What You Need to Know About Owning a Car in Singapore

For those of you who don’t know, Singapore is an extremely difficult place for you to get a car, especially because of the fact that Singapore is a small country, with a small land, not enough roads, and too much vehicles around. Although Singapore is doing a great job in handling traffic, it is definitely not enough because of the amount of vehicles in Singapore. Owning a vehicle in Singapore is incredibly expensive as the tax and certifications are very hard to get. To get a certificate, you would have to pay about $50,000 Singaporean dollars before your vehicle can actually hit the road.

The sad part is that despite paying that amount, your certificate is only good for up to 10 years. The tax on vehicles can be very expensive due to the imports of these vehicles, which could mark up the price of a small SUV by $100,000 Singaporean dollars. If this amount of money doesn’t scare you, then maybe the next paragraph will. Singapore only allows the number of private cars on the road to increase by 0.25% per year, which is very small considering the number of people who want to have a car and maybe even dreamt and already saved up for it.

What makes it even worse is that the government has decided that by February of 2018, they will cease to allow additional cars on the road, which means that if you are desperate to drive, you have to wait for someone to give up their certificates first in order to get permission to drive. Hopefully this is not a permanent case and Singapore would be able to do something about their traffic and increasing vehicle population without the hindrance of people who would love to drive or own a vehicle of their own.

Owning a car may be a dream for some and although it is not impossible to get in Singapore, it can still be very difficult. Aside from the financial struggles a car would put you through, obtaining ownership of a car and getting the certificate could also be another problem. If you really want a car, do not let this stop you and although it can be hard, you have to be diligent enough until you are able to get what you want. The public transportation in Singapore may not be bad at all, but it all depends on you if you want that vehicle. Singapore is a land of opportunity, but you must never forget your competition.


Frugal Romance: 5 Secrets to Score a Honeymoon on the Cheap

If you and your better half have recently tied the knot, you’ve probably been planning to go on a honeymoon to celebrate your union and enjoy your first few days as husband and wife. Traditionally, newlyweds jet off to a romantic destination and spend a couple of weeks lounging in a luxurious resort or a cozy cabin. But if budget is a priority for you, these tips will give you ideas for a romantic honeymoon that won’t break the bank.

1. Go for a Staycation
The airfare is the biggest expense for a honeymoon trip, so eliminating the need to buy a two-way ticket for the both of you means you can spend more for a luxurious vacation. Book a week-long stay at one of famous hotels here in Singapore, such as the Marina Bay Sands or The Fullerton Bay Hotel. Without airfare, you know you can afford these posh places as your honeymoon destination.

2. Take the Trip Later
Traditionally, couples have their honeymoon right after the wedding. However, forking over a huge amount of money for both wedding and out-of-town honeymoon at once can take a toll on your savings. Instead of honeymoon right after wedding, why not delay the trip to a later date? You’ll have more time to save up and afford a much nicer holiday trip with your new spouse.

3. Get Cooking In Your Hotel
Have you and your S.O. tried cooking meals together? If not, this is the perfect time to prepare gourmet meals for each other. Turn on some light music, sip on wine and work together in the kitchen to craft the perfect dinner. It’s not just fun, it’s also romantic and sensual. To accomplish this, book a hotel that has en-suite kitchen in their rooms. What you’ll save from dining out can be spent on attractions, relaxation or shopping.

4. Ask for Honeymoon Complimentary
Most hotels offer complimentary extras like room upgrades, use of private pool and massages, for free to make every newlywed’s stay honeymoon-worthy. When looking for a hotel to book, compare extras from various places. Hotels work hard and would love to keep customers happy by rewarding special occasions with some perks.

5. Take a Weekend Getaway
Weekend getaways are the answer for budget couples. Even if it’s just an overnight stay in a fancy resort or hotel in the city, it will still give you that satisfaction to be together with your new spouse. In fact, a short getaway can be more romantic than a week-long vacation. Since the time you have alone is shorter, your excitement is heightened.

Keeping in mind these saving tips will set your marriage to better future ahead. Being able to go on a romantic honeymoon without costing each of you an arm and a leg is much more romantic than a mega-expensive month-long trip to Maldives and returning home broke.


Beauty Habits That Actually Ruin Your Style

We’re all guilty with one of these habits, like styling our hair too much or wearing makeup more days than not. But knowing what’s good and bad for your body will let you reexamine some of these seemingly-harmless beauty habits.

Too Much Makeup
Putting on makeup is a favorite hobby of a lot of people, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But there should be days when you let your skin rest from too much exposure to chemicals. Make it also a habit not to wear tons of makeup when you don’t need it. Masking your beauty with overdone makeup will also affect your self-confidence and will make you rely more on the art to feel good about yourself. Makeup should highlight your best features and hide some flaws, and not worn as a mask to create a different you.

Working Out with Makeup On
Even if you can find tons of makeup products that are waterproof and long-lasting, it’s not a good idea to wear one when you’re sweating a lot. Not only will the beauty products block your pores, it could also trap dirt and bacteria that cause acne and other skin problems. Always make sure that your face is clean before working out.

Using Expired Beauty Products
Do you love trying out different beauty products that your room looks like a mini salon? It’s time to look through those products and throw out the bottles you don’t use anymore, because if you stock them up for more than a year, their formula will most likely have broken down. Buy only the products you intend to use and never keep a stock of beauty products because they will be less effective and might even cause health problems later.

Not Removing Your Makeup Before Sleeping
Maybe you wash your face before going to bed, but do you check your pillowcases, too? Even if it’s not visibly dirty and there’s no stink coming off from your pillows, dirt, oil, and excess makeup have accumulated in your pillowcase after a few days. Make it a habit to change them once a week and always wash your face before going to bed to minimize the accumulation of germs.

Over Styling Your Hair
Even if your hair can be cut and grown, that does not mean you’re free to abuse it all you want. Dry, damaged hair isn’t caused by shampooing everyday, but by over-styling and frequent trips to the stylist for coloring, straightening or perming. Even if you don’t visit the salon often but subject your hair to the heated styling tools everyday, you will cause the keratin in the hair shafts to break down.

Scrubbing Too Much
Exfoliation is good for your skin, but scrubbing too much can cause issues that you have been trying to avoid in the first place, such as dryness, acne, and other skin problems. Limit exfoliation to not more than twice a week and use a gentle scrubber such as a washcloth.


What are the Condiments Made Of?

We often take them for granted because they are not the most important ingredients in the food, but condiments make meals tastier. So, do you know what’s in your favorite condiments?

Ketchup
Ingredients: Tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sweeteners, onion and garlic, other spices, and flavorings
Trivia: The original ketchup was made from pickled fish or shellfish. Some ketchups today are made not from tomatoes, but other main ingredients like banana and mushroom.

Mustard
Ingredients: powdered mustard seeds, water, and vinegar; others contain wine/beer, oil, sugar, and spices
Trivia: There are different types of mustard based on the three colors of mustard seeds (white, black, and brown). The yellow mustard is white mustard seed plus turmeric, while Asian and most European mustard are made from brown seeds.

Sour Cream
Ingredients: fermented regular cream (mostly butterfat)
Trivia: Sour cream is a dairy product that undergoes bacterial culture which can vary according to the thickening agents used.

Mayonnaise
Ingredients: egg yolk, oil, and vinegar or lemon juice; others add spices and herbs, while some make egg-free mayonnaise
Trivia: There are many speculations to the origin of the word “mayonnaise,” and it was not used as a condiment until the early 19th century.

Worcestershire Sauce
Ingredients: anchovies, brine, garlic in vinegar, tamarinds in molasses, cloves, sugar, shallots, and chilies
Trivia: The mixture is sat for two years and stirred occasionally, then the solids are sifted before it’s bottled.

Tabasco
Ingredients: tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt
Trivia: The name Tabasco is taken from a Mexican state, but it was first made in the Louisiana, USA in 1868.

Soy Sauce
Ingredients: fermented soy beans, water, salt, and roasted grains
Trivia: Creating soy sauce can sometimes take months. There are also more than a hundred types of soy sauce because of the variety of the recipes.

Balsamic Vinegar
Ingredients: different varieties of grapes
Trivia: Creating a true balsamic vinegar in the traditional way is as tedious as creating the best wines. The grapes are crushed, simmered, then transferred to wooden barrels for evaporation and oxidation. Then, red wine vinegar is added and aged for 12 to 150 years.

Wasabi
Ingredients: grated wasabi rhizome; most manufacturers outside Japan use horseradish, starch, mustard, and spinach powder or green food coloring
Trivia: Most of the wasabi paste served with your sushi outside Japan are fake due to the high cost of the wasabi plant.

Fish Sauce
Ingredients: fermented fish with sea salt, herbs and spices
Trivia: Fish sauce is usually made from one species of fish or shellfish. One variety, called kechiap, might have been the inspiration for ketchup.

Salsa
Ingredients: tomatoes, chilies, onion, corn, beans, and other spices
Trivia: The word “salsa” means “sauce” in various languages.

Vinegar
Ingredients: acetic acid (made from fermented ethanol), water, and trace chemicals
Trivia: There are more than a dozen varieties of vinegar all over the world, but they are made through process called fermentation. The most popular types are apple cider, cane vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and coconut/date vinegar.


What is Ichthyosis?

The name might bring images of extinct sea creatures that look more horrifying than sharks, but ichthyosis is a name for a group of skin diseases that is characterized by thick, dry, and scaly skin which make the affected person look like a fish. It is a disfiguring disease that results in the isolation of the victim, because it is a condition that is misunderstood by so many. A study in 2012, however, showed that 200 to 400 cases of moderate to severe types of ichthyosis in Singapore are reported annually.

Types and Symptoms of Ichthyosis
Ichthyosis can be acquired or inherited, the former usually resulting from malignant, inflammatory or hormonal diseases. Some doctors, however, cannot point the exact cause of acquired ichthyosis. Inherited ichthyosis is known to occur if there are mutations in more than 40 genes that are associated with the disease. Genetic ichthyosis will often show symptoms at birth and will affect the person for the rest of his/her life.

The symptoms of this disorder of cornification vary in every form, but the patients all suffer from dry and scaly skin, blistering, redness, skin shedding, pain or itching, and overheating. There are 22 types of ichthyosis that have been studied so far, with the inherited type usually altering the skin cells called keratinocytes found in the outer skin layer or stratum corneum. The 22 types of ichthyosis are grouped into 3; common, autosomal recessive congenital, and keratinopathic ichthyosis.

Common Ichthyoses:
1. Ichthyosis vulgaris
2. Recessive X-linked ichthyosis STS

Autosomal Recessive Congenital Ichthyoses:
1. Lamellar ichthyosis TGM1 and Others
2. Harlequin ichthyosis ABCA12
3. Congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma ALOXE3 and Others

Keratinopathic Ichthyoses:
1. Epidermolytic ichthyosis KRT1 and KRT10
2. Superficial epidermolytic ichthyosis KRT2
3. Ichthyosis Curth-Macklin KRT1
4. Congenital reticular ichthyosiform erythroderma

Other types of ichthyosis include, Collodion baby; Darier disease; epidermal nevus; erythrokeratodermia variabilis; keratitis- ichthyosis-deafness; Netherton syndrome; Pachyonychia congenital; palmoplantar keratodermas; Sjorgen-Larsson syndrome; Chanarin Dorfman syndrome; CHILD syndrome; Conradi-Hunermann; ichthyosis hystrix with deafness syndrome; Refsum disease; and trichothiodystrophy.

Treatments of Ichthyosis
Ichthyosis is diagnosed using prenatal testing for inherited ichthyosis, blood tests, and biopsy. Prenatal testing is recommended for parents who suspect that their baby might inherit the disease. The test will determine the levels of plasma cholesterol sulfate and confirm the absence in fibroblasts of steroid sulphatase. The blood tests and biopsy on the other hand will reveal the thickening in the stratum corneum, degeneration of suprabasal keratinocytes, and the absence of the filaggrin and granular cell layer.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ichthyosis to date, and the treatments focus on easing the symptoms experienced by the patient such as the use of ointments, creams and lotions. The affected person is advised to bathe in salt water or urea or salicylic acid to reduce the scaling, and to take retinoids or keratolytics if the symptoms are severe.

Infants born with the disease are closely monitored to avoid infection, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, flexibility, skin fragility, and ocular complications.


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