Try these 4 Vegetables in a Different Way for Your Next Healthy Meal!

The next time you’re struggling to compromise between eating healthy and actually eating food that tastes good, be sure to try out these five vegetables that you can easily find in your cupboard (or at the nearest market) to give your next meal a delicious twist:

1. Broccoli – Broccoli can cooked in a variety of different ways, whether it’s oven-roasted, pan-fried, of steamed along with a generous pinch of salt and just the slightest drizzle of olive oil.

When steaming broccoli, don’t forget to check after five minutes to see if they’re tender using a fork. Once they are, you can remove them from the heat and proceed to dig in.

(Tip: As much as possible, steam yourvegetables instead of boiling them – this is perhaps the optimal way of cookingthem without taking out their nutritional value.)

2. Cauliflower – Braise the florets (tight white or purple heads – make sure that there are no brown or yellow spots) by placing them in a large skillet, along with half a cup of dry white wine and half a teaspoon of caraway seeds, and letting them simmer.

Once the cauliflower florets start to simmer, reduce the heat and cover the skillet. Cook them for about four minutes until they become tender, after which you can proceed to serve.  

(Tip: You can microwave most vegetables ifyou’re not sure whether you’ll like the taste – except for cauliflower. This isto preserve its vitamins and various phytonutrients, which are said to helpfight cancer.)

3. Carrots – Cook these in a skillet along with a tablespoon each of oil and sugar, along with ¼ cup of water. Smaller carrots (or baby carrots, if you prefer) are ideally cooked whole, while larger carrots should be cut into smaller rounds or chunks.  

Carrots are also delicious roasted, and are a must-have for any instant hors d’oeuvres you plan on making.  

(Tip: When sautéing vegetables, be sure to give them a good stir to prevent them from burning!)

4. Brussel sprouts –Be sure to add just a slight drizzle of soy sauce and olive oil before roasting them in an oven over high heat to bring out their flavors.

One great thing about roasting vegetables is that they take virtually no time at all to prepare before placing them in the oven. With only a small amount of oil and herbs (to add some flavor into the mix), you can place your veggies in a baking dish and leave them to roast.

(Tip: With the right vegetables, roasting can bring out a unique flavor that you otherwise don’t get with other methods such as boiling or steaming. This also slightly caramelizes their internal sugar content, which in turn brings out their natural sweetness.)

Read More

Why You Should Register A Trademark and How to Do It

Having a trademark registered is very important and is a big necessity for the existence and development of a business. Building a brand normally should start with a registered mark. Having one makes it easier for people to identify your brand hence increasing your reputation and value over time.

The importance

Trademark registration is essential because it allows you to possess intellectual property rights and protect the identity of your brand and business. After you register trademark, you are allowed to take legal actions against other parties who may use identical signs that may confuse customers and cause damage to your brand. For your Singapore business needs, it is best to consult an IP agent to assist you in the process.

Brand name registry is very important especially when it comes to protecting intellectual property (IP). IP includes all ideas and inventions that spur from human creativity and/or intellect. Some examples are music, inventions, discoveries, literature, symbols, and etc. The protection of IP pushes people to create greater amounts of goods and products, knowing that their creations have both a moral value and economic incentive.

Although to register trademark in Singapore may take months, it is still very much a reasonable investment in the long term because a registered trademark will be valid for 10 years from the time your application is accepted.

Registering a trademark

To create a TM involves procedure. Before everything else, it is important to do a trade mark search before you trademark Chinese words. Doing this is practical for the reason that you actually cannot refund the money you pay for registration. To guarantee that you don’t infringe on the rights of others, consult an experienced Chinese registration agent in Singapore to make sure that the trademark you are proposing to use does not have any similarities with already existing trademarks, at least in your field of business. Aside from guaranteed brand protection, this will also help you save time and money because you don’t have to repeat procedures when you make mistakes.

For registering a trademark, services and goods are specified in different classes. Typically, everything starts with a trademark application form in each class. If your brand offers different services, then they will be classified per class accordingly. But, the advantage of this multi-class system though, is that only one registration is required for all services and goods belonging to a trademark. With that, application forms don’t necessarily have to be submitted for each class, rather for the trademark as a whole.

The cost of filing a trademark in Singapore is normally S$341, but is still subject to increase or decrease depending on classes. Application for renewal, application for revocation, filing of notice of opposition, and other descriptions also charge different fees per class.

In Trademark Registration, you also need to conceptualise your business identity for your Singapore brand. This may involve hiring a graphic artist to have a unique and appropriate logo design, or you can always opt to create your own logo.

In summary, trademark registration will help you protect your brand and solidify your business’ identity. It gives you the right to claim your own intellectual property and have exclusive use of the brand/mark and all services and goods belonging to it. It also allows you to oppose other parties that may try to create similar symbols and even use your mark (if unregistered) for the benefit of their own business. So, go ahead and register your trademark now!

Read More

How You Can Fix Broken China at Home

Seeing cracks on a favorite piece of chinaware can be really frustrating, and even more so when it breaks or shatters into lots of tiny pieces.

However, damaged china doesn’t always have to stay damaged. There are different ways to repair broken china using all kinds of tools and epoxies (the process is still cleaning and gluing the broken pieces).

Securing the Pieces
The first thing you need to do is gather all the broken pieces and them in place. While it’s not a good idea to hold two pieces together by hand for a long time, you can hold them together using different methods.

There are ways to secure pieces:

• With sand (bury one piece halfway, broken side up, and secure the other broken pieces using clothespins);
• With clamps (be careful since this may add more strain to the porcelain); and
• With modeling clay (molded around the part where the two broken pieces connect).

Make sure the pieces are aligned properly before proceeding to bond them together with a filling or glue.

Fixing the Cracks
Once the pieces are held down, it’s time to There are a few techniques and materials used in filling the cracks made in porcelain to help restore its strength and appearance:

• Epoxy Filling – Applying epoxy filler directly is the easiest way to seal most cracks and add as filler for small chip marks on ceramic, since the excess epoxy can be scraped and left to dry overnight.

• Peg – Long, deep cracks in chinaware (excluding thin, fine, or bone china) can be fixed by adding copper wire and epoxy filler with the help of ceramic repair supplies.

• Using Milk – For hairline cracks, place the piece in a pot with about two or more cups of milk and let it simmer for about an hour. After this, turn off the heat and allow the bath to cool before rinsing the piece.

Keep in mind that repaired pieces can only be used for display and not for eating, since the adhesives used for them are toxic. The only exception for this is for those pieces repaired using milk.

If these methods don’t work for your piece/s, your last resort is to send them to a professional restoration service to restore your chinaware to their former state.

Hiring a Professional Restorer
If the piece is heavily cracked or shattered into many small pieces, the best way to get it fixed is to send it to a professional restorer with the tools, expertise, and the space for fixing different pieces.

There are different levels of service that a restorer can offer, from the bare minimum crack sealing, to higher quality services, such as shade matching, UV testing, and even using special epoxy coatings.

Professional restorers also provide online estimates, which helps you know if the process (wait time included, which can take several months depending on the piece) is worth the cost.

Read More

5 Helpful Gouache Painting Techniques for Beginners

Not a lot of people know this medium, even though it has been around for a long time. However, gouache a medium that’s definitely worth discovering.

It’s a type of paint similar to watercolor and tempera paints, and is sometimes called “opaque watercolor” because of its vibrant, luminous hues similar to both watercolors and acrylics. There are three components of gouache paints: a high amount of color pigment, gum Arabic, and a solid white pigment (i.e. chalk).

You can think of gouache paints as a type of watercolor that you can layer in gradients and paint in whites without masking off, and because quite affordable, there’s no need for a complicated set-up to start.

If you’re getting started using this medium, here are a few painting techniques you need to keep in mind when painting with gouache:

1. Staining
Staining is covering up an area with watered-down paint. This gives you the base layer, or underpainting, that you can work on and add details as you go.

When starting with your base layer, be sure to use even strokes and wet your brush regularly as needed. This way, your underpainting stays as even as possible and you will have no problems adding following layers.

2. Softening
Gouache works similar to watercolor in that you can re-work it long after it has dried on the surface, sometimes even after several days have passed.

This also lets you create any additional gradients that you missed when building layers. To do this, add more water to your brush and apply to the dry strokes or areas of gouache that you want to create a gradient for.

However, use this method carefully, especially if your surface is prone to warping when exposed to water.

3. Bloom
You can water down gouache to make it move just like watercolor, and using blooms lets you add in different color bases that you can layer on top of. Simply add more water and only a small amount of pigment, and watch the color spread or “bloom” to your desired effect.

4. Dry Brush
Dry-brushing is when you layer colors on top of one another to preserve their texture. You can do this when you want to preserve the original underlying colors while adding something else on top.

Use this method for adding finer details to your work that could change the color of your underpainting when water is applied.

5. Blurring
Blurring offers a loose, organic look in painting where you can use the brush and pigment to mix colors as you want. Do this only with limited colors to keep the resulting blend from looking too muddy.

Read More

What Happens When You Drink Too Much Coffee

As a natural stimulant, caffeine not only increases the body’s processes, but also makes you feel more alert and awake as a result. This has led to coffee being one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, and is arguably one of the most popular among adults and students.

But with that being said, caffeine also has its own drawback: consume too much and you’ll start experiencing side effects, which can even be life-threatening in certain cases.

How Much Is Too Much
The maximum allowable dosage of caffeine for adults is 400 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to three or five eight-ounce cups of coffee. But what happens when you’ve had a little too much to drink?

These are the more common symptoms of caffeine overdose, such as the following:
• Fast, irregular heart rate
• Restlessness
• Confusion
• Nausea or vomiting
• Tremors or shaking, or “jitters”

However, more serious symptoms of caffeine overdose include:
• Cardiac arrest
• Heart palpitations
• Insomnia
• Dizziness
• Panic attack

The good news is that life-threatening symptoms of caffeine overdose are rare, and that most people only experience these mild symptoms before the chemical leaves the body entirely.

This is because the side effects we experience are our body’s way of telling us that we should stop consuming caffeine. In fact, if you start feeling jittery, this is your cue for taking a break from coffee or any caffeinated drinks, such as energy drinks.

However, if you start to experience any of the more serious symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dealing with Caffeine Overdose
The first thing you need to do right away is to stop drinking coffee or ingesting any sources of caffeine as much as possible.

Mild side effects can be dealt with by drinking more water to rehydrate (caffeine takes water from the body to dilute it, which makes you feel dehydrated as a result) and burning out that restlessness by going on a short walk.

After doing these, you will notice that the side effects will subside after three to five hours, which is the half-life of caffeine in the body. But if you notice more severe symptoms or have accidentally consumed a large amount of coffee, you may need medical treatment.

Other Sources of Caffeine
Aside from black coffee and energy drinks, you can also find soft drinks, tea, and dark chocolates to be other sources of caffeine, so be careful of how much you consume these foods and beverages throughout your day.
Caffeine tablets and headache medications can also be more direct sources of caffeine, so if you’re currently taking them, be sure to reduce your coffee intake.

Read More