Category Archives: Lifestyle

Ideas for Family Weekend Gatherings

family having a meal togetherHow do you spend your weekend? Do you make sure that there is something for the family to do the whole day or even a special treat towards the evening? Here are some nice yet inexpensive ways to spend quality time with the family:

Go out for dinner

Surprise your family by asking them to dress for a simple dinner at one of the pubs in Tunbridge Wells. You can even invite your close neighbours and have a drink or two with them while the kids enjoy their food. It can also be a great place for special occasions—celebrating a birthday or one of your child’s achievements at school.

Movie marathon weekend

There may be times that you just want to spend the whole day at home, lounging in your favourite chair or seeing the kids play in the garden. Why not make it extra special by whipping up their go-to snacks or grilling some burgers then sit down for a movie marathon? Get a list of movies that you know your family will love. Bring in the popcorn and enjoy a simple day at home with your loved ones.

Schedule a family portrait

The weekend is the ideal time to get a family portrait. Contact a professional photographer to get your family photo. You can plan to drop by the photographer’s studio and have fun with costumes and make-up. It is one way to catch up with your teenage kids who have been busy with their friends for past weekends. After the family portrait, treat them to a nice lunch or dinner.

There are varied ways to enjoy your weekend with the family without spending too much. A simple family lunch or dinner is an opportunity for parents and children to celebrate or just enjoy. It just takes a little imagination and planning to create an enjoyable weekend.

Making Life Easier: 4 Good Reasons to Shop Online

girl online shoppingThe emergence of the Internet has revolutionized many things, including the way people shop. Consumers now have the option to purchase the things they need or want by simply ordering those online. But that is not the only reason many people are adopting this type of shopping. Online shopping, in fact, offers more advantages, including the following:


The biggest perk of online shopping is convenience. It takes off the hassles of queuing in line as well as going from shelf-to-shelf to find what you need. By buying online, you could comfortably do your shopping anytime and anywhere.


One great benefit of online shopping is you get to have countless options to choose from. You are not limited to looking at four to five brands and styles. You can search and browse as many brands, types, and models you want. If you are looking to buy women’s clothing online, for instance, you can practically find all – from classic dresses to basic office clothing to casual tops – on the net.

Good prices

Items in online stores are generally more affordable than those in physical stores. This is because most of the goods here come from the manufacturers themselves. They do not need to pay any additional fee, which is often required if the items are displayed in physical shops because of sales tax.

Monitor expenses

As you go and shop in a physical store, you may end up buying things that are not on your list. Because of this, you spend more and go over your budget. However, when you do it online, you may simply search for the items, order them right away, and avoid any impulse purchase since you are only searching for the things you need.

Online shopping has indeed provided people great advantages on their overall experience in getting and buying the things they need. However, as a responsible consumer, you must remain alert and careful when making transactions online to avoid frauds.

Man stressed at work

Workplace Stress Analysis in Singapore: An Overview

Man stressed at workSingapore is one of the few Asian nations that enjoy an excellent ranking in economic growth and productivity. It ranked fifth in the 2016 Human Development Report, and it consistently scores high in terms of healthcare, education, safety, and fiscal policies.

The island nation, however, also suffers from a worsening work-related stress. This short study highlights the severity of the problem, its business impact, and strategies to address the challenge:


Researchers used data from two recent reports— ‘Work in Asia: Key HR and Leadership Priorities for 2016’ by Roffey Park, a leadership institute for the past 70 years and ‘2017 APAC Benefits Strategy Study’ by Aon, one of the world’s leading financial institutions.

The researchers then correlate them with the recommendations of International Labour Organization (ILO) for the study’s conclusion.


In the Work in Asia report, about 52% of its respondents revealed an increased level of workplace-related stress over the past six months. This made Singaporean workers more exhausted than their counterparts, particularly China and Hong Kong. About 40%claimed their stress levels remained the same, while only 8% said it decreased.

One of the primary reasons for Singapore’s increased stress levels was their long working hours. Many workers spent 41 to 50 hours in their jobs. About 27%, meanwhile, worked 51 to 60 hours. The country also reported the highest number of employees working for over 60 hours a week.

Increased workplace stress is affecting productivity levels, said 72% of employers polled in the Aon study. Unfortunately, no more than 55% of them had health-related programmes.

Although the effects of workplace-related stress are different for both employees and businesses, the researchers believe that the endpoint remains the same: it is detrimental. There is, therefore, a need to mitigate the risk factors that drive these stress levels.

Possible Solutions

To solve this growing problem, employers may refer to the guidelines and recommendations of ILO. These include providing enough time for rest breaks, flexible time arrangements, and periods of leisure, days off, and holidays. A good choice, for example, could be offering Singapore attraction tickets to employees as an incentive. This shows that they are encouraged to relax not only by themselves, but with their family members. Gift checks from different establishments are ideal, too.

As more people in Singapore are suffering from work-related stress, it is best for employers to find a way to reward everyone in their company. Otherwise, they could suffer from low productivity and revenue.

Buying a Vacation Home: What You Need to Know

Beautiful vacation homeMost people abandon their dream of a vacation home because of the rising housing prices. Home costs, however, have stabilized in recent years, so now maybe the best time to make your dream a reality.

The first step when looking for a vacation home for sale in Rockport is to check a reliable property listing site. Pick a location, think about how far you would want your home to be, and decide on what you are looking for in your vacation home.

Here are some other important tips to help make your vacation home acquisition hassle-free:

Understand your tax implications

Taxes for vacation homes are unlike your first home. Should you consider renting the vacation home, there are taxes to pay on your rental income. Check the tax restrictions for the area you want to buy property. A qualified agent can furnish you with the tax details and give your tips on how to save.

Rent before buying

Before buying a vacation home, rent the place for about two weeks. This will help you understand the crowd and weather patterns to make sure it’s a perfect fit for you. Some people eventually move into their vacation homes after retirement so you should ensure you enjoy the place.

Have realistic expectations

The primary motivation for buying a vacation home is vacationing. Some investors, however, buy homes for rent to get extra income. Rental income is very unpredictable and should not be a motivation for buying the home. You should be able to afford the maintenance costs and mortgage payments of the home without renting it out.

You can easily get swayed by the real estate opportunities on offer when shopping for a home. Keep your budget in mind and be armed with proper research. A vacation home will be your best investment for endless fun getaways with your friends and family if purchased wisely.

5 Qualities to Look for in Professional Beauty Salons

Busy day on a beauty salonBeauty salons do more than help men and women have gorgeous hair. These days, salons also offer rejuvenating day spa treatments and other relaxing services. If you are looking for professional hairdressers here in Tauranga, you should find a professional full-service beauty salon.

To help you find the right one, look for these top qualities.

Offers a Wide Range of Beauty Services

A good beauty salon provides a variety of services for clients. Aside from specialised hairstyling and colouring services, look for a salon that also offers other treatments like waxing, beauty therapies, and nail art services.

Instead of going to different places for a relaxing spa treatment and a haircut, you can go to just one place. It maximises your time, so you do not have to set an appointment for another day.

A Team of Highly Trained Experienced Stylists

Research online or ask your friends about hairdressers in different salons. Know how long they have been styling hair, and if they received training in beauty schools. Experienced stylists are more likely to understand what kind of look you are going for.

Take note of feedback from satisfied customers who also come back to the salon.

Polite and Professional Staff

It is always a pleasure to go to a salon with friendly and professional staff. After all, nobody wants to walk in a beauty parlour without feeling welcomed. You can feel comfortable with a hair stylist if they treat you well and actually go out of their way to provide quality service.

Clean and Organised Work Stations

It is very important to check if the salon is spotless and well maintained. If the place does not seem to prioritise hygiene and cleanliness, think twice. You do not want to catch any allergies or infections when you have your hair or nails done.

Moreover, going to a badly kept salon may not guarantee a relaxing experience.

Keep these qualities in mind the next time you look for a beauty salon. Aside from finding the right hairdressers in Tauranga, you can enjoy a quality spa and beauty treatments at a professional full-service salon.

These Little-Known Facts about Bamboo Will Surprise You

Bamboo fenceBamboo is very popular for its multiple uses. Other than its natural beauty, it is also sustainable and durable. It's no wonder this plant is one of the most preferred sources of raw materials for a variety of products.

A good example is the bamboo duvet cover. Cozy Earth shares some facts about the plant that you may not be aware of:

The World’s Fastest-Growing Plant

Many people think that bamboo is a tree. It is not. It is, in fact, a type of grass. As such, it grows at a rapid pace. It can grow into a mature plant in three to five years.

Great Wood Alternative

Bamboo is lightweight and flexible. It is stronger than most hardwoods and even steel. It is also less expensive than wood. In fact, it is among the cheapest construction materials available. You can use it as replacement for any type of construction wood.

Vital Role in Preserving the Earth’s Atmosphere

Bamboo plants produce 30% more oxygen than trees. As such, they have a crucial role in maintaining the atmosphere’s oxygen and carbon dioxide balance. Bamboo self-generates as well. This means it doesn’t have to be replanted. You can harvest mature bamboo every 3 years or more.

Fast and Versatile Growth Cycle

Bamboo is kind to the environment. Unlike wood that you can harvest after a long wait of 20-50 years, bamboo is ready to harvest in as little as three to five years. What’s more, it yields as much as 20 times more than timber.

Ancient Medicine

In Asia, the use of bamboo in herbal medicine dates back to thousands of years. It is often used for its astringent and tonic properties. Bamboo is likewise known for being an aphrodisiac. Many of the ancient remedies are still part of various healthcare products today.

These are just some of the many interesting things about the bamboo plant that not too many people are aware of. Knowing these facts can help you see the plant in a different light.

The Secret to Serving Beef

Classic french dip au jus or beef dip with friesIn most things, simplicity is key. The same applies when you're handling beef. As a popular meat choice in most restaurants, beef is prepared in several ways. You may be following a decades-old family recipe or coming up with unique ones, but whatever the case, you need to know these secrets to preparing and serving beef: 

Give It a Complementary Sauce 

Beef is tasty enough on its own. You do not need to bury its natural flavor in a variety of herbs–although they can, of course, be used to enhance the flavors. You'd do well to serve beef in a sauce or beef au jus, though. Everything you serve with beef should complement its taste so that the customer's taste buds will not be overwhelmed. 

Choose the Right Cut 

There are thousands of ways to prepare beef, and each one requires a certain cut. Even if you are serving a steak, you still need to choose from several varieties. Each one cooks and tastes differently because of the fat content or presence of bone or marrow. These differences will affect your dish, so you can't just choose any cut blindly. Here's a guide to choosing the right cut of beef for your dish if you don't know where to start. 

Cook at the Right Temperature 

Customers can be very particular with the doneness of the meat. You do not want to serve them a portion cooked rare if they requested for a medium-rare steak. Pay attention to the cooking time required to reach each level of doneness, and regularly check if your steak is already cooked right. You do not want to ruin that cut of wagyu beef by overcooking it. 

When preparing beef, you need to show respect to the cut of meat. Make sure you know how to prepare it properly. 

Take it Easy: Don’t Become a Bridezilla

Wedding DressIt is perfectly understandable that you want your wedding to be perfect. This does not mean, however, that is fine to make unrealistic demands or throw tantrums when things are not going your way. Note that you can plan for your big day better if you stay calm and learn more about your limits.

This will also help you avoid your monster bride – or bridezilla – tendencies. Here are a few other suggestions to avoid becoming Bridezilla.

Do not Demand the Wrong Dress Size

Looking good on your wedding does not always mean being slimmer of fitter. If you buy a dress that does not fit your current figure, you may be tempted to go on a strict diet, exercise more, or cancel dinner dates with your future spouse. 

Most wedding dress merchants in MI, such as The Dress Shop, note that it is fine to plan losing weight, but you still need to be realistic, in case you do not meet your goals.

Know and Stick to Your Budget

Setting and sticking to a budget is essential to avoid becoming a bridezilla. Set financial limits for the dress, venue, cake, reception, food, and other essentials. This may also mean avoiding trying on wedding dresses that exceed your budget.

You do not have to be extremely tight, but be sure not to spend more than what you and your partner agreed on.

Avoid Competing with Other Brides

If a sister or a friend previously had an extravagant wedding, you may be tempted to top that to make your event unforgettable. You do not have to compete with others, as having a memorable wedding is not about having more guests, an expensive gown, or over-the-top reception.

Keep in mind that wedding is a celebration of love, not a moment for showing off or letting others know how much you can spend.

Apart from the tips mentioned above, it is also important not to micromanage every detail of the event. It is best to listen to your loved one’s suggestions and accept if they offer help. Also, do not forget to involve your fiancé and consider what he likes, as it is his wedding too. 

Making the Most Out of Your Sydney Pub Crawl

Group of Friends in a PubYou will never get disappointed when it comes to the nightlife in Sydney. The city has no shortage of excellent bars and pubs, and with the majority of these places clumped in one area, it’s natural for party goers to visit more than one a night. How do you make the most out of your pub crawl in Sydney, though?

Plan Ahead

It’s true that spontaneity results in unexpected adventures and fun. If you want to get the most out of your time, however, it’s better if you plan a few days ahead. If you have a particular place you want to visit during the night, find out about their opening time or if they have any restrictions like a dress code.

Hire a Coach

Your night will involve alcohol, so it’s better if you have a designated driver who will not participate in the revelry to ensure you get back to your place safely. Hire a coach to drive you and your friends so everyone can join the pub crawl around Sydney. Make sure you’re going to hire from a licensed company, though. A small coach can usually accommodate 12 people.

Pace Yourself

Having a hired driver doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drink responsibly. Since you’re going to multiple bars, be sure to pace yourself. A drink in each bar might be appropriate if you want to make it to your last stop.

Satisfy Your Cravings

After a long night, you might have the urge to eat something hot, greasy, salty and delicious. Satisfy your cravings by making one last stop — seek out the best drunk food in Sydney.

Sydney has an international bar scene locals and tourists should try out. For a successful pub crawl, you should plan ahead and pace your drinking, though.

3 Reasons Why Moissanite is a Girl’s New BFF

Moissanite StonesWhen it comes to the battle of the engagement blings, two stones always make the final cut. It’s always diamonds versus Moissanite. While they say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Moissanite is shaping up to be a girl’s new BFF (best friends forever). If you’re planning to buy an engagement ring soon, here are some reasons why you should consider getting Moissanite rings.

1. Budget-Friendliness

One of the top reasons why people go for Moissanite is because of its budget-friendliness. Imagine getting a good-looking stone—and in some cases even better than diamonds—for only a fraction of the price tag. Here’s a scenario: a .5 karat diamond usually costs $1,100 or more while a classic Moissanite costs only $89.

2. Durability

Unlike other precious stones, Moissanite is as tough, hard and durable as diamonds. High durability allows them to endure the variations in temperatures in the jewelry making process. This feature also helps them stay stable even when exposed to various acids, chemicals, and solutions used in both the creation of the piece and repairs needed in the future. But what’s interesting is that Moissanite is tougher than a diamond in overall toughness, which suggests you’re getting an even better deal.

3. Custom-Made

When it comes to custom-made engagement rings, diamonds and Moissanite fare the same. You can choose from a wide variety of cuts and settings for Moissanite engagement rings, just as you would on diamond counterparts. And because Moissanite has a refractive index that is nearly twice as much as a diamond, it can sparkle more intensely.

Choosing The Right Stone

While there are many precious gems you can choose from for engagement rings, diamonds and Moissanite are the top two choices. If you’re shopping for an engagement ring soon, consider going for a Moissanite and enjoy its many great benefits.