Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Essentials of European Dining Etiquette

Couple clinking their wine glasses

Couple clinking their wine glassesThese days, if you live in Singapore, you do not have to travel to Europe to enjoy European cuisine. Modern European restaurants in Singapore allow you to enjoy delicious food. However, before you plan to have a meal alone or with your family, you need to be aware of European etiquette.

Silverware

When eating with a knife and fork, the fork should go to your left hand, while the knife should go to your right hand. The method of cutting food is similar to the continental style. You should let the index finger grip the handle without overlapping the cutting blade. With your fork, you can eat the food in small bites.

Napkins

The napkin has been an essential feature on the dining table for centuries now. Always ensure that you use a napkin when dining. Doing so prevents your clothes from being stained when food drop from your table. Once you sit at the table, the napkins will be presented with the menu. After the waiter leaves, be sure to unfold the napkin.

Your Arms

Finally, when cutting food, you can move your hands back and forth, but you should not place your elbows and forearms on the table. Nonetheless, you can rest your hands on the table.

It is essential to learn dining etiquette before stepping into any European restaurant in Singapore alone or with your loved ones. Doing so will help you have a sense of belonging as you enjoy your food without offending anyone. In the end, there is no harm in learning another culture’s dining etiquette.

For Your Inspiration: Creating an Awesome Wedding Mood Board

a brideOne of the best ways to start the wedding planning is creating a mood board. It is also called the inspiration board, this tool is a visual representation of the style and vibe you want to create in your wedding. It should help you do two things:

  1. Direct your design decisions, making it easier to filter through different options for flower arrangements, table decor, stage design, etc.; and
  2. Communicate your vision to your vendors easily.

A trusted wedding florist in Denver, Colorado shares some steps to making an awesome wedding mood board:

Describe your wedding

Mood boards are all about pictures, but before you snip images at bridal magazines or copy from Pinterest, start with words first. Your keywords will guide you in choosing photos later. As mentioned earlier, your vision board brings out the style and vibe you want to create.

Start describing your wedding in two aspects: what you want to feel during the wedding and how you want it to look like. You may want it to feel intimate and warm, and look vintage at the same time. Maybe you want a cheerful vibe and a colorful look. With these descriptions, it’s easier now to filter through photos.

Consider color and texture

Look at the words again and see which colors and textures you can associate it with. Take the example above: intimate and warm. Given these descriptions, what colors pop into your mind? What materials, fabrics, or plants bring out that intimate, warm vibe.

Your answers to these questions will help you find photos that have that particular color and texture. This is useful when talking with your wedding florist. Experts will find it easier to choose flowers based on the colors and textures you want, matching these with the season at the time of your wedding and the venue.

Look for the key elements

After considering the abstract pieces of your wedding, you can now move to the more concrete aspects of the wedding. Start collecting picture-pegs of the huge ornaments in the event, such as the ceremony arch, table set-up, and vignettes. Include the elements that are present in the event design, such as flower arrangements and linens. Of course, your keywords, and color and texture should still be your guide for this.

Mood boards are the base of your wedding planning decisions. So, sit down with your partner and have fun building your own.

Family Biking Activities Are Cooler than You Think

Family riding their bikes

Family riding their bikesParents are always looking for ways to strike a balance between allowing their kids to enjoy some time on their own and spending enough time together as a family. With that in mind, here are three fresh ways to give your kids the best of both worlds.

Early Morning Outdoor Fun

Getting some outdoor play, fresh air, and sunlight are three great reasons to spend time outdoors in the early morning. A good way to do that is to ride a bike from MADSEN Cycles with your kids. It’s a fantastic way to give them some outdoor time while still keeping them close to you. You can ride it to the park or around the neighborhood to let your kids explore their surroundings without getting lost.

Family Fitness Routine

Hop on a bike to get some exercise and take the kids with you. Have a quick ride around the block where you can let the kids jog along. You can also bring another bike with you so that you can take turns with your spouse teaching your kids how to ride a bike. This will surely tire them out, which is good because it’ll put them to bed early.

Fun Learning Activity

A family bike is a convenient form of transport during quick-errand-days. It’s the most practical vehicle for quick errands, with no fuel expense to boot. Make it a fun activity day with the kids by getting around on a bike instead of taking a larger vehicle. It’s a learning activity that practically costs nothing but is undoubtedly a lot of fun and gets things done. It’s a way for your kids to observe your day and pick up a few errand hacks from you along the way.

Family biking activities are cool parenting tricks that allow you to spend time with your kids while giving them a sense of independence. It’s an excellent way to bond with your family. Thus, get your family bike today and start the fun!

The Big Shift: How Shopping Malls Have Evolved

Couple in a mall with shopping bags

Couple in a mall with shopping bagsShopping malls aren’t what they used to be. Before, they were essentially big stores that house smaller businesses. Today, with retail competition getting more cutthroat and shoppers looking for quality goods and services, malls are no longer mere shopping centers; they’ve become lifestyle hubs.

The Dramatic Shift

The rise of e-commerce drives the chances in mall designs today. The ease of online shopping dramatically shifted the way people think about shopping. With just one click, they’re able to get the exact product they’re looking for at a price they are willing to pay. Shoppers have the added advantage of being able to compare prices from different online stores quickly. The convenience of online shopping is the very thing mall owners are up against. Thus, their strategy changed: Since they can’t compete with online convenience, mall retailers broaden customers’ shopping experience.

Lifestyle Malls

As a result, malls today offer complete downtown services with spas, salons, fitness centers, and even concert halls. Notice how modern malls often have massive glass roofs that flood the area with natural light. Some also have park-like features in their outdoor areas with cafes and restaurants where people can bring their pets.

The Addition of Commercial Green Spaces

One key factor in making shopping a lifestyle successful is the addition of green features. They make the interiors look and feel natural, laid-back, and unstaged rather than clinical and closed-off.

Architectural digests and economic magazines deduce that the addition of green spaces can help enhance the lifestyle vibe that’s crucial to the survival of the mall industry. Malls that integrate green spaces in their open or indoor areas should also invest in commercial lawn care and maintenance to maintain their pleasant aesthetics and ambiance.

Mall gardens are places where shoppers can relax; and when they are comfortable enough to lounge around longer in these spaces, they increase sale opportunities for the stores in the area. These spaces give shoppers leisure and entertainment they can’t experience online.

Malls have changed so much in the last years as they respond to the growing competition and ever-changing customer’s preferences. If you haven’t switched yet to making your shopping center a lifestyle hub, you’re most likely missing out.

Top 3 Features That Make Walk-in Tubs Perfect for the Elderly

elderly woman in a tub

elderly woman in a tubPeople with joint and mobility issues experience difficulties in their everyday lives. Taking a bath, for instance, is oftentimes inconvenient and challenging. Good thing, there are tubs designed for their unique needs.

Walk-in tubs provide the elderly and people with disabilities a convenient and comfortable bathing experience a regular tub cannot provide. Walk-in tubs for the elderly have different features to make things easier and safer. Here are some of their top features:

Door

Walk-in tubs have a door that opens and closes, located on either the side or front of the bathtub. This feature allows the user to get in and out easily and safely. In traditional tubs, you have to lift your legs, which is potentially challenging and dangerous for elders and people with mobility concerns.

Tubs with doors that open inward are watertight. For users who need to move into the tub from a wheelchair, an outward-opening door is the better option. Note, however, this type requires additional space in the bathroom.

Added Depth

Water in traditional standard tubs has an average depth of one foot, whereas walk-in tubs are about 2.5 feet deep. This added depth allows for elders to relax as they soak in the tub. The spa-like experience offered by the tub may even help ease joint and muscle discomfort. Remember that the user’s unique comfort needs are to be considered when choosing a tub.

Shower Features

Tubs have built-in shower seats that are around 17 inches tall. The seat has a textured non-slip surface for the user’s safety. Many units also have handheld showerheads for a more convenient bathing. Others feature an adjustable raised showerhead.

Many advanced walk-in tubs have various features for added comfort. Some include hydrotherapy, aerotherapy, in-line heaters, and even bubble jets.

Manufacturers and retailers offer tubs of different features, so it is wise to compare your options before buying a unit. Explore the market for different brands, models, and features to find the perfect choice.

An Expert Guide to Skiing for Beginners

ski

skiYou definitely must prepare yourself before hitting the slopes if this is your first time to ski. Skiing isn’t easy at first, and it could even cause injuries. If you’re planning to go on a trip to the snowy mountains soon, keep these things in mind:

Practice Before You Go

Practice basic ski moves like standing, balancing, and stopping. You can take a beginner’s lesson at a learning center days before or take it on the same day before you actually hit the slopes on your own. Watching video tutorials for beginners will also help.

Clothing

It’s best for beginners to wear comfortable casual ski clothing, notes pedigreeskishop.com. Wear clothes in layers instead of wearing just a piece of thick clothing. For the top and bottom, you should wear clothes that are warm and breathable, and don’t absorb moisture too much.

Boots for beginners should have soft to medium flexibility, have plastic shells (waterproofing), and have heel pads and rubber toe. The socks to pair should be made of polyester, spandex, nylon, or Merino wool.

Equipment

Most ski experts suggest that first-timers rent instead of buying their own equipment. Skis come in different types and sizes, and there’s an appropriate ski to use for a particular skill set. Remember also to follow the instructions on how to properly lock the skis to your boots as well as how to correctly handle the poles.

Other Things to Remember

  • Apply sunscreen before you ski and reapply every 30 minutes.
  • Wear protective gear like helmet, knee pads, and goggles.
  • Warm up before you start skiing and warm down before you leave.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

Skiing is fun only when you’re prepared for it. Not using the right equipment, clothing, and safety gear as well as not knowing the basics of skiing can ruin your day in the mountains.

Why Playtime is Crucial for a Child’s Development

Father teaching the son how to ride the bikeSome parents see playtime only as a way to pass the time or keep the kids distracted. But play, whether indoors or outdoors, is actually very important for a child’s growth, health, and development.

Keeps kids active and healthy

One great way to keep children active is by letting them ride around the neighborhood on their bikes, notes MADSEN Cycles. Cycling, which is a form of exercise, ensures proper function of one’s lungs and heart and also helps regulate weight. Apart from cycling, outdoor games such as rope skipping, skating, and basketball help kids gain physical muscle strength, as they jump, run, hop, and steer. They get to enjoy their surroundings and while at it, breathe fresh air and experience mild sunshine exposure.

Encourages independence

In a playground, children learn to interact and negotiate with other kids on how to share toys. Without their parents’ help, they quickly get themselves back up when they fall. Kids are able to make their own decisions on whether they want to play by themselves, who to play with, and where to set up their toys. These simple activities give the child social skills while encouraging them to exercise independence at home or at school.

Promotes learning and creativity

Activities such as painting, card games, and board games are great for brain development. The child’s brain gets challenged by trying to find the next move in a board game, for instance. Here, they also develop different but creative ways of achieving certain results. While cycling or skating, they learn to coordinate and balance in addition to maneuvering challenges like corners and bumps.

Remember to observe and accommodate your child. Children learn certain skills each one at their own pace. It is in playing the games over and over that they register progress. The values they learn here will surely serve them well into adulthood.

7 Reasons Jewelry is a Perfect Gift

Jewelry boxPeople have always loved jewelry. There’s something mesmerizing in wearing shiny and unique stones as an ornament. And the more expensive it is, the higher its appeal.

But even when it costs just a few hundred dollars, jewelry is still valued even more so if it’s given as a gift, especially if it’s personalized. A custom jewelry design in St. Louis, for example, makes the ornament the perfect gift for any occasion.

If you think about it, there are probably more people who buy jewelry for gift giving than those who do so for personal use. In fact, jewelry is one of the most popular gift items and is in turn cherished through the years. Why is this so? You might ask. Let us count the ways.

1. It’s popular but not common

Jewelry will always be on top of the list of most popular gifts, but it is not given as often as clothes or electronic devices, not usually during Christmas or birthdays. But if it’s an engagement, wedding, graduation, a silver or diamond anniversary, or even birth, then a piece of jewelry becomes the perfect gift. In short, jewelry becomes sentimental, as it marks an important occasion in the life of the recipient.

2. It doesn’t age

Unlike other gift items that will break down with the years even if they’re taken care of, jewelry will last if it receives the same good treatment. It never gets outdated; instead, it becomes more valuable as it ages.

3. It can become an heirloom

How many times have you heard of a ring or a necklace or any similar jewelry that is handed down from generation to generation?

4. It knows no age

When we talk about jewelry, it’s not just earrings or diamond rings, but all sorts of ornaments that any age group can enjoy. There are bracelets and studs for children, necklaces for teenagers, and of course, rings and the usual gems for the older ones.

5. It makes any occasion unforgettable

While it is true that jewelry is mostly given during momentous occasions, it is also a great fit for any event. It makes the occasion more memorable because of its value and status as a not-so-commonly-given gift.

6. It fits any personality

The recipient can be an extrovert or an introvert, adventurous or not. There’s a jewelry that will suit them and is sure to be appreciated.

7. It doesn’t discriminate

Unlike clothes, shoes or other accessories that will be a good fit for some but not for others, jewelry can be perfect for anybody type or skin color. It’s no wonder people of all races in most parts of the world are wearing jewelry items.

The next time an important person in your life celebrates a special occasion, you know what to give. You can be sure that it will be valued and taken care of for years to come.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Raise Your Family in Cavite

Empty classroom

Empty classroomOne of the biggest decisions we make as parents is where to raise our kids. We go to great lengths to ensure that our children get the very best. This means that we look for a place where our children can learn, play, and grow in a safe environment.

If your children are your biggest concern, Cavite may be the best place to raise your family.

Quality Education

As responsible parents, we want our kids to have the best education. St. Edward Integrated School in Cavite is a great place to build your kids’ foundation. lnc-seis.com can show you why their curriculum, facilities, staff and culture of excellence can help set your kids up for success. St. Edward Integrated School also offers its services at affordable prices so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality education for affordability. At this educational institution, you can be sure of getting both.

Safety

You want a place where your children can be children. This means that the environment should be safe enough for them to explore the outdoors and play. You’ll also want a place that has a strong police force and a committed barangay security office that ensure that you and those you love are guarded against those who try to harm them. For extra protection, Cavite also has plenty of gated subdivisions with low-cost housing that are perfect for new families.

Accessibility

Cavite has established itself as a booming center of commerce and learning. This province is the perfect balance between convenience and affordability. Being in the province means that it has a lower cost of living than Metro Manila but the area is also well-developed enough that you’ll have everything you need. You will also have access to quality public transport and roads going north or further south.

Raising a young family has its challenges, but choosing where to establish your home need not be a difficult choice. By considering the abovementioned points, you’ll be on your way into giving your loved ones the very best.

Turning On the Relax Button: Three Ways to Relax and Recharge

A woman relaxing in a massage chairEver look at yourself in the mirror and see large dark circles around your eyes? How about feeling a little heavy waking up? You don’t have a headache, but you feel like you don’t have the energy even to take a bath.

Sometimes when we are very preoccupied with work or with household chores, we often neglect the fact that our bodies and souls also need to unwind and relax. If you are feeling all of these lately, it might be signs that you need some break.

Here are some practical and simple ways to do that.

Spending Some “Me Time”

Have you ever tried spending some time alone? Pamper yourself with a bubble bath or a refreshing milk bath. Don’t have a bathtub at home? There are portable bathtubs from providers, such as Heavenly Walk In Tubs, which you can purchase for your bathing needs.

Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says doing this helps you clear your mind and puts back focus on yourself.

Eat “Mood-Boosting” Foods

When one is stressed out, there’s a tendency that they would get a spoon and help themselves to a gallon of ice cream. Some would also resort to drinking alcoholic drinks or coffee. However, some of these do not cause any good to physical well-being.

Go for healthier options, instead. Indulge yourself in healthy fruits and vegetables. Nuts and whole grains can also be a good source of nutrition.

Get Enough Sleep

Want to rid of those dark circles? Sleep. Get enough rest. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says getting enough sleep is beneficial for you mentally and physically.

It helps your brain function properly. When your mind and brain are clear, you can think properly and decide on some important life decisions.

If you want to become a better version of yourself, these three ways are not that complicated to follow.