What You Need to Know about Having a Micro-Wedding

There are two things about weddings that are universal no matter where you are in the world: they are expensive, and everyone wants to take a break from the stresses of day to day life.

While a micro wedding sounds like a nice alternative that does away with the two problems posed by a traditional wedding, you might be surprised by how similar the two can actually be.

Here are a few things you need to know to give you a heads-up on what a micro-wedding really means:

1. You need to know beforehand if it’s really for you.
Planning a traditional wedding and planning a micro wedding each have their own advantages and purpose. If you enjoy planning a traditional wedding, being the life of a large party, or going all out on the decorations for a large venue, then by all means go for it.

A micro wedding would be more your speed if you and your partner happen to be a little introverted or find that you prefer to not have to spend too much energy and instead opt for something that’s more simple and intimate, and doesn’t take too much time.

2. It takes just as much willpower (maybe even more) as planning a wedding with a sizeable budget.
While planning a micro-wedding certainly eases up on the stress of planning a wedding in general since everything has been scaled back, you still need to plan every detail to make sure it goes as smoothly as it can, be it from the venue, to the decor, to the accommodations (if any guests happen to be out of town).

But with that said, don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild! There are a lot of settings inaccessible to large weddings that are open to smaller celebrations, and for a sizable fraction less than the price of the former.

3. The wedding is all about the intimacy – and the people who really matter.
Your wedding doesn’t have to be for everyone else – it’s your wedding, after all – but for the people who you personally know and you consider close to you.

What micro weddings offer over traditional weddings that invite from fifty to a hundred is the more relaxed atmosphere that comes from having less than twenty people over and the chance to actually interact with all of them.

4. If nothing else, think about the honeymoon.
If you want to save money for the honeymoon vacation you’ve always wanted, a micro wedding can help you a lot.
However, the biggest thing that you can save is time. While traditional weddings can exhaust both you and your partner, a micro wedding will even allow you a few moments alone together to cherish your first day together as a married couple.

4 Easy, Low-fat Ways to Prepare and Cook Fish

Fish is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in a variety of ways, and can be used as a low-fat alternative to pork or beef, and sometimes even chicken.

However, because fish have little to no connective tissue or fat, they can be delicate when cooked. Here are a few ways that you can prepare it to get the best results:

1. Marinate it.
The process of marinating adds more flavor and moisture to the fish, as long as you keep the fish sitting in the marinade for no more than 30 minutes.

The marinade can vary in ingredients, but they usually include oil and other acidic ingredients, such as chopped tomatoes, and even lemon juice, along with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Bake your fish.
Cooking your fish in the oven can be an alternative to fried fish that still gives you the satisfying crunch without the fat. Just be sure to keep an eye out for how much butter, mayonnaise, and oil you’re using.

When you do cook fish in the oven, always remember to add a small amount of water or vegetable stock just enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan before covering it in aluminum foil.

3. Pan-fry it.
Pan-fried fish is perhaps the easiest to prepare, and the technique always results in food that is both crispy and tender. Most seafood as well as certain varieties of fish with firm meats, such as cod, can be cut into smaller strips and stir-fried by themselves or with vegetables.

Pan-frying fish also takes less time compared to other methods, as each side will take between four and five minutes to cook.

4. Poach it.
Any fish can be cooked gently in any heated liquid, whether it’s wine, vinegar, fish stock, water, or even milk. The best part about poaching is that you can then use this heated liquid to form the base of your fish sauce.
To poach your fish, be sure to add just enough liquid to cover it and cover the pan with a tight lid. For fillets, cook for eight to ten minutes and fifteen to twenty for whole fish.

When it comes to cooking, always remember the principle of residual heat: when you take the pan away from the stove, the heat will continue to cook the food for several minutes.

The best way to achieve the results you want is by cooking the fish until it’s almost done. After that, remove it from the heat source and let it stand in the pan for the fish to cook on its own.

3 Tips Guaranteed to Give You an Edge in House-Hunting

When you’re just starting out, house-hunting can be really daunting. And there’s a lot of reasons for this.
For instance, the property can be too expensive, or that there’s a problem with the unit that needs fixing, and if you’re looking to rent, no one is renting out because the landlord is questionable.

Other problems may include distance and extended travel time, or that you may not like the neighborhood. And lastly, someone else may have already rented out or bought the unit before you did.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips that will improve your house-hunting experience in Singapore:

1. Know your budget
Your budget is the biggest factor in house-hunting. This should be enough for you to screen through a lot of listings with ease – no need for that dream house when a modest HDB flat is what your wallet can afford.

There are a few ways to find out your financial threshold, such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF) calculator, where you can key in crucial financial details to generate the maximum cost and the estimated loan you would need.

2. Do your homework
Once you have your budget figured out, it’s time to start looking at the units within your price range – you can find these in listings and recommendations from friends and family, though you will have to actually visit the units yourself.

If you can, you can even visit the neighborhood twice a day to get a feel for the area. Be sure to talk to the landlord and the neighbours in the area and ask questions like, “What’s the neighborhood like during the day/at night?”

And lastly, don’t fixate yourself in one particular housing area or district. While some areas do have their own personalities and may be nicer to live in, being open to other districts allows you more units to choose from.
The same goes for the housing type, space, and the number and size of bedrooms – you’ll be surprised how many bedrooms can fit in such a small condo space.

3. Hire a housing agent
You may have heard about people who have had a terrible experience, but this shouldn’t stop you. A great housing agent has the following qualities:

• Has an in-depth knowledge about the different property prices in Singapore
• Capable of negotiating rental prices on your behalf
• Researches apartments before taking you to them
• Takes care of a good chunk of the paperwork for you

Be sure to find a good agent and take advantage of all of these mentioned qualities, and you will have a smoother experience in your house-hunting.

Whether you’re an expat or a local, there are all sorts of surprises you will find in your house-hunting. If you keep an open mind, you’ll find all kinds of housing units that might just be right for you.

3 Simple Ways to Plan Your Budget for Living Abroad

Living abroad is a big decision that needs a lot of time and planning. When you do it right, it may just be the biggest experience that could happen in your lifetime, which is why it’s something that’s worth building towards, and that includes budgeting.

When you’re planning to move to live abroad as an expat, here are five simple tips and tricks you should remember to have the budget to move to your country of choice:

1. Keep your burn rate in mind
What is “burn rate”? The answer is that it’s the amount that you will be spending each month in needed expenditures, such as your housing, groceries, rent, transportation, etc.

Food expenses is one that you should especially consider – your budget plan should include enough room to allow you a solid meal plan instead of relying on take-out or eating outside.

Convert your current expenditure amount to the currency of the country you will be moving to and compare the cost of living in the country. This will give you an estimate as to your monthly budget, as well as your initial spending.

Once you have a burn rate in mind, you can easily formulate a budget that will cover your expenses.

2. Spend according to your savings plan
Calculate a target number for how much you need to save after everything else has been deducted from your net income after taxes. This is quite similar to what you would otherwise do in planning an ordinary budget, but with two added factors.

The first factor is, of course, the currency rate. By knowing how much currency A is in terms of currency B, you not only have an initial budget that you can spend, but you can also know how much you can or want to convert, and how much you want to keep.

The second factor is the cost of living. If the cost of living in the country you’re moving to is lower, you will have more to spend, and you can adjust your savings accordingly.

3. Open international accounts
One advantage an international bank account, or an offshore bank account, can offer you is that it offers you added privacy, and is great for participating in investing opportunities all over the world.

It also gives you a greater amount of financial freedom – since you’re dealing with two currencies, you can utilize different exchange rates and international funds, and get better returns for each in the international market.

Be sure to talk to your bank when opening an offshore account, and what advantages this can offer you in different jurisdictions around the globe.

What Should You Do When Your DIY Pest Control Goes Wrong?

Many people are often tempted to forgo a professional pest control management company and instead try to get rid of the infestation problems by themselves.

This can often involve using all kinds of methods, equipment, and even chemicals to get rid of cockroaches in specific areas around the house, or even to treat bed bug infestations in mattresses and textiles. However, exterminating a major pest problem at home by yourself can be really dangerous.

For instance, when using organic pesticides or chemicals improperly, there are plenty of adverse effects that can happen not just to you, but also the people you live with, as well as your neighbors. To achieve quick effective removal of pests, it is still better to seek assistance from professional pest control service in Singapore.

When DIY Pest Control Goes Wrong
There are a lot of reasons why trying to solve your pest infestation on your own can go wrong, and in so many different ways:

• Venomous insects – When you attempt to terminate pest infestations at home by yourself, you put yourself and everyone around you at risk of being bitten, especially in the case of venomous spiders.

This is the reason why professional pest control services technicians always wear full safety gear and equipment to minimize these instances.

• Unpredictable behavior – Pests don’t always respond to pest control chemicals. They can sometimes act even more aggressively than before, or the chemicals will have no effect on them at all. This can explain why it’s difficult to kill rats.
• Pesticide poisoning – Chemical pesticides are designed to kill, so they need to be handled carefully and with professional equipment. Without them, these chemicals can cause poisoning and various respiratory problems.
• Not treating the right areas – There’s nothing worse than spending so much time, money, and energy into your DIY pest removal, only to realize too late that you “missed a spot”, or failed to treat the right area.

Ensuring Your Safety at Home
If you made a mistake when trying to exterminate a major problem by yourself, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage:

• Wear safety equipment! Whether it’s dealing with chemicals or pests, or both when you’re trying to exterminate rodents, be sure to wear the proper safety equipment, such as gloves and masks. The same can also be said when you’re trying to get rid of termites from your wooden fixtures, installations, and furniture. But, it is still encouraged to seek a pest exterminator in Singapore when you need help to control termites.

• Clear the area as soon as possible. Preferably, you want to get yourself and the people you live with – friends, family, pets, etc. – to vacate the area as quickly as possible. This is to avoid dangerous chemicals or the pests showing more signs of activity than before you tried DIY extermination.

• Call a professional to help you out. Calling a professional pest exterminator as soon as possible is your best bet in order to minimize the damage caused by a failed DIY.

Be sure to explain to your pest control worker what the problem is thoroughly, as well as the type of treatment that you used.

What Professional Pest Control Can Do For You
For any problem in your home that involves pests that just won’t go away, be sure to call a professional for guaranteed pest control services in Singapore.

Professional pest control services understand that it takes more than just chemicals in order to deal with an infestation. In fact, proper pest control management involves a multi-pronged approach that not only eliminates pests, but also includes measures to keep them from coming back to your home.

With a 24 hours pest removal company, you get the best services quickly for your home at any time of the day, whether it’s early in the morning to late at night.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

Laundry Cleaning Method Explained

Having a busy schedule means that you won’t have time to do the laundry. Fortunately, the laundry service offers various methods for individual and commercial laundry needs. You can even get your clothes back through a same day dry cleaning process. But before you head to the nearest express laundry in Singapore, you might want to read up on the different methods they use to clean your clothes.

Labels and Sorting
To achieve very clean clothes, the laundry is first sorted based on the fabric, weight, color, degree of soiling, and the instructions on the care label. For example, a white shirt should not be washed in the same batch as a white towel. The staff will wash towel separately based on its weight, degree of soiling, and purpose. The last one is very important for laundry delivery services in Singapore because the customer will expect that the clothes will be returned to them in good condition.

Not all fabrics can be cleaned with water and detergent, tumble-dried or even ironed, however. There are also some fabrics that are only suitable for handwashing and should be not bleached or chlorinated. The clothes are also sorted based on the customer’s instructions. Some that are for commercial use such as laundry for spa and clean towels for hotels and restaurants should be cleaned separately from items for individual customers that are for wash and fold only.

Dry-Cleaning
The dry cleaning method is known to use chemical dryer (dry cleaning agent) instead of water and detergent. The term might be somewhat misleading as the solvent is also in liquid form, but it can absorb oils and stains better than water and detergent without damaging the fabric. Unlike wet cleaning, the clothes are cleaned and dried in the same dry cleaning machine during the process. The dry cleaning price in Singapore is also cheaper than detergent because the solvent can be reused for other batches.

The machine looks similar to a regular washing machine, but it causes less damage on accessories such as buttons, sequins, beadings, and lace. It is a method perfect for almost any type of fabric besides wool, silk, and leather and will even make uniform laundry last longer than regular machine washing.

Machine-Washing
Unless the care label says the item should not be machine-washed, most fabrics are cleaned with water and detergent in a commercial laundry services shop. But the staff also takes note of the degree of soiling and the intended use of the garments. This means that items for individual customers should be separate from the fabrics used for commercial purposes. The agitation and rotation of the machine can be harsh on some items, even when they were made to withstand the cleaning process, so the laundry delivery staff also has to check for additional instructions on the care label such as water temperature, treatment, and washing condition. Items that should be handwashed can still be machine washed as long as the most minimal setting is used.

Tumble Drying
Some laundry delivery shops use a different machine for drying clothes. The staff checks the labels whether the fabric should be tumble-dried in low heat or high heat settings. Some clothes, however, should not be tumble-dried and should be flat-dried, drip-dried, or line-dried. The drying method used also determines which ironing method and setting is used by the laundry service shop.

Ironing and Steaming
The ironing labels determine the maximum temperature that should be used to iron clothes. Some 24 hour laundry shops also use steaming machines for other fabrics that can tolerate high temperatures because it’s more effective in removing creases and wrinkles. Finally, the best laundry will mend clothes (if there is any damage or missing buttons and accessories), fold, pack, and label items for pickup or delivery.

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