Some Factors to Consider When Choosing Colors for Your Home

When the walls start flaking off paint, it may be time to give it a new coat. Though it seems easy to just go to the hardware store and pick any can of paint, there are still a few things you should consider before you do. For instance:

Natural Light
Consider the amount of natural light that you get in the space. The interior should replicate the exterior as much as possible, as the environment is generally darker at your feet and gets lighter the further you look up.
A good rule of thumb is to think vertically – darker values for the floor, medium colors for the walls, and light ones for the ceiling.

You should also watch out for eye-popping hues. If your living room or bedroom can’t carry it, the color will simply create visual clashes that can overwhelm your eyes. Think of vibrant hues last when you’re bringing in the furniture, rugs, and pillows.

Tip: No one color can make any room instantly brighter, especially if that room is small. Though lighter colors can make a small room look and feel big, it still won’t work if the room isn’t well-lit. In some cases, whitewashing rooms can make them look depressing.

Sample Swatches
Or, more specifically, don’t count on them too much. Though there are many apps for preliminary testing colors for your walls (you can even test out your redecoration ideas in Photoshop – simply take a picture of the room and start editing), you can also take the time to actually see what it looks like with your own two eyes.

Apply a small dab of paint on a small section of the wall for a day to see how the light plays with it. Colors often look darker on the paint chips of walls, so opt for lighter hues if you’re not sure.

Color for Demarcation…
A good way to use paint creatively is to apply it in blocks to mark different areas. This is good especially if you’re planning on having a divider to separate a large room to make space for two smaller sections.

…and Variation
Some color-coordinating is good, but when your walls, furniture, and rugs are all of the same shade, they can look boring. Instead, consider using lighter and darker shades of the same color to bring some variation to your walls.

Home

Some Common Childhood Illnesses, Symptoms, and Treatments

Most illnesses, whether it’s the common cold or a mild fever, are usually solved by letting the child rest and drink a lot of fluids. But as a parent, it’s important to know that not everything can be treated at home, but not everything requires your child to be immediately hospitalized.

Below is a list of some common illnesses and how to treat them at home, as well as symptoms to watch out for if you’re not sure what you’re looking at.

1. Pinkeye
Pinkeye (also called “conjunctivitis) is a common infection for children below five, where the conjunctiva (the delicate membrane lining the eyelids) is infected or encounters foreign material, and swells or reddens as a result.

Trim your child’s nails and keep him/her from touching and scratching the eyes to avoid spreading the infection. Use saline eye drops or gently clean the eyes with cotton balls soaked in warm water. When using cotton balls, be sure to clean in one direction.

If the symptoms last for more than a week, consult your doctor or pediatric ophthalmologist.

2. Roseola
Also called “false measles” in Singapore, roseola is a common viral infection that spreads through children and infants from airborne droplets from the nose and throat as well as direct contact with these secretions.

Roseola causes high fever in children, as well as sore throat, coughing, and runny nose. However, the good news is that this condition is usually mild, meaning that all you need to watch out for is to maintain your child’s fluid intake and to manage coughing with antipyretics.

3. Chickenpox
This condition should be seen as an eventuality, and if your child catches chickenpox once, he/she will never catch it again. In most healthy children who are afflicted with chickenpox, the condition simply goes away on its own after two or three weeks.

Chickenpox is characterized at first by red pimples or rashes on the chest, back, or face. The rashes then move to different areas throughout the body before developing into blisters. These symptoms usually appear from 10 to 21 days, and most children with chickenpox are usually sick for five to seven.

Treatment is usually directed towards reducing itching. Make sure your child drinks enough fluids. During the time when he/she is sick, you can give your child antipyretics to keep the fever low as well as any paracetamol except ibuprofen.

Health and Wellness

7 Ways You’re Cooking Your Pasta the Wrong Way

Cooking pasta is easy—just dump heaps of hard noodles into boiling water and wait until they are soft, right? Wrong! Surprisingly, there are many common ways people are ruining their pasta dishes, and we referred to a number of chefs to debunk them all.

1. You do not salt the water
You need to add salt into the water in order for the pasta to have its own taste once it is combined with the sauce. But if the person you are cooking for is in low-sodium diet, you can skip salting the pasta and let each person sprinkle some salt on their own plate. Ideally, however, you should salt the water as soon as it starts to tremble before putting in the noodles.

2. You are putting oil in the water
According to most chefs we’ve asked, oil isn’t necessary when cooking the pasta. Even if you completely drain the water out, the pasta is still left with a coat of oil, preventing the sauce from sticking to it later on.

3. You rinse the pasta
People rinse their pasta with cold water in order to stop the cooking. However, when you do the rinsing, you are also washing the starch off the pasta. Like putting oil in boiling water, rinsing off the starch will only make the sauce to slip and slide off the pasta, also causing the flavors to not combine very well.

4. You mix a bit of pasta water with the sauce
If you think the sauce needs more thinning, then go mix in a bit of pasta water. But remember that the drained pasta will still retain a bit of water on it, which should be enough to dilute the sauce.

5. You freeze and defrost the leftover pasta
Fresh pasta freezes well, but do not thaw it to cook it. You can cook it directly even if it’s still frozen; you won’t really notice the difference. But if you thaw it after it is frozen, might as well throw it away. The water crystals will cause the dough to get soggy when cooked.

6. Leaving the pasta in the colander for too long
Once the pasta is done cooking, you should add them to the sauce immediately after draining. The longer it is left in the colander, the more it will stick together and the more likely that the sauce won’t get evenly distributed on the pasta.

7. You’re not stirring the pasta as soon as it gets into the water
The first two to three minutes of cooking is the most crucial part to ensure that the pasta won’t stick together. So, completely submerge your hard pasta into the boiling water as quickly as you can and get stirring right away.

Correctly cooked pasta can serve as a beautiful base to many different dishes. Hopefully, these tips will help you make your next pasta recipe an unforgettable meal… for good reasons.

Cooking Tips

4 Common Solo Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Solo travelling has become more prevalent in today’s generation. With our hectic day-to-day lives and having to deal with different people on a regular basis, solo travel could be the antidote to how busy we are every day.
To make the most of your alone time, get acquainted with the most common solo travellers’ mistakes and make sure not to fall into these traps.

1. Expecting to save a lot by staying at hostels
Backpackers know very well that hostels offer a good selection of affordable private rooms in a well-located area of the city. However, many hostels usually quote nightly rates per person, instead of per room. If the room can hold two customer s, you will be billed for two persons.

Some tourists find this pricing structure opportunistic, but try to view it in the business owner’s perspective, who only wants to maximize limited space for the business to survive. There are times though that paying double will still save you money. Just do not expect to get the same amount of savings a couple can achieve.

2. Ignoring danger warning signs
The area of your prospect accommodation may look perfectly safe in broad daylight, but may become dodgy at night. Are you sure you want to book a night in that location?

Danger warnings are sometimes inaccurate. It could be that the warning is outdated. But just to make sure, err on the safe side. These safety warnings are even more important for solo travellers. Criminals prey on someone who is alone, and tend to ignore those who appear to travel in groups. Therefore, it is best to avoid spots with warning signs and blend in the crowd as much as possible.

3. Scheduling a flight early in the morning or late at night
Flights scheduled during inconvenient times of the day are usually priced cheaper. Since you are looking for a budget flight, you will likely get one of these flights and find yourself landing at night in an unfamiliar place. Similarly, you would be out in the streets three in the morning to catch your 5 a.m. flight.

You can be a target when wandering around with a luggage. Avoid these flight schedules or at least make an arrangement with a reliable person to escort you to the airport. Everybody wants extra savings, but being robbed will only negate the benefit of your airfare savings.

4. Skimping on planning the activities to do alone
It is your only time to enjoy your own company. Even if you have met new friends, there are still activities better done alone. These might be activities that relate to your interests than not everyone appreciates, such as an extended time in an art museum, or physically demanding activities like surfing lessons.

Enjoy the rare times of being alone. It is not every day that you get to spend a lot of your time for yourself. If given the chance, make the most of it and make sure not to waste any on these common solo-travel mistakes.

Travel

How Modern Clocks Work

Timekeeping has been practiced since the dawn of civilization. We needed it to keep track of the seasons and to record important events. People employed many ways to do that such as sundials, observatories and ancient calendars. Today, we use wristwatches, wall clocks and electronic clocks on our gadgets to keep time.

When you buy watches in Singapore for your collection, you will notice that clocks are classified in different ways. Let’s look at the different clocks based on the mechanism used.

Mechanical Clocks
The mechanical clock has a pendulum or a balance wheel that is in constant motion to help move the the hands on the clock. It’s not the pendulum that is counting the hours for you, but its motion regulates the turning of the gears and these gears in turn display the number of minutes and hours that it counted according to the consistent movement of the pendulum.

Atomic Clocks
The atomic clock is considered the most accurate type of clock today. It measures the interval of the change of the caesium -133 atom. The oscillations in the atoms replace the movement of the pendulum in a mechanical clock. It was designed to precisely measure the length of a second. There are three types of atomic clocks including the caesium clock as well as the hydrogen and rubidium atomic clocks.

Electric Clocks
Some electric clocks use electricity as its primary source or the electricity is used as an oscillator. There are 7 types of electric clocks that have different mechanisms such as electric remontoire, electromechanical, synchronous, electromagnetic, quartz, tuning fork, and radio-controlled clocks. As long as the power supply is constant, the clock can keep an accurate time.

Radio Clocks
Radio clocks, sometimes called radio-controlled clocks, keep time by receiving information from a transmitter. It’s essentially a radio with a display. Radio clocks function with the help of an atomic clock from which the signal is transmitted. The radio clock automatically synchronizes with the information it receives. That doesn’t mean it will stop showing the time when it doesn’t receive a signal. It still has a base oscillator to keep track of time.

Crystal Clocks
The crystal clocks use a crystal oscillator instead of a pendulum. It utilizes the mechanical resonance of the crystal which in turn creates an electrical signal. By that definition, crystal clocks can be considered a type of electric clock. The electrical signal has a frequency which is the measurement used to tell the time. The crystals must be a type of piezoelectric material such as the quartz and polycrystalline ceramics. Quartz is the ideal choice, however, because its resonance is constant.

Interior Design

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is not a well-known disease, but it does exist. Most of the people affected by this might also be suffering from eating disorders. So how does it differ from insecurity, low confidence and the lack of satisfaction of one’s appearance?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Called BDD, body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by the persistent feeling and thoughts of an imagined or real but slight physical defect. BDD is a type of body-image disorder in which a person dislikes one or more parts of his or her body. When other people tell them that there is nothing wrong with them, the person finds it difficult to believe because he or she sees a significant defect. It will impair the person’s social skills and daily routine because of the feeling of distress. There is no clear cause of BDD, but psychologists point to genetic predisposition, environment and life experiences as triggering factors.

Symptoms of BDD
People suffering from BDD cannot control their emotions. No matter what people tell them, they will not believe that the flaw they see is insignificant or doesn’t exist. They tend to isolate themselves and even opt for cosmetic surgery to correct the defects. Others suffer from a form of compulsive behavior to hide their imperfections. Those who are affected may have had a history of OCD, anxiety, social phobia and eating disorders. The following are often observed in people with BDD:

1. Feeling of anxiety when they are with people
2. Secretive and doesn’t want to ask for help
3. Excessive grooming to conceal the defect
4. Feeling distressed about a particular part of their body
5. Excessive workouts or exercise
6. Obsessed with picking the right clothes
7. Frequently checks the mirror or avoids it altogether
8. Often compares his or her body to others
9. He or she is open to or is actively seeking cosmetic surgery
10. Camouflages the imagined or slight flaws with makeup, clothing, and body positions

Treatment of BDD
It’s important to seek help for the person affected by BDD. Often, they are ashamed of asking for help themselves because they don’t want other people to think that they are vain. Yet they will go to such lengths as changing their appearance by constantly dieting, exercising and even paying for cosmetic surgery. In extreme cases, people ask for a body part to be removed.

Before a person is treated, the psychiatrist will ask several questions to determine how the condition has affected the life of the patient. The severity of the condition will determine the course of action that needs to be taken. Treatment of BDD may involve cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT sometimes alongside medication for severe cases. The primary type of medication that will be prescribed is an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI.

Health and Wellness

How to Increase Your Work Productivity Any Day of the Week

A 5-day workweek is bound to get employees restless by Friday. In 2012, The Comprehensive Labor Force Survey found out that Singapore had a standard 44-hour working week, with the maximum being 48 hours. These long work hours are notorious for causing us fatigue and stress, and sometimes it also decreases our productivity levels.

Not that we do not get work done, though. While we all have our productive days at the office, the breather we get over weekends cannot really do as much. If anything, it makes our Monday mornings more difficult as we prepare ourselves for work both physically and mentally.

In order to address this, we must learn how to improve our productivity regardless of what day is it in the week. The key here is to have a mindset which disregards slacking off on Fridays (TGIF, anyone?) or get too distracted by your hatred over Mondays instead of using the time to start working on your summary report.

Productivity Patterns
Understanding productivity patterns during your entire work week enables you to plan your work more accordingly. Each of us has different work routines, and if you begin to be aware more of yours you are likely to get more work done at specific times conducive for your personal work efficiency.

The thing is, Fridays aren’t meant for slacking off in the office. Regardless of how tempting it is, take it as another workday for you to give it your all. It isn’t too long until the weekend, anyway. Wednesday is also regarded as the best day for work productivity — but that doesn’t mean you should save all your projects and get started only on Wednesdays.

So how can you improve your work productivity?
• Begin on challenging tasks before lunch
Sometimes, we are far too inclined to put off our most challenging tasks only to forget doing them in the end and disregard their urgency. Remember that putting it off any longer will only make the task more difficult to do. It is encouraged you begin working on them before lunch because this is the ideal time you’re not fatigued from all the activities of the day.

• Prioritize your urgent tasks
If your boss asks you to do an urgent task, prioritize doing it as soon as possible. Even if it falls on a Friday, you can still get work done even if it is not the best day for starting on new projects. Important projects must be done earlier in the week, when you are still on your best mental capacity without pent-up workweek fatigue. Save your general administrative to-dos and other quick tasks at the end of the week.

• Work on a project strategically
With that in mind, working on a new project on a Friday is unlikely to yield the most productive results. Take into account the mental bandwidth starting something new requires. You and your colleagues are likely to be drained before the weekend. It is still best to work on it at the beginning of the week, where everyone in the team is expected to collaborate better.

Work Tips