Dec 13

The Pros and Cons of Buying New and Old Kitchen Equipment

Kitchen equipment is vital to any kitchen, and only commercial kitchen equipment is optimally designed to cook several dishes in one instance or prepare special ingredients as fast as possible.

One of the advantages of purchasing commercial kitchen equipment for your business is that it makes everything fast and convenient (even allowing your staff to multitask by preparing the ingredients for another dish while another is cooking), which will come in handy during a busy service with a lot of customers to cater.

Another is the relative safety of kitchen equipment in terms of being able to handle heavy tasks without easily breaking or being in need of constant repair, which might put your staff at risk of being exposed to a potential fire or explosive hazard.

New Kitchen Equipment
All commercial kitchen equipment leaves the store brand-new, and there are many different kinds and varieties that you can buy to serve the different needs and roles that need to be filled by your staff in their provided workstations.

Pros: Brand-new kitchen equipment is the dream of chefs, cooks, and restaurant owners looking to start their passion and business in Singapore without a hitch.

Safety is also not an issue, as stringent codes and regulations make sure that your brand-new equipment works perfectly and safely to minimize potential hazards an accidents in the kitchen. Many brands of commercial equipment from Singapore’s www.alpscreative.com for kitchens have built-in safety features to make sure that accidents in the workstation/s do not occur.

Cons: The generally high expense of purchasing all-new equipment and appliances for your staff’s workstation is guaranteed to set you back by a significant amount. If you find yourself unable to afford it right away, it will be difficult for you to find a new one that is within your budget, and you will most likely have to borrow extra to be able to afford it.

This makes investing in a restaurant difficult. Aside from the location’s rent and the utility bills, most of your budget will likely go to investing in good equipment that your staff can use not only to cook, but to multitask several dishes at one time.

Used Kitchen Equipment
Restaurants that need to move to second locations or expand will sometimes leave behind pieces of perfectly usable equipment that they will no longer need or cannot bring with them, which often end up sold to other restaurants for a fraction of the initial price when it was bought.

Pros: Often sold by restaurants that no longer need certain appliances or equipment, these kitchen equipment are especially easy to find and acquire.

They are much cheaper than their brand-new counterparts and are often still working perfectly, with the only exception being that the previous owners have no use for them or cannot transfer them to their second location. This makes them great for starting entrepreneurs who are looking for quality equipment without necessarily going over budget.

Cons: While used kitchen equipment is cheaper and easier to acquire (with less documents needing to be signed), there is always a chance that these could be faulty given their time with their previous owner.

You might need to have them inspected for faults as well as taken for repairs by a professional repairman in Singapore before being able to use them in your own kitchen, in which case might also set you back by an amount close to that of a brand-new piece of commercial kitchen equipment.

On Safety and Sanitation Equipment
Safety equipment and devices, which range from fire extinguishers to fire blankets, need to be purchased brand new in line with regulation. These are crucial aspects of your restaurant that need to be specifically purchased brand-new as well as replaced or refilled regularly, and have to be easily accessible.

Certain pieces of food safety equipment, such as deep fry thermometers, probe wipes, and disposable food thermometers, are also a must-have. Thermometers are a safe way to make sure that whatever is being cooked is cooked at the right temperature, which will keep certain ingredients and dishes from spoiling from being overcooked.

Installing and practicing safety devices and measures are a great way to not just keep the optimal temperature of your signature dishes, but also to prevent them from overcooking. Compared to other types of commercial equipment for your kitchen, these are more affordable.

Conclusion
Whether it comes to buying new or used commercial kitchen equipment anywhere in Singapore, it’s important to look at it yourself to know how each one works and where it can best be placed in your kitchen. If it helps, consult with an expert, such as your designer, or the salesperson, where you can best place it to optimize your workspace.

Be sure to look for any indicators for faulty equipment when purchasing used equipment from your kitchen equipment supplier. For example, if the stove range won’t light on the first try or if the deep fryer smells of gasoline no matter what you do, it could mean that either the valve or the socket/attachment point for the power source is not working properly.

Talk to your kitchen equipment supplier about the nature of the equipment before making the purchase. Asking questions such as how long it’s been used or how frequently it’s been mishandled, or even a quick inspection of its valves and other inner workings, will save you a lot of time and money later on.

Note: This list is compiled in no particular order.


   Nov 17

A Beginner’s Guide to Hairdressing Equipment

Starting a hair salon in Singapore doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you know the ins-and-outs of hairdressing. If you love doing your hair and changing your look every few weeks, you probably frequent a hair salon that you know and trust, which means you have an idea as to which supplies are needed for a salon to bring out the best in their clients.
 

Making a comprehensive list of the necessary equipment is the first big step in planning the budget that you need to start up your business. Here’s everything you need to start up your hair salon:

Salon Stations

This should be the first thing that comes to mind whenever the words “hair salon” come to mind. They’re the most important place to consider when designing your hair salon in Singapore and will take up the biggest portion of your budget.

Of course, no station is complete without shampoo bowls and driers. For every three stylists, you will need about one shampoo bowl. You can even reduce neck cramping by getting rubber lips that can be fitted over the shampoo bowls!

You should also consider getting one hood dryer for every two stations. They may indeed be a thing of the past, but they can still be a huge help, as they allow stylists from best hair salon in far east plaza to put one client under the dryer while starting the next. They’re also great for color jobs and styles that need setting.

Here are some other must-haves that should be within reach for every station:

The Hot Stuff

  • Blow dryer – This should be a standard issue, and every station should have one. No questions asked.
  • Conical curling iron – No matter how loose or tight your natural curls are, you can always enhance these gifts with a curling iron.
  • Flat iron – An alternative to the washing and blowing of hair is going straight for the ceramic flat iron, which adds polish and smoothness as well as being gentle on the hair.
  • Diffuser attachment – Air-drying thick hair can take a while, so be sure to use this to keep styling time to a minimum. Be sure to towel dry gently and avoid rubbing the hair, as this can cause it to become frizzy.

Combs and Brushes

  • Paddle brush – This brush is used to keep hair smooth after blow-drying it straight.
  • Round boar-bristle brush – These ones have bristles that are suited for delicate hair, as the brushes are much gentler and the rounded shape helps achieve maximum volume.
  • Boar-and-rubber bristle round brush – Mixed bristles grip hair well, so if a customer wants his/her hair worn straight, be sure to blow dry with this round brush.
  • Flat cushion brush with mixed bristles – This mixed-bristle brush also includes nylon bristles, which help to make hair look smooth and straight.
  • Fine-tooth comb – Tease sections of dry hair at the crown with a fine-tooth comb to achieve lift. Start at two inches from the scalp, and then slowly work your way towards the roots.

Creams, Sprays, and Lotions

  • Volumizing spray – This is guaranteed to bring a little spring to drooping hair. Be sure to spritz this at the roots before blow-drying.
  • Thickening shampoo – These kinds of shampoos have fewer conditioning agents, making the hair lighter and less weighed down.
  • Volumizing mousse – Mousse is great for creating thickness and lift fine curls, be careful not to use too much styling cream and de-frizzing serum. These can cause fine curls to collapse.
  • Curl cream – When you want to hold thicker natural curls together and define them without the stiffness, use a protein-based cream.
  • Rich conditioner – Use this to reduce frizz in thick, curly hair.
  • Shampoo – A good one with silicone and oils should help combat frizz for textured hair (as they tend to be dry).
  • Setting lotion – Dilute in water according to how much is needed for the hair to fight frizz and bring out the natural curls.
  • Silicone shine spray – This spray provides a protective barrier from the styling iron’s heat and adds glossiness to hair.

Others

  • Duckbill clips – This is used for lift, and works by opening them and slipping them by the roots of damp hair. After twisting slightly and anchoring them all along the hairline, be sure to remove the clips when the hair is dry.
  • Velcro rollers – These are the ones that you’ve seen your grandma use, and they’re great for giving body to thick hair strands.
  • Hot rollers – If the hair is rather fine, hot rollers are a safer alternative to providing that much-needed volume and bounce.

Manicure Stations

What’s a hair salon without a manicure station? It’s a guarantee that even best hair salon in Singapore would cater to your hands and feet. They’re the easiest services that a salon can add on, and you can even them to color-coordinate with the customer’s hair if you plan on doing a lot of color work.

For the manicure station, the first thing you’re going to need is a pedicure chair. Purchasing one with a built-in foot bath definitely helps to add more to the salon’s professional and relaxing feel, along with an attractive display of polish colors to tempt the customer into getting their nails done.

And of course, the best hair salon in Singapore would also come equipped with sanitation stations within clear view of the customer, as well as appropriate drying lamps to let the color set in and bring the relaxation to a whole new level.


   Sep 18

5 Types of Online Harassment You May Encounter

With the advent of technology and social networking, the forms of harassment we experience offline have plagued us online. Harassment comes in many forms, but the core purpose is clear and simple: to cause distress. Usually, it’s just hateful words, but sometimes it could be as serious as physical threats. So, how do these harassers do their awful works? Here are the different types of harassments you may encounter online.

1. Cyberstalking and Sexual Predation
Online harassment can become really persistent. Online predators will force a communication with a victim. In many cases, the stalking includes sexual harassment, whether explicitly or implicitly. Regardless, it’s important to understand that harassment done online is not necessarily limited to bullying; it can also take place in the form of excessive, persistent and unwanted messaging.

2. Online Impersonation
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to create an online account under someone else’s name—simply by signing up for a new account. The problem is that many of these accounts are created for not-so-nice intentions. The name used in the account can now be used to do ill-reputed online activities, like Photoshopping nude photos and then publishing it, brag about abusive drug use or wrongly impersonating the person they are trying to be, causing trouble to the real person. Most of the victims are public figures and celebrities, because of their fame and their name they are trying to protect.

3. Intimidation and Humiliation
Aggressive harassment done online includes bullying, hostile action, forcing the victim to execute specific actions and humiliating the person. This online attack is executed with the intention of shaming the person and damaging his self-esteem and emotional state.

4. Hate Speech
Anyone using his online identity to make hate speeches against a person, race, gender, certain religion and political beliefs is considered a cyber-bully. Remember that there is a thin line between expressing your thoughts about a certain idea and giving a hate speech towards certain group of people, an individual or an idea. Any opinion that promotes hate should be reported right away.

5. Threats of Violence
The extreme type of online harassment includes threats of violence against a person or group of people. The threats can be direct or indirect and specific or vague. But in any case, they represent looming danger and may need legal intervention to ensure the safety of the victim and protect him or her from potential harm.
These harassments can cause serious effects emotionally—and even physically—to victims, but we do not have to wait to become victims. If you encounter any of these cyber harassments, report the post to the website immediately.


   Sep 13

5 Possible Reasons Why You’re Still Single in Your 30s

Many modern women would agree that the 30s is the best years of their lives. It is the time when they have finally figured out what they want and have all the things they need to get it (e.g. stable job, decent income).

If you are looking for your one, true love, don’t be shy. Just make sure you’re ready for it. And if you’re not, take a moment to pause and think what’s hindering you from completely putting yourself out there.

1. You’re not over your ex.
Breakups are terrible and painful, but it should not stop you from getting to know other people. Sometimes, comparing everyone to your former lover makes it harder to find a good relationship. Stop idealizing your ex and comparing him to every man you meet. It will only make it harder for you to find love.

2. You’re playing games.
Although it’s true that a little mystery won’t harm, it is also important t be completely honest from the beginning of the relationship. Avoid purposely making a man jealous just because you want to his reaction or taking time to reply because it took him long to message you back. If something is bothering or annoying you, be direct about it.

3. You fear intimacy and commitment
You fear of having to always consider the other person and having to sacrifice what you really for a relationship to work. Although you have the tendency to romanticize the idea of getting married and having a happy family, you often skip the things that come along with flourishing a relationship, such as trusting other people, working together as a team, being together through thick and thin and compromise, compromise, compromise.

4. You don’t go out as much.
If you’re looking someone to have for the rest of your life, you have to be proactive about it. It’s impossible to find a potential boyfriend if you are always in the comfort of your home, re-watching your favourite series. Go out and have fun! Go bar hopping with friends, meet new people and be as approachable as you can be. It is about showing people that you are ready to mingle with them.

5. You limit your type.
We all have our own idea of ideal partner, but that does not mean you have to turn down every one who doesn’t fit the bill. Remember: a person may not have your ideals, but you get to break the pattern of being in the same type of relationship if you break the pattern of dating the same type of person.

Searching for love is not an easy quest, especially during the 30s when we’ve been through so many ups and downs of life. However, do not let your bad experiences dictate your romantic future. Put yourself out there and try to see what’s in store for you.


   Jul 28

Permanent Hair Removal Techniques

Removing unwanted hair can be painful, expensive and time-consuming but a lot of people still do it for the sake of beauty. If you’re tired of hair growing back just a few days after shaving or waxing, know that there are methods that can remove your hair permanently (or at least reduce growth).

Types of Hair Removal Techniques

1. Depilation – Depilation removes hair at the level of the pore or the opening of the follicle. This method includes shaving and the use of depilatory creams.

2. Epilation – The entire hair is removed including the bulb beneath the skin. Sugaring and laser hair removal are examples of epilation techniques.


Types of Permanent Hair Removal

1. Laser

Laser (Light Emplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a type of photoepilation that involves producing heat in the hair’s pigment using one color to destroy the hair and surrounding follicular tissue. There are different types of laser; namely, Diode (for fair to medium skin), Nd:YAG (for dark skin), Alexandrite (for olive skin) and Ruby (for very light skin). It’s expensive, painful and will not work on light skin and hair. There is a risk of burns and darkening of skin.

2. Intense Pulsed Light

IPL, also known as flash lamp therapy, is another type of photoepilation that produces energy from the light to target the hair follicles. Unlike laser, which uses only one type of light, IPL uses different wavelengths. It affects the dermis (the lower layer of the skin) but not the epidermis; and needs four to six sessions.

It’s fast, cheaper than laser, non-invasive and is also used for other skin problems. Side effects include swelling and redness. There is also a chance that it will not remove hair permanently, but the texture is thinner. It will not work on light-colored hair.

3. Dynamic Pulse Control

DPC is a form of IPL that allows the operator pick from three pulse configurations. There are the smooth pulse and the long pulse for dark, sun-damaged skin with dark thick hair; and the high pulse for light skin with fine hair. DPC is more recommended for those with thin and light hair.

4. Light Heat Energy

Another form of photoepilation, LHE works on the melanin of the hair shaft. In this procedure, the light in the follicle is also converted to heat, but at a lower energy level than IPL. The combined light and heat reduces the effects on the surrounding tissues of the hair. It requires 7 to 12 sessions; and is ideal for thin and light hair.

5. Electrolysis

Electrolysis or electrology lets energy pass through a needle into the matrix of the hair follicle so that hair will fall out. There are 3 types of procedures, namely; thermolysis, galvanic and blend. Thermolysis or shortwave diathermy lets radio energy at a high frequency to pass through the needle; Galvanic or multi-needle method requires more than one needle to start a chemical reaction using electrical current; and Blend combines the two procedures.

6. Enzyme Epilation

The hair is removed first using epilation and then the skin is treated with an enzyme complex or denaturing enzyme to act on the exposed follicles. Next, thermal treatment is done so that the formula works on the skin. It’s a modified form of using a depilation cream.


   Jul 26

When You Should Hire a Property Management Company

Real estate management companies can be the answer to a successful property management. However, their expertise doesn’t come cheap, and you might find the expenses associated with it unreasonable on the long run.

So, in order for you to know whether or not hiring a Singapore estate agent is necessary, consider the following factors we’ve discussed below.

    • You have a number of units for rent. Bear in mind that the more rental units you have, the more work it requires—from tenant billing to maintenance duties. When you hire a management company, they will be the one to execute the operations for you and, therefore, all you have to do is to supervise and wait for the deposits.

    • You live miles away from your property. If your rental building is located far from where you’re residing, you should consider hiring a management company, as it will be very difficult for you to deal with management operations from afar.
    • You have very limited time. If managing your property is not your only job, you may not have enough time to devote to address issues pertaining to your investment. Also, if you wish to grow your property rental business without affecting your current job, a good managing agent can do all the tasks for you, such as searching for properties on sale, improving your business structure, and arranging and financing renovations.

    • You’re not into hands-on management. Though many landlords like the challenge of finding quality tenants and doing all the management duties on their own, there are some who doesn’t want to get involved with the demanding day-to-day management of their rental property. If you’re one of the latter, hiring a property management company may be a good choice to keep your investment up and running.

    • You don’t want the employer accounting tasks. When maintaining a property, you will need to hire a number of people as your employees to make sure everything is well-covered. Therefore, the property manager in Singapore will need to handle their payroll and deal with other legal requirements. But if you hire an estate management company, which is an independent contractor, you spare yourself the headache from being an employer.

    • Your rental property is part of a housing program. Rental property owners under an affordable housing program follows a complicated set of rules in order to claim financial assistance, which may be in the form of tax credits, grants, or interest loans, in exchange for allowing low-incomers to rent their properties for a cheaper price. With so many rules and procedures to follow, it’s often worth using a managing agent to handle your investment under such housing programs.

Though using a management company is undeniably expensive, many property owners in Singapore still choose to employ their unmatched skills primarily because agents secure continuous flow of income and take off loads of work from their day-to-day schedule. By using a management company, everything associated with property rental, including marketing of units, dealing with tenants and prospects, handling maintenance issues, and even pursuing rental evictions, are well taken care of. The experiences and abilities of these professionals are brought into your business, giving you peace of mind that comes along with knowing that your property is in good hands.


   Jul 25

Places to Visit in Your Next Singapore Visit

Singapore is indisputably one of the most developed and promising countries in Asia. With millions of tourists flocking to see the grandeur it offers, maximizing the whole Singapore experience is always on a traveler’s bucket list. Knowing the best spots to visit in the country will thus come in handy if ever you plan to include it in your future travels.

1. The Cloud Forest
The Singaporean government focuses on making the island as green as possible with initiatives of building many nature parks in the busy hustle of the City. With that in mind, you may venture into a literal concrete jungle in your Singapore visit.
The Cloud Forest offers a whole new nature-friendly experience for visitors who want to take a break from heavy smoke and traffic in the streets. With planted walls, a 35 meter hill covered in lush vegetation, and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, it is definitely unique and one of its kind.

2. Singapore Flyer
Claimed to be the largest Ferris wheel in Asia, Singapore Flyer offers tourists an observation wheel where they can get a panoramic view of all the city. Tall buildings and landmarks make up a breathtaking bird’s eye view. Some even attest you may see as far as neighboring countries Malaysia and Indonesia on a good weather day.
A full circle trip takes about half an hour. Visitors who want to go solo or share the experience with only a number of people may choose to upgrade to a private capsule.

3. Haw Par Villa
If there is a word that could describe Haw Par Villa it would be: strange. It is considered to be one of the weird theme parks in the world with more than a thousand statues depicting various scenes from Chinese folklore. Some of them include demons pitchforking sinners in hell, an old woman being breastfed, and so on.
You may also read up on some information regarding the bizarre statues. And the best part? It has free admission. Including it on your itinerary would be something fun and surprising.

4. Chinatown
Chinatown is a popular place which will offer you a story of Singapore’s heritage. As a country with general Chinese descent, you should not be any surprised to see Chinese influence everywhere you go on your Singapore visit.
Travelers may also find surrounding wood carving shops and tea houses. There is also a walking tour every Tuesday for a better Chinatown experience.

5. Bugis Night Market
If you are on a budget, there is still a chance for you to do some shopping. Stalls and shops in Bugis Night Market offer cheap buys for your thrift shopping. You may find clothes, shoes, all sorts of accessories that are perfect for you or for souvenirs.
The prices may still be subject to bargaining so better bring your best negotiating skills with you when you visit the place.


   May 21

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Camping

Most people go on camping trips to escape reality and spend some time with their family and friends. Some would go just to experience an amazing adventure. Whatever your reason is, do know that going on a camping trip is beneficial in a lot of ways. Aside from offering a great form of relaxation, camping also offers the following health benefits:

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1. It Allows You to Completely Unplug

Ditching your gadgets during your camping trip have a significant impact on your well-being. Studies suggest that being too focused on technology could lead to poor sleep quality and increased feelings of anxiety. Other than that, excessive screen use often lead to neck pains or worse, neurological issues. So keep that from happening by turning off your phone while you’re in wilderness, and just enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer.

2. It Promotes Better Sleep

The woods can actually do wonders when it comes to improving one’s quality of sleep. According to a study conducted by a group of researchers in Singapore, people who follow the sun’s schedule are more likely to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time. It was also found that sleeping away from artificial light could reset a person’s circadian rhythm and make him or her less groggy.

3. It Improves the Mood

Spending time outdoors is crucial for your mental health, especially if you’re a city-dweller. In fact, just simply walking in nature for a few minutes could already reduce depressive symptoms, as well as rumination – a negative, obsessive thinking that could potentially lead to serious mental health issues.

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4. It Increases Your Mineral and Vitamin Intake

When you’re outside, your body gets to absorb large quantities of sunlight, which means absorbing huge amounts of vitamins as well. Vitamin D helps your body in absorbing phosphorus and calcium, minerals that are essential for healthy teeth and bones. Just make sure that you apply a good amount of sunscreen though, since excessive exposure to the sun could be damaging to your skin.

5. It Encourages Exercise

One common benefit in engaging in an outdoor activity, such as camping, is it promotes exercise. Whether you’re biking, fishing, hiking or walking, these activities will certainly help you burn more calories than if you were to perform your workout routine. Even simply moving and setting up your camping equipment will already allow you to burn a good amount of calories. So exchange a few hours of hitting gym to wandering into the woods so you could burn some fats while admiring the beauty of your surroundings.

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If you’re considering going on a camping trip, ensure that you commit to the experience by avoiding any form of distractions. That way you’ll be able to fully enjoy and immerse yourself to an activity that could help keep your healthy for the years to come.


   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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