A Quick Guide on How to Roast Squash Seeds

Did you recently open up a whole squash and wonder how you can use the seeds rather than just throwing them away?

Well, wonder no more and start keeping those seeds – you can make a healthy snack out of them to munch on anytime you want!

A single ounce of squash seeds makes for a great snack that’s rich in nutrients like magnesium, which has been linked to promote better sleep quality. This makes them the perfect snack when you’re finally done pulling out that all-nighter and you’re ready to settle down for some much-needed shut-eye.

Kinds of Squash

You can roast seeds from different kinds of squashes, like the following:

  • Spaghetti
  • Buttercup
  • Acorn
  • Butternut
  • Kabocha
  • Delicata

Ingredients

All you need to start roasting pumpkin seeds is a half-cup of raw seeds, a few pinches of salt, and two tablespoons of melted butter. Alternatively, you can also add a drizzle of olive oil instead of melted butter if you want to go for a low-fat option.

Once you have them, it’s time to start roasting your seeds.

Directions

Preparing this healthy snack is really simple. Once you have everything you need, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit or 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Toss the seeds in an oven-safe bowl along with your melted butter and salt to taste. Mix until all they are evenly coated.
  3. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and let bake until golden brown, which usually takes about forty-five minutes. Remember to take them out once in a while and stir occasionally to ensure they are heated evenly.
  4. Add spices to taste. However, this step is completely optional – you can enjoy them salted or even unsalted if you like!

Storage

If you’re already hooked on pumpkin seeds and want to make them a regular snack for all occasions, here’s what you need to do to store your raw seeds for a later time:

  1. Place your seeds in a colander and run them through a faucet to wash out the skin or any remaining strings of pulp.
  2. Set the seeds on paper towels and let them dry in the open air overnight. Drying them thoroughly allows the seeds to be more crispy when they come out of the oven later on.
  3. Once the seeds are fully dried, place them in an airtight container.

Keep in mind that they only last for up to a week when stored in the refrigerator, so you want to roast them within that time so they don’t spoil.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid Doing

Let’s say your start-up in Singapore is already doing good. So you decide to start social media marketing to reach more people. You jump right into it but later you notice that your audience has still not increased. Just like in many other aspects of business, you might be making some slight mistakes that are costing you. Here might be some of them.

Having no strategy

If you think that social media marketing is just as easy as posting on your personal accounts, that’s completely wrong. Companies that don’t establish a strategy will not have any social media presence at all. Especially because so many other businesses are using social media platforms already. One great start is to hire a social media manager who knows how to disseminate information with a mix of humor and professionalism. Then you can just build up your strategies from that.

Having too much to handle

When strategies are not employed, companies also make the mistake of creating accounts on too many platforms at once. Why is this a bad thing exactly? Well, if you don’t have a plan, you’ll have difficulty coming up with new content. This is why you see a lot of websites or social media pages where the last posts were done years ago. Basically, these pages have been abandoned! So, don’t go creating too much and keep your focus narrow at the start. That way, you’ll have a better foundation before you branch out to other platforms.

Not engaging with the audience

Of course, it’s called “social” media for a reason. In social media marketing, you should definitely avoid posting something and just leaving it at that. If people start commenting, try to engage with them as much as possible. Give them additional info, answer their questions, you can even message them in private if needed! Remember that your goal with social media marketing is to get your brand known to more and more people. But you don’t want to be a remembered negatively by not engaging with your audience at all!

Not tracking analytics

Another thing you should be taking full advantage of is analytics. Most social media platforms offer analytics which show your audience engagement, how many new followers you have, which posts gained more attention and etc. Being able to track such data is very important if you want to know where your focus should be. It will also help you know which aspects need improvement. All in all, this will help you save a significant amount of time, money, and effort!

Having bad responses to negative comments

Lastly, one mistake you should never make is to respond unprofessionally to negative comments. Negative feedback will always be there on social media. But you should definitely not delete or ignore them (unless, of course, if they don’t make sense at all). On the other hand, having a good response to a negative comment can earn you more loyal customers.

Different Exercises to Help Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is experienced by more and more people today. No matter if you work in manual labor or you sit in a desk all day, you’re prone to experiencing lower back pain if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are many exercises you can do to alleviate lower back pain. You won’t even need to go to a gym in Singapore too.

Bird Dog Exercise

One reason why the bird dog exercise is ideal for reducing lower back pain is that it teaches you to focus on mobilizing your back all throughout.

The bird dog is done by getting on all fours, with your hands and knees on the floor. Position your hands under your shoulders and make sure your knees are also directly under the hips. Then, extend your right arm and left leg so they are level with your spine. Hold this position for 5-8 seconds then go back to the starting position. Then do the opposite and extend your left arm and right leg this time.

Bridges

The gluteus maximus or the buttocks is actually the largest muscle in the body. Because of that, a weak gluteus maximus will cause lower back pain. Bridges engage the glutes and are a great exercise for keeping the muscle strong.

Firstly, you want to lie on the ground while leaving your feet flat on the floor near your butt. Then, slowly lift your buttocks by pressing your feet on the floor until your whole body is straight. Make sure to keep your shoulders on the floor and to keep your arms at your side for better balance and support. Hold that position for about 10 seconds. Repeat about 5 times.

Supermans

The superman allows you to stretch and strengthen your back extensors. Back extensors run along both sides of the spine and basically helps you maintain a good posture and also arch your back.

As the name suggests, this is simply done by copying how Superman flies, with a few modifications of course. First, you want to lie down on your stomach and stretch both your arms out over your head. Then, stretch your legs but keep them on the ground. There will be people who find this exercise uncomfortable though. If you think this exercise does not benefit you, you won’t have to do it.

Try to Avoid: Leg Raises

The leg raise is mainly an exercise for the lower abdominals. Though this is the case, the movement involved in the exercise puts certain demand on the hips and the lower back. If you lift both your legs when your core is still weak, your back will compensate and that could lead to more lower back pain. As an alternative, you can try just lifting one leg at a time, with the other bent at the knee.

Money Skills You Absolutely Need to Pick Up

You recognize yourself as a hardworking Singaporean who loves to do his job and are pleased with your earnings. But, you find that there are times when you have to take some money from your savings just to get through the week. If this is the case, you’ll want to keep reading and see what you can do to become better with money.

Living according to your means

Truthfully speaking, there are a lot of people living way beyond their means. If you’re guilty of this, don’t worry! Simply put, we should try to stop putting on the illusion of being rich. Obtaining wealth is a long-term journey. If you spend a lot on clothes and food to maybe try and impress others, your wealth is short-lived. That simply does not make you “wealthy” at all. So, stick to the necessities and try not to give in to temptation.

Keeping your money away

 

This point ties directly with the one above, but what does this mean? Literally, just keep your money where it will be hard for you to reach them. You’ll hardly notice it but there’s a big difference if you have your money in your wallet and if you have it on a vault. With your wallet, it’s very easy to just reach out and get some cash. With a vault though, you’ll have a lot more things to do. That one significant difference can actually help you from spending more money than necessary.

Being strict about savings

Saving is obviously the most basic money skill, and you might even already be doing it by now. Even so, there are actually many people who have a hard time implementing this in their lives. A person might save up for a month but end up using all his savings for some other reason. If you are strict about saving, you might be surprised how valuable it’s going to be in the long-term.

Looking for ways to earn passive income

Having multiple sources of passive income basically allows you to earn money on auto-pilot. You can invest in stocks or real estate, rent out an apartment room in your building, or you can even write a book or a song to earn royalties. If you really try hard and look, you’ll find that there are actually many ways for you to earn money without working too hard for it.

Understanding financial literacy 

Everything written above can be done effectively if you have a good understanding of financial literacy. Simply put, being financially literate means you know how to manage your money, where to put it to make it grow, and etc. This is why, before anything else, you should make it a priority to learn about financial literacy. This doesn’t mean you have to earn a degree, just that you have to be aware of the principles that govern money.

Basic Items for Glassblowing Beginners

Glassblowing sounds like an exotic hobby, but you’ll be surprised to know that a lot of artists have become engrossed in this activity once they have tried it. It’s an expensive hobby, but it’s also a great idea to start a business once you have mastered the techniques and if you want a return of your investment.

While it’s not going to be easy getting all the items listed below, experts of this craft will tell you not to be cheap when it comes to buying equipment, because you’ll end up saving more money in the long run.

So, what items will you need to set up your own glassblowing studio at home?

Beginner’s Items

Some craft shops sell glassblowing starter kits that will let you save more money. Some of the kits will contain the basic items, but it will also depend on the materials you’re planning to work on. You will also need a studio for this because it’s a hazardous activity, so unless you have a vacant, well-ventilated space outside your home, this hobby may not be for you.

  • Torch. Most experts will advise you to start with small torches that are affordable, but bigger torches can usually do more.
  • Kiln. The size of the kiln will depend on the type of materials you want to work with and the kind of projects you have in mind. Try to find used kilns so you can save money, instead of buying brand-new kilns. Glassblowing generally uses three types of furnaces such as the furnace, glory hole, and the annealer.
  • Propane, Oxygen, and Regulators. You can either start with an air propane torch or an oxygen propane torch depending on your budget and materials. The regulator on the other hand, is used to regulate the pressures in both the tank and delivery.

Other basic items used are the following: gas hose, ventilation hood, hose clamps, flashback arrestors, glasses, sparker or lighter, tube and rod, grabber or claw, blowpipe, marver, bench, punty, paddles, jacks, tweezers, shears, blocks, and newpaper pads. The basic sizes for tubing and rod are between 19 mm to 38 mm, but you should start with smaller sizes from 5 or 6 mm while you’re still practicing.

Glassblowing Techniques

To determine the types of tools you will need, you need to know about the different ways of working with glass; such as cold working, glass casting, fused glass, stained glass, lamp working, hot glass, and annealing. For each of these techniques, you will need specific items, so you have to decide which one you want to start with. There are different types of glass used as well, but the most common are the borosilicate or hard glass and the soda-lime or soft glass.

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

Most types of skin cancer can be treated with early diagnosis and proper medication and procedures, but sometimes the symptoms are unnoticeable. Here are some of the things you need to know to determine if you have skin cancer.

Skin Cancer

This type of cancer begins in the cells found in the skin should not to be confused with cancer that begins in other parts of the body and affects the skin. Skin cancer can be classified into three types based on the parts of the skin that are affected by the cancer cells; such as, basal cell skin cancers, melanomas, and squamous cell skin cancers.

The most likely trigger of uncontrolled abnormal skin cell growth is the skin’s exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight and even tanning beds. The UV rays damage the skin cells and trigger mutation or gene defects that will result in rapid multiplication of the cells that form tumors.

Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC)

Considered the most common type of skin cancer in the world, it is caused by the damage to the basal cells found right below the skin surface. An individual with BCC will notice bumps on the skin the same color as the flesh on the arms, head, neck, legs, chest, and abdomen. If not treated, the cancer cells can possibly affect the surrounding tissues, nerves, and bones and may cause permanent disfigurement. BCC is further divided into other types of cancer, such as, nodular, superficial, morphoeic, and pigmented.

Melanomas

This type of skin cancer is caused by the damage to the melanocytes that produce the pigment in the skin. Doctors consider this the most serious form of skin cancer and will usually show up as moles or dark spots that often go unnoticed. If you have moles, you should inspect them daily and look out for the ABCs of melanoma.

These are asymmetry (half of the mole looks different), border (the mole is irregularly shaped), colors (the shades of the mole vary), diameter (most are bigger than 6 mm although a few are smaller), and evolving (the mole has a different appearance since you last checked it).

Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC)

The squamous cells develop on the keratinocytes, which are found on the surface of the skin (epidermis), the lining of the respiratory and digestive systems, and the lining of hollow organs. An individual with SCC will notice firm bumps, persistent sores or scaly patches on the face, neck and arms, which are often exposed to the sun. If not treated, it can affect the surrounding tissues, lymph nodes, and spread to other organs.

Other Types of Skin Cancer

The following types of skin cancer make up 1% of skin cancer cases in the world: T cell lymphoma of the skin, Merkel cell carcinoma, sebaceous gland cancer, Bowen’s disease (early non-melanoma skin cancer), and Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Early diagnosis is important, so look out for spots, sores, ulcers, lumps, and patches on the skin that have not healed for 4 weeks.

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