5 Factors to Consider in Booking the Right Florist for Your Wedding

Wedding flowers are among the most important aspects of a wedding. Brides often spend a lot of time searching for the best floral arrangement to complement their gowns. Not only that, they also have to ensure the flowers blend well with the overall motif of the ceremony. There are so many factors and little details to consider that the search for the right wedding florist for your wedding can get meticulous.

You don’t necessarily have to stress yourself out, though. There are many options in handling your wedding flowers: you can do-it-yourself, use potted live plants (so you can fill up your personal garden after the wedding is over), or you can hire a wedding florist to help you deal with the floral arrangements. Start by figuring which option is most fitting for you and your wedding — and take it from there.

The most common option out of the three, however, has to be seeking for outside help. Most brides-to-be notably have their hearts set on booking a florist, primarily because aside from planning floral decor, there are other aspects to a wedding that should be prepared. They don’t have the luxury of time to lavishly plan all the details on their bouquets or wedding car decor. Their schedules are packed, hence any help they can get could go a long way.

Regardless of whether or not you personally know a florist, just one search on the internet will already yield a bunch of options regarding the most renowned florists in Singapore. Finding a vendor has never been this easy – this is one advantage most brides-to-be get to enjoy in this technology-driven age we live in.

There are various floral services like those from www.moodfleur.com in Singapore designed to cater weddings of all kinds, and the good news is, the internet doesn’t serve as your one and only resource. You have other options in researching florists, from wedding pamphlets handed out in malls to personal recommendations from people you know. Resources aside, you also have to take into account a few other factors in order for you to book the right florist for your wedding.

1. Location

As much as a bridal bouquet is one key highlight of your whole wedding look, there is only so much you can see on the internet. Search engines are inclined to promote the largest or best established companies, which more often than not are more expensive. This is great if you have an ample budget for flowers; otherwise, you need to do a bit more searching.

If you want to save a few dollars on floral costs, however, you can always turn to a local wedding florist. A local florist is likely to be a better option for your wedding. Not only are you ensured of the flowers’ fresh quality, you can more easily try to haggle for lower prices. Start your search by asking newlywed friends and relatives for any information, especially if you loved the flowers at their wedding.

2. Website

Browsing through the many bridal websites in Singapore will help you search for trusted and well-reviewed florists in town. These sites contain important vendor information, usually found at the bottom of the page, which you can take note of if you’re eyeing to contract them. They offer packages that generally includes the wedding car decor, bouquet, and floral decor of the venue. If you want to make alterations on their package, discuss it with them before closing the deal.

Also, spend time in cross-checking reviews from various sites in order to weigh in the common feedback from other customers. Take note of negative feedbacks, as this could save you from potential hassles and headaches you may have to personally deal with.

3. Portfolio

Before booking a florist, it is also important to take a look at their portfolios of past bouquets and wedding flowers. This will give you an idea as to how they do their bridal flowers — and in browsing, you may also find a previous work of theirs you happen to like. Little bursts of inspiration like this can provide more detail and design for your personal bridal bouquet.

Some skilled florists can accommodate a wide variety of styles while others specialize in a single style. However, it is recommended to keep an eye out for variety.

4. Prices

It is only practical to be mindful over the costs of your wedding flowers. While most wedding websites do not have exact pricing posted on their page, it is important to contact them to ask for an estimate in order to figure out if the price works just fine with your budget.

Remember that your floral decor isn’t just the whole of your wedding, though. There are other aspects to wedding preparations such as booking a venue and hiring a make-up artist, hence it is encouraged to plan your budget beforehand. This will save you from potential excess costs.

5. Proposal/Contract

Always review the proposal given to you by any florist after agreeing on the design style and pricing. After signing the proposal, it becomes your contract, you need to abide by it lest you forfeit the whole deal and not get the bridal bouquet that you want. Pay attention to the provisions listed. Ask them for clarifications about anything you don’t completely understand.

Also, don’t hesitate to voice out your concerns. Ask for changes or open up negotiations if you are uncomfortable with a certain part listed in the provision.

Searching for the best bridal florist in Singapore might get overwhelming at some point, but it is certainly possible. You just have to take into account a lot of factors, combined with extra patience and effort on your part. There is no shortcut if you want nothing but the best — but rest assured, all your efforts won’t be in vain. The price of being meticulous and cautious will allow you to reap you the fruits of your dream wedding.

How to Care for Your Contact Lenses

Although lenses provide a lot of advantages than prescription glasses, it’s more tedious to maintain and clean. There is always a danger of contamination which might lead to eye infections.

Wearing Instructions
1. Wash then dry your hands before handling the contacts. Don’t apply moisturizers on your hands before placing them on your eyes or cleaning them.
2. You should not use contacts when you’re going to a sauna, hot tub, hot springs, the beach or pool. You should minimize contact with any form of water while you’re wearing your contacts.
3. Follow the replacement schedule religiously to avoid problems. You should also have your eye checked regularly as scheduled by the doctor.
4. Contact lens prescriptions usually expire within a year so you have to keep it updated.

Cleaning and Storage
1. Follow the instructions given to you by the doctor when cleaning your contacts. Clean one lens at a time.
2. If you’re not using disposable lenses, the contacts should be rubbed and rinsed before they are soaked in a cleaning solution overnight. Don’t reuse the cleaning solution.
3. Do not use water to rinse or soak the lenses. Avoid saline solutions as well. Use your fingers to rub the lenses even if the cleanser doesn’t tell you to rub them.
4. The cleaning products for your lenses should be prescribed by the doctor. Don’t use anything you’re not told to buy.
5. Your contact’s case should be cleaned and dried before and after every use with the cleaning solution. It is advisable to replace them after three months.
6. Don’t place the contact lenses in the case for a very long time. You might have to disinfect them again as per instruction of the lens package.

Contact Lens Solution
1. You should only use the solution once when cleaning the lenses and the case.
2. Be careful not to make contact with the tip of the solution’s bottle. Close the bottle when not in use.
3. Don’t transfer the solution into another bottle so that it doesn’t come into contact with anything else.
4. Your cleaning solution should be compatible with the contact lenses.
5. Saline solution for cleaning and disinfection should only be used when you clean your lens using UV or heat and enzymatic cleaning tablets.
6. Some people are allergic to the lens cleaning solution. If you feel that there is a reaction, ask the doctor about switching to a different product that doesn’t have preservatives.

In Case of an Infection
1. If you feel that your eyes are swollen, red, painful, or irritated, remove the contact lenses and visit your doctor immediately. Changes in vision should also not be ignored.
2. Don’t forget to use eye drops if your eyes are dry or irritated.
3. Buy your lenses and cleaning solution in reputable shops only.
4. Decorative lenses should be avoided if you don’t need them.
5. Protein buildup is also possible especially if you wear the contacts for a long time. Your doctor might recommend a protein removal product besides the cleaning solution.

Common Herbs, Sauces and Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

Are you planning to expand your menu? Here are the basic herbs, sauces and spices that every home should have.

1. Basil is used for pasta, sandwiches and pestos.
2. Bay Leaves are perfect additions for stews, soups and marinades.
3. Cayenne Pepper is used in Indian recipes and hot sauces. These are made from spicy red peppers.
4. Chili Powder is a mix of cumin, oregano, dried chilies and coriander. They are used for Mexican dishes.
5. Cilantro is used in Latin, Caribbean and some Asian dishes.
6. Coconut Milk is used for different types of curry or as a marinade and soup flavoring.

7. Cumin is used for Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It is made from ground seeds.
8. Curry Powder is a mix of several spices numbering up to twenty. The basic spices are cumin, coriander and turmeric.
9. Dill is used for pickling because of its pungent flavor. It’s also excellent with fish.
10. Fenugreek is used in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. It tastes like burnt sugar when cooked.
11. Fish Sauce is used in a lot of Asian dishes especially as a dip, sauce or dressing.
12. Ginger is used for soups, marinades, sauces and a lot more. It is also considered medicinal.
13. Kaffir Lime Leaves are common in Thai food and different types of curry. They are sold frozen, fresh or dry.
14. Marjoram is used in vinaigrette, marinades and sauces. It has a floral scent and taste.

15. Mint is used for a variety of dishes including desserts. It even goes well with chocolate.
16. Oregano is used in Mediterranean and South American food. They are usually sold dried.
17. Oyster Sauce has a sweet and savory flavor. It is used as a marinade or a combined with stir-fried vegetables.
18. Paprika has two varieties, hot and sweet. They are made from sweet red pepper pods and are used as seasoning and garnish.
19. Parsley is known for its light flavor and is common in Italian dishes.
20. Rosemary is popular in Mediterranean food. Dried rosemary is an essential in your collection.
21. Sage is common in Italian dishes and has a pine-like aroma and taste.
22. Soy Sauce is used as a seasoning, dressing or dip. The tamari is similar to soy sauce but it’s gluten-free.

23. Thyme is used in Cajun, Creole and Mediterranean dishes. It’s prized for its fragrance.

Where do you get your herbs, sauces and spices?
These are the best places in Singapore you need to check out if you want to stock up on herbs, sauces and spices.

1. Seah’s Spices at 1B Senoko Crescent, Senoko Food Connection.
2. Tai Eng Pte Ltd at 27 Hongkong Street.
3. Raj Provisions (Main Store) at 168, Punggol Field, B1-11/12/13/14, Punggol Plaza.
4. Herbs Garden at #01-74 Roxy Square, 50 East Coast Road.
5. Herbal Sense (Retail and Showroom) at 100 Lorong 23 Geylang, Off Sims Lane, #01-012 D’Centennial Building.
6. Selvi Mills at 189 Pandan Loop.
7. Beifang Herbs Supplier Pte Ltd at 1 Upper Aljunied Link, #07-02 Joo Seng Warehouse.

Hair Coloring 101: What You Need to Know About Dyeing Your Hair

Hair coloring is a staple in any respectable hair salon in Singapore that most people don’t think twice anymore about undergoing the process. Besides, today’s hair dyeing products are much safer and easier to use than most dyes used before. But what exactly happens during a hair coloring process and what are the ingredients in today’s hair dyes? Knowing all these can make your next trip to the hair salon much easier because you’ll know what to ask for when you speak to your stylist.

History of Hair Dyeing

Unknown to most hair dyeing enthusiasts, people have been changing the color of their hair since ancient times. The first recorded use of hair dye to hide graying hair was in ancient Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans too used permanent black dye extracted from plants, which were in fact highly toxic. Since then, people have continuously searched for safer ways to color the hair. It wasn’t even until centuries later, since the Greeks switched to fermented leech in lead vessels for 2 months, until other colors besides black were used. Hair dyeing also symbolized a person’s status in society, such as the decree of the Roman Empire to have prostitutes dye their hair yellow. Saxon and Gaulic warriors, on the other hand, wore bright colored dyes to indicate their high rank while on the battlefield.

It was not until in 1863 that the chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered a safer way to dye hair when he was actually looking for a cure for malaria. The result was a synthesized dye the color of mauve. Later, August Hoffman used the mauve dye as a foundation for most modern hair coloring products. Today’s methods still used in most beauty parlors worldwide, including all hair salon in Singapore, is considered antiquated and even dangerous.

Ingredients in a Hair Dye

Most hair dyes used by the ancients were made from natural ingredients and herbs, unlike the commercial hair color developed in 1909, which is based on paraphenylenediamine. Most hair dyes used in hair salon today, particularly the permanent hair color, contain two basic ingredients that make colors last longer. These are hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The former is used as an oxidizing agent or a developer that begins the color-forming process. The hydrogen peroxide removes the sulfur found in hair, resulting in light but hard hair strands. Before getting your hair colored, make sure that your stylist at your chosen hair salon in Singapore uses only a developer not more than 30% in volume so that the damage to your hair is minimal.

The other major ingredient, ammonia, is used to lighten the hair and acts as a catalyst for the dye by separating the cuticle. As a result, the hair dye used at a great hair salon shop in Singapore penetrates to the cortex of the hair strands so that it stays there for as long as 8 months.

In a sense, your stylist at the hair salon isn’t applying pigments on your hair when dyeing, but is using a concoction of chemicals to begin dye formation. The brown color, for example, is not a mixture of three different dyes like the principle used in mixing colors for art. Instead, it is made up of two colorless chemicals, that when mixed, produce brown. One of the chemicals that creates the color is the paraphenylenediamine or PPD, which reacts with hydrogen peroxide. There are no known substitutes for PPD, except its derivative p-aminophenol, which is valued for its oxidative reaction.

If you’re skeptical about these potentially harmful products, ask your stylist at the hair salon for other natural hair coloring products that don’t contain ammonia, lead acetate and coal tar. The best hair salon in Singapore have colorists that specialize in various natural hair coloring products that don’t dry or damage your hair.

Permanent and Semi-Permanent

Permanent hair coloring refers to the process of opening the shaft of the hair to add color, while semi-permanent hair coloring is the adding of color only. Permanent hair dye is sometimes called color treatment or hair dyeing, while semi-permanent dye is referred to as hair gloss. Semi-permanent doesn’t even change the color of your hair, but adds a shiny and colored layer on the cuticle without opening the shaft. As a result, permanent dye lasts longer than semi-permanent and provides more coverage for faded or graying hair.

Permanent color is used to darken, lighten, add or change hair color and must be mixed with a developer-activator for it to be effective. Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t need developer-activator and there is no need to mix the color because it can be applied directly to the hair.

Points to Remember Before the Procedure

The best hair salon in Singapore will usually give a consultation before the stylist can recommend which color will suit you best. You might wonder if you need a single-process or a double-process color. The former refers to the application of color to the hair one at a time, while the latter is the bleaching of the hair and then the toning of color.

Before the procedure, remind the hair stylist not to wash your hair so that the natural oils can help protect your scalp. Moisturizer and petroleum jelly must be applied around the hairline so that the chemicals don’t irritate the skin. The hair salon might also recommend a keratin treatment so that color stays longer on your hair.

Your stylist at the hair salon will give you instructions on how to take care of your newly-dyed hair. The best hair salon in Singapore will also recommend hair care products that will keep the color shiny and your hair healthy. One of the most important is the use of color-treated shampoo and conditioner made specifically for colored hair. You will be advised as well to limit your exposure to direct sunlight because the UV rays can make the color fade faster. That is why you will need to use a UV spray every time you need to go out. You might also need to go for scheduled touch-ups when the color starts to fade.

Living With HIV: Facts You Need to Know

There are a number of misconceptions and stigma attached when you get diagnosed with HIV, but fortunately over recent years these rumors have dwindled. Facts and accurate information have reached a lot of people and make them understand the disease better, along with understanding the situations of the people who have the disease and the lifestyle changes they must undergo because of testing positive in their HIV screening.

In Singapore, the number of HIV positive citizens rose to 6,685 based on a 2014 survey. That is equivalent to one person being HIV positive for every 826. The figures only remained consistent with new reported cases annually, and more often than not they continuously increase in count.

Living with HIV has been made bearable and easier to manage now thanks to the many advances in medicine and treatment. This article will present key basics on how to constantly keep in touch with your doctors, begin treatment, and manage lifestyle changes you need to make as you deal with life accordingly — as someone who is diagnosed with HIV.

Talk to your doctor

Constantly keeping in touch with your doctor who did the hiv test doctor in Singapore for you is important as you begin treatment. You must let them know of your diagnosis and cooperate with every question they may ask afterwards regarding your circumstances. Sometimes, they may also want to check your personal test results and get additional information about your diagnosis, such as how long it has been since you underwent the HIV testing, if you tested positive with other sexually-transmitted diseases, and how you were potentially exposed to the virus.

A physical exam is generally conducted during your first consultation, which helps your doctor establish a baseline or point of reference they can easily refer to as your condition progresses. You may also be subjected to a lot of blood tests to get your viral load checked as well as your CD4+ T-cell levels. The results of these tests will establish how much the virus has taken toll on your immune system.

Keep track of your condition

Diagnosis and treatment can get confusing at times, to the point of leaving you overwhelmed by all the medical jargon and various names of medications you have to familiarize. Keeping a journal alongside with you as you conduct your treatment is helpful especially in keeping track of all the information your doctor provides every session.

Jot down everything you need to remember such as any questions or concerns you have in mind, or anything you want to research further on. This is also essential once you start taking new medication, enabling you to keep track if it has any side effects on your body. You will be surprised just how much keeping log of the crucial information can help a lot in confronting the virus.

Find support

It is easy to wallow in negativity once you are diagnosed with the virus, but the thing is, you do not necessarily have to deal with the burden alone. Keep the weight off your shoulders because it might only drag you down. You need to deal with your condition with your head held high. Talking with others who are diagnosed, or has been diagnosed with the virus, will reassure you that you are not alone in your battles.

Support is out there, you just have to know where to find it. If you feel unsure in making choices about medication and treatment, talk it out with another person to offer you another perspective aside from your own. Find someone who is willing to listen. Start with opening up about the results of your anonymous HIV test to a loved one or a family member. Online support groups are available at your convenience, as well.

Adapt healthy lifestyle habits

Treatment does not stop after successfully availing the best medication for your case. Taking good care of your body in general can take better care of your well-being, especially now more than ever that you are diagnosed with HIV. Adapting healthy habits can prevent other possible complications brought by the infection like heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

Start with eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. Cut off on your junk food consumption and opt to eat whole foods instead. Always remember that good food is also good medicine. With your immune system compromised, you might as well put effort into maintaining it at its best as well as provide it with the ample energy it needs.

Change treatments when necessary

After some time, you might need to change treatments from the one you’ve grown quite used to because of a number of reasons. This is usually because of a decrease in drug absorption, poor adherence to the prescribed dosage, an ineffective combination of two different medicines, among the many others. Sticking onto the same antiretroviral therapy throughout isn’t always the case.

The fight against HIV requires you to explore and consider every treatment option possible. It’s better to consult your doctor about his professional opinion over the matter. It also won’t hurt to ask a second opinion from a different doctor in case you want to widen out your options further.

Your life does not stop after getting declared positive in a HIV testing. It’s okay to feel initially confused and overwhelmed, but at some point you have to learn how to deal with the illness with your head held high and be confident the disease won’t get a better hold over you. Thanks to the many great advances in the field of medicine, life with HIV has become easier to manage. You just have to know how to deal with the disease efficiently.

7 Essential Facts about Breast Cancer

In Singapore, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women of all ethnicities and races. But despite its commonness, many are still unaware of this cancer’s risk factors —with lifestyle choices as the most significant factor of all. Here are the 10 essential facts about breast cancer that every women—and even men—should know.

1. It’s up to you to know your risk.

One of the simplest things that young women can do to is to know their family history. Having a first-degree relative, like a mother or a sister, get cancer at a young age heightens your risk.

Since a detailed medical history is not a dinner-table kind of conversation, it is up to you to ask your family and talk to your family doctor or to an oncologist about your possibility of developing breast cancer. If many of your family members died of or diagnosed with cancer, see a specialist for a blood test to check for BRCA, commonly known as the ‘cancer gene,’ that runs in the family.

2. Your ethnicity can contribute to your risk.

Although it is the most common type of cancer among women in Singapore, it is not as widespread as in American women. Black women, in particular, are three times more likely to develop ‘triple negative tumour’ compared to women of other ethnicity and racial backgrounds. According to oncology experts, a triple negative tumour is among the deadliest types of breast cancer due to its resistance to most cancer treatments.

3. Healthy diet and regular exercise matters—a lot!

In a study, even mild physical activities after menopause reduce chances of developing breast cancer. Women who exercise 10 to 15 hours a week while having a good cancer doctor from singapore reap the greatest health benefits of 30 percent risk reduction.

The intensity level of the exercise doesn’t matter—a 30-minute brisk walk is just as beneficial as a high-intensity interval training in terms of reducing your cancer risk. Just be sure to keep track of your weight as excessive weight gain can eradicate the benefits of exercise.

4. The wrong contraceptive method can double your cancer risk.

Certain types of birth control can raise your risk for cancer. One of which are the progesterone-only contraceptives, which doubles your risk when used for more than year. The good news, though, is that when you stop, the increased risks dissipate in a couple of months.

The risk may also extend to oral birth control. While there’s no clear reason for this yet, experts say that those with family history of breast cancer should use be careful before using this contraceptive method. If worried about your risk, talk to an oncologist to evaluate your risk before taking birth control pills.

5. The right doctor will give you peace of mind.

If you find any lump or signs of irregularity, searching for the right oncology expert with ample experience in treating the disease is the key to preventing and managing cancer. A board-certified oncologist, especially one who has had extra training for treating breast cancer, surely has the expertise in performing relevant tests that contribute to more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans.

To find the right doctor, start looking at the nearest cancer center or teaching hospital, as these establishments usually have the best technologies and always have records of the latest researches.

6. There is no need to rush.

Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer is usually not an emergency. A less experienced specialist may rush into executing a treatment, but it’s really about finding the right method that works for your case. And while it is important to make healthy decisions when you’re already diagnosed, it’s also vital to be gentle with yourself.

If you find out you have higher risk, it is not yet the end of the world. With the advent of modern medical technologies, treatment methods have improved in the last decades. Surgical and medicinal options like chemotherapy can help in significantly reducing your risk. When a cancer develops, it is no longer important how you got it. What matters most is that you are aware of it and make a plan on how to treat and stop its development.

7. You can use an app to track your risk.

As mentioned, modern technology has helped a lot in preventing further development of diseases, including cancer. Keeping track of the latest researches, your family’s medical history and some lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, diet and weight makes it possible to determine your risk on your own. Although it’s still highly recommended to go to a cancer center for accurate risk examination, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment app helps with initial evaluation.

Moreover there are websites where women who are and once diagnosed with breast cancer can communicate, exchange ideas, share experiences, ask questions and share photos. This is a great place where women can give each other support and provide suggestions of the best cancer centers in Singapore.

Breast cancer has always been a tough battle for all women in the world. Make this a tad easier for you by knowing the right facts about the disease. Although these are just a few of the many essential facts of breast cancer, a little knowledge goes a long way in helping you understand your risk. Now that you know more about the disease, we hope you’ll seek professional advice and develop an action plan to reduce the risk or detect this illness at its earliest, non-life-threatening stage.