Archive for the Smart Lifestyle Choices Category

Giving Back: The Dos and Don’ts of Donating

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 | Permalink

It’s always nice to be generous. It’s even nicer for your home as you de-clutter and get rid of things you no longer use. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when rummaging your closet for clothes and items to stock up on your donation pile.

DO inspect every piece of clothing
You went through every drawer and section of your closet, and have a huge pile of clothing waiting to be donated. Before bagging up these items, make sure to inspect each of the pieces to ensure they are in good condition. Check every pocket for coins or trash, make sure there’s no missing button and free of rips, stains and damages.
DO also donate entertainment materials

Your tastes for entertainment may change. If you are overloaded with magazines, books, DVDs, video games and audiotapes that no longer interest you, share the joy these items bring by donating them to those in need. Got an old but still function radio or DVD player? They are all acceptable for donations as well.

DO donate not just clothes
Clothes are the most common household items that people donate. However, toys, framed pictures, stuffed animals, small power tools, baskets, ornaments, sports equipment, glassware, silverware, utensils, blankets, pillows, curtains and exercise equipment are equally good as well—as long as they are in good condition.

DON’T donate awfully outdated clothing styles
This means, no shoulder pads and bell-bottom jeans. Clothing pieces are generally considered to be “in style” if they are purchased within the last five years. The classic closet staples, like plain tees, little black dress and button down shirts, never goes out of style. Avoid items that are obviously outdated. If you wouldn’t want to wear a particular style or piece of clothing, chances are no one else will either.

DON’T donate larger appliances
While a functioning radio and TV are okay for donation, refrigerators, stoves and freezers should go on the ‘do not donate’ pile for safety and health reasons. Second-hand appliances are difficult to guarantee that they are still safe to use. Rather than donating these major appliances, call a local trash collector company and arrange for safe disposal of these items.

DON’T donate used undergarments
Your clothes are welcome for donations, but skip donating thongs, panties, bras, girdles and briefs. Instead, add in some hats, ties, scarves and accessories like wallets, purses and belts. Although there are a few organizations that accept clean underwear donations, not many find these items appropriate.

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of donating, start looking around your room and closet for gently used treasures you’re ready to let go of.

5 Mistakes You’re Probably Making With Your Contacts

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 | Permalink

Contact lenses are worn for various reasons: fashion purposes, eye treatments or just for fun look such as Halloween costumes. Whatever your purpose is for wearing them, it’s important to take good care of them to keep your eyes safe. Here are some common mistakes people make with their contact lenses.


1.       Swimming or Showering With Them

Ophthalmologists always advise to keep your contact lenses away from the water, including pool water, to avoid potentially blinding infection caused by the microorganism Acanthamoeba. Parasites and bacteria in the water can get caught under your lenses, too, which can cause painful infection that will likely require long and complex treatment.

2.       Using Tap Water to Wash Them

Even more dangerous than swimming with contacts on is cleaning your lenses using tap water. Even if the water is pure enough to drink, it is not sterile. Tap water may also contain Acanthamoeba, so soaking your lenses in water straight from the faucet is an invitation to serious infection. Contact lenses come with their own solution, so make use of it whenever you need to clean and store them.


3.       Using the Lens Case for Too Long

Your lens case should be cleaned thoroughly with lens solution every day, and must be replaced with new one every month. And don’t cut corners by popping your lens case in the dishwasher together with your used dishes. There are food particles and dish soap residues in there that may end up on your case and make their way to your lens. Simply clean the lens case with solution and let it try overnight.

4.       Wearing the Lens Past Their Expiry Date

Most contact lens users are guilty of keeping their contacts longer than recommended span of time. This is similarly hazardous to an old lens case. Old contacts tend to collect germs, proteins and solution residues over time. This makes the lenses feel itchy and uncomfortable to the eyes, which may lead to infection.

5.       Sleeping With Contacts On

Although some contact lens manufacturers claim that it’s okay to sleep in their lenses, ophthalmologists never recommend this. The cornea, the outermost layer of your eye that the lens covers, needs oxygen. Wearing lenses deprives the eye of oxygen, and sleeping in them worsens the problem. Overnight wear can cause discomfort and irritation, or worse infection.

Before purchasing your next pair of contact lenses, make sure to keep these common mistakes in mind and follow professional advises for optimum eye health.


Online Classes worth Taking to Boost Your Career

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Permalink

Regardless of where you’re at in your career, learning new things will surely help you. But like most things, learning a new and unique skill is easier said than done – unless all the resources are given to you. Today, we’re doing just that. To ensure that you no longer spend hours searching for what to learn and where to learn it, we listed down six online classes from some of the amazing resources across the web.


1.       For Social Media Marketing – Social Media Superhero (The Nectar Collective)

  • Cost: $37 (S$50.25)

Whether you’re aiming to take your own business to the next level on social media, or you’re managing the social networking pages of your employer, this course is the right choice for you. Big social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Periscope will be covered in this course, and you’ll be taught some impactful strategies on how you can use each outlet. In this course, you’re sure to walk away with useful information other than a detailed description of how you can login to your Twitter page.

2.       For Programming – Introduction to Web Development: HTML (Udemy)

  • Cost: $9 (S$12.22)

Programming is one of the skills most of us wished to have bothered learning earlier on. Luckily, it’s never too late to get started. This course provided by Udemy is designed for beginners, so you don’t have to worry about feeling lost as soon as you start learning. Although you won’t immediately learn how to design flawless websites, these lessons will surely arm you with the basics that you’ll need to take the more advanced steps in programming.

3.       For Project Management – Project Management: The Basics for Success (Coursera)

  • Cost: Free

Whether you’re running your own business or working full-time, knowing how to effectively manage projects is crucial. This course will help you develop the skills to efficiently handle the moving parts involved in a project, as well as how to successfully manage and lead a team. Just ensure that you choose the “Audit Only” option to access course materials for free.


4.       For Photography Basics – The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners (CreativeLive)

  • Cost: $39 (S$52.97)

Although it seems impossible to learn something as creative as photography online, CreativeLive offers a course that allows you to do just that. In this beginner’s course, you’ll be taught how to get familiar with your camera, while learning all the basics of photography (including composition and lighting). It’s a perfect starting point for aspiring photographers before moving on to the more advance courses offered in the site.

5.       For Communication Improvement – Introduction to Public Speak (edX)

  • Cost: Free

Even the best of us get shaky-kneed and sweaty-palmed at the thought of speaking in front an audience. Fortunately, this course will teach you how to develop, and present clear and informative presentations and arguments. The best part? The course also offers an interactive practice for the students!

6.       For Writing Skills Development – Secret Sauce of Great Writing (Udemy)

  • Cost: Free

Writing isn’t as easy as what some people think it to be. In fact, we’re willing to bet that you’ve had moments where you just sit in front of your computer, and stare at the blinking cursor for half an hour. Throughout this course, you’ll learn all the essentials to a clear and solid writing including simplicity, clarity, and elegance.

Whether you’re working full-time or running your own business, learning new expertise and additional skills are never bad things. So, go ahead and give one or two of the aforementioned courses a try.


How to Choose a Work-Appropriate Perfume

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Permalink

Perfume has the magical ability to refresh the senses and transport the spirit. Getting the right perfume offers comfort during stressful times, and makes you feel like the best version of yourself. In fact, keeping a mini-bottle at hand is like having an emergency aromatherapy on stand-by. However, not all perfume formulas are suited for the workplace. Here, we’ve listed down five important tips on how to choose and apply work-appropriate perfumes.


1.       Ditch Solid Perfume and Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils, such as those sold at perfume shops and health food stores, have the potential to smell beautiful and complex. However, these perfumes might require persistent reapplication – and who has the time for that? Fragrance oils also present the same problem as wax-based perfumes – careless application of oily and waxy formulas might leave stains on your work ensemble.

2.       Opt for Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, or Eau de Parfum

With concentrations of five percent, 10 percent, and 15-20 percent, these formulations are less concentrated than the actual perfume. EDP is the favourite among perfume aficionados because of its affordable price, and how its fragrance lasts throughout the day. EDC and ETC, on the other hand, are lighter and requires occasional reapplication, but are the perfect choice if you’re only thinking of applying a sheer layer of fragrance.

3.       Reserve Your Sexy Scents for Date Nights

Save your Opium and Shalimar scents for your date nights, since musk-laden and heady scents isn’t suited for the workplace. Instead, opt for perfumes with unobtrusive scents like apple, cinnamon, citrus, cucumber, green tea, mint, white florals, and wood. Try My Daughter Fragrances’ Joyful Eau de Parfum for a crisp blend of jasmine, creamy sandalwood, lime blossom, orange flower, and rose.


4.       Choose a Scent That Helps You Focus

Since scent preferences differ among individuals, the type of perfume that’ll keep you energized will depend on your taste. Still, there are certain fragrances that offer specific benefits to some people.

Some perfume notes may help improve your work performance. Fragrances like jasmine and floral can increase your reaction time, peppermint may serve as natural memory booster, and eucalyptus might help in waking you up and feeling empathy towards others. Perfume notes of cucumber and green apple can even make a cramped space seem larger. So ensure that you choose fragrances that also suits your focus and relaxation needs.

5.       Be Mindful of How You Spray

If you get used to your perfume over time, there’s a chance you’ll develop the habit of over spraying. You’d want to avoid that at all costs, especially at your workplace since strong fragrances can invade the personal space of others. A touch at the base of the throat, or behind the ears is already enough to retain your perfume’s scent, and keep you smelling fresh throughout the day.

Although perfumes are refreshing to senses, not all formulations can be worn at the workplace. So keep the aforementioned tips in mind to help you in choosing a fragrance that’s work-appropriate.


Had Too Much Drink to Drive? These Apps, Devices Can Keep You Safe

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 | Permalink

Sometimes, you get so drunk that you believe you can still drive. And if you’re lucky, you have a good friend who’ll politely get you a cab instead. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on others all the time, especially when they are as sober as you are. That’s why these apps and devices exist. We all know that that driving when drunk isn’t safe, but f this doesn’t convince you, maybe these apps and devices will.


1.       Guardian Interlock

If you have serious problem with drunk driving, then this device is the best solution for you. Guardian Interlock has breathalyzer that’s attached to your car’s ignition. You won’t be able to start your car unless you’re legally sober to drive. Although it’s quite expensive, this is definitely worth the money if you need it.

2.       Edison’s Craft Beer BAC Calculator

You can find a ton of blood-alcohol content (BAC) Calculators in the app market, but this one is said to be the most effective among the rest because= it can detect the exact beer you’re drinking with its accurate search tool—you can find pretty much any beer on it. Afterwards, you enter your gender, weight, and the number of hours you have been drinking. Hit the “Calculate BAC” button, and you’ll get your BAC result.


3.       Alcohoot

So far, this is the coolest BAC device in the market—it transforms your smartphone into a breathalyzer. It is a lot cheaper and better looking than most breathalyzers, and conveniently plugs into your phone’s headphone jack. This tool uses an FDA-approved sensor, the same technology that cops used at DUI checkpoints, to analyze your breath. Another great thing about this technology, it comes a free app to help you understand your BAC and alcohol intake.

4.       Uber

Other than analyzing your BAC, it’s also important to secure a safe ride home when drunk. If you’re too intoxicated to drive, let Uber service take you home. This app allows you to easily book a cab to take you to your destination. You don’t even have to worry about having enough cash on hand as Uber accepts payments via credit card, Google Wallet, and PayPal.

There are so many road accidents caused by drunk driving. If you don’t take precautions, a fun Friday night can turn into a weekend of disaster. Take advantage of these mobile devices and applications the next time you decide to grab a few drinks with friends.


Seeking Beyond Singapore

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Permalink

Many foreigners consider Singapore because of its affluence. But there are nationals that are seeking beyond Singapore to fulfil their dreams. According to a survey conducted by 2nd year students from Singapore Polytechnic’s Media & Communication course, six out of ten young people have thought about seeking opportunities beyond Singapore. There were about 825 young people aged 15-34 surveyed last June 2013.


The survey revealed the top reasons for leaving Singapore. The reasons for going overseas include:

Cost of Living

Singapore is indeed an affluent country. It follows that the cost of living here is expensive. If the cost of living is expensive, the people tend to work more so they can keep up with their bills, groceries, education and many more.

More Opportunities Abroad

Young people seek a more comfortable and affluent life. Some cannot find that here in Singapore so they are looking beyond. There are other countries that have better life and more opportunities. Young Singaporeans are willing to try their luck in other countries.

Slow Pace of Life

If you observe the people here in Singapore, they are always in a rush. They always rush to go to work and go home. These people ignore or disregard other things that can make them happy because they are always hastening. Young people are looking into a slower pace of life so they can have time to enjoy even the littlest of things.

There is nothing wrong if you seek for better opportunities beyond Singapore. Life is too short to be unhappy. You have to seek out what makes you happy and do your best to achieve it. Good luck!