Swimsuit Recommendations for Your Personality Type

Although it is currently winter, it is bound to end soon. March is almost here, which means April is on its way—making the springtime closer than we will notice. When spring comes along, we tend to update our wardrobes; whether we choose a nice floral spring dress or even a cute little cotton skirt, we adjust to the weather. However, once spring arrives, the time to get into shape for bikini weather arises as well. Most of us try to fit into our old bikinis, bathing suits, or even our other highly sexy swimsuits. After all, one of the greatest joys out there is to simply enjoy swimming in a pool or visiting the beach in total and utter confidence (and not to mention fashionably).

With all this said, it can be easily gathered that we are fairly close to that point in our lives where finding that perfect sexy swimsuit is an absolute essential—and, in some cases—an obsession. No one wants to walk around the beautiful crystal clear ocean surrounded by beige, tan, and other uniquely hued seashells as the pigeons fly above our heads. There is no fun in wearing a t-shirt over our bikini bottoms in order to feel secure or comfortable. Luckily, sexy swimsuits come in a variety of styles, shapes, colors, and patterns.

For the trendsetter, are a plethora of various choices, such as the following:

  • Caged Detail Sexy 2 Pc. Pucker Back Swimsuit
  • The Strappy Monokini
  • The average bikini with hot neon hues to grab attention
  • The two-tone bikini which is mesmerizing and difficult to ignore

  • If you are a bit of a conservative, then you can opt for these beloved styles:

  • The traditional one piece
  • The traditional one piece with the skirt bottom
  • A monokini that covers up just enough  

  • In case you like to rock the retro look—which, by the way, is becoming increasingly more and more popular—you could always choose one of these highly suggested sexy swimsuits:

  • The bandeau top with the high waist bikini bottom
  • A bikini top with a ribbon tied in the front with a leopard print high waist pair of bikini bottoms
  • Anything that is at all retro styled so long as it is in a bright red, blue, or leopard print pattern

  • These are only three examples; of course, it is a ton of fun to mix and match. Did you follow under the trendsetter category? If so, then who is to stop you from wearing a bold purple bikini bottom with a pink and blue chevron bikini top? Or, if you are more conservation, you are more than welcome to bring a shawl along with you for your magical beach excursion. And—just in case you are following that oh so fashionable retro look—make sure to add a few necessary accessories, such as a cute red headband in your hair tied back in a ponytail. Remember, all sexy swimsuits have their own unique spins, so don’t be afraid to take a spin on your own.

    Coquile DeDulce has been in the fashion industry for years, writing for major publications and books. She lives in Hawaii with her partner, David, where they enjoy watching the gorgeous Hawaii scenery as they both take time to do writing on the side. Coquile has made her own line of swimsuits before, but afterwards she discovered her passion for being involved in fashion publication.

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    Family LookBook: Swimming Attire

    My kids are water magnets so shopping for a swimwear for the whole family is a must. I usually go for the cheaper brands without sacrificing the quality.

    On big rabbit:
    River Island

    On mommy rabbit:
    Sunnies: Versace (thrift store find)
    Cover up: Jojoba (shopping loot fr Taiwan)
    Swimsuit: Rip Curl

    On little rabbit:
    Fox kids

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    Children's Vitamin

    Vitamins and other supplements can help a person overcome an illness, increase their energy level or help to keep nutrients in balance when the body does not do so naturally. Many adults get their vitamins at the grocery store or through an online retailer. However, should children be taking vitamins as well?

    If a child needs to take a vitamin, their doctor will let you know. A child should not be put on a vitamin regimen without the advice and guidance of a pediatric physician. This is because children are not as developed as adults and could suffer serious health consequences if they are given too much of something that they don't need. 

    Children who are put on a vitamin regimen should be told why they are taking the vitamin and that they should not take more than they are supposed to. While many vitamins and other supplements look and taste like candy, they are not meant to be used as a treat.

    Children's vitamins can be found in most grocery stores or online just like adult vitamins. Online retailers or a grocery store pharmacist may be able to give you more information about what you are giving your child in the event that your doctor is not able to fully answer any questions that you may have.

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    Totally Innovative Shopping Experience for Buyers and Sellers

    Those people that do not enjoy travelling to retail venues and shopping in the traditional sense will be very impressed with the convenience offered by online stores and shopping sites. These sites often allow for members to participate in a virtual marketplace of goods, products, or services that customers can easily access and autonomously browse the vendors' wares from the comfort and convenience of home. 

    For example, 1ShoppingCart.com is a site that offers individuals and groups to become merchants with their own business and line of products. Whatever the individual wants to sell, whether it be clothing and shoes or sporting goods and memorabilia, these hosting sites offer members the chance to participate in a community of vendors that expands visibility for potential buyers and improves each independent vendor's chance of making a sale and increasing their profits. 

    The merchant has the independence to sell what they wish for the price that they desire. This also allows motivated sellers to compete by pricing their goods competitively and by offering some type of shipping incentive or special service to ensure customer satisfaction. When people are pleased with their purchase, they are likely to return which has positive repercussions for anyone that participates or makes money from the site. 

    The old adage regarding success is true, and when one vendor finds it, other vendors may benefit also. These sites are a wonderful way to make some extra money without the efforts or commitments of other income opportunities. This is a great way to augment a current salary, and when making feasible, pragmatic sales goals, some may find that they are able to excel and generate increased revenues over time. 

    Many may spend a couple hours a week checking emails and packaging shipments, but may find that they get most of their work during weekends or time off from their job. When making your own hours and setting your own pricing, many may foster an affinity for self-employment and working from home. While there will be effort and vigilance required in those that seek to truly create their own online store, the work is rewarding and the margins for profit are vast.

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    5 Tips on How to Travel in Style and Comfort

    Whenever we go out of the country, I do my best to travel in style and comfort. I wish to travel in style simply because I want to look good and feel good about myself. I wish to travel in comfort because I have kids to look after.

    Let me share with you 5 tips on how to travel in style and comfort:

    1. Wear a scarf
    A fashionable scarf doesn't just make you look good and stylish. It also doubles as an instant blanket when the kids start to feel cold inside the car, bus, ferry or airplane. Choose a scarf that will make you stand out in a crowd.

    2. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear
    When travelling, I always wear comfortable clothes and footwear. My top choices for footwear are ballet flats, sneakers (rubber shoes) sandals and sometimes, flip flops. I never had a problem chasing my toddler when I have a comfy shoes on. It also prevents me from having battered and achy feet from walking around. As for clothes, I always go for long pants and comfortable tops. In anticipation of the strong blast of air con in the bus or airplane, I avoid wearing sleeveless tops and shorts.

    3. Choose a roomy tote bag
    Forget about bringing a fancy purse that can only fit your phone and wallet. Choose a tote bag with ample space for your other travel essentials like iPad, wet wipes, sunnies, water bottle, extra clothes (in case of emergency), diaper, finger foods for your little one and whatever floats your boat. A waterproof bag would be a great choice if you have kids as they are prone to spilling milk, juice, and water.

    4. Wear accessories
    If you wish to travel in style, bling it on baby! Accessories like a bangle, a statement necklace and fancy earrings can make you look very fashionable and stylish. They don't necessarily need to be branded and expensive. There are many cheap accessories available almost everywhere nowadays. You only need to have an eye for a good one, if you know what I mean.

    5. Wear invisible make-up
    Have you ever heard someone say, "please put make-up on me that will look like I have no make-up at all"? That's what I am referring to as invisible make-up. A lipstick, mascara, light foundation, light blush on and light eye shadows will never fail to do the trick. Putting a heavy make-up when you travel is a big no-no.

    On top of everything, do not forget to wear a beautiful smile. Happy travelling in style and comfort! :)

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    Why Does Supply Teacher Employment Increase in the Spring Term?

    As we reach the halfway stage in the academic year we are likely to see a major influx of supply teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the country. There are a number of reasons for this particular annual trend, with head teachers making the security of students’ educational standards a priority during a period where schedules, exams and illness are reaching peak levels for the academic year.

    It is vital that the standard of teaching does not slip, which is why schools will create opportunities for supply teachers in preparation for the spring term. The spring term in particular witnesses nearly a 40% increase in supply teacher employment.

    With secondary schools now focusing on rigorous exam schedules instead of the previous course work approach, schools have to maintain a consistent level of teaching ability in order to withstand the expectations of the new curriculum. When the exam period kicks in and preparations reach fever pitch, supply teachers are required to come in and compensate for teachers who are sick or who becoming increasingly occupied.

    With further examination techniques comes the likelihood for further mock procedures, resulting in heavy study schedules that require a consistent teaching strategy. In addition, illness becomes most prevalent in members of staff during the weeks leading up to key examination periods.

    Back in 2012, the Norovirus resulted in a 35% increase in supply teacher employment. It is extremely important that student education does not suffer as a result of illness, making the availability of supply teachers all the more vital to the academic outcome.

    So how can schools prepare for the increasing absentee list and demanding schedule that we are likely to see with the new exam-orientated curriculum now in place? Firstly, it can be extremely beneficial to share a positive relationship with a supply teacher provider as this covers any emergency absences in the long term and provides the opportunity for consistency in the classroom.

    Whilst attempting to see out such an intense stage in the academic year without any changes might seem plausible, it is important to remember that many staff members will struggle with fatigue, stress and a general build-up of work during crucial parts of the year.

    It’s also important to realise that supply teachers have never been as vital to educational success as they are now, so you can certainly rely on their abilities to cover for experienced, qualified teachers on both a long and short-term basis.  

    Claire Crowley is involved in the education sector and regularly blogs about her experiences in an incredibly demanding and ever changing environment. She has contributed this post on behalf of Red Box Teachers, London's premier teacher recruitment agency

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    Rock Climbing for Kids

    K has always been sporty. I love the fact that she did not inherit my lazy and weak bones. She plays basketball and learns taekwondo in school. She loves jogging and exercising. She always look forward to her school sports day. I am so proud of her because at such a young age, she's living a healthy lifestyle and she is determined to stay fit and strong.

    During their annual school camp last March, her school asked our consent for her to participate in rock climbing at SAFRA Toa Payoh. Since we will not be there with her, Mond and I declined to sign the parental consent form much to her disappointment because she was very keen to do the challenging activity. We had to explain to her that we will let her do rock climbing next time when we are there with her physically to cheer for her.

    K rock climbing at Amber Rock Climb, Universal Studios Singapore
    The right time has finally come and K was ecstatic. Along with her 3 cousins (all boys), she scaled the walls of The Lost World with our consent and climb all the way to the top during our recent visit at Universal Studios Singapore. I was amazed with K's stamina. She endured the tough rock climbing challenge and never gave up. Such a brave and strong girl!

    I am one proud mama!

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    3 Ways Audience Response Systems Can Benefit the Classroom

    The key to a successful classroom comes from the level of interaction between the activity and the student. Audience Response Systems or Clickers are used in a wide range of industries to gather a reliable set of results, give everyone the chance to have a say and promote audience participation.

    By giving students from all sorts of age groups the opportunity to delve deeper into the classroom activity through participation, you can guarantee a high level of attention throughout the lesson whilst also preparing for a more detailed classroom discussion and various other benefits of active learning.

    Here are three of the most notable reasons why introducing audience response systems into the classroom could have major benefits for a child’s structure of learning in the classroom.

  • Active Learning
  • When students become enthused by the prospects of a lesson they begin to narrow their attention span until they are mostly focused on the task at hand. One of the best ways to promote and advertise a lesson successfully to a group of students is to integrate an active learning structure.

    Audience Response Systems give students the chance to feel part of the learning process, giving them a sense of empowerment. When you deliver a question or Power Point instruction, the students can demonstrate their own knowledge, understanding and opinion effectively.

  • Confidence

  • There are often times when students simply lack the confidence to become physically involved in a classroom activity. If you are aware of a significant lack of confidence in the classroom then adopting an Audience Response System could give students the chance to bring their opinions to the table without having to raise their hand or having to put themselves forward for an activity.

    The results can be entirely anonymous to the rest of the classroom but they can still share their opinions through class discussion.

  • Tests & Quizzes
  • If you are planning on organising a test or quiz in your next class then you can always make the most of Clickers to gather answers more efficiently. In addition, you can use Audience Response Systems to practice for exams.

    Results can be studied by the teacher away from the classroom or they can be displayed on a Power Point. Students can also use Clickers to get an idea of what their upcoming test is based around and what they need to study for.

    Tracey Cooper writes for a number of online publications about incresing student engagement in the classroom and lecture theatres. She has contributed this post on behalf of CLiKAPAD, suppliers of first rate audience response systems for academia and businesses alike.

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    Benefit of Interactive Learning for Kids

    Reading stories or nursery rhymes to your toddler is good but getting them to interact while you read to them is more fun and engaging.

    Interactive learning as defined in scholastic.com is a more hands-on, real world process of relaying information.


    I was reading a nursery rhyme to my toddler like this:

    1, 2... buckle your shoe

    (I show him how to buckle his shoe)

    3, 4... knock on the door

    (I let him knock on the door)

    (and as shown in the photo above)

    5, 6... pick up the sticks

    (I asked my toddler to pick up some sticks)

    7, 8... lay them straight

    (I asked my toddler to lay straight the sticks that he picked up)

    9, 10... a big fat hen

    You bet, my boy had so much fun learning the nursery rhyme. The next time you want your little one to memorize a nursery rhyme, do try interactive learning instead of the traditional passive learning.

    According to scholastic.com, interactive learning sharpens critical thinking skills, which are fundamental to the development of analytic reasoning.

    Happy teaching!

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    5 Things To Consider Before Buying a New Car

    The husband is seriously considering of buying a new family car but I told him to take his own time weighing in the pros and cons of owning a car here in Singapore. To help him arrive into a final decision, I did a little research and came up with these 5 questions you should ask yourself before buying a car:

    Is a new car a necessity or luxury?
    Before buying a new car, carefully consider if it's really a necessity or just a luxury. If you live in a country where owning a car is a must, then go ahead and buy one! If you are a resident of a country where everything is accessible by public transportation, think again, again and again.

    Do I have extra budget for a new car?
    It is certainly not wise to buy a car if you are going to bury yourself or your family from debt. Do buy a new car only when you have spare budget to spend for it. You also have to consider the cost of car maintenance and car insurance on top of petrol and parking expenses.

    Am I responsible enough to drive a car?
    When you drive a car, you are not only responsible for your own safety but also the safety of your passengers and pedestrians. Never ever drink and drive, text/call and drive nor exceed the speed limit. Arriving in your destination safely should be your main goal when you drive a car.

    Do I have basic knowledge about car repair and auto parts?
    Car breakdown is inevitable. Before buying a new car, prepare yourself for the worst case scenarios. You have to least know the most basic knowledge about auto parts and a technical know-how about basic car repairs.

    Am I aware of the driving rules and regulations in my city or country? 
    Cliche as it may sound but ignorance of the law excuses no one. Do your research about the driving rules and regulations in your city or country. Whilst you definitely need to apply for a legitimate driver's license, some cities also require a preparation test similar to DMV test prep to help you prepare in driving around your city.

    The above-mentioned questions serve as a guide for anyone who is considering on buying a new car. Should you decide to buy and drive a new car, always think about the people who loves you dearly. Drive safely at all times!

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    5 Traits of a Husband Material

    In my humble opinion, here are the 5 traits every woman should look for in a man she wishes to marry:

    No woman deserves to be physically or verbally abused. E.V.E.R! If you have ever been slapped by your man, leave him and find a harmless man. You'll never know what more harm he can do to you if you decide to just close your eyes and hang around. I need not elaborate on that.

    There is nothing more painful than being cheated while in a relationship. If you have proven that your man cheated on you, give him a warning and one last chance. If he cheat on you the second time around, it's time to let him go and find another man who will have his eyes, heart, mind and soul only for you.

    Marry a man who can provide and take care of you and your future children. There is nothing more priceless in a relationship or marriage than feeling secured, well-loved and well-taken care of.

    A man who completely understands that women need to have a life or career of their own even after marriage is definitely worth keeping. No woman deserves to be tied down like a prisoner at home.

    A man who can set aside his own happiness for his woman or children when the need arises is worth dying for. Need I say more?

    It may be impossible difficult to find a man who possesses all of the above traits. Do give your man a passing mark if he has at least 3 of the 5 traits I mentioned.

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    Photo of the Day: Bored Little Tourist

    On our first day in Malacca, we did the adult thing (read: wandering around the World Heritage City). This photo was taken opposite Christ Church Melaka with the breathtaking Malacca river on the background. The little one couldn't help but express how bored he was.

    His thought bubble reads, "Where on earth are we? Why there isn't any fun thing to do and see for a little kid like me?"

    Oh well, he started to smile and look really excited when we went for the river cruise right after the photo was taken. :D

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    3 Ways To Save the Earth from Global Warming

    Global warming is fast becoming a serious threat to humankind. In case you are still unaware, global warming refers to an unequivocal and continuing rise in the average temperature of the earth's climate system. For your better understanding, let me quote a report submitted by International Panel of Climate Change in 2013, as published in Wikipedia:

    "Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions of snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes."

    Sadly, we are the culprit of all the extreme climate change that has been happening around the world. It is about time we do something to save our beloved mother earth. I do believe that even the littlest things can make a difference. All we really need is to take action and do our part. Little contributions from people around the globe in all walks of life when combined together will create a big impact to make a better world.

    Here are ways to contribute in caring for our environment:

    1. Conserve Energy
    You can begin saving energy in the heart of your home and while doing so, do not forget to educate your family members to do the same. There are so many simple ways to save energy. Start by turning off lights, TV, computers or any energy consuming appliance you have at home that are not in use. You can also opt to use electric fans instead of aircon during cooler months.

    2. Conserve Water
    One of the benefits in experiencing to live in a third world country is being able to appreciate things when you move to a first world country. I always tell my kids to save water although we have ample supply here in Singapore simply because I have experienced running out of water to drink or bathe with in my home country Philippines. Having said that, you don't have to experience poverty in order to learn how to conserve water. You can start saving water by taking a shower not longer than 5 minutes.

    3. Remember to practice the 4R
    4R stands for reduce, reuse, recycle, and re-buy. Practice minimalism at home, buy only things that you really need. When you buy, consider buying pre-loved goods. You can also help reduce carbon dioxide emission by taking a bicycle or opt to walk instead of driving your car to your workplace whenever possible. As for recycling or upcycling, you can consult eco-friendly companies like GreenWerks Chicago to give you ideas on how to incorporate earth friendly construction materials in your home or business.

    It only takes a little effort from each of us to save the earth from global warming. Go ahead and play your part NOW!

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    Mother and Son Tandem

    Please allow me to take a breather from posting my Malacca travel tales and post this mother and son tandem featuring our outfit of the day on our first day in Malaca.

    On the little boy who stole my heart from his dad:

    Fedora hat and sunglasses: Cotton On Kids
    Shirt and denim cargo shorts: Fox Kids
    Rubber closed sandals: Disney

    On momMe:

    Sunglasses: Mango Touch
    Scarf and top: Stradivarius
    Watch: Guess
    Bangle and earrings: Forever 21
    Pants: Mango
    Sandals: Keiyo

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    My Top 3 Dream Holiday Destinations

    When I turned 35 years old on October last year, I made a life list that includes all the places that I wish to discover and explore. If you are a regular reader of Sweet Memoirs, you should know by now that I am a self-confessed wanderlust. I love to travel and see with my own naked eyes new places that I have never been to. Looking at travel photos in the internet sure takes me to places that I may not be able to explore in my lifetime but as long as I live, I won't stop from going to places.

    Here are my 3 dream holiday destinations in no particular order:

    1. Sydney, Australia

    There are so many places I wish to visit in Australia like Perth (where one of my blogger inspiration lives), Melbourne (where my cousin lives) and Queensland (particularly Gold Coast, to watch a magical golden sunset in the beach) but I think I will have to start with its capital city, Sydney not just to see with my own naked eyes the majestic Sydney opera and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge to marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Sydney harbour views but to also to bring my kids to Taronga Zoo and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

    2. Seoul, Korea

    It must have been my family's craze on Korean drama that made me want to explore this vibrant and beautiful capital city of Korea. I am dreaming of a snowy holiday with my family where we can make snow angels and wander around. I wish to board the cable car at Namsan Park and check out the N Seoul Tower to get bird's eye view of this fascinating city, check out one or two of the many great Seoul palaces, eat and drink soju at a pojongmacha or road side tent just like in Korean movies/drama series, and check out Lotte World and Dream Forest with the kids.

    3. Tokyo, Japan

    My sister's visit to Tokyo last year made me include Japan as one of my dream holiday destination. I wish to explore the city during fall season to witness the stunning colours of fall. My kids would also love to pay Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea a visit. Not to mention that Japan is the home of Sanrio characters, I am sure my girl would love to shop at a Sanrio store to add some Hello Kitty items to her growing Hello Kitty collection.

    For more information about other dream holiday destinations like New Zealand, Canada, and USA, visit www.mydriveholiday.com. I would love to explore NZ, Canada and USA too when the kids are big enough to look after themselves. For now, I will just stay contented in working hard to be able to go to my top 3 dream holiday destinations listed above.

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    10 Things To Do In Malacca

    There are so many things to see and do in Malacca. Before I take you to a virtual tour around the historical and beautiful city, allow me to share with you 10 things to do Malacca.

    1. Ride the vibrant and beautifully decorated tricycle

    When in Malacca, you will never miss this type of tricycle adorned with the most creative flower decorations and different cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse and the likes. At night, you'll find them dress up in colourful lights accompanied by lively music. Tricycle ride costs between RM15 to RM50 depending on where you wish to go.

    2. Spend some quiet time at Christ Church Melaka

    Christ Church Melaka is a century old Anglican church situated at the heart of the Dutch Square. We managed to pray and spend some quiet time while being serenaded by the church choir which coincidentally held a choir practice whilst we were there. After praying, the hubby also bought a fridge magnet bearing a photo of the church. The sales of souvenir items sold inside the church will go to church funds for maintenance. 

    3. Eat spiral potato by the Malacca River

    Right opposite Christ Church Melaka is the breathtaking views of the Malacca River. We spotted a food stall that sells spiral potato and decided to try one. My girls obviously loved it! Beside the spiral potato seller, there's also a fresh coconut juice vendor and a small food stall that sells cendol, a traditional local dessert made of shaved ice, coconut mik, jelly noodles, and palm sugar.

    4. Take the Melaka River Cruise

    When in Malacca, you cannot NOT miss to go on Melaka River Cruise. The hubby who's not one to likely fall on a tourist trap was actually the one who suggested that we take the river cruise. Like I mentioned here, Malacca River is the Venice of the East, it is just so beautiful not to explore by boat. If you travel to Malacca without kids, I highly recommend that you take the river cruise at night as it is so romantic and even more breathtaking with all the lights when darkness falls. (FYI: We paid RM44 for the 45-minute cruise.)

    5. Eat cendol

    Cendol is a very popular traditional local dessert like I said earlier. It seems to be calling out our names, another cendol stall greeted us after the river cruise. I told the hubby to buy just one as the girl may not be able to finish it but after having a taste of it, he ordered another one. The cendol left such a lasting impression to him that as soon as we arrived back in Singapore, he bought his own ingredients at the supermarket to make his own version. :D

    6. Buy a souvenir at a local market

    Whilst wandering around the city, we spotted a local market and decided to check it out. There is a plethora of souvenir items to choose from that are considerably cheap and of good quality. Hubby bought a Hard Rock Malacca couple shirt for us, the girl had a necklace, a beautifully adorned pink slippers and a toy telescope, and the boy who is crazy about wheels had a truck set. Everything did not cost us a bomb.

    7. Take the tour bus 

    If you prefer to explore Malacca without breaking a sweat, you can opt to take the tour bus that will take you sightseeing around the city.

    8. Explore a museum

    There are a number of museums worth checking out in Malacca. You can choose one or two that captures your interest.

    9. Watch sunset from your hotel balcony

    We were blessed with a stunning sunset while taking a break in our hotel balcony after walking around the city for four hours straight. The therapeutic effect of the sunset somehow took away all the soreness of our feet.

    10. Explore Jonker Street

    After the breathtaking sunset treat in our hotel and a satisfying dinner, our life batteries were about 80% recharged and managed to go out again to explore the Jonker Street. Just like the Melaka River Cruise, you cannot NOT miss Jonket Street. Its night market and food scene are worth raving about. Hubby and I were so happy we did not miss this place. A travel to Malacca won't be complete without a Jonker Walk experience. 

    Tune in for more Malacca travel tales! Up next, Malacca's places of interest

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    The Emotional Turmoil Caused by an Auto Accident

    Emotional turmoil can result from any auto accident. Anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, fear or guilt after a car accident should seek advice from a professional that can help you get through the recovery phase. Auto insurance companies can often assist their customers in finding a qualified doctor or therapist -- make sure and reach out to them for information regarding who you can see to get further assistance. The one good thing when something like an auto accident occurs, is that if you are insured from such things, you can rest assured your policy has your back.

    Fender-Benders Are A Big Downer
    It’s normal to be afraid of driving again after an accident, even if it was “just” a fender-bender. It doesn’t matter how old the driver is or how long he or she has been driving. Just because someone has been driving for decades doesn’t mean they should be able to immediately get back on the road with no anxiety. Having been involved in one accident can make a driver hyper-aware and fearful of being in another, potentially worse accident. Talking to a therapist even once or twice can help ease the fear of driving or being a passenger in a car again.

    Serious Accidents Require Serious Recovery
    Accidents involving personal injury can cause emotional trauma equal to or greater than the injury. Emotional turmoil can linger long after physical injuries sustained in a car accident heal. Injuries that require long periods of healing or physical therapy or are permanent are a daily reminder of the accident. Severely injured people often experience depression, anger, nightmares and PTSD. Family and personal relationships may suffer. The emotional turmoil is worse if someone is permanently disabled, loses a limb or is the sole survivor of a car accident. These types of emotional trauma require treatment by a skilled mental health practitioner so the injured person can return to a normal life or adjust to a life altered by injury or the loss of loved ones. Again, if something emotionally traumatic were to occur, it's always comforting that you'll be able get back on the road, when you're ready, because your auto insurance company will help you get back on the road.

    Elderly Drives And their Independence
    Older drivers are especially vulnerable to worry about driving again, whether they were at fault in the accident or not. Depending on the state and the driver’s age, an at-fault driver may have to take some or all of the driving tests again and pass medical exams. If the older driver is not at fault, they may be afraid of being in another accident and being severely injured. Older drivers who have been in car accidents don’t have to give up their independence. A qualified therapist or doctor can help ease their fears.

    Young Drivers
    Young drivers who have been in a car accident may develop a fear of driving. Therapy is very beneficial for young drivers experiencing emotional trauma after an accident.

    At-Fault Drivers
    The driver who causes the accident is often not considered in terms of emotional turmoil after an auto accident. At-fault drivers can suffer extreme guilt, PTSD and depression. Mental healthcare professionals are not judgmental and will treat at-fault drivers with the same respect as any other patient.

    No matter the severity of an auto accident and how a person was involved, there’s no need to continue to suffer from emotional turmoil. A family doctor or insurance company can help all drivers find someone to help heal their mental scars.

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    Malacca River: Venice of the East

    We're back from a weekend getaway to Malacca and I can't stop gushing how beautiful the Malacca River is. According to www.malacca.ws, Malacca River was once dubbed as "Venice of the East" by European seafarers and I cannot NOT agree. I am now wondering what took us too long to explore the historical city that has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.

    I can't wait to take you to a virtual tour to Malacca. Please allow me to rest and sleep for now. I have yet to sort out the gazillion photos I took with my reliable travel buddy a.k.a. camera.

    Tune in for my Malacca travel tales!

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    Don’t Let Your Child be the Water Filter

    We all know how important it is to drink clean water for good health. Once my daughter was born, this became a much more urgent matter. I became much more aware of the challenge of providing clean, healthy water for her, my wife, as well as my own health. Because a child's body is developing, it is even more important what they take in. I found myself doing research on my options to provide the best water I could for my loved one.

    It’s surprising for most of us to imagine that clean and safe water is an issue if we live in developed countries. Our water supplies are considered reliable and safer. Yet they are not as up to date as you might think. For example, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) conducted a comprehensive examination of the health of U.S water and revealed that 55 percent of all waterways in the US were considered to be in poor condition, while just 21 percent of the waters were considered good.

    Most municipalities are not able to remove many contaminants from water.  Worse, some of these may actually be harmful. In 2008, a study by the Associated Press revealed that a vast array of pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water of at least 41 million Americans including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco’s drinking water. So how do these pharmaceutical and byproduct contaminants get in our water? According to Associated Press, the drug residues detected in water supplies are generally flushed into sewers and waterways through human excretion. Our municipal water treatments do not remove these, so they just continue to build up in our water supply.

    These types of contaminants can create dangerous health issues to people especially young children, pregnant women. Currently, the federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. As a matter of fact, there are many contaminants in our water that are not regulated.

    Part of the challenge is that our water system infrastructure is heavily underfunded, and it is being strained by growing populations and economic development. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, and estimated 7 billion gallons of water is leaking from pipes, each day! And those broken seals also let contaminants in as well, as in Colorado. The also reported that 30 percent of pipes are between 40 and 80 year old.

    What can we do?
    It is safe to say, if you don't filter your water, your body is the filter. But you can start taking action today and take control of your family’s health by following these tips:
    1. Knowledge is key; know how safe and clean your water is by using the interactive Diagnose Your Drinking Water tool by the Water Quality Association.
    2. Seek other safer alternatives for water filtration such as distillation, or reverse osmosis filtration. Both of these methods will, for the most part, remove the vast majority of the dissolved solids in your water, and allow you to have great tasting water, which is also free of things, which, should not be in our water.
    3. Invest in some BPA free bottles to carry water around with you and your family. There are plenty of high quality and well-designed bottles like bkr, or lifefactory.

    1. Malewitz, Jim. “EPA Warns of Poor U.S.Water Quality”. Governing.com, Energy & Environment Section. Mar 2013. Web. Feb 2014. <http://www.governing.com/news/state/sl-epa-warns-of-poor-us-water-quality.html>
    2. “The Importance of Clean Water”. Gracelinks.org. n.p, n.d. Feb 2014. <http://www.gracelinks.org/2382/the-importance-of-clean-water>
    3. “AP: Drugs found in drinking water”. USA Today. n.p, Sept 2008. Feb 2014. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-10-drugs-tap-water_N.htm?loc>

    About David Schulhof: David Schulhof is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and the founder of Living Sunlight, a health and wellness platform (Launching April 2014), which will make it easy for consumers to find and get products that support a healthy lifestyle. The company just launched Stanford Water Purification System, a compact and portable water filter system using Reverse Osmosis technology. At this stage, the company is seeking additional funds to help fund volume production and obtain the necessary certifications to make this product accessible to lower income families using Government subsidies. To do so, they are pushing out their first Indiegogo Campaign on February 17, 2014. On top of that, for every funded unit on Indiegogo, the company will donate $4 to Charity: Water, a non-profit organization that brings safe and clean water to people in developing nations.

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    How Much Is Your Car Really Worth?

    So, you want to know the value of your used car, but you don’t know where to begin? You are not alone. There are so many used cars out there and so many people who want to understand the value of the car they own in order to begin the process of purchasing a more economical, or more environmentally safe, or more dependable vehicle. At the same time, there are plenty of ways to establish the value of your car, and here are a few suggestions:

    Kelly Blue Book is still around, but man is it ever in a different format. No longer is it an actual small blue paperback book used to find the value of your aging automobile. It is now a used car mega-industry online. The estimated value of your car can still be found, but now you can also sell your car on the site. You can find ratings and reviews of different models of vehicles, and you can check the history of a car and calculate the monthly car payment of the new vehicle you are interested in purchasing. If you enjoy a good website adventure, this is the way you should go. You could spend part of a day just looking at the Top Ten Automobile Lists (top ten luxury cars, top ten collectible cars, etc.).

    Another car site that can give information about vehicle prices is Edmunds. Like Kelly’s, Edmunds has access to many resources for researching your car’s value. They have appraising instructions, and even a live online representative who will assist you in finding your car’s fair market value. These sites are a little like walking into a car dealership, in that their goal is to sell you a car, but being aware of that fact can help you stay focused on your purpose for being there.

    You can find online now, companies that are in the business of researching the value of cars. Their drill goes like this. You call and describe your vehicle to them; make, model, year, condition, and so forth. They can take those facts and come up with a price based on those facts. If you agree with the price, they make an appointment with you to come to the location you choose and pick up your car. Most of these sites say that they will have the car out of your hands within 24 hours. The money for your vehicle is paid to you upon retrieval of the automobile in cash. There are also some sites on which all of this can be handled on the website itself. You can get a quote on the value of your car right there and then. One example, of such a service is Interstate Auto Buyers Cash for Cars Program. They state they will offer free quotes on al vehicles.

    Another car valuation site is NADA Guides. Here you enter the make and model of the car you would like to know the value of and you will receive a quote from a local dealership. Do this same thing on several other sites, and there are many other sites like this one, and you could average the quotes you get to see approximately what your car’s current value is.

    Finding the true value of your used car will take a little patient research, but you can do it!

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    Breakfast at Dome (Paragon)


    After I was discharged from my surgery last CNY eve, I was trembling from hunger because I fasted from 12mn. The operating theatre nurse offered me hot milo and cracker but I politely declined the cracker as I was looking forward to have a decent breakfast somewhere.

    Hubby treated me at Dome. We ordered mocha, mushroom soup, bacon and egg on toast and the big breakfast set.

    I was too hungry that I managed to slurp the mushroom soup and gobble up my bacon and egg on toast in a matter of minutes. I even ate the grilled button mushrooms, grilled tomato and one chicken sausage from hubby's big breakfast set. I was also the one who drank most of the mocha. I felt like one hungry dinosaur. LOL.


    Ambience: nothing spectacular
    Food: average
    Service: average
    Price points: reasonable

    290 Orchard Road
    Paragon, #04-09
    Singapore 238859

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    4 Ways to Give Your Home a Rustic Italian Vibe

    Many of us are looking for ways to personalise our homes and transform them from nice, functional spaces into really meaningful ones.

    Often, inspiration comes from a particular place; the chic, elegance of Paris, the colourful bazaars of Morocco or the light, minimalist style of Sweden. This week, we turn the spotlight on Italy to bring you some style tips that will give your home an authentic, rustic Italian vibe.

    Colour and Texture
    To give your room a suitable Italian canvas, prepare the walls with light or earthy tones. Simplicity is key, so if you have heavily pattered furniture, tone it down with plain throws and cushions.

    Similarly, you can brighten up plain suites with textured, patterned or embroidered ones. Don’t be afraid to use a little lace embroidery here and there too as coasters, tablecloths or napkins. Floors should ideally be stone or wooden floorboards but if you can’t recreate this look, colourful woven rugs will help tie flooring into the rest of your design.

    Key Pieces
    For an authentic Italian feel, it’s worth investing in a few key pieces. Wooden Venetian window blinds transform a room instantly and make a real feature, drawing the eye to the window.

    Natural light is prominent in any Italian home and window shutters allow you to let light flood into a space or filter out sunlight, or the British clouds, as your mood dictates. It’s always worth getting a professional installer to measure and fit these for you; they will last a lifetime.

    For a rustic look, wooden furniture also adds authenticity. Opt for pieces that look worn or if you are creative, can be distressed to look love-aged. A large dining table in your kitchen or garden helps to recreate the Italian lifestyle of leisurely meals and get-togethers.

    The tide has changed for interior decoration. The souvenirs or nik-naks we once collected on holiday and then stowed away in boxes at home are now in fashionable use as accessories for the personal touch. When it comes to rustic style, the more mismatched the items the better, especially crockery and glassware.

    Display them in glass-fronted cabinets or stacked on shelves and never save them for a special occasion; in true Italian style, every occasion is special. If you don’t have a collection of suitable accessories, you can pick them up in flea markets or online for a fraction of their original price.

    Much of the Italian lifestyle is down to making use of both indoor and outdoor spaces. The British weather might not always make this easy, but a conservatory is the perfect compromise, merging interior and exterior spaces together and allowing you to entertain guests at any time of year. Make sure you pay as much attention to your garden as you do your home.

    Wildflowers in beds or pots, creeping vines, outdoor cushions and tea-lights candles make your garden just as inviting as your kitchen.

    These simple tips will help you to maintain the Italian lifestyle, the informal living, the appreciation of simple food and wine and the freedom to entertain long after the holiday has ended.

    Thomas Sanderson are known for their commitment to high quality style advice to suit your home. You can catch more of their advice on Google +.

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    3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy A House

    Buying a new home is often one of the most serious decisions of anyone’s life. That is one of the reasons why you should ask yourself all the relevant questions just to ensure that you are doing the right thing at the right time.

    If you are looking to purchase a property in Norwich, you have already asked yourself one relevant question. That is, where you want to live. However, that is just the beginning. There are financial matters to be considered, researches to be made, and often you will have to think into the future.
    To make your life and your decision of buying a house in Norwich a bit easier, we have put together a small checklist. Read through it and ask yourself the right questions and you will be find yourself on the right path to your dream property.

    1) Is it the right time?
    More than anything else you need to be prepared for buying a new house anywhere in the world. The rule of the game does not change much and you need to be confident about your decision even when the name of the place changes to Norwich. This is because the decision to purchase a house involves a lot of considerations.
    One of the first things is your financial situation. You need to find out if you will be able to bear the expense of buying a new house after you meet all the regular expenditures. You probably are thinking of mortgage.
    Even then you will have to analyse if your financial situation would allow you to make the payments every month. Failure to do so might have a negative effect on your credit. However, even before that, you should find out if you are eligible to get a mortgage on the basis of your income and credit score.
    Apart from the financial angle there is also a lifestyle point of view to the decision. For instance, if your job needs you to move to a different location within a year, buying a house may not be the right thing to do for you at the moment.

    2) Is it the right place?
    Norwich is a big city, which means you really have to narrow down on a particular neighbourhood before you buy a house. Try to figure out if that particular locality is suitable for you. This includes factors such as connectivity, distance from your workplace, the kind of people who live there, and the likes. If you are going to stay there for the rest of your life, it is very important you love the place as much as you love your house.

    3) Is it the right property?
    The house that you buy should be spacious enough to accommodate your entire family. It is a good idea to think about the number of children you would want to have in future. Apart from this, also try to analyse if the house is in perfect condition or if you need to do considerable repairs, which in turn would mean more financial commitment.
    Once you ask these questions, it is time for you to search for a property in Norwich. Check out the website of NetMovers for a comprehensive list.
    Sam Jones writes for Netmovers Commercial Department at Netmovers If you have a Google plus account, you can find Sam here

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    Weekend Indulgence: Swensen's Icecream


    Last weekend, my fambam went for an icecream date at Swensen's. Swensen's icecream is love! We picked Regular Earthquake from the Mega Sundaes menu and we didn't regret a single calorie that went into our hips. :D

    The icecream delight was served with dry ice and came with 8 scoops of iceream of our choice and 8 different toppings. Here's what we chose:

    Rocky Road
    Chocolate Peanut Buttercup
    Mocha Almond Fudge
    Cookies and Cream
    Lime Sherbet
    Strawberry Sherbet

    Hubby and I loved the chocolate peanut buttercup, butterscotch and mocha almond fudge, the little boy loved rocky road and the big girl loved mango and cookies and cream. We saved the sherbets for last because it's so refreshing!

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    How Pre-Closing Audits Reduce Loan Portfolio Risk

    In 2011, Freddie Mac updated its quality control requirements covering pre- and post-closing quality control measures. Freddie Mac'sPre-closing Quality Control Reviews Section 48.8 lists best practices and guidance for conducting a pre-closing audit. Not only is it necessary to conform with Freddie Mac's quality control requirements by implementing a pre-closing quality control process that samples a percentage of mortgages before closing, it's also smart. Why? Pre-closing audits reduce loan portfolio risk. Here's how:

  • Pre-closing audits give lenders the opportunity to find and correct potential issues prior to closing a potentially risky loan. For example, validating and reverifying data involves double-checking Social Security numbers, employment, income documentation and calculations, assets, appraisals, mortgage insurance coverage, property valuation data, and so forth. Should the re-verification process reveal discrepancies, corrective measures can be taken before the loan is funded.

  • Pre-closing audits help to ensure that loans are being originated according to the lender's policies and procedures. When loan originations deviate from established policies, the loan portfolio mix could become unbalanced or riskier loans undertaken. By auditing a sample of mortgages, lenders may notice variations in how loans are being originated and then address these issues at the source.  

  • Pre-closing audits can help to identify employee, branch office, or third party originator training issues - or potential fraud. When a given employee, branch office, or third party originator consistently deviates from established procedures, this deviation could indicate that additional training is needed. In cases of suspected fraud, pre-closing audits can serve as an evaluative tool.

  • Pre-closing audits can lead to the cancellation of risky loans. When a pre-closing audit reveals deficiencies that cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the lender may opt to cancel or postpone the settlement.

  • Pre-closing audits identify risk, validate and re-verify data, and provide lenders with the opportunity to correct potential issues before funding a loan. Though Freddie Mac requires a sampling that reflects the lender's product line and production process, each individual loan could benefit from a pre-closing audit.

    Frank Shields is an expert in the mortgage industry. He has collected sources from http://loanlogics.com/expert_audit_services.html to write this post. Feel free to connect with him over at Google+.

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    New Year Outfit

    Romper: Mango
    Necklace: Forever 21
    Bangle: Forever 21
    Jelly Sandals (not in photo): Rubi

    Here's what I wore on the first day of January 2014. I paired the romper with heart and apple prints I bought from Mango with my orange Forever 21 accessories and Rubi jelly sandals. 
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    3 Reasons Why Sending Snail Mail Should Never Go Outdated

    In this modern day filled with advanced computer technology, people tend to communicate with their love ones via email, Facebook chat, Skype and the likes. It is now a norm to send birthday greetings using e-cards. People now expresses their appreciation for other people via Twitter, Instagram and what-nots. What made me say so? I am embarrassingly guilty of it. I have stopped sending hand-written greeting cards to my love ones since time immemorial.

    To stop myself from riding the bandwagon and revive the happiness in sending and receiving cards and letters via snail mail, I came up with 3 reasons why sending hand-written greeting cards, thank you notes and love letters should never go outdated:

    1. The recipient will feel more valued and loved.
    It takes time and effort to buy or create greeting cards, write your message and send them via snail mail so naturally, its recipient will feel more valued and loved. Reading letters and cards in paper and ink brings priceless joy to the reader. 

    2. Your thoughtfulness will be highly appreciated.
    It is very rare nowadays that people receive snail mails with hand-written notes so when they receive one, they will appreciate the gesture and thoughtfulness of the sender. Greetings and messages doesn't have to be written in luxurious cards and stationary. It's really the thought that counts. 

    3. Snail mailed greeting cards convey more sincerity than electronic greeting cards.
    Sending e-cards and emails can be done in heart beat. Because it is done fast and convenient, it doesn't convey much sincerity. When you send greeting cards via snail mail, it will make the recipient feel your sincerity in expressing your well wishes and gratefulness even more. 

    There are so many fast and reliable mailing services you could avail nowadays be it in your neighbourhood mailing post or via online. Sending personal or work related greetings cards, thank you notes and letters via snail mail should never go outdated. Go ahead and send one today!


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