Dec 14

4 Easy Tips to Follow for Repairing Your Backpack

Backpacks and rucksacks are an essential part of any frequent traveler’s life, and it can be quite difficult to finally see this part finally succumb to the wear and tear that can be brought about by frequent traveling.

However, when you don’t have access to your tailor,you need to be able to make these emergency repairs on your own. These repairscan significantly extend the life of your backpack when you do them right – andhere is how you can fix your bag with these easy tips:

1. Start by cleaning the area of the backpack that needs to be repaired.

Whether it’s a hole at the bottom, by the seams, or the zipper itself needs to be fixed, start by cleaning out any lint with a damp piece of cloth. Preferably, you want to clean out the whole bag and allowing it to fully dry before you start sewing the holes or replacing the zipper.   

2. Use the back stitch to fix up any holes.

While some people would simply use a running stitch to fix the holes, they will often be met by a re-appearing hole and a long piece of dangling thread. Use the back stitch to avoid this problem.

The back stitch is the strongest stitch that you can do on your own without the aid of a sewing machine. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you.

Ideally, you want to place a piece of cloth over the tearfirst before sewing it shut, especially if the tear happens to be by the seamor next to the zipper. This will give you additional support and reinforce theweakened areas once you sew the tear closed.

3. Keep the new zipper closed when attaching it to your backpack.

The reason for this is because zippers can be especially difficult to pin down during sewing. By having your zipper closed, you will be able to work with it much easier as you sew it to your backpack.  

Be sure to start by sewing the zipper to one side, andonly proceed to sew the other side to the other once the first side has beenfirmly sewn in place.

4. You should be extra careful when sewing the straps back in place.

The backpack’s straps are the ones that take in the weight – and nothing is worse than having one or both of them finally snapping from the strain.

When sewing them back to you backpack, be sure to take into account how you will sew the straps, as sewing them back in weakly could cause the thread to snap from the weight if it hasn’t been secured tightly enough.


   Dec 14

4 Crucial Tips on How to Choose a Quality Travel Bag

As wonderful as travelling can be, the stress that comes with it can take its toll once you get to the nitty-gritty of it. Part of this stress can be caused by a travel bag that doesn’t suit exactly what you need for when you travel.  

Choosing the right travel bag is a wise investmentthat will make travelling so much easier on both you as well as your belongings– and here are five crucial tips when it comes to making a good investment foryour future travels:

1. Consider the size of the luggage. This is perhaps the most importantfactor when it comes to choosing the right travel bag. Ideally, the size shouldbe limited to how much you can carry at a time, especially when you don’t haveanyone to help you move. 

Color is also a factor that you need to keep in mind. While a bright-colored duffel bag or suitcase may not be your style, there is nothing more irritating than missing your luggage on the carousel because you didn’t see it right away the first time.

2. Decide on what carry-ons and rolling luggage you plan on buying. Wherever you travel, chances are that you will have to carry at least two bags – one for carry-on and one for check-in. The former will most likely either be a duffel bag or a backpack, while the latter will almost certainly be a rolling luggage bag or a suitcase.

Backpacks are excellent for carry-on as they aredesigned to contain and support the baggage while at the same time freeing upyour hands, and this makes them indispensable for travelers. In some cases, theright travel backpack can even be a substitute for a suitcase or a luggage bag.

3. Go for travel bags that are easily expandable and have lots of compartments. Bag interiors are only really important when you need to shop for travel bags, as this allows you to separate the different things in your baggage that could easily be lost when jumbled together.

For instance, having a compartment that allows you toseparate your toiletries from your clothes is something that you should lookfor in every travel bag that you plan on buying. Other things that could alsoget tangled or lost, which are mostly small objects, extension cords, and phoneand laptop chargers, should all get their own separate compartments.

4. Choose bags with lockable zippers.

You can never be too secure in your belongings, and nothing says “your luggage is secure” quite like having a compartment with two zippers that you can place a lock over to keep them from being opened.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)


   Oct 22

9 Foods That Help Boost Your Brain

Do you know that it’s not just our muscles and our bones that need sustenance? Our brains do too, and very much so in order for us to perform with optimum cognition. To keep your brain in peak condition, make sure to have these in your diet.

1. Fish. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study showing that diet with ample amount of fish could lower your chances of getting dementia by 20%. (And of course, fish is also good for the heart.)

2. Yoghurt. Along with other fermented dairy products, this food contains Lactobacilus acidophilus, which are the good bacteria in our gut improve our immune system. With less energy being used to boost immunity, there’s more for the brain to use.

3. Broccoli. This vegetable contains choline, a substance that’s been found to enhance memory, as well as vitamin K, which optimizes our cognitive functions. Broccoli can also help ward off depression due to the folic acid it also contains.

4. Veggy and protein combo. A “power meal” that’s good for the brain as well as the body has two vegetables in decent amounts and about four ounces of meat (hummus can be a substitute).

5. Oatmeal. Trying to beat the Singapore morning rush hour by skipping breakfast? Don’t. Even if you’re in a hurry, you can still squeeze five minutes to eat a bowl of oatmeal, which has enough energy to sustain your brain until noontime.

6. Berries dipped in chocolate. This is a delicious snack that is also good for the brain. In one study published in Neurology, cocoa was shown to improve memory and blood flow in the brain, while berries contain tannins, a substance that protects brain cells.

7. Water. Keeping yourself well hydrated is essential in recalling information and maintaining focus. Is it true that you should drink 8 glasses a day? Not necessarily. Just check your urine: once it’s become clear, that means your body already has enough H2O.

8. Avocadoes. This fruit contains unsaturated fats (or “good fats”) that improve the flexibility of cell membranes in our brains, as well as provide protection to surrounding nerve cells. Like fish, avocadoes also have the added benefit of being good for the heart.

9. Trail mix. It’s already proven that going on nature hikes improves cognition and the body’s overall state. Make that activity even better by munching on trail mix full of nuts, which gives your brain a steady source of energy, allowing it optimal function for a longer time.


   Oct 22

8 Ways to Control Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum, a fatty substance that our skin uses to moisturize itself. However, too much of it gives us a bad look and may even result to clogged pores and acne. The following are eight ways to control you sebum production and avoid oily skin.

1. Use a weekly facial mask. Apply a deep-cleansing facial mask on your face once a week. Make sure it contains clay, to better absorb the excess oil on your skin, as well as shea butter and honey, as these ingredients soothe the skin and prevent it from drying.

2. Be careful with using foundations. Some foundations can clog pores, causing sebum to build up inside until it breaks out on your skin. Choose light-texture foundations that have mattifying or oil-controlling properties; if possible, just use powder instead. Always remove your makeup before you sleep.

3. Choose the right cleanser. It’s recommended that you use a cleanser only twice a day. Ideally, your first cleanser should contains salicylic acid, another element that soak up oil; and then use a milder cleanser later on. Avoid overusing cleansers as this may remove all the oils that are actually necessary to keep your skin healthy.

4. Exfoliate moderately. Exfoliating speeds up the regeneration of your skin, sloughing off dead skin cells to give way to new ones. However, do it too often and your skin may become sensitive and prone to irritation. If your facial scrub leaves your face feeling parched or tight, it’s either too harsh or you’re overusing it.

5. Watch your diet. Aside from your genes and environment (read: irritants), the oil on your skin is controlled by the food and drinks you take in. Spicy foods and alcohol causes you to perspire and your blood vessels to dilate, thus giving you an oily look. Eat more vitamin A-rich foods instead, as these can slow down sebum production.

6. Keep your skin hydrated. Oil on your skin doesn’t immediately mean it’s properly hydrated, so don’t skip using moisturizers—just make sure to use oil-free gels and lotions instead of heavy cream to avoid clogged pores. Of course, you can always drink more water to hydrate your skin.

7. Don’t overuse toners. Toners are not intended for daily use; in fact, you should only use them once or twice a week as overuse can result to skin sensitivity, making your skin prone to acne breakout. Do not use toners with menthol, camphor, drying alcohols or peppermint.

8. Always use sunscreen. Sunscreen may feel oily on your hands, but it will actually help you control oil and shine on your face. Choose ones with oil-absorbing properties or those with denatured alcohol (for a matte effect). Apply about a teaspoon mineral-based sunblock before you go out.


   Sep 25

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Essential Oils for Healing and For Leisure

Essential oils have been around and used for all kinds of purposes for a long time, but while the means to extract them from plants have changed (which resulted in better concentrations with a higher purity), how they are used is still the same.

In fact, the only difference is that today, there are now even more ways that you can use essential oils to get both the fragrance and health benefits you need.

There are also a lot of ways you can use essential oils, whether it’s for your bath, as a chest rub, a compress, diffuser, massage, or even applied directly.

Bath Oils
Adding oils to your bath is a great way to unwind after having quite the busy day, and doing that is really simple with a box of simple Epsom bath salts before adding your very own essential oils into the mix.

To fully enjoy the experience, allow yourself to get used to warmer bath water temperatures by building a slightly hotter bath each time over the course of a week. With a scented hot bath completed with lighted candles, you can be sure to carve out the best of your “me”-time.

Diffusing
Essential oils can be quite volatile, meaning that they can evaporate quickly and break down at a molecular level when exposed to heat. This makes candle-burning unnecessary, and using an electronic diffuser to do the job is more effective and more versatile.

All you need to do is plug in the diffuser anywhere without the need to watch the flame carefully or have an open window at home or in your office, and you can fully transform your room or office into a more refreshing and relaxing environment.

Direct Inhalation
Sometimes, you can also choose to simply forgo everything and just enjoy your essential oils straight out of the bottle. All you need to do is open your bottle and place a drop or two on a tissue before taking a slow, deep breath of the fragrance.

When doing this, be sure to pay attention to your breath and keep it relaxed as you inhale and exhale.

What You Need to Know About Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been used for a long time, and with the right methods, there’s no need for you to shell out too much of your budget just to get its benefits – with the number of ways you can use it, all you need is the right amount of oil.

You should also keep in mind that more doesn’t always mean better with essential oils because they are highly concentrated extracts of the plant oil. For instance, one drop of peppermint oil is just as strong as twenty-eight cups of peppermint tea.


   Sep 25

The Best Way to Take the Most Refreshing Shower in 5 Simple Steps

Taking a shower in the morning or in the evening is especially important in Singapore because of the hot climate, but there’s a good chance you’re probably taking too long or doing it wrong.

Here’s how to take the best shower that will leave you feeling refreshed in five easy steps:

1. Keep the showers short.
Staying too long in the shower can actually dry out your skin and hair, and can make any cleansers more damaging to your skin than they need to be.

This is especially true for people with really dry skin or patients who have eczema, a condition that leaves the skin red and itchy and can often accompany other symptoms such as hay fever.

2. Start at the top.
Starting from the top and working your way to the bottom allows the soap to work its way down. Ideally, you should be washing your face, chest, and back only after conditioning your hair.

If you have sensitive skin, your routine should be as follows: shampoo, conditioner, shave while the conditioner sets on your hair, and then skin cleansing.

3. Don’t wash your hair too much (or too little).
Because hair is made of dead skin cells, they don’t need to be washed too much compared to the rest of your skin. But while washing too often can cause the hair to dry out faster, not washing your hair often enough can cause scalp layers to build up.

The best way to take care of your hair depends on what kind of hair you have: thick and curly hair could definitely see the benefits from going a day or two without washing, while thinner hair that’s either straight or wavy needs to be washed more regularly.

4. Focus on the areas that get the most dirt.
Areas such as your arms and legs may not always need soap. To keep your showers quick but refreshing, focus on areas such as your underarms, groin, and feet, as these are the most likely places where sweat can accumulate.

5. Wash your face.
Arguably, the best way to wash your face is by just using mild soap and water. As for what makes “good” soap, you want a particular bar that makes a lather of small bubbles.

After washing your face and skin, you should not feel any lingering after-effects from your soap, such as the following:

• See any grayness or flaky, dried-out skin
• See any redness or irritation
• Feel tightness

If you have acne, don’t try to scrub it away as much as possible. Instead, let the soap and water do their job.


   Aug 28

Why Your 30s are the Best Time to Start a Business

Of course, there is no right age to start a business. However, the key to know when to launch one is to match your experience, talent and skills with the current situation of the industry you’re going to be a part of.

If you are in your 30s and thinking of putting up your own business, here are some reasons to support that smart decision.

1. You are more mature when it comes to decision-making.
Although you are well in touch of your emotions, you have learned through experiences how to take control and not let it dictate your actions and decisions. You know what to do when something frustrating happens, you give criticisms constructively even when you’re angry and you don’t forget about your responsibilities when you find a new happiness. At this point in your life, you have the ability to take control of your life.

2. You’ve had enough experience…
Also, by this time, you already have established a network that can be helpful to your start-up business. We know that a business is less likely to succeed if you just believe in your ideas. You need years of experience to look back on during instances of decision-making. Regardless of how unrelated your fields are, there will always be something that you can use to help you find solutions to future problems.

3. …but you’re still adaptable.
As you age, your ability to adopt slowly reduces as well. You may find it hard to keep up with the trends and to learn a lot of new methods and processes. But if you start managing your own business in your 30, when you are mature enough but not too old, you are in a favourable place to learn and integrate new techniques and technology.

4. You have enough time to start over, if you ever need to.
Not all businesses succeed, and very few get it right on first try. Starting a business is like shifting career; there will be a lot of trials and errors. Starting in your 30s gives you a good balance of time should you ever have to re-do your entire business plan.

5. You have enough time to save for your future.
It is never too late to start saving up for your future, isn’t it? If you have been financially stable over the years, you probably have enough in the bank to get you by while you’re taking financial risks with your new venture. Keep in mind: being passionate with something does not mean putting all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you have a fall back before making any drastic decision.

Starting a business is always a challenge, no matter your age. However, the best time is when you have had enough experience and developed the relevant skills to dabble in the world of business, while at the same time having enough time to start over again, if the situation calls for it.


   Aug 28

6 Tips to Wearing White When It’s Hot Outside

When it’s hot and humid outside, the last thing you want to wear are dark-colored clothes. To keep your cool under the sun, wear something white—a white shirt, dress or an all-white outfit from head to toe.

However, not all of us are confident to wear whites because it can be high-maintenance—not to mention the potential see-through factor and highlights of areas of the body you wish to hide.

For when you just can’t bother wearing anything colored under the scorching temperature, here’s how you to wear your cool and clean white outfit.

1. Wear whites in heavy fabrics
Does the potential see-through scenario make you feel scared to wear anything white? If so, make sure to wear items with underlining or are made of thicker fabrics like denim.

2. Mix and match different textures
For an interesting look, try to pair different types of textures, but make sure that the shades of white match well. There are many shades of white, like eggshell, cream, frost and linen, and they do not always look good together.

3. Accessorize tastefully
If you want to sport a monochromatic look, pick metallic, neutral or nude accessories. If you wish to add interest to your all-white outfit, wear statement pieces in fun colors.

4. Wear the right fit
Remember that whites can accentuate certain parts of the body. Therefore, it pays to get the right size and fitting of clothing when you opt to have it in white.

5. But avoid wearing whites in weddings
White may look clean, elegant and chic, but wearing white to a wedding wouldn’t give a good impression to people. Nobody should wear an all-white ensemble to a wedding except the bride. Doing so will give the impression that you are trying to upstage the star of the occasion.

6. Always have an emergency kit ready
To ensure you’re all-white attire stays white and clean all day, keep an emergency kit with you that contains a pack of wet wipes, baby powder and a stain-remover stick. Whenever, wherever you may encounter stain, you know you have something to remedy the stain.

White may be plain and boring, but it’s a great colour to wear for all types of occasions—well, except for weddings unless you’re the bride. White exudes sophistication, catches attention and encourages sensibility and optimism when done right.


   Jul 26

How Can Self-Distraction be a Mood-Booster?

In an hour, you are about to make the most important client presentation, this business deal can make or break your promotion. Instead of reviewing your report, all you can think of is “What if I make a mistake and I suddenly think blankly?” but if someone is there beside you that you can talk to, you probably won’t have to be in a panic state of mind.

Loading your mind with stuff that makes you worry and the inability to self-distract can make the situation worse. Imagine yourself sitting and waiting in an area where you await your own operation to begin. You are alone and there is nothing to distract you away from your worries and doubts.

Distractions can be a curse or a blessing in certain situations. When we can’t give our undivided attention to what we are supposed to be doing, it makes us miss out on deadlines or fail to deliver expectations. Although they seem to take us away from our priorities, what other purpose do they serve in our lives? How do we use them to our advantage and make sure they serve us well?

Distractions can pull us out of doing far more important things to do but it also shifts our attention away from the pains of daily life. When you are in the hype of frustration but you decide to turn the music on, you shift your negative energy to focus on a situation that feels better and that uplifts your mood that is through listening to your favorite songs.

Through a research led by Harvard University Researcher in Psychology, Shelly Carson, revealed that when someone is under the influence of distraction, their mood can develop from depression to normal and continues to move upwardly. According to Carson, an individual has the power to purposefully better his mood by inviting distractive activities. Simplest exercise suggestion would be noticing and feeling the fabric you are wearing or noticing the noise in the environment outside. According to psywellness.com.sg, low mood deserves wellness, any distractive activities can help alleviate the heightened emotions.

Notice the new things that surround you and these distractions will open your mind and attention. While some distractive approaches are individualistic, social engagement is also a helpful material for an individual to shift his focus unto others. The most common social method is ventilation. Venting for an individual who is filled with negativities allows him to release his clogging tension and gives him the chance to seek a second opinion from a listener’s point of view.

Employing distractive emotional activity to aid unwanted moods can make a person achieve a sense of calmness and stress reduction. So the next time your mood needs some lifting, make sure you are not distraction-proof!