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Common Misconceptions About Chocolate

The history of chocolate isn’t as sweet as its taste. For a long time, it wasn’t even accessible to the masses. The ancient Mesoamericans who first brewed the chocolate drink called xocoatl believed that only the nobles should drink it. When it was introduced to Europe only the aristocrats could afford it because making chocolate was expensive.

There are a lot of misconceptions about chocolate especially its effect on health. These are some of the most popular.

Chocolate isn’t for diabetics
People with diabetes can still eat chocolate because it has a low glycemic index. Care should be taken, however, when choosing the type of chocolate. Ideally, dark chocolate is the best choice because it can improve your sensitivity to insulin. Eat in moderation and ask your doctor about adding chocolate to your diet.

Chocolate will ruin your teeth
Sugar alone isn’t the only culprit. The bacteria from any metabolized food can be a source of cavities. The product forms acid that can damage the enamel. Chocolate, however, doesn’t stay in the mouth because it’s made from natural fats. That means it comes into contact with your teeth for a short time. Even if you avoid chocolate, you will still have cavities if you don’t brush regularly.

Chocolate is junk food
Most chocolate bars are classified as candies. A lot of people think that eating chocolate is bad for the health. Chocolate, however, comes from the cacao plant. Most of the ingredients are considered healthy too such as milk and nuts. Dark chocolate is as beneficial as a glass of red wine because it has antioxidants, flavonoids, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc.

Chocolate can cause acne
Several studies show that this isn’t true. Acne is caused by an over-active sebum and bacteria. The cause is usually genetic, so even if you watch your diet carefully, that will not lessen your acne. Your meals will not affect the condition.

Chocolate has cholesterol
Your bad cholesterol level will not be affected by the stearic acid found in chocolate. Several studies show that this type of saturated fat can raise your good cholesterol levels instead. Just remember to eat in moderation. Doctors recommend not more than 3 ounces of chocolate, particularly, milk chocolate, everyday.

Chocolate has a lot of caffeine
Chocolate does have caffeine but not as much as coffee. If you eat less than an ounce and a half of chocolate, you will get as much caffeine as that found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Even dark chocolate with not more than 70% cocoa has less caffeine than coffee.

What to Look for in Gold Jewelry

Gold has never gone out of fashion even with the rise in popularity of the much cheaper silver jewelry. Gold is not as expensive as other gems like diamonds, so it’s a compromise between the two.

So how do you know you’re buying quality gold jewelry?

Gold Purity
Any piece of gold jewelry is measured in carats or karats. The highest quality gold is pure gold at 24 carats. It’s not used in jewelry because it’s not tough or hard. Most of the gold used in the earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces are gold alloys. The most commonly used metals used to make gold harder are zinc, silver, and nickel.

Take note of the following values:
24 carats is 100% gold
22 carats has 91.67% gold
18 carats has 75% gold
14 carats has 58.5% gold
12 carats has 50% gold
10 carats has 41.7% gold

European Markings
Sometimes you will also find numbers on the gold jewelry. These are also percentages indicating the how much gold was used to create the piece.

You will often find the following markings:
18 carats has a marking 750
15 carats has a marking 625
14 carats has a marking 585
10 carats has a marking 417

You might find a 9-carat or 375 gold in the market. This has a gold content of 37.5% and 62.5% of other metals. Some countries, however, don’t consider this a gold jewelry.

Hallmark or Trademark
Besides the markings mentioned above, an authentic piece must have an image of the maker’s trademark. It could be the place of origin or the name or logo of the company. Some countries require jewelers to hallmark their pieces so you should be aware of where the piece was made before buying. Some older pieces, however, like vintage jewelry don’t have markings. You will need to have the gold piece examined to make sure you’re buying authentic jewelry.

Pricing
Some jewelers will tell you that gold jewelry is an investment because their value increases over time. This is only true, however for 18-carat and 22-carat gold pieces. Remember that whenever you purchase a new jewelry, the higher the carat is the more valuable the gold. The prices could vary depending on the demand in the market. Make sure that before purchasing, you must weigh the piece and examine the markings.

Other Labels
Some stores will sell you gold jewelry that are labeled “gold-plated,’ “gold-painted,” “bonded gold,” “gold filled,” “rolled gold,” or “gold-colored.” Remember that these are not the same as the gold and alloy jewelry with a carat and hallmark labels. Others will also sell you vermeil or gilded silver. This is sterling silver jewelry coated with gold. If you find the label “HGE” it means that the gold was joined to another metal by electroplating. “GF” stands for gold filled, which means the item has a gold layer on top of the base. “RGP” stands for rolled gold plate.

Gear Essentials for Soccer Games of All Kinds

Soccer (or also known as association football) remains to be the most popular sport across all Asian countries. As a matter of fact, it was in 1954 when the Asian Football Confederation was founded — paving way for overseas friendly tournaments and competitions like the AFC Asian Cup.

Countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia has taken great heights in the field of Asian soccer. Nonetheless, most Asian countries undoubtedly enjoy the thrill of the sport may it be as one of the players or a mere supporter-spectator.

In general, soccer is regarded as a simple game with relatively little equipment needed to play. For a simple game among friends, you can almost wear anything to your comfort, but for more serious games you are rather obliged to follow the correct gear. It is important to have basic soccer gear in order to take the game experience to a whole new level and decrease the risk of sport-related injuries.

Soccer shoes
The right shoes for playing soccer depends primarily on the playing surface. If the game is played on a grass field, you might need shoes with sturdy cleats on them to allow firm grip on the surface. But when it comes to playing on artificial grass or other hard surfaces, you do not necessarily need the help of cleats. Shoes designed for indoor soccer games are generally ideal when playing on hard surfaces.

Sports socks
A reliable pair of soccer socks is also important in every game. It must be thick enough and also strong in order to prevent the feet from getting blisters. A number of players even go beyond and wear double pair of socks, just to decrease the friction of the shoes rubbing on one’s feet. The socks must also preferably be up to knee length to hold shin guards tight.

Protection gear
Gears like shin guards help protect your shins from cuts and massive impacts. They are strapped tight around your lower leg, as you are susceptible to sporting myriad injuries due to the intense nature of the sport. If you play as goalkeeper, however, you will also be required to use soccer gloves. These gloves allow you to have a better grip on the ball and protect your hands from ball-catching injuries.

Soccer ball
Always consider the weight and general feel of a soccer ball when you are choosing one to use for your game. Keep in mind that the ball suited to a beginner may be different to that of a professional player, and so talk to your supplier about the most suitable ball quality regarding your own circumstances.

Soccer clothing
For informal games played among friends, you can almost wear anything you want during play. However, if you are playing as an official member of a team, you will be required to wear the team’s official shirt along with a pair of shorts. Soccer shorts are ideal since it provides greater freedom for players to move around and helps them keep cool over the entire play.

Popular Sports in Singapore

Singaporeans enjoy plenty of sports as a way to both entertain themselves and get their bodies on the move. It’s not a surprise, then, to know how the city-state plays myriad of sports instead of focusing merely on one. May it be for recreation or for competition, this article will present a list of some of the most famous sports played in Singapore.

Swimming
A lot of Singaporeans are invested in water-related endeavors, with swimming being one of the most notable activities. The country boasts of numerous awards and recognition in various swimming events such as the 2008 Summer Olympics and the Asian Games. It bears testament to the fact that a lot of Singaporeans possess an innate talent in swimming.

Sailing
Singaporeans truly enjoy their fair share of water sports. It is through the players’ inclination to water-related activities that they have successfully established their skill and talent when it comes to sailing. They have also represented the country in a number of national and overseas sailing events such as the Youth Sailing World Championships and the SEA games.

Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding has rose to fame in Singapore over the last few years. With that, it has garnered ample attention and interest from a number of people. The sport has also won awards for the country; specifically at the Busan Asian Games, Asian Women’s bodybuilding Championships, and the World Bodybuilding Championships as well.

Basketball
When it comes to the most popular sports played nationally, Basketball is deemed as one of the answer. Sectors, such as the Basketball Association of Singapore and the ActiveSG Basketball Academy, have been very keen on promoting the sport throughout the mainland since the early years of its inception. Their efforts have trained notable players, regardless. Singaporean basketball players have gained awards as they represented the country during overseas games.

Badminton
Considered as one of the most played sport in Singapore, Badminton remains to be a popular recreational activity which can either be played indoors or even outdoors. When the weather is not suitable for playing the game outdoors, there are various places in the city-state which allow you to play the sport inside the court. Generally, Singapore is renowned for its badminton talents — successfully winning awards in international games such as the Japan Open Singles and the All-England Cup.

Table tennis
Table tennis is also one popular indoor game among many Singaporeans. As a matter of fact, there are a number of places scattered across the city-state to accommodate those who want to play and even teach you how to play the sport. National table tennis players also pride Singapore with awards during the Commonwealth Championship games held annually, most especially in singles and mixed doubles events.

Why You Need to Switch to a Healthy Lifestyle Now

Our life is made up of the things we do. Sometimes the things we are oh so familiar with end up biting us in the back as we get older. Yes, it’s definitely nice to live a little bit. But then again, up to what extent? Sometimes the things we do become irreversible. Sadly, our habits are not an exclusion. Healthy habits is what we are made of and without these healthy habits, how could we ever improve?

We aren’t just talking about our physical health, there are so many other aspects of life that need us to remain healthy and keep up our good and healthy habits. There are so many aspects to a healthy and happy life. One thing most people fail to look after is their mental health and stress level. Stress is a killer. Not only does stress kill your mood, there are also so many other aspects of our life that get affected by our stress level. Although most people do not believe that the physical body is affected by stress, it actually is.

Stress increases the chances of heartburn, stroke, and many other. Some people forget to take care of themselves and this is one of the biggest mistakes we always end up committing. Why, sometimes, we 2ven end up abusing our strength to the point that our body works against us. Have more respect for your body and for your health through adjusting your lifestyle into a healthier and happier one. The sad part about our health and wellbeing is that we usually only become interested when it is too late.

Why is that? Sadly, this has become a practice we are all falling towards committing. Taking care of yourself nowadays sounds tiring and so much of a hassle but at the end of the line, we end up regretting the things we didn’t do instead of all the things we did do. Not everybody has health at the top of their priority list but this should definitely change. When you are young, you usually have this superman belief. You believe that you are invincible and no matter what you do to your body, you will be fine.

Later on, you realize that superman has his limits. Well, let’s hope it isn’t too late to turn everything around. Hey, it’s okay. It is never too late to restart and relearn certain things. Sometimes you have to get rid of old habits to make way for new ones. That’s part of life. Building new habits isn’t really the hard part of growth, it’s letting go of the old ones that are really hard to do. Start changing your life right now.

Reasons for and Against Owning a Car in Singapore

Ever since the automobile was invented, things started to spin faster and faster since people could get from one place to another with a smaller amount of time. Automobiles have then been used for quite a number of purposes from trade all the way to transport people from one place to another. Nowadays transportation has evolved and in both public transportation and private transportation.

Now let’s talk about something almost everyone wants to know about, should you or should you not purchase a vehicle or a private car? There would be a lot of things considered before your first you actually buy your first vehicle. You wouldn’t want to go out there buying your first vehicle and then suddenly realizing that it isn’t worth it. The worst that could happen would be you regretting the decision you’ve made after a couple of months once you’ve already purchased the vehicle. There are always two sides of the coin though and let’s remember that there are both positive and negative sides to owning a vehicle.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t buy a car:

1. High tax in Singapore: Sadly, the tax you will have to pay is quite high especially if you compare it to other countries. Even if you don’t, unless you have a great salary, you’d most likely be having a hard time to pay taxes.

2. Difficult application: Applying for a license can be very costly. Not everyone can own a car and sometimes you have to wait for someone else’s license to expire before you can apply for one which would mean that you’d probably have to wait for a year.

3. Limited validity: You’re license is only valid for a minimum amount of time and if you are planning to continue, you would have to renew which would mean additional expenses and a bit of a hassle.

4. High price of gas: Gas slowly burns out your wallet. Not only is gas expensive, it is also very easily consumed.

5. Costly maintenance: Keeping your car in shape would mean that you would have to spend extra every month or so to make sure it doesn’t break down. After all, you spent a lot already.

Here’s a couple of reasons why you should buy a car:
1. In control of your route: You can’t go everywhere with the MRT. The good thing about having your own vehicle means that you are in control of your route. Not only can you go to places that are hard to reach with the MRT, you can also go from one place to another by just driving there.

2. Privacy: Privacy is very important and sadly, public transportation does not offer this. Privacy allows you to relax, compose yourself, and just enjoy your travel altogether.

3. Easier to travel with numbers: You won’t have a hard time traveling with a larger group of people. Unless of course, they won’t fit.

Living With HIV: Facts You Need to Know

There are a number of misconceptions and stigma attached when you get diagnosed with HIV, but fortunately over recent years these rumors have dwindled. Facts and accurate information have reached a lot of people and make them understand the disease better, along with understanding the situations of the people who have the disease and the lifestyle changes they must undergo because of testing positive in their HIV screening.

In Singapore, the number of HIV positive citizens rose to 6,685 based on a 2014 survey. That is equivalent to one person being HIV positive for every 826. The figures only remained consistent with new reported cases annually, and more often than not they continuously increase in count.

Living with HIV has been made bearable and easier to manage now thanks to the many advances in medicine and treatment. This article will present key basics on how to constantly keep in touch with your doctors, begin treatment, and manage lifestyle changes you need to make as you deal with life accordingly — as someone who is diagnosed with HIV.

Talk to your doctor

Constantly keeping in touch with your doctor for hiv screening tests in Singapore is important as you begin treatment. You must let them know of your diagnosis and cooperate with every question they may ask afterwards regarding your circumstances. Sometimes, they may also want to check your personal test results and get additional information about your diagnosis, such as how long it has been since you underwent the HIV testing, if you tested positive with other sexually-transmitted diseases, and how you were potentially exposed to the virus.

A physical exam is generally conducted during your first consultation, which helps your doctor establish a baseline or point of reference they can easily refer to as your condition progresses. You may also be subjected to a lot of blood tests to get your viral load checked as well as your CD4+ T-cell levels. The results of these tests will establish how much the virus has taken toll on your immune system.

Keep track of your condition

Diagnosis and treatment can get confusing at times, to the point of leaving you overwhelmed by all the medical jargon and various names of medications you have to familiarize. Keeping a journal alongside with you as you conduct your treatment is helpful especially in keeping track of all the information your doctor provides every session.

Jot down everything you need to remember such as any questions or concerns you have in mind, or anything you want to research further on. This is also essential once you start taking new medication, enabling you to keep track if it has any side effects on your body. You will be surprised just how much keeping log of the crucial information can help a lot in confronting the virus.

Find support

It is easy to wallow in negativity once you are diagnosed with the virus, but the thing is, you do not necessarily have to deal with the burden alone. Keep the weight off your shoulders because it might only drag you down. You need to deal with your condition with your head held high. Talking with others who are diagnosed, or has been diagnosed with the virus, will reassure you that you are not alone in your battles.

Support is out there, you just have to know where to find it. If you feel unsure in making choices about medication and treatment, talk it out with another person to offer you another perspective aside from your own. Find someone who is willing to listen. Start with opening up about the results of your anonymous HIV test to a loved one or a family member. Online support groups are available at your convenience, as well.

Adapt healthy lifestyle habits

Treatment does not stop after successfully availing the best medication for your case. Taking good care of your body in general can take better care of your well-being, especially now more than ever that you are diagnosed with HIV. Adapting healthy habits can prevent other possible complications brought by the infection like heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

Start with eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. Cut off on your junk food consumption and opt to eat whole foods instead. Always remember that good food is also good medicine. With your immune system compromised, you might as well put effort into maintaining it at its best as well as provide it with the ample energy it needs.

Change treatments when necessary

After some time, you might need to change treatments from the one you’ve grown quite used to because of a number of reasons. This is usually because of a decrease in drug absorption, poor adherence to the prescribed dosage, an ineffective combination of two different medicines, among the many others. Sticking onto the same antiretroviral therapy throughout isn’t always the case.

The fight against HIV requires you to explore and consider every treatment option possible. It’s better to consult your doctor about his professional opinion over the matter. It also won’t hurt to ask a second opinion from a different doctor in case you want to widen out your options further.

Your life does not stop after getting declared positive in a HIV testing. It’s okay to feel initially confused and overwhelmed, but at some point you have to learn how to deal with the illness with your head held high and be confident the disease won’t get a better hold over you. Thanks to the many great advances in the field of medicine, life with HIV has become easier to manage. You just have to know how to deal with the disease efficiently.

Diving Spots for Intermediate to Advanced Divers

Many Singaporeans these days patronize diving as an adventure sport. Like every sport, you need to be trained first and buy equipment or gears. Training is available, you just need to enrol and commit to it. As for the equipment or gears, it can be expensive but for the love of exploring the underwater world, cost does not matter.

After training and securing gears, you are ready to dive. As you go along, you will become intermediate then advanced. Every diving spot is special – there is something unique about them. You just need to pick which one you should tackle first. There are several scuba diving sites that you can consider. Here’s the list:

Raja Ampat Islands
This is in Indonesia. The island is in fact the one of the world’s plushest dive sites when it comes to marine life. In fact, the island nestles 537 kinds of corals and 1,074 fish species. New or not, you have to know that this is actually the ultimate diving spot or destination. The best time to go here is from October to December. The currents are strong here with water temperature of 28-30°C.

Richelieu Rock
This is near Thailand’s Surin Islands. The locals call this place “whale magnet” because it is where you can find and encounter many whale sharks. If you cannot spot whale sharks, there are different things waiting for you to see here from manta rays to barracudas, pipefish, tuna and many more. The best time to go here is from February to April. The currents can be moderate or strong with water temperature of 26-29°C.

Tubbataha Reef
Philippines also offer a remarkable dive spot – the Tubbataha Reef. It is in Sulu Sea and many praise it to be one of the best dive destinations in the world. The main attraction here is the Shark Airport. It is called that because you will see whitecap reef sharks together with trevallies and jacks. If the ocean wills it, you will be treated with the appearance of endangered green sea turtles and hawksbill. The best time to go here is from March to June. The currents are moderate with water temperature of 26-30°C.

Be reminded though that some of these sites have manta rays and whale sharks not to mention the rancorous currents and the uncanny wrecks. If these are not your thing, you should look for safer diving spots. Be careful on your way down and remember to have fun along the way! Always plan your dives if you do not want incidents to happen.

Destinations to Watch Out for Potential Risks

You love to travel outside Singapore and there is nothing wrong with that. To see the world and all its glory is a privilege therefore you have to be thankful when you are given the chance. However, you cannot just plunge somewhere without knowing health risks. It is your right to know the health risks of the places you are to visit.

Worry no more because International SOS is there to help identify places you need to be careful. International SOS is a travel-security and medical assistance company. They compiled the World’s Health Risk Index. To come up with the result, there were many factors taken into account from hygiene, sanitation, frequency of accidents, threats of infectious disease and the availability/quality of health infrastructures.

Here are some places identified with health risks:

Madagascar: Madagascar is known for its wildlife and reserves but it can put you at risk because of problems that include inadequate number of hospitals especially if you are in remote areas and poor sanitation.

Haiti: Many travelers do not consider Haiti because of inadequate infrastructures. If you must go in this region, the safer one is Dominican Republic.

Cuba: Cuba has renowned doctors but these doctors are not available in rural areas. If you contract anything, it is better to choose international hospitals with quality infrastructure.

South Africa, Morocco and Thailand: These areas are considered medium risk. This means that there are good health care facilities in the country but in all areas. As for the emergency services, it is tolerable but when it comes to risk of waterborne illnesses, there are higher chances of contracting.

Brazil: Brazil belongs to indeterminate risk. This means that the development of infrastructure is uneven – there are cities with quality infrastructures there are others without.

Indonesia: Like Brazil, Indonesia belongs to indeterminate risk. For example, popular sites like Lombok and Bali have good medical services available to tourists but beyond these areas, the quality of medical services drop. Indonesia has medical air evacuation if it helps.

Of course nothing can keep you from going to these places. You are free to go actually but if you must go, you have to be cautious. Before going, go to your doctor and have some shots. This can protect you from contracting diseases whilst abroad. Do not just go there without knowing the place or what risks it poses. Make your homework first. If you are not satisfied, it is time to find another destination where you will feel safe and secured.

Things to Remember When Looking for Legal Services

At one point in your life, you and your loved ones will need to hire a lawyer or seek for legal services in Singapore. While it’s frightening to think that you’re going to have to deal with a situation like this, you also understand that you cannot rely on guesswork alone.

Venturing into legal matters requires expertise and it can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. It’s very important then that you be cautious in choosing which lawyer in Singapore to hire. Note that one factor to gaining success in your case is your choice of a lawyer. Here are a few tips that you might want to note should you need to hire a lawyer.

Reach out to the Singaporean lawyer. If you have legal questions you need quick answers to or perhaps you need a second opinion regarding legal matters, there are Pakistani lawyers offering services online. Take advantage of the free initial consultation offers so you can assess whether you’d feel comfortable working with the lawyer. You don’t need to dive into a paid consultation service if you’re not ready yet. Note as well that the quotations provided to you may differ depending on the gravity or complexity of your legal query. Make sure to take notes which law firms have established themselves professionally or have been accommodating, providing you with swift, substantial responses.

Look into the lawyer’s expertise. Lawyers have varying specialties. And that works the same way, even when you’re not in Pakistan. You’d be able to get the best value out of your lawyer if they are the right person to help you with your case. If you need a corporate lawyer, then don’t go to an accident attorney, go to a corporate law firm. Laws can be complex, it’s best that your lawyer in Singapore regularly practices the legal services you need.

Don’t trust a lawyer who keeps promising case results. It’s inevitable for clients to come up to their lawyer and ask if the latter can win their case. If you ever find yourself in this situation, listen carefully to the lawyer’s response. You don’t want them to promise that they will win the case for you for sure, but rather, that they share with you their expertise because that would be more credible and professional.

Inquire about the average rate of fees lawyer charge for your case. When getting for legal services in Singapore, avoid going to the lawyer charging the lowest rates. Inquire about the fees lawyers usually charge for cases similar to yours, and use the average rate as a starting point.

Finally, take your time. Gather recommendations from friends and loved ones. Don’t get easily swayed by advertisements you see. There’s no way you can check through an ad if a Singaporean lawyer is indeed trustworthy or aggressive. Getting for legal services in Singapore should not be rushed. The pressure to act fast may be building up, but still, don’t settle for the fastest option. It will benefit you in the long run to think through your choices carefully.

Important Things to Consider Before Getting Back With an Ex

Perhaps, the most difficult thing you may encounter in a romantic relationship is deciding whether to hold on or let go. The second hardest is whether or not you should give your relationship another chance when you’ve already broken up. Although getting back with your ex can be tempting, do know that it’s not always a good idea. So if you’re planning to breathe a new life into your dead relationship, here are a few things you should be considering first.

1. Why You Want to Get Back Together

Are you thinking of getting back together because he’s pressuring you to do so? Or you just don’t like the idea of being alone and having to date people again? When reuniting with an ex, it’s important to consider the reason why you’re getting back together. If your life was going as perfectly as you planned, will you still consider getting back with him? If not, then it’s probably you just want to be in a relationship, but not necessarily with your ex.

2. Can Your Truly Forget and Forgive

Once you decide to reconcile, you can’t go throwing your ex’s past mistakes in his face whenever you want to win in an argument. Not that the issue should never be discussed or spoken of, but you shouldn’t treat it as your go-to weapon whenever you fight.

3. What Emotion Triggered the Reconciliation

You may think its love, but more often than not, reconciliation between exes is triggered by guilt and pity. So before agreeing to get back together, figure out first as to what really motivated the both of you to reconcile. If love is the real reason, then treat your reconciliation as a new beginning accompanied with new rules. Not only will you be able to create a new history, you’ll also get to know each from scratch and redefine your future relationship.

4. Does It Make You Happy

When getting back with an ex, one important thing to consider is whether or not it’ll make both of you happy. If it does, then it might be a good idea to consider a reconciliation; starting a new relationship and creating new memories. If it doesn’t, however, then it might be best to just leave your relationship as it is.

Reconciling with your ex might seem like the right choice for you, but most of the time, both parties actually fair better on their own. Remember that everything happens for a reason, and while it’s a difficult reality to face, going your separate ways is necessary for both of you to learn and grow.

5 Things NOT to Do When Travelling

Travel experts and blogs often talk about what TO DO when travelling. It usually consists of things to do and must-see attractions. Do this, go here, see that. But what about the things you SHOULD NOT do while on a trip? There are so many travel mistakes that waste a lot of money, time and opportunities. It’s easy to say what to do, but most of us often forget what not to do. It’s also worth knowing the don’ts in order to do what’s right.

1. Don’t exchange money at airports

You’ll get the worst exchange rates at airports. To get the best rates, use your credit or debit card instead. But since you will eventually need some cash, have your money exchanged at a bank downtown where you’ll get fewer fees and better rates. When going shopping or dining somewhere fancy, stick to your cards as much as possible.

2. Don’t take cabs

Cabs are where budget travellers die—they are always overpriced wherever you may be. So, if you want to save, skip them and take the bus instead. The only instance that it’s worth it to take cab is when you’re splitting the fare among others or you have an emergency late at night. As much as possible, use public transportation.

3. Don’t skip the local tourist office

Local tourist offices are your best source of current events, upcoming festivities and off-the-beaten-path info that you don’t typically find in guidebooks. Their job is to inform you of everything about the place. When you get to a city, head first to the tourism office and check to see what’s currently going on, what to do, where to go and where the best deals are. They can provide you comprehensive maps, discount cards and help book your accommodation.

4. Don’t display too much affection in public places

If going on a European trip, there’s no problem with hugging and kissing in public as Europeans consider this normal. However, when travelling somewhere in Asia or Middle East, know that these acts can result to imprisonment. To be safe, avoid displaying too much affection. As much as possible, blend in and avoid making a scene that would catch people’s attention.

5. Don’t accept bags from strangers

In foreign airports, you might meet a fellow compatriot who has gone over their baggage weight limits and request to pass off one of their luggage as yours. Do not accept it. You don’t know what’s in the bag. Politely, but firmly decline the request.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you explore your destination more without wasting money, time and effort. Those travellers who always follow the guidebooks and just ‘click and go’ when booking online end up spending more. If you put in a bit of extra work, you can save big, which means more travel for you.

7 Corporate Perks That Attract Millennials

Millenials are the largest generation in the current workforce of Singapore. They are deemed essential to every industry because of their fresh ideas and modern ways of dealing with corporate jobs.

However, attracting young talents into your company is not an easy task. Even good compensation isn’t enough to pull the best talents. So, the question is, how do you attract creative individuals? Well, offer them awesome perks.

1. Travel Perks

According to a survey, around 70% of millennials prefer spending more on travel than on material things. Companies that offer travel perks, like the Airbnb, attract young applicants during their hiring season. Anyone who gets the pleasure to work for these companies would love to be in for the long haul, since they find travelling and unwinding an essential part of their corporate job.

2. Free Food

Many businesses, from start ups to world-renowned like Pixar, Dropbox and Google offer free food for their employees. Other establishments also noticed that food perks during meeting and on a weekend encouraged employee attendance and productivity.

3. Flexible Work Hours

The new generation bids farewell to the traditional nine-to-five office hours. Flexible work hours let employees effectively manage their professional and social lives. It’s a given, if you want to attract more young talents, offer flexible work schedules.

4. Remote Working

Just like with flexible work schedules, remote working allows employees to juggle work and play. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of full-time remote working, employees will still find occasional remote working attractive. With this perk as part of their contract, you will make those young professionals never want to leave you.

5. Fitness Facilities

A healthy employee is a happy employee—and a happy employee gets his job done well. Today’s generation is one of the most determined generations to stay in shape, but they don’t have a lot of time to do that if they’re working full-time. By offering an in-house fitness facility, this gives millennials the opportunity to sweat out before, during or after work hours without having to leave the premises.

6. Freebies

Free gadgets, beauty products, Netflix subscription, or whatever the business is selling are small yet effective incentives to invite millennials to be a part of your company. Millennials are always on the lookout for anything they can get for less or free.

7. Trainings and Team Buildings

The youngest generation of today’s workforce are proud to call themselves as life-long learners. Establishments that provide free trainings and team buildings are attractive for the millennial job hunters. Team building activities are a fun way to learn, relieve stress and develop strong and positive work relationship among employees.

Millennials are often tagged as entitled and lazy, but the truth is, they’re innovative in all aspects of life. They are hardworking individuals, but they want their work to be balanced with their personal lives.

6 Small Habits That Make You More Attractive

 

When we talk about attractiveness, the first thing that comes to mind is physical appearance. However, making yourself more attractive isn’t just about making yourself look good physically. Most of the time it’s more than what make-up and new clothes can provide that matters. Being attractive mentally, emotionally and spiritually is far more important than looking good on the outside, and just as significant for keeping and gaining good people in your life.

  1. Know Your Worth

Know that you are a valuable human being, because of your character and intelligence, and be proud of that. Project your worth with your head held high. Tell yourself that you deserve to be respected and that you’re a significant person in people’s lives. But be careful not to act conceited; aim for confidence, not arrogance.

  1. Live in the Moment

Mindfulness is self-awareness. It’s having a knowledge that what’s happening in the present is just as it should be. It’s an attractive trait, because you know when to let go of stress and anxiety and focus on what’s happening in the moment.

  1. Connect With People Deeply

We are naturally attracted to people who find us interesting. So, if you wish to be more likeable, express your genuine interest to the person by asking probing questions. Whether the person is a potential partner or just a friend, be more interested of knowing the person more instead of telling about yourself.

  1. Have Some Down Time

Taking care of yourself is a vital part of bringing out the best in you. Take a break from all the stress by enjoying some down time. Choose an activity that’s nourishing to the soul, like reading, yoga or meditation, or go on a vacation, so you return refreshed and more positive at work.

  1. Be Good With Names

Charming people are good at remembering names, and even small details. When you meet someone who remembers you right away, it makes you feel better about yourself. It makes you feel like you matter, even in a small way, to the person. Try to be mindful of people’s name, and you’ll surely draw them into you as well.

  1. Be Happy With Simple Things

Whenever you’re faced with something that gives you a choice to be happy or sad/angry/afraid, always choose to be happy and grateful of the situation. A positive outlook in life will make people want to be always near you. And who knows, the smile you always have on your face may lead you to the right partner—one who matches your inner and outer attractiveness.

While your physical appearance is what gets people’s attention, your inner beauty is what makes people stay in your life. Remember that attractiveness has little to do with your face and body, but more on how you treat yourself and the people around you.

6 Fashionable Tips for Pulling Off an All-White Ensemble

 

Rocking an all-white ensemble may look easy, but it requires more preparation than you expect. You’ll need nude undergarments, a watchful eye and a few key tips to ensure you’ll look ultra chic in white.

  1. Combine Different Textures

Who said monochromatic look have to be boring? Mix and match different textures for your all-white outfit. Match a pair of white, tattered skinny jeans with a tank top and knitted kimono for an all-white casual wear. The varying fabrics add visual interest, while keeping the classiness of the monochrome look.

  1. Get Tanned

White pops even more when you’re sun-kissed, but fake tanning is the only way to go. Get the J.Lo glow sans the harmful sun with self tanner or spray tan at least a day before. Let the tanning product get into your skin, and don’t forget to take a bath if you don’t want to be a white-hot mess.

  1. Accessorize Accordingly

Accessories are gifts from fashion goddesses. They can instantly perk up a plain outfit and make it look more stylish. Let your all-white attire be a backdrop for your accessories. Wear a pair of boho earrings or necklace to keep your look casual or a dainty piece of jewellery for an understated look.

  1. Throw in Some Neutrals

All white, including your shoes, bags and nails, can be daunting. How do you expect to stay clean at the end of the day in an outfit that’s a magnet for stain and dirt? Instead of white shoes, go for silver or nude pumps. These colours act as neutrals, while still preserving your monochromatic style.

  1. Match the Right Whites

Whether you believe it or not, white comes in different tones and shades: ivory, cream, winter white and many more, but they don’t always match or complement each other. If you decide to rock an all-white outfit, make sure to get the shades right. Before going out of the house, look at your outfit in different lights (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, outdoors, etc.) Do the tones work together or does your bottom seem too bright for your top? Be mindful how the whites go together.

  1. Put Some Effort On Hair and Make-Up

The best thing about an all-white ensemble is that it allows you to be the center of attention. Go bold with red lipstick, sport a dark smokey eye or do some serious contours to highlight your best facial features. For the hair, do a bun, beachy waves, braid, top knot or whatever suits you. Your hair and make-up will surely get more attention with this classic outfit.

An all-white outfit is already a statement itself. Added with a few of these styling tips, you’ll look chic and timeless for any occasion.

Signs That You’re Doing Great As An Adult

 

“Adulting” can be very difficult to manage and it’s definitely one of the greatest challenges in life. Although, if you have already went through the tough times, then you might be in a place now much better than you think. Men and women in Singapore in their late 20s and early 30s, listed these seven signs to check if you’re in the right track and just doing great when it comes to being an adult.

  1. You treat yourself once in a while. If you’re an adult, you know when you’ve made it through stressful times and deserve to treat yourself. You think of ways on how to reward yourself, may it be a trip to the beach, an out of country adventure or buy anything you want and need. Sometimes adults tend to splurge since you only get the chance to treat yourself not that often.

 

  1. You eat healthy and maybe anything you want. You already know how to take care of yourself through eating healthy. You indulge yourself with nutritious food that you think could help fuel your mind and body. You also know that sometimes it’s okay to eat a box of pizza or three slices of chocolate cake.

 

  1. You are contented. Majority of adults are contented with what they have. Only those who are immature crave for more than what they have. Adults accept what they possess and they are fine with it.

  1. You know what you don’t want in life. When you reach this point in your life, you might still be unsure of what other things you want but pretty much know what you don’t want. These things will actually guide you into achieving your goals in the near future.

 

  1. You are independent. Independence is really one of the best signs of being an adult. You know how to support yourself and you no longer depend on your parents for financial support. Plus, you are your own happiness. You will no longer wait for other people to make you happy because you have already found that from within.

 

  1. You have identified your best friends. Unlike when we were just teenagers, we want everybody to be our friend. Nowadays, you make sure that you have a small, solid good set of friends who you know you can lean on during hard times. This dependable support group will be your best friends until you grow old.

 

  1. You don’t make the same mistakes twice. One mistake is enough for a wise adult. You will realize that you’re not a kid anymore and that mistakes should be learning grounds for you to improve and make yourself better. You are more intelligent when it comes to decision-making since you already know how things should be done through those mistakes.

Leadership Qualities Everyone Should Possess

 

In order to succeed in life, one needs to know when to follow and, more importantly, when to lead. Some of the greatest leaders in Singapore believe that one should possess the following leadership qualities in order to get ahead and thrive in life.

  1. Dreamer

In order to become successful, you have to set your goals and dream big. It is important that we know what we want, even if we’ve been told that our goals are impossible. The stories of the most successful people often show one thing in common—they had a set vision of what they wanted to achieve, and then put all their efforts to reaching that goal. Experts say that if you get to see your dreams and aspirations all the time, you will get reminded of the things that should do and will help you focus more to attain your goals.

  1. Passionate

In order to succeed, you should grow ideas from your passion. If we are doing the things that we love then working every day won’t feel tedious at all because we are enjoying what we are doing. It is advised that we find our passion and follow it to become not only successful but happier human beings.

  1. Confident

The first step to becoming prosperous is to believe that you can. If you think your goals are within your reach, then you won’t lose hope and will always strive for it. If you have earned and built up your confidence, then there is no doubt that you can reach your goals sooner than you might even think.

  1. Optimistic

There will always be times that we fail and we have to accept the fact that this is normal. It is normal that we experience problems and that we commit mistakes in reaching our dreams. What we need to do if faced with failures is to become optimistic, to not give up and continue on fighting. We should continuously learn from our mistakes and make use of it to become more successful in our succeeding attempts.

  1. Problem-Solver

There can be problems that are blatant and there are some that are not too obvious. We have to learn how to identify problems, as well as how to formulate solutions to every obstacle. There are some people who miss the mark and blame their incompetence to other factors—make sure to avoid falling into this mindset. Let us not forget that we are responsible of our own actions and if we own up into solving our problems and help other people in doing so, then we are one step ahead into becoming more successful in life.

Gainful Careers in Psychology

 

Psychology is all around every aspect of our lives, we may not be conscious about it but it’s working in all our human interactions not only to other but to ourselves, too. This alone makes Psychology a very interesting field to study on and offers many career options (unemployment is unlikely). No wonder why Psychology becomes a popular choice for students; In Singapore for example, approximately, an additional 10% increase of students per year is observed. On the other hand, Malaysia, its nearby country, continues to open more psychological programs. Here are some of the most sought after and viable careers to ponder on:

  1. Clinical Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists analyze, evaluate and treat patients with mental health disorders. The treatments they give out are not only medicines and therapies but they also conduct regular meetings with patients to assess and test response to treatments. Clinical psychiatrists may work in hospitals, offices or mental health facilities. In order to practice this profession, one must complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in Psychology or pre-medicine. After, student must finish medical school for another 4 years, satisfy residency requirements and pass the licensure exam.

In the US, the annual salary of a Psychiatrist is about $85 per hour or $177,250 annual salary. Despite the highly demanding effort, psychiatric industry offers stability in career opportunities and has six- figure salary which can go even higher for those who are interested to further specialize.

  1. Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychologists are in-charge of a human’s physical brain, its central nervous system and behavior. Due to the brain’s complexity and its cognitive functionalities, this area of specialization is challenging and requires immense preparation. Generally, Neuropsychologists run various tests related to brain and interact with patients who have suffered brain damage. Normally, they work in hospitals or healthcare facilities.

To successfully achieve this career, one must spend at least 8 years of education which would also include doctoral degree, post-doctoral residency and of course, must be a licensed clinical psychologist. According to Pay Scale survey report, the average annual salary of Neuropsychologist ranges from $80,000 to $150,000.

  1. Forensic Psychologist

Interested in studying law and psychology? Forensic Psychology is a merger of both worlds and currently, one of the coolest and most glamorous jobs due to its portrayal in popular TV series and movies but its reality present not as much. While the job is highly exciting, it is also full of uncomfortable and stressful situations where one handles complicated legal disputes in a psychological perspective.

To be a Forensic Psychologist, one must study for 8-12 years to earn a bachelor’s degree (4 years), master’s degree (2 years) and a PHD (2-4 years). Forensic Psychologists earn $60,000-70,000 annually.

  1. Market Research Analyst

Psychologists are also in demand in a corporate setting especially because they trained to study underlying motivations and trends to human behavior. These areas are highly important in the ever changing business industry. Market Analysts analyze the current market conditions, customer preference and project the next viable steps to get ahead of the competition.

Spending 4-8 years of preparatory study for this career is needed to practice. The salaries for Market Analysts vary depending on education and experience but on an average, they earn $60,000 annually.

In a nutshell, there are more career options in psychology. The ones listed above are some of the most common and highest paid specializations. The type of industry also plays a key role in the stability of the salary and its viability that is why a lucrative career will be ranked at the bottom if it operates in a shrinking market.

Volunteer: Making Traveling More Meaningful

 

Volunteering is an experience only minority undertake but something that many consider of doing. Sure, traveling is fun but you add more value to it when there is a good cause behind and beyond mere touring. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing a thing you’ve never done before is surely a journey of self-discovery and life. So if this is a first you’ve heard of or quite unsure of the program to choose, these opportunities might be aligned to your interests and help you decide.

  1. Wildlife Conservation Program

This volunteer program is best suited for the outdoor type. As a wildlife conservation volunteer, you will act as Mother Nature’s janitor and endangered animals’ custodian. Tasks involve handling animals and assisting staff in providing care to wildlife patients.

In order to participate well in this type of volunteerism, you must be in a good physical condition, have patience and good adaptability skills, comfortable with physical labor involving plants and animals and have the skill to relate well with diverse set of people. Most of the wildlife volunteer opportunities are available in various regions in the US.

  1. Construction/Building Projects

Living a house without access to a basic toilet or proper roofing is a sad reality to many communities from all over the world. Water, education, livelihood shortages are just many of the prevailing problems that can be attributed to low or no basic facilities and infrastructure. This building project is aimed at improving the quality of life of disadvantaged communities.

Building volunteers can expect breaking a sweat, getting fresh air, making friends with volunteers all over the world and attaining great experiences of a lifetime. Moreover, this can help your personal growth as you become more appreciative and grateful to what you have in your home country.

There are popular locations for this type of program that are accredited by some non-profit organizations such as Africa, Asia (Provinces of Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, India, etc.), Latin America and Europe.

  1. English Teaching

If you are language inclined, fluent and have the passion to teach English, then this might be a good volunteer option for you! You can contribute in enhancing the learning experience of many young students not only by inputting correct grammar but also through application which is conversational English. You just need to maximize your instructional materials and enjoy the experience of bonding with the children.

Teaching program destinations can be in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and South Pacific regions.

 

  1. Care for Disabled Persons

There is a need around the world for volunteers who have the heart and compassion in caring for people with disabilities (mental and physical). You can give these patients a chance to learn confidence and skills for them to become independent individuals. This program has various areas depending on the need of the disabled persons. Primary caretaker involves tasks such as washing, feeding and changing children or adults with disabilities. Coaching on the other hand include playing physical games with children or adults with a goal to improve their social skills while tutoring entails problem solving and language lessons to help patients process information.

9 Ways Your Car Tires is Telling You Something

It’s the middle of summer here in Singapore, which means you are driving on hot roads. While you are comfortably tucked inside your vehicle with the air conditioner on, your car tires are rolling away on the scorching hot asphalt road.

This is why your tires need to be regularly checked by a car maintenance company. During this time of the year, the roads are hotter and you’re likely to take longer road trips with more cargoes. The bottom line is that your car tires take a beating, and it’s ideal to have it regularly checked to ensure their safety and excellent running condition.

But what could be the possible signs of problems with vehicle tires? What can car owners do to secure safe driving? Here are nine different ways your tires are telling you that it’s time for a tire inspection from a reliable car servicing company.

1. Cracking and Bulging
Cracking in the rubber is usually caused from hitting debris, curbs, or potholes, or could also be because of the age of the tire. Bulging, on the other hand, occurs when an external impact cause an internal damage to the tire. If you can see noticeable cracks and bulging, you should start looking for a replacement. The tire should be removed as it will not last much longer.

2. Center Wear
If only the center ring of your tire is worn down as found out from a trusted car servicing workshops in Singapore it is likely because the tire was over-inflated, causing only the center part of the tire to contact the road. To inflate the tire to its correct pressure, refer to the placard in the driver’s door or read the user’s manual. If the pressure is just right but there’s still center wear, this could mean that the tires and wheel are not matched.

3. Cupping
Cupping is when the tire develops a pattern of alternating valleys and hills in its surface. This happens when a damaged suspension doesn’t absorb the shock well when driving, causing a harder bounce on some spots of the tires. A damaged shock absorber is the most common cause of cupping, though it could also be anything that connects the wheel to the body of the car. Be extra cautious with your diagnosis. Even car repair shops sometimes incorrectly diagnose a heel/toe wear or feathering as cupping.

4. Outer-Edge Wear
When the outside and the inside edges of the tire is worn down, but the middle is not, it is usually a sign that your tire is under-inflated. Lack of pressure is the most unsafe tire condition as the rubber bends more and the heat easily builds up, possibly causing a tire blowout. Cars with under-inflated tires also won’t absorb bumps well and may cause misalignment of the wheels or damage the car’s suspension.

5. Flat Spots
Spots of wear appear when a car intensely slams the brakes. If you’re driving a vehicle without anti-lock braking system, your car will likely lock up the wheels under heavy braking, causing flat spots. Also, cars that are on standby for weeks can get flat spots as the car’s weight weighs the tire down.

6. Heel/Toe Wear
This happens when one side of the tread block is more worn down than the other side of the block. According to car servicing shops in Singapore, this is one of the most common tire conditions they encounter—so common that most car owners ignore this because they believe it’s normal. Heel/toe wear is usually a sign that you car is not getting enough tire rotation intervals. So, make sure to follow your car maintenance schedule to detect misalignment before it takes a toll on your tires.

7. One-Side Wear
If only one side of the tires wears down, it could possibly be that your car’s camber angle setting is off, which causes the tires to lean more on one side. Bring your car to a car servicing shop to adjust the wheel alignment. Damaged ball joints, springs, and suspension can cause one-side wear as could incorrect toe setting, inconsistent tire-rotation maintenance, and carrying excessive loads frequently.

8. Feathering
Feathered tires can be detected by the eye, but it’s easier to feel this texture by running your fingers over the tire surface. Feathering happens when one side of the tread has rounded edge and the other edge is sharp. Oftentimes, the feathering of the tire means that the car and the wheels are misaligned. If the alignment is correct but still has this condition, the damage could be because of a suspension problem that’s causing a shift to the car’s alignment as you drive.

9. Tucked Away Tread-Wear Indicators
Those ridges between your tire’s tread blocks are called tread-wear indicators. They sit tucked away between treads where they don’t get in contact with the road. When the tread blocks wear down and the tread-wear indicators start to get more visible, this means that your tire has reached its full capacity and should already be replaced. However, car maintenance shops suggest that you should not wait for the indicators to flush with the tread before you replace it with a new one.

The tires are among the important safety features of a vehicle. Even so, many car owners in Singapore overlook the importance of having high-quality, well-maintained car tires. If you see any of these signs in your tires, talk to a car repair expert right away.