Travel Hacks 2017 Edition

What is your New Year’s resolution? This year you promised yourself to go outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone to really experience life. Instead of staycations why not try vacation outside Singapore? Traveling more will surely nourish your soul. Do not worry because there are things that you can do to make it successful.

You have to keep in mind though that whatever things needed done, you have to stick to it. Here are some hacks to more travel this 2017:

1. Start with your travel fund. The good thing is that it is just the beginning of the year. This means that you have all the time to save for your travel fund. Travel funds include flight, accommodation, restaurants and other potentials costs. It is better that you make a list and then put an amount so you will know how much to save. You can create savings account for your travel – it should be separate from your savings or checking account. By the end of the year, you will be surprised.

2. Make the most of long holidays. By now you already know the holidays all throughout the year. The best way to maximize it is to schedule your travel. If you identified long holidays or weekends, it is the perfect time to schedule your vacation.

3. Sign up for airlines’ mailing list. If you particularly want to go to Europe, there are airlines who offer sales or deals. You just need to watch out for it. The best way is to sign up for airlines’ mailing list so when there are flash deals, you are the first person to know then you can book right away.

4. Try couch surfing. Couch surfing is famous these days. You just need to look for sites like HomeExchange to begin with. Couch surfing is staying at a house for free. You can save a great deal of money if your stay will be free. You have to be careful though. The idea of sleeping on someone else’s couch can be terrifying but when you think about it, it is your way of forging connections.

5. Learn a foreign language. Learning a new language will be your greatest motivation for traveling abroad. For example, if you want to go to France, you have to learn French so you will be excited to put it in good use. This goal will be trying and exhausting but it can make a difference at the end of the day.

How to Effectively Detox Your Beauty Routine

When we talk about “detoxing,” we often refer to alcohol and food. We see it as something we need to do when our body needs to rest from overindulgence. However, there are other things that need detox just as much as your stomach – our hair, nails and skin. Practising natural beauty isn’t just a fad that people started taking notice in 2016. It’s an industry-wide move and is something you can greatly benefit from. With that in mind, we listed down some of the chemicals you should look out for so you could easily and effectively detoxify your beauty routine.

1. Parabens
Paraben-free products has been one of the buzz-worthy phrases when it comes to promoting natural skincare movement. Parabens are preservatives used to delay bacterial growth in products – which sounds like a good thing – but are also believe to mimic oestrogen hormones and are related with an increased risk in breast cancer.

2. Formaldehyde
You might recognize this chemical as something that’s used to preserve dead bodies – not exactly something that you’d want to put on your skin. It’s a common disinfectant, fungicide, germicide and preservative that can be found in various cosmetics, such as nail varnish and body and face moisturizers. The same with paraben, it’s also linked to an increased risk of breast cancer so it’s better to ditch it as early as you can.

3. Phthalates
This common solvent is often found perfumes, hair sprays and nail polishes, as it helps in preventing these products from getting too stiff. According to health experts, however, phthalates is a hormone-disrupting chemical associated with breast cancer, interference with reproductive development in male foetuses, and even premature breast development among young girls.

4. Coal Tar
Charcoal may work wonders on your skin, but actual coal will not. Some studies found that coal tar is associated with bladder, kidney and lung cancer, as well as skin tumours. So watch out for this chemical, especially on hair dye labels and get rid of products containing chemicals like carbo-cort, coal, tar, coal tar solution, naptha, estar and petroleum benzin.

5. Anything Synthetic
Whether its colours, flavours or fragrances, opt for products that tout all-natural versions instead of anything synthetic. According to health experts, synthetic colours often come from coal tar and petroleum sources, and are suspected to be a skin irritant, human carcinogen and are even linked to ADHD in children.

Detoxing your beauty routine isn’t that challenging to do if you just know what chemicals to avoid using. So keep these chemicals in mind and ensure that your beauty arsenal is clear of any of these harmful substances.

Easy Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Germ-Free

Having a germ-free kitchen is essential for healthy living. Since we prepare and eat our food in the kitchen, it’s only natural that we should keep it clean at all times. Preparing food in an unsanitary kitchen will only lead to spread of an infectious disease, food poisoning, and even death. To keep that from happening, we listed down some simple tips on how you could possibly keep your kitchen completely germ-free.

1. Clean Your Kitchen Regularly
Regular cleaning is the first step towards achieving a germ-free kitchen, and one of way of doing it is through using commercial products to disinfect and clean kitchen surfaces. Ensure that you thoroughly wiped up the disinfectant, and don’t immediately place food on a newly cleaned surface as it could absorb any remnants of the liquid cleaner. Apart from the countertops, also clean the cabinets, dining table and the floor of your kitchen.

2. Set Separate Cutting Boards
To prevent cross-contamination with your fruits and veggies, be sure to use a different cutting board for your meat products. Also, ensure that you wash them immediately after using; for glass and plastic cutting boards, simply run them through your dishwasher once you’re done washing your plates.

3. Keep Your Dish Towels and Sponges Clean
Set different sponges for your plates and for your counters, and make sure that you replace these sponges every two weeks. While in use, limit the bacterial growth by letting the sponges dry out in between uses. If you want, you can occasionally microwave your wet sponge for a few minutes. Other than sponges, your dish towels should also be replaced and washed once a week.


4. Avoid Leaving Out Your Dishes Overnight

As much as possible, avoid letting your appliances or dirty dishes sit out for long hours or overnight. While washing your dishes and cleaning your kitchen isn’t as appealing as relaxing on the couch, leaving your kitchen messy will only serve as an open invitation to ants, bacteria, fruit flies and other creepy crawlies.

5. Disinfect Your Appliances As well
Apart from your dishes and countertops, it’s also crucial that you clean your kitchen appliances like your microwave, refrigerator and even your portable grill. These appliances often come into direct contact with your food, so it’s only natural that you also maintain its cleanliness.

Regular cleaning and disinfecting is crucial for achieving a germ-free kitchen. So keep your scullery as clean as possible by following the aforementioned tips.

5 Secrets to Writing a Good Application Letter

At best, an application letter can help any job-seeker stand out from his competitors. At worst, it could make any promising candidate appear like an uncreative applicant. Sure, the internet might contain numerous tips and tricks on writing an application letter, but only a few give useful information besides the obvious tip to use a good grammar. For that reason, we listed down the secrets to writing a cover letter that anyone would want to read.

1. Use the Right Type of Application Letter

There are various types of cover letter than can be sent to contacts and employers. So make sure to choose the type of application letter that would reflect your professional personality. Your cover letter must be well-designed according to the purpose you’re writing and be customized for every position you are applying for.

2. Research About the Contact Person

Taking time to get personal is crucial when it comes to writing application letters. For that reason, find out as much as you can about the company you’re applying for, as well as the hiring manager who’ll be interviewing you. Personalize your letter and, if possible, address it to the person responsible for hiring. If you can, make a phone call to know who the hiring manager is.

3. Properly Format Your Cover Letter

How you format your application letter, both from its content to the way it’s presented is important. Even if you’re applying online and sending your letter via email, your cover letter should be properly formatted, readable and without any mistakes.

4. Start From an Application Letter Template

Using a cover letter template is a good way to get started in writing application letters for the particular job you’re seeking to apply. Choose a template that you can use to create your own personalized cover letter by simply adding your own information into the template.

5. Include Keywords in Your Letter

It’s important that you include recognition, result and skill keywords that match the description of the job you’re applying for. Also, ensure that you attest to your credential in your application letter so you can increase your chances of getting selected for an interview.

Contrary to what you think, a good application letter is a key factor to landing the job that you’ve always wanted. So be sure to put the aforementioned tips to work the next time you write and send an application later on your next job hunt.

Why You Crave Your Ex and its Linkage to Addiction, According to Science

It is a Friday night and you are home alone with a bottle of beer. You miss your ex so badly that your chest aches. You try to deny the thought of him/her but to no avail, and you catch yourself on Facebook, scrolling through your ex’s new pictures and status. You are totally aware that it would sound insane to contact him/her after all this time, but in a moment of human frailty you grab your phone and text him/her “I miss you”… SEND. You are exactly at a point of no return.

An hour passes and you still get no reply. You feel embarrassed, foolish and regret for sending that message. You start to create pity parties in your head asking yourself why you keep on reaching out when it only makes you suffer. Regardless how hard you try to hold it, you are simply impulsive, vulnerable and irrational like a junk addict craving for a fix.

Love is Like a Drug

This sounds ridiculously dramatic but not far from reality. A scientific study reveals that there is a psychological and physiological basis why a person aches for his/her past lover. Researchers have correlated rejection made by a romantic lover to a brain movement accompanied with addiction cravings. With the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), adult participants who were rejected by their former lovers but are still romantically in love with them, activated the key areas of their brain after viewing their ex’s photographs.

Specifically, researchers observed activation of orbitofrontal cortex that is accompanied by cravings/hunger, insular cortex associated with distress and ventral tegmental area which is reportedly responsible for romantic feelings. According to Dr. Lucy Brown, clinical professor in Albert Einstein College of Medicine, their findings suggest that romantic kind of feeling, regardless of circumstances, may be considered a natural addiction. Romantic kind of pain may be a necessary part of our life as nature has wired it into our physiology and anatomy. Emotional recovery, on the other hand, is in our anatomy too.

Are We Trapped by Biology?

Wanting your ex back may have scientific explanations but it does not disqualify the fact that it’s also a psychological matter, a behavior of ours that we have complete control of. Even if science tells us that your desire to reunite with a former lover after rejection is a natural thing, it is still your discretion to tolerate this addiction or not. In an article about creating successful relationships, written by a contributor of Go Magazine SG, teenagers were advised not to take rejection on a personal level.

“When we approach a potential partner, we have to say to ourselves over and over again, ‘No matter how this person reacts to me, I know I am a worthwhile person.’” (Jeffers 1992:93) If you have a good picture of your self-worth, it is still possible to live a satisfying life even after the love is gone. Just like heroin addiction, holding on to the past will leave you exactly right where you are—behind.

Expert Tips for Drinking Alkaline Water

Drinking ionized or alkaline water is strongly recommended by health experts in Singapore. Yet, not everyone is familiar with this kind of water and are even hesitant to try it out just because they don’t have any idea how to properly drink it. For that reason, we gathered some tips on how you could consume and make the most out of the health benefits of alkaline water.

1. Familiarize the Levels of Alkaline Water

It’s crucial to know that alkaline water comes in various alkaline levels, and that you should start taking it at level one (8.5 pH) before you go any higher. Most people who use an alkaline water ionizer don’t know this, and just start consuming ionized water at random levels. It’s advised to start consuming alkaline water with 8.5 pH for a week or two to see how it affects your body before deciding to go any higher.

2. Take Note of Your Body’s Reaction

Although it’s inarguably healthier than tap water, drinking alkaline water is not for everyone since it may bring about negative effects if your body can’t adjust to it. If you don’t feel refreshed or if you experience some stomach troubles after consuming the ionized water, try drinking a lower or higher level of alkalized water. However, your safest option is to visit your doctor and inform him or her about the problem you experienced after drinking alkaline water.

3. Use it to Take in Your Supplements

Who would have thought that ionized water could contribute to increasing the potency of your supplements? We often drink tap water with our medications to make swallowing it easier, but if you are in the know, then you would be smart enough to drink quality alkaline water from Singapore along with your vitamins. Unlike drinking your meds with coffee, soda or plain water, taking it with ionized water will help in maximizing its positive effects on your body.

4. Drink it at the Right Time

It’s best to drink ionized water before and after your mealtimes, especially if you just consumed a good portion of meat. A good rule of thumb is to drink it 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after your meals. If you prefer drinking water during your meals, health experts in Singapore suggest squeezing some lemon into the water to add a hint of acidity to your drink. The main reason is that during the initial stage of digestion, your stomach needs a more acidic environment to digest the food you consumed.

5. Hydrate Yourself When You’re Ill

Drinking a healthier type of water becomes crucial when you are feeling ill. Drinking alkaline water will help you recover faster and prevent the worsening of your illness, especially if you are experiencing diarrhoea, vomiting and excessive sweating. Consuming a good amount of water could help in reducing your fever, thinning out the consistency of your secretions, and in rehydrating your body.

6. Drink When You’re Working Out

Our body tends to lose more water when we work out. To rehydrate your body properly, drink two glasses of alkaline water 15 minutes prior to exercising and a glass after every 15 minutes throughout the session. But be sure to drink even more water when you are working out in a hot environment. Alkaline water is a healthier substitute to tap water, as it helps reduce the effects of lactic acid build-up when working out. Spring water is often acidic, while tap water may contain chemicals that will just add to the toxic burden of your system.

Tips to Switching to Alkaline Water

• Look for a Reliable Brand

The pH level of water is often increased by incorporating natural additives like calcium, magnesium and potassium. There are only few water filter brands that follow the norms when it comes to manufacturing and selling alkaline water, so be sure to get the services and product of those who follow these norms.

• Choose the Right pH Option for Your Needs

One of the most important things to remember when you are switching to alkaline water is to choose the right pH option for your needs. Unlike tap water, which only has a pH value of six and seven, alkaline water can rank as high as nine or more on the scale. But as mentioned earlier, avoid just randomly choosing the level of alkaline water you would want to drink. Instead, listen to how your body reacts to the drink and decide whether you would want to drink a higher or lower level of alkalized water.

• Gradually and Fully Replace Your Beverages

Just like with going on a certain diet plan, you can’t expect to see any significant result without completely replacing your regular drinking water. Remember, alkaline water is not a miracle drink that could change your body overnight – but it is a lifestyle choice that will show its results eventually.

• Carry an Alkaline Water Filter

Perhaps the easiest way to make your body more comfortable with drinking ionized water is by carrying an alkaline water filter wherever you go. If your office doesn’t have an alkaline water ioniser machine, invest on a tumbler form alkaline water filter to make your transitioning from regular water to alkaline water as smooth and effective as possible.

An alkaline water ionizer may seem like an expensive purchase to make, but it’s actually highly recommended by health experts across the globe. Although some people might still be unaware of the importance of drinking the right type of water, having the right guidance and knowledge will certainly help in maximizing the health benefits that this water has to offer.

Top Paint Colors To Inspire A Room Makeover

 

You just want everything to be beautiful and there is nothing wrong with that. Singapore has many beautiful things and the only way to give justice is to exude it. Start with paint colors. You do not consider room makeover because it costs money and you need to save some. That is understandable however there are times that you need to change your environment to inspire all good things.

Anyone has embarked on the hunt for that perfect paint color. It can be daunting but the good news is that you do not need to spend all your time hunting for that perfect paint color. There are fantastic shades given by experts. You might like one or two of them. Here’s the list:

Blues

There is one reason why everyone loves the sea – it is the tranquillity that it provides. When you put this paint color, it will surely exude inner calmness and peace. There are different shades of blue though. Choose the one that gives you inner calmness.

Greens

Green is the color of nature, growth and balance. It can also mean new life. Green is important if you want to exude that loving feeling of adventure and fun.

Yellows and oranges

Yellow is the color of intellect. It is one of the famous paint colors because it exudes optimism and cheerfulness. Oranges on the other hand speaks of creativity, success and attraction.

Reds

You already know that red is the color of passion, energy and action. When taken negatively, it means anger or aggression. Of course you want it to be positive so settle with passion, energy and action.

Pinks and purples

Not all people like pink because it is girlish. No matter what, it exudes nurture and unconditional love. As for purple, it is the color of creativity and luxury.

Neutrals

Neutrals are also called earth tones. Neutral colors comprise of brown, beige, black, gray and white. Other people think that neutral colors are dull. That is where they are wrong. Neutrals, if combined with soft hues can have different personalities. Neutrals are a classic that you should consider.

After choosing, it is time to get things started with your room makeover. The good thing about paint is that you can do it personally but if you want pristine work, you should hire the help of professionals. With this, your room will surely look beautiful and radiant. It does not end there though, you have to clean your room. Remember that it is different from maintaining it.

Negative Feng Shui Features To Avoid

 

Many Singaporeans consider feng shui not to determine their luck for the year but as a guide. Feng shui is a Chinese system of laws that manage spatial arrangement as well as its orientation in relation to qi or the flow of energy. Chinese use this to determine whether a space has favourable or unfavourable effects.

When you are looking to buy a house, you have to avoid negative feng shui features as they will present challenges in the future. Here are some tips that you have to know to avoid negativity:

Do not align front door with your back door

Imagine qi like rushing water. If your doors are aligned, the water will flow easily. You need to slow down the flow of water so you can actually feel it. With this, you should avoid to align the front door and the back door this is to ensure that good energy will not escape easily plus it will give a chance to circulate around your house.

Staircase should not face the main door

You have to remember that your main door is the mouth of qi. This is how the qi will enter your house and if you put your staircase right in front of the main door, the energy will rush to the higher floor leaving the lower floor with nothing to nourish its energy.

Bathroom door should not face the main door

If your bathroom door faces the main door, qi will escape through it. If this is the case, only few qi will be left to nourish the whole house.

Bathroom should not be in the center of your house

The center of your house is considered as the heart. It is important that the center is open, with light and speaks of beauty. Your bathroom isn’t any of this.

Bedroom should not be over the garage

If you have two-storey house, do not consider putting a bedroom over the garage. Garages mean more moving. It also means unsettled and unsteady which are the things that you do not want to cultivate in your bedroom. Your bedroom should have a stable energy so it will promote sleep and relaxation.

It won’t hurt if you make these priorities as soon as possible. Do not just sit there and wait for your luck though. No matter how you arrange your house and encourage good flow of energy, you won’t be successful if you do not work hard for it. Always remember to take action instead of letting qi do its work alone.

Everything You Need to Know About VoIP Fraud

Voice over Internet Protocol has become the ultimate tool for communication in today’s world of business, but it has also become a new target for cyber criminals. Since with VoIP voice is transmitted as data, the risk of digitized data being heard and intercepted by unauthorized people increases. That’s why it’s important to know the risks of VoIP fraud and what you can do to avoid such circumstances. Here are the critical points you need to always keep in mind.

VoIP Fraud is on the Rise

International and domestic voice over IP fraud cases have increased in recent years. In fact, research shows that it has significantly increased by 40 percent over the last several years in some countries. According to IT experts, it is expected to grow further as hackers become more knowledgeable and continue to discover new tactics, from password scanning to access stimulation. In general, the rising number of voice over IP fraud cases has become the biggest reason why businesses and establishments in Singapore take the necessary precautions to keep their network secured all the time.

An Unsecured Network is Going to be Costly

Unfortunately, only a small fraction of businesses in Singapore are prepared for a sophisticated system attack. The bottom line is, when someone breaks into a PBX network, the intruder can quickly make outgoing calls to different destinations, which can be very costly to the network owner. Hackers can program the network to start making various calls at the same time, even leaving them open for hours. By time you catch the anomaly, it might have already resulted to extremely high bill. Make sure that your network is locked down and that access is monitored accordingly.

Updated Systems are Less Vulnerable

Hackers use known exploits on specific devices; therefore, make sure that your VoIP network is automatically updated with the latest releases for voip in Singapore that add a new layer of security features or patch vulnerabilities. Most likely, the latest updates fix known security exploits that a cyber intruder may try to capitalize on.

Now is the Best Time to Start Securing

Do not commit the same mistake that many businesses in Singapore have done: wait until they have been targeted by fraud before locking down their network. Secure your voice over IP network and integrate a fraud detection programme before even the slightest sign of fraud arises. Just because you have not been a victim of such thing yet does not mean you are perpetually safe.

How to Avoid VoIP Security Issues

Voice over IP is a new type of internet application, but ultimately it is another data delivered using the internet. Many security measures used today to protect plain text applications—from FTP and telnet to e-mail, instant messaging and Web—can be used to secure VoIP network.

Get a Monitoring System

Keep in mind that unfortunate things do happen, regardless of how secure your system is or how much you have prepared for unexpected incidences. If a cyber attack occurs, it would be extremely helpful to have some sort of notification system, so that preventive actions can be executed immediately and avoid further damage. One ideal solution is a real-time alert system that will notify you when there is any abnormal or suspicious network activity. Even better, look for a plan that will allow you to customize the alerts—for example, alerts sent by IP source or jurisdiction—in order to get a more comprehensive plan that meets your needs.

Lock Down Voice Servers

Lock down servers physically and logically for the admin. Allow only the administrators to have access to the servers to limit the possibility of unauthorized access. For further security, use domain restrictions and two-factor authentication for admin access, including access to credentials and configuration files.

Configure User Profiles and Dial Plans

Take advantage of the built-in security features of your voice over IP system. Most VoIP in Singapore have security features such as control in voice network access by device certificate and/or with username and password and restriction of types of calls by user, device and other criteria.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Use encryption by device, segment or user, but avoid encrypting indiscriminately as it can result in network latency. Ask your service provider to encrypt the signalling with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) over Transport Layer Security (TLS). Encrypt voice packets, as well, with protocols like SRTP and your network connection with VPNs to ensure security round the clock.

Assess Security Measures

If you are using security applications and firewalls to protect your network from cyber attacks, make sure to evaluate your security system’s effectiveness periodically. If a third party is handling your VoIP system, ask them to perform a security test to spot possible vulnerabilities within the system.

Educate Your Staff

Understanding why you need to implement certain security measures and restrict access to your VoIP network is a good start in defending your system against cyber attacks, but that’s no silver bullet. Aside from securing against technical attacks, organizations and businesses also need to train employees and staff how to detect threats like vishing—an engineering scam whereby attackers attempt to steal sensitive information via phone calls.

Overall, the most important thing is that you take the necessary precautionary measures to keep your network secured. VoIP in Singapore makes business operations more convenient, but it is your responsibility to protect your system and your business’ reputation in terms of reliability and security, so that your clients never have to worry.