Editorial Singapore

Food Storage Tips to Save Money

Food is a basic human need. We all need it to survive. However, at the same time, it’s one of the major expenses, too. We spend on it every day, every week, every month, every year.

However, more than almost any of our household expenses, smart strategies on how we buy, store and use food makes a huge difference in our everyday expenditure. Here, we give you some insider tricks to save money and make some of you kitchen staples last longer.

Flour
Keep wheat flour chilled. Yes, put your whole wheat flour in the chiller. The high oil content in wheat germ can make your flour go stale if kept in room temperature. If you’re using it frequently, store it in an airtight container inside the fridge, where it will last you up to six months. To check the freshness, sniff it. It should be completely odourless. If it smells bitter, toss it right away.

Olive Oil
Stick to buying smaller bottles of olive oil. Once the bottle is opened, this kitchen staple can go stale in three to four months (even if the bottle says it lasts longer). Fresh olive oil should smell like ripe olives with a kick of peppery aroma to it. Check it’s odour before every use—crayon-like odour indicates spoilage.

Butter
If you have multiple bars on hand, freeze the unopened ones to keep it fresh for up to four months. This prevents spoilage and absorption of smell of leftovers stored in the fridge. For opened carton of butter, notice the colour once in a while. Inconsistent colour could mean that you’re not using it fast enough. Freeze it to keep it fresh until next use.

Brown Sugar
Transfer your brown sugar in an airtight container, and throw in moist food items like a slice of bread, apple slices or marshmallows. The sugar granules will absorb the moisture of the food and remain soft for longer. You can also use this technique to soften hardened sugar in jars.

Maple Syrup
Once your bottle of maple syrup is opened, keep it inside the freezer. Don’t worry about thawing it, because of the high sugar content, it won’t freeze. Unopened pure maple syrup can last for a couple of years in the pantry. Once opened, it’s good up to a year as long as long as you keep it refrigerated.

Honey
Bring your crystallized jar of honey back to life by placing it in a pan with boiling water. Stir the honey until the crystals gets completely dissolved. You don’t have to keep your jar of honey in the fridge. Even when opened, it can last forever in the pantry—thanks to bees enzymes that fight growth of bacteria in honey.

Now that you know how to extend the life out of your food staples, it’s time to reorganize your kitchen. Remember that not all should be stored in the fridge, but not everything should be left out as well.

8 Smart Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cyberbullying

Social media has become a huge part of our lives, making us vulnerable to cyber bullies, especially the young. But there are things you can do to protect yourself from cyberbullying and save yourself from the depression, stress, anxiety, and even trauma, which can be brought by this experience. Here are eight tips to keep yourself safe from online bullies.

1. Educate Yourself
Protect yourself against cyberbullying by knowing what comprises it. Look it up in the internet and find out how it happens and when it usually happens.

2. Think Before You Click
Before clicking Post, ask yourself a couple of times how your post will affect your reputation. Remember that people online will judge you based on what you say and post on your social media, and like the previous point, it can be used against you.

3. Avoid Posting Racy Photos
Before posting or sending a photo to someone, think it through if this is something you want your family to see. Racy photos can be used against by cyber bullies to blackmail you into doing something you wouldn’t want to do.

4. “Google” Yourself Once in a While
Try searching yourself on major search engines in the web and see if any confidential photos and information about you come up. If you see something that cyberbullies can use against you, have it removed right away.

5. Delete Messages from Strangers
If you receive a message from an unknown source, don’t open it. Delete it right away without opening it as it could contain a virus or malware that can collect personal data from your computer. For the same reason, do not engage in conversations or reply to messages from strangers to avoid getting harassed.

6. Set Up Privacy Controls
The more you limit your audience, the safer you are to getting bullied. In all your social media accounts, it’s ideal to allow only your friends to read and comment on your posts. Also, restrict who can see your online profile and information; in particular, avoid displaying your personal contact number and e-mail address for all your online friends to see.

7. Protect Your Password
Guard your password and all personal information from inquisitive people. You do not want to give people the opportunity to open your account and post humiliating, false or private information or photos under your name or send them to your entire contact list.

8. Log Out of Your Accounts
As with the previous point, do not give anyone the opportunity to post anything as you by logging out your accounts when using public computers. Also, by logging out, you avoid the possibility of hackers changing your password and locking you out of your account.

By being a responsible social media user, you significantly reduce the chances of getting cyberbullied.

Common Herbs and Spices

We usually focus on the meat or vegetables in our meals. Take a look at some of the most commonly used herbs and spices that give flavors to our food.

Allspice is the harvested unripe berries of a tree. It’s also called myrtle or Jamaican pepper, newspice or yenibahar.

Anise or Aniseed is valued for its seed which is harvested fresh or ground. It’s also used for tea, liquor, and medicine.

Basil has many varieties but the most commonly used are sweet or Genovese, lemon, Thai, African blue, and holy basil. The seeds are also used in desserts and drinks.

Bay Leaves come from different aromatic plants such as bay laurel, West Indian, Indian, California, Indonesia and Mexican bay leaf.

Black Pepper is a dried and cooked unripe fruit of a flowering vine. The dried fruit is called peppercorn. Green peppers are the dried unripe fruit, while white peppers are the ripe fruit seeds.

Cardamom comes from the seeds of the Amomum and Elettaria. It’s also used in drinks and harvested for its essential oil.

Cayenne Pepper comes from the fruit of a plant related to paprika, bell pepper and jalapeno. The fruits are dried, ground, or used fresh or as flakes.

Cilantro or Coriander is an herb cultivated for its seeds, fruits and leaves, but the whole plant itself is edible.

Cinnamon may be ground or sold in sticks. They are taken from the bark of Cinnamomum trees. Common types of cinnamon are Indian, Malabar, Chinese, Vietnamese, Ceylon and Indonesian.

Cumin is valued for its seed which may be used as whole seeds or ground. It’s from a plant native to South Asia and the Mediterranean.

Salt is a mineral made up of sodium chloride. It’s taken from evaporated seawater, spring waters and salt mines.

Garlic may be used fresh or ground. The bulb of the garlic plant is divided into smaller sections called cloves. Its flowers and leaves are also edible.

Ginger has a rhizome used as spice and ground or used fresh. Similar plants such as the galangal or krachai and wild ginger also produce the same aroma.

Marjoram is an herb valued for its aromatic leaves which are harvested green or dried. They are also distilled for oils.

Onion has a part called the bulb. The plant, called spring onion or scallion, can be harvested while still young. Onions come in three colors; brown or yellow, white and red.

Oregano is a flowering plant. Its leaves are dried and sometimes extracted for its oil.

Paprika is a mix of red air-dried fruits of the bell pepper and sweet pepper. Other spices are also included.

Parsley is a flowering plant used as a vegetable, spice and herb. The most common types of parsley are leaf and root parsley.

Rosemary is an herb also used as a decoration. Its leaves are harvested fresh or dried for cooked dishes or tea.

Thyme is sold by sprigs (or a single stem with leaves and flowers) or dried. It is also harvested for its oil.

Turmeric is an herbaceous plant harvested for its rhizomes. They are used fresh, boiled and dried or ground.

What You Should Know About Body Modification

When you hear the words body modification, images of horned individuals full of tattoos and piercings come to mind. For most people, a feeling of revulsion accompanies this image. But body modification is a broad category that includes not just tattoos and piercings, but even hair removal and teeth braces. Even body building and coloring your hair are considered modifications.


Body modification is done for various reasons.

While most people nowadays want their physical appearance altered to look pleasing, others do it because it’s part of tradition. It’s done as a form of a rite of passage, to conform to religious beliefs, and because they want to belong to a group. Getting your earlobes pierced isn’t as shocking as having a split tongue, but they are both forms of body modification.


Body modification is grouped into categories.

Tattoos and piercings are the most common alternative body modifications. Even in Singapore, there are a lot of tattoo and piercing shops. Plastic surgery isn’t uncommon too. The common types of body modifications can be grouped according to the procedure.

Surgical Augmentation
1. Subdermal Implant – If you’ve seen pictures of people with horns on their faces and arms, it’s called subdermal implants. The object is placed below the dermis.
2. Breast Implants – This is done through injections or insertion of silicone bags. There are also implants for the buttocks.

Explicit Ornaments
1. Piercings – Sometimes body piercings are stretched. The most common are ear piercings.
2. Tattoo – Tattooing places pigments under the skin. Even eyeballs and teeth can be tattooed too.
3. Neck Ring – The number of rings gradually increase to give the illusion of an elongated neck.
4. Teeth Blackening or Sharpening – The teeth are dyed black or sharpened for aesthetic purposes.
5. Transdermal Implants – Objects are placed below the dermis but one or more parts can be seen on the surface.
6. Microdermal Implants – These are a type of piercing which has an anchor under the skin and a step which can be seen on the surface.

Removal or Split
1. Haircut – Having your hair cut is a form of body modification because it changes your appearance.
2. Hair Removal – Techniques range from plucking to laser hair removal.
3. Tongue-Cutting – The tongue is sometimes split to make it look like a snake’s tongue.
4. Genital Modification and Mutilation – In males, the most common is circumcision. In females, the most common is the removal of the clitoral hood or clitoris.
5. Nipple Cutting – Sometimes the nipple is removed or split.
6. Nullification – Body parts are removed voluntarily.

Other Body Mods
1. Corsetry – The binding of the waist and torso.
2. Cranial Binding – The head is elongated by binding it while still a baby.
3. Non-Surgical Elongation – Some organs of the body like the neck and lips are stretched using weights.
4. Branding and Scarification – The skin is burned or the dermis is removed so that scars appear and form patterns.
5. Ear-Shaping – The ears are made to look like elves’ ears.
6. Yaeba – The result are crooked teeth by capping or misalignment.

Choosing the Right Type of Jeans

When choosing a new pair of jeans, you should be aware of the body type you have. This doesn’t refer to the waistline alone, which should also be kept in mind, but to the structure of your torso. The build is classified into three types; slim, medium and heavy.

Another thing to consider is your height. Taller people look good in most regular and straight leg jeans. Shorter people should consider medium or high rise jeans and straight leg cuts. With those factors in mind, let’s look at the different types of jeans.

Types of Cut

1. Straight Cut has equal leg width from waist to leg openings.
2. Slim Fit was designed to accentuate the thighs and buttocks.
3. Skinny was designed to be tight-fitting from top to bottom so that the shape of the legs can be seen.
4. Relaxed Fit is almost similar to straight cut but is slightly wider at the thighs.
5. Boot Cut was designed to accommodate the wearing of boots that is why the space is wider below the knees.
6. Flare Leg has a wide cut below the knees but fits waist and thighs snugly.
7. Stretch are tight-fitting to create the illusion that the person has toned buttocks and thighs and a flat stomach.
8. Loose Fit accentuates the buttocks and fit the waist snugly but the legs have a straight cut.
9. Capri has leg openings just below the knee. They are longer than shorts.
10. Cropped or Cuffed are longer than capri. Cropped hides three-fourths of the legs while cuffed has folded leg openings.

Types of Rise

Rise refers to the distance between the waist and the crotch of the jeans.
1. Low Rise jeans sits low or below the hips.
2. Medium Rise jeans sits slightly higher on the waist.
3. High-Waisted jeans sits high on the waist and can hide big bellies.

Types of Wash
1. Raw Denim is unwashed, stiff, and dark in color.
2. Acid Wash uses pumice stones and chlorine so that there is a contrast in the color of the fabric.
3. Rinse Wash softens the fabric ad washes off residual dye. Applying starch strengthens the warp.
4. Mid Wash removes more dye in the fabric than rinse wash. The fabric becomes soft and has a light blue color.
5. Light Wash creates a very light blue color because the washing process is longer.
6. Dirty Wash creates a well-worn or distressed jeans. There is a yellow or brown tint.
7. Stone Wash washes dried jeans in a washing machine with volcanic rocks or pumice stone so that the material looks faded.
8. Bleach Wash uses bleaching products to alter the blue shade of the fabric.
9. Black or Grey uses a different dye than the indigo-colored jeans.
10. All-Over Tinting is done to make changes in the indigo hue. Direct dye is used and then fixed.
11. Coated Denim uses a coating of polyurethane to make the fabric last longer.
12. Vintage Finishing has a worn look. The fabric is sprayed with bleach, scraped, and then whiskered.

How to Care for Diamond Jewelry

Diamonds are an investment. Precious gems increase in value over time. If you’re planning to sell some of your items in the future, you need to keep them in good condition. Here are the ways to keep your diamonds shiny for years.

Inspect for Damages

Before placing your diamond in a jewelry box, inspect the item for scratches. If the stones are loose, don’t wear the jewelry again until you’ve taken it to a jeweler for repairs. Check the mounting, prongs, setting and the luster of the gem.

Correct Jewelry Box

Any expensive jewelry such as diamonds should be stored in a fabric-lined case. If possible, each piece should be placed separately from the others to prevent damages. Diamonds can scratch other gems when the clasps and chains get tangled. Remember that diamonds are considered the hardest gems so they should be placed separately to protect other gems.

Travel Case

You can place your jewelry in fabric pouches or wrap each one in tissue paper and then place them in a small bag. There are also smaller jewelry boxes made for traveling. Always pick the design with individual compartments.

Avoid Oil and Grease

While diamonds are easy to clean because they’re durable, they could attract grease and oil. Don’t spray on your oil-based perfume while you’re wearing your jewelry. Use the scent before you put your diamonds on. As a general rule, you should apply all cosmetics and body products first before wearing your jewelry.

Take it Off

Don’t use your jewelry while you’re working out, cleaning, or performing any strenuous task. Not only are they distracting but you could damage the stones and the metal with the chemicals from external sources and from your body. Take off your jewelry when you go swimming. You could lose the piece and damage the metals.

Cleaning Diamonds

Diamonds are tough so there is no need to take it to a professional cleaner if you handle it properly. You can soak the jewelry in mild soap and water overnight then wipe with a soft cloth. The problem, however, is how to clean the type of metal used, the setting of the jewelry, and the other gems used in the piece. Avoid using bleach, ammonia-based cleaning solutions, abrasives and strong detergents as a general rule.

Annual Cleaning

If the jewelry isn’t made up of just diamonds, you can take it to a professional jewelry cleaner once a year for thorough cleaning and repairs. There are other options you can do at home besides wiping with cloth or soaking it in soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are convenient, but the process could damage other gems and some jewelry settings. Ask your jeweler for recommendations.

Fresh and Easy Ways to Style Your Jumpsuit

 

Offering the same level of chicness and ease of dressing as your favourite dress, jumpsuits are the best alternative to your staple dresses. The problem though is there’s only a handful of times where you can repeatedly wear this clothing piece and get away with. While getup repetition isn’t a crime, we all definitely want to make the most out of our purchases. With that in mind, we listed down six stylish ways for you to wear your jumpsuit.

  1. Pair it With Your Office Basics

Breathe new life to your staple work ensemble by pairing them up with your favourite jumpsuit. Switch your usual pencil skirts and tailored trouser to a pair of comfortable and elegant culottes jumpsuit.

  1. Give it Some Feminine Touch

A black jumpsuit doesn’t need to be paired with sullen-coloured clothing pieces. In fact, you can wear it with bow blouses or blush-toned statement tops to pull off a lady-like and polished look.

  1. Belt It

It’s crucial that you avoid losing your figure when wearing a jumpsuit. Make use of the jumpsuit’s belt or add your own choice of belt to define your waist. Cinching your jumpsuit right at the waist will help in giving you that curvy look, thus adding some femininity in your ensemble.

  1. Pull Off a Stylish Weekender Look

Cap off your vacation mood by wearing an easy pair of jumpsuit. Simply layer on an oversized denim jacket or a long vest and you already have a comfy and stylish ensemble perfect for that weekend getaway that you’ve been waiting for.

  1. Style it in a Sporty, Casual Way

The easiest way to sport a jumpsuit is to wear it like your favourite bottoms. Simply slip on a cosy hoodie or sweater, and you’ll be ready to run errands throughout the day, while still staying in style.

  1. Don it as Your Night Out Ensemble

Jumpsuits aren’t only meant for office and casual day outs. They can also make for a chic night out ensemble. Considered as a great alternative to your little black dress, a jumpsuit layered with lace tops is definitely a perfect getup for a night full of cocktails and dancing.

Stylishly wearing a jumpsuit isn’t rocket science – you can just don it and go. However, knowing what accessories and layering pieces to wear with this closet staple will definitely help showing your personal style and taking your jumpsuit styling to a whole new level.

Surprising Alternative Uses for Micellar Water

 

Micellar water has been making some noise in the beauty world lately. This French pharmacy beauty staple is slowly becoming a gentle alternative to chemical-based cleansers formulated to draw out impurities from your face without stripping off its natural oil, leaving your skin perfectly hydrated and supple. Aside from keeping your face free of any makeup and grime accumulation, micellar water also has other amazing uses and some of those uses are as follows:

  1. Skin Mist

When you’re under the prickling heat of the sun, easily spritz a good amount of your micellar water to lift off the dirt from your skin, and keep it hydrated and fresh. This also works as a refreshing cleansing wipe after sweating out in the gym.

  1. Makeup Brush Cleaner

Perhaps you already know that you need to clean your makeup brushes once a week to get rid of acne-causing dirt and product build-up. To help you with that, simply pour a good amount of your micellar water into a cup and individually swirl your makeup brushes (careful not to wet the brush handles). Once you’re done, just leave your brushes dry out.

  1. Makeup Stain Remover

Run out of your trusted makeup stain remover? Worry not, since micellar water can do the trick. All you’ve got to do is soak a cotton ball or tissues with the cleanser and dab it on the stained area. Just be extra careful in using it on delicate fabrics like silk and lace.

  1. False Eyelashes Remover

We know just how much ripping off your falsies sting, and fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Since micellar water is a makeup remover, you can simply soak up a cotton pad with it and gently it onto your eyelids to remove your lash adhesive. An easy and pain-free falsies remover!

  1. Hand Wash

If you’re blessed with sensitive skin and is afraid that using rubbing alcohol could dry up your hands, then opt to wash your hands with your micellar water. Just a few drops of it is already enough to clean your hands the way it cleanses your face.

Micellar water works wonders as a facial cleanser, but it can definitely do more than just rid your face off makeup and dirt. So be sure to keep your micellar water handy to save yourself from all the stresses of holding your makeup look together to keeping all your beauty tools clean.

Maximizing Parental Control Over Social Media

 

Many people say that this is the “social media” era. The world has become a place where everything is influenced by social media. No one can underestimate its grasp. What is good about social media is the easy proliferation of information. However, the bad side is how this information will be used. Everyone has the responsibility to use information for good causes.

Speaking of bad side, when children are being exposed to social media, they tend to overdo it especially without parental guidance. Many Singaporean parents are showing concern. With this, it is important that you think about maximizing your parental control over social media. How will you do this? First, you have to curb their usage of the most popular social media platform on earth – Facebook.

Here is a guide in restricting Facebook access to your children’s smartphones:

On their iPhones

If your children have iPhones, you have to know everything about it. Do not let your kids know more than you do because if that is the case, they will simply adjust the restriction and you will end up just fooling yourself.

Go to “Settings” under the “General” section. Look for the “Restrictions” button and then choose “Enable Restrictions” (this is just on top of the screen). Once you are here, do not be surprised as you will be prompted to set up 4-digit passcode. Slide the button to “Off”. If you do not want your children to install Facebook, just tap the “Installing Apps” to “Off”.

On their Android

If your children are using Android phones, you can also restrict Facebook access. You just need to open the “Google Play Store”. Look for the “Application Settings” and then set PIN for purchases. This is effective as your child cannot install apps that you do not approve (in this case including Facebook).

If you want to make sure, you can choose to avail an app that has the power to lock or block other apps. At the end of the day it is your choice.

Note that the tips provided above are for smartphones. What will happen if your children are out and you cannot monitor their usage in school or other places? The best thing that you can do is to explain why you need to restrict or curb their usage. You need to teach your children how to behave safely and appropriately on the internet regardless of the platform they use so whether you are there or not, they will know how to handle it.

Paving the Way to More Peaceful Sleep: A Guide to Preparing Kids for Bed

 

At a young age, kids should know the importance of sleep for their mental and physical development. It is the duty of the parents to instil this importance. But sometimes kids to not just sleep no matter how badly you want it. They are active and sensitive that you cannot just put them to sleep. If you have troubles putting your kids to sleep, it is high time that you think about a bedtime routine.

Bedtime routine will keep your kids disciplined and you will not worry about them oversleeping or exhausted. However, you need to pave way and help the kids prepare for sleep. This is not so hard. Here are some tricks that you can administer:

  • Do not let them watch media: When it is near bedtime, do not let your kids watch media especially scary ones. You have to know that children below 6 are fear-reactive. This means that if they see something weird, they will be bothered. Avoid exposing them to television at least ninety minutes before their sleeping time.

 

  • Quiet down: If kids hear their environment active, they tend to go with the vibe as well leading to exhaustion. If it is near bedtime, make an effort to quiet down. Book reading, lullaby and massage always do the trick. If your kid wants a cuddle, you should give it. For parents who are breastfeeding, a quiet surrounding is peaceful – a beautiful moment.

  • Give positive attention: Sometimes when kids are little difficult to put to sleep, you tend to consider negative attention. Kids appreciate positive attention. Before going to sleep, make an effort to say how much you love him/her or what a beautiful day it was and then more good things to look forward to tomorrow. Never underestimate what positive attention can do because it can make a big difference at the end of the day.

 

  • Be a good company: When getting your kid to sleep gets awry, you tend to be frustrated especially if you are tired. You will find it hard to deal with him/her gently. Your goal should be to see your kid happily settle and your words should be calm and your demeanour is kind.

 

  • Respond: Sometimes kids have night mares and it is normal for them to cry or call out. When this happens, always respond. This is so they will know they are not alone and you are always there for them.

 

Parents here in Singapore should know these.

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