Jan 25, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on 3 Things You Need to Do to Become a Better Writer

3 Things You Need to Do to Become a Better Writer

Singapore has been the home of many great writers over the years. Poets Yeow Kai Chai and Lee Tzu Pheng, and fiction author Catherine Lim are only some. But writing, even for these greats, is not a straight road to glory. It is a rough path that takes time to improve on. Given that, here are 3 great things to remember to improve as a writer.

  1. Read

Being good in writing is a skill that is complicated and cannot be easily taught. This is because writing is as unique as the writer himself. Everyone has his/her own way of writing.

Reading comes in the picture because it basically teaches you how to write. Reading different genres and pieces from many different writers can show you which style of writing you want to achieve. Initially, you might want to copy a certain style from a famous writer you like and later put your own twist into it. Reading can also help to get inspiration. When you feel stuck and don’t know how to continue your writing, read. You might find some words or phrases that you could use as inspiration.

  • Accept criticism openly

A good writer admits to the fact that he needs feedback from others. To become a better writer getting comments from others is just as important as the writing process itself. More than that, it should be from someone you can trust. The last thing you want to hear are superficial and careless comments.

You would want to try and get criticism from experienced writers and those who barely write at all. The difference between both is that the former has an “eye” for writing and the latter wants to read something they can relate to or that can appeal to them. The great thing about this is that experienced writers will be harsh with their comments because this way they know you will improve. People who barely write, on the other hand, may shower you with compliments when you give them something they actually want to read.

  • Write every day

When you are learning something, it’s best if you can do it repetitively. You can only get better at something if you familiarize and immerse yourself in it. You should develop the mindset of writing every day as practice to become a better writer.

You have about 12-15 waking hours a day to write about something. Don’t worry if in the morning you can’t think of anything to write, afternoon will come. And if you can’t think of anything in the afternoon, there’s still night. By the time night comes and you still have nothing, then just write about how your day went. Constant writing will help you grow creatively. Just by writing every day, you will notice that even if it’s just a little, you have improved as a writer.

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Jan 3, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Kinds of Interior and Exterior Paints

A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Kinds of Interior and Exterior Paints

Different paints have their own different properties. These properties are what make them suited for different parts of a building.

While paints for building or home interiors are made to resist staining or are made to be scrubbed for easy cleaning, exterior paints are made specifically to resist harsher environmental factors, such as fading and mildew.

What’s in the Paint?

In order to fully understand the difference between interior and exterior paints, you have to know beforehand that paint is essentially composed of the following things:

  • Binder (typically resin, which holds the pigment to the surface),
  • Solvent (which reduces the paint’s viscosity for better application),
  • Pigment (which gives the paint its color and opacity),
  • Extender (which improves adhesion in the paint), and
  • Additives (which modify the paint’s properties).

Solvents and pigments in both interior and exterior paints are similar in a lot of ways. For instance, you can use either water- or oil-based paint for outdoor paint jobs, as the binders and additives in the paint make it so that they resist external factors such as prolonged exposure to heat and rain.

However, they also have their differences. For instance, oil-based paint is almost used exclusively as an exterior paint because of the difficulty in cleaning up, as well as the strong odors and potential fumes, and most interior paints are water-based because of this.

Interior Paints

Interior paints are made to be cleaned easily and resist staining, which means that the binding resins are rigid to keep the paint from getting scuffed or smeared. This usually means that interior paints are water-based, which in turn makes them safer for indoor use.

Interior, water-based paints also have a few other advantages, such as having a faster drying time and are easy to clean up using water.

Exterior Paints

Exterior paints are made to resist mildew and fading, as prolonged exposure to heat and rain are more likely to fade interior paints. Aside from the attractive gloss of oil-based exterior paints, they also have a smooth, durable finish.

The secret lies in their binders (aka resin), which are softer to allow the paint to better resist not just the previously mentioned environmental factors, but also peeling and chipping.

Which One to Use?

At the end of the day, the primary difference between the two is the solvent. There are certain paints that can be used for both indoors and outdoors, but they do have their own tradeoffs despite their versatility.

To know which paint is best suited for the job, be it oil- or water-based, always be sure to consult a professional painter or talk to a professional painting firm where a representative can walk you through everything that you need.  

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Jan 3, 2019

Posted by | Comments Off on The Different Kinds of House Painting Equipment

The Different Kinds of House Painting Equipment

When painting your house, always be sure to have the right tools you need to complete the job. While you may already own some of these items, there may be others that you still don’t, and should consider investing in:  

1. Paint rollers, brushes, paint sprayers

While all three are used for applying paint on surfaces, they are meant to be used in different ways. For instance, paint rollers are for painting smooth surfaces in broad swaths.  

There are different types of brushes used in painting: bristle brushes, which clear up loose material from walls and floors, and wire brushes, which are great for removing plants, moss, and flaking paint. 

There even mildew brushes, which remove mildew and dirt, as well as long-handled brushes for clearing out large, exterior surfaces.

Meanwhile, paint sprayers are used quick, even applications of paint that can be used in the place of paint rollers and brushes. The key to using a paint sprayer is having the right kind for the job you need done.

2. Paints, finishes, and primers

Primers are the first coat of paint and are the initial whitewash that will bind the other coats of paint to the surface you’re painting it on. Meanwhile, finishes are there to add the desired glossiness.

3. Roller tray, grid, paint pail

Roller trays and grids are used for loading paint into rollers, and the paint pail is a container for carrying paint to the site with ease.

4. Stepladder, extension ladder

For ceilings that can be a little hard to reach, having a stepladder will save you a lot of time and will even allow you to access areas that you wouldn’t have. It also keeps you from having to balance yourself on tables and chairs, which is highly unsafe.

5. Tape measure, painter’s tape, masking tape

Tape measure allows you to accurately measure surfaces (i.e. walls, floors, and ceiling) for marking off, which will in turn save you on how much paint you will need to use.

Painter’s tape and masking tape are a must-have when it comes to protecting trims or sections of surfaces that you don’t want to get paint on.

6. Spackling paste, caulk and caulking gun

Spackling paste and caulk are used to even out imperfections and crevices in wall surfaces, but they have their own different uses.

For instance, spackling paste is used mostly for filling nail holes and smaller imperfections in walls, while caulk is mostly reserved for evening out gaps and seams in woodwork. If you do happen to be working with wood, always be sure to use ones that can be painted on.

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Nov 27, 2018

Posted by | Comments Off on Why You Should Get Started at Yoga at Any Age (Especially in Your Forties)

Why You Should Get Started at Yoga at Any Age (Especially in Your Forties)

When you’ve reached the midway of your life or your golden years, regular exercise promises serious benefits. However, not all workouts are for everyone.

As we age, high-impact exercises can seriously strain the joints, so it’s really important to find a type of exercise that can improve both our physical and mental health while still adjusted to have as little risk as possible.

This is where yoga comes in as the exercise that anyone can appreciate and start doing as a routine at any age, and you’ll be surprised at the following benefits that yoga has:

Strength Training
Most people don’t think of strength training when they think of yoga, but you’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll be spending doing different bodyweight exercises and holding them for extended periods.

Yoga has a lot of exercises that allow you to stretch your arms, legs, hips, back, and even shoulders without straining them too much. As you continue with these exercises, you’ll find that your flexibility improves each session.

Mental Health Training
The emphasis on breathing and holding poses for certain lengths of time means that yoga was originally developed to prepare for meditation. For those dealing with a significant lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, and even depression, this is good news.

Getting started in yoga doesn’t take up too much time – all you need are a few minutes in your day alone.
This means that you have a lot of control in how you can get started. You can enroll in a class, look up different poses and breathing techniques on your own time at home, or even hire a private instructor.

Yoga comes in different types with their own purposes, intensities, and pose sets, such as the following:

• Hatha – The slow pace and the general introduction to basic poses and breathing techniques make this type of yoga great for beginners who are just starting out.

• Bikram – Also for beginners, this type of yoga is both meant to improve flexibility using a predictable routine and an environment with high humidity.

• Ashtanga – For those looking for a more intense routine, Ashtanga is based in ancient yoga and uses a more difficult set of poses, each connected to a certain breathing technique.

• Iyengar – This type of yoga uses different props to help you achieve certain poses and forms more accurately, and is best for those recovering from injuries.

You’ll also find that there are different breathing techniques and sequences that you can use outside of yoga (and as a precursor to daily meditation routines), from basic breath retention, to the Conqueror breath, and even the Deer Seal.

Perhaps the best thing about yoga isn’t just that it’s a great low-impact exercise with a lot of health benefits, but that you don’t need any equipment to get started – all you need is an exercise mat and comfortable clothes that have enough room for you to stretch in.

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Nov 27, 2018

Posted by | Comments Off on How to Give Gifts Anyone Would Love to Receive

How to Give Gifts Anyone Would Love to Receive

Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, an important occasion, or an anniversary, you’ve most likely seen what it’s like to be disappointed in receiving a gift, and you don’t want that to happen to the next person you give a present to.

So how do you make sure you give people amazing gifts every occasion? No need to fret – this guide is here to help you pick the best gift for the person or people on your list.

What Makes a Great Gift?
To know exactly what you should get for whoever is on your list, you have to know what makes a great gift in the first place.

A great gift is anything that meets the following criteria:
• It reflects the person’s interests. What does that person like? What’s that person’s hobby? Do a little bit of research. Pay close attention to their interests – they’ll always drop hints if not say it outright.

You might find that it’s easier to give gifts to someone you know well than a person you don’t. If you’re looking for a gift for the latter, the safest bet is always providing a way for that person to get what he/she wants, such as a gift card, or even cash.

• It has a personal touch. The magic of gift-giving is that it’s personalized from you rather than specifically for the person you’re giving the gift to.
In other words, it’s including a bit of yourself, whether it’s a piece of art, a knitted scarf, or even a hand-written note.

• It’s what that person needs or is looking for. It’s often said that the best gift you can get a person is the exact thing that that person needs at the moment or has been meaning to get for a while.

Don’t Forget the Packaging!
Once you finally got the gift you think that person would appreciate the most, it’s time to think about what you should place the gift in.

The packaging is just as important as the gift itself, so be sure to place or wrap it in something that the recipient actually wants to open. It also has to be enough to actually cover the gift and keep the person guessing.

While it does have to be well-thought out, you don’t have to wrack your head trying to think of the perfect gift to give a person. You don’t need to break your wallet if you can’t afford it, either – gifts aren’t all about the price tag, but about the thought and care put into them.

At the end of the day, the whole point of giving gifts is about the latter two, and as long as the person acknowledges this, it’s good enough.

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