A Guide to Properly Caring for Your Knitwear

Regardless if it costs much or less, knitwear pieces require special care for it to maintain its original shape. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend extra bucks just to dry clean it every time. Aside from dry cleaning, there are other inexpensive ways that you can do to give your sweats some love. Here, we listed down some of the things to remember as you care for your precious angora, cashmere, synthetics and wool.

Shave the Bobbles

Bobbling occurs when two pieces of fabric rub together over time, or when it is frequently washed. To keep it from ruining the appearance of your knitwear, ensure that you remove it regularly – and a quick way to do it is through using an electric razor. Using a sharp razor, shave off the bobbles of your sweater to leave the surface of your knit feeling smooth again.

Comb Your Sweats

Another good way to maintain the prime state of your knitwear – and a good investment, might we add – is to run a cashmere comb on your sweater to get rid of any snags before washing them. This is crucial in keeping the fabric fibres from catching or tangling on any other garments.

Wash It Regularly

The easiest way to ensure that your knitwear stays in tip-top shape is to wash it regularly. Machine washing is good, but ensure that it’s only set on hand-wash setting and that you wash your coloured pieces separately. If you’re not that confident with using the washing machine, simply opt to hand-wash your sweaters. Just make sure that you press (not wring) it when you’re done.

Flat-Dry Your Knitwear

Once you’re done washing your knitwear, ensure that you dry it flat so it retains its original shape. Only stretch or weight it down if necessary, and never wring it just to get rid of the excess water. If you want to remove excess water, just scrunch it into a ball and gently squish it with your hands.

Avoid Dampness

Make sure that your sweaters are completely dry before stowing them away. Remember that even the slightest dampness on your knitwear will already result in discolouration, mildew or mould – and we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to see any of that on your clothing pieces.

Properly caring for your sweaters isn’t as difficult as you think. Simply putting these tips to work is already enough to ensure that you give your knitwear their much needed tender loving care.

How to Tell if You Are in an “Almost Relationship”

Almost relationship are just exactly how they sound – there’s no certainty about what you’re getting into, and the rules in your supposed relationship just keeps changing as you go. There is no word used to describe it, hence the term, “almost relationship.” What’s clear is you’re in a supposed relationship with a person who may or may become your partner in the future. It’s extremely confusing but worry not, as we’ve listed down some signs that you might be involved in an almost relationship.

Something important is missing even if you’re together

Sure, you admire the qualities that the person possess and you enjoy each other’s company, but at the end of the day, something still seems missing. For some, it may be the chemistry. Perhaps you are not that attracted to the person, or there’s a level of intimacy that you just can’t move into. You might even be telling yourself that you might become more attracted to the person if you just get to know him or her more, but it never happens.

You can’t seem to tolerate the person’s behaviour on a long-term basis

When your partner is on his or her best behaviour, you like him or her even more. If he or she becomes moody, however, you end up feeling frustrated and annoyed at the person. You do your best to support her in ways that you can, but you also constantly keep you guard up to protect yourself his or her nasty aside. This is when your relationship becomes too difficult to enjoy and maintain that you’d end up breaking up later on.

Your relationship already stopped growing

When your “almost relationship” is already prepared to turn into the real thing, you and your partner should start getting more serious with everything that you do. You should already be showcasing your growing feelings for each other. But if you’re still doing the same things over and over, and you’re not connecting on a much deeper level, then that just means that your relationship already reached its peak and will likely start deteriorating.

You can’t seem to talk about the important things in your life

One sign that you’re involved in an almost relationship is when you’re having a hard time speaking about things that are important to your relationship. Regardless of how much you bring up the subject, something just always comes up. Be it your own doubts about your situation or your partner’s knack for disappearing every time the subject comes up, the signs are obvious and there’s just nothing else you can do than leave the relationship.

While there’s a chance that an almost relationship can turn into a long-lasting one, it’s definitely a situation you wouldn’t want to be in. So instead of settling for something that’s barely even there, work your way to achieving an actual romance with your significant other.

4 Reasons You’ve Hit Muscle-Building Plateau and How to Power Through It

To put it simply, having a muscle-building plateau means that your muscles have hit a wall and have stopped growing. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your muscles can’t grow anymore. It simply means that there’s something you’re not doing right. Read on to see the different causes of plateaus and what you should do to gain muscle again.

1. You don’t do progressive overloading

Progressive overloading is one of the main principles of building muscle. When you start lifting weights as a complete beginner, naturally you’ll see some gains within a month or two. If you don’t increase the weight you’re lifting after that, you’ll hit a plateau. This is where progressive overloading comes in. For example, you do 4 sets of 8 reps on the squats during the first week. Then in the second week, you do 4 sets of 9 reps. Then on the third week, you do 4 sets of 10. After that, you increase the weight. This is basically what progressive overloading is.

2. You don’t “change up” your workouts

One of the main reasons you hit a plateau is because your muscles are “already used” to your workouts. Let’s say you routinely do bench presses then head directly to the pull-up bar after. Your muscles already know what’s coming. Our muscles only grow if they’re put under enough stress. That’s why you should constantly change up your workouts. For example, you could do drop sets where you lift 25 kg dumbbells and do 10 reps. Then without rest, switch over to the 20 kg dumbbells and do another 10 reps. Then drop the weight again and do another 10. This will add a new dynamic to your workouts.

3. You don’t eat enough or you don’t eat right

Seasoned gym-goers and professional bodybuilders will tell you that gaining muscle is all about proper nutrition more than it is about staying for hours at the gym. To put it simply, you have to take in more calories than you burn and you do that by eating more. In addition to that, you also have to pay attention to your protein intake. If you don’t already know, protein mainly helps build and repair our muscle tissues. That’s why you have to eat enough protein, fat, and carbs daily to help your muscles develop better and faster.

4. You don’t get enough Z’s

Many would say that Singaporeans tend to skip out on sleep. This will be a problem if you’re trying to gain some muscle. Sleep is just as important as nutrition because it’s a time for your body to recover and make repairs. In fact, the muscle-building process really kicks in not when we’re in the gym, but when we’re already in our beds getting a good shut-eye. This also helps us increase our testosterone as well, which is also vital for growth. So, make sure you get enough sleep.

4 Things You Can Do to Get Past a Hangover

There’s no denying that nightlife in Singapore is pretty lively. From beach bars to rooftop bars, you’ll never run out of places to eat, drink, and have fun. The thing is though, there’s always that dreaded feeling in the morning after your night out. You’re having a headache and muscles are aching as you get out of bed. Finally, you realize you’re having a hangover! So, let’s not dawdle around and see how you can get rid of that hangover.

1. The easiest way is to…

Okay, not that we’re taking the “prevention is better than cure” route here, but that’s really all there is to it. If you’ve experienced a hangover before and want to make sure not to have it again, just resist the temptation to drink too much. It’s not that you shouldn’t drink at all, just remind yourself to drink moderately!

2. Don’t skip your morning carbs

One of the best remedies for a hangover is to eat your breakfast. When you eat breakfast, you’re giving the body more fuel to replenish energy and nutrients. You’re also giving your brain more nutrients necessary to relieve headaches. There is a reason why people come up with hangover soup as breakfast food in Singapore. Pair that up with some rice and you’ll be good to go.

3. Drink more water

Alcohol is a diuretic which basically means it causes you to release more water (it makes you pee more). When you don’t drink water to compensate, you’ll get dehydrated and that mostly affects your brain. This is why hangovers are characterized by headaches. Your brain and body already lack hydration. That’s why you should drink more water while drinking alcohol. This can also keep you from getting drunk too easily.

4. Listen to your body

When you wake up in the morning with a hangover, your body will tell you not to leave the bed. You’ll feel all groggy and tired when you stand up. Considering all that, listen to your body and just go back to sleep. That’s your body’s way of recovering, so don’t interfere. If you wake up for a while, drink some water and go back to bed.

Hangover Myths?

Some say that when you drink a bit of the alcoholic drink you had the night before, it can help ease your hangover. They say this is because a hangover is a form of alcohol withdrawal. There’s not much study behind this though. When you drink alcohol the next morning, the hangover could drop as your blood alcohol rises. But later on, you’ll only feel it again. That makes it a band-aid solution only.

5 Crucial Facts You Need to Know About Bread

As much as bread is a staple in many diets all over the world, it’s an easy way to gain weight when you’re stressed or tired. With the wrong kind of bread, you increase the risk of all kinds of conditions, such as weight gain and dental caries. But the good news is you can still enjoy it and other baked goods when you make better choices. To get you started, here are a few crucial facts you need to know about bread:

Marketing makes it difficult

The actual impact that “hi-fiber” or “multi-grain” flour has on dietary fiber, nutrition, and salt levels is minimal. You should especially be wary if the bread says “multi-grain” on the label. The reason for this is that terms such as “hi-fiber” or “multi-grain” can mean all kinds of things for both manufacturers and consumers alike.

All grains are the same    

Health food stores might sell different breads made from different varieties of wheat, but keep in mind that that milled flour is the same no matter what grain you use. Instead, having different seeds and grains such as chia, flax, and rye in the flour might add more nutritional value, but can make the bread denser and more expensive as a result.

There are different types of flour

There are three different types of flour you need to keep in mind: whole wheat flour, which is the most nutritious since it contains almost everything in the grain or seed that has the nutrient content; dark flour, which contains fewer dietary fibers; and finally, white flour, which is the least nutritious of the three.

Gluten-free doesn’t do anything unless you’re allergic to it

When kneaded with a small amount of water, wheat flour contains a protein that adds greatly to the texture of the bread. This protein is known as gluten. However, keep in mind that while some people, particularly those suffering from celiac disease, definitely benefit from gluten-free bread, there’s a good chance it will do little for you since this condition is really rare. This means that gluten-free foods aren’t necessarily healthier options, and they usually cost more than typical bread.

Bread can still be healthy

There’s no need to worry about not being able to enjoy delectable bread when you make the right choices. To start, be sure to read the label carefully to know the bread’s sugar, salt, and fiber content. If it’s possible, choose bread that’s whole-grain. Whole-grain foods that contain all the essential nutrients can give you a lot of health benefits, and they also make for a great way to help you lose weight. Healthy spreads are also a great way to add more flavor to your bread without necessarily adding the extra calories.

5 Amazing Tips to Help You Save Money While Traveling

Traveling can get expensive quickly even when you’re on a budget, so whether you’re taking that much-needed vacation or traveling frequently for your day job, it’s crucial to find ways to cut down on the expenses and stick to your budget as much as possible.

To get started, here are a few tips you can use to save more money on your travels:

1. Look for free stuff or activities. Doing a little research about the activities in that area will tell you about them, and if you look at community calendars, you’ll find out about what’s going on while you’re there. It also helps if you familiarize yourself by taking a tour of the place on your own. Simply walking around might just lead you to something unexpected yet definitely worth your time and money.

2. Bring snacks with you. There’s a good chance you’ll get hungry when going from place to place, and stopping to get snacks to munch on is an easy way to rack up your expenses and blow through your budget, so it’s always a good idea to bring a snack or two on the road or while making that flight. If you’re hungry and looking for a place to eat, stay away from the places close to tourist traps! They’re likely to be more expensive, and there are always better options if you take the time to look around.

3. Pay in local currency. If you’re a frequent flyer to a different country, one of the biggest ways you can cut down on your expenses is by spending in local currency. This saves you from the hassle of having to regularly convert from one type of currency to the other, especially when certain services can charge for this. One way you can do this is by applying for a multi-currency account from your bank of choice, which lets you maintain deposits in specific currencies and avoid certain exchange rates that don’t work in your favor.

4. Don’t get the best room available. Splurging on your accommodation is another way to burn through your budget before you’ve even started, and when it comes to getting a cheap place to stay, this is where you’ll really have to do your research and make the reservation beforehand. The good news is if you can, you should opt for a much cheaper accommodation. Feel free to ditch the fancy hotel room in favor of something that fits much more comfortably within your budget, especially if you’re only staying for a few days.

5. Get travel insurance. If anything should happen to you, proper travel insurance is your best bet for getting through most emergencies as safely as possible until you can get home.

Dog Infections You Should Know About

Losing a beloved pet to an illness that can be prevented is almost like losing a human loved one who has not been given the proper treatment. As a pet owner, you should be aware of these common infections that can affect your dogs.

  • Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis. These are caused by the bacteria Actinomyces sp. and Nocardia sp., respectively. Dogs with wounds are at greater risk, so make sure to wash and dress them properly to prevent infection.
  • Aspergillosis. It is a fungal infection that causes nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, and bleeding and swollen nose.
  • Bacterial Ear Infection. An ear infection is usually caused by the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis. Symptoms include inflamed inner ears, bad odor and waxy buildup in the ears, and itchiness.
  • Blastomycosis. The fungal infection can cause weight loss, lameness, and coughing.
  • Brucellosis. This contagious infection is caused by the bacterium Brucella canis. Look out for the following if your dog has been neutered or spayed: back pain, paralysis, rear leg weakness, eye inflammation, and scrotal enlargement in males.
  • Coccidiosis. This intestinal infection is caused by a protozoal parasites Coccidia. Signs include diarrhea, bloody stool or stool with mucus, weight loss, and loss of appetite especially in puppies.
  • Cryptococcus. Caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, the infection can affect the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and brain. Look out for the following symptoms: seizures, inflamed eyes, swollen lymph nodes, coughing, and imbalance.

  • Distemper. Canine distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus. It can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, loss of appetite, eye or nose discharge, fever, labored breathing, hardening of the footpads, and eye inflammation. Neurological symptoms develop when not treated, which include sensitivity to touch, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and uncoordinated movement.
  • Ehrlichiosis. Caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia, it is usually transmitted by ticks. Watch out for the following: neurological problems, eye inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, eye or nose discharge, muscle pain, enlarged spleen or lymph nodes, abnormal bleeding, fever, and low platelet count.
  • Giardia. It is also a name for a protozoan parasite that can cause diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
  • Leptospirosis. This is an infection caused by the Spirochetes bacterium. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, redness of the mucous membranes, and lethargy.
  • Lyme Disease. It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, lameness, lethargy, painful joints, and loss of appetite.
  • Parvovirus. This contagious viral infection has two forms. One type causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and weight loss while the second type attacks the heart muscles and often affects puppies. Although some older dogs survive parvo, it is often a fatal infection, so the best way to prevent it is through vaccination.
  • Staphylococcal Infection. Caused by the Staphylococcus sp. Bacteria, it is a skin infection that can also affect humans. It is usually treated with antibiotics, shampoo, and ointments.

  • Toxoplasmosis. If you have a cat, you and your dog will also risk exposure to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite which can cause seizures and neurological problems, tremors, muscle weakness, paralysis, respiratory problems, inflammation of the tonsils/retina/iris/cornea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and jaundice.

What is Dysgraphia?

Dysgraphia is characterized by difficulties in several areas that concern motor skills and writing. The person diagnosed with the condition is not necessarily an invalid or a moron, but it will take a while for him/her overcome hurdles during the learning years.

How do you recognize the symptoms in your child and what can you do about dysgraphia?

Overview and Causes

There is no specific cause for the condition, but there could be a lot of factors that might be linked to organizing the information in memory and the act of getting words on paper itself. Sometimes the condition can run in families and can also co-exist with other learning disabilities. So, what separates this condition from, say, dyslexia? Dysgraphia is more specific in that it affects how the person remembers the word and then recording it on paper. There are many other symptoms, however, before a person can be diagnosed with dysgraphia.

Symptoms of Dysgraphia

Proper diagnosis is a must to get early intervention for your child. Usually, a doctor will have to identify symptoms of dysgraphia from six categories such as fine motor, visual-spatial, language processing, grammar, spelling and handwriting, and language organization.

The following are the general symptoms of dysgraphia:

  • Difficulty telling a story from start to finish; usually leaves out information or provides too many details
  • Often jumbles sentences and uses vague descriptions
  • Finds it more comfortable conveying ideas when speaking
  • Difficulty using punctuation properly
  • Often forgets to start a sentence with the first letter of the first word in uppercase
  • Difficulty writing complete sentences or writes run-on sentences often
  • Difficulty understanding spelling rules and often misspells words
  • The child can spell correct orally, but not when writing it down
  • He/she finds it difficult to read even his/her own writing
  • Writing is a blend of cursive and printing, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Difficulty following directions and loses train of thought
  • Cannot follow grammar rules and apply them on writing
  • Difficulty writing ideas on paper
  • Cannot use scissors or art materials as well as other kids

  • Awkward writing position; difficulty holding writing materials, doing puzzles, keyboarding, using the cell phone to text, tying shoes, etc.
  • Difficulty understanding letter-spacing and shapes
  • Difficulty organizing written words from left to write; some letters go in different directions
  • The child will have a hard time making sense of maps
  • A child with dysgraphia will find it difficult to write or draw or color inside lines or shapes
  • Difficulty reproducing or drawing shapes

Living with Dysgraphia

The signs usually are not apparent until the child struggles to keep up with school activities. Diagnosis must be provided, however, by a trained psychologist who will measure the child’s motor skills and writing skills. Intensive teaching in handwriting will be needed, so you might have to enroll your child in a school that will offer such a program. Some schools also offer one-on-one instructions for children to be able to keep up with school. No medication is needed unless the child has been diagnosed with another co-existing condition that requires it.