Why Having a Local Bucket List is a Good Idea

Regardless if you call it a bucket list or a to-do list, we all want to keep track of the things we want to do and see at some point in our lives – be it attending a colour fun festival or seeing Mount Fuji in person. Yet, not all worthwhile dreams and pursuits need to be far from home. While international trips are extremely fun, there’s also a lot to be said for touring your own city. If you’re still unconvinced, here are some reasons why having a local bucket list can be a good idea.

1. It Encourages You to Be Adventurous

It’s quite easy to say, “I’ll visit that soon,” if you live near a particular tourist spot, but this kind of mind-set is what actually causes you to never visit that particular sight. If you have a local bucket list, however, you’ll be required to get out and tour your own city – even if you are living in the place indefinitely. If you decide to move out eventually, that list will help you savour your last days in the city instead of forcing to visit the places you’ve put off in the last minute.

2. It Helps in Keeping Things Fresh

Most of us tend to fall into the habit of frequenting a particular coffee shop or restaurant, thus neglecting other potentially great places in the area. While it’s completely okay to support your favourite local shops in Singapore, you should also consider dining or visiting a new place each month. If you drink coffee on a daily basis, visit a new café once a week; if you tend to treat yourself less often, simply adjust your plan according to your schedule.

3. It Prompts You to Be Grateful

The world is a big and beautiful place, and enjoying a culture that’s nothing like your own will certainly be an invaluable experience. However, we often spend a lot of time dreaming about our next destination that we forget to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Creating a local bucket list is one way of correcting that and practising gratitude for all the great things that we have even without boarding a plane.

4. It Trains You to Be an Excellent Host

Creating (and completing) a local bucket list provides you with amazing ideas of the things to do when your family and friends visit you. While it’s fun to show your local favourites to your visitors, you can also use them as an excuse to try out something new. Also, if someone visits you quite often, then he or she would surely want to experience a little novelty every now and then.

Having a local bucket list is one of the best ways to discover new things about the place you’re living in, as well as to appreciate your own culture. So be sure to create and complete one before you start travelling internationally.

How to Choose a Luxury Bag

Unlike jewelry and real estate, expensive bags don’t increase in value over time. But having one good quality designer bag can last for a lifetime, so it’s like an investment too. What are the things to remember when picking your first signature bag?

Budget

Luxury bags are going to be expensive. Unless you’re a millionaire you don’t want to splurge unnecessarily for just one item. Consider how much you’re willing to spend without going broke. Don’t use up your all of your next month’s salary in one go. Check the price range for different styles from established brands so you’ll get an idea. The price will depend on the materials, size, and the name it carries. If you’re buying a bag overseas or online, don’t forget to check the taxes, shipping and other fees.

Brand

Pick brands that are known for their quality and style. Some brands are known for a signature style or pattern on their products. Choose whatever you think best fits your style. Don’t follow current trends because they will lose their relevance after a while. Check and compare the quality and materials. Inspect the stitching, seams, zippers and zip tags, pockets, straps, buckles, magnet buttons or button clips, and hooks and D-rings.

Style

Get a bigger bag if you need to carry a lot of items. Make sure it’s not overstuffed because it could also distort the shape of the item. Don’t pick a size, however, that isn’t appropriate for your height and body type. The size should be relative to your proportions. Petite women should avoid long straps and oversized bags. Tall women shouldn’t pick teeny-weeny bags. When choosing the material, leather never goes out of style. They are low-key, versatile and can last for a long time.

Color

Consider earthy tones or neutral colors if you’re planning to carry a bag for everyday use. They can match any type of outfit and are ideal for any event and venue. Pick the versatile brown, black, gray or white bags. Brightly colored and printed bags could be hard to match with most outfits like office uniforms if you’re particular with matching colors. You don’t have to switch bags often because neutral colors are versatile. Bright bags, however, can add color to your drab outfit. Red and pink are the most ideal colors.

Lifestyle

Look at the different styles of bags, but you’ll have to decide the type of bag you’re going to use based on your needs and lifestyle. Don’t choose a clutch bag if you’re planning to take it everyday to the office because it’s impractical. Think about why you want to buy a designer’s bag and how often you’re gonna use it. For daily use, choose a style that can carry important items you will need at the office. Lastly, you have to try on the bag in front of a mirror to see if it feels comfortable and if the size and shape looks good on you.

5 Vitamins You Should Start Taking Now

 

Perhaps your mom always told you that beauty starts from within. Well, guess what? She couldn’t be more accurate, since what you put in your body will actually show up on the surface. Consuming too much fried food, for instance, causes the appearance of a pesky a zit. Now that you know the facts, be sure to work them to your advantage by eating healthy and incorporating the following vitamins into your diet to ensure a healthier, more beautiful you.

  1. Iron

Fun fact: Women lose iron every time they’re on their periods, so you know just why iron deficiency is the primary cause of thinning hair even in healthy women. To keep your strands healthy and strong, be sure to eat the green leafy veggies that you usually leave untouched on your plate.

  1. Lycopene

Aside from giving you a rosy complexion, eating tomatoes can actually help you fight sunburn and sun damage. This fleshy, red fruit is loaded with lycopene antioxidants that promote sun protection. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can already skip on slathering a good amount of sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays are more dangerous that you think, so layer up your protection.

  1. Biotin

Taking biotin as early as now is ideal for achieving that healthy hair and killer complexion combination. This vitamin is touted for its ability to regulate the body’s fatty acids, which helps in repairing brittle nails, dry hair and flaky skin. To get a good amount of this water-soluble vitamin, be sure to include almonds, romaine lettuce and walnuts in your meals.

  1. Vitamin K

Fragile capillaries that let blood leak into the skin is what causes those dreaded under-eye circles every morning. Fortunately, a study revealed that ample application of vitamin K is already enough to control blood clotting and block the seepage. So be sure to swipe a vitamin K-rich cream every night before hitting the sack.

  1. Vitamin A

Also known as retinoids, vitamin A derivatives are known for its ability to fade acne marks, reduce fine lines and smooth skin roughness. So make sure that you apply your retinoids regularly at night (sunlight inactivates vitamin A) and consume a good amount of cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and green, leafy veggies.

Nurturing one’s beauty starts from within, so ensure that you eat all the right food and take all the necessary supplements to get that natural glow from within.

A Guide to Gracefully Grow Out Your Bangs

 

Having bangs is like a cycle – you commit and feel excited about getting one, then you start feeling tired grooming it. However, cutting a fringe is way easier than growing it out, as anyone who’s done it know all too well. Fortunately, you no longer have to go through those awkward hair stages as we listed down some of the best tips on how you can easily, gracefully and quickly grow out your fringe.

  1. Regularly Trim Your Bangs

While it may seem counterproductive, trimming your bangs every four to six weeks will actually help in growing it out faster. Not only will it allow your hair to absorb vitamins better, it’ll also make your fringe blend with the rest of your hair easily and more naturally.

  1. Part Them Sideways

One of the easiest style of fringe to grow out is the side-swept bangs. Not only does this style blend with the rest of your hair beautifully, it’s also keeps your strands from growing down straight into your eyes. All you’ve got to do is part your bangs either to the right or to the left, then comb them straight forward from the crown, and swoop them to one side.

  1. Use Hair Pins

Not a fan of side-swept bangs? Then use hair pins to stylishly grow them out and keep them away from your face. If you have thick bangs, apply a bit of clay to easily tame them. Another great idea is incorporating your fringe into a French braid so you can hide them in a non-boring way.

  1. Condition Them Regularly

Showing your bangs the TLC it needs is one sure way of growing them out in record time – and you can do it by just treating your strands with regular deep-conditioning treatments. With this, you’ll have healthy and well-moisturized hair.

  1. Make Great Use of Dry Shampoo

Aside from keeping your strands grease-free, using dry shampoo also adds hold and texture to your hair – which is what you’d want when you’re growing out your bangs. Simply spray a little dry shampoo through the lengths of your fringe, the style as you please. You’ll be amazed at how obedient your strands have become.

Even with these techniques to grow your fringe out, it’ll still take time for them to be at the same length as the rest of your hair. So as you wait for your bangs to grow out, consider sporting different hairstyles to keep them from looking boring.

6 Essential Tips for Custom-Made Engagement Ring

While browsing through jewellery store displays, do you think that all rings seem to look the same? If you crave for something you can never find on racks and that’s embellished and designed nothing like others—or perhaps you have a stone of your own but no setting and band—consider having your engagement ring custom-made. If you wish to don a ring that’s designed only for you, here are some essential pointers to keep in mind.

1. Sketch It Out

It takes serious amount of time to find out how you really want your proposal ring to look like. To get the planning started, determine the design you want. Note which colour of stones and metals you find yourself attracted to. Are there eras of style that most of your jewelleries take after (i.e. Victorian, art deco, modern minimalism, etc.)? What design of this era does appeal to you the most?

Also, notice what elements you like on other people’s rings. Check out several jewellery stores and try on different ring styles. Spend some time browsing through Pinterest to find inspiration for your custom-ring. After you have identified the elements you want to have on your ring, try sketching the ring as detailed as you possibly can, and don’t forget to take note of the details you don’t like as well.

2. Consider Your Lifestyle and the Wedding Band

Your lifestyle will also help determine the style of your jewellery. Depending on your day to day activities, you may want something that’s less protruded and clunky. If you are a more active person—say you’re an athlete or you go to the gym more often—a bezel setting would be a more ideal and secure setting than the common prong setting.

Also, consider the wedding ring. Work with a jewellery designer to create an engagement ring that looks spectacular when complemented by a wedding ring but also looks just as stunning when worn alone. A piece of advice: if you want your engagement ring to look complementary with your wedding band, purchase the rings together from the same jeweller.

3. Create a Budget

Do your homework and research on the type of stones and metals that fit your budget. Look into the different types of precious metals for a customized wedding ring in Singapore such as platinum, silver, white gold, titanium and tungsten. For the diamond consider the 4Cs (cut, colour, clarity and carat) and the substitutes like cubic zirconia, white sapphires and other gemstones.

As you learn more about the options available for you, discuss this with your jeweller. Work together to come up with a combination of precious metals and stones that will fit your budget while also considering the design you desire.

4. Think Outside the Box

The sky is the limit when it comes to designing your own engagement ring, although a few requirements have to be met. As mentioned, diamond is not the only stone you can use on your ring. You can use pearl, your birthstone or other gemstone—or nothing at all. The same goes with the band. Silver and gold are not the only metals you can use for your ring’s band. Tungsten, for instance, is a much more durable substitute for a fraction of a price.

Also, if you’re planning on customizing your wedding bands but you and your fiance can’t seem to agree on the same design, you can always go for different styles of wedding rings. But try to agree on at least one element to somehow tie the look of the rings together.

5. Look for a Reputable Designer

You would want to work with a reputable and trusted designer—someone who can provide excellent customer service and quality product. Start by asking around family and friends for recommendations. When contacting a jeweller in Singapore, ask about their affiliations, how long they have been in the business and if you can view their recent works.

Ultimately, you want to work with a professional who will not only listen and provide your needs and wants, but also can give suggestions in order to come up with quality product. A skilled jeweller has good sense of logistics and can provide you with relevant suggestions for creating a practical ring setting.

6. Give the Process Some Time

This is not something that can be rushed. It takes significant amount of time to come up with a design, find a good jeweller to work with and actually start the creation process—not to mention the additional time needed for modifications.

Once you have decided on a design, your jeweller will create a mock-up of your engagement ring—either made of wax, metal cast or by CAD (computer-aided design). If the first mock-up needs more tweaks, expect that it will take another week—or more—to create a new one. After approving a design, it will take some more time to create the actual ring. Over all, the back-and-forth process of making modifications and agreeing on a design could take months to complete.

A custom-made proposal ring is a great opportunity for you to incorporate your individuality into the most significant piece you own in your life. It is the perfect way to incorporate designs that represent you, as well as stones that were passed down through generations in your family. With creative mind and the right jeweller, it’s not impossible to bring your dream ring to life.

Tips for Parents Who Wants to Try the Cry It Out Method

 

Nights are longer when your baby is always crying. As a worried parent, you seek to soothe the baby so you rock or nurse him/her. You have to know that crying is normal. There is a sleep training method that you can use for more peaceful nights plus the baby will learn how to be dependent. Have you ever heard about Cry It Our Method? It is also called CIO.

It is sleep training method with the ultimate goal to teach the baby how to self-soothe. At the end of the training, the baby will be able to sleep or go back to sleep without the help of parents or caregivers. Many paediatricians here in Singapore encourage this method so it is quite safe.

With these, your baby will be able to master the skill of falling asleep on his/her own. Just give him/her the opportunity to master it. Here are some tips that you can consider if you want to try CIO method:

  • Set the mood: It is crucial that you develop the baby’s bedtime routine before getting serious about CIO method. It is also important that you stick to it no matter what happens. Bedtime routine means having a bath, a lullaby, book and then bed – it should be same time and every night. This is effective so your baby will know what to expect exactly.

  • Be prepared: You should also be prepared not just the baby. Make sure that your partner is also in for it. Discuss about it first and make sure that both of you understand how to proceed and more importantly agreed to the process. Your baby will surely cry and it can be painful to hear so prepare for that as well.

 

  • Stick to it: Sleep training is gradual. That means for the first night you will have to leave the baby for at least three minutes, the second night five minutes, third night ten minutes and so on. You have to stick to this plan. However if you feel that your baby is not yet ready for this, you can put this method on hold for a while. Never forget it.

 

  • Anticipate relapses: Even if you successfully sleep trained your baby, anticipate that there are times he/she will relapse. That is perfectly normal do not worry. When this happens, you should still stick to the plan.

 

Few tears are nothing compared to the lasting effects it can bring. At the end of the day, the success will depend on how consistent you are.

Baby Sleep Tips For Parents

 

If you are a new parent, you have to admit that things are kind of overwhelming. Raising a baby doesn’t come with manual however there are many resources that you can consider to help you cope up. Perhaps one of the most challenging things that you could ever encounter is getting the baby to sleep.

The good news is that there are many parents here in Singapore willing to impart some of their baby sleep tips. Here are some:

Do not wait too long

You have to know that the later you put him/her to sleep, the longer it will take for him/her to fall asleep. If the baby is restless, he/she will get cranky. With this, you do not need to wait too long for him/her to sleep. If you notice that your baby is sleepy, immediately put him/her to bed. Do not wait it out no matter the reason.

Ensure baby is in sleep mode

One problem of parents is putting the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. He/she might cry or get hungry and most of the time it is hard to put him/her back to sleep. When your baby cries, do not make eye contact and just sing to him/her. Newborns are easier to put back to sleep. If you are used to changing diapers in the middle of the night, you have to delay it unless it is very dirty.

Administer good sleep habits

A baby is never too young to have good sleep habits. As early as one month, he/she can have good sleep habits. It is crucial that you start young because it is easier to break bad habits and form it into positive ones. When you put him/her to bed, make sure that he/she is only drowsy but awake.

Think about baby naps

Naps are good as it can facilitate good sleep at night. You have to be careful though not to overdo it. General rule is not to let him/her sleep more than 3 hours during the day. Even if you see the baby not that tired, naps can still be helpful. Make sure not to skip it.

Stick to the bedtime routine

Discovering a bedtime routine that will work for him/her is not easy but once you have found it, things will be stressed-free. For example, the bedtime routine involves bath, bottle, book and then bed. Make sure to stick to the routine and inform all caregivers of such. Do not break the bedtime routine as it can disrupt the baby’s sleeping habits.

The Most Nourishing Fruits – Ranked

 

Gaining weight should not be your priority unless you are actually recommended to do that. Some Singaporeans are engulfed with losing weight that they scour all books and magazines just to know which are pop or flop. There is nothing wrong with that. In order to be healthy, you need to take a closer look at the foods you consume.

For those who are doing their best not to gain weight, they should know that there are fruits that are most nourishing or filling. These fruits will fill your plate but definitely it will not fill your pants. Here are the most nourishing fruits based on their fiber and water content:

  1. Avocado: Who would have thought that avocado is a miracle fruit? It is ranked on top because it contains tons of nutrients. In the case of avocados, the fiber per 100 grams is 6.7 and the water content is 73%. In fact, half of it provides at least 25% of the daily recommended intake.

 

  1. Dates: People on diet do not consider dates because it contains 66 calories and about 16 grams of sugar in just a pop. However, it is not necessary to eliminate dates. Its fiber per 100 grams is 6.7 and the water content is 21%.

 

  1. Raspberries: Raspberries are low in sugar and calories so you can just pop many. Actually, its fiber per 100 grams is 6.5 and its water content is 86%. This fruit is an excellent choice for those who are following a strict low-carb diet.

 

  1. Blackberries: Blackberries are famous because it is high in antioxidant. In fact, it can ward off illnesses plus it is packed with fiber. The fiber per 100 grams is 5.3 while the water content is 88%.

  1. Cranberries: Cranberries are actually consumed by early settlers because it helps them fight off disease. In fact, some studies claim that it can actually decrease your chances of cancer. Its fiber per 100 grams is 3.6 and the water content is 87.3%.

 

  1. Banana: Bananas are common here in Singapore and you can find it in every household table. If you are trying for flat abs, bananas will be your great partner. Its fiber per 100 grams is 2.6 and the water content is 75%.

 

  1. Blueberries: Another berry on the list, the blueberry will never miss it. It is common in supermarkets. Its fiber per 100 grams is 2.4 and the water content is 84%.

 

  1. Apples: Take note that you should apples with skin because its fiber per 100 grams is 2.4 and the water content is 85.5%. Do not peel it if you want to get most of the nutrients.

Recommended Foods for Menopausal Women

 

You heard about menopause here in Singapore thousands of times and you probably talked to a lot of women who endured it. Though some do not think highly of it, you have to understand that it is part of life. This means that you will experience it at some point in your life – probably when you reach between 49 to 52 years old.

Menopause is also called climacteric. It is the time when the menstrual period of women stops and that they can no longer bear kids. What are the signs? Doctors say that if you do not experience vaginal bleeding for over a year, you are probably in that stage. Other signs include hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and change in sleeping pattern.

Getting older is indeed a gruelling process however you have to be thankful for the gift of age and wisdom. You can give back by ensuring that you eat the right kind of foods. When you age, your ultimate goal should be health and wellness. You can begin by being aware of the foods to eat.

Here are the things that you should eat:

  • Flaxseed: You haven’t thought about flaxseed all your life but it is time that you realize how it can help you. Flaxseeds are excellent source of estrogenic-like compounds. These compounds can help you with hormonal changes and as a result it can prevent constipation and even heart disease. Before actually eating it, you need to grind it first and store it in the fridge to keep them from turning harmful.

 

  • Almonds: Hormonal changes are inevitable like plunging of oestrogen levels. The good news is that almonds can help you with improving your oestrogen levels. Almonds are safe to consume even if you eat it every day. Keep in mind that almonds produce healthy fats that can fight against effects of low oestrogen plus it is high in riboflavin, vitamin E complex and vitamin E complex for vascular integrity.

  • Eggs: You need more vitamin D, B vitamins and iron which are all found in eggs. Actually, everything you need to be strong as well as lively is packaged in your eggs. It should be organic though so be watchful.

 

  • Fruits: Fruits are your natural alternative if you are craving for something sweet. Fruits are good because it is packed with antioxidants, fiber and water that will fill your body. However, you should limit eating fruits to two servings per day to avoid accumulating too much sugar.

 

  • Vegetables: Who would forget about vegetables? Vegetables are known for its low calorie content which can help you with decreasing the chances of gaining weight.

When You Should Hire a Property Management Company

Real estate management companies can be the answer to a successful property management. However, their expertise doesn’t come cheap, and you might find the expenses associated with it unreasonable on the long run.
So, in order for you to know whether or not hiring a Singapore estate agent is necessary, consider the following factors we’ve discussed below.

• You have a number of units for rent. Bear in mind that the more rental units you have, the more work it requires—from tenant billing to maintenance duties. When you hire a management company, they will be the one to execute the operations for you and, therefore, all you have to do is to supervise and wait for the deposits.

• You live miles away from your property. If your rental building is located far from where you’re residing, you should consider hiring a Singapore condo property management company, as it will be very difficult for you to deal with management operations from afar.

• You have very limited time. If managing your property is not your only job, you may not have enough time to devote to address issues pertaining to your investment. Also, if you wish to grow your property rental business without affecting your current job, a good managing agent can do all the tasks for you, such as searching for properties on sale, improving your business structure, and arranging and financing renovations.

• You’re not into hands-on management. Though many landlords like the challenge of finding quality tenants and doing all the management duties on their own, there are some who doesn’t want to get involved with the demanding day-to-day management of their rental property. If you’re one of the latter, hiring a property management company may be a good choice to keep your investment up and running.

• You don’t want the employer accounting tasks. When maintaining a property, you will need to hire a number of people as your employees to make sure everything is well-covered. Therefore, you’ll need to handle their payroll and deal with other legal requirements. But if you hire an estate management company, which is an independent contractor, you spare yourself the headache from being an employer.

• Your rental property is part of a housing program. Rental property owners under an affordable housing program follows a complicated set of rules in order to claim financial assistance, which may be in the form of tax credits, grants, or interest loans, in exchange for allowing low-incomers to rent their properties for a cheaper price. With so many rules and procedures to follow, it’s often worth using a managing agent to handle your investment under such housing programs.

Though using a management company is undeniably expensive, many property owners in Singapore still choose to employ their unmatched skills primarily because agents secure continuous flow of income and take off loads of work from their day-to-day schedule. By using a management company, everything associated with property rental, including marketing of units, dealing with tenants and prospects, handling maintenance issues, and even pursuing rental evictions, are well taken care of. The experiences and abilities of these professionals are brought into your business, giving you peace of mind that comes along with knowing that your property is in good hands.

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