What You Should Know About International Freight and Logistics

It’s no surprise that trade among different nations makes the world better off. International trade allows markets to expand their goods and services to a larger client base so that they are more available, making them cost cheaply. They also make certain products available when they otherwise aren’t.

Since the first days that air freight and sea freight traffic have expanded worldwide, the exchange of imports and exports worldwide has led to the booming of cargo transportation services and freight forwarding, where logistics services are offered in order to coordinate with one shipping company or more to ensure the on-time delivery of goods.

For any operating business, working with a reliable freight forwarding services company like freight master Singapore is critical to ensure that their products are shipped on time. However, what’s lesser known is the state of the freight market.

What is the freight market? What is the difference between local freight and international freight? Here’s everything you need to know to get you started.


When firms or individuals buy certain goods that are produced abroad, there are two kinds of entities that are responsible for the movement of these goods. These entities are the shipping company and the freight forwarding agency.
The shipping company, on the one hand, is the entity responsible for the actual transportation of the goods, as they have the capacity to operate carrier transports (i.e. rail, air freight, or sea freight) that can hold the goods as they move from one part of the globe to another.

The freight forwarding agency, on the other hand, is the one that’s responsible for coordinating the shipments. They liaise closely with clients to advise them on the costs as well as the necessary arrangements, and then work these arrangements with the shipping companies and the different customs authorities to provide the necessary documents for clearance, arrange the payments, and ensure that the shipment is delivered on time and in peak condition.

What are Freight Forwarders?

Freight forwarding agencies go by many names, such as “non-vessel owning common carrier” (NVOCC), multimodal transport operator, global logistics company, supply chain manager, and even information broker. However, you should know that these are essentially the same, with their names simply the result of more recent marketing efforts.

A freight forwarder can be classified as belonging to either of three groups:

• Local companies – These are single-office enterprises that deal with the local customer base in Singapore and specialize in local freight operations and logistics services. They typically operate at a seaport or airport area where they can best specialize on different types of traffic.

• National companies – Many freight forwarding services have offices in different ports and airports as well as in large industrial cities, and often have their own handling depots or warehouses where they can operate their own services, such as consolidating customers’ shipments.

• International companies – An international logistics company would be easy to identify as international companies have their own offices overseas, which gives them more coverage as well as a wider range of services to offer.

Size should not be the criteria to look at when considering a forwarding agency, as different criterion that come into mind when choosing a service tend to overlap. You should also keep in mind that the industry is made up of different firms that have their own specializations.

Over the years, freight forwarding companies have become more sophisticated in order to better cater to present and future client bases. They have also become more available at all levels of the supply chain, in turn becoming a crucial service to companies both big and small.

What Services Do They Offer?

As mentioned above, the freight forwarder is basically in charge of coordinating the movement of goods to ensure that they arrive on time and in peak condition. Forwarders are usually appointed either by importers or exporters to pick up the goods at a specific address and generally act on their behalf.

Freight and Transportation

The two biggest means of transporting goods are air freight and sea freight, right next to transportation by means of land (via trucks) and rail (train). Because http://www.freightmaster.sg/ from Singapore is the link between the seller and buyer, they will book space on either mode/s of transport after advising the customer on the best route available.

Their key function is to arrange for space on the transport and to take careful documentation not just on the nature and quantity of the shipment, but also on the transport’s route and destination. Once the goods arrive, the forwarders then forward the goods, collect them, and coordinate the delivery to the buyer.

Air vs. Sea

The main difference between air freight and sea freight is simply that the latter is meant for heavier shipments, while the former is for lighter ones. This explains why there are more terms that you should know relating to transporting goods by sea rather than by air.

While ships are good for transporting heavier goods, they do have their drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that they take longer to reach their destination. They are also more likely, in some instances, to be handled poorly unless registered under high priority.

Transporting by airplane, on the other hand, limits the quantity of goods that you can move in one shipment, and having all your goods moved by plane may require multiple flights.

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When to Call a Plumbing Service

A lot of homeowners tend to do their plumbing works on their own for many different reasons. Some are motivated by being able to save money while for others, it’s the feeling of fixing your own property and being able to try out their own skills and craftsmanship.

However, not all repair jobs can be done by the average homeowner. There are some jobs that require the experience, expertise, and tools that can only be provided by reliable plumber. But when should you throw in the towel and let the professionals handle the plumbing works? Here are a few things that you should call a plumbing service for.

1. Maintenance

A regular maintenance schedule can help you avoid costly repairs. Pipes need to be regularly maintained to make sure that small fixes do not lead to larger, more expensive breakdowns. A reliable plumber has the knowledge to do a thorough inspection of your plumbing works, from detecting leaky pipes to clearing clogged drains.

During an inspection, your plumber will clean aerator heads on your faucets and shower heads. They will also clean garbage disposals and water heaters, conduct pressure tests to detect leaks, inspect your filter system, and test for lead.

2. Clogs and slow drains

Of course, clogs are some of the most urgent problems that your pipes can have. While you may try to clear the clog with a plunger, some clogs just won’t budge. This could be because your plunger is too small for the sewage line. Some homeowners go down and dirty by trying to break-up the clog themselves, but this could damage your porcelain, or cause further damage to your pipes.

To make sure that you don’t worsen the problem or have your efforts wasted, call an expert. If you already have a clog that is causing a flood, you will need plumbing services like http://www.superplumbers.sg/ from Singapore immediately. On the other hand, if a clog ever occurs at night, don’t hesitate to call a 24 hours plumber in Singapore.

Slow drains can be as much of an issue as clogged pipes. Water that drains slowly, such as those that could happen in sinks and tubs, can worsen to become full-blown clogs. It is always a good idea to call a plumber as soon as you notice water draining slower than usual.

3. Leaks and drips

Leaks and drips are a nuisance in many ways. Not only do they raise your water bill, costing you money on wasted water, they can also damage your property and belongings. Not only that, leaks can also be noisy and annoying. Leaky faucets and showers may be easy to fix; you may only need to change the washer or tighten a screw or two. However, if this doesn’t work, it’s time to call a professional plumber to make sure that you don’t waste any more water or damage your property further.

4. Reduced water flow

If instead of too much water it’s not enough water that’s your problem, it may mean that you need to call a plumbing contractor. Weak water pressure can mean that your shower’s aerator is clogged, or coated with residue. While you can remove and clean an aerator yourself, certain models can make DIY fixes overly complicated. If you try to force your way into unclogging an aerator, you may simply worsen the problem, so it is best to call a licensed plumber instead.

5. Inconsistent water pressure

An inconsistent water pressure is a tell-tale sign of bigger issues. Whether it’s just the pressure of a single pipe, or a problem with your entire house, it’s always a good idea to have it checked by a licensed plumber.

While the problem may be something as mundane as a clogged pipe, finding out the cause of the problem by yourself can very costly. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to figure out where the problem lies without having to manually check every pipe, saving you time and effort.

6. Visible water damage

Signs of water damage that is left untreated can mean great costs for you in the future. These signs can include water stains, mold, and discolored walls. It is a good idea to contact one of the many plumbing services in Singapore the moment you notice them, as water can cause mold and damage your property and belongings.

7. Gurgling pipes

If your pipes gurgle whenever they are used, or moments after you have turned off a faucet or flushed the toilet, this means that your pipes are clogged. If they gurgle when they are not used, it may mean that air is being drawn into the drains, due to a blockage.

As the drains continue to be used, a back-up may occur. This may also cause sewage smells to occur in a building. If you hear gurgling sounds within your plumbing system, try to minimize water use and contact a plumbing service on http://www.superplumbers.sg/contact-us/ in Singapore immediately.

8. Major installations

When you’re installing major appliances or fixtures, you will need the expertise of a plumber. Trying to install an appliance yourself may cause avoidable repairs, and may even lead to a re-installation. Even if you will have to spend some money, a consultation with a plumbing service can save you time, effort and money in the long run.

You will also need the services or a plumber when doing remodels and renovations. When changing the structure of a room, you will often need to move appliances and fixtures around, which means that you may need to move supply lines and drains. If you attempt to do this yourself, you may end up ruining your lines, resulting in even more costs.

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Food and Snacks That are Perfect for Your Coffee Business

Coffee isn’t just great as a morning beverage to give you the energy you need to face the day ahead, it’s also a perfect complement for some tasty treats you can add to your mobile coffee cart business in Singapore near commercial spaces.

Why limit your menu to the usual latte, cappuccino, and mocha when you can add snacks and even coffee food recipes to your coffee catering list?

Coffee for breakfast can be paired with crepes that are healthy and filling. Serve crepes in your mobile coffee menu that come with cheese, meat, vegetables, and herbs.

Wheat and Oatmeal
Health-conscious coffee cart customers might enjoy oatmeal and wheat bread with their coffee. Simply toast the healthy whole wheat varieties to bring out their light, grainy texture. However, any whole wheat snack will do, especially if the customer is looking for a snack that is both filling and guilt-free.

For those who don’t find light breakfast with coffee filling, you might want to serve coffee from butler koffee coffee cart from Singapore along with savory food such as omelet with herbs and mushrooms. Another alternative is the quiche, which will complement the taste of Pacific coffee varieties. Serve cheese quiche with a crispy crust to add texture to the meal, or you could add zucchini and bacon quiche for those looking for a different twist.

Fried Egg and Bacon
Serve slices of fried egg and bacon on a pastry crust for a filling breakfast with coffee. Who can resist bacon and coffee in the morning?

Add color and variety to your mobile coffee menu with fruits that will complement most coffee recipes, such as the different varieties of berries, apricot, peach, plum, and fruit tarts. Fruits are light and generally sweet, but be careful when using desserts that are too sweet or too sour for coffee.

Any coffee cart business should at least have one fruit or fruit-based dessert on the menu for customers who have a sweet tooth. Fruit scones are not just great with tea, they can also be paired with coffee, especially the varieties with wine in the recipe. Sweet breads made from fruits also complement the bitter flavors of coffee.

Who says you can’t have both coffee and chocolate? Stock up your coffee push cart snack menu with chocolate brownies that go well with mocha or espresso. Serve slices of chocolate cake or chocolate mousse, perfect for any Arabica coffee. The slightly bitter dark chocolate also complements the taste of most dark roast coffee, while milk and white chocolate give milder flavors for most types of coffee.

Besides chocolate, you can also serve slices of other types of cake such as coffee, mocha, carrot, and others. Choose varieties that will not overpower the taste of the coffee for your mobile coffee cart menu. The coffee cake is your safest bet, because it will complement the aroma of any type of coffee.

Served with maple syrup, pancakes can make a healthy and tasty breakfast with coffee. The sweet and bitter flavors will surely cheer up your customers the morning.

Bread and Buns
Breads and buns offer a variety of choices for your mobile coffee cart customers. The cinnamon bun for example, can be paired with any type of latte because of the hints of chocolate and caramel. Bread of any size and flavor can be paired with most coffee, but you should add essentials, such as pecan rolls, orange walnut, monkey bread or cinnamon bread, German stolen, butter pecan, and Frisian sugar bread.

Muffins and Croissants
If you don’t want to limit the mobile coffee cart menu to bread and buns, you can also add muffins and croissants to your list. In fact, croissants go well with café au lait, and muffins make an excellent pair with Mexican coffee. Your coffee push cart customers will also love the bran muffins with nuts and fruits.

Cookies and Doughnuts
There are so many doughnuts to choose one that’s it’s impossible not to find any variety that will complement most types of coffee. The doughnut-coffee pairing is a thing after all. Light cookies also complement most coffees, and they can be a tasty treat for your coffee catering customers who want healthier options such as oatmeal cookies.

Biscuits, especially layered biscuits give texture and flavor to a lonely cup of coffee. Serve both savory and sweet biscuits for your mobile coffee customers.

Coffee Food
The best thing about having your own coffee cart business is that you also get to serve food with coffee in the ingredients. Not only can you create tasty snacks, but you can also serve meat and vegetable dishes with coffee. For example, instead of serving the usual bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich, marinate the bacon in ground coffee powder, chili powder, sugar, and molasses to create a fantastic snack.

Even a tuna can be marinated with coffee, salt, and sugar to make an exciting tuna salad with dressing. How about a hearty beef stew? Just add strong coffee to the soup to give it a different flavor. You can use coffee to marinate almost any type of meat or add flavor to any vegetarian meal.

Coffee Pairing by Region
Another way of serving the best food with regional coffee on your mobile coffee cart menu is to remember the characteristic qualities of coffee from each region and find food that will complement its texture and aroma. Coffee recipes from Africa and the Arab region need to be paired with citrus and floral-flavored food, such as cinnamon, cardamom, berries, citrus, currants, chocolate, and raisins.

Coffee from the Latin American region need food that will complement its tangy taste, such as nuts, apple, bread, muffin, blueberries, and citrus. While coffee from the Asia and the Pacific region should be paired with herbal and floral-flavored food, such as herbs, cinnamon, butter, cheese, caramel, toffee, and maple.

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Why You Should Invest in an Alkaline Water Ionizer

Whenever you think of a cool new appliance to purchase for your home, an alkaline water ionizer is probably at the bottom of your list. Well, guess what? It’s time you change your outlook about this appliance. Water ionizers actually offer more benefits than simply providing clean water to you and your family. To make you understand why it’s a must-have item in your home, here are some of the numerous advantages of investing in a water purifying machine for your Singapore household.

1. It Produces Safe and Chlorine-Free Water

Alkaline water ionizers are often used to filter your tap water to give you clean and chlorine-free drinking water. This helps ensure that you and your family won’t be exposed to bacteria, impurities or any harmful chemicals that might be present in the water. By investing on a good alkaline water ioniser machine, you can rest assured that your water would be safe to drink.

2. It Offers Healthier, Better-Tasting Water

Unlike some water filter systems, alkaline water ionisers go a step further – they use a refined electrolysis process to separate the negative and positive ions in tap water, and produce a drinking water with high pH levels. One of its effects is making alkaline water taste better than tap or filtered water. You can use this better-tasting and healthier water for drinking, cleaning your food, as well as for cooking. With alkaline water, you will never have to drink or use weird-tasting tap water ever again.

3. It Improves the Hydration of Our Body

Since its water molecules are smaller than that of tap water, alkaline water from www.h2olifesource.com in Singapore is able to penetrate our cells easily. That means alkaline ionized water is more easily absorbed into your body, and is capable of efficiently and quickly hydrating your body. Proper hydration is crucial for achieving a healthy lifestyle and improving your energy levels, and simply having an alkaline water ionizing unit in your home can already make that much difference.

4. It Helps in Keeping Your Skin Healthy

Aside from improving your body’s hydration, investing in an alkaline water ionizer can also be good for your skin. With the different pH levels produced by a water ionizer – and due to its hydrating properties – drinking alkaline water will ensure that you will have a fresher and cleaner complexion than before. With all the stress you put on your skin and the pollutants in the surroundings, using alkaline water can be an easy and quick way to give back your skin’s natural glow. So, is there any home appliance that can give you that?

5. It Promotes Good Blood Circulation

Another reason why it’s worth investing on this water filter system is because the water it produces promotes and improves the blood circulation. The high pH levels of alkaline water reduces oxidation, since it contains what is known as negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP). With a negative ORP, alkaline water is able to slow down the potential damage brought by the free radicals in your blood. Purchasing an alkaline water ioniser machine is just a simple way of ensuring that you and your family have good blood circulation.

6. It Contains Cancer-Preventive Properties

Water produced by ionizing machines has been shown to contain cancer-preventive properties. Alkaline water has also been linked to lowering the effects of certain lifestyle diseases, including those who are suffering from cancer. Some studies also provided evidence of alkaline water helping slow down tumour growth by hampering the growth of blood vessels that are feeding the tumours.

7. It Prevents Ageing

Since alkaline water contains antioxidants and removes reactive oxygen from the body, it serves as a great help in the prevention of ageing. It does so by reducing cell damage, which leads to the physiology of ageing. With the varied health benefits of alkaline water ionizers, drinking this filtered water can slow your ageing process by keeping you healthier and happier.

Tips for Shopping a Water Ionizing Machine

    • Research on Your Machine Provider. Ensure that the company you are ordering from has a good reputation, the right certifications, as well as solid return policy and warranty. Knowing all these things about your chosen provider lets you know as to whether or not their product and services can meet – or even exceed – your expectations.

    • Decide What Features You Want. Knowing what features you want to have in your water ionizing unit will help you decide which machine you would like to purchase. The difference between each alkaline water ionizer is that it has either three, five, seven, eight, nine or 11 ionization plates that affect the water’s flow rate and pH range. All of its other functions will be just a matter of your preference.

    • Ensure You Purchase a Pre-Filter. Always remember that no on-board ionization filter addresses every contaminants and chemicals present in tap water, which is why it’s necessary to purchase pre-filters to ensure that you will get optimal drinking water regardless of the brand of the alkaline water ioniser machine you use.

    • Ask About the Product Warranty. Just like with purchasing any other appliance, ensure that you inquire about the company’s warranty on the product. Read on the warranty to know how the provider stands behind their units. If possible, choose companies that offer a lifetime guarantee on their machine parts and labour.

It’s easy to see why alkaline water is becoming increasingly acceptable and popular in Singapore these days. These products offer long-lasting positive effects on our health, influencing almost every aspect of our life. The amazing properties of alkaline water is definitely what makes them a must-have in your home.

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Questions to Ask Your Air Conditioner Repair Centre

Facing an air conditioning failure is perhaps one of the most annoying things you’ll encounter as a homeowner. Apart from making your home feel uncomfortable for an unknown period of time, you also need to look for a reputable service provider to have it fixed. But before getting in touch with any aircon servicing company, you should first prepare a list questions that will help you ensure that you’re doing all the right things as a homeowner. Here, we’ve listed down some of the key questions that will help you determine whether or not you’ve found the right service provider.

1. Are you a licensed service provider?

If a contractor wants to work in the heating and air conditioning industry in Singapore, they are required to obtain a license provided by the state. Having a license ensures that the company, particularly its technicians, received the necessary education and understood all the local safety regulations related to the air conditioning repair business. Being licensed, bonded and insured is what separates professional A/C repair companies from the shady repair contractors out there. Keep in mind that a worthwhile aircon servicing contractor would be more than willing to provide a proof of their certifications so their clients will feel comfortable hiring them.

2. Do you have an insurance?

A good aircon repair company should carry two different types of insurance – the general liability insurance and the workers’ compensation insurance. The general liability insurance covers any damage done to the contractor’s equipment or to your home if ever an accident occurs as the repairing process by Aircon Master contractors in Singapore takes place. The workers’ compensation insurance, on the other hand, covers the cost of missed work time or medical expenses and protects you from the liability in case one of their technicians get injured while working on your home.

3. Are all of your technicians well-trained?

To minimize the repairs you need to do in the future, ensure that all of the technicians that will be working on your A/C unit are experienced enough. Whether it’s an entire team or just an individual trying to get the job done, make sure that all of them can intellectually and physically handle the task at hand. After all, you wouldn’t want the vital parts of your aircon maintenance and repair to go into the hands of an untrained technician.

4. May I ask for a list of local references?

If a particular contractor is known to provide high quality work in Singapore, then they should have a list of satisfied customers who would willingly share their experience with the company. Aside from asking your A/C contractor for referrals, you should also spend some time looking for reviews and feedback about the company online. Websites like Yelp are the best places to visit for review, but don’t judge the company based on the positive reviews alone; you should consider how they handle negative feedback as well.

5. Can you give a written estimate of the repair?

It is one thing to discuss an aircon servicing cost on the phone, and it’s another having a comprehensive outline of the overall cost of the repair job. A detailed written estimate of your A/C repair will safeguard you from any surprise fees and assure you that the contractor is doing everything that they’re supposed to do. Getting hold of something to keep both parties accountable is great, especially if something unexpected happened on the day of your aircon repair.

6. Am I going to pay by the hour or by the job?

As much as possible, only hire an aircon servicing company that charges a flat rate for the repair job itself. If you get charged on an hourly basis, then your technician will likely take his time in fixing your A/C system; a two-hour repair job might turn into a six-hour task. You don’t know how complex or simple a specific part repair is – and some contractors have a knack for exaggerating things – so just play it safe and secure a fixed price before the job begins.

7. Are there any warranties for the work that’s been done?

Regardless if it’s a completely new unit or has undergone some minimal repairs, your air conditioning system will likely experience problems and need repairs in the future. With that in mind, be sure to ask your contractor about the kind of warranty they are offering. Knowing what the company’s warranty policy could serve as your safety net should the repair job be unsuccessful or the A/C installation goes wrong.

8. Will I still pay for any post-repair breakdowns?

Another important question to ask is whether or not you need to pay for another system diagnosis in case your air conditioning unit malfunctions again. Typically, such services is done for free especially if the technician failed to fix or misdiagnosed the problem of your unit right from the start. Remember that it’s their responsibility to provide you with quality aircon repair services, which is why they should be held accountable in case you experience any post-repair breakdowns with your A/C system.

As a paying customer, you deserve to know all the facts behind your chosen A/C service provider in Singapore. You might not be knowledgeable enough with these things, but you can do some research and look into your prospective company before hiring them. You’re paying a fair price, so it’s just right that you receive a quality and honest service from your contractor.

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Beauty Tips for Ladies Who are Not Fond of Makeup

Not every woman in Singapore is into acing that eyebrow flick or mastering the cat-eye. While wearing the right shade of nude lipstick is crucial to some, knowing ways to get out of the door fast is more appealing to others. Sure, being makeup-free with your locks thrown into a bun might be good from time to time, there are certain situations when looking put together is necessary. For that reason, we listed down some tips that will help you look amazing without causing you to be late for work.

1. Curl Your Lashes
This step might seem pointless to you, but those seconds you spend curling your eyelashes could make a huge impact on your look. It could help you make wide awake, even if you’re feeling too groggy to even go to work.

2. Get Rid of Pimples the Night Before
The easiest way to get rid of acne marks is through dabbing a small amount of toothpaste on the affected area and letting it through the night. The toothpaste’s antibacterial properties could help in eliminating the blemish-causing bacteria that’s present on your face.

3. Opt for a Multipurpose Makeup Base
Choose a makeup base that has SPF, moisturizer and tinted coverage all in one. Some of the favourites that you should keep in your makeup stash are NARS Tinted Moisturizer, Bare Minerals Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream and Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer.

4. Sport a Bold Lip
Even if you don’t wear any other makeup, applying a little mascara and a bold lip colour can already improve your look in just a minute or two. So be sure to get yourself at least one red lippie that perfectly suits your skin tone.

5. Take Good Care of Your Skin
If you don’t have the time to apply makeup every morning – or it’s just completely not your thing – ensure that you already have a good foundation to work with. Choose a skincare system that perfectly suits your lifestyle and your skin’s needs so you’ll be able to keep your complexion youthful-looking and bright.

Not all of us are fond of applying makeup and copying certain beauty looks from the internet. Nonetheless, there would be circumstances where looking put together would be necessary – and you would be able to achieve just that by simply putting the aforementioned beauty tips to work.

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6 Types of Shoes to Pair with Your Leggings

As much as you love your favourite sneakers, pairing your comfy kicks with your leggings is already an outfit idea that you can skip. While it’s long been said that replacing your pair of jeans for leggings is a huge no-no, giving up this fashion habit might be harder due to the comfort and versatility that the latter offers. To help make your regular leggings look dressier, we listed down some of fancy footwear that you can wear with them to boost their style points.

1. Heeled Mules
Similar with leggings, a pair of mules also has the touch of masculinity that always edges up any outfit. A pair of heeled mules is as edgy as well, but it also has a hint of femininity that your leggings could certainly use.

2. Slides
Slides have been the rage these days. Not only are they fashionable, they’re comfortable and really fun to wear, too. So what better way is there to wear your favourite leggings than with an equally comfy pair of slides?

3. Loafers
Without a doubt, leggings give off a sporty vibe. But you can turn that athletic feel into a more preppy vibe in an instant by switching your good old sneaker with a pair of classic loafers instead. We have a hunch that even Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl would want to give this pairing a try.

4. Sandals
It’s rare to think of partnering your leggings with any other footwear than your favourite sneakers – let alone pairing it with sandals. We say, however, that it’s fashionable, out of the box and an excellent way to spice up your rather basic look.

5. Ballet Flats
Give your leggings a daintier and more feminine feeling by pairing it with cute ballet flats. They’re as comfortable and fun to wear as your go-to sneakers, but they’re definitely chicer and sleeker.

6. Ankle Boots
Contrary to what most people say, wearing leggings in a meeting is possible if you just pair them with something that has structure. A tunic top would work wonders; just add a belt and blazer over it, then finish your look by pairing it with an ankle boots. Just don’t forget to carry a nice bag, and you’ll definitely rock the outfit.

Making your leggings appear dressier than usual is actually easy. All you’ve got to do is pair them with any of the aforementioned shoe types, and you can already transform this sporty piece into a chic part of your ensemble.

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VoIP: How Call Recording Can Help Your Business

Every call that comes in or out of your business is important. In today’s market, where everyone is in constant competition, how your business deals with customers’ calls can be the difference between retaining a customer and losing them to competitors. Monitoring how your employees deal with callers is critical for your business’ health; and the most effective way of doing this is by using the call recording features of your cloud VoIP.

Call recording is a pbx phone system feature that is invaluable for businesses in Singapore. Like other voice-related features of hosted pabx, it’s no surprise that call recording is easy and inexpensive compared to the same function on traditional telephone networks.

So, how can call recording benefit your company?

1. Customer Service

In the world of business, one happy customer can bring five new clients to your company, but an unhappy customer can spread the word to hundreds of potential clients through online reviews and social media posts. Using the call recording feature of pbx phone system allows you to monitor how customers are treated by your employees and how your people handle their complaints. With the data you get from call recording, you can turn unhappy customers into happy and satisfied patrons.

2. Staff Development

This VoIP feature can also be used for training your staff. Once you know how a good and a bad call sounds like in your business, you can use the recorded call to correct your staff and train them how to entertain calls properly and efficiently. You will be able to check for yourself using a hosted voice phone solution from Singapore how employees deal with angry and complaining customers and decide whether or not your staff need additional training to cope up with such situations.

3. Refine Processes

You can also use the call recording feature to review and improve your business processes. If your call handling doesn’t seem to bring your business the boost you want, change them and use the recordings to see the results.

4. Dispute Resolution

It can also serve as an aid to resolve problems. You can check the call recording what was verbally agreed and use this information to solve the problem.

5. Seasonal Problems

Is your business promoting special offer or seasonal promos to callers? Call recording will let you monitor the progress of your promotions.

Types of Call Recording

Integrating a cloud VoIP system into your business infrastructure gives you the ability to review business conversations and make the most out of it. The ability to record phone calls comes in three forms:

• Software-Based Call Recording

This type of recording records calls via software—may it be calls made through softphones or regular cell phones using VoIP apps like Google Talk, Skype, Google Hangouts and the like. The software can record anything that goes through the sound card of your computer.

• Hosted Call Recording

In this recording type, no major recording equipment will be installed on your site. Instead, all hardware and call recording tools will be stored in the office of your cloud VoIP service provider, and you can then check the recordings via the internet. Some hosted pabx providers allow a certain amount of recording storage space for free while others offer call recording as an additional feature, which comes with a fee.

• Hardware Call Recording

From the name itself, this one uses a device that is connected to the internet. The device does what is called “port sniffing”, meaning it reads data that’s transferred over a network port and records it. The device can either be small or large enough to accommodate hundreds of extensions all at once. Instead of having a built-in hard drive, the hardware connects to a server that records the call via the web.

Requirements for Recording VoIP Calls

There really is nothing much needed to record VoIP calls. You only need a VoIP service, a headset and call-recording tools.

However, if you’re in a corporate setting in Singapore and using an IP PBX telephone system, you should have call recording tools suitable for businesses, such as a storage media that’s large enough to accommodate everyday recorded calls.

For people who are very particular about quality, use superior hardware for more polished recorded calls. You can also use audio editing tools, which you can download online, to get rid of unnecessary noises.

Ethics of Call-Recording

Keep in mind that before installing a call recording feature, you should be familiar with the legal restrictions of the government regarding call recording, especially how it differs from illegal uses, such as wiretapping and invasion of privacy.

Additionally, it’s important to get the consent of the person you’re calling before recording the conversation. Recording without the receiver’s knowledge is unethical and may cause an unsatisfactory experience of a customer with your service.

The least you can do is to inform the receiver that the call is recorded to give them the choice whether to carry on with the call or end it right then and there. You can do so by simply saying something like, “Please be advised that this is a recorded call.”

Years back, businesses in Singapore do not commonly implement call recording because it is too complicated and expensive to use effectively. However, given the advancement of VoIP technology, IP PBX telephone system can take advantage of this call recording feature without the need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an additional VoIP function.

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5 Signs You Are Coming Off as an Unapproachable Person

There exist people who are just downright approachable. Whether they’re just walking down the street or hanging out in a bar, everyone flocks around them like moths to a flame. Then there’s the rest of us – the ones who appear to be unapproachable, sitting around and wondering what’s up with our surroundings. So how can you break free from appearing as an aloof person? Simply avoid doing the following habits when you’re around new people.

1. Having a Closed Off Body Language

One habit that makes you seem unapproachable to the people around you is having a closed off body language. A good example of this is standing with your arms crossed. We tend to read into body languages, and standing with crossed arms automatically sends a message that you want to be left alone. To correct this habit, simply keep your arms on your side and avoid wrapping them around your mid-section. Also, angle your body towards people so they’ll feel that you’re open to having a conversation with them.

2. Avoiding Eye Contact

Another sure-fire way that will make you come off as unapproachable is constantly avoiding eye contract. Because what’s more difficult than approaching a complete stranger? Approaching someone who won’t acknowledge your presence even with just a brief look. The best way to counter this is to recognize the people around you smiling and showing that you’re aware of their existence. Even if you’re hesitant to start a conversation, your demeanour will surely encourage them to approach you if they want to.

3. Excluding People in a Conversation

Think about the times when you find yourself chatting with new acquaintances. If you developed the habit of excluding people from a conversation – either by putting your back to someone or completely turning away – then that could explain why some of them didn’t bother striking another chit-chat with you.

4. Showing Little Interest With Your Appearance

While it’s advisable that you wear pieces that you’re most comfortable in, some occasions just call in for a little more grooming. Let’s say you show up at a colleague’s wedding in your favourite yoga pants. You might be comfortable with your yoga pants, but your casualness will surely put people off. While it may seem superficial, appearance does matter. Taking pride on how you look will make you more psychologically and physically appealing to others. Not to mention, easier to talk to.

5. Giving Off the Aggressive Vibes

Some people tend to mix aggressiveness with assertiveness. They often see being assertive as being rude, pushy or loud, when it’s actually the exact opposite. So continue walking the tightrope between assertiveness and aggressiveness by increasing your emotional intelligence and your people sensitivity. Don’t forget to consider the feelings of the people around when you’re being assertive, and you’ll be doing it just right.

By unconsciously doing any of these habits, you’ll definitely come off as an unapproachable person. So do put some effort on changing your ways and giving off a positive aura so you could lure in and meet lots of new people.

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Types of Paint You Should Try

Finding the right medium takes trial and error. It’s best to try whatever you can get your hands on so you can explore many possibilities. Here are some that you might want to check out.


Acrylics produce thick, bright paints. They are made from pigment, polymer binder and acryl emulsion. They dry easily, unless retarders are used, and look almost like plastic on the canvas. To thin the paint, extenders or water is used. They can be painted on canvas, wood, metal and others. They come in bottles or tubes that are cheaper than oil. One disadvantage is that you need to clean your brushes right away so that the paint doesn’t dry them.


The name comes from the protein in cow’s milk. It is often used in mural painting and can be painted on wood, plaster, canvas, masonite, and linen. It has a matte finish and is a difficult medium to use because it requires a lot of experience.


When doing an encaustic painting, the pigment is mixed with hot wax. Some mix with with substrates such as resins, linseed oil or beeswax. This technique is a bit more complicated because the colors, sold in blocks, have to be melted first.


Gouache is similar to watercolor but the pigment mixed with gum Arabic is much bigger. It is also mixed with white pigment or chalk to make it opaque. One disadvantage is that they can be water soluble so a finished artwork should be protected and stored properly.


Ink has been used for calligraphy, an art form in itself, but it also used to paint objects. This medium is cheap and is a good practice for drawing figures using a brush.


Oil takes a long time to dry so you can work on a project for days. They are made of pigment and linseed, sunflower or walnut oil. Some types however are water-based. They can be scraped off if you want to change something and produce thick lines ideal for mixing. They are very expensive however and are messy to work with. They need to be thinned using turpentine or linseed oil. Finally, oil art has to be sealed with varnish. Another disadvantage is that the colors change over time and need to be exposed to light.


Some artists consider pastel artwork as painting. Unlike the other media, pastel doesn’t take long to dry and it can be done on paper. It also has more colors and are easier to clean. It’s prone to smudging however.


It is made of pigment mixed with egg yolk or white glue. The white glue makes it a poster paint, while the egg yolk mix gives it a matte finish. They come in jars or tubes.


Also known as aquarelle, watercolor is cheap and easy to use. They are made of pigment and gum and produce transparent colors. They come in tubes or pans. Artists employ soft brushes to hold more paint. They are less messy and are ideal for children.

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