Why a Diamond Ring is Considered the Right Engagement Gift

An engagement is a commitment. And the best way to symbolise it is a ring. While people are looking at other stones to create a perfect engagement ring, nothing comes close to the classic diamond engagement ring. The earliest known example of a diamond as an engagement symbol dates back to the 15th century and the engagement of Mary of Burgundy and Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Since then, the love for a diamond engagement ring has only risen, not lessened. What is it about a diamond ring that makes it such a fabulous engagement ring? Here are some reasons:

  • It is timeless
A diamond engagement ring is timeless. No wonder that it continues to enjoy the popularity it does. In fact, it’s become so synonymous with a love match that we scarcely think of any other stone when it comes to sealing or celebrating an engagement. And this has been the truth for the last seven centuries. The diamond engagement ring isn’t going out of style any time soon.
  • It is versatile
The best kind of diamond is colourless. While colour diamonds have their own takers, the traditional beloved diamond is white. The colourless diamond has the added advantage of being truly versatile, lending itself to any colour of outfit, any shade of skin and any gender. Which stone can boast of the versatility that the diamond does?
  • It is a safe bet
What’s not to like about a diamond? It becomes a safe choice when you’re trying to spring a surprise and don’t know what your bride or groom to be may like. The diamond is an object of delight and admiration, both qualities you want from your partner and others in your life. With the right setting, there’s no doubt that it will attract envious looks. In the off chance that your choice is not a welcome one, you can always resell the diamond. Diamonds that carry certification fetch great resale prices.
  • It goes with other important jewellery
A diamond engagement ring is normally worn with a wedding band. Nothing quite complements a wedding band like a plain diamond or a series of diamonds in a ring. Depending on how you set the diamond, it can fit in with the wedding band in a snug jigsaw fashion. Or, if the wearer is wearing other pieces of bling, the diamond ring will fit right in.
  • It’s tough
Despite how elegant and classy it looks, a diamond’s fragility hides its actual strength. It is one of the toughest known materials known to man and it lasts generations. Some families pass diamond engagement rings from one generation to another. It also needs to last through the day to day life the wearer will subject it to. It is hardy and strong and capable. What’s more, it can be reset depending on the generation and the person wearing it.
  • Vintage is vogue
A vintage diamond engagement ring is always in vogue. If you can find a beautiful antique ring, one that is handmade, you should consider that too. It brings in a touch of whimsy and charm, something we can all do with in our lives.
  • It can be edgy
You might not consider it, but black diamonds are all the rage now. It’s believed that the black stone stands for passion and conviction- now who wouldn’t want either? This makes the black diamond not just about a swank colour but also about the message the wearer is sending out to the world. Mix in the black diamond with a few more stones, set them in a contemporary style, and you’re all set to face the world. Or go in for the simple princess cut, all the better to show off the fabulous colour stone you have.
  • It makes a statement
There are people who load themselves down with all sorts of jewellery. And then there are those who wave an arm in hello and the entire room quietens down. The latter wears a statement piece and in many, many cases it’s a diamond engagement ring. One perfect piece of jewellery is all you need and the diamond engagement ring is pretty perfect.
If you’re considering gifting a diamond engagement ring, here are some trends we’ve picked out for you to keep in mind:
  • Stacked rings are very boho-chic. Get different colour metals- rose, yellow, white gold and scatter your diamonds through them. These rings can be worn separately or together, or with other rings. Worn with jeans or with dresses, the stacked ring is at home pretty much everywhere.
  • Different shapes for diamond rings are also big this year- a heart if you’re into that sort of romantic gesture, maybe even a quadrilateral for that wow factor. Or go asymmetrical, for even more impact.
  • Twisted bands, bands with inscriptions, platinum- there’s a lot you can choose from with the metal your ring needs to be of.
Choose a diamond ring for an engagement with care and after homework. Your partner will thank you for it.

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SkinLab's Salicylic Acid Peel & Gentle Milk Facial + Dark Eye Circle Treatment Review

SIDE STORY: (If you are my regular reader, you know I love to blabber before talking about my main subject. You'd know the drill by now, skip my side story if you are pressed with time.)

My most favourite thing to do after a holiday, specifically beach holiday or any island getaway is going for my much-needed pampering me-time be it a hair pampering session, full body massage or facial spa. If you are following me on Instagram (the main culprit why I seldom blog about our family's travel adventures these days), you should know that we went glamping (coined word for glamorous camping - I just have to add that because so many people asked me what is the glamping I keep talking about) at The Canopi.

It was a glorious 3 days of fun under the sun. Aside from endless swimming in the salt-water lagoon, we tried some of the water activities The Canopi has to offer from water bumper boats, to kiddie-sized rowing boats and canoeing.  Apart from that, we also made a quick trip to Lagoi Plaza and ride an ATV in the sandy shores of Lagoi Bay.

Although I brought both adult and kids' sunscreen, we still ended up getting sun burnt. Like I always say, my kids could have been mermaids in their past lives. If you let them stay in the water as long as they want, they will probably swim from sunrise to sunset or perhaps, even after the moon and the stars start appearing in the sky! That may be a little exaggerated but you get the picture. In fact, when we went for our night strolls post-dinner during the 2 nights we were there, we always end up in the shores of the lagoon with the kids dipping their feet in the water whilst the hubby and I revel in the beauty of the starry and moonlit night sky.


I went for a facial treatment at SkinLab The Medical Spa on Friday evening to treat my badly damaged facial skin. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't forget to bring sunscreen protection. I even brought my sun hat and huge sunglasses to protect my face from the harsh sun rays but I concluded, no sun protection is ever enough when you are with kids with no fear in the Master Sun. I skipped swimming on our last day but I still ended up so badly tanned, my uneven skin tone was so evident even on my facial skin.

I was scheduled for a Gentle Milk Facial but after a consultation with Maggie, my designated consultant, she deemed Salicylic Acid Peel Peel Facial is more suitable for my current facial skin condition.

According to Maggie, Salicylic Acid Peel Facial is the new generation facial treatment and a superior exfoliate that improves the appearance of ageing and sun-damaged skin. It is effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving overall facial texture because it exfoliates both the skin surface and within pores.

Salicylic Acid Peel Facial can treat the following for all skin tones and textures:
  • oily skin
  • acne
  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • fine lines
  • premature ageing
  • uneven skin tone
Among all those mentioned above, the only thing my skin was lucky not to have as of this writing is acne. While one or two pimples do sprout on my face once in a blue moon, I don't remember suffering from acne even when I was at the peak of my teenage life. 

This photo was taken after I knocked off from work, on my way to SkinLab The Medical Spa at Orchard. I wasn't actually wearing make up prior to this (I will show my before and after face without make up at the end of this post). Can you spot all my facial skin problems? Uneven skin tone and fine lines are so evident even after I tried to mask it with a quick make up. 

I arrived at SkinLab The Medical Spa punctually and was offered a tea. In every facial treatment appointment, I pay attention to every single detail that makes my experience pleasant and a warm tea never fails to help me relax.

The treatment room was pretty and cozy, it made me look forward to my pampering session a.k.a. me-time.

The therapist assigned to me was Ice. She let me smell an aromatic oil and started giving me a head massage. I don't use the word "shiok" loosely so when I say it's shiok, it really is! Look at how my eyes are beginning to feel so sleepy right away! The entire experience was pleasant except for my most hated part - extraction of black and white heads.

As promised, here's the before and after photo sans make up. I am so glad my consultant decided to changed my facial treatment into Salicylic Acid Peel instead of the Gentle Milk Facial. Look at how my skin looks instantly clearer and brighter after the treatment!

I took home SkinLab's Apple Stem Cell Ageless Serum and Blemish Control Essence as a maintenance kit. I have been using the anti-aging serum religiously every night before sleeping and I have to say it is working its magic on my facial skin.


A month later, I went back to SkinLab and I was only advised to do the Gentle Milk Facial since my skin condition has greatly improved from my last visit. What does Gentle Milk Facial do? Despite being the gentlest of all facials, it also boasts anti-aging and skin lightening effect on the skin.

Here are some of its benefits:

  • exfoliating the surface of the skin
  • deep cleansing of pores
  • lightening dark marks
  • improving hyperpigmentation
  • evens out skin tone
  • improves the appearance of light wrinkles
  • stimulates natural collagen production
  • hydration

It is considered so much gentler from the Salicylic Acid Peel Facial Treatment but the benefits are as vital and nourishing to the skin.

After the Gentle Milk Facial, I also underwent Dark Circles Treatment since my dark eye circles a.k.a. mummy-panda eyes are getting worst and I find it so difficult to hide with concealer.

This treatment uses Capacitive Super Pulsed Radio Frequency (CSP RF) Machine that is safe and clinically proven treatment to tighten and brighten skin, with improvements in tone, shape and texture occurring naturally through the stimulation of your own collagen. Pulsed light therapy specifically targets the eye areas hence it helps lighten and brighten the dark eye circles.

My facial skin looks so much clearer and my dark eye circles has turned a few shades lighter in just one trial. Watch this video and have a look for yourself how the exact treatment works.

All the three treatments I mentioned above which I did at SkinLab The Medical Spa at Wheelock Place in two visits (one month apart) are non-invasive, no downtime, very relaxing and truly effective. The consultants and the therapists who attended to me in the two separate occasions are very professional and knowledgeable. They all ensured that I am well-looked after and comfortable throughout the treatment too.
SkinLab The Medical Spa has built a reputation of excellence with non-invasive, non-surgical, safe and effective beauty solutions of high standard. With well-researched latest methodologies, SkinLab's treatments are tried, tested and proven to treat common skin problems like acne, acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines and more. Along with the experienced team of professionally traines therapists, specially tailored treatments are also available for customers to meet their needs. It is a world-class spa which provides effective yet relaxing treatments. 
SkinLab The Medical Spa
#04-04 Wheelock Place Tel: 6235 3246
#03-33 Plaza Singapura Tel: 6336 1106
#B1-62 Jurong Point Tel: 6316 2556/ 6316 2246
#04-02C Junction 8 Tel: 6262 5898/ 6262 5698
#04-11 Causeway Point Tel: 6877 0162

Facebook/SkinLab The Medical Spa
Instagram: @SkinLabSG

Disclaimer: I was invited to try the above-mentioned treatments for the purpose of this review. All opinions are based on my personal experience and no other monetary compensation was received.

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The Best Cities to Explore in the Asia Pacific

When we set out to explore, we’re usually seeking something new, something inspiring or enriching, and the ability to stimulate senses would have to be among the criteria for determining the ‘best’.

Mr Hudson Explores sheds light on some fabulous Asia Pacific destinations, and here are three more that tick the box for stimulating senses:

Gold Coast, Australia

Not one of the capital cities, the Gold Coast is an hour south of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane. It isn’t hard to find a beautiful postcard of this place. Better still, create your own! Everywhere you look is a perfect photo opportunity, with miles of white, sandy beaches and skin-warming weather as key selling points.

There is much more to this city, though. Head west towards the mountains to the Scenic Rim for views beyond the state’s southern border. Lush green spaces, national parks, walking trails and natural swimming holes make this a must-see while on the Gold Coast.

If dining out and nightlife are your pulse pumpers, enjoy endless options for all tastes and budgets. Fresh seafood straight off the local trawlers or international cuisines; locally brewed beers and wines or the world’s finest champagnes are chilled and waiting for you…usually with a view to match. Fill your days with water sports, boating, whale watching and fishing, adrenalin-jolting theme parks or day spas and health retreats. Upbeat and action-packed or relaxed and pampering – the choice is yours.

A real mover and shaker on the fashion scene, world class centre, Pacific Fair, has an impressive line-up of luxury fashion brands (think Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Tiffany & Co and more) and it will take a day to explore this alone.

Never would a visitor find themselves bored senseless on the Gold Coast.


Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok could be described as a hectic, hot mess and it can be, but there’s more than meets the eye at first glance. A stark contrast, yet at the same time, stunning melding of traditional and modern is admirable, especially where food and entertainment are concerned. Street food through to world-class cuisine at the city’s finest venues – you’ll always find your fill.

Shopping in Chinatown in Bangkok can only be described as an assault on all senses but it’s something you must experience in this city and getting there is easy. Transport is just so convenient but some might struggle with the pace, especially if you’re on the back of a tuk-tuk, ducking and weaving in the bustling city! While exploring, you find yourself wondering how this can have primitive, tangled-beyond-belief yards of electrical cable, pole after pole, yet provide exceptional standards of hospitality in establishments that wouldn’t be out of place on the Champs Elysees.

It’s a fascinating city, not to be treated as just a stopover. Allow a week to fully engage and reap its rewards.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington might be the first to pop in a web search of New Zealand. It’s a tough gig for Queenstown to compete but when it comes to exhilarating experiences, you’ll wonder why you didn’t discover it sooner.

Golf, jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, snow-skiing/boarding, helicopter tours and scenic flights, cruising, white water rafting, fine dining, winery tours, day spa-hopping and relaxation retreats are all on offer in this town that sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and against the Southern Alps.

It does get cold here, though warmer weather September to February is when most activities are in full swing. A pile of adjectives could be thrown alongside “Queenstown” to describe its pristine, natural beauty, but nothing compares to seeing it in the flesh.

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How To Sleep Better: Putting An End To Insomnia And Snoring

There exist many sleep disorders, out of which the most common are snoring and insomnia. Almost every individual has experienced these disorders at least once in their lifetime. However, the actual cause of problematic insomnia is not clear. Same is the case with snoring, as minimal data on snoring is available. According to a local research which took place in 1999, 24% of local adults are known to snore, and 15% suffer through obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea refers to a condition in which snoring is not the only problem, but there also is a blockage in the air passage while a person is asleep, which leads to poor sleep quality and low oxygen levels.
The leading cause of insomnia is related to psychological and mental well being, with depression, stress, and anxiety. However, sometimes the cause can be due to physical pain. Physical discomfort is a result of some medical conditions, diseases like an overactive thyroid gland or medications like decongestants that excite the body. Other than that, bad sleeping habits like variation in sleep timings or indulging in stimulating activities like playing computer games may also lead to insomnia.The first step towards improving insomnia is to figure out the cause. The doctor analyzes a detailed history of the daily activities and sleep habits. While consultation, you are required to share all these details with your doctor. The easiest way to make this happen is by keeping a diary which includes the list of the daily activities you’re a part of as well as your sleep pattern over a few weeks. Tests aren’t so necessary in this situation, however, if there are any symptoms of a disease like a thyroid, then a blood test might be ordered by the doctor. Other reasons that can keep a person awake or wake them up from sleep like frequent urination, blocked nose, chronic pain, etc. can require a medical opinion from other specialists. Furthermore, if sleep disorders are suspected, then a sleep study becomes necessary.
Tackling insomnia
  • Adapting good and healthy sleep habits is the most crucial step in treating insomnia. These are:
  • Preserving a sleep pattern which is regular.
  • Not indulging in stimulating activities right before you sleep.
  • Using the bed only for sleeping and not for activities such a reading or watching  TV etc.
  • Stay away from stimulants like decongestant medications or caffeine.
  • Exercising should preferably be done during the morning hours.
  • If unable to fall asleep, one should not lie in bed for a long time.
  • Minimizing stressors and relaxation techniques are some behavioral methods which are usually helpful.
Sleeping pills are the medicines used to cure insomnia. Other medications like anti-histamines are known to induce sleepiness. These should not be utilized in a long term as there exists a potential for addiction. Therefore, these are helpful in the beginning to break the cycle of insomnia and establish a good sleep pattern.
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
Snoring becomes a far more severe problem when airway blocks up while sleeping. It’s known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). The airway blockage leads to a drop in the oxygen level and bad sleep quality. As per research, there has been a link found between OSA and cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. People suffering from severe OSA, have a risk of heart attack and stroke which is three times greater than the standard risk. As per a study in Singapore, over 65% of heart attack patients were found to be suffering from undiagnosed moderate to severe OSA. In the case of children, OSA may lead to weak school performance and complication in learning and concentrate. It is also known to increase the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the long run.
Alerting signs of obstructive sleep apnoea
  • One needs to consult a sleep physician or an ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeon or sleep physician if they have the following symptoms accompanied with snoring:
  • You stop breathing during sleep, as discovered by your sleeping partner.
  • You feel excessively sleepy during the daytime.
  • You’re out of breath when you wake up in the middle of the night, and you also experience a choking feeling.
  • You often suffer headaches in the morning hour.
  • You become irritable or have difficulty in concentrating along with poor memory.
  • There’s an urge to urinate frequently or if children are experiencing bedwetting.
Doctor’s conduct a sleep study to determine the presence of OSA. This study is either performed at your home or in the hospital. Another procedure which required is known as outpatient endoscopy, in which the doctor uses a thin and long tube to analyze an internal organ of your body. The tube enables the doctor to look at the points of obstruction. Obstruction usually occurs in the back of the tongue, nose or at the soft palate of the tongue
Nose blockage is caused by a crooked nasal septum or soft tissue swelling. At the second level, the soft palate and tonsils are known to cause obstruction. Whereas, the back of the tongue is known to obstruct at the lowest level. The purpose of a sleep study is to assess the extremity of your OSA. According to the findings on outpatient endoscopy, the treatment is crucial. In the case of children, the treatment for OSA takes place with the removal of the adenoids and tonsils.
Treatment of OSA
For mild OSA, simple procedures like radio-frequency are used to open up the airway, and to stiffen up the soft palate or reduce soft tissue in the nose. On the other hand, oral appliances are used to retain the tongue or bring forward the jaw.
In moderate to severe OSA, a continuous positive airway pressure device is known to give the best results. The device consists of a pump that pressurizes air via a mask strapped to your face when sleeping. However, most patients are not willing to use it. In that case, the next best option is surgery.

The inspiration for this article has been taken from Health Plus Section, a source of credible health information by Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Singapore.

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Creating A Room For Relaxing

After a long day at work, it’s wonderful to come home, kick off your shoes and relax for the rest of the evening. Of course, that’s not always easy when you have a family to look after and a house to tidy up! What you need is a room that doubles as a sanctuary. It should be a space that promotes relaxation and well-being. Here’s how to create it:

Clear It Out
Any room that offers the highest level of relaxation is going to be tidy and clutter free. You might have chosen your bedroom, the living room, or even the garden room for your sanctuary. Clear it out and make sure that there is nothing untidy in that space. It helps to declutter your mind if there is no clutter in the room. Consider storage solutions that offer every item a home out of sight (and out of mind.)

Create The Mood
Color is very important when you’re hoping to create that mood of serenity. Pastels and whites are ideal. Avoid heavy or busy patterns. Paint the walls and ceiling simply. A bold focus wall is fine, but try not to use overly energetic patterns on the wallpaper, rugs, or carpets. Using carpet might be better than other flooring types. Have a look at options like Carpet One floor coverings to give you an idea of the choices available. If you like to meditate, then carpet might be more comfortable too.

Relaxing Reclining
The seating in your relaxing room should offer all the support you need, but also be incredibly comfortable. Think about using a recliner chair. Some are rockers as well, so you can rhythmically ease your day away. If you like to relax in front of the TV, recliners can be ideal as they adjust the upright position to suit your viewing angle. Now all you need is a coffee table to the side for that big mug of herbal tea.

Color therapy is wonderful for creating the right mood in the room. Lighting is equally as important. It’s best to position yourself next to a window as natural light is very important to our moods and hormone balance. After dark, consider soft lights with a warm glow. These might be colored lights like fairy lights. Candle light from scented candles is wonderfully relaxing too. Get cozy and comfortable in your relaxation room.

The sounds you hear in the evening when you’re trying to relax are also important. If you work in a busy office in the city, chances are you’re fed up with hustle, bustle, ringing phones, and traffic noise. Silence, however, is best enjoyed in short bursts. Instead, use calming sounds from nature like birds tweeting, gentle lapping waves, or a breeze through the trees. Listening to classical music like Nocturnes can be helpful to ease the day away too.

The room you create can be any shape or size. It can be used for any other purpose too. But when you’re ready to wind down after a long day, it should become your sanctuary for relaxation. How do you ease a tough day away?

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Need an HVAC Company? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

You've probably been warned about the "chuck in a truck" when it comes to siding, roofing or painting work on your home. Unfortunately, these types of scammers also exist among HVAC installers. They may not operate in the exact same way as home improvement rip-off artists, but the typical advice for hiring a home improvement contract can also prove useful for selecting a local HVAC vendor. Take a look at these five common mistakes many homeowners make, along with tips on how to avoid them.

1. Never Search for a Vendor at the Last Minute
Some homeowners engage in frantic phone calling or online searching when their HVAC systems develop a fault. They might resort to ringing every listed HVAC company to find one that will come out and perform repairs on short notice. However, that's not an ideal time to shop for your preferred heating and cooling maintenance and repair business. When you're under the gun and stuck with non-functioning equipment, you may not make the effort to carefully vet your options.

2. Avoid Shopping by Price Alone
The timeless adage, "you get what you pay for" is never truer than when you're looking for a service company for household equipment. It's usually the "chuck in a truck" who offers rock-bottom cheap rates for HVAC repairs. He may claim that the reason he can work for such low prices is a "lack of overhead" but the truth is scarier than you might imagine. He may not be properly licensed, possess a physical office space or have a reputation that you can verify by examining online reviews or speaking with references.

3. Don't Forget to Verify Important Details
Bypassing the "chuck in a truck" takes a bit of fact-finding and confirming critical details, but the effort you make is well worth it. When you're vetting HVAC contractors, be sure to verify that each company possesses:
  • A physical address and phone number
  • A state contractor’s license number
  • Liability and worker’s compensation insurance
Addresses and phone numbers should be easy to locate, and most states have a searchable online database to confirm whether your vendor's contractor license is valid. To check up on its indemnity coverage, ask to see written proof for yourself. Furthermore, it doesn't hurt to call the insurance company directly and ask if the company's protection is still in force.

4. Don't Skip Reading Reviews and Checking References
Reputation is reflected in how a contractor treats its customers, its dedication to quality work and products and its level of integrity. Be sure to read each vendor's reviews on sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp! or Angie's List. Moreover, it's vital to obtain references from each vendor. As ENERGY STAR suggested in its tips for hiring a heating and cooling provider, ask every reference about the contractor's performance and whether the work was completed on time and within budget.

5. Don't Pay Money Without a Written Proposal
ENERGY STAR also warns against hiring a vendor without a written proposal for work. It's wise to get a detailed estimate first, but the final contract or proposal should itemize the costs, equipment model numbers, work schedule and warranties on your installation or repair job.

Do Your Homework Before Your Hire
As explained by a 2015 Angie's List write-up it's crucial to build a relationship with a reputable vendor that knows your equipment inside and out, provides excellent service and educates you thoroughly about your options. A reliable contractor will also supply you with a detailed written quote to help you understand what work will be done before they begin any work on your heating or cooling units. That's why it's essential to thoroughly research local companies before you hire an HVAC expert.

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Home Improvement Tasks Any Woman Can Do

For some reason DIY is, and always has been, a man’s world. This is a shame as women (especially parents) find themselves confronted with everyday household scenarios requiring a little elbow grease and knowhow just as often as men. While parent couples can easily share household duties and assign them according to each partner’s skills and abilities, single parents don’t have this luxury. Faced with the responsibility of raising children on their own, many single mothers may be unable to call out a professional every time something goes wrong in the home, especially if it’s something that they can do themselves with a little knowhow.


If something goes awry at home, it may be tempting to look for a professional on Snupit (and in some cases, like major renovations this is absolutely the right thing to do) but in some cases there’s absolutely no reason not to attempt it yourself. Here are some common home improvement tasks that just about any woman can do.

Sealing windows and doors

Silicone based sealant around windows and doors can perish over time, letting nasty draughts in when winter rolls around. Savvy ladies can easily repair these themselves in just a few simple steps.

  • Scrape off any remaining silicone with a stiff (but not sharp) scraper.
  • Use a solvent and kitchen roll to remove any remaining traces of silicone.
  • Put masking tape at a roughly 5mm diameter around the window to ensure a nice neat line.
  • Use a mastic gun, seal around the circumference of the window, smoothing the new silicone down with a wet finger.

If you need to reseal your bath or sinks then the principle is exactly the same. Just be sure to fill the bath while resealing it, otherwise your sealant will tear the first time you fill your bath.

Removing a door handle or lock

Whether it’s to match a new design aesthetic for your room or to replace it with something more secure, it’s surprisingly easy to remove a door handle. This is best done with the door closed and from inside the room for maximum ease. Locate and remove the door handle screws. There are usually two (one on either side of the handle) and if you can’t see them they may be hidden by the handle plate. In this case, pry it off with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Unscrew the screws with a long Phillips head screwdriver. Pull the handle out of the door, open it and pull the handle out of the other side. If there’s a dead latch (the catch that keeps the door closed) this can easily be removed now.


Fixing a leaky tap

There are few things more irritating than the constant drip-drip-drip of a leaky tap. Many people suffer in silence believing that any attempts to fix it will just make it worse. While there are some plumbing repairs that you absolutely shouldn’t attempt fixing a leaky tap is often quite straightforward. A leaky tap is usually caused by a worn or damaged washer that can be easily replaced. Simply turn off the water supply to a tap, place a plug in the plughole and switch the tap to the ‘on’ position. Remove the tap’s ‘headgear’, by undoing the headgear nut with a spanner and prising it off. Prise off the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a fresh one. Et voila, your tap will now function perfectly without annoying leaks.

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Farm Florist Bouquet and Masons Home Decor Decorative Pieces

Do you still remember the DIY terrariums we made at home in collaboration with Masons Home Decor? My 6-yr old boy who has 90% better memory than mom-me recognized their logo when we received not one but three packages from them last week. They sent us a Geometric Photo Frame (8R), an Italian Table Lamp and A Rustic Bouquet from its new baby sister FARM Florist Singapore

Before I proceed with my review, let me share with you their brand story.

Before the incorporation of Masons Home Decor and FARM Florist, the passionate entrepreneurs behind these community driven brands, Justin and Marcel have always pondered about how Singaporeans viewed local businesses. Being individuals who had a great love for the gesture of gift-giving and aesthetic designs of home decor, they conducted a public survey and realised a sad truth that more people shy away from purchasing flowers and home decor items because they find it expensive. 

The saddening facts inspired the duo to make a difference. It marked the beginning of their journey. Their brands Masons Home Decor and FARM Florist promise a variety of premium yet economical products so that individuals do not need to worry on sacrificing on something essential such as a meal. They felt that there should be no barrier in making oneself happy through a feel good item, be it a bouquet of flower or a nice home decorative piece. 

As someone who has always been interested in Interior Design (I almost enrolled in an Interior Design course last year), I truly appreciate brands that are consumer-centric. I have to admit, I shy away from ridiculously expensive home decor items and floral products too simply because it isn't just practical. Thanks to Justin and Marcel, they completely changed my mindset about home decor and flower shops.

If it's something I could afford and will make me happy, why not gift it to myself as a reward for working very hard? In case you haven't realised, I work full-time in a private clinic from 9am to 5pm and I moonlight as a content creator at night when the kids are already sleeping soundly. Now tell me, don't I deserve a pretty bouquet of flowers even without an occasion? Of course I do!

Anniversaries and Valentine's Day aren't the only reason why men should buy a bouquet of flowers from the FARM Florist Singapore for their partners and/or daughters. To be honest, us ladies appreciate it even more when we receive one JUST BECAUSE.

1) To cheer a love one who is feeling unwell.

2) Surprise your partner with a romantic picnic set-up.

3) Just because you wish to make someone smile and feel loved. That someone could be YOU.

4) For the birthday girl. Most girls love receiving flowers, including teenagers and single ladies. 

Need I say more? Absolutely not, I bet the gentlemen have got all the hint by now so let's move on to my new favourite home decorative pieces that are added in my gold collection. Disclamer: I don't collect real gold bars and whatnots but I love decorative items in gold.

1) Umbra Prisma Geometric Photo Frame

In case you are an Interior Design noob, geometric patterns are becoming increasingly popular nowadays inside the homes of celebrities, elites and even ordinary folks. It can be a carpet, a wall paper, a shelving unit, throw pillows, wall art, hanging lamps and in this case, a photo frame. Like they say, the possibilities are endless. I love how chic this photo frame looks especially when combined with my other existing golden decorative items.

2) Italian Table Lamp

I read story books to my son almost every night but I have yet to invest in a good lamp (and a decorative one at that) in the master bedroom. Thanks to Masons Home Decor, this lamp doesn't just fit our red, white and gold theme, it also looks very sleek in my bedside table and when it's turned on, it adds some dramatic ambiance inside the room, which is perfect for a quiet reading session before bedtime.

Thank you, Masons Home Decor and FARM Florist Singapore. You have spread so much love and happiness in our humble home.

To my valued readers and Instagram followers, simply quote SWEETMEMOIRS15 for a lifetime 15% discount when shopping at Masons Home Decor and FARM Florist Singapore. 

*This post is brought to you by Masons Home Decor and FARM Florist Singapore in collaboration with Cherry Berry x Sweet Memoirs*

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Nagano Alpine Adventure: Truly An Eye-Opener

*You are excused to skip this and jump to the main story if you are pressed with time.

Japan is next on our family's travel bucketlist. We have been dreaming of a winter vacation for the longest time and a trip to Hokkaido or Tokyo is on the cards, likely first quarter of next year. We actually planned for end of this year but due to time and budget restrictions, we postponed it to a later date. My hubby is rooting for the Hokkaido Winter Festival which falls on the first two weeks of February 2018 whilst I am still undecided if we should do Tokyo Disney Resort instead.

Having divulged our plans, I have to admit Nagano never really crossed our minds as our family's next travel destination. To be honest, whenever we travel with the kids in tow, we tend to do all the touristy stuff which in my opinion can get pretty predictable and non-adventurous in nature. Think theme parks and city tours, it's getting boring for us adults if I must say so.


I was invited to watch the special screening of Nagano Alpine Adventure at Japan Rail Cafe last weekend and it opened my eyes to a totally different world I never imagined considering as our family's first Japan travel experience. The said show is one of NHK WORLD's special series, "A Peak at Nagano" which promotes Nagano tourism.

Photo credit: Go! Nagano
Like I said, watching the show was an eye-opening experience for me. Whenever I come across the words snow capped alps, the first thing that comes to my mind is the world renowned Swiss Alps. I never knew Nagano, Japan also boasts picturesque vistas of alps similar to Switzerland's until I watched Nagano Alpine Adventure.

Nevertheless, if you are not so much of a nature lover, Nagano has so much more to offer apart from being surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The two foreign tour guides in the show who are from India and Italy respectively took us on a virtual bicycle tour through the lush paddy fields of Azumino City and introduced us to Nagano's rich history and culture. The tour is all about why the tour guides decided to make Nagano their home away from home and why you should visit Nagano.

Here are the highlights of the show:


Nagano Alpine Adventure introduced us to some of Nagano's historical castles including Matsumoto Castle, Himeji Castle, Zenkoji Castle and Moto-Zenkoji Castle.

Photo credit: Go! Nagano
Matsumoto Castle, also known as "Crow Castle", is one of Japan's premier historic castles along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle. It has a black exterior which makes it the extreme opposite of the Himeji Castle which boasts snow-white exterior. Being listed as a National Treasure of Japan, its wooden interior and external stonework are maintained to keep its unique charm.


Photo credit: NHK World Nagano
Like I said earlier, the show took us on a cycling tour in Azumino City. The city is located about 10-20km northwest of Matsumoto City. The area has no route bus so the only way to explore the city is by taxi, rental bicycle or on foot. The tour guide chose to rent a tandem bicycle for him and his son and he brought us on a virtual tour to the beautiful mountain and river views of the city and let us discover where to find the best place to eat soba noodle with special sauce.


Nagano Alpine Adventure introduced us to Nagano's local delicacies including a grasshopper dish and soba. Soba is either eaten dipped on a special sauce with wasabi or eaten with soup which has pork, mushroom, mountain vegetables and fried tofu. Grasshoppers on the other hand is flavoured with soy sauce, mirin and sake and has nice crunch. Apparently, Nagano prefecture is also  known for its horse meat and bee larvae. While I am an avid fan of soba and I have had a taste of grasshopper in the Philippines, I don't think I can eat horse meat and bee larvae.


For a memorable travel experience, sightseeing trains in Nagano meant for tourists also boast luxurious interior, large viewing windows and gourmet food on board. Rokumon train in particular runs between Karuizawa and Nagano stations. According to Mayumi, the event's emcee, the train was actually a recycled one. A very old train was given a new leash of life after giving its exterior and interior a major revamp.

While researching about Rokumon, I found out that it is composed of three carriages with distinct interior features, including a carriage furnished like a traditional Japanese restaurant with private dining cabins separated with sliding rice-paper doors to allow the passengers to enjoy the scenic view of Mt. Asama while savoring the washoku dishes. 


I have never seen such mind-boggling fireworks display in my life until I watched Nagano Alpine Adventure which featured Suwa Lake Fireworks Festival. I was wowed just by watching it on screen, watching it in real life is totally unimaginable I may have to pinch myself if it ever happens. 

This particular fireworks festival has double the number of fireworks (40,000 to be exact) compared to the other two popular fireworks festival in Japan which only features 15,000 to 20,000 fireworks. The best part is, this festival is held every 15th of August which coincidentally falls on my husband and my daughter's birthday. Isn't that a good sign?

Source: www.hikyaku.com
Are you convinced now that Nagano is Japan's must visit? I am! Watch the show and you'll be sure to make up your mind considering Nagano as your next travel destination. As seen in the map above, Nagano is actually accessible both from Nagoya and Tokyo.

As I age, I long to do deep travel which involves getting to know the locals more and soaking in the culture, sights, tastes and sounds of a certain city. I now have one big problem! I have to choose Hokkaido, Tokyo or Nagano for our next family travel! Nagano truly captured my heart after watching the show.

Although the programme was aired last week on TV, it is still available online on NHK WORLD's video-on-demand (VOD) page, so make sure to watch it! Besides Nagano Alpine Adventure, there are other Nagano features on programmes like "Journeys in Japan" and "Japan Railway Journal" which you can find on NHK WORLD's VOD too.

For those living in Singapore, you can watch NHK WORLD on TV, via Singtel (Ch. 157) or Starhub (Ch. 812). Alternatively, you can stream programmes LIVE or access tons of awesome programmes via the VOD services which is available on NHK WORLD's official website, as well as the free smartphone app!
NHK WORLD is a 24-hour English TV channel of Japan's only public broadcasting station , NHK. You can catch the latest news and trends from Japan and it has a wide variety of programmes that covers topics like food, travel, culture and many more. 

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