Category Archives: Lifestyle

Strategies to Spruce Up Your Office Space

boardroom furnitureAn office need not just be four boring walls filled with drab furniture and disgruntled employees. An appealing office space leaves a lasting impression on your clients. The men and women at Whiteleys Office Furniture believe that decorating your office space also helps when hiring, as no one wants to work in a dull setting. If you plan to repaint the workroom, reorganise, or buy boardroom furniture, here are some tips on how to spruce up your workspace.

Invest in Colour

A lot of research has shown how colours affect the mood and performance of an individual. While branding is important to your overall company outlook, sticking only to the dominant colours of your logo can come across as lazy. Neutral colours are great in conservative fields such as banking and legal work. In offices that encourage creativity, vibrant and warmer colours are an excellent choice.

Go For a Clutter Free Office Space

It is common to find huge boxes filled with paperwork and documents stacked together – often haphazardly. While all these may be useful around your office, find a way to keep them in order. Invest in pretty labels and stylish cabinets to keep your clutter organised and turn your workplace into a visual paradise.

Get the Right Office Furniture

Having the right office furniture is a huge step towards erecting an ideal work space. You can choose to get one piece of furniture at a time if you are running on a tight budget. Take great care in furnishing the reception as this is what your visitors first see in your company. Buy boardroom furniture that looks professional and is comfortable. You can also incorporate the company logo into your furniture for a more corporate feel.

Other tips include using natural light or adding wall hangings and potted plants to bring life to your office. It is also important to keep your employees in mind as you spruce up your office setting and let them incorporate some of their ideas into the work space. Seeing their input come to life will give them a sense of belonging and increase their efficiency in the work place.

Top 5 Family-Friendly Beachside Restaurants in Sentosa

Sentosa beachA long, activity-filled day on the sun-soaked beaches of Sentosa deserves a nice, intimate meal with the whole family. There are so many dining options available wherever you go, but nothing beats a good old family-friendly restaurant with a breathtaking view of the beach. Here are seven of the best beachfront restaurants that cater to all members of the family.

FOC Sentosa

Experience a vibrant beach culture with a Mediterranean touch at FOC Sentosa. Its poolside restaurant and bar serve up the most tantalizing array of Spanish cuisines, spirits, and beverages. It is an offshoot of the FOC tapas bar in Hong Kong, owned by Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany. Set right on the beach, it is certainly a family-friendly dining option.

Sunday Brunch at Barnacles by the Sea

Set in an idyllic location, where naturally landscaped gardens open to a breathtaking view of the South China Sea, Sunday Brunch at Barnacles by the Sea offers a unique dining experience. Its menu boasts a repertoire of scrumptious seafood and grilled dishes for the whole family to enjoy, with a dedicated children’s buffet to tickle even the most sensitive palates.

Bora Bora Beach Bar

A favourite destination in Sentosa – The State of Fun, Bora Bora Beach Bar offers a dining experience perfect for families. It sits right on one of the best Singapore beaches, where you can dine under a canopy of coconut trees while your kids play in the sand. The culture is vibrant, complemented with an open ambience.

Siloso Beach Bar

Relax and cool off by the poolside overlooking a breathtaking ocean view at the world-famous Siloso Beach Bar. Its repertoire of beverages, ice cream, and light snacks make it an ideal stop to unwind after a long day at the beach.

Wave House Sentosa Restaurant & Bar

Treat the whole family to scrumptious Western fare at the Wave House Sentosa Restaurant and Bar. Perched by the beach, the restaurant offers an ambience like no other. The tantalizing menu, prepared by talented chefs from California, showcases a modern fusion of Californian and Asian cuisine. Your kids will surely love its array of pizzas while you enjoy a refreshing cocktail.

There are many dining options sprinkled across Sentosa, but these five restaurants offer the chance to bond with the family while dining by the beach. Be sure to visit one of these places the next time you’re on vacation.

 

Redemption Time: 4 Pieces of Advice for Boomerang Homebuyers

Couple signing a house contract

The real estate and mortgage industries expect a large pool of boomerang home buyers to enter the market once again for another shot at redemption. If you lost your home to foreclosure in the last housing crisis between 2007 and 2014, your waiting period is perhaps nearing its end.

As you look for homes for sale in Aransas Pass, Rockport, Key Allegro, and other thriving areas in Texas, Rockport Properties, Inc. and other experts recommend doing the following:

Make Your Credit Great Again

First, clear any negative items in your credit history first. Settle your old accounts and bank judgments before you apply for a mortgage. This would help you snag a low-interest rate and make a positive statement about your creditworthiness.

Put Some Money Down This Time

If your previous mortgage went underwater, make it a point to do adequate down payments this time. Even if you find loans that only require a 3% or 5% money down, strive to save so you can pay more upfront. That way, you could build enough equity on your property easily and sleep with peace of mind in case your home’s value drops overnight.

Apply for Pre-Approval

Before home hunting, speak with a lender and be pre-approved first. Unlike pre-qualification, a loan pre-approval ensures you can borrow a certain amount of money. The mortgage provider would size your credit up and verify your documents. Once pre-approved, you can shop around with the guarantee of a home loan.

Take Planning Seriously

Owning a home is sweeter the second time around, especially if you lost your first one in a bad way. As exciting as it can be, don’t rush into things. Tackle home ownership with an ironclad plan to avoid digging yourself a deep financial hole again.

Don’t assume that you’re ready for the responsibilities without consulting a real estate professional. Do your research and due diligence and cover all the bases to make one informed decision after another.

Use everything you learned from the last few years to be a wiser home buyer. If you play your cards right this time, losing the ownership of your next home would be a choice, not a necessity.

Healthier Work Environment

For a Healthier Work Environment: Improving Your Health in the Office

Healthier Work EnvironmentEmployees spend most of their waking hours working. Thus, it’s important for them to ensure that their work environment is healthy. A healthy workplace leads to a healthier body and higher productivity, after all. Employees working at their desk can do these activities to stay fit.

Stand Up Frequently

If you work at your desk for most of the day, chances are you’ll be sitting in your office chair for extended periods without noticing it. Sitting for long periods can be harmful to a person’s health. In fact, one study revealed that extended sitting makes you more prone to back pain, weak bones and heart damage.

To avoid this scenario, stand up and do some light stretching at regular intervals. It prevents leg cramps and can even improve communication and creativity in your team. For team meetings, encourage your colleagues to stand up instead of sitting down to help them stay focused.

Refrain from Eating at Your Desk

Busy employees resort to having lunch at their desks. Eating at your desk, however, can make you eat more: when you eat while preoccupied with your work, your brain and your body will not properly process the amount of food you ingest. Thus, it’s best to get away from your desk and eat lunch with your colleagues.

Add Real Plants to the Office

Adding a couple of real potted plants is great for the health and morale of the office. It could even inspire creativity as well as improve the air quality in your office. When bringing plants, avoid the ones with a strong scent. Stick with odourless plants instead.

Clean the Keyboard

Your keyboard can harbour millions of bacteria, which can make you sick. To minimise the amount of bacteria and keep your workstation sanitised, clean your keyboard regularly using sanitising wipes.

Office workers can stay healthy when they take action to improve their well-being. It is possible to remain fit in the office even if you are spending long hours working on the same job.

The First-Time Parents’ Guide to Building a Baby’s Room

Baby's Room When you come home from the hospital, your baby can sleep in a cot, at the corner of your room. As first-time parents, you might not have time to set up the baby’s own space. You may also want the baby closer. But eventually, your newborn will need his or her own room.

Here’s how to build one that’s lovely, safe and functional.

  • Choose the right size.

The nursery doesn’t have to be big. It should, however, have sufficient room for everything your baby will need. Other than the bassinette, your baby’s room should have a changing table, storage for nappies, singlets, jumpsuits and other clothes, and a chair for when you need to feed your child.

  • Fix whatever needs fixing.

Before you start choosing colours and calling a custom interior doors maker to create a unique entryway for the nursery, first make sure that it is free from harm. Check windows for any damage. Inspect the ceiling for any potential hazard. And get a service to search the room for pest infestation.

  • Consider a flexible design.

A flexible design allows you to use the nursery for other things when your baby grows up. Pick furniture that can work with any room. Use a colour palette that will allow an easy transition from baby’s room to any kind of room you need, such as an office or a meditation room.

  • Your baby’s room should be close to your room.

Your nursery should be near your room so you can respond quickly.  If your baby’s room is far from the kitchen, living room, or master’s bedroom, make sure that you have good quality baby monitors installed to keep track of your child.

Your baby will sooner or later will need a room. By all means, make it stylish. But also keep it safe and organised. These will be good for your newborn and you, as new parents.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up Skateboarding

skateboarding Have you recently acquired a skateboard? Are you having trouble with even just standing up on it? Are you close to giving up?

Stop right there. Learning something new is always an uphill battle, but there will always be a peak and downhill. Skateboarding is actually a hard thing to nail down, but satisfying when you have successfully executed your first trick. And you won’t get that awesome feeling if you give up now.

If you need some hacks or even motivation, then you should probably read on.

Getting Ready To Fall

The usual reasons people want to learn to skate are either to look cool, to make new friends or to perform tricks. There are those who immediately try out the skateboard grinding rail when they’ve just gotten the hang of gliding and turning. The important thing to remember when learning new things is to master the fundamentals of it.

Be ready to fall because it’s going to happen. Even pros fall and they have accepted is a part of their sport. It will hurt, but this is why you should prepare for it and wear the right gear.

A helmet is good enough. Getting pads is even better as you’ll mostly be falling on your knees, elbows and hands rather than on your head. Also, wear the appropriate shoes. You wear a dress or even a mascot, probably, but the right pair of shoes is necessary as they can increase the grip of your foot to the deck. Lastly, get a beginner’s skateboard.

While you might think you look lame wearing a helmet and pads, at least you are not literally lame for skimping out of safety.

What You Were Probably Waiting For

So now that you’ve prepared to for the inevitable hurt and time for those tricks that you were promised.

First, figure out how you want to stand on your skateboard. You can stand however you like because there’s no right way but if you get confused about the different stances and people telling you, which is better, you will get hurt.

Second, try to master an Ollie first. Third, find a skate friend to teach you. There are reasons why there are not a lot of skateboard instructions on the internet. It’s a sport; you’ll have to learn it by doing it, not by reading it. A skate friend or group will be your YouTube and WikiHow, but even better. Fourth, learn how to tail stop. Five, you probably were expecting this, don’t give up and have fun.

Skateboarding can be an exciting activity if you arm yourself with the right information. So always do some research and don’t hesitate to get some professional help.

 

Three Signs You Are Leading a Successful Life

Successful Working Young AdultAs a working adult, you are bracing yourself for the notorious quarter-life crisis, but it does not seem to ever come. College was eons ago and you cannot help but ask yourself: ‘Have I changed a lot since then? How will I know if I had?’

Social media has taught us to measure success in notifications and pictures that boast of new cars and mansions. What we do not know is that success is also found in the little things and in how we function on a daily basis.

Here are three signs you are living a successful life without even knowing it:

1. You Know How to Manage Your Time

Back in the day, you would wake up half an hour before school starts. You come to class with shampoo still on your scalp and you also realise you have forgotten your homework. Now, you have your procrastinating days behind you and even keep a planner to jot down what you need to do each day. You never skip breakfast and you are always eager to head to bed early.

2. You Have Raised Your Standards

Standards do not only pertain to relationships, but also to every other aspect of your life. Moving out from that dusty cubby hole in the middle of nowhere and into a comfortable suite in Paya Lebar Quarters shows how much you value your living space. Your environment can affect your wellbeing and you know well enough that you deserve to feel relaxed after a long day of work.

3. You Know What You Want and You Are Doing Whatever It Takes to Get There

You have always been ambitious at heart, but you never really narrowed down your dreams to attainable goals; hence, never reaching most of them. Now, you know what you want in life and you are aware that a goal needs both work and time for it to be achieved.

Do not be too hard on yourself. Big successes will not materialise on their own, but if you always do little things each day to get there, you are not far from them.

Having Fun With Color Changing Slime!

Thermochromic Color PowderEveryone knows children love playing with slime. With this fun and easy chemistry project, you can combine with it the color-changing property of a mood ring and add some more fun to your children’s playtime.

For this activity, you will need the following:

  • 1/4 cup of white glue
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 teaspoons thermochromic powder pigment
  • 1/4 cup liquid starch
  • A few drops of food coloring

To make the slime:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the white glue and water.
  2. Sprinkle your choice of thermochromic color powder into the mixture of glue and water and blend together making sure that there are no clumps.
  3. Stir in the food coloring.
  4. Add the liquid starch and stir it in completely. At this point, you can use your hands to mix it thoroughly.
  5. Discard any excess liquid left from the mixture. Your slime is now ready!

How to play with your thermochromic slime:

The slime gets its color-changing power from the thermochromic powder you added. Thermochromic materials change colors when there is a change in temperature. So to make the most of your color-changing slime, try exposing it to different ranges of temperature.

  • Put it over containers containing some cold drinks or on the sides of mugs with hot coffee.
  • Place it in a microwave for a few seconds.
  • Blow hot air on it using a blow dryer or even just your breath.
  • Spin it around like a jump rope, the movement of air is enough to cool it and change color.
  • Even your hands are enough to obtain a color change!

To store your slime, place it in an airtight container or a resealable bag up to a month. You can place it in the refrigerator to discourage the growth of molds. If the slime seems to be drying out, just add a few more teaspoons of liquid starch and it’s as good as new! Experiment with different combinations of thermochromic powder and food coloring and have never ending fun with your kids!

Understanding the ‘Blue Mind’ and the Effects of Water on Calming the Mind

Water RelaxationYou likely feel relaxed when you hear the sound of raindrops on your roof. It may also be the same with the sound of a gushing stream, or waves crashing onto the shore. Whatever comes, you feel relaxed when you’re near water. This may explain why firms like Impressions Landscape are being asked to design waterfalls, ponds, and pool installations in homes often.

The ‘Blue Mind’

Scientists call this the ‘Blue Mind’ effect. Lots of things can possibly be explained by this phenomenon. For instance, there are more people living by the coast than before, according to data from the University of Exeter. It’s because living near bodies of water seem to have an effect on overall well-being. Those who live near the ocean reportedly feel less stressed.

Matthew White, a researcher from the University of Exeter, is among the ones who look extensively on the connection between water and people’s mental states. His team’s research coincides with Wallace Nichols theory, which is outlined in the latter’s aptly titled book Blue Mind. Data from both parties indicate that those who stay near water show a change in brain waves. Their brains switch from alpha to slower theta brain waves, which induce a sense of relaxation.

An Escape

Modern living is stressful despite all its conveniences. Nichols explains that among the few ways people try to escape this is to seek water. This longing for ‘refreshment’ facilitates a physiological shift, in both the brain and the entire body. Relaxation ensues and the quality of thought change. The brain then ‘turns on’ a meditative state that’s also linked to deeper thinking and creativity.

Did someone mention creativity? As previously indicated, the meditative state engages the brain’s daydreaming mechanisms. It allows your mind to wander in a way you don’t feel often, compared to being focused on a particular task. Nichols calls this the default mode network, wherein the brain wanders free of stimulation. In this state, you’re likely to solve problems you never thought you could.

Take advantage of this biological predisposition. You’ll thank yourself later.

Why You Should Unleash Your Inner Bach: The Benefits of Music to Your Brain

Benefits of MusicAre you tired of your kids’ ghastly playing of the drums in your garage? Do you find it irritating every time they play the wrong keys on the piano? Have you ever discouraged your child from singing at the top of her lungs? Well, you better think twice because music is beneficial to your child’s brain. It is not just a useless hobby they do when they’re bored, but learning music aesthetics at Theamericanacademy.com helps in developing their full potential.

The Melodious Study

Science reveals that when kids start playing music, their brains start to process and hear sounds they don’t normally hear. They begin to acquire neurophysiological distinction among sounds that helps literacy, which means they will progress more academically. This study is probably citing interest among parents who are now looking for music classes in the neighborhood. However, if a kid is not musically inclined, then won’t be receiving the benefits mentioned in the study.

A newer study conducted by Northwestern.edu explains that a kid has to be actively interested in learning music to acquire the cognitive benefits. According to Nina Kraus, director of Brainvolts.northwestern.edu, the musical commitment of a student as well as participation and attendance determines the development of their brain.

Attendance vs. Participation

Northwestern’s study shares students who played instruments had better neural processing compared to those who just went to a music appreciation group. Klaus adds that the only way music can revamp the brain is through the management and active generation of sound. She says their research reinforces how important it is to keep the brain active and engaged.

They did the study with low-income students joining a community music program at The Harmony Project. It exposes 93 percent of seniors who pursued college regardless of the high dropout rate in the area. Learning music did not only prevent the kids from chasing illegal hobbies, but it also helped them reach their full potential.