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If you do not have a lot of resources, living in an expensive city will surely be very difficult. It is important that you know the expensive cities so you can prepare how to tackle it. The good news is that the Economist Intelligence Unit recently released its annual survey. The 2015 list of the most expensive cities are already made known.

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It is time that you know it. Here’s the list:

  1. Singapore: For the third year, Singapore remained at the top. Singapore is again the most expensive city having surpassed Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. If you remember, we deposed Tokyo way back in 2013.
  2. Zurich: Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the second most expensive city. The reason behind this is the Swiss franc’s unfastening from the euro.
  3. Hong Kong: Hong Kong is another Asian city and it now sits on the third spot. This is seven places higher than last year’s study. This is because Hong Kong dollar is attached to U.S dollars.
  4. Geneva: Geneva is the 2nd most populous city in Switzerland and the fourth most expensive city. Geneva is the second Swiss city in the top five. Last year, it was on the 7th This is also the doing of Swiss franc’s unfastening from the euro.
  5. Paris: Paris is the only city in the Euro zone that made it to the top ten. Paris dropped from second place (last year) to fifth. The reason is its weak confidence in euro.paris-tour-eiffel-at-night
  6. London: Paris is followed by London as the sixth most expensive city in the world. London was on the 11th spot last year. London is a non-euro zone city.
  7. New York: New York climbed big time. Last year, it was on the 15th The reason behind is the currency gusts.
  8. Copenhagen: Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and it is the 8th most expensive city in the world.
  9. Seoul: Seoul is the last Asian city who made it to the top ten. This goes to show that Korean won is steadfast.
  10. Los Angeles: Los Angeles also climbed from the 19th spot to the 10th Same with New York, the reason is the currency gusts.

2015 was an unstable year for living costs because of declining commodity prices, currency devaluations as well as geopolitical ambiguity. This is according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s bi-annual pricing index. At the end of the list, South Asian cities like India and Pakistan are included. It is also Lusaka, Zambia’s capital that offers the world’s best value for money.

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Looking back it’s funny to realize that most of our friendships were made because we were in close proximity with these friends – neighbors, seatmates, classmates, club mates, schoolmates, etc. As we grew older, we started opening up to friends beyond our close proximity and chose them based on other more important factors. They say your old friends – the ones you’ve had since school days – are your treasure friends for they’ve known you the longest and before you became successful. But reality challenges this friendship as best friends start working miles apart and hardly see each other anymore.

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If this is your case, here are some practical tips on how to keep your long distance friendship alive:

Constant communication

It’s a blessed thing that we’re living in a digital age where long distances are made shorter. Whether you and your best friend are separated by countries or only a few cities within Singapore, it’s always good to keep in touch. It’s a general rule in all types of relationships to keep an open constant communication. You can just say Hi and ask how the other is doing or even talk about your day.

There are plenty of ways to do this, too. You can text, call, email, Vibe, Skype – there’s many more so you choose.

Regular updates

Most friends are delighted to find that they’re still able to talk to each other the way they used to even when they’ve been apart for so long. This is well and good but keeping your friend on the other side regularly updated of the important happenings in your life is also advisable. After all, this friend has known you the longest so he/she will understand you well. Also, wouldn’t you want to have a constant witness in the story of your life?

Sending Surprise Gifts

We’re physically apart from each other so it would take an extra effort to show the warmth and affection from our friendship. A simple Thank You card or a birthday package sent when it was least expected will surely make our friend’s day. It’s always nice to be sweet and even nicer to show our friend how much we appreciate their friendship. Those with real friends are really wealthy. So take care of these real ones.

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Setting Quality Bonding Time

Setting a date schedule when you’re friend when one of you is in town despite your busy schedule is a confirmation of your importance to each other and how much you each value your friendship. Time is the best gift we give to our loved ones. Plan to create more fond memories together, too, by going on road trips or beach escapades whenever possible.

Just Be There

The hit TV series said it well – just be there for your friend. You may not be there physically but knowing that you’re just there willing to listen and talk anytime is already enough. It’s always great to know that there are people who supports us in whatever we’re going through.

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Many expecting moms in Singapore can dream of a thousand ways how they want their babies to grow up. They can think of a million dos and don’ts in child-rearing as well. All these daydreaming and big plans start the moment the baby is conceived. Moms spend an entire nine months carrying their babies within that every waking hour is in full anticipation of the big day.

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Whether you’re an expecting mom or not, here are some tips on how to spend those big nine months:

Hunting for the perfect name

There are mothers who wake up after giving birth only to find out that the baby has already been named by the father. I’m sure you don’t want this to happen to you. You’d want to be as involved in naming your child as much as you were involved in making the baby. So what better way than scouring through the nine months in search of the perfect name that both you and your husband will love to call your child?

Listening to classical music

Heard about those baby geniuses, gifted child, and child prodigy? Well, some of these kids’ parents have claimed listening to classical music while they were still expectant moms. Studies have also shown that listening to classical music can improve one’s intelligence. So how about trying this out? It won’t be a problem if your child turns out to be a musical prodigy even if you are not, would it? Parents can dream, you know.

Reading bedtime stories

Babies in the womb can hear the sounds from outside once they’re developed enough. This is why some claim that their baby can already recognize a parent’s voice. You can try to achieve this by reading bedtime stories even while your baby is still in the womb. This can be a good practice for you as you’ll surely be reading a lot of bedtime stories while your child grows up. Aside from reading bedtime stories, you and your husband can also try talking to the baby inside – of course, expect this to be more of a monologue.

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Keeping physically fit

One of the best things to prepare for your baby’s arrival is to keep physically fit. Avoid doing any vigorous physical exercises such as running and swimming and stick to minimal physical activities such as walking. Make sure to eat a balanced diet as well as what you eat is what your baby eats, too. Eat the right food so that your child will grow up to be strong and healthy. Take your daily nutrient supplements as well and follow your doctor’s advice.

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Lastly, be sure that you come well-prepared to the world of parenthood by arming yourself with as much know-how as you can get. They say no one can really be prepared to be a parent but there’s no harm in trying. Our modern times have produced a lot of helpful parenting literature to help you become the best mom for your child.

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Now that you have finally decided to finally spend the rest of your life with her and you’re ready to make it official by getting down in one knee, the next step is to figure out what ring to proffer on that very special moment. Tradition says go for a diamond engagement ring, but of course you have the option not to follow suit. Whether it’s a sparkly stone that looks almost exactly as the real thing or a unique coloured gemstone, we’ve rounded up eight gorgeous non-diamond alternatives for a proposal ring.

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1. Sapphire
Typically, sapphires are blue stones, but they also come in white, yellow, peach, pink, and green. Ranked as the third hardest mineral, getting a 9 on the Mohs scale, and about a third of the price of a diamond, no wonder this makes a perfect non-diamond alternative for an engagement ring. Although white sapphire don’t sparkle as brilliantly as a diamond, if it’s well cut it can look just as good, giving more bang for your buck if looking for a larger stone.

2. Amethyst
This purple stone gets a 7 on the Mohs scale. It may not be as hard, but still very durable and is much more affordable. Pair it with rose gold or silver for a classic setting or with some other hue for a quirkier look.

3. Emerald
With its distinct green tone, emerald exudes luxurious and precious beauty, making it a popular choice of stone for Singapore brides. While they have seemed to fall out of style over the recent years, if you find the right engagement ring in Singapore that can be paired with a modern setting, this stone can look classy and chic. And with a scale of 8, emeralds can be forever, too.

4. Garnet
Garnets typically come in pinky-red hue, but it also comes in all sorts of colours. Often paired with antique bands, these gems look especially beautiful when matched with pearls and other coloured stones. Scoring between 6.5 and 7.5 in Mohs scale, they are not as durable as rubies, though this reflects in the price. Indeed, a gorgeous option for a much more affordable wedding ring.

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5. Moissanite
If searching for the best diamond alternative, without the skyrocketing price tag, a moissanite could be the perfect stone to purchase. Often mistaken as diamonds, these stones rival the durability of genuine diamonds with hardness level of 9.5 on the Mohs scale. As second hardest mineral, next to diamond, moissanite makes the perfect substitute for a traditional diamond engagement ring.

6. Topaz
Topaz, with its array of glamorous hues and crystal clear clarity, is among the top options for wedding rings. While each of this stone differs in mineral content, topaz gemstone gets a hardness level of 8. Pure topaz is actually colourless, and its hues are created by the flaws in the stone. Imperfection indeed makes up beauty and uniqueness, making this stone a meaningful gift to offer to your beloved on your engagement.

7. Ruby
Along with diamond, emerald, and sapphire, ruby is one of the four precious stones. With a hardness level of 9, this blood-red gemstone can stay beautiful and durable forever even on the busiest hands. This is reflected on its price though, with the finest ruby competing with its diamond counterparts. When shopping for ruby, consider the same four Cs, with rich colour being the priority.

8. Aquamarine
Aquamarine, a pale blue gemstone, also makes a durable option for a proposal ring, with a hardy level of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. It also has enough clarity that makes it look expensive and is known as “the lucky gemstone”—a perfect charm to have as you start your marriage.

Proposing with the right ring to proffer is crucial as it symbolizes the love and commitment a man has for her woman. However, a diamond is not the only beautiful gemstone there is. Many others offer the same beauty—or even more—and are much more reasonably priced than the traditional gem.

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Valentine’s is not a public holiday but it doesn’t mean it is not observed here in Singapore. Couples make time for this since it is only celebrated once a year. Fancy dinners to restaurants, bouquets of flowers and chocolates are the famous things during Valentines. Couples think of different activities to make the holiday more memorable.

This year, why not give your man an extraordinary gift? There are gifts for your guy whether you have been dating for three months or two years. You just need to be creative. Here are some gift ideas that you can consider for him:

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Chocolate-covered bacon

Once in a while, we have to indulge our guy with something sinfully delicious say bacon and chocolate. Instead of giving him the traditional chocolate-covered strawberry, you can try chocolate-covered bacons. There are plenty of recipes that you can consider like bacon candy or brittle. Your guy will truly appreciate it especially if he has sweet tooth.

Cactus

Girls can also give guys flowers but that would be too feminine. Guys want something manly and you have to think of plants that are versatile enough for them. In this case, you can consider cactus. Cactus will symbolize your love for him – it’ll last. Roses and other flowers will be gone but not the cactus. If your guy is clumsy, perhaps thorny cactus is not the best choice.

Beer

Wines are for celebrations or special occasions, which Valentines happen to fall. However, your guy doesn’t want that fancy drink. Sometimes, all he needs is just a beer. Any beer-related gift will surely be appreciated.

Sunglasses

Men only need few accessories. They need sunglasses and that is equivalent to your sparkly earrings. If your guy has plenty of sunglasses, then it is time to choose other accessory staples like baseball caps and watches. These things are not that expensive so you don’t need to worry a thing.

Man-gerie

Yes, you can consider man-gerie. Man-gerie comprises of boxer briefs as well as sweats. Your guy rarely goes out to shop for his underwear and boxers so surprise him with whatever you choose. When looking for the perfect man-gerie, do not forget to choose soft and appealing ones. Remember that he will wear it until it will disintegrate.

Gift card

Who said that pampering is only for the ladies? Men need to be pampered too. Start with his facial hair maintenance. If you can supply him with a gift card for his facial hair maintenance, he will be happy and feel handsome. Grooming should be encouraged.

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Gift basket

After taking care of his facial hair, your man needs some personal pampering. Never look for bath sets because that sounds chic. Instead, look for man crates or dude gift baskets. These are great alternatives to the traditional bath baskets.

Rugged scents

There is always an appeal if your man smells good, right? You should make an effort to help him maintain it. You have to consider scents but never the sweet and floral ones because these are feminine. Instead, look for rugged and woodsy scents. If he doesn’t want scented candles, you can consider colognes that boast of sandalwood, spice and tobacco.

Mounted animals

Stuffed toys are just for females. Its male counterpart is mounted animals. It doesn’t have to be a genuine taxidermy. There are many fake ones and sometimes it looks cool too. However, it won’t hurt if you consider stuff toys.

Gadgets

How about a new phone or Xbox? If that is not too much for you, it is time that you give your guy this and play together. They say that playing together gives a different kind of bonding experience.

At the end of the day, the gift will not matter – expensive or not, it’s the thought that counts. As long as you are present on that day and the remaining days, it will be enough for your guy. Even the littlest gestures can be gifts to him. Remember to show love everyday not just during Valentine’s day.

If you have single friends, let them feel loved. After all, Valentine’s is not only for couples. It is celebrating love regardless of the kind. Celebrate with your friends and family if you still have time. Enjoy the Valentine’s!

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Things You Need To Know This Year  

February 24th, 2016 | Posted by Editor in Fun Facts - (0 Comments)

 

For Chinese, the New Year just started. On February 8, 2016, Singaporeans and fellow Chinese around the world officially welcome the New Year. Welcoming the year with a bang is the ideal way to start the year especially with all the fireworks and merriment. Many things happened in 2015 and as you officially close its curtains, you only bring nothing but memories and lessons.

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Whatever you encountered in 2015, you only hope that the New Year brings better and brighter life for you and the family. In fact, you are excited to know what lucky colors and numbers you hold this year. That is perfectly normal. It wouldn’t hurt if you know your lucky numbers and colors in the year of the fire monkey. The year of the fire monkey officially started on February 8, 2016 and it will end on January 27, 2017. It is said that people born under the fire monkey will be lucky.

If you are born under this zodiac, here are the things that you need to know this year:

  • The big switch: Monkeys are famous for their enthusiasm and because of this they are always well-compensated and highly regarded. This is no surprise. However, for monkeys who are not happy with their current job, it is time that you make changes and enthusiastically move forward. With your passion, you will find something that will work out. Feng Shui experts warn not to trust people easily. Some people will only make deceitful actions especially if they see you are vulnerably. As soon as you grasp that the path is not fruitful, you should try a new one right away to avoid getting stuck to it.
  • Lucky colors: According to some experts, there is no particular lucky color for this year. Astrology reports say that bright red, gold and blue are the best colors for this year. This sounds like an interesting combination.
  • Lucky direction: The lucky direction points to the west. Experts recommend that you head to the west whatever you do. If you are planning a holiday trip, head to the west. If you are doing something risky or adventurous, go to the west as it can bring a lot of luck and bounty.

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  • Lucky charm: For this year, the lucky charm is called Bixie or Pi Yao. This is a Chinese mythical creature that appears like a lion with wings. Bixie is known to protect people by driving the bad spirits away. If there is no Bixie around, you can consider any accessories as long as it has a monkey. Apart from that, you have to get something with lucky gems like rock crystal, jade, rose quartz, aquamarine, citrine, garnet and amber.
  • Lucky hours: There are particular hours labelled to be lucky depending on the animal sign. For the year of the monkey, lucky hours are from three to five in the afternoon. Monkey hours are favourable hours to begin many things for it will produce good results at the end of the day. Aside from monkeys, snakes, dragons and rats have also lucky hours.
  • Lucky numbers: This year, lucky numbers are 4, 6 and 9. Of the three numbers, nine stands out the most because of many things. For one, monkey is the 9th animal in the Chinese zodiac. Another is that it is associated with ambition, adventures and even little mischief – which are good things if used properly.
  • Lucky flowers: For the flowers, gentlemen should know what to give to their ladies. This year, lucky flowers include chrysanthemum and crape myrtle. What does it look like? Well, you can just ask the florists and they will do the rest. Do not forget to bring chocolates and some gems too if you really want your girls to feel pampered.

There you go. The compilation will give you an idea of what this year will bring. However, you have to remember that everything will be up to you. Never depend on everything listed here because these are only guides, not guarantees of good fortune. You should know by now that your fortune is entirely up to you and how hard you work for it.

May this year be better and fruitful than the last. Cheers to the year of the monkey!

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No matter where you come from, marriage is something sacred and cherished. It is not a mere union of the hearts but it is a union of soul and lives of two different individuals loving and sharing each other’s life. It is the bond of togetherness held together by a sacred divinity from above. It’s more than living together, it’s being part of each other way beyond what an individual can ponder.

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Different countries have different traditions in marriage. In Singapore, a hair combing ritual is practiced as a sign of the bride and grooms transition from becoming a man from a boy, a woman from a girl. This usually comes in many Chinese weddings with the belief of having a blessed and harmonious marriage life as a couple.

Various ceremonies are done all in the hope of blessing the oneness of the newly wed and to wish them a something good in their relationship. These ceremonies are done to ask blessing for the new chapter in life of two hearts beating as one.  But what is really needed to make your marriage a happy and lasting one? Here are five simple tips for a lasting marriage:

  1. Compliments are a must. Always find the beauty in each other. Complimenting your partner will help you maintain the harmonious relationship as husband and wife. Simple compliments like “You look lovely today” or “You cook so well” makes a big difference in your relationship. It is not only pleasing in the ears, but as well as feeding up to your partner’s heart. It’s the sweetest and simplest effort you can do to the one you love. Just simply state the lists of the attributes that you adore from your partner and the work is done. Try it, it’s free though.

 

  1. Always have time. Time is a luxury that no one can afford – but it is certainly the BEST luxury that your partner deserves. Your time is the best gift that you can give to your partner. Despite your hectic schedules, always find time to do things together like go out on a movie date, dine at a romantic restaurant or even going to the gym together. Basically just any activity where you and your partner can bond together alone. Try to do the old things you do when you were still not married – just go on a date like it’s the first night that both of you went out. You can also enjoy vacations with your kids, if you have, and do activities under the sun. Just go out there, and spend quality time.

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  1. Surprises are good. Who says surprises comes in big boxes wrapped in a fancy-decorated wrapper with an enormous red ribbon? Surprises doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be bought in a very expensive amount or the like. A simple breakfast in bed, after work massage or a candle light dinner after a stressful day may be simple but it’s the value of the effort and surprise that counts. Little things do mean a lot – and it’s the little things that counts big when added up. Your partner deserves to be surprised sometimes. It doesn’t just boost your marriage but it can also help you build that fulfillment at times.

 

  1. Keep the romance. Romance each other once in a while. Yes – you are married, and making love is one of the secret to keep your marriage to the beat. Have a dose of physical intimacy and maintain that heat between you and your partner. Romance is not only about sex though – you can cuddle close together, hold and feel each hands together, kiss the stress away to simply make things better. Intimacy helps a lot and even a simple gesture of love and affection can help things burn forever.

 

  1. Stay in-love. Time may pass, seasons may change, but love never goes old. What better way for a marriage to last is to stay in the love bubble. Always remember how much you love each other. Forever cherish in your heart the love you both have for each other, the love where you both lived, you both felt comfortable and the love that gives you the reason to live. Just keep loving every waking day of your life, like the vows you made to love and hold each other till you hold the last stroke of life.

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Love comes in many form, in many means, and in many ways. Sometimes, it comes in the most unexpected kind, in a much unexpected timing.  Love sees no boundaries – it overcomes any catastrophes, any hardships and trials. There is the kind of love in that comes near, while there is also a kind of love that blossoms from afar. Love is a beautiful experience that everyone deserves to feel, because loving doesn’t only mean to love from just here, but even from a distant sea.

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Long distance relationship is a very challenging idea of love. They say that considering the distance, this kind of relationship is not for the fearful but for the bold ones. They say this is meant only for those who are strong enough to overcome the test of time and for those who believe that everything is worth the wait. But loving in a distance is never easy, it is a bit of a struggle. For those who are battling a struggling long distance relationship, here are the three golden rules to keep your love together despite the test of distance;

  1. Trust is more than love. It’s really not the distance that breaks the relationship apart – it’s the lack of trust that does. You have to trust your partner because that is the essential part of loving someone from a distance. You can’t be there to know every single thing he/she is doing and you don’t have to stress yourself worrying too much about the negative things.

Learn to trust your partner. Learn to make your partner feel that no matter how many miles you are far away you still have faith on whatever he/she says because you love so much that you trust with all your heart. There is nothing sweeter than a loving couple giving full trusts to one another. Plus, you get to save yourself from stressing too much on the negative imaginations you have.

  1. Communication is a must. The foundation of a lasting long distance relationship is communication. It is what’s left for the both of you to hold on too. Always find time to communicate with your partner on a daily basis. It doesn’t mean that you should text, call or video chat every minute of the day (But if you can – then why not right?), a simple random texts and a good talk at the end of the day to catch up the things that happened to you for the whole day is a big thing in your relationship.

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Though your partner is not around, you can still make him/her feel that they are a part of your life for you share the details of your day with them. Always remember that a failed communication can become a hindrance for a harmonious relationship. Try to give your partner the time – the time to talk about things, to laugh about a joke, to cry about the sad moments that happened in your day, to share your reviews on the movie you saw, basically just talk with each other. Never get tired of communicating because for the moment of your relationship, that’s the least you can do to make things last between the two of you.

  1. Patience is REALLY a virtue. Love, trust, and Patience equals a lasting relationship. The idea of a long distance relationship can be scary sometimes because imagine loving someone from far away and waiting for the time that both of you will be together again. It is full of uncertainties and trials, trust issues and one heart getting tired, but think deeply in your mind – you’ve come a long way for your relationship to last, would you break it just like that because you get tired? They say when the distance is over, you will be happy you didn’t give up. Well at least, you can hold on to that idea.

Keep the patience in your heart. Be patient to wait for the right time and for the right moment if you know that the person is truly worth the wait. Be patient to face each day without your love by your side at all moment because being there does not mean physically being there but find him/her in your heart that no matter what you do, you have that someone who loves you and got your back. Always be patient – because whatever you waited too hard, can be the sweetest reality you will get when that right moment comes.

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