Smart Consumer Tips in Buying Fresh Produce

March 22nd, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Sometimes, the mere appearance of produce can trick us into buying them without even ensuring their freshness. It is a sad surprise to cut into your freshly-brought fruit only to find out that it’s brown, unripe, or bruised. To prevent this from happening (especially because produce generally do not have a return policy), you need to familiarize yourself with what to look for.

With some fruits, you can already determine their ripeness merely based on color, while others require a touch or a light squeeze. Being a smart consumer doesn’t happen overnight. There are lots of tips you should know. Here are some of them:

1. When buying pineapples, look for one which has a golden color. Also, ensure that the fruit has a sweet scent. If it does not give off any scent at all, it is likely still unripe. If it smells a little vinegary, chances are it’s overripe.

2. Ripe eggplants are never soft. In buying eggplants, look for ones that are elastic and tight when you put pressure on the fruit by giving it a light squeeze. (Yes, technically, eggplants are fruits.) Its skin must also be dark in color and should have no evident blemishes or scars.

3. Fresh watermelon sounds hollow and often feels heavy. If a watermelon is heavy, it indicates the fruit is full of water hence it is likely ripe. Tap on the watermelon lightly and ensure it sounds hollow – as the sound it produces is another indicator of ripeness. Don’t forget to check with the underside of a watermelon as well: a light or yellow spot on the bottom indicates that the watermelon is ready to eat.

4. In searching for ripe tomatoes, conduct a touch test. Fresh tomatoes are not usually indicated by its color alone. The best way to ensure its ripeness is to test it by touching, and if it slightly yields to your touch, it is guaranteed that the tomato is at its optimal ripeness. Any less would mean it would take a couple of days more for the tomato to ripen.

5. Strawberries taste as good as they smell. This comes in handy when you are browsing through strawberries at the fruit section in the grocery. You can determine ripe strawberries through its scent, as it smells exactly as you want it to taste. If the fruit is odorless, it probably doesn’t taste much. Strawberries are also ideally bright red in color and is free of any blemishes.

Wild Asian Delicacies for Your Next Food Trip

March 22nd, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

There is no denying how Asian cuisine is remarkably rich. From different kinds of dim sum, Korean barbeque, sushi, and spiced curry – each meal is truly a gastronomic delight. The splendor doesn’t stop there though. As there is a wide variety in the choices of dishes, there are also some wild, bizarre Asian food delicacies which prove to be a challenge even among the brave of heart.

Balut – This delicacy is native to the Philippines. It is quite like your ordinary hard-boiled eggs, save for the fact that the eggs are half-fertilized. So instead of finding yellow yolk, you will instead find a partially developed duck/chicken embryo. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac and is often eaten as a side snack to accompany a cold beer.

Drunken shrimp – Love shrimp? Then this Chinese dish is a must-try. Alive pieces of shrimp are drunk, in a sense that they are marinated in a pool of strong liquor. The presence of alcohol effectively slows down the shrimp’s movements. The trick to eating this dish is to remove the shrimp’s head first before you shove its wriggling body in your mouth.

White ant eggs – Considered as another wild Asian delicacy, this dish is common among streets and hawker stands in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It is often served in the form of a soup – where it is a mix of baby ants, partial embryos, and their eggs. When the eggs pop in the mouth, it is said to release a sharp, sour taste.

Fish sperm (Shirako) – Yes, you read that right. This dish, commonly called in Japan as Shirako, is made of a fish’s male genitalia which still contains the fluids. It is served across the country, popularly in sushi bars and pubs. It is a flavorful dish which is considered close to the heart of the locals.

Tuna eyes – This local Japanese delicacy consists entirely of tuna eyes, which can be either served raw or steamed. If your palate is looking for flavor – you can also flavor the dish with soy sauce or a bit of garlic.

Fried tarantula – This Cambodian delicacy is not for the faint of heart. Eating tarantulas began during a long period of food shortage under the Khmer Rouge. Fried tarantulas are noted to be crispy, with white meat which apparently tastes like that of chicken or cod meat.

Raw horse meat – Raw horse meat, or Basashi, is horsemeat served raw (like sashimi slices). It often comes with vegetables or rice on the side. For a fuller burst of flavors, others even eat it with ranch dressing.

Unproductive Habits to Avoid

February 19th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Habits are what make us. Although we don’t define ourselves by our mistakes, we generally still define ourselves with what we do. If we look at it in a broader sense, even work is a habit! Now as the famous line goes, “garbage in garbage out” which means that the habits that are sown together define our lives altogether.

Imagine being a drunk, that is one of his major habits and that is definitely something that will affect who he is. Now imagine being a surfer, surfing is his habit but it is also what builds him. There are hundreds of healthy habits out there that make us more productive but for this article, we will discuss the certain habits that don’t make you productive or shall we say, make you unproductive.

Here are some of the unproductive habits you need to avoid.

1. Stalling
Stalling something means you are leaving it to be done later which is a terrible habit because once this becomes a habit, the amount of time you then choose to stall increases even more. People who stall things in life end up moving at a slower pace which might even be a hindrance for them to reach their goal in life even if they’ve already made up a plan.

2. Excessive planning
Speaking about planning, did you know that excessive planning is bad for you? How? Because the more you mislead yourself into believing that your plan is incomplete even if it is, the longer it will take for you to get started. Another dangerous thing about excessive planning and why it is so addictive is because of the dopamine release you get when new ideas spark up in your head. Dopamine is released when we feel a sense of completion and fulfillment but if we plan excessively, we end up releasing too much dopamine that we become satisfied with just planning instead of actually doing what we have to do.

3. Doubts
Having doubts is like sitting on a rocking chair. It moves back and forth but doesn’t get you anywhere. When doubts begin to flood your head, anxiety starts to creep in which breeds more thoughts and instead of narrowing your focus to the task at hand, you end up broadening your vision which might then include things that aren’t even necessary. At least 60% of the doubts we have do not happen. Another thing about doubts is that it decreases confidence which later on decreases productivity. You can’t be productive if you aren’t confident in what you are doing.

Sometimes it’s not just about the things we don’t do that makes us unproductive, sometimes it’s also about the things which we do wrong.

How to be a Good Student

February 19th, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Becoming a good student is definitely something which is not only pleasing to a teachers eye but also something that will greatly reflect on your grades. Getting good grades is a great way to measure your performance in school and is usually the standard on which your career is heading to. Although there are still ways to succeed without getting good grades, the chances are slimmer than those with excellent grades.

Not everybody is cut for the academic lifestyle. Some people even go to the extent of not even giving any form of importance at all towards academics. But for the few who do, they will definitely reap the benefits later on. The journey isn’t easy as you spend most of your early life getting better and better preparing yourself for life after school. But as most people who have extended so much effort in school to the point of suffering say, it was all worth it.

Here are a few ways to become a better student:

1. Don’t be late
Being late or tardy is not just an obvious representation of irresponsibility, it also directly affects your performance by you missing out on the beginning and spending most of your time trying to catch up on what you’ve missed. Obviously, you would not be able to give your full attention towards your subject if you have missed even the first five minutes.

2. Pay attention
Paying attention really helps! Fight the urge to doze off or get distracted by the different people around you. Distractions are everywhere but if you dig your head deeper into your lessons, you’ll learn a whole lot more from a regular class.

3. Study in advance
Ah yes! Studying in advance always helps, not only does this make you more prepared, this helps you digest the following lessons without struggle or hardships. This makes learning easier because it will feel like a review and maybe a little add on to what you already know. Of course, make sure that everything is relevant if you study in advance.

4. Get to know your teachers
Your teachers are people too! You should definitely get to know your teachers. Not only does this give you a better chance to learn more from the lesson by approaching your teacher directly, it is also easier to learn something from someone whom you already know instead of a complete stranger. Think of it this way, would you rather take the advice of a random stranger compare to the advices of your relatives whom you’ve known for years?

There are so many ways to become a better student but these are a few of the easy ones. Perform better at school and see how your grades turn out.

Why You Should Break Up With Your VoIP Service Provider

February 1st, 2018 by Editor | Permalink

Because Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest financial and technical hubs, you’d think that the cloud VoIP services that you’re getting should be cutting-edge and that your provider is really at the top of their field. But there are lots of reasons why you want to break it off with your VoIP service provider. Ideally, you should want to do so because:

• Your contract for the hosted PBX expired
• Either you or your provider violated, or keep violating, the terms of your service-level agreement (SLA)
• You plan on switching to another network (or have been meaning to)

However, things don’t always work out perfectly, and the same could be said for VoIP, especially VoIP Singapore. Think of your service provider as a romantic partner: like all relationships, there are many kinks to deal with in order for things between you and your provider to work out your desired hosted VoIP system, whether you want to stay or go. Perhaps the best way you can deal with these problems is to talk to your VoIP provider about them.

These are some of the things you might want to talk about:

1. You’re no longer happy with your relationship

Once upon a time, you were happy with your hosted PBX. Things used to be perfect between you and your cloud VoIP service provider. Everything used to run smoothly, and without a hitch. But now, you’re running into a bunch of problems.

For one, your PBX phone system just can’t take the workload of hundreds of calls a day. There’s just not enough storage space in your data plan and you’re even asked to constantly delete files just to have enough room. From poor reception to choppy audio – the ways that you’re getting bogged down are endless.

One solution is to upgrade to a better VoIP plan like what www.crystalvoice.com.sg in Singapore offers, because the plan you originally subscribed to when you started out with your provider needs upgrading now. Perhaps your business is now taking up more data than what you agreed for your hosted PABX the first time around, and you need to adjust. This could mean paying for more bandwidth, or upgrading your IP PBX telephone system.

2. Your partner keeps putting off “the talk”

For any relationship to keep working, both partners need to be open to each other. That means there needs to be a healthy amount of communication involved, and both partners need to be honest with each other about their wants and needs. This used to be the case when you were starting out with your provider.

Lately, though, you never feel like you’ve been heard. You keep trying to call them, but all your complaints go to voicemail. If your calls are answered at all, all you get same excuses you’re tired of hearing.

It’s important to keep track of their records – have they been offering good quality of service with their other clients? Or have they been handling them poorly? If this is the case with your VoIP Singapore service provider, and they haven’t been keeping up their end, perhaps it’s time to revisit your SLA – or break it off entirely.

3. It seems like there’s just no effort anymore…

…and you feel like you’re the one always adjusting. When you were just starting out, your partner kept on insisting that their hosted VoIP system is the best. But now, you’re left with wading through service interruptions and a lot of maintenance downtime, your PBX phone system can’t and don’t do anything – and it’s really annoying.

Sadly, there are a number of VoIP and IP PBX telephone system companies that lure clients in contract plans with good service at the start. When they’re hooked, they usually do just enough to keep them from cancelling their plan and switching to another provider.

Does this mean that you made a mistake when you signed that SLA?

Not necessarily. Before anything, you should consider that there are differences between contract and non-contract VoIP. Contract VoIP is actually beneficial for those looking for a long-term plan, especially in Singapore where costs are high. For affordable rates with extensive services, check with a local provider first and contact crystal voice in Singapore for a range of reasonably priced VoIP packages.

Non-contract plans, though they may be more flexible, are less stable when it comes to pricing and they factor in demands. Before deciding if you want a contract or a non-contract plan for your hosted PABX, you should know what you want and/or need for your business in the first place. For instance, how much data will you be needing? Will you be just taking in a few calls or are you expecting a lot traffic because of customer support?

This also means you need to ask your partner about their service’s uptime – and remember to get it in writing in your SLA. Just because you have entered a contract with your cloud VoIP provider, though, doesn’t mean that they can slack off.

Breaking up with your old VoIP Singapore service provider may be painful, but sometimes making the best decisions in the long run don’t come easy.
When prospecting for a VoIP partner, especially in Singapore, you should find one that you can trust. Look for one that’s experienced, isn’t afraid to go the extra mile to satisfy your needs, and most of all, one that cares about your problems. After all, you deserve only the best for your business.

How to Pick Your Bridal Accessories

October 19th, 2017 by Editor | Permalink

The bride’s wedding dress and shoes are often the most highlighted pieces in the wedding outfit, but the wedding accessories too are just as important.

How do you pick the right jewelry to go with your wedding dress? Here are tips to remember when you’re at the bridal studio in Singapore.

When to Pick Accessories

Your wedding accessories should be the final pieces in your outfit. Don’t decide on what jewelry you should wear until you have chosen your wedding gown and shoes, because it’s important to match your accessories with the style, neckline, color, length, and embellishments of your wedding dress. You can choose to finalize your hairstyle, however, after you have picked a hair accessory. Remember that your accessories should reflect who you are, so stay true to yourself and avoid experimenting with styles you’re not comfortable with. It’s going to be your big day after all, so you must be as comfortable as possible.

Choosing a Hairpiece

When choosing a hairpiece, keep in mind the theme of your wedding. A lot of brides nowadays do away with the veil and play with the different hair accessories available, such as vintage pieces, beach bridal hairpieces, hair comb, tiara, bridal clip, headband, hair vines, hair pins, and hair flowers. Your hair accessories from a beautiful bridal studio in Singapore however, will not just depend on the wedding theme, but your hairstyle too. It’s also important to bring your earrings when trying on the hairpiece. The earrings will serve as the basis of the style and neckline of the gown, as well as make sure that the jewelry doesn’t clash with the design of the hairpiece.

Choosing a Veil

Here are things to keep in mind when choosing a wedding veil.

1. Match the Colors. When choosing a veil at the bridal studio in Singapore, the color should be an exact match with that of your gown.

2. Simple is Better. A simple veil will not clash with a very detailed dress, so always stick to simpler designs for the hairpiece.

3. Back of the Dress. Consider the back of the dress as well when choosing the fabric of the veil. If you want to show off your figure, pick a sheer veil with a lot of beading and embroidery.

4. Veil Length. The length of the veil will depend on your height. Floor-length veils will make petite brides appear taller, while mid-length veils look great on taller brides. Short veils, however, will work for all sizes.

Don’t Over-Accessorize

You don’t need a complete set on your wedding day. You should only pick the essential pieces that will complement your gown. If the wedding dress you picked at the bridal studio already has a lot of embellishments and details, you don’t need a lot of accessories that will clash with the most important piece in your outfit. Sometimes a hairpiece and a pair of earrings is all that a bride needs.

Choosing a Bracelet

Your bracelet should match the color of your necklace and earrings. Make sure it doesn’t snag on your dress or hair and fits your arm snugly. Don’t wear a watch on your wedding day, they won’t go well with your dress even if it’s studded with precious gems. Don’t worry about the color and style of your wedding ring and if it would clash with your gown and accessories, because the ring is a separate piece that should be highlighted.

Consider the Neckline

When choosing accessories at the bridal boutique, the first thing you must remember is how the pieces will affect the look of your dress. If you want to wear dangling earrings and a necklace, consider the neckline of your dress.

1. Strapless. A strapless dress will allow you to wear a statement necklace. Go with simple earrings like small drops or studs so your accessories don’t look over the top.

2. One-Shoulder. You can wear a statement necklace or a simple piece depending on the embellishments of the gown, as long as the shoulder strap doesn’t touch the necklace. If the dress is detailed, you can forget the necklace and go for detailed earrings instead to catch the eyes.

3. Boat Neck or Bateau. This type of neckline will follow the outline of your collar bones. You can either choose not to wear a necklace or pick a short-length piece. You can pair it with mid-length earrings like drop earrings that won’t reach your shoulders and a bracelet.

4. Spaghetti Strap. Consider the details of the dress before choosing a necklace, bracelet and earrings. A gown with a lot of embellishments needs simple jewelry. If your dress doesn’t have a lot of details, however, go for a matching statement earrings and necklace.

5. V-Neck. This type of dress doesn’t need a lot of accessories. You can pick a simple necklace that will not clash with the neckline of the gown. The length of your earrings should not graze your shoulders and the style should match the bracelet.

6. Halter. You won’t need a necklace for this type of dress because the halter already highlights your shoulders and neck. Pick mid-length earrings at the bridal boutique and pair it up with a simple bracelet.

Matching Metals

When choosing jewelry, you don’t need to have a matching set of precious stones, but matching metal types. That means that if you pick white gold for your earrings, all your other accessories should have a white gold setting as well. The bridal boutique in Singapore will have a selection of jewelry that you need to match to the color of your wedding dress. For example, a white dress has to be paired with platinum, silver or pearl jewelry; an ivory-colored dress will go well with gold jewelry; off-white dresses look good with rose gold, silver, yellow gold or pearls; champagne-colored gowns are paired with gold; and blush-colored dresses look stunning with rose gold jewelry. If your gown has colored beads, match that detail with the same colored jewelry.