4 Tips to Save Money on Your Home Renovation

Now that you finally have the keys to your brand new home after a long time of investment, it’s time to finally make the adjustments needed to make the place truly your own. Here are a few tips you can follow to do so without having to break the bank even more:

1. Set your budget
Set aside this certain amount by planning exactly how you want your place to look like, down to the last detail, and stick to this plan as much as possible. However, remember to leave an extra twenty percent in case of any unforeseen contingencies, which can make you go over your planned budget.

2. Think about how you will use that space in the next few years
One of the most common issues with home or HDB owners in Singapore is the issue of storage space, which can run out easily. Some areas of effect that you can consider other than the budget include your current and future lifestyle – having a lot of furniture now might seem nice, but can easily take up a good amount of space in your home.

3. Do it yourself
While it can be much easier to simply hire a renovating service to renovate your place for you, you may not always have enough budget leftover for that kind of expense. Doing the renovation yourself or with the help of a friend or two might take you a while, but can be quite fulfilling at the end of the day.

The same could be said for furniture. If you have to, you can always build it yourself. The good news is that most store-bought ones have their own instruction manuals, which should be easy enough for you to follow.
However, be warned – don’t expect to have to do everything yourself. Certain problems, such as connecting gas pipes and fixing leaky plumbing, should best be left to professionals.

4. Think minimal
The design of your home plays a large role in the renovation costs. This makes a home with a minimalist theme much cheaper and easier to renovate in the future if you decide to switch things around. However, there are other things that, while you don’t usually pay attention to them, should really be done away with.

For instance, it might not be a good idea to spend on carpeting if you have children or pets. Another thing you can do away with is wallpaper – while it looks pretty, Singapore’s humid climate can discolor it pretty quickly – and you can opt for painting your walls yourself.

With that said, you don’t have to compromise your style entirely and settle just for whatever is cheapest.

A Beginner’s Guide to Pairing Snacks with Your Afternoon Tea

Not only is tea quite relaxing to drink, but it’s also a versatile beverage that you can pair with many different snacks on an afternoon with friends or even by yourself.

The purpose of pairing tea with food is to bring out and complement each other’s flavor when consumed. When preparing a recipe to pair with tea, keep the main ingredients in mind as a reference for knowing which kind of tea to pair.

For instance, a more robust tea will go well with a more strongly flavored recipe, while a milder tea should ideally go with more milder and subdued flavors. However, if you do pair a strong flavor with a more subdued or subtle one, there is a good chance that one of the flavors will overpower the other.

To help you get started, here is a list of the different kinds of tea as well as the snacks that pair well with them:

1. White Tea
White tea is known for its silky, yet subtle flavor, and stronger flavors will mask this taste. The best kind food to pair with this tea should either be cucumber salads or lightly-flavored seafood recipes, or even fish. You can even add fireweed or wildflower honey to the tea to better bring out the subtle flavors.

2. Green Tea
Green tea has three main flavor profiles: fruity, smoky, and vegetal. Each of these flavors highlights the snacks in their own different ways.

Fruity green tea will hold well when served with unsweetened pastries or other foods with a relatively mild flavor, such as chicken, sandwiches, or even fruit salads, while deep-fried or greasy recipes will mask the taste of the tea.

For the last two kinds of foods, smoky green tea is a better fit, owing to its robustness. Smoky green tea also brings out the flavor of potatoes and light stir-fry dishes, and is the most common kind of Chinese green tea.
Perhaps the least common is vegetal green tea, which pairs best with seafood because of its fresh, grassy flavor.

3. Black Tea
Black tea is more robust in flavor than the previous two, which allows you to pair it with more full-flavored foods such as meats and certain spicy dishes. Sweetened pastries can also taste much better when paired with this tea.

4. Oolong Tea
Oolong has a more complex aroma, which makes it especially versatile and can bring out the flavors of a wide variety of foods, ranging from seafood and fish dishes to greasy, grilled meats. Oolong tea falls into light or dark categories, each with their own ideal pairings.

For light oolong tea, sweet rich seafood and lightly salted snacks are your best bet. Meanwhile, dark oolong will work better with fuller dishes such as grilled meats.

Choosing a Summer Wedding Dress

Choosing a wedding dress could be the most important decision the bride will make in planning her wedding. For a summer wedding in Singapore, especially one held outdoors, wedding gowns should be made specifically for the bride’s comfort while still looking sophisticated and elegant. When choosing the right summer wedding dress, make sure to work with the right bridal studio and keep in mind these important factors.


Most dresses for summer weddings you’ll find in your wedding boutique are either haltered, strapless or spaghetti type. They are designed in such ways to provide comfort and to fit to any kind of summer setting.


Maxi dresses are the most popular for beach weddings. If planning for a garden wedding, ask the bridal studio for cocktail dresses. However, a long flowing wedding dress is ideal since it gives a touch of formality to the casualness of the overall wedding theme.

Colors and Accessories

Save the diamonds and go for fashionable wood accessories in shades of yellows, greens, and blues. Avoid sparkly jewelries if you’re planning for an outdoor casual-themed wedding; it may overpower the simplicity of the wedding dress.


The dress’ fabric should be light for a free-flowing look. It should be lightweight and breathable to keep you cool and comfortable as the ceremony takes place. Here are some of the fabrics that are common to any bridal boutique in Singapore like www.whitelink.com.sg for summer wedding dresses.

    • Silk Georgette
    Silk georgette is a lightweight fabric, typically made of polyester or silk. The twisted fibers of the fabric give the dress a springy feature that makes it look as if it moves on its own.
    • Batiste
    Batiste is a lightweight, opaque fabric, made from wool, cotton, polyester or a blend of different kinds of threads. This fabric is often used in babies’ clothes due to its soft touch to the skin.
    • Dotted Swiss
    This fabric has always the same look: lightweight, sheer fabric with dotted motif. Dotted Swiss is a commonly used for a variety of clothing for children and women. They have made appearances in blouses, curtains, baby clothes, aprons, bedspreads, summer dresses and wedding apparel.
    • Muslin
    Muslin is a light cotton fabric, finely woven and typically white, produced from cotton yarn. This fabric is also used to make sewing patterns for upholstery, curtains and clothing. Since air moves freely through the fabric, it is more appropriate for hot and dry seasons.
    • Charmeuse and Taffeta
    Charmeuse is a luxury fabric made from silk with glossy finish, while taffeta is quite the opposite withdull texture and a little sheen. They differ in the type of finish, the two fabrics has the same free-flow appearance that drapes well over the body. It is lightweight, so it won’t make you feel hot during the wedding ceremony.
    • Chiffon and Organza
    Chiffon is a lightweight sheer fabric with matte finish, and commonly made from silk, cotton or synthetic fibers. It can be dyed to almost any color, but the one made from polyester can be hard to dye. Organza fabric can be worn alone because it’s less sheer than chiffon. The texture of this cloth is ideal for an A-line wedding dress.

5 Underwear Mistakes You Might Be Making

Your underwear is your last line of defense between your intimate area and the outside world, which means wearing the wrong pair will certainly wreak havoc on your vaginal health. To keep that from happening, we listed down some of the bad underwear habits you should avoid – or stop – doing to maintain a good reproductive health.

1. Failing to Change Undies Post-Workout
When changing out of your sweaty gym shorts, ensure that you also grab a pair of clean undies. Bacteria and yeast love staying in dark, moist and warm environment – and that makes your sweaty briefs a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, so be sure to change out of them as soon as you’re done working out.

2. Going for Fancy Fabrics
According to experts, breathable cotton is the best fabric choice for your everyday underwear. If you’re choosing undies made of other fabrics, choose those with cotton crotch whenever possible. Also, if you have some impractical pairs you can’t seem to part with, only wear them on special occasions and opt for the moisture-wicking fabrics for your daily wear. Letting your lady parts breathe every once in a while will help in reducing your risk of getting infections.

3. Wearing the Same Pair Twice
Perhaps some of us are guilty of giving their underwear a repeat performance. But unless your undies are seriously spotless, avoid wearing them twice or thrice a week. Just like with sweaty undergarments, a dirty pair is also be a good breeding ground for bacteria and could put you at risk for infections. Don’t have any clean underwear in your drawer yet? Go commando – if you’re comfortable with it.

4. Opting for Thongs
If you prefer thongs over granny panties, be aware that this pair could transfer E. coli bacteria from your crack to your lady bits. Just imagine where the string slides every time you sit down in a thong. If you can’t stand panty lines or just find thongs more comfortable, opt for a pair made of cotton, change them regularly, and avoid sleeping in them. If you’re prone to developing yeast infections or any other vaginal infections, consider switching to boy shorts or briefs instead.

5. Using Scented Detergents
Experienced some rashes or infections recently? If so, ensure that you check the label of your laundry detergent. As much as possible, opt for a fragrance-free detergent and eliminate dryer sheets with fragrance. The same thing with scented soaps or body washes. Nobody expects your underwear to smell like bouquet, so ditch any product that could irritate your intimate area.

With your undies serving as the last line of defence for your intimate parts, it’s only crucial that you break the aforementioned habits to ensure that your lady bits are always in their tip top shape.

What Your Eyebrow Artist Wants You to Know

At one point or another, we’ve all experienced an eyebrow disaster. Whether it’s over-plucking or failing to realize you had a uni-brow, each of us has had at least experienced some eyebrow-induced drama – and we’d later bear the wrath of our professional eyebrow artist. So for those of us who’d want to avoid hearing a lecture the next time we go in for some touch-up, here a few things that your eyebrow artist wished you knew.

1. Leave the Grooming to the Professionals
When grooming your eyebrows, we often forget that no eyebrows are identical and that usually causes us to over-pluck. Also, since we don’t fully understand how to get a better arch, we often end up tweezing in the wrong places, causing us to get rainbow brows. So if there’s one thing that your eyebrow expert would want to tell you, it’d be to drop your tweezers and let the pros do the grooming of your brows.

2. Clean-Ups Should be Performed Every Month
It’d be best to perform a clean-up every month, or whenever your eyebrow hair starts getting unruly. Regardless of the schedule you choose, it’s crucial not to tweeze in between so your eyebrow strands stay on the same growth schedule. So stop any unnecessary tweezing, and see how manageable your eyebrows will become.

3. Get Expert Advice Before Reshaping Your Brows
No matter what kind of eyebrows you’re born with, remember that you won’t be stuck with them as long as you work with the right expert. A reshaping is often done when a client visits the clinic for the first time with her overgrown eyebrows. Just keep in mind that it’s possible to get a completely different shape even without actually removing a lot of hair. Also, be sure to wait four to six weeks before going in for another reshaping session to get the best results.

4. Your Brow Shape Should Match Your Face Shape
When working with your eyebrows, always remember to tweak it according to your face shape. A round face can have an arched and longer brow to off-set the roundness, while a pushed-back natural arch is perfect for long faces. Heart-shaped faces, on the other hand, look better with a softer arch while those with square faces should opt for an angular arch to draw attention away from the jaw.

5. Maintain Your Cowlicks
Your eyebrows, just like your hair, also have cowlicks. This occurs when small sections of your hair grow in a different direction than the rest of your eyebrow. Managing cowlicks can be tricky, but it’s possible. All you’ve got to do is trim it and carefully work around it. Remember, your brows are about symmetry, which means removing your cowlicks will only make your eyebrows look off.

Grooming your eyebrows isn’t as difficult as you think. By simply keeping these expert tips in mind, you can already get the perfect arch that you’ve always wanted.

How to Buy Home Essentials Even on a Tight Budget

Even with a limitless budget, decorating your home can be quite challenging; but even more so if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, there several ways on how you can stretch your budget and buy the perfect decorations for your home. Here, we listed down five easy ways to buy home essentials even on a small budget.

1. Shop in Bulk

One of the best ways to purchase home essentials on a tight budget is through shopping in bulk. Through shopping wholesale, you get to stock up on things that you need to decorate your space. All the while saving a great deal from what you’d pay as a regular-priced item at a retail store.

2. Read Product Reviews

With the help of internet, it’s now possible to learn everything that you need to know about a certain product even before purchasing it. By reading online reviews from previous buyers, you get to discover the pros and cons of any item. If you want, you can even ask the buyer as to whether or not purchasing a particular item was worth it. This will give you the confidence that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase once the item is delivered to your home.

3. Look Into the Classified Ads

Although print media is slowly fading away, it’s not completely gone yet. That means there’s still a chance to find good product deals in the classified section. Since there are fewer people reading the paper, there’s also less competition when it comes to purchasing these items.

4. Attend Estate Sales

Estate sales often occur when a service liquidates the belongings of a certain estate or family. With numerous items for sale, you’ll definitely be able to get some good bargains. Plus, you can tag any item that you want if you arrive earlier than the other customers. What’s more amazing is auction rules also apply for each item, which means you have the power to name the price on your items you’ll be purchasing.

Garage sales are also a good option. So if you’ll go bargain-hunting on garage sales, try finding other neighbourhood sales. Multiple garage sales in a single area create competition, and that’ll help you find items that are sold at even lower prices.

Purchasing decorations for your home will definitely cost you some bucks, but putting the aforementioned tips to work will surely help in stretching your budget. So make sure that you look into these options the next time you think of purchasing new décors and essentials for your home.

12 Recommended Classical Pieces to Inspire Beginners

Overwhelmed with the titles that don’t make sense to you? What does concerto and symphony even mean? Why do some pieces have single letters and numbers in their titles?

The best way to start appreciating classical music is to listen to them. Worry about the forms later. You will be able to make sense of the musical terms once you have heard the best examples from the genre too.

Here are some pieces that might inspire you.

1. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op.67: I. Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven

The opening might seem familiar to you. This piece has been used so many times in television and film.

2. The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 1 ‘Spring’ (Op.8 No. 1): I. Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
This one will sound familiar to you too. Its bouncy tune will remind you of fresh flowers. You might want to listen to all of his Four Seasons compositions as well.

3. Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff

This piece has also been used in films. Rachmaninoff is known for his dramatic works. Try listening to the first movement of this piece and be moved.

4. Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven

Moonlight Sonata is one of the most popular pieces for piano, especially for beginners. You may have also heard this song played many times.

5. Toccata: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach

The song will certainly remind you of those old vampire movies. This was also featured in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia.

6. Ave verum corpus, K.618 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

One of the only two entries in this list with vocals. Classical music also had lyrics like this one. This was written just months before Mozart’s death.

7. Triumphal Chorus & Grand March from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

This is probably one of the most recognizable classical music pieces. It lives up to its title. That’s why it’s often used in graduation marches.

8. 1812 Overture, Op.49 (conclusion) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Listening to this one will remind you of the battle scenes in countless war movies or maybe a triumphant march of victorious soldiers. You decide.

9. Cello Suite No.1 in G by Johann Sebastian Bach

Close your eyes while listening to this and imagine yourself wearing a fancy dress at a fine dining restaurant.

10. Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 by Richard Strauss

This piece was used in the film adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you listen to it, then you will understand why. The title is inspired by the eponymous work of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

11. Canon In D Major by Johann Pachelbel

This is mostly used in weddings. Listening to it, you’ll know it’s the perfect piece for a garden wedding on a beautiful sunny day.

12. Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber

This 20th century piece is known as the saddest classical music ever written. Why? Well, you’d have to listen to it yourself.

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