Sick in Singapore

Our Australia vacation was quite the adventure. And like any true adventure it had its highs and its lows. Since I’m a bad news first, good news second kind of gal I’ll cover the low part first.

During the end of our time in Australia we both caught the flu from a friend. I fought it for several days but it dug its claws in and put me in rough shape.

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My eyes were so red I looked possessed! A doctor in Singapore filled me up with medications and told me to stay in my hotel room. The trouble was my ear drums were in danger of rupturing if I flew so I had to rest up to recover enough that I could fly back to Taiwan. My trip to Singapore can be summarized by this photo

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which is the view out of our hotel room. It was a long three days of self-quarantine. Josh was feeling better so was able to explore the city and visit with friends. He brought me back delicious Singaporean food-a mango coconut rice dessert was my favorite. While visiting our friend Trust he got interviewed about Formosa Moon. The Taiwan News ran an English translation of the article.

Lonely Planet travel writer to publish book about Taiwan

Inspired by our soon to be released book they created a Top 7 list of books about Taiwan.

Top 7 non-fiction books about Taiwan

As for our book, Formosa Moon comes out October 1st. You can pre-order it here.

I’ll cover the awesome parts of our vacation next post.

Summer hat

Summer break has arrived and I finally have time to hang out with my sewing machine again. Mostly I’ve been working on my mending pile which had grown considerably this past semester. My first sewing project was tarting up a new summer hat.

I have a pretty pink hat that’s my standard go to but it feels weird to wear if I’m dressed all in green or blue. This option was found in Taipei’s underground mall on sale for $150 NT (about $5 US). The sash came from a dress I recently scored at a clothing swap.

It seemed cute at the time I tried it on but once home the design seemed a bit off. So I’ve been recycling it and am happy with this first result. The flower was a nice score also found underground.

Josh and I took another trip to our new favorite place Oia Cafe. It’s an alpaca and cat coffee shop. Yup, you can sip a latte and pet an alpaca. We made our first trek earlier this month and Josh blogged about it here.

This time we got to bath one of the alpacas, a one year old named Kurosawa, after the famous director. It was not an easy task but Kuro forgave us after we offered him carrots.

This little kitty was my new friend for half an hour during our first visit. He was adorable and I so wanted to take him home! But alas, we’re living pet free for the foreseeable future. Isn’t he adorable?

Living in Taiwan means access to fresh fruit and varieties not easily found in the US. Josh and I scored some cheap durian recently and it was delicious.

Topics Magazine and Photo of the Day

Last September I met Vanessa Tseng at the Taiwan International Beauty Show to interview her about her product the Formoonsa Cup. I reviewed the cup on my blog here.

I wrote a feature about Vanessa’s company in the February edition of Topics Magazine. The article is called New Strides in Promoting Women’s Health and also includes a write up about GlaxoSmithKline’s partnership with a Taiwanese company. GSK has developed a new drug to treat lupus and the Taiwanese medical device company has developed a device to allow lupus patients to inject the drug themselves through subcutaneous injection.

In other news Taiwan recently had a rush on toilet paper. Stores across the island sold out and the panic even made international news. I snapped a photo of Josh leaning on some newly stocked shelves and it made Taiwan News’ photo of the day.

Photo of the Day: End of the roll for Taiwan toilet paper panic

There’s some exciting Formosa Moon news on the horizon. Stay tuned!

Latest Top Transformation

I’m happy that I managed to finished one more sewing project before winter break ended. Spring semester is another heavy load of classes so my sewing machine time will be limited yet again. The above jacket was originally this top:

The elastic created an unpleasant silhouette but the pattern design was quite lovely. The design reminded me of a painting I saw at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Even better it was on sale for $100 NT which is roughly $3 US.

First that elastic had to go. After it was completely removed the top was a loose fit. It felt like an artist jacket so I sliced it up the middle.

The shoulder laces were an odd detail but would be problematic to replace as there was none of the garment underneath. I went to my favorite neighborhood-Dadaocheng to find some trim that matched and sewed it onto the front seams.

I’m really happy with how this turned out! It pairs well with several tops and makes a great cover up that is lightweight and has excellent drape.

Vintage fabric becomes a new skirt

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My friends P&T gave me this awesome vintage fabric. The design was so colorful and detailed I knew anything I made with it had to be simple to highlight the gorgeous elements. I cut the fabric to showcase a full circle and half circle on both front and back panels of a skirt.

The fabric had colorful edging so I cut one side off and added it to the bottom edge. The other side was thick enough to be featured on each side of the skirt. Josh, as always, was making me laugh during the photo shoot.

Though it’s currently cold in Taiwan, even in Xiao LiuQiu where these photos were taken, I knew the hot temperatures of summer weren’t far away. Side slits will help keep me cool this summer. In the meantime the skirt is light enough that it doesn’t add too much bulk when layering.

Wild Boar Trench is a beautiful nature walk on Xiao LiuQiu. The banyon trees curl gracefully around large rocks and vines have beautiful, large leaves.

Xiao LiuQiu also has a lot of stray cats. Locals feed them and there is a spay and neuter program.

They also have an adoption program. We could have taken a dozen of them home!