How to Take Care of Your Paintbrushes in 3 Easy Steps

June 27th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

While a paintbrush can be your best friend when it comes to transferring paint from the palette to the canvas, it can be very easy to ruin it if you’re not careful. And because a good one is expensive to replace, you need to be able to take care of it to make it last you a long time.

Fortunately, taking care of your paintbrushes are easy to do, and here’s how you can keep them around for a long time in three easy steps:

1. Do not let acrylic paint dry on a paintbrush.
If there is one thing that you need to know when it comes to keeping your brushes in good condition, it’s that acrylic paint dries very quickly. As much as possible, always keep the brush wet or moist.

Another part of the brush that should not have dried paint on it is the ferrule (the metal part of the brush connecting the bristles to the handle), as it can also result in the brush hairs spreading apart and looking more frayed.

If you’re not planning on using the brush afterwards, wash the paint off and dry the paintbrush on a piece of clean cloth or paper before setting it aside handle-first. This way, you avoid resting weight on the bristles and prevent them from fraying.

2. Don’t leave your paintbrush bristles-first in water.
Because the paintbrush’s weight will be resting on the wet bristles, this pressure combined with the softness of the bristles can result in the latter fraying or getting worn out faster. Even if the hairs don’t bend because the bristles are stiff, the hairs will still spread out and fray the brush, which will make it less effective than before it was left in water.

If you have to switch between brushes in the middle of painting, place the brush you’re not-using on standby in a way that the brush is touching neither the palette nor the tabletop, and the weight of the brush will never rest on the bristles.

For instance, you could lay it flat on the table, or use a brush holder to keep it in place if you don’t like having paint smears all over your workspace. You could even simply just leave it upright handle-first.

3. Don’t throw away ruined brushes!
While this may sound counter-intuitive at first, a ruined or frayed brush can still be useful to you in ways that you don’t expect.

Crusty or frayed brushes, especially if they happen to be expensive ones, can still be used to apply paint on the canvas in a rougher and more expressionistic way, which can be great if you’re planning on doing abstract art. The key is to know how to use them well.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

3 of the Best Coastal National Parks in Singapore

June 27th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

There are many scenic spots in Singapore, but there’s nothing quite like just enjoying your day by the water. There are many things you can do in one of Singapore’s many coastal parks; you can bring a picnic, do some light reading, listen to tunes, or just be with your friends and family. Some parks even offer their own attractions, so there’s always something for you to do. However, with all the coastal parks in Singapore to go to, how do you choose? Here is a short list of coastal parks in Singapore where you can spend a fun-filled time.

1. East Coast Park
We begin our list with the popular East Coast Park. It’s not hard to see why the East Coast Park is well-known; there are many things you can do in this 15km stretch of scenic beaches, so there’s always something for everyone. For those whose idea of fun is in the water, there are a lot of water sports that are available, like cable skiing. For those who would rather stay dry on land, cyclists and rollerbladers can be found in flocks here in East Coast Park. For extreme thrill-seekers, why not try finding your fix at the Xtreme SkatePark?

If you’d rather have something more on the peaceful, tranquil side, you could just stay in one of the many cafes or restaurants located inside the park. You can even a bring your food and drinks out to the beach, so you could chow down while basking in the sun.

2. Labrador Park
For those whose idea of fun involves learning about history and nature, then Labrador Park is perfect for you. There are many historical and natural artifacts found here in Labrador Park, some of them even dating as far back as the Second World War, including an old British Fort called Fort Pasir Panjang.
Nature lovers will also love Labrador Park, with the different species of wildlife that can be found. While you’re there, you can birdwatch for a large variety of bird species, or cook your own dinner on one of the park’s barbeque pits.

3. Pasir Ris Park
If you’re in the mood for something quieter, Pasir Ris Park is the park for you. With all the different activities that you can do in Pasir Ris, this 6km long park is great for a family outing. For example, children can enjoy themselves in the playground where they can spend their time on swings, slides, and a mini maze. Aside from their playground, Pasir Ris also has a mangrove, stables, and a garden. For families who are the real outdoorsy type, you could even go camping in Pasir Ris, provided you acquire a camping permit beforehand.

Grooming Kit Essentials for Women

May 29th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Make sure that you always look your best with these grooming kit essentials that you should carry in your bag wherever you are.

1. Nail Essentials
Don’t forget to bring a small kit that contains all the necessary items for emergency manicure and pedicure. You can buy a set that comes with tiny pouch at health and beauty shops which includes the following items: compact nail clippers and nail nipper for cutting nails, nail file to smoothen and file nails, tweezers for pulling out hair and nail splinters, cuticle scissors or cuticle nipper, and nail cleaner.

2. Epilator
When you don’t have time to get waxed or sugared, and shaving isn’t an option for you, you should always take an epilator if you travel a lot. It’s a convenient item for removing hair from any part of the body, including the face, bikini area, and armpits.

3. Toiletries
Always bring small packs of toiletries wherever you go because you never know when you need them. You can purchase compact versions at shops that include the following essentials: toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, shampoo and conditioner, bar of soap or shower gel, deodorant, washcloth, cotton pads, Q-tips, facial cleanser, tissue or moist towelettes, and sanitary pads.

4. Skin and Hair Products
Besides a pack of essential toiletries, you should always take essential skin and hair products and items to always look your best no matter where you go. Don’t forget to pack the following before you go out: comb or brush, compact mirror, lotion, facial moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm, hand cream, gel or leave-in conditioner, oil spray, body spray or perfume, and hair clips or hair tie.

5. Makeup Kit
Lastly, you should always take a compact makeup kit that contains all the essentials for retouching your makeup. You never know when you need to spend more hours at work or when you get invited to dinner after spending the whole day at the office. Every woman should bring the following makeup essentials in her bag: foundation, pressed powder, concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara, eyelash curler, lip gloss, lipstick, and blush or bronzer. You should also take a makeup remover, facial wash and moisturizer, eye gel, and exfoliator in case you need to remove your makeup.

You don’t need to lug around a large bag to pack all of these. You can find small and compact grooming kits or travel kits that will fit easily in your bag that includes most of these grooming essentials.

12 Fantasy Novels for Children

May 29th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Are you looking for books to introduce your child to the fantasy genre? These are the best titles for children aged 12 years and below.

1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The book introduces the character Peter Pan, a naughty young boy who doesn’t want to grow up and spends most of his time in Neverland with friends and other supernatural creatures.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The first book in the series introduces a young wizard who didn’t know he was famous for beating a dark wizard until he was invited to attend a wizarding school.

3. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Before introducing your child to The Lord of the Rings series, you should let him/her read this first because the story is a lot easier to follow. It tells of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and thirteen dwarves.

4. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
The novel introduces the young wizard Ged who gets into trouble after a conflict in the wizarding school because of a spell that backfired.

5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The novel will take your child into the cold land of Narnia, a kingdom that is full of mythical creatures and is ruled by a White Witch.

6. The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
Part of the series of books about King Arthur, this novel covers the childhood years of the mythical king when he was taught by Merlyn in the art of becoming a prince and in the use of magic.

7. Northern Lights or The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The first book of the series introduces the parallel universe where Lyra Belacqua journeys in search of a missing friend and an uncle, whose experiments with an unknown substance resulted in a strange accident.

8. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Zanna and Deeba are suspecting that some strange mystery has been affecting them, especially after they found a way into UnLondon, a mirror version of London.

9. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Part of a series of novels and short stories in The Chronicles of Prydain, it introduces one of fantasy’s most iconic characters named Taran, a pig keeper who wants to be a hero.

10. Lord Brocktree by Brian Jacques
This is the first book of the Redwall series, which chronicles the history of Redwall and its famous anthropomorphic figures.

11. The Knight of the Swords by Michael Moorcock
The first book in the Corum series, it begins with an introduction to of the gods that destroyed old races and who were destroyed themselves because of their desire to rewrite history. It was a time when heroes such as Prince Corum would thrive.

12. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
It is the first novel in the Ranger’s Apprentice series that spans a total of 12 books, perfect for youngsters looking for a longer fantasy series.

7 Must-Try Dishes in SG if You Love Spicy Food

April 27th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

The Singaporean palate is made just for this type of flavor as far as the locals are concerned. You aren’t a true local if you can’t stand this throbbing tang, and for tourists this is some sort of rite of passage when you come visit the place.

This is one flavor we can’t stand but still can’t resist to indulge in. Panting like we just ran a mile with beads of sweat trickling on our backs, we can’t seem to say no to this treat which we always have the hots for.

1. Pan Mee
This dish originating from Kuala Lumpur is spiced up with dry chili flakes that’s slow-roasted to achieve just the right flavor. It’s optional though, so you have to figure out whether or not to have flakes on your serving. The dish typically has a mix of crisped ikan bilis, meatballs, fried scallion and minced meat.

2. Tom Yum Soup
Whoever said that spice always comes in the color red is so wrong in all the right ways. Singaporean food proves that looks can be very deceiving, even costing you the surprise of ingesting a very spicy dish. The Tom Yum soup is light in color, speculated to have originated from Thailand. It is often served simmering hot, to preserve its flavor that’s both sour and spicy at the same time.

3. Laksa
Literally meaning “spicy sand” in Chinese, this dish is known to have originated from the Pernakan culture. It has dried prawns that’s grounded to achieve that granular texture smoothened by its coconut-based soup. Its red tint gives your forewarning about what to expect when you prepare to take a bite.

4. Sate Ayam
Known to have originated from Indonesia, this is a dish coated with sweet soy sauce with a tinge of spicy hot peanut sauce. The main star of the dish is typically charcoal-grilled and twigged-through, so it’s handy and can be enjoyed even while walking around or sitting at table.

5. Mee Goreng
There are more variants of this dish but since we’re on our spicy list, we’ll stick with the Indian version which will leave you sweating profusely. Thanks to the chili sauce, ketchup and green chili, you’ll sweat bullets while munching on this one. It has fried noodles with egg and seafood, with the right blend of sweet, salty and spicy.

6. Indian Curry
Indians have this knack for spice and it seemingly has influenced Singapore as well. There are various versions of this tangy dish, and it depends on your mood or your tolerance to spiciness. The Machichi Curry is for those looking to break a sweat while dining and the Makhani Chicken Tikka is for those craving for a more creamy taste.

7. Roti Prata
Let’s not mistake this seemingly innocent dish, as its dip is always sets our palates ablaze. With different choices like fish, curry or chicken gravy, this dish totally has that kick we all want in our food.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Body Hydrated

April 27th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

In this day and age where almost everything is done in an instant, it’s always hard to keep up even with the most basic things. Sleep is a luxury, and eating is almost a second priority. With schedules that are too tight for their own good, we have to maintain a healthy routine along with it. Or else, our unhealthy lifestyle will eventually take its toll on our bodies and the price to pay isn’t something we can afford.

Here are some ways for us to stay hydrated even in the busiest of schedules:

1. Drink up
Look here, since this bit of information is just so common we somehow take it for granted. Drink up, and not just any beverage we first take a hold of in the fridge. Water. Drink up plenty and plenty of water. Not only is it the most important nutrient among all the others, it also serves as solvent for essential bodily reactions.

In addition, it also helps maintain good circulation and maintain body temperature. So before you reach for that next can of soda, keep in mind how many glasses of water you’ve had for the day. There’s no harm in adding an extra glass or two.

2. Avoid alcohol
If you’re planning to hit the gym or to just have that jog you’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now, avoid alcohol the day before. Avoid exercising with a hangover as this is both dangerous and could just lead to even more dehydration.

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
This hits a memory, doesn’t it? Growing up, we’ve all been reminded to finish our vegetables at meal time, and to eat a fruit or two after. Guess our stubbornness wasn’t worth it. It has been proven that fruits and vegetables contain varying levels of water and of course, the important nutrients such as potassium among others. Eat at least five cups each day, and you’re good to go.

4. Monitor fluid loss
This can be done by checking the color of your urine. Before hitting the flush, check whether you’ve been hydrated that day or not. You could still catch up on your eight glasses as long as you haven’t called it a day yet. If well-hydrated, your urine should be pale yellow, not dark. Also, it shouldn’t be too smelly or cloudy.

5. Replace fluid or sodium losses
This can be done through eating watery foods that contain just the right amount of salt coupled with potassium. Soup and vegetable juices can do the trick.

Cliché as it sounds but health is wealth. No one can afford the price to pay once health deteriorates and decides it’s had enough. So before anything unfortunate happens, keep those hydrates where they’re supposed to be.