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Different Types of Lightbulbs for Your HDB Flat

These days, even something as simple as a lightbulb isn’t that simple anymore. Even though it’s true that getting the right lightbulb can drastically reduce your utility bills and last your home for a long time, there are still so many different lightbulbs to choose from.

Lightbulbs also do more than just provide light. For those who are concerned about the overall atmosphere and ambiance of their homes, or even their offices or establishments, finding the right lightbulb can make or break the balance of these two qualities.

But the good news is that you can learn about the different types and how they work best.

These are the three main categories of lightbulbs you can get to enhance the look of your HDB flat in Singapore:

  • Incandescent – Traditional bulbs that need to be replaced the most often, but they work great if you want to achieve a warmer or cozier effect for a specific area (usually your bedroom).

Incandescent bulbs work best when it comes to enhancing mood and creating a more intimate atmosphere. And because they are great as mood lights, restaurants and bars also use them to achieve exactly this effect.

  • Halogen – These bulbs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, since they provide a brighter light for the same amount of electricity.

Halogen bulbs are the opposite of incandescent bulbs since they emit a white light that allows you to see things more clearly. This makes them ideal for high-traffic, high-activity places such as offices and kitchens, but also work well for lamps with warm-hued shades.

The downside to this type of lightbulb is that they burn at a really high temperature, so it’s usually best to install them at a location where no one can accidentally hit or burn themselves with them by staying too close.

  • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) – The next step to halogen bulbs come with a better efficiency, as well as variety in both spiral and traditional shapes. In terms of output, they are superior to both incandescent and halogen bulbs.

Just like halogen bulbs, CFL ones emit a cold light that make them better suited to high-activity places that need a good light source, but their downside is that they need to be handled and disposed more carefully because of their mercury content.

  • Light-emitting Diode (LED) – While these are the most expensive types of light bulbs currently in the market, they are also arguably the best, being superior to both CFL and standard halogen light bulbs.

This makes them the best investment you can get that will make your home bright, as well as save you money and the environment at the same time.

How to Make a Terrarium in Five Simple Steps

If you want to practice your green thumb but don’t have the time to start making and taking care of your own indoor garden, there’s a solution for you – terrariums!

Not only are terrariums easy to make, but they’re also really easy to maintain while adding a certain outdoor quality to whatever they’re set on, whether it’s nightstands or tables at home. Here’s how you can make your very own miniature garden to spruce up your HDB flat in Singapore:

  1. Choose your container

A terrarium is a bit of a mix between a simple potted plant and an indoor garden. And because of the “miniature garden” aspect, the best choice for you would be a deep glass container that gives enough room for your plants to take root while still allowing you to see them. You can choose from aquariums, to bell jars, to even vases and goldfish bowls. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have an airtight container, you will have to water your terrarium regularly.

  • Choose your plants

There are a lot of cheap, fast-growing plants you can choose for your terrarium, but because you want ones that last, here are a few qualities that you need to look for:

  • It stays small – You can make your terrarium big enough to house bushy plants, but this can be more difficult and expensive
  • It prefers shade – Sun-loving plants kept in the dark will wither and die, so terrarium plants need to be tolerant of low light
  • It prefers high humidity – Terrariums can get humid quickly, so small tropical plants are your best bet
  • Choose a location

Because your terrarium is low-maintenance, all you really need is enough sunlight and water every few days. To do this, you need to place them somewhere in your HDB flat that gets enough light and heat. You also want that particular area to be stable and level (i.e. not on easily damaged furniture) and away from high traffic where it could be easily knocked over.

  • Choose the soil

Your potting soil should be light to promote drainage. To check this, lightly wet the soil and hold it in your fist – if it falls apart, you’re good. You should also add sheet moss and activated charcoal when lining up the bottom of your terrarium. They help to both absorb excess water and keep the soil fresh, and a few added pebbles to the mix can both work as drainage and decoration at the same time.

  • Put everything together

Once you have all your materials, it’s time to assemble your terrarium! Start with your moss and activated charcoal first, and add some pebbles for better drainage. Next, add your soil, and finally, arrange your plants. Give it a light spritz of water and you’re done.

7 Fuel-Saving Tricks Every Driver Should Know

Whether you just want to save on gas or minimize the impact of your driving to the environment, you don’t have to ditch your old car for a hybrid one. Focus on these five fuel-saving tips for fuel-efficient, as well as environment-friendly, driving.

  1. Keep your engine warm

Since we’re trying to save on gas, avoid having to frequently start and stop the engine. If going for errands, try to string errands together and drive to your farthest destination first so you’ll have the engine heated up, and then work your way home.

  • Unload unnecessary stuffs

You don’t have to carry around a bag of sand, a case of oil or even that giant antique tool box you got from the thrift shop. So, free up some space n the trunk by unloading unnecessary stuff—the less your vehicle weighs, the more gas you’ll save.

  • Avoid driving during rush hour

Driving at a steady speed is more efficient in fuel than driving in lowest gear. Everytime your car starts and stops in traffic, your vehicle needs to return to first gear, and use significant amount of fuel to get it moving again. If part of your norm is travelling during rush hour, consider investing on a hybrid car for lesser fuel usage in town than a car in diesel or petrol.

  • Stick to the speed limit

If you ignore the speed limit, you would save some travel time and might think that you’re saving fuel, too. However, although you shaved off 20 minutes of your supposed travel time, you are wasting more fuel by working your engine too hard instead of saving it. While you are running 20 minutes less, your engine uses more fuel when you were on the road travelling 80mph instead of the 60mph speed limit.

  • Check tire pressures regularly

Check every tire’s pressure at least once a month. Tires that are under-inflated use more fuel. If the tires are eight pounds under-inflated, which is a common car condition, the rolling resistance of your car tires increase by five percent.

  • Drive smoothly

By driving in light throttle and light to moderate braking, you can economize fuel usage and help avoid wear and tear of your car gears. According to motor experts driving techniques influences the fuel efficiency of a vehicle by as much as 30 percent.

  • Avoid ‘revving’ the engine

Many drivers do this especially when about to switch off the engine. Revving up your car engine will only use up some more fuel unnecessarily and washer down the oil from inside the cylinder walls, which is a bad thing the next thing you start up your vehicle since the cylinder walls have dried up.

These are just some of the many ways you can save more car fuel. If you have tried most of these and still haven’t noticed any change in your car’s fuel consumption, it could be that the car needs to get checked by a professional mechanic.

7 Ways to Nurture Your Baby’s Brain Even Before Birth

Your environment and the things you do play a major role in the development of your baby’s brain. Your little one’s growing brain is made up of microscopic brain cells. Before his birth, your baby’s brain will create neurons at an amazing rate of 15 million per hour! By giving your baby a good foundation, you’ll be able to maximize and stimulate the development of your baby’s neurons to ensure healthy growth of his brain.

  1. Eat Healthy

It’s imperative to get enough nutrients for you and your baby. Protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B6, B9 and B12, which all help prevent congenital diseases, are some of the nutrients your baby needs to grow healthily inside your womb.

  • Keep Thyroid Health in Check

Regular thyroid test is necessary during pregnancy. Too much or too little of this hormone in the mother’s blood can cause harmful effects to the baby. Lack of iodine during the pregnancy is linked to lower IQ in kids. To make sure you have enough of this nutrient, include fish, eggs, fortified yogurt and milk in your diet.

  • Get Some Sunshine

Just staying outside the house early in the morning for 20 minutes will give you a healthy dose of vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for developing healthy bones and heart of your baby, but some researches suggest that it’s also important for the baby’s brain development.

  • Massage Your Baby Bump

As what many expectant moms have experienced, their babies respond to a mother’s touch. While there’s not enough study supporting this claim, the natural bond that the mother and the child helps stimulate the brain of the unborn child.

  • Get Moving

Exercising during pregnancy is safe, as long as you have your doctor’s approval. Even if you are not active before you got pregnant, it is still safe to start exercising during this time. Keep in mind that healthy moms develop larger placentas, therefore have greater capacity to contain nutrients and oxygen, which is essential for a developing baby inside the womb.

  • Talk to Your Baby

Studies show that a 20 weeks old baby can already hear and respond to external sound, including music and your voice. Talk to your child more often. This does not only help stimulate brain neurons but also establish a bond between you and your unborn child early on. 

  • Don’t Stress

Talking to your baby eases stress, which you should keep at a minimum when pregnant. Stress during pregnancy affects your womb’s environment and may also affect your bay’s brain development negatively. Do not worry on things so much, leave them all behind until you no longer have a baby inside.

During pregnancy, you’re taking care not just of your health, but of your baby’s as well. You only get one shot at providing a healthy foundation of your child’s intellect, so make sure to nourish the best way possible.

How Can We Handle Rejection Better?

Whether it’s for a job or a romantic relationship, we experience rejection many times throughout our lives. You can’t deny that you’ve never been rejected. In Singapore and even all around the world today, the effect of being rejected is somehow being magnified simply because of the internet. We use social media, for example, to connect with others and gain their attention. So, how can we take a step back and handle rejection better?

Have a backup plan

If you’re the kind of person who gets over rejection easily, you’ll know that having a backup plan possibly the most practical way to handle rejection. If you get rejected, you can easily go to plan B and keep moving from there. This, of course, applies to getting rejected from a job and the like, but not with relationships. Got rejected by the girl you like? Move on to girl B – this is a big no-no. Don’t go around and be a heartbreaker!

Expect rejection but accept it if it does happen

Simply put, you simply should not assume anything until the decision is final. Expect to fail just as much as you expect to succeed, because that’s just the way life is. This makes it easier for you to take in rejection. If you do get rejected and it’s unbelievably painful for you emotionally, then acknowledge it instead of bottling it all up. This way, you can let that negativity flow through you instead of keeping it in your thoughts.

Do activities that help you think positively

Obviously, thinking positively does more than just help you get over rejection. When you’re always positive, you won’t fear rejection, rather you’ll easily be able to reflect on the reasons behind you getting rejected. With that, choose to do hobbies and activities that you enjoy. You can go to karaokes, paint cycle or hike around park connectors, just anything that you like to do. Doing activities that you like help you relieve some stress and more importantly, keeps your thoughts positive.

Dissociate rejection and pain

You’ll find this easier following the point above about thinking positively. If you learn to separate the feeling of pain from rejection, you will be better able to reflect on yourself. You will learn to see which patterns in your behavior and attitude can lead to you being rejected. Basically, you use rejection as a learning experience because it simply is a learning experience.

Consider opportunities with the least chance you’ll be rejected

Let’s say, for example, you applied for 6 jobs and did not get accepted one at all. This might sound really depressing on your side, but there are a lot of things to consider still. You are a fresh graduate from a renowned school but 4 of the 6 job openings you applied for require 1 year of working experience. So, of course, you wouldn’t easily get accepted. Simply put, choose opportunities wisely.

Dessert Go-to’s to Beat the Heat in Singapore

Anyone in Singapore, locals and foreigners alike, constantly look for ways to beat the heat. You can go to the beach and take a swim, or you can go to airconditioned malls to shop (or window shop). But if you want to just sit down and chill, there’s no better way to keep cool than to have a nice cold ice kachang. Being one of the staple desserts in Singapore, you can easily find ice kachangs and other cool desserts in food halls and hawkers centres.

Here are some the best places to get your fill:

Jin Jin Hot and Cold Dessert

Jin Jin Hot and Cold Dessert is famously known for their “Gangster Ice”. Liu Mang Bing is a shortened Chinese term that basically translates as Durian/Mango Ice. Liu Mang, coincidentally, means gangster in Chinese hence the name of the dessert. This then has served as a great marketing strategy for Jin Jin. But make no mistake, the Liu Mang Bing is a great dessert to have given the mango cubes, the sweet durian puree, and the condensed milk covering the shaved ice. They also have another famous iced sweet dessert called Power Chendol which is definitely a must-try as well.

Mei Heong Yuan Dessert

What sets Mei Heong Yuan’s ice kachang apart from others is the shaved ice itself. They use a more high-tech ice shaving machine that produces thinner ice than the traditional ones. There are times when the shaved ice can get gritty and rough, but not here. Once you try their ice kachang, you’ll immediately notice the difference in texture and smoothness of their shaved ice with that of other stalls. Two of their famous ice kachangs are the sesame-almond shaved ice and the mango shaved ice.

Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang

If you’re tired of having the same kind of ice kachang, you should try Annie’s Peanut Ice Kachang. If you’re wondering what’s different, it’s in the name. That’s right, peanuts! Here, ground peanuts are added to the ice kachang. You might say that that sounds like it isn’t much but wait ‘til you try it. Because peanuts are not a common addition to ice kachangs, you’ll have quite a new experience. The ground peanuts add a certain crunchiness along with the sweetness of other toppings.

Dove Desserts

Though Dove Desserts have ice kachang, they are better known for their chendol. In fact, a lot of people say they have some of the best chendol in Singapore. Chendol is an iced dessert that contains green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and gula melaka or palm sugar syrup. Those three key ingredients are highlighted here in Dove Desserts. The homemade green jelly has the gentle taste and scent of pandan with a soft and bouncy texture. The coconut milk and the gula melaka are also fresh and definitely superior in quality.

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