5 DIY Room Dividers You Can Build on a Budget

The best way to put you carpentry skills to the test is by sprucing up your HDB flat or condo unit in Singapore, and the first step to doing that is to make a simple room divider.

You can use all kinds of tools when doing this, from staple guns to glue guns and hammers and nails. Depending on how you make it, room dividers can either be made as inner partition walls, or as simple as a rope curtain that you can part and take down at any time.

So if it’s your first time sprucing up your HDB flat or condo unit, here are five DIY room dividers you can start building right now:

            1. Tapestry dividers

You can give your room a stunning look by using your tapestry as a way to section off certain areas, especially when it comes to dedicated reading areas.

All you need is a wooden frame in whatever length you need with the appropriate tripod foot for each side, and you can attach the tapestry to the frame using Velcro. Depending on how big the frame is, you may need a center leg to reinforce it.

            2. Jute rope

This is a simple DIY divider that uses jute rope fastened from wooden shoe plates that are mounted on both the floor and the ceiling, which results in a divider that sections areas while still letting a lot of light through.

While it’s simple and cheap, you can really use it to add a more rustic appearance to your home, and it’s even better if you can get a thinner jute rope for this project.

            3. Hanging divider

Similar to standing dividers, you can make your dividers out of canvas cloth and wooden frames and hang them with screw hooks instead of adding tripod feet for support.

After drilling holes in the ceiling, be sure to test out how your divider will hang before stretching out the fabric, and if you need to add additional support, you can always use anchors to support the hooks.

            4. Shelves

The classic, and arguably, the easiest way to divide a room into sections is by using bookshelves mounted perpendicularly to the walls.

However, it’s important to secure the unit to keep it from tipping over accidentally. Your best bet to keep your shelf firmly attached to your wall is by using solid restraints, such as L-shaped brackets fastened to wall studs and at the top of the shelf itself.  

            5. Portable dividers

Portable dividers are really easy to make and place anywhere space is needed from one area in your home to another. All you really need to make these are wooden or MDF boards, or even wooden frames stretched over with fabric, fastened together with rivet joints to make an extended wall.

3 Amazing Alternatives to Tile Flooring in Your HDB Flat

Tiles are so common in nearly every building, HDB flat, or condo unit in Singapore that it’s the first choice you might even think of when choosing the flooring.

However, ceramic tiles do have their downsides: for high impact, areas they can be prone to cracking, scratching or chipping, and they can be quite expensive the more square feet you pay for.

If you don’t like to use ceramic tiles for your flooring, there are a few other amazing alternatives you can get for your HDB flat:

            1. Laminate

Laminate is easily the best budget flooring option that snaps into place easily. Not only can it imitate the appearance of more expensive flooring materials, such as marble and wood, but it does so at half the cost of vinyl.

The biggest difference between laminate and vinyl is that while vinyl is made of mostly PVC, laminate flooring is usually made from high-density fiberboard, which combines both wood fiber, chips, and plastic into one durable material.

Perhaps the only drawback to laminate flooring is that it can’t be used in wet areas, and can warp depending on moisture and humidity. It’s also prone to staining, and needs to be applied on a smooth surface because of its relative lack of flexibility.

            2. Vinyl

One of the most affordable materials you can get for your floor is vinyl, a type of flooring made up of several sheets stacked three- to five-millimeters thick.

Aside from being economical, vinyl also comes in a wide selection of colors and designs, and is really easy to install. In fact, a room – or even a whole home – can be fully furnished with vinyl in less than four hours.

And to top it all off, vinyl is much more flexible compared to laminate or engineered wood, making it great for homes with uneven surfaces.

But while vinyl is cheap, it does come with its own downsides. For instance, it’s just as prone to scratching as certain types of tiles, and poorly manufactured vinyl flooring can have high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

            3. Engineered wood

Engineered wood is a great budget option if you absolutely love both the look and feel of solid wood in your home but can’t afford enough square feet of it for your renovation.

Besides having the look of real wood at half the cost, you not only have more choices with engineered wood, but it’s also less likely to swell or shrink from differences in temperature and humidity.

However, just like other types of flooring, it’s not great for high-traffic areas or ones that get wet often, since it can both warp and stain.

3 Simple Exercises You Can Do to Attain a More Defined Jawline

If you were previously skinny but have started to gain weight, you may start to notice that the clearly defined chin in your photos is now replaced with a more blurry line where the face ends and the neck begins.

This is known as the double chin, and while it can be disheartening at first, knowing what causes the double chin will let you know what you can do to improve it.

Why the Double Chin?

The double chin is simply a layer of fat deposit around your neck, and can become more noticeable as you gain more weight. Aside from fat, other factors can also be responsible for causing a double chin, such as excess water and aging.

While it’s harmless on its own, a double chin can be unflattering to look at if you’re trying to get into shape to get the body you want.

Here are a few exercises you can start doing to bring back your jawline:

1. Neck Rolls

Move your chin to your right shoulder and slowly move it from the center to the left. Repeat fifteen times until you start to feel a tension between your neck and chin. Be sure to keep a straight back during this exercise.

2. Sky Pouting

While keeping your back and your spine straight, tilt back your head until you’re looking at the sky. Pout and hold for five seconds before releasing, and then repeat this exercise ten to fifteen times.

3. Platysma Workout

The platysma muscle connects from your jawline to your shoulder and can easily expand in size. It’s also the muscle that should be used best when it comes to attaining a more clearly defined jawline.

To exercise this muscle, start by opening your mouth as if you were yawning. Next, cover your bottom teeth using your bottom lip and proceed to open and close your mouth this way for fifteen repetitions.

What You Need to Know About Long-Term Prevention

Keeping a clearly defined jawline can take some work, but there are daily habits that you can start doing to get rid of the double chin, such as proper diet and exercise to burn through fat deposits in your body.

Additionally, you can also add up to your current intake of vitamin E, a type of antioxidant helps to retain skin elasticity and prevent sagging by bonding with free radicals in the body. Vitamin E can easily be found in a lot of fruits and nuts, as well as olive oil and dairy products.

Non-sugar chewing gum can also give your jaw the exercise to keep it in shape, and works well especially if you feel the need to be constantly munching on something.

How to Resolve Conflicts in Your Relationship Without Hurting

Even though you think that you and your partner are in sync and agree on basically everything, it’s a known fact that every couple will argue at some point in time, and the list of causes for these potential conflicts is endless.

When this does happen, it’s important to know how to be able to discuss your feelings and ideas openly and honestly, without belittling or demeaning your partner, and most importantly, respect needs to come from both parties.  

Resolving Disagreements the Right Way

Here’s what you need to do to start smoothing out any rough patches in your relationship, and resolve an argument with your partner in a way that strengthens your bond:

  1. Control your response. It’s easy to simply fly off the handles and lay it onto your partner or spouse – and it’s an easy way to strain your relationship.

Feelings change and fluctuate. While it’s a lot harder to gather your thoughts at first, you’ll find that you can resolve conflicts a lot easier when you simply take a break and calm yourself down. Once you do, understand what you truly feel and why you feel that way, and only then can you start discussing with your partner.

  • Don’t run away. Even if you say you don’t like conflict, you’re bound to encounter it, and when you do, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is that running away from the problem or trying to ignore it doesn’t do anything.

At the end of the day, making your partner feel valued and loved is more important than the issue at hand, and it keeps your relationship strong even if you can’t resolve your conflict.

  • Accept your differences. You won’t always see eye-to-eye with your partner on certain things, and that’s perfectly okay. What you do need to do is to make sure that you hear each other out and that you and your partner’s opinions are both worth considering.

Choosing Your Confidant

Having a trusted party to discuss this issue with can give you a different perspective. If you decide to tell someone, be sure that you know each other well, has your best interest at heart, and will tell you the truth you need to hear instead of simply comfort you.

With good advice and a new perspective on your issue with your partner, you will be able to go face the problem and address it calmly, openly, and honestly.

Fighting to Improve

At the end of the day, it’s not the conflicts and arguments that jeopardize the relationship, but rather how you respond to it. Instead of attacking the person, focus on what the two of you can do to resolve the issue. When you do finally agree on a compromise, you will be able to improve yourselves and your relationship.

How to Fix Peeling Paint in 5 Easy Steps

Before painting or re-painting your home’s interior or exterior, you may need to deal with the existing coats that are already there, and more so if the paint has already started to chip and flake.

While you may think that it’s easy to paint over old paint, you can still recognize the telltale edges and chips once it’s dried. This can make the end result appear sloppy, and may even flake again after a while.

To fix peeling paint from walls and other surfaces at home, follow these steps:

  1. Scrape away the loose chips

Start with a paint scraper to scrape away the loose chips of paint from your wall. Be sure to move from the top and work your way to the bottom to make cleaning easier.

If it starts becoming difficult to pry away the paint, stop and proceed to the next step.

  • Sand the chipped area

Start with a wire brush and sweep vigorously any remaining loose flakes and debris around the area. If the paint peels again, break out your paint scraper and remove them from the wall.

After using the wire brush and the paint scraper, take a fine-grit sandpaper and lightly scrape away the last of the flaking paint to ensure a smoother surface for your paint job.

  • Apply the filler (optional)

There’s a good chance that the paint surface will be relatively uneven if you’re working with older wooden surfaces. This is where the filler comes in to smoothen depressions and make the paint job appear more uniform.  

You can also use filler when you’re working with uneven work surfaces on concrete walls, and plaster when it comes to drywall.

  • Apply the primer

Once the filler has set, applying the primer is your next step. This will let your paint adhere better to the surface and give a more even coat.

Primer is also important when you’re using lighter hues of paint, since they are usually less opaque and would not completely cover the work surface you happen to be painting on. You should especially put emphasis on the primer when you’re using yellow paint.

  • Paint in the colors

Once your primer has dried, proceed to paint in your colors! If you want to make them last for a long time, it will definitely help to get a sealant that will work with the type of paint you’re using for your work surface.

To get a more even re-painting job, be sure to choose the same paint hue as the original coat. You can find this hue by taking a sample of the flaking paint and comparing it to the rest when choosing at your nearest hardware store.

5 Crucial Signs that Say It’s Time to Organize Your Room

When in Singapore, being busy can be a normal thing. However, there may just be times when your schedule is just too crammed and too hectic to the point that you don’t have any more time to slow down and re-organize.

If you notice these signs happening in your life, it might be the time to take a step back and re-asses where you are – and make changes as needed:

  1. You keep misplacing everything

Everyone misplaces things now and then, but when you can’t even keep track of your essentials – your phone, wallet, keys, etc. – it means that your routine is breaking down in one part or another, and you need to get it back on track as soon as possible.

For your room, this means placing them back in the same spot you usually place them in, or keeping them in your handbag for easy access anytime you need it.

  • Menial tasks frustrate you

You may think that you’re not moving fast enough and there are a lot of ways to save time to get to what you need to do faster, and you can start by getting rid of these small, everyday tasks.

But it turns out the solution to getting things done is to actually start with these small things. Not only do they help you establish a routine, but you can also use them to take a look at the bigger picture that is your hectic schedule.

  • Your attention span is shorter/you’re more easily distracted

Because there are so many things going on at once, you don’t even know where to start for fear of missing out.

And this also reflects in your personal space – having a really cluttered one is a sign that you’re too distracted to focus on any one thing for a longer period of time, and the solution is to take the time to clean out your desk or your room.

  • You feel overwhelmed

There comes a point when everyone feels like there’s simply too much to do with so little time. However, there is a way to manage this without being overwhelmed, and that is through effective time management and prioritizing tasks.

So if you have so many post-it notes and reminders that you can’t seem to sift through, the first thing you need to do is to find the things you need to do first.

  • You feel ashamed to invite friends over

If the thought alone feels embarrassing for you, this is the biggest sign that you need to get started right away

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.

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