Saturday, July 30, 2011

SCAM UPDATE!


The update:



Sunday weigh-in #10


Week TEN, Down TEN +

I don't mind that this weight loss thing is taking FOREVER because the whole point is to make small manageable changes. So far I'm proud of my progression. And (I keep telling myself) I'm not trying to win some race.

And I still like to treat myself by dipping mango into cream cheese icing for example.

I should call this YUMMM YUMMM sauce!

This was my breakfast this morning. Overnight Oats in a Jar topped with toasted coconut and almonds with a sprinkle of almond butter and blue berries.

I always weight in first thing on Sunday morning. And here's what happened this week:

Wowsers! This was last week. And here is where it all began! I can probably attribute this huge loss to all the stress of last week.

Comparison photos -- Sorry for the poor quality but I thought I would at least try to do a side-by-side


And to be honest I don't really see that much of a change. But I feel stronger and healthier and that's what counts plus my clothes are getting too big. Positive thinking people especially after my week!

THE SCAM UPDATE COMING SOON......

Thank you so much to the commenter's here and on Facebook. I'm in the process of uploading an update video on the scam. When the upload is done I'll post it on my blog.

In the meantime, during this week from hell, I celebrated my birthday. My mom made me sugar-free carrot and cream cheese cupcakes.

I bet you can guess what I wished for!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE SCAM!

If you came here from FACEBOOK, click HERE for a little background before you watch this video.

Sorry this all happened at 3:00 am our time.


In other words, 4 months ago we sent our Korean travel agent money to the app. sum of $9000 so he could book our family's vacation to Canada. Our travel agent called my niece one day before their departure (Tuesday 9:00 am) telling her that the tickets got cancelled.

The tickets were cancelled as a result of our travel agent not paying the airline company the money for the ticket. After contacting the travel agent ourselves from Canada he continued to say that he couldn't buy the tickets for us because he was having problems with his business. We told him he had 1 hour to come up with the money and make this right.

In the mean time we contacted a few of our connections in Korea. They too contacted the travel agent and he kept repeating the same thing: "I'm sorry I can't pay, I will try to pay you later...." We have asked what his plan was for how he was going to pay us back our ten thousand plus dollars and he didn't have an answer for us. I kept hearing Sung Hyun say over the phone "please explain to me what your plan is to return our money.....explain how you will get the money back to us please......explain how you will be able to afford to pay us this money in 1 month if you don't have it now?"

*EDIT -- This man has been my personal travel agent for the full duration of my time in Canada (5 years). I have purchased more than 20 tickets through him. So I don't believe I'm being naive for sending him such a large sum of money (since we were purchasing 4 tickets) and it's not like I had any reason not to believe he'd buy these tickets.

**EDIT -- The reason why Koreans book tickets through travel agencies is because the ticket prices are cheaper. In this case EVERY TIME I purchased a ticket in Korea I went on to various online ticketing sites to check for myself. I'm certainly not afraid and certainly aware of how to buy tickets myself. Even among different travel agents there is a price difference of a couple hundred dollars for the exact same ticket. And every time I book my tickets with THIS Korean company I also sent out an email to other travel agencies in Korea for a price request.

*** Thanks for all your comments they are insightful and are helping me! They are making me think of different options that I haven't pondered!

So as it stands, our family DIDN'T make it on the plane to Canada and we are out money for the airplane tickets. Additionally, all the events that I preplanned and paid for in Canada are non refundable including our two room/ two night stay at the hotel in Calgary.

We've been SCAMMED!

Monday, July 25, 2011

ASIAN INVASION!

"The Asians are coming, the Asians are coming....."

Yes it's true, Sung Hyun's mom, oldest sister and 2 nieces are coming to Canada and they land here in 2 days. We've been frantically preparing for their arrival. We're calling it OPERATION ASIAN INVASION (jokingly of course!)

They are staying "with us". And by "with us" we mean our parents house because that's where we live right now. Nothing like squishing 8 people into 1 house for 15 days. Who am I kidding, they will probably think our house is a hotel.

And remember our major basement issue? The one that forced us to sleep RIGHT next to our parents with only one wall separating us. Yah, no fun! Well, our room in the basement is finally put back together. See my excitement:

I apologize for my sweatiness. I just finished my personal training at the gym. Yah for exercise!

Notice the wall colour change? Yah, I didn't think so!

And look at me, the MOST unorganized person making an itinerary for their stay. GO ME!! And remember how I was complaining about how boring my city is and a few of you commenter's suggested that I GO find things to do? Well I never thought I'd be able to entertain my Korean family for 15 days, but check this out:

Wed July 27 -- Arrive at 8:30 pm

Thur July 28 -- MY BIRTHDAY!!!! Go shopping for food, private teach, spend a day in my class (meet my students -- I've already told my Korean student that he's the translator, hehe). Go to a class at my gym. EAT KOREAN food at the local restaurant.

Fri July 29 -- learn how to make Korean food, BBQ party in my house to celebrate my birthday

Sat July 20 -- Dragon Boat Festival in the park, leave for camping, sleep in tent (haha)

Sun July 21 -- go to the beach at the camping site

Mon Aug 1 -- shopping! go the The North Face store.

Tues Aug 2 -- horse riding lessons, RCMP Sunset Ceremony

Wed Aug 3 -- Pancake breakfast fundraiser (to support my dad's Rotary club), BBQ in the park, canoe ride around the lake, Sung Hyun's soccer game at 6:00 pm

Thur Aug 4 -- Moose Jaw Spa/ Casino

Fri Aug 5 -- Exhibition (highlights: Chinese Acrobats, hypnotist)

Sat Aug 6 -- Leave for Banff at 3:00 am arrive at noon, shopping, tour of the ice fields, and Lake Louise. Remember this?

Sun Aug 7 -- Calgary, shopping, Calgary tower

Mon Aug 8 -- drive back to Regina

Tues Aug 9 -- rest & pack, good-bye dinner (nice restaurant!)

Wed Aug 10 -- leave in a.m. ;(
I'm totally ready for ASIAN INVASION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_0388.JPG.jpg

AND a million and one kisses (and butt slaps!) -- I'm not gonna lie!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday weigh-in #9

Randomness (what I'm good at!):

A ramdom snack this week. Apple slices with cinnamon, dates with almond butter, and water with lime and mint. What a thirst quencher!
On Saturday morning I really wanted to top my multi grain bread with a mini nutella. But sugar was the second ingredient and I'm still going strong with my sugar-free July!
So instead I topped it off with natural peanut butter. The only ingredient is this baby is peanuts. As you can tell I'm not so happy. Little choices is what I keep telling myself!
Quinoa, with tofu and veggies smothered in mmm sauce.....
MANGO! A yummy summer treat
And sometimes life calls for a big ole' plate of nachos for dinner. This was Saturday night supper. Guilty as charged (check out that face)!!! But I also keep telling myself everything in moderation.

I also treated myself to pizza twice this week. YAH! I love how I'm choosing healthy food but still allowing myself to enjoy foods I absolutely LOVE. I also had an intense personal training session on Monday. And ran 5K twice. Once by myself and once with my husband. He's joining this movement too.

And here's what happened this week:

I'm thinking next week if I lose those .8 pounds it's time for some body shots. Exciting!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saudi Arabia

My fascination with Saudi Arabia started this year when I took the teaching job at the local university in my city. About 80% of the students in our ESL program are from Saudi Arabia.

My love for varying cultures is no secret. It was Korean culture that I fell in love with, as evident in my blog banner. So it should come as no surprise that I want to learn more about Saudi culture; partly because I want to 'understand' the actions of my students -- most of which are culturally unacceptable by Western standards -- and party because I'm curious.

I've thought about the possibility of going to Saudi Arabia to 'experience' the culture. I've looked into teaching jobs for me and welding jobs for Sung Hyun. The motive behind my move would not be economical but for educational reasons -- mostly revolving around gender division, responsibility and roles. But I now realize I'm naive to think that I would be able to 'truly experience' the authentic Saudi culture since the division between Foreigners and Saudi people is very evident. I would live in a secluded area known as a compound. I would not be permitted to drive, drink or eat pork. I would have to wear an abaya in public. Not to mention work and social life are distinctly divided by sex.

I have just spent the last 5 hours watching various videos on YouTube. The search started with: "life in Saudi Arabia". It has been an interesting 5 hours to say the least. See for yourself:






And now I'm ready to hear what Shelley has to say!

Friday, July 22, 2011

VOTE NOW!

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and whether it should grow bigger (i.e. daily posts, private domain name etc...hey maybe even a spell check thrown in here and there) or whether I should let it go.

It's time for the yearly renewal of my google account (a.k.a. pay to have photos uploaded onto this blog) since I've reached my capacity. I don't mind paying for my blog but I'm just curious what kind of followers I have. Who's out there?

My blog has certainly transformed since I first started. I would love to jump to a bigger platform and create drop down menus (even though I don't know how to yet) and all that fancy stuff. But I'm just having trouble picking a 'focus'. I feel like my life is all over the place (and it is) so that's how I blog -- about random stuff all over the place. In the past couple of months I've talked about money and relationships, fatness, weigh-ins, yummy food, my lack of motivation for learning Korean to name a few. Talk about random! But that's how I think. It drives my husband bonkers. One week I discuss the possibility of moving to Saudi Arabia, the next week I want to buy a house in the city, then the week after that I decide I want to get a full time job, settle down and have a family (eek! - don't read too much into this mother!) and then I'd definitely go back to Korea in a heartbeat. Exhausting I know!*

So do you like my randomness or do you think I need a focus? And if so, what? Please take a few minutes to de-lurk and comment on this post. I'd love to hear from you.

AND click away on the little survey I've got above. Apparently you can only choose 1 thing.....BOO!**




* See, even this blog post is off topic!
** I figured out how to post the poll all by myself. That's leap and bounds for someone who isn't computer savvy. YAY!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RUNNING!

I've started running.

I've been doing it for a month or so.

I actually started off hating it.

But now I'm beginning to enjoy it.

Tonight I went for a 5K run -- 5 min. run, 1 min. walk

A first for me.

And I'm proud of myself!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Healthy Eats NEVER Tasted This GOOD!

Have I got a recipe for YOU. Made by ME!

Jennifer's Healthy Apple Pie and Ice Cream is what I've named it.

AND IT'S FLIPPING AWESOME!!!!!

I'll work out the measurements, since this one was just thrown together, and post the official recipe sometime soon.

Good thing I made the tiniest portion ever!

EATS AND TREATS!

On Sunday I spent a good couple of hours in the kitchen making healthy eats. I made guacamole, hummus, and mmmm sauce. All nutritious and delicious; a good start to a healthy week ahead.

So for lunch today I had a hummus wrap with cucumbers, tomatoes and spinach. This simple meals was a GREAT lunch!

On the side:
Nachos with guacamole, carrots and 2 dates for dessert.

Breakfast was a flax seed waffle topped with fruit and agave syrup.

Last night dessert and supper:
And a little birdie told me that this was a good way to introduce sweets into our sugar-free July! Thanks Katie!
Sunday supper is always divine!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday weigh-in #8

This week was bad. I only exercised once and I was in snack mode all week. I had my hand in the chip bag about every second day! The scale says it all:

But hey, I'm still truckin' along with my sugar-free July. And a maintain is better than a gain. Positives!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Motivation and Inspiration

I've been teaching English privately for several years. I love the flexibility of creating my own material that caters to the needs of the students. I enjoy being my own boss. But most of all I love inspiring.

Since I've been back to Regina I've continued to do the same. I have students working on reading programs rewarding them with stickers when they complete certain tasks. For the teenage boys, I've created a homework money chart and assign a certain dollar value to each assignment based on level of difficulty. Ultimately, the main goal is to either fill up your sticker chart or collect $60 so that you get to choose a fun event to do together for one English class. These simple things work well with teens and children. I've been to Laser Quest, to the movies, shopping, out for ice cream, dinner, and made tie dye shirts.

With the adults, I have them write out S.M.A.R.T goals and ways for them to chart their English progress. Sticker and money charts just don't do the trick. It's hard for the adults to see progress in their English, especially if they are only studying for 2 hours a week (and speaking Korean the rest of the time). But I know that for most of my students, confidence is the main factor holding them back from speaking English outside of the comfortable confines of their home with me there to help. So for the adults I assign them practical things to do to push them out of their comfort level. I find interactive games for them to participate in online. I create worksheets that require them to call different places around the city and ask various questions. I have them over for dinner with my family so they can practice speaking in a different setting.

I teach students to break down their language learning into small achievable goals. I tell them it's much like building a puzzle. One small piece at a time. First you need your frame then slowly but surely the pieces fit together at different times. Sometimes the pieces don't connect which makes it difficult to understand their relation among the other pieces. Sometimes you think a piece fits but it doesn't. Sometimes you fit put two pieces together and then your cat jumps on the table and knocks it over and you need to learn how to do it again a different way.

Connecting with students individually is what makes me so successful at teaching one-on-one. I adore all of my private students. I especially like to encourage them. Most of the time I walk away for my lesson on a natural high. Like, life is too good!

It's a great feeling. Now if only these feelings of inspiration and motivation could be transferred into my own life.

I don't know what my issue is with that! I'm a good motivator, but I'm a procrastinator. I teach people to follow their dreams and believe in their ability, but don't do the same. I give life advice and listen when no one listens, but also need an ear to talk to.

Maybe I should have gone into counselling.

Or maybe I should just resign to the idea that I'm just not a good language learner. My procrastination, laziness, and overwhelming sense of 'oh my god, where do I start?' is not helping this matter.

So...... PLEASE send help, OR advice. Cuz I also love to listen to what you have to say!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A random picture

This picture makes me:

a) miss Korea?
b) miss Korean food?
c) ALL OF THE ABOVE!

Sung Hyun and I (read: me) are thinking about going back to Korea next summer for a visit.

But this summer Sung Hyun's mom, oldest sister and 2 nieces are coming for a 2 week visit. They will be here in 15 days. YAHHHHHHHH!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday workday!


I had to work today for 6 hours. But work was really a BBQ party in the park with my students. And it would be an understatement if I said I had fun!
It was awesome!!!!

I will have to bug my students to send me some photos.

And another AWESOME Sunday night dinner.

In other words, Sunday ROCKED!

Sunday weigh-in #7


My eating this week was good, NOT great. I ate out a couple of times but chose healthier options. YAY! Then last night (the night before weigh-in) I decided that I was craving some Korean snacky food and I went for it.

Sometimes life calls for a big bowl of carbs (even if it contains NO nutritional value).

At least I finished off with some fruit!

Sung Hyun and I had a movie date night planned at our house so we drove to get snacks because I was craving something salty. And I'm proud of myself for getting a small bag of sunflower seeds because if I hadn't I would have eaten a larger bag until my tongue was raw.

Sung Hyun went for the beef jerky.

And here's how I did this week:

SLOW and STEADY!

p.s. I'm thinking about doing another set of photos after I've lost 10 pounds. What do you think? Or should I just wait till I've lost more like 15? Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Tribute to Oatmeal!


My breakfast today (I'm typing as I eat) is DIVINE!!!!!

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS OATMEAL NOW!

In the mix:
Almond milk
oats
1 egg white (I promise you can't taste it)
chia seeds
ground flax seed

On the top:
dollop of original Greek yogurt
spoonful of almond butter
toasted almond slivers and coconut (YUM!)

This HIT the spot!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Life, Love and you guessed it.....Money (PART 3)

This is a series of truth posts that documents our struggles as a couple.



Sung Hyun came to Canada with his head held high. The money thing with his BIL was more of a blow to me than it was to him. Instead of focussing on the things that were out of his control he simply moved on. It was as if he was briefly knocked down, got up, brushed himself off and carried on. I was mad that he could forgive so easily. I was the opposite. For me it was like being pushed off a sky high building head first, breaking every bone in my body and wanting everyone to know about it. Poor me!

And the wonderful thing about hindsight is that you can look back, realize your mistakes and learn from them. And the wonderful thing about writing is that when you speak truth a weight is lifted off your shoulders and the healing process can begin -- a form of therapy so to speak!

Sung Hyun came to Canada with only his balls; what a unique opportunity to carve out a new life for us in a country full of possibility. Our second chance!

Life, Love and you guessed it.....Money (PART 2)

Missed part 1? Go HERE!

The promises of money soon followed us to Canada. I knew that once we boarded the airplane all chances of getting the money from his BIL were nil, yet I still didn't want to believe it. I was in denial (and sometimes even now I still am). Feelings of anger soon overwhelmed our final weeks in Korea. Sung Hyun felt the push from my side to get things in order, but instead trusted that things would come together last minute -- another aspect of Korean culture that I never quite adjusted to. I'm sure he was secretly hoping it would all fall into place. But if it didn't he couldn't do anything about it, he told me.

Sung Hyun came to Canada with only his balls. At least that's what he tells the Koreans living here in Regina, most of whom have immigrated through their wealth. I suspect he is envious of this, yet never fully admits it to me.

He doesn't fit into the Korean community here in Regina for that reason. He doesn't want to be around people who label him, people who stratify him -- an ugly part* of Korean culture that has found it's way here. He's known in Regina as Jennifer's husband and introduces himself as such.

Sung Hyun came to Canada with his balls. But he also came with an open heart, the determination to succeed and his head held high. And it's just now that I'm starting to realize those qualities alone are worth more than any number in our bank account.

To be continued.........

* I say ugly because I think it totally sucks that limits are placed on friendship as a result of age, social class, wealth (or lack of) etc....


Saturday July 2 Food Files

Here are the last of my food pictures. I enjoyed documenting what I ate this week. I tried not to let my picture taking affect my food intake. I think I didn't end up snacking as much because I thought 'oh shit I don't feel like taking a picture of this so I might as well not eat it'. It was a good reminder to 'think' before I put food in my mouth.

I certainly won't be taking pictures of my food again because it's too time consuming. It took over 3 hours to email the photos to myself, download them on my computer and upload them onto this blog. It certainly didn't help with the procrastinating I'm trying to cut down on.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures this week. COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!

Breakfast:
spinach onion mushroom (1 egg, 2 egg whites) + cheddar cheese omelet
watermelon
Snack:
fruit plate
taste tester at the supermarket
1 chip + dip (cheese and jalapeno)
Lunch:
edamame
open faced chicken sandwich loaded with veggies
Greek yogurt
Dinner:
2 mandu (dumplings)
kimchi tuna soup
white rice
Diet coke (+ a sneak peak of what is in the soup)
Dessert:
watermelon with coconut oil

Friday July 1 Food Files

Breakfast #1:
Cereal
Breakfast #2:
Whole wheat bagel (1/2) with almond butter (first time eating almond butter...YUM!)
1/2 cup coffee (black)
Leftover pad Thai (always better the second day!)


Canada Day BBQ
home made pie (wild berry with ice cream and lemon meringue pie)
_____________________________

Where the hell did the month of JUNE go? It went by so fast! So fast that I was a day behind. I planned to have a NO SUGAR month in July so I thought I'd end my June with a mars bar and some home made pie.......except that it wasn't the end of June, it was the beginning of July! DUH!

I'm still participating in the no sugar challenge. It's starting July 2nd and going to August 2nd. HE!


Thursday June 30 Food Files

Thursday eats included lots of snacking:
Breakfast:
whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter, flax and chia seeds
nectarine
Lunch:
edamame
peppers with cilantro chili
lemon sauce
Greek yogurt with strawberries
Snack:
fruit
Crystal lite with watermelon (patio drinks taste the best especially on a nice day!)

pistachios
more snacks
Dinner: 2 handmade mini fresh rolls (with pork)
+ Pad Thai with shrimp and 1 chicken ball (stolen from Sung Hyun)

THAI FOOD ROCKS