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5 Must-Visit Hidden Travel Destinations in Italy

Florence, Rome, and Venice compose the Italian trifecta that most of us include on our Italian travel itinerary, but going off the beaten path on your trip is what will allow you to experience the true local flavour. From the picturesque lakes and seaside beaches to the rural landscapes and scenic hill towns, Italy has something to offer for almost every type of traveller. So if you have enough time to spare, consider renting a car and explore any of the following towns across the countryside of Italy.

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  1. Siena

Situated in the Tuscan hills, this 13th century town is surrounded by Chianti vineyards and olive groves. Piazza del Campo, the town’s main square, is considered as one of the biggest main squares in the world, and was once hailed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

To make the most out of your visit in Siena, consider spending a night in a local argriturismo – a tradition that allows farmers to have additional income by hosting tourists on their property. Today, these stunning farm houses offer one of the most picturesque accommodations in Italy. Most of these farm houses even serves meats, eggs, and wines that are fresh from the farm.

  1. Orvieto

Orvieto is the perfect definition of an Italian hill town. Just 90 minutes travel time outside of Rome, the town sits over a hill of volcanic stone overlooking the Umbria countryside. The town’s cathedral is a must-see masterpiece for it’s a stunning Gothic structure made with stained glass on the inside, and covered in mosaic tiles on the outside. Seeing it is already worth the visit alone.

  1. Rimini

If you’re planning to visit during summertime, consider heading to the local favourite coastal Rimini to experience boisterous nightclubs and packed beaches. The town’s nine-mile beachfront is divided into sections, and identified with their own vibe and number. Lungomare Augusto and Marina Centro are two of the most popular beaches in the Adriatic Sea, but do spend some time strolling the coast’s promenade to explore the rest of the area.

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  1. Lampedusa Island

The wild landscapes and white beaches is what made Lampedusa Island a Mediterranean favourite just off of Sicily. Its heart-shaped Rabbit Beach is one of the most popular in the world, and serves as a home to a good number of loggerhead sea turtles.

  1. Puglia

Unlike the well-known Amalfi Coast, Puglia is a much quieter place and is known for their unique trulli (a cone-shaped stone hut). The seaside region is also known for their burrata, a fresh mozzarella-like rich cheese that’s meant to be paired with crusty bread and locally grown olives. To enjoy a more decadent meal in Puglia, consider booking a table at Grotta Palazzese where you get to dine in a limestone cave while enjoying the breath-taking view of the sea.

Visiting nearby towns is one of the best ways to truly experience and enjoy the Italian way of living. So make sure that you include these places on your next trip to Italy to truly get a closer look at the country’s culture.

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How to Deal with Stress at Home

Stress is a fact of life. You deal with it at work, at home, at the streets – it can be just about anywhere. There’s really no way to avoid it. The best way to get around stress is just to learn how to deal with it or how to manage it. Stress caused at home can cause a huge emotional toll on our well-beings especially as we consider our homes to be our sanctuary. That means this should be the only place in the world where you can feel relaxed, happy, and loved. Unfortunately, reality bites. Here are some ways on how Singaporeans can deal with stress at home:

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Recognize stress for what it is

It’s almost impossible to determine when a stress is slowly building up. This is considered to be an abstract or an invisible emotion since you only know you’re already stressed out when you’re already expressing yourself in negative emotions. Some people become easily irritated or hot tempered when under stress, some feel depressed, while others resort to crying. It’s important to recognize how one copes with stress as well as the situations that trigger it.

Recognize stress from children

Stress is not something that’s experienced only by adults. Kids can feel it, too, but they just express it differently. Kids may be stressed due to school demands, conflicts with friends, etc. What you should do is to teach your kids understand what stress is and their behavior when under stress. It’s also good to make the kids understand that this is just an ordinary emotion that can be controlled.

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Recognize stress from spouse

As a spouse, it is important that you recognize when your partner is dealing with stress. Rather than leaving your spouse alone to deal with stress, you can help lessen the burden by sharing it. Engage your spouse in a positive relaxed conversation where your spouse can vent out tensed emotions. Try to exert understanding by avoiding blame on your spouse and listen with patience instead. You may also add sooth the tension by providing words of comfort.

Engage in stress-buster activities for the family

When you know that the whole family is undergoing a lot of stress, it’s best to engage in stress-free activities to relieve negative emotions. You can have a delicious relaxing dinner at your favorite restaurant, go on a convenient stress-free vacation, or play outdoor games as a family.

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How to Cultivate a Loving Family Environment

Home is where the heart is. This is not because your home is where you grew up in and is conveniently your comfort zone but because this is where your loved ones are. To put it in another way, wherever your loved ones are is where your heart is. A Singaporean family should be loving and affectionate but the modern days have seen more and more broken and dysfunctional Singaporean families. Individuals coming from such families are just as broken and even dysfunctional. This is why creating a loving family environment is important in bringing up well-rounded individuals.

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Be lavish in your affection

Be lavish in expressing your affection to members of your family to let them know that you love them and care for them. There are many ways to show your affection. You can kiss and hug, say loving and encouraging words, give presents, allot a portion of your time with them, and offer services that don’t expect a reward.

Spend a lot of quality time together

Families that spend a lot of quality time together are more bonded even after the children have grown up and have their own families. Make your quality time something that you would all look forward to by making it exciting and memorable each time. You can simply eat delicious meals together, go on camping trips, go on vacations, or play outdoor games. The goal is to get to know each other deeper and love each other’s company.

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Render acts of kindness for one another

Family members should be relied on when one is in need. Render acts of random kindness for one another. This should be done without any expectation of anything in return. Helping each other go through a difficult task or a difficult time in each other’s life is one sure way to cultivate love and affection within the family.

Relish in affectionate touch

Do not shrink from kissing, hugging, or patting each other on the back. Kids that are given a good dose of physical affection grow up to be confident and happy individuals. Spouses that constantly validate each other’s love and affection through physical touch are happier and more committed to each other. Be role models of how love should be expressed by showing it at home. Kids that grow up seeing their parents affectionate with each other develop a more positive idea of love and relationships.

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Safety Measures for Your Kids When Driving on Electric Cars

There are several factors to consider when it comes to choosing an electric car for your kid. Topmost of these considerations should be the electric cars’ safety features. Not all electric cars are created the same nor by the same manufacturer so you can expect to find different qualities among these ride on cars. The following are what every Singaporean parent should keep in mind in choosing an electric car for safety precautions:

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Choosing the most appropriate electric car

Parents have the responsibility to choose the most appropriate electric car for their kids. There are age restriction limits for each electric car which are good to observe but parents should still factor in their kids’ height, weight, and speed of growth. It may also be wiser to get an electric car from one of the leading brands with a reputation for safe and high quality products.

Teaching the guidelines for proper driving

You should teach your kids how to properly drive and use their electric cars. Not all electric cars are meant to be driven the same way nor on the same surfaces. Some should only be driven on flat and concrete grounds while others may be driven on uneven surfaces. You should also make sure that your kid is not driving too fast or not too young or too small on a big and fast electric car.

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Using appropriate safety equipment

Electric cars may not be as fast or as dangerous as the real ones but they can still cause injuries. Make sure that your child wears appropriate safety gears whenever riding on their electric cars. Safety gears can be any regular helmet, knee pads, elbow guars, or a motocross safety gear. You can never be too safe.

Regular maintenance

Electric cars may not be the real deal but they are still a lot similar to the real version. It is important to do a regular check and inspection on them. You can teach your kid to make this their daily practice, too. Make sure the battery has been fully charged. Avoid overcharging as much as possible as some of these electric cars have batteries that can easily be overcharged. Make sure the screws and gears are still tight. Check for the wheels and tires especially for the electric drifter rides where you can expect to replace the wheels and tires from time to time.

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The Seven Temples You Should Visit In Bali

Here’s a tip for every Singaporean who visits Bali: Make sure to visit their seven most important temples. Bali is also well-known to be the island of a thousand temples but you don’t have to go to each and every one of them. You will get by with only seven of these temples that date back from centuries. There are myths and some widely held beliefs behind some of these temples so it would be great if you can do a bit of research before going. This will make you appreciate the temples more. Also, observe proper attire when visiting these temples.

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Besakih Temple

This temple in the village of Besakih is also known as the Mother Temple. It dates back from thousand centuries and is also considered to be miraculous. This miraculous belief stemmed from the fact that the Besakih Temple was spared from the lava spurred from Mount Agung’s eruption in 1963 that killed more than a thousand people.

Tanah Lot Temple

This is also called as Land In The Middle Of The Sea because it is found on a rock formation. This 15th century old temple is a perfect setting for catching spectacular sunsets.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple

This is also one of Bali’s most breathtaking temples. This 11th century old temple can be found at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Uluwatu surfing waters. This temple is also another perfect location for catching beautiful sunsets.

Pura Tirta Empul

This temple dates back to 926 AD and was designed to flow spring water that are thought to have healing properties.

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Ulun Danu

This temple that was built in 1926 is considered to be the second most important temple after the Mother Temple. This was built as a dedication to the goddess of lakes and rivers which explains why the temple can be found at the edge of the Lake Bratan.

Goa Lawah Temple

This is another very ancient temple that was built in 1007 AD. It is built around a cave that is filled with bats and so Goa Lawah means Bat Cave.

Taman Ayun Temple

This temple was built in 1634 by one of the rajahs of the Mengwi Empire. Created as a royal family temple, the Taman Ayun Temple means beautiful garden. It is no surprise that this is also considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in Bali.

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How to Get Yourself an Inexpensive Make-Over

 

Do you ever get that feeling of wanting a major change after a long time of sporting a monotonous look? When you start to browse through different images of personalities whom you find attractive and wonder in silence if you can pull off that look, then yes – you are craving for change. In Singapore, affordable salons and boutiques offer various packages that will definitely give you that change you’ve been setting eyes on. On top of that, an inexpensive make-over is made possible with these tips:

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  1. Hair

Whether you like a change in style or a change in color or both is up to you. It is a good thing that hair salons have those glossy magazines you can use for reference. The hair stylists are also more than willing to advise you on the color and style that best suits you! A curly hair from the regular straight hair or a copper-colored tone from the normal black will make you feel and look glamorous than ever!

  1. Nails

If you have always painted your nails with consistent color throughout, it is good to try those trendy colors and styles available in nail salons across the country. Pampering your hand is therapeutic. It will help you relax and will likewise give you positive vibes. The new splash of colors will add posh and beauty. You will find yourself admiring your delicate hands and vibrant-colored nails over and over again!

  1. Wardrobe

It is easy to get tangled with the busy life that you sometimes forget to spend ample time buying sets of clothes. Clothes are investments. Always set time to go around town when buying clothes. A fresh change in wardrobe from the affordable boutiques will give you an impressive ensemble. Now who said there’s no fun in mixing and matching old with the new?

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  1. Accessories

Little accessories can have great impacts on your outfit. Make a mental picture of your wardrobe and experiment what accessories will go nice with it. Accessorizing is not expensive if you have ample time to roam around the boutiques and choose accessories meticulously!

  1. Shoes

Shoes are also investments. Because your shoe-size will not be changing anymore, you will be able to use your shoes in good condition as long as you want. Have you always been comfortable using flats and sneakers? Why not try those popular pumps or those with slight heels? These shoes are designed for comfort, thus it is unnecessary to worry about tripping and what-ifs. As long as it is the perfect size, you can strut along with your new shoes style anywhere you want!

A good make-over is a welcome change physically and emotionally. It is symbolic and it gives the person a fresh perspective in life. When you enjoy experimenting on your looks, you give yourself chance to discover more about your potential. Awakening your inner creativity is good for the body and soul. It serves as an inspiration to others, likewise showing them how everyone is capable of transformation even in little ways. As long as one continues to follow her heart, an outward and inward make-over will be wonderfully celebrated!

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How to Maintain Professionalism in the Workplace

 

A workplace consists of different individuals with one goal – to perform their respective assigned tasks and achieve all their deliverables. In Singapore, most companies hire both local and foreign employees. With lots of ideas coming from a pool of employees with different views sometimes, it is expected for conflicts to arise in the workplace every now and then.

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Misunderstanding among colleagues and superiors are fairly common. When faced with a situation like this, an employee tends to lose his cool and do something irreversible along the process. Maintaining professionalism in any workplace is important to gain respect among one’s superiors and colleagues. No matter how ugly a situation gets, you must learn the art of being the bigger person. Doing the following will make you a better co-worker and help to make the workplace a healthy environment for everyone:

  1. Do not throw a tantrum. First of, you are not a toddler anymore. You are a professional whose idea may just differ from others. There is no excuse to having tantrums in the office. Banging of doors, stomping off around the office and throwing anything you get your hands at are signs of immaturity.

When faced with an upsetting situation at work, never let rage take over you. Remove yourself from the cause of the problem and try to calm yourself by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Control your impulses and refrain yourself from doing something offensive in front of your colleagues.

  1. Do not vent out on social media. The things you post on your social media accounts must be thoroughly filtered by none other than you. When you are at the height of a negative emotion and your fingers are itching to post what you are feeling at the moment, step back and think again.

 

Are you sure you want the whole of your virtual community to know what has been going on at your workplace? This may give you a temporary relief of being able to air out your feelings but this may potentially lead to more problems in the long run. If you absolutely have to express your feelings, use a private messenger. Avoid posting anything that you don’t want to be made public.

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  1. Do not talk about someone behind their back. In the workplace, be conscious of who you talk with regarding your opinions of anyone. Talking behind someone’s back is unprofessional and may put you in trouble. If you really need someone whom you can talk with, call a trusted friend outside work. Also, a good conversation with a friend will ease your mind from the stresses at work.

 

  1. Do not let your personal struggles affect your work. If your job is making you really stressed, take a break and just appreciate that you have a work that enables you to pay your rent and bills, and then continue to focus on your deliverables. Do not let conflicts get at you. When you reach your target, you will feel fulfilled and happy. The negativities that you may have encountered performing your task will be long forgotten.

 

At the end of the day, try to find learning from your conflicts with others. Challenge yourself to be more patient and understanding in dealing with co-workers. Above all else, maintain a professional attitude. After all, the merits of having work far outweighs any conflicts that may come your way.

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Top Ten Most Persuasive Words that You Can Use  

 

We wish that we can muster all the courage and persuade our clients to favor us during a presentation but it is not that easy. We need many things to convince our clients that our ideas are better than others. To start with, why not consider our words? Believe it or not, a single word can make a difference at the end of the day.

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In persuasion, aside from the enthusiasm, we need to use key words – the right key words. Effective presentation should persuade the listener not the other way around. There are particular words that can persuade more effectively than others. In 1963, experts identified the most persuasive words. For your next presentation, choose the following words:

  • You: Personalizing your speech is the greatest trick that you can consider. This way your customers will feel that you are directly talking to them.
  • Save: Singaporeans love to save. If you talk about something, make sure that you mention this word.
  • Discovery: The talk of discovery will excite the listeners. The enthusiastic feeling from their childhood will be remembered.

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  • Health: Self-preservation is the pursuit of everyone and should be taken advantage. Even if the topic is too far from health, make sure that you make a connection somewhere.
  • Easy: Life is hard as it is and if you provide difficulties, the listeners will just get bored. Your audience wants to hear that their lives will be at ease despite their hectic schedule. What can you offer?
  • Love: Love is the most powerful word that you can use but just be wary not to overuse it. Your listeners love one or two things in life, just do not forget to mention it.
  • Guarantee: Many people will like to hear that you remove the feeling of risk.
  • New: Change will excite people. The innovation and freshness will surely entice them so make sure that you use this word.
  • Safety: You should utter “safety” because it gives people relief, comfort and it eases their fears.
  • Proven: If you are tired of saying “new” perhaps you should use this word. Proven ensures that your listeners are not taking risks. When you use this word, make sure that you have data or information to support your claim.

Persuading fellow Singaporeans may not be that easy but if you do your best, you will ace your presentations. The words you use will surely change the way your listeners think and act. Good luck and break a leg!

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What Your Pets Say about Your Character

Pets are more than just animals. For many Singaporeans, pets are their best friends and companion. Only a true animal-person can appreciate pets and how they bring joy. We are lucky that we are given the opportunity and discretion to take care of pets here but first we have to know the local rules implemented by Veterinary Authority of Singapore.

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If our HDB flat or condos allow pets inside, we have to grab that chance and care for a specific one. However, do you know that the pet you choose can say a lot about your character? Your choice of pet can say a great deal about you and there are many studies that reveal what kind of person you are through your animal choice. One of the studies featured here was commissioned by the University of Texas.

Here are some things that you need to know about pets and what they say about your character:

  • The dog person: Dogs are the most popular pet here. In fact, many people here claim that their canine pet is a member of the household. The study said that dog persons are more extroverted not to mention more conscientious and agreeable more than cat people. The study even found out that dog people are most fun to be around seeing them walking, hiking and surfing.
  • The cat person: The second most popular pets are cats. Cat persons are creative and more adventurous than dog persons. Cats are prone to some anxiety. The study revealed that cat persons are most dependable not to mention emotionally sensitive. It does not end there because cat persons are good listeners – they are good friends.

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  • The bird person: Bird persons are expressive and outgoing. For female bird owners, they are thought to be high in dominance. Though birds are strange choice, it does not mean they are all lesser than other famous pets. Birds are not flighty so you can count on them.
  • The reptile person: Reptiles are not your normal pet but there are few people who take solace when caring a reptile. Reptile persons are thought to be the most independent of them all. This is because it is hard to cuddle reptiles and they do not require more attention. Reptile persons have the lowest sense of humour but it doesn’t mean they are less fun to be with.

Now, many will not agree to the findings but there are some truths to the study. Indeed, the animal we choose as a pet reflects our own personalities and characters.
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Meat Protein Sources You Should Try

 

When it comes to building a physique, no other protein food source is better to intake than meat. Now, there are many sources of meat but the more popular ones are pork, beef, lamb, and chicken. Breaking it down a little further, people often buy particular cuts of those meats because of their fat to protein content and the price as well. But there are actually other cuts of those meats that are just as nutritious and just as affordable.

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  1. Pork Belly

Pork belly is a good substitute for other more expensive cuts of pork. Not only is it cheap but it also has a good helping of fat per 100 grams. It does not contain as much protein as pork chops (9 g versus 21 g) but fat is just as important as protein is when you’re building a body because higher fat levels mean high testosterone levels. As you might already know, higher levels of testosterone connotes to more muscles.

 

  1. Chicken Liver

Chicken breasts are some of the most popular cuts of meat for bodybuilders because of the big protein content at 15 g while at the same time a light amount of fat. It is one of the leanest cuts of meat available in the market. However, chicken liver is also as good as breasts because it has the same amount of protein to fat ratio and has more Vitamin B. Liver also has less calories versus chicken breasts per 100 grams.

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  1. Beef Cheeks

There are many popular cuts of beef. These are usually around the rib or at the loins. Loins are an excellent protein source and also have less fat than most cuts. But the cheeks can substitute for the more expensive cuts of steak because they have less calories and fat but more protein.

 

  1. Lamb Neck

Lamb neck has more protein and fat than the more popular cuts of lamb (especially cutlets). Although it has more fat, it does have a lot more protein. So the additional protein just cancels out the extra fat. However, lamb is usually an expensive source of meat protein. So we only advise that you buy lamb when you have the budget or when you’re craving for a different taste of meat.

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