3 Kitchen Equipment That’ll Take Your Cooking to the Next Level

Okay, so maybe you already have the basics in your kitchen like a stove, oven, or refrigerator perhaps but somehow you want to know and learn more! Hmmm, what else do you think you can put in your kitchen which you can use to cook? Well, there are certainly a lot of fun things you can put in your kitchen to help you cook not just better but also a wider variety of food!

There are so many ways to cook. There is the traditional ways, and there are the modern ways. Let’s face it, technology has caught up to us and just about everything nowadays is very modern! Well, let’s take advantage of that! There are a lot of kitchen equipment that will definitely help you cook better food at the comforts of your home!

Here are a few modern kitchen equipment you can add to your kitchen:

1. Turbo Broiler
The turbo is a great way to get fat of a certain piece of meat making it more crunchy and tasty! Well, a bit similar to roasting, this is a different technique which you might have a lot of fun with! There are a lot of different dishes you can do with this turbo cooker and they are scattered out there for you to find out!

2. Pressure Cooker
Now, this is a great way to tenderize your meat! Tenderizing your meat may take a couple of hours but with a pressure cooker, you’ll definitely be able to tenderize your meat in a matter of minutes! Imagine how soft and juicy you can get your meat to taste. Now ask yourself, why on earth would you not want to have one of these?

3. Electric Grill
Ah yes! The electric grill. Let’s face it, sometimes we can’t always cook outside. Sometimes it’s raining or maybe we just don’t have a grill. Not to worry! You can buy an electric grill and start grilling inside your house! Make sure you have the right ventilation as you get ready to get smokey!

Here are but a few great additions to your kitchen! The basics are always important and you shouldn’t sacrifice the basics for the advanced equipment. There are so many ways to cook and having the basics sometime is just not enough when you are so passionate about cooking!

Sometimes it’s okay to invest a little more on your kitchen as it does not only improve the quality of your kitchen, it also allows you to cook different kinds of meals. Cooking is limitless and if we just experiment and venture out by trying different equipment, who knows what we can accomplish?

4 Habits Guaranteed to Improve Your Life

Our lives are comprised of what we do, if we do not build our lives around healthy habits, we won’t be able to end up living healthy and happy lives. Habits are hard to change, not just our body but also our mind gets used to these habits and to take them away would usually end up in a period of adjustment which would be a little uncomfortable for our body. Nevertheless, we should treat ourselves with the respect we deserve and this means introducing healthier habits for us to get used to.

Here are a few healthy habits we should follow.

1. Regular Exercise
Exercise is the foundation of which our body is built on. Without exercise, our bodies would not be able to grow in a positive way. Our bodies constantly grow each day. Whether it be growth towards progress or growth towards the opposite, our body adjusts to what we put in. The thing about exercise is that its goal isn’t just to make you look good which is of course an obvious bonus but then again, exercise should be done to keep us healthy and happy. Exercise doesn’t just build our body, it also helps get rid of the toxins within our body that make us weaker and unhappy.

2. Proper Diet
Food is a huge part of our lives. Food is the source of our functionality. Without putting in the right amount of food, we wouldn’t be able to function towards our fullest. Now, it is true that we need food to survive, but we must also remember that we need food to keep us healthy. What most people mistake is that healthy food means fruits and vegetables only. This is of course entirely wrong. Healthy food means a well-balanced diet of protein and other nutrients our body needs which we can get from different kinds of food.

3. Drink Tea
Tea is a very healthy beverage second to water but let’s face it, we don’t always enjoy drinking water. Sometimes we want to add a little flavor to our drink and this is very possible with tea. Tea does not only help you with your digestive system and other physical aspects, it also helps calm the mind. Tea is a great way to put your body into relaxation.

4. Read
Our brain learns and digests information whether we like it or not. This is one of the things that make us human. Now the problem with this is that if we do not feed our brain with good and healthy information, our brain wouldn’t also react in the same way. Garbage in garbage out. You need to feed your brain with healthy material to make sure that your brain functions healthily as well.

Important Tips for Getting a Custom-Made Engagement Ring

Do you ever think that every ring you see just looks the same as you browse through jewellery stores? Well, if you crave for something that’s as unique as your love and is packed with personal significance, think about having your girl’s engagement ring customized. Here, we’ve listed down some tips on how you can turn the most important jewellery of your life into a one-of-a-kind sparkler.

1. Do Some Research

Inspect the jewellery pieces that your partner wears to get a clue about her ring personality. Decide if you want your proposal ring to have a certain sensibility or to include an element of cultural significance to help you in narrowing down your search. Also, make sure to look through the rings worn by your colleagues to see if you’ll find something you like. If you do, ask them who designed it or where it was purchased.

After that, visit jewellery stores and galleries in your area in Singapore to get more ideas. Take some notes and make sketches of the elements that catches your eye, and research on the designers whose jewellery work you admire.

2. Create a Sketch of Your Idea

Once you’re done looking for possible resources for your custom proposal ring, it’s now time to sketch out your idea as best as you can. Further enhance your desired style by including elements that you like in the sketches, such as unique settings, mixed metals or organic lines. Remember that the more specific you are with your design and the more your Singapore www.lingjewellery.com.sg/ jeweller knows about the details, the more likely you’ll end up with the style of ring that you want.

3. Add Some Special Details

Apart from customizing the design of your ring, it’s also a good idea to add some special details to the band. Engraving is a common addition to custom-made rings, particularly for a wedding ring. The most common engravings are special messages and dates that are special for the couple. Aside from this, symbolically matching your own ring to your partner’s design is also a good idea to further personalize your rings.

4. Keep the Wedding Ring in Mind

The whole point of the engagement band? There will soon be a wedding ring to keep it company. You have two options with regards this matter: You can go with your original plan and commission a ring that will stand alone, or design something that looks beautiful alone but becomes complete with the addition of a store-bought or a coordinating custom-designed wedding band.

5. Look for the Right Jewellery Designer

If you’ve already decided on a ring idea, the next thing you need to do is to look for a jeweller who specializes in custom design rings. Start with the jeweller that you know and trust. Most jewellers in Singapore have an in-house staff who creates custom ring designs, but be sure that you see the person’s previous work before getting his services. Understand that, as an artist, a jeweller will likely add his own touches to your idea so you’d want to be sure that you’ll like the elements that he might add to your design.

6. Be Involved

After finalizing your ring sketches and finding a jeweller you trust to work it, it’s now time to get your project started. Once your custom ring design is under way, make sure that you review a full colour illustration or a 3D design of the final product so you can give any input and change directions if it didn’t turn out as you wanted it to be. Also, be sure to see all the elements that will be used for your ring in person to get a better idea of how it’ll turn out.

You might feel intimidated when speaking to an experienced jeweller about your vision for your ring, but don’t let this stop you from voicing your concerns and asking some questions.

7. Give the Process Enough Time

Working on custom-made engagement ring isn’t something that should be rushed. Understand that deciding on the style of ring that you want, finding a skilled jeweller to work with and setting the project into motion takes time. Keep in mind that as the actual creation takes place, design modifications will be made several times. The entire back-and-forth process of modifying and agreeing on the a design usually takes about six weeks, so avoid constantly asking your jeweller if whether or not the final product is already done.

8. Protect Yourself

If you’re working directly with a jewellery designer, ask what guarantees or warrantees will be provided on the work and get it into writing. For instance, to ensure that the final product matches what you envisioned, have the jeweller sign a paper that lists all the elements you agreed to be included (details of setting, purity of metal and other specifications), as well as the delivery date and overall cost. If he will be supplying the stone, ensure that it’s accompanied by a grading report before he sets it on the ring.

Also, make sure that the appraisal report of your ring indicates that it is custom-made and is made by that particular jeweller. This is crucial as it may affect the replacement value set by your insurance company.

Designing your engagement ring is what will make your proposal extra personal. It’s also a perfect way to include important stones that were passed down through your family. So put the aforementioned tips to work to ensure that you’ll get exactly what you wanted for the most important jewellery piece in your life.

Tips to Have the Best Wedding Live Band

Our wedding day is one of the most special occasions in our whole life. For that, we would do everything to make it the best one—from the choice of venue, bridal attire, invitations and favours, bridal car, to the entertainment for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. We have in our minds a vision of our dream wedding, and we would do everything to turn it into a reality.

Wedding Live Music

One of the many aspects of wedding that we should give importance to planning is the wedding music. Music has a vital role in the wedding ceremony and in the celebration which comes right after. Sometimes, couples tend to overlook the importance of having good entertainment in coming up with a fun and extraordinary wedding.

On the Lookout

Since having good entertainment results to a successful event, you should be on the lookout for a talented and versatile Singapore wedding live band. If you are wondering how you could be able to find the best band, here’s a rundown of tips you might find useful in your search.

    • Begin your search in online websites. The Internet is an all-powerful source of all sorts of information including available music bands that can play in your wedding.
    • Seek out recommendations from your friends, your wedding planner, and other wedding vendors such as your photographer, videographer, or florist. Recommendations still are the best way to discover the best wedding live band in Singapore.
    • Book as early as possible to have the best Singapore wedding live band. It is advisable to have a lead time of 12 months, particularly if the music band you are planning to hire has lots of experience when it comes to performing at weddings. Even if your wedding venue has not yet been settled, you can still make bookings.
    • In evaluating your prospects, make sure that you hear each band like www.whiteribbon.sg play so you can listen to their style of singing and playing music. You can either have an audition for them or visit a location where they are having a gig. In most cases, music bands can also provide sample CDs or DVDs with their type of music.

What to Ask

Hiring the best wedding live band in Singapore is akin to interviewing job applicants. Well, they are really up for a job of providing musical entertainment to your guests. Just as when you are interviewing people for a certain job, you also need to ask a few questions to every music band on your shortlist. Their answers to the following questions can help you have a sound judgment.

    • How many weddings have they performed for?
    • What is their style of playing? What genre is their forte?
    • Have they tried performing at weddings? What was their experience like?
    • Do they have a full breakdown of their talent fee and other costs? Is there an additional charge when they go overtime? How much will it be?
    • How much break do they need to take on the actual wedding reception? Will they provide background music while they are having a break, or should we prepare our own playlist?
    • How much time do they need to set up their musical instruments and other equipment? What is the earliest possible time they can arrive at the venue?

Once you have made up your mind and have chosen the best band to play wedding live music on your big day, make sure to put every bit of the terms and agreement into writing. Make sure that everything about the contract is clear, agreed upon, and final.

Top Three Mixtures for Getting Rid of Impacted Cerumen

Cerumen is the medical term of earwax. It is a substance that serves as the protection of ears against foreign elements like dirt, bacteria and dust. You think that ear wax is not good so you use different objects to get rid of it. Objects like cotton swabs, bobby pins, hair pins and the like are used to get rid of ear wax but little do you know that it can cause blockage.

This action can in fact cause more harm than good. Due to the blockage, there will be narrowing of ear canal that can result to blockage of excessive earwax. This phenomenon is called impacted cerumen. When this happens you will feel different discomfort from pain to dizziness, loss of hearing and more. To ease discomfort, you have to consult your doctor or ear specialists and have earwax removed.

The good news is that you can choose not to go to your doctor because there are wax removal kits that you can buy here in Singapore. It also helps if you have knowledge in home remedies. Here are some remedies that you can consider:

Salt water mixture
The best solution is salt water. It is commonly used at home and it can soften the accumulated ear wax inside. First you have to mix 1 tsp of salt in ½ cup of lukewarm water until salt dissolves. Now you have the saline solution and use this to soak the cotton balls. Tilt the one side your head and squeeze the cotton ball. Let the solution stay for at least five minutes and alternately tilt the other side of your head after draining. Wait for another five minutes and then drain. Wipe it with cotton balls or clean cloth.

Hydrogen peroxide
Next to saline solution is the hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent option because of its sparkling property. You should make a solution first. Mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide. Secure an ear dropper and use it. Tilt your head on one side and then put few drops of the solution. Let it be for as long as you feel like it and then drain out. Now work on the other side.

Rubbing alcohol and vinegar mixture
This mixture is another thing that you can try. You only need to mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar using bowl. Immerse the cotton balls and drop some in your ears. Make sure your head is tilted also. Wait for five minutes and drain out. Do this on the other side too.

If there is no development or changes, it is time that you have to go to your specialist and seriously follow their prescriptions and recommendations.

Ear Cleaning Guidelines for You

You just want to look and stay clean. There is nothing wrong with that. Hygiene is very important in the conduct of your daily life. In fact, it can impact your health significantly. However, there are things that you overdo like in the case of cleaning the ears. You clean your ears every day because you think ear wax is a hint of being unclean.

It is time to know that too much cleaning can actually damage the ears. Ear wax is there for a reason and it is not advisable to get rid of it. Ear wax will serve as the ear’s barrier against foreign elements like bugs, dirt and dust. If you clean it all the time, you are stripping the function of earwax. If you leave it be, too much ear wax will lead to deafness as it can clog the ears thereby reducing your hearing ability.

With this, it is important that you know things about ear cleaning so it will serve as your guide. Here are some:

Use hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is the safest and most common method to clean your ears. It will soften as well as loosen your ear wax. As a result, it will be easier to remove it. You can use cotton balls or simply wait for it to drain out.

If you use hydrogen peroxide, it should be every other day or two. Do not use it every day as it can irritate your ears.

Use ear irrigation
You have to keep in mind that your ear will clean itself. The least thing that you can do is to facilitate or hasten its draining of the wax. You can consider ear irrigation. You need to make a solution first. Mix equal parts of warm water, rubbing alcohol and vinegar. After making the solution, pour few drops and let it sit in the ears for at least five minutes and then turn your head to drain it and give the other ear chance to be cleaned.

Do not use cotton swabs, hair clip, ball pen, car keys and other similar items as it can infect the ears. This way, you do not get rid of the ear wax but instead, you are pushing it deeper. If you cannot deal with this kind of cleaning, you should head to the nearest doctor. But if you exhibit any ear-related discomfort, you have to tell them right away.

There are many specialists here in Singapore that you can go to so do not worry about availability. The important thing here is you follow their recommendations or prescriptions for the sake of your ear.

6 Things Every Full-Grown Adult Should No Longer Be Eating

Gone are the days when the school cafeteria was the only place for you to pick up a snack. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s time to skip pizza and fries and get yourself a decent food. This isn’t just for health purposes, but it’s time for your taste buds to grow up, too.

1. Instant Noodles

These sodium-packed instant soups come in handy for hangovers, but the high sodium content and lack of real veggies mean that they definitely don’t qualify as a meal. For a serving of healthier noodles, go for stir fry ramen with fresh ingredients and real spices and flavourings.

2. Frappucino

To be honest, there isn’t enough caffeine in a frap to perk you up. They are too sweet, and are just loaded with whipped cream and caramel. Instead of ordering a cup of sugar loaded frappucino, get yourself an espresso or a healthy cup of freshly squeezed fruit juice in the morning.

3. Frozen Vegetables

Skip the frozen peas and carrots; it’s time you learn cooking the real thing. Once you know how easy and delicious it is to sauté or roast fresh veggies, you will never go back to their frozen and preserved counterparts.

4. Energy Drinks

Showing up to a nine o’clock meeting, reeking of Red Bull, won’t gain you any points in the office. Nobody cares how much sleep you had, and the effect of these drinks in your body is not worth the extra jolt. Luckily, there is a grown up alternative to these drinks, we call it coffee!

5. Microwave Popcorn

Some brands of microwave popcorn are known to contain toxic chemicals in their popping bags, and those that don’t are still loaded with trans fat. So, what to munch on in your next movie marathon night? Heat a pot with some oil in it and pop a bag of corn kernels. You’ll be back on track, minus the bad ingredients.

6. Sodas

Sodas were essential drink mixers back in college, but now that you’re a lot older and smarter, it’s time to ditch this unhealthy beverage. Other than the artificial food colouring and the ridiculous sugar content in sodas, the drink corrodes your internal organs overtime. Seltzer is the healthier soda for mature people.

Now that you’re a full-grown adult, you are expected to be more mature of your choices, including on the food you eat. Ditch the above-mentioned stuffs; it’s time to start a better eating habit.

Tips for an Effective Business Card Printing For Your Brand

For any business, first impression matters. The harsh reality is that it’s inevitable for people to judge you by what they see. The first shot to introduce yourself can last for only about 10 seconds or less even. You need high quality business card printing to promote your business or compensate a not so good first meeting.

You’ll never know who you’ll bump into the entire day you’re out. It’s always beneficial to have a business card prepared wherever you go. A business card is the simplest self-promotional material you can ever have. Because of its small size, it easily fits in your pocket or purse. If you need to bring several pieces, no problem. It should fit right in your small bag still.

Here are a few more things to remember for your online business card printing project to work effectively for you.

Look for a professional business card printer. The first step is to look for design and print business cards professionals that you can trust. Inquire about the card size dimensions that they require. Ask as well about the pixel size they recommend for the images you’re using. Do inquire as well, which colour mode they would recommend for you to work on. If you have an in-house graphic designer, you might want to discuss matters with them and the online business card printing company. This is so you can be sure that the design wouldn’t have to be compromised during the printing process. There are also business card printers who offer free business card templates that you can personalise online. You might want to check them out too, and see if there’s any design that you’d find interesting.

Think carefully about the colour palette you’re using. Make sure that the colours you are using for the design and print business cards go well together. Avoid using overly bright colours that may only put off your target audience. Be consistent as well with your colour palette. Make sure to use it in other print marketing materials you’re distributing. Refer to your brand logo so you can pick complementing background and font colour. Scan from the available business card templates so you can gauge how a particular colour combination would look like.

Skip using borders. You don’t want noticeable differences or variances where the business cards are cut. In this regard, you might want to avoid using borders altogether for your design. While they may look good and appealing, you’d want to ensure that the card’s overall look once printed doesn’t get distorted.

Finally, make sure your text is readable. This is the most important part of your business card. While the business card looks good at first glance, everything goes down the drain if users cannot read your text. Avoid putting too much detail. Limit information to the important ones, such as your contact information.

Taking your time the first time is a lot better than starting the process over again, correcting each of your previous mistakes. Remember that you can always seek the help of business card printing companies should you have further concerns on how you can improve your business cards.

Regulating Food Cravings During Breastfeeding

It is normal for pregnant and lactating mothers to have cravings of fried and sugary foods. If you are lactating, you need extra 500 kcal to yield milk for the little one. This need plus your hectic schedule can prompt food cravings. The bad news is that you do not eat whatever you want especially with the little one getting nutrition from you.

You have to be conscious of your diet for the sake of the little one. You cannot curb your food cravings all the time but you can manage these cravings and ease it with some controlling tips. Here are some tips on controlling your cravings during breastfeeding:

• Stick to small servings: If you are craving for sugary treats, you can satisfy that but keep in mind it should be small servings. Do not go for artificial ones. The best is to stock foods that have natural sugar like raisins, figs, dates and apricots. These foods can immediately satisfy the cravings plus they are full of minerals and vitamins which are good for you and the baby.

• Stick to healthier cooking methods: If you are craving for fried foods, you have to think about healthier cooking methods. For example, instead of opting for fried fries, you can personally bake it. Baking potatoes is a healthier cooking method than deep frying it with oil. After baking is done, sprinkle salt, little oil and mix it with herbs.

• Concoct different recipes: If you are craving for carbohydrates, think of concocting different recipes using healthy ingredients. Yes, bread and pasta can immediately satiate your carbohydrate cravings but it is not very healthy. Use whole grains mixed with vegetables, sugarless jams, cheese and the like.

• Keep your fridge full: If you are craving for some more sweets, make sure that your fridge is full with fruits. It is an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins. For example, keep a steady supply of banana, apples, berries, peaches and pears.

• Store low-fat milk and yoghurt: If you want to satisfy sugar cravings at the same time meet calcium requirement, it is best to store low-fat milk and yoghurt. This is best so when you need it, it is already available. This is better than eating fruit cake. Always opt for fresh fruit and milk.

For lactating women, it is always advisable to satisfy craving only if it is healthy. This is better than resisting them. Resisting your craving is another issue that can lead to stress and depression – you do not want that. The secret here is to balance everything and always eat the healthy way.

Natural Remedies for Sore Throat

Sore throat is an excruciating pain. Do not underestimate how worse it can be over time. There are many causes of sore throat like allergies, cold, flu, chickenpox, measles, dry air and pollution. You have to know that sore throat is a viral infection – that means it will not respond to any antibiotics. Taking antibiotics will be viral.

If you are suffering from severe sore throat together with fever, it is time that you go to the doctor. Normally, you do not need a trip to the doctor but the pain can interfere with your daily activities like eating and sleeping. It is crucial that you know some natural relief or home remedies. These remedies guarantee to pacify the pain as well as the irritation.

Here are some natural relief that you can consider for your sore throat:

    • Licorice root: Recent studies reveal that licorice root when mixed with water (making a gargle solution), is effective in soothing pain and irritation. You can find these roots here in Singapore.

    • Honey: Honey can also be an effective remedy against sore throat. If you mix honey in your tea or straight up, it can soothe pain. In fact, honey is more effective at calming night time coughs more than cough suppressants in the market.

    • Salt water: One of the most common treatments for sore throats is gargling with salt water. There is a study made by the University of Connecticut. It shows that gargling with salt water can break down the secretions and the bacteria. Make sure that it is warm though.

    • Peppermint: There is a study in 2008 that claim peppermint has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties that can soothe sore throat and eventually healing. Peppermint is more known to freshen the breath but it can now be used to relieve pain because it contains menthol that can help thin the mucus.

    • Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is soothing. It is oldest herbs to be used for sore throats. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If you inhale chamomile steam, it can surely relieve sore throat.

Sore throats can also harm infants and young children. You have to be careful though because treating sore throat in your children and adults are not the same. For example, honey should not be an option for a child less than one year old.

You can prevent sore throat by staying away from people who are infected with it. Do not forget to wash your hands as often as you can for added protection.

Psst! 5 Incredible Destinations for Your 2017 Trip


In a matter of a month, 2016 will be over and another year will begin. If your 2016 was filled with fun and excitement for visiting well-loved destinations, let your 2017 be the time for unique experiences as you discover the beauty of under-the-radar vacation spots. Let the coming year be the time for more explorations and discoveries at some of the world’s best hidden gems.

  1. Tiger Leaping Gorge (China)

China’s modern skylines or epically long stone walls may not be the makings of an adventurer’s dream, but there’s more to this Republic than meets the eye. In the amazing province of Yunnan in the southwest part of China is where you’ll find the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek. Beyond the chance to witness authentic Chinese culture, you’ll also be exposed to the rugged, natural beauty that isn’t yet popular among most of the tourists.

  1. Lofoten Islands (Norway)

If you prefer icy destinations over beach getaways and have the passion for water sports, Norway may be a dream destination for you. Also, the place is a perfect spot for hiking and skiing, so land-based activities should be on your itinerary as well. Have fun kayaking between islands, sampling local delicacies and exploring villages in the lovely Islands of Lofoten. The safety, hospitality and remoteness of the place make an ideal hideaway for solo travellers.

  1. Lake District (England)

If you just want to unwind and relax—alone or with your significant other—a trip up north of England will lead you to the dreamy Lake District. Take a train to Windermere, where you will find vast fields that are perfect for long, relaxing walks. For a lovely dinner, book a spot at L’Enclume, a well-renowned restaurant in the district and one of the top restaurants given honours by the Good Food Guide to Britain

  1. Baku (Azerbaijan)

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is a modern city. However, it’s also a home for charming medieval sightings. To get the most of your trip, we suggest joining a walking tour with a local Nijat. Stroll along Nizami Street, discover the beautiful architecture and exhibits of Heydar Aliye Center and be mesmerized with the courtyard of the Palace of Shirvanshahs.

  1. Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska)

Travellers with proficient survival skills should experience this untouched wilderness spread across the massive 8.4 million acres of northern Alaska. This arctic park has no campsites, trails or roads, which means trekking in this landscape surely is an ultimate kind of adventure. Home to 700-mile Brooks Range mountain range and six rivers, the place provides an excellent fishing opportunity in addition to its breathtaking scenery.

When presented with a list of adventure tips and travel opportunities, it’s daunting to narrow down your choices. But whatever destinations you choose for your 2017 adventure, by choosing less popular places, you’ll surely enjoy your vacation without the stress of long queues and overcrowded sights.

6 Frugal Holiday Gifts for the Globe-Trotters in your Life


It’s that time of the year when the dilemma of choosing the right gifts for our loved ones resurfaces again.  If you’re on the hunt for gifts for your frequently-travelling family and friends, here’s a smorgasbord of thrifty gift ideas your nomadic loved ones will surely love.

  1. Travel Books

What can be better to breeze through long hours of travelling by bus, plane or train than reading a good book of travel adventures? “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton would be a great thought-provoking book your traveller friend will love. For someone you know with flight anxiety, Patrick Smith’s “Cockpit Confidential” would be a comforting read while on flight. And of course, Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” will always be an excellent and inspiring read, filled with wonderful life quotes to live by.

  1. Versatile Pair of Footwear

Alongside a  pair of runners and sandals, lightweight slip-on shoes—think of TOMS—are essential footwear for travellers. It’s lightweight, space-efficient and can be paired with almost anything. For a dressier option for your fashionable, travel-savvy friend, a pair of foldable flats would be a better alternative.

  1. Luggage Scale

Anyone who flies budget airlines knows that discounted tickets come with tight luggage restrictions. Save a friend from throwing away perfectly good clothes at the airport garbage because of overweight luggage by gifting him a reliable luggage scale. They come in different price range, so you’re sure to find one that fits your budget.

  1. Sleep Survival Kit

An eye mask and a pair of ear plugs can make a world of difference for having a restful sleep while away from the comfort of a bed. Your nomadic friend will appreciate this thoughtful gift as it makes long hours of plane and bus travel much more bearable.

  1. Travel Journal

Some people like to keep journal of their travel experiences, which makes this a nice holiday gift for travel enthusiasts. Get one that is small enough to easily take anywhere and comes with quality cover to ensure it stays in perfect condition for longer.

  1. Travel Case for Small Gadgets

There are two types of travellers: the organized one and, well, the not so much. A small travel case will help your traveller friend organize his luggage better and keep all small electronics and accessories like earphones, mp3 player, digital camera, etc., in one safe place. If you wish to have something for them to help organize bigger items, packing cubes would be an ideal gift to get them.

You see, shopping for travellers doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are plenty of frugal and useful gift ideas out there, and we hope this list will give you an idea what to look for when going gift shopping for the holidays.

10 Travel Books You Should Read


If you don’t want the hassle and expenses of traveling, one option is to read travel books. Who knows, you might be able to find one that will awaken the wanderlust in you. Here are some of the best examples of the genre.

A Walk in the Woods (1998) by Bill Bryson


Bill Bryson and Stephen Katz attempted to explore the Appalachian Trail which covers the area from Mount Katahdin in Maine to the Springer Mountain in Georgia. He described the area’s flora and fauna.


Among the Russians (1983) by Colin Thubron


Colin Thubron spent time in Soviet Union during its last years before its collapse in 1991. The author not only gave an account of its political climate but its rich culture, history and art.


In A Sunburned Country or Down Under (2000) by Bill Bryson


Bill Bryson traveled throughout Australia by car and railway. He detailed his adventures in this book to give the reader a n insight into the geography, flora and fauna and the people of Australia.


Into the Wild (1996) by Jon Krakauer


The novel is inspired by the essay of the author on Christopher McCandless’s death. McCandless was said to have left his home to explore the Stampede Trail in Alaska and then died after a hundred days. The author retraced McCandless’s steps.


On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac


The book records the author’s travels throughout North America with his friend Neal Cassady. It shows how the Beat Generation inspired America after World War II. The Beat Generation rejected materialism and standard narratives, explored psychedelic drugs and were liberal-minded.


The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia (1975) by Paul Theroux

The author Paul Theroux traveled through Europe, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia for four months using the Trans-Siberian Railway. His starting point was at London in 1973.


The Road to Oxiana (1937) by Robert Byron


Oxiana is the region near Afghanistan’s border. The author made the trip to examine the area’s architectural accomplishments. This travelogue details the ten-month journey of Robert Byron and Christopher Sykes.


The Snow Leopard (1978) by Peter Matthiessen


Peter Matthiessen and George Schaller went searching for the elusive snow leopard in the Tibetan Plateau. The snow leopard is an endangered species and is native only in the  South and Central Asia’s mountain ranges.


Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962) by John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck traveled the United States with his dog Charley in a camper he called Rocinante. He covered the areas from Long Island to California then to the Deep South.


Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy (1996) by Frances Mayes


Frances Mayes wrote the book after her divorce and during the renovation of a house in Cortona. She also included recipes of home-cooked dishes as she is a gourmet cook as well.

5 Things to Know if You Want to be a Serious Gamer


For some people, gaming is a serious hobby. There are those who invest in quality hardware and software to get the best experience. Gaming can be an expensive hobby, especially if you’re seriously considering going beyond mobile gaming. So what do you need to know when you’re new to gaming?

  1. The Different Platforms

Platform is the system used for video games. There are games available in most if not all platforms, and there are some games you can only play in a specific platform. The important thing to consider here is how much you’re willing to spend. Overall, a personal computer or a gaming laptop is more expensive than the leading consoles. They need to be upgraded and updated if you’re planning to play new titles. Most games available for most platforms except console-exclusive titles. Consoles are affordable, easier to maintain and do not need upgrades every time a new title comes out. Another platform are the handhelds. Some games can also be played exclusively on these devices.

  1. Find Your Genres

Some genres are common in some platforms although gaming companies have made sure to cater to different gamers in recent years. So far, there are eight major categories you can choose from: action, adventure (some games are classified action-adventure), role-playing games (RPG), simulation, strategy, and sports. These are just general guides however. There are a lot of titles that can be classified under more than one genre.

  1. Linear and Non-linear

Linear games have one overarching story. You will not be able to get to the next level if you do not complete the current mission you’re on. Most of these games rely heavily on the narrative. Non-linear games are often called open-world games. They still have an overarching story but you can choose not to complete it if you just want to explore or perform side missions. Progress in the game does not depend solely on the main missions.

  1. Single-Player, Co-Op and Multiplayer

When choosing a new game, you have to consider not just the price and genre but if it can be played by just one or more persons. If you want family members and friends to participate, pick titles that will allow more than one player. There is also an option for local co-op and multiplayer that don’t require you to connect to the Internet.

  1. Online and Offline

At some point in your exploration of your new hobby, you might want to play with or against strangers. Although you can still play with friends online, there is a certain appeal to making new friends and testing your skills against more types of players. Pick games that have both offline and online features if you’re feeling adventurous. Not that offline modes are bad, of course. If you don’t want to deal with (potentially) troublesome people and just want to explore new worlds on your own, offline mode is for you.

10 Cities in the World With the Best Food


You love traveling as much as eating. Your friends and family actually call you a wandering gourmand.  For you, eating and traveling are what makes life more exciting. When you are heading to fine places, part of immersing yourself to their culture is by eating the foods that locals consume.

Speaking of traveling, you want to visit a place but you are not yet decided what city to choose. Of course you have to choose a place with the best food scene. The good news is that the World’s Best Awards surveyed, consolidated and then revealed the top international cities with the best foods according to majority of their readers.

What are these international cities?

  1. Bordeaux: Bordeaux is in France and it is known for their authentic and amazingly tasty rib eye steak cooked in gravy from a Bordeaux wine. The city boasts of winery and shellfish.


  1. Barcelona: Barcelona is in Spain. Spanish and their tourists love their Catalan cuisines like the paella, allioli (a typical sauce) and many more.


  1. Chang Mai: Talk about a place near Singapore. Chang Mai is in Thailand and it is known for its street stalls and restaurants. You need to try their famous noodle dishes and barbeque curry.


  1. San Miguel de Allende: San Miguel de Allende is in Mexico. Aside from charming colonial structures, you will their like it is fiesta every day. Foods to try include inchiladas, pacholas and fiambre.


  1. Rome: Rome happens to be the capital of world-class food in Italy. Foods to try are roman artichoke and cacao e pepe.

  1. Bologna: Another place to be in Italy is Bologna. Foods to try include antipasti, spuma di mortadella, primi piatti and many more.


  1. Florence: Never miss Florence as well when you are in Italy. Must-try foods include schiacciata, cantucci, zuppa di fagiolo, panzanella and many more.


  1. Paris: Paris is the first place you go when you are in France and that is because aside from the Eiffel Tower and some scenes, you get to taste different foods like the authentic baguette, steak frites, duck confit, croquet and many more.


  1. San Sebastian: If you are already in Spain, why not head to San Sebastian? In fact, San Sebastian has more Michelin stars. Try their amazingly good seafood a la plancha, anchovies, salmorejo and many more.


  1. Beirut: Beirut is in Lebanon and it is making a comeback as the number one city with the best foods according to the readers. The city is getting attention because of their traditional tasty dishes like toasted pita, lamb porridge and many more.

How Rude Co-Workers Can Affect Your Family Life


Life is already hard here in Singapore and enduring it with a rude co-worker makes it a lot worse. You are old enough to know that not all your co-workers are nice and respectful. Actually you realized that the moment you started working and you have come to accept it as a part of your life. You have rude co-workers and since it is hard to find a good job, you just endure it without actually thinking of its lasting effect on your relationships.

You should know that there is a study that proves rude co-workers has toxic effects on the family when you come home. The research was conducted by the University of Singapore’s professor Sandy Lim. The study found out that when someone gets in a foul mood at work because of the rudeness or insolent behaviours of co-workers, the mood will not subside until he/she reaches home. What happens when the mood does not subside by the time you reach home?

There is a big chance that you will lash out at your family members and that is how it can affect your family life. This sounds pretty serious. The worst part is that the rude co-worker does not have an idea what he/she has done to you and your family. You are giving them way too much credit. How did the researchers come up to their findings? In the course of ten days, the researchers observed fifty full-time employees. The researchers sought out these employees and asked how much hostility or rudeness they have experienced that day.

In the evening, the researchers asked the spouses to record if their partner showed any signs of anger or the complete opposite of it. The study show that experiencing rudeness (at the workplace) was related to hostility feelings (they have in the house) and in turn linked with angry family behaviours. Aside from the hostile environment, these spouses also noticed their partners being withdrawn. The finding solidified the claims of a 2009 paper.

The paper talked about daily stresses of an employee and that it can cause them to express irritability and anger at home. The effects linked with rude behaviour and working in a toxic environment does not stop there. These feelings can actually result to decreased productivity, amplified absenteeism, poor morale and higher staff turnover. Knowing this, employers should make sure that their people live in a favourable condition to increase productivity and boost morale. The family should never be included and lashing it out to them will be the greatest mistake.

Questions to Ask Your IT Service Provider

Outsourcing IT service providers offers numerous advantages, but doing so also comes with certain risks. Most of the companies today are entrusted with the customers’ sensitive information, making it crucial to carefully evaluate any prospective service provider. To help you sort out the good IT companies in Singapore from the bad ones, we listed down some questions that will help in ensuring that you’re hiring the right service provider.

1. Who are the technicians that will be working on our system?
Understanding an IT company’s overall competency is crucial, but knowing the skills of each technician you will be working with is as important. You would surely want to work with someone who’s familiar with your system problem and understands the short- and long-term goals of your business.

Some service providers usually introduce their top technicians to the clients, then uses a bait-and-switch strategy (where you will get a completely different team working on your system) once you have signed the agreement. The best way to keep this from happening is to personally meet the team that will be providing your IT services prior to the contract signing.

2. Do you provide your own technicians or do you outsource from another company?

Some IT service providers in Singapore often outsource desk support from a third party company, so make sure that you ask about it before signing up with them. A reputable IT service provider offers services using their own staff. They have trained their technicians and supported them to the highest standards, allowing them to give quality IT services and better customer support for their clients.

3. Can you provide references of past clients who got the same services as mine?
Even if your prospective IT service Singapore service provider seems reliable, be sure to ask for references before signing the contract. Ask if he can provide two to three names of his past clients, along with their contact information. Reach out to these people and see if they were satisfied with the IT services provided by your prospective technician. Inquire about how long they have worked together, and how the provider responded when he faced specific challenges with their system.

4. Are you capable of providing a certain type of automated monitoring?
Another important question to ask your prospective service provider is the type of automated monitoring they are offering. As an IT service provider, they should be able to provide round-the-clock remote and automated monitoring for your system. Without this, determining the cause of your system problem will surely take some time – and that’s a downtime you certainly wouldn’t want to have in your business.

So as much as possible, ask your prospective service provider about the type of remote monitoring and management (RMM) they are using. These systems are crucial for monitoring and identifying potential issues before they turn to costly and serious problems. If your provider is not using an RMM, then it would be best to reconsider getting their IT services.

5. Do you also provide cloud solution and services?
Most IT service providers in Singapore also offer a certain type of cloud solution. However, it’s crucial that you ask whether they provide their own cloud services or if they outsource it from another cloud computing company. If it’s the latter, then it would be best to drop the idea of getting their cloud services since some security concerns have been raised about third party vendors providing cloud solutions. Sure, your provider may have promised to adhere to the security standards, but you don’t have any assurance that the other vendor will also adhere to these security practices.

Other than that, you should also be concerned as to who will be holding your data. Your service provider might have promised to delete your data once the contract is over, but will the other company do that as well? Getting cloud services from a third party vendor only makes your personal data vulnerable to theft.

6. Will your employees have access to customer data?
Planning to move to cloud and entrust all your data to your service provider? If so, then it’s important to know if your provider’s staff can readily access all your data from their system. This is crucial if you have a sensitive data at rest. If the employees can easily access your information, it’s important to know how trustworthy the staff members are so as to avoid information theft.

7. What are terms stated in your service level agreement?
A service level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between you and the service provider, which summarizes all the expected IT services, metrics used to measure the said services and the penalties for when the metrics are not met. With an SLA, you and your prospective service provider will have an understanding about the service requirements, and neither of you will be able to use ignorance as an excuse should a problem arise.

Service providers typically provider a standard agreement, but it’s crucial for you to ensure that the terms are made with your best interest in mind. This agreement is part of the negotiation process, which means a provider who refuses to adjust their terms should be a cause of concern for you.

Finding a reputable IT service provider for your business might seem like an overwhelming task, but by asking the right questions, you’ll surely be able to find an IT company capable of providing and answering to all of your system needs.

Fantasy Series for Beginners


With so many fantasy series out there, picking your first book if you’re new to the genre can be intimidating. You can start with stand-alone fantasy novels, but usually the authors need three books to create a world.


To be classified in the genre, the book usually employs world-building where elements from folklore and mythology are used. Some are inspired by civilizations and governments. These may resemble the real world or are modified. That is why most of these books have a magic system, magical creatures, religion and political machinery, and wars.

Fantasy has different sub-genres ranging from sword and sorcery to Wuxia (it’s Chinese martial arts with elements of fantasy). Here is a list of completed fantasy series from across sub-genres to get you hooked.


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien was the first successful fantasy series that has inspired other writers of the genre. Fantasy owes Tolkien a lot for this accomplishment. It tells about the adventures of three humble hobbits who have never seen the world. They were out to fight a Dark Lord who wants to conquer Middle-earth. The series has film and video game adaptations.


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most well-known young adult fantasy series. It is composed of seven books about an orphan who discovers that his parents were wizards who were killed by the most-feared dark wizard. It has a movie series adaptation and a cult following.


Dragonlance Chronicles is a trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. It is the best example of sword and sorcery fantasy. It tells about a group of friends who set out on a journey to become Heroes of the Lance. Dragonlance is also composed of other novels based on the shared universe of the same name.


Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson is a retelling of the life of British women under the Romans. Avalon is based on the Arthurian legends with elements from Celtic myths and pre-Christian practices. The series has seven books and is highly recommended if you want to follow lead female characters.


Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind can serve as an introductory series to epic fantasy. It has 17 books about two men and a woman who want to defeat the evil oppressors of the land. The theme is anchored on the 11 Wizard’s Rules, a sort of code of conduct for magic users. The series has a TV adaptation which ran for two seasons.


The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson is a 14-book series about three friends from a small village who were destined to either break or save the world. One of them is the Dragon Reborn who is supposed to fight the Dark One in the last battle. There is a chance however that he might join the forces of the Dark Lord. The author Jordan died in 2007 and Sanderson took over to write the last three books.


How to Stay Fashionable on a Shoestring Budget


Want to stay fashionable but your bank account can’t seem to keep up? Worry not, for there are a lot of ways on how you can stay stylish without breaking the bank. Simply put the following tips to work if you want to dress to impress even with a shoestring budget.


  1. Opt for Timeless Accessories

A lot of jewellery and clothing stores in Singapore sell unique accessories each year, but most of these items actually lose their popularity in less than a year. To avoid wasting your precious money on these pieces, choose to keep timeless accessories on your wardrobe instead. Some of these accessories that you’re better off investing is a vintage black dress, a pair of classic hoop earrings and an infinity scarf. If you’re careful enough, these pieces should at least keep you looking stylish for five years.

  1. Know Your Clothing Store

Once you find clothing shops that work for you fit-wise, start getting familiar with their sales, as well as how they price their items. If you know that they often mark their products down, then wait for that particular item that you love to go on sale. Finding a store that fits you size-wise also helps because when you already know what your size is, you can just order stuff online without worrying whether or not it’ll fit you.

  1. Get Creative With Your Clothes


Even if you don’t have the budget to purchase clothing pieces from Paragon Shopping Centre or The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, it’s still possible to make your clothes stylish by doing a little bit of DIY. Not only will your clothes look more fashionable than most generic styles, they’ll be completely exclusive. Plus, you don’t need to worry about showing up on an event and finding another person wearing the same outfit as yours.

  1. Mix and Match Your Outfits

Mixing your affordable clothes with one or two investment pieces is another way of looking stylish without breaking the bank. Simply splurge one a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, a pair of classic pumps and a nice purse, then just fill in gaps with your inexpensive accessories and separates. Now, you get to stay as fashionable as you want without breaking the bank.

  1. Get Inspiration From Someone Else’s Style

Getting inspiration from other people’s outfit choice is another way of making shopping for clothes easier and cheaper for you. When you see a getup on someone that you absolutely like, immediately go back to your wardrobe and assess the pieces that you already have. Through this, you’ll get an idea as to what items you lack, allowing you to focus on purchasing these items as you start shopping.

Staying fashionable doesn’t have to cost you that much. If you’re just creative and resourceful enough, you’ll definitely be able to come up with several outfits that certainly won’t go out of style.

Gigi Hadid spotted wearing denim and leather while out and about in NYC

Important Safety Tips for a Travel Junky


When you are travelling alone or with company, safety precautions should be practiced. While you want to enjoy and visit one place or another, you still need to consider your security since you will never know what to expect once you’re already there. Travel junkies shared that in order to assure your safety first, you should follow these tips:


  1. Research. Read about the place you are going to visit. Make sure that you know enough information to help you out during your stay. You wouldn’t want to ask each person you meet there about tourist destinations or their culture, etc. You need to research in advance in order to acquire a greater experience.


  1. Prepare a list of emergency contact numbers. This is probably one of the most important lists you need to carry while you travel. You need to be prepared and know who to contact in case of emergencies. Include contact numbers of your family, hospitals, hotel, airport, Philippine Embassy, etc. You might also want to include addresses to be more specific. Make sure to keep a copy of it in your carry-on bag and also take a snap of the document in your phone.


  1. Inform your Family. If you are travelling alone, make sure your family knows where you are and who you’re with (especially if you’ve met new found friends). Inform them on your flight itineraries, hotel and tour bookings. This is not mainly for them to monitor you but just a precautionary measure in case you would need help.


  1. Travel Light. Don’t bring too much things so that you won’t attract tourist vultures. Travel light especially when you are travelling in public areas.


  1. Blend in. Do not let the locals or other people know that you are a tourist. As much as possible, blend in. Just wear simple clothes and less jewelry and accessories in order to avoid drawing attention.


  1. Always carry a map with you. Like Dora the Explorer, always bring a map with you. You should not rely solely to your GPS or Google Maps since your connection might not be stable all the time. Bring your own map with you to help guide you especially during emergencies.


  1. Respect local customs. Don’t be rude and try to follow the city or country’s culture and customs. Respect their laws and way of life.


  1. Follow your intuition. Always follow your gut feel. When everything doesn’t work out the way it should be or if you are stuck in a situation you don’t know how to get out of, follow what your heart and mind dictates you. Run if you must, especially if it’s an emergency.


  1. Be kind and polite. Kindness can really take you to places. Being courteous can help gain you new friends and a few more extra help.