Some Things to Keep in Mind When You Say No

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After receiving requests from other people, we tend to say “Yes!” all the time even if we really want to say “No!” Sometimes this could be one of the most difficult words we say in response to such requests. To avoid being in that situation all the time, according to a survey conducted in Singapore, you need to master the art of saying this word by following these ways.

  1. Be polite. If you want to turn down requests, you have to be polite in responding. As much as possible, we do not want to hurt other people and being polite can help in not making them feel bad towards you. This could also help you to not feel guilty knowing that other people don’t think of you as mean.


  1. Be straightforward. In replying, be straightforward and do not say “Maybe” or “Possibly”. Saying these words can come across as an unsure answer. Hence, they would feel that there’s still a possibility that you could or could not do things for them. To avoid conflict in the future, just say “No!” if you really are sure that you could not allocate them time and effort. Skip the shenanigans and be done with it.


  1. Be honest. You should not lie about your reasons on saying “no”. Some people have the tendency to just lie in order to get away with it but they don’t realize that they could potentially hurt other people more through it. The person you’re talking to can understand if you say the true reasons on why you are declining their request or sometimes you do not really need to tell them your reasons. You don’t necessarily owe them explanations but being sincere and honest could go an extra mile all the time.


  1. Be firm with your “no”. Be assertive with your answer and make sure that you are not second guessing or would look unsure while responding. Some people will try their best to manipulate your decision in order to get your sweet “Yes!”. So, you need to be aware of their tactics, think thoroughly and be firm with your final decision.


  1. Say it now. If you know you can’t fulfill other people’s request, then say “No!” immediately. Don’t prolong the agony or disappoint others later. Do not become a people-pleaser and say yes just for the sake of making others feel better. If you know you can’t do it or offer something more than what you can only give, just say the word and you can spare yourself from stress later on.

How to be Your Own Cheerleader

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Have you ever felt that none of your friends or family are really excited about your career plans? Sometimes, that happens. It is naturally hard to keep pressing on when your support system doesn’t seem to support you. This does not mean that you should be questioning yourself and your choices, or that you should cut your dreams into size. Finding your inner courage to become your own supporter is the first step in taking the unconventional path that most people are reluctant to take. Here are few things to help you get through the self-doubts during lonely days:

Keyboard (closeup) with Smile key

  1. Spend some “me time”

In your daily life, you will come across different ideas and information. You will receive advices, suggestions, and witness real life experiences unfolding right before you. Once you have accumulated a certain amount of experience, give yourself a time to digest everything while you assess your own opinion and feelings. Ideally, spend at least 10-15 minutes of meditation before going to bed to set your mind to rest and another moment in the morning to gain a better perspective for the day.

  1. Monitor your small and big successes

Before doing this, make sure that you measure yourself only against yourself. It can be tempting to browse through the social media and check out what people have been accomplishing these days but you need to focus on your own success. If you should compare yourself to someone (in terms of progress), it shouldn’t be a friend or an acquaintance, but a person who is 20–30 years older than you—because he/she could give you a clear benchmark for your own future. Above all, keep track whether you are heading towards your goals and the things that are important to you, without forgetting to pat yourself on the back on your successes.

  1. Make a reality check

Aside from looking at your inner success, be mindful of laying out the realities to yourself as well. Be totally honest with yourself about the issues that are confronting you such as weaknesses that may have been causing you to fall behind and make an action plan to address it. Do you want a promotion? Stop being jealous over your colleague and start working hard for it.


  1. Make a second look at who you spend your time with

It is undeniable that the people who surround us create some sort of influence—whether big or not, they still do. If the persons you are spending time with are making you question your goals or are bringing negative vibes to your life, then it’s time to cut them off. Remind yourself to surround yourself with people whom you want to be like and who shares similar mind like you. If you cannot find any from your existing circle of friends, make new ones. Join organizations or groups that promote your field of interests or read blogs of people who have been in your same situation.

  1. Confront your fear

In your course to achieve your goals, it is weird if your fears don’t haunt you. As what a saying goes, “if you don’t feel afraid, then your dreams are not big enough.” Ask yourself and answer with a brutally honest response about where the fear is coming from. Ask and think of the worse outcome and then evaluate if it is something you can handle. I it’s not that worse, then it’s just an irrational response, by which fears, are usually are.


Ways to Ditch Your Closet Clutter  

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One of the toughest organizational project that we all know is, of course, our closet. Whether you’re dealing with a small space, getting a funky layout, or organizing clothing pieces that you swear you’ll be wearing someday, figuring out just what to keep, to toss, and to buy more can get pretty challenging that most of us end up surrendering. But if you’re really ready to free up some space, then here are the sure ways to get your closet clutter-free.


  1. Properly sort out your stuff.

An effective way to start your closet organizing project is to sort your clothing pieces properly. Make piles for clothes that you’re planning to donate, giveaway to family or friends, clothes that need to be dry cleaned, and pieces that needs a little tailoring. Trust me, getting a good tailor in your area in Singapore can be invaluable since they can turn even your least expensive clothing item into something that looks like it’s worth a million bucks.

  1. Hang the pieces that should hanged.

The easiest way to keep your clothes from piling up in your closet is to hang them up. Use wooden hangers instead of the wire or plastic ones to preserve the shape of your pieces. Hanging your clothes will also make it easier for you to locate your favourite shirt or blouse.

  1. Organize your clothes by colour or style.

Grouping your clothes into blazers, dresses, and tops will not just make your closet organized, it will also lead to faster navigation in your wardrobe. Put it into another level by sorting them out by colour. This will help you see what kind of clothes you have, and come up of outfits in just a span of minutes.

Clothing Staples worth Keeping in Your Closet

  1. Signature Accessories. These items are definitely worth keeping in your closet. From the sparkly necklaces and earrings to scarves, getting the right extras can surely turn even the simplest outfit into a fabulous ensemble.


  1. Another item that you should be keeping in your closet are blazers. Invest on good types of blazers, depending on your body type, to take your look a notch higher, even if you’re just in your worn-out blue jeans.


  1. Jeans are the pieces you’d want to hold on to and continue stocking on. Always get yourself the same style of jeans that are set in two different sizes – a form-fitting and a looser one.


  1. When it comes to sneakers, Vans and Converse are just the best go-tos. These shoes just never fail to make any outfit a little edgy.


Familiarizing Yourself with Bus Service Reliability Framework Scheme

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Commuters are happy to know that Land Transport Authority (LTA) is finding more ways to improve bus services throughout the island. In fact, starting in February 2014, there will be a scheme that will give incentives-penalties depending on the performance or reliability of the buses. The scheme is called the Bus Service Reliability Framework. This scheme will cover twenty two bus services.


If you are curious about the Bus Service Reliability Framework, you should know the following things:

The Nature of the Scheme

Bus Service Reliability Framework is like the quality standards established by other countries such as Australia and Great Britain. Australia and Great Britain are serious about measuring the actual time of arrival in every bus stop along the way. This system is made to encourage bus operators to arrive on time. There will be twenty two bus services that will cover the scheme. You should know that this is only a pilot scheme or programme for two years. LTA will give the Bus Service Reliability Framework two years. After that period, evaluations and assessments will be made to address issues and improve the system to include all bus services.


The System of the Scheme

It was mentioned earlier that the Bus Service Reliability Framework is an incentives-penalties system. This means that buses can get a merit or demerit depending on their performance or reliability. Of course buses want a merit to invite more commuters. The bus arrivals will be gauged by LTA using GPS trackers. Every month, bus operators will receive average scores. For example, if SMRT and SBS Transit arrive late, they will be penalized up to S$4000 per month. If they arrive on time, they will receive monetary reward up to S$6000 per month.

As a commuter, this is good news. Waiting will be easier and more convenient. Apart from the Bus Service Reliability Framework, LTA will implement the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) by the end of this year to further help the commuters. Under the BSEP, there will be five hundred fifty buses more in the streets of Singapore. With this, BSEP will represent a 20% increase when it comes to bus services.

This goes to show that LTA is very serious about improving the capacity and reliability of public transport. These schemes or programmes are long term solutions for the commuters and the LTA is doing its best to do everything they can to make the lives of commuter easier and more comfortable. There are other improvements underway. You should watch for it and take advantage of it.

Draft Master Plan 2013: Central Area Development

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On November 22, 2013, URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) released the Draft Master Plan of 2013. Singaporeans should be proud and excited for the Draft Master Plan. Basically, the Master Plan is Singapore’s comprehensive approach in maximizing land use. There are six key focuses for this Master Plan namely housing, public spaces, transport, identity, recreation and economy.


The good thing about this Master Plan is that all areas of Singapore are covered. The development is not only concentrated in the Central Region. It also includes development in West Region, North Region, East Region and North East Region. Let us start in the Central area. There are many districts in Central Singapore to include:

Civic District

The Civic District is an important part of Singapore’s past because it was the early administrative seat and cultural centre. The district is home for ACM, Arts House and the forthcoming National Art Gallery. Developments will include many walk-able areas, quality public places and many more.

Bras Basah.Bugis

Bras Basah.Bugis is home to many heritage sites, arts and learning centres. To date, there are improvement works specifically in Queen Street and Waterloo Street. The streets included in Bras Basah.Bugis will have more pedestrians to encourage more street activities.



Central Business District (CBD) is the major business or central district here in Singapore. In this particular area, things such as high quality office environment should be encouraged considering that Singapore is a financial and business hub. The forthcoming projects in this area will include commuter connections and pedestrian areas.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is the epitome of growth, vibrancy and sustainable development. The district has many activities that all people can enjoy. What could you ask for more? The Master Plan is looking into a residential community within the Marina Bay which can feature environment friendly houses and walk-able and cycle friendly pathways.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road is Singapore’s shopping belt. There are many improvements long before the Master Plan was released. But with the coming of the Master Plan, all people should expect more things like enhancing pedestrian pathways, connectivity (from one spot to another) and many things to entice many shoppers.

The Tray Return Initiative

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The Tray Return Initiative was created by NEA (National Environment Agency). This initiative was initiated in nine hawker centres all throughout Singapore from November 2012 to February 2013. After that, NEA launched the Tray Return Initiative To Roll Out. This time, there are about thirty four hawker centres that will be provided with Tray Return Initiative facilities. The initiative seeks to promote tray return which can serve as an act of social courteousness towards cleaners and other users.

Basically, this initiative simply wants to help keep hawker centres and other food channels clean. Many people are not in favour of this re-launching. Perhaps they should know some things about the initiative such as:



Hopefully, this initiative can be the habit of everybody. The re-launching only wants to encourage all people to empty their trays which is an act of courteousness towards cleaners and other users.

New System

The good news is that the new system is more efficient and fitting for all Singaporeans. The new system has more drops off points plus not to mention flooding of signs that can help the patrons.



Other people believe that this initiative will compromise the job of cleaners. That is not true. In fact, this initiative will make the jobs of cleaners efficient and effective.

If you have other questions, it is imperative that you contact NEA so you will be enlightened. If you are not against it, then just be courteous to follow it. At the end of the day, the important thing is you took part in this initiative and in your own little ways, you are building a cleaner and cleaner Singapore. Do not forget to return your tray! Do not worry, you won’t forget it because there are thousands of icons or signs that will remind you.

Where to Eat like You’re in Italy

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Italian cuisines are widely celebrated. Not only Italians enjoy it but many non Italians as well. In Singapore, many people who are interested in Italian cuisines are increasing every day. As a result, many Italian restaurants are put up. Here are the best Italian restaurants you can find in Singapore:

Cacio E Pepe

Cacio E Pepe is located in Chu Lin Road. It is the best place to get your cheese, pepper and everything nice. You can call for reservations at (+63) 6760-3534. Price range is from S$15 to S$66. They are open during Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10:30pm.


Basillico is located in 1 Cuscaden Road. They offer daily lunch, Italian buffets and semi buffet. Before you go there, it is better to call for reservations. You can reach them at (+63) 6725-3232. Price range is from S$42 to S$150 per person. They serve breakfast (6:30am-10:30am), lunch (12pm-2:30pm) and dinner (6:30pm-10pm) from Monday to Saturday. During Sundays, they offer breakfast at 7am to 10:30am, lunch at 12noon to 3pm and dinner at 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

Ristorante Da Valentino

Ristorante Da Valentino is located in 200 Turf Club Road. The restaurant is decorated with a taste of Italian. You should make reservations by calling them at (+63) 9735-7532. Price range is from S$19 to S$275. They are open during Tuesday-Sundays from 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10:30pm.

Otto Ristorante

Otto Ristorante is located in Maxwell Road. They offer private rooms, cigars and excellent Italian foods. You should call for reservations at (+63) 6227-6819 or simply fill up a reservation form and send to their website. Price range is from S$40 to S$200. They are open during Mondays to Saturdays from 12pm to 2:30pm and 6:30pm to 10:30pm.

Pasta Brava Italian

Pasta Brava is located in Craig Road. It offers dining rooms with good ambiance. You can call for reservation at (+63) 6227-2550 or you can email them. Price range is from S$25 to S$115. They are open during Monday-Saturday from 12pm to 2:30pm and 6:30pm to 10:30pm.

Happy eating!

Where to Dance Salsa in Singapore

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Salsa is a popular dance not only in Europe and Latin America but around the world. There are Singaporeans that are passionate about Salsa. If you want to dance Salsa, you should now the best place to dance Salsa in Singapore. To give you an idea, you can seek the following clubs:

JJ SalsaRengue

JJ SaksaRengue is located in Peck Seah Street. This is the leading Salsa dance studio in town. They offer beginner’s course with professional instructors. Admission fee is S$5. Social Night is during Friday and Saturday from 10pm to 1am.

Union Square

Union Square is located in Tanjong Pagar Road. In 2008, it was voted as the Best Salsa Club in Singapore. They have this beginner’s night wherein beginners are encouraged to dance for free. They also have ladies night every Wednesday from 9pm to 12am. Admission fee is from S$6 to S$15. They are open every Sunday-Thursday from 10am to 1am.

Lumbia The Salsa Club

Lumbia is located in Bukit Merah Central. It is the only Salsa club that opens every day. They have beginners and intermediate class. Good news for ladies-every night is ladies night. Admission fee is from S$50 to S$65. They are open daily from 11am to 6am.

Two Left Feet

Two Left Feet is located in Trengganu Street. This dance club is famous for intermediate and beginners. Admission fee is from S$12 to S$16.

Cuba Libre Salsa

Cuba Libre is located in River Valley Road. This club offers live Pop Latin music during Wednesdays to Saturdays. Ladies enjoy 30% off on selected drinks every Wednesday. They are open during Sunday-Thursday from 6pm to 2am.

Salsa dance will surely bring your inner sexiness. You should first find your partner before learning the art. It is important that you are comfortable with your partner so you can perform or execute the dance well. Have a good dance!

MOLLY: The Mobile Library that Reaches Out to Singaporeans

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Molly the Mobile Library has undergone a number of innovations to better reach those who are not able to visit the National Library Board’s libraries regularly.

NLB has a total of 25 libraries across the country, with each one comprehensively supplied with a broad selection of books, audio-visual materials and online resources. NLB is well aware of the fact that even with such a network of libraries, there are still some Singaporeans who may not be able to visit them regularly, and so Molly comes to the rescue. This bus service is NLB’s inventive way of bringing library resources closer to the doorstep of many people in the country.

Molly underwent retrofitting and now carries around new technological features to enrich every visitor’s reading and learning experience. The new Molly is equipped with 8 iPads, making the access to NLB’s eResources much easier. Children can now enjoy interactive applications for art, songs and rhymes. The mobile library is also stocked with a wide collection of 3,000 books and audio-visual materials, all of which were selected carefully.

On top of those upgrades, Molly is improved even more with the internal book-drop in replacement of the portable book-drop it previously had. The upgraded borrowing stations allow every visitor to check out multiple loan items all at once, thus saving time. There is also now a built-in ramp for individuals in a wheelchair. The interior is fully furnished to provide a comfortable setting where visitors can read, enjoy storytelling, puppetry and other learning activities.

Through the initiative of NLB, these developments are all in line with the mission of introducing latest library services, promoting reading and encouraging learning among Singaporeans.