What You Need to Know About Period Products

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Periods products can be classified into two according to the kind of protection they provide. External protection includes sanitary pads, cloth pads and period panties. Internal protection includes tampons, menstrual cups and sea sponges.

Sanitary Pads

Pads are made of absorbent materials and has an adhesive strip at the bottom that you can press on the inside of the crotch of the panties.

Pads come in different varieties. Some have wings which can be attached at the sides of the pad to help hold it in place and prevent leakage.

However, there are risks. Disposal is problematic because they are made of plastics. They can cause irritation as well. Some are made of cotton bleached with chlorine while others have rayon in the cotton. Remember that they should be changed every 4 hours.

Cloth Pads

If you have sensitive skin, cloth pads may be an alternative to sanitary napkins. They are made from materials that won’t irritate your skin. They come in different colors and designs too.

Cloth pads are attached to the crotch area of your underwear much like sanitary pads. They can be stored easily and will blend in with other items in your bag.

Cleaning cloth pads might get tricky however. If you let the stain dry, it might be difficult to remove so it has to be soaked then washed before the stains dry.

Period Panties

Period panties look just like your underwear. They come in different designs from thongs to full-coverage panties. Each style has a level of absorbency. They can hold up as much as two tampons.

There are four thin layers that absorb the blood. The material is also antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. Period panties are washable and reusable.

Tampons

Tampons, which look like a tiny tube, are made of absorbent materials that collect blood from inside the vagina.

There is a rumor that girls can lose their virginity if they use tampons. But don’t worry because it isn’t true, but you need to know how to use it properly. So if you’re uncomfortable having a foreign object inserted in your body, this might not be for you.

Tampons might also contain plastic, which if left too long can cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some have glyphosate which can cause cancer.

Menstrual Cups

Cups are also inserted inside the vagina like tampons. But it’s not made of absorbent material. Instead, they are usually made of silicone or rubber that catch the blood and which can be washed and reused.

You wouldn’t know if you need to change it so it’s advised that you do this regularly.

Sea Sponges

There have been testimonies that sea sponges are a great alternative to pads and tampons.

There is a risk however that the sponge might be filled with dirt so it’s not safe to insert them in your vagina. They are also rough and might abrade or irritate the skin. They are also difficult to clean.

10 Must-Read Novels Set in Asia

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With so many good books about Asia, picking the best ten books seems like a daunting task. This list provides ten of the best novels set in Asia by iconic writers that reflect the colorful culture and traditions of the region.

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005) by Lisa See is set in a county in Hunan, China in the 19th century. Two girls find solace in friendship and camaraderie by writing messages on silk fans.

2. The Glass Palace (2000) by Amitav Ghosh is set during the British invasion of Burma in 1885. A boy named Rajkumar creates his own empire in the forest, but the royal family was later banished. During his exile, he met and fell in love with Dolly. Years later, he searches for her.

3. An Artist of the Floating World (1986) by Kazuo Ishiguro tells the life story of artist Masuji Ono, who was also a propagandist for the Japanese Empire during the wars. He struggles to find meaning in life now that he has no one and nothing to live for.

4. Spring Snow (1969) by Yukio Mishima narrates the life of Kiyoaki of the Ayakura family who is torn between tradition and change. He discovers that he has fallen deeply in love with Satoko who was engaged to the royal prince.

5. The God of Small Things (1998) by Indian author Arundhati Roy is about fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel. The story shifts from when the twins were young to the present. As the title implies, it shows how small things can change people for the rest of their lives.

6. A Suitable Boy (1993) by Vikram Seth tells of Lata’s search for the most suitable boy to marry with the help of her mother Rupa Mehra. In the story, the lives of four families are intertwined in love, sadness, joy and forgiveness.

7. The Dream of the Red Chamber (1791) by Cao Xueqin is one of the most-read books of all time. Written during the Qing Dynasty, it narrates the life of two branches of the wealthy family of Jia, the Rongguo and the Ningguo.

8. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994) by Haruki Murakami tells of Toru Okada’s search, first for his wife’s missing cat, then for his missing wife. His search led him to the strange netherworld in Tokyo.

9. A Single Shard (2001) by Linda Sue Park is a story of Tree-Ear and Min. Tree-Ear is curious about the work of the potters in the village, one of them being Min. One day Tree-Ear accidentally breaks a box and pledges to work to pay for the item.

10. The Living Reed: A Novel of Korea (1963) by Pearl S. Buck is set in Korea after the end of World War II. Stories from four generations of the aristocratic family, Kim, show the resiliency of the country.

Signs of Addiction and Where to Get Help

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Addiction doesn’t just refer to abuse of dangerous drugs. It is a lifestyle you have no control over. You can be addicted to anything from food and beverage to abstract ideas. It’s not a fixation on an object or idea, but a behavioral problem.

There are two types of addiction, substance dependence and behavioral addiction. An addict cannot control his/her thoughts and actions. They become dependent on a thing or activity to cope with everyday life. It all begins with a harmless habit. All of us have habits, but habits are performed by choice and can be stopped or never acted on. Addiction on the other hand is dependency on performing a task or consumption of a food or drink to relieve the experience felt the first time it happened.

In cases of alcohol addiction for example, the person becomes dependent and develops a high tolerance. That will lead the person to consume alcohol in higher dosages more frequently to feel sated.

Who is affected?

There is no specific age, gender and ethnicity that will determine who can suffer addiction. Symptoms include loss of control, preoccupation with the activity or object, several failed attempts to stop, continued acts or use despite health risks and consequences, tolerance for a substance, denial of the condition, neglect to perform daily tasks, and withdrawal symptoms when the person attempts to stop.

Addiction can ruin relationships, career or studies and the person’s mental and physical health. It can take up a lot of time and resources too. Substance and alcohol abuse can also lead to violence, accidents and overdoses. Dangerous drugs can alter your brain that is why continued use makes it more difficult to get your life back together.

Where do I get help?

If you or someone you know needs help, there are groups in Singapore that could help you get or your friend’s life back together. Do not wait until you hit rock bottom or suffer serious health problems before you call for help.

The National Addictions Management Service has programs for excessive gaming or use of the Internet, gambling, alcohol, drugs, and inhalants.

The Cabin Singapore was established to help people suffering from alcohol abuse.

WE CARE Community Services Limited has counseling and programs for drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, and Internet addiction as well as shop-lifting and eating disorders.

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) was established to help those struggling to break the cycle of sex and love addiction.

The Institute of Mental Health has a National Addictions Management Service to help patients who are in need of assistance for treatment of substance and behavioral addictions.

One Hope Center is a non-profit volunteer group set up to help those with issues in gambling.

How to Address Over-Illumination

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Growing up, you are often reminded to take things moderately because too much of something is bad. This is applicable to lighting as well. Over-illumination is a problem these days. It is part of light pollution that can have an effect on one’s health and the environment. Industrialists believe that light pollution is inevitable which is why it is part of modernization and development.

Over-illumination is actually a type of light pollution. It is the use of excessive lighting for a specific activity. It is undeniable that over-illumination happens here in Singapore from advertisers to retail shops. It is part of marketing but you have to be aware of its ill effects on your health. Over-illumination, especially at inappropriate times can disrupt bodily functions starting with your circadian rhythms to the production of melatonin. These imbalances can lead to headaches, hypertension, insomnia, fatigue and anxiety.

As for environmental concerns, over-illumination consumes higher electricity which is not good for the environment not to mention higher electricity costs which is not economical. Knowing this, you have to contribute to lessen its effect on the environment and economics. Here are simple solutions to address over-illumination:

Pick the right design: When you are still building your house, it is important that you have large windows because it can help with the lighting. Natural light should be a priority instead of installing tons of lighting fixtures. Make sure that the architect or builder knows you want abundance of natural lights.

Turning off lights: Make it a habit to turn off the light every time you exit the room whether you are in your workplace or in your home. During the day, utilize natural light. If you are in your workplace, turn off the lights when no one is in the room. If you are taught that turning lights off and on all the time will degrade it, basic rule of thumb is to leave it on for at least fifteen minutes and if after there is no one entering the room, turn it off.

Choose the right lighting: One thing that you can do is to choose the right lighting fixture. You can ask for the help of professionals if you do not know which to consider. The basic thing that you have to do is to avoid fluorescent lighting and consider low-wattage light bulbs. At night, do not overdo or over-illuminate. You can instead use dim light sources – these will give you light along hallways and dark rooms without over-lighting it.

These are just some of the things that you can do as an individual. If you are a company owner, you can do more things and be sure to implement it consistently.

Life Upgrades Every 20-Something Should Do

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We all love having an upgrade, be it on our airplane seats, gadgets and fast food meals. Yet, these are not the only things that should get one – your life needs an upgrade, too. If you’re already on your 20s, doing the following upgrades will certainly give your current adulthood level a major bump.

  1. Build a Good Wardrobe

Dreaming of becoming a boss someday? Then start dressing the part today. You can start by investing in high quality pieces like a pair of designer heels or a tailored blazer that’ll give you a professional edge. These pieces will likely cost more than your usual clothing options but they’ll definitely last longer, saving you extra money in the long run.

  1. Travel the World

If you’re going to splurge on something as early as now, splurge on experiences instead of on material possessions – and what better way to expand your horizons than travelling to new places, as it forces you out of your comfort zone and makes you see the world from the perspective of a stranger. So be sure to save up and splurge on these experiences now because unlike material things, memories will stay with you forever.

  1. Read More

The most cost-effective source of knowledge will always be books – and with the presence of e-books these days, you no longer need to lug around a stack of your favourite novels and you also get to read them anytime and anywhere you want.

  1. Agree With Everyone and Everything

The best way to start your journey to adulthood is to stop controlling every scenario you’re in and stop proving yourself right. You won’t change anyone’s opinion through having a heated argument and nobody will remember whether or not you’re right. Doing this will surely make you realize that life moves a lot better when there’s harmony instead of discord.

  1. Learn From Your Adversity

There will certainly come a time where you’ll face an adversity that you didn’t think you’ll ever experience. But you’ll have a choice when this time comes: either you see it as a hindrance, or you focus on what you learn from it and grow from that experience. Yes, it’ll not be easy, but making the right choice will definitely help you grow in ways you never imagined.

Doing some important life changes as early as your 20s is one way of preparing yourself for your journey to adulthood. So be sure to put these life upgrades to work to give yourself a good head start in the adult life.

Strange Defence Mechanisms Your Body Makes

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Our bodies are made of a complex collection of numerous biological systems and cycles that are often difficult to comprehend, and our body’s defence mechanisms form one of those systems. They keep us safe against things that could potentially pose some harm to us. To help you get a better understanding of these mechanisms, we listed down some of fascinating things that your body does to ensure that you’re safe from harm.

  1. Hiccupping

Whenever you swallow large pieces of food, eat quickly or simply overeat, your vagus nerve becomes irritated. This cranial nerve is connected to your diaphragm and stomach, resulting to a bout of hiccups when you eat too much.

  1. Goose Bumps

The main function of goose bumps is to reduce the amount of heat trapped inside the body through the pores of your skin. Moreover, this mechanism also makes it easier for you to warm yourself when you’re placed in inhospitable climatic conditions.

  1. Skin Wrinkling

The wrinkles that appear on your hand’s skin actually play an important role. This phenomenon is triggered when your body encounters an excessive amount of moisture, thinking that the environment is slippery. For that reason, the skin on your hands start immediately change in a way that makes it easier for you to hold onto smooth surfaces.

  1. Myoclonic Jerks

This refers to the strange feeling you get when you lie down to sleep, and as you start drifting off your body is jolted by what feels like an electric shock. During this moment, your muscles spasm strongly that you wake up straightaway. Myoclonic jerks often result of the fact that as you start falling asleep – your pulse slows down, your breathing frequency rapidly falls, and your muscles are relaxed – your brain interprets it as a heralding death, which is why it tries to save by giving your body a good jolt.

  1. Tears

Aside from protecting your eyes against foreign objects, your tears also serve as a form of emotional defence. Health experts believe that our body creates a powerful source of irritation when it’s placed in a stressful situation, so as to distract you from the pain you’re currently experiencing.

While you may not notice it, our body works in various ways to keep us safe from harm every single day. So ensure that you do your part by living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying relaxing activities from time to time.

Talking About Tipping Around the World

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The world is vast with more than 190 countries listed in the map. You have plans to travel every city and taste their cuisines. Speaking of tasting and eating, are you aware that there are different tipping practices around the world? You may not pay tip here in Singapore but there are other countries or cities that entail it. With this, it is imperative that you know the tipping practices.

Rule of thumb is to tip in cash. It is not a good practice to tip using your credit card because some may not accept it. Another thing that you have to remember is to tip according to the currency of the country you will visit. Do not wait until you have already devoured your dish to figure out whether you should give a tip or not. It helps to do a little research before eating. This guide can help.

Australia

In case you do not know, waiters in Australia are paid well so you are not expected to give any tip. But if you want a token of appreciation for the excellent service through gratuities, you can just round up the bill or leave few dollars.

Austria

In some areas of Austria, the bill tends to incorporate “service charge”. If you see this on your bill, you do not need to give tip. So the best thing to do is always check the bill. If there is no “service charge”, you can either round up the bill or simply add 10% extra as tip.

Brazil

Like in Austria, when you see “service charge” incorporated on your bill, you do not need to pay any gratuities. But if you feel like giving extra for the superb service, make sure to give Real directly to the waiter. Do not just leave it on the table.

Canada

In Canada, gratuity is not incorporated on the bill. This means that you have to add 10 to 20% to your bill as a tip.

Egypt

Most of the restaurants in Egypt already incorporate “service charge” to the bills. This means that you do not need to leave tip.

France

In France, “service charge” is always included on the bill. You have to check though but generally in France you do not need to give tip. However, as an act of kindness and appreciation, you can always round up the bill or give something. Waiters there are paid minimal so your spare money can help them.

There you go. Just think that all places appreciate gratuities. You can check via the bill if it is included. If it is not, your cash will do.

Smartphone Tips for Your Next Adventure

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No travel is complete without taking pictures. The pictures will remain as memorabilia. Reliving is always easier if you have pictures with you around. Because of modern technology, it allows us to save more photos and digitally store it somewhere for later use. Traveling has never been this fun!

Season globetrotters do not carry bulky camera and equipment around. That is heavy to drag around especially if you have many days on the road. This is the reason why smartphones are on a rise. Smartphones with good cameras are now available not only here in Singapore but around the world. It is like having the whole world in your fingertips.

It is time that you learn from the seasoned globetrotters. If you do not have DSLRs, you can maximize the potential of your smartphones for your next quest. With some skill and practice, you will surely get high quality pictures plus you can upload it immediately and digitally store it right away! Here are some smartphone taking tips that you can consider:

Do not zoom

Sometimes you zoom to have a better view of something but once you start to zoom, it will degrade the quality of the images. The best thing to do here is to crop it. When you crop, you are just sampling pixel that was recorded. Cropping will still leave you with many resolutions for better display.

Do not filter

Sometimes many people opt to filter because it is easy. Do not be like millions of people who paint their photos with filters. You should edit it instead. There are many editing applications that you can download for free or minimal cost online. The editing applications will let you make adjustments from color temperature to contrast.

Do not let the lens get dirty

Before taking any picture, make sure that the camera is cleaned because lenses will likely to get hazy and it can pick dark images if it is dirty. Remember if the images are hazy or dark, no matter how you edit it, it won’t be any better.

Do not consider fake blur

You blur the background of something because you want to highlight something. There is nothing wrong with that but adding fake blur can make it look unnatural. The best thing to do is to keep the background simple or make that thing the central object.

Remember that a good photo is a good one regardless of the equipment used to take it. DSLR or smartphone isn’t important as long as you captured the right one.

5 Things One Should Know Before Becoming a Landlord

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The role of the property manager isn’t the only important thing in a property management business. The responsibilities of a landlord are also as important as that of a property manager since they get to personally deal with some of the complaints of the tenants.

So if you happen to be thinking of pursuing a career same as that of a landlord then there are few things that you might need to know first. The things that you need to know are as follows:

1. The job of a landlord is not scheduled

Your job as a landlord is much more of a spontaneous one, which means that your job isn’t the type wherein you work starting 9:00 A.M. and leave at 5:00 P.M. As a landlord in Singapore, there will be days where you will only get to work for an hour throughout the day, or work for not less than 15 hours the next day.

Aside from a spontaneous schedule, your duties can also change in a matter of seconds. Your obligation for the day might just be to collect the payment of your tenant but that can change if we say that your tenant would ask you to take a look at the leak that they’re experiencing in their place. Depending on how you’ll act on your tenant’s request, your 10-minute task can eventually turn into an hour of ordeal.

2. You have to play different roles

Delving into property management Singapore doesn’t mean that you’ll only play the role of a “landlord” only because the truth is landlords get to play different roles and carry out different tasks. If you want to become a successful landlord, then you should be able to become accustomed to each role that you will be playing. Else, you should look for property management services in Singapore to help you out. Some of the roles that landlords play include becoming a realtor, a salesperson, a negotiator, a debt collector, a repairman and a supervisor.

3. You need to follow legal rules

Being a landlord isn’t as easy as it seems since landlords need to abide to legal rules in Singapore like being conscientious about the things that they’re going to ask the potential tenants. Aside from that, you also need to abide to certain housing safety codes such as putting up smoke detectors in your property. Landlords also need to follow some health codes which include functional plumbing systems and being free from any insect or rodent infestation.

4. You get to learn new things as a landlord

The good part about becoming a landlord is that you get to learn based on experience and not just by simply reading some manual that tackles your responsibilities and such. Learning through experience is actually an important thing in the field of property management.

As a landlord, you’ll also learn how to properly choose the right kind of tenants that you would want to occupy your property and also develop methods which can efficiently deal with their future problems.

5. It’s a very rewarding job

Aside from the monetary reward that you’ll get from the job, you will also feel the reward of having a personal freedom since you, yourself is your own boss. As a landlord, you’ll also get to develop some personal relationship with your tenants and you’ll eventually feel good that you have provided them a home.

The job of a landlord isn’t just as simple as collecting rents and attending to the needs of the tenants but it’s also about ensuring that the people who occupy and will occupy the property will get to experience that “my estate” feeling while staying in the place and hopefully create good memories there.

A Young Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer Prevention

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There are several risk factors that increases a young woman’s chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer – and while the risk of developing the disease increases as we age, there are several preventive measures every young women can do to lessen her risk of getting breast cancer. Read on to know of the preventive measures that’ll help you protect yourself from the life-threatening disease.

1. Know Your Breasts

Various changes occur in a woman’s breasts throughout her lifetime – and with breast cancer being the leading cause of death in young women aging 15 to 34, it’s just important that you know about your breast health. Other than undergoing several breast cancer screening tests, you can also know more about your breast health by performing breast self-exams. Consult with your physician about the pros and cons of doing self-exams, and if possible, have your doctor teach or review the self-exam steps with you. Knowing how your breasts should feel will definitely help you detect any significant changes, such as lumps, in your breast area.

2. Learn Your Family History

According to health experts, young women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk of developing and acquiring the disease. If breast cancer does run in your family’s genes, make sure that you get tested for breast cancer in Singapore and disclose this information with your doctor so she can determine whether or not you’ll need a more rigorous breast cancer screening test and schedule.

3. Identify Your Risk Factors

While there’s no way to completely prevent breast cancer, experts believe that one can reduce their risk of getting the disease. Of course you won’t be able to change risk factors like age, genetics, family history or prior history of being diagnosed with breast cancer – but factors related with lifestyle like exercise, diet and alcohol consumption are within your control. Your best defence against breast cancer is to stay aware of your risk factors and take preventive steps to change the factors that you can control, along with undergoing regular breast cancer screening Singapore tests.

4. Understand the Hormonal Factors

Aside from the genetic and lifestyle factors, Singapore health experts explain that hormonal factors also plays a role in a woman’s health risk of having breast cancer. Some of the hormonal factors that could increase one’s breast cancer risk include early menstruation, late menopause, failure to complete pregnancy after 20 weeks, as well as undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Some studies also reveal that women exposed to prolonged or higher levels of oestrogen – those with greater number of menstrual cycles – are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

5. Stay Informed

One of the best things that young women can do when it comes to preventing or reducing their breast cancer risk is to learn about the disease’s grade, stage and treatment options available. Breast cancer is an area with fast-growing research, and advancement on diagnosis and treatments. The more you know about these things, the better you can protect yourself from developing the disease – and the better armed you’ll be if you happen to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Some of the good online sources about breast cancer information are as follows:

• www.breastcancer.org
• www.facingourrisk.org
• www.youngsurvival.org

6. Prioritize Breast Screening Tests

Early breast cancer diagnosis is crucial to successfully treat the disease, which is why Singapore health experts recommend undergoing clinical breast exams as early as age 20, and yearly mammograms at age 40. If you have a family history of the disease or is considered high risk for some other reason, then it’s best to start undergoing screening tests earlier than the suggested age. For some, an MRI or a sonogram may be recommended. Younger women tend to have denser breast tissues, which makes it difficult to screen with a mammogram test.

7. Practise Persistence

Because most breast cancer incidence isn’t common in younger women, and only increases as a woman ages, doctors usually dismisses a young woman’s concern. Don’t let it end that way though. Young women should be persistent to get screened if they feel something wrong with their breasts. Even if you’re not feeling any out of the ordinary lump, but is experiencing nipple discharge or unexplained pain, do insist on getting checked (or simply find a doctor who will listen to your concerns).

8. Reach Out to Other Young Women

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in your 20s, 30s, and even in your 40s can be very isolating – but it shouldn’t be that way. Instead of feeling isolated, go online or ask your doctor for connections with other women your age who are also diagnosed with the same disease. Women with breast cancer are just amazing – they get connected by a common friend or a doctor, and they visit each other at home or accompany one another to their chemo sessions. It’s certainly a group you wouldn’t want to sign up for, but it’s a group that’ll make dealing with breast cancer as a young women much less difficult and lonely.

Just because you have certain risk factors for getting breast cancer doesn’t mean that you’ll really get it. After all, two of the biggest factors for developing the disease – aging and being female – aren’t something you can change. So instead of worrying about getting breast cancer, just do what you can to have a healthy lifestyle. You won’t just lessen your breast cancer risk, you’ll also feel better overall.