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.

The Basics of Fragrance

For students that are interested in perfumery and cosmetic, Singapore Polytechnic launched S$1 million worth of modern facility on January 7, 2014. The 575 square meters facility can help students develop and formulate products like soaps and scents. The facility is called Perfumery and Cosmetic Science Centre. The facility features 3 sectors for the students to be trained. The sectors include Research & Design, Formulation and Development of the final saleable products.     Carthusia-parfum

The facility is a good start to develop Singapore’s personal care products. In fact here in Singapore, there are at least 5 fragrance brands. According to the figures provided by the Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB), the fragrance industry will significantly rise here in Asia by 2017. There will be forty per cent rise which will produce S$20 billion. That’s a pretty big market.

If you love perfumes, there are other things that you need to know. The following things can give you more knowledge about perfumes:

  • Definition of Perfume

Perfume refers to the mixture of essential oils and alcohol that can create a fragrance. Essential oils can be natural or synthetic. Natural essential oils are extracted from plants, flowers and many more. Synthetic essential oils are created in laboratories.

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  • Categories of Fragrance

You should know that perfumers have this categorization of fragrance. There categories of fragrance include Floral, Oriental, Chypre, Green and Fougre. The largest category is the floral fragrances. The heaviest is Oriental.

  • Classifications of Fragrance

There are classifications of fragrance. The classification is based on the fragrance’s strength or percentage of the compound used. Classifications of fragrance include Perfume, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne and Splash Cologne.

What are you waiting for? You should visit the new centre and if you like it, enrol yourself. Perfumery is not easy and it needs science, technology and art. The new centre can be of great help.

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Managing Hawker Centres

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If you are thinking of a food business, why not try to be a stallholder in hawker centres? This is a great way to start. You should first go to The National Environment Agency (NEA) and inquire about the processes. To date, NEA regulates and manages about 107 hawker centres here in Singapore. You should know that NEA performs a tender exercise every month.

The tender exercise is done to offer vacant hawker stalls to the general public. It is scheduled every 13th-26th every month. The details are published in different papers here in Singapore. If you seriously consider hawker centres, you need to know hawker’s policies. Here are some rental policies for hawkers:

Subsidized and Non-Subsidized Stalls

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If you are talking about government stalls, it can either be subsidized or non-subsidized. In 1970, the government launched the hardship scheme (discontinued in 1989) which gave subsidized stalls to people who were selling from the streets. The non-subsidized stall refers to tendered and market.

Sold Stalls

You need to be familiar with the Stall Ownership Scheme. Under this scheme, the stalls are sold to the present stallholders under a 20-year leasing agreement.

Food Prices

Hawker centres are appealing because they provide affordable yet tasty meals. The affordability is attributed to the subsidized rentals and lower market rental (in private food courts). The good news is that the government still continues to assist hawkers. For example, rental rebates during the crisis in 2009 were given.

There you go. Hopefully the things mentioned above gave you an idea of how to manage hawker centres. If you are serious about this, you will surely succeed. Do not worry because as long as there are Singaporeans, your business will thrive. Do not forget to give a good food and astounding service.

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Delectable Flavours of Singapore

Singapore not only offers the best shopping experience because it also provides delectable foods. You will surely enjoy different selections of dishes from Malays to Chinese and Indians. If you want to delight your taste buds, you should start with the following dishes:

Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow is a popular meal here in Singapore. It is prepared by frying rice noodles then mix it with soy sauce, shrimp paste, bean sprouts, sausages and vegetables. If you crave for a bowl or plate of Char Kway Teow, you should go to Maxwell Hawker, Zion Hawker and Princess Terrace Cafe. Actually Char Kway Teow is famous that you can find it in every food centres around.

Chilli Crab

If you are in the mood for seafood, Chilli Crab should top your list. Chilli Crab is a must try here with its delicious and fragrant sauce. The Chilli Crab is best paired with toasted buns or rice. To grab a taste of the best Chilli Crab in town, you should head to No Signboard Restaurant, Long Beach Seafood, Jumbo Seafood and Eng Seng Restaurant.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a simple dish that captured the heart of locals and tourists. The dish is prepared with rice, soy sauce, ginger paste, cucumber, chicken soup and white chicken (steamed). To grab a taste of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in town, you should head to Maxwell Rd Hawker, Boon Tong Kee, Chatterbox and other restaurants.

If you are looking for more heavy meals, you can grab Thosai, Satay, Roti Prata, Rendang, Rojak, Hakka Yong Tau Foo, Laksa, Hokkien Prawn Mee and many more. If you simply want to have a snack, Kaya Toast, Fried Sesame Ball, Mooncakes and Carrot Cakes are good. If you are thirsty or looking for a dessert, you can consider Singapore Sling, Teh Tarik and Ice Kachang.