May 17

What to Look For in Diamond Jewelry

 
Giving diamonds to a loved one on a special occasion is considered by some to be extra special because of the meanings we attach to the gemstone. Diamonds are durable and can last for several generations, hence the line “diamonds are forever.” Although they are not going to last forever, they will give joy to the recipient for the rest of their life.

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So how do you choose quality diamond jewelry?

Carat

Carat is one of the 4 Cs diamond experts remind customers when shopping for diamonds. The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, just like gold jewelry is measured in carats. A one-carat diamond is equivalent to 0.2 grams. The bigger the carat, the more expensive the diamond is. When choosing the correct carat while buying a ring for example, you have to take into account the shape and size of the fingers of the recipient.

Clarity

Diamonds are also classified based on the clarity of the stone. Inclusions and blemishes in the diamonds can only be seen when magnified. Blemishes are found on the surface while inclusions are imperfections found within the piece. Jewelers often use the GIA Clarity Scale to rate the diamonds. A flawless or F diamond has no inclusions and blemishes even when magnified ten times, while I3 (I for Included) has breaks and crystals. Flawless diamonds are of course the most expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, experts recommend an SI1 or SI2 diamond (SI means Slightly Included).

 

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Color

Diamonds come in different colors, the most common of which are colorless diamonds. Rare colors like yellow, blue and red are more expensive than colorless diamonds. Colorless diamonds are graded based on the presence or absence of color, that means that the clearer the diamond, the more expensive it is. Jewelers use the GIA color scale to determine the color of the colorless diamond. D, E and F are the clearest and most expensive.

Cut

There are many ways to cut diamonds. The goal of cutting is to reflect light using different angles and proportions. Excellent cuts are bright, polished and have a balanced pattern of light and dark areas. The light that enters the diamond top must be reflected back to the eyes instead of reflecting the light to the bottom or sides of the gemstone. Some jewelers also refer to cut as the shape of the diamond.

Certificate

If you’re still unsure about the piece you want to buy, ask for certificates from the jeweler. Reputable shops usually have a certificate from the American Gem Society , European Gemological Laboratory, and Gemological Institute of America. There are also other laboratories in the world who grade diamonds but the three mentioned are the most consistent. Never buy loose diamonds when the jeweler can’t present a certificate besides an appraisal.

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   Apr 07

Beauty Regimen Every 20-Something Ladies Should be Doing

Practising a good skincare routine as early as your 20s is perhaps one of the best gifts you could give to yourself. With a lot of beauty guides popping here and there, however, tracking what’s really essential can be quite tough. We definitely understand the struggle and for that reason we listed down some of the important steps that you should start adapting in your beauty regimen in this time of your life.

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1.       Cleanse Regularly

Your usual anti-bacterial soap will no longer be able to make the cut, so ensure that you choose a cleanser that’s gentle on the skin but effective enough to remove all the makeup and dirt you accumulated throughout the day.

2.       Be Sure to Moisturize

Constant sun exposure will cause your skin to be dehydrated, regardless of your skin type. To avoid this, ensure that you moisturize your skin well enough. Choose a moisturizer that works for you, and be sure to use it day and night.

3.       Invest on a Good Sunscreen

Gone are the days when you can just frolic on the beach without care, and without applying sunscreen. Understand that skin damage is cumulative. You may not see any of its signs now, but it’ll definitely show itself in the years to come. So be sure to protect yourself against the ageing effects of the sun, as well as skin cancer, by using a broad spectrum sunscreen every day.

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4.       Opt for Face Masks

Sure, you’ll feel squeaky clean after performing a scrub, but doing it from time to time will also strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, invest in facial masks that will help in brightening and hydrating your face.

5.       Care for Your Delicate Eyes

Your 20s is definitely one of the most tiring phases in your life, and that’ll be evident around your eye area in the form of dark circles and puffiness. This is the reason why most dermatologists recommend using eye creams during this time. The skin in the eye area is the thinnest on the body, which means that’s where the wrinkles will first appear. Prevent this from happening by purchasing an eye cream that’ll help in restoring moisture in that area. Wearing a sunglasses would also be helpful to protect your eyes against the harmful UV rays.

Starting a good beauty regimen as early as your 20s is crucial for maintaining a healthy and youthful-looking skin. Make sure that you keep these tips in mind, you can start upping your beauty game now.

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   Apr 04

5 Signs It’s Time to Visit Your Dermatologist

While it’s possible to deal with certain skin problems using some over-the-counter beauty products, there are still certain issues that require expert attention. For that reason, we listed down six fool-proof signs that it’s time you pay your trusted dermatologist in your area in Singapore a visit.

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1.       Skin Becomes Drier Than Usual

Weather changes, showering with scalding hot water, and using moisture-robbing soaps might be some of the reasons why you’re experiencing dry skin. Applying lotions and moisturizers often help with the problem, but if you’re still left with dry, flaky skin even after moisturizing, then do consult a skin expert, stat.

2.       Noticeable Changes in Your Moles

Moles that are irritated, bleeding and changing in colour, shape, size and texture could mean something serious. If you happen to notice these changes in your moles, consider having them checked right away instead of dealing with the problem yourself.

3.       Presence of Cystic Acne

Cystic acnes are large, painful breakouts that appear deep in your skin. While it’s possible to get rid of this zit problem on your own, doing so will likely cause skin scarring or infection. For that reason, consider getting the help of a professional dermatologist when dealing with this skin problem.

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4.       Appearance of Milia

Milia are hard, white, keratin-filled cysts that form under the skin. Although it can occur in people of all ages, they commonly appear in new-borns. Milia is typically found on the face, cheeks and eyelids. Its appearance is often caused by dead skin cells, high cholesterol, or application of heavy and thick facial creams. Similar with cystic acne, only dermatologists are capable of extracting them without risking skin infection or inflammation.

5.       You Have Acne Scars and Marks

Acne marks refers to the brown or red spots that fade away after three to six months, while acne scars are those tiny indents on your face left behind by zits. While they may be different, they can both ruin your skin’s texture and appearance. So do consult with your dermatologist to find the best medical treatment for these skin issues.

Although it’s crucial that you know how some tricks to properly care for your skin, it’s also important that you give time for skin experts to check on your skin’s health. So be sure to keep these signs in mind, so you’ll know exactly when you should pay your dermatologist a visit.

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   Mar 14

Getting Familiar with Parental Control Software

The internet is a friend to all. This means that as long as you have the means (smartphones, tablets and personal computers) and there is internet, you can surf all you want. You can find everything from soil to utensils there. It is indeed vast and very helpful – only if it is used in good intention. But as time goes by, the proliferation of internet exposes our vulnerability especially to the younger generations.

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Children are exposed to social media and it is not purely good news. They can get the idea of everything there from alcohol to drugs. It is therefore important that as parents, while they are young, you restrict their access to the internet. In fact, there are parents who do not buy their kids smartphones or tablets until they know or oriented of the responsibilities that lay with it.

The good news is that smartphones or tablets have this “Parental Control Software”. The electronic companies designed smartphones or tablets with software that can restrict the children’s access to internet. Until they know how to behave appropriately, they should be monitored and checked. But before setting the restriction, parents should discuss it with the child first. This is to build sense of trust.

Here’s a few “Parental Control Software” that you can consider:

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  • Android: Google limits its features on devices operating under Android 4.3 and higher. With Android, you can now filter “Play Store”. You can restrict apps and only show those that are appropriate for your kids (including in-app purchases). If you want to avail of some service that can set time restrictions and limits as well as block some apps then get reports after, you can avail of ScreenTime.

 

  • Apple iOS: This includes iPod Touch and iPhone. For Apple users, you can set restrictions. You just have to go to “Settings” then tap “General” and look for “Restrictions”. It is crucial that you “Enable Restrictions”. Try to tap it and then you will be prompted to enter your “Restrictions Passcode”. After that, you can choose which apps to allow; you can even turn off “Installing Apps” and “In-App Purchases”.

 

  • Multiple Operating Systems: There are different operating systems that you can avail to help you protect your kids. There’s Norton Family that offers Parental Control Software for numerous devices. If not, you can also consider Intel Security Safe Family that can block or grant access depending on age then there is time limit.

You have to make sure that everything your children learn is useful. You have to fortify their cybersafety.

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   Mar 09

How to Successfully Administer the Cry It Out Method

Cry It Out Method is also called CIO. It was first presented by a paediatrician – Richard Ferber. It was not known as CIO then. Many people called it “Ferberizing”. CIO is actually a sleep training that involves babies. Many parents here in Singapore and paediatricians encourage this method or training. The goal here is not crying but to teach the babies to self-soothe.

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This method assumes that if you give the baby the opportunity to sleep on his/her own, he/she can eventually master it without your help. Say he/she woke up at night and cried. If he/she is used to nursing or rocking whenever he/she wakes at night, he/she can’t sleep back without you. That is encouraging dependency. You have to let him/her cry it out and then eventually sleep. Do not worry because it is safe.

If you want to give this method a try, you have to discuss it first with your paediatrician. After that, you have to ensure that your baby is emotionally or physically ready to sleep. What is good about this method is that there is no precise age you need to start but a safe one will be between four to six months. Here’s how you successful administer it:

Step 1

Put the baby in his/her crib. Make sure that he is still awake but kind of sleepy.

Step 2

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Say good night and leave the room immediately. He/she will cry but you have to let him/her cry it out for a specified amount of time (first night is three minutes, second night for five to ten minutes and so on).

Step 3

After the specified amount of time, go back to the room and reassure the baby through patting. After he/she is calm, leave again. Do not go back even if he/she is crying.

Step 4

Gradually increase the interval time every day and you will see the difference. The routine should be strictly followed if you want a consistent result. When he/she wakes up in the middle of the night, do the same thing but never nurse, rock or pick him/her. There will come a night that he/she will no longer cry when you leave the room.

If you notice resistance, you have to be patient and start again after few weeks. Remember this is training. This means you have to be patient and the results will be long but worth it. You have to be consistent too. This means sticking to the routine no matter what happens.

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   Feb 21

Wedding Ring Insurance: Things You Need to Know

Although it’s the love and commitment that matters most, you’ll still feel very distressed if you lost your wedding ring. To save you from the heartache of losing such fine jewelry, have your ring insured in case of loss, theft, fire, or any reckless reason like loosened diamond during a water sport. Ring insurance policy varies depending on the value of the ring and the coverage of the insurance. Here are the important points to know about ring insurance.

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What Is It?

There are several ways to insure your wedding rings. Ring insurance can be purchased as an extension for your homeowner’s or renters’ policy. Homeowners’ or renters’ policies cover all belongings in your homes, but only up to a certain amount. Expensive items, like your wedding ring, famous art pieces, and electronics, may not be included. To insure these items, scheduled property coverage – a property insurance extension that covers specific items – is required. Another insurance policy option is to insure the ring through a Singapore jewelry company that focuses in jewelry insurance, which usually offers better coverage than standard homeowners’ policy.

Who Needs It?

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All couples with proposal ring and wedding rings that have high sentimental and monetary value – whether $400 or $40,000 – should get a ring insurance policy. Securing ring insurance is a way of protecting and honoring not just the financial value of the item, but as well as the sentimental value it represents. The true value of the precious wedding ring in Singapore is the sentiment behind it. Though it’s irreplaceable, the rings themselves can be replaced in case something happens to them, so make sure to insure.

What Are Your Options?

Discuss about the policy options available for you. Prices differ depending on the value of the ring, stones, and disasters that the insurance covers, such as theft, damage, loss, or other unexpected problems. Some insurance reimburses you with a check, which is the best policy option for heirloom or one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces – while some insurance require you to pick a replacement ring from their partner Singapore jewelers.

How it Works?

Provide a receipt and appraisal of your engagement ring. The appraisal can be obtained for a minimal fee from a professional gemologist. Also, when moving after the wedding, make sure that the insurance follows suit. Some couples insure the engagement or wedding ring at the groom’s or bride’s home before the wedding, but forget to include it to their new house’s insurance policy when they move in together.

If there’s no access to homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, there’s another way to secure your ring. Some insurance companies have policies through partner jewelers. Ask your ring jeweler if they have partner insurance companies that offer ring insurance policies. These types of policies can widely vary from company to company, so it’s important to ask questions especially about the scope of coverage provided.

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   Feb 08

Tips for Mixing and Matching Patterns for Your Home Decor

Mixing patterns in a space is a great way to add interest and depth to your home. However, there are a few things to follow if your want to avoid an uncoordinated look in your home. As you go through these tips, remember that colours and patterns do not need to ‘match’ each other, they just need to look good together.

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1.       Get the Scales Right

Avoid using two large-scale together as it will only compete with each other. Use different sizes and shapes when mixing and matching patterns. Generally, you want a mix of small-, medium- and large-sized patterns. This helps move the focus around the space. Choose one major print, and then pick small-scale prints to coordinate with the focal point (think of smaller dots and stripes). These small-scale prints will act as accents to the major pattern.

2.       Balance the Impact With Solids

Went a little over-the-top with patterns? No need to worry. Pull back a little with solid colours that match the patterns to add bits of ‘visual calmness’ into the space. For example, if it is a large-scale geometric print with taupe, gray, navy and tangerine hues, pick accents in one or two of these colours and scatter them around the space.

3.       Start on Smaller Spots

Clueless about where to start? Start with throw pillows or a rug. A patterned window treatment is also a great way to make a space look polished. Go for patterned curtains for a more romantic look or solid roman shades for a more tailored look. We also recommend using wallpaper on smaller rooms, like powder room, in solid print or going for patterned tiles.

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4.       Large on Large, Small on Small

When choosing an object to put the patterns, consider the size of the item. Large patterns work best on larger items, such as window treatments, carpet flooring and walls, as it has space large enough to accommodate the intensity of the pattern. A medium-scale pattern is better suited to furnishings and small-scale patterns on accent pieces.

5.       Mimic a Favourite Pattern

If you like polka dots and gingham stripes, try to mix and match these patterns in decorative textiles. Your bedroom is a great space to try this decor style. Accent pillows, beddings, lampshades and window treatments can have varying scales of these prints. Use solid colours for the bed sheet, matching throw pillows and a small-scale patterned area rug to balance your favourite patterns.

These tips will, hopefully, get you started to master your decorating skills. Just keep in mind to keep colour and scale in mind, regardless of the method you take to mixing and matching patterns.

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   Feb 03

Ways to Make Your Home Actually Conducive for Work

People with home offices get to save on extra expenditure for office space rental. This is one of the major reasons why there are a lot of home offices nowadays. However, having your office in your home can be both stressful and convenient. Sometimes, working at home can bring more stress and easily hinders you from accomplishing more things. Here are some tips to ensure that your office remains an ideal working place, even if it’s inside your sanctuary space.

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Keep Your Office Away From Personal Spaces

Even though you live alone, designating a part of your living room or bedroom as your office space is a bad idea as you will always be reminded of and distracted by your private life every time you work. As much as possible, have your office in a room or space that’s far from the convenience of your TV and/or bed.

Get Yourself Quality Office Furniture

Having a home-based office means flexible work hours, and once you do well in your career, you may end up spending more time in your office than you have planned from the start. For this reason, you want quality office furnishings, such as height-adjustable chairs and sit-stand desks. Skip the cheap, multipurpose furnishings.  An ottoman is much comfier and more durable than a sofa bed, so if you want a napping space during a break, opt for something that won’t go to bits after just a couple of months.

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Pick a Quiet Spot

You will be making transactions, closing deals and probably writing proposals inside your office. Therefore, it is vital that you choose a spot in your house that is far from the noise and distraction. It’s important to keep a business atmosphere in the room to help you get into work mode when you enter your office.

Keep the Clutter to a Minimum

The truth is, no matter how organize you are, clutter is still bound to happen. Dispose all items that you no longer need, and keep basic office necessities. The shredder and the garbage bin are two of the most valuable office tools for keeping your office clutter to a minimum. Throwing away piles of useless documents and papers will greatly enhance the appearance of your home office, as well as increase your productivity and efficiency.

It’s essential for a home office to be comfortable, inviting and conducive for work to keep work hours productive and pleasant. Set it up in a way that stimulates your efficiency to accomplish your tasks and responsibilities.

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   Dec 12

How to Train Your Kids to Save

Many parents in Singapore would want to train their children on how to spend and save their money. As adults, we already know how to handle our liabilities and assets so we need to impart that to our kids. Start them young and let your children surprise you, in a positive way, on how they could effectively spend and save their own money in the future. Here’s how:

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  • Train your kids to be responsible savers. You can train your kids as early as one or two years old. You can prepare a jar where they can store the money that they receive from you and some relatives or in the future the savings from their allowances. This can practice their saving abilities and once they grow up, they can see the results of their savings, which you need to store in a safe place or deposit in a bank account.

 

  • Teach them the importance of money. As parents, we need to teach our kids the value of money and how important it is to not waste it. Teach them how every penny or dollar counts.

 

  • Teach them the difference between wants and needs. Train your kids to just buy the things that they need. You can teach them to buy the things that they want but first they need to evaluate if whether those things can still be used in the future. Teach them how to delay wants and prioritize their needs.

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  • Train your kids to value hard work and rewards. You can let your kids take summer kiddie jobs or sell lemonade and other stuff they want to sell. Let them feel that money should be earned through hard work and that if they work for it effectively they will get rewarded. Thus, more chances of saving their rewards for future use.

 

  • Share stories and let them read books about successful people. Aside from the usual bedtime stories, you can share your experiences with your kids or read a book about famous and successful people in history and most especially in entrepreneurship. Teach them that success does not happen overnight and that they have to save up and invest on things that could really make them successful someday.

 

  • You have to let them be financially independent once they reach a certain age. Let your children become the financial independent adults they are destined to be. Once they reach 18 or if they graduate from college, let them practice what they have learned from you. You can help guide them but do not let them be reliant to you forever.

We should all save some money