Easy Magic Tricks You Can Learn to Impress Your Friends

Whether you’re simply hanging out or at a dinner party, you can be sure to wow your friends and be the center of attention using these five amazing magic tricks that you can pick up easily:

The Spoon-bend

While it may seem confusing at first, you will only need ordinary spoons and a quick sleight of hand. Start by getting your audience to notice the spoon with one hand and make sure they’re paying attention to that one hand.

Take another spoon with your other hand and bend it against a hard surface (usually the table), and hold it in a way that hides the bend. Next, present that spoon to the audience still in that hand and wiggle it gently to make it appear as if you’re bending it.

Floating Cards

There are simple ways to make cards float in mid-air from your hands – or at least, make them look like they’re doing that.

One way to do it is the following:

  • What you need for this trick is a playing card, black sewing thread, and a piece of tape. Tape one end of the thread to the center of your card and fasten the other end of the thread from a button in your shirt.

Run the thread in a way that it goes between your index and middle finger, and goes over your thumb. It also helps to wear a dark shirt, as this will conceal the thread better.

Another way to do it also requires black thread and tape:

  • You will need tape, black thread, a short straw, and a card. Cut a section of the short straw, secure it to the back of the card, and insert the thread through the straw before taping it to the back.

When doing this trick, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay attention to lighting, your clothing, and distance.

The Magnetic Hand

Mysterious playing cards that somehow stick to your hand can be easily made using just regular cards – the trick is to cut a small tab out of one card and glue a second card to it.

Once you have your modified card, hold the tab using your index and middle finger, and then proceed to slide other cards underneath that card. Turn your hand upside town to make it look like the bunch is sticking to your hand.

So the next time you’re with your friends or entertaining guests, you can brush up on these tricks and be the life of the party.

Keep in mind, though, that the true ingredient to making any magic trick work is being able to direct your audience’s attention where you want them to. This may take a while to master, but with constant practice, you’ll be able to pull it off flawlessly.

6 Gorgeous Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Band

Metals like gold, silver, and platinum – alloys included – are timeless symbols of commitment, but they also have their downsides other than their price tag.

For instance, they’re great for conducting electricity and insulation (bad news if you’re constantly exposed to electricals and high heat!).  They can also trigger metal allergies and put you at a risk of hurting your hand in certain instances.

If you find that any of these apply to you, then here are some material alternatives you should definitely start mulling over:

  1. Silicone

Couples with an active day job or lifestyle, where they need to be hands-on all the time, will be sure to love a ring that won’t slip off, conduct heat, or be prone to accidents that would lead to finger damage.

This is where silicone rings come in. Their structure makes them durable, hypo-allergenic and extremely flexible and non-conductive, which makes them perfect for most work environments.

  • Tungsten Carbide

Because even classic bands like gold and silver can get scratched after a long time, choose this material for your ring instead.

Not only is tungsten carbide scratch-resistant, but it’s also harder than steel and gold. The biggest advantage is that it’s much cheaper than traditional precious metals, making durability a much more affordable option for any engagement or wedding ring.

  • Ceramic/Wood

Ceramics are an excellent non-allergenic alternative to rings made of precious metals, since rings made of these precious metals and their alloys can be lost, scratched, and/or easily damaged.

With wood, you have a number of advantages – you have a ring that’s unique in appearance, durable, and hypo-allergenic, but also eco-friendly and really cheap.

These two options are particularly great for those who happen to work near sources of heat or electricity. It minimizes the risk of burns or electrocution, and in hazardous work conditions, there’s no need to take off the ring.

Non-Ring Alternatives

Non-ring alternatives also exist for those constantly working with their hands, such as the following:  

  • Wedding Tattoo – Worried about your ring snagging or getting in the way at work? Can’t find a suitable substitute for a wedding ring?

How about no ring instead?

This new trend where couples simply get a wedding tattoo instead of a ring is not only cheaper, but also a more creative way of showing your commitment.

  • Necklace/chain – Instead of a wedding band, more and more couples are donning a gold chain that they can wear around their neck – and the ring can be strung on the necklace depending on your preference.
  • Watch – While this isn’t a less expensive option, it does make for a non-finger option while still being an expensive reminder of commitment and marital status.

5 Signs That Your Dog Is Stressed Out

Maybe you have noticed some behavior changes in your dog. Perhaps, they are acting out or seem to show unusually clingy, tense or distant. Does Fido need a walk, a spa day or just longer hours of sleep? It turns out that your beloved puppies can also get stressed out like we do. To help all pet parents out there recognize when their dogs need a break, here are the signs to watch out for.

  1. Laid back ears

Dog ears look different, but stress can make it quite different. Some puppy ears look more erect if they feel uneasy, but many looked pulled back, becoming almost pinned back. As a pet parent, you should learn the positions of dog ears. This is a good sign to notice when you want to know if your pup is stressed out.

  • Mouth gap

Are his lips curled back? Do you see more teeth than usual? Notice that curl before it transforms into a snarl, and then into a snap and finally into a bite. Veterinarians say that even whiskers can look more pointed in response to stress.

  • Decrease in appetite

Dogs do not go on diets or fasting like humans do, so it is important to consult your vet if your puppy suddenly loses interest in food. This can be due to stress or an underlying health problem, such as anorexia, which causes the dog to refuse eating and its food intake to significantly decrease that it results to drastic weight loss.

  • Increased sleeping

Perhaps by now, you’re already accustomed to your pet’s sleeping habits. If you start to notice that your canine is sleeping more than usual, talk to your vet and let your doggy checked immediately. Lethargy is usually one of the first symptoms of injury or trauma. The symptom can also be due to conditions like heart and liver problems, tumors, diabetes, severe dehydration, diarrhea, anemia and poisoning.

  • Unusual aggression toward people

A bit of aggression towards people they do not know is normal. But if you’re seeing unusual aggression even towards someone in the family, this could be a sign of a sick and stressed out dog. Consult your vet as soon as possible before it gets worse.

Many signs of aggressiveness accompanied by fearful facial expression and body posture. Treatment for this focuses on behavior management to assist your dog with its anger and anxiety. Pet devices like muzzles can be helpful when you’re bringing your dog outside of the house to prevent causing injury to other people and animals.

Be mindful of these signs. While some of them aren’t as obvious as the others, they can be the key to ensuring the health of your little furry friend.

4 Luxurious Yoga Retreats Near Singapore

There are instances when a fun beach vacay or a relaxing staycation in a fancy hotel just doesn’t cut it. You come home and go back to work still feeling exhausted and burdened by stress. If you feel anything like this, you need more than just a vacation—a retreat!

These peaceful havens are just a bus- or a train-ride away from Singapore, but are peaceful havens that help detox you physically, mentally and even digitally, complete with cozy accommodation and relaxing facilities to set you straight. Below, we gathered five yoga places for a well-deserved break and rehabilitation of your body and mind. 

  1. Revivo Wellness Resort, Bali

Perched on top of Nusa Dua hills, this newly opened resort and spa is a tanquil oasis, making it a perfect spot for a yoga retreat. Here, you can try a variety of yoga styles, ranging from Vinyasa to aerial flow yoga, and even Anusara, which is a yoga combination of Western movement and Eastern spirituality.

  • Uma Paro, Bhutan

For a vacation that relaxes the body, mind and soul, a holiday yoga package at Uma Paro is one you must try. Set in a 5-star hotel and spa that overlooks the Paro Valley of Bhutan, it is the ideal escape place and reward yourself of some well-deserved TLC. A typical day during your stay may include a morning and afternoon yoga and guided walks through the Paro Valley. And as you’ve worked hard, treat yourself to their skin cleansing treatment and signature massage to end your day.

  • Langkawi Yoga, Malaysia

Seated right in the middle of green rice paddies, Langawi Yoga offers a laidback and humble approach to their yoga experiences, so you can expect a mix of energizing yoga and the slow, tranquil style. Their programs feature luxurious massages, jungle and coastline tours, a healthy vegetarian fare and yoga practices twice a day. Langkawi Yoga is also decked with charming cottages scattered around the rainforest, but you can also take a pick from their hotel room accommodations.

  • Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

This award-winning retreat centre in Thailand is set in an ancient cave that was once inhabited by monks. Here at Kamalaya Koh Samui, you will find various wellness programmes that mainly focus on building a solid foundation for a healthy lifestyle, burnout relief and emotional balance. You can even talk to their naturopaths to customize your own programme based on your particular needs and health goals.

Taking good care of your state of mind is just as important as ticking off every item in your long list of life goals. Take advantage of these paradise of Zen every once in a while to keep your physical, mental and emotional health in check.

How Can You Get Over a Creative Slump?

In Singapore, it can be safe to say that when you’re working, you live a very busy life. Moreover, there are always times when you feel like you’ve ran out of brain juice and your hard work has put a toll on your mind, causing you to have a creative slump.

What could be the reason?

You’re frustrated because you’ve hit a plateau and ideas just don’t come to you anymore. Before doing anything else, take a moment to examine the reason behind it. Is it because of stress? Is it because you’re sick? There can be many reasons why we run into a creative slump. And it’s perfectly understandable!

What to do:

Don’t be so harsh on yourself

Everybody goes through a creative slump sometime in their lives, so know that it’s okay to find yourself in one. This is only natural because we are humans and not machines. We experience the twists and turns of life, both positive and negative. So shake it off and don’t feel so bad about it.

Do some physical activities

When you notice that your creativity is hitting its limit, you might be under a lot of stress. Breaking a sweat can be a great way to reduce stress, though. Running, hitting the gym, and playing some sports can release endorphins that can improve our mood and have a positive impact on our mind.

Keep your place clean

Having a clean and organized environment to work in can actually help keep your mind straight. Too much clutter can cause you unnecessary stress and hinder creativity.  When you work in a clean and comfortable place, your ideas will flow better.

Get some sleep

Sleep can be a great go-to when you’ve hit a slump. This is because when you sleep, you give your brain a time to rest and recover. Your thoughts, decisions, and ideas will be better once the mind is well-rested.

Write whatever comes to mind

Write about everything that comes to your mind at the moment. It doesn’t have to have coherence, it doesn’t have to be serious, sometimes it doesn’t even have make sense at all. “The dog got the quiz perfect on the National Day Parade because I am the greatest prime minister of Singapore.” You’ll find that you can unexpectedly get new ideas through writing.

Read a book or watch TV

Similar to writing, reading a book or watching TV can also give you a lot of ideas. When reading a book, you’ll sometimes find quotes and teachings that can inspire you to continue whatever you’re doing. And while watching TV, not only are you entertained, you might also get ideas from what the people are saying.

Go outside

When you’ve hit a slump, it’s probably best to go to a new environment. Somewhere you can interact with others, get some sunlight, and basically have some fun. This takes you off work for a while but can definitely help refresh your mind.

Ways to Keep Yourself Motivated to Work Out

So you’re 5am alarm rings and it’s time to get your usual work out. But suddenly some unknown force is dragging you back to the bed telling you to stay there and get more sleep. These days, it’s become really easy to lose motivation to exercise. You know you want to get better but you feel tired, what should you do?

Write down your goals

Having your goals written down will not only help you envision them in the beginning. Once you have them on paper, you can always look at them when you’re feeling tired of doing your workouts. Put down both your short-term and long-term goals. Check the goals you’ve achieved so you can look back and see how better you’ve become.

Remember why you started

All of us have reasons to exercise. To some it may be stress-relief, leisure, to get that beach body, or to address health issues. So, when the time comes that you’re feeling extra unmotivated, remember why you started exercising in the first place.

Go with people who motivate you

Always surround yourself with people who will cheer you on and are good motivators. They can help you continue running, finish that last set, and keep you going. This also doesn’t only benefit you as an individual, it leads you to grow and get better together with your companions.

Pretend that a crowd is cheering you on

This is one way to add a little fun to your exercise. You’re jogging at MacRitchie Reservoir or Labrador Park and are already feeling tired, even though you think you can still do more. Imagine that a crowd is there hyping you up and cheering you on. You can even imagine being in a race- you’re in the first position, you cross the finish line… and the crowd goes wild!  

Have an exercise rival

The idea of competition can be a great motivating factor. Your rival can be a friend or even someone you completely do not know at all. You can secretly compete with the person/s who are exercising near you and that can be enough to give you a little push.

Think about the end result

In connection to setting goals, picture yourself in the future after all your exercising. Refer to that image of yourself every time you get tired of exercising. Or if you’re a runner, think that nothing can beat the image of having a medal around your neck after a long and tiring run.

Make bets

Make a bet with someone you trust. If you can’t go to the gym, especially with a scheduled workout, you’ll have to pay him/her. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to cancel other activities just so you won’t lose a bet. What is meant here is that if you’re looking for an excuse to skip exercise, you won’t be able to do so easily because money is on the line.

4 Simple Steps to Make Your Wardrobe More Grown-Up

The way you dress can say a lot about who you are, andwhile your license or ID may give away your age, your clothes don’t have tofollow suit. By following these simple but effective steps, you can finallystart showing off your sophisticated self to others.  

1. Skip the graphic T-shirts.

Graphic t-shirts may have looked cool when you were still in school, but now that you’re an adult, it’s time to ditch them for a more mature outfit – and outlook – on life. You can still wear them every once in a while for a casual gathering, though.

The one principle in making your wardrobe appearsharper once you graduate college (or even once you hit college) is that youshouldn’t try too hard. The simpler your outfit is, the better.

2. Go for fit.

Forget shopping for sizes – most clothing brands have different sizing systems, which means your clothes can either always be one size too large or too small. Having a tailor get your measurements is key to ensuring that your clothes fit you every time.

3. Learn to iron your dress clothes.

While you may have never had to learn how to iron your clothes when you were younger, times have changed – it’s now up to you to look presentable to the people you will be interacting with throughout the day.

Be sure to iron the back of the collar and not the front. A good press gets rid of the wrinkles without pressing the life out of your clothes. Remember to hit the shoulders and sleeves and finish up the rest of the cloth in one direction.

If you absolutely have to, buy clothes that don’t needmuch ironing. Not only will you save yourself a lot of time in having to keepyour shirts pressed, but you’ll also save yourself a lot of money from havingto pay the electric bill.

4. Avoid fashion trends.

While experimenting every once in a while in terms of style can be a lot of fun, you’re better off not chasing after the latest fashion trends – they’ll keep coming and going, it’s almost impossible to keep track of them, and you’ll only be left more confused than before.

Certain trends may be the “in” thing now, but come the next few months you’ll be left with a pile of clothes that are no longer in style and are taking up space in your closet. When that does happen, all the money you spent on those once-trendy clothes will essentially turn to waste.

Again, when it comes to dressing like a grown-up, there’s one principle: keep things as simple as possible.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Bedsheets

Feeling hot and uncomfortable at night can often be aproblem, but can be Bedsheets can be quite amazing, especially after a long day and a goodshower, and a good set of linens that’s cleaned regularly can go a long way inensuring that you get a good night’s sleep.

Types of Bedsheets and Bedding Fabrics

While picking your favorite color for your room is a snap, it can be a little more difficult to pick the best type of bedding that you’re sure to love sleeping on. Here are the different types of beddings for your consideration:

  • Cotton – The most popular fabric used in beddings because of its breathability and softness, and comes in its own different types. Cotton is also surprisingly easy to maintain.
  • Flannel – Cold nights often call for flannel sheets, which is cotton that’s been combed to give the fiber threads more fluff.
  • Silk – Naturally hypoallergenic and one of the most luxurious fibers, but with the downside of being quite expensive.
  • Polyester – Inexpensive, but can be stiff and starchy when it’s used on its own. It’s often used as blends with other types of inexpensive threads, such as cotton. Finely-woven polyester is sold as microfiber, which is softer and more durable.
  • Bamboo – While most “bamboo” sheets you will find are actually made of rayon, typical fabric made of actual bamboo tends to be stiff and tough in a way similar to polyester.
  • Blends– Blended fabrics are often made of a mix of polyester and cotton, but can alsobe made of other types of fabrics, such as bamboo, or even flannel.

Thread Count: Does More Mean Better?

Thread count only matters for your sleeping experience up to a certain point. The sweet spot for thread count is actually 280, and manufacturers often use a little bit of creativity to inflate these numbers to as much as a thousand. Other manufacturers would even use extremely thin threads to add the count, and which can break much more easily.

Instead of looking at thread count when choosing your bedsheets, look at other factors that can make or break your experience, such as the following:

  • Chemical-free– To minimize wrinkling, many bedsheet fabrics are often made to undergocertain chemical processes, which can have negative effects on your skin.
  • Fiber – There’s a good chance that most of the fibers in your bedsheets will be made from cotton, and can range from organic cotton to cotton/polyester blends. This can also influence how soft the fabric will be.
  • Breathability – This factor is important to consider when you live in a hot place and want to keep cool when you sleep, as highly-breathable fabrics allow air to move around freely instead of trap them.

4 Ways Journaling Every Day Will Change Your Life

There’s more to journaling than just writing whatever comes to mind on paper, even though it’s perhaps the best way for you to keep your ideas in one place.

Here’s how jotting down on your journal will change your life:

1. It gives you topics for conversations.
Journaling lets you collect the thoughts that come to you in a way that you can remember them better, so when you’re not sure on how to strike up a conversation, you already have a few topics at the tip of your tongue that will let you get the ball rolling.

2. It lets you look for the silver lining.
Whenever you feel that you’re having a tough time, there’s a trick in journaling that will get you through it and even find a solution for any problem you might be facing.

It’s as simple as this: alongside every negative thing that’s currently happening, write down a positive thing in your life that you’re thankful for. Compare and contrast the positives with the negatives.

Once you do this, you’ll find that there are more things to be thankful and are worth striving for, and that things are not as bad as they seem.

It’s also because of this that you get the next benefit of journaling:

3. Journaling helps you handle depression better.
When you’re overwhelmed with what’s on your mind, you need to be able to write everything down as a way to manage it better. You’ll find that when you’re feeling depressed, journaling might just help you get by.

While it won’t solve depression overnight, it will help to give you some perspective on your life – that not everything is as bad as it seems, and that there’s always a way.

4. It improves your writing.
Your writing style will improve the more you write, even if it’s just for a journal entry. By collecting your thoughts, you also get to process and organize them, and this already counts as a writing process in and of itself.
After doing this for a while, you can look back and notice the difference in writing style when you just started out. Your thoughts will be more refined when you put them to paper, and you’ll also catch errors in your earlier entries that you didn’t notice before.

So the next time that you feel overwhelmed by everything that’s happened to you recently, or that there are a lot of things on your mind, it’s important to have a perspective from which to view everything. Writing things down gives you that perspective.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

3 Basic Carpentry Skills You Can Learn in an Hour

There are a lot of ways you can improve your HDB flat in Singapore, whether it’s adding a section of drywall or making your own tables and chairs to fit your living room or dining area. You don’t need to be a carpenter to do it yourself, but it does help to know the basics before diving into any woodworking project.

Here are the basic carpentry skills you can easily learn in less than an hour:

1. Measuring
The real secret to any woodworking or carpentry project is this: not misplacing any of your tools and equipment.
While it seems like a no-brainer at first, it turns out that you’re likely to spend more time looking for the right tools instead of actually using them, and this is why a tool belt is invaluable.

You’ll also be surprised to know that most of carpentry is taking careful measurements, and this is where you should always learn to keep a pencil with you. If you don’t have a pencil, you can’t mark your measurements, and you can’t build.

Before doing anything else, keep the woodworker’s axiom in mind: “measure twice, cut once.”

2. Cutting
Handsaws may be more tiring to use, but they do the work just as well as a circular saw – they’re also cheaper to get and easier to maintain.

If you’re having trouble using a handsaw, be sure to keep it straight and hold it at a forty-five degree angle. Push and pull using an even motion and let the saw do the work. If cutting through the wood is difficult with it, sharpen it to make cutting easier.

Circular saws are easier to use, but they also come with their own risks, so be careful when handling one. As much as possible, cut only on the supported side of the board and unplug it whenever you want to adjust it to cut at another angle or area.

3. Nailing
Nailing is easily both the “soul” and the frustration of carpentry, and while you can easily hammer one into place with just two or three hits, it’s a kind of skill that takes a lot of time and practice to really master.

The trick to making this easy on yourself is by choosing a hammer that’s neither too heavy nor light. The next thing is choosing the right nail to suit the wood you’re working with: common flathead nails for ordinary outdoor jobs, spiral nails for more holding power, and finishing nails for inside jobs.

As much as possible, avoid leaving nails in loose pieces of wood especially if the points are sticking out, as this could cause serious injury.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)