Home Repair, Your Toolbox, and You: A Quick Guide to Tools

Problems can come up at home when you least expect them. But when you can’t afford to pay a contractor to fix them for you, your next best option is to do your home repair by yourself.

While you might take it for granted at first, having a complete all-purpose toolbox is essential for fixing all kinds of emergencies in your home in Singapore, from your electrical circuit to your plumbing.

What’s In Your Toolbox?
You can actually take on most minor jobs on your own, and all you need are the right tools to handle them properly. A complete toolbox should have the following basic items for any home construction and repair:

Tape measure
Screwdrivers/ hex keys
Utility knife
Adjustable wrench
Hammer
Markers
Putty Knife
Other essentials (WD-40, electrical tape, gaffer tape)

While these tools don’t seem like much at first, they can spell the difference between doing a job properly and not being able to do it at all.

This includes having a proper tape measure to get accurate measurements, a Phillip screwdriver or a flat one depending on the screws needed, or even an adjustable wrench to open things that you can’t with your and alone.
You can easily find them at your nearest hardware store, and even cheap ones are likely to last for a long time when given proper care. You can also choose to buy more specific tools that make repairs easier, but keep in mind that these will be more expensive.

You should also make sure to add safety gear and equipment to your toolbox to avoid any potential injuries:
Work lamp/flashlight
Work gloves
Pliers
Safety goggles
Ear muffs

Taking Care of Your Tools
Your toolbox offers great protection and storage for your tools, but there’s more to maintaining your tools than simply storing them in the right place after use. Here’s how you can take better care of them to make them last longer:

• Keep them dry. When it comes to taking care of your metal tools, water and moisture can be your biggest enemy.

• Store power tools in original cases. If you have any power tools, such as hand drills or circular saws, don’t throw away the cases they come in! They are specially designed to protect these tools.

• Use silica gel. Those gel packets you find in shoes aren’t there for no reason – take them and stuff them in your toolbox to keep them moisture-free!

• Clean tools after use. Wipe your tools down with a clean cloth to get rid of any dust, debris, or even grime or water that could stick to them

How to Take Care of Your DSLR Camera in 5 Easy Steps

The most important thing you can do with your camera is to make it last as long as you can. It may be easy to learn how to start taking amazing pictures, but not everyone can keep their camera working through proper care and maintenance.

To get the most out of your DSLR camera – and to keep it working for a long time – be sure to follow these steps:

1. Turn it off before doing anything to it.
Whether you want to swap lenses, change memory cards, or even attach or disconnect cables, switch off your camera first!

Not only is it useful for conserving batteries, but it also minimizes the risk of you accidentally ruining its circuits and lenses when you open it up.

So while it seems simple enough, it’s easy to forget when you’re really busy or accidentally stumble onto a perfect scene that you need to capture. Getting into the habit of turning your camera off will help you remember early on.

2. Invest in a cleaning kit!
DSLR cameras are expensive, but what’s more expensive is having to buy another camera because you didn’t take care of the first one properly. You can avoid this by investing in a quality cleaning kit that includes microfiber clothes, liquid solutions, and brushes.

You should also be especially careful around the LCD screen and camera lens when cleaning, since you want to avoid scratching them at all costs.

3. Don’t keep the batteries in for too long.
Old camera batteries used to leak acid. Today, this is no longer the case, but can still be corrosive to your DSLR’s circuits especially when they’re empty.

To avoid this when you plan on shelving your camera for a long time, it’s best to take out the batteries when you’re not using them. This minimizes acid leaks and keeps your batteries’ shelf life for longer.

4. Camera bags are essential.
Most people tend to stuff cameras in backpacks, suitcases, and fanny packs, but these actually make them more prone to damage since they bounce around a lot.

Cameras also scratch easily and are magnets for dust and lint, which is why there are special bags for them that address these problems. When you’re not using your DSLR, it’s best to keep it in the camera bag.

5. Take care of your memory card.
Your memory card is just as important as your camera – without them, you won’t be able to enjoy taking great photos and capturing beautiful memories.

Not only should you keep it dust-free at all times by placing it in a protective case, but you should also only remove them indoors and store them in cool places away from any magnets and electronics such as speakers and monitors.

Tips for a Better Shopping Experience in the Busy Markets of Asia

From India to Singapore to Brunei, the many open markets in Asia are buzzing with life and frantic activities. Even if there’s nothing you need to buy, the market offers a lot you can enjoy while you’re in there.

However, these tourist-targeted markets are places often teeming with fake and overpriced products. Plus, the noise of haggling customers and the number of unfamiliar items can be overwhelming. But there is no better place to experience the authenticity of a country than these open markets. As long as you know the tricks, you’ll surely score great finds and unforgettable experiences in these avenues

1. Arrive Early
By arriving early, not only will you have fewer people to compete with, the early vendors will also have better mood and more patience, giving you more chances to do a good haggle. Also, you have the opportunity to take a pick from the newer and fresher items, too.

2. Learn to Haggle
While this can be an uncomfortable thing for Westerners, haggling has been a big part in the day-to-day lives of people in most Asian countries. Approach haggling as if it’s a fun game, rather than an embarrassment. Anyway, most items in open markets are priced in a way that allows room for good haggling, so might as well take advantage of it. There’s no reason to feel bad. A vendor will not agree on a price if it causes them to lose money.

3. Beware of Fake Items
In these places you will find replicas and cheap knock offs of branded items. Sometimes, these are impeccable copies that you cannot even distinguish from the original, while other times, you’ll find “abibas” shoes or “Oaokley” sunglasses. But don’t be surprised if that cheap iPhone you got breaks after a week or the Rolex logo comes off from your watch. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is, especially when it is something digital.

4. Keep Your Things Attended
Busy markets also attract people who may see tourists as targets. Be mindful with your wallet, purchases and your bag (if possible, don’t wear backpacks) to ensure you don’t become potential prey for pickpockets. Beggars and street children frequent in these markets to target tourists, so be watchful of them.

5. Don’t Expect Clean Toilets
…if you’re lucky enough to find one. If there is, it will likely be a filthy squat toilet. When you feel like you need to pee, allow plenty of time to find one. And once you find one, you will likely have to pay a few coins to use them.

Shopping at Asian night markets surely is a lot of fun, so go ahead and dive head first into the chaos—and keep these tips in mind.

5 Beauty Products You’re Wasting Your Money On

Nowadays, we come across new beauty products almost every day, but not all of them are worth spending your money on. You worked hard for every dollar you have, and you deserve something that will give you the most benefits.
To help save your money and use them on more useful and effective products, here are some beauty items to avoid and forget about.

1. Expensive Facial Wash and Cleansers
Cleansers stay on your skin for a short time, so they rarely have much beautifying effects other than removing makeup, dirt and oil—something that any cheap cleanser can do. A more useful investment: an electronic cleansing brush. This battery-operated device has rotating brush heads to provide gentle, yet deeper skin cleansing, getting rid of dirt and oil from seated deep down the pores.

2. Facial Toner
We’ve all heard from beauty gurus to use facial toner to truly cleanse the face. However, according to dermatologists, this is quite unnecessary. That’s because the facial cleanser you washed your face with is especially formulated to not leave any product residue on your facial skin. As a result, buying a toner is something you can completely forget about.

3. Foot Mask
A mask for your feet is another unnecessary beauty expense. There is no reason why your feet would need to be masked. To keep them soft and smooth, all you need to do is to remove dead skin cells by using a scrub and regularly applying any foot cream you can find in the drugstore. Other than that, buying foot masks, especially the expensive ones, is just a waste of money

4. Body-Firming Lotion
How many times have you heard of products promising you to get firmer skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite? The sad truth is, these products will not provide you that magical solution. Even if they contain ingredients that help hydrate the skin and improves its elasticity, they will only provide temporary and minimal results. Save your money from these items and enroll for a gym membership instead.

5. Pore-Shrinking Products
Many product brands and manufacturers honestly advertise what they can do for your face—that is to temporarily minimize the appearance of pores. However, there are also some that go overboard and claim to actually reduce the size of your pores. If you hear this, do not buy it! the size of the pores depends on the genes of an individual, and nothing can change that permanently. While retinoids and AHA are dermatologist-recommended products to unclog and thoroughly cleanse the pores, they cannot shrink them nor make your skin look like that of a newborn.

Are any of these products part of your everyday beauty regimen? If so, try to gauge whether the effects justify the amount of money you’ve spent to buy them. If it tells you otherwise, you might want to save your dollars and spend them on more effective beauty items instead.

8 Reasons to Keep a Journal

Some people think that keeping a journal is unnecessary and the time that you write on it is time wasted. If you do keep a journal, you’ll know that it’s cheap and worthwhile to have one. Plus, there are a whole lot of benefits in journaling. So go and just do it!

For daily reflection
Having a journal helps promote self-awareness. The ability to examine our own conscious thoughts and feelings allow us to become more compassionate towards others. Writing on a journal can help you reflect on what kind of person throughout the day, thereby helping you become a person each day.

Idea bank
Keeping a journal can also help you remember old ideas and list new ones. From everyday activities, to hobbies you want to try out, writing your ideas in a journal prompts you to be reminded of them or at least have you plan them out.

To list goals and dreams
You can write both you short-term and long-term goals in your journal. Because you put your goals on paper, there is a greater chance that you will work hard to achieve them. You can also write your dreams for the future. Just think, “if money wasn’t a problem, what would I be doing now?” Heck, you could even write being the next prime minister of Singapore.

For safety and emergency situations
Keeping a legal document but you’re scared you might forget where you place it? Your journal is your best friend. Sometimes you may otherwise find yourself in a desperate situation and keeping a record of your experiences may be very helpful.

To make better decisions
If you’re having a hard time making decisions, you can use your journal. If it’s a decision that can significantly affect your life, you can take note of its positive and negative effects on you. You will get a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of a certain action, leading you to decide whether it’s good or not.

Keep track of your progress
Because it’s so easy to take notice of our mistakes and failures, we tend to miss our everyday triumphs and victories. Writing down your accomplishments can help you celebrate them and see how much you’ve grown and how far you are now from where you started.

Recognize problems
Of course, to get rid of problems, sometimes we have to take action. But you’ll be surprised at how therapeutic it can be to write your problems down, like taking a heavy burden off your shoulders and releasing it all on paper. After that you could even choose to tear off and burn that paper as a metaphor of getting rid of your problems.

Spark creativity
A journal isn’t necessarily made only with words. A journal can contain pictures, drawings, whatever you can think of really. You could just be scribbling and doodling on your journal, and later on notice you actually already have a piece of art on paper.

What Men Should Do on a First Date

With popular dating apps in Singapore like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, it’s becoming very easy to get a date. But in those apps, you won’t get to know the person physically. So, you arrange to meet and then comes the all-important, yet nerve-wracking ‘first date’. Here then are some things you should do to leave a good impression with your date.

Dress comfortably
Of course, the preparation before the date is essential. Wear clothes you’re comfortable with and you know look good on you so that you won’t have unnecessary concerns. For instance, don’t do a hairstyle just because its trendy. You’ll face a huge problem if it doesn’t look good on you. Considering it’s the first date, there should be no problem dressing casually and being yourself.

Pick a comfortable place
When planning for a date, try to pick a place that provides a comfortable atmosphere, both for you and your date. Go take a stroll at the Henderson Waves, or maybe even listen to some music at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Make sure it’s a place where she can also feel safe.

Don’t be late
Being on time is already a given, not just in dating. When you get there early, you’ll be able to prepare yourself and shake off any feelings of nervousness. Plus, it’s not very ideal to get someone waiting, they might eventually think that they’re wasting their time expecting you.

Be honest
Be honest with yourself and don’t try to pretend just so your date will like you. If you’re faking things, it will most likely come out unnatural, hence you’re only playing yourself. Likewise, if you’re having a lot of fun, don’t hesitate to say it. Your date will appreciate it since you’re being truthful enjoying their company.

Manners maketh man
When its pouring, hold an umbrella up for her, open doors for her, maybe even pick her up from her place if you can. Doing small acts of chivalry will definitely impress your date, even if you’d think its corny and old school. To put it simply, be a gentleman.

Avoid using your phone
Using your phone is a big no-no when having a date. If the girl is talking and you’re on your phone, it only shows that you don’t pay attention to her. Not only does it show that you’re uninterested, it also gives her the impression that you won’t take things seriously. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore a call from your mother or boss. Simply remember to be courteous.

End the date properly
At the end of the date, make sure to say you’ve had a good time. But, pointing back to being honest, you don’t necessarily have to say this. If you didn’t really get to click with your date, don’t immediately say it negatively. Instead, be polite and still thank her for meeting you.