Fuel Your Body With These Energizing Foods

Food is our life fuel. All too often, we get wrapped up in the ins and outs of eating - whether we dine in or out, whether a meal is healthy enough, how much it is going to cost us etc. But if we strip back all the excesses that come with food, we get back to the primary reason why we consume it - for energy. In today's modern world, so many people regularly feel 'slumped' and as though they are lacking in vital energy to simply help them get through the day. Usually, this is down to environmental factors: staring at a screen all day, or rushing around after your children 24/7. Food, too, can play part as well. It is becoming the norm to reach for quick and easy convenience food for a short burst of energy, especially when it is the only thing we can fit into our hectic schedule. But as well as the obvious health risks associated with fast food, these kinds of products can often make you feel worse just a short time after. After all, how many times have you packed away a takeout pizza - then about half an hour later felt sluggish and tired? There is, of course, nothing wrong with enjoying these types of treats every once in a while. But if you truly want to nourish and energize your body, you need to be fuelling it with the right things.




Wholegrain carbs

We seem to live in a society where carbs are regarded as public enemy number one. This is partially due to a number of fad diets we now see on the market, and the numerous bloggers and Instagram stars who promote their way of life to millions of followers. While cutting down on carbs could be something to think about if you do honestly eat too many of them, they are certainly not something to be avoided full-stop. Why? Because carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and long-lasting energy at that. If you really want to supply your body with enough fuel to see you through the day, make sure you are consuming some whole grain carbohydrates. White carbs, in moderation, won't harm you - but wholegrain carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, and brown bread - are always a much healthier option.




Fruit and vegetables

Most of us are told from a young age that we need to eat our greens. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which give you an immediate energy boost.  However if you didn't develop a taste for fruit and veg as a child (and let's face it, what child doesn't go through a phase of rejecting anything remotely healthy?), it is fairly likely that you will continue to reject it as an adult too. This is a bad route to go down though, and an equally bad example to set to your children. If munching on an apple or eating spinach sounds like a bit too much for you, why not try using one of the top centrifugal juicers? Juicing your fruit and vegetables (yes, even your vegetables!) is a great way to get those essential vitamins into your diet. A classic green smoothie can even be a great option for breakfast - just don't be put off by the color!




Lean protein

If you keep up with the world of fitness blogging in any way at all, you will know all about the importance of lean protein. As so many of us are now dedicating gym goers and weight-lifters, protein has become more essential than ever. If you are exercising frequently but not taking in enough protein, you probably spend much of your time feeling lethargic. You may even find that you really have to push through your gym sessions, due to feeling so tired in your muscles. This is a direct response to not having enough protein in your body. Every cell in the human body contains protein, and we need to make sure our own supplies are stocked up to ensure our muscles repair themselves after a workout. Lean proteins are not hard to come by either - simply add more lean meats such as turkey and chicken into your diet. Paired with some steamed vegetables and whole grain rice, this is the perfect post-workout meal. Don't fear if you are vegetarian or a vegan - there are still plenty of ways you can up your protein intake. You may choose to do this by eating artificial meats such as Quorn, or by increasing your consumption of beans and pulses.

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Tips on Packing For A Canadian Trip

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Got a holiday to Canada planned? Whether you’re backpacking across states, hitting the ski slopes or seeing the city sights, here’s some useful advice from a friend who lives there on what to bring along in your suitcase so that you’re all prepped and ready.


Cash in some Canadian dollars


The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar. Make sure to take out some notes before you go, or take your debit card. Having a prepaid travel card can help combat the transfer costs – you won’t be charged for paying off this card unlike a regular debit card and it’s safer than carrying a wad of cash. Check out prices for this card at your local post office or bank, or shop online.


Gather your documents


Depending on how long you’re staying and what you’re doing whilst you’re out there, the documents you need to bring will vary. You’ll need a passport to get through border control and possibly a Visa – check out this site https://official-canada-eta.com/ to see if you are eligible.  Travel insurance may be worthwhile in case you get injured or fall in during your travels and need medical care. If you’re driving, you’ll need to be insured and may need an international driving permit (those travelling from English or French speaking countries can use their own country’s license). Print off copies of these insurance documents, plus any other documents that may be useful (hotel bookings, homestay letters, work permits, doctor’s notes for prescription medicine ect.)


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Pack for the weather


Canada is such a huge country with widely varying climates. Go north and you can expect snow and cold weather most the year round, however near the American border it can get very warm, especially in the summer.


Check out the weather forecast and pack clothes accordingly. For winter travel or arctic expeditions, get some thermal clothing, a warm jacket and some decent footwear. If you’re visiting during summer and the weather’s looking warm, you may only need short-sleeved shirts. A lot of the cities, particularly Vancouver, can be pretty unpredictable so bring a raincoat even if the forecast predicts sun.


Check Canadian security requirements


Those that are travelling by air should take into account airport security. Canada prohibits many of the same items that most international airports disallow (weapons, sharp objects, blunt objects ect.) as well as having various laws on liquids and non-solid foods. Keen mountaineers may be allowed to bring an avalanche rescue pack with permission from the airline. If you a CPAP, bringing supporting documentation such as a doctor’s note is recommended. Portable electronic devices are allowed in your personal hand luggage, although you’re not allowed to use these during take-off and landing. Electronic cigarettes are also allowed, but cannot be used during the flight. For a more comprehensive list of what you can bring through airport security, go to https://travel.gc.ca/air/what-to-pack.


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1-for-1 High Tea at Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport


If you are following me on Instagram, you must have seen my Instagram Stories about how we celebrated St. Valentine's Day in advance as a family last Sunday the 12th at Crowne Plaza Hotel Changi Airport. Hubby availed a 1-for-1 High Tea voucher using the massive points he garnered from his company mobile line.

I am not gonna keep you in suspense to see what delectable food was served to us. Basically, we had two sets of everything except the crepes suzette (so sad, because it was so good!).

Our drinks of choice: Latte and Mocha for me and the hubby, fruit punch and orange juice with earl grey for K and G respectively. There are countless variety of Dilmah tea for you to choose from too!

We were first served with the first batch of savories which include:
  • Croque monsieur
  • Scotch egg
  • Tomato and prosciutto bruschetta

Next came the first set of the 3-tier sweets.

First layer came with blackberry marble cheesecake, strawberry and fresh vanilla custard tart, and cranberry financier, on a bed of chocolate mesh along with a small egg-shaped chocolate with the hotel's logo.

Second layer came with Valrhona white chocolate mousse filled with wild berries coulis, blueberry frosting cupcake, and raspberry with grey goose cream macaroon, also on a bed of chocolate mesh.

Third layer came with freshly cut fruits (watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, strawberry, kiwi and peach).

To prevent sugar overload before serving the second tier of sweets, we were served with the second batch of savories which include:

Crystal Mushroom Dumpling 


 Deep Fried Yam Dumpling Stuffed with Roasted Chicken


and Steamed Chili Crabmeat Bun.

Photo credit: www.crowneplazadining.com
Like I said earlier, we were served with 2 servings of each food item (both sweets and savories) as we availed the 1-for-1 deal, except for the freshly cooked crepes suzette from the live cooking station. It was so good I didn't get to photograph it before it was devoured by the kids. K and G had one each so hubby and I basically just had a taste of it after asking them to let us have a small bite. LOL. 

The kids were considered small eaters, savories wise, so imagine how the hubby and I were feeling so stuffed by the end of our Afternoon High Tea family Valentine date. Bringing home the food you are unable to finish is not allowed, so we had to polished off everything before leaving. 

Here're more photos we took to freeze the memories we had there. It's one of those rare occasions I brought the big camera with me and I am mighty pleased I did. Enjoy the visual treat!


We arrived at around 2:15pm and stayed for about 2 and half hours. We planned to enjoy our high tea outdoors but it rained so we stayed indoors instead. Lucky we took some photos outdoors whilst waiting for our food to be served, right before it started to drizzle. And yes, there are lady finger plants too outdoors along with basil and other plants. 

That solo photo of mine was taken by G, my budding photographer. It was a well-spent Sunday which we ended by attending the sunset mass to thank and praise God, whose love is the greatest of all. I hope you had an equally fun St. Valentine's Day celebration with your family.
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL @ CHANGI AIRPORT
LOBBY LOUNGE
75 AIRPORT BOULEVARD
SINGAPORE 819664
*This is not a sponsored post but for inquiries and reservations, please call Crowne Plaza Hotel Lobby Lounge at +65 6823 5367. Each high tea set ($48+++) serves 2 pax, available at the hotel Lobby Lounge from 2pm to 5pm daily. 

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3 Home Improvements that Will Add Value to Your Home


Whether you plan to stay put in your home for the foreseeable future, or you are thinking of moving to bigger and better things some time soon, it might be worth carrying out some home improvements. Not only do home improvements increase the value of your home, but they can also make it a more comfortable place for you to love, so you really can’t lose as long as you undertake home improvements in a sensible way.


Of course, some home improvements are better than others in terms of comfort and value, so which home improvements should you invest in? Below are some simple home improvement ideas that will add value to your property and your life.


Kitchen Remodelling
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The kitchen is, to most people, the heart of the home, which is why kitchen remodeling tends to add value. In fact, some experts believe that you can recoup between 60-120 percent of your spend on a kitchen, providing you don’t go wild. When remodeling your kitchen, it is important to make it no more or less fancy than the rest of your home and the other homes on the street. You should also look for a reliable timber provider like http://georgehill-timber.co.uk/ to keep costs low and quality high.


Add an Extra bathroom
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If you live in a property that has only one bathroom, you can almost certainly add value and improve your quality of life by adding an extra one. Again, you can expect to recoup most of or even more than the cost of your bathroom addition to the tune of 80-130 percent, but more importantly, there’ll never be a queue to use the bathroom again!


Ideally, you should try to find some space in your home to transform into a bathroom. In some cases, a closet or cupboard under the stairs can easily be converted into a bathroom, but if you don’t need it, you could also consider converting a small box room too.


If you really can’t find the space in your home, you could consider a small extension, although this will be more expensive.


Add an Extension
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The more square footage your property boasts, the more it will be worth. If you have the money, therefore, it may be worth your while to build an extension. You can use an extension to create extra rooms or add space to your existing kitchen or living area, and you will feel the benefit of having more room to do the hobbies you love, whatever they may be, and enjoy your relaxation time. If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable way to add space, you could install a simple conservatory, which will let more light into the home and give you a sunny spot to sit and read in the evening.


Before you make any major home improvements, you should first take the time to consider the cost, time and disruption to your life and weigh this against the monetary and lifestyle benefits to ensure you don’t do anything you will later regret! Happy home improvements.

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Reasons to Buy Beautiful Sarees From Craftsvilla

I used to have an Indian colleague and I have always adored her most especially when she is wearing a saree. When it comes to Indian wear, no other dress makes an Indian woman look beautiful as a saree does. Sarees reflect Indian tradition and rich culture like no other outfit. With the passage of time, sarees have changed a lot, and today designer sarees are in demand. Over the years, a saree has picked up various elements, which have given it a modern touch. Some women have a penchant for ethnic sarees, while some prefer contemporary designer ones. 
Image credit: Pixabay
To buy one within budget, you must know from where to buy and what to buy without compromising with the quality.  My friend told me purchasing sarees from online stores has become a recent trend. More so because, these stores come up with amazing offers from time to time. "But, when it comes to purchasing traditional, designer or even daily-wear sarees, you should always trust reputed web stores such as “Craftsvilla, she says.

When it comes to buying sarees, my friend recommended a few things to keep in mind.
  • First of all, the tone of your skin or your complexion  should be considered. Choose colours that go well with your skin tone.
  • Secondly, the material should compliment your body type. For example, women with slim figure should go for sarees made of chiffon, silk or cotton. On the other hand, crepe is more apt for those on the heavier side.
  • Consider the occasion for which you are buying a saree. For instance, a designer saree is apt for a family wedding while a silk saree would suit a corporate event.
"Keeping these things in mind will surely help you choose the best saree to complete your wardrobe", she further put emphasis.

Why choose Craftsvilla to buy sarrees online?

Craftsvilla is one of the largest online women’s clothing store. Here, you get an affordable collection of top quality women clothing. Some of the features that makes Craftsvilla so reliable for its customers are:
  • Affordable sarees, quality product- Some online stores display sarees with unusually low rates. Whereas, Craftsvilla offer reasonable rates as per the quality, fabric, and keeping other aspects in mind. When you order sarees onlline from this website, you will find no difference between the photo and the actual quality of the product.  Craftsvilla never deceive or lure the customers with ugly tactics. You will always get the finest product at reasonable rates.
  • Wide range of sarees: There are large varieties of sarees at Craftsvilla that will leave you confused. You can purchase from categories like daily wear, party wear, traditional, contemporary, etc. Likewise, there are many types of fabrics to choose from, such as many varieties of silk, cotton, georgette, chiffon, etc. The best online stores always provide their customers an easy way of choosing the sarees they are looking for. Narrowing down the options with the help of filters makes it simple for users to search sarees on Craftsvilla. This is the reason why many women prefer Craftsvilla when it comes to purchasing sarees and other attires.
  • Easy return policy- Sometimes it can happen that the saree purchased by you is not looking good on you. Or there could be other reasons for returning the saree or any other outfit you ordered. The reliable and trustworthy shopping sites always offer a simple and quick return/replace policy to their esteemed customers. In fact, a lot of shopping sites these days are offering free returns and 100 percent money refund facility. Hence, choosing a shopping site that provides a good return policy and prompt customer care service is the best option.
As my friend attests, these are some of the reasons that make Craftvilla one of the best online suppliers of sarees in the market. Browse through sarees online at Craftsvilla to see it for yourself!

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KidsSTOP™ and IMDA Launched Playmaker Studio

Are you looking for a dedicated space for your pre-schoolers to play and tinker? Here's a great news I want to share with you! On the 26th of January 2016, Science Centre, in collaboration with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched Playmaker Studio @ KidsSTOP™.


As a mom, I strongly advocate play and learn concept for children. In G's dedicated play area at home, you'll spot a number of things that encourage him to play and learn at the same time. No more prize in guessing, G loved the concept of Playmaker Studio. The studio is a safe and conducive environment for children to create things sparked by their wild imagination including handmade toys.


During our visit at the studio, the kids were encouraged to create a cannon ball toy they could use for targeting and hitting objects like a tower of cups. The children's play and learning experience was augmented by the facilitated workshop and programmes conducted by KidsSTOP™'s educators. Needless to say, G had so much fun!


At Playmaker Studio, children are given the freedom and liberty to create something using recycled materials like card boards, tissue paper rolls, ice scream sticks, paper plates, stirrers, strings, etc. The above collage shows the things created by the children who visited the studio during the launch.

Apart from the newly launched Playmaker Studio, here are more reasons to visit KidsSTOP™:

  • Learn how to appreciate and protect nature.
  • Pretend play as a pilot.
  • Pretend play as a Chef, cashier or do grocery shopping at KidsSTOP™ dedicated kitchen and supermarket area.
  • Pretend play as a Paleontologist at the Dino Pit.
  • Learn about parts of the human body.
  • Learn about the Four Seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn).
  • Pretend play as an Astronaut.
  • Learn about the Solar System.
  • Conquer kids' fear of height at Giant J.
  • Improve your kids' navigation skills at Dream Climber.

For complete information, visit www.kidsstop.edu.sg.


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Top 4 Tips in Choosing a Valentine Flower

Flowers have a way to win ladies' hearts. Be it a single stalk, three stalks, a dozen or 99 roses, your special someone will feel so loved upon receiving it from you. Let me give you some tips on how to pick the right Valentine flower arrangement to give your girlfriend/potential girlfriend, wife, daughter, sister or mom.

1) Pick her favourite colour
Every girl/woman have her own favourite colour and when they receive a flower or a bunch of flowers in that specific shade, it will multiply your handsome points exponentially! Why? Because it means that you are being thoughtful. If you don't know her colour of preference, go ask her bestfriend. If you have no one to ask, go for the universal colour of love, red or read my next tip below.

2) Pick her favourite scent
Case scenario: You are still in the stage of wooing your lady, don't know what's her favorite colour yet, you have no one to ask, and you try to shy away from giving a red flower because you find it too common. Fret not! Just let your sense of smell work double time! Every time you go on a date, try to get yourself familiarize with her perfume or cologne. If she is not fond of wearing perfume like myself, it's a hint for you not to buy flowers that have a very strong scent.

Photo by Floral Garage Singapore
3) Add her favourite chocolate
Chocolates and flowers are more like salt and pepper, fries and ketchup, coffee and cream. I know it sounds so corny but that's how it works. It's like match made it heaven, just the way other things and people are. Find her favourite chocolate brand and variety (white/dark/regular, with or without nuts/fruits) and get a reliable florist to incorporate it in their flower arrangement like in the photo above.

Photo by Floral Garage Singapore
4) Complete it with a wine
If you are married or engaged, add a wine to your flower bouquet and box of chocolate and go for a staycation with your fiancée or celebrate at home with your wife. One of the happiest and most memorable Valentine I had with my hubby happened right at the heart of our home so why not bring your wife home some flowers, chocolate and a wine and celebrate the special night together sipping red wine?

Alright! I have done my job. You are excused to go flower shopping now and thank me later. *winks*
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Simply Cherrific Berry Canapé Recipe

canapé is a type of  hors d'oeuvre which technical composition consists of a base (a small piece of toasted bread, puff pastry or cracker), a spread, a main item and a garnish.


I attempted to make sweet canapés for the kids one weekend and it was well-received. Since they love blueberries and strawberries, I made berry canapés.

Ingredients:


  • Base - Ritz crackers (not sponsored, you may choose brand of your choice)
  • Spread - I used Devondale cream cheese (also not sponsored, you may choose brand of your choice) and I topped it with strawberry/blueberry jam
  • Topping - I used blueberry and strawberry (optional: raspberry and blackberry)
  • Garnish - mint leaves
Instruction:

All I did was spread some cream cheese on top of the cracker, added a little bit of jam, and topped it with strawberry/blueberry.

End result? Yum in the tum!

A delicious, drool-worthy finger food/snack you can whip in 5 minutes or even less! Your kids or any member of your family who loves sweet food will thank and love you for it. 



Try making one yourself and let me know how you like it. Feel free to tweak the recipe according to your liking. You may choose garnishing of your choice to make your canapé taste as good as it looks! 

Bon appétit! 

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