myself and was rewarded with my new weight. 58kg.

Last Friday, I weighed 58.8kg. This means I have lost 800 grams this week and a grand total of 5kg since 21st July 2015.

28th Aug 2015 - 58kg
21st Aug 2015 - 58.8kg
14th Aug 2015 - 58.9kg
7th Aug 2015 - 59.9kg
21st July 2015 - 63kg

This 800g loss was hard earned. I need to lose 1 more kg to reach my target weight. I predict it's going to take a while to lose that last 1 kg. Next week I hope to maintain my weight. I won't lose any sleep if I put on a few hundred grams. It's bound to happen. I shall keep up my exercises, eat a normal healthy diet, indulge in one or two treats and absolutely stay away from Korean Fried Chicken.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pattern Shop Updates

Hi guys,

If you buy my bag patterns, I have a few updates for you.

Firstly, I've decided to lower the price for my Messenger Bag. I designed this pattern as a learning bag for a beginner transitioning to a larger and more complex bag. This pattern was published in 2012. Unfortunately sales has never been good and it's been almost 3 years. I've thought about it and decided I will slash the price permanently from US$10 to US$6. I have updated my Etsy, Craftsy and other stores with the new price.

This news affects you only if you reside in a EU country. Etsy now collects EU VAT for digital sales if the buyer resides in a EU country. This means that on top of the selling price of my pattern, you have to pay the prevailing EU VAT rate of your country. This VAT doesn't go to Etsy or me. It eventually makes its way to the EU VAT tax collector of the customer's country. I get customers from EU countries once in a while. Most of my customers are from US, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

Even though I don't have a large EU customer base, I would like to encourage them to buy from me. I have thought about how I can get EU customers to pay the same price as my other customers from US, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

Anyway, my solution is this. I have set up my Payhip store such that I pay all EU VAT out of my own pocket. The catch? My Payhip store is very slow to load. However it is a low maintenance site for me. I only pay a fee when I sell anything. So I think I can afford to sponsor the EU VAT. The shop has a shopping cart so you can buy more than one pattern at a time.

To encourage you guys to give this slow tortoise Payhip shop a try, I have created a special coupon for you - ILOVEU25 which gives you a 25% discount storewide valid till 31st August 2015. Apply coupon code only at Checkout. Click here:
If the site takes too long to load, just click refresh. And yes, in case you're wondering, anyone can use this coupon, whichever country you live in!

This is a small rant as a Etsy seller. When Etsy announced that it would collect and remit EU VAT for EU customers, I was one happy bird because it meant I didn't have to do the work. However, since implementation, I have noticed that Etsy is doing it in a way that makes me shortchanged.
Say I sell my lunchtime pouch pattern to a UK customer.
Price : $6
VAT at 20% for UK: $1.20
Total: $7.20

Rightfully, I should only receive $6. However, Etsy has chosen to do it this way instead. It treats the transaction as $7.20 instead of $6. Because of that Paypal charges me 62 cents fee instead of 56 cents fee. So I end up forking over an additional 6 cents to Paypal. At the end of the month, Etsy collects from me my fees plus the EU VAT I have received.

You may think 6 cents is nothing but it adds up. Plus it's wrong that I should be penalised because my customer resides in a EU country. Hopefully this problem gets rectified.
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