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5 Great Ways to Recycle Used Coffee Grounds

Freshly brewed coffee is an amazing experience, but if you enjoy brewing your own cup at home, you’ll usually find yourself with an endless supply of used coffee grounds as a result.

But don’t throw them away just yet! Here’s how you can make use of used coffee grounds at home:

1. Pest repellent
Coffee grounds can be a great DIY pest control material against ants because both the grounds and the acid can dissolve their exoskeletons.

To keep ants out of your home, simply lay down a 2-inch-wide line around the entrances. You can also mix the grounds with hot water and pour them over any areas or cracks that might house ant colonies.

And if you’re worried that you pets might have caught something in their fur, you can even use this to get rid of fleas or bugs.

2. Compost
If you keep an indoor garden in your HDB flat in Singapore, having coffee grounds is a great addition that you can use as fertilizer. They are both rich in nitrogen and beneficial to worms that process the soil.

However, just like any other compost material, you want to make sure that your “green” material balances your “brown” material, so remember to add just the right amount of coffee grounds to balance your compost.

3. Soap and shampoo
You can actually absorb caffeine through your skin, and with the use of caffeinated soaps and shampoo. Coffee is a great deodorizer, so it only makes sense that it’s used as an ingredient in your own homemade soap.

You can also get a handful of used grounds and massage them into your hair for an all-natural hair mask. Leave them for a while before washing out to shampoo and condition your hair.

4. Make antique-looking paper
If you have a thing for stationery and DIY arts and crafts, there’s more reason to keep the coffee grounds.
You can make paper look much older by dipping it in a soupy mix of used grounds and water and letting the paper soak for a minute before drying and brushing off the grounds.

When doing this, be sure to use paper that won’t dissolve easily in water and handle the wet paper gently.

5. Removing odors
Forget charcoal and deodorants – you can get rid of odors in your shoes with something cheaper.
Used coffee grounds are great at absorbing odors, so simply put them in a teabag and place them in your shoes for a few hours until the smell subsides. If you don’t have teabags, you can also use a coffee filter tied with twine. Be sure to position carefully for maximum effectiveness.

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Lunchtime Workout: How to Do It

Midday exercises are great way to rejuvenate and give yourself a mental break. This will help a lot in improving your productivity and energy to take on the rest of day. However, it can feel overwhelming, especially during a busy day at the office. Here are some tips to help you nail a midday workout to help improve your physique and performance at work.

1. Let your boss know
A midday workout won’t go well if you just disappear from your desk every hour of every day, without letting anyone know, especially your boss, where you are going. Before you booking a lunchtime workout session, bring that up to your boss. Most reasonable bosses would likely say, “Do whatever you need to do, just make sure it won’t affect your performance at the office.”

2. Work should still be a priority
Deciding on having regular lunch workout means you know your priorities. If your boss asks for a minute to get a task done or a workmate asks for your help, you know you should skip workout. This can be tough if you have pre-booked or prepaid a session. In that case, keep this mantra in mind: “A lunchtime workout isn’t given, it’s a luxury.”

3. Always bring dry shampoo
Most of us know that dry shampoo is an instant hair solution, and that’s especially true for lunchtime workouts—when showering isn’t an option. Whether you have short or long hair, dry shampoo can make your hair freshly blow-dried even after an intense and sweaty gym session.

4. Go to work prepared
Pack your bag like how you would pack your car—always ready for any event. Spin class needs different shoes than running or CrossFit. Always have two or more sets of gym clothes with you. Who knows what you would feel like wearing on that day. By having multiple options, you’ll prevent yourself from saying excuses like “I feel cold, and I only have a short and a shirt for workout. I should skip.”

5. Never skip your lunch
A lunchtime workout does not mean you should skip lunch. Post-workout meal is imperative. Like how breakfast fuels you for the day, your post-workout lunch will keep you full until supper and provide nourishment for your muscles to repair itself after an intense exercise. The secret to eating a healthy lunch on time is to pack it. Pack a turkey salad or a sandwich that you can easily munch when you return at your desk, answering emails.

No matter how busy you are, try to find time to take care of your health. If you think working out after a busy day at work is too exhausting for you, make the most of your one-hour lunch break for a midday workout.

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30 Interesting Questions to Get Your Teenager Talking

If you have teenagers, you know how tough it is to understand their views on things, especially if it isn’t align with yours. One of the important matters to learn as parents is not to assume that we know what our kids think and how they see things as these varies a lot due to hormones, maturity and even just a bad day.

One of the smart ways to avoid freaking out under such circumstances is to consider how your teen is feeling about life in general. To get an idea of how your teen thinks and feels, here are some questions you can ask them. But remember, do not be too serious, and timing is everything. Make this time a fun and casual bonding moment, so your teenager would feel comfortable and be more open with sharing his or her thoughts with you.

1. What do you usually daydream about?
2. What makes you feel happy?
3. What TV show or character makes you laugh the most?
4. If you have your own store, what would you sell?
5. What do you look forward to when you wake up in the morning?
6. What type of music you often listen to?
7. What’s your favorite band or artist?
8. What’s your favorite pastime with your friends?
9. If you can fast forward school and choose any job for yourself, what would it be and why?
10. What house rule you like the least, and why?

11. What memory makes you happy?
12. What puts you in a bad mood or makes you feel angry?
13. What do you wish you can do that you cannot do as of the moment?
14. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
15. What do you enjoy doing when you’re alone?
16. What’s your favorite game, and why?
17. What’s the funniest thing you saw online today?
18. What do you think about piercings and tattoos?
19. As your parent, have I ever done anything to embarrass you?
20. What’s your favorite family tradition?

21. What family activities you enjoy the most?
22. How would you describe yourself in three words?
23. Do you know anyone at school who smokes? What do you think about that?
24. Do your friends already date?
25. How about you? Do you feel you’re ready to date?
26. What’s your thought about marriage?
27. Do you think people should get married first before they have sex?
28. Do you consider yourself a good leader?
29. What sports do you love to play?
30. What would be a perfect day for you?

Don’t worry if it seems like your teen isn’t excited initially about answering these question—and don’t rush their answers as well. Let your child take his time. This will show that you are genuinely interested to hear what he’s going to say and not just asking them like an interrogative parent.

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What is Brain Fog and What Are Its Causes?

Brain fog or brain fatigue typically is considered a symptom rather than a condition itself. It’s basically when you start having more and more memory problems, you’re having difficulty concentrating, and you find it hard to think clearly. This should sound scary to us but knowing the causes of brain fog can help us avoid or reduce its effects.

Stress
One of the more obvious causes of brain fog is stress. We already know that stress affects our health negatively in a lot of ways. It causes hormonal imbalances, increases blood pressure, triggers anxiety and depression, and above all causes mental fatigue. Simply put, when we’re always stressed, our brains will not be able to function as efficiently as it should.

Lack of proper nutrition
Proper nutrition goes beyond our physical appearance, it very much helps with the wellness of our mind as well. When we lack essential vitamins and minerals from healthy food, of course, our brain will be affected. Food high in sugar, for example, can particularly promote brain fog. Glucose or sugar is the main fuel source of the brain and the body. Eating too much sugary food causes our blood sugar levels to drop down or spike uncontrollably. You can just imagine how this affects the brain.

Not having enough sleep
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times but here it is again: Most working Singaporeans do not sleep enough. We tend to disregard it but having enough sleep really has a lot of benefits for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. If you constantly say to yourself that you’ll have to sacrifice sleep to finish your work, that’s going to hurt you in the long-term. Not having enough sleep will reduce your focus, harm your creativity, and limit our productivity as a whole.

Medication
Some prescription drugs have side effects that can build to brain fog as well. Some medications like those for pain relief and high blood pressure are ones that can cause certain reactions in the brain that can eventually encourage brain fog. In this case though, brain fog is a normal side effect of the medicine. Even so, you can ask your doctor about it so he/she can lower the dosage or recommend another drug.

Hormonal changes
Pregnancy, for one, causes drastic changes to a woman’s body. More hormones are produced for the protection and nourishment of the baby. This is why some mothers find it harder to remember certain things while they are pregnant. Another example could be menopause. Naturally, this is because a woman’s reproductive period is nearing its end and typically because of old age. Women may also experience small memory problems in this stage in life.

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6 Essential Benefits of Laughter

You may have been walking around Singapore and suddenly see a “laughter yoga” sign. Laughter yoga? Sounds weird, huh? If you know the great benefits of laughing, you wouldn’t think of laughter yoga as weird at all!

1. Laughing improves mood
Simply put, you laugh the most when you are happy or having fun, right? Laughing puts us in a more positive mood because it encourages the production of the “happy hormone”, endorphin, in our bodies. Additionally, laughter is something that is rarely done alone. Laughing with others will promote an atmosphere of positivity wherever you are.

2. It encourages better social interactions
Having a laugh with your friends or even those you barely know can help you get to know each other better. As said earlier, joking around and having fun with others will leave an air of positivity every time you are together. Plus, a person who knows how to make others laugh or smile a lot invites a lot of attention. You feel like they are easy to approach and fun to be with.

3. It’s a great stress reliever
Laughter helps our muscles relax and also allows us to relieve tension around the body. When you have a great time laughing you will forget, even just for a while, whatever things are making you stressed out or anxious. Even then, laughing will have a significant effect as a stress reliever because it eases tension while also reducing stress hormones in the body.

4. Laughing is good for the heart
Laughing actually helps us to exercise our abdomen, lungs, and heart. A belly laugh which is a loud and hearty laugh, for example, prompts us to use our abdominal muscles sometimes without even knowing. This means that the beating of our heart increases. This serves as a great exercise for the heart and can help us keep it strong and healthy.

5. It also helps the immune system
It has also been found that laughter can even strengthen our immune system. T cells, for example, become active immediately when laughing. These are a subtype of white blood cells which generally hunt down and destroy germs and cells that have become cancerous. The increase in white blood cells also helps with the cleaning of excess waste and toxins still left in the body.

6. Ab exercise
Believe it or not, laughing can actually be treated as an ab exercise. If you laugh too hard, usually you’ll notice a certain feeling in your abdominal muscles similar to that of flexing your muscles when you’re lifting weights. This is simply because our abdomen is one of the main muscles involved when we laugh. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should laugh for how many hours straight just to get abs.

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5 Jobs That May No Longer Exist 10 Years from Now

Out with the old, in with the new! New technological advancements happen every day, and while some industries flourish, others have fallen prey to these innovations.

But automation is not necessarily synonymous to jobless. In fact, many employees will not lose their jobs since their roles will be redefined to meet the ever-evolving needs of the society. However, there are still some jobs that will likely get extinct 10 to 20 years from now.

1. Cashiers
When the first automated self-checkout machines were tested, they were not immediately popular to customers. But although today’s versions of self-checkout kiosks are still far from perfection, the proliferation of these machines are undeniable. While it may take longer than 10 years for majority of cashiers to disappear, they are still on top of the list.

2. Postal Workers
During the 70s and 80s, many teenagers work as paperboys and girls. This entry level job was a legit stepping stone to the professional world—until the dawn of modern computers, which have slowly rendered it obsolete. Today, people rely on the Web for news, instant messaging and even online banking, that the need for snail mail is declining every day.

3. Travel Agents
More than a decade ago, travel agents and agencies were fundamental needs for frequent travelers. Not only they were able to filter available flights for you, but they can also book your accommodation and provide the necessary travel information of your destination. But with the advent of travel websites, like Google Flights and Kayak, people can personalize better their trips and do the booking by themselves for free.

4. Dispatchers
Our transportation today has become more and more independent with the array of rider apps available today. People planning to travel by land can conveniently plan their trip through their mobile phones and rely on technology to direct them to the fastest route while keeping track of their way in real time. Moreover, online applications, such as Google Maps, present people with a list of transit options available in a certain area.

5. Printers and Publishers
Printing and publishing is becoming an endangered industry nowadays. Technology has brought this industry to the digital realm, and we have seen the significant decrease in newspaper and magazine readership, and the rise of PDF and e-books. Although we will continue to publish periodicals and books, those who have been trained to do the job the old-fashion way or producing these reading materials will likely find themselves out of the job in the near future.

The unfortunate truth is, no industry is 100% safe from the influence of technology. But if we are able to adapt to the trend and technological advancements, the extinction of these jobs won’t have to mean joblessness for us all.

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5 Annoying Things You Want to Avoid Doing When on a Cruise

For many people here in Singapore, going on a cruise is one of the best vacations one will ever have in his life. We spend so much time planning for this dream vacation and looking through so many different options—from adventure, luxury, family-style, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asian, the choices are endless.

But before you board your ship, keep in mind: You may have the power to choose your cruise, but you cannot choose who you will be travelling with.

If it’s your first time to go cruising, here are a few tips to keep in mind to steer you clear of annoying habits.

1. Being a Chair Saver
Nothing takes you out of vacation vibe faster than a person hogging chairs and sometimes even tables. These are the annoying cruisers who wake up as early as six in the morning, run to the pool deck and put bags, books or towels on a row of poolside chairs and lounges, then go back to bed. Sometimes, these people won’t even show up until after lunch time.

2. Smoking in the Balcony
Although it was used to be acceptable to smoke on your own private balcony and even inside cabins, those rules have changed nowadays. However, as always, there will still be some who will puff away cigarettes on the balcony next to you, while you are trying to enjoy your morning coffee.

3. Leaving Kids Unattended
Thankfully, though, most parents in cruise are great about this and know that there are kid-friendly and childcare facilities in most cruise ships. But there will always be couples who just let their children loose and run wild. Nothing is more irritating than kids playing in the elevator, pressing every button to every floor while you are trying to get to your dinner on time.

4. Going Non-Stop on Drinks
Cruise lines usually offer pre-paid beverage packages, and many of course will take advantage of this. Nothing will make you the most popular—and unwanted—cruiser than being the one who parties non-stop. Night after night, they become louder and more obnoxious, putting themselves and everyone near them at risk.

5. Hoarding Food
When you’re on a cruise, you have the privilege to eat anytime of the day and enjoy all the food in the buffet—from steaks and lobsters to fries and burgers. So, it’s just rude to see some people to stockpile their plates with food, put it on their table, then go back to piling some more for a second plate. Unless the captain announces that there’s going to be shortage of food, which we have yet to hear in the history of cruising, there is really no need to hoard.

Anyone can enjoy a cruise, but do the rest of the ship a favor and behave appropriately for a more enjoyable and relaxing vacation.

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