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Apr

Where to Find the Best Artisan Chocolates

Chocolate lovers often reach that point when they want to try chocolates not made by commercial companies. That is not to say the chocolates we find at stores aren’t tasty, but sometimes we want to try something different. These artisan chocolates are also not easy to find and are often produced locally.

What is an artisan chocolate?
Artisan chocolates are made by hand in small batches. This is opposed to commercial chocolates which are mass-produced. Artisan chocolates sometimes takes days to create. They also come in different designs and shapes. You might ask, do they use ingredients that are natural? Well, not necessarily. Even these small-scale chocolate makers use artificial coloring and ingredients to create their products. Some of these are meticulously picked and processed, however, and that is why some artisan chocolates can be pricey.

What are the types of artisan chocolates?
Like commercially-produced chocolates, artisan chocolates are divided into three categories; dark, milk and flavored. Dark chocolates have the highest percentage of cocoa solids and has little to no added sugar. Milk chocolates are cocoa solids mixed with milk. Other ingredients such as vanilla, butter, lecithin and milk fats are also used. Flavored chocolates are cocoa solids with flavorings and other ingredients besides those used to make milk chocolate. Some artisan chocolates add unusual ingredients such as chili, salt and others in the chocolate. What about white chocolate? White chocolate isn’t actually a type of chocolate because it isn’t made from cocoa solids, but are made instead from non-fat parts of cocoa.

How are artisan chocolates made?
Most artisan chocolatiers start with the cocoa beans. These are bought fresh from the market or directly supplied by farmers and then roasted. The husks are removed and the cocoa is refined into bars. There are two primary ingredients for any artisan chocolate, the cacao and sugar. Some artisans are particular about the type of cocoa beans they use. There are three types used today by chocolate makers. These are Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. After the husks of the beans are removed, the nibs are ground into chocolate liquor. Next, the chocolate is placed in a wet grinder to refine and aerate it. The sugar is usually added while the chocolate is refined. After the grinding, the chocolate is tempered by cooling and warming alternately and then molded.

Where to find artisan chocolates in Singapore?
Check out these artisan chocolatiers in the country.
1. Angelina Tea Room & Patisserie
2. Anjalichocolat Artisan Chocolatier
3. Artisan Boulangerie Co.
4. Beans to Bars
5. Chocolate Origin
6. Cocoa Colony
7. Demochoco
8. Laurent Bernard Chocolatier
9. Leela’s Fine Chocolates
10. Matt’s The Chocolate Shop
11. The Audacious Cakery
12. The Bakery Chef
13. Wimbly Lu Chocolates

Apr

What to Expect During Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is a procedure that should be done by a certified medical practitioner. It takes time and proper planning before the procedure is performed so that there are no complications post-surgery. Remember that regardless of the type of procedure you want done, plastic surgery needs incisions.

How to Prepare Before the Procedure
There are several things the patient needs to observe before the scheduled procedure. When the person books an appointment, a consultation is done first before the operation is done. This will allow the doctor to assess what needs to be done and to determine if the patient is qualified for the procedure. Besides the standard medical examinations, the following should be observed:

1. Know your plastic surgeon. Read reviews and ask your friends about the best plastic surgeons. Research about the doctor’s credentials and the procedures available.
2. Inform the doctor of your medical history. Most competent doctors will look at your medical records. This is to avoid giving procedures to patients who might not be qualified for it.
3. The weight must be normal and maintained before the procedure. Fluctuations in weight can affect the result.
4. Inform the doctor about all the medications you’re taking including vitamin supplements and herbal remedies.
5. Smokers cannot undergo plastic surgery because it causes poor blood supply and will interfere with healing. As with most procedures, the concern is usually the recovery of the patient. Avoid smoking until the wound has completely healed.
6. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. This will make the procedure more difficult and will even affect the healing process. Avoid drinking until you are completely healed.

What to Do After Plastic Surgery
The doctor will usually give instructions post-surgery including proper care of the wounds. Most people, however, still practice their usual routine and that can affect the healing process. You should observe the following:

1. Never apply cosmetics while the sutures are still healing. Even if the plastic surgery is done on your face, you should not try to cover it with makeup because it might cause infections and allergic reactions.
2. You should limit your exposure to sunlight. You are not advised to apply sunscreen on the area because the wound must be kept clean. Only antibiotics and ointments recommended by the doctor should be used, so you should stay indoors while you’re still healing to avoid complications.

3. Avoid taking supplements and drinks that are not recommended by the doctor. Never self-medicate to speed up your healing. Chances are, the medicine you decided taking will interact negatively with your antibiotics.
4. Don’t forget the check-ups with your doctor. He/she will be able to monitor the healing process and schedule the removal of the sutures.
5. You need to monitor your diet while you’re healing. The doctor will probably recommend antibiotics for the wound to avoid infections. Some patients will be on a liquid diet for a time while others are recommended to have better intake of proteins for fast recovery.

Mar

5 Pieces of Advice to Get Through Your 20s

Your 20’s can be a tricky time in your life. You’re old enough to be considered an adult, and yet somehow you feel like the fish out of the water surrounded with people who are more adept, has more experience in life, and are filled with wisdom. You might be only starting the road to gaining life’s wisdom, so expect advices thrown your way every now and then.

It is generally a period filled with fun and exciting times, your 20s. Though filled with confusion at some point, it is always a time of transition and adventures you will look back on later in life. It may be a long journey but as you go along you will find yourself in a number of experiences which will richen your view in life.

Regardless, you can’t go wrong with arming yourself with advices to help you get through your 20s.

• Be bold and take risks
The thing with being in your 20’s is that you have the freedom to choose, well if you choose to, that is. This is the perfect time to pursue what sets your heart on fire and of what makes you happy. In so doing, there are things you might risk in the process but in order to figure out which things are worth pursuing—you have to take a risk and do it in the first place.

• Surround yourself with good friends
Good friends weigh more than the value of gold. As you grow older in life, it is important you keep in touch with lifelong friends who can make you feel better when you need some cheering up. They help you feel good about yourself even in times when you hate yourself the most, and they help you become a better person as a whole.

• Learn the art of gratitude
A simple “thank you” goes a long way. Take time to appreciate people’s efforts especially if they do something for you. A small gesture of gratitude along with a sincere smile may just complete someone’s day. We all fight our own battles and you never know when they may need positivity the most.

• Maintain a reading habit
Reading is one hobby you can pick up shortly especially after you’re through with your studies. Now that you aren’t necessarily required by the academia to read books, do it voluntarily and find a genre you are most interested in. For one, classics can bring a bit of perspective into your life. You may even pick up some lessons you haven’t before!

• Balance your work-personal life
Make every second of every day count. Don’t get too swamped with work, as your life doesn’t solely revolve around deadlines and summary reports. Learn how to manage your time well and spend time on doing the things you love the most. Take note, it won’t hurt to have some time for yourself and enjoy the little things in life.

Mar

A Brief List of Considerations to Take into Account during an Earthquake

Although Singapore is a city-state which is less prone to earthquakes because it’s not located on a plate boundary, neighboring boundaries may still affect the country in the event of a big tremor. For one, a very powerful quake can swing Singapore’s tall buildings and skyscrapers. With this unfortunate event likely to happen out of the blue, this puts all residents at risk.

It becomes imperative, then, for us to be aware of what to do during an earthquake. Vigilance is something we must all practice and exercise. Sure, we may find ourselves in panic and hysteria in times of distress — but awareness of what you should do may just secure you a ticket into survival and less to almost no casualty.

• If you are on an upper story of a building during an earthquake, do not attempt to leave the building while the tremor is ongoing.
Traversing a building and its surroundings in the midst of a quake is a terrible idea. Debris may fall upon you and injure you further compared to staying still in the place where you are and finding a material to help you duck, cover, and hold. It is not advisable to move around too much in the event of a quake because…

• Running or walking around when a quake is going on is very dangerous.
Since the ground is moving, the unstable floor may prompt you to lose balance and tumble over. With lots of debris that may fall upon you, being on the move may just land you more injuries. Traversing as little as possible while there is an earthquake significantly reduces your odds of risking your life to the many dangers around.

• Remember to duck, cover, and hold.
These are the three words you must keep in mind when there’s an earthquake happening: duck, cover, and hold. Finding cover to shield yourself is one guaranteed way to protect yourself from the dangers of falling debris. It has been found out that falling debris is the source of most injuries during a quake, hence it is imperative to protect yourself from getting hit.

• Generally, earthquakes do not last long.
Even when you are on your heightened survival mode, chances are you won’t be fast enough to leave the building you are in during a quake — especially when the floor is unpredictably shaking and debris are falling onto you. Instead of attempting to make it all the way out, find cover instead.

• Debris may fall outside, as well.
This is the reason why leaving the building when there’s a tremor going on doesn’t guarantee you utmost safety. Outdoor façade materials, like glass and bricks, may also fall outside during an earthquake. Accordingly, keep yourself sheltered and brace for any possible aftershocks.

Feb

The Importance of Swimming Today

Swimming is usually thought of as just fun and games. Remember as a kid when swimming meant you would get to play around a huge pool of water where everything seemed fun? Well, swimming is more than just fun and games. In fact, swimming is a great way to improve one’s fitness.

Swimming is a great way to train your body
A lot of people who are into health and wellness would actually argue that swimming should be part of our basic human physical activities. It makes sense, people should definitely learn how to swim. Not only because swimming is a great way to relieve stress but also because swimming really does help us become healthier and better functioning human beings. Intense swimming can be considered as an amazing way to not only burn calories but also exercise and improve your overall physical capacity.

A lot of people who take working out seriously would tell you that they would go for an intense swim at least once a week. Shouldn’t we all? Swimming is a bit different from regular workouts but if we had to categorize swimming with a certain type of workout, we’d have to put swimming in with cardiovascular exercises.

Important aspects of swimming
Swimming relies on two great factors: stamina and endurance. Rather than just pure strength, swimming pushes you to increase your stamina. For those of you who aren’t that into fitness, stamina is very important because it measures how far you can actually go. The bigger your stamina, the more things you are able to do before becoming tired.

Stamina isn’t the only thing swimming is good for, there is also endurance. As it suggests, your endurance is about how much physical stress your body is able to endure. What most people don’t realize is that even if you are tired, you are still supposed to be pushing yourself a little more. The greater your endurance, the more physical stress you are able to take thus allowing your body to improve and grow.

Developing your entire being through swimming
Your body isn’t made to stay within its comfort zone. You won’t improve if you just stay where you’re comfortable all the time. As human beings, improvement and growth is very important and this is why swimming is a great physical activity to incorporate in your string of physical activities.

The benefits of swimming are great and the best part is that you can still definitely have fun while you are swimming. Don’t shy away from a good exercise. In fact, you should look forward to swimming at least once a week. Make swimming part of your lifestyle and you’ll see how much of your bodily functions has improved over time. Start swimming as soon as today!

Feb

Finding the Perfect Party Outfit

It’s undeniable that since it is the holidays, there’s bound to be a few parties you’d have to go to. Parties are a great way to socialize either by meeting new people or by strengthening the connection between the people you already know. Make sure that you fit in but also stand out with the outfit that you are wearing.

Your looks are very important as they speak a lot about yourself. Although we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, if we do not give a great amount of respect towards the way we look, then wouldn’t it be hard for others to give us the same amount of respect as well?

Here are a few tips for you to look great at the party:

1. Be Appropriate
Knowing who is going to the party and what type of clothes you are supposed to wear is definitely a must! Have you ever went to a party where everyone looks stunning except a couple of people who look way too casual to the point that it looks like they don’t care or people who look like they just came from work and did not give a shred of effort into their outfit? You don’t want to be those people.

2. Plan Ahead
Never go to a party wearing just anything in your wardrobe, you should always plan ahead! Why? Because not only will you be able to determine which clothes look better than others and which clothes are the appropriate attire for the party, you will also become more confident in your outfit because of the fact that you have planned ahead! This also saves you from stress before the party which could turn into a buzz kill.

3. Buy Something New
Now, maybe it’s time to treat yourself? This is a great opportunity to buy something new that does not only make you look better but also gives you that great feeling that you are wearing something you’ve never worn before. It doesn’t have to be that extravagant like a new dress or a new tuxedo. It can even be just a new pair of socks which feel good and make you more confident.

Go to a party in style and leave a great impression at the back of people’s minds. Sadly, your appearance isn’t everything, you also have to conduct yourself in a way that is appropriate for the party. Leave a good impression on everyone and who knows, you might even make good connections who might later on be good friends, business partners, or maybe even your romantic partner in the future.

Dec

Commonly Made Mistakes When Hiring a VoIP Provider

More and more companies are now replacing their old telephone systems with the state-of-the-art VoIP services. This communication service gained some good following due to its wide-ranging benefits – it cuts the costs on telephone bills, offers virtual local numbers, telecommuting, private faxes and many more. Still, not all businesses in Singapore are able to make the most out of these advantages as some of them often end up hiring incompetent providers. For that reason, we listed down some of the common mistakes made when choosing a VoIP service provider, as well as some ways you can do to avoid them.

1. Choosing an Inexperienced VoIP Provider
Selecting a VoIP service that’s new in the industry is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes you could make when hiring one. Aside from not knowing how to successfully deploy their service into your business, they might also be using you as a test subject. Even worse, they could go out of business with no notice at all, leaving devastating effects to their clients. To avoid the risk of this happening to you and your business, opt for a provider who’s been delivering VoIP services for five years already. This length of time is already an indicator of quality services, satisfied clients, and stable finances.

2. Installing a VoIP Service on an Unstable Internet Connection
Nearly 60 percent of the VoIP-related issues experienced by some businesses in Singapore are often due to their internet connection. An insufficient or unstable connection could cause choppy voice, dropped calls, and frustrated staff. One way of preventing this is ensuring that your internet connection is stable enough and free of problems before a VoIP system is installed. Your prospective provider like www.crystalvoice.com.sg from Singapore should have all the tools necessary to diagnose the issues of your internet, as well as to determine its stability. So before switching to VoIP, make sure first that your internet cap is large enough and has a stable connection to handle a good number of simultaneous calls.

3. Neglecting the Hidden Charges in VoIP Installation
While the cheap VoIP pricing you saw on the internet may seem appealing, do know that it’s not what it seems. Unlimited calling plans often only include the provider’s network which is very small. With an off network usage that could get as high as $.065/minute and a desk phone being used about 750 minutes/month, the charges you will have every month is anything but cheap.

Your best bet to deal with the hidden charges is to choose a VoIP in Singapore that has an unlimited plan for both local and international calls. Although variable plans are also a good option, they can be too unpredictable in terms of price – but if you prefer this kind of plan, ensure that you know the plan’s per-minute charges. Estimate your business’ monthly usage and then do the math.

4. Hiring a Provider Who Doesn’t Deliver All the Features
Most VoIP providers in Singapore offer a lot of exciting features and capabilities in their services. However, some of common phone system functions like the busy lamp field or the paging feature might not be offered at all. Don’t take these basic telephone features for granted. Instead, spend some time watching how the new system is used and which features are necessary to achieve a smoother business operation. Plus, verifying that you have been provided with these features will save you from experiencing any nasty surprises later on.

5. Selecting a Provider Who Won’t Consider Traffic and Bandwidth
Internet connections from DSL circuits and cable companies tend to have lower upload speeds, especially if unorganized data and voice traffic completes for this limited resource. Even more so if you are sending a large email while conducting a phone call. Save yourself from experiencing any of these communication issues by opting for a VoIP provider who will prioritize dealing with the traffic in your internet connection. Inquire about how could your data vendor prioritize their voice traffic, and if they can’t seem to give you an answer or claim that it doesn’t have to be done, then you would very well find a new VoIP provider.

6. Choosing a Provider Who Doesn’t Offer a Disaster Recovery Plan
Another common mistake that most VoIP clients make is hiring a provider without knowing whether or not they offer a disaster recovery plan for their system. Failing to ask your prospective provider about their disaster recovery plan could leave you and your business in a bind in the event that a system failure occurs. Instead of assuming that your VoIP provider will automatically include a disaster recovery plan in their services, don’t hesitate to inquire as whether or not they will be providing you with the said recovery plan.

7. Switching Providers Without Knowing the Termination Rules
Most vendors of VoIP in Singapore often offer attractive pricing and cheaper installation charges in exchange for their client’s long-term commitments. So ensure that you review the contract you signed with them, and that you understand the cancellation procedures, remaining term, as well as termination charges included in it. Knowing these things will also keep you from getting surprise charges after committing to a new VoIP provider.

Switching to VoIP service allows you to enjoy advantages like reduced phone bills and transformed manner of business operations. For that reason, ensure that you avoid committing any of the aforementioned mistakes when choosing your VoIP provider so you could make the most out of the advantages offered by this state-of-the-art communication system.