17 Plants that Help Purify Air in Your Home

House plants are not just for decoration, but they can also double as air filters. If you are running out of ideas for home decor, look for these house plants next time you are out hunting in shops.

Peace Lily – This beautiful and versatile plant can be placed on your bathroom sink to remove toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and formaldehyde.

Chrysanthemum – Not only will this houseplant look gorgeous as a live decoration, but it can also remove toxins such as xylene, benzene, ammonia, and formaldehyde.

Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos – This simple plant that can be planted in pots, water or in hanging baskets is known for its purifying abilities when it comes to common toxins. It is also a hardy plant.

English Ivy – It is not only good for decorating walls, but it is also a known air purifier because it removes benzene and formaldehyde.

Boston Fern – When raised correctly, this gorgeous plant not only provides excellent outdoor decor, but it can also remove toxins like xylene and formaldehyde.

Weeping Fig – This can be grown indoors and is used as an air purifier because it can remove common household toxins.

Barberton Daisy – Love flowers? This daisy comes in a variety of colors and are also easy to raise as houseplants. Plus, they are known to remove common household toxins.

Rubber Plants – The Ficus elastic can be planted indoors in a pot or outdoors to provide shade. It is also known to remove toxins such as trichloroethylene and benzene.

Snake Plant – Do you ever wonder why this plant is so common even in commercial spaces? That is because it is low-maintenance and can even remove common toxins like trichloroethylene and benzene.

Philodendron – Even though it looks so simple this hardy plant is known to remove formaldehyde in homes.

Dracaena or Dragon Plant – This plant needs plenty of space to grow but they are known for removing harmful toxins when planted indoors.

Aloe Vera – Not only is this succulent known for its medicinal properties, but it can also remove toxins and is fairly easy to grow.

Chinese Evergreen – You can place this near your bathroom, and it can help cleanse the air of chemicals from common items used for bathing.

Spider Plant – Despite its terrifying name, arachnophobes have nothing to worry about because this hardy plant can remove xylene and formaldehyde in your apartment.

Dwarf Date Palm – It is quite easy to grow but needs a lot of space (it grows up to ten feet) if you want to decorate your apartment. It is known for removing xylene and formaldehyde in homes.

Areca Palms – The Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is perfect for decorating large empty spaces because it can grow big. It is known to remove toxins, but it should be kept out of reach of pets.

Pineapple – Yes, you can grow a pineapple in your home. Studies show they can even help with sleep problems because they boost oxygen levels in your home.

3 Delightful Okra Dishes You Should Try

One cup of okra daily is healthy for you because it is high in vitamins and minerals. However, its viscous juice makes it an unpopular vegetable in some people. Here are ways to make the vegetable more attractive for those who don’t like okra.

Brunswick Stew

Ingredients: 2 cups okra, 1 pound smoked turkey drumstick, 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 cups lima beans, 2 cups corn kernels, 1 pound potatoes, 1 dried bay leaf, 15 ounces diced tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 1 onion, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, 3 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Preparation: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and cook onion, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper for 3 minutes. Next, stir in garlic, crushed red pepper, and thyme. After 1 minute, stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Next, add broth, tomatoes, and bay leaf then bring mixture to a boil. Add corn, okra, turkey, potatoes, and lima beans then bring to a boil. Next, bring down to a simmer to cook for 20 minutes while covered. Add vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Simmer for another 20 minutes, shred turkey, and heat thoroughly before serving.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients: 2 cups okra, 8 ounces smoked turkey sausage links, 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast, 14 ounces chicken broth, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup water, 1 cup red/green sweet pepper, 1 cup onion, 4 garlic cloves, ½ cup celery, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried and crushed thyme, and 3 cups cooked brown rice

Preparation: Heat saucepan over medium heat and cook flour for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly before adding the broth. Stir until mixture thickens then pour into a slow cooker. Add okra, sausages, chicken, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, sweet pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. If you don’t want to wait long, cook on high for 3 to 3 ½ hours. Make sure to skim off fat occasionally. Serve gumbo with cooked rice.

Okra and Rice Casserole

Ingredients: 1 ½ pounds trimmed okra, 3 tablespoons canola oil, ½ cup yellow onion, ½ cup celery, ½ cup green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons garlic, 15 ounces diced tomatoes, 3 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup corn kernels, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, ¼ cup melted salted butter, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 8 ½ ounces basmati rice (microwavable), and 8 French bread slices

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking dish (13 x 9 in) by greasing it. In a Dutch oven, whisk flour and oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Next, add bell pepper, garlic, onion, and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes then add broth, tomatoes, corn, okra, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Combine butter and pressed garlic in a bowl then brush the bread with the mixture. Bake bread for 3 minutes per side then transfer to a food processor and pulse until crumbled. Cook basmati rice in microwave according to instructions then spoon into prepared dish. Top rice with okra mixture and breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Things You Can Do to Nail Every Interview

Regardless if it’s your first-ever job interview or not, there’s always a chance that you’ll be very nervous and scared. The thing is, that’s normal! Especially because getting a job will affect your life through and through. Nonetheless, there are many things you can do to nail an interview. Here are only some of them.

Do your research

One common mistake applicants make is that they don’t do enough research. Whether it’s about the company or the job description itself, always try to do some research. For one, it shows the interviewer that you’re knowledgeable about the company and that you must be eager to work there. That will apply, for example, when you are asked “why did you apply for this job?” or “what made you choose our company?”

Be ready with the questions

One of the most common things that applicants do is to look up traditional interview questions. Naturally, you should too!  It’s the simplest way to be prepared with whatever’s thrown at you. Of course, knowing the questions can help you provide better answers. The interviewer can easily notice if you’re well-prepared, you’re a 50-50, or you haven’t prepared at all.

Know your selling points

If you look at it another way, you’re really going to an interview to sell yourself. That’s why you should try to come up with your best attributes and assets beforehand. If you want to, you can make a list of your skills and achievements. Then, you can think of ways to incorporate them into your answers. Just remember not to overdo it because you’re just going to come off arrogant.

Prepare a question as well

Right as the interview finishes, you’re usually asked if you have any questions. Using this time correctly can also land you bonus points to the interviewer. Some good questions would be “what skills are required to succeed in this certain job?” or “what are the challenges I might face if I get this job?” These questions can show that you’re eager and might impress the interviewer. One question should be enough though as you don’t want to take too much of their time as well.

Just think positive

Having a positive mindset before, during, and after the interview is probably the best way to go through it. By thinking positive, you can automatically show your confidence and enthusiasm. If the interviewer sees this in you, your chances of landing the offer can skyrocket. Simply put, don’t doubt yourself too much and just think positive!

Always say thank you

Lastly, always say thank you. You’re thanking them for giving you the opportunity. You’re thanking them for giving you time to discuss the job opening. And it simply shows that you know how to be grateful. Even when the interview doesn’t go exactly your way, it can show that you’re respectful and appreciative overall.

Signs That You Are in a Bad Relationship

Being in a relationship can be a serious commitment. Even if you’re not planning for marriage yet, you’re still investing a considerable amount of time and energy with another person. The problem is, things aren’t always going to turn out the right way. More than anything, your emotional and mental health can be affected if your relationship starts to get rough. So here are some signs you should watch out for.

1.  Gaslighting

Let’s start with one of the worst forms of manipulation there is, gaslighting. Gaslighting is basically a tactic wherein the manipulator makes you question yourself and your sanity. One simple example is blatant lying. When it’s already very obvious that the other person is lying but he/she insists that “you’re just imagining things” or something like that.

2.  Your partner is being passive-aggressive

Another warning sign you definitely should not ignore is passive-aggressiveness. It’s pretty toxic because the other person makes you feel guilty just so he can get what he wants. No matter how much you think about it, it’s not healthy because the other person is using guilt instead of actually engaging in a discussion with you. If you let this go on, you’ll only make things more miserable for yourself.

3.  You submit to your partner’s opinions

If you find that you’re constantly changing your opinion just to please your partner, then that’s a bad sign. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to speak your mind freely without facing the criticism of your partner. If you consider not speaking at all because you’re going to get nagged by your partner anyways, that will be very taxing for you emotionally and mentally.

4.  There’s no trust anymore

Trust, of course, is crucial in any relationship. One of the more common examples is of sharing social media accounts. Some people like to know their partner’s social media passwords so that they know who their partner interacts with. But doing this is somehow breaching privacy already. Snooping too much on their interactions only show that you lack trust. Sometimes it can even be a reflection of you. You’re snooping too much because you are already guilty of breaking your partner’s trust.

5.  You simply do not feel good about the relationship anymore

With all the points mentioned above, you may just start feeling like the relationship isn’t the same anymore. You might start mutually avoiding each other just to spend some time apart. Or maybe you just stopped communicating as much as before. This is a good sign that you’re growing tired of the relationship already. Just don’t deny it and recognize that, if really taken to the extreme, you’ll just end it there.

First Trimester Diet Guide

The first few weeks of your pregnancy is an exciting time for the entire family. Expect your relatives and family members to flood you with tips about how make the nine-month journey stress free and healthy, but they will also be giving you various tips of what you should and shouldn’t eat.

Balanced Meals

You do not just eat for two people, but you have to eat right; that means maintaining the right balance of essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you and your baby healthy. During the first trimester, you will have to increase your daily intake of certain food groups. For example, pregnant women will be advised to take more food rich in iron, calcium, zinc, folate, and fiber. Generally, you should have 3 to 5 servings daily of vegetables; 3 to 4 servings of fruits daily; 3 daily servings of dairy; 2 to 3 servings daily of protein; and 3 servings daily of whole grains.

Know Your Food

When it comes to fruit, always go for fresh although canned, frozen, and juices are also fine if there are no alternatives. You must, however, include at leas one citrus fruit in your diet. For vegetables, increase your intake of leafy greens and make sure they are always fresh from the market. Good dairy sources can come from milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy milk. Get your daily dose of whole grains in the form of cereals, crackers, and bread, while healthy protein should come from lean meat, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, and lentils.

Don’t Eat More

The point is to increase the essential vitamins and minerals, not increase the serving of each meal. You will not be needing the extra calories until later in your pregnancy, but you will need more folic acid, protein, and vitamins A and D on your first trimester. Supplements can help augment your diet but consult your doctor first before taking any vitamins or medications during pregnancy. Stay within the daily recommended allowance and use only the products recommended by your doctor.

Extra Calories

You will need a slight increase of your caloric intake, but you should be careful where you get it from. Ideally, pregnant women will need an extra 300 calories, but this can change depending on your current health condition. You should also look for food rich in complex carbohydrates along with fiber to avoid tummy issues. The best sources for carbohydrates are legumes, beans, pasta, whole wheat bread, and vegetables.

Colorful Diet

The best indication that you are eating healthy is by looking at the variety of colors on your plate. Have as many greens, yellows, and reds when it comes to vegetables. For fruits, pick citrus, avocado, banana, apple, watermelon, mango, and grapes. Most seafood are fine if you do not have allergies, but you need to cut down on deep sea fish like shrimp, king mackerel and sword fish. You should also avoid anything raw or undercooked, soft cheeses, raw sprouts, non-pasteurized milk, caffeine, and sweetened beverages. If you are feeling nauseous and don’t like the food set before you, pick tummy-friendly food that will not give you diarrhea.

STD and Pregnancy

Most first-time parents are unaware about the dangers of undiagnosed and untreated sexually-transmitted diseases during pregnancy. Complications can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby, that is why you should be aware about what to do when you are diagnosed with STD while expecting a baby.

Think About Getting Tested

In Singapore, you can get STD screening using kits you can buy at clinics. This is a convenient way to get tested if you are uncertain about going to a clinic yourself. You and your partner should talk about both getting tested when planning for a baby, but if this was not possible, you can still get tested during your routine prenatal checkups.

You Can Still Get Infected

Even when you tested negative before the pregnancy, you can still get infected while carrying the baby. Being pregnant does not automatically shield you from STD if you are still sexually active with your partner. You can avoid this by getting tested with your partner during your first prenatal checkup. The earlier the detection of the infection, the better the chances for a successful treatment.

STD Affects Your Baby

Women can suffer from complication during pregnancy or go through a difficult childbirth because of STD. In worse cases, it may even end up in a miscarriage. Some problems will not be obvious until weeks later, so if you have tested positive, take all possible measures to protect your baby during childbirth. There are ways to prevent your baby from getting infected while you yourself are undergoing treatment.

STD Can Be Prevented

While it is still possible to enjoy intimate moments with your partner while pregnant, you must make sure that your partner uses latex condoms to protect yourself from diseases. It would also be safer if you both undergo STD testing.

It Can Be Treated

Some types of STDs can be treated during pregnancy such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Most of these can be cured, too, if treated early. Others like HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B cannot be cured but the doctors can take measure to prevent the virus from infecting the baby during childbirth.

STDs Affect You and the Baby Differently

Each type of STD affects you and your unborn child in many ways. Most of them also can only be transmitted during childbirth, not during the nine months you are carrying the fetus.

  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted during the delivery, so doctors have to treat the child right after birth.
  • Hepatitis C can be passed on during pregnancy and might lead to premature birth or low birth weight.
  • HIV can be passed during pregnancy, labor, vaginal delivery, and breastfeeding. You can reduce the transmission during the early part of your pregnancy if you are given early treatment.
  • Syphilis can cause stillbirth, premature birth, or even death after birth. Babies will also have several organ complications.
  • Chlamydia can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and premature membrane rupture. If not treated, the baby might get infected during vaginal delivery.
  • Gonorrhea can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and premature membrane rupture. It can only be passed to the baby during vaginal birth.

6 Reasons to Sip on Tea Instead of Coffee Before a Workout

Increase your workout energy and fat-burning potential by sipping on some caffeine before your next gym session. Drinking caffeinated drinks can help boost the effectiveness of a workout, as well as help relieve pain caused by intense exercise.

However, when choosing which caffeine to take, tea is said to be more effective than coffee. Read on to find out why your favorite green tea is the best substance to drink before hitting the gym.

1. It Enhances Memory to Remember Routine Moves
Unlike coffee, green tea is great for enhancing your memory—so great that some studies say it can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Make sipping green tea a habit by having a cup before your next workout class. You’ll not only get yourself alert, but you’re also investing for better memory in the future.

2. It Improves Your Focus
Sure, anything caffeinated will give you an instant boost. However, even if a cup of tea and coffee have the same amount of caffeine, studies suggest that the former gives you a clearer and more focused kind of alertness, which is something you need when you have, say, a hundred pound of weight to lift.

3. It Keeps Your Bones Strong
Green tea helps strengthen and improves the quality of the bones, therefore protecting you against possible injuries with continuous workout. Consume a cup of it before every going to the gym and you’re doing your bones and joints a big favor for their future.

4. It Has More Antioxidants
A major reason why green tea is great is because of the compound called polyphenols—an antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. What does free radicals do to you internally, you ask? Well, they’ll simply increase your cholesterol level, alter your DNA and change the course of your cell membranes in a bad way. Green tea is here to help reverse the effects of these harmful chemicals.

5. It Aids Healthy Blood Flow
Just in case you’re not aware yet, you need a good amount of oxygen in your bloodstream when executing exercises. Green tea helps lower cholesterol level, improve blood pressure and increase blood flow while you’re doing strenuous activities in the gym.

6. It Promotes Better Sleep
If you want to have the energy for a workout session the next morning, then sip on some tea before hitting the sack the night before. As a known fact, coffee drinkers experience more difficulty in falling asleep than tea drinkers. Opting for a refreshing cup of tea over coffee means better sleep and waking up to more energy the next day, right?

Working out is healthy for you. Boost the health benefits even more by consuming the right kind of food and drink.

4 Ways to Spruce up Terra Cotta Pots

Flowers are a great way to liven up any space, and they also bring a lot of benefits. Aside from adding more oxygen to the room, looking at nature (even just tiny house plants) have been proven to significantly reduce stress levels. The calming nature of plants have also shown to increase productivity, memory performance, and attention span. While there are many spaces in Singapore where you could find a bit of green, it’s always a good idea to bring nature indoors. While you’re at it, why not spruce up your boring planters with a bit of DIY magic? Here are a few DIY ideas to that will help jazz up your planters.

1. Flower Decoupage
One thing you could do to liven up your terra cotta is to do a bit of decoupage. All you need to do is to paint your pot a plain color (off-white works well for this) and cut out shapes from colored napkins. Once the paint is dry, stick the napkins with mod podge, and then add another coat of mod podge to the whole thing to seal it.

2. Fabric Decoupage
If you don’t want to decoupage with flowers, there are other materials that you could use. For example, take fabric. You could use fabric of any pattern, as long as it’s not too thick. Light colored, cotton fabric is a safe choice. Simply put a layer of mod podge on the terra cotta, then wrap the fabric around the pot, making sure to create an allowance of about an inch at the top and bottom of the pot. Then add more decoupage on the cloth, and press out any bubbles under the cloth with your hands to ensure a smooth layer.

3. Faux Antique Terra Cotta
Other than adding decoupage, another thing you could do to terra cotta planters is to make them look older than they actually are. To make your pots look antique, simply spray the pots with fleck stone spray paint, then sand the pot. For an added illusion, dab on some dark green and brown paint to mimic dirt and moss.

4. Chalkboard Paint
Using chalkboard paint gives you an extra bit of function to your pots. If you’re planting herbs, you could write down the names of each herb to remember which plant is which. To avoid overwatering, you could even write down the date of when you last watered your plant. If you’re giving your plant as a gift, you could write a short note, or draw a small doodle.

To use chalkboard paint, simply put two even coats of paint on the planter of your choice. Make sure that each layer dries completely, then put chalk to paint and get creative!

4 Early Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship

When we talk about abusive relationships, the first things that probably come to mind are bruises and black eyes. While abuse can certainly be in the form of physical violence, it can also be an assault without physical contact. In fact, emotional abuse is more common form of abuse in relationships today.

Perhaps, you won’t see it coming because these people often appear attentive, sweet and charming in the beginning. They will make you feel loved and appreciated that you won’t notice him/her discreetly manipulating you. But there are red flags you can watch out for during the early stage of the relationship to help you spot an emotionally abusive partner.

1. Being Casually Manipulative
Manipulation is an abuser’s way of communicating so they won’t be held accountable of their wrong actions. Gaslighting is the most common form of manipulation, which is when your partner communicates with you in a way that makes you question your own intention for the relationship. If your partner makes you feel guilty for your reaction towards his fault, you probably have an emotional abuser on your hands.

2. Being Entitled to All of Your Time
While it’s totally normal to want to spend a lot of time with your significant other, it becomes a problem when you need a little space and your partner finds it unacceptable. Usually, they insist to go with you or guilt you into ditching your plans. This is not love; this is control. Learn to stand firm on your decisions and do not feel guilty for setting boundaries to have time for yourself. If your SO doesn’t get that, then that person may not be the best partner to be with in life.

3. Their “Passion” for You Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself
Being with a passionate person is something we all want. It makes us feel loved and wanted. However, unhealthy things in the relationship can be masked with ‘passion.’ If your partner gets jealous easily if another guy or girl looks at you, and goes to say “I love you so much that it freaks me out when someone checks you out,” or he sees you wearing a dress and asks you to change because he loves you and doesn’t want you to look like a slut, then that is jealousy, and jealousy is never a compliment.

4. They Casually Put You Down
Abusers tend to attack their partners emotionally in a sneaky way. They will target your self-esteem because for them it is easier to manipulate you if you have lower self-esteem. When your partner makes casual negative comments about your physical appearance or weight, or consistently puts emphasis on your weaknesses, they are likely attempting to put you down so you’ll be dependent with their assurances.

You deserve better than this kind of people. It may be hard to end a relationship, but being in an emotionally abusive relationship will never do any good for you.

How to Save an Hour from Your Morning Beauty Routine

No matter how early you wake up, there just isn’t enough time to get ready. In an attempt to save you an hour from your morning routine, here’s how we think you should be doing your morning beauty routine.

1. Fake a Freshly Washed Hair
It’s unhealthy for your tresses to wash them every day (and who has the time to wash, dry and style their hair every single day?). Prolong your blowout and wake up to a sexy bed hair by going to bed with your hair in loose topknot. Leaving your hair down will only cause friction between your strands and the pillow, causing them to look frizzy the next morning. Securing most of your hair away from your body and your pillow will preserve the smoothness of every strand.

2. Get an Eyelash Extension
Eyelash extensions may be expensive, but it is totally worth the splurge, time-wise. You basically wake-up fabulously, since your lashes make eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow unnecessary. It visually lifts your eyes and cheeks, so you can just focus on nailing a flawless skin and be out of the door in no time.

3. Leave Your Hair Towel-Wrapped While Doing Your Make-Up
Instead of blow drying your hair right out of the shower, wrap it up in a towel while you’re doing your make-up. After your make-up, unwrap your hair and it should be 50 percent dry by this time. This is when you start blow drying in the coolest temperature. When you feel like your hair is almost dry, turn the heat up for a quick blowout. Keep in mind that it is the last bit of moisture that styles and sets the hairstyle, so blow drying your tresses straight out of the shower is just a waste of time.

4. Fill In Brows With Tinted Brow Gel
It’s just a lot of work to shape, shade, blend and set your brows to perfection every single morning. Instead, use a tinted brow gel to fill in your brows. Get a shade lighter than your hair color so it won’t look too strong.

5. Use Double-Duty Products
Since there’s always not enough time in the morning, learn to streamline your make-up process. Use a tinted moisturizer with SPF for an all-in-one application of moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen. Make-up artists also swear by stick blushes since they can use them on the cheeks, lips and even on the eyes. You will save time because you’ll skip rummaging through your vanity or make-up bag to find products and shades that work well together.

Whether you need more sleep, just being lazy or are always pressed for time, these simple tricks will save you a precious amount of time and get you out of the door looking effortlessly fabulous in no time.

How to Pair Wine and Chocolate

Wine-and-chocolate pairing is so cliché in romance movies. But did you know that you shouldn’t just pick a bottle and a chocolate bar randomly? There are rules when pairing wine and chocolate. Here’s how to do it like a professional chef.

1. Sweet Plus Sweet
One tried and tested method is to match the sweetness of chocolate with a much sweeter wine. Why? The wine is sweet too but its acidity will balance the taste of chocolate. The wine will also wash off the lingering taste of the chocolate. It’s like cleaning your tongue for the next bite. Dry wines aren’t ideal pairs so pick a sweet sparkler instead.

2. Match Weight with Weight
No, we’re not referring to the heaviness of the bottle of the plate of chocolate cake. The weight refers to the number of ingredients present in your food. If you’re having a cake covered with chocolate, berries, nuts, almonds and icing, pick a wine that’s less sweet. Chocolates with fewer ingredients can be paired with sparkling red wine with a hint of fruits and blossoms.

3. Check the Tannins
Too much tannin can ruin the taste. Remember that the more cocoa the chocolate has, the more tannins it contains. Avoid pairing dark chocolates and red wines with heavy tannins. Read the labels on the box or bottle to check the ingredients.

4. Choose Red Wines
Most red wines go well with chocolates. Just don’t forget that there are as many types of chocolates as red wines. Chocolates are fruity (it comes from cacao) so it will go well with fruity reds. The pairing will balance the acidity of the flavors.

5. Dark Chocolates are Strong
The taste of dark chocolate cannot be complemented with a sweet or fruity wine. The higher the percentage of the cocoa, the less sweet it tastes. You could try a fortified wine to match the intensity of the dark chocolate.

6. Heavy Plus Heavy
Sometimes you can ignore rule #2. Some chocolate desserts need to be matched instead of complemented. So go for that heavy red with your heavy chocolate cake.

7. Their Terrior Aren’t a Match
Cacao is grown in select humid areas in the world. Vines don’t need a lot of heat. Some wine connoisseurs are particular with terroir when matching food, so chocolate and wine don’t exactly match.

8. White Chocolate Plus Dry Reds
In some countries, white chocolate isn’t considered chocolate. But it’s the one type of dessert that could actually be paired with dry red wine (remember rule #1?)

9. What to Do with Flavored Chocolates
Flavored chocolates are trickier because you have to match the flavors and ingredients with the right wine. Caramel is good with aged wines, mint is perfect with single-varietals, while peanuts go well with nutty and sweet wines.

How to Pick an Apartment or Dormitory

Moving to a new place can be stressful. There are a lot of things to think about besides the location and cost. Dealing with the landlords can also be hassle especially if you’re on a tight budget. When choosing an apartment or dormitory in Singapore, what are the factors you need to consider?

Choosing an Apartment
Read the Contract
You should read everything on the lease or contract before signing. Talking to the landlord alone will not give you all the important things you need to know. You might forget to ask some questions. If you know what you have agreed on, it will be easy to know how long you’re supposed to stay. Some information in the contract will also tell you the kind of landlord you’re dealing with. Shorter contracts should be a warning sign that people don’t stay long in the place.

Check Out the Place
Inspect everything in the apartment. Check the ceiling, ventilation, windows, sinks and drains, faucets, door hinges and locks, drawers, and cabinets. A pest infestation is a big problem, so inspect every nook and cranny for signs. It’s not just the unit itself that you have to look at. Ask how many people are currently renting, if there are noisy neighbors, and if there are pets in the building.

Talk to Neighbors and Friends
Talk to your friend who recommended the place. You should also ask the neighbors about the place and their experience so far. Rumors should not be ignored. That’s usually where you’ll get the juicy information such as the landlord’s treatment of the tenants and the maintenance of the place.

Choosing a Dormitory
Features and Amenities
There will be a lot of people in a dormitory. You’ll be sharing some of the facilities that’s why it’s important to inspect the place. Check if all the amenities are working such as the water supply, the kitchens, bathrooms, lights and ventilation, etc.

Consider Your Lifestyle
Not all people are comfortable living with strangers within the same room. If you want quiet dormitories, you can ask your school for recommendations. Talk to your friends and classmates so they can provide other options. Look into the history of the dormitory. Pick one that is sensitive about the different backgrounds, value systems and lifestyle of multicultural students in Singapore.

Check Potential Roommate/s
Bunking with a stranger can be a hassle to a lot of people. Ask your friends and classmates if they’re also looking for a place to stay. If you already know your roommates, it will be easier for you to adjust to the place. If you can’t pick a roommate, however, try to get to know the person sharing the room with you. You should both agree on the rules on how to share the space peacefully.

Everything You Need to Know About Two-Tone Lipsticks

Two-tone lipsticks are among the trending items in the lip cosmetic industry just recently. We have witnessed the transition from the classic lipstick to liquid lipsticks, and now the ombré look on one’s lips is quite enjoying popularity especially in a number of countries in Asia.

One Korean cosmetic brand in particular, Laneige, has released a series of two-tone lip bars designed to give the lips a beautiful gradient. The play of colors result to a gorgeous, ombré look. This unique product is popular in Korea and other neighboring countries as well thanks to its product placement in various K-dramas and commercial adverts.

Is two better than one?
Instead of having only one color, this lip stain boasts of two complementary colors in a single formula. This allows a unique combination of colors on one’s lips. The company released the product because of the rise of two lip trends: the ombré lips and the lip stain, allowing the user to achieve a natural, dewy-looking lip color which also has enough coverage for the whole day long.

Sometimes, working with lip liners and matte lipsticks makes it difficult to achieve a layered, rich color combination. Not to mention that things are likely to get messy in the middle of the application process. This is where two-tone lip color proves to be a modern lifesaver to a lot of women: the pigment of the product automatically gives a rosy dual-tone lip color, which is also long-lasting to boot.

Things to know before making a purchase
• It can be tough for dual colors to co-exist on your lips. With that, the two-tone lip stain may work better when applied on full and plump lips. Otherwise, you may not really much appreciate its ombré effect.

• Notably, the darker shade shows up more evidently on the lips compared to the lighter shade. Some light shades may even be so light on your lips that you may think it’s not there at all, making the dual tone effect practically absent.

• While the two-tone outcome may vary among different set of lips, you might need a small applicator or your finger to slightly blend in the colors together. This is done in order for the colors not to look too harsh on the lips.

Where can you get it?
You can get the two-tone lip bar at Sephora SG for around $34, while Lazada Singapore offers it at roughly $32. Best-selling shades include: red blossom, milk blurring, and maxi red (a top choice as it pulls off that natural rosy-looking lips). More unique shades include pink salmon and juicy pop, which plays with the colors red, orange, and yellow—perfect for rocking a summer look!

The Best Candy Stores in Singapore for Your Sweet Tooth Cravings

Who ever said candies are only for kids? Even adults have their sweet tooth cravings every once in a while. Besides, more and more candy stores from various places across the globe have found their way here in Singapore. With that, we now have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to satisfying our taste buds’ guilty pleasure.

Treating yourself to these sweet goodies isn’t bad at all — if consumed in moderation, that is. Learn to say yes to your cravings often, and forget about all your woes for a moment. Give yourself that sugar rush you deserve after all the hard work you’ve done!

M&M’s World
The first M&M’s concept store in Singapore opened at Changi airport in 2012. Since then, the store catered the soft chocolate cravings of customers. They also offer other items beside chocolates such as toy candy dispensers, exclusive souvenirs, and other accessories. The store’s lounge also has interactive, fun activities suited for both kids and the young at heart.

Candylicious
If the name isn’t enough to give you a general impression of this store, Candylicious lives up to its portmanteau of words (candy and delicious) by offering about 5,000 different kinds of chocolates and candies. This store is perfect for your sweet tooth cravings. Best-selling candy choices include gummies shaped like cola bottles, peach rings, and gummy bears.

The Cocoa Trees
The cocoa trees is the dream store suited for your chocolate cravings. The place has diverse choices of chocolate brands from across the world like Toblerone, Swiss Delice, and The Belgian among the many other brands you may choose from. The store has a number of branches all over Singapore, with most of them found inside Changi Airport for your convenience.

Au Chocolat
Another chocolate store, Au Chocolat is a French-inspired candy store which is a delight to many chocoholics. They offer rich sugar treats such as sherbet bombs and cream toffees. The thing about this store is that, you may also marvel at the process behind how they come up with their sweet treats! Think of it as satisfying not only your cravings but also your curiosity, as you can watch the making of their chocolate creations through a glass window.

Candy Empire
You don’t have to stray far away from home if you want a taste of sweet treats other countries offer. Candy Empire is a store found in Singapore which offers myriad treats imported from various places all over the world. You can choose to your heart’s content — from chocolates, jams, candies, and other snacks coming all the way from the US, Europe, and Australia.

Film Camera Shops in Singapore

Most people would throw this question straight at your face once you mention film cameras, “Why not go digital?” Well, they just don’t get it at all! There’s a certain art from capturing a scene on film compared to snapping a picture through the camera installed on your phone. For those into arts and who enjoy cameras, you get the picture. Film stores are pretty hard to come upon nowadays since everyone is into digital filming instead of the old-school classic film cameras.

Film cameras have also started to come back because of the Instagram thread with the hashtag, #filmisnotdead. What can we do? Things are starting to turn around. People are starting to appreciate the amazing art behind film photography and the good thing about Singapore is that there are a few film shops that still respect and have been supporting film photography through thick and thin!

1. Lomography Gallery Store
Lomography is actually one of the most massive film camera companies in the world! For over 15 years, this company has been able to expand and branch out throughout countries like Europe and Asia and of course, Singapore. The great thing about this store is they display artwork that will make you fall in love film photography even more! It’s located at 295 South Bridge Road.

2. Black Market Camera
Okay fine, you probably know about this store already. It is one of the most popular places in the camera scene because it is known to be the country’s first actual lifestyle and photography store! Ranging all the way from cameras to straps to all kinds of photography equipment, this store does not let film photography get out of its sight. Find your film camera goodies at this popular store located at 3 Coleman St. at the Peninsula Shopping Centre.

3. The Camera Workshop
Ah yes, looking for those goodies nobody else has? Well, check out the camera workshop! Having an amazing selection of cameras you wouldn’t even know are still alive! Get those vintage goggles going and feast your eyes on their amazing collection of cameras that do not even exist anymore! It is also located at 3 Coleman St. at the Peninsula Shopping Centre.

There’s a certain art behind capturing beauty through the eyes of old film. Maybe you’ve never really tried to get behind the lens of an old film camera. Well, the experience is very different from a digital camera and there are a lot of photographers who prefer film camera rather than digital ones. There are so many things to do in Singapore, check out these shops today!