The Subtlety Beauty of Wood Carving and Why You Should Try It

You’re just walking around Singapore and suddenly find yourself in front of a woodcrafts shop. You check inside and consider picking up wood carving as a hobby. Though wood carving attracts the attention of only a few people, it definitely has a therapeutic feel to it. If you want to inspire your inner craftsman, read on!

Wood carving is for anyone

The best thing about wood carving is that it requires nothing from you. You don’t have to earn a degree or be physically active. The only things you really need are the tools for carving and the willingness to learn. Learning just the basics can take you far already. This is also the beauty of working with wood. Because it’s an element of nature, you can be confident that you can just carve it and create something good. Even making a spoon (usually the first you learn to make) can be very satisfying in the end.

Working with wood

Let’s segue for a bit to the beauty of working with wood as mentioned in the first point. The thing about wood is that it’s sentimental. Unlike plastic and metal, wood grows old just like us. When you carve something out of wood, it has a certain romanticism to it. You have the memory of creating something, and as you get old, it also changes with you. It’s quite a beautiful sentiment really.

It’s just like meditation

One common impression regarding wood carving is that it’s meditative. Just like pottery and other similar forms of art. And it really is very much that way. Carving takes a considerable amount of focus and mindfulness, especially because you’re holding a sharp tool. When you get into the process and start carving, it can be easy to lose yourself in the moment. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, turn to wood carving!

You’re playing your part in helping the environment

Some may think that it’s counterintuitive. You’re cutting down wood to carve, how can you save the environment? That’s not exactly the case though. You can make a variety of carvings even with just one trunk. And it also doesn’t mean that a tree is always being cut down. Some carvers even just buy waste wood from furniture makers. That way nothing is wasted! Plus, making wooden utensils leaves almost no carbon footprint.

Don’t be afraid to try it out

We’re all looking for something we’ll love doing. And you won’t be able to find yours if you’re not willing to try things out. If you find wood carving the perfect hobby for you, then awesome! If you think it’s not really interesting, no problem. At least you’ve experienced it and you’ve learned something.

6 Ways to Give Healthy Criticism

No matter where you work in Singapore, you’ll never see a person who likes being criticized. The thing is though, feedback and criticism are important for growth whether it be professional or personal. That’s why it is important to come up with ways to give healthy and constructive criticism. Let’s just straight into it!

Do it privately

There’s really no exception to the statement that nobody likes to be criticized in public. When a person feels embarrassed or humiliated, it will be quite hard for him/her to simply take it as just a simple mistake to correct. Of course, that’s not what you want if you’re aiming to provide healthy criticism. Find time to talk to the other person in private. Your criticism will have more value that way.

Use the Feedback Sandwich

The feedback sandwich is basically positive-negative-positive. First, you start off by saying the admirable things that the other person has done. Then, you go and provide the criticism; what’s wrong, what mistakes the other person is making, and how to improve. Lastly, round it out by reemphasizing the positives you mentioned earlier as well as the positives you expect after providing the criticism.

Avoid being vague

Giving vague feedback will only end up confusing the other person as to what he/she did wrong. You’ll make it much easier for yourself and the other person by simply being specific. When you’re being specific, you can immediately give the other person actionable feedback. “Make an outline focusing on the sales for this project” is better than “make a presentation for this business plan”.

Don’t make it personal

Let’s say you have a certain co-worker who you don’t exactly see eye to eye with. If he makes a mistake, try your best to avoid giving criticism that’s too personal. When giving feedback, target the situation itself and not the person. It will be hard to resist the temptation especially if you hate the other person. But that will only lead to more problems in the future. We’re not aiming for toxic workplace culture here!

Give recommendations

Though it’s good that the other person gets your feedback, it would be much more helpful if you can give him recommendations as well. Offer some advice on what he can improve or what he can specifically do to get the right things done. There are still chances wherein he’ll just hear out your feedback and not do anything about it. Giving recommendations allows the other person to take action himself.

Just be kind

It’s pretty obvious that you won’t be able to provide healthy criticism if you’re being hostile towards the other person. People already have a hard-enough time accepting even light criticism. If you come at them harshly, they’ll only beat themselves up even more. So try to always maintain a positive and respectful tone.

What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Doberman

The Doberman pinscher is a majestic-looking dog, but because they are always portrayed as evil dogs in movies, they have a bad reputation among non-dog lovers. How do you know if your family is ready to raise this beautiful breed? Below are facts you need to remember before adopting a Doberman pinscher.

They were bred as companions

These smart dogs were originally bred as guard dogs and loyal companions. Their name is taken from a tax collector who went around, well, collecting taxes. The dog was supposed to protect him and look intimidating to people, but also act as a loyal friend at home. So if the Doberman looks scary to you, they were meant to look that way.

They were also used as fighters

One of their negative reputation comes from being bread as dog fighters, but again the problem is not with the breed but how they were abused over the years because of their looks. Some owners choose to have the dog’s tail docked and the ears clipped to make them look even more sinister, but these are unnecessary. Other breeders argue that the clipping of the ears is supposed to prevent infections, but this is false. Like pitbulls and German shepherds they are one of the most misunderstood breeds, so be ready to hear negative comments from people.

They are intelligent dogs

They are among the smartest dog breeds in the world, which means they can be trained. It is recommended that you sign up your dog for an obedience training while still young, so they do not get bored. Regular exercise and walks to the park are recommended for this breed. Socializing and training are a must for any active and intelligent breed to avoid behavior problems.

They are sensitive to the cold

The breed generally has little body fat, which means that they can get cold easily. They are ideal for the weather in Singapore and can live in air-conditioned apartments. If you notice your dog is getting cold, you can make it wear a dog sweater to help them keep a normal body temperature.

They are good family dogs

Despite their reputation, they are fiercely loyal companions. To avoid problems with children and other animals, you need to socialize your dog while still young. Not only will you have an excellent guard dog, but a loyal family member, too.

They are prone to various health issues Irresponsible breeding has led to plenty of health problems especially in purebred Doberman pinschers. If you can, you should adopt from rescue centers instead of buying from a shady breeder or pet shop. You should also be financially capable in addressing any health issue that come with the breed. Some of the most common problems include Wobbler’s syndrome, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s diseases, and eye diseases.

The Art of Drinking Kahlua

Flavored liqueurs are quite interesting because of the variety of fruits, herbs, spices, and roots that are used to create different flavors and aroma. But what’s interesting about kahlua is that it adds the flavor one of the most popular beverages in the world.

How Kahlua is Made

Kahlua was introduced in 1936 and was originally made in Mexico. It is a coffee-flavored liqueur that includes Mexican coffee, vodka, rum, corn syrup, and sugar. Its name is taken from the Nahuatl name for house of the Acolhua people. The process of making kahlua is tedious because you will need 7 years including its aging. You can also make homemade kahlua with sugar, vanilla beans, instant coffee, vodka and water. It’s not as good as bottled kahlua but it’s nearly there.

Kahlua and Food Pairings

Kahlua has a distinct sweet coffee flavor that is why even if you do not pair it with food, you will often see this in cocktails, frozen drinks, and desserts. When pairing with food, remember that a sweet beverage and a sweet dish can make one of them taste bitter or dry.

This is why straight kahlua or kahlua cocktails are best paired with spiced dishes to counter the heat from the food, smoky and meaty dishes to balance the differences in the flavors, and savory umami-flavored dishes to complement the earthy flavors of kahlua. Of course, do not forget the classic coffee and chocolate pairing. You can pair your kahlua cocktail with a slice of chocolate cake or a bar of your favorite dark chocolate brand.

No-Bake Kahlua Chocolate Cake

If you want to enjoy coffee-flavored liqueur and chocolate even more, try this ultimate recipe with two of the best things in the world.

Filling: 2 tablespoons kahlua, 12 ounces evaporated milk, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and raspberries

Pie Crust: 5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter and 30 chocolate cookie wafers

Preparation: To make the filling, whisk egg yolks and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until sauce thickens, then remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, chocolate morsels, vanilla, and kahlua. Stir until the ingredients are melted and consistency is smooth. To make the crust, process cookies in a food processor then add butter. Pour crumbs into a pie plate and press firmly. Pour filling into the crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with raspberry toppings.

Kahlua Cocktails You Must Try

  • Kahlua Hot Chocolate: 1 part kahlua, 5 parts hot chocolate, and 1 tablespoons whipped cream for topping
  • Coffee Martini: 1 part kahlua, 2 parts vodka, and 1 part chocolate liqueur
  • B52: equal parts of layered kahlua, orange liqueur, and Irish cream liqueur
  • T-52: layered ½ ounce kahlua, ½ ounce Grand Marnier, and ½ ounce tequila strawberry cream liqueur
  • Dirty Banana: ¾ ounce kahlua, 1 ½ ounces white rum, ¾ ounce banana-flavored liqueur, 1 ounce whole milk, 1 ounce light cream, ½ cup ice, and 1 ripe banana

Cockroach: 1 part kahlua and 1.5 parts tequila

How to Deal With Sweaty Workout Gear (And Get Rid of the Smell)

Odor during workouts is one thing you should expect, since they’re caused by the buildup of sweat and bacteria. But it’s how you clean and store your workout clothes and equipment that makes the difference.

Workout gear can also be especially difficult to clean when the same qualities that keep you dry are also the same qualities that make it hard for the suds to penetrate the fabric and pull out the sweat and bacteria.

But there’s no need to fret – here’s what you need to know to get rid of the smell:

Shirts, Shorts, and So On

As soon as you finish your workout session, don’t stick around in your sweaty clothes – shower and change right away!

You should also avoid simply throwing your sweaty clothes in the laundry basket if you don’t have the energy to get them cleaned at a nearby laundromat, since sweaty clothes are the number one hotbed for bacteria.

The best way to deal with sweaty clothes is by washing with warm water and a gentle detergent right away, and doing it by hand minimizes the chance of shrinkage.


You can get rid of the odor in your shoes by placing activated charcoal once you’ve taken them off, but a high-heat dryer is usually recommended for most things that won’t shrink right away – and shoes are certainly one of those things.

If you’re prone to getting athlete’s foot, regularly washing and drying your shoes is a must. Between washes, you should also put antifungal powder to eliminate any odors and minimize the change of a possible fungal infection.

Gym Bags

Frequent washing is the go-to option if your bag usually contains sweaty clothes, especially if they sit in your bag all day long.

However, you can’t just add them to the laundromat’ spin cycle as they might shrink. Like most bags, it’s better for you to wash them gently by hand using soap and water, and air-drying makes sure it lasts as long as possible.

For bags or other types of equipment, such as helmets and pads, that are hard to clean, it’s important that you hand-wash them using soap and water. Avoid soaking as much as possible since you might end up dissolving the adhesives that hold them together.


Use disinfectant wipes or rubbing alcohol to treat these as opposed to soaking or washing. It’s especially important to avoid the latter cleaning methods if your gloves are made of gentle materials.

If you need to use them frequently but don’t have the time to clean them, simply give your boxing or lifting gloves a quick wipe-down using disinfectant wipes.

How to Make Tomato Sauce the Right Way

Tomato sauce is a versatile food ingredient that you can add in many dishes, from Spanish rice to pizza and pasta, and while you can buy them at your local supermarket, you’ll find that it’s much better if you make them yourself.

Not only are the ingredients cheap and easy to find fresh at your local market, but it’s also something you can easily make in large quantities during your free time, which means you’ll have plenty to go around the next time you want to impress your friends.

Here’s how you can make it:


To make the perfect tomato sauce for any dish (whether it’s pasta or pizza), you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Tomatoes (5 pounds, or roughly 2 kilos)
  • Salt (3/4teaspoon)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Tomato paste (1 tablespoon)
  • Garlic (1 clove, halved)
  • Basil (1 sprig, chopped)
  • Bay leaf (1 leaf)

While this may seem like a lot of tomatoes at first, there’s no need to worry since they will break down as you prepare them later on.


There are a few steps that you need to follow when making tomato sauce:

1. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting them in half horizontally and squeezing out the seeds. Grate out the tomato pulp into a bowl and be sure to discard the skins when doing so. This should result in about four cups of tomato pulp.

2. Place the tomato pulp in a wide saucepan and bring to high heat. Wait until the pulp has partially dissolved before adding in the other ingredients, starting with salt and olive oil, and then working your way up to the single bay leaf.

3. Let the flavors mix and get to know each other by stirring the saucepan. Allow the sauce to bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

4. Stir occasionally as the sauce is reduced to nearly half its original volume. Once done, it should yield roughly two and a half cups of sauce that’s medium thick. Add seasoning to taste.


Be sure to let the sauce rest for about thirty minutes or until it reaches room temperature. Once done, pour into a suitable container with a lid (mason jars are a good example) and store in the fridge.

Homemade tomato sauce can last for up to five days in the refrigerator, but they can also be stored in the freezer to keep for a longer time.


You can use tomatoes of any variety when preparing this kind of sauce as long as they are both fresh and ripe. You can also experiment on the flavor by using different tomato varieties that complement each other.

7 Things You Should Do If You’re Sitting at Your Desk 8 Hours a Day

With meetings, deadlines and overflowing email, sometimes work get a bit too taxing. Health experts have also proven how physically taxing it is, especially if your work requires you to be at your desk in front of the computer eight hours every day. To avoid backaches, eye problems, neck pain and other physical issues, make these seven adjustments part of your routine.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for good health. But other than promoting better skin and weight loss, drinking more water forces you to get up from your chair to refill and to pee.

  • Perfect Your Set-Up

The placement of your computers monitor is very important for your eye health. If it’s placed in an angle where you have to look down, you could develop neck and back pain. If it is places where you have to gaze up, you might frequently experience dry eyes. Use a stand or even just a stock of books to position your monitor light, so that you are looking at it at around 10 degrees agle down. 

  • Take the Stairs

If your office is in the second or third floor of the building, try taking the stairs as often as you can. Similarly, if you drive yourself to work, park your car a bit farther away from the building. When you’re glued at your desk eight hours every day, every bit of walking helps in keeping your blood circulating and your muscles moving.

  • Stretch Out and Work Out

We’re not suggesting whipping out a dumbbell during your coffee break, but try inserting simple exercises like swivel chair ad exercises that requires no equipment and still keep your blood flowing. If an exercise is not possible, at least stretch out once in awhile. Stretch out your arms, legs and do some head rotations to release neck tension.

  • Go Big With Your Font Size

Once computer trick: Increase your computer’s font size. If texts are too small, you tend to squint, which is the number one reason of headaches and eye fatigue. Avoid stressing your eyes out by going big with your font size.

  • Blink More

Yes, we blink. But if you spend long hours staring at the computer screen, you should do it more. Make the extra effort to blink more often to avoid dry eyes. Once you get used to it, you won’t have to think about it eventually.

  • Give Your Eyes a Break

It’s tempting to go straight to Facebook or binge-watch your favorite Netflix series after work, but you should give your eyes a break after eight straight hours of staring the computer. Long hours of exposure to computers, TVs and phone screens can weaken your vision, causing Computer Vision Syndrome—a collective term for all eye disorders caused by computer exposure for extended period of time.

There’s no excuse to not taking care of your health. Even if you’re living a busy life, little ways like these makes a difference in keeping your body moving.

Planning for the Perfect Wedding Abroad

It may appear complicated at first, but planning for a dreamy destination wedding can be as easy as planning one at home. Here’s how to make your destination wedding planning a lot less stressful.

  1. Get Professional Help

First of all, if you want a stress-free wedding planning, hire a professional wedding organizer. Look for a reliable one in the location where your wedding will take place. With the right professional, it’s easier to find great vendors in the area and your organizer can double as middleman, especially if you do not speak their local language.

  • Learn the Legalities

Every country has their own rules when it comes to getting married, and if you do not follow these legalities it can lead to trouble on your return home. Make sure that your marriage is valid in the location of your wedding, and do not forget that it may also have to be authenticated when you get back home. To lighten the burden, opt to have a small civil ceremony at home before your destination wedding.

  • Skip Inviting Everyone You Know

Destination weddings are ideal for small weddings, with only the closest friends and relatives are invited. Sometimes, you might feel obligated to invite everyone in the office or your third degree cousins. However, also remember that they might in some way feel obligated to come to your wedding even though they may not be able to afford the trip.

  • Send Out the Invitations Earlier than Usual

Invitations for overseas weddings should be sent out earlier than for local ones. Make sure to send out your invitations at least four months before your RSVP date, so your guests will have enough time to arrange their schedule and respond to you. 

  • Help With Your Guests’ Accommodation

It’s not that you are going to shoulder 100 percent of your guests’ accommodation (unless you want to), but organizing a discount at a hotel in the area to help lessen the pressure off your guests. Keep in mind that probably most of your guests have no idea of the area and the best places to stay, so make it easier for them by organizing their accommodation.

  • Visit the Location

If your budget allows, visit the destination at least once before the big day. The hotel’s website isn’t enough to see the complete amenities of the hotel and can’t even give you the idea of how accommodating the staffs are. Arrange a visit to the hotel with your wedding planner to check for yourself the site where the ceremony and the reception will be held. You may also want to do a taste testing for your wedding banquet.

The world is your oyster when it comes to planning your wedding. It may look complicated at first, but your wedding planner can make the process a lot bearable.

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