How to Adjust to Having a Home of Your Own

What most young adults struggle with nowadays is the transition of belonging to a home into creating a home of their own. Making a personal decision to become independent is definitely a tough choice to make but then again, that choice has to be made sooner or later. Moving out is usually the hardest thing to do. The transition of being used to other people watching your back into you having to watch your own back is undeniably difficult.

Moving out is pretty hard but there are ways to make it easier. Here are a few ways that might help:

1. Invest in comfortable furniture
Who knew buying furniture could actually be such a big deal? Well, it actually is! Making sure that you are comfortable with your furniture helps you fight the home-sickness. In fact, it even helps you adjust into your new environment faster than you’ll realize. After all, your new home is your territory! Why shouldn’t you be comfortable?

2. Follow a daily routine
Having a routine is a great way to combat loneliness and boredom. Whether it be chilling at a specific coffee shop, working out at the gym or at a park, eating dinner at a specific place, reading a book, or whatever routine you’d want to have. Having a routine gives you a sense of direction just in case you’ll find yourself in a position of not knowing what to do and becoming anxious.

3. Socialize every once in a while
Having a healthy social life is most definitely necessary! Invite your friends and family over every once in a while. Maybe even cook for them? It’s always good to keep a healthy relationship with your friends and family. After all, they’re all you’ve got.

4. Plan out your week
Quite the same as having a routine but also quite different. Plan out your week! There might be a show or an event coming up within the week you might want to check out. Maybe there’s a place you want to go that’s out of your routine? Maybe it’s going out with friends? Having a routine is good but don’t stick to it one hundred percent. Allow yourself to feel a little adventure every once in a while.

Making yourself a home is something that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a little getting used to the different environment and surroundings. Well, for some people, moving out isn’t that hard but for those who aren’t completely confident in themselves, just take it one step at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all.

Three Italian Pasta Sauces You Should Try

Do you love Italian pasta? If you’re tired of your usual Italian-style spaghetti, then it’s time to try these delightful Italian pasta sauces on different pasta for a whole new level of Italian dining.

The word tartufata describes the tasty condiment made of truffles and onions used in a lot of gourmet meals. But aren’t truffles sweet? Truffles is the name for the mushroom used in the sauce. Usually, tartufata is sautéed in olive oil and garlic then stored for use. One example of a pasta with tartufata is detailed below.

Ingredients: 100 grams of grated black summer truffle, 100 mL extra virgin olive oil, 4 finely-chopped anchovy fillets (you can also use 1 tablespoon of finely-chopped salted capers), 2 finely-chopped cloves garlic, and salt and pepper

Preparation: Sauté the garlic and anchovies (or capers) on medium heat for about 5 minutes until the anchovies dissolve. Then, add the truffle and stir for 15 minutes. Cool and serve with pasta and toast (preferably spaghetti or tagliatelle pasta).

Umbria refers to the Italian region in the center of the country just north of Rome. Umbrian ragu sauce used for pasta refer to the long cooking method of the meat. If you want to try something uncommon for your pasta treat, read the recipe below.

Ingredients: ¾ pound ground pork, ¼ pound ground beef, ¼ pound diced cooked ham, 1 tablespoon butter, 4 seeded and diced plum tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 peeled and diced carrot, 2 diced ribs celery, 1 diced onion, 2/3 cup dry white wine, salt and pepper, and an optional 1 black truffle

Preparation: Sauté the carrot, onion, and celery on butter over medium heat, then stir the beef and pork until the meat is brown. Add the ham and cook for another minute before raising the temperature and pouring the white wine. When the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Stir then simmer in low heat while covered for 35 minutes. You can add the black truffle later then simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes. The umbria sauce can be stored for up to five days or served right away with cooked pasta.

Vongole is the Italian name for clams, which means that the pasta sauce is made from olive oil, clams, tomatoes, and garlic. To add a different twist to your kids’ spaghetti, read the instructions below.

Ingredients: 1 kilogram of scrubbed and clean clams, extra virgin olive oil, 1 or 2 dried chilies, 400 grams dried spaghetti, 10 cherry tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic, 250 mL white wine, and salt and pepper

Preparation: Boil the dried pasta then clean the clams and make sure that there aren’t pieces that are tightly-closed. Heat a pan with the olive oil then saute garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. Next, add the chili and tomatoes before stirring. When the garlic looks cooked, place the clams and pour the white wine. Cover the pan to allow the clams to open after about 4 minutes. Keep shuffling or shaking the pan until all the clams open. Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta and a drizzle of olive oil and parsley leaves.

How to Prepare for a Speech

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned speaker, you might have experienced anxiety standing in front of a lot of people to deliver a speech. Most of the anxiety comes from lack of preparation and not just fear of speaking in public. While some nervousness is normal, you’ll feel less agitated if you prepared your speech ahead of time.

Know the Speech’s Purpose and Audience
If you are given a specific topic for a speech, the work is already cut out for you. You just have to gather relevant materials for your references. When you are given free reign however, deciding on a topic takes more time than writing the speech. To narrow down possible topics, consider the type of audience you will have and the venue of the event. If the event has a specific theme, your topic should be related to it.

Research and Gather Materials
Maybe you’re already an expert on the topic but it’s better to always have something up your sleeve. Familiarize yourself with all possible questions that might come to mind. Envision yourself as part of the audience and imagine the things you’d like to be informed of by the speaker. Take advantage of all possible sources from printed to electronic materials as well as traditional and new media. When you have enough, simplify all these information so writing will be easier.

Make An Outline Then Elaborate
There has to be at least one sentence in your speech that will sum up its purpose. Then add a couple of ideas that will support that foundation. These will serve as the key points in your speech which you will be able to build on using the materials you gathered while researching. Build it up until you’re satisfied that you’ve covered all the important points. Reread and revise until you’re confident of the result. You can add visual aids too to make the presentation more entertaining and easy to understand especially if you’re going to deliver a long speech. Then add lines to keep the audience entertained and alert.

Practice Until You’re Confident
Practice delivering your speech several times before your presentation. Ask someone to listen and give points while your practice. Your friend can also comment on the timing and pacing of your delivery. You can also ask for help from an expert to help you with gestures and your posture and tone. You should also check the venue before the actual speech so you’ll know where to enter and exit or if you’ll be able to walk around and interact with the audience.

Beat Speech Anxiety
Remember that it’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it ruin the preparation you’ve been working on fin the previous days. If you have stage fright, you should develop a routine that will help calm your nerves down. It’s not gonna be easy, but only you will know how to place your mind and body in a relaxed state. Don’t forget to smile and breathe. Even seasoned speakers get nervous too!

A Guide to Beers, Wines, Meads, Ciders, Spirits and Liqueurs

Alcoholic drinks have been part of human history since ancient times. It seems that people have been in love with partying and getting drunk even then. Here are the types of alcoholic drinks you will find in the market today.

Beer is considered the oldest fermented drink in the world. Its alcohol content ranges from 0.5% to 20%. It’s made from water, yeast, starch and hops. The starch used are usually malted barley or wheat. Hops, which are flowers with a bitter taste, add flavor to the beer although some beers have extra flavors too. The term brewing is the process which turns starch into sugar. The sugar is then fermented so that it becomes alcohol. You may have noticed that bottles have labels indicating the strength of the beer. The strength is determined by the type of starch used.

Wine is made from fermented grape juice. The grape juice is from the wine grapes which are smaller and sweeter than table grapes. Wine is often produced once a year and most of the varieties come from a single species. Wine can either be made from a single variety of grape or blended with several varieties.

Mead is also a type of fermented drink. Honey is fermented using water and/or fruits, grains, spices, and hops. Mead can be dry, sweet, semi-sweet and carbonated, still or sparkling. The yeast used to make mead is also similar to those used for wine-making. Mead goes through two fermentation processes to make it clear before it is bottled.

The important ingredient in a cider is the apple juice. The alcohol comes from the fermentation process after the the juice is pressed. The varieties of ciders come from the type of apple used and the filtering during the pressing and fermentation processes. Cider can be sweet or dry and clear to brown in color. There is another type similar to cider but instead of apples, the beverage is made from pears. Called perry, it’s sometimes labeled pear cider

Spirits are are also fermented using yeast but they are distilled, that is why they have higher alcohol content than other liquors on this list. Distillation removes other contents like water. The beverages mentioned in the articles have lower alcohol proportion, usually below 15%, and are not distilled after fermentation. Common spirits include vodka, gin, tequila, rum, scotch, whiskey, moonshine, and bourbon. One type of spirit, rectified spirit or neutral grain spirit, undergoes repeat distillation and doesn’t have any added flavoring.

Liqueurs, also called cordials or schnapps, are alcoholic beverages which acquire flavors from fruits, herbs, flowers, woods, and others. Sugar and sometimes cream are also added to liqueur. Liqueur is distilled, not fermented. Common types of liqueur are berry, chocolate, coffee, cream, creme, flower, fruit, herbal, honey, nut-flavored, whisky and many more.

Tips on Cleaning Your Refrigerator

What a waste! So much food in the refrigerator which you haven’t even touched in about a month or two. Yikes! Well, this tends to happen to the most of us. One time, I remember eating a sandwich but not being able to finish it and thinking to myself “Hmmm, I might just leave this for later.” I end up leaving the sandwich in the refrigerator and forgetting about it. About a month later, I felt kind of hungry. I checked the refrigerator and yuck! The sandwich had started to catch mold! You don’t want this to happen to you at all. And even if it already has, you definitely don’t want this to happen again!

Well, here are a couple of tips to help you clean out your refrigerator:

1. Restart
As sad as it sounds, maybe there’s just too much stuff in the fridge that you can’t use! Well, maybe it’s time to throw a good portion away and start from scratch. For condiments and certain cooking necessities, they don’t really spoil that fast which is why it is okay to leave them in the fridge for a long time. But for the other stuff? Well, time to say good bye. Check the expiry date of each product in your refrigerator and if you do not plan on using it before it is spoiled, maybe it’s time to say goodbye.

2. Most Frequent to less Frequent
Most people leave the most used produce at the front while they allow to use the less frequently used produce at the back to spoil. Well, try to change this! Try putting your mostly used produce way at the back. This way, your bound to see the produce you don’t use and it starts to create ideas in your mind on how to use them. Leave nothing to waste!

3. Do your Groceries Weekly
Groceries should be done on a weekly basis! Why? Because you have to make sure that you will actually be eating what you buy. The tendency of not purchasing your groceries weekly is having to overlap with your groceries mixing the old produce with the new produce which is pretty bad because you never know which one is spoiled. This is definitely something you don’t want to do at all!

These three easy tips would get you going as fast as possible! Cleaning out your refrigerator isn’t just something you’re obliged to do. In fact, it is something you have to do should you want to minimize your waste. Take a bit of your time to clean your refrigerator and you’ll see what a difference it can make!

Man’s Guide to Maintaining a Good Haircut

Although you wouldn’t consider hair as clothing, the importance of your hair is beyond compare. You see, your hair is right above your face and if it does not complement your looks, it could drag your appearance down no matter what you wear.

There should be no excuse to a bad hair day and this is something people do not understand. Sometimes people only get their hair cut once they have already received negative criticism but then again, it’s already too late since you’ve already given off that image.

Now, here are a few things you can do to maintain a good haircut:

1. Hair Length
Decide the length of your hair and grow it out just a little more than what your desired look, this way, your barber will be able to cut into the desired hair. It’s obvious that your barber won’t be able to add length to your hair which is why you should do it yourself. It may seem a little bit uncomfortable growing your hair out but you just have to do this if you are to plan the perfect hairstyle.

2. Expert opinion
Get an expert’s opinion. It doesn’t matter how nice a specific style looks, if it does not match you, then you still won’t be able to look good. Usually experts do not do this for free and you would have to invest on getting the style you want during the beginning.

3. Go to a High Class Salon/Barbershop
Paying a little extra for your first haircut with your new style is a must. You wouldn’t want to compromise on this step because it could really ruin the looks of your hair in the long run. We do not deny that sometimes this step costs a little more than what you are comfortable to spend on but we insist that it is absolutely necessary. Once you are done with your haircut, do not forget to document every detail of your haircut for future references.

4. Maintain
Maintaining the shape of your hair is cheaper than your first haircut. You can now find a barbershop which is cheaper but also put into mind the quality of their cuts. Since you’ve documented the hairstyle you’ve got from that expensive cut, you can now explain and let them duplicate that kind of haircut. This is a great way to maintain that glorious shape all throughout.

5. Schedule
Make sure that you do not reach a point where you are having a bad hair-day. Getting a haircut is a necessity and you should be willing to schedule and budget for a regular haircut every now and then. The ideal time frame for a good haircut is at least twice a month. That way, you are able to maintain the look of your hair without allowing it to grow too much.

How to Choose a Freight Forwarding Company

Freight forwarders act as an intermediary between shippers and various transportation services. As a logistics company, they are there to help you address the multi-faceted task of transportation. There are a lot of advantages of using freight forwarding services, all of which frees up your time for more beneficial tasks. While there are many freight forwarding companies in Singapore that you could choose from to help with your business, choosing the right one can be hard.

However, choosing the right freight forwarder can be an important decision for your business; goods that don’t reach their destinations can create a lot of problems, so here is a list of things to keep in mind when choosing the freight forwarding company for you.

1. Cost

The first thing that you should consider when choosing a freight forwarding company, whether it’s an international or local freight, is the cost of their services. Of course, you should check your budget to know how much you would need to delegate to shipping. If your company is small and new, you could always benefit from hiring a freight forwarding service.

However, if you are only shipping a few items, or if you do not have the funds to hire a freight forwarder, you may need to grow your business a little more. But be sure to hire a freight forwarder as soon as you can.

When considering cost, you should also consider the value-added services that some freight forwarding companies can provide you. For example, some freight forwarders can provide on-demand reports, while others can provide cargo tracking services.

These value-added services can be very beneficial to your customers and to your business. Of course, you should also be careful with services proposing deals that are just too good to be true. If their prices are significantly lower than others, it may mean that they are offering inferior and unreliable services.

2. Size

One of the things that you need to consider when choosing a freight forwarder is their size. Larger forwarding companies such as Singapore is much more beneficial as they have different carrier contracts. Should a problem arise, they can change the shipping company responsible for the transportation of your items, to make sure that they arrive on time.

3. Experience

The next thing you need to consider when hiring a freight forwarder is their experience. Since different items need to be handled in different ways, it’s a good idea to check if this freight forwarder had worked with businesses in the same industry as yours. In this regard, you could ask colleagues from your industry for references. You should also check to see how long they have been established, and if they have the necessary licenses and certifications, whether in Singapore or overseas.

4. Expertise

Another thing you will need to consider is their expertise. Again, how knowledgeable are they about businesses like yours? Do they have previous experience with businesses in your industry? How proficient are they with the service models and modes that they offer?

If you need to ship your products via sea freight, you wouldn’t want to use a company whose expertise is air freight. If you are shipping international freight, you should also make sure that they are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the countries that you will ship to.

5. Their networks

Networks are important when working with logistics services. You would also need to know if your chosen freight forwarder has networks in the countries that you are shipping your goods to. While it would be expected that a forwarder has a strong network around the globe, it is helpful to know that they have solid connections in the countries of origin and destination.

This is especially true for business owners who ship international freight, or via sea freight or air freight; you would need to make sure that your forwarder has connections and experience shipping to or from the destinations of your choice.

6. Crisis management

Transportation is a business with a lot of moving parts, which means that there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. The ability of your freight forwarder to quickly react and solve problems will be invaluable for your business.

Your forwarder should be able to provide various solutions and be able to respond in an urgent and timely manner. A good forwarder must also be able to quickly notify you of problems the moment they arrive and pre-empt problems by creating preventive measures or securing alternative arrangements.

7. Communications

While not at the top of the list for most business owners, good customer service can save you time, effort, and money. Your forwarder should keep you in contact with them and with the shipping company handling your items. Forwarders should be accessible through different avenues, from e-mail to phone calls, and they should also respond promptly especially if you are asking time-sensitive questions about your shipments.

Good communication is especially important for those who are new to the shipping industry. Even if your forwarding company will handle the details, it is still necessary for you as the business owner to know how their service works, and how your goods go from one place to another.

There is a lot of information that you need to be aware of, all of which you will need to interpret for your business and for your customers. Getting this information means that you’ll need to ask a lot of questions to your forwarder. You will need a forwarder and logistics company that is willing to guide you through the ins and outs of your shipment, making sure that they are transparent with all the information that is available to them.

Where to Buy Games and Accessories in Singapore

Need to get the hottest and latest titles? Or do you need to have your console or handheld gadget repaired? Here are the best gaming shops in the country you should try.

Game Martz
The stores at Bugis Junction, Junction 8 and Plaza Singapura are open from 11 am to 9:30 pm. They also have technical support and repair services for your convenience. You can even pre-order figurines.

Game Resort
Located at Compass One and Sun Plaza, the shop has a variety of toys, collectibles and gaming accessories. They also accept pre-orders for pre-released games and consoles and sell pre-owned titles.

The store is located at Scotts Road and open from 12 pm to 8 or 9 pm. Their website provides additional information as well as customer service at a click of a button. They also do trade-ins and repairs.

They claim to have the largest collection of pre-owned titles in the country. Not only do they repair consoles, but smart gadgets as well. Visit the store at Tampines Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Parkway Parade, Eastpoint Mall and GV Yishun.

Generation Games
Check out the store at Marine Parade Central from 12:30 to 9:30 pm. They sell classics and the latest titles at competitive prices. They also have a friendly staff if you need to ask questions.

Game Addict
They claim to have the lowest prices in the country. They also have a sell, buy-back or trade-in for consoles. The store at Woodlands Drive is open from 12 noon to 9:30 pm and accepts cash payment only.

Located at Clementi Avenue, the store is open from 12 noon to 9:30 pm. Looking to buy, sell or trade games? Want to have your controller customized? This is the right place.

Gaming ERA
The store is located at Plaza Singapura and is open daily from 11 am to 10 pm. Members can enjoy a 5% discount on games and accessories. They also have Gaming ERA vouchers.

Funco Gamez
Located at West Mall, Funco Gamez buys used games, sells brand new titles, and has trade-in offers. Visit their website to check payment terms via bank transfer. The store is open from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm.

Mega Multimedia
They have outlets at City Square Mall, Clementi Mall, Far East S.C., 112 Katong, Hougang Mall, Jurong Point, One KM Mall, Northpoint, Orchard Central, Tampines Mall, Serangoon NEX, Waterway Point, Vivo City, West Mall, White Sands, AMK Hub, Causeway Point, and Bedok Mall.

They do free shipping of merchandise to Singapore and Malaysia. The store at Orchard Road opens daily from 12 noon to 8 pm. However, you cannot purchase items using credit cards or NETS.

Zepy Games
They have their own companion app, PLAYe, for your smartphone. If you’re a member of their four outlets at Serangoon, Yishun, Clementi and Woodlands, you can get discounts and perks.