Friday, January 29, 2016

Weigh In Friday - Eat, drink, run

Hey folks,

Did anyone miss my Weigh In Friday's posts? It's now a monthly post as I felt it was a little unhealthy to keep weighing myself every Friday!

Up until Wednesday since last December, I had been living a pretty good life, sleeping whenever, waking up whenever because my kids did not have school. Sadly, today my girl starts her first day in junior college. It's a 2-year course and I have to wake up at 6am every school day to wake my girl. Her school is about 35-40 min away from my home. Luckily she can get there by train without any transfer needed. Today she told me she reached school a bit too early so I think it's safe for me to wake up at 6:15am instead. 6:15am versus 6am is a big difference, I can tell you that.

So where was I? Ah yes, in my last post in 2015, I mentioned an appointment with a dietician. So I went to consult with one. I had many of my questions answered. How I translate these answers to a healthier diet is another matter.

Firstly, based on the food I am able to eat, I do not suffer from celiac disease (intolerance to gluten). I do suffer from lactose intolerance. This is a problem as I do not have enough calcium. I can rectify that by taking soy bean milk or oat milk fortified with calcium. As you know, I developed a sensitivity to some food since last July such as rice, bread and possibly others. The dietician went through the list of FODMAP food items and after a long q&a, he eliminated FODMAP as a problem as well. Which is good news because the list of FODMAP food items to avoid is very long. But it is also bad news because my case is unique. That means the only way I can find out if a food item suits me is to try it and see what happens. Ugh!

For my diet to be healthy, I have to ask myself 3 questions:
1. Am I eating enough? Loss of weight means no.
2. Does my meal contain fruit, vegetable, grain and protein?
3. Is the portion sufficient for each category of food?

I know I am eating enough because I haven't lost any weight! I'm not eating enough vegetables for sure because I don't really like to eat vegetables. Shhh. Don't tell my kids. As for fruits, I need to eat a larger variety. I had been avoiding oranges and other citrus fruits due to my gastritis (GP's advice). But my new doctor has told me not to avoid any specific food unless I know it causes me problems. In fact, the two things I have to avoid is coffee/tea due to the caffeine as well as oily food.

So I'm literally back to square one. On my own. Figuring things out. What I can eat, what to avoid. It's very tiring going through the headaches and stomach pains and bloatedness. But I get days when I feel good. These good days keep me going and give me hope that one day I'll get to eat food like a normal human being again without all the side effects.

I weighed myself this morning and horrors, my weight is 57.7kg. I must be eating very well. My last weigh-in was 27th Nov 2015 and my weight was 57.1kg.

I'm not going to kid myself. There's no way I can keep my weight at 57kg. Below 58kg is the best I can do at the moment. My dietician said I am at a good weight now. However, he noted that I consume a lot of sugar via the drinks I drown every day. We'll talk about the drinks in a while.  Honestly, I like how my body looks now. Sure I would love a little less belly fat but I don't know how to make that happen. Any ideas?

So one of the findings during my session with the dietician was that I drink a lot of oat/soy milk. These milk does contain some sugar and that's probably how I manage to gain weight.

Apart from my favourite Oatly drinks, I've gotten to like these soy milk. They don't taste like soy at all and most importantly, they're sweet. Bought these at Jem Fairprice Xtra.

I tried PureHarvest Oat milk but I didn't like it as much. It was too milky for my taste. It's really hard to get this product. I found it at Jem Fairprice Xtra.

I think I will always like Oatly milk best. I try not to drink too much of the chocolate oat drink because it's really sweet and so, so delicious. The original and organic ones aren't as sweet so I try to rotate them.

Anyhoo, I had this question for the dietician. Am I taking too much oats? On top of oat milk, I also eat oatmeal and oat biscuits. Well, the dietician's view is oats is safe to take as it's good for cholestral lowering and it also contains fibre. I just have to watch the sugar content.

Still on the subject of oats, I discovered that steel cut oats are healthier than quick cooking oats. As such, I bought some to try. I found this container of oats at a hospital pharmacy. It takes 30 min to cook 1 cup's worth of steel cut oats so I keep the leftovers in the fridge to eat over a few days. Taste wise, I much prefer quick cooking oats from Marks and Spencer. Steel cut oats is nuttier and not necessarily in a good way. Still, I don't mind eating these healthier oatmeal once in a while.

I haven't neglected my exercises. It seems running is really good for my gastritis. The pounding forces the wind out of my system and I feel really good afterwards. I try to run 2 to 3 times a week and walk at least 5000 steps on days I don't run. I did really well for 2 weeks in January until I was hit by food poisoning last week. This week I got back on track and hopefully I will keep going. I started my once a week pilates class again. I haven't gone for this class for a year and it seems my teacher has aged!

Next month I hope to improve my diet and start cooking more again. My kids have been eating a lot of fast food!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is it a zip pouch?
Since I published my latest bag pattern - the iPhone wristlet (see post here), this question has surfaced.

Is my iPhone wristlet a zip pouch?

The answer? Yes and no.

Yes, my iPhone wristlet looks like a zip pouch.

No, it's not sewn like a zip pouch, you know the rectangle with the zip on top. Nope, it's not like that at all.
See what I mean?

I made another iPhone wristlet, a patchwork version for myself. Most of the time I put my iPhone in my pocket. But some pockets are too shallow or sometimes my outfits don't come with pockets. In the past I would dump my phone in my bag. When a call comes, I end up digging forever in my bag for the phone. With a wristlet, I can just let it hang off my wrist.

If you haven't bought this pattern already, I'm selling it at US$6 for a limited period. On Monday, 25th Jan 2016, Singapore time I will adjust the price back to US$8. So get my pattern now!!!

Available at Etsy and here on my blog. (To buy from my blog, click on Buy Now button below but please read my faq if you're buying from my blog for the first time, eccomerce by Payhip)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New Bag Pattern - iPhone wristlet

Hi guys,

Today I was reborn after a bout of food poisoning and I thought to myself: isn't it time I publish my new bag pattern?

So here it is, ladies and gent. My new bag pattern is a iPhone wristlet.
This pattern comes in 2 sizes. The smaller size will fit iPhone 6/6s. The larger size will fit iPhone 6 PLUS/6s PLUS. Of course if your mobile phone is smaller than iPhone 6, they will fit too.

Approximate Finished Size:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
iPhone 6/6s:
3.5" (8.9cm) across the top
6.5” (16.5cm) top to bottom

iPhone 6 PLUS/6s PLUS:
3.75" (9.5cm) across the top
7.5" (19cm) top to bottom
There are 2 versions of my wristlet you can make - the easier version is using one exterior fabric or if you have tons of scraps lying around, make the patchwork version.
The wristlet is fully lined of course.

I'm not going to lie and say this is an easy wristlet to make. Most of it is easy but sewing zippers round curves might throw some sewers off. The only thing I can say to you is it gets easier with experience. Plus there are only 2 corners to sew!

What do you think of this new pattern? I'm selling it at US$6 for a limited period. On Monday, 25th Jan 2016, Singapore time I will adjust the price back to US$8. So get my pattern now!!!

Available at Etsy and here on my blog. (To buy from my blog, click on Buy Now button below but please read my faq if you're buying from my blog for the first time, eccomerce by Payhip)

Big thanks to the following testers who sent me their valuable feedback and photos of the wristlet they made. In no particular order:

Suzee of Applehead Threads
Maria of Mia's Creations
Vanessa of Vintage Barngirl / facebook
Saar of MamaS/ch/aartje
Judith of Judith Stitches
Celia of Serendipity Handbags
Jayne from Canada
Jacque of Just Jax
Cheryl from USA
Lynnelle from Kansas

Check out their creations below:
This is by my friend, Suzee, my long time faithful tester. She uses a LG mobile phone. I think Suzee and I have similar aesthethics in fabric because I love the prints she used for her patchwork version.

Maria who is a bag making machine, (reminds me of me a few years ago) and sells her handmade creations at markets made her wristlet for her HTC Desire 310.

Vanessa's super cute clock fabric is making me drool. Hers fit iPhone 5C.

Saar made hers with pleather for her Samsung Galaxy S5. I'll be honest. I was completely blown away by Saar's version. PLEATHER!!!

Judith made hers for her Motorola Droid Maxx. I always like it when sewers take the trouble to match the zipper to the fabric. Plus check out the background suede or something.

Celia made hers for iPhone 6 PLUS. I hope Celia doesn't mind that I used one of her photos in my Etsy listing. It's temporary, I swear. I don't know why I think of Maria when I see the flowery fabric print.

Jayne made this darling patchwork wristlet for her iPhone 5C. I love the fabric print she used. The lining print is so awesome too. I see a few Chinese characters on the print but my guess is it's Japanese.

I really dig the prints Jacque used for her patchwork version. Some of you may know I have a general weakness when it comes to prints with the colour green-yellow or yellow-green. I go weak in the knees. Jacque uses a iPhone 6. By the way, Jacque was the only one who gave me an outdoor shot. Just for that, I wanted to give her a prize or something!

Cheryl used a fabric that had a shimmer accent. When I first saw the photo, I thought she had used pleather. Cheryl uses a iPhone 6 PLUS.

This version was made by Lynnelle for Samsung S5 Active with Body Glove on. She used the iPhone 6 PLUS size.

Lynnelle enlarged the iPhone 6 PLUS pattern ON HER OWN and made a larger version. What a gal!

It was quite an experience for me working with so many testers at the same time. Thank you ladies. Each and every one of you helped me grow a little and made my pattern better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Scrap Brooches


What do you do with the mountain of scraps you have accumulated over the years? I tried giving some of my scraps away over the years but there's always more lying everywhere in my home. Let's face it. Scraps are here to stay.

In a feeble attempt to reduce my scraps, I made 3 brooches.

The bird brooch was made with 2 pieces of scrap fabric - raw applique style. Yay... 2 tiny pieces of scrap fabric used up. I embellished the bird with a few scrap beads. Yes, even with beads, there are the leftover beads.

A number of years ago, I bought a stack of wool felt as I was crazy over felt embroidery then. The wool felt was bought from UK and if you add in the cost of shipping, they were seriously expensive. I always felt I was a little too extravagant buying those felt which explains why I saved every bit of scrap felt from that batch.

The scrap felt is quite sizeable now and I thought I had better take a stab at using them otherwise I may end up with boxes of scrap felt!

I thought the scrap felt was excellent for my tortoise brooch. What do you think?

I tried to repeat the same formula with my pig brooch.

It was quite tedious cutting and sewing the little pieces of scrap felt. I used blanket stitch to anchor them to the fabric. My hand cramped up now and then. Honestly I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to "save" the wool felt scraps.

Bear likes the tortoise brooch best. So do I. Which brooch do you like best? Oh, did anyone miss Bear? He's looking a little dusty because I haven't been cleaning him lately. Bear says hi, internet people.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Dear friends,

It's only been 1 week in the year 2016. How has it been for you? I didn't start the year as well as I wanted. January started to get hot after a couple of months of rain last year. My body did not adjust well to the change. Does this happen to other people? My body ached horribly when there is a sudden change in temperature. After 1 week, the aches are starting to hurt less.

This year I have some goals and stars to shoot for.

1. Take photos of stuff other than what I make and eat.
I take too many photos of food and stuff I make. This year, I hope to take more interesting photos. I usually use my iPhone camera. Sometimes I use this free app Camera! It's good for extreme conditions like too much light or too little light.

2. Visit more places of interest in Singapore.

We usually go to shopping malls. Certainly I will still continue going to malls but I would like to see a bit more of Singapore. In the image above, I went to visit the old Parliament House which has been turned into a museum. A lot of it was boring because I'm not that into art but walking around, looking at the buildings, it was a nice change. Of course, the air-condiioning helped too.

Today we went to Chinatown and usually I would just head to the specific shop I wanted to buy my stuff from. But today, we walked around a bit and saw how Chinatown has changed a little since the last time I took a walk. Sadly, it feels more touristy.

3. Eat healthy every day.

I'm not saying I won't eat unhealthy food because I know that's impossible. But I aim to eat healthy meals for at least 2 out of 3 meals every day. I have to eat more vegetables and cut back on meat.

4. Stress less over the kids.

 This one's hard for me but I will try. It's for my own good.

5. Bicker less with my girl.

Sometimes we go at it like cats and dogs. I will try to let the little things go.

6. Keep exercising.

I hope to run 2 times a week and continue with my Pilates. The aim is to have some kind of exercise every day. I still can't manage to hit 10,000 steps every day.

7. Maintain my weight at below 58kg.

If I want to continue looking like this (above) and
 continue wearing short skirts like this (above), I have to eat healthy and exercise.

8. Produce 12 patterns.
I already have 1 almost ready. (cheating) If I work hard, I believe I can do 11 more.

9. Write at least 1 blog post a week.

I was going thru' last year's posts and it's sad most of them were me ranting about my gastritis. As such, I think it's best I do my Weigh In Friday post once a month. Many bloggers have either stopped blogging or become commercial, writing mostly sponsored posts. Well, not me. (because no one asked me to write sponsored stuff) I'm going to keep blogging about this and that. Hope you will continue to come by my blog. Oh, this week I think I got "discovered" by some cosplayers. My stats went up!

10. Live life.

 <See the look on my girl's face.>

Have you set any goals or are you the type who prefers not to set any goals? See ya.
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