5 Travel Companions You Should Avoid

Holiday trips and vacations are supposed to be breaks from stress. It should be a chance to escape reality and an opportunity to create fun memories. Make the most out of that chance to break free for a while and ensure you tag along the right people for the most unforgettable trip of your life. Choose your companions well and avoid these people for a stress-free vacation.

  1. The Latecomer

Every tour guide’s number one enemy, this traveler probably has her own body clock set in a different time zone. No matter how early the call time is, she always asks for 10 more minutes—which is honestly still runs almost an hour—because she’s hadn’t had her coffee yet, changed her outfit or *insert lame excuse here*.

  • The Borrower

So, you have been unknowingly tasked to pay for other person’s vacation expenses because: a) she doesn’t have enough cash; b) she left her wallet at the hotel; c) she does not have change or d) all of the above. Expect that one friend of yours to be the last person to pick up her wallet for the bill. Make sure to keep those receipts, since she’s the one who takes forever to pay.

  • The Unadventurous Soul

It’s okay to have everything planned out, but a little spontaneity won’t hurt and will even bring more fun. We’re not talking about extremes, like snake petting or sky diving, anyway. Spur of the moments are normal on holidays, and if these opportunities are constantly getting avoided, the group would end up losing that precious moment and chance. Hence, accommodating your buddy’s constant unwillingness to try new things can be exhausting, not just for you but for everyone if you’re travelling with a group.

  • The “I Miss My boyfriend/Girlfriend” Companion

In today’s generation, we are often caught up on our gadgets doing all sorts of stuff—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. However, travelling with people who is always on their phone with their beau can be annoying. So, if you have that friend who you often find with her phone on her hand, then know that she isn’t a fun travel buddy to have.  

  • The Scatter Queen

Loose change, purchases, receipts and dirty clothes everywhere. You feel like you have to be a good parent when you tag this person along—cleaning up her mess and lending her essentials because she forgot to bring hers. Do not even rely on her to take charge of the group’s pot money or booking entrance tickets to places, because she’ll surely forget.

The destination is just half the fun of a vacation; going with the right companion is what truly makes the trip memorable. Now that you know who you shouldn’t travel with, it should be easier to pinpoint the ones worth inviting for your next holiday.

5 Things You Must Never Say to Your Husband

Yes, we know that husbands and wives should never hide anything from each other, but there are some complaints, sentences and words that are just hurtful and should never come out of your mouth no matter how angry or upset you are. Remember that these words can never be taken back even after saying you’re sorry. Keep these must-not-say matters in mind and do your best never to say them to your husband.

  1. Comparing your marriage to others

The grass is usually always greener on the other side of the fence, so you might get tempted to compare your marriage with others by saying something like “why can’t you just be like her husband, helping her with take care of the kids?” or “my friend’s husband bought her a new diamond ring, it looks really nice.” Every marriage is different and that seemingly perfect couple also experience marital problems sometimes.

  • Insults to their friends or family

No matter how you despise someone in his family or one of his friends, never say anything rude about them. Instead of saying, “I just can’t stand your mom,” explain the reason why you feel such way. Surely, he will understand and even help you solve the issue. As much as possible, you wouldn’t want your husband to feel like he needs to pick sides.

  • Mentioning ex-lovers

Even if you do not compare them with your ex, simply mentioning them already is hurtful or at least uncomfortable to your spouse. Don’t ever mention your past lover in front of your husband, nor say things like “oh I know that place I used to go there with the man I dated before.” Focus on your current relationship and concentrate on creating more memories, rather than looking back to your moments with your past lover(s).

  • Anything that makes him feel stupid

Your husband may be forgetful, may not be good at cooking or doesn’t have good sense of humor, but you don’t have to be critical about it. Saying things like “how can you not know this?” or the thing we easily and loosely say “that’s a stupid idea” can affect his self-esteem. Instead of scolding him, find solutions together and focus on his strengths.

  • Belittling his career or hobbies

Respect is key to a happy marriage. Saying offensive things that attacks their passion, like their career and hobbies, make them feel impotent. While you may not always, but your husband’s career and hobbies play a major part of his individuality and even masculinity. So, attacking these two aspects of his life may offend him and his whole individuality.

Keeping a marriage happy is all about good communication. Work through the challenges together whether scarring anyone for life with hurtful words.

Photos: Why Do We Take and Keep Them?

In our time, taking photos is too easy it’s almost a joke. Because of the advent of social media and smartphones, we take pictures almost every day. We take selfies, pictures of our food, pets, and a lot more. We do it too much that some would even dare say that we’ve lost the real essence of taking pictures. But even so, meaningful purpose or not, there are always reasons to take and keep photos.

Keeping memories

Probably the most apparent reason why we take photos is for us to hold on to the memories behind them. We may not notice it but life goes by so fast that we sometimes fail to remember certain parts of our everyday life. Photos can take us back to those important moments and help us reminisce those memories with others.

Whether you’ve went to a vacation in Sentosa, or had a picnic at the Esplanade Roof Garden with your boyfriend/girlfriend, photos take you back to those times and quite possibly help those moments live forever. To put it simply, there are times in our life that we just can’t let slip by without any means of recording them, and taking a photo can be the easiest medium for the job.

To help us realize the value of small things

Sometimes we can get too focused on the big things in life that we fail to notice the small details that contribute to them. Photos help us see the simplicity of life, and that not all things have to be big and complicated to be recognized. A picture of a small butterfly or that of a dew drop on a leaf can be as breathtaking as seeing grand shows or big fireworks.

Photos help us see that there are many unique and beautiful moments in life that we simply fail to observe. With photos, we get another opportunity to see some things that we might have missed if we went about our day like we normally do.

A spark of inspiration

Different photos tell different stories. There can be photos capturing moments of victory or defeat, happiness or suffering, even the beautiful and the grotesque. These images can influence the way we feel as we see them, images of war and turmoil can make us feel sad or mournful while images of victory and love makes us feel happy and light-hearted.

Much like words, photos are great sources of motivation and inspiration. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example. He looked at photos of himself thinking “This man will be the greatest bodybuilder the world has ever seen”. And apart from his work ethic, the idea and image of himself on the top drove him to be the best and actually be known as one ofthe greatest bodybuilders in history.

Different hair care tips for men

Some say that the stress from all the work in Singapore can cause balding and other hair problems. Obviously, this isn’t the only cause. But, as many (or as little) as the causes, there are also many ways for us to keep our hair well and strong. Here are some tips to keep your crown of glory healthy!

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Eating healthy food, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and exercising all affect the condition of our hair for the better. From giving our body proper nutrition, to the reduction of stress hormones, living a healthy lifestyle surely will reflect on the strength and healthiness of our hair. 

Go easy with the drying

Hair is most vulnerable and at its weakest when it is wet. This is why rubbing your hair wildly with a towel does you more harm than good. When drying, try to gently pat your hair with the towel instead of rubbing it. Drying can take a bit longer this way, though, so try to do things earlier if you can.

Don’t use a brush for wet hair 

Again, hair is weaker and vulnerable to damage when wet. Because of its rigid (or soft) bristles, a hairbrush can cause a strand of hair to wrap itself around and break when you move the brush. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb or stroke your hair with your fingers.

Avoid products and services that may damage your hair

Repeated straightening, coloring, perming, and etc. can easily leave hair damaged. This is because these services can retexture your hair in ways that they are not naturally made for. If you really want to do so, look for a good stylist who knows the best products and processes suitable for your hair.

Avoid hot showers

 If you take hot showers, the water may rid your hair and scalp of its natural oils, hence leading to dryness and possibly hair loss. It is then ideal to wash your hair in lukewarm water and rinse it with cooler water to keep the moisture in your hair.

Stop using tight hats

If you’ve worn a tight hat before, you already know the annoying feeling of your hair being pulled in different parts of your head. Wearing tight hats, even tight ponytails, can cause gradual hair loss primarily because of the constant pulling force being applied on the hair.

Get trims

Sometimes when it’s too late, we really can’t avoid damaging our hair. And the only real way to get rid of damaged hair is to get a cut. Having a haircut every 4 to 6 weeks is usually good to remove the damage and keep hair neat and healthy at the same time.

7 Best Local Ice Cream Joints in Singapore to Get Your Frozen Fix

Now that it’s summer time, everyone in Singapore is looking for a way to beat the heat before school days start again – from waterparks, to indoor playgrounds, to even backyard swimming pools – but one of the best ways to beat the heat is by simply chilling over ice cream.

Here are the some of the best local ice cream joints in Singapore that are definitely worth giving a try:

A Spoonful of Sugar
If you’re looking for ice cream and waffles, then head on over to A Spoonful of Sugar to enjoy both at the same time. Be sure to come hungry and chill out in their cozy environment while you watch them ‘cold fry’ their trademark chocolate combo customized just for you.

Holy Cow Creamery
Can’t get enough of waffles and ice cream? Holy Cow Creamery is sure to sate your hunger with plain and charcoal waffles, as well as classic ice cream flavors everyone is sure to love, such as cookies and cream and salted caramel (you should also keep an eye out for their salted caramel, which is definitely a notch or two above the rest).

Momolato
Momolato’s specialty is their fruit sorbet popsicles that will have you coming back for more on a hot summer’s day – they’re also especially great if you’re looking to enjoy something that’s both sweet and healthy at the same time.

320 Below
And who could forget the company that pioneered nitrogen ice cream (ice cream frozen using nitrogen is completely safe and delicious)? 320 below doesn’t just make everything from scratch to make sure everything is fresh just for you, but they can also whip up a mean ice cream sandwich.

The Ice Cream and Cookie Co.
With more boutique dessert suppliers looking to sell their goods wholesale, you might want to keep an eye out for The Ice Cream and Cookie Co., which specializes in selling their original ice cream sandwich as well as a full range of artisanal desserts you’re sure to know and love.

Milk & Honey Gelato
With outlets located both east and west of Singapore, Milk & Honey Gelato is a specialty ice cream joint that’s part of the booming café craze, and specializes in handmade gelato and waffles, along with a varied selection of plated desserts, salads, and sandwiches for you to choose from.

Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise is a place you should definitely try if you have a knack for ice cream with unique Oriental flavors, from spiced pear and vanilla fig to strawberry basil and even pandan, and their crispy thyme as well for the full ice cream experience.

The Different Knife Types You Should Keep in Your Kitchen

Whether it’s slicing, dicing, carving, or even paring, every kitchen from high-end restaurant to humble personal abode needs a good set of reliable knives that will not just cut with precision, but will also last a long time.

The Different Parts in a Knife
To better understand how knives work, it’s important to take a close look at the different parts of the knife:

• Tip – The top part of the blade used to pierce and start the cut with
• Tang – The part of the blade that goes all the way to the handle and provides much of the weight and balance.
• Spine – The dull side of the blade opposite of the edge
• Edge – The sharp side. Surprisingly, the sharper it is, the safer and better the knife is to use.
• Handle – The part that gives the knife its gripping surface – a good knife will have a superior grip that minimizes any chance of slipping from your hand.
• Heel – The lower area of the blade used for cutting food items that are tough to cut through
• Bolster – In forged knives, the bolster is the thick band of steel between the heel and the handle that gives balance and keep the hand from slipping to the blade.

Types of Knives
It’s always good to work with the best available tools, since the right blade will let you work with better precision and skill, and will allow for neater cuts. Different knife types also serve different purposes, and you will need different ones depending on your level, field, and your expertise.

Here are some of the most commonly used knife types in kitchens, for both home and restaurant use:

1. Chef’s knife – This is an all-purpose knife that can be used for chopping, slicing, dicing, and even mincing, but shouldn’t be used for peeling vegetables – there are other knives more suited to the task.
2. Utility knife – Utility knives are used in the same way as a chef’s knife. They’re great for most everyday tasks, except for smaller precision tasks that smaller knives are capable of.

3. Meat cleaver – This type of knife can cut through poultry bones and tough foods in one swing, as well as pulverize meat and crush seeds. However, its size makes it less ideal for slicing.
4. Carving knife – When it comes to slicing meats into thin slices, a carving knife’s long, thin blade is your friend.
5. Paring knife – This small but extremely handy knife is a must-have for precision tasks in the kitchen, such as peeling and trimming.

Knives can either be made of carbon steel or stainless steel, and aside from having a good set of knives in your kitchen, you also need to be able to maintain them and use them properly.

What Can You Do About Childhood Obesity?

Although obesity can be prevented, there seems to be a rise in the number of overweight individuals in the world, including children and teenagers. Obesity is defined as the excessive fat accumulation that can impair health or cause several health problems.

Here are the things you need to keep in mind to help stop your child from becoming obese.

Know Your Child’s Ideal Weight
For a growing child, the ideal weight trajectory should be based on the height and weight change proportional to the overall development. A child will be classified as overweight if the weight is above the recommended average for his/her age and height. If the weight is not monitored properly, the child could become obese as an adult and will have a much more difficult time changing bad eating habits later.

Know the Risks for Obesity
Some children are more likely to become overweight than others because of several factors; such as unchecked bad eating habits, genes, lack of physical activity, and consumption of food and drinks high in sodium, sugar, and fat. Parents who encourage unhealthy lifestyle and those parents who are unhealthy themselves, create an obesogenic environment for a child that can be difficult to change. According to various research, majority of the children who were obese were still obese as teenagers and even as adults.

Know the Cause of Weight Gain
Weight gain is the result of more energy taken from food and beverages than the body can burn off through physical activity. A deadly combination usually involves easy access to food high in fat and calories and an environment that discourages or lacks opportunity for physical activities. Only a small percentage of obese children have problems with hereditary diseases that contribute to obesity, so majority of the cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle.

Know the Results of Obesity
While chubby kids might look cute, there is a risk of developing serious health problems that can plague the child until he/she becomes an adult, such as diabetes, heart problems, asthma, and depression. That is why it’s important to address lifestyle problems as early as possible, beginning with the adults who look after the child.

Know How to Fight Obesity
Children don’t need to go through a strict diet to reduce weight, unlike obese adults. The goal of childhood obesity treatment is to slow weight gain until the child grows into his/her ideal weight. You are not supposed to cut off a child’s supply of fat and carbohydrates, because these are needed for growth and development. However, you have to avoid trans fats and choose saturated fats properly. The same is true for sugar, so instead of a no-sugar diet, limit the child’s sugar options by preparing healthy meals and small snacks. The treatment, however, involves the entire family by exposing the child to healthy food, encouraging physical activities and socialization, and to limit their idle time watching the television or the use of the computer.

What is Gluten Intolerance?

A lot of people think gluten intolerance is just a fad or another newly discovered type of allergy, but this condition is neither of those. Sometimes it is a symptom of celiac disease, but gluten intolerance can also exist outside the disease and even wheat allergy or gluten ataxia, which are all different conditions.

Gluten and Gluten Intolerance
Simply put, gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is the person’s sensitivity to gluten in food such as wheat, rye, barley, oat and triticale. Gluten is the name of the proteins, prolamins and glutelins, found in the food listed and are responsible for maintaining their shape. It is the component that makes the dough elastic or the food chewy. Fortunately, gluten is only found in the food listed above and the related species and hybrids, so it is possible to monitor the person’s diet to avoid the symptoms.

Cause of Gluten Intolerance
There is no known cause for gluten intolerance, although some researchers are trying to look for markers in the genes to determine a treatment. What they found, however, is that it is a distinct condition that is separate from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition that makes the body react to gluten as if it is a poison. It was also determined that there are more people who are gluten-intolerant than those diagnosed with celiac disease.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
With celiac disease, the body will try to destroy the part of the small intestines that absorb nutrients, but a person with gluten intolerance will not have the same response. Symptoms of gluten intolerance vary among those with the condition, but signs may include diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, cramping and bloating, muscle and joint pains, frequent headache, chronic fatigue, mood changes, skin problems, difficulty concentrating and remembering, and nutrient deficiencies.

Gluten-Free Diet
If you think you have gluten intolerance, you need to talk to your doctor about tests that will rule out other possible conditions such as celiac disease. Remember that celiac disease can cause damage to your intestines, while gluten intolerance does not. While there is there no cure for gluten sensitivity and treatments are limited because the condition is poorly understood, a patient with this condition is advised to practice gluten-free or low-gluten diet. For the next 30 days, you will eliminate gluten from your diet until your condition improves, then the doctor will ask you to reintroduce it and to look for symptoms. If you have adverse reaction to gluten, you will have to avoid food that contain wheat, rye, barley, and other related species and varieties. Remember to read labels carefully, because not all manufacturers indicate that their product is gluten-free.

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