Jun 26, 2017

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5 Best Dessert Shops in Singapore

It’s no secret that Singaporeans love food – especially desserts. While the downtown area houses several shops that could get your sugar fix, the best often comes from where you least expect it. Here, we listed down some of the secret dessert shops that have been whipping up some of the best treats you’ll find in Singapore. So be prepared to head West, East and in between to get a taste of the heavenly treats that these cafés are offering.

1. Les Délices

Situated in the idyllic residential neighbourhood of Kreta Ayer, Les Délices is a European-styled patisserie whose pastries are baked to perfectly pair with Chinese tea. The café is decked out Victorian style with its marble countertops and gold and white panels. Les Délices signature dessert is their choux puff pastry, which comes in three flavours, namely the Early Grey Choux, Matcha Choux and Valrhona Guanaja Choux. To fully enjoy the heavenly taste of their pastries, we suggest that you pair it with a cup of Earl Grey or Shuixian Chinese tea.

2. Red Baron

Red Baron is an intimate bakery, bar and café located in Gillman Barracks. Boasting with an impressive array of artisanal pastry treats like their Grandma Smith Toffee Apple cake and their famous Lemon Meringue tart, this dessert shop is definitely the perfect place to spoil your sweet tooth and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city.

3. The Plain Jane

It may be named The Plain Jane, but this dessert shop is far from being plain. Hidden just right in the heart of Serangoon, this café offers some of the truly delicious desserts in Singapore like their Plain Jane Swiss Roll and the Not So Plain Jane Swiss Roll. Aside from their Swiss roles, be sure to try their Apple Tea Cake and freshly-baked scones as well.

4. Cake Spade

Craving for a slice of a freshly-baked cake? Then Cake Spade is the perfect place for you. Made from fresh strawberries encased in a jelly and biscuit-like crust, their Strawberry Tofu Cheesecake is absolutely a must-try. Aside from their delectable cakes, Cake Spade also offers a wide range of brownies, crumbles and tarts that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

5. Icebox Café

Icebox Café is the first halal-certified specialty Bingsu café in Singapore. Although it’s now situated along Rangoon Road, it was previously known for selling tasty and ice-cold drinks at Geylang Serai Bazaar. The dessert shop is decorated using an assortment of brightly coloured furniture, while the walls are inscribed with quips that’ll surely tickle your fancy. Indulge in the shop’s tasty fluffy toasts, over-the-top shakes and their famous Cookie Shots served with an ice cream of your choice.

Indulging on a heavenly sweet treat is definitely one of the best ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. So be sure to pay any of these dessert shops a visit soon to get your much wanted sugar fix.

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Jun 22, 2017

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How to Heal Chapped Lips and Prevent it From Happening Again

As air loses moisture, our lips, hands and skin follow suit. Sure, restocking your beauty stash with ChapStick may work, but to truly score that soft, gorgeous lips, consider doing any of these brilliant remedies for chapped lips.

1. Stay Hydrated

This is the easiest way to prevent chapped lips since dehydration is what usually causes it. So be sure to increase your water intake or carry a water bottle around so you won’t forget to drink enough water wherever you go.

2. Opt for Natural Lip Balms

When it comes to choosing lip care products, the ingredients list doesn’t have to be that complicated. As much as possible, stick with lip balms that contain all-natural ingredients to avoid irritating your lips if they’re already chapped. Also, if your current balm is making your lips feel waxy rather than hydrated, then it might be time to switch to another brand.

3. Avoid Removing Longwear Lipsticks With Paper Napkin

Your liquid lippie may come off after a few swipes and tugs, but you need to admit that it isn’t painless. To prevent causing wounds and cracks on your puckers, break down your lipstick first by applying micellar water or coconut oil so you can gently massage and remove it later on.

4. Stop Licking Your Lips

You may think you’re moisturizing your lips every time you lick them, but you’re actually doing the opposite. Our saliva is acidic so constantly moistening your lips with it will only make your puckers lose even more moisture and look chapped.

5. Use Petroleum Jelly

Never underestimate the wonders of a classic beauty product. Applying petroleum jelly on your lips won’t only protect it against external irritants, it’ll also help in sealing the moisture you worked so hard to achieve.

6. Apply Thicker Balms at Night

Ensure that you pile on hydration as you let your lips rest overnight. Allow your puckers to absorb extra moisture by applying natural oils or thicker lip balms that’ll help in keeping them healthy the following day.

7. Purchase a Hydrocortisone Cream

If all else fails, experts recommend purchasing and using a hydrocortisone cream a few times a day. Although it isn’t advisable to use such creams as a long-term solution, you can use it for a week to help restore your lips’ moisture and give it a chance to be healthy again.

Keeping your lips moisturized is an ongoing battle. So be sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure that you keep your lips hydrated and healthy all the time.

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Jun 9, 2017

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9 Questions to Ask Your Potential IT Services Provider

Your IT support team acts as the backbone of your business. You rely so much on them for all your technical and networking needs, which is why you should only work with a reliable IT services company with dedicated professionals who will work with you whenever a need arises. To ensure you got the right IT partner, here are nine important questions to ask when hiring an IT company to manage your business’ tech needs.

1. “How and when will you charge me?”

Pricing method varies from company to company, but usually comes in fixed, variable and per-incident pricing. Fixed pricing is your best option as it has unlimited support. Variable pricing, on the other hand, is based on the time it took to have your problem fixed. If you prefer this over the previous one—perhaps, due to the price difference—you can make variable pricing look like fixed-priced service by paying for a fixed amount of hours. However, the downside is that support is available only on certain hours, thus charging you with extra for services beyond the agreed time.

2. “What contract can you suggest for my company?”

There’s no reason why a company should push you to get into a long-term agreement when you look for a good IT service in Singapore as any service provider should be consistent with their quality, regardless of the length of the contract of their client. However, if you prefer longer partnership, ask what benefits you will get from signing a long-term agreement. Many service providers in Singapore offer price reduction and exclusive discounts to their long-term partners.

3. “Have you worked with the same company as mine?”

Ask if your potential provider have relevant experience in managing companies in the same market sector. Do your research to see whether they provide specialized services for your type of business. Ask to speak with one of their clients with the same size and nature of business as yours to get an idea of how they execute their job.

4. “Are maintenance and system updates included in the contract?”

The core of a good IT support is preventing issues before they actually happen. This reduces the possibility of system failures and downtime, therefore ensures constant productivity of your business. However, an IT services company isn’t just there to prevent and fix problems; they are also there to help your business adapt IT changes. A good IT partner will do regular visits to help you maximize your current IT structure and see what necessary updates should be made for better operations.

5. “Do you offer remote monitoring and management?”

Remote monitoring and management should be a core part of any IT support model you will choose. With the advent of modernized management tools, your service provider should be able to monitor all your servers and PCs, and install packages and upgrades remotely. If one server is running full, your service provider should be able to manage it from their site before the server crashes.

6. “What kind of back-up do you have in case of service failure?”

A reliable IT support company should be a total package. Along with maintenance, upgrades and fixing tech issues, your IT partner should also provide back-ups for your business’ IT system. From back-up servers down to back-up power sources, make sure that your service provider has ‘Plan B’ for your important equipment. Find out how the IT company will switch over to these back-ups in case of system or equipment failure.

7. “How will you keep up with the growth of the business?”

It’s important to know how your supplier plans to work with you for growth. See if they can provide long-term hardware needs to save on expenses down the road. As your business continues to grow, its technical needs and data solution will expand alongside it. Many business owners in Singapore forget that more staff means more demands on the storage and server requirements. When building your IT system, do so in a scalable way. If growth of the business takes off, you won’t have much time to build an efficient IT strategy due to rapid expansion.

8. “Do you have your own help desk support or do you outsource it?

A quick and reliable IT support company should have their own help desk team in the site. That way, they can train them and ensure that they can immediately address client concerns and issues. This is a vital information to ask a potential IT services company, because you need to know where the people answering your calls are located, who they are working for and if they were oriented on both your tech solutions and business operations.

9. “Will you provide reports that show important data about my services?”

Find out how the support team will show details about the services you’re paying for. If you are in an industry that requires compliance audits, reporting the state of your tech security status is mandatory. Make sure to ask a potential provider if a report will be submitted, what details will be included in the report and how often you will receive such information.

Overall, remember to take your time when choosing an IT services provider in Singapore. Choosing an IT company to be your partner is a major decision. Make sure you will be working with a company that complements your business well and provides services and solutions that your business requires.

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May 18, 2017

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Dealing With Vocal Nervousness During a Performance

When it comes to singing in front of the crowd, many of us experience stage fright, which usually gets the best of us. We fright getting on stage and facing the audience as if they are all ferocious lions. The body and mind goes into a state of which psychologists call the fight-or-flight response.

However, does fear really have to overtake us? Are there strategies to help us enjoy doing public performances? Luckily, there is! Enrol yourself to professional singing lessons, and follow these tips to manage pre-performance jitters and ensure your song will sound flawlessly as practiced.

1. Prepare Your Vocals

First of all, prepare your voice. Join singing lessons in Singapore to help you train and prepare vocally. Through singing classes, you’ll be able to build a strong vocal foundation to meet the vocal demands of your performance. Strengthen your vocal chords in a healthy way through repetition of techniques and exercises assigned to you by your vocal lesson teacher in Singapore.

2. Change Your Mindset

Your mind setting has to do with eliminating the anxious thoughts you have, whether it is about your life, what people think of you or how you will sound during a performance. What’s in your head will either cause you to panic or get it together, and that all begins before you even get up on stage. Instead of thinking of performing and doing good to impress the crowd, remember what it was like to sing when you were a child. Did you care what people thought of you? Most probably, you didn’t. Get that same mindset. Remember that you got vocal lesson for this, so you know you’re covered. Care less about what people think and get rid of the negative thoughts that could be driving the anxiety in you.

3. Practice In Front of an Audience

It helps a lot to practice in front of an audience, whether it’s your family, friends or even strangers. Start off by having your best friend as your audience, and gradually increase your crowd over time. You can even start singing in a karaoke room, and move to a karaoke hall for a larger crowd. During singing lessons at http://www.milletmusic.com.sg/ you should take the opportunity to sing in front of your classmates or do your best during recitals. These exercises will help build up your confidence and makes performing in front of the people feels like a regular habit, so that it becomes less frightening on the big day.

4. Perform Bigger Than Planned
Most performers in Singapore who feel anxious on stage lose dynamism physically and mentally. If you have the tendency to freeze because of nervousness, prepare to perform more dynamically than intended. If you practice with “bigger” actions, you can afford to lose a bit on the actual performance. Sing louder than usual, sway your body more and exaggerate every movement you make during your practice.

5. Psych Yourself Up

Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, boost your positive energy. Like a football team praying together and pumping themselves up before getting into the field, do the same thing before going on stage. Your vocal training instructor has surely taught you some ways to calm the nerves before a performance. Tell yourself something like “I’m ready for this!” or “I got this!” or any pep talk to encourage positivism.

6. Do a Mental Run-Through

Picture your entire performance, from getting on stage to finishing your performance and hearing people’s applause. Imagine everyone watching and listening to you, how you move around the stage and how you respond to the praises. Visualize that things are going exactly as you want. You can also prepare for a performance by getting into meditative state. Sit upright, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for a couple of minutes before getting on stage.

7. Make Fun of the Audience In Your Mind

Perhaps, you’ve heard from your singing lessons instructor to think funny thoughts to help reduce stage-fright. One way to do this is to make fun of the crowd in your head to make it less daunting to sing n front of them. Imagine their heads as watermelons, and think of how hilarious it would be to have a crowd of watermelons watching you sing. You can even imagine them naked. That would make them feel more nervous than you, and that would surely take away a huge amount of jitter from you.

8. Breathe Deeply

During your singing classes, you are taught to breathe deeply or a better sounding voice. In terms of calming down the nerves, breathing deeply encourages you to relax and focus. Practice the breathing exercises that you learned from your vocal trainer in Singapore to keep you relaxed and strengthen your breath support to make you sing better. Being able to sing properly and beautifully will reduce your anxiety even further.

9. Treat the Crowd As Your Friends

We are at our most relaxed state when we are with our closest friends. The same theory applies during performances. You can perform comfortably when you see the judges and the crowd as your friends. When performing treat them as your friends—interact and make eye-to-eye contact with them. You’ll find that it takes off a lot of pressure and makes it easier to leave an impression on them.

10. Perform Anxiety Exercises

One great technique we seldom hear from singing lessons is rehearsing with elevated heart rate. Pump up your heart rate by jogging in place or doing jumping jacks and then practice singing your piece. You may feel like you’re out of breath, but doing this will make you get used to the sensation of singing with your heart pounding. After rehearsing in such way, you’re accustomed to the feeling of nervousness.

When you get the chance to perform in front of the public, do your best to present yourself beautifully and remember to enjoy the process. Get a professional vocal training and trust your new learning. Take it all in and let go. Before you know it, your performance is over and you might even wish to do more.

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May 15, 2017

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Solo Travelling Myths We Should All Ignore

When someone says he wants to travel the world by himself, he’s often stereotypically met with double takes and disapproving glances. And while these sceptical people only have your best interest in mind, there are numerous misconceptions about solo travelling that put some people off. Which is why it’s now time to trash the following myths and book a one way ticket to the other side of the world with just your backpack and camera on hand.

Myth 1: Travelling on your own is dangerous

Travelling new places on your own sure is scary, but that shouldn’t keep you from exploring the incredible and glorious things that the world has to offer. To ensure your safety throughout your solo trip, do some research and use your common sense. It’d also help to be always on the look-out of your surroundings – not just to avoid unwanted situations, but to also fully take in and appreciate what you’re seeing.

Myth 2: Going on a solo travel is expensive

Most of us often assume that travelling is only limited individuals who are born into rich families, and while it does cost a certain amount of money, it doesn’t really have to cost a bomb. Accommodations, excursions and local living can be cheap if you just know how to plan ahead and look for the cheapest shopping places. Plus, there’s nobody saying that you can’t get a part-time job while you’re out travelling.

Myth 3: Solo travelling limits the things you can do

While you may think that being a solo backpacker restricts the things that you can do, that’s actually rarely the case. Not only are their options to join travel tours or use apps like Backpackr to keep in touch with your fellow solo travellers or, you also have the freedom to do things on your own. All you need is to be confident with your ability.

Myth 4: Travelling alone will make you feel lonesome

When travelling on your own, understand that you have a full control over your loneliness level. Both the locals and your fellow travellers would surely love to exchange stories. You can simply chit-chat with the person sitting next to you during a bus ride or talk with your waiter over breakfast. Sure, there’ll definitely be times when you’ll feel lonely, but do know that that feeling is only temporary.

While it may seem a little lonesome, going on a solo trip could actually be a fun and enriching experience. So shut down these myths now and start making your backpacking dreams come true.

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