Dear PuppetFest MidWest Attendees and other interested parties,

        The Board of the Rumpelstiltskin Society and Festival Directors Debbie and Peter Allen would like to Thank You for your support of PuppetFest MidWest over the last 10 years.

        2012 was definitely the last year that Peter and Debbie will organize PuppetFest MidWest at North Central Missouri College in Trenton, Missouri. The terrific Trenton trifecta (a college with affordable dorms and classrooms, at least two performance spaces and a late night gathering spot all within walking distance) that started this whole process is no more.

        With the departure of Residence Life/Conference Coordinator Paula Czirr from the college 6 years ago, we lost the immediate contact, caring and concern that we needed to run this festival.  Peter and Debbie are frustrated and exhausted from dealing with a college that doesn’t want to be bothered with PuppetFest MidWest. The closing of the Main Street Theatre several years ago left us lacking a late night performance space. With the closing of the downtown Wild Onion Cafe we lost that nearby late night place for fun. The only thing left is the Grundy County Jewett Norris LIbrary Hoover Theater which is still wonderful (as is the library staff), but not enough to make up for the loss of all the rest.

        We will keep you posted as we search for a new venue for 2014 and beyond.

Thank you,
Peter and Debbie Allen, Directors
PuppetFest MidWest


Finding a Reliable Accounting Provider

Various outsourced accounting services in Singapore provide businesses with professional, reliable, and in-depth bookkeeping service and auditing service to help ensure that companies meet the highest accounting standards.

Reliable accounting services understand that timely and accurate business financial reports will always be in demand. These are important factors for any business to thrive and gain advantage over competitors in a dynamic market, but not all companies can keep up with the cost of a bookkeeper. This leads to an important decision an entrepreneur has to make: how to find a good accounting service provider that the company can afford? Where to find a good auditor if you can’t afford to hire a full accounting staff in Singapore to keep proper record of invoices?

What Makes Up the Accounting Team

An accounting firm consists of a professional accountant, experienced auditor, and bookkeeper. An accountant compiles and analyzes information about the company’s financial status, while the bookkeeper ensures accuracy of the invoices, receipts, and other documents that will keep track of all the company’s financial transactions. An auditor on the other hand, ensures that the company complies with the procedures and has submitted verified documents of assets and liabilities. An auditor will also check the work of the accountant. Additionally, the certified public accountant also compiles and organizes the clients’ yearly accounts information to be submitted to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ARCA) and IRAS.

They live by excellence and professionalism, guaranteeing companies that accounting reports are finished before deadlines or by the time they will need them. Even small companies will need specialists in accounting services for small business, but not all companies can afford to pay a certified auditor. To ensure accounting accuracy, a reliable auditing service must include an accountant, bookkeeper, and auditor in the team for the cost of one. This guarantees that both large corporations and small-time entrepreneurs will get the same accounting services for their money’s worth.

How the Accounting Partnership Works

When your company signs a contract with an accounting firm, an accounts manager will work closely with you. This is to ensure the output quality of the accounting tasks,and to make sure that your business accounting needs are all addressed properly. As a responsible client, you submit to your assigned accounts manager the important financial documents needed.

You need to submit these and other relevant documents to the accounting company on an agreed schedule to be able to complete monthly and annual financial reports. The accounting services company will then review and organize the information you submitted. The services of your personal accounts manager also cover assistance in drafting your company’s financial statements according to the Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) for statutory requirements. Accounting and business services also make use of the latest accounting and bookkeeping software in tabulating and formulating financial data. Thus, companies are ensured of error-free reports.

Bookkeeping and Accounting Solutions

Bookkeeping and accounting solutions provided by companies such as Singapore’s can provide monthly, quarterly, to yearly period of services with a fixed professional fee and with no hidden costs. They can also provide the same financial management services to a company that prefers an outsourced accountant. This is beneficial to a company ifit wants to cut costs in hiring an accounting services provider and a full-time accounting staff.

The tasks covered by the accounting staff and certified public accountant are the following: financial statement, profit and loss account, income statement and balance sheet, debtors and creditors report. Additionally, the accounting company can also assist in processing payroll, bank and other reconciliation, audit schedule, and cash flow statements.

Five Signs That Mean It’s Time to Repaint Your Home

If you’re thinking of updating the look of your home, you may think of condo painting as something inconvenient and time-consuming. You would need to dedicate more than a day for painting services, clear all the furniture, and find the best painter for an HDB painting service. But it could be all worth it. For one thing, your house or condo is one of the places you’ll spend time in the most. It’s a reflection of your personality, and its impression on your guests can bounce back on you. The integrity of your home is also important for your safety and health, shielding you from the elements and health hazards.

Repainting your home is not just a matter of aesthetic and design to make things look pretty, it’s also a necessity as well. So when the signs show that your house need to repaint, it’s time to call a painting contractor. But aside from the obvious signs of paint chipping or fading, how do you know when to repaint your home? Here are some of the signs to help you know when to pick up the phone and call a painting contractor.

1. Your paint flakes, bubbles, or cracks
Flaking, bubbling, and cracking paint is an effect of environmental damage. If your paint is not weatherproofed properly, water can seep into the paint and create mold and rot. This is why you will often notice paint flaking or cracking on house exteriors, where it is exposed to the elements. This can also be caused by most of the outdoor elements in Singapore, such as strong sunlight, extreme humidity, storms, and sand and ocean breezes.

In order to avoid this type of damage, your chosen painting service contractor will need to scrape off the flaking and cracking paint and remove all bubbling paint to smooth out the surface. Then, you will need to have the surface of your Singapore home repainted with new coat of wall colour, preferably with a good waterproof finish. There are many types of paints that are specially formulated for Singapore weather, to combat the effects of environmental damage. These paints are perfect for HDB painting or condo painting. While they are a little bit more expensive than the usual paint formulas, they may be perfect for homeowners who want to be secure against damage from sunlight and water.

2. Hardened Caulk
Caulk is applied to the spaces in between materials. With every surface, there will always be gaps between where materials meet, or underneath nails or in corners of walls. This is where caulk comes in, to cover these spaces to make sure that your house is proofed from extreme temperature and even outside noise. Because materials naturally expand or contract, caulk is designed to be elastic as well. However, as with every elastic material, caulk can lose its elasticity as time goes on. This is usually caused by extreme weather cycles, as days are hot and sunny, and the nights are cold. To know if your caulk is still elastic, you could press down the beads of the caulk; if it is hard and resistant, it will need to be replaced.

You may choose to remove the caulk yourself, by using a caulk remover and scraping off the excess caulking. However, you may not have to do this all on your own. Caulk removal may be part of the painting services of your contractor.

3. Fading paint
Fading paint is one of the most obvious signs that your home needs repainting. However, people often think that fading paint can be left alone for a while, thinking that it doesn’t really mean any serious damage that should be addressed immediately. Sometimes, this can be true. Paint can fade because of its exposure direct sunlight, an effect called sun bleaching. This isn’t surprising considering the sunny Singapore weather. However, when paint fades in areas that don’t have direct sunlight, this can mean something that requires your immediate attention.
Fading paint on shady areas can mean problems that are caused by water intrusion. If this is the case, you may need to check for water leaks to stop further damage. This is something that should be immediately addressed in a condo painting or HDB painting service, as water damage can mean extensive as well as expensive repairs if action isn’t immediately taken. Aside from choosing an ideal colour for my condominium home, your chosen local painter in Singapore will able to make recommendations for paint that is specially formulated to be resilient against water and water damage.

4. Paint color morphed
Other than fading the shade of the paint, direct sunlight can also cause the shade of paint to morph into a different color from its original shade. This new shade can be entirely different from the desired shade and can be a cause for sore eyes. If your paint color has morphed, you will need to repaint the surface again and make sure to seal this new coat of paint with a finish that can stand the effects of UV rays. To preserve the paint color of the wall, you may also avail of services like high pressure cleaning for walls in Singapore. Wall cleaning helps in maintaining and cleaning the paint off your property. Talk to your commercial painting contractor if they also offer services as such.

5. Before it looks like it needs to be repainted
You don’t have to wait for signs for your house to be repainted. Repainting your house before it shows signs of damage can save you a lot of time and effort. Plus, your preparation wouldn’t have to be as extensive. If you repaint early, you could skip having to scrape off peeling paint or replacing seals and materials.

A good rule of thumb is to hire a painting contractor every seven to ten years. However, you would also need to consider the materials that your home is made of as well as the weather conditions that it is subject to. In sunny Singapore, exteriors would have to be repainted more often, especially for exteriors that are made out of wood.

Security Home Tips From Locksmith Professionals

When out on a vacation or even just to work, it can be easy to become a little complacent in regard to your home’s security. Opportunist burglars are always on the lookout for residents with poor security and strike whenever there’s a chance. In most burglary cases, entry to a house is gained through unsecured doors and windows at the rear of the property.

To avoid such unfortunate instances and ensure the security of your properties, here are 13 important security home tips from locksmith professionals in Singapore.

1. Always Lock the Doors and Windows When Going Out
Surprisingly, not everyone locks their windows and doors when going out. Even if it is just a quick trip to the nearby grocery or a week-long vacation, this should be the first thing in mind before stepping out of the house. Be wary that 59% of burglary cases happen even when someone is in the property. Leaving your windows on the latch, especially when you’re out, makes it much easier for passing thieves to break into your home.

2. Leave Spare Keys to Someone Else
Instead of hiding your spare keys under the doormat or behind a potted plant, leave your spare keys to a trustworthy neighbour, close friend, or relative. Don’t feel relaxed about hiding your keys in a place where you think it’s safe, chances are a thief will find out where you hide them. Also, if in case you lost your keys, you know you always have a back up ready.

3. Provide Adequate Outdoor Lighting
If you have not got any lighting outside your house, consider getting a dim light that automatically switches on when it gets dark or even just a standard bulb to illuminate your outdoor area at night. For added security, you may have lights with motion sensors instead. This provides lighting to your place, while guarding your area from a potential burglary scenario.

4. Keep Your PVC Doors In Shape
Make sure that your internal accessed locks on PVC doors are working securely and properly with its key. If your door’s key and lock mechanism seem to malfunction, engage a lock technician in Singapore right away to have it fixed or, if needed, replaced. A 24 hour locksmith service is crucial to address emergency situations anytime of the day.

5. Make Use of Double Locks
All doors that give entry to the inside of the house should be secured with double locking system, such as a deadbolt lock. Contact a professional locksmith to assist you with the installation and ensure your property’s safety from the threat of burglary.

6. Install Burglar Alarms
Installing an alarm, whether it’s fully functional or a dummy one, will make a burglar think twice about getting into your home. Even if yours is a dummy alarm, it looks exactly like the real ones, enough to make any thief to abort their mission. For real alarms, it is recommended to change the security code regularly to ensure maximum security all the time.

7. Limit Social Media Activities
If not necessary, do not publish information in social media that can be potentially used by thieves. Posting information publicly about your holiday trips and expensive goods provides potential burglars everything they need to know about your valuables and whereabouts. While it’s nice to share your experiences to your social media friends, at least adjust your privacy settings to limit the audience who can view your posts.

8. Change Your Locks Immediately When You Lost Your Keys
If you lose your keys and could not find it anywhere, this could mean that someone might get a hold of it. To ensure security of your property and prevent unauthorized intrusion, have your locks changed within 24 hours from the time you lost your keys. Contact a locksmith Singapore to have your home locks checked and changed.

9. Befriend Your Neighbours
Form a good bond with your neighbour; they can greatly help in keeping your home safe while you’re away. Ask someone to visit your house every couple of days and take care of letters, parcels, and posts piling up in your front door as this can be an obvious sign that nobody’s inside. If you’re out on a long holiday, ask your neighbour if they can use your driveway to park their car to give the impression that someone is home.

For optimum security, as well as peace of mind, consider doing these tips before leaving your house. The last thing you want is to return home after a long, relaxing vacation only to find out that you have been robbed. Contact a reputable locksmith company now and take good care of your investments.

Home Rental Improvements That Won’t Break the Lease

As a home renter, your home beautification and renovation ideas seem limited, and that can be really frustrating. Many renters in Singapore are looking into long-term stay in their chosen properties. In result, making a few simple changes and renovations can be a priority, and why it shouldn’t be? You plan on staying in the space for the next three or more years. While it isn’t your property, it doesn’t mean you cannot make it look and feel like home.
Here are seven tips and tricks for home improvements without breaking the lease.

1. Know Your Limitations
Who would not want a new kitchen or a newly renovated bathroom with new tile flooring? Yes, you can afford it, but it’s a large project that will cause major changes in the property. Are you sure your landlord is okay with it?

To make sure, contact the managing agent. Standard tenancy agreements usually prevent any alterations or renovations in the condo units without the approval of the landlord. Begin the process by consulting the condo manager or the landlord for your renovation options and limitations.

Still in the hunt for a place to rent? If you are already eyeing a space that you think you will have to repaint or renovate, ask the managing agent upfront what the property owner’s policies are when it comes to adding personal touches to the condo for rent. That way, you already have an idea of what is allowed o be altered before you sign the contract.

2. Consider Simple Options
The property management or the properties and facilities management firm available in Singapore may not be in favour of you repainting the walls or polishing the floors, and those are the regulations you need to abide. However, don’t lose get too frustrated. You can always do a few very simple and temporary fixes allowed by most facility management companies.

One example, hiding cracks on walls can be as simple as handing an art work or small potted plants. Use adhesive hooks to hang these decorative, so you won’t have to drill into the walls. You think the doors are too basic? Making it look sophisticated can be as simple as replacing the knob or hanging an ornament or a large welcome sign to overshadow the door itself.

3. Maximize Interior Decorations
Just like the previous tip, maximize using temporary decor to disguise or hide something you want to be hidden.

a. Use Removable Wallpapers
Go for peel-and-stick type of wallpaper to make sure there won’t be adhesive residue when you need to take the off the walls. It will surely hide cracks, holes or chipping paint in one go. Plus, it’s temporary, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the lease.

b. Swap Out Light Fixtures
Getting a new light fixture is one of the easiest ways to renovate rented spaces. It’s a minor alteration, yet creates a major impact to the look of the room. Just make sure to safely store the original light fixture throughout your tenancy, and replace it before moving out.

c. Cover Up Ugly Flooring
Hate that ugly linoleum floors? Need to hide cracked tile flooring? Cover it up with a carpet, feathery rug or removable flooring, which comes in different designs to match your interiors.

d. Replace Removable Furniture
If your bathroom cabinet and mirror are not built into the wall, you can replace it with statement pieces that you like or even just a simple one that isn’t contractor-grade looking. Replacing is as simple as unscrewing the old furniture, storing it and then hanging prettier pieces.

4. Add More Countertop Spaces
Condos and rental apartments always seem to have very limited spaces to cook or hold your kitchen appliances. Many hardware shops and department stores here in Singapore sell rolling kitchen islands, which require no installation at all. If you get one, you can simply roll it out the house when you decide to move out.

5. Use Tile Stickers (Temporarily)
If you know your landlord will flip if he sees the tiles are ripped out during scheduled estate maintenance, you better not alter those permanently. Instead of replacing the tiles, use tile stickers for temporary tile upgrade. Tile stickers come in different sizes and designs, and easily stick to existing floor tiles. One they are on, they look like the real thing.

6. Install Few More Shelves
Installing shelves may require a few screws, but your condo manager or landlord will likely allow this and may even ask you to leave it behind when you move out, since they provide more storage spaces for the future tenants to use. If the managing agent asks you to remove it, just be sure to fix tiny holes so the wall looks clean.

7. Remember That It’s Still Your Landlord’s Property
Most tenants think that the renovation they plan to make will benefit the property management, but this is not always the case. Landlords and property owners are very careful when it comes to estate maintenance and upgrades. Oftentimes, basic furniture and neutral palette is chosen so it does not offend buyers and tenants. It is best to ask about the changes and make sure that your landlord is okay with any alterations to get your deposit back in full.

While most property owners do not care of temporary and minor changes, you should get their permission when planning for permanent renovations, such as the painting and any decorating that requires drilling into walls. Ask for a written approval for such alterations to ensure you won’t be charged or penalize for doing the changes.

Common Pests Found in Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Pest control management in large and complex sites such as commercial and industrial buildings can be a challenge because of the variety of pests that need to be removed. Unlike homes and apartments where the most complex pest control services involve termite removal, business premises have several different challenges.

Why are pests common?
Unlike houses, buildings have multiple entry points for a variety of pests, and this can be further affected by the number of people in the premises, the possible sources of food for the pests, existing structural problems in the building that have not been addressed, and the delivery and storage of merchandise within the premises. Poor sanitation and hygiene in general can also be a huge factor, especially if the company does not have a proper sanitation and pest control management in place. Failure to observe regular facilities servicing for plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and building maintenance can also exacerbate the pest problem.

What can pest control do?
Pest control management in Singapore will not only help you identify the pests that you are probably not aware are found within the building premises, but they can also offer solutions to address and prevent further pest infestation. Pest control services includes prevention of the contamination of food and water sources, improve sanitation and hygiene levels, identify damages to the structure or machines or furniture in the building, create a pest-proof building to lower risks of illnesses, and to undertake inspection of the premises on a regular basis.

How to keep the area pest-free?
Facilities such as hospitals, schools, hotels, resorts, government offices, food service industries, commercial sites, and industrial buildings are prone to pest infestation because of the number of people within the area. To keep these sites pest-free, regular pest control services is a must because sanitation and hygiene also affects the image of the business or office and the health of the employees or tenants. Pest control management will be able to identify the pests, control or eliminate these pests, and establish ways to keep their number under control.

Let’s look at some of the common pests found in commercial and industrial buildings that you should be aware of.

Cockroaches are the hardiest of the bunch, that is why it is very difficult to get rid of cockroaches in commercial and industrial facilities because of the number of breeding grounds, hiding places, and sources of food. They are highly adaptive that is why they can survive harsh conditions and develop immunity to insecticides such as sprays. They are attracted to moist and dark areas such as leaky pipes, sinks, storage areas, and basements.

There are several types of cockroaches found in most buildings, but you should not just be worried about the pests themselves, but the bacteria and parasites they carry. These can cause allergies and infections among the people who come into contact with food and items that have been contaminated by cockroaches.

Termites are the mot destructive of the pests, that is why it’s more difficult to get rid of pests and termites in Singapore than to prevent them from infesting the building. Termite removal is a long and complicated process, often with different results, because an assessment of the damage must be taken into consideration.

To remove termites, several factors are considered, such as total area, amount of infestation, the age of the infestation, the layout of the building foundation, location of the buildings, climate, type of termite/s, and the methods applied or used in previous treatments or pest control services. Accurate measurements are important in determining the chemicals that will be used, the renovations required, and the labor cost.

Rats and mice can do a great deal of damage in the building especially if the pest infestation is significant. Not only can they cause infections among the people affected by the infestation, but they also carry parasites and bacteria that can be life-threatening. Rats and mice can also damage equipment, create holes in the walls and ceilings, chew through electrical wiring, and damage the furniture. They also leave droppings and urine which can leave a distinct smell in the area.

Pest control management involves identification of the specific species of rodents that infest the building to determine which methods should be used. Sources of food, hiding and breeding places, and repair of damages to the structure are also essential if you want to exterminate rodents. After they terminate pest, proper sanitation and scheduled inspections are also required to avoid another infestation.

Ants are not as destructive as the other pests listed here, but they can be a nuisance especially in food and beverage services. They can thrive even in buildings that are well-maintained, that is why pest control management must be able to identify the species of the ants, the possible sources of food, and to establish a hygienic practice to avoid ant infestation.

They can’t make the people in the area sick, but they can damage the reputation of the business because they are associated with unsanitary practices, so call the nearest pest control management company in Singapore for an inspection.

House Flies
House flies are difficult to control and can cause illnesses of the infestation is significant. If you run a food and beverage business in Singapore, you should talk to a pest control services representative to avoid these diseases-causing pests from ruining your reputation.

There are several options to terminate pest besides the use of chemicals, including the use of LED fly killers as a long-term solution.

Mosquitoes are the deadliest insects on the planet not only because they can cause life-threatening illnesses, but they also carry parasites that can affect the individuals they come into contact with. Mosquitoes are common in resorts, hotels, and restaurants especially buildings with open-air areas.

Mosquito removal is also complicated because several factors must be considered, but pest control management can offer several solutions besides the use of sprays if you are hesitant about the health effects. Pest control services will also help you identify and address possible areas that serve as breeding grounds for these pests.

Common Aircon Emergencies that Need A Pro

Air conditioners need regular maintenance, event he modern models that are energy-saving and more compact than the larger, noisier, old models. Air conditioners are prone to a lot of issues as they age, that is why a scheduled aircon maintenance and inspection by a reputable aircon servicing company in Singapore are necessary. Occasionally, air conditioners also run into issues even when properly maintained.

Watch out for the following issues and call aircon repair services immediately.

• Air Conditioner Leakages. Leakages can be caused by several issues, but the most common culprit is a dirty unit or air filter. Leakages are easy to detect in most models of air conditioners and the unit itself will also show clear signs of malfunction if there are internal problems that you have not detected yet. The most obvious signs would be dripping fluids from the air conditioner, change in the quality and temperature of air, and foul odor coming from the unit. Leakages can attract mold growth, block the drainage, and damage the condenser so call the aircon maintenance crew as soon as possible if the unit has not been inspected for more than six months.

• Unit Will Not Turn On. When the air conditioner fails to turn on even after you checked if it’s connected to a power outlet, it could indicate several issues. Check the thermostat for issues or inspect the transformer first, then look for signs of burnt wires. You can usually tell if there are burnt parts from the odor coming from the unit. Call the nearest aircon servicing company in Singapore to deal with the problem. It is not recommended that you open or dismantle the unit yourself to avoid further damage. Unplug the unit and wait for the licensed aircon technician to inspect it.

• Thermostat Issues. The thermostat needs regular fine-tuning because it is prone to a lot of problems. After all, it is the tool that regulates the temperature of the room and the time the unit produces cool air. Fluctuations in the temperature may be due to a malfunctioning thermostat that needs to be replaced, reprogrammed or calibrated.

• Unit Does Not Work. If the air conditioner does turn on but does not work properly, the refrigerant or the grill might have problems. A dirty aircon can also have several issues especially if the debris has built up significantly to clog the grill. Call the aircon repair services in Singapore to inspect the refrigerant level or to clean the unit if the grill is clogged.

• Noisy Air Conditioner. Most modern air conditioner produce less noise than the older units, that is why if it is producing unusual noises, you should call an aircon servicing company in Singapore to inspect the unit. The problem may be caused by the fan belt, rust formation in some parts, or a loose part in the unit. Some of these defective parts might need replacement.

• Unit Produces Foul Odor. The problem can simply be from a dirty filter, but it’s important to determine where the odor specifically comes from. Is it an electrical odor or a damp and musty odor? If you smell burnt electrical parts, then there could be mechanical failure in the unit or overheating. The wires in the aircon are probably worn down or melted and must be replaced. In other instances, the ductwork and heat exchangers might be clogged with dirt. If it is a musty odor, like damp socks, then there could be leaks in the system. Regular air conditioner maintenance in Singapore will reduce incidents such as these in the future.

• Uneven Heating. If you find that the other areas of the room do not receive as much cool air as the others, there could be a problem in the aircon’s dampers. To produce cool air, the air from the room must travel through the ducts. But if the dampers have problems, the flow of the air might be obstructed, creating an imbalance in the air flow. Regular aircon maintenance will prevent this problem in the future.

• Unit Blows Warm Air. If the air conditioner is blowing warm air instead of cool, then the condenser probably has some issues. Turn off the unit and visually inspect the condenser coil. This component is supposed to remove the heat from the air and releases it outside of the room. Most condensers in commercial and industrial buildings are found outside, which means they are exposed to the elements. In some cases, the condenser coils can also be frozen due to obstructions in the air filter and ductwork. Call the aircon servicing company in Singapore to inspect and clean the unit.

• Reduced Efficiency. If there are changes in the airflow, you need to check if the filters are dirty before calling the aircon repair crew. If cleaning the filters do not work, however, the problem could be caused by defective blower motor, dirty coils, debris in the ductwork, or a loose fan belt. Call the aircon servicing company to inspect the cooling unit and determine if the ductwork is clear and properly installed.

• Expensive Electrical Bills. Changes in the electrical bills could indicate a hidden problem, although this could also be attributed to other systems that use energy. Call a licensed electrician to inspect your building’s electrical works to eliminate other possible problems. If the problem seems to point to a faulty air conditioning system, call a licensed aircon technician to look for defects in the compressor valves and ductwork or determine if the refrigerant is low.

• Units Cause Sickness. If your employees are having problems in breathing or are reporting incidents of flu, cold, irritation, dry skin, and allergies, then your air conditioner might be the culprit. Have your units inspected regularly for debris buildup, leaks, and clogs.

What Can You Expect from a Biometric Access Control System

Although the biometric access control system has been used in various commercial and industrial offices, government agencies, and educational institutions is Singapore, it is still considered a new technology to a lot of people. If you’re considering installing a biometric door access system in your office, take note of the following when looking for a security systems provider.

1. Methods of Identification

The type of reader you will use for your biometric door access will depend on the kind of reader you want. This can be determined by the level of security you want to set up in specific areas of the office. For example, you can still use other access control systems such as the card access door and pin access door system for other areas in the office, while the biometric door access is only utilized in heavy-traffic areas for monitoring of the people coming in or going out of the area.

So far, there are a few popular types of secure office door entry lock in Singapore to choose from, such as the biometric thumbprint or fingerprint, voice identification, and facial biometric or identification. Talk to you door access control provider about which types will best meet your needs and what other systems you wish to integrate with the biometric door access system.

2. Durability of the Hardware

Make sure that you set up a scheduled maintenance of your door access systems to ensure that they are running smoothly. There should be warranty terms for the hardware and replacement of parts from your door access system provider in Singapore, because it will be difficult to look for readers and models in case they fail.

However, most of the items used in the biometric door access system were designed to withstand abuse because they are dustproof, waterproof, and scratchproof. After all, the biometric door access will be part of your facility’s security system that will be integrated with the intercom system, other security systems, and human resource systems.

3. Complete Required Software and Hardware

Even if you opt for a customized package for the biometric door access system setup, your provider in Singapore should be able to supply all the needed hardware and software. These should include intercom, wireless technology, multimedia, fingerprint or voice identification, applications to make them function and even cctv ip camera from Singapore to ensure optimum office security 24/7. Other features are also available depending on the number of doors and locks your facility needs. Talk to your door access provider in Singapore about the differences between standalone and computer-based access control and the wireless and hard-wired access control systems.

You can use a combination of these to enhance your security depending on the number of biometric door access locations and the size of the facility. A standalone access control system has locks on each door, while the networked type has a centralized control. The former is ideal for few restricted areas, while the latter is perfect for large buildings. The hard-wired access control is the most secure type, but it can be difficult to install. Wireless access control systems on the other hand can be integrated easily into existing systems, although they require very complicated network connections.

How to Find a Cheap Room in Saigon

Moving to a different place, be it for a short term or long term, can be a daunting task. There are so many things you will need to consider, like the type of accommodation you’ll want to make, your busy schedule, the busy schedule of the people who are coming with you, and of course, the cost of it all. Finding a place in a place that you are not familiar with can be a scary experience. However, finding a place in Vietnam doesn’t have to be so scary. If you’re planning on an apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City, there are many ways for you to save money. Whether you choose to find an apartment rental in D2 or rent a place in D3, these tips can help you save your money when you rent apartment at HCMC.

1. Consider what you want

Whether you choose to rent a house or find a villa rental in Ho Chi Minh, you’re going to be faced with a lot of choices. But first, you’re going to need to know what you’re looking for in an apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City. Of course, you will need to consider the interior of your apartment, like a spacious layout or good lighting. However, you shouldn’t neglect the exterior as well; these things could include what you want to have around your neighborhood, such as quiet streets or friendly neighbors.

Try listing down all the things that you feel are important to you, as well as to the other people that you will be renting the place with if there are any. You should be able to compromise between the things that you absolutely need when you’re looking for a place to rent apartment in HCMC. Of course, while making this list, it pays to be practical about your expectations; you should always consider your budget. If your budget isn’t too large, you can’t realistically expect a large condominium rental in district 1, D1, for example, unless you stumble upon a lucky find. However, you can visit best rent Vietnam to view and choose from the best space rental options at Saigon all in reasonable prices.

2. Befriend the locals

Making friends with locals can have a lot of benefits for you and your budget. Aside from making sure that they are willing and have the time to help you on your hunt to an apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City, you will also need to make sure that they know the city well and can speak the language fluently. They can be your guide and ally when looking for a place to stay in, whether you’re looking to rent a house or opt for a villa rental.

You could go to one of the many parks nearby, chat with the people at your office, or go to one of the popular bars in Ho Chi Minh. If you’re not the drinking type, you could always hop to one of the many cafes in Vietnam and chat up the friendly locals. Mix and mingle with the people around you, and chances are you might just stumble upon a great deal, plus get a life-long friend as well.

3. Learn Vietnamese

If you have opened the websites mentioned above, you would notice that you would be able to navigate it easier if you knew a bit of Vietnamese. You don’t have to be completely fluent in the language; all you need are the basics to raise your chances of finding cheaper deals.

If you’re having trouble learning another language, or you’re a bit short on time, you could always bring one of your newfound local friends to translate for you. This is especially important if you’re meeting face-to-face with homeowners, to make sure that there isn’t any terrible miscommunication due to language barriers. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in an arrangement you don’t like while trying to rent apartment in Saigon.

4. Sign a contract

A contract can be one of the most important things that you will need to look for when looking for a Saigon apartment rental. Remember that the longer the contract, the chances of you saving also grows; if you can commit to a long-term contract, you can save more money. Landlords often offer contracts that last for twelve, six, or three months. The longer you stay, the less you’ll have to pay in the long run.

5. Rent a room

Of course, if renting house or staying in a villa isn’t your style, you could always opt to rent just a room, or better yet, a hostel bed. This can greatly reduce your costs, as you’re paying for a much smaller space. There are many places where you can find rooms like this, most of them printed on paper and posted outside houses. Another great way to find rooms likes these are by word of mouth, by asking around for affordable rooms. Who knows; with the right contacts, you may even find a great place to stay at D7!

6. Go online

While a travel agency can help you rent apartment in Saigon, with a bit of wit and a few tricks, you could get a much cheaper deal if you do the negotiations yourself. A travel agency can help you find a place to stay in on your behalf, but that also comes with a price. If you want to save on dollars and find a lovely home for an affordable price, you can choose to find your own place by browsing through online sites and create agreements with the property owner all on your own. For an updated list of spaces for rental in Vietnem, visit masteri thao dien for rent to find upscale homes at the right prices.

A Breakdown of the Freight Forwarding Process

International freight is usually broken down into five steps regardless of the place of origin or the destination of the cargo. Sometimes, depending on the additional requirements in the place of destination such as Singapore, the process is extended.

Therefore, business experts recommend that entrepreneurs who import and/or export goods on a regular basis should hire a freight forwarding services company instead of relying on an individual freight broker to negotiate with a logistics company. Remember that in most cases, the freight forwarder is a separate party from the party responsible for the actual transportation of goods, a job usually performed by a logistics services company or a shipping company.

Freight forwarding is a complicated and expensive process, but as an entrepreneur, you need to understand how it works and why you need a third-party freight forwarding at Singapore to act as liaison to the various parties involved in the inspection, haulage, storage, and clearances.

1. Export Haulage

The first step is to transport the goods from the company warehouse to another warehouse in Singapore (sometimes called local freight) usually assigned by the freight forwarding services company. In some cases, the storage warehouse is also owned by the freight forwarder instead of leased from another company. Depending on your arrangement with the freight forwarder, either you or the consignee is responsible for the other processes.

2. Inspection and Documentation

Although the freight forwarder will assist the entrepreneur throughout most of the process, you will also have to provide accurate information during the receipt and inspection of the goods. You should supply the following: description of the items in the containers (be as precise as possible); indication of any hazardous items; weight in both kilograms and pounds; country of origin and port entry details; and related information required by the freight forwarder.

3. Completion and Submission of Documents

The freight forwarding company must then provide all the documents to the customs before the goods are given approval to exit the country of origin. Although the type of documents might vary in some countries, most international freight will need documents such as the following:

• The Bill of Lading, which is a form signed by the entrepreneur who owns the products and the shipping company
• A certificate indicating the origin of the goods; an inspection certificate that indicates the goods have been approved by the customs or the inspector
• An export license that will include details of how many and how much goods can be exported by the concerned party
• An invoice from the seller to the buyer, which will be used to determine the value of the products; and
• A packing list that details all the items and the relevant information such as weigh, measurement and packaging.

4. Handling and Import Haulage

Once you have completed the documents needed to export the goods, the freight forwarder will be handling the rest of the process for you. A reliable freight forwarding services company in Singapore usually has a contract with one shipping company or logistics company that will provide the transportation of the goods. These goods are usually placed in containers and transported through land freight, sea freight, and air freight.

If it’s intended for export, the shipping company might use a combination of all types of transportation to get the goods to the consignee (receiver of the goods) in the cheapest and fastest way possible. The fees charged by the air freight, sea freight, or land freight companies are charged directly to the freight forwarder in Singapore. To avoid confusion and surprise fees, you should always ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs and surcharges of freight forwarding.

Once the cargo has arrived at its destination, it will undergo another process of customs inspection and clearance. To avoid problems with the requirements, don’t hesitate to ask from Singapore for details about the documents, and to make sure that the freight broker assigned to you is licensed. As for the fees required for the destination handling, the shipping company or the consignee might pay for the costs depending on your arrangement.

5. Import Haulage

Once the destination handling is cleared and completed, that is the only time the cargo can be dispatched from the warehouse. Like the export haulage process, the freight forwarder must make sure the cargo will reach the consignee on schedule and in good condition. The process can involve land freight or other modes of transportation, depending on the location of the consignee.

However, the consignee can also handle the haulage himself/herself without the help of the freight forwarder, but he/she will still have to negotiate with a logistics company for the transportation of goods. If you choose to sign with a freight forwarder from the export haulage to the import haulage, it will save you time and effort when negotiating with other logistics services. However, if the freight forwarder services do not include import haulage, the company should still make recommendations for trucking companies that can help.

Although you can easily break down the process into the following, export haulage, origin handling, land freight/sea or ocean freight/air freight, destination handling, and import haulage; freight forwarding is so much more complicated than that. You, the shipper, should work with the consignee, the freight forwarder or the freight broker, and the shipping line to complete the process. However, freight forwarding can be simplified with the help of experts from a freight forwarder company in Singapore.

Dry Cleaning: What It Is

Dry cleaning is one of the most common laundry service in most laundry pick up and laundry delivery shops in Singapore, but not everyone knows what happens during the process and why it’s the fastest way to get you clothes washed.

Let’s look at the process of dry cleaning and what makes it ideal for cleaning certain types of clothes, linen, and upholstery.

The Origins of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is not a new process in most commercial laundry services like laundry first/ from Singapore. In fact, there is evidence that the dry cleaning process goes as far back as the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The technique is quite different from the one the laundry service uses today, because they used a type of clay to remove dirt from the fabrics, although it was still essentially a cleaning process that did not use water.

Most wash and fold laundry services shops in Singapore, however, model their process to the use of dry cleaning solvents which became popular in the mid-1800s. Over the years, the dry cleaning technique and the products used continued to improve as the demands for safer alternatives were considered. Most of the concern focused on the search for solvents that were less flammable, and by the 1930s, the most popular type of dry cleaning solvents in most laundry service shops was created.

The idea of using a solvent to remove dirt from fabrics is based on the extraction of compounds by using non-polar chemicals. Delicate types of fabrics that are not supposed to be soaked in water could get damaged, because most of the stains can only be removed in high temperatures and water-based detergents. The non-polar dry cleaning solvent will not interact with the fabrics and will avoid stretching, shrinking, and distorting the fabric. Not only is dry cleaning ideal for delicate fabrics, but for almost any type of fabric including uniform laundry that is prone to wear and tear.

The Dry Cleaning Solvent

There are various dry cleaning solvents that in Singapore have been using in their 24 hour laundry service. These includes solvents like turpentine spirits, kerosene, benzene, camphor oil, petroleum solvents, white gasoline, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, glycol ethers, n-propyl bromide, liquid carbon dioxide, trichloro trifluoroethane, trichloroethane, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene. The most widely used commercial dry cleaning solvent is the perchloroethylene which is also known as perc.

The dry cleaning process, however, is not entirely a dry process because most commercial laundry services still use other detergents and chemicals to remove stains. These are special types of detergents that perform the following functions: carry the moisture to remove water-soluble dirt, suspend the dirt removed from the clothes, and to act as spotting agent to allow the water and solvent to remove the stains.

You should also ask the laundry services if they use the following chemicals: brighteners, fabric conditioner, bactericide, anti-static, and anti-lint products. The dry cleaning machine will look similar to a regular washing machine and will also use mechanical friction or tumbling, but the chemicals are less harsh on delicate fabrics.

Questions You Need to Ask Your Electrician

Finding a good electrician in Singapore is easy if you know what to ask. It is essential to find the best licensed electrician because electricity is an important resource that also has the capacity to cause injuries and damage.

These are the important questions you need to ask the electrician services company before hiring them.

1. What type of electrician services are available? Narrow down your choices of electricians in Singapore by looking at the services they provide.
2. Do you provide a free consultation or inspection? If you’re not sure what the problems is, it’s better to call in the expert electrician to inspect the place.
3. Do you provide free estimates? You can ask this during the site inspection.
4. Can you provide a price listing for the services you offer? Even if you don’t need other repairs now, you should ask for a complete list of services available.
5. Are there any special electrician services or packages available? Some electrical services companies specialize in specific jobs. Knowing this can be helpful especially if you own commercial buildings.
6. Are there any additional costs not included in the price list? Do you have an hourly rate or a fixed rate?
7. If there are damages or changes to the structure affected by the electrical works, does your electrician services company provide additional services to fix it or do I have to hire another professional to fix it?
8. What are the most common problems you work on? This will let you know if the electrician has any experience with your problem.
9. Do you have any experience with this specific electrical works problem?
10. Will you provide the materials and tools, or do I have to purchase some of the items needed?
11. Do you recommend shops or products where I can purchase replacements for light fixtures? Some electrician services company like power max in Singapore provide their own quality materials.

12. I have a fixed budget; can you provide a breakdown of all the expenses for this specific work? It may be possible to choose what you’re only willing to pay for.
13. Do you provide emergency repairs? Owners of businesses and commercial buildings should have a reliable electrician to contact in case emergency repairs are needed to avoid interruption of daily operations.
14. Are you a licensed and accredited electrician? It’s important to hire a good electrician with the right training and experience to avoid accidents from substandard work.
15. Are you insured? There is always a risk of accidents at work. You don’t want to pay for unnecessary fees in case of injury or damage to the structure.
16. Do you have any specialty? Some electricians like Singapore have more experience with specific jobs than others.
17. Do you have any additional training and experience?
18. Is it possible for me to inspect your credentials?
19. Can you work with special projects, such as installation, data cabling, solar equipment, and others?
20. Do you work with other contractors for remodeling spaces?
21. How about working in newly-constructed buildings?
22. How long have you been in business?
23. Who will perform the work? Are they employees or will you be sending contractors?
24. If you are sending contractors, are they covered by the contractor’s insurance?
25. Can you provide the credentials of the members of the team who will be working on the problem?
26. Are there differences in the rate of electrician specialists in your company?
27. How do I pick from one of the licensed electrician specialists in your company?
28. What are the differences between the different licensed electrician specializations?
29. Will my problem require the expertise of a master electrician?
30. Can you provide references or reviews? You can find some of the reviews on the company website, but you can also gain additional information from the electrician.
31. Is it possible for me to check any work in progress?
32. What are your experiences in electrical works at home?
33. What are your experiences in electrical works at commercial and industrial buildings?
34. Are you well-versed in the electrical code requirements of Singapore?
35. Do you have any experience in the installation of electrical appliances?
36. Do you have any experience in the repair or troubleshooting of electrical appliances?
37. How long do repairs take? When will the work commence? The electrician should come in early to start the work and finish it on the agreed time and date.

38. Will I be notified before the work starts? This is important to know if you own a business so that you can prepare beforehand.
39. The building needs electrical repairs; are you going to work with live circuit or should I provide a shutdown notice beforehand?
40. I own a commercial building; will my daily operations be affected? In some cases, the elevators are left to function while the work is ongoing.
41. Can I stay at home while you work and how long will you work within a day if the work takes several days?
42. Are there any changes I need to be aware of once the work starts?
43. Am I allowed to check the progress of the work periodically? If the work will take several days, you should be allowed to inspect their work, or you should at least be updated of the progress.
44. Do I need to apply for a permit for electrical works especially for a commercial building?
45. Will you perform a safety inspection once the work is done?
46. Are there any potential problems that I might have overlooked?
47. Do you guarantee quality of your work?
48. Do you have any warranty of your work?
49. Does your warranty also cover the materials you used?
50. If there are problems, can I contact your company?

What Makes a Good Commercial Electrician?

Part of property management is maintaining a safe and well-functioning electrical wiring in a building. To be able to achieve this, one should hire a commercial electrician. Commercial electricians specialize on the electrical structure of factories, hotels, shopping complexes, and residential buildings and are the people responsible with the installation and maintenance of the electrical systems of the said structures.

So, if commercial electrician is what we need, how are we able to know that the prospect contractor we’re currently dealing with is a good catch? Here are the most important traits that you and your condo manager should look for to be able to differentiate a good commercial electrician from a bad one.

1. A good commercial electrician is adaptable and creative
From years of experience, professional electrical contractors have done countless of estate maintenance projects and are already capable to provide on the spot solutions to any electrical problems. Oftentimes, when buildings are constructed, engineers and architects and even your condo manager have no idea how and where the electrical systems will be installed. The job to find ways for the installment of outlets and wires is entirely up to the electrician. The electrician recommended by one of the best property management companies in Singapore for your requirements needs to be creative and inventive enough to work out a solution plan and then get the idea executed as soon as possible.

2. A good commercial electrician is able to work with other contractors
Being able to adjust and work well with other people is another important trait that a commercial electrician should possess. Electricians should be able to communicate effectively with the building owner, managing agent, and other contractors and explain the job in a clear and understandable manner.

3. A good commercial electrician has ample experience and relevant licensing
In Singapore, electrical contractors are licensed only when they complete apprenticeship. Continuing higher education, in the form of seminars and trainings, is also a must to keep up with the ever changing technology. You and your managing agent can assure this by asking for certificates of recognition from a prospect contractor before deciding on hiring them.

4. A good commercial electrician is complete with essential equipment
Electrical contractors should be complete with relevant equipment that can be used to evaluate existing electrical structure and perform estate maintenance for the property’s power system. Find out whether a prospect electrician uses advanced detection methods, like computer evaluation techniques or camera fitted probes, to accurately locate and diagnose potential or existing electrical hitches.

5. A good commercial electrician shows a sense of interest in addressing client’s needs
Oftentimes, when an employee’s field of specialty has to be performed, that employee feels excited and challenged to complete the task. Same thing goes with electrical contractors. Since this is their field of specialization, when a property owner or a property managing agent presents an electrical problem, they should convey a sense of excitement to the client.

Looking for a good commercial electrician could be something that is uncommon for many of us, but knowing the traits that make a good electrical contractor helps us get acquainted with this task more. To further help you in searching for a quality contractor, seek professional advices from your property management company.

Tips for a Healthier Barbecue Party

Each day is a perfect day to do some barbecue cookout party. Lazing around in the pool or beach, sunbathing while enjoying your lemonade, and indulging your favourite barbecue meal have always been part of outdoor celebrations in Singapore. While most summer activities revolve on fun outdoors and enjoying delectable grilled meals, it’s still enticing to indulge on local barbecue favourites like otah and satay. However, not everyone gets to enjoy grilled goods as high-fat meats are often used for barbecue meals. So to help you come up with a bbq party wherein everyone gets to enjoy the meals that you prepared, here’s a list of tips on how you can have a healthier bbq party.

1. Go for Low-Fat Meats Instead of the High-Fat Ones
One way to have a healthier barbecue meal for your party is to substitute the high-fat meats to low-fat alternatives. Ask your Singapore bbq catering provider to come up with a menu that uses low-fat meats instead of the usual sausages, hotdogs, and beef patties. If you’re a health and figure-conscious individual, then you already know that a serving of burger patties with coleslaw and potato salad on the side, served sundae and lemonade already holds 200 calories. If you decided to pair it with an alcohol drink, then you’d be consuming another 500 calories.

Although it’s fine to spoil yourself during these occasions, going for healthier alternatives would still be a lot better. So instead of sticking with the regular high-fat patties, ask your bbq catering provider to serve lean meats like ground turkey breast instead, or other alternatives like shrimp kebabs, skinless chicken breasts, and salmon.

2. Incorporate Low-Fat Dishes with the High-Fat
A barbecue meal is nothing without salads and sides. Sidings like pasta salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw are the traditional favourites to complement each barbecue meal. But since these sidings are full of sodium and calories, it would be better if you just choose one Singapore bbq catering food option and substitute the rest with grilled veggies and fresh fruits. As you plan the menu for your party, ask you bbq catering provider to include some vegetable kebabs on your bbq meal instead of sticking to all-meat meals.

You can go for mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes for your vegetable kebabs, while pineapples, peaches, and melons are your best bet for fruits that go well with barbecues. If you’re looking for a potato salad alternative, then grill sweet and white potatoes, drizzle with some seasonings and olive oil, and you’re good. With these selection of side dishes, you’re sure to get full without ruining your figure.

3. Take Note of the Calories of your Beverages
Cold, refreshing drinks is one of the major factors to enjoy an outdoor party. But instead of replenishing your liquids with margaritas and frozen daiquiris, replace this calorie-loaded drinks with sangria or white wine instead. To add more variety, you can ask your Singapore bbq catering provider to also serve flavoured herbal teas with orange or lemon slices. This will help you quench your thirst without gulping large amount of calories.

4. Think of Food Safety First
Always remember that humid environments is the main enemy when it comes to food safety storage. If you’re serving mayonnaise-based salads and dips, do serve them in a bed of ice. Also remember that your perishables shouldn’t be kept outside for more than two hours, especially if the temperature on your location is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When you’re about to grill, immediately discard the marinade you used for your raw meat and use a thermometer to measure the heat that you’ll use for grilling.

Selecting the Best Gemstone for the Proposal and the Wedding Rings

Selecting the perfect ring for your beloved might seem like a tedious task, but think of this as a once-in-a-lifetime grand gesture to express your love through something that can be touched and seen. Finding the ring isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you take note of the most important characteristics such as the type of gemstone, gemstone qualities, mounting, and setting.

Let’s look at each of these characteristics in more detail.

Types of Gemstones
There seems to be an agreement among couples that a proposal ring should have a diamond, but this is not the only gemstone you should consider. You can also mix and match different gems if you decide to have a customized wedding ring.

Sapphire. One of the four precious gems (besides diamond, emerald, and ruby), sapphire comes in other colors besides blue. It’s a hard gem, but not as expensive as diamond.
Emerald. The luxurious green color can be paired with yellow gold and other gems to create a unique design.
Ruby. The blood-red tone of ruby is just as attractive as clear diamonds, but the highest quality can be more expensive than the latter. It is getting popular for wedding bands in Singapore due to the colours and pricing
Pearl. This organic gem can easily tarnish and scratch, but its beauty gives the jewelry a classic, elegant look when set into harder gems.
Amethyst. This purple gem is durable and can be paired with rose gold, but it’s not a hard stone.
Turquoise. The pretty color can be paired with other gems for a luxurious ring.
Aquamarine. A type of beryl stone, aquamarine is tough and clear, and with the right cut, it can be as dazzling as a diamond engagement ring.
Topaz. The clearer the topaz, the more beautiful and expensive it is.
Garnet. Besides the signature red color, you can also find pink garnet. They look gorgeous on rings with antique motif.
Tourmaline. This gem is a mix of different colors and won’t easily scratch, chip or tarnish.
Opal. Each opal is unique from the other, that is why it’s a perfect gem for a customized engagement ring.
Moissanite. The clear varieties can look like diamonds with the right cut. They’re also the second hardest gem, but are not as expensive as diamonds.
Diamond. Not all diamonds are colorless, but colored diamonds are sometimes more expensive than the nearly-colorless varieties.

Gemstone Qualities
When you have decided on the type of gemstone for your wedding rings, you should consider the following qualities while at the jewelry shops in Singapore:

Carat. This is the unit of measurement for the weight or size of the gem. The higher the carat, the more expensive the gem is, but remember that size doesn’t have to be the most important factor when it comes to choosing rings.
Color. Gems with the most vivid and brightest colors have the best quality, but are also the most expensive types. Some gems also come in other colors, so the rarer colors tend to fetch higher prices. For an engagement ring, the medium-tone is recommended by jewelers.
Clarity. All gemstones have flaws, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Some flaws can make the gem rare by changing the natural color, while others can create unique patterns. If you want a gem with no inclusions (the name for the flaws), look for more expensive wedding rings.
Cut. The cut of the gem can make the inclusions less noticeable or bring out the color of the gem more vibrantly, so it should maximize the brilliance of the gem and the reflection of the light on the surface. Remember that some diamonds can even appear dull when not cut properly.

Gemstone Mounting
The mounting refers to the metal used for the ring band. The following are the most commonly used metals you might find at jewelry shops in Singapore:

Platinum is very strong, pure, and hypoallergenic.
Gold doesn’t tarnish, can be cleaned easily, and can be mixed with other alloys to create other colors.
Palladium doesn’t tarnish and is hypoallergenic and flexible.
Titanium is hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant.
Sterling Silver can have a matte finish and comes in either bright white or grayish white colors.
Tungsten is scratch-resistant and durable, ideal for wedding rings.

Gemstone Setting
The gem setting refers to the metal form, which has prongs and claws, that holds the gem in place. It is not to be confused with mounting or finding, or the name for the metal. So, why is this important? The setting of the gemstone is determined by the size and shape of the gem so that it maximizes the brilliance as well as prevent the gem from falling off.

These are the types of setting you might see at jewelry shops in Singapore while looking for a wedding ring.

Four-Prong. It’s ideal for any gem shape because it allows the maximum amount of light to come into contact with the stone.
Six-Prong. This provides a more a secure setting for the gem than the four-prong type.
Multiple Prong. Some rings have more than six prongs to show off other qualities of the gem and to make the setting more secure at the same time.
Full Bezel. The gem is encircled completely by and is set deep into the metal. This setting gives more protection than the prongs and can be used for any gem shape.
Semi-Bezel. Some parts of the gem are not closed in by the metal, allowing more light to touch it.
Flush Set. In this setting, the gems are found beneath the bands to protect it from scratches.
Pave. This setting allows for several gems to be set closely together with only thin beads of metal separating them.
Pave with Millegrain. The metal edge of the wedding ring is lined with tiny gems to give it a more luxurious look.
Channel Set. The gems in this setting are set side by side within a groove of the metal band. A proposal ring with this setting sometimes has a center stone.

The Importance of Having Regular Car Maintenance

Any car trouble can turn into a hassle, especially if you’re in a hurry or if your drive brings you some place far from any car servicing shops. In order to avoid ending up in such desperate situations, it is important for you to regularly keep track of your car maintenance duties. Getting regular maintenance sessions with your dealer can easily save you from dealing with frustrating mechanical breakdowns.

The importance of regular car maintenance cannot be stressed enough. In purchasing a vehicle, whether new or used, it must be considered a big investment on your part — hence it becomes a duty to follow a maintenance schedule to protect the asset from costly breakdowns and repairs. Not only does a constant check-up help you get the best performance your car can offer, but it also increases the machine’s life span.

In general, car repair is a broad subject composed of many aspects. It can range from a simple part inspection or maintenance to a vehicle’s complete overhaul. The repairs and condition vary with each car, which is why it is important to get your vehicle personally checked by a best car servicing in Singapore specialist.


While there are a number of people in Singapore with too heavy work schedule or tight budget to even bring their vehicle in for a consultation, poorly maintained cars can actually put their life at risk. Cars which fail to get a routine general maintenance check-up tend to act up and cause problems out of the blue, endangering the life of the driver and passengers with potential car collisions.

It also goes without saying that improper car maintenance prompts you to spend a thousand more dollars over repairs and surgeries. With that, it is greatly advised for any car owner to always consider the importance of having a regular car repair. There are many shops offering car servicing in Singapore which can help you ensure that your vehicle is not only safe but also at its peak condition.

Several car servicing measures must be observed to keep your car running efficiently and extend its mechanical lifespan. These measures must be undertaken routinely, instead of putting it off for a few months after a single consultation

You can check with your owner manual for a quick guide and run-through about the overall process. However, personally taking your car to a car workshop is still highly encouraged so it can be thoroughly checked by a mechanic. There might be issues you won’t spot at one glance, or existing technical problems that isn’t written down in the pages of your manual.

Tire check

The pressure of your tires must be checked every time you head out to avoid any related problems while on the road. This includes the spare tires you keep in your trunk, which generally often goes overlooked. Remember that the weight of your car is carried by your tires, thus they must be sturdy and strong in order to ensure its overall performance doesn’t disappoint.

This is one aspect to car servicing you can also opt to do yourself with the use of a tire gauge. It is important to point out any faulty issues, such as having an under inflated tire, for it can make your driving experience perilous as you hit the brakes. Tire maintenance also involves tire rotation to keep them wear evenly. This results to increased consistency and overall safety.


Having your brakes checked regularly is also essential for a safer driving experience. For one, the brakes are considered as the most critical component of your vehicle. Although they are often overlooked by many, car servicing centers in Singapore never fail to remind car owners of how important it is to get regular brake check-ups.

Thanks to the many advancements in technology, new cars now have improved brake features — but still, that doesn’t spare them from the need of undergoing routine inspection and maintenance checks. Operational issues must be prioritized as soon as possible to avoid machine failure and additional costly repairs.

Oil and filter change

Car maintenance also requires having your car’s oil and filter changed every once in a while. This is actually considered as one of the most common requirements to keep your vehicle’s performance at its peak. To keep things short, regular oil change is crucial since it becomes invaluable to your engine’s life. It effectively reduces wear and friction as well as directs heat away from rather critical areas. In turn, it makes engine parts run cooler.

Having a regular oil and filter change also prevents the accumulation of rust and corrosion and helps in reducing engine noise at the same time. This is one aspect to a good vehicle maintenance check that is recommended by most mechanics in Singapore since it serves as a key to a long and hassle-free machine life.

Other services

Apart from the key maintenance aspects presented above, there are also other services you must take into consideration to maintain a well-performing vehicle. Coolant levels must be kept filled to the correct level to prevent destructive engine wear and tear. Wiper blades should be checked and replaced (if worn). Additionally, batteries must also be checked thoroughly— keeping in mind that they generally last for a good 3-5 years.

Belts and hoses must also be checked regularly, inspecting if there are any leaks or cracks that needs immediate tending. Old spark plugs should also be checked, if not replaced.

Common Plumbing Problems and Mistakes

Usually the most common plumbing problems we have at home are clogged drains. Some problems however can be more than just simple drainpipe blockages. What are the common plumbing problems and what should we do? When do we call a reliable plumber for help? The following is a list of common problems and mistakes and the steps to keep your plumbing at home working perfectly.

Clogged drains. Most drain cleaners don’t do the work. Some are even harmful when used often. Clog removers can sometimes eat away at the drainpipes regardless of the material it’s made of (usually pipes are made of PVC or metal). The best way is to prevent clogging from happening is to keep the drains clear. Avoid placing small items near the drain to prevent blockage. Make sure to clean the strainers or stoppers from time to time. Ask your local plumbing contractor for options if you want these. Keeping your clogs clean however sometimes does not do the job. Reliable plumbing services in Singapore offer cleaning of waste pipes, bathtubs, and toilet bowls. You may also opt for a scheduled maintenance of your plumbing works.

Running toilets waste a lot of water and can add up to your bill. This usually happens when the flapper valve does not fit properly. The flapper valve allows the water to pass from the tank to the bowl. If fixing this is beyond your skills, it would only worsen the problem. Call a reliable plumber.

If you are planning a renovation and engaging a good plumbing services from Singapore or remodeling of your bathroom, make sure that there is enough space around the toilets. This will not only prevent small objects from accidentally dropping into the bowl, but there will be enough leg room as well. If you do not have this option or the budget to fix the placement of the toilet, make sure to avoid placing objects near it.

Dripping faucets. This is usually caused by the deteriorating washer made of rubber or silicone. When this happens the washer does not prevent enough water from pushing its way through the pipes. Ignoring this problem, no matter how common, can rack up your water bills. Replacing the washer will need specialized tools. It’s best to consult a reliable plumber if the problem has been going on for a long time. Otherwise, you can do the job yourself.

Silent leaks. Some issues cannot be seen right away until you notice that your water bill has gone up. Schedule an appointment with a plumber for maintenance and check-ups. Low water pressure can also be a sign that the pipes leading to your home have a leakage. Ignoring this problem might cause damages to your property.

Low water pressure. The most common cause is a blockage of deposits in the faucet aerators. Some faucets have aerators that can be removed for cleaning. If no changes occur even when you do this, the problem might be even more serious. A pipe may have a leakage that you could not see. It could also be due to problems in your local water supply system.

Leaky pipes. Usually leaks occur at U-joints in pipes. If you notice a water build-up in pipes leading to your house, there is a possibility that a line is broken. Some leaks however are not noticed immediately. Fixing leaks can be easy but if you do not want the mess that goes with it, call plumbing services or a 24 hours plumber.

Lack of traps or vents in the drains. The S-shaped pipe under your sink is an example of a trap. If you need to make sure your home’s plumbing has enough traps and vents, ask a reliable plumber about it.

Water heaters have pressure and temperature relief valves. The valves have to be placed correctly for them to work. The installation of water heaters should be done by a licensed plumber to avoid problems.

Fast-fixes that go wrong. Sometimes the problem seems minimal that we tend to come up with easy and fast solutions. If it is beyond your repairing skills, do not try to do it yourself. Call a 24 hours plumber if a problem occurs at night.

Poor installation. It is good to invest in quality plumbing. When planning to move into a house or building a new one, consult a plumbing contractor. This will save you money, time and effort. The fewer problems in the future, the less worries for your family. Most plumbing contractors have websites if you need more detailed information on the services they provide. One common mistake is that drainpipes do not have enough slope. The wastewater will travel slower and there is a tendency for waste materials and debris to accumulate.

For fuel gas piping, Singapore has laws for the supply, installation and fitting of gas pipes. It is important that you know your rights for your safety.

Mismatched pipes. This can also be avoided if proper installation is done. Sometimes we overestimate our plumbing skills and consequently cause bigger problems in the future. Pay attention to the pipe size, material and fitting. Better yet, ask a plumber to replace the pipes for you.

Finding local plumbers can also be a hassle. Luckily, Singapore has licensed quality plumbing services providers for every plumbing needs. Determine your problem first. Knowing the cause beforehand will make the job or repairs easier. Keep your budget and time constraints in mind as well especially if you need a quick repair at home. Keep a list of numbers of your reliable plumber or the nearest plumbing services center. Lastly, make sure that the plumber is licensed and qualified for the task.

Taking Your Pet to a Groomer for the First Time

The first time you bathe your pet, you should expect that it’s not going to be a pleasant experience at all. That will also probably give you an idea about your pet’s first trip to a pet grooming services in Singapore.


How do you prepare your dog for its first experience with pet grooming? And what services can you expect at the groomer?


Find the Right Groomer

You need to find the right pet groomer for your pet in Singapore to make the experience pleasant. You can ask your veterinarian for advice or your friends for some feedback and experiences with the different groomers. The pet groomer should be experienced with the different dog breeds, coats, and grooming techniques. Once you find the right one for your dog, book an appointment with an allowance of a few days to prepare.


Take the Vaccination Records

If you want to groom pet, some groomers in Singapore will ask for a record of your pet’s latest shots, such as rabies vaccinations to protect your pet and the groomer from the virus. You should also tell your veterinarian about your plans, if you haven’t already, if it’s still a puppy. Most veterinarians will recommend that a puppy should be taken to a groomer within 16 weeks after its second round of puppy vaccinations.


The Right Age for Grooming

The dog should be taken to a pet grooming in Singapore service as young as possible after the second set of vaccinations have been completed. Puppies are less anxious around strangers than older dogs that have not been socialized with humans and other dogs. If you got a slightly older rescued dog, it’s important that the dog gets socialized first before taking it to a groomer to make it easier for it to adjust to strange noises and objects. Don’t forget to take some treats, too, while your dog is still getting used to pet grooming.

Train Your Dog

Socialization is important not just to prepare a dog for pet grooming, but also for its overall physical and psychological health. Dogs who are exposed to humans and other animals will find it easier to adapt to different situations, such as being handled by a stranger during pet grooming. A few days before the set appointment, train your dog to get used to being placed on a raised surface, such as a table, to lessen the fear.


Research About Proper Grooming

By now you have already learned how to bathe and brush your dog at home, but you should also research about the proper pet grooming methods based on the type of coat. Not all dog coats should be treated the same way, because some are more prone to matting and tangling than others. Not all dogs can also use the same shampoo, conditioner, and brush or comb.

Observe and Assist

During the pet grooming session, you should be present to restrain your dog from biting or running away. Assist the groomer while he/she is trying to settle down your dog, so that the next trip will be easier. Reward good behavior and firmly object against whining and complaints. If you have already trained your dog before the trip to the groomer, this part will be much easier.


Dog Grooming Services

A complete dog grooming service in Singapore should consist of the following:  washing, drying, brushing or combing, trimming, nail cleaning, butt cleaning (anal glands), ear inspection and cleaning, and dental cleaning.