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Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Broken-Hearted Friend

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Bad breakups may be a common subject of some jokes and memes, but for the person who has just been dumped, it’s no laughing matter at all. How do you not say the wrong things to a friend who just had their heart broken? Comforting the person is not easy, and it’s tempting to say things that you think might help make the situation better, but are in fact not helpful at all.

Remember not to say these things to someone who had a bad breakup or who has just been dumped.

“It will get better in time.”

Yes, it will, but you don’t need to remind the person about it. He/she already knows that, but the pain is still fresh. Getting your heart broken is just like seeing your sports team lose in the finals, the pain will stay for a while. Let him/her cry about it, it will help.

“You deserve someone better.”

While this might be true, the person doesn’t need to hear it. Let your friend heal at the his/her own pace, because we all deal with pain differently. There will be a time to make jokes about it later, but not while the pain is still fresh.

“You need to get over it or forget it.”

How? Your friend cannot start the healing process if you’re expecting it’s easy to forget someone who has been a part of their life. The pain will not go away immediately, that is why you should be there for him/her throughout the process.

“That person wasn’t great anyway.”

The person doesn’t need to hear that he/she has been wasting time on someone who doesn’t deserve that love. You don’t know what problems they’ve been through and what they felt for each other, no matter how close you are to your friend.

“There are other people out there.”

Yes, obviously, but people tend to make bad decisions when they’re emotionally vulnerable. Taking your friend for a drink or a date with a stranger might lead to embarrassing or disastrous situations.

“I knew you’d break up.”

How did you know? You were not part of their relationship, no matter how close you claim you are with your friend. Whatever their problems were, it was between the two of them and you’re an outsider.

“Find someone else to forget him/her.”

Your friend will find that someone special eventually, but let him/her heal at his/her own pace. It is not easy forget someone whom you thought was the one for you. Even you will have a hard time, and you wouldn’t want to hear such a comment from anyone.

“Think of all the good times you had instead.”

Don’t you think your friend is already doing that? Of course, your friend will be thinking about their moments together, that’s a normal part of the healing process.

“Let’s have a drink.”

Alcohol can impair judgement. You wouldn’t want your friend in an accident or start an unhealthy dependency on drinks to forget the pain.


Live Freshwater Plants for Your Aquarium

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Keeping live aquarium plants seems like extra work, but they will help create a better environment for your fish and produce an overall better water quality.

Benefits of Live Aquarium Plants

Having live aquarium plants not only enhances the appearance of the tank, but also provides a lot of benefits for your fish.

  1. Aeration: Plants can serve as substitutes for airpumps and airstones, because they can provide the fish with oxygen as well as absorb the excess carbon dioxide.
  2. Filtration: Plants can also supplement the filters that are supposed to remove the waste, heavy metals, and other residue in the tank. They can also serve as home to bacteria which will add another type of water filtration.
  3. Algae Reduction: Algae can be a problem in tanks, but with live plants, the excess light and nutrients are used practically by the plants.
  4. Protection: Plants can also serve as barriers and protection for your fish. They will help create a natural environment for your pets and contribute to overall tank health.

Requirements for Aquarium Plants

Your aquarium plants need an ideal water condition in order to thrive. Take note of the following when setting up the tank.

  1. Water Temperature: 70 to 80 degrees F for most plants
  • pH Level: 6.5 to 7.5 for most plants
  • Lighting: 2 to 3-watt LED for aquariums; expose the plants to light for a minimum of 12 hours daily
  • Others: fluorite or eco-complete substrates; soft water hardness for tropical plants, and hard water for most aquatic plants

Aquarium Plants for Beginners

These are the 10 aquarium plants that are easy to grow.

  1. Java moss – This is a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate most types of lighting.
  2. Water wisteria – This grows fast and can be used as a carpet in front of the tank.
  3. Amazon sword – This is usually planted at the back of the tank because it can grow up to 20 inches.
  4. Anubias nana – It grows up to 6 inches and is a low-maintenance plant.
  5. Bacopa – It has a slow growth rate, but it doesn’t need a lot of attention.
  6. Brazilian pennywort – It can be grown either as a floating plant or a rooted plant.
  7. Guppy grass – This plant grows quickly and is easy to care for. It can also provide fish a place to hide and can even be placed as a floating plant.
  8. Moneywort – Also called Brahmi, it can be grown fully submersed or partially. It has a tough stem that can grow up to 12 inches or longer.
  9. Pellia – This plant can be attached to rock or driftwood and is quite easy to grow.
  10. Rotala indica – Also called Indian toothcup, it is a mid-ground aquatic plant that has stems that can grow above the water surface.

Sculpting 101

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Sculpting is the art of creating or representing a subject by casting, carving or shaping. To create a sculpture, artists use two main processes; adding and subtracting. To understand this art form better, let’s look at the four basic sculpture techniques used.

Modeling – This additive process uses malleable materials that are built up into an armature or skeleton that has been shaped to create the desired form.

Casting – Another additive process, a melted material is poured into a mold to create a desired form.

Assembling – Also an additive process, assembling involves the gathering of materials or parts to assemble a product.

Carving – This is a subtractive process that requires chipping or cutting away of parts the source material, such as wood and stone, to create the desired form.

Materials for Sculpting

The techniques listed above use different sculpting tools and raw materials. For example, clay is the most popular medium for modeling, while an example of assembling is the practice of creating customized action figures.

If you want to try sculpting, you will need sculpting materials, sculpting tools, and armatures. There are a lot of materials to choose from, so the possibilities are endless. The list below only covers the basic items.

  • Wood
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Any metal
  • Clay (oil-based, polymer, air-dry, homemade play dough, oven-bake, or porcelain)
  • Glass
  • Technical ceramics
  • Plastics

Sculpting Tools

All sculpting tools are divided into four functions, such as cutting, scraping, shaping or smoothing, and detailing. The type and size of tools will depend on the sculpture materials you will be working on.

For wood sculpting, you will need the following tools: chisels, U and V gouges, chip-carving knives, mallet, fish tail, parting tool, spoon and bent gouges, rotary tool, band saw, drill press, planer and joiner, belt sander, and burs and accessories.

For clay sculpting, you will need the following tools: silicone or rubber-tipped shaping tools, dental tools, knives, clay-cleaning tools, loop tools or mini ribbon, wooden modeling tools, rolling pin, clay extruding gun, rubber stamps, beads for texturing, and oven thermometer.

For stone sculpting, you will need the following tools: tooth chisel, point chisel, hammer, flat straight chisel, pneumatic tools, carving stones, and sharpening stones.

Creating Armatures

The armatures provide the skeleton or the foundation for your sculpture. Most sculptors prefer the aluminum wire for creating armatures, although others also use steel and wood. The aluminum wire or almaloy is valued for its pliability, non-staining, non-corrosive, and lightweight characteristics.

To create an armature made from almaloy, you will need the following items: a base for the armature made from plywood or other material, wire cutters, pliers, apoxie puttie, marker, and 1/8 and 1/16 aluminum armature wires.


How to Fight Back When Your Life Seems Falling Apart

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You’re buried under credit card and loan debts, your job is like a living hell with no real future in sight, you haven’t had enough sleep and you just had a breakup. All these predicaments and other sorts of issues seem to be all crashing down on you all at once and it’s as if your life is a wreck. How can you ever get up or even know where to start putting everything into order? Grown-up life is not easy.

Here are the simplest ways (yet effective when done consistently) that will get you through life’s battles:

Use your support system

You may have a set of reliable friends or one that knows you inside out. Shoot them a message or call if you need to when you need another set of eyes to get a better perspective of what you are going through. You need not to share in all the details, just air out what you can to lighten up your load. Many Psychologists believe that a problematic gets a relief and feeling that the battle is half won when shared with someone. Sometimes, we just need a pair of ears that will hear us out in this down time.

Go to bed and cry your eyes out

Sometimes, you need a private time to let it all out and acknowledge your hurt like an open wound. Give yourself a good cry and don’t suppress it—allow all the pain, anxiety and all other depressing emotions flow down like tears. Says author Jerry Bergman, trying to stop ourselves from crying increases our level of stress, and even contributes to illnesses related to stress, including high blood pressure and heart problems.

When we release emotional stress through crying, you will find it easier to sleep because scientifically, shedding tears reduce an amount of hormones for psychological wellness and in order to recover, the brain send chemical signal to neurons to induce sleep and help the body rest fully.

Consider all possible answers

If looking into the solution means you seek help from Google then by all means, do so. Look up ideas that can help you minimize or solve your most pressing problem. You may find loads of information out there but that is alright, the important thing to take note is the fact that there are answers. If it requires more effort and time than what you can pour in, then go find another; there is no problem that has only one solution left.

Find something that can distract you

A contributor from forums.sgclub.com said that time cannot heal all wounds but it can make you forget about it. While you are giving time the time, make sure you’re not stuck in the ordeal you’re in. Clean your house, cook your favorite meal, wash the dishes or shop for groceries it doesn’t matter—find and do something that takes off the weight of things on your mind. Being in a difficult situation should not to get in the way for you to re-establish a balance of your personal issues and obligations.


5 Ways to Be More Persuasive

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Some people are naturally charismatic and persuasive. Although persuasion is not something actually taught to us as we grow up, it’s definitely an important skill to have. Sometimes it can even dictate how successful you can be in life. So, without further ado, here are some ways for you to become more persuasive.

1. Know the difference between persuasion and manipulation

To put it simply, manipulation is to pressure someone to do what you want through guilt or force. Persuasion, on the other hand, is to get someone to do something that can benefit you and them. Knowing the difference is very important if you want to persuade someone and keep a healthy relationship with them.

2. Show the other person how it can benefit them

Again, persuasion is all about showing someone how an action can benefit both parties. For example, you’re trying to convince your girlfriend to go hike with you at the MacRitchie trail. You can show her the benefits of doing this to her health. It will be difficult to persuade someone to do something if they don’t gain anything from it or if they will have to suffer losses. So always point out the benefits.

3. Don’t complicate the conversation

You’ll have a difficult time communicating what you want if you’re already confusing the other person right from the start. It’s good to have a bit of an ice breaker but don’t drag it too long. If you take too long, the other person might just be confused or he/she will know that you’re trying to persuade them with something. So, just remember to keep things simple!

4. Consider the context

When we talk to certain groups of people, our language usually changes. For example, the terms and expressions we use with our friends can be different from the ones we use at the office when talking to our boss. You can basically think of this as context. You’ll have to consider context because you want the other person to understand you as much as possible. Why would you use teenage slang when talking to aunties who would never understand you?

5. Yield if you really can’t do it

If you think you really can’t persuade the person, just give it up. You won’t want to push a person too hard as it will only affect your relationship. If you fail to persuade someone with one thing, don’t worry too much. Sometimes these things don’t really turn out to be much of a deal. Plus, there might be a chance that you failed for a reason. You might get more benefits than if you actually convinced the person otherwise.


Simple Techniques to Memorize Better and Faster

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Whether it’s for a business speech, a presentation for school, or even some math formulas for a test, you have to use different techniques so that you can memorize your material properly. The thing is though, there are methods that can be much more efficient than others. So, let’s cut to the chase and check out some simple techniques that can help you memorize better and faster.

Record

There are numerous advantages to recording yourself when memorizing. One is that you’ll rely on your own ears instead of looking at your copy. Let’s say you start memorizing a short paragraph in the speech. If you keep looking at the copy to read out what you just forgot, you might get used to that. So when you take the stage, you’ll just mess up because you don’t have a visual cue anymore. Another advantage is that you can force it in your subconscious. Some believe that when you listen to the recording while you sleep, you’ll remember the material better because it’s replayed again and again in your subconscious.

Write the material repeatedly

This tip can be more helpful if you actually memorized some lines of your material already. Instead of just speaking those memorized lines, it might help to write them down as well. And not just that, write them down again and again! This way, you’ll get to pay extra attention to what you’re saying as you can check if the words are correct as you write them down. If you think about it too, you’ll notice that you will have an easier time memorizing something while writing it down compared to just speaking it. You get to train your eyes, mouth, and ears by doing this as well.

Do a simulation using your surroundings

While practicing or even when you’re still trying to memorize some lines take advantage of your surroundings. If you’re making a presentation in a classroom, for example, try to memorize inside the classroom itself or somewhere close to it. By doing this you’re already readying yourself for the actual presentation as early as possible. Plus, you allow yourself to get comfortable with the venue by doing this. You’ll definitely have an easier time during the actual presentation. 

Teach or present it to someone

Let’s say you’re trying to memorize some important mathematical formulas for a test. One great way to test yourself on how much you’ve memorized is to teach the material to a companion. You can also try to make a test out of it for the other person to answer. By doing this, you’ll gain a better understanding of the material you have to memorize. Simply put, when you have a thorough understanding of something, you’ll be able to memorize it better and a lot quicker.


Ideas to Detach Yourself from Work

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Most of the stress we experience about being constantly congested with the pile of things to think about concerning our jobs is self-imposed. In this era where communication devices are at our fingertips and the expectation of 24/7 accessibility, it’s harder to detach ourselves from the sounding noise of work-related calls and messages. In fact, a 2016 “Working in Asia” survey by Roffey Park has found people from Hong Kong, China and Singapore spend more hours at work; 43% from Hong Kong, 45% from China and 52% of workforce coming from Singapore (highest one) says the level of their stress has gone up in the past in six months.

Here are ideas on how to disengage from work day after day:

Switch into a transition method

A long day at work along with the stressful effects it has placed upon you is such a terrible feeling to end your day. Before being able to fully enjoy your downtime, it’s crucial to know how to start establishing a mindset that will transition you from work to relaxation state. Putting your phone on silent mode or away for a while is a choice that’s entirely up to you. There is no harm if you choose to look away from work emails or messages for 30 minutes or so.

As you make your way home through subway, car, bus or even walking, tune into a type of music you would like to listen to or a funny podcast that would lift your mood. If you consider a store or park as a happy place, then drop by to that before heading home and savor the feeling it gives you. The act physically disconnecting yourself and having some uninterrupted time to unwind can transform you to a different person—you become calmer, attentive and less occupied.

Follow a ritual

Observing a ritual would mean something you can look forward to everyday after work that allows you to divert your mind from work. Rituals can mean a bubble bath, listening to jazz, watching TV or movie marathon at home; if it helps you calm down and decompress, it counts! It would help to plan on what you’re supposed to do when you reach home to avoid frustration, and keep your gadgets on the other room while you chill.

Socialize with your other circles

pending time with people socializing and having fun is a great way to shift your focus from work to downtime mood. It would sound better to hang out with the ones who are not in your corporate circle as conversations involving work cannot be avoided thus, might defeat your goal. Choosing to be in a different crowd would enable you to get some breath of fresh air and social outlet. Shake it off with friends and enjoy yourself—sometimes, it can feel like a rebellious act but it isn’t, it’s called free will.


Waking Up Feeling Tired? Here’s Why, According to Science

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Alarm clock rings, you start to get up but still drowsy. Why? It doesn’t make any sense to feel sleepy in the mornings when you have been asleep for the past eight hours or so. Shouldn’t you wake up to the feeling of being energized and refreshed? No. According to science, there are reasons that explain why, unless you suffer some sleeping disorder.

Neurobiological

In a neurobiological perspective, a person spends most of his time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep while dreaming at the same time. The brain is very active during this time that it quickly consumes large amounts of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a molecule responsible for storing and releasing energy in cells. According to experts, Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that restrains, i.e. shuts down the neurons that makes someone attentive. The drowsiness is caused by the Adenosine remains that were accumulated in the brain while dreaming.

Who You Slept With

According to an article by Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., a neuroscience, molecular virology and psychology professor at the Ohio University, a study was conducted to investigate couples’ sleeping quality, specifically checking the balance of REM and absence of it. For women, sleeping with a man caused negative effect on the quality of sleep. Intimacy preceding sleep reduced the negativity of women’s subjective report but REM and non-REM was still unbalanced.

On the other hand, the sleeping quality of men sharing a bed with a female partner resulted otherwise—irrespective of whether an intercourse occurred. In short, men’s subjective report of sleep quality is higher when sleeping with a woman than alone; while women do not benefit from sleeping with a man unless physical contact is involved beforehand.

What You Ate

What you eat prior to bedtime has something to do with the quality of your sleep. A study suggests that sweets may help promote drowsiness as elevated blood sugar levels have been observed to heighten neuron activity that induce sleep. When these neurons sense sugar presence in the blood, they promote the feeling of drowsiness which most likely explains why we feel the urge to take a nap after having a large meal.

Your Sleeping Time

Evening-type (people who stay up late and wake up at a later time) individuals were more likely to suffer from daytime dysfunction and poor sleep quality, according to Wenk. Late bedtime is also associated with reduced Hippocampal volume—responsible for memory and learning abilities.

Not Enough Sleep

While the exact number of sleeping hours for someone to fully and properly function is unknown, sleep deprivation can lead to many negative effects such as excessive drowsiness, weight gain, pick fights and dwell on negative emotions. According to SingHealth “small amounts of sleep loss over many nights may result in subtle cognitive loss” which is unrecognizable until it becomes severe and disturbing. After all, a good sleeping hygiene is a must to function properly.


We’re Just Friends: Kinds of Attraction You Might Have

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According to an article by Sophie Hong, author at CLEO Singapore, if your friend listens while you talk about anything, buys you things, compliments you frequently and smiles when around you, these might be the signs that he has a thing for you! Then soon you might automatically think he is going to go after you and may be considering dropping your pointless friendship to connect romantically. But what if it was like his attraction to cars, antiques or paintings? Would you feel sad? Or think it’s unbelievable?

Many are convinced that if an attraction between opposite sex doesn’t lead to a romantic affair, it’s either delusional or a sad story. But according to Heidee Reeder PhD and author of COMMIT TO WIN: How To Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals, different kinds of attraction do exist and develop between opposite sexes. Reeder’s extensive experience in analyzing hundreds of interview transcripts and surveys for both men and women towards their closest friend enabled her to identify four different ways attraction is experienced within the boundaries of friendship.

According to Reed, this can change over time or overlap; and as what we are all aware, one type of attraction for a friend doesn’t mean it’s reciprocated the same way. Here are the 4 kinds of attraction:

Friendship Attraction

Apparently, this type of attraction is neither physical nor romantic in nature, but it is the type of attraction that draws you to someone because you like him/her and enjoy your time together. In short, this is the kind of attraction straight people feel towards their same sex friends.

Romantic Attraction

Basically, this is the kind of attraction that seeks to change the friendship into a romantic partnership. Be that as it may, it is imperative not to confuse this attraction with sexual attraction. Romantic and sexual attraction can go together but it is also possible to have physical attraction to someone without having romantic affairs with them. In Reed’s study, almost half of the respondents said they had romantic attraction to their friend at the earlier stage of their friendship but has lessened now.

Subjective Attraction

It is a physical attraction where engaging into intimacy is desired as part of the relationship. Just like romantic attraction, this can change for a period of time and is more likely to decrease. In Reed’s study, majority of respondents did not have such type of attraction to their friend currently while almost a third of them do.

Objective Attraction

From the word objective which means unbiased, this refers to understanding why their friend is admired generally but not feeling the same attraction by themselves. “This kind of attraction was experienced by over half of the people I surveyed” Reed says.

While studies and media concentrates on the romantic and physical connections that occur between men and women, investigation of cross-sex relationship reveals other information on the bonds that can play between friends of the opposite sex. The movie My Best Friend’s Wedding represents a tiny part of friendships in which romantic attraction stays and grows over time. So the next time you notice your friend showing off signs he/she is attracted to you, challenge yourself to understand and remember that you operate attraction in a variety of ways and by far the most common one is simple and straightforward—friendship.


The Truth Behind Millennial Job Hopping, According to Study

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It’s no surprise millennials have the reputation to be job hoppers. In turn, employee retention for companies has become a nightmare. But what if this job hopping phenomenon is not to be blamed all to millennials? What if employers themselves are failing at creating a workplace that will meet the needs and acceptable requirements of today’s generation?

Here are some truths behind the job hopping scheme of millennials, according to study:

Millennials don’t have the opportunity to showcase what they’re good at

According to a 2016 millennial survey of Deloitte, only 62% of 7,700 millennials from around the world agreed that they were able to maximize their skills in their respective jobs. Truth be told, activating what the employee is good at gives them a better appreciation and connection with the job they do.

Most entry-level or lower-ranked jobs don’t offer the opportunity for employees to make use of their skills and potential. Millennials need to be challenged and their ideas should be aroused on variety of projects. In turn, they will feel their value and stay engaged—an issue that is pressing with employees of any age.

Lack of career advancement in the company

A 2016 employee engagement survey led by Quantum Workplace (an employee engagement software company) showed more than half a million working professionals whose age is between 26 and 35 are the least engaged group. The said study also revealed that career advancement opportunities were one of the top factors of millennial engagement.

This report suggests that one of the main causes why this generation is disengaged at work is because they are not having the chance to professionally advance themselves. As a result, this drives them to look for another job thus, taking the route to job-hopping cycle. Some surveys in Asia similarly found this trend. For example, the MRIC Group 2015 Talent Survey in Singapore showed that even though only 14% of professionals change jobs in the previous year, about 33% say they are considering jobs in the current year. While in its nearby country, Malaysia, about 37.3% of millennials say they would leave their jobs when there’s no opportunity for promotion, according to a Vulcan Post poll.

Hard work is left unrecognized

In a 2015 Leadership IQ Survey, only 33% out of 3,000 employees under the age of 30 were convinced that their performance was at the right level. Lack of feedback and recognition that makes young professionals feel unsure about how well they are doing. That lack of communication can come across to have less importance in the organization. Without such attention, it becomes easier for them to be appreciated somewhere else.


6 Ways Your Office Desk Could Be Making You Unhappy

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A space that lacks functionality and attractiveness might be cluttering not just your desk but also your brain and in turn making you unhappy and unproductive. So, before a malfunctioning pen or a cluttered drawer gets in the way of your productivity, take care of these six things that could be affecting your mood and performance at work.

  1. Poor Lighting

As expected, working in a dark space can leave you feeling uninspired. Lighting makes a big impact when it comes to boosting your creativity, so invest in good lamps for your desk. Choose one that you can easily dim in a tap; it gives you control on how bright you want your lamp to be.

  • Too Many Receipts

Perhaps, you have a four weeks’ worth of receipts in your desk organizer, waiting for your next expense report. Instead of keeping the receipts of every purchase, which only clutters your work area, download a mobile app, like Evernote and Office Lens, to scan and digitized your paper trail.

  • Unruly Cables

Your internet line and your laptop and phone charger are vital for your productivity. However, if they constantly get in the way, you might want to buy yourself a cord clamp. It will keep all your cords in place every time you use them.

  • Your Picture Frames

If you have not updated your desk photo frame, say, in five years, it’s time to get yourself a new one—a new photo frame and photo. If your family photo was taken when you were still three in the family, swap it with your new family picture with your second child in it.

  • Lack of Organization

An unorganized desk is a cluttered desk, which isn’t a healthy environment for someone who wants to be productive. Invest in desk organizers and filing cabinets to keep everything tidy. As much as possible, avoid accumulating piles of folders and papers on your desk; it’s easier to work in a bright and spacious table.

  • Boring Design

A boring desk could also be the reason of unhappy and uninspired work hours, because although style and design has no direct link to a person’s productivity, a well-designed space encourages creativity and efficiency. Adding pieces like colourful paperweights will give your sight an added comfort whenever you’re at work.

It’s likely that your office desk is your home for the most part of the day, so it’s just practical to make it look and feel as comfortable as possible for you. Mind these items on your desk and see how you can fix them.


5 Tools to Get the Most of Your Next Long-Term Travel Experience

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We all dream to be on a long-haul vacation. However, as brilliant as it may sound, there are a lot of logistics that comes along with it. Otherwise, your vacation won’t be as nearly as wonderful as you might think it would be. To ensure an awesome long-term vacation, use these tools to make the most of the trip.

  1. Communication: Skype

Who doesn’t know Skype? Although there are many other apps that can provide audio and video calls through the internet, we recommend Skype because it can connect with regular telephone network for a very affordable cost. All you need to do is buy a local SIM card to access the local mobile internet network, and then the application serves as an international communications platform.

  • Accommodations: Airbnb

There’s nothing like the comfort of home. But how will you be able to get that when you’re halfway across the earth? Airbnb! Airbnb is an app that helps you search through over 500,000 private residences for rent. Whether you’re staying for a week or an entire month, you’ll be able to find a home—complete with kitchen (with kitchen utensils), bedrooms, toilet and bathroom—in your travel destination. And if you’re a frequent traveller, you can even earn extra income by renting out your own property. How cool is that?

  • Money Matters: Expense Manager

When in a long-term travel that’s based on limited budget, it’s important to always keep track of and control your expenses. Expense Manager is the app for that. It lets you key in your budget, register incomes and enter every expense made. It follows your expenditure activity on a daily basis and creates analysis by certain time periods or by category of expense. It lets you enter your expenses in the local currency and automatically updates conversion rates every day.

  • Activities & Tours: Viator

If you want to go on a tour but do not know where to start, Viator got you covered. Through this app, you can discover more than 20,000 top-rated activities and tours in over 1,500 travel destinations across the globe. More than that, the app offers VIP experiences at top locations and “Skip the Line” privileges at some of the most popular sites, like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.

  • Chill Out: Spotify Premium

When you just have some time to waste or want to wind down after a long day, music makes good company. Although you can fill up a memory card with MP3 files (that you’ve legally bought, of course!), your music library is limited. To avoid such restriction and have access to an entire world of music, download an online music service like Spotify.

Being in a foreign place for the long-haul can be challenging. Whether you’re in a new place for work or for vacation, make use of these tools to make it easier to adapt to your new environment and lifestyle.


6 Activities for Seniors to Keep Them Physically and Mentally Sharp

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You may be aging, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you once find enjoyable in your younger years. Physical and mental activities can improve your health and quality of life as you age. Age gracefully by making sure you’re keeping your life active and interesting by constantly engaging yourself with fun activities that will help preserve your mental and physical well-being.

  1. Visit Exhibits and Museums

Singapore has some great cultural, history and art museums on hand. Make it a habit to visit one museum every month, or at least visit whenever they have new exhibits and events going on. Walking around the museum and understanding the context of every art piece will challenge you both physically and mentally.

  • Learn Mahjong

Mahjong is a popular table game in Asian countries. Played with four players, it’s fun, social and strategic. Plus, learning a new game will get your mind running.

  • Go Dancing

Dancing is both physically and mentally demanding, which is something what you want to do on a regular basis as you age. Health experts even say that dancing is one of the best activities to improve balance, flexibility and strength, and helps reverse your brain’s signs of aging.

  • Try Tea Socials

You may no longer have the energy to host large diner parties, but why not invite a few friends over for some tea and desserts? Do this regularly to keep your social environment active and healthy. After all, maintaining friendships is one of the keys to happiness.

  • Keep Doing What You Love

Many people say that once you reach 60, you have to retire from work. While you can certainly do that, it doesn’t mean you have to stop working. If it’s a company policy to retire at a certain age, work on something that you truly love doing. Perhaps, you can turn a hobby into a profitable small business to keep you busy?

  • Play with Your Grandchildren

Nothing will give you a fulfilled heart and keep you youthful than youth itself. Spend time and play with your grandchildren. Have them sleepover every weekend at your home, take them out on a Sunday brunch or go out on a picnic with them. Joining them in their activities will not only be fun for you, but will also mean a lot to them—to your own kids and your grandchildren.

Even by just simply being around your family and taking care of them is enough to keep you active. But other than ensuring their welfare, make the extra effort to take care of yourself, too. Get active, socialize and learn new things. You’ll feel great and be healthier as well.


6 Kid-Friendly Recipes That Require No Oven

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Recipes that require no actual baking is perfect introduction to the kitchen for you kids. Some of these no-bake recipes are super easy, others may require a tiny bit of your assistance. But either way, all these are sure winners for your little angels.

  1. No-Bake Brownies

This five-ingredient treat makes a super fudgy dessert that everyone will surely love. Take the vegan route for a healthier version. Combine roughly chopped up walnuts and dates with some cocoa powder, sea salt and bit of vanilla. Let your kids mix them all by hands and have them press the mixture into a pan. For the cutting portion, it’s best to handle them yourself.

  • Watermelon-Raspberry Popsicles

All you need are some fruits (just melons and berries will do), a blender and popsicle molds. Puree your fruits until smooth. Add in your vanilla beans and briefly pulse the blender to incorporate. Pour the mixture into ice popsicle molds and freeze overnight (or until it sets).

  • Choco-Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Want to try something different? Try making a cookie dough out of chickpeas for a low-glycemic dessert. You can also do the conventional cookie dough with flour and egg, if you like. And go fancy by making truffles with chocolate coating.

  • No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Cake

Forget about the oven. This layered no-bake cake comes together on your table in minutes. All you need to do is to combine cereals, syrup, cocoa powde and coconut oil. And for the frosting, melt chocolate chips in heated full-fat milk. And then, let your kids assemble everything in round cake pans with parchment paper, layering the cereals mixture and melted chocolate frosting to look like a regular layered cake.

  • Healthy Snickers Bites

To start, pit some dates, then stuff them with peanut butter and some roasted nuts. Lastly, have it coated with melted chocolate. After a short freezing time, this healthy snack is ready to be experienced. Quick and simple, isn’t it? A healthier version of that crowd-favorite bar of peanut-y and nougat-y chocolate.

  • Banana French Toast

This recipe is ideal for older kids, or the younger ones can be your assistant to dip the bread into the egg and pass to you for frying. But regardless, the whole family will surely enjoy a Sunday brunch with this decadent French toast. Top your toast with caramelized bananas for a pop of sweetness that the kids will surely love.

Get your kids help you in the kitchen and let cooking be one of your fun bonding moments. But of course, be extra careful with handling sharp kitchen tools, like knives, peelers and food processors, and anything that requires heating. Allowing your kids to explore in the kitchen and introducing them to wholesome healthy foods early on helps to set them up for healthy diet and lifestyle in the long run.


5 Sure-Fire Running Tips to Help You Go the Extra Mile

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Sometimes, no matter how hard you train, you just can’t seem to log the miles you want. The reason for that isn’t necessarily a lack in motivation or energy—you’re simply missing something in your daily regimen that’s impacting the way you train.

To run more effectively and cover more distance, you need to develop the right mindset and techniques, invest in the right footwear, and even have the right diet.

Here’s how you can keep yourself going the extra mile for longer:

  1. Wear the right shoes

Do you know if the shoes you have are the right ones for you? There’s a good chance that you don’t, and it can spell the difference between having a great time and having a really uncomfortable time running.

The best way to know what shoes fit you is by knowing the size, dimensions, and arches of your feet. Take note that your foot size can differ depending on the day.

  • Follow the ten-percent rule

Perhaps the reason why you can’t seem to make any progress may just be your unreachable goals, and you can fix that by starting small.

Ten percent may not seem like much, but it adds up in the long run and is a much easier goal to achieve. It also helps you to avoid the risk of overtraining and potentially injuring yourself, which means you can keep going for longer stretches as your body gradually adjusts.

  • Eat right and sleep right

Running is a workout in and of itself, and like any other, you need to get the right amount of rest and nutrition. This includes taking a day or two off to let your body rest and recover, and loading up on the right foods to stay on the right track.

  • Vary your distance

Aside from adding more sprints to your pace, you can improve yourself simply by literally adding – or subtracting – the extra mile.

You can also improve your fitness and increase both your versatility and endurance by adding some more variety to the mix. Great examples to this include both brief sprints and interval running.

  • Break the mental block

Your body is more likely to give up than your mind, but there’s a trick that will keep you going no matter how much you may want to just stop and be done for the day.

This trick is simple: when you feel like you can’t go any further, take your mind to your happy place and let that self-motivation carry you towards your goals.

That motivation can also be enforced by running with others, which may even end up with you going harder and longer compared to what you would achieve on your own.


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