Improve Your Typing Speed and Accuracy with These Easy Steps

With the widespread use of computers in nearly every aspect of the modern world, typing has become a useful skill in many career paths – and it’s also a crucial skill to have, given the amount of information that needs to be processed in every industry all the time.

If you don’t think you can type fast enough, you can always improve your typing speed with regular practice and a few helpful tips, such as the following:

1. Familiarize yourself with the keyboard
If you can choose or buy your own keyboard, do consider the size of the keys – larger keys will make it easier for you to find and press them, which will make typing easier.

But keep in mind that there are times that this isn’t always possible. While you can’t always choose the keyboard you get, however, you can familiarize yourself with its layout. Do this by visualizing the keys in your head, so you know where they are even without directly looking at them.

2. Arrange your fingers properly
Perhaps the most important step to typing faster is making sure your fingers are arranged properly on the keyboard. Your left and right index fingers should be resting on the “F” and “J” keys, respectively, while your other fingers should be resting on the following keys:

• Left pinky finger – A
• Left ring finger – S
• Left middle finger – D
• Right pinky finger – ;
• Right ring finger – L
• Right middle finger – K

Both your thumbs should be resting on the space bar. When you type, make sure your fingers are curved slightly and that your keyboard is resting directly in front of you – this will minimize any strain on your part and make your typing experience as smooth as possible.

3. Practice “touch-typing”
Touch-typing is a type of typing method where you’re using muscle memory to know which keys to press instead of consciously looking at the keyboard every time you do.

By doing this, you not only increase your typing speed a lot, but you also focus more on what’s in your head and put it on the blank page, rather than taking more time in finding the right keys to press.

This all starts with knowing which fingers should press which keys, starting with:

• Left pinky finger – 1, Q, A, Z
• Left ring finger – 2, W, S, X
• Left middle finger – 3, E, D, C
• Left index finger – 4, R, F, V, 5, T, G, B
• Right pinky finger – 0, P, ;, /
• Right ring finger – 9, O, L, >
• Right middle finger – 8, I, K, ,
• Right index finger – 7, U, J, M, 6, Y, H, N

Keep in mind that both thumbs press only the space bar, and that to be able to touch-type, you need to practice regularly. Aside from online tests, you can write emails and post on forums to improve your speed.

A Quick Guide to Finishing Wood the Right Way

This final step in carpentry might not be the most difficult, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to do correctly in order to bring out the best in your finished products. It’s a must-have on any piece whether restored or built from scratch.

Why Adding Finish is Important
After any woodworking project, it’s always important that you apply a finishing coat of protective coating to minimize scratching, warping, or staining by various kinds of liquids or abrasives.

Keep in mind that finishes are different from stains. While the latter brings out the wood’s color and beauty, the former, also called the “topcoat” is what does the protection.

It’s certainly your preference of whether you want to apply this or not, but having an extra layer will improve its durability as well as its glossy sheen, and lock in the colors brought out by the initial staining.

Choosing the Right Finish
There’s no one type of finish that will work on all types of woodworking projects. In fact, the best finish for your project will depend on several factors, such as the following:

• Type of Project – Projects that will be used frequently will need more protection compared to those projects that won’t be as subjected to wear and tear, and certain finishes will certainly provide more protection than others.
• Sunlight/Humidity – Furniture that’s exposed to a lot of sunlight will also be subjected to fading much faster. Humidity will also make them more prone to warping and wearing down.

• Gloss – Finishes also vary depending on their gloss. They can either add a rich, amber tone, or give a crystal clear gloss to the wood. While you can choose whichever gloss you want, lighter woods should be best given a clearer finish.
• Ease of Application – You can easily apply most finishes with a cloth, but the difference is in the drying time. Not all finishes can be cleaned using soap and water – in fact, there’s a good chance that the one you’re using will need to be removed using mineral spirits.

Applying the Finish
Finishing is essentially applying the last coat of protective coating, and it’s usually a clear finish to really bring out the stain and its color. Here’s how you can apply the finish for your project:

• Prepare the wood beforehand. You do this by sanding the piece down first (start with rough-grit sandpaper, then work your way towards a finer-grit) before applying the stain. Sand it down again after drying to smooth it out.
• Stir the finish well. You can do this in order to mix up the material that’s settled at the bottom of the can. However, what you shouldn’t do is shake the can of finish, as this causes bubbles to form when it dries on the piece.
• Apply thin coats. A thin coat dries faster, while thicker coats take longer, dry unevenly, and are more prone to attracting dust.

How to Decorate Your Home on a Budget in 4 Easy Steps

Making the most out of your home in Singapore doesn’t always mean having to spend a lot trying to renovate everything from the furniture to the wall paints – sometimes, all you have to do is to think outside the box to get the home and the space you’ve always wanted.

Here are four easy steps to get you started on your interior decorating:

1. Clear the clutter.
The first step in bringing out the best in any home is always clearing out the clutter that you don’t need in your home. If there are things that you need to get rid of, be sure to sort them according to whether they can be sold, given away, or thrown away.

If you’re not sure which things at home you should keep and which ones to clear out, all you need to do is ask yourself whether you use it regularly or whether you haven’t used it in a while.

2. Pay attention to scale and the floor.
When choosing to decorate your room, take a good look at how big the room is and how the furniture actually looks like in relation to the room. Is the house big? Do the windows make it appear big? Or does the furniture make it appear small?

You should also pay attention to the floor of your home. If you have tiles, you want to make sure that they are as clean as possible.

3. Make your colors consistent.
Sticking to a limited color palette is an easy way to make any room a lot less claustrophobic, especially if the room itself is already small. For instance having a minimalist white-and-black room can make it look a lot wider and more spacious than it actually is.

If you want to bring a few splashes of color to your home, be sure to stay consistent with your color scheme and the furniture you already have. But don’t be afraid to make some color contrasts that you know will really pop – in fact, adding warm colors to a neutral scheme can make a room a lot cozier.

4. Make rest and relaxation an actual priority.
Homes, and especially bedrooms, above everything else, should be a place to rest and relax after a long day at work or school. And because there’s a good chance everyone coming home will have had a long day, a home that looks inviting to relax in is a welcome sight.

And the good news is that you don’t have to go all the way on decoration, throw pillows, or even bedsheets – even a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table or nightstand can work just as fine.

The Best Way to Cool and Re-Heat Leftover Pancakes and Waffles

There’s not a lot that can top the feeling of waking up to the smell of waffles and pancakes on a lazy weekend morning, and there’s even fewer that can top experiencing it on more than one day a week.

The next time you make too many pancakes or waffles and don’t know what to do with them, you can always look forward to having more than one morning of waking up to an amazing breakfast.

Freezing Leftover Pancakes and Waffles
Line a baking sheet with one sheet of parchment paper and place the leftover pancakes and waffles on the sheet. Make sure they don’t touch each other – if you have a lot of leftover pancakes or waffles, you can simply place another baking sheet on top to keep the layers separate.

Place them in the freezer for six hours. Once they’re completely frozen, place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container. Be sure to label your container when storing your leftover pancakes and waffles.

Re-heating Leftover Pancakes and Waffles
You have two options when it comes to reheating pancakes or waffles: oven or microwave.
With an oven (which can either be a standard oven or a toaster one) preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius), you can bake your pancakes or waffles for ten to fifteen minutes until they are heated well enough.

With a microwave, you can stack them on a microwavable plate or container and heat them on high setting for about one to two minutes. Alternatively, for waffles, you can reheat them for several cycles using a toaster, depending on its settings.

If you plan on cooking the leftover waffles and pancakes, do it as soon as you take them out of the freezer and don’t wait for them to thaw out.

Pancake and Waffle Recipes
Whether you make them by hand or simply use store-bought batter to make things a lot quicker, there are a lot of ways to give your pancake and waffle batters an extra twist.

For instance, aside from the standard batter ingredients, (eggs, flour, milk, baking powder and soda, etc.), you can add cinnamon and dip cooked pancakes in an egg-and-milk bath for fifteen seconds to make French toast pancakes.
You can also make your own twist with waffles, and if you want to make it a healthier breakfast, you can make the better yourself buy using whole wheat and cutting down on the sugar and butter that you use for ordinary waffles.
At the end of the day, waffles and pancakes are a quick and easy breakfast to make, and are always delicious every time.

Why Argan Oil is the Only Skincare Product You Need?

When we talk about argan oil, the first thing that comes to mind is shiny and bouncy hair. However, this ‘miracle’ oil also offers wonderful skin benefits, making it one of the key ingredients that cosmetics and skincare brands use on their products.

What really makes it so special? Why is it a common ingredient among beauty products—from make-up removers and face wipes to lipsticks and foundations?

1. It suits all skin types
Regardless of your skin type, argan oil works well for you. Dry skin gals can benefit a lot from its moisturizing properties. But what’s more amazing is that even oily skin girls can enjoy its skincare properties. It’s balmy and non-greasy texture makes it easy for the skin to absorb the oil without clogging the pores. Those with sensitive skin, as long as it is 100% argan, there shouldn’t be problems with pimples, textures and redness of the face when using this beauty oil.

2. It’s a natural eye cream
Because it’s natural, 100% argan oil can be safely used around the eyes—the most delicate part of the face. Its vitamin E content can help reduce fine lines and dark circles. While a drop of this oil is enough to cover both eyes, you can mix it with a drop of other natural ingredients to make a more effective eye serum.

3. It can be used day and night
Argan oil is light and moisturizing enough to be used as a daytime moisturizer, underneath your make-up; and hydrating and rich enough to be used as a night time serum. That’s two products for the price of one!

4. It also conditions the lashes
Argan oil is great for the hair, so why not use them on your lashes as well (and on the brows, too!)? It can serve as conditioner and growth-boosting agent to help your lashes grow longer and thicker. Warm a drop of argan oil between your fingers and rub it gently onto the lashes. If you have clean mascara wand, you can use it to comb and evenly apply the oil onto your lashes.

5. It’s a multi-tasker
Is your vanity overcrowded with bottles, tubs and sprays of different products for different purposes—all for the love of flawless skin? If so, invest in top-quality argan oil, which can replace most of your skincare products. Argan oil is an effective day and night serum, eye serum, anti-aging agent, aftershave balm, lip balm and acne-treatment—all in one bottle!

So go ahead! Run to the nearest Sephora or your favourite skincare boutique and grab yourself a bottle of this miracle, all-in-one oil.

6 Probiotic Foods That Aren’t Yogurt

Perhaps, you already know that yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics. However, it isn’t the only food that can provide you with your daily probiotic requirement. There are actually several other food options that are also sought-after for having high levels of probiotics. Here’s a list of them:

1. Dark Chocolate
Any chocolate, when made from pure cocoa, contains more flavanoids and antioxidants, which are all beneficial for the body. Add in probiotics, and you’ll have a wonder food from this treat. Compared to dairy products, chocolate can fit four times the amount of probiotics. More reasons to love chocolate, eh?

2. Kimchi
This popular Korean dish is a rich source of probiotic. Known for its sour and unique taste, Kimchi actually starts our as a fresh cabbage. When fermented, it produces all the gut-supporting probiotics like lactobacillus. Other than probiotics, it also contains calcium, iron, beta-carotene and vitamins A, B and C.

3. Pickles
As long as it is produced using the process of lacto-fermentation—means without adding vinegar—pickles become a breeding ground for probiotics. When consumed, the probiotic content of this food will help balance your gut health. This process not only creates n environment for the growth of nutrients, it also preserves and lengthens the shelf life of pickles.

4. Miso Soup
This famous Japanese dish is also abundant in probiotics—perhaps, the reason behind its medicinal effects on body metabolism. Brewed from fermented soybeans, brown rice, barley and other grains with fungus, the soup is jam-packed with good bacteria such as the nourishing bifidus and the anti-inflammatory lactobacillus.

5. Kombucha
This fermented black tea drink contains high amount of natural probiotics. The downfall, however, is that the probiotics in it cannot survive pasteurization. And although it can be consumed raw, there are some health risks associated with drinking kombucha this way.

6. Cheese
For all those cheese lovers, celebrate! Not only is cheese rich in calcium, but certain types of the are great sources of probiotics. Some of these cheeses are mozzarella, Gouda, cottage and cheddar cheese. Of course, it would still be helpful to read the label for live and active cultures.

Whether or not you’re a fan of yogurt, it’s nice to have a variety of food in your diet that contains the same amount of nutrient levels. Adding these six food items to your snacks and meals will not only bring a variety of flavour to your palate, but also ensure good gut health at all times.

5 Tell-Tale Signs You’re an Old Soul Stuck in a Young Person’s Body

In today’s world, there’s a special type of individual who finds themselves eerily different from others. It is likely that this person’s way of thinking is more mature and reasonable than most people of the same age. They do not have the same interests as the people of their same generation.

Do you feel isolated most of the times or feel like you can relate more to mature individuals? If this seems like a common scenario for you, you might be an old soul.

1. Your friends often call you ‘boring’
Well, not blatantly calling you ‘boring’ straight to your face. But you know that your friends see you that way. It’s not your fault that you feel like staying indoors and reading a book is more pleasurable than going bar hopping. You already know that they will wake up with terrible hang over, so why would you even want to be in the same awful situation?

2. You’re probably single
The fact that you think and act differently will make it difficult for a potential partner of the same age to relate to and understand them. There are exceptions, of course, but for most of them, it’s challenging to find a partner. The best news, however, is that you’re less likely be single when you get older, since people naturally develop ‘old souls’ in them over time. But during your younger years, expect the dating game to be tough.

3. Everyone asks for your advice
You seem to know how things work even if you haven’t done it before, and you often hear people say ‘how do you know that?’ The trust is, you just know but clueless how you knew it. Your friends having love problems or are in quarter-life crisis come running to you for advice. Although they always freak out by your prophetic powers to predict outcomes and provide impressive solutions, they trust your authenticity wholeheartedly.

4. You want meaning to the things you do
You desire for more understanding and seek meaningful reasons for things. You are not interested in buying the latest gadgets, waste your time on Facebook or go out clubbing with acquaintances. You see life as a mission to feel things more deeply and that it should be spent on more significant things.

5. You’re calm under pressure.
While everyone around you is stressed out, you’re not. When things don’t work as plan for you, you remain calm. You see everything as part of life and that everything happens for a reason. You know and understand that there’s something to be learned in every misfortune. Likewise, you do not want any drama and you know how to handle it when it does arise.

For old souls, it is not about getting into the bandwagon; it is about creating your own trail and dedicating your time and energy on more precious things—something that people of your generation won’t understand until another decade.

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