Understanding the Different Types of Interior and Exterior Paint Finishes

The sheen makes a big difference. Even if you have chosen the right paint for your interior or exterior paint job, choosing the wrong finish will only undo several hours of work and will have you spending more to repaint.  

While there can be so many names for the types of finishes depending on the manufacturers, especially interior paint finishes, knowing the different types of paint finish doesn’t have to be so complicated as it would seem.

Paint finishes for both interior and exterior paints can be divided into three or four major categories, ranging from dull to shiny.

Exterior Paint Finishes

Exterior paint finishes are simpler to understand because there are only three categories that you need to remember, and they can more or less do all the work that you will be needing for outdoor paint jobs.

Here are the three types of exterior paint finish that you need to be familiar with:

  • Flat finish – This type of external finish is the most porous and is the one that reflects the most light, which makes it ideal for painting older houses as it helps to hide any flaws or imperfections that can come with age.
  • Satin finish – This type of finish is the most popular one for homeowners as it is neither too dull nor too shiny, and the more subtle sheen makes it great for painting walls. It is also much easier to clean with a pressure washing every once in a while.        
  • Gloss finish – Gloss finishes are the toughest and are the easiest to maintain, but can make your home look as if it were made of plastic when used too much. This type of finish is also very slippery.

Interior Paint Finishes

While there are more and more names being added to the list of interior paint finishes, they usually all range from dull to shiny. The dull ones are best reserved for floors and ceilings, while the shinier ones are for doors and windows.

Here are the four major types that you need to remember:

  • No-sheen – Flat paint finishes are offered by almost every paint manufacturer, and they produce a dull finish that will make living rooms and home offices seem all the more inviting. Their only drawback is that they absorb all stains and are difficult to wash.
  • Low-sheen – Kitchens and bathrooms would benefit a lot from low-sheen paint finishes because of their glow. They are also appropriate for kids’ rooms and hallways, but they do tend to highlight flaws on the walls’ surface.
  • Medium-sheen – Medium-sheen finishes are much more durable and easy to clean, which makes it irresistible to homeowners. However, they should only be reserved for doors and windows.
  • High-sheen – These finishes are hard, smooth, and non-porous enamels that are ideal for areas that tend to experience wear and tear the most, such as windows and doors, and even corner woodwork, but should never be used for walls or ceilings.

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5 Simple Alternatives to Kitchen Gadgets that You Already Have at Home

Your kitchen may not have all the culinary tools you will need to accomplish a certain task, whether the tools you have happen to be in the dishwasher or that you don’t want to spend money on something you will rarely use.

In lieu of these gadgets, here are a few substitutes that could be handy in a pinch:

1. Bottles can do the work of rolling pins.

Rolling pins are essentially dough flatteners, and a wine bottle can easily fill this task. However, do handle bottles with care and try to avoid breaking them – the last thing you want in your pastry is broken glass.

2. Use two forks instead of a whisk or a hand mixer.

Blending ingredients into a mixture, such as whipping cream or eggs, need air, which a whisk usually lets you do with ease. However, two forks facing each other will do just fine. Create some space between the two by placing a folded paper towel and taping them together.

If all else fails, you can just skip the process and simply beat the mixture with a fork (you can never go wrong with that!).

3. A blender can be a stand-in for a food processor.

A high-powered blender is in a lot of ways similar to a food processor in that they contain blades and can make short work of things other than ice cubes – ingredients such as spices and meats can be blitzed at low or high speeds depending on your preference.

Keep in mind that this may not always work for cheeses as they might stick to the blades instead. For hard vegetables, such as carrots, you might have to chop them into small pieces beforehand. 

4. In a pinch, a large spoon will open a bottle for you.

Whether it’s a bottle of soda or beer, what you really need is a lever that will pop the bottle cap open, something that a large spoon can easily accomplish. With one hand, hold the bottle by the neck.

Once done, put the spoon’s front tip under the cap using the other hand and lift until the cap pops open.

5. Do not underestimate the versatility of aluminum foil.

This long, thin, foldable strip of metal has more uses than just covering dishes.

For instance, heavy duty foil can be used in lieu of a colander, or a sheet of foil folded into ridges can elevate lighter foods from baking sheets and keep them from sticking. You can even make it into a coil to support heavier foods, such as roast chicken, in the oven.

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The Five Sure-Fire Signs of a Healthy, Lasting Relationship

You want your partner to be more than just your partner. You also want them to be your best friend, co-parent, companion, confidant, and even a partner-in-crime, and you can achieve this by improving on what you already have in your shared lives.

This all starts with these five factors that you’ll see in any long-lasting relationship (and are good qualities to start building towards if you don’t see them):

1. You and your partner agree on core values.
Every person has a “non-negotiable” belief, whether it’s on the topic of children, personal habits and hygiene, politics and ethics, or even religion – and there’s a good chance you have them too.

However, relationships can still work even if you don’t agree with everything – if you’re willing to hear the other person out and work out a compromise, you’ll be surprised at what you can do.

2. You communicate constantly.
No relationship is without conflict. There’s going to be something you’ll come across that you’ll have different opinions on, and it could turn into a heated discussion.

However, what keeps both parties on track is good communication – honestly expressing thoughts and ideas in a caring manner with respect for the other party. In fact, it’s perhaps the biggest factor you’ll see in any working relationship.

3. You let yourselves be vulnerable.
Being able to share intimate details with a certain level of comfort is one of the biggest hallmarks of a relationship that’s going to last, and needs a lot of trust on both ends. This can span a lot of things, from your darkest secrets and deepest fears, to sex.

We go into relationships to be vulnerable, and by respectful with regards to our partner’s openness, we come out of the relationship as better people.

4. You have a balance between your relationship and other aspects of your life.
Whether it’s keeping in touch with your friends and family, or pursuing your passions and careers, you need to know how to balance that and your relationship.

While you need to prioritize your partner, keep in mind that you are also your own person – and so is your partner, and you need to allow your partner to develop and grow in the other aspects of their life.

5. You discuss the future a lot.
Other than having similar or complementing core values, it’s also great to share a similar view of where you’ll be heading in your lives in the future. Think ten, twenty years from now – what will you be doing for a living? Where will you be living? Will you have children?

If you can see these signs in your relationship, congratulations! You as a couple are going to last for a long time.

And if you don’t see it yet, don’t fret. What you need to do is to talk to your partner honestly and openly, and work out how you can improve your relationship from there.

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What You Need to Know About Eating Clean (And How to Get Started)

The first, most definitive step in living a healthier lifestyle, starts with the kitchen. It’s not just going to the gym every day that will get you to the body or fitness that you want – it’s also about “eating clean”.

But because this buzz word has been thrown around almost everywhere, it’s easy to get confused as to what it actually means. To clear up this confusion, here’s what “clean eating” not about as well as what it’s really about:

What Eating Clean is Not About
Here’s what you need to know about what clean eating is not:

• It’s not about going vegetarian or quitting meat, dairy, or animal products entirely – though it could be a start

• It’s not about completely avoiding all packaged or processed foods (some packaged or processed foods do contain essential nutrients via fortification)

• It’s not about eating everything raw or uncooked (cooked dishes can be healthier, safer, and more delicious than the sum of their parts)

What Eating Clean is Really About
Meanwhile, here’s what you need to know on what clean eating really is about:

• Eating clean is about making the important decision to actually start introducing more fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your diet

• Eating clean is about minimizing the risk of problems that come with highly-processed foods, such as weight gain, heart disease, and even cancer

• Eating clean is about the change in lifestyle, and getting all the benefits that come with healthy living

There’s a reason why highly processed foods can be bad for you when eaten in excess. While they’re delicious, cheap, and are sources of easily accessible energy, the methods of processing these foods can often strip them of a lot of the nutrients that make them healthy.

Highly processed foods have a lot of chemicals and additives that stimulate your brain to produce more dopamine, which makes it easy to start craving for these foods when you eat them regularly.

The good news is that it’s never too late to start. Here are a few first steps you can take easily:
• Start shifting your diet towards more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that you can easily prepare or cook yourself

• Say no to sodas and choose water instead – and drink lots of water

• Instead of large meals, smaller servings along with lots of water and exercise can help you a lot in feeling full while losing weight

• Start with small, concrete goals that you can easily measure and manage

• Set a simple three-day meal plan

Keep in mind that while the first few days can be difficult, the key to starting a change in your lifestyle is by being consistent and constantly reminding yourself why you chose to make the change in the first place.

It may be long and arduous, but when you finally see the end results, it’ll be definitely worth it.

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The Importance of Having Your Trademark Registered

A trademark is a sign, word, phrase, or any combination of these that represent a company or merchandise. That is why trademark registration is an essential part of protecting the identity of your brand and business. If you’re logo is not registered, others will be able to use it to their advantage. Especially if your business is booming, they will able to ride on your back and deceive customers.

Legal Ownership

When planning to register trademark, know that you will be charged with certain amount of fee, but it’s a really small price to pay for the establishment and success of your business. You may even be surprised how affordable it is to enlist your name once you see the price list of mark submission here in Singapore. After you have finally listed your mark, you’ll have optimum brand protection and exclusive ownership of it, including of course all the products and services you offer.

You’ll also be able to take legal action against those who try to use your trademark without authority or credit. Other business might also make their logo similar to yours, but if you have a registered mark already, they won’t be able to do so or at least without consequence.

Furthermore, registering gives you the privilege to renew trademark and extend your protection for longer period of time. Although trademark renewal may require you to pay for another fee, the cost to extend TM validity is nothing compared to the protection it provides for your business in Singapore.

Another thing is Intellectual property (IP). IP is an innovation resulting from a person’s creativity, like pieces of art, inventions, literature, designs, and etc. One should consider applying for a trademark for his/her IP because it’s a bit more complicated. Because IP is a creation of the mind, it is primarily intangible, meaning it’s more difficult to take ownership of as opposed to other property like physical objects or land.

Processing a Trademark

Brand name registry is actually somewhat easy, it only really takes quite a time before it’s done, typically around 9 months. What usually can cause more delay is if you make mistakes on the trademark itself, or the trademark you propose has similarities with another that is already registered.

To avoid this, try to do a trademark search before actually doing anything else. This allows you to check and create beautiful logo for your company here in Singapore that is unique and does not conflict with another registered logo design. Plus, it will save you time and money, since you won’t have to start from scratch all over again just because you found out that your logo is similar with someone else’s.

Trademark application starts with filing an application form to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. After the application, it will then be examined to see if it does not have any similarities with others and if it complies with the criteria. It will then be moved for public inspection through the Trade Marks Journal. If no one opposes your trademark, then you will be granted a registration certificate.

In summary, trademark registration is very important for the identity of your business because it becomes easier for customers to recognize your products, services, and company as sa whole. It enables you to protect your brand against businesses that might otherwise damage your reputation. In addition, the cost of filing a trademark might get pretty expensive. But, once your trademark is approved, it will be a worthy investment because the trademark is considered valid 10 years after the application has been approved.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Pest Control for Your Home

Even though pests clearly don’t belong in your house, they’re often left unseen until it’s too late. When this happens, you already have to call pest control management to fumigate your home and keep the pests from coming back.

Calling a local exterminator to deal with an infestation is quite straightforward. If you see these unwelcomed guests in your home, call a 24 hours pest removal here in Singapore and they will get rid of them for good.

However, this isn’t always the case. When you can’t call pest control services to fix your problem, here are a few do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind:

Pest Control Do’s
These are the things that you need to avoid in order to handle your pest problem safely and efficiently:

• Try out pest prevention methods first. To get rid of harmful insects, starve out house pests by cleaning out their potential shelters and food sources. This is an effective pest control method for pests such as the bed bug. Even your pest control worker in Singapore may recommend this technique as this is also a guaranteed method to remove termites and other insects, with no chemicals required.

• Use chemicals safely and responsibly. If you have to use chemical pesticides yourself, never skip out the label and the instructions on how to use them. The biggest step you need to take is making sure that no one else accidentally ingests it but the pests.

• Dispose leftover pesticide and pesticide containers properly. Always read the label and follow the local guidelines on disposing hazardous wastes, especially pest control chemicals.

Pest Control Don’ts
If you have to terminate pest infestation on your own, avoid doing the following in order to handle your problems safely and efficiently:

• Use outdoor chemicals indoors. Not only will they take longer to dissolve and break down, but they can also cause harm to everyone and contaminate the water supply. This method is better left to a professional pest exterminator who has the expertise to properly perform different pest control services and are equipped with the right equipment to use.

• Assume that more is better. When it comes to handling dangerous chemicals in addressing termite infestation problem at home, overkill is not helpful. There’s no point in the amount of organic pesticides you will use if you can’t get rid of termites, kill rats or perform proper pest removal with it, so be sure to read the label and follow instructions. Contact your local exterminator in Singapore for more detailed assistance.

• Transfer the pesticide from one container to another. If you have to store the pesticide, store it in its original container to keep anyone from mistaking it as something else. You should also not use the pesticide containers to store anything else.

When you have to terminate pest infestation in your home, whether it’s having to exterminate rodents, setting bait to remove termites, or spraying and clearing out clutter to get rid of cockroaches, the best way to do so is by reading the label and doing it with proper safety equipment.

However, if you’re in doubt, contact a pest control management pro today!

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How to Dress Up as a Wedding Guest

It’s not only the bride and the groom who worry about their outfits on their most important day, but even the guests sometimes have a hard time picking the right clothes for such an occasion. Even if you’re not part of the entourage, you’d still want to look your best without outshining the couple in the wedding.

So, how do you dress up as a wedding guest?

Remember the Time, Location, and Theme
Yes, you have to read the wedding invitation so you will know where the ceremony and reception will be held, the time of the day and the duration of the celebration, and the theme of the wedding. Some couples will insist on specific colors and costumes for the guests so that everyone looks good in the photos. Others, however, will leave it up to the guests to decide. Some stylists will advise you to look for clues on the colors and structure of the invitation itself. What colors and designs are dominant? If it’s still all so confusing to you, you could always ask the bride or the groom weeks before the event, right?

It’s All About Colors
There is an unwritten rule in most types of weddings, even traditional wedding ceremonies, that you also have to respect, regardless if it’s stated in the wedding invitation or not. Only the bride and/or groom are allowed to wear pure white, so the entourage and the guests are usually discouraged from wearing predominantly white outfits unless you are required by the couple. Second, respect the couple’s religious affiliations. Singapore is home to several multicultural groups that observe different ceremonies. Research about the colors, types of fabrics, and cuts that are considered vulgar and offensive. Red, all-white, and pure black are considered inappropriate in most Asian ceremonies. Some brides might choose to wear red or white, after all. Remember that it’s not about you, but it’s for the couple.

Consider the Length and Cut
For traditional wedding ceremonies, you should generally avoid sleeveless or strapless gowns and shirts, short dresses that are above the knee in length, see-through fabrics, tight-fitting outfits, and anything that exposes too much chest and legs. For Muslim weddings, avoid sleeveless gowns, very short dresses, or gowns with deep or low neckline. For formal Chinese weddings, avoid above-the-knee-length skirts and dresses and suits that have too many accents. For Indian weddings, it’s more appropriate to wear long dresses and tunics, or you can choose from any of the four basic outfits worn in such occasions; saree, lehenga, churidar suit, and trouser suit.

Don’t Forget Comfort
The reason why you’re not supposed to wear tight-fitting clothes is because you will be served a lot of food during the wedding reception and some ceremonies can last for hours. So, yes, you have to have comfort in mind, because you don’t want to be fidgeting on your chair because you can’t breathe. The location, as already mentioned is important, so if it’s outdoors for example, avoid high heels, heavy suit, and clothes that will catch the wind.

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Let’s Talk About Mouth Growths

Next to our feet, our mouth is probably the most overlooked part of the body, which is ironic, because we use it several times a day to talk and eat. According to doctors, however, you should pay more attention to your mouth because its health can mirror diseases and will serve as an early warning sign of health problems.

Fortunately, it’s easy to sense abnormalities in the mouth even without looking at it through a mirror because it’s sensitive. Lumps can easily be sensed by probing your mouth with your tongue, for example. These lumps should not be ignored because some can be cancerous tumors.

Let’s get to know the common mouth growths.

Traumatic Fibroma. These are lumps that grow on the lips, tongue, and cheeks that resulted from irritation or injury like biting your tongue. They usually heal quickly unless they’re injured again and develop a fibrous tissue, which is similar to a callus. It’s benign, but it can be removed through surgery then biopsied. Persistent lumps on the gums, however, might be a sign of tooth abscess or gum disease.

Warts. Ordinary warts can affect the mouth if there is contact with another part of the body (usually the hands) that have warts (Verrucae vulgaris). These are harmless and can be removed, but warts caused by sexually-transmitted diseases (these warts are called papillomas) are a different matter entirely.

Thrush. Also called candidiasis, this is a yeast infection that affects moist parts of the skin including the mouth. You will feel sticky white patches in your mouth, especially if you have problems in your immune system, diabetes, or you’re taking antibiotics. Thrush can be treated with antifungal medication.

Keratocanthomas. These are growths that form on areas that are exposed to the sun like the lips. They’re harmless and will disappear within 2 months, but be wary of growths that don’t go away after a while, because they could be cancerous tumors.

Canker Sores. Also called aphthous ulcers, these are painful sores with yellowish or white membrane that usually go away after 2 weeks or with corticosteroid treatment. Sores around the mouth that are recurrent are called cold sores (these are different from canker sores) and is a symptom of herpes simplex virus infection that must be treated with antiviral medication.

Mucocele. These are usually found under the tongue or inside the lower lip and appear as soft cyst-like growths. They are the result of injured salivary glands, but are not harmful and can be removed by surgery.

There are other growths caused by mouth diseases, injury, and infection, but the best way to determine what they are is to visit your dentist. Oral cancer for example, will exhibit various symptoms depending on the parts of the mouth that are affected. You are also more likely to have mouth problems if you smoke, abuse alcohol, and if you have a history of STDs. If you see or feel any abnormalities in your mouth, visit your dentist for a correct diagnosis.

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3 ways for extroverts to unwind

Extroverts are always tagged as the life of the party. They are often the center of every activity since they bring in the laughter, enjoyment and merriment. They are carefree, funny and boisterous, which make them appealing to the people around them.

However, there are days when extroverts need to unwind too. They get all used up at work or in school, and they too need some time to recharge themselves.

So if you’re an extrovert waiting for your next psychological boost, here are some ways to help you relax after a long day at work or in school:

1. Take part in a social activity
Since extroverts recharge by way of social interaction, they need to interact with others in occasions of light manner. They look forward to a night of socialization and fun. Whether this may be dinner with friends or family, simple hanging out or a night of clubbing, the bottom line is extroverts need to mingle with others to replenish their energy.

2. Be in a support group
If a night out wouldn’t do the trick for you and you’re still feeling stressed out, then you have to change tactics. Seek a dependable support group and vent your heart out. This tip hits two birds with one stone – not only is your need for social interaction fulfilled, you have also let out emotions and thoughts bursting at the seams. This tip helps you keep your thoughts in perspective while satiating your need for human interaction.

3. Talk to experts
Humans as we are, there are just some limitations we can’t overcome. And extroverts have their fair share of burnouts. So if you find yourself still not feeling refreshed despite all the night outs and support group appointments, you might want to up your game and talk to someone you look up to. Experts don’t necessarily mean a psychiatrist, though there’s nothing wrong with them too, but you could also turn to someone in your church or family whom you have huge respect for. You’ve replenished your need for human interaction and you’ve confided with them stressors causing your burnout or psychological exhaustion.

So for extroverts out there, make sure you also unwind and replenish your psychological energies. Every social interaction you experience radiates energy you readily absorb and make the most out of. This asset is an advantage and you should use it wisely. As they say, no man is an island. And you sure are proof.
Extroverts may be the life of the party, but also make sure you keep the life in you too. Keep the music of social interaction playing, and you’ll still enjoy the beat as you dance your way through the challenges of life.

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