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About Me Once you have made a list of business you want to get into, you will want to research each one so that you can see a few different things and will be able to compare the choices. It does not matter if the business is going to be in the US or in Singapore you need to be sure to make the right business choice that is going to work for you. One thing that you will want to compare is the startup cost. The next thing that you will want to compare would be the potential for the business.

Some Easy Tips You Can Learn to Haggle Better

Are you tired of having to deal with fixed high prices as an expat or a tourist? Then why not haggle instead?
It’s an open secret that most people don’t really pay the price on the label, but negotiate for a better deal. In many parts of the world, haggling isn’t just a skill, but a way of life.

Haggling politely is also a good way to practice your interpersonal skills when it comes to things that can be agreed on by everyone. Here are some tips you can learn to help you get started:

1. Learn the culture
For an outsider, whether just visiting as a tourist or getting used to the new culture as an expat, nothing beats firsthand experience. Spending time with the locals can not only immerse you better in the culture, but vendors will remember you and may give you better deals in the future.

If it helps you learn faster, try to speak the language – this allows you to interact much better, and maybe even gain better insight than if you didn’t speak the language.

2. Don’t rush—enjoy the process
Haggling isn’t a competition or an argument – it’s a way for both parties to get the best deal on a particular transaction. No one likes to deal with a person with a bad attitude, so be sure to smile and be friendly. That way, even if it turns out that you can’t get the deal you’re looking for with that vendor, at least you get to enjoy the process.

3. Know what’s appropriate to haggle on (and when)
Everyone knows that not everything can be haggled, and these things can be different from place to place. Spending time to know the people can be a great way for you to know which things can be haggled, and which things can’t. Most of the time, these things are usually universal, such as food prices.

4. Don’t drive too hard a bargain—but don’t be too soft, either
Vendors are more likely to refuse to sell you their products if you set an amount that’s lower than half their asking price. However, they’re also likely to charge you a higher price if you’re uncertain.

When haggling for a lower price, it’s important to be assertive and yet flexible at the same time. This is what makes it mentally taxing. To get a better feel for this, practice first on low-priced items that you don’t really need, and then you’ll be able to work your way up to higher-priced items with confidence.

5. Always carry some cash
This tip could not be stressed enough, unless you really want to have a bad time. Carry local currency as much as possible (not all vendors would accept foreign currency), and remember where the ATM machines are.

Do not flash your money or show it before you have landed a final price – the vendor might just end up charging you a little higher.

For Tourists and Expats: How to Enjoy Singapore on the Cheap

Singapore is known as one of Asia’s most expensive cities to live in, especially when compared to her neighboring counterparts. Traveling there does require quite a bit of effort in saving up.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it while on a tight budget. Money issues shouldn’t stop you: everything all boils down to how you spend when you travel, and how much.

There are even many travelers who spend almost nothing in their adventures via hitchhiking and couch-surfing. If other people can travel this way, then you can, too. Here are some things that you need to know:

Accommodation
No need to splurge on where you’re staying in Singapore. Your best bet would be a hostel, with plenty are available that you can reserve online before you even book your flight. Some could charge even as low as S$20 nightly.

Alternatively, you could also couch-surf at a fellow tourist’s place, or even at a local’s. There are many sites that can connect you to locals that would be happy to offer you a place to stay. Not only does this help you save so much more, but it also gives you a local’s insight on living cheap.

Food and Other Delights
“Go where the locals go”. This is a saying that extends to not just good food and sightseeing, but almost everything. When it comes to food, try out hawker stalls or carts for a real taste of Singaporean local cuisine, and for far lower prices than eating out at the more expensive restaurants.

A good rule of thumb when in Singapore: line = good. If there’s a long line, chances are that stall or cart is selling good food.

When it comes to shopping at places like Lucky Plaza, don’t be afraid to haggle. However, as in all places, always remember to not drive too hard a bargain (always be a little flexible on the final offer), and watch out for scammers.

Getting Around
Forget cabs and city tour buses – the best way to experience Singapore is by foot. Surprisingly, most Singaporeans don’t own cars, often relying on the incredible transit system that is the envy of many countries all over the world.

To add to that, their streets are really friendly to walk in and you don’t have to worry about getting mugged when sightseeing after dark. Marveling at the architecture isn’t something that you can do just by going from point A to point B – it’s taking the time to plant your feet in the ground and let your eyes feast on gorgeous designs.

And remember to not just take a picture and split. Nothing beats actually talking to people and asking questions when it comes to getting to know a country and those that live there. After all, what makes a place but the people that live there

How to Repair a Damaged Hollow Core Door in 5 Easy Steps

As the wood and metal hinges age, they can cause the doors to bind and stick. Doors can sag in their frames, multiple coats of paint applied over the years can create buildup, and the hinges and doorknob can also rust and need to be replaced.

If the door has a hollow core and the plywood has weakened over time or if a significant amount of force is applied, holes can be made into the door. While a hollow core door is difficult to repair, it can still be done with the following steps.

1. Assess the damage done to the plywood.
The size of the hole in the door as well as how hard the door was hit will tell you how difficult the repairs will be. If the force is hard enough, there will be pieces of the plywood stuck inside the hollow core door.

2. Clean out the area of impact.
Remove the debris or pieces of the door that happen to be sticking out after the impact, as this could result in splinters when you try to repair the door later on. Be sure to sand the sharp edges and wipe the dust around the area, as well as clean it, preferably with a cleaner that doesn’t leave any residue.

3. Fill the hole in the door.
For the hole in the door, stuff paper towels into the hole, or even simply crumpled paper or cardboard, all of which serve well as filler.

Once the hole is stuffed with paper towels, spray the hole with foam insulation and wait for the foam to dry before removing any excess.

4. Make the repairs in the door with filler.
Using spackle, proceed to repair the damaged area. Preferably, you should use spackle to fill the area, as car bondo dries more quickly and is poorer in quality than the former. Be sure to use a spackle knife to do this.

After filling in the area, clean up any other residue around it and wait for the spackle to dry, which can take a while. If your door happens to be textured, etch the area gently with the door’s texture only when the spackle is almost completely dry.

5. Sand the area using sandpaper with a fine grit.
Once the spackle has completely dried off, proceed to sand the area. After sanding the spackle, be sure to wipe it down with a clean cloth to remove any formed dust and debris.

If you find that the initial coat of spackle isn’t to your liking, or that the texture doesn’t match the rest of the door, apply another coat and let it dry before painting it over. You can even repaint the whole door if the area doesn’t match.

5 Ways to Reduce Parental Anxiety

It’s normal for parents to worry about their kids. However, in some cases, worrying gets out of control. According to experts, this is a form of anxiety, which is an over-expression of normal feelings and reactions like fear and avoiding risks.

If you find yourself often stopping your kids from doing this and that out of fear, you’re probably having events of parental anxiety. When you start to notice this, try managing your anxious urges with these tips:

1. Recognize your anxieties
People feel anxious when they feel that something starts going wrong because of their anxiousness. Therefore, the first step to managing anxiety is accepting your anxieties. Don’t worry, it’s normal to feel stressed sometimes. When you’re in charge of the care of kids, you’ll naturally heighten your stress level. Keep in mind that the key here is to manage your anxiety, so don’t stress so much on making it completely go away.

2. Avoid saying ‘should’
Reduce anxiety by not expecting too much from yourself or from your kids. Avoid saying ‘should’—I should or my children should—because then you’re setting expectations. The higher your expectations, the unhappier and more anxious you become when your expectations aren’t met.

3. Minimize your social media activities
Social media can worsen your anxiety by making you feel that your kids are not living to people’s standards. You can’t avoid comparing when all you can see in your social media are proud parents posting photos of their kids’ achievements. Instead of wasting time scrolling through your feed, spend more time with your children.

4. Go easy on yourself
It’s hard not to feel guilty when you’ve scolded your children. However, learning to forgive yourself will help you manage your anxiousness better. If you do not take the actions to intentionally hurt your kids, then there’s no need to feel guilty. If you mean well and did not intend to cause pain to your children, ask yourself what you’ve learned from this, and then move on.

5. Just let your kids learn from experience
This can serve as a mantra to anxious parents. While it is your job to guide your children, it won’t help your child grow if you eliminate their right to do the things they want to do. The best you can do to empower your kids’ sense of responsibility is to let them learn from natural consequences of their actions, whether right or wrong.

We all worry about our children and wish to always protect them from disappointments and life struggles. But you’ll feel a lot calmer when you remind yourself that insisting what seems impossible only increases your anxiety. You’ll be able to function better and your children to enjoy their childhood if you relax and let life unfold as they are.

What’s the Difference Between Urticaria and Angioedema?

Anyone who has allergies must learn to differentiate between urticaria and angioedema because it could indicate a much severe allergic reaction than usual.

Urticaria
Urticaria is better known as hives or weal, those raised patches on the skin that are itchy and are the result of the presence of the histamine in the skin’s blood vessels. Most people with allergies have had urticaria as it is the most common reaction to allergens, pressure, and friction. The raised, itchy patches on the skin can spread and can cause discomfort if it covers a large part of the body. The wheals that appear in the body are described as having a central swelling, is pruritic or severely itchy, and will not leave obvious marks. To treat urticaria or to lessen instances of developing hives, the cause must be identified and eliminated.

Fortunately, hives will respond well to antihistamines and steroids, but it can recur if the person is exposed again to the allergen. It will not leave any obvious marks once the hives go away, usually within 24 hours. There are cases called chronic idiopathic urticaria in some individuals who get hives for no apparent reason. The outbreak of the hives can recur nearly everyday for weeks at a time.

Angioedema
Angioedema can sometimes occur with urticaria, but it is a more serious allergic reaction that can cause life-threatening symptoms. The name angioedema refers to the condition where the dermis, subcutaneous tissue, and mucosa and surrounding tissues become swollen. If a person has angioedema due to an allergen, the area around the mouth is swollen and the upper airway is obstructed. Other parts of the body can also be affected, especially areas with loose connective tissue, such as the tongue, pharynx, the extremities, periorbital region, and genitals. Angioedema is also believed to be caused by a deficiency in C1 esterase and usually runs in the family.

Angioedema is treated as an emergency. If a person with allergies has angioedema, his/her airways must be kept open and protected, along with a prescription of antihistamines or steroids to reduce the swelling. Those individuals with chronic urticaria are more likely to experience angioedema as well, and the swollen areas will take at least 72 hours to go away.

Treatment
Triggers of urticaria and angioedema should be avoided, including medications such as NSAIDs, antihypertensive, and ACE inhibitors. Both physical and food triggers should also be noted, and other people should be informed on what to do during an emergency. Whether the person will need to take antihistamines regularly will depend on the severity or the number of allergies, that is why it’s important to talk to a doctor about the possible side-effects of the medications that can potentially impair academic and workplace performance.

Treatment of angioedema will also require special attention from an allergologist, especially if the condition is inherited.

Growing an Indoor Garden in Singapore

Growing plants can be one of the best things that you can do in your free time. You could learn a new skill, all the while making sure that your food is safe and healthy. Gardening is also a fun and practical hobby that anyone can learn, no matter the age.

Even if you live in an HDB flat without a lawn, you could always grow your own garden indoors. Indoor gardening isn’t as hard as it looks, all it takes is a bit of patience. Here are a few tips and tricks to start you off with growing your own indoor garden.

1. Figure out which plants are right for you.
Before doing anything else, you should make sure that you really can take care of your garden. If you’re a busy-body who never has time at home, don’t fret. There is always a plant for everyone, and chances are it wouldn’t be too hard to find a plant for you.

Those who would like to have plants that don’t need much attention, there are many plants that you could choose from. While succulents make the poster plants for plants that don’t need much attention, they can still be a bit hard to grow for complete beginners. Cacti are always a good choice since you would only need to water them at least once a week. Even if you forget to water them for weeks on end, they are hardy plants that could still thrive despite a lack of attention.

2. Use grocery produce to get more plants.
There are many plants that you could buy from the grocery which you could turn into more food. By just putting them in water, or in a bit of soil, you could use vegetable or fruit left-overs that you could use to grow even more food. There are many plants that you can propagate from grocery store produce, like lemongrass, ginger, and Thai basil.

3. Take note of starter plants.
There are many plants that are great for Singapore’s weather. For beginner gardeners, you can start with simple plants like brinjals, or lemongrass, or cherry tomatoes. For those who like to eat a lot of salads, good choices for leafy green plants are kangkong and kalian. Microgreens are always a good idea, like broccoli and sunflowers. Herbs, like mint and parsley, are always good choices but may require some more experience.

4. Light it right.
Remember to keep your plants away from direct sunlight during the middle of the day, since the Singaporean sunlight can be too harsh on plants. You could create a shade for your plants using some materials like cloth or blinders. If you have the opposite problem, and your space doesn’t have any natural light available, artificial lighting s always a good alternative. There are many sun lamps available on the market that can mimic the heat of the sun, which are great alternatives for natural lighting.

The 5 Benefits of a Trademark Registration

Do you want to protect your brand from copycats and impostors? Here is why you should apply for a trademark registration in Singapore.

Deterrent

If you register trademark in Singapore, it will decrease the likelihood of other people claiming that you are using the same brand or logo. The trademark owner is recognized as the original and sole owner of the brand, forcing the other party to provide incontestable proof that they are the true owner. If another party has made a similar mark, whether intentional or not, they can be sued for infringement. It is your right to get compensation for any similar or confusingly similar mark, whether it was done through ignorance or not. Your registered mark will appear in journals that publish recognized trademarks so that the public can be alerted about its use.

Exclusive Use

Applying for a trademark registration means you are applying for intellectual property protection in a specific territory, so if you apply to register TM in Singapore, it means that the registered mark is only protected in Singapore. Legal exclusivity of use of the trademark is granted to you, which means you are able to guard business brand name from possible copycats and imitators. However, this protection is covered only nationwide. If you want to protect you brand overseas, you will need to apply for trademark registration at IPOS by designating another country. If you already registered your trademark in Singapore, however, it increases the chances of successfully applying for a registration in other territories.

Security and Property

A registered mark is an intangible property recognized by the law. A merchandise with a recognized and trusted logo attached to it guarantees that the customer is getting an authentic and quality product from the original company. Brand loyalty is not new among customers; that is why if you register trademark, you’re also investing on the image of your name. A registered mark can also be used to secure loans for your business and treated the same way as any immovable property.

Licensing and Assignment

As the sole and exclusive owner of the registered trademark, you get to enjoy all of its benefits. You also have the right to license other parties to use the trademark or transfer or assign it to a different owner along with your business. Only those you have signed an agreement with, however, can use the trademark in Singapore. The licenses granted to other parties will also allow you to enjoy other possible sources of revenue and to expand your business ventures.

Remedies

The owner of the registered trademark can enjoy the damages and fees from infringement procedures, because they are recognized as the valid and sole owner. Filing a dispute is much easier even when the proof infringement is found on the Internet, because intellectual property rights also protect owner in digital platforms, not just physical evidence. This protection can be enjoyed for 10 years once you have received the certificate of registration and is renewable for another 10 years.

Best Dishes For Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and the pressure is on! Everyone is flooding in the malls and markets buying the perfect ingredients to cook the perfect dishes. Well, we hope you’re one of them because these dishes might need you to go the grocery but they are definitely not that difficult. There aren’t many people who cook, there aren’t many people who even know how to cook, but let’s face it, everybody loves food! We may have different pallets but at the end of the day, we just have to eat! Now, why are we even doing this? Because Christmas is the perfect time for you to impress the ones you love with the perfect dishes. Sadly, we aren’t talking about dessert, just the main course.

Here are a few of the best dishes for Christmas:

1. Roasted Turkey
Turkey is one of the heaviest proteins out there. Packed with a huge dose of protein throughout every bite, roasted turkey is a great way to stuff everyone’s tummy with a great roasted turkey. The good thing about the roasted turkey is that you can play around with a lot of herbs like peppermint or rosemary depending on your preference.

2. Christmas Ham
Now, you may be wondering what is the difference between Christmas ham and regular ham. Well, guess which one is sweeter and better seasoned? You guessed it! Christmas ham. With an amazing glaze and perfect crust, Christmas ham is a great addition to put on the table.

3. Roasted Ribs
Now, you can’t just eat your ribs with a fork and a knife, you have to get your hands dirty, and getting your hands dirty is the fun part! You don’t have to be all strict on Christmas, you can have some fun with your food! You might have a hard time cleaning your child’s face as they bite into those ribs, but at least you’ll have fun doing it!

4. Lamb
It’s time for lamb! There are so many things you can do with your lamb that we just can’t decide which is the best dish for Christmas. You can either braise your lamb chops in your signature juice or you can once again grill them. There are so many dishes you can make with lamb. What could go wrong?

Christmas is the time of the year that really pressures us to give the best dishes to our loved ones. But at least with this list of dishes, what could go wrong? Christmas is a time of love. Not just in our gifts, but also in our dishes.

New Year, New Savings

How successful or unsuccessful have you been so far with your savings? Well, now it’s time to face the facts and be honest with ourselves if we haven’t been able to do much with our money. Just like every other resources, we are given only a portion and it is a hundred percent up to us what we are to do with the given amount entrusted unto us. Well, even though we did earn it, it still came from somewhere right? This leads us into the first thing we must realize. Do not think of money as something that you have earned, think of money as something that has been given to you. Why? Because this greatly affects your perspective on saving.

Now, it is only natural for us to take care of things that were given to us compared to the things that we think we deserve to have. A lot of people work, slave themselves, but do not end up saving any amount of money in the end because the moment that money goes into their pockets, they believe that they deserve to spend it. Now this is the second perspective we need to fix, we do not have to spend all the time! You don’t always need to treat yourself of buy something that is way beyond your budget for whatever reasons you think are necessary. Sometimes, we don’t even need to spend at all. Sometimes we spend on something that does not even do us any good. Why should you spend on something like that?

Last of all, why save money? Well, if you want to measure your riches, you have to measure them by how much you have and not how much you spend. Saving money gives YOU value. The money you splurge or the money you spend do not give you value, it is the money you keep that does. The money you keep if you keep on adding to it, becomes a huge amount and that amount would later on define you and your future. If you haven’t saved up in your twenty’s all the way to your fifty’s, how do you think you’d be able to afford a house? Compared to paying a huge sum monthly, wouldn’t you rather own a property without the stress of paying it off?

Give yourself value by controlling your spending. Not everything you need to spend on has to be expensive. Not everything is worth your money. There are so many practices and principles about saving money that will help you out in the future. Although there are a lot of sayings, let’s just simplify everything into this. If you respect your money, your money will respect you in return.

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