Jul 11

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.

Jul 11

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!

May 11

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.

May 11

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.

Apr 19

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.

Apr 19

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.

Mar 09

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!

Mar 09

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.

Feb 08

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!

Feb 08

4 Cooking Tips That Will Elevate Your Next Steak

The wonderful thing about cooking steak is that it is not only delicious, it is also very easy to cook. Steak is a meal you would definitely enjoy eating even by yourself but it would also be a good meal to cook for your family, your loved one, or maybe even a group of friends. Why wouldn’t they like a great piece of steak? Steak can be very tricky though, cooking your steak at different temperatures and at different lengths of time would definitely affect the outcome of your steak.

Here’s a few ways to elevate your steak:

1. Play with the temperatures. Steak can be served at a lot of different levels, you can serve steak cooked rare, medium rare, medium, and well done. Now how do you achieve this level of cooking with steak? The key is to manage your time and the use of your temperature. If you are going for a rare steak, try alternating your steak at a temperature that isn’t too high as to not cook through the juices inside the steak. Give an even cook on both sides and flip your steak at just the right time to make sure it is evenly cooked on both parts.

2. Use butter. Now butter is a great ingredient to use to get the good flavor on your steak. Wait up, don’t use too much butter though! You wouldn’t want to ruin the taste of a good steak. Butter burns easy which is why you shouldn’t start with butter, you should finish with butter. If you are cooking a rare steak, you might be able to start with butter. But if you are trying to cook a medium to well-done steak, you’d definitely have to wait until at least the last two minutes before you put in your butter.

3. Use different spices, herbs, and seasonings. There are certain spices, herbs and seasonings and herbs that go along with your steak and there are certain spices, herbs, and seasonings which don’t. There are some herbs you can use to coat your steak with but for fresh herbs, you might want to incorporate them with the butter to be braised around your steak.

4. Pick the right size of meat. The time used to cook your steak depends on the size of your meat and the level of steak you want to achieve. For bigger cuts of meat, you might have to cook a little more compared to smaller cuts of meat.

The best way to elevate your steak is to cook from the heart. What does this mean? Well, you’ll find out soon what it means to cook from the heart and you’ll definitely love cooking even more.

Nov 17

A Guide to Getting an Engagement Ring Insurance

As a newly-engaged woman, the last thing you’d want to give much thought about is purchasing an engagement ring insurance. But even if it seems like a boring and daunting chore, it’s something that needs to be done. Being informed and taking the right steps to have your engagement ring insured will save you a lot of heartache later on. To help you, we’ve consulted some insurance and jewellery experts for tips on how you’ll be able to protect and enjoy your ring for the years to come.

1. Find a Jewellery Store That Offers Appraisal Services

One of the first things you should do to insure your proposal ring is to find a jeweller who offers appraisal services. Ask your family and friends for recommendations about accredited and certified jewellery appraisers in your area or look for online reviews to find a skilled and professional jeweller.

It is often impossible to have your engagement ring insured without an appraisal since insurance companies don’t rely on their clients to set the value of the jewellery piece to be insured. Appraisers, on the other hand, follow the proper valuation standards that require them to give a fair appraised value of your jewellery, which is why they are trusted by most insurance companies.

2. Get Your Ring Appraised

A good jewellery appraisal takes various factors into consideration, including the stone’s colours, its carat weight, the cut, as well as the metal type used. Once the appraisal is done, the jeweller will get back to you with a formal document of the concrete value for your engagement ring.

If you have a higher value jewellery piece, however, then the appraiser for your customised engagement ring in Singapore will provide you with an official certification along with your ring instead. This certification isn’t an appraisal, but it’s considered as one by most insurance companies.

3. Know Your Insurance Options

There are two ways on how you can get your proposal ring insured: through a renters and homeowners insurance or through an independent jewellery insurer. A ring insurance can be purchased as an extension for your homeowners or renters policy. This policy covers the items found in your home, but only up to a specific dollar value. Special items like electronic, arts and engagement rings, on the other hand, are insured through a scheduled personal property coverage.

Aside from your renters and homeowners insurance, you can also choose to insure your engagement ring through a jewellery insurance company. This option offers more coverage than your standard homeowner policy, such as replacing a stolen or lost ring instead of paying a certain amount of cash.

4. Review the Insurance Policies

If you’re shopping for a “ring rider” policy, make sure that you read and understand the fine print of the policy. A good insurance policy covers every possible ring-threatening situation, from damage and theft to accidentally dropping the ring in the garbage disposal.

5. Ask Questions About the Insurance Policy

Just like with all things in wedding planning, it’s always a good idea to be prepared with questions to ask before committing to an insurance policy. As you speak with your potential insurance company, ensure that you ask these questions about their proposed policy:

    • Will I receive a new engagement ring or cash in the event of theft or loss?
    • What does your policy cover exactly? Loss and theft only, or are other possibilities like damages and threat to the piece included?
    • Will the jewellery still be covered if it was stolen or lost overseas?
    • Can I use any jeweller I choose, or do you recommend a particular jeweller in Singapore to do check-up and repairs on my ring?
    • Are there any circumstances or situations that will not be covered by your insurance policy?
    • Is the ring insured for a partial or full cost?
    • How should I prove my claims about my ring being damaged, stolen or lost?
    • What will happen if I lost my ring and no suitable replacement is found?
    • Are there limits on how much the company will pay?

6. Specify the Amount of a Deductible

A deductible is the amount you will pay to replace the ring before your insurer compensates for the remaining costs. Some jewellery insurers in Singapore offer a range of deductibles when you insure your engagement ring. Just remember that the higher your deductible is, the lower the annual insurance premium becomes.

A good rule of the thumb when estimating your expenses is to expect to pay S$1 to S$2 for every S$100 your jewellery would cost to replace. Still, this might vary based on the type of insurance policy that you chose for your ring.

7. Reappraise Your Ring

As its value increased since it was purchased, it’s crucial that you have both your engagement and wedding ring reappraised with the same appraiser every two to three years for insurance purposes. A reputable appraiser will retain a copy of your original appraisal and work from that instead of appraising your ring all over again. Just ensure that you have the copy of your appraisal on hand in case they don’t keep the records of their previous clients.

Getting an insurance for your engagement ring – or your wedding ring – might be the last thing that comes into your mind as you plan your impeding nuptials, but it’s also an important decision that doesn’t require much of your effort and time. So be prepared and take the right steps to protect one of the most valuable piece of jewellery in your possession.

*This list is compiled in no particular order.*

Sep 27

Beautiful Music for Your Wedding Reception

Music can move emotions. It can create magic that can transform a dull room into a wedding reception venue with celebratory atmosphere.

Wedding Party

Once the marriage ceremony is over, it’s time for the celebration. Music takes a major role during a wedding reception as it dispels the deafening silence. In some cases, guests might feel awkward to leave their seats if they can notice that the surroundings are too formal. Wedding live music can break that and can get everybody moving around, mingling with other guests.

Advantages of a Singapore Wedding Live Band

Actually, you have at least 3 choices of how you can play music in your reception. First, you can hire a DJ. Secondly, you can have your iPod as your player and just have it connected to the venue’s sound system. Thirdly, you can hire a live band like www.whiteribbon.sg from Singapore to play at your wedding. Each of them has different advantages, and here we shall be discussing the benefits you can get from hiring a live band.

First, live entertainment in Singapore can enhance the ambiance of a reception venue. Decorations will not be enough to create a festive atmosphere. It has to be coupled with music so as to come up with a boisterous festivity.

Secondly, wedding live music is better than a pre-recorded one, in the sense that you can hear and see the musicians perform right in front of you. Definitely having it live is more energizing. Plus being able to listen to the warm, rich voices of the singers and the vibrant sound of the musical instruments is a totally enjoyable experience your guests will surely remember.

And the third point here is versatility. A real good Singapore wedding live band has the talents and skills to adapt to any situation or mood. For instance, if they notice that the wedding party is generally a bit shy or perhaps bored, then they can instantly play funky music that can make the guests groove to the beat. Or if the mood shifts to a little bit dramatic, the band can immediately play the kind of music that is emotional or nostalgic.

Hiring a Wedding Live Band

There are several important things to keep in mind when you hire a live band, and here is a rundown of those things you should not miss out on.

First, just as when you hire your photographer or videographer wherein you evaluate their skills by going over their portfolios, you should also assess first the capabilities of your prospect bands by going over their sample albums. If possible, have them perform live to better gauge their expertise. Make sure you like their style of playing music, and most importantly, it will be best if their type of personality fits yours so there can be a harmonious working relationship.

Second, having a wedding live band in Singapore for your reception entails a bigger and powerful venue. The venue must be roomy enough to accommodate the musicians as they will sure need a special and designated area for their musical instruments and other equipment. The venue must also have sufficient power outlets for the electrical instruments.

Thirdly, it is important to ask the following questions to each of your prospects:

    • How many breaks will you need to take? (You need to know this so you can prepare pre-recorded music for playing while the band is having their break.)
    • Do you need to have a stage? Are you the one who will provide it? (There are some bands that will require a stage and will give specifications of it.)
    • If the celebration should extend, are you willing to stay late? And how much do we need to pay you for an extra hour? (Chances are your party might extend especially when everybody wants more. It is therefore important that you are prepared to pay those you hire to provide entertainment for everyone.)

Aug 31

Should You Switch from Traditional PBX to the New IP PBX?

The new IP PBX telephone system is a kind of private branch exchange that acts as a complete telephone system, providing companies and organizations phone calls through the use of IP data networks. These conversations are sent over the VoIP network as data packets, allowing maximum efficiency in the transmission of data from one place to another regardless of where you are in the globe.

It has been garnering enough attention in VoIP Singapore thanks to its advanced communication features, versatile scalability, and ample robustness that is ideal to cater all the needs of enterprises. This new kind of private branch exchange can also connect to PSTN lines with the use of an optional gateway. With that, upgrading a Singapore business’ mode of communication to this advanced form of voice and data network is now made as easy as ABC!

Because of the many advantages to adapting a cloud VoIP, companies do not have to disrupt their current communication operations entirely. Using the new IP PBX allows a business to keep their old telephone numbers. There is no need for you to worry about reprinting the contact information on the company’s business card or edit the information placed on the letterhead. An IP PBX can switch local calls over the company’s data network, allowing users to share the same external lines.

How does it work?

This new kind of hosted pabx system integrates into the network through the use of one or more phones, a server, and an optional gateway that will enable the system to connect to existing PSTN lines. The server acts in a similar manner like that of a proxy VoIP server; meaning the company phones must first register with the server so that should they make a call their connection will be established.

With a hosted VoIP system, the server also contains a general directory of all the connected phones or users along with their respective SIP addresses. Hence, it is able to connect an internal call or reroute an external call through the use of an optional VoIP gateway. Consulting your service provider like www.crystalvoice.com.sg in SIngapore about further information on how VoIP Singapore works is encouraged. It will also give you all the necessary information you need to know before you commit on changing the current system of your company.

Easier to manage

This new IP telephone system can be of more benefit that your old pbx phone system. Why? One reason is that it is considered to be much easier to install and configure with. With this new system, it runs on a computer software that is enabled to leverage the processing power, current user interface, as well as the primary features of the computer itself.

Finding someone who can run the VoIP system won’t be a headache either. Anyone who has a background in networking and working with computers is likely able to install and manage an IP PBX. You won’t need to find a specific installer that specializes on a particular propriety system, which is often how the traditional telephone system gets installed.

Say goodbye to phone wires!

Another advantage of using a cloud VoIP is that you may be able to eliminate phone wiring. Phones are connected directly to a standard computer network port, which can also be shared with the neighboring computer. Phones in software forms can also be installed directly on the computer. This eliminates the need for phone wirings which is notorious for taking up a lot of space and ending up in a tangled mess. With that, moving or adding another extension is also made a whole lot easier.

Better customer service, work productivity

A much better customer service along with work productivity can be achieved thanks to an IP PBX. Since a Singapore company’s telephone system is now generally computer-based, you can now integrate the functions of your typical phone and apply it onto your business.

VoIP Singapore is greatly beneficial especially to call center companies, who handle couple of calls at the same time, and also to companies focused on sales. When an agent answers a call using VoIP, being able to automatically bring up the said customer’s record can reduce time and dramatically improve the quality of customer service offered. It can be considered as an efficient form of multitasking. Outbound calls can also be directly imported from Outlook, saving the need for each user to key in each phone number.

Improved features but reduced costs

With a software-based system, developers can easily improve and add key features to the IP PBX. Ideally, having a hosted pabx would give you an advanced phone system that has a distinguished feature set to suit the needs of your company. This includes voice mail, advanced reporting system, troubleshooting features, auto attendant, and more.

These options often cost additional dollars if you wish to have them in your traditional phone systems. But with a set of competitive developers, you can manage your features at will.

Saying goodbye to your old, traditional pbx phone system might be a big decision to do, but there are plenty of compelling reasons as to why you should start considering the use of an IP PBX telephone system for your company in Singapore. Changing to VoIP can be beneficial to your business — granted you take time deliberating if the system can truly cater all your phone needs, weighing in if it is truly the “right” fit that is essential for your company.

Aug 20

Beginner Tips for Scuba Divers

If being a scuba diving holds your interest, it is time that you learn about it. Do not worry because there are many schools or trainings that you can consider. You just need to enrol and then be serious about it. You can go to different spots near Singapore as a start. If you think you are ready for challenging dives, it is time to go outside your comfort zone and truly experience the world under.

Your goal here is to home your skills as well as continuously improve your performance. Most importantly, do not forget to have fun below. Here are some tips that you can consider especially if you are a beginner:

Learn to make a decision
When you decide on something, you have to be sure about it. When you are under, there is no room for doubts. You need to be confident for your dives to be successful. If you are not comfortable, do not go. If you do not want to go deeper, do not pursue. Just take a step back and understand how you feel.

Make a log
Not all divers know the importance of logging or recording every experience. It is crucial that you log so you can keep track of your gear, gas consumption and even weighting. This will serve as your reference so you can plan well for your next dive. The record should also show when your equipment needs servicing. This is for your safety and protection.

Slow down
You will be tempted to go down fast but it is recommended that you slow down. If you slow down and relax, animals will just come out and you won’t miss a thing. If you go slowly, you will also maximize the supply of air plus the buoyancy will be dialed better.

Plan the dive
Do not just depend on your diving master or the computer whenever you have dives. Even if you have a diving master, always know the plan and if you are doing on your own, make sure that you are familiar with the area.

Check the equipment
This is basic. It is crucial that you check the equipment before using it or going down. For example, do not depend on your gauge telling it is “full tank”. Always take breaths before diving and see if the needle moves.

If you are a real diver, you won’t stop exploring. You won’t rest until you discovered all the spots. There is a completely different world under and it is up to you to explore it all. The most important thing here is you never stop growing and learning.

Aug 17

Don’ts for Healthy Ear Care

You are inclined to clean your ears almost every day because you think leaving it as it is may be a sign of uncleanliness or bad hygiene. You have to know that cleaning the ears every day and shoving things inside it can lead to risky ear health habits. There is a new guideline released by The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS).

Many Singaporeans think that earwax is dirty. You have to be thankful because it acts as your self-cleaning agent. This means it is not a nuisance or nonsense. It has the power to keep the ears healthy and provides protection against bugs, bacteria, dirt and dust. Going back to the new guidelines released by AAO-NHS, here are some don’ts for healthy ear care:

1. Don’t overdo it. Many people think that over cleaning is safe and sign of good hygiene but not in this case. You have to be cautious about over cleaning your ears because it can cause more damage than good at the end of the day. Too much cleaning will surely irritate your ear canal which will lead to infection. The worse thing that could happen is the increase of cerumen impaction.

2. Don’t put anything that is smaller than the elbow. The general rule is not to put anything inside the ear which is smaller than your elbow. You hear this always from your mother. She knows what she is talking about because cotton swabs and hairpins can hurt your ears. It can cause laceration or dislocation.

3. Don’t use ear candles. Some try ear candles because they believe that it can remove impacted cerumen. Do not try ear candles as it can damage the ear canal as well as the eardrum. If you suffer loss of hearing, dizziness and other symptoms of ear injury, do not take it on yourself. You have to go to your doctor. Wait for them to prescribe something and not put anything inside the year as it can lead to damage.

The bottom line of AAO-HNS is to stop obsessing over your ears. It is important that you clean it but not to the point of always doing it and worse, shoving anything inside it. If you want to know more about healthy ear care, you have to go and see your doctor. If you noticed something odd about your ears, do not wait for it to worsen before seeing the doctor. Be serious about this.