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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  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

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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:

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  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.

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  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.

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5 Foods & Drinks Pregnant Women Should Avoid

 

A lifestyle change is necessary once a woman becomes pregnant. Everything they consume matters, especially the food and drinks they eat and drink. It’s tough to control cravings and urges during pregnancy but it is always better to avoid things that might negatively affect us and the baby rather than just be sorry later on. Prevention is always better than cure. Doctors in Singapore listed down the unsafe foods and drinks that expecting moms should avoid:

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  1. Canned Food. It is important to avoid these foods because these are high in preservatives, sodium and sugar. If you do not have other healthy foods in your fridge like natural and fresh goodies, then you must thoroughly cook the canned food. Make sure to avoid consuming a lot since these can increase the risk for miscarriage and make your baby obese due to the exposure to BPA chemicals.

 

  1. Raw Food. To avoid risks of contamination, you should as much as possible avoid eating raw foods. Aside from the fact that it is unsafe, you could really expose yourself and the baby to germs, bacteria and infections. You should only consume foods that have been cooked thoroughly. Thus, unpasteurized dairy, raw eggs, shellfish and meat should be avoided.

 

  1. Oily and Fatty Food. These type of food can increase a pregnant’s risk for heartburn and may lead into gestational diabetes. If you do not want that your baby’s immune system will get affected due to your high-fat and high-sugar diet, then you have to adjust your way of eating. It’s always okay to give in to your cravings but don’t indulge too much on eating bad fats. Instead, you can eat fish which is a good source of good fats with omega-3 fatty acids.

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  1. Drinks with Artificial Sweeteners and Caffeine. Consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners and caffeine can give enormous effects. Artificial sweeteners on diet drinks and low-calorie sweeteners can make you give birth to heavier babies that could become overweight in the future. If you are craving for such drinks, just choose those with natural sugar instead. Caffeine, on the other hand, can lead to water and nutrient loss and could possibly incur miscarriage if taken in high dosage during the first trimester. Again, it is okay to idulge in your cravings but make sure that you take it in moderation.

 

  1. Alcohol. During pregnancy, abstinence from alcohol is a must. If you do not want your baby to develop the fetal alcohol syndrome and acquire birth physical defects and delay in cognitive development, then you should avoid these. Restrain yourself up until you are already allowed to drink, which of course will be after the giving of birth and advised 2 years of breastfeeding. So for now, go for milk and fresh fruit juices.

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How to Avoid Getting Dry Skin When Going to the Beach

 

It is rainy season but summer never ends here. Beach is just around the corner and we couldn’t help but to enjoy it. If you like to go to Siloso beach, you should know some tips to avoid dry skin. If untreated, dry skin may lead to Xerosis. Xerosis is a skin condition characterized by reddening of skin, itching and cracking.

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It is easy to know if you have a risk of Xerosis. You only need to conduct a skin test. Just scratch your skin on your arms. If you see white marks, skin is probably dry. It does not end there. You should also check heels, knees and elbows for signs of dryness. Xerosis may sound common and harmless but it can develop to serious diseases like infections and skin asthma.

Here are ways to avoid dry skin:

  • Drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated is the key to a refreshed body. The water can maintain the fluid requirement of the body thus it is good. Ideally, you are required to drink at least eight glasses of water every day but just to be sure, you can increase intake to ten or more glasses.

 

  • Dodge hot showers. Hot shower after day’s work is relaxing but experts say that frequent travel to hot baths can have an effect on your skin. It does not end there because over-scrubbing and using zero moisturizing soap are not good for the skin.

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  • Evade the sun. If you are working outdoors, you are more prone to dry skin and other skin problems. Exposing your skin to UV rays will even lead to skin cancer. You should at least limit your sun exposure from 10am to 2pm.

 

  • Keep away from air-con. Sometimes when it is too hot outside, you just simply turn the air con on and sit comfortably. That seems very comfortable but you have to know that it can lessen the natural moisture of your skin. As much as possible, do not spend too much indoors. If it can’t be helped, just do not sit near the vent because it is more harmful because the air there is colder.

 

  • Heal it. When you notice you have dry skin, do not ignore it. You have to take actions immediately. There are many treatments that you can consider that are readily available.

Whether you spend summer here in Siloso beach or somewhere outside Singapore, you should give attention to your skin. You have to know about the potential health effects of dry skin so you can do something about it.

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8 Ways to Foster Your Child’s Learning

 

Children love to learn. They constantly try out things new things and are always inquisitive. Unfortunately, their curiosity and enthusiasm often get stripped away by middle childhood as learning becomes competitive and overwhelming. Whether your toddler attends school outside your home or is home-schooled, these are some of the ways to ignite the flame of your little one’s love for learning.

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  1. Be an Inspiration for Your Children

If you want to spark up the curiosity, passion, and creativity of your children, be a good example in their eyes. If they can see you passionately interested in a hobby or participating in projects, they will get the impression that life is about setting and fulfilling goals.

  1. Show Interest to your Child’s Chosen Passion

This allows you to bond with your child and nurture his passions. Even if you don’t understand why you kid loves a particular thing, show enthusiasm by asking question. Listen and exchange ideas with him so you can really understand his feelings and views towards a particular interest.

  1. Read Stories

For centuries, it has always been a ritual for parents and children to read bedtime stories. Stories stimulate your child’s imagination and sense of wonder, therefore nurturing their creativity as well as communication skills. Eventually, children who enjoy bedtime stories will develop a love for reading when they grow older.

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  1. Allow Plenty of Play Time

Today, chidren’s day-to-day activities are often scheduled, leaving so little time for playing and exploration. Not only does playing outdoors do wonders for your kid’s creativity, it also allows your child to discover his interests. If the child does nothing but study and his homeworks, there is lesser time for him to discover what he’s really passionate about.

  1. Create Field Trips

Singapore is fully clad with nature parks and cultural centres. Take advantage of them and bring your child to these places. Every weekend, take the family to field trips to nature reserves and art museums. Even a short vacation can make a difference on improving your child’s appreciation for the world.

  1. Focus More on the Process

Perhaps, your little girl is interested in dancing, but struggling to execute the steps. Let her know that having fun and trying her best to get her steps together is what matters most than perfectly memorizing the steps. Be supportive and encouraging, but don’t push her too hard.

  1. Embrace Your Child’s Curiosity

Children are naturally curious, and this allows them to learn new things. Support their passion and expound their knowledge by answering their questions. One question can ignite a new interest if you explore the answer together.

Children are naturally eager learners. Nurture that passion and enjoy learning and growing along with your toddler.

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3 Smart Hacks to Improve Your Internet Experience

 

Do you frequently experience slow-loading sites, forgotten passwords and social media rants? If so, you could be using your internet the wrong way. While it’s very useful, the internet can also be a source of frustration and anxiety. Fortunately, you can do something to improve your experience by taking advantage of these simple hacks every time you go online.

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  1. Take Advantage of Soft-Block Features

At some point, you might have liked a new acquaintance, but don’t like the things they post in social media. This leaves you in an uncomfortable state of having to choose whether to continue dealing with their posts or ‘unfriending’ them, which may cause drama later on.

Fortunately, you don’t have to ‘unfriend’ or block someone to minimize the posts you can see form them. They are called ‘soft’ blocking features on Facebook. By simply going to a friend’s profile, hovering over the ‘Following’ tab and then clicking ‘Unfollow’ option, you will stop seeing posts from a particular person but still remain friends with them on Facebook.

  1. Log Out of Your Facebook Remotely

Have you signed in to other units besides your phone? Perhaps, you have signed in quickly on a friend’s laptop or mobile device? Remember that closing the browser does not log your account out. So, unless you have made a point to log out, you are still signed in on those devices and anyone can easily get into your account.

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Good thing you don’t have to go chasing your friend or racing back to the office to log out your facebook. You can do it remotely, by simply going to the Settings. By clicking the Security option, you should be able to see and close any active sessions you have.

  1. Use On-the-Go PDFs

Our mobile devices have made it easier to work while on the road, until you need a scanner or a printer. There are always forms and documents that should be signed, scanned and delivered, but most home-based offices do not have scanner and printer on hand.

With the help of your mobile phone, you can at least scan your documents and e-mail it to the receiver. There are quite a number of good PDF apps that you can get download and install for free to your mobile device. With these apps you can conveniently snap a photo of your document, turn it into a PDF file and then e-mail it right away. No scanner required!

Almost everything you do online can be made easier, but it is the simplest tricks that can make internet surfing much more pleasant.  Other than these three, there are so many ways to help improve your internet use. Just try to maximize your computer’s and mobile device’s features to get the most out of them while using the internet.

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Important Tips on Obtaining a U.S. Visa

 

Right now, a lot of people are finding great job opportunities in different areas across the globe. Depending on their college degrees, many people will be able to find numerous job openings not only in their home countries but also abroad. The United States of America is one of the popular destinations for these individuals. However, it’s important to remember that you will need a US visa if you opt to provide your services for a firm operating in the US.

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Upon doing your homework concerning the requirements needed to present in order to go into the territory of a different nation, you’ll find that there are several nations around the world wherein its citizens get exempted from presenting a visa. If you’d like to be aware of the list of exempted countries then you can do your homework online. The United States requires a US visa from individuals originating from countries not a part of the visa exemptions.

Certainly, it is essential to adhere to the visa policy of the foreign land you intend to explore regardless of whether it is for vacation, education, business enterprise, or perhaps for employment purposes. But you’ll have to keep in mind that showing all the required files and permits is essential if you want to be approved for visa application US. There are situations when you present all of your documents but don’t get approved. Certainly, what you’ll find further on are some useful guidelines to increase your chances of approval.

You might choose to follow some hints or not but these will aid you out eventually. If you’re trying to get a work visa then you should look into the prerequisites and different level of tiers specifically for employment purposes. You will subsequently be able to ready the entire records and documents needed to be shown in the immigration department.

On top of that, it would make things easier for you to get assistance from a professional when it comes to preparing the documents required for your visa application. In case you come across a difficulty in getting a file, the expert can give you a hand. It’s very essential that you get a permit because if you don’t then there is a high chance that you’ll be put through deportation. The percentage of visa refusals is consistently escalating. In case you want to avoid getting into a trouble then make sure you put together everything needed.

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If you’re having difficulty in completing the entire prerequisites then you most definitely need assistance from a professional like a legal practitioner to assist you in your visa application US. And if you successfully get approval, just be sure you follow the rules set by the country or you are risking deportation. Another suggestion that is helpful in your application is presenting all the written documents and not cutting corners.

Even if you think that the immigration officials will use their common sense when considering your situation, it doesn’t suggest that they’ll instantly process your visa. Remember that the prerequisites they’ve set in their application guidelines are obligatory and consequently should be shown by the applicant. In the event you can’t even present these prerequisites then there is a high chance your application will be rejected. When you get hired in a corporation with its headquarters abroad, you need to ensure that you prepare the entire essential prerequisites for the work visa application.

Even though you are able to conveniently get a flight ticket to the said country, it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to employ there particularly if you’re not excused from presenting a visa. If you’re a citizen from an exempted state then you will be able to easily go into the territory with no hassle. However, if you’re not then you’ll need to get a US visa.

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Beauty Hacks for Busy Women

 

Sometimes you are too busy that you do not pay much attention to your look or get up. That is not good since part of your total package includes your appearance. It is important that you look presentable and good all the time no matter the hectic schedule. It is up to you to allot at least few minutes to get ready.

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The good news is that there are many beauty hacks out there for busy Singaporean career women especially if you belong in low-maintenance group. You should keep in mind to always look your best whether you put some foundation or lipstick so you do not completely freak out your prospects be it career or relationships.

Here are some hacks for you:

  • Have your signature makeup look: You do not need to highlight everything, you just need to pick a part that you want to emphasize and voila – that will be your signature makeup look. You do not put makeups because it takes time but if you have this signature makeup look, it will be easier. So whether it is smoky eyes, red-pouty lips, a blush or mascara, it is up to you.

 

  • Know how to get ready in five minutes: Your friends suddenly called you for a night one. It is time that you consider it but before anything else, you need to scour your cabinet. Looking for something to wear will probably take few minutes. Then the hardest thing to do – face makeup. You should know how to get ready in five minutes. If you need practice, just do so. A five minute makeup includes applying foundation, blush, mascara and lipstick.

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  • Get something that can do both things: Time is of essence and if you could cut back an activity, it would be pleasing. In this case, look for a tinted moisturizer. These moisturizers have double duties – it can serve as a foundation and moisturizer. Think of the time you can save for skipping the application of moisturizer.

 

  • Nailing that red lip: Having a red lip is pretty intimidating to wear but you can be bold and ready for it. In fact, having a red lip is empowering so you have to nail it. Red lip makes you look like you spent more time getting ready. Do not shy away from scarlet shades.

 

  • Exfoliate: This sounds time consuming but if you do not allot time exfoliating from head to toe, dead skin build up is inevitable. It can flog the pores so expect more time to get ready because of the break out.

It is perfectly fine if you go to work wearing makeup or even blow drying your hair. If you want to get glammed often, you should do so.

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Beauty Hacks You Oughtta Know

 

Many Singaporean women cannot go out without looking their best. There is nothing wrong with that because it can make you feel good. With experience, some women are better in beauty game. It is time that these veteran makeup artists share their secret to the newbies. Looking best should not be kept secret because everyone deserves to look their best.

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The thing here is sometimes it takes time and it gets complicated when you try to get your best look. If you could use a shortcut, will you consider it? Of course! Here are some beauty hacks worth learning and spreading:

For your lips

If you are want your lips to pop, you have to make use of a concealer. Line the outside of your lips using your concealer. This can give an effect of crispy edge. Metallic lips are in these days, If you want this, you just need to add dimension with the help of a highlighter. If you want to contour your lips, apply first a dark pencil before applying your favorite lipstick. Another trick to make that perfect edge is using scotch tape.

Sometimes when you tackle lipsticks, the greatest problem is getting broken. If this happens, do not throw it. You can just fuse the ends with the help of little heat.

For your eyes

If you are particular about eyes, you have to make good use of mascaras. You already applied mascara but you are always conscious of it drying up. Well, you can just add little eye drops to revive mascara. When you are trying to put an eyeliner, you can maximize your post-it tabs as an eyeliner guide to achieve that flawless edge.

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It is always inconvenient if your eyeshadow is broken. If your eyeshadow is broken, you can still revive it with one neat trick – alcohol. You just need to pour few drops of alcohol then press and mix. Do not worry, the alcohol will not affect the color or texture of the eyeshadow.

For your nails

If you are a big fan of French tips (regardless of the color), you have to use a rubber band.

For your blackheads

Blackheads are indeed stubborn and it is an unwelcome sight. If you want to remove blackheads, use a store-bought gelatin. It will serve as your strip.

For tweezers

Sometimes your ignore tweezers if it is dull. You either continue using it or replace it with new one. If you continue to use it, it can affect the skin and if you replace it every now and then, it will cost you money. The safest thing to do is use it but sharpen it first using a nail file.

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How to Alkalize Your Body

Over the years, alkalized diet has become more and more popular, especially to people who are into natural diets. Making the body more alkalized is quite simple and can be done by altering a few things to your diet. But first, let’s find out what alkalizing the body really means and how to achieve it.

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What Is Alkalizing

Alkalizing is the science of balancing the body’s acidity, which can contribute to the onset of many diseases. When your body is more alkaline, disease-causing bacteria are less likely to penetrate. The pH level (the alkaline-acid measurement) of the body’s internal fluids affects every cellular membrane you have in your body. Measured from the scale of zero to 14, the pH level determines how acidic or alkaline you are. The lower your pH level the more acidic you are, and the higher your pH level the more alkaline you are.

How Much Alkalizing Is Needed

In order for our body to maintain its best health, the ideal pH level is anywhere between 7.0 and 7.5. In order for the blood to do its function well in terms of distributing oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body, the pH level should be in this range. Levels that are too far from being alkaline can be harmful to the health.

In Singapore, however, people consume mostly acidic food on a daily basis and are not aware of the importance of being more alkaline, when they really need healthy alkaline water for your body especially in toxic Singapore environment Really, a balance of acidity and alkalinity in the body is the key to optimum health.

Why Alkalizing Is Important

Consuming too much acid-forming foods and slacking off from maintaining the alkalinity of the body can cause health consequences. When the body is too acidic and not sufficiently alkalized, bones and tissues may suffer. This could take a toll on the body’s ability to detoxify and repair damaged tissues, causing the person to be more prone to illnesses and diseases.

Furthermore, being more acidic can cause side effects like headaches, acne, indigestion, allergies, joint pain, weak hair and nails, poor immune system, and trouble with losing or gaining weight. These people also have higher chances of developing more serious health complications, including digestive-related illnesses and cancer.

How to Alkalize the Body

1. Eat More Greens

Actually, all vegetable are alkaline. If you eat more vegetables, you are on your way to a more alkalized health. However, green vegetables are more alkalizing. Take them in their least processed form—raw or steamed, but never fried—to get the most benefit. All types of seaweeds, herbal teas, and fresh vegetable juices are equally alkalizing as well.

2. Have Servings of Fruits Everyday

Majority of fruits are alkalizing, except plums, cranberries, and blueberries, which are more acidic. Some of the best alkalizing fruits recommended by health experts in Singapore are melons, limes, and lemons. But like vegetables, it is best to eat them raw, rather than processed, pasteurized, or cooked.

3. Incorporate Nuts and Seeds to Your Meals

Chestnuts, almonds, sesame, and chia seeds are all beneficial to your alkalized diet, but most other seeds and nuts fall under acid-forming foods. Processed seed and nut oil, such as almond, sunflower, and canola oil, are considered neutral so it’s advisable to take them sparingly.

4. Drink More Water

Being properly hydrated makes a huge difference to your health, but drinking alkaline water makes even a bigger impact in improving your overall well-being. It would be of great help if you have alkaline water filter at home, so you can ensure you’re taking water in pH level 8.0 to 9.5 every time to counteract any acid-forming food you take.

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5. Use Alkaline Water On Your Foods

Aside from drinking alkalized water, you can also use them when preparing soups and beverages. Instead of using tap water, a much healthier alternative is to use alkaline water. When preparing herbal teas, which are already alkaline on their own, you can boost its alkalinity by using alkalized water to brew it.

6. Go Easy With the Transformation

Let your body slowly adjust to a more alkaline diet by taking one baby step at a time. When incorporating alkaline water into your diet, start by taking it in pH 7.5 for at least two weeks before moving up to 8.0, 8.5, all the way to 10.0. Although water filter machines can alkalize regular water up to pH level 13.0, this is too alkaline and not recommended for everyday consumption.

What Foods to Avoid

The food groups that is said to cause the most acidifying effect on the body are animal-based food, primarily meats. Fish are also acid-forming foods, but are better than any other animal meats. Also, eggs and dairy products are acid-forming, with hard cheeses as the most acidic of them all.

The last and the most acidifying food are artificial sweeteners. Although white sugar is the worst, molasses, maple syrup, and honey are also some of the sweeteners to minimally take to maintain a more alkaline health.

Shifting to a more alkaline diet is easy when approached from a simplistic point of view—aiming for 50/100 rather than 100/100 and still allowing yourself to enjoy some treats. Go easy and be creative with your diet. The rest of your life is going to be a long journey, so enjoy it with the vitality and energy that your new alkaline lifestyle brings.

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Why You Need to Buy Real Twitter Followers?  

 

One of the best ways to promote your company, product, service or even yourself is to make use of the social media websites. Buy active Twitter followers, buy real Facebook page likes, Use of hashtag on Instagram and the likes are just some of the most commonly used social media marketing strategies by many businesses. Why don’t you try to take part in this effective scheme of boosting your company’s online presence?

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Social Media Marketing

It is not a secret to the world that social media websites are among the major tools in achieving business success. These are the platforms we can use in order to reach out to our possible customers, expand our target market and reach other people across the world. With social media sites, it is not impossible to gain a loyal client outside from your country.

Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram are just three of the many social media sites that are often used for social media marketing. Twitter is also one of them. There are many users of Twitter. What is better is that most of these users are insanely active! No wonder why it is among the top sites today.

How Do You Market In Twitter?

So, how do you really market your brand, product or service in Twitter? Well, it is just by simply gaining followers. Your followers will be able to read your tweets. They can also favorite or re-tweet it. For those who are in social media marketing, having your tweets re-tweeted is definitely the best. Why? It is because the followers of that person who re-tweeted that tweet will also be able to see it. The more followers you have is the better reach for your campaign and the more re-tweets you have is the better expansion of your target audience.

The most difficult about social media marketing is the start of it. Why? It is simply because you have to spend time thinking how you will be able to gain likes (for Facebook) and followers (for Twitter and Tumblr). Without likes and followers, your advertising campaign is no sense, considering the fact that it won’t be relayed to anyone.

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Fortunately, you can do something to increase the number of your followers on Twitter. You can buy real twitter followers from certain firms or individuals. There are internet marketer experts who are much more knowledgeable when it comes to internet marketing. So, why don’t you trust the number of your Twitter followers to these people or firms, right?

Why Buy Twitter Followers?

You might be wondering why there is a need for you to purchase Twitter followers. Well, it is simply to make your task done. When you already have a solid number of followers, you can already start campaigning for your products and services. While if you have no or little followers, you still have to waste time finding ones. Also, you cannot beg other people to follow the Twitter account of your business. You will look pathetic and it will have a negative impact on your business.

There are people out there who can guarantee to deliver the certain number of followers you want. As a matter of fact, they can even deliver more. All you need to do is to buy active Twitter followers from them and your problem is already solved.slider2

Can You Buy The Best PC Tower Case Online?

Are you in need of the best PC tower case or any items related to gadgets? If you are, then you should know where to purchase the best ones. However, before that, know the different tech products that you can actually buy online.

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What Can You Buy Online?

There is no way to argue that the world has already been depending to technology these days. A lot of things have already changed. One of the things that changed is the way we shop. Before, we do the traditional shopping. Now, most people are now into online shopping.

Online shopping happens when you buy anything from the internet. This is the kind of shopping where you do not have to step out of the house yet you can still buy the things that you need and want as long as you have your computer or smartphone and an internet connection. Isn’t it amazing?

Anyway, there are a lot of tech products available online. As a matter of fact, many people are now purchasing their laptops and smartphones through the internet. However, instead of discussing laptops and smartphones, we will be talking here with other tech products. These are the:

  • External Hard Drive

Most often than not, people need external hard drive as the laptop’s memory is often not enough to store all their files. External hard drive makes the life of a heavy computer user a lot easier. With this kind of tech product, you can save as many movies as you want, download as many games as you like and store as many files as possible. If you want a powerful external hard drive, it is recommended for you to choose a USB powered external hard drive.

  • Computer Case Fans

While most of us know what PC case fans are, there are still some people who do not really have an idea on what it is and what it looks like. It is the type of computer fan where it comes with a case. It is intended for active cooling. It expels warmer air from the inside, draws cooler air from the outside into its case or moves air across a certain heat sink for the purpose of cooling a certain component. Most of the time, it is used to ensure that your computer won’t break due to overheat problems.

  • Mouse and Keyboard

Today, mouse and keyboard are considered to be very important especially to those who are very addicted to computer games or online games. It is not difficult for us to spot someone who is purchasing expensive set of mouse and keyboard that are made especially for gaming purposes. While it is true that before, people only shop these items at a computer store, today, they are also buying it online. Just one search and you can find a lot of keyboards and mouse devices all over the internet. All you need to do is to choose one.

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Why You Should Buy Tech Products Online?

There are several reasons why many people are more interested in buying things online than following the traditional way of shopping items. The first reason is that it allows them to save time. With online shopping, you do not have to drive downtown just to buy the thing you need. You can just sit at home and browse the internet. You can find the product you are searching for online within just a few minutes. Isn’t it an ideal way of shopping?

Another reason why you should buy USB powered external hard drive and other items online is due to the fact that you can find more options on the internet. If you choose to go to a certain store to buy the item you want, then you will only be limited to what is displayed and available at the store. On the internet, you can even check the items of a seller from another country. There is no way to deny that this innovative way of shopping is definitely a convenient one.

One more reason why people go online shopping is because there are a lot of promos and discounts on the internet. We rarely experience big discounts when we shop at stores. However, when we shop online, we can easily find online vouchers that can help us save a lot of money. In fact, you can even buy USB powered external hard drive, computer case fans, mouse, keyboard and many more at a cheaper price on the internet.

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How an Alkaline Water Ionizer Works?

A growing number of people in Singapore have been turning to water ionizers as their source of healthier water. Many of these users have reported that ionizing their water changed their lives for the better—a lot better, thanks to the antioxidants that help fight free radicals and early signs of aging.

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How It Works?

1. Water Filtration

This step is very important in ensuring that you’re getting the cleanest and healthiest alkaline water. It is in this phase that many water ionizing brands fall short.

Perhaps, you already know that water ionizers aren’t cheap. Therefore, when you buy one, you want to make the most out of it and make sure it will do what it promises to provide. When pouring water into an ionizing machine, the water goes through a water filter first where toxins and contaminants are sifted out before it goes further down the machine and undergo ionization.

2. Water Ionization

After removing the contaminants in the water, the next phase is the ionization, where the water is processed by electrolysis. This means that the water straight from the water filter is separated into two streams when it is run over electrically charged plates. One stream is rich in hydrogen ions and is called acidic, while the other one is rich in hydroxyl ions and is called alkaline.

When an electrical current is run through the two plates, the ionization is enhanced. As the power becomes stronger, the ionization also increases.

Balanced pH for Optimal Health

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Water straight from the faucet is typically neutral or just slightly alkaline. If it’s acidic, water suppliers usually add lye to tip the pH scale towards the alkaline side and prevent leaching of metal components from the pipes that transport it to homes.

As mentioned, an ionizing machine divides the filtered water into two streams. When you drink healthy alkaline water in Singapore, the pH of the water in the alkaline side ranges from eight to 11; while the water on the acidic side, which can be used as cleaner and antibacterial wash, the pH level ranges from six to three.

Antioxidant Property

The antioxidant level of a liquid is measured in Oxidation Reduction Potential, or more popularly known as ORP. When ORP is positive (+), it’s oxidizing, decaying, and aging; when it’s negative (-), it’s reducing and a good antioxidant. An ionizing machine produces both kinds of liquid. The alkaline is reducing or the antioxidant one and the acidic is the oxidizing one.

Tap water typically has an ORP of +200 or higher, depending on the chlorine content and other properties. Also, bottled waters mostly have +ORP. Alkaline water is said to be the safest water to drink because it has negative ORP level.

The Bottom Line

After a series of processes that happens inside an ionizing machine, the water that comes out from it becomes alkaline and with a reduced molecular composition that will aid better penetration of minerals into the cells and tissues of human body. The alkaline water has the ability to donate electrons and serve as a powerful antioxidant that will keep the body’s foundation strong and intact.

All water ionizers available in Singapore create the same health-beneficial alterations to regular tap water with slight quantitative differences, depending mainly on the technology used. The major difference, however, is on the ability of the internal water filter to remove contaminants. Most ionizers do a great job in removing chlorine, but only a few can fully eradicate other common contaminants and toxins.

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Property Management: The Basics of Contracting Your Property Painting

Maybe, for some home projects, do-it-yourself wall painting is acceptable; but for business rental properties, like condominiums, apartments, and commercial buildings, it unquestionably requires professional painting services. The professional experiences and skills of painting contractors guarantee that your rental property will look attractive and enticing to the eyes of prospect renters.

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For better understanding, here are the basics of contracting painting services—painting contractors’ duties, the process of hiring them, and negotiating the best price for their job.

What is a Painting Contractor?

These people usually work as a sub-contractor, under a general contractor, or can also hire themselves out directly to property owners. Usually, painting contractors are small operation groups, ranging from one-man proprietor up to 30 painters working for a company.

How to Find a Painting Contractor?

There are plenty of painting contractors all over Singapore. You can ask a good condo manager in Singapore to recommend one for you, or find one yourself. While many of them concentrate on painting alone, some perform associated tasks like minor drywall works, plaster repairs, molding, and trimming, and wallpapering.

When looking for a local painting contractor, ask for recommendations from your property management company, if working with one. If not, talk to colleagues or notice postages from lawns of houses along your homes’ neighborhood.

For bigger properties, like commercial buildings, which requires quality painting, local magazines display advertisements of established painting service companies. These magazines have lists of names and contact numbers of contractors—but be warned that most them are high-end workers and are quite expensive.

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What Can Painting Contractors Do?

Painting contractors take on any kind of painting job, from painting windows to an entire building painting job. But for now, let’s just assume they’re painting the interiors of your property. You can expect they will do the following:

• Covering of objects and areas that are not included in the painting process, which may include the windows, floors, cabinets, kitchen counters, etc.
• Minor surface preparation, like sanding and scraping of old paint. “Minor” because stripping of old paint is a professional blaster’s job, not for painters.
• Removal of doors, lights, electrical plates, and other obstacles
• Priming new wall or the old paint with latex primer
• Double coating interior latex paint
• Double coating ceiling paint
• Clean-ups and final finishes
• Final evaluation between the homeowner and painting foreman

How to Talk With a Painting Contractor?

One good thing about conversing with painters is that you don’t need specialized lingo, unlike talking with electricians and plumbers. Most contractors can easily explain the process and make things easy to understand for their clients. Some of the important points you may want to discuss with your contractor and managing agent are the cost of the paint and whether it’s already included in the estimated price, the type of paint to be used, the number of coatings to be applied, the timeframe of the job, and whether or not it’s preferable for the residents to vacate the place while the job is going on.

Beautifying your property is part of property management, and one way to make sure your building looks striking to prospect clients is to exquisitely paint its interior and exterior walls. In doing so, let the professionals handle it and consider hiring professional painting contractors. Ask your managing agent for recommendations of quality contractors for top-notch painting results.

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