5 Critical DIY Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

Creating or even renovating your dream home can be exciting, but before you proceed and get carried away, there are some things you need to keep in mind – and among these are the things you should avoid doing when renovating.

Here are five DIY mistakes you should be aware of when making changes to your new HDB flat in Singapore:

1. Blindly following interior design trends

Popular trends come and go, and what’s “in” may not always be popular after a few years.

Unless you want to have a really specific design or aesthetic in mind, consider adding these themes only in small parts to make sure that you don’t have to do anything major. The best way to do this is by incorporating certain accessories or paints only at certain areas in your home.

2. Overlooking small mistakes

If you can see these mistakes, there’s a good chance everyone else will. So whether they are small planning mistakes or ergonomic problems with your design, be sure to fix them as soon as possible.

You should also make it a point to minimize injuries. No matter how small it may be, always invest in safety equipment and read the labels and instruction manuals before doing anything, and if it’s beyond your expertise, call a professional to help.

3. Starting without a plan

DIY projects are unlike other types of projects that allow you to work on the fly – every mistake or wrong measurement will cost you money, resources, and time that are better spent on other, more crucial aspects of your DIY home renovation.

To avoid this, you need an action plan that has all the necessary equipment, materials, and the measurements you need for your project from start to finish. This not only lets you know what to do at every step, but also minimizes any errors you might encounter.

4. Not making the right measurements

Mistakes cost money, and if you don’t want to be stuck doing everything multiple times, whether it’s cutting floor tiles or applying laminate flooring, you need to make sure you have the right measurements for every last detail.

To avoid this mistake, follow the old carpentry adage: “measure twice, cut once”.

5. Saving money on tools and materials

DIY may be a great way to save money by doing things on your own, but it doesn’t mean buying every tool or piece of equipment you need on the cheap.

In fact, because you want to be able to do quality work, you should invest in the tools that you need to get the job done as smoothly as possible. The same goes with materials, such as drywall, plaster, or even paints and tiles.

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How to Deodorize Your Home for Good in Four Easy Steps

Nobody wants to mention having to deal with bad smells at home, but it happens even with the best of us – and that talking about them is important.

This is because these bad odors can be caused by all kinds of problems, from animals to food, and that air freshener isn’t the one-stop solution but only masks the smell.

Instead of doing that, you will need to solve these problems by getting rid of the cause – and that usually means cleaning up your home.

Here’s how you can deodorize your home for good:

            1. Get rid of kitchen odors

Your kitchen trash can will easily be the cause of bad odors from all kinds of food spills and waste. Aside from keeping the lid covered, you should also clean out the inside every other time using laundry detergent and water, and allow it to air dry fully.

Another thing that you should do is to line the inside of your trash can with a garbage bag. This will keep the inside clean while making it easy for you to keep your trash in one place.

            2. Clear out your closet

Old furniture and cabinets can exhibit that familiar musty smell. To get rid of it, simply crinkled up newspaper dipped in white vinegar inside each musty drawer or furniture compartment.

Leave it for a few days to absorb the odor and get rid of the smell. You can also keep it from smelling by placing scented dryer sheets or silica gel packs to draw out moisture (just replace the latter every other month).

            3. Keep your toilet clean

When it comes to cleaning toilets, all you need to do is follow this simple rule on thumb: clean them up using toilet bowl cleaner before they start looking dirty. You should also add a half-cup of bleach to the water after cleaning.

Scrubbing the grouting using water mixed with a small amount of bleach can also do a lot to get rid of any musty smells or odors.

            4. Freshen up your bedroom

There’s nothing worse than coming back to your room only to have it smell like a dead animal decomposing. Fortunately, you can get rid of this smell by simply pouring distilled white vinegar in a plastic container and punch a few holes in its lid before leaving it in your room for a few days.

While it might start to smell like salad at first, the odors will subside after a few days because of the vinegar absorbing the odors.

You can also do this for your living room if you somehow find any strange odors that still fill up the area no matter how hard you try to look for the source.

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6 Trendy Decorating Tips for Millennials

Millennials are creative individuals by nature. These people are known for thinking outside the box and going beyond the traditions. When it comes to decorating their homes, the millennial signature includes combining functional elements to create a unique looking space with personality.

Although we’re no professional interior designers, we get the gist of what actually is #homegoals by simply letting our feelings guide every design choice to make.

  1. Install multipurpose furniture

For limited spaces, storage is key. Get a furniture that serves more than just one purpose to take up less space at home. For instance, instead of the traditional chair, get an upholstered ottoman that can serve as a chair and storage. Get it in size that allows you to easily tuck it under a table.

  • Frame up any art

Expensive framed paintings and photographs are great décor pieces, but any art are just as good as long as you use them tastefully. You have an abstract you want to display or a photo taken from a recent trip? Blow it up into a bigger image and then have it framed, so you can hang it on your living room wall.

  • Add an accent wall…

One simple way to transform a dry looking room is to simply create an accent wall. No need to paint an entire wall. You can use temporary wallpaper, which you can easily replace when you want to spruce up your home again. Choose only one wall in every space to serve as an accent wall, and leave everything else neutral to let that pop of color shine out.

  • …or go for textured wall

If a colorful wall isn’t the accent you like, go for textured wall instead. You can go with suble, textured sorts like embossed and three-dimensional wallpapers. They look fun and unique and add interest to the visual appeal of the room.

  • Invest on detachable pieces

Another excellent space-saving technique among millennials is using transformable or detachable furniture. These are preferred pieces to have at home since they take up spaces only when you’re using them. For example, instead of a typical work table, why not install a wall-mounted drop-leaf table? It’s a space saver, since you’d only have to pull it up whenever necessary and you can simply move any chair over when you have some work to do.

  • Get cozy

After a long, busy day, what we love most is to just relax in our own sanctuaries. To create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, scatter some comfy cushions in the living room and use a variety of texture and textiles that exude warmth and comfort.

A millennial home is more than just looking trendy. Above all, they are designed with great functionality in mind, without compromising style and comfort.

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7 Subtle Signs You Have Kidney Infection

The kidneys serve a vital role for the body’s overall wellness. This is the organ that helps our body remove waste, prevent toxicity and maintain the health of the entire body.

In case of kidney disease, subtle symptoms may indicate early signs of malfunctions. As the kidney problem aggravates, symptoms become more obvious and even more painful. Health professionals suggest recognizing these symptoms as early as possible to get the right medical intervention right away.

  1. Blood in Urine

Most kidney diseases start with bacteria travelling up the urinary tract, which can eventually find its way to the kidneys. And since women have shorter urethra, they are more prone to getting UTIs than men, thus increasing their risk of kidney infections. As the body tries to fight the bacteria away and gets rid of the infection, red blood cells get into the urine.

  • Pain When Peeing

Kidney infection can start with UTI; therefore expect the inflammation all over the urethra. The bacteria will not just infect the bladder and the kidneys, but also the tissues and the nerve endings in the urinary tract, triggering all pain receptors nearby—the reason why it’s painful to pee.

  • Foul-Smelling Pee

Notice a strong stinky smell whenever you urinate? That could be a sign of a kidney problem. The foul odor could be the fermentation of bacteria. However, it can also be a sign of dehydration. Drink more water and see if it helps tone down the smell. If not, get checked immediately.

  • Fever

Problems in the bladder do not usually cause fever, so a rise in temperature could mean that the infection may have travelled up to your kidneys. As your body heightens its immune response to the infection, your body temperature climbs.

  • Pus in Urine

In more advance cases, pus may be present in the urine due to build up of bacteria and white blood cells. At the point when you start to see pus in your urine, it’s likely that you have an alarming infection and that you should get checked by a doctor right away.

  • Dry, Itchy Skin

Other than removing wastes from the blood, the kidneys also promote production of healthy red blood cells and ensure that the body receives balance amount of minerals. An imbalance distribution of nutrients can cause dry and itchy skin, which signals a problem in the kidneys. Try if you can improve your skin’s condition by drinking more water.

  • Prolonged Backaches

Normal backaches without other complications are not signs of kidney problems. However, backaches accompanied by fever other symptoms in this list can be because of kidney dysfunction. The pain also feels deep and may extend at the side area below the rib cage.

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms quite often or have suddenly noticed symptoms that you haven’t experienced before, the best way you can do is to consult your healthcare provider.

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Reasons to Try a Social Media Detox

It can be hard to deny that the internet, specifically social media, is quite significant to our lives today. We get to see what’s going on around our country or even around the world and even share about our own lives. But if you take a step back and really think about it, does everything in social media really have any significance to our lives?

If you think about it, there are a lot of times that social media does you more harm than good. Need more convincing? Here are some reasons to take a break from social media. 

You regain all your free time

The important word here is that you “regain”. You don’t get more free time, you already have it, you’re just not using it right. Let’s say you want to try out a new hobby but what’s stopping you is that you’re saying you don’t have time. Then if you reflect on your daily activities, you’re spending 2-3 hours scrolling on your phone, sometimes even mindlessly. That’s already enough time for you to try out something new!

You learn to stop comparing yourself with others

Another great reason to try a social media detox is that you’ll be able to stop comparing yourself with others. A lot of people say you shouldn’t compare yourself because others only share the positive moments that happen to them and never the negative ones. But thinking that way won’t have much effect if you keep seeing people having better lives than you. When you’re away from social media, you’ll see that you actually are just as blessed as these people.

You don’t really miss out much

Kiasu orthe fear of missing out, is a trait that many Singaporeans consider to be a double-edged sword. This is mostly the reason why we have a hard time stepping away from social media. We’re anxious that we’ll miss out on news about our friends, or the latest trends in fashion, or uploads from our favorite vloggers. Once you do a social media detox, you’ll realize that you actually don’t miss out much. Just try it and you’ll see!

You can avoid negativity

As said earlier, social media can sometimes do more harm than good. We all have that one friend on Facebook who criticizes almost anything or that person you follow on Twitter who just rants every day about his/her life. Sometimes, as small as these things can be, they can influence our thoughts and trigger negative emotions.

You can enjoy a little privacy

Something that we usually disregard when it comes to social media is that we’re giving away a little too much about ourselves. We directly share about ourselves through pictures, but there’s also a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, usually ask for your location when posting or uploading pictures. Basically, the more accounts we make, the more we expose ourselves.

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Simple Reasons Why She Didn’t Give You Her Number

So let’s say you’re at a museum exhibit, just walking around, when unexpectedly you strike up a conversation with a girl. She’s pretty and just about your age, you talk and walk with each other for about 20 minutes and have a really fun time. Before you leave, you pick up the courage to ask for her number… but then she refuses.

This is an all too common scenario no matter where you are in Singapore. Whether at nightclubs, parks, beaches, and etc. And before you feel bad about yourself, be rational and know that there can be simple reasons why a girl doesn’t give you her number.

She’s not interested in romance

She might be focusing on her work, she might be close to pursuing her dreams, and she might just not be interested in dating at the moment. It’s simple, any girl can hold conversations with others without the intention of being in a relationship. She may enjoy talking or she may like your company, but it doesn’t mean that she wants you to be her boyfriend already. The simplest things to do initially is just not to assume things!

She’s already in a relationship

This is also another obvious reason why she won’t give you her number. Although there are some girls who say it outright once you start talking to them, it is important to consider beforehand the possibility of them being in a relationship. She may be out with her friends at a club or bar, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a boyfriend or even a husband. Sometimes girls in relationships and talk with guys as long as everything stays neutral. So clear everything up before asking her for her number.

She just had a breakup

Opposite the point above, even when a girl is not in a relationship, there’s also the possibility of a recent breakup. Everyone handles breakups differently. One can get over his/her ex in 2 years and one can do so in a month or even a week maybe. In this case, if you meet a girl when she’s still getting over a breakup, you’ll surely have a difficult time asking for her number or talking with her casually.

She’s not attracted to you

Now, calm down, this doesn’t exactly mean you’re ugly! There are hundreds of guys who are good-looking but don’t land a date with a girl they like. Just like how you can have preferences or “ideal types”, girls can too. Some girls can like tall guys, short guys, skinny guys, muscular guys. She might like your voice, or she might hate the way you move, there are some many reasons why a girl can like or unlike you.

Everything above sounds a bit harsh, huh? Not exactly! Even if there are reasons why a girl doesn’t give her number, there can be just as many reasons for another one to like you! So just be you!

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5 Brilliant Tips to Handle Your Picky Eaters

When you get home after a busy day at work, the last thing you want to do is to endure a war over broccoli at the dining table. That is why parents fall easily into the trap of fried chicken or ordering out. It’s just priceless not having to chant ‘eat your veggies’ after a very tiring day. Fortunately, feeding picky eaters with nutritious food isn’t as difficult with these helpful tips.

  1. Start by incorporating healthier elements into your kid’s favorite foods

Pancakes, cereals and muffins are just some of the foods kids love. Try to incorporate fruits and veggies into these already-favorite choices to get your kids eating healthy. For example, offer carrot cake or muffins, banana pancakes and fresh fruit slices over cereals.

  • Schedule your meal and snack time

Establish regular meal and snack time to address behavior changes in your children. Kids are smart. They will skip dinner because they know they can ask for snack later on. If you always give in to their requests, they will continue doing this pattern every night. Your goal is to establish expectation from them that meals and snacks happen at a certain time. This lets children to feel hunger when it’s time to eat, and provides better chances that they will eat whatever is served to them.

  • Always have healthy snacks available

Even if you have set meal and snack times, sometimes kids just look for something to much on throughout the day. And even if they sneak to the fridge, having healthy finger foods readily available in a reachable area will encourage them to pick it up and eat it. Slice up some apples and carrots and keep the chips and cookies far from your kids’ sight.

  • Get kids involved with meal planning

From grocery shopping to meal planning, get your kids involved. In the grocery, skip the chips lane and go straight to the fresh produce area. Let them pick their choice of fruits and veggies. When meal planning, ask your children to pick out two to three recipes that they would like to eat, then let them help you make it. If they feel a sense of autonomy over a meal, they may be more inclined to eat it.

  • Go moderate with treats

Instead of cutting out the treats altogether, offer it in moderation. A serving of Oreos with a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream over blueberry pancakes occasionally won’t do any harm. If you completely cut out the treats, children will be more likely to overeat once they get them again. Simply make sure to moderate their goodies consumption.

Above all, let this be the final point: food is fun. We do not want to turn meal times into wars, which happens quite commonly in homes with picky eaters. Set as a good example to your kids and encourage them to be brave and adventurous foodies.

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4 Warning Signs of Child Depression

In order to detect depression in children, it is critical to be mindful of the signs and symptoms. Since kids aren’t as articulate as adults when expressing their emotions, you can’t expect your child to turn to you and say ‘I’m depressed’ like how adults do. In fact, they themselves may not even realize that they are already in distraught. To save your kids from this emotional agony and bring back their youthful, joyful outlook, pay attention to these signs no matter how subtle or extreme they may be.

  1. Withdrawal from Family and Friends

Looking out for this sign can be challenging, because older kids and teens have the tendency to withdraw themselves to their families, while they cling so much to their friends. Ask yourself these questions to help you figure out: Are they spending more time alone or engaged in some activities with friends? Do they often feel and look ‘tired’? Do they want to spend more time alone in their room just by themselves? Even the slightest differences could make a world of difference in catching early signs of child depression

  • Expression of Shame, Guilt, Worthlessness or Sorrow

This one ties closely to children with ADHD, though any children without ADHD can show these signs. The embarrassment and shame that a child with ADHD feels often exceed the actual severity of the incident. A child’s emotions can go very deep that a seven-year-old child can even think of punishing himself over a minor incident. It is the pattern of thinking that is greatly affected by the way their brain operates that needs to be professionally addressed and be treated.

  • Change in Appetite

Many individuals who suffer from depression notice either a sudden drop or increase of appetite. Children are no different and can also experience the same thing. Those with healthy appetite may loss interest in eating, or could be the complete opposite of eating their way out of rut.   

  •  Frequent Aches and Pains

These symptoms can come in a form of stomach aches and headaches without any physical reason. These symptoms could also mean that the depression treatment and medications are not working as they need to be. If you start to notice that your child frequents in the school clinic so much and exhibits any of the above signs, it’s probably time to bring your child to a professional psychologist.

Being aware of these signs and symptoms is critical for the healthy growth and welfare of your child. If these signs seem familiar to you and you suspect that your child is in the verge of depression, the next step to take is to seek professional help.

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A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer in Singapore

If you fancy yourself a good drink to wind down after hours, and especially if you happen to be an enthusiast of beer yourself, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of the term “craft beer” and how it’s started to become more popular over the years.

But what exactly is a “craft beer”, and how can you tell that it’s that instead of simply being another brand name of the stuff that’s owned by a larger brewery?

The Meaning of Craft Beer

While it’s certainly debatable, and many people have been debating it for a while, there is a definition of that most would definitely agree on based on the three following criteria:

  • Small – The brewery doesn’t distribute more than six million barrels of bear yearly;  
  • Independent – Larger, non-craft beer breweries own only up to a quarter of the said brewery; and
  • Traditional – The brewery mostly produces beer that’s made from traditional ingredients for brewing and fermentation processes (but can also use innovative methods).

There have also been a number of terms that emerged with the rising popularity of craft beer, such as the following:

  • Hops – A leafy, light green flower that’s boiled down with a sweet liquid extract from malt in order to give craft beers different flavor notes, from bitter, to spicy, and even floral.
  • Malt – A key ingredient in brewing that’s moistened and kilned to achieve the desired effects from seed germination. The resulting beer’s color will depend on how the grains are roasted.
  • “Sessionable” – Used to describe beer that’s low on bitterness and alcohol, and can be consumed in more amounts in one sitting.

Microbreweries in Singapore

Craft beer has definitely spread all over the world, and Singapore is no exception when it comes to the craze – in fact, you can probably recognize some of the following bars that serve great craft beer:

  • Alchemist Beer Lab – When it comes to extracting flavor, they don’t use the traditional method of cooking ingredients in high heat for a long time – they do this instead with an infusion tower to not just make instant results, but also add more depth to the beer’s flavor.
  • Burger Joint – While the main attraction is the selection of burgers that go with your drinks, the drinks themselves are served from Burger Joint’s full bar of different craft beers from all over the world, including Sweden, the UK, and Japan.
  • Smith Street Taps – The only craft beer bar situated in a hawker center certainly doesn’t disappoint with its selection of experimental brews, and the stall has become a favorite for all kinds of beer enthusiasts in Singapore.

There are also all kinds of craft beer that you should especially out if it’s your first time, from Albens, to Green’s, to Hitachino Nest, and even Crossroads and Far Yeast Brewing.

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