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.

4 Skincare Products Every Guy Should Have

There’s every reason for guys to start worrying about their face – not only does proper and regular skin care help to maintain your appearance, but it could also delay a lot of skin conditions that can be brought about by constant exposure to UV rays and aging, such as premature wrinkles, dryness, dark spots, and dark circles and eye bags.

If you’re a guy who happens to just be starting outinto skin care, here are four products that you should have in your skincarekit at all times:

1. Facial Cleanser

Unlike the rest of your body’s skin, your facial skin is extra sensitive and needs special care for it to stay glowing. Washing with a bar of soap, even if the soap is hypo-allergenic, can have a negative impact on your facial epidermis and leave it dry.

Using a facial cleanser to clean your face is much better as it’s specifically formulated to suit the purpose of whisking away dead skin cells without stripping your upper skin’s layers of much-needed moisture.

As much as possible, avoid facial cleaners thatcontain alcohol as they will only strip away the moisture from your skin.

2. Moisturizer

Moisturizers are a must-have for any guy with dry skin, but keep in mind that not all are made equal. In fact, many are filled with all kinds of toxic and skin damaging chemical agents that only end up making your skin worse than what you intend it to be.

To make sure you get the best deal on yourmoisturizers, look for bottles that are “non-comedogenic” (this means that theydon’t cause acne and zit breakouts) and don’t have a lot of chemicals listed intheir ingredients.  

3. Facial Scrubs

Exfoliating scrubs allow you to get the good skin cells out into the open and gives you a deeper clean to get rid of any dirt and dead skin cells that could block your pores and cause pimple or acne breakouts.

As with the other products, make sure to use a particular facial scrub that cleans without stripping away your facial skin of all the essential moisture, oils, and nutrients that keep it healthy.

4. Facial Mask

While this may seem excessive (or even silly) at first, more and more facial masks have started appearing in the market that are specifically designed for men’s skin to achieve the same effects as women’s face masks.

Make sure to get a face mask that has both bentonite and kaolin clay, which evens out your skin tone while at the same time removes any excess oils. Other ingredients that you should look for in a facial mask include aloe vera, chamomile, green tea, and vitamin E, to name a few.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

Everything You Need to Know About Cats

Cats are becoming a more popular breed in Singapore, and more people are opting to getting one. There are as many as forty recognized cat breeds in Singapore that are recognized internationally, and many more are a genetic mix of any two or more of the forty.  

When considering a cat to add some company to your home, it’s important as a future owner to know everything to know about your future pet.

Choosing a Cat

It’s highly important that you do extensive research when looking to get a pedigree or purebred cat. Avoid buying purebreds unless the breeder has years of experience in using ethical methods, and is extremely careful when it comes to choosing breeding stock.

Street cats, meanwhile, are plentiful in Singapore, and are likely to be mix of different types of genes. They are less susceptible to certain genetic diseases and have a more robust immune system because of their genetic diversity, which in turn makes them much better companions.  

Consider adopting more than one cat only if you havethe time and energy to take care of all of them.  

Introducing Your Cat to Your New Home

If you recently adopted a street cat, you might have to employ measures to make sure that your pet doesn’t leave the house for a while. Eventually, your cat will grow used to his/her new home and stop trying to leave.

Your New Cat’s Habits

Cats like to sleep during the day, and they can sleep pretty much anywhere (though they often like to sleep on high, hard-to-reach areas). This is because they are crepuscular predators by nature, meaning that they prefer to do their hunting early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when their prey is often asleep or just about to.

While there is little difference between sterilized maleand female cats, the former are more likely to be territorial.

Feeding Your Cat

Cats are carnivores, which means that their diet should be mostly meat.

However, you can’t just dump anything onto your pet’s plate – cats are surprisingly picky when it comes to food. If you have to purchase cat food for your cat, be sure to focus on the nutrients themselves, which is why reading the label is often really important.  

How much you’re feeding your cat is also a thing to consider, as overfeeding can be a thing. The average amount of calories cats should consume per day falls roughly around two hundred calories, but the exact amount really depends on your cat’s type, size, age, and how active your cat is.

Most cats often hunt their prey early in the morning or late in the afternoon, which would make these times the best time to feed them.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

How to Restore Old Wooden Furniture in 5 Easy Steps

While it’s true that a build-up of dirt and grime can make furniture lose their former appearance over time, you can still save them with the right tools and materials.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Observe proper safety!
Thick gloves, a dust mask, and a work apron (along with long sleeves and proper protective eyewear) will be your best friends for all things related to woodworking, especially since you’re using varnish that will produce noxious fumes.

You should also do this in a place with good ventilation. If you can, re-finish all pieces of old furniture outside so that the fumes will disperse instead of lingering in your home.

2. Know the type of finish used for the furniture.
The next step to restoring old furniture is knowing what kind of finish was used for it.

While natural finishes, such as varnish or lacquer, are hard to identify with sight alone, you can usually get a good idea on what it is by applying a small amount of denatured alcohol to a small area.

If it comes off, the coating is shellac. If it takes lacquer thinner, the finish is probably lacquer. If neither of these work, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a varnish.

3. Clean and re-amalgam.
After identifying the type of finish used, it’s time to start cleaning and re-amalgamating.

Scrub wood, rattan, and wicker surfaces with an oil-based wood cleaner to get through any dirt and wax on the surface, which should bring back some of the finish’s original luster. If this doesn’t work, use a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Because finishes can develop scratches over the years (which dulls wood surfaces), you need to re-amalgam them using a solvent to even out the imperfections. Next, buff it with steel wool along the wood grain.
Keep in mind that re-amalgamation only works for shellac or lacquer finishes and not varnish.

4. Strip off the old finish.
Strip away old finish by using a stripping formula – the more layers, the tougher the formula you will need – and applying it from top to bottom. Wait for twenty minutes before scraping with a scraping tool.

Switch to a liquid stripping formula for the last bit, and use a steel wool for carvings and corners.

5. Apply a new finishing coat.
Before proceeding to the last step, it’s important to make the much-needed repairs, such as filling in cracks or fixing any broken areas in the upholstery. But if there are no needed repairs to make, you can proceed to the re-finishing.

Do this by sanding the piece first with a rough grit sandpaper. Clean up any remaining dust on the surface before applying your finish with a natural-bristle brush, and then leave overnight before sanding it down again with finer-grit sandpaper.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

5 Crucial Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Eyeglasses

You may have had your glasses for years and still think you see perfectly clear with them, but there’s a good chance you may not have noticed that your vision isn’t as great as when you first got your pair of lenses.

So when you start to take notice of the following signs, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with your optometrist:

1. Headaches
Recurring headaches is perhaps the most overlooked factor people notice, but it’s the most telling sign that you need to change your lenses.

This happens because while you’re actually seeing things slightly more blurry than usual over time, your brain compensates for this and tries to correct the problem. The result is that your brain expends energy correcting your vision, and you get headaches.

2. Squinting
Another sign that you need to replace your glasses is if you find yourself squinting to focus on objects. This is especially true if you’re nearsighted and need to see distant objects clearly. But what you don’t realize is that this does more damage over time.

In fact, squinting actually forces your eyes to focus, which adds more strain on them, and if you find this more likely to happen when you’re reading or a book or using a computer, then you’re due for a prescription change.

3. Blurred Vision
Having blurred vision is less obvious at first since you don’t notice this right away. However, you will eventually notice a moment when your vision is suddenly blurred even with glasses on.

If this is the case, you will need to see your optometrist to determine whether you need a prescription change or treatment for other conditions that cause significant changes to your vision, such as cataracts.

4. Eye Fatigue
While this can be caused by a lot of other factors (such as a lack of sleep or seasonal allergies), they usually only last a day or two at most. Persistent eye fatigue, meanwhile, is a common symptom caused by having outdated prescription lenses.

IF you’re experiencing eye fatigue more frequently than you used to, having a prescription change may be due in order to relieve some of the strain.

5. Lens Scratching
Wear and tear is also a huge factor for needing a regular prescription upgrade. Even though scratches on your lenses may seem un-obtrusive at first, they could significantly affect your vision and increase the amount of eye strain you experience.

The same can also be said for glasses with special coatings or outdated features, such as those designed for anti-UV or for glare reduction. In fact, if your glasses are longer than two years old, you should have them replaced with a prescription that suits your needs.