Friday, February 21, 2014

Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Hydration Vest - Review For Women

I've been using this pack for about 3 months now and gosh, how time flies!

It was a last minute decision to purchase the vest for me to use during the Razorback Run as I needed something bigger than my Nathan to carry all the mandatory items and some extras.
Full to the brim - almost!

The features and technology of the Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 hydration vest can be found on its website, so I won't go much into the details here. It is nice and light at 420gm (on empty). Without utilising the 3L expansion, the 10L is more than sufficient for general use.

Left: A smaller outer pouch to stash your smaller items.
Right: The 10L section. The blue zipper opens up an additional 3L.

Unlike some of the Salomon or Ultimate Direction vests with size specifics (based on your chest size), this vest has "no size" and is a one size fits all.  You will need to adjust the shoulder straps to fit you better.

The top of the padded shoulder straps have velcro bits allowing you to adjust the length (of the straps) according to your comfort.

However, being petite at 5'3 and liking a snug fit, I have my shoulder straps pulled up high and all the way to the edge of the velcro just to have the vest fit me properly.

Tighten the buckle straps as well and the end result can end up being pretty messy. You will need to fold/knot whatever straps that are sticking out unnecessarily and tuck them in. As long as they don't flap around and slap you in the face or neck, they won't be in your way during a run. :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's February Already??

I told myself that I must not buy any more yarns because I still have tons of them.

But I couldn't resist this pastel rainbow ball which cost a mere AUD$2.00.

I started on something the minute I got home, and halfway through, I got frustrated. It takes too darn long to finish a project! Grrr. Almost finished!

Meatless Monday dinner last week was an Indian theme.

Not very impressive looking, I know. :)

Capati with aloo gobi, palak paneer, curried potatoes and dhal. We could only finish half of the meal and the rest was lunch for the next day.

Well, I have 2 small tubs each of aloo gobi and dhal in the freezer. I should have halved the recipes!

Recipes on the SBS website were referred to:

Palak paneer (I halved the recipe) 

Aloo gobi - Oops, I forgot where I got it from.

Capati's easiest recipe?

1 cup flour
1/2 warm water (mix hot water and some cold water)
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP vegetable oil

 One of those fatty breakfasts:


I shall do some strength exercises now to make myself feel better ... 

I am on a self-imposed baking ban and it's killing me.

Well, not really but it is a torture.

I want to bake cookies to eat and share with friends.
I want to bake cakes to eat and share with friends.
I must stop looking at recipes, like that shortbread cookies with chocolate drizzle.

I spent too much time baking Chinese New Year cookies last month and hence the baking ban.

Hopefully I can set up a shop next year. :D

And the need to lose a couple of kilos before I return home and pig out on mum's homecooking!

Crap, I'm not even ready to return home next week.
Time really flies!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wild Wombat Crossing - A Mad Day Out

Date: 9th February 2014 (Sunday)
Time: 7:15am
Venue: Mackenzie's Flat Picnic Area, Lerderderg State Park
Distance: 30KM±
Difficulty: 4/5

Six hours later ...

When was this ever going to end?

The last 6KM wasn't as easy as everyone hoped, and it felt like forever. At every turning and every corner, I'd perk up, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the marker was wrong and it was actually 5KM to go.

Fat chance.
It felt like 8. 
Or 10.

The view of despair.

With the bladder empty, I only had half a bottle of electrolytes to ration out until we arrived at O'Brien's crossing. We estimated that we had another 3-4KM to go, and enveloped in fatigue, I no longer felt like running. I feared that if I ran, I would need to drink - besides, I was getting clumsier with every step I took, so I couldn't really run, anyway.

Once again, our beloved Wild Wombat organiser lives up to its reputation in delivering one heck of adventure.

Earlier that morning ...

The park ranger came to check on us.

As this run was not intended for beginners, we had 17 runners who turned up for the challenge that day.

A complete group pic, yay!

We split into two groups where the crazier ones attempted the reverse Wild Wombat route so it meant killer climbs (see previous post for an idea - they basically climbed up from the weir!) and the not-so-crazy ones went the usual way up the killer hill a.k.a. Link Track No. 1.

Gorgeous view of the hills and valleys, as always.

The climb brought back painful memories.

Going down Blackwood Ranges Track.
Contemplating sneaking into Bear Head Range.

At this stage, we were waiting to see whether the crazy group would climb up Long Point Track and join us.

Not yet.

Foxy Gully Track.

We took Clifford Track and then onto Foxy Gully Track to head towards Mt Blackwood for our pit stop.

A ruin mine area. Must have 'belonged' to a Chinese dude. ;)

It was such a relief to spot Claire's car from a distance.

The most important person of the day, Claire!

For us, at this point, it was about 13KM and 2.5 hours into the run.

Refueling before the next half of the run.

We waited for the crazy group to arrive. Everyone chilled around for about 20 minutes before setting off again. 

Some of us were pretty reluctant to leave the comfort of the aid station!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yu Sheng, Yee Sang, Prosperity Toss

During Chinese New Year, you will hear the Chinese greeting each other 'Gong Xi Fa Cai' ('Congratulations on your wealth!') and 'Wan Shi Ru Yi' ('May all your wishes be fulfilled!')

This dish is commonly known in Malaysia and Singapore. Eons ago in the olden days of China, fishermen would feast on their catches on the 7th day of Chinese New Year. Don't ask me why, but I suppose for the rest of the year, most of the fish are sold for income? :D

Now the 7th day of CNY, according to Chinese customs, was when humans were first created.  Supposedly. So it is known as 'Renri' (but pronounced as 'ren re'), which means 'everyone's birthday'.

So it became a custom for the families to gather for dinner, and served an appetiser dish called Yee Sang, which is the Cantonese of Yu Sheng (鱼生). The direct translation is 'raw fish'.

The homophone of it brings you to the phrase Yúshēng (余升) which means 'increase in abundance' which I suppose, that is why this dish is also known as the 'Prosperity Toss'.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Having this dish served (before the main course) symbolised continued wealth and prosperity.

It sounds like the Chinese are really into their wealth, eh? :)

Anyway, this dish is now so commercialised that it is available at restaurants even during the days leading towards Chinese New Year in Singapore and Malaysia.

 Enough of brief history.

If you love this dish so much, you can now recreate this dish anytime you want as a delicious salad for your meals!

My first attempt wasn't too shabby. :)
Yee Sang for two!

I made it as one of our dishes for dinner the night before Chinese New Year, based on Noob Cook's recipe. I followed it as closely as I could, and it turned out great!

The second time I made it was the next day, the 1st day of CNY as my contribution to dinner over at WC's house. It was improvised a teensy bit, with the addition of some coriander, which I had realised was missing the first time.

My mum insisted that the vegetables needed to be shred as thin as possibly, which created more work for me and took up a LOT of my time. I'd peel the vegetables and then slice them finely with a knife.

Next time, I'm not going to bother with that and just use the grater!

And I think you should, too!

And I told her that. ;)

Detoxification - Rebooting The Body System

The title sounds so righteous that it makes me laugh.

Rest assured that I am not going to preach to you about the need to detox every now and then, because I am not an expert on the subject!

Lunch 1: Kale, apple, cucumber, celery and ginger.

I was bummed out about with my weight gain and bad complexion that I thought I'd give it a try. Two days of drinking (blended) juice shouldn't be too bad, I thought.

No, it was the first day that was really bad.

Dinner 1: Carrot, celery, apple.

I was hungry all the time and by nightfall, I thought I was going to pass out with gastric. They did say that we had to prepare our body a few days before the detox programme, but I thought I was strong enough to skip that. Hah!

Breakfast 1: Celery, orange, beetroot, cucumber, apple.