Ideas for Designing a Small Kitchen for an Apartment

You do not need to own a mansion to have a fabulous kitchen of your own. With these ideas for small kitchen spaces, you will want to invite friends over regularly to show it off.

Kitchen tools as décor. You do not need to add unnecessary items to the kitchen to decorate it. Use the kitchen tools you already have. Maybe you have racks, plates, knife sets, etc. that will match the texture and color scheme of your counter and cabinets.

Green and alive. Adding houseplants is never a bad idea especially if you cannot change the color of the walls. For a small kitchen, it would be better to display your collection of herbs and vegetables in small pots. That way you have decoration and ingredients within easy reach. Place these near windows.

Floating shelves. Cabinets take up a lot of space. With floating shelves, you have storage and display at the same time. Show off your collection of kitchen tools instead of stuffing them in a drawer somewhere.

Mirrors. Installing mirrors in a kitchen might seem like a weird idea but did you know that mirrors can make a small space look bigger? It enhances the effect of light-colored walls and countertops.

Interesting floors. Add some personality to your kitchen by renovating the floors or adding a colorful rug. If the walls look plain, pick a pattern or color that pops out.

More light. A small space with good lighting will appear larger. Add more accent fixtures like mini chandeliers and pendants for a sophisticated look.

Repainted shelves. If you have the budget, have the shelves and drawers repainted so the kitchen does not look plain. Maybe you can match it with the color of your kitchen appliances or match the color of the ceiling.

Custom storage. Sometimes there are awkward corners in our home that we would rather hide like a corner or wall that looks small or disproportionate. You can have a custom-built cabinet or shelving installed so you can maximize what you already have.

Rosy walls. If you are not a fan of bright or dark colors, go for something that is light like rose paint or blush for your walls. You can also have matching countertops.

Monochrome. Black and white looks gorgeous even in a small kitchen. You will even have a lot of appliances and kitchen tools available to match the color scheme. To be effective, make sure that the white color is at the bottom (counters, floor, etc.) while the black color should be above the sink or on the upper kitchen cabinets.

Marble counters. Match the marble with black, white, and gold or bronze colored accents like light fixtures, bar stools, and cabinets to create a sophisticated kitchen.

Hygiene Routine Tips for Your Family

They say that good grooming and hygiene begins at home. And that is true! If your children practice good habits at a young age, it becomes second nature to them as adults. Personal hygiene is not just about looking and smelling good, it is about protecting yourself and the people around you from diseases.

Here is how you can develop a hygiene routine for the entire family.

Eating

If your child is old enough to hold items with their hands, start teaching them how to clean up after a meal like washing their hands, brushing their teeth, and putting away their plates. Make sure that the meals are given consistently on schedule so that they develop good eating habits, too. You can even ask them to assist in simple tasks in the kitchen.

Bathing

We are not here to argue whether a people should bathe everyday or not. Children are active, so yes, they need to bathe daily to keep germs away. For kids who are scared of taking showers, you can encourage warm baths, or you can let them bring bathtub toys to keep them distracted. You could also have them get used to bathing right before bedtime to make it part of their routine.

Washing Hands

Your kids should know when to wash their hands even when you are not around to remind them. Practice washing hands before handling food or eating, after sneezing or coughing or blowing their nose, after petting animals, after using the toilet, after touching any body fluid like urine or vomit, and if their hands look dirty from playing. You should also remind them to not touch their face if they have not washed their hands.

Brushing

Dental hygiene is a big deal because some adults who did not develop a good routine as children end up with bad teeth and smelly breath. Teach your kids to include brushing as part of their bedtime routine. They only need to brush twice a day, but most importantly before going to bed. Help them pick a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character and a toothpaste with a flavor of their choosing so they do not get scared of brushing.

Clothes and Shoes

Your kids should learn how to change their clothes when they get sweaty or dirty. Remind them to change after playing or after getting home from school. Reward them if they place soiled clothes correctly in the hamper instead of leaving them on the floor. Other items like shoes should also be placed neatly on designated areas.

After School

Give your kids time to relax after school, not rush them into doing homework. After all, you would also want some time off after work yourself, right? After putting their things and clothes away, remind them to wash their hands before they can have a snack. You can also talk to them about their day while having dinner or letting them help in the kitchen.

How to Sort Your Dirty Laundry Correctly in Three Simple Steps

Laundry day can be the day that people dread the most, simply because the chore takes too much time. However, there are ways to get it done faster aside form just dumping everything into one pile.

The first step to having an easier time doing your laundry is by sorting them correctly in advance before you wash them, which is a great way to keep fabric dye on clothes from bleeding into lighter fabrics.

Pre-sorting your laundry before cleaning them can also be really helpful in that it lets you get your laundry done faster, especially when you regularly go to a laundromat to get your clothes cleaned in a hurry.

Reading the label

Keep in mind that while most clothes can be thrown in the laundry as one load and come out nice and clean, other types of clothes can be made of fabrics that can warp, shrink, or stretch. This is why it’s important to read the care label tags on your clothes first, especially if you don’t know how to clean them.

These care label tags on your clothes will let you know how they are best cleaned, whether they can be tossed along with the rest of your laundry load or if they need to be dry-cleaned by a professional.

Sort by color and fabric

Once the hand-wash-only clothes have been separated in their own piles, you can start sorting the rest by color and fabric: lights and darks in different piles to prevent color bleeding, then followed by fabric type. When sorting by fabric type, be sure to separate the towels and sheets, from the blouses, slacks and any underwear or lingerie. Doing this allows you to use the correct water temperature for each color and fabric group, as well as keeping drying cycles a lot simpler.

Wash soiled items first

While not all stains can ruin the fabric, some can set in earlier and be more difficult to remove, which is why they need to be cleaned or pre-treated as soon as possible. It’s also important to differentiate different stains and wash them depending on priority.

You will especially need to pay attention to oil-based stains, like motor or cooking oil, while dirt stains can wait later since they are less likely to affect the fabric. If there is only one item that needs this, this can be hand-washed or pre-treated in advance.

One last important thing you need to remember is that you shouldn’t wait until your laundry is a huge mountain of dirty clothes before sorting them. Even something as simple as having separate laundry hampers for different types of clothes can be a great start.

Five Tips for Handling Any Kind of Pressure Better

Pressure is a part of everyday life in Singapore, but while having some pressure in yours is healthy for providing motivation to be more productive, too much can be overbearing and difficult to handle.

But the good news is that it’s all about making the pressure work for you, and it involves finding just the right amount of it to help you get through difficult days ahead. Here’s how you can change the way you handle any kind of stress and pressure for the better:

1. Start planning for crunch time

Take a few minutes to identify what counts as “crunch time”, which usually consists of a huge amount of work that needs to be done in a short period. If you can outsource your work to an assistant or a colleague, consider doing so in advance.

2. Break down tasks

The easiest way to get stuck in a rut is to be intimidated by a complex task or project, and if you find yourself facing several complex ones at a time, you want to avoid being intimidated by them by finding out which ones need to be done first. Once you’ve ordered them by priority, break them down into smaller steps that are more manageable and can give you an incremental sense of accomplishment the more steps you finish.

3. Separate internal and external pressure

While you can’t change the conditions and situations where things need to be done quickly, you can change your response in order to adapt and handle them better. Instead of stressing out over them, try to assure yourself that your current tasks are indeed a high priority, and your actions are making a huge difference.

4. Stop procrastinating

Procrastination is a bad habit that leads to so much stress and so many unfinished tasks, and it usually means that you failed to prioritize and act as needed. However, this habit can be broken since it is usually made as a response to a challenge you don’t think you can take.

To break this habit, first ask yourself the exact reason why you’re resisting, and see if you can stop doing so and simply act on the task. When you find yourself procrastinating, simply repeat the process again. Actively forcing yourself to work also results in you making more effort and being more productive.

5. Adopt a more mindful outlook

Being more mindful allows you to stay calm under increasing pressure, which in turn allows you to become more adaptable and focused. In fact, you only really need to take aside ten minutes a day to meditate and clear your head to be able to tackle any incoming challenges more efficiently.

Simple Tips to Remember to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

No matter where you work or what you do in Singapore, you’ll almost always negotiate with other people. Whether it’s for business or for some other benefit, people are always negotiating. Given that, if you want to increase your own opportunities, it might be a good idea to sharpen your negotiation skills. Here are some things to remember so you can do just that.

Recognize the importance of preparedness

When it comes to negotiation, you could say you’ll have to be prepared both technically and mentally. Simply put, being prepared technically means you know what you want to achieve by the end of the discussions. If the goal of your negotiations is to increase your client’s budget for the project, then be prepared with a comprehensive plan. That way, you can lay it down to the client with ease. Being mentally prepared is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s just as important.

Listen

Some say that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason, and that is we should listen first before speaking or reacting. There are many situations that can cause us to react strongly against a person. But it may do better to give them a chance and listen to what they have to say first.

In more formal or business situations, the value of listening becomes even more evident. If the other party is the one giving the information, you have the advantage of using that information to your benefit. That being said, by listening well, you won’t miss anything important.

Learn about body language

Doing the right gestures can provide for a more convincing and genuine speech. If you know how to utilize your body language, you can easily stand out and take the upper hand in negotiations. This somehow has a lot to do with a display of confidence associated with body language. Something as simple as not slouching, for example, can actually make you look more confident with yourself.

However, more than that, it is also important to study the body language of the other party. For instance, if you were planning to negotiate on increasing the budget for your project but your boss is displaying what you might assume as “negative” body language (e.g. furrowed eyebrows or crossed arms), then it might not be a good idea to do so just yet.

Know what you are able to bring to the table

One important factor in negotiation that can save you a lot of time and energy is knowing your value to the company. Firstly, knowing your real value can be humbling. You will be ready to make and accept mistakes. In addition, you will be able to express your concerns to others since you have a good understanding of your own knowledge and experience. Knowing what you are able to bring to the table can help you negotiate better plans or business projects within the range of your capabilities.

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