Jun 27

Removing Sticker Residue Properly on Different Surfaces

Do you hate the sight of sticker adhesives left behind by price tags, product stickers, and product labels? Sometimes the glue also attracts dirt and grime if left for some time. Here the proper methods to remove the sticker residue from different surfaces.

Fabrics
Remove the sticker residue on clothes and linen as soon as possible while the stain is still fresh, because leaving them to dry will make them more difficult to remove. Read the care label to determine which wash cycle and type of detergent must be used. Use warm, soapy water to scrub off the adhesive, but do not use any sharp object to scrape it off. If the stain won’t come off, rub alcohol on the stain then wash again. Make sure that all the stains are gone before rinsing and drying the fabric.

Plastic and Wood
You cannot use just about any cleaning agent on these surfaces because you will damage the material. Avoid using sharp objects as well because they will also leave scratch marks, instead, soak the residue in vegetable oil for a few hours to soften it. Then, dry the residue with a hair dryer set in warm temperature (avoid setting it on very hot temperatures) before washing the area with soapy water. This method can also be used on metal surfaces.

Ceramic
To remove the adhesive residue from vases, tiles, and other ceramic items like porcelain, heat white vinegar in a pan but do not let it boil. Next, dip a clean cloth in the warm vinegar and dab at the sticker. Squeeze a few drops on the surface or place the soaked cloth on top of the sticker for 30 minutes. If there are still some stains left, repeat the process. You can also use oil (corn, vegetable, baby, and olive oil) to remove the residue by soaking the adhesive with it for 20 minutes. Then, wash the surface with dish soap and clean water until the oil is removed. You should repeat the process if some residue is left, but you could try a commercial adhesive solvent, turpentine, or acetone as a last resort. Soak the residue for 30 minutes before washing the surface with a mild detergent and water.

Glass
If you want to remove the stickers on glass surfaces like jars, dinnerware, windows, etc., moisten a clean, damp cloth and wipe the surface. Next, use an acetone-based nail polish remover to rub off the glue from the glass surface. Finally, rinse the area with soapy water to remove the residue. Avoid using sharp objects, unless the sticker has been on the surface for a very long time. If this is the case, then use an artist’s palette knife to gently lift the sticker. For jars and mugs, soak the items in warm soapy water for an hour then wipe the remaining stains with a clean cloth soaked in vinegar.


   May 30

12 Romance Manga for the Hopelessly in Love

Tired of the usual teenage romance movies and television series? Maybe some of these titles can change your perspective on young love and romance.

1. Ao Haru Ride or Blue Spring Ride
This 13-volume series introduces Yoshioka Futaba, who feels inferior from her female classmates because she has been accused in the past of stealing the boys in school.

2. Orange
The series ran for five volumes and features Takamiya Naho, who receives a letter from herself ten years from the future. Uninterested at first, she begins to suspect that there’s something important hidden in the letters about a mysterious transfer student.

3. Dengeki Daisy
Written and illustrated by Motomi Kyousuke, this 16-volume manga chronicles Kurebayashi Teru’s life after the death of her brother. She was told to contact a person named DAISY, who is supposed to look after her welfare.

4. Skip Beat!
Mogami Kyouko has always been in love with childhood friend Fuwa Sho, but she discovered one day that he wasn’t serious about her at all and is just using her to pay for his expenses. She decides to join the entertainment business to beat him.

5. Kimi ni Todoke
Kuronuma Sawako is feared by everyone at school because she looks like a character from a horror movie. When a popular schoolmate started befriending her, Sawako started to make new friends and experience a normal teenager’s life.

6. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun or My Little Monster
This 13-volume series tells about the story of hardworking and studious Mizutani Shizuku and the happy-go-lucky Yoshida Haru. Shizuku encourages Haru to come out of his shell, and she in turn, was taught to value the people around her.

7. Kimi no Iru Machi or A Town Where You Live
Kirishima Haruto and Eba Yuzuki were estranged after the latter suddenly cut their ties, but when Haruto learned the whereabouts of Yuzuki, he made up his mind to take her back. However, that wasn’t the first time they will be separated.

8. Lovely Complex or LoveCom
Koizumi Risa is a giant of a girl who falls in love with the short Ootani Atsushi. The latter admits to having no feelings for Risa, but she is determined to make him fall for her.

9. Cat Street
This eight-volume manga features a famous actress, Aoyama Keito, who was unable to perform at a musical play and promptly abandons her job. Full of guilt and shame, she isolates herself from family and friends for years.

10. Kamisama Kiss or Kamisama Hajimemashita
The 25-volume series chronicles the story of an unlikely pair of an average school girl and a yokai who was once an Earth deity.

11. S.A.: Special A
Hanazono Hikari and Takishima Kei are both rivals and childhood friends. Hikari has always competed with Kei even if she always ends up losing to him. She isn’t aware, however, that Kei has fallen for her.

12. Absolute Boyfriend
Izawa Riiko discovered a website for creating the perfect boyfriend, but was disappointed to learn that its trial edition only lasted for 72 hours.


   May 30

Dos and Don’ts in Oil Painting

When you have finally decided to try oil painting, you need to remember important pointers to make your learning process easier. Oil painting can be a difficult medium, but the experience and the finished product are worth all the trouble.

Dos in Oil Painting

• Learn all the basics. You might want to review your lessons about value and color when you’re mixing colors. If you have had plenty of practice with other painting media, then this will be an easy transition for you. Vary the pressure on the paintbrush and try different strokes, so you can get an idea how the oil paint interacts with the surface before commencing with your first major project.

• Study the reaction of oil to solvent. One of the best qualities of oil paint is that you can control how it behaves on the surface by how you mix it with the solvent. Keep practicing until you master how to use this mixture.

• Study dry brush and wet-on-wet techniques. Try painting on a dry surface and then on a wet surface to see how the effects differ. You can also try mixing colors to see how they interact with dry and wet surfaces.

• Do use your palette knife. It is a useful tool for creating different strokes and textures that cannot be achieved by a paint brush.

• Remember the proportion of oil for each layer. Pay attention to the successive layers of oil paint on a project. The lower layers could crack if the upper layers are thinner.

Don’ts in Oil Painting

• Forgetting to clean the brush when using multiple colors. Make sure to clean your brush in between strokes when using different colors. It is important to keep oil paint colors are pure as possible, because it will be difficult to preserve the color’s intensity if it is contaminated with other colors.

• Using different colors in a mix. As a beginner, you will be told to use only three colors at a time when mixing. Using more than three colors can dull the colors, resulting in a less intense contrast of colors. Experiment with white and two other colors first.

• Don’t hesitate to use more paint. Oil painting supplies can be expensive, but that does not mean you should try to preserve as much paint s possible when working on a project. Use the amount of paint or paint mixture necessary for each stroke.

• Avoid using black. Most painters are advised not to use black on their painting and are instead encouraged to mix different colors to achieve a similar effect. That doesn’t mean black cannot be used at all, it just takes a long time for ivory black in oil paint to dry than most of the colors.

• Do not store your finished paint in the dark. If you are waiting for your painting to dry, do not store it in an area where it isn’t exposed to light.


   Apr 27

Skincare Products for Oily Skin

Taking care of oily skin is such a challenge: aside from it being too sensitive at times, your skin is also picky when it comes to skincare products. You can’t just buy a random facial product from your nearest drugstore. To help you, here are our top picks for skincare products for oily skin.

Facial Cleanser
A good cleanser for oily skin is Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (for Oily Skin). I grew up seeing Clinique products on the mother’s dresser so when I was a teenager struggling with puberty, the mother made me use this cleanser and it worked wonders on the face. Not only is it effective in controlling oil, it’s also gentle on the skin and makes the skin squeaky clean without the sting.

Exfoliator
Once a week our face needs to be thoroughly cleaned after a week of being exposed to different stressors. Back when I was still in uni I started using Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and it surely does the trick. It has natural alpha hydroxy acids from papaya and grapefruit extracts, making it very safe for oily and sensitive skin. As it’s gel-based, it means that it’s also oil-free. And, if you’re not a big fan of foamy cleansers, this is also for you since this is soap-free. This not only removes dirt and other impurities, but can also be used to remove makeup.

Toner
A skincare routine is not complete without a toner. The DRGL Toner Oil Control is so far the best toner for oily skin as it controls not only oil but also sebum production. It’s super safe on skin since its ingredients include vitamin E, aloe vera, and other natural products.

Moisturizer
If people tell you not to use moisturizers because of your oily skin, don’t listen to them. Even if you may feel that you don’t need to use moisturizers, you actually still need to because the process of cleaning your face would make your skin dry. Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is great for this purpose, as it suits not only oily skin but all skin types. Formulated with algae extracts, vitamin E, glycerin, and botanicals, this makes your face supple and soft like a baby. It’s also surprisingly not sticky for a gel-based moisturizer.

Facial Mask
I’m not a huge fan of facial masks since for me using a moisturizer is already enough, but it doesn’t hurt to try Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores. Its main ingredient is the activated charcoal so it’s safe to say that it would really clear your pores (as the name claims). It’s the only mask that I know of that would reduce excess oil in your skin, remove impurities, and prevents breakouts, thanks to the charcoal ingredient of this product.


   Apr 27

Splurge and Steal: Kat Von D vs NYX Cosmetics

Spending a good amount on high-end makeups once in awhile feels good, especially when it is from a really good brand. But the time comes when you will run out of this product, and it suddenly happens while you are in a tight budget. This is when makeup dupes come in. There are tons of good replacements out there, or maybe in your nearest drugstores!

If you are a big fan of Kat Von D’s high quality, cruelty-free, and vegan makeup products but want to replace or just get a cheaper alternative, NYX Professional Makeup is the one. Both can be bought from Sephora and you can also find NYX Professional Makeup products from your local department store.

Eyeliners: Tattoo Liner ($32.00) vs The Curve Liner ($24.00)
Both these eyeliners are highly pigmented, and stays for a long time. The advantage with NYX’s The Curve Liner is that it has an ergonomic design that fits snugly to your hand to make eyeliner application easier.

Eyeshadow, Contour: Shade + Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette ($73.00), and Shade + Light Contour Palette ($73.00) vs Love Contours All Palette ($38.00)

I have to merge Kat Von D’s eyeshadow and contour palettes with this one because for $38.00, you can get eyeshadows, contour swatches, and highlights in one palette! NYX’s Love Contours All Palette is an all-around beauty gem. It’s not only for contouring, but you can also use its colors for eyeshadows and highlights. It’s even convenient for travelling because you do not need to bring around two palettes (in this case, Kat Von D’s eye contour and contour palette). Love Contours All Palette is also highly pigmented as with Kat Von D’s. You can really say that it’s worth it!

Foundation: Lock-It Liquid Foundation ($56.00) vs Total Control Drop Foundation ($26.00)
For half the price, you can get the mattifying effect of KVD’s Lock-It Liquid Foundation through NYX’s Total Control Drop Foundation. It’s blendable and could adapt to Singapore’s humid weather. It is creamy so it is good for oily and combination skin. Its glass packaging is also ritzy for a drugstore makeup brand.

Powder: Lock-It Blotting Powder Compact ($45.00) vs No Filter Finishing Powder ($28.00)
NYX’s No Filter Finishing Powder can also deliver the matte, flawless finish you get from Kat Von D’s Lock-It Blotting Powder Compact. It makes your face so flawless that you wouldn’t need to edit your selfies. The good thing is, if you are too lazy to use foundation on some days, you can just use this as is and you are good to go!

Lips: Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick ($30.00) vs Soft Matte Lip Creme ($14.00), Cosmic Metals Lip Creme ($20.00), Butter Lipstick ($13.00)
KVD’s Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick is a collection of satin-matte, metallic, and shimmering lipsticks. If you are looking for a matte alternative, NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Creme is a favourite since it is non-drying and it would not transfer to glasses or to anything. If you want for a metallic lip creme, the Cosmic Metals Lip Creme can be a good alternative. For a creamy alternative for KVD’s glimmer, NYX’s Butter Lipstick is the go-to type.

NYX Professional Makeup has boutiques in Bugis Junction (#01-111), Plaza Singapura (#B1-36), and Westgate (#02-21).


   Mar 22

The Many Benefits of Reading Regularly

You may be part of the population who detests reading. We get it, sometimes reading can be really demanding and exhausting – but picking up the habit of reading every day contributes a lot to your overall well-being and state of mind. Think of it this way: whatever regular exercise does to the muscles, reading does to your mind.

The habit of reading doesn’t have to stop after you’ve earned your college degree. If anything, you must strive hard to be able to read at least some new piece of information on the daily. Here are some significant benefits of reading regularly:

Improved vocabulary
Who isn’t impressed by an eloquent person? The more you read on the daily, the more words you will be exposed to (some of which you may not even be familiar with). Sooner or later, they make their way into your daily vocabulary and there may be instances when you’d apply them in a real-life setting. Now that’s one way to impress your colleagues, and even your boss! Keep in mind that being well-spoken and articulate is an advantage in any profession.

Reduced Stress
Whatever issue you are facing now, in work or in your personal life, you just tend to lose the sense of worry once you immerse yourself in a great story. Reading takes your mind off your earthly woes even just for a moment. It gives you a break from all the stress that is surrounding you. Fiction and fantasy genres, particularly, can even transport you from one world to another. It drains away your pent-up frustrations and helps you relax.

Knowledge
As the adage goes, knowledge is power. If you pick up the habit of reading regularly, you somehow fill your mind with new pieces of information. You learn new things, which is handy especially in situations you least expect of. Learning doesn’t stop after you finish your formal education. There are different instances in life where you learn, and reading is only one of them. The more knowledgeable you are, the better you will be at tackling any challenges in the long run.

Improved concentration and focus
It is easy to get side-tracked nowadays with a mere Facebook notification or a newly released video game. However, if you read more often, you will learn how to focus on the story. You immerse yourself in every fine detail and even visualize the characters in your head. This improves your ability to focus. As a matter of fact, reading for at least 20 minutes before you head to work yields higher concentration as you get work-related tasks done.


   Mar 22

The Search for the Best Burger in Singapore

Burgers may be an all-American fast food icon, but that doesn’t mean there are no good burgers served across Singapore. In fact, there are several Singapore-based restaurants and burger joints which will satisfy your burger cravings. Some of them offer their own distinct rendition of your traditional burger – from fried chicken, pulled pork, or even vegan options for patties.

Outstanding burger choices are scattered in the city-state for your convenience, and all you need to know is where to head to for your next food trip session!

Freehouse
This SG-based beer bar may impress you with their exceptional beer selection, but they also offer good burgers to fill up your hungry stomach. The most popular burger choices include the pork burger and the fried chicken burger. Their classic beef burger is also a fan-favorite, which is composed of a homemade beef patty, tomato, bacon, onion tempura, and melted parmigiano-reggiano.

The Chop House
Living up to their name, The Chop House is well-versed in handling meat well. They boast of excellent burger options like the bacon, guacamole, and chicken (BGC) burger and the Black and Blue burger – made of a house special blue cheese dressing. These burgers also come along with complimentary crispy tater tots!

Dojo
Got a sophisticated palate? Then Dojo is the genie to your desires. Dojo specializes in gourmet pork burgers with cheeky-named choices. Try the Elvisu (bacon with peanut butter and jelly) and the Hadoken (pork patty with Asian chili con carne and cheese). The goods news? All their edible food choices don’t cost more than $15.

Burger Joint
Burger Joint is a NYC burger outlet which recently found its way in SG. The outlet reflects the traditional American burger place – a retro diner and the American fare. The simplicity of the burgers easily shows off the quality of the ingredients. From the first bite, you will find simple joys in the amazing burst of flavors from the fresh lettuce, melty cheese, and the all-beef patty.

VeganBurg
Here’s one for the vegans! If you’re craving burger but not the guilt that comes after it, head to VeganBurg ASAP. They promote healthy eating through selling fast food which is purely composed of a solid plant-based diet. They have options such as the Smoky BBQ (minced mushroom patty) and Cracked Mayo (an egg-free mayonnaise burger with a savory soy patty).

Roadhouse
Up for a challenge? Finish Roadhouse’s Terminator Challenge (six wagyu patties with bacon pieces, cheese, chili, and jalapenos) within 20 minutes and you won’t have to pay a single dollar! Besides that, you will become a part of the hall of fame as well. Sweet! This is perfect for competitive eaters and adventurous food lovers.


   Feb 20

The 4 Best Co-Working Spaces in Singapore

For freelancers and people with mobile offices, co-working spaces can be heaven-sent. Even If you consider yourself a homebody, you could still get crazy from a lack of social interaction if you’re cooped up at home all day. Much like cafes, co-working spaces can provide you much needed social interaction, only they’re dedicated to making sure that you get work done. Whether you’re alone or a member of a small group, here are some good co-working spaces in Singapore that worth checking out.

1. The Working Capitol
Chances are, this is the co-working space of your dreams. This space is located in a picturesque shophouse and designed with tasteful minimalism, providing you with work desks, meeting rooms, private phone booths, as well as offices. But what sets The Working Capitol apart from all other co-working spaces is their dedication to style and comfort; a pantry stocked with goods, a beer garden, a café, as well as showers and changing rooms are available to make sure that you are working at your best. Rates begin at $53.50 per day for work spots and can be as high as $2,300 per month for teams of two to eight.

2. Trehaus Cowork
Trehaus is the first kid-friendly co-working space in Singapore, perfect for new parents who need to take care of their children but are also sick of staying at home. At Trehaus Cowork, you could bring your kids and let them play in the ‘play atelier,’ a space dedicated to keeping children occupied while parents and other adults do their work. There are also offices, meeting rooms, desks, and tables that you can use. The Trehaus Cowork costs $50 for their daily rate, while monthly rates start from $350 to $3,600 dollars.

3. Hakerspace SG
For tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs, Hackerspace SG is the co-working space for you. Bask in the almost-chaotic energy of innovation and technical exploration amidst like-minded individuals; here in Hackerspace, cardboard, computer parts, and gadgets clutter desks, all for the sake of discovery and invention. This co-working space is perfect for students and tech start-ups, with a regular monthly fee of $128, and $512 for a reserved desk. For students or those who are just starting out, you could apply for their ‘broke member’ fee which only sets you back by $64.

4. Woolf Works
Named after the famous novelist, Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is a co-working space that caters exclusively to women. It was created by Michaela Anchan in 2014, as a work-at-home mom who craved social interaction. The rates at Woolf Works are affordable; monthly rates start from $200 and can be increased up to $600 for a permanent desk. There are also classes hosted at Woolf Works for businesswomen and interested mom-entrepreneurs. Classes include business-oriented skills such as photography or marketing, as well as lifestyle classes like parenting.


   Feb 20

The 4 Best Doggy Hotels in Singapore

Dogs can be man’s best friend, but sometimes you have to leave them alone for a trip. If you can’t find a pet sitter in time, though, you could always leave them in one of the many pet hotels here in Singapore. From the classy space of the Wagington to the wide, open space of Doggie Retreat, you are bound to find the perfect place for your furry friend.

1. The Wagington
The Wagington is a pet hotel that does not hold back on style. Pamper your pet with this hotel’s 5-star service, complete with indoor playgrounds and outdoor gardens. They even offer a Royal Suite for particularly kingly pups. It comes complete with a queen-sized bed, a 32-inch led TV, a gourmet selection of dog chow like pork chop and risotto, and is topped off with a beautiful chandelier. The Wagington also accepts feline guests, where they can live like royalty in their suites and a special cat-dedicated menu.

2. Wanderloge Pet Hotel and Suites
You could assure that your pet is taken the best care here in Wanderloge, a home-based pet boarding service. Here your dog will be housed in an air-conditioned environment, making sure that your pups are comfortable and safe. They also have an on-call vet who is available for 24-hours, to make sure that all medical problems that arise will be taken care of as quickly as possible. Wanderloge also provides its services for cats, and you can rest assured that your feline friend can stay safe in a friendly environment as you go about your trip.

3. Sunny Heights
Sunny Heights is different from other doggy daycares as it puts a huge importance on your dog’s social skills. At Sunny Heights, your dog will never be lonely. This doggy daycare has a lot of events and activities that can provide your dog with a lot of opportunities to mix and mingle with other dogs. Sunny Heights even comes complete with its own doggy pool, so that your dogs can do the doggy paddle with others of their own kind.

4. Doggie Retreat
Unlike other dog hotels, Doggie Retreat makes sure that your dog has a lot of space to run wild and free, providing a large compound for your dog to run around in along with other dogs. This makes sure that your pet is not bored of staying in a kennel all day. As a plus, your dog will also stay healthy and strong, as the large space and clean air can provide your dog with much-needed exercise and time in nature. They even have daily outings to various parks and beaches in Singapore, to make sure that your dog gets the best care in the world.