Ways You Can Trick Yourself to Persevere on Your Workouts

Filed Under (Fitness, Lifestyle) by Editor on

You’ve been hitting an ActiveSG gym for 3 months now and you feel really great. But for the whole week, you suddenly feel like skipping out on your workouts. This is pretty common for those who just got into fitness. Heck, even the most experienced feel tired at times. What’s important is that you find a way to not get discouraged and demotivated. So, here are some ways for you to do just that.

Keep up the positive self-talk

When it comes to anything related to exercise, always think positively. Always speak about how great you feel when you do your workouts, both in your head and with another person. This is so that you condition yourself to always have a positive outlook on exercise. Even when you feel like skipping, you won’t simply because you’re always thinking about the good you get from exercising.

Wear your workout clothes

This is very effective when you’re in the middle of deciding to skip or actually going. Changing your clothes is usually when the motivation really kicks in. When you get on your workout clothes, you’re basically telling yourself that you’re ready to sweat it out. If you get thoughts of skipping a day even if it’s not your rest day, just go and change. Then you’ll slowly start to get in the groove again. Plus, once you get changed, you’ll think it’s not worth the time to change back to your regular clothes again.

Don’t underestimate the power of music

One of the best ways to keep your energy up during a workout is to listen to your favorite music. Of course, some genres of music like rap and EDM are more effective in getting the mood up. But you can also stick with genres you actually like, be it Kpop, classical, or rock. Sometimes you won’t even notice that you’re already tired if you’re always singing along to your favorite songs.

Surround yourself with pictures of your ideal body

Okay, putting up pictures around your room with half-naked men flexing their muscles might sound weird, but it’s a very effective motivator. This is what THE Arnold Schwarzenegger did when he was just starting out with bodybuilding, and so many years later on he’s become a legend of the sport. If you think it’s too much, you can keep a picture or two on your phone and just look at that physique every time you feel like skipping your workout.

Have some friendly competition with someone (even if only in your mind)

There’s always that one person in the gym who has the same physique as you. One great way to trick yourself into exercising is to challenge that person in your mind. See who gets the better physique in three months. This way, you’ll feel guilty about skipping a workout. “I’m here just watching TV, and the other guy is already pounding it out at the gym and leaving me behind.”

How to Find Safe Cleaning Products

Filed Under (Health and Wellness, Home Adjustments, Lifestyle) by Editor on

Being eco-friendly at homes does not only mean cutting down on the use of plastics but also being conscious about the things you use everyday such as cleaning products. Most of us forget that the chemicals we flush down the drains or release into the air also contribute to the environmental problems.

How do you differentiate cleaning products that are eco-friendly from those that are not?

Read the ingredients list thoroughly

Make a mental note of all the toxic chemicals that you need to avoid when you go shopping for supplies. Reading the label will not take more than two minutes but it can make all the difference for your family’s safety and health.

Some of the chemicals to avoid in your cleaning products include ammonia, chlorine or bleach, triclosan, phosphates, phthalates or fragrance, petroleum solvents or surfactants or formaldehyde, butyl glycol, monobutyl, glycol, and ethylene. Some labels will claim that the product is “natural,” “organic,” or “eco-friendly” even if they are not, that is why you should always check the ingredients.

Research vague terms

Unfortunately, some names on the label can be misleading especially because a lot of companies are given leave to use different names if it is a trade secret. Some also take to using vague names to confuse consumers especially now that they are aware some people are looking for eco-friendly products.

Be wary of names like cleaning agent or fragrance for example which are unspecific. You should also check for instructions about safety like using protective gear when handling the product. If it is not safe to use without gloves or eyewear, it is most likely toxic to the flora and fauna, too.

Make a list of alternatives

You should be aware that looking for alternatives for common household cleaning products is not going to be easy. Most of the ingredients listed above are found in almost all products we use at home (and even in our cosmetics).

If you are just switching to eco-friendly products, you need to know where to get the alternatives and what are the price options. Fortunately, there are cheap alternatives such as lemon juice, baking soda, borax (but keep this away from children and pets), castile soap, washing soda, and vinegar.

Choose eco-friendly brands

There are groups all over the world that gather information for consumers because there are no strict laws that regulate the use of common household cleaning ingredients. Visit the group’s website to look for a list of products that are safe to use. One such website is the EWG.

Inspect all of the products you currently use

That includes laundry detergent, fabric softeners, cleaning solutions, disinfectants, and other products you use in your home. You can gradually replace them with non-toxic products or homemade cleaning solutions if you are worried about wasting money.

6 Dresses Every Woman Should Own

Filed Under (Fashion, Lifestyle) by Editor on

Trends usually come and go, and while it’s perfectly fine to try out the current fads, it’s also important that you save some room for the timeless essentials. By having the right clothing pieces right at your closet, you’ll be all set for any occasion that might arise. So be sure to have these dresses on standby, and you’ll be on your way to building a complete closet, regardless of the sartorial or season swing.

  1. The Little Black Dress

Considered as a fail-proof choice, the little black dress is every girl’s go-to clothing piece when they’re in doubt of the dress code of a particular event. So be sure to purchase one that will flatter both your height and your body shape.

  1. Statement Dress

You certainly need a striking part dress for moments when you’re itching to hit the dance the floor. When choosing one, however, be sure to consider the versatility of the dress. That way, you’ll be able to style and wear it for those days when you just need a bold focal point for your ensemble.

  1. Workwear Dress

Stop sticking with your boring trouser and suit combo for work. Instead, channel your inner lady-boss by wearing an office-appropriate get-up that’s polish, stylish and structured.

  1. Lady Dress

A dainty floral dress is all you need if you’ll be attending an afternoon tea engagement or a backyard gathering with your friends. What’s more amazing is you can even wear this delicate piece to a garden wedding.

  1. Shift Dress

Get your hands on an easy day dress that you can rely on during those times when you can’t seem to mix and match your cute tops and bottoms. Plus, most shift dresses are no-brainer pieces that you can wear from day to night.

  1. Floor-Length Dress

For any formal event and evening affair, be sure to invest on a floor-length gown tailored to accentuate your best assets. Also, don’t forget to choose one that has a flattering colour or print. Plus points if you’ll be able to create different looks on it by simply switching your accessories.

While it’s completely okay to try out some of the fashion trends these days, it’s also important that you invest and have some timeless clothing pieces ready in your wardrobe. So be sure to have some or all of these classic dresses ready on your closet so you can easily look stylish whenever you want and need.

Shoe Habits That Might Be Ruining Your Favourite Footwear

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

As what expert stylists say, the footwear that you love to wear reflects who you are. So it only makes sense that you’d care for your favourite pair the same way you take care of yourself. Practising proper shoe care will assure your footwear’s longevity, but certain habits could easily overcome that and eventually ruin your kicks. For that reason, we listed down some shoe habits that could be causing the fast deterioration of your shoes.

  1. Overusing a Certain Pair of Shoes

We all have our favourite pair of kicks, but if you’re wearing them every single day, then there’s a greater chance that they’ll deteriorate faster than your other footwear. To keep that from happening, ensure that you have three pairs of shoes that you can wear on rotation to avoid extreme wear and tear.

  1. Neglecting Your Shoes

Overusing your shoes is a sin, but completely neglecting them is an even bigger mistake. Your shoes need to breathe, so ensure that you avoid keeping them in plastic bags and that you take them out for a walk every now and them. It’d also be a good idea to apply some leather conditioner on your kicks every week so you could prevent its leather from cracking.

  1. Wearing Them Without Protecting Them

When we buy a new footwear, we get all excited and slip them on immediately sans applying any protecting serum. To correct this mistake, simply spritz some waterproof spray on your leather, canvas or suede shoes to avoid weakening its exterior, as well as the appearance of water stains.

  1. Failing to Clean Them Before Storage

Dirt accumulation is what will weaken the material of your footwear. So make sure that you remove any dirt on your suede by rubbing a stale bread or a nail file on it. It’d also be a good idea to care for your leather shoes using a damp cloth with mild laundry detergent before putting it back to its box.

  1. Machine Washing Your Shoes

Regardless of how filthy they get, you should never consider cleaning your kicks using the washing machine. Doing so will degrade its quality and weaken the glue that binds the entire footwear.

Just like with your other things, taking care of your shoes is the key to make it last longer. So be sure to put the aforementioned tips to work so you could properly care for your kicks and you could enjoy them longer.

The Art of Drinking Moonshine

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

Moonshine has had a bad reputation because of the stories that it could make you blind or paralyzed. Add to that the fact that its production increased when liquor was banned in the US. Nowadays, this name for most high-proof distilled spirits are legal in a lot of countries including Singapore.

How Moonshine is Made

If you go by tradition, the term moonshine applies only to corn-based unaged whiskey with a clear color and a proof of up to 190. According to whiskey lovers, the best moonshine are homemade and placed in jars. Its name probably comes from the nature of the distillation and purchase which were all done at night to avoid taxes and prosecution.

Although there are differences in the techniques and ingredients used, there are some common elements in homemade moonshine, such as the malt base which is a combination of rye, corn, and barley. Most moonshine are also produced in pot stills, but the rumors regarding the blindness and poisoning may be a result from contamination from the materials.

This is why you should only purchase products from legitimate distillers that do not use lead and other contaminants. Today there are nearly a hundred varieties of moonshine in different countries. In the Southeast Asian region, the following are the names for moonshine: arrack in Indonesia, lao lao in laos, langkau and montoku in Malaysia, lambanog in the Philippines, sura khao or lao khao in Thailand, and ruou in Vietnam.

Moonshine and Food Pairings

Most varieties of moonshine pack a punch (40% alcohol by volume) so it’s not for the fainthearted. The best way to enjoy it if you’re used to strong alcoholic beverages is to pair it with food to complement or contrast its aroma and flavors. Fruit-flavored moonshine for example is best paired with saucy barbecue, coleslaw, and sliders. Smoked meat with cheese and mashed potatoes will also make moonshine go down the throat more smoothly. Any juicy, smoky and heavily-flavored meal can be cleansed with a shot of moonshine on the rocks or moonshine cocktail.

Moonshine Cocktails You Must Try

The best way to introduce your friends to moonshine is to make cocktails. Here are some recipes you must try on your next party.

  • Salty Apple: 2 ounces apple pie moonshine and 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • Chocolate Moonshine: 1 cup grain alcohol with 151 proof, 8 ounces dark chocolate, 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, 1 ¼ cups sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 quart heavy or light cream
  • Ginger Snap: 2 ounces apple pie moonshine, ice, and 4 ounces ginger ale
  • Coconut Sunrise: 3 jiggers coconut moonshine, 5 cups orange juice, 1 jigger grenadine, shredded coconut, ice, and maraschino cherries
  • Moonshine Margarita: 2 ounces moonshine, 1 ounce triple sec, 1 ounce simply syrup, 1 ounce lime juice, and ice
  • Cider-Berry: 1 ½ cups apple pie moonshine, ½ pint blackberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 lemon juice, 750 mL dry hard cider, ice cubes, and 3 mint sprigs
  • Peach Cobbler: 1 ½ cups Everclear, 64 ounces white grape peach juice, ½ cup peach schnapps, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 peeled and quartered peaches, and 3 cinnamon sticks

4 Surprising Things You Should Clean By Washing Machine

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

Even though you think you’ve cleaned up every last corner of your HDB flat or condo unit in Singapore, you’ll find that dust and dirt finds its way in more areas and things than you think – and sometimes, you might just end up missing a spot. But it’s not just dust and dirt that can make their homes in pretty much anything. Be sure to clean these things via washing machine and make a habit of doing so every few months:

Stuffed toys
You’ll be surprised how easily stuffed animals can become dirt sponges when you don’t keep a careful eye on them, so tossing them in the washing machine at least once a month will keep the dust at bay and prevent your children from catching a cold. Be sure to wash in warm water using a gentle cycle and air-dry it. If it has any rips or stains, treat the latter with detergent or stain remover and place the toy in a laundry mesh bag to keep the filling intact.

Unless your backpack is made from leather, you can usually give it a spin in the washing machine along with a lighter laundry load that has similar colors. Before doing so, be sure to empty every pocket in order to avoid any accidental stains or tears. Treat any stains beforehand using a stain removal product and turn it upside-down before adding any disinfectant if necessary. If the stain is particularly tough, use a soft-bristled brush to work the stain removal product into the fabric for about fifteen minutes.

Oven mitts/hot pads
Washing kitchen equipment isn’t just limited to kitchen towels – you also need to take care of your oven mitts and hot pads since they most likely have come in contact with food at one point or another. Keep in mind that tossing your oven mitts and hot pads in a washing machine can do a lot to clean them, but what they can’t do is reverse the damage in the burnt areas. If your oven mitts are too burnt for use, you might have to purchase new ones.

Mop heads
There’s only so much that you can do with a mop head until it starts getting dirty, and no matter how long you let it soak in water and how much detergent you use, it won’t be enough to get rid of all the dirt that’s accumulated throughout your use. However, there’s no need to ditch that mop for a new one – if you can detach the mop head, all you need to do is to load it in your washing machine and let a gentle spin cycle take care of all that dirt for you.

Activities You Can Do to Spend Your “Alone Time”

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

Whether in person or social media, we are always looking to meet everyone’s expectations. But as you know, sometimes we need to take a step back and enjoy our “me” time. And here are some activities for you to do just that.

Learning to cook or learning a new recipe can be more fun if you try to do it by yourself. For one, you’ll be able to save yourself from the primary embarrassment of making a mistake, like overcooking rice or something. You’ll also be able to experiment on new recipes without being disturbed by others.

Read a book
Being able to read in complete silence without hearing other people’s noises can give you quite a wonderful time. On the flip side, you could also read out loud as if you were narrating the story yourself. Not only is it fun to put your own twist to the voices of the characters, you’re also giving your mind some exercise because you’re not only using your eyes this time, but also your mouth and ears.

When there’s nobody else with you, of course you won’t be disturbing anyone if you put your favorite music on full blast (but consider your neighbors!). You can easily go and dance around the house to your favorite dance songs without worrying about being judged. Why will it matter if you’re a bit bad at dancing if there’s no one else to see?

Hit the karaoke
The thing about KTV is that it can be enjoyed individually just as much as with a group. Whether you’re a little embarrassed with your voice, or you just prefer going solo, go ahead and sing your heart out to Jay Chou’s and/or Stefanie Sun’s songs!

Go window-shopping
It’s no question that the malls around Singapore are quite known. So much so that shopping is even considered a hobby by many. Even if you don’t have much money, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the malls and have a little fun.

Visit a museum
If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Singapore, then there’s no better place than the National Museum of Singapore itself. Both the History and Living galleries are incredible sights to see.

Take a hike
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Fort Canning Park, Pulau Ubin, and MacRitchie Reservoir are among the many parks and nature trails in Singapore. Taking a hike and having a date with nature can give you a time for stress relief and relaxation, hence making you calmer and keeping your mind fresh.

Try a new form of physical exercise
Cycling and jogging or common ways to exercise. Give yourself a challenge and try something new. Go gym climbing, boxing, fencing, swimming and etc. You never know, you might find a physical hobby that you’ll actually enjoy.

4 Crucial Tips for Turning Broken China from Trash to Treasure

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

Can you turn something broken into something beautiful?

With the right inspiration, safety measures, and materials, the answer is most definitely yes!

So don’t weep and throw away your broken china just yet – while it may be too expensive to have them repaired by a professional, you can definitely make them into something new entirely.

Here are four crucial tips for doing exactly that:

1. Safety first!
Make sure you have the proper safety equipment and procedure when handling broken porcelain to avoid accidentally cutting yourself or anyone who might come across them.

Ideally, you want to handle this type of re-purposing by using thick gloves to hold the china pieces, and if you’ve just broken a plate or two, be sure to vacuum up the area after sorting out the pieces.

This way, you get rid of the tiny debris that could hurt anyone, and you’re free to move onto your re-purposing project.

2. Sand down the edges.
Start with a rough-grit sandpaper for the sharp edges of broken porcelain, and then work your way towards a finger-grit to smooth them out completely.

By doing this, you make sure that no one cuts themselves accidentally over any broken pieces that you want to use, and especially the ones you don’t. It also works well if you find a broken piece that you really like by itself, which you can repurpose for a pendant or a mosaic in a multi-media piece.

3. Use the pieces from different wares.
Don’t feel limited by the dishes you break. In fact, as long as the original chinaware dishes are similar in size, you can use pieces from different chinaware to give your project a more colorful flair.

You can also do more than simply re-create former dishes – use the opportunity instead to make something completely new out of the broken pieces.

There are all kinds of things that you can make by applying just the right amount of plaster or grout, such as new vases, flower pots, and even set mosaic pieces that you can display on your living room or indoor garden. You can even make pendants out of the broken chinaware pieces!

4. Use broken china to upcycle!
You can add broken pieces to almost anything, from tin cans to even flower pots. Simply take the broken pieces and arrange them on top of the item you want to up-cycle before gluing them carefully.

The result is a new piece, whether it’s a tin can or a plain old flower pot. Not only will it work great as decoration, but you can even turn it into a hobby or a small business.

Why Should We Dance?

Filed Under (Lifestyle) by Editor on

The richness of dance in Singapore can be credited to its diversity in culture. There is a wide range of dancing forms and genres appreciated around its culture. Before, traditional dance was at the peak. Then ballet was also initiated by the government. In the recent years, even hip-hop groups have also competed internationally to represent Singapore. This simply shows that dancing can be a wonderful part of life, for the young and old, local or foreigner, stranger or friend.

To express
Because movement is an important measure for us to express ourselves, dancing is one of the most pleasing ways to express our emotions and feelings. Dancing slowly in the arms of your lover and looking into each other’s eyes can be an expression of how strong you feel and how much you love each other. In dancing, the ones who dance are also not the only ones who express their emotions. Dance crews that show synchronized movements and incredible flips can excite and invite enthusiasm from the people watching.

To form and strengthen relationships
Families and friends can become, strangers can become friends, groups can compete. The dance floor is definitely a place to build bonds and relationships. Dancing is an avenue for people to come together in a fun and energetic environment, regardless of race, age, or background. Dance crews and ballet dancers, both specially, build lasting relationships and memories with their peers. They spend long hours together in practice and on the stage, share moments of both victory and defeat. Those experiences create ties between people even with their similarities and differences.

A good workout
Dancing can obviously be a great workout. It is good for our heart, lungs, bones, and it works so many muscles in the body. It gets our blood pumping and improves our mood. The use of quick steps, turns, and movements can train our muscles and joints helping us move better even in simple daily tasks. Overall, it can improve our strength, stamina, coordination, balance, and flexibility. You will also learn to recognize and be aware of the physical aspect and your control over your own body. Enabling you to recognize yourself better.

For the young and old alike
Different generations, of course, would appreciate different forms of dancing. And dancing is a great way to stay fit for people of all ages. Line dancing, for example, can be particularly popular with some aunties and uncles in Singapore. Sometimes there are even younger people who go with their parents or grandparents to dance. Hip hop and ballet are also still popular with teens and young adults. You would notice that even young children sway their hips and bounce to the music.