Value Add Singapore

4 ways to avoid wrinkles

Who hasn’t dreamt of staying forever young? We all want to stay as if we’re forever this age: agile, carefree and of course looking fresh.

But once those wrinkles start to show, even a line or two can cause a frenzy deep within you. You second-guess yourself, if you still don’t look your age – but this time older than you are.

So get ahold of yourself and go easy. Here are a few tips to help you prevent those wrinkles from ruining your self-esteem one line at a time:

1. Stay hydrated
Cliche as this may sound, those eight glasses or more really do their job. Not only of keeping you healthy, but it also has a delightful side effect of keeping you wrinkle free. It helps keep you beautiful and young from deep within. You might also want to up your coconut water and green tea intake as they help eradicate toxins from your body. Especially on summer, sunny days could actually speed up your body’s usage of moisture. So you might want to stay as hydrated as you can amidst the summer heat.

2. Befriend antioxidants
If you aren’t aware yet, antioxidants effectively combat free radicals which are always present in our environment. These free radicals damage our skin and are typically found in pollution and toxins. Antioxidants combat them and what’s even more good news is we have ready sources of these helpful wrinkle-fighters. Blueberries, spinach, kale, artichokes, walnuts, cranberries, prunes, beans and kiwi are all good sources of Vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene also known as our helpful antioxidants.

3. Switch to nontoxic moisturizers
If you find your bureau containing almost every kind of age-defying or miracle moisturizers, you might want to take a break from them first. Switch to naturals instead. Try using oils instead of lotions and creams. Coconut oil helps in reducing age spots, wrinkles and cellulites. But if you have an oily face, try Argan oil to moisturize. It is also an effective anti-inflammatory. Jojoba grapeseed and olive oil also do well as moisturizers, depending on your skin type. Make sure to check first which skin type you have so you don’t end up worsening your waterloo. Safety first, before all our beautifying efforts.

4. Quit smoking
Do we have to enumerate how your lungs primarily benefit from this step? Your wrinkles also do a double take if you finally stop this unhealthy habit. Wrinkles result from aging, and every cigarette you smoke speeds up the process. Smoking also makes your skin dry and robs it of its luster. Basically it’s harmful both inside and out. So stop smoking and you’ll find yourself with healthier, younger glowing skin.

5 extra measures to keep your car smelling clean

No matter how often you clean your car, there always comes a point when the freshness fades and other odors kick in. You ward off unpleasant odors but sometimes you could only do so much.

So to spare you from over-exerting yourself, here are a few tips to help you maintain the clean-smelling aura of your car.

1. Spray an odor-neutralizer
When odors get extra aggressive and they just keep coming back, make sure you have extra measures such as odor neutralizers to combat them. Don’t use your car immediately after spraying though, as these sprays can get overwhelming right after they disperse to the air. Let your car stand for around 5 minutes after spraying the neutralizer, with your air conditioner running. This spreads the spray evenly so it doesn’t spike your nose when you get inside the car. Spray only an estimated amount proportionate to the intensity of the odor, as excess sprays take too long to blend with the air.

2. Clean the dashboards
Anything that might cause drippings can cause odors when they accumulate on surfaces. So make sure you don’t let those sticky liquid rings stay too long on your dashboards if they ever spill. Make it a habit to check your dashboards before leaving your car to park for the night.

3. Utilize glass cleaner
Keep your windows and windshield clean as they may accumulate particulates from the air, causing faint smells unpleasant to the nose.

4. Beat out floor mats
Keep your floors clean by constantly taking out floor mats and beating them clean of particulates that might fall off during your day. Food and other matter might cause odors when left too long on your floor mats. So take them out constantly, as mud could also contain smelly matter that might pollute your car.

5. Vacuum regularly
Make sure surfaces under your floor mats are also free from odor causing matter. Keep them squeaky clean as often as you can, so they don’t bother you with unpleasant odors while on your trip to work or long drives outside the city.

Nothing beats cleanliness in our surroundings, even inside our cars. Clean surfaces exude only clean smells, so keep that proportion as often you can. Not only are your passengers happy, but your lungs would be too. Minimize the cause of odors, and you’ll find you spend lesser for air fresheners in the long run. Keep your car as minimalist as possible in terms of unnecessary items and litter, and you’ll have an easy round of cleaning next time.

So for your next long drive, you’ll have a great time singing along in the car because of its clean and fresh smell.

How to Get Real-Time Updates on Your Cargo with Freight Forwarding

In the fast-paced world of industry, it’s important to know where everything is going and how long it will take to get there, and in Singapore, getting your cargo from one destination to another usually involves hiring a freight forwarder to organise shipment, plan the route, and book the cargo with the designated shipping company for you.

But because anything can happen while the cargo is with your freight forwarding partner and goes through either air freight or sea freight, it’s even more important to keep an eye on where the shipment is going, that’s where tracking and tracing comes in.

Tracking Software and Cargo Visibility

The freight company relies on tracking software and documentation to keep track of shipments. Before everything else, it is important to acquire a bill of lading, which is a legal document between the carrier and the shipper. It is a detailed list of the goods being carried, written in the form of a receipt. Hence, it is very important in times to import and export goods.

Cargo is usually placed in a container which belongs to the cargo transportation company. A freight forwarding agent gets regular updates with the company’s equipment office regarding the transportation carrier and its whereabouts.

One of the methods that makes cargo tracking possible is through data sharing and Electronic Data Interchange messaging to different Customs, Port, and Principal offices. With updated and accurate EDI messaging, cargo handling is usually managed and accounted for.

Getting Real-Time Updates

Real-time updates on your cargo’s condition and current location should be made available to you through different means available, such as logistics companies’ websites, or your email address.

While you can easily get in touch with international freight services, keep in mind that this may also include a lot of changes in the documentation, and you may need to regularly fill out information with your forwarding company to keep the information updated.

When the shipment finally arrives to its destination, you should also be notified for pick-up, and the information and details should be given to you accordingly.

Planning and Logistics

Freight forwarding services also offer logistics service, which largely involve planning, load handling of goods and coordination of the route for your cargo, whether overseas or just within Singapore. Your freight broker will work closely with the shipping company that carries your cargo to keep you notified on any changes of its route.

As a logistics company, forwarding services also have the means to inform you of shipping fees, to know the best routes for your cargo, and update you on where your cargo is at.

This means planning transportation routes for your cargo and checking for regular updates can now be done at home or work, as real-time updates are now easily possible with freight forwarding thanks to advanced systems such as GPS and internet tracking.

Be sure to talk to your freight forwarder on getting the latest tracking methods available for your cargo.

How to Grow Your Own Edible Garden in Singapore

Growing your own food can have many great benefits, like being able to teach your kids practical gardening skills, bringing some green indoors, and saving money. More importantly, growing your own food can make sure that you’re eating food that is fresh and organic. With a bit of soil and some seeds, you could start your grown garden. While many beginners are too intimidated to start their own garden, it doesn’t have to be too hard. Here are some tips and tricks for growing your own edible garden in Singapore.

1. Consider your space
If you live in a high-rise flat, you may think that it’s impossible for you to have your own edible indoor garden. However, there is always a way for you to create your own garden even with limited space. For example, you could create a vertical garden by hanging your pots on a wall, using a string or a plank of wood. You can even use chicken wire or netting to hang your pots from. There are a lot of guides online that can tell you step-by-step on how to create your own indoor garden, from table-tops to windowsills. For example, you could grow cherry tomatoes on your windowsill, or create a small Mediterranean herb garden on shelves near your kitchen.

2. Remember your lighting
Light is an important aspect of any garden. Without adequate lighting, your plants wouldn’t be able to create produce. Most edible plants need a lot of sunshine, about four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. But avoid direct sunlight during mid-afternoon, as this light is too harsh for plants. If you cannot remove your plants during these hours, you could install a sunshade to keep the harsh afternoon sunlight away from the plants.
However, if you live in high-rise flats, you may have the opposite problem, and your flat may lack adequate sunlight. If this is your problem, you could buy a grow lamp which could act as a stand-in for natural light.

3. Starter plants
Singapore’s humid weather is perfect for many kinds of plants. There are many plants you could choose from that could complement the amount of free time that you have. For example, if you don’t have a lot of free time, you could start with lower-maintenance plants, like long beans and brinjals. For those who want to just take a stab at gardening, microgreens are a great choice because they grow fast, some of them in just a matter of days. Good examples of microgreens are buckwheat and sunflowers.

For those who want to be even more economical, you can propagate saplings from the leftovers of grocery produce. By cutting parts of grocery produce and putting them in soil or a bit of water, you could create more food. Good choices are lemongrass, peppers, and tomatoes.

How to Make Your Own Tea Blends at Home in 3 Easy Steps

Blending or brewing your own tea at home involves combining different types of herbs, roots, and leaves, and it can be simple or complicated depending on what you prefer, and the best part about it is that you can customize the recipe according to your taste buds.

While there is a lot about drinking tea that can be relaxing to the soul, the making of it is in itself soothing and medicinal, and in some cases, almost alchemical. While there are a lot of ways to make your own special brews, there are three general steps you can follow:

1. Choose a teabag size.
The teabag size will depend on the size of the cup you intend to use. If you’re planning on drinking tea by yourself, you can opt for a smaller teabag, while serving many people will call for a larger one.

Alternatively, you can also choose to not use a teabag, but instead place them in the container and slowly add hot water to it and sieve the leaves, roots, and flowers out. You can even add them to the water before boiling.

2. Choose your preferred tea base.
An easy guide to brewing your own tea at home goes as follows: base first, then top, and finally florals.

Always choose the base first before adding the top. This will be the primary tea leaf that will provide the main flavor for your drink. As much as possible, avoid using too many tea types – keep them only up to a maximum of two.
The “top” will consist of supporting and catalyst herbs, which are secondary ingredients that either sooth or buffer the effects of the primary tea leaves. They usually make up roughly a third of the blend.

Lastly, the florals (though optional), which are unmistakable ingredients, will add a strong floral punch in any blend of your choosing, though they should only be added by about a pinch.

3. Know which flavors complement and contradict which.
There are three main categories of flavors when it comes to choosing your supporting or catalyst herbs: earthy, spicy, and sweet.

Earthy ingredients, such as catnip leaf, juniper berries, and dandelion, add a lot of depth and mix well with strong teas. They can also make them taste bitter, which sweet and tart flavors can counteract.

Spicy ingredients, such as peppercorn and cinnamon, are an excellent complement to earthy ingredients and mask them well, but to truly calm the strong, earthy flavors, sweet and tart flavors such as licorice root and hibiscus are needed.

You can even add fruity elements, such as lemon and orange peels, to bring out the lemon and orange flavors in your brew.

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