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How to Utilize All those Extra Plastic Bags in Your Home

If you do a lot of grocery shopping or come home from shopping trips with plenty of bags, you might be struggling to find a use for them rather than simply throwing them away.

The good news is that there are many ways you can utilize the plastic bags lying around in your home, and when you use them well, you don’t have to keep buying them for different purposes. Here are a few things that you should be doing with your extra plastic bags right now:

Use them for your bathroom

Lining the trash cans in your bathroom and bedroom with plastic bags makes sure all your waste is in one place. Instead of getting special liners, using spare plastic bags from your grocery shopping is much cheaper. If your trash cans are rather small, you’ll also find yourself going through your spare plastic bags rather quickly, which means you will always be getting more out of your grocery shopping every time.

Save them for packing material

Single-use plastic bags can actually be reused in many ways.

Plastic bags are perfect as packing material for cushioning all kinds of fragile items, from everyday kitchenware to decorative vases to electronics and appliances that you might need for your work. One advantage plastic bags have is that aside from placing things inside of them, you can also stuff them inside larger containers to keep things from jostling in place too much.

Sealing paint cans

When you’re done painting for the day, you can make your paint last longer by placing the plastic bag first before the lid. Doing this will prevent any accumulated dry paint from chipping off the lid and falling into the can, which can affect the wet paint.

Keeping your fridge clean


The easiest way to keep your refrigerator clean when storing food in plastic containers is by wrapping them with a plastic bag before placing them inside. This works especially well when thawing meat in the fridge, since not only does it keep the fridge free from bacteria, but it also keeps any stains to a minimum.

You can also do the same for milk jugs or cartons, as well as for beverages and containers that tend to sweat. By covering them with plastic bags, you no longer have to clean up any rings formed by the falling droplets.

Ripen fruit faster

Place unripe fruit into a bag and seal it, but be sure to leave a little room for ventilation. Doing this traps the ethylene in the fruit, which will help it ripen much faster than it would uncovered. Adding a banana or a papaya in the bag also helps to speed up the process.

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Five Amazing Yoga Tips Every Beginner Should Know

Over the past few decades, more and more people are now practicing yoga for the benefits: it improves breathing, it’s a workout on its own, but perhaps the best reason for yoga is that it’s a fitness routine you can do in the comfort of your own home. However, while stepping onto the mat itself for the first time can be the most intimidating part for many people, it doesn’t have to be the case for you.

Here are five tips you need to know before getting started with your first yoga session:

  1. Warm up

A gentle warm-up exercise loosens your body the same way you would warm-up for any intense physical activity. Be sure to include the following exercises in your pre-session routine:

  • Massage the heat, brows, and cheeks for better circulation
  • Rotate your neck clockwise and counterclockwise to get rid of any stiffness
  1. Dress comfortably

When practicing yoga, it’s important to wear clothes that allow for a wide range of movement since you’ll be stretching your limbs in poses that will really test the limits of your flexibility. Get yourself started with the basics – stretchy pants and a top – and since you’re bound to get sweaty, a change of clothes and a towel is also a great idea.

  1. Stay on an empty stomach

Aside from staying hydrated through the day, it’s recommended to practice yoga at least two to three hours after your last meal. This allows your body to focus all its energy in the session rather than in digesting your food.

  1. Invest in a sticky mat

For some poses, having a sticky mat is indispensable since the added traction helps your skin stick to the mat, allowing you to focus your weight and hold that pose for an extended period. Beginners will especially love the sticky mat since it allows them to keep their balance with some poses and avoid different muscle problems like spasms and strains the more they practice.

  1. Focus on the spiritual part

Yoga is indeed about practicing spiritual awareness and mindfulness, and what brings them all together is the focus on meditation, which is a key practice for getting out of your autopilot and taking active control of your decisions.

Also crucial in practicing meditation and yoga (you can also practice yoga as a way to meditate) is proper, mindful breathing. Actively focusing on every breath can be a challenge at first, but gets easier with practice.

If there is one thing you should keep in mind, it’s that relaxing can be the hardest part of the entire routine, especially if you’re used to earning that rest and it feels strange to give it to yourself.

However, it’s also the reason why it’s special for those who practice it on a daily basis, and the more you practice every day, the more you’ll understand it for yourself.

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3 Strawberry Recipes for Dessert Lovers

Can’t get enough of the addictive sweet and zesty taste of strawberries? Here are more ways you can enjoy them at home.

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Ingredients: 2 quarts strawberries, 2 teaspoons gelatin, 2 ¼ cups chocolate chips, 2 ½ tablespoons cold water, ½ cup powdered sugar, and 3 cups heavy cream

Crust: 24 pieces crushed Oreo cookies, 6 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and cooking spray

Topping: 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 2/3 cup heavy cream, and chocolate shavings

Preparation: To make the crust, prepare a springform pan by spraying it with cooking spray, then combine cookies with salt and melted butter. Press mixture into the pan. To make the mousse, combine water and gelatin in a bowl then let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. While waiting, heat 1 cup of cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Then, whisk in the gelatin and chocolate chips until the latter is melted.

Let cool. Next, beat 2 cups cream with a mixer until stiff peaks form then add this to the chocolate mixture. Spread mixture on the prepared crust then layer with strawberries. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Just before serving, create the ganache by heating the heavy cream then pouring it over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes, then stir until combined. Refrigerate ganache for 15 minutes before spreading it on the mouse and topping it with chocolate shavings.

Strawberry French Toast Bake

Ingredients: 3 cups strawberries, 5 eggs, 1 cup half-and-half, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 cinnamon bread loaf, 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, and sweetened whipped cream

Preparation: Grease a baking dish (13 in x 9 in). Toss 2 cups of strawberries with sugar in one bowl, and combine cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, orange zest and juice, and vanilla in another bowl. Arrange half of the bread in the prepared baking dish then spoon the cream cheese mixture over it, layering it with the strawberry mixture and more bread until you have several alternating layers.

In another bowl, whisk eggs and cream then pout this mixture on top of the strawberry layers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. When ready, preheat oven to 350°F then bake while uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with a topping of whipped cream and more strawberries.

Strawberry Cinnamon Sundae

Ingredients: 2 cups strawberries, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 cups vanilla ice cream, and 1 teaspoon grated lime zest

Preparation: Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat and combine cinnamon with brown sugar and lime juice until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in strawberries and cook for 2 minutes. Serve mixture on top of the ice cream and sprinkle with zest.

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Reasons Why You Can’t Get Your Home’s Color Scheme Right

Reasons Why You Can’t Get Your Home’s Color Scheme Right

Even if you don’t have a room filled with furniture and decor, having a solid color scheme is ultimately what gives most of the atmosphere in your home. But while there are many that get the job done beautifully, there are also many color schemes that just don’t.

In fact, here are a few reasons why your home’s color scheme may not result in the visual aesthetic you want:

Assuming all neutral colors are the same

Neutral color schemes may be popular, but not being able to recognize the differences in their hues can be a big reason why your interior looks off.

For instance, different hues between beiges, greys, and off-white colors can look almost identical, there are subtle differences between them that may not show in certain types of lighting.

You don’t know how to utilize your undertones

Many color schemes can be derailed by an undertone, and you can be surprised that certain combinations simply don’t work together.

To fix the problem with your color scheme, it’s important to know the basics about how color undertones work. This way, you’ll be able to find out which ones work and which ones don’t.

You don’t know where to start

The best color schemes of your home start by learning the basics of the color wheel. These are a few things you need to know about when looking for a solid color scheme for you to work with:

  • Complementary – Colors that are directly opposite or contrasting of each other on the color wheel are a great way to build on a color scheme. It would also be better if these colors are contrasting in terms of saturation.
  • Monochrome – What makes monochrome appealing is how it only uses one color, but with different variations in terms of lightness and saturation that make it look more professional.
  • Analogous – Using three colors adjacent to each other can result in something that’s both harmonious and relaxing to the eye, with one dominant color and two accent colors.

It turns out that it’s much easier to find all the right surfaces, patterns, and decor if you already have a solid color palette that you can easily work with.

If you don’t know where to start, here are a few ways you can come up with a solid color scheme:

  • Explore new ideas – Try color schemes that you’ve never tried before or would otherwise never try. You can also try adding accent walls or painting your ceiling.
  • Neutral isn’t always beige – There’s more to neutral color schemes than grey and beige – you can also complement it with metallic paints, or even work with dark browns.
  • Embrace the monochrome – The easiest way to create a relaxing room is to create monochromatic dark colors, with a base color and a lighter and darker shade of that said color.
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How to Decide for Your Home’s Color Scheme

Some homeowners take their time deciding for the color scheme, because let’s admit it, even deciding on one color can be difficult. We even take our time deciding what to wear, so just think how complicated it is to choose paint that can’t be taken off like clothes?

Here are some tips to make the process easier.

Start with the Largest Room or Space

You can start by deciding on the color scheme of the biggest space in the house, such as your living room or dining room. Imagine how you want it to look like by maximizing the furniture style and colors, the natural lighting, placement of windows and view outside the windows, and the type of decorations you want installed.

There is No Wrong Color

You can pick any color you want, after all, it’s your home! If neutral colors bore you, then go for bolder shades; or if you want the space to be relaxing, pick colors that are cool to the eyes and won’t clash with your furniture and decorations. Just think of picking colors as if you’re choosing the color of your clothes. Why pick something you don’t like just because your interior designer recommended it?

Use One or Two Colors when Picking Hues

Once you have decided on one color or a two-color combination in the biggest room or central space, you can use the same color scheme to pick hues for the other rooms. You don’t have to pick the same colors, instead, you can choose shades that will either contrast or match the first color combination. This is the right time to use the color wheel you learned about in your art class.

Consider Lighting and Natural Views

If your house has open spaces or a room that receives natural lighting or has a spectacular view, you can change your color scheme to highlight and enhance the lighting and view. Use a darker colors for the floor, then go lighter vertically, to create an illusion of a bigger space.

Use the 60-30-10 Rule

If you want to be systematic about the color scheme, interior designers usually recommend the 60-30-10 rule for the dominant color, secondary color, and accent color, respectively. The dominant color is found on your walls, while the secondary colors should be on your upholstery. If you don’t like clashing colors, you might want to limit the selection to just three colors throughout the house.

Different Colors for Different Colors

Finally, why limit yourself to one color scheme for both the upstairs and downstairs areas? By focusing on each space, the task becomes much more manageable, plus you can also experiment with different combinations. Don’t forget the connecting spaces such as the stairs, halls, and landings, too.

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What Can You Do About Oily Skin?

Does your skin look shiny within an hour after applying powder or makeup? Do you always need to retouch or use an oil blotting paper whenever you go out? Do you also have frequent breakouts even when you’re meticulous about your skin regimen?

If your answers to these are yes, then you probably have oily skin.

It’s Both Bad and Good

Oily skin types usually have larger pores, but people with combination skin types only exhibit excessive oily skin on the T-zone of the face and some portions of the cheeks. Most people with oily skin also have acne, because the skin produces too much sebum. The cause can be genetic or hormonal changes, so you will have to deal with your oily skin for the rest of your life.

The good news, however, is that it’s better than having dry skin, because oil slows down aging and gives your skin a natural lubricant. The goal of the treatment of oily skin, therefore, is to reduce the breakouts and amount of oil, not to eliminate it entirely.

Use the Right Moisturizer

So, does that mean you don’t need to use moisturizer anymore? You skin still needs a moisturizer, but you have to be careful when choosing products. Avoid any skin cosmetics that are greasy and heavy with moisturizers, like lotions, soaps, cream, ointments, and makeup. Look for products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. If some parts of your skin are drier than others, you might want to use two different types of moisturizers. Remember that if your skin gets dry, it can also cause your glands to produce more oil, which is counterproductive.

Always Look for Oil-Free Products

 The labels oil-free and non-comedogenic should not just be considered when choosing moisturizers, but also with all the skin and hair products that you’re using. If your face is oily, your scalp is too, so use hair products that doesn’t contain a lot of moisturizers. When choosing your makeup, pick only products that are oil-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic. Then make sure to clean your face before applying makeup and before going to bed. Lastly, use an oil-free sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.

Use Blotting Papers, Tissues, and Sheets

Ideally, you should wash your face twice a day, but excess oil can’t be avoided, so use blotting papers, tissues, and sheets for such events. Avoid touching your face as much as possible or using your handkerchief to blot out the oil. Do not wipe your skin, instead, blot with a regular paper towel or a special absorbing sheet and do not use tissues that contain extra ingredients, because these can clog your pores.

Talk to Your Dermatologist

If you have other skin conditions, such as acne, talk to your dermatologist about treatment options. Do not use products that your dermatologist did not recommend if you’re undergoing treatment, because they can react differently with those that were prescribed for acne and oily skin.

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What Should You Do if Your Child is a Bully?

It’s natural for most parents to come to the defense of their child if the teachers and other students complain about bullying, but denial will never solve the problem. It takes courage to admit that one’s child has problems that need to be addressed before serious injuries are inflicted on the victims.

What can you do as the parent of the bully?

Take Bullying Seriously

Most parents of the bully tend to think that the fights are just normal among children, but you should not brush aside accusations of bullying because these can have long-term effects on your child’s aggression. Perhaps your refusal to recognize problems in your child is the root of the problem itself, and one day you will regret ignoring it because your child will most likely grow up with a lot of problems. Children act differently at home and at school, and perhaps that is why you have never noticed the bullying firsthand.

Talk About It Calmly

You will most likely hear the complaints first from the teacher and other school officials, but before you tell them that it’s their job to watch the children, think about what you should do as a parent instead. Try to understand what is causing the behavior and listen calmly to the school officials about the details of the complaint.

Thank the school officials for alerting you of the problem and assure them and the victim’s parents that you are willing to find solutions to help both the bully and the victim recover from the experience. Remember, your child should be held accountable for the behavior no matter what triggered the incident.

Your Child Needs Help

Research about bullies in Singapore show that most of them have common traits that result from an unhealthy environment at home, such as; inadequate parental supervision or attention; inadequate parental discipline; bullying is a common behavior at home and the child is also a victim of bullying; the child is trying to impress others to gain attention; the child has low self-esteem but wants to be in control; and the child lacks compassion and sympathy for others.

The tricky part when dealing with a strong bully is that they can find ways to justify their actions with their excellent social and verbal skills, but you should also take your time to listen to his/her version. It will help stop the child from lying and will also give you more details about the incident.

That way, you can determine if your child is just trying to minimize the situation or just ignoring the facts presented by the victim. It will be easier to point out problems by letting her/him see from a different perspective by asking about the details. Lastly, make the child acknowledge that his/her behavior has caused harm to others and that he/she should take steps to change that behavior.

As a parent, instill empathy in the child to encourage him/her to think about the impact of his/her words and actions.

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How to Relieve Back Pain

Most of the time back pain is not a sign of a serious illness and is sometimes even used a joke about a person’s advancing age. Frequent back pain, however, is no joke and it can affect your productivity for the day.

What can you do about back pain?

Correct Your Posture

Perhaps your back pain is the result of bad posture. While this might be difficult to correct, you must make a conscious effort to observe your sitting, standing, and sleeping positions. If your job requires you to sit in front of a computer for hours, you should support your back properly against the chair and keep your shoulders relaxed. Placing a pillow against your lower back and keeping your feet flat on the floor will also help.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep if your back hurts might be very difficult for some people, but if you do not break the cycle, the treatment will be less effective because your body isn’t getting enough rest. Your bad sleeping habits and posture might be the root of the problem, so you should start by making yourself as comfortable as possible by lying on your side and placing a pillow between the knees to relieve the pain.

If you can’t sleep by lying on your side, lie on your back and place a pillow under the knees instead. You should probably replace your mattress and pillows with those that were designed especially for people with sleeping and posture problems.

Exercise Regularly

You don’t need to be told that exercise is good for you, because you’ll find this advice in almost every health and wellness article. Ask yourself if you’re getting enough exercise or if you’re just cooped up at home nursing your body pains. Moving your muscles once in a while won’t break your body and might even help relieve the tension in your muscles.

Start with ten to thirty-minute light exercises if you think you don’t have enough time for a gym membership. Walking and other physical activities are also acceptable, because they help take your mind away from the pain.

Use Cold or Hot Therapy

While pain medication might help relieve the symptoms, you don’t want to rely on them for the rest of your life. Sometimes a cold or hot compress can relieve the pain. Cold compress will lessen the inflammation and spasms on your back, while hot compress will stimulate blood flow in the area and lessen the pain. You could also try one of those pads with ointments to relieve pain.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you’re overweight or obese, the strain on your back might be the cause. Talk to a physical therapist to help you come up with a workout and therapy plan to help you reduce weight safely. You should also probably talk to a dietitian to help you come up with a healthy meal plan throughout your treatment.

If none of these treatments work, then you should probably approach a chiropractor to address the problem.

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