Apr 2, 2017

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Basic Art Supplies for Beginners

 

You decided to try your hand at painting and drawing but you don’t know what art supplies to get. With so many choices in art supplies shops all over Singapore, you might get confused.

Here are some of the basic art supplies you need to have.

Drawing Paper. You can buy sketchpads for basic drawings. There is no need yet to buy other types of drawing paper. Keeping a stock of watercolor paper and charcoal paper will also come in handy in the future. Some art stores sell acid-free paper which will allow you to keep your drawings longer because they won’t fade or yellow.

 

Drawing Pencils. Art stores usually sell pencils by piece or as a pack. Pick the least expensive quality graphite pencils. Buy charcoal pencils because they’re easier to use than sticks and creates less mess. Color pencils will take you a step further if you have mastered sketching and want to try putting colors in your drawing.

 

Eraser and Sharpener. The most recommended eraser is the kneaded eraser. It’s ideal for sketching because it can be used between narrow spaces in your drawings. You don’t need to rub it on the paper too and it can be reused even when dirty. Sharpeners are either manual or electric. If you don’t want to use a sharpener, you might want to opt for mechanical pencils, but they’re usually slightly expensive and not ideal for shading.

Pen and Ink. If you enjoy sketching, you might want to level up your training with pen and ink drawings. There are different types of cheap pens such as ball point, drafting, graphic, reed and fountain pens. Any of these can be used for drawing. The numbers indicate the thickness of the line. Pens also come in different ink colors and will work as well as color pencils.

 

Pastel. Before you try your hand at painting, it’s important to learn how to blend colors first. Pastels will help you learn the basics. The three types of pastels are oil, chalk and soft pastels. Chalk pastels work like ordinary chalk but is smoother. Soft pastels are chalk in pencil form so they are less messy and ideal for detailed drawings. Oil pastels look like crayons and are a great medium to study blending before you begin with watercolors.

 

Watercolor. Acrylic paintings can distort when not done properly while oil painting can be messy and expensive. Watercolor is perhaps the easiest to learn among the three common paints. You don’t need to get all the colors . Just make sure you have the following: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown.

 

Brushes and Palette. You will only need three basic shapes for watercolor brushes such as flat, round and filbert paint brushes. Pick the ones that fit snugly in your hand, not the smallest or the largest. Medium sized brushes are ideal for beginners. The palette is used to mix and dilute the colors. Some watercolors have a free palette included in a pack.

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Mar 30, 2017

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Adopting a Rescue Dog

 

Caring for a dog is one of the most rewarding activities. It’s not an easy task however. You have to make sure they are happy, healthy and well-behaved. You should be ready to give energy, money, space and time for your dog. Not being aware of such responsibilities is probably the reason why there are still stray dogs in Singapore. If you’re thinking of getting a dog, perhaps you might want to consider adopting a rescue dog instead of buying a puppy from pet shops.

Here are some things you need to know when adopting a rescue dog.

 

Visit Dogs at the Rescue Centers

You can look up dogs available for adoption at Adoptadog.sg but it’s important to get to know the dog before you decide. Action For Singapore Dogs (ASD) has an adoption and rescue center. Volunteer groups such as Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) and Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS) also exist. Finding the dog that will fit in your family will take a visit to one of these rescue centers. Dogs also have unique temperaments and idiosyncrasies like humans. Adoption procedures require a bonding session to determine if the dog and its new family have chemistry.

 

The Conditions for Adopting a Rescue

There is a screening process for every person who wishes to apply for adoption. You will need to fill out a form to provide the details of your experience with dogs, to assess your means to take care of the pet, and other personal information. Then you are given time to get to know the dog of your choice. Make sure that you have thought this through with your family after you have visited the dog. Rescue centers also provide help in training if your dog has not yet adjusted to its new home. Learn about the HBD Regulation as well. Apartment owners are allowed only one dog from certain breeds or sizes. According to Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Singapore, there 62 HBD approved dog breeds.

 

Giving a Rescue Dog Another Chance

Stray dogs are culled due to rapid urbanization. Some are abandoned by irresponsible owners who found out that taking care of dogs is not like keeping stuffed toys while some have endured abuse and neglect. Most of these dogs are eager for a new loving home. Unfortunately, rescue centers and volunteers often tell stories that there are always more dogs to be rescued than can be re-homed. Sheltering dogs need a lot of resources. Adopting one can help save a life.

 

Rescue Dogs are Usually Healthier

Rescue and rehabilitation centers take good care of the rescue dogs. They are given food and medical attention, especially updated vaccinations. This is better than getting a puppy at the pet shop not knowing if it got all the required shots. Rescue dogs also undergo sterilisation. Male dogs are neutered while females are spayed. It lowers the risks of reproductive complications and unwanted behavior like aggression and territorial marking. Some dogs also undergo behavior training. Being around with rescue volunteers and survivor dogs like themselves also make them more socialized dogs who will know how to behave around humans and dogs.

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Mar 11, 2017

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Actions to Take for Severe Bleeding

 

If you witnessed severe bleeding in your house or workplace, it is important that you know what to do. You have to act immediately because every second counts. Unfortunately, not all Singaporeans know what to do at the sight of gushing blood.  You have to learn it because you do not know when it will come in handy.

The good news is that here in Singapore there are basic trainings on first aid from certified organizations. There, you will learn how to dislodge a foreign object from the windpipe (when choking) to addressing severe bleeding. But in the case of severe bleeding, here are few refreshers:

  • Remove obstruction: In severe bleeding cases, the first thing that you have to do is to remove any obvious obstructions (like debris, dirt or clothing). If there is an object lodged deeply on the victim’s body, do not attempt to remove it – you might cause more harm than good. Your primary goal here is to stop the bleeding not get embedded objects. If there are protective gloves around, wear it.

 

  • Discontinue the bleeding: If you are not alone, have someone look for a sterile bandage. If it is not available, at least locate a clean cloth and then put it on the wound. Pressure is crucial when you bind the wound so do it tightly. After wrapping the wound with clean cloth, secure it using adhesive tape. If tape is not available, you will have to wait until the bleeding stops. Do not leave it – use your hands. The critical part is you should raise the wounded part just above the heart level.

  • Let the person lie down: The wounded person should be in lying position. This is done to prevent the loss of the victim’s body heat. It is strongly recommended that you raise the legs of the victim.

 

  • Do not remove the cloth or bandage: If it is severe, most likely the blood will seep through the cloth or bandage. When you notice this, do not attempt to remove the layer. You just have to add another cloth layer on top of it. Maintain the pressing or pressure. If you have tourniquets around and you are trained how to do it, it can help a lot.

 

  • Restrain the injured part after the bleeding stopped: It is important that you restrain the injured part after you notice the bleeding has stopped. This is to ensure than the affected area will not suffer more strain. After that, you can bring the victim to the emergency room.

When you see severe bleeding, it is important to be calm and think immediately.

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Mar 6, 2017

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4 Tips on How to Use Money More Wisely While Traveling

 

Whenever you travel outside Singapore, you wish nothing but a smooth one. You can have a smooth one if you prepared well. One of the things that stresses travellers is money. Not that they don’t have money but sometimes it can be complicated. You do not want to show up on perhaps the greatest adventure of your life unprepared to pay.


Before commencing your trip, it is recommended that you ensure you have the right mix of credit cards and cash. This is to ensure that you have a safe, smooth and uneventful travel. Here are a few things that you can do to handle your money while you are out exploring every corner of the world:

1.Bring enough. The rule of thumb is to always bring enough to cover all expenses like food and transportation for at least 24 hours after your touchdown. This should give you enough time to find the nearest ATM. If you have credit cards, pay your hotels using it.

You have to remember that not all Asian, African and European countries are tied to the global credit and ATM network. If this is the case, your cards will be useless. When you bring more cash, always think about its safety. The hotel will make it safe but if you want to feel the safest, conceal it somewhere unexpected.

2.Exchange first. To be sure, you have to consider currency exchanges. If you choose to do it in the airport, be reminded that they charge commission when swapping to another currency. If you do not want that, you can ask your bank to exchange it. But if that is not an option, you can bring money but make sure to declare any amount more than $10,000.

3.Maximize ATM card

If you are traveling in major cities, withdrawing local currency through your ATM is possible as long as you inform your bank. Through banking networks, you are now allowed to extract local currency directly from it. You have to be cautious though. Check for the affiliated bank and always go for that not just a stand-alone ATM.

4.Inform your bank

Just in case you run out of cash, your credit card can be of great help. With this, it is crucial that you inform your bank that you are traveling abroad. If you do not inform them, you will either pay more for the penalty or get frustrated for declined transactions.

If credit card and cash are no longer available, you need an infusion of cold cash. Ask your family or friends to send you money. The good news is that Moneygram and Western Union have offices even in far-flung areas so you will be safe.

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Mar 1, 2017

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Aloe Vera Recipes for Your Skin and Hair

As popularly known, aloe vera is irreplaceable for skin and hair care. It has been considered an everlasting plant with a plethora of uses since the ancient times. The leaves of this wonder plant contain useful ferments, essential oils, vitamins, and more than 20 types of amino acids that’s vital for treating inflammations and killing bacteria.

Very frequently, aloe vera gel is among the main ingredients of many cosmetic products here in Singapore. The reason why manufacturers include this mighty ingredient is that aloe safely and effectively gets rid of toxins and takes care of the skin, preventing breakouts and early signs of aging. Such products effectively clean and revitalize the skin making them smooth, soft, and youthful.

As for the hair, aloe is known to contribute to its healthier and faster growth. When looking for a hair care product, make sure to look for aloe vera as one of its ingredients. However, if you want to keep everything organic and ensure full potency of the aloe gel, you can make your own aloe skin and hair care masks at home.

Aloe Vera Face Masks

When preparing a face mask, the goal is to put together ingredients that will perfect—or at least enhance—the condition of our skin. So, here are some DIY aloe masks for different skin types and skin problems.

• For Oily Skin
In Singapore, most people have oily skin due to the hot and humid weather. A good skin care product for those with this skin type is something that’s revitalizing and oil controlling. An alternative to drinking aloe vera from Singapore is to DIY your masks with aloe. To create a mask that combats oiliness, whip together one egg white, two tablespoons of aloe gel, and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the entire face and wait until it completely dries out. When the first layer has dried out, apply another layer and one more afterwards. After about 20 minutes, rinse with water and put on your moisturizer. The lemon juice helps suck out excess oil in the face, while the aloe gel makes sure that the skin maintains its healthy level of moisture.

• For Normal Skin
For those who are blessed with normal skin, you only need to preserve the balance of moisture in your skin. For your face mask, mix together a teaspoon of aloe gel, sour cream, and egg yolk in a bowl. Apply it the same way as the previous mask.

• For Dry Skin
Dry skin needs some extra TLC to ensure that wrinkles are kept at bay. Mix a teaspoon of aloe vera gel in honey, oatmeal, and hot water. Only apply one layer of the mixture and let it sit on the face for 20 minutes before rinsing off.

• For Skin Revitalization
If you think your skin looks dull and tired, you could use a bit of skin refreshment to bring back the glow to your face. Apply a mixture of honey and aloe vera gel to your face and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, towel dry, and then put on moisturizer. You can also try mashing an apricot or avocado and mixing it with a tablespoon of aloe juice and olive oil. Apply the same way as the honey-aloe mask, and don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.

• For Fighting Wrinkles
Fight wrinkles by amping up the potency of any oily face cream by mixing a tablespoon of it with aloe gel and wheat germ oil or almond oil. Steam your face for 10 minutes before applying the mixture with circular massaging motion for 15 minutes. Afterwards, remove the mask with a cotton swab and apply a layer of whipped egg with a pinch of salt to the face. Leave the egg mask for 10 more minutes before removing with a cotton swab dampened in the infusion of St. John’s wort and sage.

Aloe Vera Hair Masks

Just like for the skin, different hair masks can be created with aloe gel, depending on the type of hair problem you want to fix. Here are a few aloe vera hair care recipes to try.

• For Getting Rid of Dandruff
Mix two tablespoons of aloe gel and lemon juice with two tablespoons of castor oil and honey. Apply this mixture to your scalp and massage it in thoroughly. Wrap your hair with shower cap and leave the mask on for 30 to 40 minutes.

• For Weak, Damaged Hair
For an overnight hair strengthening mask, prepare aloe gel, honey, jojoba oil, and warm water in equal portions. Mix them all together and apply to the hair from roots to tips. Wrap your hair in a shower cap and let the mask work its wonders overnight.

• For Oily Hair
To combat excessive oiliness of your hair, create a hair mask that’s made with aloe gel, lemon juice, and honey or egg yolk. As mentioned, the acidity of lemon juice helps fight excess oil. And besides controlling oil, the mask helps regain your hair’s elasticity, strengthening every strand and keeping it healthy. Work the mask into your scalp and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Do this twice a week to keep oiliness at bay.

• For Stimulating Hair Growth
Mix your aloe gel with castor oil, kefir, egg yolk, and five drops of Vitamins B1 and B6. Apply this rich mixture to your roots and wait for about 20 minutes before washing your hair. Do this two to three times a week and you’ll start noticing your hair grows much faster than it usually does.

These homemade aloe vera Singapore skin and hair care recipes are all natural, so don’t be afraid to try out any of them. They can all help restore, revitalize, and enhance the condition of your hair and skin without the harsh chemicals and in the most natural way possible.

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Feb 21, 2017

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How to Cope With a Herpes Infection

Many people feel discomfited by the mere mention of the word “herpes”. We’re afraid of this sexually transmitted disease (STD), and so we diffuse our fear by making jokes rather than take the matter seriously. Perhaps because of this attitude, confusion exists about herpes and how it is different from other STDs.

Herpes is a viral infection, which means it is caused by a virus rather than bacteria. As a result, herpes is incurable with antibiotics, and the virus remains to exist in the person’s immune system for life. Depending on which part of the body is infected, herpes symptoms can occur in, on, or around the rectum, genitals, and/or mouth. However, not all infections show symptoms. In fact, most cases of herpes in Singapore don’t show any symptoms, so some infected persons have no idea about their condition.

For the brave individuals enduring this viral infection, here are the things worth knowing for living healthily with herpes.

Triggering Recurrences

Whatever triggers the recurrence of symptoms seems to be amplified by emotional stress. Although no researches have been made specifically about what triggers herpes symptoms, many health studies have demonstrated a link between weakened immune system and chronic psychological stress to affect recurrences of symptoms. A person who has a weakened immune system is more likely to experience recurrences if infected with herpes. Therefore, reducing stress will greatly benefit a person with this sexually transmitted disease.

Medication

Herpes is highly controllable in most patients with the help of std testing in Singapore and anti-viral medications. Three medicines area widely used by professionals for controlling this infection: Valtrex, Famvir, and Acyclovir. Other prescription drugs can also be used in rare instances, when the virus becomes resistant to the mentioned medications.

Recent studies show that the use of the drug Valtrex, and perhaps other anti-viral drugs, significantly reduces viral shedding can potentially decrease or prevent transmission of the infection. Topical medication like Zovirax can also help control cold sores.

Fatigue and Stress

When a person feels tired, his/her body has to work twice as hard to keep up with day-to-day activities, which in result stresses the nervous system. The virus that causes herpes lives in the bottom part of the spinal column called the ganglia. Since the spinal cord is the central part of our nervous system, the virus becomes part of it as well. When our nervous system is fatigued or stressed, viral activity increases and outbreaks may occur.

A person with herpes should maintain a healthy sleep cycle, which means an estimate of eight hours of peaceful and non-chemically-induced sleep. Healthcare professionals and doctors can provide suggestion for improving one’s quality of sleep.

Ultraviolet Light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) lighting—from tanning or sun exposure—is known to re-activate herpes infections. To avoid recurrences, exposure to UV light as much as possible or use sunscreen with at least SPF 25 in the area where the infection exists. Infected people should also avoid sunbathing naked or using tanning beds without clothes on.

Essential Diet

Some patients benefit from elevated lysine and decreased levels of arganine in their diet. Lysine fights herpes-infected cells by counteracting growth-stimulating effects of arganine in herpes-infected cells. Foods that contain significant amount of lysine are soybeans, milk, and meat. To further boost the body’s lysine level, lysine-rich supplements readily available in many Singapore food and health shops.

Sexual Interaction Between Partners

In any intimate relationship between two persons with herpes, either one or both of them have oral or genital herpes or both. Even if both partners are infected, they may carry different types and strains, and therefore could pass that different strain to the other person. Thus, in such situations, the same precautions apply.

The doctor may recommend an STD screening and not to get touch or do anything with the affected part until it is treated and has totally healed. Likewise, those who have recurring cold sores should be cautious when performing oral sex. A man can wear a condom to prevent the transmission of oral infections. However, the condom does not protect the fingers, scrotum, or other parts of the body against infection.

For women, a female condom or a dental dam can be used in the vaginal area to prevent transmission of the virus during intercourse. Another alternative is to cut out a portion of a latex condom and use it to cover the vagina and the area around it.

Another important caution to remember is to avoid aggressive sexual intercourse as forceful thrusting can create microscopic tears in the genitals, which is susceptible to transmission of virus.

Alternatives in Intimacy

A person with herpes can still have a fulfilling sex life even after an STD test shows positive result. As long as the other partner knows and accepts the risks of having sexual intercourse with the infected partner, it’s fine to have sex.
Otherwise, explore other means without having genital-to-genital interaction, such as using sex toys and mutual masturbation (masturbating together with a partner). Exploring them can enrich one’s sex life and make up for the need to avoid sexual intercourse because of herpes.

Treatment and Prevention

As of the moment, there is still no definitive medication that can cure herpes or prevent uninfected individuals from getting infected. However, researches for ‘Herpevac’ are being developed to help prevent transmission of genital herpes. So far, it has passed the preliminary testing for effectiveness and safety, and is now in the final phase of clinical trials (on women only).

However, before having intimate relationship with a person, one should go through the preventative measure of making sure that both parties are safe from herpes and other infections, and an STD screening is the best way to confirm that. If inevitably STD testing appears positive, always remember that it’s still possible to live a healthy and normal life with these precautions in mind.

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Jan 31, 2017

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How to Deal with Post-Meal Belly Bloat

 

Remember that feeling of finishing a sumptuous meal? You feel happy and satisfied never mind what will happen after. You won’t feel anything except joy for few hours but when you face the mirror, you will come to regret eating that sumptuous meal. You are suffering from post-food belly bloat. Many Singaporeans hates this. It is true that being bloated sucks.

Bloating can affect you in many ways. For example, it can ruin a special occasion because you are wearing something that you do not like but for the sake of hiding the bloat, you wear something else. It will annoy you and make you uncomfortable because you know you do not look your best.

How you wish to puff it the instant you recognize it but that is not that easy. The good news is that there are certain hacks that you can do to minimize that annoying and unpleasant post-food belly bloat. Here are some:

  1. Do not overeat. The basic thing that you have to keep in mind is that you will not bloat if you do not overeat. If you are conscious about your belly bloat then eat in moderation. Remember that eating more will make you look more bloated. If you already feel full, do not force yourself to finish the plate. If you want to finish everything on your plate, best trick is to eat and chew slow. When you eat fast, there is a tendency that you swallow more air that will result to more gas retention.

 

  1. Decrease your portion. Another thing to consider is decreasing your portion. When things are very delicious, you tend to put everything on your plate. That is not the right thing to do. The temptation is always there. You have to be steady and keep calm. You will eat up everything at once but where is the fun? Aside from consuming more gas, you are depriving yourself of having a good time. A good food takes time – about 30 minutes.

  1. Skip the salt. Salt gives additional flavour. No wonder it makes everything extra delicious but you have to skip it. Aside from the plethora of health issues it carry, it can also encourage water retention. Water retention will surely make you feel bloated.

 

  1. Enlist friendly bacteria. You need loads of friendly bacteria. If you can buy probiotic yoghurt, buy it and consume it every morning. Good bacteria is helpful because it can facilitate movement of food in your stomach which can curb bloating. If you do not like yoghurt, you can ask your doctor for other alternatives.

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