Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Beginner’s Guide to Taking Care of a Bonsai Tree

Friday, June 28th, 2019 | Permalink

Because of its unique character, bonsai trees have been used for centuries as decor in many households in Japan, and around the world. Today, they still add a great touch for any modern home.

If it’s your first time owning one, don’t let the care and maintenance intimidate you – once you get past the initial difficulties, watching your bonsai tree can be a really fun experience.

Here’s how you can take care of your bonsai tree to make it last a long time:

Water it

One thing you should never do when taking care of the bonsai tree is to let the soil dry out completely. As much as possible, water the first 1 to 1.5 inches of the soil and let the water soak to the base of the pot. This way, the soil and the roots stay hydrated.

However, be careful not to overwater it. If its leaves start to yellow, you may be adding too much water. To avoid this, use a plant mister and sprinkle the plant from the leaves all the way to the soil.

Prune it

One of the greatest attractions of owning a bonsai is the simple act of trimming its leaves, so approach this calmly.

When pruning, keep in mind that your goal is to maintain its size and to keep growth elsewhere on the plant, which you can also decide based on how and where you want the miniature tree to grow next.

Whether it’s pruning for style or regular maintenance, make sure to use dedicated bonsai clippers when doing so and apply healing paste on stumps when you remove branches.

Choose the right soil

You can’t just choose any old soil for your bonsai – you want a soil type that drains quickly while still able to retain its water, as well as having small particles to make sure that the roots are well-aerated.

You can mix your own soil to achieve this, but there are also different kinds of specialty soil dedicated for growing bonsai trees. Just be sure to add fertilizer every few months to keep your bonsai healthy.

Consider the lighting

Lighting is extremely important for a bonsai tree, especially since there are many different kinds that require varying amounts of sunlight every day.

A simple rule of thumb you can follow is that most trees do well with morning and afternoon sun, and there must always be a source of direct sunlight. If you have walls around your bonsai, move it once in a while or it will start growing in the direction where the sun hits it.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Clean, White Sneakers

Friday, June 28th, 2019 | Permalink

The easiest way you can tell someone is Singaporean is by looking at their shoe stash – you’ll find more sneakers than you do high heels and dress shoes.

But when you have a thing for white sneakers, you should know that they can get dirty really easily and cleaning them can take a lot of time. No matter how careful you are or how frequently you try to keep them pristine, there will always be that one scuff mark or smudge.

So how do you keep them clean on the regular? Here’s how you can say goodbye to those scuff marks and smudges for good:

Small Scuffs

On your way to work and found a random smudge on your brand-new shoes? Just use a high-alcohol hand sanitizer, slather, and scrub it gently using an old toothbrush. Once done, wipe it off with a rag cloth. Voila!

Large Scuffs

If your sneakers are that dirty and no amount of hand sanitizer will solve it for you, it may be better instead to reach for that bottle of rubbing alcohol and a clean rag (gloves are optional, but great if you don’t want the alcohol drying out your hands).

All you need to do is dab a small amount on the clean rag and rub away – and what do you know, clean shoes at an instant!

Dedicated Shoe Cleaners

If you’re serious about shoes and like having a specific item that lets you keep your white kicks looking pristine, there are products out there in the market that can accomplish this for you.

Often, you’ll find that different store brands have their own cleaners in bottles, and that they come with their own brush applicators to make the process easier. Be sure to look for natural cleaners that don’t have any harsh chemicals, so your footwear doesn’t wear out quickly.

Quick shoe wipes are also available for you if you’re on-the-go, so keep them handy when you can.

DIY Shoe Cleaner

Perhaps the only downside to having dedicated shoe cleaning products is that you’ll have to invest quite a bit into them, so if you don’t want to shell out that amount, use a DIY solution made of one part water and two parts white vinegar.

This solution should work on most materials as long as the stain is new, but works particularly well on leather.

Baking Soda

Arguably, the best way to clean white sneakers is with a paste of baking soda and water, and using it to scrub stains for a quick and easy spot-cleaning.

The reason baking soda works so well is that it breaks up soil particles, and because it releases carbon dioxide, it also eliminates that sweaty foot smell.

However, this solution only works for white shoes, as baking soda can and will discolor any non-white shoes you plan to clean with it.

6 Things That Can Make Your Period Irregular

Monday, June 10th, 2019 | Permalink

Most women’s menstrual cycle last anywhere between 21 and 35 days—but one out of 10 have irregular period or have super heavy flow. That could signify a lot of things, from periods that comes once every few months to ridiculously light or heavy bleeding.

Here are some of the reasons why your period seems wonky and some helpful ways to try to keep it as regular as possible.

Stress

Too much stress can cause a condition called anovulation, when the body doesn’t release an egg every month like it is supposed to do. When you are too stressed out, your body produces too much cortisol, which can interfere with the production of sex hormones—the hormone responsible to ovulation. Depriving yourself of sleep can also affect your hormone regulation and cause irregularity on your cycle.

Thyroid Disease

If you notice that your period comes more frequent than the usual once a month and has become lighter, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. On the other hand, heavier and less frequent period may mean you have hyperthyroidism. Thyroid problems are more common in women, and typically occur in your late 20s to 30s, so having irregular cycles during this age could be a sign of thyroid disease.

PCOS

Sporadic and unpredictable periods can mean you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that causes women to miss their period, cause it to be extremely irregular or to not get their period at all. If you experience completely skipping a cycle, it might be a sign of PCOS. And since PCOS causes excessive production of testosterone, look out for other signs like noticeable appearance of hair above the lips, breakouts and difficulty in losing weight.

Drastic Weight Change

Drastic change in weight can affect the pituitary gland, and in turn create hormonal imbalance, messing up your body’s natural ability to ovulate. No need to worry, though, as this can be easily remedied by getting back to your healthy weight (granted that you don’t have underlying health problems that could be affecting your weight).

Extreme Exercises

Intense workout routines can cause a condition called athletic amenorrhea. According to researches, the stress and intense energy demands from the body can impact the hormones, causing the body to produce imbalance amounts of different hormones.

Some Medications

Blood thinners, like warfarin and heparin, can make the period heavier. Some antidepressants, antipsychotics and the drug methadone also cause irregular cycles. If you’re taking a new medication and you think it is messing with your period, raise this concern to your doctor.

If you currently experience irregularities with your period, it is best to talk to a gynecologist for accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

5 Habits of Stress-Free People

Monday, June 10th, 2019 | Permalink

Some people completely breakdown when under stress; others thrive when put to the test. Although there are people who are naturally relaxed, there are several habits those individuals who know how to manage everyday stresses in life. If you are someone who needs to learn how to activate your inner chill, here are five practices of stress-free people that you might also want to adopt.

  1. They do not sweat the small stuff

These people always look at things at a bigger perspective. They know very well that it is useless to work themselves up over these unimportant matters or things they do not have control on. They would rather choose to focus their energy and attention on more important stuff that they know will help them improve in whatever ways.

  • They are always organize

You do not stress yourself out if you know what you need to do. Stress-free people do not allow their hectic schedules and even responsibilities to rule their lives; they know how to prioritize. They take control of chaos and always make use of calendars and planners to make everything organized and on schedule.

  • They have healthy ways to release the stress

This is the most helpful habit to adopt to live a stress-free life. Individuals who are experts at managing stress have their own way of releasing the tension they feel inside. Regularly hitting the gym, having creative outlet, regularly going out with friends help reset your mind and keep your sanity in check.

  • They avoid drama

These people who are effective at managing their life are usually busy people. Since they are so used to driving their lives in the fast lane, they are experts at avoiding potholes—and drama is the biggest pothole of life. Gossiping on someone might be amusing for a little while, but it won’t really do you any good. Stress-free people do not gossip, they avoid it because it only wastes their energy and time, which they would rather use on more essential things.

  • They know when to take appropriate breaks

These people are stress-free because they know when and how to replenish their energy. Whether it is a weekend getaway, a night with friends or simply a chill Saturday at home watching Netflix or reading a book, they know when they are running low on energy and how to replenish. They do not wait until they feel depressed or get ill. They know when the tank is empty and when it’s time to refill.

Stress is part of our daily lives, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when you feel mentally and physically drained from time to time. It is just a matter of effective management to ensure that feeling stressed out won’t affect your work and personal life.

The Importance of Drinking Enough Water in Today’s Time

Monday, May 20th, 2019 | Permalink

Singapore is known to have high standards when it comes to water. So much so that even tap water is determined to be safe for drinking without filtration. This, in itself, is good news as we are lucky enough to have clean water to drink. But what can it do for us really? Why is drinking enough water important?

1. Our bodily fluids depend on it

Digestion, circulation, distribution of nutrients, and all other bodily processes need water to function effectively. That is because all of these rely on our body fluids to do their work effectively. Also, it’s not just our internal organs that need water, even our skin and our eyes benefit from being hydrated. This is also why our brain tells us we are thirsty. To let us know that the body is running out of water.

2. Water has a lot to do with the brain

The brain is one of the organs that demand water the most. Brain function is strongly affected by our hydration. Mild dehydration, for example, has actually been found to impair memory and brain performance. If we are dehydrated for a longer time, it can be severely detrimental to our thinking and reasoning.

3. Acts as a natural cleanser

In the present day, much of the food we consume is high in sodium. On average, we intake 3400 mg of sodium per day, even when the recommended intake is only 1500mg-2300mg. This is mainly because of processed food and fast food. When we consume too much sodium, our body won’t be able to flush everything out and they become toxins that are harmful to the body. In this case, water is important because it improves circulation and helps flush out all these excess toxins.

4. Boost physical performance

Staying hydrated can clearly improve physical performance. Why do you think you get thirsty even if you do just jog for a while? When we lose too much water through sweat during physical activities, our muscle tissues get deprived of oxygen and end up losing energy. Hence, physical performance becomes limited. So, always remember to drink enough water before, during, and after exercise or any physical activity.

5. Helps with weight loss

In relation to the point above, water can also help with weight loss. Many people, when they hit the gym trying to lose weight, drink sports drinks instead of water. Because sports drinks are relatively high in sugar, it can limit your weight loss efforts in some ways. The logic behind water helping with weight loss is also simple and really obvious. If you drink a lot of water before meals, you’ll feel more full and not eat more.

Simple Ways to Save Money

Monday, May 20th, 2019 | Permalink

For the fifth year in a row, Singapore is still the most expensive city in the world to live in. That said, if you want to live well off your income, you need to be better at saving and reducing your expenses. Here are just some simple ways for you to save money:

Be patient

Impulse buying is one of the many things that most get in the way with our saving efforts. Another one is buying things we don’t really need. To stop yourself from doing both of these, try to practice a little more patience. If you get really tempted to buy something you don’t need, wait for 10-15 days before making the purchase. That should be a good enough period for you to think about it and realize if you really do need it or not.

Record your expenses

One common tip that people share is to plan your budget for the things you want to buy. The problem is, some people tend to stray away from their plans because of unexpected (and impulse driven) expenses. That’s why instead of listing down what you buy, record your expenses after buying them. If you’re able to see what you’ve been spending on, you will notice which things are eating up your money and you will learn to avoid making unnecessary purchases in the future.

Go to flea markets

Flea markets are great places to shop for clothes and save money at the same time. Usually, people hesitate in buying from flea markets and thrift shops because they’re afraid of trading quality for something cheap. This is not necessarily true at all. In addition, the weather in Singapore typically limits your choice to clothing that’s convenient for the heat. So, check flea markets out!

Consider discounts

Generally, you should always try to avail of discounts and promos if you want to save some money. But, there is another side to this. Sometimes there are discounts that actually stack up and make you spend more without you noticing. Buying groceries in bulk if there’s a sale, for example, can be both good and bad. Good because you get items for cheap. Bad because you might have bought too much and the excess is wasted, meaning your money is wasted.

Turn lights and water off when not in use

So many of us leave the lights on in a room even if nobody is there. There are also some who leave their lights on when sleeping (you’ll sleep better if you turn your lights off!). Some would consider this a small thing but it really can help you save money from electricity bills. It’s the same case with water. While you’re brushing your teeth, only turn the faucet on if you’re already set to rinse your mouth.