After a long day in the office or school, even the calmest of people can blow like a volcano at times. This is why it is important that you focus on de-stressing.
Bid farewell to your work or academic stress during the long weekend by accomplishing one or all of these activities.
HOP INTO THE SHOWER
I understand that you had a heated argument with your partner, but you do not have to swipe your credit card for a much needed “therapy”. Find the inner peace that you crave for by hopping into the shower. Researchers have found that singing in the shower can boost one’s mood. Its effect is as potent as practicing Yoga.
The study showed that a person singing in the shower releases endorphins (i.e., dubbed as happy hormones), which can lower the levels of the stress hormone called cortisol. Tell your partner to get some earplugs as you will let your inner Beyoncé or JJ Lin out!
LIST YOUR DAILY ACHIEVEMENTS
Heighten your sense of satisfaction by writing down all your daily victories. Perhaps you decided to regularly walk to school instead of taking the bus. Doing so kills two birds with a stone! You will not only shed a few pounds, but you will also save money in the process. There are other personal achievements such as helping a stranger cross the road.
No matter how small your deed may seem at the moment, it sparks a step closer to your financial goal.
GRAB A PAINT BRUSH
Workplace stress has various adverse effects on your physical and psychological processes. It may result to poor concentration or even something as serious as substance abuse. Avoid drowning yourself in negativity by making your mind wander away.
For instance, you may let your creative juices flow through art. A recently published study highlighted that art making sessions may reduce one’s cortisol levels. Well, you do not have to worry if you do not have the talent of Picasso. You can reap the benefits of art by purchasing the cheaper alternative to painting classes – a “Paint by Numbers” kit.
Image Credits: pixabay.com
You may get a canvas for as low as S$0.99 at Paintastic Art Craft. Paintastic’s kits come with acrylic paints, manual, brush, and an easel.
We are weeks away from the spookiest event of the year – Halloween. Due to the relatively short period of time left, you must go through a pile of costume ideas swiftly. A good (and cheap) place to start is your home.
1. MAGICAL FORTUNE-TELLER
If you are fond of gypsy or bohemian fashion like me, raid your closet to dress up as a fortune-teller. Pick a loose top that will go well with a long skirt. Do not forget about the headscarf, shawl, and golden accessories! Finish this magical look by bringing a deck of tarot cards.
2. DESPICABLY ADORABLE MINIONS
Creating Gru’s adorable minions is an fun task. Start by looking for a yellow top and denim overalls. These items are the base of your costume. For the eyes, you can create goggles out of Styrofoam cups and grey paint. Covering your face with yellow face paint is optional, but doable!
3. VIBRANT CRAYONS
I can only imagine how vibrant your life has become ever since your beloved child came along. So, why not have your child wear his or her favorite Crayola crayon? Let your child strike a pose in a monochrome ensemble from head to toe.
Amp up the costume by using temporary colored hairspray and by placing a black label that says “Crayola”.
4. MESMERIZING METALLIC ROBOT
Instead of throwing your boxes in the recycling bin, use them to assemble a homemade robot costume. Purchase a metallic craft or spray paint (e.g., purchase it here for S$5.50) and decorate the box in a way that you desire. Use plastic bottle caps or excess buttons for the face.
Keep your creative juices pumping!
5. A PUN-TASTIC THEFT
Due to the advancements in technology, authorities caution the public about the possibility of online fraud. Support the cause and rock a puntastic costume becoming an identity theft for Halloween. Start by looking up a “Hello My Name Is…” template online. Then, print 10 name tags using a sticker paper. Stick these tags in a plain black shirt.
You may use the names of your friends or co-workers to amuse them.
6. PAGE CANNOT BE FOUND
This last Do-It-Yourself outfit is arguably the easiest among the bunch. Simply get an old white tee and a permanent marker. Embody the essence of the “Error 404: Page Cannot Be Found” by writing “Error 404: Costume Not Found”, instead.
Image Credits: pixabay.com
You do not have to explain yourself because the witty guests will get it!
The global economy may be unstable, but your wanderlust heart remains powerful – for a good reason. It is possible to travel in Europe without breaking the bank as long as you have a few smart tricks up your sleeve!
1. PLAN HOW TO REACH EUROPE
It is always a good idea to do prior research before visiting an unknown land. Start your investigative methods by researching the off-peak season of your dream destination. Avoid the months when said destination receives most of its visitors. For instance, most cities in Europe are at its peak from July until the middle of September. Universal public holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve are crowded too.
Consider reaching Europe in October through April. You will not only get cheaper plane seats but you will also find cheaper accommodation. Furthermore, you will meet more locals and less tourists. Get the an authentic European experience as you indulge on the local culture and enjoy the shorter queues.
2. PLAN WHERE YOU WILL STAY
Speaking of accommodation, you can stretch your buck by embracing other options aside from hotels. Hotel prices may drop from August to October, but they are still heftier than apartment rentals and home sharing.
Visit websites such as airbnb.com and homeexchange.com to get a grasp of what I am saying. These websites participate in the sharing economy by connecting like-minded travelers and locals together. They allow you to save a great deal of money and to have an access to extra amenities (e.g., kitchen).
You may also ask your local landlord to give you insider tips and maximize your stay!
3. PLAN HOW TO MOVE AROUND
One of the categories that will take a huge chunk of your travel budget is transportation. There are various ways to explore the beauty of Europe on a tight budget including boarding the train or the bus as well as renting a vehicle. For extensive or long-distance journeys, more people opt for availing the Eurail Passes. These passes are used to travel a single country or across multiple countries. Of course, it is cheaper to travel in short distances through the efficient European rail system.
Alternatively, you may board the public buses. Several buses are aimed at connecting the major European cities. Lastly, you can rent a car and share the price among your peers by taking advantage of the sharing economy.
4. PLAN HOW TO REMAIN CONNECTED
Staying connected no matter where you are in the world is beginning to be a necessity for most of us. However, data roaming fees are ridiculously expensive! Consider visiting the nearest public space or eatery that offers free Wi-Fi. Or, you may rent a pocket Wi-Fi device at Changi Airport.
It is easy to travel anywhere with the Changi Recommends’ pocket Wi-Fi. You simply have to pay a promotional price of S$12 per day. Equip with this, you can regularly update your friends and family back home via FaceTime or Skype. You may also manage your business by checking up on your employees through Whatsapp or Gmail.
Who does not love to eat, especially when it is thrifty? Save more cash on food by either cooking your own meals or dining like the locals.
Staying at the apartment or home rentals will allow you to access a fully functional kitchen. Use it to your advantage by preparing meals for you and your travel buddies. Amp up the adventure by having a lovely picnic at the nearest park. Many groceries have deli sections so invest in those. Or, you may skip the picnic and eat at the department store cafeteria instead. That is what some locals do!
Follow the locals’ lead for cheap eats instead of frequenting the tourist spots that puncture holes in your wallet. Ask around the town or read this helpful article.
6. PLAN HOW TO RETRIEVE CASH
For fuss-free retrieval of cash (European currency) in the quickest way possible, you may use the set of ATM scattered around Europe. All you need to do is to activate your card’s magnetic stripe. For instance, you can ask for the help of a bank personnel to help you enable the overseas access of your UOB debit card. It only takes a few minutes!
The only drawback with this method is that you will have to minimize your transaction fees by making larger and fewer withdrawals. In my experience, UOB charged me S$5 for every withdrawal in the neighboring Asian countries. It goes without saying that you must keep this advance encashment in a safe place.
Do you ever purchase items that you do not need just because they are cheap or on sale?
Many of us do! If you adopt this hobby, it can easily get out of hand. Prevent yourself from spending on indulgences by regaining self-discipline with these 5 tips:
SHOP FOR WHAT YOU NEED
Previous studies have shown that people who overspend are craving for the surge of the feel-good hormone called dopamine. They associate this hormone to shopping for items while they are on sale. It is okay to give in to what your heart desires every once in a while as long as you are in control. However, you must regulate your shopping habits if you are overdoing it.
A bargain deal such as Lazada coupons can be a great score but, not if you have not intended to buy the item in the first place!
CONDUCT AN INVENTORY CHECK
I can still recall the moment when my mother came home with bag of groceries in her hands. Inside the bags were bathroom supplies such as shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste. It dawned on me that she picked up the same items merely four days ago. She says it slipped her mind. Well, she is not alone!
It is common for people to buy new items because they cannot remember what they already have or they cannot locate them. I am not limiting this scenario to the items in your wardrobe as it is applicable to household products, car tools, and so on. A neat solution is to conduct a monthly inventory check to filter out what items are worn out, ill-fitted, and useless. You can toss or donate these items afterwards.
SPEND ON QUALITY
Clothes and other products that are of quality lasts longer and are usually more comfortable. Think about it! Cheap clothes are not entirely cheap as time passes. Mediocre items made with thin materials and poorly sewn ensembles wear out faster than quality ones. Furthermore, it requires time to replace and repair them. Consider spending your hard-earned money on few good things than, in loads of rubbish things.
Image Credits: pixabay.com
USE WHAT YOU BOUGHT
Whether you want to admit it or not, you use your most valuable items the least. You want to protect your precious item for as long as you can. I do too!
When I got my hands on the iPhone 6s last year, I played with it for a few hours and kept it safe in my cabinet. I relied on my iPhone 4 for so long that I jumped several generations when I bought the said device. Can you imagine how happy I was to explore the new iOS features and to savor the larger screen? Despite my satisfaction, I still preferred using my iPhone 4. I adored the new device and I did not want to spoil it immediately. A couple of weeks passed and I came to realize the irrationality in my actions. I bought this device for a reason and I must use it!
Use your priced item to maximize its value. Dissatisfaction can only lead to buying cheaper knockoffs or settling for less.
WALK AWAY CONFIDENTLY
Shopping eats up a significant portion of time. Sometimes, you may feel like your trip to the store was wasted if you do not purchase anything. This is why boutiques and online stores employ strategies to draw shoppers in for a long period of time. But, you must not fall for this! Purchasing something unnecessary makes is more wasteful than spending your time on window shopping.
Image Credits: pixabay.com
Remember that it is alright to walk out of the store and buy nothing.
There are women in this world that are willing to work tirelessly for others, are willing to teach young minds, are willing to forgive failures and are willing to put someone’s else’s happiness ahead of their own. Remarkable in every way, these women are called mothers.
With less than three weeks more under your belt, it is about time to think of a precious gift to reward your beautiful mother on Mother’s Day (May 8). The good news is that you do not have to spend loads of cash since you can just use the materials you already have at home!
Here are some inexpensive yet very heart warming ideas for you:
1. FOR YOUR CRAFTY ARTSY ANGEL
If the angel of your life is into creating artistic items than receiving them, plan an afternoon crafts session. While sipping your tea, you can create lovely jewelry with the materials on promotion at Spotlight such as Pony Beads (S$4.99), Pom poms (S$2.99), and Quill Feathers (S$5.99).
Alternatively, you can grab a DIY kit from Typo to make the stylish and useful items such as a tote bag (S$34.99) and a scrapbook (S$29.99).
2. FOR YOUR POETIC PARENT
Celebrate the essence of Mother’s day by capturing the moment through a poem. Describe her in the sincerest of ways. A unique gift such as this will flatter her heart and make her feel how much you are thankful that she is in your life. You can also put a melody and turn your poem to a song if you want to.
Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)
3. FOR YOUR CINEMA CHAMP
My mother is one of those people who are fond of films. From romantic comedies to action, she is delighted to watch any flick as long as she has her family along. Apply this concept at home by purchasing a few DVDs from the yesteryear. As much as possible, select her favorite movies. Gather your family in the living, as having everyone present is valuable to the occasion.
4. FOR YOUR WORKAHOLIC WARRIOR
The best way to reward your workaholic warrior is by giving the present of an enjoyable bath time filled with relaxing fragrance. Achieve that by making bath bombs that are similar to the ones sold at Lush Singapore.