Friday, June 29, 2018

10 Burning Questions About Love Island


Save me. Recently in between my Candy Crush Soda games, I've been hopelessly glued to Love Island.

If you haven't watched it, Love Island is a dating reality TV show where a group of male and female contestants live in a villa somewhere in Spain, cut off from the outside world. The contestants spend the day lying on day beds gossiping. Sometimes the producers get them to play games and challenges, mostly to create conflicts. Newcomers come in now and then to disrupt the routine and keep everyone on their toes because they're out to steal your partner. To survive in the game, each contestant must be part of an official couple - done via a ceremony. Anyone who remains single gets dumped from the island. I don't know how the winning couple is decided - perhaps via public voting?

After watching the current series, I realised one thing - the women (most of them) join this crazy show to find love while the men join to have sex with as many women as they can. Yes, the couples do it with all the cameras watching and remember everyone sleeps in the same room - couples together in a bed. Thank goodness the deeds are not shown on TV.

This is a highly manipulated show but hilarious to watch. Sometimes I forget the contestants are real people with real feelings. However, real world rules don't apply on Love Island and it's frightening to see the true colours of people once the shackles of outside world are removed.

Hayley (right) and her heavy breathing partner whose name she cannot pronounce
Hubs said that wouldn't it be smart to stay with one person as a couple till the end just so you can win? Surprisingly, it's harder than you think. Hayley for instance could not even stand the sound of her partner BREATHING.

After watching 25 episodes, I have just a few questions:

1. How do the women draw their eyebrows so thick and perfectly?

2. How does one get such thick pouty lips like Rosie?

3. What's the temperature like in the villa at night? How come no one gets cold wearing so little?

4. Why is it NO ONE desires Dr Alex? What's wrong with him? He's a doctor! If you marry him, you'll never have to queue up at the polyclinic again.

5. What's Singapore's version of slag? This is a new-to-me word. Laura called Megan a slag for stealing her man and I understand it's very offensive. And it was hilarious how Laura later apologised to Megan for calling her A SLAG. I'm sorry for calling you A SLAG. I shouldn't have called you A SLAG. You're not A SLAG. You don't deserve to be called A SLAG. Really, you're not A SLAG. Gosh, why did I call you A SLAG? I've never ever called anyone A SLAG. You're the first person I've called A SLAG. Why did I call you A SLAG. You're not A SLAG. Really, not A SLAGGGGGG!

6. Why do the women drink from their water bottle all day? Is it to keep from feeling hungry? Do they eat at all?

7. Are the bedrooms air-conditioned? Everyone goes to sleep under heavy covers, often covering their heads as well. I can't imagine doing that even with air conditioning turned on full blast.

Wes having a crack at Megan. Laura wanting to crack Wes' head.
8. I wonder what's Singapore's version of "I fancy you".  In Korean drama, it is "I like you". I haven't dated for decades so I've lost touch. On Love Island, "I fancy you" is very powerful. After you utter those words to a guy (you fancy), he'll literally dump his loyal gal just to "crack on" you.

9.  What kind of skincare do the women use? They sleep with makeup on and wake up with fabulous skin. No one has acne.

Adam and his 200 ish
10.  Is it just me or don't you want to HIDE that you have bedded 200 ish number of women? Just think of all the diseases he could be harbouring. Anyway, anyone who can count knows it's mathematically impossible to have bedded 200 ish women when you're only 22.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Blogger Comment Notifications

Hi guys,

Anyone use blogger like me? Since the last week of May, comment notifications have not been coming to my email. So the only way to know if there are comments is to go directly to the blog post or blogger dashboard. Since I don't get many comments in the first place, I was just a tiny bit agitated. No, I'm kidding. I was fuming. (By the way, if you have left me a comment on my blog the past few weeks, I may have left replies for you on my blog posts instead of replying to you via email.) I went to a google forum and realised it's a known issue and affecting everyone. Plus someone's working on the solution. Anyway, the solution has been released and I've tried it out and it worked.

Before I tell you how I fixed my blogger comment notifications, it's good to let you know I do not have Google Plus enabled on my blog. The comments handling are straight forward and handled by blogger so there is no third party app involved. If your setting is different from mine, the solution might be different.

To get comment notifications going again do the following:
Step 1.
At blogger dashboard, go to Settings/Email.
In the box for "Comment Notification Email", delete your email which should already be there. Click on "Save settings". Exit blogger dashboard. I'm asking you to exit blogger dashboard to make sure your settings are saved (as sometimes the button does not work). If your settings aren't saved, you will be prompted to save when you exit.

Step 2.
Now re-enter blogger dashboard. Go back to Settings/email. This time the "Comment Notification Email" box will be empty. (If your email is still there, you've not done step 1 correctly) Re-enter your email address. Click on "Save settings" and exit blogger dashboard.

Step 3.
Go to your email and you should receive an email similar to below:
This part is IMPORTANT.
In order to receive comment notifications, you need to click on subscribe. Once you've subscribed, you're done. You will be able to receive email notifications of NEW comments.

And you'll know you've done it successfully because you'll get this:


To get comment notifications going for moderated comments, do the following:
Step 1
At blogger dashboard, go to Settings/Posts, comments and sharing. You probably have some setting going on already like below.
Remove the setting for "comment moderation" by clicking on "Never". Click "save settings" and exit dashboard.  I'm asking you to exit blogger dashboard to make sure your settings are saved (as sometimes the button does not work). If your settings aren't saved, you will be prompted to save when you exit.

Step 2.
Re-enter dashboard. Go back to Settings/Posts, comments and sharing. The setting for "comment moderation" should be set to "Never". (If not, you've not done step 1 correctly) Click on "Always" or "Sometimes... xx days" depending on what you want. Enter your email address in the box "email moderation requests to". Click on "Save settings" and exit dashboard.

Step 3.
Go to your email and you should receive an email similar to below.
This part is IMPORTANT.
In order to receive comment notifications for moderated comments, you need to click on subscribe. Once you've subscribed, you're done. You will be able to receive email notifications of NEW MODERATED comments.

And you'll know you've done it successfully because you'll get this:

If these fixes don't work for you, your blogger settings are likely more complex and you'll probably need to get your solutions from the google forum as I'm not an expert on blogger stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shirt No. 1

Hi guys,

I think you might have noticed I've been making an effort to make clothes for myself. I'm more inclined towards bag making as I find dressmaking slightly more fiddly. Maybe it's because I've been making bags for so many years it's second nature. Dressmaking also requires far more fabric and most of my fabric comes in 1 yard. So if I have to buy more fabric in order to make clothes then it kinda defeats the purpose of sewing which is to use up my fabric. Recently, I dug around in the storeroom and discovered more fabric I could use and so I sewed up a storm.

When it comes to sewing patterns for clothes, I lean towards simple ones. I like to dress in basics and really don't fancy over-designed outfits. I went to Spotlight recently and I tried to look for very basic patterns and although I found a couple in the pattern book, the patterns were out of stock.

So when I saw Sonya Philip's Shirt No. 1, I was delighted because it's a one piece pattern. The only difference between the front and the back is the neckline. Anyhoos I used the pdf version of the pattern and I'm not going to bitch about taping all the pieces of paper together. I'm not...

Oh, did I mention how much I love my serger now? After I managed to change all the thread to grey, I never have to bother about the thread again as I use it on every fabric. I haven't been adventurous about learning all the other stuff the serger is capable of. I only use it to serge raw edges. For now, I'm happy to do just that. Serging makes everything look so professionally made.

Shirt No. 1 does not use facing to finish the raw edges. Instead, bias binding is used. Bias binding wastes a lot of fabric which is very painful... I used some leftover fabric and joined up two pieces of fabric because I hate to sacrifice my fabric for bias binding.

Shirt No. 1 is very easy to sew. I'm not kidding. There's no sleeve to attach and other than the collar, everything else is straight forward. The fabric I used for Shirt No. 1 is leftover fabric from this Ikea curtain blouse I made in 2017. I can still fit into that blouse but since I started my fitness sessions, my upper body has grown slightly and the fit is slightly snug around the chest. The Ikea curtain fabric is not exactly a good fabric to use for clothing. The weave is tight and while sewing around the collar, I felt the fabric fighting me. I didn't do a staystitch around the collar before attaching the bias binding but I don't think it would have helped.

What do you think? Isn't this the simplest blouse you've ever seen? I made it over 2 nights in between doing laundry, cooking dinner and watching Korean drama. I think if you work continuously, you can do it easily in 2 hours. In case you're wondering, I did not make a muslin. I didn't feel it was necessary.

The only issue I struggled with was the collar and other than the tight fabric, I've been wondering if my bias binding were thinner (in width) would it have made a difference? I used a 1.25" wide fabric strip. Maybe a 1" wide bias binding instead?

Hubs took some pics of me in Shirt No. 1. I paired it with a simple black h&m skirt.
I wanted you guys to see the back. Not sure why hubs took the pic in this odd angle.
So, yay or nay? Hubs says yay - he says it's surprisingly flattering.

To be honest, when I first saw Shirt No. 1 cut out on my fabric, I thought I was gonna look like a giant blob for sure. So glad, that didn't happen. I used pattern size S by the way. Still not used to being size S. In Singapore I'm either M or L.

Anyway, just to prove to you I've worn Shirt No. 1 out, I had some pics taken.

Jane wearing Shirt No.1 riding a bike.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 waiting for a train.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 about to get on a train.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 on train.

Will I make another Shirt No. 1? Actually I already did. I'll show you in my next post.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June Bag Patterns Sale

Hello friends,

In my family, there are many June babies. My 3rd sister, my younger brother, my SIL, my cousin, hubs and of course me. Etsy is also a June baby. Well, we can't call Etsy a baby anymore. She's now 13 and constantly asking for money! From July, my Etsy teen is asking telling me to up her "commission" from 3.5% to 5% every time she "speaks" to me. On top of that, I may have to pay her a monthly fee to have the privilege of continuing to live with her. I think I raised her wrong.


In honour of all June babies, my Etsy shop is having a 25% discount off all my digital bag patterns. No coupon required as discount is automatically applied. Sale ends 25th June 2018 (Singapore time). 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

$20 Million Selfie

So you guys heard about the historic Trump-Kim summit which took place today in Singapore? Dunno? Don't care? Well, it happened.

In the lead up to the summit, our prime minister revealed that Singapore was footing the bill for hosting the summit. The total cost which covers security, communication, food etc including the North Koreans' hotel stay came to a staggering $20 million (plus minus). Thankfully the Americans are paying for their own lodging. Whew!

When I first learnt about the $20 million, I was like wtf! But in the end, someone has to shoulder the cost and like what our prime minister has said, it's in our profound interest for regional peace. Plus we get our country in the history book. Woo hoo!

Hubs meanwhile was busy racking his brain for ideas on how to help the North Koreans raise money for their accommodation. "Inspired" by two Trump-Kim impersonators who flew into Singapore to cash in on the summit - charging $15 for selfies, hubs came up with a brilliant idea - how about the real Kim take selfies and charge I dunno, maybe more than $15? You can read his column here if you want.

I think Kim must have read hubs' idea because this happened.

$20 million selfie
Our foreign minister Vivian (left) took Kim out for some night fun and took this selfie. I don't know if you know this but photo taking of Kim is not allowed. At least that's what hubs learnt when he went to North Korea. So I'm assuming this selfie which Kim gamely posed for is some kind of payment?

To commemorate the historic summit hubs has got a Kim haircut. The last time he cut his hair, also Kim style was in 2016 in North Korea.

This is how much his hair grew over two years. It's been a nightmare. Sometimes he doesn't shampoo his hair...

I'm so glad the summit happened because for over two years hubs has been saying he'll never cut his hair again since his last haircut was so special. Thank you Kim for swinging by. Thanks to you, I no longer have to comb his hair.

p.s. Hubs is charging $10 for selfies with him

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sweet Potato Buns

I don't know if you know this about me. I LOVE sweet potatoes. Especially Japanese sweet potatoes. The ones sold at Isetan are from Japan and expensive.  Well, once in a while when the cooked ones are available, I buy one as a present to myself. But I hate to pay so much money for sweet potatoes so if I'm at Orchard and I remember, I buy the uncooked Japanese sweet potatoes from Don Don Donki.

I also love to eat bread. Sweet potato + bread = 2 things I love to eat. Mind blown. Except it's hard to find good sweet potato bread at local bakeries. Believe me I've hunted and tried a few not so good ones. 

So I decided to make my own. Not that I'm such a skilled baker. When it comes to enriched bread, it's very obvious when bread isn't good. With plain sandwich bread, the mind is very forgiving. I mean, it's called plain bread.

I googled and looked at many sweet potato bread recipes. Finally I thought this blogger's recipe was something I could reproduce in my kitchen. The recipe I followed was Japanese Purple Sweet Potato pull-apart buns from her book Low Sugar Cakes and Bakes.

I used sweet potatoes from Vietnam because they were cheap but the flesh was yellow and not purple at all. After I had added mashed sweet potatoes to the dough, the dough became very tough. I think I added a bit of water but the toughness stayed. Still I went through with the whole proofing process. The dough did expand but not as much as what I expected based on my experience.

When I took the buns out of the oven, they were super heavy. I had a bad feeling the buns would not taste good. And I was right. They tasted ok, if you're not picky. But for me, when it comes to enriched bread and remember you're eating all that extra calories, I'm super picky. I tried to eat one but I could only eat half. The taste, the texture, it was just so-so. I was very disappointed. In the end, I threw away the buns.

I was still determined to get my sweet potatoes buns. Remember my old pal Alex Goh? Once upon a time I was crushing so hard on Alex Goh's Magic Bread. I still bake his sweet bun now and then! I was pretty sure he has a sweet potato bread recipe somewhere and I found it in his book Baking Code. His recipe requires an overnight sponge. I used the same Japanese sweet potato from Vietnam and this time, apart from the mashed sweet potato, I made extra (but not mashed) so I could put some pieces inside the buns.

While the buns were baking in the oven, I already knew I had a winner. They smelt fantastic!

 I didn't have enough extra pieces of sweet potatoes, so some of the buns were plain buns.

Demmit! The ones with the sweet potatoes inside were super good. The crumb was soft and fluffy. When you eat it, you don't feel full right away. And you want another one. I'm definitely making these buns again once I get hold of some Japanese sweet potatoes from Don Don Donki. If you don't have Baking Code, a blogger kindly copied the entire recipe and put on her blog.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Quinoa I Love You Not

Since I had to stop eating rice early this year, I've been relying on bread and wheat noodles for carbs. I love bread but I don't love wheat noodles. I love rice noodles though but I can't think about them anymore. I know what you're going to say. Why not potatoes? Well, I'm more of a sweet potato kind of gal. I'm okay with eating potatoes now and then but not more than once a week. So I had to turn to quinoa.

Do you remember in school there's always that one student who's brilliant and fantastic in every way and you want to be good friends with her because she's brilliant and fantastic in every way. But... you're just okaaay with her and at best you're an acquaintance but you'll never be besties.

Quinoa is that student. Brilliant and fantastic in every way. (it is a superfood) But I don't love it the way I love my rice noodles.

I eat quinoa because some days I'm sick of wheat noodles and bread. And I crave something that is rice-like. Quinoa is my rice substitute.

I don't know how to describe the taste of quinoa. There is a distinctive taste but it's not one that makes you go yum. Neither is it horrible. Very middle of the road.

I cook 1 cup's worth each time and store whatever I cannot eat in the fridge. It keeps quite well. I simmer it in 1.25 cup's water for 15min and exactly after 15min, all the water is gone and the quinoa is perfect. When I first started eating quinoa a couple of years ago, I watched this video on how to cook quinoa and it really works.

Quinoa is very good for my stomach. When I eat it, I never feel bloated.

This is my quinoa lunch, cooked fried rice style. This is how I usually eat it.

I'm not particular about the brand of quinoa. This current packet is ridiculously expensive but I bought it because it was on sale. I've tried different kinds of quinoa except the red ones. I might try them one day. Maybe they'll taste like rice?
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