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How to Grow and Care for Air Plants for Your Home

Indoor gardens are a great way to spruce up your home and keep fresh air circulating in your HDB flat or condo unit all day long. However, maintaining an indoor garden can take some practice, skill, and most importantly, patience.
So when you don’t have the time, or if you simply don’t have the green thumb for keeping indoor plants growing and healthy, air plants are the best option for you.

This is because air plants are epiphytes, meaning that they don’t need soil to grow, and attach themselves instead to trees and rocks. And because they’re also native to tropical climates, which means they’re right at home with Singapore’s humid climate.

Taking Care of Air Plants
Even though they’re relatively low-maintenance, air plants still need to be taken care of at least once a week. Here’s what you need to do to keep your air plants growing healthily:

• Watch for thirst – To know whether your plants are thirsty, look for the curvature of their leaves. If they’re a little too dry, they will start to curl. It’s usually best to fully submerge them once a week in a large container, and let them soak overnight.

• Air dry – Allow the air plants to dry out fully by shaking out excess water and placing in a well-lit area for about four hours. However, be sure to take the plants indoors after this, as any longer will cause them to wilt.

• Filter the light – Air plants have adapted to hanging from trees underneath thick canopies, so they tend to do best with only a few hours of bright, indirect sunlight in a day. Even with indirect sunlight, they shouldn’t be baking all day.

• Mind the climate – Air conditioners aren’t good for air plants, either – if it’s too cold, they’ll start to wilt. Try opening your windows instead or using an electric fan if you want to keep cool.

• Add in fertilizer – While air plants don’t require as much moisture to grow, it certainly doesn’t hurt to add a little bit of liquid fertilizer when you’re soaking in water once a week. Be careful not to apply too much – only a few drops will do.

On Styling Your Air Plants
Because they are naturally suited to attaching their roots, air plants look great suspended as architectural elements or inside their own dedicated terrariums.

You can even attach them to all kinds of things, such as large rocks, or pieces of driftwood, as long as air is circulating through their leaves regularly. When you do choose to place your air plants in a glass jar or container, choose one with as wide an opening as possible.

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Tips to Maintain an Excellent Eyesight

Because of the importance and widespread use of smartphones and computers today, many of us fail to notice their effects on our eyesight. The importance of seeing well is already obvious. But if we take our eyesight for granted, it can lead to a lot of problems later in our life. So, here are some of the things you can do to keep your eyes sharp and clear.

The concern with electronic devices…
As mentioned early, electronic devices have become a staple in our everyday lives. But they can have negative effects on our eyesight.

Take regular breaks
If you have to look at your computer for long periods of time at work, make it a habit to take regular breaks. Take your eyes off the screen for just a minute or two to avoid strain. It will also help if you look at objects that are colored differently from your computer screen. If you keep staring at your phone or computer screens, it might eventually cause headaches and blurry vision.

Adjust your phone’s brightness
Adjust the screens brightness to match with the environment. If you’re in a dark or dimly lit room, don’t turn the brightness up. A lot of people like to do this for some reason but it really does your eyes more harm than good. The same case if you’re outdoors. If your screen brightness is too low, you’ll have to squint and you might strain your eyes from all the effort.

Everyday things you can do…

Drink a lot of water
Being well-hydrated has a lot of benefits. It has positive effects on our skin, organs, and even our eyes. One way having enough water can benefit our eyesight is that it allows our eyes to clean itself better when we are blinking. It can also help us avoid having dry eyes which can be annoying to deal with.

Have the right amount of sleep
Sleep is important simply because it gives the eyes much needed rest. You’re awake for most of the day and your everyday activities might affect your eyesight if they are not allowed to rest. Sleep also allows the blood vessels to replenish and flow to the eyes more efficiently. That way, we become less prone to any eye problems in the future.

Go exercise
Though it doesn’t look like it, having regular exercise can also benefit our eyesight. It doesn’t affect our eyesight directly though. Instead, it has something to do with blood pressure and the like. High blood pressure, for example, can negatively affect our eyes indirectly. High cholesterol could also contribute to certain eye problems. By exercising, we can lower the risk of such diseases which will also help us to protect our eyes.

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Habits of Successful People That You Should Cultivate Too

You might be dreaming of becoming a successful businessman, politician, doctor, or whatever, but you just don’t know where to start. For one, habit change could be the answer. You might be doing things right or doing things that are simply counterproductive. So here are some things that successful people do that you can try too. Who knows, you might become the next biggest entrepreneur in Singapore.

1. Exercise. Successful people know the significance of physical fitness for a prosperous life. Being physically fit means that you’ll have more energy to do your tasks throughout the day and that you’re always in prime condition.

2. Waking up early. Waking up early allows you to get started with things ahead of time. You have time to plan out your day, eat breakfast, take a jog, and many more. Basically, waking up early allows you to psych yourself up so that you’re able to feel good throughout the day.

3. Communicating regularly. Successful people recognize their skills in communication, all the while learning to improve them. They constantly work to develop effective communication skills within the workplace, with their families, and other people in general.

4. Listening well. Aside from communicating well, successful people also understand the significance of listening to others. When you listen to your peers, you’ll be able to learn a lot about them and let them know that you care enough. This simply makes your relationship with others stronger.

5. Facing problems head-on. Successful people are rarely swayed by problems both big and small. They see these problems as stepping stones for improvement. They turn these into opportunities where they can learn and come up with solutions for similar problems they may encounter in the future.

6. Taking responsibility for mistakes. They also not only face problems head-on, but they also own up to their mistakes honestly. They don’t blame others for the problems they face and hold themselves liable if they make a mistake. The ability to do this is one that separates successful people from many others.

7. Knowing money is not the ultimate goal. Money should not be treated as a goal, but as a means towards one. Successful people have learned that money is important to accomplish their visions and is a need to make ends meet, but, it is not exactly the ultimate goal.

8. Paying extra attention to details. There’s a fine line between paying attention to detail and perfectionism. Some may argue that focusing on small details can cost valuable time, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If you pay attention to detail but not obsess over it, your services will look very trustworthy to potential clients and customers.

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The Importance of Warming Up and Doing It Correctly

Whether you go to ActiveSG, The Pit, or any gym for this matter, there will always be that one guy who heads to the weight rack directly and skips out on his warm-up. People like to do this, for some reason, but the importance of warming up cannot be stressed enough. From reducing muscles soreness, injury prevention, muscle and mind preparation, and etc., you simply should not skip your warm-ups.

Better blood circulation and oxygenation
Having a proper warm-up translates to better blood circulation all around the body. This also promotes better blood flow in and out of muscle tissues, particularly for the ones that will be active during a workout. Warming up also improves the delivery of oxygen through the blood, especially if you’re doing light cardio exercises. This facilitates better blood flow and the cleaning out of toxins left in the muscles.

You won’t gain muscles if you’re injured
This probably summarizes it all. The biggest reason why warming up is always recommended is because of injury prevention. When you’re all warmed up, it reduces the risk of you pulling a muscle. Imagine a situation where you skipped your warm up. On that day is your arm day, but because you didn’t warm up you suddenly tear your bicep mid-workout. As a result, you won’t be able to return to the gym for a while. You’ve now wasted time recovering instead of making gains.

Warming up properly
• Avoid static stretching
A common mistake people make is that they assume that stretching in place can be considered a warm-up. This is actually bad because stretching a “cold” muscle will cause its microfibers to tear, hindering your performance and weakening the muscle in the long run. Static stretching is better as a post-workout routine to reduce muscle soreness.

• Start slow
Essentially, it’s called a warm-up because you’re “warming up” the muscles before putting pressure on them. So if your lifting weights, of course you’re not going to lift heavy during your warm-up set. Start slowly from a lighter weight and gradually increase it during your warm up. By the time you get to your workout sets, your muscles will be ready.

• Work on mobility
The warm-up is also a time to practice your form and work on your mobility. As far as muscles are concerned, you can only get a good flex and stretch if your joints are able to hit the maximum range of motion. You won’t be able to achieve that if your joints are still stiff. Not only will this help you with flexible joints and limbs, but it also reduces the risk of injury, which really is the objective here.

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Guide to Finding the Right Socks for Any Occasion

If there’s one piece that doesn’t get as much attention but is more important to completing any outfit than what it lets on, look no further than the humble sock.

Socks are included in outfits because they’re more than just for looking good. In fact, the sweat from your feet damages footwear and is responsible for an off-putting smell that nearly everyone has encountered at least once in their life. This makes socks really useful for keeping your shoes and feet dry.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when looking for the right pair that works with your ensemble, no matter the occasion:

General Rules
Believe it or not, you can’t just pick up any old pair and say it’s good enough to put on. Similar to footwear, there are general rules when it comes to choosing socks:

• Thin/fine socks don’t go with athletic shoes.
• They must match each other and have no holes. If you find neither of these to be the case for you, ditch them and find another pair.
• They should fit your foot well.
• They should cushion the feet and keep your skin from rubbing against the interior of your shoe.
• If you’re not sure what color to pick for your outfit, you can’t go wrong with black.

Length
If you’re confused about the different lengths and cuts for socks, they’re designed that way because they’re suited for different types of footwear.

Here they are for your consideration:

• No-show/Liner/Ped – This sock length allows you to hide your socks under the shoe or show just a little bit beneath the ankle.
• Quarter – Designed for covering the ankle bone, and only up to your ankle bone.
• Crew – Extends beyond your ankle up to where the largest part of your calf starts.
• Executive/Over-the-Calf – Extends beyond the calf, but not over the knee.

Types
Just as there are different lengths, there are also different types of socks suited for different occasions. While standard black, navy, and grey are always safe options, even white socks can look great depending on where you’re going.

Here are the different types of socks to consider when buying a new pair:

• Plain/Dress socks – Pairing them with formal shoes and a formal outfit will make you look sharp and give you a more sophisticated overall appearance.

• Textured socks – Textured socks give your outfit a little more edge, but they go best with trousers that are either a shade lighter or darker.

• Statement socks – This type of sock has made a comeback more recently, so their brighter colors should be paired only with boots or smart shoes and trousers that cover up a decent length.

These are just a few styling guidelines to how you can make your socks work for you. Keep an open mind to the possibilities of how you can mix and match your outfits, and you will have more choices to go on.

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How to Choose the Right Backpack for Your Adventure

Hit up the trail and go on the vacation or adventure of a lifetime with the right pack that keeps everything you need in one piece!

Read on to find out all about finding the right backpack for your next venture to the great outdoors.

Choosing the Right Size
Not all backpacks are the right size or the right fit for you, so you can’t just go about choosing any pack – your first criteria for choosing the right one is size and fit.

You can find the right size by asking a friend to measure the length of your torso, which extends from the nape of your neck to the top of your hips. Use this as a baseline for finding the right one for you.

You can also customize the fit by adjusting the hip-belt or pulling back on your straps. For any final tweaks, you can pull any additional stabilizer straps on either side in order to secure the weight to your back.

Carrying
If you’re planning to go on a hike or a long vacation, be sure to buy a backpack with an internal frame. These are the types of backpacks that are designed not just to keep you stable on rugged terrain, but also include load support that transfers the weight to your hips instead of just your back.

Aside from comfort and durability, carrying capacity is also a factor that you need to keep in mind, especially if you need to carry more of your essentials and spare clothes.

Other Features
There are also other features that you should be looking for, such as the following:

• Water-resistance – Many packs are now designed to be water resistant or outright waterproof, which is great for rainy weather. They are also slightly lighter than other types of backpacks.

• Lockable zippers – Lockable zippers are great for added security, and are less likely to pop open when you happen to be carrying a lot.

• Multiple compartments – More compartments are always a good thing – if you need to hold any additional gear that you need to use regularly, you can place them in pockets for easier access.

• Added padding – Padding gives you more support and comfort especially when the weight of your backpack is pushing down on your shoulders.

• Breathability – It can be difficult to avoid a sweaty back, but you can do so by buying a backpack with a suspended mesh panel.

When choosing a backpack, be sure to choose one that’s especially suited for your purpose – for instance, having a hiking backpack in the office will definitely look out of place. Checking on the backpack’s quality and characteristics will help you do this easily.

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6 Small Work Goals to Help You Land Your Dream Job

In order to successfully land your dream job, you need to learn to improve the things you can see—such as the way you dress, your resume, personability—and the things you can’t see—like being a go-getter, self-value, etc. While this may sound a lot, they are actually small life changes that can lead you to finding the job you’ve always dreamed to have. What are these little changes we’re talking about? Read on to find out.

1. Stick to a style
Determine your fashion style, improve and stick to it. Whether you aim for an eclectic mix of vintage and high-street fashion or a fun mix of smart and casual, sport it and make it work. If your office calls for an opportunity to get dressed, take advantage of it. Standout from everyone else by looking professional and stylish at the same time.

2. Focus on first impression
First impressions are important—and that you need to be ready every single day, because you just don’t know who you might bump into. But we’re not just talking about the looks here. This also means making sure that your social media looks appropriate, as most employers nowadays go online to background check a candidate.

3. Make connections
You may have the highest degree and graduated with flying colors, but in the midst of today’s competitive industries, those credentials may not be enough. If you are trying to land a job you really wanted, explore the industry and get to know more people. Do you have friends working in the industry you want to work in? Invite that friend for a coffee and ask them to bring two more people you can meet.

4. Polish your CV
People always try to cram too much information in their CV. What they don’t know is that the best ones are brief and concise—a single page of A4 size paper is enough, or a maximum of two pages if there’s more relevant content (not just any fluff).

5. Follow your gut feeling
For anyone who is no longer happy with their current job, follow your gut and take the risk. No guts, no glory. You may be afraid to fail and how people might react. But really, there’s no such thing as failure if you’ve gained new experience, especially if it leads you to your dream job.

6. Be nice
Being approachable and friendly goes a long way. It makes it easier to work as a team and makes a huge difference in lightening up the office vibes. Also, people are drawn into you if you give off that positive attitude, so offering yourself to help or voicing out useful suggestions is a good way to earn people’s trust.

Stay positive and manage your expectations. It may take a little while, but it will surely be worth the effort and the wait.

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Food Allergy Vs. Food Intolerance

Food allergy and food intolerance is more common than you think. However, not as many know the difference of the two, or at least know which of the two conditions they are suffering from. On one hand, you may be allergic to, say, dairy; but it could also be that you’re lactose-intolerant. If you want to find out what that bloated feeling really means, start by knowing what sets food allergy and intolerances apart.

Food Allergy
This condition is an immune system reaction; when the body mistakes the food—usually a protein—as harmful and tries to fight it. Usually, symptoms of food allergy show up within minutes up to a couple of house and can range from mild reaction to life-threatening cases. Such symptoms include difficulty in breathing, hives, nausea, and in worst cases, anaphylaxis or a total-body shock.

Food Intolerance
Conversely, food intolerance is more of a digestive condition, which can be caused by one of these two things: the body’s lack of enzymes to digest the food and your sensitivity to a particular food additive such as gluten and lactose. Unlike food allergy, the reaction of food intolerance isn’t as severe and appears within 48 years. Surely, the symptoms are not pleasant, but it’s easier to remedy than allergic reaction.

Tips to Minimize Onset of Symptoms
If food allergies and intolerances have something in common, it is that they are both preventable and manageable. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Read the Label
Nowadays, pre-packed foods contain a lot of ingredients. Take the time to go through the labels and read the ingredients. For someone with food allergies and intolerances, make it a habit to be aware of what you are putting into your body to save yourself from unpleasant reactions.

2. Keep track of the food you eat
This is very helpful for those with food intolerances. Keeping a food diary will help determine which food(s) could be causing the problem.

3. Look for substitutes
Whether you have allergy or intolerance, you really need to avoid those food that causes the reaction. Gluten, for example—should be part of your diet as it is a great source of fiber. However, if your body reacts to gluten, you have to avoid. Instead, eat more quinoa to make up for the nutrient you need.

4. Always have on-hand medicine
Always have antihistamines ready at home, and make sure to bring some wherever you go. Because, really, you may not always know what ingredient in your food may trigger your allergic or intolerance reactions.
The bottom line is, talk to your healthcare professional ASAP if you think you have either of the two. They will not only treat your reactions, but will also tell you exactly what to do to help manage your condition.

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8 Tips to Help You Manage Your Time

Many of Singapore’s millennials are sleep-deprived for numerous reasons, some related to work either on-the-job or in school. Surely, it’s not easy to say that there is a clear answer to being more productive and working efficiently. But, learning to manage our time effectively can maybe help ease out on the stacking papers.

1. Wake up early
You’ll be surprised at how many things you get done in the morning if you get out of bed early. You’ll be able to think more clearly about your objectives for the day, you can get some exercise in to get yourself energized, and you can even get to work and start early.

2. Establish goals
Determine the things you have to do and finish for the day. Having a list can help make it clear to yourself that you’d want to finish these tasks as efficiently as possible. You’ll also be able to determine which things to prioritize and things you can simply do for later.

3. Set a time limit for each task
Establish a time limit in which to finish a task. By doing so, you challenge yourself to fully commit to finishing that task while not getting distracted. This can help you focus and complete the task successfully and possibly faster.

4. Finish the important ones first
Prioritize the bigger, or more important tasks before anything else. You don’t want to start with the smaller and easier ones and be too tired to finish the major tasks later on. And because you’ve finished, you will find yourself relieved of a heavy burden.

5. Take breaks
Some may think that this is counterintuitive to time management. “How can taking a break even help us save time?” But having our brain work non-stop doesn’t really help us in the long run. Giving our mind a time to rest can help keep it fresh and alert.

6. Avoid multitasking
Many would think that they’re good at multitasking, but this is actually a delusion. When we do multiple things at once, we’re making ourselves more prone to making mistakes. We’ll then waste more time trying to fix our mistakes rather than spending the time to make progress.

7. Do something while waiting
There will be times when you’re not doing anything relatively important, like if you get stuck in line or when you’re just sitting on your commute. In these times, try to read books or listen to their audio versions. This isn’t multitasking, though, because you’re only doing one thing.

8. Say no
Sometimes, the temptation to go out with your friends can far outweigh your intentions of finishing a project. But instead of accepting invitations directly, developing the habit of saying no to unnecessary things can help you use your time more efficiently.

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Benefits of Waking Up Early

Many of us hate that worn out, groggy feeling that we get when we wake up early. Sometimes waking up is just hard to do. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of benefits to getting out of bed early. And here are only some of them.

You get to have breakfast
When you rise up early, you can get an important meal off first thing in the morning. Being able to get a healthy breakfast can be a start to better eating habits. You won’t have to feel too hungry and end up eating food full of sugar and fat while waiting for lunch. If you’re late to rise, you often have to rush and just get something “convenient” instead of having a full, healthy meal.

A time to exercise
Waking up early gives you the opportunity to get some exercise in your daily routine. Of course, exercising can be done any time of the day, even after work. But chances are you’re going to be too tired or you’ll still have obligations at work or with your family. Furthermore, exercising in the morning can give you a boost and keep you energized throughout the day.

Better sleep
Having enough time to sleep by going to bed early and waking up early can improve sleep quality. If you consistently sleep and wake up at the same times each day, you will find that you’ll be sleeping deeper and more comfortably. When the body gets used to your schedule, it will help our internal body clock and facilitating sleep more naturally.

Increases productivity
Establishing your goals first thing in the morning will help you achieve accomplish them. After waking up from a good, quality sleep, the brain becomes fresh and ready to hustle. You’ll be able to focus more and make better decisions. There will also be less interruptions early in the morning so you can get things done without much to distract you.

A time to enjoy peace and quiet
These days, it’s very hard to get some “quiet time” for yourself. The silence and peacefulness early in the morning allows you to enjoy a certain calmness and may help you have an amazing start for the day. In addition, because you get nearly no distractions, you can have a time to think about important things and focus on your day.

Easier commute
Traffic really isn’t much of an issue in Singapore because of its efficient road network, but the rush hour crowd is no joke. Especially with the MRT being used by thousands daily. But when you wake up early and leave for work early, you get to avoid contesting for a ride and get in a train that’s not too crowded. Plus, remember that you get 50-cent discounts when you enter stations before 7:45am.

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