Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Craft of Tea Preparation and Drinking

tea preparation

tea preparationUnlike other beverages, Chinese tea is more than just your ordinary drink. Its elaborate and sumptuous preparation tells that every cup you imbibe is a cup rich with artistry, culture, and heritage. During ancestral times, herbalists used tea as nature’s therapeutic blend. Tea has also been part of China’s many social events, and offered in various religious ceremonies in the past.

Find Your Core With a Cup of Tea

Many people are finding their peace and relaxation in a cup of tea. A study published in the Telegraph stated that tea drinkers have lower stress levels compared to those who do not drink tea. The soothing power of tea is a result of different herbal ingredients working hand in hand to create an unwinding effect. In addition, the charm and sophistication of tea ceremonies offer an ambiance of tranquillity and grace.

Arouse Your Senses With a Cup of Tea

Tasting a cup of tea should never be the only way to enjoy it. You can make your tea experience an adventure of the senses by considering these tea observations:

Sight and sound – Fresh tea leaves are lustrous green that are pleasing to look at. Good tea leaves are also dry enough to make a rustling sound when mashed in the palm
Smell – The natural fragrance of a fresh tea is what causes its aroma to be very much relaxing
Taste – A good tea should have an aftertaste that is sweet and enduring

Catching a Good Tea in Queensland’s Most Populous City

Catching the finest cup of tea in Queensland’s capital is somewhat challenging, but definitely not impossible. Finding the best Asian or Chinese restaurant in Brisbane, for instance, would give you a chance to see, hear, smell, and taste what a good and relaxing tea should be.

Starting your day with a pleasurable tea experience means a day filled with relaxation and calm despite a hectic and stressful schedule ahead. Start your morning right and enjoy your day with a cup of good tea.

The Drug of Your Choice: Building Your Own Shoe Collection

shoes

shoesMen have a longstanding love affair with shoes. Since the birth of the ‘sneakerhead’ culture in the ‘80s, lads have developed a discerning taste for kicks. They have become friends with the likes of Nike, Adidas and New Balance. They have even advanced their skills when it comes to identifying the genuine from the fake.

Collecting fashion trainers has become more of an art than a hobby. While others think it is just a waste of money and time, shoe lovers will certainly snap and argue that it is all about passion. If you are someone who wants to rival this man’s collection, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind.

Going Beyond What is Basic

You may want to go beyond your Adidas Sambas or Air Force Ones. If they are your comfort zone, do not be afraid to explore what lies beyond them. But, keep this nugget of wisdom in mind: choose versatility.

Choosing versatility means buying shoes that would take long before they go out of style. It means getting those you will wear all the time. These rules also apply to collecting for the only purpose of viewing and admiring.

Knowing Where to Buy

Collecting fashion trainers is not a cheap avocation. It comes with hefty price tags, especially if you are after the classics. Other than buying from department stores in the high street, you can always get your fix from online stockists. Small-time owners may also operate through social media. If you are really into collecting, you may visit thrift stores where you can find limited-edition items.

Taking Care of Them

5 Pointz emphasises that taking care of the trainers is part of collecting. When cleaning, do not use bleach, as it may turn white linings into yellow. It may also weaken the fibre of the laces. If you have suede sneakers, use a suede protector. Clean them immediately if they have mud or water stains. Do not forget the shoe tree. It is important to preserve the shape of your shoes.

These are only some of the things you need to consider if you want to be a fashion trainers collector. Do not be afraid to join groups with whom you can share the joy of collecting. You can find some of them online.

Shocking Teeth Whitening Facts and Myths Refuted

teeth whitening

teeth whiteningTeeth whitening had been around for centuries, even as early as 3000 BC. The practice started with the use of chew sticks. These sticks were not brushes, but were small twigs that a person chewed, which scraped off the particles on the teeth

Some practices were a bit shocking. In the case of ancient Egyptians, they created a whitening paste using ground pumice stone mixed in wine vinegar. According to Lisa Vernon Sparks in an article published in the Providence Journal, ancient Romans whitened their teeth using urine. The ammonia in the urine was the bleaching agent.

In the 14th century, the Chinese first invented a brush with bristles made of the hairs of a Siberian boar, which were extremely coarse. By the turn of the 17th century, barbers took care of people’s hair and teeth. They applied acid on the teeth, making them whiter yet decayed.

During the early 19th century, the positive effects of fluoride were discovered.

Modern Whitening Techniques Disputed Myths

As teeth whitening evolves, further researches and studies disputed these early myths. Some of the most common are:

It ruins your tooth enamel.
According to Stirling Street Dental Clinic, it does not remove tooth enamel. Instead, it bleaches the enamel from the outside.

It is not safe.
This claim has long been refuted. Accordingly, being around for over a 100 years, most recognized dental bodies worldwide endorse tooth bleaching as a generally safe practice.

Its results take a long time.
This myth depends on the brand you are using. The best whitening products and services are available in leading clinics. Just make sure to consult your trusted dentist.

It hurts.
There is no risk of pain involved at all. Aftercare procedures, however, are essential.

Teeth whitening had been around for quite some time. It’s a constantly evolving practice. The myths people knew before had been refuted as more and more experts continue their research on this subject.

#WhatTheFact: 3 Facts You Didn’t Know about Sentosa

oceanarium in Sentosa

oceanarium in SentosaIn case you have not heard about the big news yet, Sentosa, Asia’s Favourite Playground, is about to get a major facelift. The island is currently undergoing a billion-dollar makeover, which will happen in three phases over the next five years.

Your favourite attractions and activities will be classified into themes and assigned to specific areas within the fun island.

While you wait for your favourite playground to be even more exciting and fun, let us take a moment to appreciate more of Sentosa. Here are some facts you probably did not know about the island:

1. The island is home to the world’s biggest aquarium.

The S.E.A. Aquarium is the largest oceanarium in the world, featuring more than 100,000 sea creatures, across 800 species. The huge aquarium is home to magnificent manta rays, huge humphead wrasse, goliath groupers and other gigantic sea animals.

If you want to have an awesome experience of the marine world and experience the world’s biggest window to the ocean, package and ticket providers like Store.Sentosa.com.sg can help arrange your Sentosa travel plans.

2. The island’s historic Merlion icon demands week long cleaning.

The picture-taking stops and the park is closed when the Merlion gets some scrubbing. In 2012, the team of cleaning experts spent almost a week to make the iconic statue spick and span.

The cleaning team used jet sprays and rappelled down from the Merlion’s head to get rid of the dirt and spread over preservative substances.

3. The island is a concrete… jungle.

Although highly urbanised, Sentosa is brimming with wildlife.

Approximately 70% of the land is secondary rainforest. The island is full of all kinds of animals. Monkeys, squirrels, sea eagles, lizards and the endangered yellow-crested cockatoo, you can all find them in Sentosa.

Oh, and the The Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom? They are home to more than 15,000 butterflies and 3,000 species of insects, respectively.

Expect Sentosa to be more exciting and fun, now that the major makeover is underway. Plan your Sentosa trip as early as now!

The Difference Between Short-Term Insurance and Travel Insurance

medical insurance

medical insuranceWe all have differing reasons for leaving home and flying to another country; some do it for holidays, others visit relatives while there are those ready to spend larger amounts of money to receive better medical or surgical treatment. Nonetheless, when planning to go abroad, it is still important to protect ourselves against risks and incidents that could happen.

This is when travellers face a quandary of what insurance to get. Easy enough, the choices are between short-term insurance and travel insurance. Expat medical insurance provider http://pacificprime.hk in Hong Kong explained that there is a significant difference between the two that is not wholly apparent to customers. These are both health plans for a limited amount of time, but there are subtle distinctions that should be made clear, especially for people who don’t possess working knowledge in insurance.

Short-Term Insurance

This insurance option is recommended for people who are going to spend one to 12 months overseas. It is advisable for people who are going to be working for exactly a year in another country and more importantly, for people requiring intensive hospitalisation abroad. With a short-term insurance, patients may choose where they will have their treatment; as the policies are exceedingly flexible, each can customise their package to ensure that they get all the medical or surgical care that they need.

Travel Insurance

For casual travellers who are going for a holiday, travel insurance recommended. Most of the plans are tailored for vacations less than three months, providing proper protection for your entire stay. Moreover, insurance providers can modify the health package to exact specifications, ensuring full and personal hedge against risks in a foreign country.

Now that you are informed, you can make a better decision when you are planning to go abroad, whether for health reasons or a sabbatical. Visit your trusted insurance broker and guarantee you and your family’s safety when travelling.

Accredited Paralegal Certificate Program: Its Advantages

paralegal certificate programs

paralegal certificate programsOnce upon a time, there were no many paralegal certificate programs. The legal assistants back then were administrative staff who learnt almost all the legal aspects of their job, through real world experience. But, today, this scenario has changed with certifications and degrees available in this field.

Qualifications notwithstanding, these are optional, but arming yourself with such qualifications gives you an edge. Employers and law offices would consider you better trained for the job than others who have no certification to their name.

Why Choose Accredited Schools?

The process of certification involves passing an exam conducted by an authorized law organization. You have to complete the training program, and depending on your program, possibly an internship, before you can appear for the exam to earn the certification of completion for a paralegal program, says legalstudies.com.

Then you can work as interns or at entry-level jobs. Alternatively, you can also choose to specialize in niche areas such as immigration law, criminal law, estate planning, insurance, family law, and so on.

The syllabus of these programs has a structure and design to help you understand the requirements of your job as a legal assistant. The internship and the initial on-the-job experience you gather will serve as a great head start.

ABA Approval

It is best to opt for programs that have the approval of the ABA or American Bar Association. This will ensure that the program you study or train in has recognition from a national body, making the knowledge and skills you acquire as valid. This is because these courses incorporate the latest prevailing laws of the land.

Therefore, do a good amount of research and weed out all courses and programs that will not benefit you. There is no point doing a sundry program for the sake of it.

You can consult your state bar representative if necessary and get reliable information on the courses. The amount of time you spend researching for the right course is worth the trouble and time spent as this will pay off in long run.

Adventure Trip: A Colorado Bucket List

Adventure Trip

Adventure TripImagine you only have a limited time to enjoy the best of Colorado. What would you do to make the trip memorable and worth it? If you’re having a difficult time deciding, we’ve come up with our own Colorado Bucket List to help you out and inspire you to do things that you probably haven’t done yet, at least not in beautiful CO.

Adventure # 1: River Rafting

If you’re looking for thrills in the water, then you shouldn’t have any problem joining a Colorado river rafting trip. It’s a great way to have fun and can be an amazing adventure for novice rafters to experts. The state is rich with fantastic areas for whitewater rafting that will satisfy any adrenaline junky. If you prefer calmer waters and a bit of relaxation, you can still enjoy mild adventure rafting or kayaking. Whatever suits you, this one item should be in anyone’s Colorado bucket list.

Adventure # 2: Skiing

A lot of people ski, but not everyone does. If you haven’t tried it before, well here’s a good reason to try it while you’re in Colorado: skiing makes you a happier person. That’s right. Be it the gorgeous slopes or the pleasure of going up and down the mountain, skiing has wonderful benefits that you should definitely take advantage of.

Adventure # 3: Get Sand between Your Toes

We’re not talking about the beach here because as any Coloradoan will tell you, it’s so overrated. What we’re talking about is visiting Colorado’s Great Sand Dune National Park. Getting there will require you to hike to the top of one of the state’s greatest natural phenomena, but it gets better when you make your way down. You have the choice to walk like most people, or you can give it a spin by ‘snowboarding.’ Whichever you prefer, we guarantee that it’ll be a unique experience.

Colorado is a magical place that has plenty to offer to those who seek adventure and new experiences to add to their bucket list. If you ever visit CO, what would be on your bucket list?

Traveling with Kids in Malaysia: The Top 3 Must-See Attractions

legoland theme park

legoland theme parkNot all parents want to travel with their toddlers and kids. Travelling with them can be like dealing with a herd of sheep that took over a road and blocked traffic. Fulfilling children’s needs involves a lot more than giving candies or handing them your tablet. When you board a plane, it seems like no one is glad to sit next to you. Instead of giving up, you better do some advance planning to make every vacation worth remembering.

If you are planning to visit Malaysia soon, discuss with your spouse, book early, prepare the belongings and create an itinerary.

Here’s where to go when travelling with children:

Angry Birds Activity Park

Many tourists consider this place the perfect playground for the little ones. The famous Angry Birds Park in Johor will allow your kids to interact with the iconic characters, have fun with other children, experience learning and bring families together for lasting memories. Highlights of this amazing activity park are Red Bird Goal, Lazer Bird Shoot, Piggy Shooting Gallery, Captain Black Bird Ship, Classic Tower Play and more. The whole family can also stop by an Angry Birds shop or enjoy space-themed adventure courses.

Legoland Theme Park

Legoland park has more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, providing a full day of family fun. As one-stop online bus ticket booking portal, BusOnlineTicket.com, puts it: “LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort has seven themed areas of attractions for all ages such as The Beginning, LEGO® Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure and MINILAND. It’s an inspirational land where the children are the heroes. From LEGO experiment centres to rollercoasters, the park is a day-long voyage of discovery for all the family.”

Hello Kitty Town & Little Big Club

This is the first Sanrio Hello Kitty Town outside of Japan. The place offers interactive and walk-through activities that will surely excite kids. The highlights of the top attraction site are dressing up as a favourite character and getting remarkable photo moments.

A vacation with kids does not have to be a nightmare. Experience a unique and memorable trip with these must-see places in Malaysia.

Online Estate Agents: Are They Really Useful?

Online Estate Agents

Online Estate AgentsWith the real estate industry going through a rough patch, many homeowners look to sell their houses through real estate agents to find them a good deal. The only catch here is the high commissions demanded by these agents, which causes sellers to cringe. The silver lining comes in the form of online estate agents who charge only a fraction of those of their traditional counterparts.

Currently there are some debates going on regarding how good online real estate agents are and if they are better than the regular ones.

Here is a peek into this debate.

Services Offered

On the whole, the services offered by the online estate agents are the standard. These include:

• Bringing buyers and sellers together;
• Doing all the necessary paperwork;
• Helping sellers market their property;
• Carry out the viewings for prospective buyers;

The Differences

Nevertheless, in performing these services, online agencies differ from the traditional ones.

With an online agent you have to do the viewings yourself by default, although some companies are ready to conduct the same for an additional fee. Communication with the online agent is primarily via email or phone instead of being in person.

Online real estate agents value your property based on the information they take from the Internet regarding similar houses in the same neighbourhood.

Pros and Cons

Despite these differences, online estate agents have their own advantages, namely:

• They are more convenient as they are more straightforward, dealing with them is more transparent and they are available beyond regular hours.
• Can make your property visible via their website more extensively and even to buyers outside geographical boundaries.
• They are less expensive than using a street agent.

For these advantages, you can know that the online real estate agents are quite useful in the Internet era. Most services now have online counterparts, and real estate, it seems, is no exception.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Special

romantic valentine date

romantic valentine dateIt’s that time of the year when it seems like the whole world is coloured in red. From flowers to balloons, most romantic products are increasing in demand and sales. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and men are probably busy planning where and how to spend the special day with their loved ones.

Hotel Package Deals

If you don’t have the time to set up a candlelight dinner in a private garden, you can check the V-Day packages of some hotels. Hatch & Co., for instance, offers a complete romantic dinner for couples, including music and wine. Dinner in the hotel saves you travel time as you can book a room after eating.

Flower Delivery

If you’re just a new couple and this is the first time you’ll be celebrating the occasion together, it’s ideal to send her flowers in the office. Expect every other man to have the same idea so book your delivery as early as possible. Surprising her can flatter her throughout the day.

New Ideas

If you’ve already done all the classic ideas because you’ve been together for years now, it’s time to be more creative and spark the romantic flame again. You can go out of town on a weekend road trip or relax in a spa and massage parlour. Creative and new ideas thought out of the box are romantic, as well.

Low-cost Concepts

Some of the best things come in a high price. Although most romantic ideas are pricey, there are still low-cost ones that can save your day. While she’s at work, set up the dinner table with a smaller version of your wedding cake, buy the same flowers, wear your wedding suit, and write a sweet valentine card.

Make your Valentine’s Day special one of your most memorable experience as a couple. Whether it’s a common or new idea, the most important thing is the thought of sending out your love to her.