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The Language of Flowers: Romantic Meanings of Your Favorite Blooms

Over the years, different flowers were attached myriad symbolisms and romantic associations making them sought-after during events such as Weddings and Valentine’s Day celebration. Accordingly, there are specific flowers which are generally considered to be important part of a bride’s wedding bouquet because it plays around the theme of love. Common bridal blooms include flowers, daisies, and carnations.

Some flowers, however, have been attached with different meanings over time. Regardless of personal interpretation, here are some important flowers which carry symbolic romantic meaning.

Peony – Peonies symbolize a happy marriage and virility especially in Asian countries such as Japan. These blooms are also generally fragrant flowers. Peonies range in colors from white, yellow, to purple red.

Safflower – Safflower is one bloom that symbolize marriage itself. They also symbolize the “welcoming” of a new life for the two newly-wed couple. Safflower plant grows globular flower heads of orange, yellow, and red colors.

Forget-me-not – Blue forget-me-not flowers are what’s more familiar to a lot of people. They add a sweet touch of blue color to any floral arrangement. Aside from that, these blooms are widely believed to symbolize true love.

Pink carnation – Carnations are among the widely recognized flowers common in bouquets. It is easily identified thanks to its size and ruffled appearance. Pink carnations, in particular, represent a woman’s love.

Purple lilac – Lilacs are known to have a dainty appearance. These flowers are also fragrant and usually comes in a shade of purple. In the language of flowers, they famously symbolize one’s first love.

Red tulip – A tulip’s petal edges are often scalloped. This gives them a deeply textured appearance. The gift of a red tulip can be easily translated to a declaration of love. The black center on the flower is commonly known to represent a heart which is burned by passion.

Rose – Roses are generally associated with a romantic interpretation. The blooms represent love in all of its forms. Red roses, in particular, are said to represent passion and are considerably sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Larkspur – Larkspur are tall flowers which come in varying colors of blue, purple, white, and red. Their silky, blue-violet flowers represent one’s ardent attachment to the beloved.

Syrian mallow – This is another bloom which symbolizes one’s burning passion. Its showy flowers range from the shades of mauve, violet, purple, and blue. Sometimes, two colors may combine together in a single flower bud. Syrian mallow equates to one being consumed by love.

Baby’s breath – Commonly used in general flower arrangements as fillers, Baby’s breath symbolizes everlasting love and fidelity. This iconic bloom has a number of tiny, cloud-like white and light purple buds covering its branches.

Lavender – Lavender is another flower which is associated with one’s fidelity. This flowering plant is composed of multiple, little purple flower buds on tall and narrow stems. A gift of lavender can be associated with loyalty and utmost devotion.

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Here’s How Foreigners Can Experience Singapore like a True Local

There is more to Singapore than the five iconic Merlion statues scattered across the city-state. As the old adage goes, there is always more than what meets the eye. While you can enjoy the magnificent view of highly urbanized skyscrapers and high towers with flickering lights in the night, exploring Singapore like a local is still undoubtedly an experience you wouldn’t want to miss!

Whoever said the mundane and the regular have to be boring? Here are some local activities and attractions you can enjoy during your next visit to the Merlion City.

1. Visit the HDB buildings
If you want to experience the city-state like a true local, one of your best shots is to visit the many Housing & Development Board (HDB) buildings around Singapore. These residential buildings are located in the heartlands and they represent the city’s diverse population in a way. As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” and so you can visit a wet market, bargain at flea markets and thrift stores, play chess with locals at the void decks, or jog at the park on a sunny afternoon.

2. Enjoy Sentosa
Sentosa, Singapore’s most popular island, is considered a solace by lots of citizens as it offers them a haven in escaping the busy city life. Visiting the island can be an exciting weekend adventure for you! Take a cable car or a ferry to head over the island, and expect to be awestruck by the beautiful views the resort has. No wonder how it attracts millions of sightseers annually.

3. Eat at a Hawker center
You wouldn’t want to miss out on the rich Singaporean cuisine. It is considered a melting pot of diverse flavors, ranging from Indian, Malay, and Chinese influences. If you’re on tight budget, hawker centers offer meals which won’t drive you to break the bank without sacrificing the taste and the rich food quality.

Eating at a local hawker center, for one, can also be revered to as a sensory experience — with busy people bustling in the streets and different food items you can choose from. Local delicacies such as chili crabs, satay, fried carrot cake, roti prata, and Hokkien mee are a must-try for every tourist!

4. Shop like a local
Allow yourself to enjoy a little retail therapy. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost you thousands of dollars just as long as you know where to shop. Thrift shops, as was mentioned earlier, are considered a popular shopping destination by a lot of practical and savvy Singaporeans. Shopping districts such as Bugis Street, Haji Lane, and Joo Chiat have stores which you can score a great bargain. They have everything you’re looking for in a souvenir, from antiques to trendy clothes.

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7 Best Apartment Dogs

Whether you live in a high-end condo or in a cramped up apartment, these cramped up breeds will fit just right in. Here are seven best dog breeds to keep you company in apartments or any small spaces.

1. Yorkshire Terrier
If you want a pup that’s small in size but big in heart, then a Yorkshire Terrier might be the perfect pet for you. Yorkies are affectionate dogs and are low maintenance. They do not shed as much, so you do not have to vacuum constantly and worry about your furry and feathery furniture.

2. Shih Tzu
What would better fit in a small space that a dog that’s also called as ‘toy breed’? Shih Tzus furry coat may require a bit more maintenance, but their affectionate attitude and mild temperaments make them worth the effort when it comes to proper grooming.

3. Greyhound
While their tall and lanky appearance looks alarming, Greyhounds are known to be mellow house dogs. These gentle beasts do not require much exercise other that a regular sprint in the park to burn up some energy. They are smart breeds, but their independent attitude best suits a single-pet home.

4. French Bulldog
Friendly, cute and jolly—these what makes a French Bulldog the perfect apartment dog. They do not bark as much, and like the previous breed, do not require much exercise. Due to their playful disposition, they easily get along with strangers and children. However, make sure you have air conditioning unit in your apartment since French Bulldogs do not rest well in extremely hot temperature.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Here is an adorable breed that loves being around people and is known for its good behaviour. This breed suits to be in an apartment because they are affectionate towards people and other animals. However, daily exercise is necessary, so be prepared to do an everyday walk at the park.

6. Chihuahua
Looking for an pet do that’s small, sweet and as sassy as you? Look no further than a Chihuahua. They are perfect for your apartment because of their tiny structure and the fact that they do not need a lot of walking at the park. However, be prepared to spoil them with attention: Chihuahuas crave for attention and tend to form very close bond to their owners.

7. Pug
Pugs are loyal companions and their small size makes them suitable for small spaces. This four-legged little furry mammal is curious by nature, so be prepared to walk and explore around more often. Once they return home, however, pugs easily relax and unwind on their own.

Any dog is a great companion. However, if you’re living in an apartment, where there’s very limited space and where you live closely with other tenants in the same building, getting the right breed will ensure a happy and peaceful living.

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6 Packing Secrets to Master Your Carry-On Game

There’s a technique to packing a carry-on bag, especially if it is the only bag you’re bringing with you. You should be able to balance the airline requirements, while making sure you have everything you need throughout the trip.

To help you avoid the pitfalls of airport luggage problems and overpacking, here are some practical tips to keep in mind when packing your carry-on bag.

Pack by Planning Around Your Shoes
Your shoes take up most of the space of your suitcase. A good rule of thumb is to bring a pair of flip flops or sandals and a pair of versatile flats that can be dressed up or down. Once you stored them securely at the bottom of the suitcase, fold your shirts and jeans and then roll them up, placing them next to each other. Lastly, your underwear will go in small empty spaces and pockets of the bag.

Use Packing Cubes
Compartments of different sizes will help avoid instances like “where will I put this cover-up?” “Where did I put my bikini?” or “Why won’t this close?!” Zippered pouches will keep your things organized, and neatly packed. They fit in your carry-on luggage like puzzle pieces and keeping all your belongings easily accessible.

Always Bring a Swimsuit
Do we need to say more? You’re in a new place. Frolicking in the beach is part of the fun.

Go Back to Basics
One genius way to save space is to… pack less. If you are thinking of wearing something elaborate for your Instagram post, know that it’s just impractical. It will only weigh down your carry-on and probably pay for more when you’re asked to check it in. In general, stick to basics—plain shirts, basic denim jeans you can re-wear multiple times, a casual dress and a versatile pair of footwear.

If It Doesn’t Fit In the Bag, Wear It
If no matter how much you try to go basic and things still won’t fit in your carry-on, be prepared to layer up! Wear your heaviest shoes, your coat or anything that would take up so much space in your suitcase. Airports and planes are notoriously cold, so it won’t matter if you’re wearing bulky clothes.

Pack a First Aid Kit
If you’re flying more than four hours, make the effort to pack some medicines with you in case of bodily mishaps. In your medicine kit, pack everything from Paracetamol for headaches to your maintenance pills and meds, if you have any. Also, you would want to bring an airplane kit that has eye mask, earplugs and some motion sickness tablets.

Cramming everything up in a carry-on luggage isn’t easy, but always worth the effort. Bringing only one bag makes travelling easier as it gives you more flexibility to change flight or route on a whim without worrying about checked in luggage.

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Tips in Keeping Your Copier-Printer in Good Working Condition

There is nothing more irritating that having a broken office printer or copier machine in the middle of a busy working day. With lots of corporate paperwork that needs to be photocopied or printed, every minute counts in meeting all the pending deadlines. The option to buy printer immediately after the existing one acts up isn’t economical at all, so you’ll have no choice but to contact the nearest technician in Singapore for their assistance.

Regardless of the unit and brand of your office equipment (colour printer and copier, most especially), there will come a time that technical issues will arise. This is inevitable in almost any machine. However, taking good care of your office equipment alone is enough to keep them in good working condition.

Slam and Smash?

Because of our annoyance, we’re all guilty of unloading and smashing office equipment when it jams – or at least be tempted to do so. While it’s effective in making us feel a little better (thanks to our impatience), the way you treat your equipment can affect its overall performance. The more you aggressively smash your equipment makes it prone to more technical issues.

If you’re fond of hitting your laser printer or graphic art printer every time it acts up, it’s better to drop the habit as early as today. It is encouraged to take extra care of your office equipment, especially that almost any printer in Singapore doesn’t come with an affordable price tag.

Taking good care of your office copier and colour printer can improve work productivity and reduce operation costs. The better you handle your equipment will benefit you in the long run. Here are some other practical tips to follow in keeping your copier-printer duo in efficient working order:

1. Give it time to warm up

Just like any other modern office equipment, your copier machine and office printer need ample time to warm up. It is important to be patient while waiting for your Singapore machine to be good to go. Pressing the buttons repeatedly and aggressively won’t speed up the warm-up process – contrary to popular belief. If anything, it’d only make your machine more prone to technical issues.

If the equipment hasn’t been used in days, especially during Singapore long holidays or over the weekends, test the prints and copies first before you start to use the machine intensively.

2. Avoid using crappy paper

Crinkled paper can negatively affect your copier, making it prone to jamming in the midst of operation. The humidity is also notorious for making the paper curl and ripple which produces low-quality outputs. Accordingly, store your office paper in a dry, organized place to avoid defects and damage.

When you buy printer, always ask your supplier regarding the best type of office paper suited for the equipment. Some machines are sensitive when it comes to the paper they use – so it’s better that the paper supply you bought is good to use.

Also, always check the paper capacity of your copier machine from time to time. While several people like to leave their copiers filled to the brim, it is better to fill it with paper just below the line and not over. This is generally indicated in a fill-level line/mark inside the machine’s paper tray.

3. Handle it with care

Consider your office equipment as fragile objects, since they too must be handled with care. Keep in mind that whatever you do (no matter how little of an action it may be) can destroy your copier or office laser printer. While your instincts may scream to jack open the machine’s drawers and tinker around to find the source of the technical jam – it’s better to be cautious and calm in following the recommended screen prompts.

Check the machine’s manual for instructions, too. This will minimize potential damage as you fiddle around with the equipment. Do not attempt to open the components if you have zero knowledge in technical repair. Instead, contact the nearest service technician in Singapore for their expertise and services.

4. Choose the right supplies

As was previously mentioned, some machines are rather sensitive and specific when it comes to the supplies they use. For instance, the ink you use for your graphic art printer may not be suitable for your office inkjet printer or laser printer use. The same thing goes with your copier machine’s toner. Using the wrong toner for your copier may require a costly repair in the long run.

Always check the equipment manual for the list of supplies the particular machine is compatible with. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, it’s better to check with your service provider first before buying anything. Using the right supplies for your office equipment can help you achieve improved work efficiency and avoid costly repair service fees.

5. Clean your equipment from time to time

Considerably the easiest tip on this list, it is important to clean your copier-printer on a regular basis to maintain its prime working condition. This includes gently wiping the equipment’s exterior, along with the exit trays and bypass. Use a cloth that isn’t too harsh when wiped against the machine. Or better yet, check if the equipment comes with a personalized cleaning cloth which can be used to clean the glass platen as well.

Also ensure that the machine’s entry areas are kept clean, avoiding any debris or dirt that may fall onto the paper path. Check the glass first before you begin to print or make copies, since dirt can potentially show up on your outputs and documents. Do this to avoid wasting your effort and office supplies.

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What to Look for in Logistics Services

A company that will constantly need logistics services to transport its goods from the suppliers and to its customers is familiar with the problems of finding the right shipping company, which mode of transportation is appropriate for the goods, documentation and fees for both local freight and international freight, the regulations set forth by Customs, and the laws on importation and exportation.

Add to that the problem of transporting sensitive cargo or perishable goods that need to be delivered on time and in good condition. These setbacks can cause extra charges and even cancelations, not a good record for your company.

What should you look for in freight forwarding services in Singapore to minimize the transportation and logistics services problems?

What a Freight Forwarder Can Do for You

A logistics company not only provides or look for transportation services for your goods, but they essentially perform these five basic tasks regardless if you need to send or receive the goods in Singapore or overseas:

1. Special Handling. The freight forwarder should be able to handle sensitive, oversized or dangerous goods properly and assist you in its documentation.

2. Storage. Some goods will need temporary storage before they can be transported, but this should be provided by the shipping company.

3. Packaging. The best logistics company like in Singapore should be able to anticipate if some of the goods need special packaging for safe transportation.

4. Customs Clearance. The freight forwarder services in Singapore can assist you in the document processing, Customs clearance, miscellaneous paperwork, and fees for freight forwarding and transportation.

5. Inventory Management. Multiple cargo should be handled in an organized manner by an experienced logistics company in Singapore, whether it’s from the point of origin or at its destination.

Modern freight forwarders, however, can do more than these, so ask for a list of services that a freight forwarder offers.

Some companies also need special arrangements for transportation, whether you need air freight or sea freight, to transport your goods by local freight or by international freight. If you have a logistics staff in your business, they should be able to determine if the freight forwarding services will meet your needs; such as determining the type of trade you want performed (door to door, door to port or vice versa, and port to port); ability to handle special requirements for a competitive price; your intended budget versus the rate and the premium charges of globally-competitive freight forwarders; and your expectations in terms of the speed and service level of freight forwarding.

Benefits of a Freight Forwarder Services

Freight forwarding can help your business transport your merchandise safely, whether you’re an importer or an exporter. Among the numerous benefits are the following:

1. The merchandise will be delivered on time and in good condition, because the freight forwarder is an expert in the transportation of goods.

2. The shipping company has an insurance and risk assessment and management in case your merchandise is lost or damaged, making it easier for your company to recover, although these incidents are rare.

3. Freight forwarding services can provide you with a way to track your merchandise anytime, anywhere.

4. You don’t need to worry about transporting goods through special requests, because most freight forwarding companies accept customized cargo arrangements.

5. Fewer headaches when it comes to documentation, because the logistics company is an expert in local freight, international freight, Customs clearances and permits, and transportation.

You need to understand, however, that the freight forwarder is not the party that will transport your merchandise, but they will act as your agents to negotiate which carriers, whether you need sea freight or air freight, can provide you what you need. They are your negotiators who will handle everything from documentation to warehousing to insurance.

What to Look for in a Freight Forwarder

Each business that needs to transport its goods has a different expectation when it comes to freight forwarding. Some clients might want the logistics company to take a product from one point to another, but there are industries that have special needs and special cargo.

Ask yourself before contacting the freight forwarding services if they can handle any type of problem from any type of business or industry. Moreover, you need to ask the following questions when choosing which freight forwarder in Singapore is the right one for you.

1. Can the freight forwarding services handle the type of goods you want transported or do they handle only specific or special items?

2. Is the freight forwarder affiliated with various global businesses other logistics services? Do they have overseas agents? Can they find alternative options for transportation during the peak seasons?

3. Is the freight forwarder financially stable? Do they have a good reputation among the customers?

4. Can the freight forwarder provide you with the right information and document you need as soon as possible?

5. Do they have cargo insurance?

6. Are they able to secure competitive prices for air freight, trucking, and sea freight?

7. Is their communication level satisfactory?

Research about the services of the different logistics services online or ask for recommendations from other businesses or companies that have had experience with a freight forwarder. Don’t forget to look for reviews of present and past customers and what type of problems the logistics company runs into and how these are resolved.

Lastly, you need to know the basic rules of international transportation, the free trade zones, importing and exporting laws and requirements, Customs clearance requirements, list of permits, the list of dangerous and prohibited goods, warehousing, penalties and common offences, and documentation. Singapore Customs has a list of all the requirements for importation and exportation, as well as a best practice guide to avoid the penalties.

You don’t have to be an expert in these, but knowing what you’re getting from your freight forwarder can help you decide what’s good for your business.

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Benefits of Being a Singaporean Citizen

Singapore is known to be one of the richest countries in the world. It boasts of tall skylines and modernization of its own kind, of undisputed success by which even foreign nationals can attest to. From what used to be a swampland, it now became a leading city-state in Asia and across the globe.

The Legatum Prosperity Index, which gives rankings on affluent countries based on income and wellbeing, placed Singapore in the 17th spot. Numerous factors suggest why the city-state is successful; it has a strong economy, workers’ wages are stable, and probably one of the most defining factors is that the government truly cares about the people.

The government has formulated various ways to help the citizens. Though other countries generally do so, Singapore seems to have taken the game on a different, much more serious level. In their efforts, they have committed to establish programs that encourage people’s stability and improvement.

Citizens in Singapore has significantly lower tuition fees compared to foreign students and special permanent residents, whether at a private or government-funded institution. A government initiative known as Edusave Scheme maximizes the citizen’s opportunities that includes the following such as: a pupils fund for primary or secondary level students and various scholarships for students who excel in academics and non-academics endeavors.

Health Care
The city-state is known to put their people first. Health care is one of the top priorities of the government and gives out assistance in many forms. One is the Medifund, which is an endowment fund available to Singapore citizens who are having difficulties paying for their medical expenses. Another is the Medisave, a form of account savings, which can be used to pay the hospital bills of the holder and immediate members of the family in case of need.

Leave Benefits
Filing leave of absences at work is eligible for different situations in Singapore. Citizens are entitled to qualify for taking a maternity leave; for pregnant mothers, paternity leave; which is usually a week-long per year, and childcare and infant care leave; for tending after newborn and little children.

Parenthood Incentives
Singapore citizens who are parents of newborns receive 6,000 SGD for the first two children, and it only gets higher for the succeeding births. Each newborn also immediately gets a Medisave account with grant upon birth. Married citizens, as well as working mothers, enjoy tax relief off their incomes. This is because of a government initiative which encourages couples to bear more children.

Singapore citizens who are over and above 21 years old are already qualified to purchase flats from the Housing and Development Board. They can also avail the government’s housing loans and grants with a concessionary interest rate.

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